Tag Archives: Money

How AMC Is Blowing Up the Hedge Fund Industry

Yesterday, high profile hedge fund White Square Capital announced plans to close down after big losses in GameStop. New York-based Mudrick Capital just took a massive loss on AMC. Melvin Capital is down by nearly half as AMC, GameStop and others continue to move against them.

These are not isolated events. There is a long term trend toward lower inflows to hedge funds:

This trend is much worse than it seems if you dig into the type of funds that bet against companies like AMC: long/short equity funds. They are the most common type of hedge fund, holding 28% of the industry’s assets.

But this strategy is dying. Long/short equity funds are seeing some of the largest outflows:

No wonder investors are losing patience: such funds have underperformed the market every year since 2011, often substantially:

Indeed, many long/short equity funds were shutting down even before 2021. I suspect those returns will be even worse this year, with high profile blowups in meme stocks.

If you’re a pension fund or college endowment, two types of institutions that often invest in hedge funds, why should you pay their high fees in return for such miserable performance? Hedge funds typically charge 2% of assets every year, plus 20% of any gains. What do I pay for my Vanguard S&P 500 index fund? 0.04% of assets every year, and not a dime of the gains.

Long/short equity funds aren’t providing much real value. What’s their strategy, to short stocks like AMC because they trade above their fundamental value? Everyone knows that. The Reddit crowd’s play is entirely technical: they hope to profit from a short squeeze or gamma squeeze.

Let’s compare this to another form of investing popular with pensions and endowments: venture capital. I invest in startups myself, so it’s a world I’m familiar with. What investors in startups do is entirely different from a long/short equity fund. We have to evaluate obscure, early stage companies with little publicly available information. We have to judge technologies most of the public hasn’t even heard of yet. And we aim to provide a lot more than money: investors often give advice and make key introductions.

Oh, and our money is locked up for about 10 years, versus easy liquidity in stock markets.

That said, even venture capitalists often fail to provide good returns. But here’s the approach I’d recommend for hedge fund investors:

1) Invest in hedge funds that have real performance and a strong value-add, and/or…

2) Invest in index funds, and/or…

3) Invest in something like venture capital, which can add real value

The hedge fund emperor has no clothes. And investors are beginning to wise up.

More on AMC:

Photo: “Fruit of the fireball machine” by SiamEye is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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Save Money on Stuff I Use:

Fundrise

This platform lets me diversify my real estate investments so I’m not too exposed to any one market. I’ve invested since 2018 and returns have been good so far. More on Fundrise in this post.

If you decide to invest in Fundrise, you can use this link to get your management fees waived for 90 days. With their 1% management fee, this could save you $250 on a $100,000 account. I will also get a fee waiver for 90-365 days, depending on what type of account you open.

iHerb

The only place I buy vitamins and supplements. I recently placed an order and received it in less than 48 hours with free shipping! I compared the prices and they were lower than Amazon. I also love how they test a lot of the vitamins so that you know you’re getting what the label says. This isn’t always the case with supplements.

Use this link to save 5%! I’ll also get 5% of however much you spend, at no cost to you.

Misfits Market

My wife and I have gotten organic produce shipped to our house by Misfits for over a year. It’s never once disappointed me. Every fruit and vegetable is super fresh and packed with flavor. I thought radishes were cold, tasteless little lumps at salad bars until I tried theirs! They’re peppery, colorful and crunchy! I wrote a detailed review of Misfits here.

Use this link to sign up and you’ll save $10 on your first order. I’ll also get $10.

Why AMC May Be Even Hotter Than You Think

It’s no secret that AMC is going vertical lately:

But this and other meme stocks may be even hotter than they appear based on prices in public markets like the New York Stock Exchange. The reason is a quirk in how retail orders are handled:

The prices of so-called meme stocks may be distorted because the majority of trades in those names are executed away from public exchanges where share price formation occurs, the head of the New York Stock Exchange said on Wednesday.

Meme stocks have a much higher interest from retail investors than most companies. Since retail orders tend to be processed on private platforms, this could have a significant distortive effect on the price reported in public markets.

If many of the trades done by the most enthusiastic buyers aren’t reflected in public prices, this would make the stock seem less desired than it is. So despite AMC’s staggering rise this year, the real enthusiasm may be understated.

In meme stocks, individual traders contribute as much as 70% of the volume, Cunningham said.

The majority of retail orders bypass exchanges because of an arrangement called payment for order flow, in which retail brokerages sell their customers’ marketable orders to wholesale brokers. The wholesalers match the orders internally, trying to profit off of the bid-ask spread, while offering retail traders the best market price or better.

If meme stock enthusiasm is understated, hedge funds trading against the retail hordes should exercise extreme caution. London-based White Square Capital announced plans to close down today after substantial losses in GameStop. Massive losses in AMC and others could cause many more casualties.

The true power of the retail investor may be even greater than it appears.

More on AMC:

Photo: “Hot – canon 550d” by @Doug88888 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

If you found this post interesting, please share it on Twitter/Reddit/etc. using the buttons at the bottom of the page. This helps more people find the blog! 

Save Money on Stuff I Use:

Fundrise

This platform lets me diversify my real estate investments so I’m not too exposed to any one market. I’ve invested since 2018 and returns have been good so far. More on Fundrise in this post.

If you decide to invest in Fundrise, you can use this link to get your management fees waived for 90 days. With their 1% management fee, this could save you $250 on a $100,000 account. I will also get a fee waiver for 90-365 days, depending on what type of account you open.

iHerb

The only place I buy vitamins and supplements. I recently placed an order and received it in less than 48 hours with free shipping! I compared the prices and they were lower than Amazon. I also love how they test a lot of the vitamins so that you know you’re getting what the label says. This isn’t always the case with supplements.

Use this link to save 5%! I’ll also get 5% of however much you spend, at no cost to you.

Misfits Market

My wife and I have gotten organic produce shipped to our house by Misfits for over a year. It’s never once disappointed me. Every fruit and vegetable is super fresh and packed with flavor. I thought radishes were cold, tasteless little lumps at salad bars until I tried theirs! They’re peppery, colorful and crunchy! I wrote a detailed review of Misfits here.

Use this link to sign up and you’ll save $10 on your first order. I’ll also get $10.

Hedge Funds Burn $6 Billion In a Month Shorting AMC (and Others)

Several hedge funds that lost a fortune shorting GameStop in January have sustained further losses betting against meme stocks like AMC:

Melvin Capital and Light Street Capital, two US hedge funds hard hit by the January rally in stocks popular with retail investors, suffered further losses in May.

Hedge fund losses from betting against five popular meme stocks — GameStop, Bed Bath & Beyond, AMC, BlackBerry and Clover Health — total about $6bn since the start of May, according to the data firm Ortex Analytics. Peter Hillerberg, Ortex’s co-founder, said funds had recently reduced their short positions in meme stocks but that short interest remained “at very high levels”.

These losses are likely heavily concentrated in AMC, since it outperformed all the other stocks on that list by a wide margin in May, nearly tripling in value.

Hedge funds have been hit so hard that their prime brokers, the banks who fund their trades, are cutting them off:

Wall Street’s top brokers are quietly tightening their rules for who can bet against retail traders’ most-popular meme stocks.

The changes mean some hedge funds and other institutional investors now face higher collateral requirements or are limited from shorting certain stocks, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing internal policy decisions.

Hedge funds have been moving toward options and away from short selling to place their bets against AMC and other meme stocks. But losses from bearish options bets can also be substantial, as Mudrick Capital recently proved. Such trades may not be covered under some of these policies against short selling. Jefferies, however, has wisely included naked option positions (a particularly risky trade) on the list of meme stock bets it will no longer handle.

I have to wonder how long investors in hedge funds will put up with massive losses in volatile stocks, even as index funds post solid returns with minimal fees. If the hedge fund managers guess right on the direction of a highly volatile meme stock, they pocket 20% or more of the gains. If the stock moves against them, it’s the investors who are left holding the bag.

Heads they win, tails you lose.

More on AMC:

Photo: “Hedge Fund” by Paul Robertson is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

If you found this post interesting, please share it on Twitter/Reddit/etc. using the buttons at the bottom of the page. This helps more people find the blog! 

Save Money on Stuff I Use:

Fundrise

This platform lets me diversify my real estate investments so I’m not too exposed to any one market. I’ve invested since 2018 and returns have been good so far. More on Fundrise in this post.

If you decide to invest in Fundrise, you can use this link to get your management fees waived for 90 days. With their 1% management fee, this could save you $250 on a $100,000 account. I will also get a fee waiver for 90-365 days, depending on what type of account you open.

iHerb

The only place I buy vitamins and supplements. I recently placed an order and received it in less than 48 hours with free shipping! I compared the prices and they were lower than Amazon. I also love how they test a lot of the vitamins so that you know you’re getting what the label says. This isn’t always the case with supplements.

Use this link to save 5%! I’ll also get 5% of however much you spend, at no cost to you.

Misfits Market

My wife and I have gotten organic produce shipped to our house by Misfits for over a year. It’s never once disappointed me. Every fruit and vegetable is super fresh and packed with flavor. I thought radishes were cold, tasteless little lumps at salad bars until I tried theirs! They’re peppery, colorful and crunchy! I wrote a detailed review of Misfits here.

Use this link to sign up and you’ll save $10 on your first order. I’ll also get $10.

AMC Shorts Lose $500 Million in 1 Day

Despite losses of over $1 billion last month, short sellers remain attracted to AMC like moths to a flame:

Investors shorting “meme stock” AMC Entertainment Holdings (AMC.N) are estimated to have lost about $512 million on Monday after a rally that sent the cinema operator’s shares up more than 15%, data from financial analytics firm Ortex showed.

They are up against staggering volume from retail traders, among others:

Recent reports from brokerages Fidelity and Freetrade show AMC has been the most traded stock by their customers, many of whom are small-time investors.

More here.

These losses by short sellers likely understate the total losses by AMC bears. Many have taken option positions that benefit if AMC’s price drops. Those positions are going sour rapidly, leading one hedge fund to lose approximately $400 million earlier this month.

There are other strategies AMC skeptics could adopt, like buying puts (limited downside) rather than selling calls (unlimited downside). Or, they could buy credit default swaps on AMC’s bonds.

But AMC’s volume is more than double that of any other stock today and a substantial percentage of shares are still sold short, making another short squeeze a possibility. The safest spot for bears is on the sidelines.

More on AMC:

Photo: “Burn Money” by purpleslog is licensed under CC BY 2.0

If you found this post interesting, please share it on Twitter/Reddit/etc. using the buttons at the bottom of the page. This helps more people find the blog! 

Save Money on Stuff I Use:

Fundrise

This platform lets me diversify my real estate investments so I’m not too exposed to any one market. I’ve invested since 2018 and returns have been good so far. More on Fundrise in this post.

If you decide to invest in Fundrise, you can use this link to get your management fees waived for 90 days. With their 1% management fee, this could save you $250 on a $100,000 account. I will also get a fee waiver for 90-365 days, depending on what type of account you open.

iHerb

The only place I buy vitamins and supplements. I recently placed an order and received it in less than 48 hours with free shipping! I compared the prices and they were lower than Amazon. I also love how they test a lot of the vitamins so that you know you’re getting what the label says. This isn’t always the case with supplements.

Use this link to save 5%! I’ll also get 5% of however much you spend, at no cost to you.

Misfits Market

My wife and I have gotten organic produce shipped to our house by Misfits for over a year. It’s never once disappointed me. Every fruit and vegetable is super fresh and packed with flavor. I thought radishes were cold, tasteless little lumps at salad bars until I tried theirs! They’re peppery, colorful and crunchy! I wrote a detailed review of Misfits here.

Use this link to sign up and you’ll save $10 on your first order. I’ll also get $10.

Hedge Fund Torched By AMC

On glamorous Madison Avenue in midtown Manhattan, as most people were heading home for the day, the top executives of a powerful hedge fund filed into a conference room. The fate of this multibillion dollar institution could be at stake.

This is Mudrick Capital Mangement, L.P. With offices in New York City and London, it manages approximately $3.8 billion. Or did, until a struggling theater operator’s stock started to climb, seemingly out of nowhere:

Inside Mudrick, executives were growing apprehensive as the AMC rally gained steam. The firm’s risk committee met on the evening of June 1 after the stock closed at $32 and decided to exit all debt and derivative positions the following day.

It was a day too late.

AMC’s stock price blew past $40 in a matter of hours June 2, hitting an intraday high of $72.62. Call option prices soared amid a frenzy of trading that Mudrick Capital contributed to and, by the end of the week, the winning trade had turned into a bust, costing the fund hundreds of millions of dollars in losses.

Mudrick lost about 10% of its value, or around $400 million, in just a few days. These losses came not from short sales but from selling call options, or a right to purchase the stock at a specific price. The options Mudrick sold gave the buyer the right to buy AMC at $40 a share. At the time, it seemed inconceivable the stock could ever go that high.

Inconceivable except to retail traders on Reddit, among other forums. They pushed the stock to all-time highs, badly bruising Mudrick.

Mudrick sold these options to hedge the risk they took in lending AMC money. I think it would’ve been a lot smarter to buy credit default swaps, which are like insurance. If the company in question goes bankrupt, the seller of the swap has to pay you. But, buying the swaps costs money up front, whereas selling the calls produced income right away. Mudrick seems to prefer the quick buck to long-term risk management.

I find the sight of powerful hedge funds being torched by average Joes quite amusing. If other funds don’t want to join them, I’d suggest treating all meme stocks with extreme caution.

More on AMC:

Photo: “Police Stationed outside AMC Theater showing Joker film 4573” by Brechtbug is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

If you found this post interesting, please share it on Twitter/Reddit/etc. using the buttons at the bottom of the page. This helps more people find the blog! 

Save Money on Stuff I Use:

Fundrise

This platform lets me diversify my real estate investments so I’m not too exposed to any one market. I’ve invested since 2018 and returns have been good so far. More on Fundrise in this post.

If you decide to invest in Fundrise, you can use this link to get your management fees waived for 90 days. With their 1% management fee, this could save you $250 on a $100,000 account. I will also get a fee waiver for 90-365 days, depending on what type of account you open.

iHerb

The only place I buy vitamins and supplements. I recently placed an order and received it in less than 48 hours with free shipping! I compared the prices and they were lower than Amazon. I also love how they test a lot of the vitamins so that you know you’re getting what the label says. This isn’t always the case with supplements.

Use this link to save 5%! I’ll also get 5% of however much you spend, at no cost to you.

Misfits Market

My wife and I have gotten organic produce shipped to our house by Misfits for over a year. It’s never once disappointed me. Every fruit and vegetable is super fresh and packed with flavor. I thought radishes were cold, tasteless little lumps at salad bars until I tried theirs! They’re peppery, colorful and crunchy! I wrote a detailed review of Misfits here.

Use this link to sign up and you’ll save $10 on your first order. I’ll also get $10.

AMC Share Sales: A Wise Move for the Company’s Future

March 25, 2020:

COVID is sweeping the globe, causing shutdowns worldwide. One casualty: all 1,000 theaters of 100 year old AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc. Like many businesses, its ability to remain solvent was in serious doubt.

Under these cirumstances, a lot of CEOs arrange a golden parachute for themselves and a few golf buddies in the C-suite and throw the frontline workers to the wolves. But not AMC CEO Adam Aron.

He furloughed himself and the entire headquarters staff. Never have I heard of a CEO furloughing himself to save his company money, no matter how dire the circumstances. Whatever AMC’s other problems, it was clear to me then that Aron is a true leader with the company’s best interests at heart.

I bet Aron, his executive team, and the employees manning their theaters could’ve never guessed where AMC would be a year later: solvent, reopening, and an unexpected stock market darling. Indeed, AMC stock is up more than 20-fold this year, with retail traders piling in.

Aron took advantage of that soaring share price last week, selling 20 million new shares for over $800 million. Some have critized that move as selling out existing shareholders by diluting their ownership stake, but I think this decision is a shrewd move to put the company on solid long term footing.

AMC lost over $4 billion in 2020 amid COVID shutdowns and ended the year with just $300 million in cash left. The company faced bankruptcy in a matter of months, if not less. But AMC capitalized on its increasing stock price early this year to issue more shares, and ended the first quarter of 2021 sitting on over $800 million.

With last week’s $800 million sale, AMC’s cash hoard likely exceeds $1.5 billion, taking bankruptcy off the table for the forseeable future.

And while the share sales early in the year involved significant dilution, last week’s issuances only increased the share count by about 4%. With such a high share price, AMC simply doesn’t need to sell as many shares to rake in a nice cash pile. To me, 4% dilution is a small price to pay to ensure the future of a company that looked to be on its last legs just a few months ago.

Do the fundamentals justify owning AMC at current prices? Probably not. But in a world where corporate leadership is often venal, I applaud Aron for putting the company first and ensuring its future. In the long run, its employees, customers, and shareholders will benefit from that.

More on meme stocks:

Photo: “Police Stationed outside AMC Theater showing Joker film 4573” by Brechtbug is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

If you found this post interesting, please share it on Twitter/Reddit/etc. using the buttons at the bottom of the page. This helps more people find the blog! 

Save Money on Stuff I Use:

Fundrise

This platform lets me diversify my real estate investments so I’m not too exposed to any one market. I’ve invested since 2018 and returns have been good so far. More on Fundrise in this post.

If you decide to invest in Fundrise, you can use this link to get your management fees waived for 90 days. With their 1% management fee, this could save you $250 on a $100,000 account. I will also get a fee waiver for 90-365 days, depending on what type of account you open.

iHerb

The only place I buy vitamins and supplements. I recently placed an order and received it in less than 48 hours with free shipping! I compared the prices and they were lower than Amazon. I also love how they test a lot of the vitamins so that you know you’re getting what the label says. This isn’t always the case with supplements.

Use this link to save 5%! I’ll also get 5% of however much you spend, at no cost to you.

Misfits Market

My wife and I have gotten organic produce shipped to our house by Misfits for over a year. It’s never once disappointed me. Every fruit and vegetable is super fresh and packed with flavor. I thought radishes were cold, tasteless little lumps at salad bars until I tried theirs! They’re peppery, colorful and crunchy! I wrote a detailed review of Misfits here.

Use this link to sign up and you’ll save $10 on your first order. I’ll also get $10.

Short Sellers Lose $1 Billion on AMC

AMC stock has doubled in just ten days, extending a 13-fold rally this year:

Investors shorting the meme stock AMC Entertainment are estimated to have lost $1.23 billion over the last week as the shares rallied more than 116% since Monday, according to data from S3 Partners.

AMC was the most active stock on the New York Stock Exchange by far on Friday as more than 650 million shares changed hands. Its 30-day trading volume average is just above 100 million shares, according to FactSet.

With 450 million shares outstanding, the entire company changed hands nearly 1.5 times during Friday’s trading.

More here.

Some of the interest in AMC may be coming from traders rotating out of cryptocurrencies as those markets have fallen:

Pierantoni observed that just as selling of bitcoin and ethereum picked up, retail purchases of AMC jumped — as did the number of people buying risky but bullish call options popular among Robinhood investors.

The rally isn’t tied to fundamentals: AMC’s business is still struggling, with a net loss of over $400 million in the first quarter of 2021 and rent nearly three times as high as ticket revenue. But in a market where armies of retail traders suddenly band together to push up heavily shorted stocks, shorting anything is a fool’s errand. If a trader wanted to express a negative view, put options, where the downside is limited, are likely to be a safer bet.

I do wonder how long it will take the hedge funds to absorb this lesson. Numerous funds got torched on GameStop, with some losing a majority of their capital. And yet others seem to be lining up to get punched in the face on AMC stock. They would do well to remember the (perhaps apocryphal) words of John Maynard Keynes:

The markets can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent.

Happy Memorial Day to my US readers, and a thanks to our brave veterans!

Dig into these posts for more on AMC:

Photo: “Police Stationed outside AMC Theater showing Joker film 4573” by Brechtbug is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

If you found this post interesting, please share it on Twitter/Reddit/etc. using the buttons at the bottom of the page. This helps more people find the blog! 

Save Money on Stuff I Use:

Fundrise

This platform lets me diversify my real estate investments so I’m not too exposed to any one market. I’ve invested since 2018 and returns have been good so far. More on Fundrise in this post.

If you decide to invest in Fundrise, you can use this link to get your management fees waived for 90 days. With their 1% management fee, this could save you $250 on a $100,000 account. I will also get a fee waiver for 90-365 days, depending on what type of account you open.

iHerb

The only place I buy vitamins and supplements. I recently placed an order and received it in less than 48 hours with free shipping! I compared the prices and they were lower than Amazon. I also love how they test a lot of the vitamins so that you know you’re getting what the label says. This isn’t always the case with supplements.

Use this link to save 5%! I’ll also get 5% of however much you spend, at no cost to you.

Misfits Market

My wife and I have gotten organic produce shipped to our house by Misfits for over a year. It’s never once disappointed me. Every fruit and vegetable is super fresh and packed with flavor. I thought radishes were cold, tasteless little lumps at salad bars until I tried theirs! They’re peppery, colorful and crunchy! I wrote a detailed review of Misfits here.

Use this link to sign up and you’ll save $10 on your first order. I’ll also get $10.

How the Mormon Church Made Millions on GameStop

There have been a lot of winners in GameStop’s dizzying, over tenfold rise in the last year. An unlikely one is the Mormon Church, which made over $8 million on GameStop shares through its investment arm:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ play for stock in GameStop paid off big-time as the Utah-based faith saw its shares in the video game retailer swell in value from $867,000 to $8.7 million in a matter of months.

Overall, the church’s largest investment fund, managed by Ensign Peak Advisors in Salt Lake City, grew by $2.4 billion in early 2021, continuing a dramatic rebound from pandemic-induced losses last spring and catapulting its total value to $46.5 billion.

More here.

Their timing was superb: Ensign bought 46,000 shares at the end of 2020, just before a short squeeze briefly pushed the stock to prices over $300. The church also scored huge gains on Tesla shares. Ensign Peak Advisors is wholly owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, making it perhaps the only church in the world with its own hedge fund.

The fund’s assets total over $100 billion, greater than the GDP of Ethiopia. The church has banked up over $6,000 for each member, a staggering rainy day fund. This money comes primarily from all members being required to donate 10% of their income to the church, a practice called tithing.

I’ve always found the Mormon church fascinating and have read several books about it. I was intrigued to find out they played a part in something as far removed from religion as the GameStop saga!

Dig into these posts for more on GameStop:

Photo: “Salt Lake City Temple” by SheldonPhotography is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

If you found this post interesting, please share it on Twitter/Reddit/etc. using the buttons at the bottom of the page. This helps more people find the blog! 

Save Money on Stuff I Use:

Fundrise

This platform lets me diversify my real estate investments so I’m not too exposed to any one market. I’ve invested since 2018 and returns have been good so far. More on Fundrise in this post.

If you decide to invest in Fundrise, you can use this link to get your management fees waived for 90 days. With their 1% management fee, this could save you $250 on a $100,000 account. I will also get a fee waiver for 90-365 days, depending on what type of account you open.

iHerb

The only place I buy vitamins and supplements. I recently placed an order and received it in less than 48 hours with free shipping! I compared the prices and they were lower than Amazon. I also love how they test a lot of the vitamins so that you know you’re getting what the label says. This isn’t always the case with supplements.

Use this link to save 5%! I’ll also get 5% of however much you spend, at no cost to you.

Misfits Market

My wife and I have gotten organic produce shipped to our house by Misfits for over a year. It’s never once disappointed me. Every fruit and vegetable is super fresh and packed with flavor. I thought radishes were cold, tasteless little lumps at salad bars until I tried theirs! They’re peppery, colorful and crunchy! I wrote a detailed review of Misfits here.

Use this link to sign up and you’ll save $10 on your first order. I’ll also get $10.

GameStop Pays Off $216 Million in Debt

It’s no secret that GameStop shares have gone vertical, up more than ten fold this year. Besides making millionaires of a lot of Redditors, this also lets GameStop sell more shares at high prices, enabling them to raise capital with ease.

And raise they did, to the tune of $550 million in April. They recently used that money to completely pay off their long term debt:

The company said it completed its voluntary early redemption of $216.4 million of its 10.0% senior notes due 2023. The voluntary redemption covered all of the outstanding 10.0% notes, which represented all of its long-term debt.

More here.

At 10%, this debt was costing GameStop over $20 million a year. Getting rid of it should give them more room to fund their planned transformation into an e-commerce business, which is being led by Chewy co-founder and soon-to-be GameStop board chairman Ryan Cohen. On the other hand, this share raise dilutes existing GameStop shareholders, making their stake worth less.

GameStop still has $146 million in short term debt and a revolving line of credit, per their most recent annual report, but that is likely under lower interest rates than those long term bonds. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the short term debt paid off early as well.

In all, GameStop seems to be seizing the opportunity to use its high stock price to fund its transformation. Whether they can actually pull that transformation off remains to be seen.

Dig into these posts for more on GameStop:

Photo: “Retail GameStop” by ccPixs.com is licensed under CC BY 2.0

If you found this post interesting, please share it on Twitter/Reddit/etc. using the buttons at the bottom of the page. This helps more people find the blog! 

Save Money on Stuff I Use:

Fundrise

This platform lets me diversify my real estate investments so I’m not too exposed to any one market. I’ve invested since 2018 and returns have been good so far. More on Fundrise in this post.

If you decide to invest in Fundrise, you can use this link to get your management fees waived for 90 days. With their 1% management fee, this could save you $250 on a $100,000 account. I will also get a fee waiver for 90-365 days, depending on what type of account you open.

iHerb

The only place I buy vitamins and supplements. I recently placed an order and received it in less than 48 hours with free shipping! I compared the prices and they were lower than Amazon. I also love how they test a lot of the vitamins so that you know you’re getting what the label says. This isn’t always the case with supplements.

Use this link to save 5%! I’ll also get 5% of however much you spend, at no cost to you.

Misfits Market

My wife and I have gotten organic produce shipped to our house by Misfits for over a year. It’s never once disappointed me. Every fruit and vegetable is super fresh and packed with flavor. I thought radishes were cold, tasteless little lumps at salad bars until I tried theirs! They’re peppery, colorful and crunchy! I wrote a detailed review of Misfits here.

Use this link to sign up and you’ll save $10 on your first order. I’ll also get $10.

Can Bitcoin Protect You From Inflation?

Bitcoin is often referred to as digital gold. Unlike fiat money such as the US dollar, its supply expands at a slow, steady rate.

The Federal Reserve has printed so much money during the COVID crisis that money supply is up over 25%. This has led to fears of inflation. The consumer price index (CPI) jumped by 4.2% in the first quarter of this year, the highest since 2008.

So can bitcoin, with its steady supply, provide protection from inflation? Bitcoin hasn’t existed long enough to provide a good test, but the evidence we have indicates that it doesn’t really correlate with the price index and thus is unlikely to provide a good inflation hedge.

Take a look at the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation, the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) index excluding volatile food and energy prices. It’s been pretty consistent in the last decade, bouncing around the 2% level:

At the end of 2020, prices plummeted, pushing the US economy into deflation for the first time since this data series began in the 1950’s. If bitcoin is to provide an inflation hedge, it would need to drop when prices do and increase when prices rise. But we saw the opposite behavior, with bitcoin going vertical:

If you look at CPI as an inflation measure, you see the same pattern, with a noticeable decline in 2020 that wasn’t reflected in bitcoin:

Bitcoin doesn’t seem to perform well as an inflation hedge, although it could be useful for other purposes. If you’re worried about inflation, I’d suggest Treasury Inflation Protected Securities, which pay you a fixed rate plus the rate of inflation, protecting your interest payments from erosion by rising prices.

Dig into these posts for more on Bitcoin:

Photo: “Bitcoin, bitcoin coin, physical bitcoin, bitcoin photo” by antanacoins is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

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