Practical analysis for investment professionals
22 April 2016

Weekend Reads for Global Investors: Fintech and the Munger Operating System

Posted In: Weekend Reads

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?


Emerging Markets

The Soft Side of Business

And Now for Some Readings Truly for the Weekend . . .

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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.

Image credit: © Mueller

About the Author(s)
Larry Cao, CFA

Larry Cao, CFA, senior director of industry research, CFA Institute, conducts original research with a focus on the investment industry trends and investment expertise. His current research interests include multi-asset strategies and FinTech (including AI, big data, and blockchain). He has led the development of such popular publications as FinTech 2017: China, Asia and Beyond, FinTech 2018: The Asia Pacific Edition, Multi-Asset Strategies: The Future of Investment Management and AI Pioneers in Investment management. He is also a frequent speaker at industry conferences on these topics. During his time in Boston pursuing graduate studies at Harvard and as a visiting scholar at MIT, he also co-authored a research paper with Nobel laureate Franco Modigliani that was published in the Journal of Economic Literature by American Economic Association. Larry has more than 20 years of experience in the investment industry. Prior to joining CFA Institute, Larry worked at HSBC as senior manager for the Asia Pacific region. He started his career at the People’s Bank of China as a USD fixed-income portfolio manager. He also worked for US asset managers Munder Capital Management, managing US and international equity portfolios, and Morningstar/Ibbotson Associates, managing multi-asset investment programs for a global financial institution clientele. Larry has been interviewed by a wide range of business media, such as Bloomberg, CNN, the Financial Times, South China Morning Post and the Wall Street Journal.

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