Monday, August 22, 2011

Present like Steve Jobs by BNET

Everyone knows Steve Jobs of Apple Inc can hold and electriffy and wow an audience like nobody else in this world! Here are some tips from the above video by BNET.

1. Set the Theme - Be clear and consistent.

2. Provides an outline - Open and close each section for your presentation.

3. Use exciting words to share your enthusiasm - Wow your audience. Use words like : "incredible", "awesome" ,"extraordinary", "cool" etc. If you're not passionate about your offerings, why should your audience be?

4. Make numbers meaningful - Place numbers in context as they may not mean much alone.

5. Be easy on the eyes - Go visual and be interesting.

6. Treat your presentation like a show - Have a dramatic flair, have ebbs and flows and have videos and guest speakers if possible.

7. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse - The chances are we won't have the resources to have rockstars or great resources available as Jobs does but we have time. Use that time to rehearse your presentation inside out.

8. "And one more thing.." - Let you audience think you have given them an added bonus.

To sum up, a presentation does not have to be dull - it can be a show to entertain, educate and above all, an experience to remember for your audience. Your product/service will be appreciated all the much more thanks to that!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Manage your Business Better with Action Coach Jeevan - BFM Podcast available

Is your team soaring or bogged down by these issues?

This week on BFM's Raise Your Game - Action Coach, Jeevan Sahadevan was on BFM to discuss eight team issues that may affect your business. Here are some takeaways!
The first four were covered in this 22 minute podcast and the next four will be covered next week.

The four issues which were highlighted by Jeevan in the podcast were:

1) Trust - Is your sales team really out there selling? When there is a lack of trust, comes office politics in your company.
2) Laziness - Lack of Motivation/problem with work attitude?
3) Fear of Conflict - Pretty common I say in Asian context as we tend to be more passive aggressive or run away from any conflicts rather than solve it.
4) Lack of Commitment - Your team doesn't buy into your company's ideas.

Sounds familiar?

Here are some key take-aways to help overcome these problems:

a) Communicate and Build Trust Keep the lines of communication open and get to know people personally. Establish this by doing what Jeevan does to ALL his clients - At every team meeting, have a "WHISTLE" which stands for WHAT I FEEL LIKE EXPRESSING where the team goes around the table and everyone can express anything on their mind. The only rule is to noone else can speak when one is expressing him/herself. This gives a chance for employees to praise, criticize or get something off their chest.

The boss always goes last giving a chance to control the meeting. Overall this can be a chance to share and get to know each others. Sounds a bit touchy feely or unrealistic?

Initially, this may not kick of well but after sometime, people tend to open up according to Jeevan. In his words, usually the "effects are spectacular" and you get to learn something about everyone.

b) Trust - Give trust first and benefit of the doubt to your team. Have faith in your team.

c) Laziness is down to attitude. Pay attention to their attitude rather than paper qualifications. Hire hungry people who have something to prove.

d) Have a Mission Statement and set targets/a report mechanism. This way your team will know what to work towards and buy into your company's objectives on the big picture level and also exactly what they need to achieve and how they can contribute to achieve that big objective.

e) Feedback on the a Job Well Done - We always talk about customer feedback but what about feedback to your team on the good stuff, ie: "Just yesterday our client was really happy with the product we sold/The client was really happy with the great service you gave!"

Such feedback to your team would let them know that their efforts are helping the company and affirming their behaviour. Sometimes we can be quick to criticise, why not be quick to praise a job well-done?

Great takeaways, yes? Watch out this coming week for Part 2!

- Gotta love BFM and their Enterprise Series on Weekdays!

Disclosure: Unsolicited Post. Just somewhat a BFM fan-boy.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

App-ing your Way to Success with Dropbox Part 2

Part 2 of my "App"-ing your Way to Success - Yes, even financial success. The more efficient and more organised you are, the better prepared you are for opportunities that come your way! For my 2nd part, I discuss Dropbox.

Dropbox is a cloud-based application that lets you save files across devices. Work on something, take a picture and save it into your Dropbox and you can access it via the web or your device's apps. It would even auto-sync between work stations as long as you are connected to the internet. So, I'll like to think it as your auto-sync flash drive in the cloud. Here's the kicker: Sign up for free and you can get 2GB straight off! Watch the video on their site for a quick and simple explanation on how it works exactly.

Email Files no more or Throw away your Flashdrives!
Before this, I used to email work files to myself but now I can access it through my Android phone's Dropbox app (iPhones have this app too) on the go or any laptop which has internet connection. Or if you work on different workstations, drop a file into your dropbox and it will auto-sync with your other work-station so you can view and edit it as necessary. All you need to do is to set your work folder as your dropbox or drag-and-drop or save it into your Dropbox! Basically, Dropbox replaces the act of backing up your smaller files on to a flashdrive or any portable hard-disk drive.

Share Files for Work, Projects or Personal Reasons
Another use for this is to share files among people who would need reference to certain documents. If you're working in a company where you need access to certain files (ie: forms to apply for leave, requisition forms,company guidelines) why not "dropbox" it and share it with all employees for their reference and use. If you're stuck in a meeting and you left your laptop, not to worry, you can pull the relevant file for quick reference on your phone/tablet with the Dropbox app right away. Who knows, it may save your neck if you forget to bring a certain document with you!

All you need to do is invite someone to join your dropbox and once he/she joins, his/her dropbox will upload the contents of your shared folder into his dropbox! Neat, eh? So you can share photos, groupons, stuff to print, the possibilities are yours to think off!

Another use is of course collaboration of documents of projects but I personally think Googledocs already does this quite well which will be a whole different post altogether! Watch for that.

So, what are you waiting for? Get Dropbox which I personally think will make flashdrives/portable HDDs the way of the Dodo (once Broadband speeds catch up of course!) Until then, Dropbox is the simple cloud solution for working seamlessly between workstations and devices!

For Part 3, I shall discuss what I dub "Facebook for Projects", so check back next week!

A shoutout to Regina's husband, Eric who introduced this really cool-app to me!

Disclosure: I am trying to work to my max free 8GB (still 6.5 GB to go) so if you don't have Dropbox yet, click on the links to it via this post or click here to sign up! (we both get 250 mbs free!)

Do you need to be a CFA to be a Better Investor?

Does the CFA helps with the numbers?(credit: Dreamstime)

Do you need to be a CFA (Certified Financial Analyst) to be Better Investor? A man dubbed as the "next Ben Graham" by the Forbes, Vitaliy N. Katsenelson has some insight into that. I have posted a review on his book "Little Book of Sideways Investing" here.

Here is the relevant excerpt from his interview with the Kirk Report.
"Kirk: Is it realistic to suggest that individual investors have what it takes to do the type of homework you and other professionals do, without a CFA?

Vitaliy: In short – the answer is YES.

I am a Chartered Financial Analyst, and I learned a lot from going through the CFA program (as well as from getting two finance degrees); but the problem with the CFA program is that half your time is wasted on useless concepts, and since there is an exam, the program also requires you to be a good test taker (I was never good at that).

It is probably still the most relevant program if you want to be an investor; but in all honesty, you can take the CFA curriculum, pick relevant subjects, e.g. economics, accounting, valuation (excluding Modern Portfolio Theory), statistics, behavioral finance, and derivatives, and study them on your own and just not worry about taking the exam. You’ll learn a lot, won’t waste your time on irrelevant academic and politically correct topics like ethics (all you need to know is to always put clients’ interests first, and err on the side of the perception of wrong doing vs. legality. When people trust you with their life savings, you never want them to question your true motives).

But that would be just a start. Then you’d want to read a lot on value investing (books, blogs, newsletters/interviews, presentations, etc.) and finally, take as much money as you could afford to lose and start investing.

Paraphrasing Charlie Munger, learning about investing only from books is like learning about sex from romantic novels."


Hm, so perhaps, I should re-think the CFA after all..! Lol!

Well, not quite. The main reason why I'm doing this is give me an internationally recognised qualification. A CFA to me is the Gold Standard in the investing world and would open up a career in investment. So, it's not a bad deal - personal improvement and career development to me. If I want to pursue a career in finance, this bolsters my CV/reputation.

Currently, locally, there are only 400 CFA charter holders in Malaysia. While this means there is a demand here but it opens windows to other countries within Asia too, ie: HK, Singapore.

So, be clear on that - you don't really need a CFA to be Better Investor but it helps. Just ask yourself, perhaps there is a cheaper and less time consuming way to improve yourself in the skill-sets offered within the programme?For those already sitting for it in Malaysia, all the best!

(Of course, remember, with or without CFA, remember your due diligence has to be "CFA-like" before investing. That's another take-away from the excerpt above!)

To read Vitalsky's full interview, check it out here :

If you like what he has to offer, sign up for his email newsletters or his RSS feed while you're there!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

"App"-ing your Way to Success Pt 1 - Evernote

Everyone knows an Elephant Doesn't Forget! (Evernote Logo)

Part 1 of my "App"-ing your Way to Success - Yes, even financial success. The more efficient and more organised you are, the better prepared you are for opportunities that come your way! For my first part, I discuss Evernote.

Evernote is THE reminder/task-reminder app for Android + Apple devices which links up to the internet/cloud so you can access all your reminders seamlessly in whatever form - video, text, audio locations, to-do-lists, links and you can even tag and share your notebooks. Notes are kept in notebooks which would basically be the category of notes. (ie: Work notebook, Health, Interesting Articles)

Their taglines are:
  • Remember Everything
  • Capture Anything
  • Access Anywhere
  • Find Things Fast

Excellent for the road warrior always on the move and if you don't have a pen, whip out your smartphone and why not just take a picture of it or audio record telling yourself what you need to do. Then, if you're away for your phone, you can always log in online to check your to-do list via your desktop or through your other devices. Basically, pens are now so 20th century, yo!

You can ever share notebooks with people to share information(think shopping list)/to-do-list. Basic stuff. Don't expect to run a project via Evernote basic.

To top it off , it's free on both the Apple and Android market! With premium (USD 5 a month or 45 a year), you get 1 gig of space, upload more file types - MSword, Video and you can even corroborate on projects via Evernote!

Other Alternatives
Other competitors which do pretty-much the same thing include Colour Note and Spring Pad. I have not done comprehensive testing on those apps except for some playing around with Spring Pad. One good thing is Spring Pad seems more colourful and is more interesting-looking by giving the option of using colour-coding. Evernote can be abit dull looking with its grey+green theme at times.

For my next 2nd part of this App series, I shall discuss a real-powerful tool and a personal favourite of mine - Dropbox. Catch me next week!

An intro video on Evernote by a 3rd Party.

Full Discloure: Yet, another unsolicited post!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

CFA Preview Lecture : Securities Market @ Sunway 17/07/2011

Mr. Th’ng Beng Hooi, CFA giving a Preview Lecture on Securities Market

As part of their marketing, Sunway Tes and AB maximus held yet another preview talk at Sunway last Saturday. Yet, there are some Investment-related insights which I picked up and discuss in some detail here.

Retail Investors
(ie: you and me)

One interesting point was when Mr. Th'ng was ranking the order of investors for equities and it went somewhat like this:

  • Institutional Investors
  • Corporate Investors
  • ...
  • Syndicates (yes, they are in every market even KL)
  • ...
  • Insiders
  • Retail Investors ===> That's you and me!

Basically, he was making the point that we retail investors have very little advantage going for us.The other investors above the pecking order not only have the experience and knowledge but all the information needed right at their fingertips. What possible advantage can we have over these other investors?
(Yet interestingly, majority of fund managers don't beat the markets, so what edge do you have over than them?)

In fact, maybe none except long term holding. ie: for retirement as opposed to a mutual fund which has to make good returns annually Of course, this was coming from a self-proclaimed fan of Buffet(read: value investor) but he makes a good point on what little advantage you and I as retail investors have.

So? We have to be patient. Chances are information-wise we lose out to the syndicates, insiders and the big boys at the top as they have teams of researchers and what not behind them.

That's easier said then done, of course- Stocks being easily traded with a click of mouse these days, making it even more of a game running on emotions rather than rational decision making.

If you grow impatient, you may sell although the time frame you set out has not been met. So, that for me was an interesting reminder on what (little) advantage we retail investors have.

Also, at the end, he had a Q&A where he raised and addressed 2 interesting questions(funnily he posed to himself - see pic):

1) Fundamental or Technical Analysis - Which is better?
Mr Th'ng gave a good analogy - It's like Shaolin kung-fu. If you have a different style (crane, tiger, mantis, etc), doesn't really matter as long as you can defend yourself right? So, whatever works for you. As a Buffet fan or a CFA holder, that would usually mean fundamental but personally, the speaker uses both.

2) Will computers take over human jobs (in this field)?
Nowadays, trades are carried out automatically by computers. In fact the 2010 flash crash of the DOW recently (wikipedia here) was caused by such a sell programme that triggered other trades. Some firms out there deal with High Frequency Trades (HFTs) where trades are automated with programmes that pick up data and act on it.

However, this does not necessarily the end of our jobs - you still need a human to key in such data and formulas, no?

That aside, I know will go in my thoughts about the CFA part-time lectures offered by Sunway-Tec + AB Maximus (with Stalla materials):

CFA Part-time Lectures
This has been my 2nd preview lecture and the pricing for their weekend classes is RM4000 and RM 3600 for individual and corporate sponsored respectively. It includes revision and mocks. Sorry, don't have the sheets with me atm and can't find it online for exact details.

The lecturers so far have been impressive and the Stalla materials look impressive in the two preview lectures I have been. Also, Sunway is not too far compared to say Kasturi and the other Management College in KL apparently offering CFA classes too.

Unfortunately for me, it clashes with work on Saturdays so I might just settle for self-study with the Cafepacer ( and maybe the Studymaster (thousands of questions to try out) and see where I get this December.

Oh for the other candidates out there, one question was posed:

Schweser or Stalla Schweser apparently is more concise and hence, suited for the time-strapped candidate. Stalla has been around longer but is more detailed. Sunway-TEC will be using Stalla so they endorse Stalla obviously.

Full Disclosure: This is an unsolicited/unsponsored post.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Buffet's Right Hand Man Speaks - Charlie Munger

This isn't Charlie.. but eye-catching, no?

The vice-chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-B), Charlie Munger or perhaps, better know as Buffet's Right Hand Man speaks and is featured on

One thing which resonates with me:

"On challenge: Most dentists and doctors know what they're doing. They deal with problems they know they can fix. I don't want that. It's in my nature to move toward the really hard problems that haven't yet been solved."

Really excited by the technological advances made by tablets. Just finished reading - Designing for the Ipad - Building Apps that Sell. Looking at this from an angle of maybe building a killer-app in what little spare time I have..? *shrugs*

It's just really exciting how it's a whole new frontier- how the iPad really much is a tabula rasa and innovative ways its being used to not only consume but also generate content are being created (think music instruments with the ipad) or yet to have been created! Then again, perhaps the writer is right in saying it's very much a 'gold rush'. May spend lots of time and all you get is - dust.

Source of quote: Morgan Housel (a writer for the Fool I also respect) covers Charlie's thoughts on the world in two parts can be found here:-

Check out here for Part 1

and... Part 2

Also, you can check out - Charlie Munger on How to Become Rich. - Very realistic down-to-earth advice.

In life, to get ahead, we have to seek mentors. Why not Charlie Munger as one of them?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Uranium - The Fuel of the Future

Uranium - Fuel of the Future?

Are fears over another Fukushima/Third-Mile/Chernobyl nuclear accident overblown and thus, a buy opportunity for Uranium related stocks?

In recent days, Uranium and its related shares (read: uranium miners) have taken a beating. Who can blame them after the Japan Catastrophe and the following backlash against nuclear energy.

Yet, you still have the former world's richest man, Bill Gates advocate that it will be Nuclear not Green Technology which can save the world from global warming by reducing carbon admission to 0%. Basically, his message is that a tremendous change has to come and most likely it will come from Nuclear Energy not Green Technology which may sound good but does too little good.

Read more here:
Also, the Ted Vid:

Demand-side there is another concern- Germany is phasing out all of its nuclear energy and this would reduce demand for uranium goes the bears.

Yet, India and China are still going overdrive into nuclear energy. It will come a day when China will be churning out one nuclear plant every two weeks. Read bloomberg here - "China and India will lead a 46 percent increase in consumption by the world’s five biggest atomic-power developers by 2020, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. "

On the supply side, the supply of uranium from decommissioned weapons will be reduced after 2013 from Russia.

Give these two separate demand and supply dynamics, are people just over-reacting and reeling from the Japan Nuclear/Tsunami disaster and the policy knee-jerk, perhaps uranium is a Buy Opportunity.

Until another fuel substance than can trump Uranium comes along, I'm inclined to think so, yes, buy.

For deeper Uranium-themed investment ideas, read Howard Ruff's opinion on the Ruff Times here.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The World's Most Powerful Man, President Obama has a few Gems of Wisdom for us All.

" Save. Earn interest on those savings. Be a disciplined saver. Understand the distinction between investment and expenditure.

Although this is probably more in the context of the US being in its over-indebted state, there is a personal moral behind this - save more, spend wisely.Words to the wise.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Sales here I come...!

Dear all,

Been busy lately with my new job which basically deals with sales... but the good news is that I've been reading alot of sales book and I would love to share what I have learnt and review these books too.

Of course, if you have any great books to recommend, let me know too!

So, watch this space!

Best regards,
Joe Cashflow.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Short review on Little Book of Sideways Investing

Dear all,

Sorry for the long hiatus! Back and recharged!

Yesterday, read the "Little Book of Sideways Investing" by Vitaly Katsenelson.

His Website can be found here:

Basically, the investment thesis is to actively value invest looking for shares that fit all 3 criteria - Q for Quality, V for Value and G for growth. (Q+V+G). Once you find these, get them with a margin of safety and when they hit their value, that's when you sell.

What I also found interesting what his macroeconomic analysis for Japan, US and China dubbing them as Grey Swans. Grey swans are different in the sense that they are high impact, rare but predictable as opposed to Black swans.

He also warns of Axioms (defined as self-evident truth that require no proof) based on previous data. Such examples of axioms is China's growth and housing prices. We as humans are quick to draw conclusions based on say 20 years data because we deem it as pattern but sometimes we get the cause and effect wrong. In other words, the past does not necessarily equal to the present.

It was a thoroughly good read and I highly recommend it. He incorporates most of Buffet's principles but his time frame is a 5 years time one. For the exact methodology, you gotta check the book out yourself! Look out for the 'parable' of the cow farmer! It is quite a deep look into things but he does try his best to keep things simple and easy to grasp by having as few formulas as possible.

Personally, its a good refresher on Buffet's principles and provides more practical ways to actually implement those principles. A good edition to the little book of Investing series IMHO.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Away for the next two weeks...

Normal service to continue in mid April-ish

Dear readers,

With the impending Sarawak Elections, I have decided to go back and help out by volunteering to be an independent observer and attempt to be a "missionary of democracy". What better way to advocate for more transparent and free government than to actually go down to the ground, no?

But no fear, reader. I leave you with a few articles about the sage of Omaha for reading pleasure and the Rajaratnam Saga. These are interesting case studies for ethical investing...

Please do check back when I get back.

Until then take care and invest rationally and patiently!

Further reading: - Heir apparent leaves for failing the "New York Times Test"?

The Rajaratnam saga or also known as the case not to commit insider trading:

WSJ article - - the whole web of insider trading

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

MEGB update no. 2

Is MEGB marching into the light with its newly approved programmes?

(credit: Dreamstime)

Since my last post on MEGB more than a month back, a lot has happened.

A Concerned Investor sends in some queries to MEGB's Investor Relations (IR) Another concerned MEGB shareholder, Zuuk has been sharing some info with me via email and these were his concerns:

1) An updated list of the shareholders - this was updated on 9.03.2011 - which shows that Fidelity and Smallcap World Fund were still shareholders to a total of 8.5%. But of course, this was 3 weeks ago and the composition may have changed and we can only wait and find out whether they have further shed their ownership of Masterskill's shares.

2) Zuuk also had concerns as MEGB's bursa announcement that it had obtained approval from the Education Ministry to run its Kuching campus which conflicted with the Kenanga report on MEGB saying that the Diploma in Nursing for Kuching was facing some delay in obtaining approval. Management's reply to this was that the two things are not the same thing as the former as to do with the campus and the latter with the programme. Hence, they were not conflicting. Nevertheless, good on Zuuk for spotting these things and being an active investor and of course, sharing this info with us

Catalysts for Higher Prices? MEGB now has hit around the average price I bought it - RM1.9 and the fact it has been in the news may have something to do with it:

March 23 - Approval for its Cheras Campus to conduct BSC (hons) Nursing programme - This is obviously good news as well, if all goes well, a recognised certificate is almost as good as printing money.

March 29 - Masterskill then announced it was to collobarate with Kinta Medical Centre to set up a physiotherapy centre - This again is a plus as it states that KMC will bear the costs and share the profits with Masterskill and this may give Masterskill the 'unique selling point' it needs to get more students into Masterskill as the healthcare education industry gets more crowded with more players entering into this space.

What about Dividends? Share Buy Back? Of course the two pieces of news I cannot wait for is the share buyback and the payout of dividends.

And guess what - they recommend a dividends payout of 7.9 cents per share payable on 15 June so if my maths is right - a 4.1% return for the shares at the price of RM1.89 (closing price today). Read about it on the Edge.

Yet, when I think about it, can MEGB afford to also do a share buyback? Can they fund both while expanding aggresively as they are opening its new campuses or do they have to settle for one option? To me, I would prefer a dividends payout as I am holding long on to MEGB. Perhaps, it's time to write into their IR to find out...

Update 31/03 : OSK research maintains MEGB as a trading buy with unchanged fair value of RM 3.44 citing the current PER at 6.4 the cheapest in its covergae. Read it on the Edge.

Full disclosure: Yes, I do have shares in MEGB.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Bargain Hunting in Malaysia or Should I use Groupon-clone sites for my Business?

Love cutting coupons? There's a better way! Check out these websites... I've listed a few in my previous posts - Groupsmore, Milkadeal, Mydeal to name a few.

Rather than reinvent the wheel - There are actually nearly 40 over such sites listed here (check out the comments area too)-

How do these works?
These sites offer discounts up to 90% for SPA treatements, mani/pedi, meals, food stuff, etc.. Some of them offer free credit for the first purchase and for referring friends so do take advantage of them.

You agree to a deal and once enough people sign up, you pay and you get a coupon to claim your discount. That's why it's called a groupon (group+coupon!)

What does this mean for the consumer?
Great news! You can go looking for the next bargain and stick with it if you really like the service/the product. Or you can always wait for the next bargain!

What does this mean for the business?
Not so great news. Such websites can be great publicity but they must be able to deal with extra demand for their services/goods and wow, they have do be really good to make sure that customers keep coming back for more even without those massive discounts. You see the business will have to pay the website a cut of the remaining % and offer the service/product at really low margins or even at a loss!

Example : My burger is RM10. I ask groupon clone site to offer 50% off. So I get RM 5 for every coupon sold. Maybe.. every RM 2 goes to the groupon clone site for offering it.

If you gain yourself a loyal customer, great! But the biggest danger is that this may spark a price war and the smaller business cannot afford to do so and will close shop eventually and also generally, may cause business to lower their prices and accordingly, their margins suffer.

So,if you're a business, think carefully!

In fact, you must do the math - -Ask youself - can my business afford this and also take in this huge sudden demand because of my promotion?

But hey, if you're a consumer, rock on and enjoy all the sweet deals and save some money!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Quick Post: Warren isn't perfect? Goldman Sachs

Morgan Housel of Motley Fool Questions Whether Warren Buffet's Investment into Goldman Sachs (GS) during the 2008 Credit Crunch was all that Profitable.. with the benefit of 20/20 vision of course...


Warren's returns in his preferential stocks of GS wasn't all that great after all including the warrants he got for 'sacrificing' his professional image for an 'all-evil' investment bank if you compare it to market returns from 2008 to today.

Read on here:

Maybe the Sage of Omaha isn't that great after all or is it fair to look back with the benefit of hindsight? That said, he has been known to have a few mistakes/failures in the past. Netjets and General Re are to name a few.

One thing's for sure. If you're as successful as Buffet, you have a tough reputation to keep!

More on YTL's Tan Sri Francis Yeoh - YES broadband

A Follow-up on the post I had on Tan Sri Francis Yeoh's(TSFY) Interview I had Posted Earlier - Why Maxis, Digi, Celcom should sit up and listen.

YTL's latest Offering - YES BROADBAND

The podcast is available here to listen/download.

Other podcasts of BFM are here. There's some really good stuff to check it out.

First thing, is he used very 'hip' language - repeated the word 'awesome' and 'cool' quite a few times which leads me to think this was a trained interview and perhaps, he is trying to hard to appeal to the younger crowd? He did not answer directly to the Interviewer's questions but rather was marketing YES broadband. He was asked what were his internal targets for subscribers (currently 100k) but he didn't give a straight answer.

Then again, I do not know Tan Sri personally so maybe that is how he talks naturally...

Another thing to clarify is that 4G is not strictly 4G but more like.. 3.5G. From my understanding, 4G would use different technology rather than the current tech used by YTL. Read here WIMAX is not really 4G.

Ok, those out of the way... It was quite insightful to pick the brains of one of the most admirable captains of industry in Malaysia. In fact, family owned firms do better in the hard times - as reported in Newsweek.


YTL's YES broadband is a very, very powerful idea and I am in fact sold on the idea. In fact, I have put money where my mouth in and I do have some YTL Power shares which own part of the YTL Communications that is running the show.

Why am I sold? Well, for my HTC wildfire on 18 month contract - I have to spend roughly RM 100 a month - RM50 for my calls and RM 50 for internet (500mb). Now, imagine if I could not have a phone and just use the internet for all my calls and messages. Impossible you say? No, but that's what I am ALREADY doing. I am saving soo much of my line costs but using Gmail, Gtalk, Whatsapp and if I had Skype, I don't have to use my line at all ! Imagine, how much I will save. If I was Maxis, Digi, Celcom, hey, I'll be shaking in my boots.

If YES can give me the speeds it promises, why do you have to make calls and text on a 'traditional' mobile phone line? There was one day where I asked my friend: If I have internet, why do I need my phone? For texts, I can message my friends with Whatsapp and Gchat. For phone calls, I can call using Skype!

I think alot of people don't get it about YES broadband. It's not for the high end users and I don't think it is fair to compare it to say TM's UniFy. Why the coverage along the NS highway and the ERL? Why the coverage in main areas in West Malaysia? It's supposed to work more like a phone line than strictly internet usage to surf, download and play.

MMS and SMS are so, like, yesterday!

Tan Sri was spot on when he mentioned the power of apps. For RM 30 a month, I can use 3.5 Gigg as opposed to the RM 50 of my RM 100 for my HTC for 500 mb only! (which mind you, is already the cheapest monthly payment with Maxis) With all that RM 30, I don't need a line. I can keep in touch with friend with Skype and Whatsapp... theorectically speaking of course.

The savings are huge - RM70 a month - RM 840 by year's end! Almost enough to pay for this budget smartphone of mine!

I think there can be revolution here if YTL plays their cards right. At the moment, I believe YES still has many nagging problems right from its launch (site crashed!) and it needs to increase its distribution reach by setting up more booths. IMHO, it lacks the presence and awareness of its plans and the power of the internet its offers.

There is alot more discussed by Tan Sri but I shall keep focused on my opinion of YES. I believe if it does well, it will prove a challenge to exisiting telco companies and even Astro. With the bandwith, they can transmit shows/films to your computer/home. As Tan Sri says, "You don't know it but we have built pipes to each one of us"(liberally paraphrasing)

It will take time but this is a very brave bold move in the right direction. YES may one day be the platform for YTL to provide services provided by Netflix in the West and I think the hybrid TV is a move in that direction.

Malaysia watch out, YES may help re-define the way Malaysia works, play and learn this decade!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Taking advantage of this crisis.

Remember BP + Transocean and the Gulf Oil Spill. Those stocks took a beating then but are up, beating market returns today. Does the same apply to the crisis in Japan? Does Crisis = Opportunity?

Read on:

Warren Buffet thinks so

Motley Fool has Three ways to Profit from the Japan crisis - Toyota, Uranium producers and Nuclear Energy Producers (good dividends)


Reporting this on the go. BFM's morning grill had the man behind Ytl on air to interview. Some key take away points:

- He believes YES broadband will revolutionise mobile telephony. Why use texts and normal phone lines when you have 4G and can use multimedia apps like whatsapp, gmail,Skype. He sells his YES experience like using colour tv and not being able to go back to black n white.

- On kl property prices, he believes a high speed train linking S'pore n kl is what we need to raise our deflated kl prices n the gov seems to be assessing the situation.

There's a edited repeat later at 1230 n a podcast on BFM later. My take on some of the stuff he said later.

Disclosure: yes I own shares in ytlpower.
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Sunday, March 20, 2011

5 articles you have to read

5 articles you have to read (Japan, black swans, no such thing as risk-free power, global recovery, 3 stocks that have hit 52 week lows - Dreamworks, Cisco and GM)

"There's a lot of information out there. Some of it is junk, some of it is frame-worthy. For every dozen foam-spewing-from-mouth rants out there, there's a well-thought-out, factual, logical piece of work that deserves your attention. Here are five you might enjoy:...."

Read on here :

Bank of America Report : Malaysian Stock Market no very popular among foreign investors?

One piece of News which Caught my Eye this Week

Full report here :

"Malaysia remains among the least popular markets for both global emerging market (GEM) and Asia-Pacific (AP) fund managers and suffered up to 43 per cent cuts in fund allocations, said a report by Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BoAML) released this week.

In its March report, Malaysia retained its February rating as second least popular market after Columbia among GEM fund managers and is now tied with India for least-favoured among AP fund managers, after coming ahead of the South Asian nation in the February survey."

Unfortunately, the Malaysian Market is not faring too well in the foreign investor arena. We are down there with India. The similarities are similar? Are not both our countries heavily dominated by government linked companies. This also goes to explain the recent sell off in foreign owned stocks which would include MEGB.

"Malaysia has traditionally been perceived by regional fund managers as a defensive and unexciting market, lacking in liquidity and dominated by government-linked institutional funds."

Perhaps, time to diversify outside or just a general fear over the impending government elections?

I personally think that the reason is the returns in other markets are better and will the foreign funds be back? Yes, the hot money may be back and it will take more than roadshows overseas but well, performing fundamentally strong companies with good, transparent corporate governance to get more long-term foreign investors in.

Will Malaysia take the tougher measures needed to make these changes? Hard la. Election year is coming so time for dress-shopping, not the hard but necessary measures needed. *sigh*

Full Disclosure: Yes, I have a position in MEGB.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Two other Malaysian Discount/E-voucher/gift Sites

Check out my previous post here on these websites offering deals in Malaysia. Usually great deals/vouchers on SPA/Food and other stuff...

Thanks to a poster on, here are two more Malaysian sites to get great deals:



Take advantage of these sites while you can. I somehow don't see these 5 of them lasting that long especially now that GROUPON (of US fame) has taken more groupsmore and maybe some of these sites were hoping they were the ones to be acquired by them!

Enjoy the great deals!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Stocks - Not just Capital Appreciation, it's the Dividends too lar, dummy!

Why you should invest in stocks that pay dividends?

This is why! (image credit: dreamstime)

Most property investors will tell you that buying a property is about two things - the rental and the capital appreciation. While you correct monthly rent, the property will hopefully (if it's a great location and demand is there), the property price will go up over the years beating inflation and making a good profit when you sell it. Ta-daa capital appreciation!

So what about stocks? Everyone seems looking for the next penny stock that rockets 100-200% but does anyone actually think about stocks paying dividends.

I think this may be a mistake and everyone's portfolio should have some dividend paying stocks.

Dividends are a way for the company to show of confidence saying : ' Hey, we are doing quite well and let's reward our faithful shareholders some money.'

On the flip side, it also can mean : ' We have money lying around but we do not know what to do with it or we don't have plans to expand so let's pay out dividends instead' - This seems to be very much the case for Malaysian Telcos such as Digi and Maxis where we have 110% mobile penetration in Malaysia (some people have 2 phones you see) and the mobile telephony infrastructure (in the profitable urban areas, at least) has already been set up. The higher growth areas would be Mobile Internet and that's where the capital appreciation for these stocks may (or may not) come in.

What to do with all that Extra Money
Coming back to the topic at hand - Basically, companies with huge cash reserves can do a few things:
1) Buyback shares
2) Acquire another company
3) Invest in capex to increase capacity
4) Pay out dividends to its Shareholders
5) Not do anything.. yet? (like in the case of Apple, Google, MFT)

So, if a company pays dividends steadily, more likely than not, it is a sign of the confidence that it is doing well and is willing to share the spoils with its shareholders.

The Numbers to Back Up
Consider this :

Take the S&P 500 and it's proven that dividend paying stocks outperform their non-paying cousins. Find the graph here from 1992 to 2004 in a study by Ned Davis Research.

Pay attention to the red lines where $100 grows to $2368 (10.1% per annum) versus non paying dividends stocks -$100 grows to just $395 (4.3% per annum). All this of course should be compared versus the market (blue graph) where $100 with the index ends up to $1475 (8.5 per annum)

Of course, there are a few key assumptions here : Reinvest the dividends made and also, do some research on whether the dividend payout is steady and has been increasing over the years.

In the Malaysian context, there seems to be little to no emphasis on such stocks and I am quite puzzled by this. Maybe, Malaysian investors are more impatient and would rather take more risky moves or generally, because most Malaysians are speculators ( I am guilty on this too!) rather than true investors buying a piece of business they really believe in and are willing to wait for their due returns. The fact that most investing houses make money from transaction costs and there are lots of people selling technical analysis tools to encourage trading maybe makes us more speculators than anything else!

Personally, I hold some shares in YTLPower since 2H2010 which even with its YES! broadband venture - has been paying steady dividend of over 5% and been reinvesting those dividends. Holding steady dividend paying stock can help diversify your portfolio. It's not the best performing stock but even with the recent market hit - it hasn't traded below 2% of what I bought it at. The lesson try not to put all your eggs in one basket.

So, what are you waiting for? Consider having some steady performing dividend paying stocks in your portfolio today!
Further reading:
  • The Extraordinary Power of Dividends - Morgan Hensel for the Motley Fool has a brilliant article on this -Read it here.
  • 6 Myths on investing Dividends - Including one myth that stocks are only for older people who need income - I say its an integral addition to any portfolio! Read it here.
  • Where Dividends Fit on the Financial Puzzle on FT (registration may be required)
Material Disclosure: Yes, I do earn stocks in YTL Power.

Scott Adam's on Investing on Stocks you Hate

Scott Adams of Dilbert fame take on the road to personal riches : Invest in Companies you hate the most! (ie: BP, Apple) (written 25 June 2010)

" When I heard that BP was destroying a big portion of Earth, with no serious discussion of cutting their dividend, I had two thoughts: 1) I hate them, and 2) This would be an excellent time to buy their stock. And so I did. Although I should have waited a week.

People ask me how it feels to take the side of moral bankruptcy. Answer: Pretty good! Thanks for asking. How's it feel to be a disgruntled victim?

I have a theory that you should invest in the companies that you hate the most. The usual reason for hating a company is that the company is so powerful it can make you balance your wallet on your nose while you beg for their product. Oil companies such as BP don't actually make you beg for oil, but I think we all realize that they could. It's implied in the price of gas."

Hilarious stuff! Why can't we have some fun while making some money? Then again, why listen to a Cartoonist for investment advice?

Monday, March 7, 2011

3 Great Websites which help you Save Money

*phew* It's been a long time since I have posted - The reason is partly because I have been really busy and also my laptop's fan got clogged up and had to get it repaired. Apologies, dear faithful (perhaps, near-non-existent) readers!

Wow, that's a cool magic trick! (image credit: Dreamstime)

Anyway, let me make it up to you by introducing to you not one... not two... but THREE sites that will help you save alot of money!

These 3 sites have been set up in Malaysia to try and capture the online voucher/coupon market made so famous by Google was rumoured to be interested in taking them over in the US!

Anyway, all you need to do, is give them an email and register and you will be sent emails on deals. If you're interested, you actually need to buy the coupon (pay online) and then you will be issued the coupon (provided the number of people who buy the coupon is met) and voila! Cheap (50% off or more!) manicure/brazilian waxing (ouch!)/food/spa treatment/shoes/subscription, etc...!

So, check these sites out!

My advice? The sites are competing each other and offering like free RM 2/RM 5 e-money to get you to sign up and try -so take advantage of it! For example, join milkadeal on FB and you get RM 5.

Any requirements for these sites? A credit card/paypal account oh, and facebook!

So what are you waiting for, sign up and wait & get the deal you want!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Warren Buffet - Fool's 10 top things to take away from Warren's letter to Investors has posted an interesting article on the 10 most important parts of Warren's recent Letter to Investors. A good outlook as to the US economy and its many parts by the World's best Investor.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Sage of Omaha Speaks...!

Warren Buffet has USD 38 Billion ready to be deployed and is looking for a major acquisition. In his words : " Our elephant gun has been loaded, and my trigger finger is itchy."

Read more on the Msian Insider :

Friday, February 25, 2011

Follow up on MEGB 3

A summary of MEGB's coverage by Research Houses after the 4Q2010 results.

There are 4 research reports on MEGB's corporate website which can be found here. Also further news reported on the Edge but reproduced here in the Msian Chronicle.

Generally, all positive:

Kenanaga - TP: RM3.73
Alliance Research - TP: RM2.60 (trading buy)
CIMB - TP: RM 4.48
DBS - TP: RM 4.50 (12 months)

Also, it can be seen that there are catalysts for it to go up:

1) Final Dividend to be paid out end of next week.
2) Buyback activites to be sometime in June 2011.
3) General growth in its number of campuses and student population.

Interestingly, the CIMB report states that the transfer of the CEO's shares to his wife was due to - asset planning. This is vague and could be down to tax reasons or could it be he really is going to personally buy more shares of MEGB?

To be honest, it's quite a relief to read all these positive reports and there's something here for me to come back to read to understand why I took the plunge into MEGB in the first place. I was pretty worried. Its much harder to buy on a stock which has been battered and there's still a general fear among people about it!

Well... at it's current prices it's trading at 6.7 time PE for 2011 (forecasted) so I think that's way too cheap.. so I'm Long MEGB!

Full Disclosure: Yes, I do own shares in MEGB.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Keep Calm and Carry on.

Markets are crazy? Nothing better than this WW2 British Propaganda Poster to help you keep calm. If you've got a stop loss strategy, go ahead but if the company you have in your hands is a fundamentally sound company, there's nothing to worry! It will go up in the long run!
So, keep calm and carry on.

MEGB's Q4 2010's Report

Nothing amazing with a slight decrease in the quarter but an overall increase in net profit Year on Year (Y-o-Y) of 4.89%. The reason for this seems to be added expenditure on student related costs, advertisements and staff salary.

Full statement found here on Bursa.

So what do I think, ie: what's good and bad? And well, I'm not very sure of?


1. High Cash Reserves which can be a good sign if used well- Potential for dividends or a Buyback? Cash reserves has increased by RM 91 million along with cashflow. MEGB should be able to withstand a selloff by its foreign investors if it wants to but there is no mention of this concern at all. There is only mention that it may employ its positive cashflow for further expansion plans.

2. Growth is there - Student numbers grew from 17.6k to 18.4k. PTPTN concerns will not affect existing students. Expenditure has gone into new campuses - Five new campuses being constructed around Malaysia with the Bandar Baru Bangi Campus being able to enjoy its full fledged university status and award degrees in medical, nursing and allied-healtcare courses.

3. Dividends - Nothing has been said about dividends not going to be paid out and CIMB's research report seems to be positive on dividends of REIT-like levels - 8%+ at the current price levels. That's like FD interest rates on steroids!


1. Debt has increased Y-on-Y. Borrowings increased two times from roughly 14 million to 35 million. Interesting, deferred tax liabilities as doubles as well and I am not sure what to make of that.

2. MEGB seems to accept there may be a drop in PTPTN funding for its future students. This is a major concern with 90-95% of its students are funded by them. It will have to look at other ways to fund its students and this explains the aggressive expense in advertisments and marketing. With its high margins, it still has some pricing power and it can pursue overseas students within Asia.

3. Maybe I'm reading too much into the statement but the Outlook doesn't sound that great - "the Directors remain confident of achieving satisfactory performance for the financial year 2011". (page 14 of the statement, emphasis is mine) That's not enough! How about an excellent performance?


1. The CEO transferred shares to his wife recently -12 % of his 22% ownership of MEGB shares. (Personal opinion/speculation) This has caused some concern but my first thought was maybe for tax reasons. One to keep an eye on. Filing can be found here.

2. Foreign funds still have shares to dispose off if they are looking to totally wipe out their holdings of MEGB. This sell-off may cause a further drop in its price.

3. Litigation - There's a few cases against MEGB and this will need an eye on them as well. Currently being a lawyer, I should look further into this!

Going forward, I've increased my stake in MEGB but I will be cautious and have a keen eye on the actual student intake going forward with PTPTN loans possibly being tightened up and perhaps, some 'on the ground' research maybe is in order.

At its current price of 1.80+, I think there's still good upside to it but I may not agree with Target Prices of RM3.00+ so quickly. This is a defensive stock which is oversold. Remember, that at the time of its listing, there was alot of momentum going into Education stocks so its valuations was off at that time.

'Till then I'm slightly bullish on MEGB's propects and it's still an opportunity to dip into IMHO. What do you think?

Disclosure : I recently acquired more shares in MEGB, taking a bigger position on it. As for the contents of my post, please check my disclaimers section above. Please do your own research and come to your own conclusions and/or seek professional advice before making any investment decision.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Quick Comment : Markets down - Time to catch this flight?

A very quick one. AirAsia has been a stock I have been eyeing - Great management, a Business I understand, slightly high debt and I believe it can keep growing. (think LCCT 2 and more routes)

So, yesterday, it dropped 17 cents because of rising oil prices due to the crisis in Libya. Is it time to catch this flight or is there further downside on oil?

I say wait. The middle east unrest story is still unfolding but this is a great time to get ready to pull the trigger on certain purchases.

This is one crisis that may be a great opportunity but the problem is no one can really tell how far it can get. So, for now, I shall wait and see.

Further reads : - S&P valuations are at the very least historic averages so be more selective in your picks.

Biotech Stocks - Investing in the Foundation of the Biotech Revolution

A follow up to why Biotech stocks are the next big thing. Now, let's look at what to look at specifically to narrow down our searches - Specialised Proteins and Gene Sequencing. They are the foundations of the already on the March- Biotech Revolution.

Looks abit like a roller coaster, no?( image credit: dreamtime)

Specialised Proteins
Recently, I asked an ex-housemate of mine who is a Biotech Grad for his opinion on an stock idea involving Biotech - Specialised Proteins. There is a US company that produces the specialised proteins and blood components to everything from hospitals to research facilities around the world. The company fundamentals are sounds and margins are fantastic. The name of the company? Techne.

So, with that I asked him about specialised proteins. This is what he had to say:

" protein studies is a huge area in biotech. next to genomics study, protein study is the natural ascension of where researchers will go to. In fact it is one of the major driving component for why pharmaceutical companies are losing to biotech companies. Big pharma companies are now changing their business models diverting their R&D towards protein development rather than drug development. "

He explained further about how drugs today are basically chemicals to react with your protein to give the desired effect on your body. Of course, everyone knows how drugs normally come with side effects like aspirin can cause gastric and cough syrup makes your drowsy (or high!). So, what we are basically taking about is - Smart Drugs.

The most brilliant thing about this stock idea is that it is not actually choosing a drug/compound that may get approval and finally marketed but we are dealing with the building blocks of such drugs.

Gene-Sequencing Devices

He then bounced back an idea on something he's selling (as his job) and believes in to do with Biotech - gene sequencing equipment.

In fact, he named the stock - Ilumina (ILM). (Check it on the Fool and Yahoo Finance) A stock that has already risen nearly 400% in the last 3 years and the stock valuations are out of whack - PE of 68! Yet, it is still a highly recommended stock and is followed closely by Wallstreet.

So what's so great about Ilumina? Well, before you can create a 'smart drug' - you need to know what you want to target/create. The devices which Ilumina sell - gene sequencers will/are the new microscopes and I am told that these are way ahead of their competitors yet there is still market to grow in Asia.

Think is this way - Asia - We have less qualms on playing God and Bioethics in general and the biotech money is flowing this way and there will need these two things - Specialised proteins and gene sequencers.

Downside - Vulnerability to Recessions

However, the downside of investing in these ideas is the heavy exposure to the Research & Development Sector (R&D) which is vulnerable to recessions. Laboratories, Universities and Hospitals will always need such products but the problem with these steady customers? R&D is usually the first area where funding is cut off and there goes the lifeline for these products.

Taking into account how oil prices are increasing, this can very much tip the economy into recession but there is talk that governments around the world wouldn't want that to happen.

Also, I am slightly concerned about both stock valuations where their PE ratios are just crazy! (ILM: 78.52! and Tech - 25.3) On the flipside, are these testimony to the growth potential or are we just the greater fool? (I am inclined to think the former!)

Further reading: (note : seekingalpha is a site for any investor of any skill/knowledge level to exchange their ideas or thoughts so be aware of that and always remember to your own independent research)