Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Dress for Success

When Anil Jethmal was 6 years old and attending the Campion School in Mumbai, India, he wore a tie to school.  The tie was part of the school uniform for 1st grader Anil.

At age 10, Anil Jethmal and his family moved back to New York permanently.  For his first day of 5th grade at the Browning School, located on Park Avenue in Manhattan, Anil again wore a tie, this time with his three-piece suit.  The suit had a decorative pocket square in the breast pocket.  He carried his books to school in a brief case.

While many consider Anil’s attire to be unusually formal for a 10 year-old schoolboy, The Browning School felt otherwise.  Founded in 1888 by John D Rockefeller, Browning’s stated goal since inception was not only to educate, but also to foster an atmosphere where boys grew up to be gentlemen.  The clothing was just a part of that endeavor.

However, something interesting happened along the way.  After several years of wearing a suit to school every day, Anil began to psychologically associate dressing up with working.  Four decades later, even when working from home, Anil Jethmal still finds a need to dress up in order to be productive. And while he does not wear a suit and tie when working from home, he comes pretty close….always a professionally pressed collared shirt and creased pants.

Moreover, in an age when technology is insidiously blurring the line between work and leisure, Anil, now more than ever, feels the need to delineate the two---what better way, then, than dressing for success…and equally important, dressing for leisure and family time.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Four Wonderful Years Free of Racism

A native of New York and of Indian heritage, Anil Jethmal was used to hearing racist "jokes", comments and innuendos from far too many of his native New Yorkers. He often heard that the ethnic diversity of New York actually made the city a much more tolerant and accepting place than other parts of the country.

So when Anil Jethmal attended Bowdoin College in Maine, it marked the first time that he would be living away from his New York home.  He read that Bowdoin College was mostly comprised of a somewhat homogenous "white" student body.  It was Anil's full expectation that the jokes and comments would come more fast and furiously than anything he had experienced prior to the point.

In reality, quite the opposite turned out to be the case.  In Anil's four years at Bowdoin, he does not recall a single slight towards him because of his nationality.  Yet, when Anil would return to New York for summer and winter break every year for four consecutive years, he felt each time as if he were journeying not just back to New York, but back to America's intolerant past.

In a period of time, where so many feel emboldened to express their intolerance and racist tendencies, Anil Jethmal often wonders exactly what it was about Bowdoin that made its constituents break down racial divides.  The most obvious answer is that Bowdoin College is known to be one of the best, if not the best, college in the United States.  It accepts only those students whose academic achievements rank them at the top of their class.

So, when Anil would inform his fellow students of his ethnicity, he would brace for an all too familiar negative response. Instead, much to his surprise and delight, he encountered a very different attitude. He found that his fellow students had an intellectual curiosity about India, and of Anil's experiences as an American of Indian heritage living in the US.

Given the recent social climate in the US, Anil is convinced more than ever that quality education is the most effective antidote to racism.  And, as he fondly remembers those four wonderful years, he is jolted back to the realization of how far away we, as a country, are from that utopia.  How to get there, of course, remains the million dollar question.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

An Education in Mindfulness

Anil Jethmal graduated from Bowdoin College in 1987 with a degree in Economics.  While he feels fortunate to receive his education from an institution that perennially ranks as one of the top ten in U.S News and World Report’s Best College Report, Anil wishes there was one class offered back then that is offered now.

During a recent summer vacation in Maine with his family, Anil Jethmal decided to visit his alma mater.  During his tour of the campus, Anil noticed a “new” building.  The Peter Buck Center for Health and Wellness had opened and been available to students starting in September of 2009.  It was a stunning facility, to be sure.  However, what really caught Anil Jethmal’s attention was the fact that it was also where a course titled Mindfulness in Education was taught.  The course, Anil was told, focuses on the ancient eastern arts of mindful wellness through activities such as yoga, meditation and mindful eating.

At first blush, one might surmise that the course is a “gut” (college term for easy class), especially when one considers that Bowdoin College is an institution that is known to have a rigorous curriculum.  Anil Jethmal asked his tour guide that very question.  He was told that quite the opposite is the case.  Bowdoin College students are used to digesting large amounts of information and writing hundreds of pages of term papers on a regular basis.  And while “Mindfulness in Education” does require a lesser degree of those demands, Anil Jethmal was told, it focuses on a mindful awareness and rewiring of personal habits….a much more difficult endeavor to learn and master for those who have not had any prior experience or training.

As an individual steeped in the world of high finance and all of its pressures, Anil Jethmal discovered many years ago the value of mindfulness.  Anil’s particular brand of mindfulness was self-taught due to an occupational hazard of constant pressure and stress. During his Bowdoin tour, Anil couldn’t help but envy those who have the opportunity to study this art under much more idyllic conditions.  However, more overwhelming, was a sense of pride that his alma mater, Bowdoin College, widely recognized as among the best, if not the best, had taken it up a notch.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Meditation & Stock Market Investing

When the stock market crashed in 1987, Anil Jethmal was a stockbroker trainee at Lehman Brothers in New York City.  He recounts in The Winner’s Circle 2: How Ten Stockbrokers Became the Best In the Business, “I’ll never forget that day.  Pandemonium broke loose and the entire office was in a frenzy.  Normally cool brokers were screaming…..one broker even had a nervous breakdown”.

Anil went home shaken.  He was unsure whether this was the right career path for him.  He turned to his father for some sage advice.  It was this advice, even 30 years later, that Anil Jethmal credits for his success today.  His father told him not to make any rash decisions while his mind was in a frenzy.  All decisions, particularly in the fast paced world of stock market investing, need to be made with a sense of calm, focus, patience and perspective.  He spoke of how Christians and Catholics remind themselves that “this too shall pass”.  Of Indian heritage, Anil’s father talked about the benefits and techniques of meditation.  Being in a state of mental crisis, Anil was willing to try it.

Over the years, Anil Jethmal found that the benefits of meditation are exactly what the greatest investors preach as necessary tools in order to succeed.  Ray Dalio, whose entire 17 billion dollar fortune was made in stocks, credits meditation for his success. Recently, he emphatically stated, “more than anything in my life (meditation) was the biggest ingredient for whatever success I’ve had.” Billionaire stock investor, Paul Tudor Jones, is also an avid meditator.  Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, Pixar and Next, credits meditation with helping his creativity and focus.

To this day, Anil uses meditation, not as an emergency tool during times of crisis, but as a daily ritual.  Besides making him a better investor, it connects him to his father and to his heritage.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Seven Points of Posture for Meditation

A successful financial executive, Anil Jethmal has over 25 years of experience in the industry. To help himself relax and achieve a greater sense of focus for the upcoming day, Anil Jethmal enjoys meditating. 

While there are six primary meditation poses, include the quarter lotus and seiza, they all share the seven-point posture of Vairocana. Naturally, the first point of posture is sitting down, typically in a cross-legged position. The second point requires you to sit upright and elongate your spine to the point where it is straight as an arrow. Next, it's important to rest your hands, ideally on your lap with your elbow resting near your thigh, acting as an axis point and providing additional support for your spine. According to Kilung Rinpoche, author of "The Relaxed Mind," having your palms face down helps calm your body's flow of energy.

The fourth point of posture is to push your shoulders back slightly and let them relax, keeping your chest out. Next, slightly tuck your chin into your neck and let your mouth drop open to relax your face. Finally, the seventh point of posture is resting your gaze. Adopt a loose, unfocused gaze toward the ground in front of you, approximately three feet away. Alternatively, you can close your eyes. Proper posture will help quiet your mind for successful meditation.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Best Cities for Finance Jobs in the United States

Anil Jethmal is a graduate of Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, where he earned a BA in economics. Today, Anil Jethmal is an investment executive in New York and was featured in the book, The Winner’s Circle 2: How 10 Stockbrokers Became the Best in the Business.

A stockbroker is a finance professional who assists clients in the purchase and sale of stocks. Though New York City is the place in the United States that most people associate with stockbrokers and other financial professionals, several other cities around the country are also known for their thriving finance sectors.

A few hours north of New York City, Boston, Massachusetts, is an excellent place for finance jobs and those looking to work in asset management. Boston's cost of living is significantly lower than that of New York City, which can save new graduates money while they gain footing in the industry. 

Chicago, Illinois, is another excellent choice for those who want to work in finance. Many of the largest US banks have roots in Chicago, and recent developments suggest that Bank of America will soon be calling Chicago home.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Benefits of a Meditation Practice

Anil Jethmal leads as a senior investment executive in Cortlandt Manor, New York. To maintain focus on his work and to manage stress, Anil Jethmal keeps up with a regular meditation practice.

The traditional practice of meditation has received widespread attention in recent years for its ability to focus the mind, calm the emotions, and balance the body. Research has shown that a regular meditation practice improves the body's stress responses and can even reduce blood pressure. Furthermore, many patients with chronic inflammation or pain have found that meditating can lead to noticeable symptom improvement.

Meditation has also proven effective at increasing positive emotions and reducing negative affect. Multiple studies have demonstrated the effect of meditation on anxiety, even to the level that it decreases the density of brain tissue involved in “worry” thoughts. It can mitigate feelings of depression and improve psychological processes overall, thus encouraging a sense of general well-being.

People who meditate often report feeling more connected to others as well. The practice naturally strengthens one's ability to empathize and to read emotional cues, while cultivating a sense of compassion. At the same time, the practitioner's increasing emotional stability supports the development of less tumultuous interpersonal relations.

Similarly effective at boosting productivity, meditation increases an individual's ability to focus on tasks. It strengthens cognition as well as memory, and can even help the brain to process new information, thus making the learning process more efficient. People who meditate have found that they are more effective as well as more creative, both at work and in everyday life.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The FTSE 100 Sets New Record High


Before his 27 year career in the finance and investment industry, Anil Jethmal graduated with a BA in economics from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. Employed at both Smith Barney and Gruntal & Company, Simon & Schuster featured Anil Jethmal in "The Winner's Circle 2: How 10 Stockbrokers Became the Best in the Business.”

While the Dow Jones Industrial Average has deservedly captured much investor attention as it recently threatened to surpass the psychologically important 20,000 mark, the London Stock Exchange’s (LSE) FTSE 100 also recently hit a new high of 7,106.08 on December 28.

Known as "blue chips," the LSE’s 100 largest companies comprise the FTSE 100, and these stocks serve as a benchmark for the overall performance of the LSE. The acronym of FTSE is derived from the era when the Financial Times (FT) and the LSE (SE) both held a 50 percent interest in the exchange. The FTSE is now a subsidiary of the LSE.

Of Indian descent, but virtually a lifelong New Yorker, Anil Jethmal is often asked about the caste system in India.   Many confuse the ...