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Thursday, October 30, 2008

It's About Letting Go!

(Adapted from an article written by Dr Lai Chiu Nan.)

Posted on 30 October 2007

Let go and make room for what's new and what's next.
Let go and enjoy the excitement of not knowing what's next.
Let go and open to all possibilities.
Let go when it's time to yield.
Let go and, by so doing, gain freedom and breathing room.
Let go and surrender to greater peace of mind.

The following tips on relaxation are adapted from an article written by Dr Lai Chiu Nan.

Relax your forehead, eyebrows and corners of the mouth
Let us relax! Sit up straight and relax our forehead. Once the forehead is relaxed, the whole body will relax. Next relax the eyebrows, then the mind will relax. Normally when we are troubled, the eyebrows become knitted together. Therefore, if we remember to relax the eyebrows, the mind will naturally relax. Following that, relax the corners of the mouth and put on a smile. Having done so, our emotional tension will be at ease. When we relax the corners of the mouth with a smile on the face, it is indeed not possible to get angry.

We must at all times remind ourselves to relax our forehead, eyebrows and the corners of the mouth.

Breathing Exercises
Our emotions are affected by our body. If we could, during breathing exercises, remain completely at ease and do things leisurely, we would be able to feel unhurried and calm. Thus, when you meet with a frightening or troubling situation and are about to loss your "cool", immediately slow down your breathing. You will realise that your reaction is different.

Using your abdomen to breathe
Now, observe how you are breathing, are you using the chest or abdomen to breathe? If you breathe with your chest, that is, if your chest moves up and down while you breathe, then your breath is not deep and you must be quite easily tensed up. If you use your abdomen to breathe, then you would be more relaxed. Thus, if you can change your breathing method to that of using abdomen, you will naturally be able to experience a more relaxed way of life.

In the morning when you wake up, you can lie on the bed to practise breathing with the abdomen. Place a book on your abdomen; when you breathe in, the abdomen will raise up the book, and when you breathe out, the book will lower.

You can also place your hand on the abdomen, when you breathe in, see if you can push your hand up with the abdomen; when you breathe out, press the abdomen down with your hand. Repeat the breathing in and out exercise. Now, when we breathe in, count to eight; hold your breath for another eight counts; then breathe out to the count of eight.

This method of breathing can be frequently practised so much so that it becomes a habit; then you would be constantly relaxed both in body and mind.

Changing Our Frame of Mind
Our perspective of life, of ourselves, our belief, and health have a very intricate and close relationship with others.

The first step is to know ourselves, and to perceive what is beneficial or harmful to us. At the same time, we should adopt a positive attitude and render services that benefit ourselves and others.

The second step is to adopt different methods of repentance to expel the defilements in our minds. Any action that are not motivated by a loving mind are defiled, whether the object is a human, animals, insect, event or ourselves. Repentance is a simple beginning but often brings unexpected benefits : when our defilements are reduced, our moods will improve, things will go smoothly for us, and our 'luck' will also improve.

The third step is to deeply contemplate the objective of life, to seek our aspirations and goals. We will discover that when we are of service to others, we are at the happiest. This goal is not short-term but rather permanent and of complete service to other.

As a result, we will naturally progress along the path of liberation.

Material life cannot bring eternal and true happiness. Sharing and helping others to overcome hardship and suffering will provide invaluable experience in life and set the path to true happiness and establish your purpose of life.

Simple Eyeballs Movements
The movements of the eyeballs are closely related to the brain activities. When we recall an event, our eyeballs naturally move upwards and downwards or sideway. If we liken the rotational area of the eyeballs to the face of the clock, the position of the eyeballs will give an indication to the type of senses we are recalling.

When we try to recall a smell, our eyes will be at the 6 or 12 o'clock position. Any thoughts relating to sound is at 3 or 9 o'clock. When we are visualising a past event, our eyes will be at the 1 or 11 o'clock position. However, when we are recalling past emotional memories, our eyes will be at the 5 or 7 o'clock position.

By rotating the eyeballs to the right 3 times, one can easily access our past memory. If you wish to erase any bad memories, what you need to do is rotate the eyeball to the left many times. This is a simple way to dissolve bottled up emotions and any disharmony. Jack Schwartz, a naturopathic therapist with special abilities, helped his student removed his hatred towards another person by getting the student to recall the hatred he had towards that person. Then intentionally dissolve the hatred by rotating the eyeballs to the right thrice and then many times to the left. The student who was initially full of anger started to roar with laughter and he was not able to recall the hatred after this exercise. This method has been used by many psychologists on their clients and with miraculous success.

When we are depressed, we could also use the same method.


Friday, October 24, 2008

'Biggest Bubble of Them All' Is Globalization: Chart of the Day

By Michael Patterson

Oct. 24 (Bloomberg) -- The 90 percent tumble in the global benchmark for commodity shipping costs since May exceeded the Dow Jones Industrial Average's plunge during the Great Depression, signaling globalization is ``the biggest bubble of them all,'' Bespoke Investment Group LLC said.

The CHART OF THE DAY shows the rise and fall of the Baltic Dry Index, a measure of freight costs on international trade routes, along with three other bubbles during the past decade identified by Bespoke: The Nasdaq Composite Index of technology stocks, the Standard & Poor's Supercomposite Homebuilding Index and the CSI 300 Index, a benchmark for Chinese equities.

The Baltic Dry Index's drop from its peak just five months ago surpassed all of those, along with the Dow's 89 percent retreat from 1929 to 1932, according to Bespoke.

``The Baltic Dry Index had a meteoric run since the start of the decade, as it became one of the key symbols of the `globalization' trade,'' Paul Hickey, co-founder of the Harrison, New York-based research and money management firm, wrote in a report yesterday. ``It now appears that like any `new thing,' the globalization trade went too far.''

The Baltic Dry Index fell yesterday for a 14th straight session as the freeze in money markets curbed traders' ability to buy cargo on credit.

The Nasdaq plunged 78 percent from 2000 to 2002 as investors concluded high-priced Internet stocks weren't supported by profits. The S&P index of homebuilder shares has dropped 82 percent from its 2005 peak as the U.S. suffers its worst housing slump since the 1930s. China's shares have fallen in the past year as slowing economic growth and new regulations prompted traders to shun stocks that had climbed to the most expensive valuations among the world's 20 biggest markets.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Swimming Dragon: Exercise for Beauty and Health

The Swimming Dragon:
The Chinese Way to Fitness, Beautiful Skin, Weight Loss & High Energy

by Tzu Kuo Shih

The Swimming Dragon is an ancient Chinese Qigong exercise that comes to us through the Taoist tradition. If practiced diligently and regularly, it has the power to improve our health, enhance our physical appearance, and improve our general well-being. It is especially celebrated for its ability to improve skin tone and control weight without dieting.

The Swimming Dragon is a self-contained exercise that is generally practiced by repeating a short cycle of movements in sessions lasting from five to twenty minutes. Each cycle of exercise takes about one minute. It is easy to learn and perform and brings pleasant and beneficial results as soon as one begins to practice it.

During the exercise, the body smoothly and evenly rises and lowers and, at the same time, swings to the left and right. The movements are simple and the swinging movements fully stretch out the body. The spine is twisted in an "S" shape and extended to its maximum length. It requires the entire body, especially the waist and abdominal area, perform large scale swinging movements. In moving the body from side to side with legs together while shifting the pelvis stimulates the groin area. This in turn stimulates the endocrine system.

The Swimming Dragon is actually a comprehensive system of care for the internal organs, spine and meridian systems, In particular, the movements have beneficial influences on the intestines, stomach, lungs and kidneys and encourage relaxation.

  • reduces weight without dieting & stimulates metabolism
  • increases & balances energy
  • creates beautiful skin & helps eliminate wrinkles
  • reduces tension by relaxing the body & calming the mind
  • improves muscle tone & enhances flexibility in joints
  • adjusts & stretches the spine.
  • sends energy to vital organs by stimulating meridians
  • naturally improves posture.
  • massages deep muscles all the way to the bone
  • frees and deepens breathing

  • Videos:

    Graham's Quick Checklist for Defensive Investor's

    1. Has market share of at least 25% in the history
    2. current asset ratio > 2
    3. Long term debt < net current assets (or working capital)
    4. Debt-to-equity < 0.5
    5. 10 years of profits
    6. EPS grown by one third in 10 years
    7. 20 years of dividend payments
    8. Average PER in last 3 years < 15
    9. Current price < 1.5 times book value

    Monday, October 20, 2008

    The Singapore Market Is Nearing A Bottom

    October 20, 2008

    by Terence Lin

    Fear gripped the Singapore bourse as the FTSE Straits Times Index (STI) lost 15.2% in the week between 3 October and 10 October 2008. Concerns over an escalating financial crisis led investors to sell riskier assets in a flurry of panic, and the STI lost 7.4% on Friday (10 October) alone. As at 10 October 2008, the STI had lost 44.1% year-to-date, closing 49.7% below the all-time high made almost exactly one year ago. We are certainly in the most turbulent of times, and fear is the overriding sentiment of the hour. At this juncture, we feel that it is appropriate to take a step back and look at the recent decline in a more historical perspective.

    Chart 1 : Straits Times Index (STI)

    No Stranger To Bear Markets

    A bear market is commonly defined as a market which has experienced a fall of 20% or more from its peak. The Singapore market is clearly in bear market territory, but is this really such an unfamiliar place? The strong bull-run from 2003 to 2007 saw the STI gain 219%, and this long period of prosperity has left investors with clouded memories of troubled times in the past. From 1985 to 2007, the STI has entered bear market territory six times, with the current bear market marking the 7th time in the past 23 years (See Chart 1). Market downturns are part and parcel of the market cycle, and taking a simple average, we would expect to see a period of downturn for the Singapore market once every 3.3 years, more frequent than many investors would expect!

    The past 23 years has taken us through bear markets of varying lengths and severity. Some of us have felt the impact of these incidents first-hand, while others have heard stories related to these events. Mention events like SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), the bursting of the technology bubble and even the Asian financial crisis, and you will likely evoke strong emotions from older investors. Table 1 shows the falls of the STI in the past 6 bear markets.

    Table 1 : Historical Straits Times Index bear markets


    Source: Bloomberg, iFAST Compilations

    The STI Is Nearer A Bottom Than A Top!

    On an average in the previous 6 bear markets, the STI lost 44.8% from peak to trough, over a period of approximately 360 days. Also, 4 out of the previous 6 bear markets coincided with Singapore recessions. With this in mind, let us examine how the STI has performed in the current bear market of 2008.

    At the intraday low of 1902.28 on 16 October 2008, the STI has lost 50.9% since peaking in October 2007. This is more than the average 44.8% decline, and is on par with losses seen in the period around the Black Monday market crash of 1987 (-54%) and the technology slump in 2001 (-52%). Also, the Singapore economy has also fallen into a technical recession, with consecutive quarter-on-quarter economic contractions in the second and third quarters of 2008. (See Table 2)

    Once again, this is nothing unusual as 4 out of the previous 6 bear markets occurred near or during periods where the Singapore economy entered a recession.

    Table 2 : Current Singapore bear market in 2008


    Source: Bloomberg, iFAST Compilations

    Things certainly look gloomy at the moment, with credit markets in disarray and the global economy slowing. However, this is not the time to panic and sell out. The current market decline is in-line with prior falls of the past 23 years, and only the Asian financial crisis in 1997/1998 saw a much steeper fall of 62%. As of 16 October 2008, the Singapore equity market is 371 days into the current bear market, slightly longer than the 360 day average. The duration-to-date of the current crisis suggests that the STI is possibly near the end of the bear-phase.

    As we stand, the stock market has already fallen significantly and investors who sell now are likely selling out nearer the bottom than at the top. With this in mind, let us take a look at the periods of market recovery.

    Time to focus on rebound upside

    Data on the market slumps since 1985 may be interesting, but we believe investors should be more focused on opportunities in a rebound. We examined the recovery periods from each market bottom, and looked at how long it took for markets to regain previous market peaks, as well as the returns generated in the process.

    For the 9/11 attacks and technology slump in 2001, we chose a partial period of recovery up to the peak made on 19 March 2002. The recovery from the 2001 trough was marred by the impact of SARS which led to the STI making a new low in 2003. Instead of looking at the 2001-2003 period as a single bear market in entirety, we chose to look at them separately as there was a significant rebound of 46% from the 2001 market bottom.

    (The full recovery from the 2003 bottom to the peak made in January 2000 took 1302 days and the index gained 114% in the process. Inclusion of this data skews the average recovery period to 1.9 years and the average return to 101%)

    Table 3 shows the results of our study of the 6 market recoveries. On average, it took 444 days (approximately 1.2 years) for the STI to regain its previous peak before the trough (except for 2002, which was a partial recovery). During these recovery periods, the STI returned an average gain of 81%. This already represents significant upside potential, and provides us with a good reason to be buying in a crisis.

    Table 3 : Market Recoveries


    Source: Bloomberg, iFAST Compilations

    Aside from just a retracement of previous losses, investors may forget that bull markets begin where market bottoms end. Table 4 shows the returns of previous bull markets which returned 178% on average. The average length of these bull markets was an incredible 956 days, which works out to about 2.6 years!

    Certainly, investors who invest near a market bottom gain an incredible amount of upside potential, and get to experience a lengthy period of market gains. Investing during a crisis begets great rewards, and investors would do well to buy low and sell high. Of course, no investment decision should be made without consideration of a market's valuations.

    Table 4 : Bull Markets start from market bottoms


    Source: Bloomberg, iFAST Compilations

    Seeking Value

    Value investors are finding no lack of promising ideas in the current market downturn, and valuations of the Singapore market are extremely compelling. As at 16 October, the STI trades at just 6.3X of 2007 earnings, and at just 1.16X price-to-book (PB). Both the historical P/E (price earnings ratio) and PB are at the lower end of the historical scale, suggesting that the Singapore equity market is highly undervalued at present.

    Slowing global growth may weigh down on future earnings, affecting the historical P/E valuation measure. Our estimated 2008 and 2009 P/Es for the Singapore market are 9.5X and 8.7X respectively. However at a PB ratio of just 1.16X (as at 16 October 2008), the Singapore equity market is being valued at little more than its book value, a measure of its assets net of all liabilities. On a price-to-book basis in the past 15 years, the STI has only been cheaper during the Asian financial crisis in 1998 (See Chart 2).

    Chart 2 : Valuations

    Market Bottom In Sight?

    In the past, we have survived recessions, terrorism fears and even an outbreak of a fearsome disease. Each time some new problem arises, it sends investors scrambling for the exit. "This time it's different!" they exclaim, but every time the market bounced back. Our market has even survived the Asian financial crisis, which saw Singapore's economy contract for 4 consecutive quarters. Given the problems we are facing in 2008, we do not see why it will be any different.

    It is unfortunately impossible to call a bottom on the Singapore equity market. We are not proponents of market timing, which is an art best reserved for lucky people. However, placing the recent market declines in a historical perspective, we believe that we are much closer to the bottom than we are to the top. After 371 days, we are likely in the later stages of the current bear market which means the risk-reward trade-off now favours risk-taking.

    Valuations for the Singapore equity market are already at historical lows, suggesting that markets have priced in a huge amount of bad news. An often cited but very apt quote from legendary investor Warren Buffett springs to mind at this point: "Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful". While market volatility is expected to continue, we believe upside potential outweighs downside risks at this point and it is probably time for investors to start being greedy again.


    Thursday, October 16, 2008

    Buy American. I Am.

    Published: October 16, 2008

    THE financial world is a mess, both in the United States and abroad. Its problems, moreover, have been leaking into the general economy, and the leaks are now turning into a gusher. In the near term, unemployment will rise, business activity will falter and headlines will continue to be scary.

    So ... I’ve been buying American stocks. This is my personal account I’m talking about, in which I previously owned nothing but United States government bonds. (This description leaves aside my Berkshire Hathaway holdings, which are all committed to philanthropy.) If prices keep looking attractive, my non-Berkshire net worth will soon be 100 percent in United States equities.


    A simple rule dictates my buying: Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful. And most certainly, fear is now widespread, gripping even seasoned investors. To be sure, investors are right to be wary of highly leveraged entities or businesses in weak competitive positions. But fears regarding the long-term prosperity of the nation’s many sound companies make no sense. These businesses will indeed suffer earnings hiccups, as they always have. But most major companies will be setting new profit records 5, 10 and 20 years from now.

    Let me be clear on one point: I can’t predict the short-term movements of the stock market. I haven’t the faintest idea as to whether stocks will be higher or lower a month — or a year — from now. What is likely, however, is that the market will move higher, perhaps substantially so, well before either sentiment or the economy turns up. So if you wait for the robins, spring will be over.

    A little history here: During the Depression, the Dow hit its low, 41, on July 8, 1932. Economic conditions, though, kept deteriorating until Franklin D. Roosevelt took office in March 1933. By that time, the market had already advanced 30 percent. Or think back to the early days of World War II, when things were going badly for the United States in Europe and the Pacific. The market hit bottom in April 1942, well before Allied fortunes turned. Again, in the early 1980s, the time to buy stocks was when inflation raged and the economy was in the tank. In short, bad news is an investor’s best friend. It lets you buy a slice of America’s future at a marked-down price.

    Over the long term, the stock market news will be good. In the 20th century, the United States endured two world wars and other traumatic and expensive military conflicts; the Depression; a dozen or so recessions and financial panics; oil shocks; a flu epidemic; and the resignation of a disgraced president. Yet the Dow rose from 66 to 11,497.

    You might think it would have been impossible for an investor to lose money during a century marked by such an extraordinary gain. But some investors did. The hapless ones bought stocks only when they felt comfort in doing so and then proceeded to sell when the headlines made them queasy.

    Today people who hold cash equivalents feel comfortable. They shouldn’t. They have opted for a terrible long-term asset, one that pays virtually nothing and is certain to depreciate in value. Indeed, the policies that government will follow in its efforts to alleviate the current crisis will probably prove inflationary and therefore accelerate declines in the real value of cash accounts.

    Equities will almost certainly outperform cash over the next decade, probably by a substantial degree. Those investors who cling now to cash are betting they can efficiently time their move away from it later. In waiting for the comfort of good news, they are ignoring Wayne Gretzky’s advice: “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it has been.”

    I don’t like to opine on the stock market, and again I emphasize that I have no idea what the market will do in the short term. Nevertheless, I’ll follow the lead of a restaurant that opened in an empty bank building and then advertised: “Put your mouth where your money was.” Today my money and my mouth both say equities.

    Warren E. Buffett is the chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway, a diversified holding company.

    Sunday, October 12, 2008

    Identifying Capitulation: How to Tell We've Hit Bottom

    Posted By:Daryl Guppy
    October 12, 2008

    Are we there yet? This is the key question and it relates to finding the bottom of the market.

    In many ways it's a pointless question. Even if we could identify the turning point in the market with a high level of certainty, there are very few people with the courage to enter at these low points.

    The more important thing to look for are the features that will help to identify, first, the end of the market fall and second, the development of a market recovery. These two events may be separated by a few months, or by many months.

    There are two important features that identify climax selling. The first is the rapid acceleration in the speed of the market fall. Like a Stuka dive-bomber, the market first rolls over slowly and then plunges in a vertical dive. This is fear at work.

    The second feature is a massive increase in volume. This is panic. Ordinary people are desperate to get out of the market. Generally the funds and institutions got out of the long-side of the market many months ago. The selling in January and February was dominated by institutions and funds. The current panic selling is thousands of small orders from retail investors desperate to get out of the market.

    During the bear market collapse, volumes decline. Fewer people want to buy stock so volatility increases because small trades have a disproportionate impact in a shallow market.

    This selling climax shakes out all the weak hands in the market. It kills the margin speculators. It wipes out those who have finally lost patience. It removes the speculative money in the market because people think the risk is too great. This is also called capitulation. Everybody gives up - and it influences the thinking of a generation. My parents, who lived through the depression, could never entirely shake the idea that the market was a dangerous place.

    The activity in the Dow Jones Industrial Average and other global markets shows an acceleration of downwards momentum. The massive increase in volume has not yet developed and this suggests the market bottom is not yet established. There is a high probability that markets will see a selling climax in the next 3 to 5 days.

    But here is the important difference. The recovery rally after climax selling is temporary. It is part of a longer-term consolidation pattern that may last months, or even a year, and make more new lows before a new sustainable uptrend can develop. The potential shape of the recovery is shown in the chart. The bull market rebound rally follows a temporary selloff. A bear market rebound rally follows climax selling. It is a relief really, but it is not part of a sustainable trend change.

    After a bear market, volumes remain low. When you lose trillions of dollars it takes a long time for spare change to start rattling around the economy again. Spare change drives the bull market because money is available for speculation.

    In the immediate bear market recovery period the market is dominated by professionals. Finance industry professionals are already being laid off. The least effective are the first to be let go. Only the best will survive the employment washout in the industry and these will be the ones defining the behavior of the consolidation and recovery market.

    When you trade in these market conditions you are most likely trading against these professional survivors. Education, not money, is the most important premium after the bear market.

    CNBC assumes no responsibility for any losses, damages or liability whatsoever suffered or incurred by any person, resulting from or attributable to the use of the information published on this site. User is using this information at his/her sole risk.

    © 2008 CNBC, Inc. All Rights Reserved

    Friday, October 10, 2008

    Charts on GCC Stocks

    Charts on Abudhabi Securities Market(ADSM), Bahrain Stock Exchange(BSE), Dubai Financial Market(DFM), Doha Securities Market(DSM,) Kuwait Stock Exchange(KSE), Muscat Securities Market(MSM), Saudi Stock Market (TAST)

    Thursday, October 9, 2008

    7 Steps to Ride out the Financial Storm



    WHAT can we do to handle the current eco-
    nomic crisis?

    This financial storm will pass us by, but
    the important thing is to hang in there. This
    is what I try to live by

    1 Try not to delve too much into what is being
    published. Read just enough to stay abreast
    of what is happening round the world. Read
    motivational books rather than the negative
    news to stay on top of the situation.

    2 Stay positive always. Remember that as in
    previous financial catastrophes, banks and
    corporations have a way of bouncing back.
    The same will happen for our economy: Be

    3 Stay lean. Cut back on unnecessary expendi-
    ture. But if you smell a bargain and if you need
    it, why not make the purchase? In good times,
    the same dollar may not get you the same
    product. Shop smartly for good deals.

    4 If you are out of work, focus on getting back
    into employment. Register with the Commu-
    nity Development Council (CDC) employment
    arm nearest you - there are five such CDCs
    spread round Singapore. They also provide
    financial assistance for a limited period if
    you qualify.

    5 If you are being hounded by banks for
    repayment of mortgage or credit loans, stay
    steady and face up to the credit officers.
    It is best to arrange for a meeting to explain
    your financial situation. Most banks are sympa-
    thetic and will even arrange for the interest less
    the principal to be paid over a limited period
    before the situation improves for you.
    The worst thing to do is to "hide" from
    them. Once a lawyer's letter is issued, the banks
    may not be so willing to negotiate then.

    6 Network more, especially in these lean
    times. I managed to find employment after 911
    through networking with a long lost friend.
    Even though it was part time work, at least
    I had income coming in and I got my self es-
    teem back. With that experience, I found full
    time employment with another company six
    months later.

    7 Stay fit. The body is wired to the brain and
    vice versa. Those who handle downtime bet-
    ter are those who manage their physical and
    psychological health well. When we feel good
    about ourselves, we will approach a crisis
    better prepared. It's time to take out those
    running shoes again!

    The writer was unemployed for two years from
    2001 and writes this from personal experience.

    Sunday, October 5, 2008

    ST Reader's Favourite Hawkers

    ST Reader's Choice Favourite Hawkers' Poll
    The Sunday Times Oct 5 2008

    Top 20 stalls

    Who: Thasevi Food Famous Jalan Kayu Prata Restaurant
    Where: 235-239 Jalan Kayu

    Who: Hill Street Fried Kway Teow
    Where: Block 16, Bedok South Road, 01-187 Bedok South Road Market & Food Centre

    Who: Nam Sing Hokkien Fried Prawn Mee (Hougang)
    Where: Block 51, Old Airport Road, 01-32 Old Airport Road Food Centre

    Who: Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice
    Where: Maxwell Road, Stall 10 Maxwell Market

    5. PRAWN MEE
    Who: Beach Road Prawn Noodle House
    Where: 370 East Coast Road

    Who: Ji Ji Wanton Noodle Specialist
    Where: Block 531A, Upper Cross Street, 02-49 Hong Lim Food Complex

    Who: Tong Ji Mian Shi
    Where: Block 505, Beach Road, 01-100 Golden Mile Food Centre

    Who: Katong Oyster Omelette
    Where: Geylang Lorong 9, Xin Lai Lai

    Who: Chey Sua Carrot Cake
    Where: Block 127, Toa Payoh Lorong 1, 02-30 Toa Payoh Lorong 1 Food Centre

    10. NASI LEMAK
    Who: Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak
    Where: 2, Adam Road,
    Stall 2 Adam Road Food Centre

    11. MEE REBUS
    Who: Goody N Jolly
    Where: 80, Marine Parade Road B1-113 Parkway Parade Shopping Centre

    12. MEE SLAM
    Who: Goody N Jolly
    Where: 80, Marine Parade Road, B1-113 Parkway Parade Shopping Centre

    Who: Sabeena's Indian Rojak (Halal)
    Where: Block 270, Queen's Street, 01-152 Albert Centre

    14. YONG TAU FOO
    Who: Shun Li
    Where: Block 115, Bukit Merah View, 01-397, Bukit Merah View Market & Food Centre

    15. FISH SOUP
    Who: Blanco Court Fried Fish Soup
    Where: 341 Beach Road

    16. MEE GORENG
    Who: Sabeena's Indian Rojak (Halal)
    Where: Block 270, Queen's Street, 01-152 Albert Centre

    17. NASI BRYAN!
    Who: Singapore Zam Zam Restaurant
    Where: 697-699 North Bridge Road

    18. BAR RUT TEH
    Who Founder Rou Gu Cha Cafeteria
    Where: 347, Balestier Road

    19. KWAY CHAP
    Who: Zhu Jia Pig Organ Soup
    Where: Block 504, Bishan St 11, Stall 9 S11 Food Court

    20. LAKSA
    Who: 328 Katong Laksa
    Where: 216, East Coast Road

    Friday, October 3, 2008

    Eight pearls of investment wisdom for these volatile times

    #1 Volatility is not something to fear, but something to embrace

    Why do we fear stock market volatility so
    much? As an airplane’s wings must bend during
    turbulence to prevent them from snapping, so too
    must shares fluctuate, sometimes gently, other
    times wildly. Of course, severe turbulence during
    a flight can be an uncomfortable experience but
    we have no choice but to sit tight, knowing deep
    down that we’ll reach our destination. But in the
    world of investing there is little to stop us bailing
    out at the slightest wobble as our emotions get
    the better of us. Try then to welcome volatility.
    Shares do not go up without it.

    #2 Think long term

    All stock price movements are a combination
    of unpredictable noise on the one hand and the
    meaningful pattern of business performance on
    the other. Over short periods price movements are
    as good as random, while over long ones business
    performance dominates. As an investor, you should
    align your time horizons accordingly. If a factory,
    for example, is expected to provide at least ten
    years of returns, so should your shares.

    #3 Know the difference between gambling and investing

    We all like to have fun once in awhile. A trip to the
    casino is an excuse for a good time, but approach
    the stock market in the same way and you’ll
    quickly find yourself in trouble. Successful investing
    is hard and often dull, requiring discipline and
    lots of study. For that adrenaline rush, few things
    beat watching the roulette wheel spinning. When
    it comes to making good investment returns,
    however, owning the casino itself tends to be
    more profitable than entering it. Think about it.

    #4 Be contrarian

    We have a tendency to do or believe something
    just because others do. It makes us feel normal,
    part of the group. Occasionally, however,
    such behaviour is counterproductive and even
    dangerous. Rush for the exit in a crowded market
    with everyone else and you risk getting trampled.
    The same applies to behaviour in the stock market.
    Selling – or buying – behind everyone else is a sure
    formula for poor investment performance. Warren
    Buffett teaches us to “be fearful when others are
    greedy and greedy only when others are fearful.”1

    #5 Consider the difference between price and value

    In the real world, the distinction between price
    and value is frequently apparent. Given the choice
    between a $10,000 car and a $10,000 tee shirt,
    it’s pretty clear that the car is better value. In
    the investing world however, it is much harder
    to discern the difference. Unlike a car, whose
    economic utility is something we can understand
    and even evaluate, the value of a company is
    somewhat intangible and thus a tricky concept to
    grasp. Guru stock picker Philip Fisher noted that the
    stock market is filled with individuals who know the
    price of everything, but the value of nothing.2

    #6 Be humble, the stock market is smarter than you

    Overconfidence might help to secure a job
    promotion or the attention of others at a nightclub,
    but in the investing world, an over-inflated opinion
    of yourself can be disastrous. You may think that
    you are in a position to predict the direction of
    the market or a particular stock over the next few
    months but remember that there are millions of
    others doing the same thing. Apply a little humility
    and ask yourself honestly whether you are really
    smarter than all of them. As the father of modern
    economics and successful investor John Maynard
    Keynes noted, “Successful investing is anticipating
    the anticipations of others.”3

    #7 Avoid things you do not understand

    The world is an increasingly complex place and
    one often finds oneself blinded by science or
    confused by complicated arguments. With
    investing, it is important to understand precisely
    what you are buying, at least so that you can
    sleep soundly at night. Think about shares as
    you would a book: if you don’t understand it,
    put it down. Peter Lynch recommended that if
    you cannot summarise in just a few sentences
    why you’re investing in a company, then you’re
    probably looking at too much information.4

    #8 And finally…

    If you place bets proportional to their market odds
    on every horse in a race, you’ll come out slightly
    down, after the track’s take. This is a pointless
    strategy, particularly if you know more than others
    about horses. It is important to understand where
    you have an edge and, when you have one, to use
    it to your full advantage. We never forget Buffett’s
    tip, “Wide diversification is only required when
    investors do not understand what they are doing.”5

    1 Warren Buffett, Chairman’s letter (2004) to shareholders
    2 Philip A. Fisher, Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits (1958)
    3 Isms (2006) by Gregory Bergman
    4 Morgan Housel, Keep It Simple, Fool (2008)
    5 James Altucher, Trade Like Warren Buffett (2005)

    Wednesday, October 1, 2008


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