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China Investment Co. is hiring

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Here is their web site. Unfortunately the decriptions are in Chinese, and they require resume in Simplified Chinese. The positions are based in Beijing.

Thanks to my wife who found their Ads at WSJ yesterday. It says apply at their web site: . The application deadline is June 28. As name implies, most are financial related postions, but they do have a few law, IT postions as well.

China Investment Co. pic

If you never heard of China Investment Co., they are China sovereign wealth fund who invested in Blackstone (pre-IPO; NY Times) and Morgan Stanley (2007/9; ChinaDaily).

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CFA level I Dec exam result

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This morning, 9:05 AM, CFA Institute web page is again hit hard: I mean all the people are trying to log in and see the results of CFA level I exam last Dec. After about I waited 25 minutes, just before I entering the customer meeting room, I am seeing passing rate: 35%. This is similar to the June passing rate (35%). After I entered the meeting room, entered the user name and password again, and here is the result.

Level 1: Pass

Cool. But the customer meeting started right away, so I have to withhold my feelings. Compared to the June results, I did better on “Financial Reporting & Analysis”, but worse on “Ethical & Professional Standards”.

Here are the details.

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Back from Chicago

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First I would like to say Chicago is freezing cold. I did not spend much time outside, but I did feel it when I was waiting for the bus and train from Midway to hotel (and back). It’s a short trip, 29 hours exactly (4PM yesteday to 9PM today), and the main purpose was taking (retake) CFA I test at McCormick Place, one of the top exhibition center in North America.

Hyatt Regency McCormick Place
It’s decent, although not perfect considering its $179 (pre-tax) room rate. I can hear some noise from the neighbour or the hallway. And the comforter (quilt) in hotels seems always too thin for me. The bed is good (I am thinking buying the Hyatt Grand Bed/mattress now). Two features I found interesing (and useful), the self check out kiosk and the board pass printing kiosk.

fastboard boarding pass print kiosk

CFA test scene

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Got RIM, booked Chicago trip

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Got some RIM stock (Nasdaq: RIMM) yesterday, as I saw some weakness have already priced into its current price. At P/E (ttm) of about 12, and projected single digit growth in 2009 (after serveral years hyper growth), the expectation on the stock is really low these days. At the same time, the newly released Bold (AT&T) and Storm (Verizon) should give them some boost, to counter the attack from 3G Apple iPhone (AT&T) and G Phone (T-Mobile). RIM released its preliminary 3Q results and here is an analyst view (Canaccord).

My Blackberry 8820
I have owned it for almost a month now, and I liked it. I took some advice form Jeremy (blog), and intalled Google Mobile App including GMail Mobile and Google Maps Mobile. Had I have this Google Map, I would not have lost my directions last Friday evening (after a party at friend’s place, and I did not want to ask police because I had a little beer).

Chicago trip
I also booked the Chicago trip for CFA. Since the test will be hold in McCormick Place and I don’t want to drive much, I booked the Hyatt at McCormick Place. To offset the hotel cost, I decided to take the public transportation from Midway airport to the hotel. Seriously I did check the airport shuttle but upon further examination, the travelling time is not as short as public transportation.

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CFA, extend airline membership miles etc.

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schweser CFA pic

Final push for Dec 6 CFA I
Working on Schweser practice exam now. One lesson from last June test is too little practice exam (only one). Lets see if I could complete all 3 practice exams by Dec 5: with careful reviews and reading on weak spots.

Unite miles for WSJ
I got this idea from Kiplinger’s a while ago. And I have used this tip twice now. Last year I used it for my NWA miles (I had 33,000 miles from my China trip a while back); yesterday I used it on United for WSJ subscription. Redeem newspaper magazine can not only make the life of miles longer, but also supported the newspaper/magazine business. Plus, reading from the real paper (vs. computer, blackberry) can get me into better thinking. Also, keep in mind I tried to redeem the miles for air ticket as first choice, the magazine is just a way to burn some miles while extending the life of unused miles.

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June 08 CFA result

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IS out. I could not fall asleep this morning at 5:30 AM, 2.5 hrs before the official score release. Logged into the web, hope to see something, nothing there, watched some Bloomberg TV, and back to sleep (listened to iPod actually because I could not fall asleep).

8:00 AM, back to computer again, could not logged in because too many people trying to connect to CFAInstitute web site. After 15 minutes’ unsuccessful tries, I did logged in. The first page says “June 2008 Pass Rate
Level I Pass Rate: 35%”.

I know I could be right at the threshold. Why not make it 40% so that I could pass 🙂

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CFA testing day experience, thoughts

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(Update June 8 ) Read couple interesting blogs on yesteday CFA exam. This one from Singapore, and another one from China (in Chinese).

(Original June 7) After came back from the Hilton hotel testing center, I went directly to Schnucks store, to get the Stella Artois beer, and 3 oranges. Why 3 oranges, because I saw 4 for $3. Apparently my mind is still stuck in the CFA exam: caculation on net income, cash flow blah blah blah. When I first saw the receipt shows $2.25 for 3 oranges, I laughed to myself: under normal circumstance I would just buy two for $1.50, much easier calculation. Anyway, if you came here looking for test specific things, I am afraid you will be disappointed 🙂

But I still like to write down some of my thoughts for the test and in general.

CFA test grading
(Grading paper for CFA test, source: CFAInstitute).

1) More people attended the test than I thought
In the grand ballroom at Airport Hilton, I counted there are roughly 300 (14*2*12) people for level I and II candidates. Why so many people and what is the composition of test takers? I saw both new graduate, MBA students and professionals. I am the rare amateur. Let me quote the press release from CFAInstitute which shows growth of CFA candidates in year 2008 vs. year 2007:

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Week in review 060108 to 060708

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CFA level I exam
It’s here. I have already sharpened the H2B pencils; prepared the backup battery for calculator. I will check out the test place today. Tomorrow I am going to spend the whole day for the test.

NBA final and European championship soccer
I don’t care too much about the NBA final these days. Although I like Celtics (KG, Allen, Paul) to win. The reason I don’t like NBA is the commericalization, and referees apprearent involvement. On the other hand, I have not watched European championship soccer for a long time, especially after I came to the US. This year ESPN will broadcast the soccer. Here is the TV schedule.

Vanke May 08 sales, Wang Shi apoligize
I have a Google speadsheet to track Vanke monthly sales. May 08 number was down compared to May 07. Also Wang Shi apologized more than 10 times in the annual shareholder meeting for poor choice of words in his blog.

Hillary’s bill

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Crunching time for CFA test

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(Update) Two miners survived after 14 days of Sichuan earthquake. My inspiration.

(Original) You may notice I have not updated my blog as frequently as usual, one reason is I am busying preparing for the CFA level I exam this Saturday. Although the outcome of the test is far too early, let me offer some guidance and thoughts as I am a stock junkie. I did not realize how big the task is untill lately: in other words, I spent too much time on TV, which includes CNBC, election and NBA; I should have spending more time in Starbucks or Panera reading 🙂

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Go for CFA level I test

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I decided to go for the June 2008 CFA level one test, due to several reasons:

1) Learning: I am interested in learning more about finance, since it is not practical for me to enroll a formal academic program, nor do I have the discipline stick to my own study plan. Enrolling in CFA exam and learn from the program itself is better suited for me.

2) Basics: I do have some previous training on economics and accounting, no formal courses on finance (financial management) though. I did took other fundamentals such as statistics in college.

3) Recognition (and potential benifits): I believe CFA will bring some credential for a guy like me if he/she wants to be a fund manager, or managing an investments partnership.

In today’s world, people simply won’t hand money to a person without formal finance education and/or investing experience. Although personally I still believe successful track record in investing matters more (vs. education), when I look at fund managers for my 401k 🙂

schweser CFA study guide

(picture above: Schweser CFA study guide, from