Economic Analysis : Malaysia

Where to get data for economic analysis of Malaysia ?

1. Bank Negara Malaysia
BNM website

Some of the data available:
National Summary Data,
Statement of Asset & Liabilities (official international reserves position) ,
detailed breakdown of official international reserves,
rates like: exchange rate, interest rates, Islamic interbank rates,
Malaysian Government Securities ("risk free rate" for Malaysia, useful in investment calculation. Also can look at MGS yield curve),
Kijang Emas prices (gold price),
primary issues of all instruments etc.

  • Some information comes with downloadable historical data or historical chart. A good source to see the trend of the parameters.
  • By checking Advance Release Calendar, we can proactively know and check for timely, relevant data, instead of passively waiting to see the same data appearing in newspaper etc..
  • Monthly statistical bulletin is a compilation of monetary, financial & macro economic statistics. A good one-stop summary.

2. Department of Statistics, Malaysia
We can find macro-economic statistics for e.g population, vital statistics, GDP/GNI, BOP, external trade, exports, production, CPI, PPI etc. from the website. The growth rate is useful as a benchmark for economic growth.

Management guru: Michael Porter

Michael Porter’s ideas are greatly useful in investment analysis.
His ideas on Competitive Advantage (of companies, states, countries etc.), Strategy, Clusters are insightful for industry analysis.
(In investment analysis, we normally do: company analysis, industry analysis, economic analysis.)

Magazine "Economist" has an article on Michael Porter:
article on Michael Porter

Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness of Harvard Business School is headed by Michael Porter.
ISC website

It has a great resources (pdf files) on Michael Porter’s past lectures or presentation.
We can see how his method is used to analyse competitiveness of strings of countries, Singapore included. Too bad Malaysia’s report is not included yet.

Look at a sample of how he analyses on competitiveness, clusters, strategy.
competitiveness (e.g Singapore)

Michael Porter’s consultant firm Monitor:
Monitor's website
Lots of resources on business issues and industries can be found here.

Examples of how Michael Porter’s 5-forces (threat of new entrants, power of suppliers, power of buyers, threats of substitutes, competitive rivalry) can be used in industry analysis can be seen in Investopedia’s Industry Handbook. A few industries are analysed.
Industry Handbook

Enjoy exploring :-)

Management gurus

One of the great insights from Warren Buffett on investment is :
investing is most intelligent when it is most business like;
I am a better investor because I am a businessman and
a better businessman because I am an investor.

When investing, we are actually "buying a business".
From the book "The Warren Buffett Way", it was said that we need to look at management tenet, business tenet, financial tenet and market tenet.

Let’s take a look into who are the gurus in management and their ideas.

Recommending 2 books:

1. the Handy guide to the gurus of management

This book is written by Charles Handy who himself is a management guru.
BBC website has some texts (pdf files), audio and explanation on their contributions to management.
Handy guide summary

Management gurus mentioned are Charles Handy, Peter Drucker, Tom Peters, Warren Bennis, Sumantra Ghoshal, Kenichi Ohmae, Gary Hamel, Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Bill Gates, Ricardo Semler, Michael Porter , Fons Trompenaar and Charles Hampden Turner.

2. The Ultimate Business Library: the greatest books that made management by Stuart Crainer

This book shows a good summary of management gurus, their books and their ideas. A good read.


Get a copy of "the state of the union’s finance – citizen guide".
It’s a good read on US national debts, revenues, budgets and financial well beings. In the end of the pages, there are a list of high "information density" websites related to US finances.
Take a look also at the "Bonus clip". (quite a number of them !)

Investment guru: Warren Buffett

There are many books on Warren Buffett, some of which that I like are:

The Warren Buffett Way
This is my 1st book on Warren Buffett. Works great as a summary, introductory book on Warren Buffett.

The Real Warren Buffett
I like this book very much. It touches on Warren Buffett in aspects of People Leader, Capital Manager and To Act Like An Owner. More insights on his concepts.

written by Mary Buffett. Perhaps she has a better understanding on Buffett’s method.

Of Permanent Value
emphasis is on his life and deeds.

There isn’t a book by Warren Buffett on his investment method yet but we can get a glimpse through his own writings/lectures.

From Berkshire Hathaway’s website, we can get:

Owner-related business principles:
Berkshire Hathaway annual reports:

Besides that, here is another good Buffett’s resources online:

Business Game:Business Choice and CSR

Great, I found two business simulation games from BT (British Telecommunications plc) website that are interesting and real cool !
Biz simulation game

One is Better Business Choice, in which 3 venture capitalists with 3 different types of business environments (boundary world, fluid world, engaged world). You are given a limited budget and will have to make your choices on product, consumer, materials, supplier location, suppliers, employees, R&D, energy, marketing, training. After you launch your business, it will show your year 1, 3, 5 performance on environmental, economic and social aspect. Detailed Report will then explain the effect of your choices.

The other game, Better Business Dilemmas puts you in situations of a CEO on various CSR(Corporate Social Responsibility) issues in the form of emails, phone calls, memos etc. Your choice of reply will affect your performance in the view of shareholders, neighbours, employees, customers, pressure groups, shown in a chart. In the end of the game, a news article will show what happens in the annual shareholder meeting. You will be praised by some groups and scolded by some other groups. Haha, it seems that it is not easy to be a CEO.

Enjoy and have fun :-)

Investment Gurus, Money Masters

many many investment gurus, in fact it is too many :-)

Greatest Investors from Investopedia

World’s richest people 2006, in investment industry, from Forbes:
(2008 list exists, but it doesn’t have the filter to choose the industry)

For the books mentioned below, you can search in Amazon and look for "table of content". An excerpt is available too. With the investment gurus name or their fund’s name, we can search using Google or Wikipedia.

book : money masters of our time, by John Train

Warren Buffett, Paul Cabot, Philip Fisher, Benjamin Graham, Stanley Kroll, T. Rowe Price, John Templeton, Larry Tisch, Robert Wilson

book: the new money masters of our time, by John Train

Jim Rogers, Michael Steinhardt, Philip Carret, George Soros, George Michaelis, John Neff, Ralph Wanger, managing Harvard’s Money, Peter Lynch

book: the winner’s circle – Wall Street’s best mutual fund managers

Richie Freeman, David Dreman, Bill Miller, Christopher Davis, John Calamos, Wallace Weitz, Richard Aster, Jr., Jeff Cardon, Joel Tillinghast, Bill Ricks & team, Bill Wilby, Jeff Everett, Sam Isaly, Bob Rodriguez..

It can be seen that (from the book’s Table of Contents) it includes large-cap, mid-cap, small-cap, global/foreign, sector/bond successful mutual fund managers.

Investment quiz

Morningstar website has a structured way to learn about investment.
(Morningstar is an investment research company which provides data on investment offerings like stocks, mutual funds, bonds, ETF etc. )

Morningstar Classroom

It is divided into 4 curriculum: stocks, funds, bonds, portfolio.

Read and take the quiz. It comes in bite size, not many materials and questions per "chapter".
It’s full of funs. We can keep track of our learning progress with an account. Points can be accumulated to change for 60 days of premium subscription.

Enjoy !

Making Good Use of Investment Keywords

From the investment/financial management professional body websites
(refer to previous post),

choose a topic that is of your interest to learn..
we will be able to learn of:

1. Investment, financial management keyword/terms/topics:

Keywords/terms are the backbones of a knowledge body.
Using these investment, financial mangement keywords/terms,
we can search from internet and get a glimpse of what they means.

Recommend this website:
There are many resources there. An important one is "dictionary".

We can search the investment keywords/glossaries there and explore further. One word leads to another and this is how knowledge can grow.

Welcome to the knowledge hunt :-)

2. book/reference/article:

We can find what are the topics/books/references/articles that the professional certification bodies think are important for the professionals to stay in the field.

investment, finanical management, risk management, alternative investment professional body

One of the ways to learn about investment is to have a glimpse on what the investment professionals in the field are required to learn.

Many of these resources are freely available online.
(refer to websites for the details)

1. CFA, Chartered Financial Analyst:
CFA Course of Study
CFA Study Sessions
(look for Candidate Body of Knowledge CBOK, Learning Outcome Statement LOS, study sessions)
Topics for 2009: (combining all 3 levels)
ethical and professional standards
tools and inputs
investment tools
asset valuation
portfolio management
behavioral finance
private wealth management
risk management
execution of portfolio decisions, monitoring, rebalancing
performance evaluation and attribution

2. CFP, Certified Financial Planner:
CFP Topic List

Topics for 2008:
general principles of financial planning
insurance planning and risk management
employee benefits planning
investment planning
income tax planning
retirement planning
estate planning

3. FRM, Financial Risk Manager
FRM study guide
(look for study guide, core reading course pack)

Topics for 2008:
quantitative analysis
market risk measurement and management
credit risk measurement and management
operational and integrated risk management, legal
risk management and investment management

4. CAIA, Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst:
CAIA study guide
(look for study guide, curriculum reading)

Topics from level 1 and level 2 for 2008:
quantitative methods
professional standards and ethics
real estate
hedge funds
commodities and managed futures
private equity
venture capital
credit derivatives
current and integrated topics

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The opinion post on this blog is personal and is not an inducement to buy or sell any investment products. The author of this blog will NOT be held responsible for any losses incurred due to the reliance on any content of this blog for investment decisions.