Please Help

I need some advice. This is an email i sent Ben, who I met through this forum, and I guess I could use all of you guy’s insights. I am going trough tough emotional issues while preparing for level 3.

I think my worst problem is that I am stressed out with my work, last year I was working at a local brokerage firm as Head of Equities, when my dad, who is a Physician and has a little medical clinic, was going broke. He offered me to take it and see if i could get it going, and he would split his shares with me.

I accepted, and am currently dealing with 30 dissatisfied employees, a negative income statement and 2000 patients per month. Quite stressfull to deal with difficult people. My second biggest problem is that most of the moments I have to study I end up watching TV, working, browsing the internet, facebook, or youtube… energy drained. That, plus constantly doubting the usefulness of the CFA Designation in my case. I am also a very slow reader, and it is taking me lots of time to go through the curriculum. I have read approximately 70% of the curriculum and done half of the blue boxes and EOC (marked those that I have not done for later). If I don’t get myself together this last month and do a great job, I wont pass. I believe it is possible to do it, but my current track record (given my last three month performance) is very poor. I will go to the Creighton Bootcamp in 2 weeks, it was a significant investment for me, given the airfare and the hotel. My goal is to finish readings + blue boxes + EOC before that. The good thing of being my own boss is that I can take time to study. The bad thing is that I have to face the consequences if things go out of hand in the Clinic, plus it is difficult to get the problems out of my head. I also have a 6 months old son, and am counting on my beautiful wife’s help to take care of him while she is also overloaded with work. Thanks a lot for your comments. What tips and tricks do you guys use to put yourself to study? How do you set up your study time? Any suggestion is welcome.

2000 patient per month is small? I dont know much about medical clinic, but I feel like this is large.

I was also going trough a small crissis last week and today was the day that I decided not to lose time anymore. The only reason why I did change was my girlfriend checking on me for the last couple of days and timed me ( without me knowing ) on every thing I was doing.

verdict : on a full work-free day, sitting in at my desk, doing nothing but studying ( in my head) , I did 5h30 of non study time and 5h00 of study time. The fact is that this 5h30 of doing other crap ( FB, youtube, gaming etc ) was just a way to escape the fact that I had so much left to do.

I decided to count my hours, I want to do at least 75% study and 25% free-time. I wake up in the morning early and rush 7-8hours study and enjoy a good, relaxing evening away from my computers and my books.

fact is that my 25% free time feels like 50% free time compare to my old 50% free time that felt like 25% free time.

our situation are very different, but the fact is that we both dont want to go trough the same process next year.

good luck

Thanks Summerside, yeah, i have the same situation over here, same efficiency issue. Great solution to try to maximize concentration when studying, and maximize relaxation while relaxing. The opposite is a recipe for disaster.

2000 patients / month = 100/ day = 5 part time doctors. Approximately.

I put a question mark on how much added value the CFA will do for you. You are a brokerage firm’s head of equities? At that level, performance is 99%, the CFA would be 1%

3 on 1st:

Don’t let the CFA ruin your life. Study as much as you can, and hopefully you’ll pass.

I’ll be at the Bootcamp too. Good luck.

Thanks Slavell, great advice. Looking forward to meeting you at Bootcamp.

I remind you that I quit as head of equities 1 year ago, and now I am working full time as Director of the Clinic.

This reinforces your point, since here there is even less impact of the CFA. Probably zero.

I am motivated only by the desire to finish what I started. And also because I believe sometime in the future the CFA might be useful. I also love many of the subjects in the curriculum.

3-on-1st , I feel the same. I just want to finish what I started too. Though the CFA is useful to me now it is not essential to what I do and at this point I already know more than I need to know to analyse whatever asset/situation needs meticulous dissection. The opportunity cost of this exam is costing me a lot of money. It’s a luxury and somewhat an ego thing to finally end the suffering and kill it. But don’t let the CFA ruin your life and make you miss precious time with your fast growing child. I did that with my senior 12yrs old Siberian Husky “canine child” and regret that his birthday was May 26th ea year and I didn’t get to have his birthday party for him before he past away these last few years. He crossed over early this year. I know it doesn’t matter but I feel like a bad mother. The CFA has speculative future value but at what current known costs? You can’t regrow your child but you can retake the exam. Luckily it’s only 32 more days. I would do what you can without putting massive pressure on yourself, you got enough going on, take it and see what happens, good karma goes a long way… luck is better than being good. See you at the bootcamp too. Already starting to sound fun. Also, you could cut down hotel costs by rooming with someone, maybe SlaveII or someone and cut the cost in half. I recommend you unplug the TV (tape sheet of paper with a note to yourself on it) & disconnect the Internet too, go cold turkey (check w/ wife). Deactivate your Facebook, I did that a month ago, haven’t been on since. I contemplated throwing my phone into the lake too. Some people also say get up super early and do it in the morning before you get distracted by life and then too tired by the end of the day to study. Get it done first before the madness starts. Also sign up for the Live Mock to force yourself into another 6-8hrs of studying, including the review of the mock.

Just a thought… a small business like a medical clinic (or restaurant or whatever) allows for the owner/operator to pay themselves a salary and then what is left gets distributed to the owner assuming it is an LLC type or reinvested into the business. Or, they can take no salary, and then take home more “pretax income” from the business. For a clinic, the biggest expense is the doctor salaries. If your father is paying himself too much in salary (or even staying flat over the years while the revenue and cost of providing medical care has decreased and increased, respectively), then there is a negative income statement as you say. If that is the case, then shy of cutting expenses and overhead, there isn’t much more you can do to fix it. After expenses (again dr salaries are biggest part), there isn’t much cash flow (and therefore value) left in a clinic. If the ship is run so tight that nothing is reinvested into the business, then wear and tear and the inability to keep up with medical technology further pressures the business. I’m not saying to leave your dad high and dry, but just giving an unemotional third party view.

So I guess a takeaway from all of this is that maybe you should focus on your potential in the financial industry over running the clinic from the business side. Your earning power is likely higher with the former and likely capped at best with the latter. In 18 years when your little one is going to college, which career will allow you to pay tuition?

That sounds like a lot more stress than anyone should be dealing with. Don’t let the CFA end you, it’ll still be there later on. If it were me I’d either run the clinic or do the CFA, but only you can really know where you’re at, what you’re capable of and if you should be doing it. The fact that you’ve asked in the first place though, I’d get a hand with the clinic get a mate or an employee, take that stress out of your mind and focus on doing the CFA properly.

run the business, make money

3-on-1st , In a turn of events, if you like, I can split a room with you and if you are really financially tight like it sounds like, new baby and all, I’ll cover it. Leave an email address or something so we can talk first.

Great Godism17, thanks. I’m already in Omaha, I made it into Berkshire’s meeting today, got so lucky!! I would sure be pleased to meet you. My name is Daniel.

Great advice! The simpler the better.

I agree with 90% of what you say. You are very right on your assessment of how a small business works, and I sure think constantly on my opportunity cost while being in the clinic. Anyway, right now I have to focus on getting through the CFA, and the clinic not going on bankruptcy, I guess I owe that to my dad. After I assure the survival of the Clinic, I may well see what comes next. I will have a bunch of shares, and hope the clinic leaves some dividends in the long term (not impossible, I hope). Then I can focus on “my career” meening, comming back to equities (public, large-companies). Thanks for your advice.

Emailed you Daniel. Chat soon. As long as you don’t snore, smoke and behave like a professional (I am sure you are!), we will do great;) Oh and if your wife doesn’t mind you staying with another woman…lol That might be important but glad to help. If you can’t make something cost less, you make it worth more in total value.

The plot thickens!

Can definitely understand your pain. First off, you have to make a decision right away whether you should go for the CFA this year, given that you are going to a boot-camp and time left, I guess your answer is a sound YES,

a tip on making most out of your study time, if hasn’t mentioend by other posters.

  • set time to study, and when you study, go to a very quiet library and DON’T bring computer and cellphone with you. This may sound extreme but it will completely remove all distractions from your grudged employees, web, youtube, texts, tv, etc. Let your family members know where you are so in case of emergencies they can call the library and have them PA it. We have way too many distractions in our life and making as much as possible out of your designated study time is the key! 1-hour highly focused study session is more productive than spending whole day at home reading while getting distracted. You can always deal with the problem later.

  • be nice to your wife. I am sure she’s taking a lot now but don’t take it for granted. I had to deal with a crazy gf when I was taking level 2 and I can tell you this was not fun. Set some time off your work and study and go to a nice restaruant with her. This will help you remove stress. Family love MATTERS now.

Hope this helps

Thanks QRC 019, that is a definitely excelent advice. I will do exactly that. You are right, trying to study at home or at the office is really ineffective, and taking the computer and cell phone there just kill the isolation effect. Great help!