Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Wall Street - Impressive!

I appreciate the wisdom of Finance, but I can confidently say that I am a Finance "admirer" unlike a Finance "Worshiper".

A recent trip to NYC has changed my perception of Finance to some extent. I was most impressed with Wall Street - the architecture, the aura, and the energy around Wall Street is impressive. Although I walked it on a Saturday evening, I can only imagine the hustle-bustle and energy it must have during day-time with a zillion i-bankers/traders hovering the city every day.

I like Wall Street as much as I like being at a beach in Vancouver or being close to the Sea. This is so bizzare. Even as I am writing this sentence, my brain is signaling something is wrong with me! It was one of those "aha" moments, which made me say to myself," wow! wouldn't it be cool to work here?" Oddly enough, architecture is enough to make me make such a statement. I should possibly explore the industry so I can find out whether finance really piques my interest or whether architecture does!

In all fairness, it could very well be the fact that I have been at Rotman - a school well-known for finance, for a year now and have had awesome professors to teach me all along. Possibly and probably, Rotman's influence could be the reason for my very "unlike Shalu" comment!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Shoe Shopping in NYC

Don't you just love it when you find that perfect shoe, which slips in your feet as if it were made only for you? Not only does it fit, but it is also available in six different colors! You rejoice, you can not believe your luck!

I recently had such a lucky encounter at the Nine West store in NYC. Oh! I loved the way these certain sandals looked on my feet. I wanted the pair in all the colors :)

Day 1: I check out at one of the Nine West stores (at 5th Avenue & 40 something Street, location: unusually hidden). Price = $29.99! I can not dream of buying a Nine West shoe for $29.99 in Canada, simply because it is a US retailer and is priced at $129.99+ in Canada. It is priced as a "higher end" brand in Canada, which sucks for us - the Canadians. I stopped myself from buying the shoe on Day 1 due to guilt spasms, which occur when either I have been shopping a LOT, or when I have been SHOE shopping a LOT. Well, let's just say, in the past two months, I have had the privilege of shoe shopping a bit :)

Day 2: I arrive at the Nine West store at a different location (around Union Square) five minutes it is suppose to close. The guilt spasms are gone! I am drooling over these sandals. The person who was helping me out could tell I meant business. He gives me his undivided attention. I try on the sandal in three different colors - I want all of them!

And, just when I said to myself,"boy! I am lucky to find these sandals again", I see the price. The price has gone up from $29.99 to $34.99 for the pair in green and the beige and the white are priced at $39.99! Damn, these retailers! I always encounter a price difference. Why should this instance be any different?

Retailers have an interesting way of pricing their products: in the heart of Union Square i.e. a place with posh restaurants, endless stores, and lots of hustle-bustle, Nine West tags the sandal at a higher price. Furthermore, since Spring is gone, so is the color Green. Obviously, the retailers need to get rid of it. Hence, the green-colored pair is priced lower than the others.

I guess the challenge for the customer is to find the shoe store with the perfect price for the perfect shoe. I wish I had one more day to spend in NYC, I would have gone back to the store on 5th Avenue and bought the shoes at a steal deal.

Oh well! I bought the sandals anyways without any guilt attached to the purchase :)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Second-Year Course Bidding (Part 2)

The results of the bidding were listed today - I got 9/10 courses I bid for!

It feels like a big accomplishment :) Okay, that statement is a little inflated. But, I am quite impressed with my application of game theory in predicting the bidding points. However, there was one course that I really wanted - Design Practicum. I am number 5 on the wait list. I have a feeling I will get it by the time add/drop round finishes.

Key Lessons learnt:
1. Excel Sheet DOES work - I have a whole new level of respect for excel sheets.
2. "I think you will bid blah points..and I know you think I will bid blah points" DOES work to some extent.
3. Mathematics and number tweaking DOES yield desired results.
4. Either bid high or do not bid at all for the courses you REALLY-REALLY want.
5. Either bid extremely low or literally zero for the courses you will not die for.

The bottom line of this exercise was that I was able to balance both, my course load and my desire to take classes with some of the renowned professors at Rotman. In addition, I was able to keep four days free in my schedule (in both, Fall and Spring).

Key Point: I can manage an investment portfolio quite effectively :)