Tricks in Hunting for a Finance Internship as a No-Name University Student

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Attribute, Esther Vargas

Attribute, Esther Vargas

From my experience, finance internships are extremely competitive and near impossible to get without the proper support, especially so if you’re not at a top university. So after sending out seven dozen applications and landing a finance internship this past summer, I’m ready to share some internship seeking tips that will save you from getting a head ache.

#1 Instead of quantity go with quality,

Or at least find a balance. Do not waste your time applying to almost a hundred finance internships on LinkedIn like I did.

There is a lot of advice out on the web and some say apply to as many internships as possible; I say pick and choose wisely. Yes, it is a numbers game, but it is all about opportunity cost. Quantity costs quality. Quality costs quantity. If you go for shear quantity, you’ll never hear back from the company, which is actually the most common outcome when applying to random internships online without a referral from someone in side the organization. So avoid the frustration, it is an absolute waste of time to write a good cover letter and submit a generic resume for every internship you would like to have; by being a little bit choosier as to what you apply to, you’ll have more time to spend on tip two.

#2 A tailored resume

Your first goal is to get your resume to human eyes and past the Applicant Tracking System (ATS). For this you need to hit the key words that the ATS is looking for. But how do you know what those words are? Start with the job posting’s required and desired skills. Next is doing the research. Look up similar job postings in the same company. A lot of times finance internships are feeder programs for an entry level analyst program; find it and look at what the differences and commonalities are and look to see if there are common themes in the type of applicants that the company is looking for across different postings. Also, while I did not do this myself (I wish I had thought of it earlier), I would recommend leveraging your LinkedIn network of student peers who have landed a prior year’s summer internship similar to the ones you are applying to and ask them if you may look at their resume. It’s much better than googling “finance internship resume examples,” besides, the worst thing that can happen is they say is no or simply never respond to your request.

Lastly, when submitting your resume, submit it as a PDF with minimal formatting. Although I had bullet points in my resume, even bullet points run the risk of screwing up the whole formatting in some systems. I used to have a nice resume with lines separating each section, but sometimes less is more. Read More

WFM’s 15-Minute Share Holder Meeting

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IMG_3398Whole Foods Market conducted their share holder meeting at 8AM on Wednesday morning last week in San Francisco. Including the spokes person, the dozen groggy executives, and press I counted 35 attendees in an extremely small room. It was as if the Whole Foods management and board of directors didn’t want anyone to attend.

Aside from the required proxy material that was sent out to me, the meeting appeared to be relatively surreptitious. I was unusually irritated when I found out there was no technology allowed in the meeting. No laptop, phones, recorders. There was no WebEx or call in number for anyone else to be able to tune in to the meeting. As an Austin Texas based company holding their shareholder meeting in San Francisco, I figured there would at least be a call in number.

As an 11 billion dollar company, I had anticipated CEO John Macky or another member of the executive team to present their opinion on future outlook and calm potential investor concern. The formal portion of the meeting, where the proposals are voted on, lasted only 15 minutes out of 35. The Q&A which followed the formal potion of the meeting has not been made publicly available on Whole Foods website. Suitably, I am taking a Business, Government, Society class where I have been learning a little bit about the duties of the board of directors, shareholder rights, and corporate governance.

By law, stockholders have a right to know about the affairs of the corporations in which they hold ownership shares. Those who attend annual meetings learn about past performance and future goals through speeches made by corporate officers and documents such as the company’s annual report. Those who do not attend meetings must depend primarily on annual reports issued by the company (Lawrence, 325).

The quote from my text book implies that it is standard to have management speak at the meetings, so I was greatly disappointed when the chairman went straight to Q&A.

The Need for a Share Holder Resolution

It is the board’s and management’s duty to act in the share holder’s best interest while balancing the needs of all stakeholders involved. The chair person and spokes person didn’t even make a reasonable effort to answer my question regard the firms conservative leverage. There was a share holder who was rushed to finish his statement (while I do concede it was a bit long winded, his statement lasted no more than four minutes) while there wasn’t anyone else waiting in line.

It seemed like management intentionally made the meeting difficult to get to and unavailable via call in or WebEx as a means to avoid frustrated and inquisitive shareholders. To solve this issue, I would propose a resolution to have technology allowed and a WebEx made available for all shareholders to be able to attend future meetings. Unfortunately, according to the proxy material, I do not qualify to propose such a resolution since I must be able to “furnish evidence of ownership of no less than $2,000 (market value) of shares of Whole Foods Market, Inc. common stock for at leas one year prior to the date the proposal was submitted.”

Works Cited

Lawrence, Anne; Weber, James (2013-01-01). Business and Society: Stakeholders, Ethics, Public Policy, 14th edition (Page 325). Business And Economics. Kindle Edition.

Whole Foods Proxy Statement 2016

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Appetite for WFM

MonetaryMark Stock Overview & Analysis 0 Comments

Attribute Laura Taylor

Attribute Laura Taylor

Business Overview & Industry Analysis

Whole Foods is a leading natural and organic foods supermarket which operates primarily in the United States. Whole Foods operates stores in Canada and England which accounted for only three percent of Whole Foods’ total sales this past fiscal year.

Whole Foods differentiates its products by demanding stringent quality standards from suppliers with sustainably sourced products and bans on over a hundred ingredients commonly found at other stores such as hydrogenated fats.

Management concedes that a significant risk to the company’s profitability is the increasing competition in the natural and organic foods space, which may cause decreasing profit margins if the company fails to differentiate itself and foster customer loyalty. Historically, Whole Foods has been able to keep 2%-4% profit margins above the the industry’s 2% profit margins. Whole Foods is moving some of its product lines to more competitive pricing which is an added risk to profitability.

The American Retail and Wholesale Food Industry has under performed the market over the past year. The operating environment is favorable to the industry due to stronger economic conditions (such as rising personal incomes) and a strong dollar all while avoiding struggling economies in Europe and Asia (Value Line). Whole Foods in particular benefits from the strong dollar because of low oversees exposure and low oil cost.

Whole Foods Financial Position

Whole Foods is primarily equity financed and holds far less debt than its competitors. Kroger, one of the leading grocers in the United States, is 60% debt finance compared to Whole Foods’ 17% as shown by the long term debt ratio.

Whole Foods’ internal Weighted Average Cost of Capital (WACC) is 8%. Even though Whole Foods has a strong financial position with conservative leverage ratios, the company is not aggressively rolling out 365 stores, with goals of . Whole Foods’ investment decisions are affected more by individual store performance and its 8% WACC; And not by a significant debt burden. If Whole Foods wanted to roll out more 365 stores rapidly in the future, it could do so easily by taking on debt and benefiting through its after tax cost of debt interest since Whole Foods effective tax rate was 39% this past fiscal year.Read More

Reflection & New Year’s Outlook

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Attribute to Peter Thoeny

Attribute to Peter Thoeny

Reflection on 2015:

Let’s start with the good. I learned a lot about time management, goal setting, social media marketing using hoot suite, and WordPress. I was constantly researching topics and ideas that I had jotted down which resulted in a lot of new knowledge.

As an eager and optimistic student, I was and still am looking to others for interesting ideas, know-how, and examples of refreshing blogs with fun but informative content. I spoke to many people online and off which had great advice.

Now the bad (lessons learned).

  1. Like other newbie bloggers, the most discouraging mistake I made was paying too much attention to details which took time away from blogging and learning about the things that mattered most to me. I had this big elaborate detailed plan for launching an “incredible and resourceful” blog; but as I have learned, launching a blog is more like business, where entrepreneurs usually need to start small and build their business up.
    1. I am my own worst critic. I wrote and rewrote a lot of content that never ended up on the blog partly because I paid too much attention to detail. Getting the perfect post is damn near impossible and extremely exhaustive.
  2. Being disorganized. I function best with structured routines, deadlines, and strict goals, which I had, but lacked the accountability.
    1. Being disorganized ultimately leads to poor life style habits succumbing to the abundance of distractions at home while trying to balance the array of school work, business club projects, internship seeking, and the blog which proved more difficult without strict deadlines and a good system.

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Oracle Summary, Analysis & Comparison to Intel

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Attribute to Rob Shenk

Business Overview

Oracle offers both products and services for corporate information technology environments as well as platforms and infrastructures. Oracle’s products and services are deliverable via the cloud computing or onsite deployment. Their product mix can be divided into two categories: software and hardware. Their hardware consists of servers, storage and networking equipment. Their software products are often deliverable via cloud services through Software as a service, Platform as a service, and Infrastructure as a service packages; but Oracle also sells “On premise IT environments” selling hardware and software together while offering support. In summary, Oracle is in the “technology integration business” with goals to improve operations and performance.

Since 2013 Oracle has invested $15.6B in R&D improve products and services as well as develop new products and services. (Note: Ratio calculations in spreadsheet at bottom of page)

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Tesloop -Innovative & Cost-effective Travel

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Tesloop A New Generation of Travel

Tesloop, a small start up, will begin transporting passengers with Tesla’s Model S between Vegas and LA on July first. Tesloop is the first to build upon Tesla as a platform with a mission to offer “safe, enriching, and sustainable transportation”.

Tesloop is offering affordable prices for trips between Los Angeles and Las Vegas only costing $75. Tesloop is a zero emission and cheaper alternative than flight and much more comfortable than bus; not to mention you will be brought to your hotel on the strip with out ever having to deal with pesky TSA security, shuttles, rentals or cabs.

At first I was unconvinced of its feasibility mostly because of the battery being the biggest variable. You just don’t know for sure how the battery is going hold and how much range loss to calculate for, especially if you use the super chargers frequently; but the more I thought about tesloop’s idea; the more brilliant it seemed, and to some extent, pretty low risk too.

Range loss may not be so bad after all since for the model S “…there’s reason for optimism” for the reason that range loss for the initial Tesla, the Roadster, was much better than expected; It held 80-85% of its range after a hundred thousand miles as opposed to the predicted 70% capacity after fifty thousand miles or five years.

Tesla’s batteries have only gotten better since the company has subsequently continued to put big money into battery R&D.

Another reason why Tesloop does not need to worry about battery defectiveness and significant range loss is because their first vehicle has the 85kWh battery, the only battery pack to offer a limited warranty for infinite miles within 8 years. There isn’t much that will void the warranty besides vehicle modification and overloading the vehicle, which shouldn’t be so hard to observe. The vehicle load limit is 954lb, which means that luggage may not total more than 350lbs assuming four people weighing 150 are in the car.

It seems like Tesloop will truly be able to harness Tesla’s full potential and monetize off of it without extreme difficulty by fully leveraging a Tesla’s low operating costs.

I’ll be using Tesloop the next time I go between Vegas and LA!

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Tesla Motor’s (TSLA) Shareholder Meeting Vibe & Outlook

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I visited Tesla Motor’s (TSLA) shareholder meeting this week as well as two years ago in 2013. Since then, the company has made huge strides. Back at the 2013 shareholder meeting, they had just started delivering the Model S, and the Model X was planned; but still only a concept. Elon Musk and most shareholders were thrilled with the company’s successful deliveries and future outlook. Tesla, till that point, had been merely a “promise stock” till it finally started churning out the Model S.

The Optimism Measurement

After the meeting, I randomly asked 23 shareholders whether they felt extremely optimistic(13%), optimistic(52%), somewhat optimistic(35%) or not optimistic at all in regard to the company’s current position and future outlook.


I wanted to compare how shareholders felt about the company. Unfortunately, I did not survey shareholders the same way as I did in the past; so I can’t accurately make a comparison to any type of historical data. Either way, to my surprise, most of the people I had talked to were not as optimistic as I had anticipated, or at least nowhere near as optimistic as in 2013, where the “under dog little car company” had established themselves by delivering the S.

Obviously, no one was “not optimistic at all” or they’d either be shorting the stock or simply not invested, but I ask it just in case. I’m going to focus on those who were somewhat optimistic because they compose 35% of my survey and held some concerns for Tesla’s near and long term future.

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Understanding How to Use Margin Accounts to Avoid Free Ride Trading

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Your investing with a cash account and before you place your next trade you get a free ride notification saying you can’t sell within three days if you place the trade. You google or ask your broker “how to avoid free riding” and more likely than not, both will tell you to use a margin account!

Using margin happens to not appeal to you, because you only want to use money you own. You simply don’t want to use the leverage if you get the margin account. In this scenario, how do you use a margin account without leveraging and paying interest?

Most brokers do not charge interest during the settlement period known as T+3 (trade day+ 3 days, but  ask  your broker just in case). In other words, with a margin account, you can sell and then buy (using what would normally be unsettled funds in a cash account) with out paying any interest. You have to remember though, using a margin account will not eliminate the free ride problem completely, that is if you trade your portfolio too quickly. If you have under $25,000 in your account, you will only be allowed “three round trips” with in a day. If you try to do more your broker will stop you (unless you meet the $25,000 requirement) and want to be a day trader.

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Gas VS Hybrid Model Counterpart Net Present Value Comparison

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Picture attribute to Mariordo (Mario R. Durán Ortiz)

Picture attributed to Mariordo (Mario R. Durán Ortiz)

If you go to a dealer ship with your eyes set on a make and model, the car salesman might try to pique your interest in the hybrid counter part. On the window is the car’s pricing and total savings nicely calculated; but are you actually saving? Maybe, but there is no short answer if you want to know for sure.

I created an excel spread sheet to compute the net present value calculations for the costs of the vehicle during a 10 year period. In doing so, I had to make a few assumptions pertaining to the price of gas, depreciation, and maintenance costs (all of which you can see side by side in the excel spreadsheet).

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My Favorite Free Resources for Stock Trading

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There are an array of resources for those for those trading and investing in public companies. Whether you are a college student, average joe, or a seasoned professional; the most useful resources will be the same. The investor information will only be as valuable as it’s congruence with your investing style. To a technical trader, the debt ratios will most likely be useless, as would a long term value investor find technical charts not too useful as well.

Your broker is usually a great resource, but what if  you don’t have one? Or your broker doesn’t provide a knowledge center? Well there are many great free resources out there!

1)  Your Library

Every library is different, but most have a business corner or section in the library. Some libraries even subscribe to Value Lines which can cost almost as much as $800 per year. Value line analyzes stocks and presents their findings in a easy to comprehend way with a timeliness, safety, and technical rating. While value lines are nice, you still have to do your own work and research! If you are completely new to stocks and investments, you must do a lot of reading and studying before investing. There is no better place than a Library. Take a look into the index of a few books, read away!

2) A Good Stock Screener

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