Episodes - The BitcoinTaxes Podcast

Putting $400M of Bitcoin on your company balance sheet

Also posted on my blog as usual. Read it there if you can, there are footnotes and inlined plots.
A couple of months ago, MicroStrategy (MSTR) had a spare $400M of cash which it decided to shift to Bitcoin (BTC).
Today we'll discuss in excrutiating detail why this is not a good idea.
When a company has a pile of spare money it doesn't know what to do with, it'll normally do buybacks or start paying dividends. That gives the money back to the shareholders, and from an economic perspective the money can get better invested in other more promising companies. If you have a huge pile of of cash, you probably should be doing other things than leave it in a bank account to gather dust.
However, this statement from MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor exists to make it clear he's buying into BTC for all the wrong reasons:
“This is not a speculation, nor is it a hedge. This was a deliberate corporate strategy to adopt a bitcoin standard.”
Let's unpack it and jump into the economics Bitcoin:

Is Bitcoin money?

No.
Or rather BTC doesn't act as money and there's no serious future path for BTC to become a form of money. Let's go back to basics. There are 3 main economic problems money solves:
1. Medium of Exchange. Before money we had to barter, which led to the double coincidence of wants problem. When everyone accepts the same money you can buy something from someone even if they don't like the stuff you own.
As a medium of exchange, BTC is not good. There are significant transaction fees and transaction waiting times built-in to BTC and these worsen the more popular BTC get.
You can test BTC's usefulness as a medium of exchange for yourself right now: try to order a pizza or to buy a random item with BTC. How many additional hurdles do you have to go through? How many fewer options do you have than if you used a regular currency? How much overhead (time, fees) is there?
2. Unit of Account. A unit of account is what you compare the value of objects against. We denominate BTC in terms of how many USD they're worth, so BTC is a unit of account presently. We can say it's because of lack of adoption, but really it's also because the market value of BTC is so volatile.
If I buy a $1000 table today or in 2017, it's roughly a $1000 table. We can't say that a 0.4BTC table was a 0.4BTC table in 2017. We'll expand on this in the next point:
3. Store of Value. When you create economic value, you don't want to be forced to use up the value you created right away.
For instance, if I fix your washing machine and you pay me in avocados, I'd be annoyed. I'd have to consume my payment before it becomes brown, squishy and disgusting. Avocado fruit is not good money because avocadoes loses value very fast.
On the other hand, well-run currencies like the USD, GBP, CAD, EUR, etc. all lose their value at a low and most importantly fairly predictible rate. Let's look at the chart of the USD against BTC
While the dollar loses value at a predictible rate, BTC is all over the place, which is bad.
One important use money is to write loan contracts. Loans are great. They let people spend now against their future potential earnings, so they can buy houses or start businesses without first saving up for a decade. Loans are good for the economy.
If you want to sign something that says "I owe you this much for that much time" then you need to be able to roughly predict the value of the debt in at the point in time where it's due.
Otherwise you'll have a hard time pricing the risk of the loan effectively. This means that you need to charge higher interests. The risk of making a loan in BTC needs to be priced into the interest of a BTC-denominated loan, which means much higher interest rates. High interests on loans are bad, because buying houses and starting businesses are good things.

BTC has a fixed supply, so these problems are built in

Some people think that going back to a standard where our money was denominated by a stock of gold (the Gold Standard) would solve economic problems. This is nonsense.
Having control over supply of your currency is a good thing, as long as it's well run.
See here
Remember that what is desirable is low variance in the value, not the value itself. When there are wild fluctuations in value, it's hard for money to do its job well.
Since the 1970s, the USD has been a fiat money with no intrinsic value. This means we control the supply of money.
Let's look at a classic poorly drawn econ101 graph
The market price for USD is where supply meets demand. The problem with a currency based on an item whose supply is fixed is that the price will necessarily fluctuate in response to changes in demand.
Imagine, if you will, that a pandemic strikes and that the demand for currency takes a sharp drop. The US imports less, people don't buy anything anymore, etc. If you can't print money, you get deflation, which is worsens everything. On the other hand, if you can make the money printers go brrrr you can stabilize the price
Having your currency be based on a fixed supply isn't just bad because in/deflation is hard to control.
It's also a national security risk...
The story of the guy who crashed gold prices in North Africa
In the 1200s, Mansa Munsa, the emperor of the Mali, was rich and a devout Muslim and wanted everyone to know it. So he embarked on a pilgrimage to make it rain all the way to Mecca.
He in fact made it rain so hard he increased the overall supply of gold and unintentionally crashed gold prices in Cairo by 20%, wreaking an economic havoc in North Africa that lasted a decade.
This story is fun, the larger point that having your inflation be at the mercy of foreign nations is an undesirable attribute in any currency. The US likes to call some countries currency manipulators, but this problem would be serious under a gold standard.

Currencies are based on trust

Since the USD is based on nothing except the US government's word, how can we trust USD not to be mismanaged?
The answer is that you can probably trust the fed until political stooges get put in place. Currently, the US's central bank managing the USD, the Federal Reserve (the Fed for friends & family), has administrative authority. The fed can say "no" to dumb requests from the president.
People who have no idea what the fed does like to chant "audit the fed", but the fed is already one of the best audited US federal entities. The transcripts of all their meetings are out in the open. As is their balance sheet, what they plan to do and why. If the US should audit anything it's the Department of Defense which operates without any accounting at all.
It's easy to see when a central bank will go rogue: it's when political yes-men are elected to the board.
For example, before printing themselves into hyperinflation, the Venezuelan president appointed a sociologist who publicly stated “Inflation does not exist in real life” and instead is a made up capitalist lie. Note what happened mere months after his gaining control over the Venezuelan currency
This is a key policy. One paper I really like, Sargent (1984) "The end of 4 big inflations" states:
The essential measures that ended hyperinflation in each of Germany,Austria, Hungary, and Poland were, first, the creation of an independentcentral bank that was legally committed to refuse the government'sdemand or additional unsecured credit and, second, a simultaneousalteration in the fiscal policy regime.
In english: *hyperinflation stops when the central bank can say "no" to the government."
The US Fed, like other well good central banks, is run by a bunch of nerds. When it prints money, even as aggressively as it has it does so for good reasons. You can see why they started printing on March 15th as the COVID lockdowns started:
The Federal Reserve is prepared to use its full range of tools to support the flow of credit to households and businesses and thereby promote its maximum employment and price stability goals.
In english: We're going to keep printing and lowering rates until jobs are back and inflation is under control. If we print until the sun is blotted out, we'll print in the shade.

BTC is not gold

Gold is a good asset for doomsday-preppers. If society crashes, gold will still have value.
How do we know that?
Gold has held value throughout multiple historic catastrophes over thousands of years. It had value before and after the Bronze Age Collapse, the Fall of the Western Roman Empire and Gengis Khan being Gengis Khan.
Even if you erased humanity and started over, the new humans would still find gold to be economically valuable. When Europeans d̶i̶s̶c̶o̶v̶e̶r̶e̶d̶ c̶o̶n̶q̶u̶e̶r̶e̶d̶ g̶e̶n̶o̶c̶i̶d̶e̶d̶ went to America, they found gold to be an important item over there too. This is about equivalent to finding humans on Alpha-Centauri and learning that they think gold is a good store of value as well.
Some people are puzzled at this: we don't even use gold for much! But it has great properties:
First, gold is hard to fake and impossible to manufacture. This makes it good to ascertain payment.
Second, gold doesnt react to oxygen, so it doesn't rust or tarnish. So it keeps value over time unlike most other materials.
Last, gold is pretty. This might sound frivolous, and you may not like it, but jewelry has actual value to humans.
It's no coincidence if you look at a list of the wealthiest families, a large number of them trade in luxury goods.
To paraphrase Veblen humans have a profound desire to signal social status, for the same reason peacocks have unwieldy tails. Gold is a great way to achieve that.
On the other hand, BTC lacks all these attributes. Its value is largely based on common perception of value. There are a few fundamental drivers of demand:
Apart from these, it's hard to argue that BTC will retain value throughout some sort of economic catastrophe.

BTC is really risky

One last statement from Michael Saylor I take offense to is this:
“We feel pretty confident that Bitcoin is less risky than holding cash, less risky than holding gold,” MicroStrategy CEO said in an interview
"BTC is less risky than holding cash or gold long term" is nonsense. We saw before that BTC is more volatile on face value, and that as long as the Fed isn't run by spider monkeys stacked in a trench coat, the inflation is likely to be within reasonable bounds.
But on top of this, BTC has Abrupt downside risks that normal currencies don't. Let's imagine a few:

Blockchain solutions are fundamentally inefficient

Blockchain was a genius idea. I still marvel at the initial white paper which is a great mix of economics and computer science.
That said, blockchain solutions make large tradeoffs in design because they assume almost no trust between parties. This leads to intentionally wasteful designs on a massive scale.
The main problem is that all transactions have to be validated by expensive computational operations and double checked by multiple parties. This means waste:
Many design problems can be mitigated by various improvements over BTC, but it remains that a simple database always works better than a blockchain if you can trust the parties to the transaction.
submitted by VodkaHaze to badeconomics [link] [comments]

Why we need to think more carefully about what money is and how it works

Most of us have overlooked a fundamental problem that is currently causing an insurmountable obstacle to building a fairer and more sustainable world. We are very familiar with the thing in question, but its problematic nature has been hidden from us by a powerful illusion. We think the problem is capitalism, but capitalism is just the logical outcome of aggregate human decisions about how to manage money. The fundamental problem is money itself, or more specifically general purpose money and the international free market which allows you to sell a chunk of rainforest and use the money to buy a soft drink factory. (You can use the same sort of money to sell anything and buy anything, anywhere in the world, and until recently there was no alternative at all. Bitcoin is now an alternative, but is not quite what we are looking for.) The illusion is that because market prices are free, and nobody is forced into a transaction, those prices must be fair – that the exchange is equitable. The truth is that the way the general money globalised free market system works means that even though the prices are freely determined, there is still an unequal flow of natural resources from poor parts of the world to rich parts. This means the poor parts will always remain poor, and resources will continue to accumulate in the large, unsustainable cities in rich countries. In other words, unless we re-invent money, we cannot overturn capitalism, and that means we can't build a sustainable civilisation.
Why does this matter? What use is it realising that general purpose money is at the root of our problems when we know that the rich and powerful people who run this world will do everything in their power to prevent the existing world system being reformed? They aren't just going to agree to get rid of general purpose money and economic globalisation. It's like asking them to stop pursuing growth: they can't even imagine how to do it, and don't want to. So how does this offer us a way forwards?
Answer: because the two things in question – our monetary system and globalisation – look like being among the first casualties of collapse. Globalisation is already going into reverse (see brexit, Trump's protectionism) and our fiat money system is heading towards a debt/inflation implosion.
It looks highly likely that the scenario going forwards will be of increasing monetary and economic chaos. Fiat money systems have collapsed many times before, but never a global system of fiat currencies floating against each other. But regardless of how may fiat currencies collapse, or how high the price of gold goes in dollars, it is not clear what the system would be replaced with. Can we just go back to the gold standard? It is possible, but people will be desperately looking for other solutions, and the people in power might also be getting desperate.
So what could replace it? What is needed is a new sort of complementary money system which both
(a) addresses the immediate economic problems of people suffering from symptoms of economic and general collapse and
(b) provides a long-term framework around which a new sort of economy can emerge – an economy which is adapted to deglobalisation and degrowth.
I have been searching for answers to this question for some time, and have now found what I was looking for. It is explained in this recently published academic book, and this paper by the same professor of economic anthropology (Alf Hornborg). The answer is the creation of a new sort of money, but it is critically important exactly how this is done. Local currencies like the Bristol Pound do not challenge globalisation. What we need is a new sort of national currency. This currency would be issued as a UBI, but only usable to buy products and services originating within an adjustable radius. This would enable a new economy to emerge. It actually resists globalisation and promotes the growth of a new sort of economy where sustainability is built on local resources and local economic activity. It would also reverse the trend of population moving from poor rural areas and towns, to cities. It would revitalise the “left behind” parts of the western world, and put the brakes on the relentless flow of natural resources and “embodied cheap labour” from the poor parts of the world to the rich parts. It would set the whole system moving towards a more sustainable and fairer state.
This may sound unrealistic, but please give it a chance. I believe it offers a way forwards that can
(a) unite disparate factions trying to provoke systemic change, including eco-marxists, greens, posthumanists and anti-globalist supporters of “populist nationalism”. The only people who really stand to lose are the supporters of global big business and the 1%.
(b) offers a realistic alternative to a money system heading towards collapse, and to which currently no other realistic alternative is being proposed.
In other words, this offers a realistic way forwards not just right now but through much of the early stages of collapse. It is likely to become both politically and economically viable within the forseeable future. It does, though, require some elements of the left to abandon its globalist ideals. It will have to embrace a new sort of nationalism. And it will require various groups who are doing very well out of the current economic system to realise that it is doomed.
Here is an FAQ (from the paper).
What is a complementary currency? It is a form of money that can be used alongside regular money.
What is the fundamental goal of this proposal? The two most fundamental goals motivating this proposal are to insulate local human subsistence and livelihood from the vicissitudes of national and international economic cycles and financial speculation, and to provide tangible and attractive incentives for people to live and consume more sustainably. It also seeks to provide authorities with a means to employ social security expenditures to channel consumption in sustainable directions and encourage economic diversity and community resilience at the local level.
Why should the state administrate the reform? The nation is currently the most encompassing political entity capable of administrating an economic reform of this nature. Ideally it is also subservient to the democratic decisions of its population. The current proposal is envisaged as an option for European nations, but would seem equally advantageous for countries anywhere. If successfully implemented within a particular nation or set of nations, the system can be expected to be emulated by others. Whereas earlier experiments with alternative currencies have generally been local, bottom-up initiatives, a state-supported program offers advantages for long-term success. Rather than an informal, marginal movement connected to particular identities and transient social networks, persisting only as long as the enthusiasm of its founders, the complementary currency advocated here is formalized, efficacious, and lastingly fundamental to everyone's economy.
How is local use defined and monitored? The complementary currency (CC) can only be used to purchase goods and services that are produced within a given geographical radius of the point of purchase. This radius can be defined in terms of kilometers of transport, and it can vary between different nations and regions depending on circumstances. A fairly simple way of distinguishing local from non-local commodities would be to label them according to transport distance, much as is currently done regarding, for instance, organic production methods or "fair trade." Such transport certification would of course imply different labelling in different locales.
How is the complementary currency distributed? A practical way of organizing distribution would be to provide each citizen with a plastic card which is electronically charged each month with the sum of CC allotted to him or her.
Who are included in the category of citizens? A monthly CC is provided to all inhabitants of a nation who have received official residence permits.
What does basic income mean? Basic income is distributed without any requirements or duties to be fulfilled by the recipients. The sum of CC paid to an individual each month can be determined in relation to the currency's purchasing power and to the individual's age. The guiding principle should be that the sum provided to each adult should be sufficient to enable basic existence, and that the sum provided for each child should correspond to the additional household expenses it represents.
Why would people want to use their CC rather than regular money? As the sum of CC provided each month would correspond to purchases representing a claim on his or her regular budget, the basic income would liberate a part of each person's regular income and thus amount to substantial purchasing power, albeit restricted only to local purchases. The basic income in CC would reduce a person's dependence on wage labor and the risks currently associated with unemployment. It would encourage social cooperation and a vitalization of community.
Why would businesses want to accept payment in CC? Business entrepreneurs can be expected to respond rapidly to the radically expanded demand for local products and services, which would provide opportunities for a diverse range of local niche markets. Whether they receive all or only a part of their income in the form of CC, they can choose to use some of it to purchase tax-free local labor or other inputs, and to request to have some of it converted by the authorities to regular currency (see next point).
How is conversion of CC into regular currency organized? Entrepreneurs would be granted the right to convert some of their CC into regular currency at exchange rates set by the authorities.The exchange rate between the two currencies can be calibrated so as to compensate the authorities for loss of tax revenue and to balance the in- and outflows of CC to the state. The rate would thus amount to a tool for determining the extent to which the CC is recirculated in the local economy, or returned to the state. This is important in order to avoid inflation in the CC sector.
Would there be interest on sums of CC owned or loaned? There would be no interest accruing on a sum of CC, whether a surplus accumulating in an account or a loan extended.
How would saving and loaning of CC be organized? The formal granting of credit in CC would be managed by state authorities and follow the principle of full reserve banking, so that quantities of CC loaned would never exceed the quantities saved by the population as a whole.
Would the circulation of CC be subjected to taxation? No.
Why would authorities want to encourage tax-free local economies? Given the beneficial social and ecological consequences of this reform, it is assumed that nation states will represent the general interests of their electorates and thus promote it. Particularly in a situation with rising fiscal deficits, unemployment, health care, and social security expenditures, the proposed reform would alleviate financial pressure on governments. It would also reduce the rising costs of transport infrastructure, environmental protection, carbon offsetting, and climate change adaptation. In short, the rising costs and diminishing returns on current strategies for economic growth can be expected to encourage politicians to consider proposals such as this, as a means of avoiding escalating debt or even bankruptcy.
How would the state's expenditures in CC be financed? As suggested above, much of these expenditures would be balanced by the reduced costs for social security, health care, transport infrastructure, environmental protection, carbon offsetting, and climate change adaptation. As these savings may take time to materialize, however, states can choose to make a proportion of their social security payments (pensions, unemployment insurance, family allowance, etc.) in the form of CC. As between a third and half of some nations' annual budgets are committed to social security, this represents a significant option for financing the reform, requiring no corresponding tax levies.
What are the differences between this CC and the many experiments with local currencies? This proposal should not be confused with the notion, or with the practical operation, of local currencies, as it does not imply different currencies in different locales but one national,complementary currency for local use. Nor is it locally initiated and promoted in opposition to theregular currency, but centrally endorsed and administrated as an accepted complement to it. Most importantly, the alternative currency can only be used to purchase products and services originating from within a given geographical range, a restriction which is not implemented in experiments with Local Exchange Trading Systems (LETS). Finally, the CC is provided as a basic income to all residents of a nation, rather than only earned in proportion to the extent to which a person has made him- or herself useful in the local economy.
What would the ecological benefits be? The reform would radically reduce the demand for long-distance transport, the production of greenhouse gas emissions, consumption of energy and materials, and losses of foodstuffs through overproduction, storage, and transport. It would increase recycling of nutrients and packaging materials, which means decreasing leakage of nutrients and less garbage. It would reduce agricultural intensification, increase biodiversity, and decrease ecological degradation and vulnerability.
What would the societal benefits be? The reform would increase local cooperation, decrease social marginalization and addiction problems, provide more physical exercise, improve psycho-social and physical health, and increase food security and general community resilience. It would decrease the number of traffic accidents, provide fresher and healthier food with less preservatives, and improved contact between producers and consumers.
What would the long-term consequences be for the economy? The reform would no doubt generate radical transformations of the economy, as is precisely the intention. There would be a significant shift of dominance from transnational corporations founded on financial speculation and trade in industrially produced foodstuffs, fuels, and other internationally transported goods to locally diverse producers and services geared to sustainable livelihoods. This would be a democratic consequence of consumer power, rather than of legislation. Through a relatively simple transformation of the conditions for market rationality, governments can encourage new and more sustainable patterns of consumer behavior. In contrast to much of the drastic and often traumatic economic change of the past two centuries, these changes would be democratic and sustainable and would improve local and national resilience.
Why should society want to encourage people to refrain from formal employment? It is increasingly recognized that full or high employment cannot be a goal in itself, particularly if it implies escalating environmental degradation and energy and material throughput. Well-founded calls are thus currently made for degrowth, i.e. a reduction in the rate of production of goods and services that are conventionally quantified by economists as constitutive of GDP. Whether formal unemployment is the result of financial decline, technological development, or intentional policy for sustainability, no modern nation can be expected to leave its citizens economically unsupported. To subsist on basic income is undoubtedly more edifying than receiving unemployment insurance; the CC system encourages useful community cooperation and creative activities rather than destructive behavior that may damage a person's health.
Why should people receive an income without working? As observed above, modern nations will provide for their citizens whether they are formally employed or not. The incentive to find employment should ideally not be propelled only by economic imperatives, but more by the desire to maintain a given identity and to contribute creatively to society. Personal liberty would be enhanced by a reform which makes it possible for people to choose to spend (some of) their time on creative activities that are not remunerated on the formal market, and to accept the tradeoff implied by a somewhat lower economic standard. People can also be expected to devote a greater proportion of their time to community cooperation, earning additional CC, which means that they will contribute more to society – and experience less marginalization – than the currently unemployed.
Would savings in CC be inheritable? No.
How would transport distances of products and services be controlled? It is reasonable to expect the authorities to establish a special agency for monitoring and controlling transport distances. It seems unlikely that entrepreneurs would attempt to cheat the system by presenting distantly produced goods as locally produced, as we can expect income in regular currency generally to be preferable to income in CC. Such attempts would also entail transport costs which should make the cargo less competitive in relation to genuinely local produce, suggesting that the logic of local market mechanisms would by and large obviate the problem.
How would differences in local conditions (such as climate, soils, and urbanism) be dealt with?It is unavoidable that there would be significant variation between different locales in terms of the conditions for producing different kinds of goods. This means that relative local prices in CC for agiven product can be expected to vary from place to place. This may in turn mean that consumption patterns will vary somewhat between locales, which is predictable and not necessarily a problem. Generally speaking, a localization of resource flows can be expected to result in a more diverse pattern of calibration to local resource endowments, as in premodern contexts. The proposed system allows for considerable flexibility in terms of the geographical definition of what is categorized as local, depending on such conditions. In a fertile agricultural region, the radius for local produce may be defined, for instance, as 20 km, whereas in a less fertile or urban area, it may be 50 km. People living in urban centers are faced with a particular challenge. The reform would encourage an increased production of foodstuffs within and in the vicinity of urban areas, which in the long run may also affect urban planning. People might also choose to move to the countryside, where the range of subsistence goods that can be purchased with CC will tend to be greater. In the long run, the reform can be expected to encourage a better fit between the distribution of resources (such as agricultural land) and demography. This is fully in line with the intention of reducing long-distance transports of necessities.
What would the consequences be if people converted resources from one currency sphere into products or services sold in another? It seems unfeasible to monitor and regulate the use of distant imports (such as machinery and fuels) in producing produce for local markets, but as production for local markets is remunerated in CC, this should constitute a disincentive to invest regular money in such production processes. Production for local consumption can thus be expected to rely mostly – and increasingly – on local labor and other resource inputs.

submitted by anthropoz to sustainability [link] [comments]

First time investment/financial planning 28F single income

Hi all! I'm new to investing and planning for retirement etc, and also kind of new to reddit so apologies if I don't follow etiquette or rules properly.
I've finally saved beyond my emergency fund goal and am ready to start putting money into retirement/investing etc, but I've got a lot to learn. I don't have anyone in my personal life who can give me advice or teach me about investing. Firstly I'm looking for recommendations on easy reads and cheap/free ways of learning about finance and investment for someone who doesn't know any of the lingo. I don't know the difference between a bank and a credit union for example, or what capital gains or assets mean. I've only been in Canada 5 years (I'm from the UK, no plans to return yet but if I do it probably won't be for another 5 years). Secondly, I'm looking for hints and tips for my current financial plan (below) before I actually start moving money around.
I'm earning ~$50k and save an average of $800/month. I have ~$40k in student debt from the UK but at only 1.5% interest rate, and I'm currently repaying just above the interest rate which is more than the minimum payment. The debt supposedly wipes out after 25 years, but I don't trust the UK government not to sell off the loans and the idea of my debt increasing rather than decreasing makes me uncomfortable. With what I'm repaying I should finish paying it off in about 25 years anyway.
I have $15k in savings currently in EQ earning 2% interest (1.43% after tax I think). I want to keep $10k in emergency funds in my EQ savings, and invest the remaining. I have never opened an RRSP or TFSA. I joined my company retirement savings plan in April which is 6% of my income with 9% match funding (about $3200/year from me and $8k from my company).
I was thinking of putting my spare $5k into WealthSimple as follows:
-RRSP: $1k starting balance, risk level 6 balanced, then $250/month added in. Probably won't touch it ever unless I decide to buy a house, so I'm hoping that the higher risk level will be worth it after 5-10 years.
-TFSA: $1k starting balance, risk level 4 balanced, then $450/month. This I want to play a bit safer but still earn a decent return. I may want to dip into it in the next 3 years if i decide to buy a car or in 5 years+ for a downpayment for a house.
-Crypto: when it opens, I want to put $1k into bitcoin and just leave it for 10-20 years and just see what happens. I tried getting into Quadrixa and another crypto trading site a year ago but had issues verifying my identity and ended up giving up.
So that leaves me another $2k to play with for now. Should I hold onto it and keep it in EQ until I have a better idea for how to use it, or put it in my TFSA, or is there something else that's safe but will offer more than 1.43% interest after tax that I can put it into? I was going to put it in a low risk (level 3) personal account on WealthSimple but I think the yield on that was only 0.43% which was way less than EQ so I don't see the point? Alterna bank offers a 1.63% TFSA account so seeing as I won't meet my allowance anytime soon it could be worth putting some money in there, though I'm not sure it's worth the effort opening yet another bank account.
I'm not really earning enough that I want to max out my RRSP for the tax income break yet. I'd rather have more 'useable' (cash?) savings, but perhaps someone can convince me otherwise.
Any help/advice/personal experience would be appreciated! As well as reassurance not to panic if I lose money in the first X years. Thank you!
Edit: Sounds like everyone is saying I should keep my RRSP allowance for when I'm earning more, and keep my emergency funds in the HISA and everything else into a TFSA. Not heard anyone say not to use the WealthSimple TFSA so I guess that's where it's going! Thanks everyone!
submitted by starlight_conquest to PersonalFinanceCanada [link] [comments]

A realistic way forwards (long, but I believe important)

Most of us have overlooked a fundamental problem that is currently causing an insurmountable obstacle to building a fairer and more sustainable world. We are very familiar with the thing in question, but its problematic nature has been hidden from us by a powerful illusion. We think the problem is capitalism, but capitalism is just the logical outcome of aggregate human decisions about how to manage money. The fundamental problem is money itself, or more specifically general purpose money and the international free market which allows you to sell a chunk of rainforest and use the money to buy a soft drink factory. (You can use the same sort of money to sell anything and buy anything, anywhere in the world, and until recently there was no alternative at all. Bitcoin is now an alternative, but is not quite what we are looking for.) The illusion is that because market prices are free, and nobody is forced into a transaction, those prices must be fair – that the exchange is equitable. The truth is that the way the general money globalised free market system works means that even though the prices are freely determined, there is still an unequal flow of natural resources from poor parts of the world to rich parts. This means the poor parts will always remain poor, and resources will continue to accumulate in the large, unsustainable cities in rich countries. In other words, unless we re-invent money, we cannot overturn capitalism, and that means we can't build a sustainable civilisation.
Why does this matter? What use is it realising that general purpose money is at the root of our problems when we know that the rich and powerful people who run this world will do everything in their power to prevent the existing world system being reformed? They aren't just going to agree to get rid of general purpose money and economic globalisation. It's like asking them to stop pursuing growth: they can't even imagine how to do it, and don't want to. So how does this offer us a way forwards?
Answer: because the two things in question – our monetary system and globalisation – look like being among the first casualties of collapse. Globalisation is already going into reverse (see brexit, Trump's protectionism) and our fiat money system is heading towards a debt/inflation implosion.
It looks highly likely that the scenario going forwards will be of increasing monetary and economic chaos. Fiat money systems have collapsed many times before, but never a global system of fiat currencies floating against each other. But regardless of how may fiat currencies collapse, or how high the price of gold goes in dollars, it is not clear what the system would be replaced with. Can we just go back to the gold standard? It is possible, but people will be desperately looking for other solutions, and the people in power might also be getting desperate.
So what could replace it? What is needed is a new sort of complementary money system which both
(a) addresses the immediate economic problems of people suffering from symptoms of economic and general collapse and
(b) provides a long-term framework around which a new sort of economy can emerge – an economy which is adapted to deglobalisation and degrowth.
I have been searching for answers to this question for some time, and have now found what I was looking for. It is explained in this recently published academic book, and this paper by the same professor of economic anthropology (Alf Hornborg). The answer is the creation of a new sort of money, but it is critically important exactly how this is done. Local currencies like the Bristol Pound do not challenge globalisation. What we need is a new sort of national currency. This currency would be issued as a UBI, but only usable to buy products and services originating within an adjustable radius. This would enable a new economy to emerge. It actually resists globalisation and promotes the growth of a new sort of economy where sustainability is built on local resources and local economic activity. It would also reverse the trend of population moving from poor rural areas and towns, to cities. It would revitalise the “left behind” parts of the western world, and put the brakes on the relentless flow of natural resources and “embodied cheap labour” from the poor parts of the world to the rich parts. It would set the whole system moving towards a more sustainable and fairer state.
This may sound unrealistic, but please give it a chance. I believe it offers a way forwards that can
(a) unite disparate factions trying to provoke systemic change, including eco-marxists, greens, posthumanists and anti-globalist supporters of “populist nationalism”, as well as large numbers of confused and worried "ordinary" people. The only people who really stand to lose are the supporters of global big business and the 1%.
(b) offers a realistic alternative to a money system heading towards collapse, and to which currently no other realistic alternative is being proposed.
In other words, this offers a realistic way forwards not just right now but through much of the early stages of collapse. It is likely to become both politically and economically viable within the forseeable future. It does, though, require some elements of the left to abandon its globalist ideals. It will have to embrace a new sort of nationalism. And it will require various groups who are doing very well out of the current economic system to realise that it is doomed.
Here is an FAQ (from the paper).
What is a complementary currency? It is a form of money that can be used alongside regular money.
What is the fundamental goal of this proposal? The two most fundamental goals motivating this proposal are to insulate local human subsistence and livelihood from the vicissitudes of national and international economic cycles and financial speculation, and to provide tangible and attractive incentives for people to live and consume more sustainably. It also seeks to provide authorities with a means to employ social security expenditures to channel consumption in sustainable directions and encourage economic diversity and community resilience at the local level.
Why should the state administrate the reform? The nation is currently the most encompassing political entity capable of administrating an economic reform of this nature. Ideally it is also subservient to the democratic decisions of its population. The current proposal is envisaged as an option for European nations, but would seem equally advantageous for countries anywhere. If successfully implemented within a particular nation or set of nations, the system can be expected to be emulated by others. Whereas earlier experiments with alternative currencies have generally been local, bottom-up initiatives, a state-supported program offers advantages for long-term success. Rather than an informal, marginal movement connected to particular identities and transient social networks, persisting only as long as the enthusiasm of its founders, the complementary currency advocated here is formalized, efficacious, and lastingly fundamental to everyone's economy.
How is local use defined and monitored? The complementary currency (CC) can only be used to purchase goods and services that are produced within a given geographical radius of the point of purchase. This radius can be defined in terms of kilometers of transport, and it can vary between different nations and regions depending on circumstances. A fairly simple way of distinguishing local from non-local commodities would be to label them according to transport distance, much as is currently done regarding, for instance, organic production methods or "fair trade." Such transport certification would of course imply different labelling in different locales.
How is the complementary currency distributed? A practical way of organizing distribution would be to provide each citizen with a plastic card which is electronically charged each month with the sum of CC allotted to him or her.
Who are included in the category of citizens? A monthly CC is provided to all inhabitants of a nation who have received official residence permits.
What does basic income mean? Basic income is distributed without any requirements or duties to be fulfilled by the recipients. The sum of CC paid to an individual each month can be determined in relation to the currency's purchasing power and to the individual's age. The guiding principle should be that the sum provided to each adult should be sufficient to enable basic existence, and that the sum provided for each child should correspond to the additional household expenses it represents.
Why would people want to use their CC rather than regular money? As the sum of CC provided each month would correspond to purchases representing a claim on his or her regular budget, the basic income would liberate a part of each person's regular income and thus amount to substantial purchasing power, albeit restricted only to local purchases. The basic income in CC would reduce a person's dependence on wage labor and the risks currently associated with unemployment. It would encourage social cooperation and a vitalization of community.
Why would businesses want to accept payment in CC? Business entrepreneurs can be expected to respond rapidly to the radically expanded demand for local products and services, which would provide opportunities for a diverse range of local niche markets. Whether they receive all or only a part of their income in the form of CC, they can choose to use some of it to purchase tax-free local labor or other inputs, and to request to have some of it converted by the authorities to regular currency (see next point).
How is conversion of CC into regular currency organized? Entrepreneurs would be granted the right to convert some of their CC into regular currency at exchange rates set by the authorities.The exchange rate between the two currencies can be calibrated so as to compensate the authorities for loss of tax revenue and to balance the in- and outflows of CC to the state. The rate would thus amount to a tool for determining the extent to which the CC is recirculated in the local economy, or returned to the state. This is important in order to avoid inflation in the CC sector.
Would there be interest on sums of CC owned or loaned? There would be no interest accruing on a sum of CC, whether a surplus accumulating in an account or a loan extended.
How would saving and loaning of CC be organized? The formal granting of credit in CC would be managed by state authorities and follow the principle of full reserve banking, so that quantities of CC loaned would never exceed the quantities saved by the population as a whole.
Would the circulation of CC be subjected to taxation? No.
Why would authorities want to encourage tax-free local economies? Given the beneficial social and ecological consequences of this reform, it is assumed that nation states will represent the general interests of their electorates and thus promote it. Particularly in a situation with rising fiscal deficits, unemployment, health care, and social security expenditures, the proposed reform would alleviate financial pressure on governments. It would also reduce the rising costs of transport infrastructure, environmental protection, carbon offsetting, and climate change adaptation. In short, the rising costs and diminishing returns on current strategies for economic growth can be expected to encourage politicians to consider proposals such as this, as a means of avoiding escalating debt or even bankruptcy.
How would the state's expenditures in CC be financed? As suggested above, much of these expenditures would be balanced by the reduced costs for social security, health care, transport infrastructure, environmental protection, carbon offsetting, and climate change adaptation. As these savings may take time to materialize, however, states can choose to make a proportion of their social security payments (pensions, unemployment insurance, family allowance, etc.) in the form of CC. As between a third and half of some nations' annual budgets are committed to social security, this represents a significant option for financing the reform, requiring no corresponding tax levies.
What are the differences between this CC and the many experiments with local currencies? This proposal should not be confused with the notion, or with the practical operation, of local currencies, as it does not imply different currencies in different locales but one national,complementary currency for local use. Nor is it locally initiated and promoted in opposition to theregular currency, but centrally endorsed and administrated as an accepted complement to it. Most importantly, the alternative currency can only be used to purchase products and services originating from within a given geographical range, a restriction which is not implemented in experiments with Local Exchange Trading Systems (LETS). Finally, the CC is provided as a basic income to all residents of a nation, rather than only earned in proportion to the extent to which a person has made him- or herself useful in the local economy.
What would the ecological benefits be? The reform would radically reduce the demand for long-distance transport, the production of greenhouse gas emissions, consumption of energy and materials, and losses of foodstuffs through overproduction, storage, and transport. It would increase recycling of nutrients and packaging materials, which means decreasing leakage of nutrients and less garbage. It would reduce agricultural intensification, increase biodiversity, and decrease ecological degradation and vulnerability.
What would the societal benefits be? The reform would increase local cooperation, decrease social marginalization and addiction problems, provide more physical exercise, improve psycho-social and physical health, and increase food security and general community resilience. It would decrease the number of traffic accidents, provide fresher and healthier food with less preservatives, and improved contact between producers and consumers.
What would the long-term consequences be for the economy? The reform would no doubt generate radical transformations of the economy, as is precisely the intention. There would be a significant shift of dominance from transnational corporations founded on financial speculation and trade in industrially produced foodstuffs, fuels, and other internationally transported goods to locally diverse producers and services geared to sustainable livelihoods. This would be a democratic consequence of consumer power, rather than of legislation. Through a relatively simple transformation of the conditions for market rationality, governments can encourage new and more sustainable patterns of consumer behavior. In contrast to much of the drastic and often traumatic economic change of the past two centuries, these changes would be democratic and sustainable and would improve local and national resilience.
Why should society want to encourage people to refrain from formal employment? It is increasingly recognized that full or high employment cannot be a goal in itself, particularly if it implies escalating environmental degradation and energy and material throughput. Well-founded calls are thus currently made for degrowth, i.e. a reduction in the rate of production of goods and services that are conventionally quantified by economists as constitutive of GDP. Whether formal unemployment is the result of financial decline, technological development, or intentional policy for sustainability, no modern nation can be expected to leave its citizens economically unsupported. To subsist on basic income is undoubtedly more edifying than receiving unemployment insurance; the CC system encourages useful community cooperation and creative activities rather than destructive behavior that may damage a person's health.
Why should people receive an income without working? As observed above, modern nations will provide for their citizens whether they are formally employed or not. The incentive to find employment should ideally not be propelled only by economic imperatives, but more by the desire to maintain a given identity and to contribute creatively to society. Personal liberty would be enhanced by a reform which makes it possible for people to choose to spend (some of) their time on creative activities that are not remunerated on the formal market, and to accept the tradeoff implied by a somewhat lower economic standard. People can also be expected to devote a greater proportion of their time to community cooperation, earning additional CC, which means that they will contribute more to society – and experience less marginalization – than the currently unemployed.
Would savings in CC be inheritable? No.
How would transport distances of products and services be controlled? It is reasonable to expect the authorities to establish a special agency for monitoring and controlling transport distances. It seems unlikely that entrepreneurs would attempt to cheat the system by presenting distantly produced goods as locally produced, as we can expect income in regular currency generally to be preferable to income in CC. Such attempts would also entail transport costs which should make the cargo less competitive in relation to genuinely local produce, suggesting that the logic of local market mechanisms would by and large obviate the problem.
How would differences in local conditions (such as climate, soils, and urbanism) be dealt with? It is unavoidable that there would be significant variation between different locales in terms of the conditions for producing different kinds of goods. This means that relative local prices in CC for agiven product can be expected to vary from place to place. This may in turn mean that consumption patterns will vary somewhat between locales, which is predictable and not necessarily a problem. Generally speaking, a localization of resource flows can be expected to result in a more diverse pattern of calibration to local resource endowments, as in premodern contexts. The proposed system allows for considerable flexibility in terms of the geographical definition of what is categorized as local, depending on such conditions. In a fertile agricultural region, the radius for local produce may be defined, for instance, as 20 km, whereas in a less fertile or urban area, it may be 50 km. People living in urban centers are faced with a particular challenge. The reform would encourage an increased production of foodstuffs within and in the vicinity of urban areas, which in the long run may also affect urban planning. People might also choose to move to the countryside, where the range of subsistence goods that can be purchased with CC will tend to be greater. In the long run, the reform can be expected to encourage a better fit between the distribution of resources (such as agricultural land) and demography. This is fully in line with the intention of reducing long-distance transports of necessities.
What would the consequences be if people converted resources from one currency sphere into products or services sold in another? It seems unfeasible to monitor and regulate the use of distant imports (such as machinery and fuels) in producing produce for local markets, but as production for local markets is remunerated in CC, this should constitute a disincentive to invest regular money in such production processes. Production for local consumption can thus be expected to rely mostly – and increasingly – on local labor and other resource inputs.
submitted by anthropoz to ExtinctionRebellion [link] [comments]

I'm kinda ok with MCO -> CRO Swap; a indepth personal view

EDIT: this post https://www.reddit.com/Crypto_com/comments/i2yhuz/open_letter_to_kris_from_one_of_cdcs_biggest/ from u/CryptoMines expresses my sentiments and concerns better than I could ever put into words myself. I'd say read his/her post instead.
Very long post ahead, but TL;DR, I actually see this swap as a positive change, despite fearing for what it may do to my portofolio, and having mixed feelings about its consequences on CDC reputation.Before I start, for the sake of context and bias, here's my personal situation as a CDC user:
  1. I'm just a average Joe, with a 500 MCO Jade card. I bough 50 MCO at 5,22€ in September 2019 and staked for Ruby, then bough 440 MCO at 2.47€ in March 2020 and upgraded to Jade. The total amount of MCO I own is currently 515, and everything above the 500 stake is cashback rewards.
  2. I bought MCO exclusively for the card and bonus Earn interest benefits, and had no plans to unstake my MCO. Now with the swap, definetly won't unstake.
  3. The MCO -> CRO conversion rates increased the fiat value of my MCO in about 1000€.
  4. I own a decent amount of CRO, wich I bought at ~0,031€ in March 2020.
  5. The country where I live is crypto friendly and completely crypto-tax free; I only have to pay income tax if I deposit a certain threshold of fiat in my bank.
Take all these factors into account as possible (if not major) influencers or bias on my opinions; both the emotional and economical ones. Call me a fool or a devil's advocate if you want, but keep your torches and pitchforks down. As we say here on Reddit: "Remember the human".-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Like all of you, I woke up to find this anouncement, wich came right the #[email protected] out of nowere, and gives you little to no options. Good or bad, this announcement arrived as basicly a "comply or die" choice. Emotionally, this came as both terrifying and disgusting; but rationally, I cannot blame CDC for it.
Because wether we like it or not, CDC is a centralized company, and the MCO tokens were never a stock or legally binding contract; something wich pretty much every crypto company or ICO warns in their T&C and risk warnings. Not to mention the mostly unregulated status of the cryptocurrency and. I'll call this "dishonest" any day, but I cannot see it as a "scammy" since I can't see how they broke any rules or terms.
A scammer would take your money/assets away, but CDC is offering you to swap it for another asset wich you can sell right away if you want. And at current price, it is still worth more or less as much fiat as MCO cost at the 5 $/€ wich was more or less the comunity standard used for calculating the card prices. And by that, I mean that the fiat value of 50/500/5000 MCO (as CRO) is actually not far from the 250/2500/25'000 $/€ that the comunity commonly used as standard when calculating the ROI and (under)valuation of MCO.
So CDC is at least trying to give us the option to get (some) our money back, and not at a unfair rate. If you happened to buy MCO at a price higher than this, I can't see how that's CDC's fault, just as I don't see anyone blaming Bitcoin or Altcoins for getting them stuck at the top of the 2017 bubble burst.
I read many posts in this reddit calling this a "backstab" and "betrayal" of early investors and for the people who "believed in MCO". Emotionally, I share your sentiment.But after thinking it for a while, I'd say this was actually very rewarding for early investors and long term MCO supporters. As CDC clearly sates in the swap rules; nobody is going to lose their card tier or MCO stake benefits (at least not yet), and your stake DOES NOT unstake automatically after 180 days. Actually, so far they never did unstake automatically, you had to manually unstake yourself.
With this in mind, everyone who already got their cards, or at least staked MCO to reserve one, basicly got them 3-5 times cheaper than future users; and IMHO, now the $/€ price of cards feels more fair and sustainable compared to their benefits.So in a sense, everyone who supported and believed on the MCO for its utility (i.e. the card and app benefits) has been greatly rewarded with perks that they get to keep, but are now out of reach for a lot of people.Likewise, the people who believed and invested in CRO (for whatever reason), have also been rewarded, as their CRO tokens now have more utility.
So either the price of CRO crashes down to around 0.05 $/€, or the people who bought MCO/CRO early or cheap are now massively benefited. But then again, so is everyone who bought or mined Bitcoin in its early days, or invested in Bitcoin at crucial points of its history... how is that unfair? Some people bought Ethereum at 1'400 $ on a mix of hopes/promises that it would continue to rise; it didn't. And even today with DeFi and ETH 2.0 ever closer, it is still far from that price.
And I know what some of you are thinking: "The cards aren't avaiable in my country yet, that's why I didn't buy/stake."Well, they weren't avaiable in my country either when I staked 50 MCO. Heck, the cards weren't avaiable in anyones country when MCO started, but many people still bought it and staked it. That's exacly what "early adopter", "long supporter" and "believing in MCO" means.
On the other hand, the people who invested on MCO as a speculative asset and decided to HODL and hoard MCO, hoping for its price to moon and then sell MCO at big profit, had their dreams mercilessly crushed by this swap... and good lord, I feel their pain.But this is also where I'll commit the sin of being judgemental, because IMHO, speculating on MCO never made any sense to me; MCO was a utility token, not a value token, so it should not (and could not) ever be worth more than the value of its utility. That's basicly how stablecoins and PAXG are able to stay stable; because nobody will pay more/less than the value of the asset/service they represent.
Tough now that I'm looking at the new card stake tiers in CRO, I have to give credit to the MCO hodlers I just now criticised; maybe you were right all along. Unless the price of CRO crashes or corrects, I wich case, I un-rest my case.
One thing I'll agree with everyone tough, is that I fell that CDC just suckerpunched it's comunity. Because even if we have no vote on its decisions (wich again, we aren't necessarily entitled to, since they are a privante and centralized business) they should/could have warned that this was in their plans well in advance; if anything to allow those who wouldn't like it to exit this train calmly.
Also the CRO stake duration reset. The mandatory reset of your CRO stake for taking advantage of the early swap bonus feels like another gut-punch.
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Now that we got emotional feelings out of the way, here's my sentiment about how this will affect the overall CDC ecossystem.
One common criticism of the sustainability of MCO was that its supply cap could never allow a large number of cards to be issued, and how could CDC keep paying the cashbacks and rebates. On the oposite corner, one of the major criticisms of the sustainability of CRO, was it's ridiculously huge supply cap and inflation caused by the gradual un-freezing and release of more CRO into the system.
But now that MCO and CRO became one, it might just have made both issues more sustainable. Now the huge supply cap of CRO makes more sense, as it allows a much larger number of future users to stake for cards (at higher costs, but still). And because most card cashback is small parcels, this large supply also ensures that CDC can keep paying said cashbacks for a long time; especially since it can be semi-renewable trough the trading fees we pay in CRO.
Before this, the MCO you got as cashback had no use, other than selling it for fiat or speculate on its price. But CRO can be used, at the very least, to receive a discount on trading fees. And everytime you pay trading fees in CRO or spend CRO on a Syndicate event, some of that CRO goes back to CDC, wich they can use to keep paying the cahsback/rebates.
And keep in mind, the technicalities of CRO can be changed, as well as the perks and utilities it can be used for. So even if this current model doesn't fix everything (wich it probably doesn't) it can still be changed to patch problems or expand its use.
Another obvious potentially positive outcome of this, is that now CDC only has to focus on 1 token, so it makes it easier to manage and drive its value. People complained that CDC was neglecting MCO over promoting CRO, but now they can focus on both services (cards/exchange) at the same time. Sure, this might not bring much advantage to the common customer, but its probably a major resource saver and optimizer at corporate levels; wich in the long term ultimately benefits its customers.
Much like Ethereum is undergoing major changes to ensure its scalability, the crypto companies themselves also have to change to acommodate the growing number of users, especially as the cryptomarket and DeFi are growing and becoming more competitive. Business strategies that were once successfull became obsolete, and exchanges that once held near-monopolies had to adjust to rising competitors. There is no reason why CDC shouldn't keep up with this, or at least try to.
Point is, the financial markets, crypto or otherwise, are not a status quo haven. And when something is wrong, something has to be changed, even if it costs. The very rise of cryptocurrencies and blockchain, wich is why we are here in the first place, is a perfect example of this, as it experiments and provides alternatives to legacy/traditional products and technologies.
Was this the best solution to its current problems? Is this what will protect us as customers from a potentially unsustainable business model? I have no idea.
This change ripped me too from my previous more or less relaxed status quo (the safety of the value of the CRO I bough for cheap), along with CRO late investors wich now probably fear for the devaluation of their CRO. To say nothing of the blow this represents for my trust (and I believe everyone elses trust) on CDC and its public relations. It's not what CDC did, it's how they did it.
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Wether you actually bothered to read all I wrote or just skip everything (can't blame you), I'm eager to hear your opinions and whatever criticisms on my opinions you may have.
If you just want to vent at me, you are welcome too; now you can raise your pitchforks and torches.
submitted by BoilingGarbage to Crypto_com [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.
submitted by thefiexpl to fiaustralia [link] [comments]

Figuring out LeanFIRE when you're on PAYE (student loans)

My background:
I used to be a full-time musician- in 2011 I went back to school for acupuncture because I lost a lot of work, applied for almost 2k jobs over a few months without getting anything, about to be homeless, long story . That has not been incredibly lucrative but reasonably fulfilling; HOWEVER it has slowly been starting to uptick a bit.
I'm a bit outside the norm in general, spent time after school travelling for couple years (worked a cruise ship acu gig when I ran out of $$, then learned about bank and credit card bonuses). I would love to get back to a place where I don't have an acupuncture gig with fixed hours but can have time to go thru hike for a month or two, travel with my partner, go on tour with my band, etc. I will likely have some earnings even after I "retire" but it's hard to figure out my # when dealing with PAYE.
I used a form from another sub here for my deets:
Last year was $21600 AGI. I put $11150 additional into my SEP IRA and Trad IRA combined. I'm on PAYE for student loans and trying to keep numbers low. My COL is about $1k a month including vacation/fun money savings.
I had some cash locked up earlier in a bank account bonus (one of my areas of "investing" or "side hustle" since I wanted to keep the money available from EIDL if I needed to pay it back and everything was very nuts earlier in the year, wanted liquidity. I'm probably just going to end up putting it in the market now that I know it will just be "income" and I don't really have another bank deal tying it up that I'm that keen on right now.
Trad IRA is doin the 10-ETF Paul Merriman value approach. Geez I have been so meh on this tho, still not up to my cost basis on this one for the year. Part of me wants to totally abandon this approach.
SEP IRA is 30% in physical gold and silver, and some miners right now. Unsure of where to put rest of cash.
As soon as we get another dip (5-10%?) will put the HSA in a mix of Fidelity zero-fee index funds.
I'm wondering where to put the incoming moneys. Baskets? Growth, dividend, international? I'm so underwhelmed with the value approach this year. I do like the emphasis there on international and would like to do more there. I want to keep ~30% for now in the commodities/miners since I am not a huge fan of bonds and really T bills either right now.
Is it worth it to set up a self-directed solo 401k to take advantage of alternative investments, even though my income is probably low compared to a lot of people here? Also- I did trad IRA last year to get my #'s low for the student loan payment. I will be saving a lot more of my overall income this year (was still paying biz startup expenses until last October), what's the cutoff for when Roth makes sense or not, considering the student loan plan I'm on.
I also have been using alternative investments this year- kickfurther, vinovest, groundfloor. Mostly just dinky moneys to test the waters but I'd like to increase it. I am also interested in bitcoin/crypto as a hedge- for now just have stuff from various sign up bonuses, but thinking to take a small position (if possible in a tax-advantaged way)
submitted by worldwidewbstr to leanfire [link] [comments]

A criticism of the article "Six monetarist errors: why emission won't feed inflation"

(be gentle, it's my first RI attempt, :P; I hope I can make justice to the subject, this is my layman understanding of many macro subjects which may be flawed...I hope you can illuminate me if I have fallen short of a good RI)
Introduction
So, today a heterodox leaning Argentinian newspaper, Ambito Financiero, published an article criticizing monetarism called "Six monetarist errors: why emission won't feed inflation". I find it doesn't properly address monetarism, confuses it with other "economic schools" for whatever the term is worth today and it may be misleading, so I was inspired to write a refutation and share it with all of you.
In some ways criticizing monetarism is more of a historical discussion given the mainstream has changed since then. Stuff like New Keynesian models are the bleeding edge, not Milton Friedman style monetarism. It's more of a symptom that Argentinian political culture is kind of stuck in the 70s on economics that this things keep being discussed.
Before getting to the meat of the argument, it's good to have in mind some common definitions about money supply measures (specifically, MB, M1 and M2). These definitions apply to US but one can find analogous stuff for other countries.
Argentina, for the lack of access to credit given its economic mismanagement and a government income decrease because of the recession, is monetizing deficits way more than before (like half of the budget, apparently, it's money financed) yet we have seen some disinflation (worth mentioning there are widespread price freezes since a few months ago). The author reasons that monetary phenomena cannot explain inflation properly and that other explanations are needed and condemns monetarism. Here are the six points he makes:
1.Is it a mechanical rule?
This way, we can ask by symmetry: if a certainty exists that when emission increases, inflation increases, the reverse should happen when emission becomes negative, obtaining negative inflation. Nonetheless, we know this happens: prices have an easier time increasing and a lot of rigidity decreasing. So the identity between emission and inflation is not like that, deflation almost never exists and the price movement rhythm cannot be controlled remotely only with money quantity. There is no mechanical relationship between one thing and the other.
First, the low hanging fruit: deflation is not that uncommon, for those of you that live in US and Europe it should be obvious given the difficulties central banks had to achieve their targets, but even Argentina has seen deflation during its depression 20 years ago.
Second, we have to be careful with what we mean by emission. A statement of quantity theory of money (extracted from "Money Growth and Inflation: How Long is the Long-Run?") would say:
Inflation occurs when the average level of prices increases. Individual price increases in and of themselves do not equal inflation, but an overall pattern of price increases does. The price level observed in the economy is that which leads the quantity of money supplied to equal the quantity of money demanded. The quantity of money supplied is largely controlled by the [central bank]. When the supply of money increases or decreases, the price level must adjust to equate the quantity of money demanded throughout the economy with the quantity of money supplied. The quantity of money demanded depends not only on the price level but also on the level of real income, as measured by real gross domestic product (GDP), and a variety of other factors including the level of interest rates and technological advances such as the invention of automated teller machines. Money demand is widely thought to increase roughly proportionally with the price level and with real income. That is, if prices go up by 10 percent, or if real income increases by 10 percent, empirical evidence suggests people want to hold 10 percent more money. When the money supply grows faster than the money demand associated with rising real incomes and other factors, the price level must rise to equate supply and demand. That is, inflation occurs. This situation is often referred to as too many dollars chasing too few goods. Note that this theory does not predict that any money-supply growth will lead to inflation—only that part of money supply growth that exceeds the increase in money demand associated with rising real GDP (holding the other factors constant).
So it's not mere emission, but money supply growing faster than money demand which we should consider. So negative emission is not necessary condition for deflation in this theory.
It's worth mentioning that the relationship with prices is observed for a broad measure of money (M2) and after a lag. From the same source of this excerpt one can observe in Fig. 3a the correlation between inflation and money growth for US becomes stronger the longer data is averaged. Price rigidities don't have to change this long term relationship per se.
But what about causality and Argentina? This neat paper shows regressions in two historical periods: 1976-1989 and 1991-2001. The same relationship between M2 and inflation is observed, stronger in the first, highly inflationary period and weaker in the second, more stable, period. The regressions a 1-1 relationship in the high inflation period but deviates a bit in the low inflation period (yet the relationship is still there). Granger causality, as interpreted in the paper, shows prices caused money growth in the high inflation period (arguably because spending was monetized) while the reverse was true for the more stable period.
So one can argue that there is a mechanical relationship, albeit one that is more complicated than simple QTOM theory. The relationship is complicated too for low inflation economies, it gets more relevant the higher inflation is.
Another point the author makes is that liquidity trap is often ignored. I'll ignore the fact that you need specific conditions for the liquidity trap to be relevant to Argentina and address the point. Worth noting that while market monetarists (not exactly old fashioned monetarists) prefer alternative explanations for monetary policy with very low interest rates, this phenomena has a good monetary basis, as explained by Krugman in his famous japanese liquidity trap paper and his NYT blog (See this and this for some relevant articles). The simplified version is that while inflation may follow M2 growth with all the qualifiers needed, central banks may find difficulties targeting inflation when interest rates are low and agents are used to credible inflation targets. Central banks can change MB, not M2 and in normal times is good enough, but at those times M2 is out of control and "credibly irresponsible" policies are needed to return to normal (a more detailed explanation can be found in that paper I just linked, go for it if you are still curious).
It's not like monetary policy is not good, it's that central banks have to do very unconventional stuff to achieve in a low interest rate environment. It's still an open problem but given symmetric inflation targeting policies are becoming more popular I'm optimistic.
2 - Has inflation one or many causes?
In Argentina we know that the main determinant of inflation is dollar price increases. On that, economic concentration of key markets, utility price adjustments, fuel prices, distributive struggles, external commodity values, expectatives, productive disequilibrium, world interest rates, the economic cycle, stationality and external sector restrictions act on it too.
Let's see a simple example: during Macri's government since mid 2017 to 2019 emission was practically null, but when in 2018 the dollar value doubled, inflation doubled too (it went from 24% to 48% in 2018) and it went up again a year later. We see here that the empirical validity of monetarist theory was absent.
For the first paragraph, one could try to run econometric tests for all those variables, at least from my layman perspective. But given that it doesn't pass the smell test (has any country used that in its favor ignoring monetary policy? Also, I have shown there is at least some evidence for the money-price relationship before), I'll try to address what happened in Macri's government and if monetarism (or at least some reasonable extension of it) cannot account for it.
For a complete description of macroeconomic policy on that period, Sturzenegger account is a good one (even if a bit unreliable given he was the central banker for that government and he is considered to have been a failure). The short version is that central banks uses bonds to manage monetary policy and absorb money; given the history of defaults for the country, the Argentinian Central Bank (BCRA) uses its own peso denominated bonds instead of using treasury bonds. At that time period, the BCRA still financed the treasury but the amount got reduced. Also, it emitted pesos to buy dollar reserves, then sterilized them, maybe risking credibility further.
Near the end of 2017 it was evident the government had limited appetite for budget cuts, it had kind of abandoned its inflation target regime and the classic problem of fiscal dominance emerged, as it's shown in the classic "Unpleasant monetarist arithmetic" paper by Wallace and Sargent. Monetary policy gets less effective when the real value of bonds falls, and raising interest rates may be counterproductive in that environment. Rational expectations are needed to complement QTOM.
So, given that Argentina promised to go nowhere with reform, it was expected that money financing would increase at some point in the future and BCRA bonds were dumped in 2018 and 2019 as their value was perceived to have decreased, and so peso demand decreased. It's not that the dollar value increased and inflation followed, but instead that peso demand fell suddenly!
The IMF deal asked for MB growth to be null or almost null but that doesn't say a lot about M2 (which it's the relevant variable here). Without credible policies, the peso demand keeps falling because bonds are dumped even more (see 2019 for a hilariously brutal example of that).
It's not emission per se, but rather that it doesn't adjust properly to peso demand (which is falling). That doesn't mean increasing interest rates is enough to achieve it, following Wallace and Sargent model.
This is less a strict proof that a monetary phenomenon is involved and more stating that the author hasn't shown any problem with that, there are reasonable models for this situation. It doesn't look like an clear empirical failure to me yet.
3 - Of what we are talking about when we talk about emission?
The author mentions many money measures (M0, M1, M2) but it doesn't address it meaningfully as I tried to do above. It feels more like a rhetorical device because there is no point here except "this stuff exists".
Also, it's worth pointing that there are actual criticisms to make to Friedman on those grounds. He failed to forecast US inflation at some points when he switched to M1 instead of using M2, although he later reverted that. Monetarism kind of "failed" there (it also "failed" in the sense that modern central banks don't use money, but instead interest rates as their main tool; "failed" because despite being outdated, it was influential to modern central banking). This is often brought to this kind of discussions like if economics hasn't moved beyond that. For an account of Friedman thoughts on monetary policies and his failures, see this.
4 - Why do many countries print and inflation doesn't increase there?
There is a mention about the japanese situation in the 90s (the liquidity trap) which I have addressed.
The author mentions that many countries "printed" like crazy during the pandemic, and he says:
Monetarism apologists answer, when confronted with those grave empirical problems that happen in "serious countries", that the population "trusts" their monetary authorities, even increasing the money demand in those place despite the emission. Curious, though, it's an appeal to "trust" implying that the relationship between emission and inflation is not objective, but subjective and cultural: an appreciation that abandons mechanicism and the basic certainty of monetarism, because evaluations and diagnostics, many times ideologic, contextual or historical intervene..
That's just a restatement of applying rational expectations to central bank operations. I don't see a problem with that. Rational expectations is not magic, it's an assessment of future earnings by economic actors. Humans may not 100% rational but central banking somehow works on many countries. You cannot just say that people are ideologues and let it at that. What's your model?
Worth noting the author shills for bitcoin a bit in this section, for more cringe.
5 - Are we talking of a physical science or a social science?
Again, a vague mention of rational expectations ("populists and pro market politicians could do the same policies with different results because of how agents respond ideologically and expectatives") without handling the subject meaningfully. It criticizes universal macroeconomic rules that apply everywhere (this is often used to dismiss evidence from other countries uncritically more than as a meaningful point).
6 - How limits work?
The last question to monetarism allows to recognize it something: effectively we can think on a type of vinculation between emission and inflation in extreme conditions. That means, with no monetary rule, no government has the need of taxes but instead can emit and spend all it needs without consequence. We know it's not like that: no government can print infinitely without undesirable effects.
Ok, good disclaimer, but given what he wrote before, what's the mechanism which causes money printing to be inflationary at some point? It was rejected before but now it seems that it exists. What was even the point of the article?
Now, the problem is thinking monetarism on its extremes: without emission we have inflation sometimes, on others we have no inflation with emission, we know that if we have negative emission that doesn't guarantees us negative inflation, but that if emission is radically uncontrolled there will economic effects.
As I wrote above, that's not what monetarism (even on it's simpler form) says, nor a consequence of it. You can see some deviations in low inflation environment but it's not really Argentina's current situation.
Let's add other problems: the elastic question between money and prices is not evident. Neither is time lags in which can work or be neutral. So the question is the limit cases for monetarism which has some reason but some difficulty in explaining them: by which and it what moments rules work and in which it doesn't.
I find the time lag thing to be a red herring. You can observe empirically and not having a proper short/middle run model doesn't invalidate QTOM in the long run. While it may be that increasing interest rates or freezing MB is not effective, that's less a problem of the theory and more a problem of policy implementation.
Conclusion:
I find that the article doesn't truly get monetarism to begin with (see the points it makes about emission and money demand), neither how it's implemented in practice, nor seems to be aware of more modern theories that, while put money on the background, don't necessarily invalidate it (rational expectation ideas, and eventually New Keynesian stuff which addresses stuff like liquidity traps properly).
There are proper criticisms to be made to Friedman old ideas but he still was a relevant man in his time and the economic community has moved on to new, better theories that have some debt to it. I feel most economic discussion about monetarism in Argentina is a strawman of mainstream economics or an attack on Austrians more than genuine points ("monetarism" is used as a shorthand for those who think inflation is a monetary phenomenon more than referring to Friedman and his disciples per se).
submitted by Neronoah to badeconomics [link] [comments]

Ways to make money with crypto

Now that crypto has integrated into mainstream commercial and financial systems, it can do everything that traditional currency can do. You can use it to buy things or use it to make more money.
The innovative nature of crypto means you can generate and grow wealth in innovative ways. Let’s take a look at some of the ways that you can make crypto and make money using crypto.
Contents

Option 1: Mine Crypto

Mining cryptocurrency means using computing power to help verify crypto transactions. Think of your computer as your neighborhood bank teller. You get paid to make sure that deposits and withdrawals get to the right place.
Anyone can become a crypto miner — provided you have the right equipment. Not just any computer can be effectively used to mine. It needs to be extremely powerful to compete with all of the other bank tellers who are looking to verify transactions and make money. These huge computer rigs also use up extraordinary amounts of electricity, causing some municipalities to ban the practice.
As time goes on, mining will become less profitable. The more attention it receives, the more miners enter the space. More miners means profits are spread more thinly throughout the community. But for those who can acquire the hardware and navigate the competition, there is still plenty of financial value to earn. Many miners focus efforts on up-and-coming coins expected to rise in value over time.
There’s an entire industry of companies and individuals that sell rigs focused on mining certain coins. Focused rigs only allow you to mine a single coin but usually mine more efficiently. There is risk of losing the investment in your rig if your chosen coin changes its mining criteria.

Option 2: Trade Cryptocurrency

As a whole, the crypto market is stable enough to set the values of coins directly against each other. You don’t have to trade your Bitcoin for USD or Japanese Yen — you can trade Bitcoin for Tezos, Ethereum or Zcoin on a trading platform. Many people do this because they believe 1 coin will rise in value more quickly than another.
Crypto traders value anonymity as well. Governments have focused on requiring exchanges to identify traders who want to move from cryptocurrency into traditional fiat. More secretive coins like Monero have been able to avoid this regulation. As a result, many traders are using Bitcoin and Ethereum as a gateway into quieter coins.
There are 4 major types of exchanges that facilitate trade in the crypto space:

Option 3: Get Paid in Crypto

As long as you have a digital wallet, you can accept payment for your goods and services in cryptocurrency. Many major businesses accept crypto including Starbucks, Whole Foods, Nordstrom, Subway, Microsoft, Amazon and others. Zogby Analytics found that 33% of small businesses accept crypto.
This is a great option for people who want to build a crypto portfolio without the need to learn about the technicalities of mining or trading.

Option 4: Lending Crypto

With crypto, you can become the bank — with certain advantages. Lending crypto isn’t like letting your buddy borrow $20 and never getting it back. When you use crypto to lend the right way, your money is protected by a smart contract. Once entered, these contracts must be executed. Your deadbeat cousin can’t just turn off the phone and hope you forget about it.
Lending exchanges bring together crypto holders and allow them to fund projects. Many of them are focused on building up the fundamental technologies that allow crypto to exist. Participants are rewarded with an interest rate on business returns for a specified amount of time — just like a bond.
Here’s the difference: 10-year treasury yields are currently hovering around 1%. You can get 5–20% on crypto projects depending on the credit rating of the business.
If you want the best of both worlds, you can invest in the bonds traditional banks issue on crypto.
You can lend your crypto to individuals, but another interesting option is to lend its utility back to the entity that issued it. This practice is known as “staking” and brings an opportunity for extremely high interest returns. When you stake a coin, you basically agree to hold that coin in a digital wallet for a specified length of time. This helps to ensure the market cap for that coin. The issuing entity rewards you for not spending the coin — just like a bank.
Here’s the difference: You get 0.2% per year for a top 25 bank. You can get 10 to 15% per year for a top 25 cryptocurrency.

Use Crypto to Make Money

You might laugh at the returns that traditional checking and savings accounts offer right now. Some researchers even say these rates could move into negative territory to ensure a COVID recovery. Imagine paying a bank to hold your money, and you’ll see why the market for crypto is expanding.
All value-generating and trading activities in the crypto space carry risk. FDIC and SIPC insurance doesn’t exist in the space yet either. But it’s also true that you risk losing your buying power in traditional banks with interest rates that don’t outpace inflation. With all the new opportunity, exploring how to make money with cryptocurrency is worth your time.
submitted by MonishaNuij to MonMonCrypto [link] [comments]

Do I sound more like a Democrat or Republican?

Here are my positions -
  1. Should the federal government institute a mandatory buyback of assault weapons? No
  2. Should a business be able to deny service to a customer if the request conflicts with the owner’s religious beliefs? If they are not engaged in interstate commerce, the Federal Government shouldn't hold any power to legislate on the matter. At the state level (and federal if interstate) Yes, so long as they are not discriminating on the basis of race, sex, sexual orientation, transgender, or other uncontrollable factors.
  3. Should the government continue to fund Planned Parenthood? Yes, with oversight to make sure the money is going o where it is supposed to.
  4. Should universities provide “trigger warnings” and “safe spaces” for students? No
  5. Do you support the death penalty? Generally no, with the possible exception of treason during an insurrection or invasion.
  6. Should the government support a separation of church and state by removing references to God on money, federal buildings, and national monuments? No, this is referring to God as a concept.
  7. Should businesses be required to have women on their board of directors? No
  8. Do you support the legalization of same sex marriage? Yes, through a constitutional amendment. At the state level, yes.
  9. Should the military allow women to serve in combat roles? Yes as long as they meet the same physical standards as men and pass the same tests.
  10. Should marital rape be classified and punished as severely as non-marital rape? This should be a state-level issue, but yes.
  11. Should terminally ill patients be allowed to end their lives via assisted suicide? Only if there is no chance of survival.
  12. Should hate speech be protected by the first amendment? It is, and yes.
  13. Should gay couples have the same adoption rights as straight couples? Yes
  14. Should states be allowed to display the Confederate flag on government property? They have the right, but I would prefer my state not.
  15. Should women be allowed to wear a Niqāb, or face veil, to civic ceremonies? I am not fully certain. I am leaning towards yes, as long as another woman has verified her identity.
  16. Should welfare recipients be tested for drugs? Only if they have a criminal history related to drug abuse.
  17. Should employers be required to pay men and women the same salary for the same job? This shouldn't be a federal issue unless it involves interstate commerce. But at the state-level (and federal if interstate), Yes if they work the same positions and for the same hours and conditions.
  18. Should there be fewer or more restrictions on current welfare benefits? More, reform it so it supplements, rather than replaces, an income.
  19. Should the government raise the federal minimum wage? The federal government should not have the power to enact minimum wage laws unless it involves interstate commerce, in which case yes, it should be $15 an hour. Each state should be able to set its own laws on the matter.
  20. Should the government make cuts to public spending in order to reduce the national debt? No.
  21. Should the U.S. increase tariffs on imported products from China? Yes, China should be punished for violations of international law.
  22. Should businesses be required to provide paid leave for full-time employees during the birth of a child or sick family member? At the state-level, yes. At the federal level, yes, if they are involved in interstate commerce.
  23. Should the government increase the tax rate on profits earned from the sale of stocks, bonds, and real estate? Capital gains should be taxed the same as ordinary income.
  24. Should the current estate tax rate be decreased? No, I am satisfied with the current system.
  25. Should the U.S. continue to participate in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)? No.
  26. Should the President offer tax breaks to individual companies to keep jobs in the U.S.? No, but put tariffs on all imported goods.
  27. Should the government prevent “mega mergers” of corporations that could potentially control a large percentage of market share within its industry? No.
  28. Do you believe labor unions help or hurt the economy? Help, in theory, but are sometimes harmful.
  29. Should the government break up Amazon, Facebook and Google? No.
  30. Should the government add or increase tariffs on products imported into the country? Yes, all imported goods should be taxed 20%.
  31. Should the U.S. raise or lower the tax rate for corporations? Keep at current rate, but close all loopholes.
  32. Should the government require businesses to pay salaried employees, making up to $46k/year, time-and-a-half for overtime hours? At the state level, yes. At the federal level, only if they are involved in interstate commerce.
  33. Do you support the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)? No.
  34. Would you favor an increased sales tax in order to reduce property taxes? No.
  35. Should pension plans for federal, state, and local government workers be transitioned into privately managed accounts? No.
  36. Should the government subsidize farmers? For now, yes, but once we get out of trade deals, put tariffs on all imports, and tax all interstate sales, subsidies should be ended.
  37. Should the government use economic stimulus to aid the country during times of recession? No, recessions are natural cycles.
  38. Should the Federal Reserve Bank be audited by Congress? Yes, we should know where that money is going.
  39. Should the IRS create a free electronic tax filing system? Yes.
  40. Should an in-state sales tax apply to online purchases of in-state buyers from out-of-state sellers? No, the federal government should not enact an intrastate sales tax.
  41. Should pension payments be increased for retired government workers? Yes, adjust them yearly for inflation.
  42. Should U.S. citizens be allowed to save or invest their money in offshore bank accounts? Yes, as long as all income is reported.
  43. Should the government classify Bitcoin as a legal currency? Yes, but maintain the system of the dollar and cash as a legal currency.
  44. Should the government acquire equity stakes in companies it bails out during a recession? No.
  45. Do you support charter schools? No.
  46. Should the government decriminalize school truancy? No for Elementary school. For middle and high school, no social studies and English, yes for everything else.
  47. Should there be more restrictions on the current process of purchasing a gun? States and the federal government should not be allowed to enact any restrictions on black powder weapons or ammunition for them. For cartridge firearms, the federal government should only have the power to regulate interstate sale of them. At the state level, cartridge firearms should require a license to obtain. The process should involve passing a mental and physical health exam, having a decent criminal record, and passing a written and shooting exam. Handguns and centerfire semi-automatic weapons should have higher standards for licensing and should be registered before being obtained, but automatic CCW to anyone who has a license for a handgun. fully automatic weapons should be illegal to sell, except to collectors, who must meet an even higher standard to obtain.
  48. Should victims of gun violence be allowed to sue firearms dealers and manufacturers? No, this is just dumb.
  49. Should the President of the United States have the power to deploy military troops in order to stop protests? If any state governments are overthrown, yes. Otherwise, only if the Governor of a state requests assistance.
  50. Should teachers be allowed to carry guns at school? Yes if they have a valid license 9see above).
  51. Should it be illegal to burn the American flag? No, but I have no respect for anyone who does.
  52. Should the state government order schools to provide online only classes in order to combat coronavirus? No, let each school decide.
  53. Should there be term limits set for members of Congress? Yes, maximum four terms for the House, and maximum two for the Senate.
  54. Should people on the “no-fly list” be banned from purchasing guns and ammunition? No, this denies one of due process rights.
  55. Are you in favor of decriminalizing drug use? Yes, for most but not all drugs (basically the really bad ones, e.g., meth, heroin, etc;)
  56. Should the NSA (National Security Agency) be allowed to collect basic metadata of citizen’s phone calls such as numbers, timestamps, and call durations? Only with a warrant and probable cause of a crime.
  57. Should the Supreme Court be reformed to include more seats and term limits on judges? No, this is just trying to pack the court, which should not be politicized.
  58. Should the government regulate social media sites, as a means to prevent fake news and misinformation? No, this violates free speech.
  59. Do you support the Patriot Act? Not the clause that allows warrantless searches.
  60. Should the government be allowed to seize private property, with reasonable compensation, for public or civic use? Only for public land and not for privatization, and the owner must be paid for losses in full.
  61. Should college sports be played in the fall of 2020? Yes, but let teams decide.
  62. Should local police increase surveillance and patrol of Muslim neighborhoods? No, this just breeds resentment.
  63. Should the government raise the retirement age for Social Security? No
  64. Should the government pass laws which protect whistleblowers? Yes, so long as national security isn't compromised.
  65. Should the redrawing of Congressional districts be controlled by an independent, non-partisan commission? Yes, gerrymandering breeds corruption.
  66. Should internet service providers be allowed to speed up access to popular websites (that pay higher rates) at the expense of slowing down access to less popular websites (that pay lower rates)? If they are privately owned, yes.
  67. Should the U.S. government grant immunity to Edward Snowden? For his leaks on domestic surveillance, yes. Some other things, maybe not.
  68. Should foreign terrorism suspects be given constitutional rights? Yes.
  69. Do you support the killing of Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani? Yes.
  70. Should the U.S. continue to support Israel? Yes.
  71. Should the U.S. accept refugees from Syria? Yes, but only after extensive background checks to confirm that they are not a threat and are genuine refugees and not economic migrants.
  72. Should the government increase or decrease military spending? Decrease by streamlining it, and making it more efficient, through eliminating wasteful spending.
  73. Should the military fly drones over foreign countries to gain intelligence and kill suspected terrorists? No, unless said country has approved it, and American citizens should be given fair trials.
  74. Should the military be allowed to use enhanced interrogation techniques, such as waterboarding, to gain information from suspected terrorists? No.
  75. Should every 18 year old citizen be required to provide at least one year of military service? No, but maintain the Selective Service system and allow states to draft people if necessary.
  76. Should Jerusalem be recognized as the capital of Israel? Yes.
  77. Should the U.S. go to war with Iran? No, they should be disarmed through diplomatic channels.
  78. Should the U.S. remain in the United Nations? Yes.
  79. Should the U.S. remain in NATO? Yes.
  80. Should the U.S. defend other NATO countries that maintain low military defense budgets relative to their GDP? Yes, but get them to pay their share.
  81. Should the United States pull all military troops out of Afghanistan? If the Afghan government wants us to, then yes.
  82. Should the U.S. sell military weapons to India in order to counter Chinese and Russian influence? Yes.
  83. Should the U.S. conduct military strikes against North Korea in order to destroy their long-range missile and nuclear weapons capabilities? No, use all diplomatic means first.
  84. Do you support President Obama’s move to lift the trade and travel embargo on Cuba? Yes.
  85. Should it be illegal to join a boycott of Israel? No.
  86. Should the government cancel production of the F-35 fighter? Yes, until the price has been lowered or our deficits have been drastically reduced, and its hardware is drastically improved.
  87. Do you support the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)? No.
  88. Should people be required to work in order to receive Medicaid? No.
  89. Should cities open drug “safe havens” where people who are addicted to illegal drugs can use them under the supervision of medical professionals? Yes.
  90. Do you support the legalization of Marijuana? The federal government should not have the power to ban marijuana, except to regulate or ban its interstate sale, which it shouldn't at the state level, legalize.
  91. Should the government regulate the prices of life-saving drugs? No.
  92. Should health insurers be allowed to deny coverage to individuals who have a pre-existing condition? At the federal level, no, if they are operating in interstate commerce. At the state level, no.
  93. Should there be more or less privatization of veterans’ healthcare? Less, improve the current system.
  94. Should the federal government increase funding of health care for low income individuals (Medicaid)? Yes.
  95. Should the federal government be allowed to negotiate drug prices for Medicare? Yes.
  96. Should the government fund the World Health Organization? Yes.
  97. Should the government increase environmental regulations to prevent climate change? No.
  98. Should researchers be allowed to use animals in testing the safety of drugs, vaccines, medical devices, and cosmetics? Yes, but not for cosmetics.
  99. Should the U.S. expand offshore oil drilling? No, but maintain current rigs.
  100. Do you support the use of hydraulic fracking to extract oil and natural gas resources? Allow it to be legal, but don't subsidize.
  101. Should the government stop construction of the Dakota Access pipeline? No.
  102. Should disposable products (such as plastic cups, plates, and cutlery) that contain less than 50% of biodegradable material be banned? No.
  103. Should drilling be allowed in the Alaska Wildlife Refuge? No.
  104. Should cities be allowed to offer private companies economic incentives to relocate? Yes.
  105. Should the government give tax credits and subsidies to the wind power industry? No, no industry should be favored.
  106. Should the government require children to be vaccinated for preventable diseases? No.
  107. Do you support the use of nuclear energy? Yes, lessen restrictions, but no subsidies.
  108. Should producers be required to label genetically engineered foods (GMOs)? Yes.
  109. Should illegal immigrants have access to government-subsidized healthcare? No.
  110. Should immigrants be deported if they commit a serious crime? Yes, after serving their sentence.
  111. Should illegal immigrants be offered in-state tuition rates at public colleges within their residing state? No.
  112. Should the U.S. build a wall along the southern border? No, but make a high tech surveillance barrier instead of a physical wall. This is because a physical wall would be too costly and ineffective.
  113. Should local law enforcement be allowed to detain illegal immigrants for minor crimes and transfer them to federal immigration authorities? Yes.
  114. Should sanctuary cities receive federal funding? No.
  115. Should the U.S. increase restrictions on its current border security policy? Yes.
  116. Should immigrants be required to pass a citizenship test to demonstrate a basic understanding of our country’s language, history, and government? Yes.
  117. Should children of illegal immigrants be granted legal citizenship? Yes, if they were born here.
  118. Should Muslim immigrants be banned from entering the country until the government improves its ability to screen out potential terrorists? No.
  119. Should immigrants be required to learn English? Yes, if they wish to become citizens.
  120. Should there be a temporary ban on all immigration into the United States? No, but increase border security.
  121. Should the US increase or decrease the amount of temporary work visas given to high-skilled immigrant workers? Increase, our economy relies on businesses hiring the highest skilled workers at the lowest cost.
  122. Should working illegal immigrants be given temporary amnesty? No.
  123. Should immigrants to the United States be allowed to hold dual citizenship status? Yes.
  124. Do you support Common Core national standards? Yes, but only for English and social studies.
  125. Should a photo ID be required to vote? No, but gradually update voter rolls and purge voters who are required to be according tot eh Voting Registration act of 1993.
  126. Should foreigners, currently residing in the United States, have the right to vote? No, only citizens should.
  127. Should the minimum voting age be lowered? No.
  128. Should the electoral college be abolished? No.
  129. Should the US have a mail-in ballot process for whole states in local, state, and federal elections? No.
  130. Should foreign lobbyists be allowed to raise money for American elections? No.
  131. Should there be a limit to the amount of money a candidate can receive from a donor? No.
  132. Should corporations, unions, and non-profit organizations be allowed to donate to political parties? No.
  133. Should there be a 5-year ban on White House and Congressional officials from becoming lobbyists after they leave the government? No.
  134. Should political candidates be required to release their recent tax returns to the public? No.
  135. Should funding for local police departments be redirected to social and community based programs? No, increase funding and training for police departments in higher crime rate communities
  136. Should police officers be required to wear body cameras? Yes.
  137. Should convicted criminals have the right to vote? Yes, but only after completing their sentence and probation.
  138. Should drug traffickers receive the death penalty? No.
  139. Should non-violent prisoners be released from jail in order to reduce overcrowding? Yes, but have them do community service.
  140. Do you support mandatory minimum prison sentences for people charged with drug possession? No.
  141. Should the government hire private companies to run prisons? No.
  142. Should prisons ban the use of solitary confinement for juveniles? No, but it is currently being overused
  143. Should the US assassinate suspected terrorists in foreign countries? No, capture, interrogate, and imprison them instead
  144. What is your position on Abortion? Adopt a constitutional amendment overturning Roe v Wade and allow state to enact their own laws. At the state level, abortion should be legal within the first 20 weeks, but afterwards, should be banned except for exceptional cases.
  145. Do you support affirmative action? No.
submitted by Maximum-Lingonberry2 to NoStupidQuestions [link] [comments]

Recessions, financial savings and retirement

If you're on reddit you're probably a millennial or gen z and you're likely gen 1 or gen 2. Most hmong parents arnt the most financially savvy people out there so I thought I'd post this in hopes that it helps some of yall out.
The current situation should be reality check that highlights 1 thing for our generation:
Have enough cash and investments to support yourself
If you're a millennial this is probably the 2nd major recession in your working career, all within the span of less than 15 years. If you're just entering the job market then prepare for losses, wage cuts, uncertainty and wage stagnation for perhaps years to come. Recovery will happen, but unlike the stock market the economy usually lags.
  1. Save enough cash to support yourself - 3 months minimum
Savings: At a minimum you should have enough cash to cover 3 months of costs in case of job loss. However, this is really the minimum you should strive for before thinking about investments. I'm personally more comfortable with 5-6 months of expenses and even more if you own a house.
  1. 401k, HSA There are probably more plans out there but these are the two most common. You should be maximizing your contributions up to whatever the company match is. If you're young and healthy, you may want to think about actively managing both and changing the funds to support higher growth.
401k: Contribute up to the company match. 401k is funded by pretax money and the company match is all free money. If you dont think you can or have the time to beat the match, then leverage 401ks to the maximum. Don't have enough to contribute? Each raise you earn increase your 401k contribution to whatever your raise is. Should you contribute the yearly maximum? It depends on the match and if it's worthwhile. 401ks are a money jail so it's not worth-while to simply invest more if it does not earn you additional match money. There are better ways to invest your money.
Which fund should you choose? Again if you're on the younger side, you should probably be in 90% or more in stocks.
HSA: If you're young and/or healthy then you will want to maximize you're HSA contributions. This money is yours forever and often comes with a company match. After meeting the minimum account balance you can invest any additional contributions, just like your 401k.
You'll always have both accounts and the government has made it clear that they will waive penalties for withdrawals in cases of crisis like covid.
  1. Roth IRA and Brokage accounts
Fully vested in 401k and HSA? Roth IRA and brokage accounts may be what you're looking for. Both Roth IRA and brokage accounts allows you to invest in individual stocks. What's the difference? Roth IRA gains are tax free but you arnt allowed to withdraw gains without paying a penalty and taxes until you reach retirement age. You can still pull out what you contribute at any time. A brokage account allows you to pull your gains and contributions out at any time, but any gain on any sale is subject to tax, regardless if you withdraw from your account or not.
The general advice is if you're investing for retirement, go with a roth ira and contribute the maximum you can each year, then fund your brokage account with any extra. If you're investing to gamble or to try and earn extra cash, a brokage account gives you more flexibility on managing your earnings.
I use my Roth IRA as a second savings accounts and invest when I see good entry points. Roth gives me liquidity while also being able to invest, compared to a 401k.
The market will only grow, maybe not in the short term with the whole covid recession, but better believe it will in the long term.
  1. FIRE: Financial Independence, Retire Early.
You may have heard of FIRE, but the essence is to become Financially independent and retire early. I'm not a big fan of the following it exactly but I am a fan of being Financially independent enough to not worry about what I choose for work. But if you live FIRE, more power to you.
The single biggest costs for most people are their homes. If you can pay off your home early then a large financial burden has been taken care and while you may not be financial independent you will have an extremely large amount of flexibility. If you want to work at Costco, you can! That's what being financially flexible affords you.
  1. Real estate and Land
Yes, some people make bank flipping and renting. But profiting from a flip is estimated to be harder and harder with home prices where they are today. I dont have any expertise here beside just beginning to dive into the indusrty but from what I hear from my builder, realtor and flipping people is that we are expecting a down turn in home prices in the 2nd half of the year if covid continues to decimate the economy. Low interest rates however may offset some of this in the short term. Right now it's still a sellers market but high end houses are sitting.
  1. Credit cards
Points, points, points..seriously there's no other way to buy than with a credit card, not even mentioning security benefits. Cash, debit cards, PayPal, bitcoin, all worthless when compared to credit cards. Use credit cards to pay for everything you can.
If you're not disciplined enough, don't open cards to every department store either, you're get a credit hit if your credit is accessed too often and it becomes difficult to manage after too many cards.
Look at cards that provide the most points for your dollar. Cards that allow you to transfer points to partners often yield even more savings, especiallyon things like travel. Chase cards are great and Freedom is a great first card to have.
The key to credit cards is not to spend what you dont have and to pay off the STATEMENT BALANCE every month. To avoid interests, you need only pay off the STATEMENT BALANCE and not the full balance every month. Never take credit card loans or get into credit card debt, it's going to be a bad time.
  1. Pay off debt
There's always a fine line between investing and paying off debt. The debt we're talking about here is debt with relatively low interest rates like student loans, car loans and homes. Anything debt with high rates, like credit card debt, should be paid off immediately.
The general rule of thumb is if you can make more investing than the interest rates of the loans, invest, else pay off debt. But, investing involves risk while paying off debt is a sure thing. There's also the emotional factor. Some people don't care about debt because they want to be working their entire lives and are willing to pay it off over the long term, and that's perfectly fine. In that case, invest invest invest. Personally i think there is a balance, I rather be debt free and financially flexible than be straddled with debt.
To pay off debt, one of the most popular methods is the snow ball method. The essence of the theory is to pay off the highest interest debt off first. Once paid off, while keeping the payments the same, tackle the next highest interest debt and so on so forth. Eventually you are paying off more and more with the same payments, hence the snow ball effect. Google it for more precise definitions.
  1. Travel, hobbies and enjoying life
Seriously, enjoy your youth, health and life while it's good. Nobody wants to work and save until 65 before you start traveling and enjoying life. Traveling is one of the best things you can do. Having hobbies makes work worthwhile. Good health is worth more than all the cash in the world.
  1. Gambling and options
I dont recommend either, but if you're a gambling man, play options over penny stocks and always double down on 9 or 11...maybe. Just don't bet what you're not willing to lose, and for the love of all that is holy, dont gamble on margin. Disable that shit.
You already know all this stuff? Awesome! Help out and contribute.
Questions? Post.
Wrong Facts? Always looking to learn.
Tldr: Save, invest and pay off debt. Also enjoy life, health and youth while you have them.
submitted by Dick_sporting_good to Hmong [link] [comments]

Why I Bought Nexo Over Celsius (CEL) & Crypto.com (MCO)

Personally until last week, I haven't touched this space since the the end of 2017 when bitcoin hit 20k.
But now everything has changed.
I'm back in it now because I started hearing about DeFi and how you can earn massive interest rates on your crypto.
I was shocked when I saw you could earn 10% interest from Nexo, and on fiat! That's 10x more than what my bank offers me. It's an incredible deal and Celsius, Crypto Com (CDC), BlockFi also offer similar things.
When I saw that these were all legitimate companies with solid product I knew I had to get into this now before it was too late.
https://preview.redd.it/wxzc8a0ziea51.png?width=1184&format=png&auto=webp&s=2c717f10b911c1264ef36a08870401d30372dea7
DeFi is growing like crazy, and when everyone was offering massive interest rates on their deposits I know CeFi (centralized finance) will follow because the user experience is 10x easier for most people like me.
So I had to pick.
It was Nexo vs. Celsius vs. CDC vs. Blockfi
And I think there's never been a better time than right now. So after doing research, I chose Nexo for these 5 reasons.
  1. Big Profitability
  2. No Lock-in Terms
  3. Massive Roadmap
  4. 30% Dividends
  5. Fast Growing Company
Profitability
Back in 2017 I invested in a ton of "shitcoins" with no product and no customers and lost a lot... What I like about Nexo is that not only did have an awesome product, it has massive growth of its core crypto credit line product.
They have massive double digit growth month on month. Nexo, on average, much lends at 12% and borrows at 8%. So they make 4% APR on their loans.
So from their $217 M in loans this year they would earn somewhere around $8M in profit (if each loan took a year to repay). But that's a decent ballpark figure. You can see these figures at https://nexostatistics.com/ for more information.

https://preview.redd.it/wadznkpwhea51.png?width=2036&format=png&auto=webp&s=ce7b2ec7d39eb00f6dc5f8840bbcc6843b0dd047
So that's an incredible feat for a new company, and the ability to take a loan against your crypto saves you in several ways
For taxes you only pay after you've sold your crypto or shares, but by taking a loan against them you can delay that period so it's very tax efficient. There's no credit check so if you have credit cards loans at 20% APR then this will help you tremendously because you can borrow at 6%.
With all this profit, Nexo is creating a massive war chest to take over the CeFi space.
But what about the competition?
2. No lock-in terms
Now lets have a look at the competition. There are 3 other big players in this space. Crypto com (CDC) is the biggest as their CRO token took off and broke into the top 10. But if you want to get their best interest rates you need lock-in your investment for a minimum period of 3 months.
In this economy where it feels like we can have a second crash. I'm a lot happier knowing I can withdraw it whenever I want.
On flexible terms, for in-kind currency, Nexo wins letting you earn up to 10% over 8% the other big 3.
3. Massive Roadmap
I've watched and transcribed nearly every video Antoni Trenchev has done. And he gives a few hints of the roadmap for Nexo.
Here's a short summary:
  1. Banking License
Nexo is trying to either acquire a company or get their own banking license (like Revolut and Monzo) so they have more flexibility in their operations. It would be a huge step for a crypto company to get this and shows their ambition
  1. Credit Card
This will be similar to CDC and they'll offer generous cash back incentives of 2% when you get your credit card.
  1. Referral Scheme
Currently Nexo has done this massive growth without incentivised referrals, and when they turn this tap the company can likely see a lot of users pouring in for their great savings rates and crypto credit lines.
  1. Exchanges and more Coins
Again, the ability to crypto within the eco system will go a long way to keeping users within the system. The plan is to let users buy and stake virtually any legitimate crypto coin.
And with this massive roadmap, the core principle they started with by sharing back with the community, they keep everyone's incentives aligned.
4. Dividends
Nexo currently offers 30% of their profits to all their users on a once a year basis. This is great because it gives the Nexo token some actual utility and incentives long-term holding. It also makes Nexo more transparent because they're sharing their profits from all their crypto credit loans.
This year they'll announce on August 5th so there's still some time to get yours. Current estimates are around 5% ROI from current token price.
5. Fast Growing Company
When I first started researching each of these CeFi companies I looked at their linked to see who was hiring the most. I like to look at what companies do as well as what they say they're doing.
I noticed that celsius had very low growth, whereas BlockFi and Nexo were growing like crazy. Anyone who's not feeling confident about a business will immediately slow down hiring. But if you're more ambitious then you'll start hiring in order to increase your companies' growth.
Nexo has 15-42% growth rate in terms of employees. (It's hard to say because apparently there's another company on Linkedin called Nexo that messes up the numbers). But it should be in this ballpark.

https://preview.redd.it/b57lymjxhea51.png?width=648&format=png&auto=webp&s=e8eee982b610886d3cb8fda8d083345ce7c1ed2d
Summary
So when you have this killer combination of future update on the way, of dividens coming out in August, and company that's investing in its future. You know that Nexo could follow what happened with Crypto.com and have this massive influx of investment into the Nexo token.
CDC CRO token broke into the top 10, and with Nexo boasting profitability, user growth, employee growth, and some stunning updates that are about to being launched I can see several reasons why price keeps trending upwards. We could also see Nexo climb up the rankings as people start investing Nexo more and more.
submitted by healthyCoder to Nexo [link] [comments]

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