Portfolio associate Interview Questions

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

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

38 Answers

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.

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BMO Harris Bank

What are warning signs of a deteriorating credit?

1 Answers

Increasing leverage, over drafts and / or past de payments, slower turnover of A/P Less

Regions Financial

How would you handle a client who told you that you don't know what you are talking about because you have no experience?

1 Answers

I said that the advice and counsel I was offering didn't originate with me but with best practices industry wide Less

What are the risks to investors of currency arbitrage?

1 Answers

Given the nature of the portfolio strategy, the primary risk is trade execution. Due to high leverage, a delayed or erroneous futures or sport market trade can potentially wipe out a substantial portion of the fund. Another risk, although very unlikely, would be a sudden inter-trade change in a currency's underlying interest rate due to a unanticipated central bank policy move. Less

J.P. Morgan

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?

5 Answers

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

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Mahindra

Tell me about yourself

4 Answers

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 &3d designing and modelling , Mastercam 2d &3d designin and Programming 2d & 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 &3d designing and modelling , Mastercam 2d &3d designin and Programming 2d & 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

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NatWest Group

A repeated case study used for over 12 months now.

4 Answers

Answers are easily available

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

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State Street Global Advisors

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

4 Answers

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

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

3 Answers

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 > Current Yield > Yield to Maturity It has a lower YTM compared to market's yield. Less

Greater.

General Motors (GM)

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.

4 Answers

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

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