the view from Braddell

~ my pursuit of happiness above the rim of a coffee cup ~

Thursday, April 12, 2007

STI - 47.93


STI stumped today (-45pts) dragging my OCBC position into red (it closed -$0.20). Together with the largest bank chips on the counter DBS, UOB and OCBC all took hits. Relatively, OCBC took the hardest hit. Its sad. To hold a position for barely 3 days and see your position bleed. But trading is trading. Do you sell or do you buy more? Do you have a cut level where you'll cut lost. I have. And its 1% of my invest-able wealth. I've never hit it in last 3 years. I don't hope to hit it this time.

When you position goes down on you, several things can happen. The most common one for me is cognitive dissonance. I lie to myself. I'm fooled by my own bluff. Today as I was staring at OCBC, instead of seeing a sinking ship, I saw a fight. A fight were many sellers sell, but there were brave buyers supporting the price, fearless defending their belief in OCBC by buying into a dropping price. Fighting back. Not giving up any ground without putting out a strong effort.

I catch myself before I join in as a brave buyer. Then I ask myself. What is the difference between a stock that is going to go free fall and a stock that is taking a temporary break from a super jump in price. The difference, for me at least, is if I'm holding that counter or not.

20,000 UTAC (U12.SI) @ $0.945


The graph is intraday. The market helped me out with this.
There nothing left to think. The counter spiked up on opening, gaining ground on its opening, dashing out of the gates.

1. The prices is going up ahead of its earning announcement.
2. The buy side is biting hard, swiping the Ask Vol entirely on several 1,000 lots buys.
3. Interest is strong but buying is a little out of controlled. Would have prefer to see controlled buying.

Singapore released figures yesterday morning. It was better than the guess-timated figures from most analysts. But it is still far from being good or strong. US demand continues to wand weak and its pointless to assume that things will change before the last quarter 2007. Still, not being one to miss an opportunity. The action on this counter today leads me to think that a good earning release is coming up on the 24-Apr-2007 for UTAC and I'll put a good portion of my investable worth on it.

Entry:
Very bad entry. I went in when the price was driving up sharply. Yesterday the price closed at $0.910, this morning my entry was at $0.945. The price driving was furious and the biting was very hard. If the past is any of a hint to the future, people who trade this counter is likely to drive the price high with very little potential energy and a whole lot of kinetic action. Will have to monitor this closely and it might become very loose play.

Buying a price that's too high.
I think I'm becoming rusty on trading. Witnessing one of your watched counter jump when you're not in is very testing. It’s an expensive test on your patience and it is easiest to be stupid and do what I did. Bite at it at the highest and watch it close a large chuck lower than your entry. It is very difficult to resist buying it when its up, just as it is difficult to buy a counter when its taking a big beating. Lizard brain. After which, it is very difficult to control yourself from slapping your forehead and shout D'oh, why did I do it. But you did. Yes, you did.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

UTAS (U12.SI): to Watch


I’m getting into a serious shs buying mood. I'm holding on to 80% cash now. So its fun to do some shopping. This is the most recent one I'm looking at.

Good:
- The buying has stopped and the price is resting with hints of upwards movement.
- This is an electronic exporting company that has consistently report higher revenue for the past 3 years
- They have just reported stellar growth in Jan 2007 and kicked its shs price into hyper land

Bad:
- Singapore NODX index is the weakest in 3 years
- UTAC runs 50% of business on US demand and US is not looking strong
- The largest chuck of demand for NODX now is from China, usually via Taiwan. Not States
- UTAC is strong in higher tech stuff than what is in demand now in China

What am I waiting for:
- Decide: The earning results is on the 24th Apr 2007, need make decision before 20th Apr 2007
- Interest: This counter traded very bad today with many large Sellers dumping hugh chucks on the Bids
- Warning: Too many determined seller this close to earnings is not a good sign
- Demand: Need to decide that is Demand in China strong enough to affect this positively like it is impacting the Taiwan Electronic giants.

Check out the shs here:
http://sg.finance.yahoo.com/q/ta?s=U12.SI&t=1y&l=on&z=l&q=l&p=b&a=&c=

Encouragement


"To run faster than others, to soar higher than the rest" ~ Jay Chou

I have been hitting a hard wall at work. I run and run only to realize that I am not good enough. There is no finish line. The effort that I put out doesn't even dent the problem. It will never be good enough. I am but a small fry. My waves are not big enough. The bomb will take my entire career when it blows up. I pull hard. Day in, day out. Only to be questioned on my abilities to perform my role. Questioned on my value to the organization. Questioned on my inputs. Questioned on my rights to be here. They dig and dig and stain and stain.

I am not recovering from this particular bad session this time. I am showing signs of overtraining and exhaustion. I naturally find myself gravitating to find excuses to miss work. My legs hurt, headaches, brain-aches, morale-aches. But my wife's forces me to go to work. She throws my shirt and pants at me. Drags and kicks me out of the apartment. Over the weekend, I mentioned to her that I can’t keep this pace at work anymore. I can't run fast anymore and I won't be flying higher anymore. I think I have already lost. I think I'll do it this time. I am going to sit up, stop the bike and step over it. I think I will remove the safety pins on the number tag. And walk. Walk away from everything. We have got other options, better options. I can trade. Trade big money. No need for this. Whatever money the bank pays, its not enough to make me suffer. And I am suffering. Can't sleep well. Get treated like shit. Kills my mood, murders my morale. Suffer, it’s a suffer fest. Free suffering for grabs. Get it while stocks last. I told her that I didn't have the abilities to endure this. I can't do it anymore. My limiter have always been my endurance. I can't endure anymore. I can't take it anymore.

Then it came.

In the afternoon today during a weekly "blame" meeting, when several AVPs point out where we have failed, identifying areas that we've achieve shit and forecasting other areas that we'll soon be shit. Blame, blame, blame (I think REM worked for the same Bank as me). When the meeting ended, a VP drew me aside for a chat on the shit areas. She mentioned that this shit has to stop. Stop right now. The AVPs are just blaming everyone and someone needs to stop this buck. She looked me in the eye and said that I am weak and basically, my strength is shit and is not good enough to do this…. …. alone. So she's setting up a team to sort the issue out: 2 managers together with 1 of my counterparts and she'll recommend me to run the team. Of course she'll need to run this by a Director first. I think I almost cried. There is a finishing line after all. This race can actually end. There is goodness in this world after all.

Actually, I don't really think that this will happen. I know the Director in charge of this. He doesn't get along very well with this particular VP. I'm sure he'll make it difficult for the VP to push this through. But for what it's worth, this encourages me. A lot. It encourages me that not everyone hates me. That someone bothers to try to motivate me. I think its enough. Its enough to carry me through a few more weeks. I might be able to make out the finishing line now. Its on a hill, way over there. Yes, I can definitely see it. It's far. But I think I can make it. Barely. Maybe, just maybe, I will make it after all.

Monday, April 9, 2007

2,000 OCBC (O39.SI) @ $9.50


"Giving you something to think about"
~ Chris Moneymaker, WSOP 2003 Champion

Good:
- OCBC bank has survived the recent sell off strongly, holding its own. When other blue chips performed an amplified drop with the STI. OCBC managed a speedy recovery. It managed itself very well.
- There was very strong buying-ins. In the early morning, there were several big buyers grabbing several one time 300+lots bites, clearing the entire open Ask queue. This happened quite a few times with the Ask hit $9.50.
- A little history: OCBC is small but its management is active in its shs price management efforts.

Bad:
- Today was an expensive day with STI up 50pts.
- There were also several big sellers beating the price with 100 lots sell offs. This effective capped the day's momentum.
- OCBC has been trending upwards for the longest time (maybe~ 1 yr). It might be questionable for its ability to sustain this pace.

To check out the shs:
http://sg.finance.yahoo.com/q/ta?t=1y&s=O39.SI&l=on&z=m&q=l&c=&c=%5ESTI

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Bonking at Work


Today I bonked at work. I hit the wall square in the face.
I really wanted to throw in the towel. Tender and go. DNF it. Forget about it. Life doesn't have to be like this. But I didn't. I refrained and force myself to leave on time. I had tons of work to go through and there's a complicated one dealined for tomorrow which is far from being completed.

I think I need to relax and take it easy awhile.

To chill a little. I'm taking all these too seriously and it appears that I am not doing very well coping with this. I will treat today as an accident. Let it go. I'll breathe in a new day tomorrow. I'll be a better person. I'll face it. Let's see what happens.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Endurance: base training

Time.
This is the most important thing. I don't have enough of it. As I train, if i train long enough, I always find my mind wandering. Wandering about the things that I could have been doing if I didn't have to train. Relationships that would benefit from if I dedicated some time to it. Is it selfish for me to dedicate time to training?

Resposibilities.
Places I need to go. People I need to meet. I need to arrive at a conclusion where to place these in the scheme of my triathlon goals.

Goals.
The place I want to arrive at. The person I want to become.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Breakthrough workout 1

ALRIGHT! I got it done! I managed the longest workout so far. A 2hr run @ 150bpm and a 3hr bike @ 137bpm. I ran on a trail, since it rained the day before the trail was slippery and I had really to dig in to get grip. 20mins into the run my right shoe sole torn out, hanging on to 30% of the rest of the shoe. It created a strange flip flop sound that was partially drowned out by my light tempo playlist on my Ipod. It was a great day and my heart rate and pace was strong under 150bpm. I didn't want to turn back. If the sole ripped out, I decided that I'd take it off, throw the shoes away and finish the run bare footed. After which, I didn't think about the shoe any more. 1.5hrs into the run, the sun came out strong and the last part of the run was not covered by trees. My heart rate shot up about 5~7bpm. Resorted to walking quite a bit.

The bike was in my living room on a trainer. It was trying. I kept thinking about my wife, who was waiting for me. But 1hr into the ride, I decided that since she gave me the go ahead for this session last night, I would not worry about it. Just focus on kicking the pedals. It worked, I focused and has a strong finish on the largest gear for the last hour.

Great work out. It gets you feeling fit again. This is a break through workout in terms of duration for my base period this season. Great one!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Traing, training, training

Tomorrow is Saturday. I've been playing touch Rugby, representing my bank. Fortunately, tomorrow's game is cancelled. The team which is suppose to play us flew to HK. So I get the Sat free. I will be doing the "Brick". Ideally, I would like a 3hr bike @ 135bpm and a 2hr run @ 150bpm. I might not have it in me.. since last week attempt at a 3hr bike ended 1hr.... I blame my office. Again. It's really easy to blame.

Anyway.. I'll eat healthy, hydrate and get some rest tonight and try to go for it tomorrow.

I love that pic of Tyler. He broke his collarbone and was still going for it in the TdF. Had a rugby team mate who fractured his collar bone too, who tried to get back into the game. Tough.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Solace in an Ipod Playlist; Peace in a Stage Race


I look at my career as a cycling stage race.
The races go on an go, day after day
There are flat stages where nothing really happens
but still no resting, just relieved.
Then there are mountain stages.

Of beasts and murders.
Mountains test the depths of a cyclist's soul
Depleting the reserves of fitness
Draining the oxygen in my blood cells
Hitting my heart, spilling lactate into my muscles
Firing my nerves delivering self inflicted damage.
Pain. White Pain.
That is like a bad day in the office.

Confined between walls, like lactate, my pain spills from within
I put on the face. The game face.
Though I get cuts, I don’t show it.
Though I get hits, I don't make a sound.
At least depriving them of the joy of seeing me suffer.
Enduring without respite. How long can I climb.
Uphill, uphill. No respite. Need to climb. Pushing the pace.

Then I plug it in.
And it plugs out.
The soundtrack of my spirits.
The music is like food for my soul.
I am delivered. Drugs, I know is not real.
But for now, illusions will do and mirages will hold.
For the length of the playlist I am strong.
I am protected. My earphones like Domestics.
My faithful Domestics.
Forming a Draft, a slipstream of relief for me. I breathe.

But this will end.
Playlists will stop.
Domestics will peel off.
In the end its still me. Me against them.
Even the strong can fall.
I fall. I fail. I concede. Again. And again.

But it’s a stage race. Not a one day classic.
I will get up again. I will try again. I will fight.
If defeat is realized only when one stays down.
How can I despair?
How can I feel sorry for myself?
I need to rest and to repair.
To recover and to return.

To reclaim and to redeem.

Not by my might, nor by my strength. But by my Spirit.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Stay or leave, I don't want you not to go but you did.

Trading for a living. Working in a Bank.
I've always secretly fickle the notion of striding it out on my own. Trading with the little capital that I've got, giving up my monthly salary, benefits and warmth of a predictable stream of income. Would I be able to make? Will this choice lead to a life long regret, a big "if-only-I-had-stayed-on"?

If I trade I will be very poor.
The main issue is, I don’t think that I can turn the same amount of profits trading for myself when compared to my salary for working for the Bank. The output of a group of effective individuals working together is never equal to the sum of each individual's output. It is almost always much higher than the sum of individual output. In my university days, I studied the concept of "Synergy". Sadly, the Bank I'm working for values my input more than what I am able to output for myself. I cannot generate the same return when I trade for myself compared to the salary that I am earning now. This investment bank is generating superb output, my contribution is very small, but given the larger scheme of things, the Bank decides that its worth my current salary. When I trade for myself, my output is measured by any capital gain (or loss) that I can earn off my shares trading. And my individual output is a lot less than my portion of joint output among an effective group of people. Poor.

Artist.
Sometimes I image what would happen if I was an artist. What would I do if I experienced similar success selling my art as trading? That means, equating my success in trading, I would have inconsistently sold: a handful of my masterpieces above for $10,000 and maybe one every other week for $1,500 ~ $2,500. As an artist, I have to endure artistic problems…. inspirations and galleries. I need to wait for my inspirations to come then I'll paint. After which, I'll need to wait for my pieces to be appreciated by galleries then it'll sell. In both the above situation, I cannot take complete control or take decisive action. I cannot force or expedite these processes. As an artist, I guess I'll just take the process in stride as a given, accept it as part of the job and rest on the assurances in the past. Just like a trader in the market.

Complications.
And what would happen if I complicated this imagination. What if I am an artist that also happens to work for DreamWorks studio. My department doesn't require me to paint (which I love) at all. Instead my department is in charge of shadowing computer graphics and my exact role is in the selection of the tone of the shadow. I'm considered by DreamWorks as an expert at shadow toning. And they pay me accordingly. It’s a good pay. The worse part is DreamWorks takes 14 hours of my days. I don't have time to paint anymore, I cannot explore the sell-ability of my art. In my mind, I ask myself what I could have done and accomplished if I had painted full time, with a full heart, using my full soul. As though my existence depended on it. My hearts yearn for what my mind will not allow. I walk to work every morning wondering what life will be and secretly scheme for it.



"Stay or leave, I don't want you not to go but you did."
~ Stay or Leave by Dave Matthew's Band.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Please mind the Gap.

That's what you hear when you board the trains (MRTs) in Singapore.
Gap.
And Gaps.
There are Gaps everywhere.

Between train tracks, in the workplace, in sports and in social standings. But my biggest issue now is with the workplace. You think you've got loads of technical knowledge. You think you’re the info-hands-on-man. You're the one. But you underestimated the Gap. I happen to be a small fry in a big org chart at work. The shrimp in the big blue ocean. I think I've got some serious contribution abilities in my bones, I think I can align myself to the bank's objectives like a sniper to a shot. But the final answer is a big "who cares". When a small fry tries to create waves, it needs to be big. Very big. Tsunami-ish. In order to get positive impact and mine was just too weak.

Act 2: Scene 1. In scrolls the AVP. The guy that makes things happen. With a swagger. He doesn't know much. He doesn't even think much. But he sounds smart, sharp and in control. He splits out of a few words… and puts out the fire. No more issue. Just "schedule future problems into my outlook calendar!". No fires, no issues, no chances.

What to do next:
Endure. Things like this will repeat itself. Over and over again. I thought it was very generous of them to offer me my current pay check. Now after working here, I think its hard earned. But I'll take it, I'll endure. It’s a suffer-fest sometimes. Like trying to keep your HR under 138 bpm on the bike going 3 hrs into your ride… your arse hurt, your ankles hurt, your toes are numb, your arm is sore, your wrist is sore, even your ears hurt from ipod-ing. But you think about the end of your ride. The relief of climbing off that small steep seat. Enjoying your chilled drink, wiping off your hard-earn perspiration and taking that well deserved rest knowing you've made a good run at increasing your kick-ass abilities. You've done it. Go ahead, take that shower knowing you're the man, the one who works hard for what he wants. Taking actions to bridge your dreams into goals and forcing them into reality. You suddenly feel stronger.

A Gap. There is a gap forming in the race. You think you can bridge it. You've seen the look in everyone's eye. They’re hurting, they’re suffering. You're hurting. But hey, you've suffered worse days. You think you've still got some kick left in your legs. Go for it. Bridge it. Breathe deep. Bridge the Gap. Let your HR soar. Get into that bunch. The winner is definitely going to be someone from that front bunch. Bridge it. Damnit. The Gap. A winner. It could be you. A winner. Bridge the Gap.

And you see a little meaning in it after all.
Smile, Life it's strange that way.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Pure Motivation

Pure motivation. Motivation within. The energy to achieve your goals. Your objectives.

In any competitive situation, participates run to win. Pure motivation is when you're trying to do your best. Your focus is on doing your best. Majority of people start off with pure motivation. The spirit of competition. Somewhere when the going gets a little rough, a little foul. You decide that you will still win, but you want to make sure that one guy... that one guy should lose. He should lose really bad. You need to take action not just to do better than him, but you need to really can him hard... so that he'll never be able to climb again. Built an insurmountable lead. Totally demolish your competition. You succeed. Then you succeed again. It feels great! You really deserved it. You are committed now. But what if you lose one day. What if it all catches up on you. You can't. It won't. Never. Its yours. What you cannot protect, you cannot call your own. You cannot lose. Cannot rest. Cannot sleep. Cannot stop. Your heart rate is at threshold. Stress. Tension. Aches. Burns. Sickness. Disease. You lose.

Let's bring it back.

Pure motivation. You have your goals. Focus on winning. Your game. Don't include others. They should not drive your goals. You drive yours. P U R E . From within.

The Bomb and my Career

There has been some movements in my office management structure. It appears that there will be opportunities. Particularly in my case, I know that the higher power right above me was not 100% honest with some issues (the "Bomb") to management. If I dish the dirt now will management adopt a "shoot the massager" mentality? Even if they don't "shoot" me... I know my days would be numbered, my department doesn't have the co-operation or the respect from other departments to co-ordinate an effort to control or diffuse the Bomb. Even if I'm Clarke Kent and management supports me, I pull the plug, I'll still get the back blast from this Bomb.... this will leave a permanent scar on my resume. Oh, my young and, at one time, inspiring resume.

But I'll do it anyway. I'll blow this Bomb up. I know that upon impact, the haters will start firing. "I told you so"s, "why did you let it go so far", "what were you thinking!". I've decided. I will work with good intentions. I am very tempted to work in a Office-politically friendly (or scheming) manner. But in the long run, if my good intentions are not good enough, I guess I'm in the wrong career. Then its time to throw in the towel and kiss my paycheck and sense of self worth bye bye.

Tomorrow. I will do it.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Base Training

Base Training. I'm training with a low cap on my heart rate. On the bike, I'm keeping my heart rate below 137bpm, on the run its at 150bpm. I am going very slow. V e r y s l o w . Not sure if it'll help me out. I'm starting to feel some speed. I think I over took a snail the other day on the run. I completely smoked that snail.

Aerobic training mean you're training your body to take fat as a source of energy instead of the carbs stored in our muscles and blood. To illustrate, carbs are like paper, fat like coal. Paper catch fire very easily but burns out quickly. Coal takes a long time to catch fire but can last much much longer. I hope this works. I'm betting my whole season on this. My "A" race is a half ironman in Malaysia, Desaru. We'll know the truth then.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Pigged Out Day!!!

Wanted to do some exercise today.... got off work before 7pm and rushed home. Got pushed around on the commute home, but focused on home. Reached home and decided that my day was harder than it has to be... so I decided to bin the training and PIGGED OUT!!!!

I'll train another day. Focus, I need focus. Today I will blame it on my friend at work. She stabbed my motivation. It’s so easy to blame someone. Everyone can relate to blaming someone. It’s cheap and effective. But in the end, all the sympathy in the world will not get you your promotion. It won't get you that race. It won't make you happy.

We all just want to be happy.

And pigging out made me happy for a while. Just a little while. But now I think that had I trained earlier, I would be feeling a little happier now. Too bad... I pigged out instead.

Happiness.

If I didn't pig out earlier, I would be happier now. But I was happier then when I was pigging out instead of suffering on my bike trainer, chasing my TV set in the living room. Delayed gratification or instant satisfaction. "Then happiness" VS "now happiness".

To make me feel better now, I will decide now that tomorrow I will train.... unless of course, tomorrow might suddenly be pig out day.... but that's a blog entry for tomorrow.