The first iPhone was launched on June 29, 2007, and the world has never been the same since. The speed and convenience with which we now communicate created the new levels of urgency, including the urgency to understand and participate in further unbridled innovation. Since the launch of the iPhone, many companies have adopted the so-called Digital One company strategy with the idea to integrate social media, mobile technology, fast analytics and cloud data storage. Social media alone creates change and not just because of all the new tools connecting billions of individuals worldwide. People use social networks to gain immediate access to information thatRead More →

By Irene Aldridge Just over two weeks ago, NASDAQ stopped trading midday, fueling a new wave of speculation about the reliability and, ultimately, appropriateness of using computer technology in trading. Critics of trading algorithms readily jumped on the news bandwagon, happily denouncing technology as a source of all economic ills. In reality, however, on Aug. 22, 2013, NASDAQ halted its servers to comply with instructions from the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Had NASDAQ continued trading as usual that day, it would undoubtedly face hefty fines on the order of $10 to $15 million, like the penalty assessed to the New York Stock ExchangeRead More →

By Irene Aldridge The U.S. Treasury bonds and bills (T-bonds and T-bills) have long been the beacon of security for many investors, young and old. With AAA-marked bonds, employees have invested in T-bonds in preparation for guaranteed retirement; parents have bought T-bonds to secure funds for their children’s education; managers of countless mutual funds have sought T-bonds and T-bills to diversify their portfolios without adding on risk. With the now-lower rating on the U.S. government debt assigned by the major rating agency, the Standard & Poors, the bonds and bills investors find themselves questioning as to what to do with their investments: how to findRead More →

By Irene Aldridge For many investors “Sell in May and Go Away” was the mantra to relax for the summer with trading history defending this as the best way to protect your portfolio. While the exact origin of the expression is unknown, it was most likely developed during the stock market boom of the 1920s, back when investors literally went away for the summer. Many sold their portfolio holdings in May, and activity on Wall Street dropped to a bare minimum until September. Today, the expression remains valid, but mostly for August. According to quantitative analysis, June and July are full of investing opportunities, whileRead More →

By Irene Aldridge Adapted from The Quant Investor’s Almanac 2011: A Roadmap for Investing (Wiley) by Irene Aldridge and Steven Krawciw Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) have garnered quite a bit of attention lately. Some have fingered ETFs as the cause of the May 6, 2010 crash of the U.S. equity markets; others find that ETFs are displacing conventional securities, defeating the original purpose of the stock markets: to help businesses raise capital from investors. Yet, ETFs remain widely popular: many institutional and individual investors alike hold one or several ETFs for both long and short periods of time. The latest research, however, shows that ETFs areRead More →