Education: MBA from UBC's Sauder School of Business. B.Sc. from Simon Fraser University.
Play: I live in Vancouver with my inspiring wife Lindsay and my larger-than-life daughter. I enjoy mountain biking, hockey, woodworking, snowboarding, and making music. I microlend. I dig green tea.
Known as an action-oriented change agent and intrapreneur -inspiring organizations and individuals to execute and get things done.
A proven leader, strategist and management consultant with over 9 years of experience in business transformation and large strategic initiatives. Specializes in Strategy/Strategic Planning, Product Management, and Project & Technology Management.
Many online wealth management services, called “robo-advisors” have cropped up over the past 5 years. Generally, these services all provide automated, algorithm-based portfolio management. In other words, they eliminate the need for human financial advisors and pass on cost savings to customers. Recognizable names in Canada include Wealthsimple, Wealthbar and Questrade Portfolio IQ.
They are a fantastic new option for consumers that cost significantly less than mutual funds and overpriced “personal” advice being pushed by the banks (e.g. BMO) and insurance companies (e.g. Manulife)
In reality, hype-aside, many of these robo-advisors are #basic under the hood and take traditionally available portfolio rebalancing tools and automate the trading on your behalf.
Here is how it works: All these services will place you into a passive portfolio matching your risk tolerance and investment goals. By passive, the portfolio seeks to “match market returns” instead of attempting to beat them.
Typically this will include a basket of 7-10 ETFs with set portfolio weight targets for each ETF. Gradually over time as there will be winners and losers in your portfolio, a “rebalance” will occur to buy/sell to ensure every ETF returns to its target weight.
Algorithmically this is very simple, and while we believe investors need to know that while they are certainly overpaying for human financial advisors and advice, they are also paying a lot for robo-advisors to do very straightforward tasks. Stop overpaying for something you can easily do yourself through a discount brokerage.
10 example risk-adjusted portfolios; pre-populated with the 10 portfolios that a robo-advisor might place you into after taking their risk questionnaire
Rebalance as frequently as you’d like - live market data is pulled automatically by Google Finance. If you have a long time horizon, generally practice seems to be balancing no more than quarterly for passive portfolios. Currency exchange rates for US-listed funds are calculated automatically.
Automatically calculates trades for deposits, withdrawals, and rebalances
Execute the trades on your own discount broker, minimizing your cost
What to expect in future versions (bookmark this page):
A sample “KYC” questionnaire to help you determine your risk bucket based on sample questions
Please post any questions, comments, concerns and ideas for improvement.
DISCLAIMER: RESPONSIVE IS NOT CURRENTLY A REGISTERED PORTFOLIO MANAGER AND CAN NOT YET PROVIDE ANY ADVICE ON SPECIFIC INVESTMENT PRODUCTS. THIS RESOURCE IS PROVIDED ONLY AS AN EDUCATIONAL TOOL/RESOURCE FOR INVESTORS.
Are You willing To Buy a New Expensive Watch Every 2 Years? (Apple Watch)
I am excited for Apple. Once again they on the verge of potentially redefining a category. Not only smart watches, but the entire fine watch industry.
In the past, people has purchased traditional watches and generally expected them to work forever. A Rolex (or even a Timex) purchased 10 or even 15 years ago we expect to still work today – albeit with a bit of servicing. Contrast that to the Apple Watch. With our personal experiences with Apple products we know that within two years our Apple Watch, that was once brand spanking new, will seen quickly as old, outdated and out-of-vogue compared to newer Apple Watch models, software and hardware. This in the same way people with an IPhone 4S look at the new models with envy despite being only few short years apart.
As I see it, this leads is to two possible outcomes:
1) Consumers accept this new reality and purchase a new smart watch every 2 years with customers potentially reusing the investment they have made in straps. In this outcome Apple successfully shifts consumer mentality from viewing a watch as one-time purchase to one that requires repurchase over time. If Apple Watch is seen as a necessary status or fashion symbol by the masses, this is certainly possible.
2) Apple ensures that watch owners do not feel as though their watch investments are becoming obsolete. This could be accomplished through slower feature addition cycles, or by ensuring watch software can be upgraded for a longer window that phone-counterparts.
Outcome #2 is unlikely since it would deliberately slow down the pace of Apple’s innovation and give competitors a chance to catch up. That leaves outcome #1 as what Apple must make happen for the masses in order to succeed in its first big post-Steve product introduction.
So, will you be willing to shell out $400+ every 2 years for a new watch? Do you believe Apple can redefine the category?
I am passionate about personal development and career growth for both myself and my peers.
On a monthly basis I summarize some selected readings and helpful/cool resources related to strategy, execution, management, productivity and work-life balance.
Here are my recommended reads for April. As always. I target ~60 minutes of recommended reading or less each month.
Eight Ways to Communicate Your Strategy More Effectively (HBR) - In order to convince your employees of the authenticity, importance, and relevance of your strategy: link strategy specific messages to the deeper purpose of the company, use the Inspire/Educate/Reinforce Framework to deliver messages, establish a team of strategy-ambassadors to deliver strategy across all levels and drop as much “corporate speak” as possible when telling your strategy story.
Decoding leadership: What really matters (McKinsey Quarterly). New research suggests that the secret to developing effective leaders is to encourage four types of behavior: i) Be Supportive, ii) Operate with a Strong Results Orientation, iii) Seek Different Perspectives, and iv) Solve Problems Effectively.
Project Canvas. The Project Canvas is the cooler cousin of traditional (and boring) Project Charter document. The canvas ticks all the boxes I like: it’s a visual tool that project teams and even senior folks can use together, and it provides a simple project overview all on a single page. I find it exceptionally valuable during the nascent stages of a project’s inception and works best when blown up on a large wall with plenty of sticky notes.
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The Secrets to Successful Strategy Execution (HBR) - includes a list of the 17 traits that make organizations effective at implementing strategy. I have seen number three, “Once made, decisions are rarely second-guessed” as a challenge in organizations frequently throughout my career.
It has been an exciting year preparing for upcoming 102nd Grey Cup Festival in Vancouver this November. We’d love to have you join us as a volunteer. This year’s event will take place November 26th through the Championship game November 30th and we promise it will once again be amazing.
The 102nd Grey Cup Festival is jam packed with fun and we’ll need Event Hosts throughout the week. We will need a commitment of 18 hours – three six-hour shifts. We are currently looking for Event Hosts for the Transportation, Stage Squad, Festival Events and Grey Cup Parade teams.
Event Hosts will receive a 102nd Grey Cup Festival uniform and access to the wrap up Championship TV viewing party! We will also feed you and shower you with thanks for helping us make this event come to life.
Officially sign up and request your 102nd Grey Cup Festival volunteer position at www.102greycupfestival.ca/volunteerzone, then start dreaming of football, friends, and fun. Get ready to ROAR on the Shore!
We are living in the most competitive business environment the world has ever seen and the pace of change is only increasing. Many working in this environment make the mistake of focusing only on the job at hand at the expense of growing their capabilities. Working a hundred hours a week to prove your commitment to the job and meeting all the boss’s goals is pure martyrdom if you are sacrificing personal growth.
You must see personal growth as an urgent necessity to prevent your personal obsolescence.
BITCOIN is booming. Investors are piling into the digital currency, which is not issued by a central bank but is conjured into being by cryptographic software…
Many speculate that this rapid rise is being driven by Chinese investors stashing money offshore away from Chinese banks. Even if you believe digital currencies have a future for the global economy, you cannot deny that this is looking particularly overvalued. At the time, Bitcoin remains a speculative currency and it’s time to realize some of those gains and sell.
The Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals estimates, homeowners in this country — of whom 60 per cent carry mortgages — owed nearly $1.2 trillion in mortgage debt last year, up from $664 billion in 2008. In other words, national mortgage debt has nearly doubled in just four years.
The interesting aspects of Karma Gaming’s Whitepaper “The State of Digital & Lottery” are not those regarding the usage of Twitter, Facebook, etc from Lottery companies (although the comparison of engagement to other industries such as automotive and retail illuminate a staggering difference in Lottery’s ability to engage the customer)
The real substance is in subsequent sections, particularly in the “Digital Sales & Lottery” and “Mobile App” analysis.
What is clear from the report is that Lottery apps shouldn’t just provide a “mobile window” into conventional Lottery products - for example - by taking features of a website such as looking up winning numbers and putting them in an app user interface. Rather, the report advocates that mobile apps should increase the entertainment value for players and move away from being passive in nature.
Playing against or with friends, creating a meta-game above the game (i.e. gamefication), registering paper tickets against loss, and adding time-limited entry second-chance games (e.g. “you have 30 seconds to join a bonus game - but you must do so with a friend”) are all possibilities to beef up the mobile player experience. Digital sales through mobile is also a requirement that must be pursued by all.
Digital Sales & Lottery
The report emphasized that while 100% of worldwide lottery companies operated a website, only 43% of those operate an interactive sales channel. Europe, it appears, is dominating the interactive sales channel, with Tipos (Slovakia) achieving 49.8% of total sales through interactive channels. The UK National Lottery (operated by Camelot) also has 16.7% of sales through digital channels. And there is good reason to pursue growth in digital channel sales. Case in point: Camelot research has indicated that digital-only players are more valuable that bricks & mortar-only players although. Even more striking is that multi-channel players (i.e. those player’s who plan online and retail) spend up to almost double on their entertainment than spending in any single channel. The message is clear: push people towards digital, but create or maintain a connection to bricks and mortar retail in order to maximize revenue.
However, just going “digital” will not be a magic bullet for all the player demographics. With a 22% decline in player participation among the 18-24 year audience since 1995, simply putting conventional games online is not going to attract younger players. New games concepts need to be tested and validated quickly. Quote Scott McWilliam, Managing Director Sales & Marketing for Atlantic Lottery, “Be prepared for some games to fail. Be prepared to trial and error your communications”.
The digital evolution of the Lottery industry is still in its infancy and the next 5 years look to be very transformational.
Statistics Canada said Friday the ratio of household credit market debt to disposable income increased to a new high of 163.4 per cent in the second quarter compared with 162.1 per cent in the first three months of the year.
That means Canadians owe just over $1.63 for every $1 in disposable income they earn in a year.
Let others lead small lives, but not you. Let others argue over small things, but not you. Let others cry over small hurts, but not you. Let others leave their future in someone else’s hands, but not you.
Wave Accounting is quite amazing. It stacks up quite well to the SimplyAccounting and QuickBooks of the world except for one key point: it’s free. Totally free. And it’s web-based too.
This well funded startup’s business model extracts advertising revenues from vendors keen to get access to their lucrative collection of small business users. The offers so far that I’ve seen have been quite useful (income tax software discounts, reductions on prices for products that I already use [albeit from different competitors], etc).
It even supports all the major Canadian banks and credit unions and automatically pulls all your latest transactions.
US online advertising spending, which grew 23% to $32.03 billion in 2011, is expected to grow an additional 23.3% to $39.5 billion this year—pushing it ahead of total spending on print newspapers and magazines, according to new forecast by eMarketer.
The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and that we might miss it, but that it is too low and we hit it.
In an interesting talk at the Gartner Symposium ITExpo 2011 on October 16-20, 2011, Clayton Christensen explains why the basic thinking taught in business schools and promulgated by consultants is killing innovation and the US economy.
He highlights his perspective (41:45) on why profit maximization naturally causes ratio manipulation, which can be a prime driver of falling into the Innovator’s Delimma trap. Christensen believes this situation is…
“…driven by the pursuit of profit. That’s the causal mechanism for these things… The problem lies with the business schools which are at fault. What we’ve done in America is to define profitability in terms of percentages. So if you can get the percentage up, it feels like we are more profitable. It causes us to do things to manipulate the percentage. I’ll give you a few examples.
• There is a pernicious methodology for calculating the internal rate of return on an investment. It causes you to focus on smaller and smaller wins. Because if you ever use your money for something that doesn’t pay off for years, the IRR is so crummy that people who focus on IRR focus their capital on shorter and shorter term wins. • There’s another one called RONA—rate of return on net assets. It causes you to reduce the denominator—assets—as Dell did, because the fewer the assets, the higher the RONA.
“We measure profitability by these ratios. Why do we do it? The finance people have preached this almost like a gospel to the rest of us is that if you describe profitability by a ratio so that you can compare profitability in different industries. It ‘neutralizes’ the measures so that you can apply them across sectors to every firm.”
Also, as a sidenote for all the MBAs out there who haven’t yet, take a look at the MBA Oath. Put simply, it a voluntary pledge for graduating MBAs and current MBAs to “create value responsibly and ethically".
About.Me is a great solution to serve as a central hub for your personal brand. Check out mine to see what I mean. About.me pulls together most of the popular services onto the web into a single page, or what they refer to as a “single online identity”
Basically, about.me enables you to create a centralized personal profile page that links to your content around the web. Sound like a Google+ profile page? It’s different for quite a few reasons, but mostly so due to the “splash page” look of the site (where I usually choose to show a large picture of what I look like).
In addition to the slick front end content management tools, about.me also provides analytics so you can see who viewed your profile, where they came from, and where they’ve gone afterwards (your facebook, linkedin, flickr, twitter, blog etc). The only thing that’s missing right now is domain mapping, so I can use my domain name.
They also have a partnership with moo.com (the business card and sticker folks) that let’s you get free business cards that feature a consistent design with your About.me page and a QR code that will link to your about.me profile.