Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Kiddie pix @ Grandma's!

So, everyone trooped back to Grandma's for a self-declared long weekend, giving Daddy a much-needed break. Xin-Hui had a blast as usual, and Jia-Hui seemed quite happy too. Except we still have a bit of that reaction to the camera problem...

Left: Xin-Hui at 12 months.
Right: Jia-Hui at 11 months.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Babies and the analyst job market

So, the gahmen says we'd better make more babies or we'll have to import more foreign talent... Makes me think of the current job situation in my industry. FYI, the job market for equities analysts is hot, hot, hot. This is quite a new phenomenon, taking root really only in the last year or so. Before that the market had been pretty weak following the bear markets of 1998, 2001 and 2003.

I was speaking recently to a senior regional analyst from a top international brokerage. They are looking to fill an analyst position in Singapore and have been looking for months without success. And they can pay MEGA bucks. Another big-name house lost an analyst some weeks ago, and did not even bother looking locally. They brought in someone from their Australia team instead, which I thought was great solution, rather than competing for whatever talent was available in Singapore. At our shop, half the analyst positions have turned over within a year.

I've never seen such a job market before, not even in the go-go mid-90's. Now we have hedge funds and property funds taking analysts from long-only houses, long-only shops ramping up analyst teams, and all three poaching from the sell-side. Meanwhile, sell-side brokers are replenishing numbers and top-tier names are poaching from second-tier houses. On top of that, the traditional breeding ground for new analysts - local brokerages, have all but disappeared. The upshot being, analysts with two to three years' experience are filling jobs specified for five-year-olds, and getting paid that way.

I'm gonna teach my kids to pick stocks, man. A is for "Assets", B is for "Book value"...

Kiddie pix!

We have a problem. When her photo is taken, Jia-Hui now reacts before the flash by squinting and covering her eyes. Damn, gotta think of ways to sneak up on her. BTW, check out the mountain of toys behind. Note to gahmen: this is why we can't have more kids - no storage space.

Tough month for old friends

Three old friends of mine are in mourning this month. Two lost their mothers unexpectedly and another, the grandaunt who raised him.

Take good care guys. My thoughts are with you.

In with the new

Swapped my K750 for a brand new N73. Strangely, I was sad to let the K750 go. I'd gotten used to the interface, which is surprisingly good, and has a few tricks that Nokia should learn. But the hardware was beginning to conk out after just six months (mainly the joystick, which is a known problem), so it was time to cut loss.

The N73 has a gorgeous screen, superb speakers, and generally solid build quality. The interface, well I'll say that Nokia has some serious competition to its Human Technology. And it's slower and has hung on me a few times. There's the 3.2 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics, of course. Though initial tests indicate that the improvement over the K750's 2 megapixel is not a quantum leap. For one, it tends to overexpose close-up shots, against the K750's perfect exposure. But get this - you can adjust the exposure on the N73.

One last photo using the K750.

N73 photo in good light.

N73 close-up photo.

N73 photo in poor light. Much better than the K750,
which takes very grainy photos in such conditions.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Enough with the STOMP tip-offs already!

Sian buay?! Tree fall on car, car fall into drain also must report. Liddat also call drama ah?!

Get. A. Life.


Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Woodneuk lost

I'm speechless... a hundred years of history destroyed just like that. There was an article about it in Zaobao on 11 Jul 06. Click here for more pictures of the burnt-out ruins.