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Friday Feedback: The “Delightful Digital Dollar” Edition

“The time has come,” Mr. Great Stuff said, “To talk of other things, of cryptos and NFTs and secure blockchains. Of digital dollar kings!”

“And why the market is boiling hot, and whether EVs have wings. Calloo-callay, we save today for digital dollar kings!”

Great Ones, today, much like John Lennon, I am the walrus. If you’re not sure what that means, don’t worry … I’m not sure either. I just like the sound of it.

Today is Friday Feedback day! It’s the day we take a dip in the Great Stuff inbox like a deranged Scrooge McDuck and … well, answer whatever sticks. It really is that scientific, if y’all were wondering.

We take all kinds here.

So, if you have a question about Great Stuff, the stock market, investing, options, oil, whether pigs have wings, do hats exist … pretty much anything, send it our way: GreatStuffToday@BanyanHill.com.

While it’s too late for us to answer you today, we’ll put you on the docket for next week’s edition of Friday Feedback.

We’re not as speedy as Amazon shipping, but we’ll still get you an answer faster than it took you to get that Little Orphan Annie Ovaltine decoder ring, that’s for sure.

And now for our featured presentation:

Hey Mr. Great Stuff,

From a consumer perspective, how does a digital dollar differ from a debit card or a cash app? I guess my bank would be replaced by the Central Bank in the transaction, but does that really matter (except to my bank)? 

I do think there are benefits to a digital dollar:

It would be more difficult to lose or steal money
It would eliminate the costs of printing, counting, and storing physical cash
It would remove a common carrier of germs from circulation

So, I’m in favor. Cheers,

— Rich V.

Welcome back, Rich! It’s good to hear from you again. Last time, I believe, you wrote in about Peloton and Apple cars. Now, it’s digital dollars. Keeping your finger on the racing pulse of the market? Nice.

I must admit that I hadn’t considered at least two of your reasons for a digital dollar. Printing, storing, counting and germs? Oh my!

But the biggest difference between a digital dollar and today’s system lies directly in your question. You see, debit cards, cash apps, checks … in fact, cash transactions of any kind all involve middlemen. Payment processors, if you will.

When you buy something with your debit card, that money doesn’t come directly out of your bank account. I mean, it does, but it takes a rather long way around to get to the merchant you’re paying.

For example, let’s say you’re really hip and you use your debit card with Apple Pay.

Apple Pay charges the merchant a fee to process your payment. If your debit card is a Visa or Mastercard, they charge a fee to process the payment too. The merchant’s bank also charges a fee to process payments, and so does your bank.

Someone is paying all these transaction fees … and that someone is you.

With a digital dollar backed by the Federal Reserve, however, all those transaction fees disappear.

There’s no more processing. No more bouncing cash around from one payment processor to another to another to another … etc.

With a digital dollar, the transfer of cash is immediate from the payer to the payee with no middlemen collecting fees.

Think of it this way: Prior to a digital dollar, your cash takes a long road trip filled with tolls and parking fees. Sometimes, due to traffic congestion and slow-moving systems, your payment can take seven to 10 days to fully process.

With a digital dollar, however, that payment is instantaneous. There are no toll roads or backups to wait for. Your cash basically teleports from your account to the vender’s account. Easy peasy.

How is this possible? I’ll let the Federal Reserve explain:

A Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) is generally defined as a digital liability of a central bank that is widely available to the general public. While Americans have long held money predominantly in digital form — for example in bank accounts, payment apps, or through online transactions — a CBDC would differ from existing digital money available to the general public because a CBDC would be a liability of the Federal Reserve, not of a commercial bank.

A CBDC would be the safest digital asset available to the general public, with no associated credit or liquidity risk.

Basically, the Federal Reserve would be directly responsible for handling your digital dollars — not your local commercial bank.

In an ideal world, this would mean that you get to keep more of your money by not paying a multitude of processing and transaction fees. But, since we all know that banks and processors make a $^&# ton of money off fees like this … I’m pretty sure the banking industry will, um … find a way.

Aside from banks not collecting those sweet, sweet fees anymore, there’s also the risk of increased government surveillance tied to a digital dollar. In order to hold digital dollars in the first place, the Federal Reserve would need to maintain a digital wallet for everyone.

If this wallet isn’t handled correctly, then the U.S. government would have direct control over financial access and availability, and it could conceivably use this control to freeze access for anyone it wants.

So, Rich, I might have gone a bit overboard, but I hope that answers your question. Thanks again for writing in!

Crypto’s On Fire — How To 12X Your Money In 12 Months

Bitcoin’s up an unbelievable 11.6 million percent over the past decade. Some experts say it could hit $400,000 over the next 10 years … and another predicts it could soar to $1 million.

But in his newest presentation, crypto expert Ian King says he’s identified a new third wave of cryptos that’s a potential $9 trillion market in the making…

Ian found three specific opportunities that could let you ride this new wave to make 12X your money in 12 months…

And you can see Ian’s exciting new cryptocurrency presentation here now.

All right, Great Ones. On to the rest of the inbox!

After all, we don’t talk about just crypto ‘round these parts — usually, we’re hyping up hydrogen power as well.

Oh, and a special shout-out goes to Capt. Spike for the … umm … “insightful” little hydrochloric acid experiment you recommended. As if we didn’t have enough watchful eyes on our inbox already…

Let’s dig in and begin!

Dick’s Full Of Hot Air

Oh, Great Stuff thanks for the rundown of rarified air, or is that clarified air last week on Hydrogen power. I’m down with both PLUG and HYZN now and forever. Air supply was a great 70’s band, and I’m all hot air today. The only reason both of these stocks are down is a lack of understanding by retail investors that simply lump everything with market volatility. They buy when the market goes up and sell when the market goes down, rather than hold and not play into the volatility. I also like another energy play SLDP so let me know what you think.

— Dick K.

Thanks, Dick, for holding up the hydrogen front!

I wasn’t going to bring up Great Stuff’s favorite alternative energy source for the umpteenth time this month, but since you went and opened the door … howdy!

Plug Power (Nasdaq: PLUG) and Hyzon Motors (Nasdaq: HYZN) have both been going through their typical teenager-esque tizzies lately, haven’t they? “No one understands me anymore. And hydrogen’s not just a phase, goooosh.”

But Great Ones like Dick? Y’all know what’s up. Y’all know. The market has yet to realize the hydrogen hype train that’s about to plow into the new energy market. And once hydrogen power hits its stride in the heavy-duty trucking industry, there’s no going back…

Still, since you mentioned Solid Power (Nasdaq: SLDP), it’s worth noting that many automakers are stickin’ with plain ol’ batteries for their EVs. And who says you can’t have your EV-powering cake and eat it too?

No one says that, Great Stuff.

You can catch up on my investigation into Solid Power stock right here, but to sum it up (kinda) quick, EV battery investors have a couple of interesting options for the battery market:

• QuantumScape: A high-cost, long lead-time business model with direct internal quality controls.

• Solid Power: A low-cost, short lead-time business model with a licensing add-on but no direct quality control over the end product.

Sounds grand, right Stan — er, Dick?

I won’t spoil the surprise for you, but what if all y’all EV investors had a third battery-building bet

Roger Roger!

I read with interest the covered call story from The Weeshump on AMD. I am doing the same thing with COIN, shares are volatile so on Monday I sell a Friday call against my shares with a strike price at or above the purchase price. Either way I make money, so far the premiums have an annualized yield of 25%. Unless it tanks overnight, this will at least take the sting out of the fall. 

— Roger M.

Thanks for writing in, Roger!

It’s been, like, seven whole days since we went off the options deep end, and by golly, it’s high time we dove in again. I mean, volatility and options trading go together better than … better than…

Better than the fluffernutter kick you started me on last week…

You stole the words right out of my … fingers! If Roger’s covered call capers sound familiar to you, it should. You can catch up on the covered call conversation right here, courtesy of the Weeshump’s curiosity (you mad lad, you).

So good on you for carrying over the technique to other Great Stuff Picks, Roger!

Just like we concluded last week … you can keep selling Coinbase (Nasdaq: COIN) calls like this every single month for as long as you want, as long as COIN remains below the sold call option strike.

Not sure where to start with options? Well, well, didn’t you just stumble into a literal gold mine!

Over an average 50-day period, this options trading strategy beat the S&P by more than 661%. Already pretty impressive. But think about this…

This strategy trades less than 1% of the stocks in the market … on less than 1/10th of the trading days each year … and ONLY on the most predictable, consistent setups.

You don’t have to sweat the broad market’s moves with this breakthrough trading system. All you need to do is understand this document … and wait for a special signal.

Learn how you can get access to both, right here.

The Duality Of Man

Greetings,When I first saw your Great Stuff email, I immediately tossed it as junk mail and marked it as spam.

It really looks like junk mail and looks spamy.

GIF’s are really junky and ineffective, except on social media, where actually most people I have in my contacts, have given up on them.

If there is an important message that you wanted to convey, your email did not do that.

I’ve always thought Banyan Hill was a business type of platform, so maybe stick to that and keep your day job – let the real jokers do the stand-up comedy.

Just so you know.

— Brooks A.

Fair enough, Brooks. I get it.

I’m not your cup of tea.

I don’t fluff your pillows right.

I cut all your favorite articles out of the Sunday morning paper.

Moving pictures are bad.

It’s all good.

But, ya know, Brooks … this is my day job, and I rather enjoy it.

Also, as you’ll see in a minute, some people actually like me and find Great Stuff quite useful and entertaining.

Shocking, I know. But it seems to be true…

Hello Joe (I feel like I know you):I just read today’s email (alternative energies) from you – my first exposure to you. I am 72, my husband is 90, and I still work full-time (to pay the mortgage and spoil our grandkids). I have no desire nor allusions of getting rich quick, but do ache to be set free from the clenches of my public administration job – yes, where one works less to earn more and to be “required” to be satisfied with underperformance – as I am not wired that way, having spent a successfully satisfying 55 years in the fast-paced world of perform-or-die, private sector customer service-based logistics.

I only write to you today to say that your communication style – insightful, common sense, brass tacks, and salted with respectful humor – has spawned interest and trust in me that has inspired me to drop a C-note each paycheck on your recommendations.

Fully understanding how the mentality of today impacts the surrendering of tomorrow (knowing that ‘results may vary’…LOL) is the key to my being willing to take a risk on stocks, something I have never done before.

Looking forward to future good-reads,

— Cathy F.

Cathy, thank you so much for your kind words! My mother used to work for a government agency, so I hear you on the perils and idiocy of a public administration job.

That said, people like you are why I do this job in the first place.

If you want stuffy, old-school investing language, you can find that literally anywhere. But flair? Panache? Brass tacks common sense … and humor? Well, that’s a horse of a different color.

I started Great Stuff because most of the financial e-zines and articles out there weren’t very accessible or friendly to the average investor. Not only that, but they’re just plain boooooring to read.

How can you keep an eye on your money and investments if you’re nodding off after every other word?

Investing is hard enough as it is. Yes, you need accurate information and insightful commentary … but who says you can’t have a little fun along the way or actually explain things in ways that people will understand?

The best part is that if I am ever unclear or don’t explain things well enough, all you have to do is email us at GreatStuffToday@BanyanHill.com, and I’ll get you the answer … one way or another.

So, once again, Cathy, thank you so much for writing in! You make the Brookses of the world easier to bear. Ha!

Once you — yes, you — are done yapping our virtual ear off in the inbox, catch up on all the Great Stuff you might’ve missed online at GreatStuffToday.com!

In the meantime, here’s where you can find our other junk — erm, I mean where you can check out some more Greatness:

Get Stuff: Subscribe to Great Stuff right here!
Our Socials: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Where We Live: GreatStuffToday.com.
Our Inbox: GreatStuffToday@BanyanHill.com.

Regards,

Joseph Hargett
Editor, Great Stuff

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