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# 10 freshmen analysts are finishing up their first year with

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10 freshmen analysts are finishing up their first year with [#permalink]

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03 Aug 2003, 18:35
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10 freshmen analysts are finishing up their first year with Merrill Barney Brothers. Every Monday morning for the past 52 weeks, each intern was called individually into a meeting of partners and asked whether each of a handpicked group of stocks would go either up or down during the week. All of the analysts made their decisions independently. The partners used the analysts' predictions to assist them in setting the weekly strategy for the thousands of brokers throughout the country. At the end of each week, each analyst's performance was recorded and tracked. After 52 grueling weeks, analyst Stolyar had the best percentage, correctly predicting the rise or fall of his stocks 68% of the time, an outstanding performance in a profession where getting anything more than 55% correct was considered great. At the other end of the scale, analyst Curly consistently got only a dismal 10% or less correct week after week. When bonuses were awarded, as expected, Stolyar was generously rewarded by the partners. However, to Stolyar's dismay, the partners gave Curly by far the highest bonus of all.

Which of the following is the most plausible explanation of what prompted the board to make its decision?

(A) Curly was related to two of the partners and was also the president's son. No one else was related.
(B) Curly worked more hours than anyone, was always that last one to leave the office, and constantly did extra chores for the partners, something the partners clearly appreciated.
(C) Although Curly had a dismay track record, his winning picks rose on average three times as much as those of any other analyst.
(D) Curly was heard to complain that he was overworked and underpaid, and the partners thought that he was about to resign.
(E) Curly always had an impeccably well-research and documented rationale for each of his picks, regardless of the results, which impressed the partners immensely.
_________________

Best,

AkamaiBrah
Former Senior Instructor, Manhattan GMAT and VeritasPrep
Vice President, Midtown NYC Investment Bank, Structured Finance IT
MFE, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley, Class of 2005
MBA, Anderson School of Management, UCLA, Class of 1993

Last edited by AkamaiBrah on 04 Aug 2003, 09:07, edited 14 times in total.

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03 Aug 2003, 19:06
Only two answers, C and D, are worth the consideration.
C should be the best answer. But the question needs refinement.
It all depends on what the dollar value of the stocks both got right!

BTW: If you find any grammatical errors in my posting correct it.

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GMAT Instructor
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Kudos [?]: 240 [0], given: 0

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03 Aug 2003, 19:21
Only two answers, C and D, are worth the consideration.
C should be the best answer. But the question needs refinement.
It all depands on what the dollar value of the stocks both got right!

BTW: If you find any grammatical errors in my posting correct it.

First you need to consider which of the five choices, however unlikely, are possible AND might explain the paradox. Then, of the possible choices, which is the most likely to explain the apparent paradox?

Full credit only with a convincing explanation.

_________________

Best,

AkamaiBrah
Former Senior Instructor, Manhattan GMAT and VeritasPrep
Vice President, Midtown NYC Investment Bank, Structured Finance IT
MFE, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley, Class of 2005
MBA, Anderson School of Management, UCLA, Class of 1993

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03 Aug 2003, 23:29
The scope of the passage is a performance in predictions made by an analyst, and not profits earned by Stolyar or Curly. In fact, Stolyar might earn a whole lot more than might Curly. Partners base their rationale on other factors. Thus C is probably not the best answer.

(A) Stolyar might also have been a grandson of a major shareholder
(B) could be, since he worked more than ANYONE else, thus including even Stolyar
(C) Stolyar might have earned more than Curly
(D) could be, Curly's predictions are MOST valued
(E) Stolyar might have given the same well-documented predictions

Thus, paying close attention to qualifying words, I select B and D. In final analysis I vote for D since it tells about predictions, staying within the scope. B goes beyond the scope.

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GMAT Instructor
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Kudos [?]: 240 [0], given: 0

Location: New York NY 10024
Schools: Haas, MFE; Anderson, MBA; USC, MSEE

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04 Aug 2003, 00:50
stolyar wrote:
The scope of the passage is a performance in predictions made by an analyst, and not profits earned by Stolyar or Curly. In fact, Stolyar might earn a whole lot more than might Curly. Partners base their rationale on other factors. Thus C is probably not the best answer.

(A) Stolyar might also have been a grandson of a major shareholder
(B) could be, since he worked more than ANYONE else, thus including even Stolyar
(C) Stolyar might have earned more than Curly
(D) could be, Curly's predictions are MOST valued
(E) Stolyar might have given the same well-documented predictions

Thus, paying close attention to qualifying words, I select B and D. In final analysis I vote for D since it tells about predictions, staying within the scope. B goes beyond the scope.

I did not say that any of the 5 items were true. You must decided if it is reasonalby possible that any of them are true (explain why) and if so, how it explains the dilemma.

P.S. This is a composed question i wrote this afternoon. It is a work in progress so I revised it a little, but the answer doesn't change, nor the rationale.
_________________

Best,

AkamaiBrah
Former Senior Instructor, Manhattan GMAT and VeritasPrep
Vice President, Midtown NYC Investment Bank, Structured Finance IT
MFE, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley, Class of 2005
MBA, Anderson School of Management, UCLA, Class of 1993

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Intern
Joined: 28 Jul 2003
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04 Aug 2003, 06:25
"Partners used the predictions" but passage did not say that partners passed the same predictions to brokers. Good documentation by Curly may have helped partners seting up good strategy.

- K

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04 Aug 2003, 07:09
AkamaiBrah wrote:
10 freshmen analysts are finishing up their first year with Merrill Barney Brothers. Every Monday morning for the past 52 weeks, each intern was called individually into a meeting of partners and asked whether each of a handpicked group of stocks would go either up or down during the week. All of the analysts made their decisions independently. The partners used the analysts' predictions to assist them in setting the weekly strategy for the thousands of brokers throughout the country. At the end of each week, each analyst's performance was recorded and tracked. After 52 grueling weeks, analyst Stolyar had the best percentage, correctly predicting the rise or fall of his stocks 68% of the time, an outstanding performance in a profession where getting anything more than 55% correct was considered great. At the other end of the scale, analyst Curly consistently got only a dismal 10% or less correct week after week. When bonuses were awarded, as expected, Stolyar was generously rewarded by the partners. However, to Stolyar's dismay, the partners gave Curly by far the highest bonus of all.

Which of the following is the most plausible explanation of what prompted the board to make its decision?

(A) Curly was related to two of the partners and was also the president's son. No one else was related.
(B) Curly worked more hours than anyone, was always that last one to leave the office, and constantly did extra chores for the partners, something the partners clearly appreciated.
(C) Although Curly had a dismay track record, his winning picks rose on average three times as much as those of any other analyst.
(D) Curly was heard to complain that he was overworked and underpaid, and the partners thought that he was about to resign.
(E) Curly always had an impeccably well-research and documented rationale for each of his picks, regardless of the results, which impressed the partners immensely.

The question states that interns were asked to predict the movement of "a handpicked group of stocks". Now, firstly, the picking could have been done by the interns or by the partners, and secondly, the bonuses have to be based not on accuracy if the predictions but on some other criteria if curly is to get a higher bonus than Stolyar. Therefore, if we analyse the choice,

(A) could be the reason, since "no one else was related"

(B) could be the reason if work-hours was the basis

(C) could be the reason, since it presents a possibility that curly's stock-picks rose more than stolyar, and therefore earned more profit for the company

(D) and (E) are unlikely answers since they do not point towards anything special about curly as compared to stolyar

I pick (C) since this seems to be the most logical explanation for a broking company and therefore explains the board's decision best amongst the choices

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GMAT Instructor
Joined: 07 Jul 2003
Posts: 769

Kudos [?]: 240 [0], given: 0

Location: New York NY 10024
Schools: Haas, MFE; Anderson, MBA; USC, MSEE

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04 Aug 2003, 08:56
AkamaiBrah wrote:
10 freshmen analysts are finishing up their first year with Merrill Barney Brothers. Every Monday morning for the past 52 weeks, each intern was called individually into a meeting of partners and asked whether each of a handpicked group of stocks would go either up or down during the week. All of the analysts made their decisions independently. The partners used the analysts' predictions to assist them in setting the weekly strategy for the thousands of brokers throughout the country. At the end of each week, each analyst's performance was recorded and tracked. After 52 grueling weeks, analyst Stolyar had the best percentage, correctly predicting the rise or fall of his stocks 68% of the time, an outstanding performance in a profession where getting anything more than 55% correct was considered great. At the other end of the scale, analyst Curly consistently got only a dismal 10% or less correct week after week. When bonuses were awarded, as expected, Stolyar was generously rewarded by the partners. However, to Stolyar's dismay, the partners gave Curly by far the highest bonus of all.

Which of the following is the most plausible explanation of what prompted the board to make its decision?

(A) Curly was related to two of the partners and was also the president's son. No one else was related.
(B) Curly worked more hours than anyone, was always that last one to leave the office, and constantly did extra chores for the partners, something the partners clearly appreciated.
(C) Although Curly had a dismay track record, his winning picks rose on average three times as much as those of any other analyst.
(D) Curly was heard to complain that he was overworked and underpaid, and the partners thought that he was about to resign.
(E) Curly always had an impeccably well-research and documented rationale for each of his picks, regardless of the results, which impressed the partners immensely.

Solution:

(A) could be possible, but highly unlikely that such blatant nepotism would even be considered much less pass muster by the other partners who are not related to Curly.
(B) means that Curly worked hard and maybe kissed a little ass. Still no compelling reason to give him a big bonus.
(C) getting lucky with a few dismal picks that happened to do well is not enough to pull him up with the best producers. Stolyar had nearly SEVEN TIMES as many winners as did Curly the few good ones that he did get are clearly not enough to rate such a huge bonus.
(E) ALL analysts are expected to make solid rationales for all of their recommendations. This is not a guessing contest. Surely that does not rate the top bonus.

(D). If this is the reason, then the partners must have some strong motivation for trying to prevent Curly from quitting. Why? If you look at the statement, Curly consistently went the right way less than 10% of the time week after week. Think about it. If you are trying to get advice for something that has only two choices (yes-no, buy-sell, up-down), advice that is nearly always wrong is just as good as advice that is nearly always right. The partners made a fortune from Curly's advice over that past year just by doing exactly the opposite of what he recommended. Hence, he was so valuable, they could not afford to lose him. This is reasonable given the statement and the only choice that presents a compelling reason for the partners to give Curly such a big bonus.

_________________

Best,

AkamaiBrah
Former Senior Instructor, Manhattan GMAT and VeritasPrep
Vice President, Midtown NYC Investment Bank, Structured Finance IT
MFE, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley, Class of 2005
MBA, Anderson School of Management, UCLA, Class of 1993

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04 Aug 2003, 12:01
My initial D was correct for this masterpiece question! Partners do value the Curly's predictions most. However, I failed to see a reason for them to do so—by reversing his predictions they actually get approximately 90% of correct predictions as opposed to the Stolyar's 68%.

Akamaibrah, you wisdom is unbelievable and shocking...

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12 Jun 2010, 06:47
c

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WE 1: 3.5 yrs IT
WE 2: 2.5 yrs Retail chain

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12 Jun 2010, 07:27
Even I thought the same reasoning b4 looking at the choices but forgot my reasoning when none matched directly with it.

Good question though.
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Re: CR - solution   [#permalink] 12 Jun 2010, 07:27
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# 10 freshmen analysts are finishing up their first year with

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