Friday, January 23, 2009

Gong Xi Fa Cai- Welcome the Year of Ox

In another few days more from now, the year of Ox is going to replace the Year of Rat. Feeling excited and worried as well. The year of 2009 indeed a challenging year ahead. From the Global economy crisis, people will be out of job, recession is approching, political struggling, continuous unwanted war, poverty, unknown diseases appearing and many more.

You can either choose look at it negatively and non-motivated way or otherwise. I have started posting some positive and motivating article like "Getting any job you wanted" by Stephen Covey and more to come. I am also preparing some audio downloadable and tools for your personal development. It will be in my next posting. These tools are vital to prepare yourself to face the challenging year ahead. No matter what circumstances, there would be always an opportunity. As President Obama said, we have chosen hope instead of fear. It is sure an inspiration one.

I would like keep this post as short as possible and taking this opportunity to wish everyone have a great year of Ox, Gong Xi Fa Cai, may all means prosperous and happiness be there always.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Getting Any Job You Want- Too Good To be True?

In our presence global economy turmoil situation, not many people would even think getting any job they want. Infact, most people will think holding one current job considered a bless. Some think as long I still have a job. In the below article I quoted it all from Stephen R. Covey in his thought we can still get any job we want. It is an eye opener and there is an absolute key essential behind of this inspiration article I would like to share.

We seemed to ask ourselves such as Do I like it? Am I good at it? Does the world need it? Does my conscience direct me to get involved in it? If you can answer a good solid “Yes” to all four questions then you’ve got a great job—one worth going after or keeping. You may have to analyze deeper to know whether you can even answer these four questions. The exploration of these questions is a journey of uncovering what you really want to give your work life to. Taking the time to develop a clear vision on what’s truly important to you will give you the context and the positive energy to make all career and job decisions.Now what if you do not yet have this “dream” job? Well, the world has profoundly changed over the past 10 years. The shift from the Industrial Age to the Information and Knowledge Worker Age is sweeping the country and totally changing the way business operates. The marketplace has become intensely customer-oriented, but this customer-focus has not yet affected most of those who are out looking for jobs.

The key to getting the job you want is to be oriented to the needs and wants of your customer, which is your prospective employer. Get out of your head and into theirs.The traditional approach of sending out resumes, seeking employment interviews and filling out applications is illustrative of the old world approach to getting a job. It’s what I refer to as the “shotgun” approach, where your exposure to the market is very broad. The problem is that to the organizations that receive your resume, you are one of many hundreds or even thousands trying to get a job. Personnel offices are absolutely inundated with letters, resumes and phone calls from people who want work. As good or experienced as you may be, to most of them you are a “problem,” a “hassle,” one of a stack of letters or calls they have to answer today.I do not mean to sound harsh, but this is the reality in most organizations in today’s rapidly changing and globally competitive environment. They are dealing with the pain of extensive downsizing and outsourcing. But there are jobs everywhere disguised as problems, even the problem of downsizing. The old saying is apt that “Problems are opportunities dressed in overalls.”

Bottom line, the shotgun approach of just sending out resumes and giving follow-up calls will, for the most part, rarely yield results better than you are getting. Why? Because those who look for work in this way are behaving as if they are the customer. Customers approach companies with a need and a problem that they want solved—in this case, the need is work—a job. Businesses already have more real customer needs and problems than they can handle. Can you see who and what you are competing with when you approach a company in this way? What you must be is a solution to the needs and problems which that organization and their customers face, not another problem.If you are going to position yourself as a solution to some significant need or opportunity that an organization faces, you are going to have to take a rifle approach—one that focuses and penetrates deeply. You are going to have to be enormously resourceful and creative in learning about the organization you want to work for.

Creativity is a unique human endowment, and is a powerful capacity that lies largely dormant in most people. Unfreeze yourself from the panic and nervousness you may feel about not having a job, and start immersing yourself in the realities of the company you want to work for. Creatively find ways of talking with and learning from the company’s employees and managers—talk to their suppliers, their customers, and even their competitors. Reach the point that you can describe their challenges and needs as well as or better than they could themselves. Then you can position yourself—your unique background, skills, education, experience and talents (some of which you may need to further develop first)—in the context of their needs. Your resourcefulness and insight will deeply impress them.Finally, in your creative research it is vital to learn about the culture and norms of the organization. Every organization is different. This awareness should govern how you should approach the organization for an interview or meeting with their managers or executives. Be creative. It will be different in every case—for proactivity without empathy and awareness will also bring failure. Combine them, and you will have the wisdom that will bring tremendous results.

I acknowledge there will likely be few people who will take this advice and pay a sufficient price to really get the job and career they seek. Consequently, they will still be coming up with excuses as to why they’re not getting employment: blaming the economy, blaming the company, blaming prejudiced people, or blaming themselves. Work to get out of the reactive attitude of waiting for things to happen. Einstein put it this way, “The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.” We must get with the spirit of the age, and gear ourselves to the needs of “our customer.”

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Japan Is About to Devalue Its Currency

I read about Steve Sjuggerud's Daily Wealth Financial Investor Research page recently. One of the main topic was highlighting about Japan's currency and Toyota as a sample. I'm not sure how true was the statement but I believed the data was well-researched which I thought interesting for us to know about.

As you opened up newspaper every single day you could see the focus was on how U.S economy is going to be revived. Lot's of bad news about it. More worst news on it's way.

I now attached the article by Tom Dyson for our reference;

Toyota sells cars all over the world. When the yen rises against other currencies, Toyota's cars are more expensive to foreigners. They don't buy so many. They choose American, European, or Korean cars instead. Toyota loses money.

According to the Wall Street Journal, every point the yen rises against the dollar costs Toyota $433 million in annual operating profit. In other words, over the last five months, Toyota saw $8.6 billion in annual profits disappear... That's about a quarter of its annual operating profit.

Japan's entire economy is a large version of Toyota. Japan is an export economy. Its strategy for prosperity is producing goods and selling them to foreigners. Every point the yen rises costs Japan billions of dollars in profits for its companies, billions of dollars in tax revenues for the government, and thousands of jobs in the economy.

In the past, when the yen rose too high, Japanese authorities intervened in the markets to make the yen fall. One tool they use is cutting interest rates. Low interest rates discourage people from storing their money in yen and encourage them to save their money in other currencies with higher interest rates.

Right now, the Japanese yen has the world's second-lowest official interest rate, after the U.S. The official central bank rate in Japan is 0.3%.

The second tool Japanese officials use to devalue their currency is direct intervention in the foreign exchange markets. The Bank of Japan prints money and then exchanges the yen for dollars in the foreign exchange market, pushing down its price.

The last time the Japanese got worried about the yen being too high was in 2003 and 2004. The yen was around 105 at the time. They spent $2.5 billion pushing their currency down about 20% against the dollar.

The Japanese yen is now around 15% higher than it was in 2003-04. And Japan's economy is much sicker than it was back then. The stock market is close to 20-year lows and GDP is shrinking. There's no room to keep cutting interest rates. I'm certain the Japanese authorities are going to start intervention again soon. It may be happening already. Last week, the head of Japan's central bank told the press he was looking at ways to devalue the yen.

The Next Big Bubble to Burst....

The Best Speculation in the World Right Now ................

Japan's currency pays no interest. Japan's economy is in tatters. But debt is the big reason I expect the yen to fall. Japan's government is the most indebted in the world... with a government debt-to-GDP ratio expected to hit 150% next year. (It averages between 70% and 75% for the six largest economies in the world.)

To devalue its currency, Japan's going to have to print money using the same "quantitative easing" techniques Bernanke is using right now. These techniques are highly inflationary... and guarantee the yen will fall against other currencies.

You won't hear any other writer in the world predicting inflation and currency devaluation in Japan right now. That's why it's such a good bet. Plus, as you can see from the chart above, we've got the trend in our favor.

FXY is the symbol of the Japanese Yen Trust. When the yen falls against the dollar, this fund falls. The easiest way to bet on a fall in yen is to short this fund or buy put options on it.

Seemed like a good indication for us to invest in Yen later on.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Leader in Me

I recently picked up a book considered as an inspirational one to me. Particularly because I have a daughter on my own. It is called The Leader In Me written by famous Dr. Stephen R. Covey. In his new book, I first thought another breakthrough book about leadership. Little that I know that it is more related to how 7 Habits being considered at early age of 5 years old.

I was amazed with the contents with informative case studies from the school such as A.B Combs. The stories about A.B Combs have taken up at least 3~4 chapters of Stephen Covey effort. I believed he personally witnessed from his own eyes, his famous 7 Habits principle became the "mantra" or foundation for children in the nursery, kindergarden and elementary schools.

The book very much involves today’s young people. It involves our future. Whether you are a concerned parent, a professional educator, or a foresighted business leader, I am confident you will find it to be an invigorating breath of fresh air, a reason to celebrate and an inspiring call for action. For what you are about to read unveils a budding trend that is gaining momentum in a growing number of schools across the United States and in various parts of the world. It is an exciting trend—one that is producing tangible, sustainable results.

In 1999, the A.B. Combs Elementary School in Raleigh, North Carolina, was struggling to find new ways to engage and educate its students. The teachers and administrators began learning practical, principle-based leadership skills and teaching them to their students — even kindergartners —; with remarkable results. In a short time, the number of students passing end-of-grade tests vaulted from 84 to 97 percent. Simultaneously, the school began reporting significant increases in students' self-confidence, dramatic drops in discipline problems, and impressive increases in teacher and administrator job satisfaction. Parents, meanwhile, reported equivalent improvements in their children's attitudes and behaviors at home.

The Principal of A.B Combs, Muriel Summers did an excellent jobs in creating such cultures to our younger generations. Their motto is to "develop leaders, one child at a time" inspired me as a parent itself. I mean in today's education systems we knew very well, children are not taught the necessity skills in order to survive and thrive in this 21st century. Many still implement and teach the same old model which the fellow educators comfortable and proven with times but not for future needs.

Today Business leaders are not finding people whose skills and character match the demands of today's global economy, including strong communication, teamwork, analytical, technology, and organizational skills — young people who are self-motivated, creative, and who have a strong work ethic.

The book explanations based on the case studies did the best way to prepare the next generation for the future is by emphasizing the value of communication, cooperation, initiative, and unique, individual talent — for nothing undermines confidence more than comparison. Whether in the classroom or at home, it is never too early to start applying leadership skills to everyday life.

In a nutshell, I believed this book would be the answer for to many of the challenges facing today's young people, businesses, parents, and educators — one that is perfectly matched to the global demands of the 21st Century.