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Murmurs of the Sea | Monthly Portfolio Update - March 2020

Only the sea, murmurous behind the dingy checkerboard of houses, told of the unrest, the precariousness, of all things in this world.
-Albert Camus, The Plague
This is my fortieth portfolio update. I complete this update monthly to check my progress against my goal.
Portfolio goal
My objective is to reach a portfolio of $2 180 000 by 1 July 2021. This would produce a real annual income of about $87 000 (in 2020 dollars).
This portfolio objective is based on an expected average real return of 3.99 per cent, or a nominal return of 6.49 per cent.
Portfolio summary
Vanguard Lifestrategy High Growth Fund – $662 776
Vanguard Lifestrategy Growth Fund – $39 044
Vanguard Lifestrategy Balanced Fund – $74 099
Vanguard Diversified Bonds Fund – $109 500
Vanguard Australian Shares ETF (VAS) – $150 095
Vanguard International Shares ETF (VGS) – $29 852
Betashares Australia 200 ETF (A200) – $197 149
Telstra shares (TLS) – $1 630
Insurance Australia Group shares (IAG) – $7 855
NIB Holdings shares (NHF) – $6 156
Gold ETF (GOLD.ASX) – $119 254
Secured physical gold – $19 211
Ratesetter (P2P lending) – $13 106
Bitcoin – $115 330
Raiz* app (Aggressive portfolio) – $15 094
Spaceship Voyager* app (Index portfolio) – $2 303
BrickX (P2P rental real estate) – $4 492
Total portfolio value: $1 566 946 (-$236 479 or -13.1%)
Asset allocation
Australian shares – 40.6% (4.4% under)
Global shares – 22.3%
Emerging markets shares – 2.3%
International small companies – 3.0%
Total international shares – 27.6% (2.4% under)
Total shares – 68.3% (6.7% under)
Total property securities – 0.2% (0.2% over)
Australian bonds – 4.8%
International bonds – 10.4%
Total bonds – 15.2% (0.2% over)
Gold – 8.8%
Bitcoin – 7.4%
Gold and alternatives – 16.2% (6.2% over)
Presented visually, below is a high-level view of the current asset allocation of the portfolio.
Comments
This month saw an extremely rapid collapse in market prices for a broad range of assets across the world, driven by the acceleration of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Broad and simultaneous market falls have resulted in the single largest monthly fall in portfolio value to date of around $236 000.
This represents a fall of 13 per cent across the month, and an overall reduction of more the 16 per cent since the portfolio peak of January.
[Chart]
The monthly fall is over three times more severe than any other fall experienced to date on the journey. Sharpest losses have occurred in Australian equities, however, international shares and bonds have also fallen.
A substantial fall in the Australia dollar has provided some buffer to international equity losses - limiting these to around 8 per cent. Bitcoin has also fallen by 23 per cent. In short, in the period of acute market adjustment - as often occurs - the benefits of diversification have been temporarily muted.
[Chart]
The last monthly update reported results of some initial simplified modelling on the impact of a hypothetical large fall in equity markets on the portfolio.
Currently, the actual asset price falls look to register in between the normal 'bear market', and the more extreme 'Global Financial Crisis Mark II' scenarios modelled. Absent, at least for the immediate phase, is a significant diversification offset - outside of a small (4 per cent) increase in the value of gold.
The continued sharp equity market losses have left the portfolio below its target Australian equity weighting, so contributions this month have been made to Vanguard's Australian shares ETF (VAS). This coming month will see quarterly distributions paid for the A200, VGS and VAS exchange traded funds - totalling around $2700 - meaning a further small opportunity to reinvest following sizeable market falls.
Reviewing the evidence on the history of stock market falls
Vladimir Lenin once remarked that there are decades where nothing happen, and then there are weeks in which decades happen. This month has been four such weeks in a row, from initial market responses to the coronavirus pandemic, to unprecedented fiscal and monetary policy responses aimed at lessening the impact.
Given this, it would be foolish to rule out the potential for other extreme steps that governments have undertaken on multiple occasions before. These could include underwriting of banks and other debt liabilities, effective nationalisation or rescues of critical industries or providers, or even temporary closure of some financial or equity markets.
There is a strong appeal for comforting narratives in this highly fluid investment environment, including concepts such as buying while distress selling appears to be occurring, or delaying investing until issues become 'more clear'.
Nobody can guarantee that investments made now will not be made into cruel short-lived bear market rallies, and no formulas exist that will safely and certainly minimise either further losses, or opportunities forgone. Much financial independence focused advice in the early stages of recent market falls focused on investment commonplaces, with a strong flavour of enthusiasm at the potential for 'buying the dip'.
Yet such commonly repeated truths turn out to be imperfect and conditional in practice. One of the most influential studies of a large sample of historical market falls turns out to provide mixed evidence that buying following a fall reliably pays off. This study (pdf) examines 101 stock market declines across four centuries of data, and finds that:
Even these findings should be viewed as simply indicative. Each crisis and economic phase has its unique character, usually only discernible in retrospect. History, in these cases, should inform around the potential outlines of events that can be considered possible. As the saying goes, risk is what remains after you believe you have thought of everything.
Position fixing - alternative perspectives of progress
In challenging times it can help to keep a steady view of progress from a range of perspectives. Extreme market volatility and large falls can be disquieting for both recent investors and those closer to the end of the journey.
One perspective on what has occurred is that the portfolio has effectively been pushed backwards in time. That is, the portfolio now sits at levels it last occupied in April 2019. Even this perspective has some benefit, highlighting that by this metric all that has been lost is the strong forward progress made in a relatively short time.
Yet each perspective can hide and distort key underlying truths.
As an example, while the overall portfolio is currently valued at around the same dollar value as a year ago, it is not the same portfolio. Through new purchases and reinvestments in this period, many more actual securities (mostly units in ETFs) have been purchased.
The chart below sets out the growth in total units held from January 2019 to this month, across the three major exchange trade funds holdings in the portfolio.
[Chart]
From this it can be seen that the number of securities held - effectively, individual claims on the future earnings of the firms in these indexes - has more than doubled over the past fifteen months. Through this perspective, the accumulation of valuable assets shows a far more constant path.
Though this can help illuminate progress, as a measure it also has limitations. The realities of falls in market values cannot be elided by such devices, and some proportion of those market falls represent initial reassessments of the likely course of future earnings, and therefore the fundamental value of each of those ETF units.
With significant uncertainty over the course of global lock-downs, trade and growth, the basis of these reassessments may provide accurate, or not. For anyone to discount all of these reassessments as wholly the temporary result of irrational panic is to show a remarkable confidence in one's own analytical capacities.
Similarly, it would be equally wrong to extrapolate from market falls to a permanent constraining of the impulse of humanity to innovate, adjust to changed conditions, seek out opportunities and serve others for profit.
Lines of position - Trends in expenditure
A further longer-term perspective regularly reviewed is monthly expenses compared to average distributions.
Monthly expenditure continues to be below average, and is likely to fall further next month as a natural result of a virus-induced reduction of shopping trips, events and outings.
[Chart]
As occurred last month, as a function some previous high distributions gradually falling outside of the data 'window' for the rolling three-year comparison of distributions and expenditure, a downward slope in distributions continues.
Progress
Progress against the objective, and the additional measures I have reached is set out below.
Measure Portfolio All Assets Portfolio objective – $2 180 000 (or $87 000 pa) 71.9% 97.7% Credit card purchases – $71 000 pa 87.7% 119.2% Total expenses – $89 000 pa 70.2% 95.5%
Summary
This month has been one of the most surprising and volatile of the entire journey, with significant daily movements in portfolio value and historic market developments. There has been more to watch and observe than at any time in living memory.
The dominant sensation has been that of travelling backwards through time, and revisiting a stage of the journey already passed. The progress of the last few months has actually been so rapid, that this backwards travel has felt less like a set back, but rather more like a temporary revisitation of days past.
It is unclear how temporary a revisitation current conditions will enforce, or exactly how this will affect the rest of the journey. In early January I estimated that if equity market fell by 33 per cent through early 2020 with no offsetting gains in other portfolio elements, this could push out the achievement of the target to January 2023.
Even so, experiencing these markets and with more volatility likely, I don't feel there is much value in seeking to rapidly recalculate the path from here, or immediately alter the targeted timeframe. Moving past the portfolio target from here in around a year looks almost impossibly challenging, but time exists to allow this fact to settle. Too many other, more important, human and historical events are still playing out.
In such times, taking diverse perspectives on the same facts is important. This Next Life recently produced this interesting meditation on the future of FIRE during this phase of economic hardship. In addition, the Animal Spirits podcast also provided a thoughtful perspective on current market falls compared to 2008, as does this article by Early Retirement Now. Such analysis, and each passing day, highlights that the murmurs of the sea are louder than ever before, reminding us of the precariousness of all things.
The post, links and full charts can be seen here.
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Upon the Fortune of this Present Year | Monthly FIRE Portfolio Update - November 2019

My ventures are not in one bottom trusted, Nor to one place; nor is my whole estate Upon the fortune of this present year Therefore my merchandise makes me not sad
Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice (1596)
This is my thirty-sixth portfolio update. I complete this update monthly to check my progress against my goals.
Portfolio goals
My objectives are to reach a portfolio of:
Both of these are based on an expected average real return of 4.19 per cent, or a nominal return of 7.19 per cent, and are expressed in 2018 dollars.
Portfolio summary
Vanguard Lifestrategy High Growth Fund – $797 618 Vanguard Lifestrategy Growth Fund – $45 218 Vanguard Lifestrategy Balanced Fund – $81 294 Vanguard Diversified Bonds Fund – $109 367 Vanguard Australian Shares ETF (VAS) – $158 769 Vanguard International Shares ETF (VGS) – $28 471 Betashares Australia 200 ETF (A200) – $268 114 Telstra shares (TLS) – $2 057 Insurance Australia Group shares (IAG) – $9 996 NIB Holdings shares (NHF) – $8 100 Gold ETF (GOLD.ASX) – $98 376 Secured physical gold – $15 868 Ratesetter (P2P lending) – $16 915 Bitcoin – $128 630 Raiz app (Aggressive portfolio) – $17 535 Spaceship Voyager app (Index portfolio) – $2 377 BrickX (P2P rental real estate) – $4 418
Total portfolio value: $1 793 753 (+$33 713)
Asset allocation
Australian shares – 43.2% (1.8% under) Global shares – 22.9% Emerging markets shares – 2.4% International small companies – 3.2% Total international shares – 28.4% (1.6% under) Total shares – 71.6% (3.4% under) Total property securities – 0.2% (0.2% over) Australian bonds – 4.8% International bonds – 9.8% Total bonds – 14.6% (0.4% under) Gold – 6.4% Bitcoin – 7.2% Gold and alternatives – 13.5% (3.5% over)
Presented visually, below is a high-level view of the current asset allocation of the portfolio.
[Chart]
Comments
This month the value of the portfolio increased again by around $33 000 in total, building on the previous two months of growth.
[Chart]
The equity part of the portfolio has grown by around $50 000 to now reach over $1.25 million for the first time. This increase includes new contributions and the last part of the previous June distributions being 'averaged into' equity markets. The equity component of the portfolio has increased by around 40 per cent this calendar year.
The only other major movement in the monthly value of the portfolio has been a sharp downward movement in the price of Bitcoin, and a small increase in the value of bond holdings.
[Chart]
The contributions this month went entirely into the Vanguard Australian shares ETF (VAS.ASX), to reduce the gap to both the overall target equity allocation, and to achieve the target split between Australian and global shares. From this month onwards I expect more regular variations in whether new contributions go to either Australian or global shares, based on keeping this target allocation constant.
Charting errors and wrong bearings - the nature of long-term returns
Over the last month, as the end destination starts to appear a little clearer in the distance, the issue of the nature of long-term returns has been front of mind.
There is a strong literature and body of academic work around long-term equity return expectations. Much of this has informed my thinking, and has over time found its way into the corners of financial independence movement through the avenues of the so-called Trinity and Bengen '4 per cent' studies (pdf), and a range of calculators that use historical data to help guide investors expectations around feasible future returns.
Yet, as I have noted before, future states of the world are not drawn from the same distribution as the past - or as the British writer G K Chesterton evocatively put it - 'wildness lies in wait'. Most often this issue is glided over neatly (including by myself) with assured sounding phrases such as 'based on history'.
The works of Nassim Taleb, most particularly Fooled by Randomness, and The Black Swan, provide a fuller perspective on these issues. Recently though, reading a 2017 paper Stock Market Charts You Never Saw provided a unique and arresting view of their application to long-term return projections.
The paper is long and detailed, but makes some fundamental points for consideration. It provides a challenging perspective on investment returns that falls almost completely out of mainstream discussions of the topic in the financial independence arena.
To summarise, the paper highlights that:
As the paper notes:
"When investment advisors counsel that stocks are the best bet for a long investment horizon, they should append the acknowledgement: “if my market timing is good.” When advisors argue for stocks over bonds, they should append the caveat “as long as you are not French, or Italian, or Japanese, or Swiss, and provided that the 20th century is a better guide to the future than the 19th century.” For real investors with their limited time horizons, who may reside anywhere in the world, there have been times when both stock recommendations were bad."
The issue of the primacy of total returns, compared to income returns is also bracingly challenged with reference to the drawdown phase:
Once portfolio accumulation ceases with retirement, portfolio income must be spent to live. Under those circumstances real price return, over short periods lasting two or three decades, becomes an important metric. By that measure, an investment in stocks has been dicey indeed.
Usefully, the paper sets out (at the end) both conventional charts, and alternative representations of the same returns data, aimed at illustrating the hidden biases and properties of standard charts of market returns.
In short, the paper poses challenges to many conventional investment tenets assumed to be true and widely repeated within financial independence discussions. Often these tenets are promoted with the sound and well-meaning goal of reducing new or existing investors caution or level of worry around possible falls in equity markets. The question this work implicitly poses is, in the process, are distorted expectations unintentionally being promoted?
Drawing out the lessons - understanding and responding to risks
What are the practical implications of this? The most obvious is to look closely at how data is presented and to think carefully about how the assumptions implicit in that presentation line up against ones own situation.
Some other implications include:
In other words - to paraphrase Shakespeare's Antonio - not trusting ones ventures to one ship, place, or a fortune upon the present year.
Progress
Progress against the objectives, and the additional measures I have reached is set out below.
Measure Portfolio All Assets Objective #1 – $1 598 000 (or $67 000 pa) 112.2% 153.0% Objective #2 – $1 980 000 (or $83 000 pa) 90.6% 123.5% Credit card purchases - $73 000 pa 103.0% 140.4% Total expenses - $89 000 pa 84.5% 115.1%
Summary
As the year begins to draw to a close, a restlessness to see its final outcomes, in dividends and portfolio growth presses itself forward. It is in fact a small echo of one of the strong temptations of the middle of the FI journey - a desire to wish away time itself.
Some potential upcoming changes and uncertainties in work situation have added force to this temptation, forcing some thoughts about different potential balances between work and other elements of daily life could be.
By distance, the intended journey is around ninety per cent over. At times this introduces both an elegiac quality to, and a premature desire to mark, possible 'lasts' along the journey.
Yet the extraordinary current state of financial markets gives pause. Policy makers and advisors casually discuss negative rates and their implications, even as Australian and US equity markets hit new highs. In a sense, it feels a more psychologically testing time to be closer to my higher target allocation for equities than any time before.
The diversification in the portfolio can be thought of as a series of small hedges against different potential futures playing out. By far, the largest probability (or potential future) at 75 per cent, is that the historical dominance of equity as a generator of real returns continues to function.
The remainder of the portfolio can be seen in some ways as a offsetting hedge against large equity market falls, or some other disturbance in financial markets with negative implications for equity. At base, however, I remain comfortable with the 'balance of probabilities' implied in the target asset allocation.
This month saw a new (v)blogger Mx Lauren join the Australian FI scene, as well as the suggestion by Money Magazine of a new 'simplified' retirement rule of thumb to consider.
A further piece of fascinating reading was this piece by Ben Carlson in Fortune Magazine, explaining the key role of earnings growth in recent US market return. It posits that the recent strong performance of US equities is attributable to fundamental earnings growth, rather than simply an unjustified expansion in the price investors are willing to pay for that growth.
This - in addition to Shakespeare's pre-modern enjoinment to diversify - is potentially another reason to not confine considerations to one market, and one place, as December distributions slowly drift into sight.
The post, links and full charts can be seen here.
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In the Shade of Afternoon | Monthly FI Portfolio Update – August 2019

It is idle, having planted an acorn in the morning, to expect that afternoon to sit in the shade of the oak.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Wind, Sand and Stars
This is my thirty-third portfolio update. I complete this update monthly to check my progress against my goals.
Portfolio goals
My objectives are to reach a portfolio of:
Both of these are based on an expected average real return of 4.19%, or a nominal return of 7.19%, and are expressed in 2018 dollars.
Portfolio summary
Vanguard Lifestrategy High Growth Fund – $750 246 Vanguard Lifestrategy Growth Fund – $43 194 Vanguard Lifestrategy Balanced Fund – $79 500 Vanguard Diversified Bonds Fund – $110 418 Vanguard Australian Shares ETF (VAS) – $102 977 Vanguard International Shares ETF (VGS) – $20 184 Betashares Australia 200 ETF (A200) – $258 984 Telstra shares (TLS) – $1 982 Insurance Australia Group shares (IAG) – $14 056 NIB Holdings shares (NHF) – $8 868 Gold ETF (GOLD.ASX) – $104 149 Secured physical gold – $16 759 Ratesetter* (P2P lending) – $19 968 Bitcoin – $158 330 Raiz* app (Aggressive portfolio) – $16 223 Spaceship Voyager* app (Index portfolio) – $2 104 BrickX (P2P rental real estate) – $4 395 Total value: $1 712 337 (-$2 653)
Asset allocation
Australian shares – 40.5% (4.5% under) Global shares – 22.2% Emerging markets shares – 2.4% International small companies – 3.1% Total international shares – 27.7% (2.3% under) Total shares – 68.3% (6.7% under) Total property securities – 0.3% (0.3% over) Australian bonds – 5.1% International bonds – 10.1% Total bonds – 15.1% (0.1% over) Gold – 7.1% Bitcoin – 9.2% Gold and alternatives – 16.3% (6.3% over)
Presented visually, below is a high-level view of the current asset allocation of the portfolio.
[Chart]
Comments
The portfolio experienced a small decline this month, with an overall decrease of $2 600. This movement comes after a strong period of expansion through the first half of the year in the value of the portfolio.
[Chart]
As with last month, the fall occurs despite some significant new investments being made, meaning the absolute size of the decline is somewhat obscured. Renewed concerns about global trade and a relative weakening in the outlook for future earnings played a significant role in the overall movement of the portfolio.
[Chart]
Once again movements this month within the portfolio have been relatively limited in terms of the size of the portfolio.
Equity holdings have declined by around $28 000 when contributions are accounted for, whilst appreciation in the price of gold has offset just over a third of that loss. In fact, despite no recent purchases, the gold component of the portfolio is currently at the highest nominal value it has ever held.
On the topic of gold, this 2013 paper (pdf) provides a comprehensive and skeptical empirical analysis of the range of claims made to support holding gold, including tracing the real gold value of average soldiers pay across 2000 years.
This month has seen a continuing 'averaging in' of the capital from July distributions. These have been directed to purchases of Vanguard's Australian shares ETF (VAS). This is to bring the allocation closer to my original targets - with my Australian shares allocation currently further underweight than the international shares allocation. Psychologically, a weakening Australian dollar has also made purchasing unhedged international shares more problematic.
Risk, volatility, markets and economies
There has been significant market volatility this month, and discussion around the future of Australian and global growth in the midst of trade tensions between US and China.
In such times, something to remember as this St Louis Federal Reserve piece points out, is that the economy and sharemarket are not the same thing. This means that bad (or good) news for one, does not necessarily imply anything about the other. Missing this has the potential to lead to overconfident investment actions predicated on assumptions of future national economic trends (which will themselves most likely be priced into equity markets well before any retail investor reading the news arrives).
The volatility in equity markets has brought out many well-intentioned injunctions to remain calm and fixed on the objective of contributing capital with a long-term view in mind.
At times, however, this wise advice can shade into a form of near complacency - for example, for people to invest confident in the knowledge that long-term returns are (almost) guaranteed. No doubt this is generally good advice, directed at easing particularly new investors' concerns about investing at the "wrong" time, and reducing the potential damage from selling into falling markets due to panic.
Even as I continue to invest amidst volatility, it is important to reflect on Elroy Dimson's definition that 'risk means more things can happen than will happen', and to consider that the history of equity markets available to us provides only a basis for sound conclusions around what has happened, not what could happen. This is the definition of the risk assumed in markets by investors.
None of this is to suggest that starting, saving and regular investing with a view to one's individual risk tolerances are not the most important steps in the path to FI. There is a need to pause, however, and acknowledge that at times common financial independence investment precepts bear a disconcerting passing resemblance to the declaration and mathematical proof offered by famous stock promoter Jacob J Raskob in the well-known Ladies Home Journal (pdf) article exactly 90 years ago. This declaration was that with a steady investment in equities, based on the past patterns of returns, 'everybody ought to be rich'.
Nearly 90 years happened to be just before the Great Depression devastated equity markets and employment prospects alike, and US equity investors were behind in nominal terms for around 25 years. Interestingly, however, this New York Times article argues that deflation, higher dividend yields and impacts from changes in the Dow index composition could theoretically have shortened the real losses of any investor to just 4.5 years, provided they possessed the resources and fortitude to hold on to average stocks.
Progress
Progress against the objectives, and the additional measures I have reached is set out below.
Measure Portfolio All Assets Objective #1 – $1 598 000 (or $67 000 pa) 107.1% 145.4% Objective #2 – $1 980 000 (or $83 000 pa) 86.5% 117.4% Credit card purchases - $73 000 pa 98.3% 133.4% Total expenses - $89 000 pa 80.7% 109.4%
Summary
Progress against my goals and benchmarks has been static this month, with the exception of the 'total expenditure' benchmark. My detailed review of expenditure last month identified that I could lower this to recognise some double-counting of fixed expenses, and this has meant a leap forward in progress in that aim of 5.8 per cent. This moves the clock forward appreciably for achieving that benchmark.
As a general rule, it is always later than we think. For example, on a recent lunch time walk it occurred to me that if my progress to my current FI target of $1.98 million is considered in terms of the length of an ordinary working day, it is currently approximately 3.50pm in the afternoon. Quite late, and just over an hour until heading home.
This perspective, of being further towards the tail end than expected, is explored fully and powerfully in the blog Wait but Why here. It helps frame the remaining journey. Viewed in this way, wishing time away seems less useful and fitting than seeking to fill the remaining time with as much meaning, learning, knowledge transmission and patience as feasible. Yet it also explains why in a FI context at this stage sharp changes in investing approach, or commencing new 'side hustles' have limited appeal.
Despite it being late afternoon from this one perspective, there are a couple of other considerations or viewpoints. One is the potentially deceptive role of compounding later in the journey, which means that - at least in a stylised world of 'smooth returns' - the end goal is actually likely closer than any purely linear measure would suggest.
The other counterpoint to this is that while in my case the absolute journey to FI has involved serious investments over around 18 years, this is not the whole story. Viewed in terms of the average 'age' of dollars actually contributed or invested, the journey of the average dollar in the portfolio has been shorter.
In fact, in terms of dollars contributed, around 50 per cent have been contributed since January 2016. So, in some ways, it is more akin to mid-morning for the portfolio as a whole, meaning perhaps that I should not reasonably expect to shade myself under the oak tree just yet.
Finally, this month also saw Pat the Shuffler emerge from a short hiatus and provide a honest and well-argued insight into his rethink on investment options between LICs and ETFs. I also enjoyed reading the start of another Australian FI voice at Fire for One.
The past few months has also had many interesting podcasts related to FI - from The Escape Artists' Chris Reining on Equity Mates, to a really fascinating practical ChooseFI episode on David Sawyer's on the UK Path to FI. On the slightly more technical and future focused side of finance, the outgoing address of the Bank of England's Governor to the Jackson Hole central bankers gathering provides much food for thought on current and longer term monetary and currency issues, particularly as global bond rates continue to cross the 'zero-bound' into uncharted territory.
The post and full charts can be seen here.
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Thunder and Sunshine | Monthly Portfolio Update - July 2019

If it not be now, yet it will come. The readiness is all. -Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act V, Scene ii
This is my thirty-second portfolio update. I complete this update monthly to check my progress against my goals.
Portfolio goals
My objectives are to reach a portfolio of:
Both of these are based on an expected average real return of 4.19%, or a nominal return of 7.19%, and are expressed in 2018 dollars.
Portfolio summary
Vanguard Lifestrategy High Growth Fund – $769 050 Vanguard Lifestrategy Growth Fund – $43 826 Vanguard Lifestrategy Balanced Fund – $79 826 Vanguard Diversified Bonds Fund – $108 036 Vanguard Australian Shares ETF (VAS) – $90 076 Vanguard International Shares ETF (VGS) – $20 250 Betashares Australia 200 ETF (A200) – $265 413 Telstra shares (TLS) – $2 116 Insurance Australia Group shares (IAG) – $15 051 NIB Holdings shares (NHF) – $9 588 Gold ETF (GOLD.ASX) – $95 251 Secured physical gold – $15 309 Ratesetter (P2P lending) – $21 070 Bitcoin – $157 290 Raiz app (Aggressive portfolio) – $16 358 Spaceship Voyager app (Index portfolio) – $2 092 BrickX (P2P rental real estate) – $4 388 Total value: $1 714 990 (-$1 713)
Asset allocation
Australian shares – 40.6% (4.4% under) Global shares – 22.6% Emerging markets shares – 2.5% International small companies – 3.2% Total international shares – 28.2% (1.8% under) Total shares – 68.9% (6.1% under) Total property securities – 0.3% (0.3% over) Australian bonds – 5.1% International bonds – 10.1% Total bonds – 15.2% (0.2% over) Gold – 6.4% Bitcoin – 9.2% Gold and alternatives – 15.6% (5.6% over)
Presented visually, below is a high-level view of the current asset allocation of the portfolio.
[Chart]
Comments
The portfolio experienced a small decline this month, with a decrease of $1 700. This slight downward movement comes after six months of continuous increases in the value of the portfolio.
[Chart]
The fall also comes at a time in which some significant new investments were made, masking the size of the fall somewhat. A substantial likely contributor to the decline, however, is the natural impact of distributions being paid from shares, as well as ETFs and retail index funds.
In short, around $30 000 of distributions were paid out across July, decreasing the value of portfolio securities by around the same amount. Not all of these distributions have been re-invested, creating a temporary illusion that this value has been removed. A comparable effect led to a similar reduction in July 2017.
[Chart]
Generally movements this month within the portfolio have been relatively limited. One of the larger movements has been an increase in Australian and international shares, with Australian share markets just reaching post Global Financial Crisis highs.
A fall in the price of Bitcoin, and a smaller countervailing increase in the value of gold holdings has provided a live example of some of the issues in my last post on the potential value of non-correlated alternatives. Having said this, the fall in the price of Bitcoin is the major factor in this months downward movement. Evidently following some real estate revaluations, my BrickX holdings have also decreased in value by nearly 6 per cent since the last month. This most recent research into the actual realised returns from real estate investing suggests I should not be surprised, and usefully highlight the specific risks facing individual property investments.
This month has also seen my first investment of July distributions. These were placed in Vanguard international shares ETF (VGS). The remainder of the distributions will be placed into either into VGS, or Australian shares (A200 or VAS) over the next four months, on a dollar cost averaging approach alongside new contributions.
Reviewing of insurance needs and adjustments
Following distributions last month I have also re-examined my insurance requirements, taking into account updated portfolio values, existing savings, insurance through superannuation, and future financial obligations. This has led me to continue to reduce both my life insurance sum insured (from $315 000 to $150 000) and my income protection insurance (from $3000 to $1000 per month).
I have taken a conservative approach, and based the adjusted coverage on the goals of providing of sufficient income, at an assumed safe withdrawal rate of 3.75 per cent, to still meet my Objective #2.
In other words the target has been offering full income replacement from all assets and insurance of at least $83 000 in perpetuity. Still, this adjustment has led to a substantial savings - nearly $1 000 per annum. An alternative way to think about this is that I have lowered my ongoing expenses by just under $20 per week, reducing the final portfolio sum required to support this cost by around $28 000.
Progress
Progress against the objectives, and the additional measures I have reached is set out below.
Measure Portfolio All Assets Objective #1 – $1 598 000 (or $67 000 pa) 107.3% 145.3% Objective #2 – $1 980 000 (or $83 000 pa) 86.6% 117.3% Credit card purchases - $73 000 pa 98.5% 133.3% Total expenses - $96 000pa 74.9% 101.4%
Summary
The steady reinvestment of July distributions should give a small upward push to monthly results through to December. This is tempered by an effect of the growth in the overall size of the portfolio, and its exposure to equities.
As a simple example - a daily movement in equities of 0.5 per cent at the beginning of the journey meant a loss or gain of just over $3 000 in a day. The same movement now with the current portfolio would mean a gain or loss of nearly $6 000.
This makes the path less clear - as new contributions can more easily be swallowed into a daily market movement. The portfolio value effect has generally been - to borrow a phrase - a little akin to watching the movement of a yo-yo being used by someone walking up or down some stairs. Psychologically, it detaches effort from reward in a way that still feels relatively new in this journey.
An interesting post to think about in this context, is this from Collaborative Fund, which shows the sharp, volatile multi-year paths equities can take to reach a single destination. Usefully, it also points out the futility of many 'fine adjustments' to sectoral exposure, and unnecessary complexity in portfolio construction.
A further truth illustrated by the data in the piece is that general consumer sentiment, and economic growth, do not align with stock returns in any systematic way. In short, buying or selling shares because of a view that the economy or consumer confidence is strengthening, or weakening, is a futile guesswork, which has no historical basis in the past behaviour of returns.
These findings and new realities are reminders that taking the actions that support forward progress and continued regular investments are the immediate focus. This matters more than whether the portfolio sits above or below an arbitrary number on any given day. Planning and readiness for that day is the priority.
The post, source citations and full charts can be viewed here.
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This was just deleted from Joi's blog. This is the cached version.

Joichi Ito's Affiliations and Financial Interests

Disclosing interests for transparency and avoidance of conflict of interest.
Small shareholdings of public companies and funds are not listed.
Last updated May 17, 2019.
Special note about Bitcoin related investments. Before starting the Digital Currency Initiative at the MIT Media Lab, I divested of any direct holdings of any companies directly involved in Bitcoin or Blockchain technology as their primary business. This included my stakes in Blockstream and Guardtime. Since then, the company I co-founded in the 90s, Digital Garage, where I still serve as a board member, has acquired shares of Blockstream. I have recused myself during any discussions about the transaction. Digital Garage is a public company and I am unable to prevent them from making such investments. In addition, I own < 0.1% of Digital Garage and have only a de minimis exposure to Blockstream through my stake in Digital Garage.

Academic Positions


Publicly Listed For-Profit Board Positions

Shareholdings in each public company with board position

Privately Held For-Profit Board Positions


Non-Profit Board Positions


Advisory Board Positions


Investment Funds


Direct or SPV holdings of shares, partnership interests, debt investments (convertible notes) stock options


Investments via Neoteny Labs


Investments via Neoteny 3


Investments via Neoteny 4


References


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The Regulatory/Legal Environment

Hello! My name is Daria Volkova and I am the Head of Platinum Legal Department. Our team believes that these are exciting times for the crypto market. We supported more than 100 clients, created and promoted their STO and ICO campaigns, got from an idea to funding in a matter of 2.5 months! See the full list of our services: Platinum.fund We are more than proud to present our education project. The UBAI can help you to learn specifics about cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies. Learn all about ICO avenues and opportunities, plug into the world of trading cryptocurrency markets, become an expert in scam projects, promoting ICOs and STOs, launching your own campaigns and many more! What are the different cryptocurrency regulations in major countries? Find the answer after reading this article.
Cryptocurrency Regulations across Major Countries
Cryptocurrency and the blockchain industry may seem sufficiently exciting and attractive to you now. After all, you are taking the time and effort to study this course. You may be planning to work in cryptocurrency and the blockchain industry. Of course, we want to encourage you and help you proceed toward your goal. But it is also important you understand the regulations guiding the blockchain industry to help keep yourself out of trouble.
This year, in particular, seems to be the year in which a lot of countries are looking to finally coalesce the regulations relating to the blockchain industry into a workable legal framework. Some countries are more accommodating to cryptocurrency and blockchain technological innovations while others are still more cautious. We will examine how each major country is forming their own regulatory framework for the blockchain industry.
Canada
Cryptocurrencies are not considered legal tender in Canada. This was clearly expressed by the country’s Financial Consumer Agency (FCA). Canada, like the US, has yet to clearly define or legislate a framework surrounding cryptocurrencies. But Canada still appears to be among the most transparent of countries for the nation’s interpretation and enforcement of the law surrounding cryptocurrencies (aside from Switzerland). For the time being, Canada has clearly stated its reluctance to adopt cryptocurrency as a legal tender, due to its high volatility. “ “The United States of America (USA)
There are certain laws regarding transactions in virtual currency in the US today but there is still no comprehensive legal framework. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission currently regulates virtual currencies as commodities. The CFTC is the first US regulator to allow for public cryptocurrency trading. The Securities and Exchange Commission requires registration of any virtual currency traded in the US if it is classified as a security (e.g. by the Howey test).
The regulatory authorities have not yet formulated or offered a coherent framework for regulations regarding cryptocurrencies. Typical of most legislators and regulatory agencies in the US, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has intensified its focus on the pressing need for comprehensive regulation. And it seems everyone is waiting for the right catalyst to coalesce into a usable set of legal guidelines that can protect the investing public and also allow for blockchain and cryptocurrency innovation as well.
If cryptocurrency becomes a form of legal tender in the US, there will likely be stringent laws on its use. However, if cryptocurrency is treated like a security, cryptocurrencies would be regulated under securities law as interpreted by the SEC. Present securities laws place a large number of limitations on who is able to buy securities, how they are traded, and how to ensure transparency in the flow of information relevant to investors. Also note that non-US investors may experience their own difficulties getting a license to trade cryptocurrencies in the country. “ “Japan
Japan has always been one of the most positive and forward-thinking nations regarding cryptocurrencies and the blockchain. Of course, they were cautious at first, and they knew no more than anyone else in government, which means they literally knew nothing. But they took time to research, learn, and develop an approach to regulate the industry without killing it. The official policy is clear: Protect the public interest, but also encourage the growth of the industry with a legal framework that allows for innovation in blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
China
The situation in China is a sad one. The country has been taking increasingly strict actions to discourage and outlaw any activity related to the blockchain industry. China has banned ICOs, frozen all accounts associated with cryptocurrency, stopped bitcoin miners and even ordered a nationwide ban on all forms of cryptocurrency trading.
China has the strictest laws against cryptocurrency. Yet, despite that fact, as of 2017, 50% of the world’s mining population was from China! If you are involved with the cryptocurrency industry it is strongly advised to stay away from China, and avoid transactions with Chinese business because of the unpredictable and negative legal framework.
“ “The United Kingdom & European Union
Brexit is scheduled to take place in March 2019, yet the UK and the EU still remain united in their regulatory attitude toward cryptocurrencies. There are also reports that the UK and EU are planning to end anonymity for cryptocurrency traders.
The UK and EU are both trying to control all the scams and frauds. They are working with cryptocurrency platforms to stop or at least report all suspicious transactions. This adds a degree of regulatory burden on the exchanges as well as increasing the associated compliance costs. Cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile. They are a high-risk investment. Governments across Europe are greatly concerned about the possibility of both retail and sophisticated investors losing a lot of money.
This has led to a situation similar to that in the US. The regulatory authorities have not yet formulated or offered a coherent framework for regulations regarding cryptocurrencies. There is an intense focus on the pressing need for comprehensive regulation. And everyone is waiting for the right catalyst to coalesce into a usable set of legal guidelines that can protect the investing public and allow for blockchain and cryptocurrency innovation as well. We certainly hope for intelligent and effective legislation from all the major countries. “ “Accommodating & Unaccommodating Countries
Below is a list of countries we have not specifically covered, but they have each taken an active position on a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies. The following countries are either supportive or at least neutral toward cryptocurrencies:
-Switzerland. -Australia. -Nigeria. -Ghana. -South Africa. -Singapore.
Countries with the most stringent and negative cryptocurrency regulation:
-Venezuela. -South Korea. -India. -Russia.
Did you know?
It is not uncommon to see Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency ATMs throughout Japan.
Exchange robberies and hacks like MtGox, and the recent loss of $530 million NEM coins have led to serious debate in the Japanese government. The industry needs to provide a secure and manageable solution to these problems. Voluntary self-regulation and close cooperation with regulatory authorities is the most favored solution. It seems the regulators are working hard behind the scenes right now leading the industry in the desired direction in typical Japanese fashion. “ “Blockchain Industry Regulations in the USA
Based on the information received from the Columbia Science and Technology Law Review, there was a variety of responses from different government bodies about blockchain regulations. The regulators responses ranged from indifference to suspicion, and to positive expectation and excitement.
The US government has tremendous constitutional power to regulate business and industry, including of course the blockchain industry if it so desires. But basically, the federal government has been relatively indifferent and has even refused to speak on blockchain regulations despite the interest of various federal agencies. As of 2017, eight states in the US were working on bills promoting the use of cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies. It is even reported that a few states have actually begun the final steps before voting and passing legislation into law.
On April 3, 2018 Arizona introduced a law allowing corporations to hold and share data on the blockchain. The governor, Doug Ducey, put forward the legislation after the state began accepting signatures and smart contracts recorded on the blockchain as legally valid documentation. In 2017, Delaware was the first state to pass legislation allowing for shares of stocks to be legally traded on the blockchain.
Other notable developments have occurred in the US at the state or local level. Vermont makes use of blockchain as evidence in trials. Chicago uses blockchain to maintain real estate records. New York is currently evaluating four bills for the application of data storage on the blockchain. “ ” Blockchain Regulations in Europe
The entire European Union has approached blockchain with a positive and welcoming attitude. The EU has taken the position that they want to actively encourage innovation. This philosophy could support the development of cryptocurrencies in two ways:
-Encouraging the exploration of uses testing the impact and effect of the laws in a way that allows for a more finely-tuned and sophisticated understanding for all parties involved.
-Giving entrepreneurs the confidence that their target markets will be more trusting of their solution since they are operating with the explicit legal support of the state.
This approach, along with the EU’s scope as the regulator of 28 different countries, will encourage growth across the entire crypto ecosystem, and may end up transforming Europe into one of the most desirable destinations for blockchain development. Entrepreneurs are likely to move to the EU bloc to access the rich vein of available talent, as well as the positive and supportive laws.
The EU has actually disclosed through its executive arm that it is working on the use of blockchain for distributed ledger based projects. EU officials have constantly stated they are looking for ways to support more innovation with distributed ledger technology. The European Commission said it was “”actively monitoring Blockchain and DLT developments”” and has work in progress to explore “”DLT benefits and challenges as well as fields for application in financial services””.
The official press release stated that the commission clearly wants to “”pilot projects to foster decentralized innovation ecosystems and help reshape interactions between consumers, producers, creators and among citizens, businesses and administrations to the end benefit of society””. “ “Blockchain Regulations in Europe §2
Switzerland has gradually become the favored hub for cryptocurrency and blockchain development in Europe. This position has been enhanced through a Swiss non-profit blockchain and cryptographic technology ecosystem known as the Crypto Valley Association.
The Crypto Valley Association has begun working on the development of an ICO Code of Conduct to take advantage of the ban imposed by China on token crowd sales. They are hoping to capture the Chinese and Asian entrepreneurs searching for a new home.
Other countries are not as accepting of this new DLT technology and have even gone as far as classifying it as illegal and immoral behavior. There have been hyperbolic concerns most notably from China that cryptocurrencies will destabilize world financial markets.
There are various pilot projects and efforts to prove the benefits of cryptocurrencies and the blockchain industry currently being tested all across Europe. Yet even now they are barely scratching the surface of the full potential of the blockchain.
Country-by-Country Cryptocurrency Adoption
Citizens of countries all over the world have varying attitudes about cryptocurrency. These attitudes and sentiments can be very significant to the future adoption of cryptocurrencies because politicians and regulators tend to act in consideration of the collective opinion of the public. Some countries were more accommodating at first but then became stricter, despite positive public interest, basically saying they are still not sure about the possible consequences and benefits of the technology. “ “Country-by-Country Cryptocurrency Adoption
Estonia
Surprisingly enough this small Baltic nation has gained a reputation for being quick to accept technological innovation. Estonia has a tech-friendly government eager to accommodate the innovative use of cryptocurrency in fields ranging from blockchain technology for healthcare and banking services; and even granting citizens the right to become what is known as “e-Residents”.
As e-Residents, Estonian citizens and businesses are provided with digital business authentication. It is also one of the first countries to employ the use of a blockchain-based e-voting service that enabled people to become shareholders of NASDAQ’s Tallinn Stock Exchange.
This fascinating and highly innovative country is now host to a number of Bitcoin ATMs and startups, like Paxful. They are cryptocurrency friendly, and cryptocurrency user friendly as well. Estonia also has highest internet penetration rates in the world.
Estonia may be a fine place to consider basing your ICO due to the friendly legal and regulatory environment.
This and a lot more you can learn on our website: www.ubai.co! “ “Country-by-Country Cryptocurrency Adoption
The United States of America
The USA is the world’s dominant superpower, and it should come as no surprise that it has the highest number of cryptocurrency users in the world. It also has the highest bitcoin trading volume and the highest number of bitcoin ATMs.
Powered by Silicon Valley, which is home to a lot of cryptocurrency and blockchain startups, the US stands at the forefront of all things relating to cryptocurrency worldwide. Many other nations are planning to follow the US lead concerning cryptocurrency regulations. This means the USA will serve as the testing ground for cryptocurrency and crypto-regulation in the years to come. This is likely where the future regulatory framework will take shape.
Bitcoin in particular has shown massive growth in the US. This can only be interpreted as a strong tailwind for a positive regulatory environment because the population at large supports blockchain technology.
For the moment, due to regulatory paralysis and the resultant legal vacuum, ICOs are strongly advised against raising funds or basing operations in the US. The SEC has been particularly strict in its enforcement of securities and investment law which require an ICO to do an oppressive amount of compliance work. “ “Country-by-Country Cryptocurrency Adoption
Denmark
When it comes to technological advancements and the standard of living of its citizens, Denmark is among the world leaders. It is considered one of the most developed countries in the world. It is also at the forefront of countries looking to reduce the use of cash money and advance to the use of 100% digital currency. As such, sentiment among the general public and political sphere actively supports the adoption of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment. The only question left is which particular cryptocurrency system to adopt. It is still unclear whether bitcoin is the one, or BTC will mainly just be accepted as a means of exchange. There are also discussions in Denmark about when to redesign its national financial system; this would be a “world first”, and a radical leap forward for cryptocurrencies.
Another fascinating thing is that the Danish Central Bank has declared BTC as a non-currency; meaning its use is not subject to the country’s currency regulations. Some of the top bitcoin startups and exchanges such as CCDEK have their foundations in Denmark.
With its open market and encouraging regulatory framework, Denmark might very well rival Switzerland in Western Europe for the position of the continent’s preeminent ICO and blockchain industry hub. “ “Country-by-Country Cryptocurrency Adoption
Sweden
Sweden is quite similar to Denmark, for its social and demographic climate, and also for the government’s desire to eliminate cash. The Swedish Riksbank recently introduced negative interest rates. This can cause a spike in the demand for coins in the near future as citizens look for the best way to preserve their wealth. Negative interest rates like we have seen in Europe and Japan also, actively corrode savers’ wealth because people are actually paying a percentage of their savings to the central bank to hold their cash, in addition to losing out to inflation at the same time.
Sweden has taken the boldest step yet in all of continental Europe to legalize cryptocurrency. The country legalized the use of BTC and other cryptocurrencies as a means of payment by official public declaration. It is however expected that exchanges should file for a license in accordance with AML/CTF and KYC regulations.
Sweden is also home to a number of cryptocurrency startups such as the Safello Bitcoin exchange, and Stockholm-based KnCMiner. The gradually increasing trading volume of cryptocurrency has been a good indicator of the country’s appreciating demand for cryptocurrencies. “ “Country-by-Country Cryptocurrency Adoption
The Netherlands
The Netherlands is quite fascinating in its own right. How can a country not be referred to as Bitcoin-friendly when it can boast about having its own “Bitcoin City”? There are over 100 merchants that sell goods that can be purchased with cryptocurrency in Bitcoin City.
There are no regulations restricting the use of BTC in the Netherlands under the Act on Financial Supervision of the Netherlands. This explains why a lot of startups, BTC ATMs, and even a Bitcoin Embassy can be found in the heart of Amsterdam (the capital of Netherlands).
The friendly climate for cryptocurrency has led to a lot of very active bitcoin communities across the nation hosting regular meetups and other events. The country’s banking sector has been looking to incorporate BTC and blockchain to reduce costs and improve banking technology. The Netherlands is also a popular location for many important bitcoin conferences and bitcoin companies such as BitPay.
The Netherlands is increasingly becoming a prominent place for ICOs and blockchain related businesses to base their operations. “ “Country-by-Country Cryptocurrency Adoption
Finland
Well-known as the home of Nokia, Finland has constantly been at the forefront of technological innovation, just like its other Scandinavian neighbors. The Finnish Central Board of Taxes (CBT) has even gone as far as classifying bitcoin as a financial service, exempting it and cryptocurrency purchases from the VAT. What more could be better for Bitcoin?
Finland also boasts a significant number of BTC ATMs despite its small population. The capital of Helsinki alone is reported to have 10 ATMs for BTC. The country is also home to top exchanges such as FinCCX and Bittiraha.fi. As of January 2016, the most expensive bitcoin sale took place in Finland. It involved the sale of a Tesla Model S worth over €140,000 at Auto-Outlet Helsinki Oy.
Canada
Canada is home to a variety of bitcoin startups and ATMs. It is considered to be more favorable toward cryptocurrencies than the USA. The country has two cities on its eastern and western coasts, Toronto and Vancouver, that are recognized as “Bitcoin hubs”.
Canada has a vibrant cryptocurrency community and is home to startups such as Decentral, the Vanbex Group and a large number of merchants who accept cryptocurrencies as payment. Vancouver is known to have over 20 ATMs while Toronto is well-known for holding large cryptocurrency conferences.
There has been constant growth in cryptocurrency trading volume in the country. Canada might be the best location in North America to base an ICO or operate a blockchain business due to its supportive regulatory environment and a rich ecosystem for cryptocurrency, with human talent, ATMs and other tools, etc. “ “Country-by-Country Cryptocurrency Adoption
United Kingdom
The UK is one of the absolute top financial hubs in the world. It is also a center of innovation. There are a large number of bitcoin and blockchain related startups, BTMs and active communities. All of the previously listed crypto-friendly features make the UK a very desirable environment for bitcoin. The UK has identified the inevitable need for a new payment solution and is gradually bracing itself for a widespread adoption of cryptocurrency in the future. There are even a few local pubs that accept BTC as a means of payment.
It is also interesting to note that the Bank of England has been closely monitoring bitcoin technology and has requested ideas from citizens on the improvement of its monetary system. Bitcoin is presently seen as “private money” where VAT is imposed from suppliers of goods and services that accept cryptocurrency as payment. Profits and losses incurred from cryptocurrency trading are also subject to capital gains tax, just as in the US.
In the UK, it has become increasingly clear that BTC can be part of a bigger story, and the trading volume indicates steady growth. There are not clear laws against cryptocurrencies at the present time. But the lack of regulatory momentum suggests we may see more positive developments soon. One thing to keep in mind, while the Brexit is still in progress, the British government may be more likely to legislate on non-core issues. “ “Country-by-Country Cryptocurrency Adoption
Australia
The major banks in Australia have been quite hostile toward bitcoin, but at least the country has removed the burden of “double taxation” on cryptocurrency. This was good news to the local business community because blockchain startups had begun to leave the country as a direct result of unfavorable taxation and closure of bank accounts.
The use of BTC still remains unregulated, there is no law or regulation restricting the use of cryptocurrencies by Australian citizens. Cryptocurrencies are regarded as a form of property in Australia, and purchases with BTC, for example, are referred to as “barter”.
The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), you will remember, is transitioning its CHESS verification system to a blockchain solution that should go live at the beginning of 2019. Cryptocurrencies in Australia are seen a lot like they are in the US. Topics like the imposition of capital gains tax, concern about securities law, the legal debate about using cryptocurrency as payment for goods and services, etc., are all problematic for regulators. While the general population is quite comfortable and supportive of cryptocurrencies and blockchain solutions, at the present it is not a high priority for the government to legislate or regulate. “ “Taxation and Cryptocurrency
Tax is of course one of the most important factors in financial matters on both a personal and corporate level. Taxes greatly influence investment decisions and returns, regardless of industry or size. It is one of the first things every individual or group considers before investing. Notably, in Australia and the USA, cryptocurrency gains are treated as capital gains and taxed at up to 50% of the return.
Some countries have low cryptocurrency taxes specifically to encourage the blockchain industry. By offering a more competitive tax rate, countries are implicitly supporting cryptocurrency and actively trying to offer a better return profile than other countries. We will discuss the different taxation regimes in a wide range of countries so you can ascertain the financial advantages and disadvantages of a variety of locations.
Belarus
Belarus charges 0% in taxation until 2023. That exemption is specifically for cryptocurrency exchanges and transactions. This has been done to help Belarus build a special economic zone, referred to as ‘HTP Belarus’. Their goal is to have an economic zone strong enough to compete with the likes of Silicon Valley.
The government of Belarus has also declared smart contracts as legal documents. Anyone looking to set up a blockchain company or a cryptocurrency startup should seriously consider Belarus. It has a supportive regulatory and legal environment which actively encourages the blockchain industry and does not impose punitive taxes upon those inside the industry.
“ “Taxation and Cryptocurrency
Portugal
Any and all personal income received from cryptocurrency transactions is tax-free in Portugal at the present moment. Income from cryptocurrency trading is categorized as something legally different from traditional income or capital gains.
The Portuguese government stated clearly that any kind of sale of cryptocurrency does not fall under capital income or capital gain. If an individual is however found to be carrying out professional activity, or any business activity related to cryptocurrencies, that is a different matter and such income will be subject to taxation.
From a personal perspective, Portugal is one of the leading countries where an individual can carry out their cryptocurrency transactions and enjoy a decent standard of living in the same country too. However, for ICO and Blockchain businesses it is not recommended to base your operations in Portugal.
China
China is famous the world over for being home to some of the largest cryptocurrency mines and many active cryptocurrency investors; yet at the same time China makes it illegal to conduct any cryptocurrency related business or investment.
But China still has an especially attractive environment for investors. Hong Kong runs on a policy of zero VAT or capital gains tax so it is easy to recommend you base your business there. Hong Kong also stands out as a major financial hub in the heart of Asia. “ “Taxation and Cryptocurrency
Netherlands
Actually, Netherlands was the first country to make use of a non-zero tax rate policy for cryptocurrencies. So, it may seem reasonable to expect a discouraging tax situation. But the fact is, Netherland’s tax policy is rather advantageous for cryptocurrency. They have a very simple, low-tax regime.
Cryptocurrency assets need to be declared with the total assets owned by an individual at the beginning of the year to assess their value. Cryptocurrency gains will be taxed at the highest tax bracket for capital income of just around 5%. The Netherlands is strongly recommended as a good country to work and live in, from both a personal and corporate perspective.
Germany
Germany is the economic center of the EU. This makes it a great place to start a cryptocurrency or blockchain company. Financial technology has been thriving there for more than ten years, and Germany has favorable cryptocurrency laws too.
Bitcoin and cryptocurrency assets have a 0% tax when used in making payments due to no VAT levied for making payments with BTC, because there is no “value added” through cryptocurrency as a fiscal product.
Germany offers a moderately compelling case for both blockchain business and individuals. While the tax rate on income at the company level is not competitive, the ability to pay for services in crypto as well as hold cryptocurrency assets and sell them at zero percent taxation rate is compelling. “ “Where to Base Your ICO
Let’s talk about the countries that are most accommodating with regard ICOs. Start-up ICO companies, like any company, essentially require three key principles for operation. The first is a sound legal and regulatory framework wherein the rule of law is preserved and business encouraged. The second is the ability to hire or acquire talented individuals to work at the firm. The third and final is the tax system and access to associated financial systems in order to allow the enterprise to succeed.
Estonia
This country is, perhaps surprisingly, widely referred to as the most digital society in the world. Estonians are known to be pathfinders deeply involved in setting up an efficient, secure, and transparent internet ecosystem.
The country ranks first when it comes to the number of ICOs per inhabitant. It has an incredibly supportive tax regime, actually among the most competitive in the world, as well as a deep pool of talent across all areas of the digital spectrum. Estonia offers possibly the most supportive and friendly regulatory and legal framework in the world for an ICO. This, in combination with a zero percent tax rate at both a personal and corporate level, combine to make Estonia one of the single most appealing locations from which you can launch and operate your ICO. “ “Where to Base Your ICO
Singapore
Singapore is another important regional hub in Asia for its strong rule of law as well as low taxation. The country offers one of the highest standards of living in the world. It is centrally located in the heart of Asia, so it easy to travel and recruit talent from surrounding countries. At the present there are not any specific regulations targeting the blockchain industry, but it is one of the world’s largest countries by funds raised for ICOs. It has a competitive tax regime in combination with strict AML and KYC. All of these factors make Singapore Asia’s leading location to launch and base an ICO.
The regulatory situation around the world may seem rather complicated. That is because it is. Laws and regulations are changing rapidly all over the world. And the regulatory framework is the most significant point of concern for a startup ICO. You should carefully study not only the current regulations surrounding your particular venture and how its tokenomics affects its classification, but you also need a reasonable sense of where the country is likely to be six months or a year later. Ideally you would base your ICO in a country that is supportive now, and all timeframes into the future with a competitive and legally sound tax system.
Where to Base Your ICO
Slovenia
Slovenia has recently transformed itself into the leading destination for blockchain technology in Europe. The government of Slovenia has placed a strong emphasis on the study of blockchain technology in public administration, and there has been an amazing success rate for ICOs in Slovenia. While the Slovenian government is a leader in terms of adopting cryptocurrencies, its rate of taxation is still considered quite high at 19%, even though that is still lower than other European countries. ICOs are considered to be normal business activities where you are taxed based on the funds received from an ICO less the expenses of doing business.
Switzerland
Switzerland is trying to remain relevant for the blockchain industry and for ICOs. The Swiss finance ministry is actively trying to attract investors to the country. Switzerland is considered a very important crypto location due to fact it was home to four of the largest ICOs in the world. The country is also very attractive to investors because of its friendly regulations and digital expertise. The taxation and regulatory environment is extremely secure and positive towards the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry in general.
Are there successful ICOs that have originated from the specific countries considered? Read the full article to get the answer! UBAI.co
Learn more about our STO and ICO marketing services right now! Contact me via LinkedIn: LinkedIn
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Cryptocurrencies on pace to close volatile trading week positive following Ethereum Classic addition to Coinbase Index Fund and the launch of the BOLT privacy overlay for Zcash on the lightning network

Developments in Financial Services

Regulatory

General News

Sources:
https://www.ccn.com/asias-largest-stock-exchange-is-honestly-troubled-by-a-cryptocurrency-firm/ https://www.newsbtc.com/2018/08/13/does-50-decline-in-the-turkish-lira-prove-bitcoin-is-better-than-fiat/ https://news.bitcoin.com/crypto-cafe-and-coworking-space-hash-house-established-in-xian-china/ https://bitcoinist.com/cryptocurrency-regulations-india-months/ https://www.coinspeaker.com/2018/08/13/ripples-expansion-plans-overshadowing-its-lawsuit-worries/ https://bitcoinist.com/saudi-arabia-bitcoin-trading-illegal/ https://www.coindesk.com/square-expands-cash-app-bitcoin-purchases-to-all-50-us-states/ https://www.ccn.com/thailand-police-seek-more-arrests-in-24-million-bitcoin-fraud/ https://cointelegraph.com/news/venezuela-to-use-petro-as-unit-of-account-for-salaries-goods-and-services https://www.coindesk.com/bitcoins-taproot-privacy-tech-is-ready-but-one-things-standing-in-the-way/ https://www.newsbtc.com/2018/08/15/coinbase-continues-to-add-50000-users-a-day-during-bear-market/ https://www.coinspeaker.com/2018/08/15/crypto-goes-green-using-renewable-energy-in-cloud-mining https://cointelegraph.com/news/citrix-survey-more-than-half-of-uk-companies-hit-by-cryptojacking-malware-at-some-point https://cointelegraph.com/news/japans-messaging-giant-line-sets-up-10-million-hong-kong-blockchain-venture-fund https://www.coinspeaker.com/2018/08/16/google-blockchain-and-ethereums-future-vitalik-buterin-shares-his-thoughts-at-a-private-event-held-in-san-francisco/ https://blockonomi.com/vitalik-buterin-future-blockchain/ https://www.coindesk.com/pantera-capital-raises-71-million-for-third-crypto-venture-fund/ https://www.newsbtc.com/2018/08/16/ethereum-classic-etc-surges-after-coinbase-consumer-confirms-listing/ https://www.coindesk.com/asx-head-says-new-dlt-system-could-save-billions/ https://cointelegraph.com/news/soft-crypto-etf-alternative-now-geared-towards-us-investors-says-bloomberg https://www.ccn.com/gnosis-creator-ethereum-adoption-is-about-dapp-network-effect-not-users/ https://www.newsbtc.com/2018/08/16/crypto-exchange-huobi-partners-with-five-firms-to-launch-trading-platforms/ https://cointelegraph.com/news/binance-lcx-launches-fiat-to-crypto-exchange-in-liechtenstein https://www.coindesk.com/ripple-endorses-preferred-crypto-exchanges-for-xrp-payments/ https://www.ccn.com/ripple-picks-three-crypto-exchanges-for-international-xrp-payments/ https://cointelegraph.com/news/ripple-partners-with-three-crypto-exchanges-as-part-of-xrapid-solution https://www.newsbtc.com/2018/08/17/xrp-recovers-as-ripple-expands-crypto-exchange-partners/ https://www.ccn.com/genesis-mining-offers-customers-a-discount-to-offset-falling-bitcoin-rewards/ https://cointelegraph.com/news/genesis-mining-compels-certain-customers-to-upgrade-btc-mining-contracts https://www.coindesk.com/jd-com-rolls-out-blockchain-platform-with-its-first-app/
submitted by QuantalyticsResearch to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Market Overview 2018 July 10

Market Overview 2018 July 10
Date: 2018 July 10
Road to Financial Success
Same goal, same dream we can walk together.
Market Overview
Today july 10, 2018 almost all cryptocurrency have been going down, and they are declining by 5% to 10% even some of then are declined by 15%. We haven’t seen most value down even after monday hacked with Bancor.
Yesterday, Road to financial Success reported that the Cryptocurrency market cap was around the 273 Billion but now the market cap going down to 253.27 Billion. According to the Bancor Twitter tweet they said on the morning of july 9:
“This morning (CEST) Bancor experienced a security breach. No user wallets were compromised. To complete the investigation, we have moved to maintenance and will be releasing a more detailed report shortly. We look forward to being back online as soon as possible.”
They also provide recent update on the Bancor attack by the hacker. Lets see what they are saying about security breach on their System.
“Earlier today, at approximately 00:00 UTC, Bancor experienced a security breach. We take this incident very seriously. We are committing every resource to resolving it, getting the network back online and tracking down the criminals involved.
The details of the breach are still being investigated, but we wanted to update the community with the facts that we have so far.
A wallet used to upgrade some smart contracts was compromised. This compromised wallet was then used to withdraw ETC from the BNT smart contract in the amount of 24,984 ETH (Around $12.5M). The same wallet also stole:
229,356,645 NPXS (Around $1M)
3,200,000 BNT (Around $10M)
Once the theft was identified, we were able to freeze the stolen BNT, limiting the damage to the Bancor ecosystem from the theft. The ability to freeze token was built into the Bancor Protocol to be used in an extreme situation to recover from a security breach, allowing Bancor to effectively stop the thief from running away with the stolen tokens.
It is not possible to freeze the ETH or any other stolen tokens. However, we are now working together with dozens of cryptocurrency exchanges to trace the stolen fund and make it more difficult for the thief to liquidate them.
We will continue to post updates as and when appropriate on our telegram channel and on twitter. We appreciate your patience as we resolve this matter.”
This is the information from the bancor.
https://preview.redd.it/l23610rxm4911.jpg?width=626&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=0b72744b44da2113abe851ddbde2a8fc9eb348fe
Picture: Small Screen shot of Bancor Update in Twitter.
Ethereum Price
At the time of writing, the Ethereum price is sitting at $437.44 USD representing a loss of 9.95% in the last 24 Hours. More than 1.5 Billion worth of ETH were exchanged in the multiple market. We have not seen a Lots of declined for the Ethereum even bancor hacked or security breach in their system.
https://preview.redd.it/hasjraxym4911.png?width=1440&format=png&auto=webp&s=ea2a94fb7759bc45fc1fe92407b529a698ca70cc
Picture: Ethereum Price for the last 24 Hours.
Bitcoin
The bitcoin price is sitting at $6,393.12 USD representing a loss of 5.91% in the last 24 Hours. In the last 1 days the price of Bitcoin are declined from around $ 6,960 USD To around $6,240 USD.
The market Capitalization of the Bitcoin were wiped out from 116 Billion USD to 109 Billion USD in one days. The main reason found that the hacked of the Bancro System.
https://preview.redd.it/folmr8c0n4911.png?width=1440&format=png&auto=webp&s=0771ca81c42e6b59fcf3c54dc594098dc8bab43b
Picture: Bitcoin price chart in of 24 hours.
Alt Coin
Ripple XRP, the third largest coin are in the downtrend it lost 5.64% in the span 24 Hours Currently sitting at 45 cent USD. Bitcoin cash declined by the 6.83% currency sitting at $700 USD. The big Loser are
EOS, lose around 13%, currently sitting at $7.46 USD.
MIOTA (IOTA), LOSE 10.01% currently sitting at $0.971701 USD.
QTUM, OMG, ONT, ICON and some other are declined by huge %.
Market Capitalization
The total market cap of the all cryptocurrency are 254 Billion USD. The total market Capitalization are declined by around 20 Billion USD. Yesterday, Road to Financial Success reported that the Total Market Cap was around 273$ and it declined to the 254 Billion, it is expected that the Market cap will declined more because of Lots of Security breach with Bancor and some small Project.
The Regulation might be the another small reason to declined for the cryptocurrency.
https://preview.redd.it/okm5l2e1n4911.png?width=1440&format=png&auto=webp&s=cb234aaaba571a212b98257c5cf9dbd37f146d7a
Picture: Total Market cap in 1 Days for all Cryptocurrency.
Shares
Comsec
Let’s talk about the Share market in australia. Todays Most gainers were JHL(Jayex Healthcare Ltd) it gain 130%, currently sitting at $ 0.068 AUD, CDH, CAD they were also top gainer.
For Tomorrow,
You can look into the ROG, IP1, PKL, OEX, XPE, MOX and WGL as well but remember that Penny stock is very dangerous, so that you should be aware that you might lose all your investment.
Next Share to watch Could be the White Rock Minerals LTD (ASX: WRM) because of it’s just broke the resisten level, so that this could be good Entry for long term investment.
https://preview.redd.it/gclje193n4911.jpg?width=1029&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=0965be2092c9ba13de6b300c36697a82cd5fa7d1
Picture: Picture of WRM, it just broke the resistant level this could be good entry for you.
Final Word,
It’s seem that the Cryptocurrency are downtrend so that it better to wait, if someone want to add in to their investment. The more negative news are coming out so investor and trader needs to wait till good news came out after good news came out in market they can add into their position. They can catch trend.
Want to contact:
https://www.facebook.com/Cointrader2017/
Facebook Group
https://www.facebook.com/groups/171126873609826/
Link to make a Coinbase Account:
https://www.coinbase.com/join/59af6e9fc308a500a8f9bf45
Twitter
https://twitter.com/RoadtoFC
Contact us: [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected])
submitted by Cointrader2017 to u/Cointrader2017 [link] [comments]

Bitcoin Mining IPO on Australian Stock Exchange (ASX)

I sometimes browse the ASX website to see what companies have upcoming floats on the exchange.
I was very surprised to see "Bitcoin Group Limited" listed. Is this the first bitcoin IPO on a "real" stock exchange?
Anyone know anything about this group? From a skim of the prospectus, they seem to be asking for $AU20Mil to expand their chinese mining operations, and claim they will have 15% of hashing power by March 2016.
Is it a scam?
Prospectus is here: http://www.bitcoingroup.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Prospectus_v2.pdf
submitted by windsok to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

ASX Trading Tip #3 - MACD & Divergence Bitcoin Technical Analysis: BTC Awaits The Next Big Move In Stocks (July 2020) ASX:PPT:1990-10-10 - 2020-06-11 Dividend Stocks To Consider For Your Portfolio In 2020 (Part 2 - ASX Dividend Investing 2020) ASX Small and Mid-Cap Conference - Powerwrap Limited (ASX:PWL)

The ASX Group's activities span primary and secondary market services, including capital formation and hedging, trading and price discovery (Australian Securities Exchange) central counter party risk transfer (ASX Clearing Corporation); and securities settlement for both the equities and fixed income markets (ASX Settlement Corporation). You see, the company that’s going to list on the ASX is the Bitcoin Group Limited. They are a Bitcoin Miner. What is a Bitcoin Miner you might ask? Good question, and I’ll get to that in a moment. Get today’s BCG share price, latest stock chart and BCG company news. Should you buy BCG shares now? Should you invest in Bitcoin Group Limited (ASX:BCG), Link Administration Holdings ASX - By Stock. ASX - Day Trading. ASX - General. ASX - Short Term Trading. Charts. Commodities. ASX; BLOCKCHAIN GLOBAL LIMITED. Viewed 10,240 times by 3014 users (Last 30 days) Created with Sketch. Bitcoin Group withdraws from its IPO and ASX listing application: 10/03/16 : 4: 4.6K: 10/03/16 The ASX Group's activities span primary and secondary market services, including capital formation and hedging, trading and price discovery (Australian Securities Exchange) central counter party risk transfer (ASX Clearing Corporation); and securities settlement for both the equities and fixed income markets (ASX Settlement Corporation).

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