Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Stock Market Challenge

If you ask me what are my favourite subjects in school, I would blurt out: "math and economics". Ever since I was in junior high school, I've decided that going into business would be the path for me. Now which aspect of business? Well, the one particular thing in business and economics that has always captured my interest is the stock market.

Don't all these numbers and symbols fascinate you?

Over the years, I've gradually picked up bits and bites of knowledge about the stock market from my parents, teachers and friends. However, that prior knowledge is so minimal that when actually trading in the Toronto Stock Exchange, I am utterly clueless about everything. Certainly, I am not trading with real money but rather a million fake Canadian dollars in a stimulated stock market that functions like the real one. What makes it even more interesting is the fact that I'm not just competing with myself to make a profit but also 40 other stock market enthusiasts in my school who joined this game called VP SMaC.

I started investing in November and by now, I've managed to achieve a 12.4% gain, my best record so far. Such a percentage gain is still far from the one who has been holding the title "King of VP SMaC" for a while now (40% gain)! Anyways, my results have made top 5 out of 42 contestants so far, which is much better than I expected!

Actually, when I began this challenge, I knew close to nothing about trading in a stock market. The most ridiculous part is, I never even knew what "shorting" meant! It was only after carefully observing other people' profiles that I noticed that there was a section in their profiles that said "Shorted Stock" and whenever the prices go up, they would lose money. I began to formulate a trend, which is the obvious - shorting a stock is the exact opposite of buying it; as prices increase you will lose money will when prices decrease, you'll make money. Shorting a stock is like borrowing money to sell the stock first, and then buy the stock later. Undoubtedly, a trader would want to sell high and buy low. So whenever you feel that a stock is at its peak price, you should sell short and then when the price drops, buy to cover the stocks that you had already sold. It's quite complicated to understand at first, but you'll get used to it after a while!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

First Time Swimming in a Long While

I can't even remember the last time I went to a pool for exercise purposes! Perhaps the very las time that I swam back and forth in a lane was when we had the aquatics unit for my Grade 9 gym class.

I've made up my mind - this year I am determined to swim 1-2 times a week to improve my fitness. Now that I've announced this to the whole world, it'll add weight to my motivation. :)

 I went to my community centre's public pool from 9-10pm today, but the actual time spent in the water was 20 minutes. It's is a little embarrassing to say this, but I felt extreme fatigue after 5 full laps (50m/lap)! Now I'm convinced that stopping my Taekwon Do training classes had a significant impact on my body and health. I used to be able to balance this with a cross country season in the fall and a track and field season in the spring. However, I missed the cross country season this year because I was in Russia when most of the action was happening and since the track season is in April, I simply could not put off exercising any longer.

Although the muscles in my left shoulder are tense and constantly in pain after the exercise, I fell great mentally! Exercising does pump more oxygen into the body's blood cells so it is natural for a person to be exhausted physically but fresh mentally after a good workout. I almost forgot about another important thing - hunger. I have a faint memory that when I used to swim in the past, my stomach would be grumbling afterwards and today's workout wasn't an exception either! I was quite satisfied after treating myself to some sunny side up eggs.Yum!

My next goal is to swim 8 laps in about 20 minutes. Will keep you all updated on the progress! :)

What This Blog is About

Hey everyone, welcome to my blog! Who am I, you ask? Well, I'm just a normal teenage girl who is currently enrolled in the IB program. Never heard of it? This program is universally recognized and compared to the Ontario curriculum, it compacts 5 years of school (Grade 9-first year university) into 4 years of high school. Another very important thing that distinguishes the IB program from other programs is the dropout rate! During these 4 years of the program, approximately 60-70% of the students dropout before the end of Grade 12. This statistic is based on my school but from what I've heard, other schools' dropout rates aren't that much lower, if not higher.

So what's the purpose of this blog? Well, before I answer that question I'll have to provide some more detailed background information for program (if you're an IB student yourself, you've earned yourself the right to skip this paragraph and jump directly to the next). The IB program really focuses on helping its students become well-rounded by encouraging them to get involved in activities outside of the classroom. Thus, one special requirement of the IB program is the completion of 150 CAS hours,that are equally divided into three categories - Creativity, Action and Service (notice my blog title!). Students are to complete these hours in 2 years, their junior and senior years of high school. Not only do we have to get signed letters proving the completion of hours in a certain activity, we also have to write CAS journals on a frequent basis reflecting our thoughts or emotions after having participated in a certain CAS activity. What activities you do is completely your choice; track and field, math club, volunteering in a hospital, painting masterpieces - these are just 4 of the thousands of different things that you get to pick from.

Anyways, so back to the original question regarding the reason of starting this blog. Everyone has their own learning approach, am I right? For me, I dislike writing journals on Microsoft Word and even an extremely fancy notebook wouldn't be able to capture my interest for more than a month. That's just me. I've tried keeping a written journal many times in my life so far but none of them survived for longer than a month. However, it was fortunate for me to discover an interesting aspect of myself - I enjoy blogging! I kept another blog for a year and a half now, blogging on a biweekly basis. Thus, the true purpose of this blog is to help me stay motivated for my CAS journals! I'll be blogging here on a biweekly basis as well, or even more frequent. A blog is a public journal and since I'm not afraid to share my feelings with everyone, this is the perfect way for me to keep a "journal" until graduation in 2012. Plus, I won't even have to worry about misplacing or spilling tea on my journal book! How awesome is that? :)