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Survey: Millennial Women are Underrepresented in Crypto Investing

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A new study by crypto finance company Circle, published September 12, shows that millennial women invest in cryptocurrency at half the rate of men.

The survey collected answers from over 3,000 millennials, Gen Xers, and Baby Boomers in the U.S., covering such issues as investment, associated risks assessment, and attitudes toward emerging asset classes like crypto.

According to the poll, 25 percent of millennials said they are interested in purchasing digital currencies over the next 12 months, which sets them apart from the other generations by more than 10 percent. From a gender perspective, 17 percent of males across the three generations have plans to buy crypto, while only 8 percent of women share the same plans.

The survey found that 71 percent of millennials have invested less than $1,000 into digital currencies, of which 42 percent invested under $500 and 29 percent invested between $500–$1,000. 29 percent of millennials have invested over $1,001.

In regards to the risk associated with crypto investment, younger investors and males across the three generations turned out to be bolder, whereas Baby Boomers tend to be more cautious. 42 percent of millennial men reportedly called themselves “aggressive” investors, in comparison with 27 of millennial women, while among Gen Xers, 34 percent of men and 19 percent of women chose the same answer.

While women may still be underrepresented in the crypto space, market research from the London Block Exchange earlier this summer showed that the amount of women considering crypto investment had doubled since the start of the year. The poll also found that women are 50 percent less likely to suffer from “FOMO” (fear of missing out), and approach investing more strategically.

At the end of August, research service YouGov Omnibus conducted a crypto-related survey among millennials. The results of the study show that 79 percent of Americans are aware of at least one cryptocurrency. Millennials were almost equally split between being interested (48 percent) and not interested (50 percent) in cryptocurrencies.

34 percent of the respondents in the YouGov Omnibus survey do not think that crypto will become widely accepted, while millennials demonstrated the most positive approach to cryptocurrencies, with 44 percent of them predicting wider adoption.

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Declining Cost Curves Create Opportunities for Investors

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For many angel investors, enabling change to make a positive impact for humankind is a driving force behind investment decisions.  Even with the desire to drive this constructive change, it can be challenging for an investor to know where to begin.  Deep technology is that space where meaningful change can be made while also positioning for potentially greater returns because of important economic trends in several technology fields, with the understanding that there are significant risks associated with investing in this space.

Swati Chaturvedi founded Propel(x) with the goal of helping more angels invest in world-changing science and technology startups. She combines a strong belief in supporting breakthrough, deep science with experience in smart investing practices and insights from history.  She sat down with me after the 2018 Angel Capital Association Summit to explain how declining cost curves for certain technology sectors have led to great markets in the past, and are now creating new and impactful investment opportunities for angels.

“As an investor, it is helpful to learn from history,” Chaturvedi said.  “Past experiences deliver insight into what industries were successful and what enabled their success.”  She shared three sectors that are experiencing huge declines in costs, helping products become widely accessible to the masses and the companies and investors behind them to be wildly successful: computing power, gene sequencing, and energy storage.

Think about the cost and power of your computer 20 years ago – most likely it was very expensive and clunky.  Now consider the fact that millions of people carry a phone with computing power that is much more sophisticated than two decades ago, and for a fraction of the cost.  We currently process data at unheard of speed and volume.  What does this mean for future computing technologies?  Artificial intelligence is likely to emerge from advances in computing power, and multiple factors are coming together to make the growth of AI more viable.  Endless future applications will mimic intelligence, such as self-driving cars and the facial recognition software, that companies such as Facebook and Google already have in use. And the amount of data collected continues to grow, offering opportunities in life sciences, energy, financial services, automobiles, and defense among others.  Investors have already had successful exits in the AI space with acquisitions above $500M (DeepMind acquired by Google and Cruise Automation bought by General Motors).

Source: The Hamilton Project, Brookings InstitutionThe Hamilton Project

Gene sequencing is another sector that is experiencing huge benefits from declining costs and becoming more accessible to larger groups of customers.  Companies such as 23andMe, with a valuation of $1.75B, offer genetic testing at low prices.  The declining cost curve tells Chaturvedi that we will soon be seeing even more examples of how gene sequencing will become accessible and beneficial through personalized medicine.  Gene therapies will likely become much more prevalent, with targeted treatments for people based on their individual genetic constitution.  This is expected to provide information such as predisposition to diseases and personalized therapies.  More data will be incorporated with genetic, environmental and lifestyle data, and companies will be able to utilize this information to develop tailored medications specifically for everyone. Chaturvedi believes personalized medicine is on the horizon.

Source: National Human Genome Research Institute, NIHNational Human Genome Research Institute

Chaturvedi also charts sharp drops in the costs of energy storage, noting a 5X decrease in vehicle lithium-ion batteries between 2010 and 2016 with advances by Tesla and General Motors.  She believes this will translate well into a new “Grid 2.0.”  Energy currently must travel through large grids, sometimes through multiple states, to arrive at a destination to power your home, business, school, etc.  This is not the most efficient way to deliver energy.  Declining costs of energy storage are opening doors to many developments and reducing the size of energy grids, creating new systems to use and store energy.  With more availability of resources, we expect to be able to develop a method to store energy locally to use as needed, even at the neighborhood level.  She said, “By changing how energy is stored, our footprint on the environment will be drastically improved.  As better batteries emerge, electric cars will have a longer range needing less fuel, drones can fly longer, and planes will not have to use as much jet fuel.  As energy storage methods advance, how we generate, distribute and use energy will evolve into a process that is cost efficient and environmentally friendly.”

Source: EPRI Estimates, 2016EPRI Estimates

The market opportunities for these “declining cost” technologies are compelling, but I asked Chaturvedi if angel investments in related new firms come with additional risks or differences from other kinds of angel deals.  She said many start with university research and non-dilutive grants from government agencies such as the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health.  As they grow, however, they likely have larger valuations than other startups and require more rounds of investing, all of which add risk and investment dilution for angels.  Some of these risks can be addressed by investing via syndicate of investors and keeping “dry powder” for follow-on investments. Deal terms and due diligence for these companies is also like most angel deals, although she said, “Angels should ask more questions about data from technology testing and the need for more capital.”

So, what does this mean for angel investors?  These sectors are positioning us for potentially greater financial and impact returns.  History shows what conditions yield the highest returns — significantly declining costs and growing markets.  In addition to the opportunity for returns, investing in these deep technology sectors is creating purposeful ways to address some of the biggest global challenges, including sufficient energy for all, cures for diseases, prolonging healthy life and abundant food for everyone.

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Billionaire Leon Cooperman explains how he ended up investing his personal money in pot stocks

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Billionaire hedge fund investor Leon Cooperman confirmed to CNBC on Wednesday that he has personal money in the cannabis industry, noting investments in a few young marijuana companies.

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Highlighting names including $1.1 billion CannTrust and $2.6 billion Green Thumb Industries, Cooperman said that he was first introduced to the space through Ben Kovler, heir to the Jim Beam bourbon empire.

“I meet with Ben and I’m impressed with him; he’s a smart young man. I put some personal money in,” Cooperman said. “They have a conference call [and] like a schnook I ask a question. The next thing I know, my picture’s in the New York Post as ‘The Cannabis King.'”

Cooperman founded Omega Advisors in 1991. The firm has approximately $3.8 billion in assets under management.

“It’s clearly a growth business, and I’ve never had so much fun with my pants on as I’ve had with these stocks,” he joked.

Asked by “Halftime Report” host Scott Wapner on his specific investments, Cooperman said he does not own shares of medical marijuana producer Tilray.

In addition to CannTrust and Green Thumb, Cooperman said he has a stake in iAnthus, which owns and operates licensed cannabis cultivation, processing and dispensary facilities in the U.S.

Shares were up 1.1 percent, down 6.3 percent and up 4.5 percent; respectively. CannTrust and Green Thumb trade on exchanges in Canada.

He also noted a small stake in edible products maker Dixie, which is currently looking to do a public offering later in 2018.

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ANALYST: Investing in Facebook has 3 risks

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg takes a drink of water as he testifies before a House Energy and Commerce hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, April 11, 2018, about the use of Facebook data to target American voters in the 2016 election and data privacy.AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
  • Facebook recently announced it would delete a Russian firm’s accounts over alleged data scraping and take down a series of accounts that were said to be focused on entertainment but were instead tied to military personnel in Myanmar.
  • The social media giant is “not as in control of its business as it needs to be,” said Brian Wieser, an analyst at Pivotal Research Group.
  • Wieser, a long-time Facebook bear, laid out three major risks that investors should consider when buying the stock.
  • Watch Facebook trade in real time here.

Facebook has been busy dealing with security issues over the past week, taking down the Russian firm  SocialDataHub’s accounts over alleged data scraping, as well as a series of accounts that were said to be focused on entertainment but were instead tied to military personnel in Myanmar.

These were the latest in a series of problems that have surfaced at Facebook over the past few years, the big one being the Cambridge Analytica data scandal surrounding the 2016 presidential election. 

All these may suggest the social media giant is “not as in control of its business as it needs to be,” Brian Wieser, an analyst at Pivotal Research Group, said in a note sent out to clients on Wednesday.

“The underlying problem that we see is that the company has been so focused on growth at any cost that it has failed to sufficiently invest in processes that might anticipate problems, acknowledge problems fast enough or fix problems fast enough.”

Facebook’s stock has been under pressure since July 25, when the social-media giant posted quarterly revenues that fell short of Wall Street estimates and warned investors that top-line growth rates will decline by “high single digit” percentages in the coming quarters. Shares fell more than 20% immediately after the earnings report, and are 27% down from the high set on July 25.

Wieser, a long time Facebook bear, who has a “sell” rating and $131 price target — 18% below where shares are currently trading — laid out three major risks that investors should consider when buying the stock.

1. High degree of rivalry given absence of barriers to deter new competition from emerging 

“Web publishing and related businesses are highly competitive, which is only partially mitigated through ongoing investment of billions of dollars in capital expenditures annually,” Wieser said.

“The inherently open nature of the web increases the ease with which a competitor could approach and capture a portion or all of Facebook’s consumers or fee-payers. Google and other companies will persistently nip at the heels of Facebook, looking for points of entry to capture a share of Facebook’s market opportunity.”

2. High and increasing capital needs

Wieser wrote: “The consequence of this competitive intensity is that ongoing – and potentially rising – investment levels are required. It occurs in both in a publisher’s facilities (for example, bringing data centers closer to consumers) and in consumer-facing activities (such as social networking and online video, which require significant spending on servers, storage and other networking gear) in order to secure a company’s core business.

3. Government regulations/consumer pushback related to data management

Privacy is a worldwide issue for all companies associated with the Internet to contend with,” Wieser said. “Facebook is generally in the limelight, as it has continually pushed boundaries with its approach to user information.”

He added: “Concerns were raised in large part because the system was launched without securing consent from consumers to opt-in.”

Facebook was down 12% this year.

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