Sunday, January 25, 2009

Happy Chinese Niu Year

Wishing a very Happy Chinese Niu (Ox) Year to all my business associates and customers. Would like to thank my customers for their support and confidence in me. Here's wishing you great health, wealth and prosperity in the Ox Year.

As for my business associates, I would like to wish them smooth road during their journey in building their dreams! Continue to believe in your dreams and never let others belittle or tell you that your dream is impossible. All things are possible as long as we believe, we focus and we work on our dreams!

Remember, if the road that you travel on does not take you to your desired destination, choose a different road or create a new road. Who knows, you may like whatever is waiting for you at the end of the road.

Happy 2009!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Goodbye 2008, Hello 2009!

Sharing a thought...

So much have had happened in 2008, starting with our surprising March 8 election, historic CPO and fuel price till the election of the first black US President. But one economic situation that will be mentioned in years to come is the financial turmoil caused by the US and European's financial failures that leads to the world's deflation and subsequent recession. Similar to what the Asian had faced in 1997/98 but worst, it was even termed as greater than the 1930 Depression. The situation, some said, will be further felt till the second half of 2009....hope it recovers from that point onwards, earlier if possible. So, for those who wishes to continue picking up best buys in the equity market, you may have another half a year to do so. Do so on a gradual basis to ensure you have sufficient fund - to take advantage of ringgit cost average. The market will improve eventually, so be patient.

In any case, 2008 to me was an interesting year as it was full of excitement besides challenging. Firstly because it was the first time in my career that I was not shielded by a company in a comfortable job but faced the many challenges any business owners would have faced during this trying time.

I remembered when I first started working in 1985/86 in a resort whilst waiting for one of my major examinations result. I had never understood or knew about recession or whatever economic situation the country was in except that when I had tendered my resignation in order to pursue my studies, my manager advised me against it. I recalled him asking me why was I resigning when there was high unemployment out there (at that time). However, since I was young and have no commitment except to pursue my studies, I bid him adious.

In 1997/98, when the economy once again was south bound, I was still ignorant about it as at that time I was employed by one of the major banks in the country. Still safe from the head on impact of the economy because being an employee, my income was assured. So, when recessions came, so what? I was not affected.

2006 was the year that I started to be enterprising aggressively on part time basis and turned full time by end of 2007. Coincidently that was when the economy was heading southward on free gear with the full exposure of the financial woes in the west and more in 2008 with the latest being the Madoff Ponzi case.

Now, with recession back (hopefully for a short visit only)..... I fully comprehend and even feel an employer's or business owner's concern and headache as businesses are being tested on their stability especially on their cashflow strength. By the way, did you noticed that the economy is cyclical nearly every decade?

Continuous onslaught of challenges especially on dwindling sales due to lower demand from cautious consumers requires companies to further tighten their spending belt which seems to have a vicious cycle on the economy. Lower demand leads to lower production which requires company to slower their productions or clear inventories and thereafter reduce their manpower when the situation lengthens as overheads have to be lowered to ensure the company's survival, etc, etc.

Companies with strong cashflow is able to endure the slow economic condition longer than those with tight cashflow. Instead of retrenching staff, some companies resorted to reducing the working hours of their employees as done by SIA.

However, there are some companies eg AirAsia that is expanding their routes aggressively. Therefore, it is not necessarily that all companies will reduce their activities during this slow period, depending on their strategy and strength.

The positive side of the situation, from my perspective, is that it forces me, a young entrepreneur to be more creative and think of ways to survive this trying times. Besides, the situation has also taught me a number of things that I had never thought of whilst under employed.

One of the lessons is to have adequate cash in hand if one does not have fixed income. Secondly, to internalise in me what Warren Buffet had always advocated to the investors, "Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful". What he has advocated is very true. Thirdly, to handle money with more care especially during good times as one has to be prepared for the rainy season. Fourthly, to create more channels of income to ensure that one's income is continous eventhough one of the pipes is dry. Fifth, to be more aware of our surrounding especially our country's economic situation and the major economies eg US and China/Hong Kong.

I do look forward to year 2009 as I have full of hope for this year and expect the economy to improve as I believe that the joint efforts by the head of countries to correct the situation and further improve on their financial legislation/supervision would bear fruit (keeping my fingers crossed that there is no other "worms" waiting to spring any more surprises on us).

In any case, the lessons that I have learnt in 2008 were very invaluable and I strongly believe I become a better and effective investor and advisor due to the 2007/08 financial turmoil. Expensive lessons but worth every sen.

So, good bye 2008 and thank you for the experience! Welcome 2009 and let's see what we could learn from you!
Custom Search