< The Finance Professionals' Post: January 2015

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9 posts from January 2015


Why Mock Exams Are Important

“Befitting its Greek roots, the marathon unfolds classic drama, carrying equal doses of comedy and tragedy, euphoria and agony.“ Take out the reference to Greece and substitute CFA exam for marathon and this line from Marathon Training Plan & Schedule by Josh Clark sounds like a perfect description for the CFA exam study experience.

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It Is Time for a Cyber FDIC

In today’s modern frictionless economy, the principal requisite for growth and order is the free flow of sensitive information, banking transactions, and private data on a global scale.

With this shift brought on by the unrelenting growth of e-commerce and mobile platforms comes the nagging reality that cyber risk is here to stay. It is the sort of drag on the market that needs to be priced into the system rather than treated like something that can be eliminated or perfectly controlled. Market and consumer expectations need to be adjusted accordingly and in the age of hyper transparency, people would be wise to remember that anything can be exposed to sunlight.

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Four Reasons You Should Not Write a White Paper

White papers can be great marketing tools. Done right, they give web surfers reasons to join your email list and persuade them that you understand—and have solutions to—their problems. However, done poorly, white papers waste your time—and your readers’ time. To help you avoid pointlessly sinking your energy into white papers, I’m sharing four reasons you should not write a white paper.

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How the CFA Charter Helped Me Find A Job

Most of us took up CFA exams for career advancement and development opportunities - so did I back in 2009, amongst other reasons

Upon scraping through the last Level III battle and obtaining the elusive CFA charter, I embarked on a job search, not because I wasn't happy with my current role at that time, but it was in response to my boss' comment during my year-end review and salary negotiation that prompted me to look around to "benchmark my market value." It was an interesting exercise as there wasn't a strong pressure to leave per se (i.e. I didn't hate my job/work environment), but I was also incentivized to secure a real offer that serves as a true measure of my market worth (plus it was always interesting, to me at least, to find out what other roles there are). 

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The Best Defense to Litigation Is a Good Bank Culture


Of all the financial markets that should be resistant to manipulation, foreign exchange surely tops the list. With $5.3 trillion traded daily by thousands of buyers and sellers across the world, this should be one hyper-efficient market.

And yet six major banks recently agreed to a $4.3 billion settlement with US, UK, and Swiss authorities over charges that the banks had failed to prevent traders from attempting to manipulate the market. In all three countries, it is possible that criminal charges against individuals may follow.

The settlement is the latest in a long line of massive legal actions that hold banks responsible for the activities of their employees. Prosecutorial efforts to hold shareholders liable for myriad problems that bank employees have caused seem to have no end in sight. The goal of these actions is to prompt boards and their managers to reform banking cultures. If banks want to avoid more floods of litigation in the future, they'll have to act fast.

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Hot or Not: Predictions for Financial Services Job Prospects in 2015


Will you be shown the door or welcomed with open arms by financial services firms in 2015? Yes, few financial services companies were overly bullish with recruitment in 2014, but for certain areas of investment banking—notably advisory functions—the landscape was much improved. Meanwhile, competition for talent from the buy-side ensured a steady stream of replacement hiring throughout the year.

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Four Easy Steps You Can Do Right Now for CFA Success after the Holiday Season

The year has really whooshed by for me—only a week or so to the new year. 

As the holiday season is nearly upon us, we'd advise you to focus on R & R (step 4 in this article!), but there are also a few easy steps that you can complete in the next five minutes or so, which we guarantee will make a HUGE difference to the way you approach and prepare for your upcoming CFA exams.

If you do one more CFA-related task this year, make it these four easy steps below.

1. Be fully informed by adding the CFA Calendar to your personal calendar (two minutes)

We've added a new tool, free for our readers, to the 300 Hours website this year. The CFA Calendar tracks significant events in the CFA program - informing you of upcoming registration deadlines, results day, test days, as well as CFA workshops that may be in your area.

This is completely free for all readers, always updated, and you can add this to your personal calendar in minutes. Make sure you do, and you'll be fully informed while you prepare for the CFA exams in the coming year!

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How About a "Not-So-Fast" Track for the Trans-Pacific Partnership?

The Trans-Pacific Partnership, a potentially historic trade agreement being aggressively pursued by the Obama administration, represents a cornerstone in its strategic pivot to Asia. If ratified by all 12 Pacific Rim countries currently engaged in the negotiations, it would create the largest free-trade zone in the world, accounting for some 40% of global GDP and a third of global trade.

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Telltale Signs Investment Banking Isn’t for You


Investment banking isn’t for everyone. In fact, the industry turns out to not be a fit for the majority of people who enter it. A recent study found that only one-third of investment banking analysts who started in 2012 are still at their current firm.

Why do they leave? A lack of a work-life balance and opportunities elsewhere, particularly on the buy-side, are the two most common responses. But that’s just a shallow dive. We asked several former investment bankers when they could tell that the writing was on the wall—when they knew they’d be leaving the industry in months if not weeks. Here’s what they said. Warning: as they are former bankers, the responses are a bit jaded.

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January 7, 2016

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CFA® Level I 4-Day Boot Camp

Thursday November 12, 2015
Instructor: O. Nathan Ronen, CFA

CFA® Level II Weekly Review - Session A Monday

Monday January 11, 2016
Instructor: O. Nathan Ronen, CFA

CFA® Level III Weekly Review - Session A Wednesday

Wednesday January 13, 2016
Instructor: O. Nathan Ronen, CFA

CFA® Level III Weekly Review - Session B Thursday
Thursday January 21, 2016
Instructor: O. Nathan Ronen, CFA

CFA® Level II Weekly Review - Session B Tuesday
Thursday January 26, 2016
Instructor: O. Nathan Ronen, CFA