As 2018 winds down to a close, I encourage you to take a moment and reflect on the things that went well in the past year. What were your biggest successes in 2018?
Then, ask yourself how exactly you made them happen. Hard work? Good relationships? A good education? A little bit of luck? How many of those things were firmly under your control?
That’s your recipe for success going forward. Those are the tools that you already have in your hands that are leading you to success. Keep those tools sharp and use them in the coming year.
The American stock market is heating up again.
The Greek bailout and strong earnings from tech companies like Google (GOOG) and Netflix (NFLX, Tech30) have carried the Dow and S&P 500 near record highs. The Nasdaq is on track for a third-straight record close.
But that doesn’t mean the bull market in U.S. stocks is bulletproof. The biggest threat: a slowdown in the American economy.
Just look at how retail sales unexpectedly declined in June.
If people continue to hold back on spending, it will throw cold water on investors who are betting that economic growth will accelerate during the second half of 2015 following a weather-fueled contraction in the first quarter.
This Week’s Headlines:
In his wonderful TED talk, Kevin Slavin, a well-known game developer with an interest in algorithms, explains why we’ll never master the ramifications of such complex math. In regards to the Flash Crash, he says,
All of a sudden nine percent [of wealth] just goes away and nobody—to this day—can even agree on what happened. Because nobody ordered it. Nobody asked for it. Nobody had any control over what was actually happening… We’re writing these things that we can no longer read. We’ve rendered something kind of illegible. And we’ve lost the sense of what’s actually happening in this world that we’ve made…
When you see this kind of behavior, what you see is the evidence of algorithms in conflict, algorithms locked in loops with each other without any human oversight, without any adult supervision.
The only power we have over these algorithms, he suggests, is to press the “red button that [says] STOP.” Unsurprisingly, most leaders on Wall Street lack this kind of humility.
The coverage of Groupon’s revised S-1 filing Wednesday mostly focused on the deep red numbers splashed across the company’s balance sheets. And rightly so. Because as much money as the company is bringing in, it’s still a ways from making a profit.
And yet, sprinkled among the revisions to the document were other interesting tidbits–ones that speak to where the company is going. And, if looked at in the right light, they could hint at a more promising future than some might think.
Technical, demanding and breathtaking. Understand the flash crash of May 6th where the market dropped 1000 points in a few minutes.
Is the market manipulated or just out of control? Either answer sucks. If you think about equities, just remember, you are the hunted.
Taste the rainbow!