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Putting $400M of Bitcoin on your company balance sheet
Also posted on my blog as usual. Read it there if you can, there are footnotes and inlined plots. A couple of months ago, MicroStrategy (MSTR) had a spare $400M of cash which it decided to shift to Bitcoin (BTC). Today we'll discuss in excrutiating detail why this is not a good idea. When a company has a pile of spare money it doesn't know what to do with, it'll normally do buybacks or start paying dividends. That gives the money back to the shareholders, and from an economic perspective the money can get better invested in other more promising companies. If you have a huge pile of of cash, you probably should be doing other things than leave it in a bank account to gather dust. However, this statement from MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor exists to make it clear he's buying into BTC for all the wrong reasons:
“This is not a speculation, nor is it a hedge. This was a deliberate corporate strategy to adopt a bitcoin standard.”
Let's unpack it and jump into the economics Bitcoin:
Is Bitcoin money?
No. Or rather BTC doesn't act as money and there's no serious future path for BTC to become a form of money. Let's go back to basics. There are 3 main economic problems money solves: 1. Medium of Exchange. Before money we had to barter, which led to the double coincidence of wants problem. When everyone accepts the same money you can buy something from someone even if they don't like the stuff you own. As a medium of exchange, BTC is not good. There are significant transaction fees and transaction waiting times built-in to BTC and these worsen the more popular BTC get. You can test BTC's usefulness as a medium of exchange for yourself right now: try to order a pizza or to buy a random item with BTC. How many additional hurdles do you have to go through? How many fewer options do you have than if you used a regular currency? How much overhead (time, fees) is there? 2. Unit of Account. A unit of account is what you compare the value of objects against. We denominate BTC in terms of how many USD they're worth, so BTC is a unit of account presently. We can say it's because of lack of adoption, but really it's also because the market value of BTC is so volatile. If I buy a $1000 table today or in 2017, it's roughly a $1000 table. We can't say that a 0.4BTC table was a 0.4BTC table in 2017. We'll expand on this in the next point: 3. Store of Value. When you create economic value, you don't want to be forced to use up the value you created right away. For instance, if I fix your washing machine and you pay me in avocados, I'd be annoyed. I'd have to consume my payment before it becomes brown, squishy and disgusting. Avocado fruit is not good money because avocadoes loses value very fast. On the other hand, well-run currencies like the USD, GBP, CAD, EUR, etc. all lose their value at a low and most importantly fairly predictible rate. Let's look at the chart of the USD against BTC While the dollar loses value at a predictible rate, BTC is all over the place, which is bad. One important use money is to write loan contracts. Loans are great. They let people spend now against their future potential earnings, so they can buy houses or start businesses without first saving up for a decade. Loans are good for the economy. If you want to sign something that says "I owe you this much for that much time" then you need to be able to roughly predict the value of the debt in at the point in time where it's due. Otherwise you'll have a hard time pricing the risk of the loan effectively. This means that you need to charge higher interests. The risk of making a loan in BTC needs to be priced into the interest of a BTC-denominated loan, which means much higher interest rates. High interests on loans are bad, because buying houses and starting businesses are good things.
BTC has a fixed supply, so these problems are built in
Some people think that going back to a standard where our money was denominated by a stock of gold (the Gold Standard) would solve economic problems. This is nonsense. Having control over supply of your currency is a good thing, as long as it's well run. See here Remember that what is desirable is low variance in the value, not the value itself. When there are wild fluctuations in value, it's hard for money to do its job well. Since the 1970s, the USD has been a fiat money with no intrinsic value. This means we control the supply of money. Let's look at a classic poorly drawn econ101 graph The market price for USD is where supply meets demand. The problem with a currency based on an item whose supply is fixed is that the price will necessarily fluctuate in response to changes in demand. Imagine, if you will, that a pandemic strikes and that the demand for currency takes a sharp drop. The US imports less, people don't buy anything anymore, etc. If you can't print money, you get deflation, which is worsens everything. On the other hand, if you can make the money printers go brrrr you can stabilize the price Having your currency be based on a fixed supply isn't just bad because in/deflation is hard to control. It's also a national security risk... The story of the guy who crashed gold prices in North Africa In the 1200s, Mansa Munsa, the emperor of the Mali, was rich and a devout Muslim and wanted everyone to know it. So he embarked on a pilgrimage to make it rain all the way to Mecca. He in fact made it rain so hard he increased the overall supply of gold and unintentionally crashed gold prices in Cairo by 20%, wreaking an economic havoc in North Africa that lasted a decade. This story is fun, the larger point that having your inflation be at the mercy of foreign nations is an undesirable attribute in any currency. The US likes to call some countries currency manipulators, but this problem would be serious under a gold standard.
Currencies are based on trust
Since the USD is based on nothing except the US government's word, how can we trust USD not to be mismanaged? The answer is that you can probably trust the fed until political stooges get put in place. Currently, the US's central bank managing the USD, the Federal Reserve (the Fed for friends & family), has administrative authority. The fed can say "no" to dumb requests from the president. People who have no idea what the fed does like to chant "audit the fed", but the fed is already one of the best audited US federal entities. The transcripts of all their meetings are out in the open. As is their balance sheet, what they plan to do and why. If the US should audit anything it's the Department of Defense which operates without any accounting at all. It's easy to see when a central bank will go rogue: it's when political yes-men are elected to the board. For example, before printing themselves into hyperinflation, the Venezuelan president appointed a sociologist who publicly stated “Inflation does not exist in real life” and instead is a made up capitalist lie. Note what happened mere months after his gaining control over the Venezuelan currency This is a key policy. One paper I really like, Sargent (1984) "The end of 4 big inflations" states:
The essential measures that ended hyperinflation in each of Germany,Austria, Hungary, and Poland were, first, the creation of an independentcentral bank that was legally committed to refuse the government'sdemand or additional unsecured credit and, second, a simultaneousalteration in the fiscal policy regime.
In english: *hyperinflation stops when the central bank can say "no" to the government." The US Fed, like other well good central banks, is run by a bunch of nerds. When it prints money, even as aggressively as it has it does so for good reasons. You can see why they started printing on March 15th as the COVID lockdowns started:
The Federal Reserve is prepared to use its full range of tools to support the flow of credit to households and businesses and thereby promote its maximum employment and price stability goals.
In english: We're going to keep printing and lowering rates until jobs are back and inflation is under control. If we print until the sun is blotted out, we'll print in the shade.
BTC is not gold
Gold is a good asset for doomsday-preppers. If society crashes, gold will still have value. How do we know that? Gold has held value throughout multiple historic catastrophes over thousands of years. It had value before and after the Bronze Age Collapse, the Fall of the Western Roman Empire and Gengis Khan being Gengis Khan. Even if you erased humanity and started over, the new humans would still find gold to be economically valuable. When Europeans d̶i̶s̶c̶o̶v̶e̶r̶e̶d̶ c̶o̶n̶q̶u̶e̶r̶e̶d̶ g̶e̶n̶o̶c̶i̶d̶e̶d̶ went to America, they found gold to be an important item over there too. This is about equivalent to finding humans on Alpha-Centauri and learning that they think gold is a good store of value as well. Some people are puzzled at this: we don't even use gold for much! But it has great properties: First, gold is hard to fake and impossible to manufacture. This makes it good to ascertain payment. Second, gold doesnt react to oxygen, so it doesn't rust or tarnish. So it keeps value over time unlike most other materials. Last, gold is pretty. This might sound frivolous, and you may not like it, but jewelry has actual value to humans. It's no coincidence if you look at a list of the wealthiest families, a large number of them trade in luxury goods. To paraphrase Veblen humans have a profound desire to signal social status, for the same reason peacocks have unwieldy tails. Gold is a great way to achieve that. On the other hand, BTC lacks all these attributes. Its value is largely based on common perception of value. There are a few fundamental drivers of demand:
Means of Exchange: if people seriously start using BTC to buy pizzas, then this creates a real demand for the currency to accomplish the short-term exchanges. As we saw previously, I'm not personally sold on this one and it's currently a negligible fraction of overall demand.
Criminal uses: Probably the largest inbuilt advantage of BTC is that it's anonymous, and so a great way to launder money. Hacker gangs use BTC to demand ransom on cryptolocker type attacks because it's a shared way for an honest company to pay and for the criminals to receive money without going to jail.
Apart from these, it's hard to argue that BTC will retain value throughout some sort of economic catastrophe.
BTC is really risky
One last statement from Michael Saylor I take offense to is this:
“We feel pretty confident that Bitcoin is less risky than holding cash, less risky than holding gold,” MicroStrategy CEO said in an interview
"BTC is less risky than holding cash or gold long term" is nonsense. We saw before that BTC is more volatile on face value, and that as long as the Fed isn't run by spider monkeys stacked in a trench coat, the inflation is likely to be within reasonable bounds. But on top of this, BTC has Abrupt downside risks that normal currencies don't. Let's imagine a few:
A critical software vulnerability is found in the BTC codebase, leading to a possible exploitation.
Xi Jinping decides he's had enough of rich people in China hiding their assets from him and bans BTC.
Some form of bank run takes hold for whatever reason. Because BTC wallets are uninsured, unlike regular banks, this compounds into a Black Tuesday style crash.
Blockchain solutions are fundamentally inefficient
Blockchain was a genius idea. I still marvel at the initial white paper which is a great mix of economics and computer science. That said, blockchain solutions make large tradeoffs in design because they assume almost no trust between parties. This leads to intentionally wasteful designs on a massive scale. The main problem is that all transactions have to be validated by expensive computational operations and double checked by multiple parties. This means waste:
BTC was estimated to use as much electricity as Belgium in 2019. It's hard to trace where the BTC mining comes from, but we can assume it has a huge carbon footprint.
A single transactions is necessarily expensive. A single transaction takes as much electricity as 800,000 VISA transactions, or watching 50,000 hours of youtube videos.
There is a large necessary tax on the transaction, since those checking the transaction extract a few BTC from it to be incentivized to do the work of checking it.
Many design problems can be mitigated by various improvements over BTC, but it remains that a simple database always works better than a blockchain if you can trust the parties to the transaction.
In a recent spillover of internet-based long-form intellectual new media into the mainstream, Eric Weinstein appeared as a guest on Ted Cruz's podcast. Eric was well prepared. Cruz played the role of a charitable and engaged critic while avoiding direct confrontation. The conservation laid bare the intersection of the anti-corporate socialist left and anti-government libertarian right and the potential of these forces as a combined political interest. There was a strong sense of shared acknowledgement of the current crisis and they touched on all the culture war aspects. But I'm more interested in what Eric has pointed to now several times as the root cause of the systemic decline, and what seems to be the original trigger for the slow decay and building of tension that has ultimately led to the rise of darker elements on both the left and right that we see today: a Great Decoupling of productivity (GDP) and wage growth in the early 1970's. The significance of this time period has also been highlighted by Eric's boss, Peter Thiel. We are referred to https://wtfhappenedin1971.com/, where a collection of charts give the impression that a profound change in the foundations of the economy took place, effectively causing a divergence of all kinds of metrics related to equality, wealth creation, the complexity of regulation, and implicitly downstream effects like political polarization, incarceration rates, and age of marriage. The simple, seemingly persuasive answer is that the effective cancellation of the gold standard set us on a path towards borrowing ever larger sums to avert financial crises as they arise, and the return to a currency backed by something provably scarce, i.e. bitcoin, is a solution. I can't say I'm convinced it's that simple. And Eric doesn't mention currency specifically as the problem. So what I want to know is, was 1971 a real inflection point, the real root of inequality and dysfunction we see today? Was the removal of limits on the Fed's ability to print money a mistake? Or was there some other government action or change at that time that was the real cause? Do we need to let stock market crashes happen from time to time? A year ago, u/gwern posted a 1986 Atlantic article that described a lot of the problems in black America that are still around 4 decades later and offered more in the way of nuance and insight than most of the discourse we see today. What struck me on revisiting it was how the timing of the decline of Chicago aligns with the early 1970's trigger hypothesis:
In 1970 thirty-seven percent of the population of the area was below the poverty line; in 1980 the figure was 51 percent. In 1970 the unemployment rate was 9.5 percent; in 1980 it was 24.2 percent. In 1970 forty percent of the residents of the neighborhood lived in families with a female head; in 1980 the number had grown to 72 percent. In 1980 of the 54,000 residents 33,000 were on welfare. Experts agree that all of the numbers are even worse today.
My mental model for social issues is that they are mostly rooted in economics. If you have a society that generates wealth, you can pay teachers, doctors, and police well enough to attract competent candidates and the competition necessary to create real expertise. You can afford to build and maintain good infrastructure and spend time on figuring out how to best help the disadvantaged. You have the resources to advance technology and support the arts. You get all the positive feedback loops that come with this. When wealth generation becomes concentrated and restricted, public institutions start to struggle, people feel they have less opportunity, and social issues start to bubble up like the formation of outgroups of all kinds. A massive oversimplifation, I know, but a useful general framework to approaching issues that avoids (mis)placing blame on cultural degeneracy, "evil" corporations, or other common scapegoats that are largely symptoms of greater problems. Today, this mindset seems to align with the conservative right, but in the 1986 article it's the "liberal answer" to the problem of ghettos that I identify with:
In Chicago the harbinger of the change was the closing in the late fifties of the stockyards, which for half a century were the sine qua non of lower-class grunt work and a heavy employer of blacks. Chicago lost 200,000 jobs in the seventies; small shut-down redbrick factories that used to make products like boxes and ball bearings dot the city, especially the West Side. The lack of jobs, the argument continues, caused young men in the ghetto to adopt a drifting, inconstant life; to turn to crime; to engage in exaggeratedly macho behavior -- acting tough, not studying, bullying women for money -- as a way to get the sense of male strength that their fathers had derived from working and supporting families. As Murray believes that one simple step, ending all welfare programs, would heal the ghettos, the unemployment school believes that another simple step, jobs, would heal them. "When there's a demand for the participation of the black underclass in the labor force, most of the so-called problems people talk about will evaporate in a generation," says John McKnight. an urban-research professor at Northwestern University.
Indeed, Mr. McKnight. And up until this spring, it looked like the Trump presidency's aggressively pro-jobs and pro-American workers policy was showing promise of vindicating this view - the presence of BLM and racial tensions leading up to 2016 had all but subsided by 2018-2019. I wonder just how little backlash the George Floyd incident would have caused if the pandemic hadn't undone the economic progress of the past 3 years. Mind you, that "progress" was but a tiny step in the right direction in terms of improving wages and opportunities for the lowest earners. And for all the times the "audit the fed" meme hit the top of the_donald, it now seems impossible that the current administration has any capability or willingness to take the drastic steps needed to address the real root cause that apparently started 50 years ago. To do that, we may need an actual revolution.
I have ADHD. I was diagnosed at age 12. What happened is I got to middle school, and my life fell apart. It came on like a typhoon. Things seemed alright as I started, but I still remember that October when my family went to sixth-grade check-in. My twin sister went first. The meeting lasted about four minutes. She and my parents left with smiles all around and talk of getting In N Out on the way home. Then it was my turn. Every teacher I had stood in a circle. They seemed...different. One by one, they went around and told me that I was shit. Some were nicer than others, but everyone had the same message to convey: Doesn't complete his homework all the way Distracts others trying to learn Unable to follow along in class Not sure if he can keep up I then heard my grades: C-, D+, C+, A in PE, C, and an F in Social Studies. I don't remember being ashamed or embarrassed or anything. I remember being confused. I had gone to school every day and tried hard and thought I was doing what the teacher asked. Nope. Guess I wasn't. Nobody had much advice for me. They just wanted me to know that I sucked. And that my parents should understand so. I don't know if my parents freaked out or punished me or what. But they weren't happy. The last to go was my social studies teacher, Sven. He asked me if I knew how to read. I politely nodded my head. But he wasn't sure. He talked about all the symptoms he had seen from me. To counter, I pulled a grad-level book on the Cold War off a shelf and read a page aloud while trying not to cry. People were even more confused. Some estimate that a child with ADHD will receive 20,000 more negative comments before the age of 12 than a non-ADHD child will. I can't speak to that exactly, but I can say that this was not the only time I've had a room full of people upset with me for reasons I never saw coming. It doesn't get much easier. Sven caught up to us as we walked to the car. He was cagey with his reasoning, but he told us that there might be something up with my brain. He recommended I get tested by a psychiatrist and see what she had to say. I've since come to my conclusions where he got such an idea. The testing was fun. I've always liked tests. Didn't mention it, but they also thought I couldn't read in 2nd grade. Lol. That one went away after I took a standardized exam and scored in the 99th percentile of the nation in reading. I thought standardized tests were fun, you see. I moved a bunch of colored balls into colored holes and tried to remember what color things were after 10 minutes and everything else you might expect. I didn't know what I was even doing, but I felt I could hang. Three weeks later, I got my results. The only part I remember is that my psychiatrist noted that in her entire career, she had never met someone who scored higher on specific tasks and yet lower on others. My chart looked like OJ Simpson’s polygraph. I could keep going, and in another article, I will. But this is how I got diagnosed. And the key to all of it was Sven. Everything makes perfect sense after the fact, but only when you realize that a single teacher served as the link that completes the narrative. I do not know where I am today without him. I got lucky that this story takes place in 2003, and at a private school with teachers who genuinely cared about me. For reasons a lawyer in the comments needs to help me understand better, public school teachers seem loath to alert students of disabilities of any kind. This includes ADHD but also things like autism, dyslexia, and mood disorders. Things that seem apparent to me in a way that makes it seem impossible that no other teacher in the past 13 years hasn’t also picked up on them. That means many students go through primary schooling while having no idea they have a problem at all. When I mention to a student they might have ADHD, they are first confused, but then some memories come back. The first is that someone, usually a sports or music coach, had once told them the same thing. The other is that they remember a lot of teachers saying weird stuff they didn't understand at the time. Stuff like, "You’re so talented. I just wish you could be better focused. Have you talked to anyone about why you could be having trouble?" To me, those sound like hints from a teacher who has been told by her bosses not to put the school at risk. I am not a teacher. I'm a private consultant and can pretty much say whatever I want. I am also not a doctor - people would die - but I am a concerned adult who has taken courses in spotting learning disabilities. I'm also someone who will do absolutely anything to make sure his students have the best chance for success now and in the future. I'm also someone who asked both my ADHD-psychiatrist (hi!) and ADHD-therapist (hi!!!!!) if I had the right to tell students if I suspected something; they both went, Ya, dude. Totally. So I try to be Sven. I try to pay attention to what my students do and say and provide feedback that can help them. I'd like to note what that feedback is here to make sure people don't miss it because my pieces go on for way too long. If you are a high school student who suspects he or she has ADHD, your best course of action is to talk with your parents and look into being tested by a professional psychiatrist who specializes in the topic. These tests are expensive, and mental health insurance in America sucks balls. But this is the fastest, most straightforward route to getting the help you need. Option two is to try and work with/through your public high school to get them to pay for it.This site has some good info. My guess is that this method will suck. Public schools don't have a lot of funding and will not want to spend it on you. That's not your problem. You will almost certainly need your parents to back you up on this one and sit through a lot of boring meetings. I assume a lot of people will tell you a lot of reasons why they can't help you. Your response every time should be some version of, "Sure. But I need help with this. And I'm not going to stop until I get the support I need. So what do I do from here?" Then you blankly stare at them and refuse to leave until they get you at least to the next step. I'm not sure how well this will work. If you do attempt or have attempted this method, please DM me or contact my Email with your experience. I want to know if this is even worth my student's time. If you can not afford traditional testing or do not feel your parents would support such testing, your best option is to wait until the day you turn 18 and then register for a telehealth company specializing in ADHD. The one I use and recommend isHelloAhead.com. They're neat. They do not take traditional insurance, but their rates are much lower than most doctors. They are cheap enough that I feel an average 18-year old who wants help could find a way to afford it on his or her own. The downside with these sites is the waiting times can be long. Took me like five months. Other such sites are popping up, and while I can't vouch for them, they all seem to offer a similar service. Those paragraphs are what I want every student here to know. I'm much more comfortable having a trained doctor tell you what the deal is than I am trying to do it myself. But I have to see something if I want to be Sven. The question then is, how do I see it? For spotting ADHD, it's shockingly simple. And I'll get to the real reason at the end. But for now, here is what I see when I see a student with ADHD. The best way I can describe their lives is "endless chaos" The chaos isn't always bad! Rarely it's fun chaos, but often it's just chaos chaos. This chaos exists in both physical and mental forms. Physical: Their shit is such a mess. Everything. Most of the work we do is digital, so I see the Google Doc version of their mind. Folders make no sense. Things are labeled inaccurately or not at all. Schools get combined, or separated, or forgotten altogether. It is not a single type of error, but instead a collection of small mistakes and poor decisions that make the work impossible to corral. I have some kids that are messy or lazy, but this is different. It's like if the original folder system I built for them was an amoeba in a petri dish. Leave that dish out for a weekend and come back. The patterns will be remarkably similar to the organizational gore that they then try to utilize. Mental: There's always a story. "I was late because my car has a flat tire, and the guy was late, so I had to take an Uber." "I didn't know my music essays were due a month early because the form only mentioned there being a recital." "My friend is mad at me, but it's only because she didn't tell me we were the first group presenting, so I spent more time preparing our project". These stories make sense at first. But after a few weeks, they start to pile up. Then I become the one hearing a story about why they didn't do what I wanted, and I stop being so forgiving. ADHD is a neurological disorder. Not a mental illness. It's closer to diabetes than it is bi-polar. "ADHD" is a fairly garbage name for the condition because A) it has a stigma, and B) it isn't even accurate. Both attention deficit and hyperactivity are symptoms of ADHD, but they are not the problem itself. It would be like calling clinical depression "low energy and excessive guilt disorder". ADHD is actually an issue involving improper dopamine regulation in the brain combined with under-activity of the brain's executive function component. The executive function center is the part of your brain that is in charge of making sure all the other parts of your brain play nice and communicate. When the executive function center breaks down...those other parts don't. The result is a failure to plan or coordinate + a need for impulsive stimulation, thus resulting in endless chaos. This is what I’ll ask you if you DM me, btw. Is your life endless chaos? Sometimes do you like the chaos? Sometimes do you get bored and create the chaos yourself just to see what might happen? But when that chaos stops being so fun, can you make it stop? They're very, very intelligent You've probably heard about the "gifted ADHD genius" thing before. I don't think it exists. My theory has always been that the "gifted ADHD child" is a victim of survivorship bias. The research states that ADHD has either no or a negative correlation with intelligence. There is also a startling overlap with ADHD and incarceration. This means that students who still manage to succeed despite their disorder tend to have advantages that keep them in the game. Namely that they're smart as hell. The other saving grace is that they come from secure support networks that prevent them from unraveling completely. I've heard from such students that their mom or dad works tirelessly to keep their life in order and to make sure they're getting things done. I do not think it is a coincidence that when ADHD students leave for college, things often fall apart. The fact that there are ADHD kids that others know and still like makes some think ADHD isn't so bad or comes with natural cognitive advantages. Those same people do not become friends with the ADHD dumb kids who would disprove those perceptions. Do you remember that kid in elementary school who was his own worst enemy? He never had friends, and everyone was kind of afraid to even talk with him? He was kind of a bully but mostly just awful? He invited you to his house one time, but your mom wouldn’t let you go? That is my best guess of what a dumb kid with ADHD is like. It sounds cold writing it, but you know which kid I'm talking about right now. Where do you think that kid is today? I end up with the smart ones—the ones with parents who care. And God damn are these kids smart. They're brilliant, and funny, and likable, and charming. They have something different about them that makes them undeniable. And it's not just me. I worry I play them up too much in my mind, but then I chat with a teacher or coach of theirs. It's always the same thing: Oh, she's brilliant. She can be so frustrating sometimes, tho. They can be so frustrating sometimes, tho The word is frustrating. Now bad. Not nasty. Not unlikeable. Frustrating. I have some students I just don't like that much (no, not you). What tends to be the common theme with them is that they don't have much interest in my help and display a work ethic to match. On the other spectrum are the world beaters (totally you). These kids kick ass and not only follow my advice but often take that advice to the next level in ways that awe and inspire me. And then there are the kids I think have ADHD. They don't do stuff all the time. They don't finish an essay, or they forget to spell check like I asked, or they write about something that has nothing to do with the outline we built the week before. That's not necessarily the frustrating part. You kids are 17; you make mistakes. Early on, I try to spot these mistakes and point them out. Even the students who don't like me seem to get my point after enough prodding and the problem goes away. With these kids, the problem does not go away. Or if it does, another problem pops right back up to replace it. It makes me feel like there's nothing I can do. It would be easier if the student was just a brat. Then I could either become a brat myself or mentally check out because "hey man, your future”. I need a name for kids I suspect have ADHD…"MaybeHD"? Ya. That’s super funny. Say it out loud and try not to laugh. But these MaybeHD kids do like me. And they do want to get into school. And they do feel bad when I get upset with them. I end up in long, drawn-out conversations with them about why this is important and why they need to make specific work a priority to get into the schools they want to go to. Then they nod meekly and head home. Then they come back next week, and it's the same story. Frustrating. They are randomly awesome at the weirdest things I love weird talents. Things that no one offers up immediately, but then you're chatting, and it comes up naturally. "Oh ya, I love animals! I raise baby pigs in my backyard!" "You do?" "Ya!" At some point, the MaybeHD kid read something or watched a Youtube video that he or she liked. Then they wanted to try it. Six months later, they're making 4k a month selling custom bathrobes on Etsy. There's rarely any logic. "Do you like baths? Or making clothing? "Not really. I just thought it looked fun, so I bought a sewing kit and started making things." There is a noted link between ADHD and entrepreneurship. I see it with my MaybeHD students. They have an insatiable drive and passion for following up on curiosities that other students don't possess. Passion is the wrong word. They have obsessions with mastering concepts in a way that feels beyond their control. The obsession itself drives them to be great. The literature on the subject is cloudy. But there exists a term in ADHD circles called "Hyperfocus". If you know what "flow" is, it's kind of like that. Only more intense and less controllable. I often see the remnants of past hyperfocuses in their stories. They used to run that pig farm. They used to sell bathrobes. They used to be really into getting good grades at school. But then one day, just as quickly as they picked the skill up, they dropped it. They can seldom tell me why. Their priorities are completely out of whack The downside of hyperfocus is that it can be so all-encompassing that other priorities fall by the wayside. One of my favorite students ever is named Elleway. We chatted in our first meeting, and I was instantly intrigued by her background. She said she had designed and prototyped a unit that would automatically roll under parked electric cars for hands-free charging. I hear a lot of impressive stuff in my job, and a lot of it ends up being not that impressive. But then Elleway showed me the prototype video she made back when she was a high school freshman and it blew my mind. https://youtu.be/Y5Ap2uMbWL4 Can you do that? I sure as hell can't. She wasn't even an engineer. She calmly explained that she had partnered with several older male engineers who had helped turn her idea into reality. Then she had done all the promotional and marketing work herself. Then she got second out of 300 students at a young entrepreneur contest held at Columbia University. Shortly after, a tech CEO came up to her and asked if she would like to work with him to file a patent for the invention. She agreed and is now a trademark holder. That was all in our first 10 minutes. She then went on to share the half dozen corporations she had worked for. And the three businesses she started. And the graphic design work she made for her website. She told me how she was a Nationally ranked fencer until she lost interest. She was now merely a Nationally ranked golfer. Then I saw she had a 2.9 GPA and thus zero shot at getting into NYU like she hoped. I did not initially think Elleway had ADHD. I thought she was a pathological liar. It seemed impossible to me that this same girl who had already taken a grip on the world was then unable to keep up her grades in math. That just isn’t how any -any- of my other ultra high-achieving students behave. Then Elleway showed me pictures of her casually hanging out with Andrew Yang. And then her LinkedIn With a lot of people who do not accept your request unless they want to. I had to figure out what the hell led to all this. Elleway’s patent and ambition to work on it had taken up all her time. She was so singularly focused on doing what she cared about that the world behind her didn't seem to exist. She was hyperfocused on a goal, but once she reached it, she woke up to a reality that punished her for ignoring everything else. That's the longing writer's version of the story. The more popular one is that she didn't give a shit about school, was warned repeatedly about the consequences, and ignored them. She got what she deserved. That’s the version the rest of the world had for her. It goes back to frustrating. I've gotten kids into NYU that don't show a fifth the potential that Elleway did. Those kids went to all the camps their parents paid for and entered competitions with a tech doorbell or something lame, and they're just fine. But MaybeHD students are often world-beaters in ways that make them seem so special. They talk endlessly not just about what they're into but how they figured it all out and why it is all so important to them. I believe them, and I want to fight for them. So I give them as much assistance as I possibly can. But then they don't do the increasingly easy tasks I ask for them to complete. Then they suffer the consequences. Elleway didn't get into NYU. She didn't get in much of anywhere. It eats me up inside, and I feel like I failed her. I don't know how many other people in my position would feel the same way. That's why I have to be Sven. This is getting long, and I'm getting depressed. Here's the TL: DR of what I see when I see a student with ADHD ... Me. I see me. And it can hurt really bad knowing what a condition like ADHD does to a young person's life. My life is endless chaos. I've been out of food for nine days. My house looks like Badger from Breaking Bad bought a loft in Palo Alto. I am still writing this at 3:25 AM when I have to be up for work at nine. My cat has started doing this thing where she sleeps in her food bowl when it gets empty. It's equal parts adorable and humiliating. I'm smart as shit. I know it. I made up half-ideas. That article is absolute fire. I got published on Cracked.com five times in 2011 when that meant something. I went to Tulane on a half-ride merit scholarship, used to win creative writing contests, and have done a bunch of other writery stuff that made people stand up and go, "Woah". But I only made it to college because my mom carried me there, kicking and screaming. She packaged my life together, and I held on for the ride. Then I got to school and made it two months before she got an Email alerting her that Tulane was planning to revoke the remaining $70,000 of my $80,000 scholarship due to my grades. I barely scraped by and survived. But the shame and frustration in her voice when she read me that letter over the phone haunts me to this day. I analyze handwriting. And I turned a Reddit account into a successful business in four months. And I collect college T-shirts from schools my students go to. And I own Bitcoin I bought in 2011 for $4.50 each. And I'm teaching myself piano with a video game. And I'm exercising with a video game. And I'm ranked 42nd in Northern California at Super Smash Bros Ultimate. And I’ve tried the nachos at over 100 Taquerias in the Bay Area. And I own a really cute cat. But I've spent 15* hours this week writing this instead of a sequel to that Costco piece. I have one coming where I edit my Common App essay from 2009. It's a great idea and a great article. One that will drive significantly more business to my site than this piece will. Hell, I predict this piece is likely to lose me business because I come off like a mess in it. But it's what I want to write, so I feel like I have no choice. *The 15 hours is a guess. I have no idea how long it takes me to write and edit these things. I start typing and X hours later look up and realize how hungry I am and how much I need to pee. The writing controls me. I see myself in my MaybeHD students. I see their unfettered curiosity and flair for taking as much good from the world as possible. I see their infectious enthusiasm and ability to quickly forgive others because they know too well how it feels to want forgiveness themselves. Yet I also see their inattention to detail, their weak excuses, and their general confusion that makes me realize they couldn't fix some problems if their lives depended on it. I see their sadness and shame when those mistakes pile up. I see when the chaos stops being fun, and they want out, but they don't know how. I don't know what I, as their consultant, can do. But as Sven, I can recommend they go talk to someone else... Hey, so, I was considering hiring you and all...but you seem kind of bad. Why should I trust you? Because a couple of years ago, I got back on my medication and turned my life around. You aren't reading this if I don't reach out for help and trust a trained psychiatrist to guide me. There are no groups of friends in Delaware or Connecticut comparing their half-ideas lists. There sure as shit isn't a CollegeWithMattie.com. I still have ADHD. But one of the greatest things about ADHD is that it is -without rival- the most treatable form of mental illness or dysfunction known to man. It is not curable, but there are endless medical and non-medical options available for those willing to reach out and get the help they need. My story is that it was only by getting re-medicated that I then could learn and use coping mechanisms that allow me to achieve the type of life I've always wanted. Christ, 4,400 words. You know, I'm also submitting this for a class I'm in. That's why all the backlinks are to actual sources instead of links herding you into my website. Hi Amy! That's one more thing. ADHD people are hyper-efficient...Kind of. Alright. If you're still here reading this, you might be suspecting some things about yourself. My DMs are open if you want to chat, but again, I am not a doctor. I will say that right now, as you prepare to head to college, is a really good time to get this all figured out. College is a giant reset button on your life. Figure these problems out now so that by the time you head off for your next chapter, you will have given yourself the best possible chance to succeed. Endless chaos. Here is the bold part again: If you are a student in high school who suspects he or she has ADHD, your best course of action is to talk with your parents and look into being tested by a professional psychiatrist who specializes in the topic. These tests are expensive, and mental health insurance in America (still) sucks balls. But this is the fastest, most straightforward route to getting the help you need. Option two is to try and work with/through your public high school to get them to pay for it.This site has some good info. My guess is that this method will kind of suck. Public schools don't have a lot of funding and will not want to spend it on you. That's not your problem. You will almost certainly need your parents to back you up on this one and sit through a lot of boring meetings. I assume a lot of people will tell you a lot of reasons why they can't help you. Your response every time should be some version of, "Sure. But I need help with this. And I'm not going to stop until I get the support I need. So what do I do from here?" Then you blankly stare at them and refuse to leave until they get you at least to the next step. This will suck and I'm not sure how well it will work. If you do attempt or have attempted this method, please DM me or contact my Email with your experience. I want to know if this is even worth my student's time. If you can not afford traditional testing, or if you do not feel your parents would support such testing, your best option is to wait until the day you turn 18 and then register for a telehealth company that specializes in ADHD. The one I use and recommend isHelloAhead.com. They're neat. They do not take traditional insurance, but their rates are much lower than most doctors. They are cheap enough that I feel an average 18-year old who wants help could find a way to afford it on his or her own. The downside with these sites is the waiting times can be really long. Took me like five months. Other such sites are popping up, and while I can't vouch for them, they all seem to offer a similar service. Update: The lines aren't that long anymore! Monday was Elleway's 18th birthday. She sent me a screengrab of her upcoming Ahead appointment in early September. She told me she spent the entire day crying because all her friends were going off to great schools and that she was stuck at home. I've told Elleway that I plan to help her reapply to NYU this year. I doubt I will ever want to see another student succeed as much as I will with her.
The idea of that as more people adopt Bitcoin the price will stabilize to its long term exponential curve. Here's why I think that's true.
We're already seeing this. Check out the price charts to confirm.
It makes sense. The ratio of seasoned Bitcoiners to new investors increases over time. N00bs are far more likely to panic sell for a loss. So as more and more Bitcoin users develop their strong aversion to selling, the sharp downward swings (caused by panic selling n00bs) are reduced in severity and frequency.
Plus now we have larger, more wealthy entities who buy the dip. Microstrategy already publicly announced that they're doing this. So large dips are cut off before they gain any momentum. You'll only see large downward swings if someone cashes out a few million dollars in BTC all at once. But the severity of those dips will be blunted.
Regular buyers: Grayscale Bitcoin Trust alone is buying more than 100% of the newly mined Bitcoins. Where do you think the extra Bitcoin is coming from? (BTW glorious nation of Kazakhstan just invested $700,000,000 in Bitcoin mining gear). Eventually this pool of existing Bitcoin that they're buying from will dry up more and more. That's without even considering the massive effect that the 4 year halving cycle creates.
At the next halving 31months from now, the amount of new Bitcoin created gets cut in half again for the 4th time. This will run the well even drier. Let's say Grayscale continues to buy the same amount (even though they will definitely keep increasing their investment and other players will join in too). The faster the reserve of already existing Bitcoin is getting bought up, the faster the price goes up. The halvings increase this every 4 years.
It is an absolute certainty that Bitcoin will outperform every alternative investment and one day replace or completely dominate every other type of money. And for the Bitcoin scaling issue, the lightning network has already solved that. It does a million transactions per second, and has the capacity to send 10 BTC at once, instantly, for a few Satoshis (practically free). The Bitcoin blockchain will always run right about at capacity. The lightning network has private transactions. How do we know that Bitcoin together with Bitcoin lightning aren't doing as much business as Visa? There is no limit for how high Bitcoin will go. Compare this with TSLA. Today they have a P/E ratio of 1145. Many will consider this to be overvalued. That limits how high the stock price can go. Plus, you can't spend stock. You HAVE TO sell it first. Bitcoin has no such limits. The price of Bitcoin can and will continue to go up exponentially over the long term. As volatility improves, the pace of price increase should increase as well. Accelerating acceleration. You never need to sell Bitcoin. Just spend it, unlike stocks or other financial instruments. Eventually, after 6 or 7 more halvenings, Bitcoin will have a market cap of higher than the rest of the world's wealth combined. Every step is there between here and then. Eventually government created fiat money will be nearly entirely worthless by comparison. This halving period will create another bull run as more institutional investors adopt the hold forever strategy. Volatility goes down. Bitcoin becomes more famous for its performance, draws deeper attention, converts more believers/investors, more people hold forever, Bitcoin price goes to infinity with no limit. It's just a matter of time. Bitcoin is the most genius thing I've ever seen.
TL;DR: Twitter has a horrible execution history and negative surprises on the most recent earnings call, but company has real long term value that has yet to be unlocked. The bet here is that TWTR has run up based on pin action from SNAP, but fundamentals and peer comparison cloud the picture. I read this post calling for a short on Twitter and it became a bit of a WSB ear worm. I generally agreed with OP's assessment, but he was a bit short on DD and most of my thoughts are based on biases against the company's horrible execution/monetization history and a general disdain for Jack Dorsey wanting to move to Africa for a year rather than focusing on the TWO companies that have made him a billionaire. I thought about it, researched some short term puts (high premium as expected given recent run up into all time high today, earnings Thursday) and basically ATM puts are running $2.76 for $51's expiring Friday or $3.36 if I want to give myself the extra week (ELECTION MADNESS!) for an extra swing at the payoff. My initial thought is that Twitter has run up with SNAP and PINS after SNAP crushed earnings. I had started to look at PINS for an earnings play but didn't get to it before SNAP sent them all (and FB) off to the races. With that said, Twitter has a history of disappointing and I'm not aware of anything they've done recently to better monetize the site. I also haven't done any DD on them in forever after getting stuck long a few times and having to wait a quarter or so twice for what should have been a short term trade. So, thanks to OP Justaryns, here's some follow on DD. Now I'm more conflicted. Financials. Strong balance sheet. Company had $7.8 Billion cash on hand end of June, adding $1 Billion of that during the first six (crash/shutdown) months of the year. Only $831 Million of current liabilities and total debt is $4.1 Billion. Market Cap is less than 4x book value. No issues here. Income statement is a bit more hokey. They took a major charge last quarter for a "non-cash tax deferred asset". That messed up a slow but steady growing trendline. How much so? Check the CNBC graphic: 2Q: Whoops Also during the last quarter, Twitter had a massive hack where some moron tried to use the accounts of famous people to try and sell (Edit; The currency that we doth not speak its name). No word on which autist here did that. The problems continued into the last few weeks, when Twitter had a massive outage that the President blamed cited the Babylon Bee as Biden protection. That's more of a reminder that headline and political risk remains in all communication services stocks, and tomorrow we'll get a better reminder as the CEO's of Twitter, Facebook, and Microsoft testify before a Congress that hates them more than their own voters. So Twitter has execution problems, political risk, and a CEO that is still trying to decide what he wants to be when he grows up. Yet it's had a massive run up as pin action from SNAP. Does it have further room to run? Chart comparisons suggest it could. Relative Performance of SNAP, PINS, TWTR, and FB This is where I get heartburn on the short. Over the past year, PINS and SNAP have had over a 150% return. FB, much more established and with a market cap 20 times that of Twitter, has still given a respectable 46% return. Twitter is up 73%, which is a lot...until you compare it to peers like SNAP and PINS. Further, analysts are sour on Twitter, with 32 of 41 giving hold or underperform ratings, and a stock price 20% below current prices. I tend to consider them a contra-indicator, in that they move after sentiment does, usually not before. CNBC analyst summary So, I'm torn. If Dorsey can demonstrate he has finally decided to execute a business plan and fix the recurring technical/security issues, there's real value to unlock here. Short term....I'm probably willing to take a gamble that he hasn't, and buy a few puts. What say y'all? Related Positions: 6 FB 275 Nov 20 calls. No positions yet on TWTR.
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For Trading October 15th BANKS BEAT BUT FALTER Today’s market was interesting…not good or bad, just interesting. It always concerns me when the earnings news is good and the market falls. UNH, BAC, and GS all reported, and the numbers were good, and all fell well off the highs, with UNH the only one to close up, and only pennies at that. After the hotter than expected PPI numbers came out, the open was slightly higher, but it didn’t last long. After the DJIA hit the high for the day +120, it turned down and by 11:00 it was down for the day. The DJIA finished -165.81 (.58%), NASDAQ -95.17 (.80%), S&P 500 -23.26 (.66%), the Russell -15.20 (.93%) and the DJ Transports the big winner at +105.67 (.90%). Internals were soft at 1.5:1 on NYSE and 1.9:1 on the NAZ. The DJIA was 10 up, 20 down, with UNH the biggest decliner paring 64 DP’s off the average. Tomorrow we have UAL, WBA, MS, and TSM reporting as well as the continuing and initial claims, Phili Fed, Empire State and Export / Import numbers for Sept. Lots of stuff to digest. Our “open forum” on Discord, which allows you to interact with subscribers and others to allow direct questions and chart opinions on just about any stock, continues to grow with more participants every day. It is informative and allows me to share insights as the market is open and moving. The link is: https://discord.gg/ATvC7YZ and I will be there and active from before the open and all day. It’s a great place to share ideas and gain some insights, and we’ve grown to almost 3000 members. I also returned to my radio show today with a great live interview with the Chief Medical Officer of JANONE (JAN) and it was a great show. This is the link to the audio recording including my discussion of the market and the very exciting story of JAN’s phenomenal NON-OPIOID Pain Med! This is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCFCxnijFO4 Enjoy!! Yesterday’s interview with Joe Moscato, CEO of GNBT is available today at https://youtu.be/rJBtqC75g3A It’s a great story and this stock (I believe) won’t stay at these levels once there is a wider understanding of what this company actually has going for it!! Tonight’s closing comment video: https://youtu.be/Z-R_NRe9TLM SECTORS: There was good news for the banks, again, but by midday it just didn’t matter. Today’s losers were BAC, GS, and the biggest loser, UNH which was trading +2.50 premarket and never even made it to unchanged, finishing -9.57, which cost the DJIA 64DP’s. There was some good news for holders of Concho Resources. The talk is that they are a takeover candidate and after hitting $51.00 it closed on the lows, but still +4.79 (10.8%) on the day. FSLY holders weren’t quite so lucky. The stock which traded $10.63 in March has been a juggernaut, hitting $136.50 yesterday, reported after the close that their prior expectations of revenue “should not be relied upon.” It seems that geopolitical concerns had hampered their operation. The customer is the parent company of TIK TOK! While the numbers given (they report on 10/28) aren’t terrible, when your stock has risen the way this one has, it’s a problem. The last on it in late trading was $91.28 -37.55 (30%) after a low of $86.40. Even at this lower price, the stock is still up from the start of the year by 400%. Another favorite, DraftKings (DKNG) has not acted well since doing their offering last week priced about $4.00 under the market @ $52.00 and has not been able to climb back over that level. The stock closed $48.04 -3.14 today (6.14%). The continuing Covid-19 issues for major sports teams and cancelled and postponed may be weighing on the stock in the short term. After the close VRTX reported the end of their trial on a protein-deficiency treatment. The stock fell from its close of $371.46 -4.63 to trade $235.01 and closed $239 -37.09 (13.43%). New Group: AIR & CRUISE LINES were HIGHER with +.64, HA +.03, ALK +.53, and XTN $61.57 +.52 (.85%). FOOD SUPPLY CHAIN was LOWER with TSN +.26, BGS -.24, FLO -.11, CPB -.15, CAG -.38, MDLZ -.38, CALM -.15, JJSF -.43, SAFM +.03, HRL -.41, SJM -1.12, PPC +.89, KR -1.10, and PBJ $34.56 -.28 (.78%). BIOPHARMA was LOWER with BIIB -3.46, ABBV -.40, REGN -3.02, ISRG -4.27, GILD +.01, MYL -.28, TEVA -.08, VRTX -37.10, BHC -.04, INCY -3.36, ICPT -.80, LABU -4.26, and IBB $141.60 -2.74 (1.9%). CANNABIS: was LOWER with TLRY -.03, CGC -.42, CRON -.10, GWPH +.68, ACB -.23, CURLF -.18, KERN -.17, and MJ $11.49 -.13 (1.12%). DEFENSE was HIGHER with LMT +3.52, GD -.35, TXT unchanged, NOC +2.29, BWXT +.88, TDY +2.94, RTX +.47, and ITA $163.58 +.90 (.55%). RETAIL: was MIXED with M -.02, JWN -.13, KSS +.04, DDS +.32, WMT -2.23, TGT -2.04, TJX +.03, RL +.72, UAA -.29, LULU -4.34, TPR +.08, CPRI +.01, and a new addition GPS +.27, and XRT $54.07 -.45 (.83%). MEGA-CAPS & FAANG were HIGHER with GOOGL -4.56, AMZN -91.63, AAPL -.29, FB -4.74, NFLX -15.09, NVDA -7.93, TSLA +13.70, BABA +9.33, BIDU +8.65, CMG -3.84, CRM -6.85, BA +1.36, CAT +1.49, DIS -2.36, and XLK $122.02 -.65 (.53%). PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THESE PRICES ARE LATE MARKET QUOTES AND DO NOT REPRESENT THE 4:00 CLOSES. FINANCIALS were LOWER with GS +.42, JPM -.44, BAC -1.20, MS +.64, C -.64, PNC -2.61, AIG -.07, TRV -.86, V -1.82, and XLF $24.78 -.24 (.96%). OIL, $41.04 +.84, Oil was near recent highs and sold off hard Friday touching $37.61 (down about 6%) before mounting a rally back to close today just over $41, near recent highs. The stocks were MIXED with XLE $30.52 +.13 (.43%). GOLD $1,907.30 +12.70, opened HIGHER and made a slightly higher high and a higher low, closing near the highs of the day. There were several “unusual options action” looking for another 10-12% on the upside before year end. BITCOIN: closed $11410 -30. After breaking out over $10,000 we have had a “running correction” pushing prices toward $12,000, reaching a recovery high of $12220 Thursday, and after a day of rest in between, we resumed the rally touching $12,635, but have sold off back to support. We had 750 shares of GBTC and sold off 250 last week at $13.93 and still have 500 with a cost of $8.45. GBTC closed $12.20 -.18 today. Tomorrow is another day. CAM
For Trading October 7th Reversal by Tweet “No Deal Until After I’m Re-elected” Today’s market was split early with the DJIA higher and the NASDAQ lower. It made some headway all day, never quite catching up, and then after “THE TWEET” we reversed hard and the DJIA finished -375.88 (1.34%), NASDAQ -177.88 (1.57%), S&P 500 -47.68 (1.4%), the Russell held better only down 4.67 (.30%) and Transports -82.85 (.72%). My guess is that the president’s misdirection play will be reversed when it politically suits him, and the market will rally again as he tries everything in the book, except of course, actual action, to get that second term. Market internals were negative, but not terrible with NYSE just 4:3 down and the NASDAQ 10:7, with all but 3 DJIA stocks lower. BA was the leader on the downside trimming 77 DP’s off the index and PG and DD, lower by less than $1, and CSCO unchanged. Our “open forum” on Discord, which allows you to interact with subscribers and others to allow direct questions and chart opinions on just about any stock, continues to grow with more participants every day. It is informative and allows me to share insights as the market is open and moving. The link is: https://discord.gg/ATvC7YZ and I will be there and active from before the open and all day. It’s a great place to share ideas and gain some insights, and we’ve grown to almost 3000 members. I also returned to my radio show today with a great live interview with the Chief Medical Officer of JANONE (JAN) and it was a great show. This is the link to the audio recording including my discussion of the market and the very exciting story of JAN’s phenomenal NON-OPIOID Pain Med! This is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCFCxnijFO4 Enjoy!! TUESDAY’S RADIO SHOW: https://youtu.be/dJGunoIqLZU v With my guest: David Weinstein on Bio-Hacking !! Tonight’s closing comment video: https://youtu.be/vBwoKu3apTI SECTORS: There was some good news for LEVI. The estimates were for a loss of $ .22/share and when they reported a profit of $ .08, increased margins and 52% growth in Ecommerce the stock took off. The last 10 days had the stock moving higher from $11.91 to today’s high of $15.27 before closing a bit lower at $14.74. In extended hours, the stock hit $16.78 and is currently $16.20 +1.19 (7.86%). The news for Social Capital’s SPAC III (IPOC) was evidently a disappointment. Chalmath Palihapitiya gave the story on CNBC before the open and the stock did nothing but head south. It closed $10.95- 1.73 (13.64%), but the big surprise to me was that Social Capital II also fell, closing $17.49 -2.22 (11.26%) and it has a completely different merger going on in the real estate business. Defies logic, but since we’re in both, I’m staying long. And the HOME RUN of the Day, PPSI, Pioneer Power Solutions, a little know company with the only recent news was a Form 4 (insider buying) filed in August for a purchase 1,000 shares of the stock at an average price of $1.40. The stock was trading $2.91 +1.34 pre-market (86%) and at the end of the day it was $5.83 +4.28 (273%) and in late trading it hit $9.43 and closed $6.20 +4.63 (294.9%). Quite a day for a stock with no news!! New Group: AIR & CRUISE LINES were MIXED with the cruise lines up and the airlines lower. CCL +.29, RCL +.81, NCLH +.36, AAL -.68, DAL -1.14, LUV -1.15, UAL -1.49, HA -.36, ALK -1.57, and XTN $59.35 -.72 (1.21%). FOOD SUPPLY CHAIN was LOWER with TSN -.50, BGS -.22, FLO -.29, CPB -.39, CAG -.45, MDLZ –1.04, KHC -.24, CALM +.30, -.14 (.4%). BIOPHARMA was LOWER with BIIB -3.03, ABBV -2.15, REGN -24.08, ISRG -8.68, GILD -1.10, MYL -.29, TEVA -.11, VRTX -7.98, BHC -.82, INCY -3.70, ICPT -2.03, LABU -1.53, and IBB $137.88 -1.69 (1.21%). CANNABIS: was LOWER with TLRY -.46, CGC -.59, CRON -.,19, GWPH +1.45, ACB -.18, CURLF -.13, KERN -.07 and MJ $10.53 -.30 (2.77%). DEFENSE was LOWER with LMT -7.62, GD -.42, TXT -.68, NOC -3.21, BWXT -1.18, TDY -.65, RTX -1.06, and ITA $159.19 -2.99 (1.84%). RETAIL: was LOWER with M -.24, JWN -.46, KSS -1.01, DDS +.64, WMT -1.35, TGT -1.70, TJX -1.19, RL -2.54, UAA -.49, LULU -9.75, TPR -.06, CPRI -.28, and XRT $51.76 -1.01 (1.91%). MEGA-CAPS & FAANG were LOWER with GOOGL -40.83, AMZN -101.20, AAPL -3.30, FB -7.87, NFLX -16.28, NVDA +6.30, TSLA -12.46, BABA +3.53, BIDU +.13, CMG +3.34, CRM -1.64, BA -11.20, CAT -2.04, DIS -2,34, and XLK $115.64 -1.82 (1.55%). PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THESE PRICES ARE LATE MARKET QUOTES AND DO NOT REPRESENT THE 4:00 CLOSES. FINANCIALS were LOWER with interest rates, with GS -1.02, JPM -.94, BAC -.21, MS -.87, C -.51, PNC -2.72, AIG -.07, TRV -.38, V -2.77, and XLF $24.45 -.25 (1.01%). OIL, $40.67 +1.45, Oil was near recent highs and sold off hard Friday touching $37.61 (down about 6%) before mounting a rally back to close +2.17. The stocks were LOWER with XLE $29.74 -.45 (1.49%). GOLD $1,908.80 -11.30, opened HIGHER and made a slightly higher high and a higher low, closing near the highs of the day. There were several “unusual options action” looking for another 10-12% on the upside before year end. BITCOIN: closed $10,630 -185. After breaking out over $10,000 we have had a “running correction” pushing prices toward $12,000, reaching a recovery high of $12220 Thursday, and after a day of rest in between, we resumed the rally touching $12,635, but have sold off back to support. We had 750 shares of GBTC and sold off 250 last week at $13.93 and still have 500 with a cost of $8.45. GBTC closed $10.85 -.43 today. Tomorrow is another day. CAM
The Next Crypto Wave: The Rise of Stablecoins and its Entry to the U.S. Dollar Market
Author: Christian Hsieh, CEO of Tokenomy This paper examines some explanations for the continual global market demand for the U.S. dollar, the rise of stablecoins, and the utility and opportunities that crypto dollars can offer to both the cryptocurrency and traditional markets. The U.S. dollar, dominant in world trade since the establishment of the 1944 Bretton Woods System, is unequivocally the world’s most demanded reserve currency. Today, more than 61% of foreign bank reserves and nearly 40% of the entire world’s debt is denominated in U.S. dollars1. However, there is a massive supply and demand imbalance in the U.S. dollar market. On the supply side, central banks throughout the world have implemented more than a decade-long accommodative monetary policy since the 2008 global financial crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbated the need for central banks to provide necessary liquidity and keep staggering economies moving. While the Federal Reserve leads the effort of “money printing” and stimulus programs, the current money supply still cannot meet the constant high demand for the U.S. dollar2. Let us review some of the reasons for this constant dollar demand from a few economic fundamentals.
Demand for U.S. Dollars
Firstly, most of the world’s trade is denominated in U.S. dollars. Chief Economist of the IMF, Gita Gopinath, has compiled data reflecting that the U.S. dollar’s share of invoicing was 4.7 times larger than America’s share of the value of imports, and 3.1 times its share of world exports3. The U.S. dollar is the dominant “invoicing currency” in most developing countries4. https://preview.redd.it/d4xalwdyz8p51.png?width=535&format=png&auto=webp&s=9f0556c6aa6b29016c9b135f3279e8337dfee2a6 https://preview.redd.it/wucg40kzz8p51.png?width=653&format=png&auto=webp&s=71257fec29b43e0fc0df1bf04363717e3b52478f This U.S. dollar preference also directly impacts the world’s debt. According to the Bank of International Settlements, there is over $67 trillion in U.S. dollar denominated debt globally, and borrowing outside of the U.S. accounted for $12.5 trillion in Q1 20205. There is an immense demand for U.S. dollars every year just to service these dollar debts. The annual U.S. dollar buying demand is easily over $1 trillion assuming the borrowing cost is at 1.5% (1 year LIBOR + 1%) per year, a conservative estimate. https://preview.redd.it/6956j6f109p51.png?width=487&format=png&auto=webp&s=ccea257a4e9524c11df25737cac961308b542b69 Secondly, since the U.S. has a much stronger economy compared to its global peers, a higher return on investments draws U.S. dollar demand from everywhere in the world, to invest in companies both in the public and private markets. The U.S. hosts the largest stock markets in the world with more than $33 trillion in public market capitalization (combined both NYSE and NASDAQ)6. For the private market, North America’s total share is well over 60% of the $6.5 trillion global assets under management across private equity, real assets, and private debt investments7. The demand for higher quality investments extends to the fixed income market as well. As countries like Japan and Switzerland currently have negative-yielding interest rates8, fixed income investors’ quest for yield in the developed economies leads them back to the U.S. debt market. As of July 2020, there are $15 trillion worth of negative-yielding debt securities globally (see chart). In comparison, the positive, low-yielding U.S. debt remains a sound fixed income strategy for conservative investors in uncertain market conditions. Source: Bloomberg Last, but not least, there are many developing economies experiencing failing monetary policies, where hyperinflation has become a real national disaster. A classic example is Venezuela, where the currency Bolivar became practically worthless as the inflation rate skyrocketed to 10,000,000% in 20199. The recent Beirut port explosion in Lebanon caused a sudden economic meltdown and compounded its already troubled financial market, where inflation has soared to over 112% year on year10. For citizens living in unstable regions such as these, the only reliable store of value is the U.S. dollar. According to the Chainalysis 2020 Geography of Cryptocurrency Report, Venezuela has become one of the most active cryptocurrency trading countries11. The demand for cryptocurrency surges as a flight to safety mentality drives Venezuelans to acquire U.S. dollars to preserve savings that they might otherwise lose. The growth for cryptocurrency activities in those regions is fueled by these desperate citizens using cryptocurrencies as rails to access the U.S. dollar, on top of acquiring actual Bitcoin or other underlying crypto assets.
The Rise of Crypto Dollars
Due to the highly volatile nature of cryptocurrencies, USD stablecoin, a crypto-powered blockchain token that pegs its value to the U.S. dollar, was introduced to provide stable dollar exposure in the crypto trading sphere. Tether is the first of its kind. Issued in 2014 on the bitcoin blockchain (Omni layer protocol), under the token symbol USDT, it attempts to provide crypto traders with a stable settlement currency while they trade in and out of various crypto assets. The reason behind the stablecoin creation was to address the inefficient and burdensome aspects of having to move fiat U.S. dollars between the legacy banking system and crypto exchanges. Because one USDT is theoretically backed by one U.S. dollar, traders can use USDT to trade and settle to fiat dollars. It was not until 2017 that the majority of traders seemed to realize Tether’s intended utility and started using it widely. As of April 2019, USDT trading volume started exceeding the trading volume of bitcoina12, and it now dominates the crypto trading sphere with over $50 billion average daily trading volume13. https://preview.redd.it/3vq7v1jg09p51.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=46f11b5f5245a8c335ccc60432873e9bad2eb1e1 An interesting aspect of USDT is that although the claimed 1:1 backing with U.S. dollar collateral is in question, and the Tether company is in reality running fractional reserves through a loose offshore corporate structure, Tether’s trading volume and adoption continues to grow rapidly14. Perhaps in comparison to fiat U.S. dollars, which is not really backed by anything, Tether still has cash equivalents in reserves and crypto traders favor its liquidity and convenience over its lack of legitimacy. For those who are concerned about Tether’s solvency, they can now purchase credit default swaps for downside protection15. On the other hand, USDC, the more compliant contender, takes a distant second spot with total coin circulation of $1.8 billion, versus USDT at $14.5 billion (at the time of publication). It is still too early to tell who is the ultimate leader in the stablecoin arena, as more and more stablecoins are launching to offer various functions and supporting mechanisms. There are three main categories of stablecoin: fiat-backed, crypto-collateralized, and non-collateralized algorithm based stablecoins. Most of these are still at an experimental phase, and readers can learn more about them here. With the continuous innovation of stablecoin development, the utility stablecoins provide in the overall crypto market will become more apparent.
In addition to trade settlement, stablecoins can be applied in many other areas. Cross-border payments and remittances is an inefficient market that desperately needs innovation. In 2020, the average cost of sending money across the world is around 7%16, and it takes days to settle. The World Bank aims to reduce remittance fees to 3% by 2030. With the implementation of blockchain technology, this cost could be further reduced close to zero. J.P. Morgan, the largest bank in the U.S., has created an Interbank Information Network (IIN) with 416 global Institutions to transform the speed of payment flows through its own JPM Coin, another type of crypto dollar17. Although people argue that JPM Coin is not considered a cryptocurrency as it cannot trade openly on a public blockchain, it is by far the largest scale experiment with all the institutional participants trading within the “permissioned” blockchain. It might be more accurate to refer to it as the use of distributed ledger technology (DLT) instead of “blockchain” in this context. Nevertheless, we should keep in mind that as J.P. Morgan currently moves $6 trillion U.S. dollars per day18, the scale of this experiment would create a considerable impact in the international payment and remittance market if it were successful. Potentially the day will come when regulated crypto exchanges become participants of IIN, and the link between public and private crypto assets can be instantly connected, unlocking greater possibilities in blockchain applications. Many central banks are also in talks about developing their own central bank digital currency (CBDC). Although this idea was not new, the discussion was brought to the forefront due to Facebook’s aggressive Libra project announcement in June 2019 and the public attention that followed. As of July 2020, at least 36 central banks have published some sort of CBDC framework. While each nation has a slightly different motivation behind its currency digitization initiative, ranging from payment safety, transaction efficiency, easy monetary implementation, or financial inclusion, these central banks are committed to deploying a new digital payment infrastructure. When it comes to the technical architectures, research from BIS indicates that most of the current proofs-of-concept tend to be based upon distributed ledger technology (permissioned blockchain)19. https://preview.redd.it/lgb1f2rw19p51.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=040bb0deed0499df6bf08a072fd7c4a442a826a0 These institutional experiments are laying an essential foundation for an improved global payment infrastructure, where instant and frictionless cross-border settlements can take place with minimal costs. Of course, the interoperability of private DLT tokens and public blockchain stablecoins has yet to be explored, but the innovation with both public and private blockchain efforts could eventually merge. This was highlighted recently by the Governor of the Bank of England who stated that “stablecoins and CBDC could sit alongside each other20”. One thing for certain is that crypto dollars (or other fiat-linked digital currencies) are going to play a significant role in our future economy.
There is never a dull moment in the crypto sector. The industry narratives constantly shift as innovation continues to evolve. Twelve years since its inception, Bitcoin has evolved from an abstract subject to a familiar concept. Its role as a secured, scarce, decentralized digital store of value has continued to gain acceptance, and it is well on its way to becoming an investable asset class as a portfolio hedge against asset price inflation and fiat currency depreciation.Stablecoins have proven to be useful as proxy dollars in the crypto world, similar to how dollars are essential in the traditional world. It is only a matter of time before stablecoins or private digital tokens dominate the cross-border payments and global remittances industry. There are no shortages of hypes and experiments that draw new participants into the crypto space, such as smart contracts, new blockchains, ICOs, tokenization of things, or the most recent trends on DeFi tokens. These projects highlight the possibilities for a much more robust digital future, but the market also needs time to test and adopt. A reliable digital payment infrastructure must be built first in order to allow these experiments to flourish. In this paper we examined the historical background and economic reasons for the U.S. dollar’s dominance in the world, and the probable conclusion is that the demand for U.S. dollars will likely continue, especially in the middle of a global pandemic, accompanied by a worldwide economic slowdown. The current monetary system is far from perfect, but there are no better alternatives for replacement at least in the near term. Incremental improvements are being made in both the public and private sectors, and stablecoins have a definite role to play in both the traditional and the new crypto world. Thank you. Reference:  How the US dollar became the world’s reserve currency, Investopedia  The dollar is in high demand, prone to dangerous appreciation, The Economist  Dollar dominance in trade and finance, Gita Gopinath  Global trades dependence on dollars, The Economist & IMF working papers  Total credit to non-bank borrowers by currency of denomination, BIS  Biggest stock exchanges in the world, Business Insider  McKinsey Global Private Market Review 2020, McKinsey & Company  Central banks current interest rates, Global Rates  Venezuela hyperinflation hits 10 million percent, CNBC  Lebanon inflation crisis, Reuters  Venezuela cryptocurrency market, Chainalysis  The most used cryptocurrency isn’t Bitcoin, Bloomberg  Trading volume of all crypto assets, coinmarketcap.com  Tether US dollar peg is no longer credible, Forbes  New crypto derivatives let you bet on (or against) Tether’s solvency, Coindesk  Remittance Price Worldwide, The World Bank  Interbank Information Network, J.P. Morgan  Jamie Dimon interview, CBS News  Rise of the central bank digital currency, BIS  Speech by Andrew Bailey, 3 September 2020, Bank of England
Alright guys, Ive been working on this for a while and a post on here by a guy describing his portfolio here was the final kick in the ass for me to put this together. I started writing this to summarize what Im doing for my friends who are beginners, and also for me to make some sense of it for myself Hopefully parts of it are useful to you, and also ideally you guys can point out errors or have a suggestion or two. I'm posting this here as opposed to investing or canadianinvestor (blech) because they're just gonna tell me to buy an index fund. This first section is a preamble describing the Canadian tax situation and why Im doing things the way that I am. Feel free to skip it if you dont care about that. Also, there might be mistake regarding what the laws are here so dont take my word for it and verify it for yourself please. So here in Canada we have two types of registered accounts (theres actually more but whatver). There is the TFSA "Tax Free Savings Account", and RRSP "Registered Retirement Savings Account" For the sake of simplicity, from the time you turn 18 you are allowed to deposit 5k (it changes year to year based on inflation etc)in each of them. That "room" accumulates retroactively, so if you haventdone anything and are starting today and you are 30 you have around 60k you can put in each of them. The prevailing wisdom is that you should max out the TFSA first and you'll see why in a minute. TFSA is post tax deposits, with no capital gains or other taxes applied to selling your securities, dividends or anything else. You can withdraw your gains at any time, and the amount that you withdraw is added to the "room" you have for the next year. So lets say I maxed out my TFSA contributions and I take out 20k today, on January of next year I can put back in 20k plus the 5 or whatever they allow for that year. You can see how powerful this is. Theres a few limitations on what is eligable to be held in the TFSA such as bitcoin/bitcoin ETFs, overseas stocks that arent listed on NYSE, TSX, london and a few others. You can Buy to Open and Sell to Close call and put options as well as write Covered Calls. The RRSP is pre-tax deposits and is a tax deferred scheme. You deposit to lower your income tax burden (and hopefully drop below a bracket) but once you retire you will be taxed on anything you pull out. Withdrawing early has huge penalties and isnt recommended. You are however allowed to borrow against it for a down payment as a first time home buyer. The strategy with these is that a youngperson entering the workforce is likely to be in a fairly low tax bracket and (hopefully) earns more money as they get older and more skilled so the RRSP has more value the greater your pre-taxincome is. You can also do this Self Directed. Its not relevant to this strategy but I included it for the sake of context. Non registered accounts ( or any other situation, such as selling commercial real estate etc) is subject to a capital gains tax. In so far as I understand it, you add all your gains and losses up at the end of the year. If its a positive number, you cut that number IN HALF and add it to your regular pre-tax income. So if I made 60k from the dayjob and 20k on my margin account that adds up to 70k that I get taxed on. if its a loss, you carry that forward into the next year. Theres no distinction between long term and short term. Also physical PMs are treated differently and I'll fill that part in later once I have the details down. The reason why all that babble is important is that my broker Questrade, which isnt as good as IB (the only real other option up here as far as Im aware) has one amazing feature that no other broker has: "Margin Power" If you have a TFSA and a Margin account with them, you can link them together and have your securities in the TFSA collateralise your Margin account. Essentially, when it comes to the Maintenance Excess of the Margin Account QT doesnt care if its in the TFSA *or* the Margin! You can see how powerful this is. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ So as you can tell by the title, a lot of this is heavily inspired by Chris Cole's paper "The Allegory of the Hawk and the Serpent". You can read it here: https://www.artemiscm.com/welcome#research Between it, his interviews and my mediocre options skills at the time my mind was blown. Unfortunately I didnt know how to do the Long Volatility part until after the crash in March but I've since then had nothing but time to scour the internet and learn as much as I could. The way I interpret this isnt necessarily "what you should have right now", but what abstracted model they were able to backtest that gave them the best performance over the 90 years. Also, a lot of my portfolio I already had before I started trying to build this. As such my allocations dont match the proportions he gave. Not saying my allocations are better, just showing where they are at this time. I'm going to describe how I do Long Volatility at the end rather than the beginning since the way *I* do it wont make sense until you see the rest of the portflio. Physical PMs 22% I'm not sure wether he intended this to be straight up physical gold or include miners and royalty streaming companies so I will just keep this as physical. I consider Silver to be a non-expiring call option on gold, so that can live here too. I am actually *very* overweight silver and my strategy is to convert a large portion of it to gold (mostly my bars) to gold as the ratio tightens up. If youre into crypto, you can arguably say that has a place in this section. If an ETF makes sense for part of your portfolio, I suggest the Sprott ones such as PHYS. Sprott is an honest business and they actually have the metal they say they have. If you have enough, you can redeem your shares from the Royal Canadian Mint. The only downside is that they dont have an options chain, so you cant sell covered calls etc. Simple enough I suppose. One thing to bear in mind, there is a double edged sword with this class of assets. They're out of the system, theyre nobody's business but your own and theres no counter party. That unfortunately means that you cant lever against it for margin or sell covered calls etc. You can still buy puts though (more on that later) Commodity Trend (CTA) 10% https://youtu.be/tac8sWPZW0w Patrick Ceresna gave a good presentation on what this strategy is. Until I watched this video I just thought it meant "buy commodities". A real CTA does this with futures also so aside from the way he showed, there are two other ETFs that are worth looking at. COM - This is an explicit trend following ETF that follows a LONG/FLAT strategy instead of LONG/SHORT on a pile of commodity futures. So if they get a "sell" signal for oil or soybeans they sell what they have and go to cash. COMT- Holds an assortment of different month futures in different commodities, as well as a *lot* of various related shares in producers. Its almost a one stop shop commodities portfolio. Pays a respectable dividend in December If you want to break the "rules" of CTA, and include equities theres a few others that are also worth looking at KOL- This is a coal ETF. The problems with it are that a lot of the holdings dont have much to do with coal. One of them is a tractor company. A lot of the companies are Chinese so theres a bit of a red flag. Obviously Thermal Coal, the kind used for heating and powerplants isnt in vogue and wont be moving forward...but coking coal is used for steel manufacturing and that ain't going anywhere. The dividend is huge, pays out in December. A very very small position might be worth the risk. Uranium- I'm in URA because thats the only way for me to get exposure to Kazatoprom (#1 producer), which is 20% of the holdings. The other 20% is Cameco (#2 producer)and then its random stuff. Other than that I have shares in Denison which seems like its a good business with some interesting projects underway. I'm still studying the uranium space so I dont really have much to say about it of any value. RSX- Russia large caps. If you dont want to pick between the myriad of undervalued, high dividend paying commodity companies that Russia has then just grab this. It only pays in December but it has a liquid options chain so you can do Covered Calls in the meantime if you want. NTR- Nutrien, canadian company that was formed when two others merged. They are now the worlds largest potash producer. Pretty good dividend. They have some financial difficulties and the stocks been in a downtrend forever. I feel its a good candidate to watch or sell some puts on. I'm trying to come up with a way to play agriculture since this new phase we're going to be entering is likely to cause huge food shortages. EURN and NAT- I got in fairly early on the Tanker hype before it was even hype as a way to short oil but I got greedy and lost a lot of my gains. I pared down my position and I'm staying for the dividend. If you get an oil sell signal, this might be a way to play that still. Fixed Income/Bonds 10% Now, I am not a bond expert but unless youre doing some wacky spreads with futures or whatever... I dont see much reason to buy government debt any more. If you are, youre basically betting that they take rates negative. Raoul Pal of Real Vision is pretty firm in his conviction that this will happen. I know better than to argue with him but I dont see risk/reward as being of much value. HOWEVER, I found two interesting ETFs that seem to bring something to this portfolio IVOL- This is run by Nancy Davis, and is comprised of TIPS bonds which are nominally inflation protected (doubt its real inflation but whatever) overlayed with some OTC options that are designed to pay off big if the Fed loses control of the long end of the yield curve, which is what might happen during a real inflation situation. Pays out a decent yield monthly TAIL- This is a simpler portfolio of 10yr treasuries with ladder of puts on the SPX. Pays quarterly. Equities 58% (shared with options/volatility below) This is where it gets interesting, obviously most of this is in mining shares but before I get to those I found some interesting stuff that I'm intending to build up as I pare down my miners when the time comes to start doing that. VIRT- I cant remember where I saw this, but people were talking about this as a volatility play. Its not perfect, but look at the chart compared to SPY. Its a HFT/market making operation, the wackier things get the more pennies they can scalp. A 4% dividend isnt shabby either. FUND- This is an interesting closed end fund run by Whitney George, one of the principals at Sprott. He took it with him when he joined the company. Ive read his reports and interviews and I really like his approach to value and investing. He's kind of like if Warren Buffett was a gold bug. Theres 120 holdings in there, mostly small caps and very diverse...chicken factories, ball bearings all kinds of boring ass shit that nobody knows exists. Whats crucial is that most of it "needs to exist". Between him, his family and other people at Sprott they control 40% or so of the shares, so they definitely have skin in the game. Generous dividend. ZIG- This is a "deep value" strategy fund, run by Tobias Carlisle. He has a fairly simple valuation formula called the Acquirer's Multiple that when he backtested it, is supposed to perform very well. He did an interview with Chris Cole on real Vision where he discusses how Value and Deep Value havent done well recently, but over the last 100 years have proven to be very viable strategies. If we feel that theres a new cycle brewing, then this strategy may work again moving forward. I want to pause and point out something here, Chris Cole, Nassim Taleb and the guys at Mutiny Fund spend a lot of effort explaining that building a portfolio is a lot like putting together a good basketall team. They need to work together, and pick up each others slack A lot of the ETFs I'm listing here are in many ways portfolios in and of themselves and are *actively managed*. I specifically chose them because they follow a methodology that I respect but I can't do myself because I dont have the skill, temperament or access to. The next one is a hidden gem and ties into this. I'm not sure how much more upside there is in this one but man was I surprised. SII- Sprott Inc. I *never* see people listing this stock in their PMs portfolios. A newsletter I'm subscribed to described this stock as the safest way to play junior miners. Their industry presence, intellectual capital and connections means that they get *the best* private placement deals in the best opportunities. I cant compete with a staff like theirs and I'm not going to try. I bought this at 2.50, and I liked the dividend. Since then they did a reverse split to get on the NYSE and like the day after the stock soared. When it comes to mining ETFS I like GOAU and SILJ the best. None of their major holdings are dead weight companies that are only there because of market cap. I dont want Barrick in my portfolio etc. SGDJ is a neat version of GDXJ. Aside from that my individual miners/royalty companies are (no particular order) MMX SAND PAAS PGM AUM AG MUX RIO- Rio2 on the tsx, not rio tinto KTN KL Options/Volatility: varies So this is where we get to the part about options, Volatility and how I do it. I started out in the options space with The Wheel strategy and the Tastytrade approach of selling premium. The spreads and puts I sell, are on shares listed above, in fact some of those I dont hold anymore. Theres tons of stuff on this in thetagang and options so I wont go into a whole bunch (and you shouldnt be learning the mechanics from me anyway) but theres one thing I want to go over before it gets wild. If I sell a Cash Secured Put, from a risk management perspective its identical to just buying 100 shares of the underlying security. You are equally "Short Vol" as well, it just that with options its a little more explicit with the Greeks and everything. But if I use my margin that I was talking about earlier, then I can still collect the premium and the interest doesnt kick in unless Im actually assigned the shares. But if I sell too many puts on KL or AG, and something happens where the miners get cut down (and lets be real, they all move together) my margin goes down and then I get assigned and kaboom...my account gets blown up So what I need to do, is balance out the huge Short Vol situation in my portfolio, be net Long Vol and directly hedge my positions. Since the overwhelming majority of my equities are all tied to bullion this is actually a very easy thing to do. Backspreads https://youtu.be/pvX5_rkm5x0 https://youtu.be/-jTvWOGVsK8 https://youtu.be/muYjjm934iY So I set this up so the vast majority of my margin is tied up in these 1-2 or even 1-3 ratio put spreads that *I actually put on for a small credit*, and roll them every once in a while. I run them on SLV, and GDX. I keep enough room on my margin so I can withstand a 10% drawdown before it sets off the long end of the spreads and then I can ride it out until it turns around and we keep the PM bull market going. Theres another cool spread I've been using, which is a modified Jade Lizard; if already hold shares, I'll sell a put, sell a covered call, and use some of the premium to buy a longer dated call. Ive been running this on AG mostly. I have a few more spreads I can show you but Im tired now so it'll have to wait for later. As I said multiple times, I do intend to trim these miners later but now isnt the time for that IMO. I'm also monitoring this almost full time since I have an injury and have nothing better to do until I heal :p
For Trading September 4th PROFIT TAKING HITS EVERYONE! NASDAQ -$598.84 (4.96%) Today’s market started with some good news on initial and continuing claims and while the DJIA was stronger than either the NAZ or S&P-500. However, it didn’t take long for everyone to get spooked by the continuing weakness that developed quickly, sending the NASDAQ lower without much of a bounce anywhere. While everyone has spoken about how AAPL’s split was going to reduce its effect on the DJIA, I guess they forgot it’s weight in the S&P and the QQQ’s. The DJIA actually made a higher high from yesterday before heading lower, and by 10:15 it was all over but the tears. By 11:30 we were -545 and after consolidating until 1:00 it headed lower again, making the low around 3:30 before a little rally back to close -807.77 (2.76%), NASDAQ -598.34 (4.96%), S&P-500 -125.78 (3.51%), the Russell -47.61 (2.99%), and the Transports -282.94 (2.47%). Internals were unimpressive with both down 3.8:1 and volume increased. The DJIA was 28:2 down with the winners, AXP and VZ up literally pennies! What is interesting is that fact that many of these stocks, down double digits are actually only down to levels that they just passed 2 weeks ago. Our “open forum” on Discord, which allows me to interact with subscribers and others to allow direct questions and chart opinions on just about any stock, continues to grow with more participants every day. It is informative and allows me to share insights as the market is open and moving. The link is: https://discord.gg/ATvC7YZ and I will be there and active from before the open and all day. It’s a great place to share ideas and gain some insights, and we’ve grown to almost 3000 members. I also returned to my radio show today with a great live interview with the Chief Medical Officer of JANONE (JAN) and it was a great show. This is the link to the audio recording including my discussion of the market and the very exciting story of JAN’s phenomenal NON-OPIOID Pain Med! This is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCFCxnijFO4 Enjoy!! TODAY’S RADIO SHOW: https://youtu.be/nwRM60J1Mu0 With my guest: Dennis Marlow! Tonight’s closing comment video: https://youtu.be/LgbF5Hr1vnM SECTORS: Yesterday I said we had a pullback in the biggest gainers with AAPL, TSLA, ZM, and CRM. Today that list was expanded to all of the mega-cap leaders and plenty of the names you probably own. There really weren’t many places to hide, and even some of the earnings winners turned lower. This could easily get ugly in the short term with tomorrow’s Unemployment numbers for August. After the close we had a beat on earnings and revenues, and guidance above consensus for Broadcom (AVGO) and after closing $352.09 -22.92, the stock continued lower to $343.50 -31.81 (8.48%), and DOCU, the online signing company suffered the same fate with better numbers and a major boost in business due to Covid-19 had closed $242.01 -23.15, continued lower to $220.50 -44.66 (16.82%). FOOD SUPPLY CHAIN was LOWER with CPB the biggest loser even with better than expected earnings. The stock fell $3.71 (7.07%) and the group was lower by between .30% and 3.26%. The ETF, PBJ finished $34.17 -.82 (2.33%). BIOPHARMA was LOWER with the best performer, MYL unchanged. REGN was -$36.65 (5.84%) and most down between 3 and 5%, and IBB $129.68 -5.29 (3.92%). CANNABIS: was LOWER with TLRY -.54 (8.42%) and the rest down 3-6%, and MJ $12.20 -.21 (1.69%). DEFENSE: was LOWER with TXT -2.61 (6.43%) and the rest down 1.25%-4% and ITA $166.77 -3.71 (2.18%). RETAIL: was MIXED with M the biggest winner $+.45 (6.38%) and LULU the loser $370 -28.29 (7.10%) and XRT $51.02 -2.25 (4.22%). FAANG and Big Cap: were LOWER with GOOGL -97.39, AMZN -217.45, AAPL -14.21, FB -17.25, NFLX -37.69, NVDA -79.86, TSLA -66.97, BABA -16.67, BIDU -4.26, CRM -17.69, CMG -65.03, BA -6.43, CAT -2.07, DIS -4.09, and XLK $117.30 -9.73 (7.66%). PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THESE PRICES ARE LATE MARKET QUOTES AND DO NOT REPRESENT THE 4:00 CLOSES. FINANCIALS were LOWER with most down 1 -1.75% and V the biggest loser -10.48 (4.84%) and XLF $25.10 -.39 (1.53%). OIL, $41.37 -.14. Oil was lower in today’s trading before we fell to the bottom of the day’s range. The stocks were MIXED with MPC the biggest loser -.99 (2.83%, HES the winner +.52 (1.13%) and XLE $34.98 -.26 (.74%). GOLD $1,937.80 -6.90, rose early in the session and moved higher to the 2,001 range before falling back to close midrange. I am still a bull on the metal, and we have a September bull call spread on using NEM 65/70 calls with a cost of $1.45, which closed today @ $1.90. BITCOIN: closed $10,720 -740. After breaking out over $10,000 we have had a “running correction” pushing prices toward $12,000, reaching a recovery high of $12220 Thursday, and after a day of rest in between, we resumed the rally touching $12,635, but have sold off back to support. We had 750 shares of GBTC and sold off 250 last week at $13.93 and still have 500 with a cost of $8.45. GBTC closed $12.02 -1.17 today. Tomorrow is another day. CAM
08-19 18:15 - 'PSA: Watch out for girls from Tinder who like fashion, investing and other random things. HAPPENING TO ME TOO RIGHT NOW :(' (self.Bitcoin) by /u/IfUDontKnowNowUKnow9 removed from /r/Bitcoin within 29-39min
''' This is my first time on reddit so bare with me. I saw this post " [PSA: Watch out for girls from Tinder who like fashion, hiking, investing and other random things.]1 " and thought I'd share what is currently happening to me. The short:The website is Mareix I put $4K in an ICO called GEP ( Genesis Earnings Paction Chain). I have to wait until Oct 15 to withdraw due to a subscribe end countdown. They even have a Whitebook pdf attached to the page. It would of been $5K but I was able to get $1k back by telling them "If this is real then I should be able to get money out that I didn't invest yet". Below is the LONG VERSION on how I got here. I was visiting Las Vegas this past July 2020 and looking on Tinder to see whos around. I found this Chinese girl by "Alisa". We match but don't talk for a week. [link]4 When I get back home to New York, we start sending messages. She is from Hong Kong. She says she used to know a beauty salon and started investing with the help from her Uncle. "I have my own beauty salon and my own investment income". "Before I was a beauty salon, I was a model". I let statements like this slide because I give foreigners the benefit of the doubt. Which in hindsight is dumb because they are expecting that from a dumb American like me. She then tells me she has been to Saipan. Sends me videos of "her" flying a Cessna [\"Alisa\" \"Flying\"]2 She tells me she is 30 years old and ends the conversation with a voice message saying "I'm going to go to bed, see you later". The next day I embarrassingly send her selfies of me with my shirt off but covering my face. "Your figure is good. Do you exercise regularly? When I travel to the United States, you come to protect me" I ask her to send me a picture. She responds "Dear, today my sister is going to have a baby, I will accompany her in the hospital". My first red flag. Who calls each other 'Dear'? I was once talking to a asian girl on google hangouts who turn out to be a Nigerian man.[The scam here was similar, they would build long term correspondence with you and then after a few month tell you they need money for hospital or emergency. But I saw through that one within a few days]. He called me dear a lot. So I started thinking, is this a scam? But what could I be scam for? Next day: Me - Congrats on you becoming an Auntie. Alisa - Hahaha. Today a little prince came to our big family, the sister and child are safe. Me - Do you want to have children? Alisa - Yeah I'm an aunt now. I like children very much. In the future I want a naughty boy and a quirky daughter. [Again, who talks like this? But I stupidly want to believe.] Alisa - I just finished taking a shower, now I turn on my computer and I am ready to view my latest investment trend chart. [and thats how it started] I want to share more but its a lot. If this gets a lot of interest, I'll continue with my naive story. [Which is currently still happening.] But for now I'll add all the photos of "her". Let me know if she looks like anyone. [link]5 [I know for certain this is not her, but it is Saipan.]3 [link]6 [link]7 [link]8 [link]9 [link]10 [link]11 [link]12 [link]13 ''' PSA: Watch out for girls from Tinder who like fashion, investing and other random things. HAPPENING TO ME TOO RIGHT NOW :( Go1dfish undelete link unreddit undelete link Author: IfUDontKnowNowUKnow9 1: old***ddit.com/Bitcoin/comment***u1*4c/*s*_wa*ch_o**_for_gi**s_f*om_*i*d***w*o*like/ 2: *ed*it.com/*in*/i*s**s/vid*o/bih0*sbcvzh5*/pla**r 3: re**i*.com/li*k*i*sb6s*video/zfuf*k*uvzh51/p**ye* 4: *rev**w.redd.it/*9*59*ihvzh*1.jpg?***th=828*a**;**r*at*pjpg&am**aut*=web*&**p;*=918*b82b54bf2*f*d3fde4c199**2d*3cb95d2aa 5: re****.com/lin*/icsb6s/video*tp*9q4*uvz*51/p*a*e* 6: red*it.com/li**/ic*b6s/vi*****uxr*zduv*h51/*layer 7: re*dit*co*/link*i*sb6s*video/g*mw6*l*v*h*1/p*ayer 8: pr*v**w.*edd.*t/uyaeri7qvz**1*j*g?width=*080&a*p;f*rmat=pjpg*amp**ut***eb*&a*p;s***4ce95f*83*f6*5*dac*9f03*bb1ad6b0*58f20 9: prev*e*.re**.*t*8****f7qvzh51*jp*?wid*h=1176&a*p;fo*mat=pjpg&am*;aut*=web*&*mp;s=09**8*4341**02*7da5c8e1f8c5**4b8*40e**97 10: previ*w.redd**t/n*kk7d7q**h51*jpg*w*d*h=1080&a*p;forma*=*j***a*p;*uto=*ebp**mp;s=f11**66*52df63*65f1f**7aa2c*dbea240*5e*a 11: p*e**ew.red**it/*uc*pg7qvzh5**jpg?w*dth=108*&am*;format=*jp*&**p;aut*=webp&a*p;*=1**37*61*bc**48800ff48a*d1db**efb*f*e3e3 12: previ**.redd**t*9smhfo**v*h51.jp*?w**th=1080&a**;f****t=pj*g&am*;a*to=web**amp;s=4d1*15a37afdcf0*d1d*9*50e*7a2c9*20*aa7*6 13: p*evie***e*d.it/c6*s*p7q*z**1.jpg?*idth=10*0&am*;f*rma*=pjp*&a*p;auto=we*p&*=c4194*d*d6b*c8**eb7*fd5*8**8*4bc6961231* Unknown links are censored to prevent spreading illicit content.
MCS | Bitcoin Bull-Run in 2017 Wasn't Made Overnight
\This post has been written by Hedgehog, an MCS influencer and one of Korea's famous cryptocurrency key opinion leaders.* https://preview.redd.it/k9mapuykcbg51.png?width=1024&format=png&auto=webp&s=4c6877b92219a594e437a378e889423953b230d0 #Be_a_Trader! Greetings from MCS, the derivatives trading platform where traders ALWAYS come first. https://preview.redd.it/xt8dvjslcbg51.png?width=640&format=png&auto=webp&s=fe58e59c2e4d42e57bd1221c92d190bbb9cf5769 As of 3PM August 9, 2020, the price of Bitcoin has once again exceeded $12,000, challenging the latest high of $12,154. The passage of additional stimulus packages failed in Congress last week, as opposed to the opposition Democrats who dominated the House of Representatives, anticipating an agreement on an additional US stimulus package. In response, President Trump signed an executive order for economic stimulus measures worth about $1 trillion with tax cuts in mind. The Bank of Korea also evaluated that "there will be abundant liquidity for the time being as major countries continue to have loose monetary policies." However, some investment banks predicted that gold prices would decline slightly after the third quarter. The market price of major cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, which is called 'digital gold' as it is not issued in a specific country, has also begun to wriggle again. Bitcoin, which is repeating both the bull and bear market at a rapid pace, based on the bitcoin chart from 2017, let's look at what is happening with bitcoin today. https://preview.redd.it/12jr58omcbg51.png?width=2364&format=png&auto=webp&s=05899a65448c1338f5ee6e6b5b959ca331fdbb11 When the bitcoin entered the bull market at the end of 2017, many cryptocurrency traders realized their economic freedom through bitcoin trading. This is a price chart from July 2017 to August 2020. You can see the chart of a steep rise in the Bitcoin market at the end of 2017. In fact, on November 13, 2017, the bitcoin price hit a short-term low of $5950, then hit $19497 on December 17, 2017, and is still the highest price in Bitcoin's history. Many cryptocurrency traders look only at the Bitcoin chart and once again make a big misunderstanding that once bitcoin enters the bull market, it will not decline and will make a steady rise. https://preview.redd.it/x4kmv17ncbg51.png?width=2348&format=png&auto=webp&s=7b0a8a7c9fce3de84f66096c265b49344e8df2ce The Bitcoin chart above shows the price of Bitcoin for about a month, from November 13, 2017, the short-term low of 2017 to December 19, the all-time high of Bitcoin. If you check the bitcoin chart at the time of 2017 as monthly candle and yearly candle, you may be mistaken that the price is rising every day. However if you look at the monthly chart at the time of the exact bull run, you can see that there is no unconditional increase. The Bitcoin price steadily increased, but you can see that there are numerous rises and falls until it hit the all-time high. In the bearish market, short position holders unavoidably appeared, creating numerous FUDs, and in the bullish market, long position holders appeared, spreading tremendous fantasies about Bitcoin to others. After doing dozens and hundreds of iterations, Bitcoin reached an all-time high of $19497. https://preview.redd.it/td9tn2uncbg51.png?width=2338&format=png&auto=webp&s=44de57e629dac4fa0ecc4711c27ade2c2132e84c The chart above is a chart of Bitcoin prices from just before Black Thursday in March to the present. From $4,000 after Black Thursday to now reaching $12,000, you can see at a glance that there have been numerous increases and decreases. Additional stimulus measures in the US, interest rate freeze, gold price rise, post halving, grayscale trust fund operation expansion, Ethereum 2.0 emergence. In addition, many US institutional investors are continuously entering the market for bitcoin investment with the strategy to hedge the global inflation. The times are good, but the price can't always go upward. Sometimes, the price of bitcoin is expected to rush toward its all-time high of $19497, with countless recurrences of a downtrend and then a bull market. Investing can't be someone else's behalf, and you shouldn't trust 100% of what others say. You must make profits by using your own investment principles and thorough management. Just because the bitcoin price has gone down for a while, don't be swept away by the FUD of short position holders, and you shouldn't fall into an unfounded illusion that it has turned into a bull market. I think that it is natural for all assets to fall as much as they have risen, and if you conduct good mind control, you can always make objective investment decisions which will produce better results.
💡 "Nothing is Forever in this World" - Charlie Chaplin
You should be aware of the Bitcoin charts that seem to continuously rise will always have an end to the upward trend at some point in time. Even when the ice age comes once again in the Bitcoin markets, there will always be a rise again after the fall. I encourage traders to realize economic freedom at the cryptocurrency derivatives exchange MCS! I am a Bitcoin margin trader, Hedgehog. Thank you for reading this post. 🔸 MCS Official Website : https://mycoinstory.com 🔸 MCS Telegram : https://t.me/mycoinstory_en Traders ALWAYS come first on MCS. Thank you. MCS Official Twitter (EN):https://twitter.com/mycoinstory_mcs MCS Official Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/MyCoinStory.official
New Lands, or New Eyes? | Monthly FIRE Portfolio Update - April 2020
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. - Marcel Proust, Remembrance of Things Past This is my forty-first portfolio update. I complete this update monthly to check my progress against my goal. Portfolio goal My objective is to reach a portfolio of $2 180 000 by 1 July 2021. This would produce a real annual income of about $87 000 (in 2020 dollars). This portfolio objective is based on an expected average real return of 3.99 per cent, or a nominal return of 6.49 per cent. Portfolio summary Vanguard Lifestrategy High Growth Fund – $697 582 Vanguard Lifestrategy Growth Fund – $40 709 Vanguard Lifestrategy Balanced Fund – $76 583 Vanguard Diversified Bonds Fund – $110 563 Vanguard Australian Shares ETF (VAS) – $174 864 Vanguard International Shares ETF (VGS) – $31 505 Betashares Australia 200 ETF (A200) – $215 805 Telstra shares (TLS) – $1 625 Insurance Australia Group shares (IAG) – $7 323 NIB Holdings shares (NHF) – $5 904 Gold ETF (GOLD.ASX) – $119 458 Secured physical gold – $19 269 Ratesetter (P2P lending) – $12 234 Bitcoin – $158 360 Raiz app (Aggressive portfolio) – $16 144 Spaceship Voyager app (Index portfolio) – $2 435 BrickX (P2P rental real estate) – $4 471 Total portfolio value: $1 694 834 (+$127 888 or 8.2%) Asset allocation Australian shares – 40.9% (4.1% under) Global shares – 21.7% Emerging markets shares – 2.2% International small companies – 3.0% Total international shares – 26.9% (3.1% under) Total shares – 67.8% (7.2% under) Total property securities – 0.3% (0.3% over) Australian bonds – 4.5% International bonds – 9.9% Total bonds – 14.4% (0.6% under) Gold – 8.2% Bitcoin – 9.3% Gold and alternatives – 17.5% (7.5% over) Presented visually, below is a high-level view of the current asset allocation of the portfolio. Comments This month featured a sharp recovery in the overall portfolio, reducing the size of the large losses experienced over the previous month. The portfolio increased by over $127 000, representing a growth of 8.2 per cent, which is the largest month-on-month growth on record. This now puts the portfolio value significantly above the levels of a year ago. [Chart] The expansion in the value of the portfolio has occurred due to an increase in Australian and global equities markets, as well as substantial increases the price of Bitcoin. This is effectively the mirror image of the simultaneous negative movements last month. From a nadir of initial pessimism in late March, markets have generally moved upwards as debate continues about the path of a likely economic recession and recovery from Coronavirus impacts over the coming year. [Chart] First quarter distributions from the Australian and Global Shares ETFs (A200, VAS and VGS) were received this month. These were too early to fully reflect the sharp economic activity impacts of the Coronavirus and lockdown period on company earnings. Despite this, they were significantly down on a cents per unit basis on the equivalent distributions last year. Totalling around $2700, these distributions formed part of new contributions to Vanguard's Australian shares ETF (VAS). The rapid falls in equity have many participants looking forward to a return to normalcy, or at least more open to the pleasing ideas that nerves have been held in a market fall comparable to 2000 or 2008-09, and that markets now represent clear value. As discussed last month, there should be caution and some humility about these questions, if some historical perspective is taken. As an example, the largest global equity market in the world - the United States - remains at valuation levels well above those experienced in previous market lows. Portfolio alternatives - tracking changes under the surface A striking feature of the past year or so has been the expansion of the non-traditional or 'alternatives' components of gold and Bitcoin as a proportion of the overall portfolio. Currently, when combined these alternative assets form a greater part of the portfolio than at any point over the past two years. The chart below shows that since January 2019 the gold and Bitcoin component of the portfolio has lifted from around its long term target level of 10 per cent, to now make up over 17 per cent of the portfolio. In the space of the last four months alone, it has lifted from 13 per cent. [Chart] With no purchases of either gold or Bitcoin over the period, the growth in the chart is the result of two reinforcing factors: A substantial fall in the value of the equity portfolio - reaching nearly $200 000 since the recent February market peak has naturally and mathematically led to a commensurate increase the proportion of other assets. Increases in the value of gold and Bitcoin - have also played a role with a total appreciation of around $150 000 across the two assets over the past 16 months. In fact, the value gold holdings alone have increased by over 40 per cent since January last year. Further appreciation of either gold or Bitcoin prices, particularly if any further falls in equity markets occur, could easily place the portfolio in the same position as experienced in January 2018. At that time these alternative assets made up 1 in every 5 dollars of the portfolio, an unusual, and in that case temporary phenomenon. This represents a different portfolio and risk exposure than that envisaged in my portfolio investment plan. Yet, equally it is critical to recall what the circumstances would likely be for this to arise. Simultaneously high gold and Bitcoin prices are more likely to occur in a situation of severe capital market dislocation, or falling confidence. On the other hand, should confidence and equity market growth be restored, both of these portfolio components could fall back to lower levels. It is difficult to tell which state of the world will eventuate, a key reason for diversification across asset types. United States government debt is already at record levels - equivalent in real terms to levels last seen when it emerged out of the Second World War - despite no similar national effort having being undertaken. Future inflation can potentially partly manage this burden, however, the last sustained episode of persistently high inflation rates during the decade of the 1970s spelt negative real returns. Where investors expect future inflation or financially 'repressive' policies of inflation exceeding interest rates, the economic growth required to 'grow out' of debt can be affected. At this point, my inclination is to address this circumstance gradually through time by re-balancing of distributions and new contributions, rather than to realise capital gains by selling assets at one, or several, points in time. Chasing down the lines - falling average spending in lockdown Since the implementation of lockdown restrictions, average credit card expenditure has fallen by nearly 30 per cent. This has taken credit card expenditure to lower than any similar period in the past six years. Partly as a result of this - as the chart below shows - a new development is occurring. The previously fairly steady card expenses line (red) is now starting to bend down towards, or 'chase', the rolling average distributions line (in blue). [Chart] The declining distributions line is a result of some previous high distributions gradually falling outside of the data 'window' for the rolling three-year comparison of distributions and expenditure. This intriguing picture will probably change before a cross-over occurs, as lockdown restrictions ease, and as the data feeding into the three year average slowly changes over time. Progress Progress against the objective, and the additional measures I have reached is set out below. Measure Portfolio All Assets Portfolio objective – $2 180 000 (or $87 000 pa) 77.7% 104.6% Credit card purchases – $71 000 pa 94.8% 127.6% Total expenses – $89 000 pa 76.0% 102.3% Summary Last month market volatility theoretically took progress down to below most of my financial independence benchmarks on an 'All Assets' (i.e. portfolio and superannuation assets) basis. This position has reversed this month. As markets have recovered and with additional spare time in the lockdown period, I have continued to seek out and think about different perspectives on the history and future of markets. Yet it must be recognised that there is a natural limit to the utility of these ponderings. The shape of the future is always uncertain, and in this world, confident comparisons and analogies with past events can be perilous. Comparisons with past periods of financial market crises miss the centrality of government action as a causal influence on the path of virus affected economies and markets. A virus and recovery is not the same as a global financial crisis originating in housing finance markets addressed through monetary and fiscal stimulus. Most developed country governments have quickly applied the same, if not larger versions of responses as applied in the global financial crisis, a distinguishing step that also makes analogies with the great depression era problematic. Similarly, a pandemic is not hitting and interacting with the shattered economic and health systems of the 1918-19 Spanish flu. Overlaying all of this is the imperfect and partially disconnected relationship between the economy today, and equity markets that discount and focus on the future. This makes all history's lessons more than usually caveated and conditional. One avenue for managing through these times is to focus on what does not change - the psychological difficulty of accepting alterations in financial circumstances and the capacity of markets movements to cruelly surprise us in both timing and direction. One of the best texts to read to get a sense of both of these in such times is Benjamin Roth's A Great Depression Diary. This tells of the day-by-day changes observed in everyday urban life and investment markets, from the point of view of an American small retail investor living through the times. This month also saw the exciting news that Pat the Shuffler and Strong Money Australia are combining efforts to produce a new podcast. Speaking of which, Big ERN's reflections on the current implications of sharemarket market movements for seekers of financial independence have been filled with insight and wisdom. This interesting piece (video) - the latest in a 'virus' market series - from New York University's Professor of Finance Aswath Damodaran on asset performances through the past few months - is a more technical and detailed discussion of how markets have re-priced businesses and profits. Finally, the recently released Hmmminar interview series provides a more heterodox set of speakers and ideas on current markets, presented by Grant Williams. Unlike predicting the future, seeking out different perspectives on it is perhaps the easiest it has ever been in history. While it is not always possible to change the course taken, it is possible to look at the same horizon with new eyes. The post, links and full charts can be seen here.
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