Monthly Archives

May 2015

Fashion, Home

Givenchy Antigona Review

I have a self-imposed one really nice bag a year limit. After much consideration, for my fiscal year 2014 (July – June 2014), I decided to get the Givenchy Antigona. The bag was to reward and celebrate the end of a few months of painful recruiting for my next job.

1. Givenchy Antigona Front

2. Givenchy Antigona Back

I have been eyeing the Givenchy Antigona for months prior to the purchase and researched as much as possible. There are many more reviews and videos on the bag now versus a year ago. However, I would like to share with you my honest thoughts and opinions on the bag. If anyone is considering this bag, I hope you will find this review helpful!

Overall, I think the bag is sharp and sleek. The Antigona has a classic shape, similar to the well-known LV Speedy but with more attitude. When I see the bag, it reminds me of artistic geometry. The Antigona uses geometric shapes, curves and angles with the leather combo to catch the natural light and draws attention to the bag. To me, the Antigona gives off the aurora of independence, intelligence and no-time-for-nonsense.

Antigona Sizes & Current Prices

Antigona Sizes and Prices

(Note: dimensions based on Saks Fifth Avenue and prices reflect solid color bags in the U.S. as of May 2015)

I purchased the small Antigona in the calf skin leather. Last year, only small and medium were available and the medium was too large on my 5’2” frame. I think the mini (new size) is really cute but if I had to repurchase again, I would still stick to the small.

Consider Buying From European Retailers to Save Money!
(Please skip if you want to read the review only)

This might be the most useful information so I will share my thoughts on purchasing from European retailers before the actual bag review. I purchased my Antigona from Harrods, which is a British equivalent of Saks Fifth Avenue (see Antigona bag here). The bag from Harrods cost $1,600, which included 25 pounds of international shipping fee. Then I had to pay a customs fee of $150 on DHL’s website before the product could be delivered. This brings the total to $1,800. The bag is retailing for $2,095 in the U.S. plus a 8.75% sales tax in New York City would bring the total price to $2,278. So I was able to save over $400 by purchasing it from a European retailer.

By purchasing from a European retailer, none E.U. residents are able to deduct the VAT (value added taxes) from the price of the product. You can see the deductions right in your cart online. Although, you don’t have to pay the sales tax, the import duty basically cancels it out.

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Fashion, Home

Aritzia Kent Blazer Review

Between cardigans and blazers, I have always been a cardigan girl. In general, cardigans are cheaper and easier to shop for because the fit is less of a concern. However, I think it’s time to add a well-fitted blazer to my wardrobe. Plus, I have been getting disappointed with how fast elbow holes form on all my cardigans!

Originally I planned on getting a grey or black blazer, which will be easier to pair with outfits and be conservative enough to wear to work. However, I ended up buying this bright blue blazer from Aritzia.

The blazer is made of 100% rayon, described as a manufactured regenerated cellulose fiber from Wikipedia. The material is extremely soft and feels like cotton but has more structure. The blazer has two pockets, no buttons and only the arms are lined. The cloth is very thin, making it great for the warmer weather (hopefully it won’t be come a victim of elbow holes)!

1. Aritzia Kent Blazer

Blazer: Aritizia Kent Blazer // Top: Forever21 Cami // Shorts: Express // Bag: Givenchy Antigona

2. Aritzia Kent Blazer

You can see the creasing around the arm area after a few hours of wear because the material is so soft. Personally, I do not mind and think it goes with casual look.

3. Aritzia Kent Blazer

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Home, Personal Finance

10 Safe Investments for Your Money

***Disclosure: I am not a financial advisor, please invest at your own discretion***

If you invest in the stock market or you are thinking of investing in the stock market, this post may be of interest to you.

Please take two minutes to check out this recent Wall Street Journal interactive graphic, Is the NASDAQ in Another Bubble? This is a 3D virtual reality roller coaster of NASDAQ (one of the two main stock exchanges in the U.S.) in the last 21 years. You may need to update for the latest version of your browser if the graphic won’t load, but this will be worth your time!

I saw this interactive graphic then went to look at the S&P 500 performance:

1. S&P 500 (10 Year & Max)

The two charts graph the performance of the S&P 500 for the last 10 years and since 1970. The S&P 500 is an American stock index based on top 500 companies listed on the NYSE or NASDAQ. These companies constitute roughly 75% of the U.S. equity market and thus the index has been viewed as a proxy for the overall market. Selected companies include Apple, Google, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Wal-Mart, P&G, GE, Boeing, Berkshire Hathaway, Wells Fargo, Walt Disney, McDonalds, Exxon, Chevron, Verizon and AT&T.

The charts above show the S&P 500 index (proxy for overall market) is at an all-time high (compared to historical levels). There are different opinions on whether the market is fairly valued or overvalued. If you google around, you will find many interesting reads on this topic.

Investors can be simplified down to Camps A and B. Investors in Camp A believe the market is fairly valued and has plenty of room for growth (supporting factors include strength of the U.S. economy and stimulus from central banks). Investors in Camp B believe the market is at an all-time high and we are due for a market correction (supporting factors include impact from Feds raising interest rates in the near future and slowing economic growth from Europe and emerging markets). Lastly, there are investors in between Camps A and B.

Through my research, here are 10 safe (liquid, low risk and low return) investments available for any investors in Camp B looking to pull out of the equity markets but still want to earn a small interest income. Even if you are in Camp A, please read on if you are looking to diversify your portfolio.

2. Security Interest Rate Summary Table

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Home, Personal Finance

How to Read a Sensitivity Table

A sensitivity table calculates and displays the output by varying certain variables. There are three basic fields:

  1. Calculation (Blue) – The texts in the dotted blue box state what the table is calculating. The numbers in the highlighted blue area display the actual results.
  2. First Variable (Green) – The texts in the dotted green box state what the first variable is. The numbers in the highlighted green area display the specific figures corresponding to that variable.
  3. Second Variable (Purple) – The texts in the dotted purple box state what the second variable is. The numbers in the highlighted purple area display the specific figures corresponding to that variable.

Example 1 - Annual Savings

  1. Calculation (Blue) – This table is calculating the annual dollar savings for an individual.
  2. First Variable (Green) – The first variable is the percentage of annual income saved; the variable ranges from 10% to 30%.
  3. Second Variable (Purple) – The second variable is the annual income of the individual; the variable range from $25K to $125K.

==> If an individual saves 15% and makes $75K annually, then the annual savings will be $11,250 per year (follow the red dotted lines).

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