Sunday, 29 April 2012

Last Sunday Service of April! =)

Time flies and yet I felt this week a bit too long for me. Why? I've been super productive this week with preparation for exams coming in 2 weeks time!!! Not too long. Exam, exam, and exam. This will be the theme for the next 2 months haha! Exam all the way and FREEDOM!!! Can't wait for the moment to enjoy the freedom once again! This week I've done at least a FM past year paper everyday spanning at least 2.5 hours per paper. Man they are tough, that's why! Have to practice more past year papers after the first week of exam for Maths and Physics Paper 4. Probably that's the reason why I felt this week was a bit too long (productive). Shall start doing Physics and Maths past year papers tomorrow! (:

So today again it's Sunday! And today's sermon was very interesting with Pastor Dave sharing the Words about other believers and the Holy Spirit, so here it goes!

Bible verses: John 4:9-12, John 4:17, Luke 15:16
- God heals!
- God performs miracles!
- God brings hopes to the hopeless.
- Holy Spirit is equally important just as much as the other 2 components of the Trinity (God and Jesus).
- Jesus is like God the Father, behaves and acts like Him.
- Jesus sent us another Helper to help you to beat the odds, the Holy Spirit, forever!
- Christians are mend to be victorious.
- Having Holy Spirit is like having power steering and other technologically advanced features while
  driving a car.
- Holy Spirit enables us to do so much more.
- Now we are living in the time of Holy Spirit.
- Holy Spirit doesn't want you to have a peek on miracles, but wants you to get involved in it.
- Holy Spirit is God, looking for a space in your heart.
- Holy Spirit just want the imperfect room in your heart, when He could have chosen many other
- Make more space in your heart for God and Holy Spirit, don't give in to ignorance.
- Be that desperate for Holy Spirit.
- Claim your right on Holy Spirit, kick off any barrier restricting you.
- Start living the Bible, not only reading it.
- God wants us to achieve greater, better things!
- Come on, you can do better with God!
- Show them (non-believers) God's power and let them decide.
- Come to church as God is in the House, and people are being healed.
- You are saying 'Yes' to God, not to others.
- Sing worship songs and mean it!
- God will be with you whereever you are being sent.
- You will lay hand and they will get healed.
- The moment you say no, you don't believe.
- Don't be substandard Christian, Holy Spirit is FOR you, and He wants you!
- i) Avail yourself: Believe and be willing to go for it. Let God use you! Opportunities are everywhere
                             created by God, for His signs to be performed. Seize it!
  ii) Believe and live it out: Prophesy and impress people with Holy Spirit! Don't fear of failure as
                                          fear is the language of Hell, except the fear of God.
  iii) Crave for it: Unleash your craving for Holy Spirit, for supernatural and healing!
- God is real!
- Share God's miracles as testimonies!
- Let Holy Spirit use you!
- Ask non-believers to come to church and experience the power of God themselves!
- When miracle happens, people revalue themselves.
- God is not stingy with healing!
- Just believe and God will move.
- Everything is restored in Jesus's name!
- You are anointed as long as you are willing to believe!
- Like heat scanning missile, heal someone!
- Healing is normal standard in Bible!
- Don't just achieve a fraction of what Jesus did, but more of it!

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Third Sunday Service of April (22/4/12)! =)

Hello people! So it's sermon time again! This is the sermon for Sunday service this morning, delivered by Pastor Sandra! Before commencing the sermon, Pastor read through the biblical scriptures! So here it goes:

Bible verses: Revelation 22:17, John 14:1-2, Matthew 24:36, Acts 1:6-7, 9-10, 1 Thessalonians
                    4:16-17, Ephesians 5

- Remember Bible verses can help people in all sorts of circumstances, with God speaking to you.
- There is an angel watching over everyone of us.
- God gives us another helper (Holy Spirit).
- When you hear the trumpet sound of archangel, Jesus is coming!
- Jesus is our bridegroom, and He is now busy building our mansions in Heaven for us!
- Jesus is waiting to come and get us, His second coming!
- Jesus is coming back to get His bride (the church)!
- We need to get ready as a bride, by improving ourselves for our bridegroom (Jesus), before
  He coming back for us.
- Look forward to go to Heaven!
- You have the option to receive the cup from the bridegroom (Jesus), the new covenance.
- Once you received the cup, you have to keep our faith strong, despite countless challenges will be
  coming your way throughout the journey.
- Every time you read the Bible, it reflects on you, on what you have and what you don't, possess.
- Our future is eternal life, not eternal damnation!
- Devils have no control over our life, so slam the door of their power over us!
- We allow God to wash over us, with Holy Spirit living in us!
- Finish the work that Jesus has given to us!
- Do and contribute to the society by spreading God's love!
- While we are waiting for the bridegroom to come (also applicable for long-distance relationship),
   i) Remain faithful to your lover;
   ii) Let God and Holy Spirit work on you, craft out a better you;
   iii) We are made for His use. Let God use you for the expansion of His kingdom.
- Share with people, the excitation of you waiting for Jesus to come back, for Jesus loves us to every
- Holy Spirit is here with us, and will help us to remain faithful, if you allow Him! =)
- Parents, it's better for your children to live for Jesus, than something else, or busy earning earthly
  rewards and leaving you with the money but no love.
- No one can heal the broken heart and mess in our life, except Jesus.
- Look forward for the trumpet call, don't miss it! Be prepared!
- Church do what they are doing, so that they can finish the work God has provided!
So yeah! I'm finally back after one whole day! Went to play badminton just now with great brothers and sisters in Christ, and had lunch and dinner with them too! Holidays are officially over and tomorrow classes are starting again! A2 Final exam is coming in exactly 3 weeks time, and I can foresee me studying hard and busy doing past year papers for the next 7 weeks! Stress would be accumulating by then and I just hope that God and Holy Spirit will be with me throughout this time period!

I have one testimony to share with you guys, as I believe this is purely the work of God. Remember I told you that I wanted to select Heriot-Watt University (HW) as my insurance (backup)? I even asked a question saying whether it's possible to get notes from Financial Maths students (that are not available to actuarial students) if I were to pursue Actuarial Science there. A senior from The Student Room (TSR), a student forum in the UK, who is currently a Financial Maths student in HW, answered my question. He mentioned that the proportion of Financial Maths students to actuarial students in HW is approximately 6 in 130+ students, so they are really rare. But one thing that he left me to be speechless and shocked; he offered to give me all his notes (in pdf form) via email. :O

I was utterly speechless, but definitely I accepted the offer! He sent me not only notes for Financial Maths students that are not available for actuarial students, but also tutorials (and its answers) and past year papers, just to enhance my understanding! He even sent me notes for CT8 (Financial Economics) and ST6 (Advanced Derivatives Pricing), both are one of the hardest papers for their respective stages in the actuarial professional exams. Wow! This is very very kind of him and I definitely believe this is the work of God on me, His blessing on me! I mean, how often will someone offer to give you all his notes from his undergraduate degree? He doesn't even know me well or who I really am! God knows that I yearn for intellectual stimulation, and God blessed me with all the resources available so freely to me! Definitely looking forward to start self-studying it after my A2 exams in June! Thank you Lord Jesus! =))

So here is it! My trial exam's result is out and I only managed to secure AABB, definitely long way to improve myself! But thank God for it, at least a great improvement from my previous trial taken last year! God is good and faithful always! I know I can do it as my God is many times bigger and greater than this! He can conquer this victoriously! Amen.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Second Sunday Service of April (15/4/12)! =)

So it's time for sermon again! Today Pastor Kenneth was away for Revo Miri so it was Pastor Sandra who shared the Word of God this time! Let's start!

Bible verses: Genesis 1:2, Revelation 3:15
- Prayer is very powerful.
- Holy Spirit is hovering over us, speak the Word over the situation!
- Holy Spirit will respond to the Word and work its miracles!
- God is on our side, and nobody can against us when God is on our side!
- Speak the Word of life, don't agree with negativities.
- Among sleeping, dead and active volcanoes, sleeping one is the scariest!
- Do not be lukeworm! Be either cold (passive) or hot (passionate, on fire)!
- You are either into God, or not. Don't be at the middle of it (not sure)!
- It's dangerous because we think we are somewhere, but actually nowhere.
- Either finish the race or don't start it!
- Our Christian life cannot be weak.
- Stand up as Light and Salt at your working place.
- Don't be hypocrite. It's either be passionate or not passionate at all.
- God loves us, and will only angry to disobedience.
- Intimacy with God, loves God intimately!
- Like God as a lover, because God loves you dearly!
- God comes in to restore the love, into the broken hearts caused by fallen men.
- Realise God loves us, and get to know Him through intimate love.
- The Holy Spirit is waiting to move, so just respond!
- Speak Word of life to enable Holy Spirit to work in your life!
- What makes you the man and woman of God, is by speaking Word of life!
- Start to speak and behave maturely to be a 6-feet tall man in Christ!
-  It's better to give yourself to Jesus than somebody else!
- God wants to lead us, and let us see the opportunities to be led.
- Go out and share the Good News!
- Ask God for it, if you haven't seen a miracle!
- Live for future, to pass on to younger generations.
- Don't be sleeping volcano! Rather be dead volcano so that God can revive you! =)

Sunday, 15 April 2012

My New Laptop (XPS 15z)! =p

Wooohooo this is the first post I type using my new lappie! <3 Oh yeah I just bought a new laptop in conjunction of the Pikom PC Fair 2012 at KLCC yesterday. There were quite alot of cheap offers on gadgets and it was something that you shouldn't have missed if you are a gadget hunter. My focus wasn't on those fancy gadgets but on laptops, though.

Quite many famous brands can be seen there, amongst them are Dell, HP, Asus, Acer, Toshiba etc. Too bad Apple wasn't there though. I collected lots of brochures just to compare the configurations of laptops of my budget. Since the Bank provides RM3.5k as my laptop allowance, I had the privilege of buying such high-end laptop. Praise the Lord! After comparing a few laptops, I had a few in mind; Dell XPS 15z, HP Dv6, and Apple Macbook Pro.

HP Dv6 was out of stock, so that left me with XPS 15z and Macbook Pro. I chose XPS 15z eventually, due to these 2 reasons. Firstly, I wanted to use a laptop that is more compatible with any softwares that I might be using in future. This will be the laptop that accompanies me for at least another 5 years, so I expect to download quite a number of statistical and mathematical softwares throughout my degree programme (if possible my working life too).

Secondly, Window laptop is easier to be used if you want to download songs/movies and play games. With its 2GB Nvidia GT525M graphic card, I can practically play any games that I want. Also with Window, I can download songs and movies freely without much rules and regulations. Unlike Apple, you wouldn't be able to download free songs easily. Many softwares and programmes might not be compatible with iOS, although you can always double boot between iOS and Window (it's quite impractical though).

Thirdly, with such a spec that I'm having with my XPS 15z now, I would need at least 5-6k to buy exactly the same spec of Macbook Pro. Currently it's running Core i7-2640M Processor (3.1GHz), 8GB RAM, 1TB 5400rpm Hard Drive, 2GB Nvidia GT525M graphic card and it's 15 inches!

So, tadaaa! I've chosen XPS 15z as my new darling! <3 Not only the laptop, it came along with a mouse and mousepad, a USB 2.0 channel stereo speaker, a headphone, a keyboard protector, a laptop cooler, a set of LCD screen cleaning kit, a laptop bag and lastly a 4GB pendrive. So far so good, despite some minor problems that I'm facing now. I don't know why suddenly my Google Chrome fails to work this morning! O.o Probably some technical setting that I accidentally clicked on, nothing biggie though. Will check on it soon! =)

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Knowledge Vs. Experience

Many people I know choose to work for a few months upon graduation from high school, whilst still waiting for SPM result to be released. Both my elder and younger sisters did, at least. Nevertheless I chose to stay at home for the next 5 months after SPM, remained oblivious towards what was going on around the society. According to my younger sister and cousin during the conversation yesterday after movie at 11.15pm while waiting for KTM train, they chose to come out and work after SPM, with little knowledge, just to gain experiences and to know how the society works!

I wasn't feeling comfortable about this statement as I endorse the significance of knowledge so much more than purely experience with little knowledge. According to them, the society is NOT that simplistic as every working place is inevitably full with internal politics and stuffs. An undergraduate degree holder would be of disadvantage should he/she came out without any working experience. For no apparent reason, someone from other departments (or in some extreme cases, from the same department) can hate and rebuke you, when you are just another nice average worker like everyone else. Internal politics are so chaotic with a myriad of twisting strategies, that's the reason why you need working experiences to gain the know-how-to-deal-with-this-situation strategy.

I beg to differ, however. I prefer to spend my precious time reading good books, to gain more and more insights and knowledge from various good authors on my preference topics particularly in financial realm, economics and scientific world. I think working for a few months wouldn't help you much except one irrefutable fact, for its financial reward. What I did for a few months after SPM wasn't what I thought I would have done though. I was surfing through ReCom, a Malaysian student forum, and digging out old threads just to find out more and more about tertiary education and scholarships. I spent few hundred hours just to check out about all sorts of Pre-U programmes and the course that I was intending to pursue since Form 4, Actuarial Science. I didn't like reading as I thought reading was boring, until I discovered reading is so much fun when you're reading materials of your preferences.

What most people do after SPM are taking driving licence, working for a few months, starting their preferred Pre-U courses at private colleges, or simply rotting at home. I took driving licence, passed it and just few days ago got my CDL licence upon expiration of my P licence. Time is, in my opinion, very very precious and I don't have enough time for everything. I wish I had time to finish reading all the books that I bought. Even if you don't have any book to read, you can surf Internet and conduct self-learning on your interests. I learnt some maths topics during this period too, for instance, Poisson Distribution and number theory. But what I wanted to ask here is, does working for a few months worth the time?

You might say it worths the time, as you were clueless of what you should do to 'kill' your time. You were probably having some financial problems, so you were desperate for money. You might be under influence of peer pressure. Believe me, peer pressure can be very overwhelming at this moment when you could not find anything productive to do. But whatever reason it could be, I still uphold my principle that time shall not be wasted just like that, although you can always find internship during your break in your undergraduate degree. Your wage indicates the net worth of your contributions towards the company, and I believe the wage should be the product of both combined knowledge and experiences. Both are equally important, and without the presence of either one component, your wage would not go any higher than average.

These are the reasons I chose not to work at this moment, or post-SPM period. I believe there's no point for me to work purely to gain experiences but low salary. I might be devoid of working experiences and strategies to deal with internal politics, but I do not fancy those now. In my opinion, those things will come naturally once you started working upon graduation from your degree. You have plenty of time to think about internal politics (if you chose to think about it, of course) and do many other things when you start working. You have around 30-40 years more to work, if you chose to be an employee for the rest of your life, depending on your retirement age. If you were doing business, you have the rest of your life to work it out. Why bother to rush working when you have an option to study?

I prefer studying over working. I like the feeling of receiving income but I also like studying. I believe knowledge is above everything else, and without knowledge, you would not be able to go far in life, proceed further in the corporate ladder. Experiences are always there, and time is a factor for you to gain it. But knowledge is different in the sense that it is of accumulation basis. Knowledge is limitless. The faster you gain a certain knowledge, the higher the probability of you gaining even more knowledge as time passes. In other word, experience is of constant gradient with time being the determinant, and knowledge is of exponential graph with increasing gradient, provided that you practice lifelong learning.

So be wise in choosing how you spend your time. I believe you all know how precious time is and learn how to appreciate it! =)

Monday, 9 April 2012

My Final Decision! =)

Remember I was contemplating between Warwick's MORSE and Cass's Actuarial Science? Thanks to my seniors and friends, I've finally decided on my firm. You know who you are. =)

My major concern was whether the interesting optional modules offered in MORSE worth the longer timeframe of the qualifying process to be an actuary. After seeking advices from many people, I would firm Cass as my first choice. Here I would give 3 good reasons why I would choose Cass over Warwick, but nevertheless both are very good schools and both courses are good.

1) Uncertainty of MORSE's optional modules
What do I meant by this? It's true that MORSE does offer lots and lots of good interesting modules that captured my interest. Particle physics, Quantum Phenomena, Number Theory, Numerical Analysis, Partial Differential Equations (PDE), Stars, Galaxies, Geometry and Motion and so on. Those are really interesting, and the attraction of me towards these modules was further intensified with my deep interest in maths and physics since childhood. But how these modules can help me
in future remained vague. Most of the modules are only offered for the most 1 or 2 terms (Warwick has 3 terms per year), hence the depth of these modules is questionable. The practicality of these modules over my future is questionable. Most probably I won't be using these knowledge (except certain maths modules), and according to one of my senior friends, most probably I would have
forgotten those knowledge by the time I come out and work. Many skills are picked up independently only after you started working, not when you're studying.

2) Unique and specific course structure of Actuarial Science at Cass

Why this seemingly a disadvantage of specific course structure Actuarial Science have at Cass, what I thought would close my doors to other financial careers, suddenly turned into a major factor that change the course of my decision? Due to its specific course structure, it provides students with maximum number of 8 Core Technical (CT) papers exemption from the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries UK, besides providing students the freedom to choose some very interesting optional modules in their second and third year. Derivatives pricing, trading and hedging, risk and modelling, alternative investment management, decision analysis, asset liability management, extreme value
statistics, fixed income portfolio management, and even technical analysis. It's all up to my personal preference whether to pass the actuarial exams fast, in other word to strive for the maximum
number of exemptions, or to learn up more technical knowledge along the way with less one paper
exemption (Financial Economics), although I doubt I would do so.

3) My career aspiration

What I wanted to do in future matters the most, no? Now here's my plan: Pass the series of actuarial
professional papers as fast as possible, and further my study in any knowledge I wish to pick up later upon becoming a qualified actuary. I can opt to pursue Master in Quantitative Finance or Financial Engineering, and delve further into derivatives pricing, hedging and trading by then. Since I would have learnt to a certain degree, derivatives pricing, in the qualifying process as an actuary, I might
have slight advantage to venture into that line if I want to. CT8 (Financial Economics) is the basic of
ST6 (Derivatives Pricing), and ST6 is the foundation of financial engineering and quantitative finance! I might not have sufficient technical skills compared to Phd graduates in maths, physics and
engineering, but I believe such rigorous mathematical aptitude can be trained and picked up
through, consistent and relentless, practice. What I want is not fast money, but rather my thirst of
knowledge and experience on intellectual stimulation. What initially attracted me into Actuarial
Science was my love in challenging subjects and I believed Actuarial Science suits the criterion very well. Now that I've found another more challenging subject, Quantitative Finance and Financial
Engineering. Actuarial Science should serve as a stepping stone, leading me to that career.
So that's it! My three reasons to change the course of my life! Now what I'm supposed to do is to pass my requirement of A*AA for Actuarial Science at Cass. What about insurance then? I don't know whether I should put Heriot-Watt. Will check out about that soon! =)

*Edit: I've decided to put Heriot-Watt as my insurance, due to these few advantages. Firstly, it only requires AAB from my A-Levels, considered the lowest requirement I have. Secondly, Heriot-Watt is quite famous for their degree in Financial Maths, and it is offered by the Actuarial Maths and Stats Department (one of the 3 departments in School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences) in Heriot-Watt, therefore it's possible to learn from my potential friends who are doing degree in Financial Maths and I stand a very high chance to ask for their notes, for self-learning purpose. By so doing, I can focus in Actuarial Science degree and get 8 papers exemption, as well as acquire knowledge of Financial Maths from my peers. Double win! xD

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Happy Easter Day!!! =))

Happy Easter Day people! I know I'm a bit late this time round as I went for badminton just now with awesome brothers and sisters in Christ after lunch! I just reached home not very long ago and I'm dead tired now! But I will still update my blog for the sake of sharing the wonderful Easter sermon shared today by Pastor Kenneth, and also some very touching experience I had today in church!

The sermon today was relatively shorter than any other Sunday services, but surprisingly there are many bible verses quoted by Pastor! I had one of the most memorable experience which I will share it with you later! So here it goes, the Easter sermon shared by Pastor Kenneth!

Bible verses: John 4:16, John 15:13, Acts 2:38, John 14:15-18, John 16:7, Luke 24:14, Acts 1:4-8,
                    Daniel 11:32, Luke 19:8-10, Acts 19:18-19, Acts 4:32-34, Romans 8:11

- Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life!
- We no longer need to suffer/sacrifice for our sins, as Jesus has already paid the ultimate sacrifice!
- Believe, before we can receive!
- Resurrection Sunday is important, as Jesus has proven what he said he is, and done what he was
  going to do, and broke the curse of death!
- Death has lost its sting, and we are alive, burning fire in spirit!
- Jesus will never leave us.
- Easter is the resurrection in power, a Holy Spirit's power!
- Last words before saying goodbye to the loved one are always the most important one.
- Be expecting Holy Spirit power, resurrection power to move!
- Jesus comes and changes the way we think, the way we live.
- Jesus sends his Helper, the Holy Spirit, to help us!
- Nothing is impossible with Jesus!
Very short sermon, right? Pastor told lots and lots of stories so I didn't write them down, but those were definitely very touching and compatible with the theme of the day. Time for my experience telling! Upon finishing the sermon, Pastor went on to pray for people and amazingly there were more than 10 salvations today! Praise the Lord! Then Pastor went on to pray for people, asking people to believe in HEALING, to allow Holy Spirit to move, to perform healing!

I was there, and there were quite a number of miraculous healings happened on the spot! Quite a number of people came out to testify God, to praise the Lord for His amazing work! Some people had asthma, and now they are healed! Some people had severe sorethroat, and now they are healed! Many other sicknesses and they are healed on the spot by believing in the power of Holy Spirit!

I'm having a few sicknesses with me and it's somewhat incurable any time soon. Firstly, I couldn't open my mouth very widely due to some problem occur to my right jaw, and I have been having it since last week when I woke up early in the morning. I went to a medical doctor and he said it's not within his expertise, and told me it is belong to dentist's. I went to dentist and what she advised was something rather unpractical and time-wasting (apply warm towel on my right jaw 5 times per day, and wait for another 3 months before going back to her). 'This is ridiculous', I thought. I stay at Casa Subang during weekdays and it's so unpractical for me to do it. Final step? Consult a jaw specialist and seek advices from the person.

Secondly, I have this small tiny plantar wart grew below my left foot and despite inflicting no harmful effect to my general health, it's painful and somewhat annoying to step on the ground barefooted. Sometimes even when I'm playing some intensive sports involving running (such as badminton and basketball), I will feel the pain. One of the most effective ways of removing it is by surgery. Yes you didn't read it wrongly, it's surgery! =( Although it's just a simple minor surgery, but it's definitely scary. How I wish I will never need to go through this, cause Jesus can heal me.

I was hoping to be healed by the Holy Spirit, and praying very hard for the miracle to happen, but nothing happened. Nevertheless what I need to do is just believe! I believe in His power and I know it's just the matter of time for Him to heal me! My turn is coming soon! Amen. =)

What touched me so much wasn't this, but my witness of a sister who somewhat has to rely on wheel walker to walk. Despite all her disability, she walked, by holding tightly on a wheel walker, all the way to the front just to seek prayer from Pastor. I was so touched by her faith and belief, to the extent of dropping tears, and that touched me so deeply to induce my reliance and belief more and more in God's power! I was praying so hard that the sister who has a disability to walk, can be healed on the spot! She didn't get healed on the spot, but I know God will move His almighty hands on her soon and it's just the matter of time! =)

So guys, keep me in your prayer and thanks in advance! God bless you always! =)

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Warwick (MORSE) or Cass (Actuarial Science)?

This question has been revolving in my mind for a few weeks and now I'm still contemplating over this. People have been saying it ultimately boils down to what I want to do, and it's really up to me to choose which one to go. But I will evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of both schools and courses, and I believe this would be really helpful for anyone having the same dilemma with me.

I would start the evaluation with MORSE (3 years) at Warwick. Its optional modules are enviably interesting and broad, a course structure that one wouldn't be able to learn in Cass. Stars, Galaxies, Number Theory, Particle Physics and Quantum Mechanics, just to give a few examples. It provides me a greater exposure to various topics in maths and physics, aside from probability and statistics that primarily involved in Actuarial Science. The reputation of Warwick as one of the top 6 universities in the UK also provides many career opportunities as graduates from MORSE are often sought after by the employers in financial market, although I'm bonded with the Bank. 

The disadvantages of studying MORSE? If you're certain to be an actuary in future, MORSE would be a slower course for one to finish the exams and qualify as an actuary. MORSE only provides 3 papers exemption from the professional actuarial exams set by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries UK. Therefore if you chose to be in actuarial field upon graduation in MORSE, you will be required to take slightly longer time (probably 1-2 years longer) compared to Actuarial Science graduates at Cass. 

The advantages of Cass are obviously the number of exemptions given to students and its location at the heart of London. London is the biggest forex market and one of the biggest financial markets in the world, so I can expect to find internship to work with various firms be it actuarial firm or investment bank. Cass provides maximum number of 8 papers exemption from the professional actuarial exams. I can expect to meet many people with similar interest in the financial market at Cass, as it is one of the top 5 business schools in the UK. I'm personally interested in derivatives pricing, hedging and trading, so I might be able to meet some peers with the same interest too, at Cass. 

Yesterday after Easter service, I met with a church member Daniel Lee, who is also so happened to be my senior. He graduated from Actuarial Science at Cass, and working in the Bank Negara now as a qualified actuary specialised in life insurance. He told me being an actuary is very flexible, enabling you to go into any career in the financial market, as you are equipped with 3 major advantages. First, you will be equipped with technical skills. Second, you will be able to approach complex problems rigorously and creatively, in other word, you're a problem solver. Third, you will be able to communicate well with non-actuarial people, to explain actuarial premiums well to them. These are the qualities actuaries have that make them valuable in the financial market. 

I mentioned about my interest in derivatives pricing, hedging and trading too. What he said were something rather sticky in my mind. He burst my bubble by stating I would not be able to find this kind of job scope in the Bank as Bank does not offer such job, at least not in the next 5 years. He also advised me not to narrow down my mind so fast to decide to go for that field, and asked me to finish the degree first. By then I would have some better perception on what I really want to do with my career. He asked me not to shut off the possibilities of specialising in something that I might not find it interesting now such as life insurance, general insurance and other specialisations in the actuarial field. I was interested to specialise in finance and investment area, until I found out that the specialisation involved in actuarial science is not exactly tentamount to the actual definition of finance and investment. 

He said, if I really want to go for derivative pricing, quantitative modelling, hedging and trading, I can pick it up later on upon graduated from my undergraduate degree, while working. I might not have sufficient mathematical capacity equipped to learn up these skills fast as compared to Phd holders in maths and physics (should I go for Cass), but I have the advantage of being an actuary to approach complex problems creatively and solve it. Now my problem is, I don't know how far MORSE can equip me with such mathematical capacity. I don't know to what extent MORSE can broaden my career pathways. I don't know how far MORSE's course structure can outweigh its opportunity cost of shorter qualifying period should I go for Cass. 

His last advice was, just go for any degree be it MORSE or Actuarial Science, both are fine. Try out everything first before deciding on specialisation. My concern? Time period of qualifying and intellectual stimulation that the undergraduate degree can provide. Both are extremely hard and hectic with lots of workloads and assignments. 

Anyone cares to help? 

April Bliss =)

Wooohooo A2 trial is OVER!!! I was so excited when the invigilator said 'Time's up!' yesterday upon finishing my Maths P4 (Mechanics)! Praise the Lord! I didn't have much time to update these 2 weeks cause I was too busy preparing for trial exams! Last week was the worst, with Economics Paper 4, Further Maths 1, and Further Maths 2 on consecutive days. So after 3 ridiculously stressful days of studying, time to camwhore myself! HAHAHA! Well quite unexpected from me, but it's my first time enjoying camwhoring so much! =p I think if you were my friend in my FB, you will be able to see... uh... suffer muahahaha! =p

Despite having busy schedule, I still had time (especially when I was hopping on the bus from college to Casa or vice versa) to pick up a book. I've been reading 'The Quant' by Scott Patterson borrowed from the library 2 weeks back before trial started, temporarily stopped reading 'Fooled by Randomness' by Nassim Taleb for a while.

This book revealed to readers some very prominent pioneer quants, one of which is Edward O. Thorp. He graduated from Phd in Maths (functional analysis) from UCLA. While he was working as a professor in UC Irwine, he was the first blackjack player who came out with cards counting by the knowledge of probability and statistics, to make sure the odds favour him. To cut the long story short, he soon moved his focus from Las Vegas to Wall Street and again by using his ability to apply probability and statistics, he did extremely well with his hedge fund named Princeton/Newport Partners and had double digit return every year regardless of the market condition, having survived market crash in 1987. Another young prodigy revealed was Ken Griffin, who is now one of the most successful hedge fund managers with net worth 2.3 billion USD, the founder and CEO of Citadel, amongst the largest and most successful hedge funds in the world.

But the major concern of this book is not this. It is how the quants conquered the Wall Street and by relying in their quantitative models too much, nearly destroyed it during 2008 financial crisis (what is called as the Black Swan event by Nassim Taleb). I've read 1/3 of the book and it seems very interesting so far, and by reading this book I've learnt about lots of new things on financial market and theories. Anyone interested can pick it up too! =)

Oh updates on Trial exam! Mr. Mohan, my Economics lecturer has already finished marking the A2 trial paper and nobody got A, as expected. Last year in my previous class nobody got A too in the Trial and eventually quite a number of them got A* for Economics. Oh btw, my result improved! Last year Trial I got a solid C for my Economics, and now I got a B. Praise the Lord! It wasn't that bad, I think. =) Have to work harder during holidays, my lecturer said. So far my exams were okay, albeit having a few minor mistakes in several papers. Anyway it's officially OVER! Time to prepare for the actual one, soon. =))

Yesterday was Easter day, and I went to church at night to attend their Easter service. I would post about the messages conveyed by Reverend Kenneth Chin, so here it goes!

Bible verses: Genesis 1-3, John 15:13, John 3:16, Roman 3:23, Roman 6:23, Roman 5:8, Matthew 16:21, Acts 2:28, Roman 10:8-13.

- Jesus loves us so much, and He is so easy to be loved.
- Through one man's disobedience, curse came; but through another man's obedience, blessing came!
- Sins separate us from God; when Jesus took over our sins to pay for us, Jesus had to be separated
   from God.
- Jesus was under tremendous stress as He is very close to God!
- Jesus had to pay the ultimate price for us, by dying.
- We were minus (-) in the past, and through Jesus, we are now plus (+).
- Both Adam and Eve tried to cover themselves, but Jesus had to get exposed. We have to do nothing!
- Salvation is Jesus + nothing!
- He chose the way to die, on the Cross!
- For us who are running away for our sins, Jesus had to be nailed on both naked foot!
- For all sins, someone has already paid the price with both hands wide opened!
- Anyone can come to Him, and we can cast all the burdens on Him.
- Relax, Receive and Respond!
- A lot of wonderful things can happen when we surrender.
- Before God, we took control and be the king to our life; with God, it's no longer us who
   control our life, it is God to be the king to our life and takes control of our life.
- What is your faith based on?
- Jesus took it all, paid His life just for our sins, voluntarily.
- Jesus loves us so much, that He gave his best, for us.
- We are changed, despite nothing 'visible/tangible' happens, with Jesus in our life.
- With Jesus in our life, it's no longer the same anymore.
- With open arms, Jesus welcomes us to Him!
- His greatest mission was to go to the Cross, for me and you.
- We all have a choice to make, to believe or not, on Him!
- Confess on the Lord Jesus Christ, trust in Him, and we shall be saved!

That's all! I will write another entry now for a different topic altogether! Stay tuned! =)

Favourite Music! =)