Apr 18

Wonders & Blunders: After Tax Time

 

 
OUR CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE WEEK’S NEWS
Hope everyone filed their taxes on time yesterday, before the IRS payment site crashed! That’s definitely the blunder in today’s Wonders & Blunders. We bet there’s a fintech solution that could help…
 
If you plan to invest your tax refund in the next big tech company IPO, the Silicon Valley venture capitalists thank you! VCs hope the recent successful tech IPOs start a trend for the other major players such as Uber and Airbnb to finally go public in 2018.
 
Perhaps you’ll seek advice on how to invest your tax refund? If you pay for advice from Fidelity, your fee will now be based solely on the amount of money you’re investing, instead of a confusing myriad of additional factors. Increased transparency in financial fees has been a long time coming!
 
Could AI help you decide what to do with your refund? Companies in numerous industries are taking advantage of the many uses of AI technology, such as home insurance appraisals and credit card cybersecurity.
 
2018’s Tech IPO Boom Continues
Wonder: Silicon Valley Venture Capitalists Prepare for an I.P.O. Wave – Jack Nicas in The New York Times.
 
After the successful IPOs of DropBox and Spotify, combined with cloud computing company Zuora’s IPO stock increase of 43 percent on Friday, many venture capitalists predict a wave of tech company IPOs to continue in 2018. VCs could see enormous returns on their investments into tech startups, but they can’t cash in if the companies remain private. The predicted windfall in IPOs could encourage some of the highest valued tech companies to enter the public market, earning billions of dollars in returns for investors.
Transparency in Financial Planning Fees
Wonder: Fidelity Is Revamping How It Charges You for Financial Advice – Sarah Krouse in the Wall Street Journal.
 
Fidelity Investments has heard the cry for more fee transparency. The financial behemoth is overhauling how it charges customers for financial advice. Fees for advice will now strictly correlate to how much money the client invests. The current fee structure is based on a variety of complex factors such as investment preferences and degree of interaction. All current Fidelity customers will be charged an equal or lesser amount in fees compared to their current plan to increase customer satisfaction.
Artificial Intelligence Across-the-Board
 
Many businesses are beginning to implement AI into tasks not traditionally considered to be high-tech. Insurance companies such as Allstate use AI drones to inspect homes for storm damage, preventing workers’ common injuries during their most dangerous task, rooftop inspection. Electric companies are exploring AI to efficiently distribute power through grids, an increasingly complex task. Cybersecurity companies can use AI to prevent fraud and protect identities, useful for many companies such as Mastercard. AI self-driving cars could help companies such as Lyft expand ride-sharing to rural areas where there are not enough human drivers to feasibly offer service.
» IN THE NEWS
News BTC reports that Noble Bitcoin will provide insured cold storage for its Bitcoin IRA clients.
The San Diego Business Journal reports that AI company Brain Corp is collaborating with cleaning product company Tennant on autonomous cleaning machines.
Robotic Business Review includes Brain Corp on its list of featured vendors attending the MODEX 2018 conference.
» BOTTOM LINE: Communicating the Value of Enterprise Blockchain Technology
In August 2017, Gartner predicted that blockchain’s business value-add will grow to $176 billion by 2025. There is no doubt that the adoption of blockchain technology is spreading like wild fire, however the question still remains if users understand the value of these new blockchain service offerings that corporations are racing to roll out. In order for blockchain technologies developed by enterprises to impact the bottom line, companies must first educate end customers about the added benefits it brings to the table.
» FEATURED CASE STUDY: Intrinio
Intrinio, a financial marketplace driven by machine learning and artificial intelligence, wanted to appeal to investors, developers and financial services companies as a data provider that delivers enormous efficiencies at a lower price point than firms such as Capital IQ and Bloomberg. The company formed a strategic partnership with QUODD Financial Information Services to provide Nasdaq’s real-time data directly to enterprise clients (institutions and banks). Previously, Nasdaq’s data was provided in a raw and unfiltered form. The partnership provided enterprise users with faster implementation and a lower cost to access Nasdaq basic on the market.
 
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