When the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company announced their first quarter 2020 financial numbers, it was a lacklustre affair. Sales were down 15% from the year before. Unit volumes and shipments were also down and so too was the profit. In fact the company reported a $619 million loss(including impairments).
It’s Covid19 time though, so stock markets are likely to forgive and life would go on. And then the company does the unthinkable – it got political!
Conservative warnings to big corporates are now lit up in neon.
‘Get woke, go broke’.
Tired of the of the left-wing, political correct cancel culture; right-wing conservative counterculture is hitting back. And they are doing so with their wallets.
Failing to heed to the warnings and experiences suffered by corporate peers such as Gillette; Goodyearpublished the following employee dress code. As per usual – some disgruntled employee uploaded it onto Twitter… and then all hell broke loose.
As far as conservatives were concerned, Goodyear had elected to stand with the enemy – and a conservative boycott would ensure.
And it was not just your average run-of-the-mill conservatives calling for the boycott. This message of boycott was coming straight from the top, with US President Donald Trump tweeting –
The message to business has never been clearer.
Sell your product, but keep your politics to yourself.
Do not tell your customers how to vote, think, behave or otherwise.
Do not force your employees to adopt a single political leaning.
Do not assume that you are the authority on all that is good and righteous.
With Goodyear being one of our favourite brand of tyres, we at Goldsmith Money will not be joining in such a boycott. Regardless of how we feel however, this is going to hurt Goodyear and it will hurt badly.
And for our valued readers, the Financially Awakened, the message is also clear. Do notstand in the way of the trendingconservative counterculture. This trend is growing stronger each and every day.
Here at Goldsmith Money we often spout the benefits of blockchain technology for the gaming industry. The trustless and decentralised ledger is perfect for the creation of massive gaming ecosystems, with financial opportunities galore.
The same may also be said for social media. Whilst Twitter and Facebook generally offer users indirect financial benefits through the promotion of their goods and services. They offer very little in the way of direct financial benefits to the true influencers and content creators on their platforms.
When built upon a blockchain, social media platforms are able to rely upon the exact same decentralised ledger attributes – trustless, auditable, infallible, cost effective – to develop their own financial ecosystem. This blockchain foundation then allows for community trust in the platform and builds value within.
In building a valuable ecosystem, the blockchain social media platform is now able to distribute system earnings directly to the creators, influencers and community builders, based on their level of contribution.
The rewards will usually take the form of the native token to the platform. The value of the tokens will then be determined by the free market, through cryptocurrency exchange participants. The value will of course fluctuate. Over time however, consistent, good quality content creators, may be able to build a reliable income stream for themselves.
is a sleek and beautiful reward based social media platform built upon the blockchain for the reasons mentioned.
Appics is not the first social media platform built upon a blockchain. However in our opinion, it is the first built to a speed, aesthetic quality and functionality high enough to take on the mainstream players for usability. And ultimately it is usability which will determine whether it is suitable for mainstream adoption.
A blockchain based social media platform will only ever be as good as the blockchain it is built upon. So it was no surprise for us to see Appics announce that they would be moving to the Telos blockchain.
Telos is arguably the fastest, most powerful and most decentralised blockchain in the world. It is also one of only a very few blockchains with built-in governance solutions. Telos has a huge technical support network, which has just recently built social media functionality into the chain itself. A testament to their capabilities.
Of course when it comes to Telos, Goldsmith Money is a token holder and highly biased as to its quality. Make no mistake however, the merger of these two platforms is most certainly value accretive for both.
So we are thrilled to bare witness to the merger and welcome Appics with open arms. See our greetings message here.
Over the next 6-8 weeks we will look to incorporate Appics into our social media tool kit, utilising this platform to build our brand and our income potential.
A consistent theme throughout Goldsmith Money is ‘Trends’. Whilst the trend into blockchain gaming is unmistakable at present, when it comes to social media, the signs are much more subtle.
What we are seeing is people now willing to move away from from the major platforms like Facebook and Twitter and into other centralised platforms such a Parler. Will this carry into Appics – only time will tell.
Something to look out for though are the celebrities. Where the celebrities go, the masses tend to follow. Should a celebrity or two turn up on Appics – mass adoption could follow shortly thereafter.
Finally – if you are still reading this article, I deem you to be one of the Financial Awakened. And as one of the Financial Awakened, you should be always questioning where you are spending your social media time and efforts. Time is money afterall.
Ask yourself, ‘do I continue investing my valuable time into Facebook and Twitter, building value for their shareholders?’
Or,‘should I consider building value in my own brand, in conjunction with the brands of others – within a rewards focussed decentralised community?’
Money talks ladies and gentlemen – everything else is mere garble.
You can learn more about the Appics at their website here; and, I hope to see you there soon.
According to CNBC, video game sales are soaring. They stated:
Sales of the latest video games have smashed records as millions are stuck at home after governments around the world locked down entire cities and pushed for social distancing measures to stop the coronavirus from spreading.
One example cited was Activision Blizzard’s free-to-play, Call of Duty: Warzone, which launched on 10 March. Within just 10 days it had attracted 30 million players.
It certainly makes sense that more and more good global citizens would be entertaining themselves through online gaming, as they abide by their coronavirus lockdown regulations. What however, if we could take it one step further…
What if we could earn tradable cryptocurrencies as we play?
This idea is certainly not new. In Ernest Cline‘s novel and Steven Spielberg blockbuster film‘Ready Player One’, the citizens of Earth spend most of their days gaming within a virtual utopia known as the Oasis. Within the Oasis participants were able to earn Oasis Credits, which also serve the function of a reliable and stable real-world currency.
In previous Goldsmith Money posts we discussed the evolution of blockchain technology and the advancements in functionality that were being made. One part of this evolution is the integration of games onto blockchains.
By integrating games onto blockchain, developers are able to allow their customers to communicate, trade and transact both within a game and with other games, via a secure, trustless and decentralised gaming ecosystem. And in light of the coronavirus lockdown, the environment and timing for such an ecosystem, may be perfect.
When it comes to technology, nothing seems to happen in a hurry. Regardless, progress in the blockchain gaming industry is slowly being made.
A little known game called Angry Warlord, is now available on Google Play. This Android App Game is actually built upon the Telos blockchain – Telos being a decentralised, 3rd generation EOSIO blockchain.
Having been described as a casual and fun, platform style game, Angry Warlord, from developer Gems Lab, is merging blockchain and gaming and taking it to a massive worldwide mobile audience.
A possible attraction for this game is the ability for players to earn Gems, the game’s native cryptocurrency. These Gems are then able to be traded on the Telos blockchain for other cryptocurrencies and potentially local fiat currencies.
Angry Warlord is just the beginning though.
The team behind the popular Soccer Managergames are looking to take Soccer Manager to the blockchain with their new game ‘Soccer Manager Elite‘ (SME).
To be built upon the specialist XAYA gaming blockchain, SME will seek to take the popular sports management gaming genre to a whole new level, as it attempts to monetise an entire virtual soccer competition.
SME beta testing is to commence soon – the team atGoldsmith Money are quietly hoping to be part of this.
To also be built upon the XAYA blockchain and now in the final stages of development testing is Taurion.
Taurion purports to be a fully-decentralised, massive multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG), equipped for communication, trade and human cryptocurrency mining.
Set on it’s own virtual planet, with a backstory spanning multiple galaxies – Taurion includes everything from warring resource hungry factions to all manner exploration and mining, craft and trade, diplomacy and combat, heroes, ancient artifacts, buildings and vehicles, taxes and even in-game advertising billboards (just like the Oasis).
Taurion surely has the potential to keep gamers the world over, working feverishly for many years, to build, conquer and maintain their epic virtual empires.
These are but a few of what is likely to be a huge new trend of decentralised, blockchain based games promising to both entertain and financially reward users.
So coronavirus lockdown or otherwise, the time has never been better to feel like a kid once more – and get gaming!
According to those in the know – being those speaking with bullion dealers, wholesalers and the mints daily…
‘The shelves are now empty!’
Much like the toilet paper and grocery runs we are seeing at the supermarkets, demand for physical gold and silver is up 10 fold in the past 7 days.
Speaking with a dealer yesterday – they claimed they were experiencing ‘unprecedented account registrations’ as people sought to buy physical. Unfortunately for these new comers, this dealer had no stock on hand and the orders they would take – expect an 8 week delivery time-frame.
Tuesday night the Perth Mint sent out a message to distributors – they were no longer taking orders for their 100 ounce and 10 ounce silver bars due to ‘unprecedented demand’. Yesterday their website was updated to indicate that they had no silver bullion in stock at all.
There is still gold available, however be prepared to pay $AU2,700+ per ounce plus delivery costs.
At this time the gold and silver paper spot prices continue to be the prices quoted by the media. These paper prices are down. However, there is now a huge disconnect between the physical prices being charged.
Customers are reporting that dealers who do have stock on hand are charging 25%+ premiums over the spot price for gold, with anything from 50-100% on silver. As one industry observer put it – ‘the dealers aren’t even looking at the spot prices anymore.’
At present the silver spot price is $US12.50 per ounce. Single ounce Liberty Eagles however are now selling for around $20+ on ebay.
I expect that the news of this surging demand will go mainstream within a week. At this stage the only discussion is taking place is on Twitter and in other social media sites.
There have now been a couple of industry articles published explaining current conditions in more detail than I will here – excerpts and links follow.
The disconnect between paper prices for precious metals and demand in the bullion markets has never been clearer. Nervous investors are frantically buying coins, rounds, and bars. Dealer shelves quickly emptied of more popular products and delays are now being quoted on many products – especially in silver.
The demand experienced industry-wide over the past 5 days has been unprecedented. This is worse than Y2K, 9/11, or the Great Financial Crisis. It is the speed at which demand spiked (seemingly overnight) that has crippled the industry. Volume is up over 10x (in some cases much more) in a matter of days. This has strained customer service, logistics, and – relevant to this article – supply. The industry is built for elasticity. We are used to big spikes in demand. We can handle a 1 or 2 standard deviation move. We can’t handle a 5 standard deviation move in 5 days.
Distributors sold out of stockpiles in 48 hours. Dealer inventory disappeared immediately. Precious metals are the toilet paper rolls of the financial markets – under appreciated until there isn’t much left.
Sales of the one-ounce American Silver Eagle coins were at 3.1 million so far this month, as of Wednesday, compared with total sales of 650,000 in the month of February, according to data from the Mint.
As discussed previously, it is important to hold ‘Good Money’ – not the paper promises which are currently being printed by the trillions. Some people are waking up to this and a new trend is forming. Perhaps for most however, it is already too late.
In January 2019, Gillette launched a bold marketing campaign which aimed to hold men to what they consider to be a higher moral standard. Their television commercial appeared to portray men as privileged bullies, catcallers, misogynists, among other things. The ad ended with the question ‘is this the best a man can get?’ A variation of their iconic ‘Gillette the best a man can get’ slogan.
The advertisement was a hit with many feminists and the metoo movement for its stance against so-called ‘toxic masculinity’. Unfortunately for Gillette, this is not their customer base. The customer backlash against Gillette was enormous. Men who had looked upon the Gillette brand as a symbol of strength and virility, were deliberately destroying their Gillette razors. Also women, tired of the constant bashing of their boys and men, were protesting in a similar manner.
In August 2019, the true power of the consumer was revealed when Gillette’s corporate owner, Procter & Gamble, announced an $8 billion dollar write-down in the value of the Gillette brand. The result was a $5.24 billion loss for the parent company.
The entire write-down may not have been a direct result of the campaign, however it is clear that the ad was a very expensive mistake. Gillette had simply failed to notice a major shift in political and social trends. More careful analysis should have revealed that the long running ‘social justice’ movement was drawing to a close and the new ‘conservative counterculture’ was rapidly emerging.
Conservative (right-wing) YouTube news commentators operating out of their homes had subscribers in the millions. Some of them were engaging larger audiences than of their left-wing, commercial television news network rivals.
Conservative cable news network Fox News, remained the top rated commercial news network in the US, whilst the ratings for its non-conservative rivals were falling terribly.
Then of course there was the ‘populist’ political revolution mentioned previously, which was seeking to reassert national culture, custom and tradition; and, was taking the world by storm.
Despite all the signs, Gillette failed to see the trend and paid the price.
For those who do see the political and social trends and run with them, the rewards can be great. In a response to the Gillette ad, Egard Watch Company swiftly released an advertisement it had been working on which acknowledged the amazing achievement and sacrifices made by men worldwide. Instead of focusing on ‘toxic masculinity’ and the worst in male behaviour – the watch company decided it was time to celebrate the very best.
The Edgard Watch ad was visually effective in depicting men in various and emotion stirring situations. Through each situation it asked a single question, such as ‘Is a man brave?’ It then provided written statistics to answer each question. With regard to this question, the statistic read – “Men account for 93% of workplace fatalities”. At the same timewe were watching an heroic fireman carry a young girl out of a burning building.
The response for Edgard Watches was overwhelmingly positive and they were sold out of stock within days. The company had read the changing political and social trends correctly and was very well rewarded by the consumer.
There have been a number of recent marketing initiatives which have triggered a conservative backlash – can you name one or two?
When word started spreading about this new ‘Coronavirus’, I was surprised at how slow the general public and stock markets reacted. I was watching the data come through and seeing the Chinese reactions and I was taking precautions.
Now we have had the stock markets crash and we have seen the public get into punch-ups over toilet paper. However these events do not last forever. So is Coronavirus sentiment already moving on now?
A part of your financial awakening is learning to look for the trends. Ask, what are the stats saying? What is the media sentiment? What are the experts saying? What are your friends and family saying? And what is everyone doing?
When it comes to Coronavirus there have been media commentators telling us that we were merely weeks away from a new Spanish Flu – this is simply not happening.
All deaths are sad. However, it is important to keep our reactions to death in perspective. When the official stats are presenting total world Corona deaths at 4,000 over the past 3 months, this is immaterial next to world-wide flu related deaths. In the USA alone, they had 34,000 flu related deaths in 2018. This is nearly 3,000 deaths per month in just one country.
I spoke to a pharmacist last week and asked him for his opinion on Coronavirus. His response was quite blunt. He said ‘We (Australia) have 15,000 flu related hospitalizations and deaths per year and nobody cares. We have had 4 Coronavirus deaths in the past 3 months.’ So again, perspective is important.
Then there is the good news. Many, many people are recovering from Coronavirus. Many people being diagnosed with the virus are reporting only mild symptoms from mild fevers, to coughs and cold like symptoms.
There are more reports coming out of children running around infected by the virus, not even aware that they have it. And as far as I am aware, not a single child has died from the virus.
There was at least one case of couple in close proximity for many days, not passing the virus from one to the other. The infected in this circumstance reported getting a fever which lasted about 8 hours and stated that it was effectively treated with Gatorade and has made a full recovery – again another positive.
I have noted that attitudes are now shifting – ‘this virus won’t get me‘ they say. I am going to eat well. Sleep well. Wash my hands more. Get fit. And what a great habits to get into.
Those who are sick seem to be self-quarantining, another positive.
So note the sentiments of those around you. Are they still stocking up on toilet paper or are they now getting on with life?
If you too feel that that people are simply getting on with life and ignoring the media noise, you can be reasonably certain that the fear is coming to an end. It is therefore worthwhile to consider what this might mean with regard to opportunities. Will stock markets start rising again? Will people start travelling again? Going out to public events again?
Finally, there would be many betting that this Coronavirus fear ‘trend’ continues. Well the ‘trend’ is your friend, until it ends. As I have mentioned previously, getting caught swimming against the trending currents can have dire financial consequence. So please be careful.
When it comes to politics, just like anything else, there are always trends taking place. Long, short, weak, strong. At present, we are seeing a very strong global trend which is likely to last for many years now.
The trend we are seeing a global push from Globalism back to Nationalism. Please refer to blog post ‘The Political Pendulum‘ should you need a refresher on these political structures.
This swing is being labelled a ‘populist movement’. In truth, it could indeed be considered a working and middle class revolution.
This movement began with the Brexit referendum result in 2016, and was reinforced later that year with the election of US President Donald Trump.
The movement has found a strong foothold in European nations such as Italy, Hungary, Russia and Georgia where leaders have turned their backs on open border immigration policies and returning to traditional national values.
On 28 October 2018, the movement returned right-wing conservatism back to South America, with the election of Jair Bolsonaro as the 38th President of Brazil.
The movement is causing an ongoing headache for the center-left French President Emmanuel Macron, with Yellow Vest protests occurring weekly for the past 15 months.
The populist trend continued into Australia in 2019 with the shock re-election of Prime Minister Scott Morrison. The pre-election polls showed Australian citizens were disappointed with the past 6 years of coalition Government. Regardless, the desire of Australians to retain a conservative government saw an overwhelming re-election result for Australia’s conservative party.
On 1 March this year Slovakia’s right-wing populist party claimed victory, ending a 14 year left-wing government.
Understanding and accepting that the trend towards Nationalism is here and will continue, you want to look out for opportunities which might arise from this.
You should also consider the associated trends, such as the resounding backlash against ‘political correctness’ and ‘virtue signalling’. As mentioned in the Trends home page. You do not want to get caught swimming against this trending currents. The financial consequences can be disastrous.
We will examine both opportunities and threats associated with with current trends, in future posts. In particularly, we will look at examples of some companies which failed to understand these political trends over the past 18 months, to help us avoid making the same mistakes.
Those within the Financial Awakening understand two life rules:
Nobody is going to act in your best interest, all of the time.
When you find someone who acts in your best interest most of the time – stick with them.
In sickness and in health, till death do you part.
The same can be said for politics. No politician is going to act in your best interest, all of the time. So it is your job to take an interest in your political environment and understand who the key players are. This includes determining parliamentary members and the political parties which most closely and most often, represent your values.
Regardless of how well you know your local member though, political trends can begin quickly and they won’t always benefit you. Now this might be an acceptable outcome on occasion, as the government may indeed be acting in the interests of others who genuinely need assistance. At other times questions concerning motive, reason and effectiveness of government spending should be asked and the key players held accountable.
Whether these new political trends are good for you or bad – you want to be able to spot and assess them early. Once you complete your assessment – as an ordinary, yet financially savvy individual, you generally have two active options available:
Work within the laws and regulations as best you can, to maximize your financial opportunity; or, limit the financial damage.
Lobby the government to keep the laws and regulations working in your own best-interest.
If it’s worth keeping, fight for it.
Early lobbying may stop bad policy trends immediately. Ineffective lobbying has been known to lead to many an emotionally charged election. For you, the Financial Awakened Political Practical, it is simply another day at the office.
So the following are my 4 tips to help us in our quest to be informed and unemotional Political Practicals.
Stay up to date with political news. Some will be happy reading newspapers, local through to national levels. Me, I can never seem to find the time for this. So my preference is conservative talk-back radio. Turn off the morning music and start listening to the so called ‘shock-jocks’. The good morning hosts have already read the newspapers for you and will invite the key players onto the program to explain their points of view.
Take your time. Not much moves fast in politics. Politics is compromise and compromise takes time. So you have time to do your research, plan your strategy and get to work. A warning though, if a policy looks like it is being pushed unusually quickly, there is a high chance it is not going to benefit you. In these circumstances you may need to lobby fast.
Adjust your finances if needed. With legal and regulatory change being flagged months, sometimes years in advance, an awakened and financially savvy individual is sometimes able to restructure their financial affairs well in advance of the legislative changes coming into effect. Should you determine that the change is inevitable – there should be time plan and execute your restructure.
Seek professional advice – tax agents, accountants, solicitors, investment advisers. Good professional advice should pay for itself threefold at least.
This post should be considered an introduction and theoretical guide to developing a practical approach to politics. Staying informed about your current political, economic and social environment will help you identify the political trends. An understanding of who the key players are will assist you to gauge the strength of the trend and likely outcome. Ultimately it will be your perseverance and practice which will determine the level of success you achieve.
Going forward, it is my plan to report on the specific political trends I am witnessing and hopefully you will share your observations too. Together, we should be able to make the assessment process easier and more accurate – thereby increasing our likelihood of success.
Three men go for a walk into this forest. One man has $100. The other two don’t. The other two don’t like this very much. They hold a vote and with their majority elect to split the $100 between the three of them – this is Democracy.
Others join them and quickly realise how unfairly the first person was treated. In response they elect a single person to supposedly fix the Democratic mistakes – this is a Republic.
Through free markets and property rights the people of the forest prosper for a time. Most people are productive, however, some people are more productive than others. This is Capitalism.
Community pride is high as citizens foster and share in the culture, customs & traditions born out of their newly found prosperity. This is Nationalism.
Over time however it becomes obvious that the owners of capital and risk takers have become very wealthy and have left the working class behind. So these workers gather together to demand higher wages and better working conditions. This is Unionism.
Due to higher wages, businesses in the forest are now less profitable. Fortunately for the manufacturers, the people in the nearby river valley work for much less than those in the forest. So the owners move their factories to the valley and transport the goods to the forest. Everyone rejoices because the goods just became cheaper. This is Globalisation.
However, without a manufacturing industry many workers were left idle and without means of income production. They see this as unfair. They seek to increase taxes on the wealthy and have it redistributed to themselves. This is Socialism.
To appease this new Socialist movement a larger governing body is formed to facilitate the redistribution of wealth in a fairer manner for all. This new bureaucracy, with their newly found political influence, involve themselves directly in all manner of free-market activity. Quite often with just enough regulation to ensure the continued success of their preferred product and service providers; and, usually at the expense of the competitors. This is Crony Capitalism.
Realising that the expanding bureaucracy is taking advantage of its size, power and influence, the central government introduces additional levels of bureaucracy to police the old. This is Authoritarianism.
With resources quickly being depleted to fund the massive public workforce, emergency measures are briskly introduced to facilitate the only truly fair allocation of monies, property and resources. The government seizes all and cancels the next election. This is Communism.
Everyone is content for a short time, until finally all the resources have been distributed, the people are left unproductive and the land is barren. Violence, starvation and death follow. People flee. Including three men who go for a walk into a forest. One man has $100, the other two don’t.
History is littered with civilizations who strayed too far left of center and simply never returned. If there was a single political lesson for all parents to teach their children it would be – ‘Socialism – has always failed and will always fail.’ As Margaret Thatcher so eloquently stated – ‘The problem is with socialism, you eventually run out of other people’s money to spend.’
Need a modern example of a failing socialist system, look no further than Venezuela. Twenty years ago it was the crown jewel of South America. Rich in wealth, culture and oil. Socialism, accompanied by a sustained period of low oil prices, put a swift end to this.
However, as you can see from the prior anecdote, Democracy has its failings too. As soon as you have what over 50% of the population want, they will simply vote to take it from you. They will try to soften the pain for you of course. They will call it a tax, a duty, a levy or a surcharge. They will also praise you for doing your civic duty. But at the end of the day – they are simply taking something from you and giving it to someone else.
If you are left with only two options – the first being an authoritative socialism on the left, or democratic capitalism to the right – be pushing towards the right all the time. Not only will your standard of living will be higher, you will probably live longer.
Most importantly though – understand the political trends at any particular time. Is there a unionist movement gaining momentum? Are the conservative capitalists likely to win the next election? Accurately predicting where the political trends are leading will create financial opportunities for you. It will also save you a great deal of time and money, by preparing for likely eventualities only.