Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Finance, my new interest!!

There are a few things that, when you do, seems interesting in the beginning but bore off at the end (how about watching shows? I've seen some TV shows that start well but drag in the end.. And I, the ever faithful viewer, still stuck doggedly to its end! An apt example is Kaadhalika Neramillai from Vijay TV. That show deserves a post of its own! There were very, very few movies or TV shows that have held my interest from beginning to end).

There are some other things that seem boring at first but becoming quite interesting as the days go by (for example, VLSI. Believe me, I used to hate VLSI when I was in my junior year. Simply because, all I saw was a chip and the big hulla bulla about it. But going to Cisco changed those opinions and I fell in love with it, prompting me to add it to the already-full list of masters studies. Now, my particular masters topic is so broad that I can work anywhere and yet so specialized that there is no particular job that suits it to the glove! And I'm loving both sides of it!!).

But there are a rare few things that you do, at first, because it is interesting to dip your toes into and captivate you with their beauty that you seem to do them all said and done(like writing, for instance. However tired I am, I write a bit every day! And I found that I cannot stop from writing - my September and October trials would show it).

Now I have found another such interest - finance. There are two basic reasons for this interest in it. First, I was always eager to know how something worked and that includes a corporation, a government and our own lives. I used to have all these questions as why one should work (come on! Don't tell me everyone in this world works because they love their work), till when should one work, what will one do if they don't have the necessity to work, etc. Lets suffice it to say that I was asking questions such that I can understand the adult world much better and safely leap into it from my adolescent and secure life. I tried to learn something about commerce from my mom but it turned out that it never happened! Guess there is something impossible about trying to teach your daughter commerce when she is always dreaming about the latest and coolest stuff. So, here was my wish, simmering under all the normal stuff I did.

Second, I enrolled in a course this semester that taught the basics of finance. When I say basics, I mean "real basics". The professor started off with what is finance, why we need it, what is credit, etc, etc. Also, the US recession(yeah! its officially declared now!) was unfolding right in front of my eyes. What better chance to learn about finance, its myriad facets and all the consequences? I also started reading on some light stuff about finance and how it applies to normal people, you and me! That showed me that man had a powerful tool, that if used, would create such wealth for everyone. And men have been using it ever since the first cave man traded one spear for another with his kinsman. Various forms and complexities, yes but the underlying principle is the same.

Earlier, I never used to bother about it all. My mom was my money-giving tree and I could ask for however much I wanted but had to have a good explanation for it. Further, my family encouraged kids to save whenever possible. My parents were no exception. And my parents were never big on entertainment(Maybe that is why I think working on sundays is not something hard or wrong? I know, from experience, that one of my friends' dad always had a clear demarcation between office work and personal life and never worked on weekends. She was amazed when I said that my dad worked and couldn't really understand why anyone would do so. Not that my dad had to, but wanted to was what made all the difference.Thanks pa for teaching me that trait! I so take after you :)). According to them, a movie per six months was standard fare. I grew up the same and continued through college(Yeah! I know, I know!!)

Now, I get to handle my finances and am able to appreciate the nuances of it all. Man's ingenuity surpasses it all when it comes to handling the wealth of the world. It is all the more interesting how the basic system never changed and though there were new methods all the time, there was some time in history when it was already done. For example, we speak so much about Travelers Checks and consider them the best ones to use when you go from one country to another. Did you know that a similar system was used by the Templars in the 12th century? And they had complex security systems to protect it all and ensure that no cheating is possible.

So, long story short, I'm in love with finance for now and I'm sure this interest would continue for some more time! Till then, my dear readers, I invite you to join me in this fabulous journey to get glimpses of clear minds, ruthless actions, deep seated passions like greed and fear and the beauty with which the world balances it all out over the centuries.

For all the grad students out there, good luck with toughing it out the last few weeks of this semester before we break up for winter.


Karthikeyan....KK said...

You are entrepreneur material alpine.. G luck


P.S Been trying to write that post on entrepreneurs.. will be up soon..

Arun said...

observing and playing to the market dynamics is very interesting. there are lots of oppurtunities in this. ofcourse with it also comes lot of risks. learning my lesson the hard way :)

alpine path said...

Karthikeyan, Thanks :) I'm waiting for the posts too! Btw, did you get a chance to read the comments?

Arun, very true! It needs a clear mind and a non-passionate approach. I'm sure you'd be better off soon!