It has been an up-and-down morning for stocks. Markets vaulted into record territory shortly after the open but then fell back to earth where, right now, numbers are about even with yesterday’s close.
Many, of course, feel the run-up will continue and might share the view of someone I spoke with yesterday who told me the main reason they were putting more money in the markets is in looking their bank statement they were quite disappointed that the interest they were earning was (literally) pennies.
But it is not only stocks in which people are investing. Since the start of the pandemic quite a few have been putting money (real money) into cryptocurrencies … and Banc of America Global Research shared a chart this morning on Daily Shot which showed the total cryptocurrency market has risen from $141 Billion in the first quarter of last year to over $1 Trillion today!
There is, however, one other related aspect that is intriguing … and that is how bitcoins come into being. In a nutshell, a bitcoin is “mined” and takes complex work on a computer … which uses a heck of a lot of electricity. With the price so high, many are attempting this “free” way to achieve bitcoin (ignoring the electricity cost). And how prevalent has this been? Hold on to your hat for this next comment. According to Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance, the electricity usage for mining bitcoin is “on par with total power consumption of countries such as Argentina and Norway!” Wow! If this is true I don’t understand why those who claim to be “environmentalists” are not screaming loudly about this one.
Speaking of our carbon footprint, I included an article today that shows some believe we can replace glass windows with environmentally-friendly see thru glass. With apologies to the Beatles … “Isn’t it good, Transparent Wood?”
And on a final note, not every leisure activity has been suffering during the pandemic as it seems alcohol sales are at their highest level in over 40 years! Maybe that is why we’ve seen productivity numbers flatten a bit as of late.
That’s about it for today, though I did receive a very strange note from a friend in the Mideast, trying to learn English, where he complained about so many of our words having a “silent” letter including “mortgage” … which has a silent “t” … since he is in finance.
I’m just glad the letter “t” isn’t always silent … or we’d certainly never hear the end of it.
Have a great day,
Joseph G. Witthohn, CFA
Emerald Asset Management PA, LLC
610 Freedom Business Center Drive
King of Prussia, PA 19406
Direct: (610) 285-9905
cell: (856) 625-7915
… As of 11:49 AM today …
Quick Look at the News
The vaccine that many have started to get? Don’t get too comfortable as there are some who feel this may have to be repeated every year (CNBC)https://www.cnbc.com/2021/02/09/covid-vaccine-jj-ceo-says-people-may-get-annual-shots-for-the-next-several-years.html
… but while some areas of hospitality and leisure are suffering greatly, it is interesting to note that liquor sales increased. By how much? Sales are the highest in 40 years! (Marker)https://marker.medium.com/liquor-sales-in-2020-were-the-highest-in-40-years-642fb852838
One of the companies rumored to have “disposable furniture” … okay … I mean not designed for life … is Ikea … but that may be changing (HuffingtonPost)https://www.huffpost.com/entry/ikea-plan-cheap-furniture-last-climate-footprint_n_6021a3a3c5b6173dd2f8b30b
… and there are others with a bit more “green” in mind (both monetary and planet-wise) including Coca-Cola claiming it will soon have its bottles 100% recycled in the U.S. (TheQuint)https://www.thequint.com/good-news/coca-cola-shifts-to-100-recycled-plant-based-bottles-in-us#read-more
… meanwhile, the movement is not limited to containers and furniture … as there are companies working to have windows made of wood (TheConversation)https://theconversation.com/transparent-wood-is-coming-and-it-could-make-an-energy-efficient-alternative-to-glass-154981
While many watch kids play video games and think it is the creators of the games doing quite well, there is another area that has seen big growth … eSports … as team values have risen (WeForum)https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/02/sports-esports-value-comparison-gaming/
A few years ago “The Millionaire Next Door” was a popular book … as people dreamt of becoming one … but this group is not so rare … and there are many (secretly?) in our ranks (CNBC)https://www.cnbc.com/2021/02/09/more-than-8-percent-of-american-adults-are-millionaires-heres-how-they-got-wealthy.html