Incredible Dow
March 2, 2009, 11:25
Filed under: Links that rock | Tags: ,

I cannot believe the Dow Jones is under 7000. Very scary for people who would like to retire soon—like my father.


Cheat Sheet for Finance Interviews

THIS is awesome. It’s a post written by a former equity analyst that explains how to read financial statements.

June 7, 2008, 11:25
Filed under: Links that rock, Un-Wordy, Unemployment | Tags:

Failure according to J.K. Rowling at the 2008 Harvard Commencement.

My favorite quote:

And many prefer not to exercise their imaginations at all. They choose to remain comfortably within the bounds of their own experience, never troubling to wonder how it would feel to have been born other than they are. They can refuse to hear screams or to peer inside cages; they can close their minds and hearts to any suffering that does not touch them personally; they can refuse to know.

I have a lot to say about failure.  I also have a lot to say about the veil of ignorance…but not today. I am tired.

UPS—Terrible Service

Remember the opening scene of Ace Ventura Pet Detective? The part where Ace plays a delivery man and kicks the cardboard box with fragile contents up and down Lincoln Drive? Well, given my experience with UPS this past week it seems to me like Ace was a UPS Delivery Man. Lets compare:

This is the video of Ace Ventura kicking the box around—

Now take a look of some pictures I took after the UPS delivery man left my boxes at the door:

Box of Linens The Banged Up Side

Another Box The only mug and cup that made it in \

Here is the story:

1) UPS said I should be at my apartment between the hours of 9am and 7pm to receive the UPS man that would pick my shipment up (I was moving from NY back home and needed to send a few boxes down). He arrived at 7:30pm. That’s just annoying

2) My jaw literally dropped to the floor when I saw my box of china (clearly marked FRAGILE) tattered to pieces. I was even more shocked when I realized that 99% of the contents had been shattered. UPS pro-actively addressed the issue by sending me a letter stating the following:

The contents contained in the package described abov were damaged. We regret any inconvenience this may have caused you. The damaged portion has been discarded and the remaining contents were forwarded for delivery.

We have determined that insufficient packaging was used for this shipment. UPS is not liable or responsible for loss or damage to any package resulting from inadequate packaging.

To quote Ace Ventura—RE-he-he-heaaaally???

Take a look at my pictures, UPS. I shipped pristine looking boxes and look at how banged up they were delivered to their final destination. Clearly, my packages were not taken care of. They were mishandled and that is why the contents in my box of china were broken.

I purchased $2 of insurance which translates to $200 in coverage. I WANT MY MONEY. I am going to call UPS tomorrow and make a big fucking stink about this one because I think it is ridiculous of them to wash their hands of the situation when they smashed my box to little pieces!!!!

All 100% of my wrath will concentrate against this company tomorrow.

What To Do When You Get Laid Off—Steps to Survival

I was laid off back in November 2007, and this is how I have kept my sanity:

One: Take time off. I got laid off from an investment bank so you can imagine that free time was somewhat of a luxury up until my layoff. It was necessary for me leave NY for a bit (3 weeks) and decompress back home, which happens to be a cool city by the beach.

Two: Think about the job you just lost. What did you like about it? What didn’t you like about it? Do you want to go back to a similar role? Hell, if you could have the perfect job what would it be?

Three: Review your severance package over a glass of wine. Did they screw you? Did you get health insurance for a few months? Unless daddy is a millionaire who will foot your legal bill, there is probably little you can do to change your severance package. Sign the package and drink your wine. There is nothing you can do about it….but, please learn from the misdeeds of your ex-employer. Promise to treat your own employees better should your future uber-successful MD self ever have to orchestrate a layoff.

Four: Have fun making an excel model of your financial situation:

  • Checking Account + ING Account + Liquid Assets + $405 unemployment benefits/week = What you have
  • Rent + Utilities + Cable + Going Out Expenses = What you need.
  • Figure out how many months of float money you have, and plan your job search accordingly

Five: Start talking to recruiters…assuming you are emotionally ready to look for a job and are confident that that is the job you want. Here are some recruiters that I found to be helpful:

Six: It’s time to create a daily routine now that you are back in your apartment looking for a job. Here is a glimpse of mine:

  • Wake up at 9am
  • Make coffee and play with the internet for awhile (gmail, facebook,, bloomberg, dealbreaker, favorite blogs)
  • Be productive for 3-4 hours looking for jobs, studying for the GMAT/LSAT/CFA/Etc, etc.
  • Work out for 2 hours
  • Grab lunch somewhere (if you’re poh, then make a sandwich)
  • It’s summer time, so chances are that you can find a cheap happy hour with a few of your other recently laid off friends.
  • Watch some tv
  • Go to sleep

Seven: You need to start thinking about a Plan B. Mine was going to business school so I studied for the GMAT, applied to a few programs and chose to study somewhere in the Midwest. Your Plan B might include grad school or perhaps moving to a new city or maybe teach English in Spain for a year—-if there is a time to hit the “start-over” button in your life, it is now. Use this opportunity.

Eight: Know who your friends are and use them for support. The whole layoff process is quite a roller coaster. First you are angry that you got laid off, then sad, then freaked out, then confused, then freaked out about the future, then etc etc etc. Your good friends will be there for you, so will your family and other support mechanisms like Church/Therapy/Etc.

Nine: Relax. Think Macro. Think long term…life is long, and it is normal to experience at least one bout of unemployment in the 80 or so years that you will live. You are not the first nor are you the last person to get laid off. In fact, last I heard there were 48,000 of us roaming the streets of NYC, London and whatever banking city is out there going through the same exact motions. You are smart and ambitious enough to have landed a good job in the first place…this is not a worst case scenario. Getting laid off and then being diagnosed with a terminal illness or getting laid off because your entire industry is being outsourced to India…those are worst case scenarios. Keep this in perspective.

Ten: This is by far the most restorative thing that I have done since gotten laid off—GIVE BACK TO YOUR COMMUNITY—Find a nonprofit and spend a few hours a week helping them out. I volunteer at The Door, an after school center for inner-city kids in NY. I help them study for the GED or the SAT or practice their reading, whatever. It’s fulfilling and it gives meaning to my dance with a massive layoff. Look here to find other interesting volunteer opportunities in your hood.

Doing It
April 24, 2008, 11:25
Filed under: Links that rock

Doing it, doing it, and doing it well.

How To Get Laid Off

Word to your mama.
This guy says some pretty good stuff—and, having just found out about another round of layoffs tomorrow April 22nd at a bulge bracket bank, it’s a timely article.

Good luck guys—everything works out.