November 18, 2017

Items in italics are direct quotes from the articles below
Vladimir Putin’s wealth, even by the most generous of calculations, pales in comparison. In fact, throw in the vast riches of Microsoft MSFT, +0.18% co-founder Bill Gates, Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway BRK.A, -0.21% fame and Amazon’s AMZN, +2.58% Jeff Bezos, and their combined fortune doesn’t even approach the riches of history’s wealthiest figures. Take Augustus Caesar, for example. The first Roman emperor tops the list, according to the Visual Capitalist blog. The adopted son of Julius Caesar controlled much of the world’s most powerful states — including Egypt — as part of his estimated $4.6 trillion net worth. Egypt made up at least 25% of global GDP at the time. Then there’s King Solomon, who was said to receive some $40 billion in gold each year as tribute. That helped bring his fortune to $2.2 trillion. Though it is hard to measure who the richest person in history was, because of the lack of completely accurate records. However, the article does provide a detailed chart. This calculation can change due to wealth being tied to land, and wealth could be exaggerated due to it being oral history. Nonetheless, wealth is concept that has been passed down for centuries. There are principles to building wealth that we can all apply to our daily lives. Remember to invest in assets that will produce income. Liabilities will always produce expenses. Make your money make money for you and repeat.

On Tuesday, the US Federal Communications Commission announced that it planned to vote on an order to roll back Obama-era rules governing net neutrality. Simply put, net neutrality means that all data on the internet is treated equally. An internet service provider can’t prioritize certain companies or types of data, charge users more to access certain websites and apps, or charge businesses for preferential access. Advocates of net neutrality argue that it ensures a level playing field for everyone on the internet. Telecoms firms, however, are largely against it because of the additional restrictions it places on them. But with the Republican-majority FCC likely to vote on December 14 in favor of rolling back the order, what might the American internet look like without net neutrality? Just look at Portugal. The country’s wireless carrier Meo offers a package that’s very different from the US. On top of the standard data package, users pay an additional amount based on what type of apps and the kind of data they use. Net-neutrality advocates argue that this kind of model is dangerous because it risks creating a two-tier system that harms competition — people will just use the big-name apps included in the bundles they pay for, while upstart challengers will be left out in the cold. For example: If you love watching videos, and Netflix is included in the video bundle but Hulu isn’t, you’re likely to try to save money by using only Netflix, making it harder for its competitors. And without net neutrality, big-name apps could theoretically even pay telecoms firms for preferential access, offering them money — and smaller companies just couldn’t compete with that. (It’s not clear whether any of the companies named above have paid for preferential access.) An ISP could even refuse to grant access to an app at all unless they paid up.  Yonatan Zunger, a former Google employee, recently retweeted Khanna’s tweet, adding: “This isn’t even the worst part of ending net neutrality. The worst part happens when ISPs say ‘we don’t like this site’s politics,’ or ‘this site competes with us,’ and block or throttle it.” If you’re thinking about your legacy, consider it at least two to three generations deep. In other words, you’re thinking at least the next 100 years, will what you have be able to provide for that kind of future? If not, what are you teaching your children and children’s children, so they can thrive and not just survive the world to come. In my opinion, net-neutrality is important. If it is roll backed, how will this affect the cryptocurrency markets? With more and more buyers into the cryptocurrency market, will this rollback cause a price decline?

This week, I’ve included Secrets of Success – Motivational video from the Mulligan Brothers YouTube channel.

“If you think you know it all, you’re a fool for sure; real survivors learn wisdom from others.”

Proverbs 28:26 MSG


May 24, 2017

Items in italics are direct quotes from the articles below

Dark pools are an ominous-sounding term for private exchanges or forums for trading securities; unlike stock exchanges, dark pools are not accessible by the investing public. Also known as “dark pools of liquidity,” they are so named for their complete lack of transparency. Dark pools came about primarily to facilitate block trading by institutional investors, who did not wish to impact the markets with their large orders and consequently obtain adverse prices for their trades. While dark pools have been cast in a very unfavorable light in Michael Lewis’ bestseller “Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt,” the reality is that they do serve a purpose. However, their lack of transparency makes them vulnerable to potential conflicts of interest by their owners and predatory trading practices by some high-frequency traders. (See also “How IEX is Combating Predatory Types of High-Frequency Trades.”) Dark pools have been around since the 1980s. Since you may not have heard of dark pools before, I’m going to use a lot of quotes from this article. Consider the options available to a large institutional investor who wanted to sell 1 million shares of XYZ stock before the advent of non-exchange trading. This investor could either (a) work the order through a floor trader over the course of a day or two and hope for a decent VWAP (volume weighted average price); (b) split the order up into say five pieces and sell 200,000 shares per day, or (c) sell small amounts until a large buyer could be found who was willing to take up the full amount of the remaining shares. The market impact of a 1-million sale of XYZ shares could still be sizeable, regardless of whether the investor chose (a), (b), or (c), since it was not possible to keep the identity or intention of the investor secret in a stock exchange transaction. With options (b) and (c), the risk of a decline in the period while the investor was waiting to sell the remaining shares was also significant. Dark pools were one solution to these issues. There are more than 40 dark pools registered with the SEC, made up of three types: broker-dealer owned, agency broker or exchange-owned, and electronic market makers. There are pros and cons of dark pools. The advantages are reduced market impact, and lower transaction costs. The disadvantages are exchange prices may not reflect the real market, pool participants may not get the best price, vulnerability to predatory trading by HFTs, and small average trade sizes reduces need for dark pools. The recent HFT controversy has drawn significant regulatory attention to dark pools. Regulators have generally viewed dark pools with suspicion because of their lack of transparency, and the controversy may lead to renewed efforts to curb their appeal. One measure which may help exchanges reclaim market share from dark pools and other off-exchange venues could be a pilot proposal from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to introduce a “trade-at” rule. The rule would require brokerages to send client trades to exchanges rather than dark pools unless they can execute the trades at a meaningfully better price than that available in the public market. If implemented, this rule could present a serious challenge to the long-term viability of dark pools. Dark pools provide pricing and cost advantages to buy-side institutions such as mutual funds and pension funds, and these benefits ultimately accrue to the retail investors who own these funds. However, dark pools’ lack of transparency makes them susceptible to conflicts of interest by their owners and predatory trading practices by HFT firms. The recent HFT controversy has drawn increasing regulatory attention to dark pools, and implementation of the proposed “trade-at” rule could pose a threat to their long-term viability.

Big ideas can come in small packages. Take TED Talks, the beloved lectures on technology, entertainment, and design. Some of the most insightful talks take up less than 10 minutes of the viewer’s time. They’re perfect for when you want to expand your horizons and still get to that thing you’ve been meaning to do. Here are some talks to turn to if you want to get smarter in a hurry. “How to speak so that people want to listen” by Julian Treasure. Julian gives six tools to consider when speaking, including pitch, and other factors. Anyone can use the power of words
if he does it intentionally. “Get ready for hybrid thinking” by Ray Kurzweil. Ray Kurzweil, a futurist and inventor, argues that in two decades, human thought will be a mixture of biological and nonbiological processes. According to Kurzweil, the brain would operate the same as it does today, but if you needed some extra juice you’d be able to connect to the cloud for external neural connections — all thanks to nanobots that would live in your brain and connect to that cloud. The remaining suggested TED Talks are: “I listen to color” by Neil Harbisson, “5 dangerous things you should let your kids do” by Gever Tulley, “The next outbreak? We’re not ready” by Bill Gates, “The hidden power of smiling” by Ron Gutman, “Grit: The power of passion and perseverance” by Angela Duckworth, “Let’s try emotional correctness” by Sally Kohn, “Forget multitasking, try monotasking” by Paolo Cardini. Each suggested video is only ten minutes long, but it provides a wealth of information. I suggest that each day you should try to watch or read something new to constantly challenge your mind. Your mind is a muscle too, and it needs to be exercised.

If you are interested in creating a budget, then contact me for a financial checkup in the contact me section. Also, learn more about the self-lending principle in the mustard seed section.

For this week, I’ve included Warren Buffett – How to Stay Out of Debt Forever from Truly Rich Noypi YouTube channel.

“If you think you know it all, you’re a fool for sure; real survivors learn wisdom from others.”

Proverbs 28:26 MSG‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬