It was once thought that while the Denver Broncos were looking to trade Kyle Orton, if they couldn’t get a good deal they’d be happy to keep him around to backup Tim Tebow.Think again.According to Pro Football talk, Orton is due almost $9 million in 2011, meaning he could be just a bit expensive to keep around as a backup. So, a trade may not only be an idea, but a necessity.Enter the Cardinals. They are looking for a new quarterback, and Orton is generally thought to be option 1-B to Kevin Kolb’s 1-A. And, depending on what the Eagles’ asking price is, Orton could find himself in the top spot. What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke Comments Share Top Stories Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’
In This Issue. * Yellen’s Friday words still dominating currencies & metals. * Yen falls another whole figure. * Singapore 1st QTR GDP is strong! * Doesn’t anyone see what I see? And Now. Today’s A Pfennig For Your Thoughts. The CBR Sends The Ruble To The Woodshed. Good day.. And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! Well, those dangerous storms continue in the South. Last night, I sent a text to my younger sister, who lives with my other younger sister, just outside of Houston, to check and make sure they were safe. Not that I know what I would have done if she said they weren’t safe, but, I felt I needed to do that, being their older brother. It’s been quite the storm filled spring here in the U.S., eh? Usually, our area is right smack dab in the middle of that stuff, but not this year, as the jet stream has dropped to the south. But not today, it appears the nasty stuff is headed straight up Highway 44 to St. Louis, the normal route for spring storms. UGH! The official start to Spring doesn’t come until the middle of next month, although the thought that summer began with Memorial Day, usually registers more with people.. June is going to be quite interesting for the Eurozone, the euro, and Greece, as Greece is scheduled to make loan payments to the IMF on June 5th, 12th, 16th and 19th. WOW! I’m not sure what Greece can do about all this, except to accept the austerity measures and secure the loans, or, just walk away, default, and cause chaos. I’ve written about how if I were the Eurozone leaders I would just say, “here it is, take it or leave it”, and if Greece decided to leave it, then so be it. For, to me, they are the slowest Buffalo. And to make the herd faster you must allow the slowest Buffalo to be killed. Hey! In all seriousness, I learned the slowest Buffalo theory from Cliff Clavin! So there! The dollar rally seems to have been a little overdone, and the green/peachback is generally weaker this morning. The Japanese yen seems to be really slipping and sliding along the slippery slope these past couple of days. Yesterday, I told you how the yen had slipped from 121 to 122, well today it’s 123. It’s not the same old names, but the same of titles of officials that are talking about, “how excessive FX moves are not warranted” and stuff like that. But, they have no one to blame but themselves for these sweeping moves taking place with yen, as it’s these same leaders that have gone about adding stimulus and generally attempting to get yen weaker to promote economic growth. It’s a classic case of being careful of what you wish for, as you may get your wish! The euro has regained some lost ground, but it has been trading all over the place lately with no general direction carved out. Some might say that the 3-cent drop in the euro from Friday morning to Tuesday morning, as a clear direction downward, but I would stop them and say that the euro has bounced twice now after falling below 1.09, so be careful here. The Eurozone/ Greek talks will begin again today. I don’t hold out a lot of hope here today. In the U.K. today, the Queen will speak and set out the government’s policy for the parliamentary sessions. The markets will be looking for any sign that the Queen is behind this latest move by parliament to leave the European Union. They call this a Brexit. So, now we’ve made up two words: Grexit, and Brexit. The British pound has enough to worry about, with the lack of economic growth, falling inflation and no rate hikes as promised, but apparently you can now count this little ditty. The Bank of Canada (BOC) meets today, and will make a rate decision. I don’t believe that the BOC will do anything drastic with rates. The economic performance of Canada has been a mixed bag-o-results, and with that going on, there’s no reason for the BOC to move rates in either direction. Although I would think that BOC Gov. Poloz would love to cut rates so he can join his fellow Central Bankers around the world. Shoot Rudy, if he doesn’t cut rates like the rest of the clan, what on earth would they talk about at the next cocktail party? I had a dear reader send me a note yesterday, telling me that all these moves by Central Bankers reminded him of the great Albert Einstein quote, which I now believe is my fave quote! Einstein said, “The difference between intelligence and stupidity is that intelligence is limited”. I think that sometimes that quote applies to me. I was such a dolt yesterday about something so mundane, but a dolt nonetheless, so, see, the dear reader believes that quote reminds him of Central Bankers, and I think it reminds me of me! HA! Well, one of the best performing currencies year to date, the Russian ruble, appears to have met its match with regards to appreciation, as the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) is gaining traction with their desire to weaken the ruble, as they feel that the ruble’s move has been too far, too fast. I think otherwise, but then I’m no Central Banker. The chartists are now piling on the ruble, talking about how the ruble has traded through its 200-day moving avg. (DMA) and it could be the start of a bearish trend in the ruble that could take it from the current level 51.50 to 56. For the record, the CBR has cut rates, as if that wasn’t expected given the CBR boosted rates to 17% to defend the ruble last year, and the CBR has apparently intervened, selling rubles in the market to weaken it. Longtime readers know how much I dislike Central Banks sticking their hands in the currency cookie jar, so not that long ago I smiled when thinking of the ruble, and now my smile has turned upside down, because of the CBR’s actions. UGH! Can I get a bone thrown to me here? The Chinese renminbi / yuan was pushed weaker overnight by the Peoples Bank of China (PBOC). I’m somewhat surprised by that move, given the news last night from the SWIFT payments people that the renminbi / yuan has become Asia’s most-active currency for payments in China and Hong Kong. Get this. The renminbi / yuan accounts for 31% of the region’s payments, up from 7% in April of 2012.. Now, most people don’t see this as BIG News. But I do. just like yesterday, when I told you about the SGE Gold Fund, no one else talked about it, because they didn’t see it for what it was, another brick in the wall of removing dollar relevancy. And this news? Well, here’s how I look at it, folks. China needs a wider distribution of their currency, and to get that, they need dealers to begin to make markets in the currency, and they also need for importers and exporters to begin to make payments using the renminbi / yuan so the distribution begins to spread out. So, for now it’s Asia that China has cornered the payments, and next it will be what region? Oh, there will be another region, and then another region. Because that’s what China wants. You know, there are tons of articles and reports out there that talk about deflation, and how Central Banks are fighting deflation, and would rather see “controlled inflation” as if that’s really a thing to strive for. But no one ever talks about where the deflation came from? Well, let’s take a quick look at the poster child for deflation. Japan. then switch over the U.S. and then to the Eurozone, and the U.K. what do all of these countries have in common. Large Debts.. That’s what. So guess where deflation comes from in my mind? The deflation comes from the rise in the cost of government in addition to the collapse in leverage. As governments with power turn to extracting more from the people rather than weak government. Well, there’s no sign of deflation at Disney World. Yesterday’s Five Minute Forecast (The 5) talked about this, and it caught my eye, so I’ll borrow some of their stuff here. No worries, I’ll give it back to them when I’m finished! HA! So, Disney just announced that tickets for Disney World in Florida had increased to “just $100”. That’s a far cry from what tickets cost in 1971, when it opened.. $3.50. So, the increase of ticket prices by decade has gone like this. 1971 $3.50, 1981 $9.50, 1991 $33.00, 2001 $48.00, 2011 $85.00 and 2015 $105. YIKES! Talk about inelastic demand! So, here are my thoughts on this. The fact that still have families heading to Disney World, when everything around them hurts, like Retail Sales, 6,000 Retail Stores to close this year, and gas sales not being the ka-bang to the economy that everyone thought, tells me a lot. It tells me that it’s like a one last time. You know a star shines the brightest right before it burns out, thing. Well, Gold is down again today, and has now fallen below the $1,190 figure. losing touch with $1,200 as the days go by. I told you yesterday how Fed Chair, Janet Yellen’s speech on Friday afternoon had really deep sixed Gold, by renewing the thought that a rate hike could happen in June into the minds of traders. You know, I told you yesterday, what my thoughts were on what she said. in case you missed it, you should go to the Pfennig’s website, and you can find it in the archives. just click here: www.dailypfennig.com On a sidebar, I love the Pfennig’s website, because it gives readers the chance to go back in the archives and check out something I said in a previous Pfennig. You know, how I always say, stuff like, “I told you the other day that. “? Well, this way you can makes certain that I did say what I said I said. And on Fridays I always post a picture of me just to remind you that I’m somewhat short, overweight, and balding, you know like the grandfather of 3 grand kids, and someone that you would want to have dinner with! HAHAHAHAHA! Singapore printed some good economic growth data yesterday. Sing 1st QTR GDP was given a final upward revision to 3.2% VS the advance estimate of 1.1%… Now that’s what I call a good upward revision! So, VS the previous quarter, the Sing economy grew 3.2%, and on an annual basis, the Sing economy grew 2.6%… And the outlook for the rest of 2015, is for an even modestly stronger growth. So, how is Singapore growing so strongly, when the rest of the region, and the world for that matter, isn’t? It’s called having the key ingredients being the right mix. Pharmaceuticals, electronics, and services. Things people all over the world need and want. Have you ever heard Otis Redding’s version of the song; Try a little tenderness? Shoot 3-Dog Night did the song, the Commitments, and probably countless others, but Otis Redding’s version will get to you. So. the U.S. Data Cupboard yesterday, did print, as I said it would, a negative Durable Goods Orders for April, printing -0.5%… so, the first month of the 2nd QTR continues to prints some very weak data. Capital Goods Orders though rose 1%, to offset March’s -0.5% print. The S&P/ CaseShiller Home Price Index rose in March by 1.3%… Again, this housing stuff is getting overdone in my opinion, for this is nothing that looks like a long term move, but more like a blue light special sale that consumers don’t feel will be there much longer, so they have to buy now, kind of thing. And the Consumer Confidence Index rose from 94.3 to 95.4. But it’s important to look that last month’s original print was 95.2 but was revised downward to 94.3. I’ll bet a dollar to a Krispy Kreme that this print of 95.4 will get revised downward next month too. Maybe I’ll remember to talk about that next month! But then next month is not promised to me, only today is. Today’s Data Cupboard gets a breather before heading into our Tub Thumpin’ Thursday menu. So back to no data equals no bad data for the U.S. (except housing and fabricated jobs) So, get your rest now while you can, because we’ll head into the end of the week, and when we come back next Monday it will be June, and the data will come rolling in day after day! To recap. The dollar’s mighty rally appears to be somewhat squelched by those traders that think the rally was overdone. The euro has regained some ground this morning, but it has really bounced around a lot lately, so watch for that. Japanese yen has lost 3 full figures since last week, now trading to 123. Japanese leaders were vocal last night about “watching excessive moves in FX” same old rhetoric, different names, same titles. The calls for an exit of the European Union, by the U.K. are becoming quite strong, and the Brexit as it’s called will begin to be headline news soon. Singapore posted a strong 1st QTR GDP, so what gives with Singapore being able to have economic growth when the rest of the region is struggling? And Gold gets another day on the selling blocks, what is going on here, don’t people/ traders see the SGE Gold fund like Chuck does? Apparently not! For What It’s Worth. Well, I found this on the Telegraph.co.uk website, because I’m always drawn to articles about debt, just like a bug to the neon light! So, it’s not an upbeat article, it’s about debt, but I’ll try to break it to you softly. HA! Here is the link to the whole article: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11625406/The-world-is-drowning-in-debt-warns-Goldman-Sachs.html And as usual, here are a couple of snippets for those of you, needing to get to the Big Finish quickly today! “The world is sinking under too much debt and an ageing global population means countries’ debt piles are in danger of growing out of control, the European chief executive of Goldman Sachs Asset Management has warned. Andrew Wilson, head of Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), said growing debt piles around the world posed one of the biggest threats to the global economy. “There is too much debt and this represents a risk to economies. Consequently, there is a clear need to generate growth to work that debt off but, as demographics change, new ways of thinking at a policy level are required to do this,” he said. The demographics in most major economies – including the US, in Europe and Japan – are a major issue – and present us with the question of how we are going to pay down the huge debt burden. With life expectancy increasing rapidly, we no longer have the young, working populations required to sustain a debt-driven economic model in the same way as we’ve managed to do in the past.” Chuck again. So.. I’ve beaten this debt thing to a pulp over the years, but there are still economists, observers, traders, etc. that don’t think it’s that Big a thing. Well, remember what I told you above about where I believe deflation comes from. And then tie it back to this article about the debt of the developed nations. of which they all have deflation. Hmmm As we head to the currency roundup the euro has done like I feared it would this morning, giving back its gains in the two + hours I’ve been here. UGH! Currencies today 5/27/15. American Style: A$.7710, kiwi .7225, C$ .8025, euro 1.0860, sterling 1.5370, Swiss $1.0515, . European Style: rand 12.1315, krone 7.7535, SEK 8.5290, forint 284.45, zloty 3.8045, koruna 25.2255, RUB 51.81, yen 123.75, sing 1.3525, HKD 7.7530, INR 64.02, China 6.1198, pesos 15.34, BRL 3.1530, Dollar Index 97.41, Oil $58.73, 10-year 2.15%, Silver $16.66, Platinum $1,123.19, Palladium $781.82, and Gold. $1,186.48 That’s it for today. Well, after the storms came through yesterday morning, it turned out to be a very nice day. Sunshine and warmth.. But days of rain off and on are the forecast for this week. Cards bats come alive last night, and they were needed! WHEW! So, have you even heard about our NFL team, the Rams, and the owner that wants to move the franchise to L.A.? I try not to get into this much, because it just makes me very angry. Sure it’s his “company” he bought it, but doesn’t it also belong to the city that supports it? Oh well, Que Sera, sera. Whatever will be will be, the future’s not ours to see, Que, sera, sera. How many of you remember, Doris Day singing that song? I know I do. Marshal Tucker’s song: 24 Hours is playing on the iPod right now. I always found that this song, and the song by Missouri, Movin’ On, were the best driving songs, well especially if you had a care free frame of mind. Well, did you see that the U.S. is going after FIFA for corruption? WOW! I would say something snarky here if I had a care free frame of mind, but I think I’ll just keep that comment to myself! So, let’s go make this a Wonderful Wednesday! Chuck Butler Managing Director EverBank Global Markets
Recommended Links Louis James Senior Investment Strategist Casey Research Editor’s note: This year alone, Louis has found 12 different stocks that have already doubled, using “The Casey Method.” This is the highly successful method Doug has personally used to make millions of dollars in gold stocks. And now, for the first time ever, he is sharing his method with you so that you can start making huge gains in what he believes will be the biggest gold mania we’ve ever seen. Put simply, this method works. Doug’s used it to make massive profits during every gold bull market in the last 40 years. During periods of rising gold prices, he’s used it to book gains of 487%, 711%, and even 4,329% in gold stocks. You can learn more about this incredible opportunity by watching this FREE video presentation. The “Casey Method” for buying gold stocks A remarkable way to buy gold stocks for as little as pennies and sell them within a year or two for 400% gains… from a man who’s made millions of dollars in his career as a gold speculator. Click here for full details. As the great Canadian philosopher Wayne Gretzky said: “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” And the point of this is that smart people thinking about investing in gold and silver today are asking themselves the same questions I was asking myself in 2006. Gold has risen 31.4% from its low of $1,053 per ounce late last year to its recent high of $1,384. Silver’s been up as much as 54.1%. “Is it too late?” My answer is no. I understand that it’s hard to put money into stocks that have risen sharply in recent months. Many of our stocks are up more than 100%, 200%, and even 400% since their low at the beginning of this year. But that’s got more to do with how oversold they were than what is likely to happen next. In seeking to skate to where the puck is going to be, we look for value to be added ahead. It’s just as when I made the call on Fortuna back in 2006. All of the companies I currently recommend buying in the International Speculator have huge value to add. This is true even if the price of gold does not continue rising. It’s true even if precious metals retreat towards recent lows. Actually, if gold and silver did correct sharply before heading higher again, that would be the best thing in the world for those just getting into related stocks. It would create great buying opportunities. At this point, this may actually be likely. You want to be ready to take advantage of it. I’m excited about the work I’m doing now. It’s not enough to have a portfolio of winners in hand. I’m traveling more than I have in years, scouring the world for new opportunities. I knew this day would come during the down years. Now that it’s here, I’m having a ball putting all I’ve learned from Doug and many of the best geologists in the world to work on my readers’ behalf. I may wear out another pair of boots, but it will be worth it. I think we’re all about to make a pile of money. I realize that I’m singing my own praises here, but what I’ve just said is true. And if you’re not already an International Speculator subscriber, I hope you’ll join me for the adventure ahead. I believe you will be very glad you did. Sincerely, Editor’s note: Yesterday, we told you that there are huge money-making opportunities in the gold market that are staring us in the face right now. Casey Research founder Doug Casey says gold stocks are in the early stages of a “true mania”…and that there’s never been a better time to own them. Senior Investment Strategist and International Speculator editor Louis James agrees. And in today’s special Dispatch, he explains why it’s not too late to get in on this boom right now… Dear Reader, Deep under a mountain, but so high up in the Andes that I could barely breathe, I found one of the best money-making opportunities I’ve seen in my entire career. I was in an old mine tunnel. The ore was massive sulfides of lead and zinc, with high grades of silver. These sulfides sparkle brightly in your miner’s lamp, like chandeliers. Usually, you see a narrow vein with a little of this stuff sprinkled in it. You look up to see it in the ceiling of the tunnel, or slashing a wall. Not this time. The entire tunnel—a good four meters wide by four meters tall—was blasted through a zone of massive sulfides so thick, it all sparkled in my lamp. The walls, the ceiling, the floor, everything. It was like walking through a field of stars. On the old mine posts, I could see the assay numbers left behind by the old-timers: 9% lead-zinc, 12%, 15%—with hundreds of grams per tonne of silver. The rock had more than $500 in contained metals in some places. I asked the mine geologist (who was my guide) how anyone could leave so much value behind. He told me that the old-timers were only interested in the highest-grade core of the deposit, which ran to more than a kilo of silver per tonne. The speculation was that not only could these high-grade (by modern standards) remnants be mined, but that more bonanza-grade silver and gold could be found as well. That potential was made very real to me when we returned to the surface. I could see that the rock alteration visible on the mountain above the vein was repeated up and down the valley, showing the location of other veins. Many had been worked in colonial times—the mine has a history that goes back more than 400 years—but there were plenty more to explore. The vein is called Animas. It’s part of the Caylloma mine camp in Peru. The company is called Fortuna Silver Mines (FSM, FVI.TO). At the time, it was an exploration company that had just bought the mine with its 7.0 million ounces of silver in historic mine reserves for $7.55 million. Experts were skeptical that a little explorer like Fortuna had what it took to put Callyoma back into production and make money. This was back in January of 2006. I could see plain as day that the mine was a cash cow just waiting to be given the attention it deserved, surrounded by enormous blue sky potential. I wrote a report saying so while still in the field, and Casey Research founder Doug Casey recommended the stock at C$1.15 in an investment alert on January 27. Now, here’s the thing: the stock had been trading for less than C$0.20 for years. At C$1.15, it was already up more than 500% for those in before it became obvious that the gold and silver bull market underway was real. So, I had to ask myself: was I too late? What if we put a “Buy” on the stock only to provide exit liquidity for the early birds? What if Fortuna fell on its face in the transition from exploration to production? That’s actually a very common outcome. What if we were being the new “stupid” money, chasing after a stock that had already risen to ridiculous levels? If I had let such fears stop me, we would have missed out on what happened next. Fortuna doubled within two months. We were able to take profits on March 29, 2006, at C$2.38. The stock came within kissing distance of C$7 in 2011. It gave much of that up in the multi-year bear market that followed. But just last week, it hit an intra-day high of C$12.73 (August 2, 2016). That’s more than 10 times the price of our initial recommendation—and the company is still adding new value today. Ten-baggers are no myth. The point of this story is not to brag. In fact, there were many ups and downs, we took profits along the way, and we were in and out of the stock. So our official gain on this pick is not 1,000%, even though this was possible. (And just imagine if we’d been in at 20 cents!) The point is that back in 2006, when I was asking myself if I was being stupid for recommending a stock that was already up 500%, I chose to drive forward looking ahead, not in the rear-view mirror. This is critical. If I had let how much the stock had already risen paralyze me, we would have missed out. Instead, I made the decision based on the huge value the company was clearly set to deliver. We took the plunge. – One man’s secret to making $960,000/year He doesn’t hold a regular job… hates ordinary stocks… and spends most of his free time in the park. But he generates all the cash he needs with a simple approach he’s sharing here. —
Bitcoin is taking speculators for a ride. Bitcoin is a digital currency that was created in 2009. Unlike paper currencies, Bitcoin isn’t controlled by a government or central bank—it’s governed by a peer-to-peer network. In the beginning, few people took Bitcoin seriously. But it’s become very popular with investors in recent years. That’s partly because more and more people are losing faith in the paper money system. The business community is also embracing the digital currency like never before. More than 100,000 businesses around the world, including Amazon, eBay, and Target, now accept bitcoins as payment. • In 2015, Bitcoin’s price surged 40%… It was the year’s top-performing currency. Last year, Bitcoin surged another 120%. It was the year’s best-performing currency once again. Until recently, it looked like the digital currency was headed for a three-peat. • Bitcoin’s price surged 20% over the first four days of 2017… Last week, it topped $1,000 for the first time since 2013. And it got within $13 of its all-time high. Frantic buying by the Chinese fueled the recent rally. Yahoo! Finance reported last Thursday: The yuan fell 6% against the US dollar in the past year, hitting its lowest point since 2008. China’s foreign exchange reserves are expected to keep shrinking in 2017. It’s clear that as a result, many Chinese investors have turned to bitcoin: trading activity of bitcoin in the yuan is up more than 60% in the past 30 days, according to bitcoinity charts. More than 90% of all bitcoin activity globally, in fact, is coming from China. In other words, Chinese folks loaded up on bitcoins because they’re worried about the money in their wallet losing value. They’re not alone, either. • Venezuela’s currency, the bolívar, is in free fall… According to CNNMoney, it lost 55% of its value in November. Today, prices for everyday goods and services in Venezuela are more than doubling every month. Storekeepers in the country are now weighing out piles of cash rather than counting the money. In India, locals are worried that there could be a national bank run. That’s when everyone tries to pull money out of the banking system at once. Not to mention that central banks in Europe and Japan are still trying to stimulate their economies through easy-money monetary policies. As we’ve explained many times, these radical measures could end up destroying the very currencies these central banks are supposed to protect. • In short, people have plenty of reasons to be worried about the money in their wallet… That’s why the price of Bitcoin shot through the roof recently. But many of these folks had no clue how volatile this digital currency could be. • The price of Bitcoin plunged by more than 20% last Thursday… The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) sparked the crash after it told investors to be wary of digital currencies. Yesterday, Bitcoin plunged another 13%. The PBOC, once again, ignited the selloff. Reuters reported yesterday: The price of digital currency bitcoin slid around $50 on Wednesday after China’s central bank said it had launched spot investigations on bitcoin exchanges in Beijing and Shanghai in order to fend off market risks. The investigation of bitcoin exchanges, including BTCC, Huobi and OKCoin, was to look into possible market manipulation, money laundering, unauthorized financing and other issues, according to the statements posted on the People’s Bank of China’s website. • Today, Bitcoin is down another 5%… It’s now lost more than a quarter of its value over the past week. That’s a staggering decline. Remember, bitcoin is supposedly a currency. But currencies should never be this volatile. This tells us that Bitcoin isn’t money yet. It’s still a speculation vehicle. If you know what you’re doing, you could make a fortune trading Bitcoin. But if you don’t, you could lose a lot of money very quickly. That said, we still think Bitcoin is a step in the right direction. After all, anything is better than money controlled by reckless and increasingly desperate governments. But Bitcoin and other digital currencies like it have a long way to go before we’re ready to call them “money.” • Gold, on the other hand, is a proven form of money… People have bought and sold goods and services with it for thousands of years. It’s survived every sort of financial crisis. And it’s outlasted countless paper currencies. Plus, gold’s value is stable. It’s not going to plunge 25% or more over the course of a few days. There also isn’t a central authority in the world that controls gold’s price or its supply. It’s a truly global currency. That’s why gold is still the best way to protect yourself from reckless governments and central banks. – Recommended Links • The price of gold has spiked 5% since the start of the year… It’s now trading above $1,200 an ounce for the first time since November. But we think it could be headed much higher. Remember, central banks around the world are losing their grip on their currencies. If this keeps up, more and more people are going to seek out alternative currencies. Many of them will take shelter in gold, the world’s most trusted safe-haven asset. If you’ve been meaning to buy physical gold, we encourage you to first watch this new interview with Casey Research founder Doug Casey. As you’ll see, the U.S. government is working on a secret project right now that could radically transform America’s monetary system. According to Doug, this could be the worst thing to happen to the U.S. dollar since the end of the gold standard. Click here to see why. Chart of the Day Beware of leveraged exchanged-traded funds (ETFs). Leveraged ETFs allow traders to amplify returns through—you guessed it—leverage. There are leveraged funds that track the price of oil, the U.S dollar, and even gold stocks. Some of these funds offer 2x leverage. In other words, they’ll rise 2% when the underlying asset they track rises 1%. Other funds are leveraged 3-to-1, or 3x. Due to their high risk and construction, most traders don’t hold these kinds of funds longer than a few days. But, even then, they can still be incredibly risky. To help you understand why, we put together the following chart. It compares the weekly performance of an unleveraged ETF (1x) with a leveraged one (3x). Let’s pretend that both funds track the same basket of gold stocks. On Monday, both funds close the trading day at a share price of $100. On Tuesday, the basket of gold stocks jumps 10% in value. On Wednesday, it falls 10%. On Thursday, it rebounds 10% before falling 10% again on Friday. At the end of the week, the unleveraged fund is worth $98. The leveraged fund, meanwhile, has fallen to $83. In other words, it lost almost nine times as much as the unleveraged fund. It’s important that you remember this. You see, many investors buy leveraged funds hoping to get rich quick. But few realize how quickly losses can pile up. If you want to boost your returns, we encourage you to avoid leveraged funds. You’re much better off investing in world-class companies that, for one reason or another, are trading at deep bargains. This is a much less risky way to generate big returns. — Imminent March Announcement to Unleash $3 TRILLION Of Wealth You won’t hear about it from the media. But a major global organization is preparing to make a critical announcement this March. One that could ignite a $3 TRILLION buying spree… and shake markets to their core. There’s one simple move to take if you want to be on the winning side of this wealth transfer. Click here for the full story. EXPIRES MIDNIGHT TOMORROW: WANTED: 1,000 Men and Women To Join Chris Mayer In The Most Ambitious Project Of His Career This is an entirely new Bonner & Partners project, with an ambitious goal to teach you how to find stocks with the potential to become the biggest stock market winners of tomorrow. Success is not guaranteed. We could fail completely. But if it all works out the way former banker Chris Mayer intends it to, just one idea could fund your whole retirement. If you have the courage to learn more, click here for the full details of my new project. Regards, Justin Spittler Delray Beach, Florida January 12, 2017 We want to hear from you. If you have a question or comment, please send it to email@example.com. We read every email that comes in, and we’ll publish comments, questions, and answers that we think other readers will find useful.
Health was a persistent theme, if not the centerpiece, of President Trump’s State of the Union address at the Capitol on Tuesday night. The president laid out a series of health-related goals, including some that even Democrats indicated could be areas of bipartisan negotiation or compromise. Trump vowed to take on prescription drug prices, pursue an end to the HIV epidemic in the U.S. by 2030 and boost funding for childhood cancers. He also took a victory lap for goals that his administration had accomplished. “We eliminated the very unpopular Obamacare individual mandate penalty,” he said, referring to the requirement in the Affordable Care Act that most people must have health insurance or pay a fine. It was eliminated as part of the 2017 GOP tax bill, despite backlash from critics that it could undercut Obamacare, after many failed attempts by Republicans to repeal the law.And Trump noted congressional passage of a “right-to-try” bill that was supposed to make it easier for terminally ill patients to gain access to experimental medications, but so far, few patients have been able to make the law work for them. The most likely ground for bipartisanship will be the issue of drug prices, where Democrats are as eager as the president to do something to rein in prices. “It is unacceptable that Americans pay vastly more than people in other countries for the exact same drugs, often made in the exact same place. This is wrong, this is unfair, and together we will stop it. We will stop it fast,” he said. “I am asking the Congress to pass legislation that finally takes on the problem of global freeloading and delivers fairness and price transparency for American patients.” Democrats are cautiously optimistic on the drug price front. “I really am hopeful about making strides on prescription drug legislation this year on a bipartisan basis,” Wendell Primus, top health aide to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said at a conference for health policy researchers hours before the speech. But not all of Trump’s claims Tuesday about his efforts on drug pricing stand up to close scrutiny. He proclaimed that “in 2018, drug prices experienced their single-largest decline in 46 years.” The drug-price portion of the consumer price index declined slightly last year for the first time since 1972, but prices for many individual drugs are still rising. Factors beyond the administration’s actions appear to have played the biggest role in the overall slowdown. Drug price increases have slowed largely because patents have expired on expensive, blockbuster drugs, and several years have passed since the introduction of expensive medicines to treat hepatitis C, according to independent analysts. But even as consumer drug prices have moderated, drug spending per hospital admission soared 19 percent from 2015 to 2017, a study sponsored by hospital trade groups found last month. That includes anesthesia drugs, chemotherapy infusions and other medicines that are not counted in the CPI.Some well-placed Republicans praised the drug price effort. “I expect deep-pocketed interests to oppose anything and everything to protect the status quo,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee. “But the moment is ripe for action and Americans expect us to work together to get the job done.”News organizations including NPR and Kaiser Health News have reported on dozens of cases of surprise hospital bills, unaffordable costs for life-sustaining drugs and other health-expense shocks for patients. Shereese Hickson, whose experience with a $123,000 bill for multiple sclerosis drugs was covered by KHN and NPR, was watching the speech. “I’m glad he mentioned it,” she said of Trump’s promise to bring transparency and competition to pharmaceutical prices. “But I would like to see if it really will come true. If you do that — that’s going against the drug companies. They’ll be losing money and they’re not going to let that happen.”Paul Davis — a retired doctor from Findlay, Ohio, whose family’s experience with a $17,850 bill for a simple urine test was detailed in a story that launched NPR-KHN’s Bill of the Month project last year and who met with Trump about surprise billing last month — said he was disappointed Trump didn’t go into further detail about his health care proposals.”He didn’t say anything,” Davis said.Davis said he would have liked to have heard more about the administration’s recently announced plan to eliminate drug rebates negotiated by middlemen in the Medicare drug program, as well as the recently implemented policy requiring hospitals to list their prices online.”If he wanted to use the podium to talk about the wonderful things that he’s done, that’s one of the things he’s gotten accomplished,” Davis said.In their official responses to the speech, Democrats were more combative. “In this great nation, Americans are skipping blood pressure pills, forced to choose between buying medicine or paying rent,” said Stacey Abrams, former Georgia House minority leader and a rising star in the national Democratic Party. “Maternal mortality rates show that mothers, especially black mothers, risk death to give birth. And in 14 states, including my home state where a majority want it, our leaders refuse to expand Medicaid, which could save rural hospitals, economies and lives.”California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who gave the Spanish-language Democratic response, reminded viewers that while the Trump administration is seeking to have the Affordable Care Act overturned in court, Democrats would provide “medical care for your family that no politician can take away from you.”In another outreach to Democrats, Trump vowed that his budget “will ask Democrats and Republicans to make the needed commitment to eliminate the HIV epidemic in the United States within 10 years. Together, we will defeat AIDS in America,” he said. Groups that have been fighting HIV praised the promise.”While we might have policy differences with the president and his administration, this initiative, if properly implemented and resourced, can go down in history as one of the most significant achievements of his presidency,” said Michael Ruppal, executive director of The AIDS Institute.Trump also promised that his budget, which has been delayed by the recent government shutdown, will seek new funding to expand research into cures and treatments for childhood cancer. He said he will seek “$500 million over the next 10 years to fund this critical lifesaving research.” The National Institutes of Health has long been a bipartisan favorite in Congress, although Trump in his first budget did seek cuts in NIH funding. The one area in which bipartisanship will clearly not prevail is that of abortion. Trump reiterated a promise he made to anti-abortion groups as a candidate in 2016 and pushed for a federal bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. “Let us reaffirm a fundamental truth: All children — born and unborn — are made in the holy image of God,” he said.Senate Republicans voted on such a bill in 2018; it failed to advance by a large margin. The bill still lacks the votes in the Senate, and the House now has a majority that supports abortion rights. Abortion opponents praised the president’s comments. “Once again, President Trump has proved he is our nation’s most pro-life president ever and he is keeping his promise to the voters who fueled his victory,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser of the Susan B. Anthony List. Abortion-rights supporters, meanwhile, chastised Trump’s comments. “Shame on the president for using the State of the Union to vilify people who have abortions and the providers who care for them,” said Megan Donovan of the Guttmacher Institute. “Make no mistake: This is part of a larger agenda to eliminate access to abortion altogether.”Kaiser Health News is a nonprofit news service that is an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation. KHN staff writers Jay Hancock, Emmarie Huetteman and Ana B. Ibarra contributed to this report. Copyright 2019 Kaiser Health News. To see more, visit Kaiser Health News.
The headlines about presidential candidate Joe Biden’s new health care plan called it “a nod to the past” and “Affordable Care Act 2.0.” That mostly refers to the fact that the former vice president has specifically repudiated many of his Democratic rivals’ calls for a “Medicare for All” system, and instead sought to build his plan on the ACA’s framework.Sen. Bernie Sanders, one of Biden’s opponents in the primary race and the key proponent of the Medicare for All option, has criticized Biden’s proposal, complaining that it is just “tinkering around the edges” of a broken health care system.Still, the proposal put forward by Biden earlier this week is much more ambitious than Obamacare – and despite its incremental label, would make some very controversial changes.”I would call it radically incremental,” says Chris Jennings, a political health strategist who worked for Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama and who has consulted with several of the current Democratic candidates.Republicans who object to other candidates’ Medicare for All plans find Biden’s alternative just as displeasing.”No matter how much Biden wants to draw distinctions between his proposals and single-payer, his plan looks suspiciously like “SandersCare Lite,” writes former congressional aide and conservative commentator Chris Jacobs in a column for The Federalist.Biden’s plan is built on the idea of expanding the ACA to reduce costs for patients and consumers — similar to what Hillary Clinton campaigned on in 2016. It would do things Democrats have called for repeatedly since the ACA was passed. Among Biden’s proposals is a provision that would “uncap” federal help to pay for health insurance premiums — assistance now available only to those with incomes that are 400% of the poverty level, or about $50,000 for an individual.Under Biden’s plan, no one would be required to pay more than 8.5 percent of their income toward health insurance premiums.But it includes several proposals that Congress has failed repeatedly to enact, including some that were part of the original debate over the ACA. Plus, Biden’s plan has some initiatives that are so expansive, it is hard to imagine them passing Congress — even if Democrats sweep the presidency and both houses of Congress in 2020.Here are some of the more controversial pieces of the Biden health plan:Public optionAlthough many of the Democratic presidential candidates have expressed varying degrees of support for a Medicare for All plan, nearly all have also endorsed creating a government-sponsored health plan, known colloquially as a “public option,” that would be available to people who buy their own health insurance. That eligible group would include anyone who doesn’t get insurance through their job or who doesn’t qualify for other government programs, like Medicare or Medicaid.A public option was included in the version of the ACA that passed the House in 2009. But its proponents could not muster the 60 votes needed to pass that option in the Senate over GOP objections — even though the Democrats had 60 votes at the time.Biden’s public option, however, would be available to many more people than the 20 million or so who are now in the individual insurance market. According to the document put out by the campaign, this public option also would be available to those who don’t like or can’t afford their employer insurance, and to small businesses.Most controversial, though, is that the 2.5 million people currently ineligible for either Medicaid or private insurance subsidies because their states have chosen not to expand Medicaid would be automatically enrolled in Biden’s public option, at no cost to them or the states where they live. Also included automatically in the public option would be another 2 million people with low incomes who currently are eligible for ACA coverage subsidies – and who would also be eligible for expanded Medicaid.That part of Biden’s proposal has prompted charges that the 14 states that have so far chosen not to expand Medicaid would save money, compared with those that have already expanded the program, because expansion states have to pay 10% of the cost of that new population.Jennings, the Democratic health strategist, argues that extra charge to states that previously expanded Medicaid would be unavoidable under Biden’s plan, because people with low incomes in states that haven’t expanded Medicaid need coverage most. “If you’re not going to have everyone get a plan right away, you need to make sure those who are most vulnerable do,” Jennings says.AbortionThe Biden plan calls for eliminating the “Hyde Amendment,” an annual rider to the spending bill for the Department of Health and Human Services that forbids the use of federal funds to pay for most abortions. Biden recently ran into some difficulty when his position on the Hyde ammendment was unclear.Beyond that, Biden’s plan also directly calls for the federal government to fund some abortions. “[T]he public option will cover contraception and a woman’s constitutional right to choose,” his plan says.In 2010, the Affordable Care Act very nearly failed to become law after an intraparty fight between Democrats who supported and opposed federal funding for abortions. Abortion opponents wanted firm guarantees in permanent law that no federal funds would ever be used for abortion; abortion-rights supporters called that a deal breaker. Eventually a shaky compromise was reached.And while it is true that there are now far fewer Democrats in Congress who oppose abortion than there were in 2010, the idea of even a Democratic-controlled Congress voting for federal abortion funding seems far-fetched. The current Democratic-led House has declined even to include a repeal of the Hyde Amendment in this year’s HHS spending bill, because it could not get through the GOP-controlled Senate or get signed by President Trump.Undocumented immigrantsWhen Obama said in a speech to Congress in September 2009 that people not in the U.S. legally would be ineligible for federal help with their purchase of health insurance under the ACA, it prompted the infamous “You lie!” shout from Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C..Today, all the Democratic candidates say they would provide coverage to undocumented residents. There is no mention of them specifically in the plan posted on Biden’s website, although a Biden campaign official told Politico this week that people in the U.S. who are undocumented would be able to purchase plans on the health insurance exchanges, but would not qualify for subsidies.Still, in his speech unveiling the plan at an AARP-sponsored candidate forum in Iowa, Biden did not address this issue of immigrants’ health care. He said only that his plan would expand funding for community health centers, which serve patients regardless of their ability to pay or their immigration status, and that people in the U.S. without legal authority would be able to obtain coverage in emergencies. That is already law.Copyright 2019 Kaiser Health News. To see more, visit Kaiser Health News.
2 min read Next Article Add to Queue Bob Bryan Warren Buffett Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Alex Rodriguez, the former Major League Baseball All-star, said he owes a few debts to legendary investor Warren Buffett in a new Vanity Fair profile.According to a new piece on Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez, the former player and current baseball broadcaster not only owes Buffett a bit of a financial thank you, but also a thank you for some life advice.Rodriguez and the man known as the “Oracle of Omaha” first met, according to Vanity Fair, when Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway underwrote disability insurance for a 10-year, $252 million contract between the Texas Rangers and Rodriguez.The men struck up a friendship after Rodriguez sent the legendary investor a note thanking him for underwriting the deal. According to Vanity Fair, Buffett has been a “mentor” for Rodriguez and offered him both financial and personal advice.Buffett told Vanity Fair’s Bethany McLean that Rodriguez has a “money mind” and knows how to handle business “instinctively.””A-Rod would have done very well in business if he had never seen a baseball,” Buffett said.Rodriguez said that Buffett gave him a few pieces of advice that have stuck with him. On the business side, A-Rod said that Buffett taught him to never personally guarantee any debt and to never hold too much cash, but rather put “your money in great businesses.”On the personal side, Rodriguez said that the investor’s advice was even more simple.”Warren said, ‘Go ahead, but you won’t need it. Number one: Be the best baseball player you can be. Number two: Always be a gentleman. Be the best guy you can be’,” Rodriguez told Vanity Fair. “That was simple, but it was so genius.”Read the full profile at Vanity Fair. Image credit: Kent Sievers | Shutterstock.com Alex Rodriguez Said That This Is the Best Advice His ‘Mentor’ Warren Buffett Ever Gave Him According to a recent interview, the former player and current baseball broadcaster owes Buffett a bit of a thank you. –shares This story originally appeared on Business Insider November 1, 2017 Reporter Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Warren Buffett Register Now »
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. How 23andMe Caused a Divorce: A Look at Unintended Consequences Enroll Now for $5 Next Article 4 min read Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. Carly Okyle Add to Queue –shares Assistant Editor, Contributed Content Every company — startup, franchise, or conglomerate — has a mission. But while employees and executives do what they can to follow that objective and stay true to it, sometimes customers have different ideas.The latest example of that involves 23andMe, a company that provides materials for at-home genetic testing. It’s a fairly simple process: customers swab some cheek cells, mail them back and wait to hear the results. The service is intended to give people a more in-depth look at who they are and where they come from. Unfortunately, it can unintentionally expose the DNA of the skeletons in a person’s closet.Earlier this month, Vox published the story of an unnamed biologist who used 23andMe to provide an interesting teaching moment for his students. Thinking that his parents might enjoy learning more about what he does, the man bought kits for his parents and himself. After he checked a box saying he’d like to be notified of his closest genetic connections (of those who also took the 23andMe test and selected that option), he got word that he was a 22 percent genetic match with a man he’d never heard of. Statistically, sharing 25 percent of your genetic material with someone makes them your grandfather, your uncle or your half-sibling, so he asked his father about it. His father was sure the company had made a mistake.The facts were correct, however, proving that no mistake had been made. The biologist had a half-brother from his father’s pre-marital affair decades earlier. Unable to survive the shock of discovering an unknown lovechild, the scientist’s parents divorced and tensions remain high. “I’m really devastated at the outcome,” the man told the publication. “This is nothing I ever would have wished.”Related: This New Genetics Startup Wants to Make ‘100’ the New ‘60’This isn’t the first time 23andMe has caused trouble. Apparently, as was the case with Neil Schwartzman and Jolie Pearl, the service can also be used to find long-lost siblings given up for adoption. While the company used the story of the sibling reunion as a marketing campaign with a happy ending, Pearl admits that she feels conflicted about the unexpected rewrite of her family’s history. Moreover, the Food and Drug Administration has officially expressed written concern “about the public health consequences of inaccurate results,” although no study to date has reported “measurable harm” as a result of the direct-to-consumer genetic testing program.To be fair, 23andMe isn’t the only company to have its products or services used in a way other than its intended purpose. Facebook, for example, started as a way to keep in touch with friends (and maybe find out if the cute co-ed in your Psych 101 class was seeing anyone), but it has unintentionally helped create and promote the new phenomenon of FOMO — “fear of missing out.”Similarly, Airbnb, which was intended to make it easier for people to find places to stay, ended up almost making someone homeless. The peer-to-peer homeshare company was started in 2008 as a way to coordinate and transact rentals, gives vacationers a cheaper option than hotels for lodging. But what if the “vacationer” has no intention of leaving? What if an Airbnb user decides to make the homestay permanent, as happened to Corey Tschogl? When the renter wouldn’t leave her California condominium, Tschogl found out eviction would be harder than expected, now that the squatter had been there for over 30 days and had tenants’ rights according to state law. It turns out that “professional squatters” exist, and services like Airbnb help them to find unknowing targets. It’s not what the company intended, but it’s become something to be aware of.Related: The ‘FOMO Epidemic’ and Why It Matters to Millennial-Hungry BusinessesThen there’s Yelp, a website which allows people to rate and comment on their experience with businesses. Although it began as a way to allow business to get feedback from customers, it is also being used by health authorities in New York City to track foodborne illnesses and find their epicenters, since many cases of food poisoning go unreported. Using Yelp helped successfully find three unreported outbreaks, which allowed officials to crack down on restaurants that violated proper practices of handling food, including improper refrigeration and unsanitary conditions. Chicago is implementing a similar investigation via Twitter.Perhaps when starting a business, it’s wise to remember the old adage of how the best laid plans can go awry.Related: Behind the Curtain of Yelp’s Powerful Reviews Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand September 22, 2014 Customers
New Vibes Everywhere Commerce Makes Brands Smarter PRNewswireMay 2, 2019, 8:22 pmMay 2, 2019 Marketing Technologymobile marketingmobile-first e-commerce solutionNewspersonalizationVibesVibes Everywhere Commerce Previous ArticleAllbridge Redefines In-Room Entertainment with Interactive IPTV SolutionNext ArticlePegasystems Named a Visionary in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Multichannel Marketing Hubs for Second Consecutive Year Vibes Everywhere Commerce Will Help Brands Anticipate and Deliver Personalized Shopping Experiences Online and In-StoreVibes, a mobile marketing leader, released Vibes Everywhere Commerce, a mobile-first e-commerce solution for retailers, designed to sharpen brands’ customer intelligence. By connecting online and in-store experiences, Vibes Everywhere Commerce provides marketers with last-touch attribution, enabling marketers to demonstrate campaign ROI, drive conversions by reducing cart abandonment, and optimize their campaigns with real-time feedback loops.“Having this wealth of data in the Vibes Platform makes it much easier to pull vital customer analysis. Consumers are making more value-driven buying decisions, so it’s paramount for our customers to have this depth of personalization,” said Caitlin Lindner, senior marketing manager at Hibbett Sports. “We’re very excited by the ability to see revenue attribution at the mobile user level, which will help inform our future offers and content strategies.”Marketing Technology News: Social Media Censors Game Changing Consumer Privacy ProductVibes Everywhere Commerce allows marketers to gather behavioral data from mobile campaigns, capturing customer interest and converting it into purchases, both online and off. The new offering includes:E-commerce tagging capabilities, giving brands the ability to track what individual customers are shopping for and where they fall out of the journeyTriggered messaging, such as cart-abandonment notifications to drive increased conversionsPush notifications, allowing brands to reach their customers on their preferred channelMobile wallet integration, to streamline the consumer experience for buying online and picking up in-storeDeep analysis of campaign ROI and other conversion-based metricsIncreased customer insight, including post-click engagement data on a per-customer basisMarketing Technology News: Many Retailers Not Getting the Most Out of Their Data, Says New L.E.K. Report“We’re thrilled to offer a data-driven solution that arms marketers with full attribution and funnel analysis so they can better optimize programs and generate higher conversions,” said Sam Benediktson, director of product at Vibes. “Features like e-commerce tagging and triggered messaging are making the digital customer journey personalized and more valuable for consumers. This gives marketers the power to improve the customer experience by anticipating and taking action on what customers want and when they want it.”Marketing Technology News: Edge by Ascential Expands Ecommerce Features to Optimize Digital Shelf Performance
About Glassbox Digital Glassbox is the only enterprise digital analytics platform to automatically record and index 100% of every visit to your site – on both web and mobile applications.Originally known as Clarisite, Glassbox was founded in 2010 in Israel, the ‘Startup Nation’. Today, less than ten years later, we have headquarters in London and offices in New York City and Tel-Aviv, working with leading enterprise businesses within the Financial, Insurance, Telecoms, Retail and Aviation sectors. TechBytes with Audelia Boker, Global VP Marketing at Glassbox Digital Sudipto GhoshMay 15, 2019, 2:30 pmMay 15, 2019 Tell us about your role and the team/technology you handle at Glassbox Digital.As Global VP Marketing, I’m in charge of all the strategic, marketing and communications initiatives at Glassbox Digital. My team works very closely with key internal departments such as research and development, product, sales and customer success, as well as with external stakeholders such as media, analysts, partners and customers.Glassbox Digital offers customer experience analytics solutions that don’t just tell you what a customer is doing online; they tell you why. Using deep customer behavior analytics, we extend traditional customer experience analytics capabilities to give you powerful and instant automatic insights and all the data you need to optimize your digital customers’ experience across web and mobile apps.How much has the Digital Customer Management landscape evolved in the last two years?Global enterprises across different industries are ultimately abandoning a siloed approach, be it between web and mobile customer experience or between different departments in the organization. They’ve started leveraging the benefits of a single view of their customers by combining data, analytics and insights into an overarching, unitary view, which represents a more sophisticated form of digital customer management. This has allowed them to amplify yet simplify customer experience across all digital platforms, including mobile.How do you see the pace of evolution in Behavioral Analytics further accelerating with adoption of AI, Machine Learning and Computer Vision?Traditional analytical models are no longer viable. The vast and ever-growing amount of data captured obscures the valuable and timely insights contained within, causing business leaders to miss out on solutions to issues and opportunities for growth. Thankfully, this is where AI and machine learning step in. Over time, patterns in user behaviour emerge. Retailers need to be there, ready to capture them and leverage technological advancements that allow for quicker time-to-insights.What is the state of Mobile Customer Experience management technology in Marketing, Sales and Advertising?Mobile customer experience is impacted by a multitude of variables such as the device being used, the network connection, the app version, UI and UX, crashes, etc., and companies too often find themselves either unprepared or overwhelmed by the amount of SDKs they need to install on their app and the many elements they must factor in.In a way, achieving optimal levels of experience and satisfaction on mobile platforms is far more complex than on web, and only in the last 12 months have we started seeing compelling solutions being deployed to help marketing, sales and advertising departments catch up. The real question now is how long it will take global enterprises to embrace such technologies on mobile devices. The outlook is positive.How does Glassbox help to digitize Customer journeys? How are consumer behaviors evolving across online and offline touchpoints?Using digital customer journeys to examine the process is the best way to understand the purchasing decision and adapt the user interface to meet customer needs and accessibility. Since a business can see the entire purchase or non-purchase process, they are able to analyse which pages the customer stayed on, what information was contained therein, and what may have helped to sway them into purchasing a product. They are also able to see if there any anomalies in the web interface and what type of struggles visitors are facing that may be hindering the process, such as dead links or poor manoeuvrability between devices and apps.Glassbox automatically generates real-time maps of customers’ most common journeys, analyses their actions and struggles, and brings enterprises automatic insights in an easy-to-consume way. Glassbox empowers brands to create funnels in a matter of minutes, either by dragging and dropping a specific customer journey from a session replay, or by using free-text. Funnels can be based on any type of criteria and help you understand why people are abandoning a session, at every step of the journey.Which businesses have been the fastest to adopt your technologies?Glassbox finds its stronghold in highly regulated industries such as financial services, travel and telecom, as we are the only digital customer management solution to offer web and mobile real-time insights both on premise and on single-tenant clouds, thus giving global enterprises access to one digital truth. With this premise, it comes as no surprise that the four largest banks in the US (amongst many others globally) along with large carriers and airliners adopt Glassbox faster than tier 2-3 enterprises across other industries.How does Big Data and Customer Data unlock opportunities in the Mobile-driven Retail markets?The days when retailers could rely solely upon proprietary panels, lab experiments, field studies or even loyalty programs to track customer journeys and needs are long gone. The only growing channels are the online channels. The bar has been raised, and any retailer that does not understand or embrace the considerable insights available from digital channels will struggle to survive in the highly competitive e-tail world.With the advent of big data analytics and richer customer data collection, retailers can finally address another side of the revenue picture that tends to get overlooked in the rush to bring in new customers: retaining them, including those multichannel shoppers that online retailers could once only dream of visualizing in a single platform for web and mobile apps.Compared to the Americas, how do you see the markets in EMEA and APAC dealing with the disruptions in Digital Retail landscape?North America is by far the trendsetter region among the three when it comes to disruptions and innovations within the digital retail landscape, as it is in many other fields. American e-tailers fully understand the need for a complete digital customer management solution across web and mobile that allows them to consolidate their proposition not simply from a marketing perspective but also from an IT, legal and customer support one. EMEA is slowly embracing these innovations but the approach between web and mobile is still very much siloed, with retailers struggling to see the bigger pictures. Finally, we have APAC, which holds the greatest potential to catch up with North America and potentially surpass it in the next couple of decades.What are your predictions on the role of AI, Machine Learning and Robotic Process Automation for retail?They are all here to stay, and this is no breaking news. Subjectivity will be reduced to the bone, and choices will be driven by a virtually infinite number of analysed variables — something absolutely unachievable without the use of the most sophisticated technologies. We are approaching very exciting times, in which e-tailers will be able to provide highly personalised services, outstanding levels of customer experience and full consumer protection to their multichannel shoppers.Which new technologies in data-driven Marketing and Sales are you most interested in? How would they impact customer journeys in the near future?The conversational UX trend will continue, and voice command will play a larger role in how customers engage with retailers. We will also see a wider adoption of machine learning applied to analytics in real time. This will all be part of an industry trend towards more holistic digital customer management.The prerequisite to introducing chatbots is for brands to properly map their digital customer journeys. Without a clear understanding of the customer experience, they risk doing real damage by using chatbots, so rather than looking at the impact that this technology will have on journeys, we have to focus on distinctively mapping the customer journey with the most sophisticated digital customer management platforms available.An additional emerging and innovative domain will lead the way in defining the end game in terms of practices for marketing analytics: Customer Data Platform (CDP) is like CRM for sales but built purely for marketers. It is a very tight “IT + Marketing” environment that focuses on one single view of the customer and real-time, continuous updates. It also relies heavily on AI and predictive analytics.One advice to all MarTech and AIOps professionals looking to build a career in Retail and related industries –Free yourself from any anachronistic approach to retail, no matter if your company is long established or just founded. Fully embrace technology and the latest powerful tools; that’s what you are there to do and the only way you will be able to deliver against your customers’ expectations.Forget once and for all about siloed approaches to customer experience. You must work together with other departments across all digital platforms towards the same objective — customer satisfaction. Do it now, because tomorrow is almost certainly too late. AIanalyticsAudelia Bokercrmcustomer data platformGlassbox Digitalmachine learningTechBytes Previous ArticleTo Continue Successful Partnership, Babel Street Renews Agreement with DarkOwlNext ArticleIBM Releases AI-Powered Anomaly Detection Capabilities to Mitigate Supply Chain Disruptions Audelia is a multi-cultural, seasoned and results oriented executive with over 17 years of experience in B2C and B2B global Marketing. She has proven track record in successfully developing and launching global Go to Market strategies, leading world-class product launches and creating digital campaigns to drive lead generation and exceptional growth. Being a people person, Audelia possess excellent communication and presentation skills to diverse audiences, from senior executives meetings to industry events speaking opportunities. About AudeliaAbout Glassbox DigitalAbout Audelia
Improving the customer experience is the number one goal for organizations when planning and orchestrating their software strategy. However, as far as testing practices are concerned, 47% of development teams on average across businesses are not testing the real user experience.This is according to research released today from Eggplant, the customer experience optimization specialist. The study also highlights a gap between IT and business leaders thinking when it comes to testing strategy.The commissioned study, conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Eggplant, found that almost half (49%) of organizations rated improving the customer experience as their top priority, with ensuring compliance, risk reduction and improve security (47%) and revenue growth (46%) making up the top three. Other organizational objectives included; business process efficiency (46%), winning new customers (45%), gaining competitive advantage (40%) and employee productivity (39%).Marketing Technology News: Calabrio Acquires Teleopti to Create the Global Standard for Customer Experience IntelligenceAs a result of the desire for organizations to achieve a superior customer experience, speed and quality have become essential in application delivery. However, the study also found that there is much room for improvement, especially when ensuring that quality is maintained. Forty-six percent scored the speed of testing as “average,” “fair,” or “poor,” and 41% say the same about the speed of their overall application development. Over a third (36%) also rated the quality of code in development (for testing) as “average” or worse.In March 2019, Eggplant commissioned Forrester Consulting to evaluate the state of continuous testing and test automation within application development at large organizations, ranging from 1,000 to over 20,000 employees. The survey of 310 IT and business leaders in the US, Europe and UK revealed that while the ambition is to move towards continuous testing to increase levels of automation, they are currently lagging in their capabilities to do so. However, firms that are evolving toward continuous delivery model are transforming testing practices as part of this shift to continuous testing. On average, over half of application development teams are implementing continuous testing (52%), and nearly half (49%) apply automated functional testing.Marketing Technology News: SDI Marketing Set to Fly High with Launch of New Stand-Alone Loyalty Agency, kiteThe study found that testing capabilities are being hindered by several major challenges. The biggest, highlighted by nearly a third of firms (32%), was budget pressure stifling testing innovation. Over a quarter (26%) of firms pointed to legacy technology that is fragmented and difficult to automate, while getting the right technical skills was the third highest challenge cited by firms while other major issues included getting the right domain skills and access to reliable test environments.While 47% of teams on average are exploring an intelligent approach to AI usage, the research indicates large enterprises are still encumbered with traditional approaches, with 51% of application development teams still applying manual functional testing.Marketing Technology News: Extreme Reach Launches AdBridge for Sellers, A New Ad Distribution Platform for Sell-Side Teams and Their Advertising Partners Eggplant Commissioned Research Finds Business and It Divided on Software Strategy PRNewswireJune 7, 2019, 7:25 pmJune 7, 2019 customer experienceEggplantmanual functional testingMarketing TechnologyNewsSoftware Strategy Previous ArticleTapClicks Wins People’s Choice Stevie Award for Favorite New Marketing SolutionNext ArticleFireside Chat with James Ontra, Co-Founder at Shufflrr
However, opinion on this matter is divided: “I’m sure it plays some part, but maybe not as much as one might think at first,” said Silverberg.“We could go back and screen all the people that had failed their Alzheimer’s disease therapies. But what we really need to do is go forward and try to get these people out of the Alzheimer’s clinical trials – and instead get them into their own clinical trials,” said Nelson.The new study could act as a roadmap in research in dementia, but this is not likely to happen soon: “It’s probably going to take years and research participants to help us understand all of that,” said Silverberg.Promoting awarenessAuthors have identified five genes that increase the risk of LATE. These include, “LATE-NC: GRN, TMEM106B, ABCC9, KCNMB2, and APOE.” The pathogenetic mechanisms associated with LATE are similar to that of “frontotemporal lobar degeneration and Alzheimer’s disease.”It is now hoped that the study will pave the way for research into late, with the authors encouraging awareness: “It is important to promote awareness in multiple scientific areas and to focus on translational and interdisciplinary approaches.”What is TDP-43?TDP-43, also known as “transactive response DNA binding protein of 43 kDa”, is a protein that usually helps in regulation of gene expression in the brain and other tissues. Recent studies have revealed that misfolded forms of this protein can be found in as many as 25% of adults over 85 years of age. Misfolding of TDP-43 leads to alterations in memory and cognitive abilities, much like Alzheimer’s and dementia.When looking at TDP-43 aggregates (clumps), the team noted that it was present either only at the amygdala region of the brain (Stage 1 LATE), in the amygdala and the hippocampus (Stage 2 of LATE) or in the amygdala, hippocampus and middle frontal gyrus (Stage 3 of LATE).The hippocampus is the area of the brain responsible for memory and learning. Misfolded TDP-43 protein has been seen to cause sclerosis or hardening and cell death in the reason of the hippocampus. This is accompanied by hippocampal shrinking. This pathology is associated with AD.Alzheimer’s Disease-Related Dementias (ADRD) Summit 2019 will soon take place, where it is almost certain that LATE and TDP-43 will feature as an emerging topic of interest. Recent research and clinical trials in Alzheimer’s disease have taught us two things: First, not all of the people we thought had Alzheimer’s have it; second, it is very important to understand the other contributors to dementia.”Nina Silverberg from the National Institute on Aging By Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDMay 1 2019Physicians have defined a new form of dementia that may be more common than Alzheimer’s disease. The findings were published in the latest issue of the journal Brain and involved researchers from around the world, including the United States, Australia, Austria, Sweden, Japan, and the United Kingdom.Semnic | ShutterstockThe researchers have named the new condition “LATE”, which stands for “Limbic-predominant age-related TDP-43 encephalopathy”. LATE is slower to progress than Alzheimer’s disease, but the two conditions show similar symptoms. There may, however, be further, undiscovered effects of LATE on the brain compared to Alzheimer’s disease.The team explain that in some persons both conditions may coexist. In these individuals, there may be a faster and more marked decline in the cognitive abilities than when either of the conditions are present in isolation.‘Overhauling the concept of dementia’The paper says that the newly defined condition is speculated to have “an expanding but under-recognized impact on public health.” The team hopes that this study would spur research looking into this disease that generally affects people aged 80 and above.Lead author Dr. Peter Nelson, director of neuropathology at the University of Kentucky Medical Center said, “We’re really overhauling the concept of what dementia is.”The researchers explain that the disease and its diagnosis did not appear suddenly. Instead, evidence has been building up for many years. There were always cases and reports that described symptoms which did not fit into any of the known types of dementia, with experts saying that no single form of dementia could explain certain symptoms. While some people lost their language abilities first, others lost their memories and experienced personality changes instead.LATE affects the limbic area of the brain, through a protein TDP-43. Protein misfolding is not uncommon in neurodegenerative diseases, as emphasized by the involvement of the protein’s tau and amyloid in Alzheimer’s disease.In LATE, TDP-43 is misfolded and modified. It is most commonly observed in regions where Alzheimer’s-associated proteins are not found. Experts say that the protein itself, as well as its location, is what defines the condition as different to Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.‘The whole elephant’TDP is known to be implicated in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). This association has been established for a decade now.Dr. Peter Nelson says that LATE is a “disease that’s 100 times more common than [ALS or FTLD), and nobody knows about it.” The authors speculate that around 20 to 50 percent of the people aged over 80 years have significant brain changes that are associated with LATE, and the prevalence of this condition rises with age. People have, in their own separate bailiwicks, found different parts of the elephant. But this is the first place where everybody gets together and says, ‘This is the whole elephant.’”Dr. Peter Nelson Up until now, clinical trials for drugs against Alzheimer’s disease have shown little to no success. This could be because a sizable portion of the participants could be suffering from LATE rather than Alzheimer’s disease.
Citation: BMW to invest a billion euros in first factory in Hungary (2018, July 31) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-07-bmw-invest-billion-euros-factory.html © 2018 AFP BMW is following competitors Audi and Mercedes-Benz into Hungary, where wages are considerably lower than in Germany China’s CATL to build first EU electric car battery plant in Germany BMW said Tuesday it will invest a billion euros ($1.2 billion) in a new factory in Hungary, as it follows its fellow German automakers into building cars in lower-wage central Europe. The factory, to be built close to the eastern town of Debrecen, will have an annual capacity of 150,000 units and will make both conventionally and electrically powered vehicles.More than 1,000 new jobs are expected to be created.”The BMW group’s decision to build this new plant reaffirms our perspective for global growth,” said BMW chairman Harald Krueger.”After significant investments in China, Mexico and the US, we are now strengthening our activities in Europe to maintain a worldwide balance of production between Asia, America and our home continent,” he added.BMW said it picked Debrecen because of its “very good infrastructure, suitable logistics connections and proximity to the established supplier network”.Hungary’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said talks for the new plant had been ongoing for 14 months, and that the company’s decision was a “huge success for Hungary”.”This investment will contribute to the Hungarian economy’s competitiveness and will further strengthen economic ties between Hungary and Germany,” he said.BMW is following competitors Audi and Mercedes-Benz into Hungary, where average labour costs are less than a third of those in Germany, according to EU data.BMW has had until now 12 manufacturing sites across Europe, including eight in Germany, three in Britain and one in Austria. Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
Visitors to Tokyo and other major Japanese cities are often stunned to see convoys of karts driven by people—usually tourists—dressed up as Mario, Yoshi, Princess Peach and other popular Nintendo characters buzzing around busy streets.Unlike many countries, Japan has no ban on people driving go-karts on public roads.But the court ruling looks set to bring such Nintendo-themed antics screaching to a halt. The video gaming giant said the ruling blocks the “MariCAR” go-kart service from lending Mario and other characters’ costumes to its customers.Nintendo complained its popular racing game “Mario Kart” is known widely as “MariKar”, just like the go-kart service’s name.It also argued that the karting company had not been given permission to allow drivers to dress up as its characters, or use photo and video footage from the racing game in its publicity materials.”We will continue to take necessary steps against damage being done to our brand and intellectual properties, which we have spent years to build,” Nintendo said in a brief statement.Nintendo added that it also won damages but did not discuss the financial amount.The go-kart operator Mari Mobility, which has changed its official name from MariCar, said in a brief statement that it will review the ruling before deciding what to do next.The company website says its service “is in no way a reflection” of Nintendo’s Mario Kart, and tells customers not to race one another, nor throw banana peels or red turtle shells—all things you can famously do in Nintendo’s frenetic racing game.Occasional accidents among go-karters on Japan’s streets have prompted authorities to require operators improve safety measures, like having seat belts and wearing helmets. Citation: Let’s a not go! Nintendo wins Japan court battle over Mario street karting (2018, September 27) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-09-nintendo-japan-court-mario-street.html © 2018 AFP This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further Raving Rabbids, Mario join forces in new Switch game Nintendo said Thursday it has won a court battle against a popular go-kart operator that allows drivers to dress up as Super Mario and other game characters to zip through the streets of Japan. A Japanese court has said a go-kart company cannot dress people up as Nintendo’s Mario game characters
Social media giant Twitter on Thursday released a new archive of state-backed propaganda from accounts it has banned based in Iran, Russia, Spain and Venezuela. Twitter releases 10 million tweets from foreign influence efforts Credit: CC0 Public Domain The US platform said it had taken the material off its network, but would make it available to researchers and investigators studying online threats.Tech firms have been accused of allowing political propagandists to use social media to hijack elections, poison online debate and smear their opponents.But Twitter, in a blog post by head of site integrity Yoel Roth, said “transparency is core to our mission” and vowed to fight “misleading, deceptive, and spammy behaviour”.Thursday’s release was the firm’s third such archive, representing more than 30 million tweets and a terabyte of media data from just under 5,000 suspected accounts.Twitter has removed 4,779 accounts it believes “are associated with—or directly backed by—the Iranian government.” Most of these were found to be spreading news stories angled to support Iranian geopolitical interests or to be fake user profiles designed to manipulate online debate.A smaller sub-group, originating in Iran, exclusively “engaged with discussions related to Israel”.Twitter has previously targeted alleged Russian bots, and this archive contains four more accounts that the firm believes are associated with the Internet Research Agency (IRA).This St Petersburg-based “troll factory” has been accused of working with Russian intelligence to influence Western votes, notably US President Donald Trump’s election campaign.Investigations into the Russian agency also led Twitter’s security team to 33 more accounts linked to a previously known group of 764 Venezuelan fake users.”Our further analysis suggests that they were operated by a commercial entity originating in Venezuela,” the post said.And in Spain, Twitter has taken down 130 allegedly fake accounts apparently set up to push the views of Catalan separatists.”We believe the public and research community are better informed by transparency,” Roth said.On Friday, EU justice commissioner Vera Jourova and security commissioner Julian King are to brief reporters on European efforts to fight political disinformation. Explore further © 2019 AFP Citation: Twitter releases new trove of banned state propaganda (2019, June 13) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-06-twitter-trove-state-propaganda.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.