Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My version of MiniBomb

Many people lost 100% of their structured products. This has become quite politicised but the emotional hurt is real.

I have my own version of losing 100% of my "structured product." The data from my hard disk crashed could not be retrieved. I have outsourced the risk of losing data to Maxtor's Onetouch 4 Mini. When my hard disk crashed, triggering a "credit event," the SafetyDrill could not restore my replacement hard drive to the original state. After the restoration, it seems that the MBR remains corrupted. I called the Seagate's tech support but was routed to a long-distance call to the US of which the voice quality was poor. The tech support took me to run the Maxtor's Onetouch Manager software instead but I was not able to find a feature to restore my partition images. After struggling for the entire night and the entire day today, I concluded the "credit swap counterparty" has "defaulted" - that is to say that the promise of the backup hard drive delivering its promise of data recovery did not come true. I am so depressed. I really wonder can I sue Maxtor for "breach of contract"? All my clients' personal data gone. It is going to be very hard trying to assemble back their particulars. I think I'll just call it quit for the year and go on a long break and then start the new year from a new like a new adviser.

This reminds me of how important family members are. If I cannot get over the lost of data, I don't think I can withstand the lost of love ones. I will remember to love them more and more even if I need to sacrifice the time delicated to studying the CFA.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Skewness, kurtosis, leptokurtic, platykurtic and mesokurtic

Skewness, kurtosis, leptokurtic, platykurtic and mesokurtic were the statistics concepts I learned in today's reading. These are new concepts to me. Very interesting. Reminds me of good old days when I was in "A" levels and U studying. Nevertheless, am not sure how much I have committed to my brain. Also managed to almost complete studying "Probability Concepts". Looking at the text, those who had no background in statistics will definitely fail the Quant section in their CFA. I don't think reading a zillion times over the text will help. The concepts require a math teacher to teach.

Today I felt better physically. I took some painkiller and I felt more energized. Also, the computer man came to replace my hard disk. But I am now trying to restore my hard disk from backup. I was horrified this afternoon to learn that I have accidentality encrypted the data in the backup as my original hard drive was encrypted too. I did not do a security key backup however I do have the partition imaged backup. This hard disk crash is really painful. Thank goodness it was not during my peak period. Restoration is under in progress at this moment in writing. I hope it will turn out well.

Have been feeling really depress recently due to a variety of reasons. One of those reason might be because I felt burn out after working so hard this year and last year. Although I became one of the top-producer in the firm, but I don't think I can consistently do it. For one thing, the number of clients I have now has shot up to more than 100 within just less than 3 years. I don't think I can service so many clients. I've being trying to move up the "value" chain by catering to the high networth individuals. I am currently working on some plans next year which I can earn a decent living yet without accomulating so many clients. That plan will also dependent on my CFA studying progress. I need to plan my work efficiently so that whatever I do is complementary to each other.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Quant Analysis

QA is really really boring. All the stats are too basic for me until I fall asleep easily. However, I just have to force myself to read them at least once. In the meantime, I am slowed down by my tired self. I have sign up for a thorough blood test to see what's wrong with me. My computer has also failed me by breaking down. These irritating matters are really slowing me down.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sales talk can get rich, CFA Charter getting rich? Nay..

I read in Straits Times about an adviser who is already financially independent. While I have never heard this person speak, my colleague who attended his talk said that he is a typical salesman who compared the 5% Manulife’s SRP to that of the 5% banking preference shares! Hearing that, I did not have good impression. However, looking at the newspaper today, it appeared that he is already a millionaire. Again, I really whether why am I taking the tough and long road to getting the CFA Charter. It is academically rigorous and viewed as the “gold” standard. I know clients don’t care whether an adviser is knowledgeable or not. Clients only like to hear nice things and salestalk. Perhaps that’s why that adviser becomes so successful.

I had always like to academic of things. Since Secondary 1, I had also loved studying. I love studying the CFA but I hope I’ll not end up broke because looking at books do not generate any revenue for me!

Tired and discipline

Have found that my number 1 enemy is my own tiredness. I think it is combination of lack of exercise and eating too much medicine. I am on a long term medication for lipid disorder taking two different types of lipid medication. In additional another plavix for blood thinning. These medicine always make me sick due to its side effect. But what to do? Have a liability to support my family for sometime. I must try to ensure that I am fit to study and take the long exam although I am unsure whether anyone really cares about whether an adviser has a CFA or not.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


I have completed reading Ethics and Economics. The Economics was a rather long read. I do not have much background in Economics except those six months of basic Economics when I was in the University. I did not know Economics can be so interesting. However, it was very dry and I fail asleep frequently. The CFA Program on Economics is mostly based on the text "Economics" written by Pakin 8th Edition. The author has a website with the lecturer's power point slides. I used the powerpoint slides as a guide when I studied the text. It really helps a lot.

I have started to read the quatitative analysis. The time value for money and statistics are really boring. I studied them before and so I was bored. Still they are very important.

I went for the Stella preview talk organized by CFA Singapore and they tried to sell us to sign up for their weekly lectures and materials. I am unsure how useful it will be. After thinking about it for a long time, I decided that I will self-study first and if there is going to be a big problem, I'll sign up for the course later. Anyway the lectures can be bought as CDs and so I need not attend the actual lectures anyway. However, I might buy all the Mock exams and questions from Stella later on. I might also buy this similar set from Schweser too as I foresee I'll need lots of practice.

Registered for CFA Level 1

On 15 Sept 2008 I wanted to register for the Level 1 CFA Program December 2008. This was actually the last day to register. I login and unfortunately I faced some IT problems. By the time I figured out how to rectify, I missed the dateline! On 23 Sept 2008, I managed to register myself for June 2009 CFA Level 1. I received the books on 26 Sept 2008. Looking at the 6 volume books, thank goodness that I am not taking the December 2008 exam! I am not sure whether is this a good decision or not to take this exam. None of my clients demand for such high qualification. In my field of work, a ChFC or CFP is more relevant. I will get my ChFC early next year if there is no mishaps. Still, none of my clients ask for ChFC or CFP because people in Singapore have a rather careless attitudes. I am taking the CFA for personal education and partly I hope to distinguish and differential myself from the crowd.

First posting

This blog is for me to record my struggle in taking the CFA Program. Two-thirds of the students taking the CFA Program will fail. I am an IFA in Singapore but wish to remain anonymous for now. Perhaps if I obtain my CFA Charter one day would I reveal my identity!