September 29, 2015

Rate Cuts by Central banks

The world seem to be obsessed with central bank meetings over rate decisions. Ofcourse rate cuts/increases by central banks would impact economic activity and aid lot many industries and companies to grow. But the real growth trigger lies in many other aspects such as - skills development, training of workforce to enhance productivity, transparent taxation policies, less red tape, faster processing of business licenses, safety at workplace and in society, equal opportunities for men and women to grow...there are many more 

August 14, 2015

CFA Level 3 Hurdle cleared!!!

Finally done with all the exams and studying. The congratulatory e-mail from CFA institute sealed victory over the beast exam Level 3. The past years have been very tough balancing work, family, and study commitments. Could finally see the end of the tunnel. Looking at my performance, i did better than i expected in the morning session with 4 sections > 50%, and only 2 sections < 50%.
Afternoon section score was bit lower than expected especially Ethics which i scored in 50-70% range while i thought i had aced Ethics. Overall the performance of AM and PM combined together was sufficient to get the job done.
My 40/60/80 score analysis puts me at 65.5% which maybe close to the MPS !
I am glad that CFA Exams and studies are over however the learning continues...

January 25, 2015

ECB Stimulus Package

Another money printing event in hope of economic revival.

European Central Bank on Jan 22 announced its unprecedented  stimulus program to help the 19-member euro region come out of economic slowdown by committing to buy back 60bn Euros in assets per month.
While the markets cheered the move, severe concerns linger on the effectiveness of the program - only time will tell.

July 20, 2013

CFA Level 2 2013 results

Folks, its that time of the year again ! CFA Institute is to announce the results of Level 1 and Level 2 exam on July 23rd. Results will be e-mailed to candidates starting 9 AM EST...

So only 3 days to go until i get my Level 2 results..fingers crossed! All The Best everyone. 

January 28, 2012

Skyscraper Index for Contrarian Investors !

Sounds silly, but there is a study done to check the correlation between skyscrapers and Financial crisis ! and there seems to be a positive correlation between the two. which means the many and higher the skyscrapers, the deeper is the financial crisis.hmmm.

so the next time you read an article about new skyscrapers cropping up in the city, then you know...that economic trouble is around the corner..well might not be really, but the article below says so, and is a good read.

October 10, 2011

Behavioral Science in Investments

Time and again i am reminded of this science of investment; behavioral finance. In my opinion, it is one area in Finance which has a very close connection between Theory and Reality. The concept is simple to understand and is easily observable in real world. When i think of my own investment actions in the past, it reminds me that the concepts of behavioral finance and investment biases are so very true ! Here are a few of them which most of the investors might have experienced in their life

1. Confirmation Bias : I like this one ! This bias is regarding actions of an investor post their investment decision. as an example, if you invested in stock of Sony. Then you would like the stock to do good. You will thus be 'looking' for good news about Sony. If there is any bad news, you would tend to discount it. The reason you want to see only good news is the justification of your investment decision to buy Sony. So rather than sell the stock upon bad news, you continue to hold it believing it will do good and continue to search for good news !

2. Escalation Bias : This bias too is easily observable in real world. Again if you bought a stock at say $100 and the price drops to $95. you will not sell it. nobody likes to see a loss ! most of us continue to hold onto the loss rather than book the loss. you believe someday the stock would rebound and do good. that's ok but worst would be to invest more in a losing stock to 'average down' the purchase price instead of evaluating the future prospects or financial condition of the company. Behavioral Finance texts have rightly said "Investors tend to sell their good picks too early and hold onto losers for too long" !

3. Overconfidence and Pessimism : when there is good news floating around, investors tend to be more optimistic about it. e.g. when most of the stock analysts have a positive indicator for the stock of a firm, investors give it an upward bias, flock to this stock thereby driving its price to the roof. only to realize later that they paid $50 for something which was actually worth $30. Similarly, investors tend to overreact to bad news. All this can be easily seen in everyday market movements. One day stock analysts and investors are highly pessimistic about the developments in Europe and the next day they are jumping with joy on even unconfirmed reports of possible German and French government support to the EU causing high volatility in the markets.

4. Others : Stocks perform well on Friday as opposed to Monday's similar to Holiday effect in which stocks do well on a day that precedes the holiday. Then there is January Effect in which stock returns in the month of January are better than the other months.

October 07, 2011

Dim Sum, Samurai, and Yankees - Interesting Bonds !

Dim Sum...yes it is a very famous food dish in Hong Kong. But that is not what i am talking about here. I am referring to Dim Sum bonds. Yes ! basically these bonds are Yuan denominated and issued in the Hong Kong market by an overseas borrower. whats so special about them? These can be attractive for an investor who desires to have exposure to Yuan and also given that the foreign investors are restricted from investing into local Chinese debt. Not surprisingly, HSBC is one of the largest players in the Dim Sum bond underwriting market.

Whats also interesting are Samurai Bonds. These are yen denominated bonds issued by a foreign borrower in Japan. The advantage is YEN LIBOR yields are low and given the continued strength of the Japanese Currency (76.5 JPY/USD as of today), it would be attractive to the foreign borrower to convert the proceeds of the bond issue into their domestic currency to well pay back their existing local currency debt !

On the same page, a Yankee bond would be a USD denominated bond issued by a foreign bank or corporation in the United States although the regulations are quite tight to get the bonds registered into the US market.

Imagine what are bonds denominated in Japanese Yen and issued by a non-Japanese company outside of Japan called ? EuroYen bonds ! The term Euro here is mis-leading as it has nothing to do with the currency Euro !! Sometimes confusing but interesting concepts in the bond market.