Sunday, 20 August 2017

The grand old Dame of Singapore

One last look at Singapore’s Raffles Hotel before it closes

Throughout his 45-yr tenure at the Raffles hotel, Leslie Danker has met, among many others, the legendary Hollywood actor John Wayne, been introduced to Queen Elizabeth II & taken a photo with pop star Michael Jackson. But Mr Danker’s face lights up the most when talking about the history of the iconic hotel.

“I have been at Raffles Hotel before, during and after the hotel’s restoration in 1989,” he told Channel NewsAsia. “And during that restoration, there were some discoveries like the flooring of the original 10-room bungalow under the lobby’s marble. I also saw fine sea sand as the original building was by the beach, so I kept a little of it in a small container as a souvenir!”

At 78 yrs old, Mr Danker is Raffles Hotel’s oldest staff member. He’s also their longest serving; he first joined as a maintenance supervisor in 1972. Now the hotel’s resident historian, Mr Danker is a treasure trove of the hotel’s facts and figures.

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Saturday, 19 August 2017

Common way of cooking rice can lead to arsenic poisoning

Cooking rice incorrectly can lead to arsenic poisoning according to scientists

Professor of biological sciences at Queens University Belfast, Andy Meharg, tested three ways of cooking rice to see how the levels of arsenic changed. Meharg, who has worked in the field for decades regularly tests rice and rice products and shared his findings with the BBC programme Trust Me, I’m a Doctor. In his first test, Meharg found used a ratio of two parts water to one part rice to cook the rice. Most of the arsenic was still present after the water was steamed out.

When the professor used five parts water to one part rice and washed the excess water off, levels of arsenic were almost halved. Meharg’s third method of soaking rice overnight, arsenic levels were reduced by 80%.

Meharg’s conclusion was therefore that the safest method of cooking rice is to soak it overnight first. The rice must then be washed and rinsed until the water is clear and then draining it well before being boiled in a saucepan. The ratio should be five parts water to one part rice.

The professor also found the following:
  • Basmati rice contains lower levels than other rice
  • Brown rice usually contains more arsenic than white rice (because of the husk)
  • Growing rice organically doesn’t make a difference to levels
  • Rice cakes and crackers can contain levels higher than in cooked rice.
  • The levels of arsenic found in rice milk far exceed the amounts that would be allowed in drinking water

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Friday, 18 August 2017

7 quick steps to pick the best dividend stocks

(Hint: You can’t just look at dividend yield alone!)

As investors, we all love dividends. Other than the thrill of seeing a stock you own rise higher and higher in the stock market, receiving passive dividend income from your investments every year is something we all look forward to.

So if you’re more of an income investor and looking to invest for dividends, your stock portfolio will be markedly different from someone who’s investing for high growth and capital gain. The stocks that will give good, consistent dividends may not necessarily be the kind that will grow by 20-50% a year and vice versa.

So if you investing for dividends, you have to invest accordingly and only pick the best stocks that will give the passive dividend income you want. The question is: How?

So if you’re slightly lost and looking for some direction, here are 7 quick steps to help you pick the best dividend stocks around:
  • Look for Mid-Large Cap Stocks
  • Dividend Payout Ratio is 50% or More
  • Track Record of Paying Consistent Dividends
  • Company’s Fundamentals Must Be Sustainable
  • Company has Low CAPEX
  • Company has Stable Free Cash Flow
  • Yield Must Beat Risk-Free Rate

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