Let's talk about the mind tricks and psychological warfare being waged by cheaters, hackers, and RMT vendors in Tarkov, and what we can do about it. This is a long post, but Tarkov is worth it, and a TL;DR is provided at the top.
Edit: There's obviously big money at stake as I started receiving death threats the moment this post hit the front page on hot. Be careful with your personal info and probably best to avoid commenting here if you have doxxable details on your reddit account. Stay safe, it's just a game and not worth it. TL;DR:
Tarkov is a crazy wild game with a bunch of people running around trying to do weird things. Remember that bizarre outcomes are just as likely (if not more) to be happenstance than suspicious behavior. Don't let others gaslight you into thinking every encounter is a hacker or cheater.
Cheat sellers, RMT vendors, and their customers, all want to push the narrative that rule-breaking is far more common than it actually is, and that the game developers are ruining the game so you may as well just hack/cheat yourself to level the playing field. It's great for business as a seller, and it helps rationalize malicious actions as a customer. Spreading paranoia, mass outrage, and undermining the developers are CIA-level tactics to sow chaos and anarchy that benefits bad actors at the cost of everyone else.
The best thing we can do is silence attempts by bad actors and focus on productive, positive discussions in Tarkov and let BSG (who are the only people who can do anything) do their jobs. They spend 65% of their resources on crushing bad actors and their profit margins, so this isn't an issue that's flying under their radar. As a community, the best voice we have against malicious behavior is deafening silence to starve it of attention and free publicity, minimizing the chances that they can sow enough fear and angst to radicalize players to get more customers.
--- First off, the point of this discussion is not to debate how prevalent cheating in Tarkov is. This sub already has more than enough speculation on that topic and as you read further along you'll see that letting fear and paranoia fester is exactly what bad faith agents in Tarkov want. Wherever you have competition, you're going to have cheating. Whether it's Tarkov, Olympic sports, or the stock market. As long as there is competition, there will always be someone who looks to gain an unfair edge, and it doesn't even matter if it's something as mundane and trivial as online chess, there's always going to be that guy who runs their opponents moves into a grandmaster-level AI because their enjoyment comes from that win at any cost. However, despite the fact that bad faith competition exists in nearly every facet of life, it seems like the Tarkov community is far more paralyzed by fear, anger, and suspicion than any other competitive forum. Why is this?
The game design makes it exceedingly difficult to discern bad faith actions from legitimate play. A naked level 1 with a TT pistol can accidentally get a lucky hipfire shot that instantly kills a fully kitted veteran who is highly skilled in the game. The incredibly punishing nature of the game also makes it so that deaths are highly impactful, which makes it difficult to "let go" of trying to figure out what went wrong. All put together, it means that players are forced to simply accept highly punishing deaths without being given any insight or explanation on how they were killed. 20 headshots with an R99 SMG in Apex Legends is incredibly obvious aimbotting. But in Tarkov, the fight is over with just 1, which leaves a lot of unanswered questions with no satisfying answers.
Because the shared raid map system that Tarkov uses, players have a wide variety of objectives that lead to very differing goals, resulting in bizarre interactions where the original intentions of other other players is unclear. Someone who's hiding in a raid to wait for the violence to die down could be stumbled upon by some other person who is completely lost trying to find a quest objective, or wandering around exploring an obscure area trying to find easter eggs. From the vantage point of the hider, it seems suspicious they were hunted down by someone who had no reason to legitimately to hunt in the location that they were. In other words, players will frequently run into other players acting in inexplicable ways that can be easily misattributed to malice when it was just as likely to be happenstance.
The lack of SBMM (skills-based matchmaking) means that all players are drawn from the same pool when forming raids. This means a complete new player to FPS genre entirely could be running face first into the most skilled players in the entire game. When the competition spans the entirety of the skill curve, it's incredibly difficult to know what is going on because player actions are often contrary to expectations of others. Chaos makes it easy to be suspicious about bad faith play because nobody is acting "logically" from each perspective. Naive players may charge in aggressively in silly ways that end up working by sheer luck that more experienced players will assume would only be as a result of unfair information. A very high skill player can take fights that they win with superior mechanics that most would assume you would only engage because of unfair aim.
The point is, this game is designed to breed suspicion, paranoia, and fear. Which is great in one way, because it's what makes it so exciting and fun to play. However, when channeled in the wrong way, is a serious problem because it's exactly what bad faith actors want. Let's think about various actors in Tarkov, and ask the question, "do they want people to believe that rule breaking is more or less prevalent than it actually is?"
CHEAT SELLERS: MORE
Because the narrative is, everyone is cheating, the game is unfair no matter what, every raid you load into has someone that is map-hacking, every fight you take is against someone who is aim-botting. Therefore, you should consider picking up some little helpers yourself to make it fair again, or be a naive idiot that willingly plays at a disadvantage while everyone else is using hacks. The idea that literally cheaters and hackers are infesting every single raid is probably the best possible sales pitch a cheat seller could have. The few instances of cheating leads to fear and paranoia festering, prompting more people on the fringe to consider cheating themselves, leading to more cheating, more fear, more paranoia, more business.
RMT VENDORS: MORE
Because the narrative is, this game is filled with cheaters anyway, half the lobby is people who bought stuff with mom's credit card, and Nikita is setting out to personally reduce your happiness in life and the game is unrewarding and unplayable for a normal legitimate player that doesn't hack or make a full-time job out of Tarkov. Why bother doing all the pointless stupid grinds while you're dying 50 raids in a row to hackers or someone who bought all their gear with their credit card, when you can just buy a few little cheeki Roubles from the side and get to having fun in the game? Negativity and toxicity toward both the existence of other bad faith players, as well as toward the game design itself, is inherently the best possible environment for a thriving RMT system. This is especially perfect for Tarkov because unlike other MMORPGs, it's much more likely that incremental changes will be more brutal rather than having power creep / loot creep / money creep, which fuels despair and more interest in RMT.
CHEAT/RMT USERS: MORE
This one is simple. If they can convince everyone that it's more common than it actually is, the more they can rationalize their own behavior. It's not that bad, everyone else is doing it anyway! Besides, it's not even that big of an advantage, some other cheaters cheat even harder! Some of you may have seen a recent thread where one individual texted "lmao I'm gonna turn off cheats for this group though, cuz these guys play legit." As if playing legit was actually the minority situation for a massively mainstream FPS game. Zzz.
THE AVERAGE PLAYER LIKE YOU AND ME: ?
It is human nature to rationalize defeat. When you face down failure with no explanation on why like in Tarkov, it's tempting to blame cheaters, hackers, etc. Different games often have different ways of rationalizing defeat. In team games like Overwatch or League of Legends, teammate-blaming is common to offload the burden onto random strangers. In solo matchup games like Starcraft II, race balance is often used by players who are frustrated that they lost. What's even more, these other games do an excellent job of explaining where you could have done better, but players will still look for ways to blame someone other than themselves. It's no surprise that in Tarkov, fear and suspicion of bad faith gameplay exists. The problem is, if we allow ourselves to be tempted to err toward the side of suspicion, to blame negative outcomes on the belief in rampant cheaters, hackers, etc., then we are aligning ourselves to the same narrative that bad faith actors like cheat sellers and RMT vendors want to push. We allow ourselves to be corrupted with the idea of "this game is bullshit, everyone else in the game is not playing fairly, why do I even bother trying?" This is a dangerous mindset because it fuels a toxic narrative that "this game is never going to be fair to me, the devs don't care, the game is becoming less and less fun for me, I should just quit if I'm not going to cheat myself." Let me be clear, I'm not saying that toxicity itself will convert an entire playerbase into cheaters. In fact, I think it has a minimal impact at a high level perspective because there just aren't that many people that are willing to traverse to the disreputable ends of the internet and take risks just to gain some internet points. However, even a 1% cheating rate to 3% cheating rate is a 300% proportional magnitude in the profitability of selling cheats or RMT vending. And more importantly, it significantly damages the enjoyment and integrity of the community at large. You can see clear evidence of bad faith actors in this subreddit. There have been several threads in this subreddit just in the past few days that have reached the front page claiming 1) false bans are rampant, Nikita should just let RMT be 2) hello I am bob, I am hacker all day, you should hack too because literally it's everywhere you don't even KNOW, btw PM me for cheap hacks 3) xyz devs are ruining the game, why stop RMT/hacks, just let it go, you're DESTROYING THE GAME, STOP DOING THAT BSG!. I'm not going to say any individual thread (even though many examples have been debunked) are complete bullshit. I'm just going to say that the narrative of these threads is completely aligned with individuals who are lobbying to protect their interests in making a profit out of bad faith play.
What can you do to stop this?
It starts with the self.
When you get an incredibly lucky clutch/kill, remember it for yourself, and use it as a reminder as to how fickle this game can be. Think about how your opponent must be so confused/suspicious about what you got away with.
When you yourself are on the receiving end of that ridiculous death, remind yourself of all the times where you were on the other side. Make your default reaction be "damn, Tarkov is crazy" rather than "I bet that was hacking 100%." Remember how easily flukes can occur, and how easily luck could be conflated with cheating.
Focus on learning and improving in a game where there is endless room to get better, something that is irrelevant to whether some minority of players chooses to play unfairly.
Encourage productive discussions, positive mentalities, and discourageDESTRUCTIVE SPECULATIONand toxic attitudes.
Upvote threads that discuss legitimate aspects of the game, whether it's discussions on strategies, advice on how to get better, or general productive discussions that are within our control as regular players.
Downvote threads that revolve around discussing cheating, hacking, or a bullshit "Reddit expert panel" of trying to speculate whether gameplay footage was legitimate or not, especially when there is a lack of context on user lag/latency, frames, system specs, server issues, date stamps, etc.
Upvote threads that explain technical nuances known to impact Tarkov gameplay, e.g. desync bullets resulting in apparently unkillable players, etc.
Downvote threads that attempt to sow paranoia in masses of players that have nothing to do with anti-cheating efforts. At best, they are attention-seeking threads made by users to profit infamy at the cost of community integrity. At worst, they are propagandized pieces designed to undermine faith in the developers and increase the temptation to use black market cheats/services and perpetuate a death spiral.
Downvote threads that attempt to induct mass outrage against developers. When someone says "they nerfed X, this is bullshit, we should all just RMT now," it could be from legitimate upset players, but keep in mind that it's also perfectly aligned with exactly the type of agenda that bad faith actors have. Remember that the best thing that malicious actors can do is to pit the player base against the developers so they can create a lawless wasteland to do business undisturbed.
BSG has shown an exemplary degree of interaction with this community. Always wait for an official response before jumping to conclusions.
Go try making a thread about cheating/hacking/boosting in Overwatch or Apex Legends and see how much official response you ever get from developers. This subreddit has been gifted with probably one of the best levels of community engagement from devs you could ask for.
When someone tries to hit the front page with a thread like "I've been falsely banned," track that thread carefully and wait 3-4 days for the official response. If it's anything like 90% of the threads we've seen in the past few days, you're going to see the truth hammer get dropped, providing the poster doesn't delete their own threads/accounts when they're exposed to be full of lies.
Upvote threads that make grandiose claims that are worthwhile for an official response. Then mercilessly scrutinize how events unfold, because 99% of the time, it's always liars that are hoping they can incite a riot as "punishment" for the developers interfering with them than anything else. This is a common occurrence in other communities that have high developer interaction like Old School Runescape, where banned players are known to make top-page threads about being falsely banned, before evidence is provided showing that they are completely full of shit and memes ensue when the truth hammer is dropped.
-- BSG spends 65% of its resources fighting cheaters and RMT and is a developer that has shown endless passion and commitment to its install base. As beta players that are trying to help them develop the best possible game, the best voice we have against bad faith actors in the Tarkov community is deafening silence. Starve them of attention, free marketing, free publicity. Demonstrate that just because they can infect one player, that will not tilt the hundreds of legitimate players into letting themselves surrender and be infected themselves.
APRIL PUTS bag holders.. so ya portfolio looking like the total opposite of what your expecting huh?
Let me guess, after quadruple witching failed, you guys all went to sleep during the weekend thinking this week our lambos and teslas will be printed by the end of this week huh? Let me guess, you also couldn't wait for this coming monday to huh? thought it was going to be blooody monday huh? Let me guess, you had one or even two circuit breakers planned for Monday huh? Let me guess, those so called 'diamond hands' you have are starting to deteriorate into 'paper hands' Let me guess, your asshole is clinching every time you look at your portfolio? Do me a favour... GROW A PAIR YOU FUCKING PUSSY. You think we came this far to fold? From getting fucked quadruply from witches left right and centre, getting fucked by the stimulus bill every week, getting fucked by retarded bulls week in and week out. You think we're here to fold? YOU THINK WE CAME THIS FAR TO SELL BEFORE APRIL? ARE YOU DUMB OR ARE YOU DUMB? do me a fucking favour, go to the closest mirror thats in your vicinity, loook in the mirror and slap yourself so hard that theres an echo in the room. Slap yourself so hard so you realize that your not drunk, its the markets. We will wait for the markets to sober up, we will wait when the president shuts down the whole country, we will wait when the unemployment numbers come out, we WILL follow suit with italy's economy and europe's economy (unfortunately), we will have more cases and panic.. this fucking list goes on. BIG RALLY = BIG FALL Remember, it doesn't matter how much money the feds offer coronavirus, the ronazz will keep on taking. We gave that bitch TRILLIONS and she still wants more? Us fucking bears realize that whatever amount of money we offer the ronazz it wont be enough. the ronazzz wants the WHOLE FUCKING WORLD, not a couple of trillions. SMARTEN UP BEARS. You weak bears are embarrassing us running around this forum crying that your puts are down. ANY SPORTS BETTORS OUT THERE? Sports betting (live odds) = options trading, IMO. Except live odds are priced in with time decay, and the greeks priced in with point spreads, better qb, better coach.. etc for sports. lets play football NFL for example: APRIL PUTS BAG HOLDERS WE ARE IN THE FUCKING SUPERBOWL RIGHT NOW NOT MAY HOLDERS OR JUNE BAG HOLDERS. WE ARE. APRIL FUCKING HOLDERS. WE ARE ONLY IN THE FIRST QUARTER. FIRST HALF. NOT EVEN IN THE SECOND HALF YET. The fucking superbowl HALF TIME SHOW(country lockdown, unemployment numbers, aggressive testing, supply chains disruptions, earning and sales) HASN'T EVEN FUCKING STARTED YET HOLD THE FUCKING LINE. TL/DR bears panicking right now, do me a ANOTHER favour, go to the fucking washroom, open up this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ikSfs9LETc and stare at the mirror and follow what hes doing in the song. BEAT YOUR FUCKING CHEST HARDER AS THE SONG PROGRESSES, HUM LOUDER, BELIEVE HARDER AND STOP BEING A FUCKING PUSSY AND .. HOLD THE FUCKING LINE. EDIT#1: positions like a true fucking retard IM ALL IN BITCH https://imgur.com/put52tZ https://imgur.com/FABUomU IT DOESNT GET MORE RETARDED THAN THIS BOYS. 2k -> 37k -> 11k. IM NOT FUCKING SELLING HOLD THE FUCKING LINE. SCARED MONEY DON'T MAKE NO MONEY. DIAMONDS FUCKING HANDS. EDIT#2 so much vaccine talks/cures. let me tell you something. I was alive when sars got introduced to the world. CV is even worse. they are both from the same family, the same strain. if we had a vaccine or a cure or something to suppress its rapid growth, we would have it by now and we would be working on a vaccine towards CV. reality is, they don't have one. everything is trial and error right now. clinical research trials takes years to produce and test. they are not going to come up with a vaccine before summer. stop being naive. look at the hard core facts with sars. there is no cure. EDIT#3 AS OF 2:22 PM (LITERALLY 3 MINS AGO) The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has surpassed 50,000, or 12.3% of all known cases worldwide
It's been a while since I made a big post. Lots of people are still messaging me about the energy sector post, especially for the ENPH tip, so I'm here to show my portfolio. I don't own all companies yet, this is partially hypothetical. I'm holding on to a reasonable cash position for a possible new downturn, but I have starting positions in most companies and will DCA. I will try to keep it summarized, as I have done quite a lot of analysis on each of them. I'll draw the main picture and give the most important arguments for my choices, but I'm not expanding too much. If you're interested, you can DM me to talk about them more. Let me start by saying I'm a growth investor. I always look for a combination of growth with a great track record, if possible at a reasonable price. There are exceptions as you will see below, but the main balance stays the same. I'm not a defensive investor, but no aggressive one either. My timeline is 2-5 years at least (due to a possible start of a small business), but I would gladly hold on to these companies 10+ years. TLDR; For you guys not interested in my portfolio, I've added a short list of interesting smaller cap companies at the end, most of them trading at decent values. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- ADVANCED MICRO DEVICES - $AMD This one is becoming a blue chip, but has more than enough growth potential to live up to those high valuations. Preferred by gamers and beating their biggest competitor in the CPU market hard. While AMD and INTC were close competitors at the beginning of the 21st century, INTC took the lead by a lot. Since 2017, they introduced 7nm CPU's and GPU's and they are closing the gap fast. Not only are their chips more performant, they are also cheaper. Market cap $60B vs $261b. Those next generation chips lead them to new partnerships, often beating INTC. Microsoft, a long time Intel customer, began using AMD chips in their Surface laptops. Lenovo using AMD for their new servers. Nvidia started using the chips in their AI products. AMD is also used by Apple's high-end laptops, while Intel (used in the budget range) will probably get replaced by Apple chips made in-house. Apart from laptops, AMD has government contracts to deliver supercomputers in 2021/2023 and they are used in both PS and XBOX consoles, to give a few examples. For the CPU market, AMD is destined to take over, but they're also taking on NVDA for their GPU's. They have been catching up for years and in 2019 they finally made a better performing GPU in the $350-400 price range. There is a possibility to gain GPU market cap since NVDA has been pushing their prices due to the lack of competition. Therefore, with AMD stepping up their game, they need to give up market share or lower their margins. Financial Assets over liabilities are x1.88. Cash to debt ratio well above industry average, debt to EBITDA well below IA. ROE 17.12% and ROIC 28.06%. Earnings were growing fast before Covid (125% in Q3, 78% in Q4). Yes they're overvalued, but with their future outlook, I would always buy below $49. Doubts Now that they are done catching up, the question is, will they outperform in the future. To gain more market share of Nvidia, they need to be better, not equally good. AMD also needs to control the heating better, as it is one of their long term problems. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- MASTERCARD - $MA Fintech companies like SQ and PYPL are a great investment. However, a lot of big companies will (and already did) implement online financial services. MA is able to easily work with multiple of those companies and they're using their global presence pretty well, that's why they're my pick for the fintech industry. They launched Mastercard Accelerate last year, implementing those online paying platforms and letting start-ups take advantage of their global presence to grow and transform very fast. Last year they acquired Ethoca (managing e-commerce fraud) and Vyze (platform to connect merchants with multiple renders, giving them the opportunity to get those financial needs for start-ups). MA is basically helping start-ups to grow faster, which will result in more financial transactions in the future. Last but not least, they like to focus on expanding to countries where there isn't much competition yet. They are expanding their exposure to Middle East and Africa, working with local networks and e-commerce platforms. They are in a strong position to capitalize those regions in the future and take on market leader Visa even more. They get compared a lot to Visa, so I'll expand on that subject a bit as well. While V is focussing on performance and speed, MA plays the cyber security card. They are already working on ways to implement cryptocurrency and Mastercard tend to have more growth potential vs stability from market leader Visa. While V is in the lead, MA is more widely used by fintech companies, which shows potential take-over in the future. Next to their credit services, they also own debit service Maestro, which is widely used in Europe. Financial Returns as high as 150% (ROE) and 60% (ROIC). Very large margins and perfectly stable balance sheet. High EPS growth YoY, 53% and 42% in the last two years. Quick ratio 1.87. V has more assets and even bigger margins, however MA wins in returns and cash. In terms of more growth, I like to focus on those last numbers more. Doubts It's a blue chip at a $300B market cap. Their growth potential might be limited, although I see them as one of the better picks between blue chips. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- ENPHASE ENERGY - $ENPH I already talked about solar energy in another post, so I'm gonna skip the explanation. As some of you know my choices were ENPH and SEDG, so I'll explain a bit about why I choose ENPH here. Mainly it's because of their financials, so I'll dive that straight away. Quick ratio - 2.35 vs 1.74 ROE - 142.94% vs 21.51% ROIC - 85.51% vs 25.81% Net margin - 25.81% vs 10.28% However I think SEDG balance sheet is a lot better and safer, ENPH is working on their future more efficient. They are paving the way smoothly with bigger margins and return on investments. Although SEDG might be the better pick right now, ENPH will be the better one in a short while. ENPH is also a bit less overvalued and their PEG ratio is lower, which makes them the better pick to get in right now. Diving into the products as well, ENPH just has the better and more efficient product. Their micro inverters are more durable (20 vs 12 years) and give the chance to increase or decrease the amount of solar panels easily, depending on your personal situation. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- GALAPAGOS - $GLPG I'm not a big fan of biotech companies, but these guys have my attention. Not because they're working on Covid vaccines, but because of two reasons. First one is them getting back-up from Gilead Sciences. That's the push they needed to start operating worldwide, increasing their potential market cap. Now that they have the cash from GILD, they can keep on buying interesting divisions and increase their growth. While having almost no long term debt, they are set pretty well with about $4 billion extra in cash. Second, they have multiple medicines in later trial phases, with Filgotinib as their biggest one. They had a setback on those results, but the company is very confident, giving an opportunity to get them at a decent price. I wouldn't be surprised if they partner up with another big pharmaceutical company in the metabolic disease section. Financial High PE (84 vs 44 average), but PEG ratio is 1.2. Quick ratio 9.28. ROIC 75.91% and ROE 7%. Became profitable this year with 16.25% net margin. 38.7% YoY EPS growth. Doubts Like all biotech players, there's a lot depending on medicines getting through phase trials and being commercialized. If Filgotinib will fail, their stock will obviously fall. However since they are backed by a big US giant, they can commercialize the product faster and on a bigger global scale if trials succeed. That's what gives them the advantage in comparison to other biotech companies for me. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- WALT DISNEY - $DIS This one has got me doubting a lot. I've taken them off and put them back on my list multiple times, but eventually I decided to keep them at least 2 years to see how they will evolve into streaming. Biggest advantage they have on their competitors is they basically have a monopoly on kids entertainment. Kids are growing up with electronic devices and content, so they're creating customers at a very young age. That's how Coca Cola used to work. They targeted 14-16 year olds, dumping loads of money into advertising which resulted in life long customers, as people didn't change cola brands often. Disney+ is a big hit and they won't get so much competition from other streaming services as Netflix and Roku will. They have one of the strongest defined brands out there and they know perfectly how to build and maintain their company. It's also still unclear how sports with public will evolve, but it's certain streaming will become even bigger after Covid. Therefore their money-losing ESPN acquisition could even turn into a moneymaker. Financial I can't really say great things about their financials. ROE is 12.67%, above 10% is decent. Assets over liabilities are x1.85 and debt to equity is 0.61. You could apply the saying "too big to fail' here, but that's about it. The bad financials are mainly caused by their big investment to streaming of course and they're working on it hard. They doubled their cash position, increasing their quick ratio from 0.75 to 0.89. Doubts I would say financials are their weak point here. They still have to go through some bad weather this and next year I would say. Them doubling their cash position in Q1 was soothing, as I see it being the biggest issue for the future. It might be better to wait it out and keep an eye on them for next year, but I wanted to take a position already. Not higher than 8% of my portfolio though. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- MICROSOFT - $MSFT They don't really an introduction I guess. 2nd biggest player for cloud services with Azure. Naming Satya Nadella as CEO and making the transition from hardware to software in 2014 were the best decisions they could've made. Acquired the government contract with Pentagon, however there's still uncertainty about it. In short, Amazon is claiming they were about to win the contract, but Trump criticizing the company would've lead to calling off the deal. For me, that's probably the main reason why MSFT didn't fly as high as their fellow cloud competitors yet. Financial Assets over liabilities x1.67. ROE and ROIC respectively at 43.82% and 28.88%. Quick ratio of 2.88, 0.65 debt to equity and 1.86 cash to debt. Decent financials, great returns. Talking about blue chips, I would say MSFT is still fairly valued with a PEG ratio just below industry average. Also paying a small dividend. Doubts The Pentagon contract allegations could be pretty negative for the company. They will probably not come back on their decision, cause if they do, MSFT will claim they already made big investments towards them and things will just keep on dragging on. Even without the contract, MSFT should be a 10 year hold while buying on dips. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- INNOVATIVE INDUSTRIAL PROPERTIES - $IIPR Haven't read a lot about them here on Reddit, but they're a very decent investment. Basically, they buy properties from cannabis companies and leases them back to the sellers, giving them the cash they need to grow faster and IIPR keeps the long term advantage of renting out those properties. They need to buy about 6-8 properties a year to keep their growth rate going and they already bought 7 this year. They still have a lot of cash ready to take advantage of the crisis. Not only are they 20% undervalued right now, they have a lot more growth potential after that and on top of it, they pay close to 5% dividend. I'm not a big fan of betting on the best cannabis company for the future, but IIPR is a great buy to have exposure in that industry. It doesn't happen very often I come across a company that combines growth potential with a high dividend, but IIPR does. Financial Quick ratio 6.75, cash to debt 2.8 (while REITs have an 0.07 average). Net margins 13% above average. Assets over liabilities x4.88. Annual EPS growing by more than 150% and about 41% in the last quarter before Covid. They just missed Q1 estimates, but it was only an 8% drop from Q4, performing way better than other REITs. Doubts IIPR has held a lot of new investment rounds, diluting shares. Of course extra capital will result in higher growth and will eventually be positive in the long run. There has been a drop in these last few days due to the announcement of selling 1 million more shares soon. I would look at it as an opportunity to get an even better price on them. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- TELADOC HEALTH - $TDOC It's the only company I don't own yet. I can't force myself to invest more than $140 per share for them, although I really like their business model. A lot of people are skipping doctors visits these days, going straight away to get medicines and counting on the advice of pharmacists. A lot of times, there's more examination needed. Not only do I see them succeeding in their field, I see them as an essential part of the automation of the pharmacy industry. It's a useful tool in emergencies, giving advice and deciding how serious the condition is, if (fast) medical care is needed. Teladoc will also play a role in insurance and giving the employers a checking tool. 98.9% of their shares are owned by institutions. Financial In terms of profitability and returns, not great of course. They are estimated to get profitable in 2023. Great balance sheet, assets over liabilities x2.66. Quick ratio 6.14, cash to debt 1.06, debt to equity 0.48. Doubts It's hard to see if a company is well managed before they are profitable. Their moat isn't very narrow, however I feel being one of the first ones gives you a big advantage in this field. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- DRAFTKINGS - $DKNG Gonna keep this one pretty short, there has been enough posts about Donkey Kong. For me, the most important factor for choosing them in this industry is their fantasy sports section. They are widely popular and that division will only get more interesting while online gambling, and especially in-game betting, gets more and more legalized in the US. Although they realized major revenue growth in 2019, they almost doubled their earnings loss. Main reason of course having to develop their platform and system. Good thing is, their technology is highly scalable, meaning they margin will grow massively while expanding in to more states and countries. Not many ratios available yet, so that's about the only financial information I own atm. The only negative I see is their pretty wide moat, so this one should be monitored more closely in the future. But for now, they have the momentum and are one of the most popular choices, great investment. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- RAYTHEON TECHNOLOGIES - $RTX As many of you know, two great companies (UTC and RTN) merged together in April. While United focussed on aircraft engines (Pratt & Whitney), Raytheon manufactured weapons, military and commercial electronics. They always delivered advanced technologies and them gaining multiple government contracts in the last decade is confirmation of their performant products. Raytheon will continue to grow their leadership in different segments. Because of their diversity, they seem perfectly in place to grow even more into an aerospace & defense giant. Engines, aerostructures, avionics, sensors, cybersecurity and other software solutions are just a few examples of their working fields. Financial With a PE ratio of 13.58 and PB ratio of 1.41, this is probably the most undervalued stock in my portfolio. Assets over liabilities x1.43. The rest of their financials isn't that great. UTC was carrying a lot of debt, but because of the merger, it will be better balanced as RTN was only carrying $2 billion net debt. If they can decrease their debt and optimize their merger, they are set to be the new number one in defense. Doubts It's still unclear how the merger will work out financially and logistically. In theory, they should be very well armed (pun intended) to take on LMT as market leader. Their exposure to commercial aircrafts is also a big threat, but it's less of an issue because they can make up with their other practices. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- As you can see, I've tried to get the best blue chips with still some growth potential and stable growth companies together. Since a lot of companies already got mentioned on this forum, I'll include a bonus round of interesting companies I came across during my search for the best companies. I didn't include them in my portfolio mainly because I feel the chance of them succeeding and living up to their future potential is more risky than others. For you looking for higher risk, higher reward, check out these companies below.
$INMD. They offer minimally-invasive aesthetic medical products for various procedures, such as liposuction with simultaneous skin tightening, body and face contouring. They are actually the only company in my watchlist that scored maximum on my financial checklist. I love to watch their financials. While we're in an overvalued market, INMD has only 18.73 PE and 0.6 PEG. They certainly got hit by Covid, but I would be very surprised if they don't multiply their market share over the next years.
$SMCI. Based mainly on servers and storage solutions. They are the supplier for cloud computing and AI based companies. They were ranked 18th fastest growing company by Fortune Magazine in 2016, but they still have a long way possible to grow. I see them stagnating a bit for a few years, but they definitely have potential in the long run. Financially very stable, big on cash to make some acquisitions and trading at only 14.84 PE.
$CDLX. Great business model. They basically turn financial transaction data into valuable information for advertising. They show returns as high as 30:1 for advertising spent. Not only is the online payment industry growing fast, but after Covid companies will need to work their advertising budgets even more efficiently. CDLX has momentum and will increase that market cap massively. That future outlook has a price unfortunately and I feel they're too expensive right now.
$OLED. They hold patents on ultra high definition OLED screen technology. There's still a large transition going on from LED to OLED screens. They are estimated to increase their manufacturing with 50% by the end of 2021. Unfortunately most of that growth is already priced in right now. It doesn't take away the longer term potential, but it doesn't make it that sexy of a buy right now.
$OMCL. Omnicell provides pharmacy automation solutions and other tools for healthcare systems. Big on cash, low on debt. They have an interesting business and the automation of healthcare will continue to grow, however they are also trading a bit above value.
$PCOM. A technology company based on e-commerce and services through loyalty programs. Most of their partners are airlines, which explains their difficulties of getting back up since the drop. At the moment it's unsure how this will work out. There will barely be room for bargains or rewards, however while the industry has to build up again, there's an opportunity to take away long time customers from competitors. Although they have enough cash to weather this crisis, they are depending on the industry. At PE below 10 and having a decent cash position, it's worth a gamble.
$APPS. Digital Turbine offers a mobile platform mainly for new apps. They have a very high future revenue forecast of 202.2% over the next 3 years. Big on cash and no debt as well. They already acquired Mobile Posse in March, diversifying their platform. Analysts are putting an average price target of $9.88 on them, giving it a 61% potential return.
$NVMI. They develop and produce process control systems used in the manufacturing of semiconductors, mainly focussing on industrializing X-ray and optical technologies like holographic images. Cash to debt 6.1, debt to equity 0.1, quick ratio 5.75, ROE 12.83% and ROIC 20.26%. Their financials are great. The only thing you could say is they are slightly overvalued, but still a very nice buy in comparison to the overvalued tech industry.
$INS. Active in the fintech sector, they provide tech solutions and processing services. Very similar financials to NVMI. Big on cash, almost no long term debt, great returns (ROE 29.7% / ROIC 85.95%) and steady growing EPS. They are also slightly overvalued, but should easily get back to $45 range after the crisis is over.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- So, that's about all I have to share. This will also be my last big post a while. Analyzing stocks has been my main occupation for the last three months, but it's time to work on opening up the hotel and bar again. I hope some of you get something out of this. I'm not a professional so always check again for yourself. I'm gonna hold on to these companies for a while now. Will add some extra capital at the beginning of 2021, so you could expect another big post about my newest findings then. For now, I'm gonna take a break from following the market day in day out and enjoy the weather a bit more. Have a good one!
New deaths by county: 92 Jefferson, 83 Jefferson, 90 Knox, 91 Fayette, 59 Knox
Any Masks enforcement done yet? -- Let me get you the details, I believe there have been steps taken by local health departments in various areas of the state. I think the first time they’re trying to do warnings and education. And that’s ok but we don’t have time in the battle for multiple strikes...It’s good for the business! Having people safe, having people NOT get infected in your business, and having the ability to have even more people out. The more people wearing masks, the fewer people that are infected and the more people that can shop or do business at your facility. It is good business right now to make sure this (Beshear holds up a mask) is working.
What we are seeing across the country is alarming. Not just escalating cases, but devastation. FL hospitals have run out of ICU beds. They are scrambling to change people over. This is when people die because the system is overwhelmed.
How close are we having a travel ban? -- I’m having to deal with a couple court cases right now which would make that quite difficult, but I’m watching especially those big states very carefully. Let me say, we shouldn’t have to say, “you can’t go to a state that has 15,000 cases a day- including hot spots and the places you go.” We all oughta care and love each other enough to say “I’m not putting myself or my family in that situation and I’m not bringing it back, taking it to work, sending my kids to daycare, and going to church, after we have exposed ourself in that way”. Let’s be better than that.
Alright everybody, it’s 4 o'clock, and we’re gonna be pretty serious tonight. Let’s remember even as we talk about some very serious threats we face, we need to have faith. Faith that we will get through this and we will get through this together. Today I think I need to say it more than anyone else. We will get through this, we will get through this together. (Andy signs in ASL) Say it with me: We will get through this, we will get through this together.
What we are seeing across the country is alarming. Not just escalating cases, but devastation. FL hospitals have run out of ICU beds. They are scrambling to change people over. This is when people die because the system is overwhelmed. This isn’t March, this isn’t April. This spreads fast enough, when you open too early and don’t have the right rules in place. People are going to die that would not have otherwise died. Look at it, it happens. It’s happening now, even at a time where we have the ability to test more and prepare. They aren’t the only ones. AZ and TX, are bringing in refrigerator trucks cause they’re running out of room in the morgue. They had 90+ deaths yesterday, and they’re 1.5x the state of KY. That ought to convince everyone of the seriousness we face and what a critical moment right now is. There is nothing that means we can’t end up like any of those states if we don’t do the right thing. Like KY many other states are following suit with mask mandates. This time in Alabama. Governor Ivey And I are on different ideologies, we probably don't see eye-to-eye on a lot of things, but you know what? We’ve made the same exact decision because this isn’t political. She’s issuing the order similarly to how we did, but they’re seeing an escalation worse than ours at the moment, she said “but we can’t let [her state is Alabama], end up like other states” But today in KY we face, possibly, the gravest threat I’ve seen since we’ve started this. So since we started this, we saw a virus that was, at one point doubling far too fast, we saw a curve that could have overwhelmed our healthcare system but at all times we knew what it would take to stop this virus. Social distancing and now face coverings and we were able to put the types of rules in place to flatten our curve. Imagine if we didn’t do Healthy at Home, where we could be right now! We had to shut down everywhere so it didn’t shut us down like it did Florida before. And it can happen to us again. But today the Attorney General asked a court in Boone County, which is having an all-day hearing and even taking testimony on things like unemployment which wasn’t an issue in the case, but he is asking for every single order to be overturned and to not allow my office or me to put any orders in in the future that would help protect you and everyone else. If we have to later, no ban on travel and the places that are so scary, no rolling back areas that might be spreading it. It’s truly frightening. I know this AG is trying to claim this is not what he is trying to do but these are the words he has asked the court to put into an order: Temporarily enjoined (which means we can’t) from issuing or enforcing any portions of any Executive Order. No Rules. Companies wouldn’t need to sanitize, no hand sanitizer. No masks, just the Wild West. That’s terrifying. In the middle of a worldwide pandemic. And it would mean we would fail. It means people will die. I never thought as a day-to-day as Governor that I would have to deal with life and death issues and I have felt every death that we have had in this virus. And one of the things that keeps me going is I know we would have so many more. I’m sure that I have made some mistakes, I keep thinking of Washington’s farewell address where in his second to last point he admitted he had made some mistakes. But I've done everything I can to protect the people of KY. I lie awake at night almost every night wondering how many people we’re going to lose or if we are going the same direction as other states. This would remove the authority that virtually every other governor is using to battle this virus. There is no question. There would be no rules. You don’t have to sanitize your hands, the virus spreads. That's a basic scientific fact. So if we see more cases, Goldman-Sachs wil say we will lose $10B dollars. And that’s just without masks. Multiply everything else on top of that. I don’t see how we get our kids back to schools if there are zero rules to keep the virus from spreading. And we lose more people. No school, harmed economy, and more death. I don’t want to go back and forth with my own Attorney General but I will fight every day for the lives of Kentuckians. Even if it creates drama I don’t want, even if it takes away time, and it does, I have half my office out today because of it. I’m gonna do what it takes to protect the people of Kentucky. But folks, this is wrong. This is REAL REALLY wrong. Don’t play politics with the lives of people. The request made wants to eliminate the ability to enforce any of the Healthy at Work requirements, any of them. No capacity limits anywhere. Fill up a stadium, full bars. We know how deadly that can be and that’s just plain irresponsible. I want you to know what this would do, would do more than just destroy the economy, cost lives, and keep kids from getting back in school. You know the orders that are included here? Also include expanding workers compensation for workers that have to quarantine as a result of exposure. That means our first responders, active military, and grocery store workers. They wouldn’t get workers comp when they came down with the virus they got for protecting us. Gonna leave them out in the cold. It would also eliminate my waiver of copay, deductible, and cost-sharing and diagnostic testing fees for private insurance. It would charge people for taking these tests. These are the facts, and that’s the truth. And we face this at a time when our cases continue to rise. We have another day with over 400 cases. Today we are reporting 413 cases, bringing our total to 21,083. Know how quickly this can get out of hand? FL had over 77,000 cases in 7 days.
Positive cases today: 413
Probable cases (from full numbers PDF): 965
Total confirmed cases: 21,083
New cases by county (Only reported counties >10 in update): 69x Jefferson, 25x Ohio, 22x Boone, 20x Warren, 17x Kenton, 15x Graves, 12x Fayette, 12x Muhlenberg, 11x Bell, 11x Casey, 11x Madison
Total tests conducted: 507,197. We worked a lot to get there, we’re going to work on expanding our testing even more
Total hospitalized (from full numbers PDF): 2,842
Currently hospitalized: 418 Those healthcare workers that are trying to take care of them? We don’t want to leave them in a hospital where no one has to follow the rules needed to keep them safe. It puts every single one of those workers in jeopardy. To our healthcare workers: I appreciate you and I am going to fight for you. I am going to try to make sure that it is as safe as it can be for you because we appreciate you
Total in ICU (from full numbers PDF): 1,030
Currently in ICU: 92 fighting for their lives.
Positivity rate: 4.38% up about 2% from 2 weeks ago. When it gets over 5% it’s going to be a real concern. Moreover we are seeing more kids test positive every single day. I got a call from the CEO of Norton, they have more pediatric patients right now than they ever had during this virus. I believe 2 are in the ICU. Today we have 13 new kids under 5. 2 of them are 2-months-old. So, these kids are counting on us everyday to do the right thing.
Total recovered (from full numbers PDF): 5,500
New deaths today: 5
Total Deaths: 650, but remember deaths follow cases. All our numbers will tell you that you see, more death. If we have fewer restrictions based on science, in place, and it spreads even more, you know what to expect from that. We’re in the rotunda, and we put up a wreath when the first 200 people died, and I’m looking at it right now. How many more of them must we hang?
New deaths by county: 92 Jefferson, 83 Jefferson, 90 Knox, 91 Fayette, 59 Knox
All losses are a loss for Kentucky. Let’s light those houses up green and let’s ring those bells at 10am. This is a reminder that we are thinking of the Kentuckians we’ve lost, their families, and their communities. It’s the color of compassion and renewal as their souls move from their bodies to a better place.
Racial breakdown of all cases: 77.25% Caucasian, 12.93% Black or African-American, 3.21% Asian, 5.86% Multiracial
Ethnicity breakdown of all cases: 84.27% non-Hispanic and 15.73% Hispanic
Racial breakdown of all deaths: 81.12% Caucasian, 14.94% Black or African-American, 1.48% Asian, 2.46% Multiracial
Ethnicity breakdown of all deaths: 95.87% non-Hispanic and 4.13% Hispanic
Long Term Care Facilities: 51 new residents and 47 new staff positive from yesterday, and 3 more deaths, 7 new facilities. 2,180 residents, 1,150 staff, 414 deaths, 224 facilities.
That’s the tough news. Can I give the hopeful news? I got to do a video yesterday for Dorothy Krause. Here’s Dorothy, I got to wish her a happy 100th birthday! Turning 100 in a non-pandemic situation is a feat. I’m sharing Dorothy’s story today because she also beat COVID-19. She resides at the Forum at Brookside in Louisville Friends and family say she’s a pillar of patience- i can use a little of that; and positive thinking, I could use a little bit of that too, it’s something I think we can all admire. Happy Birthday Dorothy, it’s special, thank you for your fight, for giving us hope, and I hope you have enjoyed these special days.
More good news? We are highlighting some local governments that we communicate with regularly, because they are on the ground doing what it takes to beat this virus. But we know they are hurting. Like our government budgets and their budgets have been devastated, so we set aside $300M CARES ACT funding for local governments. Since last week we have announced $21.4M and today we’re approving $5.5M in CARES ACT Reimbursements for 22 counties in Eastern KY. Every dollar is needed. Boyd County in Ashland where we lost one of our early, younger Kentuckians. Elliott, Fleming, Lee, McCreary, Montgomery, Pike, Rowan, Whitley, and the municipalities of Booneville, Coal run, Hazard , Fleming-neon, Flemingsburg, Lynch, Middlesboro, Mount Sterling, Owensville, Pikesville, Presonsburg, and Stanton. Funding can be used to reimburse payroll expenses for public safety, PPE, cleaning supplies, all those things we asked the government to do in our rules and restrictions. So there are more applications there are in, and we expect more announcements soon. Let me just say this isn’t money given this is money earned- our localities are doing a great job. We need you now more than ever. This is crunch time. This is the time we determine how many people we lose. This is the time we make sure everybody is wearing a mask so we can try to have our old normal, Save our people, Save our economy, Save our possibility of school
Testing sites in Jefferson County and how they are operating relative to their capacities -- We are at capacity at just about every testing site in Jefferson county. (at least the ones that we have a role in). It’s hard to think about that as a good thing because if you can't get a test right now, you really want one. That means people have woken up and realized the situation that we are in because there was a time we weren’t filling all of them. So we are working to expand capacity right now. Providing more kits to the major localities, to make sure we can get more people in and tested. So we are working on it and we expect to see results.
Has there been a reduction in testing sites? -- Statewide, the answer is no. We have 1 fewer Kroger site but that was because it was way under capacity. What we are seeing is specific locations with SIGNIFICANT capacity. Average wait time is picking up. Part of that is it being summer, and the hours are different. But Kroger has added extra hours on. And let me tell ya, they are doing their part for free. This is an incredible service but a great corporate citizen we have workers who have passed out (because it’s so hot) at these sites and they are still coming back to help and protect us. That’s pretty special and you know, they deserve better than a state with no rules or regulations. So make sure we thank you. Thank you to everyone doing the testing. We have Walmart and Walgreens, and a whole bunch of others, thank you, and keep going. I know you saw some capacity that suggested that people wouldn’t come, but they’re coming now, and it benefits all of us
On the mask mandate, is it still in effect? -- Yes. It is in effect. Both through an executive order and an emergency regulation. We have had no ruling to negate it, it is fully in effect and we need you to wear it. Every major health expert. Expert. Has said that if you will wear a mask, fewer people will die, we can keep the economy open, we might be able to get back to school sooner than later, and heck we might even have sports. If we don’t have any rules or regulations, we can kiss all of that goodbye.
What I’m seeing on compliance with the mask mandate? -- I’m actually seeing really good compliance. I'm seeing some situations where folks in retail end up taking grief they should have to. Surely we’re better human beings than to walk into a store and yell at someone that did not put the order in place. To take out our, probably, fear and anxiety of COVID on somebody. And listen, It’s not up to the person in the retail store to decide your constitutional rights, if you want to yell at me go ahead. It comes with the territory. I’m still gonna do what’s right. I’m seeing good compliance overall. What’s going to jump out is where we don’t have compliance and we have the number, the KYSAFER number (1-833-KYSAFER). How we are going to defeat this is really simple: no shoes, no shirt, no mask, no service. Some major retailers (Kroger, Walmart, Starbucks) are following our lead and everybody else should too, but you gotta do it in KY. We are doing it because we care about each other’s lives.
There’s an expectation or commentary about JCPS not starting with in-person classes initially? -- First we gotta see overall, what the next couple weeks look like. Very important to see if we can get back to school. The number of us who wear masks and social distance will determine that. Jefferson County given its size poses even more challenges than just about any other district. Very hard to spread out in the bus, because of the deferred maintenance, in the age of the buildings, it’s very hard to spread out kids in the classroom. They face some real significant challenges, and I want to make sure that anywhere that we come back to in-person classes, our teachers, our staff, everybody in that building, including the kids- A lot of people want to talk just about the kids that we are seeing so many more cases in kids now and they want to say rarely do kids suffer grave harm. Everyone of those kids comes into contact with an adult, and we want to make sure that any of those adults do not come to harm. So it appears to me that JCPS is being thoughtful. We allllllll want to get our kids back in school. Lord, do I really want to get our kids back in school. But we got to make sure it’s safe. And I look forward to hearing the conversations at JCPS and when a district makes a decision based on safety, you can bet we’re gonna support them.
Question about UI -- We’re having live calls every day. We've had thousands of calls in today. They are getting a robo answer? Ok folk may still be getting a robo answer because we have everybody processing claims. We want to move back to regional offices, but right now if I moved to do that right now, and everything that would take, it would take a week for that to happen. We’re in the middle of the crisis and we can’t just stop. We have all the people actively making the calls right now. So, if you call in, I’d love it if it means someone picks up everytime. But it would be just as nice if people would pick up when you see this number. Ok, they should be getting live calls here soon. I’m looking for the number for you, but I know it was thousands just today. I’m not satisfied with the performance to date. That’s not the fault of the employees, they’re working REALLY hard on their end. We handled 6,104 calls on the 15th (yesterday).
Any Masks enforcement done yet? -- Let me get you the details, I believe there have been steps taken by local health departments in various areas of the state. I think the first time they’re trying to do warnings and education. And that’s ok but we don’t have time in the battle for multiple strikes. It’s good if someone is not doing it to say, “You have to.” But then we gotta make sure everyone is doing their part. And...It’s good for the business! Having people safe, having people NOT get infected in your business, and having the ability to have even more people out. The more people wearing masks, the fewer people that are infected and the more people that can shop or do business at your facility. It is good business right now to make sure this (Beshear holds up a mask) is working.
How close are we having a travel ban? -- I’m having to deal with a couple court cases right now which would make that quite difficult, but I’m watching especially those big states very carefully. Let me say, we shouldn’t have to say, “you can’t go to a state that has 15,000 cases a day- including hot spots and the places you go.” We all oughta care and love each other enough to say “I’m not putting myself or my family in that situation and I’m not bringing it back, taking it to work, sending my kids to daycare, and going to church, after we have exposed ourself in that way”. Let’s be better than that.
Alright folks, today I’m sorry that we face the threat we do. I cannot imagine how we defeat this virus if we’re not able to have reasonable rules and restrictions in place that help everybody, our people, our businesses, our economy, our schools. And I’m gonna keep fighting. No matter what rulings come out, I’m gonna keep fighting because at the end of the day I feel the weight of life and death. I don’t care what any score is on any decisions. What I care is about how many people we’ve saved and about doing the right thing. I came into this job with so many other things we were thinking about doing. Now I'm the guy that has to help us get through this. This is our war. This is our great conflict. And you can’t take all of our ammunition away and say, “Good luck with the enemy.” It doesn’t work that way. We know what it takes to win. We need the tools to do it. Let’s get it done. Let’s make sure we care more about the people than the letter behind our name. Thank y’all very much. And Happy birthday again, Dorothy.
If you have been laid off/lost your job use the following resources to get help! KY Medicaid: https://healthbenefitexchange.ky.gov (855-459-6328) Benefind: https://benefind.ky.gov (855-306-8959) If you see price gouging report by calling 888-432-9257 If you see a business or person not following the guidelines and putting others at risk call 833-KY-SAFER (833-597-2337) or report it on thewebsite As always our one true source of information should be thehttp://kycovid19.ky.gov/website or the hotline: 800-722-5725 You can find more information on our Wiki! We are also up and running on Discord!
First I want to take a moment and say... I care about you. Whether you are a stubborn bull or gay bear, a complete stranger (me), cares about your well being. If for any reason you’re struggling to cope with life and it’s processes, there are people who are willing to help. If you want to shoot me a DM, I’m all for it. National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255 www.GamblersAnonymous.org Many of us are new on this specific sub. Taking a moment to think, I cannot figure one sub on all of Reddit like it. This sub is so unique and so powerful. It brings together the very poor and the very wealthy. The risk takers and the risk adverse. Nuclear physicists and cocaine dealers. Old and young, of all races, shapes, and sizes. Wall Street Bets and the market have zero biases. The intelligent can lose everything, the autists can make extraordinary gains. We see it week after week. 10k to 100k 50k to 800k I just saw a post where a guy said $60 took him to 90k in 2 months and one where a guy took $900 to 18k in 15 minutes. We are living in a time where a near infinite amount of money is changing hands at an unfathomable pace. We can make life-changing gains in what feels like a few revolutions of the Earth on its axis. With that being said... Where there are huge gains, there are going to be huge losses. Most of you on this thread are losing money. By most, I would estimate 75%-85%. Some of you are new here, some of you have been here a while and can’t figure it out. I want to say, from my own great and tragic experience... it’s okay. Some of life’s most peaceful moments don’t require anything but a desire. It does not require money to go sit down by the creek and listen to the water pour through the rock bed. You don’t need money to go out into the woods and listen to nature speak specifically to you. You have the choice from this very moment forward to due your diligence and learn why some people are making thousands of dollars each trade, over and over again, 60%+ of the time. Some of you coming from a sports betting background, a poker background, a bartering background. You wouldn’t go into a game or a trade without knowing who’s playing, or what the value of each item was worth would you? Use your ability to scan a valuable situation to your advantage. Some of you come from a mathematical, engineering, or physics background. You wouldn’t try to solve a problem with no tools, history basis, or outside sources would you? Use your ability to problem solve and reverse engineer to figure out where we are, how we got here, and how it appears we are going to move forward. We have artists, and dancers, and musicians, and tradesmen. Use your precision for the technical aspects in your everyday trading. Most importantly, be as patient as a tiger stalking its prey. Some people will get super lucky. Most will not. This is not free and you will most likely, not get a free pass. I share this in an attempt to grab the focus of a group of people who see this as a possibility to leave a life of financial troubles behind, and those who want to build on a profitable future. I am not providing you with any financial advice, or technical analysis. I will see the respect in those of you who call me a fellow autist or ask for me to get banned. At first I didn’t understand the humor here, but I have found myself laughing profusely at this forum and I love it. But with the humor, you have to find the moments to be serious and that is when your hard earned money and your priceless time is involved. If anyone is looking for a mentee, I’m looking for a mentor or group of like minded people who want to discuss both financials, and overcoming challenges on a daily basis. Drop me a line. For the rest of you, happy trading, stay safe, and figure good fortunes for yourself. Positions: Spy $220p 5/15 Edit: To everyone who has reached out to show support, to want to join a discord, to invite me into your discord... thank you. You’re the reason I made the post. I now spend hours studying the market, it’s potential, and how I can make my situation and situation of others better because of it. I knew this wouldn’t go over well with everyone but they are not why I’m here. I look forward to learning more and sharing what I can along the way.
Hello everyone, I am a new member to this forum and I have been sports betting for 2 years now. I currently use Fortunejack as my to go site. I was wondering if there is any other sites that you recommend?
Wall Street Breakfast: The Week Ahead. I read this and thought it interesting. Enjoy from SeekingAlpha
Nike (NYSE:NKE) will headline a light roster of earnings reports in the week ahead, while Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) WWDC event sets the stage for the company's launch of the first 5G iPhones later this year. On the economic front, reports on existing home sales, jobless claims, consumer spending and a Q1 GDP revision will be the headliners. Fed heads are out in force next week, with virtual speeches on the docket for Raphael Bostic, James Bullard and Charles Evans. In a sign of normalcy, Ford (NYSE:F) and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (NYSE:FCAU) are expected to return to pre-pandemic production levels at U.S. plants, while results of Fed stress tests on major banks will be announced on June 25. Earnings spotlight: IHS Market (NYSE:INFO) on June 23; BlackBerry (NYSE:BB), KB Home (NYSE:KBH) and National Beverage (NASDAQ:FIZZ) on June 24; Nike (NKE), Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI), Accenture (NYSE:ACN) and Rite Aid (NYSE:RAD) on June 25. IPO watch: U.S. grocery store operator Albertsons (ACI) is expected to price its IPO next week and begin to trade. The company could have a valuation of over $10B if the IPO prices at the midpoint of the expected range of $18 to $20 range. Albertsons, which is looking to raise as much as $2B, is one of the grocery chains seeing a sales boom in business during the coronavirus pandemic. Stakeholders Kimco Realty (NYSE:KIM) and Cerberus Capital are both selling off shares in the offering. No other IPOs are due to price during the week. M&A tidbits: The walk date for the Caesars Entertainment (NASDAQ:CZR)-Eldorado Resorts (NASDAQ:ERI) merger arrives on June 24, although no surprises are anticipated. Shareholders vote on the Provident Financial (NYSE:PFS)-SB One Bancorp (NASDAQ:SBBX) deal on June 25. On the same date, Delphi Technologies (NYSE:DLPH) shareholders vote on the merger with BorgWarner (NYSE:BWA). It is almost a lock that there will be some more drama in the Taubman Centers (NYSE:TCO)-Simon Property (NYSE:SPG) duel. Projected dividend changes (quarterly): Kroger (NYSE:KR) to $0.17 from $0.16, John Wiley (NYSE:JW.A) to $0.35 from $0.34, Saul Centers (NYSE:BFS) to $0.27 from $0.53. Spotlight on Nike: Nike will post its FQ4 report with more uncertainty in the air than almost any time before due to the lack of formal guidance from the company. The two biggest pullouts from the report are likely to be the pace of recovery in China and the momentum of the e-commerce business. Nike is one of the companies seen by Wall Street as in a strong position on the other side of the pandemic. "We see Nike as favorably positioned for both secular fitness/casualization trends and industry structural changes that benefit those with strong direct engagement with consumers," notes bullish-leaning Wells Fargo ahead of the print. Stocks that quite often move right along with Nike on earnings day include Foot Locker (NYSE:FL), adidas (OTCQX:ADDYY), Under Armour (NYSE:UAA) and Dick's Sporting Goods (NYSE:DKS). WWDC: Apple will hold its annual developers conference on June 22-26 in a virtual format this year. Apple is expected to announce its ARM-based Macs as the company advances its control of chips and architecture away from Intel (NASDAQ:INTC). Enhancements with iOS14, tvOS 14 and watchOS 7 are also anticipated, along with new products/R&D initiatives on the AR headset and wearables/AirPods front. Tim Cook will give the keynote presentation on June 22 at 10:00 Pacific time in what is likely to be his last presentation before the annual September iPhone reveal event. Healthcare watch: Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) has an investor series presentation next week covering its early pipeline/immuno-oncology on June 22 and hematology on June 25. PDUFA dates arrive for Karyopharm Therapeutics' (NASDAQ:KPTI) Xpovio on June 23, Zogenix's (NASDAQ:ZGNX) Fintepla on June 25 and Heron Therapeutics' (NASDAQ:HRTX) HTX-011 on June 26. The big event of the week in the sector is the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Virtual Annual Meeting II running from June 22-24. A large number of potentially market-moving posters and abstracts are due to be released, as well as special sessions on COVID-19 and cancer research. Some of the notable companies due to present include Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD), AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN), Phio Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:PHIO), Exicure (NASDAQ:OTC:XCUR), Xencor (NASDAQ:XNCR), ESSA Pharma (NASDAQ:EPIX), ImmunoGen (NASDAQ:IMGN), Molecular Templates (NASDAQ:MTEM), Guardant Health (NASDAQ:GH), CRISPR Therapeutics (NASDAQ:CRSP), Jounce Therapeutics (NASDAQ:JNCE), GlycoMimetics (NASDAQ:GLYC), Seattle Genetics (NASDAQ:SGEN), Provectus Therapeutics (OTC:PVCT), ORIC Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ORIC), Sanofi (NASDAQ:SNY), aTyr Pharma (NASDAQ:LIFE), TG Therapeutics (NASDAQ:TGTX) and Neoleukin Therapeutics (NASDAQ:NLTX). Bank tests: The Federal Reserve will release results of the annual bank stress tests on June 25. Fed Vice Chair Randal Quarles noted that the test this year includes running banks up against three possible economic trajectories of varying severity to see how they perform due to the unprecedented uncertainty about the pandemic. The test will see how banks perform against a rapid V-shaped recovery, a slower U-shaped recovery and a rough W-shaped recovery. The test results could factor in to dividend decisions down the road for Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), Citigroup (NYSE:C), Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) and JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM), while Capital One (NYSE:COF) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) are seen being pushed under the scenarios. Traders are making plays based on the results, with a notable amount of bullish options bets being placed on Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC). Some other bank names to watch when the results roll out are PNC Financial (NYSE:PNC), Truist (NYSE:TFC), Regions Financial (NYSE:RF), Ally Financial (NYSE:ALLY), HSBC North America (NYSE:HSBC), UBS (NYSE:UBS), Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS), Barclays (NYSE:BCS), Bank of New York Mellon (NYSE:BK) and Huntington Bancshares (NASDAQ:HBAN). Analyst meetings and business updates: Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) will host a fireside chat for the investor community with members of its management team on June 22. The impact of some of the games introduced at EA Play Live 2020 will be discussed. Hewlett Packard Enterprises (NYSE:HPE) is launching the first-ever HPE Discover Virtual Experience on June 23 to showcase the company's pivot to an edge-to-cloud platform-as-a-service company. In the transportation sector, Kansas City Southern (NYSE:KSU) is participating in a Q&A webcast with Cowen on June 23. Also on June 23, Dell Technologies (NYSE:DELL) has an investor call with Morgan Stanley scheduled. Meanwhile, Sanofi is holding a virtual R&D day event on June 23. Bristol-Myers Squibb has an investor event covering immunology and cardiovascular on June 26. Conferences rundown: The timing looks spot on for the Jefferies Virtual Consumer Conference on June 23-24 with the pandemic shifting shopping habits in the U.S. Companies due to present include Hasbro (NASDAQ:HAS), Planet Fitness (NYSE:PLNT), Nu Skin (NYSE:NUS), Freshpet (NYSE:FPT), Murphy USA (NYSE:MUSA), Sysco (NYSE:SYY), Hostess Brands (NASDAQ:TWNK), Shack Shack (NYSE:SHAK) and Jack in the Box (NASDAQ:JACK). In the healthcare sector, the BMO 2020 Prescriptions for Success Healthcare Conference features virtual presentations by Humana (NYSE:HUM), Halozyme (NASDAQ:HALO), Horizon Therapeutics (NASDAQ:HZNP), Apellis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:APLS), Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) and Replimune (NASDAQ:REPL) on June 23. Other conferences of note include the SVB Leerink CybeRx Series CNS Forum, BMO Chemicals & Packaging Conference, Wells Fargo Bricks to Clicks Digital Conference, Goldman Sachs Leveraged Finance Conference and the Morgan Stanley Zero Trust Architectures Virtual Thematic Conference. On the smaller side of the conference schedule, the mining and metals sectors will be in focus, with John Tumazos Very Independent Research virtual meetings set for June 23-24 on Wheaton Precious Metals (NYSE:WPM), Western Copper and Gold (NYSEMKT:WRN), KORE Mining (OTCQB:KOREF), Amarillo Gold (OTCQB:AGCBF), Sierra Metals (NYSEMKT:SMTS), Foran Mining (OTC:FMCXF), Wolfden Resources (OTC:WLFFF), Trilogy Metals (NYSEMKT:TMQ) and Adventus Mining (OTCQX:ADVZF). Ford F-150: Ford has a digital reveal event for the all-new F-150 set for June 25. The Ford team is expected to describe innovative features of the all-new F-150, including the new electrical architecture, a flat-lying passenger sleeper seat and over-the-air updates to key modules controlling vehicle performance and user experiences. The new truck is seen as a critical part of Ford's plan to slash $5B in warranty costs and push the automaker's vehicle connectivity platform. As a profit generator, the F-150 launch later this year will also help restore the company's balance sheet. The all-new Ford F-150 will be discussed by execs in detail during a June 26 conference call with Citi Research. Deurbanization trade: Expect more talk from analysts next week about which sectors and stocks could benefit if the mega-trend of people and businesses moving out of downtowns of major cities becomes a reality. Jefferies got the ball rolling last week by singling out Home Depot (NYSE:HD), Lowe's (NYSE:LOW), Best Buy (NYSE:BBY), Floor & Decor (NYSE:FND), At Home (NYSE:HOME), Williams-Sonoma (NYSE:WSM) and Wayfair (NYSE:W) as retailers that could gain from an uptick in suburban living and more spending on houses than metropolitan apartments. One of the bigger pure plays is Tractor Supply (NASDAQ:TSCO), which has racked up a 64% gain over the last 90 days. RVs: Keep an eye on the RV sector with May shipment numbers due out from the RV Industry Association. Demand is expected to be on the rebound after RV shipments fell 82% in April. Looking ahead, there is a difference in opinion on Wall Street on the outlook for Winnebago (NYSE:WGO), Thor Industries (NYSE:THO), Patrick Industries (NASDAQ:PATK), LCI Industries (NYSE:LCII) and Camping World Holdings (NYSE:CWH). Some firms like SunTrust Robinson Humphrey expect a RV boom as consumers gravitate toward safer vacations, while Bank of America has warned that the high rate of unemployment and salary cuts could keep discretionary spending in check. Sports betting: Time is running out for the California Assembly to pass legislation on sports betting to move the issue to the November ballot. The bill has to pass through the legislature before June 25 to become an election issue. Why is it a big deal? California is forecast to have the potential for a +$30B sports betting market through sports books placed at tribal casinos, horse racing tracks and satellite wagering facilities. "California could easily become one of the most productive sports-betting markets in the world," observes gaming analyst Chris Grove. Tax revenue from sports betting would also help the Golden State with its budget issues amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Stocks of interest in relations to how sports betting in California plays out include DraftKings (NASDAQ:DKNG), William Hill (OTCPK:WIMHF), MGM Resorts (NYSE:MGM), Caesars Entertainment, Fanduel (DUEL), Red Rock Resorts (NASDAQ:RRR), Boyd Gaming (NYSE:BYD) and Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN). Casinos: The Nevada Gaming Commission is meeting on June 25 to likely approve amendments to state regulations that would streamline the process for moving to modern payment methods. The casino industry in general wants to quickly adopt cashless payment transactions on the casino floor due to the risk of handling cash during the coronavirus outbreak. The casino reset could have implications for Visa (NYSE:V), Mastercard (NYSE:MA) and American Express (NYSE:AXP), as well as financial apps from Apple (AAPL), Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG) and PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL). Casino operators like MGM Resorts, Wynn Resorts, Caesars Entertainment and Penn National Gaming (NASDAQ:PENN) would also welcome the change. What's not playing: Warner Bros.'s (NYSE:T) feature animated film Scoob! will stream on HBO Max on June 26 after running in a premium video on-demand window. The children's picture was first scheduled for theaters on May 15 before opting for a 48-hour rental PVOD period price of U.S. $19.99. While Scoob! didn't make quite the splash that Trolls World Tour did in the spring when it nabbed $100M in digital sales over three weeks, it's another incremental step away from the traditional studio release format for major studios like Sony (NYSE:SNE), Universal Pictures (NASDAQ:CMCSA) and Disney (NYSE:DIS). As for theater chains, auditoriums are likely to operate at 25% to 50% capacity as AMC Entertainment (NYSE:AMC), Cinemark (NYSE:CNK), IMAX (NASDAQ:IMAC), Marcus Entertainment (NYSE:MCS) and Reading International (NASDAQ:RDI) open back up this summer. Notable annual meetings: Companies with virtual annual meetings set next week include Ollie's Bargain Outlet Holdings (NASDAQ:OLLI) on June 22, Dave & Buster's Entertainment (NASDAQ:PLAY) on June 23, Keurig Dr Pepper (NYSE:KDP) on June 24, At Home Group and Tailored Brands (NYSE:TLRD) on June 25. Barron's mentions: The publication digs out four industrial companies whose stocks are called compelling. Midsize manufacturers RBC Bearings (NASDAQ:ROLL) and Wabtec (NYSE:WAB) join large-caps Emerson Electric (NYSE:EMR) and Ametek (NYSE:AME) on the short list of economy recovery picks. Of the four, Wabtec trades with the lowest forward PE ratio at 14.2. Brunswick (NYSE:BC) is also singled out this week as an advantageous product-mix shift and rising boat demand are seen helping to drive shares higher. Most of Brunswick's profit is derived from the high-margin Mercury engine business. The rally in tech names hasn't encapsulated the entire sector. Attractive names still trading at less than 4X sales include Western Digital (NASDAQ:WDC), CACI International (NYSE:CACI), Leidos Holdings (NYSE:LDOS), Seagate Technology (NASDAQ:STX), Amdocs (NASDAQ:DOX), Ciena (NYSE:CIEN), Accenture, MKS Instruments (NASDAQ:MKSI), Intel and F5 Networks (NASDAQ:FFIV). The cover story this week hits on the rising inequality issue in the U.S., noting that it can be a breeding ground for all kinds of concerning things for the market like secular stagnation.
M21 / Jumpstart HOT TAKES + State of The Art of Cube Podcast Announcement
STATE OF THE PODCAST For those of you who listen to The Art of Cube podcast, you may have noticed that I haven’t posted anything in 6+ weeks. This is because I’ve been devoting all my spare time and energy to my start up idea that I started working on in early May. I was actually planning on recording this episode, but it’s really hard for me to block 2-3 consecutive hours at night to record, since that’s prime programming hours for me because that’s when things are most quiet. With an article, I can at least block out 30 minutes at a time to write little by little until I have a finished product. I definitely want to continue the podcast, but the start up is my priority for now, so I’ll be on an indefinite hiatus for a bit. Anyways, let's talk about cards! WHITE Angelic Ascension White Beast Within that trades a cheaper cost for less targets and gifting your creature a 4/4 flyer instead of a vanilla 3/3. While I’m not the biggest fan of Beast Within in cube, it’s actually in a color that lacks removal and while Angelic Ascension is in a color that has all the removal in the world. Not a fan of this card in 1v1, but can be a useful political tool for multiplayer cubes I guess? Basri Ket Revamped Ajani, Caller of the Pride. Ajani starts with more loyalty, but Basri’s +1 grants indestructible until end of turn. Basri can snowball harder than Ajani if you have 3 non-token creatures by turn 3 and then use the -2 ability to double that number on attack step. Unfortunately, Basri suffers the same fate as Ajani in where their value is entirely dependent on you having creatures. The competition is fierce at 3-cmc white, and there are better options for aggro that are also better role players in other archetypes. Basri’s Lieutenant Basri’s Lieutenant is a hybrid of Luminous Broodmoth / Hero of Bladehold. It’s not as great as a midrange engine as Luminous Broodmoth, and not as offensive as Hero of Bladehold, but it’s definitely no slouch in either of those departments, especially since it’s a Persist combo enabler. Basri’s Lieutenant’s floor is essentially a ⅘ vigilance with protection from multicolored that does a mini Thragtusk impression when it dies: that’s pretty impressive for 3W. Stonecoil Serpent has shown me that protection from multicolored means protection from a decent amount of removal spells (in my cube at least), which is a really nice combination with its ability to recur itself. While there’s an insane amount of competition at the 4-cmc slot, as far as creatures goes, I think this competes well with anything not named Palace Jailer / Restoration Angel, and rubs shoulders very well against Hero of Bladehold / Luminous Broodmoth. Seems like a shoe-in if you need more Persist combo / +1+1 matters counters support, but even then Basri’s Lieutenant seems plenty strong on its own. Emiel, the Blessed 4-cmc Eldrazi Displacer that can grant counters. While Emiel doesn’t come with the colorless baggage that Eldrazi Displacer does, it’s important to note that Emiel can only target your own creatures. While Emiel may not seem too hot on its own in higher powered cubes, it’s important to note that it can generate infinite mana with Palinchron type creature. Also seems like a good fit for lower powered cubes that support both blink and +1/+1 counters matters. Daybreak Charger This is a pretty aggressive Blade of the Sixth Pride variant for a common. Reminds me a lot of Viashino Pyromancer. I don’t know too much about Pauper, but I’m assuming this is a decent inclusion if you support aggro in Pauper. Nine Lives I’m THAT guy who plays these types of cards in EDH, although every deck packing Cyclonic Rift makes this a poor choice for EDH / multiplayer in general. However, 1v1 cubes typically don’t have mass sweepers that can remove enchantments. The only commonly played cube cards that I can think of that can even remove Nine Lives at will are Council’s Judgment / Upheaval / Ugin, the Spirit Dragon / some random planeswalker ultimate, maybe. I’d only consider this for cube if you’re playing Solemnity for Persist combos or you’re just THAT guy. Pack Leader Turn all your dogs into pseudo Adanto Vanguards on offense! Unfortunately, there aren’t too many cubeable dogs at the moment, but the attack trigger at least protects itself. What makes Adanto Vanguard annoying is that it gets around most removal spells, which Pack Leader doesn’t, and it also lacks 3rd power. Not a card I’d cube today, but it’s something to keep an eye on. Let me be the first to say that I for one welcome our new dog overlords! Seasoned Hallowblade Speaking of Adanto Vanguards, this is probably its closest imitation? At a baseline, this is a Blade of the Sixth Pride with two relevant creature types in Human and Warrior, is a discard outlet, and can pitch a card to go indestructible when needed. I see this mostly as an aggro card though since decks that want discard outlets will probably have access to better ones, plus white is the least likely color to be played in a graveyard centric deck (in my cube at least). That being said, this has potential to be the second best Blade of the Sixth Pride variant after Adanto Vanguard, rubbing shoulders with Accorder Paladin / Glory-Bound Initiate. BLUE Barrin, Tolarian Archmage Legendary Man-o’-War that with a non-mandatory bounce that hits planeswalkers and can also randomly draw you cards. While being costing 1UU is less desirable than 2U (except for Devotion), the tradeoff is well worth it. Barrin is especially annoying with Karakas since it both has one of the best ETB triggers for a 3-cmc legendary creature and Karakas can trigger Barrin’s draw ability. I have no doubt in my mind that Barrin will be the most cubed card from M21. Ghostly Pilferer A weird Glint-Sleeve Siphoner / Heir of Falkenrath hybrid that randomly draws you a card whenever an opponent casts a spell via flashback / cascade / aftermath / adventure / suspend / cast off top of library effects / etc effects. I’m not the biggest fan of this for tempo decks since the evasion requires you to discard a card and tempo decks typically aren’t big on using the graveyard as a resource, but this is a decent discard outlet for Reanimator / Recurring Nightmare decks. The first draw effect seems to be a poor man’s imitation of a poor man imitating Dark Confidant, which reminds me of a band that’s ripping off a band that rips off Simple Plan since other Dark Confidant effects don’t require mana to draw the extra card. That being said, the second draw ability requires no mana payment on your part, but is entirely dependent on your opponent. This creature is a weird package of a lot of different things. My instincts tell me that its best niche will be in Recurring Nightmare / Reanimator decks, but those decks aren’t exactly hurting for discard outlets. I don’t explicitly support tempo decks, and even if I did this seems to be lower-hanging fruit at first glance. I definitely can be wrong about this card as it does seem like it can be a bit of a sleeper, but even then I don’t think it’ll be GREAT, just merely useful. Definitely cubeable, but I don’t think it’s needed too much in the decks that would even want it. See the Truth Sorcery speed Anticipate that can randomly be an Ancestral Recall via things like Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy / Snapcaster Mage / Chandra, Torch of Defiance / Yawgmoth’s Will / etc. Even with those synergies, I’d rather just play other 2-cmc blue cantrips in most scenarios like Impluse / Chart a Course. Putting the cards into your hands instead of drawing the cards to get around Leovold / Narset is cool when it matters. I’d only really consider this for a cube if you’re running storm since it can make the most use out of it, but even then it’s a bit hard to justify the slot in blue assuming you’re powered AND supporting storm. Shacklegeist I like 2/2 flyers with minimal drawbacks since a 1/1 flyer can’t trade with it on its own. If you support blue tempo, this might be one of the better evasive blue 2-drops since it has an extra toughness and can tap down other creatures. I don’t explicitly support blue tempo, meaning the 1-2 cmc aggressive creatures in a UX tempo deck are derived from other colors, so this isn’t for me, but this is a good option if you do explicitly support blue tempo. Stormwing Entity A 3/3 with flying / prowess / ETB scry 2 for 3UU is whatever, but any 1-cmc instant / sorcery can be used as a Dark Ritual for this (and Gitaxian Probe serves as a Black Lotus!) That being said, busting this out on turn 3 isn’t even that great. Seems like a bad Mulldrifter most of the time with less control of the mana cost for less value. Sublime Epiphany Cryptic Command 3.0 that according to Mark Rosewater, has 31 different combinations of options. In terms of options, it essentially has 3 out of 4 Cryptic Command’s modes: counterspell / draw / bounce (although this can only bounce non-land permanents) with Stifle / Clone (only for your creatures) attached to it. This will often be at least a 3-ish for 1 with counter / bounce / draw. The clone effect is really the x-factor for this card, where the sky's the limit in terms of how much value you can achieve. Sublime Epiphany works especially well with Torrential Gearhulk, since it’s both a big instant the Gearhulk can target and it can also clone the Gearhulk, giving you another at flashbacking an instant from your graveyard. Coincidentally, Torrential Gearhulk is probably its biggest competition since they’re both 6 mana instant speed value spells. Personally I like Gearhulk more, but I consider every 6-cmc blue spell not named Upheaval to be interchangeable with each other. In terms of creatures, I don’t like this more than Consecrated Sphinx / Torrential Gearhulk, but I think it competes well with things like AEtherling / Will Kenrith, and I do like it more than Commence the End Game / Frost Titan. Teferi, Master of Time The face of the set, although I’m not too particularly impressed by this Teferi.. On his own, he’s essentially a 4-mana Dack Fayden that can’t steal artifacts. Dack is attractive because he’s an engine that can ramp / Control Magic for just 3 mana. Being able to tick up 2 loyalty every turn cycle is cool, but that -3 costs a lot for very little. I don’t think it stacks well against other 4-cmc cube spells, especially in blue. In terms of decks that want Teferi, he’s too slow in combo decks, doesn’t generate any real value in a control decks, and grindy midrange decks that incorporate graveyard shenanigans have cheaper options. I’d much rather play something like Teferi is definitely cubeable, but unless your cube is huge or you’re really into Rielele, the Everwise shenanigans, I’d rather play other 4-cmc blue value spells like Drawn from Dreams / Deep Analysis. Teferi’s Tutelage Seems decent if you support mill decks. Replacing itself with a cantrip and milling off that cantrip is really nice, and I’m glad they’re designing more marginal cards with cantrips built in. Waker of Waves A decent cantrip that can be its own self-binning reanimator target / late game finisher. This type of creature isn’t new, and compares a lot to Eternal Dragon / Titanoth Rex, and I think it’s important to go over their strengths and weaknesses when talking about these types of creatures. Waker of Waves PROS
Has the best overall cantrip effect
Is in the color that pairs best with Reanimation effects
Giving your opponent’s creatures -1/-0 is a decent crowd control effect
Lacks evasion, making it a poor finisher
Eternal Dragon PROS
Has good evasion
Plainscycling is especially valuable early game to make sure you curve properly
Plainscycling is the least useful cycling ability later in the game
White is arguably the worst color to pair with Reanimator decks since it has access to the least / worst discard outlets
Titanoth Rex PROS
Large body + trample makes it a good finisher
Is a more playable threat in cheat decks compared to the other two
Ability to give a trample counter to a creature is pretty nice
Is the most expensive to hard cast
Arguably the worst cantrip effect of the three
Overall, Waker of Waves is more of a decent cantrip that just so happens to have a creature mode attached to it. In terms of 2-cmc blue cantrips, I don’t like this more than Impulse / Chart a Course, but it’s a decent pick for the #3 slot due to it being modal. I like Eternal Dragon more than most and cubed with it until Modern Horizons power creeped it out, but cards like these are still pretty decent. Not a 360 staple by any stretch, but this whale seems like a decent option for larger cubes. Ormos, Archive Keeper A weird Laboratory Maniac type payoff card that doesn’t even win you the game when you have no library. It at least has decent stats and can win the game on its own, but 6 mana that’s a french vanilla Baneslayer out of the box is pretty underwhelming. Untapping with it is a different story though. Assuming you can discard three cards with different names, this can potentially draw you 10 cards when you untap with it. That being said, you’re technically only up +2 cards for each activation. This is really embarrassing in comparison to Consecrated Sphinx, which draws 2 cards on curve (assuming your opponent doesn’t have instant speed removal), and can really punish your opponent trying to draw more cards. While this may have a niche in Laboratory Maniac type shells, it’s by far the clunkiest piece. It’s not a good sign to me when a card is stuck to a niche, but even then it’s not even particularly good within that niche. Scholar of the Lost Trove More expensive Torrential Gearhulk that can recur instants / sorceries / artifacts. Lacking Torrential Gearhulk’s flash means this can’t be used as a counterspell without something like Sneak Attack / Through the Breach, but being able to hit sorceries and artifacts is a nice upside. My issue with this card is its cost: 7 mana is a lot for most decks and puts this into cheaty face territory. Unfortunately, its ETB trigger isn’t too hot until the late game, which makes this a poor choice for cheaty face type strategies. I won’t be surprised if I see a random Oath of Druids deck in vintage rocking this. It’s definitely a cool card with a powerful ETB trigger, but its cost will probably keep it out of most cubes. BLACK Demonic Embrace On the surface, this is a black Grafted Wargear. Granting flying is huge, and being able to jump start it from the graveyard makes this one of the better combat oriented auras for cube. Pairs well with recursive black creatures to make them even more threatening. If you’re looking for Grafted Wargear #3 (with Heirloom Blade being #2), this is a decent option that puts a nice twist to the effect. Seriously, granting flying is huge. Eliminate For those of you who hang out with me on Discord, you probably knew that I actually called this out way back as a custom designed Smother 2.0 that was sorely needed after last year’s power creep, therefore I’m taking all the credit for this card’s existence ;) Jokes aside, this hits a lot of threatening things, especially if you’re not holding back on planeswalkers / Rabblemasters. While this has much more misses than your typical Terror effect, threats are very diversified these days in the form of creatures / tokens / planeswalkers / manlands / etc, and I think it’s important to diversify your removal as well. I’ve always said that Abrupt Decay’s stock has gone up a lot in value over the past year. While Abrupt Decay can hit artifacts / enchantments, it can’t hit manlands where Eliminate can. I’m not saying to replace your premium Terror effects like Go for the Throat / Heartless Act for this, but I do like this more than something like Fatal Push. Liliana, Waker of the Dead Another year without a good black 4-cmc walker :( Replace the -3 with 0: Make a 2/2 zombie or something, then we’d be talking. Otherwise, I can only see being interested in this if you support The Rack type effects or something. Liliana’s Devotee Seems decent if you support Zombies tribal I guess? Can’t say I like this more than Xathrid Necromancer / Grim Haruspex. Liliana’s Standard Bearer see Liliana’s Devotee Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose Probably one of the better support cards if you support BW lifegain matters since it’s a cheaper Sanguine Blood attached to a creature. Very passable if you’re not supporting lifegain matters. RED Bolt Hound Goblin Chariot with battlecry ain’t bad for an uncommon, but overall it pales in comparison to other Rabblemasters / Phoenix of Ash. Chandra, Heart of Fire Shock every turn is a bit meh for 3RR. If your opponent doesn’t have a removal spell right away, you essentially paid 5 mana for a Staggershock. Her +1 is pretty strong late game if you’re hellbent-ish anyways, but I don't like this Chandra variant compared to other 5-cmc red spells. Chandra’s Incinerator The ultimate Magic Christmasland card. Unlike Stormwing Entity, you’re able to stack the cost reduction by chaining spells / effects. Lightning Bolt / Chain Lightning become Dark Rituals, Incinerate Variants become Pyretic Ritual, Fireblast means you can bust this out on turn 2 (in Legacy / Vintage you can cast two of these on turn 2!). A 6/6 trampler is a good threat, and being able to get double the value out of your noncombat damage sources that could hit your opponent is pretty big game. While this has a lot more value in non-singleton formats since it can just go all out on Rift Bolts / Seal of Fire effects, it doesn’t seem too unreasonable to get this out by turn 4, especially if you do run Rift Bolt / Seal of Fire / Fireblast / Sulfuric Vortex / etc. I’m not too interested in this card, but I think it does have potential if you’re looking for some spicy Magic Christmasland scenarios. Conspicuous Snoop Not great on its own, but it’s the cheapest way to go infinite with Kiki-Jiki, especially with Worldly / Vampiric Tutor. That being said, I don’t think it’s worth running just based on that merit since there’s plenty of 2-3 cmc options and this doesn’t work with Splinter Twin. Heartfire Immolator This is a nice take on Goblin Cratermaker. While it’s not as disruptive since it can’t hit mana rocks, prowess makes it more aggressive and can potentially take out creatures with bigger butts, not to mention its ability can target planeswalkers. There’s a lot of competition in the 2-cmc red creature slot, and while I don’t think this is any better than things like Young Pyromancer / Kari Zev / Earthshaker Khenra / Goblin Cratermaker, I do think it competes well with Robber of the Rich and is better than things like Dire Fleet Daredevil / Abbot of Keral Keep / etc. Soul Sear Decent red removal option to take out bigger creatures / planeswalkers, but seems worse overall than other versatile options like Purphoros’s Intervention / Collective Defiance. Not being able to hit face is always a big downside for red removal. Subira, Tulzidi Caravanner Another better Goblin Chariot with a key 3rd toughness so it doesn’t trade with bears / lions / pikers. Her first ability is cheap and provides a good amount of reach for aggressive decks. Her second ability is a bit narrow, but can refill your hand later in the game. Subira is a pretty good creature with a decent baseline, but I think she compares poorly to any Rabblemaster variant since those snowball pretty hard on their own where Subira does not. Terror of the Peaks Purphoros, God of the Forge + Thunderbreak Regent = Terror of the Peaks? While this card would’ve been awesome 10 years ago, it’s a Baneslayer without haste in a color / slot full of Baneslayers with haste. I’m glad that they’re designing more Baneslayers with a punisher effect for targeting it, hopefully they do that with more cards in the future. If you’re looking for another Purphoros effect, this does that effect very well and is a decent threat on its own, but generally speaking I don’t think this compares to other 5-mana stat monsters like Thundermaw Hellkite variants / Ilharg, the Raze-Boar. Transmogrify Red Polymorph that exiles. With recent printings like Lukka, Coppercoat Outcast, Reality Scramble, etc, there’s a good amount of critical mass for a legitimate Polymorph archetype where the only creature cards in your deck are giant fatties and tokens made through spells / planeswalkers. Wtwlf123 has a pretty detailed thread about this archetype’s potential: https://www.mtgsalvation.com/forums/the-game/the-cube-forum/cube-card-and-archetype/817737-the-polymorph-deck. Oath of Druids fits well in the deck also. Personally I think this takes up too many slots / spreads super fatties too thin in smaller cubes that support traditional reanimator / cheaty face type decks, but seems like an interesting option for larger cubes looking for more cheaty face type shenanigans. Lightning Phoenix Poor man’s Phoenix of Ash. This is the first Phoenix we’ve seen that costs 2R instead of 1RR, which is nice. The big issue with this card is that it recurs during the end step, which makes the haste irrelevant when recurring it. Even then, this doesn’t hold a candle to Phoenix of Ash, not to mention the Rabblemaster / Hanweir Garrison variants. Zurzoth, Chaos Rider Speaking of Hanweir Garrison variants, this little devil does a neat impression. Being a 2/3 is always nice so that it doesn’t trade with other 2 powered creatures, as is creating a token with a death trigger that can ping anything for 1 damage. The downfall of this card is a combination of three things: it can only generate one token on attack, the token doesn’t ETB attacking, and the only other commonly cubeable devils are Rakdos Cackler / Hellrider / Mutavault. Zurzoth is essentially a worse Najeela, the Blade Blossom. While Zurzoth creates the better tokens and arguably has better stats, there’s a good amount of cubeable warriors, Najeela can generate more than one token a turn, and her tokens ETB attacking. I wish this card was a bit better, the design with the draw / random discard makes for interesting scenarios. Sethron, Hurloon General Mono red Regisaur Alpha, but with worse stats and a focus on an ever worse tribe (seriously, the only good minotaur I can think of is Gnarled Scarhide). That being said, you can do much worse than 6 power spread over 2 bodies for 3RR. The activated ability ain’t bad either since you’d need 4 creatures to block both minotaurs. Can’t say I’m a big fan of this card today, but the fact that Sethron triggers off any nontoken minotaur means it might have its day in the sun once minotaurs rule all of cube. Immolating Gyre A spells matters one-sided sweeper that hits creatures AND planeswalkers has potential for some serious blowouts. This is very reminiscent of cards with Overload such as Mizzium Mortars / Cyclonic Rift / Winds of Abandon. Not being modal and requiring a critical mass of spells is a bit of a strike to it, but it’s not unreasonable. This can be stronger than Wildfire in the late game, but Wildfire’s power comes in its land destruction and the fact that you can fire it off as soon as you hit 6 mana. Ramping up to Immolating Gyre doesn’t do too much since if you were ramping that fast, you probably weren’t playing too many instants / sorceries at the same time. I feel like Chandra, Awakened Inferno does pretty much everything this wants to do and not being able to fire this off fast makes this less attractive to Wildfire for me. GREEN Elder Gargaroth A new green Baneslayer variant. Vigilance, reach, and trample on a 6/6 is great for both offense and defense. Getting a modal trigger on both attack and defense makes this one of the better true Baneslayer Angels at 5 mana, IMO. As pushed as this card is, it sadly still suffers the same problem as every other Baneslayer in that it fails the Vindicate test, plus it has to compete with other value options / planeswalkers at the same mana cost. While Baneslayers get a lot of flack for “dies to Doom Blade”, they are still inherently cubeable based on their raw power. However, they’re an all or nothing bet where their best case scenarios are still below that of their Mulldrifter rivals. Diversifying your threats / resources is important. To me, there’s no point in putting all your eggs in a single creature when the best possible scenario isn’t even better than a lower risk bet, especially when the worst case scenario is your opponent being able to steal all those eggs in one swoop. While not a true Baneslayer, I’m not even sure this is any better than Verdurous Gearhulk, which gains pseudo-haste by being able to distribute its power to other creatures. Garruk’s Harbinger A beefy Ophidian type creature. Hexproof from black is nice, but I like my Ophidian type creatures to have evasion. Being able to trigger off damage off a creature or a planeswalker is really good design space to explore for these types of effects, hopefully we’ll get more of these in the future. Garruk Unleashed The most aggressive 4-cmc Garruk variant. His pump ability is very reminiscent of Elspeth, Knight-Errant’s pump. Flying is better overall, but trample can be better in situations where your opponent has flying blockers to chump with. The first activation of his -2 ability will leave you with 2-3 loyalty depending on the scenario, which at minimum is exactly what you’d get out of OG Garruk Wildspeaker’s -1. Being able to swing for 6 with your 3/3 beasts that you generate or just turning your mana dorks into 4/4 tramplers is pretty big game for a 4 mana planeswalker. It’s nice that all the 4-cmc Garruk’s bring different things to the table: Wildspeaker ramps, Relentless is removal / can tutor for creatures, and Unleashed is just focused on smashing face. While I don’t like Garruk Unleashed more than Wildspeaker / Relentless, it’s still a very potent cube card, especially if you support green aggro. Probably better than most 4-cmc green creatures, and I do like this Garruk much more than Vivien, Arkbow Ranger since his abilities aren’t entirely dependent on having a board state. This is also a really nice option if you support a 4-power or more theme since most creatures it can boost will at least be a 4/4. Llanowar Visionary Llanowar Elves + Elvish Visionary = we’ve come a long way since Phyrexian Rager. This seems like a decent value card. Card draw + ramp is a match made in heaven, and this is the cheapest form of it (besides Explore, assuming you have additional lands). Let’s see how this compares to other similar green value cards. Llanowar Visionary PROS
Draws a card right out of the box
Easiest to gain incremental value through blink / recursion
Drawing a card is much better later in the game than finding lands
Creature based ramp is easier to disrupt than land / artifact based ramp
Kodama’s Reach / Cultivate PROS
The best on curve in most situations
Fixes your mana
Deadweight late game
Not a creature
Yavimaya Elder PROS
Can give you the most value in one shot
Needs to jump through additional hoops for value, which can mess up how you curve out
Doesn’t actually ramp
Nissa, Vastwood Seer PROS
Strong topdeck late game
Helps you curve out more reliably than Llanowar Visionary since lands are harder to remove than creatures
Creature half doesn’t actually ramp
Sometimes you just want to draw a card instead of searching for a forest, which can make casting / recurring this awkward in the midgame compared to Llanowar Visionary.
Llanowar Visionary having the magical phrase of “enters the battlefield, draw a card” is something you’ll always be happy to have at any point of the game. If you’re looking for a new 3-cmc green creature, this is definitely a good option. Track Down Once Upon a Time, Pauper edition. While I don’t know if this is actually good in Pauper, I think Once Upon a Time is good, but not great in traditional powered / unpowered cubes. While Once Upon a Time digs deeper, is an instant, and is occasionally free, Track Down having Scry 3 means you have more control in what some of your future draws will be. That being said, Once Upon A Time is still the much better card. Allosaurus Shepherd This is essentially a 1/1 with a late game elf tribal pump ability. While being uncounterable / making your other green spells uncounterable, to me it’s never a reason to cube a card. Being uncounterable is more of an icing to a cake. Adding “This spell can’t be countered / your other spells can’t be countered” to a card you’re already on the fence on really won’t push it over the fence for me, where adding hexproof / trample / haste / etc to something can really push its cube viability. This seems neat for Legacy which is littered with blue decks sporting all the free counter magic in the world, but I’m not a fan of this for cube. Neyith of the Dire Hunt This is a neat creature that can force your opponent into awkward combat scenarios and can really punish your opponent for chump blocking. While this isn’t the most powerful green 4 drop, the fact that it can potentially draw you a card that turn you play it means it has some legs to stand on. Its pump ability goes well with its draw ability, since it forces your opponent to block the creature if able, not to mention it can just deal a ton of damage when your opponent CAN”T block. This would’ve been an interesting choice for green if this was printed 2 years ago, but I can see this being an option for lower powered cubes, especially if they support human and / or warriors matters cards. Towering Titan Uhh, why is this a mythic? OTHER Conclave Mentor Winding Constrictor’s Selesnya cousin. More Hardened Scales effects are always nice if you support a +1/+1 counter theme, and gaining at least 2 life when Conclave Mentor dies makes it a decent roadblock vs aggro. Good option if you’re running Hardened Scales, but passable if not. Radha, Heart of Keld More aggressive Courser of Kruphix for Gruul. Being able to play lands from the top of your library is always nice, especially with Fastbond. Speaking of which, I’m not that big of a fan of this card without Fastbond support, and even then I’m not too high on it. Courser of Kruphix is solid because it’s purely designed to grind with its key 4th toughness / incremental life gain. Radha tries to both, but being more fragile makes her a less viable grinder, and she’s not exactly the greatest on offense. Her pump ability is sweet late game, but lack of trample / evasion is huge and can be easily walled by token generators. I also think she compares poorly to not just other Gruul cards for the same cost like Klothys / Domri, but other mono red / green cards that have more focus on either being aggressive / grindy. I can only really see Radha being an attractive option if you really want to push land / Fastbond themes, otherwise I think she’s average at best. Having something like trample or menace over first strike would’ve gone a long way. Mazemind Tome An alternative to Scroll Rack / Treasure Map. Scroll Rack has a very good niche in Cheaty Face type combo decks where you want Oath / Tinker hits back into your library, plus combos well with Land Tax. That being said, not having to pay mana to activate Mazemind Tome to Scry 1 is very nice, and being able to draw a card for only 2 mana is great. While this loses the ramp potential of Treasure Map, being to Scry and curve out at the same time is pretty big game. Overall I think this is better than Treasure Map, having the choice to either Scry for free / straight up draw a card for just 2 mana is more attractive than Treasure Map’s transformation. I also like this more than Scroll Rack assuming you’re not supporting combo decks / Land Tax. Sparkhunter Masticore Protection from planeswalkers is pretty cool, but discarding a card in addition to its mana cost, not so much. Pithing Needle / Sorcerous Spyglass are more effective at shutting down planeswalkers, although Sparkhunter Masticore can technically gun down any amount of planeswalkers given enough time and mana. Being able to go indestructible is nice, but expensive. I do like what this card tries to do, but I do think it’s pretty clunky. Thriving Lands Cycle Build your own ETB tapped lands is a great design and very reminiscent of vivid lands. What’s nice about this cycle is that unlike the vivid lands, these are Pauper legal! While I dont’ know too much about Peasant / Pauper, I do always hear people complain about the mana fixing and breaking rarity just for lands. I’m assuming these will be a welcome addition to Peasant / Pauper cubes, not to mention a solid option for cube builders on a budget. Hot Takes Tier List Time! Criteria is based on the following:
Amount of cubes I think this will see play, particularly in powered / high powered settings
How long they will last in cubes
Cube sizes I expect the cards to penetrate (example: top tier is mainly reserved for cards I think that can penetrate 360 powered cubes)
The order of the cards within tiers doesn’t matter as much as which half of the list they’re on
Barrin, Tolarian Archmage
Teferi, Master of Time
Radha, Heir of Keld
Waker of Waves
Emiel the Blessed
Subira, Tulzidi Carvaneer
Terror of the Peaks
Neviyth of the Dire Hunt
Zuroth, Chaos Rider
Chandra, Heart of Fire
Liliana’s Standard Bearer
Sethron, Hurloon General
See the Truth
Scholar of the Lost Trove
Liliana, Waker of the Dead
Ormos, Archive Keeper
Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose
It seems that WOTC finally realized that maybe they should tone down the power creep a bit after setting it to 10 with War of the Spark and cranking it up to 11 with Ikoria.
While M21 lacks some threatening bombs for cube, it does contain a lot of good planeswalker interactions which were notably absent from the two sets with the most dominant planeswalkers, War of the Spark and Throne of Eldraine. I feel like the past year’s ratio of threats / answers leaned very heavily towards the threat side, so I’m happy that my favorite takeaways from this set interact well against planeswalkers.
Jumpstart has good reprints, but seems a bit disappointing for cube. Personally I have no interest in adding any Jumpstart card to my cube.
Let me know if there’s a card that I missed and I’ll respond back with the hottest of takes! Also, feel free to join the Online Cube Drafts Discord Group to discuss all things Cube plus use Xmage to host tournaments to draft / play with our own cubes! https://discord.gg/wRVzHQR
Rookie to Road A license in 3 weeks. A newbie's tale
I joined iracing on 5-17-2020. I am not very good, I learned that pretty early. For the first 3 weeks I was a liability on road courses and did fairly well on ovals but could never keep up with leaders with any SoF. I decided to just be safe, learn to get out of the leaders way on blue flags, focus on my lines, let anyone challenging me for 14th place just have it (cause most of the time they would wreck out and I get the place anyway) I read forums, watched videos, joined VRS, and decided that while I wasn't going to win a race for a long time I could focus on seeing improvement each race in SR. I set my goal to get an A license in Oval and Road. https://imgur.com/IwAdltN I am 3 days short of 1 month of racing and today I earned my A road license at 3.49, and I'm one clean race away from A license in Oval at B 3.89. I did very little time trials, it was almost all racing in just about any car I could try (R8, Miata, F1, Skippys, etc). I'm pretty sure I could have done this a week faster, but week 13 is in the middle of this process. It took 52 starts to achieve this with my best finish being 3rd and 6 finishes in the top 5. There really are no wrong ways to have fun and I prefer to try out all sorts of different content each week rather than focus on 1 or 2 series. My thoughts for those also extremely new to iracing, from an extremely newbie perspective:
Focusing on SR has made me a way better driver than anytime I focus on time. It has been really rewarding to see my times improve while staying safe.
Just being safe at 1k iRating means you'll do very well.
At 1k I'm still seeing a lot of crashes and past the D rating and rookie you don't get fast repairs. Avoid these incidents and 9 times out of 10 you'll finish with positive irating just by surviving.
When you get a faster car behind you don't try and get out of the way. Hold your line and just lift off the accelerator on a straight or go easy into a corner. Let them chose how to pass you; not the other way around.
Download an app like RacelapApps. Knowing the SoF and safety rating of those around you is one of the most powerful tools to know who to avoid, who to let pass and who is gonna cause trouble. I'll bet knowing other's SR has saved me a good dozen wrecks by giving a wide birth to a guy with a C 1.3 rating (he gonna crash and take people with him on T1)
If you have the spare income, try and buy a lot of content.
Ok, this one is not for everyone but when I first started I kinda hated the beginner content. I thought the dirt racing starter truck was lame, so I avoided all the dirt content and bought a ton of oval and road. I knew I was going to love road because I drive a 911 in real life and have been on a real track.
What I didn't expect was how much I would love Oval racing. I went into iracing assuming I would end up only doing road but I currently have 53 starts on road and 40 on ovals.
Report people that intentionally wreck
Now that I've been around for a month and had 100 starts I have to say that iracing is special and deserves to be protected. Do your part by submitting a report when someone does something egregiously against the sporting code. Consider it a community service to make the iracing world a little bit better. Sure it takes a few minutes of effort, but iracing seems to take it quite serious and you're making the iracing world a better place.
Have fun your way
I'm still learning just how much content there is in iracing and almost infinite ways to enjoy.
Want to focus on 1 car forever? Go for it
Only ever race dirt ovals? Good for you
Want to do as much diversity as you can? You do you
Never want to race against a person but still want to compete? Time trials are for you!
Never let someone else here or on the forums tell you "Your fun is wrong". This sim is so flexible that however you choose to enjoy it is up to you.
Those are my thoughts on "speed running" SR from rookie to A. TL;DR: I knew I sucked at racing so I focused on SR and became a way better racer as a result. PS: I also lightly stream on twitch - no subs or donations; just for fun. I'm a CFO by trade so we discuss finances and how bad I am at racing. Twitch.tv/boomerracer
Check out this and this if you’re interested in location-specific MkeBucks #MkeBucksIRL meet-ups!
To keep the sub user friendly, game reactions/hot takes should go in this thread or the upcoming postgame thread (if you post something during or shortly after the game and it is removed, this is probably why).
6 Month Weight Loss Progress: Hit my target weight and then some after losing 40 lbs
33/M/5'8" SW: 190 GW: 155 CW: 149 MyFitnessPal Progress Chart In December 2019, I was the heaviest I've ever weighed in my life. For my height and body type, my BMI was pushing close to obesity levels. I exercised infrequently and I coped with stress from my job by justifying to myself that I could eat whatever I wanted. Both my health and my self-esteem were at all time lows. On a Christmas holiday with my family, my Dad challenged us all to a 6 month bet to hit a target weight of our choosing. For those that hit their target weight by the end of June, their plane ticket would be paid for on our next family vacation by the rest who didn't reach their target weight. Financial motivation is a strong motivator for me, so I set an aggressive goal of 155lbs, when I was 190lbs at the time. There've been many times where I've challenged myself to lose weight and fail over the past few years, but having my family joining on the ride gave me an extra bit of motivation to follow through. In 5 months time, I'm happy to report that I hit my target weight of 155 and I continued to lose weight at a more gradual pace until I reached my current weight of 149 lbs on the last day of June. Here's how I did it: 1) Using a calorie-tracking app
Using an app to track calories for the first three months was key. It created a mentality for me that kept me from picking up a particularly unhealthy snack knowing that I would have to input into my diary for the day. I used MyFitnessPal and it took me about 2 weeks until it became a habit to track everything that I ate.
2) Eating at a Calorie Deficit: That's it!
I've gone through multiple periods in my life where I went on a drastic, short-term weight loss sprints, but the weight never stayed off. In the past, I always maintained an overly strict diet, restricting carbs, sugar, fat and all other yummy types of food to the point where it was torture. It works (for a while) but it's never sustainable. I treated food like it was a drug, and I was prone to relapses when I didn't have ice cream or pizza for 3 months and had just one bite as a cheat meal.
This time around, I only cared about Calorie Deficit. Didn't care about macros, didn't have a special day for "cheat meals". My focus was to eat in a way that I enjoyed and not punish myself into weight loss like I had in the past. My calorie net goal was 1820 per day which came from MyFitnessPal's calculation of my goal to lose 2 lbs per week. So if I worked out and burnt 400 calories, I let myself eat an additional 400 to compensate. However, I typically tried to stay at 1820 calories in total, regardless if I worked out that day or not. You'll find that if you only care about calorie deficit, you'll naturally find yourself passing on unhealthy snacks mainly because of the proportion that it takes from your daily calories. But the best part is that you STILL get to have pizza and hamburgers and burritos! And I have a big sweet tooth so I would always treat myself to a dessert every single day. In the end, all you need to do is adjust the rest of your eating day accordingly to ensure that your remaining meals/snacks will stay under that calorie limit.
3) Intermittent Fasting and changing my eating schedule
I decided to try intermittent fasting and skipped breakfast each morning, with the exception of days where I would do 10+ mile runs. I would refrain from eating from 9:00pm - 12:00pm next day. Skipping breakfast was hard at first, but I found that having water with lemon juice throughout the morning hours curbed my hunger until lunch time. This also allowed me to have tastier meals in the afternoon since I would have plenty of calories left, especially if I included a workout that day.
I moved from a three big meals a day, to 4-5 moderately sized meals a day ending with a larger dinner. This change of pace kept me from overeating and gorging myself which I tended to do during lunch. I also read that smaller meals might help metabolism. All I know is that it worked for me.
Here is a typical meal day for me:
Breakfast: Lemon Water
Meal 1, 12:00pm: Toasted Bagel with 1/2 banana slices and peanut butter
Meal 2, 2:00pm: 3 cups popcorn, 1 cup watermelon
Meal 3, 4:00pm: Peanut Butter and Banana Protein Shake
Meal 4, 6:00pm: Toast with scrambled egg
Meal 5, 8:00pm: Whatever is for dinner that night with my wife and it remains under my calorie limit. Usually my unhealthier meal of the day but always aim to have a good serving of vegetables.
Dessert, 8:50-9:00pm: 2/3 cup ice cream
4) Cutting all liquid calories (including alcohol)
Water, water and more water. This remained consistent every single time I've lost weight in my life. Drinking lots of water to keep me full and hydrated, while passing on empty calories in sodas and sports drinks (I love gatorade).
Cutting alcohol is drastic and I'm sure people stopped reading after the headline. My wife got pregnant during the past 6 months and I decided to cut alcohol in solidarity. This was a HUGE lift to my weight loss since I was prone to have 8-10 drinks through the week.
5) Consistent Cardio Schedule
The Calorie Deficit approach works, but it works even better if you are doing consistent cardio throughout the week. This way, you'll expedite your weight loss AND you'll get to eat more meals that might be considered "cheat meals"
Running is my choice of cardio and I aimed to run at least 3x per week. I also would do calisthenics on off days and typically give myself about 1-2 rest days per week. Through 6 months, I gradually increased distances each week to the point where I am now averaging 100+ miles per month.
6) Creating systems of accountability
Lastly, what really worked for me was creating accountability for myself in any way I can.
I started a private instagram account that I only shared with close friends and family that documented my weight loss journey.
I also joined a fitness text group with my co-workers where we would commit to sending at least 3 workout selfies per week to prove we worked out.
The Strava app has also been great to post runs and get feedback from your friends also on the app. All of these forums to document my progress made sure that I didn't drop the ball, because I would have an audience there to fitness my failure if I didn't push on.
It's been an incredible journey that was focused on losing weight in an enjoyable way. I've felt better than I have in years and I'm possibly in the best shape of my life at the age of 33. I hope this information will be useful for anyone else who's looking for motivation to lose weight.
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