My take on Cryptocurrencies – Part 2: The Bad

Hi Ripsters,

I didn’t plan to write about Crypto today. It’s not a topic that interests me much. But every other question I receive is about Cryptos and NFTs, and I think it might make sense to vomit my thoughts about this fantastic world that my boomer brain can’t fully grasp.

I sometimes question my possibilist approach to almost everything. I will find convincing reasons behind every side of each debate about any topic. I’m aware of the work required to have an opinion and I do my best to keep my opinions at bay when I haven’t done all “the work required”. The more I look for “the truth”, the more I discover that I know nothing.

John Snowcrates is my hero.

But on the crypto thing, truth is so clear to me that I need to pay respect to my biases. I’ve looked for other sides of reality, listened to respectable exponents of the crypto-enthusiasts crowd, and approached the global discussion with an open attitude.

The more I look around, the more I think I see it clearly: in their current form, cryptos are Ponzi schemes. And NFTs are Ponzi schemes squared.

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My experimentations with Covered Calls Part 1: Why and What

Hi dear Ripsters,

This is the first post of a short(?) series of posts about my experimentations with Stock Options, in particular with Covered Calls.

In this episode I’ll show you what is a covered call, and why adding them to your portfolio might be a good idea.

I plan to write more posts about my option trades, how to trade options with Interactive Brokers, and… I don’t know yet, it’s a relatively new topic for me! I’ll surely document the evolution of my strategy over time, the mistakes I make, and the lessons I learn.

Your feedback is very well welcome 🙂

Again, managing options is dangerous. like playing with a knife. It can be the most useful tool in the world, but you do one thing wrong and you cut your finger. I’m only using this tool to reduce risk.

Enjoy!

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GameStop Short Squeeze for dummies

Hi RIP readers,

This is a short post about what’s happening right now around GameStop company.

GameStop is a US video game retailer company. They sell “physical” video games CD/DVD/Blue Ray/Cartridges for consoles and PC. They’re also well positioned in the used market.

You’ve probably seen their stores in your mall or in your favorite shopping center. Do you remember malls? Those huge buildings where people used to gather? Ok enough archeology for today.

Why am I talking about GameStop?

If you haven’t been living into a cave in the last 72 hours you’ve probably heard that “something weird is going on”.

Let’s get started!

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2020 Q4 Financial Update Part 2-TER: Investor’s Anxiety and Stocks vs Bonds with Julianek

Hi RIP readers, this is Part 2-TER of my 2020 Q4 Update.

I’ve published 3 posts so far in this infinite 2020 Q4 review:
– Part 1 is about income, expenses, net worth and a few financial facts.
– Part 2 is about my 2020 investment analysis, and my 2021 investing plans.
– Part 2-BIS is a long Q&A about Part 2, since I received a few dozens comments and personal messages.

Part 2-TER (this post) is my public reply to a personal email that my dear friend Julianek (Value Investor, moderator of MP Forum, member of my Zurich Mastermind Group) sent to me again about Part 2, about my market analysis and investment strategy.

It’s so good that I asked him permission to make it public, and he gently agreed 🙂

This is last post about my investing strategy (for now), promised! I appreciate your amazing feedback, and all the homework you assigned to me 🙂 but I want to move on. 

As reader MrWHDY said in my last post:
– “Money should have been a tool for you to reach freedom and it is now taking over your brain. How much energy has it already drained?”

[Amazing comment. Another cold shower. I’ll take time to craft a proper reply. Thank you MrWHDY]

On the same subject, I think I’m no more able to keep up with all of your comments on my previous posts. I read them all, but I might not be able to write a proper answer to each one of them. It’s becoming a full time job on its own.

Next post will finally be Part 3, about personal and blog updates, with new projects, ideas, plans and bla bla bla 🙂

Let’s get started!

What follows is Julianek email, verbatim, and then my public response.

Enjoy!

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What if you invested before the DotCom Bubble exploded? Ask Rolf!

Hi RIP readers,

Hi RIP readers,

As you probably know if you’ve read my last two posts (2020 Q4 Financial Update Part 2 and Part 2-BIS) I’m a bit concerned that the stock market is heavily overpriced, in a bubble. A bubble that in my opinion has a lot in common with the DotCom Bubble of 2000-2002. This is making me reluctant of investing in stocks again, in fact I sold most of them in July-August 2020.

I want to quantify my reluctance in this post.

Many readers suggested me to “just invest in stocks, this is for the long term!”, “stocks always go up!”, “don’t care about daily fluctuation, they’re just noise… in the long term stocks will return their promised 6-7-10% per year!”, “time in the market beats timing the market”, “YOLO!”.

I already addressed my fears in the previous two posts: fear that we might be at the bubble peak, and fear that it might take a loooong while to recover from a crash – and I’m not as young as you probably are.

“…But look at Bob, who only invested at market peaks and still ended up being trillionaire!”

Congrats Bob, but today I want to introduce you Rolf, the Swiss investor who invested all of his grandma inheritance, 1 Million CHF, in an ETF tracking MSCI World Index on January 1st 2000.

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2020 Q4 Financial Update Part 2-BIS: Q&A on Part 2

Hi RIP readers, this is Part 2-BIS of 2020 Q4 Update (here is Part 1, here is Part 2).

Last Friday I’ve published Part 2 of 2020 Q4 update, which is still missing a Part 3 about personal and blog updates, hopefully seeing the light before the end of January.

Part 2 covered my 2020 investment actions and performance, and more importantly my 2021 investing plans.

I’ve published this very long post on Friday afternoon, before a busy weekend with no time to catch up with comments and personal messages. I’ve received a lot of them. I thank you all!

I’m writing this post as a collective answer to the (mostly constructive) criticism, to your questions, and a feedback on your recommendations.

Two things before we start:
– Thank you for your feedback. I really appreciate you spending your time to leave me a feedback.
– Please, comment my posts using English Language. The language of the blog is English (RIP slang 😀 ). If you can read it, please make the effort to write your comments in English. I accept (I prefer, actually) Italian language for mail or private messages on Social Media (Twitter, Facebook, Reddit), but I prefer English comments on my blog posts. Some of the comments in Italian language are very good, and they add a lot to the conversation. Using a language only 1% of he world population can handle isn’t inclusive enough for my standards.

Having said that, let’s get started!

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2020 Q4 Financial Update Part 2: Investments Analysis, Actions, and Plans

Hi RIP readers, this is Part 2 of 2020 Q4 Update (here is Part 1).

Today I’m going to expand the “Investments – Analysis, Actions, and Plans” section left empty in my previous post. I’m going to share my beliefs, my fears, my decision making process, and will commit to some actions in order to get back into a “sane” asset allocation as soon as possible.

I’m kind of rewriting my Investor Policy Statement today.

Mind that this post is very long (8k+ words), and superficially edited. 

It’s not just a stream of consciousness, because there’s some deep ETF research, thought process, behavioral analysis, rational decision making, and more. 

I started writing this post without an outline (I never do), and without knowing what the conclusions would have been. I used this post to clarify my thoughts, and that’s what writing does for me.

I don’t write because I have something to tell, I write because I have something to learn. And as a side effect I’m sharpening my thinking skills. Writing is amazing!

Enjoy!

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I moved our Pillar 3A accounts to Finpension

Hi dear RIP friends, last week I completed the 3 post series on “trolling a financial advisor”.

The “season finale” was about how not to fall for an Insurance Policy Pillar 3A, and how to identify snake oil salesman tactics.

Today I’m going to show you better alternatives available for your Pillar 3A, and I’m also going to tell you what I’ve done with my and my wife’s Pillar 3As.

Before we even start: I’m not going to tell you yet another time what’s a Pillar 3A, I assume you know about it. This post is probably only useful for Swiss residents, so if you’re not living and, more importantly, paying taxes in Switzerland see you on Monday January 4th, 2021 for the first MLJ 😉

Enjoy!

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The Problem with small, EU Domiciled ETFs

Hi RIP readers,

I’m trying to simplify my investments.

I want to get rid of some of the irrelevant ETFs I purchased in the past years, especially in the bonds area, and I want to focus on few core ETFs (global bonds, global stocks). Plus maybe some small bets to add a personal touch to the strategy. Some small cap, value, dividend… I like the idea of factor investing. Anyway, my strategy is still a bit fuzzy, I’m not focusing on that at the moment and it’s not the topic of this post.

Under the umbrella of “simplifying my portfolio”, a month ago I entered a couple of GTC (Good-Til-Canceled) Limit Sell Orders on Interactive Brokers for the ETFs I wanted to get rid of, with limit prices I was happy with.

I know that “I will sell when the price reaches X” is not a good strategy, don’t yell at me.

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Interactive Brokers: thanks Brexit, screw you!

Hi RIP readers,

This is a quick post about how Brexit is impacting Interactive Brokers account in Europe.

IBUK accounts are going to be moved in EU and lose SIPC protection of 500k USD.

Crap!

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