What the experts say
No rest for white-collar workers
Educated Americans are working longer and longer hours, said Derek Thompson in TheAtlantic.com—and the always-on internet is to blame. “Computing has shifted much of the economy from manufacturing to ‘neurofacturing,’” or white-collar labor that is “connected to the internet.” The internet also “makes every hour of the day a potential working hour” and has “supercharged global competition and forced international firms to outwork rivals many thousands of miles away.” White-collar employees also work around the clock to send bosses a signal that they deserve to be promoted. But it’s not all bad. “Neurofacturing is safer, more comfortable, and often more fun than the most common jobs of the 20th century.”
Buzz wears off for Robinhood
The investing app Robinhood has been credited with “disrupting the brokerage industry,” but it’s now struggling to justify its lofty promises, said David Morris and Jeff John Roberts in Fortune.com. The app’s “techy gloss” and commission-free trading made it popular with Millennials, and investors valued it at $7.6 billion, close to eTrade’s $10 billion. But the charisma of its “shaggy-haired” young founders hasn’t been enough to overcome a series of glitches, including “a savings product that would pay 3 percent interest” that failed to pass regulatory muster and a “catastrophic” bug that let some users trade unlimited amounts on margin accounts. Robinhood says it has 10 million clients, but it’s “unlikely the value of those accounts is comparable to those at the more boring—but profitable—competitors like eTrade or Charles Schwab.”
Goldman to launch ‘robo-adviser’
Goldman Sachs’ private bank “serves clients with at least $10 million in investable assets,” said Laura Noonan in the Financial Times, but you’ll soon be able to invest with Goldman if you have as little as $5,000. Goldman plans a 2020 launch of a “robo-adviser”—a technology-driven, low-fee investment management service—for “mass-market wealth management.” It’s a “significant departure from the firm’s trading and investment banking roots.” Goldman began offering savings accounts and personal loans through its digital bank, Marcus, three years ago, and recently partnered with Apple on its new credit card. The robo-advised accounts could help Goldman “connect” the dots between these consumer ventures and its traditional lines of business.