Things I Learned This Week – December 17th, 2017

Article 1: Merrill Lynch’s Noel Weil – Investment Advisor – The Right Touch, Barron’s

This article has a nice quote about client management:

“The real practice-management challenge, in general, is how to find ways to add value to clients in addition to just managing their money.”

It’s a good idea to practice this principle in every field, not just in investment advice.  But it is very challenging to do.

Noel Weil says that the biggest what if for 2018 might be a jump in inflation.  Weil has also invested 40% of his client’s cash in municipal bonds.

Screen Shot 2017-12-16 at 9.16.55 PM

Exhibit: Noel Weil’s Portfolio (Source: Barron’s)

Article 2: Two Myths About Automation

This is an excellent article to think about the impact of automation on work.

The author says that everybody knows the following or think that they know:

  1. More jobs than ever are threatened. Forrester predicts that AI-enabled automation will eliminate 9% of US jobs in 2018. McKinsey thinks that one-third of U.S. workers could be jobless by 2030 due to automation.
  2. Previous safe jobs are now at risk.

These reports by Forrester and McKinsey make us feel like technological progress and job destruction are accelerating dramatically. But, according to the author, total factor productivity, the best summary measure of the pace of technological change, has been stagnating since 2005 in the U.S. and across the advanced-country world.

All jobs, including doctors, lawyers, and professors are being transformed.  But transformed is not the same as being threatened.

The author predicts that the coming technological change won’t entail occupational shifts on the scale of the industrial revolution, with its wholesale redistribution of labor between the agricultural and industrial sectors.  He says that it will be more important than ever for people of all ages to update their skills and renew their training continuously, given their occupations will continue to be reshaped by technology.

This is a great article to read on this very important topic.  It was written by Barry Eichengreen – Professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley.






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