New To Surfing? Head Over To These Beginner-Friendly Beaches

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If you are new to surfing, there are a lot of things you need to familiarize yourself with, from scouting the best entry-level board to buying the right rash guard to practicing pop up. But perhaps the most important element in one’s quest to ride the waves like Kelly Slater or Margo Oberg is picking the perfect beginner’s surf spot. Now, there is no shortage of suggestions as to where to start one’s surfing journey. Some suggest heading over to a quiet spot where a newbie can catch waves without jostling with veteran surfers. Others would encourage new surfers to ride it out with the pros and swim over to famous beaches where there are plenty of dedicated on-site instructors. Regardless, though, of the site one chooses to begin their surfing adventure, what is vital is that they have tons of fun learning.

That said, here are two of the famed beaches where beginners can start mastering the waves.

Byron Bay, Australia: People, both seasoned wave riders and beginners, flock to one of the world’s premier surfing spots year-round. And as surfers note, it is impossible not to learn to surf in this northern New South Wales destination. From its warm waters to its welcoming, hippy vibe, thousands of surfers from all over the world rode their first wave and survived their first wipe-out in Byron Bay.

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Waikiki, Hawaii: Waikiki is synonymous to surfing. After all, it is long considered the birthplace of modern surfing. Its ties to the sport go way back to olden times, with Hawaii’s ancient kings riding the wave on wooden board before missionaries disapproved of surfing as a godless activity.

Many folks (non-surfers mostly), however, believe that learning to surf in Waikiki is not particularly a safe idea, probably because of the notorious Pipeline. But as seasoned surfers know, there are loads of beginner-friendly waves on the south of Oahu. Moreover, tons of board rentals and surf schools are scattered along the long stretch of the beach.

Catch more surfing tips when you subscribe to Anouk Govil’s blog.

Notes To The Newly Grad: Building a Career In Risk Management

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The most devastating financial crisis in recent history had many people and businesses scrambling to get all the help they needed to protect their assets. And with this need grew the number of financial professionals who are trained to assess and quantify risks and devise measures to control or limit them. These professionals are called risk analysts.

Basically, risk analysts assess economic trends and developments, company performance reports, and industry data in aid of sound investment decisions. And to mitigate a client’s financial risk, they may recommend investing in different economic sectors or financial instruments.

For new graduates or young professionals who are thinking of building a career in the finance industry, becoming a risk analyst is a good starting point. The minimum requirement would be a degree in finance, economics, business, or statistics. What is essential is that the individual can understand numbers and financial information.

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Taking up a course or supplemental training on risk management can boost one’s career as a risk analyst. Same with getting an MBA or master’s in finance. But to accelerate further one’s career, a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation is the way to go. The professional designation given by the CFA Institute gauges the competence and integrity of financial analysts. Candidates need to pass three levels of exams covering various subjects such as ethics, money management, and security analysis before getting the CFA designation.

Meanwhile, risk analysts can find employment in various industries and organizations including insurance, commercial and investment banks, and financial services firms.

Anouk Govil works as a risk analyst and eyes getting her CFA designation one of these days. For more on Anouk and her varied interests, click here.

Biggest Breakthroughs In The Field Of Biology In 2016

The field of biology had a big year in 2016 with several amazing breakthroughs making the news all around the world. Here are two of the biggest advancements biology saw last year.

The origin of multicellular life

When scientists found GK-PID, a molecule almost as old as life on this planet, they knew right away it was special. It was found that this particular molecule was a catalyst for what was to be one of the most important steps in the evolution of life on the planet. Around 800 million years ago, GK-PID was responsible for the transformation of single-celled organisms into multi-cellular organisms. GK-PID acted as a molecular carabiner by pulling chromosomes together before latching them onto the inner wall of a cell membrane. This leads to non-cancerous cell division. However, what scientists find fascinating is the fact that the ancient GK-PID wasn’t always like that. It only became a carabiner because it mutated.

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Stem cells and stroke patients

One of the most important discoveries last year happened at a clinical trial at Stanford University School of Medicine. Modified human stem cells were injected into the brains of several patients who suffered from chronic stroke. The experiment was a success, with no negative side-effects afflicting the patients. The worst were mild headaches due to the procedure. All the patients (18 in total) had a much more significant rate of healing, which included those confined to wheelchairs to stand up and walk.

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Anouk Govil is a biology major at California State University Channel Islands. For more on her, visit this blog.

Colossal Investment Risks And How To Deal With Them

There are a lot of risks when it comes to investment. They can be confusing and intimidating. Some moves may seem conservative, but if increasing interest rates factored in, then it would seem like a bad idea in the first place.

Take for instance the volatility of the stock market. The prices of stocks and bonds can change at a moment’s notice. This is enough to cool the jets of even the most iron-willed investor. However, with a bit of research, this can be handled. How long can the money grow before it’s accessed? Questions like that arising from research can prepare people and help them avoid panicking and making bad decisions.

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Another huge risk is a total loss, which can be easily achieved through being reckless. A total loss can end any plans a person has for the future, even ones made for retirement. A risk management strategy for this is to look into companies that pay dividends with high rates. Budget restructuring and lifestyle changes are also some ways of avoiding a total loss.

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Inflation is one of the biggest headaches investors encounter since it involves a lot of computation, and it’s a sure thing. Inflation causes people to buy less and fewer things. People should stay clear of bonds when it seems that a high inflation rate is on the horizon.

Anouk Govil is a risk analyst. Learn more about Anouk by subscribing to this Twitter account.

A Primer On Risk Management Principles

Understanding risk management principles is essential for any individual interested in pursuing a career in risk analysis. Many organizations depend on their economists to design contingency plans based on these principles. Here are brief explanations of the following main management principles:

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Understand how the organization works: Whether it is for asset management or traditional business settings, risk analysts need to understand how the organization is constructed. Each structure is affected at varying degrees by different factors in the environment, including politics, technological advances, social sensibilities, and the like. It is necessary to recognize these factors and blend them with internal culture to generate efficient risk plans.

Stakeholder’s position: Risk management is also heavily reliant on how involved the stakeholders are at each and every step of the decision-making process. Ideally, stakeholders need to be aware of even the the smallest decisions.

Warning signs: This is crucial. There should be early flags that are raised in case something happens. Keeping track of these warnings will strengthen a company’s or individual’s position and allow for more time to generate a response. Constant communication among groups is key to keeping activities in check.

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Continual review: Risk analysis is an adoptive science. This means that it evolves based on the organization’s goals and objectives. Analysts need to constantly review their plans and determine whether they are still effective. If they are not, then changes need to be taken.

It is a good idea to speak with one’s risk analysts for more information regarding these principles.

Anouk Govil plans on being a risk analyst for asset management. Learn more about risk management when you follow this Twitter account.