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Showing posts from August, 2012

Love This ....

Hanazen .... Baby!!!

As Japanese restaurants go, its not a difficult task to locate good ones, as seriously there is very little cooking with good Japanese food. It all has more to do with getting the  best produce, best cuts and delivered with sincerity and care.

One more Japanese restaurant that fits the bill perfectly is Hanazen @ Jaya One. You may choose to order the sets, which are more than reasonably priced to get a good taste of what Hanazen has to offer. Most sets are under RM40. 




However, to get a real good taste of the best of Hanazen and what chef/GRO Mun Mun has to offer, go for the omakase ( chef's choice), it will set you back RM250-300pp but its certainly worth it, just the very best of what they have on offer and more. The sashimi platter might not look like much but it offers the best of what they have, isn't that what you want, the best on the menu?



 This was quite decadent, Kobe beef, Grade 5 (top level), marbling 9, crispy fish skin plus foie gras. 



When you cut open the Kobe beef…

Selamat Hari Raya, Keroncong Style

Music plays a huge part of our memories. As in any balik kampung event, its our memories and nostalgia that fill the air. So, here are my favourite keroncong tunes by Kartina Dahari for listening pleasure over this festive period. Drive dafe.

Many Malaysians (including younger Malays even) have not heard of Kartina Dahari. Well, she was one of the top singers in the 60s and 70s. She was known for her keroncong songs. Don't ask me how I know of her songs, heard it on the radio when I was much much younger but you could hardly get a copy of her recordings on CDs. Keroncong styled songs are not everyone's cup of teh tarik, for me it struck a chord, you need to slow everything down, relax and take it easy and go with the flow of the songs - it soothes the soul. She is from Singapore although she lives in London most of the time now with her son. I love her voice, her delivery and her keroncong songs were highly accessible. Whenever I listen to her songs, I think of my younger days…

Best Things in Life Are Free

Never has the cliche been more meaningful when it comes to designing a company's logo. The two best logos for big companies have to be Coca Cola and Google, and they both cost the company $0 because it was done in house.






cost: $35
Nike co-founder Phil Knight purchased the famous swoosh logo from graphic design student Carolyn Davidson in 1971. Knight was teaching an accounting class at Portland State University, and he heard Davidson talking about not being able to afford oil paints in the halls. That's when he offered her $2/hour to do charts, graphs, and finally a logo. "I don't love it, but maybe it will grow on me," Knight said, after doling out $35 for the swoosh. I mean, seriously Phil, the company has grown so big, if it was me I would have offered the designer $1m bonus when your net worth started surging past $500m. The swoosh was a great design, its cool, signify speed and upward mobility and agility.



cost: $33,000
Paul Rand was paid $33,000 for creating th…

Things We Really Should Have

Why A Severe Bear Market Could Be Just Around The Corner

While valuations are still reasonable and liquidity still ample in global markets, there is going to be a confluence of events that could derail even decent or fair valuations. Global markets have been through a pretty bumpy ride so far this year, thanks to the Greece worsening on/off debacle. Every single time, the EU leaders would convene another hastily reworked package to stave the bleeding patient. Now we have not one bleeding patient but another coming into ICU (Spain), the hospital is running out of blood and nerves are shot.

To a large extent, we did not see the boil over yet because the US economy showed signs of recovery even though unemployment kind of stopped improving over the last two months, however retail spending and housing there showed signs of life in the lake of death. 

Hugely uncertain political developments and big macro boil overs seem to be on the cards as the year winds down. If the US starts to look shaky again, all bets are off for a sustained markets recover…

Warren's Mantras

"Rule No. 1: never lose money; rule No. 2: don't forget rule No. 1"

Source: The Tao of Warren Buffett


"Investors should remember that excitement and expenses are their enemies. And if they insist on trying to time their participation in equities, they should try to be fearful when others are greedy and greedy only when others are fearful."
Source: Letter to shareholders, 2004


"The line separating investment and speculation, which is never bright and clear, becomes blurred still further when most market participants have recently enjoyed triumphs. Nothing sedates rationality like large doses of effortless money. After a heady experience of that kind, normally sensible people drift into behavior akin to that of Cinderella at the ball. They know that overstaying the festivities ¾ that is, continuing to speculate in companies that have gigantic valuations relative to the cash they are likely to generate in the future ¾ will eventually bring on pumpkins and mice. B…

Growth Investing

If you mention any other kind of investing other than "value investing", they'd seem like bad words next to value investing. Thanks to Warren Buffett, value investing has almost reached the nirvana of acceptance by all and sundry as the safest and most consistent long term performance tool. 

Value investing to pay less for something. The off shoot of value investing is something called growth investing. It has the same basis as value investing but is willing to pay a lot more for potential. As long as growth is evident and in the works, these investors will not mind riding the bull in a growth stock.

Beware of growth stocks because they are very easy to like, and you can get totally smitten with them. Strong growth stocks usually have a strong retail element in them - its like discovering something new (assuming chewing gum has never been invented),like chewing gum and marketing it to the world. Your growth potential is enormous.

Two of the most fantastic growth stocks for …

Stop 114A

Coolest Dad Ever

Most people would have heard of Depeche Mode, a New Romantics top band in the early 80s, where young adults trying to figure out their place in the world donned stupid outfits and dye their hair silly, played with electronic instrumentations a lot, trying to change the world. It was a natural evolvement from the punk era, where anarchy and disillusionment were the rage. From anger, anti-establishment to trying to find "new ways to love and new wave of electronic melodies structured into tight dance numbers".

Thats all well and good, have a look at the original Depeche Mode hit, Everything Counts. Last year a cool dad and his two kids calling themselves DMK, became an internet sensation by copying the whole instrumentation and vocals of Depeche Mode in a few songs. Its damn funny, joyous and irreverent. The kids are irrepressibly adorable and having the time of their lives, but the dad is the coolest dude ever! Enjoy!

The funny thing is that the Depeche Mode video has just over…

Affogato .... Finally

Affogato, a shot or two of good espresso drowned with usually vanilla gelato or ice cream. I haven't come across any that do this decently. Either the ice cream is not cold enough (melts away too quickly even before it arrives at my table) or the ice cream quality is mediocre. The ice cream needed to be chilled a bit more than the usual owing to the hot shots of espresso and the ice cream needed to be very good and very plain, thats why vanilla was the usual choice. The Bee (Jaya 1 and Publika) has gone one better ...  A scoop of White Chocolate Butter ice cream drowned in two shots of hot espresso. Hey, the ice cream is by The Last Polka, need I say more, butter white chocolate, hmmm .... what a wonderful combination or hot-white-cocoa, mocca-cino in turbo. The sweet bitterness of coffee contrasted with the rich-white choc-cool-sweetness ... aaahhhh!!!

The Incredible Paintings of Jason de Graaf

Jason de Graaf

Born and raised in Montreal. Currently living and painting near Vankleek Hill, Ontario, Canada.

JdG: My paintings are about creating verisimilitude on the painted surface, Subjects are filtered through my personal response to them. While I do tend to paint in a photo realistic manner, my goal is not to reproduce or document faithfully what I see one hundred percent, but also to create the illusion of depth and a sense of presence not found in photographs. I use colours and composition intuitively with the intent of imbuing my paintings with emotion, mood and mystery. Throughout, I try to remain open to new ideas and surprises as the painting unfolds.
"De Graaf painstakingly details the contrasting texture and unwieldy surfaces of his distinctly arranged still lifes. But his works are not just demonstrations of photorealistic talent. The deceptive reflections focus on a realm of reality that exists outside of the painting's frame. He stretches depth and skews pers…

Wednesday Funnies

The Death Of Buy & Hold Strategy

We know of the stories, heck we may even know the grand uncles and grand aunties who bought and kept Public Bank, Genting, BAT, IOI Corp ... for 20 years and now has a wonderful sum to retire on. Can we still do this kind of investing now with a 10-20 year view? The answer is probably not.

What has changed? Globalisation. Globalisation of markets and the end of localised long term sustained performance. Look at the four cited companies above, it was largely a localised play, which is to mean that it can really carry on its normal business with minimal shocks outside of the country - they couldn't care less. However, if you examine their business models now, each of them has a significant regional or overseas exposure, probably with the exception of BAT (so, BAT can still buy and hold I guess).


Buy-and-hold doesn't work anymore as the game has changed. The volatility is too significant. Almost any asset can suddenly become much more risky. Buying into just a few good stocks and h…