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INSIGHT

Our senior team provides the latest thinking on issues effecting growth and the capital markets.

 

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An Open Letter to the Electoral College 

Gregory M. Thomas

 

The election of 2016 was one of the toughest and most controversial elections of our lifetimes. In fact, the outcome was unprecedented. The presumed winner won enough states to garner more than 300 electoral votes, whilst the loser won the national popular vote by more than two million votes.

How Tech is Transforming Payments 

Gregory M. Thomas

 

Not so long ago, the options were simple: cash or credit. Yet technology has forever transformed payments. In what seems like the blink of an eye, we have entered a world where an ever-growing number of transactions are facilitated by something else in our pockets – our smartphones. This has led to an explosion of payment options, many of which were impossible just a couple of years ago.

4 Ways Pokémon GO is Introducing AR to the Masses 

Gregory M. Thomas

 

Haven’t heard of Pokémon GO? That’s awfully hard to believe. Released in selected markets on July 6, 2016, the app has been installed over 100 million times in less than a month. Despite privacy issues, bugs, a server crash and even deaths, the he game IS the biggest thing in mobile since the iPhone and its impact may be the turning point in the adoption of Augmented Reality (AR).

The Big Data Advantage in the Race for the White House 

Gregory M. Thomas

 

The use of Big Data in presidential politics date back to the work of the Bush team in 2004. Remember, this was big data before it was Big Data and W’s campaign staff utilized data mining to ensure victories in swing states such as Florida and Ohio. In 2008, then-Senator Obama brought in engineers from Silicon Valley to build algorithms to power fundraising and messaging.  

Advances In Batteries To Spur Growth in IoT 

Gregory M. Thomas

 

According to many sources, mass adoption of IoT (Internet of Things) devices will spawn a data tsunami as increasing amounts of the information will be collected regarding our movements and the movements of the products and services we use every day.  However, one area which is commonly overlooked is how these devices will be powered.

Is Skynet Real? A Rational Answer 

Gregory M. Thomas

 

There is no need to ditch your cell phone and live in a cave – just yet. The real Skynet does not have the nuclear launch codes on speed dial.  Instead, the government agency uses Skynet to track terrorist suspects.  The program relies on location tracking information and other...

 

What Toyota’s Acquisition of Boston Dynamics Means for the Development of Robotics? 

Gregory M. Thomas

 

While Toyota’s acquisition of Google’s robotics division, Boston Dynamics, has yet to be finalized, a number of industry insiders believe the deal is imminent.  If it goes through, Toyota would be one of the few automakers with a wholly-owned robotics laboratory ...  

 

The Importance Of Commercial 5G Wireless Service To IoT 

Gregory M. Thomas

 

5G or fifth-generation cellular service is still a few years from being a reality, and obstacles, such as determining global standards, remain. However, the technology, which promises ultra-fast cell service, is slowly making its way out of the laboratory and into the field and by 2019, if not sooner, 5G cell service will become a reality. As such, let’s take a closer look at what exactly 5G is, and why is it so important for IoT (Internet of Things).

 

AI Or Fintech: Which Will Have A Bigger Impact On Finance 

Gregory M. Thomas

 

There is no denying 2015 was Fintech’s year.  Every start startup or VC conference had at least one panel dedicated to the subject.  What is fintech?  It is usually defined as subset of the tech universe which is focused on disrupting debt and equity transactions, payments, transfers, as well as asset management – basically applying disruptive technology to the financial services sector.

 

When Is Big Data Too Big? 

Gregory M. Thomas

 

Spoiler alert, this article is not about the rise of Big Data.  It is not a fad, so get used to analytics becoming an ever increasing part of life.

 

In fact, the ‘big’ in Big Data will likely get even larger as billions of IoT (Internet of Things) devices come online.  For self-styled ‘quants’ like myself, Big Data is mana from heaven ...

 

Mobile VR: It’s not just for gamers 

Gregory M. Thomas

 

Since the 1990’s much of the advancement in Virtual Reality (VR) has centered around gaming.  However, this is beginning to change as faster processors and VR-enabled smartphones have unlocked a multitude of applications for the technology.  Smartphone companies such as HTC and Samsung are rushing to bring VR-enabled handsets to the market, and Google is working on a solution of their one. 

Opening Remarks on Strategic Service Sectors & Competitiveness in Thailand

Gregory M. Thomas

 

Delivered at the 2016 Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce in Thailand (JFCCT) Forum on Services.

Strategic service sectors are those which act as enablers for the broader economy...  

How The Cloud Is Changing The Face Of Education

Gregory M. Thomas

 

One of the biggest challenges facing educators today is the integration of new technologies into the classroom. As if it were not hard enough to keep pace with the new education technology applications being developed every day, today’s students are digital natives – they do not know a world without Wi-Fi or even mobile. So embracing technology, its pros and its cons, is becoming increasingly crucial to support the mission of our educators.

How Big Data & AI Will Help Battle Climate Change

Gregory M. Thomas

 

Climate deniers aside, there are very few people who are not concerned about the effects of climate change. According to a poll released by Monmouth University in January, nearly 70% of respondents said “the world’s climate is undergoing a change leading to more extreme weather patterns and sea level rise”, and a more recent poll from Gallup reported 64% of “Americans are worried a great deal and/or a fair deal about global warming”.

The Future of VR, According to Google

Gregory M. Thomas

 

I am sitting here, listening to one my favorite tech podcasts, Voices of VR (see the full list here), and the topic could not be more apropos. The host, Kent Bye, is interviewing a senior software engineer from Google’s Daydream Lab team – Rob Jagnow. If you are not aware of Google’s Daydream Lab, the group is one of the most prolific developers in VR today. According to Wired, they have produced more than 60 new VR prototypes in less than 30 weeks.

7 Tech Podcasts You Should Be Listening To

Gregory M. Thomas

 

Podcasts are an easy way to keep yourself up to speed on the world, or dive into the past and learn something new of old. They’ve been around since 2004. At that time, large media files were difficult to share and the largely amateurish content made it an unappealing platform. Fast-forward to 2013 and the world had changed. Media files were no longer as cumbersome (though trying to download a large mp4 in Kuala Lumpur can be cumbersome) and podcasting was starting to make a comeback.

The "R" Word Is Coming To Hong Kong

Reuben L. Sushman

 

 

A little over one month from now, Hong Kong's financial and governmental leaders will be addressing the "R" word. No, this letter of the alphabet isn't shorthand for an obscenity, it is called a recession. In school, it is appreciated and called a recess. In economics, it is roughly defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth.

HYLD Is Yielding 10.48% And Is Up 5.08% YTD, Is The Past Performance In The Rear View Mirror?

Reuben L. Sushman

 

The AdvisorShares Peritus High Yield ETF (NYSEARCA:HYLD) is an actively managed ETF. In the past it had tremendous downturns including significant pull backs of 14% in one quarter alone 2014, thanks to defaults within its portfolio.

Disruption vs. Innovation: What’s The Difference? 

Gregory M. Thomas

Explaining the difference between disruption and innovation can be tricky. Both disruption and innovation happen when something new is introduced to the market. However, disruption tends to be more violent, radically altering how we think and behave. On the other hand, innovation can be more iterative and incremental in nature.

ETFs To Be “Dominant Fund Structure” By 2030? 

Published in Asian Investor

 

375 Park Associates Managing Director, Reueben L. Sushman on innovations impactsing ETF trading - 'once electronic platforms and robo-advice become fully effective as distribution channels, the ETF market would be transformed.'

The Killer App: IoT In Next Generation Power Grids 

Gregory M. Thomas

 

The energy industry is primed for disruption. This is not only being driven by climate change but also advances in technology on several fronts. On the production side, renewables are gaining ground. Today, the US generates nearly 65 million Tons of Oil Equivalent (TOE) from renewables, and last July Denmark got nearly 140 percent of its household energy needs from wind energy alone ...

How To Use Data For A Better Customer Experience 

Gregory M. Thomas

 

With hundreds of value-added applications entering the market, Big Data is moving from a buzzword to a transformational technology. One area where these applications are having the biggest impact is customer service – offering the opportunity for organizations to engage with their customers on an entirely new level.  ...

SJNK Is Up 5.00% YTD And Yields Over 6.50% But What Are The Risks? 

Reuben L. Sushman

 

SPDR Barclays Capital Short Term High Yield Bond ETF, SJNK, is a young, (inception 03/14/12) ETF with significant institutional assets and the asset leader of short term high yield ETFs. It is also the fourth largest high yield ETF after HYG, JNK, and BKLN. Thanks to stable short term rates and relatively stable equity markets since the beginning of ...

VR’s Not So Giant Leap Into Manufacturing 

Gregory M. Thomas

 

Since its inception, virtual reality (VR) has gone through multiple stops and starts. It would appear we have reached a turning point in its development, as investors have begun pouring into the space. One area of crucial advancement has been the adoption of VR in manufacturing ...

6 AI Startups Disrupting the Healthcare Industry

Gregory M. Thomas

 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is bettering the world in myriad ways, and its next task is to revolutionize healthcare. According to Dr. Robert Wachter, MD – chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of San Francisco – radiology, dermatology, and pathology will soon be upended by the technology ...

Convincing Customers Of The Value Of Deep Learning

Gregory M. Thomas

 

For senior managers, deep learning holds the potential to unlock the benefits of Big Data, including increasing customer engagement and retention, unlocking predictive analytics, and maybe even improving returns on product life cycles. However, customers have tended to be more suspicious of deep learning applications and given recent high-profile ...

IoT In Healthcare: What Are The Biggest Hurdles?

Gregory M. Thomas

 

One area where IoT devices are already making an impact is healthcare, where gadgets such as continuous glucometers for people with diabetes, scales, heart rate, and blood pressure monitors have already been deployed. While some question the accuracy of the current generation of devices, there is little doubt they will improve over time. ...

10 Startups Disrupting Traditional Industries

Gregory M. Thomas

 

Technology has given our lives quite a shake-up. Thanks to the triple threat of the internet, mobile and social, we have become reliant on technology in ways that were once unimaginable. While Industry 4.0 (the Fourth Industrial Revolution), Internet of Things (IoT), and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are buzzwords for some, for a vast legion ...

Will The World Be The Same After Big Date Meets AI?

Gregory M. Thomas

 

In his 2013 paper, Big Data: New Tricks for Econometrics, Google’s chief economist, Hal Varian, noted “computers are in the middle of most economic transactions” – to the point that the global economy can no longer function without them. In recent years, computers have moved beyond simple tools to facilitate the movement of money and are now ...

A Brief History Of Virtual Reality: Where Do We Go From Here?

Gregory M. Thomas

 

Virtual Reality (VR) is the tech du jour right now. Blogs are brimming with mentions of Magic Leap, Matterport, and SmartVizX, and investors are pumping billions into the space. The promise of VR has always been tremendous, almost metaphysical. However, the impending boom has been fraught with technological barriers and poor user experience...

Is It Time To Buy The ALPS Almerian MLP ETF?

Reuben L. Sushman

 

The ALPS Alerian MLP ETF (NYSEARCA:AMLP), is a relatively young ETF (inception date August 25, 2010) that tracks the performance of the Alerian MLP Infrastructure Index. The ETF holds U.S. large and mid-cap energy stocks classified as Limited Partnerships or LPs. Its investments are in companies that earn the majority of their cash ...