Sunday, 22 February 2015

Currency talk

USD:
"A while" ago I was so innocent and thought that the Kingdom of USD as the international currency will "terminate": to be replaced by CNY, thinking of how fast CN grows. I was wrong. This will not happen, at least for years to come.

In 2008 when US was trapped in the subprime crisis, they "invented" a bond buying plans, or the so-called "Quantitative Easing" -- as the euphemism goes, to stimulate the economy. Six years after the US stimulating programme, I do not see a single sign of weakness in USD. In fact, it becomes even stronger.

AUD:
The experience of living in AU will let you aware that AUD is not a strong currency. Recently, Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) cut interest rates to a record low of 2.25%. AUD has been depreciating against USD for some time since 2013, because the head of RBA  wants to see AUD to trade at 75 US cents, which I see as a really wise move, because AUD has no "qualification" to trade high (i.e. 1:1 ratio) against USD.

Strangely, many Malaysians mindset still fixed at the era of AUD 1: MYR 3.00+, or hoping that it will soon go back to 1:3+. I am sorry but this is not going to happen. Many people (Malaysians residing in Australia) do not like to hear this, I do not like to hear this as well, but it is a fact. The day of AUD 1: MYR 3.00+ is over. Now it is only AUD 1: MYR 2.80. And this is still with a recent rapid depreciation of MYR. If you really want 1:3 back in the days of 2012, you will have to hope for a quicker depreciation of MYR than AUD. But even if that happens, how worthless is MYR at that time? And how much you could do with it?

A friend of mine said he wanted to put AUD in bank to wait for it to go up. Frankly, how stupid can this thought be? Going back up? No way.

SGD:
Whenever you see newspaper headlines of "MYR hits lowest in XX months/year against SGD" etc, you will see people saying the day of SGD 1: MYR 3.00 is coming next month/year. Please, even with the most basic knowledge of forex, one will know that 1:3 is not happening in at least years. Having said that, SGD is a rather strong currency in my opinion.

EUR:
The European Central Bank has announced a stimulating programme last month. Well, when an idea/method is implemented for the first time, the effect is always good. But will the same trick work again for EUR (or JPY)? And how long can Greece stand before something happen? People have been speculating a collapse in EUR too. I bet this is something EUR's "rival" wants to see.  Will it happen? Only time will tell. But I do not look good on EUR.

MYR:
No cure but only pernicious depreciation. The self-interest gained by you-know-who politically will cause the country to pay the price economically. Maybe 5 more years to sustain?  In these few months MYR has depreciated "considerably" against USD, and is now trading at USD 1: MYR 3.60+.

I am sorry but I do not look good at this currency. If I were to choose a currency to keep, my first choice would be USD, followed by SGD.

Conclusion:
I am not a forex expert neither I know much about it. I just blow some water here. Don't hit me if you want AUD to go high.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

NASDAQ: Is Apple expensive?

When Iphone 5s/5c was released in 2H 2013, I thought that the sales would go down as there wasn't any  "jaw-dropping" innovative features. The market proves me wrong.

In 2014, 169.22M of Iphone was sold as compared to 150.25M in 2013, a 12.6% increase, according to the global Apple Iphone sales. Note that Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) has a financial year ends 27 Sep, such that the sales of Iphone from Oct-Dec 2013 will be reflected in Q1 2014. In fact, the sales is breaking record quarter-to-quarter if compared with the preceding year. I was terribly wrong about the trend.

So I observe the way how Apple fans stick to Apple products:  the joy and excitement of having it, the honour of using it, the sense of playing with it and the pride of owning Apple products. Last year, Iphone 6/6+ was released. While the most prominent difference with previous releases is a larger screen, which has no surprise, this time I stand on a view that Iphone 6 will create a record sales as well.

On 27 Jan, AAPL released its latest financial quarter report. 74.5M of Iphone sold in Q1 2015 as compared to 51M in Q1 2014. This is an incredible result. A record EPS of 3.06 with record profit.  2014 full year EPS of $7.36, with a current price of $117.16, this is equivalent to a PE of 15.9.

Now, the question is, is AAPL expensive? Let's look at some technology stocks:

Name    Stock Code    PE
Google    GOOL       28.1
Facebook  FB         69.13
Avago     AVGO       104.13
Amazon    AMZN       Negative EPS, Stock price stood at $354.53!

You can see how "insane" is US market. A stock trading at PE 100 is not unusual. Is AAPL really expensive at a price of $117.16? Of course, I am not suggesting to buy with expectation of AAPL to reach a PE of 100, but if you are confident that AAPL will still grow, then it may look attractive at the current price.

In 2012, my lecturer once said something wise:

20 years ago you can eat apple. But can you eat Apple now?

20 years ago, nobody will ever think that Apple is inedible. Nowadays, when the very same noun is being mentioned, how often it means Apple, and how often will people will think of apple? The answer is obvious, isn't it?