Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Fall Semester 2005 Mod A - Valuation & Analysis

The most pompous teacher I've encountered at Cox taught Valuation & Analysis in the Fall of 2005. His name: Jeffery Allen. To his credit, he is one of the smartest professors that I've had. He's a hot-shot who takes great pride in flunking students (so say the rumors). He is also a fellow LDS member.

Valuation & Analysis

For the first day of class, he got up in front of everyone and basically said that we'd better know our finance stuff or else this class would be very difficult. Now, to give a little backgroud ... this class, along with the theory class, is the first finance elective you can take without having the theory class as a pre-requisite. But he gets up there and acts like this should be the last finance class you should take ... like its the seminar class before graduation. There was lots of confusion and worry because of those comments.

The format of the class was the case-study. We'd read the case and then different groups would prepare and give a presentation. The group would make the presentation at the beginning of class and then we'd discuss it. The last thing he would do was toss up some spreadsheet and then NOT go over the details! But, he would make the data available after class. Each class discussed two cases.

There were a couple of lectures that were worth while. He talked about some methods for finding NPV and APV. He also went over a few ways of coming up with a cash flows statement. Other than those few lectures, his discussions were pretty worthless.

For the final, we read a case and then had a few days to work on it. After that, we'd turn it in and he would review it and send it back with a couple of comments and the grade. We then had a few more days to work on it some more before turning it in for the final grade.

Suprisingly, I did OK in that class. I got a B+.

Originally, I had signed up to take the 2nd part of the Valuation & Analysis class. He also taught the 2nd class. But after enduing him for 8 weeks, I had had enough. I dropped his class like a bucket of bolts. Instead of taking his class, I took a Fixed Income Securties class. There were about 4 other people who did the exact same thing as I did and who knows how many others dropped Allen's class and took another class besides Fixed Income. Do you think there might be some issues with Allen?

Spring 2006 Update

We turned in our credit scoring model last night. We did OK. We went over the solution in class. I don't think our numbers exactly matched up, but Snir said that that doesn't mean the model was bad or wrong.

After that, we went over simulation. We reviewed three different models that all used random numbers for the variables. It seemed pretty clear and straight-forward. Today, I'm going to review that and start the assignment. I hope to be able to get most of it done by next Monday so I can have him take a look at it. Our group also has to meet a few more times for our last group project. I'm so glad this class is coming to an end! The great thing about the module format is that you only have to endure classes for 8 weeks. You're sad to have the good classes end, but you're also very grateful when a bad class (or teacher) is over.

Negotiations ... I read part of the case yesterday. I need to really focus on it tonight. The case is very long and the negotiations involve 6 parties! The format will be different too. We'll have 3 rounds of voting on issues ... no back and forth negotiations.

Quixote Update

I read one chapter last night. Our knight-errant is lying in bed recovering from the beating he took. While he is asleep, the servants and priest go through the countless books Don Quixote has collected. Some books they keep, others they throw in a pile to be burned. The purpose of the chapter is to show all the books that Quixote has read and to provide some commentary on all the knight-errant books that were published back in the day.

Chess Update

After class, I got my lunch ready and got all my workout clothes together. Then I sat down, checked email and played 3 blitz games. I won 2 and lost 1. The two games I won, my opponent dropped some big pieces. I think he resigned both of them. On the one I lost ... I tried to sacrifice some piece ... don't really remember. I got in a bad position and it went downhill fast from there.

The 2/21/06 chessgames.com puzzle ... 20. ... ? I'm having a tough time coming up with a plan for this one. I'd probably do the following: 20. ... Rxd4 21. Rxd4 Rxd4 22. Qxd4 Qxa3+ 23. Kb1 Qb3+ 24. Kc1 Qb2+ 25. Kd1 Qa1+ 26. Ke2 Qxh1 and black is up a bishop with the opportunity to clean up the king-side pawns.

And the answer is 20. ... Rgxd4 21. Rxd4 Qxa3+ 22. Kd1 Rxd4 23. Qxd4 Qa1+ 24. Ke2 Qxh1 25. Qxc3 Qxg2 and it goes on a few more moves before white resigns. It wasn't exactly as what I thought, but still the same moves and plan. The result was the same ... black goes up a bishop.


In the news today is an article about a couple of doctors who walked out on an execution of a man who was convicted of rape and murder. They walked out for ethical reasons. Read the article here. The first thing I thought of was that the prison has no need for doctors ... just get Jack Kevorkian to do all the executions in the US. I mean ... he loves what he does and all these states need to carry out executions ... seems like these two parties need to come to an agreement.

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