GAINPLAN

What We're Reading This Week

Back

December 07, 2017

What We're Reading This Week

Author: Thad Schlaud

Topics: News, The Market, Industry Ideas

Secret Messages

Uber executives testified this past week that the company trained and encouraged staff to use encrypted messaging services like Wickr when discussing topics that could come up in “anticipated litigation.” I’ve stated in the past that if you find yourself “stuffing cash in a duffel bag,” then something has gone wrong in your life. This seems like a corollary. If you anticipate litigation, the answer is not to become more secretive. Something has gone wrong in your life.

This case raises important ethical questions concerning interoffice chat programs. Specifically, given the sensitive nature of communications between employees regarding trade secrets and clients, is there room for encryption? On one hand, data needs to remain secure. On the other hand, that data needs to be retained for litigation, anticipated or otherwise.

Most damning, is that federal court guidelines allow judges to tell jurors “that they can presume that information covered up by a litigant and now missing would have been negative for that party.”

 

Stocks

Yay! The DOW continues to rise and hit record highs. Never mind that the DOW is 30 stocks, ignore the fact that it’s not market cap weighted, just be happy it’s going up. And, while you’re at it, buy “purebred stocks.”

This story caught my attention because of the vaguely racist title. What in the world is a purebred stock, I wondered. Apparently, it’s a large, high-quality firm. I know USA Today isn’t exactly known for its forward-thinking stock picks but I’ll go out on a limb and agree that “high-quality” stocks are a safe investment.

 

Bitcoin

As Bitcoin climbs higher and higher, it’s interesting to consider the DOW again. The DOW reached 24,000 and it took 131 years to get there. Bitcoin has barely existed for a decade and is now worth $10,000 USD. Personally, I struggle with valuing Bitcoin. Now, it’s pretty much dependent on people’s interest. That’s just like the rest of the market. The difference is that while supply and demand drive market prices, generally there are assets that have value to them. For instance, if people stop drinking Coca-Cola, there are bottling factories, distribution centers, and other things with value. Put differently, it has scrap value. Bitcoin doesn’t.

In the future, Bitcoin will either be worth a lot more or…nothing, right? Maybe I am missing something but there are really only two options. Either, it takes the place of some other type of currency or it takes

the place of no currency. Right now, it trades based on how much people like or dislike it– that’s not sustainable. Also, I don’t see a middle ground. Bitcoin can’t partially replace a currency. It would be more efficient to use or it wouldn’t. I mean, when I buy gas (we probably won’t buy gas in the future), it makes sense to use Bitcoin or it doesn’t, but not both.

 

Also,

Are stocks too expensive?

What’s going on with wages?

It started as a tax cut. Now it could change American life.

Why Vanguard’s smart-beta bet may unsettle its rivals

12 secrets of FedEx delivery drivers

Michael Flynn pleads guilty to lying to the F.B.I. and will cooperate with Russia inquiry

AARP: 5.2 million seniors could see taxes increased by GOP bill

The most ridiculous statement in finance

Bitcoin price breaks $10,000. Here's what history tells us comes next

GM plans large-scale launch of self-driving cars in U.S. cities in 2019

 

 

Gainplan LLC is a Registered Investment Adviser. This blog is solely for informational purposes and not a solicitation to invest. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Gainplan LLC and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. No advice may be rendered by Gainplan LLC unless a client service agreement is in place. Please contact a financial advisory professional before making any investment.

Gainplan LLC provides links for your convenience to websites produced by other providers or industry related material. Accessing websites through links directs you away from our website. Gainplan LLC is not responsible for errors or omissions in the material on third party websites, and does not necessarily approve of or endorse the information provided. Users who gain access to third party websites may be subject to the copyright and other restrictions on use imposed by those providers and assume responsibility and risk from use of those websites.