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Wealth Management

DATA DRIVEN INVESTMENT DECISIONS

Keith Bortoluzzi, CEO, Thread

 

According to The Economist in 2017, ‘the world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data’.

Like oil, data can be extracted from diverse sources. Like oil, data then needs to be stored and refined in data centres. Eventually, both serve as feedstocks for the economy. Many sectors depend on oil by-products from the kerosene that fuels airplanes to the fertilizers that nourish our soil or the soap that we use to wash our hands. Similarly, data drives services from social networks and digital marketplaces to connected devices.

Similarly, in much the same way that the discovery of oil at the end of the 19th century led to the development of new machines, boosted growth, and increased the living standards of many, data is already reshaping our society in 2020. Increasing interconnectedness as well as giving us a deeper understanding of human behaviours and needs, data transforms business models, changes the way we interact, and powers more accurate services.

Of particular interest to us is the fundamental link that ties data with decision-making, particularly for finance professionals. Unlike oil, which has an intrinsic energy content and can, therefore, be used in its raw state, data is an intangible asset with no practical use in the physical world unless it is refined or contextualized.

If you use the right tools to interpret data points, you will get a shape or a curve. From this shape, you will derive information, that is, a new understanding of the physical world. Based on this newfound insight, we can make decisions which in turn will shape the real world. That’s why we believe that having the right tools to structure and analyse data is as important as having access to data itself.

 

The investment data funnel

We can understand a typical investor workflow in three stages, otherwise known as an investment data funnel. Much like in the oil and gas industry, this funnel is categorised into Upstream (collecting data), Midstream (deriving actionable insights from data), and Downstream (turning insights into decisions). The challenge for investors today is to make sense of the overload of information that they are exposed to on a daily basis.

Over the last decade, financial analysts downsized the average number of companies under their coverage by roughly 25%, according to StarMine numbers. Over the same period, analysts’ job postings dropped only by around 18%. These numbers underscore how investors prefer to focus their limited resources on deeper analyses and due diligences. But what if instead of investing in more upstream — data collection — and midstream — data analysis, investment firms were able to put more time into the downstream section of the investment data funnel?

When working with partner asset management firms, we have seen how investing in downstream processes, namely collaboration and communication, yields valuable benefits. However, to be truly productive in today’s interconnected but physically-remote world, Asset Managers need a new approach to digital collaboration. Next-generation technology which enables them to share and discuss ideas, as well as retain learnings for the good of the whole team and wider business.

 

Next-generation productivity tools for Asset Managers

Even in today’s digital environment, Asset Managers derive their best and most original investment ideas from the collective knowledge of specialists within their organization, such as industry experts, bonds, or equity analysts. Cross-industry expertise and collaboration are often required to crack the most complex investment opportunities – but this is difficult to achieve when we are all working remotely.

Traditionally, investment teams have operated in silos, relying on different files, tools, and methodologies to source, build or update investment theses. The ability to share information and collaborate on ideas has often been based on the back-and-forth, informal communication between team members.

First-generation tools like Excel, Word, and email clearly help individuals be more productive individually, but it’s easy to see how information can get lost and distorted. Similarly, how do you ensure decisions involve all the relevant stakeholders and ideas are discussed openly and transparently when there are many different email threads and offline conversations in the mix?

When we think about next-generation productivity tools for the investment community, it’s all about collaboration and a shared digital workspace where all relevant information and people are gathered in one place to create, discuss, and challenge investment ideas.

This should include features such as real-time editing and commenting on investment notes, a centralized and shared views build so that teams can tap into a ‘single source of truth’, access to company restatements and estimates made by your colleagues, and the ability to edit estimates directly within a shared table which removes the hassle of copying and sharing Excel sheets with teams as a way to share knowledge. It is very common to see separate teams reviewing the same information several times instead of capitalizing on each other’s work because they don’t have the right tools to collaborate and properly split their workflow.

It’s time to redefine the way Asset Managers work, share and collaborate. While innovation usually takes iterative steps towards a final revolutionary product that changes the world, the current crisis, where investment teams have been forced to work remotely, has provided as a unique opportunity to break down silos and make the big leap into collaborative, next-generation investment technology.

 

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Wealth Management

CHECKLISTS FOR CHOOSING A CORRECT TRADING MENTOR

The trading mentor should be proficient in the particular field and have proper cognition about the field. The duty of the mentor is to help the beginners to improve their trading performance. If the mentor has a lack of experience, he or she will not able to help others. The newcomers face different types of problems when they arrive in the field of Forex, so they become disoriented. At this time, a trading coach can help them to deal with the situation. So, this is very important to choose a good one. Let’s know about the checklist for making the selection of a good one.

 

Full-Time Trader

The mentor should be a full-time trader so that he or she can understand the current market position. If the person cannot practice now, he or she will not able to give the proper solutions to the beginners. So, the traders who trade regularly by managing the money can help others. You also find out that he or she has proper experience in your zone. When the person will invest time to learn about the market, he or she will able to gain more knowledge and ability to help others.

 

Be Successful

If the coach is not successful in his or her field, he or she will not able to help others. Successful investors have the power to inspire others. The fresher will also get motivation when he or she sees that the mentor has gained success. So, they try to learn from him or her properly. The person also needs to share his or her wisdom with others. People should bear in mind that 5% to 10% of traders are successful in the Forex field. So, when you make the choice, you have to be careful. You can also see the features of Rakuten. And we believe, if you analyze their premium offer, you will definitely say let’s trade with Rakuten as they provide professional environment to the retail traders.

 

Motivational and inspirational

If the person cannot able to motivate others for working hard, he or she will not become a good mentor. The coach should inspire the beginners so that they can go forward. The newcomers cannot ignore the emotional components so they cannot able to think for the better. In this situation, the coach can help by inspiring the. If the professional able to increase the confidence level of the fresher by motivating them, you should choose him or her. On the other hand, some are not so bothered about the beginners’ performance, so they should not choose them.

 

Should Respect the Fresher’s Trading Style

The investors have their own styles and preferences. People also need to give priority to their own patterns which will help them to trade independently. The person should try to demonstrate their individuality in the Forex market. If the coach tries to change the style of the trader, this will not better for him or her. When the mentor will not show proper respect for your trading style, you will not able to be comfortable with him or her. Here, he or she will always try to change you. So, investors should aware of this fact.

The coach will help the investors to identify the new opportunity and will increase the thirst for gaining knowledge. They will not able to ensure success but they can able to show the right path. Some mentors are not able to provide authentic information. So, this is not an easy task to find a suitable one. An honest coach can support people in a difficult situation. On the other hand, a dishonest mentor can destroy the career of the fresher. So, the investors are required to check the review and they can also take suggestions from the others to select a suitable person. If the coach demands money from you, then you should understand that he or she is not the right choice.

 

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Business

THE FUTURE OF SAVVY TECH PURCHASES IS KNOWING WHEN TO BUY

There’s no mistaking the impact technology has had in our lives. Once a novelty, technology has now infiltrated every aspect of modern society, and technological advances continue to bring new dimensions to modern living. Yet for all the good that technology brings us – and despite the costs associated with production falling year-on-year – purchasing electronics is often a significant investment.

According to new research by Carphone Warehouse, the average price of electronics in the last year is just shy of £500 at £497.70. Consumers looking to make savvy savings on big tech purchases must both understand what the industry average is for the product category they’re interested in, and learn when prices will be lowest so they can make the purchase at the right time. The electronics retailer outlined the following tips for consumers looking to take stock of technology prices.

 

  1. Know what the average price is, so you can spot the biggest savings

The first step to being able to haggle a better price is knowing what benchmarks to look out for. While you can choose to go under or over the average price – high-end models are often priced significantly higher than average, after all – it can still be useful to know what to compare prices against. The average smartphone currently retails at £527.60, laptops at £680, TVs at £712.31 and digital cameras at £782.60.

As mentioned, there are significant differences between the price of budget and top-end items. For example, while you could get a budget phone such as the Nokia 1.3 for just £65, an Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max could set you back £1,249. Similarly, while a low-end camera like the Nikon Coolpix B500 costs around £205, the camera behemoth that is the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV clocks in at a whopping £1,700.

 

  1. Before you buy, consider any upcoming sales

Once you’ve figured out what you want and the price you’re willing to pay, it can be tempting to make your purchase immediately – for fear of missing out, if nothing else. However, using the sales to your advantage could result in some nifty savings, while keeping abreast of the consumer retail industry could also help you buy at just the right time. Below is a short rundown of some key dates to keep in mind:

January: The start of the year usually sees retailers clearing their Christmas stock, with smartphones, cameras and TVs offered at sale prices. January is also when the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is held; an event in which new cameras are often announced. If you spot a gem in the CES crowd, wait a couple of months and you could see last-gen models fall in price.

February: As well as Valentine’s Day sales, February sees the Mobile World Congress (MWC) and the announcement of new Sony releases. This month is also a great time to buy the Google Pixel and other smartphones – again due to their release cycle – as well as nab yourself a bargain camera, TV or laptop.

March-April: Look out for a ton of new releases in the spring months, with Huawei, Samsung and Sony releasing their new smartphones, and LG, Samsung, Sony and Panasonic announcing their new TV ranges.

July, August, September: The summer months bring back-to-school sales that typically see student essentials at lower prices. You may be able to enjoy a wide range of deals on TVs, laptops, computers and more during this time. Keep in mind that July is also when Intel and AMD announce their new releases. Responsible for many of the processors that make up the backbone of much of our electronic products, Intel and AMD inspire many brands to lower their prices in anticipation of incorporating their new, advanced processors into their product lines.

November-December: Black Friday and Cyber Monday are undoubtedly the biggest sale events in the consumer electronics space, with deals, discounts and flash sales offered across the entire gamut of the tech world. It’s the optimum time to invest in premium brands, including Apple, Samsung and Google.

 

  1. Embrace the pre-order period for additional bonuses

If you’re an early adopter and only the latest innovations will do, you may not be keen on last-gen products. But keeping up to date with the latest gadgets needn’t mean your bank balance has to take a hefty hit. While costs will naturally be higher for new releases, ordering during the pre-order period could mean you’re able to take advantage of bundle deals or other freebie items provided by the retailer to entice uptake. Sign up to notifications on the products you’re interested in, so you’re forewarned and ready for the pre-order period.

 

  1. Learn some insider tips to beat retailers at the price game

As a final point, when it comes to saving on tech-related purchases, it can be handy to understand retailer behaviour. For example, if you’re looking to upgrade your TV at a cutthroat price, aim for the 55” models. As it’s the most popular size, retailers tend to drop prices on these first in their holiday sales.

If you’re buying tablets, waiting until a new model has been released is usually the best time to get the best prices; last-gen iPads are often discounted a couple of months after a new release. Similarly, if Android tablets are your preference, all you have to do is wait a few months for the newest release to start seeing price drops. And if Kindles are your go-to tablet, it’s probably no surprise that Amazon is the best place for bargains, and particularly so on Amazon Prime Day.

There’s vast potential in technology – and consumer electronics are seeing more and more innovations every year. But, as long as retailer behaviour stays fairly consistent, the information above can help you comfortably get the most for your money.

 

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