YOU could say controversy and scandal accompanied the rise of blogs last year, what with extensive media coverage of sedition charges and threats of defamation action.
Could the new year see a boom in blogs as legitimate sources of business and financial information?
The disclaimer on top of blogger “Gallen’s” blogspot site, “SGX Kelong Stocks”, is typical of many local finance and investment-related blogs.
“The various postings in this blog are based on my personal opinion only and do not constitute investment advice. The blog owner shall not be liable for any losses incurred by visitors who take investment action based on the postings,” it reads.
So, if I am dissuaded from taking his and others’ blog posts as legitimate investment tips (if there is such a thing), what’s the value in reading them then?
Entertainment and a little bit of scandal, of course! We are talking blogs after all.
The word kelong alludes to cheating or corruption, and while Gallen does not make any pointed accusation as regards the impetus behind the share price movement of any listed company he talks about, there are some suggestions which may cause “gentle readers” of his blog to speculate on the goings-on in the fast and furious world of share trading.
“Despite this negative news, [company name] closed up 0.5 cents today!!! If this is not kelong, I don’t know what is,” reads one entry about a stock price movement contradicting the listed company’s announcement.
While most of the blog entries might, perhaps, be useful only to readers who know stuff about stock analysis and the many coloured charts which come with them, it’s almost exciting to see the bloggers get involved in the actual trading of the stocks they talk about.
On one particular stock’s lower-than-expected returns, Gallen quips: “Cool man! Share price looks like it consumed too much of the company’s slimming pills” â€” not a comment you’d read in the financial section of most newspapers.
The same tone is apparent at “Huat Ah! Trading Blog” where National University of Singapore graduate student “Ah Huat” tells his readers that he has “found a new love which is options [trading]”.
At the other, easy end (no charts and acronyms) of the finance-related blog spectrum, “Thinking about money” is written by “C&C” and details his thoughts about personal financial matters.
Rueing his lack of financial discipline earlier in life, he writes: “(Bank) account can only go up after careful planning and budgeting … Hence the predicament I’m in now.”
On his recently-started blog, “C&C” also chides people for “spending up to half their monthly income on Christmas celebrations”.
“To me, these people are digging their own financial graves! Especially if they are spending all these on credit. They could jolly well be paying for this meal months later, absurd!
“Really, holidays should never be an excuse to be lax in our financial planning and budgeting. In fact the holiday season requires the most detailed planning in the entire year!”
Looking abroad, the trend in finance-related blogs seems similar to that here.
At “Random Thoughts on Wall Street, The City and Capitalism” (randombanker.blogspot.com), blogger “Cityboy8888” (the name probably refers to rogue trader Nick Leeson’s trading account ID) proffers advice for companies.
“Never reward top performers adequately,” he writes. “This will only set a precedent for the following year, where the bar will be set higher, it has the additional disincentive of making them take their foot off the accelerator for the rest of the year. Remember the old adage from the organisational motivation courses. Money does not motivate in the long term. So why bother.”
(You know it’s written with tongue very firmly in cheek after reading Cityboy8888’s blogger profile â€” which says he is a “Principal consultant in charge of draining clients of cash in return for some old Powerpoints”.)
At “Jeff Mathews is not Making This Up” (jeffmatthewsisnotmakingthisup.blogspot.com), Jeff Matthews writes, “The purpose of this blog is to look behind the corporate veil â€” get to the truth behind the spin.”
“We like nothing better than to expose companies that are ‘making it up’,” he adds.
Kelong stocks are all over the world, it seems.
Mr Miyagi aka Benjamin Lee has been entertaining readers at miyagi.sg for over a year, and has no financial information on his blog whatsoever.
8 LOCAL FINANCE RELATED
The Art of Making Money:
SGX Kelong Stocks:
Swin Stocks Trading:
Huat Ah! Trading Blog:
Thinking about money:
Start early, be wealthy: