Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Overcoming my fear on the topic of Investing and the exam screw up

For the past few weekends, I have been locked up in my apartment cramming for my next 2 LOMA papers related to Investing. Four textbooks “impressively” covering various aspects of:
1) Investment for the Individual
2) Investment for Organization
3) Financial Institution & Financial Markets
4) Economics.

This time round I admit that I’ve left my studying to the last possible minute. Each time I tried to open my books, I always found something else much more interesting or important to do. :) By the time I decided that it was time to get SERIOUS, I was nearing a state of panic, constantly checking the calender and counting down to what I would affectionately know as “doomsday”.

I’ve never been knowledgeable about the variety of financial instruments or markets out there. And I totally admit that when it comes to Investing, I can be quite the ranking idiot. The first few chapters was an uncomfortable start for me.

Fortunately, after “hanging in there for a while longer”, I soon found myself getting to know and making fast friends with my 3 buddies: DJIA, S&P 500, Wilshire 5000. Of course, I admit that before you can get to the really fun part of investing, you need to slog through the hours of calculating Present Value versus Future Value, Compounding on Annual or Semi Annual Basis, Yield to Call or Yield to Maturity for Bonds, Leverage/Activity Ratios, Profitability Ratios and so on. Using Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) to determine the risk and expected return for stocks can also take its toil on you. But trust me, once you get over the tough part, it slowly gets more interesting.

Today, indexes/market averages no longer scare me as much as they used to. Also, you won’t find my eyes glaze over during the investment meetings discussing stock splits, NAV, ETFs, Money Market Funds, Closed/Open Funds and so on. Another plus point is that I can also better understand the Financial Section of the newspapers and headlines such as “Bonds Rally After 3 Days Slump” no longer baffles me.

To be honest, after having put in time and effort to finish the textbooks, I’ve been kinda looking forward to taking the papers and getting over and done with it. My first paper was set for today and the night before, I had survived only 2 hours of sleep trying to juggle between work and last minute revisions. The good news is that I finished my revision as I watched the sun rise on another beautiful day, the bad news is that I won’t be taking my papers this week after all.

Just minutes before the scheduled time for the paper, I was "cordially" informed that there had been a screw up and my name were not registered for both papers. *Dumbfounded* My colleague tried to cheer me up by saying:" Look at the bright side, you'll have more time to work on getting a better grade".

Erm...Thanks but no thanks! W@#$!#$%@# :(

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