There have been several things going on lately. Big life-changing things.  My wife is originally from the Cincinnati, Ohio area and I had always assumed that was where we would end up after my time in the military was complete. We even applied for a mortgage, were approved for said mortgage, and had narrowed our home search down to a few neighborhoods around Cincinnati. I liked the village of Mariemont the best. We were literally days away from having my father-in-law physically check out a few of the homes we short-listed and thought we would want to live in.

Then everything changed.

My wife was offered a job with her current employer in the Cambridge, UK area. The opportunity to live and work in the United Kingdom might never fall into our laps again. Cincinnati is unlikely to disappear over the next few years, so Skyline Chili, the Bearcats, and King’s Island will all have to wait for now. At this moment, I am 95% certain that I will be living in the United Kingdom instead of the United States in five months time. There are still a few pieces that need to fall into place before I am 100% certain,  but all indicators are a go at this time. The photos that I have been using of “The City” in London on this blog for the past few years were prescient. Who knew?

Yesterday we took our first huge step towards moving to the UK. We visited the UK Immigration and Visa office in Munich to finish our visa applications. There were three people working there and I was a bit surprised when there were absolutely zero British accents to be heard. Nobody working there was actually from the UK, but were instead from Hong Kong, Pakistan, and Cameroon. Prior to the visit, we spent the better part of a week filling out the paperwork to apply for the visas and we used enough paper to clear a small forest to print out all of the documentation needed. Naturally, the first order of business at the Immigration and Visa office was to fill out another form with some of the same information already contained in our massive visa packets. My guess is that the excessive paperwork is to shake out the riffraff and keep the overall applications down to only those who actually want to go to the UK. Either that or the English have a penchant for redundant paperwork.

In light of the above events, I recently attempted to join the CFA Society of the UK and was having difficulty fitting neatly into their membership compartments: charter holder, affiliate, candidate, and IMC. I am not a candidate any longer, but I am also not a charter holder yet. An affiliate member needs one year of relevant experience to join so I am 12 months short on that one. I had no idea what an IMC was (but I was about to find out). I sent them an email and they responded that I needed to pass something called the IMC (Investment Management Certificate) in order to join. Ironically, had I failed the CFA Level III Exam, I would have been able to join post haste as a candidate. I was a bit discouraged when I looked into the IMC and learned that it has two levels requiring approximately 80 hours of studying at each level to pass. Shame on me for thinking I was complete with all exams. Fortunately, I can have the second IMC exam waived for passing all three levels of the CFA Exams. This is obviously something I should complete before I move to the UK as it can only help me to join their society.

In other news, I have a new job in the Army at the same location. I am now the unit S1 rep, which means I do a lot of paperwork. The learning curve was steep for the first few weeks, but I think I have it mostly figured out now. The good news is that I will be warm and dry this winter because paperwork tends to be completed in an office setting. I could not help but smile the other day when the sky ripped open and a torrential downpour ensued. I lifted my cup of coffee to the air and toasted my comrades who had to brave the elements that day. A local saying here is that if you don’t like the weather just wait five minutes and it will change. The bad news is that it is not exciting paperwork such as analyzing the latest equity offerings. It is more along the lines of filling out a visa application for the UK’s Immigration and Visa office. Such is life and there are almost always two sides to every coin.

Onward I go.