Sunday, December 27, 2009

Dream Team

I have this crazy idea once again for another venture but again i think the concept is good but it will be tough to assemble this "Dream Team". All fresh people, with the right skills, desire, attitude and the level of trust for the whole operation to work out. Lets see if this will be a good one. Hopefully, it will be another in terms of well this concept can actually work out but not in terms of the lack of resources that we had experienced then to really get it started.

Telling the future

Haha, I have come to realize that I have a good sense of being able to fortell whats going to happen to people and advise accordingly. Although, it may not be 100% accurate but it has its worth. There is nothing special about how i derive certain conclusion. Its just base on observing people's behaviour, understanding their motivation and observing the environment.

Sadely, I think it is tough to communicate and convince people of their impending "disaster"I guess some people just hate the way I put across to them the blank truth of what is to come. Some people think that is sick and disgusting. I admit there might be ways i can improve in the delivery methods but i think there is hiding, people will remain oblivious to what they can be doing to steer away from trouble. Haha the chinese would describe it crudely as "fan jian" which probably is the best way to describe it. I have been through that stage so I know how it is to say" Haiya, never mind", only to regret it later. Haha. Lets hope no one hit the stage whereby the disaster is irreversible but well most of them are not. So good luck for the new year my friends and hope everyone will do well, no matter what you are doing and what your aim is but just make sure you don't go for a roundabout because there is not much time to do that without screwing up the rest of your life.

ChristmAs SeaSOn

Christmas Season is a hectic part of the year even though i am no Christian follower but i subscribe to the part that its a time of giving and keeping in touch with all those that matter to you and those that had helped you in one way or another.

However, I am having the holiday fatigue now. I have been out almost every single night. Its been exhausting both physically and for the account books. Haha, ironically my boss had been emphasising on the need to keep a Work Life Balance. Haha but i think i have a new model up, its call the Work Life and Account Balance (WLAB).

Anyway some of the places i have been this month, Vivo City "Body Guards and Assassins" Gala Primere.

Giant Ferrow Rocher Christmas tree outside Takashimaya. Crazy crowd at Orchard this season.

The new ochard central. Just realise they have pretty nice place at the roof and basement. The roof gives you a bird eyes view of Orchard area which is pretty similar to the Peak kinda feeling when you are in Hong Kong. The basement has some pretty nice designs and theme much like the casinos in Vegas. I think the marketing people for far east organisation is not doing their work. I would have never discover the presences of such good stuff if not for my friend...

Just realise, I was in the same kindergarden as Claire. Haha but her mum said there are like 10 classes. Who could have guess that. Singapore is just too small. HAha

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Team Lunch

Sorry, if all my post looks like its about work but the place is really happening. Today, its the team lunch data service and corporate action combined. Tomorrow is company level...
Anyway gift exchange presents

The gift that i recieved and now its proudly hanging at the side of my cubicle.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Thank you dinners

Friday night, I was having dinner at Mahatten Fish Market with Shaun, Yan Hao, Anatasia and Sherman. Finally, all of us are working and so its time to pay tribute to one of our mentor, Sherman. I think Sherman had really help us with not just the academic part but our US trip as well. I don't really find lecturers going all the way for their students as he does. For example, he gave us a 50 slide handout and briefings for the US exchange. It covered a wide range of things that gave us a better concept of what to expect. Really appreciate that.
Saturday night it was the turn of my ncc air group. After all the debate and ideas of where to eat. We took a vote, the final decision was the kopitiam zhi cha tua opposite my area, recommended by none other then Ivan. We have 8 ppl and we had 9 dishes... and everything was in large portion. Initially, we thought they would be in small portions and lucky the auntie and Samatha stopped us from getting anymore.
Fist size man tou.
It seems that no matter how we eat and eat, the food just does not seem to get any lesser. Another lucky thing, the 10th dish, the pork ribs was not served and we manage to cancel it before it came. By the way, to my other friends sorry I can't treat everyone. There is just too many haha. Hope everyone can understand.

Company events -Charity Club

Our company had this task to help hold a party for the touch community for underpriviledge kids (kids with single parents or low income families). To make the long story short, we were in touch with the volunteers there and tried our best to see what we can do for the kids. Everyone went down early to help out with the decorations and stuff for the day not to forget having about six one hour long meetings for discussions and dozens of emails flying around for updates. My team was really gung ho.
I manage to bring two instructors from our air unit to perform for the kids and guess how they brought the guns over. It was hidden in the gold club casing.
End of the day, we have many happy kids that enjoyed the games, the gifts and performance.
Mission Accomplished.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Office view

Some of the photos from my office internet cafe. I love my office, my company :)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Bloomberg pantry

Updated Photos
Freeflow of snacks

I love the legendary bloomberg pantry, its really as they say a freeflow 7-11 with its famous guardian the pantry auntie call, Jenny. Haha but as first timers, i didn't really know what exactely to expect. I can see some season bloomberg course participants all armed with chips and drinks from the pantry before the course. Anyway, i didn't really find the course that i attend useful maybe the next one will be better. The problem with the course is that, 1) i don't have that indepth level of knowledge for swaps yet and 2) the trainer talks like his mouth is a machine gun... i think most of us didn't catch what he was saying. Anyway, i believe the next one will be better and i will take better photos so that i can upload here. haha. Excited and gear for a return trip to bloomberg. HAHA.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Venue photos

Room size which the event is going to be held

Floor plan
The field that we can use for the water games.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Updates after a pretty long period

Haven't had time to blog for a long time so this will be a lengthy one. I am really enjoying my work and i know the comments from most people about me is that i am a workaholic but well i won't deny it. The environment is extremely nice and the culture is good. I took a picture of my office "Internet cafe" which is actually a staff lounge. Window seats and other perks. Hehe.
One lesson which i like to share with my friends is that, please constantly upgrade yourself and stay relevant. Our generation is the one that is being caught right smack in the middle. The world is changing fast and so are the job requirements. Adding to our woes, we were growing up during the infancy of the IT revolution so compared to the teens and kids today, we lose out quite a bit. However, i think no one should doubt how IT has and will change the world we live in. If you think you will survive without learning and trying to keep in pace with this changes, i can only say that you are naive and waiting for a major disaster to happen.

I know people always think i am pretty pessimistic but i like to think that i am just being realistic in my expectations. So often, i am spot on in foreseeing whats gonna happen. Sometimes, my friends listen and they avert the problem. When they do they tend to forget what i had said. When they don't and shit happens, the next thing they say, "It has already happen, lets not talk about it". I am not saying that i am 100% right all the time but i think i have a reasonably high level of accuracy. I don't possess a crystal ball but because i have the experience and i consider a lot more factors before i make a comment or judgement. Its a trait and skill that has brought me success in many areas but sharing these insights to help my friends avert potential problems before they happen is indeed a challenge. I don't think it is just the way i communicate but more so because most people have this problem, they need to suffer before they believe and do something about it.

Life is short and sometimes we don't have that luxury to keep making mistakes. I do encourage people to make mistakes but learn from it and don't make it again. I guess for some people, life is already set for them. I am just trying to help as a friend but in the end its their own life.
Many times, i also don't want to tell them, "See i told you this before". Some times, when they come and tell me all the shit that had happend, i can only just give them a few consoling words like but is that really helpful. I hardly think so but i guess its the best thing a friend can give at that point of time. These are just some of my personal thoughts but well enough of the tough talk for now. Haha.

I just ran the Nike Human Race. Biggest mistake of the day, I went to the event with a Standard Chart (adidas sponsered) running gear and was promptly deny entry by the security. Haha. The race was not on top of my priority list so i failed to read anything prior to the race that says that i must wear this shirt but eventually i got around by bypassing the start point to join the rest. I must say i will be harder and harder to keep the physical fitness level up. Used to be running a lot but now run 10km only, i can feel the strain. Will try to maintain but like i say it is damn difficult with more and more things piling up. Anyway i really got to go, still have plenty of things to do.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Life at work

Busy busy but finally got the hang of things or at least more or less. Had a fire drill last friday and its kinda problematic when you are on the 47th floor... cause we have to climb the stairs but its not too bad consider that i have to train for the Nike Human Race anyway but my leg is aching a bit now. Lucky for me, i do exercise and train for the race so its not that bad. With the recent earthquake, it makes me think about working on the 47th floor. If there is really a major disaster, i think i will probably not waste the time trying to get down if its really that bad but spend the time calling whoever i need to say my good byes. Haha, not meant to scare anyone but yah i find it probably impossible to escape so why not just make the best use of the left over time. HAHA

Thursday, September 24, 2009

My 100 Post

Its my 100 post. Haha and it also marks the completion of my first month of service with Schroders. Its been such a crazy month with so much to learn and master in a short time. The good and bad thing the learning does not stop, i always have new things to learn which is good but of course it is probably also the reason why i am staying till late cause i need to try to pick up the ropes asap. I am still trying to figure out everything and get my work, life and studies in balance which is probably an uphill to learn. Haven't really touch on my CFA yet and now i have e learning course to cope with. I mean all these things are good but i guess its really a test of balance. I am glad though to be busy and thankfully the environment is good and forgiving. I had no short of scares, like missing the deadlines and doing something wrongly but i guess with time, and getting to know the big picture, i have started to figure out how things work and should work and hopefully with time and experience, i will strive to achieve a near zero record while trying to increase the speed.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Post Convocation thought

Haven't had the chance to really write on the blog or do anything much. Its nearly a month since i started work and I had been working till pretty late (maybe i am slow to pick things up?). Anyway, I think my daily work is more or less stabilize but i do have new ones that pop out every few days plus my ongoing "mini projects". Not that I am complaining, I am in fact glad that i am learning more and more interesting stuff. At the same time, I am trying to do my CFA which is not really working right now but i guess got to get focus and get things done. Time is a luxury that i don't have much right now.
Nevertheless, I have finally graduated and have found a good company with good people who are willing to teach me and i am grateful for all these. I am also glad that i have my family, friends, lectuers and school staff who have helped me along the way in anyway possible either through giving me advice, telling me where are the jobs and things like dat. But for those very "blur friends" please help our friends who are still looking for opportunities if you happen to know any, opportunites come and go and the delay is costly. Not reprimanding anyone here but well i guess its just try to be more proactive and whether it is any good or not finally, at least we have done our part as friends so be a bit more ... hmmm i also don't know whats the word to use. I guess just open your mouth to tip the person off.

I miss school already haha.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Post Birthday and Job Hunt thoughts

I know I am really late in this post but I like to thank my friends who sms/facebook/celebrated or even snail mail me birthday cards. Really appreciate it. And yes, i found a job and like what my boss promise the learning curve is pretty steep in the sense that its on the job training, no orientation, no other new graduates and there is only me so well right now i am still trying to stay afloat. Hopefully, i can meet or even better exceed their expectations. Its tough starting out but i am glad at least i got the chance to start. Good luck to all my friends who are trying, the market is turning better so there will be silver lining out of this but choose wisely.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The need for bachelor of luck

Well, its been about 2 months since i have start the job hunting. I just came to realize while chatting with waihao that i have actually been to ten interviews in six companies out of 15 companies that i have applied for so far. Results were pretty mixed. I did get an offer on the first one but i did not take it. I am actually pretty glad that i didn't. I come to realize how important that first job is and getting it right. Most of the time, I held myself back, constantly thinking whether i was able to perform the task. Maybe i was too conservative but it was for a good reason that i did. Only time will tell when i get the right job and take the first step out.

So far, its been pretty demoralizing at times but i think i am still weathering the storm pretty fine. At least, my family does not require me to provide for them. I rather be label as picky right now. In the mean time I am actively preparing myself for the right opporunity, picking or revising skills that will put me in good stead.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Financial Beliefs and the job hunt

There is a spam of emails from different companies that are recruiting financial advisors or wealth management consultants. As with the mistrust of the majority of these companies, I have very little faith in most of the advisors nor consultants. Why? Simple, I don't think they know a great deal more than me or you about wealth management. Come on, passing a simple M5 M9 and HI doesn't make you all the more knowledgable.

I have taken and dropped a wealth management course in the states because the later part of the course regarding the tax area is irrelevant to the Singapore market but what i know is this, wealth management consist of a really big area and as mention not many of the advisors or consultants are trained to handle the dynamics of good financial planning. We all know, most financial planning will give you some amazingly big number that will make your jaw drop and then ask you to buy some unit trust or endowment plan because of their prescribe business model. How suitable are the products for you? Well not really because they don't know much and they just want to push a product so the majority of them just do not cater to your needs. That is one reason why i refuse to join them unless i am given my way in being able to really cater to the needs of my clients.

Say for example, the endowment fund matures about 20 to 25 years from today with a profit of maybe $5000 to $10,000 on average. Those who know the time value of money will be able to tell you $5000 to $10,000 in a quarter of a century later is not worth that much. For my understanding, endowment funds are more suitable if you have a specific purpose for the money and you probably won't want to risk it. For example, your children's education which is estimated for tertiary level to cost up to $300,000 per child in about 20 years time. Don't be too shock, the price of education has always risen faster than inflation and there is always demand for it. This also explains why not many people are having children. Can the endowment alone be enough, maybe or maybe not depending on your premiums but is it going to be your best vehicle ot deliver the results, again it depends on the individual. It depends on risk appetiate, spending habits and well your goals.

For me, simple yes i will have my endowment plan but that ain't the first thing i would be purchasing. It would be my parents hospitalizing insurances. Why? This is a no brainer, who do you think is most likely to suffer any illness. For most of us, its our parents and given the cost of healthcare here which is like education can only rise faster, this is going to be the time bomb that will rip you off your entire family savings. Its true what some Singaporeans have lamented about for a long time, you can die in Singapore but not fall ill. Are all the medicare and medisave going to be enough, well if you believe the governement will take care of everything by all means. Not for me. Therefore, i got my friend, one of the few good agents around to help me. Why is he good. Instead of just pushing his companies plan. He gave me a detailed comparison of all the different insurance policies available including those of his rival and explain to me what i should look out for. My advice is to do this and do this early because the later the folks get covered the more likely there will be problem areas which no one would be willing to cover hence increasing your risk. With that covered, now you can start getting yourself insured for other areas depending on the individual needs.

Another area for people to look into is their post marriage arrangement and housing. For most Singaporeans, they will end up working most of their life just to pay the housing loan. My own suggestion subjected of course to circumstances, is this, get a bigger house with a government loan and move the parents in as well. Political landmine with your other half and that is always the harder part to resolve but if you can do that the benefits are substantial. First, you can rent out the old estate and collect rent which you can then invest and roll your money. Second, with everyone staying together, there is less cost in maintaining two houses. Some couples aim to pay off their housing loan as soon as possible because of the compounding interest. However, my view on this is, you will never get another loan at this rate and you are paying this off using your CPF which in the first place you can't touch the majority of it until retirement hence why not just use your cpf and use your cash on other investment. You may even have enough to buy more properties and get passive income.

Another common mistake, youngster make is to get a car when they just started work. The monethly expenses will kill a lot of them. If these money can be invested and as early as possible over the long term, the returns will be substantial. Anyway, these are just some of my thoughts in achieving my financial independence but right now work on the job hunt first and hopefully get a good job which is kinda difficult given that most of the openings are now close.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Grad trip day 20 (Santa Monica and Hollywood)

Officially the last day we have in La, we set out to find the Hollywood sign.
The other place which had a good view of the Hollywood sign the Griffin Observatory.
After that its lunch at Chinatown and to Santa Monica.
At Abercombie and Fitch, imagine a nicely pack rack full of jeans, this is what it became after dear Scott went through the stack for an hour plus.
Finally back to our room to packed up before we were suppose to leave.

Grad trip Day 18 to 19 (LA)

Its another long drive out to LA something like over 250 miles.
First thing we did after checking in, the walk of fame.
The first night at the walk of fame was not spectucular, all we found was some dead and unheard stars that was probably our parents era.
Rikki with the face mask. We parked at CVS and bought something so that we don't have to pay parking. Guess what the other night before we left, i saw cvs towing 2 cars away. hengz so be careful where you park.
Next morning its Universal Studios Hollywood.

Word of advice get to the park early and start off your day at the lower area. We did that and we manage to avoid the crowd. We even manage to do some of the tides twice without having to que for it.

The funny thing, Rikki's cap flew off while we were taking this ride.
You get to see how they create some special effects in the movies which i think is very interesting

The studio tour should be one of the highlights beside the tours i think its is very entertaining and the best part you are sitting all the time and under shade so for those who don't want to walk this is the place.

The desperate house wife setting.
War of the Worlds.

This is a real man but he is damn good he looks really like a statue and a girl who thought he was a statue got the shock of her life when he move while she was trying to take a photograph with him (the statue) haha.
Off seasons so not much shows being film at the studios.
The Chinese theatre, you will find the biggest stars with the walk of fame icon here.
The Kodak theatre which i think is it the Oscars or some other big show is held here.