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First financings’ share of total US VC deal value continues to shrink in 2020

First-time equity investments in startups continued a downward trajectory this year, with the capital in Q3 representing 5.5% of the total US VC deal value, according to PitchBook data. That figure is a slight dip from Q2, when so-called first financings captured 5.7% of total venture investments.

Follow-on financings, however, have crossed the $30 billion mark in every quarter this year.

Founders and investors have been adjusting to a new normal in 2020: conducting business virtually. Many investors have used online networking platforms, webinars and video calls to help them connect with entrepreneurs and sign deals. But founders have still had difficulty attracting new backers. They have also had to contend with more risk-averse investors carefully managing their funds.

“We have seen some VCs become more conservative and only invest in founders in their networks or founders who they have met in person,” said Maren Bannon, general partner at January Ventures.

In the third quarter, venture capitalists completed nearly $2.1 billion in first-time funding rounds in the US. That was a 47% drop from a year ago, when founders received $3.9 billion, or 11.5% of total VC deal value.

Immad Akhund, founder and CEO of Mercury, a banking startup catering to early-stage companies, said that from April to June, he saw a large slowdown in investing toward new companies across the venture ecosystem.

“Investors were previously relying on in-person meetings to get a subjective read on a person,” he said. “But from July onwards, emerging seed fund managers with smaller and rolling funds adapted more quickly to the remote normal.”

To help bridge the virtual divide, Akhund launched a networking platform in September to connect founders with angels and other early-stage investors.

But the apparent virtual barrier wasn’t the only issue influencing investor decisions.

“Because investors were meeting and backing companies virtually for the first time, and hearing about short-term liquidity concerns from a portion of their LP base, [they] sought lower risk opportunities,” said Joe Kaiser, director of Mercato Partners’ Traverse Fund.

Kaiser said the pandemic-driven economic slowdown upended traditional venture fundraising, as many startups turned to stabilizing their operations and expenses.

Yet not all entrepreneurs have had a difficult time fundraising from new investors.

Alex Bouaziz, co-founder and CEO of Deel, said that over the past five months, his company raised $48 million in two rounds entirely over Zoom. Based in San Francisco, Deel operates a payroll and compliance platform designed for remote teams.

“One of our investors initiated outreach over DM on Twitter,” Bouaziz said. “So yes, it is an unusual time for first financings, but investors were definitely comfortable funding teams they have never met in person.”

Image via Micheile Henderson/Unsplash

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5 Warren Buffett Stocks To Buy For Under $25

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-A) (NYSE: BRK-B) CEO Warren Buffett is one of the world’s richest people, with a net worth of around $86 billion. Unfortunately for small retail investors who want to follow in Buffett’s footsteps, buying even one share of Berkshire Hathaway is rather pricey.Berkshire’s Class-A shares trade at around $345,000 per share. The Class-B shares meant for retail investors aren’t necessarily cheap, trading at around $230.But just because Buffett’s company itself has a pricey stock doesn’t mean there aren’t Buffett stocks to buy out there that are affordable. Here are five stocks that Berkshire Hathaway holds that are priced under $25 per share.Related Link: How Bank Of America Has Become One Of Warren Buffett’s Best InvestmentsSirius XM Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: SIRI) Sirius is a satellite radio operator and owner of more than 140 channels of content. The company is also the owner of Pandora Media following a $3 billion 2019 buyout.Berkshire holds 50 million shares of Sirius XM worth around $320.5 million, and the stock is priced at just $6.41 per share.Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (NYSE: TEVA) Teva is the largest generic drugmaker in the world. Buffett recently added five new health care stocks in the third quarter, but he has had his stake in Teva since 2018.Teva is a classic Buffett value stock, trading at just 3.5 times forward earnings. Buffett holds 42.7 million shares of Teva worth about $400 million, and each share costs just $9.35.Liberty Latin America Ltd (NASDAQ: LILA) (NASDAQ: LILAK) Liberty Latin America is a member of the Liberty Media Group that was spun-off from its parent company in 2018. Liberty Latin America is a telecommunications company that serves more than 6 million homes in Latin America and the Caribbean.The company has two share classes, and Buffett owns a combined 4.6 million shares worth $48.1 million. The good news is that both share classes trade at around $11.90 per share.Suncor Energy Inc. (NYSE: SU) It’s been a brutal year for the oil and gas industry, and Canadian oil exploration and production company Suncor Energy is no exception. Shares are down 53.5% year-to-date in 2020, but Buffett isn’t bailing. Buffett famously urged investors to be greedy when others are fearful, and there is plenty of fear in the energy sector these days.Berkshire holds 19.2 million shares of Suncor worth about $296.4 million. The stock is priced at just $15.44 per share.Barrick Gold Corp (NYSE: GOLD) Buffett has historically been very skeptical of gold as an investment, which is why many followers were surprised when Berkshire disclosed a large holding in gold miner Barrick Gold earlier this year. Buffett may be anticipating a spike in gold prices following the U.S. government’s unprecedented economic stimulus actions this year.Berkshire holds 12 million shares of Barrick worth $290.1 million. The stock trades at just $24.50 per share.Illustration by Joel Stralnic.See more from Benzinga * Click here for options trades from Benzinga * How Option Traders Are Playing Zoom Video As Coronavirus Cases Spike * Josh Brown Loves GM Right Now: ‘They’re Going From A Combustion Engine Giant To An Electric Giant'(C) 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

Trump strips US Fed of emergency credit powers in latest scorched-earth move

The Trump Administration is to shut down the emergency lending powers of the US Federal Reserve, taking extraordinary action to block reserve funds for the incoming Biden Treasury and prevent a Democrat bail-out of state and local governments. The pre-emptive strike marks a breakdown in the normal co-operation between the US Treasury and the Fed, and comes just as the winter wave of Covid-19 reaches a crescendo. The services sector is already spiralling back into contraction, with a cliff-edge approaching for jobless support. “We are in a perilous moment for the economy,” said Jason Furman, the former head of the White House Council of Economic Advisors. Vaccine euphoria has lifted Wall Street to record highs but evisceration of the Fed’s backstop powers before the pandemic is over threatens to destabilise parts of the credit system. The US Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin, has told the Fed that he will not roll over five of its nine Great Depression powers under the Article 13 (3) of the Federal Reserve Act. There will be a suspension of its lending facilities for companies, local governments, and ‘Main Street’ loans at the end of the year.

Giant Pension Slashed Tesla, GE, AT&T Stock Positions. Here’s What It Bought.

The investment board of Canada Pension Plan materially cut investments in Tesla, GE, and AT&T stock in the third quarter. Canada’s largest pension also bought Citigroup stock.

Jim Cramer: Buy These 10 ‘Up’ Stocks

In this kind of market, where the darned thing has a hard time staying down even on weak employment numbers, even when the president is unstoppably seeking re-election — a potential black swan event if there ever were one — the up stocks never quit. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

A Tiny Electric Vehicle From China Is on a Wild Ride in the Market

Its market capitalization is a modest $932 million, and last year it reported barely selling any electric cars. It has been a bumpy ride, The stock nearly doubled in the first four days of the past week, after an announcement from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality that two models that Kandi plans to launch in the U.S. qualify for tax rebates. Then, on Friday morning, the shares plunged more than 20% after the company said it would raise $100 million through a private placement of stock—the second market-jolting placement in two weeks.

11 semiconductor stocks expected to rise up to 47% over the next year

Analysts expect semiconductor companies to increase sales at a faster pace than those of S&P 500 members in 2021 and 2022.

7 reasons why energy stocks will be 60% higher a year from now

Like World Wide Wrestling champ Randy Orton, energy stocks came from “outta nowhere” this month to beat the heck out of the rest of the market. From the day before Pfizer (PFE) first gave optimism a booster shot with great vaccine news (on Nov. 9) through the close on Wednesday, the SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production exchange-traded fund (XOP) shot up 29.6%. Energy stocks are still a strong buy.

Here’s What $500 Invested In 7 Electric Vehicle Penny Stocks In March Is Worth Right Now

Who would have thought 2020 would be the dawn of a new era in electric vehicle stocks. Though many of these companies have been on the market in one shape or form for years, most have traded as penny stocks. Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA), which was always the top dog in the industry, now finds itself with a number of major competitors.There’s no denying that FOMO (fear of missing out) has driven short-term trends in these lesser-known names, and those who invested early are now reaping the benefits.Before we continue, we need to acknowledge that these stocks carry huge amounts of risk. The EV stocks detailed below are all volatile like penny stocks. So if you are looking for ways to trade these names or make money with penny stocks, it’s important to control your downside.All that being said, a number of new EV stocks have also helped fuel demand. Let’s say you decided that after the March sell-off this year to invest some money into electric vehicle penny stocks. What would that look like right now if you were to take $500 at that time and throw it blindly into some of these names?Kandi Technologies Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: KNDI)Kandi Technologies is one of the newer names in the space. In 2013, the company and Geely Group, a Chinese automaker, jointly invested in the establishment of Fengsheng Automotive Technology Group Co., Ltd. in order to develop, manufacture and sell pure EV products. Earlier this year, Fengsheng introduced its first pure electric SUV, the Maple 30x.Fast-forward to today and Kandi has established dealer partnerships for the retail launch of two “affordable EV models”\- K23 and K27. Shares of KNDI have rallied almost 180% in the last two weeks, nearly getting back to the all-time high of $17.40 from July 30.A $500 investment in Kandi in mid-March would’ve gotten someone around 230 shares. At today’s price, that position would be worth around $3,300. That’s a 560% return.ElectraMeccanica Vehicles Corp (NASDAQ: SOLO)ElectraMeccanica’s flagship is a single-passenger EV dubbed “SOLO”. The company has been working toward commercialization and building its U.S. footprint, with its first round of new retail locations just announced at the end of October and the initial shipment of SOLO EV’s just arriving in North America.With commercial launch imminent and momentum as a backdrop, SOLO shares have surged in recent weeks. In a July interview with Benzinga, ElectraMeccanica CEO Paul Rivera said, “We are not trying to compete with Tesla. When you’re driving this car, it’s just you, and you’re focused on the road.”With SOLO shares trading around $0.90 in mid-March, a $500 position would be somewhere in the ballpark of 555 shares. As of Thursday, the former penny stock reached a high of $9.74 making that position worth about $5,405, a 900% gain.Blink Charging Co. (NASDAQ: BLNK)Another one of the “pick and shovel” EV stocks is Blink Charging. The company continues gaining exposure as its charging stations remain a hot topic among traders and customers alike. Not only has Blink focused on expanding its charging footprint, but the company has also benefitted from other industry news. Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL) for example, announced earlier this year that its Apple Maps would include EV charge routing. According to Blink, that will include its charging stations. Last week, Blink introduced a cable management solution for new and existing EV charger locations.BLNK reached a new all-time high Thursday, breaking $19 for the first time. A $500 position in BLNK around mid-March would equate to roughly 312 shares at $1.60. At today’s price that position is worth over $5,720 or an over 1,000% gain.Ayro Inc. (NASDAQ: AYRO)Ayro Inc. initially focused on manufacturing short-haul electric vehicles, such as things that drive around college campuses and office complexes. But the company’s recent deal with Karma Automotive forms a partnership that includes a plan to produce more than 20,000 light-duty trucks over the next three years. It’s also reportedly worth as much as $300 million. While AYRO is still one of the lower-priced EV stocks, shares have been equally explosive. Prior to its merger with DropCar, shares were trading around $0.40 in mid-March. A $500 position was equal to roughly 1,250 shares of DCAR – now AYRO. At this week’s current levels above $6, that position is worth right around $7,700.Green Power Motors (NASDAQ: GP)Green Power was originally listed on the TSX Venture market and traded in the U.S. on the OTCQX Market under the symbol GPVRF. After filing for a $35 million IPO on the Nasdaq, Green Power began trading under GP, the symbol it’s known for today. The company manufactures electric buses, cargo delivery vehicles, shuttles, and transit vehicles. Green Power recently closed a deal for six electric school buses that were sold to Thermalito Union Elementary School District through Greenpower’s national distributor, Creative Bus Sales.While GP reached of $23.45 earlier this year, the former penny stock currently trades around $19. Back in mid-March when Green Power was still on the OTCQX, the penny stock was worth around $1.05 meaning a $500 position was equal to about 476 shares. As of recent levels of $19, that position is now 1,700% higher valued at around $9,000.Workhorse Group (NASDAQ: WKHS)Who could forget Workhorse Group? It was one of the electric vehicle penny stocks originally brought to life by a Trump Tweet last summer. The company specializes in medium-duty trucks with powertrain components under the Workhorse chassis brand. Most recently, WKHS caught some momentum after receiving a purchase order for 500 all-electric C-1000 delivery vehicles from Pritchard Companies. Some of the momentum had been stifled following news that Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) would be rolling out its own electric cargo vehicle.Needless to say, it hasn’t been a bad year for the former penny stock. In mid-March, shares were trading around $1.50. At its peak, WKHS reached highs of $30.99. Currently, the EV stock sits around $22.78 a share. That means a $500 position in March (roughly 333 shares) is now worth over $7,580 or an over 1,400% gain.Nio Inc. (NYSE: NIO)Nio isn’t the new kid on the block anymore. Last year NIO became a penny stock, at one point trading as low as $1.19. Though it didn’t experience a massive sell-off like most of the market did in the first quarter, shares of NIO stock were hovering around $2.30 in mid-March. But in light of the company’s recent earnings beat, NIO is at $48, knocking on the door of all-time highs. A $500 position in Mid-March would equate to about 217 shares of NIO. Today that would be worth $10,500, equating to a gain of over 2,000%. Neither the author of this post nor Pennystocks.com have a position or financial relationship with any of the stocks mentioned above. See more from Benzinga * Click here for options trades from Benzinga * Cannabis Stock Gainers And Losers From November 19, 2020 * Bitcoin, Ethereum & Chainlink – American Wrap: 11/19/2020(C) 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

Carnival Borrowing Without Ships Suggests Mnuchin May Be Right

(Bloomberg) — Hours after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin called for emergency lending programs to be allowed to expire, corporate bond investors continued to flood Carnival Corp.’s bankers with more than $11 billion in orders for debt that comes with no collateral protection.For some, it was a sign that credit markets aren’t so fragile after all. After roughly $2 trillion of borrowing helped U.S. companies bolster their balance sheets with cash to weather the pandemic, investors have grown increasingly confident — perhaps even complacent — that the widespread corporate failures predicted by many earlier this year have largely been avoided. Granted, the Fed helped fuel nearly all of that debt issuance, and the investor demand supporting it.And even if the immediate lifeline of $580 billion in backstop money is returned by the Federal Reserve to the Treasury, traders are betting that markets will fare just fine, anticipating that the government will step in again if new signs of stress emerge.“The reality is that if things start getting crazy and spreads start widening, the Treasury Secretary can re-authorize the Fed to open the facility again,” said Patrick Leary, chief market strategist at Incapital. “It’s more of a confidence thing for the market, given it may not be the best time with virus surges and shutdowns, but it’s not like these facilities are being used to support market functioning any more.”Read more: Mnuchin’s Efforts Are Seen as Having Muted Impact on CreditCarnival, a bellwether for companies hit hardest by the pandemic, raised almost $9 billion by issuing bonds and loans backed by its idled ships earlier this year, some with coupons above 10%. This week, it borrowed at a rate of 7.625% without pledging any assets. The offering came on the heels of an equity raise, one of many the cruise operator has deployed to finance its way through the pandemic.Investors placed orders in excess of $11 billion on this week’s $2 billion bond sale, denominated in both dollars and euros, according to people with knowledge of the deal, who asked not to be identified because the details are private. Representatives for JPMorgan Chase & Co, which led the bond sale, and Carnival, declined to comment.“It is a strong indication that liquidity remains abundant,” Ben Emons, managing director of global macro strategy at Medley Global Advisors, said before the sale was finalized. “There is not a sign yet of capital markets shutting down.”That doesn’t mean credit investors were pleased with Mnuchin’s demands. A gauge of U.S. credit risk known as the Markit CDX investment-grade index increased by the most since Oct. 28 earlier Friday. But that index, which rises as investor fears grow, is trading at about a third of the level it reached at the peak of market turmoil in March.‘Back to Normal’The U.S. corporate bond buying program had previously been extended from an earlier Sept. 30 end date. Market participants had expected another extension given the economic impact of a recent surge in Covid-19 cases and they’re still counting on the Fed’s support.The central bank wants to keep its facilities up and running given what it calls the economy’s “still-strained and vulnerable” state. Some investors are already looking ahead to the possibility of a new Treasury secretary in the Biden administration to reinstate such programs.But in the meantime, the market is ready to stand on its own two feet, said Matt Brill, head of U.S. investment-grade credit at Invesco Ltd. Companies have taken advantage of record low rates to right-size their balance sheets, and the Fed won’t be far out of reach, he said.“We need to wean ourselves off of the drug here, and this is an important step to have that happen,” Brill said. “At some point we need to get back to normal, meaning the Fed isn’t supporting the bond market on a day-to-day basis.”U.S.American Bath priced a $335 million junk bond sale to help fund its buyout by Centerbridge Partners.Dan Fabian, president at credit-focused asset management firm Alcentra, says the private companies it is financing in its direct lending funds in Europe and North America seem to be performing relatively well even as Covid-19 infections ramp up againNo companies are looking to tap the U.S. investment-grade primary market on Friday, according to an informal survey of debt underwriters, as sales slow from $40 billion this week to potentially nothing through the U.S. Thanksgiving holidayFor deal updates, click here for the New Issue MonitorFor more, click here for the Credit Daybook AmericasEuropeEuropean credit markets have brushed off any worries around divisions between European Union leaders over a giant stimulus package as well as signs of trouble in Brexit negotiations.Corporate-default risk fell in the region on Friday, initially for both high-yield and investment-grade credit, although the investment-grade benchmark widened marginally at the end of Europe’s day“These problems are minor from a credit perspective,” Juan Valencia, a credit strategist at Societe Generale said in emailed comments. “The most important thing now is economic expectations and the amount of money in the system still to be invested. Euro deals are having strong demand and the ECB continues to buy corporate credit”European primary issuance continued apace on Friday, with eight new deals in the market helping push weekly volume past 30 billion euros ($36 billion)The Co-Op Bank is giving junk-bond investors an opportunity to buy senior bank debt, offering potentially 200 million pounds ($265.5 million) of bonds that will be rated seven steps below investment grade by Moody’s Investors ServiceAsiaThere were signs in Asia that many market participants continued to bet the pandemic will force policy makers to take more steps ahead.Spreads on investment-grade dollar bonds were little changed, traders said“There will be a new president in January 2021 and there will be a stimulus package,” said said Todd Schubert, head of fixed-income research at Bank of Singapore Ltd. “We believe investors should look past these short-term events, and if prices come off, view them as buying opportunities for what we believe will be a solid year for emerging-market credit globally in 2021.”Elsewhere, Tokyo-based Kirin Holdings Co. priced green notes whose proceeds will be used to improve energy efficiency at its factories among other things. Only a handful of beverage companies worldwide have issued sustainable bondsFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

The Stocks the Pros Own Usually Beat the Market. Here’s a List of Their 10 Most Popular Bets.

“Quarterly baskets of the 10 (plus) most owned stocks by mutual funds and hedge funds outperformed the S&P 500 six and 12 months later,” Citigroup equity strategists said.

7 High-Yield Dividend Value Stocks to Buy

High-yield dividend stocks are appealing because they can deliver significant income to investors through their quarterly payouts. Unfortunately, some high-yield stocks are incredibly risky — and the big dividends that are so attractive to investors today could dry up as quickly as tomorrow. If you’re interested in receiving a big payday from your stock investments, then it’s better to consider high-yield dividend value stocks.

The Complete Berkshire Hathaway Portfolio

To invest like Warren Buffett, start with these stocks. Famed investor and Berkshire Hathaway (ticker: BRK.A, BRK.B) CEO Warren Buffett has become a living legend on Wall Street for his practical value investing style and his tremendously consistent track record throughout the decades. Buffett started investing at age 11, and over the years he has turned a $114 investment into about $87 billion.

AMD, Twilio, Novocure Among 5 Stocks Flashing Multiple Buy Signals

Rebounds from the 10-week line and breaking trend lines offer ways to start early positions in leaders. AMD, Twilio and Novocure offer both buy signals now.

Inflation May Be About to Pick Up Sharply

(Bloomberg Opinion) — It may seem strange to be worried about inflation in the midst of a global recession, a pandemic and huge political ructions in the U.S., but I strongly suspect that it’s about to pick up both soon and sharply. How fast this happens depends on how quickly the developed world recovers over the next few months, but pressures are building. As has been the case for many years, global inflation has “Made in Asia” stamped all over it. This time, though, that’s likely to be compounded by much greater supply constraints in the economy.First, a little humility. Forecasting inflation is fiendishly hard. Generally, the best forecast is what inflation is at the moment. Central banks have been neither good at forecasting inflation nor creating it. This is because, in essence, classical economics largely assumes that, all things being equal, increasing the supply of money pushes inflation higher. And yet, after years of rate cutting, quantitative easing and so forth, the only thing that has gone up is asset prices. It has been Apple Inc., as it were, not apples.Clearly, then, not all things are equal. Economic models assumed that how quickly money changes hands (its velocity, in the jargon) is both stable and predictable. Instead, it has collapsed. That’s why all those people who predicted a massive rise in inflation as a result of central bank QE have been wrong. Velocity may pick up — your guess is as good as mine — but that wouldn’t tell us much about what happens in the next couple of years as it’s more of a long-term indicator. And there are signs aplenty that inflation is headed higher.Ask yourself the following counterfactual. Had you known that the developed-world economy would be largely shut down, what would you have expected to happen to the prices of traded goods? Probably, you’d have expected them to collapse. But as the chart below shows, they didn’t even fall as much as in the manufacturing recession of 2015, let alone during the global financial crisis.Prices are now rising strongly, in part because Asian growth is humming. Chinese export prices have risen year over year. Excluding oil, industrial commodity prices are also now higher than they were at the end of last year. Even if nothing moves between now and late spring of 2021, year-over-year comparisons will start to look very dramatic — as prices this spring were at their low point. These trends are already making themselves felt in the developed world. U.S. import prices, for example, are rising strongly. Durable goods prices are on a tear. There are signs that services inflation is also rising.Yet much of the developed world is still in the midst of a pandemic, subduing demand. When the vaccine comes or the virus blows itself out, demand will pick up smartly. What will happen to prices when it does? I strongly suspect that a lot of manufacturing capacity has been lost. Both domestically and internationally, transportation is at once more difficult and more expensive. The vogue for ESG investments has probably also meant a lack of investment in stuff you dig out of the ground or drop on your foot.Assuming that all this takes a fairly long time to get up and running, you would expect these constraints to last. The same is probably true of services. A lot of companies have already been put out of business and many more are likely to go to the wall. There has been, then, severe losses to economies’ supply potential. All of which means that the path of least resistance when demand picks up is higher prices.How central banks react is key. They have told us that they will let economies run hot. What they’re really saying is that nothing they’ve done has made the slightest difference to overall inflation and they don’t know why. Still, let’s take them at their word. What would it mean in practice? Would they avoid putting up short rates or try to hold down long rates at a time when government borrowing is likely to remain huge? Either would, in effect, loosen monetary policy by driving real rates down when economies — and inflation — are growing strongly. This is not credible and countries that do nothing would probably see their currencies fall instead, thereby pushing imported inflation higher.I suspect that private holders of longer-dated bonds won’t wait for central banks to change their minds, knowing that they’ll have to hike at some point. The risk is asymmetric. Bond yields are breathtakingly low and sooner or later they will rise, possibly rapidly: There is a lot of leverage in fixed income, and bonds with de minimis coupons potentially move a lot more in price than those that actually pay a decent rate of interest.Those with a few grey hairs will remember the bond carnage of 1994. At some point, I’d expect yield curves to steepen dramatically from today’s levels. Avoiding longer-dated government and corporate debt and keeping to the very short end seems sensible. As would buying out-of-the-money, long-dated put options on long-dated debt.Central banks have suppressed volatility and rates in debt markets for years. This is about to become much harder. This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Richard Cookson was head of research and fund manager at Rubicon Fund Management. He was previously chief investment officer at Citi Private Bank and head of asset-allocation research at HSBC. For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

Is My IRA Protected in a Bankruptcy?

Learn which types of IRA accounts are protected from creditors in a bankruptcy, and to what dollar value each type of IRA is protected.

Tesla, XPeng, Other EV Stocks Are On Fire. This Is Why.

Shares of electric-vehicle companies are up an average of 30%—this week. A mix of trading-related and fundamental factors are responsible.

Bitcoin is surging in 2020 and nearing its all time high — here’s why

Bitcoin bulls are hoping this time latest rally is different. And it is, judging by the media coverage and general mania: there isn’t any.

Citron Calls Electrameccanica A ‘Complete Joke’

The rally in electric vehicle-related stocks has not been missed by Citron Research. The short seller is out with tweets Friday hitting one of the fastest growing names in the sector.What Happened: Citron hit Electrameccanica Vehicles Corp (NASDAQ: SOLO). The first tweet calls SOLO “a complete joke” and gives the company a $2 price target.”Where other EV might be overvalued, this is laughable,” the tweet said.Citron noted Electrameccanica has spent under $6 million on research and development over the last 12 months and has delivered a total of six cars in two years.The second tweet goes into the $2 price target and notes there is “nothing here.”> $SOLO is the EV trade for the real sucker..not one real institutional investor here. they had a going concern just a few weeks ago. OMG..over $1 bil mkt cap> > — Citron Research (@CitronResearch) November 20, 2020Related: ElectraMeccanica’s CEO On US Assembly Plans, Tesla, Driving SOLOWhy It’s Important: Last week, Citron released a report on Nio (NYSE: NIO) criticizing the electric vehicle company’s valuation, saying it “can never be justified.”Electric vehicle stocks that have run up without strong sales or upcoming model releases could be the target of short reports due to the increase in valuations here.Price Action: Shares of Electrameccanica were up 16% to $11.25 at the time of writing. Shares hit new highs of $13.60 earlier Friday before Citron’s tweets.See more from Benzinga * Click here for options trades from Benzinga * Bill Gates, Baillie Gifford-Backed Ultrasound Company Butterfly Network Gets SPAC Deal * Exclusive: Accelerate CEO On SPAC Arbitrage, Why You Can’t Always Bet On SPAC Sponsors(C) 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

Jeff Bezos Hands $684 Million of Amazon Stock to Nonprofits

(Bloomberg) — Jeff Bezos gave $684 million of Amazon.com Inc. stock to non-profits, days after posting on Instagram that he’d chosen 16 organizations to be the first recipients of money from the Bezos Earth Fund.The world’s richest man donated 220,825 shares of the e-commerce juggernaut, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The Amazon founder has given away stock worth $856 million this year, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, which estimates his fortune at $183.6 billion.Bezos announced the Earth Fund in February as a $10 billion endeavor to combat climate change. On Monday he named the first recipients getting $791 million in donations, including the Environmental Defense Fund and the World Wildlife Fund. The billionaire had been criticized for a paltry philanthropic record before ramping up his contributions in recent years.Read more: Bezos fund discloses first grantsBezos has been on an Amazon selling spree this year. Earlier this month, he sold $3 billion of Amazon stock, the latest in a series of transactions that now exceed $10 billion this year.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

8 Best Money Moves for Investors to Make Before Year-End

Do a little portfolio housekeeping before the year ends. Investors should always do a little portfolio housekeeping as the year ends. A lot of the usual money moves for investors focus on reducing tax burdens, but the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act included some unique, beneficial changes for investors this year.

First-time equity investments in startups continued a downward trajectory this year, with the capital in Q3 representing 5.5% of the total US VC deal value, according to PitchBook data. That figure is a slight dip from Q2, when so-called first financings captured 5.7% of total venture investments. Follow-on financings, however, have crossed the $30 billion mark in every quarter this year. Founders and investors have been adjusting to a new normal in 2020: conducting business virtually. Many investors have used online networking platforms, webinars and video calls to help them connect with entrepreneurs and sign deals. But founders have still had difficulty attracting new backers. They have also had to contend with more risk-averse investors carefully managing their funds. "We have seen some VCs become more conservative and only invest in founders in their networks or founders who they have met in person," said Maren Bannon, general partner at January Ventures.   In the third quarter, venture capitalists completed nearly $2.1 billion in first-time funding rounds in the US. That was a 47% drop from a year ago, when founders received $3.9 billion, or 11.5% of total VC deal value. Immad Akhund, founder and CEO of Mercury, a banking startup catering to early-stage companies, said that from April to June, he saw a large slowdown in investing toward new companies across the venture ecosystem. "Investors were previously relying on in-person meetings to get a subjective read on a person," he said. "But from July onwards, emerging seed fund managers with smaller and rolling funds adapted more quickly to the remote normal." To help bridge the virtual divide, Akhund launched a networking platform in September to connect founders with angels and other early-stage investors. But the apparent virtual barrier wasn't the only issue influencing investor decisions. "Because investors were meeting and backing companies virtually for the first time, and hearing about short-term liquidity concerns from a portion of their LP base, [they] sought lower risk opportunities," said Joe Kaiser, director of Mercato Partners' Traverse Fund. Kaiser said the pandemic-driven economic slowdown upended traditional venture fundraising, as many startups turned to stabilizing their operations and expenses. Yet not all entrepreneurs have had a difficult time fundraising from new investors. Alex Bouaziz, co-founder and CEO of Deel, said that over the past five months, his company raised $48 million in two rounds entirely over Zoom. Based in San Francisco, Deel operates a payroll and compliance platform designed for remote teams. "One of our investors initiated outreach over DM on Twitter," Bouaziz said. "So yes, it is an unusual time for first financings, but investors were definitely comfortable funding teams they have never met in person." Image via Micheile Henderson/Unsplash