Thursday, October 27, 2016

4 Reasons Gold and Silver Are the Deal of the Decade

Early Oct this year, the precious metals gold and silver experienced a massive tank. Spot Gold plunged 6% in 5 days from $1,320/ounce to $1,240/ounce before settling around $1,260/ounce level.

Source Bloomberg: XAUUSD (Gold) 1-mth Chart
Spot Silver tumbled 11% in 5 days from $19.25/ounce to $17.10/ounce before settling around $17.50/ ounce level.

Source Bloomberg: XAGUSD (Silver) 1-mth Chart

According to King World News, the massive tank early this month was another desperate attack by the Bank of International Settlement, along with some Western central banks and bullion banks, to manipulate the precious metals price lower. Despite the physical market remaining very strong, we saw 1,000 tonnes worth of paper gold, which is over 40% of annual production of gold, being ferociously sold.

With gold and silver price being at multi-month low, I received many questions asking me whether it is a good time to invest in these two glittering assets now.

Here are my views on why I had invested in the precious metal during the plunge.

#1 Strong Demand from the East

While the West is coordinated to dump paper gold, the East is aggressively buying physical gold, particularly China, Russia and India.

China has been actively buying gold and their holdings have quadrupled since 2006 to 1,800 tonnes. While China is often seen to under-report their gold holdings, and given that they have produced and imported over 11,000 tonnes of gold since 2009, it is believed that their actual holdings could be as high as 12,000 tonnes.

Russia, on the other hand, is often expected to sell their gold when it comes to economic crisis, such as the recent oil crash. However, if we look at the Russian Gold Reserves below, we would be surprised to know that the Russian has been steadily buying gold for the past decade!

Why does the East keep stocking up gold while the West is dumping? Are they preparing for some catastrophe?

#2 Imminent Economic Crisis

Most developed economies are so infested with debt that there is hardly any growth in their economy if the central bank does not use stimulus plan. US, Europe, Japan, China are just to name a few.

Quantitative Easing (QE) is no longer an unconventional monetary policy tool because almost every developed country uses it to stimulate growth. Our economies presently are filled with humongous supply of money, but sadly very little growth that the FED had to expand QE2 and QE3 to lift the economy.

When digitally printing money provided little effect to the growth, not only did the central banks come out with Zero Interest Rate Policy (ZIRP), but even the most ‘creative’ and unprecedented concept of Negative Interest Rate Policy (NIRP) was introduced to spur their economy.

Can you imagine? When you save money in the bank, you need to pay the bank the interest.

To get votes, almost all ruling governments in democracy resort to stimulating the present economies at the expense of our future. Thus, when our money supply is expanded at a troubling pace, guess what happens to the value of our money?

It becomes worthless.

Inflation causes the value of money shrinks.

Who will then be the greatest beneficiary?

The true value of wealth – Gold and Silver.

The gold and silver are the natural hedge to inflation. Besides, these two glittering precious metals have long been a safe haven asset. Whenever an economic crisis happens, investors tend to dump their risky assets and flock to safe haven assets.

Unfortunately, we are now engulfed with unprecedented number of risk events worldwide, e.g. sovereign debt crisis, failure in modern monetary system, European banking crisis, BREXIT, other European countries independence referendums, China’s economic slowdown, etc.

When these risk events take place, especially when the monetary system collapses, the gold and silver will not only skyrocket, but moonrocket and sunrocket.

In addition, studies show that a major economic crisis tends to happen in every 10 years.

1987 – Black Monday. Horrible stock market crash
1997 – Asian Financial Crisis
2007 – Subprime Crisis
2017 - ???

What would be the next financial crisis? I don’t know.

When would be the next financial crisis? I don’t know too. But the odds are it will be in the next few years.

So based on all these potential risks that have been brewing, I strongly believe the historical high of both gold ($1,917/ounce) and silver ($49/ounce) will be broken in the next few years, and could test $3,000/ounce. If our monetary system collapses, the gold could soar to even more unimaginable price.

Buckled up, folks.

#3 Limited Downside Risk but Great Upside Potential

The production cost of gold is fairly high, averagely at $1,098/ounce. The breakdown is as below:

In fact, World Gold Council remarked that if the gold price drops below $1,200/ounce, 30% of the mining companies will be unprofitable and that may result in production cut. Thus, the supply of gold will be reduced substantially and the gold price will surge again.

The recent low for gold in Dec 2015 at $1,046/ounce should serve as a formidable support. As of I am writing, at the current gold price $1,266/ounce, there is limited downside risk, but great upside potential. If you miss buying gold below $1,100/ounce level, this plunge is a good opportunity for you to establish your long position, before short coverings come.

#4 Diminishing Strength in USD

The US Dollar has the greatest impact on the gold price, mainly because the gold price is dollar-denominated worldwide. The price of gold and the USD exchange rate have a negative correlation of about 80%. In other words, when the USD goes up, the gold price heads down. Unless it is during financial meltdown that both USD and gold go up in tandem.

So the bigger concern now is: Will the greenback become stronger?

In the medium term, the greenback will be strengthened on the expectation of the US rate hike, though I believe the strength will be limited.

You see, the Federal Reserve has been calling for a rate hike for years. After all this while, there is only a mere 0.25% hike. What’s going on?

That is because the Fed knows that the state of the US economy may not warrant significant rate hike yet. The job growth has not been impressive; the CPI m/m is still below 0.5%; and the average hourly earnings growth m/m is averagely 0.2%.

The US economy is recovering, but not as fast as it is projected, that IMF has to revise down the US growth forecast.

The most important economic indicators are job growth and unemployment. In fact, the non-farm payroll report and unemployment rate that are released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) every month have significantly understated the real unemployment rate in the US.


Because the official US employment data is calculated based on U-3 data, while the true unemployment rate should be based on U-6 data, which includes discouraged workers and part-timer workforce. Had BLS used U-6 data, the latest unemployment rate in September 2016 would be 9.7%, instead of 5%.

From the chart below, we see that the U-6 unemployment rate is consistently double the U-3 unemployment rate. That is why you don’t be surprised to see much more unemployed Americans in America and to see why Donald Trump has been able to gain so much support.

For more info about the difference between U-3 and U-6 data, visit here.

On top of the sluggish US economy, foreign countries are dumping US Treasuries.

The latest monthly Treasury International Capital data showed that a massive $346 billion in Treasury selling by foreign central banks in the period July 2015- July 2016. That is something truly unprecedented in size and scope – a freaking third of a trillion in Treasuries sold in the past 12 months!

Among the biggest sellers is China, which has sold a record $34 billion US Treasuries in August 2016, the biggest monthly dump since 2012.

When foreign central banks, sovereign funds, and other financial institutions are aggressively liquidating US Treasuries, it put significant downward pressure on the US dollar.

That’s why we always hear the FED talking up the dollar over the past two years, but end up doing nothing.

Will the Fed raise their Fed Funds rate soon? Yes, probably in a few months after the US Presidential Election.

Will they raise it aggressively? I doubt so. Because of both internal economy weakness and external global uncertainties.

That’s why the dollar strength will be capped, and the precious metals will have a path of lesser resistance to soar.

Based on the 4 reasons above, I believe the gold and silver are seriously undervalued and have the greatest potential for boom compared to other asset classes. When the real market forces come into play without the suppression of price by the central banks, the gold and silver will shine.

P.S. If I am to pick between the two metals to invest, I will choose silver. Because when Gold/Silver ratio is standing at 72 level high, it just means that the silver is significantly oversold compared to gold and will usually appreciate faster than gold when it rebounds. Unlike gold, silver also has the demand for industrial application.

Disclaimer: The article above is just the author's view and the reader is solely responsible for all the risks and financial resources you use for your trading decision.    

Thursday, August 11, 2016

12 Lessons Pokémon GO Taught Me About Trading

Pokémon GO has hit the world by storm. It makes many people, young and old, go into a frenzy. So there are lessons we can learn from this game which has seized the attention of the world and get people wildly addicted to it. As an avid trader and trainer (Pokémon Trainer I mean), here are the 12 lessons Pokémon GO taught me about trading.

1. Have a Plan
When you play Pokémon GO, you have a plan. A plan to decide what type of Pokémon (fire, water, grass, electric, etc) you want to catch and where to catch them, which Pokémon you want to evolve or power up, and which gym to challenge and which Pokémon to assign to defend the gym.

In trading, you also need to have a plan. You need to know what are your trading objectives, what are your strategies, and where to take profit or cut loss before you even place your order. Plan your trade, and trade your plan. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

2. Don’t Chase It
In Pokémon GO, it is literally impossible to chase a Pokémon once it breaks free and flees. In trading, you should practice the same. Never chase the price. If you miss the first wave of move, let it be. Otherwise, profit taking and short squeeze move will turn your P&L to red.

Believe that there are plenty of opportunities (Pokémon) elsewhere. Get ready to catch the next one.

3. Take a Break 
Have you ever felt tired after playing Pokémon GO for a couple of hours? Like you keep catching the same birds, the same rats and the same bats, and you feel bored of it. Take a break.

In trading, it works the same. Don’t overtrade. Consecutive wins will make you feel over-confident; consecutive losses will make you grumpy too. It is always in these emotional moments that traders lose big. So when you find yourself in an emotional state, stop trading. Take a rest. You live another day to fight the battle.

4. Keep a Journal
Like playing Pokémon GO, you have a journal. A journal to keep track of what Pokémon you caught at what time, what Pokémon you hatched, and what items you received from PokéStop.

In trading, you need to have a journal too. A journal to keep track of the details of your trades, the reasons you opened those positions, and most importantly your results and the lessons you learned from them. You see, all of us has blind spots. Keeping a journal is of paramount importance to help uncover our blind spots and mistakes. It helps you to know which strategy causes you the most drawdown, and which strategy yields you the most profit. Having a journal is instrumental to the next point that I want to discuss.

5. Self-Evaluate
Do you always evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your Pokémon lineup? Like what type of Pokémon you have the most? What type of Pokémon you lack the most that you need to catch and power up more? And then you plan the Pokémon lineup strategically in battles that will deal the most damage to the opponent’s Pokémon and win?

In trading, you also need to constantly do self-evaluation. You must be aware of your strengths, weaknesses, and your trading statistics. For instance, under what market condition you usually win or lose, your winning probability of each strategy, your risk-to-reward ratio, your average win and average drawdown, your average return per month, etc. It is only when you understand yourself and your performance, then you learn, improve, and make progress.

6. Be Adequately Capitalized 
Do you remember the moment when you saw a nearby Pokémon in silhouette, and you got really excited! You probably turned on incense, hoping to lure it to you. And when it finally showed up… No Poké Balls! I repeat, No Poké Balls! What a pain in the ass!

The same goes in trading. You need to be adequately capitalized. You hate it when the opportunities come, but you have no additional capital. Besides that, the amount of capital you invest is also important. Having too little capital makes trading a bit boring to you; while having too much capital is likely to make you emotional when you trade. Imagine you put your entire savings that you cannot afford to lose into one single stock. Chances are you will be emotional in your trade and make mistakes. The best is set aside an amount that you can afford to lose, but sizeable enough to motivate you.

7. Use Better Tools
Imagine a wild Dragonite (CP1000 ) appears. You feed him with a Razz Berry and cast your Poké Ball at him. Unfortunately, the Dragonite breaks free and flees after your first attempt. Never give you a second chance. What if you have used a Great Ball instead?

In trading, having good tools and workstation are one of the critical success factors. Good tools, such as screener, trading platform, and technical indicators, can help improve your success rate and get you into a trade faster and more accurately. Good tools, coupled with an acute sense of trading, make you consistently profitable and invincible.

8. Live a Healthy Lifestyle 
In line with Pokémon GO’s mission to make people exercise and head outdoor, a good trader should maintain a healthy lifestyle too. Do exercise, go jogging, sleep early. When your body is fit, your mind is sharp. Trust me, many traders that I know who consistently beat the market, sleep and wake up early.

9. Always Challenge Yourself
Do you fancy going to gym and challenge the gym leader? That moment of joy and ecstasy when you have successfully beaten the gym leader or leveled up the gym you defended is incredible!

As a trader, you need to challenge and level up yourself every single day! Read more books, gain more knowledge, experiment with different strategies, bend or tweak your rules to improve your trades and results. Remember, the market is dynamic and is changing every single day. You need to keep yourself abreast and equipped with relevant skills to beat the market.

10. Teamwork makes a dream work
Do you always see a gym that is changing colour every half an hour? That is a weak gym. On the contrary, I have seen a level 9 gym with the first Pokémon already leveled at a thousand CP. How to beat that? This can only be done if you have a strong and aligned team, coordinated well enough to defend it together.

In trading, teamwork is important. Imagine you have a team, giving you buy and sell signals, warnings, and the market latest updates every single day… Will you feel more confident and supported to achieve success in trading? I, too, join and head several trading communities. I see my results improve significantly compared to when I trade alone. So get yourself a mentor or join a trading community (Instinct, Mystic, Valor). If you want to go fast, you go alone. If you want to go far, you go with a team.

11. Be Humble 
Yes, be humble! Having a few consecutive wins shouldn’t make you feel like you are on top of the world. Strange enough, the market will always punish arrogant people. Before you know it, you will lose big in the next few trades and return all the profits to the market. It is like becoming a gym leader for 10 min, only to be beaten by someone stronger. The glory doesn’t last. You see, when you become arrogant, you stop learning. This is deadly.

Likewise, you shouldn’t underestimate small wins too. Catching 20 Pidgeys will evolve one to be a Pidgeot too. Remember, there is a thin line between confidence and arrogance. It is called humility. Confidence smiles; arrogance smirks.

12. Don’t Give Up 
Trading is like playing Pokémon GO. There are times you lose a Pokémon (lose your trade). There are times you run out of Poké balls (miss your trade / run out of resources). But don't give up. There are always PokéStops (Support / Mentor) to replenish yourself.

P.S. If you like my ideas, share it with your friends to inspire them. Then you are free to continue catching your Pokémon.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Review of the Currency and Commodity Markets in 2015 and the Outlook for 2016

These 2 weeks are generally the quietest weeks in the trading calendar as big fund managers are taking leaves to enjoy their much needed holiday. I would expect the market to resume its volatility on Jan 4, 2016. Meanwhile, let us take this time to review the past and anticipate the future.

2015 has been a big year for the dollar, as EURUSD drops to 12 year low and USDJPY climbs to 12 years high due to monetary policy divergence. I believe the 1st quarter of 2016 should still be good for the dollar as monetary policy gap expands. While 25bp rate hike is very nominal for the U.S., keep in mind that the Fed has hinted 4 possible rate hikes in 2016. Unless the Fed backtracks on their hawkish view, I would still look to long dollar. But the dollar bulls have to be careful moving towards 2nd half of 2016, as we need to watch out for any detrimental effect brought by the rate hike. A strong dollar has a spillover effect not only to the US, but to the world. A strong dollar will induce more imports and less exports for the U.S., cause lower inflation, lower commodity prices, diminishing corporate earnings for U.S. companies with substantial foreign revenue, less pressure for other major central banks to ease, more pressure for emerging countries with huge dollar denominated debt, and induce more M&A for U.S. companies with higher purchasing power. Also bear in mind that 2016 is the presidential election year for the U.S. Watch out for political risk too.

Canadian dollar, on the other hand, suffers the worst loss in 2015, compared to other major currencies. The loonie lost over 15% of its value versus the U.S. dollar, Japanese Yen and British pound, mainly due to the low oil price. BoC may do a rate cut again in 1st half of 2016, if their recession continues. With many analysts forecasting the oil price to reach as low as $20/bbl because of slowing demand and persistent good supply from OPEC, I would expect USD/CAD to break 1.40 and head towards 1.45 in the first half of 2016.

The EUR for this year has been weak. 6 years after the financial crisis, ECB still fails to turn around the economy, but resorts to unleashing more unconventional stimulus tools such as QE and negative interest rate to stimulate the economy. 2016 will still be bad for EUR as they will still be engulfed by a lot of issues - refugee crisis, sovereign debt crisis, slow growth, low inflation despite considerable amount of QE, ISIS aggression, Russian tensions, systemic weaknesses of EMU, etc. Greece might return to headlines if the government fails to enforce reformation to repay their debt. Italy, Spain and Portugal might be the next countries that may head towards bankruptcy if their debts are not managed well. I would still look to short EURUSD, with two important levels to watch out for - 12-yr low of 1.0459 and parity.

As for sterling pound, the UK economy has done pretty well for 2015, with annualized growth at 2.1% mainly due to good growth in service sector and healthy employment. However its currency behavior was a bit surprising towards the end of the year. With speculation that BoE will be the next central bank to raise interest rate, GBP should head upwards, but instead it was traded downwards. The greatest risk for GBP in 2016 are low inflation and Brexit. The inflation remains way off target for BoE. What makes matter worse is the persistently low commodity prices. The Brexit vote will be an important political event not only for UK but for the entire European Union. BoE might not hurry to raise interest rate during the turbulent time ahead. So my guess is GBP might be traded sideways for most of 2016.

Commodities, be it precious metals, agriculture and energy, should bottom out in 2016. With a strong dollar, weak global demand, and huge supply, oil might be traded downwards to $20/bbl range in 2016 but I guess that should be the bottom as Saudi Arabia will not allow it to go lower than their production cost. Traditionally, gold has an inverse relationship with the dollar, except during financial crisis. I see $1000/oz as the bottom for gold and $12/oz as the bottom for silver. If the global financial crisis breaks out in 2016, gold and silver should shoot through the roof for the next few years. The gold and US dollar will rise together as investors flock to safe haven asset and currency.

That's all for the review. Shane signing off now. Have a great rest of 2015.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Up Close with President Obama @ YSEALI Summit 2015

One week before the YSEALI Summit, I received a call from the White House, asking me if the President can call upon me to give a 1-min remarks on my work and how ‪#‎YSEALI‬ has helped me, after he had finished his presidential address.

And without any slight hesitation, I exclaimed, "YES! I can do it!!!"

Fast forward to the town hall yesterday, I was taken to the town hall 5 hours earlier before the President arrived. We were waiting patiently for him.

45 min prior to his arrival, four YSEALI representatives, including myself, were stationed at the POTUS holding room to greet him. I can't be lucky enough.

At 4pm, the President finally arrived with his entourage of advisers, secret service and the press. I got the chance to briefly chat with the President before the town hall started.

Briefly exchange pleasantries with President Obama and tell him about the work I'm doing.

Official Photo with the 44th President of the United States - Barack Obama

My friend Carrie from Singapore did an excellent introduction of the President and he entered the hall with high energy and delivered his presidential address in eloquence. When he finally called upon me and looked into my eyes, I felt an overwhelming emotion. But I guess I still managed to hold back my emotion and nervousness and delivered my remarks.

The most intense 1-min speech in my life. I guess all my past Toastmaster experiences are meant to build up for this moment.

Being mentioned and recognized by the President in his speech is nothing short, but a phenomenal feeling. It gives a strong boost to the financial education that I'm championing.

Sometimes, you may not know what your life may lead you to. But you just have to believe in yourself and keep hustling, the moment will come. We can't connect the dots forward, but we can connect the dots looking backward.

I would just do what he encouraged me, "Keep up the great work."

YSEALI Town Hall Video:

#YSEALI ‪#‎ObamaInKL‬ ‪#‎POTUS‬

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Is excessive stimulus by the government good?

Over the past 3 weeks, Shanghai Composite Index has fallen over 30%. Frustrated by the deep sell-off in the equity market, China responded with massive stimulus packages to save the equity market. In this year alone, PBoC have cut their interest rate by 4 times and lower their reserve requirement ratio by 50bp.

Between July 2014 and mid June, the Shanghai Composite index rose 150%, mainly thanks to the infamous shadow banking. The recent 30% correction, in my opinion, is natural after a sharp rise, as long traders and investors close out their positions to lock in profits.

You see, when the economy is experiencing slow down, most governments tend to pump in more liquidity in the market by easing the monetary policy - lowering interest rate, lowering reserve requirement ratio, doing quantitative easing, etc. to prop up the economy. Japan did it. US did it. UK did it. Eurozone did it. China did it. Australia did it. And without surprise, New Zealand is soon to lower their official cash rate by 25 basis point to 3%

In my humble opinion, it might help to lift the economy in the short term, but it will do more harm than good in the long run, if the debt is not managed properly. By pumping more money to the market, the government is literally expanding the country's balance sheet, increasing public debt, inflating the debt bubble. And they do it at our expense.

Because eventually who are going to pay the bill? The citizens.

We'll be taxed more to increase the government revenue to pay for the money we borrowed.

But why does the government do it?

Because it's always in the best interest of the politicians to show us that the economy is doing well, unemployment rate is low, wage growth is good, inflation is moderate, so that they can be re-elected next term. So they have to borrow more future money to spur the current economy slowdown to show that, "Hey look! We have managed the economy so well. Vote me next term."

That's how the debt bubble is inflated.

We ought to understand that the economy moves in cycle - full recession, early recovery, late recovery, early recession. I think it is only healthy for an economy to correct by itself. Sometimes, less government intervention will do more good than harm.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A week well spent in Washington DC

It was a quarter to 12 midnight. I was onboard a Malaysia Airline aircraft bound for London then for Washington DC. A sense of patriotism engulfed me.

I was thrilled. Appointed as YSEALI Youth Advisor, I was going to represent Malaysia to attend the Global Youth Economic Opportunities Summit in Washington DC held from 6-9 October.

Being in youth training business for the past 2 years, I have had the privilege to work with thousands of youth from age 12-27 to help develop their skills in entrepreneurship and financial intelligence. But never have I had the opportunities to learn about the non-profit organization landscape in the Western countries and how they champion causes and issues that the youths are facing.

It unveiled the unprecedented chance for me to learn from the best minds in the world in advancing economic opportunities for youth through the non-profit sector.

A series of activities awaited me in Washington DC. As soon as I arrived, I was invited to a dinner with the President of Malaysia-America Foundation, Mr. La Porta, who also formerly served as the Political Advisor to U.S. Commander-in-chief of NATO in Southern Europe. I felt honored to have a dinner with someone of that high profile, not to mention to be picked up by him at my hotel. We had a fruitful discussion about how our organization - LEAD Institute can work with Malaysia-America Foundation in Malaysia. I also learned a lot from him about foreign affairs in Asia.

The first morning of the summit was amazing! We had a line-up of back-to-back meetings and discussions in store for us in the U.S. Department of State. At that instance, I felt like I was a diplomat.

YSEALI Youth Advisors in Harry S Truman Building in U.S. Department of State

We were first arranged to meet with the Acting Assistant Secretary of Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs – Ambassador Scot Marciel. He is indeed a man with depth. Through the discussion, I could tell that he clearly understands every single issue happening in South East Asia. I also took the opportunity to highlight to him the good work that our government has done in the past few years to promote entrepreneurship in Malaysia.

With the Acting Assistant Secretary of Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs – Ambassador Scot Marciel

Next, we had a Facebook Chat with youths from ASEAN to hear their voices and bring their concerns to the summit which was about to begin in 3 hours. Some questions posted to me were really tough.

Live Facebook Chat with ASEAN Youths

Following that, we had a meeting with all news desk officers from ASEAN to discuss about the youth concerns and how YSEALI and the U.S. Department of State can help address that.  Through the discussion, I gained a good understanding of how U.S. public diplomacy and foreign affairs work and the U.S. government vision and objectives in facilitating the integration of ASEAN Economic Committee by 2015.

Shortly after the discussion was over, we were arranged to meet two Directors from the National Security Council of the White House. Oh my god! I was so excited! I have always read from the news about President Obama’s National Security Council, but never would I have imagined I would actually meet them. The discussion was centered on how U.S. government can foster a stronger tie with ASEAN through non-academic and professional exchange programs. During the discussion, I chipped in my idea – an internship program for ASEAN students, which I think is a new idea that can complement the existing U.S. exchange programs.

After a series of meetings and discussions concluded, we headed down to Hotel Renaissance for the 3-day Global Youth Economic Opportunities Summit, organized by Making Cents International. The summit convened over 400 participants ranged from funders, to policy makers, to corporations, to researchers, to implementers and youth leaders from more than 55 countries.

The summit had 5 learning tracks – workforce development, financial inclusion, enterprise development, monitoring & evaluation, and gender. The track that I attended the most was the financial inclusion track, because I wanted to learn from the different practices in other countries that can help improve my financial education program for youth – Young Money Master. I picked up a few new ideas, studied the tough issues facing the poor in Africa, and learned about a creative mobile app to champion financial literacy in America.

The 3-day summit has been nothing short, but an eye-opening experience for me. I met amazing people from many different countries who were running different training programs to advance youth economic opportunities. Most importantly, I gained a deeper understanding about how non-profit organizations and foundations operate, seek funding, do marketing, develop their training programs, use online open courses, and how we can leverage on technology to facilitate economic progress of low-income people globally.

My trip concluded with a session with Microsoft – Generating Opportunities for Technology Innovation held in Microsoft Innovation and Creativity Center. I was excited to experience the state-of-the-art technology in the center too.

Browsing Web at Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center

The 1-week trip has passed so quickly. All in all, I made many new friends, exchange ideas, met senior U.S. diplomats, and improve my knowledge in social innovation. I think after this trip, I really understand the meaning of social innovation. I am certain that I will make good use of the knowledge, experience, and ideas gained from my trip to Washington DC.

In these few weeks, I will be meeting with my partners and stakeholders in Malaysia and see how we can learn from my new ideas gained from my trip to Washington DC and practice them in Malaysia. Perhaps, in the near future, I will develop my own mobile app or mobile game to promote financial education.