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

Midway along the journey of our life I woke to find myself in a dark wood, for I had wandered off from the straight path.
Dante, The Divine Comedy: Inferno, Canto I
This is my forty-fifth portfolio update. I complete this update monthly to check my progress against my goal.
Portfolio goal
My objective is to reach a portfolio of $2 180 000 by 1 July 2021. This would produce a real annual income of about $87 000 (in 2020 dollars).
This portfolio objective is based on an expected average real return of 3.99 per cent, or a nominal return of 6.49 per cent.
Portfolio summary
Total portfolio value $1 848 896 (+$48 777 or 2.7%)
Asset allocation
Presented visually, below is a high-level view of the current asset allocation of the portfolio.
[Chart]
Comments
The portfolio has increased in value for the fifth consecutive month, and is starting to approach the monthly value last reached in January.
The portfolio has grown over $48 000, or 2.7 per cent this month, reflecting the strong market recovery since late March
[Chart]
The growth in the portfolio was broadly-based across global and Australian equities, with an increase of around 3.8 per cent. Following strong previous rises, gold holdings decreased by around 2.2 per cent, while Bitcoin continued to increase in value (by 2.5 per cent).
Combined, the value of gold and Bitcoin holdings remain at a new peak, while total equity holdings are still below their late January peak to the tune of around $50 000. The fixed income holdings of the portfolio continue to fall below the target allocation.
[Chart]
The expanding value of gold and Bitcoin holdings since January last year have actually had the practical effect of driving new investments into equities, since effectively for each dollar of appreciation, for example, my target allocation to equities rises by seven dollars.
New investments this month have been in the Vanguard international shares exchange-traded fund (VGS) and the Australian shares equivalent (VAS). These have been directed to bring my actual asset allocation more closely in line with the target split between Australian and global shares set out in the portfolio plan.
As the exchange traded funds such as VGS, VAS and Betashares A200 now make up nearly 30 per cent of the overall portfolio, the quarterly payments they provide have increased in magnitude and importance. Early in the journey, third quarter distributions were essentially immaterial events.
Using the same 'median per unit' forecast approach as recently used for half yearly forecasts would suggest a third quarter payout due at the end of September of around $6000. Due to significant announced dividend reductions across this year I am, however, currently assuming this is likely to be significantly lower, and perhaps in the vicinity of $4000 or less.
Finding true north: approach to achieving a set asset allocation
One of the choices facing all investors with a preferred asset allocation is how strictly the target is applied over time, and what variability is acceptable around that. There is a significant body of financial literature around that issue.
My own approach has been to seek to target the preferred asset allocation dynamically, through buying the asset class that is furthest from its target, with new portfolio contributions, and re-investment of paid out distributions.
As part of monitoring asset allocation, I also track a measure of 'absolute' variance, to understand at a whole of portfolio level how far it is from the desired allocation.
This is the sum of the absolute value of variances (e.g. so that being 3 per cent under target in shares, and 7 per cent over target in fixed interest will equal an absolute variance of 10 per cent under this measure).
This measure is currently sitting near its highest level in around 2 years, at 15.0 per cent, as can be seen in the chart below.
[Chart]
The dominant reason for this higher level of variance from target is significant appreciation in the price of gold and Bitcoin holdings.
Mapping the sources of portfolio variances
Changes in target allocations in the past makes direct comparisons problematic, but previous peaks of the variance measure matches almost perfectly past Bitcoin price movements.
For a brief period in January 2018, gold and Bitcoin combined constituted 20 per cent, or 1 in 5 dollars of the entire portfolio. Due to the growth in other equity components of the portfolio since this level has not been subsequently exceeded.
Nonetheless, it is instructive to understand that the dollar value of combined gold and Bitcoin holdings is actually up around $40 000 from that brief peak. With the larger portfolio, this now means they together make up 17.2 per cent of the total portfolio value.
Tacking into the wind of portfolio movements?
The logical question to fall out from this situation is: to what extent should this drive an active choice to sell down gold and Bitcoin until they resume their 10 per cent target allocation?
This would currently imply selling around $130 000 of gold or Bitcoin, and generating a capital gains tax liability of potentially up to $27 000. Needless to say this is not an attractive proposition. Several other considerations lead me to not make this choice:
This approach is a departure from a mechanistic implementation of an asset allocation rule. Rather, the approach I take is pragmatic.
Tracking course drift in the portfolio components
As an example, I regularly review whether a significant fall in Bitcoin prices to its recent lows would alter my monthly decision on where to direct new investments. So far it does not, and the 'signal' continues to be to buy new equities.
Another tool I use is a monthly measurement of the absolute dollar variance of Australian and global shares, as well as fixed interest, from their ideal target allocations.
The chart below sets this out for the period since January 2019. A positive value effectively represents an over-allocation to a sector, a negative value, an under-allocation compared to target.
[Chart]
This reinforces the overall story that, as gold and Bitcoin have grown in value, there emerges a larger 'deficit' to the target. Falls in equities markets across February and March also produce visibly larger 'dollar gaps' to the target allocation.
This graph enables a tracking of the impact of portfolio gains or losses, and volatility, and a better understanding of the practical task of returning to target allocations. Runaway lines in either direction would be evidence that current approaches for returning to targets were unworkable, but so far this does not appear to be the case.
A crossing over: a credit card FI milestone
This month has seen a long awaited milestone reached.
Calculated on a past three year average, portfolio distributions now entirely meet monthly credit card expenses. This means that every credit card purchase - each shopping trip or online purchase - is effectively paid for by average portfolio distributions.
At the start of this journey, distributions were only equivalent to around 40 per cent of credit card expenses. As time has progressed distributions have increased to cover a larger and larger proportion of card expenses.
[Chart]
Most recently, with COVID-19 related restrictions having pushed card expenditure down further, the remaining gap to this 'Credit Card FI' target has closed.
Looked at on an un-smoothed basis, expenditures on the credit card have continued to be slightly lower than average across the past month. The below chart details the extent to which portfolio distributions (red) cover estimated total expenses (green), measured month to month.
[Chart]
Credit card expenditure makes up around 80 per cent of total spending, so this is not a milestone that makes paid work irrelevant or optional. Similarly, if spending rises as various travel and other restrictions ease, it is possible that this position could be temporary.
Equally, should distributions fall dramatically below long term averages in the year ahead, this could result in average distributions falling faster than average monthly card expenditure. Even without this, on a three year average basis, monthly distributions will decline as high distributions received in the second half of 2017 slowly fall out of the estimation sample.
For the moment, however, a slim margin exists. Distributions are $13 per month above average monthly credit card bills. This feels like a substantial achievement to note, as one unlooked for at the outset of the journey.
Progress
Progress against the objective, and the additional measures I have reached is set out below.
Measure Portfolio All Assets
Portfolio objective – $2 180 000 (or $87 000 pa) 84.8% 114.6%
Credit card purchases – $71 000 pa 103.5% 139.9%
Total expenses – $89 000 pa 82.9% 112.1%
Summary
What feels like a long winter is just passed. The cold days and weeks have felt repetitive and dominated by a pervasive sense of uncertainty. Yet through this time, this wandering off, the portfolio has moved quite steadily back towards it previous highs. That it is even approaching them in the course of just a few months is unexpected.
What this obscures is the different components of growth driving this outcome. The portfolio that is recovering, like the index it follows, is changing in its underlying composition. This can be seen most starkly in the high levels of variance from the target portfolio sought discussed above.
It is equally true, however, of individual components such as international equity holdings. In the case of the United States the overall index performance has been driven by share price growth in just a few information technology giants. Gold and Bitcoin have emerged from the shadows of the portfolio to an unintended leading role in portfolio growth since early 2019.
This month I have enjoyed reading the Chapter by Chapter release of the Aussie FIRE e-book coordinated by Pearler. I've also been reading posts from some newer Australian financial independence bloggers, Two to Fire, FIRE Down Under, and Chasing FIRE Down Under.
In podcasts, I have enjoyed the Mad Fientist's update on his fourth year of financial freedom, and Pat and Dave's FIRE and Chill episodes, including an excellent one on market timing fallacies.
The ASX Australian Investor Study 2020 has also been released - setting out some broader trends in recent Australian investment markets, and containing a snapshot of the holdings, approaches and views of everyday investors. This contained many intriguing findings, such as the median investment portfolio ($130 000), its most frequent components (direct Australian shares), and how frequently portfolios are usually checked - with 61 per cent of investors checking their portfolios at least once a month.
This is my own approach also. Monthly assessments allow me to gauge and reflect on how I or elements of the portfolio may have wandered off the straight way in the middle of the journey. Without this, the risk is that dark woods and bent pathways beckon.
The post, links and full charts can be seen here.
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DDDD - The Rise of “Buy the Dip” Retail Investors and Why Another Crash Is Imminent

DDDD - The Rise of “Buy the Dip” Retail Investors and Why Another Crash Is Imminent
In this week's edition of DDDD (Data-driven DD), I'll be going over the real reason why we have been seeing a rally for the past few weeks, defying all logic and fundamentals - retail investors. We'll look into several data sets to see how retail interest in stock markets have reached record levels in the past few weeks, how this affected stock prices, and why we've most likely seen the top at this point, unless we see one of the "positive catalysts" that I mentioned in my previous post, which is unlikely (except for more news about Remdesivir).
Disclaimer - This is not financial advice, and a lot of the content below is my personal opinion. In fact, the numbers, facts, or explanations presented below could be wrong and be made up. Don't buy random options because some person on the internet says so; look at what happened to all the SPY 220p 4/17 bag holders. Do your own research and come to your own conclusions on what you should do with your own money, and how levered you want to be based on your personal risk tolerance.
Inspiration
Most people who know me personally know that I spend an unhealthy amount of my free time in finance and trading as a hobby, even competing in paper options trading competitions when I was in high school. A few weeks ago, I had a friend ask if he could call me because he just installed Robinhood and wanted to buy SPY puts after seeing everyone on wallstreetbets post gains posts from all the tendies they’ve made from their SPY puts. The problem was, he actually didn’t understand how options worked at all, and needed a thorough explanation about how options are priced, what strike prices and expiration dates mean, and what the right strategy to buying options are. That’s how I knew we were at the euphoria stage of buying SPY puts - it’s when dumb money starts to pour in, and people start buying securities because they see everyone else making money and they want in, even if they have no idea what they’re buying, and price becomes dislocated from fundementals. Sure enough, less than a week later, we started the bull rally that we are currently in. Bubbles are formed when people buy something not because of logic or even gut feeling, but when people who previously weren’t involved see their dumb neighbors make tons of money from it, and they don’t want to miss out.
A few days ago, I started getting questions from other friends about what stocks they should buy and if I thought something was a good investment. That inspired me to dig a bit deeper to see how many other people are thinking the same thing.
Data
Ever since March, we’ve seen an unprecedented amount of money pour into the stock market from retail investors.
Google Search Trends
\"what stock should I buy\" Google Trends 2004 - 2020
\"what stock should I buy\" Google Trends 12 months
\"stocks\" Google Trends 2004 - 2020
\"stocks\" Google Trends 12 months
Brokerage data
Robinhood SPY holders
\"Robinhood\" Google Trends 12 months
wallstreetbets' favorite broker Google Trends 12 months
Excerpt from E*Trade earnings statement
Excerpt from Schwab earnings statement
TD Ameritrade Excerpt
Media
cnbc.com Alexa rank
CNBC viewership & rankings
wallstreetbets comments / day

investing comments / day
Analysis
What we can see from Reddit numbers, Google Trends, and CNBC stats is that in between the first week of March and first week of April, we see a massive inflow of retail interest in the stock market. Not only that, but this inflow of interest is coming from all age cohorts, from internet-using Zoomers to TV-watching Boomers. Robinhood SPY holdings and earnings reports from E*Trade, TD Ameritrade, and Schwab have also all confirmed record numbers of new clients, number of trades, and assets. There’s something interesting going on if you look closer at the numbers. The numbers growth in brokers for designed for “less sophisticated” investors (i.e. Robinhood and E*Trade) are much larger than for real brokers (i.e. Schwab and Ameritrade). This implies that the record number of new users and trade volume is coming from dumb money. The numbers shown here only really apply to the US and Canada, but there’s also data to suggest that there’s also record numbers of foreign investors pouring money into the US stock market as well.
However, after the third week of March, we see the interest start to slowly decline and plateau, indicating that we probably have seen most of those new investors who wanted to have a long position in the market do so.
SPX daily
Rationale
Pretty much everything past this point is purely speculation, and isn’t really backed up by any solid data so take whatever I say here with a cup of salt. We could see from the graph that new investor interest started with the first bull trap we saw in the initial decline from early March, and peaking right after the end of the crash in March. So it would be fair to guess that we’re seeing a record amount of interest in the stock market from a “buy the dip” mentality, especially from Robinhood-using Millennials. Here’s a few points on my rationalization of this behavior, based on very weak anecdotal evidence
  • They missed out of their chance of getting in the stock market at the start of the bull market that happened at the end of 2009
  • They’ve all seen the stock market make record gains throughout their adult lives, but believing that the market might be overheated, they were waiting for a crash
  • Most of them have gotten towards the stage of their lives where they actually have some savings and can finally put some money aside for investments
  • This stock market crash seems like their once-in-a-decade opportunity that they’ve been waiting for, so everyone jumped in
  • Everyone’s stuck at their homes with vast amounts of unexpected free time on their hands
Most of these new investors got their first taste in the market near the bottom, and probably made some nice returns. Of course, since they didn’t know what they were doing, they probably put a very small amount of money at first, but after seeing a 10% return over one week, validating that maybe they do know something, they decide to slowly pour in more and more of their life savings. That’s what’s been fueling this bull market.
Sentiment & Magic Crayons
As I mentioned previously, this bull rally will keep going until enough bears convert to bulls. Markets go up when the amount of new bullish positions outnumber the amount of new bearish positions, and vice versa. Record amounts of new investors, who previously never held a position in the market before, fueled the bullish side of this equation, despite all the negative data that has come out and dislocating the price from fundamentals. All the smart money that was shorting the markets saw this happening, and flipped to become bulls because you don’t fight the trend, even if the trend doesn’t reflect reality.
From the data shown above, we can see new investor interest growth has started declining since mid March and started stagnating in early April. The declining volume in SPY since mid-March confirms this. That means, once the sentiment of the new retail investors starts to turn bearish, and everyone figures out how much the stocks they’re holding are really worth, another sell-off will begin. I’ve seen something very similar to this a few years ago with Bitcoin. Near the end of 2017, Bitcoin started to become mainstream and saw a flood of retail investors suddenly signing up for Coinbase (i.e. Robinhood) accounts and buying Bitcoin without actually understanding what it is and how it works. Suddenly everyone, from co-workers to grandparents, starts talking about Bitcoin and might have thrown a few thousand dollars into it. This appears to be a very similar parallel to what’s going on right now. Of course there’s differences here in that equities have an intrinsic value, although many of them have gone way above what they should be intrinsically worth, and the vast majority of retail investors don’t understand how to value companies. Then, during December, when people started thinking that the market was getting a bit overheated, some started taking their profits, and that’s when the prices crashed violently. This flip in sentiment now look like it has started with equities.
SPY daily
Technical Analysis, or magic crayons, is a discipline in finance that uses statistical analysis to predict market trends based on market sentiment. Of course, a lot of this is hand-wavy and is very subjective; two people doing TA on the same price history can end up getting opposite results, so TA should always be taken with a grain of salt and ideally be backed with underlying justification and not be blindly followed. In fact, I’ve since corrected the ascending wedge I had on SPY since my last post since this new wedge is a better fit for the new trading data.
There’s a few things going on in this chart. The entire bull rally we’ve had since the lows can be modelled using a rising wedge. This is a pattern where there is a convergence of a rising support and resistance trendline, along with falling volume. This indicates a slow decline in net bullish sentiment with investors, with smaller and smaller upside after each bounce off the support until it hits a resistance. The smaller the bounces, the less bullish investors are. When the bearish sentiment takes over across investors, the price breaks below this wedge - a breakdown, and indicates a start of another downtrend.
This happened when the wedge hit resistance at around 293, which is around the same price as the 200 day moving average, the 62% retracement (considered to be the upper bound of a bull trap), and a price level that acted as a support and resistance throughout 2019. The fact that it gapped down to break this wedge is also a strong signal, indicating a sudden swing in investor sentiment overnight. The volume of the break down also broke the downwards trend of volume we’ve had since the beginning of the bull rally, indicating a sudden surge of people selling their shares. This doesn’t necessarily mean that we will go straight from here, and I personally think that we will see the completion of a heads-and-shoulders pattern complete before SPY goes below 274, which in itself is a strong support level. In other words, SPY might go from 282 -> 274 -> 284 -> 274 before breaking the 274 support level.
VIX Daily
Doing TA is already sketchy, and doing TA on something like VIX is even more sketchy, but I found this interesting so I’ll mention it. Since the start of the bull rally, we’ve had VIX inside a descending channel. With the breakdown we had in SPY yesterday, VIX has also gapped up to have a breakout from this channel, indicating that we may see future volatility in the next week or so.
Putting Everything Together
Finally, we get to my thesis. This entire bull rally has been fueled by new retail investors buying the dip, bringing the stock price to euphoric levels. Over the past few weeks, we’ve been seeing the people waiting at the sidelines for years to get into the stock market slowly FOMO into the rally in smaller and smaller volumes, while the smart money have been locking in their profits at an even slower rate - hence an ascending wedge. As the amount of new retail interest in the stock market started slowed down, the amount of new bulls started to decline. It looks like Friday might have been the start of the bearish sentiment taking over, meaning it’s likely that 293 was the top, unless any significant bullish events happen in the next two weeks like a fourth round of stimulus, in which case we might see 300. This doesn’t mean we’ll instantly go back to circuit breakers on Monday, and we might see 282 -> 274 -> 284 -> 274 happen before panic, this time by the first-time investors, eventually bringing us down towards SPY 180.
tldr; we've reached the top
EDIT - I'll keep a my live thoughts here as we move throughout this week in case anyone's still reading this and interested.
5/4 8PM - /ES was red last night but steadily climbed, which was expected since 1h RSI was borderline oversold, leaving us to a slightly green day. /ES looks like it has momentum going up, but is approaching towards overbought territory now. Expecting it to go towards 284 (possibly where we'll open tomorrow) and bouncing back down from that price level
5/5 Market Open - Well there goes my price target. I guess at this point it might go up to 293 again, but will need a lot of momentum to push back there to 300. Seems like this is being driven by oil prices skyrocketing.
5/5 3:50PM - Volume for the upwards price action had very little volume behind it. Seeing a selloff EOD today, could go either way although I have a bearish bias. Going to hold cash until it goes towards one end of the 274-293 channel (see last week's thesis). Still believe that we will see it drop below 274 next week, but we might be moving sideways in the channel this week and a bit of next week before that happens. Plan for tomorrow is buy short dated puts if open < 285. Otherwise, wait till it goes to 293 before buying those puts
5/5 6PM - What we saw today could be a false breakout above 284. Need tomorrow to open below 285 for that to be confirmed. If so, my original thesis of it going back down to 274 before bouncing back up will still be in play.
5/6 EOD - Wasn't a false breakout. Looks like it's still forming the head-and-shoulders pattern mentioned before, but 288 instead of 284 as the level. Still not sure yet so I'm personally going to be holding cash and waiting this out for the next few days. Will enter into short positions if we either go near 293 again or drop below 270. Might look into VIX calls if VIX goes down near 30.
5/7 Market Open - Still waiting. If we break 289 we're probably heading to 293. I'll make my entry to short positions when we hit that a second time. There's very little bullish momentum left (see MACD 1D), so if we hit 293 and then drop back down, we'll have a MACD crossover event which many traders and algos use as a sell signal. Oil is doing some weird shit.
5/7 Noon - Looks like we're headed to 293. Picked up VIX 32.5c 5/27 since VIX is near 30.
5/7 11PM - /ES is hovering right above 2910, with 4h and 1h charts are bullish from MACD and 1h is almost overbought in RSI. Unless something dramatic happens we'll probably hit near 293 tomorrow, which is where I'll get some SPY puts. We might drop down before ever touching it, or go all the way to 295 (like last time) during the day, but expecting it to close at or below 293. After that I'm expecting a gap down Monday as we start the final leg down next week towards 274. Expecting 1D MACD to crossover in the final leg down, which will be a signal for bears to take over and institutions / day traders will start selling again
5/8 Market Open - Plan is to wait till a good entry today, either when technicals looks good or we hit 293, and then buy some SPY June 285p and July 275p
5/8 Noon - Everything still going according to plan. Most likely going to slowly inch towards 293 by EOD. Will probably pick up SPY puts and more VIX calls at power hour (3 - 4PM). Monday will probably gap down, although there's a small chance of one more green / sideways day before that happens if we have bullish catalysts on the weekend.
5/8 3:55PM - SPY at 292.60. This is probably going to be the closest we get to 293. Bought SPY 290-260 6/19 debit spreads and 292-272 5/15 debit spreads, as well as doubling down on VIX calls from yesterday, decreasing my cost basis. Still looks like there's room for one more green day on Monday, so I left some money on the side to double down if that's the case, although it's more likely than not we won't get there.
5/8 EOD - Looks like we barely touched 293 exactly AH before rebounding down. Too bad you can't buy options AH, but more convinced we'll see a gap down on Monday. Going to work on another post over the weekend and do my updates there. Have a great weekend everyone!
submitted by ASoftEngStudent to wallstreetbets [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]

Bitcoin looks very interesting this week. Are you going to play?

Bitcoin looks to be trying to breakout of a 3 year long symmetrical triangle, and according to TA theory this puts BTC at a target of around 40k over the next few years. Couple that with metals rallying, bitcoin could see an explosion far bigger than anticipated.
Bitcoin looks really good right now fundamentally. With the digitization of banking, bitcoin fundamentals favor more in the 21st century than that of metals. Bitcoin is easily divisible, more portable, and more compatible with modern technology. Bitcoin's chart has been far more sideways than the BTCUSD chart implies since it's halving, much of the perceived volatility has been actually just volatility in USD. Actually the last 400 days on the bitcoin chart kinda just looks like silver's chart if you compare them. Of course with bitcoin the biggest obstacle is adoption among institutions, because gold and silver are only valuable because they are accepted. Bitcoin is more of a speculation until it's more widely accepted.
submitted by ShotBot to investing [link] [comments]

Where is Bitcoin Going and When?

Where is Bitcoin Going and When?

The Federal Reserve and the United States government are pumping extreme amounts of money into the economy, already totaling over $484 billion. They are doing so because it already had a goal to inflate the United States Dollar (USD) so that the market can continue to all-time highs. It has always had this goal. They do not care how much inflation goes up by now as we are going into a depression with the potential to totally crash the US economy forever. They believe the only way to save the market from going to zero or negative values is to inflate it so much that it cannot possibly crash that low. Even if the market does not dip that low, inflation serves the interest of powerful people.
The impending crash of the stock market has ramifications for Bitcoin, as, though there is no direct ongoing-correlation between the two, major movements in traditional markets will necessarily affect Bitcoin. According to the Blockchain Center’s Cryptocurrency Correlation Tool, Bitcoin is not correlated with the stock market. However, when major market movements occur, they send ripples throughout the financial ecosystem which necessary affect even ordinarily uncorrelated assets.
Therefore, Bitcoin will reach X price on X date after crashing to a price of X by X date.

Stock Market Crash

The Federal Reserve has caused some serious consternation with their release of ridiculous amounts of money in an attempt to buoy the economy. At face value, it does not seem to have any rationale or logic behind it other than keeping the economy afloat long enough for individuals to profit financially and politically. However, there is an underlying basis to what is going on which is important to understand in order to profit financially.
All markets are functionally price probing systems. They constantly undergo a price-discovery process. In a fiat system, money is an illusory and a fundamentally synthetic instrument with no intrinsic value – similar to Bitcoin. The primary difference between Bitcoin is the underlying technology which provides a slew of benefits that fiat does not. Fiat, however, has an advantage in being able to have the support of powerful nation-states which can use their might to insure the currency’s prosperity.
Traditional stock markets are composed of indices (pl. of index). Indices are non-trading market instruments which are essentially summaries of business values which comprise them. They are continuously recalculated throughout a trading day, and sometimes reflected through tradable instruments such as Exchange Traded Funds or Futures. Indices are weighted by market capitalizations of various businesses.
Price theory essentially states that when a market fails to take out a new low in a given range, it will have an objective to take out the high. When a market fails to take out a new high, it has an objective to make a new low. This is why price-time charts go up and down, as it does this on a second-by-second, minute-by-minute, day-by-day, and even century-by-century basis. Therefore, market indices will always return to some type of bull market as, once a true low is formed, the market will have a price objective to take out a new high outside of its’ given range – which is an all-time high. Instruments can only functionally fall to zero, whereas they can grow infinitely.
So, why inflate the economy so much?
Deflation is disastrous for central banks and markets as it raises the possibility of producing an overall price objective of zero or negative values. Therefore, under a fractional reserve system with a fiat currency managed by a central bank – the goal of the central bank is to depreciate the currency. The dollar is manipulated constantly with the intention of depreciating its’ value.
Central banks have a goal of continued inflated fiat values. They tend to ordinarily contain it at less than ten percent (10%) per annum in order for the psyche of the general populace to slowly adjust price increases. As such, the markets are divorced from any other logic. Economic policy is the maintenance of human egos, not catering to fundamental analysis. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth is well-known not to be a measure of actual growth or output. It is a measure of increase in dollars processed. Banks seek to produce raising numbers which make society feel like it is growing economically, making people optimistic. To do so, the currency is inflated, though inflation itself does not actually increase growth. When society is optimistic, it spends and engages in business – resulting in actual growth. It also encourages people to take on credit and debts, creating more fictional fiat.
Inflation is necessary for markets to continue to reach new heights, generating positive emotional responses from the populace, encouraging spending, encouraging debt intake, further inflating the currency, and increasing the sale of government bonds. The fiat system only survives by generating more imaginary money on a regular basis.
Bitcoin investors may profit from this by realizing that stock investors as a whole always stand to profit from the market so long as it is managed by a central bank and does not collapse entirely. If those elements are filled, it has an unending price objective to raise to new heights. It also allows us to realize that this response indicates that the higher-ups believe that the economy could crash in entirety, and it may be wise for investors to have multiple well-thought-out exit strategies.

Economic Analysis of Bitcoin

The reason why the Fed is so aggressively inflating the economy is due to fears that it will collapse forever or never rebound. As such, coupled with a global depression, a huge demand will appear for a reserve currency which is fundamentally different than the previous system. Bitcoin, though a currency or asset, is also a market. It also undergoes a constant price-probing process. Unlike traditional markets, Bitcoin has the exact opposite goal. Bitcoin seeks to appreciate in value and not depreciate. This has a quite different affect in that Bitcoin could potentially become worthless and have a price objective of zero.
Bitcoin was created in 2008 by a now famous mysterious figure known as Satoshi Nakamoto and its’ open source code was released in 2009. It was the first decentralized cryptocurrency to utilize a novel protocol known as the blockchain. Up to one megabyte of data may be sent with each transaction. It is decentralized, anonymous, transparent, easy to set-up, and provides myriad other benefits. Bitcoin is not backed up by anything other than its’ own technology.
Bitcoin is can never be expected to collapse as a framework, even were it to become worthless. The stock market has the potential to collapse in entirety, whereas, as long as the internet exists, Bitcoin will be a functional system with a self-authenticating framework. That capacity to persist regardless of the actual price of Bitcoin and the deflationary nature of Bitcoin means that it has something which fiat does not – inherent value.
Bitcoin is based on a distributed database known as the “blockchain.” Blockchains are essentially decentralized virtual ledger books, replete with pages known as “blocks.” Each page in a ledger is composed of paragraph entries, which are the actual transactions in the block.
Blockchains store information in the form of numerical transactions, which are just numbers. We can consider these numbers digital assets, such as Bitcoin. The data in a blockchain is immutable and recorded only by consensus-based algorithms. Bitcoin is cryptographic and all transactions are direct, without intermediary, peer-to-peer.
Bitcoin does not require trust in a central bank. It requires trust on the technology behind it, which is open-source and may be evaluated by anyone at any time. Furthermore, it is impossible to manipulate as doing so would require all of the nodes in the network to be hacked at once – unlike the stock market which is manipulated by the government and “Market Makers”. Bitcoin is also private in that, though the ledge is openly distributed, it is encrypted. Bitcoin’s blockchain has one of the greatest redundancy and information disaster recovery systems ever developed.
Bitcoin has a distributed governance model in that it is controlled by its’ users. There is no need to trust a payment processor or bank, or even to pay fees to such entities. There are also no third-party fees for transaction processing. As the ledge is immutable and transparent it is never possible to change it – the data on the blockchain is permanent. The system is not easily susceptible to attacks as it is widely distributed. Furthermore, as users of Bitcoin have their private keys assigned to their transactions, they are virtually impossible to fake. No lengthy verification, reconciliation, nor clearing process exists with Bitcoin.
Bitcoin is based on a proof-of-work algorithm. Every transaction on the network has an associated mathetical “puzzle”. Computers known as miners compete to solve the complex cryptographic hash algorithm that comprises that puzzle. The solution is proof that the miner engaged in sufficient work. The puzzle is known as a nonce, a number used only once. There is only one major nonce at a time and it issues 12.5 Bitcoin. Once it is solved, the fact that the nonce has been solved is made public.
A block is mined on average of once every ten minutes. However, the blockchain checks every 2,016,000 minutes (approximately four years) if 201,600 blocks were mined. If it was faster, it increases difficulty by half, thereby deflating Bitcoin. If it was slower, it decreases, thereby inflating Bitcoin. It will continue to do this until zero Bitcoin are issued, projected at the year 2140. On the twelfth of May, 2020, the blockchain will halve the amount of Bitcoin issued when each nonce is guessed. When Bitcoin was first created, fifty were issued per block as a reward to miners. 6.25 BTC will be issued from that point on once each nonce is solved.
Unlike fiat, Bitcoin is a deflationary currency. As BTC becomes scarcer, demand for it will increase, also raising the price. In this, BTC is similar to gold. It is predictable in its’ output, unlike the USD, as it is based on a programmed supply. We can predict BTC’s deflation and inflation almost exactly, if not exactly. Only 21 million BTC will ever be produced, unless the entire network concedes to change the protocol – which is highly unlikely.
Some of the drawbacks to BTC include congestion. At peak congestion, it may take an entire day to process a Bitcoin transaction as only three to five transactions may be processed per second. Receiving priority on a payment may cost up to the equivalent of twenty dollars ($20). Bitcoin mining consumes enough energy in one day to power a single-family home for an entire week.

Trading or Investing?

The fundamental divide in trading revolves around the question of market structure. Many feel that the market operates totally randomly and its’ behavior cannot be predicted. For the purposes of this article, we will assume that the market has a structure, but that that structure is not perfect. That market structure naturally generates chart patterns as the market records prices in time. In order to determine when the stock market will crash, causing a major decline in BTC price, we will analyze an instrument, an exchange traded fund, which represents an index, as opposed to a particular stock. The price patterns of the various stocks in an index are effectively smoothed out. In doing so, a more technical picture arises. Perhaps the most popular of these is the SPDR S&P Standard and Poor 500 Exchange Traded Fund ($SPY).
In trading, little to no concern is given about value of underlying asset. We are concerned primarily about liquidity and trading ranges, which are the amount of value fluctuating on a short-term basis, as measured by volatility-implied trading ranges. Fundamental analysis plays a role, however markets often do not react to real-world factors in a logical fashion. Therefore, fundamental analysis is more appropriate for long-term investing.
The fundamental derivatives of a chart are time (x-axis) and price (y-axis). The primary technical indicator is price, as everything else is lagging in the past. Price represents current asking price and incorrectly implementing positions based on price is one of the biggest trading errors.
Markets and currencies ordinarily have noise, their tendency to back-and-fill, which must be filtered out for true pattern recognition. That noise does have a utility, however, in allowing traders second chances to enter favorable positions at slightly less favorable entry points. When you have any market with enough liquidity for historical data to record a pattern, then a structure can be divined. The market probes prices as part of an ongoing price-discovery process. Market technicians must sometimes look outside of the technical realm and use visual inspection to ascertain the relevance of certain patterns, using a qualitative eye that recognizes the underlying quantitative nature
Markets and instruments rise slower than they correct, however they rise much more than they fall. In the same vein, instruments can only fall to having no worth, whereas they could theoretically grow infinitely and have continued to grow over time. Money in a fiat system is illusory. It is a fundamentally synthetic instrument which has no intrinsic value. Hence, the recent seemingly illogical fluctuations in the market.
According to trade theory, the unending purpose of a market or instrument is to create and break price ranges according to the laws of supply and demand. We must determine when to trade based on each market inflection point as defined in price and in time as opposed to abandoning the trend (as the contrarian trading in this sub often does). Time and Price symmetry must be used to be in accordance with the trend. When coupled with a favorable risk to reward ratio, the ability to stay in the market for most of the defined time period, and adherence to risk management rules; the trader has a solid methodology for achieving considerable gains.
We will engage in a longer term market-oriented analysis to avoid any time-focused pressure. The Bitcoin market is open twenty-four-hours a day, so trading may be done when the individual is ready, without any pressing need to be constantly alert. Let alone, we can safely project months in advance with relatively high accuracy. Bitcoin is an asset which an individual can both trade and invest, however this article will be focused on trading due to the wide volatility in BTC prices over the short-term.

Technical Indicator Analysis of Bitcoin

Technical indicators are often considered self-fulfilling prophecies due to mass-market psychology gravitating towards certain common numbers yielded from them. They are also often discounted when it comes to BTC. That means a trader must be especially aware of these numbers as they can prognosticate market movements. Often, they are meaningless in the larger picture of things.
  • Volume – derived from the market itself, it is mostly irrelevant. The major problem with volume for stocks is that the US market open causes tremendous volume surges eradicating any intrinsic volume analysis. This does not occur with BTC, as it is open twenty-four-seven. At major highs and lows, the market is typically anemic. Most traders are not active at terminal discretes (peaks and troughs) because of levels of fear. Volume allows us confidence in time and price symmetry market inflection points, if we observe low volume at a foretold range of values. We can rationalize that an absolute discrete is usually only discovered and anticipated by very few traders. As the general market realizes it, a herd mentality will push the market in the direction favorable to defending it. Volume is also useful for swing trading, as chances for swing’s validity increases if an increase in volume is seen on and after the swing’s activation. Volume is steadily decreasing. Lows and highs are reached when volume is lower.
Therefore, due to the relatively high volume on the 12th of March, we can safely determine that a low for BTC was not reached.
  • VIX – Volatility Index, this technical indicator indicates level of fear by the amount of options-based “insurance” in portfolios. A low VIX environment, less than 20 for the S&P index, indicates a stable market with a possible uptrend. A high VIX, over 20, indicates a possible downtrend. VIX is essentially useless for BTC as BTC-based options do not exist. It allows us to predict the market low for $SPY, which will have an indirect impact on BTC in the short term, likely leading to the yearly low. However, it is equally important to see how VIX is changing over time, if it is decreasing or increasing, as that indicates increasing or decreasing fear. Low volatility allows high leverage without risk or rest. Occasionally, markets do rise with high VIX.
As VIX is unusually high, in the forties, we can be confident that a downtrend for the S&P 500 is imminent.
  • RSI (Relative Strength Index): The most important technical indicator, useful for determining highs and lows when time symmetry is not availing itself. Sometimes analysis of RSI can conflict in different time frames, easiest way to use it is when it is at extremes – either under 30 or over 70. Extremes can be used for filtering highs or lows based on time-and-price window calculations. Highly instructive as to major corrective clues and indicative of continued directional movement. Must determine if longer-term RSI values find support at same values as before. It is currently at 73.56.
  • Secondly, RSI may be used as a high or low filter, to observe the level that short-term RSI reaches in counter-trend corrections. Repetitions based on market movements based on RSI determine how long a trade should be held onto. Once a short term RSI reaches an extreme and stay there, the other RSI’s should gradually reach the same extremes. Once all RSI’s are at extreme highs, a trend confirmation should occur and RSI’s should drop to their midpoint.

Trend Definition Analysis of Bitcoin

Trend definition is highly powerful, cannot be understated. Knowledge of trend logic is enough to be a profitable trader, yet defining a trend is an arduous process. Multiple trends coexist across multiple time frames and across multiple market sectors. Like time structure, it makes the underlying price of the instrument irrelevant. Trend definitions cannot determine the validity of newly formed discretes. Trend becomes apparent when trades based in counter-trend inflection points continue to fail.
Downtrends are defined as an instrument making lower lows and lower highs that are recurrent, additive, qualified swing setups. Downtrends for all instruments are similar, except forex. They are fast and complete much quicker than uptrends. An average downtrend is 18 months, something which we will return to. An uptrend inception occurs when an instrument reaches a point where it fails to make a new low, then that low will be tested. After that, the instrument will either have a deep range retracement or it may take out the low slightly, resulting in a double-bottom. A swing must eventually form.
A simple way to roughly determine trend is to attempt to draw a line from three tops going upwards (uptrend) or a line from three bottoms going downwards (downtrend). It is not possible to correctly draw a downtrend line on the BTC chart, but it is possible to correctly draw an uptrend – indicating that the overall trend is downwards. The only mitigating factor is the impending stock market crash.

Time Symmetry Analysis of Bitcoin

Time is the movement from the past through the present into the future. It is a measurement in quantified intervals. In many ways, our perception of it is a human construct. It is more powerful than price as time may be utilized for a trade regardless of the market inflection point’s price. Were it possible to perfectly understand time, price would be totally irrelevant due to the predictive certainty time affords. Time structure is easier to learn than price, but much more difficult to apply with any accuracy. It is the hardest aspect of trading to learn, but also the most rewarding.
Humans do not have the ability to recognize every time window, however the ability to define market inflection points in terms of time is the single most powerful trading edge. Regardless, price should not be abandoned for time alone. Time structure analysis It is inherently flawed, as such the markets have a fail-safe, which is Price Structure. Even though Time is much more powerful, Price Structure should never be completely ignored. Time is the qualifier for Price and vice versa. Time can fail by tricking traders into counter-trend trading.
Time is a predestined trade quantifier, a filter to slow trades down, as it allows a trader to specifically focus on specific time windows and rest at others. It allows for quantitative measurements to reach deterministic values and is the primary qualifier for trends. Time structure should be utilized before price structure, and it is the primary trade criterion which requires support from price. We can see price structure on a chart, as areas of mathematical support or resistance, but we cannot see time structure.
Time may be used to tell us an exact point in the future where the market will inflect, after Price Theory has been fulfilled. In the present, price objectives based on price theory added to possible future times for market inflection points give us the exact time of market inflection points and price.
Time Structure is repetitions of time or inherent cycles of time, occurring in a methodical way to provide time windows which may be utilized for inflection points. They are not easily recognized and not easily defined by a price chart as measuring and observing time is very exact. Time structure is not a science, yet it does require precise measurements. Nothing is certain or definite. The critical question must be if a particular approach to time structure is currently lucrative or not.
We will measure it in intervals of 180 bars. Our goal is to determine time windows, when the market will react and when we should pay the most attention. By using time repetitions, the fact that market inflection points occurred at some point in the past and should, therefore, reoccur at some point in the future, we should obtain confidence as to when SPY will reach a market inflection point. Time repetitions are essentially the market’s memory. However, simply measuring the time between two points then trying to extrapolate into the future does not work. Measuring time is not the same as defining time repetitions. We will evaluate past sessions for market inflection points, whether discretes, qualified swings, or intra-range. Then records the times that the market has made highs or lows in a comparable time period to the future one seeks to trade in.
What follows is a time Histogram – A grouping of times which appear close together, then segregated based on that closeness. Time is aligned into combined histogram of repetitions and cycles, however cycles are irrelevant on a daily basis. If trading on an hourly basis, do not use hours.
  • Yearly Lows (last seven years): 1/1/13, 4/10/14, 1/15/15, 1/17/16, 1/1/17, 12/15/18, 2/6/19
  • Monthly Mode: 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 4, 12
  • Daily Mode: 1, 1, 6, 10, 15, 15, 17
  • Monthly Lows (for the last year): 3/12/20 (10:00pm), 2/28/20 (7:09am), 1/2/20 (8:09pm), 12/18/19 (8:00am), 11/25/19 (1:00am), 10/24/19 (2:59am), 9/30/19 (2:59am), 8/29,19 (4:00am), 7/17/19 (7:59am), 6/4/19 (5:59pm), 5/1/19 (12:00am), 4/1/19 (12:00am)
  • Daily Lows Mode for those Months: 1, 1, 2, 4, 12, 17, 18, 24, 25, 28, 29, 30
  • Hourly Lows Mode for those Months (Military time): 0100, 0200, 0200, 0400, 0700, 0700, 0800, 1200, 1200, 1700, 2000, 2200
  • Minute Lows Mode for those Months: 00, 00, 00, 00, 00, 00, 09, 09, 59, 59, 59, 59
  • Day of the Week Lows (last twenty-six weeks):
Weighted Times are repetitions which appears multiple times within the same list, observed and accentuated once divided into relevant sections of the histogram. They are important in the presently defined trading time period and are similar to a mathematical mode with respect to a series. Phased times are essentially periodical patterns in histograms, though they do not guarantee inflection points
Evaluating the yearly lows, we see that BTC tends to have its lows primarily at the beginning of every year, with a possibility of it being at the end of the year. Following the same methodology, we get the middle of the month as the likeliest day. However, evaluating the monthly lows for the past year, the beginning and end of the month are more likely for lows.
Therefore, we have two primary dates from our histogram.
1/1/21, 1/15/21, and 1/29/21
2:00am, 8:00am, 12:00pm, or 10:00pm
In fact, the high for this year was February the 14th, only thirty days off from our histogram calculations.
The 8.6-Year Armstrong-Princeton Global Economic Confidence model states that 2.15 year intervals occur between corrections, relevant highs and lows. 2.15 years from the all-time peak discrete is February 9, 2020 – a reasonably accurate depiction of the low for this year (which was on 3/12/20). (Taking only the Armstrong model into account, the next high should be Saturday, April 23, 2022). Therefore, the Armstrong model indicates that we have actually bottomed out for the year!
Bear markets cannot exist in perpetuity whereas bull markets can. Bear markets will eventually have price objectives of zero, whereas bull markets can increase to infinity. It can occur for individual market instruments, but not markets as a whole. Since bull markets are defined by low volatility, they also last longer. Once a bull market is indicated, the trader can remain in a long position until a new high is reached, then switch to shorts. The average bear market is eighteen months long, giving us a date of August 19th, 2021 for the end of this bear market – roughly speaking. They cannot be shorter than fifteen months for a central-bank controlled market, which does not apply to Bitcoin. (Otherwise, it would continue until Sunday, September 12, 2021.) However, we should expect Bitcoin to experience its’ exponential growth after the stock market re-enters a bull market.
Terry Laundy’s T-Theory implemented by measuring the time of an indicator from peak to trough, then using that to define a future time window. It is similar to an head-and-shoulders pattern in that it is the process of forming the right side from a synthetic technical indicator. If the indicator is making continued lows, then time is recalculated for defining the right side of the T. The date of the market inflection point may be a price or indicator inflection date, so it is not always exactly useful. It is better to make us aware of possible market inflection points, clustered with other data. It gives us an RSI low of May, 9th 2020.
The Bradley Cycle is coupled with volatility allows start dates for campaigns or put options as insurance in portfolios for stocks. However, it is also useful for predicting market moves instead of terminal dates for discretes. Using dates which correspond to discretes, we can see how those dates correspond with changes in VIX.
Therefore, our timeline looks like:
  • 2/14/20 – yearly high ($10372 USD)
  • 3/12/20 – yearly low thus far ($3858 USD)
  • 5/9/20 – T-Theory true yearly low (BTC between 4863 and 3569)
  • 5/26/20 – hashrate difficulty halvening
  • 11/14/20 – stock market low
  • 1/15/21 – yearly low for BTC, around $8528
  • 8/19/21 – end of stock bear market
  • 11/26/21 – eighteen months from halvening, average peak from halvenings (BTC begins rising from $3000 area to above $23,312)
  • 4/23/22 – all-time high
Taken from my blog: http://aliamin.info/2020/
submitted by aibnsamin1 to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Bitcoin Market Weekly Report - Week of 13/07/2020

Bitcoin Market Weekly Report - Week of 13/07/2020

Coinviva BTC/USD 30-min chart
The Bitcoin continued to trade in range bound for the third week in a row. The BTC price dropped below the $9,000 support at one point, but it managed to rebound and reach $9,468 afterwards. The price has since stabilized and is moving sideway again, at around $9,300.
The current support level remains at $9,000, while the resistance is at $9,500. There is no clear direction at the moment. If the volatility picks up, wait for the BTC price to break the support or resistance before determining the trade direction.
Disclaimer: The above market commentary is based on technical analysis using historical pricing data, and is for reference only. It does not serve as investment or trading advice.
Review of the week:
Since 1 July, Bitcoin‘s price hasn’t gained or lost by much, with the cryptocurrency continuing to trade within a tight price band. While the Realized Volatility dipped to 3.2% on 10 July, the implied volatility remained firm at 3.5%. It can be observed that the IV had been moving sideways over a couple of weeks, with traders not expecting an immediate trend reversal in the Bitcoin market. According to one of the Managing Partners at Blockhead Capital, Matt David Kaye, the reason for this suppressed volatility may be the flood of yield-seeking funds with short volatility options in the market. These have been advertised as low-risk, yield generating vehicles to many investors in the market. As the price of Bitcoin consolidated, market makers were trying to hedge their risk by ever-adjusting their spot exposure. This resulted in the creation of a tighter spread and by extension, predictable price ranges for June as they bought back BTC at low prices and sold BTC when the price rose even a little. Thus, these short-volatility funds were gaining pennies, with Kaye adding that the risk was mispriced in the Bitcoin Options market. However, this also gives an excellent opportunity to accumulate volatility, as when the market breaks out, it could result in larger profits. The only way now for the price to pick up is to have the spot market volume note a boost too.
BTC-USD Chart
Disclaimer: The above market commentary is based on technical analysis using historical pricing data, and is for reference only. It does not serve as investment or trading advice.

About Coinviva:
Coinviva aims to create the best crypto financial services ecosystem for both institutional and individual investors. We provide reliable fiat funding options, excellent trading liquidity, bank security level custody and one-stop high liquidity provision on-site & off-site. Our founding management team all come from top tiered investment banking (e.g. JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch), with fully comprehensive financial institution operation experience.
Homepage: https://coinviva.com/
Telegram: https://t.me/coinviva
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Why Bitcoin remains a marginal vehicle for store of value (at best) vs. Gold

There is no doubt that times like these necessitate asset diversification.
Some candidates include Bitcoin (“BTC”) and Gold (“XAU”). We have an on-going debate with one of my best friends about Bitcoin.
He is a firm believer in BTC due to (i) the printing of money by central banks, (ii) the lost of faith in governments and (iii) the technological advantage over traditional gold
[Original post with charts: https://bankeronwheels.com/bitcoin-a-marginal-vehicle-for-store-of-value/ ]
I think of BTC as an electronic version of gold:
Lindy effect – which is most likely to survive?
If you store value, the most important aspect is for the asset class to survive. Made popular by Nicholas Taleb, the Lindy effect states that the future life expectancy of some non-perishable things like a technology or an idea is proportional to their current age, so that every additional period of survival implies a longer remaining life expectancy.
Gold has been around for centuries and will be around in the next decades. As with Bitcoin, the currency may be around or could be replaced by a more efficient one (e.g. from transaction perspective). If you consider some of your savings as a means to secure a future for you and your kids then Gold is much more likely to fulfill this objective – although one needs to be reminded that this both asset classes don’t generate any income and as such can be used as diversifiers and potentially partially rotated into more risky assets when the market turns.
Price stability
If we assume that currently the main use for both is the store of value (BTC is only marginally used as transactional currency) then price stability is key. Gold prices are more stable and largely correlated to (i) real rates (ii) strength of USD and (iii) macro outlook. Arguably, Gold is less prone to price manipulation as one of the most traded assets (daily volumes can be as high as the total market cap of BTC).
It goes without saying that BTC can provide you with better returns as it’s more speculative in nature. The purpose of this blog however is to analyse assets from a savings allocation perspective and thus taking into consideration the risk you’re taking.
Insurance against market crash
While both BTC and XAU increased in value along with other risk assets prior to the crisis, the subsequent drop was much more significant for BTC while XAU only experienced marginal losses due to forced liquidations from investors highlighting the speculative nature of BTC.
As such Gold provides a good insurance policy as long as the crash in not excessively severe in nature – in 2008 Gold has initially dropped in value due to liquidations before rallying.
Another potential diversifiers that act as insurance for equity portfolios are government bonds. Treasuries have also experienced some volatility due to liquidations but are different to BTC and XAU as the FED controls the short term maturity asset yields and now even considering controlling the longer end of the curvesimilar to other countries like Japan or Australia
Doom scenario(s)
Both assets have major issues since Gold can’t be easily transported/accessed in case of a major natural disaster and BTC will miserably fail when electricity is down (earthquake, tsunami etc). Electronic Gold suffers from the same shortcoming hence physical gold has an edge here
Possible Near term Prospects
The technology behind BTC is very powerful. I’d also agree that conceptually is the best form of money that has ever been invented. Regarding BTC, in the end my friend and I will probably meet somewhere in the middle . A marginal part of the receivers of US fiscal measures may invest the cash in BTC. I have seen a large group of anti-establishment people on the West Coast while cycling from Vancouver to San Francisco last summer and there is a likelihood that these people will drive the BTC price up in the near term. However, due mainly to the price stability issue and perceived complexity I am yet to see a significant part of population that would allocate a sizeable part of their savings in BTC. And this brings me to my last point – skin in the game. So far, my friend only allocated a small amount of his net worth to BTC…
[As originally posted with charts on https://bankeronwheels.com/bitcoin-a-marginal-vehicle-for-store-of-value/ ]
submitted by bankeronwheels to Gold [link] [comments]

Bitcoin Market Weekly Report - Week of 29/06/2020

Bitcoin Market Weekly Report - Week of 29/06/2020
Bitcoin has been trading sideways in a tight price range from $9,000 to $10,000 since the beginning of May 2020. As a result, its 10-day volatility has now fallen to a new year-to-date low. Looking at the tightened price moves through Bollinger Bands further implies a growing contraction in the cryptocurrency’s volatility.

https://preview.redd.it/wdnind6kns751.png?width=980&format=png&auto=webp&s=6e51b1ed426ff449c09d0b316a32d14093aeb179
A period of low volatility ends up in a breakout. But it is difficult to predict the direction of Bitcoin’s next big move. As shown in the chart below, Bitcoin is trading inside a symmetrical triangle, its price fluctuating within the pattern’s contracting upper and lower trendlines. Since the Triangle appears after Bitcoin’s 150 percent price rally, its bias is to the upside. That puts Bitcoin en route to new 2020 highs.

https://preview.redd.it/w1m2d9knns751.png?width=980&format=png&auto=webp&s=ac596c6c15f62ac13ed96c383864a46065c3aad7
Review of the week:
Former Wall Street investor Tone Vays summarised this week that because of Bitcoin’s high correlation with the stock market (S&P 500), BTC will be stuck in the $6,000 to $10,000 range until 2021. On a technical level, he added, Bitcoin’s daily relative strength index, or RSI, breaking below a long-term trendline in June came at the same time as higher Bitcoin price levels compared to May. And if bears win out, a potential low for BTC/USD should lie in the $7,000 zone, with an RSI of around 30. Bitcoin is more likely to break this consolidation to the downside rather than the upside.
Disclaimer: The above market commentary is based on technical analysis using historical pricing data, and is for reference only. It does not serve as investment or trading advice.

About Coinviva:
Coinviva aims to create the best crypto financial services ecosystem for both institutional and individual investors. We provide reliable fiat funding options, excellent trading liquidity, bank security level custody and one-stop high liquidity provision on-site & off-site. Our founding management team all come from top tiered investment banking (e.g. JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch), with fully comprehensive financial institution operation experience.
Homepage: https://coinviva.com/
Telegram: https://t.me/coinviva
submitted by Coinviva to u/Coinviva [link] [comments]

KYC is absolutely not acceptable for MakerDAO!

I've heard that founder of MakerDAO is not strictly against KYC. I have a message to whole community and specifically to a founder of MakerDAO Rune Christensen. I will explain using concrete examples why having KYC in MakerDAO is a grave mistake and it will lead to MakerDAO fork.
Many people in the first world never actually understand why financial privacy and financial inclusion is important. Even people (in the first world) who seemingly supportive of such ideas are not able to provide any concrete examples of why it's actually important.
Unfortunately, I was born in a "wrong" country (Uzbekistan) and I experienced first hand what financial exclusion actually means. I know first hand that annoying feeling when you read polite, boilerplate rejection letter from financial institution based in first world. So I had to become practical libertarian. I'm going to give you concrete examples of financial discrimination against me. Then I'm going to explain fundamental reasons why it happens. And finally, I'm going to explain my vision for DAI.
Back in 2005, I lived in Uzbekistan. I had an idea to invest in US stocks. I was very naive and I didn't know anything about investing, compliance, bank transfers, KYC etc. All I knew is nice long term charts of US stocks and what P/E means. I didn't contact any US brokerage but I checked information about account opening and how to transfer money there. I approached local bank in Uzbekistan and asked how to transfer money to Bank of New York. Banker's face was like - WOW, WTF?!?! They asked me to go to private room to talk with senior manager. Senior manager of local bank in Uzbekistan asked me why I wanted to transfer money to US. They told me that it's absolutely impossible to transfer money to US/EU and pretty much anywhere. I approached nearly every local bank in the town and they told me the same.
In 2012, I already lived in Moscow and acquired Russian citizenship. I got back to my old idea - investing in US stocks. I called to many US brokerages and all of them politely rejected me. Usually when I called I asked them if I can open an account with them. They told me to hold on line. After long pause, I was able to speak with "senior" support who politely explain me that Russia in their list of restricted countries and they can't open an account for me. Finally, I was able to open an account with OptionsXpress. Next challenge was to convince local Russian bank to transfer money to US. Back then in 2012, I was able to get permission to do so. So you might say - is this happy end?
Fast forwarding US brokerage story to 2017, OptionsXpress was acquired by Charles Schwab. I was notified that my OptionsXpress account will be migrated to Charles Schwab platform. In 2017, I already lived in the Netherlands (but still having Russian citizenship). I wasn't happy with my stupid job in the Netherlands. I called Charles Schwab and asked if I quit my job in the Netherlands and have to return to Russia, what will happen with my account. Schwab told me that they will restrict my account, so I can't do anything except closing my account. So even if I was long term customer of OptionsXpress, Charles Schwab is not fully okay with me.
Going back to 2013, I still lived in Russia. I had another idea. What if I quit my job and build some SAAS platform (or whatever) and sell my stuff to US customers. So I need some website which accept US credit cards. I contacted my Russian bank (who previously allowed me to transfer money to OptionsXpress) about steps to make in order to accept US credit cards in Russia. I've been told explicitly in email that they won't allow me to accept US credit cards under any circumstances.
Back then I still believed in "the free west". So I thought - no problem, I will just open bank account abroad and do all operations from my foreign account. I planned vacation in Hong Kong. And Hong Kong is freest economy in the world. Looks like it's right place to open bank account. I contacted HSBC Hong Kong via email. Their general support assured me that I can open bank account with them if I'm foreigner. I flew to Hong Kong for vacation and visited HSBC branch. Of course, they rejected me. But they recommended me to visit last floor in their HQ building, they told me that another HSBC branch specializes on opening bank accounts for foreigners. I went there and they said minimum amount to open bank account is 10 mil HKD (1.27 mil USD). Later I learned that it's called private banking.
When I relocated to the Netherlands, I asked ABN Amro staff - what's happen with my bank account if I quit/lose my job in the Netherlands and have to return back to Russia. I've been told that I can't have my dutch bank account if I go back to Russia even if I already used their bank for 2+ years.
I still had idea that I would like to quit my job and do something for myself. The problem is that I'm Russian citizen and I don't have any residency which is independent from my employment. So if I quit my job in the Netherlands, I have to return back to Russia. I wanted to see how I would get payments from US/EU customers. I found Stripe Atlas, it's so exciting, they help you to incorporate in US, and even help with banking, all process of receiving credit card payments is very smooth. But as usual in my case, there is a catch - Russia in their list of restricted countries.
Speaking of centralized compliance-friendly (e.g. KYC) crypto exchanges. This year I live and work in Hong Kong. Earlier this year, I thought it would be nice to have an account at local crypto exchange in Hong Kong so I can quickly transfer money from my bank account in Hong Kong to crypto exchange using FPS (local payment system for fast bank transfers). What could go wrong? After all Hong Kong is freest economy in the world, right? I submitted KYC documents to crypto exchange called Weever including copy of my Hong Kong ID as they requested. They very quickly responded that they need copy of my passport as well. I submitted copy of my Russian passport. This time they got silent. After a few days, they sent me email saying that Russia is on the US Office of Foreign Assets Control sanction list, so they just require me to fill a form about source of the funds. I told them that the source of my funds is salary, my Hong Kong bank can confirm that along with my employment contract. They got very silent after I sent them a filled form. After a week of silence I asked them - when my account get approved? They said that their compliance office will review my application soon. And they got very silent again. I waited for two or three weeks. Then I asked them again. And I immediately got email with title - Rejection for Weever Account Opening. And text of email was:
We are sorry to inform you that Weever may not be able to accept your account opening application at this stage.
Exactly the same situation I had with one crypto exchange in Europe back in 2017. Luckily I have accounts at other crypto exchanges including Gemini, one of most compliance obsessed exchange in the world. Although I don't keep my money there because I can't trust them, who knows what might come into head of their compliance officer one sunny day.
By the way, I'm living and working outside of Russia for quite a few years. The situation with crypto exchanges is much worse for those who still living in Russia.
I give you a few other examples of financial discrimination is not related to troubles with my Russian citizenship.
Back in 2018, I still lived in the Netherlands. I logged in into my brokerage account just to buy US ETFs as I always do - SPY and QQQ. I placed my order and it failed to fill. I thought it's just a technical problem with my brokerage account. After a few failed attempts to send buy orders for SPY and QQQ, I contacted their support. What they told me was shocking and completely unexpected. They said I'm not permitted to buy US ETFs anymore as EU resident because EU passed a law to protect retail investors. So as a EU resident I'm allowed to be exposed to more risk by buying individual US stocks but I'm not allowed to reduce my risk by buying SPY because ... EU wants to protect me. I felt final result of new law. By the way, on paper their law looks fine.
And the final example. It's a known fact that US public market become less attractive in recent decades. Due to heavy regulatory burden companies prefer to go public very late. So if successful unicorn startup grows from its inception/genesis to late adoption, company's valuation would be 3-5 orders of orders of magnitude. For example, if valuation of successful company at inception is 1 Mil USD, then at its very latest stage it's valuation would be 10 Bil USD. So we have 10'000 times of growth. In the best case scenario, company would go public at 1 Bil USD 5-10 years before reaching its peak 10 Bil USD. So investors in private equity could enjoy 1000 fold growth and just leave for public only last 10 fold growth stretched in time. In the worst case scenario, company would go public at 10 Bil USD, i.e. at its historical peak. But there are well known platforms to buy shares of private companies, one of such platforms is Forge Global. You can buy shares of almost all blue chip startups. You can even invest in SpaceX! But as always, there is a catch - US government wants to protect not just US citizens but all people in the world (sounds ridiculous, right?). US law requires you to have 1 Mil USD net worth or 200'000 USD annual income if you want to buy shares of non-public company. So if you are high-net worth individual you can be called "accredited investor". Funny thing is that the law intends to protect US citizens but even if you are not US citizen and never even lived in US, this law is still applies to you in practice. So if you are "poor loser", platforms like Forge Global will reject you.
So high-net worth individuals have access and opportunity to Bitcoin-style multi-magnitude growth every 5-10 years. Contrary to private equity markets, US public markets is low risk/low return type of market. If you have small amount of capital, it's just glorified way to protect yourself from inflation plus some little return on top. It's not bad, US public market is a still great way to store your wealth. But I'm deeply convinced that for small capital you must seek fundamentally different type of market - high risk/high return. It's just historical luck that Bitcoin/Ethereum/etc were available for general public from day one. But in reality, viral/exponential growth is happening quite often. It's just you don't have access to such type of markets due to regulatory reasons.
I intentionally described these examples of financial discrimination in full details as I experienced them because I do feel that vast majority of people in the first world honestly think that current financial system works just fine and only criminals and terrorists are banned. In reality that's not true at all. 99.999% of innocent people are completely cut off from modern financial system in the name of fighting against money laundering.
Here is a big picture why it's happening. There are rich countries (so called western world) and poor countries (so called third world). Financial wall is carefully built by two sides. Authoritarian leaders of poor countries almost always want full control over their population, they don't like market economy, and since market forces don't value their crappy legal system (because it works only for close friends of authoritarian leader) they must implement strict capital control. Otherwise, all capital will run away from their country because nobody really respects their crappy legal system. It only has value under heavy gun of government. Only friends of authoritarian leader can move their money out of country but not you.
Leaders of rich countries want to protect their economy from "dirty money" coming from third world. Since citizens of poor countries never vote for leaders of rich countries nobody really cares if rich country just ban everyone from poor country. It's the most lazy way to fight against money laundering - simply ban everyone from certain country.
Actually if you look deeper you will see that rich countries very rarely directly ban ordinary people from third world. Usually, there is no such law which doesn't allow me to open bank account somewhere in Europe as non-EU resident. What's really happens is that US/EU government implement very harsh penalties for financial institutions if anything ever goes wrong.
So what's actually happens is that financial institutions (banks, brokerages etc) do de-risking. This is the most important word you must know about traditional financial system!
So if you have wrong passport, financial institution (for example) bank from rich country just doesn't want to take any risks dealing with you even if you are willing to provide full documentation about your finances. It's well known fact that banks in Hong Kong, Europe, US like to unexpectedly shutdown accounts of thousands innocent businesses due to de-risking.
So it's actually de-risking is the real reason why I was rejected so many times by financial institutions in the first world!!! It's de-risking actually responsible for banning 99.999% of innocent people. So governments of rich democratic countries formally have clean hands because they are not banning ordinary people from third world directly. All dirty job is done by financial institutions but governments are well aware of that, it's just more convenient way to discriminate. And nobody actually cares! Ordinary citizens in rich countries are never exposed to such problems and they really don't care about people in third world, after all they are not citizens of US/EU/UK/CH/CA/HK/SG/JP/AU/NZ.
And now are you ready for the most hilarious part? If you are big corrupt bureaucrat from Russia you are actually welcome by the first world financial institutions! All Russian's junta keep their stolen money all across Europe and even in US. You might wonder how this is possible if the western financial system is so aggressive in de-risking.
Here is a simple equation which financial institution should solve when they decide whether to open an account for you or not:
Y - R = net profit
Where:
Y - how much profit they can make with you;
R - how much regulatory risk they take while working with you;
That's it! It's very simple equation. So if you are really big junta member from Russia you are actually welcome according to this equation. Banks have special name for serving (ultra) high-net worth individuals, it's called private banking. It's has nothing to do with the fact that bank is private. It's just fancy name for banking for rich.
So what's usually happen in real world. Some Estonian or Danish bank got caught with large scale money laundering from Russia. European leaders are ashamed in front of their voters. They implement new super harsh law against money laundering to keep their voters happy. Voters are ordinary people, they don't care about details of new regulations. So banks get scared and abruptly shutdown ALL accounts of Russian customers. And European voters are happy.
Modern money laundering laws are like shooting mouse in your house using bazooka! It's very efficient to kill mouse, right?
Now imagine world without financial borders. It's hard to do so because we are all get so used to current status quo of traditional financial system. But with additional effort you can start asking questions - if Internet economy is so global and it doesn't really matter where HQ of startup is located, why they are all concentrated in just a few tiny places like Silicon Valley and ... well, that's mostly it if you count the biggest unicorns!
Another question would be - why so many talented russian, indian, chinese programmers just go to the same places like San Francisco, London and make super rich companies like Amazon, Google, Facebook, Apple to get even richer? If all you need is laptop and access to internet, why you don't see any trade happening between first and third world?
Well actually there is a trade between first and third world but it's not exactly what I want to see. Usually third world countries sell their natural resources through giant corporations to the first world.
So it's possible to get access to the first world market from third world but this access usually granted only to big and established companies (and usually it means not innovative).
Unicorns are created through massive parallel experiment. Every week bunch of new startups are created in Silicon Valley. Thousands and thousands startups are created in Silicon Valley with almost instant access to global market. Just by law of large numbers you have a very few of them who later become unicorns and dominate the world.
But if you have wrong passport and you are located in "wrong" country where every attempt to access global market is very costly, then you most likely not to start innovative startup in the first place. In the best case scenario, you just create either local business or just local copy-paste startup (copied from the west) oriented on (relatively small) domestic market. Obviously in such setup it's predictable that places like Silicon Valley will have giant advantage and as a result all unicorns get concentrated in just a few tiny places.
In the world without financial barriers there will be much smaller gap between rich and poor countries. With low barrier of entry, it won't be a game when winner takes all.
Whole architecture of decentralized cryptocurrencies is intended to remove middle man and make transactions permissionless. Governments are inherently opposite to that, they are centralized and permissioned. Therefore, decentralized cryptocurrencies are fundamentally incompatible with traditional financial system which is full of middle mans and regulations (i.e. permissions).
Real value of crypto are coming from third world, not the first world. People are buying crypto in rich countries just want to invest. Their financial system and their fiat money are more or less already working for them. So there is no immediate urgency to get rid of fiat money in the first world. So the first world citizens buying crypto on centralized KYCd exchanges are essentially making side bet on the success of crypto in third world.
Real and natural environment of cryptocurrencies is actually dark OTC market in places like Venezuela and China.
But cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum have a big limitation to wide adoption in third world - high volatility.
So the real target audience is oppressed (both by their own government and by first world governments) ordinary citizens of third world countries yet they are least who can afford to take burden of high volatility.
Right now, Tether is a big thing for dark markets across the world (by the way, dark market doesn't automatically imply bad!). But Tether soon or later be smashed by US/EU regulators.
The only real and working permissionless stable cryptocurrency (avoiding hyped word - stablecoin) is DAI.
DAI is the currency for post-Tether world to lead dark OTC market around the world and subvert fiat currencies of oppressive third world governments.
Once DAI become de-facto widespread currency in shadow economy in all of third world, then it will be accepted (after many huge push backs from governments) as a new reality. I'm talking about 10-20+ years time horizon.
But if MakerDAO chooses the route of being compliance friendly then DAI will lose its real target audience (i.e. third world).
I can not imagine US/EU calmly tolerate someone buying US stocks and using as a collateral to issue another security (i.e. DAI) which is going to be traded somewhere in Venezuela! You can not be compliance friendly and serve people in Venezuela.
Facebook's Libra was stupidest thing I've seen. It's extremely stupid to ask permission from the first world regulators to serve third world and create borderless economy. Another stupid thing is to please third world governments as well. For example, Libra (if ever run) will not serve Indian, Chinese, Venezuelan people. Who is then going to use stupid Libra? Hipsters in Silicon Valley? Why? US dollars are good enough already.
submitted by omgcoin to MakerDAO [link] [comments]

Why Bitcoin remains a marginal vehicle for store of value (at best) vs. Gold

There is no doubt that times like these necessitate asset diversification.
Some candidates include Bitcoin (“BTC”) and Gold (“XAU”). We have an on-going debate with one of my best friends about Bitcoin.
He is a firm believer in BTC due to (i) the printing of money by central banks, (ii) the lost of faith in governments and (iii) the technological advantage over traditional gold
[Original post with charts: https://bankeronwheels.com/bitcoin-a-marginal-vehicle-for-store-of-value/ ]
I think of BTC as an electronic version of gold:

Lindy effect – which is most likely to survive?

If you store value, the most important aspect is for the asset class to survive. Made popular by Nicholas Taleb, the Lindy effect states that the future life expectancy of some non-perishable things like a technology or an idea is proportional to their current age, so that every additional period of survival implies a longer remaining life expectancy.
Gold has been around for centuries and will be around in the next decades. As with Bitcoin, the currency may be around or could be replaced by a more efficient one (e.g. from transaction perspective). If you consider some of your savings as a means to secure a future for you and your kids then Gold is much more likely to fulfill this objective – although one needs to be reminded that this both asset classes don’t generate any income and as such can be used as diversifiers and potentially partially rotated into more risky assets when the market turns.

Price stability

If we assume that currently the main use for both is the store of value (BTC is only marginally used as transactional currency) then price stability is key. Gold prices are more stable and largely correlated to (i) real rates (ii) strength of USD and (iii) macro outlook. Arguably, Gold is less prone to price manipulation as one of the most traded assets (daily volumes can be as high as the total market cap of BTC).
It goes without saying that BTC can provide you with better returns as it’s more speculative in nature. The purpose of this blog however is to analyse assets from a savings allocation perspective and thus taking into consideration the risk you’re taking.

Insurance against market crash

While both BTC and XAU increased in value along with other risk assets prior to the crisis, the subsequent drop was much more significant for BTC while XAU only experienced marginal losses due to forced liquidations from investors highlighting the speculative nature of BTC.
As such Gold provides a good insurance policy as long as the crash in not excessively severe in nature – in 2008 Gold has initially dropped in value due to liquidations before rallying.
Another potential diversifiers that act as insurance for equity portfolios are government bonds. Treasuries have also experienced some volatility due to liquidations but are different to BTC and XAU as the FED controls the short term maturity asset yields and now even considering controlling the longer end of the curvesimilar to other countries like Japan or Australia

Doom scenario(s)

Both assets have major issues since Gold can’t be easily transported/accessed in case of a major natural disaster and BTC will miserably fail when electricity is down (earthquake, tsunami etc). Electronic Gold suffers from the same shortcoming hence physical gold has an edge here

Possible Near term Prospects

The technology behind BTC is very powerful. I’d also agree that conceptually is the best form of money that has ever been invented. Regarding BTC, in the end my friend and I will probably meet somewhere in the middle . A marginal part of the receivers of US fiscal measures may invest the cash in BTC. I have seen a large group of anti-establishment people on the West Coast while cycling from Vancouver to San Francisco last summer and there is a likelihood that these people will drive the BTC price up in the near term. However, due mainly to the price stability issue and perceived complexity I am yet to see a significant part of population that would allocate a sizeable part of their savings in BTC. And this brings me to my last point – skin in the game. So far, my friend only allocated a small amount of his net worth to BTC…
[As originally posted with charts on https://bankeronwheels.com/bitcoin-a-marginal-vehicle-for-store-of-value/ ]
submitted by bankeronwheels to InvestmentEducation [link] [comments]

Why Bitcoin remains a marginal vehicle for store of value (at best) vs. Gold

There is no doubt that times like these necessitate asset diversification.
Some candidates include Bitcoin (“BTC”) and Gold (“XAU”). We have an on-going debate with one of my best friends about Bitcoin.
He is a firm believer in BTC due to (i) the printing of money by central banks, (ii) the lost of faith in governments and (iii) the technological advantage over traditional gold
[Original post with charts: https://bankeronwheels.com/bitcoin-a-marginal-vehicle-for-store-of-value/ ]
I think of BTC as an electronic version of gold:
Lindy effect – which is most likely to survive?
If you store value, the most important aspect is for the asset class to survive. Made popular by Nicholas Taleb, the Lindy effect states that the future life expectancy of some non-perishable things like a technology or an idea is proportional to their current age, so that every additional period of survival implies a longer remaining life expectancy.
Gold has been around for centuries and will be around in the next decades. As with Bitcoin, the currency may be around or could be replaced by a more efficient one (e.g. from transaction perspective). If you consider some of your savings as a means to secure a future for you and your kids then Gold is much more likely to fulfill this objective – although one needs to be reminded that this both asset classes don’t generate any income and as such can be used as diversifiers and potentially partially rotated into more risky assets when the market turns.
Price stability
If we assume that currently the main use for both is the store of value (BTC is only marginally used as transactional currency) then price stability is key. Gold prices are more stable and largely correlated to (i) real rates (ii) strength of USD and (iii) macro outlook. Arguably, Gold is less prone to price manipulation as one of the most traded assets (daily volumes can be as high as the total market cap of BTC).
It goes without saying that BTC can provide you with better returns as it’s more speculative in nature. The purpose of this blog however is to analyse assets from a savings allocation perspective and thus taking into consideration the risk you’re taking.
Insurance against market crash
While both BTC and XAU increased in value along with other risk assets prior to the crisis, the subsequent drop was much more significant for BTC while XAU only experienced marginal losses due to forced liquidations from investors highlighting the speculative nature of BTC.
As such Gold provides a good insurance policy as long as the crash in not excessively severe in nature – in 2008 Gold has initially dropped in value due to liquidations before rallying.
Another potential diversifiers that act as insurance for equity portfolios are government bonds. Treasuries have also experienced some volatility due to liquidations but are different to BTC and XAU as the FED controls the short term maturity asset yields and now even considering controlling the longer end of the curvesimilar to other countries like Japan or Australia
Doom scenario(s)
Both assets have major issues since Gold can’t be easily transported/accessed in case of a major natural disaster and BTC will miserably fail when electricity is down (earthquake, tsunami etc). Electronic Gold suffers from the same shortcoming hence physical gold has an edge here
Possible Near term Prospects
The technology behind BTC is very powerful. I’d also agree that conceptually is the best form of money that has ever been invented. Regarding BTC, in the end my friend and I will probably meet somewhere in the middle . A marginal part of the receivers of US fiscal measures may invest the cash in BTC. I have seen a large group of anti-establishment people on the West Coast while cycling from Vancouver to San Francisco last summer and there is a likelihood that these people will drive the BTC price up in the near term. However, due mainly to the price stability issue and perceived complexity I am yet to see a significant part of population that would allocate a sizeable part of their savings in BTC. And this brings me to my last point – skin in the game. So far, my friend only allocated a small amount of his net worth to BTC…
[As originally posted with charts on https://bankeronwheels.com/bitcoin-a-marginal-vehicle-for-store-of-value/ ]
submitted by bankeronwheels to Commodities [link] [comments]

Set and Drift | Analysis - Estimating Future Income from the FIRE Portfolio

Cultivate an asset which the passing of time itself improves. – Seneca, Letters XV
Overview
The focus of the voyage to financial independence so far has been designing the portfolio, and measuring the distance still to travel. There is more basic question to be asked as the journey progresses - will the portfolio produce the income targets set for it, or will something need to change?
Currently, the income estimates from the portfolio targets - $67 000 from a short-term target of around $1.6 million and $83 000 from a target of around $2.0 million in several years - are set on an assumption of a total portfolio return of 4.19 per cent.
That does not mean, however, that the portfolio will simply automatically produce an income of that level. Just pointing the ship in the direction of travel is not enough. This is because the total return assumes both capital growth and distributions or interest.
This analysis examines what income the portfolio is likely to produce when the targets are achieved, and assesses whether or not selling down or changing the portfolio in other ways to meet the income goals may be necessary.
To answer this question, history and three different methods of estimating the potential income produced by the portfolio are reviewed.
Approach #1 - Navigation by landmarks
The first approach is to simply use what is already known to establish one’s position.
Previous analyses have discussed the overall trends in portfolio distributions, and reached some approximate estimates of the likely underlying level of distributions. These estimates differ according to the precise method chosen, and time period considered. So far, these analyses have established that the portfolio appears to be generating between:
This is healthy progress, however, both of these figures are short of the Objective #1 income requirement of $67 000 per year (or $5600 per month), and even further from the projection of $83 000 (or $6 900 per month) under Objective #2.
Will the future look like the past?
These historical figures are useful because they are real data based on holdings in the actual portfolio. Their disadvantages are that they are backward-looking. This has two possible impacts.
First, the growth of more than 50 per cent in the total portfolio size over even the past three years means that the level of historical distributions will underestimate the income generation potential from the now larger portfolio. In short, this is like trying to estimate interest from a bank account by looking at your balance three years ago.
Second, the distributions of three or four years ago will reflect past asset allocations, and investment products. As an example of this, two years ago the portfolio contained over $55 000 invested in Ratesetter’s peer to peer lending platform. This was earning an average income return of 9.1 per cent. Today, Ratesetter is less than half of this size, due to a slow asset reallocation process and withdrawals as loans mature.
This suggests a purely backward view of the actual achieved distributions may be incomplete and misleading.
Taking an average distribution rate approach
The other potential way of estimating the income return of the portfolio is to use the average distribution rate of the portfolio in the past.
The rate is calculated as total distributions over a defined period divided by the average portfolio level over the same period.
This eliminates any errors from the first impact discussed above of growing portfolio growth size, as it is a rate rather than a level measure. It does not eliminate the second impact. For example, higher interest rates meant that cash holdings in 2013-14 could make up over third of total distributions, a position not likely to reoccur in the short or even medium term.
Yet it still may be an approximate guide because while overall portfolio asset allocation has shifted in the past two and half years, it has remained within some broad bounds. As an example, total equity holdings were at 70% of the portfolio both 5 and 10 years ago. Additionally, using a median long-term average of 4.4 per cent will tend to reduce the impact of one-off changes and outlier data points.
[Chart]
As established in Wind in the Sails the average distribution rate over the past two decades has been around 4.4 per cent.
This implies that the portfolio would produce:
-$5 900 per month or $70 300 per annum income when the portfolio is at Objective #1 (e.g. this suggests that the target income at Objective #1 would be met, with around $3 000 to ‘spare’). - $7 300 per month or $87 100 per annum income when the portfolio is at Objective #2 (e.g. as above it suggests meeting Objective #2 would produce around $4 000 more income than actually targeted).
An interesting implication of this is that the portfolio has been producing distributions (at 4.4 per cent) at a rate that is higher than the overall rate of assumed long-term total return (around 4.2 per cent).
This is consistent with the fact that the Vanguard funds, and to some extent shares and other ETFs have been realising and distributing capital growth, not just income. This means that if I truly believe my long-term total return forecast is more accurate than the distributions estimate, I would need to re-invest the difference, to ensure I was not drawing down the portfolio at a higher rate than intended.
Approach #2 - Navigation by 'dead reckoning'
A different approach to reaching an income estimate from the portfolio is to forget about the actual history of the portfolio, and look to what the record shows about the average distribution rate from the asset classes themselves.
That is, to construct an hypothetical estimate of what the portfolio should produce, based on external historical data on average income from the individual portfolio components of Australian shares, international shares, and fixed interest.
To do this, estimates of the long term income generated by each of the asset classes in the portfolio are needed. For this ‘dead reckoning approach’ I have used the following estimates.
Table 1 - Asset class and portfolio income assumptions
Asset class Allocation Estimated income Source Australian shares 45% 4.0% RBA, 1995-2019, May Chart Pack International shares 30% 2.0% RBA, 1995-2019, May Chart Pack Bonds 15% 1.0% Dimson, Marsh and Staunton Triumph of the Optimists 101 Years of Global Investment Returns, Table 6.1 Gold/Bitcoin 10% 0% N/A Total portfolio 100% 2.55%
This analysis suggests that at the target allocation for the portfolio, based on long-term historical data, it should produce a income return of around 2.6%.
This equates to:
These figures are also well short of the income needs set, and so imply a need to sell down assets significantly to capture some of the portfolio's capital growth.
Abstractions and obstructions
Of course these figures are highly averaged and make some simplifications. Year to year management will not benefit from such stylised and smooth average returns. Income will be subject to large variations in distribution levels and capital growth will vary across asset classes and individual holdings.
Another simplification is that is analysis does not include the value of franking credits. If it is assumed that Australian equities continued to pay out their historical level of dividends, and the franking credit rate remains at the historical average of around 70 per cent then Australian shares dividends should yield closer to 5.2 per cent, lifting the total income return of the portfolio to around 3.1 per cent. In turn, this would marginally reduce the capital sell-down required. Adjusting for this impact means the portfolio income would be $4100 per month at Objective #1, and $5100 per month Objective #2
Yet these assumptions can be challenged. It is possible that the overall dividend yield of the Australian market will fall and converge with other markets. This would be particularly likely to happen if further changes to dividend imputations or the treatment franking credits to occur. It could also occur due to a maturing and deepening of Australian equity markets and domestic investment opportunities available to Australian firms. Shorter term, uncertainty around the future ability of shareholders to fully benefit from franking credits could encourage a payout of credits currently held by Australian firms.
Approach #3 - Cross-checking the coordinates
Due to these simplifications and assumptions, it is appropriate to cross-check the results of one method with other available data. An alternative to either a purely historical approach using distributions received, or the stylised hypothetical above discussed in Approach #2, is relying on tax data.
Specifically, taxable investment income can be estimated as the sum of the return items for partnerships and trusts, foreign source income and franking credits (i.e. items 13, 20 and 24) in a tax return.This has been previously discussed here.
Using this data is - of course - not independent of my own records of distributions. It's benefit is that it strictly relies on verified data provided in tax calculations. This will include income distributions and realised capital gains from within Vanguard funds, for example, but will not pick up unrealised capital gains.
As with Approach #1, as the portfolio has changed in size and composition the absolute historical levels of taxable will not necessarily produce the best estimate of the expected level of distributions looking forward. For example, because it is drawing on a period in which the portfolio was smaller, a five year average of investment income would suggest future annual investment income of $32 300 or $2 700 per month.
So instead an 'average rate' approach can be used to overcome this. Over of the past five years, the portfolio has produced an annual taxable investment income of around 3.5 per cent of the value of portfolio. This in turn implies an average taxable investment income of:
Once again, these estimates imply the existence of a significant income gap remaining at reaching both portfolio objectives.
Summary of results
So far historical data from the portfolio and three different approaches have been set out to seek to answer the question: how much income is the portfolio likely to produce?
Comparing estimates and income requirements
These individual estimates (blue) and the average of all estimates (green) are summarised in the charts below, and compared to the monthly income requirements (red) of both of the portfolio objectives. The chart below sets out the estimates for Objective #1.
[Chart]
The following chart sets out the same data and projections for the portfolio when it reaches Objective #2 (a portfolio total of $1 980 000).
[Chart]
The analysis shows that:
This implies that at the $1.6 million target of Objective #1, a small portion of any portfolio gains (around 0.6% of the value of the total portfolio) would need to be sold each year to meet this income gap. An identical result applies at the Objective #2, around 0.6% of value of the total portfolio would need to be sold annually.
Another intriguing implication of the reaching the average estimates is that it allows for an approximation of the required portfolio level to rely entirely on portfolio income, and avoid any sale of assets. At both portfolio Objectives the average of all estimation approaches indicate portfolio income of around 3.5 per cent.
Reversing this figure for the target portfolio income (e.g. for $67 000 at Objective #1 is 0.035/67000) implies a portfolio need of $1.91 million. For the higher target income for Objective #2, the implied portfolio required to not draw down capital is close to $2.4 million. This would require many additional years of future paid work to achieve.
Trailing clouds of vagueness
There are many caveats, inexactitudes and simplifications that should loom large in interpreting these results. The level of future returns as well as their income and capital components are unknowable and volatile.
In particular, the volatility of returns introduces key sequence of return risks that are simplified away by the reliance on deceptively stable historical estimates or averages. Particularly sharp movement in asset prices could change the asset allocation. Legislative or market changes could change the balance of income and capital appreciation targeted by Australian firms.
For these reasons, the analysis does not make me consider any particular remedial action. It indicates that under a range of assumptions and average outcomes, there will need to be a sale of some investments to meet the portfolio incomes targeted.
The same analysis shows that the superficially attractive choice to live only off portfolio income would in reality mean aiming for a target around 20 per cent higher - needing an extra $300 000 to $400 000 - potentially adding many years to the journey.
The relatively small scale of the required sales is the most surprising outcome of this analysis. Selling around 0.6 per cent of the portfolio annually does not on its face appear to be a high drawdown in most market conditions.
Another potential issue to consider is what this result means for asset allocation. There is no doubt that history would suggest that the income gap could be reduced by either reducing the bond allocation, or lower yielding international shares.
To give a sense of the magnitudes of this - using the 'dead reckoning' Approach #2 set out above - allocating 100 per cent of the equity portfolio to Australian shares would produce around $900 per month (or $10 300 per year) additional distributions at the Objective #1 portfolio of $1.6 million.
In theory, this domestic shares only option would all but close the income gap. Yet the benefits of diversification and risk reduction bonds and international shares offer make this a trade-off to consider, not a clear choice. At present, my plan would be to revisit this issue at my annual review of the portfolio asset allocation.
In the meantime, having produced these estimates has helped starting to think in more concrete terms about the draw down phase, its challenges and mechanics. In a small way, this seems to clear some of the clouds away, and enable me to glimpse some possible futures more clearly.
The post and graphs can be viewed here.
Note: The historical average estimate for this purpose has been proportionally adjusted to increase based on the increased size of the portfolio between now and reaching Objective #2
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In the Shade of Afternoon | Monthly FI Portfolio Update – August 2019

It is idle, having planted an acorn in the morning, to expect that afternoon to sit in the shade of the oak.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Wind, Sand and Stars
This is my thirty-third portfolio update. I complete this update monthly to check my progress against my goals.
Portfolio goals
My objectives are to reach a portfolio of:
Both of these are based on an expected average real return of 4.19%, or a nominal return of 7.19%, and are expressed in 2018 dollars.
Portfolio summary
Vanguard Lifestrategy High Growth Fund – $750 246 Vanguard Lifestrategy Growth Fund – $43 194 Vanguard Lifestrategy Balanced Fund – $79 500 Vanguard Diversified Bonds Fund – $110 418 Vanguard Australian Shares ETF (VAS) – $102 977 Vanguard International Shares ETF (VGS) – $20 184 Betashares Australia 200 ETF (A200) – $258 984 Telstra shares (TLS) – $1 982 Insurance Australia Group shares (IAG) – $14 056 NIB Holdings shares (NHF) – $8 868 Gold ETF (GOLD.ASX) – $104 149 Secured physical gold – $16 759 Ratesetter* (P2P lending) – $19 968 Bitcoin – $158 330 Raiz* app (Aggressive portfolio) – $16 223 Spaceship Voyager* app (Index portfolio) – $2 104 BrickX (P2P rental real estate) – $4 395 Total value: $1 712 337 (-$2 653)
Asset allocation
Australian shares – 40.5% (4.5% under) Global shares – 22.2% Emerging markets shares – 2.4% International small companies – 3.1% Total international shares – 27.7% (2.3% under) Total shares – 68.3% (6.7% under) Total property securities – 0.3% (0.3% over) Australian bonds – 5.1% International bonds – 10.1% Total bonds – 15.1% (0.1% over) Gold – 7.1% Bitcoin – 9.2% Gold and alternatives – 16.3% (6.3% over)
Presented visually, below is a high-level view of the current asset allocation of the portfolio.
[Chart]
Comments
The portfolio experienced a small decline this month, with an overall decrease of $2 600. This movement comes after a strong period of expansion through the first half of the year in the value of the portfolio.
[Chart]
As with last month, the fall occurs despite some significant new investments being made, meaning the absolute size of the decline is somewhat obscured. Renewed concerns about global trade and a relative weakening in the outlook for future earnings played a significant role in the overall movement of the portfolio.
[Chart]
Once again movements this month within the portfolio have been relatively limited in terms of the size of the portfolio.
Equity holdings have declined by around $28 000 when contributions are accounted for, whilst appreciation in the price of gold has offset just over a third of that loss. In fact, despite no recent purchases, the gold component of the portfolio is currently at the highest nominal value it has ever held.
On the topic of gold, this 2013 paper (pdf) provides a comprehensive and skeptical empirical analysis of the range of claims made to support holding gold, including tracing the real gold value of average soldiers pay across 2000 years.
This month has seen a continuing 'averaging in' of the capital from July distributions. These have been directed to purchases of Vanguard's Australian shares ETF (VAS). This is to bring the allocation closer to my original targets - with my Australian shares allocation currently further underweight than the international shares allocation. Psychologically, a weakening Australian dollar has also made purchasing unhedged international shares more problematic.
Risk, volatility, markets and economies
There has been significant market volatility this month, and discussion around the future of Australian and global growth in the midst of trade tensions between US and China.
In such times, something to remember as this St Louis Federal Reserve piece points out, is that the economy and sharemarket are not the same thing. This means that bad (or good) news for one, does not necessarily imply anything about the other. Missing this has the potential to lead to overconfident investment actions predicated on assumptions of future national economic trends (which will themselves most likely be priced into equity markets well before any retail investor reading the news arrives).
The volatility in equity markets has brought out many well-intentioned injunctions to remain calm and fixed on the objective of contributing capital with a long-term view in mind.
At times, however, this wise advice can shade into a form of near complacency - for example, for people to invest confident in the knowledge that long-term returns are (almost) guaranteed. No doubt this is generally good advice, directed at easing particularly new investors' concerns about investing at the "wrong" time, and reducing the potential damage from selling into falling markets due to panic.
Even as I continue to invest amidst volatility, it is important to reflect on Elroy Dimson's definition that 'risk means more things can happen than will happen', and to consider that the history of equity markets available to us provides only a basis for sound conclusions around what has happened, not what could happen. This is the definition of the risk assumed in markets by investors.
None of this is to suggest that starting, saving and regular investing with a view to one's individual risk tolerances are not the most important steps in the path to FI. There is a need to pause, however, and acknowledge that at times common financial independence investment precepts bear a disconcerting passing resemblance to the declaration and mathematical proof offered by famous stock promoter Jacob J Raskob in the well-known Ladies Home Journal (pdf) article exactly 90 years ago. This declaration was that with a steady investment in equities, based on the past patterns of returns, 'everybody ought to be rich'.
Nearly 90 years happened to be just before the Great Depression devastated equity markets and employment prospects alike, and US equity investors were behind in nominal terms for around 25 years. Interestingly, however, this New York Times article argues that deflation, higher dividend yields and impacts from changes in the Dow index composition could theoretically have shortened the real losses of any investor to just 4.5 years, provided they possessed the resources and fortitude to hold on to average stocks.
Progress
Progress against the objectives, and the additional measures I have reached is set out below.
Measure Portfolio All Assets Objective #1 – $1 598 000 (or $67 000 pa) 107.1% 145.4% Objective #2 – $1 980 000 (or $83 000 pa) 86.5% 117.4% Credit card purchases - $73 000 pa 98.3% 133.4% Total expenses - $89 000 pa 80.7% 109.4%
Summary
Progress against my goals and benchmarks has been static this month, with the exception of the 'total expenditure' benchmark. My detailed review of expenditure last month identified that I could lower this to recognise some double-counting of fixed expenses, and this has meant a leap forward in progress in that aim of 5.8 per cent. This moves the clock forward appreciably for achieving that benchmark.
As a general rule, it is always later than we think. For example, on a recent lunch time walk it occurred to me that if my progress to my current FI target of $1.98 million is considered in terms of the length of an ordinary working day, it is currently approximately 3.50pm in the afternoon. Quite late, and just over an hour until heading home.
This perspective, of being further towards the tail end than expected, is explored fully and powerfully in the blog Wait but Why here. It helps frame the remaining journey. Viewed in this way, wishing time away seems less useful and fitting than seeking to fill the remaining time with as much meaning, learning, knowledge transmission and patience as feasible. Yet it also explains why in a FI context at this stage sharp changes in investing approach, or commencing new 'side hustles' have limited appeal.
Despite it being late afternoon from this one perspective, there are a couple of other considerations or viewpoints. One is the potentially deceptive role of compounding later in the journey, which means that - at least in a stylised world of 'smooth returns' - the end goal is actually likely closer than any purely linear measure would suggest.
The other counterpoint to this is that while in my case the absolute journey to FI has involved serious investments over around 18 years, this is not the whole story. Viewed in terms of the average 'age' of dollars actually contributed or invested, the journey of the average dollar in the portfolio has been shorter.
In fact, in terms of dollars contributed, around 50 per cent have been contributed since January 2016. So, in some ways, it is more akin to mid-morning for the portfolio as a whole, meaning perhaps that I should not reasonably expect to shade myself under the oak tree just yet.
Finally, this month also saw Pat the Shuffler emerge from a short hiatus and provide a honest and well-argued insight into his rethink on investment options between LICs and ETFs. I also enjoyed reading the start of another Australian FI voice at Fire for One.
The past few months has also had many interesting podcasts related to FI - from The Escape Artists' Chris Reining on Equity Mates, to a really fascinating practical ChooseFI episode on David Sawyer's on the UK Path to FI. On the slightly more technical and future focused side of finance, the outgoing address of the Bank of England's Governor to the Jackson Hole central bankers gathering provides much food for thought on current and longer term monetary and currency issues, particularly as global bond rates continue to cross the 'zero-bound' into uncharted territory.
The post and full charts can be seen here.
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Charting Implied Volatility Bitcoin Predictions - Eclipse Volatility - Vedic Chart Analyzed implied volatility options in tamil Implied Volatility Charts Bitcoin Expecting A High Volatility Move!!! (BTC Charts)

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Charting Implied Volatility

Option Chain probability can help you earn huge profit from the stock market. However, the option chain analysis helps investor or trader to find out the sho... A brief explanation of the stock option implied volatility, also called IV. IV is a measure of the expected range a stock may move between now and the option... This feature is not available right now. Please try again later. Share Navigator show you how to chart implied volatility in the options market for stocks. Very useful when trading credit and debit spreads. Learn how to add the IV rank study to Think or Swim Stock Charts. Implied Volatility Rank is an important trading factor when trading options in the stock ma...

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