Gold and wishful thinking

Rizwan Rahman writes about the evolution of currency and the new trends and thoughts regarding currency More »

4 recommended books for equity analysts

Read about for highly recommended books for equity analysts More »

So you want a job in Equity Research?

Learn why passion is the most important factor in getting a research job More »

Big picture vs detail oriented

How would one balance between big picture thinking and detailed oriented work? More »


Design is….

Amit Richard is a self-taught freelance graphics designer. With almost six years of experience, he has undertaken projects in several areas of design ranging from logo and corporate identity design to web interface design and print graphics. He has worked with a number of international brands directly and via third-party, some of which include Marks & Spenser, NBC Universal and Blackberry. Check out his works at RichardDesigns.

Starfall by Amit Richard

I was sitting in traffic on the way to a meeting. As I thought the meeting might include some junior designers, I decided I would ask what design meant to each one of them individually. That’s when I asked myself the same question. This is my answer to myself:

Design…Design is passion, design is creation and inspiration. Design isn’t limited to the visual representation – there’s more to it – from blueprint to final execution – it’s the entire process, the experience, design is..the solution.

It is the implementation of an idea that not only meets the expectations of clients and final users, but is an innovation that transforms wants into needs; design is..the revolution.

Design is also expression – expression of values, principles, style and taste, but most of all it is the expression of the ever creative GOD’S handiwork from beginning till date.

Design is what builds, what motivates, what procures and what endures.

ROIC vs Earnings Growth

All things remaining equal, companies with better growth prospects (of earnings) are more valuable than those that have inferior growth prospects. Consider three companies A, B and C. The first two will have earnings growth of 25% for the next 3 years while the third one can grow earnings at 10%. Which one is more valuable?  A and B should have a higher value compared to C.

Asif Khan Blog now has 300 registered readers!!!

The Asif Khan Blog just got its 300th registered subscriber. We want to thank all our readers and well wishers for motivating us to come so far. Special thanks to Tasnova for being the 300th registered reader of the blog. As we have achieved a small milestone I want to give some more numbers for our readers.

  • Since the start of the blog (less than a year) the blog achieved 47,254 views
  • The highest number of views in a single day was 1,461
  • A total of 461 comments had been posted by the readers and the authors
Source: WordPress

More fascinating is the truly diverse set of readers coming from around the world. The blog had readers from 146 countries!!!! The heat map above indicates this graphically. The top 10 locations are

  • Bangladesh – 17,516 views (37.1%)
  • United States of America – 9,458 views (20.0%)
  • India – 3,142 views (6.6%)
  • Canada – 2,483 views (5.3%)
  • United Kingdom – 2,147 views (4.5%)
  • Pakistan – 1,622 views (3.4%)
  • Singapore – 945 views (2.0%)
  • Australia – 786 views (1.7%)
  • UAE – 568 views (1.2%)
  • Germany – 504 views (1.1%)

Finance for non-finance 1: Understanding real growth

Some of the very basic things that a finance or economics student studies can be quite baffling to people who have not studied these subjects. However, it is of utmost importance that people understand these concepts because they influence their everyday life and happiness considerably. I would try to write on a few of these issues in basic terms.

Bangladesh ranking drops one place in Legatum Prosperity Index 2014

The Legatum Institute just launched the Legatum Prosperity Index 2014. This is an annual ranking of 142 countries and is based on a number of factors including Economy, Governance, Personal Freedom, Education, Health, Entrepreneurship and Opportunity, Safety and Security and Social Capital. Across these categories, 89 variables are used to make scores and rankings

Ranking by year

Economics: The Brilliant Dismal Science

Economics 101 typically begins with the theory of the firm and, more specifically, a perfectly competitive market. This market is characterised by demand equaling supply, the cost of producing one extra unit of a good equaling the revenue added from selling the good. There is no one dominant company and prices are at a level where people can afford them. It looks like a utopia, and as such, there are no real examples of a perfectly competitive market.

Gold and Wishful Thinking

There is much criticism of the current Islamic financial paradigm. One criticism is that an authentic Islamic finance industry is not possible with the proliferation of fiat currency. Since the Prophet’s time, the currency utilised was the dinar or dirham, the gold or silver coin. This bimetallism ensured that the opportunity to keep producing money was limited and therefore the possibility of inflation was reduced, as excessive inflation is when there is too much money chasing too few goods. Moreover, by limiting the amount of money in the economy, inefficient use of money on profligate investment can be reduced.

4 recommended books for equity analysts

For many people who don’t start their careers at top sell/buy side firms in developed nations it is an uphill battle to reach international standards in their work. The only solution then it to leverage on other people’s experiences and try to learn from them. As they say, a book can have a person’s lifetime experience in it. Thus I would like to recommend four books for equity analysts which I consider to be very helpful.

So you want a job in equity research?

One of the very common question experienced analysts get from young graduates goes like this

“I studied XYZ in University. Can I get a job in Equity Research if I complete CFA Level 1? I am very passionate about research.”

I surely can’t answer whether he will land a job after completing CFA Level 1. What I CAN tell is that if someone is truly passionate about a job he should give 300% effort on reaching his goals. He needs to show the recruiter that he seriously means business and the company has to be full of fools to not hire him.

How do you do that?

Big picture vs detail oriented

Consider the following two reviews on someone’s LinkedIn profile.

“She is a very detailed oriented person and seems to miss almost nothing while combing through financial statements. On many occasions this skill of her in finding the small one liner red flags in the notes segment of the reports have played a crucial role in saving our firm millions of dollars”


“The ability to think big is what sets him apart. Our entry into the fintech space far ahead of other asset managers was mainly because he was able to figure out how much of a disruptive force this segment could be in our everyday lives”

These are both very rare and useful qualities to have. However, the challenge one phases is that the two can be very contradictory. If I am combing through thousands of numbers and footnotes, it is very hard to be able to focus on the big picture. But to be a great analyst or a top-notch Portfolio Manager we do need to have both these skills. Yes, there are funds which rely almost exclusively on bottom up research and I have also interacted with those who give a lot of emphasis on top down (otherwise equity strategists will be out of business altogether). But, in my view we should try to be good at both.