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Monthly Archives: April 2012

With the world entering another protracted deleveraging cycle, we are set to enter another decade of low returns. At a recent presentation, a top executive from one of the largest sovereign wealth funds in the world said the typical ‘buy and hold’ strategy for equities would no longer work. Gone are the equities boom of the 80s and 90s. It is no wonder then, that the super rich of the world are increasingly looking at other sorts of alternative investments to park their money.

In the last few years, rare whiskeys have become more highly sought after by investors. Even Johnnie Walker, which isn’t normally associated with top-end scotch, recently sold their ‘diamond jubilee’ collectors’ bottle for $150,000 each. Whiskey could be the new “wine-investing”, and one guy is already planning to open a club in New York for whiskey investors.

The global demand for the potent amber fluid has been steadily rising over the last few years, leading to triple-digit returns for investors and collectors of the top-performing whiskeys, according to Whisky Highland, a firm that provides valuations.

According to the FT, single malt scotch whisky experienced the best gains in value last year and is far more sought after than blends or foreign whisky. Also, for investing stick to solid brand names out there like your Macallans, glenfiddich etc. to minimize risk. For instance, a Macallan Royal Marriage which cost £150 and now sells for around £500.

As a whiskey fan, i’m happy to hear that the next time i go out shopping for scotch, there will be more excuses to get the higher grade stuff. But then again, knowing me, it may be to hard to resist breaking open the bottle instead of keeping them and selling later for a profit.

But not to despair for fans like me. Besides whiskey, the girls’ best friend is also set to become more widely held as a financial investment, with the SEC reviewing a proposal to create the first diamond-backed exchange-traded fund. Will diamonds be the new gold?

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Yet another commencement speech, but this at least makes an attempt at being frank about life post-university. No, most of us won’t end up doing “great” things, like win nobel prizes, cure cancer etc., and soon, the working world teaches you that a lot of life is just about getting through the day-to-day grind, not trying to screw up too spectacularly, or faking it till you make it. The writer dispenses advice through a list: 10 things your commencement speaker won’t tell you. This is particularly true-

10. Don’t try to be great. Being great involves luck and other circumstances beyond your control. The less you think about being great, the more likely it is to happen. And if it doesn’t, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being solid.

Being “great” is overrated. I found being happy a much more worthwhile pursuit.

Here’s another chart for you folks, this time a helpful one that will aid in answering one of the most important questions you will make in your social life- ‘should i friend him/her/it on facebook?’. As for those of you who’ve watched Southpark’s episode on facebook “you have 0 friends”, you know that ‘friending’ the wrong person on facebook could very well see the start of your social decline, and we certainly don’t want to end up like Stan, do we?

Jokes aside, choosing who to allow access to your profile is turning into a more serious matter, what with facebook’s nonsensical ever-changing privacy settings. I had ex-bosses, ex-boyfriends delete and try to add me back on facebook repeatedly, and recently had an ex-colleague I didn’t particularly get along with request to be ‘friends’. So yes, this flowchart showed me i should leave ’em in limbo, and that’s what i plan to do.

Ever wondered which country has the most plastic surgery in the world?

It’s probably no surprise, but the answer is South Korea. Thanks to the Economist, we have other nifty facts about plastic surgery as well.

There are seven times more buttock operations in Brazil than the top-25 country average, and five times more vaginal rejuvenations. In Greece, penis enlargements are performed ten times more often than the average.

Apparently the amount spent on penis enlargements in Greece still wasn’t enough to save their economy.

Awhile ago, xy and I had a conversation that revolved around justifying our expensive hairdos and spending money at the salon. We figured- we don’t splurge on branded bags the way many women do, and if they’re going to throw a few grand for a bag that (yes some are very pretty and new leather always smells so good) they don’t carry most of the time, then what is a few hundred on fixing our hair right? After all, you won’t see the expensive bag all the time, but you will see a person’s hair, day in and day out. You have to live with your hair, whether you like it or not, and a good hairstyle, can make all the difference.

At the risk of sounding spoilt and borderline bimbo, a study I just came across backs everything we had hypothesized!

Turns out, a study done by Yale nonetheless “declared the phenomenon of bad hair days leading to bad days in general to be true.”

Bad hair days affect individuals’ self-esteem by increasing self-doubt, intensifying social insecurities, and becoming more self-critical in general

Nothing like a research study conducted by brainy scientists to validate your spending habits. How much would you spend on your hair?

How was your weekend?

I celebrated an old and dear friend’s birthday. We finally found a good Sichuan restaurant that’s worth a visit if you’re in Singapore. They didn’t seem to understand what cabbage was, but other than that, the food was authentic fiery mouth-numbing Sichuan goodness.
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Besides setting my mouth on fire and enjoying it very thoroughly, the rest of the weekend was pretty chill, spent relaxing in bed at home and catching up with shows, like current favourite Game of Thrones. I recently also started watching Ringer (a warped slightly unbelievable story about two twin sisters and changing identities, murder, betrayals etc), which isn’t one of the best shows around but the plot is sufficiently engaging and thrilling. To be honest, getting sucked into their fictional warped lives and plotting is a good therapy and escape from mine.

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Another dear friend also sent me this postcard, hand delivered from London. If it isn’t clear enough, it’s a picture of a giganormous pigeon on the top of the pillar at Trafalgar’s Square in London. She writes:

I couldn’t resist when I saw this postcard, it reminded me of when we threatened to tie you to Nelson’s column in Trafalgar Square and leave you to the horrid pigeons

Yup, my friends know me TOO well. pigeons are my kryptonite, i took a picture of her postcard only because i think i may destroy the actual thing one day after forgetting about it and then finding it lying around my house and freak out at the pigeon.

Anyway, to help with the sunday night blues, here’s a parody on the Hunger Games- “The Hipster Games, may the trends be ever in your favour”.