The temptation of a better(?) job

running with money
Weeks ago I was approached by a headhunter for a job at Citi bank.
The job would be a classical outsourced job from London to Budapest, in which I would do mid-office tasks related to brokers activities: booking, checking, reporting and making suggestions based on forecasts.
I had an interview with the headhunter, then I had an online personal and numerical test.
(By the way my favorite exercise: you have 9 balls, one of them is lighter than the rest. You have a classic 2 sided scale, which you can use only twice. How can you surely identify which one is the lighter ball? Took me about 10 minutes to solve… My solution / general solution will be in the bottom of the article.)
Then I had a video conference interview with a woman and a guy from London. They asked me some sweet questions on SWAPS, futures, options, derivatives… Honestly, I love finance. I know that I don’t know as much as I want to, and I told them that I do know what these are, but I am not as much familiar with them as I’d like to be.
They kept on asking, at one point, I really thought the final moment came and it’s pointless to continue.
The interview was later over and I walked home happily that I achieved to be an interesting candidate for a relatively good position at bank like Citi, for a position that can clearly be linked to finance. (My current job is also linked to finance – collection analyst – but it’s not so strongly financial.
Anyways, 4 days later my phone rang and accepted another round interview.
I would roughly get a net $ 1.400/month or $ 16.800/year for this position.
(Keep in mind we earn less in Hungary for the same job as in the western world, but we have an active state pension system (won’t get a dime from there by the time I’ll turn 70), a state provided medical system, free higher educational system and so on…
So honestly this job would mean roughly +25% more income, +55% disposable income that I can save. Tempting isn’t it?
The real bad news for me was that instead of working from 8:00-17:00 (current job), I would work from 9:00-18:00, but with usual overtime it would be rather till 19:00.
Both my current and offered job’s offices are nearby (10min by walk vs. 15min by metro – I know how the distances are great but took a lot of effort organizing my life this way).
So why do I praise this extra 2 hours free time so much? Well to me that was the decision point. I tell you why.
Right now, I do have extra time, even during my work: to arrange personal things, like phone calls or anything else that can be done in an office but is not work related. Now it is okay to disappear for 30-45 minutes then shift that time to later work time. From what I learned of the new job offer, I realized that there I would have less free time due to overtime and also during working hours.
Furthermore, I wouldn’t get paid for the overtime so actually it’s not that better of a deal at all.
Additionally, I want to get passive income or income outside my paycheck.
As from a previous post you might remember, with my family we started an apartment business via Airbnb. That will be additional income and for that I need my time.
A plus for the new job would have been that it is more linked to finance and I could improve my financial knowledge further, but the cost in time is too much for me.
I hope I am making a right decision, but in the bottom of my heart I simply know I am.
Funny, whenever I tell anyone that I am not taking the job with higher salary, they stare at me and don’t understand…
The solution for the numerical exercise: you measure 3 vs 3 balls, this way you know which 3 balls has the 1 lighter ball. If the 3 vs. 3 is equally weight then it’s in the batch of 3 you left out, if the 3 vs. 3 is not equal, then whichever group was lighter. Then you do almost the same with the 3 balls, weighing 1 vs. 1 and this way you’ll surely know which one is the light ball.

Just read The Intelligent Investor written by Benjamin Graham


Wow! After spending the first 15 minutes with the book, it just felt great! It felt like someone is finally talking to me about the things that really interest me. Like having meat someone in a foreign country that finally speaks your language.

Not that I am such a great mind like Benjamin Graham, you can also look on this as if a child is listening to grandpa’s most exciting stories.
I love statistics, figures, numbers and investing. I think I’ve just swallowed the red pill from Matrix and I arrived to the land of value investing and cannot ever return to the stupidity that surrounds us everywhere.
I own stocks. Roughly 90% of my money is in a single growth stock, the remaining is in a stock of a company that I believe would fit Mr. Graham’s criteria. Still, the market’s are falling as of today (24.08.2015), but at the age of 31, I am happy. I am happy, because I want to experience the selloff, I want to see that I can buy stocks at bargain prices. I am learning and becoming a better investor. No one can stop me! (Perhaps except my future mother in-law 😀 – just kidding)
After heaving read the entire book, I know that my portfolio will need quite a change. I’m on track reaching my goals and I just shifted to a higher gear.
Life is great because of this single book that is not promising anything, but giving meaning to the financial ups and downs of Mr. Market.

The power of family

I previously wrote an article on how we don’t have to be alone and how we can rely on our money to help us along the way of our financial life.
Now I’d like to highlight the power of family – later on I will write on the dangers as well.
My family consists of 3, my Mom and my brother (my Dad passed away when I was 3).
We love each other, also there’s a very high level of trust.
This is something very valuable which is undervalued in many families.
When you ruin family relationships, you are ruining your business opportunities too.
We can be in 3 different places, representing the same interest – that’s powerful!
We can lend one another with 0% interest rates with no risk!
We can share our financial experience and knowledge, combine the knowledge of various subjects and prosper further.
The reason why this topic came to my mind is because we recently bought an apartment to give for renting for tourists coming to Budapest.
My brother and I didn’t have money to buy such. My mom did.
My mother is getting old and it is very hard for her to move around downtown. I have moved downtown a year ago and speak English (hope you can support me on this fact 🙂 ).
I am not much of a technical guy, wouldn’t know how to fix stuff around a house. My brother is superb in solving such issues.
Here you go. I think this is a perfect example, when 3 people can increase the size of the cake and by doing so get a much larger portion of cake, then if they would do things on their own.
The power of family. (If you are interested, we decided to split the profit 50% my Mom -25%-25%).
We are however different. My mom is ultra conservative on finances. My brother burned himself once by starting a company and took him 5 years to end that nightmare – starting a business is very hard here. Now he spends much money on his car, which he loves. I’m into NYSE now and wish to educate myself.
An additional asset my family has is real-estate. I won’t go into details but the point is that we have excess that we don’t use now. Once the apartment is making money and we have proven that we can handle it, then we would consider to invest further into this business, by selling and buying new properties that fit the purpose.
We are able to do so because of the excess real-estate we have. Why and how do we have such?
Because of family.
My family has an unwritten advice/rule. Always add to what you inherit, never loose from that. It’s not yours, but your children’s, even if they are unborn. You can be free to invest with what you make, but stay very cautious and conservative when handling assets and wealth what you inherited.
So I truly feel blessed coming from such a family and I hope and wish that I will be able to pass on the wealth and knowledge.