Would You Take Advice From a Robot?

Recently I visited a wholesale nursery where the planting operations had been taken over by robots. It saves time, money and helps with scarce labour resources.

In my industry, robo-solutions are becoming more popular too. You may have seen ads for providers of low-cost, automated investment advice called “robo-advisors.” They are main stream in the US and on their way to Australia.

Answer a few questions online, plug in your login information, and boom! You have an investment allocation according to your age and risk tolerance. For some investors, this is perfectly appropriate. Their situation may be fairly simple and they don’t need (or want to pay for) more complex or ongoing advice. The solution is OK for a small single-account portfolio.

But not all financial decisions can be made with if-then statements or rules that a computer program can follow. Life is hard to automate. Some months you take home less and spend more. Sometimes, things need repair or you go on a vacation. Perhaps a job changes, retirement plans change-and all of this impacts your savings, investment and retirement plan. It’s hard to imagine a website or app managing all of these scenarios because the issue is not purely numbers-it encompasses human behaviour, random chance and the hard numbers of cash flow and taxes.

On the other hand, some things are purely numbers. Take portfolio rebalancing, for example-it just makes sense to use technology to speed up the task of selling and buying when your investments drift out of balance from your target allocation. Yet even when the numbers are cut-and-dried, it helps to have a human touch to override the rules when necessary-for example, if certain investments are attractively priced, it might make sense to buy “on sale,” even if the allocation is not exact. A human manager ensures the outcome occurs as intended-and that it occurs at all. (Most individual investors do not rebalance. They don’t like selling off some winners and buy the losers, even if it is in line with their long-term goals!)

There is no question that automated apps and robo-solutions are huge drivers of innovation and cost-cutting in all industries, not just finance. It makes sense to use the best tools available for the job, like the nursery that can do the job better than a person. The same goes for your hard-earned money. Advisors should use the latest technology, but technology alone isn’t enough. A person is still needed to guide the operation, and provide advice to the “client” based on years of training and expertise.

I’ve seen several articles in industry magazines about the “robo threat” to advisors. But if an advisor’s only value is performing transactions that can be done by a bunch of ones and zeros, they are not earning their fee. Rather than seeing robo-solutions as a threat I see a huge advantage. We let humans do what humans are good at-connecting on a personal level, and using our expertise to help meet complex challenges.

Robert Rushford: Rushford Matheson Advisory
Business Advisory is more than steering companies through the rough patches. Robert and his team of professional advisers work with businesses to ensure they understand tax implications, audit processes, legal ramifications and the importance of structuring their company in accordance with all the rules and regulations surrounding modern business practices.

8 Clever Digital Gadgets to Have in 2018

Once upon a time, being in your car used to be a solitary act. Today, there are literally thousands of onboard gadgets that you can use to not only make your drive easier, but more enjoyable as well. Whether you’re looking to stay connected, improve your visibility or run onboard diagnostics, there are tons of nifty gadgets at your disposal. In this article we take a look at some of the most pragmatic and adventurous gadgets available on the market today.

1. Dash Cam

In terms of pragmatic gadgets, there’s none more useful than the dashcam. A dashcam can be used to record your everyday journey, which is useful not only if you’re taking a scenic route, but if you get into an accident as well. Models like the Nextbase Dash Cam 212 and the Apachie G30 Dual Dash offer an affordable way to keep you legally protected and to help capture some killer footage as well.

2. Bluetooth

If you’ve ever used a smartphone then a Bluetooth kit for your car is one of the soundest gadget investments you’ll ever make. Bluetooth kit’s made by companies like Belkin allow you to connect your phone with your car and interact with your contacts hands free. This means next time you get a call you’ll be able to answer without having to miss the call, or pull over to the side of the road!

3. GPS Tracker

Mobile GPS systems are perhaps the most common gadgets found in modern vehicles. Everyday millions of commuters use GPS to navigate their way to work, but not as many use GPS trackers. A GPS tracker can be connected to your smartphone to keep you aware of your vehicle’s location. Companies like Spy Tec offer affordable trackers to help you make sure your car isn’t stolen!

4. Mobile Wifi Hotspot

If you’re a 4G data fiend then this next gadget is perfect for you. A mobile WiFi hotspot box will allow you to transfer your car into a mobile router! Entry-level models. However, it’s worth noting that you’ll need to pay for data on a monthly basis so check to see how expensive your provider is before purchasing.

5. Rearview Camera

A rearview camera is one of the best purchases if you want to improve your maneuverability on the road. With this gadget, you can mount a camera over your rear license plate, which will then stream live footage straight to your phone. This way you can check what’s behind you without craning your neck!

6. USB Car Charger

Keeping your phone charged over long drives can be a nightmare at times, but with a USB car charger you can keep your phone charged even if you don’t have a USB port in your vehicle.

7. Smart Car Adapter

When it comes to maintenance there’s few gadgets that can match a smart car adapter. A smart car adapter is a machine that can be plugged into your car to generate data about your vehicle. Apps like Automatic can be used to run diagnostics and check for problems with your car. Likewise the CarLock Cloud adapter will notify your contacts if you get into an accident! Smart car adapters are one of the best ways to interact with your vehicle whilst driving.

8. Mobile Apps

Lastly, there are a ton of mobile apps out there for drivers to use, listen to, and interact with, on the go. If you want to use your phone as a GPS, Google Maps is a great place to start, but that’s not all. You can also use nifty apps like Openbay to collect quotes from garages in your area in the event you breakdown. Likewise, apps like Fuelly allow users to track their fuel consumption and overall fuel economy.

Backing It Up With A CD Rom

With the technical age upon us, computer systems are even more vital now compared to they have ever been in the past. A lot is done on the computer nowadays, from paying bills to gaining a living. The information that you have on your computer system is very crucial.

Among the information stored on your computer system, you could have valuable photos and also memories that you wouldn’t imagine losing. No matter just how sophisticated computer systems can be, they will still crash, or come across other problems that could result in a loss of information. For that factor, a data backup of your information is crucial.

While there are a number of methods that you can go about supporting up your data, a CD Rom is by far the most convenient as well as rapidly becoming the most popular. Like other backup techniques, the CD Rom does have it’s faults, although it has more pros than compared to disadvantages.

One of the very best facts concerning CD Rom data backups are that your disk will certainly be stored on CDs. The typical CD-R data disc can hold up to 700 MB of information, which is a bunch of documents. You can keep images, papers, software, programs, and basically anything else that you could think of to a CD – including whole folders that contain data and information.

If you use CD-RW media, which are additionally called re-writable discs, you’ll be able to proceed including information until the disc is complete. You could additionally re-write over current existing data on these discs as well, which makes them perfect for those which constantly update records that they have to keep.

If you are using the conventional CD-R information disks, you won’t have the ability to include more information to them. When you have actually included the information to your disk, that’s it. This is a fantastic option if you wish to keep the data as is, as well as recognize without a shadow of a doubt that it will be supported up whenever you need it.

With the rates of CD burners and also CDs being so affordable in modern times, they are very affordable. They don’t cost near as much as they did years ago, which is why they are preferred when it comes to supporting your data. If you possess a more recent computer system, chances are that a CD burner was included with it. If you have an older computer, you could purchase a CD burner as well as some discs for a little of nothing.

The most effective aspect of supporting data with CDs is that they are much more reliable than floppy discs, much easier to access compared to an on the internet data backup, and they will certainly last you a lifetime. If you have important information that should be supported up, you can sit guaranteed that a CD-Rom is an outstanding way to support your info.

The typical CD-R data disc can hold up to 700 MB of data, which is a lot of data. You could keep images, papers, software, programs, and practically anything else that you could think of to a CD – including whole folders that are full of documents as well as data.

If you are utilizing the typical CD-R data disks, you won’t be able to include more information to them. They don’t cost near as much as they did years back, which is why they are so popular when it comes to backing up your data.

The Importance of Culture Change in Digital Transformation

More and more businesses are seeking to digitally transform their organisations to meet the ever increasing demands and expectations of the modern, technically sophisticated customer. But few are prepared for the internal disruption this causes throughout the entire enterprise, which is why culture change and change management is so important.

For digital transformation to be successful, businesses need to adopt agile methodologies, processes and working practices. Becoming an agile business requires a cultural change. Similarly, as digital transformation is largely driven by the changing demands and expectations of customers, customer-centric strategies are a must and successfully developing and implementing these new approaches requires a more integrated and fluid organisation.

Laying the Foundations of Digital Transformation

Businesses whose digital transformation projects fail are usually guilty of failing to lay solid foundations:

Agile
Customer-Centric
Omni-Channel Experience

Laying these foundation stones requires huge culture change within the organisation and managing this process is challenging. Unfortunately, if your organisation wants to be successful, it is unavoidable.

Culture Change

Due to the ever changing and ever evolving nature of the modern world, businesses need to cultivate a culture of perpetual revolution.

The days of businesses setting a strategy for the next 5 years, then waiting for the business execute that strategy, are long gone. Setting a 5 year strategy is still important, but the need to be able to rapidly pivot that strategy at will is fundamentally important to the long-term strategic success of the enterprise. Most businesses, especially big and established companies, are difficult to turn and this is why aggressive new market entrants are able to sweep in and digitally disrupt industries, markets and supply chains. Established companies are too slow to respond and by the time they have mounted a meaningful response, the new entrant has established a strong position in the market and is almost impossible to remove. Companies need to be able to pivot quickly to respond to new market entrants and changes in the competitive landscape.

Similarly, as new technologies emerge, customers and other major stakeholder group’s demands and expectations change. The innovation roadmap you are following today could be redundant in weeks or months. Agility enables quick pivoting of development roadmaps, rapid transformation of customer-centric strategies and the re-engineering of omni-channel customer experiences.

All these cases cause enterprise wide disruption and with the frequency of these disruptions rising, a culture of change and constant revolution is a must.

The Perfect Shot

Using a drone for photography and film is becoming very popular. Many professionals use them for things like making movies, shooting sports events, or taking breathtaking photos. With a drone you are able to move almost anywhere and at a fast speed. This helps with sports events because they can use drones to catch up with the action and see more than normal. For movies, they are able to get those high shots or shots through obstacles that used to be difficult to do. Lastly, for photography, the possibilities are endless.

You can get to mostly any spot you want with a great camera to take that amazing photo. Different cameras can be equipped depending on the photo you want. Some cameras do better in low light or high lights, some can zoom in further, and others have cool features such as night or heat vision. A lot of features and abilities you couldn’t do with your phone. You can buy a generic or customized drone to fit to whatever activity you might be doing.

Many news channels use them to capture things like traffic jams, aerial shots of events, and even to track weather. These are all creative ways they have implemented drones into their organizations and improved the quality content they deliver to the viewers. People go as far as even using drones for selling real estate. Taking images of the inside and outside with a phone won’t cut it anymore. Drones can be used to take incredible shots of the house. They can even help with creating 3D walk through interiors. This can be the difference between selling a place or not because obviously how a place looks will impact most of a buyer’s decision. You don’t want a deal ruined because of a sloppy image from a phone. As you can see, these are all problems different people might face. A drone can help each of these people in their own area for what needs to be done.

Most drones can hover with pretty good stability. This allows for their great shots up in the air and also because of their great cameras. When all of the great abilities and features that a drone has comes together, you end up with amazing results. Many businesses, or even individuals, should consider a drone and what it could possibly do for them. It is going to be a really fun journey to watch and see how people will use drones to capture footage/images.