This subreddit aims to expose and counter the global bourgeoisie. As such, it brings together many former subreddits, covering topics such as Kurdish nationalism, varied governments (Syria and Iran), the Bitcoin commodity, Turkish aggression, the global proletariat inside and outside the global imperial core, and capitalism in varied countries (India, Japan, Mexico, Belarus, Russia, and Zimbabwe).
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken submitted by
This is my forty-second 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 – $727 917
Vanguard Lifestrategy Growth Fund – $42 128
Vanguard Lifestrategy Balanced Fund – $78 569
Vanguard Diversified Bonds Fund – $110 009
Vanguard Australian Shares ETF (VAS) – $187 003
Vanguard International Shares ETF (VGS) – $39 987
Betashares Australia 200 ETF (A200) – $225 540
Telstra shares (TLS) – $1 726
Insurance Australia Group shares (IAG) – $7 741
NIB Holdings shares (NHF) – $5 652
Gold ETF (GOLD.ASX) – $117 714
Secured physical gold – $18 982
Ratesetter (P2P lending) – $11 395
Bitcoin – $159 470
Raiz app (Aggressive portfolio) – $16 357
Spaceship Voyager app (Index portfolio) – $2 492
BrickX (P2P rental real estate) – $4 477 Total portfolio value: $1 757 159 (+$62 325 or 3.7%) Asset allocation
Australian shares – 41.4% (3.6% under)
Global shares – 22.2%
Emerging markets shares – 2.3%
International small companies – 3.0%
Total international shares – 27.4% (2.6% under) Total shares – 68.8% (6.2% under)
Total property securities – 0.3% (0.3% over)
Australian bonds – 4.4%
International bonds – 9.7% Total bonds – 14.1% (0.9% under)
Gold – 7.8%
Bitcoin – 9.1% Gold and alternatives – 16.9% (6.9% over)
Presented visually, below is a high-level view of the current asset allocation of the portfolio. [Chart] Comments
This month featured a further recovery in the overall portfolio, continuing to effectively reduce the size of the large losses across the first quarter.
The portfolio has increased by around $62 000, leading to a portfolio growth of 3.7 per cent. This means that around half of the large recent falls have been made up, and the portfolio sits around levels last reached in October of last year. [Chart]
Leading the portfolio growth has been increases in Australian shares - particularly those held through the Betashares A200 and Vanguard VAS exchange traded funds, with both gaining over four per cent. Most other holdings remained steady, or fell slightly.
Markets appear to be almost entirely disconnected from the daily announcements of the sharp effects of the global coronavirus pandemic and the resulting restrictions. Bond and equity markets seem to have different and competing expectations for the future, and equity markets - at best - are apparently intent on looking through the immediate recovery phase to a new period of strong expansion. [Chart]
On some metrics, both major global and Australian equity markets can be viewed as quite expensive, especially as reduced dividends announced have largely yet to be delivered. Yet if historically low bond yields are considered, it can be argued that some heightening compared to historical equity market valuations may be sustainable.
Reflecting this moment of markets holding their breath before one of two possible futures plays out, gold and Bitcoin remain elevated, and consequently above their target weightings.
Perhaps the same contending forces are in evidence in a recent Australian Securities and Investment Commission study (pdf) which has found that average Australian retail investors have reacted to uncertainty by activating old brokerage accounts, trading more frequently, and holding securities for shorter periods. My own market activity has been limited to purchases of Vanguard Australian shares ETF (VAS) and the international share ETF (VGS), to bring the portfolio closer to its target allocations. Will Australia continue to be lucky through global slow downs?
Despite this burst of market activity in the retail market, it is unclear how Australian markets and equities will perform against the background of a global economic slowdown. A frequently heard argument is that a small open trade exposed commodities provider such as Australia, with a more narrowly-based economy, may perform poorly in a phase of heightened risk.
This recent Bank of England paper (pdf) makes the intriguing suggestion that this argument is not borne out by the historical record. In fact, the paper finds that industrial production in Australia, China and a mere handful of other economies has tended to increase following global risk shocks.
A question remaining, however, is whether the recovery from this 'risk shock' may have different characteristics and impacts than similar past events. One key question may be the exact form of government fiscal and monetary responses adopted. Another is whether inflation or deflation is the likely pathway - an unknown which itself may rely on whether long-term trends in the velocity of money supply continue, or are broken.
Facing all uncertainties, attention should be on tail risks - and minimising the odds of extreme negative scenarios. The case for this is laid out in this moving reflection by Morgan Housel. For this reason, I am satisfied that my Ratesetter Peer-to-Peer loans have been gradually maturing, reducing some 'tail risk' credit exposures in what could be a testing phase for borrowers through new non-bank lending channels in Australia. With accrued interest of over $13 000, at rates of around 9 per cent on average, over the five years of the investment, the loans have performed relatively well. A temporary sheltering port - spending continues to decline
This month spending has continued to fall even as lockdown and other restrictions have slowly begun to ease. These extraordinary events have pushed even the smoothed average of three year expenditure down. [Chart]
On a monthly basis credit card spending and total expenses have hit the lowest levels in more than six years. Apparently, average savings rates are up across many economies, though obviously individual experiences and starting points can differ dramatically.
Total estimated monthly expenditure has also fallen below current estimates of distributions for the first time since a period of exceptionally high distributions across financial year 2017-18.
The result of this is that I am briefly and surprisingly, for this month, notionally financially independent based on assumed distributions from the FIRE portfolio alone - at least until more normal patterns of expenditure are resumed. Following the lines of drift - a longer view on progress made
Yet taking a longer view - and accounting for the final portfolio goal set - gives a different perspective. This is of a journey reaching toward, but not at, an end.
The chart below traces in purely nominal dollar terms the progress of the total portfolio value as a percentage of the current portfolio goal of $2.18 million over the last 13 years.
It also shows three labels, with the percentage progress at the inception of detailed portfolio data in 2007, at the start of this written record in January 2017, and as at January 1 of this year. [Chart]
Two trend lines are shown - one a polynomial and the other exponential function - and they are extended to include a projection of future progress out to around 18 months.
The line of fit is close for the early part of the journey, but larger divergences from both trend lines are evident in the past two years as the impact of variable investment returns on a larger portfolio takes hold.
There are some modest inaccuracies introduced by the nominal methodology adopted - such as somewhat discounting early progress. A 2007 dollar had greater 'real' value and significance than is assigned to it by this representation. The chart does demonstrate, however, the approximate shape and length of the early journey - with it taking around 5 years to reach 20 per cent of the target, and 10 years to reach around half way. 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) 80.6% 108.4%
Credit card purchases – $71 000 pa 98.3% 132.3%
Total expenses – $89 000 pa 78.8% 106.0% Summary
With aspects of daily life slowly and incrementally adjusting to a 'new normal', the longer-term question for the portfolio remains around how markets and government actions interact in a recovery phase.
The progress of the portfolio over the past 13 years has seemed, when viewed from afar as in chart above, predictable, and almost inevitable. Through the years it has felt anything but so smoothly linear. Rather, tides and waves have pushed and pulled, in turn stalling progress, or pushing it further ahead than hopes have dared.
It is possible that what lays ahead is a simple 'return leg', or more of the same. That through simple extrapolation around 80 per cent of the challenges already lay behind. Yet that is not the set of mind that I approach the remainder of the journey with. Rather, the shortness of the distance to travel has lent an extra focus on those larger, lower probability, events that could delay the journey or push it off-course. Those 'third' risks types of tail risks which Morgan Housel points out.
In one sense the portfolio allocation aims to deal - in a probabilistic way - with the multiple futures that could occur.
Viewed in this way, a gold allocation (and also Bitcoin) represents a long option on an extreme state of the economic world arising - as it did in the early 1980s. The 75 per cent target allocation to equities can be viewed as a high level of assurance around a 'base case' that human ingenuity and innovation will continue to create value over the long term.
The bond portfolio, similarly, can be seen as assigning a 15 per cent probability that both of these hypotheses are incorrect, and that further market falls and possible deflation are ahead. That perhaps even an experience akin to the lengthy, socially dislocating, post-bubble phase in Japan presided over by its central bank lays in store.
In other interesting media consumed this month, 'Fire and Chill', the brand new podcast collaboration between Pat the Shuffler and Strong Money Australia got off to an enjoyable start, tackling 'Why Bother with FIRE' and other topics.
Additionally, investment company Incrementum has just published the latest In Gold We Trust report, which gives an arrestingly different perspective on potential market and policy directions from traditional financial sources.
The detailed report questions the role and effectiveness of traditionally 'risk-free' assets like government bonds in the types of futures that could emerge. On first reading, the scenarios it contains appear atypical and beyond the reasonable contemplation of many investors - until it is recalled that up to a few years ago no mainstream economics textbook would have entertained the potential for persistent negative interest rates.
As the paths to different futures diverge, drawing on the wisdom of others to help look as far as possible into the bends in the undergrowth ahead becomes the safest choice. The post, links and full charts can be seen here.
The Dow plunged 1190.95, or 4.42%, to 25766.64, the Nasdaq lost 414.30, or 4.61%, to 8566.48, and the S&P 500 dropped 137.63, or 4.42%, to 2978.76.
It was a frenetic day of trading action on /thewallstreet
. The stock market extended its recent sell-off by more than 4% on Thursday in a volatile session, as the widening spread of the coronavirus heightened pessimism among investors. The S&P 500 dropped as much as 3.5% shortly after the open, then cut its losses to 0.6% by midday, but ultimately closed at session lows with a 4.4% decline.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (-4.4%), Nasdaq Composite (-4.6%), and Russell 2000 (-3.5%) experienced similar price action. Each of the major indices fell into correction territory, which is often defined as a decline of at least 10% from a recent high, and today's drop sent the S&P 500 well below its 200-day moving average (3046.58) amid heavy selling into the close.
From a sector perspective, all 11 S&P 500 sectors fell between 3.3% (health care) and 5.6% (real estate). Other notable moves included WTI crude falling 3.0% to 47.24/bbl to extend its weekly decline to 12.1% and the CBOE Volatility Index surging 42.1% to 39.16 in a protection trade against further equity weakness.
Regarding COVID-19, the CDC acknowledged the first coronavirus case of "unknown origin" in the U.S., which raised concerns about a community spread of the virus. California's governor fueled concerns by saying 28 people have tested positive and another 8,400 people are being monitored because of their travel.
The impact to global supply chains or consumer spending remains uncertain, but Goldman Sachs warned there could be no U.S. earnings growth in 2020 if the virus becomes widespread. MSFT -7.1%, meanwhile, was the latest high-profile company to issue a quarterly revenue warning, specifically for its More Personal Computing segment.
Current, and past, Fed officials offered their views on the matter. In an opinion piece for The Wall Street Journal, former Fed Governor Kevin Warsh argued that the Fed and other central banks should cut rates due to the coronavirus, while Chicago Fed President Evans reiterated the Fed's stance that it's still premature to provide guidance without more data. Besides the coronavirus news, equity investors appeared to be taking cues from the Treasury market.
For instance, the S&P 500's early morning low coincided with the high in the Treasury market. At session's end, the 2-yr yield declined five basis points to 1.10%, and the 10-yr yield declined basis points to 1.30%.
Not all stocks closed lower, though. Face mask company (MMM) +0.8% and Bleach company (CLX) +0.4% managed to eke out small gains amid speculation that demand for some of their products will increase due to the coronavirus.
Among the noteworthy gainers were VIR and NVAX, which surged 50% and 18%, respectively, as coronavirus fears mount. Both companies are working on coronavirus vaccines. Also higher were ETSY and SQ, which gained a respective 16% and 11% after reporting quarterly results.
Among the notable losers was TSLA, which slid 8% after Bloomberg reported registrations of new Teslas in China plunged 46% last month as the coronavirus outbreak adds to a slump in the country's car market. SPCE fell 17% after Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas downgraded the shares to Equal Weight and Credit Suisse analyst Robert Spingarn also downgraded the stock to Neutral
following with the shares up 185% year-to-date.
In earnings news, BBY reported better than expected sales and earnings for the fourth quarter and raised its quarterly dividend by 10%. Last night, BKNG reported "strong" Q4 results, but also cited a significant impact from the coronavirus on its forward outlook, stating that its wider than typical guidance ranges are due to "the high level of uncertainty in forecasting the coronavirus and its associated impact on the company and the travel industry generally."
In its own more optimistic coronavirus update,SBUX said it is "seeing the early signs of a recovery" in China. In a letter to employees posted on its corporate blog, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson reported that the coffee giant now has 85% of stores open across China as it continues to assess the ongoing impact of the disease outbreak.
Elsewhere in Europe, Stoxx 600 closed 3.6% lower provisionally, officially entering correction territory as it was off more than 10% from its record high notched on Feb. 19 last year.
The U.S. Dollar Index slid 0.5% to 98.51, widening this week's loss to 0.8%.
- EUUSD: +1.0% to 1.0986
- GBP/USD: UNCH at 1.2892
- USD/CNH: -0.2% to 7.0051
- USD/JPY: -0.4% to 109.99
The Treasury market has been the epicenter of concerns about the global growth outlook, as well as the frayed psychology pertaining to the COVID-19 outbreak. The 10-yr note yield is down four basis points this morning to 1.27%, leaving it down 19 basis points on the week and 65 basis points on the year. Today, the fed funds futures market expects that a rate cut will happen as soon as the March 18 meeting, followed by another cut in June.
Treasuries briefly turned negative in midday trade but returned toward their opening levels after California Governor Gavin Newsom said that 28 people in California have tested positive for the coronavirus while more than 8,000 other people are being monitored.
- 2-yr: -5 bps to 1.10%
- 3-yr: -3 bps to 1.09%
- 5-yr: -3 bps to 1.11%
- 10-yr: -1 bp to 1.30%
- 30-yr: -1 bp to 1.78%
Oil prices continued their steep decline on Thursday, with U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude falling more than 5% at the low to $45.88 per barrel — a price not seen since Jan. 2019 — as fears of the coronavirus outbreak, and what it could mean for crude demand, continue to batter prices.
- WTI crude: -4.88% to $46.35/bbl
- Gold: -0.4 at $1640.70/ozt
- Copper: -0.52% to $2.55/lb
Bitcoin was fighting to keep support at a key level on Feb. 27 as markets worldwide continued to suffer from fears over coronavirus.
- Bitcoin: $8,873.19 (24hr: +0.77%)
- Ethereum: $231.34 (24hr: +1.52%)
- Ripple: $0.24 (24hr: 3.09%)
- FAAMG + some penny stocks -4.5% YTD
- Spoos -7.8% YTD
- Old man -9.7% YTD
- Russy -9.8% YTD
- BYND reports EBITDA: $9.5M (est $5.76M), Net Rev: $98.5M (est $79.8M).Sees 2020 Net Revenue: $490M To $510M (est $485.7M)
Thoughts on Corona It is becoming abundantly clear that the spread of the coronavirus is not going to be stopped. What is not clear is the extent of the economic damage that is going to be done by its spread before the world gets comfortable with the notion that the coronavirus is debilitating, but not necessarily deadly for most sufferers.
The latter is the accepted perspective when dealing with the flu, but because COVID-19 is so new and won't reportedly have a vaccine to guard against it for some time, there is some understandable fear about contracting the virus that is prompting some extreme measures to contain it. Those measures have been detrimental to the world economy in a number of respects, which include but are not limited to shutting down supply chains, restricting travel, and preventing people from going to work.
At the same time, some considerable psychological damage is being done with the understanding that governments around the globe are scrambling to deal with COVID-19 in a way that hasn't been seen in a really long time.
China locked down entire cities. Japan announced today that it will be closing elementary, middle, and high schools nationwide until late March. President Trump last night announced that Vice President Pence is being put in charge of the U.S. response to COVID-19.
The stock market, therefore, has been getting punched by a left-right combination of growth concerns and frayed investor psychology. That combination has led to some rapid-fire selling for a market that was already stretched and counting on stronger earnings growth in 2020, which now seems unlikely to pull through as expected.
The uncertainty surrounding the earnings outlook is a major headwind for the market at the moment.
Summary scraped from the interweb. Took 2.30 seconds.