24 January 2011

Gold and Fear


The price of gold has gone up so much over the recent years, it has reached historical heights (see Gold Index on MarketWatch).  Several weeks ago, my aged mother decided to pawn away all her gold jewellery.  She's getting of age and has decided that cash is more valuable to her than holding hard assets like gold jewellery.  It brings to mind the saying that "cash is king".  There appears to be some spectre of wisdom here.  I figure when the wider populance is starting to mess around with buying-selling gold, it has perhaps just about reached a peak.  Time to exit gold?

Fear & Predictions

For much of 2010, the market talk was about caution and expectations of China being a market to be as an investor. 

It would seem that firstly, the market continues to climb a wall of worry as oft repeated by Wong Sui Jau's blog.  If I had stayed out of the market, I would certainly have been worse off.  It has clearly paid off to continue to invest in times of continued fear.  The outlook continues to remain the same for the year ahead.  Into the third year since the market low, it is of course a time for caution.  I'm going into a infinite loop here somewhere in this argument?  Hmmmm....

Secondly, China has turned out to be an underachiever in 2010 for the investor.  Is it perhaps a healthy correction?  For sure, all the wonderful market predictions just prove that there is no clairvoyance out there.  Generally wrong.  Fascinatingly, in Fundsupermart's latest issue of their magazine (which is now half-yearly), it has noted that their Country predictions have turned out to be quite poor.  There seems to be no reward for timing and picking the market.  I predict a second year of poor results for the China market (in so far as investors are concerned).  Another infinite loop?


How accurate have my own prediction and stock picking turned out?  So far, poorly.  On at least two ocassions when I exited a position, it turned out that the price I sold at was the bottom, and subsequently recovered.  Looks like I can be buy-indicator.  Buy when I sell!

Analysing deeper, I realised this wasn't quite true.  On several other ocassions, I have been correct, exiting as the stock started going sideways, and for months since.  So what's going on here?  It's the traditional historical bias of recency and loss aversion affecting the mental state!  Selective information processing?

What has remained rewarding has been to stick to stocks that had a business I could reasonably understand, good history of dividend payout, a fairly stable business which did not whipsaw rapidly, and companies where insiders were also regularly buying and not cashing out (and/or company buy-back of shares).

I remain commited to a steady investing strategy.

14 January 2011

Overnight millionaires (or not)

Fascinating e-mail this.  Looks like there are millions of people supposedly declared millionaires at the stroke of an e-mail.

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, January 14, 2011 12:03 PM
Subject: Final Notice

> We wish to notify you again that you were listed as a beneficiary to the
> total sum of US$18.5 million Dollars in the intent of the deceased (name
> now withheld since this is our second letter to you).
> We contacted you because you bear the surname identity and therefore can
> present you as the beneficiary to the inheritance since there is no
> written will. Our legal services aim to provide our private clients with a
> complete service. We are happy to prepare Wills, set-up and administer
> Trusts, carry out the Administration of Estates and prepare and administer
> Powers Of Attorney.
> All the papers will be processed in your acceptance. In your acceptance of
> this deal, we request that you kindly forward to us your letter of
> acceptance, your current telephone and fax numbers and a forwarding
> address to enable us file necessary documents at our high court probate
> division for the release of this sum of money in your favour.
> Yours faithfully,
> Anthony Wang

06 January 2011

Blog Talk 2010

It's interesting to observe, after having posted several months on this Blog, just where the audience is from.  Expectedly, while the majority of hits were from Singapore, the number two and three audiences were from US and Russia.  I've a funny feeling that those from Russia are either bots, spam or scam [with apologies to innocent Russians]. As for the audience from Singapore, I figure there are a number of repeat customers who are probably accessing daily.  Anonymous friends I guess. Others are from more esoteric locations.  Amazing.

In terms of topics of interests, it seems that a very significant portion of views were on topics concerning Non-Convertible Preference Shares (NCPS).  That is probably a reflection of market interest in income producing investment.  Safe haven?  I guess I would get a lot more hits if I keep talking about NCPS.  But that's not my aim.  So no, not going to happen.

Sadly, this Blog remains with no public "Followers".  I do look forward to receiving the 1st Follower one day. 

Welcome to 2011!