Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Aunty Shark's Stock picks

My mood has improved tremendously this minute as I watched the shares climb again all over the world except Malaysia. Strange huh? (wink wink). I had better post this blog fast as things seems to change everyday. So the Bull may not last.

I am giving you these tips NOT that I own a single share in this world but there will always be those of us who are higher risks takers than the rest, and who have more money than they know what to do with.

My dear departed dad used to tell me; it is easiest to become a Millionaire when times are bad, not when times are good.

So I just pass all these critical info onto you guys, k?

And don't go asking about my stock market experience.
Both times I bought stocks, ie 2 stocks only, I have lost money.

So who better to pass you tips than me?

But rest assured my tips came down from Gurus on high to me.

So no problem. I tell them to You!

My gurus tell me
1. Buy into DAX (German stocks) when the index gets down to 2,500. This should take no longer than a year

2. Buy into Companies manufacturing household items like Unilever, Henkel (of Germany) or now ICI/Akzo

3. Do not buy any big ticket items for 1 to 2 years. Prices will drop

BTW my dad also used to say that by the time my mother's hairdresser is giving her stock picks, is the day we should run for the mountains.
& Nah. My dad didn't play the markets
& Nah. We didn't make a million either

Monday, 27 October 2008

I am a Victoria Secret Model

I will come to the bit when I became a Victoria Secret Model. But first.

I love, adore, admire, & respect whoever it is who's Malaysia's Financial & Economic Guru

Despite the HUGE worldwide financial crisis that's a ranging fire sweeping across all of the Americas, Europe & Asia (Central, Middle, South East, Far East etc) - Malaysia has escaped with nary a scratch

Whoever it is who's turning water into wine, I am so gonna nominate you for the Keynesian Economic Prize & a sainthood to the Vatican.
Even if you are not a Catholic.
Or an Economist.
Or know how to use a calculator.
YOU are GOD(like) to me.

Because folks. What we are seeing right here, right NOW is a MAJOR miracle man!

Erm...mm..so exactly what is it that Malaysia's doing that's so right & which 99% of the world's not?

Ye..eeap. Duh

We do Duh well. Which is why we are not in any shithole.

So Duh. Hakuna Matata to you please.

OK. While we're on a roll, I bring you back to the topic of this posting.

I am the reigning Hawaiian Tropics Queen
I am a Victoria Secret Model

And yeah. My husband's Orlando Bloom

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Ice Cream for Sunny

Today is my day to do dinner for the cancer kids in the poorest oncology ward. I have been away so this is the 1st visit after 3 weeks.
A lot seems to have changed in 3 weeks.

All 11 beds are full - kids & accompanying parents. So far these are the poorest group we've seen in the nearly 6mths of our self-created project.
They are not poor in the Western or Asian way. They are poor as in "the poor of Africa" way.

Wanna my dear Thai friend (Tuesday dinner lady) told me when this new batch came in, she had rushed home (a good 45 minutes away) & collected a batch of old clothes from everyone to distribute. 1 of the fathers was wearing 2 torn ladies blouses; one on top of the other.
90% of these people took a 2 to 4 day trip with money they don't have, to get to a hospital which can't help with their really sick kids.

Another thing that's changed.
A 7 yr old boy - who was in great pain, and for whom I hunted down 1 of those elusive medical staff on a Friday at 3-30pm - when ALL the doctors have already buggered off at lunch time for their weekend (ok someone tell them they were supposed to finish at 5pm please?).

He's dead.

Today, the 9yr old boy who looks 4, with the almost totally atrophied legs? I call him Sunny because he is always so Sunny.

Sunny's far worst. I know his cancer's spreading fast. The cancer's so palpable you can reach out and touch it.

But Sunny's spirit is undauntable. He has the most beautiful smile..despite his very apparent failing health.

As I was leaving today he asked if he can go with me in my car.

It is heart breaking to see any child take a turn for the worst.

For volunteers, there is no closure when someone we "know" dies. One day they're there, 1 hour later, the bed's just empty.

I dread seeing empty beds. But this is a part of what we must contend with when we do this. We know that is part of living & dying.

In my mind (more to comfort myself than reality?), I see Angels swooping down to carry the souls of children, loving and peaceful to the arms of whoever is in charge in Heaven.

I sure hope the Boss up there will take real good care of these kids. He'd better or I won't talk to him anymore

And yeah. I will take Sunny for a spin. I just have to con someone to carry Sunny up & down 2 floors for me.

There are no lifts here. Sunny wouldn't be weighing much but he looks so fragile, I am afraid we'll break his bones easily.

And then we will go to the best joint in this place for an ice cream.

Fuck the Calories.

A Tale of 2 ???

As far as political news' concerned, I am just another Blur trying to sort through copious amounts of info before I can even arrive at any kind of blurred conclusion.

But the news of Chua Soi Lek being elected VP in MCA?

I ain't THAT pissed off with Chua - as a private citizen whether or not he has/had his affair lasting 12 or 55 years - is as he says - his private matter.

Exactement! Every person who is a private individual are entitled to their privacy.
Except for public figures.

Had Chua's sex tape not had surfaced, then it's like the rumor of JFK's affair with Marilyn Monroe.

No evidence? Then it's still an unconfirmed rumor - which is why JKF's rep as a president is still "intact"

And after all, like many (men) says "which cat has not stolen?" & what many (women) has said "Men are weak, so let's just forgive them"

Yeah right. Sorry folks. I don't accept Chua explaining away his poor moral judgement as that would be akin to saying
"We should expect No moral standards from a political leader"

Yes. Chua may have erred once & he may never err again. But then again, he may - once more & this time even bigger time. Then what?

It is just that political leaders should be very aware & understand their obligations to society

By being a leader they are by default also the Moral Compass for their Party, the people who voted them in, & the Country.

And Anwar?

He of the "We will take over" "we will not take over" et nauseum?

Truth be known. Anwar has not greatly disappointed me.

For a start, I have never made up my mind whether or not to trust him. Guess Not.

I try to give him the benefit of the doubt by reading what he has to say straight from his mouth & heart.

So I searched on his website on what really happened on this whole takeover fiasco.

But it would seem that Anwar doesn't think he needs to communicate about this matter.

Check out his official
which Anwar has listed on his own blogroll http://anwaribrahimblog.com/

The last posting on the offical website was September 16 (see "In the News)

Malu or not? Or am I wrong (again)? He did say something from his heart but I missed it?

Someone point it out to me please?

Friday, 24 October 2008

Death by credit card?

I am still watching the news avidly to see when they will announce the next financial tsunami ie that of credit card debts.

When I was a tad younger, credit card debts were MY big ticket item since I didn't own a house & didn't even have a car. I think these days, people have worst problems since they normally have a mortgage, car payment & credit card debts.

I can only give the same tips I used for myself when I started getting into credit card debts.

1. Keep only 1 card & even then, put it away from your wallet. That will be for real emergencies.

2. Cut your other cards into 2 & Cancel the subscriptions

3. Use cash to buy everything. If you don't have cash with you, this means you have no money left to buy anything.

Don't say you don't want to have to carry all that cash around with you. Trust me. If you need more than RM100/day, you are already in deep doodoo.

4. Talk to family & friends to help you with a loan to pay off all your credit card debt.

Better losing your pride now than having to service your credit card debt at 17%/annum (or whatever it is now)

Cash has always been King. Not just precredit card days. ALWAYS. So if you ain't got it, you ain't gonna spend it.

I learnt it a long time back as my 1st real lesson in financial management. Best darn lesson I ever learnt.

Good luck to you & pardon me while I keep my cards away now!

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Trying Times

Reading the following, you will know Aunty didn't need to empty out the goldfish to use his bowl to forecast the following socio-economic "trends"

1. More "cocooning" (American speak for staying at home).

This will increase time families spend together creating more opportunities for mummy to clean up, daddy not to help, kids squabling, grannies interfering, sofas replacing etc

So who's saying now that more time is better than quality time?

2. Less Shopping, more Exercising
Forecasting this does not make me happy :( but I am gonna say it.

There will be (FOR SURE) a huge drop in consumer spending, even window shopping(GASP!)

However for those better heeled, there may be perhaps an increase in gym & club participation (finally justifying those darn expensive membership fees).

For those unable to afford gym/club fees? There will be an increase in people gardening & walking around their neighbourhood - which should help bring down the rate of break-ins (she hopes!)

3. Iffy trend: Better air quality as less traffic jams, with more car pooling &/or using public transport?

With more unemployment, I guess we will have more time to wait for those damn unreliable buses but seeing as we are all still spoiled with our cars, & Msia being so darn hot & humid, I ain't sure this trend will take off

4. Rise in crime rates or more likely small time thieves ie snatch thefts, break-ins, shop lifting.

Bring out a walking stick or umbrella because I haven't heard of a single case where snatch thieves will target you if you are gonna hit 'em on the head

Better still, leash the formidable MIL (mother-in-law) to the fence. That's always a great deterent!

5. Even greater intolerance with the government for not being pro-active, protecting our assets & jobs, wasting resources (= to corruption??), & not getting foreign investment.

Worst STILL it is using everything in its power to give you some bullshit good news ("oh lookie here. You too can grow your own vegies") on their bullshit controlled media ....

While at the same time not allowing us to speak up for what's really in our hearts & minds.

I can tell you this though.

If I ever see a politician or government "servant" whooping it up with some supersized MacMansion in a supersized car with a supersized wallet - I am SO gonna whop them.

In fact at the airport if I see anyone abusing their power to get excess luggage, get upgraded for free or using taxpayers' money to lug away their 32 pieces of luggage, you are so gonna see me WHOP 'em big time.

But what am I saying?

I am not even in the same 1st/Business class counters nor even in the same terminal (think Air Asia or PuduRaya Bus Station from now on!)

SIGH. Times are sure gonna get me TRYING!

Friday, 10 October 2008

Don´t Say I didn´t warn you!

Here we are. In the eye of the fking storm. Nah. We ain´t in Iraq or Iran.

No bombs falling on our heads or around us. Just the modern type of bombs.

Shit from the Financial Markets.
Shit from Greedy Bankers & Stupid Greedy Investors

We are now in a city with 113 financial international institutions. Or so the guidebook tells us. Germany.

Everything´s freefalling. I am GLUED to the TV more than I should be on a holiday. Its a walk on the wild side, & we are taken on the ride although we have not 1 cent invested in the markets & neither did we ask to be taken for this ride.

People. We are fucked. ALL of us. You in Msia, Australia, Japan - even Turkistan!!

I know you are just like us. What do we do with the 2 pennies we´ve managed to save for our old age during our entire lives of working like dogs.

Think it´s safe in a bank? Nothing´s safe anymore.

Yesterday I made a frantic call to our not-for-profit "financial guru" Toni. I actually tried reaching him on this Black Monday but true to my blur-self, I removed a number from his contact. Couldn´t get him so I went shopping for 3 days until my Lord & Master showed up.

I love Toni. He knows everything. He said exactly 2 yrs ago this shit was gonna happen. "Put ze moneeee in Jermann GOVERNMENT bonds" he said. Damn him!

He also said we should see 2 to 4 yrs of DEPRESSION world wide & when the DAX hits 2500 (it is at 4400 up to this minute NOW), then pick some good stocks & buy! Ja. As if I knew where & when. I will be a fat cat if I knew it.

Maybe I shall stay out of Europe. I was also here on Sept 11 2001. I am beginning to think it´s my presence bringing in all these catastrophe into Europe!! Maybe they can just pay me to stay away!! Sheeth sheeth and sheeth!!

So Take yr MONEY out & time to slash that mattress up to sock away yr savings! Don´t say I didn´t Warn you. I mean it with ALL my heart!

Sunday, 5 October 2008

I forgot to justify...

Solly all hoh? I forgot to justify for my hols & my life of "luxury"..so..I explain

Now. Some got say I am 1 of those Chinese people living in luxury obstensibly on the backs of my fellow poor countrymen..or at least THANKS to my country who gave me citizenship despite being a Pendatang (or is it Binatang? I dunno awreddy. All same same to me)

Like most of you out there :
My father didn't give me, my mother didn't give me, my country gave me far less & worst of a deal

Short V of the long story is no "place" in uni for me locally, I had no finance anyways to study here or abroad.

But I worked & saved & went abroad (US1000 to pay for 3 years education? hahaha) earning my way through univ, came home, worked shortly, married foreigner who's not allowed to work although highly qualified (him) as there is only spouse dependency visa

We had to leave to wherever that would take us (including Singapore who eventually even offered my foreign spouse citizenship!!).

Ofcourse in between we studied somemore while working, worked like fiends, & saved prudently.

Which is how I got my money to live in "luxury"

So where is it exactly in my life that makes some ppl say I have lived off the backs of some other poor people?

My story is almost the same story I know from all my friends. We made it on our own.

Every cent we have today, we earned it, & even earned it in other countries to bring it back here

So ain't nobody gonna say to your or my face
"You chinese ppl exploited Malay ppl to be rich" Or "Chinese companies only hire chinese ppl which is how you got rich"

WTF was that illogical statement from seemingly intelligent ppl assuming we are all some kinda f**king Ananda Krishna or Lim Goh Tong just because they happen to be of the same race?

If 1 lousy chinese / indian / malay / whatever race conned you, was rude to you, exploited you or got the better of you does that mean you should tar us all with the same brush?

Hrmmmpph! GOT THAT OFFA MY (small) CHEST!

Should Bloggers be believed?

My posting is inspired by Rocky's post "Hail the King" Oct 4

Part of Rocky's post was about the credibility of what's being blogged, and whether or not bloggers who have been paid have less credibility etc.

In my opinion, the issue of credibility affects not only bloggers but
- all that's being broadcast
- all that's being published
- all that's being promised in elections

- all that's being said in religious places etc

The question of credibility lies NOT just with the blog/media/medium but with the Reader, the watcher, the listener.

I would like to think most of us have a healthy dose of common sense so as not to swallow a story - hook, line & sinker

And ofcourse then again, you ask me surely this depends on who the blogger/ media /personality is, right?

Well. How many influential bloggers are out there - who are so powerful that you would simply believe everything they write?

Much as some would like to flatter RPK & paint him as that MASTER BLOGGERGOD - which is why they believe he is such a threat, I betcha there are MANY who does NOT agree with him all the time.

In fact I know MANY who disagree strongly with what he writes, but yet they support him GASP!! ain't it?

Then there is the HUGE issue of whether bloggers should have less credibility because they have hidden agendas & motivation

Let's face it. All Bloggers are motivated by something - which is why we blog - Duh!

Whether it be Ego, Power, Money or simply a wish to express ourselves, we are motivated by something.

So it follows that therefore ALL of us have an "Agenda". But then, so what?

Are bloggers less credible if they have an agenda?
Are bloggers less credible if they are being paid?

Hey! Journos are being paid. Larry King's being paid. Oprah's being paid. Does this mean they have no objectivity if they are being paid?

And yes Oprah's endorsing Obama but I hardly think Obama's paying her for that. Does that mean she's more or less credible now?

So - in my books - so long as one is still allowed to be objective - I strongly feel that even paid bloggers (should they be so lucky) can be as credible as the poor unpaid blogger.

Caveat Emptor - even for blogs with no visible ads

If you smell a rat, think you see a rat, it is probably a Rat

Again there is no reason to believe something MORE just cause you see no ads because hey Bro! Ain't nobody's gonna tell you they are being paid by someone to write propaganda, are they?

Yeah. We ain't just some stupid syncophants.

So the right to read, to believe or not, to discern or not - is still the perogative of the reader

Having said all that mouthful of bs, I would say ultimately I believe in
The Right to Write
The Right to Blog

Whether or not someone is socially or morally responsible is not my pasal. They have to answer to their God, their Government & their conscience. Not to me.

Even if I totally disagree with views of rabid extreme Right Umno-nites, I would still fight claws&all for their Right to Express themselves

And yeah. Anybody stupid enough to want to sponsor me, say something. I CAN BE BOUGHT! ye..eaah!

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Holidaying like there's no tomorrow

"I'm so excited. And I just can't hide it...I want I want I want to..."

YEAH! Ye olde man & I planned for our holidays before all the damn bad economic news. Now we label our holidays "Last Ditch at the OK Corral".

Even though for the past 2 years, we have been told by some very smart investor friends that IT was coming, we never prepared for it. Like 99% of you out there, we were like kancils caught in the headlights with a rifle pointed at our rumps.

We know now that IT has just begun to rear its ugly head. What we don't know is for how long and how bad.

So for once, BOTH of us from the great divide agreed on something.
We are in for a rough time ahead.
We are likely to be f**ked - but just don't know how soon, how fast, how hard.
So, let's go for this blow-out holiday & pretend the world's still right

Which is why I am flying business for the 2rd time in 18 years. The price just about hit my threshold of pain, so I went for it. If it had cost even a euro more, I woulda ditched that idea.

Now I am so excited about this flight that I have spend 2 days trying to pick out the right gear to wear that does not say "I don't normally fly biz class" when I realized something about myself that hit home.

The accessories often says it all. All I have with me here are my (good) imitation Prada bag, my sensible overcoat, & my "Channel" watch. The crew from Air France can tell a fake when they see one. So I ain't even gonna try to look cool. The tracksuit it will be.

Now you would think - since there is an economic crisis, it stands to reason there will be great bargains for hotels, right?

Uhh...NO. I ended up researching & shopping on the net for 3 weeks & finally settled for what we wanted to pay. Not 3 star rates for 5 stars hotel but 3 stars rates for 3-star hotels.

But the worst was when I tried to book in Paris for something decent nearest the airport for my transit day, including checking out a hotel with 300 rooms which was sold out @ no less than >330 euro a night!

Blow me over! Maybe the recession ain't there? Or maybe it ain't hit people visiting Paris? Or maybe the Msian contingent with our Education Minister are staying there?

Don't even ask me about shopping. Like a typical woman, I really WANT everything but need nothing. It is Autumn in Europe but that never deters a good woman. It does't matter 1 iota that one usually lives in a hot country. It only ever matters if you look great in the clothes.

BUT seeing as it is the world economic crisis adnauseum, THIS time I will be smart.

I will try my heretofore untested* strategy to stay on the straight & narrow. I will distract myself by:
- hitting museums, parks & galeries &
- spending more time enjoying a nice meal

*not because I have not thought of this before, but because in >20 years of travelling, I haven't had the time away from shopping to THINK of testing it

Maybe this time with the worsening world economy, I will really be able to test my strategy? WISH ME LUCK!

NOW. Where are my knee high leather boots & my thick woolen socks?

Friday, 3 October 2008

Not just in America but here..

Helena emailed this story to me

In Larry King's interview with Jon Stewart, Larry brought up the subject ofthe primaries and asked Stewart if...America was ready for a woman or a black president.

Jon looked at him quizzically and said, "This is such a non-question. Did anyone ask us in 2000 if Americans were ready for a moron?"

Double Ditto here ... or is it 35 dittos (or however many ministers there are)?

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Passing of Lee Kuan Yew's thorn: JB Jeyaretnam

I HAD to post this.

Conscience dictates that I must honor this humble, intriguing, BRAVE man who stood like a Giant Cactus in a pristine, over-pruned artificial garden of roses.

I don't know Mr Jeyaretnam but I have often seen him when he was trying to sell his book in Singapore at Orchard Road.

On a few ocassions, I have slipped him a little something to help out & he has tried to push back his book to me. I was sure as hell secret police were present & monitoring him & all who approached him but I couldn't help it. I reasoned that if "they" can let him stand there, they will let me support him a little.

I know many ADMIRED (not pitied..but ADMIRED) this man with the dogged tenacity. He stood up (& out) for his views against the ruling party.

I can still see him - standing unbowed in the heat (& even rain) to sell his books. (Maybe so he can have money for legal defence or to live on?)

Many who were (rightfully so) afraid of trouble went out of their way to avoid his "personal space" as he stood there. The only clearing on a crowded lunchhour in Orchard Rd was wherever Mr Jeyaretnam was standing.

I also know some considered him gila / siau / stupid / fanatical / idiotic to go against the system like that. But I gotta tell you, I really REALLY liked the man. He is my idea of a REAL man

After they have demolished this man financially, now the Sing Government has given him a glowing condolence - "honoring his fighting spirit".

WTF ain't it?

Mr. J. I will miss your Undauntable Spirit!

ye..eahh..BITE ME !!