Apr 27, 2015

Cory Diary: World of Warcraft (WOW) Online Economy

Every time when there's a major patch in the WOW game, there will be new contents, game play change, new crafting materials and more character levels. In addition, the currency in the game using Gold coins will suffer through significant Inflation Spikes.

After several rounds of patches (analogy to Economic Cycles), ones will learn the pain of inflation and the obsolescence of old materials used in crafting or consumption. Few facts in the game. There's aren't property and coins are virtual (not backed). The best way to beat inflation is to work to provide service by helping to beat Instance BOSS for players of new characters for weapons / equipments or improve our levels, develop new skills and produce new materials to trade. The enterprising ones will organise the service and do hard trades. Other than that is to convert most pre-patch materials to coins either through sales in auction before they become worthless. Cash is King !

In real life as time or technology progress, it will be home material decays/spoils/obsolete. Crude Oils and most Commodities don't go away other than Price Fluctuation but is not easy for most. Property do get old or lease shorten much but that's across a long period for you to manage it and subject to economic conditions and cash level. Entrepreneurs are few. For most, other than some fixed low returns and saving, our cash is subject to harsh inflation.

Well there are also alternative which is to continue to Work like in the game. But this may mean retirement at later age even if we are doing well and saved some money. 20-30 years down the road after your final pay check (several patches of the game), you will realised your purchasing power eroded significantly . Just ask yourself how much you pay for your bus ticket or a bowl of noodles 20 to 30 years ago. And soon you will be like your elders and complain things are expensive just like when i was in the game after every patch. I refused to buy this and that. And miss out some fun. Or go through the hard way to get them which may be a a lot more expensive process to do. We need to be at the forefront to actively tackle the issue before it becomes a problem especially so for those who like to retire early.

We know from the game, holding on to old things won't work well. Inflation is slippery slope.We need to keep learning and have the willingness to take on new things that suits us to stay ahead of the game.

My solution is to try to make Money from Money in real life which the game couldn't. To Save, Preserve and Grow our Capital. And for this, I have to Invest Prudently. I am not saying this is easy and risk is real but there simply not much alternatives for the old me. My Strength is Wisdom and Capital, so make use of them wisely.

26th April 2015

Apr 20, 2015

Cor Diary : Gold Metal

Recently i have been trying to simplify my investment yet achieve the stability and diversification needed.
Everything is up for review. Few things I did so far.

- Increased holding in STI ETF and Bond.
- Sold DBS Preference Shares.
- Sold significant portion of my USD and NTD
- Build up some cash by taking profit on a number of run up stocks

I could not find a suitable equity to re-balance into currently. Probably need to find an entry point some time later this year.

Another area i am looking at is metal. Gold has been in my portfolio for a couple of years already and since i last sold around 1700 ( half of them i guess ), it has only been routine value update on my overall net worth which constitutes roughly 1%+. Is there more for hedging when the World or Singapore go seriously wrong.

Inflation wise, i think property is already good at mitigation. I can't imagine myself taking sampan with gold to escape either. As my Gold is virtual, the transaction cost impact is low. Decided to sell all my Virtual Golds. They were held in USD and NTD. And i expect to have some forex gains too. Great ! Achieve another level of simplification.

What else ? hmmm

20th April 2015

Apr 17, 2015

Cory Diary : Falling Knives

In stock investment my thought is always about Capital Preservation. Thus, if we take care of the down side, we win mid to long term consistently. What does this actually means ?

1. Avoid landmines by not going into their field no matter how attractive it is
    S-Chips, Commodity stocks

2. Management Integrity
    Any listed companies screw me once (that works against minority shareholder), i will ban them for life

3. Industry Issue
    A good example i think is shipbuilding/owner.A rather competitive industry which will stay that way.

4. Look for Reasonable Dividends with robust Growth potential together with sufficient profit margins
    Basically has certain level of moat, skill set, positive practice or stability in grind into the company

17th April 2015