I am currently Vice-President Operations for FINSOC. So I am primarily responsible for the operations side of the society such as events and marketing for the society.
I personally found finance to be very interesting and intellectually stimulating. As such I’m doing majors in Finance and Mathematics which coordinate quite well with each other since quantitative ability is very valuable in such a numerate field such as Finance.
I believe you are currently doing an honours year in Mathematics. Could you walk me through what an additional honours year involves and also explain some of the benefits and relevancy of having strong quantitative skills for finance?
A massive amount of work. Honours primarily involves advanced course work (subjects) and writing a thesis on a topic of your choice. Even though this is a lot of extra work, the current job market is insanely competitive and an honours degree is definitely an advantage.
As I said before, finance is in many aspects applied mathematics so it would definitely help if you have strong quantitative skills. This is especially the case in trading jobs.
Any major goals and targets planned this year for FinSoc?
We are one of the fastest growing societies and I would definitely hope this continues. We do have some awesome events planned for the coming year and my goal is that for everyone who comes to these events would be able to say they got something out of it. Keep your eyes peeled.
With the recent downturn in the global markets due to the GFC, there has been greater concern for the importance of Risk Management. Why do you think this is so and what does this mean for you?
The position of risk management is crucial in a bank. Since a large number of banks are highly geared it is essential the bank does not take on excessive risk. Thus by minimizing risk, it essentially reduces the chances the whole bank would go bankrupt.
The recent financial crisis was a case of inadequate risk management; in particular the misunderstanding of how CDO risk was calculated. Quite a large number of banks overexposed themselves to this and it caused the downfall of many of the greatest Wall Street institutions such as Lehman, Bear Stearns and Merrill.
I personally think it is a tragedy for these firms as they have built up their reputation over decades only for poor risk management to cause them to collapse in a matter of months.
Though for me, I suppose it simply means there are less finance jobs.
For you, what is a sound investment?
Something that generates a lot of free cash flow. Afterall as the saying goes, cash is king. You can’t really go bankrupt if the firm generates a lot of cash.
6 Short Questions:
If you could be an animal what would you be?
Peregrine Falcon. How awesome would it be if you can move at speeds over 320km/h?
Top 3 sports to watch?
Cricket, football and all athletic events with Usain Bolt.
Favourite uni course so far and why?
In extreme hindsight, Accounting 1A. I personally did not enjoy it that much when I did it but this subject has been the most useful university course for me to date.
If you could merge with one person who would it be? If you could acquire one skill what would it be?
Peter Lynch. Need to acquire his awesome investing skills!
I don’t really know… though I would be panicking quite badly if one of my stocks went down 50%.
Do you believe in miracles?