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Bitcoin, taxes, and net neutrality

By
Amberjae Freeman
December 1, 2017
Photo credit:

(Almost) everything you need to know about the market this week.

Can you make money from Bitcoin without actually having to figure out how to buy Bitcoin?

Maybe. But it’s just as tricky as directly investing and mining. From the article, “There are ways to bet on a crash, but they’re even riskier than trading the cryptocurrency on the way up.”

Read all about it here.

What this means for you: Most likely, not much. If you’re feeling very adventurous and have loads of money to risk then maybe give this a try? For the average investor, long-term investing that slowly grows is both better for the wallet and the heart rate.

Now, on to actual currency…

The taxing tax plan situation

The GOP’s new tax bill is multifaceted and contentious, to say the least. A full 75% of voters do not want it to pass. If you’re unsure of what exactly might change with the new tax plan, here’s a easy-to-read explainer.

Read all about it here. 

What this means for you: If it passes, it means you could be paying a larger amount to the government each year in tax dollars, with little to show for it. It also has implications for our portfolios. For instance, small and mid cap companies will see a reduced tax burden which is good, because unlike large corporations, they often don’t have an army of lawyers to help them find the plethora of loopholes to avoid paying the 35% rate.

The question to be answered is: Will the tax plan cause the economy to overheat? If it does, it may cause the Fed to intervene and raise interest rates (i.e. how expensive it is to borrow money). This could in turn have a cooling effect on infrastructure projects – which are often funded with debt. Swell’s portfolios hold many infrastructure related investments.

Your internet (aka the utility you use most every day) is at risk

Short blurb explainer: The companies in charge of your internet are trying to monetize the product in a way that favors them. Nothing new, that’s for sure, but this movement has huge consequences. Essentially: your Internet service provider (ISP) will be allowed to bundle websites just like they bundle television channels. Imagine that you have to pay to access news. Now, imagine that the news channels are able to be controlled by the ISP and that the “unfavorable” channels are slow to load.

Read all about it here.

What this means for you: If this passes, you will be affected every day in a million little ways. Every website that you access is your choice. Imagine searching for a solution to what your cold and flu symptoms mean and the only websites that will load are paid advertisements for name brand pharmaceuticals. Or, imagine researching local politicians and their stances on issues, but the only sites that will load are for whichever candidates paid the ISPs the most money. That could be our reality if net neutrality is repealed.

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