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Showing posts from January, 2015

The Baltic Dry Index

The index truly is a great reflection of where we are at with stocks. Unfortunately its not a leading indicator but rather a lagging indicator. The new lows actually would indicate that a rebound in demand ... i.e. a rebound in commodity prices as well, inclusive of oil, and hence helping equity prices to be sustained. What this chart and article shows, more importantly, is we all could be looking at the same data, same chart, same article... but our own conclusions could be very different. Many would read this article and conclude that all markets will get worse not better this year. My view is quite the opposite based on the sharp correction in BDI (panic oversold) and being 3-4 months into the slump already, a reversal is more likely now rather than a prolonged slump.

The article was from Business Insider.

The Index That Timed The 2008 Crash Perfectly Just Slumped To A Three-Decade LowFINANCEJAN. 30, 2015, 9:50 PM

REUTERS/Svitzer/Handout The 47,230 tonne Liberian-flagged Ren…

My Favourite Commercial Of All Time - Living The Life You Want

Finally, I found a version of my favourite commercial with English subtitles. Its for TC Bank in Taiwan, but what makes for a great commercial is that in 3 minutes, its better than watching a movie.

A special person shared with me last week about attending a talk by a 'wise person', and that it is important to "learn how to let go". To let go of our bad memories, failures, unproductive ways, etc... To which I replied that "we always hold onto people who don't love us or people who hate us or people who make us mad or people who take us for granted ... we also care too little for the people who love us unconditionally, the people who adore us, the ones who still stick around in spite of all your shortcomings". Such wasted priorities. Live the life we want, don't resign to fate, don't waste it waiting for those who never intend to turn up, don't waste it on bad memories of those who wronged us, don't dwell on regrets and failures ...

I think…

The Young Ones

The young ones will always look at older folks with disdain ... esp when the older folks keep telling them how wonderful, real and meaningful their experiences were when they were younger compared to the youths' nowadays. Its easy to fall into the trap of brushing the older folks as being partially senile, and hence their selective memory only allows them to remember the good things ... lol. Take from this what you will ... not my work (though you will find that I had added my own embellishments) but worthwhile to share.


for those of us born in the 40s, 50, 60s and 70s ... without any maids, our mothers cooked, cleaned and took care of the whole family and still have time to chat with the neighbours
everyone ate candy floss, drank fizzy cola drinks and had shaved ice with syrups, diabetes were rare and aspirin/panadol cured everything
there were no 'victims mindset' ... nobody had ADD (attention deficit disorder) or dyslexia, maybe these…

Gold & Central Banks

Growing distrust in the central banks
During the last round of the global financial crisis, bold decisions made by central banks around the world did avert a collapse of the then fragile economic systems. The loose monetary policies adopted in the US have probably rescued the nation from entering into another "Big Depression" as we knew in the 1930s. Nonetheless, the zero interest rate policy (ZIRP) has been in place for more than a "considerable period". The economy has not been able to grow in a robust manner as in the previous economic rebounds. The average annual GDP growth is around 2.5% in the aftermath of the 2008 crisis. Chairperson of the Fed, Dr. Janet Yellen, said once the economy is strong enough to stand on its feet, the Fed would start increasing the Federal fund rates gradually and "with patience." With the revised GDP growth in Q314 standing at 5% and the unemployment rate at 5.5% last December, many stock investors probably believe our ec…

The Enigmatic David Bowie

Absolutely fabulous, always cool ... the morphing looks of DB over the years.

Great Food Find ... Steamed Fish @ 1990 Prices

Thanks to the market tanking and quite a horrible year for most, not to mention the oil prices ... its time we all tighten our belts. What a find, this place is hidden at the backlane, and when you see the shop, you don't really want to go there. But actually the owner is fanatical about cleanliness despite the look of the place. Its packed to the rafters all the time.

Specialty is their steamed fish with ginger, or rather river fish. I know some may not like river fish being steamed as they say you can taste the mud, seriously folks ... thats too atas.

Look at the bill ... two steamed fishes, a veggie dish plus taugeh dish and tea ... RM87.20!!! Food rating: 9/10. Ambience: 1/10. Value for money: 10/10.

LOCATION: (take note of the word "behind")
Behind - 91 Jalan Waras 3, Taman Connaught Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, 56000, Kuala Lumpur, WP Kuala Lumpur, 56000 (opens  for lunch and dinner)

Although they seem to have another branch but my friend insisted that the original god forsake…

Let's Listen To What David Suzuki Has To Say

DAVID SUZUKI CRIES FOR HIS GRANDKIDS David Suzuki, Founder of the David Suzuki Foundation
If I were to say that this 20 minutes interview was the best piece of radio I have heard for the longest, that would be short changing it. Thats because the subject matter is graver than religion. Its relevance greater than most of us would like to admit. Its humbling, even guilt-inducing at times because we can care more. I am still thinking how we can make the things he said more "actionable for normal people", its too safe to just nod and say that was great radio and content.

Asset Class Performance As At 31 December 2014

I don't know about you but the recent calamity in the markets, caused by a massive drop in oil prices and to a lesser extent other commodities, plus a sharp rise in USD vis a vis most currencies ... kind of makes me mad. Why ... why is it that the US does not get punished for printing truckloads of currency, why their debts need not be serviced ... and when they have to raise rates, all the smaller nations get whacked.

US real estate investment trusts (REITs) led the performance race in December among the major asset classes, rising a healthy 1.9% in the final month of 2014. US REITs were also the top performer for the calendar year among the major asset classes.  For the rest of the field, returns in December were mostly flat to negative. The big loser last month and for 2014 as well: commodities. The US stock market was flat last month, although for year just passed US equities earned a respectable 12.6% (Russell 3000). That’s a comparatively soft gain relative to the stellar adv…

Greece Is The Word ...

Why the renewed talk of a Grexit from the eurozone? Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has called a snap election for January 25. Unfortunately for Mr Samaras, the narrow front-runner for the election is his opponent Alexis Tsipras, head of the leftist Syriza party. Mr Tsipras wants Greece to remain in the Eurozone, but he also wants parts of Greece's debt written off and austerity measures reduced. It's not certain whether the rest of the Eurozone - and in particular, Germany - will accept this. Greece could be forced to leave the Eurozone. What would happen to Greece if it left the eurozone? The scenarios range from mildly painful to catastrophic. At the very least, leaving the euro and writing off large amounts of debt would make Greece a pariah in international capital markets - who wants to lend money to a country that doesn't repay? Greece would be forced to reintroduce its old national currency, the drachma, and it would be a difficult transition from the euro. But…

What The Government Should Be Doing For Flood Victims

It looks pretty obvious that maybe not enough has been planned to mitigate the repercussions from the present floods' disaster. Some 200,000 have been affected, and possibly another 100,000 will be affected indirectly for those who might be dependent on the former group.

What needs to be done immediately:

a) Unit In Charge Of Logistics & Aid Distribution - self explanatory. Too many ketua kampungs acting as toll gates, preventing aid from reaching the victims.  Presently the kind of aid also changes accordingly. Many places do not need food but more so for cleaning products and medication. Right now, its a free for all. All good intentions are not properly directed, and a large portion may be wasted in the end.

b) Unit In Charge Of Infrastructure Rebuilding - A detailed study of whats immediate and whats medium term. The kind of funds needed and how to get them, and disburse projects asap.

c) Unit In Charge Debt Relief & Insurance - Many people have lost a lot of property and …

Things To Consider About Oil Prices In 2015

Let's be frank here, I did not think oil prices would plummet like it did. It is largely a black swan event which went past the estimates of a large majority of investors, experts and amateurs. So this is not anything profound, its just some important pointers that one should know going forward.

$50-60 for oil seems like soo... drastic, and it is for all players within the oil and gas arena. More so for economies that are highly dependent on oil revenue for a substantive part of their budget spending.

A look at the chart below show the budgeted price of oil for their "revenue estimates", blue was the price budgeted for 2014 and red is for 2015, both were WAY OFF ... something's got to give ...
a) A real correction or an aberration - The thing is on hindsight ... this 
correction is not an aberration but the last 5 years for oil prices to be around $100, now that was an aberration. The long term, 20-year average is, in today's money (adjusting for inflation), is more …