Retirement planning is not the sexiest topic in the world, but we all have to think about it at some point. And it is a significant business. Depending on which research firm you quote, we’re talking about a $36 trillion to $50 trillion global market. The problem with retirement plans is that investments are primarily controlled by third parties with little to no transparency, and it is often unclear how you’ll benefit when it comes time to collect the payouts from your plan. Today Auctus — a smart contract-powered retirement planning platform — announced that it is looking to change all that by bringing blockchain technology to the industry. Auctus combines traditional and cryptocurrency assets, using smart contracts to eliminate intermediaries in the retirement planning process, thus reducing or even eradicating fees. “After having entered personal data (such as age, wage, personal circumstances, etc.), as well as having chosen a risk … [Read more...] about Auctus is bringing blockchain tech to the $36 trillion retirement plan market
Using 401k to start a business
This is the story of “three guys who spend our free time drinking beer, playing golf and coding awesome projects.” For the past two years, Brandon Medenwald, Justin Kalvoda, and Bill Burgess have held down full-time jobs while also launching their company, Simply Made Apps.Their only product is an app called Simple In/Out, which solves a problem that drove Brandon crazy. He explains, “In my fulltime job as a web programmer, we had an old magnetic in/out board like they use in sales offices to keep track of who is in the office and who isn’t. Five or six years ago, they transitioned to a Web-based version.“I was constantly frustrated with it, because some of the roughly 40 people in our firm wouldn’t use it. The board became extremely out of date. For years, I was joking that I could write a better piece of software in a weekend, but then over beers in a bar with two friends, it dawned on me we could solve this problem by using the GPS chips in cell … [Read more...] about Passion trumps money: Why tech entrepreneurs are ‘dangerous’
Let's say you're a newspaper reporter, and you got into the business because you love to tell stories. You revel in the conflict and drama to be found in everyday situations, from crime scenes to City Hall -- and if you live in Detroit, you get to cover both at the same location, which helps save on gas money. You spend 20-plus years working your way up from covering school board meetings for small-market weeklies to investigative series for mid-size dailies to a having your own column at a major metropolitan newspaper, along the way accumulating awards and a Rolodex full of sources that could choke a fake Bigfoot.Then one day your corporate parent encourages you to take a buyout offer because the Internets are sucking up all the ad revenue, and there's a big bullseye on your annual salary.Let's say you're a television anchor/reporter, and you got into the business because you love to tell stories in a minute-and-a-half. You revel in the conflict and drama found in everyday situations, … [Read more...] about INSIGHTS Can Neighborhood Blogs Rescue Community Journalism?
In a society far away and long ago, people mostly farmed and ran storefront businesses where they lived. Then came the migration to the cities, where a new generation of workers stuffed into bulgingurban-based factory jobs. Many spent their entire adult lives working for The Man in an upstairs office.Then more social changes and transportation advancements happened. Those improvements let workers move to a suburban home and travel to city jobs in buses and trains and autos. Sitting in traffic enduring the twice-a-day commute was very bad. But loyalty to The Man and hours commuting to his office building provided workers with long-term benefits that sustained their families. And that was very very good. Or so it seemed.Now the social workforce is changing once again. This time around, workers with unique talents ply their trade from home offices and send the products of their work efforts to city-based offices. Often, these work-reception centers are located far beyond acceptable … [Read more...] about How the Virtual Workforce Is Changing Everything
Hardly a week passes without a report of consumer or company data being compromised. According to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a non-profit consumer organization, more than 90 million data records containing sensitive personal information have been involved in security breaches since February 2005.We have all read about high profile cases such as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and AOL from the headlines of our morning newspapers. Sipping our coffee, we assure ourselves that a data breach could never happen to us.What we find when we read further, however, is that these data breaches frequently occur as a result of a lost or stolen laptop, an insider stealing information, or a targeted hack into a corporate network.Several questions come to mind as we delve into each affected organization's data breach story. How did this happen? What was the affected company's policy with regard to sensitive information? And, most importantly, could this happen at my … [Read more...] about Creating a Security Policy and Enforcing It
The high-tech economy spawned a new breed of the super-wealthy by appealing to the gambling lust of some very smart and extremely ambitious people. They made their fortunes not through blood, sweat and tears, but through stock options. Some of the billionaires thus created are worth a few billion dollars (US$) less now that the high-tech frenzy seems to have rolled to a more manageable pace -- if not quite a halt.But for those less comfortably situated -- say those whose net worth may be hovering in the low millions and sliding southward -- company shares no longer have the same delicious appeal. For new entrants into the high-tech job market, the prospect of stock options has degraded to the ho-hum level. It seems that as a strategy to attract the best and brightest, offering stock options is no longer an option.Last summer, Joseph Galli stunned Wall Street by becoming Amazon.com, Inc.'s president and chief executive officer instead of taking the helm of PepsiCo, Inc. Galli was lured … [Read more...] about Are Dot-Com Options Still an Option?
Online securities trading was a big fad a few years ago, but some of the major players disappeared from the scene after the dot-com fallout. However, many do-it-from-home traders cannot resist the Internet's speed and convenience, and there are still plenty of firms to accommodate them.Although some major brokerage companies swore they would never offer access to electronic trading tools, many quickly learned that customers were eager to trade via the Internet, and realized they would need to provide services or lose them to the competition.Currently, online trading is gaining credibility.Electronic storefronts offer consumers dedicated Web sites, software and online trading tools to help them go it alone. Some online investing firms have begun offering limited to full professional investment consulting services for a fee."Online trading is more than a passing fad. Many individual investors are using online brokers today," Fred Ruffy, an analyst at Optionetics, told TechNewsWorld.The … [Read more...] about The Risky Business of Online Stock Trading
Top college and business school graduates are increasingly forgoing Internet companies in favor of consulting firms and investment banking firms, a new survey by recruiting firm WetFeet.com says.The Internet business is not losing its appeal, according to "The Student Recruitment Report 2000," which was based on a survey of 869 undergraduate, business and graduate school students from such U.S. universities as Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of California at Berkeley and Stanford.Although two-thirds of new graduates rated the Internet as "the hottest industry of all," only 18 percent of respondents said they wanted to work for Internet-related companies, compared to 67 percent who would rather get into management consulting or investment banking.According to the results, getting into the Internet field via consulting and investment banking firms offers "the best of both worlds" -- more support and team-oriented work and the e-commerce experience that … [Read more...] about Top Graduates Snub Dot-Coms for Consulting Firms