Is Jobs Credit Scheme effective?

Hello,

Watch this video by MP Low, who gave some constructive and solid feedback.

Hougang MP Low Thia Khiang’s Budget 2009 Speech

Travel South to Mokpo => Haenam => Wando and back Seoul

On Dec 11, I went with my Korean colleague to a place which I had never heard of, i.e. Mokpo (aka Mokpo-si). To make money more well spent, we took a normal train that depart @ 07.05 am instead of KTX (much faster but double the price) since we were not in the rush. Strangely, the train was delayed for 30 minutes which rarely happened according per my colleague.

Half an hour later we board the train and began our travel journey to the south part of Korea as the train moved out from Yongsan station. By the time we reached the destination it was already half past twelve in the afternoon.  Quickly, we went to the Tourist information counter to grab a map of Mokpo before we headed for lunch to please our hungry stomach..

After lunch, we began our walking to explore Mokpo city. We walked towards Yudal mountain to catch the picturesque of the city.

Accordingly to my travel companion, we should not miss the “Gatbawi” (갓바위) , a pair of rocks in Mokpo-shi, Jeollanam-do which form a small peninsula a bit east of the main part of Mokpo. The two rocks are called Jeongbawi and Satgatbawi. It was considered to be one of Mokpo’s “Eight Scenic Spots.” The name was also used for the Gatbawi Cultural Street in Mokpo, on which was located the Korean National Maritime Museum and the Moko Natural History Museum. We also went to the fish market place where you saw owners both opposite sides calling you to drop by their store to buy their fresh seafood.

Since this place was known for seafood place, I was told to try the “live octopus that sprinkle with lots of sesame oil”. The restaurant owner served the dish with live octopus along with a pair of scissor for us to use. It was cut into pieces and the poor octopus was still moving vigorously. It looked exactly what you saw them on TV. It took me awhile to conquer my fear before I decided to try a tiny piece of the octopus. I used the chopsticks to pick up the creature and very quickly put inside my mouth and chewed as fast as I could. What is the taste like? Hmmm……..sashimi….and luckily it was very fresh so I didn’t puke.

The next day we walked to the bus-interchange in Mokpo to catch morning bus to Haenam. Typically, like Mokpo city you cannot find any foreign tourist like me. I managed to catch the sunrise the next morning and it was really beautiful.

Wando was our last stop of our entire trip. Clueless of what places of interests it offered there however it was not difficult to discover quickly with the help of a big banner that mentioned some Korean dramas were filmed here, such as Zhu Meng and recent Emperor of the Sea. We took a bus that would bring us to the filming place and the journey was about 50 minutes.

FOC is rare in today’s world especially when it is a popular filming location. Each of us had to cough up 4,000 won to pay for entrance fee. We took about 45 minutes to cover the filming site and had to catch the public bus that would brought us back to interchange so as not to miss our bus @ 3.45 pm which we brought us back to Seoul @ Gangnam Bus Terminal. Home Sweet Home……. ^ ^.

Good Bye 2008, Welcome 2009!

2008 is coming to a close. Lots of history were made. Lots of records broken.

May 2009 bring everyone peace, health, wealth and harmony!

Wishing you a Happy New Year!

Is AIG a Good Buy?

Hello,
I have been asked by a friend of mine if it is a good time to buy some American International Group (AIG) shares. Obviously, AIG had been in the papers for the wrong reasons recently.

In the papers, an article claimed a rich man had brought more than 1 million shares in AIG at US$1.50. However, that was before the US government announced her bailout plans for AIG. After the announcement, you probably knew what happened to AIG share price.

Yesterday, I was at a shop and a gentleman was advising his friends that it might be good time to buy some AIG shares now. What are your opinions? Is AIG a good buy now? I need to put on a disclaimer for the sake of my readers.

Here’s my disclaimer: All ideas, opinions, and/or forecasts, expressed or implied herein, are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as a recommendation to invest, trade, and/or speculate in the markets. You should not rely upon any of my materials for purposes of transacting securities or other investments, and you are encouraged to conduct your own research and due diligence, and to seek the advice of a qualified securities professional before you make any investment.

Opinions:

  1. How did AIG get into such a state? From a all time high price of more than US$100, and a free fall to a all time low price of less than US$2. So, is it a good quality company? Hey, I’m not a qualified accountant but common sense tell me there are more bad reasons than good ones as reflected in her share price.
  2. Did the rich man know something that you don’t? He is a rich successful seasoned investor and knows how the financial markets work many many times more than you and me. He probably has all his plans laid out before he even carried out his investment. Do you have a plan? If I have the will to succeed but no will to prepare and plan, I don’t think my chances will be high.
  3. When the news hit the papers, it is probably old news. Can you gain an edge and profit from it? Maybe yes or maybe no. My opinions are news will always get an investor on the wrong side of a position. Don’t depend on the news, which are always old! Don’t depend on others to tell you what to do. Do your own research and trust them. Have an exit plan in advance if your research is wrong. And stick on it!
  4. If you are a taxpayer, are you happy or even delighted to hear that a government is using your money to bail out a company on the brink of folding? I will most probably be angry that my money is used in such a manner. As a common shareholder, be enlightened on the fact that you will be the last to receive any leftover cash after all assets have been liquidated if a company goes bust!
  5. Find something that you understand instead of something that have more unanswered questions that even her CEO can’t find a solution to them. You will probably sleep better at night without worrying about your good bye on AIG shares!

Who’s Laughing to The Bank?

At this juncture when the financial news were painted in full bright RED, lots of people on the street will most probably suffer some sort of losses in terms monetary or increase anxiety. Of course, anxiety can be in many forms such as worrying about one’s job security, how will one meet end needs if the economy stay bad for longer than expected.

While all these events are unfolding, do you know who still get to benefit the most? Right, the CEO of the firm. They may even get a big pay cheque even when they get fired or run the firm into the history books of non-existence a.k.a bankruptcy.

I have to pity those who have put their money in DBS High Notes 5. They may not get back a single cent of their investment. So much, for the promised of annual return of about 5 per cent if it comes with a full wiped out of one’s initial investment. Any kind of investments will come with some form of risks. A experienced surgeon, who performs a simple operation with a 1% risk, will also get his patient’s to sign that the surgeon may not be at fault if the operation may turn bad and the patient’s life may be at stake. I am not here to add fuel to the fire.

Let’s offer some constructive ideas to address the issue:

  1. Knows your risks: First, always look at the risk of your investment before you even think about your profit. If the risks suck the life out of your investment or you can’t sleep with the risks, then it may be tough to meet the estimated profit.
  2. Don’t let your fund managers/financial advisers/brokers break your bank: Do you or others care more about your money? I believe you will answer yourself instead of others. Others will always attempt to meet their very own goals before they care about yours. Take a more active role in your financial planning. It can be as simple as looking at your daily expenses.
  3. Planning is too tough, maybe CPF is the way to go. Lots of people forget that the Singapore Central Provident Fund interests rate offer an annual return of 2.5% and 4% in the Ordinary and Special Account respectively. Recently, it just got a little more attractive with the 1st S$60,000 of the combined accounts will get an extra 1% annualized return. However, some will say they want more control in their wealth. Hey, if you ain’t taking an active role in your planning and the banks just pay you less than 1% on your money you save with them, then you should consider CPF as an alternative. Do remember to have a total of at least 6 months of your last drawn salary in your saving account for rainy day. Money that goes into the CPF cannot be taken out like you wish for your bank account.
  4. Take a closer look at REITs and some Trust such as CitySpring. They will never give you explosive returns, however they will give you good yields on a more constant basis with lesser wild roller-coast rides of a market.

Obviously, these 4 steps will not get you laughing to the bank. Remember the journey goes on even if you decide to do nothing. A start is better than never.

May Everyone Have A Better and Brighter Tomorrow

Hello,
Recent news headlines flashed that we may be facing one of the greatest crisis after the Great Depression? What do you think? If you are affected directly or indirectly by the recent events, I wish you well. May we have a better and brighter tomorrow when this crisis goes into the history books.

Steps to Convert Audio CD into MP3 format using CD-DA X-Tractor

I am sharing this encoding guide, hope you find it useful. If you have any advise on how to make it better, please leave a comment. Thanks

Things to note:

  • There are lots of MP3 encoders out there. I will only discuss CD-DA X-Tractor, which is available on Xtractor Sourceforget.
  • Get the latest Lame encoder DLL file from Free-Codecs.
  • Guide is based on Windows Operating System that CD-DA X-Tractor can be installed.

Steps:

  1. Install CD-DA X-Tractor application by following the instructions given by installation steps.
  2. Next, copy the latest Lame encoder DLL file into the installation directory of CD-DA X-Tractor.
  3. Launch CD-DA X-Tractor and insert your Audio CD.
  4. Click on Refresh CD button and the tracks from the Audio CD will appear.
  5. Click on Options and select Output settings. Change the Encoder to Lame Encoder DLL and then click ok. If you want your MP3 output at a particular directory, change it accordingly.
  6. Click Rip Tracks to start your MP3 encoding.
  7. The ripping status will appear on a smaller window.
  8. When the rip is done, you will see the status of each track on CD-DA X-Tractor.
  9. Transfer your MP3 songs to your MP3 player using a USB cable to enjoy your favourite songs.
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