01/10/2016 – Overtime

When I was working at an actuarial consulting firm, there is no real concept of working ‘overtime’ since everyone is more or less working the same hours (translation: work on it until it is completed). This instilled a culture of intense focus and tendency to stay at the office until you’ve done enough to satisfy yourself or the client/boss. One of my wiser colleagues told me that “there is always a tomorrow”, which is a philosophy I begun to adopt towards long term projects and goals.

Naturally, the next question to ask is, what if there is no tomorrow (Rocky III!)? What if today is the day before that project (that you’ve been working on for so long) gets axed, being fired from that job (you enjoy), or separating with a loved one? Sometimes it’s a force of will to move on and return to the fray.

Perhaps instead of being rushed for the future, cherish the current moment, because you never know when there might not be a tomorrow.

Including that overtime you might be doing right now.

01/06/2015 – Path to CFA: Level 1, Part 1

Late last year I decided to study for the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation, so despite the unfavorable CDN/USD exchange rate I signed up for the early bird June 2016 sitting of the CFA Level 1 examination. It still cost me almost 40% higher in exchange rates.

My study plan is roughly as follows:

  1. 01/09/2016 – 01/23/2016: Financial Reporting & Analysis
  2. 01/23/2016 – 02/13/2016: Economics
  3. 02/13/2016 – 02/20/2016: Equity
  4. 02/20/2016 – 03/05/2016: Corporate Finance & Portfolio Management
  5. 03/05/2016 – 03/12/2016: Derivatives
  6. 03/12/2016 – 03/19/2016: Practice Questions
  7. 03/19/2016 – 04/02/2016: Fixed Income and Derivatives
  8. 04/02/2016 – 04/16/2016: Alternative Investments and Ethics
  9. 04/16/2016 – 05/30/2016: Practice questions (includes reviewing more important topics)
  10. 05/30/2016 – Test Date: Review and rest

The schedule looks extremely packed, but having studied roughly 30% of the exam material already in my previous studies it shouldn’t be too difficult to follow. I’ll spend roughly 6 days a week studying the material, and the final day as a day for review and rest. The strategy is to go through the majority of the materials, taking notes on material relevant to the Learning Outcomes Statements (LOS) of each chapter. Then work on a large number of practice questions and reviewing the material. Someone suggested studying for Ethics last because it’s the seal that puts together all the other topics together, hence I put it after Alternative Investments. I should have roughly 1.5 months of practice time before my test date, which should be more than enough based on what I’ve seen.

To deal with the boredom of long term studying I’ll be regularly summarizing here the basics of what I’ve learned and my personal experiences in dealing with the more difficult topics, although from what I’ve researched none of the material would be too difficult until CFA Level 2. It’ll be a nice way to review the study material as well as checking how well I’m following my own study schedule.