Shifting Wish Lists and Fleeting Freedoms

Mod Note (Andy): #TBT Throwback Thursday - this was originally posted on 12/20/12. To see all of our top content from the past, click here.

As in years past, Christmas has found a way to sneak up on me. And, unless you're way younger than WSO's target demographic, you probably feel the same way I do.

The older you get, the more it seems that Christmas appears out of nowhere. I once found myself counting down the days until I could unwrap presents from under the tree, hoping I got some of the things I asked for. Now, I find myself wanting less and less, to the point where I only really care about the holidays because it's a time to see family and reminisce on years' gone by and plan for days to come. What gifts I do get tend to be incredibly utilitarian, and I'd have it no other way.

As I was thinking about this over the last day or so, I started remembering how drastically my desires have changed over the last five years or so. And in talking to friends, I know I'm not alone. Let's take a look at how one's desires shift over time. And since it's the holiday season and this is WSO, let's look at it in the form of a Christmas Wish List from various points in the career of a finance professional.

Q&A with an Executive MBA Student

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I've got a great interview today for any readers who are thinking of pursuing an Executive MBA. I recently had a chance to interview an Executive MBA student at a top-15 school in the country.

Typical Full-Time programs at top schools like Harvard and Wharton are discussed at length on WSO on an almost daily basis. I know there are plenty of folks who'd prefer a part-time program but might be uncertain about making the jump.

Read on for some insight into the reasons someone might attend a part-time MBA program and what life is like when you're balancing a full-time job with a part-time education.

Haymakers For Hope - Financiers Fight for a Noble Cause

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For all the talk of private equity and hedge funds as exit opps here on WSO, one interesting route that often goes overlooked is the non-profit path.

Too often non-profit and charitable work gets lumped into one of two camps:

  1. Something for liberal arts students
  2. Something you've got to do to round out your b-school apps

Well, I'm here today to obliterate this false dichotomy.

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Andrew Myerson, the founder of Haymakers For Hope, a truly awesome charity that combines amateur boxing and the fight to end cancer. He's an ex-Goldman Analyst with a truly unique story to tell. Read on to learn more.

Haymakers For Hope returns to NYC - Sign Up, Train, and Fight for a Great Cause

This post is for lovers of boxing or anyone who wants to do their part to K.O. Cancer.

Haymakers for Hope is back in NYC for its 2nd annual charity boxing event and it's looking for men and women to train at one NYC's top boxing gyms for four months before stepping in the ring to literally fight cancer.

Think you have what it takes? Read on for more...

Fun Things I Discovered While Perusing the Compensation Database

So, I've taken some time to peruse through WSO's 2013 Compensation Database, and it's honestly awesome. I've been on WSO for a while, from my time as a bright-eyed undergrad trying to break into a summer analyst gig, to my time as a jaded banking analyst, seeking out the greener pastures of private equity. The site has always provided tremendous value.

With that said, I think the 2013 Compensation Database is among the most interesting and useful things I've ever seen on the site. The sheer amount of information is astounding, and the presentation and formatting would please even the most hardass of Managing Directors.

I highly recommend you do what you have to do to gain access to it. Whether that's adding info a review for the company you work for, insight into an interview you had, or detailing your comp last year, it's worth it. Plus it's anonymous, so there's no fear of anyone finding out who you are.

Now, I'm not here today to drone on about the benefits of the database, rather, I'm here to share a few of the fun things I found while I was digging through it. Read on to find out what I found...

Tweets Coming to a Bloomberg Terminal Near You

Last Thursday, Bloomberg announced that it has begun integrating Twitter functionality into its service platform. It filters company and market-centric tweets for its base of over 300,000 subscribers. This came shortly after the SEC provided guidance that would allow for companies to distribute their announcements and press releases through social media websites.

Bloomberg's service is heavily filtered and entirely focused on providing high quality, potentially market moving news to its users. Traditionally, banks and trading houses have restricted use of Twitter at the office for compliance reasons, so this service offers traders and Analysts a means of keeping up with twittersphere without resorting to their phones and without worrying the firm's legal staff.

I think that this goes a long way to confirm what we already know, that Twitter and other social media can move markets. I was curious to get an insider's view of just how important social media is in the trading world, so I reached out to a trader friend of mine for his view. Read on to hear what he had to say...

Bitcoin - Believe the Hype

Unless you've been living under a rock for the last few weeks, you've probably heard the word Bitcoin thrown around in the news quite a bit. If you're a bit more web savvy, or an active Redditor, chances are you've known about it for a few years. But, do you really know what Bitcoin is, how it works, or where it comes from?

Given the recent uptick of interest in, and value of, Bitcoin, I decided to do a little digging to see what I could find out. Going into my investigation into the so-called virtual currency, I found myself pleasantly surprised about a number of things. Specifically, how it functions, how it's created, and the mystery surrounding its founding father.

17 Year Old Sells Startup to Yahoo for $30 Million

Since taking over Yahoo back in July 2012, Marissa Mayer has been on a mission to transform the company into a modern web power player. Yahoo, with its massive and diverse array of content, is a portal for millions of people on the web. Whether you're interested in checking out share prices, reading up on your favorite NBA team, or entering a fantasy football league, you can do it, and much more, through Yahoo.

With that said, Yahoo continues to get crushed in search and email and is seen as something of a dinosaur in the age of Web 2.0. Ms. Mayer's job is to make Yahoo cutting-edge again. As the youngest female Fortune 500 CEO and the 20th employee of Google, it would seem as though she's an excellent pick for the job.

This week, Marissa Mayer made a striking and attention-getting move to help expedite Yahoo's trip towards the cutting-edge. The company acquired Summly, a two year old startup whose founder is only 17 years old...

Carl Icahn Makes Things Interesting with Dell

Back in February, Dell announced that it had reached an agreement in principle to be taken private by its founder, Michael Dell, and Silver Lake, the Silicon Valley based technology private equity firm. Microsoft would also be investing in the deal, but would have no equity ownership or board representation post-close. Under the terms of the agreement, shareholders would receive $13.65 a share, a 25% premium over the share price on January 11th, the last day the stock traded before rumors of a buyout started running rampant.

Dell, the world's number three PC manufacturer, is in the middle of an ongoing effort to transform the company into an enterprise solutions business for small and medium size businesses. A mini-IBM of sorts. Over the last three years, the company has made a number of acquisitions to bolster its enterprise credentials, though its lower-margin PC business still accounts for about half of the company's total revenue.

Taking the company private would enable the company to accelerate its transformation without the scrutiny of the public markets. Unfortunately for Mike and his Silver Lake pals, Carl Icahn has other plans for the business.

The iWatch - Apple's Next Innovation? Or an Overpriced Also-Ran?

While Google has been hard at work on its vision of mainstream Geordi La Forge eyewear, Apple is searching for its next disruptive innovation. And while fan boys and investors alike have spent years waiting for Apple to unveil a TV, it appears as though the next Apple product line might come in the form of a watch.

The iWatch.

There is some palpable excitement building among members of the tech community. But, is it warranted? Let's give it some thought.


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