Jan 11

Wonders & Blunders: What Happens in Vegas

 

 
 OUR CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE WEEK’S NEWS
Have you heard companies are adding “blockchain” to their names in order to increase stock values… AND it’s actually working!? While this tactic may earn press coverage, we’d classify it as less of a wonder and more of a blunder – especially if your core business has nothing to do with blockchain.
 
Artificial intelligence and big data continue to create buzz and drum up news coverage. This week Tesla publicized its use of AI and big data – improving the safety of autonomous vehicles.
 
How are you doing on those New Year’s resolutions? If you’ve resolved to improve your retirement planning, be sure to wish the Roth IRA a happy 20th birthday on your journey into financial planning.
 
Just Add Blockchain: A Recipe for PR Success?
What a difference a single word can make. If you want your company’s stock to rise, it appears you can achieve results by simply mentioning a magic, two-syllable word: blockchain.
 
The word appeared in 110 press releases within the first four days of 2018, a 2100 percent increase compared to the first four days of 2017, according to Bloomberg’s Julie Verhage. What spurred this phenomenon? In short, cryptocurrency. Blockchain’s role as the backbone of the white-hot cryptocurrency market distinguished it as one of the greatest buzzwords of the year. To better understand the power “blockchain” currently holds over public perception, take a look at Long Island Ice Tea Corp. This company saw a 289 percent stock increase after changing its name to Long Blockchain Corp, despite having nothing to do with the technology.
 
How soon before we see celebrities naming their kids “Blockchain” and “Bitcoin” to get covered in the news? 
 
AI Accelerates Autonomous Auto Industry
 
Normally we leave consumer tech out of our newsletter, but this article really got us thinking… If Elon Musk can leverage big data to improve the safety of autonomous vehicles, how else can it impact society? When it comes to fintech, we know big data is utilized in wealth management to more accurately predict market movements, but this is just the tip of the iceberg.
 
The article also got us pondering the state of infrastructure in the U.S. Is the country ready for autonomous cars? Right now, we think there is a lot of work that needs to be done before we can unleash a fleet of self-driving cars onto the freeways. AI, big data and machine learning may help mitigate risks, but data on most infrastructure projects is still confined to paper documents – project management teams must adopt new tech before we can benefit from the data.
 
Emoji Index
Roth IRA Now Roaring in its 20s
New Year’s Day heralded a different kind of celebration: the 20th anniversary of the Roth IRA.
 
To celebrate this milestone, InvestmentNews takes a look at the past, present and future of Roth IRAs. This financial savings tool, first proposed by Sen. Bob Packwood of Oregon and Sen. William Roth of Delaware in 1989, officially made its debut in the financial planning community in 1997.
 
Unlike traditional IRAs, Roth IRA contributions are taxed before appearing in your account, rather than upon withdrawing your savings, after interest has accumulated. According to the article, “Roth is the way of the future.” This comes as no shock, as approximately a third of IRA account holders are millennials, the largest generation in the U.S. workforce and one that will shape the future of retirement.
 
Do you intend to create or adjust your retirement plan as one or your New Year’s resolutions? 
 
» IN THE NEWS
Forbes speaks with Charles Thorngren, CEO of Noble Gold Investments, about a fluctuation in Ripple prices.
George Fraser, Managing Director of Retirement Benefits Group, participated in a 2017 Retirement Plan Advisor Year-end Review for WealthManagement.com.
» BOTTOM LINE: Why You Need to Hire a CISO in 2018
Advanced security protocols were once a luxury, now they are a necessity for every business.
 
If your business doesn’t have a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), you’re behind the times and at risk. We can’t escape the daily headlines detailing massive data breaches. A billion compromised user accounts at Yahoo and a state-sponsored hack intended to sway our presidential election results demonstrate that cybersecurity has rapidly become a global crisis. For private companies, a serious amount of risk hangs in the balance: Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that global annual cybercrime costs will grow from $3 trillion in 2015 to $6 trillion by 2021.
» FEATURED CASE STUDY: COBINHOOD
COBINHOOD, a cryptocurrency platform built for the blockchain era, approached KCD PR as an unknown entity to the outside world. From our initial proposal to the Initial Coin Offering (ICO), KCD PR had three weeks to build awareness with the media and potential investors. In addition to being in Taipei, Taiwan, the firm also faced challenges associated with not having a U.S. presence or U.S. representation on its board of advisors.
 
 
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