August 2017

CFALA e-Newsletter: August 2017

Welcome to the CFALA e-newsletter, a periodic publication with stories about noteworthy events and programs sponsored or hosted by the society, guest articles by members, book reviews, and other items of interest to CFALA members. Click on the headlines below to read the full stories. And if you’d like to contribute a story suggestion or, even better, write an article, we’d love to hear from you. Please email Executive Director Laura Carney at

*Please note that the content of this e-newsletter should not be construed as investment advice, nor do the opinions expressed necessarily reflect the views of  CFA Society Los Angeles.

In this issue ...

New Board of Governors Members Share Importance of Volunteer Roles

Since CFA Society Los Angeles (CFALA) is principally run by volunteers, it should come as no surprise that thousands of volunteer hours are logged each year by members. A large number of members have spent a lot of energy contributing to events ranging from the Annual Golf Tournament, to the Institute Research Challenge in Los Angeles, to leading Communities of Interest. But what makes a member take that next step and decide to become a member of the Board of Governors? Anyone who has spent time on a board, no matter how small, knows being a board member is an enormous dedication of time and effort. Since CFALA has two new Board members, Michael Tully, CFA, and Alicia Romo, CFA, we thought we would ask them to describe the path from member to volunteer to Board of Governors member and what they consider important in their volunteer roles.
What convinced you to join the CFALA Board? Was it one person? Was it something you always wanted to do?
Alicia Romo: I have been volunteering in various capacities for seven or eight years. A few people have talked to me about joining the Board for two years now. I felt it was time to step up into a leadership position and get even more involved in the core missions of CFALA.
Mike Tully: I have personally benefited from being a CFA charterholder for 17 years. My clients and my internal company network have a very positive view of the “CFA” and because of this, it’s served me well in my career. Thus, I felt that it’s time to “give back.” There have been numerous people that have encouraged me to join the Board, including Steve Stewart (senior valuation partner at KPMG) and Tony Aaron (USC accounting professor and retired EY valuation partner).
How much time does one need to dedicate to being a Board member?
A.R.: I’ll find out starting in August! While meetings may be only once a month, like most activities, you tend to get out of it what you put in.
M.T.: I haven’t focused too much on the time commitment and presume that the benefits outweigh the cost (i.e., time commitment).
What other positions within CFALA have you held? What was it like?
A.R.: I have been mentoring candidates for several years, and have been a CFALA review class coordinator for several years as well. I have enjoyed mentoring candidates; I generally find when I am giving out advice it reminds me that I need to follow the advice myself, like networking on a frequent basis. It’s been great getting to know several of the instructors for the CFALA review class. They are smart and savvy people.
M.T.: Over the past year I have been on the Finance Committee under the leadership of Akiko Hayata.
What do you consider the most important issue the Board needs to tackle today?
A.R.: Two compatible issues: 1) supporting the career paths of CFA charterholders with education and opportunities; and 2) promoting the CFA charter to employers.
M.T.: I would like to see broader acceptance by the business valuation side of the finance industry. Young business valuation and accounting professionals will have an enhanced career having learned the CFA curriculum and their reputation will benefit by being a charterholder. There are many CFA charterholders in the business valuation industry, but there is significant room to improve membership and participation.
What would you tell members who are considering a volunteer role within CFALA, from Board member to newsletter contributor?
A.R.: Just start! Start with a few hours over an event or contribution or two. You will meet other CFA charterholders with whom you have things in common, have networking opportunities, give a little back, and maybe even learn a little.
M.T.: I would challenge members to think about what their career would be like without the CFA. I would suspect that most would agree that their careers have been enhanced. Given what we’ve all obtained from being a member, I would argue that it’s our responsibility to “give back” just as you might to your university or meaningful charity.
Tom Derse, CFA
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Ethical Concerns and Your Career

Now that you landed your dream job, what if you find yourself questioning whether your new employer’s business practices are in fact ethical? Where do you go from there? In this Enterprising Investor article, Contributor and CFA Institute Career Services Manager Julia VanDeren reminds us that our commitment to uphold the highest ethical standards within the investment management industry does not come without risks. VanDeren shares the results of a recent CFA Institute Financial NewsBrief poll, as well as advice from CFA charterholders and career coaches on how to handle job interviews after leaving a position due to ethical concerns. Read more...  Back To Top ^^

Swedroe: Value/Growth Investor Characteristics

In this blog post, author and Buckingham Strategic Wealth Principal and Director of Research Larry Swedroe summarizes the results of a recent study, published in the Journal of Finance, that examines value and growth investor demographics in Sweden. Read more... And more...  Back To Top ^^

The Emperor's New Coins: How Initial Coin Offerings Fueled A $100 Billion Crypto Bubble

The market capitalization for virtual issues surged 870% over the last twelve months -- more than six times the rise in stock market capitalization during the 1995-2000 dot-com boom -- and Ethereum’s value skyrocketed more than 2,700% during the same time period. Check out this piece by Forbes Senior Editor Laura Shin for some remarkable stats and intriguing insights regarding "the great cryptocurrency bubble of 2017." Read more... And more...  Back To Top ^^

How two countries helped drive the recent rise in cryptocurrency prices

TechCrunch Contributor Hugh Harsono provides an alternate explanation for the rise in digital currency prices and market capitalizations by focusing on supply and demand dynamics in China and Japan. Read more...  Back To Top ^^

WTF is The Blockchain?

In this Hacker Noon article, Unmade e-newsletter Editor Mohit Mamoria walks us through a thoughtfully laid-out explanation of the (Bitcoin) Blockchain, complete with illustratons. Read more...  Back To Top ^^

You'll Never Guess Which Common Millennial Expression Is Actually 100-Years-Old

Speaking of frequently used three-letter Internet acronyms, in this article, Contributing Editor John Brandon discusses the origin of another supposedly contemporary abbreviation. Read more... Back To Top ^^













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