Day: July 18, 2019

Moneyish: These 11 cities, states and countries will pay you to move there

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It pays to live in this Greek paradise.

Antikythera, an island in the Aegean Sea between Crete and mainland Greece, boasts picturesque harbor towns and idyllic beaches surrounded by aquamarine waters. Yet only 20 people, including three children, live on the underpopulated island that mainly consists of male pensioners over 70.

So the local diocese of the Greek Orthodox Church is trying to lure in families with young children by offering a monthly stipend of 500 euros (about $565) for the first three years that they live there, the Los Angeles Times reported, which adds up to a little over $20,000 to help them get on their feet. The chosen ones will also be given a house, and a plot of land on which to either farm or start a business.

Preference will be given to Greek citizens, and four families have already been selected to be sponsored to live on the island, the LA Times noted. Yet the church will continue to consider other applicants to help boost the local population and its economy. “If nothing is done, the island will be deserted,” the mayor told Greek City Times last year.

Charalambos Andronos/iStock
This is the scenic Potamos village in Antikythera island, Greece.

If a remote island without a supermarket or a gas station where you need to speak fluent Greek is a bit of a stretch, those looking to get paid to relocate can also check out Vermont.

The Green Mountain state is ready to give remote workers from out-of-state plenty of green, offering them up to $10,000 over two years if they relocate to the state on or after Jan. 1, 2019. The Remote Worker Program is offering these grants on a first-come, first-served basis to encourage young professionals to live and work in the state. (Vermont has the country’s third-highest median age at 42.7 years, and its overall population has remained flat or shrunk slightly.) These new residents will get $5,000 a year to put toward qualifying expenses, which can include relocation costs, computer software and hardware, broadband access, as well as a membership to a coworking space.

Related: This U.S. state will pay you $10,000 to move there

And Vermont is just the latest New England state coaxing young professionals with financial perks. While Maine has no trouble drawing about 36 million tourists to explore its rocky coastline each year, getting local graduates to stay for good, or drawing in young professionals from other states, has been harder. (Its median age is also high; 44, or five years older than the median age across the rest of the country.) So the 2008 Opportunity Maine Tax Credit, which helps pay off the student loans of Maine residents, has expanded to out-of-state workers. After you move to Maine, the amount of money you put toward paying your student loans each year is subtracted from your state income taxes. So if you pay $1,800 in student loans, but you owe the state $2,000 in taxes, then you just pay Maine $200 at tax time.

DenisTangneyJr/iStock
Vermont will pay remote workers $10,000 over two years — if they move there.

The catch is, out-of-state residents must have earned their bachelors or associates degrees after 2015 to qualify; that suggests the initiative is targeted toward grads in their mid-to-late 20s, assuming they pursued their degrees right after high school. Maine residents who earned a degree after 2007 and before 2016 from a Maine school can still get the benefit, however. Visit the site to see if you meet the requirements, or to fill out the tax credit form.

And in 2017, the mayor of Candela, Italy began offering up to 2,000 euros (about $2,350), CNN Travel reported, to lure people back to the picturesque Medieval village that has seen its population drop from more than 8,000 residents in the 1990s to just 2,700. Interested newcomers must live inside Candela, rent a house and have a job paying a salary of at least 7,500 euros ($8,800) per year to be approved for the generous offer. Singles will receive 800 ($940) euros from the town coffers, couples will get 1,200 euros ($1,400), three-member families will get 1,500 to 1,800 euros ($1,760-$2,100), and families of four to five people will get more than 2,000 euros ($2,350). Candela may also give tax credits on city waste disposal, bills and nurseries in the future.

The town has yet to respond to MarketWatch requests for comment about the application process. If Americans do want to move to Italy, however, they have to apply for a visa; visit the Department of State’s website for more details.

But you don’t have to cross an ocean to find a city willing to pay you a premium to live there. These U.S. and Canadian cities — and even the entire state of Alaska — are pulling out the stops to pay you to stay.

New Haven, Connecticut

The New England city’s Re:New Haven initiative offers up to $80,000 in incentives for new homeowners, including $10,000 interest-free to use as a down payment on a new home, or to cover your closing costs on a house. It’s also offering up to $30,000 toward home renovations and energy-saving upgrades, and $40,000 for college tuition. Plus, city employees, teachers, firefighters, police officers and military members get an extra $2,500 on top of that. And once you’re settled in, the city also guarantees free in-state college tuition to students graduating from New Haven public schools. Your income can’t exceed 120% of the city’s median family income, but they’ve got a calculator to figure out where you stand.

Baltimore, Maryland

Buying into Baltimore gives 30 potential residents $5,000 toward buying a new house in the city through a lottery twice a year at its spring/summer and fall/winter events. The mortgage can’t be greater than $517,000, however, and you’ve got to close on that house within 60 days of being selected in the drawing. Or its Vacants to Value program offers $10,000 to purchase a distressed, vacant property and redevelop it, which helps to combat neighborhood blight.

Alaska

Our northernmost state has been sharing the wealth from its oil money since 1976, when the Permanent Fund Dividend was established to divide 25% of its oil revenues each year among its permanent residents. You must live in Alaska for at least a year, be present in the state for at least 190 days in a calendar year, and not be a convicted felon in order to get your cut, which averages around $1,200 a head, but has been as high as $3,269 in 2008.

Kansas and Nebraska

If you’re prepared to build a house from scratch on the Great Plains, a few Kansas and Nebraska towns are offering free tracts of land. Lincoln, Kansas’s Free Lot Plan includes lot sizes of between 12,000 to 36,000 square feet within walking distance of the community’s business district. Curtis, Nebraska also offers free lots to be built on (pending application and permit approval) in a community that already has paved roads and utilities ready. And Harmony, Nebraska offers cash rebates of $5,000 to $12,000 for those building new homes in the city.

And if you are game to leave the States:

Saskatchewan, Canada

The Graduate Retention Program doles out up to $20,000 CAD (about $15,956 USD) to graduates living in Saskatchewan to cover their tuition fees, which comes in the form of tax credit paid out over seven years — if you file your taxes in Saskatchewan. You also have to have graduated from an approved post-secondary school in Canada.

Chile

Start-up Chile wants to turn the nation into South America’s business center, so it will pay about $45,000 and give you a one-year working visa to launch your business there. It’s also sharing local mentors and business contacts to help get you started, as well as $100,000 in perks, including $500 off United flights, or a $10,000 Amazon Web Services credit.

This article was originally published in October 2017 and has been updated with the Greek Orthodox Church’s new resident program on Antikythera.

The Margin: Meet the 11-year-old who went viral with a stroke of marketing genius: selling ‘ICE COLD BEER’

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This young salesman knows how to stand out from the rest of the (six) pack.

Seth Parker, who will be entering the sixth grade this fall, has sold lemonade and held yard sales to raise money for his Boy Scout troop or to earn some pocket change in the past. But these efforts weren’t always very successful from a revenue standpoint — in part because a lot of other kids in his Brigham City, Utah neighborhood also set up lemonade stands. There’s too much competition, and not much of a unique selling proposition.

So this summer, Seth and his mom decided that selling root beer — one of his favorite drinks — would entice more thirsty shoppers. And Seth decided he knew how to market it.

“I thought of the joke, ‘Ice Cold Beer!’ … but it’s not really beer, it’s root beer,” Seth, 11, told MarketWatch by phone before heading back out to run his business on Thursday. And that’s exactly what he put on his sign, although he wrote the word “root” in fine print above the giant, all-caps “BEER.”

Courtesy of Alexis Parker
Seth Parker has gone viral for selling (root) beer.

Such bait-and-switch tactics may not be looked fondly upon in the corporate world of marketing, but Seth’s tongue-in-cheek signs “ICE COLD BEER” and “Wanna Cold 1!?” have gone over well with most of the passersby in Brigham City.

“It’s been great to see people drive by in their cars, cracking up laughing,” his mom Alexis told MarketWatch.

Of course, there have been some locals who didn’t get the joke, and even called the police to complain that a child was selling alcohol — though that ended up paying off for Seth in a big way.

Officers from the Brigham City Police Department checked out the stand on Tuesday, and realized that Seth was actually just serving soda. (It’s Keurig Dr Pepper-owned  KDP, -0.16% I.B.C. root beer, to be exact, which he’s selling by the 20-ounce bottle for $1 a pop. Keurig Dr. Pepper did not immediately respond to a MarketWatch request for comment.)

Related: This Girl Scout sold cookies outside of a marijuana shop

Even better for business, the police department posed for pictures with Seth in front of his root beer stand, which they posted to Facebook on Tuesday along with the exact location of his stand — hello, free advertising. The original post has drawn more than 600 comments and been shared more than 3,500 times, and news outlets including CBS, NBC and NPR have picked up the story. Seth sold a full case on Tuesday, and his mother said that they quadrupled their sales on Wednesday.

“It’s great. It’s hilarious,” said Seth. “All I have to do is hold up the sign.”

Courtesy of Alexis Parker
Seth Parker has gone viral for selling (root) beer.

The mom and “pop” business entails Alexis and Seth deciding how much of the day’s profits to invest in buying more soda to sell the following day. Alexis splits her time as a stay-at-home mom to Seth and his older brother, as well as supporting her husband’s trucking business. She said that each 24-pack costs them around $13 or $14, and Seth earns about $10 in net profit for each case he resells. He has pulled in about $150 in total since Monday, pocketing around $80 after reinvesting part of the profits to buy more root beer to sell. Alexis and Seth are now discussing whether to put the money toward Boy Scouts or school activities — or, to invest in more root beer.

“He likes to be funny,” said Alexis. (Indeed, local news outlets have reported on Seth cracking “Don’t drink and drive!” to his customers.) “Our whole family has a sense of humor, and has always enjoyed laughter.”

And getting Seth out of the house and learning life lessons about earning and investing money is worth more than any amount of cash.

“He’s learning about profits and losses, and seeing how some days will be better sales days than others. And doing this hands-on, and seeing the money, and handling it and learning to budget it, is teaching him life skills he doesn’t get in school,” she said.

Bitcoin Recovers Quickly on Technical Bounce: What Comes Next

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Bitcoin

Bitcoin may have had a superb year up until June, but the month of July, and especially the past week, has proven to be troublesome as the price of the cryptocurrency continued to crash down. The issues with relation to Facebook’s Libra and United States President Donald Trump’s comments about cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin caused a massive drop. The token fell below $10,000 after having climbed above $13,000 earlier.

Sudden Spike

However, it seems that Bitcoin is making a comeback yet again, and today, the cryptocurrency experienced a massive spike that saw it gaining as much as $1,000 in a matter of a few minutes on most exchanges. At the time of writing, Bitcoin is up over 8% at $10,535. In fact, BTC has recovered 16% from yesterday’s low of $9,050.

Due to that incredible spike in price, Bitcoin managed to cross the important hurdle of $10,000, and eventually, the price reached $10,300. Considering the sort of trying week it’s been, this tearing spike has caused a stir in the crypto sphere.

However, it is perhaps more important to consider what it all means going forward. One Bitcoin analysts took to Twitter and stated that a pattern of this nature started back in April this year when Bitcoin was still trading at $4,000. It was also at that point when the massive bull run started that eventually took the cryptocurrency to more than $13,000 earlier this month.

>> Huobi Moves to New ERC-20 Token: Partnership with Stable Universal & Paxos

That being said, it is perhaps more interesting to look at the possible reasons why the spike might have taken place, and in this regard, it is important to note that the reasons behind a spike of this nature if hard to figure out.

It should be noted that Representative Patric McHenry said yesterday that Bitcoin can never be wished away and it is here to stay. In addition to that, the head of the Federal Reserve, who had earlier been critical of Libra, stated that Bitcoin is a “store of value.” Such an encouraging statement could have been behind this incredible spike.

Featured image: DepositPhotos © sdecoret

Huobi Moves to New ERC-20 Token: Partnership with Stable Universal & Paxos

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Huobi

There are plenty of crypto exchanges in the world, and some of them operate in the stablecoin system. As per the stablecoin system, cryptocurrencies are traded in stablecoin pairs, and Huobi (HT) is such an exchange—or rather, it was, until its most recent announcement.

The company has now announced that its HUSD token will no longer be used in the form of a stablecoin system; instead, it is going to be turned into an ERC-20 token. The ERC-20 token is going to be built in partnership with Stable Universal Limited and Paxos Trust Company, two startups in the crypto space. The press release in relation to this particular development was published on July 17.

Huobi has pointed out that the ERC-20 HUSD Token is going to be backed by the United States Dollar, and the token will be held securely by Paxos. Paxos is a company that is regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services and, because of this, is 100% secure.

Last but not least, it is important to note that the token will be listed for the first time on the Huobi platform. The change in the system inside the Huobi exchange will take place gradually over the upcoming days. Stable Network will also be involved with third parties and create smart contracts.

>> Altcoins Recovering: Ethereum (ETH) and Ripple (XRP) Lead Crypto Higher

Burning 14 Million Tokens

However, that is not all. Earlier on this week, Huobi (HT) had also announced that it was going to regulate the supply of Huobi Token by burning as many as 14,011,700 tokens. That being said, it is important to note that a burning event is a quarterly event that is performed by the company in order to keep the supply of the token stable.

At the time, when the burning was done, the total supply of Huobi Token stood at 310,318,300. The totality of the burned tokens, however, rose by as much as 116% from the previous quarter and the company attributed it to improvement in market conditions at this point.

Featured image: DepositPhotos © kentoh

Altcoins Recovering: Ethereum (ETH) and Ripple (XRP) Lead Crypto Higher

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altcoins

Cryptocurrencies are trying to bounce back after a steep pullback from one-year highs. Bitcoin (BTC) is trying to bounce back after coming under immense pressure after rallying to highs of $13,000. Altcoins Ethereum (ETH) and Ripple (XRP) are also showing signs of bottoming out.

Cryptocurrency Analysis

Despite rallying by 2.6%, Bitcoin finds itself below the $10,000 psychological level. Below the mark, the flagship crypto remains susceptible to further drops given the short-term bearish momentum. While there were expectations that Bitcoin would skyrocket during the American Independence day, that never happened.

Ether, on the other hand, is trying to register steady gains after falling by more than $200 in one hour on July 14, 2019. An 8.3% rally has seen the altcoin find support above the $200 mark. After seven days of declines, Ripple might as well have hit bottom and is due for a correction higher. A 9% rally represents one of the biggest gains among the major cryptocurrencies at a time of growing concerns in the sector.


Cryptocurrency Uncertainty

Cryptocurrencies have come under pressure in recent trading sessions amidst regulatory concerns. Analysts have raised the red flag that governments and regulators may as well be planning to kill cryptocurrencies.

The decentralization aspect, which makes it impossible to track crypto transactions, is reportedly not going well with authorities. Banks are always in control of the circulation of money in the financial sector. However, with the increased use of cryptocurrencies, regulators will no longer be in control of how money moves in an economy.

>> Bitcoin Price Experiences Second Largest 24-Hour Drop of 2019

The fact that cryptocurrencies are poised to shape people’s livelihood and disrupt the status quo is something that is not boarding well with authorities. India and China have already cracked the whip on closing down all the channels for cryptocurrency and altcoin liquidity.

The US government has taken a keen interest in Libra, the newly launched Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) cryptocurrency. The move follows the creation of a task force to look into digital currency fraud, which the government insists is a threat to national security.

At the time of writing, Ethereum is trading higher by 7% at $211, and Ripple is up 6% at $0.319.

Featured image: DepositPhotos © sinenkiy

50 years after the Moon landing, NASA was responsible for developing these common consumer products

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Decades of innovation on how best to study outer space have fallen down to Earth, into store aisles, smartphones and American households.

On July 20, 1969, astronaut Neil Armstrong stepped on the Moon declaring, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” The NASA program that got Armstrong there pushed forward technology on rockets and satellites — laying the groundwork for the GPS navigation systems millions of people now use in their smartphones.

‘It’s not frivolous work. We’re ushering in the future.’

—Daniel Lockney, executive of NASA’s Technology Transfer Program

But some people might not know it’s also propelled the launch of many more mundane consumer products, including memory foam and air filters for pet odors. We can even thank NASA for the Bowflex home gym whose ads were once a fixture on late-night TV, and for advancing the technology behind all those internet pop-up ads.

The space agency’s inventions are always focused first on aiding missions, Daniel Lockney, technology transfer program executive of NASA, told MarketWatch. But sometimes a product’s cross-application can be clear, he said — like if an invention relates to energy storage or water recycling.

Still, a lot of the outside uses can be “serendipitous,” he said. “We have the bagful of answers, but we don’t know the questions that are asked.”

NASA’s work generates approximately 1,800 inventions a year and the agency enters into 100 to 120 commercial patent license agreements annually, Lockney said. Companies come to NASA, asking to use patented methods or products. It’s often for manufacturing or industrial use, but there’s sometimes a consumer angle too.

Most of the “low-running” royalties go back to the inventor, he noted. “We’re, by no means, trying to recoup the cost of investment.”

NASA’s inventions are always focused first on aiding missions.

NASA’s proposed fiscal year 2020 budget is $22.6 billion, up 5% on this year’s budget, according to The Planetary Society, an organization advocating space exploration.

Some businesses plan on their own space exploration, like SpaceX, led by CEO Elon Musk, the head of Tesla TSLA, -0.11% Amazon AMZN, -0.84% CEO Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic.

Overall, U.S. businesses spent $375 billion on research and development in 2016, up 5.3% from 2015, the National Science Foundation said last year. Company money accounted for $318 billion of the funding, but the federal government was the top outside funder, pouring in $24 billion of the $57 billion in external funding.

Other parts of the federal government are linked to products finding their way into the mass market. For example, the military popularized the T-shirt.

Lockney said NASA’s efforts to inspire all sorts of market innovations were “part of our DNA.”

“It’s not frivolous work. We’re ushering in the future,” Lockney said.

Here’s are some of the ways NASA’s linked to the next big thing:

Heart monitors

By 2012, wearable fitness technology items were already on the market from companies FitBit FIT, -1.82% But that year, NASA funded a project to see how it could detect astronaut stress levels at different times. Lino Velo and his company, Linea, took on the task.

Velo’s team created several pieces of hardware to monitor brain activity, oxygen levels and heart rhythms, such as wristwatches and a device placed on the forehead.

After the project ended in 2014, one watch, the Zoom HRV, retailed for $129. The California fitness equipment technology company Salutron, which acquired Linea, sold it until 2018, making a business decision to pull it off the shelves rather than compete with the likes of FitBit and Apple AAPL, +1.02%

Salutron President Bob Gerstenberger said the company is focusing now on applying the heart-rate technology in gym equipment. This will let people work out and walk away knowing just how good their workout was that day, he said.

‘If we hadn’t had NASA, we might not be having this conversation.’

—Lino Velo, Salutron’s CTO and executive vice president of technology

“If we hadn’t had NASA, we might not be having this conversation,” said Velo, Salutron’s chief technology officer and executive vice president of technology.

Exercise equipment

Weightlessness can lead to muscle-mass loss, and fast. In space, flights between five and 11 days, astronauts can lose up to 20% of their muscle mass, according to research.

That’s where the Bowflex comes in. Inventor Paul Francis had what he called a “SpiraFlex” with springs, cords and resistance plates. He brought it to NASA, and the device had its first space mission in 2000. The product developed further into what become the Bowflex Revolution, which offers more than 100 exercises. Francis told NASA the agency funding “enabled us to take the technology to the next level of development and commercialization.”

Nautilus NLS, -7.02% the makers of the Bowflex, did not respond to a request for comment. But one company official told NASA that the Bowflex Revolution “has been our best gym.”

Online advertisements

There are lots of advances we can thank NASA for, but maybe this isn’t one of them. As internet pages load content, there’s a split-second auction on the page’s ad space. It’s all carried out by computers able to evaluate troves of information and make quick choices. The end result are ads hawking all sorts of goods and services.

Pop-up ads have been around since 1997, and its creator has apologized for the online onslaught. A NASA project from 2004 to 2005 eventually led to more advances in the marketing deluge. The project focused on helping astronauts decide what equipment and devices they needed along a mission’s various phases.

Faculty and graduates at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology were part of a team that built software on the issue. By 2009, real-time bidding became the standard for online ad sales, enabled by members of the MIT team, riffing off the research done for NASA.

Air filters

Some pet owners can thank NASA for fresh-smelling homes. One 2016 NASA contract sought development of a lightweight air filter that could remove toxins, like ammonia, from space suits worn by astronauts. The amounts of toxins can range, depending on the type of space suit and the person wearing it.

An Illinois company took on the project, creating a filter that clearly changed color when it was spent. The filters are now sold directly to consumers looking to avoid the ammonia smell from cat litter boxes or hamster cages.

Memory foam

By the mid-1960s, NASA was looking for ways to cushion astronauts from the sudden jostles, bumps and jerks of space flight. The end result was a cushy foam material we all now call memory foam, which can be found in everything from pillows to mattresses, bras, car seats and prosthetic limbs.

Consumers now spend plenty of cold, hard cash on the soft substance.

The American memory foam mattress and pillow market could reach $8 billion by 2023, growing 9% per year from 2017, according to the market research company Report Buyer.

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Commodities Corner: Silver rallies to its highest in over a year, plays ‘catch up’ to gold’s gains

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Tight supply concerns, along with strength in gold, may help lift prices for silver back to levels not seen since 2016.

Silver futures headed for a fifth straight day of gains session gain on Thursday, on track for their highest finish in more than a year.

“We were overdue for a rally in silver as the gold/silver ratio was sitting near historic highs,” said Chris Gaffney, president of world markets at TIAA Bank. “In short, silver had some ‘catching up to do’ as it was left out of the overall rally in precious metals during the first half of 2019.”

Silver’s most-active September contract SIU19, +1.43%  was trading at $16.22 an ounce on Thursday, up 24.9 cents, or 1.6%, for the session, and may see the highest finish late June 2018, according to FactSet data. The precious metal posted gains in each of the previous four sessions and trades more than 5% higher so far this month.

Year to date however, silver based on the most-active contracts have climbed by 4%, underperforming gold GCQ19, +0.39% which has seen an 11% rise so far this year. Palladium futures PAU19, -2.21%  have also seen an impressive 26% year-to-date rise.

Read: Platinum is a bargain hidden behind the rally in palladium and gold

Also see: Gold, palladium compete for the title ‘most precious metal

“Gold has a pretty good head start on silver during the first half of 2019,” said Gaffney, who does not expect silver to surpass gold’s overall performance in 2019. Silver, however, “will outperform gold over the remainder of the year,” he said.

The world’s silver miner, Fresnillo PLC FNLPF, -11.12%  recently cut its output targets for this year. It expects to produce between 55 million ounces and 58 million ounces in 2019, down from previous expectations for a range of 58 million to 61 million ounces. That fed concerns over tighter supplies and helped to lift the price of silver, said Gaffney.

Meanwhile, the gold to silver ratio had been at an “extreme level from a historical perspective,” with silver lagging gold significantly for many years, said Peter Spina, president and chief executive officer of GoldSeek.com. The ratio was several ounces from the 100 mark which means that it would take 100 ounces of silver to buy an ounce of gold. On Thursday, the ratio was at about 88 ounces of silver to one ounce of gold.

Gold’s gains so far this year have helped to “light a spark under the silver price and with many primary silver producers struggling at mid-teens silver levels, years of underdevelopment from exploration cutbacks to abandoning projects has created a perfect storm for silver to now revive in a bit way,” said Spina.

Near-term the key for silver will be if gold breaks above $1,450 an ounce, and if gold moves to $1,500 and above, it will send silver up to test its next technical level around $20 an ounce, he said. Silver futures haven’t traded at levels that high since 2016.

Also see: Global gold-backed ETF assets log biggest monthly rise in 7 years

The really big gains will be from the silver miners like First Majestic Silver Corp. AG, +3.28% and opportunities have been showing up in other small capitalization miners like Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. FSM, +0.14%  and Endeavour Silver Corp. EXK, +5.94% said Spina, adding that he has “been accumulating many of these juniors over the past several months in anticipation of them doubling and much more as silver makes a move towards $20.”

He said gold and silver investors have not missed much of this rally, though in the short term the rally may be overextended when it comes to some miners. Over the coming months and year, however, Spina believes he sees “one f the best risk/reward [opportunities] in the gold/silver sector since I started buying juniors as a teenagers 25-[plus] years ago.”

Despite marijuana’s calming benefits, parents who use it are more likely to discipline their kids physically

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Marijuana might not be an optimal parenting hack for everyone, despite some claims to the contrary.

Parents who have used marijuana in the past year are more likely than non-users on average to discipline their kids through corporal punishment (like a slap or spank), physical abuse (like a hit on the head or a kick) and also nonviolent tactics (like loss of privileges or time-outs), according to a new study examining 2009 data on the impact of substance use on parenting.

“We tend to have this view that marijuana use has this calming, [relaxing] effect on people,” lead study author Bridget Freisthler, a professor at the Ohio State University, told MarketWatch. “People who use marijuana, that’s not how they discipline,” she added. “It’s not that they have a laissez-faire attitude about discipline. They’re using all types of discipline.”

As doctors continue to recommend marijuana for medical conditions, Bridget Freisthler, a lead author on the study, stressed the importance of considering the combined effects of multiple substances.

Those who used marijuana and drank alcohol over the past year, Freisthler said, “had some of the biggest risks for physical abuse.” More than 92% of parents who had used marijuana in the past year also reported using alcohol over the past 12 months, the authors noted. That may be contributing to the higher instances of physical abuse, they added.

However, the average annual frequency of physical abuse was 0.5 times greater for those reporting past-year use of both marijuana and alcohol than it was among those who only drank — “further highlighting the particular importance of polysubstance use for physically abusive behaviors,” they wrote.

Freisthler stressed the importance of considering the combined effects of multiple substances as doctors continue to recommend marijuana to treat medical conditions. Primary-care physicians screening their patients for alcohol use may also want to screen specifically for marijuana use instead of asking about other drug use in general, she added, to determine whether the person is in a high-risk category and “might need additional support around parenting.”

The study, supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, was published in the Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions.

Don’t miss: People in states where marijuana is legal are eating more salty snacks and ice cream

Freisthler and her co-author, University of Kansas assistant professor Nancy Jo Kepple, analyzed 2009 data from a land-line telephone survey of more than 3,000 parents in 50 California cities. Respondents were English- or Spanish-speaking adults who were parents or guardians to a child aged 12 or under residing with them at least half of the time.

Despite the surprising finding about parents who use marijuana, Freisthler stressed that the study only captured their behavior at one point in time, making it hard to draw any broad conclusions. “We don’t know when they’re using it and when these parenting behaviors co-occur,” she said.

And while the study didn’t examine the reasons behind these discipline styles, Freisthler speculated that the paranoia some people experience when consuming marijuana could play a role with a certain group of users. Some parents could also be reacting with frustration to their kids’ disruptive behavior when they’re trying to relax with the drug, she suggested.

Some parents have extolled ‘the distinct highs of parenting while stoned’ and claimed that ‘cannabis has strengthened the bond I have with my daughter,’ saying they have a greater capacity to be present.

“There’s certainly a subset of the population that does think it does make them better parents,” Freisthler said. “The message [here] is that it doesn’t, necessarily.”

Indeed, some parents have extolled “the distinct highs of parenting while stoned” and claimed that “cannabis has strengthened the bond I have with my daughter,” citing reasons including a greater capacity to be present, the opportunity for candor around drug use, and the side effect of decreased alcohol consumption.

Cannabis use among cigarette-smoking parents with kids living at home rose from 11% to 17% between 2002 and 2015, according to a 2018 study in the journal Pediatrics, and from 2% to 4% among those who didn’t smoke cigarettes.

And some research suggests that marijuana isn’t always the mellowing agent it’s cracked up to be: One 2015 study of young adults in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence found that “any marijuana use, independent of alcohol consumption, was associated with same day increases in impulsivity, one’s own hostile behaviors, and perceptions of hostility in others.” A separate 2017 study in the same journal found that while low doses of THC helped reduce stress, higher doses increased “negative mood.”

Meanwhile, the District of Columbia and 11 states — most recently Illinois — have legalized marijuana for recreational use. Medical marijuana is legal in 33 states and D.C.

“I think there’s enough concern that we should be paying attention to it more,” Freisthler said. “[But] I don’t know that there’s enough concern to raise the alarm and say, ‘All these people are bad parents.’”

As for parents who use marijuana, Freisthler suggested having safeguards in place to ensure the kids are OK.

One of her colleagues offered an idea, she said, in the same vein as a designated driver for drinkers: “If you’re going to be using marijuana and alcohol, should there be a designated parent so you’re not the parent taking care of discipline during those times of use?”

MarketWatch Options Trader: Still bullish, but first sell signals have appeared

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The S&P 500 Index made new intraday all-time highs on Monday July 15, but the action had begun to show signs of wear and tear. The overbought conditions seem to be weighing on the market.

The S&P 500 SPX, -0.06%  chart is still positive, in that it is trending higher, staying above its rising 20-day moving average, and remaining above support levels: 2950-2960, and 2890-2910.

However, a “modified Bollinger Band” (mBB) sell signal has occurred, and we have taken a long put position because of it. While the last mBB sell signal was stopped out for a loss, we are not going to skip any of them, because overall it is a very good trading

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Want to feel decades younger? Try multitasking

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Eye creams and exercising may help older adults feel 30 years younger, but so does multitasking, according to a newly released study.

After a month and a half of learning numerous skills, like photography and speaking Spanish, older adults increased their cognitive abilities to match that of people three decades younger than them, researchers at the University of California at Riverside found. The participants in a control group who did not take any classes showed no change in cognitive abilities.

See: People spent $1.9 billion last year on apps to keep their brains sharp as they age — here’s what actually works

Participants between 58 and 86 years old were asked to take three to five classes, for about 15 hours a week, for three months. Classes included photography, drawing and painting, Spanish, music composition and learning to use an iPad. They also completed cognitive assessments before, during and after the studies so researchers could track their cognitive control (which is the ability to switch between tasks) and two types of memory (the one that helps a person retain a phone number and another that would remind someone where she parked).

It took only six weeks to show signs of improvement for the older adults taking numerous classes, and they continued to retain and learn new tasks as the weeks went on, the researchers found.

To improve cognitive functions, and feel that much younger, older adults need to act almost as they were as a child in school. They need to multitask in learning numerous lessons, take direction from a mentor and immerse themselves in an environment with a high standard, the researchers said.

“The natural learning experience from infancy to emerging adulthood mandates learning many real-world skills simultaneously,” said Rachel Wu, a psychologist at UCR. But seniors get something even better than a sticker or an A in class, they achieve independence longer into their old age.

Also see: Older adults who do this have the brain function of people a decade younger

Not everyone believes multitasking is the answer to being productive, since switching between projects could delay completion, create confusion and cause stress. “Multitasking may seem efficient on the surface but may actually take more time in the end and involve more error,” according to the American Psychological Association. Individuals who are multitasking may also create brief mental blocks for themselves, thanks to having to actively switch between tasks and catch up on where they were, researchers said. A study out of Stanford found that people who are heavy multitaskers actually have reduced memory.

But older adults may not see the downsides to multitasking, at least not if they’re just trying to keep their minds sharp.

“The take-home message is that older adults can learn multiple new skills at the same time, and doing so may improve their cognitive functioning,” Wu said. “The studies provide evidence that intense learning experiences akin to those faced by younger populations are possible in older populations, and may facilitate gains in cognitive abilities.”

Cognitive ability is a crucial aspect of health in old age, and yet doctors and patients don’t discuss it during checkups like they should — one reason Alzheimer’s and other dementia may quietly progress in a person until it’s too late to delay. Only 16% of seniors receive regular cognitive assessments for memory and thinking during checkups, and both doctors and patients say it’s the other party that should bring it up in discussion.

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