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Ear disease diagnostics from HearX

Sun, 05/12/2019 - 6:00am  |  Timbuktu Chronicles
From Innovation Village:
HearX Group’s hearScope (Pretoria, South Africa) is a first-of-its-kind smartphone video-otoscope with integrated, automated ear disease diagnostic capability.

This VC says 'San Francisco is over' so she is eyeing Europe for the next big hit

Sun, 05/12/2019 - 4:32am  |  Clusterstock

  • Sky high valuations and expensive staff are making Silicon Valley's luster less attractive than before. 
  • Top VCs are finding better value outside of California with Europe now an increasingly attractive option for tech start ups and investors. 
  • Many companies are now setting up secondary offices in cheaper cities outside of San Francisco for non-essential staff as costs sky rocket. 

Office rents in San Francisco have reached levels not seen since the dot-com boom, and the arms race between the Silicon Valley giants to poach the sharpest minds in tech is getting more cut-throat by the day.  

VCs know this all too well, and some are starting to abandon the Bay Area scene altogether.

"San Francisco is over," Marta Söjgren, a partner at Swedish VC fund Northzone, said in an interview with Business Insider. Space, talent, and an increasingly moneyed investor base mean the costs of keeping top staff and preventing poaching is sky high, she says.

"Talent won't stick around for more than a year. You're pulling your hair out to keep people." 

The environment has led to a re-evaluation of the city's prominence for buzzy tech start-ups. House prices in San Francisco are four times the national average. And the average house price is now $1.3 million — nearly double what it was five years ago, according to Zillow.  A recent bout of IPOs, from Uber and others, may well increase house and rent costs even higher, further decreasing the city's lustre. 

"Europe is where the value-add is possible between funding rounds, you can get sometimes three times the value for European companies over US for the same money," says Söjgren.

Investors are now joining the dots with smart money flowing into an increasingly competitive European scene. 

"We're also now seeing more sophisticated investors coming into Europe, because the deal flow and talent base is popping up."

"People are chasing better value," says Ed Zimmerman, a partner at law firm Lowenstein Sandler, and founder and chair of the company's Tech Group in an interview with Business Insider.

"Europe and places outside of the Bay Area are very attractive and this is a trend that we're seeing."

Cities like Boston and Salt Lake City are increasingly attractive, but not just for their lower rent, according to a recent report from Cushman & Wakefield, a commercial real estate services company based in Chicago. Similarly, companies are moving non-essential day-to-day staff outside of the Bay Area where possible, according to Söjgren, with sales and marketing staff often based in cheaper hubs. 

Companies that don't have unique tech needs but still need IT staff in San Francisco are often unable to match the buying power of giants like Google, Facebook, and Amazon. That cost pressure is leading to an exodus, says the San Francisco Chronicle. Lyft now has some 750 support staff based in Dallas, cutting down on space in prime San Francisco territory. 

London is currently Europe's fintech hub, but Brexit and comparatively high prices have seen exciting companies opt for other European destinations such as Berlin, Dublin, Paris, Lisbon, and Amsterdam. 

SEE ALSO: These are the 15 European fintechs VCs think will blow up in 2019

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NOW WATCH: The legendary economist who predicted the housing crisis says the US will win the trade war

Safi Organics #Kenya - A Fertilizer company

Sat, 05/11/2019 - 10:46pm  |  Timbuktu Chronicles
Innovation Village reports:Safi Organics (Naivasha, Kenya) develops cheaper locally produced higher-quality fertilisers which are custom-tailored to local soil and crop requirements. The company claims it helps farmers improve yields by about 30% and net income by about 50%.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is part of a family of impressive tech leaders, founders, and CEOs — here's who they are

Sat, 05/11/2019 - 3:30pm  |  Clusterstock

Led by CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, ride-sharing company Uber opened for trading as a public company for the first time on Friday.

Khosrowshahi, who took over Uber in 2017 from founder Travis Kalanick, filed for an initial public offering in April, pricing shares at $45. While the company's valuation ranked among the largest US debuts, trailing Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and Facebook, the company opened for trading at $42 a share, meaning investors who bought Uber at IPO price lost a cumulative $655 million.

Read more: The amazing life of Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi — from refugee to tech superstar and a huge IPO

For Khosrowshahi, one of today's most powerful tech CEOs, success runs in his blood, Fortune reports. The chief executive's brothers, cousins, and uncles have impressive resumes that include founding their own multimillion-dollar startups, running Fortune 500 companies, and earning diplomas from Harvard, Brown and Stanford. 

Here are some of the impressive careers of Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi's family members:

Dara Khosrowshahi took over at Uber's helm in 2017.

Before Uber, he acted as CEO of travel site Expedia.

After earning his degree from Brown University, Khosrowshahi began his career at boutique investing firm Allen & Company. From there, the young Khosrowshahi took an executive role at what was then known as USA Networks, where he was considered a protégé of media industry icon Barry Diller.

The company spun off Expedia Inc in 2005, and Khosrowshahi served as CEO for 12 years. During that time, he turned the site into the largest online US travel agency and saw revenues balloon from $2.1 billion in 2005 to $8.7 billion in 2016.

Kaveh Khosrowshahi, Dara's brother, is currently managing director at investment firm Allen & Company.

Like Dara, Kaveh went to the prestigious Hackley School, the Ivy League prep school that charges around $44,000 in tuition. He then got a bachelor's degree in history from Williams College, according to his LinkedIn, and has been at Allen & Company since 1989.

Mehrad Khosrowshahi, Dara's other brother, is managing partner of the boutique consulting firm Confida Inc.

Mehrad runs the company's Strategy and Performance Reporting division.

Before joining Confida, Mehrad spent five years at Symmetrix, a management consulting firm serving Fortune 500 companies, the Confida website states. He received an MBA from Columbia Business school with high distinction and graduated magna cum laude from Brown University.

Hassan Khosrowshahi, Dara's uncle, founded the Canadian electronics chain Future Shop.

Best Buy acquired Future Shop in 2001 for $580 million CAD.

Hassan immigrated to Canada in 1981 and founded Inwest Investments, now part of holding company Persis. Hassan now serves as chairman of Persis Holdings, and is a member of the Order of Canada, the country's highest civilian honor, according to Persis Holdings' website.

Hadi Partovi, Dara's cousin, is the CEO of education non-profit

Hadi graduated from Harvard in 1994, and went on to have an illustrious career, working as a general manager at Microsoft and sitting on the board of directors at trucking company Convoy Inc., his LinkedIn states.

Hadi was also an angel investor in Facebook, DropBox, Uber, and more.

Ali Partovi, Hadi's twin brother, helped his brother start

Ali now serves as CEO of Neo, an engineering mentorship company. Like his brother, Ali backed numerous successful startups like Facebook, Zappos, and DropBox, his LinkedIn states.

Amir Khosrowshahi, Dara's cousin, co-founded IT company Nervana.

Amir reportedly sold Nervana to Intel for $400 million, Recode reported in 2016.

He graduated from Harvard and then completed a Ph.D. at the University of California-Berkeley. Amir also served as a vice president at Goldman Sachs for six years, his LinkedIn states. Amir now serves as VP of Intel.

Farzad "Fuzzy" Khosrowshahi, another one of Dara's cousins, created Google Sheets.

Upon graduating from Columbia, Farzad opened a Subway shop with his wife in 1993 in Mamaroneck, New York. He then worked at Lehman Brothers and JP Morgan before arriving at Google, according to a Wall Street Journal profile of him written in 2012.

Darian Shirazi, Dara's cousin, was one of Facebook's first 10 hires, he says on his LinkedIn.

He went on to create Radius, a marketing software company.

Darian served as CEO of Radius until 2018. Darian says he reported directly to Mark Zuckerberg while at Facebook, and then left the company to pursue his undergraduate degree at UC Berkeley, his LinkedIn states. He dropped out within a year at college.

Avid Larizadeh Duggan, Dara's cousin, was a general partner for Google's venture capital arm and now serves as an executive at digital-music startup, Kobalt. 

Avid served as the World Economic Forum's Young Global Leader for over 3 years, she states on her LinkedIn. She got her undergraduate degree from Stanford University and MBA from Harvard Business School.

More on Uber's massive IPO:

SEE ALSO: Uber wipes out $655 million of investor wealth in its opening day

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NOW WATCH: Watch Google's I/O 2019 event in 7 minutes

Mary Mphande Lubemba, founder of Gramirage Mining is blazing a trail for women miners in #Zambia via @lionessesA

Sat, 05/11/2019 - 1:55pm  |  Timbuktu Chronicles
Lionesses of Africa highlights Mary Mphande Lubemba, founder of Gramirage Mining:

Uber had the worst first-day dollar loss ever of any US IPO

Sat, 05/11/2019 - 12:37pm  |  Clusterstock

The much-anticipated Uber initial public offering managed to break a record, but not one that investors would've hoped for. 

The stock closed down 6.7% on its opening day to $41.70, down from the $45 a share the company priced at on Thursday night ahead of the IPO that had valued the company at $75.5 billion. 

In total, the discount off the IPO price meant that investors who got in at that price saw a cumulative loss of $655 million. By the end of day Friday, Uber had a market cap of $69.7 billion, far below the $120 billion valuation figure bankers had suggested in 2018.

Read more: 3 reasons why Uber had such a 'weird' and terrible IPO, according to a portfolio manager who wouldn't buy the stock

That made it the biggest first-day dollar loss of a US IPO, Jay Ritter, a professor at the University of Florida's Warrington College of Business told Business Insider. Ritter's figures accounted for IPOs from 1975 on. 

Percentage-wise, other IPOs have suffered far worse opening day closes. Ritter said on a percentage basis, Uber's first day ranks as the 99th worst open for IPOs raising more than $100 million. It's the combination of the drop and the size of the IPO in the first place that makes it the biggest first-day dollar loss.

Prior to Friday, the largest first-day dollar loss of a US IPO was in 2000 when Genuity, an internet company spun out of Verizon, went public. On its first day, Wall Street Journal reporter Rolfe Winkler noted, Genuity had lost $233 million. That makes Uber's first-day dollar losses almost three times as much.

Read more: Sure, Uber didn't leave any money on the table, but its IPO was nothing to celebrate and it could haunt the company and its execs for years to come

Uber's IPO came during a particularly turbulent week as tensions elevated between the US and China. The timing may have cost the company billions

Alexei Oreskovic contributed reporting. 

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: I tried $600 smart glasses and learned why they haven't replaced smartphones yet

The Uber strike should worry investors and the company because it points to a fundamental problem with its business model (LYFT)

Sat, 05/11/2019 - 12:00pm  |  Clusterstock

  • Uber and Lyft and their investors should be worried about the strike Wednesday by the app-based taxi companies' drivers.
  • The labor action highlights a fundamental problem with the companies' businesses — they're losing lots of money in spite of paying their drivers poverty wages and have no easy way to solve the problem.
  • The conundrum is likely to get only more intense — both Uber and Lyft are now public, and public shareholders don't generally tolerate ongoing losses.
  • But attempts in New York to raise prices to pay drivers more have hurt both companies' businesses.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The strike Wednesday by Uber and Lyft drivers should serve as a warning to the companies and particularly to their investors.

That's not because the labor action likely harmed Uber or Lyft's business that day in any significant way. Instead, the strike is important because it points to the fundamental flaw in their businesses.

The two companies have built their services around paying their drivers pitifully low wages. That fact was at the center of Wednesday's strike; drivers are indicating through that action and through other means that they aren't going to continue put up with the poor pay.

But it's not at all clear whether Uber or Lyft can afford to give them a raise. The two companies are burning through cash hand over fist — in spite of giving drivers such poor compensation. And they're likely to come under increasing pressure to staunch those losses, even as drivers demand a raise.

How they can solve that conundrum is anyone's guess. I think there's a good chance they simply can't, and both drivers and investors are going to lose out as a result.

Uber and Lyft drivers earn poverty wages

Drivers cited several reason for going on strike, safety concerns and a lack of transparency over how the companies calculate their compensation and the factors they weigh when deciding whether to remove drivers from their services. But the overriding issue behind the driver action was anger over low and falling compensation.

It's not hard to understand why. The average Uber driver makes just $11.77 an hour after deducting the company's fees and the driver's vehicle expenses, the Economic Policy Institute estimated in a study last year that focused just on the biggest ride-hailing company. But as low as that wage is — it's below the poverty line for a family of four — it's actually overstating their real earnings.

Because Uber doesn't classify drivers as employees, the drivers are considered to be self-employed. That means that in addition to the part of the payroll tax that all employees — self-employed or not — pay, they also have to pay the part that employers normally cover. It also means that they don't get health or retirement benefits from Uber, so they have to pay for those out of their own pockets. If you take into account those costs — the employer side of the payroll tax and the cost of modest health and retirement benefits, the average Uber driver made just $9.21 an hour, the EPI found. That's below the poverty wage for a family of three.

Wednesday strike followed one in March by drivers in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego. And there are other signs of increasing driver discontent.

The average Uber driver only works for the company for three months, the EPI study found, meaning that few see it as a sustainable long-term job. And as the economy has improved, attrition among Uber and Lyft drivers and other so-called gig-economy workers has spiked, the Wall Street Journal reported last week. In some cases, attrition levels may be hitting an astounding 500% a year, the Journal reported, citing the chief operating officer of a job placement firm that works closely with such companies.

The companies could have a tough time offering raises

Uber, Lyft, and their cohorts could likely staunch such attrition and driver discontent by giving drivers and other gig workers a raise. But the ride-hailing companies could find that difficult to do, even if they were inclined to do it. Despite the minuscule compensation they give their drivers, neither company has been able to generate consistent profits, much less become self-sustaining.

Last year, Uber burned through $2.1 billion in cash from its operations and and its investments in property and equipment. Lyft, meanwhile, consumed nearly $350 million from its operations and such capital investments.

Read this: Uber is telling the world it's just like Amazon: Here's why the similarities are only skin-deep

Such red ink hasn't been much of a problem to date, because both companies were private and their venture investors were willing to subsidize their losses in the hope of having a big payoff when the companies went public.

But as of Friday, neither company will be protected and succored by private investors anymore. Lyft held its initial public offering in March, and Uber made its public market debut on Friday. Unlike venture investors, public shareholders tend to be far less tolerant of ongoing losses; they won't subsidize them ad infinitum. So both companies are sure to come under increasing pressure to stem the red ink.

It's hard to see how they can do that and pay drivers more, unless they raise prices on consumers. But the intense competition between the two companies — and the continued existence of alternatives such as traditional taxis and public transit — makes it difficult for either to hike prices significantly.

New York shows how wage and price hikes can hurt

New York is a case in point. The city put in place new rules at the end of last year that require Uber and Lyft to pay drivers a minimum wage of $17.22 an hour after expenses. In response, both companies hiked their prices. But they both reportedly offset those hikes with generous customer discounts.

The end result was that both companies' business in the city suffered. In the document Uber filed in advance of its IPO, it warned that the new regulations, including the wage hike, "had a negative impact on our financial performance in New York City in the first quarter of 2019 and may have a similar adverse impact in the future."

In a blog post, Lyft said that the regulations had a "negative impact on driver earnings," which almost certainly meant that they affected its business as well. The company essentially ran a test on two separate days in which it didn't offer customer discounts to offset its price hikes and found that the prices customers paid rose 24% and the number of rides fell 26%.

In other words, the companies' services aren't nearly as competitive or attractive to consumers if the companies have to pay their drivers fair wages.

Both companies are hoping robo-taxis will save them

Both companies have indicated they believe the long-term solution to the problem is to move to driverless vehicles. If they had robo-taxis instead of human driven ones, they wouldn't have to worry at all about driver compensation. Lyft took a step in this direction this week when it announced a deal with Waymo whereby its customers will be able to order a ride in one of the latter's self-driving vehicles in suburban Phoenix.

But the idea of fully replacing human Uber and Lyft drivers with self-driving cars may be a distant dream.

I've spoken with numerous investors lately who focus narrowly on the self-driving car space. It's in their interest to promote the market and for their investments to pay off sooner rather than later. Their general assessment is that the technology is not mature enough to be used outside of suburban, or fixed, environments right now. Vehicles capable of autonomously and safely navigating the dense urban environments where Uber and Lyft have gotten the most traction are still years — and maybe decades — away.

So I'm not sure how Uber or Lyft solves this conundrum. What I do know is it's not going away. And if the strike Wednesday is any indication, the problem may get much worse before Uber or Lyft solves it.

Got a tip about Uber, Lyft, or another tech company? Contact this reporter via email at, message him on Twitter @troywolv, or send him a secure message through Signal at 415.515.5594. You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.

SEE ALSO: Uber's business slowed dramatically in the fourth quarter as it gears up for an IPO

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A man who never earned 6 figures but still retired early wishes he'd done 2 things differently with his money

Sat, 05/11/2019 - 11:30am  |  Clusterstock

  • Tommy, an early retiree who runs the blog Leisure Freak, left his corporate job at age 51, shortly after the stock-market crash in 2008.
  • He never earned a six-figure salary, but said he focused on paying off debt, maxing out his retirement accounts as often as possible, and investing his savings.
  • In hindsight, he wishes he kept more than $20,000 in cash reserves and paid off his mortgage before retiring early — the benefits would have been more mental than anything, he said.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

There are many ways to achieve early retirement, and it can be done without going to extremes.

For Tommy, an early retiree who runs the blog Leisure Freak, the path was as "ordinary" as it gets, he wrote in a recent post.

"Automatic payroll deductions, compounding interest, reinvested dividends, stock growth, consistent dollar-cost averaging, it works when given enough time," he wrote. "My motto — Saving anything is better than saving nothing."

Tommy — who only goes by his first name online — retired nearly 10 years ago at age 51, after a more than three-decade career in telecom. He never earned a six-figure salary, but focused on saving consistently since his 20s and living frugally with his wife and three kids, he said.

"I started only saving the minimum for the full company 401(k) match and concentrated all extra money on debt payoff," he wrote. "Once debt free I stayed debt free other than our modest mortgage. I just piled all extra money into maxing out the yearly allowable 401(k) contributions and Roth IRAs." He said he was able to save, at most, $20,000 a year.

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It wasn't until age 40 that he decided to retire early and met with a certified financial planner. He spent the next decade following an "aggressive but realistic 10-year early retirement plan," saving up to $30,000 a year before the stock market crashed in 2008, causing him to delay his retirement.

Tommy finally retired a year later with more than $500,000 invested in retirement accounts, he wrote, which he was able to access without penalty through a strategy that allowed monthly distributions from an IRA. He also had $20,000 in cash, a proverbial "emergency fund," but now wishes he'd had double that amount.

"Looking back at my financial journey, my desire for investment growth had me underestimated how much having sufficient cash reserves can calm one's retirement transition. Believe it or not, retirement can mess with your mind after spending decades in the rat race trenches," he said.

In hindsight, Tommy wishes they'd paid off their mortgage before retiring early, too. They didn't prioritize it because they assumed their investment returns would exceed any mortgage interest saved. But when the stock market crashed, their returns weren't what they expected.

They finally wiped out their mortgage balance within a few years of retiring. "So much of our having a great retirement is mental. Being mortgage free certainly adds another level of mental freedom," he said.

But Tommy's version of early retirement isn't devoid of work, it's simply living a life in which he doesn't need to work to survive. Over the last decade, he's worked a few different "second-act retirement jobs" fueled by his own interests and passions. 

"When you spend decades in the rat race it is all you really know," he wrote. "I can't explain how different, rewarding, and enjoyable it is to work doing something you really want to do for only as long as you want to do it."

Looking for a financial planner to help with your own retirement journey? Our partner SmartAsset has a free tool to find one near you »

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NOW WATCH: Tesla has a mini Model S for kids that costs $600, and this family bought it to teach their child about driving electric

More people are going to be healthily living past 100, and Bank of America sees a $610 billion market there by 2025

Sat, 05/11/2019 - 10:53am  |  Clusterstock

  • As humans begin to live longer than 100, it's going lead to a $610 billion market by 2025, according to analysts at Bank of America. 
  • That's going to be driven by advances in food, medicine, and technology. 
  • "Technology is on the cusp of bringing unprecedented increases to the quality, and length of human lifespans," the analysts wrote. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

In the near future, more humans will be living longer and healthier past the age of 100.  

Analysts at Bank of America see a market that could be worth $610 billion by 2025, up from $110 billion today. It'll largely by driven via advancements in technology, both used preventatively and to treat some of the conditions associated with getting older. 

"Technology is on the cusp of bringing unprecedented increases to the quality, and length of human lifespans," the analysts wrote in a report published on May 8. 

Bank of America broke down that potential $610 billion market into five subgroups: genomics, big data, future food, ammortality, and moonshot medicine. 

Read more: Investors bet nearly $1 billion on startups that want to defeat aging, but there's a key challenge ahead


One factor the analysts realized could contribute to people living longer and healthier would be a large uptick of people getting their genomes sequenced. As many as 1 in 4 people in the world could have their DNA mapped out by 2025, according to research cited by the Bank of America analysts.

That'd be a massive jump from where it's at today. So far, about 26 million people have taken at-home DNA tests to look into ancestry and/or health traits based on small pieces of the genome. While the cost to sequence genomes has gone down drastically over the years, it can still cost $1,000. But between personal genetics, gene-editing tool CRISPR, and advancements like gene therapy to treat inherited diseases, the market could balloon to $41 billion by 2025, the analysts wrote. 

Big Data

As we amass more information from sources like sequenced genomes, that data could help with new breakthroughs in drug discovery and development. 

Ideally, new sources of data will help give researchers a more comprehensive picture of patients, helping personalize treatments or tailor new drugs to work precisely how the researchers want them to.

Ultimately, Bank of America expects the market around big data in healthcare to reach $36 billion by 2025. 

Read more: Scientists are working on cancer treatments that attack the disease's 'Holy Grail.' Big pharma and biotechs have already invested more than $1 billion.

Future Food

Changes in our diets might help us live healthier to 100 as well, with one of five preventable deaths worldwide tied to diet, Bank of America noted. 

Alternatives to the way we eat now could be a big opportunity for food companies. 

"Next gen products such as lab-grown meat, where costs have fallen 99.7% in the past six years, and the rise of 'flexitarian' diets that reduce meat consumption are among the future food solutions in a market opportunity worth $7.5 billion by 2025," the analysts wrote. The market seems to be catching on. During the initial public offering of Beyond Meat, the makers of plant-based burgers saw its stock surge by 163%.  


By far the biggest of the subgroups highlighted by Bank of America is something the analysts dubbed "ammortality." The researchers define it as "living healthier, better and longer" as an alternative to "immortal," or simply living forever. 

Helping us live healthier for longer are tools like health-tracking wearables and the ability to meet with a doctor without going into the office, as well as electronic health records used to digitally log patients within health systems. The interest in remote monitoring for chronic conditions is driving the growth in the market, the analysts noted. 

The market right now is $86 billion, and it's expected to jump to $504 billion by 2025. 

Moonshot Medicine

The analysts put research on anti-aging treatments into the "Moonshot Medicine" subgroup. These new approaches might be able to help with particular conditions, like Alzheimer's disease or Parkinson's disease, or they help prevent muscle loss or other visible signs of aging. 

Investments into startups trying to find a cure for aging are exploding. And the report pointed to projects Silicon Valley companies like Alphabet's life sciences company Verily is working on in its "quest to disrupt death," as Bank of America put it. 

Right now, the market for anti-aging stands at just $1.6 billion. By 2025, that could grow to $20 billion, the analysts wrote. 

Join the conversation about this story »

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The 3 most important lessons I'm teaching my kids about money all boil down to the same core concept

Sat, 05/11/2019 - 10:46am  |  Clusterstock

  • Author Eric Rosenberg is open about money with his two young daughters.
  • He teaches them that you have to work for money, that cash and credit card payments are the same thing, and that you have to save now to have money later.
  • The most important money lessons he's teaching his kids boil down to the same core concept: It's important to plan for your future instead of only using your money for what you want right now.

As the dad of two little girls, I'm always thinking about how my money decisions today impact the long-term financial health of my family.

I learned a ton of valuable money lessons from my Grandpa Joe, who was a college marketing professor, and my parents. Now that I have my own kids, I want to pass on the same lessons and more.

Some families turn money into a taboo, which makes it nearly impossible for kids to learn important lifelong money skills. By engaging my kids with budgeting, saving, and long-term planning at a young age, I hope to teach them to do as well as I do with money if not better.

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Here are some of the most important things I'm trying to teach my kids starting at just 3 years old.

1. You have to work for money

I work at home, which gives my kids a different impression of what it means to have a job than most kids. While I don't hop in the car and head off to an office each day, I do head into a home office where I can lock myself away for work.

My kids see me at home and think every time is a good time to play. While I certainly take advantage of working at home and playing with my kids throughout the day and week, they know that work time means I can't come play.

"Why can't you come play, dada?" My 3-year-old has asked this more than once. She knows the answer: Dada has to work to make money. This lets us buy things like food, toys, clothes, and pay for our house. It's important to use terms she can relate to and understand.

2. Cash and card payments are the same thing

When we go to the checkout counter at most stores, I pull out my credit card to maximize my miles and points. This is another opportunity for kids to be detached from money, however. Even adults struggle with this when paying with plastic. That's why some experts suggest a cash-only budgeting system.

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I have never paid a penny of credit card interest and work with my wife to stay within a reasonable spending plan each month. For my kids, that means teaching that we have to pay for things we take from stores. That may mean cash or a card, but you always need to have the money saved before you can spend it.

3. You have to save now to have money later

When I was in third grade, I asked my mom if I could have all of my money from my savings account to buy Mighty Morphin Power Rangers toys. Clearly, according to my nine-year-old self, this would be the pinnacle of human existence. I still have some of those toys in my parents' basement, but I'm thankful my mom cut me off after buying just a few.

My little girl has similar whims, though now for things like Doc McStuffins, Paw Patrol, and whatever other show she enjoys at the moment. I find myself passing on the important lesson from my mom. If you buy something today, you won't have money for what you want later.

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What you want later may be better than what you want today. That's why it is important to save now so you can do what you want to do later on.

In an era where about 40% of American households could not afford to pay for a $400 emergency from savings, clearly many parents did prioritize teaching their families these basic lessons. But whatever your financial situation, or however old your kids may be today, it is never too late to fix our own finances and help our kids learn to make better money decisions.

All of these lessons come back to one core concept: It is important to plan for the future and not just use your money for the whims of today.

If you have $100, does it burn a hole in your pocket or inspire you to save? By teaching my kids the right money mindsets, and applying them to my own life, I'll help them build great saving habits that can serve them for decades to come.

Want to sock away more money for the future? Consider these offers from our partners:

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We drove a $40,000 Mazda CX-5 that takes on the Toyota RAV4 and Subaru Forester. Here are its coolest features.

Sat, 05/11/2019 - 9:37am  |  Clusterstock

  • The Mazda CX-5 has been updated for 2019 with the addition of Apple CarPlay and a new turbocharged engine.
  • The Mazda CX-5 compact SUV competes directly against the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Subaru Forester, and Nissan Rogue.
  • The base 2019 Mazda CX-5 Sport with front-wheel drive starts at $24,350, while the top-of-the-line Signature trim starts at $36,890. With options and fees, our Signature trim CX-5 came to an as-tested price of $39,905.
  • We were impressed by the turbocharged CX-5's bountiful power, sporty driving dynamics, stylish design, and high-quality interior.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The Mazda CX-5 is one of the most popular offerings in what is arguably the most competitive segment of the US auto market. Introduced for the 2017 model year, the CX-5 doesn't sell quite as well as the segment-leading Toyota RAV4 and the Honda CR-V, but it's no slouch. 

Through April, Toyota has sold just shy of 118,000 RAV4s, while Honda has moved about 116,000 CR-Vs. During the same period, Mazda sold a respectable 47,000 CX-5s.

Last year, Business Insider had the chance to spend a week with a 2018 Mazda CX-5. We were impressed by the CX-5's stylish design, stellar driving dynamics, and a cabin that felt surprisingly luxurious. However, the CX-5 wasn't quite perfect. It is adequately powerful, but its standard naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine lacked the punch of a turbocharged unit. On the inside, the infotainment system was lackluster.

Read more: We drove a $40,000 Mazda CX-5 Turbo to see if it's the perfect compact SUV. Here's the verdict.

This year, Mazda has made several updates to the CX-5, including the addition of the turbocharged engine from the larger CX-9 SUV.

Recently, we spent some time with a 2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature AWD, clad in a gorgeous Deep Crystal Blue Metallic paint job.

"What Mazda has managed to do is deliver, hands down, the best-driving mass-market compact SUV money can buy," We said in our review of the 2019 CX-5. "It's an impressive feat considering it's fighting for sales in arguably the most brutally competitive segment of the market where everyone brings their A-game."

"And for that reason, if I had $40,000 to spend, the 2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature would be the compact SUV for me," we added.

The base 2019 Mazda CX-5 Sport with front-wheel drive starts at $24,350, while the top-of-the-line Signature trim starts at $36,890. All-wheel-drive is a $1,400 option on the Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring trims. It's standard on Grand Touring Reserve and Signature trims.

With options and fees, our Signature trim CX-5 came to an as-tested price of $39,905. It's the most expensive mass-market compact SUV Business Insider has ever tested.

Here's a closer look at its coolest features: 

SEE ALSO: We drove a $32,000 Subaru Forester that rivals the Honda CR-V and the Toyota RAV4. Here are its coolest features.

FOLLOW US: On Facebook for more car and transportation content!

1. Turbocharged engine: Our top-spec test car had the upgraded 2.5-liter turbocharged engine that can produce up to 250 horsepower using premium-grade fuel. Power output is reduced to 227 horsepower if you use regular gas. The engine is shared with the Mazda6 sedan and larger CX-9 sedan. It's strong, smooth, and delivered a strong fuel economy.

2. Sleek styling: The crossover retains its striking and stylish looks, punctuated by the large Mazda corporate front grille and angular headlights.

Unlike the front end, the rear of the CX-5 is rounded with short overhangs.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Check out the pitch deck that Sandbox VR used to get Andreessen Horowitz as lead investor in a $68 million round, and watch the investors discuss the pitch

Sat, 05/11/2019 - 9:35am  |  Clusterstock

Sandbox VR, a location-based virtual reality startup, landed Andreessen Horowitz as a lead investor in its $68 million Series A in January. A new video shows exactly how the startup convinced the famed investment firm to sign on. 

Andrew Chen, the Andreessen Horowitz partner on the deal, shared a video on the firm's YouTube channel that gave a "director's cut" of the team's pitch meeting, including the investors' discussion after Sandbox VR CEO and cofounder Steve Zhao left the room.

In the video, Chen says that one of the primary reasons the firm chose to invest in Zhao's company was the physical experience of the product, which reduces motion sickness and isn't as bulky as other consumer VR headsets.

Read More: This 29-year-old VC helped start Microsoft's investment fund. Now, she's joining the 50-year-old Mayfield Fund to help it invest in 'unhyped' markets.

Chen also explains in the video that he was also impressed with the unit economics data Zhao had included in his deck. He was able to convince the firm's investment team that the math worked, and that the company could turn a profit as it was presented.

The video is possibly the best look yet at what it's like to meet with the storied Silicon Valley investment firm, which famously invested in companies including Facebook, GitHub, and Lyft. 


Here's the pitch deck Sandbox VR used to land Andreessen Horowitz as the lead on its $68 million Series A funding:

SEE ALSO: Many traditional VCs are hesitant to buy into cannabis startups, but these investors are taking the plunge

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Goldman Sachs' glitzy new trading floor; Billionaire real-estate investor Sam Zell says now is 'the time to accumulate capital'

Sat, 05/11/2019 - 9:15am  |  Clusterstock


Hey Readers!

It's been a whirlwind week. From Uber's disappointing IPO, to trade war tensions with China followed by hopes of a deal from a "beautiful letter" received by Trump, the market was definitely a roller-coaster. 

Apart from all the markets madness, hedge fund reporter Bradley Saacks spent the past week in Las Vegas at Anthony Scaramucci's infamous SALT Conference. But while the schmoozy conference has been known in the past for its hedge fund headliners (and wild after parties), investing titans like Steve Cohen and Bill Ackman were conspicuously absent this year from the event. In their place were a number of former Trump administration officials, like former chief of staff John Kelly and former attorney general Jeff Sessions. 

If you're new to the Wall Street Insider newsletter, you can sign up here.

The shift away from a focus on hedge funds comes as the industry grapples with performance issues. 2018 was a rough year for the market and even as funds gained an average of 5.4% in the first quarter of 2018, nearly $15 billion left the industry in that period.

This means it's also getting harder for more rank and file hedge funders to attend SALT, Bradley reported, as travel budgets are getting tighter. ("It's easier to get approval for a conference in a convention center in Dallas over a Las Vegas casino," said one investor). 

Vegas wasn't the ony place triggering bad hedge fund headlines. In Chicago at the Morningstar conference, AQR founder Cliff Asness said it's a "pretty crappy" environment for his firm's quantitative investing style (though he's sticking by the strategy).  

As returns lag, hedge funds are getting creative as they look for any edge they can get. Stay tuned for more stories from us on this theme.

To all the moms out there, happy Mother's Day! Questions? Feedback? Please email me at

Have a good weekend!


Goldman Sachs' glitzy new London trading floor is the size of a soccer field — but traders worry they'll be 'caged in like battery hens'

Goldman Sachs has told its staff to "get 'move ready' now" for the transfer to the bank's new 1.1-million-square-foot London headquarters, around the corner from St. Paul's Cathedral and within the ancient Roman walls enclosing the Square Mile.

The building, in Plumtree Court in Farringdon, cost an estimated £1 billion and will host about 6,500 employees. The plush trading floor is the site's centerpiece. It's the size of a stadium soccer field. The bank boasts that it's the biggest trading floor in the UK capital.

According to an April 29 "Plumtree Court Newsletter" to Goldman's London staff, seen by Business Insider, the bank called on workers to shred documents in need of shredding, take home umbrellas and other items, and clear workspaces before the big move starting in the summer.


Wall Street banks have seen electronic trading chip away at their control of the corporate bond market. Now they're fighting back.

Investment banks that help big money managers trade corporate bonds are looking to lead the next great change in the rapidly evolving fixed-income markets.

The US corporate bond market, which stood at $9.2 trillion in 2018, according to data from the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, has traditionally traded over the phone because of its size and complexity.

In recent years, however, an increasing amount of volume has begun to trade electronically thanks to the rise of electronic trading marketplaces like MarketAxess and Tradeweb. These types of venues handle roughly 26% of all US corporate bond trading, the vast majority of which involves smaller bonds that are easier to transact on and therefore considered more liquid.

Now, numerous leading investment banks are looking to trade corporate bonds electronically with their clients directly, potentially cutting out these electronic trading marketplaces.


BlackRock is quietly building a team of 30 data scientists to create a next-generation stock-lending platform

The world's largest asset manager is on a mission to automate and innovate through its growing artificial-intelligence team.

BlackRock founded a Palo Alto, California-based group called AI Labs last year, directed by the Stanford professor Stephen Boyd. Now, according to job postings reviewed by Business Insider, the 30-member team is tackling projects including next-generation lending platforms and automating human tasks.


Billionaire real-estate investor Sam Zell says now is 'the time to accumulate capital' for future real-estate buys as a glut approaches

The billionaire real-estate investor Sam Zell is building up his pool of cash, planning to put it to use in a couple of years.

Compared with four or five years ago, prices for real estate have become "less speculative" but are still too high for Zell's taste, the founder of Equity International told attendees of this week's SALT conference in Las Vegas.

"I think there's going to be an opportunity" in the next few years, Zell said, to buy cheap apartment and office buildings because of oversupply.


CBD companies were courted hard by a unit of US Bank — but they got ghosted despite having a 100% legal business

Elavon, a payment processor that's a subsidiary of US Bank, courted CBD clients through intermediaries and dropped them months later, numerous CBD startup founders told Business Insider.

Elavon sent the founders a letter in the mail — a copy of which was obtained by Business Insider — citing federal uncertainty around CBD products.

The CBD founders were delighted to be working with a company with a reputation like Elavon's. When Elavon pulled out, it was a huge blow.


The tech head at the $1.7 trillion investment firm Pimco tells us how a new tool is turning every employee into a data scientist

Pimco has plenty of data scientists — but now, the $1.7 trillion investment firm wants every employee to be one.

The firm's chief technology officer, Dirk Manelski, told Business Insider in a recent interview that the firm was building a data-science platform for all employees to use. While the firm has been integrating data science for decades, the centralized platform represents an evolution from the earlier days, when employees would ask particular groups for reports or numbers.

Now, Manelski wants each of the firm's 2,500 employees to be a "citizen data scientist," meaning they'd be able to use basic tools that fit their particular needs, regardless of position or location.


In markets:

In tech news:

Other good stories from around the newsroom:

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13 easy things you can do to increase the value of your home, according to real-estate agents

Sat, 05/11/2019 - 9:05am  |  Clusterstock

If you're looking to sell your home, you probably want to do everything you can to sell it at the best price possible. 

Business Insider asked real-estate agents about the easiest ways to increase a home's value. Several of them said getting rid of clutter is the easiest way to spruce up your home, while others advised upgrading your light fixtures, removing rugs and carpeting, and replacing your bedding with a simple white duvet.

Here are 13 easy things you can do that will increase the value of your home, according to real-estate agents.

SEE ALSO: 11 things that make a home unsellable, according to real-estate agents

DON'T MISS: 10 things real-estate agents wish they could tell you — but won't

1. Get rid of clutter.

Several real-estate agents said getting rid of clutter is the easiest way to spruce up your home.

"The simplest and least expensive thing that you can do is rid your home of clutter," Deborah Ribner of Warburg Realty told Business Insider. "A buyer needs to be able to envision their things in your home, and when a home is too cluttered ... it's hard for them to do that. Think bare minimum."

Ribner recommends clearing off bookshelves, coffee tables, kitchen counters, and dishes and beds for pets. You should "think of your home as being as much of a blank canvas for buyers," she said.

Rachel Lustbader of Warburg Realty suggested getting rid of old, worn furniture as well. 

"Buyers want to see the future in their new home, not the past," she said.

2. Put away family photos.

Several agents recommended putting away your family photos when you're trying to sell your house.

"Remove all family photos, children's artwork on the refrigerator, and declutter," Julie Brannan of Compass said. "You want them to superimpose their own circumstances on the home, not look at yours."

3. Switch out your cabinets and appliances instead of redoing the whole kitchen.

"If your kitchen is dated and appliances are worn out but you don't want to redo the whole kitchen, consider a cabinet refacing and change out the appliances," Christopher Totaro of Warburg Realty told Business Insider. "It's a plug-and-play upgrade. It's as easy as calling your local home-center to schedule a consultation."

He added that it's possible to add a new countertop without replacing the cabinets. 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

From #Ghana Green Afro-Palms an Agribusiness Processing Machinery Company cc @Oukwuani

Sat, 05/11/2019 - 8:30am  |  Timbuktu Chronicles
From CitiNews:

Green Afro-Palms, through its GAPROTECH solution, run an innovation system that integrates a zero-emissions palm nuts and fibre processing assembly line; organic oils extraction complex; zero-waste residue converter for energy and animal feeds chain; upcoming insect proteins R&D program; and a fair-wages palm cultivation supply chain

The week Trump drove the stock market nuts: Here's a play-by-play of how his trade war with China wreaked havoc and erased $1.4 trillion in market value

Sat, 05/11/2019 - 8:05am  |  Clusterstock

  • The US stock market entered the week riding high, but saw its historically strong start to 2019 thrown into disarray as President Donald Trump reignited his trade war with China.
  • The benchmark S&P 500 lost 2.2% in its worst week of the year, while roughly $1.4 trillion was erased from global stock indexes at one point.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

They say all good things must come to an end, and that certainly rang true this past week for the US stock market.

Equities entered Monday riding high after a historically strong start to 2019. But by the time Friday afternoon rolled around, they'd suffered through their worst week of the year. As of Thursday's close, the MSCI All-Country World Index of global stocks had already seen $1.4 trillion of market value erased.

But that summary hardly does justice to the turbulence felt along the way, which frayed investor nerves and led many to wonder if this was the beginning of the end for the 10-year bull market.

The rocky week actually kicked off last Sunday, well before regular-hours trading began, after President Donald Trump used his notorious Twitter fingers to rekindle the trade war between the US and China.

The president said he was planning to increase tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods to 25% from 10% and slap fresh tariffs on an additional $325 billion worth. Overnight stock-market futures tumbled on the news, and the market dove at the Monday open.

Read more: Buy Amazon and Google, sell Apple and Exxon: Here's an in-depth look at Goldman Sachs' newly unveiled strategy for fighting the trade war

The subsequent few days saw investors and equity indexes whipsawed by both incrementally positive and negative developments. After nearly recovering its deep loss by Monday's close, the benchmark S&P 500 then finished Tuesday 1.7% lower — its third-biggest daily decline of the year.

Those losses grew across Wednesday and Thursday, then continued into Friday. Then, finally, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin stemmed the bleeding with a single word: "constructive" — said in reference to the US-China trade talks.

The US and China may not have struck a final trade accord in the end, but that was all investors needed to hear to shift back into buying mode. The S&P 500 erased major losses from earlier on Friday and finished 0.4% higher.

But considerable damage was already done. With a 2.2% loss over five days, the S&P 500 ended up suffering through its worst week of 2019. Stock indexes around the world took a similar beating. Here's a roundup of the damage:

Read more: This under-the-radar trade can help you beat the market as tariff tensions flare — even if stocks are getting crushed

But no discussion of the stock market's wild week is complete without an acknowledgement of the conditions that left it so vulnerable in the first place.

Prior to Trump's Sunday tweetstorm, the US equity market was priced to perfection. That meant strong corporate earnings growth, an accommodative Federal Reserve, and a positive trade-war outcome were all baked into record levels. With so much viewed as going right, any minor tremor was bound to have a major impact.

What's perhaps most intriguing about Trump's escalation of the trade conflict is that it left him open for blame in the almost certain event of a stock-market sell-off. After all, throughout his presidency, he's regularly taken credit for the market's successes, and placed blame on others — usually the Fed — for its failures.

In the end, perhaps it was always Trump's plan to have Mnuchin fly in at the 11th hour to alleviate concerns. But the road he took to get there was long and winding. At this point, only one thing is certain: Investors around the world will be watching intently for signs of his next move.

Rebecca Ungarino, Theron Mohamed, and Jonathan Garber contributed reporting.

Now read more markets coverage from Business Insider:

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There are 360 ways to add Uber to FAANG and analysts already disagree over where to put it (UBER)

Sat, 05/11/2019 - 8:00am  |  Clusterstock

  • If Uber turns into the high-growth tech stock of bull analysts' dreams, the ride-hailing company could disrupt the longstanding acronym of FAANG.
  • FAANG represents the five of the most popular and high-value tech stocks: Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google.
  • Though Uber just started trading on Friday, two analysts have already proposed adding Uber to the list. But they disagree on where to add it in. 
  • There are 360 different ways U can be combined with FAANG. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Uber disrupted the taxi industry with its mobile ride-hailing platform. And now that it's a public company, it's disrupting financial analysts' mnemonic devices.

Though just hours out of the gate, two analysts have already proposed eventually adding Uber to FAANG — though neither agreed where U belongs in the mix.

FAANG is an acronym for five of the most popular and high-performing large-cap tech stocks: Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google.

Before Uber can join FAANG, the company will have to prove that it can continue to add value over time and succeed in the public markets in a way that is yet unconfirmed after its first rocky day of trading. 

But Wedbush analyst Dan Ives thinks Uber is well on its way to transforming FAANG into FAAUNG.

Read more: PayPal already lost $37 million on the Uber investment it just made as part of the IPO

"Uber is clearly one of the most transformational companies in the world as the company has essentially single handily changed the nature of transportation worldwide," wrote Ives in a note on May 1. Ives set a price target of $65 for the company.

"While it will take time we ultimately believe the traditional FAANG tech club which is viewed as bellwether for investors worldwide will over the coming years accept a new member into this group and thus broaden into 'FAAUNG' given the barometer of consumer spending that Uber brings to the table on the transportation and mobility front," Ives wrote.

Not everyone agrees.

Like Ives, Naeem Aslam is bullish on Uber. But unlike Ives, Aslam, the chief market analyst at ThinkMarkets, thinks FAANG is about to become FAANGU.

"As expected the Uber IPO wasn't going to sell hot off the shelf, investors were wary about the demand especially after what happened to Lyft," Aslam wrote in an email Friday. "But that doesn't mean it is not a good stock, Uber has the ability to join the FAANG, and for me I see that term changing very soon to 'FAANGU.'"

Altogether, there are 360 possible ways to add Uber into FAANG. 

As Business Insider's resident mathematician and Senior Quant Reporter Andy Kiersz explains, the total number of combinations of the six-letter acronym is 720, but you then need to account for the double As (which represent Apple and Amazon).  That still leaves a lot of name options to choose from. 

Will FAAUNG and FAANGU compete side-by-side in a cash burning, price slashing drag race like Uber and Lyft? Or will one of them come out ahead? Which one is the sauce, and which will leave analysts feeling unpumped?

Whatever the case, victory will be short lived. Once Airbnb and WeWork enter the public markets, analysts will have 6720 possible permuatations to sort through before settling on the perfect combination for the new cohort of high-growth tech stocks.

Here are all of the ways Uber can disrupt FAANG (pick your favorite):


SEE ALSO: A complete guide to the weird and wacky tech-bro slang used by former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: 5G networks will be 10 times faster than 4G LTE, but we shouldn't get too excited yet

Vanguard's CEO just revealed it's in the early stages of building a new tech platform for wealth advisors as it goes head-to-head with BlackRock's Aladdin

Sat, 05/11/2019 - 8:00am  |  Clusterstock

  • Tim Buckley, Vanguard's CEO, said the firm is building a technology platform for financial advisors, which will be similar to its wildly popular Personal Advisor Services. 
  • It will likely be rolled out by 2021. 
  • Vanguard joins other asset managers like BlackRock building platforms for financial advisors to use with their clients. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Vanguard is building a tech platform to better tap the $6 trillion of assets that financial advisors oversee as it plays catch-up with peers like BlackRock in the digital wealth space. 

At a media roundtable at the Morningstar Investment Conference in Chicago on Thursday, Vanguard CEO Tim Buckley highlighted the success of its Personal Advisor Services, which connects individual investors with more than $50,000 to Certified Financial Planners for a 0.3% or lower fee.  

Now, the asset manager is building a similar platform for financial advisors, after hearing that professionals wanted to use elements of the service, like technology-driven risk analysis, for their clients. 

See more: The man who upended investing by founding $5.1 trillion Vanguard says he admires only 3 rivals and even made some money off one of them

"Expect us to invest more and more in advice," Buckley told reporters. "We're here to help clients, whether they come directly to Vanguard or through advisers, to achieve a better retirement, put their kids through college. If we can help lower the cost of advice, we'll do that. If it's not direct, we'll do it through advisors."

The financial advisor platform will likely be rolled out by 2021, he said, noting it's too early to know if it'll be a revenue stream for the privately-held company. Buckley said early iterations of the program are being piloted with advisors. 

BlackRock's similar effort, Aladdin Wealth, is a growing focus for the asset manager. The platform is driving revenue from the fees advisors pay and, in some cases, more assets to BlackRock, Business Insider reported last month. Aladdin Wealth, which was rolled out two years ago, now has 30,000 users, but lots of runway as there are about 300,000 financial advisors in the US alone

In November, BlackRock said it would buy a minority stake in financial technology firm Envestnet for $123 million. About 92,000 financial advisers use Envestnet's wealth management platforms, which include portfolio management, reporting and other capabilities. 

Asset managers are increasingly interested in building digital tools to work more directly with financial advisors, who oversee more than $6 trillion in assets in North America alone, according to a report last month from McKinsey. That survey showed the continued growth of fee-based advisors, who are more likely than commission-based stock pickers to embrace digital tools and index funds to lower the cost of portfolio management. 

"They can pass those savings onto their clients; they can free their time up to do more for their clients beyond portfolio management," Buckley said at Morningstar. "If we can give them pieces of our engine so they can do that better, we'll be doing that."

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The legendary economist who predicted the housing crisis says the US will win the trade war

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