Alex Stacy

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On November 20, 2016, Alex Stacy commented on Uberization of Investment and Financial Planning :

In my prior job (as a numbers monkey – I mean Associate***), we purchased a RIA business. RIA’s provide investment advice to clients, including asset allocation, estate and trust planning, and retirement coaching. Robo advisers were one of the potential threats we diligenced, diligently. We found that once families experienced a significant life event, first child, home purchase, etc., the need for an investment advisor arose. The advice you receive from your adviser is less about asset allocation and more about the wholistic approach to wealth management. We found that a shift to passive investing would only free up advisers to prospect and serve clients more often (or in the case of our company, golf during weekdays at the expense of financial performance). It will be interesting to see how robo-advisers play out over the next 10 years. I’m not sure they are complete disrupters to entrenched players or merely another tool in the adviser kit of tools.

On November 20, 2016, Alex Stacy commented on H&R Block: A Taxing Fall from Grace :

Perhaps it’s laziness or a lack of intelligence*, but I just don’t trust myself doing my taxes alone, which is why I have always prefered to pay someone to help prepare my filing. As this accounting fee, for what appears to be 6 hours of work within TurboTax, continues to increase I have begun to consider the potential benefits of DIY through on online application. I think this is a terrific example of technology entering markets with huge rents that were traditionally protected and disrupting the traditional players. Great post and I echo Nathan’s thoughts that it isn’t something I had thought about before!!

* Revision from the editor: Alex is both

In grade school my diabetic friend was not allowed to walk to the office to test his blood sugar without a guide. This daily excuse to leave English class provided me more than enough motivation to learn all I could about the disease to provide the best possible care I could to Mr. Oxenreiter. My interest in the disease continued in college, when my good friend, Santiago, had a similar pump installed into his abdomen. Santiago’s life, without the constant pricking and testing, seemed much less impacted by the disease than my poor friend John in grade school. It’s little advances like these that can make huge impacts on patient populations around the world. Keep up the good work Dr. Mike and all of the medicine community – even Mr. Karmouta.

On November 20, 2016, Alex Stacy commented on GS Bank: Goldman Sachs’ Online Retail Banking Business :

It makes me happy to know that Goldman Sachs is positioning itself to survive in the digital age. I don’t know what society would do without this fabulous institution!

On a less serious note, I believe Goldman Sachs is very smart in making use of the online banking channel to acquire less risky equity capital. They’ve accessed this form of retail financing online rather than in bank branches, which is the traditional means of accessing it – but very expensive. Turning itself into a technology company is also smart – as they’re using internal funding to finance potentially lucrative start-up ideas. Well done Goldman!

On November 20, 2016, Alex Stacy commented on Uber’s Bet on Self-Driving Car :

The advent of driverless car technology is exciting – as it has the potential to disrupt a substantial portion of human behaviors and consumer patterns. While I think ultimately we will head in that direction, I would caution about the immediacy of its impact. Google engineers tell a story about a car sitting in an intersection while a lady dressed as a witch chases a duck around the intersection with a broom tracing the shape of a figure 8. The autonomous car will just sit in the intersection, blocking traffic, unable to process the situation. Most humans would just observe the occurrence and pull around the duck and witch, but the computer, as of now, does not have that ability.

While utopia seems great on paper – I believe we are a long way from achieving that.

On November 7, 2016, Alex Stacy commented on Fast Fashion is destroying the planet, but Cuyana is here to help :

Super cool Jenn! It’s good to see that companies are looking to close the loop on their products. I know this is something the technology industry has attempted to correct, given the potent impact of their rare earth components seeping into landfill earth. It’s great that Cuyana is taking up the sustainability cause with such a unique plan, that also helps the less fortunate within society. I think Cuyana is on to something significant here. Companies should not just be responsible for the sustainable development and presale activities of their products, but also take an interest in the ultimate use of most products – garbage. Very innovative stuff here! Great find!

Great job Pasha! So true that it takes something deeply personal for you to truly understand the impact climate change will have on your life in the future. For me, it was the potential impact to skiing, something I grew up around with my family. For you, it was the extra $1.95 you (BALLER!) drop on that burrito 3-4 times a week. Let’s hope policy makers and business leaders reach similar epiphanies. Otherwise, we’ll have a shredless, guacless, no fun, no taste world – and who wants to live in that!!

On November 7, 2016, Alex Stacy commented on TATA: Leading India’s Path To Sustainability :

Awesome post! Bringing industry to a developing country under the current climate regulations is certainly a challenge! Hopefully TATA can use the learnings of developed countries to build industry that is sustainable and meets modern emission standards. While it is certainly a challenge, India and TATA specifically faces an opportunity to develop industries that are sustainable and export that technology abroad. Most developed nations are working within the constraints of their developed infrastructure – including the recently developed China. India has the opportunity to build a model sustainable society that could export its ingenuity abroad. TATA could play a leading role in India’s sustainable offering.

On November 7, 2016, Alex Stacy commented on Netafim: Grow More With Less :

Great job Rotem! The need for improved crop yield technologies is clear, especially as precipitation patterns shift due to climate change. The use of mobile would certainly help farmers manage their irrigation systems in developing countries. One of the trends that impacted the United States during its development was the consolidation of farmland, as the US transitioned into service industries. It would be interesting to better understand how development impacts the consolidation of farmland in developing nations. It seems like governments are driving capital expenditures here – you cited Ethiopia – but I wonder how that might shift customer behavior as countries develop.

Access to clean water for farming and drinking is a huge challenge that will unfold during our careers. Cool business looking to tackle that!

On November 7, 2016, Alex Stacy commented on Reimagining The Grid :

Great post highlighting the start-up companies attempting to tackle the variability and inefficiencies in the modern electric power grid system! The loss from power generators to consumers is 8%-15% of the total generated. Clearly a large issue! Smoothing out production versus demand, as well as increasing grid efficiency will be essential to building a sustainable energy grid going forward.