Top Ten: Weekend roundup: ‘Worthless’ bitcoin | ‘Tariff Man’ | Simple advice from Warren Buffett

Banking


MarketWatch rounds up 10 of its most interesting topics over the past week.

1. Why bitcoin may fall to zero

The value of bitcoin

BTCUSD, -10.51%

 has plummeted 74% this year, to $3,587.50 as of Thursday. Here’s a logical argument why bitcoin’s recent drop makes it more likely that the cryptocurrency will become worthless.

More bitcoin coverage:

Bitcoin makes fresh 15-month low as crypto collapse resumes

Why bitcoin — by design — won’t become worthless, according to this crypto heavyweight

2. The tale of ‘Tariff Man’

After having dinner with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Dec. 1, President Trump said it would be at least another 90 days before U.S. tariffs on $200 billion in annual imports from China would be raised to 25% from 10%. This helped cause a stock-market

SPX, -1.82%

rally on Dec. 3. However, the gains were more than given back the next day after Trump turned his well-known talent for nicknames on himself: “President Xi and I want this deal to happen, and it probably will. But if not remember, I am a Tariff Man,” he said in a series of Twitter postings.

Stock investors typically react badly to any talk of tariffs.

More on Trump’s tweets:

• Trump says he’s ‘Tariff Man,’ and Twitter decides it is a superhero name

3. Warren Buffett has simple advice to boost your worth, and it has nothing to do with the stock market

Berkshire Hathaway

BRK.B, -1.50%

BRK.A, -1.36%

CEO Warren Buffett advises you to do this — it can only help.

4. What a week for the stock market

Up a lot on Monday, down even more on Tuesday. Closed Wednesday. And on Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average

DJIA, -1.82%

was down as much as 785 points (3.1%), but ended with a decline of only 79 points (0.3%), as some investors ran for the hills and others took advantage of perceived opportunities.

What next? Based on historical data, the market as a whole is twice as likely to go up as it is to fall over the next year, according to Mark Hulbert.

Then again, there’s always another opinion about the health of the market:

Goldman: Tech growth stocks are most expensive relative to value since the 2000 bubble

5. Surprising stock-market gainers

The broad market has declined significantly since the end of September, but here are five surprising winners.

6. Bonds with a twist

Based on how the financial media covers investing, you may think that bonds are boring. But getting paid while avoiding losses may not bore you. Jeff Reeves shares five smart ways to buy bonds and lower the risk of your portfolio.

7. A worrisome message from the bond market

A narrowing gap between short-term and long-term Treasury yields typically indicates a lack of confidence in the economy, at least among bond investors. Even more negative is when short-term rates are higher than long-term rates, known as an inverted yield curve. This week, the yield gap narrowed, and one part of the yield curve — between three years and five years — actually flipped.

Federal Reserve policy coverage:

How moving away from the fed funds would give the Fed better control of interest rates

Stock market makes much ado about very little from the Fed

Trump view on Powell has changed from ‘not even a little bit happy’ to ‘pleased’ after the chairman’s ‘just below’ speech

8. Can you retire early even if you have children?

Even if you don’t see a clear path to financial independence, it can’t hurt to consider how to get closer to the promised land. Here are ideas from parents who are confident they can retire at a young age.

9. Job woes

General Motors

GM, -2.69%

 announced plant closings and layoffs last week, part of a continual wave of manufacturing job losses in the Midwest. Michael Hicks argues that a shift in educational priorities is making it more difficult for people to adapt to drastic changes in their careers.

10. Reality check

Millennials tend to have unrealistic expectations about how much wealth they will accumulate.

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Philip van Doorn covers various investment and industry topics. He has previously worked as a senior analyst at TheStreet.com. He also has experience in community banking and as a credit analyst at the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York.

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