26 December 2008

The Worst Predictions About 2008

Just read an article from BusinessWeek online.

The Worst Predictions About 2008, an article written by Peter Coy about 10 of the worst predictions that were made in 2008 and I thought a few of the predictions were pretty funny to share on:

4. "The market is in the process of correcting itself." —President George W. Bush, in a Mar. 14, 2008 speech

For the rest of the year, the market kept correcting…and correcting…and correcting.

5. "No! No! No! Bear Stearns is not in trouble." —Jim Cramer, CNBC commentator, Mar. 11, 2008

Five days later, JPMorgan Chase (JPM) took over Bear Stearns with government help, nearly wiping out shareholders.

9. "In today's regulatory environment, it's virtually impossible to violate rules." —Bernard Madoff, money manager, Oct. 20, 2007

About a year later, Madoff—who once headed the Nasdaq Stock Market—told investigators he had cost his investors $50 billion in an alleged Ponzi scheme.

Happy Holiday Seasons,


"When I Stop Learning, I Stop Living."

Click here for discounted Textbooks

Reflections - A new blog feel

It's been almost 2 years since I'd started blogging. With a good long break this period, I'd thought of doing reflections for all my actions in motion, including the sharing of my learnings on this blog. So I thought of adding some new features to give my blog more life. The new feel of my blog can be referenced @ www.leroyang.blogspot.com.

So What's New?

1. Followers of LA's Blog. I'd added a new feature for readers whom wish to follow up on what I am sharing. By subscribing to this feature, you will be able to follow my sharings automatically on your own blog dashboard.

2. 1-Year Charts of NYMEX Crude, Gold and Coal. With courtesy from EnergySTOX.Com, I'd added three yearly charts of Crude, Gold and Coal to my blog for easier reference.

3. Replacement of my Avatar. I thought it's time to reveal my real face to readers, thus I had my Avatar (which i like very much) replaced with a photo I'd taken in Dec 2007. Many of my friends and blog readers told me that I should not hide my handsome face behind a picture. I thought this sharing was funny so I'd posted my photo here to give ever reader a good laugh. :-P

4. About me. I'd updated my structured academic learnings. The latest being the completion of a Diploma in Financial Management, and two modules of the Certified Financial Planners (CFP) programme, all did on part-time basis. I have subscribed to the Module 4 (M4) of the CFP study programme which will commence in Jan 09.

5. New Blog List. I'd added a new feature to show blogs that I personnally am following. These blogs offers interesting views which I like to grab a glance on and I am recommending the blogs to my readers here. Other bloggers whom wish to exchange blog links may write to me for considerations too. :-)

6. Learning Resources. Some of the valuable online resources will be updated here for sharing.

Last but not least, what are some of the areas which you think I may improve on this blog to benefit readers better? Do share with me by leaving your comments.

Merry Christmas and cheers! :-D


"When I Stop Learning, I Stop Living."

21 December 2008

The Power to Dream

I came to know a new friend today during our group's periodical Cashflow game and I am glad that I know him. He'd shared with me one of his experiences and I responded to his sharing. I thought my email response may be a good sharing session with the rest of my blog readers.

His situation is about his family members and close friends "not so encouraging" reactions to his ambition. He continues to hold steadfast to his dreams. And that's encouragement to me! :-)

Below is my response to him:


Share with you a statement, made by a ex-US President, Mr Abraham Lincoln.

It was so powerful a statement that someone was willing to translate it into mandarin to share. I came to know about this inspiring statement when it was already in mandarin and I don't know the actual English version. So i will try to translate it into English as best as i can here to share:

"Mankind is Great because of our ability to Dream
All Great People were once a Dreamer."

As we grow older, our dreams tend to get smaller. Many people allows their dreams to be destroyed by a reality that is not real. We dream our dreams and these dreams are as real as what we see in it. That's the reality i see.

"Believe to See."

Those whom you'd shared your dreams with, may not be able to see what you see. Many are concern that you may be "destroyed" by your pursuit of dreams that may not be realised. This is out of their goodwill, but they may not be presenting their ideas in an encouraging way. We are Asians fundamentally, and encouragement is not our forte. (I am working very hard on this right now too)

"Without dreams, we are but living corpses."

So hold on to your dreams. Hawk over it. Guard it with your life. You are right to commit to your dreams, take actions to realize it! :-)

I am truly inspired by a gentleman, who is pursuing his dream at a young age that I dare not even try. His energy level to achieve success is fueling my drive. His name is Alex and you can read more about him from his blog @ http://thebillionairejournal.wordpress.com

Read more, Talk more, Learn more and act on plans to make your dreams come true. I am. ;-)

For sharing on my Concept to achieve my dreams @ http://leroyang.blogspot.com/search/label/PME2 

Cheers! :-)


Merry Christmas to All Readers,
With Lots of Love,


"When I Stop Learning, I Stop Living."

08 December 2008

Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

"An old man, a young man, and life's greatest lesson" - The sub-title of this book sum it all. As I read, I cannot help but find the book filled with love, compassion, wisdom, and serveral tints of enlightenment!

[Tuesdays with Morrie] is a great book to trigger our reflections this coming Christmas in 2008. Are we living a life that we want? Or are we living at all? When is the last time we'd contacted our teachers, or have a cup of coffee with them or a get-in-touch email?

A few life lessons, as mentioned by the dying Morrie, written in this book that touches me deeply:

1.  "So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they're busy doing things they think are important. This is because they're chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning."

2.  "To know you're going to die, and to be prepared for  at any time ... That way you can actually be more involved in your life while you are living."

3.  "Learn to detach. Don't cling to things, beacuse everything is impermanent ... Let the experience penetrate you fully. That's how you are able to leave it."

4.  "As long as we can love each other, and remember the feeling of love we had, we can die without ever really going away ... You live on - in the hearts of everyone you have touched and nurtured while you were here ... Death ends a life, not a relationship."

There is also a very beautiful analogy written in the book, which I'd like to quote here to share with those who are keen to know what this book can offer.


I heard a nice little story the other day ... the story is about a little wave, bobbing along in the ocean, having a grand old time. He's enjoying the wind and the fresh air - until he notices the other waves in front of him, crashing against the shore.

"My God, this is terrible," the wave says. "Look what's going to happen to me!"

Then came another wave. It sees the first wave, looking grim, and it says to him, "Why do you look so sad?"

The first wave says, "You don't understand! We're all going to crash! All of us waves are going to be nothing! Isn't it terrible?"

The second wave says, "No, you don't understand. You're not a wave, you're part of the ocean."


I will like to take this oppotunity to thank all my teachers, coaches and mentors, for sharing your life experiences and making who I am today. You are:

My Family
Alvin Kek
Alvin Yapp
Benson Soong
Desmond Fu
Eric Tan
Eugene Aw
Freddy Yip
Jason Low
Lawrence Lim
Lee Liang Huat
Lim Koon Pah
Melvyn Chia
Michael Yau
Patrick Sim
Soh Guan Khwee
Sng Siak Keng

Last but not least, Chang Phuan Sim for introducing this book to me.

If you names are not mentioned here, it does not mean you are forgotten. The life lessons that all my friends and associates had embraced me with, will be part of me forever, and the experience will evolve and promulgate down to the next receipents to benefit them. Keep sharing. :-)

Warmest regards,

Leroy Ang

"When I Stop Learning, I Stop Living."

11 October 2008

Have Faith, Stay Invested

Finally managed to allocate some time to blog again. :-)

It wasn't hard to miss, the tonnes of news about the current credit crisis that causes the market rout around the globe. The amount of fear present in the market is at its high. On a personal note, I thought it will be interesting to do a bit of research on where the current crisis stands, as compared to some selected earlier crisis of the century. Do we stay invested in the market or do we pull the plug and stay out of the market like the current herd?

I intend to use Dow Jones (DJI) and the Straits Times Index (STI) as the basis for this simple study. All graphs displayed here are extracted from
Yahoo Finance, a very useful platform for investors to do research with.

Overall View of Dow Jones

Overview, the stock prices experienced a lot of volatility on the short term. Over a long period of time, stock is always on a rising trend.

The Great Depression (Late 1920s to Early 1930s)

This is by far the most severe crisis of the century. Dow Jones crashed more than 90% over a period of 2.5 years. All seems lost when this crisis happened back then. Dow Jones managed to recover 60% of its earlier lost in 5 years and a full recovery in 20 years.

The Oil Crisis (1970s)

Inflation was extremely high and the fear that oil is running out caused the stock market to plunge 45% within 11 months. Dow Jones subsequently recovered from its low, back to its 1974 level within 9 months.

September 911 (2001)

The terrorists attack on 11 Sep 2001 caused stock market to plunge 25% within 2 weeks. Dow Jones subsequently recovered from its low within 3 months.

The Dot.Com Bust (2002)

The bursting of Dot.Com bubble in 2002 caused market to plunge 30% in 5 months. Dow Jones subsequently recovered from its low to where before the bubble burst within 15 months.

The Credit Crisis (2007 to now)

The current credit crisis caused massive market plunges by 40% and at in point of writing, we have not reach the bottom of the pit yet. Analysts are anticipating that the economy should pick up by early to mid-2009

Obtain more knowledge to ease your fear.Read more at eBooks.com - Download a book today
Download an eBook today

Turning our attention to the Singapore STI, I’d identified a few incidents to look into too. First, let us take a look at the generic trend of STI from 1987 until now.

Overall View of STI

Overview, the stock prices experienced a lot of volatility on the short term. Over a long period of time (20 years in this case), equity as an asset class is always on a rising trend.

Asian Financial Crisis (1997 – 1998)

STI plunged 60% over a period of 11 months. It subsequently recovered to pre-crisis level within 8 months.

The Dot.Com Bust, Coupled with SARS Epidemic (2002 - 2004)

The bursting of Dot.Com bubble in U.S. back in 2002, coupled subsequently with the SARS epidemic, caused market to plunge 30% in 11 months. STI subsequently recovered from its low to where before the bubble burst within 8 months.

The Credit Crisis (2007 to now)

The impact of the current credit crisis starts to manifest on STI in late 2007. STI slide from its high of 3,800 pts to the current 1,900 pts at the time of this writing. This amounts to 50% crash from its peak within a span of only 10 months! Ministry of Finance had announced that Singapore had slide into a technical recession on 10 Oct 08. The whole impact of this crisis has just started to hit Asia.


It is not possible to construct an investment portfolio and don’t expect that the ride will be smooth throughout the investment journey. But over long term, equities are still the way to grow our wealth as it can be observed that stock prices fluctuates over the short term and but indexes (DJI and STI in this context) rises in the long term. If we have the financial education to handle investment directly into companies’ shares, the returns may be even higher. Learn the rules of the money game well and be prepared to see and capitalize opportunities.

So have faith my friends. Stay invested. :-)


"When I Stop Learning, I Stop Living."

17 April 2008

PME2 - Start with the End-State in Mind

Back in Mar '08, I'd shared on my take of a concept to achieve financial freedom, termed as PME2. In my subsequent blogs, I'd attempt to share more in-depth of each component of the PME2 concept.

In this article, I'd attempt to share more about "End-State - Desired Financial Outcome".

End-State, or what is commonly known as Objectives, Goals... are statements that spell out the outcome of certain actions. According to TheFreeDictionary.Com, End-State can be defined as, "The set of required conditions that defines achievement of the commander's objectives."

Some prefer that the end-state be specific, measurable and time-based so as to effectively evaluate the performance of certain systems being implemented. Some use simple keywords as in 5Ws i.e. Who, What, Where, When and Why as a guide to draft the end-state statement.

A possible example of how an end-state statement, or desired financial outcome, may look like:

"I am to achieve financial freedom, with a monthly passive and/or portfolio income of $10,000, in Singapore term, by age 45 years old, as part of my Phase 1 Dreams Realisation Plan."

Who: "I". Usually this is self-implied, and can be ommited.

What: "to achieve financial freedom, with a monthly passive and/or portfolio income of $10,000"

Where: "Singapore". Can be self-implied too and be ommitted.

When: "by age 45 years old"

Why: "as part of my Phase 1 Dreams Realisation Plan"

One of my mentor used to tell me, "Start with the End-State in Mind". This concept is actually not new. Google the phrase and it is not difficult to find out alot about how many people or groups of people in the world are applying this concept.

An example of one such group called themselves (or rather they are being labelled as) the Effects Based Operations (EBO) practitioners. There was a paper titled, "
Making Information Operations Effects-Based: Begin with the End (-State) in Mind!", authored by Duczynski, Guy. The paper argues that an examination of the systemic interactions amongst factors may deepen planners or policy-makers understanding of why a region or area of interest behaves the way it does, before they attempt to change it. A method is detailed that couples effects statements and means and highlights capability requirements. A case study example is provided using North Korea.

In my opinion, the great thing about starting any project (or investment in our discussion context) with the desired end-state in mind, is the clarity of what is to be achieved and the focus of how to achieve it. Lesser time and energy will be wasted, trying to figure out what we want, when the actions have already began. We will be able to strategise better on how to go about achieving our desired financial outcome. Our strategy will be holistic, efficient and purposeful.

In the next article, I will attempt to discuss on the foundation of
PME2 - "Purpose".

Meanwhile, spend some time thinking about the desire outcome you always wanted. Pen it down, if necessary, for yourself as a constant reminder. I have done mine. ;-)

Have a great day,

Leroy Ang

"When I Stop Learning, I Stop Living."

06 March 2008

Money Lending Rules

Updated on 4 Jan 2008:

Several sharings and comments on this blog entry since its posting. The ideas reinforced my belief that we should have established out money lending rules as early as possible.

Eng Peng suggested his blog entry on "How Do You Allocate Your Money - Part 2" for related read to this entry of mine. I'd looked thru and find his views useful. For sharing @ http://teaengpeng.blogspot.com/2008/08/how-do-you-allocate-your-money-part-2.html.



Initial Post on 6 Mar 2007:

I understand the need for assistance, sometimes, when unforeseen events just popped up from nowhere and impact on our personal finance in a negative manner. I fell into this category sometime back in my life. I was lucky to have my mentors and friends to tide me over financially. Situation begin to improve as my financial plan falls in place.

While trying to emulate the compassion that was bestold upon me by those whom had helped me previously, i recokned that this form of compassion is getting unsustainable. As I build up my funds for potential investments, requests for financial assistance keeps streaming in too.

It seems like a norm that when a person needs to loan money, he will, somehow linger around your surroundings, also in constant contact with you. The situation changes when the money was finally loaned and entered his pocket, the communication channels suddenly disappeared.

I don't and won't feel embarassed to approach the person whom I'd lent the money to, in order to collect my money back. I do wonder how will they feel as I keep contacting them when the timeline which they'd promised to return my money back to me was breached. Relationships start to get strained in the process.

To me, the principle is simple. You'd approached me with a story to get a financial loan (interest free duh!) from me and promised to return that loaned amount by certain date. I buy your story and decided to issue the loan based on the trust I have for you, that your story is true, and, you will return me the money by the agreed due date. When this understanding is breached or somehow you just disappeared into thin air, our friendship suddenly is just worth only the amount you'd borrowed from me and your integrity and reputation becomes worthless.

After much considerations, I'd decided to establish some money lending rules to guide my decision making process in a logical manner, rather than being influenced by emotions.


1. I will consider to offer financial loan to my immediate family members and close relatives. Friends will be on a case-by-case basis. (Blood will always be thicker than water, so my friends, dont envy)

2. I will NOT lend money to clear any form of personal debts. (It reflects on poor financial planning, the risk of defaulting is extremely high and the strain on the relationships will be extremely unhealthy)

3. For friends whom wish to loan money for business purpose, I want to see the business plan. If the plan is feasible, I will offer to take equity stake or issue convertable bonds as options.

4. All loans must be accompanied by a written plan on how and when the money will be returned to me. Once this plan is breached, so will be our relationship. (I want it in black and white)

Sounds cold-hearted as I write. Pretty logical to my brain though. All for the purpose of building a long-term and sustainable relationship.


'When I Stop Learning, I Stop Living.'

02 March 2008

PME2 - Concept for Financial Freedom

It has been a good short break for me since I last blogged in Nov 2007. Work and learning had been intensive but I am still spending at least 1 hour per day to continuously improve my financial intelligence.

Time flies and it has already been 2 years 3 months since I made that choice to achieve financial freedom with the financial enlightenment I'd gained in Dec 2005. Over this period, I am glad that my learnings have improved by leaps and bounds. I have also started to struture my own thoughts and develop my own concept of how one can achieve financial freedom, which i will like to share in this article.

On the journey towards my financial freedom, I have attempted to share my learning experience to numerous learning partners. I have also attempted to spar my ideas with my learning partners to sharpen my thoughts. Most of the sharing or sparring have been in parts, as I am unable to express my ideas as a whole. It is also pretty lengthy to express the parts in details before a holistic whole can be derived. Thus I have decided to share my learning using a simple concept, introduced to me by one of my mentor. The main structure is known as Purpose, Methods and End-State, or in short PME. I have since evolves the PME structure into a concept known as PME2, to suit the context of this discussion.

The PME2 builds upon my limited 2 years of journey in trying to find my ways to achieve financial freedom. I believe many newbies, like me, in the search of their own path to achieve financial freedom, will also encounter what I had been through. What I am going to share here, is nothing more than logic. Yes, plain logic. The difference lies in action. I put the logic into action and evolves it into applied knowledge.

PME2 attempts to conceptualise, shape and synergise my efforts to achieve my desired outcome - Financial Freedom. When expressed pictorially, it is can be seen in the form of constructing a building. The larger framework is enclaved by the Purpose, Methods and End-State. The inner structure are supported by key pillars of Plans, Meta-Attributes and Education. I will attempt to discuss the PME2 concept broadly here.


The ground forms the foundation on which the building is been constructed on. If this foundation is weak, the building will face a lot of difficulties during the construction phase or the completed building will collapse in no time. The ground is the purpose.

The purpose will also answer the question of "WHY", the key reason for all the subsequent efforts to achieve the desired end-state. When faced with difficulties along the journey, this Purpose will constantly reinforce the practitioner's belief that the journey is worth all the while.

Purpose seems simliar to one of the pillar, Meta-Attributes, as though they are a sub-set of each other, yet are different in nature which I will attempt to elaborate further later.


If I have 6 hours to chop a tree, I will spend 4 hours sharpening the axe. This is where I will invest my 4 hours in.

Plan, Meta-Attributes and Education are the three supporting pillars building upon the purpose, supports the way to achieve the desired outcome. The three pillars are also mutually supporting each other.

A Plan keeps the practitioner focused on what requires to be done and synergise his efforts to achieve it. The Meta-attributes forms the backbone without which the outcome will be hollow and empty. Education is established by acquiring Skills, Knowledge and Experience along this journey.


The end-state, in this context, are financial goals / targets in definitive form of 5Ws. It has to be specific, measurable, quantifiable and in the form of Who, What, Where, When and Why.

In the next sharing, I will attempt to discuss more into the methods of Plan, Meta-Attributes and Education. Meanwhile, I invite and appreciate any reader of this entry to share and leave your comments after reading this entry.

Good night,

Leroy :-)

"When I Stop Learning, I Stop Living."