Integrity
Write
Loading...
Sam Hickmann

Sam Hickmann

1 year ago

What is headline inflation?

More on Economics & Investing

Cory Doctorow

Cory Doctorow

1 year ago

The current inflation is unique.

New Stiglitz just dropped.

Here's the inflation story everyone believes (warning: it's false): America gave the poor too much money during the recession, and now the economy is awash with free money, which made them so rich they're refusing to work, meaning the economy isn't making anything. Prices are soaring due to increased cash and missing labor.

Lawrence Summers says there's only one answer. We must impoverish the poor: raise interest rates, cause a recession, and eliminate millions of jobs, until the poor are stripped of their underserved fortunes and return to work.

https://pluralistic.net/2021/11/20/quiet-part-out-loud/#profiteering

This is nonsense. Countries around the world suffered inflation during and after lockdowns, whether they gave out humanitarian money to keep people from starvation. America has slightly greater inflation than other OECD countries, but it's not due to big relief packages.

The Causes of and Responses to Today's Inflation, a Roosevelt Institute report by Nobel-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz and macroeconomist Regmi Ira, debunks this bogus inflation story and offers a more credible explanation for inflation.

https://rooseveltinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/RI CausesofandResponsestoTodaysInflation Report 202212.pdf

Sharp interest rate hikes exacerbate the slump and increase inflation, the authors argue. They compare monetary policy inflation cures to medieval bloodletting, where doctors repeated the same treatment until the patient recovered (for which they received credit) or died (which was more likely).

Let's discuss bloodletting. Inflation hawks warn of the wage price spiral, when inflation rises and powerful workers bargain for higher pay, driving up expenses, prices, and wages. This is the fairy-tale narrative of the 1970s, and it's true except that OPEC's embargo drove up oil prices, which produced inflation. Oh well.

Let's be generous to seventies-haunted inflation hawks and say we're worried about a wage-price spiral. Fantastic! No. Real wages are 2.3% lower than they were in Oct 2021 after peaking in June at 4.8%.

Why did America's powerful workers take a paycut rather than demand inflation-based pay? Weak unions, globalization, economic developments.

Workers don't expect inflation to rise, so they're not requesting inflationary hikes. Inflationary expectations have remained moderate, consistent with our data interpretation.

https://www.newyorkfed.org/microeconomics/sce#/

Neither are workers. Working people see surplus savings as wealth and spend it gradually over their lives, despite rising demand. People may have saved money by staying in during the lockdown, but they don't eat out every night to make up for it. Instead, they keep those savings as precautionary balances. This is why the economy is lagging.

People don't buy non-traded goods with pandemic savings (basically, imports). Imports don't multiply like domestic purchases. If you buy a loaf of bread from the corner baker for $1 and they spend it at the tavern across the street, that dollar generates $3 in economic activity. Spending a dollar on foreign goods leaves the country and any multiplier effect happens there, not in the US.

Only marginally higher wages. The ECI is up 1.6% from 2019. Almost all gains went to the 25% lowest-paid Americans. Contrary to the inflation worry about too much savings, these workers don't make enough to save, even post-pandemic.

Recreation and transit spending are at or below pre-pandemic levels. Higher food and hotel prices (which doesn’t mean we’re buying more food than we were in 2019, just that it costs more).

What causes inflation if not greedy workers, free money, and high demand? The most expensive domestic goods produce the biggest revenues for their manufacturers. They charge you more without paying their workers or suppliers more.

The largest price-gougers are funneling their earnings to rich people who store it offshore through stock buybacks and dividends. A $1 billion stock buyback doesn't buy $1 billion in bread.

Five factors influence US inflation today:

I. Price rises for energy and food

II. shifts in consumer tastes

III. supply interruptions (mainly autos);

IV. increased rents (due to telecommuting);

V. monopoly (AKA price-gouging).

None can be remedied by raising interest rates or laying off workers.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine, omicron, and China's Zero Covid policy all disrupted the flow of food, energy, and production inputs. The price went higher because we made less.

After Russia invaded Ukraine, oil prices spiked, and sanctions made it worse. But that was February. By October, oil prices had returned to pre-pandemic, 2015 levels attributable to global economic adjustments, including a shift to renewables. Every new renewable installation reduces oil consumption and affects oil prices.

High food prices have a simple solution. The US and EU have bribed farmers not to produce for 50 years. If the war continues, this program may end, and food prices may decline.

Demand changes. We want different things than in 2019, not more. During the lockdown, people substituted goods. Half of the US toilet-paper supply in 2019 was on commercial-sized rolls. This is created from different mills and stock than our toilet paper.

Lockdown pushed toilet paper demand to residential rolls, causing shortages (the TP hoarding story was just another pandemic urban legend). Because supermarket stores don't have accounts with commercial paper distributors, ordering from languishing stores was difficult. Kleenex and paper towel substitutions caused greater shortages.

All that drove increased costs in numerous product categories, and there were more cases. These increases are transient, caused by supply chain inefficiencies that are resolving.

Demand for frontline staff saw a one-time repricing of pay, which is being recouped as we speak.

Illnesses. Brittle, hollowed-out global supply chains aggravated this. The constant pursuit of cheap labor and minimal regulation by monopolies that dominate most sectors means things are manufactured in far-flung locations. Financialization means any surplus capital assets were sold off years ago, leaving firms with little production slack. After the epidemic, several of these systems took years to restart.

Automobiles are to blame. Financialization and monopolization consolidated microchip and auto production in Taiwan and China. When the lockdowns came, these worldwide corporations cancelled their chip orders, and when they placed fresh orders, they were at the back of the line.

That drove up car prices, which is why the US has slightly higher inflation than other wealthy countries: the economy is car-centric. Automobile prices account for 9% of the CPI. France: 3.6%

Rent shocks and telecommuting. After the epidemic, many professionals moved to exurbs, small towns, and the countryside to work from home. As commercial properties were vacated, it was impractical to adapt them for residential use due to planning restrictions. Addressing these restrictions will cut rent prices more than raising inflation rates, which halts housing construction.

Statistical mirages cause some rent inflation. The CPI estimates what homeowners would pay to rent their properties. When rents rise in your neighborhood, the CPI believes you're spending more on rent even if you have a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.

Market dominance. Almost every area of the US economy is dominated by monopolies, whose CEOs disclose on investor calls that they use inflation scares to jack up prices and make record profits.

https://pluralistic.net/2022/02/02/its-the-economy-stupid/#overinflated

Long-term profit margins are rising. Markups averaged 26% from 1960-1980. 2021: 72%. Market concentration explains 81% of markup increases (e.g. monopolization). Profit margins reach a 70-year high in 2022. These elements interact. Monopolies thin out their sectors, making them brittle and sensitive to shocks.

If we're worried about a shrinking workforce, there are more humanitarian and sensible solutions than causing a recession and mass unemployment. Instead, we may boost US production capacity by easing workers' entry into the workforce.

https://pluralistic.net/2022/06/01/factories-to-condos-pipeline/#stuff-not-money

US female workforce participation ranks towards the bottom of developed countries. Many women can't afford to work due to America's lack of daycare, low earnings, and bad working conditions in female-dominated fields. If America doesn't have enough workers, childcare subsidies and minimum wages can help.

By contrast, driving the country into recession with interest-rate hikes will reduce employment, and the last recruited (women, minorities) are the first fired and the last to be rehired. Forcing America into recession won't enhance its capacity to create what its people want; it will degrade it permanently.

Nothing the Fed does can stop price hikes from international markets, lack of supply chain investment, COVID-19 disruptions, climate change, the Ukraine war, or market power. They can worsen it. When supply problems generate inflation, raising interest rates decreases investments that can remedy shortages.

Increasing interest rates won't cut rents since landlords pass on the expenses and high rates restrict investment in new dwellings where tenants could escape the costs.

Fixing the supply fixes supply-side inflation. Increase renewables investment (as the Inflation Reduction Act does). Monopolies can be busted (as the IRA does). Reshore key goods (as the CHIPS Act does). Better pay and child care attract employees.

Windfall taxes can claw back price-gouging corporations' monopoly earnings.

https://pluralistic.net/2022/03/15/sanctions-financing/#soak-the-rich

In 2008, we ruled out fiscal solutions (bailouts for debtors) and turned to monetary policy (bank bailouts). This preserved the economy but increased inequality and eroded public trust.

Monetary policy won't help. Even monetary policy enthusiasts recognize an 18-month lag between action and result. That suggests monetary tightening is unnecessary. Like the medieval bloodletter, central bankers whose interest rate hikes don't work swiftly may do more of the same, bringing the economy to its knees.

Interest rates must rise. Zero-percent interest fueled foolish speculation and financialization. Increasing rates will stop this. Increasing interest rates will destroy the economy and dampen inflation.

Then what? All recent evidence indicate to inflation decreasing on its own, as the authors argue. Supply side difficulties are finally being overcome, evidence shows. Energy and food prices are showing considerable mean reversion, which is disinflationary.

The authors don't recommend doing nothing. Best case scenario, they argue, is that the Fed won't keep raising interest rates until morale improves.

Quant Galore

Quant Galore

1 year ago

I created BAW-IV Trading because I was short on money.

More retail traders means faster, more sophisticated, and more successful methods.

Tech specifications

Only requires a laptop and an internet connection.

We'll use OpenBB's research platform for data/analysis.

OpenBB

Pricing and execution on Options-Quant

Options-Quant

Background

You don't need to know the arithmetic details to use this method.

Black-Scholes is a popular option pricing model. It's best for pricing European options. European options are only exercisable at expiration, unlike American options. American options are always exercisable.

American options carry a premium to cover for the risk of early exercise. The Black-Scholes model doesn't account for this premium, hence it can't price genuine, traded American options.

Barone-Adesi-Whaley (BAW) model. BAW modifies Black-Scholes. It accounts for exercise risk premium and stock dividends. It adds the option's early exercise value to the Black-Scholes value.

The trader need not know the formulaic derivations of this model.

https://ir.nctu.edu.tw/bitstream/11536/14182/1/000264318900005.pdf

Strategy

This strategy targets implied volatility. First, we'll locate liquid options that expire within 30 days and have minimal implied volatility.

After selecting the option that meets the requirements, we price it to get the BAW implied volatility (we choose BAW because it's a more accurate Black-Scholes model). If estimated implied volatility is larger than market volatility, we'll capture the spread.

(Calculated IV — Market IV) = (Profit)

Some approaches to target implied volatility are pricey and inaccessible to individual investors. The best and most cost-effective alternative is to acquire a straddle and delta hedge. This may sound terrifying and pricey, but as shown below, it's much less so.

The Trade

First, we want to find our ideal option, so we use OpenBB terminal to screen for options that:

  • Have an IV at least 5% lower than the 20-day historical IV

  • Are no more than 5% out-of-the-money

  • Expire in less than 30 days

We query:

stocks/options/screen/set low_IV/scr --export Output.csv

This uses the screener function to screen for options that satisfy the above criteria, which we specify in the low IV preset (more on custom presets here). It then saves the matching results to a csv(Excel) file for viewing and analysis.

Stick to liquid names like SPY, AAPL, and QQQ since getting out of a position is just as crucial as getting in. Smaller, illiquid names have higher inefficiencies, which could restrict total profits.

Output of option screen (Only using AAPL/SPY for liquidity)

We calculate IV using the BAWbisection model (the bisection is a method of calculating IV, more can be found here.) We price the IV first.

Parameters for Pricing IV of Call Option; Interest Rate = 30Day T-Bill RateOutput of Implied Volatilities

According to the BAW model, implied volatility at this level should be priced at 26.90%. When re-pricing the put, IV is 24.34%, up 3%.

Now it's evident. We must purchase the straddle (long the call and long the put) assuming the computed implied volatility is more appropriate and efficient than the market's. We just want to speculate on volatility, not price fluctuations, thus we delta hedge.

The Fun Starts

We buy both options for $7.65. (x100 multiplier). Initial delta is 2. For every dollar the stock price swings up or down, our position value moves $2.

Initial Position Delta

We want delta to be 0 to avoid price vulnerability. A delta of 0 suggests our position's value won't change from underlying price changes. Being delta-hedged allows us to profit/lose from implied volatility. Shorting 2 shares makes us delta-neutral.

Delta After Shorting 2 Shares

That's delta hedging. (Share price * shares traded) = $330.7 to become delta-neutral. You may have noted that delta is not truly 0.00. This is common since delta-hedging means getting as near to 0 as feasible, since it is rare for deltas to align at 0.00.

Now we're vulnerable to changes in Vega (and Gamma, but given we're dynamically hedging, it's not a big risk), or implied volatility. We wanted to gamble that the position's IV would climb by at least 2%, so we'll maintain it delta-hedged and watch IV.

Because the underlying moves continually, the option's delta moves continuously. A trader can short/long 5 AAPL shares at most. Paper trading lets you practice delta-hedging. Being quick-footed will help with this tactic.

Profit-Closing

As expected, implied volatility rose. By 10 minutes before market closure, the call's implied vol rose to 27% and the put's to 24%. This allowed us to sell the call for $4.95 and the put for $4.35, creating a profit of $165.

You may pull historical data to see how this trade performed. Note the implied volatility and pricing in the final options chain for August 5, 2022 (the position date).

Call IV of 27%, Put IV of 24%

Final Thoughts

Congratulations, that was a doozy. To reiterate, we identified tickers prone to increased implied volatility by screening OpenBB's low IV setting. We double-checked the IV by plugging the price into Options-BAW Quant's model. When volatility was off, we bought a straddle and delta-hedged it. Finally, implied volatility returned to a normal level, and we profited on the spread.

The retail trading space is very quickly catching up to that of institutions.  Commissions and fees used to kill this method, but now they cost less than $5. Watching momentum, technical analysis, and now quantitative strategies evolve is intriguing.

I'm not linked with these sites and receive no financial benefit from my writing.

Tell me how your experience goes and how I helped; I love success tales.

Justin Kuepper

Justin Kuepper

2 years ago

Day Trading Introduction

Historically, only large financial institutions, brokerages, and trading houses could actively trade in the stock market. With instant global news dissemination and low commissions, developments such as discount brokerages and online trading have leveled the playing—or should we say trading—field. It's never been easier for retail investors to trade like pros thanks to trading platforms like Robinhood and zero commissions.

Day trading is a lucrative career (as long as you do it properly). But it can be difficult for newbies, especially if they aren't fully prepared with a strategy. Even the most experienced day traders can lose money.

So, how does day trading work?

Day Trading Basics

Day trading is the practice of buying and selling a security on the same trading day. It occurs in all markets, but is most common in forex and stock markets. Day traders are typically well educated and well funded. For small price movements in highly liquid stocks or currencies, they use leverage and short-term trading strategies.

Day traders are tuned into short-term market events. News trading is a popular strategy. Scheduled announcements like economic data, corporate earnings, or interest rates are influenced by market psychology. Markets react when expectations are not met or exceeded, usually with large moves, which can help day traders.

Intraday trading strategies abound. Among these are:

  • Scalping: This strategy seeks to profit from minor price changes throughout the day.
  • Range trading: To determine buy and sell levels, range traders use support and resistance levels.
  • News-based trading exploits the increased volatility around news events.
  • High-frequency trading (HFT): The use of sophisticated algorithms to exploit small or short-term market inefficiencies.

A Disputed Practice

Day trading's profit potential is often debated on Wall Street. Scammers have enticed novices by promising huge returns in a short time. Sadly, the notion that trading is a get-rich-quick scheme persists. Some daytrade without knowledge. But some day traders succeed despite—or perhaps because of—the risks.

Day trading is frowned upon by many professional money managers. They claim that the reward rarely outweighs the risk. Those who day trade, however, claim there are profits to be made. Profitable day trading is possible, but it is risky and requires considerable skill. Moreover, economists and financial professionals agree that active trading strategies tend to underperform passive index strategies over time, especially when fees and taxes are factored in.

Day trading is not for everyone and is risky. It also requires a thorough understanding of how markets work and various short-term profit strategies. Though day traders' success stories often get a lot of media attention, keep in mind that most day traders are not wealthy: Many will fail, while others will barely survive. Also, while skill is important, bad luck can sink even the most experienced day trader.

Characteristics of a Day Trader

Experts in the field are typically well-established professional day traders.
They usually have extensive market knowledge. Here are some prerequisites for successful day trading.

Market knowledge and experience

Those who try to day-trade without understanding market fundamentals frequently lose. Day traders should be able to perform technical analysis and read charts. Charts can be misleading if not fully understood. Do your homework and know the ins and outs of the products you trade.

Enough capital

Day traders only use risk capital they can lose. This not only saves them money but also helps them trade without emotion. To profit from intraday price movements, a lot of capital is often required. Most day traders use high levels of leverage in margin accounts, and volatile market swings can trigger large margin calls on short notice.

Strategy

A trader needs a competitive advantage. Swing trading, arbitrage, and trading news are all common day trading strategies. They tweak these strategies until they consistently profit and limit losses.

Strategy Breakdown:

Type | Risk | Reward

Swing Trading | High | High
Arbitrage | Low | Medium
Trading News | Medium | Medium
Mergers/Acquisitions | Medium | High

Discipline

A profitable strategy is useless without discipline. Many day traders lose money because they don't meet their own criteria. “Plan the trade and trade the plan,” they say. Success requires discipline.

Day traders profit from market volatility. For a day trader, a stock's daily movement is appealing. This could be due to an earnings report, investor sentiment, or even general economic or company news.

Day traders also prefer highly liquid stocks because they can change positions without affecting the stock's price. Traders may buy a stock if the price rises. If the price falls, a trader may decide to sell short to profit.

A day trader wants to trade a stock that moves (a lot).

Day Trading for a Living

Professional day traders can be self-employed or employed by a larger institution.

Most day traders work for large firms like hedge funds and banks' proprietary trading desks. These traders benefit from direct counterparty lines, a trading desk, large capital and leverage, and expensive analytical software (among other advantages). By taking advantage of arbitrage and news events, these traders can profit from less risky day trades before individual traders react.

Individual traders often manage other people’s money or simply trade with their own. They rarely have access to a trading desk, but they frequently have strong ties to a brokerage (due to high commissions) and other resources. However, their limited scope prevents them from directly competing with institutional day traders. Not to mention more risks. Individuals typically day trade highly liquid stocks using technical analysis and swing trades, with some leverage. 

Day trading necessitates access to some of the most complex financial products and services. Day traders usually need:

Access to a trading desk

Traders who work for large institutions or manage large sums of money usually use this. The trading or dealing desk provides these traders with immediate order execution, which is critical during volatile market conditions. For example, when an acquisition is announced, day traders interested in merger arbitrage can place orders before the rest of the market.

News sources

The majority of day trading opportunities come from news, so being the first to know when something significant happens is critical. It has access to multiple leading newswires, constant news coverage, and software that continuously analyzes news sources for important stories.

Analytical tools

Most day traders rely on expensive trading software. Technical traders and swing traders rely on software more than news. This software's features include:

  • Automatic pattern recognition: It can identify technical indicators like flags and channels, or more complex indicators like Elliott Wave patterns.

  • Genetic and neural applications: These programs use neural networks and genetic algorithms to improve trading systems and make more accurate price predictions.

  • Broker integration: Some of these apps even connect directly to the brokerage, allowing for instant and even automatic trade execution. This reduces trading emotion and improves execution times.

  • Backtesting: This allows traders to look at past performance of a strategy to predict future performance. Remember that past results do not always predict future results.

Together, these tools give traders a competitive advantage. It's easy to see why inexperienced traders lose money without them. A day trader's earnings potential is also affected by the market in which they trade, their capital, and their time commitment.

Day Trading Risks

Day trading can be intimidating for the average investor due to the numerous risks involved. The SEC highlights the following risks of day trading:

Because day traders typically lose money in their first months of trading and many never make profits, they should only risk money they can afford to lose.
Trading is a full-time job that is stressful and costly: Observing dozens of ticker quotes and price fluctuations to spot market trends requires intense concentration. Day traders also spend a lot on commissions, training, and computers.
Day traders heavily rely on borrowing: Day-trading strategies rely on borrowed funds to make profits, which is why many day traders lose everything and end up in debt.
Avoid easy profit promises: Avoid “hot tips” and “expert advice” from day trading newsletters and websites, and be wary of day trading educational seminars and classes. 

Should You Day Trade?
As stated previously, day trading as a career can be difficult and demanding.

  • First, you must be familiar with the trading world and know your risk tolerance, capital, and goals.
  • Day trading also takes a lot of time. You'll need to put in a lot of time if you want to perfect your strategies and make money. Part-time or whenever isn't going to cut it. You must be fully committed.
  • If you decide trading is for you, remember to start small. Concentrate on a few stocks rather than jumping into the market blindly. Enlarging your trading strategy can result in big losses.
  • Finally, keep your cool and avoid trading emotionally. The more you can do that, the better. Keeping a level head allows you to stay focused and on track.
    If you follow these simple rules, you may be on your way to a successful day trading career.

Is Day Trading Illegal?

Day trading is not illegal or unethical, but it is risky. Because most day-trading strategies use margin accounts, day traders risk losing more than they invest and becoming heavily in debt.

How Can Arbitrage Be Used in Day Trading?

Arbitrage is the simultaneous purchase and sale of a security in multiple markets to profit from small price differences. Because arbitrage ensures that any deviation in an asset's price from its fair value is quickly corrected, arbitrage opportunities are rare.

Why Don’t Day Traders Hold Positions Overnight?

Day traders rarely hold overnight positions for several reasons: Overnight trades require more capital because most brokers require higher margin; stocks can gap up or down on overnight news, causing big trading losses; and holding a losing position overnight in the hope of recovering some or all of the losses may be against the trader's core day-trading philosophy.

What Are Day Trader Margin Requirements?

Regulation D requires that a pattern day trader client of a broker-dealer maintain at all times $25,000 in equity in their account.

How Much Buying Power Does Day Trading Have?

Buying power is the total amount of funds an investor has available to trade securities. FINRA rules allow a pattern day trader to trade up to four times their maintenance margin excess as of the previous day's close.

The Verdict

Although controversial, day trading can be a profitable strategy. Day traders, both institutional and retail, keep the markets efficient and liquid. Though day trading is still popular among novice traders, it should be left to those with the necessary skills and resources.

You might also like

Jano le Roux

Jano le Roux

1 year ago

My Top 11 Tools For Building A Modern Startup, With A Free Plan

The best free tools are probably unknown to you.

Webflow

Modern startups are easy to build.

Start with free tools.

Let’s go.

Web development — Webflow

Code-free HTML, CSS, and JS.

Webflow isn't like Squarespace, Wix, or Shopify.

It's a super-fast no-code tool for professionals to construct complex, highly-responsive websites and landing pages.

Webflow can help you add animations like those on Apple's website to your own site.

I made the jump from WordPress a few years ago and it changed my life.

No damn plugins. No damn errors. No damn updates.

The best, you can get started on Webflow for free.

Data tracking — Airtable

Spreadsheet wings.

Airtable combines spreadsheet flexibility with database power without code.

  • Airtable is modern.

  • Airtable has modularity.

  • Scaling Airtable is simple.

Airtable, one of the most adaptable solutions on this list, is perfect for client data management.

Clients choose customized service packages. Airtable consolidates data so you can automate procedures like invoice management and focus on your strengths.

Airtable connects with so many tools that rarely creates headaches. Airtable scales when you do.

Airtable's flexibility makes it a potential backend database.

Design — Figma

Better, faster, easier user interface design.

Figma rocks!

  • It’s fast.

  • It's free.

  • It's adaptable

First, design in Figma.

Iterate.

Export development assets.

Figma lets you add more team members as your company grows to work on each iteration simultaneously.

Figma is web-based, so you don't need a powerful PC or Mac to start.

Task management — Trello

Unclock jobs.

Tacky and terrifying task management products abound. Trello isn’t.

Those that follow Marie Kondo will appreciate Trello.

  • Everything is clean.

  • Nothing is complicated.

  • Everything has a place.

Compared to other task management solutions, Trello is limited. And that’s good. Too many buttons lead to too many decisions lead to too many hours wasted.

Trello is a must for teamwork.

Domain email — Zoho

Free domain email hosting.

Professional email is essential for startups. People relied on monthly payments for too long. Nope.

Zoho offers 5 free professional emails.

It doesn't have Google's UI, but it works.

VPN — Proton VPN

Fast Swiss VPN protects your data and privacy.

Proton VPN is secure.

  • Proton doesn't record any data.

  • Proton is based in Switzerland.

Swiss privacy regulation is among the most strict in the world, therefore user data are protected. Switzerland isn't a 14 eye country.

Journalists and activists trust Proton to secure their identities while accessing and sharing information authoritarian governments don't want them to access.

Web host — Netlify

Free fast web hosting.

Netlify is a scalable platform that combines your favorite tools and APIs to develop high-performance sites, stores, and apps through GitHub.

Serverless functions and environment variables preserve API keys.

Netlify's free tier is unmissable.

  • 100GB of free monthly bandwidth.

  • Free 125k serverless operations per website each month.

Database — MongoDB

Create a fast, scalable database.

MongoDB is for small and large databases. It's a fast and inexpensive database.

  • Free for the first million reads.

  • Then, for each million reads, you must pay $0.10.

MongoDB's free plan has:

  • Encryption from end to end

  • Continual authentication

  • field-level client-side encryption

If you have a large database, you can easily connect MongoDB to Webflow to bypass CMS limits.

Automation — Zapier

Time-saving tip: automate repetitive chores.

Zapier simplifies life.

Zapier syncs and connects your favorite apps to do impossibly awesome things.

If your online store is connected to Zapier, a customer's purchase can trigger a number of automated actions, such as:

  1. The customer is being added to an email chain.

  2. Put the information in your Airtable.

  3. Send a pre-programmed postcard to the customer.

  4. Alexa, set the color of your smart lights to purple.

Zapier scales when you do.

Email & SMS marketing — Omnisend

Email and SMS marketing campaigns.

Omnisend

This is an excellent Mailchimp option for magical emails. Omnisend's processes simplify email automation.

I love the interface's cleanliness.

Omnisend's free tier includes web push notifications.

Send up to:

  • 500 emails per month

  • 60 maximum SMSs

  • 500 Web Push Maximum

Forms and surveys — Tally

Create flexible forms that people enjoy.

Typeform is clean but restricting. Sometimes you need to add many questions. Tally's needed sometimes.

Tally is flexible and cheaper than Typeform.

99% of Tally's features are free and unrestricted, including:

  • Unlimited forms

  • Countless submissions

  • Collect payments

  • File upload

Tally lets you examine what individuals contributed to forms before submitting them to see where they get stuck.

Airtable and Zapier connectors automate things further. If you pay, you can apply custom CSS to fit your brand.

See.

Free tools are the greatest.

Let's use them to launch a startup.

Shan Vernekar

Shan Vernekar

1 year ago

How the Ethereum blockchain's transactions are carried out

Overview

Ethereum blockchain is a network of nodes that validate transactions. Any network node can be queried for blockchain data for free. To write data as a transition requires processing and writing to each network node's storage. Fee is paid in ether and is also called as gas.

We'll examine how user-initiated transactions flow across the network and into the blockchain.

Flow of transactions

  • A user wishes to move some ether from one external account to another. He utilizes a cryptocurrency wallet for this (like Metamask), which is a browser extension.

  • The user enters the desired transfer amount and the external account's address. He has the option to choose the transaction cost he is ready to pay.

  • Wallet makes use of this data, signs it with the user's private key, and writes it to an Ethereum node. Services such as Infura offer APIs that enable writing data to nodes. One of these services is used by Metamask. An example transaction is shown below. Notice the “to” address and value fields.

var rawTxn = {
    nonce: web3.toHex(txnCount),
    gasPrice: web3.toHex(100000000000),
    gasLimit: web3.toHex(140000),
    to: '0x633296baebc20f33ac2e1c1b105d7cd1f6a0718b',
    value: web3.toHex(0),
    data: '0xcc9ab24952616d6100000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000'
};
  • The transaction is written to the target Ethereum node's local TRANSACTION POOL. It informed surrounding nodes of the new transaction, and those nodes reciprocated. Eventually, this transaction is received by and written to each node's local TRANSACTION pool.

  • The miner who finds the following block first adds pending transactions (with a higher gas cost) from the nearby TRANSACTION POOL to the block.

  • The transactions written to the new block are verified by other network nodes.

  • A block is added to the main blockchain after there is consensus and it is determined to be genuine. The local blockchain is updated with the new node by additional nodes as well.

  • Block mining begins again next.

The image above shows how transactions go via the network and what's needed to submit them to the main block chain.

References

ethereum.org/transactions How Ethereum transactions function, their data structure, and how to send them via app. ethereum.org

Davlin Knight

Davlin Knight

1 year ago

2 pitfalls to stay away from when launching a YouTube channel

You do not want to miss these

Photo by Souvik Banerjee on Unsplash

Stop! Stop it! Two things to avoid when starting a YouTube channel. Critical. Possible channel-killers Its future revenue.

I'll tell you now, so don't say "I wish I knew."

The Notorious Copyright Allegation

My YouTube channel received a copyright claim before I sold it. This claim was on a one-minute video I thought I'd changed enough to make mine, but the original owner disagreed.

It cost me thousands in ad revenue. Original owner got the profits.

Well, it wasn't your video, you say.

Touché.

I've learned. Sorta

I couldn't stop looking at the video's views. The video got 1,000,000 views without any revenue. I made 4 more similar videos.

If they didn't get copyrighted, I'd be rolling in dough.

You've spent a week editing and are uploading to YouTube. You're thrilled as you stand and stretch your back. You see the video just before publishing.

No way!

The red exclamation point on checks.

Copyright claim!

YouTube lets you publish, but you won't make money.

Sounds fair? Well, it is.

Copyright claims mean you stole someone's work. Song, image, or video clip.

We wouldn't want our content used for money.

The only problem with this is that almost everything belongs to someone else. I doubt some of the biggest creators are sitting down and making their music for their videos. That just seems really excessive when you could make a quick search on YouTube and download a song (I definitely don’t do this because that would be stealing).

So how do you defeat a copyright defense?

Even copyright-free songs on YouTube aren't guaranteed. Some copyrighted songs claim to be free.

Use YouTube's free music library or pay for a subscription to adobe stock, epidemic sound, or artlist.io.

Most of my videos have Nintendo music. Almost all game soundtracks are copyright-free and offer a variety of songs.

Restriction on age

Age restrictions are a must-avoid. A channel dies.

YouTube never suggests age-restricted videos.

Shadow banning means YouTube hides your content from subscribers and non-subscribers.

Keeping your channel family-friendly can help.

I hear you complaining that your channel isn't for kids. I agree. Not everyone has a clean mouth or creates content for minors.

YouTube has changed rapidly in recent years. Focusing on kids. Fewer big creators are using profanity or explicit content in videos. Not YouTube-worthy.

Youtube wants to be family-friendly. A family-friendly movie. It won't promote illegal content. Yes, it allows profanity.

YouTube Policies and Guidelines

Do I recommend avoiding no-no words in videos? Never. Okay. YouTube's policies are shaky. YouTube uses video content to determine ad suitability.

No joke. If you're serious about becoming a content creator, avoid profanity and inappropriate topics.

If your channel covers 18+ topics, like crime or commentary, censor as much as possible.

YouTube can be like walking on eggshells. You never know what is gonna upset the boss. So play it safe and try to avoid getting on their bad side.

Mr. Beast, Dream, Markplier, Faze Rug, and PewDewPie are popular creators. They maintain it family-friendly while entertaining fans.

You got this.