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Bitcoin’s current market cap of about $900 billion is a testament to its uptrend and staying power, but it would not be surprising to see other coins put up a better performance in the future. Read on for a look at the top two cryptos that might outpace BTC in 2022 and beyond.

1. Ethereum

Ethereum’s (CRYPTO:ETH) ether coin ranks as the second-biggest cryptocurrency, a market value of around $450 billion. Although its market capitalization is just half of what Bitcoin’s is, ether significantly outperformed the market leader for the year, posting an increase of over 400%.

While Bitcoin is still the top dog by a large margin, there are some signs that Ethereum may be on track to take the crown. This possible event has been dubbed “the flippening,” and it might represent a major shift in the crypto market. Investor dollars have started to head toward coins that are supported by service and application features as opposed to coins that merely function as speculative investment vehicles and digital currencies.

Ethereum’s blockchain network has provided the foundation that thousands of other cryptos and blockchain applications are created on top of, and its top position in the blockchain-services ecosystem has helped its coin post amazing gains. The ether coin is now up over 56,700% during the last five years, surpassing Bitcoin by a large margin in that stretch. That momentum is likely to continue in 2022.

2. Solana

Solana (CRYPTO:SOL) had surprising gains in 2021. Its SOL coin skyrocketed over 10,000%, thanks to speculative momentum and Solana’s rise as a launching ground for some blockchain-based applications. Like ETH, Solana’s blockchain serves as a foundation for decentralized finance (DeFi) applications and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Solana is a direct competitor to ETH and has a notable advantage: fast transaction-processing capacity. While ETH’s blockchain is able to process transactions at a rate of about 13 each second, the Solana network is able to handle as many as 50,000 each second. Solana’s potential has pushed the market cap for its token to around $54 billion — making it the fifth-biggest crypto — although its value is still dwarfed by Bitcoin and Ethereum.

If demand for DeFi applications keeps growing, Solana’s transaction-processing capabilities might help it attract more users and push the value of its token significantly higher than current levels. With its much smaller size and fast-expanding application network, Solana might be primed to again outperform Bitcoin in 2022.

Author: Scott Dowdy

Tesla Inc reported a record number of quarterly deliveries that greatly exceeded Wall Street predictions, riding out the chip shortages around the globe as it increased China production.

This was the automaker’s sixth consecutive quarter that it had posted record sales.

Tesla shipped 308,600 EVs in Q4, many more than analysts’ estimates of 263,026 cars.

Tesla’s Oct.-Dec. deliveries were up almost 70% from a year prior and up almost 30% in record deliveries from the quarter before that.

“Great work by the Tesla team !” Musk stated via Twitter.

His EV company boosted production in China even when competition had risen, and regulatory pressures mounted after consumer complaints over its product safety.

On a yearly basis, the carmaker has boosted its deliveries by about 87% from a year prior to 936,172 vehicles in 2021.

Musk said in Oct. last year that Tesla would be able to keepa yearly growth rate of over 50% for “quite some time.”

“They have defeated all the odds,” Gene Munster, said this Sunday.

“The first is the high demand for their cars. And the second is they are doing an excellent job of meeting that demand,” he stated.

Munster said he predicts Tesla’s deliveries will grow to 1.3 million EVs in 2022 despite challenges in production at its newer factories and supply chain issues.

Tesla’s CFO Zachary Kirkhorn said in Oct. that it was hard to predict how fast the company will increase production at the new factories in Berlin and Texas, which will use new vehicle tech and new teams.

Tesla said in Oct. that it was aiming to build the first production vehicles at both facilities by Dec. 2021, but it isn’t known if they met that target.

Deutsche Bank stated in a report this week that it thinks Tesla will make about 1.5 million EV deliveries this year, however, chip shortages are still a risk to production.

In 2020, carmakers cut chip orders as the lockdown measures and pandemic hit demand. But Tesla never decreased its production estimates with its suppliers to support its fast growth plan, which has helped it get through the chip shortages, Musk has said.

Tesla, which makes some chips itself unlike most carmakers, also reprogrammed the software to use chips that are less scarce, according to Elon Musk.

Musk, who previously stated, “2021 has been a year of many supply chain shortage issues,” said in Oct. that he was still optimistic that the supply issues would end in 2022.

The strong sales came in even after Tesla increased U.S. vehicle prices by a lot this year to help offset increased supply chain costs.

Tesla reached $1 trillion in market cap in Oct. after Hertz said it had ordered 100,000 of its cars. Tesla’s shares retreated after Elon Musk wrote on Twitter in Nov. that he was thinking about selling 10% of his stake in Tesla.

Author: Scott Dowdy

These high-growth sectors can make the most of your money.

The average tuition cost at a private college is more than $38,000 a year? A four-year program, could cost you more than $152,000 for just tuition. Public schools are more affordable, however, they still cost thousands of dollars a year. Investing and saving money the day your child is born can make these expenses manageable when the time comes.

A good option for this investment type is a high-growth emerging sector that will grow along side your child.  Even though it might be hard to choose winners in a fast changing industry, that is where EFTs can work for you. Two of the top ETFs that are suitable for investing long-term are the Digital Health and Global X Telemedicine ETF (NASDAQ:EDOC) and the Artifical Intelligence and Global X Robotics ETF (NASDAQ:BOTZ).

How a $500 investment each month can grow to $1 million

The key is beginning early with investing long-term, definitely if your hope is to build up a big nest egg for your kid before they reach adulthood. These ETFs most likely are not going to grow at 30% yearly over the long haul. However, if they can even average yearly growth rates of 10% to 15%, that is enough to make a significant savings over your child’s first 18 to 25 years.

By investing $500 monthly for 25 years, you would be investing a total of $150,000. That by itself would nearly pay off a four-year private college tuition. But we understand that there are many other expenses to think about beyond just tuition, including school supplies, housing, and transportation. Additional, a healthy savings account can let your child invest in income stocks that make recurring dividends. That is why you should always maximize your investment.

Through compounding, your investment of $150,000 might be worth almost 11 times your investment if you averaged a yearly rate of return of 15%. Your return would be a bit below the $1 million mark at around $949,000 at 12% and it would be worth more than six times your investment. With either choice, investing and sticking to it, you could have huge gains over the years to help secure your child’s financial future.

Set your child up for life by buying and holding these ETFs

Neither of these two funds has done particularly well. The telehealth ETF has went down 16%, while the robotics fund has went up just 10%. If compared, the S&P 500 has increased more than 28%. But the outlook stays strong for the long term and investors should not be discouraged by any short-term returns, even when looking at a longer trajectory and because the focus is on increasing your child’s savings. These ETFs might not always produce positive returns yearly, but that does not mean the strategy has failed.

Technological advancement is a secure investment strategy for the long haul and will set your child up for life.

Author: Steven Sinclaire

Jasmine Tech Solution Pcl share value has more than tripled in value since the plan was released in late July, although the crypto project has yet to produce significant revenue for the firm. Year-to-date, the stock increase is almost at 7,000%, most among global tech businesses with a market value of at minimum $2 billion.

“The strong response coming from traders has exceeded our expectations,” said Chairman Soraj Asavaprapha. “There is a lot of bullish optimism coming from our new direction even though it’s still very new.”

Jasmine Tech is just one of many Thai businesses diversifying into the digital-asset space. Consumer-appliance producer AJ Advance Tech Pcl recently announced its inaugural investment in BTC mining. Kasikornbank Pcl and Siam Commercial Bank Pcl have invested in crypto startups as well.

Enthusiasm for cryptocurrency products, especially among young traders, has driven investments in locally-licensed exchanges to a round of new record highs.

Jasmine Tech has mined only around eight Bitcoins from the 325 mining machines it has operated since a few months ago when the operations began. Soraj thinks that next year will be a lot more active, driven by its plans to invest in around 7,000 new devices which will cost about 3.3 billion baht. Earnings from the mining company will account for around 80% of the business’ total turnover maybe within the next year, he said.

“We still do not know much about the company’s valuations, fundamentals and revenue projections because this BTC mining is new in Thailand,” stated Wilasinee Boonmasungsong, who is an analyst from Globlex Securities Co. in Bangkok. “It has received a great welcome from traders for being the country’s pioneer, but there’s some regulatory risk.”

Last month the Bank of Thailand said that regulators have plans to release more detailed rules regarding digital assets to help protect the financial system and traders.

Local rules will not have any affect on Jasmine Technology, stated Soraj, as the company can sell digital coins worldwide and the mining company will still be profitable as long as the value of the world’s largest crypto holds higher than $30,000. BTC recently traded at around $51,000.

Jasmine Technology’s net earnings in the first nine months increased 436% from a year before to 150 million baht as the sales from its normal telecommunications-related companies increased. The stock value, which hit a record high earlier in the month, trades at almost 500 times its trailing 1-year earnings.

Author: Scott Dowdy

Cryptocurrencies were the investment story for this year with gains handily beating the S&P 500.

The cryptocurrency sector has often been avoided by investors and seen as a retail investor’s world.

However, that seems to be changing with the listings of financial companies such as Coinbase and Robinhood, which give brokerage services to those looking to purchase cryptocurrencies.

The two companies have aided cryptocurrency in reaching the mainstream, but the risks are rising for both of these companies. Even the top cryptocurrencies are struggling to prove any real-world utility, and lawmakers are working to crack down on the sector.

Why I won’t buy Coinbase

Coinbase tried to launch its Lend platform, which was created to allow its customers to get interest on their crypto holdings, but the SEC stopped this move, citing issues with how the product is classified.

The company produced revenue in the first half of this year that was over 10 times more than what it produced last year. However, that performance is not likely to be copied in the future. Because during that time, the market had a surge in the value of most cryptos, taking the overall value of all tokens from $780 billion at the opening of 2021 to more than $2.5 trillion only five months after. Prices have since gone down and failed to reclaim these highs.

Coinbase’s whole business model depends on customers trading tokens, as the firm earns transaction revenue as they do. These fees make up more than 95% of their top line. When cryptos are placid, Coinbase makes less fees, and many investors are now skeptical about the increased market activity lasting into 2022. While analysts predict Coinbase will deliver $6.88 billion in revenue for 2021 (up from $1.28 billion last year), they also believe it will lower to $6.20 billion next year with EPS going down more than 50%.

For this reason, Coinbase seems to me to be a short-term play as opposed to a good company with long-term growth.

Why I won’t buy Robinhhood

Robinhood has also faced government scrutiny as its “gamified” app was found to encourage risky investing among its young users. To make issues worse, the firm made a large pivot this year to focus on crypto markets to satisfy its younger audience, at this same time the SEC was scrutinizing the industry as a whole.

While cryptos make up only 22% of Robinhood’s users’ assets, they now make up over 52% of its overall transaction revenue. That suggests Robinhood’s user base is trading cryptos with more frequency than stocks, and they are forking over higher fees for these transactions. Essentially, Robinhood’s move to cryptocurrency markets could further enhance its customers’ appetite for more risk.

In Q2, over 62% of Robinhood’s $233 million in crypto transaction revenue was from Dogecoin, a meme coin often supported by social media — which certainly does not represent smart investing.

Aside from these issues drawing new attention to Robinhood from the government, there is also the fact that tokens such as Dogecoin probably won’t have staying power long-term. Only 1,700 businesses worldwide accept the coin as a payment method, and that figure is growing at a rate of just 50 businesses per month. It is unlikely Robinhood can create a long-term business from what is ultimately a speculation vehicle.

To end Robinhood’s regulatory problems, it’s coming off a $65 million SEC fine for misleading its users about how it generates revenue. Despite the platform having zero commissions, the regulator discovered its users were charged hidden fees through its payment-for-order-flow model that more than outweighed the trading commissions savings.

Author: Scott Dowdy

Although Social Security is a long time part of America, the program has evolved. And one good change that has the possibility to show up in the short term is a big cost-of-living adjustment, also called a COLA.

COLAs are the yearly increases that seniors on Social Security get. They are not fully guaranteed, and there have been years when there were no boosts to benefits.

But 2022’s COLA might be Social Security’s biggest in decades. Here is what seniors should know.

A good windfall might happening soon

In past years, Social Security’s COLAs have not been much to think or write about. This year, seniors saw their benefits increase by only 1.3%. Last year, they increased by 1.6%.

But next year, they could see their incomes go up a lot more. Why? Social Security increases are connected to inflation, and based on the information that we have right now, there is cause to believe that benefits will go up by 6% or more next year.

Why do we not have an exact number? The reason is that COLAs are done based on Q3 data from the CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). We now have that data from July and August, but we are missing the final piece to the puzzle — September’s information.

That information might be released shortly, though. Once it does, we will have an exact number that seniors can expect in 2022.

Should seniors be happy or concerned?

A big COLA is something Social Security beneficiaries might not be used to, and a 6% or higher COLA might seem to be good news. But let’s also not forget that the increase is looking so big is because the cost of living is going up for Americans.

Some of these cost increases might be hurting workers more than seniors. Gas-prices rising, as one example, are more likely to hit commuters’ funds than the wallets of retirees. But food costs could hurt Social Security receivers, and a big COLA might help these people, but in the end, seniors may not be further ahead financially.

Furthermore, once 2022’s COLA is unveiled, we’ll still need another piece of the puzzle — Medicare Part B details. Every year, there is a standard premium seniors give for coverage each month. Right now, it is $148.50. But that premium might rise next year, thereby eating away at seniors’ COLA.

The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Author: Blake Ambrose

Investing in tech stocks does not need to be hard. Often, the product might be complex, but the application is pretty straightforward. Anyone could invest in tech stocks with just basic investment knowledge.

Unity Software and Crowdstrike each solve big problems. Additionally, they have some great growth opportunities, making them great buys for 2022 and beyond.

Unity Software

Developing a video game is hard. Without an engine to create the base game on, it would take many years to create a program that works. Unity Software has had success with these ideas through its 3D animation solution. Also, once the game is released Unity offers tools to make money from it, acquire a new audience, and review player behavior, creating a loop of information for game upgrades. This is not just useful for video games; Unity’s animation programs are able to bring industrial designs to life and build virtual reality and augmented models for an immersive experience.

Unity’s third-quarter results were excellent. Its total income was up 43% to $286.3 million. Operate solutions increased the quickest at 54%. It also makes up 65% of total earnings. It is a positive sign when the biggest segment is also growing the fastest. The main business metric management that was identified is customers spending more than $100,000 every year. That count rose to 973 from 739, up 32% over the past year.

Valuation has been a wild ride for Unity ever since going public in 2020.

While its price-to-sales (P/S) ratio is lower than its high, it is also far from where its low was. Forty times sales is not cheap, but Unity has delivered some great results throughout 2021. Moving into 2022, traders should watch its big customer spending count as well as partnerships from the future. During Q3, it had announced a joint venture with the UFC using the Metacast software to make an immersive experience for fans. Unity’s offerings have almost unlimited use cases, so traders would be smart to buy some stock because of its broad potential.

Crowdstrike

The access points are a vulnerable part in any network system. Malicious programs could be downloaded via the internet on a laptop and cause havoc on an entire business network, possibly holding the company’s information or the company for ransom. Crowdstrike helps secure those endpoints with its top Falcon platform. Its cloud-native security helps protect devices no matter where the employees are accessing the company’s network. When a customer signs in, it has multiple other solutions to grow its defense capabilities. In fact, about 68% of its subscribers use four or more modules.

Crowdstrike has had a successful year in 2021; its yearly recurring revenue (ARR) rose to $1.51 billion, up 67% from October 31, 2020. Q3 total earnings was $380 million, up 63% for the period ending October 31, with subscription earnings making up $357 million. While Crowdstrike is still unprofitable, it converted more than 30% of earnings into free cash flow. Customer count rose 75% to 14,687 during Q3 as well.

At its midpoint, Crowdstrike is heading for $1.43 billion in sales for FY22 representing a 64% growth. Cybersecurity is also a growing concern, and companies must prevent attacks by making their defenses stronger. Crowdstrike helps with this pursuit and seems to be a smart buy, trading almost 30% under its all-time high.

Author: Steven Sinclaire

Market crashes can happen, and they usually tend to pull down some great stocks along with the rest of the market. It is impossible to predict the severity and timing of the next downturn in the market, but it is easy to see one happening soon.

These two businesses make dependable dividend payments in bad times and good. Their shares are up near 52-week highs at time of writing, but an overall downturn in the market might pull them down to more attractive prices. Here is why you should add them to your watchlist.

1. Abbott Labs

Abbott Laboratories shares have increased around 26% in 2021. At current prices, the stock provides an anemic 1.4% dividend yield.

Patient investors who have held onto their Dividend Aristocrat shares have watched their quarterly payments increase 77% over the last five years. Despite the large payout bumps, Abbott only required about 33% of the free cash flow that its operations produced over the last year to make its dividend payments. Which means the company should not have any trouble increasing the payout in line with revenue growth in the future.

Abbott earns most of its money by selling medical devices and diagnostics. The company’s medical-device segment is currently under some pressure because of COVID-19. It takes a lot of visits to the doctor before patients are able to receive a replacement heart valve or new pacemaker. Even with pandemic pressure, the medical-device segment sales in the first nine months of 2021 increased 24.5% up to $10.6 billion.

Diagnostics sales in the first nine months of 2021 skyrocketed a whopping 73% year over year to $11.2 billion. Increasing demand for COVID-19 tests is not good news for the medical-device segment, but enhanced diagnostics sales more than make up the difference.

It has been well over 50 years since Abbott went 12 months without increasing its dividend payout. With Abbott’s well-diversified operation, traders can reasonably believe their payouts will continue rising for another ten to twenty years.

2. AbbVie

The second half of 2021 has been terrible for most drug maker stocks, but not AbbVie. The pharmaceutical giant’s shares are up over 22% this year. Since spinning off from Abbott Labs in 2013, the stock has increased around 271%, but that is not the whole story. Once you factor in the consistently rising dividend payments, traders who held on to their shares have already gotten a 438% total return since the start of 2013.

Over the last eight years, AbbVie’s dividend has increased a whopping 253%, and at current prices, the stock offers a tempting 4.3% yield. Even with the rapid raises, the company required just 42% of free cash flow produced over the last year to meet its rapidly increasing dividend obligation.

AbbVie has provided an above-average dividend ever since its inception because traders are rightfully nervous about the ability of Abbvie to continue raising it in the future. This company’s biggest source of income, Humira, is also the world’s bestselling drug, with sales that have increased 5.6% year over year during the third quarter up to a yearly $21.7 billion.

Humira lost market exclusivity within the European union in 2018, and now 85% of its sales are coming from the U.S. market. In about twelve months, biosimilar versions of the Humira drug that are already approved by the FDA are expected to finally start hammering Humira sales into the dirt.

The Botox brand of the injectable botulinum toxin is a lot more resilient to the loss of exclusivity problems facing Humira because it is not exactly exclusive to begin with. Cosmetic Botox is more popular than it has ever been, with third-quarter sales that increased 39% year over year to a yearly $2.2 billion. Therapeutic Botox sales also increased 23% year over year to a yearly $2.6 billion.

Author: Blake Ambrose

We have seen some cryptocurrencies drop toward the end of the year. However, those declines were not enough to wipe out large returns in most cases. And even with some pullbacks, a few impressive performers are likely to continue winning. Here are three cryptos that delivered fivefold gains or more this year and are still worth investing in now.

1. Solana

Solana (CRYPTO:SOL) has produced a monster increase so far this year. The crypto is up almost 124 times — and that is after declining 30% from its peak over the last few weeks.

The creators of Solana claim that it is “the fastest blockchain on earth.” There is no question that Solana is very fast. It can process about 65,000 transactions each second. But that is a theoretical number. In reality, Solana normally handles close to 3,000 transactions each second — which is still a lot faster than other leading blockchains.

Solana also bills itself as “the quickest growing ecosystem in cryptocurrency.” This ecosystem currently has more than 400 projects.

These advantages, plus a super-low transaction cost, might enable Solana to add more momentum next year. It is already the fifth largest cryptocurrency based on market capitalization. With Solana now getting the attention of institutional traders and hedge funds, this crypto could just be getting started.

2. Avalanche

With just a few days left in 2021, Avalanche has delivered a return of over 39 times. In the process, the digital coin has catapulted into the number 10 spot for crypto based on market capitalization.

How has Avalanche achieved so much success? The credit goes to its underlying blockchain tech. Avalanche features three integrated blockchains that have the ability to process over 4,500 transactions each second. It also has an extremely-fast time to finality of less than two seconds.

Because of these advantages, more developers have been attracted to the Avalanche platform. Its ecosystem currently includes about 160 projects. Accounting and consulting company Deloitte will be on this list soon, with plans to create a disaster recovery platform on the Avalanche blockchain.

Can buying Avalanche make you a fortune next year? I think it is quite possible. If more developers decide to jump aboard the bandwagon, the value of the AVAX native coin will continue moving higher.

3. Ethereum

Ethereum (CRYPTO:ETH) has not produced the massive returns that Avalanche and Solana have this year. However, I really doubt that any traders are complaining about the crypto’s gain of more than 460%.

What is remarkable about Ethereum’s great performance is that it was created despite several challenges. Some developers have moved to other blockchains because of ETH’s sluggish transaction speed and higher gas fees.

But a large upgrade is on the way for Ethereum. The upgrade will change the blockchain to a proof-of-stake model, significantly raising transaction speeds and reducing transaction costs. The first phase of this upgrade has already been finished. The second phase is scheduled for next year with the third phase slated to begin in 2023.

With the promise of these big upgrades in the near future, ETH should easily maintain its current position as the second-biggest cryptocurrency based on market capitalization. And it will probably gain ground on the Number 1 crypto which is Bitcoin.

Author: Scott Dowdy

There is a reason hard working people are warned to save for their retirement. Social Security usually fails to completely cover its seniors’ living expenses. And people who retire on SS benefits alone usually struggle financially.

The avg. monthly Social Security benefit in 2022 will come to about $1,657. If you combine this with withdrawals from your retirement plan, that is not necessarily bad. But on its own, it only amounts to about $20,000 a year.

If you are struggling in retirement because of relying too heavily on a Social Security check, you’re not alone. But it is also imperative that you take some steps to reduce your expenses and make them more manageable. Here are a few specific moves to consider making.

1. Downsize your house

Even if your home is paid off by the time you do retire, downsizing to a smaller home could result in larger savings. The bigger your home, the more money it is going to cost to heat, maintain and cool. Plus, a bigger home often means a bigger property tax bill.

If you own your home outright and you are willing to downsize, it is currently a great time to sell. During the third quarter of 2021, home prices in the United State were up 18.5% from the year before. That means if you sold your home soon, you are likely to get more money for it.

2. Sell a car

When you work and have to drive to an office every day, dumping a car might not work. But if you are retired and do not need to drive every day, it might pay to cut your costs by selling your car — especially if money is tight.

AAA reports that the avg. cost to own a vehicle is $805.50 each month, or $9,666 each year. Even if you were to spend $100 each week on a ride-hailing service, you would benefit financially by selling a car. And if you are part of a two-car household, selling one car and sharing the other one might also make a lot of sense.

3. Choose a different Medicare plan

Many seniors register for original Medicare, which contains Parts A, B, and D. But you might have better luck — and reduced costs — with a Medicare Advantage plan.

Medicare Advantage plans are provided by private insurers, and usually, they are less expensive than the original Medicare plan, all the while offering a broader scope of coverage. Original Medicare, for example, will not pay for eye exams, or hearing aids, dental care whereas a lot of Advantage plans will pay for these services.

To see if Medicare Advantage is a good fit for you, you will need to check prices of plans in your area. And you might need to wait until the fall open enrollment to swap plans if you are currently registered for original Medicare. But you are allowed to research any Advantage plans ahead of time.

There is nothing wrong with depending on Social Security as your main retirement income source. But those benefits might not come close to covering all of your living costs on their own. If you are struggling financially because you are mostly limited to Social Security, it could pay to consider these changes that might save you a lot of money.

Author: Scott Dowdy

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