Thursday, September 16, 2010

Finance Websites: Keeping Up, Sharing Knowledge

In finance, much of success is not just about who you know and where you work--although that surely contributes to much of it. Success (if measured by progress, advancement and promotions) is also about what you know, what you are learning, and how you are keeping up: Are you aware of trends, innovations and new products? Do you understand different perspectives or insights regarding markets, corporate finance or corporate industries? Are you up to date on regulatory issues, financial reform, or global expansion? Do you have an informed view of whether we are in a period of recovery or slipping back into a recession?

That's where informative, carefully prepared blogs and websites can be useful. And that's where a few Consortium students and alumni have stepped up.

Consortium student LaMarr Taylor announced this week his new website focusing attention on relevant issues in private wealth management (PWM). PWM is a popular career choice for many MBA students. For many financial institutions, it's a targeted area for growth in the next few years.

Taylor, a second-year student at Indiana, is set to work full-time next year in PWM at a major bank. In the meantime, he has assembled a website ( devoted to addressing, reviewing and synthesizing topics in PWM. Viewers to the site get a synopsis of all issues relevant to bankers, investment managers, and financial advisers.

The site, for example, currently covers such issues as toxic assets, Basel III, and the possibility of double-dip recession--topics professionals in financial consulting ought to be familiar with or at least have a framed understanding. Taylor also summarizes a conference he attended, called InvestIndiana, which featured presentations of public companies based in Indiana or with a significant impact or presence there.

Taylor has an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering, and at Indiana, he is a member of the Investment Management Academy.

He is one of a handful of Consortium alumni and students who decided it would be worthwhile to aggregate information and tackle issues in particular finance areas.

Ken Alozie, a Michigan Consortium alumnus, continues with his site, aimed at helping analysts and associates thrive (or survive?) at investment banks or in corporate-finance roles. The site offers a primer in all important corporate finance topics, provides updates on technical topics and current issues, and in some ways is a refresher for even the most experienced finance people.

The site helps new associates use b-school finance to be effective analysts or financial modelers in mergers & acquisition or leveraged finance. Now over 18 months old, the site even dares to explain the problems from subprime-mortgage securitization or the intricacies of credit-default swaps.

After Michigan, Ken earned an M.S. in finance and is now involved in private equity.

Consortium alumnus Rob Wilson provides regular updates on money management on his site Wilson, who is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon, appears often on local television in Pittsburgh, offering advice on investments and retirement planning. Wilson also advises many professional athletes and entertainers.

In March, he sponsored his own version of March Madness by featuring a stock-picking contest similar to the NCAA basketball brackets.

Recent Indiana-Consortium alumnus Felicia Enuha is using her blog to chronicle her first year on the job after getting an MBA: A recent posting offers 10 helpful hints how to be effective in the midst of networks at the National Black MBA Conference.
Other postings describe the transition from business school to work life and her thoughts about how she'll take steps to reach her long-term career goals.

The advantage of sites like these and others is that while informing others (peers, colleagues, students and other graduates), they offer a special perspective, a Consortium view.

Tracy Williams

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