Thursday, April 28, 2011

NOL / Cache / Indoagri charts

Personal reference only.


I think I mentioned in the cbox not too long ago about the possibility of seeing a triple bullish divergence. We're seeing it now. I still don't like the persistent downtrend line that the price seems so reluctant to break. I think 1.88 seems like a good entry point, exit at 1.96 thereabouts? Undecided whether to trade this or not.


I got in at 0.915, which I think is an excellent entry point. I see a bullish wedge formation with the neckline at 0.955/0.960. Not sure if the higher than average volume seen on Wed means anything. Will have to see if there's a followup on Thurs. With so many trenches dug in at 0.96, it might take a great effort to go pass that resistance. If it does, 0.98 and eventually 1.00 would be the way to go. I really like this one, both weekly and daily.


This looks good too. Entry 2.12 with tp of 2.22-2.25. This certainly looks better than NOL. Should I? Hmm...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Addicted to burgers :D

** "BIAS" is a special feature in my blog where I get to say whatever I want with scant regards for your feelings. I'm not politically correct in this feature, so go ahead, judge me."

Quite recently, I've been addicted to this new burger by Burger King. Actually I'm not sure if this is a new burger or not, but there's this promotion that had been going on for some time. Basically, you order a standard meal that comes with a burger, medium fries and a drink, but you get two pieces of black pepper basil drumlets for free! This costs only $6.95, and I'm sure it'll fill you up because there's really a lot of things to eat.

Anyway, I digress. The burger that I was so addicted was the BK Doubles Crispy Onion burger. The sauce is a tangy BBQ-like sauce that is put in between two the beef patty and with a crispy onion. Just the thought of it makes my mouth water, haha :) A picture will replace a thousand words:

I think the picture above is for the single crispy onion burger. But I'm quite sure that I'm addicted to the doubles crispy onion one, haha! It was truly the best burger I've even eaten, and I was back at it again and again. That's this time that I got so hooked by it I was eating it thrice a week! But I have to take care of my health, so I scaled down on it already :)

There's now a promotion for Burger King again. This time round, you can get a free sundae with every burger purchased, whether it's a meal or not. I've never tried sundae before but from what I've gathered, it seems that it would be a good choice. But there's just so many things to eat, haha, so likely I'll have to share the meal with my wife. You can click the link here to get the coupon to enjoy the special giveaway. From what I've heard, it's good enough to save it in your handphone, so you don't really have to physically print it out.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

My political inclination

Vault dweller showed me a very interesting test on my political inclination. Since the hottest topic these days is about election, and I've no idea which side I'm on, I took a test that he linked to me. You can try the test here and do write it in the comments so that we can compare notes :) The test is quite long, around 6 pages worth of short questions in which you have to answer 4 choices : strong disagree, disagree, agree and strongly agree. After that, they will show you an analysis of your political inclination together with snapshots of the results that  famous politicians will show with this test.

Here's my result:

This is the typical quadrant:

These are the famous politicans:

And this is my result:

Looks like my political inclination belong to the libertarian leftist :) I'm more alike politically to Gandhi and Dalai Lama and most unlike George Bush and Margaret Thatcher, haha! You should really try out the test :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Leveraging for passive income

Recently a person named newbie shared some of his insights into leveraging for passive income. It's not a new concept to me, but he did kindly shared some of the details on how he did it. Many thanks and appreciation for his generous sharing in my infamous cbox. Before I proceed, do take note that I've never done it before and this is at best an interpretation of what I had gathered from his sharing. It may not be exactly what he had in mind because some of the information might be lost in translation, but I believe the gist of it is captured here. Any mistakes posted is solely my own and please do read the disclaimer at the bottom of the site if you decide to act on this information.

The idea can be summarized in a line: Borrowing at a cheap interest rate and using the money to buy a stable financial instrument that is paying a higher interest rate, thereby earning the difference between the two.

As in all decisions regarding financial investment, the devil lies in the details. Several questions comes to mind. I don't profess to have the answers to all but this is what I've gathered from our conversations.

1. How cheap is the borrowing? Where to get such cheap money?

He mentioned that cheap financing is available from margin facilities in certain brokerage. From my understanding, if you're a private banking client, you can have access to cheap financing too. These will lend you different currencies at different rates, say USD at 2% pa or SGD at 1.5% pa (the figures are for illustration purpose only). Of course, not everyone is a private banking client (you need to satisfy a minimum asset requirement), but you and me can get cheap financing too. Newbie offered a suggestion of the possibility of getting a lower than 2% pa balance transfer for 6 months, thereafter it's a matter of rotating between different banks after every 6 months to enjoy the preferential borrowing rates.

The thing is, after you had reached a certain amount of assets, you start to have more options available to you that is not available before.

2. What is stable financial instrument? How much higher interest rate can you get from it?

Stability here means that the price do not move much. It is risk defined in the academic sense, and the lower the price volatility, the more stable the instrument is said to be. At the same time, there is a second criteria to fulfill. The instrument must also have high yield. What fits into this then? There are broadly three asset classes - stocks, bonds and preferred shares. Not all stocks satisfy this criteria of stability. But some examples like singpost and perhaps SPH might fit this well. Bonds are preferable because of the call back function upon maturity, so the price movement in between listing and the callable date is immaterial, which thus places the focus solely on the yield. Preferred share (or perps) is an equally good option because of the possibility of getting back the capital upon maturity, and thus removing totally the price volatility factor from the equation to consider.

I think high yielding perps by banks (ranging from 6-8%) are good for such purposes. Newbie did mention something important too - he do not wish to dabble in forex risk, hence the currency he borrowed and the financial instrument must be in the same currency denomination. For example, if you borrow SGD at 1.5% pa, you will buy a bond denominated in SGD at say 6% pa, and not another instrument denominated in USD at 6% pa. This eliminates forex risk and reduces the number of factors to consider.

3. What about the payment of interest and the principal borrowed?

For this type of leveraging, the securities that is bought with the borrowed money is pledged as the collateral, hence there is no need for downpayment or even monthly payment of interest/principal, IF you so wish. I think you'll have to work out the sums yourself if you choose to roll over the interest payments and see if it's worthwhile to even begin doing such things. Of course, you can always make principal payments month to month, using the net interest generated, and eventually get the collateral pledged as free. That is not unlike the pillow strategy used by bro8888 but with a twist - that is the use of leverage.

There is also the very real risk of a margin call, which happens when the value of the collateral goes below a certain percentage of the borrowed amount. If that happens, there will be a margin call to top up cash to lower down the ratio to the acceptable level. The way to mitigate this is to cut loss at a determined level, or simply to use the net interest generated to redeem the principal from time to time, hence raising the limit before a margin call comes in. Besides the risk of the value of the collateral dropping, there is also the matter of increment in interest for the money borrowed. However, this is not going to come overnight so there will be time to react. For example, if you borrowed USD at 2% pa to buy a bond at 6% pa, it might take a few years before the interest of the borrowed amount of 2% will reach 6%, thereby reducing the net interest earned.

Newbie reminded me that at the end of each day, each collateral is marked to market price, so there's a real need to be meticulous in the record keeping to ensure that there will not be a margin call at all. Not for the tardy person.

4. What are the risks involved? Too good to be true it seems...

First there is the risk of interest rate increasing. That will cause the interest that you can borrow to increase, hence reducing the net interest that you get. Secondly, there is the risk of the securities dipping in value, thus causing a margin call or a forced sale of the securities in order to maintain the margin ratio. Thirdly, there is the risk of the underlying company of the securities (for example, the underlying company of the much talked about Hyflux preference shares is Hyflux) going belly-up, rendering the securities un-tradable for unspecified period of time.

I think the third risk is the hardest to mitigate, because from history, even the most stable company can cave in. Even if you buy the most stable banking institutions, the one that is 'too big to fail', black swans event can happen most unexpectedly despite the most scrutinizing study of its financial statements.

That being said, will I get involved in this kind of leveraging? I might, but certainly not now. I'll keep my options open and concentrate on getting my main income going up, because my risk for my main income is the lowest, since I know exactly what I'm getting into. I think if you know what you're doing when leveraging, it can be a powerful weapon to advance your financial goals. Just be aware of the risks and mitigate them as well as you can. Thanks again for newbie for this eye-opener way of getting passive income.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Spendthrift youth?

I came to know of a story regarding a female private university student who had spent 11k of her parent's money from the start of the semester to now. The semester should be about 4 months, starting from the beginning of the year. It's really incredible because at 11k for 4 months, it's about $2,750 per month of expenses. And she hasn't even started earning her keep yet! This is not the first time I've heard of spendthrift students, but this must be one of the highest maintenance kid that I've heard of.

According to a friend of hers, I came to know that it's because she had taken taxi to and fro everyday. Since she had lived a fair distance from the university, she had to spend around $60 per day on cabs on average. This means that in a span of 4 months, she'll have chalked up 7.2k worth of transportation fees alone. With this amount, it'll be better getting a car rather than taking public transport. I guess the rest of the 3.8k must have been spent on other stuff. It's really amazing to me that a young lady can really spend so much money in 1 month. 2.7k per month can be the typical salary of a worker in Singapore.

This is not the end. There's another story of a student from an elite school in Singapore overhearing that his friend is asking for 3k pocket money from his parents so that he won't have to keep pestering from them again and again. To ask for 3k per month for a student is really something, especially compared to my own pocket money. My pocket money in secondary school per month (estimated, because it had been a really long time) is around $80, rising to around $120 in junior college and finally $200 in university. That sum of money includes everything that I need to buy for that month, like transportation, food/drinks, books, misc fees for school etc. It is all inclusive. It had been roughly 10 to 15 years since I had left school, so had the pocket money rose up by almost 100 times? Had the price of food and entertainment and books rose up by 100 times too? I doubt so.

Perhaps this is the kind of parenthood that a double income household can give to their kids. Instead of giving time to their kids, they had to work and perhaps money is used as a compensation to their kids for that lost time spent together. This is so wrong.

It doesn't really matter if the parents can afford to give these extravagant sum of money to their kids. This is really about sending the wrong signal to their children about money. I wonder how many of these kids will be able to sustain the lifestyle that they must be enjoying right now during their schooling years. Once a high maintenance lifestyle is established, it's going to be very hard to live a more frugal kind of living. What if they can't earn that kind of money to sustain this kind of standard of living? It's just a ticking time bomb for these impressionable youths.

If this is the kind of behaviour that the youths are doing even before they start work, I want no part in this. I hope that they do not wake up one day in a rude shock that they are deeply in debts for their excessive wants. In the end, I also hope that their parents would not be the ultimate ones to suffer because of the actions of their kids. Seems like we're living in a very different world now, so may this be a wake up call for all parents!

*This article is contributed to IM$avvy financial portal, which is managed by Central Provident Fund Board and supported by MoneySense. This site has a noble aim of promoting financial literacy to the general population.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Hyflux preference shares Part 3

It seems like hyflux preference shares issue is getting a lot of attention lately. Besides splashing nearly a whole page on the local newspaper, it is also widely commented in internet forums and blogs. To see how immense the interest in the hyflux preference share is, one only have to look at the explosive increase in viewership after I've posted the two articles on my opinion regarding this fund raising exercise.

This is not the only indicator of the immense interest in the preference shares. Here's a few more:

1. The owner of had his site banned by adsense (the appeal is still pending), likely because of the huge spike in traffic after AK and me posted our opinions on the preference shares.

2. The placement for the preference shares is so hot that the bookrunner, DBS, had received orders almost seven times the planned number of shares (i.e. S$200 million offer size). As a result, the offer is prematurely closed since the maximum number of allotment for placement cannot exceed $200 million.

3.  Since the placement is oversubscribed by 7 times, the allotment for the placement is roughly 14% (1/7 = 14.28%). This is in line with what I've read in the forum for those who had been allocated their placement shares. It range from 10% to 15% roughly, based on a small sample of people who had mentioned their allotment percentages.

I was quite shocked by the strong demand for the preference shares, frankly. It goes to show that there are a lot of money floating around waiting to be deployed. Is that another indication that the bull run will carry on? But one thing for sure, the offer for the retail tranche of the preference shares would be pretty hot. Perhaps you can only get the minimum of 1 lot unless you really put in a lot of capital. Most likely it will be more oversubscribed than the placement shares, because those who did not get enough from the placement would likely try their luck in balloting for the retail tranche. Of course, you have to add in a huge number of those who would stag this preference share to get a quick buck.

If it's oversubscribed by 7 times, you probably need to put in 70k to get 10k (100 shares) of the preference shares. If it's oversubscribed by 10 times, you probably need 100k to get 10k worth of it. You can do the math yourself. But know that there is only 2 million shares to go around for everyone, so maybe some might not get any at all. Judging by the huge response of the placement, it seems like many would likely try their hands on the balloting to sell on the first day.

It'll definitely be interesting to see how the opening of the Hyflux preference shares be like on 26th April. Would hyflux bring big bucks for the holders? haha :)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Hyflux preference shares Part 2

Here's part 2 of the Hyflux preference shares commentary. In part 1, I've talked about the technical details of the offer, so now we can concentrate on whether it is a good buy, which is the ultimate question.  Let's take a look at the preference shares offered by the banks here:

Most of them are ranged between 4 to 6% pa. Hyflux is issuing theirs at 6% and subsequently stepped up to 8% pa if they did not redeem by April 2018. But the company issuing these preference shares are banks, which are ranked above normal companies in my opinion, so naturally Hyflux will have to offer a higher yield to account for their more risky circumstances. Banks are financial institutions that are integral to a country and they must not be allowed to fail, especially in Singapore's case, lest the public's confidence in the financial system be wavered. Can the same be said for Hyflux? No matter how good the terms of the preference shares are, if the underlying company that issued it sinks, all the high yield offered are moot. I can't tell what I'm going to eat for lunch later, so I don't have the predictive powers to determine if Hyflux is still going to be around in a few years time to give me my dividend.

I would have thought that people who preferred preference shares are those who do not want to worry so much about the ups and downs of the market, since if they had bought it at par value, the shares would also be redeemed back at par value too, so the fluctuations of the price in between does not matter to them. In the meantime, they just have to collect the dividends and live their own life. Would they care to look closely at how the underlying company is doing from time to time? I would think not, because such investors should want a fuss free kind of passive income. Would hyflux offer such a safe, fuss-free haven, being the underlying company issuing the preference shares? I do not know, but I would bet my money on the banks anytime if I truly want a fuss-free kind of investment instrument. Besides, I do have a preference share by HSBC bought below par value, at a rate of 6.4% pa (but denominated in USD). I do not even care about what the price of the shares, which is exactly what I like about preference shares. If any preference shares that I bought do not give me this kind of feeling, I would avoid.

The dividend yield for Hyflux is around 2.5-3% pa. Do you wonder why it is low? Hyflux is a growth company, hence the need for cash necessarily reduces the amount given as dividend. They must obviously think that they can give you a better returns for the cash than you could. The good thing about putting your money into the ordinary shares of Hyflux is that you can participate in the upside of the company's growth. If the earnings of the company grew, the price will also rise (eventually). The bad thing is that if all these scenario didn't come to fruition, you'll end up with a possible loss. On the other hand, buying the preference shares limit the upside in terms of price appreciation. Preference shares do not move too much upwards, though it can certainly plunge downwards. Just take a look at the preference shares of the various banks during the financial crisis. The downside for preference shares is limited though, unless the underlying company fails catastrophically, because the lower the share price, the higher the yield will be. There will come a point in time where the yield is so attractive that buyers will step in to stop the downslide. If you buy at par value and hold it until redemption, there will be no capital loss at all.

My point 4 in this post on preference shares still sums up my decision on this one. I would look at it only when the price goes below the par value. I think you can still make money out of this (in fact, I think it might be a good stag). Given that you can even use up to 35% of your investible savings in CPF (the balance in CPF ordinary account plus the net amount withdrawn for education and investment) to apply for this and get a yield higher than what the CPF rates can give you, it might be worthwhile to invest some money into it.

So there, the odds are laid out in front of you. Go ahead and decide what to do with your money.

*This article is contributed to IM$avvy financial portal, which is managed by Central Provident Fund Board and supported by MoneySense. This site has a noble aim of promoting financial literacy to the general population.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Hyflux preference shares Part 1

Hyflux recently announced plans to offer a 6% cumulative, non-convertible, non-voting, perpetual preference shares to raise funds. The purpose of this fund raising exercise is not known (or I've not read closely enough in the prospectus here). Regardless, let's see if this is worth looking into. First of all, let's take a look at the terms of the offer.

Preference shares is a type of hybrid between bond and equity (in fact, closer to bond than equity). The holder of this instrument will be entitled to dividend at 6% pa, payable semi-annually on 25th April and 25th October every year. Since this preference share is also perpetual, which means that unlike a bond, there is no maturity period for which the issuer will redeem back the bond. However, there is an option for the issuer to redeem back the preference shares on or after 25th April 2018. Take note that this is a right solely to be considered by Hyflux, not an obligation. If they chose not to redeem it back on or after 2018, then they will step up the dividend rate from 6% pa to 8% pa. If they chose to redeem it back, they will buy it back from you at par value. I will explain what's par value shortly.

Interestingly, this is one of the few cumulative preference shares I've seen. The bulk of the ones I've seen are non-cumulative. Cumulative means that in the event that dividend is not given for 25th April and/or 25th October, the payments are accumulated and paid on the next payment date. In other words, the payment are cumulative. However, dividends are not guaranteed. From what I understand from preference shares of banks, if dividends are given to ordinary share holders, preference shares must also be given theirs. This makes it almost as good as guaranteeing the dividend if the track record of dividend given by the company is anything to go by.

What's par value? In this case, it is the issue price of the preference share at S$100 per share. This preference share will be listed and traded on the main board of SGX from 26th April 2011 onwards. Since you bought it at $100 per share and it is traded thereafter, the price of the share will go up and down according to factors like interest rates, macro-societal factors and just basically, market sentiments. This means that the price can go above $100 or below $100. But on 25th April 2018, should Hyflux choose to redeem back the preference share (again, it's a right, not an obligation to do so), they will buy it back from you at $100 per share, regardless of what the share price of the preference share is at that point in time.

Those who had bought the share at $100 and held it till Hyflux redeemed it back in 2018 will realise no capital gain at all, since it is redeemed back at par value (which is $100) too. However, they get to keep the 6% pa for the period they are holding the share till 2018. For those who bought at a price of more than $100 after listing, they will make a capital loss (hopefully the dividends collected will more than cover up that loss). Finally, those who had bought at a price below the par value of $100, they will make both a capital gain as well as all the dividend collected till redemption. Should Hyflux chose not to redeem back in 2018, they will step up the dividend rate to 8% pa, instead of the usual 6% pa. You can treat this as their 'punishment' for not buying back the shares from you.

The offer for the preference share is up to S$200 million in total value (i.e. 2 million shares are offered) to the public, with an option to upsize the offer to $400 million if there is unsatisfied demand under the reserve and/or placement offer. You can expect it to be quite illiquid and characterised by huge gaps between buy and sell bids after listing, judging from the daily quotes of preference shares offered by other companies. After listing, the shares are traded in board lots of 10 shares, so buying or selling 1 lot of preference shares will be around the range of $1000 in value. As a sidenote, there is no voting rights attached to the preference shares, so holders are not entitled to attend or vote at AGM.

If you choose to buy it,you have to act fast. The public offer will open at 9 am on 14th April 2011 and close at 12 noon on 20th April 2011. The process is through ATM like all other IPOs, so you will have to pay a small fee of a few dollars for the application. Other than that, there is no brokerage charge if you apply through ATM. For the balloting through ATM, you need to put in a minimum of 100 preference shares (i.e. S$10,000 in total at $100 per share) and subsequent integral multiples of 10. In other words, the minimum you can apply for is 100 shares, followed by 110 shares, 120 and so on. You cannot apply 101 shares or 102 shares.

For those who like a surer bet, you can try calling your DBS Vicks online broker (since the sole book runner is DBS) to ask for a placement, but will be subjected to brokerage charges at a percentage of the total value. The difference between balloting using ATM and placement through your broker is that in the former, you do not pay any brokerage fees and thus are not guaranteed to get the shares, while the latter you'll have to pay a fee and will be guaranteed an amount given to you by the broker.

I'll discuss about the ultimate question - whether it is a good buy or not - in the next post. This is getting very lengthy as it is now. In the meantime, you can read about other posts I've blogged in the past regarding preference shares:

Preference shares part 1

Preference shares part 2

Preference shares part 3

Preference shares part 4

*This article is contributed to IM$avvy financial portal, which is managed by Central Provident Fund Board and supported by MoneySense. This site has a noble aim of promoting financial literacy to the general population.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The difficulties of investing

The most difficult part of investing is the fact that repeating the same thing in different times will end up with different results. That is both frustrating and difficulty to correct. Imagine you are trying to learn how to ride a bicycle. You do an action and immediately you can see the results, hence the learning cycle is reduced. You practically learn how to cycle by trial and error alone. But in investing, the duration that transpired between the action and the results could be a few years apart. If you invest in this company, it's only after a period of time, ranging from a few months to a few years, before you can see the fruits of the action that you sowed. This makes correcting for error in methodology extremely difficult and makes the learning curve steep and treacherous. Do you really want to invest in a company and realizing that it is a dud after a few years, thinking throughout the entire holding period that you need time for the fruits to mature?

The learning curve to ride a bicycle is shorter because of the immediate feedback

This reminds me of an example. Some of the schools that my students are studying in do not have the habit of giving back the test results back to the students. In doing so, the students are deprived of a chance to learn from their mistakes. In other words, they can be doing a thousand tests and still not learn what is right or wrong since they have no feedback mechanism that can enlighten them otherwise. Likewise, investing now and knowing the results after a prolonged period of time can make the learning curve in investing necessarily steep and long. In investing, it helps to be a good student of history, because while circumstances vary, the human emotions that interplay between buyer and seller stays constant. All the panicky market crashes and euphoric bubbles are there for all of us to see, but not all will look at it to learn.

Throughout the whole market cycle, there are times when its profitable to trade, time to invest and a time to gun for yield. I think the key question is when to do which method, in order to get the best out of the current market conditions. In this aspect, I think Anthony Bolton's approach of doing different things at different times is very enlightening. I find his approach well balanced and not siding with either extremes of doing only trading or only investing. You can read more about him in his book "Investing against the tide". That being said, to really learn this, it'll take several market cycles of bull and bear before one can confidently say that one can do it well. To do this well, you have to learn different methods of playing the market and to know the right time to do each method. Difficult?

I quite like this book - it gives a very balanced view of investing vs trading

I offer an alternative that may prove tempting instead of learning how to juggle so many things in one market cycle. You can be a specialist, focusing all your attention to one single trick. You read up, you research, you practice all the time for that one single trick. If the conditions are not right, you wait as patiently as a fisherman with your calm facade suppressing the eagerness to hook a fish. Once the right conditions appear, you strike out using all the training that you've been prepared for. The hardest part of this alternative is to sit on the sideline waiting to do your single powerful trick and waiting patiently in the meantime. It is not easy doing nothing and believing that it will help you get more out of the market.

Then know this, it is even harder doing nothing when people all around you are shouting for action and making profits from the market, while you are doing nothing and believing that the right conditions for your trick is not here yet. Who ever says investing is easy?

*This article is contributed to IM$avvy financial portal, which is managed by Central Provident Fund Board and supported by MoneySense. This site has a noble aim of promoting financial literacy to the general population.

Friday, April 08, 2011

I'm a big girl now, mummy

I came across this wonderful poem while reading this book by Virginia Ironside, titled "The Virginia Monologues", which I'll share in this post. I picked the book up in the library yesterday when my class got cancelled in the evening. I love moments like this - a sudden god-send gift to relax. Since it's too late to arrange a dinner with my wife, I just went to the library to see if any books can find me (I realised that we never find books. Books find their readers). The book just screams out to me when I was ambling through the shelves without any particular aim in mind. This book is about growing old and why it's great to grow old. When is the last time you've seen a book like this, extolling the virtues of getting old?

The old age theme seems to catch up on me recently. Just over the last weekend, I was at Suntec city when they had a convention suitably named "Active aging". In that convention, you see all sorts of interesting stuff, from will writings, general insurance, cooking classes, HDB's studio apartment with a twist for greying population, line dancing, games (including kinec) and many more. There's even a section where you can try on this very fun thing called kangaroo jumps. Imagine a roller blade with the wheels, mounted onto two crescent shaped arcs, forming a spring of some sort. You just wear it and start jumping! I saw a lot of seniors wearing it and start bouncing around. Since I was there for some time (I tried it and wifey even bought a pair), I've never seen one who failed to balance. Coupled with the huge 25% discount, I think the product flew off the shelves.

You wear, you jump - the aptly named "Kangaroo Jumps"

Have you ever felt this way too? Suddenly, it seems that everywhere you turn, things or events of similar theme just happens to you. For me this time, it seems to be the elderly theme. I went to the convention without intending to do so, and I borrowed a book on aging without planning to do so.

Here's the poems I am talking about. It's from the book and I find it very meaningful. Enjoy.

I'm a big girl now, mummy,
I can walk, holding on to a chair.
and I can feed myself with a spoon
and I can say 'Moo'.

I'm a big girl now, mummy,
I can go to school
and I can cross the road all by myself.

I'm a big girl now, mummy,
And I can come back home at whatever time I like,
You're bloody lucky I come home at all!

I'm a big girl now, mummy,
I sit on committees
and boss other people around
and lay down the rules about what you give my
children to eat if I let them
stay with you.

I'm a big girl now, mummy,
And I can face death calmly.

And then we will meet again.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

The posts that never made it

The title is a little misleading. In this blog post, I will put in some posts that I canned away before it is even published. The reasons will be stated besides each canned blog posts too, so that you can agree or disagree with them, haha! As mentioned in previous postings, it's hard to keep up with new posts every now and then, so the only approach I found viable is to have ideas jotted down, as they come along. So, when I'm walking along the streets and an idea hit me, I'll whip out my handphone and type in the rough idea of what I'm going to blog in a notepad application found in my handphone. This way, I'll keep track of the new ideas and if I can flesh it out, I'll blog about it.

Anyway, here goes:

1. The 5 most expensive things I've bought

I almost immediately brushed off this blog post after I've keyed into my handphone. It doesn't excite me nor do I want to dig out my records to see what I've got and the costs of each of them. The initial idea of this post is to veer towards the direction of having a lifestyle that do not require high maintenance or surrounded by branded goods. I think the comments that follows will be quite interesting to see though.

Killed ideas

2. Relative tragedy

This is right after the Japan earthquake/tsunami in March 2011. I've wanted to blog about how our personal troubles can be diminished (or enlarged) by comparing how others fare. I had this inspiration because as I was travelling, I've heard people complaining about all sorts of things. It could be that the bus is late, their school work is mounting up, tests are coming and so on. In light of the disaster happening in Japan, somehow I feel that their personal tragedies seem minute. I wanted to talk about this comical contrasts but decided against it. I do not have enough worthy examples and do not want to gloat over others' problems like that, hence I canned this post.

3. How do you know you've been converted as a soldier after ICT

This post is inspired by a chatting session with my bunk mates during my very recent in camp training (aka reservist). I've been away for around one month, so it's enough to convert the civilian in me to a soldier. Some of the things I've brainstormed include using IC to scan for food in restaurants, wearing a cap when under the sun, the ability to sleep anyway, the ability to sit anyway and so on. It'll be a light hearted post but the lameness of it deterred me. Not everyone is as enthusiastic about ICT as me, haha!

Monday, April 04, 2011

Mid action review - Cache Logistic Trust

I've blogged about the charts on Cache a few weeks ago. Here's a mid action review.


I bought it at 0.915 many weeks ago. Since then, the weekly bullish divergence has come to fruition. I'll be mapping out the exit strategy now. 0.955 - 0.960 is quite a resistance to clear. After that, 0.98 and eventually 1.00 is the level to go. Since it's a weekly divergence, maybe I'll wait till 0.98 and see how it proceeds. 0.955-0.60 gives me a ROC of 3% there abouts only...nothing fantastic but well, if there's money to be taken off the table before it slides out of my reach, I'll take it first.


The daily still looks pretty good. I love this kind of setup to enter any position. A clear cut bullish divergence on both weekly and daily, and the chart breaking the downtrend, retested downtrend line and bounce off. Now, after breaking downtrend, it might go trendless and trade sideways to consolidate first before moving up (or down), or it can move up from here. I don't know which, but it seems like the latter, judging from the series of higher highs and higher lows. Not sure if the 200ema will pose a resistance to the upward movement (there's not enough history to tell).

I guess from daily, the big fat resistance cloud is from 0.955 to 0.965. Clear that, we're off to 0.98 and eventually to the end Jan peak of 1.00. As a sidenote, there's a lot of reports on Cache, citing target price around the region of 1.30 if I remember correctly. So bullish? haha

Friday, April 01, 2011

A giant living in a small world

In this horrid times, I feel like a giant roaming around in Singapore. When I go to a typical food court to have my meals, I just cannot be filled by one portion size anymore. More frequently, I'll have to order double portions or eat a light snack immediately after my main meal to ward off those growling hunger pangs. Even the drinks that I ordered seem to conspire against me, because the cups are so filled with ice that I can probably finish the entire drink in one single gulp.

When I'm at home, I'm likewise reminded of my gigantic size too. The rooms seem so much smaller than the ones I had lived in my parent's home. I remembered that we can put a round dining table right in the kitchen of my 4 room flat, and still have plenty of room to put a bar counter. There's also space for a few people to help out in the kitchen. I must had grown so much bigger now, because the kitchen these days can barely hold a proper dining table. From what I estimated, I can probably squeeze in two stools and a tiny table if I wish to sacrifice the walking space leading to the kitchen.  Dwarfish properties seem to be accompanied by gigantic prices these fell times.

Big body, small seats... familiar situation?

I'm sure some of these things are just part of the effects of inflation. While the price of the goods sold might remain the same, the quantity will have to be reduced so that the profit margin can remain as before. What can be worse is the situation I encountered when I ate a certain famous curry puff. The price of the curry puffs had not only gone up, the amount of filling inside the puffs had been reduced too, so the effects of inflation cuts you twice as much. You've to buy more at a dearer price because getting one doesn't fill you as much as before. No wonder I feel like a giant these days!

Big appetite, small portion....familiar?

However, part of my giant-ness is also due to the fact that progressively more things are packed into a smaller packaging. Capitalism? Efficiency? Consider the sardine-packed crowd in the MRT train. I feel like a giant squeezing into a tin can, hurling me at great speed to dump me to my destination. What about the buses? The seats are having lesser leg room until it is decided that perhaps they'll do with less seats and more standing room instead. Clothes? Thankfully I'm not a lady, but it seems that more women have to fit into progressively smaller sizes. Perhaps there's no more L size sold in departmental shops anymore, except during sales where all the odd sizes make their rare appearance. Men are also wearing tighter bottoms, literally named 'skinny jeans', as a fashion statement (I remembered fondly the times where baggy clothes are in...I really believe that if you stay with the same style, eventually fashion will catch up with you once again). Hand phones are getting smaller, music playing devices are getting smaller, laptops are getting smaller, your office cubicle is getting smaller, cars are getting smaller....

Is it any wonder that your money is getting smaller too?

*This article is contributed to IM$avvy financial portal, which is managed by Central Provident Fund Board and supported by MoneySense. This site has a noble aim of promoting financial literacy to the general population.