CFA Exam Level 3 2012… after thoughts

June 3, 2012 19 comments

Last year, I promised to write a summary of Readings while preparing for Level 3, I barely had enough time to go over the material once…

My preparation was at best 3 weeks of total studying time:

  • Schweser notes and videos
  • CFA mock exam
  • 2 Schweser exams which were much more difficult than the mock exam


I think the exam was fair – I can’t say that it was too easy or difficult, well balanced I think.

For me the morning session was easier than afternoon, perhaps because of the different exam format is ‘feels’ easier…

  • With short essays, you write what you think is the best and the correct answer… but because of the subjective nature of answers, you are not sure if your answer is correct… however, I think it does increase your confidence…

I thought the afternoon session was difficult mostly because I wasn’t well prepared…

  • I didn’t expect some material to show up but it did… (especially in Ethics & AI)
  • I don’t think there were many tricky questions (like for Level 2 2011)
  • I don’t know what was new material vs 2011 so not sure if the new material was covered

I don’t think my preparation approach was right besides the obvious insufficient time, I don’t recollect reading some of the exam questions in Schweser notes or videos.

I give my self a slightly more than 50% chance of passing…

What did you think?


Nitrogen pure play stocks – TNH, UAN, RNF

January 12, 2012 Leave a comment

I have been watching these 3 pure play nitrogen fertilizer stocks…

Terra Nitrogen Co. LP (TNH), CVR Partners (UAN), Rentech Nitrogen Partners (RNF)…

All three had a very good run since the beginning of the year to until about Monday, 9 Jan 2012… gaining anywhere from 11-22% in 5 days… however, they have fallen sharply in the past couple days…

in my opinion, the up trend is likely to continue…

TNH – $166-170 entry point


UAN – I am inclined to wait for a little bit even though the recent drop has retraced the 50% fibonacci levels… I think good entry points in the $25 area..

RNF – this is a new issue and hasn’t traded long enough to deduce anything meaningful… although based on the recent run-up, I want to wait till it drops to the 50% fibonacci level around $18


Silver heading to 25

December 28, 2011 Leave a comment

I’m using SLV as a proxy for Silver… SLV is down huge on above average volume when the overall trading volume is fairly low…

· 50% Fibonacci retracement for the run from early 2009 to the May 2011 peak is around $25

· 25 is a nice round number to anchor psychologically

· next major support is also at 25

Link fest – Will the ECB backdoor bailout work?

December 19, 2011 Leave a comment

How big could the Sarko trade go? (FT Alphaville)

It is finally being recognized that the eurozone made a major policy breakthrough (Marginal Revolution)

ECB backdoor bailout? (Business Insider, Modeled Behaviour)

Why ECB lending won’t solve the euro crisis (Felix Salmon)

Banks resist European pressure to buy government debt (IFRE)


sitting out, staying put and clarity of thought

October 7, 2011 2 comments

I have been meaning to write this post for the last few days… and have finally found the time.

At the beginning of stock market decline in Aug, I was about 7% stocks, 8% bonds and 85% cash… today I’m about 17% stocks, 8% bonds & 75% cash…

A lot of the blogs/comments I have read over the past two years and particularly during the stock market decline in Aug/Sep made me really realize the virtue and reward of staying out and staying put…

Knowing when to sit out and watch the market from the side lines is just as important as finding good trade setups and investment ideas… if you don’t find any, be patient, read/study, analyze and pound when the time is right… I have this much from many bloggers particularly the folks on Stocktwits.

Sitting out has tremendous benefits:

  • I didn’t not feel the need to look at my portfolio 3 times a day even after the market dropped 10% and was dropping more… more time to do things I want to do
  • I was able to consume and more importantly comprehend whatever I read, be it MSM or the very informative, educational and mostly unbiased financial/econo-blogosphere – it is natural to comprehend less when you are worried.
  • I had all the time in the world to read about topics I was interested in rather than looking for topics/posts that would make me feel better and confirm my supposed rationale for holding stocks
  • I could analyze a trade or an investment idea with fewer inherent biases

Sitting out is one of the hardest things to do possibly because of the fear of missing out… overcome the fear of missing out and you will have a clearer mind to analyze more opportunities ahead.

Range bound markets in WTI?

October 7, 2011 1 comment

Oil – expect to be range bound between 75-90

Disclosure: No position in oil or oil stocks

TSX trading near 2-year low… 11000 next downside target?

September 29, 2011 Leave a comment

Daily Chart:

Weekly chart: