The fifth consensus element


Published on April 10, 2018, Linkedin.com, by Georgios Fradelos PhD, creator of the GF-ACCORD system, CEO of Mincomes


Since the end of January 2018 predicting the direction of the market is not the easiest task. Buy and sell side turn to the computers.


1) For starters with common sense, it certainly makes sense to have a look at the fundamentals and pick the stock with the better numbers which by the way change daily:


P/E Ratio (TTM)

Price to Sales (TTM)

Price to Cash Flow (MRQ)

Price to Free Cash Flow (TTM)

Price to Book (MRQ)

Price to Tangible Book (MRQ)

EPS(MRQ) vs Qtr. 1 Yr. Ago

EPS(TTM) vs TTM 1 Yr. Ago5 Year

EPS Growth Sales (MRQ) vs Qtr. 1 Yr. Ago

Sales (TTM) vs TTM 1 Yr. Ago (TTM)5 Year

Sales Growth5 Year

Capital Spending Growth

Asset Turnover (TTM)I

Revenue/Employee (TTM)

Net Income/Employee (TTM)

Receivable Turnover (TTM)

Market Cap

Revenue

Gross margin (TTM)

Gross Margin (5YA)

Operating margin (TTM)

Pretax margin (TTM)

Pretax margin (5YA)

Net Profit margin (TTM)

Net Profit margin (5YA)

Quick Ratio (MRQ)

Current Ratio (MRQ)

LT Debt to Equity (MRQ)

Total Debt to Equity


2) That said, stock pickers continue to find that trends matter and they can't be wrong. Let’s search for a consensus in the technical analysis numbers:

ADX (14 / 1D)

ATR (14 / 1D)

Bull/Bear Power (13 / 1D)CCI (14 / 1D)

Highs/Lows (14 / 1D)

MACD (12,26 / 1D)

ROC (1D)RSI (14 / 1D)

STOCH (14 / 1D)

STOCHRSI (14 / 1D)

Ultimate Oscillator (14 /1D)

Williams %R (1D)


3) Candlestick patterns, have brought some success in the past and the algorithm does most of the work. This automatization is attractive.


4) The NEWS come as the fourth element that can signal actually the most dramatic price movement.


5) What will be sweet is a level of frequently automated business analysis for sectors and companies using models like:

PESTLE

Heptalysis

STEER

MOST

SWOT

CATWOE

de Bono's Six Thinking Hats

MoSCoW

VPEC-T

SCRS

Business Analysis Canvas

Porter's five forces

Ansoff matrix


This can be the 5th consensus element.


Is it desirable? Yes as the above 1-4 need additional support


Can it be done?


Yes indeed thanks to Big Data, AI, semantics software.


Yours,

Georgios Fradelos, PhD

www.gf-accord.biz



Agile without excessive digital sweating?


Published on April 6, 2018, Linkedin.com, co-authored by Utsab Pokharel MSc and Georgios Fradelos PhD, creator of the GF-ACCORD system, CEO of Mincomes


We discuss Waterfall, two agile methodologies : Scrum and Kanban with the GF-ACCORD method (developed by Georgios Fradelos, PhD, www.gf-accord.biz ) for software development and expanded to business consulting.

All methods deal with very important variables: packaging of time resources, organisation of teams, hierarchy of process control and identification of elements of the process that have value, definitions of success and failure in the light of time windows, various meetings (type and frequency).

First let’s remember how old-school waterfall development method works. The one directional steps are:

Waterfall typically goes through these steps one after another, and each step might take several months. Next step will start only after completion of previous one.

There are several problems with this method. First of all, the planning must be completed before project cycle begins. In most cases, planning is done without entirely understanding the project and once the development is being done often things are sent back to the planning phase. the product needs to start over or the developers just criticize for not understanding the plan, this cycle can happen many times and, this can also happen in every other step. As a result, it might take years to come out with a product.

In the case of Scrum an implementation of Agile philosophy, the entire process is fragmented into small pieces called Sprints which lasts 1-3 weeks.

  1. First, we do just enough planning to start the process to build a minimal features set.
  2. Then we build what was planned.
  3. Next, we test and review that small features set.

After this cycle we end up with potentially shippable product submitted to the judgment of the product owner. This cycle is repeated time and again, each time just doing some planning with incremental features and you end up with several incremental releases. The sprints are repeated until the product features are completed. Sometimes we may end up with shipping the product after the 2nd Sprint or more, but we eventually end up with shipping the product one day.

In scrum there are three roles to work the framework well.

There are three documents or artifacts used in scrum.

There are three ceremonies in scrum

Kanban is a lean scheduling system, coined in Japan by the Toyota Corporation. It also works in conjunction with Scrum.

  1. Kanban system starts with a board and visual cards that represents items in product backlog.
  2. In the board, cards are placed in columns that represent their current step in the workflow, ranging from “New” to “Done”.
  3. The steps in-between is entirely up to the Project Team

The visual nature of the board makes it easy to find out: what’s already been done, what’s in progress, and what’s going to be started next.

So, as long as the team keeps finishing work, those cards keep moving to the right.

To help ensure that those items are being completed at a steady pace, Kanban imposes limits on the number of the items that can belong in any one work-flow step at any given time ( this is the most important feature of Kanban). These are called Work in Progress, or WIP limits, the star of Kanban.

GF-ACCORD agile hybrid method:

This method is an enriched and evolved scrum.

The GF-ACCORD system also has a digital dashboard with some common sense similarities with the Kanban board. This digital board is personalized for each team member and the member can update the progress on a daily basis (minimum 3 times per week is required).



Image: GF-ACCORD agile method Dashboard

As you can see this board has 11 columns, much more that a Kanban board has, and is more efficient in uncovering bottlenecks via the two key columns: ambiguity level and certainty that the task can be completed. Priorities are always set and any recent changes of task description are accepted as realistic development.

The GF-ACCORD agile method does not permit the feeling of ambiguity that can cause nervous digital sweating! It is ideal for 2018 projects requiring rapid adaptation to newly accepted technologies (see blockchain) while actively assisting the increase of the sophistication of the team and its self-improvement. The system is also used in business analysis, market research, and business insights detection, where development of software modules is replaced by answers to specific questions.

Yours,

Georgios Fradelos, PhD

www.gf-accord.biz



Investing in Blockchain Technologies. What is the cost of being so close to the money?


Published on March 7, 2018, Linkedin.com, by Georgios Fradelos PhD, creator of the GF-ACCORD system, CEO of Mincomes


The blockchain is a system of verification of records. The records can be practically anything, for example text connected to contracts and transactions. Even though it became synonymous with new, digital money, the Blockchain has many applications, it is not restricted to cryptocurrencies – you heard about bitcoin, ethereum, ripple, litecoin and at least 10 other; you search online for the weather forecast and on the side you have the “coin” prices …-.

The nice part is that Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLTs), like the blockchain, are applicable to the many industries, for example:

  1. Insurance
  2. Vehicles
  3. Health data, contracts
  4. Banking, Supply chain and transactions
  5. Legal
  6. Survey, voting
  7. Manufacturing
  8. IOT
  9. Sales of Music
  10. Human resources
  11. Advertising
  12. Customer verification
  13. Quality assurance
  14. Energy sales between individuals
  15. Peer to peer transactions and agreements
  16. Much more

For “security”, there is a system of several types of digital keys: hash, public, private and the digital signatures that supposed to restrict access. Additional reliability is provided by the fact that some computational and mathematical work is required before an entry can be classified as valid. The work can be done by an honest individual or by an attacker and there is a race between the two.

The basis of the belief that the attackers will not practically own the blockchain, and all the financial value it brings, relies on probability theory and originally the gamblers ruin problem. There is uncertainty and it originates from the fact that the proof of work is a result of computational power. Certain rules, for example controlling timing, can be introduced in order to attempt to identify and potentially resist attacks. As the computational power can come from superior sources, for example quantum computing, there is no guarantee at all that the whole chain of records will not be jeopardized at least for the moment. Who can tell? One of the Fields or Turing award level talents can show us the way.

Moving the technology to the banking system is not obvious as possibly everything can be lost from what the public knows today, except if leading supercomputers will be somehow involved and regulated. In addition, we have seen huge oscillations and corrections on one of the applications of blockchain, bitcoin without events of security breach. One can only imagine what can be the result to the prices of cryptocurrencies if there is an announcement of a major security failure. It is very handy to cut the middle man, but can it be done? and until when? Until the next security breach? Another important issue is to what extent the transaction history will be exposed to other members of the chains (the public keys in the wallet can allow access to the transaction history). In the particular case of cryptocurrency as part of mutual funds and exchange traded funds, the high volatility of the majority of the approximately 1500 coins makes very speculative and problematic their inclusion of cryptocurrencies inside the instruments. There are some kinds of solutions to be found in new types of financial instruments and there are already some currently traded (…ETNs).

The value of all DLTs applications is affected by fear, uncertainty and doubt. The first and the third are psychological and can be cured, but the uncertainty is computational in nature and will not go away easily (who has more computational power to provide proof of work?). By the way, we should not make the mistake to believe that the true competition is between GPUs (from AMD, and Nvidia) and CPUs, but between traditional computing and quantum computing. The uncertainty is additionally amplified by the potential changes of specifications of the DLTs (interestingly, the bitcoin did not go into specification changes up to now).

An important observation is that even though DLTs were originally created to reduce the cost of money transactions, one of the main application of DLTs, cryptocurrency, is treated less as money for buying day-to-day goods and more as commodity where values is stored, hopefully, and blocked. It is also used very effectively, due to absence of sufficient regulations, in order to hide black money connected to any imaginable illegal activity and also fortune telling ...

In summary, DLTs, like blockchain via their numerous applications aim to offer several tremendously “nice to have” benefits: cutting the middle man, better protection of the identity of involved parties and increased security thanks to decentralization. For the case of currencies, they can possibly remove the danger of any loss of value specifically due to artificial inflation and they give the opportunity of increasing the value of set of records thanks to wide acceptance and the list goes on.

There is no reassurance that these beautiful benefits can be enjoyed in a secure and sustainable way. The business becomes: how to render this wonderful quantum leap benign.





Missing common sense to gut feeling


Published on June 24, 2015, Linkedin.com, by Georgios Fradelos PhD, creator of the GF-ACCORD system, CEO of Mincomes


Working with start-ups, they were in search of ideas around green and affordable energy technologies – an international tendency expected to safely match growing energy needs. After considering numerous proposals, they decided to invest in two companies: the first dealt with power generation via osmosis, a technology active in Europe since 2008. The other proposal aimed at further developing biomass energy technology, directed especially to the market of Asian countries.

Start-ups backed their technology proposals with respective business plans. The presence of these seemingly detailed documents, full of numbers, made the investment decision look easy. It turned out, it was not. This is a typical case when a business plan fails to present an understanding of the technology and its applications to a specific market. This analysis was exactly missing in the business plan proposal about the biomass technology.

The scary part is that my friends were aware of the missing analysis for the case of the second start-up. Being in rush to proceed as the deadline for the monthly committee was approaching, they decided to advance the investment on two basis. First, by trusting their gut that biomass technology was still in the developing phase in the Asian market. Second, by being on what seemed to be the safe side with the osmosis technology - the business proposal was highly professional and comprising a detailed analysis including a report on the technology, investigation on the level of opportunity for innovation and power generation, variants of application of the technology and a detailed analysis of the competitors. This last investment was directed to EU and US markets.

As skilled investors, my friends were right. Right, to dilute the risk of the biomass technology investment with the safe positioning of the osmosis technology investment. Because, the rushed decision on biomass technology turned out to be a costly one - the biomass technology was already well established in Asian countries, and the energy need was directed towards other types of renewable technologies. The investment on the osmosis technology turned out to be the saving card – not only the novelty of the technology did it, but also the detailed analysis on applications and possible competitors.

At this moment, osmosis technology is already being considered to enter the Asian market. There is an ongoing process to produce enterprise verdicts on the market perspective, and make sure to find the right approach to successfully enter the market, and justify the investment.