Archive for the ‘Announcements’ Category

Standardisation of Tax Distribution Statement

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

Last week, we receive this email from one of our readers,

Dear Editor,

I initiated the project in 2008 at the time of economic crisis with a conscience to alleviate the burden of investors who have investment in managed funds. It is done by removing the inefficiency in the existing system through the unification the tax distribution statement. On a conservative estimate, the project could save the community at least $348 million a year. I have prepared the executive summary and the proposed tax distribution statement format for your reference. I could send it via email upon your request.

I have received support from 8 out of the top 100 accounting firms in Australia. If I could receive the endorsement from ATO, my supporters will fund the project. Therefore there is no funding requirement from ATO. I believed that was clear from the start. However, ATO took nearly 2 years to response to my proposal and requested that I resubmitted another proposal with Tax Issues Entry System because of the soon release the Henry review. I did prepare another proposal that incorporated the change that was adopted by the government. However, I was told by email that the Tax Issues Entry System was not the right venue but no alternate venue was suggested.

Eventually I bought my proposal to the attention of the Prime Minister, Treasurer, and all the Senators. I was able to get an answer from the Assistant Treasurer. However, to my disappointment, the case was referred back to ATO. I have spoken to the officer whose name was printed on the letter. When I spoke to him, I was told that he was not senior enough to even make any changes. However, he appreciated of the work that I had done.

Senator Fiona Nash and Shadow Assistant Treasurer are supportive of the project but they are not the main party which could authorise the change. To make the project a reality, I am down to my last resource that is going to the media and getting public support.

I hope you find the matter of interest. If you have further question don?t hesitate to contact me.

Kind regards,

Faliana Lee

If you are interested in this cause, please feel free to leave a comment on this post. If you want to see Faliana’s proposal, please click here.

Are you against negative gearing?

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Yesterday, the major newspaper reported on the First Home Buyer price strike on the front pages. Judging from the numerous vitriol and insults in the ensuing comments of the article, it is very clear that this social media campaign has touched the raw nerves of many. It goes to show that far too many people in Australia are too emotionally invested in property.

Related to this cause is the issue of negative gearing. Economist Saul Eslake put it the best in yesterday’s Sydney Morning Herald article- Imagine a tax system that penalised work. If you feel very much against negative gearing, you may want to join this Facebook cause: End negative gearing tax subsidy, affordable housing for next generation.

Subscribe and get “How To Lie With Statistics”

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Recently, we read a very good 1954 classic, How To Lie With Statistics by Darrell Huff. Those who subscribe to our emailing list will receive FREE access to this book. To subscribe to our emailing list, submit your details on the Subscription box to the right of this page. If you are already subscribed, you will receive an email from us by Thursday on how to access that book.

From the review of this book at,

“There is terror in numbers,” writes Darrell Huff in How to Lie with Statistics. And nowhere does this terror translate to blind acceptance of authority more than in the slippery world of averages, correlations, graphs, and trends. Huff sought to break through “the daze that follows the collision of statistics with the human mind” with this slim volume, first published in 1954. The book remains relevant as a wake-up call for people unaccustomed to examining the endless flow of numbers pouring from Wall Street, Madison Avenue, and everywhere else someone has an axe to grind, a point to prove, or a product to sell. “The secret language of statistics, so appealing in a fact-minded culture, is employed to sensationalize, inflate, confuse, and oversimplify,” warns Huff.

Although many of the examples used in the book are charmingly dated, the cautions are timeless. Statistics are rife with opportunities for misuse, from “gee-whiz graphs” that add nonexistent drama to trends, to “results” detached from their method and meaning, to statistics’ ultimate bugaboo–faulty cause-and-effect reasoning. Huff’s tone is tolerant and amused, but no-nonsense. Like a lecturing father, he expects you to learn something useful from the book, and start applying it every day. Never be a sucker again, he cries!

Even if you can’t find a source of demonstrable bias, allow yourself some degree of skepticism about the results as long as there is a possibility of bias somewhere. There always is.

Read How to Lie with Statistics. Whether you encounter statistics at work, at school, or in advertising, you’ll remember its simple lessons. Don’t be terrorized by numbers, Huff implores. “The fact is that, despite its mathematical base, statistics is as much an art as it is a science.”

Apologies for malware

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

Today, as we loaded our own site, we were horrified to find that it was blocked by our Firefox web browser. It turned out that Google found malware on this site.

How did it happened?

The BidVertiser advertising network that we used had one or more 3rd-party rogue advertisers who served up malware.

Immediately, we scrubbed all references to BidVertiser network. We had also informed Google to review this site.

We apologise for this fiasco. Lesson: if you are a web site owner, avoid BidVertiser!

Newbie investor asked: “Should I invest in stock market??”

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Recently, a new member asked in our forum,

I have never invested in the stock market and I am like newbie for the stock market. But I can see around me that people earn quite well from stock market though there is big risk of loosing money. I am also thinking to buy some shares but don’t understand which one should I buy?? as there are so many available in the market.. That’s why I am looking forward to have some suggestions and tips and tricks in trading.

The more seasoned investors among you may want to help out this newbie investor in the forum.

MarketClub 2 Week Free Trial

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

We will be clear from the onset: this post is basically a sales pitch for our affiliate partner at Market Club. Also, only those who are into trading may be interested in this sales pitch. Now, you know enough to decide whether to continue reading or not…

Okay, if you are reading this sentence, we assume you are interested in what Market Club has to offer. What is happening is that they are opening up the premium service for a no cost 2 week trial. There are 4 powerful tools available to members that you, as a free trial member, will have access to: Smart Scan, Trade School, Chart Analysis, and Data Central will be opened up just for you.

The other major bonus about this trial is that their, customer support team will be providing UNLIMITED support! You can call or email for a response to any question, comment or concern. They’ve added another support person (hired a month ago just to train her) to ensure that all calls and emails get answered as quickly as possible.

So, if you are interested to sign up, please click here.

How To Foolproof Yourself Against Salesmen & Media Bias

Sunday, March 21st, 2010

Over the weekend, we have released a new instant download, PDF report, “How To Foolproof Yourself Against Salesmen & Media Bias” at only US$4.95. In addition, we had set up a Facebook Group related to this report for those who want to discuss more on the topic.

Basically, this report is an expansion and rehash of the mental pitfall series of articles (some of which are still available in this web site) and written from a different perspective. This report is divided into two parts. The first part is the most important part- it expands from the common mental pitfalls ideas on this web site:

  1. Accuracy-Precision Confusion
  2. Anchoring
  3. Bigness Bias
  4. Confirmation Bias
  5. Correlation-Causality Fallacy
  6. Endowment Effect
  7. Herd Behaviour
  8. Lazy Induction
  9. Ludic Fallacy
  10. Mental Accounting
  11. Money Illusion
  12. Narrative Fallacy
  13. Overconfidence
  14. Recency Bias
  15. Status Quo & Loss/Regret Aversion Bias
  16. Sunk Cost Fallacy
  17. Survivorship Bias
  18. Turkey Thinking
  19. Wishful Thinking

The second part is on some of the common tricks employed by biased media:

  1. Context Twisting
  2. Headline Judgement
  3. Images
  4. Names, Titles, Word Choice & Tone
  5. Selection & Omission
  6. Source Bias
  7. Story Placement

This report is in the PDF format and the total number of pages is 50 pages. It is specially designed to look well as a slide presentation, which means the larger fonts will be easier on your eyes. That makes it an ideal e-book. You can also print this PDF report but we would urge you not to do so for the sake of the trees.

For those who had already donated to this web site, this report will be given to you free of charge. You will receive an email from us (sent via e-Junkie) with the download link.

Click here to get this report now!

Advertising/Affiliate policy

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

We would like to thank our readers for their feedback and support in Supporting this blog and reader feedback. More importantly, we would like to give special thanks to our donors for their support. After thinking through over the past few days, we reckon that this blog can only be supported in the long-term by a mixture of donations, advertising, affiliates and micro-payments:

  1. Donations– Donations make our day. It’s not just the money that makes us happy. Donations are a sign that our work is valuable to and appreciated by others. We agree with one of our readers that donors must be rewarded in one way or the other.
  2. Advertising– From our reader poll, most people do not mind the current level of advertisements. At least one reader finds the advertisements useful! This means most people accept that advertising is a necessary ‘evil’ (not that advertising is intrinsically evil). Also, the majority prefer articles and advertisements to be separated. We interpret it to mean that readers want to know clearly that they are being ‘advertised onto.’ Some advertising (e.g. banner ads) are very obvious. Therefore, most readers will have no problem distinguishing them. The tricky part is affiliate promotions…
  3. Affiliates– We receive compensations from affiliates to promote their products. But as you can read from our Advertising & Affiliates policy page, not any product/service provider can be our affiliate. We have to like their products/services first and we must have reasons to believe that they are relevant to some of our readers.Affiliates’ products/services are usually promoted in the form of links embedded within articles. Such promotions, by its very nature, are subtle. One of the reasons for this is because some of the links point to pages that actually contain useful information to some readers. Articles with embedded affiliate links can come in the form of (1) just a passing mention of products/services to (2) more direct and active promotion. Therefore, to ensure transparency to our readers, we will adhere to the following policy (as mentioned in our Advertising & Affiliates policy page):

    To alert our readers/subscribers of possible conflict of interests, articles that contain subtle embedded links to our affiliates will have the “Advertising/Affiliates” tag attached to them (this exclude links that can be easily recognised? as advertisements). Tags are displayed at the bottom of every article.

    For example, Market Club is an affiliate link and consequently, the ?Advertising/Affiliates? tag is present in this article. On the other hand, affiliates links that are clearly advertisements will not be subjected to this rule (see this article as an example). To put it simply, when affiliate links are subtle, we will use that tag.

  4. Micro-payments– One business model we are thinking about is the idea of micro-payments on selected articles. So far, web sites that charges micro-payment are relatively rare. The pricing point we are thinking of for micro-payment is in the range between 25 cents to 50 cents, depending on the article. Of course, donors will be exempted from micro-payments.We want to avoid going towards the paid subscription model. This is because, as one of our readers suggested, paid subscription implies a commitment in terms of consistent quality and regularity. Micro-payments, on the other hand, is flexible for us, flexible for our readers (because they can pick and choose which articles they want to read) and low-risk for our readers.

Please contribute feedback below. And also, the reader poll is still open.

Supporting this blog and reader feedback

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

Recently, one of our readers seemed to be pissed off with what seems to be our attempts at getting some ‘advertising’ revenue (see the exchange at A little trick to snipe profits from the market- ?52 Week High Friday Rule?). Technically, that was not advertising in the traditional sense- what we were doing was to send relevant traffic to our affiliate business partner.

Of course, in the ideal world, information is free and there’s no hidden agenda and advertising. Bloggers would write just for love, passion and sacrificial good-will. We would love to live in such an ideal world. Many of our readers would love that too.

But unfortunately, the real world is far from the ideal. As another fellow blogger wrote,

Like many other sites recently, I am now starting a fund raiser. Blogging is a very time and effort consuming activity. And while advertising provides some revenue, it is nowhere near enough.

Like you, we are still humans who have to pay the bills, eat, sleep and suffer the demoralisation as any humans do. Eventually, our finite human limits will be breached. Worse still, the evils of inflation and moral hazards (which the governments everywhere seemed intent of achieving), is making a bad situation worse for society as a whole.

And you know what the problem for bloggers like us? As we wrote in Google vs Rupert Murdoch- who will win?,

So, here comes the crucial point to understand: information (collectively) is free and abundant, but consumers? attention (for each individual information provider) is scarce. Actually, each feed of one another in a positive feedback loop- to attract the attention of consumers, businesses are forced to give more and more information away, which in turn causes information to be more abundant (collectively), which in turn makes consumers? attention even more scarce (for each individual businesses), which forces businesses to give yet even more information away.

Unlike say 10 years ago, what is happening today is that the cost of producing free information (e.g. researching, writing, reading, etc) and services is exceeding the revenue gained from scarce attention (e.g. advertising, sending traffic to affiliates). From what we can see, information producers on the Internet are bleeding dry. Newspapers are going busts left, right and centre. If well-capitalised Rupert Murdoch is complaining, then it is very telling that a significant percentage of online information producers/service providers are in pain.

From an investors’ point of view, it is a no-brainer that Google’s business model is much better than Rupert Murdoch’s. As Jaron Lanier, a computer scientist/philosopher wrote in a FAQ of his book,

The only business model for aggregated or collectivized information- information that isn?t bought and sold directly- is the routing of advertising.? Everything but advertising becomes free.? It isn?t the advertisers who become rich in the long term, because there are fewer and fewer things to be sold, other than ads.? It is the owner of the ad exchange that becomes rich.? At the moment this means Google for most purposes, though in the financial sphere there are other parties playing an analogous role.? (I should say that I personally know the Google folks, and like them.? They didn?t have an evil plan- but they did find themselves in a niche that is problematic.)

That’s why most of the free stuffs on the Internet seems to have ‘hidden’ agenda and sales hype. As long as the price of information are pushed towards zero, such conflict of interests will be the norm.

That’s the reason why we advertise.

Some of you may find that irrelevant advertising because you are not into trading. But please look at this from our perspective. We have a wide variety of readers, many of which are into trading, forex and penny stocks (assuming that our Facebook community is indicative of the general readership of this blog). We even have a sizeable number of American real estate investors (it’s a surprise to us). So, what we were doing was to try to direct the traders (among our readers) to our affiliate business partner.

From the perspective of the non-traders, that particular business partner’s wares can be seen as sales hypes and hidden agenda. But personally, we find that we can trust them more (relatively), compared to the heaps of crap you can find on the Internet. That’s why we promote their trading products because we ourselves use them and find them useful. The truth is that, with so much sales hypes, hidden agendas and crap on the Internet that it is pretty much getting more and more difficult to tell the difference between the crap ones and the gems. To be frank, we have other businesses who wants to promote their wares through us and they either failed the hype-test or we aren’t sure whether they are scams or not.

And here is our problem. In the Internet, everyone can remain anonymous. But we can’t tell the traders among the investors (other than the few who engage in conversations in the comments). What we see from our statistics are a sea of faceless numbers. Whenever statistics are involved, the only way to go is to run on statistical probability (in reality more towards guestimates). So, for example, if we guestimate that x% of our readers are traders, then we will ‘advertise’ a specific way so as to ensure that the least number of readers are pissed off. If the percentages are much higher for a specific segment, then our ‘advertising’ will be louder because based on statistical probability, the chances of the ‘advertising’ being relevant are much higher and therefore, less likely to piss off someone.

One of our readers suggested going to the donation route. Well, we are not sure whether this is a better route. Certainly, it will piss off less people. But would that be even less sustainable in an already unsustainable situation? Also, some of us are resistant to the donation route because it smells like begging. But would that be worth a try?

One fellow blogger is going along this route:

So, to enable this blog to continue at the current rate of activity or to expand, readers really need to start donating. I am letting future activity depend on this. No donations means no blog. Few and/or little donations means little activity.Many and/or large donations means unchanged or more activity. The future of the blog is in your hands.

Donate according to how much value this blog gives you and your ability to donate. So, press the “donate”-button in the right side bar, and donate now (or as soon as possible)!

We are going to try donation as an experiment and let our readers’ donations drive the level of activity and quality of this blog as well as the level of advertisements (i.e. more donations, less advertisement). In other words, donate according to how much value this blog gives you and your ability to donate. Please note that a few advertisements cannot be removed immediately due to contractual obligations with the advertisers.

Also, please leave feedback on what you think in the comments below. Without feedbacks, what we see are just a sea of statistically faceless numbers. Also, to help us understand our readers, we are conducting an anonymous poll here.

Free sample for “How to buy and invest in physical gold and silver bullion”

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

From the feedback of our partners, we realised that some of you may find that even though our book (How to buy and invest in physical gold and silver bullion) looks to be interesting, you may still not be sure whether to buy that book to read.

So, we have provided a free PDF download that contains some sample pages and the table of contents. Click here to find the free PDF download (at the final paragraph of the page).