Finished CFA level 1 & CAIA level 1 in a breeze. Looking forward to CAIA level 2 and CFA level 2. Made top 1% on the Bloomberg BAT, but was a black sheep at my mediocre college, and I was foolish to let it affect me. (non-traditional student)
Hope to write some quality articles in the coming year.
I was playing with fire my first year in the market, using a lot of call options. It was easy to make 50+% gain in 1st yr, summer '13 to summer '14 (thank you bull mkt). This past half year has been a little rough; I wish I had acted more decisively on material information about the energy market and the movement of the Ruble ($YNDX is a favorite).
I remember announcing the probably course of events to family the morning after OPEC's Thanksgiving's Day announcements, and I regrettably decided to wait it through b/c our professors chided us to take a buy and hold approach, and b/c I had bought some quality energy names at very fair prices in October. In retrospect, I realize the importance of optionality or in a sense, degrees of freedom.
In this case, I realize I am too committed to a base scenario (energy stocks recovering in the next year) that has too much opportunity cost. If the price adjustment cycle lasts longer than the expected scenario, then I will be unhappy with the opportunities lost. An equal weight short position would have been an ideal temporary maneuver, expressing my short-term thesis, while not causing commitment angst in the present, hoping for the long-term adjustment to blow over.
I was entrusted with a fresh 100K family capital this past summer, and I plan to be more prudent and thorough (obviously with minimal leverage or derivatives). This market is a little dangerous with high debt loads in China, somewhat high valuation levels (horrible Schiller CAPE ratio, but not sure if that matters as much), and jitters over rate hike, Ukraine, terrorism, epidemics, difficulty of private sector adjusting to Obamacare, and possible fiscal & monetary stimulus tapering.
I think low energy prices is a great stimulus, but the possibilities of a perfect storm with semi-hard landing in China or Europe, a serious violent flare-up with Russia or the Terror War, and disease outbreak could somehow happen at just the wrong time (perhaps, right after a rate hike).
I've read a fair amount of Buffett. But I love the tech industry mostly. To humor Buffett (a tech dinosaur), I bought a tiny bit of IBM. It has been working hard to transform its whole business, and actually has some top-notch talent and product portfolios with a fairly conservative valuation. The market is probably right that is a long-shot that IBM will grow significantly again, despite its immense technology assets and partnerships. Recent comment: feel lucky to have exited IBM at a small gain; mulling a re-entry and annoyed that I missed the recent Google explosion. Google is solidifying its reach and ecosystem, but at steep multiples.
I've been away from investing for much of the past half year (now dec'15), partly because I was getting cyberattacks on my twitter account, my computer, and broker connection was being intercepted, which made me very uncomfortable. My car also very suddenly needed an engine replacement that same week, despite a thorough check-up a month prior. I'm having a hard time moving forward, after severe blacklisting after-effects, (too long & weird to discuss).
CAIA & CFA level 1s were super-easy even though I was underprepared. I look forward to embracing the challenge. I will end up working in Europe or abroad, if I have to. Lucky to get tons of invites from Bloomberg recruitment due to top notch scores, but haven't really applied b/c of crummy school issues. Plan to work on Wall Street Prep & hopefully some SA articles.
Dreamjob: working for a hedge fund focussing in equities, preferably with a multicultural bunch (I'm half european / half asian american)
Long-term dream job: top-notch hedge fund manager
My favorite time horizon: 3mo to 18mo, b/c best chance of having a direct connect with news & analysis. market moves too fast to be primarily buy & hold, albeit such a mid-term outlook forfeits the benefit of effective interest-free loan in the the form of deferred taxes (as Buffett makes use of) as well as benefit of a capital gains rate, but on the other hand, a mid-term outlook maximizes flexibility. I'm trying to stay more grounded in fundamentals, flesh out the invest case for a quite a handful of stocks, and balancing risks in wide portfolio. Plan to explore ETF's more.