Effective Toilet Hedges

Getting sick of those boring hedge products on the market today? Are puts and calls just not doing it for you? Well today is your lucky day because we have a new, highly popular hedge that all the cool kids are using!

Russian Toilets.

You read that right! With the ruble dropping like a stone the modest Russian toilet has become a hedge against further drops:

[quote]When the ruble plunged 37 percent in the first half of December, Kazakh businessman Marat Mukhamedov spotted an opportunity: Russian toilets.

Do You Play Ice Hockey?

If don't, and you're planning on attending a top MBA program, now is the time to start. If a recent article in Bloomberg is to be taken seriously, having some degree of competence on the ice will put you in a great position for your tenure in business school. This appears especially important if you're at Yale:

Hockey is so baked into MBA life at Yale that some students start preparing to join the club well before they arrive on campus. At a welcome weekend for admitted students in the spring, incoming students can negotiate with outgoing graduates to buy their pads, helmets, sticks, and skates at a discount.

Yale is nothing compared to Wharton, though. Getting a little practice in ahead of time doesn't seem to be enough to make the cut on Wharton's club hockey team:

On the much larger campus of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, the hockey club does not have the physical space to fit the ballooning ranks of MBA candidates desperate for ice time.

More than 200 of the nearly 1,700 graduate students at Wharton made it into the hockey club this academic year, and another 100 applicants were left on the waiting list. The squad has had to cap its ranks because its time on the rink is limited.

Rolls Royce: Lease or Buy?

Let's assume you're a fan of Rolls and you're looking at a 2015 Ghost, what do you do? Lease? Buy? Obviously, deciding whether to lease or buy a car that costs several hundred thousand dollars is a bit more complicated than deciding whether to lease or buy a car that costs several tens of thousands. Luckily, Bloomberg has a recent article that'll spell out the current trends in buying and leasing Rolls to help you decide how you want to approach your purchase. Looking at the lease vs. buy question, if you live in southern California, dealers advertise leases due to their popularity:

Poll Review: August 2006 to February 2015 - Where You See Yourself Going

What do you (or did you) see yourself doing after 2-3 years as an IB analyst, that is the question! I'm sure many of you have checked out the results from the February survey, but you may not have checked out the results from the August 2006 survey. While the general impulse to move into private equity hasn't changed, the relative amounts for everything has changed quite a bit:

August 2006 February 2015
Private Equity / Venture Capital 26% 35% (31% / 4%)
Advanced Degree (MBA, MD, JD, etc.) 22% 13%
Promoted to Associate 18% 13%

What's In Your Wallet? Maybe Not AmEx Platinum

For the vast majority of people, their choice of credit card isn't likely to be a big one. Most will focus primarily on the rate attached to the card but, as you go up the income ladder, the rate becomes less important and the rewards become more important. I'm sure many of you have strong preferences on what's the best card out there, but if a recent article from Bloomberg is to be believed, it may not be American Express:

Hybrid Securities - McQuown's eBond

John “Mac” McQuown, the inventor of the first equity index portfolio, has built an interesting financial product that is designed to eliminate credit risk from corporate bonds. He calls it the eBond and Bloomberg has written an excellent and highly in-depth piece about it. An eBond, according to Bloomberg, can be described as such:

His latest handiwork is a hybrid security that embeds a credit-default swap, the derivative that helped push the global financial system to the edge of ruin in 2008, in a corporate bond.

By joining the two securities into an instrument called an “exchangeable bond,” or eBond for short, McQuown says companies will be able to transform junk-graded debt into the equivalent of AAA-rated notes.

And he’s hoping it will help him take advantage of possibly the biggest imbalance he’s seen in a career that stretches back to the dawn of quantitative investing -- a looming liquidity crunch in the $8 trillion U.S. corporate bond market. McQuown says reinventing the corporate bond to make it less risky should make it easier to trade.

Super Bowl - Place Your Bets!

Is everyone excited for the Super Bowl? I know I am as it's looking like a great game! In fact, I've been keeping my eyes right where they belong, not on "deflategate" coverage (btw, when is the suffix "-gate" going to go away?), but on the game's lines. As of the time of this writing, they're sitting at:

NE: -1 at -110
O/U: 47.5 at -110

NE: -116
Seattle: -104

Is Oil Storage King Now?

With oil still falling, it's looking like it's 1986 all over again. Granted, it took a long time for oil to recover, but what if this time is different? Who will end up being the winner? Perhaps, the big winners will be those who are in the storage business. According to a recent piece on Bloomberg, these guys seem to be doing well:

Your First Non-Compete Agreement

I have little doubt that many of you, at some point in your careers, will have to sign a non-compete agreement. This is a fairly obvious observation since many of you are/will become big time players, and big time players have access to very important information that companies will want to protect. At least that was the traditional use of a non-compete agreement. Over the past six months or so, I've seen a steady stream of articles detailing the small time players, very small time players, signing non-competes.

Teaser Tuesday! December 9, 2014

Here's a twist on a riddle that I'm sure you're all familiar with. I hope you find it fun!

Note: If you could all please input your answers using the previously noted html code it will allow others to answer without having a spoiler. Copy it verbatim and do not stick any " or ' in your answer and it will work.