Why I'm not worried about a resurgence of inflation
TL/DR: Despite massive fiscal stimulus packages and seemingly never-ending quantitative easing programs, I don't believe we're headed towards a world of out-of-control inflation. Why? The prospect of permanent economic scarring in certain sectors due to extended lockdowns coupled with rapid technological adoption are two factors that are likely to keep price pressures low. Investors seem quite concerned about rising inflation risk, which is likely supporting the strong bid for inflation-hedging assets like gold and bitcoin year to date. Adding fuel to the fire, top money managers, like Bridgewater and BlackRock, have been vocal in financial media lately about the risk of a high-inflation regime down the road. A high-inflation regime would be a remarkable departure from the past decade, where inflation was relatively tame even despite ultra-low interest rates and the introduction of unconventional monetary policy tools, like quantitative easing (see chart here: https://ibb.co/Dt8nVFC). Similar to what was observed over the past cycle, I don't see recent policy action leading to sky-high inflation in the future.
First, it's important to note that fiscal and monetary stimulus is aresponseto a weak economic outlook. Direct income assistance (i.e. the CARES Act) is meant to help offset lost wages due to extended lockdowns and business closures. Those who believe inflation is going to materially rise would argue that the government built a "bridge too far" - though so far the pandemic has outlasted the duration of U.S. stimulus measures.
Second, the pandemic has supercharged the digital economy. E-commerce is exploding (see chart here: https://ibb.co/7GQknX6) - a long-term trend that I believe is likely here to stay. It is well studied that e-commerce is a deflationary force (read more here: https://www.nber.org/papers/w24649). The intuition is straightforward - the internet increases price transparency, lowers barriers to entry, fuels competition, and increases aggregate supply. More online shopping is likely to keep goods price inflation in check for now. This goes without mentioning innovations in the services sector, such as telehealth and online education, which could also keep inflation at bay.
Lastly, as a professional investor focused on global macro, predicting where the global economy is headed is hard and an incredibly humbling exercise. I prefer preparing my own portfolio for a range of outcomes - so while I personally hold some gold and bitcoin, I wouldn't bet the farm on a resurgence of inflation in the future.
Ultimate glossary of crypto currency terms, acronyms and abbreviations
Some Bitcoin Analysts and Prediction Today and Yesterday & Why "It's not the Price, Dummy"
This is just for fun, I generally have no strong feelings toward bitcoin price (I'm just fundamentally against zero-sum get rich schemes). But today I decided to do a little bitcoin search in news.google.com and see what today's bulls were predicting in 2018. Side note, almost all of the news articles came from crypto sites. I tried my best to stay away from them. Farming magazine telling you agriculture is the future isn't exactly shocking. To people who invest, please don't consider this as a prediction that price will fall. I'm not astute or smart enough to predict either way. The only possible use is to make sure you are more skeptic regarding predictions. Keep in mind, a rich CEO or consultant can lose 100 million and not really affect his life that much, but a 10k or 100k lose for some people can be devastating. And remember, some of these rich hedge managers don't believe their own bullshit, and hopefully, some of these quotes will emulate that. (Note, I won't waste time linking them all, but by quoting them directly, it should be easy to google) (another side note, I didn't purposely search out specific names. I went by the first names I came across, and only ignoring those that I couldn't find anything regarding crypto in past years)
Present: Business Inside: Bitcoin is like 'digital gold' and won't be used the same as a traditional currency in at least 5 years, billionaire investor Mike Novogratz says Past: On Nov, 2017, he said: "Bitcoin could ‘easily’ reach $40,000 by the end of 2018, hedge fund legend Novogratz says" 2018: "Michael Novogratz calls a bottom in cryptocurrencies" (it wasn't) Novogratz started a crypto funding in 2018. First 9 months "Mike Novogratz’s Crypto Trading Desk Lost $136 Million in Nine Months" (Bloomberg). Quarter 4: "Galaxy Digital Posts $32.9 Million in Net Loss for Q4 2019". Feb 2020 "Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital Slashes 15% Staff"
Present: "For Raoul Pal, CEO of Real Vision, the bullish atmosphere had been reinforced, and further gains were more likely than ever. “There are literally only two resistances left on the #bitcoin chart - 14,000 and then the old all-time high at 20,000,” he tweeted." In a tweet today, he said, "Bitcoin is eating the world... It has become a supermassive black hole that is sucking in everything around it and destroying it. This narrative is only going to grow over the next 18 months. You see, gold is breaking down versus bitcoin...and gold investors will flip to BTC" Past: 2014: "Put them in the same kind of equation we get a value of bitcoin and that value is a million dollars. Now, you'll never hear an analyst say this—but I don't mind this—I could be wrong by 90%, and it's still worth $100,000." (to be honest, that's a bit of an impressive prediction in 2014) On the other hand, he probably didn't really believe his own prediction because in June, 2017 (when it was 2000 USD or so), he said: " “This is the most exponential move we have seen. I don’t know how far it goes, but I sold out last week… and I’ve [owned Bitcoin] since it was $200. Anything that moves exponentially, always [blows up].”" In 2016, "This view brings Pal to the asset he favors most over the next year out of bonds, equities, currencies and commodities: the dollar."
Eh, that was just two. I was hoping to mention several people, but it appears not many people are actually making predictions anymore, and anyone mentioned are basically not big people so I couldn't find much on them regarding bitcoin before 2019. So, the main thing I like to highlight are the analysts and such are going to make money whatever happens. Fund managers are playing with people's money and, as long as they are not involved in frauds, there is no real harm to them against wrong predictions. Generally, successful business people are successful because they were loud, confident, and were able to convince others that they had the right idea. Even when wrong, they bounce back. Most of us aren't like that. Some bitcoiners come here to boast when price goes up, as if the increase in price is an indication that argument against bitcoin has been proven wrong. While some people here are fanatically anti-bitcoin, I am not one of those. I have nothing against people making money (why would I be upset that people I don't know around the world became wealthier??). But since bitcoin investing is by design a zero sum game, certain people will eventually lose, and it is most likely it is the people who were listening to predictions by experts that would ultimately be financially hurt, and not the experts making the predictions. Crypto investing has been a platform where the average person works hard in his day to day life, and then brings the fruits of his labor into this field. The actual productive part of that person's life is the one outside crypto, where they had been productive for the community, and in exchange, they receive wages. Crypto investing's promise is for this wage to increase without the actual productivity. The concern is mainly that the result of all that labor will be misused by crypto "experts" who's own income (their labor) is directly linked to predictions on crypto. The above paragraph is badly explained, but the main point is that the average person brings in outside money they worked hard for, while "experts" there is generally no outside money, crypto fund management or consulting itself is their job. --- Money can be made, of course, but money being made isn't necessarily an argument for something. Bitcoin, and crypto, has for the past 1.5 decades still largely just about numbers going up. Google trend on "bitcoin" show top related queries being "bitcoin price", "bitcoin usd", "bitcoin usd price". When people come here when it hits a particular arbitrary price point thinking it's their gotcha moment, it actually just reinforces my argument that it is only about the price. Nothing in the history of human economy has ever lasted based only on the economic model of who you could resell it for at a higher price. Even DeFi's smart contracts (as much as I could understand it) is about prices going up. It's like for these people the concept of contracts are based purely on money exchanging hands, and no actual task being done. Almost all contracts globally are based on specific productive tasks being done, such as employee contract, supplier contract, property contract, and so on. Only a tiny amount of it is based on "if this currency goes up, then give me that currency" contracts. ---
For Trading October 27th Housing Numbers Missed COVID, COVID, COVID! Today’s market could have been worse, but I’m not sure how! Prices weakened overnight and then the news only got uglier as the morning progressed. Housing data took a turn for the worse and the selloff just accelerated with the DJIA hitting the low -965 around 1:45, but the bounce was nothing to write home about. We finished -650.19 (2.29%), NASDAQ -189.34 (1.64%), S&P 500 -64.42 (1.8%), the Russell -35.29 (2.15%) and the DJ Transports -275.32 (2.32%) the worst index, but not by enough to make a difference. Housing numbers (new home sales) was not only a disappointment on a month/month basis, but we also had a meaningful restatement of last month’s number from 1,011,000 to 994,000. This month we were expecting 1,022,000 and got 959,000. Tomorrow we have Durable goods, Consumer confidence, NAHB housing prices and Case-Shiller for August. 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. Last week’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/4O9B_KkQ3Ao SECTORS: Earnings was the big mover today for SAP. The German digital enterprise software company said that Covid-19 has hurt business and will continue to weigh on profits through the first half of 2021. Early, the stock was trading around $118 -31 and it only got worse closing $115.02 -34.66 (23%). It sent the group lower across all markets in all locations. In other news, Dunkin Brands (DKNK) is reportedly in talks to go private again, this time with Inspire Brands, owner of Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Jimmy Johns chains. The number being talked about is $105.00 and after hitting 105.50 in premarket it settled back to finish the day $103.00+ 14.21 (16%). Alibaba Group was one of the few mega-cap names to not get too badly hurt, possibly due to the coming IPO in Hong Kong of ANT Group, a fintech company due to raise over $35 Billion in the largest IPO in history. BABA is a major investor in ANT. New Group: AIR & CRUISE LINES were LOWER with CCL -1.33, RCL -5.37, NCLH -1.47, AAL -.76, DAL -2.10, LUV -1.62, UAL -2.72, HA -.99, ALK -3.07 and XTN $61.04 -1.97 (3.13%). FOOD SUPPLY CHAIN was LOWER with TSN -2.45, BGA +1.32, FLO -.10, CPB -.26, CAG -.03, MDLZ -1.13, KHC -.79, CALM -.78, JJSF -1.04, SAFM -5.23, HRL -.16, SJM -.44, PPC -.55, KR +.40, and a new addition ACI +.01, and PBJ $33.75 -.48 (1.38%). BIO-PHARMA: was LOWER with BIIB -8.24, ABBV -.34, REGN +5.19, ISRG -23.71, GILD -.94, MYL -.47, TEVA -.20, VRTX -4.43, BHC -.53, INCY +.75, ICPT -.50, LABU -2.49, and IBB $135.11 -1.38 (1.01%). CANNABIS: was LOWER with TLRY -.79, CGC -1.19, CRON -.28, GWPH -2.87, ACB -.27, CURLF -.65, KERN -.36, and MJ $11.09 -.41 (3.57%). DEFENSE was LOWER with LMT -5.83, GD -2.30, TXT -1.18, NOC +1.57, BWXT -1.01, TDY -13.77, RTX -2.07, and ITA $160.43 -4.41 (2.67%). RETAIL: was LOWER with M -.49, JWN -1.03, KSS -1.08, DDS -.10, WMT -1.36, TGT -2.26, TJX -2.02, RL -2.29, UAA -.83, LULU -2.15, TPR -.43, CPRI -.16, and a new addition GPS -.63, and XRT $53.05 -1.39 (2.55%). MEGA-CAP & FAANG were LOWER with GOOGL -48.80, AMZN +5.60, AAPL -.18, FB -7.59, NFLX -.28, NVDA -18.58, TSLA -4.13, BABA -2.87, BIDU -.98, CMG -29.08, CRM -8.52, BA -7.26, CAT -5.69, DIS -4.23 and XLK $115.87 -2.57 (2.17%). PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THESE PRICES ARE LATE MARKET QUOTES AND DO NOT REPRESENT THE 4:00 CLOSES. FINANCIALS were LOWER with GS -3.94, JPM -2.58, BAC -.43, MS -1.53, C -.64, PNC -3.31, AIG +.95, TRV -4.43, V -4.76, and XLF $24.68 -.57 (2.26%). OIL, $38.56 – 1.29, Oil has been locked into the current range and tried to break in either direction without success. Last week I said, “While I think it may resolve to the downside, I am not taking any new positions.” The stocks were lower today even though there has been a pickup in M&A activity in the group. XLE finished $29.30 -1.09 (3.59%). GOLD $1,905.70 +.50 opened LOWER and managed to rally while the market for stocks sold off. There were several “unusual options action” looking for another 10-12% on the upside before year end. BITCOIN: closed $13,045 +75. 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 250 today @$14.19, and we still have 250 with a cost of $8.45. GBTC closed $14.30 -.06 today. Tomorrow is another day. CAM
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.
Wandering From the Path? | Monthly Portfolio Update - August 2020
Midway along the journey of our lifeI woke to find myself in a dark wood,for I had wandered off from the straight path. Dante, The Divine Comedy: Inferno, Canto I This is my forty-fifth 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 $733 769
Vanguard Lifestrategy Growth Fund $41 794
Vanguard Lifestrategy Balanced Fund $78 533
Vanguard Diversified Bonds Fund $110 771
Vanguard Australian Shares ETF (VAS) $216 758
Vanguard International Shares ETF (VGS) $64 542
Betashares Australia 200 ETF (A200) $237 138
Telstra shares (TLS) $1 540
Insurance Australia Group shares (IAG) $6 043
NIB Holdings shares (NHF) $5 532
Gold ETF (GOLD.ASX) $121 976
Secured physical gold $19 535
Ratesetter (P2P lending) $8 998
Bitcoin $177 310
Raiz app (Aggressive portfolio) $17 421
Spaceship Voyager app (Index portfolio) $2 759
BrickX (P2P rental real estate) $4 477
Total portfolio value $1 848 896 (+$48 777 or 2.7%) Asset allocation
Australian shares 41.5%
Global shares 22.6%
Emerging market shares 2.2%
International small companies 2.8%
Total international shares 27.6%
Total shares 69.2% (5.8% under)
Total property securities 0.2% (0.2% over)
Australian bonds 4.4%
International bonds 8.9%
Total bonds 13.3% (1.7% under)
Gold and alternatives 17.2% (7.2% over)
Presented visually, below is a high-level view of the current asset allocation of the portfolio. [Chart] Comments The portfolio has increased in value for the fifth consecutive month, and is starting to approach the monthly value last reached in January. The portfolio has grown over $48 000, or 2.7 per cent this month, reflecting the strong market recovery since late March [Chart] The growth in the portfolio was broadly-based across global and Australian equities, with an increase of around 3.8 per cent. Following strong previous rises, gold holdings decreased by around 2.2 per cent, while Bitcoin continued to increase in value (by 2.5 per cent). Combined, the value of gold and Bitcoin holdings remain at a new peak, while total equity holdings are still below their late January peak to the tune of around $50 000. The fixed income holdings of the portfolio continue to fall below the target allocation. [Chart] The expanding value of gold and Bitcoin holdings since January last year have actually had the practical effect of driving new investments into equities, since effectively for each dollar of appreciation, for example, my target allocation to equities rises by seven dollars. New investments this month have been in the Vanguard international shares exchange-traded fund (VGS) and the Australian shares equivalent (VAS). These have been directed to bring my actual asset allocation more closely in line with the target split between Australian and global shares set out in the portfolio plan. As the exchange traded funds such as VGS, VAS and Betashares A200 now make up nearly 30 per cent of the overall portfolio, the quarterly payments they provide have increased in magnitude and importance. Early in the journey, third quarter distributions were essentially immaterial events. Using the same 'median per unit' forecast approach as recently used for half yearly forecasts would suggest a third quarter payout due at the end of September of around $6000. Due to significant announced dividend reductions across this year I am, however, currently assuming this is likely to be significantly lower, and perhaps in the vicinity of $4000 or less. Finding true north: approach to achieving a set asset allocation One of the choices facing all investors with a preferred asset allocation is how strictly the target is applied over time, and what variability is acceptable around that. There is a significant body of financial literature around that issue. My own approach has been to seek to target the preferred asset allocation dynamically, through buying the asset class that is furthest from its target, with new portfolio contributions, and re-investment of paid out distributions. As part of monitoring asset allocation, I also track a measure of 'absolute' variance, to understand at a whole of portfolio level how far it is from the desired allocation. This is the sum of the absolute value of variances (e.g. so that being 3 per cent under target in shares, and 7 per cent over target in fixed interest will equal an absolute variance of 10 per cent under this measure). This measure is currently sitting near its highest level in around 2 years, at 15.0 per cent, as can be seen in the chart below. [Chart] The dominant reason for this higher level of variance from target is significant appreciation in the price of gold and Bitcoin holdings. Mapping the sources of portfolio variances Changes in target allocations in the past makes direct comparisons problematic, but previous peaks of the variance measure matches almost perfectly past Bitcoin price movements. For a brief period in January 2018, gold and Bitcoin combined constituted 20 per cent, or 1 in 5 dollars of the entire portfolio. Due to the growth in other equity components of the portfolio since this level has not been subsequently exceeded. Nonetheless, it is instructive to understand that the dollar value of combined gold and Bitcoin holdings is actually up around $40 000 from that brief peak. With the larger portfolio, this now means they together make up 17.2 per cent of the total portfolio value. Tacking into the wind of portfolio movements? The logical question to fall out from this situation is: to what extent should this drive an active choice to sell down gold and Bitcoin until they resume their 10 per cent target allocation? This would currently imply selling around $130 000 of gold or Bitcoin, and generating a capital gains tax liability of potentially up to $27 000. Needless to say this is not an attractive proposition. Several other considerations lead me to not make this choice:
The problem may solve itself as portfolio grows - Growth and continued investments in the portfolio will tend to reduce the variance caused by gold and Bitcoin. The asset allocation targeting approach I adopt has seen continued contributions to equities, reducing the ability of these alternative assets to add to future variance.
Falls in Bitcoin or gold values will also solve the problem - Conversely, price falls in Bitcoin or gold will tend to reduce the variance issue, and such price falls have significant precedents, with for example Bitcoin holdings falling to a value of around $50 000 as recently as January 2019.
If neither of these happen, there may be bigger issues to solve - The only scenario where neither of these alleviating factors occur is should gold and Bitcoin continue to rapidly appreciate compared to other assets, in which case it is difficult to see the value of reducing exposure now.
Does Bitcoin even fit the asset allocation model? - Bitcoin in particular is not a well established or accepted asset class as yet, so it may not be appropriate to apply traditional allocation rules to it - it may be functioning more as a hedge or option against extreme states of the world. Linked to this is the high degree of volatility in Bitcoin. Adopting too tight a target on Bitcoin holdings would potentially see a need to buy and sell Bitcoin frequently, where my intention is to actually never purchase any more.
This approach is a departure from a mechanistic implementation of an asset allocation rule. Rather, the approach I take is pragmatic. Tracking course drift in the portfolio components As an example, I regularly review whether a significant fall in Bitcoin prices to its recent lows would alter my monthly decision on where to direct new investments. So far it does not, and the 'signal' continues to be to buy new equities. Another tool I use is a monthly measurement of the absolute dollar variance of Australian and global shares, as well as fixed interest, from their ideal target allocations. The chart below sets this out for the period since January 2019. A positive value effectively represents an over-allocation to a sector, a negative value, an under-allocation compared to target. [Chart] This reinforces the overall story that, as gold and Bitcoin have grown in value, there emerges a larger 'deficit' to the target. Falls in equities markets across February and March also produce visibly larger 'dollar gaps' to the target allocation. This graph enables a tracking of the impact of portfolio gains or losses, and volatility, and a better understanding of the practical task of returning to target allocations. Runaway lines in either direction would be evidence that current approaches for returning to targets were unworkable, but so far this does not appear to be the case. A crossing over: a credit card FI milestone This month has seen a long awaited milestone reached. Calculated on a past three year average, portfolio distributions now entirely meet monthly credit card expenses. This means that every credit card purchase - each shopping trip or online purchase - is effectively paid for by average portfolio distributions. At the start of this journey, distributions were only equivalent to around 40 per cent of credit card expenses. As time has progressed distributions have increased to cover a larger and larger proportion of card expenses. [Chart] Most recently, with COVID-19 related restrictions having pushed card expenditure down further, the remaining gap to this 'Credit Card FI' target has closed. Looked at on an un-smoothed basis, expenditures on the credit card have continued to be slightly lower than average across the past month. The below chart details the extent to which portfolio distributions (red) cover estimated total expenses (green), measured month to month. [Chart] Credit card expenditure makes up around 80 per cent of total spending, so this is not a milestone that makes paid work irrelevant or optional. Similarly, if spending rises as various travel and other restrictions ease, it is possible that this position could be temporary. Equally, should distributions fall dramatically below long term averages in the year ahead, this could result in average distributions falling faster than average monthly card expenditure. Even without this, on a three year average basis, monthly distributions will decline as high distributions received in the second half of 2017 slowly fall out of the estimation sample. For the moment, however, a slim margin exists. Distributions are $13 per month above average monthly credit card bills. This feels like a substantial achievement to note, as one unlooked for at the outset of the journey. 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) 84.8% 114.6% Credit card purchases – $71 000 pa 103.5% 139.9% Total expenses – $89 000 pa 82.9% 112.1% Summary What feels like a long winter is just passed. The cold days and weeks have felt repetitive and dominated by a pervasive sense of uncertainty. Yet through this time, this wandering off, the portfolio has moved quite steadily back towards it previous highs. That it is even approaching them in the course of just a few months is unexpected. What this obscures is the different components of growth driving this outcome. The portfolio that is recovering, like the index it follows, is changing in its underlying composition. This can be seen most starkly in the high levels of variance from the target portfolio sought discussed above. It is equally true, however, of individual components such as international equity holdings. In the case of the United States the overall index performance has been driven by share price growth in just a few information technology giants. Gold and Bitcoin have emerged from the shadows of the portfolio to an unintended leading role in portfolio growth since early 2019. This month I have enjoyed reading the Chapter by Chapter release of the Aussie FIRE e-book coordinated by Pearler. I've also been reading posts from some newer Australian financial independence bloggers, Two to Fire, FIRE Down Under, and Chasing FIRE Down Under. In podcasts, I have enjoyed the Mad Fientist's update on his fourth year of financial freedom, and Pat and Dave's FIRE and Chill episodes, including an excellent one on market timing fallacies. The ASX Australian Investor Study 2020 has also been released - setting out some broader trends in recent Australian investment markets, and containing a snapshot of the holdings, approaches and views of everyday investors. This contained many intriguing findings, such as the median investment portfolio ($130 000), its most frequent components (direct Australian shares), and how frequently portfolios are usually checked - with 61 per cent of investors checking their portfolios at least once a month. This is my own approach also. Monthly assessments allow me to gauge and reflect on how I or elements of the portfolio may have wandered off the straight way in the middle of the journey. Without this, the risk is that dark woods and bent pathways beckon. The post, links and full charts can be seen here.
$TLRY: Shares of cannabis companies have begun to trade higher in anticipation of the upcoming 2020 presidential election. Vice President on numerous occasions has indicated that the Biden administration would work towards decriminalization of marijuana. On the daily chart, the 50ma just crossed the 200ma, and it looks like the stock has found the 200ma as it’s new support. We missed out on an extremely clean run yesterday, from $5.55 - $6.64. With the election approaching quickly, we could potentially see this stock go for a multi-day run. Swing potential until the election. https://preview.redd.it/ckt71z63f8u51.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=3a47da18a59229ccd7d63b831715a89d48a7615d $ACER: On October 13-15th, Acer Therapeutics management provided a virtual corporate overview at the BIO Investor Forum Digital. Acer has had a rough couple of months as they missed earnings back on August 13th, which resulted in the stock tumbling all the way down to $2.21/share from the high of $5.62/share. Although earnings were considerably missed, a 50% reaction seems excessive. Chart setup here is incredibly clean. Acer bottomed out around the $2.20’s, and is now using the 50ma as support. Bullish engulfing candle on the daily chart back on October 15th. Huge gap to fill. Swing play. https://preview.redd.it/v45klrh5f8u51.png?width=1608&format=png&auto=webp&s=33b72a834231a7cbe541511bb0a42fdab5c271b3 $ACOR: Pre-market runner of the day, Acorda Therapeutics is entitled to receive 15 million milestone payment from Biogen. This news was received in yesterday's after-hours session, and continued to rise and gap up this morning. We know that pre-market runners as of late have had potential to make a second break during the market open, so I will be adding this to my watchlist to monitor volume throughout the day. Scalp/day trade idea. https://preview.redd.it/ph84p966f8u51.png?width=1607&format=png&auto=webp&s=eafa9ec1236cd3973236ebed3970de9d026a94e2 $MARA & $RIOT: Lots of people in the crypto community are talking about the bullish sentiment of Bitcoin as of late. We know from past experiences that both RIOT & MARA are direct sympathy plays, and the charts support this thesis. For MARA, 50ma just crossed over the 200ma, and we saw a bullish engulfing candle on the 4hr chart yesterday morning. Possible swing potential. https://preview.redd.it/uuaybz27f8u51.png?width=1606&format=png&auto=webp&s=7cdca782b39bf493b225909e48c939cf9959f744 Never forget to do your own DD; remember: For all you know, all the stocks that I mention here will dip 90% tomorrow; Do your own DD, I'm not some magic fairy. Trading will never come this easy to you. If all the stocks on here went up, I'd be chilling on my own Island.
For newcomers: Criminal charges filed against BitMEX. Why this is a good thing for crypto
BitMEX, a centralized cryptocurrency exchange, was recently charged by the United States CFTC with failing to prevent money laundering and failing to implement other basic compliance procedures. For those unfamiliar with BitMEX: BitMEX is a trading platform that offers investors access to the global financial markets using only Bitcoin. BitMEX is built by finance professionals with over 40 years of combined experience and offers a comprehensive API and supporting tools. Gee, that doesn't sound so bad. Basically, you can buy and sell bitcoin on BitMEX. So what's the big deal? Well, from the BitMEX site: Does BitMEX offer leverage? Yes, BitMEX offers leverage on all of its products. The highest leverage BitMEX offers is up to 100x leverage on its Perpetual Bitcoin / USD Perpetual Contract. Okay, but what is leveraged trading exactly? According to thebalance.com, "100:1: One-hundred-to-one leverage means that for every $1 you have in your account, you can place a trade worth up to $100. This ratio is a typical amount of leverage offered on a standard lot account. The typical $2,000 minimum deposit for a standard account would give you the ability to control $200,000."
And herein lies my first issue with an unregulated exchange like BitMEX. When used in the crypto-space, I think leverage is some fucked up shit. With massive amounts of leverage, whales can manipulate the price of bitcoin while little fish like you and I are at the mercy of the gods. If the whales want to move the price higher, they can coordinate a leveraged 'attack' to increase the price of bitcoin. If they want to drop the price of bitcoin, they can similarly coordinate a massive sell off. This is often visualized as those exaggerated green and red spikes on a trading chart sending the price of bitcoin through lines of resistance or support. This, in turn, can then trigger further exaggerated selloffs. Additionally, inexperienced traders have little to no business trading on leveraged accounts. The vast majority of those who try will walk away in a world of pain carrying a huge loss on their shoulders. But... if some schmuck goes all in on leverage and loses their investment and goes broke, isn't that their fault? Well, yes. That would be a tough pill to swallow, but technically yes, it's their fault. But rather than laugh and point at this person, shouldn't we be encouraging others to embrace cryptocurrency? I think leverage exposes all the wrong things about trading cryptocurrency, yet leverage is exactly how centralized exchanges like BitMEX make their money. This leads me to my second point.
Criminal charges against a centralized exchange facilitates the need for decentralized exchanges. What the hell is a decentralized exchange? From wikipedia: A decentralized exchange (DEX) is a cryptocurrency exchange which operates in a decentralized way, i.e., without a central authority. Decentralized exchanges allow peer-to-peer trading of cryptocurrencies. Because users do not need to transfer their assets to the exchange, decentralized exchanges reduce the risk of theft from hacking of exchanges. Decentralized exchanges can also prevent price manipulation or faked trading volume through wash trading, and are more anonymous than exchanges which implement know your customer requirements. I remember when I first heard about decentralized exchanges I thought to myself... this is going to be huge! But then, no one seemed to share my excitement. Coinbase continued to thrive, followed by the likes of BitMEX and other centralized exchanges. Then, one by one, hack after hack, I finally began to see people move toward decentralized exchanges like uniswap.
I mentioned in another post that we are still in the early stages of crypto development. While bitcoin has been around for over a decade, we are just now beginning to gain traction in other areas of innovation and growth. If there was ever a time to break out of the same corrupt pattern of conventional finance, now is the time!
DDDD - The Rise of “Buy the Dip” Retail Investors and Why Another Crash Is Imminent
In this week's edition of DDDD (Data-driven DD), I'll be going over the real reason why we have been seeing a rally for the past few weeks, defying all logic and fundamentals - retail investors. We'll look into several data sets to see how retail interest in stock markets have reached record levels in the past few weeks, how this affected stock prices, and why we've most likely seen the top at this point, unless we see one of the "positive catalysts" that I mentioned in my previous post, which is unlikely (except for more news about Remdesivir). Disclaimer - This is not financial advice, and a lot of the content below is my personal opinion. In fact, the numbers, facts, or explanations presented below could be wrong and be made up. Don't buy random options because some person on the internet says so; look at what happened to all the SPY 220p 4/17 bag holders. Do your own research and come to your own conclusions on what you should do with your own money, and how levered you want to be based on your personal risk tolerance. Inspiration Most people who know me personally know that I spend an unhealthy amount of my free time in finance and trading as a hobby, even competing in paper options trading competitions when I was in high school. A few weeks ago, I had a friend ask if he could call me because he just installed Robinhood and wanted to buy SPY puts after seeing everyone on wallstreetbets post gains posts from all the tendies they’ve made from their SPY puts. The problem was, he actually didn’t understand how options worked at all, and needed a thorough explanation about how options are priced, what strike prices and expiration dates mean, and what the right strategy to buying options are. That’s how I knew we were at the euphoria stage of buying SPY puts - it’s when dumb money starts to pour in, and people start buying securities because they see everyone else making money and they want in, even if they have no idea what they’re buying, and price becomes dislocated from fundementals. Sure enough, less than a week later, we started the bull rally that we are currently in. Bubbles are formed when people buy something not because of logic or even gut feeling, but when people who previously weren’t involved see their dumb neighbors make tons of money from it, and they don’t want to miss out. A few days ago, I started getting questions from other friends about what stocks they should buy and if I thought something was a good investment. That inspired me to dig a bit deeper to see how many other people are thinking the same thing. Data Ever since March, we’ve seen an unprecedented amount of money pour into the stock market from retail investors. Google Search Trends \"what stock should I buy\" Google Trends 2004 - 2020 \"what stock should I buy\" Google Trends 12 months \"stocks\" Google Trends 2004 - 2020 \"stocks\" Google Trends 12 months Brokerage data Robinhood SPY holders \"Robinhood\" Google Trends 12 months wallstreetbets' favorite broker Google Trends 12 months Excerpt from E*Trade earnings statement Excerpt from Schwab earnings statement TD Ameritrade Excerpt Media cnbc.com Alexa rank CNBC viewership & rankings wallstreetbets comments / day investing comments / day Analysis What we can see from Reddit numbers, Google Trends, and CNBC stats is that in between the first week of March and first week of April, we see a massive inflow of retail interest in the stock market. Not only that, but this inflow of interest is coming from all age cohorts, from internet-using Zoomers to TV-watching Boomers. Robinhood SPY holdings and earnings reports from E*Trade, TD Ameritrade, and Schwab have also all confirmed record numbers of new clients, number of trades, and assets. There’s something interesting going on if you look closer at the numbers. The numbers growth in brokers for designed for “less sophisticated” investors (i.e. Robinhood and E*Trade) are much larger than for real brokers (i.e. Schwab and Ameritrade). This implies that the record number of new users and trade volume is coming from dumb money. The numbers shown here only really apply to the US and Canada, but there’s also data to suggest that there’s also record numbers of foreign investors pouring money into the US stock market as well. However, after the third week of March, we see the interest start to slowly decline and plateau, indicating that we probably have seen most of those new investors who wanted to have a long position in the market do so. SPX daily Rationale Pretty much everything past this point is purely speculation, and isn’t really backed up by any solid data so take whatever I say here with a cup of salt. We could see from the graph that new investor interest started with the first bull trap we saw in the initial decline from early March, and peaking right after the end of the crash in March. So it would be fair to guess that we’re seeing a record amount of interest in the stock market from a “buy the dip” mentality, especially from Robinhood-using Millennials. Here’s a few points on my rationalization of this behavior, based on very weak anecdotal evidence
They missed out of their chance of getting in the stock market at the start of the bull market that happened at the end of 2009
They’ve all seen the stock market make record gains throughout their adult lives, but believing that the market might be overheated, they were waiting for a crash
Most of them have gotten towards the stage of their lives where they actually have some savings and can finally put some money aside for investments
This stock market crash seems like their once-in-a-decade opportunity that they’ve been waiting for, so everyone jumped in
Everyone’s stuck at their homes with vast amounts of unexpected free time on their hands
Most of these new investors got their first taste in the market near the bottom, and probably made some nice returns. Of course, since they didn’t know what they were doing, they probably put a very small amount of money at first, but after seeing a 10% return over one week, validating that maybe they do know something, they decide to slowly pour in more and more of their life savings. That’s what’s been fueling this bull market. Sentiment & Magic Crayons As I mentioned previously, this bull rally will keep going until enough bears convert to bulls. Markets go up when the amount of new bullish positions outnumber the amount of new bearish positions, and vice versa. Record amounts of new investors, who previously never held a position in the market before, fueled the bullish side of this equation, despite all the negative data that has come out and dislocating the price from fundamentals. All the smart money that was shorting the markets saw this happening, and flipped to become bulls because you don’t fight the trend, even if the trend doesn’t reflect reality. From the data shown above, we can see new investor interest growth has started declining since mid March and started stagnating in early April. The declining volume in SPY since mid-March confirms this. That means, once the sentiment of the new retail investors starts to turn bearish, and everyone figures out how much the stocks they’re holding are really worth, another sell-off will begin. I’ve seen something very similar to this a few years ago with Bitcoin. Near the end of 2017, Bitcoin started to become mainstream and saw a flood of retail investors suddenly signing up for Coinbase (i.e. Robinhood) accounts and buying Bitcoin without actually understanding what it is and how it works. Suddenly everyone, from co-workers to grandparents, starts talking about Bitcoin and might have thrown a few thousand dollars into it. This appears to be a very similar parallel to what’s going on right now. Of course there’s differences here in that equities have an intrinsic value, although many of them have gone way above what they should be intrinsically worth, and the vast majority of retail investors don’t understand how to value companies. Then, during December, when people started thinking that the market was getting a bit overheated, some started taking their profits, and that’s when the prices crashed violently. This flip in sentiment now look like it has started with equities. SPY daily Technical Analysis, or magic crayons, is a discipline in finance that uses statistical analysis to predict market trends based on market sentiment. Of course, a lot of this is hand-wavy and is very subjective; two people doing TA on the same price history can end up getting opposite results, so TA should always be taken with a grain of salt and ideally be backed with underlying justification and not be blindly followed. In fact, I’ve since corrected the ascending wedge I had on SPY since my last post since this new wedge is a better fit for the new trading data. There’s a few things going on in this chart. The entire bull rally we’ve had since the lows can be modelled using a rising wedge. This is a pattern where there is a convergence of a rising support and resistance trendline, along with falling volume. This indicates a slow decline in net bullish sentiment with investors, with smaller and smaller upside after each bounce off the support until it hits a resistance. The smaller the bounces, the less bullish investors are. When the bearish sentiment takes over across investors, the price breaks below this wedge - a breakdown, and indicates a start of another downtrend. This happened when the wedge hit resistance at around 293, which is around the same price as the 200 day moving average, the 62% retracement (considered to be the upper bound of a bull trap), and a price level that acted as a support and resistance throughout 2019. The fact that it gapped down to break this wedge is also a strong signal, indicating a sudden swing in investor sentiment overnight. The volume of the break down also broke the downwards trend of volume we’ve had since the beginning of the bull rally, indicating a sudden surge of people selling their shares. This doesn’t necessarily mean that we will go straight from here, and I personally think that we will see the completion of a heads-and-shoulders pattern complete before SPY goes below 274, which in itself is a strong support level. In other words, SPY might go from 282 -> 274 -> 284 -> 274 before breaking the 274 support level. VIX Daily Doing TA is already sketchy, and doing TA on something like VIX is even more sketchy, but I found this interesting so I’ll mention it. Since the start of the bull rally, we’ve had VIX inside a descending channel. With the breakdown we had in SPY yesterday, VIX has also gapped up to have a breakout from this channel, indicating that we may see future volatility in the next week or so. Putting Everything Together Finally, we get to my thesis. This entire bull rally has been fueled by new retail investors buying the dip, bringing the stock price to euphoric levels. Over the past few weeks, we’ve been seeing the people waiting at the sidelines for years to get into the stock market slowly FOMO into the rally in smaller and smaller volumes, while the smart money have been locking in their profits at an even slower rate - hence an ascending wedge. As the amount of new retail interest in the stock market started slowed down, the amount of new bulls started to decline. It looks like Friday might have been the start of the bearish sentiment taking over, meaning it’s likely that 293 was the top, unless any significant bullish events happen in the next two weeks like a fourth round of stimulus, in which case we might see 300. This doesn’t mean we’ll instantly go back to circuit breakers on Monday, and we might see 282 -> 274 -> 284 -> 274 happen before panic, this time by the first-time investors, eventually bringing us down towards SPY 180. tldr; we've reached the top EDIT - I'll keep a my live thoughts here as we move throughout this week in case anyone's still reading this and interested. 5/4 8PM - /ES was red last night but steadily climbed, which was expected since 1h RSI was borderline oversold, leaving us to a slightly green day. /ES looks like it has momentum going up, but is approaching towards overbought territory now. Expecting it to go towards 284 (possibly where we'll open tomorrow) and bouncing back down from that price level 5/5 Market Open - Well there goes my price target. I guess at this point it might go up to 293 again, but will need a lot of momentum to push back there to 300. Seems like this is being driven by oil prices skyrocketing. 5/5 3:50PM - Volume for the upwards price action had very little volume behind it. Seeing a selloff EOD today, could go either way although I have a bearish bias. Going to hold cash until it goes towards one end of the 274-293 channel (see last week's thesis). Still believe that we will see it drop below 274 next week, but we might be moving sideways in the channel this week and a bit of next week before that happens. Plan for tomorrow is buy short dated puts if open < 285. Otherwise, wait till it goes to 293 before buying those puts 5/5 6PM - What we saw today could be a false breakout above 284. Need tomorrow to open below 285 for that to be confirmed. If so, my original thesis of it going back down to 274 before bouncing back up will still be in play. 5/6 EOD - Wasn't a false breakout. Looks like it's still forming the head-and-shoulders pattern mentioned before, but 288 instead of 284 as the level. Still not sure yet so I'm personally going to be holding cash and waiting this out for the next few days. Will enter into short positions if we either go near 293 again or drop below 270. Might look into VIX calls if VIX goes down near 30. 5/7 Market Open - Still waiting. If we break 289 we're probably heading to 293. I'll make my entry to short positions when we hit that a second time. There's very little bullish momentum left (see MACD 1D), so if we hit 293 and then drop back down, we'll have a MACD crossover event which many traders and algos use as a sell signal. Oil is doing some weird shit. 5/7 Noon - Looks like we're headed to 293. Picked up VIX 32.5c 5/27 since VIX is near 30. 5/7 11PM - /ES is hovering right above 2910, with 4h and 1h charts are bullish from MACD and 1h is almost overbought in RSI. Unless something dramatic happens we'll probably hit near 293 tomorrow, which is where I'll get some SPY puts. We might drop down before ever touching it, or go all the way to 295 (like last time) during the day, but expecting it to close at or below 293. After that I'm expecting a gap down Monday as we start the final leg down next week towards 274. Expecting 1D MACD to crossover in the final leg down, which will be a signal for bears to take over and institutions / day traders will start selling again 5/8 Market Open - Plan is to wait till a good entry today, either when technicals looks good or we hit 293, and then buy some SPY June 285p and July 275p 5/8 Noon - Everything still going according to plan. Most likely going to slowly inch towards 293 by EOD. Will probably pick up SPY puts and more VIX calls at power hour (3 - 4PM). Monday will probably gap down, although there's a small chance of one more green / sideways day before that happens if we have bullish catalysts on the weekend. 5/8 3:55PM - SPY at 292.60. This is probably going to be the closest we get to 293. Bought SPY 290-260 6/19 debit spreads and 292-272 5/15 debit spreads, as well as doubling down on VIX calls from yesterday, decreasing my cost basis. Still looks like there's room for one more green day on Monday, so I left some money on the side to double down if that's the case, although it's more likely than not we won't get there. 5/8 EOD - Looks like we barely touched 293 exactly AH before rebounding down. Too bad you can't buy options AH, but more convinced we'll see a gap down on Monday. Going to work on another post over the weekend and do my updates there. Have a great weekend everyone!
Best Cryptocurrency Multi-Exchange Trading and Portfolio Management Platforms Ranking 2020
Trade on multiple exchanges from a single platform and avoid the hassle of multiple logins, different interfaces, constant tab changing and overall keeping track of balance holdings and trades. https://preview.redd.it/ksar6fkxmfv51.jpg?width=1200&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=b8629b0f29aefd9546d816413cc82de9656ef7f9 With more than 300 cryptocurrency exchanges today, most traders have to manage multiple exchange accounts. The need for more than one account usually rises because of the variety of offered crypto currency pairs, market liquidity, having to diversify the risk of being hacked, as well as the different trading tools and terms each exchange offers. Trading and keeping track of your portfolios on multiple exchanges is time consuming, inefficient and frustrating. Having to log on different platforms, use different interfaces, keeping track of multiple portfolios and all trading related activities become increasingly difficult with each new account. It would be simple and easy if you could connect all those exchange accounts into a single multi-exchange platform which combines all the data in real time and provides a single interface to control all remote exchange accounts.
A multi-exchange platform allows the traders to connect all their exchange accounts into a single account through the user of API keys generated from the account of each exchange. Once all accounts are connected into a single one, using the exchanges interfaces becomes obsolete. The unified account will now track and combine all portfolios and traders will be able to track prices, order statuses and other data across all exchange accounts from a single interface. In addition, most multi-exchange platforms provide various information tools such as news aggregators, sentiment tools, arbitrage matrix and price alerts. With regards to API keys security, these platforms do not require withdrawal or deposit permissions which limits the possibility of fraud and loss of funds. Finally, multi-exchange platforms do not typically charge additional trading fees and do not require lengthy verification procedures.
The current top platforms
Currently there are a handful of multi-exchange platforms with a variety of services. They range from a simple crypto portfolio tracker to an advanced trading and portfolio management platform. A detailed list of all major multi-exchange platforms and their features can be found here: www.AltXpert.com Here is an overview of the top 9 multi-exchange trading and portfolio management platforms:
Stellar Lumens, Cosmos, Nano Price Analysis: 22 October
To the delight of bullish investors, a surging market was the highlight of the day, with many of the industry’s altcoins closely aping Bitcoin’s own price movements. At press time, Bitcoin was being traded near the $13,000-level, having risen by over 4.5% in the last 24 hours. Further down the cryptocurrency charts, Stellar Lumens, Cosmos, […]
New York Lawyers Propose Toolkit for Keeping ‘Decentralized’ Blockchains Honest
Image: Tom Adams - Unsplash A New York law firm is trying to test blockchain projects’ decentralization claims against their perhaps not-quite-so-distributed realities. Called the “Ketsal Open Standards” rubric, the toolkit, developed by the Ketsal law firm and revealed exclusively to CoinDesk, proposes using hard, measurable data points to either bolster or burst a blockchain’s decentralized credentials. It’s the latest contribution to a long-raging debate in crypto: when, and how, is something truly decentralized? Finding that key, said toolkit co-creator and Ketsal partner Josh Garcia, can help investors, security researchers and even securities regulators root out blockchain projects’ sometimes bogus claims. “It’s a tool to push along an informed discussion on what you’re talking about when you’re saying, ‘my network is decentralized.’” “Now you can push back” with evidence the assertion is demonstrably false, he said. Garcia and co-author Jenny Leung’s Open Standards is hardly the first decentralization measurement toolkit. But a review by CoinDesk shows it to be one of the most robust. Thirty-three data points probe the hard facts behind blockchain decentralization. Many are obvious. For example, the focus network’s node count – a decentralized network should have plenty – and its underlying code’s licensure status – open source or bust – are clear benchmarks. But others appear to be more novel. Ketsal’s framework proposes weighing the network’s GitHub statistics, measuring inter-node communication times, determining how large a stake of the cryptocurrency rests in wallets (and with the big-investing whales) – and even the theoretical cost of mounting a 51% attack, among others. Compiling these statistics can help researchers better understand a blockchain’s in-the-moment distribution even if reaching an up-down verdict on its decentralization is impossible, said Garcia. “It’s not an answer to the question, ‘What is decentralization,’ but it’s a way to find that answer,” he said. “If people can decide whether or not some of these metrics are valid,” they can use their chosen set to test for the type of decentralization they’re looking at. Providing a broad selection of diverse metrics is critical, he said, because of the political, computational and economic analysts searching for a “decentralization” particular to them. A securities regulator concerned with the Howey Test would likely choose different data points than a security researcher probing the network for holes. But different analysts also might hone in on similar points. For one, mining power concentration, or the concentration of miners whose computational efforts cryptographically secure proof-of-work blockchains, is a critical benchmark for any decentralization hawk. If all the key miners are geographically concentrated or grouped into a single pool, a blockchain may face mounting centralization and security risks, according to Ketsal. Just four pools mined 58% of Bitcoin blocks in the past year, the rubric shows. Garcia said his team spent months compiling all the relevant data points from the world’s best-known blockchain network. Bitcoin’s resilience as well as the consensus agreement that it is decentralized make it an ideal case study, and Garcia said it’s the obvious benchmark to hold other projects against. “If you do the same exact chart for another blockchain network, and you compare it side by side to Bitcoin … you know how far off you are from [decentralization]” he said. Originally published by Danny Nelson | October 21, 2020 Coindesk
Tesla stock is the most viewed asset in America. Our data shows that throughout July, Tesla was the most viewed stock in 31 states. Bitcoin was not far behind. Since the start of the year, Tesla’s stock has almost tripled in price. Meanwhile Bitcoin is up 60% year-to-date. Our findings also show the South East favors Forex and the West Coast states of California, Washington, and Oregon lean toward Bitcoin . The west coast loves crypto the most. We also looked into the airline industry, arguably being hardest hit by Covid-19. Stocks in this sector, including Boeing and American Airlines, saw favor among investors between March and June; Boeing was the third most viewed stock and American Airlines the 10th. It's clear that the global pandemic brought increased volatility to the airlines sector and with that came additional interest from traders and investors. What was particularly interesting was the largest publicly traded company, Apple , failed to reach the topmost viewed stock in any one state. Apple is nearing a $2 trillion market cap, it's up 53% year-to-date, and traders and investors still aren't paying that much attention. For now, the data clearly shows that Tesla and Bitcoin are the two assets everyone is looking at most often. As the data changes, we'll update you the best we can in research reports like this.
How I plan to identify and sell the top of the next market cycle.
In this post I will share with you some of the strategies I will use to identify the next market cycle top so I can sell for maximum profits (and of course buy back in later in the subsequent bear market!) In the first part of this post I will discuss the resources I will use and in the second part I will discuss tactics in selling and risk management.
As the bull run begins to drag on and the price of ETH starts getting closer and closer to $10k I will begin to start watching many of the data science charts over at Look into Bitcoin. This will not be the only source I will use since there are great custom tools on TradingView too as well as more subjective indicators such as friends and family talking crypto and hearing about crypto again in the mainstream media. I’d also like to note that many of the indicators I will be looking at will be Bitcoin focused despite my ETH centred portfolio. Like it or not, this market is still Bitcoin dominated and despite the many proponents of an ETH flippening (myself included), it is quite likely that we will not see it this cycle due to the macro investing environment favouring assets which are good stores of value to weather the uncertainty. Ultimately, Bitcoin has the best store of value meme in crypto and that will be very powerful in the coming years. I think it is likely that the time for Ethereum or a network like Ethereum with a yielding asset (ETH under ETH 2.0) and a native economy of DeFi, DApps, NFTs and much more will be once all of the stock market uncertainty is over and investors are ready to take on more risk again. I am of course still expecting Ethereum and altcoins to outperform Bitcoin this cycle. However, I think that Bitcoin losing the number 1 spot will be more likely to happen between 2023 and 2030 rather than in the next 2-3 years. I hope I am wrong though. While most of the indicators on Looking into Bitcoin are useful, I will list the ones I’ll be focusing on the most here:
And finally my favourite, the Golden Ratio Multiplier. This indicator has been remarkably accurate at predicting tops using the golden ratio (1.6) and the fibonacci sequence (0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21) multiplied by the 350 day moving average. With each market cycle, the 350 day moving average is multiplied by the next number down in the fibonacci sequence. For example, the 2013 peak only just passed above the 350 day moving average multiplied by 8 and the 2017 bull market just touched the 350 day moving average multiplied by 5. So if this indicator is to work in the next cycle, we can expect the price to slightly exceed 3 times the value of the 350 day moving average. This indicator also worked for Ethereum in the 2017 bull run. While there is no graph for it, on the 13th of January, when ETH hit a peak of $1,419, the 350 day moving average was at $270. $270 multiplied by 5 is $1,350. If you sold at $1,350 you sold incredibly close to the top and I don’t think that any macro traders/long term traders would complain about that timing. I’d like to note that while indicators like the Golden Ratio Multiplier factors in for less explosive growth each cycle, not all of the above indicators do. So be cautious of this when you think the peak is near as it may be closer than you think. In saying that, there is a lot of luck involved so I should also point out that it also might not be closer than you think. However, it would be better to sell before the peak at say $10,000/BTC as of 2017 than to be left holding all of your crypto when the bear market begins since Bitcoin didn’t spend much time above $10,000/BTC after the $20K peak. Ultimately it is up to you to decide your risk appetite and how well you want to try and time the market. For me, I will definitely be on the conservative side so that I don’t miss the boat completely and hopefully I will be able to sell most of my crypto just before we peak rather than afterwards.
Since timing the top requires a lot of luck, a good method of mitigating the risk is to spread out when you sell. I’m going to share with you my personal strategy but I recommend that you create your own strategy or use this as a basis from which you can use to adjust and tweak it to optimally suit your situation. If you have a large stack, you will probably want to sell early since you might not need such spectacular gains to lock in some life changing money. On the other hand, if you have a smaller stack or if you are younger, you can afford to take more risk and might want to try and time the absolute peak a bit better to get that much closer to making some life changing money. Personally, while my stack isn’t very big in dollar terms, it is a significant % of my net worth and so I don’t have a high risk tolerance with it (at least relative to other people in crypto!) For this reason I will be selling a little bit on the early side. My plan has three pots of crypto. 20% of my crypto I will hold indefinitely since I very strongly believe in the long term prospect of ETH and BTC as investments. This way if I time the markets terribly, I will always have some skin in the crypto game. The second pot of crypto is 40% which I will sell on the way up to take some profits and I don’t intend on putting this money back into crypto. Initially I will be selling very small amounts of this 40% and as the indicators listed above get closer and closer to calling a top, I will sell larger proportions of this crypto. I haven’t set specific target numbers since things change fast in this space and I feel like the best decisions in this case are made in the moment. For example, estimating a market top is hard when it is 2-3 years away, but it is much easier when it is just months or weeks away. Once again, this is just personal preference. Many of you will find that setting targets now makes it easier for you to pull the trigger and take some profits when everyone else is calling $1M BTC while it is at $100K or calling for $100K ETH when the current price might be $10K. Finally, the last 40% I will sell all at once when I feel like we are at the top and I am confident that the price will be lower a year on from that point in time. With this 40% I will try and buy back during the bear market with the help of many of the same indicators I listed above from Look into Bitcoin. I will also use some indicators which I didn’t mention above since some are better designed at identifying market bottoms. My goal is to be able to buy back the number of BTC and ETH I held before I sold anything with this 40% (plus the 20% I didn’t sell). This is a big ask but it is better in life to set hard goals that seem unattainable or unrealistic than it is to set easy goals. To summarise my portfolio strategy, 20% of my portfolio is an indefinite hold, 40% I will sell on the way up and I do not intend on buying back into crypto with this money so I can avoid being over-exposed to crypto. The last 40% I will use to try and sell the top and buy the bottom.
As a closing note I would like to say that it will be important to be aware of the power of greed and FOMO. Do not under-estimate these emotions and try to remain a grounded and rational investor. Don’t be scared to take profits. I know from experience trading altcoins that it is better to exit a position early and miss out on another 100% price increase than it is to hold through a bear market and take >90% losses. If you go into this bullrun telling yourself you will take profits on the way up, you will have no reason to regret any early sales since you will know that you made a rational trade and not an emotional trade.
There has been a lot of talk recently over deflation vs inflation and which phenomenon is going to emerge. The traditional path of inflation is that it first shows up in soft commodities then energy. Indeed, the data for Q3 shows inflation, with soft commodities up from mid single digits all the way to 40% higher of the quarter (with the exception of Orange Juice and Oats which were marginally lower). Although energy is yet to show signs of that inflation, with significant overcapacity in oil suppressing prices (especially with the lack of air travel with the coronavirus), natural gas is higher by almost 46% over the quarter — obviously a significant amount. While this is a result of the initial response to coronavirus stimulus from March onwards, there is now a threat of deflation emerging — however further policy response is expected imminently.
With the US election underway we saw the first presidential debate recently. The event was slow with Joe Biden performing better than expected — by not being a disaster — and President Trumps strategy of freestyle, interruption and flow being handled well with superior tactics. Those tactics include the promise of a return of technocratic stability to the governance of the country — an approach complementary to unofficial policy supporting the corporate funded, professionally organised riots of 2020. There was a swing towards Biden in gambling books, with about an 8% improvement in odds given to a Democrat win. If Democrats do win, we expect that the policy mechanism of the US Government will include the expansion of fiscal and monetary policy to include an infrastructure spend and a continuation of the trend in monetary policy However if Republicans win, we expect that the policy mechanism of the US Government will include the expansion of fiscal and monetary policy to include an infrastructure spend and a continuation of the trend in monetary policy. This delusion of choice in the United States creates an image similar to China with both countries now having essentially a centrally planned economy at the highest level, both developed a mass surveillance program, have media synchronised to political objectives controlling the window of discourse, and with heavy politically influence from what amounts to an aristocracy. One major difference is that while China has been taking on debt at a record pace in 2020, the American fiscal stimulus has been held up in the democratic process. Between the fake trade-deal (China never having any intention of completing it), Coronavirus and political fandangaling in the US, China has stolen 2020 from the USA, giving some much needed time to develop strategy and tactical positioning before the Thucydides showdown emerges later down the track — in whatever form it does. The broader battle of de-centralisation vs centralisation will be important in the competition between the two powers and something that digital assets, the ethos and philosophy behind the space will become more important in creating competitive advantages in macro-strategy of all kinds.
Now that we have seen Australian house prices down for 5 months in a row there are hints of a dead-cat bounce in the Australian property market. With restricted access to Chinese investors as well as poor sentiment in the conditions of the year the Australian government is expected to intervene in the property market in some way later this year or early next. A federal budget is being delivered Tuesday the 6th October which has been described as a ‘jobs budget’. This budget is expected to have a $200 billion deficit with Australian national debt edging towards $1 trillion. $140 billion of stimulus is expected over the next four years with net migration negative for the first time since the 1940's. There is specific infrastructure and manufacturing expenditure as well as a continuation of JobSeeker payments in which the government is in a bind between encouraging re-entry to the workforce and providing a gentle landing for the unemployed adjusting to the boosted payments. Housing is likely to be one area where surprises would emerge, given Australia’s dependency on residential construction and broader housing prices. Some specific areas of interest are $1.5 billion to manufacturing and $7.5 billion of spending in infrastructure projects covering all states and territories. Whether this will be enough to avoid recession in a global slowdown remains to be seen. Recessions gather momentum slowly with employment decreasing only gradually before accelerated layoffs take hold. Despite this outlook Australia is likely to remain a benefactor of global government policies where monetary policy has been taken as far as it can go in many places and fiscal policy is expected to replace it. There is upto $2.2 trillion of fiscal expenditure in the US expected, along with other fiscal expenditure that would improve the price of commodities. We have already seen this effect in China this year with their record increases in debt on the iron ore price.
In the third quarter of 2020 we saw Decentralised Finance projects stage a bubble of their own. This gold-rush became so competitive at its peak that a project had been unnannounced, unreleased and in testing but was funded with $15mil of assets staked before it had a public name. Now in the late stages of this phenomenon we are likely to see many lessons learnt, some impressive winning stories and some disastrous losses. And the output of all of this chaos in defi includes projects that create a new aspect to the digital asset ecosystem as well as testing new products and game theory. Leading projects include yearn.finance, Synthetix, Uniswap, Compound, Ren and Aave. Some notable game-theory has been developed to bolt onto the Ampleforth tokenomics in Yam and Based amongst others.
One of the key takeaways of the de-fi boom was the inability of Ethereum to handle transactions with costs per transaction skyrocketing. In addition to this there has been statements made by Vitalik to temper expectations in the full release of Ethereum 2.0. However the comments also include a clear direction for the asset, a focus on rollups, plasma and state channel with upto 4000 TPS (transactions per second)’ and upto 100,000 TPS in the full release of Ethereum 2.0.
Although it has traded higher over the time-frame, bitcoin has not done a great deal in Q3. With a major announcement from Microstrategy investing their entire treasury into Bitcoin ($425 million USD) and Grayscale Bitcoin Trust ($4.4 billion USD) holding about 2.2% of Bitcoins total market cap and reports from other institutional players such as OSL there is significant interest in the asset that is not translating smoothly into higher prices. Originally published athttps://minedigital.exchangeon October 5, 2020. Visit the original link for a more in-depth report including charts.
COVID-19's Economic Impact in Canada: a collection of stats on jobs losses, investment returns, consumer confidence, interest rates, housing, and future forecasts
Over the past few weeks, the COVID crisis has hurt the Canadian economy and the average Canadian's financial situation in more ways than one. I tried to tally up the damage by going through the info that's been published thus far (by Stats Can, the Bank of Canada, the Parliamentary Budget Officer, news sites, etc.), and have put together some visualizations and commentary on the data. In summary:
Stats Can's March labour force survey showed that 3.1 million Canadians had their job situation impacted negatively during the survey period (March 15 - March 21); that's ~16% of Canada's total labour force
1 million Canadians lost their jobs; 0.8 million had a job but didn't work any hours; 1.3 million had a job but worked less than half of their usual hours
Canadians worked 15% fewer hours in the month of March vs February; the impact was highest in Quebec (-19%), and lowest in Newfoundland and Labrador (-8.4%)
As of April 13th, nearly 6 million Canadians have applied for CERB or EI (reported by the CBC)
Investments (2020 year-to-date returns)
Stock markets are down by roughly 15 - 20% (TSX Composite is down by 17%)
Bond markets are roughly flat
Gold is up by 14% (as investors tend to flock to gold in times of economic uncertainty)
Bitcoin is down by 4%
Canadian oil prices are down by ~70%
Google search volume in Canada for the terms "recession" and "layoff" are the highest on record, even surpassing the search volume during the 2008 recession
The Conference Board of Canada's "Index of Consumer Confidence" registered the largest monthly decline ever in March
The Bank of Canada cut the overnight rate 3 separate times in March, dropping the rate from 1.75% to 0.25%
The rate hasn't been this low since the 2008 recession
The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board showed a 16% decline in home sale volumes in the Greater Toronto Area in the second half of March
RBC Economics expects that “Canada’s housing market will slow to a crawl this spring”, and that housing prices will face a temporary set-back — with an estimated 2.9% year-over-year price decline in the second half of 2020
Post-COVID Economic Forecasts
On April 9th, Canada’s Parliamentary Budget Officer released a “scenario analysis” report on the potential impact of COVID-19 on the Canadian economy.
It’s estimated that the federal government’s responses to the COVID crisis will have a total cost of over $105 billion
As a result, Canada’s budget deficit in the 2020-21 fiscal year will rise to $185 billion, or roughly 8.5% of GDP
Canada’s budget deficit hasn’t been this high (based on % of GDP) since the 1984-85 fiscal year
In 2020, Canada will have real GDP growth of -5.1%, and an unemployment rate of 12.4%; for context, Canada's real GDP only declined by 3.3% in 2009
The number of unemployed Canadians will rise from 1.2 million (Q4 2019) to 3.1 million (Q3 2020)
These points are addressed in chart form at the link above. You can download a spreadsheet which contains all of the source data / charts. There's also a summary of the emergency response initiatives announced by the federal government (CERB, GST credit, CCB one-time payment, the 75% wage subsidy, etc.), and thoughts about steps that Canadians can take today to improve their financial situation. I'll continue to update the page as new economic stats roll-in, and as the government announces new initiatives. I'd love to hear your thoughts about COVID's economic impact in Canada. Also, please feel free to share any other stats, articles, or reports that you think are relevant!
What Atlas Rising is doing is to chart the way for Bitcoin and indeed other cryptocurrencies to thrive the more. The team behind this project already knows that the value of cryptocurrencies will continue to shoot to the moon, and only the smart and well-informed investors will be in a better position to make more money. In lieu of that, Atlas Rising is adding more steps to the future of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies by being the first company to implement full-scale use of solar mining as a way of preserving the global ecosystem and reducing the costs of crypto mining by half. Opportunities for Crypto Enthusiasts If you are interested in cryptocurrencies, there are some things you must have in mind before investing in your favourite crypto coin. The first is that the crypto market might be volatile in some instances. So, you need to learn how to manage your risks. The second is that you must have an eye for details so you don’t make good investments at the wrong time and vice-versa. Also, you need to have some crypto experts you can always look up to for advice and help. Having those in mind, Atlas Rising is there to help you solve issues you might have with cryptocurrency investments. The team behind the project is not unaware of the fact that potential cryptocurrency investors make the mistake of investing in or buying any crypto coin that crosses their path.
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