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Showing content with the highest reputation since 11/16/2018 in all areas

  1. 2 points
    Well, there are a few other factors you may want to take into account: 1) EPF board has some industry/union, non-governmental representatives to hopefully provide some additional oversight. TH has none. 2) The EPF Act guarantees the contributor's principal as well as a 2.5% dividend per annum. So the government can always print more ringgit to give you back your nominal investment. (yes I know this is not exactly the most comforting thing). 3) EPF's actual investment returns are higher than the declared dividend. The balance of the returns are kept as reserves against fluctuations in investment value. Of course the recent MYR devaluation has also helped their foreign investments show leveraged returns in addition to the typical equity appreciation + dividend. 4) EPF has the advantage of being able to invest in the entire universe of investment assets whereas TH is restricted to syariah compliant instruments. Regardless of actual performance/characteristics of syariah compliant assets, this does restrict potential opportunities as well as increase cost of compliance. 5) EPF's liability/asset ratio is much healthier at circa 6% compared to TH's (official) 50%. 6) EPF actually restricts non-salary contribution amounts. Not a typical Ponzi scheme characteristic, you'd think they would encourage more contributions rather than less. Clearly they recognise it's a tough job managing that much cash. They also allow withdrawals once your individual total EPF holdings has exceeded RM 1mil At the end of the day you will always have imperfect information as an outsider. But there's not a lot you can do about it...... I do know someone who uses EPF as a government guaranteed fixed deposit replacement.
  2. 1 point
    Well, due to lack of data it's a bit hard to pin down, especially for the 97-98 crisis. The website only provides the annual reports from 2001 onwards, and other financial market data is tough to come by. For all I know they could have shorted the Malaysian market in 97. Essentially what could have happened was profit taking on the bond portfolio in 2008. BNM cut interest rates from 3.5% to 2% as economic stimulus. This could have pushed up the prices of the bond portfolio by a good 10% on 10 year bonds and all EPF would have needed to do is sell some to realise the capital gain. (Dividends are based on realised gain). As you pointed out, the majority of EPF funds was and still is in bonds/fixed income, so smart profit taking on a small portion of the large bond port would be enough to offset the (likely unrealised/unimpaired) loss on the equity port. The biggest hole in this argument is of course how the realised and unrealised gains/losses are taken into account when determining the profit and hence dividend. Accounting standards have changed hugely in the last 20 years, especially since the GFC, so methods could have changed over time. Also, choosing when to impair assets (recognizing a permanent loss of value) is largely a management decision. So in theory, what they could have done during crises is 1) not impair the equity port 2) sold down the bond holdings, thus inflating the 'profits'. But this type of manipulation of profit numbers is still within the rules of the game.....
  3. 1 point
    I once went to a friend's house, a Malay dude with a Japanese wife, in their early 50s. As I was searching the kitchen cupboards for sugar, I came across this ~1.5L jar which was 90% empty, thinking it was sugar. It was actually MSG. This got me thinking...the Japanese, despite their obsession with umami, also have the highest life expectancies. No claims here; just an observation.
  4. 1 point
    Somebody who works with American & Efird contacted me about a suit. I really hopes he comes because they make great threads and I need to figure out how to buy it from them. It is ridiculously difficult to source great threads. All you get locally is spun polyester.
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