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Friday, 18 April 2014

Six signs you will be rejected when you apply for a job at Goldman Sachs (and how to overcome them)

by Sarah Butcher

It’s not easy to get a job at Goldman Sachs. As we reported earlier this month, the bank rejects 96% of applicants for its analyst (junior) positions and receives 43,000 applications each year. Most applications to ‘the firm’ are clearly wasted, therefore.
How can you establish whether your application to work at Goldman Sachs is destined for electronic annihilation? Before you even bother applying, check yourself against the following points. Any one is likely to be fatal.

1. You think you are God’s gift to banking

Believe it or not, Goldman Sachs likes to hire people who are not big-headed. The people who work there are, “smart and humble” according to one of its MBA recruiters. Lloyd Blankfein himself said last year that Goldman doesn’t like to hire people who are full of themselves or think they deserve to work there. “This is not a place that recruits entitled kids,” said Blankfein.
Instead, it seems that Goldman likes to hire quietly confident types who have overcome a difficult start in life. Curb your self-love. Show that you have achieved things despite, rather than because of your background.

2. You think you want to be an ‘investment banker’

When we spoke to Sarah Harper, Goldman’s head of EMEA recruitment late last year, she said the best applicants to Goldman Sachs are those who have ‘thoroughly researched’ the jobs they’re applying for. It’s no good, therefore, thinking that you want to be an ‘investment banker’ without understanding the derivations of that term (Eg. M&A advisory, equity capital markets, helping junk rated companies to sell debt on public markets).
Before applying, make sure you’ve very clear what you want to do and what it involves. Look at Goldman’s own website and check our Careers in Financial Markets Guide for more information.

3. Your parents filled in your application form with you

As well as looking for people without a sense of entitlement, Harper said Goldman likes to hire ‘self-starters and ‘innovators’. If you’re applying for a graduate job at Goldman Sachs because you’ve been forced into it by your parents, you probably won’t get very far. You’ll need some motivation of your own. It will help if you can demonstrate how motivated you are by pointing to various extra-curricular activities you’ve done and things you’ve achieved without being prompted by anyone else.

4. You prefer to work alone and are not afraid to admit it

Goldman Sachs is all about working together. The culture is one of “teamwork and collaboration” according to Harper. If your application stresses your partiality to solitude and preference for getting things done without the complexities of working with others, you won’t get far. Cut this stuff and emphasize your huge belief in cooperation.

5. You went to a Goldman Sachs recruiting event and said something memorably stupid to a Goldman representative

Like most banks, Goldman tours leading universities to help encourage students to take up financial services careers. Harper told us it’s even possible to secure an interview if you make a strong impression when you meet a Goldman representative on campus. Equally, if you say something memorably stupid or facile to a Goldman representative (“How much money did you make last year?” “What kind of car do you drive?” “Show us your watch,” etc.), your name may be noted and you will be dinged.
Therefore, before you attend any recruiting events, make sure you have some good questions to ask.

6. You’re applying for a trading job and have a degree in history of art

Goldman Sachs hires a lot of people with liberal arts degrees.  The firm itself says that liberal arts graduates constitute the second largest cohort of its employees. However, our own analysis of Goldman hires into from office jobs in London suggests that most new recruits have in fact studied physics, maths or economics and come from universities like UCL, the London School of Economics or Oxford.
If you don’t want to get rejected and you’re a history of art graduate, you may want to take an additional maths qualification, or alter your application to something like human resources…

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Why Hiding Cash at Home is a Huge Mistake

How much cash do you have hidden around your home?

If the answer is more than $100, then you have too much cash in your house.

We all keep a little money on hand for those rare occasions -- like the times you need cash because the neighborhood kid offers to shovel your driveway or mow your lawn. You want to help the enterprising young child but don't want the hassle of driving to an ATM, so you keep some cash around the house. But if you're hiding money in your home because you don't feel it's safe in a bank, you're making a huge mistake.
During the recession, when everyone was panicking because banks were failing, lots of people decided their cash was safer in their home and out of the bank. In reality, that's not true. Here's why:

1. You aren't earning interest on your money.

The best financial reason for not leaving cash at home is that you don't earn any interest on your savings. The interest from a bank may not seem like a lot, especially given low interest rates, but every bit counts.
It's far better to keep your funds tucked away in an Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation-insured bank or credit union where it will earn interest and have the full protection of the FDIC.

Speaking of protection ...

2. You may not be protected if it is stolen or destroyed in the event of a robbery or fire.

Renters and homeowners insurance typically do not have high limits when it comes to protecting the loss or theft of cash within your home. You need to review your policy in order to know what your limit is, but it could be as low as $200.

This means if someone steals your hidden cash, it's most likely gone for good. You won't be reimbursed unless you have a separate rider, which seems silly to pay for just to keep cash in your home.

3. You might accidentally throw it out or leave it behind.

In 2006, a contractor was renovating a bathroom and found $182,000 of Depression-era money in the walls. The moral of the story: Don't hide money in places you won't remember.

It's very easy to forget where you hid your rainy day fund if you are really good at hiding it. The last thing you want to do is forget where it is or accidentally throw it out.

Even if you think you'll remember, someone else find it, or worse, rid of it. In 2009, a woman in Tel Aviv gave her mom a new mattress and threw away the old one. There was just one problem -- the mom had hidden $1 million of her savings inside the old one. Now they just have sad photos of them searching through a dump for the million-dollar mattress.

So do you really need to keep cash at home?
What's the reasoning behind keeping cash at home? Do you think you'll need it for some future need? If you can't think of any immediate reason -- in other words, a need within the next week or so -- then it's not necessary to stash cash at home.

If you need the cash to pay someone for something, consider if it's possible to give the individual a personal check or if you can pay by credit card. Those are far safer alternatives than keeping a wad of cash in your drawer.

However, if you really need to keep cash on hand, put it somewhere you'll remember but thieves won't find. Do a quick search online for some clever hiding spots -- though fair warning there are a few repulsive options -- and then find a way to remind yourself that you hid money there.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Warning: Stocks Will Collapse by 50% in 2014

It is only a matter of time before the stock market plunges by 50% or more, according to several reputable experts.

“We have no right to be surprised by a severe and imminent stock market crash,” explains Mark Spitznagel, a hedge fund manager who is notorious for his hugely profitable billion-dollar bet on the 2008 crisis. “In fact, we must absolutely expect it."

Unfortunately Spitznagel isn’t alone.

“We are in a gigantic financial asset bubble,” warns Swiss adviser and fund manager Marc Faber. “It could burst any day.”

Faber doesn’t hesitate to put the blame squarely on President Obama’s big government policies and the Federal Reserve’s risky low-rate policies, which, he says, “penalize the income earners, the savers who save, your parents — why should your parents be forced to speculate in stocks and in real estate and everything under the sun?”

Billion-dollar investor Warren Buffett is rumored to be preparing for a crash as well. The “Warren Buffett Indicator,” also known as the “Total-Market-Cap to GDP Ratio,” is breaching sell-alert status and a collapse may happen at any moment.

So with an inevitable crash looming, what are Main Street investors to do?

One option is to sell all your stocks and stuff your money under the mattress, and another option is to risk everything and ride out the storm.

But according to Sean Hyman, founder of Absolute Profits, there is a third option.

“There are specific sectors of the market that are all but guaranteed to perform well during the next few months,” Hyman explains. “Getting out of stocks now could be costly.”

How can Hyman be so sure?

He has access to a secret Wall Street calendar that has beat the overall market by 250% since 1968. This calendar simply lists 19 investments (based on sectors of the market) and 38 dates to buy and sell them, and by doing so, one could turn $1,000 into as much as $300,000 in a 10-year time frame.

“But this calendar is just one part of my investment system,” Hyman adds. “I also have a Crash Alert System that is designed to warn investors before a major correction as well.”

(The Crash Alert System was actually programmed by one of the individuals who coded nuclear missile flight patterns during the Cold War so that it could be as close to 100% accurate as possible).

Hyman explains that if the market starts to plunge, the Crash Alert System will signal a sell alert warning investors to go to cash.

“You would have been able to completely avoid the 2000 and 2008 collapses if you were using this system based on our back-testing,” Hyman explains. “Imagine how much more money you would have if you had avoided those horrific sell-offs.”

One might think Sean is being too confident, but he has proven himself correct in front of millions of people time and time again.

In a 2012 interview on Bloomberg Television, Hyman correctly predicted that Best Buy would drop down to $11 a share and then it would rally back up to $40 a share over the next few months. The stock did exactly what Hyman predicted.

Then, during a Fox Business interview with Gerri Willis in early 2013, he forecast that the market would rally to new highs of 15,000 despite the massive sell-off that was haunting investors. The stock market almost immediately rebounded and hit Hyman’s targets.

“A lot of people think I am lucky,” Sean said. “But it has nothing to do with luck. It has everything to do with certain tools I use. Tools like the secret Wall Street calendar and my Crash Alert System.”

With more financial uncertainty that ever, thousands of people are flocking to Hyman for his guidance. He has over 114,000 subscribers to his monthly newsletter, and his investment videos have been seen millions of times.

In a recent video, Hyman not only reveals the secret Wall Street calendar, he also shows how his Crash Alert System works so that anybody can follow in his footsteps

Monday, 23 September 2013

5 Financial Disasters to Avoid

A comfortable retirement without money worries is a goal everyone strives for sooner or later. But even if you don't quite have the motivation to save aggressively for retirement yet, do yourself a favor and don't damage your path to financial independence too severely. Here are a few disasters you need to avoid, which will make your life much easier when you are interested in preparing for your future:

Marrying a spendthrift. Marrying a spendthrift is a big no-no if you ever want to amass a solid nest egg. It's incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to save enough for a comfortable retirement unless both you and your significant other are on the same page. In fact, money problems always rank high in the reasons why people get divorced.

Getting into credit card debt. Don't swipe your credit cards without thinking it through. Credit card debt can creep up on you, and before you know it you will amass a huge balance. A purchase here, a swipe there and you'll be paying so much interest you'll need to work significantly more to achieve the same goal one day. That's why even credit cards with 0 percent interest for over a year can be dangerous. Many people end up racking up a huge balance they cannot pay off, which results in even more credit card debt when the rates reset higher.

Failing to develop a savings habit. You may not feel like saving aggressively, but at least put something away. Even a dollar every paycheck is a good start. If you have a 401(k) at work, strongly consider taking full advantage of the match. Also consider tucking some after-tax dollars into a Roth IRA to get some tax-free growth. Eventually, you'll want to increase your savings, and it's much easier to increase the amount later than to start a completely new habit.

Worrying too much about others. There's always going to be an urge to keep up with appearances, but all you're really doing with those purchases is strengthening your chain to your job. The worst side affect of increased consumption is that lowering it back down once you get used to it is much harder. The choice is yours: Would you rather buy more stuff or have the freedom to choose who you work for and when you need to work?

Having no idea where the paycheck went each month. Many people don't track how much they spend, but it's easy to cut out expenses that add no value to your life when you know where each dollar is going. And even if you don't want to put it all in savings, you can spend more on areas that actually make you happy. When you are less stressed you could become more productive at work and end up making more money, a bonus that keeps on giving.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Take Note of These 5 Frugal Habits of the Rich

A fat salary isn't the only way someone can strike it rich. Regardless of one's income level, people who live below their means, invest wisely, and live modestly are on the path to real wealth. Here are five frugal habits that many of the upper class have adopted to build long-lasting wealth and financial independence:
Drive a modest car. Your car should only serve the purpose of getting you safely and comfortably from point A to point B--nothing more. When you pull up to a stoplight in an expensive car, you might impress a stranger. However, don't let the price tag of your car define your character or image, because at the end of the day most people could care less what type of car you drive. Let Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who drives a modest $30,000 Acura TSX entry-level sedan, be your role model on this one.
Buy a modest house. Warren Buffett famously still lives in the Omaha, Neb., home he bought back in 1958 for $31,500. Take Buffett's cue and don't overwhelm yourself with a large monthly mortgage payment. Buy a modest and comfortable home and use the money you save to build your savings and retirement fund.
Don't carry wads of possible. Try to avoid traveling with a wallet packed with cash. According to, 86 percent of people who spend cash on luxuries like expensive cars, jewelry, and electronics are non-millionaires trying to act the part by purchasing luxury brands. Instead, follow the example of oil mogul T. Boone Pickens, who famously shops with a grocery list and only carries the amount of cash he needs to make purchases.
Don't pay full price. A great way to keep more of your money is by not paying full price on anything. Hilary Swank, who has an estimated net worth of $40 million, is commonly seen using coupons at the grocery store. Michelle Obama often opts to shop at Target or H&M rather than high-end department stores. A great way to build wealth is to have a frugal mindset and use the money you save on consumer goods to build your investments and savings accounts.
Have an action mentality. Almost all self-made millionaires have one thing in common: They are people of action. They don't sit around feeling sorry for themselves waiting for something good to happen to them, as opposed to the people who I would say have the "lottery mentality." People of action take appropriate risks, are constantly looking to improve themselves, and are addicted to knowledge, as it is the best way to gain a competitive advantage in life's financial endeavors.
Truly rich people are those who take their income and turn it into wealth by investing wisely, saving, and living frugally. People who take their income and try to use it to support an unsustainable lifestyle are those who end up in debt and are unable to retire on their terms. When it comes to money and finances, it all boils down to choices and personal responsibility. Which road are you going to take?

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