Q&A with Michael Giles, founder & CEO of Roboinvest

Launched in January 2012, Roboinvest is a social investing platform that allows anyone to "look over the shoulder" of top investors in real time. The company recently completed its angel round of financing (article linked at bottom of page). Hope those of you in fintech find this interview interesting - feel free to post follow-up questions / discuss below.

Special thanks to Michael for taking the time to help the WSO community!

Can you just give a brief description of your company, Roboinvest? Where did you get the idea?

Roboinvest is combining the proven business of online stock brokerage with social networking to help the world invest together by creating a simplified online brokerage that's inherently social with a focus on the mobile experience, built on an open platform. It's a big vision but I think we can get there.

What contributed to me creating the company was an experience in college. My friends knew that I traded every day, and saw that I was making good profits. They kept offering me their money to trade for them. That was one experience that made me think this is a common occurrence in the world and there needed to be a platform around this concept.

What is your career background like, and what experiences would you say have best shaped your ability to be successful as an entrepreneur?

Security Breach -- LinkedIn users, change your password NOW!

LinkedIn still hasn't confirmed it yet, but two security firms have independently confirmed that the password breach is genuine. As many as 6.5 million passwords (or 4% of the total LinkedIn user base) may have been compromised.

Link to full article

Women: 3 Reasons Your Jokes Suck in The Office

In the workplace setting, females are much less likely to receive positive reception after telling a joke than males are. Why is this?

According to Dr. Judith Baxter (linguist expert), it is due to a couple factors, the first of which being the difference in type of humor used. Males typically use "flippant, off-the-cuff witticisms or banter" (80%) while females use "self-deprecating humor" (70% of the time). For males, 90% of the time their jokes were received by a positive response (laughter) - for females, 80% of their jokes resulted in silence.

This study (or observation) was done over an 18-month period with seven different companies (2 of which are in the FTSE 100). Each individual board meeting observed was lead by a 50/50 split of male and female.

How To Say No To Your Boss

We are nearing another start-date summer cycle. If you are an SA or newly FT hire, I think it could be a good idea to do a quick search on this site for suggestions on dealing with your boss(es). A couple weeks ago, there was a thread offering some really quality advice on navigating through office politics - you can see it here.

I wanted to generate some more discussion on this particular aspect of dealing with one's higher-ups: How to say no to your boss. A lot of what follows may sound like common-sense to many of you, but this is certainly something I struggled with early on in trying to impress my boss.

The (Un)fortunate Truth of Technology

The (Un)fortunate Truth of Technology

This is going to be sort of a fun, speculative, yet maybe scary reflection on a couple new developments within the tech space.

There was a short video posted on WSO already linking to a short video clip of Google's new initiative: Project Glass. For those of you who are unfamiliar, check out the video below or the thread here (thanks to JeremyLinMVP).

Tech Recap: The Revival of RIM and more

Technology companies are constantly pressured to innovate in terms of their features, product lines, and product mix. RIM and MSFT in particular have been criticized over the past several years for not being able to effectively move into the mobile applications/tablet space.

Are these following moves going to change that reality?

Research In Motion's BlackBerry OS 10 software is set to offer a new feature: Time-shifting.

Cameras using BlackBerry OS 10 software will have the capability to wind back time on selected portions of photos to make sure that the image has captured all of its subjects at their best...

when one of the subjects had her eyes closed in the finished shot, the photographer was able to select her face and wind back, frame by frame, to find a moment when her eyes were open. With this moment found, only this portion of the final photo was amended.

Relationship between Income Brackets and Taxes - 2011

There have already been plenty of posts discussing income taxes and US general tax structure on WSO, but here is a chart I wanted to share for anyone interested.

Source: WSJ

How Multinational Companies Take Advantage of International Tax Law

Here is a graphic explaining how multinational companies take advantage of international tax laws.

Click here

Time to lower domestic corporate taxes?

The Riskiest Question You Could Ask In Interviews

Link to article: The Riskiest Question You Could Ever Ask In A Job Interview - But It Always Worked For Me.

I'd look at the interviewer square on and let the moment hang in the air, to the point where his eyes would dart nervously or he would start to slowly close the notebook in his hands, assuming I had no questions. Then I'd ask, in a measured tone with just the right mix of seriousness and lightness, "If you didn't offer me this job, what would the reason be?"

Improvements for WSO

I've been on WSO for about a year or so. It's been an excellent resource to me so here I am attempting to pay it forward. I don't know if any of these ideas have already been mentioned either on separate forums or directly to the mods, but here it is:

1) The way I see it, WSO users more or less fall into three categories (and of course, some overlap across categories):

  • Those seeking knowledge (prospective monkeys)
  • Those who have knowledge (experienced users)
  • And those coming to read/post/discuss random articles related to bus/econ/fin.

Currently, if you are to browse a certain forum topic, ie I-Banking Bullpen, it's set up in a conditional formatting to just separate one post from the next.



WallStreet Prep Master Financial Modeling