Displaying items by tag: automation
For years robotics was pigeonholed into major US manufacturing duties but new technology and artificial intelligence are turning that around…see the full story on our partner Magnifi’s site
If one thing has been clear over the last couple of years, it is that US-China relations are getting worse. It started earlier in Trump’s term and has escalated in a tit-for-tat battle over the last couple years. Some refer to it as a great “uncoupling” while others say it is a new cold war. Whatever you call it, there are a handful of sectors that will do well as the situation unfolds. One such sector is automation and robotics companies. These companies are likely to do very well as US businesses are forced to re-shore manufacturing from China and seek out automation to make the return more economical.
FINSUM: A major decoupling will be a very ugly event. US companies do $500 bn of sales in China each year. The automation play makes sense. Check out the Robotics ETF (ROBO).
It has been many years that analysts have been talking about how and whether technology would disrupt bond trading the way it did stocks. However, until very recently, and aside from ETFs, the market had remained very steady, with voice trading and human connections driving the market. An example of the changes can be seen at fund manager AllianceBernstein, where 35% of all fixed income trades are conducted by an in-house algorithm rather than people. Automation of government bond trading is happening rapidly, as liquidity and standardization is quite high, but some are skeptical technology will ever come to change other areas of fixed income such as corporate debt, municipals etc.
FINSUM: There are simply too many idiosyncrasies (e.g. terms) and too many different bonds to have enough liquidity for electronic trading in corporate and other debt markets. That said, sovereign debt seems likely to be completely dominated by automated trading.
Speaking at a large ETF conference yesterday, the head of Vanguard has a big warning for all advisors. He said that the industry needs to change rapidly or face a huge loss of jobs. Citing evidence that almost 60% of advisor jobs may be lost to automation. He argues that portfolio construction and rebalancing are now super cheap commodities and that advisors should instead focus more on managing client behaviour, which will be a continued niche.
FINSUM: This was a pretty grave warning for advisors. We are not sure the outlook is so bleak.