Topley’s Top 10 – February 16, 2021

1. Price of Ether Has Tripled Since Future Contracts Announced

Google searches for “invest in crypto,” in fact, have recently hit a new all-time high

Tesla Just Bought $1.5 Billion Worth of Bitcoin. Is Apple Next? by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors, 2/10/21

2. Large Cap and Small Cap % Above 200 Day 90%

Large- and small-cap breadth still looks strong

Schwab Market Perspective: Disconnectionby Liz Ann Sonders, Jeffrey Kleintop, Kathy Jones of Charles Schwab, 2/12/21

3. 20 Day Trading Volumes Hit Records Last Week

Bloomberg-Over the last 20 days, an average 15.8 billion shares have traded each day on all U.S. exchanges, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s just below the 16.1 billion average hit on March 25, which was the highest in at least over a decade, the data show.

U.S. equity volumes approach peak seen during pandemic crash

Stock Trading Frenzy Has U.S. Volumes Near Peak Panic Levels By 

Cormac Mullen

4. New Highs Bullish for the Market

5. Blackrock Return on Equity and Cash Flow Grid

Chart of the week
Return on equity and free cash flow yields of U.S. stocks by sector, 2021

Return on equity and free cash flow yields of U.S. stocks by sector, 2021

Past performance is not a reliable indicator of current or future results. It is not possible to invest directly in an index. Sources: BlackRock Investment Institute, with data from Refinitiv Datastream, February 2021. Notes: U.S. stocks are represented by the MSCI USA Index. Data are based on a trailing 12-month basis. The free cash flow yield of financials isn’t comparable to others due to the sector’s unique nature.

Healthcare and technology led the U.S. stock market in generating earnings and revenue growth in 2020. They also stand out in generating high free cash flow yields and return on equity, as the chart shows. The quality characteristics of these two sectors could help provide some resilience against any bumps along the road to the economic restart, in our view. At the same time, they offer long-term growth potential given structural shifts such as digitalization and aging societies. Such quality exposures sit on one side of our bar-belled approach to tactical asset allocation; on the other side, we like selected cyclical exposures such as emerging market equities and U.S. small caps, which we see as benefiting from a vaccine-led restart. Market pricing has come a long way since late last year, yet we still see accelerated structural trends not yet fully reflected. We believe they could drive performance over the tactical horizon. History suggests financial markets are imperfect at pricing in long-term trends, even when these shifts – such as demographic changes – are expected long in advance.

6. Uranium Chart

URA CHART $7 to $17…50 day about to cross thru 200 day on upside.


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7. Passenger loyalty: A tailwind for cruise lines

Cruise ships became the epicenter of the COVID crisis in February 2020, when 3,700 people were quarantined aboard the Diamond Princess after a shipboard outbreak. At the time, the ship accounted for half of all known cases outside mainland China.

“This industry has gotten so much negative media, yet people are still booking cruises for 2021 and 2022 at prices higher than they were in 2019,” says equity analyst Todd Saligman, who covers cruise lines and U.S. and European airlines. “That’s pretty indicative of the demand. There is a loyalty and enthusiasm among cruisers that people who don’t cruise may fail to appreciate, and that loyalty has persisted through the crisis.”

In fact, more than 70% of respondents to an industry survey said they will cruise again.

Loyal customers can keep cruise industry afloat

While cruising has resumed in Europe, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control imposed a “no sail” order that has not yet been lifted in North America.

“It’s not clear when the ships will set sail again, but I believe they will be cruising near full utilization quicker than many people expect,” Saligman says.

Although cruise stocks have rebounded from their March lows, Saligman believes select cruise lines continue to represent opportunity for long-term investors.

What’s more, with intense focus on healthy sailing practices, “There’s a case to be made that they could one day be considered among the cleanest places on earth to vacation,” says equity portfolio manager Chris Buchbinder.

Capital Group American Funds

8. Big Tech’s Unlikely Next Battleground: North Dakota

Last month, a lobbyist approached Kyle Davison, a North Dakota state senator, with an unusual proposal: a law to stop Apple and Google from forcing companies in the state to hand over a share of their app sales.

Mr. Davison, a Republican, was focused on bills related to a $200,000 literacy program and birth records for the homeless. But he was intrigued by the lobbyist’s arguments that the tech giants were hurting small businesses, and he thought such a law could attract tech companies to North Dakota. So he introduced it.

“She said to me that this could be big. But to me, that means the local newspaper is going to come with a camera,” Mr. Davison, 60, said. “I would not be truthful if I said I expected the reaction.”

At the Capitol in Bismarck, a 21-story Art Deco tower that’s the state’s tallest building, a hearing on the bill last week drew Washington lawyers, North Dakota newspapers and Silicon Valley executives. Siding with Apple and Google was Americans for Prosperity, the conservative group funded by the Koch family. On the other side was the Fargo Chamber of Commerce. One person called in from Alaska.

Supporters of the bill said it would help smaller companies and only hurt Apple and Google’s revenues. Apple’s chief privacy engineer, Erik Neuenschwander, testified that the bill “threatens to destroy iPhone as you know it.”

North Dakota is part of a new front in the battle over Big Tech and its power. Frustrated with a lack of action from courts, regulators and Congress, tech rivals and critics are turning their attention to state legislatures, pushing bills that seek to tax the biggest tech companies, rein in their power and limit their control over the internet.

New York is considering a bill that would make it easier for the state to pursue antitrust cases against the big tech companies. Lawmakers in Florida this month proposed measures, backed by the governor, that would limit how social media companies could police content on their sites. And on Friday, Maryland enacted a law that will tax online ads sold by companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon. Connecticut and Indiana are looking at similar bills.

The state fights pose a thorny problem for the tech companies, whose legions of lawyers and lobbyists are trained to extinguish threats in Washington and the courts. The 50 state legislatures are diverse and unpredictable, with both Republicans and Democrats aligning against Big Tech.

The North Dakota bill focuses on Apple’s and Google’s practices of taking a cut of up to 30 percent from many app sales on smartphones, a policy that brought the companies a combined $33 billion last year, according to estimates from Sensor Tower, an app data firm.

Some smaller companies have argued that Apple and Google force app makers to pay an artificially high fee only because of their sheer dominance. The two companies’ software underpins nearly all of the world’s smartphones.

The bill would prohibit Apple and Google from requiring apps to use their payment systems, which enable them to collect their commissions.

9. Electric Aircraft Demand Seen Growing for Deliveries

Robert Fenner  1 day

(Bloomberg) —

An e Inc. drone during a package delivery demonstration at a launch pad in Xi'an, China.© Bloomberg An e Inc. drone during a package delivery demonstration at a launch pad in Xi’an, China.

Electric aircraft such as drones could account for 30% of same-day package deliveries by 2040 as network scale dramatically brings down costs, according to L.E.K. Consulting.

The exact market share for vertical takeoff-and-landing aircraft will depend on how transport operators configure their networks and the comparable cost of transporting goods through road-based methods, L.E.K. said in a report Monday. Drones aren’t likely toreplace traditional trucking but will add to existing logistics systems to avoid congestion.

While using drones and other electrical aircraft to carry people and freight are being considered, it’s the transport of cargo by remote pilots or autonomous technology that has attracted the attention of the world’s biggest companies. Inc. and Chinese e-commerce giant Inc. have both talked up the prospect of deploying drones for deliveries on a large scale, while Alphabet Inc.’s Google this month sought approval to use them to research firefighting.

Electric vertical takeoff craft require less space than planes or helicopters, and the industry could be worth several billion dollars in a country like Australia, L.E.K. said. But a number of hurdles remain, including building sufficient scale that it becomes more cost effective than a taxi or van, as well as community acceptance of the aircraft flying above cities and homes.

(Corrects to show report made forecasts for electrical aircraft, not just unmanned drones.)

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10. 8 All-Natural Energy Boosters for Crazy Busy Entrepreneurs

By Craig Ballantyne | 09/30/2019 | 2 Comments

all natural energy boosters

Earlier this summer I was in Germany, Turkey, Georgia (the country!), Armenia, Poland, and London.

I hosted several coaching workshops and helped run a 4-day entrepreneurship camp, delivered seven speeches, hosted a networking event in London, and ran my business back home. Oh, and I did all of this without getting sick, gaining weight, or skipping out on the good stuff.

That’s why one of the most common questions I get from my friends and clients is this… 

“Craig. How do you have such high energy levels with your crazy travel schedule and busy life…It seems like you have everything figured out?” 

And they’re right, I do. 

Over the past twenty years, I developed an obsession with optimizing my performance and have tested (almost) every strategy under the sun to get more energy and make the most out of every hour of my day. 

Along the way, I discovered that becoming an “Entrepreneurial Machine” is a lot simpler than most people think. 

You don’t need to take daily B-vitamin IVs, buy an expensive red light therapy device, or ingest a cocktail of un-researched – and incredibly expensive – stimulants.  

To get more energy and sustain peak performance during stressful times, you simply need to follow these 8 strategies. 

1. Use The #1 Sleep Hack to Double Your Energy Levels 

When I was in my late 20’s, I hit a wall. 

I was working crazy hours in my online business, hitting the gym five days a week, and partying like a madman on the weekends. 

And eventually, my hectic and radically misaligned lifestyle caught up with me. 

I was exhausted. My creativity dropped, my output decreased, and my ability to GSD and tap into flow all but disappeared. 

So I turned to my mentor Mark Ford for guidance. 

“Craig,” he said, “You need to start waking up at the same time every single day…even on the weekends.” 

I hated that advice. In fact, I ignored him for seven (!) years. But when I finally gave in and took his advice, as simple as it was, it had a profound impact on my life and helped me bounce back from my burnout fast.  


This is the same top tip you’ll hear from Dr. Matthew Walker in his New York Times best-selling book, Why We Sleep. And as inconvenient as it might sound, your body craves routine and structure and will reward you with better sleep at night and better mental performance in the morning. 

But when you have an erratic sleep schedule your circadian rhythm (which impacts your hormonal health, digestion, immune system, and neurochemistry) is thrown off, making low energy, insomnia, sleep deprivation, and burnout all but inevitable. 

After taking Mark’s advice, I noticed an immediate improvement in my energy levels. I no longer felt like an “energy vampire” had visited me overnight, and I was more energetic and productive even first thing in the morning. 

If you want to increase your energy and cognitive abilities quickly and naturally, start with this. 

Wake up at the same time every day for the next 30 days and see how you feel. 

If you stay out late or have a night of less than stellar sleep, wake up at the same time anyway. You can make up for your lost sleep with a short nap (more on those later) or by going to bed earlier the next day. 

2. The 4-7-8 “Tranquilizer” Formula to Beat Insomnia and Get the Best Sleep of Your Life 

When struggling with chronic anxiety attacks years ago, I accidentally stumbled across a simple breathing exercise from Dr. Andrew Weil that works like magic to combat insomnia and help you fall asleep fast. 

I recently shared this strategy with my Editor, a young man named Austin who was struggling to “turn off” at the end of the night and would toss and turn for hours before falling asleep and this is what he told me: 

“Craig, I’ve been tracking my sleep with the Oura Ring you sent me and, after using the technique for a few days, I was able to fall asleep in 20-minutes instead of two hours…it’s scary how well this works!” 

Even my pro-athlete clients–who struggle to fall asleep during their season because of the constant cross-country travel–swear by this technique and use it on a daily basis. 

I call it the 4-7-8 “Tranquilizer” formula and it goes like this…

  1. Gently breathe in through your nose for 4 seconds 
  2. Hold the breath for 7 seconds
  3. Exhale through your mouth, pursing your lips for 8 seconds 
  4. Repeat 4 times to calm down or 12-15 times to fall asleep 

It might be simple. But I promise you, it works. 

3. Take Your Coffee Like a Neuroscientist to Increase All-Day Energy

Although it seems like the entire Western economy runs on caffeine, 95% of the population uses it the wrong way. 

According to a 2004 study, the conventional model of gulping down a Double Mocha Venti Frappuccino (or four) actually lessens the positive benefits of caffeine while increasing the negative side effects (like anxiety and the jitters). 

Luckily, there’s a simple solution. 

Instead of “megadosing” with caffeine and consuming 800+ mg in one sitting, consume smaller but more frequent doses (20-200 mg) throughout the day. 

This will improve cognitive function and stop you from feeling manic in the morning. 


It’s important to remember that the half-life of caffeine (the number of hours it takes for your body to eliminate half the caffeine you’ve consumed) is roughly 5-6 hours depending on your metabolism.

This means that if you drink two cups of coffee (~200 mg caffeine) at 12pm, you will still have 100mg of caffeine in your bloodstream by 6 pm.

To avoid tossing and turning for hours after you go to bed, you must follow my 10-3-2-1-0 formula for perfect sleep and stop consuming caffeine at least 10 hours before bed.

4. Become an “Aquaholic” 

Without a doubt, water (not coffee) is the best all-natural energy booster on the planet. 

Studies have shown that even mild dehydration (less than 3%) can have severe negative impacts on mood, emotional regulation, and cognitive function. 

To overcome this problem, I recommend that you immediately drink 1.5 liters of water after waking up (like I do), and consume another 1.5 liters throughout the day to prevent dehydration and ensure optimal performance. 

I know this sounds like common sense.

But common sense isn’t always common practice and, as high-performers, our gut reaction is often to ignore the basics while looking for “secrets”, “hacks”, and “weird tricks.”

But I can promise you, no weird supplement, biohacking gadget, or bizarre superfood will improve your mood and cognition as much as proper hydration.

So before you try anything else, commit to drinking at least 3-4 liters of water every day for at least 7 days and see how you feel.

For those of you can’t remember to drink water throughout the day, bite the bullet and invest in a “smart” water bottle (like this one) that will remind you to stay hydrated throughout the day. 

If you haven’t already made a conscious effort to drink plenty of water and stay hyper hydrated, you’ll be amazed by how profound of an effect this simple habit will have.

5. Get a Natural Energy Boost with the “Steve Jobs” Food Rule 

We’ve all experienced the dreaded “afternoon slump.” 

You know what I’m talking about… 

You wake up full of energy, excited, and ready to take on the day. Things are going great for a few hours…and then you get to lunchtime. 

After your midday meal, you find yourself cranky, fatigued, and incapable of sustaining focus for more than a few minutes. And just like that…the rest of your day is ruined. 

Luckily it doesn’t have to stay this way.

To beat the afternoon blues and maintain consistent energy levels throughout the day, I encourage you to do three things. 

  1. Skip breakfast or opt for a meal that is high fat/protein low carb 
  2. Eat a high protein and relatively low carb lunch 
  3. And eat the same meals for breakfast and lunch every day 

I know this might seem boring, but it’s one of the most effective strategies I’ve found to sustain high energy levels all day. 

Just like Steve Jobs wore the same black-turtleneck-and-jeans outfit for every Apple event (because it eliminated decision fatigue and any unnecessary wardrobe malfunctions), having a go-to food routine for your workday delivers consistent high-performance.

By avoiding simple carbohydrates found in processed foods (which cause extreme fluctuations in your blood sugar levels and play havoc with your mental alertness) and eating the same thing every day, you will save time–because you don’t have to think about what to eat and can prepare your meals in bulk–and create consistent energy levels all day long. 

Experiment with different options to find what works for you. But once you find it, stick to it. 

Your life will be simpler, easier, and more energetic because of it. 

6. Take a “SuperNap” Using this Weird New Technology

It should come as no surprise that some of the world’s most successful companies, like Google and Nike, have “nap pods” in the office for employees to sleep on the job. Research has found that a single 26-minute nap can improve mental performance. 

That’s not an excuse for you to skip sleep at night and then nap at work because, when it comes to improving your energy levels and increasing productivity, nothing beats getting 7-9 hours of high-quality sleep every night. 

But unfortunately getting a full 8 hours isn’t always practical (especially if you’re committed to waking up at the same time every day, or if you travel across time zones as much as I do). 

On those days when you’re running on empty and struggling to make it through the day, a well-timed nap can help you quickly bounce back, boost your energy, and dominate the rest of your day. 

However, there is another tool that you can use to get even more out of your rest and speed up your recovery. 

It’s called brainwave entrainment and uses soundtracks known as “binaural beats” to force your brain into a certain wave state. 

While I won’t dive deep into the science (you can check that out here if you’re interested), binaural beats have been well researched and proven to cause numerous cognitive benefits from:

  • Decreased anxiety
  • Improved focus and attention
  • Improved memory
  • Pain reduction
  • Improved sleep quality

And a whole lot more.

By listening to a theta wave soundtrack (like this one) you can help your brain “tune in” to a more relaxing frequency, making your naps that much more restorative. 

They’re free, easy to use, and work like a charm. Give them a try the next time you feel yourself nodding off and see what you think. 

7. To Hustle Harder, Hustle Less  

The human body was not designed to hustle-and-grind for 12+ hours a day. 

Your brain, like the other muscles in your body, becomes fatigued after prolonged periods of use. And because of the energy required to sustain long periods of intense focus (your brain consumes 20% of your body’s calories), long hours behind your desk can leave you mentally and physically exhausted. 

The problem is that most entrepreneurs try to “power through” these natural energy slumps, believing that taking an hour-long lunch break or dipping away for a quick nap makes them “lazy” or “weak.” 

However, according to the research, frequent small breaks every 60-90 minutes and at least one one-hour break each day can increase your productivity upwards of 20%

If you’re feeling tired and can’t focus on the work in front of you…don’t fight it. Step away, get some water, walk outside, or grab another cup of coffee and come back to your work when you feel rested and ready to re-engage. 

8. Create an Energy-Boosting Workout Program 

Let me share one of my more “controversial” opinions… 

I believe that most entrepreneurs exercise way too much. 


Unless your business depends on you having a year-round 6-pack and 20” guns, there’s no reason to spend 60-90 minutes a day lifting weights or, god forbid, doing cardio. 

You only have so much energy to give every day, when you spend too much time in the gym, you are stealing that energy away from your work. 

Let me be clear. You absolutely should exercise every week. And I encourage all aspiring peak-performers to get in three intense weight lifting workouts each week. 

But don’t train hard every day. 

Instead, train hard three times a week and fill your other days with light walking or yoga. I promise you’ll be more energetic and productive if you do.

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