Gold ‘Overdue’ for Drop, Rice will Rise

Aunty Scroogey came across this while doing some homework for investments in commodities. Have a look.


Gold ‘Overdue’ for Drop, Rice Will Gain, Rogers Says
By Whitney McFerron – Jan 13, 2011

Gold is “overdue for a rest” and probably will fall after a decade of gains that sent prices to a record, said Jim Rogers, the chairman of Rogers Holdings who predicted the start of the global commodities rally in 1999.

While gold “may go down for awhile,” the metal is “going to go over $2,000 in this decade,” Rogers, who owns gold, silver and rice, said today during a presentation to business executives in Chicago. Gold touched a record $1,432.50 an ounce in New York on Dec. 7. The price closed today at $1,387.

“I’d rather own rice,” Rogers said. “I’d rather own something that’s more depressed than gold.”

Agricultural commodities are “going to boom” as demand increases in developing markets, primarily in Asia, he said. All commodities will be supported by the weakening dollar, which is losing value because Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke is “printing money” by buying Treasuries in an effort to shore up the U.S. economy, Rogers said.

“Paper money is made of cotton, and I’m long cotton, by the way,” Rogers said. “One reason I’m long cotton is because Dr. Bernanke is out there running the printing presses as fast as he can.”

Rogers said he doesn’t own shares in U.S. companies and is short U.S. long-term treasury bonds. The Chinese renminbi may provide “almost sure profits over the next five to 10 years,” he said.

“In the future, it’s the stock broker who’s going to be driving the cabs,” Rogers said. “The smart stock brokers will learn to drive tractors, and drive them for the farmers, because the farmers will have the money.”

While still on the subject of Jim Rogers, here is what he says about MBA :

Bungalow Bag

A good weekend (or 2 if you’re slow like me) project. I got the pattern from Abbey Lane, and love it for its generous size. I’m a born and bred big bag girl. Small, itsy ladylike handbags just ain’t up my alley.

I added a handmade owl for that extra cuteness. I think he is happy there.

Its inside is roomy and quilted, with pockets for your little life savers.

Finished off with a pair of nylon bag handles with leather grips. Light weight yet sturdy.

Available for order if you’re keen!

Leftover Turkey Pie

How did someone come up with having turkey for Christmas feasts? Why on earth would you cook something so large, you have to eat it for the next 2 years?

Since we all have to OD on turkey, might as well do it in different ways. I made the pie crust a night in advance and just had to cook the fillings before baking the pie. The pie crust recipe can be found here.

Ingredients (pie fillings enough for 1 large and 6 small pies)
leftover turkey meat, shredded (about 4 cups )
1.5 large carrots. diced
3 large white onions, diced
1 can of button mushrooms, sliced
butter for frying (approx 4 tbsp)
1 cup stock (I used chicken but veg stock works just as well)
1 tbsp cornflour or plain flour mixed with 1/2 cup water for starch
pepper and salt for seasoning (optional, as the turkey, butter and stock is already tasty on its own)
1 egg yolk for brushing onto pie pastry to get that golden brown tinge

In a large pan, melt butter and fry the onions and carrots till soft. Add mushrooms, turkey and fry till fragrant. Add stock, mix well and add starch while constantly stirring the stock to prevent lumps. Quickly remove from heat. Let the divine mixture cool, and get to work with the pie crust.

I have to say it looks good considering its molded by pie virgins A-gal and Tommy.

Few days before this, my online conversation with Tommy went like this:
me: We’re having Death by Turkey session 2, starring Turkey Pie at A-gal’s. Wanna come?
T: Huh?
me: Sunday lunch. Turkey. You. Come?
T: Ok. What do I bring?
me: We’re having pie. A salad would be nice..
T: Sure! How do you cook a salad?
me: *sound of crickets*
T: Hallo?
me: Nevermind. Just bring drinks.

Never one to let people down, Tommy brought not only drinks but this as well.

Don’t ask. Just..don’t.

Hand knitted Scarf

for a special friend. Hope she likes it. It’s suppose to be her Christmas gift but we met up 3 weeks too late. And then I met her last week I forgot to bring it along.

I hope she’ll use it soon cause she’s gonna be skiing in some exotic eastern European city which name I can’t even pronounce. Well, actually more like I can’t remember. Pregnesia does such things to you.

Who are you again? What am I typing? What’s this blog thing?

*I think she looks really cute in it. Don’t ya?

How to save $ on grocery shopping

Aunty Scroogey often writes about the “big money”, so I thought it might be a refreshing change to talk about the “small money”. Small money, when accumulated & utilized properly, transforms itself into big money. And I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like big money.

1. Always write down your shopping list, and stick to it. Better still section your grocery list into food, non-food, household needs, toiletries and etc. This way you buy only what you need and save time wondering down the aisles repeatedly.

2. Do your grocery shopping on a weekday. Parking is cheaper, there’s usually no maddening crowds and things are magically easier to find (tried and tested!). A minute saved is a penny gained isn’t it?

3. When reading your daily paper do keep a look out for special deals and promotions. Sometimes savings can really be substantial, especially on frequently purchased essentials like diapers and coffee.

4. Always have your meal before doing your grocery shopping, otherwise be prepared to buy more than you require. Shoppers who go to the supermarket hungry usually end up buying a lot more food (especially junk food) then they really need. <—- the scientists/researchers said this, not me :)

5. You must have heard this one many times. Budget your grocery spendings and stick to it. It is usually a balancing act. If you must have that expensive pate, then buy other items at no frills price. Supermarket house brands are usually just as good as the other established labels because the products are usually from the same source.

6. Cook at home from scratch. Even if you think you can’t, anyone can. Skip the frozen meals aisle and don’t let excuses and your lazy bones tell you otherwise. It doesn’t have to be a fanciful 3 course dinner everyday. A simple pasta bologna serves its purpose of being nutritious, wholesome and cheap. Planning your meals at home in advance also means you will only buy what you need and nothing more.

7. Buy only whole, real foods, and not processed-to-death instant junk. Don’t even think of picking up something that boldly prints “Just add water!”. More likely than not you won’t recognize 1 word from the ingredient list. Not only does this save you money, but more importantly your health too.

8. Buy based on price per gram/pound/kilos, especially if its an essential you need often. That bigger jar of peanut butter is definitely a better buy than it’s smaller counterpart.

9. Avoid disposable packaging as much as possible. Individually packed biscuits definitely cost more than regular family sized bags. Besides you can use your pretty cookie jars. No amount of plastic wrapping can beat that!

10. Go shopping alone or just with your partner. Bringing your tag team and the entire village with you means your supermarket trolley will load up on its own with things that you probably haven’t seen before in your life.

Come share your tips if you have more!

Absolute Value vs Relative Value

Wow! Without realizing it, it has been 1.5 years since Aunty Scroogey’s first post in this blog as a guest columnist. The Aunty hopes that all her readers out there have picked up a thing or two about financial matters from her blog posts. But remember, doing homework on your own is important if you want to make faster progress in your financial education.

Given that it has been 1.5 years of basic training, it is about time that you should start to venture into something more intermediate, starting this year. For a start, as serious investors, you should be looking at relative values instead of absolute values like most laymen do. If you’ve been following my posts since the early days, you would have an idea of relativity in the context of expenses versus spending power. Looking at relative returns as an investor is somewhat similar.

Let me give you an example. Mr & Mrs FPN sold their property, which they bought for $2 million 5 years ago, for $2.3 million. On the other hand, Mr & Mrs SQW sold theirs for $750,000. They had bought the property for $500,000 5 years ago as well. To make matters simple in this illustration, let’s ignore transaction costs. So which couple had a better return? Most laymen will say its Mr & Mrs FPN, as they earned a profit of $300,000 while Mr & Mrs SQW’s profit was only $250,000. Well, these are absolute values. If you are serious about being a serious investor, this is NOT the way you should be assessing your investments.

Assuming both couples made a downpayment of 20% on their respective properties, it worked out to $400,000 for the FPN couple and $100,000 for the SQW couple. Assuming uniform funding costs for both couples, it means that Mr & Mrs FPN registered 75% return on their capital. What about Mr & Mrs SQW? Well, the returns worked out to 2.5 times their capital or a whopping 250%!!! So, who did you think have a better return from an investor’s perspective?

Just as whether an item is cheap or not is relative to earning power of the person in question, whether you have good returns is relative to the capital that you have to put up to acquire the investment. If you’ve always been looking at absolute values to judge your investments, it is perhaps time to have a change of mindset. What better time to do so than to start doing it in the new year?

Homework: Google and understand the meaning of CAGR, which stands for compound annual growth rate. When and how do you use this ratio?

Funny things people say/do to a pregnant woman

Most, if not all, are acts of kindness, but really funny if you think about it in perspective.

1. Nobody calls you by your name anymore. They go “Good morning! How are you baby?”

2. Nobody looks at you in the face anymore. They baby talk to your belly.

3. Your colleagues ask you every other day why you’re still waddling in the office. In a tone akin to asking “why are you walking around the office with an unplugged grenade?”

4. Friends insist on carrying all your stuff. Including that Snickers bar, because they are afraid you’ll over exert yourself.

5. Your mum starts buying you tents for dresses.

6. All your friends start giving you pictures of their child because they believe you’ll have a cute baby if you keep looking at the cutest one on earth.

7. Children look at your tummy and ask their parents what you had for lunch.

8. People give you words of consolation when you tell them you are expecting a girl.

9. People give you words of consolation when you tell them you are expecting a boy.

10. Every mum insists on giving you their pregnancy advice, whether you asked for it or not, and irregardless if it works. They just know.

11. Your friends start to order extra portions at the restaurant despite your protest and expect you to eat enough for 6. If you don’t finish all of it you’re made to feel like you’re an evil mum starving your baby.

12. Your friends tell you the most scientific myths ever. Like wearing yellow during your pregnancy can cause baby to get jaundice.

13. People stare at you & your coffee mug like you’ve committed murder and only let you off scott free when you mouth the word “decaf”.

Mums out there, what’s your version?