After yet another day of heated debate in Congress, Americans are awaiting confirmation of their second stimulus checks by Monday.
According to reports, both Democrat and Republican parties are now in agreement – the new relief package will include another one-time stimulus check of $1,200 per person (and $500 per dependent) for all individuals earning $75,000 or less. There have been other accounts that indicate the income requirement could be as low as $40,000, however.
As unemployment remains at over 11% and many of the states are considering rolling back their reopening plans, most of us are looking forward to this welcome relief. Although many recipients will rush to deposit their checks into savings for a rainy day, here are the reasons why you should consider investing your $1,200 into Bitcoin instead.
The Federal Reserve’s balance sheet has increased by approximately $3 trillion since the start of the pandemic in March, or 14.3% of the 2019 GDP. We are likely to see an increase of $2 to $5 trillion more before the end of 2020. Although the U.S. has the privileged position of supplying the ‘world’s reserve currency’ making the U.S. Dollar in high demand during the pandemic, inflation is likely to catch up in the next 2-3 years, making your $1200 world less than before. Bitcoin, however, is a non-inflationary asset, with a finite amount of 21 million units, that has increased in price and adoption since its creation in 2009.
Hedge Against Wall Street
Wall Street is experiencing an unprecedented and unexpected boom during a crisis, decoupling from the Main Street economy. The value of the American stock market today is approximately $35 trillion, while the U.S. GDP has decreased to below $21 trillion. Many argue that this is the perfect recipe for a crash. Bitcoin provides a hedge against traditional markets as an uncorrelated asset.
Born on January 3rd, 2009, Bitcoin has steadily appreciated in price. An investment in bitcoin five years ago, yielded a 3300%+ return. While investing in the beginning of 2020, would yield a 38% return to date. Although Bitcoin can be volatile and is considered a risky investment (do your own research!), it has outperformed many of the traditional assets in the long term.
Institutional Investors Are Doing It
Once a fringe asset no one really understood, some of the biggest hedge funds and family offices globally are now investing in bitcoin. Established university endowments like Harvard, and billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones, have are buying bitcoin to diversify their portfolios.
“At the end of the day, the best profit maximizing strategy is to own the fastest horse. Just own the best performer and not get wed to an intellectual side that might leave you weeping the performance dust because you thought you were smarter than the market. If I am forced to forecast, my best is it will Bitcoin.”
– Paul Tudor Jones, Tudor Investment Corporation (Source: Investment Outlook – May 2020.)
Be Your Own Bank
Bank corruption has become a concern yet again as a result of the currency crisis in Lebanon. Although more prevalent in developing countries, the financial crisis of 2008 has taught us that even American financial institutions are not immune to failure. Holding some of your wealth in bitcoin allows you to maintain custody over your own funds, and makes it easy to travel with your wealth across borders.
In many countries, wealth can be confiscated by banks and governments with little to no warning. With bitcoin, all you need is your 12-word seed phrase to access your wallet. As long as you don’t share your phrase or your digital keys with anyone, your bitcoin can’t be taken away from you.
Bitcoin is Digital Gold
Many have compared bitcoin to gold, only digital, finite and easy to transfer. Gold has historically provided a stable store of value, maintaining its purchasing power over hundreds of years. But gold is difficult to buy and store. Bitcoin can also be used as a universal store of value, and can be accessed anywhere with a phone and a Wi-Fi connection.
Bitcoin Is Becoming Easier to Use
One of the criticisms of bitcoin is that it is not practical to use for smaller transactions due to high fees. This shouldn’t be a concern if you view bitcoin as a long-term investment. If, however, you want to spend your bitcoin, there are new technologies such as the Lightning Network which allow you to do so. Check out this surf town in El Salvador that built an entire economy on Bitcoin.
Bitcoin is also easy to send to others. Have family abroad? Companies like Western Union can take 5-10% of the international transfer, while the recipient may have to travel out of the way to receive the funds. Bitcoin allows you to send funds easy and quickly from your phone to theirs.
Proponents argue that bitcoin is the next generation of money and is the foundation of our future economy. If that prediction is true, why not get in on the ground floor?
Disclaimer: This article is not meant to serve as investment advice and is for informational purposes only. Please do your own research before making any investments in the cryptocurrency space.
Bank of Montreal CEO sees growth in U.S. share of earnings
Bank of Montreal expects its earnings contribution from the U.S. to keep growing, even without any mergers and acquisitions, driven by a much smaller market share than at home and nearly C$1 trillion ($823.38 billion) of assets, Chief Executive Officer Darryl White said on Monday.
“We do think we have plenty of scale,” and the ability to compete with both banks of similar as well as smaller size, White said at a Morgan Stanley conference, adding that the bank’s U.S. market share is between 1% and 5% based on the business line, versus 10% to 35% in Canada. “And we do it off the scale of our global balance sheet of C$950 billion.”
($1 = 1.2145 Canadian dollars)
(Reporting by Nichola Saminather; Editing by Leslie Adler)
GameStop falls 27% on potential share sale
Shares of GameStop Corp lost more than a quarter of their value on Thursday and other so-called meme stocks also declined in a sell-off that hit a broad range of names favored by retail investors.
The video game retailer’s shares closed down 27.16% at $220.39, their biggest one-day percentage loss in 11 weeks. The drop came a day after GameStop said in a quarterly report that it may sell up to 5 million new shares, sparking concerns of potential dilution for existing shareholders.
“The threat of dilution from the five million-share sale is the dagger in the hearts of GameStop shareholders,” said Jake Dollarhide, chief executive officer of Longbow Asset Management. “The meme trade is not working today, so logic for at least one day has returned.”
Soaring rallies in the shares of GameStop and AMC Entertainment Holdings over the past month have helped reinvigorate the meme stock frenzy that began earlier this year and fueled big moves in a fresh crop of names popular with investors on forums such as Reddit’s WallStreetBets.
Many of those names traded lower on Thursday, with shares of Clover Health Investments Corp down 15.2%, burger chain Wendy’s falling 3.1% and prison operator Geo Group Inc, one of the more recently minted meme stocks, down nearly 20% after surging more than 38% on Wednesday. AMC shares were off more than 13%.
Worries that other companies could leverage recent stock price gains by announcing share sales may be rippling out to the broader meme stock universe, said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Cresset Capital.
AMC last week took advantage of a 400% surge in its share price since mid-May to announce a pair of stock offerings.
“It appears that other companies, like GameStop, are hoping to follow AMC’s lead by issuing shares and otherwise profit from the meme stocks run-up,” Ablin said. “Investors are taking a dim view of that strategy.”
Wedbush Securities on Thursday raised its price target on GameStop to $50, from $39. GameStop will likely sell all 5 million new shares but that amount only represents a “modest” dilution of 7%, Wedbush analysts wrote.
GameStop on Wednesday reported stronger-than-expected earnings, and named the former head of Amazon.com Inc’s Australian business as its chief executive officer.
GameStop’s shares rallied more than 1,600% in January when a surge of buying forced bearish investors to unwind their bets in a phenomenon known as a short squeeze.
The company on Wednesday said the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission had requested documents and information related to an investigation into that trading.
In the past two weeks, the so-called “meme stocks” have received $1.27 billion of retail inflows, Vanda Research said on Wednesday, matching their January peak.
(Reporting by Aaron Saldanha and Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bengaluru and Sinead Carew in New York; Additional reporting by Ira Iosebashvili; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila, Shounak Dasgupta, Jonathan Oatis and Nick Zieminski)
U.S. to work with allies to secure electric vehicle metals
The United States must work with allies to secure the minerals needed for electric vehicle batteries and process them domestically in light of environmental and other competing interests, the White House said on Tuesday.
The strategy, first reported by Reuters in late May, will include new funding to expand international investments in electric vehicles (EV) metal projects through the U.S. Development Finance Corporation, as well as new efforts to boost supply from recycling batteries.
The U.S. has been working to secure minerals from allied countries, including Canada and Finland. The 250-page report outlining policy recommendations mentioned large lithium supplies in Chile and Australia, the world’s two largest producers of the white battery metal.
President Joe Biden‘s administration will also launch a working group to identify where minerals used in EV batteries and other technologies can be produced and processed domestically.
Securing enough copper, lithium and other raw materials to make EV batteries is a major obstacle to Biden’s aggressive EV adoption plans, with domestic mines facing extensive regulatory hurdles and environmental opposition.
The White House acknowledged China’s role as the world’s largest processor of EV metals and said it would expand efforts to lessen that dependency.
“The United States cannot and does not need to mine and process all critical battery inputs at home. It can and should work with allies and partners to expand global production and to ensure secure global supplies,” it said in the report.
The White House also said the Department of the Interior and others agencies will work to identify gaps in mine permitting laws to ensure any new production “meets strong standards” in terms of both the environment and community input.
The report noted Native American opposition to Lithium Americas Corp’s Thacker Pass lithium project in Nevada, as well as plans by automaker Tesla Inc to produce its own lithium.
The steps come after Biden, who has made fighting climate change and competing with China centerpieces of his agenda, ordered a 100-day review of gaps in supply chains in key areas, including EVs.
Democrats are pushing aggressive climate goals to have a majority of U.S.-manufactured cars be electric by 2030 and every car on the road to be electric by 2040.
As part of the recommendations from four executive branch agencies, Biden is being advised to take steps to restore the country’s strategic mineral stockpile and expand funding to map the mineral resources available domestically.
Some of those steps would require the support of Congress, where Biden’s fellow Democrats have only slim majorities.
The Energy Department already has $17 billion in authority through its Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan program to fund some investments.
The program’s administrators will focus on financing battery manufacturers and companies that refine, recycle and process critical minerals, the White House said.
(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt in Washington and Ernest Scheyder in Houston; Editing by Mary Milliken, Aurora Ellis and Sonya Hepinstall)
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