Avoid Turning your Investment Firm into a Technology Company

As information technology’s development accelerated, the investment industry took notice and began developing systems that would automate formerly manual tasks. Over time these systems have evolved into something more. While their benefits are continually vaunted by vendors and end users alike, the processes of ensuring that these systems are properly implemented and maintained belong, first and foremost, to the firm.

It is easy to become seduced by the technological attraction
that systems offer but if an investment firm does not clearly
and thoroughly understand the purpose of a system, the
technological dream will quickly turn into a nightmare. In
general, systems are there to facilitate tasks, such as data
management, analysis and reporting. Once that is known, a
system must be properly “placed” within a firm. That is, it is to be maintained by the operations team, supported by IT, managed by specialists (performance, risk, etc.), used as a feedback tool by the front office and fund sponsors, and as a means of communications to the clients.

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Video: The Positives of Investing in Technology Micro-caps

The volatility of investing in mirco-caps may scare away some investors, but there are many opportunities to find hidden gems in the sector. As seen on CNBC's Talking Numbers, Barry Sine, Managing Director of Drexel Hamilton, gives an overview on the positives of micro-caps. The ability to pinpoint specific markets and segments can be especially rewarding when investing in new technologies, which are in favor this year.

Positives of microcaps:

  • The financial statements are much simpler. Financial statements of microcaps are very straight forward, as opposed to having multiple sectors and a complex balance sheet .
  • The management teams are very accessible. It is common to have direct communication with the management team and CEO of a micro-cap company.
  • There is the ability to pinpoint a very specific market down to a country, or even a state.
  • You can zero in on a specific technology or trend and capitalize on it. With trends and innovations like social media, display technology, and memory, there is potential for great rewards.
  • If you do not want to invest in the companies that make these new technologies, you can invest in the companies that own the patents.


Managing Your Online Identity


Have you ever wondered why you can’t seem to snag an interview with that elusive dream job? How do you come across on the Web? A recent survey found that most employers now use social media sites to vet candidates. Your online image may be keeping you from getting that invite. You want to catch people’s attention because you are the best person for the job, not because of that really rash comment or photo posted at the end of a bad night.

Fortunately, it is not 1999 when information was fragmented and search engines were proliferating. These days, there are less than a handful of major search engines that you need to monitor: Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

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The “Altman Z-Score + App” for Assessing the Credit Risk of Companies

This smartphone App provides the client with timely assessments of the credit risk and probability of default of companies on a global basis based on the famed and well tested Altman Z-Score family of models. Business Compass LLC has teamed up with the creator of the Z-Score model, the international global expert on credit risk, Dr. Edward I. Altman, Max L. Heine Professor of Finance at the NYU Stern School of Business and Director of the NYU Salomon Center’s Credit and Debt Markets Program, to provide this important tool for corporate credit analysis.

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Refactoring Research: The New Model of Information

The computer science process of “refactoring” makes an interesting parallel to certain recent developments in investment research. In the software world, engineers will refactor a computer program when they want to overhaul the interior—change the internal code, reduce cost, increase efficiency, swap in new modules—but leave the external behavior, the functionality, the same.

Something similar is now under way in the redesign of research for the buy side. The end goal is the same as it has always been—excellent and differentiated insight into investment strategies—but the research process is evolving in the face of changes in the industry structure, regulations, and information access.

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