BITCOIN ETF - publish0x.com

Crypto Markets Tumble as SEC Rejects Winklevoss Twins’ Second Bitcoin ETF Application

Crypto Markets Tumble as SEC Rejects Winklevoss Twins’ Second Bitcoin ETF Application submitted by ThrillerPodcast to thrillerpodcast [link] [comments]

Crypto Markets Tumble as SEC Rejects Winklevoss Twins’ Second Bitcoin ETF Application

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Crypto Markets Tumble as SEC Rejects Winklevoss Twins’ Second Bitcoin ETF Application

Crypto Markets Tumble as SEC Rejects Winklevoss Twins’ Second Bitcoin ETF Application submitted by Cointelegraph_news to CoinTelegraph [link] [comments]

MicroStrategy's $425M BTC investment thesis - "buy something that can either get cut in half or 10x"

Amidst all of the DeFi volatility, drama and excitement, Bitcoin has started to seem rather boring. Its price is more or less flat to where it was a year ago and you can’t even farm Yams with it.
While some have started to view Bitcoin as a useless digital rock, someone did find an interesting use case for it. This week, more details surfaced around how MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor convinced the board of a publicly traded company to allocate nearly all of the company’s $500M cash position to bitcoin.
Michael Saylor
Saylor graduated from MIT in 1987 and founded Microstrategy at the age of 24. MicroStrategy is a “Business Intelligence” company, which basically creates software that allows companies to use their own data to drive decision making.
Interesting side note - Saylor, like any good 90’s internet entrepreneur, also bought a bunch of internet domains and was the guy who ultimately sold Voice.com to Block.One (EOS) for $30M.
MicroStrategy’s’ $500M Problem
To most people, having $500 million in cash doesn’t sound like a problem. Up until recently, it wasn’t for large corporations either. There was a time before the ‘08 financial crisis when the risk free rate of return on cash was 5% a year. This means a company could sit on $500M, earn $25M a year for doing nothing, and have cash on hand for a rainy day.
Fast forward to today, when the risk free rate of return has plummeted to 0.69% due to loose fiscal policies (money printer go BRRRR) alongside inflating asset prices, and it’s a different story. In Saylor’s own words, “we just had the awful realization that we were sitting on top of a $500 million ice cube that’s melting.”
Cash is Trash
So what’s a corporation to do with a $500M melting ice cube? It turns out it’s not that easy to unload half a billion dollars in a short amount of time.
You could buy back half a billion of your own company’s shares. For a company like MSTR, Saylor estimated that would take 4 years. Time MiscroStrategy didn’t have.
You could buy real estate. However, commercial real estate prices have collapsed post COVID while property owners still believe their assets are worth what they were in January. In other words, good luck getting a fair market price.
You could buy blue chip equities. Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook. However, your risk is symmetric. They can each fall 50% just as easily as they can go up 50%.
That left Saylor with silver, gold, Bitcoin, and other alternative assets. A move the company announced it was exploring on a July earnings call.
A Bold Purchase
Saylor ultimately wanted something that could either get cut in half, or go up by a factor of 10. An investment akin to what buying Amazon or Apple in 2012 was. In other words, asymmetric risk.
As a student of technological history, Saylor observed that the winning strategy over the last ten years has been to find some kind of “digitally dominant network” that dematerializes something fundamental to society. Apple dematerialized mobile communications. Amazon dematerialized commerce. Google dematerialized the process of gathering information.
Something Saylor noted was common to all recent 10X opportunities is buying when they’ve achieved $100B+ marketcaps and are ten times the size of their next biggest competitor. As Bitcoin is the dominant digital network dematerializing money that’s 10x the size of any cryptocurrency competing to be a store-of-value (not counting ETH here), it fit the bill.
Making the purchase
With the thesis in place, the next thing Saylor had to do was get everyone at MicroStrategy to sign-off on the unorthodox decision. To do this, he simply made everyone go down the same Bitcoin rabbithole that most people in the industry have gone down.
He made everyone at the company watch Andreas Antonopoulous videos, read The Bitcoin Standard, watch Eric Vorhees debate Peter Schiff and listen to Pomp and NLW podcasts. With no strong detractors, MicroStrategy turned to execution. They first put $250M to work purchasing 21,454 BTC in August and another $175M (16,796 BTC) in September for a total $425M and 38,250 BTC.
What’s fascinating is that MicroStrategy was able to open such a large position without really moving the market or anyone even taking notice. This speaks to just how liquid of an asset BTC has become. To acquire the September tranche of BTC, Saylor disclosed that they traded continuously for 74 hours, executing 88,617 trades of .19 BTC every 3 seconds.
One for the history books
Skeptics noted that shares of MSTR have been on the downtrend since 2013, as the real reason behind MicroStrategy’s bold move. Regardless, the move has interesting implications for the company’s shareholders. As TBI observed, MicroStrategy is now both a software company and with ⅓ of its marketcap in Bitcoin, a pseudo Bitcoin ETF. At the time of writing, MSTR is up 20% on the week.
Only time will tell if history looks back on this move as a brilliant strategic decision or a massive corporate blunder. In the short term, it scores a massive win for Bitcoin’s digital gold investment thesis.
Billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones is in. A publicly traded corporation has made Bitcoin it’s primary treasury asset. As CFOs and fund managers around the world undoubtedly take notice, one has to wonder, who’s next?
PS - I based a lot of this article on Pomp’s interview with Michael Saylor, which I recommend giving a listen.
Original article
Source
submitted by CryptigoVespucci to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

My 10 year plan

Just thought I'd lay out my 10 year plan, maybe the ideas may interest somebody. I will be 40 (ish) years old - actually aiming for a kind of semi-retirement.

Property for holiday lets:
I have one small property with an older relative living in it who just covers the mortgage and will do until that mortgage is paid off (18 years). That's a super long-term investment and I kind of see that as an inheritance (as I won't be getting actual inheritance from parents). Property worth approx £160k currently.
I have one property which is let out as a holiday cottage. After all expenses, including the management, of it I am averaging £1000 profit per month, I don't really put in any time into the running of this.
The plan is to get at least another 2 holiday lets which will hopefully bring in similar profit. This could be a very easy semi-retirement gig managing these. I found a property nearby recently for £600k which was a large house with 5 small one-bedroom holiday apartments attached - this would be perfect! I would have cleaners working them, maybe a management firm running it.

Cryptocurrency: (dollar cost averaging)
Bitcoin - The most decentralised and adopted crypto, it looks like it's won the race.
Monero - massively undervalued privacy coin, it's pretty much the only coin currently used on dark web markets (good indicator for future adoption).
Ethereum - Bit of a gamble, but looks promising. On release of ETH 2.0 they will offer a 6% annual interest on your holdings if you 'stake' it.
I honestly believe the cryptocurrency market could increase X 50 in the next 10 years, it is a hedge against all the money printing which is going on. IF it goes 50X then my holdings should buy me the previously mentioned house with holiday lets.

Stocks/commodities etc: (dollar cost averaging)
I hold some Gold ETFs, but am currently sat out of stocks. Gold is a good hedge investment. I plan to DCA into a REIT (real estate investment trust which often give 8-12% returns)).

Pensions:
I may have some measly amount in a military pension (9 years service) - probably £50 per month by the time I reach it (67 years old). I'm not wasting my time with pensions, the state pension is a giant ponzi scheme as far as I'm concerned and I don't trust other people enough with my money to play with it in a private pension pot. I've literally just joined this group and have noticed it's pension heavy so maybe I'll be swayed a bit.

Just to give an idea of roughly what I can dollar cost average - I can save approx £2k per month at the moment (work abroad). I'll keep a bit of cash but will mostly be DCA'ing into crypto, gold and a REIT. Cash is only going to be worth less and less each year!

So not to waste money:
  1. Won't have flashy car - something cheap and works
  2. Buy all my furnishings etc second hand (gumtree/marketplace) No shopping in Next or Ikea
  3. No takeaways, limit meals out
  4. Pay off credit cards every month
  5. Don't have kids, don't get married
  6. All the obvious smart money management.

Hopefully I will be able to sit back in 10 years with some holiday lets under the belt bringing in a few quid and I can spend the winters somewhere sunny.
submitted by biggybiggybiggybiggy to FIREUK [link] [comments]

Hulk.Finance: A Combination of DeFi and High Frequency Trading

DeFi continues to push the limits of blockchain technology. Whether its staking a native token for a second token from the same ecosystem, locking liquidity for an eternity to promote liquidity providing and the benefits of locking tokens, or simply creating new tokenomics that can be tested and studied, DeFi is exploring all avenues to produce the next breakout token such as YFI. Hulk.finance has stepped in to do just that.

Hulk.finance (Contract Address: 0xE1f8CD01aB04b51d02C6fb2BCA61B03fB5e33B99**)** is an ERC20 token which plans to utilize a DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) format that will be community governed in order to promote high frequency trading in a manner only DeFi can bring to the table. As stated on their website, “Our project connects a high-yield partner HFT (High Frequency Trading) fund that has successfully worked from the beginning of 2020 and has year-to-date yields of more than 40%. The fund size is more than 70 millions USD and they operate on several cryptocurrency exchanges like Binance and Bithumb with their API robots. What is good — automated trading does not require continuous uptrend of the Bitcoin price. We have seen good results during Bitcoin breakouts and breakdowns. We want to have the same yields from our investments. But there is a problem — they work with an entrance barrier of 1,000,000 USDT, like many private banking services or high-yield ETFs. Our basic idea is to make a kind of DeFi staking pool and put it under the management of the HFT fund. We will develop all infrastructure for connecting finance flows, deposits, and withdrawals.

The HULK total supply is 100,000 Tokens. Distribution breakdown is as follows:

The project is new but already has a road-map to help guide their lofty ambitions. The first step begins with the formation of the pre-sale and Liquidity pool on Uniswap which is currently ongoing. Secondly, they will distribute Hulk tokens via staking farms. As described in their website they “will run staking farms for farming 80,000 HULKs*. You will need to stake appropriate tokens on the selected farms to get your share of rewards in HULKs. Farm 1 will farm rewards of 60,000* HULKs within 15 days, staking token — ETH-HULK LP Uniswap V2. Farm 2 will farm rewards of 10,000 HULKs within 15 days, staking token — USDN. Farm 3 will farm rewards of 10,000 HULKs within 15 days, staking token — Token Y. Token Y will be announced prior to the farms’ launch. Genesis farming time will be 15 days, after that farming rate will be settled on the level of 15th day. We implement halving every three days, so early farmers will get more HULKs. View on Etherscan. In order to support the price of the token from dumping, we will take a 5% commission for the sale of tokens, when holders sell it on Uniswap, burn 4% and add 1% to the community grants account. The burnt amount will be added to farming pools after 15 days of initial farming. So, for example, if someone sold 20,000 HULKs, we will take 1,000 tokens, burn 800 of them and they will be re-minted on day 16. 200 tokens will be sent to the community grants address. The total supply is 100,000 tokens.”

The third step includes the staking pool. The staking pool will be open for everyone on the following terms and conditions.


Funds from the staking pool will be transferred to the HFT fund for trading operations.

Lastly, the Vault concept is descriptive. “We want to share revenue from HFT fund among HULK holders that stake their tokens in HULK Vault. HFT fund will send revenue from its operation once a month, on the first day of the following month. Current concept: Monthly revenue from HFT operations will be shared between HULK tokens staked in the vault according to the time of staking divided on 720 hours. Example: You stake your 500 HULK tokens in Vault for 20 days (480 hours). Your HULK/hours equal to 500*480=240,000. Total HULK/hours in Vault in this month — 60,000,000. Your share in this month = 0,4%. HFT fund has earned 4% on staking pool funds this month. After payout of their 1,25% (15%/12) per month to USDT stakers, the remaining part is 10,000,000 USDT x 2,75% = 275,000 USD. Your profit share 0.4% of 275,000 = 1100 USDT will be sent as USDT to your address, connected with a Vault.”

All of the above described by the tokens creators seems very complicated, but many tokens are already trying to accomplish this without access to an already built fund which can execute trades on a daily basis. Also due in part is the projects commitment to becoming a DAO by allowing holders to vote on key project decisions and development to make the ecosystem more effective and manageable. Decentralization is the most trustworthy base of contract/cryptocurrency ownership. It creates a unique and secure environment free from direct outside influence due to the filter of the entire community being involved. The developers have said that the voting system for the project will be done within the first 30 days of project launch.

With lofty ambition and high expectations, the project looks to capitalize on the DeFi boom by hedging their fund against the market and giving holders a share of the pie. It will be interesting to see how successful and sustainable the project can be, but we will find out soon enough.

Pertinent Hulk.Finance Links:



(I write articles and reviews for legitimate, interesting, up and coming cryptocurrency projects. Feel free to PM me to review your project. Thank you!)

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Disclaimer: This is not financial advice. The sole purpose of this post/article is to provide and create an informative and educated discussion regarding the project in question. Invest at your own risk.
submitted by Chrisc9234 to CryptoMoonShots [link] [comments]

Wandering From the Path? | Monthly Portfolio Update - August 2020

Midway along the journey of our life I 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
Total portfolio value $1 848 896 (+$48 777 or 2.7%)
Asset allocation
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:
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.
submitted by thefiexpl to fiaustralia [link] [comments]

Hulk.Finance: A Combination of DeFi and High Frequency Trading

Hulk.Finance: A Combination of DeFi and High Frequency Trading
DeFi continues to push the limits of blockchain technology. Whether its staking a native token for a second token from the same ecosystem, locking liquidity for an eternity to promote liquidity providing and the benefits of locking tokens, or simply creating new tokenomics that can be tested and studied, DeFi is exploring all avenues to produce the next breakout token such as YFI. Hulk.finance has stepped in to do just that.

https://preview.redd.it/f4mrjlxu5ct51.png?width=675&format=png&auto=webp&s=2c2d11429ae554d541bed3a19955fed71e6f9b6d
Hulk.finance (Contract Address: 0xE1f8CD01aB04b51d02C6fb2BCA61B03fB5e33B99) is an ERC20 token which plans to utilize a DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) format that will be community governed in order to promote high frequency trading in a manner only DeFi can bring to the table. As stated on their website, “Our project connects a high-yield partner HFT (High Frequency Trading) fund that has successfully worked from the beginning of 2020 and has year-to-date yields of more than 40%. The fund size is more than 70 millions USD and they operate on several cryptocurrency exchanges like Binance and Bithumb with their API robots. What is good — automated trading does not require continuous uptrend of the Bitcoin price. We have seen good results during Bitcoin breakouts and breakdowns. We want to have the same yields from our investments. But there is a problem — they work with an entrance barrier of 1,000,000 USDT, like many private banking services or high-yield ETFs. Our basic idea is to make a kind of DeFi staking pool and put it under the management of the HFT fund. We will develop all infrastructure for connecting finance flows, deposits, and withdrawals.

https://preview.redd.it/fugnjuoz5ct51.png?width=717&format=png&auto=webp&s=2aa5bd3828b4803191de330f024edab277f47906

The HULK total supply is 100,000 Tokens. Distribution breakdown is as follows:
  • Farms Distribution: 80,000 (6% or 4,800 — Team Part)
  • Pre-sale: 10,000
  • Initial Liquidity Pool: 8,000
  • Development: 1,000
  • Marketing: 1,000

https://preview.redd.it/js0zqx136ct51.png?width=717&format=png&auto=webp&s=0469468caa8d47be95baf392b2a26a9303d7f773
The project is new but already has a road-map to help guide their lofty ambitions. The first step begins with the formation of the pre-sale and Liquidity pool on Uniswap which is currently ongoing. Secondly, they will distribute Hulk tokens via staking farms. As described in their website they “will run staking farms for farming 80,000 HULKs. You will need to stake appropriate tokens on the selected farms to get your share of rewards in HULKs. Farm 1 will farm rewards of 60,000 HULKs within 15 days, staking token — ETH-HULK LP Uniswap V2. Farm 2 will farm rewards of 10,000 HULKs within 15 days, staking token — USDN. Farm 3 will farm rewards of 10,000 HULKs within 15 days, staking token — Token Y. Token Y will be announced prior to the farms’ launch. Genesis farming time will be 15 days, after that farming rate will be settled on the level of 15th day. We implement halving every three days, so early farmers will get more HULKs. View on Etherscan. In order to support the price of the token from dumping, we will take a 5% commission for the sale of tokens, when holders sell it on Uniswap, burn 4% and add 1% to the community grants account. The burnt amount will be added to farming pools after 15 days of initial farming. So, for example, if someone sold 20,000 HULKs, we will take 1,000 tokens, burn 800 of them and they will be re-minted on day 16. 200 tokens will be sent to the community grants address. The total supply is 100,000 tokens.

The third step includes the staking pool. The staking pool will be open for everyone on the following terms and conditions.

  • Staking Pool 1 Target: 10 million USDT.
  • Guaranteed APY: 15%.
  • Minimum Staking Amount: 100 USDT.
  • Type Of Staking: Locked
  • Minimum Staking Term: 24 hours
  • Withdraw Period: 24 hours after withdrawal order.
  • Reward Calculation: daily.
Funds from the staking pool will be transferred to the HFT fund for trading operations.

Lastly, the Vault concept is descriptive. “We want to share revenue from HFT fund among HULK holders that stake their tokens in HULK Vault. HFT fund will send revenue from its operation once a month, on the first day of the following month. Current concept: Monthly revenue from HFT operations will be shared between HULK tokens staked in the vault according to the time of staking divided on 720 hours. Example: You stake your 500 HULK tokens in Vault for 20 days (480 hours). Your HULK/hours equal to 500\480=240,000. Total* HULK/hours in Vault in this month — 60,000,000. Your share in this month = 0,4%. HFT fund has earned 4% on staking pool funds this month. After payout of their 1,25% (15%/12) per month to USDT stakers, the remaining part is 10,000,000 USDT x 2,75% = 275,000 USD. Your profit share 0.4% of 275,000 = 1100 USDT will be sent as USDT to your address, connected with a Vault.”

All of the above described by the tokens creators seems very complicated, but many tokens are already trying to accomplish this without access to an already built fund which can execute trades on a daily basis. Also due in part is the projects commitment to becoming a DAO by allowing holders to vote on key project decisions and development to make the ecosystem more effective and manageable. Decentralization is the most trustworthy base of contract/cryptocurrency ownership. It creates a unique and secure environment free from direct outside influence due to the filter of the entire community being involved. The developers have said that the voting system for the project will be done within the first 30 days of project launch.

With lofty ambition and high expectations, the project looks to capitalize on the DeFi boom by hedging their fund against the market and giving holders a share of the pie. It will be interesting to see how successful and sustainable the project can be, but we will find out soon enough.

Pertinent Hulk.Finance Links:



(I write articles and reviews for legitimate, interesting, up and coming cryptocurrency projects. Feel free to PM me to review your project. Thank you!)
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
Disclaimer: This is not financial advice. The sole purpose of this post/article is to provide and create an informative and educated discussion regarding the project in question. Invest at your own risk.
submitted by Chrisc9234 to CryptoCurrencies [link] [comments]

Hulk.Finance: A Combination of DeFi and High Frequency Trading

Hulk.Finance: A Combination of DeFi and High Frequency Trading
DeFi continues to push the limits of blockchain technology. Whether its staking a native token for a second token from the same ecosystem, locking liquidity for an eternity to promote liquidity providing and the benefits of locking tokens, or simply creating new tokenomics that can be tested and studied, DeFi is exploring all avenues to produce the next breakout token such as YFI. Hulk.finance has stepped in to do just that.

https://preview.redd.it/j5qhdouxect51.png?width=675&format=png&auto=webp&s=f054e18e44a59d2328850373cbce91c648875670

Hulk.finance (Contract Address: 0xE1f8CD01aB04b51d02C6fb2BCA61B03fB5e33B99) is an ERC20 token which plans to utilize a DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) format that will be community governed in order to promote high frequency trading in a manner only DeFi can bring to the table. As stated on their website, “Our project connects a high-yield partner HFT (High Frequency Trading) fund that has successfully worked from the beginning of 2020 and has year-to-date yields of more than 40%. The fund size is more than 70 millions USD and they operate on several cryptocurrency exchanges like Binance and Bithumb with their API robots. What is good — automated trading does not require continuous uptrend of the Bitcoin price. We have seen good results during Bitcoin breakouts and breakdowns. We want to have the same yields from our investments. But there is a problem — they work with an entrance barrier of 1,000,000 USDT, like many private banking services or high-yield ETFs. Our basic idea is to make a kind of DeFi staking pool and put it under the management of the HFT fund. We will develop all infrastructure for connecting finance flows, deposits, and withdrawals.

https://preview.redd.it/0e3j6i0zect51.png?width=717&format=png&auto=webp&s=0578f1dfd88142f6da788b39a2e90833fb627c51

The HULK total supply is 100,000 Tokens. Distribution breakdown is as follows:

  • Farms Distribution: 80,000 (6% or 4,800 — Team Part)
  • Pre-sale: 10,000
  • Initial Liquidity Pool: 8,000
  • Development: 1,000
  • Marketing: 1,000

https://preview.redd.it/xiz7f0i2fct51.png?width=717&format=png&auto=webp&s=85a8e7ccc13661cb6318ed845793ab4f70c729e3
The project is new but already has a road-map to help guide their lofty ambitions. The first step begins with the formation of the pre-sale and Liquidity pool on Uniswap which is currently ongoing. Secondly, they will distribute Hulk tokens via staking farms. As described in their website they “will run staking farms for farming 80,000 HULKs*. You will need to stake appropriate tokens on the selected farms to get your share of rewards in HULKs. Farm 1 will farm rewards of 60,000* HULKs within 15 days, staking token — ETH-HULK LP Uniswap V2. Farm 2 will farm rewards of 10,000 HULKs within 15 days, staking token — USDN. Farm 3 will farm rewards of 10,000 HULKs within 15 days, staking token — Token Y. Token Y will be announced prior to the farms’ launch. Genesis farming time will be 15 days, after that farming rate will be settled on the level of 15th day. We implement halving every three days, so early farmers will get more HULKs. View on Etherscan. In order to support the price of the token from dumping, we will take a 5% commission for the sale of tokens, when holders sell it on Uniswap, burn 4% and add 1% to the community grants account. The burnt amount will be added to farming pools after 15 days of initial farming. So, for example, if someone sold 20,000 HULKs, we will take 1,000 tokens, burn 800 of them and they will be re-minted on day 16. 200 tokens will be sent to the community grants address. The total supply is 100,000 tokens.”

The third step includes the staking pool. The staking pool will be open for everyone on the following terms and conditions.

  • Staking Pool 1 Target: 10 million USDT.
  • Guaranteed APY: 15%.
  • Minimum Staking Amount: 100 USDT.
  • Type Of Staking: Locked
  • Minimum Staking Term: 24 hours
  • Withdraw Period: 24 hours after withdrawal order.
  • Reward Calculation: daily.

Funds from the staking pool will be transferred to the HFT fund for trading operations.

Lastly, the Vault concept is descriptive. “We want to share revenue from HFT fund among HULK holders that stake their tokens in HULK Vault. HFT fund will send revenue from its operation once a month, on the first day of the following month. Current concept: Monthly revenue from HFT operations will be shared between HULK tokens staked in the vault according to the time of staking divided on 720 hours. Example: You stake your 500 HULK tokens in Vault for 20 days (480 hours). Your HULK/hours equal to 500*480=240,000. Total HULK/hours in Vault in this month — 60,000,000. Your share in this month = 0,4%. HFT fund has earned 4% on staking pool funds this month. After payout of their 1,25% (15%/12) per month to USDT stakers, the remaining part is 10,000,000 USDT x 2,75% = 275,000 USD. Your profit share 0.4% of 275,000 = 1100 USDT will be sent as USDT to your address, connected with a Vault.”

All of the above described by the tokens creators seems very complicated, but many tokens are already trying to accomplish this without access to an already built fund which can execute trades on a daily basis. Also due in part is the projects commitment to becoming a DAO by allowing holders to vote on key project decisions and development to make the ecosystem more effective and manageable. Decentralization is the most trustworthy base of contract/cryptocurrency ownership. It creates a unique and secure environment free from direct outside influence due to the filter of the entire community being involved. The developers have said that the voting system for the project will be done within the first 30 days of project launch.

With lofty ambition and high expectations, the project looks to capitalize on the DeFi boom by hedging their fund against the market and giving holders a share of the pie. It will be interesting to see how successful and sustainable the project can be, but we will find out soon enough.

Pertinent Hulk.Finance Links:



(I write articles and reviews for legitimate, interesting, up and coming cryptocurrency projects. Feel free to PM me to review your project. Thank you!)
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Disclaimer: This is not financial advice. The sole purpose of this post/article is to provide and create an informative and educated discussion regarding the project in question. Invest at your own risk.
submitted by Chrisc9234 to ethtrader [link] [comments]

Here is how to play the altcoin game - for newbies & champs

I have been here for many previous altcoin seasons (2013,2017 etc) and wanted to share knowedle. It's a LOOONG article.
The evaluation of altcoins (i.e not Bitcoin) is one of the most difficult and profitable exercises. Here I will outline my methodology and thinking but we have to take some things as a given. The first is that the whole market is going up or down with forces that we can't predict or control. Bitcoin is correlated with economic environments, money supply increases, safe havens such as Gold, hype and country regulations. This is an impossible mix to analyze and almost everyone fails at it. That's why you see people valuing Bitcoin from $100 to $500k frequently. Although I am bullish on the prospects of Bitcoin and decentralization and smart contract platforms, this is not the game I will be describing. I am talking about a game where you try to maximize your BTC holdings by investing in altcoins. We win this game even if we are at a loss in fiat currency value. To put it another way:
If you are not bullish in general on cryptocurrencies you have no place in investing or trading cryptocurrencies since it's always a losing proposition to trade in bubbles, a scientifically proven fact. If on the other hand you are then your goal is to grow your portfolio more than you would if holding BTC/ETH for example.

Bitcoin is the big boy

How the market works is not easily identifiable if you haven't graduated from the 2017 crypto university. When there is a bull market everything seems amazingly profitable and things keep going up outgrowing Bitcoin by orders of magnitude and you are a genius. The problem with this is that it only works while Bitcoin is going up a little bit or trades sideways. When it decides to move big then altcoins lose value both on the way up and on the way down. The second part is obvious and proven since all altcoins from 2017 are at a fraction of their BTC value (usually in the range of 80% or more down). Also, when BTC is making a big move upwards everyone exits altcoins to ride the wave. It is possible that the altcoin market behaves as an inversed leveraged ETF with leakage where in a certain period while Bitcoin starts at 10k and ends at 10k for example, altcoins have lost a lot of value because of the above things happening.

We are doing it anyway champ!

OK so we understand the risks and just wanna gambol with our money right? I get it. Why do that? Because finding the ideal scenario and period can be extremely profitable. In 2017 several altcoins went up 40x more than BTC. But again, if you don't chose wisely many of them have gone back to zero (the author has first hand experience in this!), they have been delisted and nobody remembers them. The actual mentality to have is very important and resembles poker and other speculative games:
A certain altcoin can go up in value indefinitely but can only lose it's starting investment. Think about it. You either lose 1 metric or gain many many more. Now that sounds amazing but firstly as we said we have the goal to outperform our benchmark (BTC) and secondly that going up in value a lot means that the probability is quite low. There is this notion of Expected Value (EV) that poker players apply in these kind of situations and it goes like that. If you think that a certain coin has a probability let's say 10% to go up 10X and 90% probability it goes to zero it's an even bet. If you think that probability is 11% then it's a good bet, a profitable bet and you should take it. You get the point right? It's not that it can only go 10X or 0X, there is a whole range of probability outcomes that are too mathematical to explain here and it doesn't help so much because nobody can do such analysis with altcoins. See below on how we can approximate it.

How to evaluate altcoins

A range of different things to take into account outlined below will form our decision making. Not a single one of them should dictate 100% of our strategy.

Basics

It's all about market cap. Repeat after me. The price of a coin doesn't mean anything. Say it 10 times until you believe it. I can't remember how many times I had conversations with people that were comparing coins using their coin price instead of their market cap. To make this easy to get.
If I decide because the sky is blue to make my coin supply 100 Trillion FoolCoins with a price of $0.001 and there is another WiseCoin with a supply of 100 Million and price of $1 then FoolCoins are more expensive. - Alex Fin's Cap Law

Fundamental analysis

This is done usually in the stock world and it means that each company has some fundamental value that includes it's assets, customers, growth prospects, sector prospects and leadership competence but mostly centered in financial measures such as P/E ratios etc. Valuation is a proper economic discipline by itself taught in universities. OK, now throw everything out of the window!.
This kind of analysis is impossible in vague concepts and innovations that are currently cryptocurrencies. Ethereum was frequently priced at the fictional price of gas when all financial systems on earth run on the platform after decades (a bit of exaggeration here). No project is currently profitable enough to justify a valuation multiple that is usually equal to P/E in the thousands or more. As such we need to take other things into account. What I do is included in the list below:

Relative valuation

One of my favorite ways to value altcoins that is based on the same principle in the stock market is to look at peers and decide what is the maximum cap it can grow to. As an example you take a second layer Ethereum solution that has an ICO and you want to decide if you will enter or not. You can take a look at other coins that are in the same business and compare their market caps. Thinking that your coin will outperform by a lot the top coins currently is overly optimistic so I usually take a lower valuation as a target price. If the initial offering is directly implying a valuation that is more than that then there is no room to grow according to my analysis and I skip it. Many times this has proven me wrong because it's a game theory problem where if many people think irrationally in a market it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. But since there is opportunity cost involved, in the long run, getting in initial offerings that have a lot of room to grow will pay off as a strategy.

Sector prospects

In 2017 the sexiest sector was platforms and then coins including privacy ones. Platforms are obviously still a highly rated sector because everything is being built on them, but privacy is not as hot as it used to be. In 2018 DEXes were all they hype but still people are massively using centralized exchanges. In 2020 Defi is the hottest sector and it includes platforms, oracles and Defi projects. What I am saying is that a project gets extra points if it's a Defi one in 2020 and minus points if it's a payment system that will conquer the world as it was in 2017 because that's old news. This is closely related to the next section.

Hype

Needless to say that the crypto market is a worse FOMO type of inexperienced trigger happy yolo investors , much worse than the Robinhood crowd that drove a bankrupt company's stock 1200% after they declared bankruptcy. The result is that there are numerous projects that are basically either vaporware or just so overhyped that their valuation has no connection to reality. Should we avoid those kind of projects? No and I will explain why. There are many very good technically projects that had zero hype potential due to incompetent marketing departments that made them tank. An example (without shilling because I sold out a while back) is Quantum Resistant Ledger. This project has amazing quantum resistant blockchain, the only one running now, has a platform that people can build tokens and messaging systems and other magnificent stuff. Just check how they fared up to now and you will get the point. A project *needs* to have a hype factor because you cannot judge it as normal stocks that you can do value investing like Warren Buffet does where a company will inevitable post sales and profitability numbers and investors will get dividends. Actually the last sentence is the most important: No dividends. Even projects that give you tokens or coins as dividends are not real dividends because if the coin tanks the value of the dividend tanks. This is NOT the case with company stocks where you get dollars even if the company stock tanks. All that being said, I would advice against betting on projects that have a lot of hype but little substance (but that should be obvious!).

How to construct your portfolio

My strategy and philosophy in investing is that risk should be proportional to investment capital. That means that if you are investing 100K in the crypto market your portfolio should be very different than someone investing 1K because 10% annual gains are nothing in the latter while they are very significant in the former. Starting from this principle each individual needs to construct a portfolio according to how much risk he wants to take. I will emphasize two important concepts that play well with what I said. In the first instance of a big portfolio you should concentrate on this mantra: "Diversification is the only free meal in finance". In the case of a small portfolio then this mantra is more important: "Concentrate to create wealth, diversify to maintain wealth". Usually in a big portfolio you would want to hold some big coins such as BTC and ETH to weather the ups and downs explained in previous paragraphs while generating profits and keep progressively smaller parts of your portfolio for riskier investments. Maybe 50% of this portfolio could be big caps and 10% very risky initial offerings. Adapting risk progressively to smaller portfolios makes sense but I think it would be irrational to keep more than 30% of a portfolio no matter what tied to one coin due to the very high risk of bankruptcy.

Conclusion

The altseason is supposedly coming every 3 months. Truth is that nobody can predict it but altcoins can be profitable no matter what. Forget about maximalists who are stuck in their dogmas. Altcoins deliver different value propositions and it makes sense because we are very far from a situation where some project offers everything like Amazon and we wouldn't even want that in the first place since we are talking about decentralization and not a winner takes all and becomes a monster kind of scenario! Some last minute advice:
P.S If you find value in reading this and want more weekly consider subscribing to my newsletter here
submitted by aelaos1 to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Uniswap on Fire, $UNI Options Broke 4 Records within 2 weeks

Uniswap on Fire, $UNI Options Broke 4 Records within 2 weeks

https://preview.redd.it/k5tfld8ch1t51.jpg?width=1280&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=62b80c63d9f5887d52a4bef1b9d6cbb809180bc8

After 3 years decentralized exchanges has been through, the market presented a rapid trend especially after AMM (Automated Market Making) was introduced into dex, it lifted up the dex volume from millions to billions. Uniswap, as the most renowned decentralized exchanges, did a huge effect on AMM into decentralized exchanges.
Uniswap is a smart contract based on Ethereum for users to swap ETH and ERC20s. The CPMM (Constant Product Market Maker) that Uniswap uses enables users to exchange ERC20s in their token pools. It not only changes the “order book” trading mode, but also lowers the barriers of market-making, which allows every user to become a market maker to a specific trading pair, and earn profits from it. This mechanism is innovative in the yield of DeFi and tries to grab more users from centralized exchanges. After 2-year development, Uniswap became the most renowned DEX based on Ethereum.
To stabilize its own market-making, Uniswap did not launch its own governance token until the end of August. The born of SUSHI, which stole more than half of liquidity on Uniswap by their token incentive mechanism. It caused Uniswap once fell to the 10th of all the DeFi projects. After then, Uniswap launched its own governance tokens. After the SUSHI chief cashed out by selling his SUSHI, Uniswap attracted their lost users back with its liquidity that is stable and of high yield. At last, everyone witnessed the king came back and ranked the first TVL on DeFi.
On the occasion, BitOffer listed $UNI on their options trading. And 4 records have been broken within 2 weeks:
1. $200 millions Breakout of the Daily Trading Volume:
From June to September, the trading volume on Uniswap surged from $1 million to $1 billion. The fact above caused most eye-contacts from the cryptocurrency industry. Therefore, after $UNI was listed on BitOffer Options, the volume on BitOffer UNI Options broke out $200 million, and it is still increasing. In the near future, the daily volume on UNI Options is hopefully to break $1 billion.
2. 100,000Daily Active Users
As for now, the total DAU on BitOffer is more than 200,000, and a half of them trade UNI Options. Those users can be divided into 2 types: Buying Options Only & Hedging their UNI Perpetual Swap. Moreover, the second part took up more than 60%. Either traditional finance or cryptocurrency, Futures trading is much more popular than spot trading. To hedge the risk, users who know how to hedge always choose to trade options and futures to set up an arbitrage strategy. As the cryptocurrency developed while DeFi getting hot and the TVL of Uniswap keeps increasing, the number of users who use Options to hedge the risk of the trading perpetual swap will be much huger than now. In addition, since the volatility of $UNI is higher than that of Bitcoin and Ethereum, so buying $UNI Options only or hedging their UNI Perpetual Swap can both have a huge profit space.
3. $UNI Options Owned Most Transactions on September
Since September, after $UNI was listed on exchanges, its attentions and participants kept being the top among all the DeFi tokens. Under such a phenomenon, $UNI Options owned the most transactions in September. According to the data on BitOffer, the transactions on BitOffer reached 500,000, which is 2 times to that of LINK Options, and 1 time to that of Bitcoin Options and ETH Options. After Dual-Currency, BTC Ups & Downs, and Cryptocurrency ETF, $UNI Options made it.
4. The Most Likely Products to Investors
According to the DAU and daily trading volume of $UNI Options, its audience is much more acceptable than $UNI Perpetual Swap. They are both UNI derivatives but they occupy of $UNI Options is less than UNI futures, but it still has a huge developing room, and that is why investors hold a confident view on $UNI Options, which is expected to have a billions trading volume as $UNI spot trading and futures trading. In addition, with BitOffer, the most renowned Bitcoin Options provider, $UNI Options will attract more and more attentions from the market.
submitted by Bitoffer_Official to BitOffer_Official [link] [comments]

LOEx Market Research Report on September 22: Fringe market falls sharply to drive BTC down

LOEx Market Research Report on September 22: Fringe market falls sharply to drive BTC down
[Today's Hot Tips]
1. [Brazilian Fund Management Company and Nasdaq will cooperate to launch Bitcoin ETF]
According to Cointelegraph on September 22, a regulated Brazilian fund management company, Hashdex, signed an agreement with Nasdaq to launch the world's first Bitcoin ETF on the Bermuda Stock Exchange. The ETF product has been approved by the Bermuda government and will be online trading before the end of the year.
2. [South Korean Internet giant, Kakao, may be interested in entering the DeFi field]
According to Cryptocurrency News on September 22, South Korean Internet giant, Kakao, seems to be interested in getting involved in the DeFi field recently. Li Yunhao, head of the ground X business of its blockchain subsidiary, recently stated that the Klaytn platform (a blockchain platform owned by Ground X, which owns the encrypted token KLAY) is open to expanding business related to DeFi. In addition, he also mentioned that Kakao plans to expand the scope of Klip wallet applications to allow support for copyright-related tokenized files, derivatives, and NFT tokens.
3. [OCC: Bank of America can hold reserves for stablecoin issuers]
According to The Block's news on September 21, according to OCC's new guidelines, the Federal Chartered Bank can hold reserves for stablecoins issuers. The Acting Auditor General, Brian Brooks, said in a statement: "This guidance provides banks in the Federal Banking System with greater regulatory certainty, enabling them to provide services to customers in a safe and reliable manner."
[Today's market analysis]
Bitcoin (BTC)BTC fluctuated upwards in the morning as a whole, rebounding slightly from around 10400 USDT to around 10450 USDT, and the overall fluctuation was not large. The mainstream currencies basically follow the trend of the broader market and have little volatility, and the overall trend is upward. BTC is currently trading at 10450.9 USDT on LOEx Global, an increase of 0.30% in 24h.
Global assets fell simultaneously. The European and American stock markets fell sharply yesterday. Spot gold began to fall at 14:00 in the afternoon, falling from 1955 to 1928, directly leading to a crash. BTC fell almost simultaneously, from 10900 to 10320.
BTC has followed the trend of gold obviously. On the other hand, ETH directly led the decline, with a maximum drop of more than 7%. We don't know how many chips are on the mountain again. The DeFi sector has encountered a big waterfall; the so-called not breaking or standing, personally feel that BTC will fall below 10,000 points this time, and you can gradually take positions below 10,000 points. For short-term analysis, as long as it does not stand firmly at 11,000, you should not be too optimistic about the market. After all, this wave is a "blood sucking" model and does not represent the overall strength of the market. In recent times, BTC has risen while other mainstream coins have not risen but fell. Yesterday, the decline of BTC is that mainstream coins have fallen even more, indicating that the "blood sucking" model has not yet ended.
However, there is no need to be too pessimistic. Last week, the hot spots in the end market have weakened. We need to see if there are new hot spots in the future. If not, the outflow of funds from the hot spots still needs a channel to receive.
Under normal circumstances, BTC and mainstream currencies in the currency circle are commonly used channels for capital inflows, so you can still stay focused. Look at the pressure of $ 11000 above BTC. A momentary breakthrough in this position does not mean anything. The key is to stand firm. We should look at $10,000 first at below.
Operation suggestions:
Support level: the first support level is 10000 points, the second support level is 9800 integers;
Resistance level: the first resistance level is 10500 points, the second resistance level is 11000 points.
LOEx is registered in Seychelles. It is a global one-stop digital asset service platform with business distribution nodes in 20 regions around the world. It has been exempted from Seychelles and Singapore Monetary Authority (MAS) digital currency trading services. Provide services and secure encrypted digital currency trading environment for 2 million community members in 24 hours.
https://preview.redd.it/ndl1g4526no51.png?width=619&format=png&auto=webp&s=84413e0d7f72332cacc177a6bd9575a1965b4662
submitted by LOEXCHANGE to loex [link] [comments]

Testing the Tide | Monthly FIRE Portfolio Update - June 2020

We would rather be ruined than changed.
-W H Auden, The Age of Anxiety
This is my forty-third 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 – $726 306
Vanguard Lifestrategy Growth Fund – $42 118
Vanguard Lifestrategy Balanced Fund – $78 730
Vanguard Diversified Bonds Fund – $111 691
Vanguard Australian Shares ETF (VAS) – $201 745
Vanguard International Shares ETF (VGS) – $39 357
Betashares Australia 200 ETF (A200) – $231 269
Telstra shares (TLS) – $1 668
Insurance Australia Group shares (IAG) – $7 310
NIB Holdings shares (NHF) – $5 532
Gold ETF (GOLD.ASX) – $117 757
Secured physical gold – $18 913
Ratesetter (P2P lending) – $10 479
Bitcoin – $148 990
Raiz app (Aggressive portfolio) – $16 841
Spaceship Voyager app (Index portfolio) – $2 553
BrickX (P2P rental real estate) – $4 484
Total portfolio value: $1 765 743 (+$8 485 or 0.5%)
Asset allocation
Australian shares – 42.2% (2.8% under)
Global shares – 22.0%
Emerging markets shares – 2.3%
International small companies – 3.0%
Total international shares – 27.3% (2.7% under)
Total shares – 69.5% (5.5% under)
Total property securities – 0.3% (0.3% over)
Australian bonds – 4.7%
International bonds – 9.4%
Total bonds – 14.0% (1.0% under)
Gold – 7.7%
Bitcoin – 8.4%
Gold and alternatives – 16.2% (6.2% over)
Presented visually, below is a high-level view of the current asset allocation of the portfolio.
[Chart]
Comments
The overall portfolio increased slightly over the month. This has continued to move the portfolio beyond the lows seen in late March.
The modest portfolio growth of $8 000, or 0.5 per cent, maintains its value at around that achieved at the beginning of the year.
[Chart]
The limited growth this month largely reflects an increase in the value of my current equity holdings, in VAS and A200 and the Vanguard retail funds. This has outweighed a small decline in the value of Bitcoin and global shares. The value of the bond holdings also increased modestly, pushing them to their highest value since around early 2017.
[Chart]
There still appears to be an air of unreality around recent asset price increases and the broader economic context. Britain's Bank of England has on some indicators shown that the aftermath of the pandemic and lockdown represent the most challenging financial crisis in around 300 years. What is clear is that investor perceptions and fear around the coronavirus pandemic are a substantial ongoing force driving volatility in equity markets (pdf).
A somewhat optimistic view is provided here that the recovery could look more like the recovery from a natural disaster, rather than a traditional recession. Yet there are few certainties on offer. Negative oil prices, and effective offers by US equity investors to bail out Hertz creditors at no cost appear to be signs of a financial system under significant strains.
As this Reserve Bank article highlights, while some Australian households are well-placed to weather the storm ahead, the timing and severity of what lays ahead is an important unknown that will itself feed into changes in household wealth from here.
Investments this month have been exclusively in the Australian shares exchange-traded fund (VAS) using Selfwealth.* This has been to bring my actual asset allocation more closely in line with the target split between Australian and global shares.
A moving azimuth: falling spending continues
Monthly expenses on the credit card have continued their downward trajectory across the past month.
[Chart]
The rolling average of monthly credit card spending is now at its lowest point over the period of the journey. This is despite the end of lockdown, and a slow resumption of some more normal aspects of spending.
This has continued the brief period since April of the achievement of a notional and contingent kind of financial independence.
The below chart illustrates this temporary state, setting out the degree to which portfolio distributions cover estimated total expenses, measured month to month.
[Chart]
There are two sources of volatility underlying its movement. The first is the level of expenses, which can vary, and the second is the fact that it is based on financial year distributions, which are themselves volatile.
Importantly, the distributions over the last twelve months of this chart is only an estimate - and hence the next few weeks will affect the precision of this analysis across its last 12 observations.
Estimating 2019-20 financial year portfolio distributions
Since the beginning of the journey, this time of year usually has sense of waiting for events to unfold - in particular, finding out the level of half-year distributions to June.
These represent the bulk of distributions, usually averaging 60-65 per cent of total distributions received. They are an important and tangible signpost of progress on the financial independence journey.
This is no simple task, as distributions have varied in size considerably.
A part of this variation has been the important role of sometimes large and lumpy capital distributions - which have made up between 30 to 48 per cent of total distributions in recent years, and an average of around 15 per cent across the last two decades.
I have experimented with many different approaches, most of which have relied on averaging over multi-year periods to even out the 'peaks and troughs' of how market movements may have affected distributions. The main approaches have been:
Each of these have their particular simplifications, advantages and drawbacks.
Developing new navigation tools
Over the past month I have also developed more fully an alternate 'model' for estimating returns.
This simply derives a median value across a set of historical 'cents per unit' distribution data for June and December payouts for the Vanguard funds and exchange traded funds. These make up over 96 per cent of income producing portfolio assets.
In other words, this model essentially assumes that each Vanguard fund and ETF owned pays out the 'average' level of distributions this half-year, with the average being based on distribution records that typically go back between 5 to 10 years.
Mapping the distribution estimates
The chart below sets out the estimate produced by each approach for the June distributions that are to come.
[Chart]
Some observations on these findings can be made.
The lowest estimate is the 'adjusted GFC income' observation, which essentially assumes that the income for this period is as low as experienced by the equity and bond portfolio during the Global Financial Crisis. Just due to timing differences of the period observed, this seems to be a 'worst case' lower bound estimate, which I do not currently place significant weight on.
Similarly, at the highest end, the 'average distribution rate' approach simply assumes June distributions deliver a distribution equal to the median that the entire portfolio has delivered since 1999. With higher interest rates, and larger fixed income holdings across much of that time, this seems an objectively unlikely outcome.
Similarly, the delivery of exactly the income suggested by long-term averages measured across decades and even centuries would be a matter of chance, rather than the basis for rational expectations.
Central estimates of the line of position
This leaves the estimates towards the centre of the chart - estimates of between around $28 000 to $43 000 as representing the more likely range.
I attach less weight to the historical three-year average due to the high contribution of distributed capital gains over that period of growth, where at least across equities some capital losses are likely to be in greater presence.
My preferred central estimate is the model estimate (green) , as it is based in historical data directly from the investment vehicles rather than my own evolving portfolio. The data it is based on in some cases goes back to the Global Financial Crisis. This estimate is also quite close to the raw average of all the alternative approaches (red). It sits a little above the 'adjusted income' measure.
None of these estimates, it should be noted, contain any explicit adjustment for the earnings and dividend reductions or delays arising from COVID-19. They may, therefore represent a modest over-estimate for likely June distributions, to the extent that these effects are more negative than those experienced on average across the period of the underlying data.
These are difficult to estimate, but dividend reductions could easily be in the order of 20-30 per cent, plausibly lowering distributions to the $23 000 to $27 000 range. The recently announced forecast dividend for the Vanguard Australian Shares ETF (VAS) is, for example, the lowest in four years.
As seen from chart above, there is a wide band of estimates, which grow wider still should capital gains be unexpectedly distributed from the Vanguard retail funds. These have represented a source of considerable volatility. Given this, it may seem fruitless to seek to estimate these forthcoming distributions, compared to just waiting for them to arrive.
Yet this exercise helps by setting out reasoning and positions, before hindsight bias urgently arrives to inform me that I knew the right answer all along. It also potentially helps clearly 'reject' some models over time, if the predictions they make prove to be systematically incorrect.
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) 81.0% 109.4%
Credit card purchases – $71 000 pa 98.8% 133.5%
Total expenses – $89 000 pa 79.2% 106.9%
Summary
The current coronavirus conditions are affecting all aspects of the journey to financial independence - changing spending habits, leading to volatility in equity markets and sequencing risks, and perhaps dramatically altering the expected pattern of portfolio distributions.
Although history can provide some guidance, there is simply no definitive way to know whether any or all of these changes will be fundamental and permanent alterations, or simply data points on a post-natural disaster path to a different post-pandemic set of conditions. There is the temptation to fit past crises imperfectly into the modern picture, as this Of Dollars and Data post illustrates well.
Taking a longer 100 year view, this piece 'The Allegory of the Hawk and Serpent' is a reminder that our entire set of received truths about constructing a portfolio to survive for the long-term can be a product of a sample size of one - actual past history - and subject to recency bias.
This month has felt like one of quiet routines, muted events compared to the past few months, and waiting to understand more fully the shape of the new. Nonetheless, with each new investment, or week of lower expenditure than implied in my FI target, the nature of the journey is incrementally changing - beneath the surface.
Small milestones are being passed - such as over 40 per cent of my equity holdings being outside of the the Vanguard retail funds. Or these these retail funds - which once formed over 95 per cent of the portfolio - now making up less than half.
With a significant part of the financial independence journey being about repeated small actions producing outsized results with time, the issue of maintaining good routines while exploring beneficial changes is real.
Adding to the complexity is that embarking on the financial journey itself is likely to change who one is. This idea, of the difficulty or impossibility of knowing the preferences of a future self, is explored in a fascinating way in this Econtalk podcast episode with a philosophical thought experiment about vampires. It poses the question: perhaps we can never know ourselves at the destination? And yet, who would rationally choose ruin over any change?
The post, links and full charts can be seen here.
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The MXC Weekly Reports (August 31-September 4)

The MXC Weekly Reports (August 31-September 4)
MXC Exchange ( www.mxc.com ) is a world-leading digital assets trading platform. We aim at providing Secure, Convenient, Smart blockchain assets trading service, covering the market and price of cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC), Ethereum (ETH), EOS, etc. Below are the weekly reports from August 31 to September 4, including major activities and some new listings on MXC.
Major Activities:
1.MXC launches a new session of "Deposit for Free Listing" campaign for KIMCHI.finance (KIMCHI), Carrot Finance (CRT), Akropolis Delphi (ADEL), Sentivate (SNTVT), Cream (CREAM) and CORN(CORN) from 15:00, September 3 to 15:00, September 5 (UTC+8).
  1. The 15th MXC contract trading activity will be held from 10:00, Sept.3 to 18:00, Sept.4 (UTC+8). The user whose earning rate ranked first and met the requirements can get Huawei P40 Pro+ 5G. Besides, there are other rewards to giveaway including DJI Osmo pocket gimbal camera, Huawei smart air purifier, MXC custom baseball cap and etc.
3.MXC holds “Trading Contest With 200,000 CENNZ Giveaway” from 10:00, August 31, 2020 to 18:00, September 4, 2020 (UTC+8).
4.MXC launches the "Polkadot Ecosystem Margin Trading Contest with 3,400 USDT Giveaway" activity from 10:00 August 31 to 24:00 September 3 (UTC+8).
5.MXC holds the Contract Referral Contest with Huawei P40 and other Super Airdrops to be Won activity from 10:00, August 28 to 24:00, August 31 (UTC+8). The user who invites new users to deposit on MXC can win Huawei P40 Pro+5G and other super airdrops according to the number of the invited users, and the new user can win USDT bonus up to 10 USDT.
New Listing:
  1. The MXC launches DeFi mining products at 21:00 (UTC+8) on September 1st. Deposit MX to earn SUSHI, CRV, or other tokens. The hard caps of the platforms reached within 3 seconds.
2.MXC launches 2nd phase ATTN "PoS Staking" at 18:00(UTC+8) on September 1st and the highest APR up to 40%.
3.The major new listings of spot trading, margin trading, perpetual contract, and leveraged ETF products from August 31-September 4.
Spot Trading:
https://preview.redd.it/lcsbouwxv1l51.png?width=652&format=png&auto=webp&s=6061dd5fbafcceae70b4e25e3a9b93c14a861e13
Margin Trading: MXC addS support to RING/USDT and SUSHI/USDT margin trading pairs
Perpetual Contract: MXC resumes the XRPUSDT, ETCUSDT, LTCUSDT, DASHUSDT.
Leveraged ETF Products: MXC launches DEFI3L and DEFI3S, YFI3L and YFI3S, SUSHI3L and SUSHI3S, BAL3L and BAL3S, CRV3L and CRV3S.
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Gold and Silver: Where Do They Go From Here?

https://federationofglobalmerchants.com/2020/08/14/gold-and-silver-where-do-they-go-from-here/

Investors know by now that one of the leading indicators of an unstable and unpredictable stock market is a surge in the price of precious metals like gold and silver. In February, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the markets officially entered a recession, even though just months later several of the major indices have reached all-time highs. It was a brief dip into recessionary territory, but this sort of volatility is what gives investors hesitation in putting their money into the stock market, rather than something that is perceived to be more stable. Gold future contracts are selling well above $2000 per ounce for the rest of 2020 and well into 2021 as well showing that investors are confident that gold will continue to rise in price. Silver is also surging reaching new all-time highs on a daily basis. So investors may be curious as to how to get into this red-hot market, especially as the markets continue to fluctuate.
Gold:
For centuries now gold has been literally the ‘gold-standard’ of currency and wealth. Dating back all the way to around 40,000 B.C. in Spanish caves, gold is a naturally occurring element that has both fascinated and lured people for as long as barter systems and wealth has been recorded. Currently, gold is enjoying its highest valuations in history as investors flock to the stability of the precious metal through various streams. So what is the allure of gold and why is it so stable?
Warren Buffett once said, “Gold is a way of going long on fear.” That is quite a statement from perhaps the greatest investment mind of our generation. But what does this mean for the novice investor? Even the most successful blue-chip stocks can crash. Obviously the more prominent and profitable companies with mega market caps will not crash as easily as smaller companies, but given the volatility of the pandemic, we can see anything happen. But as stock markets fluctuate on a daily basis, the price of gold remains mostly stoic. Not as manipulatable as stock prices, gold is as steady as it gets for investors.
What makes gold so stable? It is a combination of factors, first and foremost, it is a physical and tangible element which makes it possible for people to store and stockpile. It does not corrode or wear down over time, making it durable and ensuring that the value remains. There is also a finite supply of it in the world. This reinforces that it will always keep a certain level of valuation as the supply is kept in check.
Today, as the Federal Reserve tries desperately to pump money into the American economy to stave off a global recession and keep companies afloat. Printing more American dollars helps in the interim, but it is a temporary band-aid for the bigger problem. As more of the dollar gets created the more it gets devalued as a form of currency. This is another reason why gold is skyrocketing. The two valuations always work inversely to each other, so as the greenback continues to plummet, the price of gold will continue to surge which makes perfect sense if one thinks about it. The value of gold is priced in American dollars per ounce, so if the value of an American dollar retreats, the cost of gold will rise in response.
So how can investors take advantage of the current state of gold? In the age of internet investing, there are plenty of ways to invest in gold or anything in that matter. Most American platforms give inventors the ability to buy fractional shares of companies. While this comes in handy for expensive stocks like Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL), or Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), it also allows investors to diversify their funds across multiple companies to form a basket approach to an industry. There are also plenty of ETFs or Exchange Traded Funds, available for investors to consider. These funds have the diversification of a mutual fund or index fund, but trade like individual stocks. Here’s a few of the better gold ETFs to consider if you are looking to get into the industry:
  1. IAU – iShares Gold Trust: One of the better known gold ETFs out there, iSHARES is a reputable brand with great overall market performance. The fund has returned over 17% to inventors already this year, and with the price of gold projected to continue to rise, this fund should keep delivering for investors into next year.
  2. DGL – Invesco DB Gold Fund: Another well known and reputable ETF, the Invesco Gold Fund has slightly higher fees than iSHARES but has also had a slightly better return so far this year.
  3. IAUF – iShares Gold Strategy ETF: Another iSHARES ETF, this one has parts of IAU, as well as gold futures contracts, to get a long term forecast of the price of gold so the investor gets exposure to a wider range of gold options.
There are dozens of other ETFs available for investors that cover everything from miners to the finished products. Mining company stocks are another great way to get exposure. As the demand for gold increases, these mining companies should see a rise in their revenues and eventually, their profits as well. These changes will be reflected in their stock prices and we have already seen some of this already this year.
  1. ABX – Barrick Gold: One of the largest gold mining companies in the world, this Canadian company has seen healthy gains in their stock price so far in 2020. Over the last 52 weeks, Barrick investors have enjoyed a 131% increase in stock price. With mining projects ongoing in Canada, America, Australia, South America, and Africa, Barrick has already announced that it is on track to achieve guidance this year despite closures from COVID-19.
  2. FNV – Franco-Nevada Gold: This stock price rose almost 15% in July alone. Franco-Nevada operates as a funding company to gold mining companies, rather than actually doing the mining themselves. Sustainalytics, a guidance and analysis company, rated Franco-Nevada number one amongst 104 precious metal companies.
  3. NEM – Newmont Goldcorp: The largest gold stock by market-cap and the only stock to trade on the S&P 500, Newmont is probably the safest company for gold investors to invest in. On top of steady returns and low volatility in the stock price, the company pays a fairly healthy dividend as well.
With gold at all-time highs, we can begin to question how high the precious metal may go. With a second wave of the coronavirus making its way around some parts of the world, and America, still making its way through their initial wave, the uncertainty that exists in today’s markets may continue into 2021. Some Wall Street analysts have forecast gold to rise as high as $10,000 per ounce, but that seems like a little ambitious. Gold has just recently hit all-time highs at $2000 per ounce and to imagine that it can run up another 500% in the next few years seems far-fetched at this point in time. That would require the markets to enter an extended bear-market, which of course is possible after a decade of a bullish run, but it would also require the American dollar to continue to be further devalued.
Gold is pegged to continue to rise for the rest of this year though and well into 2021. That means investors and analysts are foreseeing a further devaluation of the American greenback as well as continued volatility in the markets and economy. Is gold a safe haven? Some people believe it is, but if you are an investor that enjoys high returns over long periods of time, investing in precious metals may not be for you. Investors love the stability of gold but the returns are never astronomical, with the last few months being an exception. It helps to have a portion of your portfolio dedicated to precious metals to diversify and protect you from any sudden market corrections, but investors should not be looking at gold as a short-term way to get wealthy.
Silver: The other precious metal that has been flying sky-high of recent months is silver, the eternal younger brother to gold. Mined from silver-ore, it is a highly malleable metal that was once valued higher than gold by the Ancient Egyptians. Today, it is relatively low in price per ounce compared to gold, reaching all-time highs recently of just under $30 per ounce. Silver is another stable alternative to gold, and at lower prices, it may be a little more affordable for the novice investor to jump into.
Like with gold, silver has an inverse relationship to the American dollar, and to all currencies in general. Again, this is another reason why silver is hitting all-time highs right now, with silver future contracts predicting a steady rise to mirror gold, well into 2021. There is also something that Wall Street calls the gold silver ratio, which is exactly what it sounds like: the ratio of the price of gold per ounce to the price of silver per ounce. This ratio has historically moved together, which makes logical sense if both precious metals are independently moving inverse to paper currencies. Historically, the gold and silver prices do move together though as the general ratio has been in the range of 17:1 to 20:1.
Silver also has numerous ways for investors to get involved in, including silver mining and production companies, as well as the ever popular silver ETFs. These Exchange Traded Funds have gained popularity amongst retail investors in recent years as a way of purchasing a diversified product as a single equity with low costs, and no trading fees if your platform allows it. Here are a few of the better performing silver ETFs that investors can look into adding to their portfolios if they are interested in the precious metal:
  1. SLV – iShares Silver Trust: Probably one of the better known silver ETFs, this is fully backed by silver bullion and coins held in a vault. While usually fairly steady, this ETF has enjoyed a 52-week increase of 152% with much of that coming in the last few months.
  2. SIVR – Aberdeen Standard Physical Silver Shares ETF: Very similar to SLV but with lower fees, this is an ideal fund for novice and experienced investors to get into as they start to diversify their portfolios.
  3. DBS – Invesco DB Silver Fund: Again another stable ETF for investors to get into, and another good performing one as well. Just as with their gold ETF, Invsco focuses on silver futures contracts for this fund, so it is a nice long-term play if investors are bullish on silver.
Just as with gold, investors can get a slice of the silver pie by buying shares of silver mining companies as well. Here are a few of the top silver mining company stocks that investors can look into adding to their portfolios.
  1. PAAS – Pan American Silver Corp.: This Canada based miner is focussed on the exploration, development, extraction, refining, processing, and reclamation of silver. They operate mines in Peru, Mexico, Bolivia, and are developing more as well for the future.
  2. WPM – Wheaton Precious Metals: Another Canadian based company that deals with miners of gold, silver, palladium, and cobalt. Wheaton is not a direct miner, rather they purchase these precious metals from other mining companies.
  3. AG – First Majestic Silver Corp.: Canadian companies seem to be dominating the silver industry, and First Majestic is another of those. This company focuses mainly in Mexico for gold and silver.
Silver may never be as popular as gold for investors to keep track of but the two precious metals move in a synchronized fashion, and both are looked upon by investors as safe havens for their money when the market is in flux.
The rest of 2020 seems like a wildcard right now, with many analysts expecting a further correction to the markets at any point. There seems to be an inevitability to a market crash of some sort, whether it is as big as the one that happened back in February and March, remains to be seen. Investors are looking at the precious metal industry to hold their funds to wait out any sort of correction or crash. If this does happen, we may expect a pullback in precious metals too as investors selloff to get back into some stocks at their low levels. Such is the ebb and flow of the economy during turbulent times like the current one we are in.
At the same time, what if a market correction does not happen? Will the uncertainty continue or will investors feel relatively secure in the way the markets are progressing? This could cause a reduction in the demand for silver and gold, culminating in lower prices in the future. Of course this also depends on the Federal Reserve diminishing their rate of printing paper currency to bailout the economy, which does not seem like a reality in the short-term at least.
Another point of contention for investors is the ongoing economical and political tensions between China and America. The two world powers have been feuding for the past couple of months over various things, but it escalated as China social media app Tik Tok gained popularity in North America. It was alleged that TikTok was sending data and information from mobile phones back to China, though nobody is sure of their intended use of this data. Regardless, the markets have stumbled several times lately because of this. Both sides have threatened economic sanctions and the banning of certain product use in each country. The prices of silver and gold have shot up as the tensions have escalated between the two governments, as investors flock to the precious metals. Many of the biggest companies on the major stock indices rely on China for materials or production, so any sort of breakdown in supply chains could cause an enormous change to their stock prices. An example of this is a sudden 5% correction in the price of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), as it was thought that iPhone sales would decline if China’s chat platform WeChat was banned in America.
There are other factors that may have an effect on gold and silver prices as well. In this modern economy, many of the retail investors have trended towards younger adults with a sudden influx of income. Popular platforms such as Robinhood combined with increased time at home during the quarantine, have caused retail investor usage to skyrocket during the pandemic. Many of these investors are more lured in by the shiny new objects of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Perhaps we will start thinking of these cryptocurrencies as a modern day version of precious metals one day, as many investors and some analysts, believe that Bitcoin may be a safe haven in the future. Already, the price of Bitcoin has risen above $12,000 in August, mirroring the highs of gold and silver. If the demand for Bitcoin rises higher than the demand for precious metals, we may see an investor migration to cryptocurrencies rather than tangible metals.
Conclusion: Gold and silver are staples of our global economy, and will continue to be so as long as the demand for precious metals exists. In times of uncertainty, gold and silver are viewed as safe relative to the volatility of the stock market. Sure, their prices can vary as well, but because they are tied to a less dynamic valuation that is based on an inverse relation to paper currency, their prices will not and can not fluctuate as much as the liquidity of individual stocks.
As long as the world remains in flux, there will be a general feeling of instability, especially for global markets. A second wave of COVID-19 in the third or fourth quarter of 2020 could prove to be enough to push the markets over the edge and into another recession. The bull market has been rallying for over a decade now, with astronomical gains over the last few years, especially for sectors like the big tech FAANG stocks. Another factor to consider is what a Biden government could bring to the world if he is elected over President Donald Trump in October. A new government could ease some of the tensions with China, as well as within America itself. These are all big what ifs, and could all have potential impacts on the economy and the world. As long as all of these factors are up in the air, investors will be looking to gold and silver as ways of stabilizing their portfolios and protecting their finances from a potential market crash in the future.
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Two Roads Diverge | Monthly FIRE Portfolio Update - May 2020

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth
Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken
This is my forty-second 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 – $727 917
Vanguard Lifestrategy Growth Fund – $42 128
Vanguard Lifestrategy Balanced Fund – $78 569
Vanguard Diversified Bonds Fund – $110 009
Vanguard Australian Shares ETF (VAS) – $187 003
Vanguard International Shares ETF (VGS) – $39 987
Betashares Australia 200 ETF (A200) – $225 540
Telstra shares (TLS) – $1 726
Insurance Australia Group shares (IAG) – $7 741
NIB Holdings shares (NHF) – $5 652
Gold ETF (GOLD.ASX) – $117 714
Secured physical gold – $18 982
Ratesetter (P2P lending) – $11 395
Bitcoin – $159 470
Raiz app (Aggressive portfolio) – $16 357
Spaceship Voyager app (Index portfolio) – $2 492
BrickX (P2P rental real estate) – $4 477
Total portfolio value: $1 757 159 (+$62 325 or 3.7%)
Asset allocation
Australian shares – 41.4% (3.6% under)
Global shares – 22.2%
Emerging markets shares – 2.3%
International small companies – 3.0%
Total international shares – 27.4% (2.6% under)
Total shares – 68.8% (6.2% under)
Total property securities – 0.3% (0.3% over)
Australian bonds – 4.4%
International bonds – 9.7%
Total bonds – 14.1% (0.9% under)
Gold – 7.8%
Bitcoin – 9.1%
Gold and alternatives – 16.9% (6.9% over)
Presented visually, below is a high-level view of the current asset allocation of the portfolio.
[Chart]
Comments
This month featured a further recovery in the overall portfolio, continuing to effectively reduce the size of the large losses across the first quarter.
The portfolio has increased by around $62 000, leading to a portfolio growth of 3.7 per cent. This means that around half of the large recent falls have been made up, and the portfolio sits around levels last reached in October of last year.
[Chart]
Leading the portfolio growth has been increases in Australian shares - particularly those held through the Betashares A200 and Vanguard VAS exchange traded funds, with both gaining over four per cent. Most other holdings remained steady, or fell slightly.
Markets appear to be almost entirely disconnected from the daily announcements of the sharp effects of the global coronavirus pandemic and the resulting restrictions. Bond and equity markets seem to have different and competing expectations for the future, and equity markets - at best - are apparently intent on looking through the immediate recovery phase to a new period of strong expansion.
[Chart]
On some metrics, both major global and Australian equity markets can be viewed as quite expensive, especially as reduced dividends announced have largely yet to be delivered. Yet if historically low bond yields are considered, it can be argued that some heightening compared to historical equity market valuations may be sustainable.
Reflecting this moment of markets holding their breath before one of two possible futures plays out, gold and Bitcoin remain elevated, and consequently above their target weightings.
Perhaps the same contending forces are in evidence in a recent Australian Securities and Investment Commission study (pdf) which has found that average Australian retail investors have reacted to uncertainty by activating old brokerage accounts, trading more frequently, and holding securities for shorter periods. My own market activity has been limited to purchases of Vanguard Australian shares ETF (VAS) and the international share ETF (VGS), to bring the portfolio closer to its target allocations.
Will Australia continue to be lucky through global slow downs?
Despite this burst of market activity in the retail market, it is unclear how Australian markets and equities will perform against the background of a global economic slowdown. A frequently heard argument is that a small open trade exposed commodities provider such as Australia, with a more narrowly-based economy, may perform poorly in a phase of heightened risk.
This recent Bank of England paper (pdf) makes the intriguing suggestion that this argument is not borne out by the historical record. In fact, the paper finds that industrial production in Australia, China and a mere handful of other economies has tended to increase following global risk shocks.
A question remaining, however, is whether the recovery from this 'risk shock' may have different characteristics and impacts than similar past events. One key question may be the exact form of government fiscal and monetary responses adopted. Another is whether inflation or deflation is the likely pathway - an unknown which itself may rely on whether long-term trends in the velocity of money supply continue, or are broken.
Facing all uncertainties, attention should be on tail risks - and minimising the odds of extreme negative scenarios. The case for this is laid out in this moving reflection by Morgan Housel. For this reason, I am satisfied that my Ratesetter Peer-to-Peer loans have been gradually maturing, reducing some 'tail risk' credit exposures in what could be a testing phase for borrowers through new non-bank lending channels in Australia. With accrued interest of over $13 000, at rates of around 9 per cent on average, over the five years of the investment, the loans have performed relatively well.
A temporary sheltering port - spending continues to decline
This month spending has continued to fall even as lockdown and other restrictions have slowly begun to ease. These extraordinary events have pushed even the smoothed average of three year expenditure down.
[Chart]
On a monthly basis credit card spending and total expenses have hit the lowest levels in more than six years. Apparently, average savings rates are up across many economies, though obviously individual experiences and starting points can differ dramatically.
Total estimated monthly expenditure has also fallen below current estimates of distributions for the first time since a period of exceptionally high distributions across financial year 2017-18.
The result of this is that I am briefly and surprisingly, for this month, notionally financially independent based on assumed distributions from the FIRE portfolio alone - at least until more normal patterns of expenditure are resumed.
Following the lines of drift - a longer view on progress made
Yet taking a longer view - and accounting for the final portfolio goal set - gives a different perspective. This is of a journey reaching toward, but not at, an end.
The chart below traces in purely nominal dollar terms the progress of the total portfolio value as a percentage of the current portfolio goal of $2.18 million over the last 13 years.
It also shows three labels, with the percentage progress at the inception of detailed portfolio data in 2007, at the start of this written record in January 2017, and as at January 1 of this year.
[Chart]
Two trend lines are shown - one a polynomial and the other exponential function - and they are extended to include a projection of future progress out to around 18 months.
The line of fit is close for the early part of the journey, but larger divergences from both trend lines are evident in the past two years as the impact of variable investment returns on a larger portfolio takes hold.
There are some modest inaccuracies introduced by the nominal methodology adopted - such as somewhat discounting early progress. A 2007 dollar had greater 'real' value and significance than is assigned to it by this representation. The chart does demonstrate, however, the approximate shape and length of the early journey - with it taking around 5 years to reach 20 per cent of the target, and 10 years to reach around half way.
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) 80.6% 108.4%
Credit card purchases – $71 000 pa 98.3% 132.3%
Total expenses – $89 000 pa 78.8% 106.0%
Summary
With aspects of daily life slowly and incrementally adjusting to a 'new normal', the longer-term question for the portfolio remains around how markets and government actions interact in a recovery phase.
The progress of the portfolio over the past 13 years has seemed, when viewed from afar as in chart above, predictable, and almost inevitable. Through the years it has felt anything but so smoothly linear. Rather, tides and waves have pushed and pulled, in turn stalling progress, or pushing it further ahead than hopes have dared.
It is possible that what lays ahead is a simple 'return leg', or more of the same. That through simple extrapolation around 80 per cent of the challenges already lay behind. Yet that is not the set of mind that I approach the remainder of the journey with. Rather, the shortness of the distance to travel has lent an extra focus on those larger, lower probability, events that could delay the journey or push it off-course. Those 'third' risks types of tail risks which Morgan Housel points out.
In one sense the portfolio allocation aims to deal - in a probabilistic way - with the multiple futures that could occur.
Viewed in this way, a gold allocation (and also Bitcoin) represents a long option on an extreme state of the economic world arising - as it did in the early 1980s. The 75 per cent target allocation to equities can be viewed as a high level of assurance around a 'base case' that human ingenuity and innovation will continue to create value over the long term.
The bond portfolio, similarly, can be seen as assigning a 15 per cent probability that both of these hypotheses are incorrect, and that further market falls and possible deflation are ahead. That perhaps even an experience akin to the lengthy, socially dislocating, post-bubble phase in Japan presided over by its central bank lays in store.
In other interesting media consumed this month, 'Fire and Chill', the brand new podcast collaboration between Pat the Shuffler and Strong Money Australia got off to an enjoyable start, tackling 'Why Bother with FIRE' and other topics.
Additionally, investment company Incrementum has just published the latest In Gold We Trust report, which gives an arrestingly different perspective on potential market and policy directions from traditional financial sources.
The detailed report questions the role and effectiveness of traditionally 'risk-free' assets like government bonds in the types of futures that could emerge. On first reading, the scenarios it contains appear atypical and beyond the reasonable contemplation of many investors - until it is recalled that up to a few years ago no mainstream economics textbook would have entertained the potential for persistent negative interest rates.
As the paths to different futures diverge, drawing on the wisdom of others to help look as far as possible into the bends in the undergrowth ahead becomes the safest choice.
The post, links and full charts can be seen here.
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White Swan came, Black Swan's a comin'

Like many here, I'm trying to come up with an investment thesis and a strategy for these uncertain times. I'm currently Bearish - have gone largely to cash, but want to invest in defensive plays because I see much more uncertainty ahead. So this long and rambling post is going to try to play with some ideas I've been having about the future. For the record, I've been investing for 8 years, was primarily an ETF buy and hold investor, and am Canadian, with a background in Political Science. ( I mean, I've got an undergraduate degree and a long-time interest, I'm no expert or nothing.)
I've read Nassim Taleb's Incerto series and have been mainly convinced, I think, and am surprised at the number of people who are calling this a Black Swan (BS) event; there's a post from today where a guy points out that it's not, and that Taleb himself says it's not and he got downvoted to hell. So first off: the Covid-19 pandemic was not a Black Swan. The Covid-19 pandemic, or one like it, has been predicted by damn near everybody for decades. The Obama administration even used a similar pandemic as a war game to get the Trump administration up to speed during the transition, Bill Gates called this years ago, we had a similar outbreak in SARS and H1N1, etc. Even if that wasn't the case, C19 would only be a BS for China - as a bunch of media sources have pointed out, there were US intelligence reports as far back as December saying this would be a huge deal, which were ignored by the administration. So all the suggestions that this is a BS event are really just pointing out how bad many governments, markets, and corporations are at predicting the future - they're unable to predict or prepare, or respond appropriately for a predictable event and only capable of reacting (with the exception of some countries like South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Germany...)
Now with the market rallying the bulls are all saying "it's priced in, you can't fight the Fed, etc," and I'm thinking:
1) The emperor has no clothes; the US government is clearly incompetent. It couldn't even listen to it's own experts about the likely extent of the pandemic, had no plan or even seemingly the ability to be at all proactive. For example, an aircraft carrier had a port call in Vietnam, during the middle of a pandemic that started in Asia. Then, completely predictably, it had an outbreak of C19 and it's capabilities were badly damaged and the administration couldn't even properly help it's own ship, nor manage the public relations fallout that resulted. I mean, do you have any idea how insane it is that that ship was allowed to dock during a pandemic? One of the most powerful military devices that ever existed got taken off line cause the administration couldn't understand it's own intelligence.
This incompetence isn't limited to the US of course - the UK handled their initial response badly and had to switch horses mid-race, Canada lagged badly responding as well, Italy and Spain mismanaged their response - but I'd argue that the US, given their advantages in intelligence collection, should have been best positioned to deal with this crisis so I focus on them.
2) Because of this, I think the odds of a real Black Swan event have gone up considerably, and if one does occur, it will occur when the US is historically divided and weakened and where it's economic system is out of ammunition to deal with a second crisis. I'll explain:
We have been living at at time when major geopolitical disruptions have been absent - while proxy wars and minor terrorist attacks still occur, there's been no wars between great powers for some time, and I think many have come to see this as natural; that the unipolar world will continue. But Russia is resurgent, China has a 50 year plan to grow its economy and eventually take a place as a hegemon, which may be entering end-game, and much of the Western international community has grown uncomfortable with US leadership, given the American tendency to elect incompetent Republicans. So we're likely entering an era of uncertainty and increased instability as the contenders vie for status in the new international order.
This doesn't mean war or open combat - it's become a cliche that the new wars of the 21st century are economic ones, and, given nuclear proliferation that's likely to continue. And I think we're more likely to see significant economic combat in the next 6 months than at almost any time during the last decade, because: 1) Trump is incompetent (and here I should stop just shitting on Republicans... the Dems have picked a 77 year old half senile fool to go up against him. I mean, looking at the two guys contending for the leadership of the most powerful country that has ever existed, it's hard to come away thinking that this is the sign of a healthy political system.)
2)America is weak (relatively speaking obviously, they're still the undisputed big swinging dick) and divided.
3)Because of C19 hits to economy, Trump may not be re-elected. I suspect that if it looked likely that he's re-elected, China at least would be content to sit quiet and wait for 4 more years of dumbasserry to take its toll on US hegemony - similarly with Russia. But if it looks like he'll lose come November, they'll take advantage.
What would that economic war look like? Lots of options that I see, and I'm curious if you guys see other ones. I mean, what would it look like if China dumped treasuries over the next 7 months? Or what would happen if China and Russia, or even OPEC+ decided to trade oil in non-US dollars? Or what if China leverages foreign aid to African and Asian countries hard-hit by C19 for long term trade deals designed to damage US interests? Iran and North Korea are additionally wild cards, and if either one is hard hit by C19 could go down flailing with unpredictable results. Any others I'm missing? Curious to hear other's ideas.
Now, note I'm not saying that odds of economic war with China or any other US adversary are likely; I'm saying if the odds of a geopolitical Black Swan were usually 5% in any given year of the last twenty, I suspect the odds of a major BS have gone up 4 or 5 fold - so like 20-30%. And I'm wondering, given unlimited QE, zero interest rates almost everywhere, central banks everywhere supporting stock and currency markets, etc -- what a defensive portfolio, preferably one that's still exposed to positive black swans like a sudden cure, would look like. Is it gold or silver? Cash? Bitcoin? I've already got enough guns and bullets and a bunker... just kidding about the bunker.
But seriously, I'm thinking something like 10-20% PMs and miners, 20% cash, 20% bonds and the rest equity ETFs of some countries likely to benefit from a stronger and more dominant China, like South Korea and Australia. Given Chinese dishonesty and the opacity of the financial system, investing directly in Chinese companies makes me nervous, though I've been considering a stake in BABA. Canada, it seems to me, is too joined at the hip with the USA to do anything other than follow where it goes.
Anyways, if you stuck with me through all that, thanks and I'd love to hear other's thoughts. I'm absolutely not a prepper nor prone to panic -- I just think we're living in real interesting times and the times are likely to get interestinger in the near future.
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Negative Interest Rates and What They Mean to You

The fed is currently anticipated to attempt negative interest rates again. This is setting us up for the perfect storm and I will explain why.

What are negative interest rates?
This is ominous. Negative interest rates are used to encourage people to invest their money in securities rather than the relative safety of government bonds. For example, most government bonds will guarantee you a rate of return that is usually higher than average inflation rates, so if you were to open a loan for 10k with a 2.5% interest rate, you could expect to see $250 at the end of the term, likely beating the inflation rate by somewhere around 0.5%. People who are close to retirement or are exceptionally risk averse do this to avoid losing dollar value of their cash to inflation. With a negative rate, you would PAY the government to hold your money. This is obviously not an advantageous position to be in, so you might be more likely to invest in securities instead. This is what the fed's intention is. You may have noticed volume across many securities and ETFs is much lower than its recent volume, or in some cases, its yearly average. Consumer confidence is not high at this point, so the fed is attempting to use this as additional incentive to get people to invest. Papa Buffett literally said nothing is cheap enough for him to buy. Think about that. Boeing for 130? Not for Papa Buffett, he's trying to pay 50.

But Cigs, the market is fake and gay right now, what if I don't want to invest in securities?
You're right, the market is fake and gay. Well, fortunately for you, there are options, and I don't mean derivatives. Your first option (Boomers hate this one trick) is crypto. Crypto is governed by nothing and no one but the blockchain, thus its value cannot be manipulated by anything except the free market. If we see extended negative fed interest rates, crypto will skyrocket. Dont believe me? Look at when the news was published today, then look at what happened to Bitcoin. An obstacle here is an unprecedented collapse in the market; at that point, nothing is safe.
Your second option is to invest in commodities. But wait, I thought you said Oil was kill? Hell yeah oil is kill, so that one is out. What else do we have? Gold, Silver, Copper, Zinc, Silicon, literally anything precious metal, particularly the standard staples and anything used for semiconductor manufacturing. There are some good ETFs for these out there. Find them, and I don't mean the fucking miner's index, I mean one that reflects the spot price. These boys are going uppies. Pay close attention to what ETFs the fed is allowed to stick their grubby fingers in with the recent changes to buy policies and avoid those. Also keep an ear to the ground for rumors of liquidations, rollovers or non-accurate reflections of spot price within the ETF.
Your third option is cash. This is me, with some dibble dabble derivatives in there for fun because I'm a degenerate.

The Perfect Storm (Personal Speculation)
If Oil collapses with WTI rollouts in late May like I anticipate, we will soon see a default cascade of legendary proportions. Shale, restaurants, small business, MASSIVE layoffs (you thought 25% unemployment was bad?) But this might take a while. Negative interest rates will stimulate lending and banks will continue lending this practically free money to more and more small businesses, car buyers, home buyers and personal loans with greater and greater risk (Aren't you glad you long dated those WFC calls?). This process could take months or even years. We're already in a worse debt bubble than the 2008 crisis by a long shot, and with little regulation, no lessons learned and virtually no risk, banks will continue to fleece everyone from your grandmother to the fed. Stimulus checks are barely keeping people afloat right now, and small business owners are on the brink of bankruptcy. But states are opening back up! We're allowed 50% capacity at restaurants in my city! Have you ever tried to work in a restaurant that is half as busy as usual, let alone own one? The owners are sweating fucking bullets over this. It's worse than being closed.
There are a record number of new investors in the market right now. With the advent of commission free trading from robinhood, the big boys have adopted the same strategy, and as such, record numbers of brand new investors have entered the market. Just think about how many times a day you look at your positions every day. These guys are all doing the exact same thing, and once our first major catalyst comes, we're going back down and there won't be much to stop the panic sell of 2 million brand new investors.

Spy 175 flair for anyone that wants one. It's 1929.

(Here's a free one, puts on mid/small cap industrials that supply SPY companies. Thank me later)
As always, feel free to comment and tell me why I'm wrong.
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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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morning joe

Listen on the go! A daily podcast of Wall Street Breakfast will be available by 8:00 a.m. on Seeking Alpha, iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify.
More Wall Street Breakfast Podcasts » Shares of Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) - worth nearly $5T in combined market capitalization - added to gains yesterday even as their chief executives defended themselves in Congress against antitrust allegations. The real test will come today, when the Big Tech companies report Q2 results after the market close. On watch will be figures and trends in e-commerce, streaming, advertising, search, app services, social media and cloud computing. Will investors start rethinking the prices that they're paying for the stocks or will their market position during the coronavirus pandemic justify their valuations?
Antitrust hearing roundup
Rep. David Cicilline (D., R.I.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee's antitrust subcommittee, kicked off the hearing by declaring: "Our founders would not bow before a king. Nor should we bow before the emperors of the online economy." That set the tone of five hours of grilling the Big Tech CEOs over their business practices. On the competition front, the biggest questions centered around Amazon's leveraging of seller data to introduce competing products, as well as the revelation of Mark Zuckerberg's emails about the concept of buying startups in order to "neutralize a competitor."
Traders get busy
Futures are kicking off a packed session in the red, with contracts tied to the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq down about 1%, as Mark Meadows said the White House and Democrats were "nowhere close" on a stimulus deal. Q2 GDP figures today will likely show an annualized contraction of 34.1% last quarter, while the latest weekly unemployment claims are also expected to show an increase to 1.45M, before enhanced federal benefits expire on Saturday. After the close, four of the market's biggest stocks will report earnings within a single hour, in a move that could cause significant volatility in after-hours trading and again on Friday. On the coronavirus front, the U.S. death toll topped 150K, marking the highest official figure in the world.
FOMC meeting
Solid gains for indexes were seen Wednesday as the Fed left interest rates near zero and pledged to maintain stimulative measures. "The path forward for the economy is extraordinarily uncertain, and will depend in large part on our success in keeping the virus in check," Jerome Powell declared. "We're not even thinking about thinking about raising rates and it will take continued support for both monetary and fiscal policy." He also said the Fed "has no intention to buy equities" after recently purchasing corporate and municipal bonds.
Both sides of the Atlantic
Today is not only the busiest day for earnings in the U.S. European firms worth more than $2T, as well as 60 companies in the Stoxx 600 Index, reported Q2 results overnight. Highlights: AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) shares rose 3% premarket on strong drug sales, while Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) shares inched down after narrowly escaping a loss despite a $17B writedown and one of the oil industry's most brutal quarters. Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS) simplified its investment bank structure, AB InBev (NYSE:BUD) booked a $2.5B writedown and Airbus (OTCPK:EADSY) is keeping production rates down until 2022. Over in Asia, Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) announced its Q2 operating profit jumped 23% and forecast demand for mobile devices to recover gradually in next half of the year.
World's biggest smartphone vendor
Huawei has overtaken Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) to become the No. 1 smartphone player in the world, an ambition it has had for several years, after taking second place from Apple (AAPL) back in 2018. The Chinese vendor shipped 55.8M devices in the second quarter, down 5% Y/Y, according to research firm Canalys, while Samsung shipped 53.7M smartphones, a 30% plunge versus the prior year. However, analysts are questioning whether Huawei's position is sustainable given the fact that over 70% of Huawei's sales in the second quarter came from China while its overseas markets took a hit. Go deeper: Qualcomm strikes patent deal with Huawei.
Trade deal targets
By the end of the first half of this year, China had bought about 23% of the total purchase target of more than $170B for goods in 2020, according to Bloomberg, which based its calculations on Chinese Customs Administration data. While trade has increased over the past eight weeks, with Chinese companies booking more than $2.5B in U.S. soy purchases, imports really have to speed up in the second half of 2020 to hit trade deal goals. China may still not violate the deal if it misses the target due to the coronavirus (the trade pact grants flexibility in the event of "a natural disaster or other unforeseeable event").
What else is happening...
'Nowhere close to a deal' on virus relief - Meadows.
Amazon (AMZN) scraps live Reinvent conference in blow to Las Vegas.
Kodak (NYSE:KODK) ahead of itself on generic drug-stoked rally - Barron's.
Dollar drop plays right into these emerging market ETFs' wheelhouse.
Wednesday's Key Earnings Boeing (NYSE:BA) -2.8% posting wider loss, cutting production rates. General Electric (NYSE:GE) -4.4% hit by decline in jet engine business. General Motors (NYSE:GM) -1.7% reporting mixed results. PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL) +4.1% AH following consensus-beating guidance. Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) +13.6% AH on FQ3 beats, Huawei settlement. Shopify (NYSE:SHOP) +7% sailing past estimates.
Today's Markets In Asia, Japan -0.3%. Hong Kong -0.7%. China -0.2%. India -0.9%. In Europe, at midday, London -2%. Paris -1.8%. Frankfurt -3%. Futures at 6:20, Dow -0.9%. S&P -1%. Nasdaq -1.1%. Crude -1.6% to $40.63. Gold +0.8% to $1969.20. Bitcoin -2.9% to $10934. Ten-year Treasury Yield -2 bps to 0.56%
Today's Economic Calendar 8:30 GDP Q2 8:30 Initial Jobless Claims 10:30 EIA Natural Gas Inventory 4:30 PM Money Supply 4:30 PM Fed Balance Sheet
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BITCOIN ETF no more? IBM stock analysis. Crypto/stock market update. Bitcoin analysis. The man behind two gold ETFs says this about bitcoin - YouTube BITCOIN ETFs DISAPPROVED!! BITCOIN BEAR MARKETBitcoinreview !?! SEC will review BITCOIN ETF rejections !?!... Another Bitcoin ETF Rejected... Market Manipulation?

In 2019, the SEC outlined two ways to establish that a Bitcoin ETF meets their criteria, as set out in the Exchange Act 6(b)(5): First, that applicants demonstrate that Bitcoin is “inherently resistant to fraud and manipulation,” and second, that, for any exchange listing, the Bitcoin ETF enters into a surveillance agreement with a “regulated market of significant size.” Since March 10—the day the SEC originally rejected the Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF—the price of bitcoin is up an incredible 91%, last hitting an all-time high of more than $2,200 on Monday. Year-to ... It hasn’t been a good year so far for bitcoin ETF hopefuls. Year-to-date, a total of 10 potential bitcoin products were prevented from listing on U.S. exchanges by the Securities and Exchange ... Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), are investment products that offer investors exposure to a range of stocks, bonds or other assets in different geographic regions and market sectors, including: debt securities from various countries around the world, st... Dass die im Auftrag der ETF-Fondsgesellschaft eingesetzten speziellen ETF-Händler (Market Maker) Anlegern ihre ETF-Anteile nicht abnehmen können, ist dennoch eher unwahrscheinlich. Dazu könnte es nur kommen, wenn der ETF in illiquiden Nischenmärkten investiert ist, in denen kaum jemand handelt. Die ETF-Gesellschaft würde dann die Aktien, die dem ETF hinterlegt sind, am Markt gar nicht ...

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BITCOIN ETF no more? IBM stock analysis. Crypto/stock market update. Bitcoin analysis.

Oct.16 -- Cathie Wood, chief executive officer, chief investment officer, and founder at Ark Investment Management and Bloomberg Intelligence's Eric Balchuna... SEC’s Decision On Bitcoin ETF Subscribe: http://bit.ly/CryptoCoinNewsYT The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the United States (US) has published ... Jan Van Eck of Van Eck Associates talks gold and the possibility of a bitcoin ETF with CNBC's Bob Pisani. » Subscribe to CNBC: http://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBC Ab... Visit our website: https://altcoinbuzz.io In this video, Mattie talks about the SEC delaying the bitcoin ETFs until December. He also talks about Danske Bank and the money laundering case as well ... Bitcoin ETFs will be good for the market says O'Shares' chairman - Duration: 6:06. CNBC Television 44,753 views. 6:06 🔴OMG!!! BITCOIN SUB $5000!!! FED CUTS RATES AGAIN!!!🔴 ...

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