My #2018bestnine

I thought I should follow the crowd and check out what’s my #2018bestnine. So here you go.


I reposted this on my instagram, just like many others. Caption is as follows:

“I thought Aariz is going to fill up my #bestnine2018 but as I reflect upon it, it kinda captures perfectly my 2018. Change is inevitable, but change is good. 2018 is a year of transitioning for me, both at personal and professional levels – new role, new division, new MD, new mandate, new boss, new team and on top of all, first year as a full-time working mom and fully-breastfeeding Aariz until now (so just imagine, in between work and meetings wherever I am, the pumping has to go on). Definitely a year of trying, learning, failing and then quickly get up to try, test and learn again and the cycle repeats; it is what we called being agile. I have to say that some of the changes were not due to external factors, but due to hard decisions made by myself. Have I doubted myself? Of course. But as time passes by, as I connect the dots, I can now say I am glad I made those decisions. If you have the right intentions, InsyaAllah you will be on the right track. But my dear Aariz, watching you grow, taking care of you, together with your daddy, is truly my greatest blessing of the year, alhamdulillah! #butidohope2019igettosleepthroughthenight 🤣 #andsincewhenmaroonismycolour#ithoughtblueismyfavourite#changeisgood”

2019 resolution, part 4

My 4th resolution is something that I just made up, i.e. never in my life I would want to do this which is making a dessert. This is all because I’ve just finished watching the whole season of Zumbo’s Just Desserts on Netflix with my husband, which we enjoyed every episode of it. We ended up wanting to hunt for desserts all the time. Not quite a good thing since we both have the desire to reduce our weight, especially him but to me, it’s another sweet common activity to have with my husband.

Anyway, back to my 4th resolution. I’ve decided to learn how to bake a chocolate cake since that’s my husband’s favourite.

But where do I start? or rather when.

Being cautiously brave

Aariz is not afraid of the pool. Whenever he sees a swimming pool, he would want to jump straight into it. My husband and I have been bringing him to the public pool in our condo every other week just so that Aariz gets used to the pool, early in his life.

It’s really fascinating to watch him in the pool yesterday. He jumped into the kids pool and then quickly climbed out only to dive again into the pool and when he was in the pool, he would walk and swing the water with his hands and plunged his face into the pool for a second, in every metre he walked.

I hope he remains brave, not just in the pool but also life in general. Being cautiously brave is probably the right way to say it. I would want him to not afraid to try anything (legal) that he wants and let him test and fail and get back up to try again and hopefully learn from his mistakes. Agility is key.

Week 1 Reflection

I am planning to make Saturday’s posts to be about my reflection of the week. So let’s try the first one.

It was a very short working week because I was still on leave on Monday and Tuesday was a public holiday. Nothing much really happened at work as everyone is not on full gear mode yet (some are still on leave) and for those who came back, I could see that they are either still on holiday mode or at least cleaning email mode. I fell into that latter category. But it felt good. I am ready to kick off 2019 work!

Anyway, this post is supposed to be about reflection, so I shouldn’t say much about what I look forward to. Let’s try to keep within the agenda, shall we?

I would say the highlight of the week 1 is my 4th anniversary with my dear husband which was on Thursday, 3 Jan. Initially we didn’t plan to celebrate because we just came back from our year-end holiday so we would like to maintain low in our expenses for January. But who says we need to spend a lot for a celebration right? After all, it’s only once a year. So we both left the office earlier and watched a movie. It was our 2nd movie together after Aariz came into our lives. Yes, I just realized I only watched 1 movie in 2018 and I couldn’t even remember which movie. So anyway, we decided to watch Aquaman and thanks to me, it was a good decision because we both enjoyed the movie. It’s such a fun movie to watch. After the movie, we went for dinner and have desserts for supper.

Reminder to ourselves – as much we love our kids, we should always make the effort to spend quality time just both husband and wife. I always tell this to my husband, ‘you know, Aariz is going to grow up and have his own life. When that time comes, it will be just us. If we don’t maintain our connection, it’s going to be very difficult to do that only then.

Speaking of which, Aariz is up so it is time for me to stop.

Till tomorrow guys.

50% of corporate board should be women

That’s a very strong statement. Not made by me though. Was browsing through my instagram and saw someone advocated that the current percentage which is 30% should be increased to 50%.

I feel like I have to express my opinion about that statement because for me, it’s not about the %, it’s not about gender. At the end of the day it is about the quality of the board member. It’s like baking a cake. I watched the first season of Zumbo’s Just Desserts on Netflix (which FYI Zumbo is the King of Dessert of Australia) and what I learned is that you can make such a beautiful decoration of your dessert, but at the end of the day, it all comes down to taste. Similar here, pushing for a higher % when there is not enough quality women to be on the board, you will end up having a sub-par board.

I am a woman myself and I aspire to sit on corporate board at least by the age of 45, representing the expertise I have in me that will benefit the corporation. So that’s a lot of prepping to be done for me because I want to make sure that I have the right best-in-class quality because once I’m on the board, a lot of eyes will be watching and judging me, especially the other board members, men typically. Like it or not, I will be representing other women so I have to have a good reputation or else I will just validate many’s hypothesis that women are not good enough.

So that’s my point, not many women out there are good enough. A lot of women I noticed who are at the top management, most of them are bitches. Not all, but most. Why do people think you have to be a bitch if you want that senior position post. While on the other hand, the articles are saying that women are better because they are more compassionate and have more empathy. That’s a generalization and one should not make that remark. It’s mostly applicable for women who are married (either with or without kids). Women who are single still typically fall in the ‘bitches’ category.

So to all women out there, please do what it takes to improve yourself, please show to men out there that we are capable as what many claimed to be. Don’t just fight for the %. It’s meaningless.

2019 resolution, part 3

So my 3rd resolution is to finish reading 4 books. That’s one book in a quarter. Shouldn’t be too difficult, no?

My problem is I read soo many books but never finish them. Most of the time I managed to read only the first few chapters. I get bored easily. So maybe the books I chose are not interesting enough. Haha. Lame excuses.

Anyway, I just picked my first book of the year to read. The book is very much related to the work I do but I’m hoping I could learn some life lessons from the book too! It’s called “Stay the course: the story of vanguard and the index revolution”.

Stay the course, no matter what happens.

Read the book until the end, no matter how boring it gets.




It is easier said than done.

2019 resolution, part 2

So my 2nd resolution of 2019 is to wake up early everyday. And by early I mean as early as 6am, especially on working days.

Today is my first day of working for the year and now is 830 in the morning. Here I am still in bed, writing this post.

2nd resolution – failed on first day.

I actually woke up at 4 in the morning but then I couldn’t sleep again until only at about 530. Set my alarm at 630 and I ended up snoozing it until 745. So yes, I performed my subuh only then.

And now I couldn’t bring myself up to shower because I just feel like going back to sleep especially when my son is sleeping so soundly still and so does his father!

Ok I need another motivation.

Just remembered I bought a new cereal. Let’s wake up to that. And hopefully I’ll have a productive day at work!

Till tomorrow guys!

2019 resolution

So my first 2019 resolution is to blog everyday. Main purpose? To actually keep up to a healthy habit because I know I will fail to exercise everyday. And also because I have committed before to blog everyday, back in 2017, but failed miserably.

So let’s strive to have 365 posts by end of 2019!

Happy new year everyone!


People are consuming a lot of data and information on a daily or even hourly basis as they are unlimited and easily accessible especially if you have a smartphone and internet. But what people don’t and should do a lot is gathering insights. And insights can only be obtained through interaction of people and/or combining data with human’s interpretations or reading books which are merely shared thoughts and experiences by people/authors. While data is the future, it is just a tool. At the end of the day you still need the human touch.

Just yesterday, I had two different conversations with two different people whom I don’t interact on a daily basis. But I managed to gather two different insights, as follows:

  1. While breastfeed milk can be substituted by formula milk, the advisable duration for babies to consume either is still up to 2 years old. Once they turn 2, they can actually start drinking fresh milk. I suppose for me, I just thought that only breastfeed milk should be given up to 2 years old.
  2. Banks typically don’t provide loans to purchase lorries which typically range around RM50-60k. Hence people ended up taking ah long to get the funds, which is not financially healthy obviously. So there’s another underserved segment in the market which are currently not being tapped.

I wouldn’t have gathered the insights above had I not have the conversations with the 2 different people. Moral of the story, don’t be too obsessed with your phone, with the information on the internet; go meet more people, talk to different people in different walks of life. You’ll never know how their insights can benefit you be it personally or professionally.


Read my first post and second post to understand better.

Yeah that didn’t turn out as planned. It basically went down the drain. After more than 1 year, I’m finally back here. But Fred Wilson, the one who inspired me to blog on daily basis, kept on blogging, without failed. So in the span of a year, he has written 365 posts, which I too could have accomplished. I wish.

Anyway, let’s move on. I am here because I am inspired (sometimes baffled) by the daily musings of Malaysian political and corporate landscape and the work that I’m currently doing. I could totally relate to the “Managing in Adversity” course I took in MIT. Everyday we are feeling anxious, everyday we are fighting, but at the same time we remain hopeful, because we believe in the institution and we believe in the new government. What’s the ordeal you might wonder.


How do you remain steadfast on the vision you set-forth when the overarching mandate is in question? How do you continue with your project’s execution when the only direction you have from the management is to pause on any long-term work until you have better clarity? How do you ensure the short-term work gets implemented despite not knowing if the end goal will be approved by the management? How do you manage your stakeholders and investee companies? How do you motivate yourself and your team to keep going? What do you do when you are continuously in limbo?

If you believe in the value, nothing else matters. Nothing should stop you until you are being told otherwise. That’s the spirit I carry to work everyday. We fight till our last breath!

My current project involves me dealing with some of our investee companies (GLCs) and we would need the new management’s approval before we continue to the next step and then we would need to get the buy in from their management. It’s a lot of work and it involves a lot of different parties. They all have the same question as you which you yourself don’t know the answer. So, what do we do?

  1. Wait and do nothing; or
  2. Continue to complete the agreed milestones while at the same time prepare to convince the new management and pull off the final show when you get the greenlight; or
  3.  Just bulldoze assuming the project will not be cut off because you believe in the potential value creation

Always go for the second choice, unless you are a start up or private company that your chairman/CEO is one of your family members then go for the 3rd choice.

Adaptive markets theory by Andrew Lo

I attended a public lecture today by Andrew Lo. The talk is about adaptive markets theory, based on his recent published book called Adaptive Markets: Financial Evolution at the Speed of Thought. 


The best part about this talk is that it is not just about the theory. It is a story of how Andrew Lo himself came about developing this theory and subsequently writing this book, after 2 decades of research. I personally think Andrew Lo is an excellent speaker. He has his own charisma and for every of his lecture that I attended, he never failed to inspire me. When you go for Andrew Lo’s classes or public lecture, sometimes it is not about the theory that you want to learn, it is his philosophical of life and finance that you want to bring back with you – something that you can never get in a book or anywhere else.

The book was supposed to be published in 2008. But due to the financial crisis, Andrew Lo felt that his adaptive markets theory needed an update. So he went on a quest of more research and finally published it this year.

For someone who came a finance background, I can relate to the theory which I entirely agree with it. Adaptive markets theory aims to reconcile the theory of efficient markets hypothesis such that share prices always reflect all relevant information and that no one can outperform the market, with behavioral economics. We are now operating in adaptive markets, more so than before as the markets change constantly and more frequently, mainly due to the actions of people.

Theory aside, what I found inspiring about his talk was his own personal story about how he was claimed to have a mental disorder by his mom (not in a bad way) because unlike other Asians who we often stereotype as good in Maths, Andrew Lo was not. He excelled in all subjects especially science but Maths. His turning point was when at 3rd grade, his maths teacher made him believe that he was good at something and that he just needed to find it. His teacher introduced him to abstract maths and to his surprise, he was very good at it. And that’s when he found his niche.

To his point, adaptive markets theory is essentially that. When your narrative changes, your outcome will change too due to the change in your behaviour and belief. Once I am done with George Doriot’s book, this book is going to be the next on my list.

Some other key takeaways from today’s talk are as follows:

  • Traditional investment framework is flawed (not wrong, but incomplete)
  • Efficient market hypothesis works in stable environment
  • Adaptive markets – manage risk via active volatility scaling algorithms
  • Alphas is multiple betas
  • Markets adapt through the actions of people
  • Adaptation can be counterproductive especially if we think the risk is lower (where in fact it is actually the same)
  • Why machine learning is important in finance: Need to collect and process more data to have more in grained, refined and detailed information to understand and make better decisions (analogy: high resolution pic, the more pixels the better)
  • But can lead to some stereotypes and biases – racism, sexism
  • When someone tells you that you can’t do it, learn as much as can from them, but don’t believe in what they say because they don’t understand you as much as you do although they think they know you. Once you believe in it, ie once you change your narrative, your positive energy and motivation will propel and lead you to success that you dream of
  • Evolution is a process of elimination, it may be a good thing or a bad thing
  • Artificial intelligence can create new stories as a function of market conditions and environment that is changing and as the market adapts
  • Need regulations that are adaptive before the fact
  • Persistence pays off
  • We need collective intelligence and wisdom of crowd