The Best of Money Times 2023
By April Fowell
Welcome to "The Best of Money Times 2023," a curated compilation that highlights the most insightful, intriguing, and influential financial news and analyses of the year.
In this comprehensive overview, we navigate through the dynamic landscape of global finance, covering a myriad of topics ranging from economic trends and market dynamics to investment strategies and corporate developments.
In the dynamic realm of online trading, Equitiz emerges as a trusted multi-asset platform, offering a comprehensive review by David Thompson. Acknowledging its competitive fee structures and diverse deposit options, Equitiz stands out for its user-friendly interface, real-time market data, and seamless fund management. While praised for reliability and customer service, the report suggests that Equitiz could further innovate by introducing unique features, reinforcing its competitive edge and ensuring sustained prominence in the evolving trading industry.
In the article "7 Unique NFT Use Cases For The Interested Investor" authored by David Thompson, a comprehensive exploration of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) delves beyond their conventional roles in art and collectibles. The piece sheds light on a spectrum of NFT applications, extending from enabling artists to monetize digital creations to facilitating fractional ownership in real estate through platforms like RealT and Propy.
The versatile use of NFTs is further exemplified in decentralized finance (DeFi) for creating innovative financial instruments, revolutionizing medical records and identity verification with platforms like Aimedis and MedRec, optimizing supply chain management for transparency, and dominating the digital gaming realm with popular games such as Axie Infinity and Battle of Guardians.
It recommends staying abreast of NFT developments through platforms like NFTGo, which provides a centralized hub for discovering new collections, tracking trends, and monitoring upcoming NFT drops. Overall, the narrative underscores the expanding horizons of NFTs and the myriad investment opportunities they present in a dynamic and evolving landscape.
The key recommendations encompass thorough pre-trade research, the development of a comprehensive trading plan that includes risk management and entry/exit points, the utilization of technical analysis tools for well-informed decision-making, and the crucial aspect of careful risk management through measures such as implementing stop-loss points and diversifying one's portfolio.
It emphasizes the importance of setting both short-term and long-term goals to uphold discipline, while highlighting the significance of emotional control and the avoidance of impulsive decisions for overall trading performance.
Additionally, it underscores the prudent use of leverage, the advantages of leveraging demo accounts for risk-free practice, and the importance of staying abreast of economic news for informed decision-making. The conclusion underscores the continuous commitment to self-education as a fundamental necessity for navigating the dynamic landscape of forex trading successfully.
4. Stressed About Economic Uncertainty? Lear Capital Says Consider These 3 Ways To Diversify Your Portfolio
Kevin DeMeritt, the founder and chairman of Lear Capital, suggests three diversification strategies for investors facing economic uncertainties. DeMeritt advocates for the advantages of diversification over a concentrated approach, emphasizing the potential long-term benefits. The first strategy involves utilizing Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and Defined Contribution Plans, such as 401(k)s, for spreading investment risk, with a focus on tax advantages.
The second approach suggests investing in collectibles like art, highlighting potential long-term returns but emphasizing the need for patience and consideration of storage and market uncertainties. The third strategy focuses on physical precious metal assets, particularly gold, silver, and platinum, as a hedge against economic uncertainties, with DeMeritt underscoring their historical stability and inverse relationship to stocks. The article suggests practical steps for investors seeking to enhance portfolio resilience during times of economic unpredictability.
AJ Osborne's recent venture into podcasting with "Saving Capitalism" reflects his belief in making capitalist tenets accessible to all. The discussion revolves around three key business pillars: navigating the current market landscape with data-driven decisions, emphasizing the art of delegation for efficient growth, and championing a purpose beyond personal gains.
Osborne's insights underscore the importance of strategic thinking, delegation, and a commitment to positive change. The article encapsulates Osborne's holistic approach to success, emphasizing a broader impact beyond financial accomplishments.
U.S. equities are poised for new highs as the Federal Reserve adopts a dovish stance, signaling the end of the record tightening of U.S. monetary policy and predicting lower borrowing costs in 2024.
Despite concerns about the market moving too swiftly amid economic uncertainties, the S&P 500 saw significant gains, and the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury yield dropped to a four-month low. Investors are now more aligned with the Fed's perspective, anticipating a decline in the policy rate by the end of 2024.
Seasonal factors and positive investor sentiment may support the S&P 500 finishing the year strongly, but questions linger about how much of the dovishness is already priced in. Attention is focused on inflation trends and job market stability for a soft economic landing.
As the largest-ever options expiry for S&P 500-linked derivatives, totaling nearly $5 trillion, approaches, market participants are observing a calming effect on U.S. equities, potentially due to dealers squaring their books.
Analysis by Asym500 MRA Institutional suggests that 80% of these options contracts are tied to the S&P 500, marking the largest such expiry in at least two decades. Despite the potential for increased volatility, the actions of market players in anticipation of the expiry have led to subdued stock movements, with the S&P 500 experiencing a steady climb and minimal fluctuations.
The positioning of options traders, particularly those dealing with ETFs, is seen as a contributing factor, influencing the neutrality of dealers and constraining equities within a narrower trading range. The impending options expiration is expected to release the market from its current constraints, potentially impacting volatility in the final weeks of the year.
In the United States, inflation appears to be gradually returning to pre-pandemic levels, potentially alleviating the need for further Federal Reserve interest rate hikes. The recent consumer price report for October indicated a slowdown in inflation across most goods and services.
Notably, overall inflation did not increase from September to October, marking the first time in over a year that consumer prices did not rise month-on-month. The year-on-year increase in October was 3.2%, the lowest since June but still above the Fed's 2% inflation target. Factors contributing to the easing of inflation include increased availability of workers, new apartment construction impacting rental prices, and stabilization of disrupted supply chains.
However, certain areas such as vehicle and health insurance, as well as specific food items, continue to experience price increases. While overall inflation may be slowing, it does not necessarily indicate a reversal, and prices remain higher than pre-pandemic levels in several categories.
Amazon is pursuing legal action against an alleged international fraud ring named REKK, accusing the group of orchestrating a scheme that allowed refunds for expensive items without the need for returns. Amazon's lawsuit, filed in a U.S. court, targets REKK and nearly thirty individuals from the United States and five other countries. The company asserts that the group employed "sophisticated methods" to gain unauthorized access to Amazon's internal systems, bribing employees to authorize fictitious refunds for high-value items like MacBook Pro laptops and car tires.
The alleged fraudulent activities spanned from June 2022 to May 2023, resulting in over a dozen fake refunds for items such as gaming consoles and 24-karat gold coins. The lawsuit also implicates seven former Amazon employees who allegedly accepted bribes to facilitate reimbursements for products that were never returned. Amazon emphasizes its commitment to combatting theft, fraud, and abuse and has invested significantly in advanced technologies to identify and prevent fraudulent activities. Additionally, Amazon is reportedly in preliminary discussions with Elon Musk's social networking platform X regarding a potential collaboration to integrate X's platform into Amazon's ad-buying software, aiming to empower small businesses to showcase their products directly on X.
Rishi Sunak has appointed David Cameron to one of the UK's top four state posts, disregarding Cameron's direct connection to the Greensill Capital financial scandal. Internal records obtained by BBC Panorama two years ago suggested that Cameron received almost $10 million to promote Greensill, a controversial financing company that collapsed in March 2021.
Greensill Capital, which positioned itself as a high-tech provider of supply chain finance, collapsed, leading to billions of dollars in losses for investors. Lex Greensill, the CEO of Greensill, is currently facing criminal investigations amid allegations of fraud in Germany and Switzerland.
Credit Suisse, one of the institutions impacted by Greensill's loans, faced bankruptcy due to losses on those loans. The Serious Fraud Office is investigating Sanjeev Gupta's GFG group and its association with Greensill Capital. Cameron faced criticism for exerting pressure to allow Greensill to lend £10 billion under emergency Covid lending programs in 2020. The scandal continues to unfold with ongoing lawsuits and investigations.