Topley’s Top Ten – February 20, 2018

1.The Fully Invested Bears.

Institutional investors are bearish on market but fully invested

2.Will Increase in Federal Debt Drive Up Inflation?

Federal Debt Trends

Many of the recent concerns have to do with the latest federal budget and the Trump tax cut. The deficit is expected to surge back to $1.1T by 2020. While popular opinion is that the federal debt drives up inflation and interest rates the data tells the opposite story. If anything, expansions in the federal debt tend to have an inverse relationship with interest rates.

Great Full Read on Inflation

3.Inflation Adjusted Fed Funds Rate Still Negative…It has been Since 2009

JPMorgan Chase & Co. strategists have also pointed to real rates as a potential inflection point for markets, though they identified in December the inflation-adjusted cash rate as the one to watch. That measure has a ways to go until their threshold.

4.Apple Market Share is Declining in Asia.

Why the iPhone Is Losing Out to Chinese Devices in Asia

Apple’s market share is stagnant or declining in Asia, paving the way for other smartphone makers

5.New York to D.C. in 29 Minutes on the Hyperloop.

Elon Musk Gets Hyperloop Digging Permit

A Hyperloop linking Washington D.C. to New York — shuttling passengers between the two cities in just 29 minutes — is one step closer to reality after Elon Musk’s Boring Company received a permit for preliminary excavation work at a fenced-in parking lot in the city, the Washington Post reported.

The company told the newspaper that the location could one day house a station in a Hyperloop system connecting cities.

Musk, the CEO of Tesla Inc. TSLA , and a team of engineers designed the Hyperloop, a high-speed transportation system in which capsules travel on supersonic air bursts in reduced-pressure tubes. The system seeks to make traveling between nearby cities faster and cheaper than already available options.

Back in July, Musk tweeted that the Boring Company had received what he called “verbal government approval” to build a tunnel linking New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington.

6.Number of Crypto Hedge Funds Explode Right Before 70% Drop.

Number of crypto hedge funds surges amid bitcoin volatility

Maiya Keidan, Jemima Kelly

LONDON (Reuters) – Hedge funds focused on trading cryptocurrencies have struggled to eke out returns this year amid a sharp sell-off in the highly volatile market, in spite of a flood of new funds setting up to deploy investor cash.

The number of crypto hedge funds more than doubled in the four months to Feb. 15, data from fintech research house Autonomous NEXT showed on Thursday.

The research firm recorded a record high of 226 global hedge funds with such a strategy, up from 110 global hedge funds as of Oct. 18. That itself was up from 55 funds at Aug. 29 and just 37 at the start of 2017.


(For the graphic ‘Crypto funds flood the market’ click –

Assets under management hit between $3.5 and $5 billion (3.55 billion pounds), according to the Autonomous NEXT.

The surge in funds comes at a volatile time for the cryptocurrencies they trade in. After hitting a record high close to $20,000 in December, bitcoin BTC=BTSP lost 70 percent of its value to slip below $6,000 in January, posting its worst monthly performance in three years.

Bitcoin has since recovered some of those falls, but at just below $10,000 is still only worth around half what it was a month ago.

7.Highest Income Groups Have Seen the Biggest Increase in Consumer Spending.

Looking at consumer spending growth across income groups since the financial crisis shows that the highest income group has seen the biggest increase in consumer spending, and the middle income groups have seen the lowest consumption growth, see chart below.


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

8.The Flu is Ravaging U.S. This Year.


Niall McCarthy,

Found at Zero Hedge


9. Silicon Valley parents are raising their kids tech-free — and it should be a red flag

Chris Weller

  • Silicon Valley parents can see firsthand, either through living or working in the Bay Area, that technology is potentially harmful to kids.
  • Many parents are now restricting, or outright banning, screen time for their children.
  • The trend follows a long-standing practice among high-level tech executives who have set limits for their own children for years.
  • This is an installment of Business Insider’s “Your Brain on Apps” series that investigates how addictive apps can influence behavior.

It’s 9 a.m. in Sunnyvale, California and Minni Shahi is on her way to work at the Apple headquarters in Cupertino. Her husband, a former Googler named Vijay Koduri, is meeting his business partner at a local Starbucks to discuss their startup, a YouTube clip-making business called HashCut.

Shahi and Koduri’s two kids, 10-year-old Saurav and 12-year-old Roshni, have already been dropped off at school, likely immersed in one of the Google Chromebooks they were issued at the start of the year.

The Koduris’ life is that of the quintessential Silicon Valley family, except for one thing. The technology developed by Koduri and Shahi’s employers is all but banned at the family’s home.

Vijay Koduri, left, pictured with his family on a recent trip to India.Vijay Koduri

There are no video game systems inside the Koduri household, and neither child has their own cell phone yet. Saurav and Roshni can play games on their parents’ phones, but only for 10 minutes per week. (There are no limits to using the family’s vast library of board games.) Awhile back the family bought an iPad 2, but for the last five years it’s lived on the highest shelf in a linen closet.

“We know at some point they will need to get their own phones,” Koduri, 44, told Business Insider. “But we are prolonging it as long as possible.”

‘The difference is, they don’t think of themselves as dangerous’

Koduri and Shahi represent a new kind of Silicon Valley parent. Instead of tricking out their homes with all the latest technology, many of today’s parents working or living in the tech world are limiting — and sometimes outright banning — how much screen time their kids get.

The approach stems from parents seeing firsthand, either through their job, or simply by living in the Bay Area — a region home tothe most valuable tech companies on Earth — how much time and effort goes into making digital technology irresistible.

2017 survey conducted by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation found among 907 Silicon Valley parents that despite high confidence in technology’s benefits, many parents now have serious concerns about tech’s impact on kids’ psychological and social development.

“You can’t put your face in a device and expect to develop a long-term attention span,” Taewoo Kim, chief AI engineer at the machine-learning startup One Smart Lab, told Business Insider. A practicing Buddhist, Kim is teaching his nieces and nephews, ages 4 to 11, to meditate and appreciate screen-free games and puzzles. Once a year he takes them on tech-free silent retreats at nearby Buddhist temples.

Former employees at major tech companies, some of them high-level executives, have gone public to condemn the companies’ intense focus on building addictive tech products. The discussions have triggered further research from the psychology community, all of which has gradually convinced many parents that a child’s palm is no place for devices so potent.

“The tech companies do know that the sooner you get kids, adolescents, or teenagers used to your platform, the easier it is to become a lifelong habit,” Koduri told Business Insider. It’s no coincidence, he said, that Google has made a push into schools with Google Docs, Google Sheets, and the learning management suite Google Classroom.

Turning kids into loyal customers of unhealthy products isn’t exactly a new strategy. Some estimates find that major tobacco companies spend nearly $9 billion a year, or $24 million a day, marketing their products in the hopes kids will use them for life. The same principle helps explain why fast-food chains offer kids’ meals: Brand loyalty is lucrative.

“The difference [with Google] is they don’t think of themselves as dangerous,” Koduri said. “Google for sure thinks of themselves of ‘Hey, we’re the good guys. We’re helping kids. We’re helping classrooms.’ And I’m sure Apple does as well. And I’m sure Microsoft does as well.”

Read full story



10.12 Ways to Get People to Want to Do Business With You

by Bob Bly | Feb 20, 2018 | MotivationSelf-ImprovementSkill Development







“Magnetism, as you recall from physics class, is a powerful force that causes certain items to be attracted to refrigerators.” —Dave Barry

All of us are born with a certain amount of charisma, but some people have a special kind. They have what I call a “magnetic selling personality.” In other words, others not only feel drawn to them and want to have a relationship with them; they also want to do business with them.

A lucky few are born salesmen, with the natural ability to make people buy whatever it is they’re selling—be it a product or an idea. But what about the rest of us? Can we learn how to do that? Absolutely. I can think of at least a dozen things that you can do to develop this skill.

  1. People tend to do business with people they like.

So, behave in a way that makes you likable. Be polite and patient. Avoid being crude, rude, gruff, or impatient. That sort of thing.

  1. People are attracted to people who keep their word.

So when you make a promise, do exactly what you promised, by the deadline you promised—or sooner.

  1. People are attracted to people whom they believe have their best interests at heart.

They know you have their best interests at heart when they hear you give them advice that benefits them the most, in spite of the fact that you won’t make any money by doing so.

  1. People are attracted to people they believe are experts in their fields—the “gurus.”

To use this principle, first you need to actually become a leading expert in your field through practice, research, training, education, and study. Then, do things that demonstrate your expertise to others, including potential customers. This often includes writing books and articles, giving speeches, serving as a guest pundit on television and radio programs, etc.

  1. People are attracted to people who are honest, ethical, and aboveboard.

So why lie in your marketing (and elsewhere) when telling the truth is so much more effective at getting you business?

  1. People are attracted to people who are physically attractive (or at least not physically repulsive).

I know, it seems shallow, but it’s true. So eat right. Exercise. Stay fit. Be well-groomed. Dress well. And pay attention to your personal hygiene.

  1. People are attracted to “regular folks.”

The best way to establish rapport and begin a relationship is to be cordial, friendly, and genuinely interested in the other person. Instead of talking about yourself, ask questions—about his/her company, job, industry, family, and hobbies.

  1. People are attracted to people who listen—and really hear what they are saying.

Remember the old cliché: You have two ears and one mouth, so you should listen twice as much as you talk. Actually, for best results, you should spend 80% of any conversation listening and talk only 20% of the time.

  1. People are attracted to people who are like them.

The trick here is to establish one thing you have in common with the other person and allow that to grow and cement the bond between you. In can be anything from weekend hobbies (golf, anyone?) to shared pet peeves and goals.

  1. People are attracted to people who are humble.

Don’t be a braggart. And never discuss how much money you make with your customer. If it’s less than he makes, he may think you are not successful; if it’s more, he may feel you are making too much money because of the high prices you charge.

  1. People are attracted to people who seem busy and successful.

That’s why you should never tell a prospect that things are slow and you really need orders. Think about doctors. You don’t like waiting for the doctor, but how would you feel if you walked into his/her office during normal hours and found there were no patients waiting? Wouldn’t you be wondering how good that doctor is? Wouldn’t you feel more assured if the waiting room was packed with patients? Of course.

  1. People are attracted to other people (as well as companies and products) that make their lives easier and save them time.

They also prefer to deal with people who are flexible and accommodating, not rigid and difficult. And they hate it when you waste their time, even if they are not terribly concerned about wasting yours.

Bottom line: Concentrate on developing these 12 characteristics of a “magnetic selling personality” until they come as naturally as tying your shoe. When you master them, I practically guarantee that you will attract at least twice as many prospects, close twice as many sales, and earn twice as much money as you are today.