Bot-Based Investing and the Retail Revolution

Published on
April 6th, 2018
71 minutes

Bot-Based Investing and the Retail Revolution

The Interview ·
Featuring Richard Excell, Michael Green

Published on: April 6th, 2018 • Duration: 71 minutes

In this wide-ranging interview, Richard Excell, senior portfolio manager at Wolverine Asset Management, sits down with Michael Green to lay out the massive changes he sees coming for the retail industry. From paying with bitcoin to tapping into the power of artificial intelligence, Richard believes there are numerous underutilized technological levers for retail titans like Amazon and Wal-Mart to pull. Yet when it comes to uncovering the best investments in the sector, Richard is doubling-down on the potential for using 'bots' amid his quantitative analysis. Filmed on March 20th, 2018 in Chicago.


  • WS
    William S.
    12 June 2018 @ 00:05
    Excellent interview, but I have one contention and it may have been a simple "mis-speak" scenario. Richard stated that during stagflation you don't want equities and that you want cash. If he meant DOLLARS, I can't imagine such a view. The 1970's stagflation was awful for cash. If he meant MONEY (GOLD)...then dead on. Falling equity prices during stagflation just simply does not counter the overall base inflation as you hold cash waiting for those 3-5 P/E ratios. Now if you hold gold, do a decent job of timing things and then convert to that's recipe for success.
  • RD
    Ryan D.
    2 May 2018 @ 07:20
    These two are brilliant. Great interview.
  • JH
    Joel H.
    24 April 2018 @ 03:30
    Michael Green is pretty great, makes for a great interviewer.
  • KA
    Kristian A.
    17 April 2018 @ 01:08
    Could we have another Mike Green sit down with the illustrious Mr. Pal soon? I loved the dynamics of their last interview / discussion.
  • TM
    The-First-James M.
    9 April 2018 @ 13:28
    I really enjoyed this interview - particularly the segment on Blockchain and Cryptocurrency and whether what we saw in early December was the peaking of the bubble or whether the main bubble is still to come. This question seems to divide some of the finest minds in the investment industry with gents such as Mark Yusko and John Burbank falling into the latter camp and those like Raoul and Julian Brigden seemingly falling into the former (apologies if I'm putting words in your mouth Raoul and Julian, but this is the impression I get). On this note, it was interesting to read Grant's January issue of TTMYGH where he commented on the Crypto bubble and threw Ripple in as a piece of insanity at the end of the piece. I really enjoy reading Grant's work and commentary, but this would have to be the first time I've seen him call a bubble and everything then falls apart within a month (sorry Grant - just an observation ;)). There was also negligible institutional investment involvement - one argument being that these guys are too smart to buy an obvious bubble, but looking at the likes of Google and Amazon, is this really the case? Reeeaaallly...? With these guys, it seems more like a case of career risk of not being invested in a hot asset trumping valuation. Having said the above, I would really welcome the opportunity to watch Michael Green interview guys like Mark Yusko, John Burbank or Mark Hart - with a specific focus being on Blockchain and Cryptocurrency. I think the discussion would provide some really useful insight to Realvision viewers. I would also welcome a discussion between a skeptic such as Raoul and somebody like Andreas Antonopoulas.
  • KB
    Keith B.
    7 April 2018 @ 23:32
    Bravo gents for the non-dogmatic, pragmatic and empirically enlightened interview. Important messages on the importance of replacing dogmatism with pragmatism. There are too many discretionary managers oblivious of empirical evidence when calibrating their expectations. Overall, Mike is an original voice on RVTV. For example, his empirical observation on value having no informational value, except at tails and over long horizons, which as he points out should temper anyone's dogmatism. Whereas it feels that value is often put on pedestal here on RVTV over momentum and other factors, almost as it would be an intellectually, morally and ethically superior style, despite its poor historical risk-adjusted performance across sectors, regions and caps.
  • JS
    Jim S.
    7 April 2018 @ 15:34
    Enjoyable discussion - thx. Not sure where to make this request, but would love to see discussion from expert (Michael, Raoul, guest?) on relative risks in credit space caused by indexing effects. Richard Excell touches on it, but point is not fleshed out. i.e. My understanding is that the IG space is more heavily weighted to BBB than ever before, making "grade-inflation" a more significant risk to the credit space than most historical periods - particularly in a market environment where well over half of daily liquidity comes from non-credit sensitive (passive) participants. Based on current spreads of each level of credit, I'd love to see a deeper discussion of what happens (absolute & relative space) in a significant re-rating event due to absolute rates rising &/or credit downgrades. Thanks guys.
  • JD
    John D.
    7 April 2018 @ 07:58
    Time well spent... Thanks Guys...
  • JD
    John D.
    7 April 2018 @ 07:58
    Time well spent... Thanks Guys...
  • JD
    John D.
    7 April 2018 @ 07:58
    Time well spent... Thanks Guys...
  • GC
    Gary C.
    7 April 2018 @ 04:45
    trust layer; which is currently missing in nearly every market situation. Leemon Baird will be the Einstein of our century
  • GC
    Gary C.
    7 April 2018 @ 04:41
    Richards speculation regarding a recession of the 1% was most interesting. The real revolution in the crypto space is the consensus reaching altos , not the coins. The hedera hashgraph adds a trust la
  • AH
    Andreas H.
    6 April 2018 @ 20:17
    very, very good interview
  • JS
    Jimmy S.
    6 April 2018 @ 17:35
    It would be great to have Michael Green layout his thoughts and current investment ideas. He is one of the most insightful contributors on Realvision.
  • rr
    rlw r.
    6 April 2018 @ 17:10
    Thanks guys, what a fine conversation covering a wide array of topics. Super to have Mike back in the chair, thanks RVTV.
  • DB
    David B.
    6 April 2018 @ 15:40
    Richard clearly maintains a broad, deep and unbiased view when thinking about investing. It sounds like Richard is also able to be patient in letting ideas or a thesis develop...something I could and should do better. I really liked Richard's thoughtful comments on retail and the challenge Amazon might have in going after low margin businesses. I agree that the crypto "bubble" that popped Dec/Jan will likely reflate in short order. First, not only was the timeframe too short (as Richard points out), but the total dollar value was too small. Consider that the Dot.Com bubble from 20 years ago was in the trillions of $s (Cisco alone was $500 billion at its peak). In 2017 dollars, I would expect the crypto / blockchain space to at least those levels which means 5 - 10x. Second, and more important, the coins (for good, "real" blockchain projects) are not throw-aways. You can't have a good blockchain without the coin, primarily because the coin is key to security. Also, the introduction of the coin into a network also creates new incentives for users / participants to join and grow the network. The implication of this is underappreciated by nearly everyone. This is going to have very long term and disruptive impact on many industries and businesses. Ultimately, I think it blows up centralized data models like Google, Facebook. Final point... Bitcoin, crypto, blockchain is like a toddler trying to learn to walk. They should not be viewed in stasis (illiquid, clunky, etc)...rather they should be viewed as living, breathing, growing technologies with the brightest of minds trying to solve problems...on the path to running with the fastest! Deficiencies are not fatal flaws, they are challenges to be overcome. Anyone remember downloading photos on AOL in 1999?
    • EL
      Eugene L.
      6 April 2018 @ 16:52
      I like your crypto perspective. For reference, dot coms were valued at over 3t at the top. And that was 1999; we've had almost two decades of inflation and new money supply since then.
  • KO
    Kieran O.
    6 April 2018 @ 16:52
    Excellent. The piece on the battle for the last mile really got me thinking.
  • SS
    S S.
    6 April 2018 @ 13:20
    Michael Green is the best interviewer on Real Vision. More please
  • JP
    Janusz P.
    6 April 2018 @ 12:10
    Wonderfull guest, great and very interesting in depth discussion. And of course there is Micheal Green, hands down my favorite interviewer on RVTV, I was looking forward to seeing him again. This is the kind of programming RVTV should be all about. It's the two great people in the room that matter, anything else (like special effects and editing) could only destroy the substance. And you really need that interviewer to be present there, someone that is actively part of the markets, so he can either challange the guest or get him to share his perspective on topics that bother other investment professionals. Great job, thank you!