Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Voters be reminded

copy and paste from


This was written by someone who is a Polling Agent and has just completed the training required. He has highlighted a few matters which we the public voters may not be aware.

1. Be at the polling center real early, as I m suspecting that there may be a long queue due to the new polling process. Many will be sick of waiting and waste their vote. Don't be a fool to do that. Polling center opens at 8am till 5pm. Polling center gate closes at 5:00pm sharp RTM time. ( Conduct of Elections Act.Regulation23. Closing of poll.. " No ballot paper shall be issued to a voter after the hour fixed for the closing of the poll but if at that hour there is in the polling station any voter to whom a ballot paper has been issued, such voter shall be allowed to vote."

Note the voter must have the ballot paper in hand when polls close to be able to vote..)

2. Check on-line first (http://daftarj.spr.gov.my/semakpru13.aspx) and print out your details before going to the voting center. You may be able to by-pass the Barung counter since you have a printout and know where to go and thus short cut your time.

3. Bring your IC, if you lost your IC, then use the temp IC. If you also lost your temp IC, then you can use your passport. Avoid using passport as we the counting agents will insist you fill up a Borang 11 which will take time, and affects the queue. This time EC allows even Gov't employee tag polling agent will seek verification if sees anyone using that.

4. Make sure your left hand index finger is clean, any makings or stains will caused you to be disallowed to vote. If you got band aid plaster on that finger, they will require you to use the right hand index instead. The default is left hand index finger. No stains allow on either fingers. The polling kerani will mark your left index finger with an ink.

5. Important! The ink will take about 30 second to dry. Bring along a tissue to dry off your finger before holding your ballot papers. Any smudge or stain on the ballot paper will render it spoiled vote. So be extremely careful. Now you understand why you need to be there early.

6. Your ballot paper will have a serial number, but must be clean of any extra marking or words or stains, smudge, pencil/pen marking or dots or TEAR on all the surface of the ballot papers. YOU CAN REJECT THE PIECE OF BALLOT PAPER AND INSIST ON A NEW ONE IF YOU SEE ANY OF THOSE. Do not be intimidated by anyone there as this is your ABSOLUTE RIGHT.

7. Ensure that the kerani that handed you the ballot paper, do not write the serial No. of your ballot papers next to your name on the list. He or she is suppose to just neatly cross out your name on the list. If you see that she wrote something, please raise hell. Make sure she crosses out your name on her list and we will do the same on ours.

8. If in some strange (may happen) event you were told that you have already voted, eventho you have not, and your fingers have no markings, you MUST raise hell. We the polling agents will raise hell too. It means that somebody has voted on your behalf. You will be required to fill forms and etc. Remember, your constitutional right to vote.

9. Do not wear any t-shirt or buttons or hat that is aligned to any of the political parties. You will be ask to remove or disallowed to enter the polling center.

10. When casting your vote, be careful not to make any other marks on the ballot paper. You will be using a pen instead of the usual pencil. So if you make a mistake and it is accidental, please request for a new ballot paper. They have 10% extra papers to cater for this sort of things.

11. Fold the ballot paper neatly in half checking to see that all is in order before proceeding to the ballot boxes. Here, we will have 2 ballot boxes for Parliament and State.

12. At the ballot boxes, SHOW and put the ballot paper into their corresponding box. Stand there to ensure that the kerani push your vote into the box. Please do not have any tissue or other paper in your hands as you may be stopped for search by the Polling agent. We are trained to look out for people who brings out their blank voting papers to sell. Don't do that, you 'll go to jail.

14. I am not aware of any special lane for the disabled or elderly.

Please do read again what I have written and feel free to forward to all your friends, make sure that everyone goes to vote. Every vote counts. This election is most crucial.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Monday, April 22, 2013

Commodity Chill John Stephenson's E-Letter

Commodity Chill
John Stephenson's E-Letter
April 22, 2013

It was a rough week for stocks and commodities as the S&P 500 ushered in its biggest retreat since November 2012, while commodities slumped 7 percent as China reported a weaker-than-expected growth rate of 7.7 percent. Gold futures tumbled to $1,395.60 an ounce and copper retreated 5.6 percent, to end the week in bear market territory with the largest decline since December 2011.
The news of China’s surprisingly slow growth rate put a chill over global commodity producers, which had previously enjoyed years of relentlessly strong demand and prices as the building boom in the world’s second largest economy went on unabated. But with China’s growth cooling, so too will its appetite for coal, iron ore, copper, nickel and many other commodities, calling into question the notion of a continuing commodity supercycle.
More worrisome than the short-term quarterly noise for commodity investors is the longer term shifts in China’s economy as it transitions away from its role as a manufacturing juggernaut. This past weekend, People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan was quoted as saying “We need to sacrifice short-term growth for the purposes of reforms and structural adjustments” and that the 7.7 percent first quarter GDP growth posted by China was “normal.” China’s leadership is actively trying to stimulate domestic consumption at the expense of export-led manufacturing growth. As well, the Chinese economy is transitioning toward an increased service orientation, further cutting demand for natural resources as labor and capital shift from manufacturing to services. This year will mark the first time that services will surpass industrial output in China.
At the heart of the transformation is China’s new leadership, led by President Xi Jinping and his early determination to restructure the economy. Also telling, was the fact that most of the posturing surrounding the release of this key economic data point was focused on concern over the rising property market, rather than on the relative weakness of the quarterly growth numbers. But the pace of economic growth in the first quarter marked the first time in two decades where four consecutive quarters of sub-eight percent expansion was recorded.
Environmental concerns, declines in the working-age population and income gains that are pushing up costs also suggest that Chinese growth may need to slow to a new normal of closer to 7.5 percent, rather than the greater-than 10 percent growth rates of the recent past. Adding to the concern over slowing Chinese growth is sharply dropping exports to the U.S. and Europe . Iron ore stocks are a third greater than average, piled up in three-storey mounds at the Qingdao port, while copper stocks at Shanghai’s bonded warehouses are double the usual average.
But so far, Chinese officials seem determined to stay the course on badly needed reforms for the economy. This spring a 20 percent “windfall tax” on property sales was introduced in an attempt to cool the overheated property market that is rife with speculators, and the government has promised further reforms to state-owned enterprises and the banking sector which is teetering under a mountain of bad debt.
Further impacting Chinese growth is a sluggish Europe, which is a much more important export market for Chinese firms than America . While the Cyprus issue appears to be on the back-burner for now and no new political flare-ups are in the offering, the Eurozone is likely to be stuck in the slow lane for the foreseeable future. Uncompetitive economies such as Greece and Italy are still shackled to the euro, which is too lofty to help them enjoy the boost from exports which comes from a devalued currency.
I have been reducing my exposure to the resources sector for some time now, and believe that the best vantage point is from the sidelines. Gold will likely slump in the years ahead, falling to $1,100 per ounce in 2014 and beyond, while base metal demand will continue to falter as China transitions to a service-led economy. Energy is the only bright light in the resource sector however energy tends to be a late-cycle performer when global economic growth is on an upswing.
The U.S. economy and stock market will rebound in the months ahead, driven by the renewed vigour of the U.S. consumer. Initial economic indicators are showing that the U.S. economy accelerated at 3.1 percent in the first quarter, led by the biggest gain in consumer spending in the past two years. I'm looking forward to a great 2013, but my gains won't be coming from the commodity sector rather they will be coming from U.S. stocks that are poised for even loftier heights, driven by a resurgent America.
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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Sell in May? John Stephenson's E-Letter

Sell in May?John Stephenson
Investor, Author, Speaker
April 8 , 2013

It's easy to be downbeat about the prospects for stocks lately with March’s sickly looking non-farm payrolls report and the possibility of a new Korean conflict weighing on investors’ minds. Investors will start keying in on something other than the Fed beginning Monday when the first quarter earnings season kicks off. But with the ratio of negative to positive corporate guidance running at a 4.5 to 1 clip, it’s looking doubtful that corporate earnings will surprise to the upside.
The S&P 500 shed one percent the past week as a week of unsettling economic data fuelled concerns that the country’s economic recovery might be losing steam. Also stoking investor concern is that three quarters of the S&P 500's strong gains since last fall has been driven by an expansion of the index's multiple. With the S&P 500 trading at nearly 14 times forward earnings, any pullback in first quarter corporate earnings could be the disconnect necessary to send stocks lower.
News out of Europe was no better, with the pan-European FTSE Eurofirst 300 index falling 1.6 percent on Friday—it’s worst single day in 2013—leaving it with a loss on this holiday-shortened week of 2.2 percent. The recent bungling over the bailout of Cyprus has further reduced the appetite of global central banks to hold euros with recent International Monetary Fund (IMF) data showing the proportion of euro reserves globally at their lowest level since 2004.
Commodities have been taking it on the chin, with the CRB index falling several points this year and breaking the typically tight correlation that had existed between stocks and commodities. The improvement in China’s economy continues to go in fits and starts, impacting the fortunes for resources, while U.S. investors have focused on a fairly steady diet of good news for the domestic economy. If the global economy can get a reboot in late this year or early next year, the correlation between the S&P 500 and the CRB could once again reconnect as investors focus on a stronger global economy in 2014 and beyond.
The only major index bucking the downward trend last week was Tokyo as it basked in the announcement that the Bank of Japan will aim to double the monetary base over the next two years through the aggressive purchases of long-term bonds. Beyond the monetary fireworks, Japan’s prospects are looking up, with big manufacturers sounding less glum and with upward revisions being made to the country’s second quarter GDP growth expectations. Also helping matters for Japan is a falling yen, which extended its slide against the U.S. dollar touching a three-year high above ¥97 to the dollar.
But despite the current sense of gloom, there is no real cause for worry over impending downdraft for U.S. equities. The March jobs report despite its dismal showing still managed to eek out a decent 0.3% monthly advance in hours worked. And the S&P despite the giveback of the past few days, is up almost 8 percent this year.
Despite the resetting of expectations, March readings of ISM, payrolls and consumer confidence are pointing toward a setback rather than an outright recession. This suggests that we might experience a couple of quarters of slower-than-normal growth before resuming an upward trajectory. Home sales as well as household fundamentals, the bedrock of the American economy, appear to be in good shape and coupled with lower gasoline prices, there appears to be a decent springboard for solid economic growth in the last half of 2013.
For my part, I’ve been doing a little profit taking of late, trimming some positions in some of the higher beta sectors of the market. I continue to think the beta trade will work in the last half of 2013, however, I’d rather pick away at the beta trade in doldrums of summer than try and squeeze out a couple of points in the here and now.
The S&P 500 sectors with the highest consensus expectations for an earnings uplift include Telecom Services, Utilities, Information Technology and Consumer Discretionary sectors. Classically defensive sectors such as Utilities and Telcos seem like the best place to whether this blip on the radar until the solid fundamentals of the U.S. economy once again take over as the key driver of the stock market.

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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A Look at Investor Personality

A Look at Investor Personality

Some individuals are positive thinkers, others are the exact opposite. In the world of investment, your personality is a big factor when it comes to determining the investment products you’re comfortable with. If you’re wondering, these are the four major categories of investors based on personality. Read on to find out which group you belong to:

● Cautious

autious investors always want to be in a safe zone. They are less likely take risks because they tend to make security their biggest priority on their investments. They seldom decide on their own, but find it hard to accept information and recommendations by financial professionals, which sometimes lead to lost opportunities. Furthermore, if they have come to a decision to make a certain investment, they rarely adjust their plans and strategies even when the market already did.

● Methodical

Methodical investors follow certain procedures when it comes to making investment decisions. They usually decide in a conservative manner, and generally take quite a fair bit of time to research on financial data and reports. Methodical investors rely mostly on facts instead of instincts; and as such, some of them may react much too slowly to changing market conditions, simply because they take up so much time to justify and make investment decisions.

● Individualistic

High level of confidence is the main characteristic of individualistic investors. They strongly believe in their own abilities, and hence, are extremely comfortable when it comes to carrying out their own research and making investment decisions. When in doubt, they will dedicate the time needed to clear that doubt. Individualistic investors rarely regret the decisions they made because of their firm belief that they’d eventually attain their long-term investment goals.

● Spontaneous

Investors who are spontaneous generally jump from one decision to another. As market conditions changes, spontaneous investors tend to feel uneasy about the status of their investments, which may drive them to adopt a “change now, ask question later” attitude. Consequently, this makes them easy victims to hearsays and speculations. Additionally, due to the fact that they are making so many changes, spontaneous investors tend to incur the most fees and charges.

In Conclusion

Still wondering which type of investor you belong to? Just do a search on “investor personality test” online and you should be able to find a site to help you in no time! If you are a new investor, ascertaining your investor personality would really help elevate your chances of finding investment products that fit you the best.

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