Thursday, October 06, 2005

A tough week

The S&P has had a rough week, as you can see here. There is definitely a lot of pessimism out there: inflation talks, rising rates, uncertainty about oil, and profit warnings. I have an old copy of Barron's on the floor (from about one month ago) and it talks about how the market might go up 10% by the end of the year. Looks like that's not going to happen...

In other news, rebalancing portfolios is a pain in the ass. We've been doing this over the past few days and it causes a ton of problems and work. Basically we have out portfolios in line, but sometimes they need to be rebalanced by selling some shares in one fund and buying it in the other. You would think it would be easy, but it's not. It creates a ton of trade transactions because they can't just switch the shares from one portfolio to the other.

On a normal day the trade report I work off of is usually around seven pages long. That's not too bad and in the morning it might take me under two hours to get through everything. When we rebalanced yesterday my trade report was 35 pages long! Also, when the trades are done at the end of the day I basically have less than two hours to process them and send it to the company that handles are trading platform (which then send it to our prime broker). I always have enough time, but yesterday I only finished with two minutes to spare. In the mornings I deal with the previous day's trades and any trade breaks (mistakes made by the various brokers, etc.). I sometimes get one or two trade breaks, which isn't too bad. For instance the shares might have been booked with a different commission than what we reported or the shares when to the wrong account. This morning I open up my inbox and see my trade breaks report, it was three pages long! One guy at one of the brokers we used screwed up, and then on top of that there were many other mistakes. It literally took me all the way up till the market close to figure everything out. Then I took a breath, and had to process today's trades. We did a small rebalance so it wasn't too bad, but it was still pretty hectic.