Wednesday, July 30, 2008

CFA preparation guidelines for level 1

Hi friends,
I had taken my CFA level 1 exam on June 08 and thought that my insight and perceptions on level 1 could help you all prepare better for the exam.

* CFA material is pretty voluminous that’s probably because it’s designed to be a 6 month course.

* Schwezer material is much more precise and more than enough for level 1

* CFA material or Schwezer material alone is not enough, you will need the full length question papers and question bank.

* If you are able to solve about 2000 questions, then you should feel confident on giving the exam

* The examination focuses on application of the concepts.

* The problems are pretty simple if u know how to solve them, there would be no lengthy or complex calculations.

* There are totally 10 sections and its better if you show competence in all the sections. (i.e) score at least 50% of marks in each section. Else you may have to cover if it up in other sections.

* The total time given for examination is 6 hours which is split up into two sessions of 3 hours each.

* There are totally 240 questions and the weightage for each question varies. Each session carries 120 questions.

* You can attempt the questions that you are comfortable with first and then come back to other questions.

* I would recommend solving the ethics questions in the end since they are the lengthy questions and would consume more time to read through them.

* Though 6 hours are given for the examination, all the questions can be pretty much solved within 5 hours if you had done a perfect exam oriented preparation.

* If you have done your MBA in Finance or PG in Capital Markets then you should feel comfortable with a max of 2 to 3 months of preparation.

* Try to have the last month solely to solve problems, so that you go into the exam on the right mode.

* If you make an effort and clear the NCFM (NSE’s certification in Financial Markets) modules ( namely the Derivatives market and Debt market before your CFA preparation then it would actually make your preparation much easier.

* On an average about 30 – 35% of pple clear the level 1 examination, I do have a doubt as to how it can always to be only that much or only in that range. So it’s obvious that you need to be at least in the 70 percentile range to get through.

Outline of CFA Course

As a CFA Program candidate, your course of study is determined by the Candidate Body of Knowledge™ (CBOK). The course includes

* Ethical and professional standards
* Quantitaive methods
* Economics
* Financial statement analysis
* Corporate finance
* Analysis of equity investments
* Analysis of debt investments
* Analysis of derivatives
* Analysis of alternative investments
* Portfolio management

Some popular CFA preparation forums

* AnalystForum
* CoolAvenues
* FTC Kalpan
* AnalystNotes
* FinancialExams
* FinancialCertification

Free online CFA Mock Exams


Important CFA Video Links


All the very best.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Exchanges around the world

African Stock Exchange

GhanaStock Exchange, Ghana
Johannesburg Stock Exchange, South Africa
The South African Futures Exchange(SAFEX), South Africa

Asian Stock Exchanges

Sydney Futures Exchange, Australia
Australian Stock Exchanges, Australia
Shenzhen Stock Exchange, China
Stock Exchange of Hong Kong,Hong Kong
Hong Kong Futures Exchange,Hong Kong
National Stock Exchange of India,India
Bombay Stock Exchange, India
Jakarta Stock Exchange, Indonesia
Indonesia NET Exchange,Indonesia
Nagoya Stock Exchange,Japan
Osaka Securities Exchange, Japan
Tokyo Grain Exchange, Japan
Tokyo International Financial Futures Exchange (TIFFE), Japan
Tokyo Stock Exchange, Japan
Korea Stock Exchange, Korea
Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange, Malaysia
New Zealand Stock Exchange, New Zealand
Karachi Stock Exchange, Pakistan
Lahore Stock Exchange, Pakistan
Stock Exchange of Singapore (SES), Singapore
Singapore International Monetary Exchange Ltd. (SIMEX), Singapore
Colombo Stock Exchange, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka Stock Closings, Sri Lanka
Taiwan Stock Exchange, Taiwan
The Stock Exchange of Thailand, Thailand

European Stock Exchanges

Vienna Stock Exchange, Austria
EASDAQ, Belgium
Zagreb Stock Exchange, Croatia
Prague Stock Exchange, Czech Republic
Copenhagen Stock Exchange, Denmark
Helsinki Stock Exchange, Finland
Paris Stock Exchange, France
LesEchos: 30-minute delayed prices, France
NouveauMarche, France
MATIF, France
Frankfurt Stock Exchange, Germany
Athens Stock Exchange, Greece
Budapest Stock Exchange, Hungary
Italian Stock Exchange, Italy
National Stock Exchange of Lithuania,Lithuania
Macedonian Stock Exchange, Macedonia
Amsterdam Stock Exchange, The Netherlands
Oslo Stock Exchange, Norway
Warsaw Stock-Exchange, Poland
Lisbon Stock Exchange, Portugal
Bucharest Stock Exchange, Romania
Russian Securities Market News, Russia
Ljubljana Stock Exchange,Inc., Slovenia
Barcelona Stock Exchange, Spain
Madrid Stock Exchange, Spain
MEFF: (Spanish Financial Futures & Options Exchange), Spain
Stockholm Stock Exchange, Sweden
Swiss Exchange, Switzerland
Istanbul Stock Exhange, Turkey
FTSE International (London Stock Exchange), United Kingdom
London Stock Exchange: Daily Price Summary, United Kingdom
Electronic Share Information, UnitedKingdom
London Metal Exchange,United Kingdom
London InternationalFinancial Futures and Options Exchange, United Kingdom

Middle Eastern Stock Exchanges

Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, Israel
Amman Financial Market, Jordan
Beirut Stock Exchange, Lebanon
Palestine Securities Exchange, Palestine
Istanbul Stock Exhange, Turkey

North American Stock Exchanges

Alberta Stock Exchange, Canada
Montreal Stock Exchange, Canada
Toronto Stock Exchange, Canada
Vancouver Stock Exchange, Canada
Winnipeg Stock Exchange, Canada
Canadian Stock Market Reports, Canada
Canada Stockwatch, Canada
Mexican Stock Exchange, Mexico
AMEX, United States
New York Stock Exchange (NYSE),United States
NASDAQ, United States
The Arizona Stock Exchange, United States
Chicago Stock Exchange, United States
Chicago Board Options Exchange, United States
Chicago Board of Trade, United States
Chicago Mercantile Exchange, United States
Kansas City Board of Trade, United States
Minneapolis Grain Exchange, United States
Pacific Stock Exchange, United States
Philadelphia Stock Exchange, United States

South American Stock Exchanges

Bermuda Stock Exchange, Bermuda
Rio de Janeiro Stock Exchange, Brazil
Sao Paulo Stock Exchange, Brazil
Cayman Islands Stock Exchange, Cayman Islands
Chile Electronic Stock Exchange, Chile
Santiago Stock Exchange, Chile
Bogota stock exchange, Colombia
Occidente Stock exchange, Colombia
Guayaquil Stock Exchange, Ecuador
Jamaica Stock Exchange, Jamaica
Nicaraguan Stock Exchange, Nicaragua
Lima Stock Exchange, Peru
Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange, Trinidad and Tobago
Caracas Stock Exchange, Venezuela
Venezuela Electronic Stock Exchange, Venezuela

Friday, July 4, 2008

Bateson's Belfry

In about the mid nineteenth century, in an era of quacks and inept American and European doctors, arose a problem of identifying the dead from the alive because pple where not skillful or knowledgeable enough to confirm for sure whether a person was dead or was just unconscious and they didn’t even know that cardiac arrest could be reversed. As a result, there were a lot incidents, wherein a person was buried alive not knowing that he was just unconscious and to compound the problem further, there were a few occasions when a person who was considered dead, got up and started to move just when the person was about to be buried.

In one such incident, a little boy of about 10 years of age, got sick and fell unconscious, the boy didn’t get up or move even after several attempts by those quacks and inept doctors. Hence he was considered dead and all arrangements had been made by their parents to bury him the next day. The next day, with a heavy heart, the parents took their son’s body to bury him in a place that was reserved for him but by that time it was more than a couple of days since the boy had been unconscious and when a shovel full of sand was thrown on him, the slight impact made him gain some consciousness and started to get up and move. This made the pple around him scared and unsure if the boy was indeed a human or a ghost in action.

Incidents like these caused a lot of inconvenience to the family and the pple in general. As a result, whenever a person was declared dead by doctors, the body was still kept by the family members for about a few weeks to at most a month to confirm their death. But this practice reached an extreme when the Duke of Wellington died in 1858; his burial was postponed for about 2 months.

This resulted in pple burying the bodies with a crowbar and shovel in their casket, assuming that the person, if alive, would dig himself out and rescue himself. In the case of wealthy pple, they would make one of their servants to stay near the casket for a couple of weeks and would fix a pipe with one end into the casket and the other end propping out of the ground so that person could communicate throw the pipe just in case he was alive. But even after this effort, pple were still living with a guilt feeling of burying their own family member alive.

Seeing this as an opportunity, a gentleman named George Bateson invented a mechanism which was economical, efficient and something that promoted peace of mind amongst the bereaved in all walks of life. His invention came to be known as Bateson’s belfry and consisted of an iron bells on top of the casket with a cord being attached to the dead person’s hand, making sure that even the slightest movement would set off the alarm.

Though there has been no case recorded, wherein a person had been saved due to Bateson’s belfry, the demand for such a casket grew by leaps and bounds making Bateson a very rich man.

Ironical as it may sound, the belfry casket produced a sense of fear in Bateson as he reached the latter years of his life, for he was scared of being buried alive in the belfry casket. The fear in him grew so large and worse that he immolated himself by dousing in linseed oil and setting himself on fire.

So next time you plan to invent something, beware, chances are that your own invention may get you. :)