The Breadwinner


Americans’ inflation worries have gotten to a fever pitch in June, increasing to the highest level since June of 2013 as the price of consumer products kept surging, according to a Fed Bank of New York survey released on Monday.

The median expectation is for inflation to be up 4.8% in one year, a fresh high for the number, and up 3.6% in three years, the highest since Aug. 2013, according to the NY Fed’s Survey of Consumer Expectations.

Americans are also seeing the prices of homes continue to rise, with one-year expectations not changed from the 6.2% reported in June – much higher than the past one-year average at 3.7%.

Still, consumers report they expect the price food and fuel to decline slightly, while expectations for college tuition went up to 7% – the highest number since April 2019.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has overall downplayed the increasing prices for services and goods, blaming the uptick on widespread bottlenecks that have greatly disrupted the supply chain and a flood of pent-up demand from consumers who have a lot of cash. Though he is said inflation might turn out to be “greater and more persistent than initially expected,” Powell has stuck to the opinion that it is likely transitory.

Policymakers at the United States central bank are working on how to deal with the deeply conflicting data: While inflation is rising – in May, the government saw prices increased 5% from the year prior, the fastest y/y jump since 2008 – with job growth also being slower. There are still a total of 9.5 million unemployed American citizens.

During their policy-setting gathering in June, Fed leaders unanimously voted to keep interest rates close to zero, where they have been since March of 2020, and promised to keep buying $120 billion in bonds every month.

The Fed did not signal in June that it was getting close to scaling back its high bond-buying, even though officials did raise inflation expectations to 3.4% for the year – a point higher than March’s forecast.

Minutes from their June meeting showed that officials had spoke about when and how to start winding down their support, but most officials reiterated they were not ready to begin doing this.

Author: Steven Sinclaire

El Salvador’s Bitcoin announcement might create challenges for both the nation and the cryptocurrency itself, according to a group at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Bitcoin volume usually exceeds $40 billion to $50 billion each day, but most of this is internalized by top exchanges, said analysts from JPMorgan in their report. A large part of Bitcoin is kept in illiquid entities, with over 90% not moving hands in over a year — with a “rising and significant fraction kept by wallets with low turnover,” they said.

“Daily payment movement in El Salvador would be ~4% of recent on-chain volume and over 1% of the total tokens which were transferred between crypto wallets in the previous year,” the report says, with the nature and illiquidity of the volume being “possibly a significant restriction on its potential as a means of exchange.”

President Nayib Bukele’s drive to make Bitcoin legal in his nation has created a wave of debate regarding whether it’s helpful and what the consequences might be. The 39-year-old leader has said that Bitcoin will help reverse the country’s low financial penetration rate and decrease the cost of sending remittances. But the IMF — which is speaking to El Salvador about the nation’s credit program now — is among the groups who have questioned this rationale.

Even many supporters of Bitcoin say that, while there is a good argument for it being a good store of value, its utility as a mechanism for payment is limited.

“Bitcoin is a terrible payment system. It’s the worst one ever invented,” said William Quigley, the co-founder of Tether and a founder of multiple parts of the cryptocurrency sector, in a new video interview. “Any other token is more effective than Bitcoin as a means of payment.”

Other challenges that JPMorgan sees for the nation of El Salvador’s use of Bitcoin as tender include:

Recent polls suggest great skepticism and hesitance about using Bitcoin as money.

Bitcoin’s greater volatility gives a large challenge in a bimonetary system with official dollarization

An ongoing imbalance of demand for Bitcoin and dollar conversions on the official government platform might “eat onshore dollar liquidity” and then introduce a balance of payments danger.

Author: Blake Ambrose

Over the previous five years, bio technology stocks have been beaten by the S&P 500. Controversies about drug pricing, the increasing cost of innovation in medicine, and greater generic competition have all been hitting away at biotech companies’ bottom lines.

These danger factors have meant the glass was half full — that is, they have delivered bargain opportunities to purchase biotech stocks at very low levels. So let’s look at two such companies and see why they are wonderful choices for investors looking for value.

1. Pfizer

Pfizer has been a leader in dealing with the covid pandemic with its vaccine, named Comirnaty. The company made $3.462 billion from this vaccine in Q1 of 2021, with revenue of more than $26 billion being expected for the entire year.

But its covid vaccine is not only a one-time increase to the company’s numbers. Recently, real-world research from Israel discovered that Comirnaty’s efficacy has lowered to 64% from 95% because of the rise of the deadly delta variant. Also, the vaccine’s safeguards against critical illness lowered to 93% from 100% in official studies. This almost ensures the need for boosters going forward.

Pfizer expects its overall biopharma sales to reach $71.5 billion this year. That means a 70.6% y/y growth from its 2020 numbers after counting in the spinoff of its Upjohn generic business — a level essentially unheard-of for a big company. Also, Pfizer believes its earnings per share will boost by 62% from 2020 to reach $3.60.

Judging by the good vaccine demand, I believe Pfizer can protect its high growth for two years at least. Moreover, the stock is crazy cheap, at only 11 times price to earnings. It also gives an impressive dividend of 4%.

2. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals 

Regeneron has has some great growth — and its movement is still continuing. In the first quarter 2021, its net income and revenue grew by 78% and 38%, respectively, to $1.115 billion and $2.53 billion. Its top drugs were Eylea (which treats retinal disease), Dupixent (anti-allergy medication), and cancer-fighting Libtayo. The latter got regulatory clearance for treatment of non-small cell lung cancer and advanced basal cell carcinoma the first part of this year.

The company also had $262 million in sales from its REGEN-COV coronavirus antibody cocktail. So even with the pandemic declining, the company could possible sell the product to more than 2 million people in the United States with certain medical conditions as a prevention means, especially against possible variants.

Overall, Regeneron is one of the best growth stocks with a reasonable price to buy now. It sells at 12 times earnings, which is low for a 50% y/y earnings growth.

Author: Scott Dowdy

Getting a cryptocurrency listed on Coinbase is not that difficult anymore.

Until just recently, if Coinbase put up a new cryptocurrency, it was seen as a mark of approval and often brought the coin’s price up.

But Americans’ top crypto exchange has changed this policy. Instead of being selective, Coinbase will now list as many cryptocurrencies as it can.

The company’s CEO Brian Armstrong said via Twitter back in June that Coinbase’s target was to have every asset it legally could list.

“Outside our standards (for safety and legality), we do not offer opinion on the value of every asset,” he said.

“We are agnostic on assets, because we support free markets and that customers should have a choice in their crypto economy. This is how we will have the best innovation.”

Coinbase’s change in focus

The reason for the company’s new approach is a simple thing. Investors demand access to a much bigger range of coins, and if Coinbase does not provide it, investors will go to their competitors. 

That is why the company says it wants to be the first to give new so called “alt” coins. The idea is to give the site’s customers access to such coins, but not give validation of the coins in question.

Coinbase currently has about 70 currencies in the United States, though they are not all available in all states. Armstrong informed CNBC back in April that his company is looking at listing 100 additional coins.

Armstrong stressed that people should not see a Coinbase listing as being an endorsement of any level. He also pledged that the top crypto exchange would give tools in the future to aid investors in evaluating individual cryptocurrencies.

Coinbase’s fresh direction makes perfect sense from a profit and strategy perspective. But for traders and investors, it has never been more crucial to do your own research. Always ensure you do a lot of googling when investing in a new alt coin. And remember to seek out skeptics who can give you a broader look at the value of a cryptocurrency. This is an industry with many shady figures looking to lie to investors to increase their own portfolios.

Author: Steven Sinclaire

Virgin Galactic Holdings, on July 11, intends to launch its founder, Richard Branson, into space through a test flight of the VSS Unity. If this succeeds, Branson would be the first billionaire to travel into space — just days before Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is planned to do the same through his company Blue Origin.

Shares of Virgin Galactic went higher by 20% in trading after the news of Branson’s planned trip, with the stock up around 166% over this past year.

What’s so special about Virgin Galactic?

Unlike official government agencies like NASA, Virgin Galactic makes its components themselves through its sub-company, The Spaceship Company, and lowers the markups that companies pay when using third-party supply chains.

Since its creation, Virgin Galactic has spent around $900 million creating its launch system, which includes three vessels, SpaceShipTwo, VSS Unity, and VMS Eve, and increasing its fleet. Although not completely comparable, it costs NASA up to $11 billion to create a spacecraft from scratch, with the orbiter (the part that takes the crew to space and back) alone having a price tag of $6 billion.

The Federal Aviation Admin. has certified the company’s launch system as ready for space, allowing it to bring its clients into space. Virgin Galactic executives anticipate the company will be set to start next year. Michael Colglazier, the firm’s CEO, expects the program to earn $1 billion per year. That explains why Virgin Galactic has a $10 billion value even though it has no revenue and a cash burn rate of over $120 million per quarter.

So far, the company has sold 600 tickets and brought in over $80 million from deposits. Each ticket costs around $225,000. Around 1,000 customers are on the waitlist for the next set of tickets.

Should you invest in it?

The current heightened value of Virgin Galactic’s stock means it has already taken in some of the hype, but there is still more room for it to go higher. With new tech advancements, space tourism can become more affordable to more people over the next ten years — creating even higher demand. So consider this stock a very long-term buy that can pay off very well by the mid-2030s.

Author: Blake Ambrose

It is far from a stock market that is in complete danger, but a day after stocks reached record highs it is now a market being drilled with some very valid fears.

The Dow went down almost 500 points in trading on Thursday as investors displayed concern that the decrease in 10-year Treasury yields might mean that economic slowdown will happen later this year. Driving that possibly dreaded macroeconomic lowering would be two causes, traders believe. First, the Delta strain of COVID-19 that is supposedly spreading across the world. And two, the Fed moving to lower its bond buys before the end of this year.

Hence, the newly shown concerns by investors about the ever-increasing valuations in many sectors of the equities market.

“If I do any number-crunching, I place the market at around 4% overvalued. The upside possibility between now and 2021’s end is 0.4%, which is a low figure. You never see these numbers exactly correctly, but it’s not a good number,” said Hugh Johnson Advisors chief investment officer Hugh Johnson. “So the valuation amount are such that to be frank — and this was even before what we saw today — they are not exciting.”

The sell-off so far is widespread.

All of the Dow’s is in red, except for defensive companies like Amgen, IBM, and Nike. The Nasdaq, S&P 500 and Russell 2000 were in the red too.

Coinbase is the top trending symbol on Yahoo right now, lowering by 4% as another fall back in crypto prices in the past day happens. Semiconductor companies also underperformed the market, with CPU giant AMD leading the pack at 4% lower.

“Stocks such as Apple, Nvidia, Microsoft, and Google have all become pretty overbought on a short-term time frame. The Nasdaq and XLK ETF have also become overbought,” said Matt Maley, a Miller Tabak Market Strategist in a recent research note.

“We are not announcing that long-term buyers should get out of these companies in an aggressive way. However, they should consider making some cash from these (and other) companies right now… so they have the money to use once a correction has happened.”

Author: Steven Sinclaire

The stock market might be unreliable at times, and it doesn’t go up each year. But when looked at over the long term, there is arguably not a better source for wealth on the planet.

Since 1980, putting your money into an S&P 500 index would have given an annual total return, with dividends, of over 11%. In other words, you are doubling your money in under seven years, if you use dividend reinvestment.

If you are ready to set out on your path to wealth and independence, the next two unbeatable stocks could help you reach that goal.


There is a war against cash and a digital payments revolution happening before our eyes. When the game is over, fintech stock Square could end up being one of the top providers of digital payments.

Square is possibly best-known for its selling ecosystem. This is the sector that gives point-of-sale analytics, devices loans, and other methods to help businesses expand. In the seven years going into the covid pandemic, the gross payment volume (known as GPV for short) on its network went from $6.5 billion all the way to $106.2 billion.

While their seller ecosystem has long been focused on small merchants, GPV data reveals that larger businesses now make up a majority of all the GPV on the network. Larger merchants should mean higher gross profit and a much better future for Square.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals

Biotech stocks are everywhere. But a profitable pharma company with a good track record of creating drugs for hard-to-treat illnesses … that’s the best way to describe Vertex Pharmaceuticals.

Where Vertex has made itself unique is in treating cystic fibrosis — a genetic illness characterized by thick mucus that can block the pancreas and lungs. Despite there not being a cure for cystic fibrosis, Vertex has created multiple generations of gene-based therapies for the illness, each giving improved lung functions for the patients. The latest, a therapy called Trikafta, was FDA approved five months ahead of its scheduled time frame. At its peak, this drug could bring in $6 billion or higher in annual sales.

Creating a long line of treatments in the hard-to-treat sector has allowed Vertex to create quite a war chest. It recently reported $6.9 billion in cash and equivalents, which is a lot more than it needs to support its research into almost one dozen internally created compounds. This company certainly has a bright future.

Author: Steven Sinclaire

GameStop has become a possible turnaround company despite its meme status among investors.

Just one year back, the video game retailing company was seeming like it was going toward bankruptcy instead of a renaissance. Despite numerous activist investors reviewing the dying company, the chances were great that GameStop was little more than a dead stock.

While I no longer believe GameStop is a losing investment (not at a reasonable price that is), I also believe investors will be better off putting their money into these two gaming stocks instead, as they have a better growth possibility ahead of them without the same risk that hovers over GameStop.

1. Sea Limited

Sea Limited is a diversified firm with three divisions: e-commerce, digital financial products, and its oldest sector, digital gaming, which also seems to be its most lucrative.

Sea’s Q1 results revealed their digital gaming sector generated $717 million in adjusted earnings before taxes and amortization, while e-commerce had an adjusted loss of around $412 million and digital financial experienced a $153 million loss.

Yet all three sectors are growing quickly, and while the digital entertainment division is certainly gaining from people being on lockdown, today it is still getting sales growth. In Q1, it more than doubled to $781 million, and the other segments gave even better gains.

The company’s quarterly active users went up by over 61% from the year-ago time to reach 648.8 million, and they were higher by over 6% sequentially.

Gaming is Sea Limited’s core engine, but when combined with the possibility for its e-commerce platform and its digital financial business, Sea’s long-term prospect looks very bright.

2. Skillz

Esports will be huge. It is already big, but it’s growing rapidly, with total revenue expected to reach almost $1.1 billion this year, a 14.5% gain from last year. Within that number, analysts forecast over 75% will come from sponsorships and media rights. That serves the company Skillz perfectly.

Skillz is a platform giving an arena for gamers to compete against each other for prizes. Then it and the game developers split the profit. Since it is game-neutral and does not have the expense of really having to create games, Skillz can generate a huge profit margin.

Q1 gross margins were a huge 95%, a 100-basis-point uptick over the year-ago number. It also almost doubled revenue (up 92%), making it the 21st consecutive quarter it has given revenue growth, while increasing its full-year revenue expectations to $375 million, which is a 61% boost from 2020.

Author: Blake Ambrose

Gold and silver just took another step in regaining their former status as money after the state of Ohio became the 41st one to remove their sales tax on bullion purchases.

Governor Mike DeWine passed House Bill 110, which gives the right of Ohioans and small businesses to get precious metals without getting hit by taxes.

The legislation was supported by State Representatives Riordan McClain and Kris Jordan.

“These are are common sense efforts. The government should not be taxing people’s money,” said Jordan in a comment.

“This type of double taxation discourages Ohio citizens from purchasing precious metals in the state and pushes their business elsewhere. Ohio gold and silver dealers can now better compete against other states and online marketplaces. This exemption will also let Ohio attract coin shows, which can give significant amounts of economic benefits,” he said.

The new law also got wide grassroots backing from organizations like the National Bullion Association, Money Metals Exchange, The Campaign for Liberty and the Sound Money Defense League.

Earlier this year, in testimony to the House and State Senate as the legislation was being debated, the Policy Director at the Sound Money League, Jp Cortez, said that the measure levels the field between gold and other assets like stocks. He said that the state does not charge taxes on such assets as stocks and bonds.

Cortez added that these taxes penalize normal consumers who wish to use precious metals to safeguard their wealth.

“Precious metal investors are buying them to protect their wealth against the harmful effects of inflation. Inflation also harms ‘the little guy’ – including retirees on limited incomes, and savers,” he said.

In a prepared comment, Cortez welcomed the newly changed law. However, he said that more work must be done as nine states are keeping their tax on gold and silver.

“Ohio has ended their unfair taxing of citizens who are simply buying one form of money for another. The nine states that still tax the monetary metals are more and more embarrassing themselves. The tide has changed against this stupid practice,” he said.

Ohio is the second state to withdraw its precious metals sales tax this year. In May, Arkansas also passed legislation to do the same.

Author: Blake Ambrose

Sygnum has revealed it will be the first banking institution in the world to give Ethereum 2.0 stake options to its customers.

The comment from the Swiss financial institution means it is the first bank to allow customers to stake ethereum.

Sygnum will allow this staking through its own bank. By using its top-grade banking system which is right now giving a yield of as much as seven percent a year.

The brand new staking offering from the bank will give a complete user-friendly option for customers who wish to stake their own ethereum from their own existing wallets. This staked ethereum will stay inside clients’ personal wallets, ensuring total security for people.

The announcement of ethereum 2.0 staking to the bank is not the only cryptocurrency to be staked by Sygnum. Currently, they also offer staking on the Tezos coin. The digital bank also has yield-producing fixed deposit on the Digital Swiss Franc.

Thomas Eichenberger, from Sygnum, spoke about this news, “Ethereum is now the second top protocol, and staking on Ethereum is a fundamental part of digital assets and can now be managed using a secure and convenient portal.” Eichenberger also reported that the staking of Ethereum with his bank will further boost the attractiveness of their current services.

ETH staking growing in popularity 

The number of Ethereum that is being staked on top of the Ethereum 2.0 system keeps going up. Most recently that number got to 6.1 million Ethereum, with more than 185,000 validators. The number of Ethereum being staked now comes to a whopping $14 billion.

Staking seems to be rising in popularity as an additional method to bring in interest on crypto assets. JPMorgan’s analysts recently said that staking will keep getting traction as a revenue source for both retail and institutional investors. These analysts expect this staking revenue to grow four-fold by the year of 2025.

Thomas Brunner, of Sygnum Bank, said that, “Sygnum customers can now use the new staking system and benefit from the possibly higher profits now. This is an attractive option for long-term holders in Ethereum.“

Author: Steven Sinclaire

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