January 31, 2008, 7:00 am

My MBA Grades

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: MBA

I know, we are already at the end of January, but I just received my MBA grades last week. Teachers are pretty fast when it comes down to giving your projects to do, but they are taking their sweet time to review them! On the other side, I must admit that looking over a 100 pages + document may take a while. At least they wrote some comments along with the marks we received.


Finance: A

I must admit that I really enjoyed this class. We were learning how to asses the net present value of any financial project. The interesting part it was the final assignment. We had to evaluate the value of branch relocation. We had access to all the information from the accounting department and we were able to analyze and determine if the decision was legitimate.

We then realized that even though the project was making absolute sense for several reasons, minimal work has been done in order to make the decision. In fact, we the information we had, the net present value of the project was negative. They basically managed the numbers a different way than us to present a positive return. However, the work that was done was definitely insufficient. This was an interesting gap between the theory and the reality!

IT Management: A

Let just say that it was not my favorite class but I still worked my way out. However I am in a better position now to understand why the IT people are always in conflict with the management. It is definitely two different schools of thoughts.

Organizational Behaviors: A

Yeah baby! 3 A’s for my first semester! This is the class where we had to work the most for our marks. Who would believe that a regular paper (we had 2 to write over the session) should be around 20 pages? Well it was the case for this teacher! I think I wrote over 70 pages for this course alone!

On the other side, I really liked it and I learned a lot about how people react and why they react in certain situations. It was quite a challenge but I will definitely remember something from this teacher!

As you know already, I am already in the middle of my second semester which seems to be as challenging as the first one. While I wrote that MBA grades do not matter, I was happy to be above the average of the class (the average for the 3 classes was B+). The grade itself doesn’t mean much, however, when you compare to your peers, this is where it takes its full meaning.

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January 30, 2008, 7:00 am

The Waiting Time After An Interview

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Career

It has been a few months that I applied for this job and that I had my job interview. In fact, it has been only a few days (a little bit more than a week) but it really seems like 6 months! Every morning I wake up and look at my email to see if I would receive something from my “future” employer. Every time the phone rings, I answer with a big smile hoping it is the phone call I’m waiting for.

insomnia

 

 

While the waiting time before an interview is probably the most stressful period, the waiting time after an interview is the longest time ever. Why? Because you have no clue as of to when you will get an answer. They simply tell you that if you are chosen, they will contact you shortly. What does shortly mean anyway?

 

Did I answer right?

That is probably the most annoying question that is comfortably sitting in my mind since I had my interview. How would I know? Then, to reassure yourself, you are going through the interview a thousand times in your mind. At first, you find that you answered well and everything went accordingly.

 

But after a few days, you start wondering about a few questions. “Hum…. That was not my best answer” or “Arg! I should have answer something else, it would have been much better!”. You get to a point where every word you said is being overanalysed by your overheating brain.

 

I did well, I’m sure they will take me.

Since you are getting closer everyday to a real paranoia, you start thinking that overall, you did well and that they have no other choice but to give you a chance. A chance to show them what you can do, this is all you need, this is all you want. Well you had it already! It was your interview!

 

So here you go; going back and forth with your positive and negative thoughts until you stop sleeping at night. Well you know what? There is not much you can do after the interview! There is no need to stress about something you have no control over. Therefore, I decided to forget about my interview and concentrate on more important stuff; my family! I did right since I got the job after all 😉

 

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January 29, 2008, 7:00 am

The 4 Steps Personal Finance Drilling

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Personal Finance

You will laugh, but the idea of this post comes from my 30 months little boy. He was watching one of his favourite cartoons, Caillou, when I had this flash. In this episode, Caillou and his friends at pre-school were doing a fire drilling with the firemen. Then I thought: “We are making our kids practice in case of an emergency, why don’t we do the same thing as adults?”. Therefore, I decided to write this post on how to prepare you in a case of a finance emergency.


#1: You smell smoke or that something is burning / The market is slowing down and your company is not doing so well.

– Evaluate your situation: How much do you need to live per month? Are they any important expenses coming in the next months? Are you expecting to receive money from another source in a near future? Do you have savings? Do you know people in your work related field? Is your resume up-to-date?

#2: The fire has been confirmed, you now have to evacuate / You just lost your job and your last pay cheque is in the mail.

– Evaluate your options: Is there anywhere in your budget that you can cut temporarily? (entertainment, restaurants, cable, renovation projects, etc.), Can you dip in your savings to compensate the loss of income? Do you have credit facilities that can be used? Can your network help you getting another job? Can you re-mortgage your property or sell assets? Can you go back to school in order to get a better job after?

#3: You are on your way out, reaching the meeting point / You are now jobless, applying for another one.

– Prepare a plan of action: As it is the case for a fire drilling, you need to plan your escape route way before the emergency arises. Establish a list of potential contact or companies you would like to work for. Determine how many letters and resumes you will need to send and how many follow-up you will do on a daily basis. Write down your objective in term of work environment, job description and salary.

#4: You are finally at the meeting point and everybody is safe, now it’s time to go back and review your evacuating process / You now have a new job and it is now time to restructure your plan and financial situation.

– Evaluate and review your plan: As your financial situation evolves over time, your plan needs to be redesign from time to time. By reviewing your plan, you can identify its flaws and bring the necessary modifications. You also need to assess the financial impacts of it on your situation. As it is the case for a fire, you might be saved but that also includes that you had to leave stuff to be burnt behind.

I think the key point is to determine what you can or cannot do if you ever lose your job. Having a plan prior to living this unfortunate event will help you being more proactive and react quickly in order to avoid any severe damage to your financial situation.

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January 28, 2008, 7:00 am

Living In The Fast Lane

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Career

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the job interview I had the other day. This thing all started because I woke up one day with one thing in my mind: I need fresh air. This urge for something new in my job was silently growing within my mind for a while. Am I crazy? Maybe, but I like it! Did I get the job? Yes my friend! The whole process took about two months from the time I was gathering information on this new job and the time I receive my employment letter.

 

My ex-boss (who’s still a very good friend of mine) told me the best advice for my career I ever get. In one of our very first meeting he said:

bubble

“At one point in your career, you will get very comfortable. You will know everybody you are working with, you will master your job and going to work will become as easy as putting peanut butter on your toast in the morning (man I love peanut butter!). This is what I call the “bubble”. Once you are in it, you will not evolve anymore; you will simply keep doing the same thing over and over again. Several people like it, however, they will never get the next promotion ahead. They will stay at their desk for 5, 10 maybe 15 years. So if you want to keep going, you have to constantly break that bubble and destabilize your situation.”

 

This is exactly what I did; creating chaos in order to evolve. There is no possible advancement of any kind in a highly stable environment. I’ve been at the same place for the past 4 years. While I took care of several mandates and had three promotions during that period, there was not much left for me to learn at this place. I was comfortably installed in my bubble.

 

In the upcoming months, I will become a financial planner. In Quebec, it requires several courses and a license to be recognized in this profession. I have already succeeded in all my classes and I am simply missing my license. I know, I am already doing my MBA and I am adding another exam on my To Do’s list. What can I say? I have to do it!

 

This career shift will be very interesting on many levels. I will learn an awful lot of things and meet with a several people. I will even be able to improve my golf skills as it is quite required for this kind of job 😀

 

I always wanted to try this kind of job. It requires a lot of drive and guts to convince people to invest with you. Sometimes, I believe that finance is more taboo than sex! So here I am now, leaving for a new job with great hopes of seeing my wife staying at home for 2009!!

 

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January 26, 2008, 7:00 am

Financial ramblings

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Financial Rambling

Every time I finish a week and I am down to write my financial ramblings, I wonder how come and can still write something new each day after a year of writing. You know what? This is what is beautiful about finance; it evolves constantly. Therefore, there is always something to write about! I must admit that reading about finance and working in the financial industry help a lot when it comes down to writing my blog!



Before I started my 2nd semester of my MBA, I wrote an article about what my game plan would be for this winter. I expected reading everything in the first half to make sure I can concentrate on my projects later on. So far, I have two books completed and going forward and finishing my reading for my last class.

I decided to pick a book every two weeks and go through it as I had only one class. I found it was much easier to make links between chapters and following the author’s main ideas. I hope that everything will go well as I also want to write my Financial Planner exam in June.

I’m about to make a big investment into one of my project and I am quite nervous about it. In fact, I will be buying shares of an existing internet project in order to become a full time partner in this adventure. While I know the people already involved and I have seen consistent cash flow going out of this project, I’m still playing with real money! I guess this is the downside of having an entrepreneurial nature; you are always investing money hoping to make money at one point in time!

RRSP Book Winner!

Congratulation to sundae188 who won the RRSP Book Contest. I’ll shortly contact with that person in order to send the book 🙂 A big thank you to all participants!

Carnival picks:

Carnival of Money Stories at Plonkee Money:

Prodigal Son Finance by Brip Blap.

Festival of Frugality at On Financial Success:

Top Ten Tips – Eating On a Budget by Tip Diva

Carnival of Personal Finance at Green Panda Treehouse:

Do You Really “Earn” Your Investment Income by Four Pillars.

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