Shop Around

For over 20 years Amazon has been that grocery store pounding you with advertisements, luring you in with their free hotdogs and low prices. Now, the shareholders want earnings and it’s game on.

Since becoming the online bookstore, Amazon has done a lot to diversify. They have expanded into cloud services like AWS. In the same way they undercut retail competition, Amazon is fiercely competing in digital services and exploring new horizons. Unfortunately, profits are being made from the loyal retail customers.

You see, the hot dogs that were once offered free are no longer offered. Neither are the heavily discounted items. Stores like Walmart and Best Buy are fighting for their lives and this means a reversal in trends when Amazon was the big price cutter. In addition, their shipping is actually free.

Unfortunately, some Amazon customers are in the dark. They are also committed with the ridiculous Prime Membership fees. They may think they are getting value but Amazon lags in the instant movie and TV space.

The message is to shop around. Don’t foot the bill for Jeff’s ruthless endeavors to destroy brick and mortar and don’t fund his experimental money losses.


Cannibalization of Crypto

Cryptocurrencies have started the cannibalization phase, and it won’t end pretty. What we’ve seen in the past week is clear evidence of this. Bitcoin, which had reached nearly $20,000 now sits hovering between $12,000 to $14,000. Pretty good considering how much and how quickly it rose.

Yet, it appears, there is a new sheriff in town. Ripple (XRP) has risen to astronomical levels. Considering there are 100 Billion total vs Bitcoin’s 21 Million, the gains it has made means there has been unfathomable buying levels lately.

So, what is going on? I suspect we have entered the cannibalization mode. So-called alt-coins may overtake the value of Bitcoin soon. People flocked over to Bitcoin to hitch a ride on its monumental gains, however, others rode the wave on alt-coins. Unfortunately, however, we will now see a tug of war occur. As one currency falls, another will rise. The reporting has not been helpful. Articles such as this do not help the situation (and notably ripple has fallen at least 25% since that article according to Unfortunately, many will be misled.

Cannibalization. The currencies are going to eat each other. The daytraders are nothing more than profit chasers. Why would Ripple rise while others fall? Part of this may be the interest generated by articles here, here, and here, yet, it is also plausible that people are pulling money out of Bitcoin and other cryptos which are falling, and putting it in Ripple.

For me, I will sit on the sidelines and watch this play out. I think we could very easily see Bitcoin fall below $5,000 and even further as people realize there is better technology out there. This space is very volatile and the barriers to entry are low. No reason to get too excited about one coin over the other.

What’s In Store for Bitcoin?

Nobody knows. That’s a simple answer. I’ve been glancing at ripple as well. They seem to be a decent exchange, but who knows how much more they have to run.

Last time I remember somewhat mainstream news was when it surpassed $1,200. It subsequently took a dive from there.

There wasn’t as much media attention, but it could follow the same pattern. If people think simply being traded on Wallstreet is a reason for bullishness, I could show them some charts.

Is the Fed the Lorax?

Watching the Lorax with my daughter, it leads me to think about how crazy the entire “crypto-currency” craze is. What is to keep me from creating an impostor currency? Speculation makes the “crypto-currencies”  unusable as currencies. Isn’t it crazy that to get rich, someone created their own measure of currency? And where is the Fed?

As fraud, money laundering and other shady activities occur with crypto-currencies, the Fed, the IRS, the government stands by. They are as helpless and useless as the Lorax was at keeping the trees safe. All around us, people are gaming the system while honest people who use honest money are trudging along.

Perhaps this is just a disruptor. Perhaps it’s out of the Fed’s league. Perhaps the Fed’s wait and see approach is to allow cryptos enough rope to hang themselves. Still, the comparison of the Lorax to the Fed seems apt. All the while, the Onceler profits as he depletes the habitat around him. People are forced to move on. The Lorax portrays himself as having some power, yet he clearly has none. Perhaps the Fed is finding that this is true for them. For all their efforts with QE, they have not been able to make much progress.

How could the fed regulate “Bitcoin”? What will they do about the cancer of other cryptos which are obvious pyramid schemes? Are they powerless?

The best of times

There has never been a better time to be alive! Even I didn’t believe this phrase, but now I believe it. This is an age of much discovery and progress. The opportunities are all around us if we just look around us. The innovation will free up our time to create more innovation. Tomorrow will be better than today, but today is great.

There will be growing pains. We will have recessions, many will lose their jobs. Civil unrest may take hold, but from these events, the whole of humanity will benefit. Revolutions like we are seeing in Venezuela and Syria are the result of a more informed society, and that is good. Dictators are holding onto power as long as they can, but they will not be able to for long.

In this writing, I will focus on the good things happening all around us. The innovations, progress and overall good news for those who are concerned that they may lose in this new economy.

The biggest thing is to not let fear overtake your heart. Fear is the enemy to faith. Fear and doubt cannot abide at the same time. Politicians and other influencers use fear as a way to control. Sure, change is scary. Being out of your comfort zone is scary, but time and progress will march on with or without us. The time is now to embrace the future.