News from johnpatrick.com

Politics

Since I started writing my blog in 1995, I have never written about politics or voiced a political opinion. I have opinions like all of us, but I discuss them in quiet with friends, not in my blog. However, when it comes to voting, I have been taking an active position since my friend Tom urged me to write Election Attitude – How Internet Voting Leads to a Stronger Democracy in 2016. In all modesty, the book is becoming more and more relevant each day.

One of the things I wrote about was Ranked Choice Voting. The concept is to have open primaries where voters pick their top five candidates. They can be all from one party or each from a different party. In the general election, voters rank their choices. The method is intriguing and solves a lot of political problems. It is being used in Maine and momentum for it is building across the country. I watched an outstanding webinar on this subject last week.

It was called The Future of American Elections:Innovating for a more reflective government. The two presenters interviewed are experts and they discuss the subject in a non-partisan way. If you are at all interested to learn more about this new approach to democracy, I highly recommend watching it.

Ballot Fiasco Continues

As we approach November, the paper ballot stories will get more and more exciting, to put it mildly. It is clear the votes will not all be counted by midnight on November 3. It may take weeks, and possibly longer based on legal challenges. I am hoping things will be orderly and people will understand the process. Facebook is doing a good job to provide education. Mark Zuckerberg and his wife have personally donated $300 million to the States to help them prepare. 

I will be doing a third video webinar about mobile voting and will be discussing paper ballot issues. The webinar will be at 7pm on Wednesday, September 30, 2020. The Zoom event is open to anyone from anywhere in the world. The event will be hosted by Danbury Library and you can sign up here.

Apple iOS 14 for iPhone

The new Apple software released on Wednesday is really great. Many new improvements, especially in privacy. They are really distinguishing themselves from Facebook and Google in this regard. The new updates include a bunch of stuff you can do to change how your home screen on the iPhone works. There will be a flood of Widgets which allows you to see more at a glance and select apps very easily. You can create Smart Stacks of widgets on your home screen that automatically rotate. It takes some practice to get the hang of it, but I am finding it worthwhile. There are many articles which are helpful. For starters, I recommend this one.

Wall Street and the MAGFA Stocks

My MAGFA index, is now at a 23% share of the S&P 500. The five companies lost 11% of their value or $810 billion, still spectacularly high, but nothing goes straight up forever. The tech sell off may be partly a return toward reality but may also be related to Congress which has launched a bipartisan set of threats. Tesla, Uber, and Zoom were all up substantially. Tesla, now the world’s most valuable car company, hit another milestone. Its $400 billion value passed Johnson & Johnson on Wednesday. Barron’s reported there are only seven companies in the S&P 500 index worth more.

John’s MAGFA Market Cap (09/18/20 4:00pm ET)
 ClosingMarket CapLastChange in%
 PriceTrillionsWeekBillionsChange
Microsoft$200$1.5$1.6-$100-6%
Apple$107$1.8$2.1-$300-14%
Google$1,460$1.0$1.1-$100-9%
Facebook$253$0.7$0.8-$110-14%
Amazon$2,955$1.5$1.7-$200-12%
      
Total $6.5$7.3-$810-11%
      
S&P 500 8/31/2020
 $28.9$27.1  
      
MAGFA/S&P 500 22.5%25.3% -11%
      
Bitcoin$10,784$201.0$196.2$52%
      
Boeing$161$91$97-$6-6%
Royal Caribbean$65$14$15-$1-7%
Tesla$442$412$390$226%
Uber$37$65$59$610%
Zoom$439$125$104$2120%
Note: These five stocks and Bitcoin are in billions not trillions
     
     
     

Note: My father gave me the following investment advice many years ago, “Don’t give any, and don’t take any.” Wise man. I am not recommending buying or selling any of the stocks, startups, crypto, or indexes I write about.

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