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1 month

Initiative Q: Gateway to Riches or Not?

If you clicked on this article, you have either already signed up for Initiative Q, or have received an invite to join this crazy, all pervading idea which claims that it can grow to trillions of dollars and become bigger than most economies. All you need is to do their bidding and invite your friends to the network.

1 month

Lessons from Apple – Great Stores Don't Bring Customers Back

Every time a new Apple product comes off the assembly line, it gets put under the biggest magnifying glass imaginable as crowds of onlookers parse the announcement with scholarly intensity, hoping to piece together a picture of what might emerge and what the implications for the world at large will be.

1 month

Why Financial Planning & Analysis is a lot like Sabermetrics

I have two true passions in life: math and baseball. If you look at a Venn diagram of these two topics, the area of overlap could be titled “sabermetrics.” As I have often shared in my writing and presentations, I believe one of the best ways to describe what intelligent FP&A is to friends, family, and business associates is to reference Michael Lewis’s fantastic book Moneyball. I may be dating myself, but I have been a huge fan of his books since back in 1989. Liar’s Poker, Moneyball, The Blind Side, and The Big Short are my favorites of Lewis’ books, and I highly recommend them.

1 month

Why Financial Planning and Analysis is a Lot Like Baseball

Growing up in the suburbs of Washington, D.C, I had two great passions: math and baseball. I wanted to spend every day simply studying math and playing as much baseball as a kid could fit into a day. Unfortunately for me, just like in the Clint Eastwood movie “Trouble with the Curve,” I had trouble hitting a curveball. However, despite hanging up my spikes, my passion for baseball has never dimmed. (Side note: I have actually been to all the Major League ballparks and am now working on the AAA league parks.)

2 months

Interpreting The Market’s Monet

Investing is often referred to as an art form. Models, charts, and regressions can only get you so far. We are constantly pummelled with an endless stream of data, some of which is important information and some of which is worthless noise. Drawing order out of this chaos requires one to engage with his/her uniquely human element, one’s creative capacity. How well one can paint a picture with the incoming data will likely determine his/her success. Are we getting some of those important data points now? Given the recent moves across a series of markets, it sure seems like it.

2 months

The Bursting Of The Volatility Bubble: Part 1

If there were a Word of the Year award in finance it most certainly would go to volatility. It seems like nearly every article you read makes some reference to it. Is volatility gone for good or is it just in hibernation? Did central bankers forever squash volatility, repress volatility for some time, transform volatility? Did structural changes in the macroeconomic landscape create a “new normal” with respect to volatility? Is volatility building beneath the surface of the markets planning its vengeful return? Is volatility volatile? Volatility, volatility, volatility! With all this discussion of volatility, one thing seems certain: there’s a bubble in volatility, as in the word itself.

2 months

Reminiscing On Reminiscences Of A Stock Operator

I recently finished reading Edwin Lefèvre’s classic Reminiscences of a Stock Operator, marking my second time through the book. I first picked it up nine years ago on the recommendation of a former coworker who was a flow trader. A burgeoning credit analyst at a bulge bracket investment bank at the time, I was interested in learning more about the trading aspect of job and had asked for a primer on the subject. While initially confused to have received the historical novel as the answer to my inquiry, my sophomoric skepticism was completely reversed by its end. Though many of the book’s lessons were largely lost upon my younger self, it struck the older, wiser, and only slightly more profitable “me” like a thunderbolt. In this post I thought I’d do some reminiscing on Lefèvre’s “Reminiscences”, and add to the ever expanding tome on the subject.

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