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Looking back 18 months.

I was going through old emails today and came across this one I sent out to family on January 4, 2018. It was a reflection on the 2017 crypto bull market and where I saw it heading, as well as some general advice on crypto, investment, and being safe about how you handle yourself in cryptoland.
I feel that we are on the cusp of a new bull market right now, so I thought that I would put this out for at least a few people to see *before* the next bull run, not after. While the details have changed, I don't see a thing in this email that I fundamentally wouldn't say again, although I'd also probably insist that people get a Yubikey and use that for all 2FA where it is supported.
Happy reading, and sorry for some of the formatting weirdness -- I cleaned it up pretty well from the original email formatting, but I love lists and indents and Reddit has limitations... :-/
Also, don't laught at my token picks from January 2018! It was a long time ago and (luckliy) I took my own advice about moving a bunch into USD shortly after I sent this. I didn't hit the top, and I came back in too early in the summer of 2018, but I got lucky in many respects.
----------------------------------------------------------------------- Jan-4, 2018
Hey all!
I woke up this morning to ETH at a solid $1000 and decided to put some thoughts together on what I think crypto has done and what I think it will do. *******, if you could share this to your kids I’d appreciate it -- I don’t have e-mail addresses, and it’s a bit unwieldy for FB Messenger… Hopefully they’ll at least find it thought-provoking. If not, they can use it as further evidence that I’m a nutjob. 😉
Some history before I head into the future.
I first mined some BTC in 2011 or 2012 (Can’t remember exactly, but it was around the Christmas holidays when I started because I had time off from work to get it set up and running.) I kept it up through the start of summer in 2012, but stopped because it made my PC run hot and as it was no longer winter, ********** didn’t appreciate the sound of the fans blowing that hot air into the room any more. I’ve always said that the first BTC I mined was at $1, but looking back at it now, that’s not true – It was around $2. Here’s a link to BTC price history.
In the summer of 2013 I got a new PC and moved my programs and files over before scrapping the old one. I hadn’t touched my BTC mining folder for a year then, and I didn’t even think about salvaging those wallet files. They are now gone forever, including the 9-10BTC that were in them. While I can intellectually justify the loss, it was sloppy and underlines a key thing about cryptocurrency that I believe will limit its widespread adoption by the general public until it is addressed and solved: In cryptoland, you are your own bank, and if you lose your password or account number, there is no person or organization that can help you reset it so that you can get access back. Your money is gone forever.
On April 12, 2014 I bought my first BTC through Coinbase. BTC had spiked to $1000 and been in the news, at least in Japan. This made me remember my old wallet and freak out for a couple of months trying to find it and reclaim the coins. I then FOMO’d (Fear Of Missing Out”) and bought $100 worth of BTC. I was actually very lucky in my timing and bought at around $430. Even so, except for a brief 50% swing up almost immediately afterwards that made me check prices 5 times a day, BTC fell below my purchase price by the end of September and I didn’t get back to even until the end of 2015.
In May 2015 I bought my first ETH at around $1. I sent some guy on bitcointalk ~$100 worth of BTC and he sent me 100 ETH – all on trust because the amounts were small and this was a small group of people. BTC was down in the $250 range at that point, so I had lost 30-40% of my initial investment. This was of the $100 invested, so not that much in real terms, but huge in percentages. It also meant that I had to buy another $100 of BTC on Coinbase to send to this guy. A few months after I purchased my ETH, BTC had doubled and ETH had gone down to $0.50, halving the value of my ETH holdings. I was even on the first BTC purchase finally, but was now down 50% on the ETH I had bought.
The good news was that this made me start to look at things more seriously. Where I had skimmed white papers and gotten a superficial understanding of the technology before FOMO’ing, I started to act as an investor, not a speculator. Let me define how I see those two different types of activity:
So what has been my experience as an investor? After sitting out the rest of 2015 because I needed to understand the market better, I bought into ETH quite heavily, with my initial big purchases being in March-April of 2016. Those purchases were in the $11-$14 range. ETH, of course, dropped immediately to under $10, then came back and bounced around my purchase range for a while until December of 2016, when I purchased a lot more at around $8.
I also purchased my first ICO in August of 2016, HEAT. I bought 25ETH worth. Those tokens are now worth about half of their ICO price, so about 12.5ETH or $12500 instead of the $25000 they would be worth if I had just kept ETH. There are some other things with HEAT that mean I’ve done quite a bit better than those numbers would suggest, but the fact is that the single best thing I could have done is to hold ETH and not spend the effort/time/cost of working with HEAT. That holds true for about every top-25 token on the market when compared to ETH. It certainly holds true for the many, many tokens I tried to trade in Q1-Q2 of 2017. In almost every single case I would have done better and slept better had I just held ETH instead of trying to be smarter than Mr. Market.
But, I made money on all of them except one because the crypto market went up more in USD terms than any individual coin went down in ETH or BTC terms. This underlines something that I read somewhere and that I take to heart: A rising market makes everyone seem like a genius. A monkey throwing darts at a list of the top 100 cryptocurrencies last year would have doubled his money. Here’s a chart from September that shows 2017 year-to-date returns for the top 10 cryptocurrencies, and all of them went up a *lot* more between then and December. A monkey throwing darts at this list there would have quintupled his money.
When evaluating performance, then, you have to beat the monkey, and preferably you should try to beat a Wall Street monkey. I couldn’t, so I stopped trying around July 2017. My benchmark was the BLX, a DAA (Digital Asset Array – think fund like a Fidelity fund) created by ICONOMI. I wasn’t even close to beating the BLX returns, so I did several things.
  1. I went from holding about 25 different tokens to holding 10 now. More on that in a bit.
  2. I used those funds to buy ETH and BLX. ETH has done crazy-good since then and BLX has beaten BTC handily, although it hasn’t done as well as ETH.
  3. I used some of those funds to set up an arbitrage operation.
The arbitrage operation is why I kept the 11 tokens that I have now. All but a couple are used in an ETH/token pair for arbitrage, and each one of them except for one special case is part of BLX. Why did I do that? I did that because ICONOMI did a better job of picking long-term holds than I did, and in arbitrage the only speculative thing you must do is pick the pairs to trade. My pairs are (No particular order):
I also hold PLU, PLBT, and ART. These two are multi-year holds for me. I have not purchased BTC once since my initial $200, except for a few cases where BTC was the only way to go to/from an altcoin that didn’t trade against ETH yet. Right now I hold about the same 0.3BTC that I held after my first $100 purchase, so I don’t really count it.
Looking forward to this year, I am positioning myself as follows:
Looking at my notes, I have two other things that I wanted to work into this email that I didn’t get to, so here they are:
  1. Just like with free apps and other software, if you are getting something of value and you didn’t pay anything for it, you need to ask why this is. With apps, the phrase is “If you didn’t pay for the product, you are the product”, and this works for things such as pump groups, tips, and even technical analysis. Here’s how I see it.
    1. People don’t give tips on stocks or crypto that they don’t already own that stock or token. Why would they, since if they convince anyone to buy it, the price only goes up as a result, making it more expensive for them to buy in? Sure, you will have friends and family that may do this, but people in a crypto club, your local cryptocurrency meetup, or online are generally not your friends. They are there to make money, and if they can get you to help them make money, they will do it. Pump groups are the worst of these, and no matter how enticing it may look, stay as far away as possible from these scams. I even go so far as to report them when I see them advertise on FB or Twitter, because they are violating the terms of use.
    2. Technical analysis (TA) is something that has been argued about for longer than I’ve been alive, but I think that it falls into the same boat. In short, TA argues that there are patterns in trading that can be read and acted upon to signal when one must buy or sell. It has been used forever in the stock and foreign exchange markets, and people use it in crypto as well. Let’s break down these assumptions a bit.
i. First, if crypto were like the stock or forex markets we’d all be happy with 5-7% gains per year rather than easily seeing that in a day. For TA to work the same way in crypto as it does in stocks and foreign exchange, the signals would have to be *much* stronger and faster-reacting than they work in the traditional market, but people use them in exactly the same way.
ii. Another area where crypto is very different than the stock and forex markets centers around market efficiency theory. This theory says that markets are efficient and that the price reflects all the available information at any given time. This is why gold in New York is similar in price to gold in London or Shanghai, and why arbitrage margins are easily <0.1% in those markets compared to cryptoland where I can easily get 10x that. Crypto simply has too much speculation and not enough professional traders in it yet to operate as an efficient market. That fundamentally changes the way that the market behaves and should make any TA patterns from traditional markets irrelevant in crypto.
iii. There are services, both free and paid that claim to put out signals based on TA for when one should buy and sell. If you think for even a second that they are not front-running (Placing orders ahead of yours to profit.) you and the other people using the service, you’re naïve.
iv. Likewise, if you don’t think that there are people that have but together computerized systems to get ahead of people doing manual TA, you’re naïve. The guys that I have programming my arbitrage bots have offered to build me a TA bot and set up a service to sell signals once our position is taken. I said no, but I am sure that they will do it themselves or sell that to someone else. Basically they look at TA as a tip machine where when a certain pattern is seen, people act on that “tip”. They use software to see that “tip” faster and take a position on it so that when slower participants come in they either have to sell lower or buy higher than the TA bot did. Remember, if you are getting a tip for free, you’re the product. In TA I see a system when people are all acting on free preset “tips” and getting played by the more sophisticated market participants. Again, you have to beat that Wall Street monkey.
  1. If you still don’t agree that TA is bogus, think about it this way: If TA was real, Wall Street would have figured it out decades ago and we would have TA funds that would be beating the market. We don’t.
  2. If you still don’t agree that TA is bogus and that its real and well, proven, then you must think that all smart traders use them. Now follow that logic forward and think about what would happen if every smart trader pushing big money followed TA. The signals would only last for a split second and would then be overwhelmed by people acting on them, making them impossible to leverage. This is essentially what the efficient market theory postulates for all information, including TA.
OK, the one last item. Read this weekly newsletter – You can sign up at the bottom. It is free, so they’re selling something, right? 😉 From what I can tell, though, Evan is a straight-up guy who posts links and almost zero editorial comments.
Happy 2018.
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Microsoft invests $1 billion in the organization for the development of artificial intelligence OpenAI

Microsoft invests $1 billion in the organization for the development of artificial intelligence OpenAI
Microsoft said it planned to invest $1 billion in the organization for the development of artificial intelligence OpenAI, according to the VentureBeat publication.
https://preview.redd.it/4mx4p4vja2c31.jpg?width=3500&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=4f508ea4e98779acca66737cbeb9f06d2021d45c
The companies have agreed to enter into a partnership to jointly develop AI technologies based on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. Under the terms of the deal, the corporation will be able to sell products based on some OpenAI technologies. Besides, the organization will use the Azure cloud to test its AI models.
"AI is one of the most transformative technologies of our time and has the potential to help solve many of our world's most pressing challenges," said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. "By bringing together OpenAI's breakthrough technology with new Azure AI supercomputing technologies, our ambition is to democratize AI — while always keeping AI safety front and center — so everyone can benefit."
Co-founder of OpenAI, Greg Brockman, said that the company needed this partnership also because of the lack of computing power. According to the company, from 2012 to 2018, the number of calculations required for launching AI models increased more than 300 thousand times.
In 2018, a quarter of all expenses of OpenAI fell on cloud computing, Reuters writes. In 2017, the company spent in this area approximately $7.8 million.
The organization has released several projects: the OpenAI Gym AI research platform, the Neural MMO gaming platform for bots training, the MuseNet AI 4-minute composition generator, the OpenAI Five program, which beat the professional Dota 2 players and others.
OpenAI was founded by Elon Musk, Peter Thiel and other partners in 2015. All of them have invested $1 billion in the organization. Until 2020, the company planned to spend only "a small part of this amount."
In February 2019, Musk announced that he had left the company due to a conflict of interest. According to him, Tesla tried to hire the same people as OpenAI.
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[Table] IAmA Goldman Sachs Investment Banker AMAA

Verified? (This bot cannot verify AMAs just yet)
Date: 2013-01-12
Link to submission (Has self-text)
Link to my post
Questions Answers
I have a good friend who is a VP at your firm . They blamed the entire Financial crisis on ' poor people who could not afford their mortgages ' they said this was pretty much he opinion among the investment banks . How do you feel about what happened to Greece and Goldmans hand in it ? That is not true. Opinion is very much split within the investment banks and there is no right or wrong answer. I personally don't believe at all that the crisis was caused by 'poor people' - and I don't like that sort of categorization of people in the first place. There are perhaps 15/20 different institutions you could blame for the crisis, there's no way of isolating individuals. I'm not sure what exactly you think GS's hand in the Greece affair was. Of course it's a sad story and I feel remorseful - I recently donated £50,000 at a charity ball to help rebuild one of the islands which has almost been burned to the ground. But ultimately Greece employed GS at the time because they wanted to fudge their finances so as to meet entry requirements for the Euro i.e. the greek government was knowingly employing GS to help perform an extremely risky task - GS didn't force anything upon them. If the experiment explodes 10 years later (as it did), should GS really be the party to blame?
The next day, you are flipping through television channels and randomly come across a pre-season CFL game between the Toronto Argonauts and the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Knowing your inevitable future, do you now watch it? Yes of course i fucking do. The future is inevitable. Chuck Klosterman i like your name.
I love seeing the ignorance that emerges in these AMA's relating to investment bankers. I am really interested in a career in either IB or Consulting, have a few questions for you. Thank you to fletch below for answering this question.
1) How did you cope with the hours? I like working hard, I like working for my money but I also like enjoying free time and having a social life. When working a 100 hours as an analyst that would certainly have to suffer 2)What were you academic results like through your degree? I'm currently in my second year and will be realistically looking at 2.2, 2.2, 2.1 and 2.1 (years 1-4). This summer I'd hope to get an accountancy internship in one of the big 4 followed by an internship next year in one of the large IBs. I know there's more to a candidate than solely their academic credentials + internship but would this stand me well for a BB in London? (Top Irish university, undergrad will be in Business and French) 3) What is it that makes you enjoy this job? I know the paycheck is certainly a bonus but you've said there's more to it than that? Whatever your breakdown between modules is, you need a 2.1 overall. Even if your average is 60% or 61%, that's enough to get you past the minimum requirements and through to interviews. After that it's up to you - they'll take someone with a good business mind and strong communications skills irrespective of whether they average 60 or 78 or 92. I disagree with him. My job is extremely rewarding and i wouldn't swap it for any other industry at the moment. If you want evidence of people enjoying their jobs look at the number of years they spend at their respective firms. Most of the partners at GS are 'home-grown' and have spent 20/30 years sweating away but don't regret it for a second.
Do you realize that in countries like Spain you're seen as an evil person that only wants to get profit and don't have any soul or feelings and probably kicks puppies for fun? If so, how do you feel about it? Yes and understand their anger but it should be re-directed to politicians!
Proof? and of course... how much did you make in 2012 approximately? Approx 600k. How do upload proof e.g. photo evidence?
Sorry, new to reddit!
Do you have free ticket for me? Always looking for handouts. What is it young people say, lolz??
I'm very curious of your opinion of Secretary Geithner's role in LIBOR. Do you think he was guilty? innocent? Thanks! LIBOR scandal is way too complicated to explain at 2.30 am after a few beers. Many active players are implicated and i think he will be seen in the wrong eventually like many others.
What hours do you work? Approx 80 hours a week not incl. flight time I go to festivals in Europe but would love to go it. Do you have free ticket for me?
If the concept and idea of a monetary system was replaced with something better (hypothetically) what would you do? As in for a career or what not since now you are jobless. Resources will always be scarce so someone will have to ensure an optimal allocation. There will always be a market of some kind whether it be a public market or an internal government one.
Hypothetically we could have unlimited power, molecular production, and master matteenergy conversion. Would that change your answer? Good interview question. I'll keep it in mind.
In your view, are there any regulations that could meaningfully alter the moral hazard typified by the 2008-2009 bailout of the financial sector? If so, what might they be? And if not, to what extent does regulatory capture play a role? Regulatory capture is a seriously problem not just in banking e.g. also in the energy business. How do you reduce it? It won't happen unless the public demand it, as everyone with power tends to benefit from it and so they won't make meaningful steps to change anything, i.e. its a win win situation for government and business. However it needs more than just 'occupy movements' but rather i am talking the mass voter population.
Have you seen @gselevator on twitter? if so have you ever contributed/is it legit? Haha yes i have seen it and no its not legit, well at least i think its not. Seriously though the elevator chats can be quite entertaining and revealing.
Do you use a mouse when you work on excel? Are you joking?
No.
In your opinion, do you think the money you make is worth the hell that you go through to make it? I love my job and so i am lucky that the money is not the only motivator.
But yes i love checking my bank balance at an atm.
How can i break into finance with a sub-par gpa? Network and try non BB firms.
A company founded by 100 duck sized horses. or A company founded by 1 horse sized duck? 100 duck sized horses every time. Basic risk management theory - don't put all your eggs in one basket. If that 1 horse sized duck isn't exceptional, your business is going down the tubes.
Prior to the collapse, did you have any idea what was about to happen? It was getting obvious that there was a bubble, but never predicted how great the fallout would be and that in 2013 we would still be suffering
What do you do day to day? I work in the energy field in Europe but don't want to get too specific. Day to day we advise natural resource companies on all things financial such as m&a and financing strategy and then execute on their behalf. So I am on the corporate finance side rather than sales and trading. However I work closely with the syndication and sales guys such as if we are executing an IPO or a follow-on share offering.
I have a buddy who's small but established clean tech company needs money building biodiesel manufacturing plants around the US that run off garbage and wood chips. The technology is actually coming from a company based in Sweden. Can you help him on the money side? Send me a link to their website.
I find clean tech very interesting.
How did you get your job? Did a summer internship then got FT conversion.
What college did you go to? I went to LSE (university in the UK)
What jobs did you work before getting this one? Did another internship whilst at university at an oil company.
At what age did you get this job? 22.
I hear the GS company culture is like " a frat on steriods" true or false? False more than true but depends on team.
Is it as cut throat as I have heard with the bottom 50% of people getting sacked each year to make way for new guys who will probably be sacked the year after? Bottom 5% is more accurate. 7-8% in a bad year, 3-4% in a good year. It's a fine line between 'cut throat' and having a 'healthy competitive atmosphere'. But we'd be out of business very quickly if we kept firing half of our staff every year...
Is there any stock I should look into in 2013? Long term or short term. Short term- African Barrick Gold. The chinese walked away and so the share price plunged and despite serious operational issues, the massive drop has presented a golden buying opportunity.
Long term- anything to avoid inflation, inflation scares the crap out of me and is going to be a big problem in the Uk and elsewhere in the future.
Also buy into soft commodity boom e.g. meat in africa, think zambeef etc if you can find an attractive entry point.
What's the best preparation for an interview with an i-bank? I'm over here in the states and come from a non-target. Read WSO, the forums are full of useful hints and tips especially for non target guys. Depending on what area you are applying for, make sure you know some really good examples and stock pitches as it is amazing how many candidates lack knowledge e.g. if applying for ECM for god sakes know some of the recent IPO's and likewise for equity research have good stock pitches and have conviction when presenting. Best of luck!
How important is your undergrad majogpa I'm double majoring in Econ/Conflict resolution studies with a possible minor in poly sci (depending on how the credits work out) I got a 3.9 gpa last semester but it only brought my overall gpa to a 2.4 because fuck klonopin. I should have at least a 3.0 by graduation, but I'm wondering its worth it to pay for and retake my first semester. Can I have $373 dollars? :D :D I promise only to get moderately drunk with this money. Sorry, a lot of questions, thanks for answering. Oh also, one last thing, all else being equal, is calc I enough math to apply for analyst job? or do I need more? Undergrad course choice is not that important for IBD but obviously for more quant roles you need maths skills Again i am sorry but i am not very clued up on GPA Ok i give you money but first you have to register yourself as a charity so that you can gift aid it and get much more!
Where did you go to college? LSE.
As an undergrad? How hard was it? I hear it's very difficult. Yes, undergrad.
Harder than most places depending on your course. Especially as you are competing with loads of kids from Asia who do extra calculus to relax.
How do you see regulation affecting the overall banking culture? Everything I have been reading and what people have been saying is that the culture is changing. Have you been seeing this? I recommend reading "The Culture of Success" by Lisa Endlich.
Also how do you like the goldman culture? Regulation is hurting us...but: Link to business.financialpost.com
How much total did you make in each of your years at the firm? I don't want to get into specifics.
But for your first three years as an analyst roughly 50k-70k (£ not $)
As an associate 120k-160k.
After that the numbers get exciting.
What tools do you use on a regular basis? Excel, Outlook, Excel, Outlook, Excel, Outlook...powerpoint.
What is the biggest reward of working in IB? Where I study, students with high grades are pushed to chase the prestigious internships firms like GS, MS, etc offer. Their reasoning why they chase these jobs is that they think it is the highest (prestige) in finance they can go or are attracted by the money. It seems shallow to me. What does IB offer that makes your career personally fulfilling? Why didn't you choose to work elsewhere? I find what i do at the front end of the energy sector fascinating. If your interested in business or globalisation or other similiar areas then IBD is pretty much at the cutting edge of it.
Thanks for the reply! When you were first starting out at GS, were you able to balance a personal life aside from your work? Has it gotten easier as you have gained more experience? Would you recommend IB as a field to pursue to your own children today? Thanks again! I'd say during my first 3 years as an analyst the 'balance' was almost non-existent i.e. i was regularly working 100+ hours/week. Since then it's become easier year by year and i think that's true for most. And yes certainly i would encourage my children to pursue it - not that i have any yet.
Where did you go to uni what was your gpa? how many physics majors work their? did you start off as an intern? sorry for rapid firing questions. LSE (london school of economics) - first class honours but don't know how that translates into GPA.
I know only 3/4 physics majors in the office at the moment.
Yes started as an intern.
Do banker run the world? how much political influence do they really have? It works two ways. Some bankers have their fingers in politics in a way they perhaps shouldn't. But equally many politicians have their fingers in banking and can force our hands.
How hard is it for a non ivy leager studying finance to get an entry level job at GS? what about internships? Tough. But with enough internship experience beforehand it's possible.
What do you think of Forex? Would you ever trade on it with your personal money? Difficult to answer - you can trade forex in a million different ways - some ways are more interesting than others. I don't personally trade it, but others forge a very successful career out of it.
What was your bets investment in? (If that's how it works) That's not really my role in IBD.
But outside GS I invested in the Shanghai property market a decade ago or so. My 4 flats there are now worth 10-12 times what they were worth then.
WTF caused the 2010 flash crash? Good question. Nobody knows for sure.
From the link you've provided, I find no.2 the most plausible explanation. But I would also add 6. UBS did something stupid again.
As hardcore capitalists what is your feeling about (management of) banks that seem to live under the impression that profits are for a happy few while losses should be carried by tax-payers? That's not what I believe at all.
And by the way all of us are tax payers too. The top 5% contribute approx. 50% of the government's taxation revenue. So if losses are being 'carried by tax-payers' - that doesn't exclude people in the banking industry by any means.
Matt Levin at Dealbreaker (former GS guy) describes Investment Bankers as "Travelling money salesmen". Do you feel that this description is apt? The operative word in your question is 'former'
Do you think that's how he described investment bankers whilst he was still with the firm?
People tend to get very bitter and sensitive after they get fired. See Gregg Smith for further evidence..
Is an MBA necessary to be competitive when looking for a job or is a B. Comm enough to compete with others when looking for jobs in the industry? Depends on what entry point - if you do an mba then you apply for associate entry whereas b.comm is an undergrad degree and so you apply for analyst roles. If you do a b.comm at a top university/college and get some internships then you should be well placed. Good luck!
Do any of your co-workers frequent Reddit? I imagine less than 0.1%.
Then again 2 people on this feed at least have claimed to be my co-workers, so who knows...
Since you're new to Reddit, what made you want to do an ama here? I'd like to alter the public perception of bankers - not all of us are the obnoxious greedy individuals you read about in the media.
I'm also extremely interested in hearing what non-finance people see as our key economic issues at the moment - this seemed a good way to find out.
Proof? How do i upload photos? i will upload photo proof. Sorry not very experienced with reddit!
I am a senior in high school and I am interested in majoring in either accounting or finance, but I don't think I know enough about either career path to make the best decision, can you explain the large differences the two paths I would go down depending on major, or any advice that may influence my decision that I would not know at this point? What you choose to study doesn't necessarily determine the industry you'll end up in. We have guys in the office who studied history, languages, even medicine. Just go for what interests you the most and focus on getting high marks.
Curious as to what kind of degree you hold/what was your GPA in college? BSc. Economics degree from LSE. First class honours, don't know about gpa
I used to work for the swiss banks and swiss stock market indirectly, and have a few friends in the banking business, including GS and Nakamura in London. What is your personall opinion on prostitution, cocaine, and medication misusage in your business? Also, also what is your stance on GS' questionable involvment in Backpage.com? With regards to backpage.com, the guys on the deal did not do their KYC checks properly. KYC checks are crucial for banks- your reputation and future success is more important than any single customer. Look up riggs bank and the Obiang family and then you'll see!
Possible. But realistically those kind of excuses are given no matter what really happened. For a company as big and powerful as GS I can only take it with a grain of salt. Are you content in the way GS does business from a moral point of view? It's either a pinch of salt, or a grain of sand...
Thanks. I'm not a native english speaker and have not used it regularly for years, so it's gotten pretty shit. Any chance you answer the other questions? Yes, apologies. I think some of our deals have been morally reprehensible in the past. The same goes for any major investment bank. But i think we've done a very good job in 'cleaning up our act' over the past few years and the public has played a large part in that. With any luck we will see a much healthier banking industry soon.
How accurate is what is said on the Twitter handle @GSElevator? It's grossly exaggerated, but not entirely inaccurate...
You guys got trolled hard. A GS IBD guy not knowing how to upload something to the internet? Seriously wtf. Probably some guy from wso who wanted to feel like he was "in". Link to i.imgur.com Just doing some work now! Link to i.imgur.com In case you wondered what Lloyd's signature looked like.
Is there anyway you can help me out, connections or anything, someone I should talk to to get a interview? Can you interview me, I shall forward you my resume! Private message me and we will discuss. Sure i can help you out. I know how tough it is for you guys who are trying to get in!
Any thoughts on the MSI/SSG mini-scandal this week? Yes but won't comment.
Very hush hush.
I also work for GS. Which building are you in? I'm based in PBC. Also IBD, North. Would do an AMA and provide proof. I'm in PBC too, moved from RC quite a few years ago. I'm not sure exactly what sort of proof i'm supposed to provide...?
Would you say you were groomed for this kind of work from a young age? LSE is an elite school. Did you go to elite private schools growing up or were you an exceptional student at a normal school? Yes, Jimmy groomed me from four years old
Do you like your job, or should i say career? Yes. If i did not then i would go and sail around the world again.
From your experience, how relevant is CFA nowdays? Definitely worth doing.
How large was your Xmas bonus and did it get taxed over 50%? See below - total comp was c.600k and yes taxed above 50%
You said in other replies that you were 22 when you got this job and make 600K now. How old are you now, and how long did it take you to get the that salary level? Is it all commission? Was analyst at 22 and then moved up the ranks. Just turned 30, feeling old now!.
Can you give some insight on the business model of Investment banking? (I have no clue to be honest) . And what does a portfolio manager do exactly? Portfolio manager is not IBD. He/she would work in investment management e.g. for blackrock or GSAM or a hedge fund.
I'm currently writing a thesis on the future of rentierism in the gulf with an emphasis on Saudi Arabia. I don't have much of an economic background apart from this, but the international energy market is obviously important to my research. Can you recommend any good (preferably free or low cost) primers and newsletters on the subject? Hmm there are many on energy market but not too sure about rentier specific ones. Will have a think. I did my university thesis on Saudi and so will have a dig around.
How do you live with yourself? Knowing that the company that you work for doesn't give a fuck about you or anybody. All they care about is money. They have ruined america many times over. Seriously, how do you live with yourself? Actually our business is dependent on America and more importantly the rest of the world's prosperity. So actually our interests are nicely aligned.
Link to www.rollingstone.com. Seems to me like your bosses and former bosses don't give a flying fuck about anyone but themselves. Can you name one good thing Sachs has done since you have been there? I think you meant 'don't give a flying fuck" in your comment.
Do you happen to work with quantitative analysts? Depends which deal we are working on. Sometimes we need them, other times we don't.
What's your retirement savings invested in? Property (international and uk), shares mainly through tax efficient ways e.g. isa and EIS, pensions and artwork.
No swiss bank account i am afraid.
"The first thing you'll realize is that they are extremely disciplined. You would never come across a Goldman employee, who would, after two or three beers, say "My colleagues are a bunch of dickheads" From Money and Power William D Cohan. What do you have to say about this? I agree with it.
What advice would you give someone who is interested in going into finance and is currently in university. What would you have liked to do in your time spent at LSE now looking back? Party more! You only live once. You can have that advice for free.
Thanks for the AMA. Do you know anybody I could speak with regarding interviewing and internship opportunities? Private message me.
Doing an AMAA are you putting your job at risk for releasing company secrets/opinions whatever? I've not released a single company secret.
Edit: added an A to AMA. There's nothing in my contract to say I can't express my own opinions.
What do the hopes and dreams of Americans taste like? Raspberry sorbet, in my opinion
What is your feeling on the separation of traditional banking and investment banking as is proposed by the FSA? I think overall it's sensible - Barclays being the best example of why they should be separated.
At GS specifically of course we're not involved in traditional retail banking at all so it's not the most pressing issue for us at the moment.
You mentioned 80 hour work weeks. Could you explain the timeline for your typical work day. Do you work 7 days per week? Is your work more project based where you go non stop and have some time off between projects? There's no typical working day - some days are 18 hours and others are 12. Depends entirely what stage of a deal we are at. Generally I work 5/6 days a week, but keep in email contact with the office 24/7.
Yes, entirely project based. But if we are doing our jobs properly there's not much 'time off' in between.
I'm currently on target for a 2:1 or a first at university in my economics degree. But due to a slight hiccup in my a-levels, in which i got A* A C, still managed to go to a top 10 university but do they look at the C, which was in maths. Your university grades are definitely more important. If you do well in a mathematical module at uni that will allay any fears they have about an A-level grade.
Do they look at a-level grades and expect a minimum maths grade? I'm not bad at maths by any means, just an unfortunate anomaly in the exam season. Which uni are you at and what do you study?
Manchester and economics BA - but i have econometric modules and another mathematical module for 2nd year. Any chance of switching it to a BSc? Immediately reassures employers about your quantitative skills..
Hello there, first of all I want to thank you for doing this AMA. I am a dutch college student and currently I'm writing an essay about the BRIC countries. I used your book to write down predictions of their economic future, and I'd like to ask: did you participate in writing that book? Are you referring to Jim O'Neill's book? I have a copy on my desk, but no I wasn't involved in writing it.
What do the guys at GS think about @gselevator? See same q&a earlier on!
How often do interns get recommended to come back? In a good year, approx. 50% of an intern class will get hired.
In a bad year (2008 for example) perhaps only 10% or 20%
Any opinion on Nautilus Minerals? Can't comment on that company i am afraid.
How do you feel about manipulating the currency markets to screw over the average retail trader? I don't know what you are talking about.
Have you ever seen American Psycho? Yes.
I am going to copy and paste this in an email and send it around my team. You will famous at the firm, well at least in my team in london anyway! Yes of course i fucking do. The future is inevitable. Chuck Klosterman i like your name. That would also be an awesome interview question! And i give them 5 secs to answer.
I highly doubt GS interns work for free. I've almost never heard of an internship in finance that didn't pay -- most firms I've encountered usually pay the same base wage as the first year full timer positions you are interning for. Interns in front office at GS in london get circa £42k pro rata. So not bad for a summer job and remember no tax as they are below threshold across the year!
Gold Mansachs. Not sure about that one.
I prefer Goldman Snachs, the name of our canteen.
Yes, Jimmy groomed me from four years old But yes went to a private boarding school before. Widening the diversity of applicants in IB is a key target for HCM.
What is the future of investment banking in a new world order where both governments and the people are fed up with the excesses that led us into this credit crisis. The industry is always evolving, that's what makes it an exciting industry to be in. I imagine it will take us a good few years to fully regain the trust of certain clients, but ultimately if this whole saga causes us to readdress our methods and practices to improve our service then in the long run it's a positive outcome.
PS. Do you not think people should be fed up with the governments too, as well as the banks?
Not OP but I can answer this as a 2012 intern who got converted for Programming. A Math degree is a good +. There are 2 ways. Either join in as a programmer, show your merit and change departments, ie move to Quant side. Other option is to get a MBA, and join the I-Banking dept you want. What's your name?
Do you have any books or resources you'd recommend the layman for learning investment skills (i.e. the wealthy barber) I ask because i feel there is a lot of crap out there and would like to genuinely learn. I have never heard of the wealthy barber.
Last updated: 2013-01-16 15:54 UTC
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[Table] IAmA: I make $5,000+ per month with Google's Adsense program - AMAA

Verified? (This bot cannot verify AMAs just yet)
Date: 2012-04-16
Link to submission (Has self-text)
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Questions Answers
I have $500, I'm also a web developer with all the skills required to do this. I still don't see how you can make money off them? Would the plan be to buy up 1 to start, customise it maybe give it a refresh, fiddle with the SEO then leave it for a month and try to see returns of the $500? Or would it be considerably less? Would the ROI be $500 over 3 months? Whats your usual ROI? For the sites I sell on Flippa (quality, aged, established traffic/earnings) You can expect to buy the site for 30x monthly earnings.
How Do you buy a website that has already got an owner? Is there a website market? Do you approach them? You can email them and offer to buy there website.
Thanks for the fast reply, so the ROI is fairly low... I don't see how you can make money this way without somehow getting 30x more traffic to offset the bad earnings. What's the usual strategy when you buy one of these things? Tweak the ad placement/units, mess around with layouts, tweak SEO.
A 2.5 year return on investment isn't bad at all.
I am not sure why you got downvoted, but I think this will be interesting! If I were to get into something like this, how would I start? Thanks If you have $500-$1000 to jump in with, I'd suggest buying some site so that you throw yourself into the deep end. Start looking through sites at Flippa.com. Since they are established websites for sale, they will be disclosing EVERYTHING. Earnings, traffic, how they get the traffic, etc. These are great examples to get you in the mindset of a web entrepreneur.
I've visited Flippa many times, most of the sites that claim to be making money with the classic "I'm focusing on other projects which is why I want to sell" seem like complete BS to me. Aren't the only people making money the guys selling the sites? Not true at all. I actually sold off my inventory of 40+ sites because I'm literally too busy with other projects. The people who bought my websites are now enjoying the cash-flow that I used to have.
Also, there's pretty much no such thing as a "Set/Forget" website that makes you money. Everything needs some level of maintenance, and every site has the potential to stop making money overnight if google changes it's logarithm.
I'm not very familiar with all of this but it does look interesting. Can you break down what exactly it is you're doing? How are you earning money from this? So you buy up websites, place ads on the sites, and get money from the traffic? Am I getting this right? Spot on!
I looked briefly at one of your links and you said that you work around 40-50 hours a week. My hours fluctuate considerably. Some weeks are 10, some weeks are 50.
Is this something I could do on my spare time if I just wanted a little supplemental income? Can I just do 1-3 websites and monitor them occasionally? Is it a situation where unless you spend a lot of time and money on it, you won't see results? I started my business part time while I was a full-time student with another part-time job. You can easily start up with 10 hours a week. Just depends on how big you want to go with it.
Will you be my dad? I'm probably the same age as you but I think we can make it work. That depends. How hot is your mom? And do I get to have sex with her?
Another internet marketer here - congrats on your success bro. :) I never mess around with search or anything SEO related because I feel like it's too unreliable to rely on Google's (constantly changing) SEO algorithm. Just last month, thousands of people lost their entire income through that BMR debacle. Do you think you'll be able to keep up your income forever? SEO can be unreliable if you are trying to cheat the system. I pretty much follow Google's golden rule of creating quality content for the user, and they have had my back so far with every update.
Can I have $200? What are you going to do to earn it?
Do you have a background in graphic/web design? What niches did you find that pay the best and what the worst? How much traffic do you get a month? How do you market the site and generate traffic? SEO, social media, PPC, etc? Approximately how many hours do you put into the site a week and how long has the site been around? Do you need any additional help? If so would you be open to a possible partnership? No, I actually studied Construction Management in college. - Best paying is like forex, mortgages, foreclosures, mesothilioma (sp?) etc. Worst are education, kids stuff, etc. But it doesn't matter what the niche is, you can still make money in any. And the higher-paying niches have MUCH more competition. - I get over a million visits a month. - SEO, Social Media, no PPC. The sites I buy, I do no marketing since they are already getting traffic. - My main site has been around 6 years. I probably put 10-30 hours a week into it. - Not interested in partnerships. I've got a few employees but don't need anymore.
I own loser.com ...there must be a way to monitize that. Any thoughts? Probably sell it. I'm sure someone will pay a small fortune for it..
I make around $450-$500 a month off two sports forums. Forums are better to get more user generated content. It's usually lower quality, but you get it for free. Forums are also typically harder to monetize because forum browsers know not to click on the adsense units.
Are forums or blogs better for adsense earning? Should I concentrate on bringing in more posters to the forum, or more readers to the blog? Blogs can be tough because you have to do ALL the writing, however you can have higher quality content and probably more clicks since blog readers aren't quite as internet savvy as the interactive forum users.
Fuck dude, did I read that right? One hundred thousand pages of unique content? How much content constitutes a page, on average? Are we talking several hundred word articles? I can hardly think of any sites that approach that size, except social networking sites or forums. Did you create fmylife.com or something? Reddit probably has several million pages of content. Many of the pages are forum threads. Not all the highest quality content.
If I were to buy a site from flippa, for example one of yours (to make things easy), what happens after I 'win' the bid? I get the domainname, the site, the hosting? Do I just need to replace your adsense-ID (and/or others) with mine, or do I have to place them manually? Exactly. You can just replace the adsense ID with yours. You'll have to get your own hosting account, but that is relatively easy. I don't currently have any sites for sale though.
Be sure to look through Flippa for a while to get a feel for what is out there. There's a lot of junk, so it might take a while to find a diamond in the rough.
I'm kinda hesitant about buying one in the first place, I kinda read these horror stories about G banning these sites after the transfer was complete. Just make sure you aren't buying some crappy site. Look for history of traffic/earnings.
How can you tell if they post legit traffic and earnings information? They could pad their stats a lot or a little, or the info could be legit -- but inflated because the owner buys traffic through Adwords, etc. You can ask for access to their Google Analytics account. You can't fake that.
Is that what you usually do when buying a site? Can you describe your due diligence when purchasing? I researched site flipping, domaining, affiliate marketing etc etc ad nauseum a few years ago, but I didn't want to just throw my money away. There's a lot of devil in the details. Also, use SEMRush.com, Quantcast.com, Compete.com, Alexa.com to verify that their site actually gets traffic.
Would you mind to give detailed practical tips to earn a 10th of what you earn? I understand the whole process might be complex, but I am sure there are certain tricks or considerations you could share. Finding a nice niche is the main thing as it appear... What cms do you use? -Where do you host your websites? vps, dedicated server? -Do you consider it "easy" to make a couple hundred a month? I am a computer science student, and I feel comfortable with administering servers, cms and programming. I've been thinking for a long time to start some useful website that could bring me some earnings, and I have a couple of ideas. But when I search for something like what I want to create, it seems everything is already invented, and I am late. One of my "brightest" idea, was to copy the concept of some rather simple foreign website which I liked and create the "spanish" version. What kind of website do you recommend? (forum, social website, a kind of wiki) I prefer Wordpress for sites where I'm writing the content. - You can use any host. If you aren't a high traffic site, then anything will do. - It really depends how you spend your time. - Forums are easy to set up, and once you have a userbase established, they typically grow over time. You don't have to do all the content for forums as well.
People actually click the advertisements on websites? What the hell..... Seriously! Just watch some internet newb surf the net. Literally ask them to google something, and stand behind them silently as they try to figure it out.
What's the advantage to doing this rather than say, buying domains that are typos of other major sites and putting a shit load of ads on them? You aren't really creating any value in the internet by doing that.
My Adsense account has been disabled due to "false clicks" or however they put it. I never clicked on ads myself, and asked for proof, but they have never responded nor have they ever reinstated my account. Have you ever had this issue, and if so, how did you solve it? Create a corporation, get an EIN and use that to sign up again. Or sign up as a friend/relative.
Where do you find outsourcers to write content for your lessor properties? Do you do any SEO at all to your sites or just hope for the best by having great content? Are you a BHW regular at all? I find contractors through ODesk. Some are crap, but sometimes you do find a diamond in the rough. I also don't do much content creation at all.
I do basic SEO things, but other than that I hope for the best with great content.
Don't know what BHW is.
How do you feel about flash game portals? I've owned one for a few years, only spent 2 days making it, and haven't advertised it since. It's only making $5-10 a month, but I've been thinking about upgrading it lately and advertising again. Worth it? Tips? Don't have much experience, but I know that flash games portals typically have low-quality traffic. Unless you are seeing huge traffic numbers, the traffic probably isn't worth a terrible amount.
Did you buy any cool "toys" with your earnings? 2000 BMW M5.
And the rest just sex toys.
I know the best way of getting into it is to jump head first, but what all is required for the maintenance? I'm sorry i'm totally ignorant to how this works but is it programming (more so what language i think it would be html?)? Or do you just alter the info of the website. I've answered this several other places. I'll probably add an FAQ to the body of the post.
Do people ever buy specialty retail sites on Flippa? Or would they only be interested on autonomous ones (drop shipping, etc)? What is the value rate on such sites? All types of sites are sold on flippa. No idea what the value rate is for those.
Can a brotha get a loan? Try prosper.com or lendingclub.com if you are seriously interested in getting a hard money personal loan.
Did you just make this to piss off $500 a month guy? Hahaha, yes, that is what inspired me to do this today. Although I'm not making it up.
How to best estimate what to pay for a website? I found some abandoned websites that I would like to buy, both without analytics and without adsense, but with great content. How to decide what to offer the current owner? Use Alexa.com, SEMRush.com, compete.com, quantcast.com, etc. to estimate traffic then go from there.
So do you just sit at home and make a shit ton of money? please teach me? It is my full time job. Read this thread - there's a lot of info I and others have been sharing.
What is adsense? Google "Adsense"
I apologize if someone has asked this already, but how many unique visitors do you get a month on your main site? Over a million.
I'm going to manage an affiliate program soon. Do you know of any good books with email templates? I'm looking for ideas for contacting potential affiliates. Any information on managing affiliates would be great. I'm in NV also. I don't read any books. Too short of an attention span. When you contact potential affiliates, make sure that you are offering them value and have a customized email. I get emails for affiliate programs all the time and just ignore them because they are either recycled letters or don't fit my site at all.
NV rocks for business!
I've been interested in creating a site about something I am interested in. The only problem is that since I am interested in it, I've found many online resources that pretty much suffice. Is it worth making an online resource (for say, a hobby/sport) when there might already be some decent but not prevalent info out there? Definitely, especially if you can do it better than the other sites. There are 10 google positions on the first page, so even if you have competition, you can still nudge your way in. Also, there are billions of search terms that people use to find different stuff...
Hopefully I didn't get here too late. I could put about $3000 towards a site. How much traffic do you think an average $3000 site would generate and how much would you expect to make monthly doing the things you've suggested in this thread? If you bought a quality site for $3000, you could probably be looking at a starting cash flow of ~$100 a month. You could probably increase it, but there are too many variables so it really depends on what you buy.
What about if you made a domain that was the same as another other than the extension? Ie. "startknitting.com" exists but sucks balls and is out of date. Would "startknitting.org/net" still be a good idea? You'd probably run into some legality issues there. I'd start with a different name and then try to blow them out of the water. Will take time though.
All right, I'll bite. I'm a graphic/web designer with far more coding experience than I'd like, and in that same vein I've ended up spending a good chunk of my time on SEO/staring at traffic graphics. How easy would it be for me to buy a site, flip it, and start earning money? Given that you already have the skills, pretty good. My strategy was never to buy/flip. It was always to buy/hold, but eventually I decided to change that strategy to just holding onto one site.
Is there any particular industry I should be looking at for this venture? Or is it just "pick whichever site looks promising?" This wouldn't be something I'd want to focus on full-time, but I'm a freelance designer so I would be able to allot hours to work on it between projects as needed. What does typical maintenance work look like for you? Pick something that looks promising, and also something that interests you at least somewhat.
What do you have to learn in order to start out doing this. Like, which books, websites should one read/study? I just jumped in head first. Learned along the way.
I never read books. Just figure stuff out as you go along - Googling things works best.
Could you explain what affiliate links are? For example, a link to a product on amazon with my Affiliate ID on it. If you click it, and then buy that product, I get a commission.
Could you please draw and post an image of how you have your google ads placed around / inside the content. Also, what link color schemes do you find works best? Color schemes that match the site are best. I typically put my adsense units in the top left, above or in the middle of the content.
I have an established (10 years) useful user-generated content site that gets ok traffic (1500 uniques a day) but only generates 800-1000 a month between AdSense and TextLinkAds. I've had no luck whatsoever with Affiliate programs, very few clicks and no sales at all, with thousands of views. Any advice to increase my earnings? Take a look at the FAQ. I don't give personalized advice. I've already answered questions like this all throughout the thread.
Are you, by chance, a local mom? Hahaha, nope. I see those scammy biz opp ads all the time too. Freaking gives making money on the internet a bad name.
Can you give an estimated "$/pageview" on some of the sites you've had ? :) All over the board. Sometimes a fraction of a cent, sometimes 10 cents.
Do you need to live in NV to have an S-Corp in NV? You should be a resident or else it might look suspicious.
Wait, isn't it against the Adsense TOS to say how much you've made? Already answered this a dozen times.
Do you actually make/work on/improve sites you own (other than your blog) to make money or just buy sites that are already making money? Yes, I work on my own site.
Spare change? Can you do a dance for me?
How do you actually make money though? Sorry i just wasn't sure by what you wrote on your blog/ Google "Adsense"
Are you a single mom that earns $5,000 a day from Google? Stay at home mom.
So every once in a while someone comes along and says "hurr durr guys I make X thousand dollars / month off ads". "Invest Y thousand dollars and get 50% return within months!" How full of shit is this on a scale of bullshit to horseshit? I don't see where I said anything about investing...
I didn't say you did. I'm not sure I understand what you are asking then.
Other than buying a site, are there other significant costs involved in getting started right away? Time!
How do you get a website to the top of the google results? SEO.
Can I get my friend to write me a script or code for this? Not sure if troll Or just extremely lazy.
Would I be able to sell my site, DominateDominion.com for anything? Getting tired of the game. It has a sponsorship from the creators of the game for weekly tournament prizes if that increases the value. Check the FAQ. I don't offer personalized advice. You could try listing it on Flippa.
Alright, well are the sites that claim to value it accurate at all? Hit or miss. Sometimes they get lucky and happen to be correct, but otherwise are pretty outlandish.
These are almost as bad as the "what you need, when you need it" spam sites. Thanks for polluting the Internet with your shitty web sites. That is not at all what I do. I actually run a very helpful online community. My success is partly attributed to the fact that my site is extremely helpful for people.
You may be able to fool some people with that description, but it's a load of crap. These sites are, in your own words, "hands-off" and "auto-pilot". I'm willing to bet the content of most of those sites have changed very little, if at all, over the years. How does that make it low content?
Have you ever thought of of shoring yourself and your employees to increase profit, there is some great talent out there in parts of the world where the average wage is significantly lower than the US. I've used some overseas contractors with limited success. I do business primarily in the US, so going overseas would just complicate things in terms of taxes.
He got downvoted because he's a parasite. It is SEO at its basest, simply there to make ad revenue. Microsites provide nothing of value. I don't have any microsites. Thanks though.
Um, you might want to watch out. It's against the TOS to post your adsense earnings, and with those exact figures it's fairly easy for them to trace it back to you.. Last thing you'd want is your adsense account blocked because of this :) Do some more research. You can't post more details like the click-through rates, etc. It is perfectly fine to share your total earning dollar amounts.
As a 14 year old, AdSense is also my main source of income. I'm pretty sure they don't want us to disclose how much we make, but it's great that someone my age can make money on the internet. I get it through YouTube, personally, but it still pays with AdSense. Nice man! Its great to see kids doing something productive! Don't let it get to your head though. Stay in school. Enjoy your young age.
I don't mean to be a party pooper, but 3 friends of mine were making $20-30k/mo on adsense per month, one day Google changed their rules and they are now ruined. Just be prepared, don't count on this success for life, and save money. Thanks, but Adsense only accounts for about 20% of my income. I'm also not doing anything sketchy or against the rules, so I'm not too worried about it.
Looks good man. I was making $2k a month up until 2 months ago when my adsense got banned. Some guys who I had a bad business deal with decided to sit there for hours and click my ads over and over. This turned into google thinking that I was cheating the system and banning me :( Sucks! Try signing up again under a different EIN.
How do you build sites with user generated content. Perhaps give us an example, real or made up. The tools you liked are good for proving and tweaking, but making something that generates its own content seems difficult, and key to the process. Reddit.com....
I'm currently making ~$400 in a small niche where I have the #1 position. Any advice on scaling (general advice) in an attempt to get rich like a playyaaaaaaaaa. Rank #1 for more keywords! Go broader.
Congrats srnc! I'm very pleased for you. I wish I was pulling in that kind of revenue. I have a site that does about $10 a day with a .23 click rate. If I could get that up to 5% I'd (theoretically) be doing $200 a day. But I've tried everything and it's just not an Adsense type of site I guess.. The only advice I have is to move your adsense unit around, try different sizes and different colors.
Man, I have tried everything, including compete site redesign. This is a site I developed myself, so changing look and feel isn't easy.... I just don't think it's an Adsense site.... Might not be. Try some CPA offers or affiliate promotions?
I think you broke Google's Terms of Service by telling us all this. Nope. Look more closely. You can't share some of the finer details... clicks, impressions, CTR, CPM, etc.
In before the next dot-com bubble bursts. Hurry! Why do you think I'm selling everything?
there was spam, now there is googleadsense, and a labyrinthine expanse of well-indexed garbage websites that clutter the google results. Using google now is like wading through a septic tank filled with liquid waste and floating shit so that parasites like 'srnc' can have their little payday. Not at all true. My main site is an authority site because it has been providing quality content to visitors for years.
'Quality content' produced by others, for you to exploit and parasitize. Someone is a little jealous!
Is reddit exploiting and parasitizing the content you create for them?
Sorry mate, you've already described your modus operandi in how you acquire these websites and set them up as cashcows/google clutter. There is no real contribution that you make, or any added value to be found in your net activities. You're basically the equivalent of a spam-sheister. Again, jealousy/ignorance coming through. You have no idea what I do and are just upset that I make more than you do.
Money for nothin' and chicks for free. False on both counts.
Nice try, google ad. = . = I can't imagine that Google is trying to spam Reddit...
I make you zero money by blocking ads. Ask me how! Oh fuck you, just use adblock plus. Thanks. Glad that not many people have that. However my affiliate links which make the bulk of my money are never blocked by your addon! Muhuhahahaha.
Commenting to come back later cause im stuck at work, and want to learn how to make 5 grand a month doing this shit. Cool. Be sure to read through this thread. Already answered a LOT of questions.
Keep working at it. Join us at the 4-5 figure daily profit club. It's pretty damn nice. Think more affiliate related stuff for expansion. Thanks man! I want to hit 1M/year soon.
Could you go into more detail concerning the SEO work. This seems like the most important and time consuming aspect of making a website get the traffic it needs. I just do basic SEO stuff with my main site. Keywords in the title, fresh content linked to from the home page, etc.
Last updated: 2012-04-20 22:59 UTC
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[Table] IamA MrRavenblade, A Real Life SuperHero (RLSH) who has been doing this for over 12 years (6 in seattle).

Verified? (This bot cannot verify AMAs just yet)
Date: 2012-05-02
Link to submission (Has self-text)
Link to my post
Questions Answers
What is your proudest achievement, Mr. Ravenblade? Looking back, I still remember that first woman I helped. I think of her often, and I cant help but wonder what her life is like now. Does she have kids? A family? A Husband? How would her life have been different if I had not helped her? I wonder this for a lot of people I have helped over the years, but to be honest, I can not help but be proudest of the first time I - scared and worried - told myself "Hey this is not right, I cant just sit back and do nothing". The first time is always the hardest. I had training in different things and was at the time studding martial arts but no real practical street experience; But still I had to try and I thin that theproudest achievement was just being willing to put myself out there and help make the world a better place.
Do you have a signature costume or logo? Its not about me. Yes I have a logo, etc.
Yeah, but can't you go into detail about a specific altercation...? Unlike others in Seattle, I don't brag about my past.
A hero is humble.
But seriously, can you go into details about anything you've done? I have filed charges against known criminals, I have helped police apprehend a fugitive, I have protected people from attempted rape, I have assisted in investigations, I have patrolled areas or communities known to be high crime, I have done charity work such as walk for babies, events for TreeHouse for Kids, donated money I raised to missions, fed the homeless, gone to McDonalds and bough 50 cheeseburgers at at time so i could hand them out to the homeless, the list goes on..
So you're saying that in Seattle, there are a bunch of superheros running around? Also if you make an AMA about being a superhero and don't "brag" about your past... You're going to have a bad time. I just don't want to be a dick.
Then why post an AMA...? I was asked to.
For the record you got down voted by everyone (not me, I don't down vote) because you did not answer a question instead you talked all about yourself and then said you don't brag; which you did. Interesting AMA, but I wish you would answer questions. I answered every question asked. If I missed one, I am not aware of it..
Awesome, sounds like some legitimate work there, well done sir. Anybody could do this. I'm not special. I just choose to not let fear stop me.
It's reddit, dude. We want you to be a dick. I think you have the wrong idea about reddit my friend, the people here are kinder than that and care a lot more about the people around them than you think.
That is why things like Link to www.reddit.com , among others, exits.
Have you ever been bashed or hurt while on the job? Yes.
I had to laugh because for a second, I thought you meant "I just choose to not let fear stop me... from buying cheeseburgers at McDonald's. AWAY!" The next time you have the cash, order 50$ of 1 dollar cheeseburgers from McDonalds. the look on the face of the person taking your order when you do it inside is great, and the sound of them going "wait, what?" on the drive though is also very funny.
Reddit's been taken over by a lot of supervillains lately, Mr. Ravenblade. :( Most of them are bots tho, so they don't exist out in the real world.
Are you concerned that criminals will see that you're tied up answering these questions and use this opportunity to steal the big diamond out of the museum? No.
That was a boring answer :( Ok so lets spice it up a bit.
I'm not worried. The diamond in the museum is a fake, the real one has already moved on to the next location, protected by ninjas that look like kittens.. that all have flame throwers.
That raises a lot of disturbing questions about the value of diamonds. Sure, stealing is wrong but is being burned to death by kitten-shaped ninjas an appropriate punishment for taking one? You have become the tyranny you despise, sir. But, Kitties! Look at the Kitties!
Do you feel that you do a better job than the police? What profound impacts have you made since you began doing this? My father was a Cop and he had a profound effect on my life.
I know from personal experience that the cops do what they can, with the limited funding and resources available to them. I have nothing but respect for the good cops out there - the bad apples are a cancer that make the rest look bad - as it takes a lot of guts to get up at 4am, strap a ballistic vest on, put on your gun, and kiss your loved ones before leaving, never knowing if you will see them again.
I do what I can, like them. I do not do "better" or "worse". I'm just doing it from a different perspective. And like them, I respect the rule of law.
Its hard to say or list all of the good I have done I have been doing this for over 12 years so there has been a lot of people I have helped, homeless I have fed or clothed, foster kids that needed warm coats, babies screened for cancer, etc. I like to think that the good ripples out.
May I ask you why you didn't choose to became a police officer? I saw my father constantly struggle to provide for others on a very low paying salary, despite the good he did every day. Even he wanted to quit and be a judge, because the pay was better.
I wanted to be, but I knew I could do more good going in another direction.
Uh, judges are lawyers, not former police officers. Good catch, I wondered if people would get it.
Unless your dad was also a lawyer being a judge would not be an option. He studied very hard, had to move around to do it, etc. But he wanted to take care of people so he did what he needed to.
How can i get started doing this? What are some tips you could give me? So i just read your FAQ, whats the difference between you and a neighborhood watch? What prompted you to take up the mask? You can get started by calling up your local police and setting up a ride along. There are also often citizens academy style classes you can take. This will give you the best intro to law enforcement, as well as put you in the best terms with police.
Neighborhood watch is more passive.
Do you ever hope there will be a time their be a mask on every corner, and the we will live in a world where heroes arent wanted they are needed. because we'll have some crazy supervillian? I hope the day we are needed that much never comes.
So if i want to be a real superhero and do all the cool ass kicking i should join that other guys group? No, he just uses camera tricks and actors in the form of his extended family an friends to make you think that.
Dude, you are a vigilante, might as well admit it. Define "vigilante". Clearly you and I have a different definition of it. I don't go all Judge Dredd on people (nobody should) and that is what I see a vigilante.
Fuck this shit imma start my own group and just be kick ass no videos no names just ass kicking. Thats called a gang... I doubt that would be productive.
Your definition of vigilante is irrelevant. Many criminals don't consider themselves as criminals either. Their opinion on the matter is also not relevant. I don't punish people, as required by the definition.. as such, I am not a vigilante. The cops, the law, etc, punishes them.
The textbook definition of vigilante is "vigilante is a private individual (or (pl.) group of individuals) who presumes to carry out extralegal punishment in defiance of existing law." "vigilante is a private individual (or (pl.) group of individuals) who presumes to carry out extralegal punishment in defiance of existing law."
Were you in that documentary on real life superheroes? The name evades me but I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. If you weren't why not? The documentary was very political in the RLSH community, and I was not in it because I had some philosophical differences with some of the people who are in it. Namely, I dint like the commercialization of the RLSH altruistic spirit that it represented.
question, how often do you get laid? Until recently I was in a very long term relationship; While in that relationship I was 100% monogamous, then it ended because she was not somebody I could trust. The relationship was good however; It also shielded me from what we in the RLSH community call call "Cape Chasers", women who get involved in the RLSH community simply to find "a good guy" or just to get banged by a guy in a cape. I'm not kidding, these women exist and its a real problem as they often try to start drama or get guys in the community fighting over them.
So every occupation involving capes aparently has groupies. I guess groupies is a good word for it, but doesn't really fit as more often than not the women enjoy the attention enough to start doing the RLSH thing and sometimes they stay even after the relationship that got them into it ends.
What kind of personal safety equipment do you wear - bullet proof vest or other body armor perhaps? Bullet Proof Armor, bought off the shelf as well as some custom made stuff.
In Seattle a lot of people who are ignorant or simply new to the scene like to brag about their Kevlar stuff; But to me any time I see people brag about that sort of thing I laugh and cry a little, because it only shows they are ignorant about Kevlar in general and have not made the effort to educate themselves, since Kevlar loses its protection when it gets wet.. and we have a lot of rain in the area.
Have you ever met Cincinnati's "Shadow Hare"? Have you ever gotten hurt? Does anyone ever try to be a "Super Villain"? Shadow Hare is a political topic in RLSH circles; I'm not sure of the exact details and I was not there so I cant really speak on it with authoritativeness.
Political topic? Could you explain what you know/what you mean when you say "Political Topic" (saw it mentioned below) out of curiosity? I understand you weren't there, just wondering on the gist of it. It was a polarizing event in RLSH history. Anytime you have "sides" the community suffers, I would rather focus on the things I know about and can speak authoritatively about.
What was polarizing about it? what is it? I'm not sure of the details, as I tried to stay as far away from it as possible at the time. I understood that he injured himself or something, and it created drama i wanted no part of.
How do you make a living? I don't think you would accept money for your hero services. (I am guessing you run your own business? If so, may I ask what it is?) No true RLSH would accept money for doing it. I will not say what it is - I said ask em anything, not I will tell you anything - as it would endanger other people.
Also, have you been shot or stabbed? or was there an attempt? Or have you always been able to diffuse the situation before it went that far. Yes. Stabbed and Shot. And its not a cool thing; its a failure on my part to negotiate or otherwise handle the situation without the need for violence.
Fair enough, I was just curious as it probably requires a lot of time to go out and be a RLSH, a normal 9-5 job would not make that easy. I do a lot of night stuff. One thing about being the boss, is nobody cares if you get in late in the mornings.
What is your relationship with law enforcement? Do they know/trust you, or do they resent the vigilante act? I consider my relationship with law enforcement to be one based on respect. Every time I interact with them, I give them the respect they deserve and they treat me with more than the amount of respect I feel entitled to. I'm not a vigilante, so that's not a problem.
Do you videotape your actions to act as evidence? Maybe a GoPro camera? In WA state we have laws about recording that have to be followed. I have a press pass among other things, so that helps, but in the end the law needs to be respected.
Would you say that you're the weirdo Seattle needs, or more the weirdo Seattle deserves? I think I'm the guy Seattle needed; now the community has grown since I was the only RLSH in the area. I see myself as jump starting the movement locally since I was at one time the only one, but in the end my goal is to mentor and provide my experiences, all the while doing what I do best.
Do you know Phoenix Jones? He and I don't get along; He actually threatened to kill innocent people when I spoke out against his violent actions when he first started. I don't consider him to be a RLSH, and that was why he had to start his own little RCSH thing, because nobody wanted him in the community.
Sadly, yes.
So you said you shouldn't pepper spray people, then he said he would murder innocents? In my opinion he has an issue with control.
It follows this that He likes to make people submit to him, and gets scared when it looks like he doesn't control the situation. I personally believe it stems from his childhood and the sense of abandonment he got from some of the things that happened to him - and for this , I truly pity him - but the end result is that when he doesn't have control over people (like he doesn't have control over me, for example when I am speaking out against him) he gets angry and makes threats in an attempt to control them that way, thought the people they love or otherwise by using them or their safety as a hostage of sorts.
This sort of action to me is something only an evil person would do.. and that's why I don't trust him or think of him as a hero at all.
On Tuesday, the 1st of May 2012, Phoenix Jones and crew allegedly pepper sprayed members of the Occupy movements's May Day demonstrators in downtown Seattle.[23]. In an interview on the Bob Rivers Show on 2nd May, Phoenix Jones asserted that, while undercover with the protesters, several of them revealed to him a plot to bomb the city courthouse. Damn that's nuts. Do you have any stories like that?! After I lost a female friend in 9/11, I looked into military service. Does that count?
But he does have a pretty cool suit, I bet it is expensive. Its rubber and it was pretty cheap from what understand. The only thing custom about it that I know of is the stuff he cut from it around the face.
Dragonskin is pretty expensive, at least 5 grand. What he has is not Dragonskin, last I checked. I'm sure he wants to tell people it is, but my understanding is he cant legally get it due to his criminal records, so if it is, that's just another thing for the police to bust him for.
Criminal records? In WA anybody with a record is not allowed to own ballistics gear. Doing so will only get you in more trouble, last I checked the law.
Do people know your irl identity? I'm very open with my RL identity to the police and several people have tried to unmask me to them, resulting in a lot of laughter.
Have any criminals you tried apprehending laugh when they saw you (considering the out of placeness of superheros...)? If so what did you do? I think it should be a prerequisite that people have a good relationship with the police, etc to do this work. If the police don't like you, you are going to have a hard time.
Do you have to use a particular set of skills (i.e martial arts) to take down criminals? Have you had to use it on any thugs? Did you come out victorious? I only use my martial arts skills in self defense; A real hero ends a fight, he doesn't start it.
Do you have any super powers? Or are you like batman. Or sherlock holmes? I got into business because I saw that Ironman and Batman were the ones funding all the other heroes..
I've read every reply in this thread. Can you please explain how humbleness and bragging about media exposure and having a facebook fan page go hand in hand? I'd also love to hear why you think you get more respect and inspire more people by wearing a ridiculous costume? I'm put in a difficult position; I want to promote humbleness, by using marketing skills to promote good values as if they are a product, with the goal that if people "buy" into the idea that people should be excellent to other it will promote positive change in the world. Yet these very things require me to put myself out there.
You actually might inspire people if you dropped the costume act. If you wore all black and a ski mask, you'd look badass versus people thinking you are late for filming a power rangers episode. Its a struggle either way, and I welcome any feedback or ideas you have.
I get that but just to let you know it doesn't come off that way. The whole "persona" just screams look at me look at me. Because if I do it with just my face exposed to the world, people will say "oh, he is just doing it for the social credibility", or worse, they could think I am a great guy and somehow above them socially.. and that would make it more difficult for others to be inspired. That is exactly what I DO NOT WANT. The less personal attention/social reward I get for my heroic deeds, the people I help, etc, the better.
You obviously are doing good in what you do but the reaction is indifference or laughter because of this persona you have. Can you please explain why you think you are taken more seriously by wearing a costume, having a ridiculous superhero name versus just wearing normal clothes and doing the same thing? Apple uses shadows in its ads for a reason: to inspire people into thinking "that could be me"/. The mask is the same thing, basically.
What kind of gadgets do you use? I go into this a little on the TV spots I have done, but a lot of the tools I use are now standard fare as everybody seems to have copied me. Bear Mace, Extendable Stun Batons, Stun Devices of multiple kinds, gear for dealing with the cold, handout supplies, ballistic vests, etc.
How do the police permit you to carry this stuff and use it? Isn't it illegal? Not illegal at all.
As I said in a video I did, the important thing in Seattle limits is to make sure you have no concealed weapons over 6 feet in length (yes, its an actual law) and stay away from projectile weapons. I also stay away from bladed weapons just to be safe; I don't need them to protect myself and I would hate for somebody else to get hurt by mistake.
Do you find it hard to move in costume and all the stuff you hold? I imagine it would be pretty hard. Uniform is designed to not create issue.
What do you think about the "war on drugs?" I think more data is needed on drugs, and being as I have no experience with any sort of drug that my doctor did not prescribe me, I'm not an authority on it either way. I do know however that they are illegal, so society clearly expects me to stay away from them.
Also, the obvious question: If you could have any super power, what would it be? Super Power? Given my science education, I wouldn't mind being able to manipulate the Fundamental Interaction of matter at will. Magneto could only control one of them, after all.
People who use drugs, who aren't junkies or 16 yearolds are often pretty private about their habit, its not something they're going to bring up in general conversation. Exactly.
People often don't bring up things they are ashamed of.
I'm pretty sure Charlie Sheen makes more than 100k a year and he's a coc addict. Maybe I should edit that to say "outside of media"
Are you familiar with Superman Blue? As I understand it from the toy box, he had power over the entire electromagnetic spectrum, which I think means that he could even fuck up shit that we don't even see. There are multiple versions of the Blue Superman; Read this Link to en.wikipedia.org
I wouldn't say all are ashamed, its like someone who enjoys a brand of beer, it doesn't become an adopted aspect of their lifestyle like stoners seem to portray, its just something they do and enjoy. My only experience with people who are open about it has been negative.
It's not statistical if it's an anecdote. According to this study, the only people that abuse drugs MORE than those making > $65,000 are those making below poverty. Drugs are illegal, its not up to me, and the fact is it doesn't matter what I think of them because they are still illegal no-matter what I think. I don't use them, I'm not an authority on them, and I honestly don't care for them.
Do you have like a social disorder? Some of your responses are a little tense bud, loosen up. It's the Internet. I'm at work. I may be the boss but I still have to work, bro.
So you're saying that Ebony is automatically subservient to ivory? No.
Do you have a job? Yes.
I own a company.
You consider yourself a superhero, so yeah, delusions of grandeur, among other things, is self-evident. Ok for your benefit, I'm going to drop the persona for a single post and lay some truth down on you. People don't care about the world. That is why the world is so fucked up. Nobody cares about their fellow man, communities can not depend on the people to take care of themselves, men in general have become pussies who no longer protect their part of the world, and in general, most people are greedy and selfish. To that end, most people just want to be entertained; So the result of this is the people who want to do good, must do so while also being entertainers. The end result of this is that most of the RLSH you see, while going out into the world and doing the good they can, have to go the persona/superhero thing.
People with mental disorders rarely see themselves that way.
Have you considered any post secondary education? I think "Dr. RavenBlade" would strike fear into the hearts of criminals! )
Thoughts? Yes I am a RLSH - have been for over a 10 years - but I don't really see the so called "Villains" like Rex as "bad" myself; I think the "community" of RLSH really needs them. If anything, we need more of them. They serve to deflate the egos of people who take themselves far too seriously, the sort of subgroup in the RLSH community that all too often thinks too much of themselves when they should be humble role models.
Its also clear this guy has help from somebody who knows a little something about media, and has thrown in some humor. This should do well given that Peter T sold out teh RLSH community when he decided to support PJ just to help his career. So yes, I support Rex, just as I supported Tiny Terror, Agent Null, and all the other so called "RLSV" even though technically as a RLSH I guess I'm supposed to hate them or something, because I know that ultimately, good things will come out of it.
I am looking forward to how this unfolds.
I did not expect the response that you gave but i am glad that you gave it. Thank you for being a person of a sound and rational mind. You are welcome. I only hope as the community grows more people will have a use for rational logic.
You may or may not be corrupt, but you're setting a precedent -- whether you admit it or not, your existence is inspiration for others, regardless of what you want. You're certainly not advocating for a vigilante-focused crime response system, are you? You certainly don't think the police are unnecessary, and that you and your team should handle crime, do you? Respectfully, You are wrong about me being a Vigilante or the idea of me trying to inspire others to be one. The law is explicit in that it allows what I do, in the way that I do it. If you do not like it the only think you can do is vote to get rid of peoples right to defend themselves... but i don't think you will be very successful. But for every Jones there are dozens of others who honestly want to do good, use their logic and reason and not further their failed careers, and in the end the world is better place for it.
Do you fit any of the common themes for many superheros? (newspapers, millionare, dead parents, etc.) Yup.
Broken Home, Dead Relatives, Misc Training, interested in business, among others.
Covert government training? What does this mean? It just seems so vauge... I am also hoping you don't say "I can't talk about that" because then you wouldn't even mention it. It says "Misc Training"... ;)
It also says "7 hours ago*" but I'll leave that one alone. Don't suppose you'll expound on 'misc training'? Either way thank you for letting me (and I am sure others) know about a fascinating subculture I was otherwise unaware of. One last question, what's the story or reason behind the name? It was given to me by a loved one before she died in a car wreck due to a drunk driver.
Do you have a nemesis? Evil.
Not "RLSV" Evil. These people are much needed critics and I think help the RLSH community in the long run. No, I consider people who rape, kill, or otherwise hurt kids to be my biggest enemy. I hate pedophiles.
Would you win in a fight against 'Kick Ass'? Why would we fight?
Hypothetical situation obviously, as a comparison of abilities. So hypothetically, say he and I spared. As friends.
I'm much bigger than he is. I have more muscle, and tactical training he lacks. So its safe to say he and I are not even in the same weight class.
To be honest I would be worried about hurting him, so I would probably let him test himself and be on the defensive until I knew he could handle things or he got a good shot in. I would probably still win, but whats the point of letting a friend lose without teaching him something?
All valid points. Tactical training you say? )
Have you seen the HBO documentary "superheroes"? thoughts? do you know any of the superheroes in it? do you appreciate their work? This is a duplicate of the same question above :)
Do you have another job? How would I start doing this??? I own a company.
You start by doing what I said in FAQ, and by checking with your local police force for a ride along.
I just got back from Seattle. Can you do something about all the hipsters and panhandlers? Are you asking me to beat up on homeless people?
Maybe you could hire the homeless people to beat up the hipsters? People that are homeless typically don't have that kind of work ethic, not when so many options exist for them to no longer be homeless.
Speaking from experience working with the homeless adults are often homeless because they want to be, or because they have mental disabilities that keep them from being able to take advantage of the options available. Children are often homeless due to no fault of their own, or because they ran away from a worse situation, and now they don't trust anybody.
The only time I see you guys (or at least phoenix jones) is posing with girls stumbling out of the clubs. How do you feel that's working on your image to be taken legitimately? I think that sort of thing is actively doing damage to the reputation of the community, especially when he has stated publicly that his girlfriend - not wife, so I can only assume based on his public statements that he doesn't have the balls to marry her despite saying publicly he has a kid with her - expects him to be faithful like the hero he claims to be.
I don't mind if he's being faithful or not, I just think that he and others look less legit when they're just doing photo ops for people and the news. Both issues apply.
How can he call himself a hero if he is acting in a way that even LOOKS unfaithful to his significant other?
Did you not get arrested recently? I thought I saw a video online where you were the one starting shit. Quick edit: Maybe not, but is this a bro of yours? No I am not a "bro" with that guy. Unlike him, I do not have a criminal record. I don't consider him to even be a RLSH.
Can you do multivariate calculus? Thats a large branch of study, but I have found it most useful in my ForEx and stock market efforts.
Last updated: 2012-05-07 02:14 UTC
This post was generated by a robot! Send all complaints to epsy.
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Euro hits 3-week low vs dlr on bailout delay worries

This is an automatically generated summary, original reduced by 69%.
TOKYO - The euro slid to a three-week low versus the dollar on Thursday as officials in Europe considered delaying a bailout package for Greece even as the indebted country met demands set by international lenders.
Several EU sources said on Wednesday the euro zone is examining ways of holding back parts or even all of the bailout program until after elections expected in Greece in April while still ensuring it avoids a disorderly default.
The euro is under pressure as the talk of delaying the bailout package is raising uncertainty.
That uncertainty prevented the euro benefiting from news that party leaders in Athens have met the final two demands set by the country's international lenders to seal the bailout.
The euro fell 0.4 percent to $1.3007, slipping below important support including a 38.2 percent retracement of its rally this year at $1.3056, and its 55-day moving average of $1.3052.
As doubts about the bailout package for Greece undermined risk assets, the currency slipped 0.2 percent to stand at $1.0680.
Summary Source | FAQ | Theory | Feedback | Top three keywords: euro#1 bailout#2 percent#3
Also posted in /Economics.
NOTICE: This thread is for discussing the submission topic only. Discussion of the autotldr bot goes here.
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