Automation on MarketWatch

I was reading the news on the financial markets and clicked on the news by MarketWatch. As I was reading the market update, I then suddenly realized that all the market performance inserted in between the words, is LIVE.


The above is just a screenshot to give you a flavour of what I’m talking about. But if you were to read it when the market’s opened, the figures actually changed automatically and instantaneously. You can read the whole news here. That is cool. But I wonder who or how does the text change if say for example the movements turn from negative to positive (i.e. from red to green), because the narrative has to change too. Is that automated too?

When to stop advocating

I believe most of us, if not all, grown-ups are advocates. There will be something in life or work that we feel so strongly about that we believe deserve a change either for personal benefit (i.e. to yourself or family) or organization’s benefit. I’m more interested with the latter. Whenever we have a strong opinion of something, we voice out, we advocate. I wanted to use the word influence, but advocate is stronger because you do it publicly, either to all organization or just to a focus group or relevant people whom you think have the authority to make the changes. At work, we mostly do it in a meeting, townhall or through informal conversations.

However, advocating requires a lot of energy – time and effort, unless of course you are the senior management. You may advocate, but your concerns or resolutions may not be taken into account. They hear you, they are willing to hear you, but that’s it. Unless of course you get the whole village to voice out with you.

But when do you draw the line? When do you stop advocating? What if the things you advocate questions the leadership of a certain people? Sometimes you have to let it go and allow others to do their work, eventhough you think there’s a better way of doing it. That’s one school of thought.

Another school of thought is, you continue advocating, from stepping into until walking and immersing into the forest of fire. But you’ve got to have a strong conviction to do so. You have to understand the consequences of doing it, the risk and opportunity cost. I guess it’s always safer to just advocate. If it seems fine to most people, why rock the boat? I think that sets the difference apart between a leader and non-leader, i.e. follower. A real leader will rock the boat because he believes in his conviction and intuition. Most importantly,  he believes in himself and is not afraid to be wrong and make mistakes. The worst case if you just keep quiet and keep all your opinion to yourself or you ramble at the wrong people/group.


What project to choose for machine learning

It’s interesting how Andrew Ng explained in a simple manner on what machine learning can do and cannot do in his “AI for Everyone” course that I’m currently taking. I think it helps me at least to think of the projects that can be tested for machine learning.

Rather than listing down all the problems we have (in an organization), think of the activities/tasks that do not require you to think by more than 1 second to do/decide. This is called ‘simple concept’ tasks which do not need a lot of mental thought especially the ones that you are currently doing manually. This can be replaced by computers – machine learning can help cut down your manual work. Provided, you have enough data to supply – in terms of volume, richness and completeness (i.e. there’s input and output).

Try it and start cracking your head to list down all the relevant tasks.

By doing so, we can start doing pilot projects and assess whether it’s feasible to continue in a bigger scale. The idea is to execute multiple projects in a year. According to Andrew, implementing 1 AI project in 1 year is extremely long. We need to do more than that to speed up our learning process.

Leadership is about

  • Not knowing all the answers but seek help to those who are more knowledgeable
  • Inspiring your team
  • Empowering your team
  • Giving the opportunity to those who are deserving
  • Not taking full credit
  • Highlighting the strength of your team
  • Recognising your team’s potential and giving them the right platform to harness and unleash their potential


AI for everyone on Coursera

Early last month I mentioned about “AI for Everyone” course on Coursera, taught by Andrew Ng. I advocated to do it, but I myself haven’t signed up since, until today. So I just did.

After I signed up, this message appeared (see bottom right of the picture below):


What a clever way to get me started immediately. So I watched the first video, i.e. the introduction. To my surprise, Coursera platform has improved tremendously, the last time I took a course on Coursera was a few years ago (didn’t finish it and I can’t even remember the name of the course). Here’s what I found extremely useful, so far:

  1. Transcript of each video is readily available, below each video. So if you miss some of the words the lecturer said, you can just read the transcript, instead of replaying the video multiple times.
  2. You can also easily save any parts of the video as part of note taking. And you can easily replay the saved parts and the transcript is automatically downloaded as well. So you can choose to replay or read the transcript. All you need to do is just press the “SAVE NOTE” button. See below.


The notes will appear as below:


See how Coursera has made our lives easy just to encourage us to learn (and use their platform)?


Life as a Mom

Woke up in the morning at 5am for sahur and then by 6am I was done with eating, showering and meditating. Was ready to catch up on my readings and blogging, but after a few minutes, my son cried. I thought he wanted milk, but it turned out that he just wanted me near him. He dozed after I pat him for a few minutes. and then I left to do my thing again. Few minutes later he cried again but immediately stopped crying as he saw me. So I pat him for a few minutes and he dozed off again. This cycle repeated over and over again for 1 hour or so, until it was time to get ready for his Little Gym class at 9am.

So basically I tried to do whatever I wanted to do intermittently but honestly it was difficult when my son just wanted me to be near him. I initially felt annoyed but I felt guilty and told myself that this doesn’t happen every morning.

I keep telling myself to slow down in all the things I aim to do – again setting real expectations as I mentioned here. I honestly want to do more. But when I look at my son, especially when he’s asleep (the only time I could adore him for long), I always ask these questions:

“Have I done enough for him?”

“Have I spent enough time with him?”

“Have I thought of the kind of activities that will be good for his development?” 

“Have I paid enough attention on him?”

At that point in time, I just feeling like throwing away my phone and laptop.

He’s fast asleep now and I’m back on my phone and laptop.

Such is the life as a mom.


Koyfin Factor Analysis

Mentioned about Koyfin last week and today decided to explore the tool further. You should really check it out if you haven’t done so. What I like most is the speed that it takes for a user like me to select any type of analysis I’m interested in (of course related to stocks, market etc). I just need a great internet connection.

Just checked out the Factor Analysis section. It’s cool. Here’s the screenshot.


You can tell easily how each factor performs in the last 1 day, 5 days, last month, QTD etc. They even computed for you the Z-score of the relative performance between each factor and S&P 500. For Small-Cap for example, the Z-score is 1.34 (see the chart above), which means, at 95th confidence interval, it has the potential to still go up further relative to the market as the Z-score has yet to reach 1.645. Caveat of this interpretation – relies on historical data albeit on statistical basis, and as we all know, past performance is not indicative of future results.

MSC Malaysia Revenue by Focus Area and Cluster

Was curious to see what other data is available on my country’s open data portal as I have done before. Got attracted to data on MSC Malaysia where they shared the revenue breakdown by focus area and cluster whereby I believe the former is a subset of the latter. I’ve used Power BI to visualize the data as below. As usual, before I can export the data to Power BI, I have to transpose the data into a database format. I wish those who share the data on the open data portal would present the data in a database format instead of a table/summary format. The point of making the data accessible to everyone is also to make their lives easier to analyse the data. It’s database 101 with first row as the header of all columns and first column as the key reference to all data in other columns.

Anyway, see below the revenue breakdown of MSC Malaysia by Focus Area and Cluster from 2011 to 2017.

cluster 1Cluster 2Focus area 1focus area 2

One thing good to note is that the revenue has been on an upward trajectory since 2011 for both by cluster and focus area. By focus area, i.e. the last chart, it’s not surprising that eCommerce is the largest segment. But what’s surprising to me is the significant revenue growth in Cloud and Data Centre (“CDC”) in 2016 and 2017. The revenue was only about a third of eCommerce revenue in 2011 but in 2017, revenue from CDC is almost half of eCommerce. BDA which stands for Big Data Analytics is still relatively small as compared to other focus areas and we have not seen the explosive growth in Malaysia yet, but I suspect this will be the next key growth, at least in the next few years. We’ll see.

Where else to travel?

I have always loved travelling. It’s the idea of exploring new places, seeing and learning new things that excites me. More so after I got married 4 years ago as my husband is an avid traveler too and the fact that he has had the opportunity to travel to many places since he was young. So both of us just love traveling together. We’ve been to about 10 different countries together and when we were in the US from June 2016 to June 2017, we managed to explore over 30 states. Whenever we look back, we always wanted to do it again – it’s the most treasured memories we had together as husband and wife so far.

Since we had our first son in late 2017, we have traveled less. It’s a deliberate choice too since our son is still very young so lots of factors to consider such as safety, weather, things/activities to do etc. But we aim to do it just the 3 of us at least once a year. Last year we went to Taiwan. This year we will probably do somewhere near, in fact local, we’ll see.

But personally, I would want to go to China and Hong Kong, perhaps not with my son as it’s probably not safe for him considering the crowd madness we have to go through, but more in a work capacity. I thus far only read about the crazy development in China and Hong Kong, read or watch the news, documentaries etc. But I feel that it doesn’t do justice. I need to go there and see the future for myself. The future of a global superpower. Then only I can make a comparison with the US since I’ve been there.

This video is just on Shenzhen (a Silicon Valley equivalent). But it looks very futuristic.  Can’t wait to go there.



Trends in Investment Management

Ronald N. Kahn reiterated 7 trends in Investment Management in the CFA Institute Annual Conference recently, which he highlighted in his book “The Future of Investment Management”. If you are in the investment management industry like me, you should take note of these trends.

You can read the summary here.

If you have more time, you can read the full book here. I have always preferred reading books from practitioners or learning from them as they can relate to the real world, it’s more practical but at the same time they rely on theories that seem very complex to us to understand. Ronald N. Kahn is one of them, and he works at Blackrock, the world’s largest asset manager as the MD of Global Head of Scientific Equity Research. So we ought to learn from him.

Among the 7 trends he highlighted, trend number 4 on Big Data is something that every investment professional should pay more attention at.

Why I enjoy going to work

Until today, my husband never gets why I enjoy working. He thinks I want to work forever. He asked me this question before, albeit multiple times:

Given the choice, if you don’t need to work, would you just stay at home and do nothing?

My answer has always been no. Even though I am a mom now. If I’m not working, I will find something to start, a business be it goods or services in the field that I am passionate of – any intersection of data, technology, finance and education.

So here’s the thing. Sure, I enjoy the place where I am working at now – the vision and mission have always attracted me and I have a set of challenges to deal with. But more importantly, the act of waking up, dressing up, putting on my make up and then walk confidently to work gives me a whole lot of positive energy, hope and inspiration to do my very best, to contribute, to engage and feel good about myself. The feeling is indescribable. And that is why you have to choose the type of work over salary.

When intent is right, everything else will prevail.

A note to my dear son


Love you my dear son.