Life from a saint's perspective

Friday, October 05, 2007

Option Geeks!!!

“don’t go for dynamic hedges. At the barrier, you can cover only your delta, not your vega and theta” No… this is not a quote in a sci-fi greek movie from the future.

It has been 6 months since I’ve been living on the wrong side of the campus wall… and I cant help notice how work changes people. For good or for worse, I cannot yet decide. But I’ve begun to notice that when you run into people in your professional network, you as a person are judged on entirely different parameters.

A trader's problems start the moment he calls up his granpa back in kahalgaon (i couldnt think of any other bihari little village at such short notice) to tell him that he has got a job in a big bank.

Trader: "dadaji.... naukri mil gayi..."

Granpa: "accha bete... kaisi naukri hai?"

Trader: "Commodities trading"

Granpa: "kambha...? kya????"

Trader: "Er...... gehoon bechne wale ki naukri hai"

Granpa: "arre naalayak! apni kapde ki dookaan mein nahin baith sakta?"

Many traders I’ve met hardly use financial jargons when they work. At work, they are so busy doing boring things that all communication is reduced to prehistoric grunts and signs.

Trader # 1: “Rupee?”

Trader # 2: “85/15”

Trader # 1: “4 yours”

Trader # 2: “K”

I’ve heard wise people say that a person’s wisdom is evident from what he speaks. But nowhere in the above conversation could I figure out that the two guys had 20 years of education behind them. But the downside is that, even they realize this… So all their built up frustration at not being able to use their wannabe ivy league bschool education is channeled out when they are not working.

Take this instance. I’ve fondly observed a lot of guys when their girlfriends call. The attitudes sometimes border on insanity, when the girlfriend calls from mumbai asking for directions from kanjur marg station to hiranandani powai when the boyfriend is in philippines! It doesn’t help that simultaneously she is busy haggling with the rickshaw-wallah for 2 rupees. Sometimes it is dismay, at the prospect of spending the next four hours latching on to the phone when you are at the movie hall with your friends, the movie tickets in your hand. But make friends with a trader, and you’ll have to hear him call the telephone conversation as “mark-to-market” for the rest of your life. Why MTM? Because apparently his girlfriend keeps tracking his position with more accuracy than a GPS satellite.

Take this another guy. Ask him if he is game for a movie later on, and pat comes the reply, “dunno dude. I am the derivative. My girlfriend is the underlying. So my plans depend on hers!”

In college, lunch time talk used to be about the Kersam menu or the next screening on Friday. Join a company, and you are greeted with questions like

Him: “Hey, Sensex kahan hai?”

Me: “Er…Mumbai mein…?”

Him:”Ufff…. Tu aur tere gande PJs!”

Oh! So this is what they mean by brand inelasticity. Crack one PJ and all your innocent remarks are construed as PJs!

For the next 15 minutes, you have a naked exposure to a heavy crash course on sensex and exchange rate movements… “Dude, dollar has weakened to 45.20. Just yesterday I got 46 pesos! Should have converted more man!” Before he started on about hedging the currency risk on his chindi 500 dollar exposure, I stuffed the food down my throat and covered my position…..I mean, I ran out of the restaurant!

In time, you are so exposed to these analogies that you become one of them! Once I was explaining investment philosophies to a client.

Me: No sir, hedge fund managers are short investors. It is the active fund managers who are generally long.

Client (muttering to himself): These bankers and their f***ing prejudices! Who does he think he is? An NBA star?

Ohmygod! Have I forgetten the english language?

In the end, I guess it all depends on you. There are some people I know who have never changed. Some people whose lives still revolve around wet nights and getting drunk on weekends. Some people who spend all their weekend slumped on a couch watching an imdb 3.4 movie. Some people who take it as a personal challenge when their boss asks them to increase chocolate sales in the eastern region….

Now comes the question. Do I want to be the professionally successful holier-than-thou geek? Or the good-for-nothing lazyboy-bound human who is happy with his life?


  • Phod diya Rishi Iyer.....too much.....

    By Blogger Calvin, at 5:50 AM  

  • we know this lazyboy-bound, imdb 3.4 watchin, drunk guy with a 3-alphabet acronym??


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:46 AM  

  • i'll prefer being the 2nd... at home... and the 1st in office... :) the problem lies in the speed of execution of this role transition!

    brilliant post as ever, though!

    By Blogger harsh, at 1:25 AM  

  • Well..entertained one more time like never before....and must agree with Harsh on this.

    By Blogger Fighter Jet, at 10:04 AM  

  • Good Work - not just this post but the previus one's as well! enjoyed perusing ur blog! :-)

    By Blogger Aishwarya, at 10:46 PM  

  • Hello I just entered before I have to leave to the airport, it's been very nice to meet you, if you want here is the site I told you about where I type some stuff and make good money (I work from home): here it is

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:00 PM  

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