CFA CFA General Sting in the tail

Sting in the tail

  • This topic has 6 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated Apr-17 by Zee Tan.
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    • Marc
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      I have a very complex relationship with the University of Oxford.

      I realize that, as far as opening sentences go, this is not the best way to establish my “man of the people” bona fides, but stick with me because I’m going somewhere. My time at Oxford can best be described as about six weeks of wonderment, followed by two years of misery and in the end both parties were happy to end the relationship. I recognize that the experience was formative and to certain extent necessary, but in a very much “whatever doesn’t kill you…” kind of way. We’ve probably all had similar relationships with a crazy ex.

      There is, however, one aspect of my Oxford experience that I will always look back upon fondly. I had the great fortune to be placed at Worcester College. Granted, Worcester is kind of the ginger step-child of Oxford colleges. Our colours are black and pink, which meant that the highest bidder to sponsor our college rowing team was a gay phone-sex chat line. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it does lack the cachet of, say, a Magic Circle law firm. Worst of all, our most famous alumnus is Rupert Murdoch. If I attend an Oxford Society event, people pity me when they learn that I was at Worcester.

      Beautiful stairwell? Yes. Shame that it was donated by Rupert Murdoch.

      What’s so great about Worcester? It is, to my knowledge, the only Oxford college with a cricket pitch on its grounds. And, as a graduate student, my accommodation was adjacent to said pitch. So, around this time every year, I would be regaled with “the glorious sound of willow on leather.” And that is the subject of today’s post.

      This was pretty much my view for two years.

      Growing up in Canada, my knowledge of cricket was akin to my knowledge of Mars: I knew that it existed, and that certain people were fanatical about it, and that it might even have been something that I was supposed to learn about in school, but its impact on my life was nonexistent. Long story short, living at Worcester gave me the opportunity to develop a fondness for cricket and, in particular, its expressions. One such expression is: “Sting in the tail.”

      Who wants to study Derivatives?

      Oxford? Cricket? Marc’s life? How is any of this remotely related to the CFA? Well, in addition to being the start of cricket season, this is also the time of year that CFA candidates start to burn out. I can tell you that this is exactly what I have been experiencing over the past couple weeks generally and the past couple days in particular.

      Additionally, it is also around this time that we candidates are covering any remaining unexplored parts of the curriculum. Pretty much by definition, if we have yet to explore a reading, it is because we have very little desire to actually read it and it is very tempting be somewhat less diligent when studying these topics.

      Looking back at my Level 2 results, my worst result was in the Portfolio Management section, which also happens to be the final study session of the Level 2 curriculum. Fortunately for me, Portfolio Management only accounts for approximately 105% of the Level 3 curriculum. My guess is that my experience is not unique, and perhaps the 300 hours gurus will be able to verify this hypothesis.

      Anyway, if you are getting frustrated, you are not alone. We have all been there and many of us are there right now. I don’t have a solution or any advice beyond the dreaded: “You’re doing great, just keep at it – there’s not much longer to go.” I can, however, empathize – and there are a number of people in this forum who can make these final 40 or so days somewhat more bearable.

    • artyeasel
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      The emphasis on Portfolio Management is definitely a major make-or-break factor in Level 3. I find PM enjoyable though, so I hope this will work in my favor….

      cool post @marc!

    • AjFinance
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      @Marc Did you get a chance play cricket at Oxford?

    • Marc
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      @AJFinance,

      I did play, but essentially just with the other Canadian, American and European grad students who had never played before and wanted to have a go. I loved it, and I still play in one match a year between Oxford and Cambridge alumni in Toronto, but I would never be confused with an actual cricketer.

    • Zee Tan
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      I loved participating in cricket. And by participating, I mean being one of those guys really far out field, holding a pint and chatting whilst paying no attention to the ball. Then getting too drunk and decided it’d be more fun to play rugby with my team instead, only that I don’t tell them the rules have changed.

      So yeah, I was a casual player, and only with very tolerant team mates.

    • AjFinance
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      @Zee Fielding on the boundary line 😉

    • Zee Tan
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      @AJfinance the rationale to switch to rugby would always stem from the fact that I only have a very basic understanding of cricket and fuzzier sense of logic the more I drink.

      “The goal of me, as part of the bowling side, is to prevent the guy with the bat from scoring runs.”
      “The batting guy scores runs by running to the crease and back to the wicket.”
      “If I therefore stop him from doing so, I stop him from scoring runs.”

      I would therefore proceed to tackle the batsman.

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