I spent hours modeling companies' financial statements as an investment banking analyst.
I was chained to my desk, glued to my excel spreadsheets.
If I close my eyes, I can still picture myself wearing a scarf around my neck.
I had no style.
To me, wearing a scarf was the equivalent of wearing a man’s tie.
There were so many late nights in the office.
I was running on fumes, given the 100-hour work weeks.
But I loved it.
I thought I was so cool.
I was the female quant jock.
I had no idea where my career would take me.
Now I speak on podcasts, invest and build simple but bespoke personal financial models.
The models are not fancy, not complicated like the ones I used to build.
The woman, who is a financial planner, wanted to learn about investment management.
After several conversations and getting to know each other,
I modeled and presented my analysis of her financials.
I highlighted two major areas of improvement.
She was appreciative of what I discovered.
But then she said no thank you!
She wasn’t comfortable with paying my low investment management fee for me to manage her money.
I was bothered by the rejection.
To feel better, I went on run, and listened to the book Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
I felt ok because Robert’s advice is to pay for good advice, don’t go with discount brokers.
But then I reflected more on the experience.
The woman told me my simple excel model revealed things she didn’t see before.
She played around with a financial modeling software tool, but felt like it was a black box. She couldn't figure out what the software was doing.
I was so appreciative that I learned that my simple models were better than the industry standard software.
If the numbers are confusing, then the analysis doesn’t solve the person’s uncertainty when it comes to their money.
Being a quant jock, spending 10,000 hours building excel spreadsheets lets me present things very simply.
It’s not fun to get rejected, but a big lesson for me:
- continue to write,
- be generous with my expertise, and
- my time.
I continue to do the work that gives me joy and brings genuine value into the world.
Love that the guy in the background is wondering what in the world I am doing.
Photo was taken at Christmas in Pacific Palisades.
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