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Investment Strategies 4 - Penny Stocks

The next part I am going to spend my time on is the Penny Stocks.  What is a penny stock?  By wikipedia's definition "the official SEC definition of a penny stock is a low-priced, speculative security of a very small company, regardless of market capitalization or whether it trades on a securitized exchange (like NYSE or NASDAQ) or an "over the counter" listing service".

To me personally, I normally classify penny stocks as cheap and volatile.  Because in SGX, there are cheap stocks which are also started by small companies but their prices are not that volatile.  These stocks can be potential blue chips (PBS for short).  The stocks that I buy that are cheap are mainly these PBS. 

For beginners and novices.  Please shy away from penny stocks.  They are extremely addictive if you get hooked by them.  They are addictive as their prices jumps everyday and you are enticed to watch their price everyday to keep track of their movements.   And if you are lucky, they might give you great returns and the shortest period of time.  In short, its like gambling and if you do enjoy such thrills, do go ahead but set only a minimum sum(not more than $5000) to have some fun with them. 

I tend to shy away from these volatile stocks as I find its gambling and not really an investment.  You don't need to do so much studies on these stocks as their prices are normally fluctuated by the market forces.  If there are good news or rumours of a good buy, these stocks will rise and if you do catch the timing right to buy in, you will earn some.  But if you catch the timing wrongly.... I will say good luck to ya..

Windows Live Writer

This is the first post I created and uploaded with the new Windows Live Writer.  I have been waiting for such a blogger client and am surprised MS actually came up with one that could integrate with all other major weblogs.  This is really kudos to them.  Moreover, its free! hehehe.   Those interested could download here.  No more worries like dropped connection and expired session. 

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Very tempted...

I went to watch 2 movies in Tampines last weekend. The first one is Hot Fuzz. A funny action comedy of 2 policeman. Its a British film and its fantastically good!! Highly recommend it. The other film I watched was Fantastic 4: Rise of the silver surfer. Not that good but quite entertaining.

Anyway, spotted this 2 toys at Toy's R Us in Tampines Mall. A bit "gian" to buy one and send back to Thailand. But think of it, nobody will be able to play with me so decided not to. The one with legs are more expensive... hehehe


My house (Singapore) is finally getting a new paint job.. They finally stick back to our old red and yellow-white colour. This looks much much better than the current blue and white. :)

Baby updates

Mum is back today and she updated on my little "precious". Hehe..

Seems like now girl girl knows how to squat and stand. And could take a few steps without aid. Yeah!!! maybe she can walk and run when I am back in July.

She also likes to mimic my mum and wify's action. Like making chili, talking to the dog and dancing to the music. My mum is also into Origami and she gave some papers to her and girl girl starts to use her little fingers to try to fold something out of it. hehe.

Anyway, all is well and I am just dying to return to my "precious".

Busy week

I wanted to continue to write more on the stock investment strategies but I was a bit busy this week. From last Saturday, I was preparing myself for my photography class which happened on Monday (yesterday). The process was fun actually, I think I really do enjoy teaching. :) Today there was another workshop at TNC International (suppose to be a marketing company) and we had a 2 hour talk on simple camera functions and what to look out for when we buy a digital camera. A bit shocked to see a lot of Ang Mohs in the building (SNF building at Thomson Road).

Tomorrow my mum will be back from Thailand. She was suppose to stay till end of the month but I think she bored already. So I got her the air tickets to come back a week earlier. I also need to go and apply for my Visa again before I book my plane ticket back. Most probably will be in mid of July. (After 14th)

Friday got another lesson and so is Saturday (another group). Wow, I am a bit pleased by the response. Hope I don't get burnt out from all the classes :P

Investment Strategies - 3 Type of stocks (Blue Chips)

Before we plunge into the market. We need to understand the different type of stocks in the market. You've heard about the blue chips and penny stocks but there are actually more categories. Anyway, we will focus on blue chips today.

Blue chips are everyone's favourite. This is because those stocks which are categorised as blue chips have the following traits:-
- They are big companies with a lot of years in business. (Very established business with little or minimum liabilities)
- They pay dividends almost all of the time (even when the economy is not doing that well.
- Their stocks have large market capitalization.
- Price is normally high.

Notice I have highlighted the second statement. Dividends. This is the most attractive part of investing in blue chips. They pay out almost every year and this money is immediately your profit. Prices of blue chips are also very stable and less prone to high or low drops. This is good as if you want to exit the market. You could get out easily too as they WILL ALWAYS be BUYERS for such stocks. Even if the price is lower than what you have bought when you try to sell, if you have already hold onto the stock for a few years, the dividends might already cover your lost!

Think about this scenario too. If a market is crashing and you are holding blue chips. The chances that it will regain back to the original price will be much higher than penny stock as it has huge market cap and very little liabilities. It just take time to it recover and recover it will! And if you have spare cash (remember the 30% reserve) during a market crash, its the best time to hunt for such bargain blue chips.

But the main issue is the price. Its normally very expensive to even buy 1 lot of blue chip stocks. So another way for small investor like me is to look out for potential stocks that may become a blue chip. How do we do that? Well, we search for them!

Just looking at the traits above, you could tell that any good companies that have been paying good dividends yearly and have a good track record in their business could one day become a blue chip. Keppel Corp is exactly a good example. 4 years ago, in 2003 its price is 3.00++ (actually less than 3 dollars). It rose to $20 plus this year. And it made a stock split (1 becomes 2 $10.00 stock) and its still rising! We could actually predict such stocks (not 100% but at least more than 50%) if we search around the stock market and look out for such gems. Imagine, 4 years ago, you bought 2 lots of Keppel at $6000.00SGD. Today it will be worth more than 40,000SGD!!! That's how many % profit?? Do you think any savings policy or bank could give you such an interest rate??

Of course in reality, such increases in stock prices are extremely extremely rare. But I was one of the lucky ones. hehe So I made some money out of it. But I am still holding onto my Keppel stocks as I do not need to sell. I could cash out but its still performing and I do not need the cash at the moment.

The main point here is, we could look out for potential blue chips stocks which are not that expensive and stick to it. Buy and HOLD. At least for a few years. For my case if I find a potential blue chip, I would hold at least a 5 year period before I determine if its something worth investing. If its not (such as not paying dividends in due and are in debt) Just sell and recover the lost and look for another one.

I shall stop here for all to absorb. Next post will be on penny stocks.

*For those interested, the name blue chips is derived from poker game chips. Where the blue coloured chips are the most valuable or highest amount of bet.

Singapore Science Centre

I went to Singapore Science Centre(SSC) today with my photography master and his family. His son especially enjoyed the trip.

To my surprise, SSC really have transformed itself and I actually enjoy the exhibition. I remember the last time I visited the place was when I was in Sec 1. Thats more than 18 years ago and the presentation style has really changed. Some of the displays are not working actually but most of them are well maintained. The only grudge is that there are too many children running around. What to expect, its the school holidays. We only managed to browse through half of the displays on the first level before we hit the Omni Theatre. The 40min show on dinosaurs is a bit boring. The screen is huge but the narration was poor (some deadpan reader). I actually slept halfway through the film. Really a waste of money and time.

Still, I actually feel like going there once more to explore the rest of the exhibits. Its really quite good and I do enjoy Science experiments and they are actually providing a lot of simple yet interesting experiments for visitors to explore. Most probably I plan to go in July when the kids are back in school and on a week day.. hehehe. Anyone wants to join me?? :P

Takeshi Kitano

My favourite Japanese director is coming up with a new movie again. Its called Kantoku Banzai which literally means Hurrah for the director. You could check out the trailer here. Looks promising.

I really like his old films like Hana-bi, Getting Any and Kikujiro. Not to mention his slash flick Zatohichi. Basically most of his films are black comedies and I love black comedies (beside Hana-bi which is more dreamy and surreal).

Investment Strategies - 2. Allocation

I want to expand more on the stock allocation. Especially in Singapore market. I myself have this rule of allocation. 30% reserve, 60% in blue chips and 10% on penny stocks.

This allocation is not fixed. You could tuned it to suit your investment style. If you are a high risk investor, you could put more % weights on penny stock. But try as much as possible to keep at least 50% of your money in blue chips. Its safer as these stocks are normally very stable and they give better dividends.

I keep 30% of cash reserve as a kind safety net. And normally, I would save up to that amount before I buy any more stock. For example, $3,000 is my 30% reserve. I will work and save to $3,000 or more before I buy any more shares. This reserve is really for some special cases that might happen in the stock market. Things that I could use the money for are like IPO applications, stock splits (most are good buys as its cheaper) or even some major things like market crash, you could actually use this 30% and go into the market to get some good bargains. Try as hard as you could to keep such cash floating as its a healthy habit. If there is a sudden need of money and you do not have enough savings, you could still use this 30% reserve before selling your stocks or investments. Remember, we are talking long term here!

Another important thing to note, never put in more money than you can afford. Never buy using contra. Be disciplined and stick to the allocation rule. Its like gambling. I take out $10,000. If I win, I will chip in more or I could cash out the profit to buy something I like or spend it on a trip or even saved it later for some other investments. But if I lose, then the limit I shall lose should be 10,000. No more no less. If you have lose the $10,000 with such allocation rules. It means you are not that good at picking stocks. Which will be the focus on the next chapter.

Shure E2G

Since bought a good mp3 player, I need a good set of headphones too.. My old ones Panasonic (also ear plug style) are in Thailand and my Audio Technica headset is a bit big for me to carry around. Shure actually is a big brand in microphones. I saw some reviews of their headphones in the Internet and most of the are quite positive. So decided to give Shure a try.

I managed to get the lowest end (hehe) model. E2G which is also an inner ear plug type of earphones. It comes with a case and provides 3 sets of plug types. PVC, Soft plastic and foam. And in 3 sizes too! Big, Medium and small. Thus I could just look for the best fit for my ears. I actually took some time to learn how to wear them properly but once you get it, its a breeze. I find the foam is the most comfortable among the 3.

Sound quality..... Well, let's just say its the best I had heard so far. My Panasonic is close but its not as comfortable as the Shure's foam plugs. The base are deep but packs a punch. Hi keys are sweet and sharp. It is built for portable players and games (PSP, Gameboy etc). So its really that good. Build quality is great too. The wires are thick and the plugs look sturdy.

Price wise is expensive. $135 SGD ! You could actually buy one mp3 player with the price but trust me, its worth every penny if you listen to your ipod or other mp3 players every day on the go. The noise isolation technology really works. Which means you only hear music in your head and people really have to touch you to get you to notice them. This happened to me actually. On the day I bought the headphones, I ordered Pizza through the phone. Since I need to wait 45mins. I plug my Shure and listen to some techno. Later I noticed I had missed calls on my phone. Opps.. The pizza guy came and left. Apparently they tried to contact me via telephone but I didn't hear a damn thing! Scary.

Not suitable for jogging or cycling as it might endanger you. But its damn solid. One more good thing is that I never ever need to rack up my volume to more than one third bar. I would say a must have for audiophiles who wish to enjoy music in a noisy environment like me. hehe

Here's a link to Shure's E2G product page and a demo of their sound isolation. The demo is not bluffing by the way. I can assure you that!

Investment Strategies - 1

A few friends of mine keep on buggering me about how to "play" with stocks or shares. Actually, I find it not as something to be "played" with. Its more like how to invest your money or make your money work for you. There are various investment strategies, look at all those books available in your local bookstore or Internet and you will know what I mean. So these little series of investment strategies I am coming up with are my own experiences with the local Singapore stock market. Actually it involves in a lot of common senses. If it works for you too than I am happy for you but Please, don't sue me if things does not work out.

First, you need to find out the type of investor you are. Are you trying to get rich as quick as possible or are you trying to maximize the savings you have in your bank? If you are the latter, my tips might work for you. No such thing as getting rich quick here as if so, I won't share them at all. :)

Having savings in bank or additional money means that you do not need to draw on these money on your monthly spending. If let's say you earn 3k per month and you are left with $100 every month, that $100 is your additional money that you could save and make it work for you. It does not need to be a big amount but it would be nice to have at least a substantial sum.

Another thing to note is that are you insured?? :) Before you plunge into the stock market. You should have already bought some insurance (health or accidental) to cover you for uncertain "things" that might happen to you. "Things" like losing your job or getting sick which you need to be hospitalised. If you don't have such insurance policies. Go get at least one, used that $100 to buy a policy and forget about using my tips. The main reason is that only (have to stresssed) ONLY if you have additional money in your bank then my tips will work.

If you have these pre-conditions worked out. The tips I give should help you make you richer or the extra money could make more money for you rather than a fixed deposit. (Of course unless market crash lah)

Now how do we "work" our savings? Let's say I have $10,000 savings. Its good if you could save to at least this amount before you start entering the market. What I will do is always keep 30% of the money ($3000 here) as reserves (never touch them unless absolutely neccesary) and 70% in the market. 60% in blue chips and the rest in penny stocks. Next week, I will continue on why such a ratio.

Mummy Sick

Wife called me yesterday. She was in the clinic. It seems both my wife and baby has a slight fever. Wife is suffering some inflammation at her breast and she got a slight fever and had difficulty giving milk to girl girl. Girl girl also kena a bit affected by the bacteria infection so also sick. Anyway, doctor said its quite normal and both are given some antibiotics to fight the infection. At the same time, doctor also told my wife not to breast feed girl girl for at least 5 days.

Haha.. poor thing. So first day, she was so hungry she finally took formula milk. (Downed one whole bottle at one go and wanted more). So its actually some good news in blessing as we had already tried very hard to introduce formula milk in her diet. So now, girl girl takes formula too but of course, not so happy with mummy for not feeding her the usual treats.

Could tell this when we had a video conference last night. Normally she sits very quiet and just look blur blur. But last night she was active and like complaining about mummy ill treating her.. hahaha.. Anyway, now she could squat and stand easily on her own. But still have not tried walking yet. Think most probably when I go back in July she should be able to walk a bit. :)

Samsung K3

I have been tinkering of getting a new mp3 player. My old creative is almost dead and quite limited (only 512mb). I was actually planning to get an Ipod Nano or a Creative Muvo V. Actually leaning towards creative as it has radio and allows you to play some vidz. But to my horror, transferring of files from PC to Muvo is proprietary. Which means I can't just plug with a USB and used it like a flash drive. I need to run a software to copy and sync my files. Just like an Ipod which needs iTunes.

This puts me off greatly and I decided to look for other options. Stumbled upon this gem on the Internet and went hunting for it in SLS. Wow, looks even cooler in real life and its affordable to. 4Gigs of memory and you could even load photos. Sound quality is excellent and has a built in equalizer menu. Price is $5 cheaper than a 4gig Ipod Nano but hey, I got radio and it could just plug and play! One thing bad though is the proprietary cable. Which means if I lose it, I will need to go back Samsung to get a new one. Well... nothing is perfect but at least now I got a cool and slim looking player.


My old Desktop in Singapore is giving me troubles recently. Think my HDD(Hardisk) is dying. Moreover, the system always reboot for no apparent reasons. Think 3 years is more than enough for a heavy user like me :). Anyway, went down to Sim Lim today with my good friend to upgrade my CPU. Actually, should not say upgrade as I am almost building a new one. Motherboard P35DSP, Intel C2D 6320 Processor, 2G 1000 DDR RAM, ATi x1650 Pro Graphics Card, DVD Burner Drive, 450 Acbel power supply, Centurion (Ah Beng) Case and a 320G Seagate HDD. Also bought a original Windows Vista Home Premium edition.

The first impression of Vista is pretty cool. I must admit that it is another great leap form M$. Something like Dos to 95, 95 to 98SE, 98SE to 2000 and 2000 to XP. Changes are quite significant regarding access rights and system settings. The eye candies are great and so far, the system is really stable. Only issues so far are my Microtek Scanner. Drivers for the scanners are still yet to be released and I guess Vista main issues now are drivers and old software compatibilities. Anyway, I shall explore more and maybe will write more about it here.