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Bitcoin’s price might catch a serious wave from a brand new ETF, according to an analyst at Fundstrat.

Fundstrat’s team, which had published a yearly-end bitcoin target of $100,000, now states that bitcoin’s equilibrium price might spike up to $168,000 if the ProShares ETF that started trading this Tuesday gets a serious boost of inflows from hungry investors.

Fundstrat is now predicting the new bitcoin-based ETF will give higher first-year inflows than even what the Invesco QQQ Trust ETF brought in during 2002 by watching the Nasdaq.

“This bitcoin ETF will allow vastly more people to invest in crypto,” the co-founder of Fundstrat Global Advisors, Tom Lee, said. “We believe Bitcoin demand will go beyond the inflows for QQQ.”

Gary Gensler, the SEC Chair, has reiterated his acceptance of an ETF connected to bitcoin futures (compared to one based on spot bitcoin). And Fundstrat’s thesis is especially bullish about the enthusiasm for a new fund which is settled in bitcoin futures.

Today, investors can already buy and hold bitcoin through exchanges such as Coinbase and others, though Lee said how the new ETF might bring in more demand.

He mentioned the Invesco QQQ ETF, which gave diversification among top tech companies. The fund saw inflows of $36 billion in the ETF’s initial year.

Fundstrat is predicting that ProShares bitcoin ETF will go beyond that by attracting in $50 billion during its first year, which would mean around $50 million more in demand for the top cryptocurrency per day. That, combined with the prices for bitcoin right now, got Fundstrat to give equilibrium price of up to $168,000 per coin.

Analysts will have a reference to work with concerning what successful inflows could look like. The SPDR Gold Shares fund has the fastest increase to $1 billion under management — doing this in only three days.

Lee further said the idea that bitcoin’s eight-year long wait for an ETF was not already priced in.

“There are probably some who think the boost in the price is already discounting approval,” Lee said. “To an extent, this might be true, since Bitcoin has gone to almost all-time highs in the previous few weeks. But in our view, the value of Bitcoin will keep rising, well after real approval of the ETF.”

Author: Scott Dowdy

There are different ways that investors put their portfolios together. Some might go for high-growth stocks, and some go for dividends. Successful portfolios usually have a good mix of both.

If you are looking to round out your portfolio with two options that can help build a stronger portfolio, Apple and Johnson & Johnson are among the buy-and-hold picks.

Apple

Whoever said money does not grow on trees never had a share of Apple stock. This corporation has been a great investment, especially after the first iPhone in 2007.

The company has been delivering dividends on its stock going back to 1987, with consistent yearly payouts since 2012. The current yearly dividend has a yield of 0.59%, although this rate lags below the S&P 500 average of around 1.3%. For this reason, it’s not likely that investors go to Apple for just its dividend.

Even still, it can make for a great portfolio addition for investors (maybe retirees) who are seeking quarterly income. And for people who choose to reinvest their dividends, that strategy might turn into an even better return due to results in buying more shares, which in turn can deliver better gains in future dividends as they compound each year. And more shares can then lead to better gains when you consider the possible growth on this historical growth.

Throw in some increasing speculation that Apple is in the middle of creating its own car to compete with Tesla and others in the EV market, and it makes for an intriguing time to buy the stock. Meanwhile, the whispered fourth-quarter earnings is $1.35 a share compared to the market expected number of $1.23, suggesting the potential for a 9.7% beat on earnings.

Johnson & Johnson

J&J’s stock price has had dramatic moves since its pandemic-induced decline in March of 2020 to $105 a share from a past high of $152. From this bottom, it went to a peak just under $180 before succumbing to a combination of larger market pressures and a sell-off in pharma stocks in Sept., resulting in the current price about $157.

But as the stock moves, the company continues to give dividends consistently, currently with a yield of 2.65%, based on a yearly payout of $4.24 per share. The firm now has 59 consecutive years of dividend increases, while giving at a rate nearly double that of the average S&P 500 dividend yield. Those 59 consecutive years of dividend growth put the company into an elite category of Dividend Kings — companies that have boosted their payouts every year for 50 consecutive years or more.

Author: Scott Dowdy

Most folks need substantial assets to support themselves while in retirement. With a current monthly average benefit of around $1,559, Social Security is not going to be enough for you to live a comfortable and happy retirement.

Fortunately, there are some tax-advantaged retirement accounts like IRAs that can help. These accounts can be powerful portfolio builders, as a new report from June has revealed: It seems more people, including Warren Buffett’s investing deputy Ted Weschler, have expanded their IRA accounts to hundreds of millions, if not billions.

Weschler’s Roth IRA was around $264 million in 2018. Meanwhile PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, has around an account that started with $2,000 in 1999 and now has around $5 billion.

How wealthy people do it

So how do super wealthy people do like Weschler has and amass so much money, when contribution limits are low and their incomes are so high?

Well, they might be using Roth IRA conversions — taking normal IRA accounts and/or 401(k) accounts and changing them into Roth IRAs. You must pay taxes on the money converted when you do this, but after that, the money grows with the prospect of never getting taxed again.

(Also not that 401(k)s have much higher limits, so they can grow fatter than an IRA account. The 2021 limit for 401(k)s is around $19,500, plus $6,500 for people 50 and older, for a total of $26,000 being possible.)

Wealthy people are often well connected to particularly good investment opportunities. For example, they can put money into a business that is still young and not yet being sold on the open markets. And if they use their self-directed Roth IRA, they might be able to park their shares of future hugely successful companies inside it.

Imagine Netflix, as one example, which began trading after its IPO back in 2002. Some early investors might have been able to get their shares for a split-adjusted $1 or $2 back. They are now worth about $625, representing a 632-fold increase. That would be enough to transform a $6,000 investment into around $4 million.

If you can buy shares of such a huge outperformer before it hits the market, you might get it at much cheaper prices, getting even better gains in the future. This combined with the tax-free nature of your Roth-IRA account could make your retirement a dream come true.

Author: Steven Sinclaire

Bitcoin kept going on its climb toward record highs, increased by optimism for the upcoming creation of the first ever Bitcoin futures ETF in the United States by asset manager ProShares.

The largest crypto delivered gains 1.5% higher to get close to $62,250. It is now more than doubled this year during volatile trading. The April record is right under $64,870.

ProShares plans to start their fund on the NY Stock Exchange this Tuesday, its chief executive Michael Sapir said during an interview. The news is the latest sign of how crypto-related investments are now getting more mainstream.

“ETFs mean this year Bitcoin might see several billions come into management which might keep the whole space buzzing,” Edward Moya, an analyst at the Oanda Corp., said in a note.

The prospect of greater interest in Bitcoin from retail and institutional investors is strengthening the coin, whose 2021 climb far outweighs the returns from normal assets such as bonds, stocks, and gold. That is a marked change from the mid-year, when concerns about its energy and a harsh cryptocurrency crackdown within China sent prices falling under $30,000.

Other coins are also higher this week, including the number two coin, Ether.

Also, crypto-linked stocks rallied this Monday, including exchange platform Coinbase Global Inc., miner Riot Blockchain Inc. and Riot’s London-based peer Argo Blockchain Plc.

The technical chart for Bitcoin during this rally is a worry for Rick Bensignor, the president of Bensignor Strategies, who said in a message that being so close to highs could make him “think twice about purchasing Bitcoin right now.”

Noelle Acheson, lead of market insights at Genesis Trading, warned about the possible demand for a futures-based Bitcoin ETF.

“It is another big step in the convergence between crypto and traditional markets,” she stated. “But, I do believe there will be maybe not quite as much demand for this service as the market seems to be thinking.”

“Bitcoin now has a strong position as it reaches its last resistance at $64,000 higher which a breakout will be for $100,000,” said Rich Ross, strategist at Evercore. “Q4 offers fertile ground for speculative people.”

Author: Steven Sinclaire

Asset management and investment banking firm JMP Securities reports that “The cryptocurrency economy is now breaking into the mainstream,” stressing that cryptocurrency “adoption cases have created ‘escape velocity.” However, the company’s analysts also say that “the sector is still in its early stage.”

‘The Crypto Economy Is Now Breaking Into The Mainstream’

JMP Securities recently released a research note that talks about cryptocurrency use. Noting that “The cryptocurrency economy is breaking into the mainstream,” the analysts said:

“The crypto sector has traveled a long way in its short life, and we think both adoption cases and early use have created an ‘escape velocity,’ where binary arguments concerning its future are pretty much removed from the table at this time.”

The analysts further said that “The sector is not perfect today, scams are there, regulation is not developed, and the industry requires more education about the technical parts that are not always intuitive.”

Nonetheless, they think the industry’s future “justifies continued development and investment,” adding, “We expect the perceived negatives in this sector will keep getting better and improve with more time and maturation.”

They added that in the early years of bitcoin, “the crypto ecosystem was uncertain and unproven.” However, they continued: “Today, we think the negative view has been greatly de-risked with adoption accelerating and its utility and foundation already seeming more like an established network, even with what we see to be the early innings inside of an exponential growth cycle.”

 

The analysts also said that the NYSE-listed crypto company Coibnase was “a flagbearer for the creation of the larger cryptocurrency economy.” They said:

“Even with the exponential increase of adoption, we believe the industry is still in its early stage, and as use cases for cryptocurrency rapidly increase, we see huge upside for these companies (such as Coinbase) that give infrastructure to help its growth.”

This comes at a time when many experts are touting Bitcoin as reaching a breakout phase where it could have another huge increase. Still, others are skeptical of Bitcoin with some banking insiders questioning if the crypto is truly limited in coins as is said to be the case.

Author: Scott Dowdy

The S&P 500 index has gone up around 19% this year (so far). And while there are a combination of factors that might dampen this performance going forward, it does not mean all returns will be lackluster. Investors could be more selective about which stocks they invest in, though, to generate good performance.

The two semiconductor companies below are currently profiting from these industry supply shortages, and their services and products are likely to be in greater demand in 2022 (and going forward). This might mean market-beating returns. Let’s find out some more about these two stocks forecasted to do well in 2022.

1. Cohu

If you’ve tried to buying a new gaming console, high-level computer equipment, or maybe a new car in 2021, you have likely had a difficult time getting what you want. The problem is a worldwide lack of semiconductors — the cpus that back all of our electronics. This global shortage is now set to go into the new year.

The auto sector has arguably been the worst affected since vehicles have become more feature-heavy, making them require more advanced cpu power. Many car makers have been forced to lower production this year since they cannot get enough supply of the needed chips.

Cohu is a chip service company that gives handling equipment and testing for some of the top producers worldwide, helping them to increase capacity to alleviate their pressures.

Cohu grew its revenue by 9% between 2019 and 2020, but it is now set to over quadruple that number this year to 41%.

The stock trades at a great discount to its peers as shown by the iShares Semiconductor ETF. This ETF trades with a p/e multiple of 31, with Cohu’s being 10 times (based on the estimated earnings for this year).

As the chip shortage is now expected to go into the new year, so is Cohu’s large opportunity. That may be why one Wall Street investing company believes the stock might go up by over 109%.

2. Axcelis Technologies

Axcelis Technologies also helps the top semiconductor makers in the world, so it is also in line for a really big 2022. But its part in the industry is more technical, as it builds and designs ion implantation equipment used inside the actual fab process.

The company has also changed its focus to the auto segment, which comes under its “Power Device” product line. In fact, in Sept. the company shipped a whole family of its Power implanters to numerous chip manufacturers across Europe and Asia. The company said it is a sign of the increasing electrification of the auto sector — and since this trend is just getting better, Axcelis is very well-positioned for a lot more future growth.

In fact, Axcelis is in line to grow its EPS by around 400% since 2019 thanks to increasing gross margin. Since the firm’s products are in such great demand, it’s creating more of them, which aids in creating scale as fixed costs turn into a smaller amount of overall costs. Also, customers are now willing to pay more; both of these facts have lead to much higher profits.

Author: Blake Ambrose

“The Big Short” guy is now sounding the alarm yet again.

Michael Burry, who is the hedge fund manager that famously bet against the nation’s housing market back in 2008, recently said in a now deleted tweet, “Stock markets and bonds depend on the Fed being stripped of all credibility.”

This was not his first warning.

“All speculation and hype is doing is bringing in retail right before the mother of all crashes,” Burry said in another deleted tweet he made earlier this year.

Burry does a lot more than just talking.

As of June 30, the top position in his company was a huge $730 million bet against Tesla (using put options).

Still, Burry is not down on everything. Let us take a look at two companies that the top investor is very bullish about .

Facebook

Burry’s largest “long” position is interesting to many investors: call options for 941,000 Facebook shares.

Call options give investors more upside possibility than simply owning the company shares, but they are also more risky.

To be sure, Facebook has had a rough time recently. The company had a huge outage last week and has faced criticism over a whistleblower’s recent testimony.

The stock is lower by around 13% over the previous month. But year to date, the stock has returned a good 23%.

Facebook is without a doubt the biggest social media platform out there, with its family of services having a whopping 3.51 billion monthly active users as of June.

Financials are also on the increase. In the second quarter 2021, revenue went up by 56% year-over-year to a $29.1 billion value while the company’s earnings per share (EPS) more than doubled from one year ago.

Alphabet

Alphabet now controls a market cap of more $1.8 trillion as the parent company of Google. But Burry believes it might get even larger.

At the close of June, his company had call options on 91,900 Alphabet shares.

The search engine handily beat Wall Street’s predictions in the second quarter this year, getting a 62% revenue growth and a net income increase of 166% from last year.

In their recent earnings call, Ruth Porat, Alphabet’s CFO, said she anticipates “a more muted tailwind to company revenues in Q3.” But that didn’t stop shares of Google from going up.

Author: Scott Dowdy

Fluctuations in the stock market can be difficult to deal with, but volatility is the price you pay for better returns. However, dividend growth stocks can usually give investors more security from dramatic moves during corrections or even recessions.

Furthermore, these dividend growth stocks can give you stability in the form of goods or services that are never cut back by customers — even during uncertain times. Today we will look at two of these S&P 500 growth stocks that should keep regardless of what the market is doing.

Waste Management

Operating in a sector that will go away only if humanity stops existing, aptly-named Waste Management offers a good 1.5% dividend that has gone up for 18 years in a row. Reporting earnings for its Q2, the company had cash from operations of more than $1 billion for the quarter and guidance of $2.5 billion in free cash flow for the whole year of 2021.

For investors, these cash flow numbers show just how well-funded the firm’s dividends are as it spent less than $1 billion in dividends during the previous 12 months. But maybe what makes Waste Management even more interesting to investors is that the stock has greatly outperformed the S&P 500 over the past two and five years, increasing 140% and 350% over both time frames, respectively.

Looking to keep going with its growth, the company bought Advanced Disposal in late 2020 and now expects 15% revenue for fiscal year 2021 as it completely integrates the new company. Looking ahead, Waste Management might be a quiet reopening move with the pandemic ending and daily life getting back to normal leading to even better things for the company.

McCormick

McCormick’s various flavorings and spices can raise the taste of any meal. In short, McCormick’s products are a cheap way to keep normalcy in life, regardless of what might happen to someone’s finances or the economy overall. Similarly, owning McCormick stock is a wonderful way to add better stability to a portfolio since it gives a nice 1.7% dividend with 35 years in a row of increases.

Also, after having sales increase of 8% in its latest quarter, the firm has been revealing that it is growth-focused and not just about income. Led by their flavor solutions segment, McCormick is also somewhat of a reopening play, since this segment sells to restaurants and other foodservice companies that slowed down during the pandemic.

Author: Blake Ambrose

The President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, made new remarks suggesting there is a growing tolerance for Bitcoin and cryptos in the Kremlin during his interview with CNBC that was published on the Kremlin’s website this Thursday, Bloomberg says.

“I believe it has some value,” Putin said to CNBC’s Hadley Gamble at the Russian Energy event being held in Moscow this week. “But I do not think it can be used within the oil trade.”

The questions came out of concern for how Russia might exit dollar-denominated oil agreements due to United States economic sanctions.

Putin stated that while Bitcoin and cryptocurrency might exist as a payment means, it is still “too soon” to talk about crude contracts being completed with Bitcoin or crypto instead of with dollars.

The Russian president also showed concerns about the energy needed to keep the Bitcoin network, however, he conveyed a clear goal to move Russia away from its United States dollar reliance.

“I believe the United States makes a huge mistake in using their dollar as an instrument of sanction,” he said. “We have no other choice but to go to other currencies.” In June, Russia said it would remove the U.S. dollar asset from its wealth fund.

“About this, we can say the U.S. bites the hand that feeds it,” Putin said. “This dollar is their competitive advantage. It is a universal reserve currency, and the United States today uses it to push political goals, and they hurt their economic and strategic interests because of this.”

While it not clear enough to report if Russia is thinking about replacing the U.S. dollar with Bitcoin, it is clear that its officials understand the dollar is not a good reserve currency in the long term and that Bitcoin might pose a possible neutral alternative.

This comes almost one month after the acting media secretary for Putin, Dmitry Peskov, stated that Russia has no cause to recognize Bitcoin.

Many Bitcoiners want to see which nation will adopt Bitcoin next in state capacity. While Russia might not be a close-term contender for Bitcoin usage, its government is now talking about it like it’s on the table.

Author: Blake Ambrose

Chances are good that Social Security benefits will be crucial for you during retirement. Obviously, you will need to know exactly how much monthly income those benefits will give you so you can make a good assessment of whether you are ready to leave work and support yourself without any wages.

Unfortunately, millions of people in America who are retired are now at risk of losing some of these benefits they might expect to get. Here is why.

If you live in these states, you might lose some of your Social Security benefits

Retirees are now at risk of losing some of their benefits if they live in any of these 13 states that charge state taxes on Social Security funds. The 13 states that tax your Social Security income include:

  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Kansas
  • Montana
  • Minnesota
  • New Mexico
  • Vermont
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • Utah
  • North Dakota
  • Rhode Island
  • West Virginia

Now, if you live in these states, it is not necessarily a given that you will always lose some part of your retirement income to your government because to its tax laws. That is because many states do not start enforcing a Social Security tax until a retiree hits a certain income amount. Most often, it is the upper middle class and those who are wealthy who find themselves in danger of losing some of their retirement funds to taxes, while low income retirees will not have this problem.

Still, there is a chance you might see some of your benefits stolen by your state if you reside in any of those 13 places. And if you want to ensure that does not happen, it’s a good idea to go to your state’s Dept. of Revenue so you can find out if you are liable for any tax rules on your benefits.

If it turns out that you will lose some of your Social Security money, consider moving — especially if your state has even more bad tax policies that could affect the income you will get as a senior. When you are on a fixed income, every dollar matters and losing some of your retirement checks to taxes might be a big hit you simply cannot afford.

Author: Blake Ambrose

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