Tutor profile: Noah W.
Subject: Personal Finance
What role should Bitcoin play in an individual's investment portfolio?
While the future of Bitcoin is unknown and volatility/risk in it is certainly high, it may continue to form a version of 'virtual gold' for a significant portion of the general public and have a long-lasting worth in investment portfolios. Younger people seem to have little interest in the 'yellow metal' and at this juncture are more amenable to Cryptocurrencies (and they likely will be to other future technology-based investment products). A small portion of investment assets is generally allocated to precious metals (specifically Gold & Silver); a good amount of that may switch over to Bitcoin-type assets in the future. As a sidenote, the potential on-going long-term decline in Crude Oil prices (due to big picture technological advancements), may further cause additional assets to be dispersed among different Commodities and/or Cryptocurrencies. In that overall scenario, in my view a reasonable allocation to Bitcoin-type investments could be 5% to 20% of an individual's investable assets, depending on their own personal risk tolerance level and age/income/debt situation. This can include short-term speculation & chart-based trading, for those amenable to the volatility and knowledgeable of the risks involved. Regarding the big moves in Bitcoin, I've seen and participated in multiple investment bubbles over the past 30 years (the Internet and Real Estate bubbles being the most prominent), and history details others, such as the Tulip Bulb and South Sea manias. There is nothing wrong in participating in the ride higher in big asset class moves, but always be sure to take profits along the way and only have a portion of assets at risk during a period of extreme momentum trend movement. To paraphrase, 'bulls make money, bears make money, but pigs get slaughtered'.
Subject: Political Science
Given that candidates who have won the popular vote have failed to win elections, should the United States disband the Electoral College?
There are pros and cons to this argument, as there are to virtually every political issue (and to nearly every other non-binary topic, the world is basically shades of grey). Touching on a couple of discussion points: A popular vote seems a logical, 'fair' way to decide elections and issues -- however, pure direct democracy, such as via referendums, can lead to mob mentality and short-term extreme or drastic decisions. With the increasing 'Twitterization', polarization and 'celebrity beauty contest' mentality of politics, one can argue that implementing direct popular democracy could worsen the current path and have potentially dangerous effects going forward. Eliminating the Electoral College (and for example, removing the two Senator-per-state rule) basically would give an extremely heavy weighting to the most populated portions of the country. That means a few large population centers and cities will garner all the campaign attention and policies will be geared to those areas, while the rest of the country will largely be ignored. It seems prudent to continue having a portion of governing as broadly representative, to avoid marginalizing those citizens not located in the most populated locations -- at the same time, it wouldn't be wise to permanently disavow making future changes or fixes to the electoral and two-party system.
How do I get a job with a hedge fund?
These days, most large firms are primarily looking for 'quant' types, with expertise/knowledge/ability in areas such as advanced programming languages, writing algorithms, advanced statistics and analytics. And broadly for the future, the successful implementation of analytics, data analysis and AI is clearly going to be dramatically important in a vast variety of industries worldwide. That being said, there always will be a place for those with strong 'soft' skills (particularly when combined with an analytical mind, attention to detail, ambition and work ethic) to succeed in the investment world and in business/entrepreneurship in general. Useful soft abilities include social intelligence and sales/marketing skills, very valuable tools in both business and for personal interactions.
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