Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Best Investment Banking Resume – Write Only What is Wanted

Many a time I receive resumes of 11 pages. I was wondering if Warren Buffett’s resume is that long.

Obviously, many candidates want to include as much information as possible, thinking that it will impress the hiring manager. Regretfully I have to tell this is not a good strategy, especially in the busy investment banking world. The art of resume writing is to consider what the reader wants to know, and NOT what you want to tell.

To determine what to include in your resume is the first step. Next is to determine the sequence of presentation. Last is to present in a simple and effective layout.

I am a headhunter, my way of reading a resume is very much similar to that of hiring managers. Let me tell you what information I immediately want to know when reading a resume.

Experienced hire – what is your current job, with whom and for how long. If that satisfies me, I’ll continue look at your work history and educational credentials.

Entry-level hire – what college do you graduate from, majoring in what subject and your GPA. If that satisfies me, I’ll continue to see if you have any intern experience that sounds interesting.

Determine what is wanted and what is not
Do a thorough appraisal of yourself, and see what is unique about yourself and that would catch the eyes of the hiring managers. Here are some life examples.

- Straight A’s in O-level and A-level exams, school topper throughout
- Work 40+ hours/week to finance education without family gifts or loans
- Obtain five professional qualifications in seven years time

I have extracted these from my candidates’ resumes. They are so impressive and made me remember them. I like especially the guy who had to work 40+ hours per week to finance his own education however graduated from Stanford with many other extra curricular activities.

Don’t waste time in writing unwanted information, such as:

- Married to Anna (my first and only wife) for 17 years
- Married to Anna, with two kids, Natalie (born on 11 August 02), Nicholas (born on 11 September 05)
- Do not write your employers' names, display their company logos instead

Don’t’ laugh, these are true examples extracted from the daily resumes that I read, and this is only a short list. I am sure nobody wants to know how many times you’ve been married. Even if you want to present your family status, you don’t need to tell your kids’ birthdays. Colour logos can only beautify your resume, however won’t gain you extra credit. Don’t waste time on them.

Exercise – to write your best investment banking resume:
- Review yourself and look for your personal USP (unique selling point)
- Content scan your resume and filter those unwanted and unnecessary information

Test of your knowledge on my blog:
What is my suggested length of an ideal investment banking resume?
A. One page
B. One and a half page
C. Two pages

Recommended career tools:

Amazing Resume Creator
A DIY resume is good enough for an entry level job. Investment bankers always want the best out of the best. To stand out from the crowd, get Jimmy Sweeney’s help to craft a best resume for yourself.

Amazing Cover Letter
A powerful cover letter is the perfect partner of your resume. Personalize and customize your amazing cover letter with Jimmy Sweeney’s help.

Investment Banking Resume Writing

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Investment - Start Young

I am not the only one in favour of the idea of ‘start investing young’.

Many believe that starting young will lead to a better quality life financially, which is true. I believe in starting young because it is an important step in building an investment banking career.

Young Investor – When to start?
According to
James Glassman, start young is good, at birth is nice. I come across one of his articles in which he describes the seven rules for investing young. The most predominant factor is ‘to start young’.

Investment – What are the Benefits of Starting Young?
If you start young and have the right strategy, you don’t really have to worry about money in your life.

If you start young and get to know the market well ahead of your peers, you have a competitive advantage when starting an investment banking career.

If you start young, you don’t necessarily have to work for others. Like Tim Sykes, Michael Stahl and the TeenAnalyst trio, they are the bosses of themselves even before graduating.

If you start young, you are on the track to retire young and retire rich.

Investment Banking Career – Best to Start Young
Of course not at birth, however the younger the better. Though there are rare cases that some successful investment bankers didn’t start young and didn’t come from a related educational background, it is important that you get yourself acquainted to the market and make your investment banking resume unique and outstanding.

Are you set to build an investment banking career?

Recommended Career Tools
These career tools are seriously short-listed by Anna Maria D'Souza for those who serious want to start an investment banking career.

Amazing Cover Letters
Amazing Resume Creator
Secret Career Document

How to bring the concept of ‘investment’ into the life of a young person?
Make it a gift – if you have a teenage child, or want to encourage any young person to invest. Here’s a true story.

My boss has a friend whose daughter is also called Anna. On Anna’s 12th birthday, my boss bought her 100 shares of Esprit as a gift. Esprit was also listed in Hong Kong, so I copied his idea and bought some Esprit shares for my own birthday. In January 2004, the share price was HK$24.5 and today it closes at HK$120. While Anna is only 16 now, she already sees the power of investment and starts to make some trades on herself, though she hasn’t decided to make herself an investment banker.

Interest statement: Anna Maria D’Souza is not a current share holder of Esprit.

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Investment Banking Career

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Top Earners at Investment Banks

As bonus announcement period is approaching, let’s review the top earners among investment banks in 2006.

Do You Want to be An Investment Bank CEO Or a Trader?
Guess who’s making a 9-digit income – a CEO or a trader.
Read this post. Also read this.

Top Players at Top Investment Bank - Goldman Sachs - 2006
Driss Ben-Brahim – proprietary trader – London
Pierre-Henri Flamand – principal strategies trader - London
Morgan Sze – principal strategies trader – Hong Kong
Read details

Morgan Sze
City: Hong Kong
Firm: Goldman Sachs
Age: 41
Estimated Income: $75-$100 million

Source: Trader Daily, April 2007

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How Much Does a CEO Earn?
In my last post, I mentioned the recently retired ANZ CEO John McFarlane. Rarely a CEO’s employment contract is published, but here is Mr. McFarlane’s.

Key terms of Mr. McFarlane’s contract extension are:
• a one-year extension to Mr. McFarlane’s existing contract until 30 September 2007
• fixed annual remuneration of $2,000,000
• target variable annual remuneration of $2,000,000 linked to annual performance
• long-term incentives, subject to shareholder approval at ANZ’s 2004 Annual General Meeting, comprising 175,000 Performance Shares. The shares will vest, subject to achieving performance hurdles in the period from 31 December 2006 to 31 December 2009. The total value of the proposed grant is estimated to be $2,500,000.

Source: ANZ press release 26 October 2004

Are you set to start an investment banking career?

Recommended Career Tools

These career tools are seriously short-listed by Anna Maria D'Souza for those who serious want to start an investment banking career.

Investment Banking Interview Guide
Amazing Cover Letters
Amazing Resume Creator
Secret Career Document

Investment Banking Salary

Friday, October 19, 2007

Investment Banking Career - Start Young Or Not?

Retiring ANZ Chief On Carving Your Own Path
Though I believe firmly that it is important to start young if you want to build an investment banking career, there are exceptions. If you feel you want to join the field, do it.

John McFarlane, the ANZ CEO who stepped down by September 30, 2007, started his career at Ford Motors.

What Did John McFarlane Tell Graduates?
Here is an extraction of an interview published by Wall Street Journal on October 8, 2007 – the full article is only available to pay subscribers. Trying not to violate the copy right law, I can’t send you a link to read the full article, but extracted some content of interest to my readers.

WSJ: What was your first job and what did you learn from it?

Mr. McFarlane: My first job was in the production area of Ford Motor Co. in England where I was a graduate trainee in 1969. I don't think you'll find tougher circumstances, so everything after that was much easier. But I learned about manufacturing, operation, cost control, and purchasing. I learned that I didn't want to be in manufacturing, and I went and did my M.B.A.

WSJ: Do you think people should go to business school or skip the M.B.A.?

Mr. McFarlane: Going to a quality business school does matter. It teaches you the language of business and gives you an insight into all aspects of business, so that you aren't likely to come across any problem of which you don't have at least a basic awareness.

WSJ: What would you tell someone starting out in your field?

Mr. McFarlane: In my conversations with graduates, one thing that often comes up is how to find a good balance between work and life. I simply say get a life. Work is important, but there are other things that are more important.

The other question is how to succeed. Essentially this is ensuring you are passionate about what you are doing and that you are good at it.

About John McFarlane – A Short Bio
Born in Dumfries, Scotland, in 1947, Mr. McFarlane was educated at Dumfries Academy, later gaining an MA from the University of Edinburgh and an MBA from Cranfield. He advanced his finance studies at the London Business School.

Mr. McFarlane began his career in manufacturing with Ford of Europe in 1969, followed by a 31-year career in banking in Europe, Asia and Australia. Following 18 years with Citibank, ultimately as head of Citibank in the UK and Ireland, he became Group Executive Director of Standard Chartered in 1993, based in London and Hong Kong, and in 1997, became CEO of ANZ. He lives in Melbourne.
Source: ANZ website (published until September 30, 2007)

Recommended Career Tools
These career tools are seriously short-listed by Anna Maria D'Souza for those who serious want to start an investment banking career.

Investment Banking Interview Guide
Amazing Cover Letters
Amazing Resume Creator
Secret Career Document

Investment Banking Career

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Young Investors Educating Other Young People to Invest

Today I want to introduce three successful young investors – who have the same mission – educating other teenagers to invest.

What Were You Doing at the Age of 14?
Other than going to school, Chris Stallman (22), Dan Schuster (21) and Danny Miliaresis (19) were also investing. Other than that, they even establish
Teenanalyst.com to educate other teens to invest.

This is not an easy task at all. I am completely impressed by the job done by these three young men.

About TeenAnalyst.com and the Teen Trio
In April 1999, three teenagers from Bourbonnais, Illinois decided to create a print newsletter that would educate teens about the stock market… Now in its fifth year, TeenAnalyst.com has helped educate over 600,000 young investors (and adults) across the country.

Take a look at the teen trio’s bios.
Chris Stallman
Dan Schuster
Danny Miliaresis

Your Own Investment vs Investment Banking Career
Get to know about investing is no better than getting hands-on investment experience. If you aim at building an investment banking career, start investing as early as you can. Make yourself a successful young investor before you step into any position in an investment bank. If you don’t want to risk your money, take a look at the Summer Stock Contest.

TeenAnalyst Summer Stock Contest
TeenAnalyst has a
Summer Stock contest which runs from April 10th until August 31st. The person with the highest return will have themselves featured on their website!

FREE stock quote
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TeenAnalyst Resume Writing Tips
If you are writing your investment banking resume, you should read the TeenAnalyst’s tips in addition to my tips in this blog.

I like their style – short, precise and direct to the point. Though they are not fully investment banking focused, it will certainly add value to your resume writing.

* Stress Your Strengths
* Make it Neat
* Keep it Reasonably Short
* Always Include Your Contact Information

Recommended Career Tools
These career tools are seriously short-listed by Anna Maria D'Souza for those who serious want to start an investment banking career.

Amazing Cover Letters
Amazing Resume Creator

Secret Career Document
Subscribe now to Forbes Magazine!

Young Investor

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Build An Investment Banking Career – Start Young

Some investment bankers are very good at investing, but they don’t care to or they don’t know how to tell/educate others to invest.

There is an unusual talent, whom not only start investing before his teenage, he even thought of educating other young people to do so. And he did it successfully.

Be a Successful Young Investor
Whether you decide to work for investment banks or for yourself, getting your feet wet on investment is an important step. The earlier to start, the better. Get yourself acquainted to the market will highly add value to your resume as well as during an interview.

About Michael Stahl and StreetSage
Michael is a seasoned young investor who began investing in the 4th grade. At 22, he became widely respected for his knowledge of finance and entrepreneurship. Mike founded the StreetSage in July 2001 with a mission of "To improve financial literacy among young adults through novel approaches of practical, interactive education."

Michael Stahl and StreetSage have been featured in the Wall Street Journal. Mike has appeared on CNN/fn and Bloomberg Financial Television, and was even interviewed in Investor's Business Daily and Business Week, for the company’s pioneering work in financial education.

More about the successful young investor – Michael Stahl

Investment Game Blueprint
In 2001, when Michael studied in the dorm room of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, he was committed to finding interesting and enjoyable ways to educate his peers about investments.

Since then the concept has been blueprinted and designed to provide the first teaching tool to accurately illustrate the virtues of long-term investing using a 25-year game-simulation.

Challenge: Turn $10,000 into $100,000 in less than three months
Sound tough? It’s not in the world of StreetSage. That’s because StreetSage is a virtual stock market that simulates 25 years of investing in only 10 weeks.

As a StreetSage investor, you’ll make decisions based on realistic information with realistic results, and you’ll have plenty of time to build wealth… or not. Either way, you’ll gain valuable knowledge about picking, holding, and selling stocks. The experience will serve you well when it’s time to put your own money to work making more in the real world market.
Source: StreetSage

Thought of the Day for Young Investors
From Anna Maria D’Souza

If you don’t want to risk your money, play the free StreetSage game.

Subscribe now to Forbes Magazine!

You don’t have to start as a big-cap investor, Michael Stahl (CEO of StreetSage) started with his little family gift; Tim Sykes (Founder of Cilantro Fund) started with his Bar Mitzvah money. The multi-million dollar fund for the Paradise for Senior Citizens in Finland started with 780 Nokia shares.

Young Investor

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Can Smart Stock Pick Change Life?

Yes, certainly. Clever investors are good at their daily stock pick. Though not every stock they pick make money, but smart stock pick can certainly change life.

I am going to kick off my successful young investors series by telling this story on how smart stock pick changes life.

I used to work for a Finnish company. Therefore I have some knowledge about Finland where this story originates. It is dramatic, but it is true. Many who had heard this story from me, found it amazing and started to look for ways to improve their stock pick skills and investment strategy.

Mysterious Legacy
In 1962, a Finnish businessman named Onni Nurmi died, leaving 780 XXX shares to his home village in his will. Under the terms of Nurmi’s will, the income that they generate is to be used for recreation of the elderly of the municipality of Pukkila, a village about 60 miles north of Helsinki, with fewer than 2,000 inhabitants.

For years, the money went on small treats for the 20 or so elderly residents: marginally better biscuits with the Saturday evening coffee, for instance. Pukkila council, which manages the portfolio, also used the dividends to buy more XXX shares whenever there was a new issue.

The Bequest Sharply Rose in Value by 3,000-fold
The value of Nurmi's gift rose from $30,000 in 1962 to $90 million in 2002. The portfolio now holds 800,000 shares of the same stock. Of course, this was by no means its peak. As for Pukkila, it has become the paradise for senior citizens in Finland.

Pukkila – Paradise for Senior Citizens in Finland
The bountiful dividends have allowed the local authority to arrange for free taxi rides for all Pukkila residents over the age of 65, as well as free physical therapy, the cleaning of television sets to prevent fires, and all manner of other important services that can be seen to promote the well-being of the local elderly, according to the terms of Nurmi’s will.

Each February the senior citizens of Pukkila gather at the village school to celebrate Onni’s day with a concert.

About Onni Nurmi
Onni Nurmi was born just outside Pukkila on October 24, 1885. As a young man, he ran a shop in Pukkila, but the business failed. He borrowed money from his fellow villagers, promising to pay them back with interest as soon as he could, and then, in 1913, alarmed his creditors by leaving suddenly for America. He returned in 1928 as a rich man and paid off all his debts, with humble gratitude and interest included. In 1962 he died, leaving a gift of 780 shares to his fellow villagers.

Nobody knows how Nurmi acquired his wealth in the America. Robbing a bank? Well, not a respectful speculation. I guess he made some smart stock picks at the Wall Street. On his 44th birthday – October 24, 1929 – Wall Street had the most devastating stock market crash in American history. Nurmi returned to Finland just before then and his gift to his fellow villagers was from the stock market. This made me believe firmly that he made his money from his smart stock pick.

What Shares Were the 780 Shares?
Everyone who had heard this story came up with the same question. What share were the 780 shares? Answer is: Nokia. A follow up question: Who made that stock pick decision? Well, I guess Nurmi himself.

About Nokia
Nokia makes mobile phones. However few people know what Nokia made before mobile phone was invented.

In the 60s, when Onni Nurmi purchased the shares, Nokia dabbled in cables and tyres but was famous for the manufacture of wellington boots - not a bad business to be in, given the Finnish climate.

In the mid 80s, Onni Nurmi's bequest began to appreciate quite dramatically as Nokia pioneered the car phone market. Its 1984 Talkman became the in-car must-have for the rich and successful. In 1987, in a decisive move away from gumboots, Nokia invented the Cityman, the world's first mobile phone. It was the size of a loaf of bread but, even so, it generated great excitement; Nokia shares began to surge phenomenally, and continued to do so into the 90s, as the company dominated the mobile phone market.

Nokia's net sales were EUR 41.1 billion in 2006, with an operating profit of EUR 5.5 billion.

Nokia Stock Price Closing
NYSE – $37.25 – October 2, 2007
NYSE – $19.61 – October 2, 2006

Interest Statement: Anna Maria D’Souza is not a shareholder of Nokia.

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