Thursday, November 23, 2006

The Second Coming

It's been a busy week. Our client arrived here in the country last Sunday morning. He trained the new hires for our department the early part of the week so we only got to meet with him yesterday morning. He updated us on the developments regarding the project at their end. It's good to know that we're on track, and that their clients were generally happy with our output. I find particularly useful the briefing he gave us about their clients' requirements. We were able to clear up some grey areas. I am confident that the team be more proactive now that we know where the project is headed.

The client seems to really like it here. He is a real trouper and would like to try anything Filipino. He's not scared of our "balut" or "tapuy". He already wants San Mig Light every lunch. He also likes to wander a lot. He went to the Baywalk alone late last night. Too bad we can't bring him to Sagada and Banahaw because of his tight schedule. He wants to listen to Filipino music. I'm almost tempted to introduce him to the "exotic"April Boy sound. He plans to go to Greenhills sometime to look for electronic bargains. Hopefully he won't get charged more than the acceptable "foreigner" premium pricing.=)

He want see more "gimik" places here but we can't think of something with distinct Filipino flavor. Suggestions?

Friday, September 29, 2006

Milenyo, Makati and Me

The typhoon Milenyo (international codename: Xangsane) wreaked havoc in Makati yesterday. People were caught unawares. When we woke up yesterday morning, my wife and I had no idea of the coming tempest. I, along with my teammates, was in the office doing the research our American client requested when the rain came. At first we took no notice of it because we're used to the freaky weather in this country. Then at about 10 .am. the strong winds howled... I looked outside the window and the rain was not even falling diagonally. It went in horizontal gusts like to the water coming of a car wash jet's nozzle. I saw a man on a bicycle being pushed backwards by the wind. Car alarms wailed. Power soon went out and the generators kicked in. Our internet connection (Globe) failed so we cannot work on our projects anymore. My wife called and asked if she can pick me up. Our team leader got the go- signal from our operations manager to leave, if the internet is still offline by lunchtime.

Dex and Ricky left around 12. My wife called a few minutes later and told me she's already waiting for me downstairs. I packed my stuff and went down. As soon I exited the double doors, I understood the gravity of the situation. The trees of the once-serene and orderly Salcedo Park were being battered by the 200kph wind. Some of the trees have fallen. Branches were torn-off. Debris and litter were flying everywhere. Corrugated iron sheets from construction sites lay strewn across the road as the storm played with them like they were paper.

Some of my things fell as I neared the car so I had to scramble and pick them up.
I fastened my seat belt as soon as I got in the car. The car was rocking to and fro. Visibility was limited to a few feet. The rain battered the car continuously. Every meter was a battle. We looked for a way out. The traffic signs were not working. The MAPSA officers, who are usually there when not needed nor wanted, could have restored some semblance of order but none were available.
Sayang lang yung mga kotong... It was anarchy. A taxi driver cut us off while we were trying to change lanes. A second later a falling tree hit his car's trunk. Our lane was not moving. We took a shortcut near Urdaneta village towards Ayala Ave. We reached EDSA. Billboard structures were swaying and could fall any moment. We passed by a house in an exclusive subdivision whose thick perimeter wall had collapsed towards EDSA. We took the right turn at Kalayaan flyover towards the Fort. Once we had reached the Shell gasoline station, we experienced the full fury of the storm. There were few buildings that could act as wind barriers because most projects were still under construction. A heavysignboard from a commercial area flattened two parked cars. It seems no one was inside the cars.

We decided to take refuge at the nearby Market! Market! Mall. Debris were coming at us as we crawled towards the covered parking lot. As we entered the building, the wind had increased in intensity. The car shuddered every gust. The tires were slipping against the pavement. We were able to park in the second level. We held on tight to the railings as we crossed the slippery walkway that leads towards the mall. Three men were stationed at the double doors to keep them closed against the wind. Yellow Cab and Oody's were the only establishments open. Many people took sanctuary in the Mall. We sat on the floor near the G2000 store and read the books we brought from the car. The storm passed hours later. We arrived home around 4:30 pm. We have no electricity and water until now.
We thank God for keeping us safe.

Here are some links about the storm:
Click here for pictures
Click here
for Dexter's personal account

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Golden Days are long gone.

Not even a slight echo. About 30% of the seats are empty. People whisper to one another.

The Path Lies Elsewhere.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Here's my Homework, part 3

Venture Capital blogs

Genuine VC
Redeye VC
The Post Money Value
Venture Capital, Entrepreneur, Investment Banking, M & A, Job, Technology
Don Dodge on The Next Big Thing
*cleaned up the posts*

Here's my Homework. part 2

Real estate investment trusts and real estate-related
Investing in The US Real Estate Market (REIT
Rob's Greater Vancouver Real Estate Blog
C. Frederick Wehb

Real Estate Investment Trust
Housing News Blog
The Housing Bubble Blog
Real Estate Investment News Daily (splog)
Real Estate Wealth Web (splog)
*cleaned up the URL mess*

Here's my Homework.

Market psychology

Market Psychology Blog
This blog is dedicated to market psychology. One of the authors is Richard Peterson M.D., a managing partner of Market Psychology Consulting and a collaborating researcher at the Stanford University in Neuroscience. He is currently trying to get a hedge fund off the ground. The blog features very useful psychological insights on current market developments.

Trading Blog
Jeff White is the founder and chief technical analyst of While the site is generally about stock trading, his blog offers an applicable psychological approach to investing.

Economic Psychology
This blog offers general views on behavioral economics. What may be useful are the references and hyperlinks the author mention inside the posts.

Kevin McCabe is the director of the Center for the Study of Neuroscience in George Mason University. He is a published author of books on the subject. His posts are interspersed with highly scientific jargon.

Four of Two
The blog is a personal blog that details how and why the author undertake certain investments. No professional info is available on the author.

The Big Picture
The blog is about the author's psychological reaction to macroeconomic events. It is worthwhile reading.

*cleaned up the URL mess*

Paging Richard

How about a team-building in Boracay? just kidding

Richest of The Rich

Hedge fund managers compensation keep on rising. Two more fund managers breached $1 Billlion in commission.

This, despite the decreasing net returns from fund performance.

Is there a hedge fund based in the Philippines?

Lifestyles of The Filthy Rich and Slightly Famous

Greenwich's Outrageous Fortune

It describes how the hedge fund managers from Wall Street are changing the local scene in Greenwich, Connecticut. It is estimated that about $120 billion of hedge funds are being managed here.I can only imagine the impact of that much money on the original residents.

Aside from tales 30,000 sq. ft. mansions and personal helicopters, it also profiles 3 of the more known fund managers namely Edwin Lampert ($3.5 Billion), Steven Cohen ($2.5 Billion) and Paul Tudor Jones ($2 Billion).

What frustrates me is that they have that much money, and most of it are being spent on lifestyles that benefit only their massive egos. They don't even live on their $15 million dollar mansions.

They could have helped change many people lives instead.

Long Term Capital Management.

Long Term Capital Management was a hedge fund managed by two Nobel Prize winners that tanked because of over-leveraged aggressive postions. They have roughly $5 billion capital in with about $150 billion aggregate positions. The volatile market movements triggered the collapse of a debt-enabled house of cards. The fund management team's credibility in the industry and the spectacular performance (30-40% net annual return for about 5 years) helped dispell creditors' misgivings about giving loans. The collapse threatened to spread to creditors but was averted by the intervention of the then Fed Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan.

Whats frustrating for the managers is that their market positions were generally sound and would have made them a lot of money if only the fund had the additional fund to offset volatility.

LTCM is a favorite hedge fund story. In this Market, no one is infallible.

The Legendary Soros

George Soros is the legendary hedge fund manager who is credited as " the man who broke the Bank of England" in 1992. He risked $ 10 billion dollars in a single play to force the Bank to devalue the overpriced pound. He earned more than a billion dollars in that play. He is also known as a major philantropist, donating billions of dollars to foundations in countries he wants to help to become "open societies".

That play must have taken huge balls. George Soros is one of my role models.

Hedge Fund regulation

Hedge funds leave SEC

2/3 of hedge funds are based offshore to minimize regulation. Recently the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ruled that hedge funds do not have to register in order to operate. A month later, ten hedge funds withdrew their registration from the said agency.

Trillion dollars of unregulated funds moving fast and at the whim of the fund managers could severely damage weak and not-so-weak economies. Even a token regulation is better than none.

Hedge Funds

Almost everybody had heard of hedge funds. Yet not many know what its about except that its replacing "mutual funds" as the "in" thing in investment world. Part of the hedge fund myth is fueled largely by the edification of hedge fund managers as investment genuises. Multihundred million dollars average annual paycheck of the top 25 managers (with the top two breaking the billion dollar mark last year) makes them the rock stars of Wall Street. Here are some blogs about the hedge fund world.

A hedge fund is...

Alfred Winslow Jones coined the term in 1946. Basically, a hedge fund is a limited partnership company with a fund manager. The partnership allows a maximum of 499 investors with each a minimum annual income of $200,000 and a net worth of at least $1,000,000.

Hedge funds are the new status symbols.

The hedge funds strategy of investing involves going long on a favored stock and shorting an unfavored one, to gain on both price movements.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The zero moment

Hi there! this is my first post as i embark on my quest to be an online investment analyst. Your comments and suggestions are welcome. Thanks.