Tuesday, April 12, 2005

So what do you do, anyway?

A question we all eventually ask of each other on the 'net. "So, I've been chatting with you on xyz blog for a year now, and I know a lot about you. But what is your "real" job? What do you do- besides blog, I mean."

Me? I'm in finance. Investments. So when quarter end rolls around, and tax season, I get REALLY busy. Then things slow down, gearing up for the next quarter end. Since it's both quarter end AND tax season right now, my life has been crazy. So I thought I'd share a little of what I do. This is the market commentary letter I wrote yesterday to send out to our clients with their first quarter reports.

So.....here you go. Market commentary brought to you by AFSister:

Enclosed is the First Quarter 2005 performance evaluation of your portfolio. When we were compiling this quarter’s return figures, I jokingly said, “Maybe we should just print everything on red paper this quarter instead.” EVERYTHING is down, even bonds and foreign securities. Of the major indices we track here, only the MSCI Emerging Free, United Kingdom and Lehman Long Treasury indexes had positive returns for the quarter, but even they had negative returns for the month of March. This year is certainly not coming in like a lamb!

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down (2.59%), the S&P 500 was down (2.15%) and the NASDAQ was down a whopping (8.10%) for the first quarter. Mid caps did a little better than large and small caps, with the S&P 400 down (.40%) for the quarter. Domestic bonds were also down slightly. The Lehman Treasury Composite is showing a negative (.49%) return for the first quarter, and the Merrill Lynch High Yield Index was down (1.44%).

Foreign securities haven’t done much better than US securities so far this year, but there were some positive quarterly returns posted. The MSCI Emerging Free Markets Index was up 1.20% and the United Kingdom was up slightly, at .16%. The MSCI EAFE, however, was still down for the quarter, showing a negative (.77%) for the year.

The S&P 500 remains 23% below its all time high of 1527, reached about 5 years ago. Utilities, Consumer Discretionary, Telecom, and Information Technology sectors have all been showing negative returns over the past five years, keeping the S&P 500 from pulling out of its slump. Perhaps the sun, which is FINALLY shining on Ohio, will touch Wall Street and make the second quarter numbers much easier to look at.


Now- tell me. I've been chatting with all of you on xyz blog for a while now, and I know a lot about some of you. But what is your "real" job? What do you do- besides blog, I mean.


  • *Which* job? The OH-6A Standardization Instructor Pilot, the Aviation Safety Officer, the AH-1F Instructor Pilot, the Rotary Wing Instrument Flight Examiner, the Tactical Operations/Future Operations Officer, the Rear Detachment Commander, the Flight Operations/Current Operations Officer or the Limited Test Pilot one?

    By Anonymous cw4billt, at 4:28 PM  

  • Main job is Support Escalation Engineer - which doesn't tell you a heckova lot! Software technical support, mainly for a product you never heard of called Visio ;-)

    By Blogger Barb, at 5:50 PM  

  • Depending on the perspective you bring to the question...

    Associate/Senior Military Analyst

    Unlike Bill, I *can* choose a job, rather than just sign up for any duty roster that I walk by!

    Hmmm. My AsianPacific Rim stuff has at least been in positive numbers... moved all the bond stuff outta bonds and to the APR.

    By Blogger John of Argghhh!, at 10:20 PM  

  • Barb-
    Mr. Sister sez:

    Visio is AWESOME! I love the way it transfers information to and from databases.

    By Blogger AFSister, at 10:22 PM  

  • Oh - and I'll second the Visio comment. But I wanna shoot the help file writers...

    By Blogger John of Argghhh!, at 10:23 PM  

  • John-
    The Pac Rim is one of the few positive returns around the WORLD the first quarter of this year. The EAFE Emerging Markets includes Pac Rim countries, which was a driving force for their slightly positive return. Good for you!

    By Blogger AFSister, at 10:28 PM  

  • AFSis - That is so COOL! Mr. Sister is a data head like me ;-) Ask him whether he's talking data as in information, or databases as in schemas? Either way, that's pretty neat -- give him a kiss for making my evening!

    By Blogger Barb, at 11:39 PM  

  • John - tell me what ya don't like about help in an email, I'll file bugs and try to get 'em fixed for the next go round. Which version ya got?

    By Blogger Barb, at 11:41 PM  

  • Finance here too. "Statistical Portfolio Analyst": I forecast loss, delinquency, if it's bad you name it rates for consumer loans for a national bank.

    By Anonymous Masked Menace©, at 12:31 PM  

  • Barb-
    Mr. Sister says "I use the Visio to design the DB schemas (Database Model Diagram) and then tell it to create the Database on the SQL Server. That way, I have the documentation and database and only had to type it once."

    Could you imagine a Blogger's Ball with all of us? Barb, John & Mr. Sister would talk high tech; MM and I would talk numbers, and Bill would just...talk, I guess.... His TNIS stories would keep us all from being total geeks!

    By Blogger AFSister, at 2:14 PM  

  • Considering I've built every computer I've ever owned the geek quotient definately could use some normal people. :-)

    By Blogger Masked Menace©, at 5:23 PM  

  • Sales Coordinator for a major trench safety rental company... Hopefully soon to get back in the saddle as a risk analyst.

    By Blogger Sgt. B., at 5:16 PM  

  • Well, stay at home mom first and foremost, then running The Man's HVAC business (I get to all the paperwork and calls but he won't let me fire someone...what a rip off! ;)), my advice column (bi-weekly) ...AND a new writing gig that I just got last week that must stay OFF THE BLOG, but that I think you will be VERY interested in!!!! ;)

    By Blogger ALa, at 7:37 PM  

  • If I can convince the Hubster to join the crowd, AFSis - he will talk numbers with ya.

    Menace - You are so right, though, we do tend towards the geeky end of the spectrum!

    By Blogger Barb, at 11:00 PM  

  • Oh God, we're nerds
    *buries head in hands*

    By Blogger Masked Menace©, at 10:10 AM  

  • MM-
    Just remember I married a computer geek...I love nerds! You're in good company.

    ALa- ve have vays of mekking you talk! Congrats! And anyone who stays at home but does as much as you do is NOT the typical "at home mom". You ROCK!

    You will get back into the game, babe- and so will I. We just have to figure out how!

    By Blogger AFSister, at 8:24 AM  

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