Unit Economics

The Lyft IPO filing reminded us why we love the car sharing services.  The price is a bargain - for consumers - not so much for the company which has negative unit economics.  Negative unit economics can’t last forever.  Our favorite podcasts and blogs remind us of this reality.  It is 2019 but some of the IPOs are starting to remind us of the Dotcom euphoria.  Freemium is seductive but someday we must pay.  Those advertisements sandwiched into the podcasts with their tracking systems are essential.  The irony is many of these advertisers have negative unit economics too.
Invest Like The Best
One of my favorite podcasts remains Invest Like The Best.  The podcast delivers the two essential elements of a good podcast.  A knowledgable host who asks great questions and is able to attract guests we want to hear.  Two great episodes that deserve your time are episodes with Peter Zeihan and Michael Kitces.  Who knew that geopolitics and wealth advisory could be so interesting?  Listen and see …

Spotify Ate My Homework

I missed my second deadline to post my new and improved blog. There is a good reason for the miss, Spotify ate my homework. Technology is changing the way we receive our news and the recent news about Spotify acquiring two podcast companies proves my point. This week the blog will look at the impact technology is having on information decimation and old business models. We can’t use this as an excuse because technology will continue to eat our homework. Podcasts Few people have an establish brand that they can grow using technology. Spotify realized that we are listening to more than music and purchased two podcast companies. Does this move enhance Spotify or the podcast hosts? Our observation is that it will enhance content creation but could minimize the profile of podcast hosts. We can reference the impact of iTunes on the music industry. With that in mind we will stick with established personalities that are adopting the podcast format. This month we are adding Oprah’s Master Cla…


I recently attended the TD National conference in San Diego.  My trip to the airport in a Tesla Model 3 Lyft with Auto Pilot helped me prepare for my conversations in the VEO Village.  I was intrigued but scared as the driver used the Auto Pilot to change lanes and to exit the freeway.  I shared my concerns and asked did he like the service and was he scared it might someday replace him?.  His answer surprised me and should help wealth advisors’ concern that AI solutions will take their jobs.  His answer was the Auto Pilot helped him reduce mistakes when changing lanes but retained his control to override if necessary.  Thanks Lyft driver!  I hope to channel your bravery at the TD conference.
My new firm Optimal Asset Management is an AI solution for Institutional clients and Independent Wealth advisors.  We hoped to present our solutions and receive some reactions from the advisors to help us improve and meet their unique needs.  The responses were very helpful and fell into to three …

New Format

I’m walking the talk and implementing one of my New Year’s resolutions.  Staring with this blog I am changing the format to include  my favorite podcasts and training programs I hope will it will be helpful to our personal and professional development.  After 200+ blog posts I am hitting the wall and finding that many of my ideas are stale.  Our new format will identify new and cutting edge ideas.  Another change will be changing the frequency from weekly to monthly.  I hope our new format helps you meet the new demands of our current era.

Most Podcasts fall into three categories based on time - an hour, hour and a half and two hours.  I have tried to overcome my ADD and select podcasts that have enough time to address unique and thought provocative ideas.  We will start with podcasts that last one hour and thirty minutes.  Hopefully the ideas presented will cause you to question and ponder ideas that will help you grow.  Our first recommended podcast is The Moment with Brian …

New Year's Resolutions

It’s that time of year again when people start talking about their New Year’s Resolutions.  Unfortunately it is difficult to predict the events that will impact our life a year in advance.  My sage confidant surprised me last week when he asked me about my 2019 resolutions.  Rather than pushing back I have decided to focus this week's blog on my hopes for 2019.  Characterizing them as hopes can be helpful for advisors and investors.  Here are my hopes for us in 2019.

All RIA firms want to grow.  Most realize that there are two types of growth - inorganic and organic.  Both types of growth depend on a recruiters' and an advisors' contacts.  Evaluating how robust these contacts are separates good from great professionals.  Unfortunately most professionals believe their contacts are gold.  Inorganic growth falls short when the new advisor signs the contract but the mistakes don't show up until later.  Successful organic growth strategies look good on paper but they …

Skinny Dipping

The pull back in the financial markets reminded me of the quote from Warren Buffett.  He said that when markets pullback we can see who is swimming naked.  After this week we can see many people who chose to swim without a suit.  Our blog this week will look at some surprising naked swimmers and discuss what new bathing suits they should buy.

Markets are volatile and the last week of December reminded us of this reality.  How should investors and advisors respond?  The losses are comprable to the losses before the financial crisis.  I panicked in 2009 and sold because I couldn’t take the pain and I made the eroneus projection that the capital markets and the world might be coming to an end.   I was wrong as most emotional decisions turn out to be.  Mr. Buffett has one of the best investment track records because he has not panicked and in fact he has bought from others like me me who panic and are skinny dipping.  Maybe that is why he is one of the richest people in the world and I’m n…

Stairway to Heaven

The passing of President H.W. Bush taught us all about his humility and his faith.  His morning conversation with James Baker still resonates with me.  When asked what are we going to do today?  The President answered he was going to Heaven to see Barbara and their daughter.  I’m sure it was a loving reunion.  Heaven has played a large role in my earthly life through Led Zeppelin’s song Stairway to Heaven,  This week’s blog will chronicle how that song can help after another CRAZY week in the markets.

High School Dance
When the guitar solo started we all knew what we needed to do. Find a slow dance partner ASAP.  We had both been thinking about this moment since the dance started. The risk of the ask was replaced by the risk of what will happen when the music speeds up and the couple is forced to break their slow dance clutch.  We both know what is coming.  The same holds true for equity investors.  We know  the equity risk premium is going to end too.  How we handle this reality separa…