This is the time of year when predictions of all kinds are issued. Historically, forecasts from the Street that attempt to predict which way the markets will move have been inaccurate more times than not. So if you're making investment decisions based on what a firm projects the Dow will do in 2006, good luck.
Now, being a media organization, WS&T couldn't resist having its own set of predictions for 2006. Fortunately, we don't predict the Dow, the FTSE 100 or the Nikkei. That foresight is outside of our expertise. Instead, WS&T's Visions 2006 issue highlights the business and technology challenges that Wall Street firms will face in the coming months. It seems that predicting business/technology trends is somewhat easier, as these trends develop over time and rarely reach a critical mass quickly. Certainly, there are exceptions, such as the rapid ascension of Apple's iPod to MP3 player market dominance. Sure, there are other MP3 players that have larger memory, are cheaper and have a longer battery life. Yet, Apple's iPod is king. But I digress.
For 2006, WS&T's editors have selected 10 challenges that you will face this year, ranging from managing alternative investments to dealing with the increased volume of market data due to Reg NMS requirements (or, as one sell-side CIO recently told me, "much more chatter before the cash register rings," meaning more data must be exchanged before the trade is executed). This year, we also have included some forward-looking commentary from a few of your peers (see "In Their Own Words," page 39) on topics such as the NYSE Hybrid model, industry consolidation, alternative investments and more.
So in the spirit of making predictions, when it comes to the way you receive information from news outlets, I am making a prediction of my own: In 2006, many of you will begin, and eventually prefer, to receive information via podcasts - short audio clips delivered through your desktop speakers or even on your portable MP3 player, which is, I'm quite sure, an iPod.
Starting immediately, you can receive exclusive news and commentary not found in this magazine at www.wallstreetandtech.com/podcast. There, you will find interviews, commentary and news from industry executives, analysts and WS&T's editors. So at this time next year, we'll be able to look back and see just how accurate my prediction was. Hopefully, it will prove to be a little more on the money than many of the Street's market forecasts. What are your thoughts on podcasts for business/technology news? Write to me at [email protected].
Greg MacSweeney is editorial director of InformationWeek Financial Services, whose brands include Wall Street & Technology, Bank Systems & Technology, Advanced Trading, and Insurance & Technology. View Full Bio