Weekend Reads for Global Investors: Fintech and the Munger Operating System
What is fintech?
That was the question on my mind last year when I was in the audience of an investment industry conference listening to a fintech panel discussion. Surprisingly, one of the speakers, a partner from a Big Four firm in charge of their fintech effort, asked the same question. He said it took the team six months to get an understanding.
Over the last year, as I have followed the subject through reading, attending conferences, and speaking with experts in the field, my answer to the question seems to have evolved. And I think I’m not alone in this: The industry’s view seems to have evolved, too. One thing is for sure: If I had written about fintech last year, the focus would surely have been on bitcoin. Now, this focus seems to have expanded to include all aspects of blockchain technology. The “finance” side of financial technology — the desired recipient of the technology, or perhaps the industry that fintech enthusiasts are looking to disrupt — seems also to have become more receptive, even in such markets as Thailand. And the other side, the “tech” side, is taking notice.
Other than blockchain, there are a few more developments in fintech that I think will have long-term implications for the future of the financial services industry, from crowdfunding to mobile payment, from peer-to-peer (P2P) lending to robo-advisers. I will write more about these in the coming months. In the meantime, check out this summary of “The Top 10 Trends in Fintech” according to one survey of industry executives. Better yet, read the “CFA Institute Fintech Survey Report.”
For anyone really short on time who just wants a quick example how fintech may affect the world we live in, check this article out. I don’t want to ruin the surprise, but I’ll tell you that the biggest fintech company today has been around since long before said term entered our vocabulary. Chances are you have used their service and even liked it.
Below is a list of links from the paragraphs above, as well as some other interesting reads I have come across in recent weeks. Happy reading, and enjoy the weekend.
What Is Fintech?
- “Beyond Cryptocurrency: How Blockchain Can Transform Business” (Silicon Republic)
- “There’s Really Only One Dominant Company in Financial Tech” (Business Insider)
- “A Question of When, Not Whether, FinTech Replaces Conventional Banking” (The Nation)
- “Banks and Fintech in 2025: An Unlikely Alliance” (TechCrunch)
- “CFA Institute Fintech Survey Report” (CFA Institute)
- “The Top 10 Trends in Fintech” (Futures)
- “Estimating Future Stock Returns.” The author’s view of future stock market returns is far from bright. (The Aleph Blog)
- “Anger at 18,000.” Don’t let emotions get the better of you. (The Reformed Broker)
- “Moscow and Shanghai Seek to Dominate Gold Trade” (RT)
- “The Munger Operating System: How to Live a Life That Really Works.” This is a rather serious read and goes beyond investing. But I’ve found the time I spent reading and digesting this to be well worth it. (The Farnam Street Blog)
- “Templeton’s Mark Mobius: Russian Stock Market Is Bargain of the Century” (CNBC)
- “Global Investment Guide: How to Invest in Brazil” (Forbes)
- “Allocation to Emerging Markets at 11-Month High,” according to a BofAML survey of asset managers. (Livemint)
The Soft Side of Business
- “7 Insights from Psychology Known to Boost Workplace Productivity” (Entrepreneur)
- “The Paradox of Workplace Productivity” (Harvard Business Review)
- “How to Trick Your Brain Into Conquering Fear, According to This Top Harvard Professor” (Inc.)
- “The Happiest Workplaces Have These 4 Things in Common” (Inc.)
And Now for Some Readings Truly for the Weekend . . .
- “Former Apple CEO John Sculley’s Views of Leadership Changed When He Met Steve Jobs and Bill Gates” (Quartz)
- “Best Undergraduate Business Schools 2016.” This type of list generally has no more value than as a point of reference. I am including it here because this list has a more practical bent (much like the graduate school version) that relies heavily on employers’ opinions. (Bloomberg)
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All posts are the opinion of the author. As such, they should not be construed as investment advice, nor do the opinions expressed necessarily reflect the views of CFA Institute or the author’s employer.
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