By Alvin Chow
Myanmar has been touted as the next exciting country to see rapid economic development. Being a skeptic, I wanted to observe it myself and the only way is to set foot onto the busiest city in Myanmar, Yangon. Please note that this personal account was not a comprehensive view of Myanmar, or even Yangon, as I only spent four days mostly in the Chinatown region of Yangon.
A few fun facts first
Road directions were built for left-hand drives, but cars are mainly right-hand drives. Myanmar used to be a British colony and should have their road built for right-hand drive like the rest of the Commonwealth countries. However, apparently the roads were already laid in Myanmar since the advent of automobile and it has always been left-hand drive directions. President Ne Win in 1970 set the traffic law to switch to right-hand drive cars subsequently with reasons unknown. Hence, Myanmar ended up in a weird situation today.
Right hand drive cars but roads are laid for left hand drive. Overtaking becomes more dangerous.
Myanmar has shifted their capital from Yangon to Naypyidaw on 6 Nov 2005. Whatever we …read more
Knowing your personality type can help you avoid common investing pitfalls and maximise your profits. In the last of this investing personalities series, we take a closer look at two more temperaments: the showy peacock and the high-flying eagle.
Words by Budget Babe
Not sure what your personality type is? Take this short quiz to find out.
Peacocks are the life of the party, and as a friend, the Peacock can infuse much excitement and enthusiasm into your life. Peacocks are optimistic, spontaneous, impulsive, embrace change, and love the thrill of a fast chase. Unfortunately, however, their lack of attention to details and impatience are probably some of the worst traits when it comes to investing.
When it comes to choosing stocks, Peacocks love hearing about hyped stocks that everyone else is talking about. If the majority of people believe that a stock is good, Peacocks tend to be quick to purchase such stocks before properly studying the company’s financials and data. In fact, they may not even look at these details at all, as Peacocks get bored …read more
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced last Friday that the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee (EBRC) has submitted its report to the Government on proposed electoral changes. The government has since accepted the report. It is the surest sign that General Elections are around the corner.
Over the weekend, a friend remarked that this is the best time to buy stocks. The government will do everything they can to win the elections, he insisted. And they will definitely ensure that the stock market rallies just before the elections so that they can capture the votes of retail investors.
Impeccable logic but is that really the case?
It was a casual remark but I was curious and decided to look at some data to verify if it is indeed the case. Specifically, here are some hypotheses that I would like to test out.
1. If my friend is right, from the time the EBRC releases its report (effectively now) to signal an impending election until polling day, the stock market will rise.
2. If #1 is indeed happening, we can extend the logic further. The government would want to ensure that the stock market is kept healthy for the entire year before the elections. Hence, #2 is …read more
The “bird symbol” model created by Dr Bender identifies individuals according to four different personality types, each of which comes with its own strengths and weaknesses. In the second of this investing personalities series, we take a closer look at two of the four personality types – the peace-loving dove and the wise old owl – and how you can tap on their unique traits to guide your investment decisions.
Words by Budget Babe
Read Part 1 here: What’s Your Investing Personality?
Doves are generally people-oriented folks who prefer to avoid confrontation or conflict. They can be some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet, given their empathy and consideration for treating everyone they meet well.
When it comes to choosing stocks, Doves are more likely to be swayed by their broker, friends, or fellow investors who are recommending (or criticising) a certain stock. They may prefer to go with what pleases the majority – in other words, the more popular stocks that other people will also go for (usually hyped stocks or blue chips). While this may not necessarily lead to them picking the wrong types of companies, they are more likely to be paying higher prices given …read more
Who you are as a person affects how you behave as an investor. In the first of this three-part series on investing personalities, we start with a basic introduction to behavioural finance and how it affects the type of investment decisions you make.
Words by Budget Babe
What’s your investing personality?
One factor that people often overlook is that of behavioural finance, which influences the type of investment decisions you make. Within this psychological field of study, the two most important elements worth thinking about are: confirmation bias and hindsight bias.
Depending on your personality type, you’re more likely to have different levels of these two types of biasedness. But how do they relate to investing?
An investor with confirmation bias tends to look for information that supports his or her perception about an investment, rather than seek out information that contradicts it. This can potentially result in skewed information which then affects one’s investment decisions.
Usually, this will be more disastrous in a scenario when you think a stock is good and mainly look out for its strong points, while ignoring or downplaying other red flags such as loss of book orders or that its key management personnel have been involved in corporate scandals …read more
By Yen Yee
There are many investment strategies being taught in the market. They each have their own pros and cons. Here are 3 common investment strategies that most stock market investors are familiar with:
Growth Investing Strategy
The main aim of the growth investing strategy is to identify companies with good growth potential. There are several factors that the growth investor would refer to regularly: Historical Earnings Growth, Earnings Per Share, Projected Earnings Growth, Return on Equity.
Growth investors are not concerned about the current price point of a stock but rather are interested in its potential growth over the next 5 to 10 years. They would tend to carry out fundamental analysis and research into the background of the growth stocks before deciding to invest.
A good example of a growth stock is Amazon (AMZN). Earnings are negative and historically it has been running on losses. Yet investors have piled into the stock with the expectation that the world’s largest online retailer will grow bigger.
Stocks that fall into this category often belong to the technology or healthcare industry. When the company makes a breakthrough, the share price will increase significantly. Growth investing strategy can bring about very good returns if an investor is able to …read more
A series of events happened over the past couple of weeks and I would like to pen down some of my thoughts.
How to invest if you have 20k or more.
An article with the above title appeared in the Sunday Times over the weekend. At first glance it was innocuous enough and some sound advice was being dispersed.
It recommended people to ‘define your investment objectives, time horizon of different types of investments, aim for overall savings to yield at least as much as the inflation rate, assess your risk profile and do your homework‘. It goes on to suggest that investors should adopt an investment strategy that they are comfortable with.
Good old conventional advice I thought, there was nothing I could disagree with. Then I read a little further and it started to go downhill. The writer interviewed a number of finance professionals (read: head of their respective departments in our local banks) and based on their input came up with a set of recommendations for the retail investor. It read like this
image: straits times
I was disturbed to say the least. I find it hard to accept the logic of building a portfolio off unit trusts.
Alvin has written a <a target="_blank" …read more
Malaysia’s scandal-hit state investment firm has spent the past few months under the spotlight for allegedly racking up a jaw-dropping RM42 billion in debt. Now the saga has hit a little closer to home, as Singapore police this week froze two bank accounts on suspicions of money-laundering. Just how would the 1MDB fallout affect us in Singapore?
Words by DollarsAndSense
The keyword 1MDB was searched 8,000 times in Singapore for the whole of last year, compared to 60,000 times within the first half of this year. News of 1MDB has been constantly shared on social media and mainstream news outlets over the past weeks.
In case you are the proverbial frog in thewell, and have missed out on the 1MDB saga, here’s the long and short of it. 1MDB (1Malaysia Development Berhad) is a strategic development company wholly owned by the Government of Malaysia and chaired by the Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak. Overpriced deals, poor transparency, extravagant living, a massive RM 42 billion debt, and now, allegations of misappropriation of funds (US$700 million) are some of the catch phrases being associated with 1MDB.
Given its close link as a government entity and the fact that the people at the …read more