Change Can Be Good!

Sandra and I attended the TD Ameritrade (TDA) National Conference last week. It was 2 1/2 days packed with educational and industry update sessions, along with a myriad of speakers. Basically, it was like drinking from a fire hose of information.

That being said, the overall theme of the conference was CHANGE. In this case, change is a good thing. New technology tools are being offered by various companies that will integrate with TDA's updated advisor platform - VEO One. This new platform will roll out later this year and replace the current online platform that the staff and I use now in servicing your accounts. In addition, TDA will be making some enhancements to AdvisorClient.com, for those of you who log into TDA to view your accounts, which I believe you will like.

The changes taking place are huge improvements in time, productivity and efficiency. TDA realizes that advisors and their staff want to spend more time helping you, the client, and less time doing redundant administrative tasks. As such, this huge undertaking will pay off big time. The speakers (i.e., a test group of professionals) that have been able to use and test this new system explained what a huge jump in efficiency they've realized. As a matter of fact, one firm noted that an administrative task that took one professional a week or two to perform can now be done in 40 minutes or less. That additional time can now be used for much more client-centric and beneficial projects.

When I shared this information with Sally and Jill, they were thrilled to say the least. They both can see that the coming changes will allow them to do more and in less time. I realize that this may not seem too exciting to most people, because what I am describing is a very specific industry improvement. However, along the lines of change, let's look at the bigger picture.

Dr. Peter Diamandis was a keynote speaker at the aforementioned conference. Dr. Diamandis is a visionary, engineer, physician, and entrepreneur best known for being the founder and chairman of the X PRIZE Foundation, the co-founder and chairman of Singularity University and the co-author of the New York Times bestseller Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think. He has several other notable distinctions, but let's just stop here. Dr. Diamandis is trying to create a collaborative group of 21st Century entrepreneurial Albert Einstein’s and Thomas Edison’s whose achievements will positively impact billions of people.

Dr. Diamandis gave the following examples of positive change that has or will be occurring:

The End of PovertyWhat if through technological advancements, we are on track to end poverty as we know it in the next several decades?

Re-defining povertyThe vast majority of those in America classified as poor have modern conveniences that escaped many of the extremely wealthy in the early 20th century.

Internet UsersIn five short years it is estimated that 2/3’s of all humans will have access to the Internet. It is truly becoming a “wired world.”

 20 Years LaterIt is amazing that in just 20 years, we have combined the functions of a phone, camera, video recorder, computer, radio, and CD player into one device that can fit in our pocket.

Sensor ExplosionIn 28 years we’ve created a camera that has 1,000 times the resolution, is 1,000 times lighter and 1,000 times cheaper than what was available in 1976.

Sensor ExplosionThe technology behind multi-million dollar guidance systems that navigated rockets in the 1960’s is now available to consumers for less than $2.

Sensor ExplosionIn 29 years we’ve completely redefined the GPS receiver from a cost prohibitive monster that would not fit on your dashboard to a tiny chip.

Biometric SensorsOn the drawing board is wearable diagnostic contacts that will monitor their individual’s insulin levels or other vital signs and alert them when there is a concern.

XPrizeIf you’ve ever watched the science fiction show or movies Star Trek, then you know now the tricorder was used by the ship’s doctor to diagnosis illnesses or monitor’s a patient’s health. Well, in January of 2016 an award will be given to the team that creates a hand-held consumer device that allows individuals to access the state of their own health anytime, anywhere, and potentially revolutionize how people could interact with the healthcare system. For more information on this, please click on the following link: XPrize

Human LongevityAdvances in medical science and genetics are on track to extend not only the longevity, but also the health and productivity of humans. Imagine individuals not retiring until age 100.

The take away from Dr. Diamandis’ presentation is that change is occurring at a more rapid pace than any time in history. Also, many of these changes will result in huge advancements that will enhance the lives of not millions, but billions of us around the globe. Just envision the day when your personal tricorder alerts you that you have ailment coming on. It automatically recommends what steps to take or schedules a doctor’s appointment for you that day. Next a self-driving / GPS-guided car picks you up and takes you directly to your doctor’s office for examination/treatment.

Well just an hour or two after writing about the self-driving car above, I read on the Internet that Uber and Google are both spending millions of dollars and hiring senior scientists to develop a self-driving fleet of taxis.

Should we fear change? No, that would be like fearing microwaves, air conditioning, cell phones, cable TV, the Internet, Wi-Fi, GPS, digital cameras, Facebook, online bill pay and shopping, etc. Now are all of these advancements perfect or without problems? No. However, the future appears to be much brighter and actually coming to reality at a much faster rate than ever imagined. As such, I for one am looking forward to many of the new tools and innovations that will become available in upcoming years. Any new software or application that offers more efficiency and greater productivity, is a win-win for all involved. 

If you would like to learn a little more about Dr. Diamandis and what he and his partners are trying to accomplish, please click on the following video link: XPrize CEO Peter Diamandis

Quotes    

"Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching."

          C.S. Lewis  

"Change is inevitable. Progress is optional."

          Tony Robbins

Quotes selected by the IAG staff

"The entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity."

          Peter Drucker

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.”

          Winston Churchill

 

Tony Moeller, CPA

The information listed in this commentary is a compilation of various publicly available sources and is for informational purposes only. It is not a recommendation or solicitation of any particular investment or strategy. A risk of loss is involved with investments in the stock and bond markets.

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