Topley’s Top 10 – July 14, 2020

1. Russell 1000 Growth Index New Highs….Forward P/E 31….MSFT and AAPL 28.5% OF INDEX

2. Nasdaq Composite Index Historical Chart

Internet Bubble…Then 10 Years Sideways….Then Hockey Stick…

Holger Zschaepitz, @Schuldensuehner

3. Tech Stocks Not Close to 1999 Action

Not Crazy Can Still Be Nuts-Posted July 9, 2020 by Michael Batnick

From April 2015 to today, $1 invested in the Nasdaq-100 grew to $2.42 (price only), compounding at 18.4% a year. In the dotcom bubble, $1 turned into $11.82 (at the peak), growing at 60% a year!

4. Robinhood upsizes funding round to raise an additional $320 million at a $8.6 billion valuation

Ben Winck

 Jul. 13, 2020, 06:51 PM

  • Robinhood raised another $320 million, according to a Monday statement, further bolstering to its Series F funding round.
  • The influx of cash from new and existing investors brings Robinhood’s total valuation to $8.6 billion.
  • The brokerage first announced its Series F haul in May after Sequoia Capital led a $280 million fundraising round.
  • Robinhood’s fundraising activity arrives as retail investing activity spikes. The brokerage has added more than 3 million new accounts year-to-date.
  • Visit the Business Insider homepage for more stories.

Retail investors aren’t the only ones pushing cash into Robinhood through the coronavirus pandemic.

The popular discount brokerage boosted its Series F funding round with an additional $320 million in closings, according to a Monday statement, bringing its post-money valuation to $8.6 billion. The funding comes from new and existing investors, including TSG Consumer Partners and IVP.

Robinhood’s Series F round was first announced on May 4. Sequoia Capital led the $280 million round alongside NEA, Ribbit Capital, and Unusual Ventures. The release touted the more than 3 million new Robinhood accounts created in the year to date and the fact that half of its new users in 2020 were first-time investors.

“Amid challenging times and market volatility, we’re humbled that people are turning to Robinhood to participate in the markets and build their financial future,” the brokerage said in its May release.

The Monday update brings the round’s total to $600 million. Robinhood plans to use the capital in hiring across offices, including a new Denver location, according to the May update.

The funding arrives amid a mass influx of retail investors to the still-choppy stock market. Casual day-traders seized on virus-fueled volatility and broke age-old market rules, piling into everything from beleaguered airlines to newly bankrupt Hertz.

Retail investor activity rose to 25% from about 15% of trading through the start of the year and serves as a “significant force” in the market, Joe Mecane, head of execution services at Citadel Securities, said Thursday.

5. Gold at Record Levels vs. Oil Going Back to 1800’s

Source: @jessefelder; Read full article

6. Germany Hits 50% Renewables for Power Consumption

Germany produced more than half of its electricity with renewable power in the first three months of 2020, the first full quarter in which renewables covered the majority of the country’s electricity needs. The numbers were driven by record wind and high solar production in February and March and a dip in overall energy use tied to the coronavirus pandemic. Combined with high renewable power generation in 2019, the numbers put Germany on track to meet its 2020 green energy targets, despite an overall slowdown in the renewable energy expansion.

The numbers, combined with increased renewable generation in 2019, put Germany on track to meet its 2020 target for increasing renewables’ share of total energy consumption (which includes not just electricity, but refers to all energy, for example fossil fuels used in transport and heating). Germany has pledged to produce 18 percent of its total energy consumption with renewables by the end of the year. “The EU renewable energy target of 18 percent in 2020 is within reach,” economy minister Peter Altmaier said in the statement. “We must now work to ensure that we achieve the targets on a sustainable basis and further increase the share of renewable energy.”

Germany marks first ever quarter with more than 50 pct renewable electricity-  Rachel Waldholz,-Climate%20%26%20CO2%20Renewables&text=Germany%20produced%20more%20than%20half,of%20the%20country’s%20electricity%20needs.

7. Work Remotely Summary

Found at Nasdaq Dorsey Wright

8. Hispanics have accounted for more than half of total U.S. population growth since 2010

9. 32% of U.S. households missed their July housing payments

Published Wed, Jul 8 202012:11 PM EDTUpdated Thu, Jul 9 202011:18 AM EDT


As the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic continues, almost one-third of U.S. households, 32%, have not made their full housing payments for July yet, according to a survey by Apartment List, an online rental platform.

About 19% of Americans made no housing payment at all during the first week of the month, and 13% paid only a portion of their rent or mortgage.

That’s the fourth month in a row that a “historically high” number of households were unable to pay their housing bill on time and in full, up from 30% in June and 31% in May. Renters, low-income and younger households were most likely to miss their payments, Apartment List found. 

In April, May and June, the majority of missed housing payments were made by the end of month, Apartment List reports. Almost 90% of households had paid some or all of their rent or mortgage payment by the end of June. But with late fees tacked on, those households may be more likely to miss their next housing bill, perpetuating a vicious cycle.

“Delayed payments in one month are a strong predictor for missed payments in the next,” Apartment List says. While 83% of households who paid their May housing in full and on-time also did so in June, only 30% of households who were late in May did so in June.

Worries about evictions mount

States started to reopen their economies last month, but spikes in coronavirus cases led many to re-close sectors or pause reopening plans altogether.

“The economic fallout from the pandemic does not appear on track for the quick V-shaped recovery that many had originally hoped for,” reports Apartment List. Plus, the continued coronavirus recession has more Americans worried about evictions and foreclosures, Apartment List found. 

Renters are especially vulnerable. About 36% of renters, who are more likely to work in industries devastated by the coronavirus, missed their July housing bill, compared to 30% of homeowners.

The federal eviction moratorium, which covers around one-fourth of renters in the U.S., put in place at the beginning of the pandemic has been extended to the end of August. But many people are still worried about an imminent wave of evictions across the country, as tenant protections vary greatly depending on the state and even city. Many — though not all — states and cities have instituted their own eviction bans; some have already expired, leaving tenants vulnerable at a time when coronavirus cases are increasing in many spots in the U.S. 

Many households have already spent their one-time stimulus check, and the extra $600 per week in unemployment insurance — used by many to cover essentials like housing — runs out at the end of July. That means even more households could potentially miss their rent or mortgage payments in coming months.

Housing advocates are calling for a uniform, nationwide eviction moratorium that covers all renters, as well as other federal aid in the form of emergency rental relief. The House or Representatives has passed several measures, including the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions, or HEROES, Act and the Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act of 2020, to address the housing crisis. Neither bill is expected to pass the Republican-controlled Senate.

10. 5 Tips to Calm a Restless Mind Before Going to Sleep-

Jade Wu Ph.D. If your mind won’t turn off at bedtime, use these tips to work with your brain.

How did you sleep last night? We seem to ask ourselves this question daily, and when we do, it’s almost as if we’re taking note of our overall state of mind: How do I feel? Am I all there today? 

And no wonder! It can be discouraging and frazzling when all we want is the soothing balm of sleep to heal the stress from our day, but infuriatingly, when we lie down to sleep, our brains just won’t shut off. Paradoxically, sometimes the more stressful our days are, the harder it is to quiet the brain for sleep at night.

Insomnia is “all the rage” these days.

If you relate to all this, you’re certainly not alone. Over 30 percent of people have bouts of insomnia in a given year, and the overall rate of insomnia has been going up in recent years.

Even if you’re one of the chosen ones who can usually fall asleep pretty painlessly, I bet there are nights when you toss and turn, unable to turn your brain off while it nags at you with to-do lists, worries, fantasies, plans, doubts, replays of embarrassing moments from 10th grade, and lyrics of pop songs that make you want to bang your head against a wall.

Your brain is always busy.

Struggling to shut your brain down for the night is actually very normal. Your brain is a busy bee! That’s because it is designed to be buzzing all the time to help you remember, anticipate, analyze, plan, problem-solve, and do all the things that make you human. So we can’t blame the brain for being active even when we’d really like for it to be quiet—it’s just our brains doing what they’re meant to do!

Instead of fighting against your brain’s well-intentioned and persistent effort, what if you work with your busy brain to protect your sleep? Below are 5 helpful tips for quieting the mind so you can snooze.

Chronic insomnia requires a different approach.

But before we get into the tips, I have a special disclaimer for those of you among the 10% of people who have chronic insomnia disorder. That means:

  • You have trouble falling or staying asleep at least a few times per week.
  • It’s been persistently happening for over a month.
  • It’s significantly getting in the way of your functioning or causing you distress.

If this sounds like you, you can of course try the techniques below, but know that they are not going to be enough to solve your insomnia problem.

Chances are you’ve already unsuccessfully tried to get rid of your chronic insomnia by doing things like following sleep hygiene guidelines, meditating, and using lavender oil. The following tips shouldn’t be used as a hammer to work even harder at your sleep—instead, talk to your doctor about a referral to a behavioral sleep medicine specialist—someone who is trained to treat insomnia with evidence-based methods.

article continues after advertisement

For the rest of us who occasionally have trouble shutting down our minds at the end of the day,  let’s try these techniques tonight to welcome sleep with open arms.

Tip #1: Give yourself a “worry window” during the day.

This tip is going to sound counterintuitive because it means you’re programming worrying into your day. But hear me out. 

During this window, you will do nothing but worry. Not even chores or some other multitasking. Instead, concentrate 100 percent on worrying about things that you cannot control.

Set aside a 15-30 minute window during the day—not at bed time!—specifically for worrying. 

Outside of this worry window, if you find your mind creeping into all of the things that concern you and all of the things you can’t do anything about, simply tell yourself, “I’ve already addressed this during today’s worry window,” or “Thank you, brain! Let’s put a pin in this and address it during tomorrow’s worry window.”

The whole point of this special window is to build a home for your worries to live in. Give them their own place to be instead of running loose all through the day and night.

You no doubt know it’s not always easy to turn off your worries—it’s like telling your brain, “No matter what, do not think of a pink elephant!” What’s the first thing that pops into your mind?

So, instead of telling your mind not to worry, give it a chance to get worries out of its system during this dedicated worry window. And outside of this time, you can always defer any lingering worries to the next dedicated period of worry time. 

Tip #2: Transfer your lingering thoughts from your brain to paper.

article continues after advertisement

If the worry window isn’t quite enough or you had a particularly stressful or busy day, “downloading” your buzzing thoughts might be helpful.

Your brain is juggling these thoughts and working hard to keep them spinning because—goodness forbid—you might forget to worry about something important. 

I like to use the download technique right before bedtime to catch everything that’s still nagging at my mind. Sometimes, if there are well-formed thoughts worth exploring, I write them down in my journal. But you don’t need to have a dedicated journal or write in full sentences. You don’t have to be profound, poetic, or grammatically correct. Even fragments of thoughts scrawled on a napkin would work. The point is to jot your thoughts down so your brain is reassured you will not forget. You can tell yourself, “Don’t worry, brain! I’ve written it down, so I can address this tomorrow when I’m in the right state to problem-solve.”

Tip #3: Walk yourself through a scene.

Have you ever noticed how fast your thoughts can gather? Our brains are language machines, designed to be very good at telling stories using words. And all of our thoughts are just stories that our brains tell in order to help us make sense of the world. If we let them, our brains can race through these stories at 100 miles per hour, making it very difficult to get off any story train.

The good news is that there is another type of thought that goes much slower than your brain’s default story-telling mode—imagery. When you talk yourself through a scene in your mind, it’s much easier to slow down and control the pace.

You can take your time to walk from room to room in an imagined house, or from tree to tree through a memory of your favorite park. Try to fully get into the scene and use all five senses. What do the leaves on the trees look like? Is it a windy day or a still and sunny one? What do you smell? Do you hear children playing or birds chirping? Take a look at the flowers on the ground—what color are they? How do they feel between your fingers?

article continues after advertisement

By doing this, you’re taking up room in your mind that your brain would otherwise dedicate to racing thoughts. Sometimes, even while you’re strolling through an imagined scene, your mind will try to distract you with nagging thoughts. That’s okay! Don’t try to fight the thoughts or push them out of your mind—you won’t win a wrestling match with that pink elephant. Instead, just acknowledge the thought, thank your brain for offering it, and gently turn your attention back to the leaf you were examining.

Tip #4: Get out of your mind and into your body.

Doing a body scan is similar to using imagery in that it takes your mind out of your racing thoughts and into a grounded space that connects with the five senses. Here, instead of walking your mind through an imagined scene, you’ll walk it through your body instead.

Start with noticing your breath. No need to change it in any way or judge it as good or bad. All you need to do is ride along and notice what it feels like. Use this rhythmic breath as your anchor throughout the body scan. Whenever you get distracted by thoughts, gently bring yourself back to the breath to get anchored here.

In fact, you can spend the whole body scan just on your breath if you’d like. Whenever you’re ready, you can bring your attention to your toes. Again, nothing to change or judge—just notice what your toes feel like. Are they warm? Cool? Tight? Loose? Wiggle them around to see what that feels like. Take your time.

Now, move your attention to the rest of your feet. Spend some time there, and then move up to your ankles, calves, knees, thighs, and the rest of your legs. Gently move your attention like this upwards, through each part of your body, taking as much time as you’d like.

Tip #5: Listen to an audiobook or podcast.

Sometimes, you may feel so frayed, or your buzzing thoughts are so persistent, that it’s hard to get into a body scan or imagery mindset. If your brain is insisting on telling stories right this minute, you can indulge it and distract yourself from the pestering thoughts by telling it a different story.

Audiobooks and podcasts can be very helpful for this. Pick something that’s overall pretty even-keeled, without too many intense sound effects, aggressive voices, or fast-paced songs. Set a sleep timer on your Audible or podcast app for around 30 minutes.

Not sure what you should tune into? National Public Radio is excellent—it’s free, there’s always something on, and the hosts tend to have soothing voices.

But don’t worry too much about choosing the “perfect” thing to listen to. What you choose to listen to doesn’t have to be boring or even calming. The point is for it to be interesting enough that your brain would rather listen to it than to your own pestering thoughts.

On the very worst nights, perhaps none of these techniques will be enough to tame your mind and summon sleep. That’s okay. This happens to all of us from time to time and it doesn’t mean that you’ll be doomed to chronic insomnia, or that you’ll suffer the consequences the next day.

At this point, it might be more beneficial to just let go of your goal-oriented approach to sleep for the night. Just get up and do something else. Binge your favorite show, read a few chapters of your book, call a friend (if they’re up, too), or listen to some music. Congratulations! You get some extra me-time tonight.

Eventually, your body’s sleepiness will override your busy brain and your eyelids will start to droop. That’s when you’ll go back to bed and enjoy your sweet dreams.

A version of this piece originally appeared on Quick and Dirty Tips.

Facebook image: wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock

LinkedIn image:

Lansing Street Advisors is a registered investment adviser with the State of Pennsylvania..
To the extent that content includes references to securities, those references do not constitute an offer or solicitation to buy, sell or hold such security as information is provided for educational purposes only. Articles should not be considered investment advice and the information contain within should not be relied upon in assessing whether or not to invest in any securities or asset classes mentioned. Articles have been prepared without regard to the individual financial circumstances and objectives of persons who receive it. Securities discussed may not be suitable for all investors. Please keep in mind that a company’s past financial performance, including the performance of its share price, does not guarantee future results.
Material compiled by Lansing Street Advisors is based on publically available data at the time of compilation. Lansing Street Advisors makes no warranties or representation of any kind relating to the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of the data and shall not have liability for any damages of any kind relating to the use such data.
Material for market review represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results.
Indices that may be included herein are unmanaged indices and one cannot directly invest in an index. Index returns do not reflect the impact of any management fees, transaction costs or expenses. The index information included herein is for illustrative purposes only