Bitcoin Hits a Brand-New High of $18,000!

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Talk about an exceptionally good week for Bitcoin!

Yesterday’s trading session saw the price of Bitcoin rally to the high of $18,492 around noon-time. And considering the huge surge it’s had all week, it is entirely possible to see $19,000 before the end of November.

I know that this sounds like something you would hear from your typical Bitcoin bull, but take a look at some of these extraordinary numbers:

  • Bitcoin’s price has gone up 50% over the last 30 days
  • Since the US election, Bitcoin has gone up 40%
  • Hedge funds specializing in Bitcoin have achieved average returns of 89% since the start of 2020, drastically outperforming traditional hedge funds
  • Bitcoin’s market cap is now greater than $336 billion

On top of the uncertainty of the health of the US economy, we have other factors to explain this very recent upward movement.

We’ve had the release of two COVID-19 vaccines within seven days that are reported to be ~95% effective. We’ve had PayPal openly allowing its customers to now buy, sell, and hold Bitcoin (alongside other cryptocurrencies).

The 3rd-richest person in Mexico, billionaire Ricardo Salinas Pliego, has publicly admitted that 10% of his liquid portfolio is entirely invested in Bitcoin (he has amassed a fortune of $11.8 billion to date).

And now we have long-term Bitcoin bear and founder of Bridgewater Associates Ray Dalio, who is now admitting he was perhaps too quick to dismiss the famous cryptocurrency:

“…if it becomes successful enough to compete and be threatening enough to currencies that governments control, the governments will outlaw it and make it too dangerous to use. 

Also, unlike gold which is the third highest reserve assets that central banks own, I can’t imagine central banks, big Institutional investors, businesses or multinational companies using it. If I’m wrong about these things I would love to be corrected. Thank you.”

You may not like Bitcoin and you may feel uncomfortable putting any of your money into it. But the fact remains that Bitcoin is here to stay for the long-haul and it is no longer an Internet meme or a one-hit wonder in the finance industry.

I’m not advising anybody to start putting their capital in Bitcoin, yet at the very least it is worth some serious consideration.

What do YOU think about Bitcoin reaching multiple new highs this week? Do you believe this is the start of a larger bull run, or will Bitcoin experience yet another crash in the near future? Reply to this newsletter and share your opinion with us!

How Much Do People End Up Saving in Retirement Funds Over Time?

If you’re the type of person who loves comparing your progress in saving up for retirement to your peers, this new story is going to be right up your alley.

According to the 2019 Survey of Consumer Finances, here is the average amount of retirement savings that households have amassed by age:

  • Younger than 35 years old: $30,170 (median = $13,000)
  • 35-44 years old: $131,950 (median = $60,000)
  • 45-54 years old: $254,720 (median = $100,000)
  • 55-65 years old: $408,420 (median = $134,000)
  • 65-74 years old: $426,070 (median = $164,000)

So as you can see, the MAJORITY of people are nowhere near the 7-figure retirement nest egg they are dreaming about or working towards. And by extension, they are wholly unprepared for financially sustaining themselves in the final years of their lives.

If these people wanted to truly be well off, at bare minimum those numbers I just listed need to be multiplied by two.

I hope this shows you the true importance of starting early and staying consistent over DECADES when it comes to planning your retirement!

Google Pay Could Disrupt the Finance Industry As We Know It

A while back, the tech industry was frothing at the mouth when they learned Google was making a huge entry into the finance industry.

As of today, those rumors are officially true. As part of a relaunch, the app is now available on both the iPhone and the Android. According to Verge:

“The new version of the app will have three new tabs:

Pay — which includes peer-to-peer payments as well as your transaction history using tap-to-pay.

Explore — which will be a place where Google will offer deals and discounts.

Insights — which will allow you to connect your bank accounts to get a searchable overview of your finances.

In 2021, Google will partner with some banks to directly offer fully online checking and savings accounts inside Google Pay — a service Google is calling ‘Plex.’”

This is a monstrous blow to apps such as PayPal, Apple Pay, Venmo, Mint, CashApp, and many others (whether they are directly connected to a big bank or not).

And if all of that isn’t enough, Bankrate analyst Ted Rossman has even commented on the potential rewards programs offered by Google Pay:

One that I will definitely be trying is the promotion that will give up to $5 cashback on each of my first three Google Pay payments. An extra 2.5% cashback at Gap and Banana Republic (in-store or online) is also compelling, especially when stacked with credit card rewards.”

I’m curious to know: Would YOU trust Google Pay with handling your money, knowing what is publicly known about their ongoing efforts to censor alternative voices and sell your data to third-party advertisers? Why or why not? Reply to this newsletter and share your thoughts with us!

Online Learning Company Udemy Is Now Valued at $3.25 Billion

The COVID-19 pandemic has robbed us of the ability to learn in-person from university professors and subject matter experts. Instead, our only choice for self-directed learning is to pursue online opportunities for developing our skills and building more knowledge.

Udemy, one of the most popular online learning platforms in the world, now has a valuation of $3.25 billion. They now have a total funding of over $273 million, thanks to the additional $50 million in capital they raised from China-based tech company Tencent Holdings.

This platform spans over 130,000 classes at the low price of $10-20, serving customers in over 190 countries and supporting 65 languages.

One of the reasons is the extremely low barrier towards becoming an expert. As long as an “expert” meets a list of easy minimum requirements, they can package their expertise in the form of a video course and publicly display it on the platform. And the public gets to decide which courses are the best, made possible by their open 5-star ranking system.

The only sad part is that Udemy is yet to become profitable, which CEO Gregg Coccari blames on their “overseas expansion” investments and their plans to hire 200 new employees in 2020.

There is no longer an excuse for failing to educate yourself in 2020 and beyond. The price of an affordable lunch stands between you and developing a brand-new skill!

Could Enphase Energy, Square, and Zoom Join the S&P 500 Next?

On December 21st, Tesla will officially become a part of the S&P 500 index and consequently replace another company already in the index.

This begs of the question of which superstar companies are the most likely to join the S&P 500 in 2021. After all, it is the surest sign that you have “made it” and it opens up numerous opportunities for trillions of dollars in new investments.

According to The Motley Fool contributor Dan Caplinger, three companies stand out as the next entries…

Enphase Energy: This solar energy company has seen its shares explode by +500% in 2020, with six consecutive profitable quarters until Q2 2020. Even with a smaller market cap of $15 billion, having 2021 consist of nothing but “green” quarters could put them up for admission.

Square: Unlike Enphase, Square has been consistently profitable for the past two years (including this one). Their market capitalization currently sits at $80 billion and they’ve been a big help during the COVID-19 pandemic in processing payments for small and large businesses.

Zoom: Need we say more? At a market capitalization of over $110 billion, it already meets several mandatory criteria for admission into the S&P 500. They’ve had six consecutive quarters of positive net income, and their stock has gone up 510% year-to-date.

All I know is that we have a LOT of promising tech companies who will aggressively fight each other for a spot on the S&P 500 index. After all, there are only 500 spots, and the inclusion of one company automatically means the exclusion of another.

Let’s see what happens in 2021!

Pandemic Price-Gougers Are Finally Facing Their Judgement Day

During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in March and April, did you notice that a lot of “essential” supplies were a LOT more expensive than usual? Especially if you tried searching for them online?

It wasn’t just you, and you weren’t dreaming. It turns out that over the past year, there has been an awful lot of price-gouging happening with products that were sold out in retail stores nationwide – toilet paper, hand sanitizer, face masks, rubbing alcohol, gloves, and so on.

From The Financial Times:

“According to data from Nielsen, in the 34-week period from March, average in-store prices have risen 53% year-on-year for hand sanitizer, 21% for bleach and 19% for paper towels. Prices of laundry detergent and dishwashing soap are up 10%. Nielsen said the trend was in part being fueled by fewer promotional offers.”

Keep in mind that several states have hard limits on how high prices can be increased for consumer goods and services… 25% for Alabama, and 10% for California and New York. And some states even have specific thresholds that are put into place when an emergency is declared.

Expect to see a LOT of lawsuits, heavy fines, and arrests of both businesses and individuals as this corruption gets exposed to the light of the law. And with the possibility of a second COVID-19 lockdown becoming more likely, the authorities are going to double down on these criminals and hit them square in the face with the hammer of justice.

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