Showing posts from 2019

Data Security

Some people put a higher value on privacy than others. My wife is a privacy zealot and I am indifferent. Recently a panelist at an industry conference accused other firms of selling client data. It’s not quite to a Bezos - National Enquirer level but it caught our attention. Our blog will examine data security and share our thoughts on who owns what, as well as who is responsible for security. While we have opinions we recognize the only opinions that matter are the clients. 
When we post anything on The Internet we lose our ownership and transfer our rights to the platform. Numerous government hearings have emphasized this reality and have pushed some platform owners to ask for new government regulations. We have instituted our own family internet regulations that might make us feel good but are not that effective. Our children know more about the internet than we do. That same conundrum is true with FINRA and SEC regulations. They feel good and when we write regulations but …

Voyeur vs. Participant

The reality of my "value-add" sunk in while I was writing this monthly review.  My reality is I have gravitated to a voyeur who listens to podcasts to increase my knowledge and synthesizes what I learn through my blogs and the consulting I provide independent wealth advisory firms.  Truth be told, most good managers are voyeurs who appreciate the accomplishments of participants who are in the arena.  Good managers have tried to score the basket or hit the curve but live below the Medoza Line.  I’m thankful that technology has allowed us to listen to achievers share their story in the first person.
Management and teachers use podcasts as a medium to convey their message.  Our favorite this month is  WorkLife from professor Adam Grant.  Podcasts allow the professor to reach stidents with out requiring quizzes or attendance records.  We have found that questions or comments on podcast are more insightful than the in class questions that often times are made for recognitio…


The recent acquisition of MoneyGuide Pro by Envestnet deserves our attention and an analysis on how technology can make us better advisors. We will try and answer that question and consider how past technology solutions worked. Our life outside of wealth management has definitely been improved by technology, thank you Steve Jobs. Wealth management is different. We will try to explain why.
Wealth management is multifaceted which creates challenges for technology solutions. We will look at three main areas of wealth management and discuss how technology can help our transition to the future. 
Technology and the availability of data have improved dramatically.  What we do with all of this new data can be overwhelming. Do any of us actually read the footnotes in financial statements?  Better yet do we understand how to evaluate the footnotes?  If your answers are yes then you won’t need a guide. If your answer is yes and you are male you might need some help so you don’t get lost.…

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 …