At my annual physical test recently, the doctor took my vital signs, reviewed my medical records, and after memorizing my EKG results, said, “Well the computer says you’re having a heart attack.” But the computer was wrong.
I’m in my early 40s and run marathons, and my heart rate is extremely low. So, after memorizing the EKG, the doctor went to work. She asked me several questions, reviewed prior data and my medical history. After doing her research, she overruled the machine.
The same situation can apply to people looking to establish a financial plan or review their current plan. Without the right data and appropriate questions, even a financial plan using sophisticated software to create a financial model can deliver an answer that isn’t reality.
January is when many people review their portfolios and update their financial goals for the year. Because of the stock market’s performance in 2021, investors who own stocks have seen their net worth rise; some people are worth more today than ever before. This can make their financial plan appear very strong or cause some to think they don’t need to revise their plan for the coming year.
But has the next bear market been factored into the plan? What about personal or family changes, such as a job relocation on the horizon, potential tax rate increases or the prospect of buying that second home? All of these life changes can have a major impact on one’s financial strategy — questions that a computer model isn’t likely to ask.
When it comes to financial planning, the data inputs are critically important, as well as answers to these questions. A financial adviser should be asking a wide variety of questions to make the model work.
As you review your plan in January, here are some key questions and recommendations to consider.
When you develop your financial plan, one goal is almost always to become financially independent and retire comfortably. With the market’s growth in recent years, many people may reach that goal sooner than expected. However, the three strong positive years of stock market growth we’ve seen recently won’t continue forever.
Investors should not assume last year’s portfolio returns will be the norm going forward. Instead, they should rebalance their portfolio to build in the appropriate level of stocks and bonds to match their retirement time horizon. A portfolio that is overly aggressive can have a sharp downturn in the next bear market, and retirement security can be thrown off course. Determine if your portfolio is invested correctly for your retirement time horizon.
If you have a financial plan, assumptions were made that may no longer be true. Here are a few examples:
All of these changes need to be considered, so that your plan continues to stay on course, while having a real sense of what your financial future looks like. An up-to-date financial plan can bring much more clarity when big financial decisions need to be made.
Ten years ago, everyone in your family may have been healthy. Now, there could be an aging parent who needs financial support to pay health care costs. You may have a sibling with children who may not be able to afford to pay for their college tuition.
If this is the case and you are willing to help, study your options and work with a financial adviser to determine how much money is available to help your loved ones. And make certain you understand the impact to your personal retirement plan. Most computer models will not be asking you this type of question!
Many individuals have dreamed of using their retirement to travel the world. Now, if that time is here, determine how often you would like to travel annually and what it will cost. Others are planning to move to a warmer climate in another state, which will involve selling and buying a home, moving costs and other expenses.
What’s the cost of living in the state you plan to retire, vs. where you are now? What about state income taxes and property taxes? Housing expenses can take a large bite out of your nest egg, so figure out the cost of these moves before making any big decisions.
When asking clients this question, the answer isn’t always related to money. A response I hear often is, “I’m worried about taking care of my parents and my kids at the same time that I’m juggling my business.” Another common response is, “If something happens to me, does my spouse know how to carry on managing the household?”
Sometimes it helps clients to talk through these concerns and hear stories of how other people have managed through similar life events. Financial advisers tend to have a diverse set of experiences in walking through life with different clients, and can have an unbiased perspective to share.
Of course, money is a normal concern. “What if this bull market ends too soon, or are we headed for a major crash?” “Do we have enough to cover our health care needs in retirement?” This is where financial modeling, incorporating probability analysis, can provide peace of mind. Knowing you’ve run the numbers and worked through various scenarios can allow you to sleep better at night.
Life doesn’t happen in a straight line. Taking the time to review and update your financial plan for recent changes, plus thinking through changes to come, is a good way to keep your financial strategy in check. Use the new year as a time to complete your financial check-up; ask yourself the right questions … and don’t rely solely on a computer.
The state of Kentucky is back to square one on replacing the antiquated computer system at the Office of Unemployment Insurance that failed to handle a crush of jobless claims during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Proposals by interested vendors were due to the state by Oct. 19 of last year for the estimated $47.5 million tech upgrade, which was projected to take 18 to 24 months to complete.
But Kentucky Education and Labor Cabinet officials on Thursday told a legislative committee that no contract is in place. The state recently canceled the latest request for proposals for the upgrade project and reluctantly decided to start over again, said cabinet Secretary Jamie Link.
“We had — in good faith, we had procured a new vendor,” Link told the Legislative Oversight and Investigations Committee.
“We had gone through negotiations,” Link said. “Everybody was in agreement. We had the contract, we sent it to the vendor to sign. And they completely went silent on us. We made numerous efforts to contact the vendor, repeatedly. They would not respond to us at all.”
Later, the cabinet learned that two “people affiliated with that vendor” have been indicted by a federal grand jury, Link said.
Link did not identify the company. But a cabinet spokeswoman later said it was Sagitec Solutions LLC, based in Saint Paul, Minn. Sagitec did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday.
“In a way, I have to say that I’m glad we didn’t get into a contract with a company that has two people under federal indictment now,” Link said.
The new schedule is for the cabinet to issue another request for proposals by the end of September, Link said. However, because so many states are looking to hire a limited number of vendors capable of upgrading unemployment insurance systems, the timeline to complete the project is now 36 to 42 months, he added.
“Hopefully, that will start the spring of next year,” Link said.
State Rep. Scott Sharp, R-Ashland, said he is concerned that a crucial computer upgrade that was supposed to be underway instead will be significantly delayed.
“I’m kind of upset about it, really,” Sharp said Thursday, after the committee hearing.
Sharp said he wants more information to understand why an “off-the-shelf” package isn’t adequate to fix the tech problems at the Office of Unemployment Insurance rather than bringing in vendors. And if vendors must be hired to rebuild the computer system, the lawmaker asked, then why is choosing a qualified applicant proving so difficult?
The struggle to process more than one million jobless claims filed by Kentuckians in 2020, when the pandemic temporarily closed businesses around the state, produced a backlog that state officials say they’re still trying to clear. It was also a political black eye for Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear, who seeks re-election next year.
Among its problems, the Office of Unemployment Insurance said it was hobbled by an aged computer system from the 1970s that still relies on COBOL programming.
To get enough manpower for the backlog, the office also awarded more than $17 million in contracts to the firm of Ernst & Young for its help in collecting information from claimants and their employers, reviewing jobless claims and writing determination letters, cabinet officials told lawmakers on Thursday.
Ernst & Young worked on 177,218 claims or related issues or letters between its two different contracts with the state, cabinet officials said.
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Though quantum computing technology is still new, JPMorgan Chase, Ally Bank, Credit Agricole and other banks are actively testing and in some cases using it, according to speakers at the HPC + AI on Wall Street conference in New York this week.
"We realize that if a company doesn't do anything about the market right now, and just waits for quantum advantage to become a reality, when quantum advantage becomes real, it might be too late," said Marco Pistoia, managing director, distinguished engineer, head of global technology applied research and head of quantum computing at JPMorgan Chase. "We want to be ready when quantum advantage becomes possible on a higher level."
These banks are not attempting to buy and use quantum computers directly. They are using cloud-based quantum-computing-as-a-service offerings from companies like D-Wave, IBM, Google, Amazon, Rigetti, Microsoft and QC Ware. They're testing the advanced computer power for complex problems like portfolio optimization and index tracking.
The banks are seeking improvements in speed, as well as greater precision in simulations and calculations for risk analysis, fraud detection and pricing of complex derivatives.
"Classical computing is reaching its problem-solving and data analytical limits," said Heather West, research manager, infrastructure systems, platforms and technologies at IDC. "As a result, the financial industry, as well as many other industries, is looking for a way to expand compute capabilities. As a result, quantum computing is seen as an industry disruptor. In the financial industry, it's offering a way to solve new problems, it's offering a way to obtain processing speeds that currently aren't available using classical infrastructure, including high-performance computing and supercomputers."
Using quantum computing, "financial institutions will be able to produce better, more accurate predictions and risk assessments in almost-real time," she said.
In a survey of financial institution leaders West conducted in 2021, 25% said they are currently investing in quantum computing technology and 43% said they planned to invest in 2022. The surveyed bankers are experimenting with the use of quantum computing for a wide variety of use cases that include ATM cash allocation, credit scoring, derivative pricing, fraud detection, compliance and transaction settlement.
"While today's quantum computing technology is nascent, it is well suited for experimenting with optimization problems, making this a prime time for financial institutions to begin experimenting and identifying use cases suitable for running on quantum computing systems," West said. Banks should also be developing the quantum algorithms and applications that will be needed to run such problems once quantum systems are scaled to a point where quantum advantage can be achieved, she said.
Quantum computing directly leverages quantum mechanics, the laws of physics that govern the smallest particles in the universe, to solve problems at high speeds. Traditional computers only allow bits of information to live in one state (0 or 1) at a time. A quantum computer uses qubits (quantum bits) that enable bits of information to be a 1, 0 or both 0 and 1 simultaneously. The result is a computation system that can manipulate and assess many combinations of information concurrently.
A quantum computer can cycle through 10 to the 154th power potential answers to a problem in microseconds.
But the technology still has challenges to overcome. McKinsey analysts noted in a recent white paper that manufacturers are still trying to scale the number of qubits in a quantum computer while achieving a sufficient level of qubit quality.
"The most important milestone will be the achievement of fully error-corrected, fault-tolerant quantum computing, without which a quantum computer cannot provide exact, mathematically accurate results," the authors said. "Five manufacturers have announced plans to have fault-tolerant quantum-computing hardware by 2030. If this timeline holds, the industry will likely establish a clear quantum advantage for many use cases by then."
In the same white paper, McKinsey analysts said the most promising use cases for quantum computing in finance are in portfolio and risk management. "For example, efficiently quantum-optimized loan portfolios that focus on collateral could allow lenders to Excellerate their offerings, possibly lowering interest rates and freeing up capital," the authors stated.
"In finance, you have a lot of use cases with exponential complexity," Pistoia said. "As the level of complexity explodes and the data set becomes big enough, classical computing cannot solve that problem anymore."
Another reason the financial industry needs quantum computing is for speed, he said.
"In finance, we need answers right away, because the market is changing so quickly," Pistoia said. "The market is volatile and a computation that takes three days is totally useless. So we need answers right away and we need accurate answers."
The quantum computing research and engineering team at JPMorgan Chase is exploring the use of quantum computing for risk analysis, option pricing, portfolio optimization, fraud detection and merger analysis.
The bank is still in the research phase.
"I think quantum computing is very important," Pistoia said. "It's not yet completely at the stage at which it can be used in production. Quantum computers are not yet powerful enough. When we are in a scientific stage with a certain technology, that's the best moment to actually collaborate with other companies and publish our results and form partnerships so that we can learn from other groups and other groups can learn from us."
Vendors at the conference, even from traditional computer and chip companies like Dell and Intel, also seemed to feel a shift in high-performance computing technology to quantum computing was inevitable and that they felt compelled to invest in quantum technology.
"You don't have a choice," said William Hurley, founder and CEO of quantum computing startup Strangeworks. "It's coming whether you want it to or not."
National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology (NIELIT) Director General Dr Madan Mohan Tripathi inaugurated the Bhubaneswar Centre on September 20 here at the OCAC Tower.
The dignitaries present were NIELIT Kolkata Executive Director, V Krishnamurthy, Registrar Ram Prakash Pandey, Director In-Charge, NIELIT, Bhubaneswar Anurag Mathur, Director, STPI, Manas Panda and State Informatics Officer, NIC, Kabita Roy Das.
Mathur welcomed the students, guests and other dignitaries. Krishnamurthy informed that NIELIT is eager to provide all necessary support to the industries in respect of the needs of capacity building and man-power supply, software development and recruitment examinations and related activities. He hoped that the centre will cater to the training, capacity building and skill development needs of the public at large in Odisha.
Dr Tripathi appreciated the support extended by the Odisha Government in opening the NIELIT Centres at OCAC Tower. The State has approved 15 acres of land for development of a permanent campus, he informed, adding that the NIELIT has 47 Centres spread throughout the country and they are conducting long-term courses at Post-graduate level in Electronics Design and Technology, Embedded Systems etc, which are not normally offered by universities / institutions. Various short term
courses in the areas of Information Technology, Electronics Design and Technology, Manufacturing Technology, Maintenance Engineering, Information Security etc. are also being offered, he told.
While addressing the industry representatives, he emphasized on strong collaboration between NIELIT, Startups, STPI CoEs, MSME and industry.
(Reuters) -Chipmaker Intel Corp is planning a major reduction in headcount, likely numbering in the thousands, in the face of a slowdown in the personal computer market, Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday, citing people with knowledge of the situation.
The layoffs will be announced as early as this month and some of Intel's divisions, including the sales and marketing group, could see cuts affecting about 20% of staff, according to the report.
The company had 113,700 employees as of July, Bloomberg News said.
Intel declined to comment on the job cuts.
The company in July slashed its annual sales and profit forecasts after missing estimates for second-quarter results.
Decades-high inflation and the reopening of offices and schools have led people to spend less on PCs than they did during pandemic-related lockdowns.
Chipmakers are also under pressure from COVID-19 curbs in key PC market China and the Ukraine conflict that have led to supply-chain snarls and also weighed on demand.
Intel's Chief Executive Officer Pat Gelsinger released a memo to company employees on Tuesday outlining plans to create an internal foundry model for external customers and the company's product lines.
A foundry business builds chips that other companies design and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co is the top player in that space. Intel has mainly built chips it designed itself so far.
(Reporting by Yuvraj Malik and Abinaya Vijayaraghavan in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)
Many plan sponsors are evaluating their relationships with plan advisers as they look for more guidance on managing their benefits, according to retirement industry veterans who spoke during a recent edition of the 2022 Plan Progress webinar series.
The Great Resignation has only complicated matters, said Jim Scheinberg, founder and managing partner at North Pier Fiduciary Management, as firms are seeing both high turnover and a reduction of staff across the board. While most human resources and finance teams used to comprise four to five team members, now there may be fewer people with the same volume of work spread among them, he said.
“We’re also seeing that reflected on the service provider side, with recordkeepers or administrators, where their service teams are being stretched a lot thinner,” Scheinberg said. “You’re seeing that reflected in response times, hold times, getting resolution to various items that may be normal in the course of governing your plan, or maybe one-off items.”
As a result, many with such heightened responsibilities are looking for more help with understanding how they should proceed as they review certain tasks, Scheinberg said. As plan sponsors look to their adviser for help, many are beginning to see the difference, and it can become an issue when the adviser fails to deliver for their client.
Many plan sponsors are struggling to locate experienced talent and are seeking out advice from their adviser more often than ever, because they lack the in-house expertise in reviewing plan documents or plan audits, said Robert Massa, managing director at Qualified Plan Advisors. In his view, advisers must be able to understand more than just retirement—they also have to understand where and how retirement fits into the whole benefits scheme.
Scheinberg noted that, as plan sponsors look to reevaluate their relationships with their retirement plan adviser, they may simply be validating the original reason for working with an adviser, or they could be looking for a change. Mergers and acquisitions may also prompt reevaluation, as there has recently been a “tremendous” amount of consolidation in the adviser space and sponsors may want to vet the service structure or culture of the new organization, he said.
“Where we see the most of our search work is when the committee chair itself or a very senior staff person has a very heavy hand on the management of the plan,” Scheinberg said. “When that role has changed, the new person comes in and gets settled for the first six months or so, and then they want to start looking around and making sure that, ultimately, they like the team they’re with—or possibly want to consider something new.”
As plan sponsors evaluate their relationships, they should be prepared to ask “culturally uncomfortable” questions that are generally acceptable in the financial services industry, said David Morehead, vice president at OneDigital. Questions like “how much are you getting paid?” or “what is your compensation for this plan?” are straightforward, important questions to ask, because fiduciaries should be aware of an adviser’s or service provider’s pricing model, he said.
When vetting to fill an adviser role, plan sponsors should expect advisers to be able to answer their questions about most general retirement issues on the spot, Massa said.
“I think this is part of the interview process. Am I dealing with a competent professional or am I dealing with someone who doesn’t deal with this every day?” Massa said. “I would take some time to try to come up with a few of those questions. Some may affect your company, some may not … but it tells you a lot about their knowledge of ERISA [Employee Retirement Income Security Act], their knowledge of the IRS tax code and whether they are a professional in retirement or just an investment professional.”
It’s also important for advisers to explain exactly what they are going to do when it comes to how they handle things such as managed account investments, or how exactly they plan to deliver participants advice, Massa said.
“You want to make sure that they’re going to spend time with that employee, they’re going to actually educate them and they’re not just going to hand them off to a computer program … to me, that’s not advice,” Massa said. “You really need to ask a lot of questions about that adviser to ultimately get them to disclose whether they’re in this for you or for them—because they’re supposed to work for you. That’s their job.”
Micron Technology announced plans Tuesday to invest up to $100 billion over the next few decades to build a massive semiconductor factory in central New York state, saying the "megafab" will be the largest computer chip fabrication facility in the U.S.
The world's fourth-largest semiconductor maker said in a press release that it will break ground on the new project in Clay, New York, near Syracuse, starting next year. The Boise, Idaho-based company expects to spend $20 billion by the end of this decade in the initial phase of development. Micron said upon completion, the site could be as large as 40 U.S. football fields and will amount to the largest private investment in New York state history.
The major long-term project is expected to create 50,000 New York jobs, including 9,000 Micron jobs.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a statement: "This is our Erie Canal moment. Just as the original Erie Canal did centuries ago, this 21st Century Erie Canal will flow through the heart of Central New York and redefine Upstate New York's place in the global economy for generations to come."
|MU||MICRON TECHNOLOGY INC.||52.72||-2.14||-3.90%|
The announcement of the major chip factory follows Congress' recent passage of the CHIPS and Science Act. The measure, signed into law by President Biden in August, includes $52.7 billion for chip manufacturing and research and a 25% investment tax credit for semiconductor plants.
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The aim of the legislation was to bolster chip manufacturing in the U.S. amid prolonged, pandemic-fueled shortages of semiconductors, which are largely produced overseas.
Micron president and CEO Sanjay Mehrotra hailed the CHIPS act as well as state and local incentives for making the project possible.
"I am grateful to President Biden and his Administration for making the CHIPS and Science Act a priority, to [Senate Majority Leader Chuck] Schumer and a bipartisan coalition in Congress for passing the legislation, and to Governor Hochul and County Executive McMahon for the local and state partnerships that made this investment possible," Mehrotra said.
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The company said the state of New York is providing $5.5 billion in incentives over the life of the project and that federal grants and tax credits from the CHIPS Act "are critical to support hiring and capital investment." The town of Clay and Onondaga County are also providing infrastructure support, Micron said.
Sen. Schumer celebrated the announcement and crediting the CHIPS Act with making the project possible.
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"Micron's investment will make New York's semiconductor corridor into a major engine powering our economy and will supply 'Made in New York' microchips to everything from electric vehicles, 5G, and defense technology to personal computers and smartphones."
Schumer added: "The bottom line is that without the CHIPS and Science legislation, Micron would have decided to build its megafaboverseas."
Reuters contributed to this report.
Intel Corp. is planning a major reduction in headcount, likely numbering in the thousands, to cut costs and cope with a sputtering personal-computer market, according to people with knowledge of the situation.
The layoffs will be announced as early as this month, with the company planning to make the move around the same time as its third-quarter earnings report on Oct. 27, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private. The chipmaker had 113,700 employees as of July.
Some divisions, including Intel's sales and marketing group, could see cuts affecting about 20% of staff, according to the people.
Intel is facing a steep decline in demand for PC processors, its main business, and has struggled to win back market share lost to rivals like Advanced Micro Devices Inc. In July, the company warned that 2022 sales would be about $11 billion lower than it previously expected. Analysts are predicting a third-quarter revenue drop of roughly 15%. And Intel's once-enviable margins have shriveled: They're about 15 percentage points narrower than historical numbers of around 60%.
During its second-quarter earnings call, Intel acknowledged that it could make changes to Excellerate profits. "We are also lowering core expenses in calendar year 2022 and will look to take additional actions in the second half of the year," Chief Executive Officer Pat Gelsinger said at the time.
Intel, based in Santa Clara, California, declined to comment on the layoffs.
Intel's last big wave of layoffs occurred in 2016, when it trimmed about 12,000 jobs, or 11% of its total. The company has made smaller cuts since then and shuttered several divisions, including its cellular modem and drone units. Like many companies in the technology industry, Intel also froze hiring earlier this year, when market conditions soured and fears of a recession grew.
The latest cutbacks are likely meant to reduce Intel's fixed costs, possibly by about 10% to 15%, Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Mandeep Singh said in a research note. He estimates that those costs range from at least $25 billion to $30 billion.
Gelsinger took the helm at Intel last year and has been working to restore the company's reputation as a Silicon Valley legend. But even before the PC slump, it was an uphill fight. Intel lost its long-held technological edge, and its own executives acknowledge that the company's culture of innovation withered in recent years.
Now a broader slowdown is adding to those challenges. Intel's PC, data center and artificial intelligence groups are contending with a tech spending downturn, weighing on revenue and profit.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
Sep. 21—All Maine public schools will soon receive mobile computer science labs on the state's dime.
Gov. Janet Mills announced the initiative, which will be funded through the Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund, on Wednesday. The effort "will enable all Maine students to access high-quality learning experiences that provide real-world training in robotics, programming, augmented and virtual reality, coding, and hardware," according to the press release announcing the plan.
The decision to prioritize computer science follows a July meeting in which Mills, along with governors from around the country, signed a bipartisan agreement to work to expand K-12 computer science education in their states.
Schools will soon be able to choose and order a single mobile lab with equipment valued at $5,000 specialized to provide tools for either robotics and programming, augmented and virtual reality or coding and hardware. The press release did not specify exactly when schools could start to order the labs or how long it will take for schools to receive them, but said that the DOE is actively reaching out to district superintendents with more details.
"Our economy increasingly depends on workers with training in computer science," said Mills in the press release. "This initiative will ensure that students across our state are prepared to succeed in jobs in the future."