Meri Paterson

The ideas business and other interests

17 August 2017
by Meri
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Complete list of all stock exchanges

I’m working on a project on stock exchanges, and while trying to find out how many there were in the world, I discovered that it’s very difficult to find a complete list that is up to date. So I made one! (There are about 240.) I have made an effort to weed out dead ones, check for broken links, etc, but if you spot any mistakes or exchanges that are missing, please tell me in the comments or email me.

You can see the list here, or download an Excel version here. Continue Reading →

26 July 2017
by Meri
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A fond farewell to the Efficient Market Hypothesis

When I started my MBA elective of Behavioural Finance recently, my husband told me to mentally prepare to let go the Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMH). I scoffed at this. I love EMH, and it was taught to me by my favourite professor who knows everything. Back off. But as the course progressed, I could feel certain foundational beliefs start crumbling… by the end I was beaten. Long live behavioural finance.

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Victoria Street

14 February 2017
by Meri
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New thoughts on automation

For whatever reason, it’s quite rare to find a talk so interesting you’re on the edge of your seat for most it. This delightfully happened to me recently while listening to LEK Consulting‘s Andrew Allum talk about automation.

I find the topic of automation generally quite clear-cut: I think it’s a Good that will cause a fair amount of Bad in the short term. The bad consists of major restructuring in the job market and a lot of unemployment, which makes the fear and loathing around automation justifiable – too emotional and alarmist, but understandable. The good is in the long-term effect of greater productivity, lower prices and increased availability of valuable products and services for more people. Also, better jobs.

So against that backdrop of ‘This is a non-issue’, I was happy to find a lot of new food for thought in the talk. Mr Allum stressed that he was not a futurist and did not want to speculate much on what the effect of the changes we’re seeing now might be. I however am letting my mind wander, so have your grains of salt at the ready… Continue Reading →

23 September 2016
by Meri
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Why I’m doing an MBA

It’s the end of my third week at Imperial College Business School, where I’m doing an MBA. I can tell it’s going to be a lot of work – in some ways more work than my job at Little, Brown was, because the student timetable eats into my Me-Time quite a lot. So it’s important to know why I’m doing it. I’ve already self-diagnosed as a Questioner (see this post about Gretchen Rubin’s expectations framework), which means that when it comes to expectations I set for myself or others set for me, I can do it all as long as it’s clear to me why I should. Let this post be a reminder to myself…
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Imperial College

21 September 2016
by Meri
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How to get a decent GMAT score in 10 days

I’m a brand-new MBA student at Imperial College Business School. To get in, most MBA schools require a good score in a gruelling test called the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test). I too had to take this test, which measures all kinds of critical reasoning as well as verbal and quantitative information processing skills.

My problem was that I was a late applicant in an admissions process which normally takes a year. I had only ten days in which to prepare for the GMAT, and I managed a score of 620. The difference between my first practice test and the final test was pretty stark:

Total score Quant score Verbal score Quant % Verbal %
Practice test (estimated ranges) 370–470 6–18 37–39 0–6 83–89
Final test 620 32 44 24 98

Contrary to most of the advice I read online, it turns out you don’t need a minimum of three months, a private tutor or to be a maths savant. Here’s what I would say about preparing for the GMAT at short notice.

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19 September 2016
by Meri
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Publishing and the five competitive forces

Michael E. Porter is a management writer and thinker, whose most famous essay is The Five Competitive Forces That Shape Strategy. I finally read this essay a couple of weeks ago, and it was natural while reading to think about how the five forces relate to publishing. Here’s what I think. Continue Reading →

12 August 2016
by Meri
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Slow living in Finland

At the start of this month I was in Finland, discovering new sides to my home country. I’ve lived abroad for nearly six years now, and I’ve found that different things about Finland have been more conspicuously absent than others, at different times. For example, to begin with, I missed foods I couldn’t get in the UK. Then I really felt the loss of ‘feeling native’. At various times I’ve lamented not having this or that in the UK, and there was even a phase where I started noticing all the things I can have in the UK, that I couldn’t have in Finland (a job?).

This trip was a little different. Continue Reading →

8 August 2016
by Meri
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A SWOT analysis of publishing

If someone was considering (trade) publishing as a career, what might they take into account?

Note that some of these points are based on my best guesses, so if you’re here because you’ve got a job offer, do do your own research into a company as they might have very different policies and culture. I know all of this hasn’t always applied to the companies I’ve worked at. Continue Reading →