Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Roar of the Second Casino Commences

The lure of gambling is irresistible. Look at the crowd. Like moths attracted to lights, these gamblers are going into the casino like kamikazes. They know that the chances of beating the banker are slim and yet they are there to challenge the odds. What folly!

I wish them good luck. They really need it to emerge unscathed.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Marina Bay Sands

Apr 27, 2010

Marina Bay casino opens

Monday, April 26, 2010

Keep Your Weight Down

Obesity is extremely bad for you. Your weight can put lots of pressure on your hips and joints which are fragile. The cartilage that cushions them does not grow back once it is thinned out. You need to act now to avoid replacement or treatment as you grow older. Click here to understand more. Your health is priceless.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

i-Pad Scam

Beware! There is an i-Pad testing scam going on. If you are invited to join the testing that comes with a reward of an i-Pad, do not join. They are actually going after the password of your email or facebook. Be careful.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Iceland's Volcano

How long will this disrupting eruption last?

As Europe writhes in agony, millions of people are asking this question, desperately praying for relief from the paralysis of the airline industry caused by an Icelandic volcano.

This eruption is a perfect storm, a combination of wind and ice conditions that has turned an ordinary eruption into a crisis. Last month, the same volcano erupted harmlessly. But last week, magma found a second pathway to the surface, this time beneath a glacier. When hot magma touched ice, it instantly created a burst of steam and produced glassified silicates. The sudden expansion of steam created a colossal explosion that sent billowing clouds of glassified silica ash three to five miles into the air over Europe. The ongoing eruptions of the volcano, which continue unabated, are caused by a series of steam explosions as magma continues to encounter glacial ice.

There are three scenarios for what could come next:

Getty Images

Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano

1) The best scenario is that over the next few days either the magma spends itself or the ice finally melts. Without ice, the eruption will become an ordinary one. Scientists have tried to send airplanes to the volcano to analyze how much ice is left, but even these airplanes were grounded by the clouds of ash.

2) The most likely scenario is a repeat of the 1821 eruption by the same volcano. That eruption sputtered off and on for 13 months. If this occurs again, European aviation may have to play cat and mouse for several weeks to months. Planes will only fly when the jet stream is blowing a certain direction or when the volcano is relatively quiet. Under this scenario, pilots will be in constant fear of encountering ash, which can shut down a plane's engines and sand blast its windshields to such an extent that it is impossible to see through them. There have been about 90 airplane encounters with volcanic ash since 1980, and in one instance all four of the plane's engines were shut down, almost causing a tragedy.

3) The worse case scenario, which is unlikely, involves this eruption triggering another, larger eruption. There are 35 active volcanoes in Iceland, and one eruption has been known to set off another. The worse case happened in 1783, with an eruption lasting eight months. That eruption killed off much of the livestock and agriculture in Iceland, which in turn caused the death of about 25% of the island's population.

The eruption also eventually killed tens of thousands of people on the Continent. Benjamin Franklin was in Paris at the time and was one of the first to connect the rapid change in local weather that collapsed European agriculture with a volcanic explosion. 1783 became known as the horrible "year without summer." Europe plunged into a period of poverty that lasted for years. Some historians believe that this may have contributed to the French Revolution of 1789.

Unfortunately, our institutional memory lasts a few decades at most, while the cycles of mother Earth are usually measured in centuries or millennia. So for the future we have to appreciate that we humans will be pushed around like pawns as the earth slowly but inexorably changes and shifts.

We may think of volcanoes now as villains. But they are also givers of life. Much of the air we breathe and the ground we walk on can be traced back to ancient volcanic eruptions. And the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago (which paved the way for the coming of humans) might be traced back to a one-two punch caused by an asteroid collision and simultaneous volcanic eruptions.

The fact that humans are about 99.9% genetically identical could, according to one theory, be traced back to the Toba eruption in Indonesia roughly 70,000 years ago. That eruption might have killed off most of the human race, leaving only a few hundred of us to populate the planet. We might, therefore, owe our evolution and very existence to volcanoes.

In the wake of this eruption, there is much to be done. We need a uniform and rigorous international policy to deal with these eruptions. The European Union was caught off guard. There was chaos and unnecessary confusion as nations scrambled by themselves to salvage whatever they could of their airline industry.

We need more active reconnaissance of volcanoes, which at the moment is often left to a handful of lonely scientists. Iceland has to be closely watched, since it lies at the top of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, a huge gash that splits the Atlantic Ocean and is slowly pushing the U.S. away from Europe and Africa.

We also need to do more research and use technological advances to strengthen airplane windshields so they don't get sandblasted, and to create advanced filters able to prevent damage to airplane engines.

We humans often think we are so great, with all our high technology. But mother nature easily puts us in our place. Our job is not to fear the disasters that nature hurls but to understand them, figure out where they came from, and eventually master them.

Mr. Kaku, a professor of theoretical physics at City College of New York, is the author of "Physics of the Impossible" (Doubleday, 2008) and host of "Sci Fi Science: Physics of the Impossible," on the Science Channel.

John Paulson

The FRAUD at Goldman Sachs has propelled Paulson to the top. He is now known as the smartest investor in our planet. In reality, is he the greatest investor or is he the greatest confidence man? Only time will tell.

Paulson has made billions of dollars investing in gold. He is still bullish in the yellow metal.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Feeling the heat? Please help to cool our planet.

Of late, the weather has been extremely hot. Even at 6.30 in the morning when I open my window, I can feel the heat outside. And this is despite the fact that the place where I stay has a "Green Lung" nearby and is supposed to be in the cooler part of the town, Bandar Puteri. Here's an interesting article. Please click here to read it and please play your part to help cool our planet. Thanks.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Day-trading? Can You Win?

Henry Blodget | Mar. 29, 2010, 10:02 AM | 14,174 | 111
I have so many charts. So how can I lose?
Image: Steve Price's Flickr
According to one academic study, 4 out of 5 people who do it lose money and only 1 in 100 do it well enough to be described as "predictably profitable."
Most of the folks who do it, in other words, would be far better off working at Burger King.
As is often the case when we bring up these facts, some readers screamed. One said that our brain-damage was made patently obvious by the fact that Wall Street professionals day-trade all day. If day-trading were so dumb, then why would professionals do it?
Here's what that particular reader is missing:
Most Wall Street traders get paid to day-trade other people's money.*
That's a huge difference compared to what most stay-at-home day-traders do.
The average professional trader gets paid somewhere between 1% and 3% of assets per year just to trade those assets all day. The average hedge-fund trader gets paid another 20% on top of that for any "gains" he or she makes (regardless of whether the gains are the result of the trader's trading or the bull market).
The average stay-at-home day-trader, meanwhile, trades his or her own money. And while many of these traders do fine on a gross basis (before costs), once the costs of this trading are deducted (commissions, taxes, research and information, time), their performance is usually downright awful.
The reason so many professionals day-trade, in other words, is that getting paid to day-trade other people's money is one of the best businesses in the world.
Day-trading your OWN money, meanwhile, is one of the worst.
* There's another difference, too, of course: Most Wall Street traders have skills, information, and tools that day-traders can only dream of. Trading is a zero-sum game: Market moves aside, every dollar won by one trader comes out of the pocket of another trader. Day traders competing against Wall Streeters is the equivalent of a college football team (or Pee Wee team, depending on the day-trader's skill) competing against a pro team. Is it possible to win? Yes. But it's highly unlikely (1 in 100). Wall Street's winnings do have to come from somewhere, though, so Wall Street thanks the day traders for playing.

Read more:

Thursday, April 15, 2010

William O'Neil

William O'Neil was born in 1933 in Oklahoma City. He is an American entrepreneur, stockbroker and writer. His books: How to Make Money in Stocks and 24 Essential Lessons for Investment Success are among the most popular books about the stock market. According to him, The Battle for Investment Survival is the best book he has ever read.

Excerpt for The Financial edge by Investopedia. com

William O’Neil became famous for his growth stock investment strategy and proprietary CANSLIM methodology that his newspaper, Investor’s Business Daily, went on to popularize.

O’Neil was a pioneer in the use of computers to assess the potential of stocks. As a broker with Hayden, Stone and Co. in the late 1950s he made use of the technology, along with his own CANSLIM set of valuation parameters, to become the firm’s most successful employee.

At age 30 he went on to become the youngest man ever to purchase a seat on the New York Stock Exchange.

O’Neil’s investment approach is focused on buying strong stocks that are currently appreciating in price and selling those that run out of steam. The CANSLIM method assists him to identify where a stock is currently situated on that spectrum.

In 1983, O’Neil launched his newspaper to compete directly with the Wall Street Journal and promote his performance-based stock selection methodology. (To learn more about O'Neil's investment strategy, check out Stock-Picking Strategies: CANSLIM.)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sweet Potatoes

At the IOI Mall in Bandar Puteri, the Japanese sweet potatoes cost RM7.20 per kg; the local variety cost RM3.80 per kg. I tried them both this morning. I found them almost the same. If you want to buy them, go for the local variety or you will feel cheated.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Debts have never gone down well with me. When I see a company with high debts, I will just ignore it. All companies that folded are those with high debts. This is important to remember. A debt to equity ratio of over one is high.

As at 31.12.2009
The key statistics of EPIC are as follows:
Paid-up Cap: RM169,503,000
Share premium: RM82,414,000
Treasury shares (125000 shares)
Other reserves RM188,000
Retained earnings: RM68,461,000
Minority interest: 17,827,000
NTA: RM1.89
EPS: 24.97 sens
1st interim 3.5 sen tax free paid in Oct 2009
2nd interim 2.5 sen less 25% tax payable on 18.05.10; (x-date: 28.04.10)

Revenue for the year is 183,987,000 down 24% from 244,791,000 in the previous year, but operating expenses are down 36%. Profit at 54,588,000 Vs 39,836,000 in the 2008 is commendable although there was some significant provision in 2008.
Current assets which include cash of RM83,388,000 stand at RM146,111,000 while current liabilities stand at RM42,715,000. Long-term debt is RM22,707,000 and short-term debt is RM5,000,000.

Judging from the above figures, the company is a good buy at the last done price of RM1.66 per share. The company has the added advantage of being a GLC under the protection of the Trengganu government. For a more understanding of the company, click here.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

If I had 1 million dollars - Wong Yi Fei

Mergers & Acquisitions (M&As)

In my investing career, I have benefited immensely from M&As. Some of the counters that quickly come to mind are: IAC, MIDF, Amanah Cap, Austral Enterprise, FFM, Ranhill Utility, and VADS.
The purpose of M&As is to enhance shareholders value. Whenever there is an announcement of an acquisition or merger, the target company will have a very quick run up in price. If you have the ability to pick counters that are ripe for acquisition or merger, focusing your attention in this area alone can make you rich. Buy and hold is the strategy.
Corporate governance in the capital market is of the utmost importance. Overprotection by giving more powers to the minority shareholders may be bad. No protection is worse. Thus the Securities Commission (SC) must think of ways and means to protect the minority shareholders and at the same time encourage M&As.
Datuk Seri Nazir Razak, the CEO of CIMB, is probably right when he says that M&As activities will drop if the rules are too stringent. If there are no more M&As, then how is the minority shareholder going to benefit.
In this respect, I hope the SC will really come out with something great for both parties. A win-win situation is what is needed.
Accounting fraud is one of the worst type of white collar crimes. Those found doing it should be severely dealt with irrespective of whether they are big fishes or small ones.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Dogs of the Dow

Dogs of the Dow is an investing strategy. This strategy calls for buying at the beginning of the year the 10 DJIA stocks that yield the highest dividends.
According to Investopedia, the strategy was formulated in 1972 and has proven to be successful. If we use the same strategy at Bursa Malaysia, it may turn out to be profitable as well. The only work you need to do is to make the necessary changes in your portfolio when the year begins.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

The Stop-Loss - How useful is it?

Stop-Loss is great on paper. In actual trade it is not that great. Nevertheless, if you are a trader, you must have a stop-loss. The purpose of the stop-loss is to limit your loss. The problem is to know exactly where to place it. Some people like to place it at a fixed percentage point below their purchase place. This is not the best of ways. Because each stock is different, it can't be a one-size-fits-all affair. So, before you decide where you want to place your stop-loss, the first thing to do is to figure out exactly where you want to place it. This needs plenty of intelligent hard work. As success or failure depends on it, you need to be extra careful here.

No sane person will drive a car without brakes; no smart trader will enter a trade without a stop-loss. Once you have placed a stop-loss, exercise it when it is hit no matter how painful. If you can't do that, charting is not for you. You must have discipline to succeed. Remember, the first loss is the best loss.

Where's the best place to place your stop-loss? This is more difficult that you think. Because each stock is different, it calls for a different strategy for each stock. This is where the difficulty lies. Is it just below a support level or a certain percentage point below a support level? Lets say the support level is at RM1. Do you place it at 99 sen or 97 sen? If you place it at 97 sen, does it mean that you want to be the first to sell at 97 sen or wait until 97 sen is done and then sell it at the next bid? If your intention is the latter, do be wary that from 97 sen it can go straight down to 92 sen or even lower. If that happens, will you sell at a much lower price than the price you initially set? In a case where your position is big, this happening will sent you into a frenzy panic and throw you out of all rational thoughts. You may also find that all of a sudden, there are no more buyers. This sort of thing can happen. You may lose much more than the limit you set. You have to be prepared for it. The wise thing to do is to have RM1500 when you are prepared to lose RM1000.

Another thing of concerned is that the counter may suddenly be suspended because of too much speculation, manipulation or accounting fraud. Be prepared for all these if you want to trade.

Your so-called friends laugh with you when you laugh, but when you cry, you cry alone.