Life update

My brother and sister-in-law FINALLY had their baby yesterday. She was forty weeks and two days.

They named him after my uncle and he’s a pretty adorable little gaffer. Hopefully, if COVID ever calms down, I’ll be able to meet him while he’s still a baby. Though, the way things or going, he’ll likely be two or three. Ah well, babies are a beautiful thing. So small, so innocent, so cute.

Life Lessons from Me

It is not appropriate, acceptable, okay, or EVER warranted to tell a woman she’s beautiful in a professional setting. It’s not now, it never was and it won’t ever be. That’s not a compliment.

Women do not go to work to be eye candy. They don’t want comments about their appearance made in the workplace.

Women work long and hard to reach the levels they reach in their professional careers. When a man is willing to interrupt a meeting to refer to a woman as beautiful, what he’s doing in that moment is telling her that no matter her education, no matter her work experience, no matter her skills, her intelligence, her professionalism and her ability to change the very face of the company, workforce and world, he will never see her as an equal. He won’t ever see her as anything more than a shell.

A woman’s appearance has not a single fucking thing to do with how well she can do her job.

Just don’t do it. Just don’t comment on a woman’s appearance in the workplace. Please don’t. EVER.

GameStop in layman’s terms

If you’re confused about what’s been going on with stock-market news lately, especially that tied to GameStop, I tried to explain it as simple as possible.

IMPORTANT DEFINITIONS

Hedge Fund – A hedge fund is an investment fund that trades in relatively liquid assets and is able to make extensive use of more complex trading, portfolio-construction and risk management techniques to improve performance, such as short selling, leverage, and derivatives.

Hedge fund manager put A LOT of eggs into one basket that has the possibility of being dropped and all eggs being smashed and ruined

Short Selling – Short selling is an investment or trading strategy that speculates on the decline in a stock or other securities price. In short selling, a position is opened by borrowing shares of a stock or other asset that the investor believes will decrease in value by a set future dateā€”the expiration date.

If I bet stock ‘Vee Co.’ will decrease in value, I can borrow it at a price of $10. When I borrow said stock, I immediately sell it, hold onto the $10 and wait for Vee Co. to decrease. When Vee Co. stock does decrease, it’s new value is $5 so I immediately buy back the stock I borrowed. I sold it last week for $10, but I bought it today for $5. So, when I give the stock back to whom I borrowed it from and I’ve put $5 in my pocket. Multiply this by tens of millions and this is what happens on Wall Street.

Basically, short selling is betting on stocks losing. If you bet a stock loses and it does, you get rich, rich, rich!

On the flip side, if I borrow the stock and immediately sell it for $10 and the price of that stock rises to $15 then I have to buy back said stock for more than I’ve sold it for. I sold it for $10, but I have to give it back, so I have to buy it back at that $15 price, and I’ve now lost $5. This is why short selling is so risky. If you bet on a stock losing and it increases, you could be out a lot of money.

WHERE GAME STOP / REDDIT COME INTO PLAY

Wallstreetbets on Reddit is a platform for regular folk who try to help each other predict trends in the stock market for their individual trading. These people are what Wall Street refers to as ‘Dumb Money’. It’s possibly someone’s savings. Maybe someone else’s retirement funds. Maybe it’s someone’s inheritance. It’s just regular folk, there’s no hedge funds, these aren’t millions or billions of dollars worth of trades. It’s hundreds, or thousands.

Back in December some members of Wallstreetbets recognized that two prominent hedge funds were short selling millions upon millions in GameStop stock. These hedgfunds were betting on GameStop to fail in 2021. Which, in theory, is not a bad assumption to make, since video games can all be downloaded these days, brick and mortar stores selling hard copies are to 2021 what blockbuster was to 2010.

These Redditors said ‘No way, this is not happening on our watch’. They banded together like a small army knowing that if enough of them purchased GameStop stock, it would drive up the popularity of the stock and drive up the price. Initially the price increases were small. These hedge funds weren’t in hot water yet, because the increase in value of the stock wasn’t anything they couldn’t cover. But, this army of Redditors expanded, both with people hearing about what Redditors were doing, but also with people just noticing that GameStop had had a slight, promising rise and that could be good for them to get in on the ground floor with.

Over the past few weeks, the price per GameStop stock has gone up from $19 per stock to over $400 per stock at one point. Presently it’s hovering around $289 per stock, from what I can see.

So, doing the math with the present value of the stock… if someone borrowed the stock when it was valued at $19 and immediately sold it, they now have to purchase it back for $289. They are out $270 for that single stock in order to purchase it back, to return it to who they borrowed from. Why this is making Wall Street quake is because they don’t trade in hundreds or thousands, they trade in millions, tens of millions and hundreds of millions.

Let’s say, one of these two hedge funds that bet on GameStop losing value borrowed 10 million stocks at $19 each. Their short sale earned them $190,000,000 in December. Now that the GameStop stock is $289, they have to buy back that stock for $2,890,000,000. These Wall Street Hedge Funds are BILLIONS of dollars in to the negatives and they don’t have that money stored away in a shoe box to cover themselves.

One hedge fund has already liquidated assets and begun filing for bankruptcy.

Those hedge funds that weren’t even involved in this particular short-sale fiasco are quaking because they’ve now realized if Redditors have the power to do this one stock, they can do it to any stock. No stock is safe. No short sale is safe. Redditors can do it with any company that Wall Street undervalues. Essentially, Wall Street is Goliath and Redditors are they underdog, and the underdog has just let Goliath know they’re watching every move and they have the power and propensity to knock all of them down like dominoes, if they so choose.

THE ROBINHOOD (AND A SLEW OF OTHERS) ISSUE

There’ve been a few different companies doing this, but RobinHood has gotten the most notoriety, so I’ll share it from the perspective of RobinHood.

RobinHood is an app where individual regular folk like you and I take part in commission free stock trading and investing.

As GameStop stock continued to rise, regular folk like you and I flocked to ‘RobinHood’ to their already existing accounts, or went so far as to make brand new accounts, to get in on this amazing increase in value. Millions of people continued purchasing GameStop in the hundreds or thousands of dollar values. RobinHood, a stock trading application that prides itself on catering to regular folk, something that Wall Street refers to as ‘Dumb Money’, realized that purchasing GameStop was causing Wall Street to bleed. So, RobinHood stopped allowing people to purchase GameStop. You could only sell GameStop on their application, you couldnt’ purchase it.

If RobinHood and others stopped allowing people to purchase GameStop then no one could have access to it. If no one had access to GameStop, the price won’t continue rising, essentially trying to soften the landing for Wall Street. So, RobinHood, that caters to regular folk, blocked regular folk from making money in an effort to protect Wall Street.

CONCLUSIONS

Wall Street is crying foul. They’re crying market manipulation and that what happened should be illegal.

Legally speaking, what Redditors did is not against the law. It is a grey area. Regular folk have realized they can take on the 1% and win.

Why this matters?

  • Millennials and are a hell of a lot fucking smarter than people give them/us credit for
  • The one-percenters are not ‘untouchable’ like they’ve perceived themselves to be
  • No short sales are safe, ever again…
  • A small group of people have the power to vastly effect and change the world which we live, the Redditors have proved that
  • If Redditors could take down Wall-Street so easily, seemingly without them realizing until it was too late, are any industries safe?
  • Your reach is farther than you could imagine. One day you’re a regular joe reading reddit and the next, the stock market is in tears directly because of your forethought

FOOD FOR THOUGHT.

If anyone else has tidbits that I missed, please let me know.

Edit: Sorry for all of the spelling mistakes. I’m fixing them. Slowly.

Canadian cliches

I’ve been speaking with a potential client for a few days this week and he keeps asking me about Canadian cliches… except not about the realistic cliches, about the stupid/silly ones. The problem is, I’m sensing that he really has no idea and he might actually think that we own polar bears as pets. He keeps implying that polar bears are as common as cats and dogs in Canada. He also definitely thinks we eat beaver tails. He also thinks that all Canadians know one another. When I told him there are 37 million people in Canada his response was ‘Holy shit, where you all been hiding all these years?’

He seems like he’s lead an incredibly sheltered life. He was born and raised and has never left where he’s living now, not even for a holiday (from what he tells me). Which, hey… some people lead simple lives and don’t desire globetrotting, I can understand that much. I just… as someone who’s always been curious for information, find it hard to comprehend someone reaching their forties and never asking or trying to learn. I guess it wasn’t a priority to him. He learned what he needed too and left what he didn’t. lol

I just… I always assumed that it was mockery when people made fun of Canadian’s for stupid cliches. It never dawned on me that people might actually believe them. Perhaps that’s my bad. He seems to like his sheltered bubble, so I don’t want to burst it at this stage of his life. On the other hand…?

Groundhog Day

Anyone else feel like every day is exactly the same? Like nothing is every going to change.

There is officially community transmission of the UK variant of COVID 19 here (first place in Canada… another record for us). Up until now all of the cases of the UK variant had been directly traced back to someone who’d been to the UK, or lived with someone who’d been to the UK. 2/3 of the known UK variant cases in Canada are here (another record for us to hold). While there could very well be more, the UK variant requires extra testing of samples collected for COVID testing and they’ve been running the testing on less than 1/4 of collected tests each day. So… we just don’t know, I guess.

What does this mean? I can’t help but feel like we’re exactly where we were a year ago.

There’s a new, more contagious strain of the virus which some people are taking seriously and some people just don’t seem to give a fuck about. It was also January 24th of last year that the first cases of COVID were discovered, and within a week, it had infiltrated four different cities. It’s already in 8 Canadian cities.

Sure, there’s a vaccine. But there’s also 30 million people in this country and only a tentative timeline for everyone to have access to said vaccines by September. By that measure it’s going to be a long eight months ahead of us.

Moral of the story, this is definitely not going away.

Groundhog day will continue.

The Federal Government is hinting at restricting international travel into the country. Since the two variants are already spreading within the country, it’s a little late to that ball game. What do I know, though?

Our Provincial Government doesn’t seem to care about COVID anymore, they’re more worried about picking a fight with Joe Biden. We’re obviously in capable hands. Maybe? Probably not. Certainly not.

My great aunt and uncle’s obituaries appeared in the paper yesterday. They were married for 60 years. They got married when they were 18 and 19 and they were together for 60 years. They passed away just over a week apart.

60 years. Imagine having someone at your side for 60 whole years.

I don’t know. I’m just disappointed with everything right now. There’s no end to any of this in sight. People will continue hosting and going to spreader events and we’ll continue hearing how bad it is and that we need to stay home for everyone’s sake. Then 50% of the population will continue to say ‘Fuck everyone else, I deserve to get sick if I want to get sick’ and the cycle will continue.

It’s groundhog day and I am feeling defeated.

Jim and Pam for life.

I know that I’m about 15 years late to the party but I recently started watching The Office. Jim and Pam are so perfect. I love them. I know it’s a completely fictional story-line but wouldn’t it be wonderful if all love was rainbow and sunshine like their love?

The sarcasm on this show is incredible. I don’t know why it took me this long to actually sit down and watch. It’s not like everyone and their dogs have told me that I need to see it throughout the past 15 years.

I actually left my house and didn’t manage to get anything from my list

I’ve been putting it off going into a store for weeks. While COVID case counts have come down considerably in the city from where they were at the end of December, they’re still much higher then they were last fall. There’s also the new UK and South African variant on the rise, so I’ve basically been ordering everything online.

I actually went into a store today. It took some serious convincing but I did it. I needed washer fluid, cough syrup and conditioner.

I got none of those things.

I did, four months later, get a blanket for my bed. I’ve been looking for a blanket since last fall. We’re half way through winter and I’ve been sleeping under a fleece throw all winter. But I saw it today and I had a gift card that my brother gave me for Christmas and I just bought it. I guess that I got so excited about finding a blanket (albeit halfway through winter) that I forgot about the things I needed and I left.

So, I guess I’m going back tomorrow. Or… in a few more weeks. What’s a few more weeks? Well it’s 2021 and the whole world can change in a few weeks, but I’m not going to think about that right now or I’ll get anxious.

Today was productive. Yup.

I’ll just keep telling myself that.

Letters to Anyone

Never underestimate your power, your potential and your ability to change this world for the better. The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the one’s who end up doing so. The people who talk themselves out of it will spend their lives wondering ‘what if’.

If you want to make a difference, do it. If you want to have an impact, do it. So many people believe their circumstance limits them to nothing more than being average or chasing mediocrity, when in reality that mindset alone is their biggest roadblock to leaving a meaningful legacy.

Make a change.

Chase your passions, dreams and desires. Stop underestimating yourself.

Yeah, you heard me, stop underestimating yourself.

Life Lessons from Me

If you have neighbours and like to walk around naked at home, close your blinds.

I caught quite a show from one of my neighbours this morning. It was early so I’m not sure if he just wasn’t entirely awake yet, or if he doesn’t understand that windows work two ways. Whatever the reason…. you do you in your own home, just make sure that you close your blinds first.