Exchange Traded Funds: Rise of Passive Investing…Series Begins

This article has first posted here on July, 18 2017. Sharing it again. 

ETF also known as Exchange Traded Funds are on a meteoric rise globally. According to a report by PWC, ETF’s in the US is going to grow to $5.9 trillion by 2021, a whopping 23% cumulative annual growth compared to $1.6 trillion in Europe and $560 billion in Asia. ETF’s are passive investment products which track an index. Exchange Traded Funds are linked to different asset classes like equities and commodities. In the US, S&P 500 would be a broad equity index so an ETF linked to S&P 500 would replicate this index. Replication here means it would track the index. ETF would not outperform the underlying index i.e. S&P 500 but rather deliver similar returns. Let’s understand a few concepts here.   Continue reading

Winning Strategies For Parents: Do you have one…

winning-strategies-for-parents-original-imaf6bbz59zcpyzkI have known Gayatri for sometime and when I came  to know about her new book, titled Winning Strategies For Parents, I knew I had to read it although I am a bachelor. To begin with, Winning Strategies For Parents , is a very detailed, insightful, comprehensive and hands on work on parenting your children until preschool.
Gayatri is brilliant in her research and her book, serves as a primer for parents in guiding them through the nuances of child’s development.  I learnt different preschool philosophies governing children and the role they play in transforming children over the years. Born and bred on Montessori pedagogy as a preschooler, the book gives an excellent overview of other philosophies esp. importance of music and art in Waldorf teachings while the emphasis on parental involvement in Reggio Emilia. Its heartening to know that many preschool philosophies encourage creativity and collaboration right from the preschool stage which leads to a more holistic development of an individual as compared to philosophies which encourage undue peer competition. The book is serious read and best be read over a period of few days to in-digest the plethora of qualitative information on child’s development.
Gayatri, artistically articulates journey of child’s development with key milestones, obstacles and proposes profound strategies to overcome bottlenecks for a win win relationship between children, parents and education system.”

Book reviews coming soon…

downloadI am presently reading, The End of Poverty by Jeffrey Sachs which includes a foreword by Bono, one of the greatest musicians of our time. From I still haven’t found what I am looking for to Staring at the Sun, Bono of U2 group is a quintessential pop and rock musician, known among other things to be a great philanthropist and humanitarian.The End of Poverty gives an in-depth analysis of the various factors that led countries on different paths to prosperity and poverty. Jeffrey Sachs, an imminent development economist, shares both practical and pragmatic overview of international development and policies pursued in eradicating poverty. A detailed review would also come up. The other book which deals with eradicating poverty and on my reading list is Banker To The Poor, by Muhammad Yunus of Grameen Bank. Dr. Yunus, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, revolutionized micro-finance in Bangladesh and is known as father of modern micro-finance.  Continue reading

ATM: Positive Disruption

Recently, I read a Capgemini report which mentioned how the proliferation of technology helped generate jobs. ATM cards at one point of time where disrupters in the banking industry. There was a fear that they would take away jobs from tellers. However, opposite happened. As ATM usage became ubiquitous, tellers in banks were more productive in other aspects of service. Increased familiarity with the usage of ATM led to fewer footfalls in the bank of customers who only came to withdraw or deposit cash. It helped the bank to allocate resources more efficiently. In turn, not only tellers but other employees at the bank become more resourceful and hence more productive. The marginal productivity of the employees increased which helped bank branches to become more profitable through a more focused approach to discuss clients needs. This could be emphasis on personal investment products,  better customer relationship management etc. This led banks to open more branches which resulted in the increased employment of tellers and other service representatives. It very difficult to envision effect of the emergence of disruptive technology over the short-term without looking at potential consequences over the long-term.  One of the themes dedicated on this blog would be technology…

AI: Robo Advisors

For those who have seen Matrix and Space Odyssey 2000, understand the disruptive power of AI. Artificial Intelligence might not be truly disruptive in the way it’s portrayed in the movies. Disruptive Power is the ability of a new technology to change the pattern of consumer behavior. The introduction of Smart Phones led to the disruptive technology in mobiles. Before smartphones, the primary purpose of mobiles was to talk with people but with Smart Phones, the slogan changed to…and you can also use it for talking. Smart Phones refined the way we interacted with others through social platforms or the consumer buying power. Apps were the catalyst through which consumers leveraged technology for their gratification. Continue reading

US Equity Markets, Technology, Innovation and Wage Growth: Part 1

Majestic Benjamin Franklin ” Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” Founding Father United States of America

VIX Index also known as fear index reflects the market sentiment in a country. A higher value of VIX shows a high probability of uncertainty in the market usually reflected during crisis. Higher the value, the more volatility the market, with a bearish outlook. If you look into the graph, VIX was at the highest during the subprime crisis. Presently, low value implies a bullish sentiment in the market…  Continue reading