Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
I leave that as it is and now I have to unblock my writer's block. Come on ideas, flow. Looks like it is dried up and maybe I should meditate and something might creep in while I am in bliss meditating. But then again, meditating in my cabin is not a good idea as it would construe that I am sleeping on my job or they might think that I have turned into a zombie.
Yeah, I got my trip to Hyderabad on 09.11.2008 approved by the Directors and I am going to be there to wind up my residence and office, I would be there for a week (aha...paid vacation). Well that would give me a lot of stuff to write and perhaps take some snap shots of Hyderabad too.
Ah...the Briyani and kebabs in Hyderabad is already making my mouth water and looks like my laptop is getting drenched......got to stop....otherwise...it would get short-circuit....
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Wednesday, October 29, 2008
My wife just wished me ......
It's a sad day for me as I know I am getting older and nearer too....(should I say grave....)
Here are some quotes that I spotted on the net and would like to share them with you, to at least cheer me up.....
We turn not older with years but newer every day.
When our memories outweigh our dreams, we have grown old.
When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.
Paul H. Duhn
You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt, as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear, as young as your hope, as old as your despair.
You will give yourself peace of mind if you perform every act of your life as if it were your last.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
And what sort of breakfast do you have? I prefer my two slice of wholemeal bread with a thin spread of margarine.
Would listening to music perks you up? It does sometimes for me depending on my mood and right now I am listening to REO Speedwagon " I can't fight this feeling" and I know it is helping me fight this day.
So tell me what gets you going?
Monday, October 27, 2008
CHENNAI: It’s Deepavali in Tamil Nadu on Monday and Diwali in the rest of the states on Tuesday. Intriguing? While the festival basically celebrates the triumph of good over evil, there is a difference on what the day signifies for people of the State and for those in the rest of the country.
In Tamil Nadu, the day is observed as ‘Naraka Chaturdasi’ — the killing of demon king Narakasura by Lord Krishna’s wife Sathyabama,— which falls on October 28 this year. For others, Diwali marks the return of Lord Ram to Ayodhya after 14 years of vanavas.
For north Indians, the day after Diwali is Annakut — New Year Day. So,merchants open new account books on Diwali. The Tamil New Year begins at a different time of the year and is in no way linked to Deepavali. So is the case in Kerala (Vishu) and in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka (Ugadi).
However, Diwali commemorates Rama vanquishing Ravana. Hence, the festival has come to symbolise the triumph of good over evil also. The people of Ayodhya placed lighted lamps along the path that Rama took on his return and the tradition of lighting ‘diyas’ continues to this day.
There is yet another belief that Rama returned to his kingdom through Tamil Nadu. Hence, Deepavali is celebrated here a day ahead of north India.
Despite the differences, the similarities are galore. Be it Deepavali or Diwali, the festival is an occasion for visiting friends and relatives, exchanging gifts, preparing sweets and sharing them with others, wearing new clothes and bursting crackers.
I found this article quite informative and I guess in Malaysia we follow South India in celebrating Deepavali today.
"Mastery is not perfection, it is journey, and the true master must be willing to try and fail and try again." --George Leonard
"I believe life is a series of near misses. A lot of what we ascribe to luck is not luck at all. It's seizing the day and accepting responsibility for your future. It's seeing what other people don't see and pursuing that vision." --Howard Schultz
"Entrepreneurship is a state of mind, a can-do attitude, a capacity to focus on a vision and work toward it." --Barry Rogstad
Sunday, October 26, 2008
I MET Mick Brown at Frankfurt airport. A journalist with the London Daily Telegraph, he was sent to interview me at a stop-over between two flights. He is such an interesting person that when the interview was over he began to tell me some quite fascinating stories.
Once he received a pamphlet saying that a guru called Mahaguru Yogi Arka would be giving a series of lectures in England. He discovered that he was staying in London, and set out to visit him for his report. He rang the doorbell, a young woman with oriental features opened the door for him, and made a sign for him to follow her into a sitting room.
Arka was sitting there, his legs crossed and his eyes closed, apparently deep in meditation. Mike did not know quite what to do, and then the master opened his eyes and made a sign for him to come over and sit in front of him.
“Do you have any questions?” He had several, but they all seemed to have slipped from his thoughts. The only one that came to mind was: “What do people want to know when they seek out a guru like you?” “Imagine that you are sitting in front of the ocean,” he said. “What do you want from the ocean?” Mike thought for a bit and answered: “Peace.” Arka nodded his head.
“Peace. You look at the ocean and understand that it can bring you peace. Someone else asks for a fish to eat. Some people think that there is petrol at the bottom of this ocean, and try to find out where this treasure is hidden. People want different things, but the ocean is big and can give everyone what they ask for”.
Mike remarked that he had met many gurus in his life; how was he to know whom to trust?
“When someone tries to impose his way of thinking on someone else, they cannot be called a guru. Whoever feels they have the truth is on the road to lies. Whoever wants to convert someone else has not understood the meaning of spirituality.
“Do you remember going to school when you were a little boy? There you had teachers of English, physics, chemistry and history. Spiritual apprenticeship works in the same way.” Arka continued: “And then there is love. Love is the bridge that joins the head to the heart, it’s the force that attracts, that keeps the planets and the stars in their orbits. The scientists call love “the force of gravity”.
Arka rose. “Do you have anything else to ask?” “If I want to find the truth, what should I do?” “Stop seeking for it. And then look right beside you, that’s where you’ll find it”.Translated by JAMES MULHOLLAND
Taken from Hyderabad Deccan Chronicle Sunday Edition 26.10.2008
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Well it's that time of the year that all the Hindu's get to celebrate Diwali and here in Malaysia it is celebrated in a very grand manner too. I remember how I used to get up very early and help my parents with the decoration and all my new clothes would be lined up in the prayer room so that they can bless them and after that I get to wear my new clothes. Usually the prayers would start after our oil bath.
We would have open house and my friends would start coming over to visit us from late morning until late in the night. My mum would be busy with the preparation of food and usually it would be Briyani, Kurma and lots of other stuff.
Well that was many years back and this Diwali I would be in my sisters house for lunch and later at night with my parents. It's been awhile since I was at home in Malaysia for Diwali but on this special day I sure would feel nostalgic as I enjoyed this festival during my childhood with all the "ang-pow" that I would receive from my relatives and now it's pay back time as I have to give to all the nephews and nieces. By the way "ang-pow" is a Chinese term for money being given in a packet and since we are in a multi racial community here, we have imbibed a little bit of everyone's culture.
Here's wishing everyone a very "Happy Diwali" and do light up a lamp for the goodness that is still prevailing in our times.
Friday, October 24, 2008
I was just pondering on the subject of guardian angels and do you believe in them? I can relate a bad accident that I had a couple of years back, I was working almost every night until mid-night as I was involved in the foundation and basement work of Hotel Mandarin Oriental which is adjacent to the Petronas Twin Towers. Our earthworks for the four level of basement involved the excavation of massive amount of earth which can only be carted out from 7.00 p.m. until 7.00 a.m. every day (I stayed back until 10.00 or 11.00 p.m.) and coordinating these works really took a lot from me physically as in the mornings I was in charge of the foundation works.
So I was pretty tired on the fateful Friday somewhere in 1997. I was driving a red 4wd Vitara Suzuki and after work which was about 10.30 p.m. I left my site. I was driving back on the Federal Highway and I was feeling rather unusually tired. I know I was exhausted but never have I felt like dozing off. And I was pretty close to my house and the next thing I could remember was a "bang" and a "thud" and I woke up from my sleep (closed my eyes for a few seconds), my car came to a stop after hitting the extended portion of a crane parked on a Federal Highway. I didn't know what was happening as it was all like a dream. I saw my car was smashed very badly, one side of the car was caved in, my steering broke into 2, my seat belt snapped and I couldn't believe my eye. I came out of the car, there was police siren, camera man, and lots of onlooker. As I was standing amongst the onlookers, some of them were suprised that I came out without a scratch. My chest was paining because of the impact of the accident and due to the seat belt which strained me from smashing my head against the windscreen (count my blessings).
Now when I think about the incident, I am sure that there was a guardian angel looking after me otherwise how could I have survived the accident as the car was smashed pretty badly and from what I heard from the mechanics, they had to change the chassis of the car due to the impact.
Just thought of sharing this with you and I wanted to know whether any of you had any similar incidents like this.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
I would like to share this collection that I had come across the net and I find it amusing the way the kids completed the proverbs.
A first grade teacher collected well known proverbs. She gave each child in her class the first half of a proverb and asked them to come up with the remainder of the proverb. Their insight may surprise you.
Better to be safe than....................Punch a 5th grader
Strike while the .........................Bug is close
It's always darkest before............... Daylight Savings Time
Never underestimate the power of..........Termites
You can lead a horse to water but........how?
Don't bite the hand that................. looks dirty
No news is................................impossible
A miss is as good as a...................Mr.
You can't teach an old dog new............math
If you lie down with dogs, you'll.........stink in the morning
Love all, trust..........................me
The pen is mightier than the..............pigs
An idle mind is..........................The best way to relax
Where there's smoke there's...............pollution
Happy the bride who.......................gets all the presents
A penny saved is..........................not much
Two's company, three's....................the Musketeers
Don't put off till tomorrow what..........you put on to go to bed
Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and.......you have to blow your nose.
None are so blind as......................Stevie Wonder
Children should be seen and not...........spanked or grounded
If at first you don't succeed.............get new batteries
You get out of something what you.........see pictured on the box
When the blind leadeth the blind..........get out of the way
And the favorite:
Better late than.........................pregnant.
Saw this cartoon on Deccan Chronicle Hyderabad Edition dated 22.10.2008. It sure did remind me of my stay in Hyderabad. I stayed in a bungalow in Banjara Hills where I had my office in the Ground Floor and my residence on the 1st Floor. I actually didn't have water supplied by the utility company as my landlord didn't pay for the water bill and I had to call the tankers almost every 4 days for my water supply. The coordination was done by my servant and I would have this fear of waking one morning without water but things went on smoothly except when on one occasion the tanker drivers were on strike. I really had to ration water and it came to a stage where I had to use my 20 litres drinking water supplied in huge cannisters to have my bath (expensive bath though).
I remember after I shifted from Banjara Hills to Sainikpuri and I had water, plenty of it and all I have to do was switch on the pump for the well water. And the water was hard and I know how the feeling would be when you soap up and there is not much lather and you feel really not that fresh and your hair would be hard to comb (not that I have a lot).
Right now I am at home and how easy it is here in Kuala Lumpur, there is plenty of water everywhere and I have a shower for 30 minutes and I can drink right from the tap (I have the filter system installed). Guess the reason is simple as it rains here almost every other day and I am getting sick of seeing water everywhere.....
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
The Managing Director had informed me that he would let me know in another couple of days as he told me that they would call me up for the 3rd round of interview. Boy I never knew that job interviews can be this lengthy. I remember my interview that I had with my present company, the Senior Manager had flew in from the HQ with my appointment letter and he told me to sign it immediately and that was what I did and I am with this company for the past 17 years.
I thought to myself, now what is the worst thing that can happen? Nothing actually as I already have a job and if I don't get it, so be it. But deep down, I do want to get the job and I guess it is time that I moved on from my existing company. The other thing that I don't like is the waiting game and it really puts everything on hold and the expectation of getting the good news along with the package (salary & perks).
So I guess I have to be patience for another couple of days and I would also know the fate of my company based on the Annual General Meeting which is on Thursday. So a lot things that I have to look forward to by this week. It's like Do or Die, however you look at it.
Monday, October 20, 2008
"The guidance within evolves the world towards a heaven that's already here. To know this is to know our destiny." --from The Celestine Prophecy
"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life." --Steve Jobs
"How very important it is to bring about in the human mind the radical revolution. The crisis is a crisis in consciousness, a crisis that cannot anymore accept the old norms, the old patterns, the ancient traditions. Considering what the world is now with all the misery, conflict, destructive brutality, aggression and so on – man is still as he was, is still brutal, violent, aggressive, acquisitive, competitive and has built a society along these lines." --Krisnamurti
There are so many things that is going on my head, like when I should leave my present employment and I am eager to start 2009 with a new company as I know things are not very pleasant here with the corporate war that is going on and we are being dragged in.
What better way to start my morning then by listening to Baby Face & Des'ree singing "Fire" cause I think "I'm on Fire". I know I have not been blogging these few days as I have pasted a lot of other stuff that I have downloaded from the net just to be in the loop.
Yeah before I forget, last night I was watching this movie on DVD titled "Death Race", there was no storyline except racing and action all the way. Sometimes it's nice to be a little young at heart and watch trashy movies just to get the wild and reckless side of me to surface and the adrenalin flowing.
Let's see whats in store for me today and how the day unfolds. Here's to a fruitful week for you guys and take it easy as you have only one shot at life so make the most of it even though you have no choice in controlling the events.
Shabnam was stunned when her husband’s friends told her that she would be handed over to themIn a story akin to the Pandavas’ tale in the epic Mahabharata, a Muslim man allegedly staked his wife in gambling after he had lost his money and possessions to some people, police said on Sunday.
Mohd. Mokhtar, in his 40s, of Shekhpura town, about 150 km from here, gambled his wife Shabnam, 35, to four of his friends Friday.
Ms Shabnam was stunned when her husband’s friends told her that she would be handed over to them.
“They told me that Mokhtar had lost me in gambling. It frightened me,” she told the police.The men assaulted and abused her when she refused to go with them.She, along with her two minor sons, met sub-divisional police officer Rajesh Kumar and sought help. Mr Kumar has ordered an inquiry into the incident.
Came across this article on Deccan Chronicle Hyderabad Edition and I just couldn't believe it. How could you gamble away your wife or anybody for that matter. And what could the police do as gambling itself is illegal if it involves money but what happens if it involves human lives?
Sunday, October 19, 2008
tells of a man who was about to cross a river when the teacher Bibhishana approached him, wrote a name on a piece of paper, fixed it to the man’s back and said: “Fear not. Your faith will help you to walk upon the waters. But the moment you lose your faith, you will drown”. He trusted Bibhishana and began to walk effortlessly across the waters. He had an immense desire to know what his teacher had written on the piece of paper fixed to his back.
He got hold of it and readwhat was written on it:“Oh God Rama, help thisman to cross the river”.
The man thought, “who is this God Rama anyway?” As soon as doubt entered his mind, he was drowned.
The girl and the storm
The worried mother phoned the school and was told that the girl had already left the school despite the storm. Seeing that she had not arrived home yet, she put on a raincoat and went out to search for her daughter.
As she turned the corner,she saw the girl walking towards the house; but she stopped every time lightning fell, looked up at the sky, and smiled.
“Can’t you see the flashes of lightning, mummy?God is taking pictures of me!”
During the Christianising of Japan, a missionary was arrested by the samurais.
“If you want live, you will have to trample on Christ’s statue, in front of everyone,” said the warriors.
The missionary went to bed, without any doubt in his heart: he would never commit such a sacrilege,and was prepared to be a martyr.
He woke from his bed in the middle of the night and he stumbled over a man sleeping on the floor. It was Jesus Christ himself, in person! “Now that you’ve stood on me, go outside and trample on my statue,” said Jesus. “Because fighting for an idea is far more important than the vanity of a sacrifice”.
Praying for every body
A farmer’s wife was ill. He called a Buddhist priest. The priest began to pray to heal all the sick.
“Just a minute,” interrupted the farmer. “I asked you to pray for my wife,and you are praying for all the sick; you could end up helping my neighbour,who is also unwell. And I don’t like him”.
“By praying for everyone, I am joining together in my prayers the people who are imploring for their sick ones. In unison,these voices reach God and benefit everyone.Divided, they lose their force, and get nowhere”.
Translated by JAMES MULHOLLAND
This article was taken from the Sunday Edition of Hyderabad Deccan Chronicle dated 19.10.2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
I had clips yesterday along with the widget to post whatever I like from the net but somehow I found that it was clashing with my browser and it slowed down the browser along with the coordination too. Let me try this for a couple of days and maybe I can review this ScribeFire. So far it's easy as I mentioned earlier that I am blogging from my browser.
I did speak with the Doctor in charge of the Malaysian students there (our agent) and he suggested that he should be hospitalised for 2 weeks because that's what they do for Chicken Pox cases. Anyway we decided against it and we are talking to my son everyday and he is doing okay now and I guess he needs another 4-5 days of rest. I know he is missing his classes and my wife is worried sick on his health and also on his food.
From what I know a couple of the first year students had Chicken Pox and he got it from one of them. Being a parent and being helpless in not being able to do anything for him is very hard for me to digest, even though Chicken Pox is one of those thing that you have to go through. My prayers are always with him for a speedy recovery.
Friday, October 17, 2008
"Aha!", exclaimed the engineer, "the building was never truly empty!"
The biologist said, "No, no - they must have procreated."
The mathematician pondered the situation. He slowly said, "If one more person enters the building, then it will be empty."
Reproduced from the net
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Profit from the Panic!
October 10, 2008 | By Adam Khoo | Dear Investors
What you are seeing now in the market is a PANIC!!!! People who have seen their stock value drop by 50% or more cannot take it and are just selling at whatever price they can.
Hedge funds, institutions and people who have borrowed heavily to buy stocks in the last few months, are not able to meet margin calls and are forced to sell. As individuals run to the banks and withdraw whatever money they have left, mutual funds are forced to sell their stock and raise cash to meet this withdrawls. So everyone is SELLING SELLING SELLING at whatever price they can get.
On the other hand, many people with cash are sitting on the sidelines not daring to buy anything for fear that it can go lower.So what happens when you have got millions of sellers and no buyers? Stock prices plunge like a stone! The Dow (8579 pts) is down almost 40% from its highs and the S&P 500 is down 42% to 909 points. This has happened in the last 12 months since the crisis erupted.
When fear and panic happens and people sell irrationally, fundamentals and intrinsic value are thrown out the window. This is exactly what we talked about during Wealth Academy. This is when good companies get dumped together with the bad. (metaphor: This is when people sell 20,000 square foot bungalows on Holland road for $1m). This happened in the 1920s, 1973, 1987, 2002 and now, it is happening again.
Even stocks that are NOT directly related to the financial crisis are being sold at ridiculous prices. Look at Health Care: UNH (intrinsic value (IV) $53) selling @$17.80 , WLP (IV: $95) selling @$36.50 Technology: AAPL (IV: $189) selling@$88.74 Agriculture: MOS (IV:$81)@$36.52 , POT (IV:$184) selling @$92.85, Consumer Staples: KFT (IV:$40) selling@$27.70.
We all know from history and common sense that the market will eventually recover and go to even higher highs. So, why do people still sell when the market is down? Well, because EMOTIONS always overcomes LOGIC in life, even in the markets.
People always fear that THIS IS THE END!!! It will NEVER COME BACK. Also, sometimes it is because people are forced to sell because they have borrowed money to invest or because they need to raise the cash to pay their expenses. This is why you should NEVER borrow to invest or invest with funds that you need for your daily expenses.
So, if you want to emerge a winner, then stay calm, keep your logic and hold and pick up SOUND COMPANIES which are NOT DIRECTLY AFFECTED BY THE CRISIS, have strong balance sheets (low debt, high cash), consistent earnings and a wide economic moat with a high future growth prospects ahead. Here is where you put all your learning s from Wealth Academy to the ultimate test.
If you can do this, you will be one of the very few (like me) who will PROFIT FROM THE PANIC. However, do BEAR in mind (no pun intended), that I personally don’t think this is the lowest point. There is still lots of possibility that the market will still GO LOWER. After breaking the 9000 support, the next support on the Dow is 7500. Meaning it can still go down another 17% from here. Plus, more banks are probably going to fail in the US and in the UK. The UK crisis has just begun and I see that taking a further toll on the market.
This is however, not going to stop me from accumulating strong stocks at discounted prices and accumulating more as it reaches the bottom in a few months. The most important thing is to focus on fundamentally strong stocks that got hit by the collateral damage and avoid the ones that really got hit i.e. Financials. The market will probably not rebound very fast immediately, it will take months or even years for it to climb back up so no rush.
For those of you who have attending my Wealth Academy Program, I will soon email a list of stocks that I am accumulating right now
Doomsday or Golden Opportunity?
October 7, 2008 | By Adam Khoo In |
It seems really difficult to be an investor these days…doesn’t it? Everything you could possibly invest in seems to be going down down down, from the US, UK, China and Singapore. From stocks to commodities.
The intuitive reaction is to get out of the stock market and get into cash. There is intense fear everywhere that this is financial Armageddon and that the stocks will never recover. Yesterday, CNBC’s Jim Cramer (the guy who predicted that Bear Sterns was FINE) threw in the towel and urged all his viewers to SELL SELL SELL, saying that the Dow Jones dropping another 20% to 7,700 is a possibility.
This fear of buying any stocks and the ’sell before I lose everything’ mentality is what is causing the huge drops in stock prices. The Dow Jones plunged to 9955 (as low as 9,600 intraday) and the S&P 500 down to 1,056.The indexes are down roughly 30% from their highs in Oct 2007. The markets have been on a downtrend for 12 months since the Financial crisis erupted.
Before you start panicking like the rest of the crowd and sell your stock positions, always remember that history always repeats itself. This same panic and fear that caused investors to sell at huge losses (and never daring to go back into the market again) is what happened during the last three crashes.
The Crash of 1973- 1974: Stocks crashed 45% over 24 months. It later rallied 300% over an 11 year bull run.
Black Monday (1987). Stocks crashed 38%. Within 2 months, it rallied 561% over a 12 year bull run.
The dot com bubble burst (2001-2003). Stocks crashed 36% over 24 months. It later rallied 86% over a 4 year bull run.
History shows that the harder they fall, the stronger the bull run that follows. Fibonacci expansion in technical analysis shows that the next XOP (extended objective point on the Dow over the next decade would be 18,000 points, The Dow is now at 9,900. That is a 100% return from where we are.
Invest Only With Money You Do Not Need
So, am I saying that you should take all your money and dump it in the stock market right now? NO! There is a high chance that the market could still go a lot lower before it gets better. Remember that we have been in a bear market for only 12 months. The last bear markets of 200-2003 and 1973-1974 lasted 24 months. We are down 30% from the highs. We could well go another 10-20%. Again, nobody can predict the market and I am not pretending to. Anything can happen and it is almost impossible to buy right at the bottom. For all I know, the market could recover and rally next month.
So, what does a smart investor (opposed to trader) do? The most important thing is to invest with money you do not need to use for the next 2-5 years!!!! The reason why people lose out the the stock market is because they are forced to sell at ridiculously low prices (like now) because they HAVE TO raise cash to pay for their house payments, car payments, children’s education. Never Ever Use Money Which You Will Need. And NEVER EVER EVER borrow money to INVEST.
Invest In Great Companies With Solid Fundamentals
Remember that crashes are where FORTUNES ARE MADE. It is YOU, the well educated investor from Wealth Academy that must now put all your learnings to the practical test. Now is the time to research on those great companies (wide economic moat, way undervalued, history of consistent earnings, Low or zero debt, high ROE) and buy them at huge discounts when NOBODY WANTS TO TOUCH STOCKS. When the market turns around (anywhere from 1 month-12 months), you will be those very few who can say that the crisis was where you made your fortune and laugh all the way to the bank.
This is exactly what our dear Warren Buffett is doing right now, spending billions buying up companies for just pennies to the dollar. He just bought up GE, Added to UNH and also GS. The safest thing you can do is to look at non-financial stocks (the financial stocks have assets that are just too complicated to value) or even just simply buying the Index ETFs! That is a no brainer!
As I have always used a consistent dollar cost averaging model, I will not be looking to time the market so much. Rather, I will just happily and consistently add more and more very good stocks to my portfolio REGULARLY at these really great bargain prices.
Goodie…A Recession May Be Coming Soon!
9 Months ago, I mentioned to all of you (in my earlier postings) that the US will not be entering a recession as the boost from US exports (from a falling US dollar) and steady consumer spending will keep moderate growth DESPITE INCREASING OIL PRICES and the financial crisis. Sure enough, the last two quarters of GDP growth WERE POSITIVE and kept the US out of recession.
However. I now think that there is a big possibility that a RECESSION WILL BE COMING. Here are the reasons (extracted from moneycentral.com- Jim Jubak)
1. On Sept. 24, the Commerce Department reported that sales of new homes had dropped by a seasonally adjusted 11.5% in August from July’s already low levels. Sales of 460,000 for the month were down from the 520,000 new homes sold in July and the 500,000 sold in June. Sales for August 2008 were down 34.5% from sales in August 2007 and reached their lowest monthly total since 1991.
2. The Labor Department reported that new unemployment claims had risen to a seasonally adjusted 493,000 in the week ending Sept. 20. That was up from 461,000 the week before. The total number of new and continuing claims climbed to 3.5 million, about 1 million more than at the same time in 2007. Recessions typically see new weekly claims rise to 500,000. The economy isn’t quite there yet, but it’s getting very close.
3. New orders of durable goods — cars, furniture and other items that are expected to last three years or more — fell 4.5% in August, the Commerce Department reported, after posting slight gains in July, June and May. Even after the exclusion of orders for aircraft, which fluctuate wildly from month to month, and automobile sales, which everyone knows are in the tank, new orders were down 3% in August.
4. Consumer spending is starting to be cut and the rally in the US dollar (because of the plunge in Europe) will hurt US exports as well.
So, Why the Hell is this Good?
Recession = Stock Market Recovery
As crazy as it may sound, the START OF RECESSIONS often signals the ENDING OF A BEAR MARKET.
Take a look at the timing of the bear market of 1973-74 and the recession of 1974-75. This 21-month bear market resulted in the S&P 500 500 Index falling 50% from January 1973 through October 1974. The economy didn’t actually go into a recession until the third quarter of 1974. Economic growth fell 4.4% in the third quarter of 1974, 2.2% in the fourth quarter of 1974 and 5.1% in the first quarter of 1975.
If you compare the timing of the recession and the end of the bear market, you’ll notice that the stock market bottomed in October 1974. That’s at the beginning of the fourth quarter. At that point, the recession had just begun and had another quarter and two thirds to run. From the end of October 1974 through the end of March 1975, while the recession was running in full roar, the S&P 500 ACTUALLY CLIMBED 13%.
Because STOCKS DO NOT REFLECT THE ECONOMY but ANTICIPATE IT, the stock market rallies before a recession actually ends. And it was the visible onset of a recession that, in the case of the 1974-75 recession, helped the stock market find a bottom.So let’s hope that the actual economic recession will come and start signaling the start of the new bull market and the creation on our next fortune.
OKAY, YOUR shoes don’t need to shine for you to be a superb leader. And please remember, leadership isn’t about your position, it’s a way of being — “Leading Without Title”, to be precise. Leadership is about holding yourself to world-class standards, taking personal responsibility (versus playing the victim), being excellent within the sphere of your influence, building beautiful relationships and elevating others by your example. My point is simply this: The way you do the little things says a lot about the way you will do the big things. And resigning yourself to mediocrity around your minor pursuits sets you up for mediocrity when it comes to the major ones.
If your yard or home is well organised, I’ll bet your life is well organised.
If you are attentive to details like remembering the birthdays of your friends and sending thank-you notes after every meeting, my guess is that you will be attentive to the details around your larger projects and bigger opportunities.
And if your place of business is spotless, there’s a great chance the work you do for your customers will reflect the same commitment to excellence. (I can tell a lot about a business by the cleanliness of their bathrooms; an immaculate bathroom shouts “We care!” and that caring translates into remarkable service.) So pay attention to the details. Focus on the small stuff (like crazy). Commit to OAD: Obsessive Attention to Detail. World class people and organisations always do. Because the little things truly are the big ones.
— Excerpted from The Greatness Guide 2 by ROBIN SHARMA. Published by Jaico Publishing House, firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Since I am waiting from 11.30 a.m. until 12.10 p.m. for the so-called Boss (that's what the staff said) I decided to blog and wanted to share how I feel sitting in a different environment for my interview. Its lunch time and I see the staff going out for their food. Now I'm thinking "What the hell am l doing here" away from my comfort zone and I'm feeling hungry like hell. Why can't anyone just stick to timing or appointments? Is it a right thing for me to do? Am I jumping from the frying pan to the fire?
I just went out for lunch and the Boss called me. I told him that I'm in the middle of my lunch (I had a bowl of fish ball noodles) and here I am waiting for him again. I have got used to this waiting, thanks to my years in India. I just checked with the staff and they told me that he is in his room but I can't get him on his phone. Thanks to my Pocket PC phone otherwise I won't be able to blog this while waiting. Let me call him again.
The interview was good and it lasted for 1.5 hrs. (Wondering why he just didn’t get me to sign the appointment letter). Now I have to meet the other director for the second round, guess I have to keep my fingers crossed again.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
The photo's above were taken last Sunday as we went to Little India at Jalan Masjid India in Kuala Lumpur and it is all decked up for Diwali shopping. I bought muruku and mixture along with some Indian savories as this is the time of the year where it is readily available.
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Day's are flying fast and nothing concrete has been firmed up with my company yet. I am sure you have noticed that all my blogs are somehow connected to my predicament that I am facing now and I bet you must have got bored reading my stuff.
I believe our mind is a very peculiar thing as it dwells on the problems that we have in hand and it looks for a way out by looking for solace and sympathy.
I have an interview tomorrow morning and hope things work out well and this time I shouldn't be asking for a fat pay. Just have to find a way to get out of this rut and maybe grab whatever that is being offered. I am still fine here sitting in this sinking ship with a bucket bailing out the water but eventually I guess the bucket would give way or I would die of exhaustion(or the ship would sink)
So do you think it's time for me to jump ship and look for the life line?
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Tuesday, October 14, 2008
"Reflect upon you present blessings, of which every man has many - not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some." --Charles Dickens
"When freedom prevails, the ingenuity and inventiveness of people creates incredible wealth. This is the source of the natural improvement of the human condition." --Brian S. Wesbury
"Having a vision for your life allows you to live out of hope, rather than out of your fears." --Stedman Graham
Monday, October 13, 2008
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It’s really hot outside and I had just finished my lunch and taking rest in my cabin cooled by the air-conditioner and listening to music from my laptop rather than being in the scorching sun at my work site. But my rest is always interrupted by that phone calls from my sub-contractors and also again from morning my connection to the net is off thanks to the heavy rains last evening.
My mind is always wondering and I just made a call for an interview for another job and I have got one coming up this Thursday at 9.30 a.m., could be a power breakfast chatting over a job prospect. I am really fed up sitting and waiting for things to happen at my work site as I have to be where the action is, in the midst of work, pressure and adrenalin flowing. Is that really asking for something too much?
The other alternative that I would rather be doing on a hot sultry afternoon would be sitting under the trees on an easy chair, with my iPod and a chill glass of beer with my favourite book. Now that would be asking for too much is it? But the thought did crop up and I know when I was working on the east coast by the sea, I’d really enjoy the afternoon at a seafood restaurant by the beach having a nice chill beer feasting on deep fried baby squids and deep fried prawns. But I guess everyday is not a Sunday and sometimes I have no choice but just to day dream about it as that’s the closest thing that I can get to.
Now what would you do on a hot afternoon? Take a nap? But then I can’t as I am at work or rather trying to get some work done. Even when I had my lunch just now, I had an earful from one of the purchasers who was pretty upset as no work has really started on his house. I really have no answer for him as I myself have no answer to our (company’s) impending problems.
There are so many questions but not many answers and eventually the problems would get solved by itself naturally by hook or crook. Is that what I learned from my MBA classes, this must be Management by chance or luck?
I was with my boys just now outside my cabin and we were chatting on the weather and trying to place bets on when the first rain drop would start to come down and I told them it’s at 5.00 p.m. and the others had said that it was 4.00 p.m. and so forth and it’s already 3.45 p.m. now and still no sign of rain even though the dark clouds are hovering above. When you are working on a site, you should see the guys betting habits and I know my supervisors would spend a lot of their money buying 4 digits lottery hoping to strike someday. That’s a different ball game altogether as I remember those days when had the “Site God”, whom we offer prayers without fail so that he would take care of us (our safety) and when we are about to close the site after the project had come to an end, we would ask the “site God” for lucky numbers and we all would buy as much as we feel we could afford and sometimes if you are lucky, you would strike but luck wasn’t with me most of the time. Maybe I should write a piece on my experiences on my site and about the incidents and accidents that I have had during my years of working as a site person.