Wikinvest Apps for Google Chrome

Posted by Kris | Friday, September 30, 2011 | | 2 comments »

I think this is a nice application for google chrome users to track US stocks and also to read related news :P
It can extract your portfolio information from the major US online brokerage firms.


It has a nice graphical comparison between all the stock watchlists that you selected. I just started using it, so it will take a while to master it. It also comes in as an Iphone/Ipad apps.


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Amazon Kindle Fire at $199

Posted by Kris | Thursday, September 29, 2011 | , | 0 comments »

Amazon is attempting seriously challenge APPLE in the tablet space with a very cheap E-reader aka Kindle Fire. Talk about the timing as Steve Jobs steps down as APPLE CEO. At $199, it is so cheap compared to Ipad2 and Jeff Bezos (the guru behind Amazon) is really trying to sell the services rather than hardware, something what the gaming industry is doing. Gaming industry are profiting from game software sales rather than selling hardware like the Playstation , XBOX, etc. At one time XBOX consoles was selling at the loss, (i think it still do) just to capture the market and tap into the lucrative electronic gaming segment.

Another plus is this Kindle Fire uses color E-ink which consumes no power if you don't change your screen and is light on the eyes unlike backlight-led displays like Ipad. And it is much much smaller aka at only 7 inch monitor. And it runs on Android so you can play games on it!! (mine not be so fun, as the screen size is smaller compared to Ipad) Together with a easy to use amazon e-store, this could pose serious challenge to Apple's Itune, since Amazon literally sells alot more range of products other than digital music.

But with $199, it does not have a camera or a microphone. And No 3G, so you need wifi only.

Let's see how it turns out, maybe I will go for a Kindle Fire if i can play around with it.



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Worst Week for Wall Street 2011. Previously It Was A Super Good Week

Posted by Kris | Saturday, September 24, 2011 | | 0 comments »

Greece turmoil, Fed's decision to sell short term debt and buy long term debt to lower bond yield rates aka manipulate the interest rates don't really spur the market to go up. This week was the worst week for DOW JONES, the week before the DJIA chalked up impressive gains that easily killed a lot of bears. (after news that there is hope for Greece. Moral of the story; as always politician are indecisive and this proved fatal for the stock market).

The S&P 500 dropped 6.5 percent to 1,136.43 this week, the most since the period that ended Aug. 5. The index retreated after posting the third-biggest weekly gain since 2009. The Dow dropped 737.61 points, or 6.4 percent, to 10,771.48.

The unexpected strength was from NASDAQ which manage to fend off further declines. At one time one tech stock manage only to decline ~1% while all the major 3 indexes sustain ~4%++ declines.

Meanwhile our KLCI dropped pass the 1,400 support to end up 1,365. Major banks like CIMB, Maybank suffered tremendously because of the sentiment.

The general believe that gold & silver prices are INVERSELY related to the stock market is very very wrong. GOLD & SILVER tank big time. I think there is more than one occasion that this behavior occurs. So, don't rush in to buy in GOLD/SILVER just because the stock market tanks.

Oh..USD is on the rise while the Ringgit & Aussie dollar get hammered.

Here are the charts. More blood bath to come.






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The Loudest & Smallest Boom Box : The X-Mini Happy

Posted by Kris | Thursday, September 22, 2011 | | 2 comments »




This small thing is the best and smallest boom box. The sound quality almost matches a big and bulky complete stereo. And battery life can last quite long. Loving it. I am using it to hear my Armin Van Buuren techno songs aka The State of Trance. Wicked sick product design from a company in Singapore!! At first i thought it was an American product. And you can even daisy chain together to form a super duper boom machine.


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Hayate The Combat Butler

Posted by Kris | Monday, September 19, 2011 | | 0 comments »




I am watching this series. It is a Taiwanese series involving the lovely Korean actress, Park Shin Hye. The thing is that they did a good job lip-sync Mandarin on her.  I 100% believe that she actually spoke Korean during the filming while the rest of the casts are speaking Mandarin. I am always in awe or you can say readily deceived by how lip-sync really works. Because our mind cannot really comprehend and correlate lip movement to language, it as though she is truly speaking Mandarin. Every lip pouts, facial ticks/expression is so "look deceivingly" matching even though we all know Korean language is 360 degree very different from Mandarin.



Okey lar. I like to watch Park Shin Hye doing her cute and innocent faces. :D She has the cat like smile. Very natural and not overdoing it which I think Li Yi Jin's characther is doing too much!



There is another eye candy in the show for those guys that like mature looking woman. She is Li Yu Fen. There is a scene where she wore a 2 piece bikini. (see pic below) I am not telling you which episodes that scene is  :P You go and watch this comedic series.


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Book Review: Behind That Shiny Resume by Jasmine Yow

Posted by Kris | Sunday, September 18, 2011 | | 1 comments »



I picked up the book when I was in Popular Bookstore and there was a 20% discount on this book. So this book just cost me RM14.40. Actually pretty cheap considering it was an English language book ( I always think that English books are overpriced compared to Chinese language books).

So the title of the book is  "Behind That Shiny Resume, Jottings Of  A Troubled College Student" tells a diary style story about Jasmine Yow. She has a very very impressive academic and intellectual competition achievements during her secondary school life. But with great achievement comes great expectation, she started to fall into depression during her junior college days in Singapore for her A - Level education. 

I personally think that her problems is not that abnormal among super high academic achievers which tends to be very perfectionist view on how a person's purpose in life is centered only on the achievements and expectation of others. Just that she is brave enough to tell her story about her struggles is cyclothmia ( I had to google the definition which means sudden rapid mood swings) and bipolar-ism & weight gain. And once a high achiever is a the top of the mountain, it can be very lonely as people may distanced themselves away from you due to alot of reasons. Perhaps the issues that she faced during the junior college days is the huge peer pressure to perform in a highly competitive environment where your classmates are the cream of the crop from various nations. And even a larger burden, is the need to always stay ahead of the pack and maintain her top results in the class. (I feel that she is trying to convey this in some of the writings. Singapore mah, famous for "kiasu-ness" environment.) 

Perfectionism which is a strength can be a fatal weakness to high achievers if the emotional side of losing cannot be taken in gently mentally.

I think the Chinese proverb that is aptly suitable for all of us, especially when you think that you are at the top of your career, academic achievement is " yi shan gao , hai yu yi shan gao). Sorry if my hanyu piyin sucks. Here is the "English" translation.

One mountain is higher than another mountain
This may sometimes be viewed as a discouraging saying – you think you are good, but there’s always somebody else who’s better.  Also it may be that one should be humble enough to realise that even though you may be good, you can never assume that you are the best – there’s bound to be another person who can out-do you!

And to top it up, today's sermon by my parish priest gave me a very meaningful and resounding jolt as I was finishing up reading the book. (yes it is a very short book, i can quickly finished it in 1 hour)
Don't compare yourself with other people. Compare yourself from the past and the present. And you will notice the blessing that is granted by GOD.

Very true, as we always compared ourselves with persons that is more richer, smarter, handsomer, prettier than you are. And doing this, you will always not be happy and tend to blame GOD for the shortcomings. You are bascially SHORT selling yourself. You ever wonder why most people don't compare yourself with people less fortunate; the reason is that once you are filled with envy, you cannot comprehend and appreciate the blessing that you had received.

The moral of the story: Always live life to the fullest and never under the shadow of expectations of others. Academic achievement or even financial wealth achievements (I bet alot of people reading my finance blogs dream or want to become a millionaire , including myself. No point of being jealous of other people's wealth as there is always someone richer than you.) don't really will mean a happy, joyful & meaningful life. 

Rating: 3/5 .


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US Foreclosure Data August 2011

Posted by Kris | Friday, September 16, 2011 | , | 3 comments »

This below data from RealtyTrac is interesting. Nowadays it is "cheaper" to buy an house in the US as compared to some HOT places in the Malaysia. Coincidentally the top US foreclosure cities have HOT weather. Looks like foreclosure phenomenon in the US is starting to rise again.



And the top Cities:

1. Las Vegas
2. Chicago
3. Los Angeles
4. Phoenix
5. Miami



71,264
Foreclosures Sold
98,657 -27.77%
Jul 2011 vs Jun 2011



228,098
New Foreclosures
212,764 7.21%
Aug 2011 vs Jul 2011
$173,496
Foreclosure Avg Sales Price
168,850 2.75%
Aug 2011 vs Jul 2011



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China Say No To Bailing Out Europe Crisis 2011

Posted by Kris | Wednesday, September 14, 2011 | , | 0 comments »

F&@!..I am not giving you a single Renminbi to you.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao crushed the hopes of many European optimists on Wednesday when he said while attending the World Economic Forum that it was up to European countries to "put their own houses in order" instead of hoping for cash rich China.

Nowadays everyone look to China for money. I picked up this article as Hang Seng tanks to 2009 year low  (-200+ points) during the morning session but managed to pick up to positive territory. But suddenly it was not mentioned in google finance news or even yahoo. These news were neglected because DJIA now is on a positive trend, and if suddenly DJIA turns to RED , I am betting that this news will be on the highlight on both portal. Sometimes, you just cannot really take the headlines at the face value.

The main problem with Europe namely Greece & Italy is that there are part of the Euro Cartel, and they cannot print money to resolved the deficit like the US. And to receive help from their brethren Euroland, they need to impose super duper unpopular austerity measures to their people. And this will result in riot and will perceive as a challenge to the sovereignty of a nation. Hence, by calling the arms of patriotism and nationality, any upcoming politician can take the opportunity to gain popular support. 

Remember how South Korean and Thailand suffered miserably under the IMF when they decided to receive the bailout money during the Asian financial crisis?? IMF imposed alot of economic constraints causing both nations to recovered more slowly than Malaysia whom refuse to take the bailout and quickly peg the ringgit to USD. (something similar to what the Swiss are doing to their currency).

Conclusion: I don't think Italy & Greece can resolved the financial deficit easily as doing unpopular measures can be a DEATH knoll to the ruling government. The moral of the story: 

Hungry mouths can be very dangerous and a force to be reckoned off.


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PlayStation Vita Vs Ipad & Iphone

Posted by Kris | Wednesday, September 14, 2011 | | 4 comments »

I personally owned a PSP Lite for 3 years. So when i heard that there is a new version of PSP coming out, i just had to take a look. The last new version was PSP GO which i think don't really took off despite the newer slide on/off interface. There were no reason to upgrade to PSP GO. PSP GO was only lighter and smaller than the PSP Lite.

Now, here comes the touch screen PSP Vita supposely to kick Nintendo 3DS and Iphone/Ipad gang. PSP Vita also comes with Wifi, 3G and GPS. It has 2 cameras ; one at the front another at the bag. In short, it is really almost a smart phone without the phone capabilities. Here the youtube video by Sony Playstation. Looks very cool, BUT i don't think it will go far with very very entrenched dominance by Ipad & Iphone.

Here are my reasons:
1. I don't think the PSP game developers can churn fast enough new game titles for the PSP Vita compared to the explosive growth of apps and games by Apple Itune.
2. PSP games are more more expensive than Iphone game which can go for free or worst as low as USD0.99 cent!!!
3. There is no easy click and game download electronic storefront for PSP games. You need to physically go and buy the game at an video game store. For Iphone/Ipad or even Android users, any game can be easily downloadable through itune or Android market.
4. Something personal, i find that PSP screens are just too small for my liking after the coming of Ipad. There alot of good game title exclusively for PSP, but squinting my eye to appreciate the graphics really is a kill joy.


Conclusion: I planned to upgrade to an Ipad next year (3 years once) so i can reap tax rebate benefits since Ipad is claimable under Malaysian income tax as a personal computer.



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Legal Gold Investments In Malaysia: A Comparison

Posted by Kris | Friday, September 09, 2011 | | 3 comments »


If one is scared to be entrapped into a gold investment scams, the safest thing to do to reap the benefits of a soaring gold prices is to invest into the schemes promoted by our local banks.

A spread is the difference between the selling and buying price. The smaller the spread means that less leakage when doing buy/sell transaction. All prices below are on the same date for comparison purposes. (9 September). 

Do note that these investments are not covered by PIDM which provides deposit insurance. Which means that if the bank fails like what is happening in the US, you cannot get your investment back. PIDM covers most of the saving & current accounts for all banks up to RM250K for a single account. (It was previously up from RM60K only, a few years ago. It was introduced in September 2005)


Maybank
Maybank Gold Investment Account
The spread is RM7.48

Minimum gram is only 1 grams :) However no mention of physical gold delivery.

DATE
SELLING (RM/g)
BUYING (RM/g)
9 - Sep - 2011
184.28
176.80



FeaturesDescription
Minimum Initial Purchase1 gram
Minimum Subsequent Purchase/SaleIn multiples of 1 gram
Minimum Balance in the Account1 gram
Gold Purchase Price
- Gold purchase will be based on the Bank's prevailing gold SELLING price quoted in RM per gram
- The mode of payment accepted for purchase of gold are:
  • Cash
  • Debiting of current/savings account maintained with the Bank
  • House cheque
Gold Sale/Withdrawal
- Gold sale will be based on the Bank's prevailing gold BUYING price quoted in RM per gram
- Withdrawal options available are:
  • Cash
  • Crediting of current/savings account maintained with the Bank
Mode of OperationPassbook
InterestNo interest payout
Stamp Duty Fee on AgreementRM10
Replacement of Lost / Spoilt PassbookRM15 (inclusive of Stamp Duty for Letter of Indemnity


Public Bank
The spread is RM7.43
Here you can take delivery of the physical gold with a fee of course. However, the minimum gram for Public Bank is 10grams.



Gold Investment Account as at 09/09/11 3:46 PM
 Selling PriceBuying Price
1 gramRM 185.0300RM 177.6000



Minimum Initial Purchase 10gms
Minimum Balance in the Account 2gms
Minimum Subsequent Purchase/ Sale 5 grams and must be in multiple of 1 gram
Gold Purchase 
Gold purchase will be based on the Bank's prevailing gold SELLING price quoted in RM per gram.
The mode of payment accepted for purchase of gold are :
- cash
- debiting of account
- house cheque
No physical gold deposit is allowed.
Gold Sale/ Withdrawal 
Gold sale will be based on the Bank's prevailing gold BUYING price quoted in RM per gram.
Withdrawal options available are :
- Cash
- Crediting of account
- Collection of physical gold withdrawal at selected branches
Account Opening RequirementCustomer is required to maintain either a savings account or current account prior to opening a GIA to facilitate the debiting of service fee, if any.
Service FeeAn annual fee of RM10 will be levied on the designated deposit account on the first day of the calendar year if the account balance is below 10gms as at year end.
Online Gold Trading via PBeBank.com
Available from 9.30 a.m. to 4.45 p.m., Monday to Friday when the Bank is opened for business in the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur.
Gold purchases and sales are offered at a discounted price.
Registration of GIA for PBeBank.com online banking service is required.
Transaction Limit:
Minimum5 grams per transaction
MaximumRM50,000 equivalent per GIA account per day for both gold purchases and sales.


No.
Type of Charges
Amount
1Gold quantity balance of less than 10 grams as at 31 December each year
The aforesaid service fee will be waived for new accounts opened for less than (1) month i.e. opened in the month of December.
RM10-00 per annum
2.Replacement of lost Gold Investment Account passbookRM10-00 plus stamp duty
3.Stamp duty for Gold Investment Account AgreementRM10-00
4.Physical Gold Withdrawal
-Denomination of gold bar available in 50g and 100g. Fee charged is on per piece basis.
Gold Collecting Branches50g100g
Jalan Sultan SulaimanRM220RM240
Pulau Pinang/ Bagan AjamRM250RM270



CIMB BANK
Spread RM5.4 - The lowest among the 3 banks above. Physical delivery is also the cheapest at 1gram for RM1. However the initial minimum investment is at 10grams not 1gram like Maybank.

SellingBuying
Gold Deposit182.700177.300

Minimum Initial Deposit10 grams
Minimum subsequent Purchase / Sale5 grams and must be in multiples of 1 gram
Minimum Quantity for Physical Gold Withdrawal100 grams and in multiples of 100 grams
Account Opening RequirementCustomer to open an affiliate conventional savings/current account (“designated affiliated account”) prior to opening a GDA to facilitate the purchase or sale of gold and other charges. The designated affiliate account is compulsory and customers without a CIMB Bank savings/current account would be required to open one.
Mode of OperationPassbook
Gold Purchase Price
  • Gold purchase will be based on the Bank’s prevailing gold SELLING price quoted in RM per gram

  • The mode of payment accepted for purchase of gold are:
    - Debiting current/savings account maintained with CIMB Bank

  • Gold Sale/ Withdrawal
  • Gold sale will be based on the Bank’s prevailing gold BUYING price quoted in RM per gram

  • Withdrawal options available are:
    - Credit into the designated affiliate account
    - Physical gold

  • InterestNo interest payout
    Benefits
  • Customer will make a capital gain if there is an appreciation in gold price.

  • To earn potentially higher return from appreciation in gold price

  • Invest in gold without having to keep the gold physically

  • Good hedge against inflation

  • Affordable initial purchase and subsequent investment

  • Convenience of investing in gold as trading is carried out through a passbook.

  • Option of withdrawing from the GDA in physical gold.


  • Products/Items
    Charges
    1Physical Gold WithdrawalRM1 per gram of gold ordered (inclusive of insurance and transport charges)
    2Fee for failure of collection of physical gold ordered (in the event of failure to collect the physical gold ordered within thirty (30) business days from the date of the Bank’s notification letter)RM1 per gram of gold ordered (inclusive of insurance and transport charges)
    3Annual Service FeeRM5 in the event gold balance falls below 10grams at year end
    4Replacement of Lost / Spoilt PassbookRM20 (Inclusive of Stamp Duty on Letter of Indemnity)
    5Closing of GDA (within 6 months of its opening)RM10


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