Saturday, June 30, 2012

My First Feng Shui Criteria Before Invest in Property

In my previous post, I mentioned that there are 4 different types of Feng Shui believer and I'm basically the "Type 3" of Feng Shui believer who makes a lot of common sense out of Feng Shui. However, regardless of you believe in Feng Shui or not, the property price will still be affected by Feng Shui. So, you still cannot completely ignore Feng Shui.

What I would like to share with you is  my first and most common Feng Shui or environmental factor that I look at before I invest in a property. Assuming I want to buy a residential property in a township, the first thing that I look at is how many different routes can enter to the township. It must have at least 2 different routes enter into your property area and the more the better. Let's see the following maps to illustrate this:

Example A: 1 route to the township

It is not good because there is only 1 way or 1 route to the township. Assuming if any thing happen that blocks the route, you have no way to go out or you have no way to go in. You basically stuck there!

Example B: 2 routes to the township

This is better than example A because there are 2 different routes to township and it is preferable at different entrance as shown. If it is a small area, one entrance is fine too. Of course, if there are more different routes and different entrances to the township, it will be better.

I'm not sure if that makes sense to you but this is the first thing how I evaluate a property before I decide to buy a property. I will usually try to avoid a property area with only one route and one entrance, and if property that has more than 2 routes entrance, I will usually give it higher weightage in my decision making.

Let me know what you think, what is your first "Feng Shui" or environmental criteria before you decide whether you want to invest in a property? What is the first thing that you look at?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Try to Avoid Using "According To"

I attended a seminar last week and the speaker basically over used the words "According To". I think this is very bad, but of course he will disagree. The fundamental problem is you lose the accountability if you use too many other people statement to make it a point. It ends up your audience will think like this - since there are so many "according to", why do I still want to listen to you? I may as well listen to the person that you rely on.

You can use according to, but try to give your comment or argument towards the statement that made by another person whether you disagree or agree and also tells the reasons why. Please don't ever use that to support your idea. The even better what you can do is re-paraphrase without using the  words "according to" because somehow I just feel that the words "according to" try to push away the responsibility to someone else. Don't you think so? For example, you can said something like this: Person X says this too and I totally agree with that because [reason1], [reason 2] and [reason x] rather that using the words "according to".

Even from your day-to-day work, whenever you give a talk, speak to your clients or even talk to your boss, you should always try to avoid using "According To". This is basically to make sure all the words that come from your mouth, you're responsible for that and have 100% confident on it. Then, people will only trust you and believe in you.

So, what do you think? How often do you use the words "according to"? In fact, it is very "nice words" to use especially if you want to push away responsibility and you do not want to own your words, isn't it?

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Is Suicide Covered by Life Insurance?

I had a discussion this week after a tired badminton session with few friends of mine and surprisingly they do not aware that suicide is insured as well by insurance. So, I just share it here with you guys.

As far as I know, suicide is covered by your life insurance. However it is only valid after 1 year you buy your insurance. This basically means that if you suicide within a year, you're not insured! lol :) Having said so, some insurance policies may vary (e.g. 2 years), so you need to check with your insurance agent or read the policy carefully.

Why it is not covered within a year? 

I guess you already know the answer. This is to avoid people misused the original intention of insurance.Why 1 year? I guess that is due to statistical reason which usually people won't plan their suicide more than a year. So now you know the loophole. If you want to get the money, plan your suicide 1 year in advance. If many people are doing what you're doing, then guess what? The insurance company will then increases suicide clause from 1 year to 2 years. It is all about statistic for a insurance company so technically they will never lost! :)

Any other exception?

The only one thing is not covered by life insurance is death due to natural disaster (e.g earthquake) unless you buy specific insurance which is meant for natural disasters. 

I also brought a very interesting hypothetical example during the discussion: while you suicide during the earthquake, are you being covered? I do not really sure but common sense tell me the answer is Yes and No. Yes, if the earthquake do not cause a lot of death and No, if the earthquake is the serious one.  I imagine that if the earthquake causes a lot of death, can we still able to tell whether your death is caused by suicide? Unlikely right?

P/S: I hope you do not really want to plan for your suicide in 1-year advance. :)

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Using Return on Equity (ROE) to Analyze Stock

Using Return on Equity (i.e. ROE) is one of the stock fundamental analysis. It basically tells how good a company manage its assets (i.e. share holder capital) to generate profits. A strong fundamental company should have at least 10% on ROE per annual. Of course, the higher the better.

ROE = Net Profits per Annual / Total Shareholder's Fund

  1. Net profits can get get from the annual report or quarterly report. For quarterly report analysis, you need to get the previous 3 quarter report.  It should all based on annual if you talk about return.
  2. The total shareholder's fund is based on the average highest and lowest price of the stock during the period (e.g. annual) and multiple by the number of shares.
  3. Just get some online free statistic if you don't want to calculate your own. There are some free statistics of financial ratio that you can get online for a particular stock.

Of course the rule of financial ratio analysis is still the same which you should compare the same industry. So the 10% is just a rule of thumb. If you look at the technology companies such Apple, Google, Intel and Microsoft. They have pretty high ROE and usually is higher than 10%.

Stock 1 Year (Median) 5 Years (Median) 10 years (Median)
Intel 25.4% 16.2% 16.8%
Google 18.8% 20.0% N/A
Apple 40.0% 30.0% 22.5%
Microsoft 43.8% 44.0% 34.0%


Generally if the ROE is < 5% for a period of at least 5 years, we should be careful on that stock.

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