A fun intuition pump for lots of finance is “Is this a transactions are free but storage costs money business or a storage is free but transactions cost money business?”

(It’s more complicated than that but that is an excellent place to start.)
Interestingly this can be priced differently at different parts of the supply chain.

Take term life insurance (buy more of it!): consumers likely perceive term life to have free transactions in and out and low cost “storage.”

This is not how commissions to reps work, though.
For the reps, transactions are lucrative on one end but storage for term life is not very lucrative at all; the residuals are a friendly suggestion that you call once around renewal dates rather than something that one optimizes for.
A fun consequence of this is that, since insurance companies take a bath on the first few years of term life, you’re actually way overpaying for those years (relative to actuarial risk) which gets smoothed out near the end of the term.
And thus you should not make a habit of churning term life coverage, one of relatively few financial products where that advice maximizes for the consumer’s benefit.
Maybe that requires more math:

So if you are 30 and get 10 year term life, have no health changes, and get it again at 31, your premium will increase quite a bit.

The increase is *not* the marginal risk of your 41st year of age. That is still low. It is mostly due to sales cost

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More from @patio11

29 Oct
Also, and forgive me because this sounds obvious but apparently it is not:

You should have internal tools, or a sub team, own the integration of these with internal tools, and those integrations should be as good as your shipping products are.
“What’s your favorite example at Stripe?”

There is a heuristic that runs “Is this necessarily going to be a Zoom meeting?” and updates calendar invites with Zoom details, and also a button with instant make-it-Zoom (not sure if that is via extension or otherwise).
In the Before Times this was a godsend to us remote workers because it was always socially awkward for the 1 remote in an 11 person meeting to say “Hey folks could I pretty please get you to turn on the videoconferencing hardware” and thanks to that work it would be default done.
Read 4 tweets
29 Oct
So there's a particular paper-based process that a large Japanese bank requires from us annually.

It can now be done in the web app.

Reading the terms and conditions of the web app, they've contracted with a 3rd party *to print our submission* and inject it into their workflow.
On the one hand I'm in dumbstruck awe at the project manager who got this approved and on the other hand aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.
"What process and what bank?"

It is socially difficult for me to elaborate on that due to my current position in the financial industry, but the right flavor to think of is the yearly "Update your contact information and annual income" thing that U.S. banks put you through.
Read 6 tweets
28 Oct
I’m generally pretty pessimistic about space relative to most geeks I know, but if this is anywhere close to accurate I have to update on that view:

“Three orders of magnitude improvement in launch costs” is something that I implicitly thought was close to physically impossible given how many engineering cycles I modeled as having been thrown at that over 50 years. Turns out, ahem, maybe nobody was working on it pre-Musk.
An exaggeration but not much of one.
Read 5 tweets
28 Oct
One of the biggest bright spots in treatment of covid-19 has been fluvoxamine, an abundantly available extremely inexpensive anti-depressant which through unknown mechanisms just seems to decrease mortality and hospitalization by extremely large amounts.
VaccinateCA was privileged to do a bit of work on drumming up patients for one of the trials of it, the StopCOVID trial at Washington University in St. Louis.
In pitching this to the team I said “We can’t generate any alpha on what the results will be but we are likely the most capable organization in the world willing to do A/B testing for a trial which in a success case would impact standard of care worldwide.”
Read 6 tweets
28 Oct
If you were curious for the borrower’s side of community banking, here’s a great thread by a person who runs a scaled business doing student rentals (I.e. they’re a local real estate investor with a substantial portfolio).
It is difficult to overstate how important community banks are to the commercial real estate market in the U.S.

There are entire bands of projects and areas which are de facto unfundable outside of them.
“Can you give an example?”

Sure: the building your dentist operates in in a small town or a $2 million apartment building basically anywhere.
Read 7 tweets
22 Oct
I go between frustration for all of the obvious ways this rollout could have been much better, particularly in countries I’m socially close to, but do think we should celebrate how much of an accomplishment it represents for humanity.
The vaccine would be a Wonder of the World in a Civilization game, except we’re making it available to everyone. (On a time scale which is too long, to be true.)
Two days. Moderna had a working, safe, effective vaccine *two days* after we sequenced the genome of the virus.

Two. Days.
Read 4 tweets

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