Thursday, December 20, 2007

Core Analyst School KL, December 2007


Q. What is the Police Department of Kuala Lumpur called?

Before you start ranting about PJs n all, let me give credit where it is due. To Siddharth, cos this was his PJ. Which brings me to the point. I'm back from a two week sojourn in Kuala Lumpur / Putrajaya, Malaysia. I was there on a training (can you believe it?). This is known as the Core Analyst School and brings analysts from all over Asia & Australia together. Needless to mention it was one BIIG party. I made friends, tried to learn Japanese, worked hard(ly), partied harder, shopped for fake Tag Heuer watches & Mont Blanc bags(hard to tell the difference!) and had a whale of a time. I have since sobered up from the Hangover I got last Thursday.

Have no idea what all to document here but it was a rocking experience. Some frozen moments from this trip are here; most of the others can be seen on my Facebook profile. I promise to divulge more later.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


I know it's been quite a long time. Funny thing is I can't say I had been busy; cause I haven't. It's been one of the free-est couple of months of my life. And I can't seem to decide whether I'm loving it or loathing it.

Having quit ABN AMRO Bank in August, I landed up here in Accenture and heaven knows how relieved I am. No more sales calls, no more TARGETS, no more humiliation. I'm by myself, so to speak. As I mentioned earlier, I'm looking forward to using my grey cells here instead of the parroty sales talk.

Now, being free is more than a metaphor here. Literally speaking, I am not on a project currently, so I'm free; and figuratively speaking, I'm free from all the hassles I just described. I like it here. Made some friends, have the weekend off, do NOT have to wear a tie everyday etc. What? You call this cool? Wait till you hear the other side.

I get up every morning at 7 now. Not for exercise, to catch my cab @ 7:40. It takes me 1.5 hours in the morning & 2 hours in the evening commute. That's just one of the downsides here. Being chained to your desk for long does mean an onset of obesity & lethargy. I'm bogged down by the latter; trying my best to stave off the former.

The other downer is the paucity of time to kill time; know what I mean? Not knowing what to do with time on your hand is such a waste. That's why to kill time, I started trading on the markets. Needless to say, I traded my money in the markets with experience. Having lost quite a lot on speculation, I'm trying my best to turn my mind away from it. But what do I do?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Free as a bird!

The day has come. Refer one of my earlier posts on Ideal Job. Well, my time starts now. Tomorrow is my last working day at my present organisation. Needless to add, I'm excited.

With this change, I'm actually changing my profile. Yes, I'm moving away from Banking & Financial Services; into Management Consulting.

Hope to do good in my new role. And hope this will allow me to use more of my neurons! So long...

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Have you ever wondered...

... how would someone else do if he/she would be in your shoes? Would he/she(we'll use he from now on, just for convenience; he/she is too much work!) be any better than you. And who would he be? Anyone you know, or some stranger?!?

Truth is (at least for me) no one can fill the other's shoes. I can't imagine myself in someone else's shoes for sure. I rant, I curse, but still I am me. I won't change anything in me, but changing circumstances, I'd love to!

I digress. Just back from another one of those humiliating team meetings. How I wish I could be insulated from all the crap I get. I've managed teams myself and I've given shit to my team sometimes but I've always been most approachable and pally with my team. I used to play hard with them and I also partied hard with them. I was genuinely interested in their progress and they would certainly know me as an amiable boss(hate that word!)

Which brings me to my present state. What to do now? Things just aren't going the way they are supposed to be(leave alone "the way I want"). I said it before, I say it again, I don't deserve this.

Monday, June 25, 2007

my BAD?!?!?

So a client makes a notional loss of 0.26% on one of the investments I advised to him. He fails to see the 15% absolute gain on the other investment he's made from my advise. What does he do? He pooh poohs me and goes about redeeming the loss making investment & buys a ULIP!!!!

My bad... Right!

It's more frustrating to note that this ULIP sale comes from a colleague who has absolutely made sure his / her bancassurance targets are overhauled! And the client says I have failed to advise him properly. For the seasoned advisors who are reading this blog, here is the actual lowdown:

My suggestion to the client was Rs 3 Lacs each in Sundaram BNP Paribas Select Midcap Fund (investment horizon of 2 to 3 years) & ICICI Prudential Infrastructure Fund (at least one year; being a thematic fund). Needless to say, the cash component in the Sundaram Fund, albeit a cautious strategy meant a drain on the returns. The Infrastructure fund however, true to market movements, cashed in big time. Both investments were made in Mid January 2007 and the client actually thought I was not advising him properly because I wasn't churning the portfolio!!! Beat that.

Sometimes I wonder if my self righteousness is actually impeding my so called performance. But then, if I would start doing what every other unscrupulous advisor is doing today, I would soon quit this profession. I do what I do because I love advising clients on their money. Not because I want to win every other incentive contest at the risk of murdering my clients' portfolio. Its another matter if I qualify for a contest or two after I've done my duty for my client.

I really am worried how my work shapes up in the future. What I'm sure of is that I will always do whats right for my client in whatever profession I choose at whichever step in my professional life.

As for my client, I sincerely wish someone like me runs into him and tells him what a foolhardy decision he has made, not because then he will understand what I did for him was right, but so that he doesn't make such mistakes again.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Films I've watched recently

Just some of the films I've watched recently:

One flew over the cuckoo's nest
Beautiful, especially Jack Nicholson & the superb & haunting soundtrack. Must watch!

Taxi Driver
This one had a different kinda effect on me. I didn't really like it, but it did leave an indelible impression. De Niro is very good and again, the soundtrack, specially the background score made it a good package. Can't get over the fact how pretty Cybill Shepherd looks in this one, considering all my memories of her were from Moonlighting!

V for Vendetta
Natalie Portman is not only a stunner, she can act as well! I liked the script, reminded me of Orwell's 1984. Not bad at all! Hugo Weaving does a phenomenal job as well.

Love Story
Having read the book by Erich Segal, I wanted to see the movie adaptation. It didnt live upto expectations at all. Its a bad attempt, the only saving grace being the Love Story theme music every now & then. Everybody who's read the book would hopefully concur its a downer, the movie adaptation that is. Am waiting to lay my hands on the movie adaptation of The Fountainhead now. Just out of curiosity, to see how Howard Roark's buildings would look like on screen!!!


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Death of a Salesman

They say I am not cut out for sales. That I do not have that fire (whatever that means). They say I work for my clients, I make investment decision solely keeping their needs in mind, which does not necessarily take the organisational needs in mind.

I say, so be it. I do not take that as criticism. Thats more like a compliment; at least I dont sleep every night with curses from clients ravaging my peace; with the thoughts of how clients' hard earned money is being put to waste.

I aint no salesman if this is what salesmen are supposed to do. And I'm sure I wont last long like this. Which brings me to the question again - What am I supposed to do?!?!?!?

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Ideal Job

You might say this sounds like utopia. But what if your job was something like the first two to three months of joining a company and the last one or two months (like serving notice)?!?!!?

Thats what I call an ideal workplace life! The honeymoon never ceases...

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Yes or Know

When you know they know, its best they know you know.

When they know you know, its best they know you know they know.

When you know they know you know, its best they know you know they know.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Should I beware?

Been reading a lot on how blogs have come to define their authors and how a lot of agencies track blogs to better understand a person and all. What I'm trying to say is this - recruitment agencies / job consultants etc now have another tool for their background check of a candidate - blog!

So I was just wondering if and when some recruiter does get to see what kind of emotional outbursts (mostly related to my pathetic work life) Ive been piling up on this blog; he/she will definitely have a good idea who I am and what I've been subject to. They can write me off by saying I crumble under pressure, am stressed out, cannot work under chaos, am unsettled etc. Which is true for most of us, right? Its just that I use this blog as a famed punching doll, to vent out my frustrations and to bare all my work life emotions in front of everybody at the risk of appearing weak & vulnerable.
So be it.

I have been giving serious thought to go see a career counsellor and find out what I'm really supposed to do with my life. The resolve is stronger with support from Sid, who claims he is in the same boat as me. Of course he is still single which makes him much less of a competition when it comes to finding a true calling; i mean he still has time, lots of it! There are times when I think all my creative juices & sense of humour etc have dried up in this never ending quest for that one more sale, that push for incremental target achievement and all that crap at work. I mean I wanted to be in media & advertising for god sake!! What the hell am I doing here in a BANK!?!?! And then there are times when I get my pay cheque and am led into believing I am bound to this life, this ever repeating sequence of 24 hours every day rut in which I am just rotting. I've heard a lot from a lot of people that this shit happens to all of us, and one gets out of this eventually but frankly this has taken so long with me I think I will remain in this forever.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Toota Sanganak

Thats devnagari for a broken computer. Its been more than 3 long days since I used my PC - its broken. Lots of things which seem wrong with it. All I hope is the data remain intact. You know, with all those endless searches on the world wide web trying to fill up my 80 GB SATA, I won't wanna lose out on any of that.

Pakistan is going to fight it out with the Windies tonight (at least here in India) for the opening match of the 2007 World Cup. The timing couldn't have been better - matches start around 7 p.m.!!!! I guess a DTH service on a new LCD / Plasma TV would well be worth it, wotsay? Aaah, if only chlorophyll had monetary value!

Have you ever had this feeling when you are blogging and dont knwo what to write? I have this now. So..... what should we write here....... ummmm..... how do I fill up this window with characters..... erm.... well, yea... cigarettes prices have increased in Indi after the Budget. The once Rs 2/stick Wills Navy Cut is now Rs 3!! Benson Hedges Lights is still an afordable Rs 4/stick.

Have I lost it yet? What else...hmmmm.... ,..

Monday, March 12, 2007

In my spare time I like making models on personal investing, trading strategies, financial goal mapping, financial plans , investments plans etcetera.
One of these which I'm trying to use myself and tweak it regularly is what I call the 10% trading strategy. It addresses 3 different scenarios basically with my supposed market reactions and what the investor (me in this case) can go about doing. As you can see its still primitive and the various permutations / combinations can be dizzying, but for simplicity this is how I would go about. Here it is:

Needless to say it does not take into account the vagaries of the markets in entirety. What this manages to achieve though, is the fact that trading demands consistency and careful monitoring with Stop Losses. After all, if it was easy, everybody would have been minting money by trading on the markets.

Thursday, March 08, 2007


Selling with passion - that was the topic of a training I attended yesterday. It was mostly global gyaan, with a few sales closes, the process etc thrown in. Not bad, but not very good either. Kunal recently suggested a career move - out of banking, id est. Come to think of it, its no big deal for me what with this being my 3rd job in as many years! Another change... well, lets see. Apparently the fact that I have an IT degree apart from the quintissential MBA may just help me get that. Fancy titles, though - Consultant / Analyst etc. Having thought about it and after discussing over it, I guess why not. But before that, let me do all I haven't done while I've been here in banking. Let me go about ruthless, persevering selling to the hilt before taking a bow, if at all!

No, no, no. I haven't decided to move on, its just a thought, a very interesting one at that. So I'm embarking on doing just that. Give me a week and I will update you with how it went. And all this while I thought I was an advisor...

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Well, come back (or Welcome Back)

...after all, its your own blog, your puching doll. So I'm back at doing what I am best known to..on this blog, that is. WHINING!

There are different kinds of pressures but I would like to demarcate them into two broadly. One is when you dont have the stuff and are expected to deliver/succeed nonetheless.

The second is when you are provided with the stuff, and you TAKE on pressure yourself so that it doesnt come to you later. Does this make sense at all? I think it does...

I have been plagued with pressures throughout my life, yes sir, I'm a regular pressure cooker. So what if it doesnt show; I'm adept at masking. Presently I'm stuck with the 2nd kind of pressure which has a judicious mix of the 1st one but mostly its pressure nonetheless. Needless to say I hate it. Just for update sake, I've been bumped off to a suburban branch from the Central office where I started working here. Good, bad I don't know. But it sure sucks. Its like joining a new company altogether. Completely new people, hostility, suspicion gets the better of you soon. It has, actually. That is why I feel so "at ease" when Im here in the Central office. As if I'm home. You remember the rut I used to write about? Its the same here. Thats how my career seems to be moving as well(not moving as in moving forward). My first job was at CP, 2nd at Noida, 3rd again at CP and in the middle of this one I have been bumped off again to Noida!!!

Some positives though, my wife's started working again; she had quit when I quit ICICI in June 2006 and has been selective in accepting offers subsequently. But I guess frustration got the better of her and she landed up doing a 10 to 7 in Gurgaon!!! Yippeeee we are DINKS now.

You know what, I don't feel like blogging now, will be back later.