• Chris Simpson

Covid 19 Bill in flux as New Year's Approach

Updated: Dec 29, 2020

1Source: Google Finance 12/24/2020.

2Source: Market Watch

3Source: Bloomberg

4Source: Coin desk

*3-day performance ending on Wednesday. Bonds represented by the iShares Core U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

Investors 'are going to weep' if regulators come down hard on crypto, says Kevin O'Leary

Kevin O’Leary recently stated that bitcoin is irrelevant to financial markets and too at risk of regulations to be taken seriously by institutional investors.

His comments come as more institutional players are pulling in, validating bitcoin’s legitimacy as a store of value and hedge against inflation. Earlier this week, Sky Bridge Capital invested $25 million into a new bitcoin fund, while last month, Guggenheim filed to reserve rights for 10% of its $5.3 billion Macro Opportunities Fund to invest in the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust.

Though regulations could be coming for the popular token. Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, is proposing new rules that would require certain cryptocurrency traders to provide more information about their identities and cryptocurrency transactions. This doesn’t appear to have scared off various institutional investors, but O’Leary, who said he has $52.77 in a crypto wallet, is more worried.

Covid-19 aid bill remains in flux

President Donald Trump on Friday continued to push raising the amount of direct payments the massive Covid-19 stimulus package should provide to Americans, but gave no indications on whether he would sign or veto the existing bill.

Following Trump’s initial comments on Tuesday about wanting to raise the payment amount per individual to $2,000, House Democrats on Thursday rushed to schedule a vote to increase the payments as the president demanded. But Republicans killed the bill, throwing into further doubt the future of any imminent financial relief for millions of struggling Americans.

One of the world’s richest people in 2020

Eric Yuan, the founder and CEO of Zoom, who has made over $12 billion since March and now ranks among the 400 richest people in America. He built a $35 billion video conferencing empire in nine years. Yuan got the idea for Zoom while trying to find a way to connect with his long-distance girlfriend.

The 50-year-old billionaire’s net worth jumped 396.5% to %17.7 billion in 2020 so far, as the rest of the world suffers through an economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Even before the pandemic brought international travel to halt, Yuan almost never took work trips. He insisted on taking Zoom calls with clients so he could spend more time with his kids.

TikTok is the most formidable competitor

Photo sharing service Instagram announced Thursday morning that it’s bringing together two of its biggest priorities – online shopping and its new Reel short-form video feature, which competes with fast-growing social media network TikTok.

Now businesses and creators can tag products when they’re creating Reels video, and consumers can tap “view products” to buy them immediately or set them aside for later purchase.

Pfizer Vaccine Deal

Pfizer CEO Dr. Albert Bourla told that the company was negotiating with the federal government to provide an additional 100 million Covid-19 vaccine doses next year.

“We are working very collaboratively to try to find a solution and be able to allocate those 100 million [doses] in the second quarter if possible or a lot of them,” Bourla said, adding that the company had not signed an agreement with the U.S. yet.

Unlike other drug makers, Pfizer did not accept federal funding to help develop or manufacture its vaccine. Pfizer already has a deal with the U.S. government to supply 100 million doses of the vaccine as part of Operation Warp Speed, enough to inoculate 50 million people. Under the agreement, Americans will receive the vaccine for free.

The U.S. government in recent weeks has criticized Pfizer, saying the drug maker has kept federal officials at “arm’s length” throughout the manufacturing process of its vaccine.

That’s it for this week -- Join us next week for another market update.

Securities and investment advisory services offered through NEXT Financial Group Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC. Sierra Ridge Wealth Management is not an affiliate of NEXT Financial Group Inc. This material is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of a security or any other financial instrument. Past performance does not guarantee future performance. All the views expressed are those of Chris Simpson and not those of Sierra Ridge Wealth Management or NEXT Financial Group Inc. The S&P 500 is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks.

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