Is Bitcoin Legal In Australia? - Crypto News AU

Policy Director For The Australian Taxpayers' Alliance Buys Bitcoin, Community Rejoices

Policy Director For The Australian Taxpayers' Alliance Buys Bitcoin, Community Rejoices submitted by CryptoCrunchApp to CryptoCrunchApp [link] [comments]

concern on Australian bank policies on bitcoin activity

hi, I am new to cryptocurrency and did some research before starting. I came up into several articles of Australian bank closing off accounts associated with cryptocurrency trading but it was all on 2014. Haven't seen any articles after 2014 regarding the updates on that matter. I am just wondering if this is really true, especially for the big aus bank like CommBank or NAB
submitted by mccccccccccc to BitcoinAUS [link] [comments]

Your Choice To Make

TL;DR: Wakey wakey, give a crap about freedom, or accept the consequences.
Another Sunday afternoon, another news item about Monero being delisted from a centralized exchange, this time in Australia.
Last year it was OKEx and others.
Just a few days ago it was Coinspot.
It is sort of an open secret that Coinbase is not listing Monero due to external pressures. Today we're hit with news that Kraken will be ceasing Monero trading for AU residents.
And you will also recall that Japan and South Korea have made similar moves.
It's a near impossibility with me, especially when powered by caffeine, which is most definitely the case today, but I will try to make this brief, sweet and to the point.
These are not isolated incidents. There is an International Organization™ in particular orchestrating, behind the scenes, the policies and requirements that financial institutions (crypto exchanges have since joined that category for this purpose) must follow, or else.
Here is what bothers me about this.
Have you been consulted about this? Anyone you know?
Heard of it in the news?
Yeah, me neither.
You have to know where to look to find some information on what they would like to see happening (we'll get to that in a moment), and often you have to read PDFs with dozens of pages to find the good stuff too.
I will leave that as an exercise to the reader. Suffice to say, I have been digging a bit deeper myself, and what I found shocked me.
FATF wants nothing less than the complete elimination of anonymity and privacy in financial affairs, even going so far as to consider BANNING peer to peer transactions so that people are forced to interact with each other through exchanges, where data collection is more reliable and certain, effectively obliterating one of the major selling points of cryptocurrency (p2p-ness) with complete disregard for the millions of people who are already onboard with the vision.
No privacy and no anonymity, imagine that.
Many of you probably already use plastic cards for everything, day in day out, and don't think too much about this stuff.
But the fact that an international organization that you have little to zero democratic control over is planning to get rid of class of financial tools that 99.99999% of people don't even realize exists yet should give you pause for concern.
The tools I speak of are, of course, digital cash-like cryptocurrencies like Monero.
I would like you to PAUSE, daydream a bit, visualize and imagine, what a world without zero financial privacy/anonymity would look like.
Consider, this has certainly not been the case in human history, ever -- yes, even today.
Today most of you still have cash as a choice. But what happens when that goes out of the window, and the only options are CBDCs, CorporateCoins, and transparent cryptocurrency ?
Needless to say, both in the case of CorporateCoins and CBDCs, there will be little to none privacy/anonymity, and even if there was (in the case of CorporateCoin), the state would obviously bully its way into it and force them to do otherwise (without being asked to do so, of course).
So, imagine that world.
Every donation you make. Every $50 transfer to a friend or family member. Every item you buy. Every service you purchase. Every money you send to help a friend you.
All of it stored, forever, to be accessed later at will for whatever reasons.
Would you make the same choices, knowing that your entire financial life is entirely exposed to powerful organizations of which you likely know very little about and almost certainly can hardly ever influence at all?
Does that seem like a good recipe for a free society?

Consequences

The people at the top either don't care about the consequences of what they're imposing worldwide, or they don't understand.
Sounds highly concerning to me either way - It comes down to either bullying or ignorance.
Would you ever have truly heart-to-heart conversations if you knew your worst enemy was potentially watching and recording everything?
Could you make passionate love knowing hundreds of strangers are analyzing your every move?
Can you be spontaneous knowing you are being recorded?
What if you did not have a choice in those matters ?!
What if someone has already decided for you, your friends, your family, your neighbors, your country, that you are all potential criminals and the thing to do is to keep records on everyone, just in case ?
Newsflash: It already happened.
It's been happening for awhile, and it seems to be picking up pace; the technology that was going to liberate us, slowly enslaving us instead -- because the general public largely does not understand the issues at hand, while the elite certainly does, and boy oh boy, are they thrilled with the technological advancements that help them cement their power.
What do I mean by cement?
Imagine trying to kick-start civil rights in a place where every social map is known, everything a person is interested in is known, every transaction they make is known, every website they have visited is known, every time they step on the street, an AI-powered camera automatically identifies them and tracks their movement.
You would be unable to organize. To exchange value. To discuss behind curtains, so to speak.
You would not have any privacy, and you would not have any anonymity.
Could you be free under these circumstances?

Conclusion

It's been a long road towards more freedom, but nowdays it is disappearing fast. Stopping to consider the implications is a most pressing issue.
They want Monero(-like tools) GONE because Monero ACTUALLY would change the paradigm.
By the time they are done with their "recommendations" (which really mean: comply, or else...), mark my words, there will be a name behind every Bitcoin address in some centralized database, query-able by partners in deciding who can and cannot use the system.
Merchants will be forced to perform chain analysis and by law they will be compelled to reject/refund/report transactions coming from "anonymous clusters" (addresses that are not known to have an identity tied to them).
This is what the normalization of the lack of privacy has brought us.
The possibility was there, and they took it. Of course they did.
I repeat, it is no accident that it's not Dogecoin and Nano, Bitcoin or Litecoin being delisted.
The star of the show (for better or for worse) is Monero, and that is because it works.
It lets you transact anonymously and privately, like cash - why the hell should FATF know that you sent $500 to your mother last week? in fact, why the hell should they know your entire financial history?!
When cash goes (and we can be fairly certain that it will be gone; would already be gone if this sort of authoritarian mindset had its way), Monero or tools like Monero, will become the only way to make any transaction outside the eyes of the state.
It's not because you have anything (nefarious) to hide. It's not because you're a criminal.
Rather, it's because to accept anything else is to bow to tyranny.
It's your choice to make - are you meekly going to accept that in perhaps less than a decade there will be zero privacy and anonymity in financial matters, or are you going to fight back?
Will you organize, campaign, email, discuss, spread awareness?
Will you spend precious summer Sunday afternoons writing for strangers on the Internet trying to help a few more see the major shit-show we're headed into?
Or will you be a good boy and do what you're told?
Tomorrow, by the way - if left unchallenged - it won't just be financial privacy that disappears.
One of the most prominent examples in the introductory part of this post (Australia) has already made quite clear that they don't like the fact that people can hide things from them (encryption).
In other words, either they know about it (and archive it forever), or you better let them know. After all, a threat - any threat! - could be lurking somewhere in that encrypted data. And you have nothing to hide anyway, yes?
This is a cryptocurrency sub though so let's not steer too far from that. It is important to remember that ultimately the issue is the same though - totalitarian control over everyone's life; mass-surveillance, and the ability to rewind and see someone's entire life exposed for the benefit of the state.
Their actions are letting you know what really works and what really threatens the status quo. That is useful information.
If you care at all about the freedom and privacy of your future self, your friends and family, children present or future, I think you would do well to think long and hard about these issues.
Because the direction assumed by the most prominent regulators seems to be headed in a uniform direction - that is no surprise, seeing as how they meet with each other.
You have to ask yourself though, is this for your benefit, your safety?
Or is it to keep the statuo quo?
How would the world be different if human beings - regardless of color, nationality, age, sexual orientation, political beliefs- with an Internet connection could freely exchange value privately and anonymously (the way we can still communicate private and anonymously in most places today - though not so in authoritarian places like China, AND THAT IS NOT A COINCIDENCE)?
It would be instant, like an instant message. It would cost very little.
Well, I have news for you: It's already possible, and a growing number of people are realizing this.
This tool is called Monero. It exists today, and the cat is out of the bag. The technology will only get better, and more interesting tools may even come along later.
In fact, barring mass persecution of open-source developers, that is very likely what is going to happen, as ultrasmart people everywhere congregate in virtual spaces to discuss better ways to do stuff.
If we keep losing our right to be left alone until suspected of a crime, life will increasingly come to resemble what the regulator types are - consciously or unconsciously - creating: a Panopticon society.
If you don't speak up, then the decision has already been made - and you're probably going to live to regret being complicit in it.
Freedom or Tyranny. It's your choice to make.
p.s: Yes, totally failed at making this short. I guess it's just not my thing.
submitted by xmr_kayront to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Mine Digital's Q3 Report, 2020

Orginal post: https://minedigital.exchange/the-byzantine-times/mine-digital-q3-report/?utm_source=reddit&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=new_visitors&utm_term=quarterly

Data

There has been a lot of talk recently over deflation vs inflation and which phenomenon is going to emerge.
The traditional path of inflation is that it first shows up in soft commodities then energy.
Indeed, the data for Q3 shows inflation, with soft commodities up from mid single digits all the way to 40% higher of the quarter (with the exception of Orange Juice and Oats which were marginally lower).
Although energy is yet to show signs of that inflation, with significant overcapacity in oil suppressing prices (especially with the lack of air travel with the coronavirus), natural gas is higher by almost 46% over the quarter — obviously a significant amount.
While this is a result of the initial response to coronavirus stimulus from March onwards, there is now a threat of deflation emerging — however further policy response is expected imminently.

US Election

With the US election underway we saw the first presidential debate recently. The event was slow with Joe Biden performing better than expected — by not being a disaster — and President Trumps strategy of freestyle, interruption and flow being handled well with superior tactics.
Those tactics include the promise of a return of technocratic stability to the governance of the country — an approach complementary to unofficial policy supporting the corporate funded, professionally organised riots of 2020.
There was a swing towards Biden in gambling books, with about an 8% improvement in odds given to a Democrat win.
If Democrats do win, we expect that the policy mechanism of the US Government will include the expansion of fiscal and monetary policy to include an infrastructure spend and a continuation of the trend in monetary policy
However if Republicans win, we expect that the policy mechanism of the US Government will include the expansion of fiscal and monetary policy to include an infrastructure spend and a continuation of the trend in monetary policy.
This delusion of choice in the United States creates an image similar to China with both countries now having essentially a centrally planned economy at the highest level, both developed a mass surveillance program, have media synchronised to political objectives controlling the window of discourse, and with heavy politically influence from what amounts to an aristocracy.
One major difference is that while China has been taking on debt at a record pace in 2020, the American fiscal stimulus has been held up in the democratic process. Between the fake trade-deal (China never having any intention of completing it), Coronavirus and political fandangaling in the US, China has stolen 2020 from the USA, giving some much needed time to develop strategy and tactical positioning before the Thucydides showdown emerges later down the track — in whatever form it does.
The broader battle of de-centralisation vs centralisation will be important in the competition between the two powers and something that digital assets, the ethos and philosophy behind the space will become more important in creating competitive advantages in macro-strategy of all kinds.

Australian Policy

Now that we have seen Australian house prices down for 5 months in a row there are hints of a dead-cat bounce in the Australian property market. With restricted access to Chinese investors as well as poor sentiment in the conditions of the year the Australian government is expected to intervene in the property market in some way later this year or early next.
A federal budget is being delivered Tuesday the 6th October which has been described as a ‘jobs budget’. This budget is expected to have a $200 billion deficit with Australian national debt edging towards $1 trillion. $140 billion of stimulus is expected over the next four years with net migration negative for the first time since the 1940's.
There is specific infrastructure and manufacturing expenditure as well as a continuation of JobSeeker payments in which the government is in a bind between encouraging re-entry to the workforce and providing a gentle landing for the unemployed adjusting to the boosted payments. Housing is likely to be one area where surprises would emerge, given Australia’s dependency on residential construction and broader housing prices.
Some specific areas of interest are $1.5 billion to manufacturing and $7.5 billion of spending in infrastructure projects covering all states and territories.
Whether this will be enough to avoid recession in a global slowdown remains to be seen. Recessions gather momentum slowly with employment decreasing only gradually before accelerated layoffs take hold.
Despite this outlook Australia is likely to remain a benefactor of global government policies where monetary policy has been taken as far as it can go in many places and fiscal policy is expected to replace it. There is upto $2.2 trillion of fiscal expenditure in the US expected, along with other fiscal expenditure that would improve the price of commodities. We have already seen this effect in China this year with their record increases in debt on the iron ore price.

Digital Assets

In the third quarter of 2020 we saw Decentralised Finance projects stage a bubble of their own.
This gold-rush became so competitive at its peak that a project had been unnannounced, unreleased and in testing but was funded with $15mil of assets staked before it had a public name.
Now in the late stages of this phenomenon we are likely to see many lessons learnt, some impressive winning stories and some disastrous losses.
And the output of all of this chaos in defi includes projects that create a new aspect to the digital asset ecosystem as well as testing new products and game theory.
Leading projects include yearn.finance, Synthetix, Uniswap, Compound, Ren and Aave. Some notable game-theory has been developed to bolt onto the Ampleforth tokenomics in Yam and Based amongst others.

Ethereum

One of the key takeaways of the de-fi boom was the inability of Ethereum to handle transactions with costs per transaction skyrocketing. In addition to this there has been statements made by Vitalik to temper expectations in the full release of Ethereum 2.0. However the comments also include a clear direction for the asset, a focus on rollups, plasma and state channel with upto 4000 TPS (transactions per second)’ and upto 100,000 TPS in the full release of Ethereum 2.0.

Bitcoin

Although it has traded higher over the time-frame, bitcoin has not done a great deal in Q3. With a major announcement from Microstrategy investing their entire treasury into Bitcoin ($425 million USD) and Grayscale Bitcoin Trust ($4.4 billion USD) holding about 2.2% of Bitcoins total market cap and reports from other institutional players such as OSL there is significant interest in the asset that is not translating smoothly into higher prices.
Originally published at https://minedigital.exchange on October 5, 2020. Visit the original link for a more in-depth report including charts.
submitted by Uncle_Chester2020 to Mine_Digital_Exchange [link] [comments]

morning update

U.S. House hints at Big Tech breakup
A House antitrust subcommittee report due this week on big tech - Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL) - is hinting toward breaking up the tech giants, according to a lawmaker in the GOP minority. “This proposal is a thinly veiled call to break up Big Tech firms. We do not agree with the majority’s approach,” says Republican congressman Ken Buck in a draft response seen by Reuters. He says he shares Democratic concerns about the companies' market power, but objects to requiring them to pursue a clear "single line of business." Cisco ordered to pay $1.9B in patent infringement case
Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) has been ordered to pay $1.9B in a patent infringement case. The U.S. district judge said the case was “not a close call,” ruling that Cisco infringed four patents belonging to Centripetal Networks but didn’t infringe on a fifth. The award includes $755.8M in actual damages, multiplied by 2.5 to reflect “willful and egregious” conduct from Cisco plus prejudgement interest. Cisco plans to appeal.
Warner Bros. delays 'The Batman' to 2022; postpones 'Flash,' 'Shazam 2'
Warner Bros. (NYSE:T) delayed Dune until October 1, 2021 and shifted The Batman starring Robert Pattinson until March 4, 2022. The studio pulled Black Adam (starring Dwayne Johnson) and Minecraft from the release calendar. The newest sequel to The Matrix film series made the rare leap forward, from April 1, 2022 to Dec. 22, 2021. The Flash will move from June to November in 2022, and Shazam 2 leaves November 2022 for June 2, 2023.
Southwest Airlines asks workers to accept pay cuts in lieu of furloughs
Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) is asking its union workers to accept pay cuts for the first time, to help the company avoid its first furloughs and/or layoffs. The company wants pay cuts on the table to avoid furloughs/layoffs through the end of next year. The passing of an Oct. 1 deadline tied to $25B the industry received in aid means struggling airlines are considering layoffs, and Southwest rivals United Airlines (NASDAQ:UAL) and American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL) have gone ahead with more than 32,000 cuts.
Australian miner Northern Star offers to buy Saracen Mineral in A$5.7B deal
Northern Star Resources (OTCPK:NESRF) has agreed to acquire smaller Australian rival Saracen Mineral Holdings (OTCPK:SCEXF) in a A$5.76B (US$4.14B) deal that will create a new top 10 global gold miner according to its ~A$16B in market valuation. Northern Star will own 64% of the combined entity and Saracen will own the remaining 36%. The deal comes after the two mining companies each acquired 50% stakes in Australia's giant KCGM operation, commonly known as the Super Pit, Australia's largest open cut gold mine.
What else is happening...
Halozyme (NASDAQ:HALO) expands license agreement with argenx (NASDAQ:ARGX) for Enhanze Technology. Oil pipeline operators offer new discounts as demand drops - Bloomberg. BHP (NYSE:BHP) buys Hess' (NYSE:HES) Shenzi oil field stake in $505M deal. Fortive (NYSE:FTV) spin-off Vontier (VNT) to join S&P 500. Iovance (NASDAQ:IOVA) pushes lifileucel's US application submission into next year.
Today's Economic Calendar
8:30 Goods and Services Trade 8:55 Redbook Chain Store Sales 10:00 Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey 10:40 Powell: “Global Reset? Economics, Business and Policy in the Pandemic” 12:00 PM Fed's Harker: “Machine Learning” 1:00 PM Results of $52B, 3-Year Note Auction 2:00 PM Fed's Bostic Speech 6:00 PM Fed's Kaplan Speech
Today's Markets
In Asia, Japan +0.5%. Hong Kong +0.9%. China closed. India +1.1%. In Europe, at midday, London -0.5%. Paris -0.2%. Frankfurt -0.2%. Futures at 6:20, Dow -0.1%. S&P -0.3%. Nasdaq -0.4%. Crude +0.9% to $39.59. Gold -0.2% to $1915.35. Bitcoin +
submitted by upbstock to Optionmillionaires [link] [comments]

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submitted by SellBitcoin_Ltd to u/SellBitcoin_Ltd [link] [comments]

/r/Scams Common Scam Master Post

Hello visitors and subscribers of scams! Here you will find a master list of common (and uncommon) scams that you may encounter online or in real life. Thank you to the many contributors who helped create this thread!

If you know of a scam that is not covered here, write a comment and it will be added to the next edition.

Previous threads: https://old.reddit.com/Scams/search?q=common+scams+master+post&restrict_sr=on
Blackmail email scam thread: https://old.reddit.com/Scams/comments/g8jqnthe_blackmail_email_scam_part_5//
Some of these articles are from small, local publications and refer to the scam happening in a specific area. Do not think that this means that the scam won't happen in your area.

Spoofing

Caller ID spoofing
It is very easy for anyone to make a phone call while having any number show up on the caller ID of the person receiving the phone call. Receiving a phone call from a certain number does not mean that the person/company who owns that number has actually called you.
Email spoofing
The "from" field of an email can be set by the sender, meaning that you can receive scam emails that look like they are from legitimate addresses. It's important to never click links in emails unless absolutely necessary, for example a password reset link you requested or an account activation link for an account you created.
SMS spoofing
SMS messages can be spoofed, so be wary of messages that seem to be from your friends or other trusted people.

The most common scams

The fake check scam (Credit to nimble2 for this part)
The fake check scam arises from many different situations (for instance, you applied for a job, or you are selling something on a place like Craigslist, or someone wants to purchase goods or services from your business, or you were offered a job as a mystery shopper, you were asked to wrap your car with an advertisement, or you received a check in the mail for no reason), but the bottom line is always something like this:
General fraudulent funds scams If somebody is asking you to accept and send out money as a favour or as part of a job, it is a fraudulent funds scam. It does not matter how they pay you, any payment on any service can be fraudulent and will be reversed when it is discovered to be fraudulent.
Phone verification code scams Someone will ask you to receive a verification text and then tell you to give them the code. Usually the code will come from Google Voice, or from Craigslist. In the Google version of the scam, your phone number will be used to verify a Google Voice account that the scammer will use to scam people with. In the Craigslist version of the scam, your phone number will be used to verify a Craigslist posting that the scammer will use to scam people. There is also an account takeover version of this scam that will involve the scammer sending a password reset token to your phone number and asking you for it.
Bitcoin job scams
Bitcoin job scams involve some sort of fraudulent funds transfer, usually a fake check although a fraudulent bank transfer can be used as well. The scammer will send you the fraudulent money and ask you to purchase bitcoins. This is a scam, and you will have zero recourse after you send the scammer bitcoins.
Email flooding
If you suddenly receive hundreds or thousands of spam emails, usually subscription confirmations, it's very likely that one of your online accounts has been taken over and is being used fraudulently. You should check any of your accounts that has a credit card linked to it, preferably from a computer other than the one you normally use. You should change all of your passwords to unique passwords and you should start using two factor authentication everywhere.
Boss/CEO scam A scammer will impersonate your boss or someone who works at your company and will ask you to run an errand for them, which will usually be purchasing gift cards and sending them the code. Once the scammer has the code, you have no recourse.
Employment certification scams
You will receive a job offer that is dependent on you completing a course or receiving a certification from a company the scammer tells you about. The scammer operates both websites and the job does not exist.
Craigslist fake payment scams
Scammers will ask you about your item that you have listed for sale on a site like Craigslist, and will ask to pay you via Paypal. They are scamming you, and the payment in most cases does not actually exist, the email you received was sent by the scammers. In cases where you have received a payment, the scammer can dispute the payment or the payment may be entirely fraudulent. The scammer will then either try to get you to send money to them using the fake funds that they did not send to you, or will ask you to ship the item, usually to a re-shipping facility or a parcel mule.
General fraudulent funds scams The fake check scam is not the only scam that involves accepting fraudulent/fake funds and purchasing items for scammers. If your job or opportunity involves accepting money and then using that money, it is almost certainly a frauduent funds scam. Even if the payment is through a bank transfer, Paypal, Venmo, Zelle, Interac e-Transfer, etc, it does not matter.
Credit card debt scam
Fraudsters will offer to pay off your bills, and will do so with fraudulent funds. Sometimes it will be your credit card bill, but it can be any bill that can be paid online. Once they pay it off, they will ask you to send them money or purchase items for them. The fraudulent transaction will be reversed in the future and you will never be able to keep the money. This scam happens on sites like Craigslist, Twitter, Instagram, and also some dating sites, including SeekingArrangement.
The parcel mule scam
A scammer will contact you with a job opportunity that involves accepting and reshipping packages. The packages are either stolen or fraudulently obtained items, and you will not be paid by the scammer. Here is a news article about a scam victim who fell for this scam and reshipped over 20 packages containing fraudulently acquired goods.
The Skype sex scam
You're on Facebook and you get a friend request from a cute girl you've never met. She wants to start sexting and trading nudes. She'll ask you to send pictures or videos or get on webcam where she can see you naked with your face in the picture. The scam: There's no girl. You've sent nudes to a guy pretending to be a girl. As soon as he has the pictures he'll demand money and threaten to send the pictures to your friends and family. Sometimes the scammer will upload the video to a porn site or Youtube to show that they are serious.
What to do if you are a victim of this scam: You cannot buy silence, you can only rent it. Paying the blackmailer will show them that the information they have is valuable and they will come after you for more money. Let your friends and family know that you were scammed and tell them to ignore friend requests or messages from people they don't know. Also, make sure your privacy settings are locked down and consider deactivating your account.
The underage girl scam
You're on a dating site or app and you get contacted by a cute girl. She wants to start sexting and trading nudes. Eventually she stops communicating and you get a call from a pissed off guy claiming to be the girl's father, or a police officer, or a private investigator, or something else along those lines. Turns out the girl you were sexting is underage, and her parents want some money for various reasons, such as to pay for a new phone, to pay for therapy, etc. There is, of course, no girl. You were communicating with a scammer.
What to do if you are a victim of this scam: Stop picking up the phone when the scammers call. Do not pay them, or they will be after you for more money.
Phishing
Phishing is when a scammer tries to trick you into giving information to them, such as your password or private financial information. Phishing messages will usually look very similar to official messages, and sometimes they are identical. If you are ever required to login to a different account in order to use a service, you should be incredibly cautious.
The blackmail email scam The exact wording of the emails varies, but there are generally four main parts. They claim to have placed software/malware on a porn/adult video site, they claim to have a video of you masturbating or watching porn, they threaten to release the video to your friends/family/loved ones/boss/dog, and they demand that you pay them in order for them to delete the video. Rest assured that this is a very common spam campaign and there is no truth behind the email or the threats. Here are some news articles about this scam.
The blackmail mail scam
This is very similar to the blackmail email scam, but you will receive a letter in the mail.
Rental scams Usually on local sites like Craigslist, scammers will steal photos from legitimate real estate listings and will list them for rent at or below market rate. They will generally be hesitant to tell you the address of the property for "safety reasons" and you will not be able to see the unit. They will then ask you to pay them a deposit and they claim they will ship you the keys. In reality, your money is gone and you will have no recourse.
Craigslist vehicle scams A scammer will list a vehicle on Craigslist and will offer to ship you the car. In many cases they will also falsely claim to sell you the car through eBay or Amazon. If you are looking for a car on Craigslist and the seller says anything about shipping the car, having an agent, gives you a long story about why they are selling the car, or the listing price is far too low, you are talking to a scammer and you should ignore and move on.
Advance-fee scam, also known as the 419 scam, or the Nigerian prince scam. You will receive a communication from someone who claims that you are entitled to a large sum of money, or you can help them obtain a large sum of money. However, they will need money from you before you receive the large sum.
Man in the middle scams
Man in the middle scams are very common and very hard to detect. The scammer will impersonate a company or person you are legitimately doing business with, and they will ask you to send the money to one of their own bank accounts or one controlled by a money mule. They have gained access to the legitimate persons email address, so there will be nothing suspicious about the email. To prevent this, make contact in a different way that lets you verify that the person you are talking to is the person you think you are talking to.
Cam girl voting/viewer scam
You will encounter a "cam girl" on a dating/messaging/social media/whatever site/app, and the scammer will ask you to go to their site and sign up with your credit card. They may offer a free show, or ask you to vote for them, or any number of other fake stories.
Amateur porn recruitment scam
You will encounter a "pornstar" on a dating/messaging/social media/whatever site/app, and the scammer will ask you to create an adult film with hehim, but first you need to do something. The story here is usually something to do with verifying your age, or you needing to take an STD test that involves sending money to a site operated by the scammer.
Hot girl SMS spam
You receive a text from a random number with a message along the lines of "Hey babe I'm here in town again if you wanted to meet up this time, are you around?" accompanied by a NSFW picture of a hot girl. It's spam, and they'll direct you to their scam website that requires a credit card.
Identity verification scam
You will encounter someone on a dating/messaging/social media/whatever site/app, and the scammer will ask that you verify your identity as they are worried about catfishing. The scammer operates the site, and you are not talking to whoever you think you are talking to.
This type of scam teases you with something, then tries to make you sign up for something else that costs money. The company involved is often innocent, but they turn a blind eye to the practice as it helps their bottom line, even if they have to occasionally issue refunds. A common variation takes place on dating sites/dating apps, where you will match with someone who claims to be a camgirl who wants you to sign up for a site and vote for her. Another variation takes place on local sites like Craigslist, where the scammers setup fake rental scams and demand that you go through a specific service for a credit check. Once you go through with it, the scammer will stop talking to you. Another variation also takes place on local sites like Craigslist, where scammers will contact you while you are selling a car and will ask you to purchase a Carfax-like report from a specific website.
Multi Level Marketing or Affiliate Marketing
You apply for a vague job listing for 'sales' on craigslist. Or maybe an old friend from high school adds you on Facebook and says they have an amazing business opportunity for you. Or maybe the well dressed guy who's always interviewing people in the Starbucks that you work at asks if you really want to be slinging coffee the rest of your life. The scam: MLMs are little more than pyramid schemes. They involve buying some sort of product (usually snake oil health products like body wraps or supplements) and shilling them to your friends and family. They claim that the really money is recruiting people underneath you who give you a slice of whatever they sell. And if those people underneath you recruit more people, you get a piece of their sales. Ideally if you big enough pyramid underneath you the money will roll in without any work on your part. Failure to see any profit will be your fault for not "wanting it enough." The companies will claim that you need to buy their extra training modules or webinars to really start selling. But in reality, the vast majority of people who buy into a MLM won't see a cent. At the end of the day all you'll be doing is annoying your friends and family with your constant recruitment efforts. What to look out for: Recruiters love to be vague. They won't tell you the name of the company or what exactly the job will entail. They'll pump you up with promises of "self-generating income", "being your own boss", and "owning your own company." They might ask you to read books about success and entrepreneurs. They're hoping you buy into the dream first. If you get approached via social media, check their timelines. MLMs will often instruct their victims to pretend that they've already made it. They'll constantly post about how they're hustling and making the big bucks and linking to youtube videos about success. Again, all very vague about what their job actually entails. If you think you're being recruited: Ask them what exactly the job is. If they can't answer its probably a MLM. Just walk away.

Phone scams

You should generally avoid answering or engaging with random phone calls. Picking up and engaging with a scam call tells the scammers that your phone number is active, and will usually lead to more calls.
Tax Call
You get a call from somebody claiming to be from your countries tax agency. They say you have unpaid taxes that need to be paid immediately, and you may be arrested or have other legal action taken against you if it is not paid. This scam has caused the American IRS, Canadian CRA, British HMRC, and Australian Tax Office to issue warnings. This scam happens in a wide variety of countries all over the world.
Warrant Call
Very similar to the tax call. You'll get a phone call from an "agent", "officer", "sheriff", or other law enforcement officer claiming that there is a warrant out for your arrest and you will be arrested very soon. They will then offer to settle everything for a fee, usually paid in giftcards.
[Legal Documents/Process Server Calls]
Very similar to the warrant call. You'll get a phone call from a scammer claiming that they are going to serve you legal documents, and they will threaten you with legal consequences if you refuse to comply. They may call themselves "investigators", and will sometimes give you a fake case number.
Student Loan Forgiveness Scam
Scammers will call you and tell you about a student loan forgiveness program, but they are interested in obtaining private information about you or demanding money in order to join the fake program.
Tech Support Call You receive a call from someone with a heavy accent claiming to be a technician Microsoft or your ISP. They inform you that your PC has a virus and your online banking and other accounts may be compromised if the virus is not removed. They'll have you type in commands and view diagnostics on your PC which shows proof of the virus. Then they'll have you install remote support software so the technician can work on your PC, remove the virus, and install security software. The cost of the labor and software can be hundreds of dollars. The scam: There's no virus. The technician isn't a technician and does not work for Microsoft or your ISP. Scammers (primarily out of India) use autodialers to cold-call everyone in the US. Any file they point out to you or command they have you run is completely benign. The software they sell you is either freeware or ineffective. What to do you if you're involved with this scam: If the scammers are remotely on your computer as you read this, turn off your PC or laptop via the power button immediately, and then if possible unplug your internet connection. Some of the more vindictive tech scammers have been known to create boot passwords on your computer if they think you've become wise to them and aren't going to pay up. Hang up on the scammers, block the number, and ignore any threats about payment. Performing a system restore on your PC is usually all that is required to remove the scammer's common remote access software. Reports of identity theft from fake tech calls are uncommon, but it would still be a good idea to change your passwords for online banking and monitor your accounts for any possible fraud. How to avoid: Ignore any calls claiming that your PC has a virus. Microsoft will never contact you. If you're unsure if a call claiming to be from your ISP is legit, hang up, and then dial the customer support number listed on a recent bill. If you have elderly relatives or family that isn't tech savvy, take the time to fill them in on this scam.
Chinese government scam
This scam is aimed at Chinese people living in Europe and North America, and involves a voicemail from someone claiming to be associated with the Chinese government, usually through the Chinese consulate/embassy, who is threatening legal action or making general threats.
Chinese shipping scam
This scam is similar to the Chinese government scam, but involves a seized/suspicious package, and the scammers will connect the victim to other scammers posing as Chinese government investigators.
Social security suspension scam
You will receive a call from someone claiming to work for the government regarding suspicious activity, fraud, or serious crimes connected to your social security number. You'll be asked to speak to an operator and the operator will explain the steps you need to follow in order to fix the problems. It's all a scam, and will lead to you losing money and could lead to identity theft if you give them private financial information.
Utilities cutoff
You get a call from someone who claims that they are from your utility company, and they claim that your utilities will be shut off unless you immediately pay. The scammer will usually ask for payment via gift cards, although they may ask for payment in other ways, such as Western Union or bitcoin.
Relative in custody Scammer claims to be the police, and they have your son/daughtenephew/estranged twin in custody. You need to post bail (for some reason in iTunes gift cards or MoneyGram) immediately or the consequences will never be the same.
Mexican family scam
This scam comes in many different flavours, but always involves someone in your family and Mexico. Sometimes the scammer will claim that your family member has been detained, sometimes the scammer will claim that your family member has been kidnapped, and sometimes the scammer will claim that your family member is injured and needs help.
General family scams
Scammers will gather a large amount of information about you and target your family members using different stories with the goal of gettimg them to send money.
One ring scam
Scammers will call you from an international number with the goal of getting you to return their call, causing you to incur expensive calling fees.

Online shopping scams

THE GOLDEN RULE OF ONLINE SHOPPING: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Dropshipping
An ad on reddit or social media sites like Facebook and Instagram offers items at huge discounts or even free (sometimes requiring you to reblog or like their page). They just ask you to pay shipping. The scam: The item will turn out to be very low quality and will take weeks or even months to arrive. Sometimes the item never arrives, and the store disappears or stops responding. The seller drop-ships the item from China. The item may only cost a few dollars, and the Chinese government actually pays for the shipping. You end up paying $10-$15 dollars for a $4 item, with the scammer keeping the profit. If you find one of these scams but really have your heart set on the item, you can find it on AliExpress or another Chinese retailer.
Influencer scams
A user will reach out to you on a social media platform, usually Instagram, and offer you the chance to partner with them and receive a free/discounted product, as long as you pay shipping. This is a different version of the dropshipping scam, and is just a marketing technique to get you to buy their products.
Triangulation fraud
Triangulation fraud occurs when you make a purchase on a site like Amazon or eBay for an item at a lower than market price, and receive an item that was clearly purchased new at full price. The scammer uses a stolen credit card to order your item, while the money from the listing is almost all profit for the scammer.
Instagram influencer scams
Someone will message you on Instagram asking you to promote their products, and offering you a discount code. The items are Chinese junk, and the offer is made to many people at a time.
Cheap Items
Many websites pop up and offer expensive products, including electronics, clothes, watches, sunglasses, and shoes at very low prices. The scam: Some sites are selling cheap knock-offs. Some will just take your money and run. What to do if you think you're involved with this scam: Contact your bank or credit card and dispute the charge. How to avoid: The sites often have every brand-name shoe or fashion item (Air Jordan, Yeezy, Gucci, etc) in stock and often at a discounted price. The site will claim to be an outlet for a major brand or even a specific line or item. The site will have images at the bottom claiming to be Secured by Norton or various official payment processors but not actual links. The site will have poor grammar and a mish-mash of categories. Recently, established websites will get hacked or their domain name jacked and turned into scam stores, meaning the domain name of the store will be completely unrelated to the items they're selling. If the deal sounds too good to be true it probably is. Nobody is offering brand new iPhones or Beats or Nintendo Switches for 75% off.
Cheap Amazon 3rd Party Items
You're on Amazon or maybe just Googling for an item and you see it for an unbelievable price from a third-party seller. You know Amazon has your back so you order it. The scam: One of three things usually happen: 1) The seller marks the items as shipped and sends a fake tracking number. Amazon releases the funds to the seller, and the seller disappears. Amazon ultimately refunds your money. 2) The seller immediately cancels the order and instructs you to re-order the item directly from their website, usually with the guarantee that the order is still protected by Amazon. The seller takes your money and runs. Amazon informs you that they do not offer protection on items sold outside of Amazon and cannot help you. 2) The seller immediately cancels the order and instructs you to instead send payment via an unused Amazon gift card by sending the code on the back via email. Once the seller uses the code, the money on the card is gone and cannot be refunded. How to avoid: These scammers can be identified by looking at their Amazon storefronts. They'll be brand new sellers offering a wide range of items at unbelievable prices. Usually their Amazon names will be gibberish, or a variation on FIRSTNAME.LASTNAME. Occasionally however, established storefronts will be hacked. If the deal is too good to be true its most likely a scam.
Scams on eBay
There are scams on eBay targeting both buyers and sellers. As a seller, you should look out for people who privately message you regarding the order, especially if they ask you to ship to a different address or ask to negotiate via text/email/a messaging service. As a buyer you should look out for new accounts selling in-demand items, established accounts selling in-demand items that they have no previous connection to (you can check their feedback history for a general idea of what they bought/sold in the past), and lookout for people who ask you to go off eBay and use another service to complete the transaction. In many cases you will receive a fake tracking number and your money will be help up for up to a month.
Scams on Amazon
There are scams on Amazon targeting both buyers and sellers. As a seller, you should look out for people who message you about a listing. As a buyer you should look out for listings that have an email address for you to contact the person to complete the transaction, and you should look out for cheap listings of in-demand items.
Scams on Reddit
Reddit accounts are frequently purchased and sold by fraudsters who wish to use the high karma count + the age of the account to scam people on buy/sell subreddits. You need to take precautions and be safe whenever you are making a transaction online.
Computer scams
Virus scam
A popup or other ad will say that you have a virus and you need to follow their advice in order to remove it. They are lying, and either want you to install malware or pay for their software.

Assorted scams

Chinese Brushing / direct shipping
If you have ever received an unsolicited small package from China, your address was used to brush. Vendors place fake orders for their own products and send out the orders so that they can increase their ratings.
Money flipping
Scammer claims to be a banking insider who can double/triple/bazoople any amount of money you send them, with no consequences of any kind. Obviously, the money disappears into their wallet the moment you send it.

Door to door scams

As a general rule, you should not engage with door to door salesmen. If you are interested in the product they are selling, check online first.
Selling Magazines
Someone or a group will come to your door and offer to sell a magazine subscription. Often the subscriptions are not for the duration or price you were told, and the magazines will often have tough or impossible cancellation policies.
Energy sales
Somebody will come to your door claiming to be from an energy company. They will ask to see your current energy bill so that they can see how much you pay. They will then offer you a discount if you sign up with them, and promise to handle everything with your old provider. Some of these scammers will "slam" you, by using your account number that they saw on your bill to switch you to their service without authorization, and some will scam you by charging higher prices than the ones you agreed on.
Security system scams
Scammers will come to your door and ask about your security system, and offer to sell you a new one. These scammers are either selling you overpriced low quality products, or are casing your home for a future burglary.
They ask to enter your home
While trying to sell you whatever, they suddenly need to use your bathroom, or they've been writing against the wall and ask to use your table instead. Or maybe they just moved into the neighborhood and want to see how you decorate for ideas.
They're scoping out you and your place. They want to see what valuables you have, how gullible you are, if you have a security system or dogs, etc.

Street scams

Begging With a Purpose
"I just need a few more dollars for the bus," at the bus station, or "I just need $5 to get some gas," at a gas station. There's also a variation where you will be presented with a reward: "I just need money for a cab to get uptown, but I'll give you sports tickets/money/a date/a priceless vase."
Three Card Monte, Also Known As The Shell Game
Unbeatable. The people you see winning are in on the scam.
Drop and Break
You bump into someone and they drop their phone/glasses/fancy bottle of wine/priceless vase and demand you pay them back. In reality, it's a $2 pair of reading glasses/bottle of three-buck-chuck/tasteful but affordable vase.
CD Sales
You're handed a free CD so you can check out the artist's music. They then ask for your name and immediately write it on the CD. Once they've signed your name, they ask you for money, saying they can't give it to someone else now. Often they use dry erase markers, or cheap CD sleeves. Never use any type of storage device given to you by a random person, as the device can contain malware.
White Van Speaker Scam
You're approached and offered speakers/leather jackets/other luxury goods at a discount. The scammer will have an excuse as to why the price is so low. After you buy them, you'll discover that they are worthless.
iPhone Street Sale
You're approached and shown an iPhone for sale, coming in the box, but it's open and you can see the phone. If you buy the phone, you'll get an iPhone box with no iPhone, just some stones or cheap metal in it to weigh it down.
Buddhist Monk Pendant
A monk in traditional garb approaches you, hands you a gold trinket, and asks for a donation. He holds either a notebook with names and amounts of donation (usually everyone else has donated $5+), or a leaflet with generic info. This is fairly common in NYC, and these guys get aggressive quickly.
Friendship Bracelet Scam More common in western Europe, you're approached by someone selling bracelets. They quickly wrap a loop of fabric around your finger and pull it tight, starting to quickly weave a bracelet. The only way to (easily) get it off your hand is to pay. Leftover sales
This scam involves many different items, but the idea is usually the same: you are approached by someone who claims to have a large amount of excess inventory and offers to sell it to you at a great price. The scammer actually has low quality items and will lie to you about the price/origin of the items.
Dent repair scams
Scammers will approach you in public about a dent in your car and offer to fix it for a low price. Often they will claim that they are mechanics. They will not fix the dent in your car, but they will apply large amounts of wax or other substances to hide the dent while they claim that the substance requires time to harden.
Gold ring/jewelry/valuable item scam
A scammer will "find" a gold ring or other valuable item and offers to sell it to you. The item is fake and you will never see the scammer again.
Distraction theft
One person will approach you and distract you, while their accomplice picks your pockets. The distraction can take many forms, but if you are a tourist and are approached in public, watch closely for people getting close to you.

General resources

Site to report scams in the United Kingdom: http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/
Site to report scams in the United States: https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx
Site to report scams in Canada: www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/reportincident-signalerincident/index-eng.htm
Site to report scams in Europe: https://www.europol.europa.eu/report-a-crime/report-cybercrime-online
FTC scam alerts: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/scam-alerts
Microsoft's anti-scam guide: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/safety/online-privacy/avoid-phone-scams.aspx
https://www.usa.gov/common-scams-frauds
https://www.usa.gov/scams-and-frauds
https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/scam-alerts
https://www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety/common-fraud-schemes
submitted by EugeneBYMCMB to Scams [link] [comments]

Two Roads Diverge | Monthly FIRE Portfolio Update - May 2020

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth
Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken
This is my forty-second portfolio update. I complete this update monthly to check my progress against my goal.
Portfolio goal
My objective is to reach a portfolio of $2 180 000 by 1 July 2021. This would produce a real annual income of about $87 000 (in 2020 dollars).
This portfolio objective is based on an expected average real return of 3.99 per cent, or a nominal return of 6.49 per cent.
Portfolio summary
Vanguard Lifestrategy High Growth Fund – $727 917
Vanguard Lifestrategy Growth Fund – $42 128
Vanguard Lifestrategy Balanced Fund – $78 569
Vanguard Diversified Bonds Fund – $110 009
Vanguard Australian Shares ETF (VAS) – $187 003
Vanguard International Shares ETF (VGS) – $39 987
Betashares Australia 200 ETF (A200) – $225 540
Telstra shares (TLS) – $1 726
Insurance Australia Group shares (IAG) – $7 741
NIB Holdings shares (NHF) – $5 652
Gold ETF (GOLD.ASX) – $117 714
Secured physical gold – $18 982
Ratesetter (P2P lending) – $11 395
Bitcoin – $159 470
Raiz app (Aggressive portfolio) – $16 357
Spaceship Voyager app (Index portfolio) – $2 492
BrickX (P2P rental real estate) – $4 477
Total portfolio value: $1 757 159 (+$62 325 or 3.7%)
Asset allocation
Australian shares – 41.4% (3.6% under)
Global shares – 22.2%
Emerging markets shares – 2.3%
International small companies – 3.0%
Total international shares – 27.4% (2.6% under)
Total shares – 68.8% (6.2% under)
Total property securities – 0.3% (0.3% over)
Australian bonds – 4.4%
International bonds – 9.7%
Total bonds – 14.1% (0.9% under)
Gold – 7.8%
Bitcoin – 9.1%
Gold and alternatives – 16.9% (6.9% over)
Presented visually, below is a high-level view of the current asset allocation of the portfolio.
[Chart]
Comments
This month featured a further recovery in the overall portfolio, continuing to effectively reduce the size of the large losses across the first quarter.
The portfolio has increased by around $62 000, leading to a portfolio growth of 3.7 per cent. This means that around half of the large recent falls have been made up, and the portfolio sits around levels last reached in October of last year.
[Chart]
Leading the portfolio growth has been increases in Australian shares - particularly those held through the Betashares A200 and Vanguard VAS exchange traded funds, with both gaining over four per cent. Most other holdings remained steady, or fell slightly.
Markets appear to be almost entirely disconnected from the daily announcements of the sharp effects of the global coronavirus pandemic and the resulting restrictions. Bond and equity markets seem to have different and competing expectations for the future, and equity markets - at best - are apparently intent on looking through the immediate recovery phase to a new period of strong expansion.
[Chart]
On some metrics, both major global and Australian equity markets can be viewed as quite expensive, especially as reduced dividends announced have largely yet to be delivered. Yet if historically low bond yields are considered, it can be argued that some heightening compared to historical equity market valuations may be sustainable.
Reflecting this moment of markets holding their breath before one of two possible futures plays out, gold and Bitcoin remain elevated, and consequently above their target weightings.
Perhaps the same contending forces are in evidence in a recent Australian Securities and Investment Commission study (pdf) which has found that average Australian retail investors have reacted to uncertainty by activating old brokerage accounts, trading more frequently, and holding securities for shorter periods. My own market activity has been limited to purchases of Vanguard Australian shares ETF (VAS) and the international share ETF (VGS), to bring the portfolio closer to its target allocations.
Will Australia continue to be lucky through global slow downs?
Despite this burst of market activity in the retail market, it is unclear how Australian markets and equities will perform against the background of a global economic slowdown. A frequently heard argument is that a small open trade exposed commodities provider such as Australia, with a more narrowly-based economy, may perform poorly in a phase of heightened risk.
This recent Bank of England paper (pdf) makes the intriguing suggestion that this argument is not borne out by the historical record. In fact, the paper finds that industrial production in Australia, China and a mere handful of other economies has tended to increase following global risk shocks.
A question remaining, however, is whether the recovery from this 'risk shock' may have different characteristics and impacts than similar past events. One key question may be the exact form of government fiscal and monetary responses adopted. Another is whether inflation or deflation is the likely pathway - an unknown which itself may rely on whether long-term trends in the velocity of money supply continue, or are broken.
Facing all uncertainties, attention should be on tail risks - and minimising the odds of extreme negative scenarios. The case for this is laid out in this moving reflection by Morgan Housel. For this reason, I am satisfied that my Ratesetter Peer-to-Peer loans have been gradually maturing, reducing some 'tail risk' credit exposures in what could be a testing phase for borrowers through new non-bank lending channels in Australia. With accrued interest of over $13 000, at rates of around 9 per cent on average, over the five years of the investment, the loans have performed relatively well.
A temporary sheltering port - spending continues to decline
This month spending has continued to fall even as lockdown and other restrictions have slowly begun to ease. These extraordinary events have pushed even the smoothed average of three year expenditure down.
[Chart]
On a monthly basis credit card spending and total expenses have hit the lowest levels in more than six years. Apparently, average savings rates are up across many economies, though obviously individual experiences and starting points can differ dramatically.
Total estimated monthly expenditure has also fallen below current estimates of distributions for the first time since a period of exceptionally high distributions across financial year 2017-18.
The result of this is that I am briefly and surprisingly, for this month, notionally financially independent based on assumed distributions from the FIRE portfolio alone - at least until more normal patterns of expenditure are resumed.
Following the lines of drift - a longer view on progress made
Yet taking a longer view - and accounting for the final portfolio goal set - gives a different perspective. This is of a journey reaching toward, but not at, an end.
The chart below traces in purely nominal dollar terms the progress of the total portfolio value as a percentage of the current portfolio goal of $2.18 million over the last 13 years.
It also shows three labels, with the percentage progress at the inception of detailed portfolio data in 2007, at the start of this written record in January 2017, and as at January 1 of this year.
[Chart]
Two trend lines are shown - one a polynomial and the other exponential function - and they are extended to include a projection of future progress out to around 18 months.
The line of fit is close for the early part of the journey, but larger divergences from both trend lines are evident in the past two years as the impact of variable investment returns on a larger portfolio takes hold.
There are some modest inaccuracies introduced by the nominal methodology adopted - such as somewhat discounting early progress. A 2007 dollar had greater 'real' value and significance than is assigned to it by this representation. The chart does demonstrate, however, the approximate shape and length of the early journey - with it taking around 5 years to reach 20 per cent of the target, and 10 years to reach around half way.
Progress
Progress against the objective, and the additional measures I have reached is set out below.
Measure Portfolio All Assets
Portfolio objective – $2 180 000 (or $87 000 pa) 80.6% 108.4%
Credit card purchases – $71 000 pa 98.3% 132.3%
Total expenses – $89 000 pa 78.8% 106.0%
Summary
With aspects of daily life slowly and incrementally adjusting to a 'new normal', the longer-term question for the portfolio remains around how markets and government actions interact in a recovery phase.
The progress of the portfolio over the past 13 years has seemed, when viewed from afar as in chart above, predictable, and almost inevitable. Through the years it has felt anything but so smoothly linear. Rather, tides and waves have pushed and pulled, in turn stalling progress, or pushing it further ahead than hopes have dared.
It is possible that what lays ahead is a simple 'return leg', or more of the same. That through simple extrapolation around 80 per cent of the challenges already lay behind. Yet that is not the set of mind that I approach the remainder of the journey with. Rather, the shortness of the distance to travel has lent an extra focus on those larger, lower probability, events that could delay the journey or push it off-course. Those 'third' risks types of tail risks which Morgan Housel points out.
In one sense the portfolio allocation aims to deal - in a probabilistic way - with the multiple futures that could occur.
Viewed in this way, a gold allocation (and also Bitcoin) represents a long option on an extreme state of the economic world arising - as it did in the early 1980s. The 75 per cent target allocation to equities can be viewed as a high level of assurance around a 'base case' that human ingenuity and innovation will continue to create value over the long term.
The bond portfolio, similarly, can be seen as assigning a 15 per cent probability that both of these hypotheses are incorrect, and that further market falls and possible deflation are ahead. That perhaps even an experience akin to the lengthy, socially dislocating, post-bubble phase in Japan presided over by its central bank lays in store.
In other interesting media consumed this month, 'Fire and Chill', the brand new podcast collaboration between Pat the Shuffler and Strong Money Australia got off to an enjoyable start, tackling 'Why Bother with FIRE' and other topics.
Additionally, investment company Incrementum has just published the latest In Gold We Trust report, which gives an arrestingly different perspective on potential market and policy directions from traditional financial sources.
The detailed report questions the role and effectiveness of traditionally 'risk-free' assets like government bonds in the types of futures that could emerge. On first reading, the scenarios it contains appear atypical and beyond the reasonable contemplation of many investors - until it is recalled that up to a few years ago no mainstream economics textbook would have entertained the potential for persistent negative interest rates.
As the paths to different futures diverge, drawing on the wisdom of others to help look as far as possible into the bends in the undergrowth ahead becomes the safest choice.
The post, links and full charts can be seen here.
submitted by thefiexpl to fiaustralia [link] [comments]

New Lands, or New Eyes? | Monthly FIRE Portfolio Update - April 2020

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.
- Marcel Proust, Remembrance of Things Past
This is my forty-first portfolio update. I complete this update monthly to check my progress against my goal.
Portfolio goal
My objective is to reach a portfolio of $2 180 000 by 1 July 2021. This would produce a real annual income of about $87 000 (in 2020 dollars).
This portfolio objective is based on an expected average real return of 3.99 per cent, or a nominal return of 6.49 per cent.
Portfolio summary
Vanguard Lifestrategy High Growth Fund – $697 582
Vanguard Lifestrategy Growth Fund – $40 709
Vanguard Lifestrategy Balanced Fund – $76 583
Vanguard Diversified Bonds Fund – $110 563
Vanguard Australian Shares ETF (VAS) – $174 864
Vanguard International Shares ETF (VGS) – $31 505
Betashares Australia 200 ETF (A200) – $215 805
Telstra shares (TLS) – $1 625
Insurance Australia Group shares (IAG) – $7 323
NIB Holdings shares (NHF) – $5 904
Gold ETF (GOLD.ASX) – $119 458
Secured physical gold – $19 269
Ratesetter (P2P lending) – $12 234
Bitcoin – $158 360
Raiz app (Aggressive portfolio) – $16 144
Spaceship Voyager app (Index portfolio) – $2 435
BrickX (P2P rental real estate) – $4 471
Total portfolio value: $1 694 834 (+$127 888 or 8.2%)
Asset allocation
Australian shares – 40.9% (4.1% under)
Global shares – 21.7%
Emerging markets shares – 2.2%
International small companies – 3.0%
Total international shares – 26.9% (3.1% under)
Total shares – 67.8% (7.2% under)
Total property securities – 0.3% (0.3% over)
Australian bonds – 4.5%
International bonds – 9.9%
Total bonds – 14.4% (0.6% under)
Gold – 8.2%
Bitcoin – 9.3%
Gold and alternatives – 17.5% (7.5% over)
Presented visually, below is a high-level view of the current asset allocation of the portfolio.
Comments
This month featured a sharp recovery in the overall portfolio, reducing the size of the large losses experienced over the previous month.
The portfolio increased by over $127 000, representing a growth of 8.2 per cent, which is the largest month-on-month growth on record. This now puts the portfolio value significantly above the levels of a year ago.
[Chart]
The expansion in the value of the portfolio has occurred due to an increase in Australian and global equities markets, as well as substantial increases the price of Bitcoin. This is effectively the mirror image of the simultaneous negative movements last month.
From a nadir of initial pessimism in late March, markets have generally moved upwards as debate continues about the path of a likely economic recession and recovery from Coronavirus impacts over the coming year.
[Chart]
First quarter distributions from the Australian and Global Shares ETFs (A200, VAS and VGS) were received this month. These were too early to fully reflect the sharp economic activity impacts of the Coronavirus and lockdown period on company earnings.
Despite this, they were significantly down on a cents per unit basis on the equivalent distributions last year. Totalling around $2700, these distributions formed part of new contributions to Vanguard's Australian shares ETF (VAS).
The rapid falls in equity have many participants looking forward to a return to normalcy, or at least more open to the pleasing ideas that nerves have been held in a market fall comparable to 2000 or 2008-09, and that markets now represent clear value. As discussed last month, there should be caution and some humility about these questions, if some historical perspective is taken. As an example, the largest global equity market in the world - the United States - remains at valuation levels well above those experienced in previous market lows.
Portfolio alternatives - tracking changes under the surface
A striking feature of the past year or so has been the expansion of the non-traditional or 'alternatives' components of gold and Bitcoin as a proportion of the overall portfolio. Currently, when combined these alternative assets form a greater part of the portfolio than at any point over the past two years.
The chart below shows that since January 2019 the gold and Bitcoin component of the portfolio has lifted from around its long term target level of 10 per cent, to now make up over 17 per cent of the portfolio. In the space of the last four months alone, it has lifted from 13 per cent.
[Chart]
With no purchases of either gold or Bitcoin over the period, the growth in the chart is the result of two reinforcing factors:
A substantial fall in the value of the equity portfolio - reaching nearly $200 000 since the recent February market peak has naturally and mathematically led to a commensurate increase the proportion of other assets.
Increases in the value of gold and Bitcoin - have also played a role with a total appreciation of around $150 000 across the two assets over the past 16 months.
In fact, the value gold holdings alone have increased by over 40 per cent since January last year. Further appreciation of either gold or Bitcoin prices, particularly if any further falls in equity markets occur, could easily place the portfolio in the same position as experienced in January 2018.
At that time these alternative assets made up 1 in every 5 dollars of the portfolio, an unusual, and in that case temporary phenomenon. This represents a different portfolio and risk exposure than that envisaged in my portfolio investment plan.
Yet, equally it is critical to recall what the circumstances would likely be for this to arise. Simultaneously high gold and Bitcoin prices are more likely to occur in a situation of severe capital market dislocation, or falling confidence. On the other hand, should confidence and equity market growth be restored, both of these portfolio components could fall back to lower levels.
It is difficult to tell which state of the world will eventuate, a key reason for diversification across asset types. United States government debt is already at record levels - equivalent in real terms to levels last seen when it emerged out of the Second World War - despite no similar national effort having being undertaken.
Future inflation can potentially partly manage this burden, however, the last sustained episode of persistently high inflation rates during the decade of the 1970s spelt negative real returns. Where investors expect future inflation or financially 'repressive' policies of inflation exceeding interest rates, the economic growth required to 'grow out' of debt can be affected.
At this point, my inclination is to address this circumstance gradually through time by re-balancing of distributions and new contributions, rather than to realise capital gains by selling assets at one, or several, points in time.
Chasing down the lines - falling average spending in lockdown
Since the implementation of lockdown restrictions, average credit card expenditure has fallen by nearly 30 per cent. This has taken credit card expenditure to lower than any similar period in the past six years.
Partly as a result of this - as the chart below shows - a new development is occurring. The previously fairly steady card expenses line (red) is now starting to bend down towards, or 'chase', the rolling average distributions line (in blue).
[Chart]
The declining distributions line is a result of some previous high distributions gradually falling outside of the data 'window' for the rolling three-year comparison of distributions and expenditure.
This intriguing picture will probably change before a cross-over occurs, as lockdown restrictions ease, and as the data feeding into the three year average slowly changes over time.
Progress
Progress against the objective, and the additional measures I have reached is set out below.
Measure Portfolio All Assets
Portfolio objective – $2 180 000 (or $87 000 pa) 77.7% 104.6%
Credit card purchases – $71 000 pa 94.8% 127.6%
Total expenses – $89 000 pa 76.0% 102.3%
Summary
Last month market volatility theoretically took progress down to below most of my financial independence benchmarks on an 'All Assets' (i.e. portfolio and superannuation assets) basis. This position has reversed this month. As markets have recovered and with additional spare time in the lockdown period, I have continued to seek out and think about different perspectives on the history and future of markets.
Yet it must be recognised that there is a natural limit to the utility of these ponderings. The shape of the future is always uncertain, and in this world, confident comparisons and analogies with past events can be perilous. Comparisons with past periods of financial market crises miss the centrality of government action as a causal influence on the path of virus affected economies and markets.
A virus and recovery is not the same as a global financial crisis originating in housing finance markets addressed through monetary and fiscal stimulus. Most developed country governments have quickly applied the same, if not larger versions of responses as applied in the global financial crisis, a distinguishing step that also makes analogies with the great depression era problematic.
Similarly, a pandemic is not hitting and interacting with the shattered economic and health systems of the 1918-19 Spanish flu. Overlaying all of this is the imperfect and partially disconnected relationship between the economy today, and equity markets that discount and focus on the future.
This makes all history's lessons more than usually caveated and conditional. One avenue for managing through these times is to focus on what does not change - the psychological difficulty of accepting alterations in financial circumstances and the capacity of markets movements to cruelly surprise us in both timing and direction.
One of the best texts to read to get a sense of both of these in such times is Benjamin Roth's A Great Depression Diary. This tells of the day-by-day changes observed in everyday urban life and investment markets, from the point of view of an American small retail investor living through the times.
This month also saw the exciting news that Pat the Shuffler and Strong Money Australia are combining efforts to produce a new podcast. Speaking of which, Big ERN's reflections on the current implications of sharemarket market movements for seekers of financial independence have been filled with insight and wisdom.
This interesting piece (video) - the latest in a 'virus' market series - from New York University's Professor of Finance Aswath Damodaran on asset performances through the past few months - is a more technical and detailed discussion of how markets have re-priced businesses and profits. Finally, the recently released Hmmminar interview series provides a more heterodox set of speakers and ideas on current markets, presented by Grant Williams.
Unlike predicting the future, seeking out different perspectives on it is perhaps the easiest it has ever been in history. While it is not always possible to change the course taken, it is possible to look at the same horizon with new eyes.
The post, links and full charts can be seen here.
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Por robar 400 mil dólares en ripple, australiana fue condenada a dos años de prisión

Por robar 400 mil dólares en ripple, australiana fue condenada a dos años de prisión


Por robar más de 400 mil dólares en criptomonedas ripple (XRP), una ciudadana australiana de nombre Kathryn Nguyen fue condenada a dos años y tres meses de prisión.
Nguyen, quien se declaró culpable de los cargos de fraude ante la justicia australiana, pirateó una cuenta de criptomonedas de un hombre de 56 años y cambió la autenticación de dos factores a su teléfono móvil, reseñó ACS.
Luego la privada de libertad intercambió la abultada cifra de ripple a bitcoins y las depositó en diferentes billeteras virtuales (wallets).
Esta estafa de criptomonedas surgió en pleno apogeo de ripple, cuando superaba los cuatro dólares por unidad, que generaron unos 400 mil dólares en ganancias a la australiana.

Procedimiento policial

En el año 2018 la Policía de Australia allanó la casa de Kathryn Nguyen en el condado de Epping, en Sydney, confiscando en aquella ocasión computadoras, teléfonos y dinero.
Para el juez Chris Craigie fue una decisión «difícil y preocupante» privar de libertad a Nguyen debido a que sus referencias personales la catalogaban como una mujer «generosa y trabajadora».
El caso Nguyen fue considerado el primero en Australia donde participa una fémina en el robo de criptomonedas.
Con la estafa de 400 mil dólares en criptomonedas, Kathryn Nguyen se dedicó al comercio de bitcoins; sin embargo, la australiana perdió dinero. Luego emprendió en un negocio de reparación de bolsos y zapatos.
La prisionera será elegible para libertad condicional en octubre de 2021.

Denuncia de la víctima

El hombre de 56 años formalizó la denuncia en la Policía de Australia ante la imposibilidad de acceder a su cuenta comercial. A partir de ese momento, inició una investigación de casi un año sobre Kathryn Nguyen.
El procedimiento estuvo a cargo del Escuadrón de Delitos Cibernéticos de Nueva Gales del Sur, en el país ubicado en Oceanía.
“En Australia y en Nueva Gales del Sur la tasa de denuncia de delitos cibernéticos sigue siendo muy baja”, dijo el detective Matthew Craft refiriéndose al caso del robo de ripples.
Reiteró que en 2020 la ciberdelincuencia continúa trascendiendo fronteras, lo que dificulta el trabajo de la policía y, en ese sentido, «no hay mucho que las fuerzas del orden puedan hacer».
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Heinisch, Christina Holtz-Bacha, Oscar Mazzoleni (Ed.)(self) 1 [BOOK] Effective Strategies for Protecting Human Rights(self) 4 [BOOK] The Unprovability of Consistency - George Boolos(self) 1 [BOOK] 'The Unity of Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit: A Systematic Interpretation' Jon Stewart, Northwestern University Press (2000)(self) 1 [Book] Campus Wars by Kenneth J Heineman(self) 3 [Article] Circuit Theory for Waveguiding, Robert E. Collin(self) 1 [Other] [UpToDate] Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in adults: Epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical features, course, assessment, and diagnosis(self) 2 [BOOK] Quark-Gluon Plasma: From Big Bang to Little Bang(self) 10 [Book] The Representation of (in)definiteness - It's on archive.org but I can't seem to be able to download it(self) 1 [Book] Aginid bayok sa atong tawarik(self) 1 [Book] Political Economy In Macro Economics By Allan Drazen and Political Control of the Economy By Edward R. 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G.(self) 6 [Chapter] MULTICULTURALISM, OR, THE CULTURAL LOGIC OF MULTINATIONAL CAPITALISM by Slavoj Zizek(self) 5 [Article] Value articulation : A framework for the strategic manage- ment of intellectual property by Conley, James G., Peter M.Bican, and Holger Ernst(self) 3 [Book](JSTOR)Why We Believe: Evolution and the Human Way of Being by Agustin Fuentes(self) 1 [Book](self) 1 [Book] Ottoman Explorations of the Nile: Evliya Çelebi’s Map of the Nile and The Nile Journeys in the Book of Travels (Seyahatname) - Dankoff, Tezcan & Sheridan(self) 1 [Article] The Jewels of Adad by FNH Al-Rawi, JA Black(self) 1 [article] A measurement of collective learning effects in Italian high-tech milieux(self) 1 [Article] Parasympathetic activity is reduced during slow-wave sleep, but not resting wakefulness, in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome - Fatt et al., 2020(self) 1 [Book] Linked Data for Libraries, Archives, and Museums, by Seth van Hooland and Ruben Verborgh(self) 4 [Book] The Oxford Handbook of Well-Being and Public Policy - Edited by Matthew D. Adler and Marc Fleurbaey(self) 4 [Book] The Ostrich Communal Nesting System(self) 1 [Article] Protracted Effects of Ketamine Require Immediate Kappa Opioid Receptor Activation and Long‐Lasting Desensitization - Jacobson et al., 2020(self) 1 [Book] The Routledge Handbook to the Political Economy and Governance of the Americas by Olaf Kaltmeier et al.(self) 1 [Article] Dispute Resolution Provisions of the Energy Charter by Philippe Pinsolle(self) 1 [Book] Regional Development and Planning for the 21st Century New Priorities, New Philosophies(self) 4 [BOOK] Need a book from Oxford Scholarship online on International law subject.(self) 1 [Book] Prehispanic Settlement Patterns in the Upper Mantaro and Tarma Drainages, Junín, Peru: Volume 2, The Wanka Region(self) 4 [Book] Varieties of Virtue Ethics - David Carr, James Arthur, Kristján Kristjánsson(self) 4 [Article] Combustion Characteristics of a Swirled Burner Fueled With Waste Cooking Oil(self) 1 [BOOK] 'Beyond pleasure : Freud, Lacan, Barthes' by Margaret Iversen(self) 5 [Article] Empirical Studies of Adolescent Sexual Behavior: A Critical Review(self) 3 [Article]The sexual attitudes, behavior, and relationships of women with histrionic personality disorder(self) 2 Midsommar: Thing Theory [Article](self) 6 [Article] Microdosing psychedelics as cognitive and emotional enhancers.(self) 1 [Book] (Taylor&Francis) Human Evolution An Introduction to Man's Adaptations by Bernard Campbell(self) 1 [Article] Changing settlement patterns in the upper Mantaro Valley, Peru(self) 1 [BOOK] Fighting for Abortion Rights in Latin America Social Movements, State Allies and Institutions - Cora Fernández Anderson(self) 1 [Chapter] from the book The Crimean War: 1853–1856 Winfried Baumgart chapter 1 , 3 ,18(self) 1 [Book] Models of Integrity: Art and Law in Post-Sixties America -Joan Kee(self) 3 [Article] Forensic medical evaluation of children who present with suspected sexual abuse: How do we know what we know? by Grace Wong(self) 4 [book] Grammatical Voice — Fernando Zúñiga and Seppo Kittilä(self) 2 [Article]Naturally occurring 5′ preS1 deletions markedly enhance replication and infectivity of HBV genotype B and genotype C (supplementary materials)(self) 1 [Book] Commercial Real Estate Analysis and Investments (International) 3rd Edition(self) 2 [Book] Best Practices Guide to Residential Construction: Materials, Finishes, and Details by Steven Bliss(self) 2 [Book] Green Logistics: Improving the Environmental Sustainability of Logistics(self) 1 [Article] Black Codes and Slave Codes by Nakia D. Parker(self) 1 [Book] Marsh's Becoming a Teacher(self) 4 [Book] Germans Against Nazism: Nonconformity, Opposition and Resistance in the Third Reich: Essays in Honour of Peter Hoffmann by Francis R. Nicosia and Lawrence D. Stokes(self) 4 [Chapter] The Standard Story and Its Rivals(self) 1 [BOOK]Agrarian and Other Histories Essays for Binay Bhushan Chaudhuri - Edited by Shubhra Chakrabarti and Utsa Patnaik(self) 1 [Book] Regional modernities : the cultural politics of development in India. Ed. K. Sivaramakrishnan; Arun Agrawal(self) 1 [Chapter] Damping in Structures(self) 1 [Book] Gerontología y geriatría: valoración e intervención. Editorial Médica Panamericana. José Carlos Millán-Calentí(self) 1 [Book] Lotman's Cultural Semiotics and the Political - Makarychev & Yatsyk (2017)(self) 2 [Book] (Brill) The Handbook of Austroasiatic Languages (2 vols)(self) 1 [Book] Indian Films in Soviet Cinemas: The Culture of Movie-going After Stalin by Sudha Rajagopalan(self) 4 [BOOK] Decolonizing Theory: Thinking across Traditions by Aditya Nigam (1st edition, Bloomsbury India)(self) 3 [Request] [Article] Cell-by-Cell Deconstruction of Stem Cell Niches(self) 1 [Book] Social research methods- fifth edition, Bryman, Alan (2016)(self) 4 [Book]Chinese and Indian Warfare – From the Classical Age to 1870(self) 1 [Book] PC-Forensik Christoph Willer(self) 1 [Book] Designing for Empathy: Perspectives on the Museum Experience(self) 4 [book] American Communism and Black Americans by Philip Foner(self) 4 [Book] Marcus Franke : War and Nationalism in South Asia The Indian State and the Nagas(self) 8 [BOOK] Natural Resources, Extraction and Indigenous Rights in Latin America. Exploring the Boundaries of Environmental and State-Corporate Crime in Bolivia, Peru, and Mexico(self) 1 [Book] International Human Rights Law (3rd edn) Edited by Daniel Moeckli - Oxford University Press(self) 4 [Book] Participatory Heritage, Edited by Henriette Roued-Cunliffe , Andrea Copeland(self) 4 [BOOK] Political Representation in Southern Europe and Latin America Before and After the Great Recession and the Commodity Crisis - André Freire, Mélany Barragán, Xavier Coller, Marco Lisi, Emmanouil Tsatsanis(self) 4 [BOOK] Latin America and Policy Diffusion From Import to Export - Osmany Porto de Oliveira, Cecilia Osorio Gonnet, Sergio Montero, Cristiane Kerches da Silva Leite(self) 0 [Book] Sexual behaviour in Britain: The National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (1994)(self) 1 [book] Studien zur Hirnpathologie und Psychologie - Pick, Arnold(self) 4 [Other] Special Issue, Blockchain innovation and public policy, Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy: Volume 9 Issue 2(self) 4 [BOOK] baby jails: the fight to end the incarceration of refugee children in america/ jstor account??(self) 1 [Journal] Special Issue: Blockchain innovation and public policy, Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy, Volume 9, Issue 2(self) 1 [Book] Blackstone's EU Treaties and Legislation 2019-2020 (20th ed)(self) 3 [article] Deep Graph Kernels(self) 5 [Book] Routledge Handbook of the South Asian Diaspora - By Joya Chatterji, David Washbrook(self) 4 [Book] Growth and distribution(self) 1 [BOOK] The Radical Left in Europe in the Age of Austerity - Babak Amini(self) 4 [Book] Political Myth by Christopher Flood (Routledge) (2002)(self) 2 [Article] Robotic Assisted Radical Cystectomy vs Open Radical Cystectomy: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis + Niranjan J Sathianathen et al(self) 1 [Book] Folk Art Potters of Japan Beyond an Anthropology of Aesthetics (Routledge) by Brian Moeran(self) 1 [book] Revolution: How the Bicycle Reinvented Modern Britain(self) 5 [BOOK] Radical Left Movements in Europe - Magnus Wennerhag, Christian Fröhlich, Grzegorz Piotrowski(self) 4 [BOOK] Party System Change, the European Crisis and the State of Democracy - Marco Lisi(self) 5 [BOOK] Routledge Handbook of Contemporary European Social Movements. Protest in Turbulent Times - Cristina Flesher Fominaya, Ramon A. Feenstra(self) 4 [Book] Attorney-Client Privilege in International Arbitration(self) 1 [Article] An Alternative Ontology of Food Beyond Metaphysics by Lisa Heldke. Published in Radical Philosophy Review, Vol 15, Issue 1, 2012(self) 1 [Book] Bello, Walden 2005 Dilemmas of Domination: The Unmaking of the American Empire. Zed Books, 2005.(self) 1 [Article] Owning the PastOwning the Past Reply to Stokes(self) 1 [Article] Owning the PastOwning the Past Reply to Stokes(self) 1 [Book] McQuire, Scott. Crossing the Digital Threshold. Brisbane: Australian Key Centre for Cultural and Media Policy, Faculty of Humanities, Griffith University, 1997.(self) 3 [Book] Request: Migration and the Refugee Dissensus in Europe: Borders, Security and Austerity by Nicos Trimikliniotis.(self) 9 [Article] Masculinity in videogames: the gendered gameplay of Silent Hill(self) 1 [BOOK] 'Truth games : lies, money, and psychoanalysis' by John Forrester, Harvard University Press, 2000(self) 1 [Book] Osterloh, Jörg, und Clemens Vollnhals. NS-Prozesse Und Deutsche Öffentlichkeit: Besatzungszeit, Frühe Bundesrepublik Und DDR.(self) 2
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Thoughts On The Market Series #1 - The New Normal?

Market Outlook: What to Make of This “New Normal”

By ****\*
March 16, 2020
After an incredibly volatile week – which finished with the Dow Jones Industrial Average rallying over 9% on Friday – I suppose my readers might expect me to be quite upbeat about the markets.
Unfortunately, I persist in my overall pessimistic outlook for stocks, and for the economy in general. Friday’s rally essentially negated Thursday’s sell-off, but I don’t expect it to be the start of a sustained turnaround.
We’re getting a taste of that this morning, with the Dow opening down around 7%.
This selloff is coming on the back of an emergency interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve of 100 basis points (to 0%-0.25%) on Sunday… along with the announcement of a new quantitative easing program of $700 billion. (I will write about this further over the next several days.)
As I have been writing for many weeks, the financial bubble – which the Fed created by pumping trillions of dollars into the financial system – has popped. It will take some time for the bubble to deflate to sustainable levels.
Today I’ll walk you through what’s going on in the markets and the economy… what I expect going forward and why… and what it means for us as traders. (You’ll see it’s not all bad news.)

Coronavirus’ Strain on the Global Economy

To start, let’s put things in perspective: This asset deflation was coming one way or another. Covid19 (or coronavirus) has simply accelerated the process.
Major retailers are closing, tourism is getting crushed, universities and schools are sending students home, conventions, sporting events, concerts, and other public gatherings have been cancelled, banks and other financial service firms are going largely virtual, and there has been a massive loss of wealth.
Restaurant data suggests that consumer demand is dropping sharply, and the global travel bans will only worsen the situation.
Commercial real estate is another sector that looks particularly vulnerable. We are almost certain to see a very sharp and pronounced economic slowdown here in the United States, and elsewhere. In fact, I expect a drop of at least 5% of GDP over the next two quarters, which is quite severe by any standard.
Sure, when this cycle is complete, there will be tremendous amounts of pent-up demand by consumers, but for the time being, the consumer is largely on the sidelines.
Of course, the problems aren’t just in the U.S. China’s numbers look awful. In fact, the government there may have to “massage” their numbers a bit to show a positive GDP in the first quarter. Europe’s numbers will also look dreadful, and South Korea’s economy has been hit badly.
All around the world, borders are being shut, all non-essential businesses are being closed, and people in multiple countries are facing a lockdown of historic proportions. The coronavirus is certainly having a powerful impact, and it looks certain that its impact will persist for a while.
Consider global tourism. It added almost $9 trillion to the global economy in 2018, and roughly 320 million jobs. This market is in serious trouble.
Fracking in the U.S. is another business sector that is in a desperate situation. Millions of jobs and tens of billions of loans are now in jeopardy.
The derivative businesses that this sector supports will be likewise devastated as companies are forced to reduce their workforces or shut down due to the collapse in oil prices. This sector’s suffering will probably force banks to book some big losses despite attempts by the government to support this industry.
In a similar way, the derivative businesses that are supported by the universities and colleges across America are going to really suffer.
There are nearly 20 million students in colleges across the U.S. When they go home for spring vacation and do not return, the effect on the local businesses that colleges and university populations support will be devastating.
What does this “new normal” mean going forward? Let’s take a look…

New Normal

The new normal may become increasingly unpleasant for us. We need to be ready to hunker down for quite some time.
Beyond that, the government needs to handle this crisis far better in the future.
The level of stupidity associated with the massive throngs of people trapped in major airports yesterday, for example, was almost unimaginable.
Instead of facilitating the reduction of social contact and halting the further spread of the coronavirus, the management of the crowds at the airports produced a perfect breeding ground for the spread of the virus.
My guess is that more draconian travel restrictions will be implemented soon, matching to some extent the measures taken across Europe.
This will in turn have a further dampening effect on economic activity in the U.S., putting more and more pressure on the Fed and the government to artificially support a rapidly weakening economy.
Where does this end up? It is too early to say, but a very safe bet is that we will have some months of sharply negative growth. Too many sectors of the economy are going to take a hit to expect anything else.
The Fed has already driven interest rates to zero. Will that help? Unlikely. In fact, as I mentioned at the beginning of this update, the markets are voting with a resounding NO.
The businesses that are most affected by the current economic situation will still suffer. Quantitative easing is hardly a cure-all. In fact, it has been one of the reasons that we have such a mess in our markets today.
The markets have become addicted to the easy money, so more of the same will have little or no impact. We will need real economic demand, not an easier monetary policy.
It won’t help support tourism, for example, or the other sectors getting smashed right now. The government will need to spend at least 5% of GDP, or roughly $1 trillion, to offset the weakness I see coming.
Is it surprising that the Fed and the government take emergency steps to try to stabilize economic growth? Not at all. This is essentially what they have been doing for a long time, so it is completely consistent with their playbook.
Next, I would anticipate the government implementing some massive public-works and infrastructure programs over the coming months. That would be very helpful, and almost certainly quite necessary.
But there’s a problem with this kind of intervention from the government…

What Happens When You Eliminate the Business Cycle

The Fed’s foolish attempt to eliminate business cycles is a significant contributing factor to the volatility we are currently experiencing.
Quantitative easing is nothing more than printing lots and lots of money to support a weak economy and give the appearance of growth and prosperity. In fact, it is a devaluation of the currency’s true buying power.
That in turn artificially drives up the prices of other assets, such as stocks, real estate and gold – but it does not create true wealth. That only comes with non-inflationary growth of goods and services and associated increases in economic output.
Inflation is the government’s way to keep people thinking they are doing better.
To that point: We have seen some traditional safe-haven assets getting destroyed during this time of risk aversion. That has certainly compounded the problems of many investors.
Gold is a great example. As the stock market got violently slammed, people were forced to come up with cash to support their losing positions. Gold became a short-term source of liquidity as people sold their gold holdings in somewhat dramatic fashion. It was one of the few holdings of many people that was not dramatically under water, so people sold it.
The move may have seemed perverse, particularly to people who bought gold as a safe-haven asset, but in times of crisis, all assets tend to become highly correlated, at least short term.
We saw a similar thing happen with long yen exposures and long Bitcoin exposures recently.
The dollar had its strongest one-day rally against the yen since November 2016 as people were forced to sell huge amounts of yen to generate liquidity. Many speculators had made some nice profits recently as the dollar dropped sharply from 112 to 101.30, but they have been forced to book whatever profits they had in this position. Again, this was due to massive losses elsewhere in their portfolios.
Is the yen’s sell-off complete? If it is not complete, it is probably at least close to an attractive level for Japanese investors to start buying yen against a basket of currencies. The major supplies of yen have largely been taken off the table for now.
For example, the yen had been a popular funding currency for “carry” plays. People were selling yen and buying higher-yielding currencies to earn the interest rate difference between the liability currency (yen) and the funding currency (for example, the U.S. dollar).
Carry plays are very unpopular in times of great uncertainty and volatility, however, so that supply of yen will be largely gone for quite some time. Plus, the yield advantage of currencies such as the U.S. dollar, Canadian dollar, and Australian dollar versus the yen is nearly gone.
In addition, at the end of the Japanese fiscal year , there is usually heavy demand for yen as Japanese corporations need to bring home a portion of their overseas holdings for balance sheet window dressing. I don’t expect that pressure to be different this year.
Just as the safe-haven assets of yen and gold got aggressively sold, Bitcoin also got hammered. It was driven by a similar theme – people had big losses and they needed to produce liquidity quickly. Selling Bitcoin became one of the sources of that liquidity.

Heavy Price Deflation Ahead

Overall, there is a chance that this scenario turns into something truly ugly, with sustained price deflation across many parts of the economy. We will certainly have price deflation in many sectors, at least on a temporary basis.
Why does that matter over the long term?
Price deflation is the most debilitating economic development in a society that is debt-laden – like the U.S. today. Prices of assets come down… and the debt becomes progressively bigger and bigger.
The balance sheet of oil company Chesapeake Energy is a classic example. It’s carrying almost $10 billion worth of debt… versus a market cap of only about $600 million. Talk about leverage! When the company had a market cap of $10 billion, that debt level didn’t appear so terrifying.
Although this is an extreme example for illustrative purposes, the massive debt loads of China would seem more and more frightening if we were to sink into flat or negative growth cycles for a while. The government’s resources are already being strained, and it can artificially support only so many failing companies.
The U.S. has gigantic levels of debt as well, but it has the advantage of being the world’s true hegemon, and the U.S. dollar is the world’s reserve currency. This creates a tremendous amount of leverage and power in financing its debt.
The U.S. has been able to impose its will on its trading partners to trade major commodities in dollars. This has created a constant demand for the dollar that offsets, to a large extent, the massive trade deficit that the U.S. runs.
For example, if a German company wants to buy oil, then it needs to hold dollars. This creates a constant demand for dollar assets.
In short, the dollar’s status as the true global reserve currency is far more important than most people realize. China does not hold this advantage.

What to Do Now

In terms of how to position ourselves going forward, I strongly recommend that people continue with a defensive attitude regarding stocks. There could be a lot more downside to come. Likewise, we could see some panic selling in other asset classes.
The best thing right now is to be liquid and patient, ready to pounce on special opportunities when they present themselves.
For sure, there will be some exceptional opportunities, but it is too early to commit ourselves to just one industry. These opportunities could come in diverse sectors such as commercial real estate, hospitality, travel and leisure, and others.
As for the forex markets, the volatility in the currencies is extreme, so we are a bit cautious.
I still like the yen as a safe-haven asset. I likewise still want to sell the Australian dollar, the New Zealand dollar, and the Canadian dollar as liability currencies.
Why? The Bank of Canada, the Reserve Bank of Australia, and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand have all taken aggressive steps recently, slashing interest rates. These currencies are all weak, and they will get weaker.
Finding an ideal entry for a trade, however, is tricky. Therefore, we are being extra careful with our trading. We always prioritize the preservation of capital over generating profits, and we will continue with this premise.
At the same time, volatility in the markets is fantastic for traders. We expect many excellent opportunities to present themselves over the coming days and weeks as prices get driven to extreme levels and mispricings appear. So stay tuned.
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Murmurs of the Sea | Monthly Portfolio Update - March 2020

Only the sea, murmurous behind the dingy checkerboard of houses, told of the unrest, the precariousness, of all things in this world.
-Albert Camus, The Plague
This is my fortieth portfolio update. I complete this update monthly to check my progress against my goal.
Portfolio goal
My objective is to reach a portfolio of $2 180 000 by 1 July 2021. This would produce a real annual income of about $87 000 (in 2020 dollars).
This portfolio objective is based on an expected average real return of 3.99 per cent, or a nominal return of 6.49 per cent.
Portfolio summary
Vanguard Lifestrategy High Growth Fund – $662 776
Vanguard Lifestrategy Growth Fund – $39 044
Vanguard Lifestrategy Balanced Fund – $74 099
Vanguard Diversified Bonds Fund – $109 500
Vanguard Australian Shares ETF (VAS) – $150 095
Vanguard International Shares ETF (VGS) – $29 852
Betashares Australia 200 ETF (A200) – $197 149
Telstra shares (TLS) – $1 630
Insurance Australia Group shares (IAG) – $7 855
NIB Holdings shares (NHF) – $6 156
Gold ETF (GOLD.ASX) – $119 254
Secured physical gold – $19 211
Ratesetter (P2P lending) – $13 106
Bitcoin – $115 330
Raiz* app (Aggressive portfolio) – $15 094
Spaceship Voyager* app (Index portfolio) – $2 303
BrickX (P2P rental real estate) – $4 492
Total portfolio value: $1 566 946 (-$236 479 or -13.1%)
Asset allocation
Australian shares – 40.6% (4.4% under)
Global shares – 22.3%
Emerging markets shares – 2.3%
International small companies – 3.0%
Total international shares – 27.6% (2.4% under)
Total shares – 68.3% (6.7% under)
Total property securities – 0.2% (0.2% over)
Australian bonds – 4.8%
International bonds – 10.4%
Total bonds – 15.2% (0.2% over)
Gold – 8.8%
Bitcoin – 7.4%
Gold and alternatives – 16.2% (6.2% over)
Presented visually, below is a high-level view of the current asset allocation of the portfolio.
Comments
This month saw an extremely rapid collapse in market prices for a broad range of assets across the world, driven by the acceleration of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Broad and simultaneous market falls have resulted in the single largest monthly fall in portfolio value to date of around $236 000.
This represents a fall of 13 per cent across the month, and an overall reduction of more the 16 per cent since the portfolio peak of January.
[Chart]
The monthly fall is over three times more severe than any other fall experienced to date on the journey. Sharpest losses have occurred in Australian equities, however, international shares and bonds have also fallen.
A substantial fall in the Australia dollar has provided some buffer to international equity losses - limiting these to around 8 per cent. Bitcoin has also fallen by 23 per cent. In short, in the period of acute market adjustment - as often occurs - the benefits of diversification have been temporarily muted.
[Chart]
The last monthly update reported results of some initial simplified modelling on the impact of a hypothetical large fall in equity markets on the portfolio.
Currently, the actual asset price falls look to register in between the normal 'bear market', and the more extreme 'Global Financial Crisis Mark II' scenarios modelled. Absent, at least for the immediate phase, is a significant diversification offset - outside of a small (4 per cent) increase in the value of gold.
The continued sharp equity market losses have left the portfolio below its target Australian equity weighting, so contributions this month have been made to Vanguard's Australian shares ETF (VAS). This coming month will see quarterly distributions paid for the A200, VGS and VAS exchange traded funds - totalling around $2700 - meaning a further small opportunity to reinvest following sizeable market falls.
Reviewing the evidence on the history of stock market falls
Vladimir Lenin once remarked that there are decades where nothing happen, and then there are weeks in which decades happen. This month has been four such weeks in a row, from initial market responses to the coronavirus pandemic, to unprecedented fiscal and monetary policy responses aimed at lessening the impact.
Given this, it would be foolish to rule out the potential for other extreme steps that governments have undertaken on multiple occasions before. These could include underwriting of banks and other debt liabilities, effective nationalisation or rescues of critical industries or providers, or even temporary closure of some financial or equity markets.
There is a strong appeal for comforting narratives in this highly fluid investment environment, including concepts such as buying while distress selling appears to be occurring, or delaying investing until issues become 'more clear'.
Nobody can guarantee that investments made now will not be made into cruel short-lived bear market rallies, and no formulas exist that will safely and certainly minimise either further losses, or opportunities forgone. Much financial independence focused advice in the early stages of recent market falls focused on investment commonplaces, with a strong flavour of enthusiasm at the potential for 'buying the dip'.
Yet such commonly repeated truths turn out to be imperfect and conditional in practice. One of the most influential studies of a large sample of historical market falls turns out to provide mixed evidence that buying following a fall reliably pays off. This study (pdf) examines 101 stock market declines across four centuries of data, and finds that:
Even these findings should be viewed as simply indicative. Each crisis and economic phase has its unique character, usually only discernible in retrospect. History, in these cases, should inform around the potential outlines of events that can be considered possible. As the saying goes, risk is what remains after you believe you have thought of everything.
Position fixing - alternative perspectives of progress
In challenging times it can help to keep a steady view of progress from a range of perspectives. Extreme market volatility and large falls can be disquieting for both recent investors and those closer to the end of the journey.
One perspective on what has occurred is that the portfolio has effectively been pushed backwards in time. That is, the portfolio now sits at levels it last occupied in April 2019. Even this perspective has some benefit, highlighting that by this metric all that has been lost is the strong forward progress made in a relatively short time.
Yet each perspective can hide and distort key underlying truths.
As an example, while the overall portfolio is currently valued at around the same dollar value as a year ago, it is not the same portfolio. Through new purchases and reinvestments in this period, many more actual securities (mostly units in ETFs) have been purchased.
The chart below sets out the growth in total units held from January 2019 to this month, across the three major exchange trade funds holdings in the portfolio.
[Chart]
From this it can be seen that the number of securities held - effectively, individual claims on the future earnings of the firms in these indexes - has more than doubled over the past fifteen months. Through this perspective, the accumulation of valuable assets shows a far more constant path.
Though this can help illuminate progress, as a measure it also has limitations. The realities of falls in market values cannot be elided by such devices, and some proportion of those market falls represent initial reassessments of the likely course of future earnings, and therefore the fundamental value of each of those ETF units.
With significant uncertainty over the course of global lock-downs, trade and growth, the basis of these reassessments may provide accurate, or not. For anyone to discount all of these reassessments as wholly the temporary result of irrational panic is to show a remarkable confidence in one's own analytical capacities.
Similarly, it would be equally wrong to extrapolate from market falls to a permanent constraining of the impulse of humanity to innovate, adjust to changed conditions, seek out opportunities and serve others for profit.
Lines of position - Trends in expenditure
A further longer-term perspective regularly reviewed is monthly expenses compared to average distributions.
Monthly expenditure continues to be below average, and is likely to fall further next month as a natural result of a virus-induced reduction of shopping trips, events and outings.
[Chart]
As occurred last month, as a function some previous high distributions gradually falling outside of the data 'window' for the rolling three-year comparison of distributions and expenditure, a downward slope in distributions continues.
Progress
Progress against the objective, and the additional measures I have reached is set out below.
Measure Portfolio All Assets Portfolio objective – $2 180 000 (or $87 000 pa) 71.9% 97.7% Credit card purchases – $71 000 pa 87.7% 119.2% Total expenses – $89 000 pa 70.2% 95.5%
Summary
This month has been one of the most surprising and volatile of the entire journey, with significant daily movements in portfolio value and historic market developments. There has been more to watch and observe than at any time in living memory.
The dominant sensation has been that of travelling backwards through time, and revisiting a stage of the journey already passed. The progress of the last few months has actually been so rapid, that this backwards travel has felt less like a set back, but rather more like a temporary revisitation of days past.
It is unclear how temporary a revisitation current conditions will enforce, or exactly how this will affect the rest of the journey. In early January I estimated that if equity market fell by 33 per cent through early 2020 with no offsetting gains in other portfolio elements, this could push out the achievement of the target to January 2023.
Even so, experiencing these markets and with more volatility likely, I don't feel there is much value in seeking to rapidly recalculate the path from here, or immediately alter the targeted timeframe. Moving past the portfolio target from here in around a year looks almost impossibly challenging, but time exists to allow this fact to settle. Too many other, more important, human and historical events are still playing out.
In such times, taking diverse perspectives on the same facts is important. This Next Life recently produced this interesting meditation on the future of FIRE during this phase of economic hardship. In addition, the Animal Spirits podcast also provided a thoughtful perspective on current market falls compared to 2008, as does this article by Early Retirement Now. Such analysis, and each passing day, highlights that the murmurs of the sea are louder than ever before, reminding us of the precariousness of all things.
The post, links and full charts can be seen here.
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/r/Scams Common Scam Master Post

Hello visitors and subscribers of scams! Here you will find a master list of common (and uncommon) scams that you may encounter online or in real life. Thank you to the many contributors who helped create this thread!

If you know of a scam that is not covered here, write a comment and it will be added to the next edition.

Previous threads: https://old.reddit.com/Scams/search?q=common+scams+master+post&restrict_sr=on
Blackmail email scam thread: https://reddit.com/Scams/comments/dohaea/the_blackmail_email_scam_part_4/
Some of these articles are from small, local publications and refer to the scam happening in a specific area. Do not think that this means that the scam won't happen in your area.

Spoofing

Caller ID spoofing
It is very easy for anyone to make a phone call while having any number show up on the caller ID of the person receiving the phone call. Receiving a phone call from a certain number does not mean that the person/company who owns that number has actually called you.
Email spoofing
The "from" field of an email can be set by the sender, meaning that you can receive scam emails that look like they are from legitimate addresses. It's important to never click links in emails unless absolutely necessary, for example a password reset link you requested or an account activation link for an account you created.
SMS spoofing
SMS messages can be spoofed, so be wary of messages that seem to be from your friends or other trusted people.

The most common scams

The fake check scam (Credit to nimble2 for this part)
The fake check scam arises from many different situations (for instance, you applied for a job, or you are selling something on a place like Craigslist, or someone wants to purchase goods or services from your business, or you were offered a job as a mystery shopper, you were asked to wrap your car with an advertisement, or you received a check in the mail for no reason), but the bottom line is always something like this:
General fraudulent funds scams If somebody is asking you to accept and send out money as a favour or as part of a job, it is a fraudulent funds scam. It does not matter how they pay you, any payment on any service can be fraudulent and will be reversed when it is discovered to be fraudulent.
Phone verification code scams Someone will ask you to receive a verification text and then tell you to give them the code. Usually the code will come from Google Voice, or from Craigslist. In the Google version of the scam, your phone number will be used to verify a Google Voice account that the scammer will use to scam people with. In the Craigslist version of the scam, your phone number will be used to verify a Craigslist posting that the scammer will use to scam people. There is also an account takeover version of this scam that will involve the scammer sending a password reset token to your phone number and asking you for it.
Bitcoin job scams
Bitcoin job scams involve some sort of fraudulent funds transfer, usually a fake check although a fraudulent bank transfer can be used as well. The scammer will send you the fraudulent money and ask you to purchase bitcoins. This is a scam, and you will have zero recourse after you send the scammer bitcoins.
Email flooding
If you suddenly receive hundreds or thousands of spam emails, usually subscription confirmations, it's very likely that one of your online accounts has been taken over and is being used fraudulently. You should check any of your accounts that has a credit card linked to it, preferably from a computer other than the one you normally use. You should change all of your passwords to unique passwords and you should start using two factor authentication everywhere.
Boss/CEO scam A scammer will impersonate your boss or someone who works at your company and will ask you to run an errand for them, which will usually be purchasing gift cards and sending them the code. Once the scammer has the code, you have no recourse.
Employment certification scams
You will receive a job offer that is dependent on you completing a course or receiving a certification from a company the scammer tells you about. The scammer operates both websites and the job does not exist.
Craigslist fake payment scams
Scammers will ask you about your item that you have listed for sale on a site like Craigslist, and will ask to pay you via Paypal. They are scamming you, and the payment in most cases does not actually exist, the email you received was sent by the scammers. In cases where you have received a payment, the scammer can dispute the payment or the payment may be entirely fraudulent. The scammer will then either try to get you to send money to them using the fake funds that they did not send to you, or will ask you to ship the item, usually to a re-shipping facility or a parcel mule.
General fraudulent funds scams The fake check scam is not the only scam that involves accepting fraudulent/fake funds and purchasing items for scammers. If your job or opportunity involves accepting money and then using that money, it is almost certainly a frauduent funds scam. Even if the payment is through a bank transfer, Paypal, Venmo, Zelle, Interac e-Transfer, etc, it does not matter.
Credit card debt scam
Fraudsters will offer to pay off your bills, and will do so with fraudulent funds. Sometimes it will be your credit card bill, but it can be any bill that can be paid online. Once they pay it off, they will ask you to send them money or purchase items for them. The fraudulent transaction will be reversed in the future and you will never be able to keep the money. This scam happens on sites like Craigslist, Twitter, Instagram, and also some dating sites, including SeekingArrangement.
The parcel mule scam
A scammer will contact you with a job opportunity that involves accepting and reshipping packages. The packages are either stolen or fraudulently obtained items, and you will not be paid by the scammer. Here is a news article about a scam victim who fell for this scam and reshipped over 20 packages containing fraudulently acquired goods.
The Skype sex scam
You're on Facebook and you get a friend request from a cute girl you've never met. She wants to start sexting and trading nudes. She'll ask you to send pictures or videos or get on webcam where she can see you naked with your face in the picture. The scam: There's no girl. You've sent nudes to a guy pretending to be a girl. As soon as he has the pictures he'll demand money and threaten to send the pictures to your friends and family. Sometimes the scammer will upload the video to a porn site or Youtube to show that they are serious.
What to do if you are a victim of this scam: You cannot buy silence, you can only rent it. Paying the blackmailer will show them that the information they have is valuable and they will come after you for more money. Let your friends and family know that you were scammed and tell them to ignore friend requests or messages from people they don't know. Also, make sure your privacy settings are locked down and consider deactivating your account.
The underage girl scam
You're on a dating site or app and you get contacted by a cute girl. She wants to start sexting and trading nudes. Eventually she stops communicating and you get a call from a pissed off guy claiming to be the girl's father, or a police officer, or a private investigator, or something else along those lines. Turns out the girl you were sexting is underage, and her parents want some money for various reasons, such as to pay for a new phone, to pay for therapy, etc. There is, of course, no girl. You were communicating with a scammer.
What to do if you are a victim of this scam: Stop picking up the phone when the scammers call. Do not pay them, or they will be after you for more money.
Phishing
Phishing is when a scammer tries to trick you into giving information to them, such as your password or private financial information. Phishing messages will usually look very similar to official messages, and sometimes they are identical. If you are ever required to login to a different account in order to use a service, you should be incredibly cautious.
The blackmail email scam The exact wording of the emails varies, but there are generally four main parts. They claim to have placed software/malware on a porn/adult video site, they claim to have a video of you masturbating or watching porn, they threaten to release the video to your friends/family/loved ones/boss/dog, and they demand that you pay them in order for them to delete the video. Rest assured that this is a very common spam campaign and there is no truth behind the email or the threats. Here are some news articles about this scam.
The blackmail mail scam
This is very similar to the blackmail email scam, but you will receive a letter in the mail.
Rental scams Usually on local sites like Craigslist, scammers will steal photos from legitimate real estate listings and will list them for rent at or below market rate. They will generally be hesitant to tell you the address of the property for "safety reasons" and you will not be able to see the unit. They will then ask you to pay them a deposit and they claim they will ship you the keys. In reality, your money is gone and you will have no recourse.
Craigslist vehicle scams A scammer will list a vehicle on Craigslist and will offer to ship you the car. In many cases they will also falsely claim to sell you the car through eBay or Amazon. If you are looking for a car on Craigslist and the seller says anything about shipping the car, having an agent, gives you a long story about why they are selling the car, or the listing price is far too low, you are talking to a scammer and you should ignore and move on.
Advance-fee scam, also known as the 419 scam, or the Nigerian prince scam. You will receive a communication from someone who claims that you are entitled to a large sum of money, or you can help them obtain a large sum of money. However, they will need money from you before you receive the large sum.
Man in the middle scams
Man in the middle scams are very common and very hard to detect. The scammer will impersonate a company or person you are legitimately doing business with, and they will ask you to send the money to one of their own bank accounts or one controlled by a money mule. They have gained access to the legitimate persons email address, so there will be nothing suspicious about the email. To prevent this, make contact in a different way that lets you verify that the person you are talking to is the person you think you are talking to.
Cam girl voting/viewer scam
You will encounter a "cam girl" on a dating/messaging/social media/whatever site/app, and the scammer will ask you to go to their site and sign up with your credit card. They may offer a free show, or ask you to vote for them, or any number of other fake stories.
Amateur porn recruitment scam
You will encounter a "pornstar" on a dating/messaging/social media/whatever site/app, and the scammer will ask you to create an adult film with hehim, but first you need to do something. The story here is usually something to do with verifying your age, or you needing to take an STD test that involves sending money to a site operated by the scammer.
Hot girl SMS spam
You receive a text from a random number with a message along the lines of "Hey babe I'm here in town again if you wanted to meet up this time, are you around?" accompanied by a NSFW picture of a hot girl. It's spam, and they'll direct you to their scam website that requires a credit card.
Identity verification scam
You will encounter someone on a dating/messaging/social media/whatever site/app, and the scammer will ask that you verify your identity as they are worried about catfishing. The scammer operates the site, and you are not talking to whoever you think you are talking to.
This type of scam teases you with something, then tries to make you sign up for something else that costs money. The company involved is often innocent, but they turn a blind eye to the practice as it helps their bottom line, even if they have to occasionally issue refunds. A common variation takes place on dating sites/dating apps, where you will match with someone who claims to be a camgirl who wants you to sign up for a site and vote for her. Another variation takes place on local sites like Craigslist, where the scammers setup fake rental scams and demand that you go through a specific service for a credit check. Once you go through with it, the scammer will stop talking to you. Another variation also takes place on local sites like Craigslist, where scammers will contact you while you are selling a car and will ask you to purchase a Carfax-like report from a specific website.
Multi Level Marketing or Affiliate Marketing
You apply for a vague job listing for 'sales' on craigslist. Or maybe an old friend from high school adds you on Facebook and says they have an amazing business opportunity for you. Or maybe the well dressed guy who's always interviewing people in the Starbucks that you work at asks if you really want to be slinging coffee the rest of your life. The scam: MLMs are little more than pyramid schemes. They involve buying some sort of product (usually snake oil health products like body wraps or supplements) and shilling them to your friends and family. They claim that the really money is recruiting people underneath you who give you a slice of whatever they sell. And if those people underneath you recruit more people, you get a piece of their sales. Ideally if you big enough pyramid underneath you the money will roll in without any work on your part. Failure to see any profit will be your fault for not "wanting it enough." The companies will claim that you need to buy their extra training modules or webinars to really start selling. But in reality, the vast majority of people who buy into a MLM won't see a cent. At the end of the day all you'll be doing is annoying your friends and family with your constant recruitment efforts. What to look out for: Recruiters love to be vague. They won't tell you the name of the company or what exactly the job will entail. They'll pump you up with promises of "self-generating income", "being your own boss", and "owning your own company." They might ask you to read books about success and entrepreneurs. They're hoping you buy into the dream first. If you get approached via social media, check their timelines. MLMs will often instruct their victims to pretend that they've already made it. They'll constantly post about how they're hustling and making the big bucks and linking to youtube videos about success. Again, all very vague about what their job actually entails. If you think you're being recruited: Ask them what exactly the job is. If they can't answer its probably a MLM. Just walk away.

Phone scams

You should generally avoid answering or engaging with random phone calls. Picking up and engaging with a scam call tells the scammers that your phone number is active, and will usually lead to more calls.
Tax Call
You get a call from somebody claiming to be from your countries tax agency. They say you have unpaid taxes that need to be paid immediately, and you may be arrested or have other legal action taken against you if it is not paid. This scam has caused the American IRS, Canadian CRA, British HMRC, and Australian Tax Office to issue warnings. This scam happens in a wide variety of countries all over the world.
Warrant Call
Very similar to the tax call. You'll get a phone call from an "agent", "officer", "sheriff", or other law enforcement officer claiming that there is a warrant out for your arrest and you will be arrested very soon. They will then offer to settle everything for a fee, usually paid in giftcards.
[Legal Documents/Process Server Calls]
Very similar to the warrant call. You'll get a phone call from a scammer claiming that they are going to serve you legal documents, and they will threaten you with legal consequences if you refuse to comply. They may call themselves "investigators", and will sometimes give you a fake case number.
Student Loan Forgiveness Scam
Scammers will call you and tell you about a student loan forgiveness program, but they are interested in obtaining private information about you or demanding money in order to join the fake program.
Tech Support Call You receive a call from someone with a heavy accent claiming to be a technician Microsoft or your ISP. They inform you that your PC has a virus and your online banking and other accounts may be compromised if the virus is not removed. They'll have you type in commands and view diagnostics on your PC which shows proof of the virus. Then they'll have you install remote support software so the technician can work on your PC, remove the virus, and install security software. The cost of the labor and software can be hundreds of dollars. The scam: There's no virus. The technician isn't a technician and does not work for Microsoft or your ISP. Scammers (primarily out of India) use autodialers to cold-call everyone in the US. Any file they point out to you or command they have you run is completely benign. The software they sell you is either freeware or ineffective. What to do you if you're involved with this scam: If the scammers are remotely on your computer as you read this, turn off your PC or laptop via the power button immediately, and then if possible unplug your internet connection. Some of the more vindictive tech scammers have been known to create boot passwords on your computer if they think you've become wise to them and aren't going to pay up. Hang up on the scammers, block the number, and ignore any threats about payment. Performing a system restore on your PC is usually all that is required to remove the scammer's common remote access software. Reports of identity theft from fake tech calls are uncommon, but it would still be a good idea to change your passwords for online banking and monitor your accounts for any possible fraud. How to avoid: Ignore any calls claiming that your PC has a virus. Microsoft will never contact you. If you're unsure if a call claiming to be from your ISP is legit, hang up, and then dial the customer support number listed on a recent bill. If you have elderly relatives or family that isn't tech savvy, take the time to fill them in on this scam.
Chinese government scam
This scam is aimed at Chinese people living in Europe and North America, and involves a voicemail from someone claiming to be associated with the Chinese government, usually through the Chinese consulate/embassy, who is threatening legal action or making general threats.
Chinese shipping scam
This scam is similar to the Chinese government scam, but involves a seized/suspicious package, and the scammers will connect the victim to other scammers posing as Chinese government investigators.
Social security suspension scam
You will receive a call from someone claiming to work for the government regarding suspicious activity, fraud, or serious crimes connected to your social security number. You'll be asked to speak to an operator and the operator will explain the steps you need to follow in order to fix the problems. It's all a scam, and will lead to you losing money and could lead to identity theft if you give them private financial information.
Utilities cutoff
You get a call from someone who claims that they are from your utility company, and they claim that your utilities will be shut off unless you immediately pay. The scammer will usually ask for payment via gift cards, although they may ask for payment in other ways, such as Western Union or bitcoin.
Relative in custody Scammer claims to be the police, and they have your son/daughtenephew/estranged twin in custody. You need to post bail (for some reason in iTunes gift cards or MoneyGram) immediately or the consequences will never be the same.
Mexican family scam
This scam comes in many different flavours, but always involves someone in your family and Mexico. Sometimes the scammer will claim that your family member has been detained, sometimes the scammer will claim that your family member has been kidnapped, and sometimes the scammer will claim that your family member is injured and needs help.
General family scams
Scammers will gather a large amount of information about you and target your family members using different stories with the goal of gettimg them to send money.
One ring scam
Scammers will call you from an international number with the goal of getting you to return their call, causing you to incur expensive calling fees.

Online shopping scams

THE GOLDEN RULE OF ONLINE SHOPPING: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Dropshipping
An ad on reddit or social media sites like Facebook and Instagram offers items at huge discounts or even free (sometimes requiring you to reblog or like their page). They just ask you to pay shipping. The scam: The item will turn out to be very low quality and will take weeks or even months to arrive. Sometimes the item never arrives, and the store disappears or stops responding. The seller drop-ships the item from China. The item may only cost a few dollars, and the Chinese government actually pays for the shipping. You end up paying $10-$15 dollars for a $4 item, with the scammer keeping the profit. If you find one of these scams but really have your heart set on the item, you can find it on AliExpress or another Chinese retailer.
Influencer scams
A user will reach out to you on a social media platform, usually Instagram, and offer you the chance to partner with them and receive a free/discounted product, as long as you pay shipping. This is a different version of the dropshipping scam, and is just a marketing technique to get you to buy their products.
Triangulation fraud
Triangulation fraud occurs when you make a purchase on a site like Amazon or eBay for an item at a lower than market price, and receive an item that was clearly purchased new at full price. The scammer uses a stolen credit card to order your item, while the money from the listing is almost all profit for the scammer.
Instagram influencer scams
Someone will message you on Instagram asking you to promote their products, and offering you a discount code. The items are Chinese junk, and the offer is made to many people at a time.
Cheap Items
Many websites pop up and offer expensive products, including electronics, clothes, watches, sunglasses, and shoes at very low prices. The scam: Some sites are selling cheap knock-offs. Some will just take your money and run. What to do if you think you're involved with this scam: Contact your bank or credit card and dispute the charge. How to avoid: The sites often have every brand-name shoe or fashion item (Air Jordan, Yeezy, Gucci, etc) in stock and often at a discounted price. The site will claim to be an outlet for a major brand or even a specific line or item. The site will have images at the bottom claiming to be Secured by Norton or various official payment processors but not actual links. The site will have poor grammar and a mish-mash of categories. Recently, established websites will get hacked or their domain name jacked and turned into scam stores, meaning the domain name of the store will be completely unrelated to the items they're selling. If the deal sounds too good to be true it probably is. Nobody is offering brand new iPhones or Beats or Nintendo Switches for 75% off.
Cheap Amazon 3rd Party Items
You're on Amazon or maybe just Googling for an item and you see it for an unbelievable price from a third-party seller. You know Amazon has your back so you order it. The scam: One of three things usually happen: 1) The seller marks the items as shipped and sends a fake tracking number. Amazon releases the funds to the seller, and the seller disappears. Amazon ultimately refunds your money. 2) The seller immediately cancels the order and instructs you to re-order the item directly from their website, usually with the guarantee that the order is still protected by Amazon. The seller takes your money and runs. Amazon informs you that they do not offer protection on items sold outside of Amazon and cannot help you. 2) The seller immediately cancels the order and instructs you to instead send payment via an unused Amazon gift card by sending the code on the back via email. Once the seller uses the code, the money on the card is gone and cannot be refunded. How to avoid: These scammers can be identified by looking at their Amazon storefronts. They'll be brand new sellers offering a wide range of items at unbelievable prices. Usually their Amazon names will be gibberish, or a variation on FIRSTNAME.LASTNAME. Occasionally however, established storefronts will be hacked. If the deal is too good to be true its most likely a scam.
Scams on eBay
There are scams on eBay targeting both buyers and sellers. As a seller, you should look out for people who privately message you regarding the order, especially if they ask you to ship to a different address or ask to negotiate via text/email/a messaging service. As a buyer you should look out for new accounts selling in-demand items, established accounts selling in-demand items that they have no previous connection to (you can check their feedback history for a general idea of what they bought/sold in the past), and lookout for people who ask you to go off eBay and use another service to complete the transaction. In many cases you will receive a fake tracking number and your money will be help up for up to a month.
Scams on Amazon
There are scams on Amazon targeting both buyers and sellers. As a seller, you should look out for people who message you about a listing. As a buyer you should look out for listings that have an email address for you to contact the person to complete the transaction, and you should look out for cheap listings of in-demand items.
Scams on Reddit
Reddit accounts are frequently purchased and sold by fraudsters who wish to use the high karma count + the age of the account to scam people on buy/sell subreddits. You need to take precautions and be safe whenever you are making a transaction online.
Computer scams
Virus scam
A popup or other ad will say that you have a virus and you need to follow their advice in order to remove it. They are lying, and either want you to install malware or pay for their software.

Assorted scams

Chinese Brushing / direct shipping
If you have ever received an unsolicited small package from China, your address was used to brush. Vendors place fake orders for their own products and send out the orders so that they can increase their ratings.
Money flipping
Scammer claims to be a banking insider who can double/triple/bazoople any amount of money you send them, with no consequences of any kind. Obviously, the money disappears into their wallet the moment you send it.

Door to door scams

As a general rule, you should not engage with door to door salesmen. If you are interested in the product they are selling, check online first.
Selling Magazines
Someone or a group will come to your door and offer to sell a magazine subscription. Often the subscriptions are not for the duration or price you were told, and the magazines will often have tough or impossible cancellation policies.
Energy sales
Somebody will come to your door claiming to be from an energy company. They will ask to see your current energy bill so that they can see how much you pay. They will then offer you a discount if you sign up with them, and promise to handle everything with your old provider. Some of these scammers will "slam" you, by using your account number that they saw on your bill to switch you to their service without authorization, and some will scam you by charging higher prices than the ones you agreed on.
Security system scams
Scammers will come to your door and ask about your security system, and offer to sell you a new one. These scammers are either selling you overpriced low quality products, or are casing your home for a future burglary.
They ask to enter your home
While trying to sell you whatever, they suddenly need to use your bathroom, or they've been writing against the wall and ask to use your table instead. Or maybe they just moved into the neighborhood and want to see how you decorate for ideas.
They're scoping out you and your place. They want to see what valuables you have, how gullible you are, if you have a security system or dogs, etc.

Street scams

Begging With a Purpose
"I just need a few more dollars for the bus," at the bus station, or "I just need $5 to get some gas," at a gas station. There's also a variation where you will be presented with a reward: "I just need money for a cab to get uptown, but I'll give you sports tickets/money/a date/a priceless vase."
Three Card Monte, Also Known As The Shell Game
Unbeatable. The people you see winning are in on the scam.
Drop and Break
You bump into someone and they drop their phone/glasses/fancy bottle of wine/priceless vase and demand you pay them back. In reality, it's a $2 pair of reading glasses/bottle of three-buck-chuck/tasteful but affordable vase.
CD Sales
You're handed a free CD so you can check out the artist's music. They then ask for your name and immediately write it on the CD. Once they've signed your name, they ask you for money, saying they can't give it to someone else now. Often they use dry erase markers, or cheap CD sleeves. Never use any type of storage device given to you by a random person, as the device can contain malware.
White Van Speaker Scam
You're approached and offered speakers/leather jackets/other luxury goods at a discount. The scammer will have an excuse as to why the price is so low. After you buy them, you'll discover that they are worthless.
iPhone Street Sale
You're approached and shown an iPhone for sale, coming in the box, but it's open and you can see the phone. If you buy the phone, you'll get an iPhone box with no iPhone, just some stones or cheap metal in it to weigh it down.
Buddhist Monk Pendant
A monk in traditional garb approaches you, hands you a gold trinket, and asks for a donation. He holds either a notebook with names and amounts of donation (usually everyone else has donated $5+), or a leaflet with generic info. This is fairly common in NYC, and these guys get aggressive quickly.
Friendship Bracelet Scam More common in western Europe, you're approached by someone selling bracelets. They quickly wrap a loop of fabric around your finger and pull it tight, starting to quickly weave a bracelet. The only way to (easily) get it off your hand is to pay. Leftover sales
This scam involves many different items, but the idea is usually the same: you are approached by someone who claims to have a large amount of excess inventory and offers to sell it to you at a great price. The scammer actually has low quality items and will lie to you about the price/origin of the items.
Dent repair scams
Scammers will approach you in public about a dent in your car and offer to fix it for a low price. Often they will claim that they are mechanics. They will not fix the dent in your car, but they will apply large amounts of wax or other substances to hide the dent while they claim that the substance requires time to harden.
Gold ring/jewelry/valuable item scam
A scammer will "find" a gold ring or other valuable item and offers to sell it to you. The item is fake and you will never see the scammer again.
Distraction theft
One person will approach you and distract you, while their accomplice picks your pockets. The distraction can take many forms, but if you are a tourist and are approached in public, watch closely for people getting close to you.

General resources

Site to report scams in the United Kingdom: http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/
Site to report scams in the United States: https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx
Site to report scams in Canada: www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/reportincident-signalerincident/index-eng.htm
Site to report scams in Europe: https://www.europol.europa.eu/report-a-crime/report-cybercrime-online
FTC scam alerts: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/scam-alerts
Microsoft's anti-scam guide: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/safety/online-privacy/avoid-phone-scams.aspx
https://www.usa.gov/common-scams-frauds
https://www.usa.gov/scams-and-frauds
https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/scam-alerts
https://www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety/common-fraud-schemes
submitted by EugeneBYMCMB to Scams [link] [comments]

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