A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, riding high in a workers’ world, the Amazon effect on live sport (9:45) and even transience is mutating (17:35).
Two years after a devastating blaze ripped through Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, specialists are examining the cathedral’s famous centuries-old stained-glass windows ahead of their restoration.
Porto San Giorgio is a comune in the Province of Fermo, in the Marche region of Italy. It has approximately 16,000 inhabitants and it is located on the coast of the Adriatic Sea.
Arguably one of the most famous parks in the world, Central Park is a manmade wonder. Not only is it the first public park built in America, but it is also one of the most frequently visited, with over 25 million guests per year.
Set in the middle of bustling Manhattan, its grounds serve as a safe haven, not only for athletes, daydreamers, musicians, and strollers, but also for teems of migratory birds each year. One can spend an entire peaceful day roaming its grounds, gazing upon nearly 50 fountains, monuments, and sculptures or admiring its 36 bridges and arches.
With recreational facilities abounding, the more energetic won’t have a problem finding a spot to skate, pedal, row, dribble, or climb to his or her heart’s delight. Although Central Park has 21 official playgrounds, we like to think of it as one gigantic jungle gym in its peak season.
Robo-advisors have had a meteoric rise in popularity since their debut in 2008 thanks to the support from millennials and Gen Z. Today, Robo-advisors manage $460 billion, with some analysts predicting it will become a $1.2 trillion industry by 2024. Watch the video to find out why some investors believe it will never replace traditional human financial.
Since their debut in 2008, robo-advisors have had a meteoric rise in popularity. In 2020, they managed $460 billion, a 30% increase compared with 2019. Some analysts predict robo-advising will become a $1.2 trillion industry by 2024. “Investors historically have had two options when it comes to managing their investments. They could do it themselves through something like an online broker or you can work with a financial advisor,” explained Brian Concannon, head of Digital Advisor at Vanguard.
“Now, with the advent of robo-advisors, there’s a third option, and that’s to merge the benefits of professional money management and advice with the convenience of an all-digital application.” Robo-advisors’ sudden rise to prominence was made possible due to massive interest and support from millennials and Gen Z. According to a recent survey by Vanguard, millennials were twice as likely as young baby boomers to consider using a robo-advisor for investments.
“I believe that there are things that technology or algorithms can do better than humans can,” said Taylor Crane, a robo-advisor customer. “And I have no problem trusting a software to do that.” Skeptics do not expect robo-advisors to replace human advisors entirely in the near future. “Clearly, there’s always going to be a human element that’s missing,” said Jason Snipe, chief investment officer at Odyssey Capital Advisors. “My problem always will be the emotional response. Take a situation like last year when we’re going through Covid-19 and markets are moving a lot, dramatically. …
You can’t talk to the technology, right?” To combat this, many robo-advisor companies including Betterment and Vanguard began providing the option of hybrid services that combine both human and digital advice. “[Some] investors we see crave validation from a financial advisor,” said Concannon. “So for those investors, being able to pick up the phone and have a video conference with a financial advisor, have a discussion about their needs and wants goes an incredibly long way to providing them the peace of mind that they so desperately need.”
Time is on the side of the robo-advisory industry as the technology continues to improve and the younger generations accrue more wealth. “I think some combination of the two probably is where we are headed for in the future,” said Snipe. “I think the robo space has room to grow. I think it will obviously modify and change and become even more sophisticated.”
Music Ensemble: Il Giardino Armonico, Milano, Italy Dancer & Choreography: Margarita Ermachenko
Antonio Vivaldi (1678–1741) grew up in Venice, Italy where his father, a professional violinist, taught him to play the violin and introduced him to some of the finest musicians and composers in the city. At the age of 15, he also began studying to become a priest. Because of his red hair, he was known as il Prete Rosso (“the Red Priest”). Vivaldi had to leave the clergy due to health issues, and he accepted several short-term musical positions funded by patrons in Mantua and Rome. It was in Mantua that he wrote his four-part masterpiece, The Four Seasons. He was also known for his operas, including Argippo and Bajazet. Vivaldi’s work, including nearly 500 concertos, influenced many later composers, including Bach.
The collection of Twelve Trio Sonatas Op. 1 was published by the Venetian house of Giuseppe Sala in 1705. Similarly to the other published collections by Vivaldi, it became known throughout Europe and reprinted four more times within the composer’s lifetime. It was dedicated to Count Annibale Gambara.
At the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries, the trio sonata was one of the most popular genres of instrumental music in Italy. The composers modelled their work on four sonata collections by Arcangelo Corelli. Mastery in the genre was generally seen as a test of composing talent, allowing a display of the ability to simultaneously shape the melody and the counterpoint.
Vivaldi, similarly to Albinoni and Caldara, made his debut with a collection of twelve trio sonatas. They were written for two violins and a cello (more precisely a violone) or a harpsichord. The earliest preserved Vivaldi pieces, they are characteristic in their individual and fully-formed style.
Kauai is an island in the Central Pacific, part of the Hawaiian archipelago. It’s nicknamed “the Garden Isle” thanks to the tropical rainforest covering much of its surface. The dramatic cliffs and pinnacles of its Na Pali Coast have served as a backdrop for major Hollywood films, while 10-mile-long Waimea Canyon and the Nounou Trails traversing the Sleeping Giant mountain ridge are hiking destinations.
“Sunday Morning” takes us this spring Sunday to a setting known in English as “Cherry Blossom Mountain Park” outside Tokyo, home to some 10,000 cherry trees. Videographer: Jiro Akiba.
The aptly named Sakurayama Park, which translates to Cherry Blossom Mountain Park, has around 10,000 cherry trees. The park has around 7,000 Fuyuzakura cherry trees, which bloom in the winter and the spring, as well as around 3,000 Yoshino cherry trees which bloom in the spring. During the blooming periods, the park is lit up at night, giving it a surreal, fluffy appearance. Tea ceremony events are held in the daytime during peak viewing seasons.
From cities to quaint towns and everything in between, Provence has something for everyone. Swim in the crystal clear waters of the Calanque de Sormiou in Marseille. Drive with the top down through fields of lavender in Valensole. Experience a bite of just-out-of-the-oven fougasse, a Provençal classic.
Stand in awe of the beautiful, white Camargue horses native to the area. Located in the South of France, Provence is uniquely positioned to be a cultural blend of the Mediterranean. Roman landmarks still prevail from the 1st century AD alongside châteaus from medieval times—a varied legacy brightened by the indigenous mimosas and cypresses.
Tyler Brûlé, Andrew Tuck, Gillian Dobias, Solène Léger and Eemeli Isoaho on the weekend’s top discussion topics, with insights from London, Ljubljana and Tel Aviv.