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Portfolio Analyst interview questions shared by candidates

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Portfolio Management Group-Fixed Income Analyst was asked...21 November 2010

### You have a birthday cake and have exactly 3 slices to cut it into 8 equal pieces. How do you do it?

Assuming the cake is square: slice 1: cut horizontally to create 2 equal pieces slice 2: cut vertically to create 4 equal pieces slice 3: line up all 4 pieces of cake side by side and cut horizontally to create 8 equal pieces. don't stack, it will ruin the frosting. Less

Slice it horizontally across the middle creating two equal halves top and bottom. Then simple two slice cross from above like normal. Less

Cut each slice into 3 slices. Then eat one of them.

### You have 100 quarters, 10 heads, 90 tails up in a dark room where you can't see the quarters. How do you divide them into 2 piles where you have an even amount of heads in each pile?

Split the 100 quarters into two piles of 90 and 10 coins respectively. Flip all the coins in the pile with 10 coins. Less

Simply double-count that you have 50 quarters in each pile because the interviewer did not specify "heads up", they simply asked that you ensure that you have an equal number of heads in each pile, which you most assuredly will...You're welcome America(in Stewie Griffin accent). Less

Take the 90 quarters that are tails and split them into two piles, 45 in each. Then take 5 heads and place into each stack, and you'll have an equal amount of heads in each stack. Less

Sir my name is Ramesh lal and am from Delhi and I have Faizabad in 2019 and I want to do apprentice so where in Delhi can I do apprentice please can help me out . Less

Hii Sir, I would like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Sudhish Ps , am 31 years old and belongs to Kerala. I have completed my CERTIFIED ITI from GOVERNMENT INSTITUTE ETTUMANOOR with aggregate mark of 65%. And completed my 10th from ST MARY'S HSS Kidangoor In Kerala Mark 74% and VHSE Completed in Vocational Higher Secondary School Mutholi Kottaym 65% I know AUTOCAD 2d &amp;3d designing and modelling , Mastercam 2d &amp;3d designin and Programming 2d &amp; 3d 3axis and 4axis Manual programming also know And basic solid work .CNC Milling operating and setting also know Coming to my family background, I live in joint family having 8 members. My father is a Lathe operator and mother is house wife , I am Married and I have One daughter one year old That's all about me. Thank you. Less

Hii Sir, I would like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Sudhish Ps , am 31 years old and belongs to Kerala. I have completed my CERTIFIED ITI from GOVERNMENT INSTITUTE ETTUMANOOR with aggregate mark of 65%. And completed my 10th from ST MARY'S HSS Kidangoor In Kerala Mark 74% and VHSE Completed in Vocational Higher Secondary School Mutholi Kottaym 65% I know AUTOCAD 2d &amp;3d designing and modelling , Mastercam 2d &amp;3d designin and Programming 2d &amp; 3d 3axis and 4axis Manual programming also know And basic solid work .CNC Milling operating and setting also know Coming to my family background, I live in joint family having 8 members. My father is a Lathe operator and mother is house wife , I am Married and I have One daughter one year old That's all about me. Thank you sir, Less

### A repeated case study used for over 12 months now.

Question. 1. After how many days you got offer letter?

Have you got the offer letter as till now they have not provided offer letter to me. I was also interviewed on 17th Nov. Less

### Are bond prices affected more by a yield change at high or low yields?

this is referring to bond duration which is its sensitivity to change in price over change in yield. Bond prices are affected more by a yield change at lower yields. Less

actually duration is more sensitive at lower yields than at higher yields. So the initial answer is correct Less

Classic ssga interview question. Funny thing is most of the people on the fixed income desk couldn't answer it correctly Less

### If a bond is trading above par, the YTM is greater, less, or equal to the market's yield?

The correct answer should be equal, given efficient market. Here is the explanation: The bond is trading above par because its coupon rate is higher than the market yield. This is the result of the market (i.e. investors) trying to adjust the pricing of the bond so that the its total return (i.e. YTM) is equivalent to what the market yields for similar bonds (i.e. bonds with similar credit risk, duration, etc.). Market should cause the YTM of the bond to equal the market yield. Less

For a bond selling at a premium: Coupon Rate &gt; Current Yield &gt; Yield to Maturity It has a lower YTM compared to market's yield. Less

Greater.

### Brain Teaser: you have 7 seemingly identical looking balls, only 1 is slightly lighter than the other 6. You are given a scale. How can you find the 1 lighter ball is you are only allowed to use the scale twice.

pick 3 random balls on one side of the scale, pick 3 more to put on the other end. if scale equals, the 1 unpicked ball is the lighter one. if one side is lighter than the other one, the lighter ball is among them. take 1 random ball out of 3 to put on one side the scale, put another on the other side...you get it by now. Less

can we not pick 2 on each side?

Add one ball to the scale at a time continuously . The lighter ball will show a slight difference at the scale when you adding up the weight. Like if the first ball is 12g, then adding the next one will be 24, 36, etc and the one that was slightly off will be the lighter one. I think this count as using the scale once because I use it continuously Less

### If you had 100 million dollars to do whatever with it you like, what would you do? Would you invest it? If so, what would be your first trade?

I would have a chain of liquor stores in poor neighborhoods, buy properties, put 10% in CDs, and look to invest in tech companies that deal with renewable resources (solar,wind, water). Less

Would Help Juanita expand her horizons! #1 Investment: Myself! (Get out of Debt! and go on vacation!) #2 Buying Foreclosures, Flipping them and Incorporating as a Rental Property Company #3 Investing Those Proceeds #4 Buy my own Land, Build my Own House to which will run on renewable resources! #5 Donate To many charities that support our environment, our animals, and nothing to do with humans! #6 Live Comfortably, Humbly, and Happily! Less

My first investiment could be and 'investiment couse', the best ever. So 50% in low risk investiments, 30% in middle risk investiments and 20% in high risk investiments. Less

### If you had 2 6-sided dice, what's the probability you get a 7?

You should ask if the dice are fair.

here are the different ways you can get 7 1-6 6-1 2-5 5-2 3-4 4-3 prob(7) = [Prob(1)*prob(6) + prob(6)*prob(1).......................+prob(4)*Prob(3)] = 1/6 Less

### Would you rather be playing for the New York Yankees on the bench or a star on the Tampa Bay Rays?

This could go either way, as long as you justify your answer appropriately. If you want to be the go-getter, say you want the responsibilities of stardom, but if you prefer a passive learning role say playing and learning from the Yankees. Less

You take the Devil Rays because you will make more money as a star and will have at least 9 opportunities to play the Yankees. More exposure increases chances for greater upside potential for the team and personal value, the Yankees have nowhere to go but down. So the real question is would you rather have a World Series ring riding the pine only to sell that ring 10 years after you leave baseball or have money. Less

I would answer with on the bench for the Yankees because once I prove myself I’ll become a starter Less

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