Thursday, June 06, 2019

Disney's Aladdin


Synopsis: A thrilling and vibrant live-action adaptation of Disney’s animated classic, “Aladdin” is the exciting tale of the charming street rat Aladdin, the courageous and self-determined Princess Jasmine and the Genie who may be the key to their future. [Source: Golden Village]


It's really a magical ride from the beginning till the end, immersing the audience into a seemingly Broadway spectacular with beautiful songs after songs. The movie is well made and the genie played by Will Smith is simply hilarious. Cant wait for the Lion King next month.

Rate: 8/10

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Pokemon Detective Pikachu


Synopsis: The story begins when ace detective Harry Goodman goes mysteriously missing, prompting his 21-year-old son Tim to find out what happened. Aiding in the investigation is Harry’s former Pokémon partner, Detective Pikachu: a hilariously wise-cracking, adorable super-sleuth who is a puzzlement even to himself. Finding that they are uniquely equipped to communicate with one another, Tim and Pikachu join forces on a thrilling adventure to unravel the tangled mystery. Chasing clues together through the neon-lit streets of Ryme City—a sprawling, modern metropolis where humans and Pokémon live side by side in a hyper-realistic live-action world—they encounter a diverse cast of Pokémon characters and uncover a shocking plot that could destroy this peaceful co-existence and threaten the whole Pokémon universe. [Source: Golden Village]


For the Pokemon fans out there, you probably will not miss this movie. Enough said. For the others, lets just say this Hollywood version of Pokemon is funny, light-hearted and the live action Pokemon surprisingly are cute! Plot is not that bad, the only downside is.... why there is no Chansey!! Well have fun watching the movie! Pika Pika!

Rate: 7/10

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Marvel Studio's Avengers: Endgame


Synopsis: The grave course of events set in motion by Thanos that wiped out half the universe and fractured the Avengers ranks compels the remaining Avengers to take one final stand in Marvel Studios’ grand conclusion to twenty-two films, “Avengers: Endgame.” [Source: Golden Village]



By order of Thanos, no spoilers allowed, or risk being cast off by the snap! But really, wow, what a surprise ending. No regrets watching the 3 hours movie! Now, the below quote from Avengers: Infinity War really do have such a heavy weight.

Dr. Strange says to Tony Stark: "I looked forward in time. I saw 14,000,605 futures."
Tony Stark: "How many did we win?"
Dr. Strange: "One".

Rate: 9.5/10

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Shazam!


Synopsis: We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson’s case, by shouting out one word—SHAZAM!—this streetwise 14-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult Super Hero Shazam, courtesy of an ancient wizard. Still a kid at heart—inside a ripped, godlike body—Shazam revels in this adult version of himself by doing what any teen would do with superpowers: have fun with them! Can he fly? Does he have X-ray vision? Can he shoot lightning out of his hands? Can he skip his social studies test? Shazam sets out to test the limits of his abilities with the joyful recklessness of a child. But he’ll need to master these powers quickly in order to fight the deadly forces of evil controlled by Dr. Thaddeus Sivana. [Source: Golden Village]


Not exactly the kind of super superhero movie you expect but it still met the passing grade to entertain you while waiting for the Avengers "End Game" crowd to subside. It does feels like this Shazam! character was created somehow to fill in a void as the producers are getting their acts to decide what happens next to the main stream heroes. Shazam! for once doesn't seems all powerful but still have traits of other superheroes somehow combined into one. Well, nonetheless, an average movie to catch.

Rate: 6.5/10

Saturday, March 30, 2019

1Q 2019 Investment Strategy Update

1Q 2019 pretty much came and gone before I know it. Trump pretty went on his usual Twitter blaming people, saying things that were probably half true (Trade discussion with China are going well...), demanding things to go his way (I don't care, open up the closed GE Ohio plant already!), and even going soft on North Korea. I mean, when do USA ever have a president in the past that behaves like Trump? Well, stock market have mostly recovered from the mini bear last quarter as Fed have indeed bent to his will to give out indication that they are not going to raise the interest rate further this year, and just yesterday, Trump changes his mind and wants Fed to start dropping interest rates! Seriously, the Federal Reserve is supposed to be an independent organization free of political influence. Stop undermining them!

DJI ended at 25928, a rise of 2601 points (+11.15%) compared to 4Q. For Singapore, STI ended at 3212, an increase of 144 points (+4.69%) compared to 4Q. It has been widely reported that Trump views the USA economy and stocks performance as a report card for his president tendency. I believe he will do anything to achieve that. For the immediate 1 year (till 2020 where Trump's term will end), I believe the market will be leaning to positive due to Trump's positive interference. However, not everyone will be bending to Trump, as shown by the trade talk with China, which Trump keep saying is going well, but reality is IT is NOT concluding anytime soon, and could be dragging for months with the tariffs on both sides still in effect. 

For Q1 2019, I am just focused on opportunistic stocks that have an attractive price to enter and hopefully sell them off when I deem their full value is matched.

Transaction 1: Bought in a batch of Marriott in January and March.

After reports of data breach from a legacy Starwood system, Marriott price did tanked for quite a while as investor factored in the potential legal cost and penalty Marriott might faced in USA. But seeing their aggressive expansion plan for the next 3 years, I could not ignore the current attractive price and bought in the shares intending to hold for long term.

Transaction 2: Bought in a batch of Danaher in January.

Introducing to you the USA Six Sigma company called the Danaher Business System. I knew of Danaher from my 1st company work experience. Their mode of operation is to use their existing free cash flow to buy into companies that have synergies with their existing group of companies and literally conduct lean manufacturing exercise to weed out the extra fats that are dragging the company down. After acquiring the company, usually, they will keep the company brand if it is a well known product. Keep repeating this cycle many times, you will have a major conglomerate which investor will love! Well, their share price performances for the past 10 years definitely speaks volume.

Transaction 3: Bought in two batch of Manchester United in January.

Well, their price have dropped to a level which I think it is attractive, so I bought in two batches hoping to sell them off when I think their full value is met

Transaction 4: Bought in two batch of Amara in January.

I still have a little way to go with this counter. Going into 2019, their office and 100AM shopping mall Shanghai will start contributing to their financial result. Office take up rate has reached 90% after they signed a long lease with a single tenant. Transiting into landlord model which will have higher margin, I can't see why their share price won't go up in future, with even more likely chance to increase their annual dividend in end FY19.

Transaction 5: Bought in a batch of Apple in January and sold in March.

After reports of very weak consumer IPhone sale from China, Apple Inc share price dropped from US$232 to US$142. I personally think that the share is oversold, considering they still have their service App store segment that is going strong. I am only buying in at current attractive price and intend to sell them when I think their value is fully met.

Transaction 6: Bought in a batch of Mapletree Industrial in February.

Mapletree Industrial certainly surprise me with their purchase of the 18 Tai Seng mixed-use property from their sponsor parent company. Thinking that they might tap the public market for rights offer, I bought into the share hoping to scoop up additional rights share when it happened, but instead, they tap the private market for share offer. Well, they still have 2 more properties (7 Tai Seng & 18 Tai Seng) coming up in the pipeline, I am intending to hold for long term dividend growth.

That is all for now. See you all in Q2 2019 update and thank you for reading this long long post. =)

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Marvel Studios' Captain Marvel


Synopsis: Set in the 1990s, Marvel Studios Captain Marvel is an all-new adventure from a previously unseen period in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that follows the journey of Carol Danvers as she becomes one of the universes most powerful heroes. While a galactic war between two alien races reaches Earth, Danvers finds herself and a small cadre of allies at the center of the maelstrom. [Source: Golden Village]


Overall, a well made Marvel thriller that provides the back drop to the upcoming Avengers: Endgame that is premiering on 26-Apr-19 and follows through the introduction of the new character (Captain Marvel) at the end of Avengers: Infinity War. It was interesting to see how Avengers started and how Nick Fury obtained the scar on his left eye. A must watch before Avengers: Endgame!

Rate: 8/10

UK Day 9 - Touring London Streets

02 Mar - Today was a free and easy day for us to roam the streets of London, so it was decided to set our compass to head towards Big Ben and River Thames. According to the morning weather forecast, gloomy London is set to welcome an incoming storm system that is already bringing wet weather on the western coast of UK. The clouds are scheduled to arrive in London by evening time. With no time to lose, we quickly finished our breakfast and off we go to visit the tourist spots!

Pass by one of Victoria station entrance which looked like an elephant

Westminster Cathedral, the largest Catholic church building in England and Wales

Westminster Abbey, a Gothic abbey church and one of the United Kingdom's most notable religious buildings and the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English and, later, British monarchs.

Main entrance of Westminster Abbey. As there are too many tourists, we just took photos of the site and off we go

Big Ben under restoration

Another shot of Big Ben from another angle

London Eye across the river

A monument remembering the people who lost their life defending UK in World War 2

Another monument remembering World War 1 & 2. At last, the sun is out!

Leicester Square, where we had our Lobster & Burger! Amazingly nice!

Chinatown

Managed to catch another musical "Waitress"

Photo taken of the "Waitress" stage

After a long walk from the Adelphi, we finally reached the fame London Bridge, where the familiar nursery rhymes began...."London Bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down...."

The Shard

Tower Bridge, a combined bascule and suspension bridge built between 1886 and 1894.

Friday, March 15, 2019

UK Day 8 - Windsor Castle, Stonehenge & Oxford

01 Mar - We woke up early in the morning getting ready for a day tour that we have signed up which will bring us to Windsor Castle, Stonehenge & Oxford City, the 3 iconic places to visit in London. First stop - Windsor Castle, which is basically a royal residence at Windsor in the English county of Berkshire. It is notable for its long association with the English and later British royal family and for its architecture.

Windsor Castle entrance

We are fortunate! Royal standard flag being flown means the queen is in!

Past castle moat being turned into a beautiful garden

St George Chapel, where royal weddings are held. Prince Harry & Meghan Markle got married here in 2018!

Windsor Castle exit gate

Chanced upon a pair of horses walking down the road. =)

Windsor Royal Shopping Street - Mostly high end stuffs....

Replica of the old locomotive that used to ply the Windsor and Eton Central

A portrait of Prince Harry & Meghan Markle

Next stop, Stonehenge where we get to marvel at how ancient people transported these stones that can weighed as much as 3 tons from their excavation site some 200km away. Well, at least they have built a nice path around the Stonehenge for tourists to take pictures so that these stones are not cluttered with people.



Capturing a flock of birds taking off

Last stop, Oxford City, which is where the University of Oxford is located. Buildings in Oxford demonstrate notable examples of every English architectural period since the late Saxon period. I guess this really sets the mood for students to study. This is also the place where the Hogwarts Library and the Great Hall in Harry Potter's films are set.

Welcome to Hogwarts!

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

UK Day 7 - Gloomy London and Wicked

28 Feb - We did not stay long in Manchester as there is nothing much to do here. The next day, we checked out of our hotel and depart to London. This time, we need to walk a little longer to a different station (Manchester Piccadilly Station) for our Virgin Trains. The train stations in UK are so nice looking, as can be seen in the pictures below.

Manchester Piccadilly Train Station

Virgin Trains First Class Seats. First Class Tickets usually comes with a complimentary meal on board, refreshments, snacks and charging station.

London Victoria Station

London Subway "Underground"

London is also another city well known for their Broadway musical shows. We have already secured our tickets in advance for "Wicked" back in Singapore, which really shows how enthusiastic we are. As we need to collect one of the tickets physically at the counter booth, we decided to check out the Victoria Apollo Theater a few hours in advance.

Victoria Apollo Theater

With some time to spare, we also check out the surrounding vicinity.

Little Ben

Victoria Palace showing Hamilton

We also checked out Buckingham Palace in its evening light and get a taste of why England is always considered gloomy - the sky forever is filled with dark clouds which threatened to rain.....

Victoria Memorial

Buckingham Palace

Closer shot of Victoria Memorial

Buckingham Palace from another angle

UK Day 6 - City of Manchester

27 Feb - City of Manchester, to me, looked like a city that was born out from the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century. Most of the building we saw were seemingly from that era, which was a huge contrast compared to York's medieval feel. As there were no LNER train going to Manchester, we settled on the TransPennine Express train, which was also covered by our Britrail Pass.

Welcome to City of Manchester

Manchester, being well known for soccer as they have 2 very well established clubs here - Manchester United in the west and Manchester City in the East. It is no wonder they also have a football museum! Sparing no time, we hop onto the Hop-on-Hop-off bus and off we go to see Old Trafford!

Stadium: Old Trafford
Capacity: 74,994
Field size: 105 by 68 metres (114.8 yd × 74.4 yd)
Opened: 19 February 1910

Hotel Football, Old Trafford

The legendary Old Trafford Stadium

The United Trinity, a statue of Manchester United's "holy trinity" of George Best, Denis Law and Robert Charlton

Sir Bobby Charlton Stand

A plaque honoring the victims of the Munich air disaster

Stretford End

After walking one round the stadium, we visited the Megastore to hunt for discounted jersey that we can buy and bring home as souvenirs. Unfortunately, the jersey sold here isn't that cheap either, with the plain ones selling for £60, which is equivalent to S$105. By God's grace, we managed to find a Paul Pogba third kit (Blue color one) with his name, player number and UEFA Champions League Logo imprinted selling for £60! Truly a bargain! After the purchase, it is time for our return trip to the city as the Hop-on-Hop-off bus only runs 3 trips during the low season.

Manchester City Hall

Manchester Central Library, an interesting building design that reminds me of Pantheon in Rome