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Option Trading Friday, 7 December 2007

Posted by dragonzlad in Money Money.
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I attended a free seminar on option trading today. I was quite sceptical initially for two reasons when I signed up. Firstly, nothing is really free in this world unless you have a sugar daddy/mummy and even then, those are not “free” either! Secondly, a big name Mirriam MacWilliams would be sharing her knowledge in the seminar. So I went with an open mind hoping to learn practical stuff about option trading since I have the basics already.

Boy, was I disappointed. It was nothing more than a marketing gimmick, to foster an interest in options trading amongst us and to whet our appetite for easy wealth. Now, if you have attended a MLM “Seminar” before, you will understand why I said that. The only real thing about option that was “taught” was “Call Up, Put Down”! That is, buy a Call option if you think the underlying will go up or a Put option when you think it will go down. Other than that, success stories and testimonials were presented. I think I learnt more about antioxidants and its benefits from Nuskin seminars than I did in this options trading seminar! However, one thing that struck me during the seminar was the claim that was made by the presenter – no margin required. For a while, I was interested. Margin requirements can be a bane for most investors who do not have the cash reserve to meet margin calls. Therefore, no margin requirement would mean more funds available for investing. But I remembered that options trading, like futures trading, can be very risky. So I did a quick check when I got home and found that margins are required except when the trade done was for a long put or long call option. This information was obtained from two sources (WallStreete.com, Interactive Brokers). Maybe there is something I don’t know about the trading regulations. Perhaps, it can be circumvented? So I may be wrong (do tell me please!), but in any case, I am beginning to have doubts about this company providing the seminar and option trading training services!

While I have no doubts that the 2 presenters have made their wealth through option trading, I did wonder why they even bother to be involved in the business of teaching option trading if they are already rich (MacWilliams is reported to be a multi-millionaire after all)? To generate additional stream of income (but they are rich already, aren’t they?) or are they really noble and want to share their trading secrets (for a fee of course)? I think I am being too cynical, what do you think? ūüėõ

Whatever it may be, I really frown on such marketing tactics. Not only did this event waste 3 hours of my precious time and peak-hour taxi charges (very expensive considering that the ride took no more than 20 minutes!), I felt like I had been taken for a ride. What about the free handbook and CD-rom that were given? Surely that ought to make up for my costs and time? For me, they were nothing but publicity material Рnot a shred of real knowledge can be learnt from them. It was indeed a wasted evening for me!

Lesson in Love Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Posted by dragonzlad in Life in General.
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I caught myself just as I was about to say,”My biggest regret was to have met J.” to a friend when we were discussing the betrayal that I had experienced. Then¬†I realised that¬†it wasn’t true, for if not for J, I would not have¬†understood what being loved¬†feels like and what it is to¬†love someone.¬† What started off as a game to see if I could be made to leave my then-ex girlfriend, opened my eyes to¬†the games people can play on one another even if they are “friends” and which also¬†turned out to be the greatest lesson in love. While I am certainly more careful now with a certain group of people who will always appear in my life as long as we have the same group of friends, I guess I can’t say that meeting J was my biggest regret.

Zouk Saturday, 17 November 2007

Posted by dragonzlad in Life in General.
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I used to like clubbing when I was studying in uni. It’s one of the few things that we could do in the evenings then. But I haven’t done so for a long time now as I got older. It was a very rare chance that I found myself once more at Zouk last week. The crowd at Zouk has changed. I remember a time when the dressing would be very avant garde (to me anyway!) where fashionable, quirky and even strange dressing can be found. Now, it is simply fashionable or just simple. I also remember that the Velvet room used to house really gorgeous men and women. Now, it seems just ordinary. Maybe back then, I had stumbled into a models’ night out in Zouk. So there I was back in Zouk after many years of absence. I wasn’t sure what I’ll do. Drinking is very expensive in Singapore so I know drinking myself silly is out of the question. And dancing in Singapore is ridiculous since it more like a body rub with so many people squeezed into a dance floor.

I was introduced to some people my friend knew and we moved over to the members-only area on the second floor where they had bottles of whiskey and volka opened. The drinking started. Somehow the music that I have always found to be far too loud and deafening seems to get softer as the drinks flowed. A caucasian man started talking to me as I looked down on the gyrating bodies below me. After a few minutes of chatting, I excused myself. It just got a little weird to be talking to someone who was very touchy feely. Of course, when that happened I knew I was being hit upon. Seems like gay Caucasian men are less inhibited compared to the locals. The only other two times (yeah, it is so rare that I can remember the number of times) when I was molested were in this gay club that my uni mates and I had gone to (for the great music there of course) and at a night out in Singapore with some friends. The latter was the most apparent as the offender wasn’t too concerned about concealing her actions. She probably knew then that I would never know her identiy as the group hug that was taking place would have concealed the owners of that pair of amorous hands. Luckily she never ventured south and I didn’t have to make a fuss about it.

So my friends were laughing at me for being hit on by a gay man. A few minutes later, another group of men came next to our group. They had Moet with them. There is something about gay men and their Moet I think. So far, I have seen at different occasions where gay men drank Moet at clubs. Was it like an unspoken invitation for other gay men to approach, like in the use of mineral water bottles at cruising grounds many years ago in Singapore. Has the local gay population gone upmarket and adopted the use of Moet instead?

I started to get a little drunk which was easy considering that I hardly drink. And I started to groove and dance along to the music. Everyone seems to be enjoying themselves and one girl seemed to get friendly with M. It wasn’t surprising given his tanned, model goodlooks and a hot bod.

By the time we called it a night, I was literally stumbling out of the club. Never been that drunk since those days in the military. It was quite a laugh but not the next morning when the high wore off leaving a horrible lousy feeling!

X’mas Wish List Sunday, 4 November 2007

Posted by dragonzlad in Life in General, Objects of my desire.
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I’ve never written a wish list before. When I first started working and for those years that I was “single”, cash flow was never an issue and I never thought more than twice about buying anything so long as it wasn’t an expensive item. Now that I have changed jobs, I find myself having to shore up my depleted savings with a smaller pay. So that takes precedence over many things nowadays. Life was simpler without that¬† many commitments! And because of that I realised that I had to think hard about the things I want. Yeah, they are mostly “Wants” :p

In fact, I have to create a list and go through a list of questions in my head – “Do I need this?”, “Can I settle for something else and save money in the process?”…. Just like the bag that¬†I had bought last week. I had wanted something stylish (read “branded”) but which would cost me several hundreds of dollars. I mulled over it for weeks before buying a leather bag that costs me a tad over a hundred without compensating in the style department. Of course I didn’t bother much about the leather just so long as it looks and feel real to me. It was a good buy. Everyone thought it looked really nice.

And now that it is November, I have begun to mentally accumulate the things I would like to have for Christmas. Unfortunately, I never once had anything I had really wished for in a Christmas present so I guess I’ll have to be buy them for myself! Here’s what is in my list so far:

X’mas Wish List

1. SonyEricsson w960i S$800

Sonyericsson W960i

2. Nike+ S$55 and Ipod Nano S$248 (previous generation 2GB S$80)

Nike+

3. Mizuno Wave Creation 8 S$229 or Addidas Adizero LT $178 or
    Mizuno Wave Rider 10 S$189

Mizuno Wave Creation 8

4. Nokia speakers S$100+
5. 2 More shirts and trousers S$200 (a definite must-get as I’ve a severe shortage!!)
6. ……..

A bulk of the list (currently anyway) consists of fitness items as I have recently been inspired to run more regularly and I thought it will really be nice to run in proper running shoes and train with electornics (Nike+ & Ipod Nano) that will measure the distance, pace etc and select the best music according to my pace.

Sadly, as my finances is unlikely to improve very soon, I’ll probably have to settle for the cheaper options such as the cheapest shoes in Item 3 and stick with my current phone (which I still think is the best gadget so far)!

 Check out the new yet-to-be-released in Singapoe SonyEricsson W960i:

Change Thursday, 1 November 2007

Posted by dragonzlad in Life in General.
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How much of yourself, in terms of personality and character, would you change yourself to fit the environment or to better yourself?

I realised that throughout my life, I have always absorbed all the feedback that I can get so that I can be a better person, either professionally or as a peron. Where feedback was not forthcoming, I would observe people that I thought were role models and learnt from them. Did I lose my own flavour along the way that many people say would be the consequence of such an action? An ex-uni mate of mine did say that I was boring¬†once but then again her words doesn’t carry any weight with me, or with most of our mates for the matter, as she isn’t exactly someone that many would look up to.

So far, this effort has done me well. And I am puzzled lately when I realised that a close friend doesn’t share the same sentiments. I am beginning to realise that even the closest of¬†friends cannot accept frank feedback that are given with in the most constructive manner. Or can they? I think it all depends on how much ego one has and how willing one is to change. No one¬†loves to be told of his shortcomings but if he is unwilling to acknowledge that no one is can be perfect, then he would have allowed his ego to prevent him from being the better person that he can be. As for willingness, a whole industry in change management has sprung up to assist corporations in winning the mind and heart of employees in their quest to re-engineer operations and improve bottom lines. So it is defintely not an easy thing to tackle, like ego. Both are so fused with emotions, beliefs and principles that it can be difficult to deal with even for the person in question. This is certainly the case for dear friend!

Last Quarter of 2007 Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Posted by dragonzlad in Life in General.
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Despite saying this all the time, I always have and do wonder why time fly past so quickly. It’s the final quarter of the year and it seemed that my trip to UK had been many months ago. I certainly also feel that all the major changes that had taken place this year had occurred and gone by very quickly. My MBA is finally completed and it wrapped up quite nicely for me with good grades in my summer subjects, and most importantly, the project. As much as I enjoy learning and reading, sometimes just plonging down in front of the TV and sipping wine can be more enjoyable. I have half the mind to give up on my plans to pursue further professional studies. Perhaps it is time that I settle into my new job and consider focusing on whatever prospects there may be in the department for the first few years. To give myself time for that and to enjoy more leisurely pursuits.

Protected: I wish… Sunday, 30 September 2007

Posted by dragonzlad in Personal.
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Daylight Molestation Sunday, 30 September 2007

Posted by dragonzlad in Life in General.
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It was unbelievable. The audacity of the person (an older man, probably in his 50s) molesting someone in broad daylight! I was at the road junction of Katong Park, which is very near the infamous cruising ground of Fort Road, waiting for the light to turn green when I saw a tall, hunky dude. He was a runner dressed only¬†in his running shorts with a heartbeat monitor strapped to his chest. I was just marvelling at his bod, thinking he have it all (looks, height and brawn, at least from the distance that I was at), and wondering how many others at the junction was doing the same when this older man dressed in shabby pants and short sleeve shirt tucked out crossed the road towards the runner. With his dark coloured attire and generally shabby look, one would probably mistake him to be a odd job labourer heading towards the constuction site at Fort Road. Initially, I thought he was a friendly old chap as he waved a hello to the runner as he reached him across the road. The runner replied hi with a slight wave of his hand and a smile. Then it happened so quickly that you wondered if it could actually happen in broad day light at a busy road junction.¬†The older man suddenly reached out¬†and squeezed the runner’s biceps. It was so fluid and continuous from his hello¬†gesture that one would¬†have thought that they were friends (probably neighbours or even uncle and nephew?) if not for the very immediate reaction¬†from the ¬†runner. He swatted his hand away, took a half step back and immediately started running across the road when the pedestrain light turned green at the exact same moment. I was stunned and disgusted by the audacity of this ti ko peh (“dirty old man” in Hokkien). I reckoned then that he wasn’t a construction worker on his way back to his work site but more likely to be a gay person heading to the cruisy Fort Road car park or cuising grounds deeper in the vegetation of Fort Road. I was sure that many others on the four roads of the cross junction witnessed the whole thing. It was a pity that such an action would probably result in even more anti-gay sentiments from the witnesses. Unfortunately, he was also the same group of older gay people who are likely to be illiterate and insensitive to the social and political implications of his actions. The government has recently decided not to abolish the homosexuality law that criminalises sexual acts between two or more persons of the same gender stating that it was against public interest as the majority denounces homosexuality. This action certainly did nothing to further the cause of the gay community.

Update to The New Job Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Posted by dragonzlad in Life in General.
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And so I have gotten over the initial period of anxiety that is usually the norm in a new environment (I hope it isn’t just me!) and finding work to be better than it was when I just started. Still, there are many things to learn. One thing for sure, schools do not teach many things except lay the foundation to grasp new ideas and concepts more easily.

Finally got some time to myself and afforded myself the small pleasure of catching up with some friends through their blogs. It’s a little depressing to see them enjoying themselves while I¬†probably will be busy studying till after Dec when I’ll stop, take stock of my life and decide what I need to do. So many opportunities are not made available to me¬†now as¬†I’m on contract. Sad to¬†know that colleagues are being sponsored for courses that I want to take and may probably have to pay for on my own if I do not want to wait for the uncertain future to present itself clearer.¬†¬†¬†Oh well, c’est la vie.

 Oh, one thing for sure, with my life as busy as it is now, it certainly is easier to keep naughty thoughts in check!

Numb3rs Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Posted by dragonzlad in Career.
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Three weeks into the job and i’m feeling tired already. Its surprising given that the work is not physical. Just sitting at the desk,staring at computer screens, and punching numbers is tiring. It wasn’t the same in my previous job and i thought that was more physical. I hope this is only so because i’m still in the transition period when i’m still trying to learn the processes and the various seemingly disparate IT systems.

The role is very routine – checking numbers and dealing with client issues. I wonder how some my colleagues could have stayed in the role for so many years.¬† The only thing making this worthwhile is the fact that i’m finally working in one of the firms that i have always wanted to. I would think that doing investment analysis, private banking, and even quantitative stuff would be more interesting and engaging.

¬†Gotta hang on….