Saturday, June 30, 2007

British English vs Malaysian English

Just read this from Kit's Blog and feel like reposting it in my blog.

Who says our English is teruk.? Just see below -

Ours is simple, short, concise, straight-to-point, effective etc:

Britons: I’m sorry, Sir, but we don’t seem to have the sweater you want in your size, but if you give me a moment, I can call the other outlets for you.
Malaysians: No Stock.

Britons: Hello, this is John Smith. Did anyone page for me a few moments ago?
Malaysians: Hello, who page?

Britons: Excuse me, I’d like to get by. Would you please make way?
Malaysians: S-kew me

Britons: Hey, put your wallet away, this drink is on me.
Malaysians:No-need, lah.

Britons: Excuse me, but do you think it would be possible for me to enter through this door?Malaysians: (pointing the door) can ar?

Britons: Please make yourself right at home.
Malaysians: Don’t be shy, lah!

Britons: I don’t recall you giving me the money.
Malaysians: Where got?

Britons: I’d prefer not to do that, if you don’t mind.
Malaysians: Don’t want la…

Britons: Err. Tom, I have to stop you there. I understand where you’re coming from, but I really have to disagree with what you said about the issue.
Malaysians: You mad, ah?

Britons: Excuse me, but could you please lower your voice, I’m trying to concentrate over here.
Malaysians: Shut up lah!

Britons: Excuse me, but I noticed you staring at me for some time.. Do I know you?
Malaysians: See what, see what?

Britons: We seem to be in a bit of a predicament at the moment.
Malaysians: Die-lah!!

Britons: Will someone tell me what has just happened?
Malaysians: Wat happen Why like that….

Britons: This isn’t the way to do it, here let me show you.
Malaysians: like that also don’t know how to do!!!!

Britons: Will someone tell me what has just happened?
Malaysians: Wat happen Why like that….

Britons: This isn’t the way to do it, here let me show you.
Malaysians: like that also don’t know how to do!!!!

Britons: Would you mind not disturbing me
Malaysians: Celaka u

Briton: Where is the leak? I shall ask the Works Minister to look into it.
Malaysian: STUPID, STUPID, STUPID question. Where got “bocor” ?


Warren Buffett

There was a one hour interview on CNBC with Warren Buffet, the second
richest man who has donated $31 billion to charity. Here are some very
interesting aspects of his life:

1. He bought his first share at age 11 and he now regrets that he started too late!
2. He bought a small farm at age 14 with savings from delivering newspapers.
3. He still lives in the same small 3-bedroom house in mid-town Omaha,
that he bought after he got married 50 years ago. He says that he has
everything he needs in that house. His house does not have a wall or a fence.
4. He drives his own car everywhere and does not have a driver or security people around him.
5. He never travels by private jet, although he owns the world's largest private jet company.
6. His company, Berkshire Hathaway, owns 63 companies.
He writes only one letter each year to the CEOs of these companies, giving them goals
for the year. He never holds meetings or calls them on a regular basis.
He has given his CEO's only two rules. Rule number 1: do not lose any
of your share holder's money. Rule number 2: Do not forget rule number 1.
7. He does not socialize with the high society crowd. His past time
after he gets home is to make himself some pop corn and watch Television.
8. Bill Gates, the world's richest man met him for the first time only
5 years ago. Bill Gates did not think he had anything in common with
Warren Buffet. So he had scheduled his meeting only for half hour. But
when Gates met him, the meeting lasted for ten hours and Bill Gates
became a devotee of Warren Buffet.
9. Warren Buffet does not carry a cell phone, nor has a computer on his desk.

His advice to young people: "Stay away from credit cards and invest in yourself and
A. Money doesn't create man but it is the man who created money.
B. Live your life as simple as you are.
C. Don't do what others say, just listen them, but do what you feel good.
D. Don't go on brand name; just wear those things in which u feel comfortable.
E. Don't waste your money on unnecessary things; just spend on them who really in need rather.
F. After all it's your life then why give chance to others to rule our life."


Friday, June 29, 2007

A step nearer to IB dream!

I know I should be working on all my finance topics and formula derivations now. But i just couldn't help but to leave a short posting here. Basically this whole week, I stayed back late in office to do my research and study the derivatives books i borrowed from library(and also the one from Mr Ng). I'm really lacking in sleep right now.

This whole week I'm on training - "go audit 1" in PWTC. I went back office after my training. I have a whole pile of books on my table. One of the seniors saw this and intro himself. He asked whether I'm taking any exams. I told him that I'm interested in finance and plan to do the CFA paper(actually i plan to do a MSc in Finance, lol). He said that since I'm so into finance, he will try to allocate me to the Investment Bank jobs. I was so happy since I could get some exposure to Investment bank. This was also one of my intentions when I chose to specialise in Financial Services Industry. Hopefully things will go smooth and the manager in Investment Bank will book me!


Sunday, June 24, 2007

Speedcams on LDP

Please note that the LDP highway speed limit will be monitored by the CCTV. The speed limit is 90 kmh and if you go above that at 91 kmh, the camera will auto record and pass to police. The few identified areas where the CCTV is monitoring are as follows:

1) On the overhead pedestrian bridge in front of Kelana Jaya LRT station, monitoring the straight stretch

2) Somewhere near Western Digital (CCTV might be on Western Digital), monitoring the straight stretch in front of the Kelana Jaya Seafood

3) On IKEA, Monitoring straight stretch in front of IKEA and 1 Utama

4) On the double overhead bridge, monitoring the stretch between the Puchong toll and the federal Highway turnoff.

5) In the tunnel near SS2 (please note that the speed limit is 60kmh, not 90 kmh)

Please let your friends know.


Oxford MFE interview

Got this confirmation mail from Lorraine Smith that my interview had been scheduled. And it's on my birthday! 5th July. Hopefully i could get lucky on that day. Actually i chose 3 dates that i'm available and they accidentally(or purposely? After all, they've got my DOB) scheduled the interview on my birthday. The shocking news of this mail is that - I need to call them; not them to call me! Anyway I'm fine with that. Since Maxis is still running the IDD 132 promotion. It's just 20 cents to UK fixed line per minute.

The moment I got this mail, I straight away "google" my interviewer's name - Dr Mirela Predescu and I got her profile here,

Mirela Predescu, University Lecturer in Finance, SAID BUSINESS SCHOOL, OXFORD UNIVERSITY
Mirela Predescu is a University Lecturer in Finance at the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford. She is interested in both empirical and theoretical issues related to credit derivatives and corporate bond markets. Her work, partly joint with John Hull and Alan White, focuses on the pricing of credit derivatives and credit risk management, as well as on the relation between credit markets and other markets. Mirela holds a Ph.D. in Finance from Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto and an M.A. in Economics from the University of Toronto.

Since I could "google" her, I suppose she could do the same thing(google me). This will lead her to my blog. Therefore I shall refrain from blogging any further about the interview. Right now, it's time to prepare. No more entertainment and no more gym for me until my interview/birthday! lol.

Here's the email I received.

21 June 2007

Dear Zhemin

University of Oxford MFE Programme 2007-2008

I am pleased to inform you that I have now scheduled the date and time for your telephone interview, details of which are listed below. Please note that reimbursement cannot be made for any interview expenses incurred.

Faculty Interviewer: Dr Mirela Predescu

Date and time: 5 July 2007 at 10.10am BST
please note the time difference, BST is 1 hour ahead of GMT

Telephone number that you will call at the above date/time: +44 (0) 1865 288933

I would be grateful if you would reply and confirm that you will be able to participate in the phone interview. The interview should last approximately half an hour, and is likely to include technical questions. Please ensure you have allocated an appropriate place to conduct the telephone call.

In mean time, please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

Best wishes

Lorraine C Smith
MFE Admissions
Said Business School
Park End Street
Oxford OX1 1HP

tel: +44(0) 1865 288871
fax: +44(0) 1865 288831


Thursday, June 21, 2007

To MSc or not to MSc?

I got this very relevant article regarding Msc in Finance. If only I come across this earlier, then I would save some time cracking my head thinking of which Msc to go for.

Basically, I got all the top schools correct, as listed in the article. However it’s the second upper tier group of schools which I made a mistake. I should have gone for schools such as Cass, Durham, Warwick(thanks god, I made a last minute decision to apply to Warwick) and ICMA Reading.

Besides the schools listed in the article, someone also commented that the MSc in Finance which has CFA partnership should also be considered

Personally, I would say that you should also consider the CFA accredited degrees. There are 6 in the UK:

University of Exeter, Xfi Centre for Finance and Investment (Exeter, UK) M.Sc. in Finance in Financial Analysis and Fund Management
University of Leicester (Leicester, UK) M.Sc. in Financial Economics
London Business School (London, United Kingdom) Masters in Finance
The University of Oxford's Saïd Business School (Oxford, UK) M.Sc. in Financial Economics University of Reading, ICMA Centre (Reading, United Kingdom) MSc in Investment Management
University of Warwick (Coventry, UK) M.Sc. in Economics and Finance M.Sc. in Finance

This is the article,

To MSc or not to MSc?
If you haven't got a graduate training place, but are desperate to work in banking, will an MSc help you get what you want?
YES, if…

You studied a non-finance degree. If you graduated (or will graduate) in English literature or geography, an MSc in a finance-related subject shows you're keen. "It shows your commitment to the industry," says Julia Barbour, a consultant at finance recruitment firm Cornell Partnership. "You'll be on more solid ground when it's finished."

You have no finance-related work experience. Most students from Continental Europe have both an MSc and financial services work experience. The MSc won't do anything about the work experience but it will make you their academic equal.

You apply to the right school. Plenty of universities offer financial services MScs, but banks only hire from a few of them, and then only from favoured courses. The best universities and courses for a finance-related MSc include:
• the MSc in Finance at Imperial College's Tanaka Business School or its more specialist MSc in Risk Management and Financial Engineering
• the MSc in Financial Mathematics at Warwick
• the Masters in Financial Economics at Oxford University's Said Business School
• the MPhil in Finance at Judge Business School in Cambridge
• the MSc in Finance at the London School of Economics
Cass Business School also offers a number of MSc courses, which are viewed quite favourably by banks. And Reading University's ICMA Centre offers a very wide range of specialist programmes, plus its more general flagship MSc in International Securities, Investment and Banking.

You want to go into financial markets (rather than corporate finance). "The increased complexity of financial products means there's likely to be on-going demand for candidates with qualifications like an MSc," says Malcolm Horton, head of European graduate recruitment and development for Lehman Brothers.

You want to work in a hedge fund. As small organisations, hedge funds don't have the training resources of larger banks and are therefore keen on MSc students. "They will only take people with an MSc because they've had the technical training," says Lindsay Bortoluzzi, head of postgraduate employment at Cass Business School in London.

NO, if…
You got a low 2.2 in your first degree. Most big American bulge-bracket banks will discount anyone without a 2.1 degree, even if they have an MSc. However, some European banks will entertain applications from students who have strong A levels and were predicted a 2.1 but didn't quite make it. Unfortunately, they won't go on the record saying who they are. However, a graduate recruiter at one large European bank says, "A 2.1 is not a make or break for us, so an MSc can help. But we are in the minority."

You're innumerate. It's no good doing an MSc if you have the mathematical aptitude of Paris Hilton (who may well be a whiz at stochastic analysis for all we know). But if your maths is that bad you may not get onto an MSc course in the first place.

You want to be a quant. If you fancy being a quant, you're better off going straight into a PhD. Several banks, including JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley, offer specific entry positions for candidates with PhDs in maths, physics or other quantitative disciplines.

You plan to skip the first few years of training and come in at a higher level. You may have forked out many thousands of pounds and studied finance for a whole year, but after doing an MSc most banks will treat you just the same as a graduate with a Bachelor's degree. It's a sad truth, but with banks getting 30 to 40 applications for each analyst they have no need to treat MSc applicants any differently.

You're doing it as a filler and are not sure what you really want to do. "An MSc is a good thing, but what really matters is your motivation and your communication skills," says Lucy Evans, a graduate recruiter at ABN AMRO. "You won't be better equipped if you don't know what you want at the end of the year."


Friday, June 15, 2007

Oxford MFE programme - invite to interview

I just got a mail from Oxford University. i couldn't stop asking myself, "Am I dreaming?" I am shortlisted for interview by Oxford University! I am now very delighted and flattered to get this invitation. I clearly did not expect this. I still have no idea what are my chances of getting into this course but one thing for sure, i will try my best. Maybe I could get some advice from Tony Pua(an oxford alumnus). Will send him a mail soon, or meet him in person if possible. The mail read like this.

Dear Zhemin
I am delighted to inform you that the Admissions Committee has reviewed your application and would like to arrange an interview. If you would like to meet a member of faculty and have your interview in-person, we would be pleased to welcome you at the following event:
Oxford Open Day 22 June 2007
New York Information Event 29 June 2007
New York – interviews only 30 June 2007
If you are unable to attend either of these events then we would be happy to arrange a telephone interview for you. Please confirm on the attached form the dates and times that you will be available for interview. In order to try and secure a place on one of your chosen dates I would be grateful if you could provide as many options as possible. Once I have this information I will make the necessary arrangements and will confirm them with you by email, but please allow a little time to organise these interviews especially if you request a telephone interview.
Alternative interview dates - please see attached sheet
In the event that interviews are conducted on the same day as an open event, members of faculty will also give presentations and host information sessions. If you would like to attend you should register via the School's website You do not have to register if you will only be attending your interview.
Please note that interviews are arranged strictly on the availability of faculty and appointments outside the published dates are unavailable. However, please do not make your travel arrangements or book flights until we confirm your interview date and time.
I look forward to hearing from you. If you have any questions please let me know.
Best wishes

Lorraine C Smith
MFE Admissions
Said Business School
Park End Street
Oxford OX1 1HP

tel: +44(0) 1865 288871
fax: +44(0) 1865 288831


Monday, June 11, 2007

First week in PwC

First week in PwC just couldn’t get better. There is a three day induction course followed by a “go audit fundamental” course by the L&E department. There is absolutely no work for me. What I need to do is just to sit down and pay attention to the instructor(which I fail to do most of the time).

I was lucky to be placed in a group which I find quite happening. They are all quite outgoing and nice persons. Our group is quite a mixture, two from advisory, three from tax department and two from assurance(including me). Now the other 5 “group members” are back at work while I and kw are still attending the “go audit” course. Anyway, we still get to meet up during lunch time and during break time. It’s real fun to st(a chatting software sth like MSN) with them during the day. They create tons of jokes and definitely make my day cheerful.

I would say that I’m pretty impressive with things in PwC. Their database is very strong. You could get all information you need from the regulations(company act, FRS) to the market information(share report and all stuff). There is even an audit guide where you could search for glossary and the steps need to be taken in an audit procedure. To be honest, I start to love this company. Having attending the audit course, I am also looking forward to start work. As an auditor, detecting fraud is part of the job. And I think that detecting fraud is something that I would like to do. Lol. Anyway, our instructor - Ming Chin told that not everybody gets to detect fraud. Only around 10% of the auditors will be lucky(or unlucky) to detect fraud.

I am now seriously considering staying on at PwC and deferring my study plans. I still couldn’t make up my mind. Unless one of the top class universities accepts me, things will be easier as I would definitely go. I also get to know that if you want to be sponsored by PwC for ACCA, you could only start the exam next June. Guess I would be on my own if I decide to stay on and take ACCA. Let’s see how things go by the next few weeks. I’m sure I will hear the decisions for some of the universities.

Last but not least, I also decided to apply to University of Warwick’s MSc in Finance. This course has got a CFA partnership meaning that 70% of the CFA syllabus is embedded in the course. It’s a last minute decision to apply to this university and I need to get all the documents posted by this Saturday when I get back hometown