It is New Year’s Day and a perfect time to reflect on the past and plan for the future.
After 19 months of working for a top Investment bank (see my LinkedIn for details), I am leaving for the next step of the adventure. I have not been able to talk at all about what I have been doing as I had to sign a contract to which prohibits me from discussing anything, hence the lack of posts about much over the last year or so.
Blogs are actively monitored for keywords about what I am working on and the banks name etc.
However, I now have two weeks left and then I’m back on my own.
Over the last year, I have been working solidly on understanding how an Investment bank works. I have been working in compliance and reference data and have been able to stand at the centre of the Bank to see how it all fits together. I have had visibility (from a distance) into everything from trading to personal wealth management, regulatory and compliance to customer data security etc. I have done as many courses as humanly possible and learnt as much as I can from this role.
Financially, the last two years have been great. I have put all available cash into my deposit and stamp duty etc. to buy my family house although I do still owe my business a sizeable chunk and we are still slightly in the risk zone as we don’t have any cash buffer now. However, I feel it is a high hurdle that has been cleared.
I have been dabbling in trading here and there, mostly trying different strategies such as hedging, trying to get a market safe position or build in asymmetric risk. I have been looking for plunging opportunities and trying to build a world view. I have not made any money doing this.
Skills wise, I have hugely increased my technical skills which allow me to use these both in getting new jobs and in building a trading engine.
On the path to financial freedom, we have progressed along the slow path quite significantly. (The slow path being the sure way to be financially free with low risk and taking about 20 years, we have now completed 2 of them!)
I have been gathering information and skills to help me define and better plan for a medium and higher risk but shorter paths too.
Personally speaking, I have had another child, who is now 3 months old. He is healthy and gorgeous. My other boy is also doing very well and started Kindergarten at the Steiner school walking distance from our house.
The present is taken up with finding a new role for February and learning more skills to prepare me for low latency real time front office trading work. I am currently reading a selection of programming books as well as this excellent book about the trading lifecycle.
Most of time is spent looking after children too. This is not to be under estimated when planning.
I am also planning and buying several different insurances to cover me and my family in the event is disasters. I see this as a key part of the financially free strategy.
The future for this year looks very promising. Work seems to be abundant. Providing the global economy hangs together long enough for me to get a buffer together and I don’t find myself out of work for long periods, I should do very well.
The immediate future is finding the right contract to progress my learning about the frontline of trading. Ideally this will be in a hedge fund or proprietary trading desk in an Investment bank.
As well as getting into that, my resolution is to provide one revenue stream by the end of 2012. I would like to reduce the burden of only having one income stream. I see this most likely being some form of trading software tools I can provide on subscription to customers.
I will continue to pay down my debt to my company and then to build a buffer of cash. I don’t expect this year will allow me to have anything spare for investments. If I can build back a buffer of six months by the end of the year I will be very happy with that.