Monthly Archives: August 2015
IN this money-driven world, the need to invest is absolutely undeniable.
The unstable economy combined with rising inflation and the implementation of the goods and services tax is affecting our cost of living in unpredictable ways. At this rate, if we do not invest, we run the risk of having to work our entire lives.
Investing allows us an opportunity to grow our wealth at compounded rates, thus multiplying our money within a shorter period of time. Take a look at the multi-billionaires of today – they did not exactly make their wealth by earning monthly paycheques.
Nevertheless, when we invest, we also inadvertently expose ourselves to the risk of making investment losses. These cases are not unheard of. We’ve all come by stories of investments that are deemed to be “perfectly good” by analysts and salespersons, only to drop like rocks, costing investors their capital or worse, their entire life savings.
Take for example, the unexpected collapse of financial juggernaut Lehman Brothers which eventually pulled the entire global economy into a tailspin; or the notorious Madoff ponzi scheme that left investors wary of even the most reputable and well-regulated institutions; or the 2007-2008 financial crisis which caused unit trust funds to lose 30%-40% of their value.
More recently, the investors of oil and gas stocks were hit badly by the recent crude oil downturn, causing them to lose up to 50% of their capital. The list goes on and on.
Alas, investment misfortunes are not limited to just stocks and unit trusts.
In the case of gold investment company, Geneva Malaysia Sdn Bhd, some 1,065 gold investors are presently embroiled in a lawsuit with the company for breach of contract involving RM146mil in gold products and monies owed to them.
You may have also heard of stories of property investors aiming to make a quick buck by flipping properties, only to be caught off-guard by not being able to rent or sell the properties for profit as planned.
Even the most experienced investors are not completely “bullet proof” from committing investment blunders.
By his own admission, Warren Buffett, the greatest investor of our time, shared in an open letter to his investors, two of his biggest business and investment mistakes, one of which he claims cost him and his investors US$100bil when he bought ailing Berkshire Hathaway. He called the actions that led up to his purchase of Berkshire a “monumentally stupid decision.”
In order to learn from these investment mistakes, we must first understand the risks and rewards of investing well.
The simple science of investing dictates that you are essentially aiming for maximisation of your return of investment (ROI). As such, in a best case scenario, investing will increase your net worth significantly and substantially. This is perfect, if you have done all the right things and had picked a winner.
However, what if the reverse happens? Depending on the size of the capital invested, you could suffer a major loss to your net worth and be further away from achieving financial freedom. Chart 1 illustrates the best and worst-case scenario when you invest money.
When you depend on others to do the programming work for you, you are literally at their mercy and timing. For some, they may take their own sweet time and get it half done after the finish period. If I have some help, I would gladly do it myself and amend the changes for a court booking system. It requires many functions but they can be finished within 3 days and why they take so long is to justify the thousands that you have to dish out to the programmer. But you need to have the logic to trace the programming bugs and all that, so that is why it is expensive and not many people are willing to invest so much money.
I attended the Archidex exhibition recently from 12 – 15 August 2015 at KL Convention Centre and if I am not mistaken, there were 9 halls with various booths of different home and construction products. What I particularly like was a new type of laminated wood infused with negative ions particles via nano technology. The cut apple will remain fresh and not get oxidised and turn brown when place on the wood. You can even check the negative ions counter and when you place your handphone over it, the counter immedately register near zero instead of negative in the thousands since electrical gadgets emit positive ions that make us lethargic and tired. I collected many colourful canvas bags, pens, note book and a diary. Some people even got themselves long golf umbrellas and big teddy bears.
I am now in KL since 2 days ago and later this afternoon after lunch, will head straight to Mandarin Oriental Hotel using the 50% discount Elite voucher and pay $490++ with 10% service tax and 6% GST. There is an exhibition at KLCC and our potential supplier from China is there. We will also meet up with another current supplier from China at the hotel. The original plan was to go to Genting Highlands and enjoy the mountain air, but with our supplier participating in the exhibition at KLCC, we decided to stay for 1 night at Mandarin Oriental Hotel which is just a stone’s throw away within walking distance. Mandarin Oriental is founded in Hong Kong but 51% owned by Petronas in Malaysia.
We are in the sports surfacing business and buy synthetic turf to install on tennis courts and futsal courts or even hockey fields. It is easy to import the synthetic turf and have our men install them with white playing lines included. For the playing lines, the turf is white in colour and may be stitched together with the green turf for straight lines that comes with the import. As for curves or circles, then we use the cut and paste method in short stripes and glue them on the ground.
In the meantime, you can check out Gazon synthétique by clicking on the link given to find out more information.
I just joined clashfx.com today after checking out about it online. I have deposited at least $500 and recently made $550 that I plan to withdraw. It is a secure system where all transactions they handle are SSL encrypted and thus protected from hacking attempts. So, you can be assured that your passwords, and login ids are safe. For those with some cash to invest, this system can sometimes make you money if the trend goes up and not come down. In all investments, just be cautious of where your money goes and check constantly.
You can register here via my link at www.clashfx.com.
Easy. Safe. No risk.
At RM3.85 to the US dollar, the selling pressure on the ringgit remains unabated on the back of two probable developments – first, the widely speculated put option that traders had gone into a few months ago offering RM4 for every US dollar.
The second is the arbitrage difference between the non-deliverable forward (NDF) ringgit offshore contract versus the onshore ringgit forward contract.
As of yesterday, the one-month NDF offshore had an implied yield of 8.2% versus the onshore forward yield of 3.2%.
“That’s a very decent arbitrage yield of some 5%. This is clearly another channel of pressure for the ringgit,” said Dr Suresh Ramanathan, an independent interest rate and foreign exchange strategist.
An NDF contract is a short-term forward contract where the profit or loss is calculated based on the difference between the forward rate and spot rate. It is settled in US dollars and the tenure can be one month or up to one year.
Since the ringgit is not available in large amounts in the offshore market, the NDF is the common benchmark used to speculate the currency.
Yesterday, the ringgit hit a fresh 17-year low of 3.8517 against the greenback. Year-to-date, the ringgit has lost about 8.4% against the US dollar, making it the worst-performing currency in Asia.
Suresh is, however, not overly pessimistic about the ringgit’s depreciation, as he is of the opinion that beyond the RM3.70 level, a lot of the selling pressure was purely due to arbitrage opportunities and the currency will eventually revert once the arbitrage window in both the forward and options market closes.
Last week, it was reported that Bank Negara was attempting to stem the decline of the ringgit by persuading traders to not enter into forward contracts to sell the ringgit.
“The message was to go long on the ringgit and short the US dollar,” said a trader.
This comes as dealers get offers to enter into a “put” option for the ringgit at RM4 to the US dollar over a period of between three and six months.
This means that the counter party has taken the view that the ringgit will go to RM4 against the US dollar in three months and is prepared to take delivery from the dealer at that price when the time comes.
Nonetheless, over the near term, there is still risk for the ringgit, for instance, the high bond holdings by foreigners.
Should the ringgit continue to weaken, this could be a third channel of pressure, as foreigners may start selling off their ringgit-denominated bonds.
The foreign shareholding on the ringgit bond market, via the Malaysian Government Securities (MGS), remains high. With the value of the ringgit depreciating by the day, the 3% to 4% yield that foreigners are getting from the MGS is significantly being eroded.
As at end-June, foreign ownership of MGS stood at 47%, or US$43bil (RM165.55bil) of the total outstanding of US$92bil (RM354.2bil).
“The signal this sends is that the foreigners holding the bonds are still comfortable with the ringgit risk,” said a dealer.
It will be interesting to see Malaysia’s current account position when Bank Negara announces Malaysia’s second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) later this month.
Economists are forecasting the current account surplus to narrow mainly because Malaysia’s main exports will be hit both by the weak ringgit and lower oil and commodity prices. Oil-related products make up more than 20% of Malaysia’s exports.
On the other hand, Malaysia’s import bills will increase due to the strengthening US dollar. Furthermore, Petroliam Nasional Bhd, which contributed some 22% to national coffers last year, has built its 2015 budget based on oil prices of US$55. As of yesterday, Brent was trading at US$51.03.
Malaysia’s revised Federal Government budget is also based on Brent crude oil at US$55 per barrel
In the first quarter, Malaysia’s overall current account advanced to RM10bil (or 3.6% of GDP). That compares with RM5.7bil (or 2% of GDP) in the fourth quarter of 2014.