Warren Buffett’s Holy Grail Investment Strategy

The other day, I revealed why Warren Buffett is so success.  So, if you want to emulate Buffett’s successful, just buy companies that pay dividends and buy back their stock.  Did you know financials almost make up 50% of Berkshire Hathaway’s portfolio.  So if you really want to emulate Buffett’s success, just buy financial stocks.

Berkshire’s 8 biggest
positions in financial stocks going back to the third quarter were:

Bank of America Corp.
(BAC), $25 billion,

American Express Co.
(AXP), $19 billon,

Wells Fargo & Co.
(WFC), $18 billion,

U.S. Bancorp (USB), $6.7

JPMorgan Chase & Co.
(JPM), $6.2 billion,

Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
(GS), $3.6 billion,

Bank of New York Mellon
Corp. (BK), $3.4 billion,

Moody’s Corp. (MCO), $5.1

The word “dividend” tends
to have this calm, soothing effect on investors because you know the company
offering dividend has a profitable and viable business model so in good times
and bad times, you can sleep better at night and dividends act like compound
interests if reinvested to grow ones portfolio exponentially.   For example, Wells Fargo and Bank of America
are set to bring in more than $1.5 billion in dividend income for Buffett over
the next year.  That $1.5 billion is almost
2% of his net worth.

Because I’m on this dividend
discovery journey, highest dividend yielding companies within Buffett’s
portfolio are the following:

Occidental Petroleum
Corporation (8.32% yield), together with its subsidiaries, engages in the
acquisition, exploration, and development of oil and gas properties in the
United States and internationally. The company operates through three segments:
Oil and Gas, Chemical, and Midstream and Marketing. 

The Kraft Heinz Company (5.16%
forward yield) manufactures and markets food and beverage products in the
United States, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Its products
include condiments and sauces, cheese and dairy, meals, meats, refreshment
beverages, coffee, and other grocery products, as well as infant and nutrition

General Motors Company (4.30%
forward yield) designs, builds, and sells cars, trucks, crossovers, and
automobile parts worldwide. The company operates through GM North America, GM
International, GM Cruise, and GM Financial. It markets its vehicles primarily
under the Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Holden, Baojun, Jiefang, and Wuling
brand names

Suncor Energy Inc (4.07% forward
yield). operates as an integrated energy company. The company primarily focuses
on developing petroleum resource basins in Canada’s Athabasca oil sands;
explores, acquires, develops, produces, and markets crude oil and natural gas
in Canada and internationally; transports and refines crude oil; markets
petroleum and petrochemical products primarily in Canada.

Wells Fargo & Company
(3.83% forward yield), a diversified financial services company, provides
retail, commercial, and corporate banking services to individuals, businesses,
and institutions. It operates through three segments: Community Banking,
Wholesale Banking, and Wealth and Investment Management.

STORE Capital Corporation
(3.50% forward yield) is an internally managed net-lease real estate investment
trust, or REIT, that is the leader in the acquisition, investment and
management of Single Tenant Operational Real Estate

United Parcel Service,
Inc (3.34% forward yield) provides letter and package delivery, specialized
transportation, logistics, and financial services. It operates through three
segments: U.S. Domestic Package, International Package, and Supply Chain &

Phillips 66 (3.20%
forward yield) operates as an energy manufacturing and logistics company. It
operates through four segments: Midstream, Chemicals, Refining, and Marketing
and Specialties (M&S).

Restaurant Brands International
Inc (3.05% forward yield). owns, operates, and franchises quick service
restaurants under the Tim Hortons (TH), Burger King (BK), and Popeyes (PLK)
brand names.

The PNC Financial
Services Group, Inc (3.02% forward yield). operates as a diversified financial
services company in the United States. The Retail Banking segment offers
deposit, lending, brokerage, insurance, and investment and cash management
services to consumer and small business customers through a network of branches.  The Corporate & Institutional Banking
segment provides secured and unsecured loans, letters of credit, equipment
leases, global trade services, as well as foreign exchange, derivative, etc.

The Coca-Cola Company (2.95%
forward yield)., a beverage company, manufactures and distributes various
nonalcoholic beverages worldwide. The company provides sparkling soft drinks;
water, enhanced water, and sports drinks; juice, dairy, and plant based
beverages; teas and coffees; and energy drinks.

Dividend stocks offer a number of advantages to investors, but I would say the number one reason is best said by Buffett himself.

This post is my personal opinion. I’m not a financial advisor, this isn’t financial advise. Do your own research before making investment decisions.

The Sunday Crypto Recap – Down the Rabbit Hole 58

Once again this has been a great week to be engaged with crypto. While the charts offered volatility, the space itself heaved with good ideas, competing narratives, and incremental developments. This week’s crypto Twitter segment alone is a treasure trove of expertise and insightful analysis. The charts will wait.

As per usual, each item is here because it is compelling/interesting or thought-provoking in some way. Inclusion is not an endorsement. Verify don’t trust (cough..HEX).

Picks of the Week

So much to choose from – this fine-grain analysis of recent changes to Libra’s governance structure and this much-needed exposure of influencer pushed leverage trading. In addition, this wide-ranging discussion of the proposition that is BTC.


Much needed calling-to of crypto influencers for peddling leverage trading (highly recommended):

Four likely long-term outcomes for BTC:

Interest in crypto passive income is on the rise:

Some crypto memories:

Unpacking Libra’s recent changes to its Articles of Association (highly recommended):

Ethereum meaningfully decentralized?

Fifteen of the best crypto podcasts (aside from my own of course):

Comparing China-based exchanges such as Huobi and OKEX with Binance (highly recommended):

A ‘best of’ 2019 crypto podcasts (again sadly missing my own :))

A little context re North Korea / doing business there:


A sound rebuttal of the tired ‘Bitcoin is for criminals’ narrative.

A wee bit of inspiration for fellow Bitcoiners (recommended):

Let’s face it – most crypto predictions are downright nonsense:

The Ethereum network is showing strong growth across a range of metrics (recommended):

Segwit explained:

Energi uncovers massive ‘fake-account’ network while auditing their air-drop (recommended):

A proposal for improving EOS REX:

Protocols and product (highly recommended):


Two industry insider’s perspectives on China’s moves to promote blockchain (highly recommended):



Leverage trading is promoted with the expectation that you will get wrecked (highly recommended):

Bitcoin empowers you (highly recommended):

Not exactly secrets but useful information nonetheless:

Let’s talk Bitcoin (highly recommended for an overview of what’s in play with BTC):​

Colin continues to shine a much-needed spotlight on EOS (recommended):

A brief discussion of how governments fudge inflation figures (recommended):

Is HEX a scam – yes, it is (Highly recommended):


BTC cycles seem to be extending:


It’s been a good year for assets:


If you didn’t learn anything….As always, looking forward to your comments and suggestions.

Note on Sources:

Twitter & Reddit (cryptos current meta-brains) / Medium / Trybe / Hackernoon / Whaleshares / TIMM and so on/ YouTube / various podcasts and whatever else I stumble upon. The aim is a useful weekly aggregator of ideas rather than news. Though I try to keep the sources current – I’ll reference these articles and podcasts etc. as I encounter them – they may have been published just a couple of days ago or in some cases quite a bit earlier.

Unusual Option Activity In Nuance Communications

Nuance Communications, Inc. provides conversational artificial intelligence (AI) innovations that bring intelligence to everyday work and life. The company delivers solutions that understand, analyze, and respond to people – amplifying human intelligence to increase productivity and security. It offers customers high accuracy in automated speech recognition, natural language understanding capabilities, dialog and information management, biometric speaker authentication, text-to-speech, and domain knowledge along with professional services and implementation support.

Nuance Communications, Inc. has this AI tool called Lightning Engine™ that combines voice biometrics and natural language understanding (NLU) that allows consumers to set up a unique voice profile as part of an organization’s account enrollment. When they contact that organization on a voice channel, all they need to do is speak naturally and their identity is confirmed almost immediately.  Many months ago my bank asked me with I wanted to set this up, so instead of remembering a password or a pin, the next time I’m on the phone, all I have to do is speak to confirm my identification.

This isn’t really value added to the bank, well I guess it is in a way.  For example, if people forget their password or pin, well it will take time to reset it, taking away time from other things the bank personnel has to do. 

Here’s a concrete valued added example Nuance Communication products offer. 

Police officers face unique reporting challenges. For instance, they can spend an hour or more typing up a single incident report. For police sergeants, paperwork can consume up to 45 percent of the workday. Heavy documentation demands can impact the timely filing of reports, limit community visibility, and even put their safety at risk. There is a better way.

Ensure timely filing of incident reports. Eliminate the need to decipher handwritten notes or try to recall details from hours before. Officers simply speak to create detailed and accurate incident reports, 3 times faster than typing and with up to 99% recognition accuracy – all by voice.


Several weeks ago, Nuance Communication Inc. reported their fourth quarter earnings which beat expectations.  The company reported net income of $108.1 million, or 37 cents a share, compared with a loss of $35.1 million, or 13 cents a share, in the year-ago period.  In addition, revenue rose to $487.8 million compared with $479.4 million in the year-ago quarter.

The company’s stock is up more than 20% for the 3rd quarter and more than 50% for the year.   However, the Smart Money thinks there is more room for the stock to run. As they bought call options that expire in January,

and longer term call options in April.

If the Smart Money is going to be right, price must first get through the weekly supply at $18.50.

This post is my personal opinion. I’m not a financial advisor, this isn’t financial advise. Do your own research before making investment decisions.

FUN technical analysis

FUN seen from the temporality of 1W we can observe how the structure of candles has formed us so far two HL on the diagonal support indicated within the chart by the horizontal dark blue, the closing of the previous candle has formed an accumulation doji as a bullish signal, if the closing of the current candle ends up being bullish we would have our third HL confirmation of a next move towards our first target gain located within the price range of 0.00000074 – 0.00000083, indicated inside the chart above by the two horizontal black color, our second target is located higher at 0.00000127, the major trend is bearish, the minor figure is forming an inverted triangle that could conclude in our first target, we would confirm this by seeing the price reaction in that area.

FUN seen from the temporality of 1D we can observe more closely the current movement of candles where we see how the price has formed the double floor on the zone of weekly demand located at 0.00000038, indicated within the graph above by the horizontal green color, the current candle is being rejected by the zone of daily supply located at 0.00000051, we need to get the closing above that level if we want to see a next movement towards our target profit.

In conclusion, FUN maintains an excellent movement on the diagonal support where we have been forming two HL and we could have the third with the bullish closing of the weekly candle that has yet to be confirmed, however, the probabilities of a move towards our first profit target are high, this profit target is located within the price range of 0.00000074 – 0.00000083, it is very important that the price keeps the support diagonally, otherwise, the price could fall and form a new LL, therefore, I recommend to follow very closely the action of the price in 1D and always remember to place your stop loss to avoid possible invalidations during the movement.

As I always say, you have to be aware of the movement, invalidations can occur, there is no 100% reliable analysis, take your own precautions when trading.

You can follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/armijogarcia

Two Minute Crypto – Deciphering China’s Blockchain Play – Part 4 of 5

Please click the link below to listen to the 65th episode of my weekly crypto podcast ‘Two Minute Crypto.’ These are intended to be short, single-topic ramblings on some aspect of the cryptosphere. Consider dropping a like and or a review on iTunes or Podbean if you enjoy the podcast. Comments and critiques welcome.

External Podcast Links





China’s Blockchain Play – An Inflection Point?

Welcome to Two Minute Crypto. This week focuses on the
wider implications for blockchain arising from China’s declared ‘embrace’ of
the technology. 

To date, this series has repeatedly highlighted the
control-centric purpose of adopting blockchain in a Chinese context. Blockchain,
as it will be implemented by the Chinese Communist ruling Party, will serve to
extend the state’s reach ever further into the daily lives of its citizens.

To summarize – the Beijing blockchain model will be
centralized whether presented that way or not. Projects will be state-subservient
and their apparent efficiency benefits will simply be an added bonus regardless
of the propaganda which promotes their adoption.

Clearly, the chains that receive state-endorsement will see massive initial inflows of investment and user-base. In the short-term, this will present a direct challenge to their comparatively decentralized peers. Beijing blockchain may demonstrate blockbuster numbers in terms of users, market penetration and network value. In comparison, free-market projects may seem peripheral and indeed, irrelevant. A Telegram community channel boasting 20 thousand users will seem paltry when superficially compared with a state compelled user base running into the hundreds of millions.

In the short-term, there will be a temptation to jettison
this whole decentralized thing – bend the knee and make merry in the Chinese market.
Let’s not forget other authoritarian states will be following on behind Beijing
– so state-sanctioned centralized blockchains will be in a period of rapid
expansion. It’s also worth highlighting that most self-declared chains are
decentralized in name only. They are dominated by their founders, a core
development team, uneven coin distribution and so on. A shift from decentralized
to centralized would in most cases be very easily achieved – if the price was
right. To date, the cryptosphere has been replete with short-sighted cash grabs.
Any opportunity to cash-in has been taken this ‘opportunity’ will be no

Of course, there’s Yin to this Yang. Any blockchain system
rolled out by the ruling party will clearly operate under direct supervision
and control. Independent ‘decentralized’ chains will have a readymade ‘dark’
version of themselves to compare and contrast to.

Immutability, censorship resistance, and permissionless
access may shine in this environment. Blockchain implemented as a tool of state
repression will likely see a flood of interest into the ‘other’ version’ as over
time the realization will dawn that’s it’s one version or the other. Blockchain
as big brother or as a vehicle of greater autonomy.

At the moment, it’s all what if’s and potential but that
era is coming to an end. Soon, a billion people will live under a darker vision
of blockchain. This will clearly offer an opportunity to decentralized projects.
In the medium to long-term decentralized iterations of blockchain may organically
overtake their lesser brethren. Where choice is possible – individuals will
likely veer towards tech that empowers.

In the interim, a ghetto system seems very likely.
Nations like China locked behind centralized networks while other states opt
for or are over-taken by permissionless chains. Over the next few years, real
investment opportunities may lie with projects that bridge the gap between the
two. Allowing access to or communication between chains with vastly differing governance

The centralized/decentralized blockchain development arc
will take decades to play out of course. Progress will be uneven and individual
jurisdictions will take different roads at different times. Whether one
iteration of blockchain comes to dominate the other remains to be seen. What is
absolutely clear, however, is that a struggle for the ‘purpose’ of blockchain
is about to start in earnest.

Thanks for listening.

Series Links

Two Gems Within The Data Center REIT Sector

Software as a service (SaaS) aka THE CLOUD is a business model in which software, centrally hosted, is licensed on a subscription basis and is centrally hosted.  One force driving these companies’ growth is soaring demand for data centers to support cloud computing.

And it doesn’t matter what size company you have:

*Start-ups – an idea / viable business model can get up and running quickly with minimal capital and operating cost.

*Small to medium-sized businesses – can take advantage of the scalability in storage and networking capabilities on demand as their business grows.

*Larger business – can help increase operational efficiency, productivity and agility.

REITs are companies that own or finance some type of real estate property. During economic troubled times, Smart Money rotates into REITs because they act like bonds, meaning the stock dividends are equivalent to coupon rates, the yield paid by a fixed-income security.

The data center REIT sector is relatively new compared to other REITs. Salesforce was an early pioneer of moving their CRM services to the cloud in the early 2000s. The company’s founder, Benioff’s vision was that software should be delivered 24/7 to people over the cloud.  Most data center REITs were founded around 2000 and make up a small percentage of REITs overall.

As data becomes an integral part of everything we do, data center real estate investment trusts (REITs) have become more important. 

The data center REIT sector is relatively new compared to other REITs. Most data center REITs were founded around 2000.  This was the around the same time Salesforce migrated its services to the cloud in the early 2000s. The company’s founder, Benioff’s vision was that software should be delivered 24/7 to people over the cloud.  Now Salesforce shares the cloud pie with Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft who have huge appetites for access to data centers.  These companies are building their own data centers, but because of the demand, are turning to data center REITs to fill that void.  But it’s also financial services, insurance and retail companies that are shifting from owning and operating their own data centers to third-party data center operators.

The relentless growth of wireless data, public cloud, digital content, social media, and ecommerce continues to fuel the need for more data center space.  The beauty of data center REITs is that their growth isn’t dependent on consumer spending, population growth or unemployment like traditional REITs.  And might I add, the Trade War between the US and China has not barring on data REITs growth.  

Two companies that I want to give some shine to are QTS Realty Trust and CyrusOne.

Image result for QTS Realty Trust, Inc. logo

QTS Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE: QTS) is a leading provider of data center solutions across a diverse footprint spanning more than 6 million square feet of owned mega scale data center space throughout primarily North America and Europe. Through its software-defined technology platform, QTS is able to deliver secure, compliant infrastructure solutions, robust connectivity and premium customer service to leading hyperscale technology companies, enterprises, and government entities. QTS owns, operates or manages 26 data centers and supports more than 1,100 customers primarily in North America and Europe.

The chart suggests it’s not a buy yet, as price is just below the monthly supply at $55.

Image result for CyrusOne logo

CyrusOne (NASDAQ: CONE) is a high-growth real estate investment trust (REIT) specializing in highly reliable enterprise-class, carrier-neutral data center properties. It’s America’s third largest data-center provider and its solutions allow customers take advantage of cloud platforms such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

The Company provides mission-critical data center facilities that protect and ensure the continued operation of IT infrastructure for approximately 1,000 customers, including more than 200 Fortune 1000 companies. 

In 2018, CyrusOne have the most data center properties under construction in the U.S., at six and had the most preconstruction data center development properties at 24.

The chart suggests to go long at the monthly demand at $56.

This post is my personal opinion. I’m not a financial advisor, this isn’t financial advise. Do your own research before making investment decisions.

IOST technical analysis

IOST seen from the temporality of 1W we can see how the current structure of candles begins to form a pattern of reversal of trend, the price is in a key area of the movement and the current bullish momentum has already drawn us an HL that we see marked within the chart above by the small green arrow, the price has managed to maintain the area of weekly demand located at 0.00000065, indicated within the top chart by the lower horizontal black, this is causing the current momentum of the candle that should reach the area of supply located within the price range of 0.00000098 – 0.00000108, indicated by the two horizontal black color, the price could make the test and go back a little to form another HL of confirmation to look for the breakage and recovery of the zone of offer, if this possible scenario is achieved, we could see the price reach our objectives of superior gain, the second objective of gain is located in the 0.00000145, the third objective of gains is located in the 0.00000196 and our objective higher is located in the 0.00000233.

IOST seen from the temporality of 1D we can observe more closely the current movement of candles where we see how the price after getting the break of the descending wedge in the 0.00000057 made the confirmation test to get back to get bullish momentum towards 0.00000079 where the price has taken a small break forming a bullish flag with an inverted shs as a signal continuation, this we see indicated in the chart above by the parallel channel in purple, the price should reach the bidding area without any problem.

In conclusion, IOST is still at accumulation levels at an excellent buy point even before having a much higher next move up, the price should go to test the bid zone and go back to 0.00000079 before looking for the break, the profit targets are shown in the 1W chart, therefore, I recommend to be very attentive to the price action in 1D and always remember to place your stop loss to avoid possible invalidations during the move.

As I always say, you have to be aware of the movement, invalidations can occur, there is no 100% reliable analysis, take your own precautions when trading.

You can follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/armijogarcia

BrainMetric – IT’S STILL ALIVE!

Does anybody remember reading this?

No? Well I don’t blame you. It’s from THIS POST back on 5 August, so I hardly remember it myself!

In all seriousness, I didn’t forget about it, and I actually have been working on it (albeit at a rather low level) for the last four months. I want to reassure you
that I still fully intend to finish it, though it’s going to take much longer than expected. This is it’s story so far…

A Brief History of BrainMetric

As you can see above, I described my metric as being “a quantitative metric used to determine the investor confidence of the market”. That’s no longer an accurate description of it.

The more I worked on it, the more I realised what else I could do with it by expanding upon it. I’ll spare you the details of the equations, partly to protect my own intellectual property, but mostly
because equations tend to make people’s eyes glaze over!*[1]

I soon realised that my metric needed a benchmark. Finding a good benchmarks is trickier than it seems, because cryptocurrencies are anything but constant. They vary wildly in price compared to other
asset classes, as well as to one another. Even a single cryptocurrency tends to have high price volatility. I reasoned that the best benchmark to have would be an aggregate of the combined data of all of the cryptocurrencies
averaged over different time durations.

The trouble with that approach is that it is practically impossible to do. Wash trading wrecks it. Unlisted coins corrupt it. Delisted coin data are no longer readily available. Data anomalies (e.g. a
spike caused by a data capture error) have a big effect on it. Even in a best case scenario it will only ever provide you with an approximation. With so much data and so many potential points of failure, it becomes a bad idea.

Big Data vs Little Bit Brain

The death blow to the “all coins” approach is the sheer amount of data it requires. Assuming the other issues can be resolved, I would still have to import, capture and process practically
the entire historical database of a site such as CoinMarketCap or CoinGecko. CMC has got almost 4900 coins, CoinGecko (whose API I prefer to use) has over 6200! I’m working alone on this, and that amount of data is way
too much for me to handle! Put it this way: Bitcoin alone represents about 15000 rows of data, each row being several columns wide! In fact, all I’ve managed so far is to process Bitcoin data.

But that’s fine. During this process, I have been able to plan my next steps, and have also found value in BTC data on its own.

Analysis of BTC’s data processed through my most basic algorithm, reveals that it behaves much as as Bollinger Bands do (with similar predictive abilities). It is my hope that I will be able to
calibrate the figures into a form of meaningful “market tension” indicator, an advanced warning sign of when some big price move is about to happen. Take a look at what I mean, this is the most basic form of BrainMetric
data displayed in graphic form:

(Embarrassingly) Made by Bit Brain

Excuse the rudimentary charting, I originally made these strictly for developmental purposes, not for publishing! The aim of charting this was to determine how to use it as a benchmark. What you see
above is basically how BTC trading activity (of which volume is only a part) changes over time. It’s a few months old, but you can notice that the far right side is already very “squashed” – much like the
squeezing of Bollinger Bands. When I calibrate my data, this “squashing” will translate into a market tension; the more squashed it is and the longer it remains squashed, the higher the market tension figure will

Beyond BTC

I have decided that BTC will be my industry benchmark, it’s far easier working with one coin than with thousands! There is the option of using total market data, but this data is very hard to find
for the early years and tends to be inherently corrupted by aggregation, lack of data and coins constantly being added to it. As a constant, it is very poor. It’s also interesting to note that you can’t use something
like the “Top 10” coins, because while the names of those Top 10 may seem fairly constant, they change significantly over time. – making their data impossible for me to process.

I aim to be able to average my BrainMetic over time (in intervals of selectable duration for both macro and micro trends), and then compare it to the values of specific altcoins worked out using the same
method. This will work in much the same way as we currently use BTC/sats price to benchmark the performance of different altcoins. Only, unlike with sats price, with BrainMetric the algorithms will allow us to compare apples
with apples. You can’t say that e.g. DASH is better than TRX just because DASH has a higher sats price. But with BrainMetric you WILL be able to say that one is better than the other, since price will not be a primary

“Better” is not the correct word, I think “less overbought” would be a more accurate description. BrainMetric will be similar to my 4 November post: “Perspective on Altcoins”, in which I used a pseudo-neutral metric (percentage drop from All Time High) to compare altcoins to one another. (Note: BrainMetric equations will not use ATH.)

Joining the Dots

At the end of the day I have a vision of what I want from BrainMetric, I want something that will show:

· The “Market Tension” of BTC – and maybe selected altcoins too.

· … possibly graphically.

· A fair comparison between various altcoins to show which are undervalued and which are overvalued.

· The later incorporation of an additional metric which I have yet to develop.

BrainMetric will probably take the form of some sort of dashboard with a simple interface that hides all the background number crunching.

Yes, as the last bullet point states, there is a second metric in the pipeline. My brain laid yet another original idea egg that will tie in very nicely with my BrainMetric
vision. So “BrainMetric” will probably become “BrainMetrics” as the second metric literally gets added into the equation. IF I can get it calibrated and start getting good predictive data from it, then the addition of the second metric will:

· Further help to determine “Market Tension” (i.e. how likely the next big jump will be), and

· (importantly) give percentage probabilities as to which direction that big jump will be in.

The second metric will operate on the principle of a rudimentary Kalman filter, calculating future jumps based on the frequency, sizes and directions of previous jumps. At this stage the second metric
exists solely in my head, I haven’t had a chance to even start looking at the equation for it.

Making things happen

After deciding last year that Microsoft has got enough money, I stopped using Excel for my crypto-tracking spreadsheets. After trialling several free alternatives, I settled on the excellent FreeOffice suite for my day-to-day needs. (Visit www.freeoffice.com to check it out for yourself, MS Office users should feel right at home. This post was originally created in FreeOffice.)

Figuring that learning how to import APIs/scrape webpage info into FreeOffice spreadsheets might not be so fun (it can be bad enough in Excel), I decided to switch to the web-based Google Sheets for
my crypto spreadsheet needs. I figured that Google may have better internet data integration tools. That was only partially true, and subsequently took a large step backwards when the most popular crypto plugin ceased working.
But I pushed on and have become moderately competent at getting Google Sheets to work for me.

Level 5+ Excel Grand Wizards will know that with enough time and practise, you can make Excel do just about ANYTHING! It may look similar to its siblings Word and Powerpoint (and the other younger ones that few people use), but under the hood, Excel is a V8-powered, fire-breathing beast! Still used to the formidable capabilities of this beast, I built BrainMetric in Google Sheets.

..and that’s why I’m taking so long to do this.

After much struggling, I realised that it just wasn’t going to work. Using Sheets I simply did not have the tools I needed to effectively process all that data. I don’t blame Google: Sheets
is a very capable web app which can do most things, but it just isn’t Excel which can do absolutely anything!

Knowing what I would have to do, I tried the old “ignore the problem and hope it goes away” trick. It didn’t. Eventually I confronted my demons and dusted off some long-neglected bookmarks in my browser. I started the painful process of re-teaching myself computer programming.

Unfortunately programming is not like riding a bike, it’s a perishable skill – one which I learnt at university two decades ago! Modern programming languages evolve constantly: the little which
I do remember is horribly out of date. It’s like semi-remembering the home phone numbers of people you knew 20 years ago: you dial a few, half of them are wrong, and the other half no longer work anymore. The language
Java is now on version 13. I learnt version 1. An early edition of version 1!

Worse still, I have to fight my way through the badly outdated Java documentation – the hallmark of massive open-source software projects. Since I want to use a specific type of user interface creator
(JavaFX), Java 13 is actually not really suitable for my purposes. Java 11 sort of is. Java 8 is. Don’t ask about the in-between version, just don’t. It’s probably only after
Java 14 is released in Q2 of 2020 that things will work properly again (after some work by the community). If only I’d know that at the beginning, I would have saved days, days which I wasted trying to correctly configure the programming environment of my PC.

Now that everything is running semi- properly, as much as I want to jump straight into coding BrainMetric, I need to first practise the fundamentals and make stupid mistakes as part of the re-learning
process. Yesterday I started writing a very basic word processor program. Once I can get that finished, then I should be about 70% of the way there and will just need to work on charting and data management skills. That and
Christmas madness should take me well into early 2020.

So BrainMetric is coming, but I wouldn’t start holding my breath just yet!

For now, what I can tell you is that the prototype charts show a very squashed BTC profile. Something is going to happen soon.

*[1] Stephen Hawking said that when he was writing “A Brief History of Time”, he was advised that each equation in the book would halve his sales. He took the advice to heart and included only “E=mc2”, acknowledging that leaving it out may have doubled the sales of his wildly successful bestseller.

Yours in crypto

Bit Brain

“The secret to success: find out where people are going and get there first” 

~ Mark Twain

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Utilities Companies That Can Make You Paper

There are many investing strategies out there in the financial world.  One such strategy is the dividend investing strategy. This strategy is very simple and entails buying and holding companies that pay good, quality dividends that will hopefully turn into passive income.  And if those companies are able to grow their dividends that outpace inflation over time, well that just means more passive income for you.   

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Case in point, prior to today, I didn’t know what a Dividend Aristocrat was. Nevertheless, a Dividend Aristocrats are companies that have increased their dividend payouts for 25 consecutive years or more.  They are the ‘best of the best’ dividend growth stocks.

This year, one of the strongest sectors have been Utilities.  During economic troubled times, Smart Money rotates into Utilities because they act like bonds, meaning the stock dividends are equivalent to coupon rates. Utilities are usually drowning in debt, but during economic troubled times, interest rates go down, so debt obligations put less of a strain on cash flow and more cash flow means consistent payouts of dividends. And because the barriers of entry are tough in the Utilities sector, so with little competition and residual income, dividends are payout out consistently.

So if Dividend Aristocrats are companies that have increased their dividend payouts for 25 consecutive years or more, what do you call companies that have paid dividends for over 100 straight years?  I have no idea, but if you know, let me know in the comment section. Nevertheless, here are three “whatever you want to call them” Utilities companies that have paid out dividends for over 100 years.

York Water (NASDAQ:YORW)

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The York Water Company impounds, purifies, and distributes drinking water.  It serves customers in 39 municipalities within York County and 9 municipalities within Adams County, Pennsylvania. The company serves various customers in the fixtures and furniture, electrical machinery, food product, paper, ordnance unit, textile product, air conditioning system, laundry detergent, barbell, and motorcycle industries.  This leads to relatively predictable cash flow, thereby allowing management to ensure that costs don’t outpace revenue. York Water has an incredible streak going of paying out a dividend to investors for 203 consecutive years.

Consolidated Edison (NYSE:ED)

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Consolidated Edison, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in regulated electric, gas, and steam delivery businesses in the United States. The company offers electric services to approximately 3.5 million customers in New York City and Westchester County; gas to approximately 1.1 million customers in Manhattan, the Bronx, parts of Queens, and Westchester County; and steam to approximately 1,622 customers in parts of Manhattan.

Demand for these products tends to remain relatively consistent and predictable, allowing Con Ed, as the company is known, to forecast its spending and cash flow with confidence. Consolidated Edison has an incredible streak going of paying out a dividend to investors for 134 consecutive years.


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UGI Corporation distributes, stores, transports, and markets energy products and related services in the United States and internationally. The company operates through four segments: AmeriGas Propane, UGI International, Midstream & Marketing, and UGI Utilities. It distributes propane to approximately 1.7 million residential, commercial/industrial, motor fuel, agricultural, and wholesale customers through 1,900 propane distribution locations; and sells, installs, and services propane appliances, including heating systems and propane-powered generators. 

Further, the company distributes natural gas to approximately 642,000 customers in the portions of 44 eastern and central Pennsylvania counties through its distribution system of 12,300 miles of gas mains; and supplies electricity to approximately 62,000 customers in northeastern Pennsylvania through 2,200 miles of lines and 13 substations. UGI Corporation has an incredible streak going of paying out a dividend to investors for 134 consecutive years.

In the investing world, quick money could lead you to the poor house, at times it great to be the turtle in the race.

This post is my personal opinion. I’m not a financial advisor, this isn’t financial advise. Do your own research before making investment decisions.