The game-changing potential of blockchain technology

Bitcoin has dominated headlines, but the future of financial transactions could very well be delivered via blockchain technology

Time to read: 3 min

Over the past year, it’s been next to impossible to avoid a conversation or news story on bitcoin. It went from a relatively arcane subject to possibly the most discussed topic within financial markets across both Wall Street and Main Street. (It certainly didn’t hurt that 2017 bitcoin returns were over 1,300%1). Now, after about a year of (perhaps) irrational bitcoin exuberance (and the 2018 reversal of more than half its gains from last year1), many are looking at the underlying technology as the true game-changer. While it is unlikely that bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies will soon upend how we all transact, I believe that blockchain has the potential to reshape the global economy as we know it.

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Artificial intelligence: What is it, and why are companies adopting it?

Predictive analytics is transforming large data sets into actionable items

Time to read: 3 min

Technology companies are known for innovation, and it doesn’t take long for a revolutionary new technology to take hold and become a part of people’s daily lives. In my view, investors shouldn’t be threatened by technology. Rather, they should be skeptical of companies not utilizing technology to its fullest potential.

One common theme we find when considering the largest companies within the Nasdaq-100 Index is the early embrace of artificial intelligence (AI). Even the chief executive officer of Alphabet (the parent company of Google) acknowledged the importance of artificial intelligence in the company’s first quarter 2016 earnings call.1 While not all companies

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From bricks to clicks: The shifting sands of retailing

The advent of online retailing has created a new class of companies that can effectively leverage technology

Time to read: 3 min

With the holiday season upon us, retail companies are trying to close out the year on a strong note after a rough stretch. So far in 2017, more than 6,700 store closings have been announced in the United States — more than in any year on record.1 Although these numbers may sound dire, traditional retailing isn’t dead yet. Rather, the nature of retailing has simply shifted.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday as a barometer of retailing trends

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Is equity market volatility due for a comeback?

Barring geopolitical disruptions, there is little evidence that volatility will make an extended return

Time to read: 2 min

Equity market volatility has been remarkably low in recent years, which has corresponded to strong large-company equity performance — particularly for the Nasdaq-100 Index and the S&P 500 Index. This has led some market observers to wonder whether we’re due for a correction of sorts in volatility, much as stocks might correct after a bull market. Barring major geopolitical disruptions, I don’t see evidence that this will be the case.

The CBOE NASDAQ Volatility Index (the VXN) is the Nasdaq-100’s version of the CBOE Volatility Index (the VIX), which measures the volatility of the S&P 500 Index and is perhaps the most commonly cited barometer of near-term equity market volatility. The VXN reflects

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