Oh, the places you’ll go

To quote the title of a great book by Dr. Seuss, “Oh, the places you’ll go”.

Thanks to The Ohio State University’s partnership with the CFA Society of Columbus, I have had the opportunity that is given to very few that are in school. At the beginning of the year, I signed up for a student membership to the society for (a low rate of) $65. This has allowed me to attend a dinner and a lunch with them. At these events, I’ve had the opportunity to network with investment professionals. They have ranged from a sell side analyst at Wells Fargo to buy side analysts at STRS to an interest rate derivatives trader at Huntington. All of them have been more than willing to share their experiences and talk about nearly anything.

The best part of the society meetings are the speakers. So far I have had the luxury to hear John Rodgers and Abby Joseph Cohen. Mr. Rodgers is the President and CEO of the CFA Institute. He spoke about how important ethics are. As having passed the CFA Level I exam, I know that there is strong emphasis on ethics. He also talked about the future goals of the Institute. I even had the opportunity to talk to him for a few minutes after the presentation. That was a top 5 moment of my life.

Abby Joseph Cohen was another great speaker. With her working experience from Goldman Sachs, she was the smartest person in the room from my perspective. Ms. Cohen talked about economic cycles and the current recession. My biggest takeaway from her was how she framed the current unemployment problem. From the charts that were show, it looked like a structural shift (which was was longer) combined with cyclical unemployment (higher numbers) .