Monday, February 26, 2007

5 Stocks to Buy in 2007

For stock investment in US, these are top 5 stocks to buy as recommend by Jessica Dickler from

  1. Altera (Charts)
  2. Goldcorp (Charts)
  3. Guess? (Charts)
  4. Kohl's (Charts)
  5. Schlumberger (Charts)

I’m very happy because out of these 5, I have already bought 2 of them. Based on the past history, the top 5 stocks picked by in 2002 are up 63 percent on overage. In 2003, the top 5 stocks have gained average of 41 percent on overage (wow!). Continue by in 2004 and 2005 are 19 percent up. Last years, the picked top 5 stocks which included Apple (Charts) and retailer Abercrombie & Fitch (Charts), are up by 28 percent. So what will be the magic number of percentage increase for these top 5 stocks in 2007? My expectation is 30%, then I certified myself make a successful investment. Wish me luck!


Bad Year for Snake in 2007

For those who celebrate Chinese New Year, I wish you guys Happy Chinese News Year. I know it is a little bit too late but anyway, it is not end yet until 15th in Chinese calendar. I hope I’m right 

This year is a pig year in Chinese Horoscope. Just a quick introduction of Chinese Horoscope for those of you who doesn’t know, you will be represented by one of the twelve animals based on the year you were born. Each animal has its own faith and many people especially Chinese depends a lot of them for their action in the coming months or years. To know more theory about Chinese Astrology, you can just check it out from wikipedia which I lazy to read. Therefore I’m not putting the link here also. I guess you won’t read it also. :D

Ok, here is the bad news. I don’t know for other zodiacs but for snake, almost everything is bad in this year. Although I don’t believe in this, but the sad thing is everywhere is trying to influence me to believe it (i.e. TV, Magazines, Books and forwarded email), all talks bad about snake. Even more sad news, it is not advisable to make any investment. :(

This is called negative affirmation from third party. Sometimes in this world, it is not the matter of discover the real truth or not but it is the reality that the human environment creates. The way how our mind is programmed creates the reality. How our mind is programmed is affected by people around us to think of you. That is the power of “Perceptive Reality” that I’m going to cover in next topic.

I need a way to break this bad affirmation from happening. I have 2 options. Option 1, go and pray in the temple. This is what most Chinese believe that can break the bad luck of snake this year. This way I borrow the power of believe from others to fight with this perceptive reality. Option 2, I fight for myself either by blocking all these negative affirmations from others and transform them to a positive affirmations before they gets into my mind. This way I’m holding my future in my own hand. Which option I should choose? I haven’t decided. Option 2 is a must and I’m still thinking whether I should go for option 1. Isn’t doing both is the best case? I don’t know. What do you think?

Friday, February 23, 2007

Spending Money is Fun

One of the great reason why many people fail to save their money is simply because spending money is very fun. I am very excited and fun now because I finally own a laptop since I wished to have more than 10 years ago. I finally spend $3.8K to buy a Dell Inspiron 640 m. It is a Intel Core 2 Duo Processor with 1G physical memory and run in Windows Vista Platform. I still remember when I bought my first car, I was extremely excited. Of course, there are still lot more. In fact if you really look at it, MONEY is the medicine to make you have more excitement and probably more motivation too. What do you think?

So, are you feeling down now? Go and buy something to cheer yourself up. Having said so, and it is very funny that I have to admit that some people yet still do not know how to have fun by spending their money. Hey friend, if you have already spend your money on something, make sure you have fun with it and not still worrying nonsense thing such as wondering if you spend it correctly or not. Whether you spend it right or not, it should be all done before you make the spending and it is not after.

On the other hand, it is true that many things that really matter in life do not cost a single cents such as sunset, your daughter’s smile, your wife’s hug, a friends’ call or getting a compliment. As what Eric Tyson said - the author of Personal Finance For Dummies, 5th edition: who says spending all your money is the only way to have fun?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Property Unit Trusts

Property Unit Trusts can be listed or unlisted. Listed property trusts are property trusts which are listed on the stock exchange. The unit trust owner will know the value of the investment everyday . They are better diversified in terms of risk of non-performing properties. However, the volatility of the market may affect the price of the unit without regard to the property unit trust’s performance.

Unlisted property trusts are property unit trusts not listed on the stock exchange. These trusts are revalued at least once every eighteen months. Unlisted property trusts have higher front-end and management fees than listed property trusts. Furthermore, evaluation of the trust is more difficult as to both performance and property portfolio.

Overall, property trusts are one of the safest investments in real estate and can provide good returns on your investment.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Diversify Your Financial Advisors

Diversify your investment portfolio is something everyone should do. But the question is should we diversify our financial advisors?

First, you have to ask yourself why you need more than 2 financial advisors. If the answer is you’re not happy with his/her consultation and would like to get a second opinion, then yes. Having a second financial advisors meet your purpose. In other words, if you’re not trust your current financial advisor, you should get your second advisors.

However, if you trust your current financial advisor and every advice he/she gave is positive, I don’t see a reason why you should get a second one. The more advice you are going to get from different advisors, the more confusing you are.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Purely Saving is Not Enough, You Need Strategy

Purely saving money is not enough. You need invest your saving because the money will depreciate over time. Investment is the only way you could actually save more.

Having said that, save money is not easy. This is due to the fact the human nature is never satisfy with what the have now. Human life’s fulfillment is very high standard by nature. A very simple theory is that you earn more, you spend more and you save less. Sometimes is it even true that you earn more, you borrow more and therefore your debt more.

Hello, hello, what’s wrong with you? Are you in the same pool of people here? If you are, why are you still doing this? Let’s correct this together. We should earn more, save more, invest more, and finally debt free and enjoy more at the later stages of life.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Free Financial Advice is Dangerous

People all around the world keep soliciting free financial advice. In reality, many billion of people on the planet today and not even a single soul has ever become rich from free financial advice. On the other hand, rich people pay money for financial advice and get quality advice from professionals (e.g. tax advisers, bankers, brokers or lawyer).

So, stop getting hot tips from people and stop soliciting for free financial advice. Free financial advice is dangerous and sometimes may cost you more if you listen to the wrong advice. Pay for financial advice.

Having said that, paying for financial advice doesn’t mean guarantee wealth. It also depends on the motives of your financial advisor. They may have different motives when they give advice to you. Probably they just want to sell their product to you and get the commission out of it regardless of your financial situation. Therefore, choose your financial advisor wisely. Personally, I prefer independent financial advisor who doesn’t belong to any company. This way, I know at least the advice that he gives me doesn’t have any bias. Of course, the best is if you could find an advisor who is handling your rich friend’s financial and get a good recommendation from your rich friend.

Paying for financial advice is not limited to financial advisors. It also means paying for financial books, financial seminar, financial qualification certificate, and etc. Why still wait? If you don’t wan to hire any professional, just go and buy some books to read.

See my Financial Books Reviews

P/S: I'm not a financial professional either. I just like you trying very hard to become financially independent and achieve financial freedom.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Average People versus The Rich

To become rich, you have to at least understand how the rich do their things. Why majority of the people can not be rich and financial freedom seems impossible to them? Becoming a financially independent is almost like a mission impossible? Why? The answer is simple. They are just an average people.

To succeed in life, you have to climb above those average people by doing the things that not done by the average people. Think differently, act differently and result differently. Let’s look at what the average people do versus the rich.

Average People
1. One income
2. Focuses on job security.
3. Calls brokers for investment tips
4. Focuses on professional education
5. Seek for free financial information

The Rich
1. Multiple source of income
2. Focuses on financial freedom
3. Understands that mistakes are part of learning
4. Willing to pay for financial information
5. Analyze the market themselves.

If you’re doing any of the average people doing, let’s stop it and transform them to the rich people doing. How? Use your creativity. They are a lot of ways to achieve one goal.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Futures or Commodities Funds

Futures or commodities funds invest in future contracts. These funds are risky investment, but not as risky as if you were to invest on your own. You can gain high returns or server losses depending on the unit trust.

Some unit trusts specialize in investing in commodities such as gold, wheat or currency futures. Depending on the prevailing economic conditions and trust managers’ ability, you can earn higher returns in a short time.

Monday, February 05, 2007

4 steps to forget

In order to live in a present, forget is an essential skill and knowledge. A lot of people simply do not have the skills to forget when facing difficulties in life. In order to be successfully in life or achieving any goals, you have to learn how to forget. You must understand that forget does not equal to avoid. Avoid means ignored but the problem still bugging you in your mind. Forget means completely freedom. Let’s see the steps:

  1. Face it
  2. Accept it
  3. Overcome it
  4. Let go it
To forget something, you must learn how to let it go. Before you learn how to let it go you must overcome it. Before you can overcome it, you must accept it. Before you accept it, you must face it. Do it one step at a time. You will find that forgetting skills is not that hard to learn and this skill can bring you happiness and success. Again, this skill is generic and can be applied anywhere in your life even in financial related problems.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

8 popular trends with US home buyers in 2007

Home sellers take note. After surveying 923 real estate agents, Mark Nash, author of 1001 Tips for Buying & Selling a Home and Fundamentals of Marketing for Real Estate Professionals, has the following 8 suggestions for making your home attractive to buyers:

  1. Use glass tiles instead of ceramics ones in kitchens or bathrooms.
  2. Avoid installing bowl-shaped, above-the-counter bathroom sinks. They look pretty, but have proven to be harder to maintain and keep clean.
  3. Use engineered stone compound for kitchen counter tops.
  4. Don’t install too many glass cabinet doors in your kitchen. They look better in magazines than they do in real life.
  5. Replace wooden or chain-link fences with a wrought-iron one.
  6. Use bold and deep colours for shutter, door and window frame,
  7. Avoid using bamboo flooring.
  8. If you’re adding new construction, don’t use concrete blocks in exterior walls.

What we want from life?

Many of us do not know what we want from life. We are influenced and swayed by others. The others could be our friends, colleagues, bosses, the media and the family. This often leaves us confused and rudderless Then there are those of us who thought we knew what we wanted and are surprised to find that having got it, it no longer holds any appeal.

Life is confusing especially to those folks who do not realize the existing of “Time variable” in the equation of “what we really want”. What you want today may not be what you want tomorrow. Of course what you want now is to become financially independent or financial freedom but what if tomorrow you know you have cancer and you only have 3 months to live? At that point time, what you really want is to spend time with your loves one instead of still pursuing financial freedom.

In this case, what you really want is not only wealth but health and perhaps loves? The sad thing about this world is most people do not appreciate what they have in life. We only appreciate things when we know we’re going to lost it or we have lost it. Confusingly, once we lost it, we can never let go of it. We don’t want to let go the things that we already lost? Hmm… confusing isn’t it? Surprisingly also a very sad fact, most people aware of it but still we don’t practice it.

For example, the formula that you want in your life from your external mind:

Life = (Wealth x (Time ==Today)) + (Health x (Time ==Today))

Your internal mind changes your own equation to the following without your awareness:

Life = (Wealth x (Time ==Today)) + (Health x (Time == Future))

And when you got health problem which is already too late, you change the equation to:

Life = (Wealth x (Time == Past)) + (Health x (Time == Now))

Not only to health and wealth, this is also happen in relationship, love, happiness and more. Time variable indeed exist in all the equations in this world. Don't ignore it, it does exist. Without time, we don't ever exist. :)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Long-Term or Short-Term Investment

The most important thing that you need ask yourself before you make any investments, is my investment for long term or short term? This is critical because the different categories call for different plans of action. Although the definition for long term and short term are subjective, when it comes to personal finance, you use the following rule of dumb:

  1. Investment less than 2 years is short term.
  2. Investment between 2 to 5 years is medium term
  3. Investment more than 5 years is long term

In my personal financial investment strategy, I only focus on 2 things – short term and long term. It is the same reason the way I buy unit trust. I don’t buy Balanced Funds because it is in the middle. To become financially independent or achieve financial freedom, investment is a MUST. Mixing your the short-term and long-term investments reduce your risk. Remember one last key thing, what is appropriate for long-term investment is often the wrong strategy in the short-term and vice-versa. Don’t apply the same technique in both investments. and it won't work.

Wealth and Talent

The Chinese character for wealth, the accumulation of money and other asserts is compared of 2 symbols

  1. One is a seashell, the medium of exchange in very ancient times
  2. The symbol for the unique ability or talent that each of us possesses. The literal meaning of the symbol is “brilliance”.

The path to wealth is not to chase money for its own sake, but to understand and develop your own intrinsic talents and inclinations. You must seek a livelihood that allows you to do what you were intended to do and brings you joy. If you do, the money will take care of itself. Too often we select a job because it pays well or offers security. But no matter how well a job pays initially or how secure it makes you feel, it will turn out to be a dead and unless it is in line with your own particular talents. It will eventually rob you of your enthusiasm and creative brilliance. At best, you will become mediocre, and your rewards will likewise be mediocre.

Because each of us possesses a spark of individual brilliance, every one us is capable of accomplishing something in our own unique way that cannot be accomplished by anyone else. Striving to discover our niche in this vast human market is part of our conquest of lie.

In most cases, life does not play hide-and-seek rather we are blind. Our unique abilities often display themselves in many situations in the course of our life, because we are so focused on making a living, we do not see anything else. In this case, for our own good, sometimes life will pull the rug form under us, so we are compelled to look around and discover new possibilities.

Source:Thick Face, Black Heart

Bull's Eye Investing by John Mauldin

This book is about targeting investments to take the future, and not the past, into account. Most investors know this but Mauldin presents this case with a superb detailed analysis of the US market’s history and global economic dynamics. The content is slightly technical, so readers new to the subject t may be bewildered at the theories favor great detail. This book is also long (over 400 pages), so it suits those who favor great detail. However, Mauldin’s educational, factual and sometimes witty style makes the reading a litter easier.

Mauldin touches on this area of expertise, hedge funds, at the end of this book. As investing in hedge funds is only available to “accredited investors”, it serves a “nice to know” info for the rest of us.

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