I've been researching this a LOT lately because I didn't want to get caught in it. Looking at trends and past data. I believe, strongly, that we're in the middle of the market crash. I used my knowledge and was able to fully exit my entire $500k portfolio on Tuesday, maintaining all my gains. I've even taken a sizeable position in SPY puts ($50k worth of Dec $260). I got my close friends out (well the ones who listened) on Friday at the first sign of positive movement. First of all, a little history lesson on the Minksy Bubble. It's basically a theory for how market bubbles happen. It occurs in 5 steps. I will outline what they are in basic and how the current market looks in relation.
Displacement: This is the beginning of a new paradigm where the market changes in a big way. For this, that was the Coronavirus. This took place between February to April.
Boom: Increase in spending begins and major gains start to be made. Media attention and market involvement begin to increase. Currently, we've seen a HUGE increase in retail traders (who are extremely volatile) and massive media attention toward the stock market as it relates to corona news as well as stimulus and recovery speed gains. This took place between April and July.
Euphoria: People stop caring about any sort of reasonable investment strategy and just start throwing money at stuff. Tesla is a fantastic example of this, but many other stocks in the tech sector are guilty of this. July was the beginning of this phase as Tesla saw insane growth within a few week period and other companies followed suit very quickly. This continued into late August with Apple and Tesla going to stupid prices after their splits, and all the other big tech names reaching wild valuations.
Profit Taking: Smart money starts withdrawing funds from the market as they prepare for the crash. We are seeing record insider selling, but most publicly, it began with Tesla announcing they would sell $5bn in new shares. Their second biggest shareholder then announced they were conveniently "rebalancing" their portfolio to sell many Tesla shares as well. This was nothing more than a ploy to pull money out without crashing the market, even though it did anyway. I will get more in depth on this phase later. The biggest catalyst was Softbank, though, and that leads me to the final stage.
Panic Selling: This is when people start to exit en masse in order to recoup whatever they can. We are currently witnessing this. The last few days have been a trainwreck on the market, wiping out August's gains entirely.
Now I know you want to say "well look at today. We're up 2% in the S&P!" This is par for the course on a crash. With the Corona crash, these were the rough day to day movement patterns (I'm using Corona as an example for its shortness/simplicity but all crashes have similar patterns):
1 small loss day
2 BIG loss days
3 medium loss days
5 gain days (there were 5 days of gains in the middle of the March crash)
1 GIANT loss day
3 Sideways days
8 slightly down days, leading to the bottom
Of those gain days, the first was a slowdown, but the second was a change of 4.8% in S&P/SPY from an open of 294 to a close of 309. Consecutive, positive days occurred during every major crash. We can see that being mirrored today and will likely see more upward mobility before more big money starts exiting. Don't be fooled by positive days. That does NOT indicate the crash is over. Novices tend to think crashes are a short event and that they should hold through them because they missed the boat. Crashes take weeks, minimum, but usually months, if not years, to become fully realized. Covid's crash is the fastest we've had at one month. Another trend I've noticed is that these market bubbles are happening and recovering faster and faster. The late 80's Japanese market crash took 6 years to play out. The 2000 dotcom bubble was 4 years. The Chinese 2007 bubble took 2 years. The 2008 oil bubble took 1 year. On the flipside, the 2007 housing bubble took 5 years. The 2008 energy bubble took 3 years. We're about 6 months into this current bubble, but more if you account for any forming bubble from before covid. Maybe this means nothing, but I thought it was worth mentioning. Bubble analysts always say there is a warning sign prior to a true collapse. I've been seeing these called "violent shake-offs." Most crashes get one, but some get two. We had one with the June mini-crash. One could argue that this current crash could be a violent shake-off. I'll get to the alternate scenario later. Assuming it's not, which I don't think it is, we move to the final trigger, the catalyst. Catalysts: These are are things required to trigger a bubble collapse. Almost every bubble has had some notable catalyst(s) to trigger the rapid decline. As mentioned in Profit Taking, we've had three catalysts occur so far that triggered panic selling. New Tesla shares, secondary Tesla offloading, and Softbank. They are the big one and who I will focus on for a minute. To those who don't know, Softbank bought $4 billion in options during the early days of the market post-covid. These options are worth a fortune right now ($30bn estimated), but they have to be sold in order to be fully capitalized on. What everyone is afraid of is Softbank doing just that, or worse, for shareholders: holding through a market crash and losing it all. In the movie, Margin Call (great movie), a hedge fund got wind of the housing market crash before everyone else and ultimately sold EVERYTHING they had in order to get ahead of it, single handedly beginning the inevitable market crash. To be fair, this is a fictional movie and they had a portfolio of like a trillion, but it's really just mentioned to illustrate my point. Softbank has to exercise these options, which have strike prices likely WAY below market value. If they sell those shares, they could easily double their investment, even through a crash. The problem is that people got so spooked by this revelation that Softbank lost over $15 billion in market cap (currently at $112bn). Had this not happened, the speed at which we decline would've been much slower. They have to make those losses up now. You know what would do that? Exercising all their options and selling them for market gains. They can't keep those options forever, either. At best they have 2 years. Softbank will try very hard to sell all those off without crashing the market, but if it keeps dipping, they will become more desperate and start selling them more frantically, promoting a panic selling cycle. And what are we in? A panic selling cycle. If this cycle continues with Softbank, more will tack on and we'll see this bubble continue to collapse. If it can hold a recovery this week, it might survive, but of course, I don't think it will. The end of day today really showed that people are afraid and that given any opportunity, selloff will occur. I think this IS the crash. But, I could be wrong. That brings me to the second and third catalysts. Commercial Real Estate Crash: The eviction crisis is a real threat to our economy. It's brushed under the rug pretty heavily, pointing to the home real estate market and its gains, but the damage is done. Most major commercial real estate buildings, especially apartments, are in disarray. Go look around and see the kinds of deals your local apartments are offering. Where I am, I'm seeing up to 2 months of free rent in some places. I've never seen that before. Everyone is desperate for paying tenants. Most commercial properties can weather a bit of this kind of thing, but we haven't seen anything like this. Small businesses are shutting down, new businesses are not opening. No one is shopping. Who replaces those lost tenants? All these properties are heavily in debt. That's how the industry works, for the most part. Entrepreneurs and builders finance all projects because they are seen as very safe and it's a rule of thumb to never use your own money for investment. The margins had become abysmal before corona. I once looked into buying commercial real estate and found that I would only cover the expenses and have to solely rely on the property value increasing, to make anything worthwhile. This will cause properties to bleed out extremely fast. There is a commercial real estate collapse coming, likely within 6 months, and it will compound any damage the tech bubble has done. Don't forget that this isn't strictly a US problem. This is a worldwide problem. Vacation Industry Crash: Many countries around the world rely on a steady influx of visitors in order to keep their businesses afloat. This, in turn, boosts GDP. Malaysia, for instance, is a place I personally visited, during Covid, and it was a desolate wasteland. Most shops had employees literally standing outside waiting for a single customer. It was like this for blocks and blocks. Huge tourist attractions were completely devoid of people. It's only a matter of time before our lack of flying catches up to these already poor and extremely hard to maintain businesses. The country in Malaysia I visited had a notoriously low success rate for new restaurants, during the best of times. Now, they are lucky to get any customers. That affect will bleed into the second catalyst. More businesses going under, causing commercial real estate to lose tenants with no one to replace them, causing those buildings to go under, causing banks to be stuck with a boat load of vacant, unprofitable properties, causing them to go under. Even with a vaccine, we won't go back to normal fast enough to recover the losses. The airline industry is reporting that they don't estimate returns to normal until late 2021, early 2022. Do you think a random Joe has enough liquidity to keep his business running that long at extreme drought? The people at the bottom of the chain, consumers and small business owners, were never prepared to have a cash supply on hand for this kind of hit to their lives. That is going to trickle up to the top and when it does, goodbye market. Of course, there's also the US election, but that will be a small catalyst as far as I'm concerned. ------------------------------------------------ Other notable indicators/insights that things don't look good:
Market cap to GDP was 2:1 at peak. The dotcom crash was 1.4 and the recession was 1.1. Currently 1.77:1.
Google trend results for "Market Crash" are trending up. Last week, which only accounted for 3 days, really, already topped the June mini-crash.
An analyst who witnessed the Japanese crash of the 1980's believes this will be the biggest crash we've ever seen.
EVs are the new dotcom company. Many will fail as car creation proves to be more difficult than anticipated.
High growth, high revenue companies do not automatically equate to sustainable companies, despite stock prices pretending they do. For example, Sea Ltd. doubled revenue but also doubled expenses in Q2 2020. eToys is a prime example of this, from the dotcom bust era. Had huge revenue, but their expenses could not be lowered to a sustainable level and went out of business, despite the business model making sense and the revenue stream looking really good.
The PE ratio of the market is above 30, which has historically always resulted in a market crash.
Apple saw 12 million shares exited at the bell today. Prior to that was around 600k peak. This happened for MOST tech stocks.
If you bought Microsoft at peak dotcom bust, you would have to wait 10 years to breakeven (longer if you account for inflation losses). That kind of stagnation is what we're looking at, even today.
------------------------------------------------ This does NOT mean the entire market will crash. Quite the contrary. Yes, most stocks will go down as the market collapses in overvalued sectors (TECH) brings down the whole thing, but they will stay high if priced fairly. Most epicenter is priced within a reasonable area, for instance, and will weather the storm quite well. At least, until the commercial real estate market collapse catches up to them. Plan accordingly, set stop losses, and do your own research. I don't expect you to just follow my information blindly. I may have gotten things wrong or mixed some wires. You need to figure this out on your own and make your own judgement call. I simply hope to raise awareness for what I believe is a market crash so that people don't lose their shirt during this. I hope I'm wrong, though I'm literally betting with my money that I'm not. Good luck.
This week 12 yrs ago--Lehman Bros collapsed......(Best Interest) Explaining the Big Short and the 2008 Crisis
edit: thanks for the awards. I'd be a dick to take credit. Go check out the one-man-band who actually wrote it---I've been reading for a couple months, good stuffhttps://bestinterest.blog/explain-the-big-short/ (Best Interest) This post will explain the Big Short and the 2008 subprime mortgage collapse in simple terms. This post is a little longer than usual–maybe give yourself 20 minutes to sift through it. But I promise you’ll leave feeling like you can tranche (that’s a verb, right?!) the whole financial system! Key Players First, I want to introduce the players in the financial crisis, as they might not make sense at first blush. One of the worst parts about the financial industry is how they use deliberately obtuse language to explain relatively simple ideas. Their financial acronyms are hard to keep track of. In order to explain the Big Short, these players–and their roles–are key. Individuals, a.k.a. regular people who take out mortgages to buy houses; for example, you and me! Mortgage lenders, like a local bank or a mortgage lending specialty shop, who give out mortgages to individuals. Either way, they’re probably local people that the individual home-buyer would meet in person. Bigbanks, such as Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, who buy lots of mortgages from lenders. After this transaction, the homeowner would owe money to the big bank instead of the lender. Collateralized debt obligations (CDOs)—deep breath!—who take mortgages from big banks and bundle them all together into a bond (see below). And just like before, this step means that the home-buyer now owes money to the CDO. Why is this done?! I’ll explain, I promise. Ratings agencies, whose job is to determine the risk of a CDO—is it filled with safe mortgages, or risky mortgages? Investors, who buy part of a CDO and get repaid as the individual homeowners start paying back their mortgage. Feel lost already? I’m going to be a good jungle guide and get you through this. Stick with me. Quick definition: Bonds A bond can be thought of as a loan. When you buy a bond, you are loaning your money. The issuer of the bond is borrowing your money. In exchange for borrowing your money, the issuer promises to pay you back, plus interest, in a certain amount of time. Sometimes, the borrower cannot pay the investor back, and the bond defaults, or fails. Defaults are not good for the investor. The CDO—which is a bond—could hold thousands of mortgages in it. It’s a mortgage-backed bond, and therefore a type of mortgage-backed security. If you bought 1% of a CDO, you were loaning money equivalent to 1% of all the mortgage principal, with the hope of collecting 1% of the principal plus interest as the mortgages got repaid. There’s one more key player, but I’ll wait to introduce it. First… The Whys, Explained Why does an individual take out a mortgage? Because they want a home. Can you blame them?! A healthy housing market involves people buying and selling houses. How about the lender; why do they lend? It used to be so they would slowly make interest money as the mortgage got repaid. But nowadays, the lender takes a fee (from the homeowner) for creating (or originating) the mortgage, and then immediately sells to mortgage to… A big bank. Why do they buy mortgages from lenders? Starting in the 1970s, Wall St. started buying up groups of loans, tying them all together into one bond—the CDO—and selling slices of that collection to investors. When people buy and sell those slices, the big banks get a cut of the action—a commission. Why would an investor want a slice of a mortgage CDO? Because, like any other investment, the big banks promised that the investor would make their money back plus interest once the homeowners began repaying their mortgages. You can almost trace the flow of money and risk from player to player. At the end of the day, the investor needs to get repaid, and that money comes from homeowners. CDOs are empty buckets Homeowners and mortgage lenders are easy to understand. But a big question mark swirls around Wall Street’s CDOs. I like to think of the CDO as a football field full of empty buckets—one bucket per mortgage. As an investor, you don’t purchase one single bucket, or one mortgage. Instead, you purchase a thin horizontal slice across all the buckets—say, a half-inch slice right around the 1-gallon mark. As the mortgages are repaid, it starts raining. The repayments—or rain—from Mortgage A doesn’t go solely into Bucket A, but rather is distributed across all the buckets, and all the buckets slowly get re-filled. As long as your horizontal slice of the bucket is eventually surpassed, you get your money back plus interest. You don’t need every mortgage to be repaid. You just need enough mortgages to get to your slice. It makes sense, then, that the tippy top of the bucket—which gets filled up last—is the highest risk. If too many of the mortgages in the CDO fail and aren’t repaid, then the tippy top of the bucket will never get filled up, and those investors won’t get their money back. These horizontal slices are called tranches, which might sound familiar if you’ve read the book or watched the movie. So far, there’s nothing too wrong about this practice. It’s simply moving the risk from the mortgage lender to other investors. Sure, the middle-men (banks, lenders, CDOs) are all taking a cut out of all the buy and sell transactions. But that’s no different than buying lettuce at grocery store prices vs. buying straight from the farmer. Middle-men take a cut. It happens. But now, our final player enters the stage… Credit Default Swaps: The Lynchpin of the Big Short Screw you, Wall Street nomenclature! A credit default swap sounds complicated, but it’s just insurance. Very simple, but they have a key role to explain the Big Short. Investors thought, “Well, since I’m buying this risky tranche of a CDO, I might want to hedge my bets a bit and buy insurance in case it fails.” That’s what a credit default swap did. It’s insurance against something failing. But, there is a vital difference between a credit default swap and normal insurance. I can’t buy an insurance policy on your house, on your car, or on your life. Only you can buy those policies. But, I could buy insurance on a CDO mortgage bond, even if I didn’t own that bond! Not only that, but I could buy billions of dollars of insurance on a CDO that only contained millions of dollars of mortgages. It’s like taking out a $1 million auto policy on a Honda Civic. No insurance company would allow you to do this, but it was happening all over Wall Street before 2008. This scenario essentially is “the big short” (see below)—making huge insurance bets that CDOs will fail—and many of the big banks were on the wrong side of this bet! Credit default swaps involved the largest amounts of money in the subprime mortgage crisis. This is where the big Wall Street bets were taking place. Quick definition: Short A short is a bet that something will fail, get worse, or go down. When most people invest, they buy long (“I want this stock price to go up!”). A short is the opposite of that. Certain individuals—like main characters Steve Eisman (aka Mark Baum in the movie, played by Steve Carrell) and Michael Burry (played by Christian Bale) in the 2015 Oscar-nominated film The Big Short—realized that tons of mortgages were being made to people who would never be able to pay them back. If enough mortgages failed, then tranches of CDOs start to fail—no mortgage repayment means no rain, and no rain means the buckets stay empty. If CDOs fail, then the credit default swap insurance gets paid out. So what to do? Buy credit default swaps! That’s the quick and dirty way to explain the Big Short. Why buy Dog Shit? Wait a second. Why did people originally invest in these CDO bonds if they were full of “dog shit mortgages” (direct quote from the book) in the first place? Since The Big Short protagonists knew what was happening, shouldn’t the investors also have realized that the buckets would never get refilled? For one, the prospectus—a fancy word for “owner’s manual”—of a CDO was very difficult to parse through. It was hard to understand exactly which mortgages were in the CDO. This is a skeevy big bank/CDO practice. And even if you knew which mortgages were in a CDO, it was nearly impossible to realize that many of those mortgages were made fraudulently. The mortgage lenders were knowingly creating bad mortgages*.* They were giving loans to people with no hopes of repaying them. Why? Because the lenders knew they could immediately sell that mortgage—that risk—to a big bank, which would then securitize the mortgage into a CDO, and then sell that CDO to investors. Any risk that the lender took by creating a bad mortgage was quickly transferred to the investor. So…because you can’t decipher the prospectus to tell which mortgages are in a CDO, it was easier to rely on the CDO’s rating than to evaluate each of the underlying mortgages. It’s the same reason why you don’t have to understand how engines work when you buy a car; you just look at Car & Driver or Consumer Reports for their opinions, their ratings. The Ratings Agencies Investors often relied on ratings to determine which bonds to buy. The two most well-known ratings agencies from 2008 were Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s (heard of the S&P 500?). The ratings agency’s job was to look at a CDO that a big bank created, understand the underlying assets (in this case, the mortgages), and give the CDO a rating to determine how safe it was. A good rating is “AAA”—so nice, it got ‘A’ thrice. So, were the ratings agencies doing their jobs? No! There are a few explanations for this:
Even they—the experts in charge of grading the bonds—didn’t understand what was going on inside a CDO. The owner’s manual descriptions (prospectuses) were too complicated. In fact, ratings agencies often relied on big banks to teach seminars about how to rate CDOs, which is like a teacher learning how to grade tests from Timmy, who still pees his pants. Timmy just wants an A.
Ratings agencies are profit-driven companies. When they give a rating, they charge a fee. But if the agency hands out too many bad grades, then their customers—the big banks—will take their requests elsewhere in hopes of higher grades. The ratings agencies weren’t objective, but instead were biased by their need for profits.
Remember those fraudulent mortgages that the lenders were making? Unless you did some boots-on-the-ground research, it was tough to uncover this fact. It’s hard to blame the ratings agencies for not catching this.
Who’s to blame? Everyone? Let’s play devil’s advocate…
Individuals: some people point the finger at homeowners, saying, “You should know better than to buy a $1 million house on a teacher’s salary.” I find this hard to swallow. These people, surrounded by the American home-ownership dream, were sold the idea that they would be fine. The mortgage lender had no incentive to sell a good mortgage, they only had an incentive to sell a mortgage. So, it’s hard for me to put too much blame on the homeowners.
Mortgage lenders: someone knew. I’m not saying that all the mortgage lenders were fully aware of the implications of their actions, but some people knew that fraudulent loans were being made, and chose to ignore that fact. For example, check out whistleblower Eileen Foster.
Big banks: Yes sir! There’s certainly blame here. Rather than get into all of the various money-grubbing, I want to call out one specific anecdote. Back in 2010, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein testified in front of Congress. Here it is:
To explain further, there are two things going on here. First, Goldman Sachs bankers were selling CDOs to investors. They wanted to make a commission on the sale. At the same time, other bankers ALSO AT GOLDMAN SACHS were buying credit default swaps, a.k.a. betting against the same CDOs that the first Goldman Sachs bankers were selling. This is like selling someone a racehorse with cancer, and then immediately going to the track to bet against that horse. Blankfein’s defense in this video is, “But the horse seller and the bettor weren’t the same people!” And the Congressmen responds, “But they worked for the same stable, and collected the same paychecks!” So do the big banks deserve blame? You tell me. Inspecting Goldman Sachs One reason Goldman Sachs survived 2008 is that they began buying credit default swaps (insurance) just in time before the housing market crashed. They were still on the bad side of some bets, but mostly on the good side. They were net profitable. Unfortunately for them, the banks that owed Goldman money were going bankrupt from their own debt, and then Goldman never would have been able to collect on their insurance. Goldman would’ve had to payout on their “bad” bets, while not collecting on their “good” bets. In their own words, they were “toast.” This is significant. Even banks in “good” positions would’ve gone bankrupt, because the people who owed the most money weren’t able to repay all their debts. Imagine a chain; Bank A owes money to Bank B, and B owes money to Bank C. If Bank A fails, then B can’t collect their debt, and B can’t pay C. Bank C made “good” bets, but aren’t able to collect on them, and then they go out of business. These failures would’ve rippled throughout the world. This explains why the US government felt it necessary to bail-out the banks. That federal money allowed banks in “good” positions to collect their profits and “stop the ripple” from tearing apart the world economy. While CDOs and credit default swap explain the Big Short starting, this ripple of failure is the mechanism that affected the entire world. Betting more than you have But if someone made a bad bet—sold bad insurance—why didn’t they have money to cover that bet? It all depends on risk. If you sell a $100 million insurance policy, and you think there’s a 1% chance of paying out that policy, what’s your exposure? It’s the potential loss multiplied by the probability = 1% times $100 million, or $1 million. These banks sold billions of dollars of insurance under the assumption that there was a 5%, or 3%, or 1% chance of the housing market failing. So they had 20x, or 30x, or 100x less money on hand then they needed to cover these bets. Turns out, there was a 100% chance that the market would fail…oops! Blame, expounded Ratings agencies—they should be unbiased. But they sold themselves off for profit. They invited the wolves—big banks—into their homes to teach them how to grade CDOs. Maybe they should read a blog to explain the Big Short to them. Of course they deserve blame. Here’s another anecdote of terrible judgment from the ratings agencies: Think back to my analogy of the buckets and the rain. Sometimes, a ratings agency would look at a CDO and say, “You’re never going to fill up these buckets all the way. Those final tranches—the ones that won’t get filled—they’re really risky. So we’re going to give them a bad grade.” There were “Dog Shit” tranches, and Dog Shit gets a bad grade. But then the CDO managers would go back to their offices and cut off the top of the buckets. And they’d do this for all their CDOs—cutting off all the bucket-top rings from all the different CDO buckets. And then they’d super-glue the bucket-top rings together to create a field full of Frankenstein buckets, officially called a CDO squared. Because the Frankenstein buckets were originally part of other CDOs, the Frankenstein buckets could only start filling up once the original buckets (which now had the tops cut off) were filled. In other words, the CDO managers decided to concentrate all their Dog Shit in one place, and super glue it together. A reasonable person would look at the Frankenstein Dog Shit field of buckets and say, “That’s turrible, Kenny.” BUT THE RATINGS AGENCIES GAVE CDO-SQUAREDs HIGH GRADES!!! Oh I’m sorry, was I yelling?! “It’s diversified,” they would claim, as if Poodle shit mixed with Labrador shit is better than pure Poodle shit. Again, you tell me. Do the ratings agencies deserve blame?! Does the government deserve blame? Yes and no. For example, part of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1992 mandated that the government mortgage finance firms (Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae) purchase a certain number of sub-prime mortgages. On its surface, this seems like a good thing: it’s giving money to potential home-buyers who wouldn’t otherwise qualify for a mortgage. It’s providing the American Dream. But as we’ve already covered today, it does nobody any good to provide a bad mortgage to someone who can’t repay it. That’s what caused this whole calamity. Freddie and Fannie and HUD were pumping money into the machine, helping to enable it. Good intentions, but they weren’t paying attention to the unintended outcomes. And what about the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), the watchdogs of Wall Street. Do they have a role to explain the Big Short? Shouldn’t they have been aware of the Big Banks, the CDOs, the ratings agencies? Yes, they deserve blame too. They’re supposed to do things like ensure that Big Banks have enough money on hand to cover their risky bets. This is called proper “risk management,” and it was severely lacking. The SEC also had the power to dig into the CDOs and ferret out the fraudulent mortgages that were creating them. Why didn’t they do that? Perhaps the issue is that the SEC was/is simply too close to Wall Street, similar to the ratings agencies getting advice from the big banks. Watchdogs shouldn’t get treats from those they’re watching. Or maybe it’s that the CDOs and credit default swaps were too hard for the SEC to understand. Either way, the SEC doesn’t have a good excuse. If you’re in bed with the people you’re regulating, then you’re doing a bad job. If you’re rubber stamping things you don’t understand, then you’re doing a bad job. Explain the Big Short, shortly You’re about 2500 words into my “short summary.” But the important things to remember:
Financial acronyms suck.
Money flowed from the investors down to the mortgage lenders, and the risk flowed from the mortgage lenders up to the investors. In between, the big banks and CDOs acted as middle men and intermediaries.
When someone feels like their actions have no risk, or no consequences, they’ll behave poorly (big banks, mortgage lenders)When someone is given what seems like an amazing deal, they’ll take it (individual home owners).
CDOs are like empty buckets. Mortgage payments are like rain, filling the buckets. Investors buy tranches, or slices, across all the buckets. If mortgages fail, then the buckets might not fill up, and the investors won’t get their money back.
CDOs are intentionally complex. So complex, that not even the people grading them understood what was going on (ratings agencies).
Buying insurance on something your do not own is a behavior with potential for abuse (big banks)
Buying insurance on something for more than it’s worth is a behavior with potential for abuse (big banks). This is where most of the money in the financial crisis switched hands.
And with that, I’d like to announce the opening of the Best Interest CDO. Rather than invest in mortgages, I’ll be investing in race horses. Don’t ask my why, but the current top stallion is named ‘Dog Shit.’ He’ll take Wall Street by storm. If you don’t mind my cussing but you do like this content, consider subscribing to the email list to get these articles (and nothing more) sent to your inbox every week. I hope this post helped if you were looking for someone to explain the Big Short. Thanks for reading the Best Interest. Source: https://bestinterest.blog/explain-the-big-short/
I’ve had horrible, horrible bad beats (including ATL ML vs Cowboys this past Sunday), but I’m talking your SADDEST experience. Mine was taking the Toronto Blue Jays ML vs the Chicago White Sox on June 31, 2017. It was a fairly sizable bet for me and the Jays were up 6-0 going into the bottom of the 7th. Basically a lock against that Sox team. You should know that my wife is aware of my degenerateness, but not of the amount of money I’m risking. 0% chance she would approve this bet (I’m not risking mortgage payments or anything, relax). You should also know that I’m a White Sox fan and was betting against my team that day. My wife NEVER watches sports with me, but for whatever reason this particular day she decides to come downstairs and watch the end of this game together. She doesn’t really care about baseball, but she knows I’m a Sox fan so she’s actively rooting for them. The Sox start making a run and I’m beginning to panic internally. Next thing I know I’m only up 6-5 going into the bottom of the 9th. It’s all unraveling. My wife is cheering for every hit, run, positive play the Sox make and I’m over here pretending to be excited while watching my “lock” slip away. Then...of course. The late game rally continues and the POS 2017 White Sox score 2 more runs in the 9th to walk off. Inside, I’m absolutely crushed. Outside, I’m sitting there with a big stupid smile on my face. Anyways, what’s your saddest experience?
First | Previous | Next “Why don’t you go ahead and wish Tenna luck?” Sylnya suggested while she, Draevin and Peter headed down the hill towards the arena. “I still have some errands to do before the first match.” Draevin gave Sylnya a dubious look. “And by errands you of course mean you have bets you need to place.” “I don’t see why it’s any of your business what I do with my money,” Sylnya said. “You worry about seeing Tenna off and I’ll worry about me.” “What good would that even do?” Draevin asked. “And why are you so insistent?” “Because she was really upset after you blew her off yesterday. I’m sure she’d appreciate the encouragement.” “Hey, that wasn’t even my fault. Why don’t you blame Peter for that one? He’s the one that made plans with Faernyl for me.” Peter tried to slink back behind Draevin’s back where he would be out of sight. Sylnya glared at him. “That was kind of rude.” Peter looked at the ground and fidgeted with his glasses when they focused their attention on him. They were still walking toward the arena; Draevin led them around a gaggle of young gnome girls that sounded like they were gossiping about that self-righteous eldrin, Hanu. “It was a mistake,” Peter admitted to Sylnya after they passed by. “I’ll try not to impersonate him again but I didn’t think he’d actually follow through on those plans. How is that my fault?” Sylnya let out a weary sigh. “I don’t understand it, Drae, but that girl thinks the world of you for some reason. It would mean a lot to her if you wished her luck, and it would barely cost you a thing.” “I could do it for you,” Peter offered, “as a way to make up for the thing with Faernyl yesterday.” “No, no,” Draevin said. “I’ll do it. You wouldn’t know what to say, and I’d rather you not get in the habit of impersonating me.” Something caught Draevin’s eye and he tilted his head back to see a posse of eldrin approaching the arena from a different direction. The group was on a collision-course with their own and Istven was leading the way. “Though on second thought if you’re willing to keep Istven off my back for the rest of the day I’d consider us even.” “Deal,” Peter said without the slightest hesitation. Istven was striding confidently in his full battle-regalia. He drew quite a bit of notice and it helped that he was surrounded by richly-dressed eldrin nobles no doubt seeking favors in anticipation of his winning this year’s tournament. He wore a suit of custom-fitted plate mail that was burnished black with accents of polished silver gilding. The colors of his outfit mirrored his night-black skin, while the silver accents mirrored his argent white hair. The infamous black crown of King Haedril was mounted securely to the pauldron on his left shoulder. “Interesting,” Peter said. He already had a notepad out and Draevin watched the human’s dexterous fingers sketch out an approximation of Istven’s form remarkably quickly. Instead of the piece of charcoal Draevin had grown used to, it seemed Peter was now writing with a high quality pencil. Between that and the crystal engraving stylus Peter had to have spent a good portion of his winnings from yesterday; Draevin was just surprised he hadn’t upgraded his shabby wardrobe while he was shopping. “Is that really allowed?” Peter asked as he finished his sketch and tucked his notepad away. “A full suit of armor like that? It looks like he even has a sword at his hip.” “It’s allowed all right,” Sylnya told him. “You can bring anything you want into your matches as long as you can carry it. They only restrict you to one magical item.” “Is that why you let Kot jump up into your arms during your introduction yesterday?” Peter asked Sylnya. “I really don’t have time for a bunch of questions right now,” Sylnya answered. She turned to the path that led to the betting cages. “Go talk to Tenna, Drae and take Peter with you. I’ll meet you guys back at the booth.” She slipped into the crowd and was gone before Draevin could raise an objection. Istven was coming their way. “So was that offer real?” Draevin asked Peter. “Which?” Peter asked. He sounded a little uneasy. “The Istven thing or the Tenna thing?” “Istven,” Draevin said. He grabbed Peter by his shoulders and pointed him towards the approaching eldrin. “The guy’s unstable as all hell and dangerous to boot. Just convince him to leave me alone while still maintaining the Mutual Assurance pact we agreed to yesterday.” “And how exactly am I supposed to do that?” Peter asked. “Oh please,” Draevin said dismissively, “like your wheels aren’t already turning. I saw how quickly you adapted to the situation yesterday. This should be easy for you.” “No no,” Peter said loudly in a snobby voice Draevin didn’t recognize. “I’m quite all right thank you. You may leave.” He waved a hand at Draevin to dismiss him and Draevin recognized the hand. It was his hand. And he was wearing his face too! Peter had seamlessly transformed into a perfect copy of Draevin. Draevin looked down at his own clothes and saw that he was now in the purple robes of a Guild acolyte. Peter really did think fast on his feet. Istven marched right up to Draevin-Peter and said, “We need to talk.” The crowd of simpering eldrin nobles waited behind him. Peter-Draevin cleared his throat. “Public or private?” Istven looked pointedly at Draevin—the real Draevin—and visibly sneered. “Private obviously.” He pointed to acolyte-Draevin. “You. Leave us.” “Yes sir,” Draevin answered and was pleased to find his voice sounded different. It sounded feminine. He realized with a start that he’d been transformed into a copy of the nice elf girl that had helped them at The Pot earlier that morning. Draevin slipped away without incident, his only remaining concern being how long the disguise Peter had given him would last. It would be awkward trying to give Tenna some words of encouragement while wearing the face of another woman. When he got to the tunnel leading to the arena grounds the guards waved him right through without the slightest challenge. It was probably fine for him to sneak in like this, since as a fellow contestant he was allowed to enter anyways, but it still left him a bit uneasy. Was this what passed for security? They just let anyone wearing a purple robe into secure sections of the arena? He found Tenna pacing at the mouth of the tunnel. She was wearing pale blue Ice Armor robes with frozen spikes of hair in a blatant mimicry of Draevin’s own aesthetic. He couldn’t be too upset about it though since he was the one who had taught her those spells. When she saw him coming towards her she gave a frightened gasp. “I-I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to—” she started to say. “Relax,” Draevin told her, “it’s just me.” Tenna blinked. “You?” “Oh sorry, I probably look different. It’s me Draevin,” he told her. He wiped at his face, but it didn’t do anything about the illusion covering him. He realized that he didn’t actually know how to get rid of Peter’s illusion. The spell was probably weak enough that a little interference might be enough though. With an effortless gesture Draevin conjured a light mist of ice around himself and that did the trick: the illusion immediately collapsed. “Draevin!” Tenna squealed with glee. Her apprehension was replaced with excitement and she leapt on him and wrapped him in a hug. “It’s so nice to see you.” She hopped down and stepped back a pace. “What was with the disguise?” Rather than try to explain the situation with Istven, Draevin opted to simply tell Tenna, “I had someone dangerous looking for me.” Tenna got a worried look on her face when he said it, and he immediately regretted his choice of words. Even if they were technically truthful. “It’s nothing you need to worry about. Really, I’m fine.” Tenna studied her boots for a moment; they were heavy duty, complete with spikes for gripping tight on icy surfaces. That was at least one change between their styles, Draevin preferred normal shoes that he could slide around in when he needed speed. “Nice boots,” he complimented her. Even though Tenna had been looking at them already, she started for a second and seemed to recognize them for the first time. “Oh, yeah. They’re—” Maeve’s announcement cut off whatever Tenna had been about to say. “The first match of the day is ready to begin, will the fighters please make their way to the stage.” “That’s me,” Tenna groaned. “I wish they’d let me go second today. I don’t feel ready!” Draevin patted the smaller elf on the shoulder. “You’ll do fine. You and Sharack are both registered with the Guild so you shouldn’t be in any mortal danger.” Tenna looked horrified. Her eyes practically popped out of her head. “Mortal danger?” she asked in a tiny voice. That probably hadn’t been the right thing to say. Draevin tried to salvage things and leave her with some actual advice. “Don’t worry about that. Just remember that Lizard-kin like Sharack usually open aggressively. They have big mana pools, but they don’t recover as fast as us elves. If you can hold back his opening attack it’ll only get easier. Did you eat?” Tenna frowned. “Nooooo,” she whined. “My stomach gets all queasy if I eat before a match.” She reached under her shirt collar and pulled out a necklace. At the end was a small bird seemingly carved from purple amethyst. “Won’t Tambril’s Magpie get me all the mana I need anyway?” Draevin shook his head. “It’ll help but usually not a ton. You’d be surprised how many people are able to avoid it. You’re going to have to get over those nerves. Having a full belly is going to be a big advantage. Do you think you could hold down some water?” Her mouth twisted up on one side in an uncertain expression. “Probably?” she said. Her upward inflection made it sound like a question. “Then here,” Draevin said. He handed her the water skin from his belt. “Drink this.” She looked at the skin and groaned. “All of it?” she asked. “Yes, of course! I’d have you drink three if I had three. Everything you can fit.” He patted his pockets to find something more he could give her but that had been the only thing edible. There was an old tip among elf wizards for eating non-food before a match if your nerves were bothering you, but he decided against suggesting it: the elvish stereotype of eating dirt didn’t need any reinforcement. Tenna finished chugging down the water and handed back the empty flagon. “My stomach at least feels full,” she said, clutching one hand over her torso. She looked to Draevin almost like the kid he’d first met almost a century ago. She’d been whining to her mom at the time that the ice cream stand had been out of Draesicles so Draevin had made her one on the spot. She had the same wide-eyed look now as she’d had then. Though he’d never had kids Draevin imagined this was something like the pride a father must feel on seeing their kid off to their first day of school. “Good,” he told her, “as soon as that match starts you cannibalize everything you’ve got and burn that water into mana as fast as you can. You’ll wear him down.” Tenna started to move in to give Draevin another hug but he was already patting her on the shoulder, so he just kept doing that and it caused her to flush pink in embarrassment. “Well. I think I better leave before I get you in trouble.” “Right.” Tenna nodded. “Thanks for the help, Drae!” She walked to the edge of her fighter’s box with a confident stride and waved to some fans that cheered upon seeing her. Draevin hurried to leave so he could get to his seat before the match started. On his way out he caught a confused look from the guard who’d let him past when he looked like a Guild woman. He gave the guard a grin and a wink as he went by. Fans were hurrying about with food and drinks in hand as they scrambled to get to their seats before the first match started. Draevin had to weave between them to get to his booth. When he arrived Maeve still hadn’t started the introductions. Peter and Sylnya were already seated, and Sylnya had a ticket from the betting house clutched tightly in her hand. The human and dryad were already in the middle of a conversation. “…adjust all the time based on how many people are betting on each side,” Sylnya was explaining. “So that means more people are betting for me this time?” Peter asked. “Hey,” Draevin greeted as he took his seat. “Hi, Draevin,” Peter acknowledged, while Sylnya just nodded her head. “Well, yeah,” Sylnya continued, “with that rumor going around that you’re secretly a demon more people are willing to take a chance on you.” “What rumor?” Draevin asked. Instead of answering Sylnya shushed him and pointed towards the field. “Tenna is an elvish cryomancer representing Caldenia.” Maeve began the introductions. Tenna waved excitedly from inside her fighter’s box in their direction. Draevin returned the gesture. “She is carrying Tambril’s Thieving Magpie, and her wish if she wins this year’s tournament is to liberate the people of Trenal from Eldesian Tyranny.” Tenna held up the glowing crystal bird from around her neck for the crowd to examine, though from this distance it just looked like a flash of purple light. “Tenna wants everyone to know that the war between Caldenia and Eldesia has gone on long enough and will go down as a blight on Eldesia’s history.” At her announcement nearly every eldrin in the audience went studiously silent as well as anyone that didn’t want to piss them off. The elves in the crowd cheered loud enough to make up for it though. Draevin stood up and added his own voice to the mix in a rare display of patriotism that had more to do with supporting a friend than a nation. Maeve gestured an arm toward Sharack and waited for the last of the chatter to die down before continuing. The big green lizard-kin sported a floppy ridge of spikes going down his back starting at the top of his head. He wore what looked to Draevin like a black bathrobe but that he’d been told was actually something called a kimono and he had some kind of long wooden pole strapped to his back. Peter was sketching a quick drawing of Sharack in his notepad, and asked a quick question without looking up. “Why is he dressed so differently than Korack was?” “Korack’s just more northernized than most lizard-kin,” Sylnya told him. “That’s a nice way of saying he’s totally disconnected from his own culture,” Draevin added. Sylnya just scoffed. “Sharack is a lizard-kin chronomancer representing Emperor Loktai of the Kingdom of Kreet,” Maeve announced. Being so far to the south, lizard-kin didn’t typically attract large groups of fans, but there was a smattering of applause at the mention of Kreet. Draevin overheard Sylnya tell Peter, “Chronomancy is time magic.” Peter nodded along. “As his item, Sharack has brought Musashi’s Katana of Piercing Death and his wish if he wins this year’s tournament is to end Kreet’s famine,” Maeve continued. Sharack grabbed the pole on his back and pulled the end to reveal an impressively long one-sided blade inside. As he continued drawing it out it quickly became apparent that the blade was longer than Tenna was tall. It sloped back from the handle in a graceful arch and gleamed in the light. “That’s impressive,” Peter said while many of the crowd murmured among themselves appreciably. “What’s this about piercing death?” Draevin asked in concern. He was suddenly a lot less confident that Tenna would survive. Maeve signaled the judges. The bell chimed and the match began. Index | Next | Patreon
Getting real tired of this. Gentle readers, your humble narrator is going to be over in the unicorn pen for a bit, grumbling about the constant parade of shady goobers. Been having at least one a week. Call came in, asking about room availability. Yes, we have rooms, price is $xx before tax. Can we take cash? Yes, but we need to have the full amount of the stay on the card. They hang up. A short time later, they call back. Can just do a deposit? No, the full amount has to be on the card. They hang up again. Third time, and Skwrl is getting frustrated. It is a different caller, but I can hear the exact same voices in the background. Can we use a PalPay card? No, our machine will not accept prepaid cards at all. They hang up. Seriously, is a 'goodbye' or 'okay' too much to ask for? Two minutes later, the phone rings again. I ignore it. Skwrl is really kind of done with shady people trying to finagle a room. For some unfathomable reason, lately they have been dead-set upon staying here. Not that hard, put the money on your card, have proper ID, and I won't care one bit. If someone cannot be bothered to meet basic requirements for renting a hotel room, then they can go stay at the Motel Number or whatever. Instead they have this need to sneak in under myriad false pretenses. About an hour later, a woman comes in. She has a reservation for tonight. As in after 3pm. Great. Thank you CookingBomb, we're already oversold for tomorrow... Wait. Where is it? Check for her name... Nope. Not there. Check all incoming for tomorrow? Nope. She has her reservation confirmation. That's CookingBomb's number, not ours, but can't find it either. I take a few more tries, but this reservation is completely missing. Damn NexusSin... No worries, I can just go ahead and make a new reservation. It is at this point I notice two things. First, a faint but noticable smell of weed. Okay not a problem, legal here, just make sure to mention the non-smoking policy. Second, her voice sounds familiar... Oh wait, she was the first person who called and... Yeah, she wants to pay cash. Long sigh. No, we need to have a card. Yes it needs to be for the full amount of the stay. You know, like I said over the phone. She doesn't have ID. Of course she doesn't. It was stolen! Uh huh. She does have a photo of it on her phone! No. Not gonna cut it. As an aside, who the heck keeps a photo of their ID on their phone except those who are trying to pull a fast one? What if she uses her boyfriend's card? She has his ID and everything. Convenient that she had those, almost like she knew that her stuff wouldn't work... No, he has to be here to use his card. Oh, but he's tired, doesn't want to have to come into the hotel? Um, no. So she goes off to the waiting car. I watch on the cameras. All they need to do is come up with an actual card that they can legitimately use. If the boyfriend comes in, they can use his card, just walk the fifty feet to the desk. Not hard at all... ah, nope, there they go. I spend some more time looking for the reservation, because if they're going to try pull that sort of crap, you damn well better believe I'm going to run a No Show charge. But nope, no reservation at all. Betting the confirmation email screen she showed me was completely bogus as well. Scammers sometimes have some very sophisticated tools, but that doesn't help when they're not smart enough to pull off the con. In any case, let this be a reminder to you all: having solid policies and sticking with them can save you a ton of grief when dealing with shady people. Might cost a legitimate sale, but it's worth it. Teal Deer; shady attempt to get into a room without a legitimate card goes poorly.
+3000% in 2020... My Journey to the Golden 7 Figure Mark
Hey Folks, My first ever Reddit post and I guess I chose to make an essay of it. This post is about how 2020 has been a stellar year for me in the stock market. For context, I'm 32 and have a been trading for about 7 years. I started in 2013 with stocks and then in 2016, I switched to options trading which had disastrous consequences at first, but is also the reason I eventually managed to hit the million dollar mark. Disclosure: I have a pretty stable career completely unrelated to the finance world so a lot of this is mostly self taught, which I am sure is also the case with most readers :) I will preface this post by saying that I am aware that there have been a bunch of success stories in the market in 2020 and by no means do I intend for my excitement and elation in sharing my story to come of as chutzpah. 2020 has been a crazy year considering the adjustments we have had to make to our lives because of Covid. The "benefit" of this has been the ability to wfh and this lifestyle change has spawned a whole new population of day traders. As an inhabitant of an area that follows Pacific Time, the 2.5 or so hours before work officially begins has been an absolute blessing for me. This additional time coupled with super favorable market conditions, gumption/balls of steel and a good technical understanding or experience of the stock market are the factors that probably led to my success. I will also say you need A LOT OF LUCK in this process. Sometimes things just work out for you in life and you ABSOLUTELY need that to even come close to achieving something like this. Point to note: This post is going to ignore the injection and removal of some of my own funds along the way. You can assume the highest "baseline" amount I ever had in the account was around 140k. I mention starting at 11k but please note in no way is this post saying I went from 11k to >1 million. Here's this year's action and the next few images summarize/document my crazy journey to get to this point. BOOM portfolio as of 10/1/2020. 3000%. You can do it too! I started trading 7 years ago. Mostly stocks. It was all good but humans have a propensity for risky behavior and I am human after all. This tendency meant that I couldn't just let my money sit in an account and grow gradually. I will admit I have a gamblerisk taker mentality and you must realize how critical this characteristic is to achieving success like this. Anyway, started dabbling in options in 2016 and I probably went about it the wrong way. My first foray into the options space was via long calls (which I realized later is actually only recommended for Options "Veterans" and not for those starting out as novice traders). Got burned A LOT along the way . I start with 11k in 2015ish and built that to about 39k by May 2017 and then literally lost more than 50% by 2019. Yuck! I know. Trust me there were days I would hate myself for being so incompetent or just displaying terrible money management. For this post, let's assume you only start seeing the action from Jan 8 2016 (image below) The starting value here is reflected as ~100k It's not so obvious anymore because the scale has been affected massively by the spike this year. But for clarity, my lowest point was Sep 2019 (See image below). I was heavily leveraged and this was where I was basically ready to give up. Thank god I didn't. So what changed? Read on! https://preview.redd.it/l5ugxjuhuiq51.png?width=566&format=png&auto=webp&s=032d472e0e912f43b35547214eacdae371870311 So in retrospect, I think we were in a very bearish environment between 2018 and 2019. People don't reference it as a bear market because lots of stocks did climb in that period (and it technically wasn't a bear market) but the tariffs on the Far East really messed with a lot of trading strategies and just market movement in general. My favorite stock in the early part of wealth building was AMD! I used that to build my portfolio and get out of the rut, post 2019. I basically took all my 80-90k (46k + 100% margin) and bought long AMD calls with strikes very close to the market price it was trading at in June-Sep 2018 and expirations 4-6 months out and just waited. POTUS did us all a great favor by ending the damn tariffs and that's when this party started. By March 2020, right before Covid, I hit 292k or so and was loving life and every minute of what I had pulled off. I will admit somewhere along the way between Oct 2019 and March 2020, I had traded NVDA and a few other large cap growth stocks given I now had all this additional purchasing power. BUT Guess what? My dumbass didn't take any profit! Or if I did, I reinvested it into the market. Remember what Mathew Mcconaughey's character says in WoWS? " They're all f**ing addicted. As brokers, we take their money out from 1 stock and dump it in another and just keep making money. Who cares about the investor!" .... So anyway, Covid strikes and BAM! my portfolio fell back to around 105k. I was pissed (I am sure many of you suffered the same fate). Thankfully, we have had a V shaped recovery (or K depending on what your political affiliation is) and I basically used the next 6 months from March till today to supercharge my portfolio to what you saw in the first image. So here's what I learned along the way: Disclaimer: None of what I mention in this post should be taken as financial advice. I accept no responsibility for how you do/do not use this information in your own trading strategies
The power of compounding is a beautiful thing. People understand this but don't full appreciate what this can do for you. If you start at 10k, you should aim to get to 20k first before trying to fly to 100k. When you get to a 100k, make sure you don't lose a single cent and have to start again from scratch. 100k with 100k margin = 200k. That can get you an ROI a helluva lot larger than if you were to start with 10k again. Grow your money in steps but know that in the casino, to win more, you have to bet more, which in this case would be your new principal amount after you have made profit.
Don't waste time trading rubbish. I see lots of new investors chasing the dollar stocks hoping they reach $10. Yes I did it with AMD but when I started trading AMD it had already gone from $3 to $16 in a year so the story was starting to build up! Penny stocks/pink sheet stocks are trash. Please don't waste your time on that. Large cap growth is the best way to make money. It's all about %. One option of TSLA or NFLX or AMZN purchased at the right time will make you a lot more than 1000 shares of a trash penny stock.
Technical Indicators are your friends. Learn how to use them, particularly in a bull market. I personally love Bollinger bands and RSI. These coupled with understanding the trend in a market will give you a significantly higher chance at making money than just speculating. Also, use these to either take profits off the table or to let your winners ride. 95% of all price action takes place within the +/-2 sigma bollinger bands(hence the definition). Don't believe me? Plot the chart yourself. Use the daily indicator for short term trading. Use the 3min or 5min chart for intra day trading.
If you are interesting in options trading, please go read or watch YouTube videos to understand how to get started. There is SO MUCH LITERATURE available for free. DONT PAY ANYONE to learn how to trade unless you want to contribute to the downpayment for their next Aston Martin :). Also, the Greeks didn't just give us great Mediterranean food, they are also the most important parameters in options trading. Delta and Theta should be with you at all times but dont' ignore gamma and vega. Alos understand how IV impacts your trading. The most successful/profitable strategy for me was (once I learned to do it correctly of course), buy call/put options with expiration>=2 months from the day you purchase them at a strike very close to the money. Don't worry about straddles and iron condors till you have mastered what the basics mean. Also, once you understand options and start buying them, know that writing Calls and Puts is a great way to collect premium as you grow your account. If you own shares, there's no reason you shouldn't be collecting extra income from writing calls against them. If a stock flies up too high, sell puts at 10% below the current price. In a bull market, you'll be hard pressed to find a growth stock that doesn't recover after tanking 10% in a 2 month time period.
Margin is your friend. Think of margin as the mistress/boy toy. He/She can give you unreal levels of pleasure but if he/she rats you out/bails on you, RIP. Use it wisely. Finally, trust nothing but your own instinct - No one but you is responsible for how you grow your account. Don't blindly follow people unless you understand what they are proposing. Most of us learn this the hard way (including me).
Take profit off the table but also let your winners run! Set yourself targets when you are in the very early stages of building your wealth. Remember the point I made about compounding? If you start at x, and make 20% on that, you are now at 1.2x. If you make 20% on that, you are now at 1.44x. I know you want to make 8x eventually but is it better to be realistic and try and grow 1.44x to 8x or go back down to 0.5x and then have to make your initial capital back and more? If your winners are up 20%, TAKE YOUR PROFIT. If you want to let it run, fine go ahead. But if you are now suddenly 50%, wtf are you waiting for? Are you going to stare at the screen hoping you suddenly see $1,000,000? That's not going to happen. Now, that said - in the current market climate which is a SEARINGLY HOT bull market, it is not unreasonable to see stocks climb 5-10% in a day. So? Take advantage of that of course but never ever let FOMO be the reason you lose out on profit.
Much like point 6, realize that you need to cut your losses when things don't work out. Go check out the CANSLIM method for some guidance on what targets to set yourself. E.g. in your early stages set tell yourself that no matter what, you will take profit at 20% upside and cut losses at -10% downside. On paper, with this math you can never lose. Of course, executing this requires curbing 10 different stages of human emotion which is why most never make consistent profit in the stock market.
Be greedy when others are fearful. I am at a stage now where I LOVE RED DAYS. Why? Because I know that in 24-48 hours the large cap growth stocks are going to recover and I will basically make close to 100% gains on my initial investment. Don't chase when others are chasing. Most of retail doesn't know wtf they are doing. Keep cash handy for days like this. Never be 100% invested with your entire portfolio and never be invested in a single stock unless you are very very sure based on technicals that you will see a rebound. And don't be scared to hit the buy button on a red day. Trust me, once you see it work you will instantly feel vindicated.
Finally, and most IMPORTANTLY. The risk taking mentality/gambler mentality is CRITICAL to making money. You won't hear this much and it might even be a controversial statement to make but your end goal should be to place a bet on a trade which you know, based on experience, will have a favorable/profitable outcome in the near future. To execute this you need to have the guts and the belief in what you are doing but also very low aversion to risk. I will add again that YOU NEED A LOT OF LUCK and a brazen assurance in your own abilities. These will come with time and you will likely make lots of mistakes along the way. But, if you are patient enough, you will reach that level where you stop second guessing your decisions and that's the day you are on your way to your dream portfolio.
Okay, I could probably write much more and I might edit this again in future but I will stop here for now. I hope you were able to take something from this. I respect your opinions so feel free to disagree with anything, everything I have said. I am just sharing my story and always happy to hear yours too! Good luck folks. I hope you all make boatloads of money and have very happy, enjoyable lives regardless of whether you are motivated by money or not! -Phantas EDIT: Thanks for the comments everyone. I appreciate both the love and the hate. Many of you make excellent points and valid arguments both for and against what I have done. I saw a few posts about how this might be fake. I understand that this is my first post and so it does create some doubt. Video proof below for those who had concerns on the legitimacy of the screenshots. I apologize in advance for the disparity in the numbers. Due to this morning's gains, the portfolio value in the video is significantly higher than when I made this post. https://reddit.com/link/j3fx2video/dteq0s1njpq51/player
Tease the underdog when the line is +1½, +2, +2½, or +3;
Tease the favorite when the line is -7½, -8, -8½, or -9.
The strategy listed above is very similar to a strategy introduced by Blackjack expert Stanford Wong. There's debate in Wong teasers over whether we should play games at exactly +3, whether home teams are more reliable than road teams, and whether we should care about the total. I did a deep dive into the mathematical details of those debates in my week 1 post.
10-point teasers are often called "sweetheart" teasers. I'm grateful to u/hyperkinesis247 for inquiring if there's an edge regarding sweethearts. After looking at a small sample size in 2017-2019, I've decided to track 10-point teasers according to the following methodology:
For 10-point teasers, tease the underdog when the line is +1½, +2, or +2½;
Do not take sweetheart teasers at +3;
Do not take sweetheart teasers on favorites.
I'm using the closing line at Bovada to determine which games qualify as Wong bets. (You can use sbrodds.com to verify I'm being honest.) The plays last week were:
Green Bay +3
Kansas City +3
Los Angeles Rams +2
New York Giants +3
Assuming a -120 payout for 2-team teasers, we must demonstrate better than 73.9% probability on each leg to show we have breakeven-or-better EV. For a -130 payout on 3-team sweethearts, that threshold is 82.7%. Including last week, the results since 2017 are listed below.
+1½ thru +3
+1½ thru +3
+1½ thru +3
+1½ thru +3
-7½ thru -9
-7½ thru -9
-7½ thru -9
-7½ thru -9
+1½ thru +2½
+1½ thru +2½
+1½ thru +2½
+1½ thru +2½
The chart above counts pushes as losses. You should strongly consider betting at a book that has a "pushes reduce" rule instead. The reason why my results only count the last three years (2017-2019) is because that's all the time I've had to look at so far. There's no real reason why I'm actively avoiding 2016. I'll be making an effort to look at the 2016 data soon.
Beating the Spread
The thought process behind this methodology is that we assume we will win half of our games against the regular un-teased spread. Then the hope is that we are able to "steal" another 23.9% (or more) via line movement. That'll get us to the required 73.9% win percentage. Last week's Rams were a perfect example of this. We believed that the Rams would cover the +2 spread about half of the time. (If you didn't believe this, you should've just bet that game against the regular un-teased spread.) But the reason we chose this game as a teaser candidate is because we realized that +2 would go through 3 and 7 when teased. We gain the most bang-for-the-buck if our teaser movement goes through 3 and 7. As it turned out, the Rams indeed lost by exactly 3. There's no mathematical reason to believe that we should win against the un-teased spread more than half of the time (nor less than half, for that matter). The data in the three years prior (2017-2019) to this year show that all games fitting our methodology were a modest 155-147-18 against the un-teased spread. That comes out to 51.3% which is not a statistically significant departure from the half that we expect. More importantly, 51.3% is not good enough to beat the usual -110 vigorish. In 22 games so far this year, the selections fitting the methodology were 16-5-1 against the un-teased spread! This pace is not sustainable. This bit of positive variance is also largely responsible for the astonishingly good 19-3 record in teaser legs. I expect a "regression to the mean" soon and strongly caution people against getting too giddy over three weeks of success. My official advice on Wong teasers remains the same as it has been in previous weeks: inconclusive, until we gather more research.
However, I know that a lot of people are choosing to ignore my above advice and bet real money anyway. If you do, let me take a moment to talk about line shopping. At the very top of this post where my methodology says to "tease (this team) when the line is (this number)", that's shorthand for "when that team deserves to be at this spread". The reason why the suggestion is to use closing numbers is because it's thought that the closing number most accurately reflects the number of points that team deserves to be getting. In terms of discussing when different books have slightly different point spreads: suppose that every book in the world has the Bears at +2½ but your book is listing the Bears at +3½ for no apparent reason. If you were intending to tease the Bears at +2½ all along, then of course you should tease them at +3½. Don't be this meme. If your book is giving you a free point, take it. That's a different story than if every book agrees that Bears should be at +3½. In that case, that's probably what they deserve and an indication that maybe the quality of talent is not enough to justify the bet. An analogy is that if I have a rule that says I'll only eat steak if it costs between $15-$50. The logic is that less than $15 would mean that the quality of the meat is unsatisfactory and more than $50 means that I can't afford it. If a restaurant is offering to sell me a steak at a price of $10, but everyone else in the world thinks that $20 is the fair price for this steak, then I should purchase this steak at the incorrect price. Even though the actual price was outside my rule of $15-$50, the quality of the steak would be satisfactory enough. On the other hand, if the restaurant is offering to sell me a steak at a price of $10, and everyone else in the world agrees that $10 is the fair price, then it means that the quality isn't to my liking.
I'm only going to post once per week. Normally, I try to make that post on Saturday evening but I'm forced to move up my timeline when the Thursday game is relevant. As of the time of this post, the Thursday game in Week 4 is not a tracked play but it's close. I'm making this post now to explicitly say that it might become a tracked play, so be aware. In addition to tonight's game, the tentative list of tracked plays are:
Las Vegas +3
Green Bay -7½
I emphasize that the list above is unofficial. Lines may move between the time of this post and kickoff, especially Tennessee! The determining factors are what sbrodds.com says Bovada's line is at time of kickoff and the methodology laid out at the top of this post. If Bovada's spread happens to be a point or so off of the consensus or if they engage in line shading, then so be it. However I reserve the right to reject Bovada's number in situations where it's obviously wrong, such as a typo causing -8 to turn into -80. In all of my data so far, I've yet to invoke this right. If I ever do in the future, I promise to disclose that information anytime I post tracking results.
[OT] Hey guys, resonatingfury here. Four years ago I responded to a prompt about two people who go on adventures in lucid dreams and eventually find each other in real life. Today, after years of struggle, I'm so proud to say that Lost in a Dream is a published novel. I'm finally an author!!!
It went from a terrible five part miniseries, to a Wattpad hopeful, to nothing as I lost motivation and drowned in work through the years, until finally I straightened myself out and rewrote the whole manuscript starting last year. And now, somehow, here we are. I'm both humbled and proud to present Lost in a Dream, a novel that actually adheres pretty closely to the prompt even after all of the rewriting and deep edits. Here is the blurb from the rear cover:
If dreaming is a drug, then I'm a junkie. For most people, sleeping is an obstacle. Something to get out of the way, so they can get back to their life. For others, it's an escape to nothing; a blissful break from the wears of life. It's the opposite for me. I live so that I can dream. I trudge through work so that I can go home and close my eyes, awakening in the real world—one where dreams do come true. A place where I can fight a dragon instead of my ever-disappointed boss, where I’m a warrior instead of a glorified telemarketer. A place where I matter. Tigers instead of taxes. Monsters instead of men with too much power. Reality is just the word we came up with to accept a mundane life. A birthing place for grander ideas we so desperately wish could come true. I choose to live in a world where they do.
I’ll also share a few quick bits about the book: Lost in a Dream is a lovechild of literary fiction and fantasy; it's likely considered portal fantasy, but leans more toward the literary side thematically.
The cover art was done by Flor Figueroa over at Fiverr - look into her work if you want awesome minimalist cover art!
The novel is a shred under 74,000 words, so it's not a book you can club people with. Sorry.
It is a standalone novel--there won't be a sequel. I do, however, already have my next books planned.
Lost in a Dream is my first published work!
Here's a snippet from the advanced praise for Lost in a Dream:
I picked it up and just couldn't put it down. — Man with glue hands
If you are interested in readingLost in a Dream, then please visit you relevant Amazon marketplace: Paperback: US | UK | DE | FR | ES | IT | JP | CA E-book/Kindle: US | UK | DE | FR | ES | IT | NL | JP | BR | CA | MX | AU | IN As of right now, there is no hardcover--I couldn't get it prepared in time for my desired launch date. If you would be interested in a hardcover, please visit my subreddit launch post for more information + the mailing list. The e-book is $3.99, and the paperback is $12.99. Since these are eligible for Kindle Unlimited, it will likely display the book as 'free'; if you look below the header, you can see a "Buy for 3.99" option. That's how you buy the e-book if you're not interested in KU. Of course, if you do use Kindle Unlimited, feel free to just read it there :) If you read and enjoy the story, please consider leaving a review on Amazon, even a short one or just a rating! Those reviews can be the difference in coming months as people who aren't familiar with my shorter work decide whether or not to buy it; reviews are the foundation of an author's career, in a sense. If you want to follow me for free short works, you can do so on several platforms. Check out my subreddit megathread, which has links to my Instagram, Goodreads, and website/mailing list. I'll stop bothering you now and let you read the intro to Lost in a Dream so you can get a feel for the story :) ~ ~ ~ You are a world of your own. That’s not to say you’re extraordinary, necessarily—you might be. Chances are you’re more so than me, at the least, but that’s not much of a feat. Rather, we are each little universes of thought, infinite in expanse yet bound by flesh; pioneers lost in our own minds. Every human is a wellspring of possibility and impossibility, every breath a wish for something greater as we run desperate from the impending dark. We are, in a sense, prisoners to ourselves. Slaves to dreams we may well never grab hold of, working to the bone so that one day the schism between what we want and what we have might narrow ever so slightly. It is no surprise that every night we shut down for a brief reprieve, where we get a taste of the strange workings inside our heads. A glimpse into the potential we each have, raw as it may be. When we aren’t asleep, exploring our own dreams, we look to those of others. Snippets of what it’s like to live in someone else’s mind; pretty portals to vast, new, and often beautiful worlds, or ones so terrible and forlorn that anything seems tolerable when compared. Something—anything—to distract from the one that we’re in. To feel greater than ourselves. After all . . . isn’t that why you’re here?
~ ~ ~
Is it greed to desire something grand? I often asked myself things like that as I killed someone. Many lives have been forever reduced to similar questions that fade in and out like fireflies on a dark summer night—what’s ironic is that putting a sword through a neck is so much easier than finding the answers. It shouldn’t be, right? Just reach out and grab one of the little lightbugs and put it in a jar to study later . . . but every time I try, they vanish. All I get is a fistful of darkness. By the time I was done thinking about all of that, there was only one other person breathing in the field before me: the man who had killed my family. My friends. My clansmen. I’d have cried looking at him if that well hadn’t dried up so long before; screamed if there were any leftover rage to burn. "You're strong, Kinghunter," Ilhor Drago snarled, a hulking man in shimmering ebony armor patterned with wispy typhoons of cream and oxblood. He must’ve stood seven feet tall. "But this is my home, and I'll not die here like some flame you'd snuff out with a shovel of dirt." He peered at me through two clusters of holes in a solid iron headpiece, describable only as a perforated bucket. The rest of his battalion littered the wood-lined meadow like smashed tin cans. They'd made quite a morbid medium for my art, shades of death tainting the lush, fertile forest around us, painting fern and flower slick with a contrasting crimson. In the holy glow of spring's sun, amidst a field paint-brushed with trampled fuchsia tulips and peonies that dribbled out of the treeline, the bloodied plants almost looked at home. Ilhor charged at me, and I backpedaled toward the lake's muddy shore while keeping my sword raised overhead. Ilhor would be a challenge, no doubt—perhaps even worth three whole questions—but challenges are meant to be overcome, even if that challenge was once the most feared knight in any kingdom. A man known for cleaving children in two might terrify most, but I’d have fought God himself if that’s what it would’ve taken to put an end to Hadrian’s reign. What will I do when all of this is over? His footwork was perfectly placed with excellent tempo; he had the speed of a fox despite swelling with brutish strength, bowing the boundaries of human limits as if they physically couldn't contain his mass. Each swing of his enormous weapon left my own feeling heavier and heavier in hand, every metallic crack a seismic spasm that rang my soul like a church bell. I ducked and weaved through his razing, slowly backstepping to dodge; parrying had become too taxing on my aching palms. With each lurch forward, he churned huge piles of mud, flinging it around us. Though he was slowed, the length of his broadsword kept me from making a clean retreat. Is there a place left in the world for someone like me? Not only was I reduced to defense, but the stout cascade of steel he donned had virtually no openings, aside from under the armpits and a small gap beneath his helmet—one just big enough to slip a thin, thirsty blade into. Another swing, another step, retreating further and further until I could avoid parrying no more and our swords locked with spark and screech. He grabbed me with a single hand that touched its fingers together at the nape of my neck, feet desperately reaching for the ground as he lifted me into the air. I must've looked to pedal myself airborne. Why am I so damn good at this? “Why did you come here?” Ilhor asked, though he didn’t care to relax his grip. “I defected. I defected!” My words barely squeezed out between his fingers. “Hadrian wouldn’t let a defector live. Did you think an early retirement would save you?” “How did you even find this place? He promised me it was safe!” “Nowhere—” I punched at his giant gauntlets like a child, gasping. “—is safe.” He grunted twice; once at me, and once at the ground. With our weight combined, he sank past his ankles into the soft, dense mud that lined the lake's western shore. He dropped me, hoping it wasn’t too late, then yanked at them fruitlessly—an alligator has strength on the close, not open. I lunged, but his sword slammed into mine and sent it flying further into the forest than reality should allow, nesting into the canopy with a grating buzz like a silver beetle. A pained screech and flurry of wings rang out, followed by a distant, wooden thunk. Before I could look back in disdain, his blade was thrusting straight at my heart. I ducked, twisting, and barely managed to get low enough for it to deflect off my mail, then grabbed his wrists and pushed forward with all my weight to outstretch his arms. I only had a second before he'd overwhelm me, but that was all I needed. A small dagger, its polished gold hilt adorned with rubies, was partially hidden at his hip under a small flap of fraying linen. I let go of his off-hand, dropped even lower and grabbed it, then released his sword hand and pushed forward. In a blur of motion, I jammed the dagger into the thin gap between his helmet and breastplate just as his massive python of a left arm snapped at me again. A weary stumble backward was enough to escape his reach. He struggled and sucked at the air, his words wet with blood. “I’m . . . not even . . . a king. . . .” “How many innocent people did you kill for one?” I whispered, hacking off his head. That was for you, Ophelia. For our little ones. He plummeted into the coast, sinking into it a little bit. After a moment to collect myself, taking a few deep breaths, I was free to finally loot his body—a vulture hungry for the treasure I could smell on him. Out of a covered compartment at his right hip, I pulled out a golden scroll with reverence, cupping it in my hands and brushing my thumbs across its complex network of embossed vines. It was the fifth one I'd stolen, and it was every bit as mesmerizing as the first, glowing as though the sun itself had been laid out in my still aching palms. I knelt there for some time, drinking its glow, and aches melted to memory with each moment. Eventually, I found it within myself to forfeit worship and tuck it into a satchel at my waist. My fugitive beetle-sword was stuck in a tree nearly twenty yards away, with traces of blood on and around it. Splintered branches and shredded leaves littered the area, but there were no signs of life—or death—anywhere. I yanked it out, apologized to anything I may have harmed in Dominaria Forest, and ran back to the lake's edge. Hidden. No patrols, no shipments, no trade. Forest for miles on all sides. How ironic that your pet’s hiding place has become mine, Hadrian. It'll need a little cleanup, to say the least, but maybe this can be somewhere my roots can anchor. A place to belong. As I approached the castle, stepping over bodies like they were nothing more than fallen branches after a storm, a light, playful voice caught me off-guard. "What a shame—I wanted to kill him." I spun, reflexively unsheathing my sword to flare wary steel. A woman emerged from behind bark, crossing her arms and leaning lazily against the tree she'd been using for cover. Her weapon was unattended, dangling with a laxness inherited from its owner. "I was rooting for you to lose, but your fighting skills are impressive. You're not like the others I’ve run into around here," she continued, her gaze sharper than a blade fresh off of whetstone, her lips hinting at a smirk. I smiled as a cool breeze slid through thick trees, relaxing. "Yeah. You seem . . . different, somehow. You seem real."
As much as this year has been a literal hellhole for the vast majority of people on this planet, it has also been suuuuuch a good year for music (at least in accordance to my taste in music). NCT killeeeed it this year. Neo Zone is such a great album, i still have it on repeat. Dream were done wrong with just the mini album but they still killed it. A beautiful 5 song run. Ridin to Quite Down, 7 days to Love Again to Puzzle Piece. Certified BOPS. WayV´s Awaken the World is 10 song work of art. They are really starting to dig deep and develop their sound and it is beautiful to witness and listen to. And they still have 2 full albums coming as NCT 2020, no doubt that shit will be DELICOUS. SuperM. Super One is suuuuuuuch a beautiful album. They really outdid themselves with this one. I loved Tiger Inside but i wasn´t really expecting much of the album but JESUS it was so good. It has been on repeat every single day since it came out. I wish it got a proper promo run instead of that weird strategy that SM went for. I was a little sceptical about the combination of 2 different songs for the title track but gaadaaaamn did they pull it off. It´s become my holy rituale now to listen to those 3 songs in succession. Wish You Were Here? Better Days? Together At Home? Drip? Line em up? S- yeah I´ll stop. Just a great album. BTS. As much as the album was polarising and was kinda convoluted, it still contains such beautiful songs. BTS did their thing as they always do. The album may be hard to digest on its own but coming back to each song on its own makes you really appreciate how good they are. And they are also coming back with another album, most likely going to be a banger. Blackpink. I really wanted their full album to be a, uhh, full album but hey, they still went off. With the little they were given, they did sooo well. Pretty Savage is a shy title track. Crazy Over You, Love To Hate Me, You Never Know, all bangers. Stray Kids. I know very little of these guys but Gods Menu was an absolute banger so i checked out their album, and IT WAS GOOD. The repackaged In Life version made it even better. TXT. I checked them out due to someone on here talking about how Eternally was such a good mini album, annndd i can confirm, IT IS. Checked out the rest of their small discography and i can´t believe the production on this groups discography. They make such fairytale ish music and i love it. Guess who´s also coming back for October? Seventeen. Heng:garæ was Heng:garæ. The self-producing group came thru and self-produced a great mini album. Fearless randomly pops in my head at random ass times. And they are also coming back with another one. Betting it will be a self-produced banger. Special shoutouts to Beakhyun´s Delight, Taemin´s Never Gonna Dance Again, Kang Daniel´s Magenta, Suho´s Self-Potrait, EXO-SC, ONEUS, ATEEZ, TWICE, ITZY, EVERGLOW and a bunch more i can´t remember right now. I´ll stop here before this becomes a full on essay. Music is subjective of course, but i think we can all agree a lot of what came out this year has been good. What are some of your favorite releases so far this year, and what are you looking forward to?
[Game Preview] Week 4 - Philadelphia Eagles(0-2-1) at San Francisco 49ers (2-1)
Philadelphia Eagles (0-2-1) at San Francisco 49ers (2-1)
The Eagles are off to their worst start since 1999 when Eagles coach Doug Pederson was the starting QB for the Eagles in Andy Reid’s first season; where the Eagles started 0-3 and finished 5-11. The Eagles look to be on a similar trajectory this season with their 0-2-1 start following an embarrassing tie to the Bengals last week. The Eagles have the toughest remaining schedule in the NFL this season and the Eagles look like a bad football team. There really isn’t any other description of this team. They are bad on every level and it starts from the top. The team has played undisciplined and the offensive and defensive play-calling has been atrocious and has lacked identity. It seems like the game-planning this season has been phoned in with the coaches running the same vanilla offense and defense week in and week out and expecting the players to win it for them which they haven’t. Carson Wentz has regressed to the point he is unrecognizable and is making mistakes from his rookie season. His coaches don’t seem interested in helping him with fix those mistakes either as Doug Pederson and Press Taylor have failed to recognize Carson’s breakdowns in his mechanics. Their gameplans have done him no favors either utilizing a large number of 5 and 7 step drops despite having a multitude of injuries on the offensive line and at the wide receiver position. If the Eagles have any hope of salvaging their season they will need to pull out a win on Sunday night football against the 49ers and their strong defense. The 49ers are dealing with some injuries of their own with Bosa and Sherman on the IR on the defensive side and Jimmy G and Mosert most likely missing the game on offense. The San Fran defense is still tough with an impressive defensive line and speed all over the field. If Doug cares about Carson at all he will move the pocket and rely on Miles Sanders on the ground to keep the pass rush honest. On the defensive side, Schwartz will need to continue to mix it up with blitzes like he did against the Bengals, but he will need to pull his out of his ass in the secondary and learn that his CBs should not be playing 8-10 yards off the ball when playing man coverage. If Schwartz does a lot of the same in the secondary it could be a long day because Shanahan’s offense will exploit it and lead to another Eagles loss, this time in Prime Time. The Eagles will need to figure out how to get a win this week, or this streak of 3 straight playoff appearances will come to an end. Go Birds!
Record VS. Spread: Philadelphia 0-3, San Francisco 2-1
Where to Watch on TV
NBC* will broadcast Sunday’s game to a national audience. Al Michaels will handle the play-by-play duties and Chris Collinsworth will provide analysis and Michele Tafoya will report from the sidelines.
Calling the game on 94WIP and the Eagles Radio Network will be Merrill Reese, the NFL’s longest-tenured play-by-play announcer (44th season). Joining Reese in the radio booth will be former Eagles All-Pro wide receiver Mike Quick, while Howard Eskin will report from the sidelines.
94.1 FM and 610 AM
Atlantic City/South Jersey
Salisbury/Ocean City, MD
Salisbury/Ocean City, MD
Salisbury/Ocean City, MD
Salisbury/Ocean City, MD
Philadelphia Spanish Radio
Rickie Ricardo and Bill Kulik will handle the broadcast in Spanish on Mega 105.7 FM in Philadelphia and the Eagles Spanish Radio Network.
Atlantic City, NJ
1020 AM; 101.3 FM
49ers Radio Greg Papa will handle play-by-play and Tim Ryan will provide analysis for the game.
Westwood One will broadcast the game nationally with Ryan Radtke handling the play by play and Terrell Davis will provide analysis.
October 6th, 1951 at Shibe Park, Philadelphia, PA . Philadelphia Eagles 21 - San Francisco 49ers 14.
Philadelphia Eagles lead San Francisco 49ers (749-733)
Doug Pederson: 1-0 against the 49ers
Kyle Shanahan: 0-1 against Eagles
Coaches Head to Head
Doug Pederson vs Kyle Shanahan: Pederson leads 1-0
Carson Wentz: Against 49ers: 1-0
Jimmy Garapolo: Against Eagles: 0-0
Quarterbacks Head to Head
Carson Wentz v Jimmy Garapolo: First meeting between QBs.
Records per Stadium
Record @ Lincoln Financial Field: Eagles lead 49ers: 3-2
Record @ Levi’s Stadium: 49ers lead Eagles 1-0
Rankings and Last Meeting Information
AP Pro 32 Ranking
Eagles No. 26 - 49ers No. 12
Sunday, October 29th, 2017
Eagles 34 - 49ers 10
The Eagles looked to win their 6th game in a row against the winless San Francisco 49ers. The Eagles got off to a slow start, only leading 3–0 after the first quarter. Late in the second quarter, the Eagles blew the game open. Carson Wentz found tight end Zach Ertz for a 1-yard touchdown in the back of the end zone off of a bootleg pass, and Jalen Mills intercepted rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard and returned it 37 yards for a touchdown. The 49ers appeared to have some life in the third quarter, following a Carson Wentz interception, leading to a Matt Breida 22 yard touchdown reception. However, the Eagles responded, with Wentz connecting with Alshon Jeffery for a 53-yard touchdown, putting the game out of reach. The Eagles went on to win 33–10 and advanced to 7–1 on the season. Despite the win, the Eagles played a sloppy game on a rainy afternoon in Philadelphia.
Eagles - The Eagles welcomed the Cincinnati Bengals to Lincoln Financial Field seeking their first win over Cincinnati since 2000. After a scoreless first quarter, the two teams traded field goals in the second, before the Bengals took a 10-6 lead on a touchdown reception by Tee Higgins. Wentz responded on the ensuing drive, as he threw his 100th career touchdown pass to Greg Ward to put the Eagles in front 13-10 at halftime. After the Eagles added another Jake Elliott field goal, the Bengals reclaimed a one-point lead with Higgins' second touchdown of the afternoon. Cincinnati would pad its lead to seven points with two fourth-quarter field goals. Trailing 23-16 with just over 3 minutes left in regulation, Philadelphia drove down the field to score the game-tying touchdown on a 7-yard run for Wentz. In overtime, both defenses held strong, with neither team being able to get into field goal range until the final drive, when the Eagles got to the Bengals' 41. However, a costly false start on Matt Pryor brought Philadelphia out of field goal range. The Eagles punted the ball, and the game ended on the following play with the Bengals at their own 20. Despite his milestone, Wentz's struggles continued as he also threw two interceptions for the third straight game and finished the game with a 62.8 passer rating. Philadelphia improved to 0-2-1 with the tie, but failed to snap their winless streak against Cincinnati and fell to 0-3-2 in their last five against the Bengals, including an 0-2-1 mark at Lincoln Financial Field. This marked the Eagles' first tie since 2008, which was also against the Bengals.
49ers - The way the San Francisco 49ers played, missing quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and a slew of starters wasn't an issue against the woeful and winless New York Giants, who were also missing their best player in Saquan Barkley. 49ers backup Nick Mullens threw for 343 yards and a touchdown and the Niners controlled the ball on offense, took it away on defense and had another easy day on the East Coast in a 36-9 win at MetLife Stadium Sunday. San Francisco scored on seven of its first eight possessions. It would have been all eight but a snap-hold problem led to Gould missing a 55-yarder. He connected from 52, 32 and 26 yards. The Niners' ninth possession ended the game.
49ers Practice Squad LB Joe Walker played 3 seasons for the Eagles from 2016-2018.
49ers Offensive Quality Control Coach Miles Austin played one season for the Eagles in 2015.
49ers Inside LB coach Demeco Ryans played 4 seasons for the Eagles from 2012-2015.
49ers Assistant Special Teams coach Michael Clay was a Defensive Special Assistant (2014) and Assistant Special Teams coach(2015) from 2014-2015.
49ers RB Raheem Mosert was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2015 and was placed on their practice squad before he was signed off the practice squad by the Miami Dolphins.
Eagles Special Teams coach Dave Fipp worked as the Assistant special teams coach for the 49ers from 2008-2010.
Eagles Senior Offensive Assistant Rich Scangarello worked as the QB coach for the 49ers from 2017-2018.
Eagles Senior Offensive Assistant Marty Mornhinweg worked for the 49ers as Offensive coordinator & quarterbacks coach from 1997-2000.
Eagles WR Marquise Goodwin played 3 seasons for the 49ers from 2017-2019.
2020 Pro Bowlers
DT Fletcher Cox (Starter)
FB Kyle Juszczyk (Starter)
OG Brandon Brooks (Starter)
TE George Kittle (Starter)
C Jason Kelce (Starter)
DE Nick Bosa (Starter)
LS Rick Lovato (Starter)
CB Richard Sherman(Starter)
TE Zach Ertz
SS Malcom Jenkings (1st Alt)
OT Lane Johnson (1st Alt
Referee: Bill Vinovich
Dating back to 2005, Philadelphia has won 6 of its last 8 games vs. San Francisco. In the last meeting between the two teams, the Eagles defeated the 49ers, 33-10, at Lincoln Financial Field.
Additionally, Philadelphia has captured 4 of its previous 5 road games against San Francisco since 2002.
The Eagles defense, which collected a season-high 8.0 sacks in Week 3 vs. Cincinnati, is tied for the 3rd-most sacks (12.0) in the NFL, behind Pittsburgh (15.0) and Washington (13.0).
Brandon Graham is tied for the 5th-most sacks (team-high 3.0) in the NFL this season. He needs only 1.0 sack to surpass Hugh Douglas (54.5, 1998-2002, ‘04) for the 4th-most sacks in team history, trailing only Reggie White (124.0, 1985-92), Trent Cole (85.5, 2005-14) and Clyde Simmons (76.0, 1986-93).
Miles Sanders has produced the 7th-most rushing yards (190) in the NFL since Week 2 (95 rushing yards each against the Rams and Bengals). Sanders has also totaled 100+ scrimmage yards in 4 of his last 5 regular-season games.
WR Jalen Raegor
DT Javon Kinlaw
QB Jalen Hurts
WR Brandon Aiyuk
LB Davion Taylor
OT Colton McKivitz
S K’Von Wallace
TE Charlie Woerner
OT Jack Driscoll
WR Jauan Jennings
WR John Hightower
LB Shaun Bradley
WR Quez Watkins
OT Prince Tega Wanogho
LB/DE Casey Toohill
Notable Off-season Additions
S Will Parks
OT Trent Williams
DT Javon Hargrave
WR Mohamed Sanu
CB Nickell Robey-Coleman
DT Kerry Hyder
CB Darius Slay
C Hroniss Grasu
WR Tavon Austin
TE Jordan Reed
DE Dion Jordan
Notable Off-season Departures
S Malcom Jenkins
OT Joe Staley
CB Ronald Darby
DT Deforest Buckner
RB Jordan Howard
WR Emmanuel Sanders
WR Nelson Agholor
WR Marquise Goodwin
OL Halapoulivaati Vaitai
DT Sheldon Day
LB Kamu Grugler-Hill
RG Mike Person
RB Darren Sproles
TE Garret Celek
DT Timmy Jernigan
LB Nigel Bradham
Eagles WR Desean Jackson (6397) needs 68 yards to move up to 3rd on the Eagles all-time receiving yards list all-time passing WR *Mike Quick
Eagles WR Desean Jackson (34) needs 2 TDs to move into a tie for 7th on the Eagles all-time receiving TD list tying WR Jeremy Maclin
Eagles DE Brandon Graham (54) needs 1 sack to move to 4th on the Eagles all-time sack list passing DE Hugh Douglas
Eagles DT Fletcher Cox (49) needs 1.5 sacks to move up to 6th on the Eagles all-time sack list tying DE Greg Brown
Eagles DE Vinny Curry (27.5) needs 2 sacks to move up to 18th on the Eagles all-time sack list tying DT Jerome Brown
49ers DE Arik Armstead(20) needs 2 sacks to move up to 20th on the 49ers all-time sack list passing OLB Parys Haralson.
Stats to Know
What if I told you the Niners have two of the league’s best receiving Running Backs? (Yes, one is hurt). What if I also told you the Eagles’ defenders are presently poop covering RBs against the pass? That about sums it up. Mr. McKinnon should have a fun day.
Matchups to Watch
This is the only real battle that matters since it's extremely difficult to win in the NFL with poor QB play. Wentz is among the worst QBs in the league to start the season and it could be a significant amount of time before he changes course. Even the most stalwart Wentz supporters must admit he is also a problem with this team right now. With that said, in order to win this game, and any game moving forward, the Eagles need Carson Wentz to improve. Philly can't use the injury excuse in this particular matchup as the Niners are one of the only teams to be in a similar or worse injury predicament than the Eagles. Even with the injuries, the Niners are able to show up and show out on a weekly basis... They are a great team. Wentz has had issues in all areas pertaining to play. He needs to be more precise, smarter, and more relaxed. This team sucks; it's likely no amount of heroism if going to pull this team from the depths of the league this season. The only thing Carson Wentz can do is his job. He's not responsible for coaching blunders, other injuries, or a GM that can't get anything right. Just get better and when he does, this team can actually be competitive.
Kyle Shanahan and his offensive genius vs Jim Schwartz and the LBs and Safeties
It should be no surprise the Eagles LBs and Safeties struggle in coverage as they did nothing in the offseason to add players that can cover. Plain and simple. This is a defense with a great defensive line, a great CB1, and that's it. They struggle to play consistent run defense now with the mediocre talent in the second and third levels. Kyle Shanahan is one of the most innovative offensive minds in the NFL; if you thought the thumping Sean McVay gave us was painful, wait until we see what's in store from the guy who mentored McVay. Shanahan lives for finding your weakest links in the LB and Safety rooms and exploiting that deficiency mercilessly. Nate Gerry is about to have his worst game ever - and that says something. George Kittle should return for this contest which is a tremendous mismatch that the Niners will exploit. Even the best cover guys in the league struggle against Kittle as he's just a monster. Shanahan will use all kinds of motion, misdirection, and play action that will cause this defense to struggle mightily absent some sort of miracle where they learn to play. I have faith that the defensive line can play well, but as we saw in week 2, all the motion, misdirection, and play action teams use can neutralize a pass rush. Lastly, can Schwartz even put his guys in better positions? Yeah, probably not.
Doug Pederson’s Offensive Game Plan vs the Niners Defense
I tried to have a more nuanced look at this matchup but it is difficult. The Eagles offense is marred by underachieving talent and injuries to start the season. Furthermore, they weren't given enough to work with by the front office but that is an entirely different discussion. Point blank: the offensive coaching staff, led by Doug Pederson, has struggled to consistently put its players in successful situations to start the season. It's not all Doug's fault but a large part of it is. There wasn't a real identity to this offense to start and that's only gotten worse 4 weeks in. This roster isn't going to suddenly improve overnight, if at all this season, so it's up to the coaching staff to help the offense succeed. There are a lot of new cooks involved in creating the offensive game plan but not enough overall direction from the man in charge. The Niners defense has plenty of injuries to key players as well; can they design a function offense built on spare parts to put up a fight? Or will they punt?
What technologies and systems does Spacex need to work on over the next 4 years besides Starship to achieve its mars goals?
I wrote a post a few months ago (What will it take for Spacex to send humans to mars in 2024?) which did rather well. However I focused only on Starship itself, not on any of the other pieces that are just as important to achieve Spacex’s mars-sized ambitions, so let’s take a look at everything but the big shiny rocket. To be clear (like before), this is less me predicting the future and more me looking to start a discussion based on the data we have and a whole bunch of assumptions, speculations and wishes. Let's start off by making the mother of all Big Falcon assumptions: Starship works as intended This is a MASSIVE leap of faith to take. While SN5’s (and now SN6’s) flight(s) did alleviate some concerns regarding Starship’s ascent, and Superheavy doesn’t really worry me with all the falcon 9 first stages Spacex has to draw experience from, there’s no guarantee that Spacex’s re-entry, descent and landing systems will work as well as they want and expect them to, since those all fall somewhere between unusual and revolutionary. Nor is the rapid and reliable reuse guaranteed to work as well as we all want it to. Although I will say people need to cool it with claiming Starship is years and years away from orbit; the raptor works and the tanks, plumbing and command & control system are up to standards, as SN5&6 showed. If Spacex wanted to (and had enough engines) they could bolt together a Superheavy booster, stick a Starship on it and fly both expendable to put 100-200 tons in orbit right now if they had a launch pad and a humongous crane. Big waste of money and engines but they could do it. Once Superheavy hops (successfully) you can seriously argue that Starship is closer to reaching orbit than SLS, despite the latter’s development being started a decade earlier. It’s just that reaching orbit isn’t Starships main goal; getting to orbit and back down cheaply and reliably is, which is another thing entirely. To me, SN8’s 20 km flight will be the big thing to watch: if that works, Starship is ready for orbit. If not, Spacex has a nasty problem or two to solve. For the record, I will say that I think the launch, ascent and descent of SN8 will go fine, but that the flip-down has a high chance of going very, very wrong the first few times. Just to reiterate: this is not me saying what will happen, this is me speculating what Elon plans/wants to make happen in order to put humans on the red planet basically 4 years from now, to give people something to ponder on and give their own take. Personally I doubt that humans will really depart for mars in 2024, but given Elon’s repeated statements that 2024 is still the goal, and the fact that at least at tesla his timelines are getting a little more accurate recently, I have crammed the insane amount of progress needed into the next 3-4 years to make it fit. My timeline should not be taken as a prediction but as my best guess to somehow get all the needed pieces into place given the insane objectives. So, if we make the admittedly stomach-churning assumption that Starship works and is flying reliably and reusable sometime (early) next year, what else should SpaceX be working on? To me, it seems they need four other pieces to realize their mars ambitions: getting Starship to mars -> orbital refueling getting Starship back from mars -> fuel production on mars getting the humans inside Starship to mars -> life support in space keeping the humans inside Starship alive on the surface of mars -> life support on mars I will go through them in order from what I consider to be least to most difficult (no part is “easy” if you ask me): Orbital refueling: This one I’ve made a U-turn on. I used to think it was a major obstacle but recently have concluded that it won’t slow down Spacex at all. Why? Because in their Artemis bid, Spacex announced that they plan to use not just tankers, but fuel depots. This simplifies the whole operation massively. Spacex can launch a few custom Starships that consist of nothing but a giant empty fuel tank, something which they can probably build today. No heat shield, no fins, no payload bay, no life support, to maximize the fuel capacity. Only some batteries, a solar panel, rcs and a way to dock. Heck with the recent raptor improvements they might be able to stretch this type of Starship to have even more internal volume for fuel. Now these most likely will have to be painted pitch black to prevent an angry mob of astronomers marching on boca chica with pitchforks, but that’s probably not a bad idea regardless. The fuel boil off in LEO will be a lot less than Starship will have to deal with on its way to mars due to a noticeable lack of shade during the transfer, so subjecting the LEO fuelers to as high a temperature as possible seems like a useful safety margin when designing for that. The current Starship can hold 1200 tons of propellant with a large amount of its volume turned over for cargo. Given that a Superheavy can hold 3300 tons of propellant, let’s say that a fuel depot Starship can hold between 2000 and 3000 tons depending on how much it’s stretched, with the lower estimate being more likely. Edit: elon recently stated that they are pushing for Starship being able to hold up to 2000 tons of fuel, supporting my hunch that Starship’s length will increase. Some back-of-the-envelope calculations show that a 250 ton Starship (100 ton dry mass, 150 ton payload) with 750 tons of fuel and an isp of 380 will have just over 5 km/s of delta V. Going from earth to mars using a hohmann transfer takes just over 4 km/s, while a much faster 3-month transfer takes around 4.8 km/s. This fits well with Elon’s step-by-step strategy. For the first flights having an extra 1000 m/s will most likely be invaluable, allowing on-route course corrections, meaningful maneuvers in martian orbit, as well as an easier landing, both due to being able to start the landing burn higher up and the fact that more fuel means more mass at the bottom of the Starship making it more stable during the flip and upon touching down. Later flights, after Spacex has a high enough confidence in their navigation, aerodynamic controls and landing system, can then start to burn more fuel to incrementally shorten that transfer time until they reach Elon’s goal of a three month transfer for humans. Now what would this mean? If Spacex launches say three of these fuel depot Starships early next year (and they totally will have the means to build and launch these by then, all they need is a working Superheavy), they now have something to use their insane launch cadence for that is both useful and dirt-cheap. Each one of these fully fueled will provide the propellant for three mars-bound or two lunar-surface-bound Starships to reach their destinations. Since the tankers will be able to carry between 100 and 150 tons to LEO depending on how far along the vacuum raptor engine is, this is 60 to 90 flights right here for Starship. If I’m Elon/SpaceX, all I’m doing in 2021 is flying Starship tankers DOZENS of times to bring fuel up to these depots for use in 2022. Now I know people are excited about a Starship launch putting 400 Starlink satellites into orbit in one go, but let’s remember that those still cost $300.000 a piece to make, and that’s after achieving an impressive economy of scale (120 a month). One failure on ascent and there goes over a hundred million dollars. At least for the first dozen launches, Spacex would be wise to start with fuel only imho, and move to include Starlink launches after a few months of successful fuel flights. It will give Starship a simple cheap payload to fly over and over again with minimal impact if it suffers a catastrophic failure on ascent. Simply learn and move on; nothing of significant value was lost. While the engineers focus on decreasing the turn-around time and fixing whatever unexpected problems arise due to Starships re-entering multiple times (which there definitely will be, don’t tell yourself otherwise), the designers can spend 2021 seriously working on life support and ISRU systems, with both available to support the other should they need to. As an additional bonus, all these launches will greatly boost the confidence in Starship from both nasa and the commercial sector, paving the way for Starship’s utter domination of the commercial launch market from 2022 onward. Finally, maybe the realization that voting for Artemis meant voting for orbital fuel depots will give Shelby a well-earned heart attack (one can dream). /s If Spacex can get 10 to 20 Starship tankers to orbit in 2021 (they can all be the same ship, they can be 3 different ships or they can be 10 different ships depending on how successful they are in their re-use objectives by then), it will give them a much easier time in 2022; “simply” fly the mars-bound or moon-bound Starship to LEO, dock with the depot and perform a single large fuel transfer. This way Spacex won’t have to worry about keeping a dozen Starship tankers in orbit at a time. As for orbital refueling itself (wow, went a little bit of topic there), I don't see any major hurdles: if Starship’s fuel lines can handle the pressures of being fueled on the pad through the Superheavy booster as is currently the plan, than all Spacex needs to do is not exceed those pressures during on-orbit fuel transfers, which really should not be hard so long as they take their time with them. Life support on mars This might surprise some, but I actually think keeping humans alive on the martian surface will be much easier than keeping them alive in space due to the zero-g and radiation concerns that the latter will have to deal with. Consequently, if I were to suggest only one thing to Spacex from my very comfortable armchair, it would be to split the two: one type of Starship designed to act as a permanently inhabitable martian base that is basically an office tower with a big empty drained fuel tank and some engines at the bottom, and one designed for crewed use in zero-g as well as ascent and descent on both mars and earth. Trying to make a Starship do both is asking for trouble if you ask me, as well as greatly complicating the design (“the best part is no part”). Yes this would mean that these “base” Starships will not return to earth, but that is not that big a loss given the production rates Spacex is already achieving, plus having a few extra raptors on mars that can be cannibalised for parts or simply swapped with a malfunctioning raptor of another Starship sounds to me like good redundancy. Furthermore this split would have three enormous upsides: 1: The base ones are easier to design and build due to only being operated and inhabited under gravity after landing. Let’s remind ourselves that if Spacex wants to send people to mars in 2024, it will be much easier to find support from nasa and the like if there already is a habitable structure waiting on the martian surface for them, which will have to be sent there in 2022. The easier base ones can be the focus of design in 2021 before being built and launched in 2022. Meanwhile the manned zero-g Starship will be granted another year to prove itself as now it won’t be needed until 2023, which is probably a good thing anyway. Even if Spacex can build these next year there is no guarantee that any agency would have enough confidence in Starship by then to provide them with astronauts. Taking another year to really prove Starship’s reliability as a launch and landing system might be enough (remember this means dozens of launches since we’re assuming Starship works) for a Starship to take on crew in LEO at the end of 2022/early 2023, probably at first using a dragon capsule to go to and from orbit as Tim Dodd and others have suggested. 2: It’s simply much safer. Living and working in a separate Starship from the one that you land and launch in will probably be a whole lot more comfortable for the crew on mars. Sleeping well might be a bit harder if every morning the giant fuel tank a few dozen meters below you is a little bit fuller with highly combustible propellant than the day before. Compared to if the tank beneath you is completely drained while the Starship you will return in sits a few miles away being steadily refueled with you only returning to it a few hours/days before launch. Good back-up in terms of life support systems too; if something is really vitally needed you can take it with you from the landelauncher upon arrival or from the base/habitat upon leaving, as only one at a time will be housing crew. I’m sure nasa would be much more comfortable with this system too. 3: This base/habitat Starship would be perfect for nasa’s Artemis program: While I don’t agree with Zubrin on a lot of things (seriously, he needs to stop with the whole mini-starship idea, it’s not gonna happen), he is right when he says that starship as a lunar ascent vehicle makes very little sense imo. It would be a huge investment of fuel and time for no real gain besides funding and nasa support, the latter of which is all but assured if Starship works. If instead Spacex offered Starship as a lunar base and suggested that nasa use the landers from the other two companies to go to and from the lunar surface, there’s no way nasa would say no. Imagine the offer: “So here’s the deal: we will build a Starship interior to your specifications and wishes. Once built we will launch it, refuel it in orbit and fly it out to whatever lunar crater you want us to. Once landed, we fill drain every drop of fuel out of the tanks, lower the staircase/elevator and wait for your crew to arrive on one of those landers. It will have a thousand cubic meters of interior volume, aka more than the ISS, and you can have it on the moon in 2023 since we want to send one or two to mars in 2022 anyway. We’d like you to give us a billion dollars and a promise for martian astronauts in 2024 once we’ve landed it in exchange. Deal?”. Obviously Spacex won’t be that blunt, but I don’t believe that nasa wouldn’t fall over themselves to take an offer like that. So what would this designed-for-gravity Starship need? Honestly, nothing fancy, which is why I suggested splitting them. Starship will have the unique luxury to simply, as musk has stated, throw mass at a problem until it is solved. As an example, let us say that a mars crew would number an impressive 12 people (one mission commandetest pilot, 4 scientists, 3 engineers, 2 botanists and 2 doctors). We know that they will be staying on mars for at least two years, but for safety let’s design it for 4 years. If they all eat like the most wasteful people on earth (cough, americans, cough...) they will consume 10 tons of food per year, with half of that being the recommended healthy amount. So.... let’s just put 40 tons of food on board. Done. 4 to 8 years of food just like that. This is what using mass as a solution looks like. All Spacex needs is a way to store and preserve that food by either drying or freezing it for up to 5+ years, at which point that problem is solved. I’m no food expert but surely that technology exists? Same story with water. 12 people will drink less than 10 tons of water a year, but here recycling is a well-understood and “easy” thing to implement. We’re able to reach 90+% efficiency on the ISS I think (if I’m wrong feel free to correct me), so if Spacex gets anywhere close to that (anything over 50% will do) they can put 20 or 30 tons of water on board Starship and for all intents and purposes have an unlimited supply. Recycling CO2 back into O2 is a solved problem that basically only requires power which Starship will have plenty of. Also keep in mind that the above figures don’t assume food production or recycling, higher efficiency or using martian resources like water ice, any one of which would make surviving on mars for a few years a non-issue. So… is that it? Well... yeah, pretty much. Spacex will need to design some ways to control temperature, humidity and (human) waste disposal as well as provide communication and spacesuits for the astronauts, but these are by no means show stoppers, especially with help from nasa and all the lessons learned from dragon. As for spare parts they can either take a 3D-printer or simply a literal ton worth of the more important components, or both if they want to. None of the above is easy, but none of it is something that Spacex cannot obtain or build in a year (that year being 2021). I have a design in my head for how this thing would look like on the inside but I’m a pretty bad programmemodeller. If someone who is good at that wants to model and render it and read my far too detailed description feel free to ask. Just be prepared for a very long response comment. Life support in space This is where things start to get “actually” difficult even if Starship works. Keeping astronauts alive during the 6+ month trip to mars will be easy. Keeping them healthy and in good condition will be very hard. Like I said with the mars base Starship, food, water and air won’t be a problem. Even basic water recycling and CO2 scrubbers will keep the crew alive just fine. Put 10 tons of food and 10 tons of water on board and there’s your problem solved. Even if they have to abort the martian landing on-route for some reason and slingshot back to earth they will be fine as they will have 1 to 2 years or more of food, water and air. No, the two big problems will be radiation and weightlessness. On mars neither of these factors are a show stopper: The gravity most likely will be fine and mars and its atmosphere will shield you from some/much of the cosmic rays, while putting the radiation shelter right below your 40 tons of food with your 20-30 tons of water surrounding it will protect you reasonably well from solar storms. None of these “easy fixes” is available in interplanetary space, as there is no planet to create gravity or block radiation (shocking I know), nor will these ones be as full of food and water to use as shielding since they will be carrying much more cargo and scientific instruments. No reason not to if there is already a base Starship full of food and water waiting on mars. The simplest way to solve the radiation problem is some sort of physical shielding material in the walls (maybe hydrogen-rich foam?) and a solar storm shelter which is surrounded by all of the food and water on board. Whatever Spacex comes up with, this is something that I hope they work very closely with nasa on. The main problem is that they will not have much time to test this theoretical solution with humans on board until probably 2023. At the earliest Starship will be flying with crew on board in 2022, and even that’s jaw-droppingly aggressive. It would probably require Starship to reach falcon 9’s current amount of launches (a 100 basically) in less than two years (aka, one orbital launch every week on average) with little to no failures before nasa would trust Starship to launch and land safely, since I don’t see any sign of Spacex adding a launch abort system or changing the landing sequence. For the first few flights they can use a dragon to shuttle between a Starship in LEO and earth’s surface, but they can only do that a few times before the costs in both money and disposed falcon 9 second stages start adding up. No humans have ever gone beyond the earth-moon system, and no human has gone beyond earth’s magnetic shield since 1972, so this part very much has a possibility of providing some unwelcome unknown unknowns. There is another big thing though that I think too many people ignore: weightlessness. The first flights to mars will take at least 6 months. Even with exercise, I think it’s fair to say that astronauts currently do not have the muscle and bone strength to stand up and walk by themselves after returning from a 6 month mission on the ISS without help. Mars’ lower gravity might help them recuperate faster, but this too is a complete unknown that neither nasa nor Spacex will or should count on imho. So far I’ve seen only two solutions suggested: lots of exercise on-route combined with simply letting the crew recover slowly once they land on mars, or tethering two starships together and spinning them. I don’t think either one will be an option. The first one is probably not enough, and the second one is too risky. Nasa would almost certainly go pale with that amount of inhabited mass under constant loads and stresses from circular acceleration, even if Spacex can make it work mechanically. The only alternative I can come up with is this (and since I don’t believe for a second that I’m smarter than the teams at Spacex I’d very much appreciate someone more knowledgeable to explain to me where my thinking is flawed): You place a ring inside the pressurised part of Starship 8 meters in diameter and 3 meters in height, connected to a central pole that is bolted to the floors above and below but is free to spin. You put the sleeping accommodations on the inside of this ring with your head facing towards the centre. At the start of the sleeping shift, you spin the ring up to a lateral speed where you feel your back being pushed into the wall at a force of one g. Since your entire body is experiencing the same acceleration at every part, as the radius between your head and the pole and your feet and the pole is constant, it shouldn’t be nauseating. If there are walls on all sides of you (and one door) so that you don’t see the rotation, and your “bed” is slanted slightly to account for the coriolis effect, would it not feel just like regular gravity? Big bonus: you can start at one g and slowly move to 0.38 g over the course of several months to acclimate to mars. Small bonus: if you’re willing to pay the power cost, putting some big scoops or buckets on the outside of this ring might help with circulating the air around the ship since it will be spinning quite fast. Finally you could also spin it faster to do exercises like push-ups (basically any effort where your body remains more or less fixed to the floor could work), meaning you could compensate for being in zero g most of the day by sleeping under gravity and performing some exercises while under higher gravity [insert goku joke here]. I’m sure I have overlooked something, but it seems to me like this would work and be a reasonably effective and practical solution. Feel free to explain to me why I’m wrong. In short, Spacex needs to find a solution to the zero-g and radiation problems by the end of 2022 at the latest. Firstly because dearmoon is scheduled for 2023 and I can’t see nasa (much less the US congress) stomach letting private civilians being the first humans to return to the moon’s vicinity since Apollo instead of nasa astronauts. If a Starship capable of sustaining humans is flying successfully in 2022 and dearmoon is set for mid-to-late 2023, I’d bet on there being effectively an order from congress for Spacex and nasa to fly american astronauts on Starship around the moon before dearmoon takes place, regardless of the state of either SLS or Artemis. And before you say that that would be massive hypocrisy, remember that these are US politicians we’re talking about. Secondly because they really need to perform a 6 month trial run at the L2 earth-moon lagrange point to confirm that their life support, radiation protection and zero-g mitigation solutions work as intended. (This is why my money is still on humans to mars in 2026 because I can’t make myself believe that everything will work right the first time they try it). If they want to send people to mars in 2024 they will need to have this test done to satisfy nasa (or whomever is providing them with astronauts) by the end of 2023. So my reasoning/guess is that Spacex will want the design of this version of Starship finished in early 2022, build and launch one that summer, and maybe bring some crew on board with a dragon to prove out its life support systems by the end of the year. The big year for this piece of the puzzle will be 2023, as this is the Starship type that they will most likely use for dearmoon as well as perform any major test runs in the earth-moon system, before the big launch of the first crew to mars in 2024. Refueling starships on mars So why do I think this is the biggest hurdle? Isn’t the sabatier process a well-understood and quite simple chemical reaction? Yes it is, and the problem as I see it isn’t with the chemistry, but with the scale, the schedule and the industrial processes that are needed. Spacex will have to design, test and build a full-on fuel production system… and have it ready for launch roughly 18 months from now. Why so soon? Because there is no way, repeat NO WAY that Spacex will be allowed to send astronauts to mars, on a rocket that cannot get back to earth without being refueled, if there is no fuel production on mars at the time of launch. I know Elon has often said that there is a real chance that the first crew sent to mars will die, but I can’t imagine he actually believes that he can get professional astronauts and nasa support if he doesn’t take every precaution possible to ensure that they can get back home safely. Just to be clear: I don’t mean that there needs to be a fully fuelled Starship sitting on mars when the first crew lands, but there absolutely, 100% needs to be a Starship on mars producing fuel by the time the first crew leaves earth. And this is not as easy to pull off as it might seem. Getting the CO2 is a non-issue: mars’ atmosphere is so rich with it that you might not even need to filter the incoming air. Also as long as the crane/elevator on Starship works, setting up a large solar field won’t be that difficult provided Spacex has made the panels reasonably easy to unload and deploy (safe assumption if you ask me), and if the surrounding surface is flat. Given that Spacex has chosen a landing/base site in the northern plains (IIRC) this should also not give any major problems. The main difficulty will be getting enough water to produce enough fuel. If Elon is serious with his recent comment about “~2 tons/day” of fuel, which I have to assume he is, that means many tons of water ice have to be excavated, moved, filtered of other materials, melted and separated into H2 and O2, per day, for over two years, with no one around to fix something if it breaks. This is orders of magnitude more intense than what we’ve done on mars before. To be blunt, we are talking nothing less than autonomous bulldozers, that weigh several tons and make Perseverance look like a toy. Scooping up and gathering a truckload of ice and rocks daily and dumping them into whatever device Spacex comes up with to separate out the ice, melt it and split it into hydrogen and oxygen (of which the former probably must be combined with CO2 and turned into methane immediately given its habit of not liking being stored and subsequently floating away), and not break down thanks to the martian dust getting anywhere crucial. Even setting aside the fact that this operation will make the planetary protection crowd pull their hair out, the chances of it working as designed the first time are not high if you ask me. There is every chance that something wears out faster than expected, stops working due to some unknown unknown, or gets wrecked by a malfunctioning autonomous vehicle glitching out and driving into/over it. Once there are actual humans on mars, keeping these machines operational won’t be all that hard, but basic safety standards (and nasa) are going to require that the fuel farm works reliably on its own, for as long as it takes to make enough propellant for the first crew to return home safely in case of an emergency, before the go-ahead is given for that first crewed mars mission to leave earth. I would not be shocked if Spacex manages to design, test and build a system that they think will work in 2021 and launch, refuel, transfer to and land it on mars in 2022, only to find out that some crucial part doesn’t work as designed under the martian conditions, leaving a fully habitable base Starship and an empty propellant plant Starship sitting on mars with all the accompanying parts needed to start a base (pressurised cybertruck rover, unpressurised cybertruck rover, water ice gatherebulldozer, fuel transporter, solar farm and guidance & landing beacon) present, but no way to make fuel. It will be the most infuriating and cathartic thing ever at the same time. Such a situation will almost certainly set the Spacex timetable back the full two years, as I just can’t see nasa allowing astronauts to get in a Starship and blasting off to mars if there is no way for them to get back yet. I don’t think the argument “Well once they are there they can fix the fuel farm instantly!” will hold much weight, since if something important has broken, what’s to say that something else will not go wrong unexpectedly that the crew can’t fix, leaving them stranded? My basic reasoning is this: the other three parts can be tested in LEO or on earth with the results being representative of their supposed tasks, but this one cannot. The environment on mars is simply too different from the one on earth (especially the atmosphere), and the scale and ambition of Spacex’s plan means that the rovers currently on mars are not much of a reference either. There is no way for us to know outside computer models what a five-ton vehicle driving around on mars for years hauling several tons of regolith and ice around daily would go through in terms of wear and tear, creating a massive potential for unknown unknowns to appear where we don’t expect them. To put Spacex’s project in perspective: the first fully loaded Starship upon touchdown will probably consist of 99% of all the mass humanity has ever landed on the surface of mars. Let that sink in... So that’s my take on Spacex’s mars ambitions. If Starship works (big if, but it seems to be getting more believable by the day), I am reasonably confident about orbital refueling and a martian habitat being ready on time, but have reservations about the human-rated Starships and am outright concerned regarding the autonomous propellant plant working as designed. As I’ve mentioned, my money if SN8’s 20 km flight goes well is on Spacex getting a Starship to mars in 2022, but not sending humans until 2026, either due to the 2022 starships not performing as well as intended (or not performing at all if they crash) or due to Starship not yet being declared safe for human flight in 2024. Now before I go ahead and request the longest-reddit-thread-of-the-year award (I genuinely think this post is twice as long as my previous one), I’m curious as to your response to the three questions that in my opinion sum up the whole thing: 1, Did I miss something important besides the four areas I covered? 2, If you agree that these are the major roadblocks for Spacex and Starship, do you agree with my take on them? Did I badly underestimate something that is much harder than I gave it credit for? Or are certain things that I considered difficult much easier than I made them out to be? 3, Regardless of whether or not you agree with my list, ranking and reasoning, what do you think Spacex’s biggest obstacle will be to sending humans to mars in 2024, assuming Starship itself works? Looking forward to your responses, opinions and rebuttals.
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