Posts in Finance

Calling All Fin Tech Startups!!!!

My friend and fellow former trader Alan Matthew of Tribal Ventures alerted me to this. It’s a good opportunity for fin tech startups to get some exposure to potential customers.  I don’t think this is a good opportunity to get …

It’s Lonely At Seed

When WLV pitches to potential investors, they always ask “Why Seed?”.  It’s a great question and one we love to answer.  Most investors we know prefer to invest at Series B, and some are filtering down to Series A.  Some …

I Thought This Was Cool

Last Thursday before the Tech Week party I went to the iVenture Accelerator gathering at TechNexus.  If you don’t know about iVenture, it’s a startup venture lab run by Ryan Singh and Noah Wasserman at the University of Illinois in …

Two Markets With Parallel Paths

Right now if you read about the venture capital market, or if you read about the stock market you will notice similarities. Both have a lot of capital in them chasing return. In VC, that drives up valuations and dampens …

How To Do Social Entrepreneurship Right: Guard Llama

Social entrepreneurship has been a trend.  I think it’s great to use capitalistic enterprises to solve problems.  But, there are some troubling trends I am seeing within social entrepreneurship.  I have written checks to companies that clearly perform social good …

The Big Bank Bottom Line

One of the secrets people don’t know about the big banks is their cost of good sold.  It’s pretty large.  62% of revenue.  The WSJ reports the big banks are going to try and get together to cut $2B in …

Clearing is Centralized, and Concentrates Risk

One of the things blockchain might be able to do better is clearing.  Clearing of swaps especially.  Under Dodd-Frank, the government mandated a lot of swaps clearing.  Logically, this made sense.  I was initially in favor of moving plain vanilla …

Is It A Tool or a Platform?

One of the toughest things about analyzing companies is figuring out if they are tools or platforms. In B2B Fin Tech, one of the things we are seeing is the unbundling of big entrenched vertical silos. Bloomberg, FIS, Fiserv, Envestnet, …

What About Blockchain and Custody?

A lot of people are wondering what the killer app will be for blockchain. I see a lot of potential in various areas. One of them is custody. What do I mean by that? In finance, equity is transferred between …

Are Angels Muscling in on VC’s?

Read an article on AngelList.  It’s a pretty cool platform.  Here is a quote from the WSJ article: Since launching six years ago, AngelList has shaken up the venture-capital landscape, creating new players on the industry’s traditional turf and giving …

A Hurdle In Fin Tech Revolutions

When things start to revolutionize it is interesting to watch how people view it.  Existing entrenched competitors want to strangle innovation in the crib.  Some people scoff at it and say it’s a stupid idea that will never ever work. …

The Oligopoly and Crony Employeeism

I posted this chart because my friend Arnold posted it on his Facebook. But, it’s a metaphor for everything in America these days.  Massive companies dominate every industry.  I’d urge everyone to read Professor John Cochrane’s essay on economic growth. …

Fees on Accounts-The Government Is Enabling A Shake Down

The Department of Labor recently changed regulations on how brokerage agencies can charge fees to accounts.  Remind me again why the Department of Labor is stepping into the relationship between a broker and customer again?  It’s another example of government …

Central Banks Buying Public Stocks Is A Really Bad Idea

Janet Yellen runs the Federal Reserve.  She is a central banker.  She said that the Federal Reserve is looking at using money outside of normal monetary machinations.  They are looking at going into the stock market and buying public equity. …

Putting On An Event-The Business Blockchain

I don’t put on very many events.  One reason we think they are important is to further develop the Chicago Fin Tech network.  As we continue to raise our fund, we are going to start trying to do more events …

Where Is The Next Big Short?

Steve Eisman was in the news again.   People asked him where the next big short is.  I remember when I had to explain to people what shorting the market was-now thanks to Michael Lewis it’s part of the lexicon. …

VC Returns; What To Expect.

Yesterday, they published Andreessen-Horowitz venture fund returns. a16z shook up the VC world a bit when it started. They have done a lot of things differently, and other VC’s weren’t too happy. I don’t care too much about all that …