Topley’s Top Ten – December 11, 2017

1.For Short-Term Traders 75% of Stocks Above 50 Day.

Found at

2.Phases of December Rally…From Dave Lutz at Jones.

Bloggers note There are four “Periods” to the Santa Claus Rally.  Specifically:

Period 1: The last 6 trading days of November

Period 2: The 1st 6 trading days of December

Period 3: December trading days #7 through #11

Period 4: December trading day #12 through the end of the month

3.Asia Ex-Japan Up Over 40% YTD

AAXJ Asia Ex Japan Huge Year.

4.The Spread Between Value and Growth Widens.

The spread between value and growth has reached a point historically associated with a reversal; the Russell 1000 value index is up 9% this year, against a gain of 27% in the comparable growth index. Tax reform is a catalyst for a rotation into value stocks, as value companies generate almost 80% of their revenue in the U.S. and are subject to an effective tax rate of 30.3%, the strategist observes.


RLV Russell 1000 Value vs. RLG Russell 1000 Growth…Record spread year.

5.Fixed Income Grew Assets by 26% this Year.

State Street Blog


6.Small Business Hiring at All-Time High.




Torsten Sløk, Ph.D.
Chief International Economist
Managing Director
Deutsche Bank Securities
60 Wall Street
New York, New York 10005
Tel: 212 250 2155

7. 927 People Own Half Of All Bitcoins

Rob Wile

He based his calculations on data from, which has trawled through Bitcoin’s master ledger — the Blockchain — to offer a rough guide to distribution as well as activity on Bitcoin exchanges.

We ran the calculations by Martti Malmi, one of Bitcoin’s earliest developers, and he agreed they were basically sound. “The order of magnitude seems right,” he said in an email to BI.

So, as of Dec. 3., using a price of $1,000 (which is basically where we are now), and assuming 12 million Bitcoins in circulation, here’s the breakdown: 47 individuals own 28.9% of the approximately 12 million Bitcoins in existence so far. Another 880 own 21.5%, meaning 927 people control half of the entire market cap of the digital currency. Another 10,000 individuals control about a quarter. And the rest of us (around a million of us) get the crumbs (500,000 are out of circulation, whether through government seizure or people losing their passwords).

 8.95% of Bitcoin Buyers are Retail Investors

9.America is Minting Millionaires

December 8, 2017 1:30pm by Barry Ritholtz

Click for much larger graphic

Source: Wonkblog

This is very intriguing:

The U.S. economy is minting new millionaires at an astonishing rate, according to a paper by New York University economist Edward N. Wolff.

The number of households with a net worth of $1 million (measured in constant 1995 dollars, or about $1.6 million today) grew from 2.4 million households in 1983 to 9.1 million households in 2016, a growth rate of 279 percent.

For comparison, the total number of households grew by just 50 percent over that period, meaning that the population of millionaires grew at more than 5 times the rate of the general population. In 1983 fewer than 3 percent of households had a net worth greater than $1 million in 1995 dollars. By 2016, over 7 percent of households were worth that much.


Barry Ritholtz blog

10.Why Successful People Never Ask for Answers

The kind of questions that successful people never stop asking.

By Ron Gibori

If you asked the world’s most successful business leaders they’ll all tell you success comes down to frame better questions and driving the right dialog–it’s not about finding “the answer.” It’s about taking the time to truly understand what question you are trying to answer.

The problem is that most people don’t ask the right questions. And you can’t help them find the right answer if you’re solving the wrong problem.  My fellow Inc. columnist, Nicolas Cole, said it well in his recent article You have to start with figuring out what problem you’re solving, instead of searching for the answer.” 

Questions trigger ideas. Some of the most creative and innovative companies of our day are better at asking exceptional questions that spark creativity and inspire people to take things a step further to develop amazing ideas. They make a business out of being insanely good at asking questions. At Idea Booth my creative agency, one of the things we try to instill in our employees is the knowledge that the right question is more important than finding the right answer. We teach them that the right answer to the wrong question is always going to be worse than the wrong answer to the right question, 100 percent of the time–there’s no right answer to the wrong question.

In our industry, the habit is to come prepared with half-baked answers without any understanding of the question. Designers will have an art answer. Developers will have a programming answer, and so on.

But that leaves you with creativity for creativity’s sake, and is a complete waste of time. To think you have the answer before the client even knows the question they’re asking is the height of arrogance and the best way to run your business into the ground.

If the client knew the right questions to ask, they wouldn’t be coming to you! Our job as an agency is to help the client discover the right questions because the right questions tend to guide us to the right answers.

Here’s why:

An adapted example from a recent experience of mine went like this.

A client says “We want you to handle our marketing”. You get excited, you send them the contracts, and throw your team into execution. Your trusted creatives all start adding their two cents:

“We should do a campaign like this!”

“Let’s update the designs!”

“How about we build a microsite?”

Your whole team is running around, doing all sorts to impress and make the new client happy

Then the client returns: “What results can you show us?”

You present reports of higher engagement on social media, on brand awareness, and on press mentions, making your campaign look successful.

To which the client responds, “But our goal was to sell more X.”

Now, did anyone on the marketing team screw up? The execution was as perfect as ever. The problem was that nobody started by asking the right question.

Everyone assumed the question was that to which they had the best answer: “How can we be more creative?” Instead, the right question to ask would have been, directed at the client, “What is your measure of success?”

Client: “We want to increase our market share by 2 percent.”

Now you have a clear vision to work toward.

If you don’t have this “chief aim” then how are you going to know if what you’re doing is going to have an impact?

There’s a famous quote in the world of advertising that says: “Creative without strategy is called ‘art’, Creative with strategy is called ‘advertising’.”

Ask, ask, ask.

If you don’t know what you’re working toward, then your designs and your creative you spent hours creating were merely ideas that are nice to talk about, but were never real solutions to the problem.

They’re not really aimed at anything in particular — because you have no measure of success. You’re missing the right answer because you are focused on the wrong question. However, if you first focus on asking the right questions, then you will have a very clear trajectory toward which you can aim.

You will have a strategy, not a long list of tactics that only serve to satisfy your desire for vanity.

You are only setting ourselves up for success by asking the right questions. You’re never too smart or too successful that you no longer need to ask. Some of the largest conflicts, and costly mistakes, in history are simply the result of a misunderstanding.

By asking questions, in the beginning, we save our own time, we know what we’re looking for, and everyone gets their happy ending.