Archive for April, 2018

Bitcoin: What’s the Big Deal

Yesterday, Bitcoin hit yet another all-time high of $2779 per BTC, before retreating nearly 20% by afternoon… and gaining more than half of that back in the overnight!

Does this sound like your kind of investing? Are you ready to make and lose thousands of dollars in a matter of hours? If so, cryptocurrencies may have a place in your wallet.

Created by a shadowy figure named Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin originated as an economic experiment, virtual coins worth about $0.10 apiece, which could be “mined” by your computer crunching through math equations while you slept. Learn more…

Is There Any Escape From Student Loans?

It didn’t seem so bad while you were in school – yes, you’d have to pay for it eventually, but here it is, tens of thousands of dollars a year to support not only your Master’s degree in ethnomusicology, but the biggest parties in the conference, and that one week in Cozumel you’ve sworn never to tell anyone about, and now it’s due.

You’ve already got a job lined up after graduation, but it’s not in your field (what is, anyway?), and at $13.60 per hour, with food, shelter, the health insurance penalty, and a couple of cases of beer a week to pay first, that doesn’t leave much for paying off your loans, let alone starting that 401(k) or finally going to London. Even on the income-based plan, you’re still looking at 40 years of your disposable income eaten up to pay for that education, and all of a sudden you regret everything you’ve learned, and start researching more and more drastic ways to get free… here are a few that are recommended around the Internet, some of which work, and some of which really, really, don’t. Read more…

Are Option Quotes All Greek To You?

Once investors move on from basic equity trading, for purposes of seeking alpha, or leverage (investments that move up and down at a faster rate parallel to the market), it’s hard to get very far without making use of options. But where most companies only have one stock, and one price for that stock, dozens of options exist for each share with options available.

Options, in general, give you (hence the name) the option to buy or sell one share of a stock at a named price, whether or not that price is the market value of the security. Like futures, options also have an expiration, or execution, date. However, unlike the commodities futures, where a forgetful investor can suddenly find themselves drowning in a tanker-truck worth of orange juice, all an expiring option does is whatever it says it will do — for example, if you have an option agreement to buy 400 shares of Wal-Mart stock for $73 each at the end of August 2017, and you do not actively exercise it, it goes into expiration. Read more…

When Bad Business Pays Off

According to an article in Friday’s New York Times, Vitaly Borker is back in prison.

Infamous for a previous business venture, DecorMyEyes.com, Borker believes strongly in the tenet that “any press is good press,” which he followed to its logical conclusion, running the business as erratically and counterintuitively as possible to remain in the spotlight.

Read more…

Why the Fiduciary Rule Matters

In the first 100 days of the Trump administration, one of the main directives given to the transition team was to eliminate two regulations for every new government regulation passed. In addition, the administration used a rarely-utilized loophole known as the Congressional Review Act to target every amendment and regulation passed in the closing months of the Obama presidency.  One of the prime targets, the Fiduciary Rule, is a financial regulation intended to provide customers an extra measure of protection when they find a financial advisor, originally scheduled to go into effect in April.

Why was this law so controversial? For one, the financial industry has always preferred self-regulation to government involvement. But the Fiduciary Rule goes far beyond that in terms of customer assurance and transparency. Read more…

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