Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Day 1: Fundamental Analysis

My plan is to stick with EUR/USD and try to get something from there. I currently have a system which I will reveal when I have the time to do so. So let's start with fundamental analysis for Europe and US.

First of all, the biggest news yesterday was the 50 points Fed cut which spurs equities to rally upwards. Sad to say it is bad news for the USD as it EUR/USD (from hereon called "euro") soars. Markets are currently in consolidation on uncertainty after the rush yesterday. As can be seen here on the USD/JPY (from hereon called "gopher").
Look at the latest movements. The sudden spike was due to yesterday's rate cute of 50 points and then it cools off with a little of correction before moving sidewards with no clear direction of where to go. I am of course not trading on gopher but looking at how both stochastics and RSI linger around the midpoint is a clear sign of market consolidation.

I suspect all we need is a good news for the price to suddenly go up or down. I suspect that global equities rising leads to weakening of the yen but we'll see the full extent with a bit more time to come.

Back to the euro, now that we know people are uncertain about how the USD is relative to the JPY, we could say people are uncertain about whether the USD is overpriced or underpriced. It all depends on the euro. Let's look for signals, from fundamentals (i.e. news articles).

Here are some which I think might be relevant.
  1. Belgium break-up fears.
    With no new government for 101 days after their general election(good grief), concerns are growing that the country will finally split up. Uncertainty is not good for euro right now, as it casts doubts of a "united europe". No doubt about this.
  2. Greenspan casts doubt on publication of inflation goals
    "They will have to go through a tricky process of explaining if inflation deviates from target" Quite true, but I don't see how this affects the euro.
  3. US housing market outlook worsens
    Tricky this one, since the crash is not yet evident. It's going to be bad for the US economy as builder sentiment fell for the 7th consecutive month. Bad, but still waiting for the crash to actually happen.
  4. Clouds gather in Germany as sentiment sinks
    New data added to evidence that the best of Germany's economic revival was over, although economists did not expect a sharp decline in performance. Bad for euro, since they are still uncertain whether Germany's recover was TRULY over.
  5. Dollar plunges to new low versus euro
    Reasons: fed cut on interest and discount rates, UK inflation fell below BoE's target in august, Northern Rock crisis to have lasting effects on consumer confidence.
I think those are the relevant news. Nothing really significant but it shows a probably weakening euro in the long run and an unpredictable USD.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Day 0: Beginning of a new trade

So I've been talking about forex for a while now. Since the investment club plan is put on hold for the moment until the preliminary meeting, I've decided to explore trading in the forex market.

I'll try to explain what I've come to understand so far.

Forex = Foreign exchange

Forex trading is done by trading on a pair of currencies. The big 5 currencies traded are USD (US dollars), GBP (Great Britain Pound), EUR (Euro), JPY (Japan Yen) and CHF (Swiss Franc). There are some other traded currencies as well but because of the size of their economy to be comparatively smaller than the above mentioned, I shall for the time being avoid them.

In layman's term, forex trading is more or less like trading the economies of a country compared to the other. For example, I would buy (go long) on GBP against the USD if i think the british economy is progressing, or the american economy is regressing, or both.

It is not always this simple though, as there are many factors that can determine the strength of the currencies.

If you are interested at this point, simply head to BabyPips to learn more. It's a lovely and informative site, take my word for it if I say it's the BEST forex site for beginners.

Let's get started right now as I start a strict trading regime. But before all that, just a little comic to calm the nerves.

He is in fact wrong, money can buy happiness, but that depends on what type of happiness it buys. If you're talking about fast cars and the adrenaline rush then you have an idea of what I'm thinking. So the aim of my trade is of coz to make money (fake money but still as important nonetheless, it's my pride)

So here's the brand new account with USD1000 and a leverage of 1:100, which means I have USD100,000 to trade but could lose money A LOT faster than a 1:1 account, double-edged sword this is.

I shall talk about my plan next.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Euro Yen Power

Did I say 159.85? It's going towards 161.00 now.

13 Sep 2007 14:19 GMT

BULLET: EURO-YEN: Breaking through tech resistance at MNI....

EURO-YEN: Breaking through tech resistance at Y159.97/00, MNI Techs
suggesting a close above this level would be a positive sign. Stops
going off now, with little seen on the orderboard until offers around

Looks like I can cover my losses today, not a bad trading day I would say. So many things learnt, still it never ceases to amaze me the market can move on absolutely "NOTHING".

Forex, Khairy

Started doing a little demo trade on the forex market in 2 eventful days. DEMO only, hehehe guess I don't have that much confidence in trading real money. And I can see why people always say try it on a demo account first, it's really risky, much riskier than equities.

First, Oil barrel reaching US$80 per barrel, and second, EUR/USD hitting the wonderful 1.39 mark, seems like it's going to hit 1.4 soon.

Also, fingers crossed for EUR/JPY to hit the 115.85 mark so I can earn some more $$$.

Anyway main news today is this.

Love him or hate him, he's a daddy now. Congratulations.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Red wine to try

No.1 currently on my list of wines to keep(or drink)

Introducing Chateau Monbousquet. This is a Bordeaux red from the region of Saint Emilion. The one that caught my eye is this year 2000 Chateau Monbousquet. According to this website here, the right time to drink this is from 2006 to 2018 so expect the price of this to be reasonably expensive. Trust me when I say the price of this wine will rise again within the next few years as I've already seen a lot of wine wholesalers running having the "out of stock" label on this wine.

The one I've got a chance to try was the Chateau Monbousquet 1999 which is very lovely and much cheaper than 2000. Still was a great experience.

So if you're a wine connoisseur, give this wine a try. Tell me what you think.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Dining at Kai Mayfair and New Ideas

Yesterday I had the opportunity to dine at Kai in Mayfair, once voted the best chinese restaurant in the UK, thanks to my uncle :P I suspect Hakkasan to be the current best in UK so "pa, the next time you come to UK let's go to Hakkasan"

As with most of the fine dining here, the food were quite beautifully prepared. Taste-wise you would expect them to taste more or less like your normal chinese food, just that it comes in smaller portions and with fresh ingredients.

I didn't take any photos but will try to search online for some of the dishes I tried.

Here's the menu.

Our orders last night were:
  1. Wasabi Prawns
  2. Aromatic Crispy Beancurd
  3. Tan-Jia's Lobster Broth
  4. Asparagus, Spinach & Glass Noodle Salad
  5. Stuffed Aubergine
  6. Roasted Pork Belly
  7. 'Yin-Yang' Dover Sole
  8. Almond Jelly in a light syrup with fresh fruits
  9. Pumpkin Cream with Purple Rice and Coconut Ice Cream
Can't remember all the desserts we ate.

Verdict on atmosphere:
Very nice atmosphere, one of the more quiet restaurant which is quiet odd considering the fact that it's a chinese restaurant. I particularly liked the effort by the restaurant to have a harpist playing last night, thumbs up for that. I was told it can be quite quiet sometimes during lunch.

Verdict on food:
Let's list the verdict in order above.

Starting with the appertisers, I thought the wasabi prawns could do better with a little more actual wasabi with it as I like that little tingling feeling in my nose when I taste wasabi.

The aromatic crispy beancurd is a great idea I thought. To some, it's just regular "siew ngor"(vegetarian goose) cut into strips served in a pancake with peking duck sauce and the usual spring onions & cucumber. Simple ingredients, great effect. Not to mention it's great for vegetarians.

Tan-Jia's Lobster broth is yummy with its sticky chicken stock over lobster and cooked spinach. The overpowering chicken stock complements the lobster well where you taste 2 distinct sweetness together. The stock was so flavorful I couldn't even taste the usual "bitterness" in the spinach, I usually like this bitterness but in this dish I prefer otherwise.

The Asparagus, Spinach & Glass Noodle Sandwich came with honey & lime dressing. I thought if the chef could shred the spinach and asparagus to make them easier to eat the whole experience would be better. No offence to the chef but a suggestion if he thinks of improving this dish.

The stuffed aubergine is yummy. The only downside to this is that I might be able to replicate the same dish in my own kitchen with my own ingredients. A suggestion for improvement could be to cook the aubergines and line them up symetrically on a nice plate. Also maybe they should serve the sauce separately and not flood the aubergines.

The roasted pork belly came with an apple salad with a sauce. I thought the sauce complemented the pork well. Just a little problem, the belly was a bit too fatty, they should instead use a slightly leaner meat. Personally I still prefer the roasted pork belly I get from Haatyai. No offence to the chef, you could replace this roasted pork with the one from Haatyai and customers will enjoy it more.

I thought the 'Yin-Yang' Dover Sole was quite a creative dish. The bone of the fish is fried to crispy and shaped into a bowl. Under the bowl, deep fried pieces of dover sole are accompanied by a sweet and salty sauce. In the bowl, the same pieces of fish are accompanied by a thick curry sauce. They were tasty but I thought that if we could replace the sweet and salty sauce with the usual "chilli-kicap-limau" sauce which is served in "chap-fan" stalls in Malaysia it would be better.

The above 3 dishes were eaten together with rice.

We had 4 dished but the 2 desserts mentioned were the best. Pumpkin cream dessert was made to look like pumpkin soup served with coconut ice cream and purple rice, a must to try when you visit Kai. All of us enjoy the Almond Jelly which wasn't too sweet and tasted better than "tau fu far".

Dining here gave me a few ideas on some businesses which might work in Malaysia so budding entrepreneurs take note here.

The 'Yin-Yang' dover sole eaten with rice gave me an idea to possibly serve smaller cubes of fish coated in sauce and then lightly battered in cooked rice. This is to be eaten like sushi but obviously with less portions of rice. One can maybe open a "sushi-bar" style eatery in Malaysia to serve these type of dishes. Possibly even coining a new name for this style of eating. Just replace the cubes of fish to cubes of anything you can think of and serve immediately.

Alternatively, you could serve a plate of rice (layered thinly) so people could coat the food themselves. This is an age where experiential marketing works so by doing this, it gives customers a sense of involvement in preparation of the food which increases the whole experience altogether.

So, any takers of this idea? What do you think?

Good start or are we still early?

High-end, upmarket living at Perak hub

IPOH: High-end, upmarket living with branded goods and at least 50 fine dining restaurants to choose from.

That is the lifestyle the state government wants to promote among locals and tourists with the unveiling of the RM250mil Perak Tourism Hub project at Bandar Baru Medan here.

Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Tajol Rosli Ghazali said he was impressed with the concept of Penang-based Emerald Capital Group in wanting to bring the “best of the city into a single place.”

“We want the best food in the city to be made available at the hub including special gifts and branded goods which are sold only in Kuala Lumpur,” he said yesterday at the ground-breaking ceremony of the project, which comprises four multi-storey towers.

This, he said, could attract visitors from as far as Thailand and Penang to stop here to shop for branded goods.

Tajol Rosli said the project would be an integrated one-stop tourist information centre with an extensive shopping mall, a clubhouse with complete recreational facilities, cineplexes and a banquet hall to accommodate 2,000 people.

The project is expected to be completed by 2010. [Source: The Star]

Exactly the type of thing that is pushing the bustling city of London to even higher grounds. Think of the Fat Duck, Le Gavroche and Nobu here. Don't get what I mean, check out the world's best 50 restaurants here. It is exactly the type of thing Malaysia needs, right?

Just in response to 5xmom's article on "Tell me why Malaysians go to Singapore for holidays". Singapore is the other city with an increasing emphasis on quality of service and most importantly the "experience". By experience, I do mean the experience of fine dining.

All I can say is this is a good move. Just a little problem, there are already several fine dining restaurants in KL and not many of them have the means to survive.

The problem here is Malaysians are not too willing to spend that much on fine dining. How many of you are willing to fork out RM100 per head for a meal? Not many I suspect, and even if you do I think you're expecting Jogoya's buffet which is totally off.

Another aspect of fine dining is wine appreciation. All restaurateurs can tell you that the big money is to be earned from the huge margin on wine sales. That is exactly the type of thing that keeps a restaurant alive. As Gordon Ramsay once put it, "If the food you serve is fucking tasty, customers enjoy the meal. When customers enjoy the meal, they are going to spend on wine, and then you make money."

So think about it. Are we Malaysians still a bit too early for fine dining? Do we have the spending power to keep the industry alive? Only time will tell.

I'll leave you guys with 1 last question. How much are you willing to fork out for a plate like this?

p.s. this is "Letter soup" from El Bulli, ranked #1 restaurant in the world. Interesting? You fucking bet it is.

  1. High-end, upmarket living at Perak hub, 7 September 2007, The Star.