< The Finance Professionals' Post: November 2014

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9 posts from November 2014

11/26/2014

CFA Comic: The 12 Steps to Answering A CFA Practice Question

If you're taking the CFA exams soon, you must be pretty tired of studying by now.

Take a break from your calculators, read on, and have a look at the 12 Steps to Answering a CFA Practice Question!

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11/24/2014

The Club of Rome’s Next Act

The Club of Rome was founded in 1968 but really came into the public eye with the publication of Limits to Growth in 1972. The controversial book, which sold 12 million copies in 37 languages, first called attention to the systemic limitations of the exponential expansion of the human population and the related material inputs and waste outputs of its economic system on a planet that is fixed in scale.

The concept is not complicated. Sooner or later, the endless expansion of the metabolism of a system within a finite body will cease.

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11/19/2014

Free Help for Wordy Writers!

Wordiness is a curse. Long-winded writing obscures your meaning and scares off readers. However, many writers don’t realize that their writing drags on endlessly.

A free online tool—the Hemingway App—can help you recognize when your sentences are too long. Hemingway will highlight them, and also suggests some ways to improve your writing. You could identify long sentences using your word processing software, but Hemingway is easier to use.

I’ll walk you through an example of how to use Hemingway.

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11/18/2014

Review: 300 Hours CFA Exam Insights 2015 Edition eBook

300-Hrs-CFA-Insights

Sun Tzu, the famous 6th century Chinese General and author of the timeless masterpiece, The Art of War wrote, “Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight 100 battles without disaster.” 

While every CFA candidate hopes it will only take three battles to earn their charter, the concept is apropos. For the typical, newly enrolled CFA candidate, there is a general understanding about the demanding endeavor upon which they are about to embark.  They know that the test is difficult, that it takes a minimum of 18 months to complete and they’re probably aware of the subjects that will be tested on exam day.  

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Are You Ready for the CFA Exam?

If you are like many candidates, you’ve probably penciled in a few "super" study days right before the December CFA© exam. Maybe you’ve even asked your boss for a vacation week. On the surface, this sounds like a good plan, but it really isn’t. You cannot cram for this exam. You either know the material by now – or you don’t. To paraphrase a colleague of mine, it would be better to spend those last few days in prayer or meditation. But there are a number of things you can do to ensure you are prepared and to reduce exam-day stress. 

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11/17/2014

Recent Research: Highlights from November 2014

"Let’s Save Retirement: Repairing America’s Broken System of Funding Workers’ Retirement"
The Journal of Retirement 
Russell L. Olson and Douglas W. Phillip

Far too few American workers can look forward to financial independence as they age. Many will be obliged to extend their working lives, some into their seventies. A patchwork of defined contribution (DC) retirement plans now serve as the primary retirement saving vehicle in the private sector, but they are complex, costly, and challenging for employers and employees to manage. This article presents a comprehensive set of recommendations for a unified private DC pension system to cover all working Americans, with a single set of rules and without cost to the government. A key part is the creation of broadly diversified trusteed retirement funds (TRFs), whose sponsors are trustees, with fiduciary responsibilities. Employee contributions will automatically go into a broadly diversified TRF unless the employee either opts out or selects a preferred TRF or the employer already sponsors a defined benefit (DB) pension plan. TRFs will relieve employers from fiduciary responsibility for all future DC contributions. To protect retirees from inflation, longevity, and asset price volatility risk, retirees will be encouraged to use their TRF savings to buy either an immediate or deferred indexed annuity. A new government agency, the Federal Longevity Insurance Administration, will enable private insurance companies to provide low-cost annuities.

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Making Sense of the Comprehensive Assessment

AcharyaThe ECB conducted a comprehensive assessment of banks and identified capital shortfalls for 25 banks, totalling €25 billion. In this column, the authors provide a number of benchmark stress tests to estimate capital shortfalls. The analyses suggest possible capital shortfalls between €80 billion and more than €700 billion depending on the model. They find a negative correlation between their benchmark estimates and the regulatory capital shortfall, and a positive one between the benchmarks and the regulatory estimates of losses. This suggests that regulatory stress test outcomes are potentially affected by the discretion of national regulators. 

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11/05/2014

The Four Killer Mistakes That Could Derail Your Job Search

If you’re searching for a new job, it’s important that you stay confident and upbeat. Making any of these four mistakes can hurt your morale and sap your energy. 

    1. Delude yourself into thinking it’s easy to find a job these days. 

      True, every day, Baby Boomers are either leaving full-time employment or retiring altogether, so there’s bound to be plenty of room at the top.  However, today’s employers are looking for people with specific skills, credentials, and experience. That’s your challenge: Convincing hiring managers that you can handle the job, even though your resume may not be an exact match with their requirements. To do that, it’s important that they get to know you, trust you and like you, which is why you should not make the next mistake.

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11/03/2014

Eight Facts You May Not Know About the CFA Exams

There are a lot of things you learn while taking the CFA exams. Some time back, Zee's written 20 points you should know about the CFA exams, especially if you're new to it.

And today I'll try and add on to that, adding eight more facts that certainly even candidates may not know. I must admit - I only knew about fact #7 before I started this article!

If you've got any to add to the list, don't forget to drop them in the comments below.

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