Tag Archives: technology

OUR MAY 2017 RESULTS

Our weighted average return in May was +0.76%, bringing our year-to-date return to +8.2%.

May marks our 16th consecutive month without an average monthly drawdown of over 1.3%. Moreover, during this timeframe, we have only had two months of negative performance (-0.10% in September 2016 and -1.29% in November 2016). This consistency of performance is not attributable to hedging strategies or active volatility management, but to successful asset allocation and choosing good investments.

For quite some time, we have profited greatly from our overweight in technology stocks such as Amazon, Google, Facebook and Netflix. In May, we took profits on many of these positions. As we were in the process of selling, we were quite aware of the fact that we might be selling too early (see our blog). However, there are times that you simply have to say ‘thank you’ and walk away for a while. For many of these stocks nothing has really changed since we were buying them heavily in December, yet all of a sudden, they are now worth 30% more. Recognizing how sentiment can change and to what degree it can propel a stock is a very important component of active investing. Not letting your imagination get away from itself is just as important. It is nice when everyone agrees with you – but it is times like these that you must apply the highest degree of self-critique and suspicion.

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We Have Been Busy

This has been a fairly active month in terms of portfolio changes.

As mentioned previously, we have been busy selling off technology stocks and positioning ourselves in new companies and sectors that we believe will come to warrant the market’s attention.

We have already acknowledged that our sale of tech stocks might have been too early. However, we were heavily overweight the sector. The rise in tech equity prices, coupled with underperformance in other sectors, has resulted in a reevaluation of opportunity cost, and as such, we have acted accordingly.

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Big Tech Is Doing Very Well

We have been taking some profits on big tech recently, but the numbers in this link show why big tech share prices have done extremely well over the past year:

LINK: Big Tech Earnings and Revenue Growth


Are you surprised that Facebook grew its profits the most? We’re not. It validates the point that their network is a brilliant platform that has only begun to be monetized.

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Can a robot do your job?

Not even a week has passed since we wrote about robots and automatization of processes.

Financial Times has come up with a tool that allows to determine which activities of your job can be automated:

Here is a link: Can a robot do your job?

The calculator/tool is constructed based on the data from McKinsey Global Institute. As a large consulting business they usually have wider picture of what actions companies are taking to improve their processes.

Though we should keep in mind that technology is going forward very rapidly. Many more activities and even jobs or roles will be automated in not so distant future. And some jobs won’t be automated, some will go away completely.

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The REAL FinTech

fintech

FinTech (as in Financial Technology) is a buzzword that is usually associated with peer-to-peer lending and start-ups that are looking to ‘disrupt’ the finance industy.

However, the core of the FinTech revolution will be how banks utilize technology to cut costs and glean greater information and statistical analysis on their current and prospective clientele.

Here’s a look at what JPMorgan is doing:

LINK: Bloomberg on JPMorgan’s Use of Technology

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Amazon, Facebook, Google Could Replace Banks

medici zuckerberg

Banking has a fascinating history, and has played a seminal role in the forging of the modern world.

Today, as banks furiously try to keep up with technologies and new ways of attracting and maintaining clients, it bears consideration as to what their roles will be in the future. Will they fall pray to today’s aggregators and connectors? Quite possibly.

In a world where more and more of your everyday purchases are sourced from Amazon, why not carry a balance on your Amazon account? Surely they could come up with enticing reasons for you to do so. Looking for a loan? Surely Google could personalize and rank your best options. Need to make a payment? Facebook has a decently sized network of users (1.6 billion and counting)…

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Why The Industrial Revolution Didn’t Happen In China

Here’s a link to an interview from the Washington Post with Joel Mokyr of Northwestern University who is the author of “A Culture of Growth: The Origins of the Modern Economy.”

LINK: Why the Industrial Revolution didn’t happen in China

One of the primary themes of the discussion is how China chose order over competition, and, as such, lost its long held technological primacy.

The practical application of scientific knowledge, and the willingness to challenge old orders of thought, stand out as the main catalysts behind Europe’s industrial inception and advancement.

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