• Picking Winners: A Framework For Venture Capital Investment.
      • We consider the problem of selecting a portfolio of items of fixed cardinality where the goal is to have at least one item achieve a high return, which we refer to as winning. This framework is very general and can be used to model a variety of problems, such as pharmaceutical companies choosing drugs to develop, studios selecting movies to produce, or our focus in this work, which is venture capital firms picking startup companies in which to invest. We first frame the construction of a portfolio as a combinatorial optimization problem with objective function given by the probability of having at least one item in the selected portfolio win. We show that a greedy solution to this problem has strong performance guarantees, even under arbitrary correlations between the items. We apply the picking winners framework to the problem of choosing a portfolio of startups to invest in. This is a relevant problem due to recent policy changes in the United States which have greatly expanded the market for startup investment. We develop a novel model for the success of a startup company based on Brownian motion first passage times. We fit this model to a large amount of data on startup company founders, investors, and performance. Our model provides some qualitative insights to the features of successful startup companies. Using our model we are able to construct out of sample portfolios which achieve exit rates as high as 60%, which is nearly double that of top venture capital firms.
    • Five Ways to Bulletproof Your Estate Plan – CNBC.
      • Have a pre-paid, pre-planned funeral
      • Set up a family committee to manage your revocable trust
      • Have different lawyers draft you and your spouse’s estate plan
      • Don’t underestimate your life expectancy
      • match your lifestyle to your income in retirement
    • To Stay in Love, Sign on the Dotted Line, The New York Times
      • They launched their relationship by answering 36 questions. To keep it going, they drew up a contract.
    • How to Make the Family Business Work Across Generations, by Paul Sullivan, NY Times. 
    • A Kansas Investment Firm Spurring Change on Wall Street, NY Times.
      • Creative Planning is at the vanguard of a profound shift in finance — from firms peddling products for a fee toward independent, low-cost advice.
    • Want To Know The Future Of Legal Tech? Ask Your Accountant,  Above the Law
      • Accounting offers law firms a longer-term view that what seems to be a threat can actually be a significant opportunity
    • Co-Trustee Conflict Fuels California Trust Litigation , By: Downey Brand LLP
      • California trust litigation often stems from disagreements and hostility among family member co-trustees. Rather than picking one of their kids to serve as sole successor trustee when they die or become incapacitated, Mom and Dad often appoint two or…
    • Creating Trust to Ensure a Trust’s Success, By: Saul Ewing LLP
      • One of the biggest missteps of clients is to create a trust without communicating its purpose with the adult beneficiaries. Without guidance from the client/grantor and his or advisors, beneficiaries sometimes become suspicious that they have been…

    Posted by Lewis J. Saret, Co-General Editor, Wealth Strategies Journal.