Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Zero Interest Rate

Are you prepared to put your money in the banks if they pay you no interest or even charge you a small fee for taking care of your deposits? In the US, Treasury bills are now sold at zero interest and there's great demand for them. People there are now willing to sacrifice interest income for safety of their money.

"And when investors traded their T-bills with each other, the yield sometimes went negative. That's how extreme the market anxiety is: Some are willing to give up a little of their money just to park it in a relatively safe place." Yes. that's what is reported in the New York (AP).

Here, in Malaysia, we are still getting not less than 3% p.a. for our fixed deposits. And the grand thing is that these deposits are guaranteed by our government. In our stock market, many worthwhile investing counters are now at realistic levels yielding more than 5% returns. It is not difficult to find out what these counters are. At JupiterOnLine, the price earnings ratio for each counter is shown in the trading screen. What should be of concern to you is whether the earnings can be sustained and dividend payments maintained. For you to figure these out, you need to take into consideration the core business of the company and the integrity & skill of the management. Pay extra concern to plantation companies. The high earnings for the previous quarters will definitely not be repeated going forward as the price of palm oil has gone down substantially. Steel counters are in the same boat.

Interest rate will soften; the price of real estates will soften as well. Inflation will moderate and consumer goods will become less expensive. Take care of your money and they will take care of you.

Cheers and good luck.