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Number of Billionaires In The World Falls

The number of billionaires in the world drops, American workers lack retirement plans and IBM's Watson tackles financial services.

Last year the number of billionaires in the world fell for the first time since the financial crisis. There were 2,397 billionaires in the world in 2016, according to Wealth-X, a research firm focused on UHNW individuals. That represented a 3 percent decline from 2015, but not all regions experienced the same decrease. The Americas were the only region to record an increase in the number of billionaires and their wealth. Remember, the wealthy have their up and down years too. While most billionaires across the world experienced an increase or decrease in their net worth within 5 percent, one in five billionaires experienced a fluctuation of more than 20 percent.

Most American Workers Lack Retirement Plans

Just 23 percent of American workers say they have spoken with a financial advisor about retirement planning, and only one in 10 say they have a formal plan for retirement, according to the 2017 Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS) by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) and Greenwald & Associates. “Some of these critical retirement planning steps don’t cost workers anything, like estimating Social Security or thinking through what your expenses may be in retirement,” said Lisa Greenwald, assistant vice president of Greenwald & Associates and co-author of the report. The study found that workers who have a retirement plan (including a defined contribution plan), defined benefit plan or individual retirement account, have saved more, taken more steps to prepare for retirement and feel less stressed about retirement than those without a plan.

IBM Watson Gets Cloud for Financial Services

Copyright Ben Hider, Getty Images

IBM has added a new developer cloud to Watson in an effort to make the artificial intelligence engine a more attractive platform for financial institutions and fintech companies to create technology products, according to the Computer Business Review. Called the IBM Cloud for Financial Services, it provides developers with access to APIs, data and content necessary to building and monetizing new apps. IBM said the Cloud for Financial Services simplifies many time-consuming tasks like customer insights, compliance analytics, security and privacy testing and data integration to help financial institutions brings products to markets faster. Companies like Accern, Actiance, Bondevalue, Dow Jones, Eigencat, Envestnet|Yodlee, Opentopic, Plaid, PolicyPal, Quovo, Riskspan, TagniFi and Xignite are offering their financial services focused APIs on the financial services developer cloud.

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