Best Day Trading Brokers and Platforms 2020 - Comparison
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Best trading platform for margin?
I’m looking to move a little bit of money onto a platform where I can try out the margin experience. I have about 100k in my trading account + cash reserves, retirement, etc. I’m thinking about moving 10k-20k in an acct with margin. Hoping to get 3-5x with the ability to sell puts. What are the recommendations?
#SwapZilla Platform Solution, Single window access to almost all crypto assets Search for the best offers Low commissions for our users. Ability to trade large volumes without making losses (cascade orders). Access to margin trading https://swapzilla.co #SwapZilla #ico
What's the best exchange or trading platform for margin and high leverage trading?
I'm only relatively new in the world of crypto trading (9 months or so). I came across an archived post from 7 months ago in answer to my question, but wondering what general consensus is nowadays for the best place to trade with high leverage? Especially now that some time has passed and people have had time to really compare...
After China's leverage halting, which is now the best platform for bitcoin margin trading?
I've submitted a general poll to gauge what your thoughts are on the recent Chinese exchange restrictions & which viable margin trading alternatives you could recommend. Perhaps I'm missing a margin trading platform that should have been included? I'm interested in hearing all feedback on this.
Looking to start an account specifically for margin trading, day trading, and all the things I shouldnt be doing. What platform supports this best?
I have an FA, I've been watching his buys and sells in my IRA and CMA. Interesting.... but I think I'm ready to lose $100 or something. I hear Robinhood is not ACTUALLY day trading? Is that true? My actual portfolio doesn't have trading enabled so I cant fuck myself over, but I'd happily open a new one. I was planning on opening a vanguard, but can you day trade on that?
You might want to say: "Retard, there have been at least a dozen posts about RKT already." Well, there is some itsy bitsy tiny bit of new information...
Hold on to your butts 🚀
Yes, you might have seen the stock price climb to ~$26 after IPO and fall back to $19 and not listened to this brilliant retard telling you not to sell the GODDAM stock. Maybe because you have read the "sEeKinG alPhA aNaLysT" giving it a "meh" rating. Well, in an effort to give you another chance on those sweet tendies, Rocket announced pre-earnings numbers, before the actual earnings date of September 2. This is what it looks like:
Quarterly earnings are up by 125% from the previous year with quarterly revenue of $5.31 billion. On an adjusted basis revenue is up by 300% over last year. The full report is here.
Adjusted net income is $2.8 billion, which is an increase of $2.2 billion compared to the first quarter of 2020 and $2.6 billion compared to the second quarter of 2019. For the accountants among you, the full set of numbers are here.
To put numbers into perspective this is a company with $2.4 billion float according to Google.
The stock was up 11.22% today and trading at around $23.8 at market close.
What does this all mean?
This is the parent company of Quicken Loans, it is essentially a FinTec company for mortgage refinancing, etc. Some argue that it is actually a tech company. They handle pretty much everything electronically via their website and app. This is important because of COVID-19. According to online reviews, they have one of the best-streamlined and user-friendly interfaces. You can do pretty much everything regarding financing your home without having to sit in a crowded office in your facemask.
Because of how user-friendly their apps are, they have sweet sweet margins: "Who is going to do DD on home mortgages when you can do everything on an app. Am I right?"
Interest rates are extremely low due to Fed intervention and it is to remain low for a very long while. Remember the famous quote from our lord and savior JPow: "We're not thinking about raising rates, we're not even thinking about thinking about raising rates." For this reason, everyone and their mum are doing refinancing, buying homes, etc.
With a float of $2.4 billion, the company can have VERY significant price changes in a short time.
RKT is the ultimate meme ticker. "RKT to the moon 🚀" and "REKT 🔥" memes will keep us entertained for years to come while providing free advertisement for the company.
Q: But what if the interest rates go back up tomorrow? A: It won't, as that would collapse the S&P 500 overnight. They have to keep interest rates low so that the money stays in the stock market. Q: This sounds like the next subprime mortgage crisis. What if people start defaulting on their mortgages? A: They are not the ones lending the money, so they don't care. They package the mortgages and hand it to someone else. They keep mortgages for only 3 weeks on average during the process, then they are off the hook. Q: Aren't there other mortgage companies with online services? A: Yes, but nothing this streamlined and easy to use. And they have very good brand recognition with the Rocket brand and Quicken Loans. Again, it is like TurboTax: yes there is other tax software out there, but who cares? Q: But the stock price does not reflect the fundamentals. Didn't it crash last week and then stall? A: Yes there was some price discovery after IPO and you would have been right up until Monday of this week. But since the pre-earnings announcement, the stock price is picking up some serious steam. Once the mainstream media catches on and price exceeds the ATH (probably tomorrow), this will go to the moon. If this does not look like a RKT platform I do not know what does: https://preview.redd.it/lyevy8wx6bi51.png?width=1260&format=png&auto=webp&s=10da2d7c8be7d4a83c0b798c16aafaa94bacfc20
Richard Dobatse, a Navy medic in San Diego, dabbled infrequently in stock trading. But his behavior changed in 2017 when he signed up for Robinhood, a trading app that made buying and selling stocks simple and seemingly free. Mr. Dobatse, now 32, said he had been charmed by Robinhood’s one-click trading, easy access to complex investment products, and features like falling confetti and emoji-filled phone notifications that made it feel like a game. After funding his account with $15,000 in credit card advances, he began spending more time on the app. As he repeatedly lost money, Mr. Dobatse took out two $30,000 home equity loans so he could buy and sell more speculative stocks and options, hoping to pay off his debts. His account value shot above $1 million this year — but almost all of that recently disappeared. This week, his balance was $6,956. “When he is doing his trading, he won’t want to eat,” said his wife, Tashika Dobatse, with whom he has three children. “He would have nightmares.” Millions of young Americans have begun investing in recent years through Robinhood, which was founded in 2013 with a sales pitch of no trading fees or account minimums. The ease of trading has turned it into a cultural phenomenon and a Silicon Valley darling, with the start-up climbing to an $8.3 billion valuation. It has been one of the tech industry’s biggest growth stories in the recent market turmoil. But at least part of Robinhood’s success appears to have been built on a Silicon Valley playbook of behavioral nudges and push notifications, which has drawn inexperienced investors into the riskiest trading, according to an analysis of industry data and legal filings, as well as interviews with nine current and former Robinhood employees and more than a dozen customers. And the more that customers engaged in such behavior, the better it was for the company, the data shows. Thanks for reading The Times. Subscribe to The Times More than at any other retail brokerage firm, Robinhood’s users trade the riskiest products and at the fastest pace, according to an analysis of new filings from nine brokerage firms by the research firm Alphacution for The New York Times. In the first three months of 2020, Robinhood users traded nine times as many shares as E-Trade customers, and 40 times as many shares as Charles Schwab customers, per dollar in the average customer account in the most recent quarter. They also bought and sold 88 times as many risky options contracts as Schwab customers, relative to the average account size, according to the analysis. The more often small investors trade stocks, the worse their returns are likely to be, studies have shown. The returns are even worse when they get involved with options, research has found. This kind of trading, where a few minutes can mean the difference between winning and losing, was particularly hazardous on Robinhood because the firm has experienced an unusual number of technology issues, public records show. Some Robinhood employees, who declined to be identified for fear of retaliation, said the company failed to provide adequate guardrails and technology to support its customers. Those dangers came into focus last month when Alex Kearns, 20, a college student in Nebraska, killed himself after he logged into the app and saw that his balance had dropped to negative $730,000. The figure was high partly because of some incomplete trades. “There was no intention to be assigned this much and take this much risk,” Mr. Kearns wrote in his suicide note, which a family member posted on Twitter. Like Mr. Kearns, Robinhood’s average customer is young and lacks investing know-how. The average age is 31, the company said, and half of its customers had never invested before. Some have visited Robinhood’s headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., in recent years to confront the staff about their losses, said four employees who witnessed the incidents. This year, they said, the start-up installed bulletproof glass at the front entrance. “They encourage people to go from training wheels to driving motorcycles,” Scott Smith, who tracks brokerage firms at the financial consulting firm Cerulli, said of Robinhood. “Over the long term, it’s like trying to beat the casino.” At the core of Robinhood’s business is an incentive to encourage more trading. It does not charge fees for trading, but it is still paid more if its customers trade more. That’s because it makes money through a complex practice known as “payment for order flow.” Each time a Robinhood customer trades, Wall Street firms actually buy or sell the shares and determine what price the customer gets. These firms pay Robinhood for the right to do this, because they then engage in a form of arbitrage by trying to buy or sell the stock for a profit over what they give the Robinhood customer. This practice is not new, and retail brokers such as E-Trade and Schwab also do it. But Robinhood makes significantly more than they do for each stock share and options contract sent to the professional trading firms, the filings show. For each share of stock traded, Robinhood made four to 15 times more than Schwab in the most recent quarter, according to the filings. In total, Robinhood got $18,955 from the trading firms for every dollar in the average customer account, while Schwab made $195, the Alphacution analysis shows. Industry experts said this was most likely because the trading firms believed they could score the easiest profits from Robinhood customers. Vlad Tenev, a founder and co-chief executive of Robinhood, said in an interview that even with some of its customers losing money, young Americans risked greater losses by not investing in stocks at all. Not participating in the markets “ultimately contributed to the sort of the massive inequalities that we’re seeing in society,” he said. Mr. Tenev said only 12 percent of the traders active on Robinhood each month used options, which allow people to bet on where the price of a specific stock will be on a specific day and multiply that by 100. He said the company had added educational content on how to invest safely. He declined to comment on why Robinhood makes more than its competitors from the Wall Street firms. The company also declined to comment on Mr. Dobatse or provide data on its customers’ performance. Robinhood does not force people to trade, of course. But its success at getting them do so has been highlighted internally. In June, the actor Ashton Kutcher, who has invested in Robinhood, attended one of the company’s weekly staff meetings on Zoom and celebrated its success by comparing it to gambling websites, said three people who were on the call. Mr. Kutcher said in a statement that his comment “was not intended to be a comparison of business models nor the experience Robinhood provides its customers” and that it referred “to the current growth metrics.” He added that he was “absolutely not insinuating that Robinhood was a gambling platform.” ImageRobinhood’s co-founders and co-chief executives, Baiju Bhatt, left, and Vlad Tenev, created the company to make investing accessible to everyone. Robinhood’s co-founders and co-chief executives, Baiju Bhatt, left, and Vlad Tenev, created the company to make investing accessible to everyone.Credit...via Reuters Robinhood was founded by Mr. Tenev and Baiju Bhatt, two children of immigrants who met at Stanford University in 2005. After teaming up on several ventures, including a high-speed trading firm, they were inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement to create a company that would make finance more accessible, they said. They named the start-up Robinhood after the English outlaw who stole from the rich and gave to the poor. Robinhood eliminated trading fees while most brokerage firms charged $10 or more for a trade. It also added features to make investing more like a game. New members were given a free share of stock, but only after they scratched off images that looked like a lottery ticket. The app is simple to use. The home screen has a list of trendy stocks. If a customer touches one of them, a green button pops up with the word “trade,” skipping many of the steps that other firms require. Robinhood initially offered only stock trading. Over time, it added options trading and margin loans, which make it possible to turbocharge investment gains — and to supersize losses. The app advertises options with the tagline “quick, straightforward & free.” Customers who want to trade options answer just a few multiple-choice questions. Beginners are legally barred from trading options, but those who click that they have no investing experience are coached by the app on how to change the answer to “not much” experience. Then people can immediately begin trading. Before Robinhood added options trading in 2017, Mr. Bhatt scoffed at the idea that the company was letting investors take uninformed risks. “The best thing we can say to those people is ‘Just do it,’” he told Business Insider at the time. In May, Robinhood said it had 13 million accounts, up from 10 million at the end of 2019. Schwab said it had 12.7 million brokerage accounts in its latest filings; E-Trade reported 5.5 million. That growth has kept the money flowing in from venture capitalists. Sequoia Capital and New Enterprise Associates are among those that have poured $1.3 billion into Robinhood. In May, the company received a fresh $280 million. “Robinhood has made the financial markets accessible to the masses and, in turn, revolutionized the decades-old brokerage industry,” Andrew Reed, a partner at Sequoia, said after last month’s fund-raising. Image Robinhood shows users that its options trading is free of commissions. Robinhood shows users that its options trading is free of commissions. Mr. Tenev has said Robinhood has invested in the best technology in the industry. But the risks of trading through the app have been compounded by its tech glitches. In 2018, Robinhood released software that accidentally reversed the direction of options trades, giving customers the opposite outcome from what they expected. Last year, it mistakenly allowed people to borrow infinite money to multiply their bets, leading to some enormous gains and losses. Robinhood’s website has also gone down more often than those of its rivals — 47 times since March for Robinhood and 10 times for Schwab — according to a Times analysis of data from Downdetector.com, which tracks website reliability. In March, the site was down for almost two days, just as stock prices were gyrating because of the coronavirus pandemic. Robinhood’s customers were unable to make trades to blunt the damage to their accounts. Four Robinhood employees, who declined to be identified, said the outage was rooted in issues with the company’s phone app and servers. They said the start-up had underinvested in technology and moved too quickly rather than carefully. Mr. Tenev said he could not talk about the outage beyond a company blog post that said it was “not acceptable.” Robinhood had recently made new technology investments, he said. Plaintiffs who have sued over the outage said Robinhood had done little to respond to their losses. Unlike other brokers, the company has no phone number for customers to call. Mr. Dobatse suffered his biggest losses in the March outage — $860,000, his records show. Robinhood did not respond to his emails, he said, adding that he planned to take his case to financial regulators for arbitration. “They make it so easy for people that don’t know anything about stocks,” he said. “Then you go there and you start to lose money.”
Investment Thesis: Why investing in POW.TO (Power Corporation of Canada) now is an investment in a future high market cap Wealthsimple IPO
I have seen some posts here wondering about the wisdom of investing in Wealthsimple's parent company, Power Corporation of Canada (POW.TO). I decided to look more into this, decided to post my investment thesis and research on why I, long-term, I have a very bullish view on Wealthsimple (and by extension POW.TO), and why I think this is equal to being an early stage investor in a Wealthsimple IPO.
Ownership: Power Corporation of Canada (POW.TO) (83.2% ownership)
AssetsUnderMangement: $5.4 billion, as of June 30, 2020 (4.9 billion in June 30, 2019)
Wealthsimple Invest (ETF Roboadvisor service), WS was one of the first-movers in this space in Canada and offered robo-advising as part of its initial product in 2015. WS claims to have largest digital investing presence in Canada (70% of the market) (reference).
Wealthsimple Cash, a savings account service
Wealthsimple Trade, a commission free trading app where users can buy and sell ~8,000 stocks and ETFs
Wealthsimple Crypto, a commission free cryptocurrency trading app, currently in beta
SimpleTax.ca, a free tax-return service used by ~1 million Canadians per year, acquired in late 2019
WS has had many successful rounds of funding and a vote of confidence from both its parent POW.TO and other multinationals investing in fintech.
Last year WS received a $100 million dollar investment led by Allianz X, the start up investor arm of German financial services giant Allianz
WS has had 7 total investing rounds, totalling $266.9 million (reference)
WS has been extremely aggressive in targeting growth areas. Wealthsimple’s CEO Mike Katchen has said he wants to position the company as a “full-stack” financial services company. Here are some of their current expansion areas:
UK and USA Expansion - in 2017, they started offering similar investing services in the UK and the US (reference and reference).
Socially Responsible ETFs - WS recently partnered with Mackenzie Investment to offer socially responsible ETFs with a social and environmental focus. Although probably not something that older investors care about, this is particularly important for younger investors who want to make sure their investments are socially responsible
Cryptocurrency - WS is currently testing a beta service of their cryptocurrency app, and offering fee-free cryptocurrency trading, similar to Wealthsimple Trade. Whatever your views of cryptocurrency (I'm of the view that I can in some cases be part of a portfolio to hedge against risk), it's here to stay. Earlier this month, WS was the first company in Canada to register with the Ontario Securities Exchange Commission (reference). My sense is that crypto will face increasing regulations and scrutiny in the coming years, which will be a good thing for WS which is a step ahead of the game (reference). Even Google is starting to look into relaxing its restraints on crypto (reference).
Other full-stack services - WS has been mum on what other services they might offer, but insurance, mortgages, and chequing accounts could be other areas of disruption. (Reference)
WS is run by young guys who have big ambitions and plans for the company. Sometimes there are CEOs with the intangibles that can really drive a company's growth, and from what I can glean, I think the company has a lot of potential here in terms of vision by its leaders. You can read more about the founders here
Michael Katchen, CEO, Background: Led product and marketing at a start up called 1000memories, a Y Combinator startup later acquired by Ancestry.com. Worked for McKinsey & Company.
Brett Huneycutt, COO, Rhodes Scholar... not much else I know about the guy
Quote sfrom CEO: Michael Katchen On being laughed out of the boardroom when he proposed his idea for Wealthsimple:
Within the last month, Wealthsimple has also opened an office in London. Katchen said a push into the European market is “possible” as its “ambitions are global,” but right now the Canadian and U.S. markets are “a lot to chew.” It is a far cry from the company’s early days: Katchen said he was “laughed out of the boardroom” for laying out a global vision for Wealthsimple at a time when they had just $1.9-million in funding and 20 users***.***“It’s a very personal mission of mine since I moved back from California, to inspire more Canadian companies to think big and to think internationally about the businesses that they’re building,” he said. (reference)
On Wealthsimple's growth in the next 10-15 years:
Wealthsimple has more than $5 billion in assets under management and 175,000 customers in Canada, the U.S. and U.K. He sees that reaching $1 trillion 15 years. “We’re just getting started,” he said. “Our plans are to get to millions of clients in the next five years.” (reference)
Brand Value and Design
Out of all the financial services company in Canada, WS probably has the most cohesive and smart design concept across its platforms and products. I see the value in Wealthsimple in not just the assets they have under management, but also the value of the brand itself. I mean, what kind of financial services company makes a blog post about their branding colour scheme and font choices? Also see: Wealthsimple’s advertisement earlier this year capturing 4 million views on Youtube. There also seems to be very strong brand awareness and brand loyalty amongst its users. I think a lot of users find WS refreshing as a financial services company because they cut through the "bullshit" and legalese, and try to simply things for the consumer. They also have their own in house team of designers and creative directors to do branding, design, and advertising, and this kind of vertical integration is generally unheard of in the financial services industry (reference).
Interestingly, the CEO’s ultimate goal is to take the company public. Therefore, I see an investment in POW.TO as being an early stage pre-IPO investor in WS (reference).
The goal is to get Wealthsimple to the size and scale to go public, something that Katchen said he’s “obsessed with.” While admitting that an IPO was still a few years down the road, Katchen already has a target of $20 billion in assets under administration (AUA) as the tipping point (the company recently announced $4.3 billion in AUA as of Q1 2019) (reference)
Ultimately, my sense is that a spun-out Wealthsimple IPO eventually be worth a lot, perhaps even more than POW.TO at some point. Obviously the company is losing money right now, and no where even close to an IPO, and there are still many chances that this company could flop. The best analogy that I can think of is when Yahoo bought an early stake in Alibaba (BABA) back in the early 2000s, and there came a point where their stake in BABA was worth more than Yahoo’s core business. I think an investment in POW.TO now is an early investment in WS before it goes public. (reference)
Expansion problems. In the UK, they reported significant losses and despite increasing users. (reference). The US is also an especially competitive space with lots of similar competitors.
The robo-advising, fintech space is highly competitive now, and the Big Five Banks and other investment/trading companies could easily start offering low-cost or commission free trading
Competitors such as Robinhood could also expand into the Canadian market and take out a huge chunk of WS's userbase
The X Factor
What I find particularly compelling about WS is they have aggressively positioned themselves to be a disruptor in the Canadian financial services industry. This is an area that has traditionally been thought to be a firewall for the Big Five Banks. There is also a generational gap in investing approaches, knowledge, and strategy, and I think WS has positioned itself nicely with first-time investors. My sense is that COVID-19 has also captured a huge amount of young adults with its trading app in the last few months, who will continue to use Wealthsimple products in the future. The average age of its user is around 34. As younger individuals are more comfortable with moving away traditional banking products, I think Wealthsimple’s product offering offers significant advantages over its competitors.
Power Corp is a Good Home
Currently POW.TO is trading at $26.30, down from its 52-week high of $35.15. I see an investment in POW.TO now as fairly low risk, and while WS grows, and there is also the added benefit of a high dividend stock. One of the most confusing things I found about Power Corp was its confusing corporate structure where there were two stocks, Power Financial Corp, and Power Corp of Canada. Fortunately, in Dec 2019, they simplified and consolidated the stocks, which also simplifies the holding structure of WS. I currently see POW.TO has a good stock to hold as well if you're a dividend holder, with a dividend of 6.86%. Also, POW.TO is patient enough to bide its time and let its investment in WS grow, unlike a VC that might want to sell it quick. For example, the reason why WS went with POW.TO instead of the traditional VC route is explained here:
Katchen has directly addressed the question of why he did not go the traditional VC route recently, saying: If you are a business that requires perhaps decades to achieve the vision you have, well, if you’re not going to be able to generate the kind of returns that venture needs is they will force you to sell yourself, they will force you to go public before you’re ready, or they will just forget about you because you’re going to be a write off. And so Katchen essentially flipped Wealthsimple to Power Financial. Power is well known as a conservative, patient, long-term investor. (https://opmwars.substack.com/p/the-wealthsimple-founders-before)
My belief is there is a huge unrecognized potential in POW.TO's massive ownership stake in WS that will be realized maybe 5-10 years down the road. I didn't really dive into the financials of POW.TO in relation to WS's performance, because the earnings reports do no actually say much about WS. I'm aware of the main criticisms that POW.TO is a mature company and dividend stock that has been trading sideways for many years, and the fact that WS is currently not a profitable company. I am not a professional investor, and this is just my amateur research, so I certainly welcome any comments/criticism of this thesis that people on this subreddit might have! (Please be gentle on me!).
The importance of crosshair placement, why you're doing it wrong, and how to fix it.
Valorant and the importance of crosshair placement.
Introduction Hey guys, I'm Twix, and I'm back with another informative post, this time concerning the aspect of crosshair placement. Through this post I will be discussing the importance of crosshair placement within the tac shooter genre, going over the most common mistakes I see people make in my experience as a coach, and offering structured routines to remedy the majority of these mistakes. If you haven't read through any of my posts before ( I wouldn't they're too long ) I am an FPS player which mainly played CS:GO competitively, with around 7k hours and multiple level 10 faceit accounts and LAN wins in the past 5 years, who transitioned towards the end of my CS:GO days into being an FPS coach, I mainly worked with people trying to gain a competitive edge in CS, but later moved to coaching Apex players, and following the closed beta release of Valorant, I have been coaching Valorant players for the past few months, with unanimously positive feedback. If you haven't read my first post which is a comprehensive general guide for players looking to improve in Valorant, I highly recommend you look at it here before continuing on to this post. In relation to other qualifications / achievements, I have hit top 30 as hitscan DPS in Overwatch, maintained top 500 ranking in Apex ( PC ) for a couple of seasons, and hold numerous 1% rankings on various Kovaak's FPS Aim Trainer maps. My main goal in creating these posts is to contribute to the Valorant community by sharing my knowledge gained over 10k collective hours of FPS experience ( mainly Tactical fps ) and hopefully help the people reading my posts improve and gain that competitive edge they need to progress into their desired ranking. For those of you interested in learning more about my coaching service, or looking for a community of Valorant players looking to improve, I will link my Discord server at the end of this post.
Why is crosshair placement important?
If I was asked about the importance of consistent crosshair placement in games such as PUBG, Apex, Overwatch, Fortnite, etc. I would probably answer by saying that while it's beneficial to maintain solid crosshair placement, it's by no means the most important aspect in relation to performing well in those games, in tactical shooters however, it's a whole different story. Tactical shooters are low TTK ( time to kill ) games, and for the most part, a single bullet to the head is enough to eliminate a player, this means that in contrast to AFPS games, or games like Overwatch or Apex, which have a much higher TTK, first shot accuracy is of extreme importance in Valorant, inevitably leading to the fact that crosshair placement is also extremely important. In a game with higher TTK, even if your first shot accuracy isn't perfect in an aim duel, you can win the fight if you land more shots on the opposing player over x amount of time that you trade with them, while in Valorant, whoever needs to make the least amount of adjustment to their crosshair when engaging in a 1v1 scenario wins the exchange. It doesn't matter if your raw aim is out of this world, even if you have the most precise flicks known to the FPS community, if your crosshair placement is sub-optimal, you will lose vs. someone with consistent crosshair placement, this is simply due to the fact that all they need to do, is click once your head moves into their crosshair, often without even needing to move their mouse. Crosshair placement may very well be the most important aspect in relation to gunplay and generally the mechanical aspect of tac shooters such as CS:GO or Valorant, as it's the deciding factor in the majority of aim duels.
A large amount of players tend to underestimate the importance of crosshair placement in Valorant, and especially the underlying complexity of maintaining consistency in that context. People think that all you need to do to maintain solid crosshair placement is aim high enough to hit headshots, meaning that the only factor that affects crosshair placement is vertical positioning, others still stick to making their main source of information on game improvement being players who make statements as un-informative and vague as "just click heads", my main goal is to break down and explain the multiple factors that go into proper crosshair placement. Lets start with the basics: Vertical Positioning: As mentioned above, one of the elements which ties into crosshair placement is vertical positioning. this is the set distance that you need to position your crosshair at in relation to the ground to be able to align your crosshair's horizontal axis with player model head-level. The good thing about vertical positioning, is that you can get accustomed to the head level that the player models have in Valorant quite rapidly, as the hitbox sizes in this game are identical, meaning you can always use the ground as a point of reference to determine where the enemy player's head would be. In Valorant, the head level always remains a set distance from the ground In order to train your general ability to place your crosshair at the correct height, try to make a habit out of constantly reminding yourself to place your crosshair at head level, regardless of where you are or what you're doing on the map. What I mean by this, is that even if there isn't any imminent threat of enemy players peeking you, try to keep constantly keep your crosshair at head level, the more time you spend doing this, the faster it will become a habit and become something you do subconsciously, without having to actively focus on the action. This habit allows you to build muscle-memory during otherwise useless down-time, another way to do this is to track your teammate's heads with your crosshair while rotating, leaving spawn etc. While vertical positioning is something that people get used to relatively easily, I have come across a recurring issue among the VODs of people I coach, and that is that people generally struggle with adapting the vertical component of their crosshair's position to varying points of elevation. Here's an image to help you visualize a scenario where this could be an issue: Peeking C Long, Positions marked: Cubby ( right ), Platform ( left ), back-site ( back ) In the image above I am peeking into C back-site from C long on the map 'Haven', I have highlighted three different positions / angles where an enemy could potentially peak from in an in-game reenactment of this scenario, Platform, Cubby, and back-site. What you'll notice is that these positions all have different points of elevation, meaning that while using the ground as reference will allow me to maintain my crosshair at head-level if someone peeks my position from ground level on C site, in order to clear cubby and platform, I would need to adjust my crosshair accordingly, using their lower levels as a reference for where the head-level position would be in those angles. Unfortunately, if you are struggling with this due to the fact that you aren't familiar with the map layout yet, the only thing that will remedy your situation is more time spent playing the game, if however, your issue stems from a mechanical inability, meaning that your mouse control isn't good enough to allow you to make such adjustments comfortably, the routine provided later in the guide may help you get past that issue. Horizontal Positioning: Just as with vertical positioning, horizontal positioning is pretty self-explanatory in terms of it's function. Knowing at what height to position your crosshair at in relation to the environment is far easier to do than knowing where to position it on a horizontal axis, the reasoning behind this is that with vertical placement you will always have the ground or lower level of the object the opponent is standing on as a point of reference which allows you to instantly know at what height head-level is. When focusing on the horizontal aspect of crosshair placement, there isn't a set point of reference at all times; Sometimes you need to hold wide angles, sometimes you need to move along with the object you're playing against, and sometimes you need to pre-aim to swing effectively, all this variability makes it much harder for a newer player to grasp crosshair placement and horizontal positioning is just as crucial as vertical positioning if not even more important. A very common mistake which I see a lot of in the VODs I review as a coach, is newer players holding angles too tightly, meaning that they're playing in a position where they anticipate an enemy push and are waiting for the engagement, and their crosshair is a position where it's hugging the edge of the wall the enemy will peek from. Here is a visual representation of what I'm talking about: Example of incorrect horizontal placement In the image above, I'm holding an angle where if someone crosses moving parallel to the wall I'm looking at, I'll have under 50 ms to react, my crosshair is so close to the edge of the wall that I will need to click my LMB the milli-second I see the enemy. By holding this angle, chances are that by the time I click the enemy will have already crossed to the left of my crosshair resulting in a miss and most likely my death; It would take inhuman reaction times for anyone to hit a player while holding like this, especially if the enemy player is swinging. Instead, you should allow some distance from your crosshair to the edge of the angle you're holding, allowing yourself to spot the enemy's player model, and then time your click effectively. Here is a visual representation of correct crosshair placement while holding the same angle: Example of correct horizontal placement As you can see, in the image above I am allowing for some space between the wall and my crosshair, giving me a significantly longer time window to spot an enemy player and react. Holding an angle that's too "tight" would mean I need to make a larger adjustment to hit the enemy, and therefore I increase my margin of error due to vertical overshoot ( see below ). There are exceptions to the rule when it comes to the distance you need to hold at, if the angle you are holding only allows forward movement ( into your crosshair ) you can hold a narrow line of sight. If you are clearing an angle ( moving along it to check for enemies ) and you are the agressor, you can hold tight and move along with the wall / LOS to allow for a faster reaction if you spot an enemy during your movement. If you are the agressor and you want to swing into an angle that you believe / know an enemy is holding, it is sometimes optimal to pre-aim, meaning you position your crosshair in a way where without moving your mouse it will be aimed at the enemy's head once you swing out the angle. Vertical Offset: The final common issue I would like to bring up which ties into both crosshair placement and horizontal click-timing, is something I call "vertical offset" or "vertical overshoot", this is a player's inability to move his crosshair horizontally while maintaining the same vertical placement. Vertical offset is a big issue when it comes to switching angles or flicking horizontally, I have seen many scenarios where a player is holding an angle properly with their crosshair at a pixel-perfect vertical position in relation to head level, only to make a 30 degree turn to check a different angle and end up shooting at an enemy's chest and losing the duel. Usually, the larger the movement, the more the player's crosshair deviates vertically. Here is a depiction of what vertical offset / overshooting looks like in-game: Example of margin of error caused by vertical offset / overshooting In the image above the green dot is where the crosshair should end up in an ideal scenario while flicking from it's current position to the target dummy, while the green lines represent a theoretical margin of error for overshooting. Fortunately for people that face this issue, I have come up with multiple Kovaak's maps and firing range excercises to help combat it and largely reduce your margin of error when moving your crosshair / flicking horizontally.
Settings: What sensitivity / crosshair should I use?
This part of the post discusses a topic which is highly subjective, both the sensitivity you use and the crosshair you use are something preference-based that you should decide upon on your own, the reason I'm adding this section into the post is for players which are newer to the tac-shooter genre; There are a few guidelines that will help them narrow down the settings that work the best for them. First off, don't by any means copy your favorite pro's config, just because something works for a professional player that has probably spent well above 10,000 hours playing FPS games and decided upon their ideal sensitivity and crosshair within that massive period of time, doesn't mean that it's going to work for you, use whatever you're most comfortable with. Other than individual preference, and having gotten used to their sensitivity, the Pros you watch may be using gear which feels different at their sensitivity setting. A lighter mouse, faster mouse-pad, and faster feet can feel very different in terms of mouse movement, even if you're playing on the same sensitivity value on paper. In relation to grip-styles and what mice are ideal for each hand size, make sure to check out my first post in this sub before moving forward with this guide, as playing on hardware that caters to your individual preferences plays an important role in increasing your mechanical potential. Sensitivity: As I stated in the paragraph above, sensitivity is something quite subjective and while there's no general rule as to which single sens value is superior, Valorant and CS:GO professionals tend to stick to e-dpi or cm/360 much lower than professional players in other titles and FPS subgenres. Your e-dpi is your in-game sensitivity value multiplied by your mouse's DPI setting. The average e-dpi used by Valorant professionals is around 250 e-dpi, which would be a value of 0.625 in-game @ 400 DPI, or around 50 cm/360. Pro player & Streamer sensitivity settings (e-dpi) cm/360 is a universal format for sensitivity measurement, it's the amount of centimeters you need to move your mouse in order to perform a full rotation. This is the format adopted within aimer communities due to the simple fact that you asking someone "what sensitivity do you play on?" And them responding with "1.5 in CSGO" is pretty useless information as they could be playing at any DPI range, and you don't necessarily know what each CSGO sens corresponds to in relation to physical movement, or even movement in other games. "e-dpi" solves the issue of different DPI x Sens measurements within the same game, but the cm/360 format is easily transferable from title to title. The reason professional players in the tac shooter genre use lower sens on average, is due to the fact that in contrast with other FPS games, tac shooters don't require larger or extended movements, instead they require you to hold or clear angles while maintaining stable crosshair placement, the least adjustments you need to make to your crosshair's position on your screen, the better your "aim" will be. The majority of players I have coached report that it has been significantly easier for them to maintain consistent crosshair placement at lower sensitivities. For newer players that still haven't found a "main" sensitivity that they feel comfortable on, I would recommend for them to stick to the range of 200-300 e-dpi, while for more experienced players coming from CS or other similar games, I would recommend a similar range with a higher cap, at 200-400 e-dpi ( very few professional players play above 300 e-dpi ). Crosshair settings: This is something even more subjective and preference-based than sensitivity even, so what I will do in this section is simply post my own settings which I use for my in-game crosshair, and explain why I picked each value within the menu. Crosshair Settings So, lets break my crosshair down setting by settings:
Color: I use "Cyan" as it stands out quite well for me with my current color settings, any color that doesn't match your enemy outline color works perfectly fine here.
Inner Line Opacity: This setting basically determines how see through your crosshair will be, I like setting mine at "1" as It makes the crosshair stand out more.
Inner Line Thickness: I set this to "1" which is the lowest value, a lot of professional players like to use "2", I think setting the value to "1" makes it easier to align your crosshair with heads or with other objects in the environment, it is also less obstructive, so I highly recommend either this or "2" to newer players
Inner Line Offset: This setting determines how large the gap is in your crosshair, I like setting this to "1" as the gap is as small as possible without disappearing, larger gaps make it more difficult to determine where the exact center of your screen is, which can act as a hnderance in your first shot accuracy at longer range engagements.
Movement & Firing Error: These settings just turn your crosshair into a dynamic crosshair and make the gap widen significantly while moving or shooting respectively in order to give you a visual representation of how the innacuracy factor works. Useless and distracting, would highly suggest that you keep these both off unless you're very new and still don't understand how movement / spray accuracy works.
Outer Lines: Everything is off here, I don't think playing with outer lines provides any benefit whatsoever and it's an extra distraction.
Crosshair Placement Improvement Routine:
A large portion of improving your crosshair placement is based on simply playing the game more, crosshair placement is largely based on muscle memory, part of having good crosshair placement is simply based on having experience in-game allowing it to become a subconscious habit, and the rest is based on your ability to anticipate player model movement and learn to make horizontal movements without simultaneously your crosshair vertically. The routine I will provide is not only a great way to work on your crosshair placement, but also highly beneficial to the click-timing aspect of your aim, which is basically the only element of aiming required in Valorant, as good tracking is unecessary in such a low TTK game. If you are already training using a daily routine on Kovaak's ( as you should be ) you can just implement this into your daily scenarios. Kovaaks: ( These are all maps which require you to make horizontal movements without overshooting vertically, thus good aim training for those struggling with crosshair placement, see my other posts for a larger variety of Kovaaks maps )
1 wall 2 targets horizontal - 10 minutes ( focus on your flicks, work on hitting both targets in the same movement, not pausing in between )
Valorant Small flicks - 10 minutes ( Great routine as head level is that of Valorant, and vertical deviation will cause you to miss, forcing you to maintain head level as you play through it )
PatTarget Switch small - 10 minutes ( Works on your ability to swap from one target to another while maintaining head level crosshair placement, keep LMB held while playing, only go for heads )
Valorant doesn't currently offer it's own deathmatch servers, therefore the next best thing is practicing in CS:GO. HSDM is a headshot only modifier for community FFA servers in CS:GO. To access these maps go to "Community Server Browser" and simply type in "HSDM", any server with decent population will do ( preferably 128 tick ). Playing FFA on headshot only forces you to maintain head-level crosshair placement as body shots don't count. I advise going for taps rather than spraying, as it limits the RNG, also spraying in CS:GO isn't transferable to Valorant as a mechanic. Make it a challenge for yourself to maintain positive K/D while playing. Use the AK in rifle servers, and the USP-S in pistol servers.
Set the target dummy position to static, and practice your click timing by only going for the targets furthest to the left and furthest to the right interchangeably, do this for around 10 minutes.
Play Spike Rush and set it to hard. When set on "Hard" the AI will one shot you as soon as you peek if it has seen you, and one shot you after around half a second if you shift-peek it. Pretty decent warmup in relation to crosshair placement as you will die every single time if you aren't instantly headshotting the targets the moment you peek. Play this for another 10 minutes.
Link to my Discord server for further questions / coaching inquiries:
Long Thesis - Progyny - 100% upside - High-growth, profitable company is the only differentiated provider in a large, growing, and underserved market. PGNY’s high-touch, seamless offering helps them stand out against large insurance carriers.
Link to my research report on PGNY Summary High-growth, profitable company is the only differentiated provider in a large, growing, and underserved market. PGNY’s high-touch, seamless offering helps them stand out against large insurance carriers. Covid-19 has shown the importance of benefits for employees and will continue to be the key differentiator for those thinking of changing jobs. According to RMANJ (Reproductive Medicine Associates of New Jersey), 68% of people would switch jobs for fertility benefits. For employers, Progyny reduces costs by including the latest cutting-edge technology in one packaged price, thereby lowering the risk of multiples and increasing the likelihood of pregnancy, keeping employees happy with an integrated, data-driven, concierge service partnering with a selective group of fertility doctors. Upside potential is 2x current price in the next 18 months. Overview Progyny Inc. (Nasdaq: PGNY), “PGNY” or the “Company”, based in New York, NY, is the leading independent fertility and family building benefits manager. Progyny serves as a value-add benefits manager sold to employers who want to improve their benefits coverage and retain and attract the best employees. Progyny offers a comprehensive solution and is truly disrupting the fertility industry. There is no standard fertility cycle, but the below is a good approximation of possible workflows: https://preview.redd.it/7aip8pna9zi51.png?width=941&format=png&auto=webp&s=7ef868a67eae10534bac254ab58fb3d4295aef37
Patient is referred to fertility center for evaluation for Assisted Reproductive Technology (“ART”) procedures, including in-vitro fertilization (“IVF “) and intrauterine insemination (“IUI”). Both can be aided by pharmaceuticals that stimulate egg production in the female patient. IVF involves the fertilization of the egg and sperm in the lab, while IUI is direct injection of the sperm sample into the uterus. Often, IUI is done first as it is less expensive. As success rates of IVF have increased, IUI utilization will likely fall.
Sperm washing is the separation of the sperm from the semen sample for embryo creation, and it enhances the freezing capacity of the sperm. Typically, a wash solution is added to the sample and then a centrifuge is used to undergo separation. This is done in both IUI and IVF.
Some OB/GYN platforms are pursuing vertical integration and offering fertility services directly. The OB would need to be credentialed at the lab / procedure center.
Specialty pharmacy arranges delivery of temperature sensitive Rx. Drug regimens include ovarian stimulation to increase the number of eggs or hormone manipulation to better time fertility cycles, among others.
Oocyte retrieval / aspiration is done under deep-sedation anesthesia in a procedure room, typically in the attached IVF lab. Transfer cycle implantation is done using ultrasound guidance without anesthesia. (Anecdotally, we have been told that only REIs can perform an egg retrieval. We have not been able to validate this).
Many clinics house frozen embryos on-site, while some clinics contract with 3rd parties to manage the process. During an IVF cycle, embryos are created from all available eggs. Single-embryo transfer (“SET”) is becoming the norm, which means that multiple embryos are then cryopreserved to use in the future. A fertility preservation cycle ends here with a female storing eggs for long-term usage (e.g. a woman in her young 20s deciding to freeze her eggs for starting a family later).
Common nomenclature refers to an IVF cycle or an IVF cycle with Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (“ICSI”). From a technical perspective, ICSI and IVF are different forms of embryo fertilization within an ART cycle.
ART clinics are frequently offering ancillary services such as embryo / egg adoption or surrogacy services. More frequently, there are independent companies that help with the adoption process and finding surrogates.
ART procedures are broken into two different types of cycles: a banking cycle is the process by which eggs are gathered, embryos are created and then transferred to cryopreservation. A transfer cycle is typically the transfer of a thawed embryo to the female for potential pregnancy. If a pregnancy does not occur, another transfer cycle ensues. Many REIs are moving towards a banking cycle, freezing all embryos, then transfer cycles until embryos are exhausted or a birth occurs. If a birth occurs with the first embryo, patients can keep their embryos for future pregnancy attempts, donate the embryos to a donation center, or request the destruction of the embryos.
The Company started as Auxogen Biosciences, an egg-freezing provider before changing business models to focus on providing a full-range of fertility benefits. In 2016, they launched with their first 5 employer clients and 110,000 members. As of June 30, 2020, the Company provided benefits to 134 employers and ~2.2 million members, year over year growth of 63%. 134 employers is less than 2% of the total addressable market of “approximately 8,000 self-insured employers in the United States (excluding quasi-governmental entities, such as universities and school systems, and labor unions) who have a minimum of 1,000 employees and represent approximately 69 million potential covered lives in total. Our current member base of 2.1 million represents only 3% of our total market opportunity.” The utilization rate for all Progyny members was less than 1% in 2019, offering significant leverageable upside as the topic of fertility becomes less taboo.
Fertility has historically been a process fraught one-sided knowledge, even more so than the typical physician procedure. Despite the increased availability of information on the internet, women who undergo fertility treatments have often described the experience as “byzantine” and “chaotic”. Outdated treatment models without the latest technology (or the latest tech offered as expensive a la carte options) continue to be the norm at traditional insurance providers as well as clinics that do not accept insurance. Progyny’s differentiated approach, including a high-touch concierge level of service for patients and data-driven decision making at the clinical level, has led to an NPS of 72 for fertility benefits and 80 for the integrated, optional pharmacy benefit. Typically, fertility benefits offered by large insurance carriers are add-ons to existing coverage subject to a lifetime maximum while simultaneously requiring physicians to try IUI 3 – 6 times before authorizing IVF. The success rate of IUI, also known as artificial insemination, is typically less than 10%, even when performed with medication. As mentioned in Progyny’s IPO “A patient with mandated fertility step therapy protocol may be required to undergo three to six cycles of IUI, which has an average success rate range of 5% to 15%, takes place over three to six months and can cost up to $4,000 per cycle (or an aggregate of approximately $12,000 to $24,000), according to FertilityIQ. Multiple rounds of mandated IUI is likely to exhaust the patient's lifetime dollar maximum fertility benefits and waste valuable time before more effective IVF treatment can be begun.” Success Rates for IVF IVF success rates vary greatly by age but were 49% on average for women younger than 35. The graph below shows success rates by all clinics by age group for those that did at least 10 cycles in the specific age group. As an example, for those in the ages 35 – 37, out of 456 available clinics, 425 performed at least 10 cycles with a median success rate of 39.7%. https://preview.redd.it/d2l5dtw89zi51.png?width=4990&format=png&auto=webp&s=5ff2ab9948b94419558a27ac861d4e498dce6713 Progyny’s Smart Cycle is the proprietary method the company has chosen as a “currency” for fertility benefits. As opposed to a traditional fee-for-service model with step-up methods, employers may choose to provide between 2 and unlimited Smart Cycles to employees. This enables employees to choose the provider’s best method. Included in the Smart Cycle, and another indicator of the Company’s forward-thinking methodology, are treatment options that deliver better outcomes (PGS, ICSI, multiple embryo freezing with future implantations). https://preview.redd.it/np577a389zi51.png?width=734&format=png&auto=webp&s=c061a2b24c8515890ba204479b4677893dabf755 As detailed in the chart above, a patient could undergo an IVF cycle that freezes all embryos (3/4 of a Smart Cycle), then transfer 5 frozen embryos (1/4 cycle each; each transfer would occur at peak ovulation, which would take at least 5 months) and use only 2 Smart Cycles. Alternatively, if the patient froze all embryos and got pregnant on the first embryo transfer, they would only use one cycle. Before advances in vitrification (freezing), patients could not be sure that an embryo created in the lab and frozen for later use would be viable, so using only one embryo at a time seemed wasteful. Now, as freezing technology has advanced, undergoing one pharmaceutical regime, one oocyte collection procedure, creating as many embryos as possible, and then transferring one embryo back into the uterus while freezing the rest provides the highest ROI. If the first transferred embryo fails to implant or otherwise does not lead to a baby, the patient can simply thaw the next embryo and try implantation again next month. Included in each Smart Cycle is pre-implantation genetic sequencing (“PGS”) on all available embryos and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (“ICSI”). PGS uses next-generation sequencing technology to determine the viability and sex of the embryo while ICSI is a process whereby a sperm is directly inserted into the egg to start fertilization, rather than allowing the sperm to penetrate the egg naturally. ICSI has a slightly higher rate of successful fertilization (as opposed to simply leaving the egg and sperm in the petri dish). Because Progyny’s experience is denominated in cycles of care, not simply dollars, patients and doctors can focus on what procedures offer the best return. 30% of the Company’s existing network of doctors do not accept insurance of any kind, other than Progyny, which speaks to the value that is provided to doctors and employers. For patients not looking to get pregnant, Progyny offers egg freezing as well. Progyny started as an egg-freezing manager, which allows a woman to preserve her fertility and manage her biological clock. As mentioned previously, pregnancy outcomes vary significantly and align closely with the age of the egg. Egg freezing is designed to allow a woman to save her younger eggs until she is ready to start a family. From an employer’s perspective, keeping younger women in the work force for longer is a cost savings. Vitrification technology has improved significantly since “Freeze your eggs, Free Your Career” was the headline on Bloomberg Businesweek in 2014, but we still don’t yet know the pregnancy rates for women who froze their eggs 5 years ago, but early results are promising and on par with IVF rates for women of similar ages now. From a female perspective, the egg freezing process is not an easy one. The patient is still required to inject themselves with stimulation drugs and the egg retrieval process is the same as in the IVF process (under sedation). The same number of days out of work are required. Using the SmartCycle benefit above as an example, the egg freezing process would require ½ of a Smart Cycle. The annual payment required to the clinic is typically included in the benefits package but may require out-of-pocket expenses covered by the employee. Contrary to popular belief, IVF pregnancies do not have a higher rate of multiples (twins, triplets, etc.), rather in order to reduce out of pocket costs, REIs have transferred multiple embryos to the patient, in the hopes of achieving a pregnancy. If you have struggled for years to get pregnant, and the doctor is suggesting that transferring 3 embryos at once is your best chance at success, you are unlikely to complain, nor are you likely to selectively eliminate an implanted embryo because you now have twins. There are several factors that are making it more likely / acceptable to transfer one embryo at a time, enabling Progyny’s success. https://preview.redd.it/48vk9gc69zi51.png?width=953&format=png&auto=webp&s=2c75a2771a1dd9a079074331b317451f076725ca From the Company: “According to a study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology that analyzed the total costs of care over 400,000 deliveries between 2005 and 2010, as adjusted for inflation, the maternity and perinatal healthcare costs attributable to a set of twins are approximately $150,000 on average, more than four times the comparable costs attributable to singleton births of approximately $35,000, and often exceed this average. In the case of triplets, the costs escalate significantly and average $560,000, sometimes extending upwards of $1.0 million.” “Progyny's selective network of high-quality fertility specialists consistently demonstrate a strong adherence to best practices with a substantially higher single embryo transfer rate. As a result, our members experience significantly fewer pregnancies with multiples (e.g., twins or triplets). Multiples are associated with a higher probability of adverse medical conditions for the mother and babies, and as a byproduct, significantly escalate the costs for employers. Our IVF multiples rate is 3.6% compared to the national average of 16.1%. A lower multiples rate is the primary means to achieving lower high-risk maternity and NICU expenses for our clients.” An educated and supported patient leads to better outcomes. Each patient gets a patient care advocate who interacts with a patient, on average, 15x during their usage of fertility benefits - before treatment, during treatment and post-pregnancy. The Company provides phone-based clinical education and support seven days a week and the Company’s proprietary “UnPack It” call allows patients to speak to a licensed pharmacy clinician who describes the medications included in the package (which contains an average of 20 items per cycle), provides instruction on proper medication administration, and ensures that cycles start on time. The Company’s single medication authorization and delivery led to no missed or delayed cycles in 2018. Previous conference calls have made note of the fact that the Company would like to purchase their own specialty pharmacy and own every aspect of that interaction, which should provide a lift to gross margins. This would allow PGNY to manage both the medication and the treatment, leading to decreased cost of fertility drugs. Under larger carrier programs, carriers manage access to treatment, but PBM manages access to medications, which can lead to a delay in cycle commencement. Progyny Rx can only be added to the Progyny fertility benefits solution (not offered without subscription to base fertility benefits) and offers patients a potentially lower cost fertility drug benefit, while streamlining what is often a frustrating part of the consumer experience. The Progyny Rx solution reduces dispensing and delivery times and eliminates the possibility that a cycle does not start on time due to a specialty pharmacy not delivering medication. Progyny bills employers for fertility medication as it is dispensed in accordance with the individual Smart Cycle contract. Progyny Rx was introduced in 2018 and represented only 5% of total revenue in 2018. By June 30, 2020, Progyny Rx represented 28% of total revenue and increased 15% y/y. The growth rate should slow and move more in line with the fertility benefits solution as the existing customer base adds it to their package. Progyny Rx can save employers 5% on spend for typical carrier fertility benefits or 21% of the drug spend. Prior authorization is not required, and the pre-screened network of specialty pharmacies can deliver within 48 hours. Additionally, PGNY has 1-year contracts, as opposed to 3 – 5 years like standard PBMs, but with guaranteed minimums, allowing them to purchase at discounts and pass part of the savings on to employers – another reason the attachment rate is so high. Large, Underpenetrated Addressable Market Total cycle counts are increasing (below, in 000s), including both freezing cycles and intended-pregnancy cycles. Acceleration in cycle volume is likely driven by a declining birth rate as women wait later in life to start a family, resulting in reduced fertility, as well as the number of non-traditional (LGBT and single parents). Conservatively, we believe cycles can double in the next 8 years, a 7% CAGR. https://preview.redd.it/y6y7jb559zi51.png?width=943&format=png&auto=webp&s=6cc5cdde7c6583d8e943d2675ad3b6ae85f818de Progyny believes its addressable market is the $6.7B spent on infertility treatments in 2017, but these numbers could easily understate the available market and potential patients as over 50% of people in the US who are diagnosed as infertile do not seek treatment. Additionally, according to the Company, 35% of its covered universe did not previously have fertility benefits in place previously, meaning there is a growing population of people who are now considering their fertility options. According to Willis Towers, Watson, ~ 55% of employers offered fertility benefits in 2018. A quick review of CDC stats and FertilityIQ shows a significant disparity in outcomes and emotions for those who are seeking treatment. While technology in the embryo lab is improving rapidly and success rates between clinics should be converging, there continue to be significant outliers. Clinics that follow what are now generally accepted procedures (follicle stimulating hormones, a 5-day incubation period and PGS to determine embryo viability) have seen success rates of at least 40%. There continue to be several providers that offer a mini-IVF cycle or natural IVF cycle. Designed to appeal to cost conscious cash payors, the on average $5,000 costs, is simply IVF without prescription drugs or any add-ons such as PGS. However, the success rates are on par with IUI and there is an abundance of patients over 40 using the service, where the success rates are already low. Additionally, success stories at these clinics frequently align with what is perceived as the worst parts of the process: One clinic offering a natural cycle IVF has a rating at FertilityIQ of ~8.0 with 60% of people strongly recommending it. This clinic performed 2,000 cycles in 2018 (the most recently available data from the CDC), making it one of the top 10 most active fertility center in the US. Their success rate for women under 35 was 23%, as opposed to the national average of 50% for all clinics. For women over 43, the average success rate for the most active 40 clinics in this demographic was 5.0% this clinics success rate was 0.4%. The lower success rate is likely due to the lack of pre-cycle drugs and PGS, but the success rate and the average rating is hard to understand. Part of this could be to the customer service provided by the clinic, or the perceived benefit of having to go into the office less often for check-ups when not doing a medication driven cycle. . Reviews from other clinics with high average customer ratings, but low success rates include: - “start of a journey that consisted of multiple IUI’s with numerous medications, but they were not successful.” - After an IVF retrieval, the couple had two viable embryos, both were transferred the next month” - “The couple started with a series of IUI treatments, three in total that were not successful.” - “After a fresh transfer of two embryos, again another unsuccessful cycle”. - “He suggested transferring 2 due to higher implantation rates, but there is increased rate of twins “ Valuation https://preview.redd.it/tqcykjm39zi51.png?width=6358&format=png&auto=webp&s=b63fd53c054ac5cbacaf9ccc734c7e73f0ea3c32 Progyny’s comps have typically been other high-growth companies that went public in the last two years: 1Life Healthcare (ONEM), Accolade (ACCD), Health Catalyst (HCAT), Health Equity (HQY), Livongo (LVGO), Phreesia (PHR), as well as Teladoc (TDOC). Despite revenue growth that outpaces these companies, PGNY’s revenue multiple of 4.4x 2021E revenue is a 40% discount to the peer group median. PNGY’s lower gross margin is likely limiting the multiple. However, Progyny is the one of the few profitable companies in this group and the only one with realistic EBTIDA margins. SG&A leverage is the most likely driver of increased EBITDA and can be achieved by utilizing data to improve clinical outcomes in the future, but primarily by increased productive of the sales reps, including larger employer wins and larger employee utilization. Perhaps the best direct comp is Bright Horizons (BFAM). BFAM offers childcare as a healthcare benefit where employees can use pre-tax dollars to pay for childcare. BFAM offers both onsite childcare centers built to the employer’s specification (owned by the employer and operated by BFAM), as well as shared-site locations that are open to the public and back-up sitter services. Currently, PGNY is trading at 4.4x 2021E Revenue, in-line with BFAM’s 4.3x multiple. I would argue that PGNY should trade significantly higher given the asset-lite business model and higher ROIC. Recent Results Post Covid-19, fertility treatments came back faster than anticipated, combined with disciplined operations, PGNY drove revenue and EBITDA above 2Q2020 consensus estimates. Utilization is still below historical levels, but management’s visibility led to excellent FY21 revenue estimates (consensus is around $555M, a y/y increase of 62%. 2Q2020 revenue increased 15% to $64.6M, and EBITDA increased 18% to $6.5M, primarily driven by SBC as the 15% revenue was not enough to leverage the additional G&A people hired in the last 18 months. The end of the quarter as fertility docs opened their offices back up for remote visits saw better operating margin. Despite the shutdown in fertility clinics during COVID-19, Progyny was able to successfully add several clients. “The significant majority of the clinics in our network chose to adhere to ASRMs guidelines, and our volume of fertility treatments and dispensing of the related medications declined significantly over the latter part of the quarter. . . Through the end of March and into the first half of April, we saw significant reductions in the utilization of the benefit by our members down to as low as 15%, when compared to the early part of Q1 were 15% of what we consider to be normal levels. In April, the New York Department of Health declared that fertility is an essential health service and stated that clinics have the authority to treat their patients and perform procedures during the pandemic. Then on April 24, ASRM updated its guidelines which were reaffirmed on May 11, advising that practices could reopen for all procedures so long as it could be done in a measured way that is safe for patients and staff.” Revenue increased by $33.8 million, 72% in 1Q2020. This increase is primarily due to a $19.0 million, or 47% increase, in revenue from fertility benefits. Additionally, the Company experienced a $14.8 million or 216% increase in revenue from specialty pharmacy. Revenue growth was due to the increase in the number of clients and covered lives. Progyny Rx revenue growth outpaced the fertility benefits revenue since Progyny Rx went live with only a select number of clients on January 1, 2018 and has continued to add both new and existing fertility benefit solution clients since its initial launch. Competition The only true competition is the large insurance companies, but, as mentioned previously, they are not delivering care the same way. WINFertility is the largest manager of fertility insurance benefits on behalf of Anthem, Aetna and Cigna and are not directly involved in the delivery of care. Carrot is a Silicon Valley startup that recently raised $24M in a Series B with several brand name customers (StitchFix, Slack) where they focus on negotiating discounts at fertility clinics for their customers, who then use after-tax dollars from their employers. Risks to Thesis Though there is risk a large carrier may switch to a model similar to Progyny’s, I believe it is unlikely given the established relationships with REIs at the clinic level, the difficulty of managing a more selective network of providers, and the lack of interest shown previously in eliminating the IUI. It is more likely a carrier would acquire Progyny first.
Conservative Margin Lending - A tool to use, and a reason to invest outside of Super
Hi AusFinance, i thought i would write on a topic i'm rather passionate about, and hopefully offer some 'food for thought' and an alternative to the standard answers of 'Super is the best environment for your money'. Disclaimers:
this is not financial advice, i am merely trying to offer some food for thought
these examples are greatly simplified, they do not take into account interest rate risk, legislation risk (both on super, on changes to tax, etc..).
The case study below does not take into account the ability to margin lend inside super. the ability is there, such as Bell Potter's Equity Lever platform, but this is not available to your average retail/industry super, hence it is excluded.
Margin lending for the uninitiated: For those of you unaware, margin loans are borrowing to invest. Your shares/fund units act as security that let you borrow money to buy more shares/fund units. These are given different levels of "Loan to Value Ratio" aka LVR. a 75% LVR means you can make up a total investment with a minimum of 25% your money, and a maximum of 75% borrowed money. So with $2,500 you'd be able to borrow up to $7,500 (Making up a total portfolio of $10,000). Why borrow to invest? Simply put, Margin lending amplifies your gains and your losses. I have included a table below to demonstrate what a margin loan will do to a $25,000 investment at an 8% p.a. return at different LVRs. I am using Leveraged Equities variable 4.24% interest rate on their direct investment loan as the interest cost - the product offers access to the vast majority of funds and shares that an investor needs, it's just lacking advanced features like options trading (who cares!) https://preview.redd.it/42p6co191lb51.png?width=786&format=png&auto=webp&s=764b15d0695792766367cc05b5adae78f3af840a Here we can see the return improve from the standard 8% all the way to 11.8% if using 50% LVR. But in my opinion, 50% LVR is too risky for many investors appetite here, even if it is my ideal point. Instead, i would direct your attention to 35% LVR. Why 35% LVR? a 35% LVR comes with a number of benefits to an investor doing standard VAS/VGS/VDHG style etf investing.
Increased returns - as we can see it takes an 8% return and increases it to a 10.1% return
Returns slightly understated - The return is not factoring the effect that the interest will have on your tax return - it is tax deductible.
Low chance of a margin call.
Let's talk about #3. Margin calls are without a doubt the scariest part of margin lending, and i don't blame you for being afraid of them. Many people who leverage too aggressively and fly too close to the sun get hit with a nasty cycle where:
Their investment falls into margin call territory because it has dropped
They are forced to sell their assets at the worst points in the market to get out of the margin call
they miss out on the recovery because their excess cash was used covering margin calls on the way down.
But this is where a 35% LVR is so appealing. the calculation to figure out where your margin call will happen is: 1-(Loan/(Lending Value + Buffer)). So if we take a standard favourite of Ausfinance such as VAS, VDHG etc, we can see that they have a LVR of 75%. Industry standard buffer is 10%. so let's figure out a margin call on a $25,000 investment, with $14,000 borrowed funds (35% LVR): 1-($14,000/(($39,000*0.75)+($39,000*0.10))) = 58% it would take a 58% drop in the portfolio to bring it to a margin call. This is the portfolio dropping from $39,000 to $16,470. This requires a staggering drop before you experience a margin call, and if you are concerned reducing your LVR to only 25% will still improve your return and increase your chance of never being margin called. You have time to add to your holdings with equity only (buying a dip + decreasing your overall LVR). the important thing is you can manage your risk and it requires truly a cataclysmic level of decline before you experience a margin call ,and at that point that may not be your biggest concern. Why all the fuss? What's the point of risking being margin called? It's all in that % return. in the following example i will use ASIC's compound calculator, along with the following parameters: $25,000 initial deposit (your capital), $0 regular deposits, annual compounding, and a 30 year time horizon. The only assumption is that as the portfolio grows in capital value, the 35% LVR is maintained. Case 1 - 0 LVR (AKA [email protected]%) - after 30 years of compounding at 8% you end up on $251,566 Case 2 - 35% LVR (AKA compounding at 10.1%) - after 30 years of compounding at 10.1% you end up on $448,291 Verdict - Case 2 ends up being $196,725 better. a 78% superior return Every % matters so much in a long term strategy, it is truly impossible to overstate how important it is to long term outcomes. Case Study: Super Showdown As a final demonstration of the power of a low leverage strategy we will put two different cases head to head. Let us assume that a 30 year old intends to retire at age 65, and has the option of either having $50,000 in super, or invested at a 35% LVR. After retirement, they will either 1. Take the money tax free in pension phase or 2. pay capital gains tax by cashing out their own 'pension' each year, with their marginal tax rate being 30% (using the currently legislated but not implemented rates). Case 2 will overstate their tax slightly, as i will not scale it, i will just hit the whole thing at 30%. https://preview.redd.it/86c7xcrc7lb51.png?width=530&format=png&auto=webp&s=045a1774106ac8d8ac848decb04bec9a142bdc52 We can see that with the CGT discount, paying 15% tax is actually better than paying a 0% tax rate due to the higher return. It's an out-performance of $508,681 But okay, i hear you, CGT discount may be gotten rid of, let's recalculate it with no discount: https://preview.redd.it/yafmmg6p7lb51.png?width=530&format=png&auto=webp&s=d9ae4b0db5de48808ca202f7c6e40d599c34c065 Even without a CGT discount (and 30% flat is more tax than you'd pay on a CGT discounted method on the highest marginal rate currently) there has been an out-performance of $306,102 What do i hope you take away from this? Even if you decide that the risk of margin lending is too much for you, or that i'm absolutely insane to choose an outside of super strategy that relies on borrowing to invest, i hope that i have given you something to think about. the one thing i hope everyone takes away from this just as a general point is the sheer power of small changes in your long term return %. I really strongly believe in conservatively leveraging safe and boring investments to boost that all critical return over the long term to create outstanding long term results. minor edit: fixed up some grammar
I realize most of my posts get down voted into oblivion anyway, but I'm ready to embrace that. Much of the reason for "hate" is that I've done things a little (or a lot) unconventionally. Not because I was being contrarian, but because I was already an early retiree long before I discover there was such a thing as FIRE, JL Collins, MMM, Vicki Robbin, etc. In some ways I'm glad for this, because I might not have been able to retire as early as I did by following the conventional wisdom. In other ways, it would have made things much easier by having all that collective knowledge to draw from. The point of this post isn't only to share it is okay to do things your own way from time to time, but to encourage discussion in the comments about things you do that are not kosher in the FIRE world. My major mistakes that I wish I had a do over on.... 1) When I first began investing in stocks, to my knowledge ETFs didn't exist. This was in the 80s when things were handled by telephone transaction to a shady guy who promised you he knew a lot of secret knowledge. I was young and stupid and let one of these guys handle my investments. To this day I don't know what happened to him or my stocks. My next attempt was in the mid 90s when computers were more common and I could take control of my own stock picks through a new platform called Sharebuilder. I did my best, but I'll never really know for sure how I did compared to an index. I subscribed to the Motley Fool Hidden Gems letter and bought everything they recommended along with my own picks. Some did well, some went to zero, some traded flat. To sum up, my early years of investing in the stock market were pretty much a mess. 2) I didn't take advantage of a free higher education. Between my athletic skill and my high academic scores I had a chance to go to college completely free...and when I say free...I mean the 100% full ride of all school fees, meals, housing, etc. But I also have social anxiety. I had attended one rural school my entire life with people I had known since K. The new environment was so stressful for me I stopped attending classes and dropped out my first year. 3) I was underemployed most of my life when working for others or struggling to start my own business. I ended up with a food service job (high end, for the most part) that I did really well at. I was given all sorts of managerial responsibilities. I never asked for raises or official promotions, so allowed myself to be very under paid for the work I was doing. My priorities were elsewhere at the time as by that time I was in a band...this kind of became a theme for my early adult life. My creative projects were more important than my income. Even my entrepreneurial leanings (of which there were several projects) were all about creativity first, making money second. Not sure I really regret that though. Things I'm glad I did unconventionally.... 1) Started buying houses in cash. (a huge no no to most people!) I cashed out most of those stocks I mentioned above to start buying houses. (what? you're risking your future!) In cash. In a LCOL area, of course. I bought fixer uppers with absolutely no background in real estate. I hired people to do the work...and learned everything I could on my first few projects. Luckily I'm good with numbers, and I also seemed to have a knack to find undervalued houses with good bones that made ridiculous rental returns after being fixed up. This soon funded itself from the rental income and I was able to grow fairly quickly. That wouldn't have happened if I had listened to what I now know is the conventional wisdom. Would I advise others follow that path. No...not unless they had a similar market to invest in. Trying to repeat this in some areas of the country would not only hurt your returns, it could lead to financial suicide. 2) I set out to find the optimal way to invest in the stock market FOR MY SITUATION. The rentals provide me a steady income, so I knew I could take extra risk in my stocks. After tons of research I discovered the optimal return for me would be based on high dividend stocks in combination with leveraged index funds. I know, I know. I know all the arguments about dividends. For the most part they are true during the accumulation phase. What is often not discussed is everything changes during the draw down period. Dividends lessen your sequence of returns risk since you don't have to sell into down markets to still get income. Sometimes a $1 is not $1 when it cripples future potential returns. There are research papers that go into this in detail, but the math is solid. And I also know leverage index ETFs are poison to many. DECAY! Yet the few papers that address this in real back testing rather than theory show leverage outperforms by a significant margin over most market cycles. Long term, this really adds up. Does this mean I advocate for other people to do what I am doing. NO! Don't do it. I wouldn't be doing it if I didn't have secure income to last me well past my death. My stock accounts will be going to fund charities after I die, so I do want them to do well, but if they don't, it won't have any impact on my retirement. While my exact mix does extremely well in back testing, anything can happen. 3) I live an extremely frugal life. I spend only $10k per year for the last several years, which is well below poverty levels. This doesn't mean my life in reality is impoverished...my house is paid for, my cars are paid for, etc...and I've found ways to monetize many things that cost a lot of people money. That doesn't change the fact that I KNOW many people would not be happy living the way I live. They would be miserable. I am not, so it works for me. I enjoy the "game" of frugality and low waste while still living a very fulfilling life. 4) I don't have insurance. I carry only the minimums I'm forced to carry on things. Other than that, I try to self insure. I fully understand why most people think I'm an idiot when it comes to this. My argument is that I can set that money aside and insure myself rather than having huge portions of that go to pay for the infrastructure of the insurance companies. In theory, if I'm a healthy adult with deep pockets paying out of pocket should be cheaper in the long run. If not, insurance companies wouldn't be making money. Same reason I don't buy the extended warranty on electronics or other items. Again...I know the other argument, and it is also valid. I don't want to argue the point in the comments because I have discussed this topic to death elsewhere in other posts. 5) I don't have children and don't plan to have children. You do you. If children bring you joy...well, enjoy! I don't hate children. It is just part of my personal philosophy to not bring more life into this world. Long story, not easily summed up in a post like this, so I'll leave it at that. 6) I invest a substantial amount in a relatively new platform. (Fundrise) My risk tolerance in this sort of investment is high (much like my stock portfolio) and it gives me diversity outside the stock market and my local real estate market. I don't think the platform will fail, but it is technically possible. As with everything else on this list, I don't recommend others do it if it isn't money they can stand to lose. This is another investment that will fund a charity some day. 7) I didn't want to list everything in detail, but there are many other things I do that falls outside of the conventional FIRE wisdom. I'm sure I've touched on some of these in the past, and this post is already long. Very long. IF you made it this far, congrats. So...that is the silly things and maybe a few wise things I do to buck the standard advice. I'd love to hear from others the things they do that don't conform to typical FIRE norms. As always, I'm an open book so feel free to ask questions or tell me how stupid I am!
Edit: Thank you for all the comments and chat messages! I'm trying to go through each one. Writing thoughtful comments in the midst of having a full-time job is HARD WORK. I think I've missed a few questions, drop me a message if you're interested in continuing a discussion, I'm open to listening! There has been a lot of good comments, a few with great perspectives, and now I have a whole lot of things to read up on. --- Now that the 2020 General Election is firmly in our rear-view mirror, there is something that I have been meaning to write about: institutionalized racism affecting the minorities, especially the Malays, in Singapore. If you are groaning at this thinking you have been misled by this post’s title, I assure you that by the end of this post you will understand the caveat behind the above-mentioned title. I plead for a little of your time and patience. We have seen many discussions online about majority privilege and systemic racism impacting the minorities. Many of you may have even participated in some of these discussions. I will not try to explain those terms for they have already been repeatedly debated to death. What this post aims to achieve is to bring to light Singapore’s history and government policies that have either benefited the majority race or kneecapped the minority race. Or both. Why am I doing this? It is frustrating to see some Singaporeans fully buying into the narrative that Singapore is a truly meritocratic society; that the government’s policies do not discriminate against minorities, or if a Singaporean worked hard enough he or she will succeed (whatever the definition of success is), or that we have anti-discriminatory laws that protect the minorities. Some even claim that the Malays enjoy special privileges due to Section 152 of the Constitution describing the special position of Malays, and that the Malays are blessed with free education in Singapore. Section 152, “Special Position”, free education for all Malays?
Minorities and special position of Malays 152.—(1) It shall be the responsibility of the Government constantly to care for the interests of the racial and religious minorities in Singapore. (2) The Government shall exercise its functions in such manner as to recognise the special position of the Malays, who are the indigenous people of Singapore, and accordingly it shall be the responsibility of the Government to protect, safeguard, support, foster and promote their political, educational, religious, economic, social and cultural interests and the Malay language.
"The aim of the government is not to turn out a few well-educated youths, nor a number of less well-educated boys; rather it is to improve the bulk of the people, and to make the son of a fisherman or a peasant a more intelligent fisherman or peasant than his father had been, and a man whose education will enable him to understand how his lot in life fits in with the scheme of life around him".
"The great object of education is to train a man to make a living.... you can teach Malays so that they do not lose their skill and craft in fishing and jungle work. Teach them the dignity of manual labour, so that they do not all become krannies (clerks) and I am sure you will not have the trouble which has arisen in India through over education"
….even those detractors who question my motives. I wish everyone the best of luck. This is in a separate post to thank all of those who have advanced my education in all things MVIS. That coupled with my normal TA has paid dividends with more to come. Last weekend I came to realize that this forum has mutated into something very different from what I thought was a serious discussion about Microvision. No fault of the moderators. It has become overrun by a new crowd of traders. I guess that’s progress. I made a post to provoke thought about and counter what has become a consensus and almost a guarantee that MVIS will be sold for billions all the way up to 60 billion. I was accused of having the motive of depressing the stock for nefarious purposes. Think about that. I can be criticized for suggesting MVIS hit a short term top and may correct, however, zero criticism about la-la land price projections. Over 90% of the participants here are talking multiple billions and up to 60 billion valuation. Which is more dangerous? When a conversation about stock value becomes one sided, it is often a sign that things are about to change. I have seen posts about what excitement Robinhood trading platform can bring to MVIS. In my career as an investment professional, if I had promoted the extreme use of margin and options trading to unsophisticated investors as Robinhood does, I would have been fired, jailed or possibility both. If congress doesn’t shut them down first, Robinhood will become the poster child of the next stock market bubble. For these reasons among others, I believe my usefulness on this forum has become passe. I say goodbye after 11 years to the ladies and gentlemen I have come to respect. Again,I thank all who have educated me on the technical attributes of LBS. And, I do think the stock goes higher from here. I hope everyone enjoys their mansions, lamborghinis and yachts. ASJ
*NOTE\* The goal of this DD was to provide a cohesive and whole picture of Chegg as a company, taking into account the booming growth they’ve been experiencing during this past quarter. There’s been a lot of talk of Chegg on this subreddit lately but I want to explain why I think it’s about to be the last, best time to buy in before earnings. If you disagree then I urge you to tell me how I’m being autistic and which crucial elements I’m overlooking. In my personal opinion, I believe that Chegg is a solid play in the short term based off both the technicals and the environment in which Chegg exists. As we lead up to Chegg’s earnings on 8/3/2020 and as more people realize Chegg’s continued demand throughout 2020, I believe there will be a substantial run up to play off of (or maybe even multiple as we’ve seen over the past month). OVERVIEW: Chegg is the leading student-first interconnected learning platform, which is on-demand, adaptive, personalized, and backed up by a network of human help. They provide textbooks, 24/7 tutoring, and solutions for a multitude of subjects. Key notes: · Leading direct-to-student connected learning platform · Large addressable market with compelling market trends · High growth and high margin model · Competitive moat given brand, reach, data, and propriety content Chegg is focused on an online, on-demand approach to providing education to students. This has become especially useful with COVID which is going to affect students through the rest of 2020. Chegg’s earnings report is supposed to be on 8/3/2020. I plan on playing off of this run up which I don’t believe is fully factored into the pricing of this stock. Let’s dive in! RELEVANT NEWS: Mass Arbitration: Source If you are/were a student like I was during these years, you may remember the huge Chegg data breach that occurred in 2018. The fallout of this data breach is still affecting Chegg. In April 2020, Z Law filed a class action lawsuit for more than 15,000 individuals asserting a claim of $25,000 for each Chegg customer. Reportedly in June, the American Arbitration Association (AAA) instructed Chegg to pay about $7.5M in fees to launch the arbitrations. Rather than pay these fees, Chegg argued that the customers included in the lawsuit had ‘breached their user agreements by asserting frivolous or improper demands for arbitration.’ Now I don’t have a law degree but this just sounds like a Catch 22 that won’t necessarily hold up in court, and it doesn’t look like it will. It should be noted that all of this information is from a principal at Z Law since Chegg has not responded to requests for information on this issue as of yet. It is likely that this situation will come to a head soon with these latest updates being in the past couple of months. Schools Closing: We are seeing a number of states, or at least counties, mandate that children not go back to school yet this Fall. I believe that this will be a catalyst for increased demand of Chegg’s services. Between their online classrooms, tutoring, and problem solutions, Chegg is in a perfect spot to take advantage of what’s happening for continued growth throughout 2020. FINANCIALS: Market Cap growth vs. Revenue Growth Source · Chegg revenue growth for quarter ending 3/31/2020 was $0.132B, a 35.09% increase from 2019 · Market cap during this period went from $4.4B to $4.19B, a -4% decrease from 2019* * It should be noted that while it’s a great sign that Chegg’s revenue growth is outpacing it’s market cap growth, since last quarter’s earnings were so good, market cap blew out to $8.69B as of this past week, which results in a 67% increase from last year’s 7/15/2019 market cap of $5.20B · Chegg’s annual EPS has been slowly growing by around 30% per year, with the earnings in March 2020 representing a 25% increase since the previous year to $-0.05 EPS. · Chegg’s current P/E ratio is 75.26 TECHNICALS: Source Chegg currently has a resistance of $79.48 with its nearest two supports at $70.15 and $66.76. With the downward trend of the stock market this past week, we saw the share price kiss the first support Tuesday morning when the price dropped but then it slowing gained back throughout the rest of the week. RSI Analysis: Current RSI Level: 63.34 We’ve seen the RSI stay around this level ever since Chegg’s earnings report in March, only breaking out to overbought occasionally before coming back down to near neutral levels (as we saw this past week). In fact, the correction that occurred last week offers a perfect, and quite possibly the last, best set up as we head towards earnings a few weeks from now. *Note: Stochastic oscillator is closer to 50 currently but I’m choosing to evaluate Chegg based on RSI since this stock has been booming all year and strongly trending upwards. MACD Analysis: As of market close this past week, the MACD is currently just barely below its signal line. This is inherently a bearish signal, but the signal line and MACD have been dancing on either side of each other since last earnings, providing lots of opportunities to play these short run ups. The only reason the MACD is below the signal line is because of the correction that occurred last week, meaning that we’re in a perfect spot to take advantage of the next run up. The current signs that I’m seeing that tell me that the train is on its way to tendie town: 1) As of Friday, the stock is trading in an upwards direction above both the EMA and SMA lines indicating very solid price strength 2) The MACD is on the verge of crossing back over its signal line which is a bullish sign to buy and 3) the RSI doesn’t yet indicate that the stock is overbought (but it is heading in that direction). That being said, current resistance levels are set at $79.48. Over the past month, Chegg has been reaching its resistance, falling back, then shooting up past its resistance again – just look at the past month’s chart for Chegg. Past resistance was $75 so I feel confident that this’ll climb to at least $80 but likely higher once the earnings run up starts getting priced in. Once the MACD gives the signal, I will be looking to buy call options at $5 above its last peak of $75.02. This is purely based on my own risk tolerance, I’m sure that higher options would be profitable too though. I’m choosing $5 above since that’s the pattern I’ve been seeing with resistance lines since the last earnings report, but I won’t be selling until I see a downtrend. This could easily go $5-$10 past resistance in anticipation of earnings. It’s also worth noting that the stock has already climbed $3-$4 in the past few days after dropping. That’s a few dollars of growth that we’re missing out on, but that’s the price we pay for confidence. The price strength is finally looking strong enough to buy in which is why I’m sending out this DD. EMA: The current 20 day EMA is $69.06 which it fell below earlier this week but quickly rebounded back on top of it and has been growing steadily ever since. tldr: Long term investors: Hard to tell if the pump this year will continue as COVID inevitably dies down. Past this year I highly doubt that Chegg can continue this growth. But honestly what do I know. Mid term investors: Chegg looks to be strong and growing. The school year will offer a surge of revenue in Q3 but at the same time it’s hard to tell if this same level of growth will continue. You should also be on the lookout for negative catalysts such as this arbitration lawsuit. Short term investors: All systems are a go for some 8/21 $80c. Once we’re locked in, I’m expecting slow and steady gains for the next couple of weeks. If you buy in then I urge you to monitor RSI levels and be on the lookout for a sell off, especially as it approaches $80. If anything, at least set a trailing stop loss. But on the likelihood that this puppy shoots past resistance, we’re looking at a share price of anywhere from $80-$90. Conservatively estimating 50-120% profit depending on how fast it climbs and when it starts to sell off, ideally hold till right before earnings though.
eBay DD Due Diligence, Coronavirus is about to reboot this stock to what it should have been worth years ago
*Authors note* Attempted to post this in WSB but it kept being rejected by the AUTOMOD because it said the title was too long. IDK what the issue is but I am posting it here if that is okay as I spent a lot of time on it. Apologies it was written in the voice of WSB. This is a great stock to buy as well so I think the people on this sub would appreciate the DD. I don't post here much, for those that don't know me I'm the one who posted a very in depth HUYA DD (Now taken down by the WSB mods I suspect because I made a post earnings update talking about some shenanigans) I sold my Huya 10/16 strikes for 800% profit last week. I will leave my options recommendations in the DD. I know Options are not a big thing here but TBH 1/15/21 $85 strikes are a very conservative investment. I have dysgraphia and dyslexia so my writing style can be brutal but the message should come across. *End Note* eBay could SOON become pound for pound one of the most profitable enterprises outside of gambling and drugs. TLDR Bad Leadership at eBay for YEARS Corona flips the script. Bull Case $180 Bear Case $220 Future Price Target maybe more. We will see how peoples mind changes when we see earnings. BUY 11 – 101 – 1001 Shares Depending on Bankroll (I like shares on this one as I expect the company to pay dividends) X Multiples of 100 for future CC. 7/31 $80C (These look the juiciest RN) (8/21 $90C if made available) 1/15/21 $85C Ebay is an online auction house. Look up your local auction house and spend an evening or day at the Auction. It is fun and will help you understand why previous CEO’s tanked this awesome company with their stupidity. Hammering a Diamond into a square hole. Worked for an auction house 4 years. If you go to a well run local auction you will see diverse people, successful auction houses have a customer makeup like this: 30% Hustlers and People involved with the auctions (Consignees etc) 20% Rich people (Rich people love auctions and I’m not talking about Sotherbys I’m talking about a normal sized city weekly auction there will be lots of rich people there) 40% Normal people that either like the thrill or value seekers. 10% Poor People. This is important when we talk about bad CEO decisions. You have to know your audience. Ebay started out with this dude selling a broken laser printer, Pierre Omidayer. It grew quickly and he brought in professional help. This can be a good thing as founders can get in the way of growth. In 1998 Meg Whitman was hired to be CEO. Her tenure was unimpressive and she was responsible for the first of two massive blunders that decapitated eBay growth. Ebay was growing and the internet was starting to get widespread use. By the early 2000s people started to talk about WEB 2.0 and for some reason certain people thought that WEB 2.0 meant being fancy. Ebay did a massive redesign that was hated by most people. Broadband internet was in it’s infancy and the focus on form over function was frustrating for low bandwidth users as the fanciness was more complicated and took longer to load. Additionally it stunted the pathway that would eventually appear for mobile growth. The remnants of this design linger today. Screen Cap of the AOLfication of eBay late 2003 I believe one of the big problems was rendering the menus in AJAX or something similar, very slow to load in that era Here we can see the failure in line graph form, (These things lag) eBay share price got hammered. One the reasons for the hammering was lackluster earnings, many ebay users attribute this to the redesign failure as it turned off existing and new customers. Link to image as it loos like this sub doesn't allow embeded images Project Ugly-ify and Slow-ify eBay looks to have lopped off growth and momentum for the share price. Meg Whitmans tenure at ebay neutered growth. One could blame Whitman for doing a lot of damage to eBay growth but she will largely be forgotten after you learn about the FLAMING DUMPSTER FIRE OF A CEO that is John Donahoe. In 2008 eBay hired Donahoe to be CEO. This could possibly be the worst hire in the history of all hires. Don’t take my word for it. In 2014 Carl Icahn said eBay was the worst run company he had ever seen. Carl Icahn says eBay is the worst run company he has ever seen Donahoe had series after series of bad decision. He basically went to war with small and medium sellers (eBay’s actual bread and butter customers) and went to great lengths to attract large corporate clients. (The worst type of business for eBay) and run away his most profitable customers. eBay is a market place. Donahoe gave steep discounts in fees in order to attract corporate customers. Companies like Target started to sell on eBays platform. (Most are now gone because within a few short years the internet was mature enough that they could start their own platforms) Link to no longer existing eBay Target Store Fee discounts to corporate customers angered existing sellers. In early 2013 he implemented eBay’s search algorithm (Cassini I believe it was called) Previous to this Algo eBay was just a dumb search engine. With the Algo, eBay could control visibility of items on the site via built in preferences like Best Match. With this Donahoe is about to fire maybe 20% of his most profitable customers and give the Amazon marketplace a flood of new users. This idiot was trying to turn an auction house into the next Amazon. Instead he just put Amazon growth on steroids and shoots himself in the foot. Cassini was used to ban eBay's customers. DROVES OF THEM Donahoe decided that any problems on eBay were caused by sellers and he declared war on the people that were his customers. Enter DSR. Detailed seller ratings was eBay implementation of strict guidelines for their sellers. DSR = 4 categories, each category was rated 1-5 with 5 being good. The system treated 1&2s as a failure. For Example Customer was unhappy with an item they received for whatever reason. If someone rated a part of the transaction a 2 they would get a ding against their DSR. Problem is they treated all categories the same and the thresholds were very stringent. For every 1000 transactions a seller had to have LESS than 10 dings in order to participate with Cassini without a search penalty. If the 10 threshold was crossed (Which is 98.9% or less good rating) they would be penalized in the search standing and go under probation. If they crossed 20/1000 or 97.9% or less positive approval rating they would BAN YOU FROM THE PLATFORM. YOU READ THAT CORRECTLY John DONAHOE in is infinite wisdom decided that sellers with as high as a 97.9% positive transaction rating were disposable. I've NEVER SEEN SOMETHING SO STUPID IN MY LIFE. I kid you not. Donahoe implemented a system where a 98.9% POSITIVE rating has a penalty and 97.9% positive is a ban. (Check the feedback on tons of Amazon marketplace sellers and you will see how ridiculous a threshold this was) What was even more ridiculous was in the beginning all categories were treated the same. For example Books were treated the same way as used women's clothing. Certain categories like womens clothing were DECIMATED by sellers being banned. People who had been on the platform for a decade and had say a 97% positive feedback selling USED WOMENS CLOTHING were banned left and right. It gets worse, remember how at 98.9% they would put you on probation? Some people called this the DEATH SPIRAL as if you were on probation the new “Best Match” system would lower your search standing. So if you were some poor schmuck who had sold 397 used pieces of womens clothing that year and just 4 of them were unhappy with the experience. You’d go on probation with little to no hope of anything other than the ban hammer. I’ve read many period era messageboard posts of long time sellers in probation trying to do EVERYTHING they could to raise their DSR to get out of probation but had zero visibility with the new algo, they were just left to wither on the vine hoping fruitlessly to turn things around. Most of them didn’t know it YET but eventually as people started putting the pieces together there was no chance of them escaping the Death Spiral. Gaggles of people spent MONTHS trying to save their accounts and eventually most of them realized they were screwed, there was nothing they could do about it because of the Algos. These sellers turned on ebay and took others with them. If you notice during this time period AMAZON marketplace took off. Daddy Bezo’s had a flood of experienced online traders who simply shifted their operations to the less popular (at the time) and more expensive platform (at the time). It was either that or close shop. MANY CHOSE TO CLOSE SHOP. The stupidity of all this was the Small and Medium sellers were the real money makers. eBay charges around a 9% fee with a cap of $250 per transaction. Which is more profitable? Target selling 50,000 items or 5,000 small to medium size sellers selling 100 items? The answer is in the nature of marketplaces. Target sells to 5,000 customers and that is the end of the story. Small to medium sized sellers tend to keep the money in the marketplace. User A sells to user B for $100 User B can turn around and take that $100 and buy something he needs for himself or his business from user C, user C can then do the same. Wash, Rinse, Repeat. Target selling $100 is a one way street while Small to Medium users can be a continuous money carousel. Donahoe in his infinite ignorance ran off many of his prime sellers. Ultimately sellers are your customers as they are the one’s who pay the fees. He jump started his competition whom he was stupidly trying to emulate. The important thing to understand about eBay is their product (An Auction) is easily scaleable and cheap to run For example this Rolex costs about the same to service this listing for a rug The Target deal, illustrated with a bathroom rug Chasing these corporate dollars was infinitely stupid.
They gave these corporations steep discounts to use the platform
The internet was maturing and we were just a few years from all these corporations having their own web presence
Robbed dollars and eyeballs from your bread and butter. Auction and Store listings of small to medium sellers.
Robs future revenue from carousel customers who return money to the marketplace and gives it to corporate customers who do not return dollars and are using the dollars they make off you to build the infrastructure to replace you. DING DING DING
This dude declared war on some of his best customers and tried to make eBay an ugly corporate shill and would eventually lead to the invasion of cheap Chinese stuff (eBay is now combating that) We can see the results of his war on customers with this graph. eBay’s growth and revenue was decimated by this idiot and you can see the results once the earnings were reported (Which lagged the implementation of his stupidity) War on customers displayed via line graph Donohoe decapitated ebay right during what would have been it’s prime growth years and funneled those customers to his biggest competitor. eBay can make far more with less because of the nature of it’s bread and butter customers. Many auction enthusiasts are high income types. eBay has better demographics financially than it’s competitors. There is even a fairly large industry of arbitrage where people sell items they source elsewhere (Like amazon) and basically drop ship them off as eBay sells because some stuff sells at a premium on eBay. eBay CAN make more money per transaction compared to similar industries and can capture a significant amount of money to return within the marketplace. Similar to sales tax, that dollar can bounce around within the marketplace and eBay can take it’s 9% cut every time it switches hands. Interesting side rabbit hole that arises during the Donahoe years. Donahoe was obsessed with attacking his own customers. This was commonly followed in an industry blog called AuctionWeb and then eventually named ecommercebytes. Run by the Steiner Couple Here is an article their website published about them getting rid of sellers They reported on all of eBay’s policy changes and basically called them out for being the giant window lickers they were. It ruffled a few feathers within the organization and now 6+ employees of eBay are being charged with crimes like harassment and stalking. Really a crazy story. DONAHOE is to blame for the policies and culture that allowed this to happen. He should go to jail over just what he did to the share price. Crazy eBay Criminal Stalking More Crazy eBay Harassment During all of this foot shooting was when Carl Icahn said that eBay was THE WORST RUN COMPANY HE HAD EVER SEEN One of the problems was the incestuous nature of eBay’s relationship with Paypal and the board members who presided over both. They basically spent a decade doing what was best for the board and not what was best for the Shareholders, employees and customers of eBay. This is now not so much a problem because many of those relationships no longer exist. In the aftermath the other pieces have found increased market value and eBay has been suppressed due to it being stuck with all the burdens of the Donahoe administration and bad perception. eBay should have been worth more as an individual piece and it’s was the one who took the financial hits. PayPal Split in 2015 PayPal has a 113 P/E (I’m not saying this is the best metric to judge a company I’m just using it for illustration) If eBay traded at Paypal P/E it would be worth $660 So what’s the catalyst to the eBay Rocket Ship that is about to take off? CORONA. Corona is shaking up the whole economy and this shake up will jolt eBay to it’s full potential. Alexa 90 days, even better at 140 and this growth is against the normal ebb of seasonal business Over the past 4 months as far as I can tell eBay has increased traffic by as much as 18%+ which is pretty AMAZING for a very mature internet company. Even more amazing when you take into account that this is normally eBays slow period. Traffic is normally on the downturn. YOY I am curious how much busier they have been I'm guessing 45% YOY increase in traffic for the Month of May & June April May June July are eBay’s 4 slowest months and the July 28th earnings will encompass 3 of those 4 months. During the slowest time of year eBay went from the mid 50’s to the lower 40’s for it’s spot in total Internet Traffic. A HUGE shift against the normal tide of business cycles. Traffic for last 90 days. Up much more over entire Corona Period the increase looks more bigly when you view 150 days out I've spent a few hours trawling eBay seller message boards. Within this quarter I have heard of increases in per transactions and a decrease in "Best Offers" which means better margins for sellers and more fees for eBay. I attribute this to Corona disrupting normal supply chains. eBay has been established for many years so boomers when they can’t find something are like "Oh Yeah EBAY." Many sellers report increased sells in business related categories and more aged inventory being sold as parts of the market shift towards online from some of the traditionally Bricks and Mortar industries. eBay has a very successful and well made app. Sellers are seeing increased usage amongst younger buyers/sellers whom are either bored with the lockdowns or looking for side income after losing their jobs. Remember when we mentioned 500 small sellers being worth more than one big corporate client? This will be obtained with an army of people using the app on their cell phones. Corona is going to get the attention of customers they lost over the years as they come back to the platform they remember, millennials and new users when they discover the well made app will come online. I've added the eBay App to my phone it is very good and has very customizable search features. The Bear case for eBay is even more, if Corona turns out to be worse (It’s not) everything online just becomes more valuable. So what is eBay worth? Well it’s a better investment IMO than Paypal eBay valued like Paypal is worth $660 Mercardo Libre is worth more than eBay (This is a Crime) as it is not even a top 1000 worldwide website while eBay is top 50. Plus it doesn’t even turn a profit. If you have any MELI stock sell half of it and buy eBay in addition to whatever you would buy if you didn't own MELI do the same for PayPal as well IMO. If eBay was valued like MELI it would be worth Tesla numbers Mercardo Libre has a 25% bigger market cap than eBay and doesn’t turn a profit. Ebay would be $76 a share just to be on par with MELI and it shouldn’t even be in the same ballpark. Etsy is just outside of the Top 100 for web traffic and has a 181 P/E if eBay was trading like ETSY it would be trading at $1090 a share If eBay was valued like ETSY it would trade for $1090 Channel Advisor is a company that grew out of offering services for eBay and while it works on multiple platforms it’s use was born from eBay and it has a 60 P/E If trading like Channel Advisor it would be worth $363 Corona shifted a lot of users to the eBay marketplace because of busted supply chains. They now have an Okay website and an EXCELLENT APP. This increased use comes during the traditional low tide of eBay traffic and if eBay leans into the coming quarters their revenue is going to skyrocket. Corona was the catalysts to wake everybody up to what eBay could do and what it should be worth. EBAY should be one of the most profitable companies in the US economy with lots of room to improve the bottom line. It has all the pieces. Like Selling off some of the MANY side projects under the eBay umbrella Streamlining Employment Just this month they are integrating their own payment platform which should add 1-2% more to every sell which is a big deal considering that the average fee is around 9%. We are talking about maybe 20% added to revenue with not much changing. BIG MONEY Winning back Small to Medium sellers and improving the per item transaction is eBay's ticket to tendie town. All the new growth they are experiencing is exactly what they need and want. They have a good App that can capitalize on the reboot. eBay has ample room for growth and I suspect the income levels of buyers in the marketplace is higher than competitors like Amazon, Etsy, Overstock, Stitch Fix. eBaY has more people with money paying attention. New CEO seems to be a bright guy. All he has to do is not SHOOT HIMSELF IN THE FOOT like the Donahoe CEO. If successful eBay will be on the moon mission of all moon missions MOST UNDERVALUED TECH COMPANY IN AMERICA. As always my DMs are open and I do mercenary stuff. I have my position and I am currently buying shares with a goal of 303 shares before earnings. I suspect this thing will have VERY little resistance upon takeoff Little Resistance BUY 11 – 101 – 1001 Shares Depending on Bankroll (I like shares on this one, I like the company and I'm expecting dividends) Once this rocket settles it is covered call selling time. (This is why you want multiples of 100 You should be at least a 80/20 Options/ Share split. Got to water the seed Options 7/31 $80C (8/21 $90C if ever made available) 1/15/21 $85C (Also I'd buy higher but they are not currently available, if BEFORE earnings Higher Strikes appear I would go up in strike A LOT. If earnings are up big this is ONLY THE BEGINNING as this is eBays SLOW PERIOD. Earnings for the fall will be CRAZY if Traffic continues to hold and if it has the normal Santa Claus Tax increase 🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀
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