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Showing posts from 2017

Is the yield spread telling us to be careful for 2018?

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2017 is closing. 2018 is believed to be not as good as 2017 for equities investing. We have also just witnessed the third rate hike in US. Equities valuation is commonly believed to be very high. I bet many of us would be very concern about major market adjustment. As we approach the new year, it's always good to take a look at some fundamental factors. The US Treasury yield spread is an important factor that worth our attention. I have downloaded the graph from StLouisFed.org to see if we can spot anything meaningful. The chart above contains 10 yr treasury mature rate (blue line) and 2 yr treasury mature rate (red line) and the spread (10yr minus 2 yr) between them (greed dotted line). Yield spread crossing below zero a few years before recessions Both 10yr (blue) and 2yr (red) yields have been in down trend since height in 1980s 2yr trend line seems a lot less volatile as it approached zero since 2013. 2yr trend line is now slowing crossing up while 10 yr yield tre

What is the Yield Curve telling about the equities market?

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2017 is coming to a close. It's been yet another good bull year for US equites. US has just announced their 3rd rate hike. The state of US and global economy is considered to be in a good state.  Tightening policy will likely to continue in 2018 at least for US. Many of us are seriously worrying  about high valuation of the equities market. Are we at the edge of the cliff of market crash? It's a good time to look at Yield Curve and compare it with key historical moment.

Small Good Deed!

A man was asked to paint a boat. He brought with him paint and brushes and began to paint the boat as the owner asked him. While painting, he noticed that there was a small hole in the hull, and quietly repaired it. When finished painting, he received his money and left. The next day, the owner of the boat came to the painter and presented him with a nice cheque, much higher than the payment for painting. The painter was surprised and said "You've already paid me for painting the boat sir!" "But this is not for the paint job. It's for having repaired the hole in the boat." "Ah! But it was such a small service... certainly it's not worth paying me such a high amount for something so insignificant." "My friend. Let me tell you what happened . When I asked you to paint the boat, I forgot to mention about the hole. When the boat dried, my kids took the boat and went on a fishing trip. They did not know that there was a hole. I wa

US Tax Cut Bill Approved

This is a big deal. The U.S. House of Representatives gave final approval on Wednesday to a sweeping, debt-financed tax bill in a midday vote. No double President Donald Trump to sign the bill into law as soon as possible. Reuter has a list of the key points in the new bill  here It is a great accomplishment to be achieved within 1 year in Republican in charge. It does seem that US has re-install one of the key growth engine for its economy. Usually I don't really focus that much on news, especially geopolitical news, for my investment consideration. This is, however, a strong positive factor for longer term investment for me because it is a structural element within the US economy.

A question on the role of Bitcoin in the financial system

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These days everybody is talking about bitcoin. While I am no expert in digital currency and economy. I do have to think hard as I believe bitcoin will ultimate impact tech stock in general. I am learning and asking question about bitcoin everyday as I read so many related news. This post is more like asking questions then trying to express any viewpoint. I am not so concern with blockchain as a technology which attempts to improve transparency and accuracy of transactions in general. Whether blockchain is the ultimate version of the necessary technology or just a transitional first step, it's good stuff. What I am more concern with is the rapidly appreciating phenomena of bitcoins or other cryptocurrency causing the opposite of what bitcoin is trying to achieve. Again, this is a question from a novice rather than a challenge to bitcoin. Bitcoin was inspired by the 2008 financial crisis to by pass financial institutions so to reinstall transparency in financial practice. It i

Bitcoin debut trading on CBOE and I have to be careful.

Bitcoin ($XBT) is now traded on CBOE on Sunday night. As of Monday morning, $XBT surged as much as 25% to $18,850 during their debut session triggering two temporary trading halts. CBOE has installed a trading halt rule of 10% anticipating volatility of the world most popular cryptocurrency. Trading volume has been thin. About 2,700 contracts for January changed hands. Considering, many brokers cast margin limitation and short selling limitation for this future contract, this trading volume does mean certain popularity and interests from the market. I do not trade or mine Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency. I have to say I don't know too much about it despite that I understand most of the technologies it deploys. However, evaluating Bitcoin is something of a mystery. This is not for me as an investment asset. Even if I trade Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, it's going to be very small amount. However, I am concern about its impact to the market should the price of the Bitcoi

Heaven on Earth - Amazing 360 Video Tech and Amazing Contents

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Saw this amazing video on Facebook. National Geographic has done an excellent job in leveraging technologies and applying them to their great contents. Media has been a tough industry as disruptive technologies taking over traditional pen-and-paper based media. However, it also means that those who can master the technologies can potentially be a more dominate player if they are able to accumulate more and more readers. In my personal opinion, if media company can manage to get the users to interact with each other, media company can be an alternative form of social media platform. Of course, no company can be master of all. How a company pick their focuses and leverage their strength varies from case to case. Anyway, let's take a break and enjoy this great video from National Geographic.

Mega Trend - Robots work while humans entertain each other

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This tiny tennis ball pickup robot is a reflection of a mega trend for investment: human entertaining each other for they don't much else to do.

Investment Moat - The Network of Users

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Many people say that the buy-and-hold strategy does not work in today's short life cycle business world. Yes, I agree that the world has advanced so much, largely driven by advancement and better use of technologies, to disrupt existing business model so old business get replaced more rapidly. However, I do not agree that buy-and-hold strategy does not work. All you need to do is to find the right company with long term growth prospect. Of course in real world, it's easier say than done. Most investors (myself included) failed to hold on to high quality stock for long term. There are all sorts of reasons why we are scared of stock price consolidation and get out prematurely but I like to conclude that in most cases, it's our lacking of faith or trust in current high valuation of the company. So the key question to us can be concluded in one word: "faith". We are, however, not talking about religious believe. Instead of "faith" in the management, I r

Google AutoML has created an AI Child beating other human designed AI systems

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As the stock market is still having a bitter taste of a tech sector sell off last week, a piece of tech news from Google has quietly gone into my mail box and gave me a boost in confident in the tech sector. Google announced that their AutoML (Automated Machine Learning) project started in May 2017 has now created an "AI Child" that can identify images better than human designed AI model. Google's researcher called this particular AI system NASNet. It was created to solve a task of recognising objects such as people, airplane, kites and so forth in a real-time video. The image above comparing human designed model and AutoML designed model. It seems that the AutoML's result is more complex and "sophisticated" on a high level glance on the size of the neural network nodes.

Science has proven stress impact our health span!

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There are things we can do to maintain our health span over time. This is what Nobel Prize winner Elizabeth Blackburn is telling us through her studies in DNA level. How we face challenges in life impact our health at the DNA and Chromosome level. Her studies show that there are things we can do to maintain our health.

JD.com 2017Q3 EPS beat expectation

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The mega-trend for China growth reflected in the online retail sales GMV is further reinforced by the earnings just reported by JD.com ($JD) before US Market open on Monday Nov 13. JD reported a mega beat result for us: JD.com ($JD) 2017Q3 YOY% EPS RMB 0.69/s 116% EPS, non-GAAP RMB 1.52/s 361% Gross Profit RMB 13 B 50% Revenue Online Sales Direct RMB 76.5 B 38.50% Service & Others RMB 7.28 B 46.20% Guidance for 2017Q4 net revenue to grow 35-39% YOY at 107B-110B yuan ($16.1B-$16.6B) vs expectation of 108.3B. For Q4, it's guiding to net revenues of 107B-110B yuan ($16.1B-$16.6B) -- a growth rate of 35-39% Y/Y, excluding the impact of JD Finance, and vs. expectations for 108.3B yuan. Data Source: JD.com Press Release JD closed a nice gap up today. Price has also broken out from the down trend or reverse head and shoulder pattern. It looks like this is what's needed to start turning JD.com back to it's long term uptrend. Trading is a very personal

DRAM 2017Q3 Revenue Up 16%

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TrendForce Reports 3Q17 DRAM Revenue Hit a New High With a 16.2% Sequential Increase; DRAM Prices to Rise by 10% on Average in 4Q17 Revenue of the entire global DRAM industry climbed to a new historic high for the third quarter of 2017, reports DRAMeXchange, a division of TrendForce. Contract prices of various DRAM products jumped by about 5% on average in the third quarter from the second quarter on the back of the year-end busy season and limited bit supply growth. As the market still experienced tight supply, total DRAM revenue for the third quarter rose by 16.2% from the second quarter. Source: DRAMeXchnage

Alibaba Singles' Day sales up 40% YOY while JD.com follows closely

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Alibaba ($BABA) reported sales from Singles' Day to be $25.3 billion, which is a 40% increase from last year's figure and more than estimate of $24 billion by Citigroup. JD.com ($JD) also revealed its Singles' Day sales figure the first time. The figure US$19.14 billion demonstrated that JD.com is a serious challenger to Alibaba. US sales between Thanksgiving (Nov 24) until Cyber Monday (Nov 28) amounted for $12.8 billion in 2016. The one day sales from just Alibaba's platform, not even counting figures from JD.com and other smaller eCommerce players, is already more than double of the four days sales in US. Total transaction volume on JD for the #SinglesDay period: RMB 127.1 billion $JD #China #ecommerce pic.twitter.com/j1HKuXbqsB — JD.com (@JD_Corporate) November 11, 2017

Alibaba's Singles Day Revenue estimated as $24B by Citigroup

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Tomorrow (11 Nov Saturday) will be Alibaba’s ($BABA) Singles’ Day event for this year. Last year, the event brought in $17.8B. Citigroup estimates 2017 sales of $24B. There are more than 60K global brands participating in this year's Singles Day event including Lululemon, Gap, Mac, and Macy’s. This year also marks the first time certain physical retailers participating and promoting the sale event inside existing stores or temporary storefronts. Singles Day started as Alibaba's event but competitors like JD.com and other smaller players quickly take advantage of the event too. So Singles Day event is not just Alibaba's event but almost like Boxing Day in the Western world. In Q2'17, Alibaba’s B2C Tmall e-commerce platform held a 51.3% sales share in the Chinese e-commerce retail market while JD.com held a 32.9% share according to eMarketer . Together these two companies hold 84.1% of China B2C. In an economy growth just upgraded to 6.8% from 6.7% by IMF, I be

Semiconductor Sector is full of activities in the last few days

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While the mega-deal news of Broadcom ($AVGO) acquiring Qualcomm ($QCOM) is still humming in the air pushing the semiconductor sector hanging high in mid air, we have news from Intel ($INTC) joining effort with AMD ($AMD) to combine their products to take on Nvidia ($NVDA). AMD was up 6% strong on Monday morning while Intel was up more than 1% near market open. As a result, the semiconductor index ETF iShares PHLX SOX Semiconductor Sector Index Fund ($SOXX) is gapping up 1% strong this morning.

China vs US GDP Per Capita : Lots of Room To Grow

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China is getting worldwide attention these days. From an very long term investment perspective, China is one of the best investment concept. It has been on a steady growth path in the last 30 years. It has a very strong and stable political leadership. It has a very large population. However, still, it is only an emerging country with much potential for growth in GDP per capita (see the US vs China GDP Per Capita chart above) As long as China is steady in its political development, it seems almost a sure-win to bet on China's growth for coming decades. Considering the recent strong demonstration of China's Xi Jinping firm leadership in the communist party at the closing of the China's 19th party congress, I'll say China has got decades of growth to come still. Image Source: Worldbank.org

US Sweet Crude Oil price is about to break major resistant around $55

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US Sweet Crude Oil Price is about to break US$55 resistant level since Oct 2015.

Qualcomm ($Qcom) is considering an $80m offer by Broadcom ($AVGO) - Stock up 13% strong in mid-day

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US Yields, Yield Spread vs Dow Jones Index

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US 10 yr Yields has gone up yesterday after US Fed and Europe ECB hawkish talks. I was interested to see how US 10yr, 2yr treasury yields, their yield spreads match against the US stock market. It seems that just before correction, the yield spreads are very near zero. Currently the yield spread is not yet close to zero but the yields start going up yesterday. Wonder how it will impact the market!

Solar Power Will Kill Coal Faster Than You Think

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Solar power, once so costly it only made economic sense in spaceships, is becoming cheap enough that it will push coal and even natural-gas plants out of business faster than previously forecast. That’s the conclusion of a Bloomberg New Energy Finance outlook for how fuel and electricity markets will evolve by 2040. The research group estimated solar already rivals the cost of new coal power plants in Germany and the U.S. and by 2021 will do so in quick-growing markets such as China and India. Read Full Story At Bloomberg

When Stress Helps You Get More Done

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And the groups of people who feel it most. For more, read "Are You Too Stressed to Be Productive? Or Not Stressed Enough?"

Healing Hawaii II: Oahu

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When I feel down, such as today when the stock market is way down, I often look to YouTube for some background soothing music. This 4K video features the wonders of the Hawaiian Island of Oahu with healing music by Liquid Mind™ . It features over 25 gorgeous scenes from around the island which change every 90 seconds. I am fortunate to have a second monitor where I can just expand the video on the second monitor while I work on other stuff. Thanks to " Natural Relaxation " YouTube Channel.

This incredible video is made by just water droplets!

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This advertising video is produced just by computer controlled droplets of water and flashes. They claim the whole video was all captured by camera implying no post-production modification. Amazing technology!

This is why oil will not be more than $50 again!

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Enhanced-Oil-Recovery is the latest technology process that US oil producers use to produce extract crude oil at low cost driving global crude oil price down! It is a process that utilise CO2 collected from other manufacturing plants to inject into the crude oil reserve underneath the ground to help push more oil up while the CO2, the Green House Gas that cause global warming, get stored permanently underground. US oil producers improve the process by separating the CO2 that came back up with the oil and re-inject it again into the ground. That further reduce CO2 release into the air and further improve oil extraction efficiency. US is in talk about providing CO2 credit to oil producers as well and that will further bring the oil production cost down even further! Oil price will never be higher than $50 with this kind of technologies applying not only to crude oil but also to shale gas extraction.

Awesome toys from this flexible lego like blocks can do!

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Awesome toys from this flexible lego like blocks can do! Flexco is a building bricks for toys with flexible joints. It can create very increating toys that can bend and bounce! KickStarter

What colors should you use for marketing?

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Unicode Special Character Table

Unicode Special Characters are very useful graphical symbols that can add meaning and clarity to your text visually. Unicode Special Characters are used extensively today in Whatsapp, Messengers or in many social media app as "Symbols" to be inserted as part of your message text. With unicode characters, you can compose your interesting "text-image" like this: .../\„„/\ ...(=';'=) ~ Meow! .../ *♥♥* \ ..(.||...||.) Unfortunately these characters cannot be easily "typed" into your text through ordinary keyboard easily. In Words or other Word Processing software, you need to "Add Symbol" through the special function. If the software or text editor you are typing in does not have this function, you will need to either "type" the character in or Copy-And-Paste the character from elsewhere. In Windows you need to do Alt-X and followed by the Unicode in decimal format. In Mac, you need to add the "Unicode HEX Input" l

When Engineers Gets Bored They Create This!

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It's amazing what you can do with just simple cardboard, syringes and glue! It's not just a toy but a very good model for teaching children the mechanic working inside the robotic arm. Source: The Q

I cannot stop loving this dog after seeing the video!

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This dog is so adorable. I ought to share it no matter how irrelevant to my blog! :) Perhaps this is a good example of what I have shared with my friends over breakfast meeting last week: we can leverage great contents from the internet to fill up our blog. In this case, I have embedded a video from facebook! In this case, I have to add new CSS Styles to my theme so that the square image is scalable or responsive to different device screen size.

Facebook may SNAP UP SnapChat in future!

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Snapchat (SNAP)'s IPO may seem like a success on its first day but I believe it's just typical stock market volatility. In long run I have not yet found the reason to invest into Snap yet. The reason is simple: Facebook with its three highly competitive armies Instagram, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp each positioned squarely to stop Snapchat from growing. Facebook Messenger Reporting to Battle Station Today Today Facebook's announcement of bringing its Snapchat Stories-like feature "Messenger Day" to its Messenger app signify the more or less complete strategic move against Snapchat. The new feature is rolling out globally to Android/iOS users today allowing users to post photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours. Facebook had already launched the same feature Instagram Stores to Instagram and WhatsApp Status to WhatsApp. Facebook The Ultimate Central Intelligent Backup With a large user base, SNAP may be able to pull it off with revenue grow

Starting a directory of useful solutions and hacks

I was invited to speak to a group of friends to share my experiences for leveraging digital technologies to help their business or career. It's probably good to start a simple directory to organise the solutions and hacks that I share. Since this is a casual project, I believe it's actually better to start building this directory using Blogger platform (the site you are reading right now) instead of building it on a hosted WordPress or Drupal. With some proper planning of Blogger's Labels, Pages and Widgets, I believe that we can achieve a useful directory within my (this) personal blog. Each "listing" within the directory will actually be a blog post tagged with these labels. The first label I would create for the "Root Category" of the directory would be " #Directory ".

One simple reason Twitter cannot grow like Facebook.

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Shares of Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) have now lost more than $3 a share after the company's Q4 report. While the social media name again reported a non-GAAP bottom line beat, revenues widely missed expectations. The company was not able to take advantage of many big Q4 2016 events, putting into question the company's future. The handle #disaster certainly would be appropriate right now. Source: Seeking Alpha Twitter has announced one of the worst user and revenue growth performance today. Its' share price has dropped significantly. It's just common sense that Twitter's user base cannot grow much as compare to Facebook. Whatever you write and share on Twitter is meant for public to see. So Twitter is a Public Media Platform . It is meant for those people who like to write and share stuff for the public. That makes the targeted user base more a professional media people like reporter and journalists, Bloggers or, at the least, Digital Marketers. Twitter by nature is mea

This most ignored technique will speed up your learning on YouTube by folds

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I love Youtube. I have learned so many things from YouTube ranging from building a website with WordPress, drawing a picture with pencil pastel to even options trading technique. In fact in my last start up, I built my company's website almost purely from watching videos on how to use Drupal, an open source CMS, to build a powerful contents website. I recalled that at the time when I decided to build the site on my own, I have watched basically more than a hundred YouTube videos of 10 to 20 minutes in length. Many of these videos needed to be watched and re-watched again to let the newly acquired knowledge sinks in. Whenever I want to learn a new subject, I will go to YouTube to search if there are any relevant videos to acquire a quick initial set of foundational knowledge before before I dive into other more in depth media such as reports and books.   One of the things I hate the most is that many of these YouTube videos covers irrelevant information or simply off topic a

Healthcare sector lead in AI application

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A recent global study on AI, carried out by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) on behalf of Wipro, tells us which industries are embracing AI first and why. It shows that the US healthcare sector leads the way with AI applications.