Jan 30, 2015

Why Lousy Board Games are Popular and Cool Board Games are stillUnknown to the Masses

I was recently invited to join a new online networking portal called JobKred which is still in beta testing phrase. They have this very interesting feature whereby members of the network can ask any of the other members of the portal questions, creating an on-going FAQ. I was asked a question on board game in general and I thought that it will be interesting for me to post the answer here.

My Answer (Too Long to SS)

"One of the problems with designers, not just board game designers, are that they are too focused on product design and spent too little time learning about marketing. The top selling board game in the world - Monopoly, is scorned as a very badly designed board game within the board game community. Catan, is also seen as an old board game, whose game mechanics has become outdated. However, the hardcore game designers have forgotten on some important points: What's "fun" to them is not "fun" to the casual gamers who have to take 1 hr to learn complicated game rules. "

Monopoly is easy learn. Open the board, pass out the money, roll the dice and start buying every single property you land on.

Jan 29, 2015

Crouching Iron, Falling Oil

The European Central Bank’s president, Mario Draghi, announces a quantitative easing programme on 22 January 2015. Photograph: Horacio Villalobos/Corbis
The global equity markets have been showing much optimism in the past few days after the  the European Central Bank executed a large scale qualitative easing program. The resounding victory by the Greek anti-austerity opposition party did not derail the stock rally as most political observers believe that the leader of the opposition party does not have the political will to force Greece out of  EU. The euphoria of the EU engaging in large scale money printing had the global markets lull into a false sense of security.

All the problems that have been plaguing us in 2013-2014 have not gone away and some of the indicators are, in fact, getting worse. Here are some of the key risks I see ahead:

Jan 21, 2015

This Post Has No Point...

Inspired by Smith Leong

After falling victim to a vicious flu bug on Saturday, I am still on a diet of lozenges and coffee bean herbal teas (Lung Ching Dragonwell & Cherry Blossom). Woke up with a dull pain on the right side of my neck. Darn. On top of a sexy voice, heckling cough, now I have a neck ache. Feeling miserable, I went back to sleep again hoping that the pain will go away and all this is just a nightmare. Woke up at 9am. Pain is still there. Dragged my ass off the bed and head off to Bugis where there is a chain marathon of meetings waiting for me.

I reached my usual spot at Bugis+ Coffee Bean while reading a copy of complimentary cosmopolitan magazine from my NUS Bizad Charity Run on the train. The Coffee Bean staff probably sensed my misery kindly offered me (their regular customer) a free upsize on my tea. Cleared my email, scan the financial news, check my clients investment portfolios and time flew by and it's time for my first appointment.

Met up with Made Lidya, one of the talented artists who designed the Limited Launch Wongamania's graphics and we had a good conversation on how artists, programmers and game designers must master marketing and why idealism will not help a person succeed in this competition environment.

After lunch, I went back to my usual spot at Coffee Bean and continue working on editing my Wongamania instructional video. Halfway through, my laptop crashed and I was like "@#$@$@#$". Booted up my lappy and found my efforts for the past 30mins are gone. Cursed some more and went to rework on the video. Went to read and commented on Singapore's Top Toilet Reading Material Blog

My next appointment was with a potential distributor for Wongamania and we ironed out some of the issues we have, with supply chain problem and we talk about the tabletop game industry and some of the problems faced. Went to meet an investment client next, to help fill up the yearly mandatory Client Knowledge Assessment (CKA) form and to share some investment updates with her. By now, I am using my pen as a massage stick to work out the dull ache on the side of my neck.

Traveled to Paya Lebar to meet up with my other Capital Gains partner, Sam Chang to discuss on the agenda of the meeting for tomorrow's quarterly planning session. We went through a new equity sharing idea from slicingpie.com introduced by a fellow Hwa Chong Alumni Entrepreneur Philip Teo and decided that we should implement the model on Capital Gains. Discussed about our US expansion plans and Malaysia supply chain issues.

Went home. Flopped on bed. Dead tired. Uploading new Wongamania Youtube video and while waiting, decided to write on this blog post which has no point.

By now, I was too tired to write what's the point of this no point post and decided to plagiarize from Smith Leong's Post: 

"See, so we always talked about how much we miss the olden days blogging where it is non commercial, where it is personal and you just read day to day things to know your friends or another blogger/stranger better. How did you like the above paragraph better over anything else that is commercial?

Whichever the case, i think blogging is something you should enjoy, you do not need to care much about what the trend is, what the fashion is or what other people perceive you as or their expectation. Just like what you do and just enjoy doing it. If it doesn't make you happy, don't do it.
You do not have to agree with what I'm saying but I hope you think about it. ;)

In case you really don't like my pointless post. "

When I grow up I wanna be Bradley Cooper

Jan 8, 2015

Xeo's Annual Investment Review & Outlook 2015

Tower of Bellum
Lisbon, Portugual

Dear Friends,

2014 has been another difficult year to invest. It is a year full of political surprises, central bank heroics and differentiated growth. The range of global indices returns are also pretty dramatic, with the best performer, China A Shares returning 53%, to the Russian market loss of 48%. From the way things are, the China domestic stock market is like one big casino, with little regard to valuations. How is it possible that the same stock trading in the Shanghai Stock Exchange and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange can have a price differentiate of 30%? The reason for the stock market rally is because of possible government intervention due to a rapidly slowing Chinese Economy. There is almost no logical explanation for the rapid rally, other than that the local Chinese have turned their gambling instinct from property, to red wine, to jade, shadow banking trust products to the current IPO craze. This year also saw the dramatic fall of commodity prices with iron ore and oil leading the fall with a 50% damage. These divergence of fate masks a warning sign of a potential end of the recent 5 years bull market.

Jan 2, 2015

Why the US Federal Bank is More Powerful than the Avengers

A man stands next to a building under a board showing currency exchange rates in Moscow, Dec. 16, 2014. Russian banks are struggling in the face of a recession.

I will do a relative short post this month as I will be focusing my efforts to work on the annual investment review and outlook report.

December witnessed the rise of a new global financial threat and the resurrection of  another old nemesis.

The continue fall of Oil prices below $60 saw huge amount of funds being pulled out of countries that are reliant on oil exports. The Russian economy is especially hard hit as the Russian central bank spent a third of their reserves trying to prevent the slide of the Rubles. The fear reached the peak when rumors of a potential implementation of capital control by the Russian government sent investors money fleeing Russia, and Europe.

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