Check out what’s happening in the world this week, plus what it means for you and your investments. (3:00 min read)

This information does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider if the relevant investment is appropriate having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.


1. The trade war that won’t go away

Despite earlier positive indications, a trade war between the US and China appears to be brewing.

There have been retaliations, counter measures, and additional tariff warnings from both sides in the latest round of trade war chess.

What does it mean if you’re invested in the stock market?

There are growing fears both countries will escalate tariffs against each other, which is not great news for global trade or the stock market.

We think markets could be somewhat more volatile than usual until there is clear indication of whether a real trade war will eventuate.

What does it mean if you’re invested with AtlasTrend?

AtlasTrend’s managed funds are able to keep a portion of its assets as cash.

This cash provides the team with opportunities to take advantage of dips in the market; they can buy cheaper shares should a trade war continue to drag the market down.

We believe any trade war would be short-lived given it doesn’t help either the US or China in the long term.


2. Crypto destroys the environment?

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) – a central bank for other central banks – recently released a scathing cryptocurrency report.

No surprises there since central bankers aren’t usually proponents of decentralization. However, the commentary around environmental impact of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin was concerning.

The report stated, “the total electricity use of bitcoin mining equalled that of mid-sized economies such as Switzerland”, which “has quickly become an environmental disaster”.

What does this mean if you’re invested in the crypto?

Besides the astonishing amount of electricity required to mine cryptocurrencies, the BIS report also examined the amount of storage and computing power required for cryptocurrencies to handle retail transactions at scale.

They came to the conclusion only supercomputers could handle the verification of incoming transactions, and the amount of digital communications required between users could bring the internet to a halt.

What does this mean if you’re invested with AtlasTrend?

AtlasTrend’s managed funds do not invest in cryptocurrencies.

We continue to believe cryptocurrencies are highly speculative. The BIS report further reiterates some fundamental issues that need to be overcome before cryptocurrencies have a chance of becoming mainstream money.

We also don’t believe the environmental impact of crypto mining is remotely justifiable.


3. Apple poaches autonomous vehicle pioneer

Not content with battling over just smartphones and smart speakers, Apple has reportedly hired the lead systems engineer who played a key role in developing Google’s self-driving car business Waymo.

Although it isn’t clear what role she will have at Apple, many believe it shows Apple still has growing ambitions in developing autonomous driving technologies.

What does this mean if you’re invested in Apple shares?

There has been endless speculation over the past few years about Apple’s specific autonomous vehicle strategy, ranging from Apple’s own electric car through to developing software to enable autonomous driving.

The company reportedly now has a fleet of over 60 autonomous Lexus cars licensed to drive in California, more than double what it had in January this year.

It appears Apple is starting to ramp up testing of autonomous driving technologies and if successful could provide a brand-new growth area for the company.

What does this mean if you’re invested with AtlasTrend?

One of AtlasTrend’s managed funds is invested in Apple.

While we invest in Apple because of its core business, we do agree with the company’s strategy to pursue new areas of growth.

We believe autonomous driving is set to grow into a huge industry over the next decade.

Apple’s expertise in building software and managing data means it has the experience to potentially become a key player in the software side of the industry.

Let’s hope Siri improves a lot by the time we ask her to drive us around!


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About Kent Kwan

Kent Kwan is a Co-Founder of AtlasTrend, an investment platform that makes it easy for anyone to learn and invest in trends impacting our world. Kent has over 17 years experience in financial markets including as Chief Investment Officer at Arowana International Limited, and roles at JP Morgan and Macquarie.