Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Don't shy away from your feelings - Ed Seykota

which is someone will shut down or pout, or walk away… the most proactive thing in most situations is tell the other people in the situation how you feel, and that seems to be hard for people to do, that unwinds most of the problems someone has, tell the person how you feel and ask them how they’re feeling and get that information to flow with rapport and without judgment. That solves 90% of everything.”
“Most people can’t do it, they say ‘well it won’t work in this case, ’cause I just can’t talk to that person’ but that’s the solution to most problems and most medication. It has to do with shutting down the ability to tell what you’re feeling, and when you stop telling yourself how you feel and you start to medicate…
“We find most people will shut down because they had some pattern or person in their life that they saw shut down, or be abusive. If you have an abusive father and a mother that puts up with it and she says look this is the way to get along in this family you just shut up let him beat you for a while and he’ll go away, the pattern gets expressed that way. After a while anytime something gets tough that person is just gonna shut down and go to sleep.

Iceland football team - doing what you can the best you can

When you have no confidence, focus on doing the best thing you can the best that you can and take pride from that to build your confidence.
"We can be that even if we don't have the best individuals," Lagerbäck said. Organization—acting as a structured, cohesive unit on the field—is something they work on constantly. By focusing on being the best-organized team in the world, the players were absolved of the inferiority complex that hamstrung Iceland in Bjarki's day.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

What is La Nina and what does it affect

El Nino -- spurred on by a warming of the equatorial Pacific -- has dried up rice crops across Southeast Asia, cocoa fields in Ghana, coffee in Indonesia and sugar cane in Thailand since last year. It contributed to the Western Hemisphere’s strongest hurricane on record and the planet’s warmest year since at least the 1880s.

Now the ocean’s surface is starting to cool, which may signal the start of a La Nina. Scientists say this pattern typically contributes to more hurricanes in the Atlantic, drought in Brazil and heavy rain in Indonesia and India. While it might give a boost to U.S. natural gas, it could hurt Australian coal operations and palm-oil output in Malaysia. For some areas, it may be worse than a typical El Nino.

The cycles occur every two or three years on average and help regulate the temperature of the Earth as the equatorial Pacific absorbs the heat of the sun during the El Nino and then releases it into the atmosphere. That can create a La Nina: a “recharge state” when “the whole Earth is cooler than it was before this started,” Trenberth said. 

United States

While El Nino can produce a milder winter across the northern U.S., La Nina often brings chills to the Pacific Northwest, northern Great Plains and parts of the Midwest. For places like Iowa, a major source of corn and soybeans, timing is key, said Harry Hillaker, the state’s climatologist. If a La Nina occurs early in summer, there’s a chance for hot and dry weather, which can hurt the plants as they are pollinating.
Natural-gas producers in the U.S. “would really like La Nina,” said Teri Viswanath, managing director for the commodity at PIRA Energy Group in New York. They hope it will produce warmer temperatures in summer and the possibility for cooler temperatures in winter. “A cool winter, wow, that would be really helpful.”

U.K. and Europe

For Europe, the energy prospects are more muddled. From November to December, the phenomenon could mean colder temperatures and thus higher fuel demand.
“It’s also the case that we get the unfortunate relationship of lower wind speeds during that period, so that could mean we get lower wind power,” said Hazel Thornton, manager of the U.K. Met Office’s climate-change adaptation team. After the New Year, the pattern in Europe would typically flip, with temperatures becoming milder and wind increasing.


For Brazil, La Nina is more dangerous than El Nino because it hits crop production “hard,” said Eduardo Assad, a climate researcher at Brazil’s state-run agricultural research company, Embrapa. That’s because it can bring drier conditions, which also could damage the water supply, worsening Sao Paulo’s water crisis, he said.
Brazil tops the world for soybeans and oranges, and Sao Paulo is one of the cities hosting football matches for this year’s Olympic Games.


For India, La Nina “means good rains,” said Atul Chaturvedi, chief executive officer of Adani Wilmar Ltd., a refiner and retailer of cooking oils. “India has been reeling with poor rains for almost two years now, so La Nina for all practical purposes should be a boon.”
It might come too late to enhance this year’s monsoon, however, said Dave Streit, chief operating officer for the Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland.


It also may come too late to help this year’s palm-oil crop in Malaysia, with futures there rising in February to the highest in eight years.
“There is no way the emergence of La Nina, or just normal weather, will undo the damage done by El Nino,” said Ling Ah Hong, director of Malaysian plantation consultant Ganling Sdn in Kuala Lumpur. “This is something a lot of people misunderstand.”
An extreme La Nina could cause yields to fall. Flooding hurts the ability to harvest and reduces the quality of fruit, said Roy Lim, group plantations director at Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd., Malaysia’s third-largest producer.


For Australia, the “main negative impact” from La Nina is heavy rainfall and “a disproportionate number of major flood events,” said Blair Trewin, a climatologist with the national Bureau of Meteorology.
In 2010-2011, the pattern triggered so much rain that 85 percent of the continent’s coal production was hit by flooding. Spot prices of metallurgical coal jumped to $383 by the start of 2011 from $212 per metric ton in the third quarter of 2010, Mark Levin of BB&T Capital Markets said in a May 10 note to clients.
La Nina returned in 2011-2012, helping to boost wheat production to a record 29.9 million metric tons. It also caused vegetation to flourish in the usually arid interior -- which fueled widespread grass fires when the rains stopped.
While the world waits to see if a La Nina will develop, there’s always a chance it could fizzle. Forecasters were certain an El Nino would form in 2014, only to see it fall apart. The prediction models are better around June and July than they are now, according to Michelle L’Heureux, a forecaster for the Climate Prediction Center.

La Nina typically lasts longer than El Ninos

When La Niña arrives, the U.S. Southwest, central and southern Rockies, the Great Plains and Florida usually have drier weather. Winters under La Niña are likely to be colder in the Northwest, northern California, northern Intermountain West and north-central states. However, although experts have noticed those trends, they have trouble predicting exactly how any one El Niño or La Niña will play out.   
"[As] still-parched Californians found out this year, each event is different, and not all of them affect the weather as we would expect," writes Mersereau.  
Experts get some idea about how the pattern affects global weather and for how long by looking at past events. Becker writes that there are 14 La Niñas on record:Of those 14 La Niñas, nine immediately followed El Niño years. Two occurred two years after an El Niño, with a neutral year intervening. Two were the second year of a “double dip” La Niña, where sea surface temperatures briefly returned to neutral during the summer before heading back into La Niña territory (1974/75 and 2011/12). The remaining one starts the records off in 1950.La Niñas also tend to last longer than El Niños. After the unusually strong 1997/98 El Niño, La Niña lasted for 33 months, spanning three winters.

Accuweather predicts weak La Nina

However, the expected weak strength of La Niña will allow some moisture to sneak into the region at times.
For flood-ravaged areas like Missouri and eastern Texas, the mainly dry weather will prove beneficial.
Dry weather will exacerbate drought conditions across the Southwest. Central and Southern California could face the harshest conditions, including below-normal snowpack in the southern Sierra Nevada.
The northwestern U.S. will experience the brunt of La Niña's impacts, leading to stormy conditions throughout the winter. However, the warm blob will limit the cold a typical La Niña would bring to the area.
Alaska could face another warmer-than-normal winter on the heels of a record-breaking season last year.

Bangkok prepares for La Nina

After suffering one year of severe drought from El Nino, Thailand is now bracing itself for La Nina, another weather phenomenon that is expected to bring excessive rainfall. The agricultural and industrial... 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Changing purpose of Malls: from Retail to Purpose driven

This is my comment on

nice one.
the key difference is location and transportation.
catchment areas for malls in singapore and public transportation is very different from other countries and big countries.
hence they can serve multipurpose. i agree with your post.
btw kyith, this is what I meant by "I think there is a case for a entry in REITs when you notice a changing mix in malls."

Indonesians malls have similar catchment areas but damn the public transport and their shopping schedules.
US malls have problematic catchment areas and transport too.
interestingly, amongst the places I visit, I found conditions in Hong Kong and Guangzhou more similar to Singapore.

key points.

  • Tech SavvyMalls will need to remodel to focus more on food-and-beverage outlets, entertainment, services and banking, and less on fashion and consumer products.
    It has already been the case. Only realizing it now? “Late” is an understatement.
  • Closing StoresMarks & Spencer, Zara, New Look, Celio etc.
    Brands like Uniqlo and H&M are doing quite the opposite. Once again, it is a matter of where?
Threat Of Shopping Online
The impact of online shopping cannot be neglected, and the direct impact falls on retailers whose products and services can be easily replicated online. It is not difficult to notice that changing tenant mix of malls in recent years.
Based on my memories, the most adversely impact retailers include those dealing with music and video (remember CD shops? Poh Kim DVD?). The deadly combination of online shopping and high-speed internet literally killed them off. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Rent in United States: it's too damn high!

In Brooklyn New York, rent costs 49.9% of your typical household income. 
In Singapore, buying a home (as long as you don't overbuy) costs less than a couple's combined CPF-OA account.

Mismatch in ideology between talent and company, has such marriages of convenience ever worked: Yahoo

Debatable whether the individual companies would have succeeded if not acquired by Yahoo. 

That aside, is acquiring talent from unsuccessful companies to work on an unsuccessful strategy, where both sides may not be in sync, a viable business plan?

has it ever worked before?

According to Yahoo, many of the 53 companies were talent and technology acquisitions, so it should come as no surprise that most promptly shut down post-acquisition. It’s difficult to estimate to what degree each company’s technology was incorporated into Yahoo or its products (if at all), but we’ve made note of it where we found evidence. 
As far as the talent acquisition was concerned, Yahoo took what an insider close to the process called a “prescriptive” approach. “The whole point was, ‘Hey, your company isn’t working, therefore we’re bringing you on for the talent. We’re not interested in the product and service you have in market,” the insider told Gizmodo. 
These deals were done to bring people into areas that badly needed growth—particularly mobile, which Mayer has said had roughly 50 employees working on it when she joined. The tech acquisitions, on the other hand, were made largely to improve the company’s offerings and consumer products.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Underwater World closes with 1991 prices: hawker prices lagging

It will also be lowering ticket prices for all to its 1991 opening price from Tuesday (June 7). Its current ticket prices are $29.90 for adults and $20.90 for children.
When Underwater World opened in May 1991, it was the largest tropical fish oceanarium in Asia. Built at a cost of over $20 million, it was a big draw for tourists and the opening bumped up visitor figures for Sentosa.
Inflation bumped the tickets from S$9 to S$29.90 over the course of 25 years.

Yet, at a lot of hawker stalls, prices didn't go up too much. Stiff competition amongst the hawkers, wide variety of choices and the sacrifice of salary increases for hawkers have helped our generation of Singaporeans to save a lot of time on food preparations and a lot of money on food costs.

Will it last though?

Thursday, June 2, 2016

A grey swan event coming to an end? and the shorting of credit - Bill Gross

We have had 40 years of a good run, 
bonds and real estate included!

He then goes on to explain why the "carry" trade will no longer provide the kind of returns investors are used to.
  • Duration is unquestionably at risk in negative yielding markets. A minus 25 basis point yield on a 5-year German Bund produces nothing but losses five years from now. A 45 basis point yield on a 30-year JGB offers a current “carry” of only 40 basis points per year for a near 30-year durational risk. That’s a Sharpe ratio of .015 at best, and if interest rates move up by just 2 basis points, an investor loses her entire annual income. Even 10-year U.S. Treasuries with a 125 basis point “carry” relative to current money market rates represent similar durational headwinds. Maturity extension in order to capture “carry” is hardly worth the risk.
  • Similarly, credit risk or credit “carry” offers little reward relative to potential losses. Without getting too detailed, the advantage offered by holding a 5-year investment grade corporate bond over the next 12 months is a mere 25 basis points. The IG CDX credit curve offers a spread of 75 basis points for a 5-year commitment but its expected return over the next 12 months is only 25 basis points. An investor can only earn more if the forward credit curve – much like the yield curve – is not realized.
  • Volatility. Carry can be earned by selling volatility in many areas. Any investment longer or less creditworthy than a 90-day Treasury Bill sells volatility whether a portfolio manager realizes it or not. Much like the ”VIX", the Treasury “Move Index” is at a near historic low, meaning there is little to be gained by selling outright volatility or other  forms in duration and credit space.
  • Liquidity. Spreads for illiquid investments have tightened to historical lows. Liquidity can be measured in the Treasury market by spreads between “off the run” and “on the run” issues – a spread that is nearly nonexistent, meaning there is no “carry” associated with less liquid Treasury bonds. Similar evidence exists with corporate CDS compared to their less liquid cash counterparts. You can observe it as well in the “discounts” to NAV or Net Asset Value in closed-end funds. They are historically tight, indicating very little “carry” for assuming a relatively illiquid position.