Columns & Articles

Will Fintech Bring Financial Engineering to the Masses?

For years, the wealthy have had access to a range of tools to maximise their financial position, including a team of experts that help to avoid paying higher taxes than necessary. Today, a new wave of financial technology, or fintech, has arisen that is democratizing these financial engineering techniques, and bringing benefit to the masses.

Wealth Management: Ten Best Books of 2020 for Advisors

What an honor to be included in Wealth Management’s 2020 list of breakout bestsellers of business books.

“The books chosen here question widely held assumptions: The purpose of taxes. The dangers of deficits. The thin membrane between skill and luck. Whether you agree or not, each will cause you to see the financial world in a new light.”

The Money Hackers: How Venmo Became a Verb

Companies like Venmo have altered how we think and talk about money. Rather than visiting a bank branch to send a friend or family member funds, we simply “Venmo” each other. But, this cultural and societal change didn’t just happen overnight.

When Iqram Magnon-Ismail and Andrew Kortina decided to disrupt the world of finance, it was because Iqram forgot his wallet. This was 2009, and Iqram was spending a lot of time going back and forth to New York City from where he lived in Philadelphia. The rip was becoming somewhat routine for him: he would spend his weeks working at his day job and then spend his weekends in New York working with his friend Andrew on their new idea.

Daniel P Simon Financial PR

AI-Powered Journalism Means Change for Financial PR

News-writing software that can report current events in real time, with little or no human intervention, has obvious appeal to media companies and newsrooms, and it’s time for the public relations field to take seriously the eventual impact artificial intelligence systems will have on the practice of media relations…

Daniel P Simon Works

Blockchain Mini-Consortiums, New DApps: What’s Next for Financial Services in 2017

If 2016 was the year of the Blockchain POC, 2017 will be the year of the Blockchain applicationIn 2016, analyst firms and industry bodies such as the World Economic Forum (WEF) laid out the top use cases to tackle.

Bitcoin ‘May Not Rely on Trust, but Our Members Must Foster Trust to Be Successful’

Cointelegraph correspondent Dan Simon had the opportunity to speak with David Berger, CEO and founder of the Digital Currency Council. They discussed the challenges facing Bitcoin, the importance of the people building businesses atop the blockchain, and the critical nature of trust in a maturing ecosystem.

Daniel P Simon Works

‘Using Smart Bitcoin like Dumb Assets is akin to buying a Ferrari and pushing it Around Town’

Reggie Middleton rose to national prominence when he accurately predicted the failure of Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers and his BoomBustBlog became required reading of analysts, investors and the financial media.

Are the Markets Rigged?

There’s an undercurrent in our mainstream culture today, a prevailing sense that our financial markets are rigged. This zeitgeist has existed very strongly since the crash of 2007/08. Some may know very little about how the markets operate and yet they tend to harbor at least a seed of doubt: “Maybe the markets are rigged – I would believe it if they were.”

Currency at the Edges

Money certainly doesn’t grow on trees, but what would you do if it ceased to exist? In Episode 2 of Wall & Broadcast, we look inside a state penitentiary where the use of US currency is forbidden but a secret economic system has taken hold. And we visit a country where the official currency has failed to see how people respond when the money they’ve come to rely on becomes worthless. In the process we discover that, in addition to love, there is one thing that money still can’t buy …

Millennials Vs. Banks

We at Wall & Broadcast keep hearing stories about the millennial generation’s disdain for traditional banks. And there are lots of new finance apps out there, so they should be able to opt out of traditional banking no problem right? But are millennials truly opting out of traditional banking? Walk with us as we discover what it really means to live without a bank account in America. And what alternatives really exist right now for those living an unbanked life.

Wall Street Through the Eyes of Hollywood

If you’re anything like us here at Wall & Broadcast, you love movies about Wall Street.  Whether it’s the sheer outright hilarity of Trading Places, the brutal ruthlessness of Margin Call, the gritty day to day grind of Boiler Room, or the mixture of greed, wealth and power of The Wolf of Wall Street, we can’t seem to get enough of what Hollywood is saying about our industry.  But is Hollywood getting it right?  Strap in for another episode of Wall & Broadcast where we try to find out if the entertainment industry’s portrayal of our industry is accurate. 

The Rise and Fall and Rise Again of Bitcoin Giant, Charlie Shrem

There was a time; not so long ago, that Bitcoin was just an obscure little diversion for the hardest of the hard-core crypto geeks existing on the fringes of the internet.  Out of those recesses rose a quiet young yeshiva student from Brooklyn who would seize upon a unique opportunity, using his own personal experiences and his love of computers to create one of the first successful retail Bitcoin enterprises.  His name was Charlie Shrem, and by the time he was 21 years old he was a Bitcoin titan.  His startup, BitInstant, allowed ordinary people to easily purchase bitcoins from retailers like 7-11 or Walmart. Within months of starting BitInstant, Charlie was traveling and speaking all over the world about Bitcoin and gaining a reputation as a Bitcoin superstar.

The Rebirth of Inmate 92164-054...Charlie Shrem (Pt 2)

This is the 2nd part of a two-part episode on Charlie Shrem, America’s first Bitcoin superstar.  When we left Charlie at the end of Episode 1, he was just being confronted by joint FBI, DEA, IRS task force at JFK Airport in New York.  Upon his arrival, he is arrested and detained by the federal authorities.  Tune into the second part of this two-part episode to find out what happened to Charlie. Why was he detained?  On what charges? We follow Charlie through the shock of these events and discover how his experiences changed him and his relationship to the world of Bitcoin and blockchain.

The Strange Relationship Between Seeking Profit and Doing Good

To some in the business world and on Wall Street, the growing expectation that one must pair “doing good” with “doing business” – described by terms like “corporate social responsibility” (CSR) and “environmental social and corporate governance” (ESG) – feels like being told to eat more fiber. A firm’s leaders may genuinely care about social and environmental issues. They may be actively involved in philanthropic projects to address environmental and social problems. They may even acknowledge that it will enhance their brands’ reputations – “We should probably have somebody in charge of that; people care about that stuff these days.” 

The Love-Hate-Love Relationship Between Patrick Byrne, Wall Street and Blockchain

What if we told you that in 10 years, there would be no more stock exchanges. That the traditional way of trading stocks and bonds was an institution that had outlived its usefulness. That the arbiter of the exchanges’ demise, blockchain, already was here and being used by millions of people every day all over the globe.

Credit 2.0: Giving Credit Where Credit is Due

What is credit? Why does it exist? How do we decide who gets it? In episode 9 of the Wall & Broadcast we explore the evolution of the concept of credit and how we determine who is creditworthy. Many of us take advantage of credit every day without thinking twice – whether through the use of our American Express, Visa or CITGO cards, our mortgage or home equity loans. But what happens when, through no fault of our own, we do not have access to these financial tools?

The Trump Card: Social Media & Wall Street

Social media is everywhere. Even if you wanted to, it seems you cannot escape its influence. This is just as true for the financial markets. Today’s investors and traders are looking for an edge, and the smart ones are turning to social media to gain that advantage. But it’s not in the way you might think.

Regulation vs Deregulation in the Age of Trump

If there’s one thing the election of President Donald J. Trump has taught us, it is to question everything we’ve historically assumed to be true. What if you had to guess someone’s political affiliation based solely on their stated views on market regulation? Do you think you’d be able to do it?

Confessions of a Wall Street Informant

In July of 2012, Guy Gentile, a self-described business maven from the Bahamas by way of Mt. Vernon (New York), was arrested while sitting on the tarmac of White Plains Airport in Westchester, New York. 

Time - ''s turtles all the way down'

So, you think you know what time it is? Right now? Even if you are not sure, you probably assume that the machines running our financial markets do, right?

Time in the markets is routinely measured in milliseconds or microseconds and transactions occur on the nanosecond scale. 

Press & Media

Discussing the Future of Money with Farnoosh Torabi

Fintech is changing our lives, from Robo-advisers to mobile banking and Bitcoin. I had the pleasure of having a deep dive conversation about #TheMoneyHackers on So Money with Farnoosh Torabi.

Hear the full interview below.

What You Can Learn from Wall Street’s “Money Hackers”

If the many Hollywood sensationalizations are any indicator, the finance world is dramatic — especially the Wall Street world. In Daniel P. Simon’s book, The Money Hackers he profiles some of the biggest Wall Street disruptors and how they revolutionized the finance world. 

“Money Hackers” are defined as the new and young fintech companies that are surging ahead of old models of banking. Simon’s profiles become a guide to thinking outside the box and disrupting your own sphere of influence. His argument is that to be a misfit is to be successful, especially if your creed is powered by the people. 

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Fintech 'Storytime' on Beyond the Loan podcast

In the latest ‘Storytime’ segment of Beyond the Loan podcast I had the pleasure of chatting with host Chad Anderson about the rapidly evolving world of finance, what financial values different age groups have, and what to look for with companies like Facebook.

Listen to the full interview below.

How The Pandemic Increased Reliance On Digital Identity

Digital identity and the concerns over data privacy have moved into the spotlight over the past few years. I had the pleasure of discussing these hot topics on Cheddar TV‘s Fast Foward with hosts Nora Ali and J. D. Durkan, along with Nisa Amoils, Managing Partner and venture capitalist at Grasshopper Capital. 

Watch the full interview here.  


Money Hackers on The Gramercy Institute

Discussing Fintech and Money Hackers with Bill Wreaks of the Gramercy Institute

What a pleasure it was to talk with Bill Wreaks of the Gramercy Institute and deep dive into the past, present and future of fintech.

Watch the full interview now. 

Talking Money Hackers on Fintech Insider with Sam Maule

Good morning America! On last week’s episode of TheBreakfastShowUS, Sam Maule and I discussed The Money Hackers, who is in it, and what critical pinpoints fintech really is solving!

Watch the full interview now. 

Exploring How Fintech Can Foster Innovation and Collaboration During The COVID-19 Crisis. 

“There are several things happening at the same time during a crisis. One, behavior is changing. Needs are changing. So it’s a much richer environment for entrepreneurs if they can attract the investment capital. “

It was an honor to talk  with Rebecca Katz, head of Corporate Communications at Vanguard, about the rise of fintech and how it is playing a role now during this time of uncertainty.

Listen to the full interview below.

The Could The COVID-19 Pandemic Cause The End of Handling Cash?

Financial technology, or fintech, has come into play, quite a bit, during the coronavirus outbreak. And during this time, there are questions as to whether cash could go the way of the dinosaurs.

It comes down to this…

“If you haven’t written a check in a long time or if you have used your cell phone to split a bill, then most people have subtly experienced what is essentially a revolution,” said Daniel P. Simon, author and CEO of Vested.

Listen to the full interview on WBBM Radio, Chicago’s top news radio station below.

The Importance of Financial Literacy: Discussion with Jason Pereira on Fintech Impact

“More people in this country (USA) own a cellphone than a bank account, and we don’t see it every day. But a vast amount of this population is woefully underserved by the traditional financial industry.”

It was an honor to be on Fintech Impact and speak with Jason Pereira, award-winning financial planner, university lecturer, writer, and host about teaching financial literacy, where will the robo movement most likely lead us. I also talked about my ‘Tribe of Weirdos’ and highlighted some of the craziest stories I came across while writing #TheMoneyHackers. 

Hear the full interview below.

Misfits Changing Finance Forever: A Conversation With Martin Bamford on The Informed Choice Radio Podcast

Earlier this month I had the pleasure of being on the Informed Choice Radio Podcast to talk with host Martin Bamford about #MoneyHackers, a ragtag collection of financial outsiders and savants, and their incredible stories on how their new financial technologies works and how it is changing the entire industry.

Hear the full interview below.

A Conversation About How Fintech is Changing Our Lives With David L. Peterson On The Innovation Driven Growth Podcast

What a great pleasure it was to be features on the Innovation Driven Growth Podcast and talk with host David L. Peterson about how the financial industry should empower everyone, the wake up call for community financial institutions and how financial services will change in the future.

Check out the recording below.

Talking About the Experience of Payments, Fintechs and Misfits With Chuck Jaffe On The Money Life

“The interesting thing is this book could not have been timed better, from the standpoint of the shelter-at-home stuff, I think money is forever changed.”

“Yes, the experience of payments is going away. And ultimately, that’s a trend that is going to continue. It’s going away because, frankly, the payment experience is filled with friction and kind of frustrating. And we talk about lots of different developments in the book, lots of different technologies and people that bring that technology to life.”

I had a blast talking with Chuck Jaffe on the Money Life Show about the changing landscape of money, cash, global financial technology and some of stories of Misfits in The Money Hackers. 

Listen to the interview below. 

More Advisers’ Clients Crave Crypto Coins Despite Risks

Of all the investment options that financial advisers have at their disposal to offer clients, virtual currencies are being touted by only a small number who dare to dabble in such things. But that may be about to change.

Growing ranks of retail and institutional investors drawn to bitcoin and its imitators have already been hit by a boom and bust in the sector. In 2017, bitcoin rose from under $2,000 to more than $19,000 per unit by the end of the year. Yet by January 2019 it had collapsed below $4,000. Last March, US economist Nouriel Roubini described crypto as “the mother and father of all bubbles”, noting that other “top ten” cryptocurrencies had suffered steeper falls of more than 90 per cent.

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Discussing The Past, Present and Future of Fintech with Joe Saul-Sehy & OG of The Stacking Benjamins Podcast.

How has that phone in your pocket changed the course of finance? It turns out, a TON. Today we talk to Dan Simon, who chronicles the birth and growth of FinTech for us on today’s show. We’ll discuss the early iPhone and how it became the center of development. We’ll then highlight some of the early players and how their interest wasn’t so much around banking, trading, or even finance, as it was a way to solve a very specific problem they had. We’ll also discuss the future of FinTech. Dan’s opinion may surprise you.

Check out The Stacking Benjamins Podcast recording below.

Talking Fintech Revolution and its Powerful Disruptors on PayPod with Scott Hawskworth

Revolution is at the heart of fintech as its dynamic and disruptive force has changed the entire banking and finance industry. I had the pleasure of talking about all the revolutionary disruptors of the fintech world with Scott Hawskworth, tech entrepreneur and host of PayPod, the weekly payment and fintech podcast.

“When it comes to innovation, there is always this strand of innovation that is about ‘don’t be incrementalist in your thinking’ – go into a cave somewhere and invent something completely new. Look at the world with new eyes. That’s the one commonality, that these [fintech innovators] had, partly because of who they are, their different backgrounds and experiences. They were approaching money and approaching finance with a radically different mindset from the way everyone else was looking at it.”

Check out the recording below. 

Talking Fintech and Small Businesses on The Morning Briefing with Tim Farley

It was an absolute pleasure to talk with Tim Farley of The Morning Briefing on SiriusXM. We discussed the importance and current economic turmoil of small businesses, the economic lifeblood of the US, during our current pandemic and how fintech is taking part in dispersing critical funds for them to stay afloat. Check out the recording below.

A Discussion With Charlie Shrem: Is The Middle Class in Danger?

I was thrilled to be featured on Untold Stories with Charlie Shrem talking about #TheMoneyHackers, the erosion of the middle class, failing financial oversight, entrepreneurship and history’s view of the current crisis. Check out the recording below.

Talking Money Hackers on Fintech Newscast

Talking on Thriller Crypto

Talking on Thriller Crypto about fintech’s most powerful disruptors, and look at the financial outsiders and savants that used p2p lending, DLT, Bitcoin to disrupt and change the entire banking and finance industry.

Check out the recording below. 

4 Hurdles Every Fintech Startup Must Overcome

Fintech, or financial technology, refers to the application of innovative technology solutions within the financial-services industry. Even if you’re not familiar with fintech, most of us have used services like PayPal or Cash App, which fall into the mobile wallet and payments category.

These technological solutions are mostly developed by startup companies that offer their services to established firms. And as Statista notes, “This comes in line with an increasing number of people using a mobile banking app, particularly amongst young people.” Fintech is bringing seismic changes to banking and finance, affording an opportunity for prospective entrepreneurs to enter a previously untouchable space. But if only it were that easy. 

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Forbes on Fintech

Fintech - The Personal Stories Of The Money Hackers Who Have Changed Finance on

Want to understand fintech, and get some ideas about where it could go in the future? The Money Hackers will help by showing how it got to where it is, what kind of people made that happen, who resisted and where powerful momentum could come in and change the game. And it’s written in clear English which is enjoyable to read, even when Dan gets to complex issues like crypto currencies and blockchain.

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It's 2020, & Everyone is A Bank: Big Tech's Push Into Finance

Finance Magnates investigates how “Big Tech” has been moving into personal finance. What are the reasons, and what are the consequences.

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FinTech Revolution: The Decade Ahead

How the Financial Crisis and an Explosion of Technology Created The World of Fintech

Dan Simon Talked Vested Millennial Money Study on Cheddar TV

'Startup Nation:' Financial Comms Expert See Opportunity in Going out on Their Own

The PR industry has entered a new era. Case in point: The top independent PR firms ranked by O’Dwyer’s this year accounted for a combined total of more than $3.14 billion in net fees, more than double the $1.4 billion recorded by this magazine a year ago. Number-one PR giant Edelman, with its 2017 earnings of nearly $894 million, is on track to break the billion-dollar mark within the next few years.

Fintech and the Media

Integrated Strategies Boost PR’s Profile, Bottom Line

The PR industry has entered a new era. Case in point: The top independent PR firms ranked by O’Dwyer’s this year accounted for a combined total of more than $3.14 billion in net fees, more than double the $1.4 billion recorded by this magazine a year ago. Number-one PR giant Edelman, with its 2017 earnings of nearly $894 million, is on track to break the billion-dollar mark within the next few years.

Daniel P Simon Works

Need a catchy moniker? Use this tool

What’s in a name? For financial technology startups, it might be just a click away.

Vested Ventures, a New York-based venture capital firm investing in financial and technology sector startups, has created the Fintech Name Generator, a web-based program that allows individuals to select a type of business, click an icon and get the computer-generated name.

Cognito Public Relations v. Vested

The last couple of months have been difficult for Cognito – at least that’s how it seems. First some of Cognito’s PR people and then some of their clients left Cognito – forming a new company (Vested) and new alliances. It began during the summer when two of Cognito’s former top executives left to launch Vested.  Not long after they opened their doors, Vested also brought a former Cognito director over to be their COO, Ishviene Arora.

Daniel P Simon Press

The Career Issue 2016

PR is in the midst of reinventing its own story. The world of integrated communications has forced agencies to reshape their capabilities, shift budgets, and transform business practices to lure creative talent. But as agencies build their capabilities and craft their own stories, they all run into a common problem: How do you make PR the most attractive option to generations native to social media?

The underground economy in prison is way more sophisticated than you might think

The underground economy in prison is way more sophisticated than you might think.

Inmates aren’t allowed to carry cash. What they earn from prison jobs goes into commissary accounts, which allows prisoners to buy better food and other personal care items from the prison store.

Wall Street Holiday Cocktails: The Fiscal Snifter

There’s a nip in the air, and it’s not just winter. It’s the coming bite from higher capital gains taxes and other inevitable “punishments” for being successful.

So before we go off the “fiscal cliff,” or before at least some taxes rise to avoid it, here are ways Wall Street is bracing for the new year. It’s the annual list of finance-related cocktails created by Cognito, a financial marketing and PR firm. (Read MorePar-ty! Office Holiday Parties Are Back.)

Launch of Binance US Can Have Far-Reaching Effects on Crypto Market

From the outside looking in, the United States seems to present a host of amazing financial opportunities. However, when it comes to launching cryptocurrency exchanges or altcoin trading platforms, these possibilities start to dwindle and fade quite rapidly.

These luxury hotels now take bitcoin

The five-star Dolder Grand Hotel in Zurich now accepts Bitcoin as payment for overnight stays, spa treatments and food and beverages.

The hotel partnered with Swiss fintech firm Inacta AG which developed a mobile app called Inapay to facilitate the payment and conversion of cryptocurrencies into Swiss Franc or Euro once the payment is completed.

Bitcoin, ETH, XRP, And LTC Rally, As Libra Is Crushed—What Is Missing?

Libra has been crushed — but major cryptocurrencies supposed to be crushed along with it have staged a big rally, catching many cryptocurrency observers by surprise.

Apparently, there’s something missing here, and identifying it is crucial to determine whether the recent rally in major cryptocurrencies has legs.

Interesting & Amusing