Revealed: The Only Crypto Investment Strategy That Makes Sense

As I write, it’s a red day. The second one in a row, actually.

Most cryptos are down… just like yesterday.

Obviously, the crypto world has been taking some hits recently.

Late last week, a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange reported more than $500 million worth of NEM (New Economy Movement) was stolen. And there’s more…

Earlier this month, French Minister for the Economy Bruno Le Maire restated his intention to include bitcoin as a major topic of debate at the upcoming G20 Summit in March.

Theresa May, England’s ineffectual leader, says her government is considering imposing regulations on crypto, preferably in coordination with the U.S.

And to top things off, China and Korea also made noises about more restrictions.

It sure seems like the noose is tightening around crypto…

On the other hand, any serious investor who has thought about the risks that crypto brings to the table probably had the same reaction I had…
Nothing really surprising or new here.

If any of these developments shocked or scared you, you clearly haven’t focused on the risk of owning crypto.

That’s okay… because we have.

And we’re willing to share with you some of our thinking on this important topic.

Our first piece of advice?

Don’t listen to the financial press.

The Mainstream Press Gets Crypto Risk Wrong

The mainstream press spends an inordinate amount of time reporting on government action (or inaction), hacks like the one that just happened with Japan’s Coincheck and price drops like the roughly 3% to 10% drops across the board we’ve seen yesterday and today.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s news. It should be covered. But the press offers little meaningful context or perspective.

Its reporting is shallow, misleading and often just plain wrong.

Let’s address the recent headlines one at a time…

Hacks. Yes, it’s lousy that these happen. And the pain is very real to those whose wallets are emptied. (By the way, Coincheck has pledged to pay back the losses to those affected by its recent hack.)

But it’s not a threat to the overall viability of the crypto space.

For one, unlike in the days of the Mt. Gox hack, there are a dozen major exchanges now. Though the amount stolen from Coincheck was more than what was purloined from Mt. Gox ($530 million versus $460 million), it was a much smaller amount when compared to the total value of crypto coins today.

The amount of NEM hacked? Less than one-tenth of 1% of crypto’s total market cap.

Let’s give the market some credit here. It reacted exactly as it should have. It’s not a big deal. The hack was reported on Friday. By Sunday, NEM was trading at a price exceeding the pre-hacked price.

There would have to be a series of large hacks squeezed into a short period of time to make a meaningful dent in the market.

That’s simply not in the cards.

Government actions and pronouncements. This has been a divisive issue from the get-go. Some crypto followers believe government regulation is sorely needed and would put crypto on firmer ground.

Others believe that governments will treat crypto as a major threat (which it is!) and overreact with excessively restrictive regulations that would suffocate this emerging and still somewhat fragile market.

First of all, governments – even one as powerful as the U.S. government – cannot destroy crypto. It’s global and decentralized. It largely operates outside of U.S. approval and jurisdiction.

But a government can control and restrict the use of crypto within its borders. It can close the bank accounts of crypto companies. And it can forbid the creation of any and all related businesses.

When China essentially did this, crypto investors simply moved their accounts to other countries.

But what if, say, the U.S., England, the EU and China acted in unison to ban crypto?

It could spell the end of crypto as we know it. At the very least, it would be a major setback.

But even then, it would be premature to write crypto’s obituary. Whether it would reach the level of a catastrophic event would depend on what’s happening in a half-dozen hubs, including Korea, Japan and Switzerland, as well as up-and-coming crypto centers like India, Canada, Australia, Brazil, and South Africa.

I suspect crypto would survive and re-emerge down the road.

By the way, this is NOT a likely scenario, at least not in the short term.

The U.S. does not have good relations with many of these governments, and the Trump White House doesn’t mind forging its own solitary path on global issues of the day.

And after Trump? By then, crypto could be too ubiquitous to oppose.

A bearish market. Let me set the stage for this…

The crypto market went up more than 35X last year. Most of the reasons were legit, based on crypto’s massive and very real upside potential.

But the market was also fed by FOMO (fear of missing out) and unexciting returns in the more traditional asset classes. So crypto leaned a little too far ahead of its skis.

It was due for a breather. So what’s the risk involved?

How hard the fall is. And how long it lasts.

As for how hard, we’ve seen the drop already. It was a big one. Bitcoin’s price was halved.

The key is how long the drop will last.

Last year, drops lasted from a few days to a couple of weeks.

On the other hand, in previous years, when bitcoin peaked to just under $1,000 in late 2013, it took three years for the coin to revisit and then exceed that price.

Could something like that happen again? And if so, what would cause it?

If draconian government measures or a spate of hacks fail to deflate the market, the one remaining X-factor would be a slower-than-expected evolution of blockchain technologies impacting the real world.

Sebastien Meunier calls this dynamic “market fatigue.” I call it the “instant gratification” trap – born of impatience sprinkled with overconfidence.

Disruptive technology of this scale and impact doesn’t happen simply overnight. (See my article here for more of my thoughts on this.)

The Curse Comes at Dawn

So, if these aren’t serious risks, what are?

It’s the curse of being at the dawn of a new technological age.

Everything is so new – the technology, protocols and products.

Think about what it was like at the dawn of the consumer electronics age. Remember Sony’s Walkman?

The first mini-cassette Walkman hit the market in 1979. By the early 1980s, they had become wildly popular. But this was mobile music 1.0. Its days of domination began to wane with the introduction of Apple’s iPod in 2001. By 2006, 60 million iPods had been sold.

In 2010, Sony stopped making Walkmans.

We’re in the cryptocurrency 1.0 era.

The technology is still largely unproven. Perhaps bitcoin’s established and growing brand will make it very hard or impossible to replace it with a better crypto.

Perhaps not.

Walkmans didn’t have the extra layer of protection provided by bitcoin’s “network effects.” Then again, bitcoin has a new crypto rival coming out literally three times a week (or more), all of them claiming to do bitcoin’s job better… or cheaper or safer or faster.

Walkmans never faced such intense competition.

I expect the blockchain technology to work and to scale, with cryptocurrencies part and parcel of the success story.

But it won’t necessarily be cryptocurrencies 1.0.

Heck, it may not even be version 2.0 or 3.0.

Let me repeat something I said last year: “We’re basically in the experimental, pre-commercial phase of blockchain technology… Mass consumption is still years away.”

Which is why Adam and I are covering our bases…

The Best of Each Generation

We can’t ignore bitcoin’s status as the gorilla of the crypto world.
Nor can we ignore the fact that many altcoins are developing intriguing technologies that could represent significant upgrades to what bitcoin and some of the older 1.0 cryptocurrencies do.

So, in addition to recommending bitcoin to our followers, we track and recommend the best altcoins we can find.

It’s a strategy that will give us a piece of the action in each generation from crypto 1.0 through succeeding generations.

As we move ahead, we’ll be keeping the best of the earlier generations as they prove their worth. And the ones that don’t? We’ll recommend our members sell them when it’s clear to us that they’ve been superceded by better blockchain technologies.

This is a long-term, multiyear crypto investing strategy – the opposite of a sexier but far riskier (and dangerous) instant gratification mode of investing.
Instead of impatience and overconfidence, our strategy is predicated on open-mindedness, humility, steadfastness and a long-term outlook.

We’re in it for the long haul. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea.

Five years from now, nobody will remember the dip crypto took in the last two days. And, with a portfolio hopefully sporting some big winners, nobody will care.

Good investing,

Andy Gordon
Co-Founder, Early Investing

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Source: Early Investing 

The Next Hot High-Yield Sector

Lodging is the commercial real estate sector that is most sensitive to the level of economic activity. Strong GDP growth usually leads to expanding profits for hotel owners. The lodging REITs have been in a slump since the sector’s recent bear market that lasted the full year of 2015.

In the spectrum of rent contract lengths, hotels have the shortest time. Room rates can change daily based on supply and demand conditions. When the economy starts to grow faster, there is greater demand for hotel rooms, which allows the lodging companies to fill more rooms at higher average prices.

The lodging real estate investment trusts (REITs) own portfolios of hotels. Most REITs focus on a specific sector of the hotel business. A REIT will own the properties and contract with third-party management companies. To keep it’s REIT status, the hotel owner cannot also be the operator. Lease contracts between the lodging REIT and the tenant/management company usually include a fixed lease payment and a percentage of revenues. The hotel REITs do experience greater revenue and free cash flow when hotel revenues are improving.

The metric to follow in this sector is RevPAR: revenue per available room. Quarter to quarter changes in RevPAR show you how well a specific REIT is doing. Flat or declining RevPAR means a flat dividend. If the metric starts to increase nicely, you can expect the REIT to start boosting the quarterly dividend. Most lodging REITs keep the dividend/FFO payout ratio low. This avoids the need to cut the dividend if there is slowing in the lodging space.

The hotel REITs had a tremendous run-up from the bear market bottom in 2009 until the sector peaked in January 2015. Investors saw rising dividends and share price gains of several hundred percent. When the RevPAR growth flattened, the hotel REITs went into a yearlong bear market covering 2015. For the last two years both RevPAR growth and hotel REIT share prices have been flat. Here is the five-year comparison chart of three hotel REITs that nicely illustrate the up, down and flat trends of the past half-decade.

With the U.S. economy hitting 3% GDP growth for several quarters in a row, investors are once again getting interested in the hotel REITs. Share values have risen nicely over the last five months, but be assured this is likely just the start of a run that could see share prices double or better. You should see RevPAR increasing and dividend increase announcements. Here are three lodging REITs that are well positioned to benefit from the stronger economic growth.

Host Hotels and Resorts Inc. (NYSE: HST) is the largest lodging REITs with a $15 billion market cap. The company owns a diversified portfolio of 89 premium hotels with over 50,000 rooms. These include upscale central business district locations, resort locations, and prime airport lodging facilities. Third party management contracts are with Marriott, Sheraton, Hyatt, Hilton and other premium hotel operators. For 2017, the company generated adjusted FFO of $1.65 per shares. Out of that dividends of $0.85 per share were paid. FFO per share was basically flat compared to 2016 and the dividend stayed level. Host Hotels did declare an additional $0.05 per share dividend in December.

Third quarter 2017 RevPAR was $176.87, down 1.5% from $179.63 for Q3 2016. These numbers are a good indication of how lodging revenues and profits have been very flat. A shift to increasing RevPAR will allow the company to grow the dividend and propel the share price higher. Full year 2017 results come out on February 22. HST currently yields 4.7%.

RLJ Lodging Trust (NYSE: RLJ) is a mid-cap, $4.1 billion market cap lodging REIT. The company is focused on acquiring premium-branded, focused-service and compact full-service hotels. RLJ Lodging Trust has a portfolio that consists of 157 properties with approximately 30,800 rooms. In September 2017, RLJ completed a merger with Felcor Lodging Trust, another mid-sized publicly traded REIT. For the 2017 third quarter, RevPAR declined 1.1% compared to a year earlier. This decline would have been 2.3% without the acquisition of the FelCor assets. FFO per share for the first nine months of 2017 was $1.84, handily covering the 40.99 per share of dividends paid. The merger will boost bottom line efficiency in 2018, setting the company up nicely for greater hotel demand this year and for the next few years. RLJ currently yields 5.6%.

LaSalle Hotel Properties (NYSE: LHO) is a $3.5 billion market cap REIT that owns hotels in 11 large urban markets and two resort hotels in Key West, FL. About 65% of the portfolio is managed by independent operators with the remaining third run by name brand hotel companies. The urban and resort focus allows LaSalle to generate high RevPAR rates, averaging $219 in the 2017 third quarter. RevPAR for that quarter was down 3.6% compared to a year earlier.

Last year was a tough year for competition in several of LaSalle’s target markets including Philadelphia and San Francisco. Those and the other urban hotel markets are the ones likely to benefit most from increased corporate travel spending associated with a growing economy and expanding corporate profits. LHO currently yields 5.9%.

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Source: Investors Alley 

Buy This Dip for 8.7% Dividends and Massive Gains in 2018

There’s one income-producing sector you probably hold in your portfolio—and you may be wondering why it’s crashing out this year.

I’m talking about utilities, which are famous for their rock-steady dividends (and predictable dividend hikes). These companies literally power the economy. But if utilities are so important, why are they in the toilet while the rest of the market is on fire?

Investors Loathe Utilities

Before we go further, if you’ve noticed your portfolio’s utility sleeve taking a dive like the one above—or bigger—don’t worry. This dip is a buying opportunity! I’ll give you one option paying a fat 8.7% dividend below.

First, the big driver behind utilities’ plunge is the recovery in energy prices. Oil and natural gas are soaring after 2017’s bear market and the cold snap that kick-started this year’s commodity consumption. Higher energy costs hurt utilities’ profits, which, in turn, lowers their stock prices.

The Upside of Down

But if you’re an income seeker, this crash is an excellent opportunity to bulk up your income stream. Consider the Utilities Sector SPDR ETF (XLU), which is now yielding 3.5%, its highest level in over a year:

Utilities’ Income Rises

Let’s put some numbers behind this to understand what’s going on.

If you put $500,000 into XLU at the start of 2018, you would have gotten a $16,500 annual cash payout from the fund’s then-decent 3.3% dividend. But if you buy XLU today, you’ll get $17,350—a 5.2% raise! And that’s just because of a 0.2% increase in yield.

That is the power of dividends. And now I’m going to show you how we can kick that payout into overdrive.

Double Your Income in One Buy

There are a lot of funds out there paying a 6% dividend yield, or higher, while still investing in those same utilities XLU does. They’re called closed-end funds (if you’re not familiar with CEFs, click here for a quick and easy-to-follow primer), and they operate in an important way that supercharges their income stream.

The secret? Discounts.

When you buy $1 in XLU shares, you get $1 of XLU’s portfolio. That’s pretty straightforward. But CEFs are different: they often trade at a discount to their portfolio’s net asset value (NAV, or the market value of their holdings). And that makes their dividend yield even higher.

For instance, the Duff & Phelps Global Utility Trust (DPG) trades at an 11.5% discount to NAV—or its “true” value—which helps it cover a nice 8.7% dividend to shareholders.

Now let’s put some numbers behind this to see what we’re talking about. That $500,000 investment in XLU that paid $16,500 in annual cash dividends? Put it in DPG and suddenly you’re getting $43,450 a year. That’s a 163% raise!

Think there’s a catch? Let me put your mind at ease.

One of the first things investors do when they hear about a CEF is track its performance history. Do this with DPG, and things look bad. Let’s compare the price charts of DPG and XLU over the last year:

The Seeming Laggard

XLU is up nearly 4% while DPG is flat—a sucker’s bet, right?


The mistake most folks make is to look just at the price return of a fund and not the total return, including dividends. That’s because the media has trained us to obsess over the S&P 500, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq 100—indexes that pay paltry dividends (you’ll get 2% on the S&P if you’re lucky). Paltry dividends don’t add much to total returns, which are the value of the dividend payouts and the price changes.

But CEFs typically yield 6% or more, so their dividends are a much more important component of their total returns. So now let’s look at a total return chart of DPG and XLU, including the dividends both funds paid out:

Laggard No More!

All of a sudden, DPG doesn’t look like a sucker’s bet anymore.

It’s a chronic problem with markets—a lot of investors do the most basic amount of research and give up. What exactly are they giving up? In this case, a 163% higher dividend, along with superior returns. If that isn’t a good enough reason to do deeper research, I don’t know what is.

So should you buy DPG now?

If you’re looking for a big income stream and you’re in it for the long haul, DPG is a good option. There are others, though. Some utility CEFs have bigger yields, and some have much better long-term returns than DPG. A basket of these funds, bought when their discounts are most attractive and their portfolios best positioned to guarantee their dividends, is ideal for most investors.

But, of course, as you’re shopping around for the right CEF, do make sure you look at total returns.

4 Better Buys Than DPG (Incredible Cash Payouts Up to 10.4%)

And I haven’t gotten to your best option yet: let me do the legwork for you.

In fact, I’ve already done it! And today I’m pounding the table on 4 bargain CEFs that hand you an average yield of 8.1% and even bigger upside (I’m talking gains of 20%+ here) than you’ll get from DPG in 2018.

One of these little-known picks hands you an astounding 10.0% payout and I expect it to be one of my biggest gainers in 2018, thanks to its massive discount to NAV. Just imagine banking an income stream like that while you watch your nest egg streak higher.

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Source: Contrarian Outlook 

7 Stocks to Buy That Are Winning With Tech

Source: Shutterstock, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) made a major announcement Jan. 22. After more than a year getting the bugs out, the Seattle e-commerce company opened Amazon Go to the public.

Using artificial intelligence and cameras to keep tabs on the shoppers in the store — Amazon Go provides cashier-free grocery shopping — technology is changing the way consumers shop for groceries.

One of its customers is Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos.

“Jeff [Bezos] has been aware. He loves the store — he definitely has shopped it,” VP of Amazon Go Gianna Puerini said. “He’s been super supportive and wonderful.”

So, depending on your point of view, Amazon is either a tech company using e-commerce as its end product or service or an e-commerce company using tech to sell its products and services.

While it’s using technology to grow its revenue, I’m going to pass on Amazon.

However, there’s no mistaking these seven stocks to buy that are all growing because of the intelligent use of new technology. 

Stocks to Buy Winning With Tech: Toyota (TM)

Stocks to Buy Winning With Tech: Toyota Motor (TM)

Source: Shutterstock

Toyota Motor Corp (ADR) (NYSE:TM) is one of the world’s largest automotive companies. To sell as many cars as it does, it needs supply chain management that’s second to none. Before its Jan. 23 announcement that it would start using Ottawa-based Kinaxis Inc’s cloud-based supply chain management solution, it was doing all of its planning by hand.

That’s no way for Toyota to be handling such a critical piece of its business planning.

“We are looking forward to working with Kinaxis to optimize inventory and enable more flexible responses to customer demand,” said Iwao Nakano, General Manager Corporate IT Division at Toyota. “RapidResponse will help us unify sales and production and will become the foundation upon which we can continue to realize improvement in demand and supply planning.”

Although Kinaxis isn’t well known outside Canada, many of its customers are; they’ve chosen the company’s RapidResponse solution because it dramatically improves supply chain management. Expect this to make Toyota even more efficient than it already is.

Stocks to Buy Winning With Tech: McDonald’s (MCD)

If I told you that technology could help McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) improve its comparable store sales by 100 basis points in 2018 alone, would you buy the Golden Arches’ stock? I sure would.

“MCD is cultivating a digital platform through mobile ordering and Experience of the Future (EOTF), an in-store technological overhaul most conspicuous through kiosk ordering and table delivery,” Cowen & Company analyst Andrew Charles wrote in a note to clients last June. “Our analysis suggests efforts should bear fruit in 2018 with a combined 130 bps [basis points] contribution to U.S. comps [comparable sales].”

In Q3 2017, McDonald’s grew its global comps by 6%. Through the first nine months of fiscal 2017, those comps rose by 5.6%, which means a 130 basis point increase amounts to a 23% gain.

Combine these technology initiatives with the rollout of its $1 $2 $3 Dollar Menu and it’s no wonder MCD stock is hitting all-time highs.

Stocks to Buy Winning With Tech: Adidas (ADDYY)

Stocks to Buy Winning With Tech: Adidas (ADDYY)

Source: Shutterstock

The MIT Technology Review named Adidas AG (ADR) (OTCMKTS:ADDYY) one of its 50Smartest Companies 2017.

“The sneaker maker is changing the way it manufacturers shoes, launching a robot-intensive microfactory in Ansbach, Germany, where it will begin to produce locally and on demand later this year.,” stated the magazine. “A similar factory offering customization and faster reaction times to local fashion trends has been announced in the U.S.”

In addition to its move to robotics, it’s working with another company on MIT’s list — Carbon is ranked 18th — to deliver state-of-the-art athletic equipment including 4D shoes. According to the magazine, Adidas will print 100,000 pairs of shoes using Carbon’s technology by the end of 2018.

“Technology has also allowed Adidas to streamline some operations while also improving customer experience,” the Sourcing Journal’s Caletha Crawford wrote Jan. 18. “By teaming with FindMine, which uses visual algorithms to help merchandise products online, Adidas is able to better curate suggestions for shoppers.” 

Given how much growth Adidas experienced in 2017, it’s clear the investment in technology by the company is paying dividends.

Stocks to Buy Winning With Tech: Wal-Mart (WMT)

A definite upside to Amazon capturing such a big chunk of U.S. e-commerce sales — estimated at 44% in 2017 — is that Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE:WMT) has been forced to get proactive about the use of technology, especially when it comes to online sales.

“Once viewed as a customer experience laggard, Walmart has turned to innovative tech to stay relevant, even leapfrogging some of the big e-tailers with a bold vision, …” stated Brennan Wilkie, an expert in customer experience intelligence, in an October 2017 article in Forbes. “At the end of the day, if what a brand promises does not line up with what customers want and expect, all the newfangled technology in the world won’t matter.”

InvestorPlace contributor Lawrence Meyers recently wrote that Walmart’s acquisition of was a smart move to accelerate the company’s online ambitions. However, he’s not sure it will make a difference to the bottom line which has been slowly deteriorating in recent years.

I, on the other hand, consider Walmart’s willingness to embrace technology as a sign it’s willing to do whatever it takes to turnaround its business. Given WMT stock gained 46% in 2017, other investors feel the same.

Stocks to Buy Winning With Tech: Fiserv (FISV)

Stocks to Buy Winning With Tech: Fiserv (FISV)

Source: Shutterstock

Fiserv Inc (NASDAQ:FISV), one of the World Most Admired Companies according to Fortune, is using technology and automation to provide a better digital experience for financial services customers. For many banks, the transition between physical banking and digital banking is anything but seamless. It’s Fiserv’s job to make that more fluid.

By introducing new products such as voice banking through devices such as Alexa and other uses of artificial intelligence, the company hopes to bridge the gap.

“We need to begin to change the mindset,” Jamie Dominguez, director of product management for financial technology provider Fiserv told Bank Innovation. “Digital isn’t just about mobile and online, it’s really about a fluid experience.”

The use of technology to help financial institutions innovate has been profitable for FISV shareholders in recent years. Up almost 7% year to date through January 24, Fiserv hasn’t had a negative annual total return since 2008.

My instincts tell me Fiserv shareholders will continue to reward in the years ahead.

Stocks to Buy Winning With Tech: Nasdaq (NDAQ)

Stocks to Buy Winning With Tech: Nasdaq (NDAQ)

Source: Shutterstock

Nasdaq, Inc (NASDAQ:NDAQ) is the world’s largest operator of stock exchanges. It has embraced technology throughout its history, whether we’re talking about the introduction of electronic trading in 1971 or recently by using machine learning and data analytics to provide investors with the most comprehensive information and analysis possible.

Nasdaq had three priorities to execute this past year, one of which was to commercialize disruptive technologies such as blockchain, the cloud, and machine learning.

In November, Nasdaq filed a patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that would create distributed ledgers using blockchain technology to store information regarding the ownership of assets.

“The application notes each block’s cryptographic hash value as an attractive feature, stating that the fact that a blockchain cannot be modified by malicious actors acts as an effective security function in protecting asset ownership data,” wrote Coindesk’s Nikhilesh De on Nov. 17, 2017.

Although Nasdaq admits that a lot more research is necessary before it would implement this technology, it’s easy to see why this is a significant development. For example, in places where the rule of law isn’t quite as robust, a secure and private network detailing the ownership of assets would provide greater protection for investors.

This type of innovation is what you want from a company like Nasdaq.

Stocks to Buy Winning With Tech: Stitch Fix (SFIX)

Stocks to Buy Winning With Tech: Stitch Fix (SFIX)

Source: Stitch Fix

Stitch Fix Inc (NASDAQ:SFIX) went public Nov. 16, 2017, at $15 a share. Since then, the online personal-styling service and clothing retailer’s stock is up 39.1% through Jan. 24.

Stitch Fix has taken mass customization to the limits using algorithms to figure out what customers want to wear.

“Like many personalized radio services (think Pandora), this service is designed to get better the more that you use it,” stated Stitch Fix founder Katrina Lake in a 2015 interview with Harvard Business Review. “Algorithms produce recommendations for stylists who use their personal experience and knowledge of the customer to curate those recommendations down to just five items per fix. As you purchase, answer questions and/or communicate with your stylist, each fix becomes increasingly accurate.”

People are starved for time. The number one rule for a creating a successful business, in my opinion, is to offer something to your customers that save people time or money. Stitch Fix does both.

As far as the seven stocks to buy winning with tech go, Stitch Fix is at the top of the list. Its service is tailored perfectly to the modern shopper.

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Source: Investor Place

The Tax Cut May Not Deliver All Its Promises

basic truth in life is that, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. The same applies to investing. You have probably heard how great the tax cut will be for companies across the board. Well, ‘warts’ are already appearing on the tax cut front.

In an earlier article I on taxes I wrote: “Will the airlines just use the [tax] windfall to launch into another round of airfare wars? (See article here.) The industry has squandered windfalls in the past, such as from plunging oil prices.”

Based on the recent earnings call from United Continental Holdings (NYSE: UAL), it looks like another airfare price war is just around the corner.

The Airlines Never Learn

UAL’s management said it plans to increase available seat miles over the next three years by 4% to 6% per year. That compares to a 3.5% rise in 2017 and only a 1.4% rise in 2016. That sounds a lot like previous mistakes of expanding too much too quickly and then being forced to slash ticket prices.

Other airlines, of course, would respond in kind and another price war would be underway. Adding to the concerns about the industry, UAL’s management also seemed to signal a willingness to take on low-cost carriers on a price basis.

So forget about anything you may have heard about the benefits of the tax cuts for the airline industry.

Yes, the benefits are real. But it looks like, once again, that the industry will squander the benefits as it did when oil prices fell steeply. Until it becomes clear whether the airline industry will go down the path of another price war, I would avoid them and in particular, United Continental.

This should just bring home the point to you that you have should never base an investment decision solely on tax or other government policies.

While the airlines seem to be fumbling an opportunity to prosper, what really caught my eye regarding the new tax law is the potential perverse effect it will have on the prospects for technology companies repatriating their overseas assets (some cash, but mainly bonds).

Will Repatriation Happen?

Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) garnered a lot of headlines recently when it said it would make a one-off $38 billion tax payment on the repatriation of some of its overseas profits. That led to speculation by the Trump Administration and others about how other technology companies would follow Apple’s lead.

But some tax experts say it may not happen. They point to parts of the legislation that could end up having the direct opposite effect, leading firms to shift more of their assets (and jobs) offshore.

A law professor at the University of Southern California, Ed Kleibard, told the Financial Times “The bill is biased in favor of offshore real investment.” In other words, companies may perversely be encouraged to build plants overseas, creating jobs there. Let me explain…

There is a new tax on any overseas profits above a fixed, tax-free return that companies will be allowed to earn on their tangible assets, such as plant and equipment. This is known as the GILTI (global intangible low-tax income) tax and it is aimed at taxing excess profits from intangibles, such as a technology company’s or pharmaceutical company’s patents and intellectual properties. Thanks to technology, the share of many companies’ assets that are intangible has grown a lot in recent years.

However, the GILTI tax rate is only half the new U.S. corporate tax rate. And companies can take a credit for any foreign taxes paid on this tax. This may encourage firms to keep as much of their profits in tax havens as they can, lowering their overall foreign taxes to a level where they can fully offset the minimal GILTI tax.

And here’s where it touches on the earlier point I made about real overseas investments. A law professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Chris Sanchirico explained to the Financial Times that all sorts of multinationals will have an incentive to add to their offshore facilities like factories (and the linked jobs), since such action will boost their tangible assets outside the United States, therefore sheltering even more of their profits from tax.

The likely result of all these new tax ‘games’ that will be played by the big multinationals? Likely hundreds of billions of dollars will remain ‘trapped’ outside the U.S.

What It Means to You

As far as investment implications goes, I think it means you should stick to investing in the large U.S. multinational companies. These same companies are already enjoying the benefits of a much weaker U.S. dollar that the Trump Administration is encouraging.

One prime example is Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT). In early December, its stock was down to $81 over worries about the tax bill. Now it is over $92 a share and still climbing. There are lots of reasons why, but I’m sure Wall Street has by now realized the new tax law won’t hurt Microsoft. Again, never make an investment decision solely on something like taxes.

In Microsoft’s case, I much prefer concentrating on its efforts in the cloud, artificial intelligence and quantum computing. For more on Microsoft and quantum computing, stay tuned for my next.

One other investment for you to consider is the WisdomTree U.S. Export and Multinational Fund (NYSE: WEXP). It is filled with blue-chip U.S. multinationals such as Microsoft, Boeing, Johnson & Johnson, Apple and Alphabet.

This ETF is up 21% over the past year and I would expect this type of performance to continue as long as the dollar tailwind and other macro factors (including taxes) continue to be favorable.

Buffett just went all-in on THIS new asset. Will you?
Buffett could see this new asset run 2,524% in 2018. And he's not the only one... Mark Cuban says "it's the most exciting thing I've ever seen." Mark Zuckerberg threw down $19 billion to get a piece... Bill Gates wagered $26 billion trying to control it...
What is it?
It's not gold, crypto or any mainstream investment. But these mega-billionaires have bet the farm it's about to be the most valuable asset on Earth. Wall Street and the financial media have no clue what's about to happen...And if you act fast, you could earn as much as 2,524% before the year is up.
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Source: Investors Alley

Bitcoin Passes the Torch to Altcoins

Bitcoin… For the vast majority of people, this original coin has long been synonymous with cryptocurrency.

Indeed, bitcoin was basically the only game in town until recently.

As you can see from the chart below, bitcoin accounted for roughly 85% of the crypto market one year ago.

Today, bitcoin makes up only 34% of the $500 billion-plus cryptocurrency market. New competitors such as Ethereum, Ripple, Dash, NEM, Monero and IOTA have emerged to grab big chunks of the market.

And hundreds of even smaller coins combine to make up around 25% of the market.

Collectively, everything that’s not bitcoin is referred to as the “altcoin” market.

While bitcoin has lost significant market share to altcoins, its value still skyrocketed from around $1,000 a year ago to around $11,000 today.

Over the same time period, altcoins have soared even higher than bitcoin, rising from just a few billion dollars combined to around $360 billion today.

In my view, these developments don’t represent the fall of bitcoin. We still need bitcoin as a reserve cryptocurrency, a secure rock in the crypto world. Instead, what we’re seeing is the rise of crypto as a new type of investment.

Crypto: A Maturing Asset Class

This past year has been a chaotic (and wildly profitable) one for crypto investors. And we’re beginning to see the type of market I envision as being necessary for crypto to grow into one of the largest global asset classes.

I’ve known for years that we need more than just a few big coins for crypto to thrive.

We need fierce competition among hundreds of coins, all of them using the power of open-source software to innovate and create amazing technology… and growing through the power of network effects and viral organic growth.

Today we’re seeing exactly that. There are now more than 30 separate coins with market capitalizations (total value) of more than $1 billion. Each has its own community of users, developers and supporters.

Hundreds of unique cryptocurrency models are being tested in the wild today. It’s an innovation bonanza, much like we saw in the early days of the internet.

Crypto today is a global phenomenon the likes of which the world has rarely seen.

Crypto vs. Old Money

With the rise of crypto comes inevitable scrutiny from governments and central banks around the world.

For more than a century, these centralized powers have had complete control over monetary systems. They won’t give that up easily.

They claim to be looking out for the welfare of their citizens, but I believe they see crypto primarily as a threat to their monopoly on money.

China has already banned most cryptocurrency exchanges. Before it did, it made up a huge chunk of worldwide cryptocurrency trading volume.

Imagine where the crypto market would be today if China hadn’t done that. We’d probably be 2X higher than we are today.

I believe China will eventually reverse its ban once reasonable regulations are finalized. If and when it does, watch out …

But we know that the type of government pushback we saw in China is inevitable. It’s likely that it will happen in other countries.

However, we’re seeing some encouraging signs.

South Korea, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency hubs, recently announced it was considering a crackdown and possible ban on crypto trading.

Korean citizens were outraged. More than 200,000 citizens signed a petition demanding that the government pull back on its crypto crackdown.

And its government appears to be listening. As reported by The Wall Street Journal

Hours later on the same day, a presidential office spokesman walked that back, saying that abolishing cryptocurrency exchanges was only “one possible measure” that didn’t represent a “final” decision.

Many young Koreans see cryptocurrency as a hopeful development for the future during a time of high youth unemployment and stagnant growth. And they’re not alone.

Worldwide, a new generation of investors desire something other than the traditional investment options.

For many of us, cryptocurrency is a big part of the answer. It’s a hedge against central banks printing money. A unique new asset with the power to transform financial markets through increased efficiency and decentralization.

In short, we view cryptocurrency as a rare beam of light in an often crooked and rigged financial world. Governments and banks will try to ban or kill off crypto, but we’re not going to take it lying down.

Crypto is this generation’s contribution to true free market capitalism. It offers a chance to revitalize our stagnant monetary and financial systems.

As I often say, crypto is the future of money. Let’s encourage our elected representatives to treat it as such.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Adam Sharp
Co-Founder, Early Investing

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Source: Early Investing

These 2 Stocks Are Circling the Drain: Sell Now

The S&P 500 has already increased in value by over $1 trillion in 2018—and January isn’t even over yet!

What’s behind this incredible bull market isn’t euphoria or hysteria—it’s actually sound investing principles. As I wrote in a January 18 article, the bull market is being driven by the best possible trend: higher earnings and sales for America’s best companies, which is itself the result of improving economic conditions for everyday Americans.

Parties ultimately end, of course. And this one is no different—the bull market is being driven by a solid and reasonable belief that American companies will go up in value. But eventually that sound line of thinking will turn into a euphoria that creates a bubble—then a crash.

Fortunately, we aren’t there yet, and we probably won’t be for a couple years or so. Unfortunately, though, we are seeing some foolish investing decisions being made as a result of naive first-level thinking.

Today I’m going to show you 2 common mistakes—and 2 investments—that have captured the herd’s attention for all the wrong reasons. Read on to learn more about them, and how you can steer clear.

Mistake #1: Buying on Dividend Yield Alone

The Eagle Point Credit Company (ECC) pays an outsized 13% dividend yield as I write this and makes a simple claim: that its financial professionals know how to make money from obscure and complicated investments.

But that’s not the whole story.

It’s true that ECC is one of the biggest investors in collateralized loan obligations (CLOs), and it’s true that CLOs are very complicated. You can think of CLOs as derivatives that are a lot like the mortgage-backed securities that were at the heart of the financial crisis; ECC claims to understand these assets and can make a profit accordingly.

The real problem, though, is ECC’s sky-high fees.

Last quarter, ECC reported a 10.7% expense ratio. In other words, for every $1.00 in assets the company has, it takes out 10.7 cents per year in fees. ECC needs to make a 10.7% profit on its investments just to pay its managers—before shareholders get a penny!

Of course, before many folks even get to the fees, they see the juicy dividend yield I mentioned earlier, which has ranged to nearly 15% so far this year, and hit the buy button.

Juicy Income—At First Glance

Trouble is, that sky-high yield is because the stock’s price keeps falling.

ECC Not a Grower

Notice the huge drop in price over the last week? That’s because ECC issued new shares, diluting current investors’ ownership. Why would ECC do such a thing? They may want to release more shares to make more aggressive bets in the CLO market. It’s also true that more shares translates into more assets to manage, generating more fees for ECC.

This is definitely an investment to avoid.

Mistake #2: Ignoring History

It’s true that history doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme, and in financial markets, rhymes on historical events are sometimes all the signal you need to stay away.

This is the case with Prospect Capital Corporation (PSEC).

I haven’t talked about this stock in over a year, because it was pretty clear that Prospect’s past mistakes were recurring, and that meant we would see the same chain of events as in yesteryear.

And that’s what 2017 delivered.

Let’s back up. PSEC is a business development company (BDC) that’s structured to give most of its income to shareholders. That’s why PSEC yields over 10% right now.

There are just a couple problems.

For one, the BDC world is getting extremely crowded. BDCs are a good idea—they pool together a lot of money from investors and then lend that money out to small and medium-sized businesses that can’t get loans easily from banks.

But BDCs are such a good idea that a lot of new ones have opened up in the last few years. It’s an easy way to make money if you have connections and access to capital, so the barrier to entry is low. That crowdedness has also resulted in profit margins shrinking for BDCs, in turn lowering the income most BDC shareholders have access to.

Meantime, the extremely illiquid portfolios that BDCs hold are nearly impossible to sell in a market panic, which further boosts their risk.

Those two reasons alone are good motivation to stay away. But many investors ignored them in the first couple months of 2017, which is why PSEC did this:

A Crowded Trade

If you were playing PSEC for the short term, this was great. Most PSEC holders aren’t, though—they buy for that 10%+ dividend and hold forever. Which is why PSEC shareholders aren’t happy now, as you can see from this chart:

A Steep Drop

Not only has PSEC’s price crashed since its big early 2017 run-up, but its dividend has been slashed by 28%, as well. Note that the majority of the price crash happened before the dividend cut. The market isn’t clairvoyant—but a lot of investors who looked closely at PSEC saw that its dividend coverage ratio had fallen below 100%, and it could no longer afford to pay its high payout to shareholders.

This wasn’t a shock; Prospect had the same problem in 2015. And it will have this problem again and again and again … causing the stock to keep crashing and the income stream to keep shrinking.

2 Takeaways to Protect and Grow Your Nest Egg

What can we learn from these 2 examples?

First, be suspicious of high dividends. While 7% or 8% yields can be sustainable in many cases, it’s very rare (but not impossible, as I’ll show you in a moment) for a 10% yield to be sustainable. The higher the yield, the more need for a careful analysis of how sustainable that dividend really is.

Second, we need to pay attention to history. Investors who took the time to look just a couple years back into Prospect Capital’s past knew to stay away.

The third, and perhaps most important, lesson relates to complexity. Some financial advisors urge clients to avoid investing in anything they don’t understand. This is silly. None of us really understand what goes into our iPhones, but that hasn’t stopped Apple (AAPL) from soaring.

Companies that produce financial products are no different. They provide a value and a service, and investors can profit from them even if they don’t understand the technicalities.

However, we must be able to identify and quantify the value a company provides, and how that value is changing. The real problem with ECC isn’t that its business is too complicated—it’s that ECC’s management earns too much money by charging shareholders for their services.

The bottom line? Find companies and funds that have management teams whose interests align with yours, a history of making the right decisions and a structure that rewards shareholders more than managers. When you do, you’ll find that massive profits come your way.

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Source: Contrarian Outlook 

How Much Higher Can Intel Corporation Stock Go?

So much for Spectre and Meltdown, the two security vulnerabilities found in Intel Corporation(NASDAQ:INTC) chips that were supposed to catalyze customer churn and sent INTC stock spiraling downward earlier this month.

After reporting a robust double-beat quarter with a strong full-year guide that didn’t show any signs of customer churn, Intel stock is bouncing. Big. Its up nearly 10% on the day.

And its up more than 15% since the Spectre and Meltdown concerns dragged INTC stock down to the $42 level in early January. How much higher can this stock go?

Quite a bit. INTC stock deserves to trade above $50. And there is a strong argument for it to trade above $60. Here’s a deeper look.

Strong Quarter Supports Further Upside for the Stock

Intel is a company in transition. While the company’s core PC business is stable and not going anywhere anytime soon, its also not growing. The PC market is saturated. Everyone who wants a computer already has one. There won’t be any growth there in the foreseeable future.

But Intel is managing to grow revenues at a healthy rate because the company is innovating in new growth spaces, like the data center market.

Data is exploding in popularity right now (think about all the smart devices, like smartphones, smartwatches, and smart home gadgets). All this data has to be stored somewhere. So big tech players like, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Alphabet Inc(NASDAQ:GOOG,NASDAQ:GOOGL) have created hyper-scale data centers that store and secure all that data in the cloud.

So long as data continues to explode, these data-centers will continue to grow.

And so will Intel. Intel supplies critical components to those cloud data-centers so that they actually work, making the company an indispensable part of the process.

This business for INTC is doing very well. Data center revenues jumped 21% higher in the fourth quarter, up from 15% growth the prior quarter. This led to total revenue growth acceleration from 6% to 8%. Moreover, its signals that Intel’s big cloud customers view the aforementioned security vulnerabilities as a minor hiccup in an otherwise quality offering from Intel.

Intel also delivered a strong guide, yet another sign that demand will remain robust into the near future and that investor concerns related to Spectre and Metldown were overdone.

All in all, Intel is one part stable PC business, one part surging data-center business. As it has in the past, this combination should lead to top-line growth in the 3-5% range.

INTC also has some solid margin drivers. Long-term gross margins should trend up as chip complexity and demand grows. Long-term operating margins should also trend up thanks to major cost savings initiatives from management.

Mid-single-digit revenue growth plus healthy margin drivers and buybacks should drive somewhere around 7-10% earnings growth from 2018’s $3.55 expected base (8.5% at the midpoint).

The S&P 500 is currently trading at 18.6-times 2018 earnings for roughly 10.5% earnings growth prospects after 2018 (a 77% premium).

If you carry that same premium over to INTC stock, you get to a fair earnings multiple of 15 for 8.5% growth. A 15-times multiple on 2018 earnings of $3.55 implies a price target of $53.

If growth can get to 10% after 2018, then INTC stock is looking at a fair multiple of nearly 18, which would get you to a price north of $60.

Bottom Line on INTC Stock

This rally in INTC stock will continue. This is still the lowest multiple player with exposure to secular growth markets like data centers. As the Spectre and Meltdown security vulnerabilities move into the rear-view window, investor demand for INTC stock will only grow.

And INTC stock will head higher. I think we could see INTC at $60 in the not-too-distant future.

As of this writing, Luke Lango was long INTC, AMZN and GOOG.

Get up to 14 dividend paychecks per month from safe, reliable stocks with The Monthly Dividend Paycheck Calendar, an easy-to-use system that shows you which dividend stocks to pick, when to buy them, when you get paid your dividends, and how much.  All you have to do is buy the stocks you like and tell them where to send your dividend payments. For more information Click Here.

Source: Investor Place 

Getting Paid 15% in Monthly Dividends From The Growing Energy Sector

Investors in high yield InfraCap MLP ETF (NYSE: AMZA) were shocked to get the news of a 36% dividend reduction. Fortunately, there is no reason to panic, and there are some good lessons to be learned from the past and future history of AMZA.

AMZA is an actively managed exchange traded fund that owns a portfolio of publicly traded master limited partnerships (MLPs). The MLP sector is known for high current yields. The AMZA management boosted the fund’s income with call options selling. A $0.52 per share quarterly dividend had been paid since the start of 2016. With the fund’s shares trading between $7.00 and $11.50 over the last two years, the result was a yield in the high teens to mid 20% range.

On Friday, January 19, the fund management company announced the dividend would be switched to a monthly payment of $0.11 per share. This lowers the annual dividend amount to $1.32 from the previous $2.04. This was a prudent move by management to keep the dividend stable as the fund continues to go through significant growth pains. Instead of going deeper into the reasons for the dividend change, I want to cover some lessons learned.

Lesson 1: An ETF is not a stock. I received a lot of questions asking if the AMZA share price would drop due to the dividend cut. That typically happens with a company cuts its dividend. However, as an ETF, the AMZA share price is not determined by investor sentiment. The share price is a mathematical calculation of the value of the portfolio divided by the number of shares held by investors. AMZA moves up and down generally along with the overall MLP sector. It does not matter to the share price whether the dividend has been cut.

Related: The Safe Monthly Dividend Stock to Buy and Hold Forever

Lesson 2: Compound reinvestment of a high yield security is a very powerful wealth building strategy. If you look at theis price chart showing the Alerian MLP Index and AMZA over the last two years, it looks like it would be impossible to have gains in the MLP sector over the full period. MLPs went through a steep correction to start 2016 and then a bear market that lasted most of 2017.

Yet, if you took those big dividends from AMZA and bought more shares, you would now be well ahead. Here is the math. One thousand shares purchased at the start of 2016 cost $11,200. If the dividends were reinvested at a price near the ex-dividend date price each quarter, the quarterly dividend payments would have grown from $520 paid in January 2016 to $777.92 earned in January 2018. Total dividend earnings were $5,763. Reinvesting those dividends resulted in a current total share count of 1,587. At the current share price of $8.88, those shares are worth $14,093. Through an ugly stretch for MLPs, the investment grew by 26%. At the new, lower dividend rate, the current number of shares will generate about $175 in monthly income, an 18% yield on the original investment amount.

The next step is to get a sustained uptrend from MLPs, and it looks like one started in November 2017.

Lesson 3: If you are an income investor, don’t focus on the share values in your brokerage account. Keep track of your dividend income, reinvest some or all that income and over time your income stream and account value will grow. It’s powerful math that is not obvious when you look at share prices and price charts.

AMZA has entered a new phase in its life, and I am excited to see where it goes from here. The yield is still a high 15% and the MLP sector fundamentals are the strongest they have been since 2014.

Get up to 14 dividend paychecks per month from safe, reliable stocks with The Monthly Dividend Paycheck Calendar, an easy-to-use system that shows you which dividend stocks to pick, when to buy them, when you get paid your dividends, and how much.  All you have to do is buy the stocks you like and tell them where to send your dividend payments. For more information Click Here.

Source: Investors Alley 

3 Stocks for Real Blockchain Investors, Not Speculators

The latest buzzword on Wall Street is blockchain. There is a logic to the interest since the research firm Markets & Markets forecast that the market for blockchain-related products and services will reach $7.7 billion in 2022. The market for such products was a mere $242 million in 2016.

That has led investors to jumping on anything and everything even remotely connected to blockchain technology. That can be seen in the soaring stock prices for companies that have said they are “investing” into blockchain and therefore have added blockchain to their name.

A prime example of this is Riot Blockchain (Nasdaq: RIOT), which used to be known as BiOptix Diagnostics, a small supplier of diagnostic equipment for the biotech industry.

(Can you spot when Blockchain was added to the name?)

Another example is the former seller of hard ice tea – Long Island Iced Tea, which changed its name to Long Blockchain (Nasdaq: LBCC).

(A similar thing happened when blockchain was added to the name of a tea company)

I shouldn’t have to tell you this, but I will anyway… do not buy any of these companies – one of the biggest red flags you will ever see surrounding companies in the stock market is waving now! Instead, look at companies that have legitimate blockchain businesses. Or that at least are legitimately pursuing practical applications of blockchain technology.

Related: Buy These 3 Stocks to Ride the Bitcoin Boom

Blockchain Patents

For a hint about what companies you should be looking at, see what firms have either applied for, or have already received patents on blockchain technology. Not surprisingly (since blockchain can make transactions faster and more efficient), banks are among the leaders here.

Number one on the list – according to a study from EnvisionIP, a law firm specializing in analyses of intellectual property – is Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), which has applied for or received 43 patents for blockchain.

Tied for second on the list are Mastercard (NYSE: MA) and International Business Machines (NYSE: IBM). The latter was one of the very first big companies to see the promise of blockchain, contributing code to an open-source effort and encouraging start-ups to try the technology on its cloud for free. What really caught my eye regarding IBM’s blockchain efforts was a recent announcement.

Why Blockchain Is Appealing

Before I give you the details on the announcement, I want to fill you in why blockchain technology appeals to nearly every company.

The blockchain enables companies doing business with each other to record transactions securely. Its main strength lies in its trustworthiness. In other words, it’s tough to change what has been recorded. The blockchain can also hold many more documents and data than traditional database storage, and it can hold embedded contracts, such as a car lease, whose virtual key could be transferred to a bank in the event of a default.

That’s why, according to a survey done late last year by Juniper Research, 6 in 10 large corporations are considering using blockchain. Companies like Walmart are already testing blockchain technology in the hopes of streamlining their supply chain as well as speeding up payments.

A Practical Application for Blockchain

The words supply chain bring me to what I consider to be a major announcement last week from IBM and the world’s largest shipping company, AP Moller Maersk A/S (OTC: AMKBY). The two firms are setting up a joint venture to use blockchain technology in order to help make the companies’ supply chains more efficient.

The two companies estimate that businesses spend up a fifth of the cost to transport goods around the world on processing documents and related administrative costs. No wonder then that major corporations such as General Motors and Procter & Gamble are interested in joining Maersk as the first companies using the platform.

I fully expect other large corporations will join the platform. Beginning in June 2016, a pilot of this program saw companies including DuPont and Dow Chemical participate as well as the ports of Houston and Rotterdam and the U.S. and Dutch custom services.

Obviously, the hope of IBM and Maersk is that their system will set the standard for the digitalization of supply chains around the globe. Bridget van Kralingen, head of solutions and blockchain for IBM Global Industries, said to the Financial Times “There’s a lot of write-up about blockchain. But what we see is that the thing that is going to help the world is blockchain as a distributed ledger. The significance of that is huge for any transaction that has multiple parties.”

I totally agree – this is a practical usage for blockchain. Companies at different stages of the supply chain will be able to see all of the information they need about each transaction easily. Not to mention the automation and digitalization of the paperwork involved.

The proposed joint venture should be up and running within six months, with the blockchain software developed running on the IBM cloud. When it has its initial start, the venture will be tracking 18% of containerized, sea-going global trade.

Despite this important development, investors still ignore IBM as a blockchain pioneer. Maybe it should change its name to International Blockchain Machines?

For a more detailed look at the intricacies of what blockchain is and what it does, stay tuned for a special report from me in the near future.

Buffett just went all-in on THIS new asset. Will you?
Buffett could see this new asset run 2,524% in 2018. And he's not the only one... Mark Cuban says "it's the most exciting thing I've ever seen." Mark Zuckerberg threw down $19 billion to get a piece... Bill Gates wagered $26 billion trying to control it...
What is it?
It's not gold, crypto or any mainstream investment. But these mega-billionaires have bet the farm it's about to be the most valuable asset on Earth. Wall Street and the financial media have no clue what's about to happen...And if you act fast, you could earn as much as 2,524% before the year is up.
Click here to find out what it is.

Source: Investors Alley