How to Stop Illegal Downloads

Three days after publication of my new book , The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty, I was able to find electronic copies on a few websites that specialize in illegal content. These were high quality versions of the book, including the images of the cover, the references, and—my favorite part—the copyright notice.

I was flattered. On one of the sites, the book had been very popular, downloaded over 20,000 times in just a short period of time before my publisher shut it down.

I was also amused. The irony of illegally downloading a book on dishonesty was painfully obvious.

But mainly I was curious, as is my wont. As someone who has been studying dishonesty for many years, what could I learn from the theft of my own book?

The top 15 Masters in Finance courses for breaking into investment banking in the UK

I don't know if this has been posted before, but I find it very interesting and should help anyone looking for the best/right program to get a FO job at an investment bank (in the UK/Europe).

Full detail.

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Forget About Student Loans; What About Parents?

I'm not the typical college student: when I graduate next May, I will have zero debt. I grew up in New York City, went through the usual "gifted" and "honors" programs that most of our readers are familiar with, and was fortunate enough to obtain a full scholarship for undergrad. When I apply to graduate school, I'll be taking on student loans for the first time. Despite this, my main concern isn't how I'll deal with the massive six-figure debt; rather, it's how I'll repay my parents back.

The Harsh Truth about Why You May Not Get Promoted!

When you join a large organization, you tend to hear HR buzz words like: career development, career progression, succession planning, growth opportunities, etc. Essentially, you are being told that your organization takes a tremendous interest in your career development. In many cases, that is indeed the case (but not always…).

In part, promotions depend on your performance, and fit within the company. However, promotions also depend on your boss and HR’s attitude towards helping you move up in the organization!

Let us step back and consider what makes for an ideal manager: generate higher revenues while keeping costs down. That’s how you maximize shareholder returns.
Now ask yourself: if a manager can extract the same output (i.e. financial analysis, or excel modeling) from an analyst who makes $100k, why would he be incented to promote that analyst to associate and end up paying $200k for the same excel file??? If the manager’s goal is to keep costs down, then he is better off not promoting the analyst, and obtaining the same output for less.

Portfolio Theory Part I: The Financial Strategy of Yesteryear

Portfolio Theory is a construct of Harry M. Markowitz from the University of Chicago that economically models a risk-return adjusted optimal portfolio based upon two primary factors: risk and correlation. Sounds like a beautiful thing, right? WRONG! Textbook models are just that, textbook and are not enirely relevant outside of academe. They serve as restricted versions of actual market processes and I will argue against four of Markowitz's flawed assumptions. Also, despite quantum leaps in practical market theory over the last 60 years, some in the financial industry still apply this dusty-old model when managing their client’s money! Why, I can only suspect but read on to find out where the problem starts...

Comprehensive US MSF Ranking

Since there is not a ranking of US MSFs I elected to make one. I’d like to thank ANT/TNA for his great list on it is an invaluable resource for anyone considering an MSF. This is a work in progress and I welcome any feedback. This is just my opinion and I welcome suggestion or corrections and will be more than willing to edit this.

Tier 1 MIT

Tier 1A Claremont McKenna, Vanderbilt, WUSTL, Virginia

Tier 1B Boston College, Florida, Southern Methodist, Texas, Tulane, Villanova

Priority Dilution: Don’t sabotage yourself!

Priority dilution causes you to sabotage your own work and goals by focusing on less important tasks instead of keeping your full attention to all parts of the actual assignment. Surprisingly, overachievers are affected in particular and often have difficulties performing group work or team projects.

In grad school one of my fellow class mates called me out during a team meeting, yelling at me: “Dude, stop being such a perfectionist and submit the damn paper, we already past the deadline for the team project”. In fact we already finished the paper two days ago, but I spend the whole day making adjustments.

The Non-Target Curse

About a week ago, I was sitting at my desk at my current PE internship when the partners and the CEO were filling in a questionnaire that an investor (bank) had requested. The specific question that caught my attention was one that asked for the caliber of my firm's current and previous interns.

The answer provided by the big guys?

We have had Ivy League interns, mostly from Harvard, Stanford, Yale and other top universities such as Oxford, Cambridge and LSE.

There was no mention of my non-target university. I could tell that they felt bad seeing as this was all done 10 feet away from me and I could hear everything, so what followed was an attempt to make me feel better about myself:

...and other universities.

doctor switching to finance

I am a 39 yo physician who no longer wants to practice. I really want to go into finance. I would like to go into IB, PE, HF. VC. Management consulting is also an option that I considered. I had an interview wIth Mckinsey but got dinged. I tried to break in but it seems difficult bc of my nontraditional background. Some were interested bc of my medical background but I lacked finance experience. I am thinking about going to b-school but I heard it doesn't make sense unless it's a top b-school. Is it impossible because I'm older and have no finance experience? Can I overcome that by attending any decent b-school? I was hoping going to any b-school would give my switching some credibility. Any advice would be appreciated.

Who would get hired first?

Let's say you go to a good target school, and GS, JPM, MS or any bank is recruiting students.

There are 2 candidates in the running for the final spot at a summer internship. Student 1 is a math/physics double major with a 3.2-3.3 GPA.
Student 2 is an English major and has 3.7-3.8 GPA.

Both of these candidates are virtually identical in leadership quality, prior work experience, and gave similar-quality interviews.

Who would get hired?

Nobody wants to do sales in Sales & Trading?

Recently a BB came to my school to recruit. All the students there said they wanted to go into trading (including me), and none of them said they wanted to go into sales. Then this sales guy from the BB started presenting and I must say I was very impressed and I might have persuaded by him to be more open to sales. Let me tell you why.

First off, he presented very well, which you should expect of a sales man but he was really smooth and good. When the traders presented, they were like giving pauses in the middle, like "urm", as they recollect their thoughts. Not that I expect traders to be very good in presentations because their main job is trading the markets, but I was more impressed with the sales man here in this instance.

A tragic hero of financial engineering

Most of you here are familiar with the Black-Scholes formula since it’s imbued in every possible textbook of corporate finance 101 under the sections of option pricing. The infamous black-scholes-merton formula was created by Nobel laureates (now unfortunately also blamed for the credit crunch) who used advanced calculus to build a closed form solutions on how to price options which are widely traded on the CBOE today. But most of you don’t know that the science behind options was created over 70 years before it came to practice by a man name Bachelier.