what John’s been up to
Wow. It’s been over two months since I wrote a blog post—how neglectful!
Well, my excuse is that April and May, even when they aren’t compromised by a sudden relocation to another part of the country, are really crunch-time for CFA Candidates preparing for their exams. That’s the Chartered Financial Analyst program, for those those unfamiliar with the lingo, and it’s a pretty big credential in the financial world. It’s earned by a series of passing three annual exams, which cover everything from how to detect when companies are stretching the truth on their balance sheets to how to value collateralized debt obligations. Basically, everything which would have been helpful to know in the past few years! I believe it will continue to be helpful to know.
But anyway, I sat for the Level 2 CFA exam last weekend, as I did last June. Last summer I realized how freakishly difficult the second exam is after narrowly failing it, so this year I ratcheted up the intensity and I have a better feeling about it, although I won’t know until sometime this August.
On the subject of financial stuff, I’m loving the new job. My boss, David Blain, is a CFA charterholder himself, and has encouraged me in my pursuit of mine. I’m also pretty thrilled to find another man who loves to push Microsoft Excel to its limits, and I get the sense he’s happy to have another advisor with the intellectual capacity to bounce ideas off of. We’re also growing in terms of new clients, which keeps the work fresh and interesting. The other staff in our office, Mary Ellen and Jeb, handle administrative and marketing matters.
Some of you who know me might find it ironic that I now wear a suit to work every day. David’s a West Point graduate and former special-ops, and the degree of fashion formality sort of fits the James Bond shtick. Though it isn’t exactly my preference, the suit-wearing isn’t nearly as difficult as I thought it would be. It’s getting pretty hot in New Bern, but unlike Orlando, I understand the heat only lasts a few months. Abby has pushed Microsoft Excel to a different sort of limit by identifying every combination of suit, shirt, and tie in my wardrobe that work well together.
The day before my exam, we actually closed on our house in Fox Glen (the original house of Gjertsen!) so we’re officially non-homeowners now. It is a tremendous relief to have sold a house in Orlando in these extreme market conditions. Unfortunately, we haven’t found nearly the degree of desperation and devaluation in the New Bern market while looking for a new home.
So our two biggest pursuits now are finding a home and finding a church home. Each probably deserves their own post.
Right now Abby’s parents are actually visiting us, and we’re going out tonight for our first date night in… hm… maybe three months? Tomorrow will be our 12th anniversary. The downtown movie theater is showing To Catch A Thief—movie + popcorn + drink for $5. And fitting with the jewelry heist theme, I managed to find a diamond necklace and earring set for pretty much a steal on eBay.
Grace Kelly has nothing on Abby Gjertsen.