Category Archives: Business Analysis

Roboadvisers: a Primer

According to Business Insider, the term roboadviser was first coined by a reporter in 2002, before really entering into use in 2011 and 2012.  However, the term itself is terrible, because nobody knows what it means!

So in this piece, I’m going to define the roboadvisers, summarize how the various roboadvisers differentiate themselves, compare each roboadviser’s Assets Under Management (AUM), and finally discuss the profitability of the industry.

Definition: If you want to invest money or manage your personal finances, you can hire a portfolio manager or financial adviser to help you.  However, these services are not only costly, but often give bad advice.  To solve this problem, the roboadvisers use computers and algorithms to understand people and give better financial advice.

For instance, let’s say you wanted to invest for retirement.  A simple roboadviser might ask your age, the amount of money you have saved up, and ask how you feel about risky investments.  Based on this information, it would then invest in a portfolio, usually Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs), that matches your investment style.

And while there are a lot of robo-advisers, they all have different business models, and solve different problems.  Here are some interesting factoids:
– Vanguard’s Personal Advisor roboadviser, which only became available to the public in March of 2015, holds $75 billion in AUM – twice as much as all other roboadvisers combined.
– The most well-funded startup, Betterment, raised $205 million in fundraising and has $5 billion in AUM.
– The roboadvisers charge very different fees, from free to 1% of AUM to a monthly fee.

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In Simple Terms, What is FinTech?

FinTech is a term that’s thrown around a lot, but surprisingly few people understand it, so I’m going to define the term and categorize the industry in a simple and easy to understand way.

Simply put, Finance + Technology = FinTech.

While this sounds reasonable, FinTech is a huge field, and covers a lot of different startups. Broadly, FinTech companies can be divided into 5 categories, with each category solving a different problem.
1. Lending
2. Payments
3. Wealth Management and Personal Finance
4. Cryptocurrency
5. Banking

Broadly speaking, for each problem category, FinTech companies can improve a product or service in one of two ways:
A. Make it cheaper and easier to use.
B. Make it available to more people.

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How to Avoid ‘Missed Schedule’ Posts in WordPress

What is a Missed Schedule post?
Like most people, I’m pretty terrible at forming good habits – flossing regularly, resting my eyes when using the computer, and regularly writing new material for my website.  For the first two problems, there’s not much I can do but to do my best and hope it sticks.  But the third problem should be easily solvable!  Just write a lot to build up a buffer, and then use WordPress to schedule them to be published in the future!  Easy solution, right?

And it works, until one day you log in and realize some posts that were supposed to be published days ago, aren’t.  Instead of being Published, they have a status of Missed Schedule.
Wordpress - Missed Schedule

And it’s not just one post either, almost a third of posts from the last three weeks were unpublished!  And so, stuff that I expected to be published and available, was not.  For me, it’s not a big deal.  But this problem might mean lost sales and lost revenues for a commercial site.  So it’s got to be solved!

What causes a Missed Schedule WordPress post?
There’s a lot of data out there on WordPress Missed Schedule posts, but most of it is either useless, contradictory, or very technical.  However, I pieced them together to discover the following:

1) When you schedule a post in WordPress to be posted in the future, WordPress uses something called WP-cron to post at the scheduled time.

2) A ‘cron’ job is a task scheduling system that runs on the website server, doing stuff like telling WordPress to post at a scheduled time.

3) However, WP-cron is a not actually a true ‘cron job’ (presumably because not everyone has the full server access).  Instead, it checks if it should publish every time somebody visits the website.

4) This does not always work – I get roughly 100 visitors per day, and clearly this has not always triggered the posts.  I theorize that some combination of plugin problems and server issues contribute towards these Missed Schedule problems

How can I prevent Missed Schedule posts?
This is the easy part – there’s a couple of great plugins.  I just installed and recommend WP Missed Schedule, which sets up a true ‘cron’ job to publish scheduled posts.

How to Create an Easy and Effective Watermark

As some folks may notice, during my website migration to, I not only labeled all my photos, but also added a small, unobtrusive watermark to the lower right hand corner of all my photos (highlighted in red).
Watermarks - sample image with watermark highlighted

While designing the watermark, I tried to look online, but didn’t find any useful guides for creating a watermark, so I decided to make my own.  So, this will be a guide on how to FREE tools to design, create, and apply a watermark that is:

– Simple to design
– Discreet and unobtrusive
– Easy to apply and use

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How to set up .htaccess for 301 Redirects for Bluehost Addon Domains

This post will show how to use .htaccess to move a website to a new domain, especially when using Bluehost.

A couple of days ago, as I set up this website,, I struggled to set up a 301 redirect from my previous domain,  My hosting is with Bluehost, and they offer a domain redirection tool – but it does not work with addon domains.

Specifically, if I own both and, and both are registered with a single bluehost account, is the primary domain, and is an add-on domain – and is set up as (although also works).  It’s stupid.

But as a result, Bluehost’s regular domain redirection tool and does not work.  Technical support tells me I have to modify my .htaccess file, but refuses to give any guidance on how to do so.

I couldn’t find any turn-key solutions via Google searching, so I did some researched, and wrote my own .htaccess solution.  And I’m posting the solution online, to help out others.

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Travel Insurance and Per-Unit Costs

A couple of weeks ago, my travel insurance (with World Nomads) ran out, and so I decided to renew my insurance, using per-unit costs to find the cheapest and most cost-effective plan.

Using per-unit costs when comparing products – be it canned fruit, bags of pasta, or travel insurance, will save you money.  If you don’t compare products with per-unit costs, you will waste money that could be put towards a more enjoyable trip or vacation!

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What is a Priceless Solution?

Within the world of information marketing, there is the concept of a ‘priceless solution’. A priceless solution can be found when:

1) A person has a problem that is causing him pain
2) He is actively searching for a solution
3) There are few or no alternate solutions

As a result, that person is willing to pay a ridiculous amount of money for a solution – a priceless solution.

When stranded on a deserted island, a freshwater spring is a priceless solution. When having a allergic reaction, an EpiPen is a priceless solution. And for me on my travels, the Amazon Kindle is a priceless solution.

Continue reading What is a Priceless Solution?