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PCG, a second shot at riding 11->18+ on bankruptcy exit
EDIT: JUDGE JUST RULED, DISMISSING ABRAMS MOTION, WE GOING TO THE MOON BOIIIISS, NO DELAYS ON EXIT! Hey all, here to share the last chance you have at getting PCG cheap before all the catalysts the next two weeks make it run like Usain Bolt to the mid-high teens This past week there’s been a few good posts on PCG—thanks u/veritasinvestments and u/hjkoivu. Credit to mgr4 and others who helped contribute to this DD through discussion and research I’m sure most of you degenerates are too lazy to read them, much less figure out what’s going on, so feel free to skip to the tl;dr. But for those of you who care, here’s my take on things. I wanted to post because this is a rare good opportunity on WSB, and also because it needs to be explained more simply, with greater examination of the details, so that my fellow gamblers can understand. I told people to buy PCG back in December almost six months ago https://www.reddit.com/wallstreetbets/comments/e7h72m/pcg_growing_more_and_more_likely_to_exit/ when it was under 10$ and looked like a potential bankruptcy exit was possible. It ran to 18$ by February on the idea that PCG would exit bankruptcy and made mucho tendies. If you played this and made money, great, if not don't fret, you got another shot rabbit, don't choke this time Just this morning Barclays upgraded to overweight, earlier UBS upgraded to 15$ PT based on exiting bankruptcy likely Today we got a once in a lifetime do-over thanks to COVID where we are at the final precipice of bankruptcy exit, its priced at 11$ (and rising with upgrades each week), the final votes are the next two weeks and things are all looking positive. TL;DR PCG going towards 20$ by end of June, Shares = free $$, 5/29 calls near 14.50/15 are high risk targets, 6/19 calls towards 15$ are less risky and mucho money, september 20C are free money, buy, sell on run up next 6 weeks and IV spikes PCG - A Load of Hot Shit PCG is a CA power company that did a bunch of naughty things and some homes / people burnt up (CA is a tinderbox come summertime). This resulted in PCG having to account for huge insurance claims, which obviously sent them into bankruptcy. The share price understandably plummeted: https://preview.redd.it/4vir721wnxy41.png?width=773&format=png&auto=webp&s=a0c47db89008359b791a0d1765969f4c52d4a433 Now, the more observant among you may also note rather large spikes in volume in Jan 2019 and December / Jan 2020, followed by the share price rising significantly. What caused these spikes, you may ask? Well, the chance that PCG could come out of bankruptcy in a manner that would be beneficial to the shareholders of PCG’s equity. However, both times the plan was delayed, resulting in lower confidence and the share price dropping. Clearly, if these had been actual exits, PCG would have skyrocketed—we’re seeing the price hit $17-20+ on proposals and rumors alone. That’s because PCG is monopolistic in California, and would be an absolute beast given two things: 1. It could exit on semi-favorable terms and 2. It could ensure, in some way, that it wouldn’t get fucked over by a fire yet again through enforcement of measures to reduce risk (and a nice tidy 20B+ wildfire fund that the state provides to help utilities reduce the burden of paying for fire liabilities). Simply look at the following screenshot of its income statement these last few years, and imagine what it would look like if “unusual items” (give you one guess as to what those are) were removed: https://preview.redd.it/i2r4y3vxnxy41.png?width=660&format=png&auto=webp&s=d86e04b205546dcce59fcc720a0ab11bce57082d Good news, degens! The bankruptcy exit plans are underway again, and they do the two major things mentioned above. PG&E is allowed to remain solvent and continue generating huge revenues ($4.3 billion + in Q12020 and even more in Covid times as people stay home). Second, assuming PG&E exits by June 30th—a provision designed to help speed the process along—they’ll have access to $20+ billion in protection from a CA fund for future wildfire liabilities. So why will the bankruptcy exit occur now, when it didn’t in the past? Well, as Sir John Templeton once said when noting the four most promising words in investing, “This time it’s different!” A Phoenix from the Ashes For detailed past context on this whole process, read this article, it's great https://www.ft.com/content/582dd6e7-2ea5-4520-ae4c-d50c00c3799e Here’s a timeline of the bankruptcy exit process. The two key dates are today, the 21st, and the 27th, which are when the victims' votes and the CPUC approval vote will be in, respectively, and when judge will confirm bankruptcy exit plan assuming everything positive. I’ll explain these terms soon, but just know that if both of these pass, PCG will almost certainly exit, resulting in mucho (California term) tendies when judge confirms bankruptcy exit: https://preview.redd.it/mz45y0uynxy41.png?width=257&format=png&auto=webp&s=fbd24b8306a61de087f8d2a2c87f7686fbc7edb8 What are the chances of these votes passing? I’ll address the CPUC vote first. The California Public Utilities Commission is basically in charge of regulating utilities like PCG and therefore of approving bankruptcy exit. They are influenced mainly by their commissioner and by the governor. Gov. Slickback (Newsom) has already approved of the current proposal, and will urge the CPUC to approve it. In fact, the previous Gov. was largely ousted in part because of how he handled the PG&E situation. The CPUC commissioner also approves, and CPUC members are doing everything they can to see that this passes, including waiving a $200 million fine against PG&E. They’ve essentially approved already. Basically, if the people vote yes, CPUC will vote yes too. And the people of California have been voting overwhelmingly in favor of the plan—we’re talking around 97+% of the votes that have been cast are “yes” votes. The plan needs only 2/3rds of those who bother to vote to vote yes. Further, the votes mentioned below account for a huge portion of those who can possibly vote (~70k max claimants and far fewer than that will vote). If you aren’t grateful for me wading into 60 pages of legalese to find this, fuck you (and yes, I didn’t just trust the seeking alpha article). https://preview.redd.it/cl9loyn0oxy41.png?width=470&format=png&auto=webp&s=8465086d456c2e93fa6ba22128a8892fa5a526b9 Additionally, in this video, a lawyer representing several thousand more claimants mentions that his clients' votes are overwhelmingly in favor of the plan. There’s only one issue in all of this, and it’s not even a real problem. A man named William Abrams is essentially alleging that a small proportion of the votes are invalid for conflict-of-interest reasons; Abrams wants these votes to be thrown out or wants the lawyers involved to initiate a re-vote with more disclosures. The WSJ picked up on this, causing algos to drop the PCG share price earlier this week. The motion can be read here and is, in my opinion, largely BS. This is true on a purely mathematical level. From what I understand, the total debt owned by wall street firms is around $20 million dollars out of a $100 million credit facility. This hardly seems a conflict of interest when the facility is fixed-rate, and the creditors to Mr. Watt’s law firm have no say over him. Further, Watts’ law firm may make up to $1 billion from settlement, which is not considered by the court to be an issue (after all, contingent settlement fees are what align clients and attorneys’ interests, allowing victims to get compensation in the first place)! The $20 million pales in comparison and is a red herring. Abrams actually has an alternate motivation himself: to get PCG to admit liability for the Tubbs wildfire, which destroyed his home. This is blatantly obvious when you consider the letter he filed to the court in August of last year. Abrams has a totally understandable motivation, but his claims are not legally legitimate. Further, he’s positioning himself as an advocate for victims, whereas in reality he’ll be screwing over the only company which could provide them with remuneration, as well as causing payments to be delayed by years and years. Take a look at the response which was filed to Mr. Abrams’ motion: short, no-BS, and compelling. It doesn’t seem like the big boys think he’s worth worrying about. Also worth noting is that the Judge, Dennis Montali, really wants this thing to go through. He’s taken Abrams’ claim “under advisement,” which essentially is necessary for PR and optics, but is largely ceremonial. If he was keen on delaying the vote he’d have done it at the hearing on the 12th. Since then he's moved forward with confirmation protocol and vote staying same. Consider the advise, dismissed. Lastly, Governor was supportive if the CEO steps down as well as the BoD is replaced https://www.wsj.com/articles/pg-e-ceo-to-step-down-after-tumultuous-year-11587564703 is stepping down mid-June, his job was to navigate bankruptcy exit, he's done that, time for new CEO BoD is being replaced except 3 people https://www.wsj.com/articles/pg-e-promises-board-shake-up-as-it-pursues-californias-approval-on-bankruptcy-exit-11580535837 So who else knows this? I’ve done enough DD for you already. Go look at the involved players betting on an exit: Centerbridge, Elliot, Apollo, etc. Serengeti Asset Management is a bankruptcy focused hedge fund that often profits when firms exit bankruptcy, and they have nearly 10% of their portfolio in PG&E. More will pile in once the bankruptcy exit is confirmed, and still more when the company emerges from bankruptcy (many institutional investors have mandates to hold off until such things happen). There's over 80% tute ownership, billions in a company in Ch11 currently. What happens when they exit and have liability protection for future fires and can truck on to a proper PE valuation? Big money inflow is what Further, dark pool data shows buying at every slight dip: https://preview.redd.it/uvvz2062oxy41.png?width=1879&format=png&auto=webp&s=155826b7029b6a00e31046a96e8d36a9aa0c0f5e For Dark pools, read this article https://www.investopedia.com/articles/markets/050614/introduction-dark-pools.asp Because of the aforementioned issues, PGC’s stock price has been depressed. While I’m not going to lie and say that I could accurately value it going forward, I will note that a ~3x NTM PEG is standard for utilities. If you want to compare metrics further, Edison International is the closest peer at 2.7x. In any case, the process of PCG’s depressed stock price recovering towards a more normal ratio should begin this month, and rapidly accelerate. I’ve seen longer term targets from $15 (UBS just raised their target to this, and they’re definitely still being conservative because of the hearing) to $25+. See below for a lazy comp set, and mess around with the numbers yourself: https://preview.redd.it/dmsdj9t3oxy41.png?width=788&format=png&auto=webp&s=154ca45cd6aa48f03f8ae8d0e1b9398afd1c6540 There are two bear theories that are uncertain.
Fires can happen in summer. If this happens PCG sells off just by fear of fires. My play involves selling before end of june on run up and then just wheeling PCG. Definitely not holding through entire Summer
August 29th according to settlement plan is when PCG must deposit settlement money which is half cash and half issued as new equity. How much dilution will occur is uncertain as it must add up to 6.75B, but the idea is that this is undervalued and will normalize to 20s when exiting bankruptcy and be less dilution than expected. It'll get into a trust that sells shares in 18 months to return victims money.
Ultimately, the point is that smart money is betting on this play. Because we’re all single minded degenerates, that might be a turnoff, but it’s a vital piece of the puzzle. There are other attractive things about PCG, too, particularly in this environment: it’ll actually be helped by more people staying home, it has no chance of falling in recession as utilities are safe havens (and this is massively undervalued), etc. But I’ve written enough. I’d encourage you to do your own research, and to look into all these interesting points. TL;DR for you illiterate fucks. PCG go up. Call good. PCG May 29th $15 Call (13-14.50 if you want to play it safer), June 19th 15$ Call, Sept 18th $20 Call. Enjoy IV kicks along the way up until the ruling on the 27th. Also literally first time in 2 years Barclays made it a Buy vs a Hold https://preview.redd.it/6lnbmpjfvxy41.png?width=765&format=png&auto=webp&s=49cf278e2dcd7477a8a460cf45f5a1e7bf6bd179 My Positions http://opcalc.com/7Pz I hope to exit some of it near term positions around 14$ next Friday else on IV spike near judge ruling, depends how catalysts make it run next week https://preview.redd.it/m5bwoaw4oxy41.png?width=1603&format=png&auto=webp&s=9d65fcf5a11308b985a9761e62db24dd39f712b9 I also have around 90K in shares on PCG
https://preview.redd.it/b1v30yvtkn651.png?width=900&format=png&auto=webp&s=04f75a5416546b59550b162abe5940c65f12ce5d I started this exercise of choosing second- and third-year players in the NFL I expect to take the next step in their development, based on being in a better situation due schematic changes, the respective team not re-signing certain veterans and allowing their young guys to play a bigger role or just my evaluation of them coming out of college. Once again, my criteria was – they were not allowed to have a Pro Bowl so far, reached a major statistical milestone (1000 yard season, double-digit sacks, etc.) or are just looked at generally as one of the better players at their position already. I didn’t include guys that made my list already last year (Kemoko Turay, Justin Reid, etc.) or haven’t seen the field at all yet (Jonah Williams, Hakeem Butler, etc.). Across my two articles on these breakout players, you will only find one top ten pick, since I believe those are obvious choices anyway, if those guys just haven’t been healthy or whatever it may be. In this version, we are looking at eight more defensive players ready to break out in 2020 after talking about offense last week already: https://preview.redd.it/uiunf81mug651.png?width=720&format=png&auto=webp&s=6446a7cc2e40ba090abe9cc9e047103831cef1e1
When I did these write-ups, I actually realized later on that Odenigbo was originally drafted in 2017 in the seventh round by the Vikings, but he only made the practice squad that year and was later claimed and waived by the Cardinals and Browns respectively. So since he finally made an active roster in 2018 and that’s when he finally saw the field, I thought he still qualifies. With all those guys Minnesota has had on the D-line in recent years, it was a challenge for Odenigbo to get their coaches to believe in him, having only played in one game for Arizona before last season. However, he was on the field more and more towards the end of this past year and with little investment in the draft into the front, the Vikings are betting on him to continue to develop, similar to what happened with Pro Bowler Danielle Hunter. Odenigbo recorded seven sacks and tackles for loss respectively, while adding another 18 pressures to the mix. He also forced a fumble and returned another one for a long touchdown against the Chargers, while he was actually called down on another scoop-and-score, where he originally got the trifecta (strip sack, fumble recovery and return TD). That is much more impressive putting it into context, as he played just a third of the defensive snaps. Now with Everson Griffen off the roster (unless he somehow decides to re-sign with the Vikes, Odenigbo is almost a shoe-in for that second defensive end spot in the starting lineup. Number 95 was mostly used in passing situations, especially early on, as three quarters of the snaps he played came on pass-rushing downs, and Mike Zimmer used his inside-out flexibility on different sub-packages. Odenigbo was asked to line up anywhere from pretty much 2i in sort of a track stance pointed inside to a wide nine alignment. His favorite (and best) move at this point is the dip and rip, but he also flashes a nice up-and-under combined with a high swim move. However, he also has a lot of power behind those pads, as he set up one of his teammates as the initial slanter versus Detroit and just flattened a guy I talked about in my offensive edition of this breakdown last week already in Frank Ragnow. In addition to that, I think the Vikings DE already shows good timing and execution on twists, freeing himself up by using teammates appropriately. As he seems to be transitioning to a starting role, the biggest question now is – How much improvement can he show as a run-defender? He displays very good pursuit coming unblocked from the backside, but at the point of attack he has some issues holding his ground at times, due to not always playing half the man and getting drawn in and allowing cutback lanes. In the pass game, Odenigbo needs to work on being more successful on secondary maneuvers and not give away opportunities if that initial rush stalls. https://preview.redd.it/pq74mx0mug651.png?width=720&format=png&auto=webp&s=8182390c28e3747fbb0ed0e9ea04426d25cfaf2f
Leading up to the 2018 NFL draft, Bradley Chubb was considered the clear-cut number one edge rusher coming out of N.C. State and after him most people said there was a huge drop-off. The Saints however shocked everybody by trading up to the 14th overall pick – not for a quarterback, but rather an outside linebacker from UTSA. While there isn’t a lot of buzz around Davenport entering year three of his pro career, I can promise that New Orleans did not spend their 2018 and ’19 first-round picks on a player they didn’t believe in. I was very surprised at the time of selection, because I thought they were looking for a more immediate-impact type of player with Drew Brees arriving in his 40s and the team coming off a 13-3 record, but there was never any question about the talent this kid presented. Davenport has missed three games in each of his first two years in the league and “only” put up 10.5 sacks, but he went from 28 QB pressures as a rookie to 50 last season. He might have been even better against the run, helping the Saints finish as the fourth-best rush defense at 91.3 yards allowed per game. So this is kind of a case for the improvement he has already made and I think the coaches in New Orleans already looked at 2019 as his breakout season, but among more casual fans, I believe Davenport will move his name into more of the conversation as one of the better young edge rushers this year. I personally had the young phenom as my 13th overall prospect coming out of San Antonio. When you put on his tape in college, that combination of explosiveness, power and closing burst really stood out. He already flashed the ability to string his hand together to dominate as a pass-rusher, but he needed to do it more consistently, and he showed the shock in his hands to own the point of attack, if he played with better extension. Those to me were certainly coachable areas and with the situation he was in, I thought he could produce in year two or three. Well, we have arrived at his third season and I believe he is ready to roll. I don’t think there’s much to critique as a run-defender about Davenport. He may still be a tick late recognizing some schemes, but when he extends those arms and drops the anchor, you won’t see much movement and he just owns tight-ends. In the pass game, I do believe he needs to broaden his repertoire a little and rush under a little more control, but he has clearly shown signs of becoming a difference-maker in that area as well. He has burst to win around the edge if he times his swipes up correctly, but also the immense power to bull-rush big offensive tackles back right into the quarterback’s lap. If he just learns to convert speed to power a little better and works on finishing that under-and-under he flashes with a follow-through chop, he could be scary. With third-round pick Zack Baun probably rushing outside on sub-packages, it will enable the Saints to move this guy and Cam Jordan more inside and create mismatches that way. https://preview.redd.it/lfbciv0mug651.png?width=720&format=png&auto=webp&s=da4072897c2bdf3e5d48946f7a1ddc2c24292f42
Simmons was the 19th overall pick for Tennessee last year. In his debut game he had three pressures on eleven pass-rushing snaps. The rest of the season wasn’t as promising, but considering I didn’t expect him to suit up at all in 2019 after tearing his ACL in pre-draft workouts, the fact he did collect valuable on-field experience, playing less than 40 percent of the defensive snaps just once from that point on, only helps him more. Purely based off his tape, I had Simmons as my IDL3, behind only Quinnen Williams and Ed Oliver (both top five prospects for me) and ahead of the two Clemson standouts (Christian Wilkins and Dexter Williams). I even said without the injury he would have been at least around the top ten when I put out my big board a few days ahead of last year’s draft. In limited playing time as a rookie, he recorded 32 tackles, four of them for loss and two sacks. Simmons was an immovable object at Mississippi State and looked to be the same among grown men. I went back and watched the Raiders game in week 14, who have some maulers in the run game and you saw guys almost bounce off the rookie as if he was a brick wall. More importantly, they doubled him on pretty much every single snap he was on the field, probably because of what they had already seen on tape. This guy has some shock in his hands, the ability to look through the blocker on zone-runs and then get back to the gap behind him as the running back decides to cut up into it. He didn’t look as mobile working his way down the line laterally as I thought he did in college and he will have to do a better job working across the face of some blockers, rather than allowing them to wall him off at times. You see him just be a split-second late of actually stopping the ball-carrier rather than allowing him to stumble forward or barely miss altogether. If he gets back to his collegiate form, he can be an elite run-stopper. Having him out there will allow the Titans to run primarily sub-packages with Harold Landry and now Vic Beasley on the edges. The area he still needs to prove himself at is getting after the quarterback. Simmons is very straight-forward as a pass-rusher and didn’t show a lot of finesse to win in that area, getting stuck with stalemates for the most part if he couldn’t drive his guy backwards initially. He flashed a few quick wins on reps with the arm-over, but he has to get off the ball with more of a plan. I believe his ability to shoot upfield, the unbelievable power and just that disruptive style of play will show up big time in his first year at full strength. https://preview.redd.it/7paequ0mug651.png?width=720&format=png&auto=webp&s=2c2f4c31d5e75928dfdc684c30a956b575544062
This young man was my fourth overall prospect in last year’s draft behind only Quinnen Williams, Nick Bosa and Josh Allen (the edge rusher). Oliver was an uber-talented, explosive athlete coming out Houston, who I think is still learning the game to some degree. He came in as a freshman with the Cougars and immediately dominated, recording 22 tackles for loss and being named First Team All-American – an honor he would repeat his two other years there as well. While it was obviously a transition from the AAC, where he was just so superior to everybody else physically, compared to lining up against professionals every single week, I thought he started flashing more and more as his rookie season progressed. And while Jordan Phillips just put up double-digit sacks for Buffalo and got a big deal from the Cardinals in the process, I thought Oliver was already the Bills’ best interior pass rusher in December. Overall he recorded five sacks and TFLs each to go with 31 pressures on 374 pass-rushing snaps. That ratio may not be up there with some of the league’s best, but he definitely showed sparks on winning in that area and he finished up playing 53.7 percent of the snaps on defense overall, as part of a deep rotation. Coming out of Houston a year ago, it was clear Oliver needed some time to adjust to the NFL, after he was playing at the nose mostly in college and not having to stay true to his run fits all the time. While there are still moments where his pad-level gets too high and I feel like he is a tick late recognizing the run scheme, at 287 pounds his anchor is excellent and he has the ability to chase down plays laterally. In the pass game his natural power and quickness present problems for the opposition. What really stands out as well is he flexibility he possesses, as can be knocked from the side and somehow regain his balance to keep going and even if he ends up outside his pass-rush lane, he just continues to work. Something Oliver does really well already, which will give him a couple of “easy” sacks in 2020 is set up his loops to the outside on a twist, staying tight and aiming at the outside shoulder of the guard before pivoting outside suddenly. As a rookie, he had his issues going up against the better-schooled guards in the league, especially trying to beat the Steelers’ Ramon Foster and David DeCastro, who landed their hands inside his chest early and Oliver couldn’t gain an advantage. If he can work on being a little more pro-active and rushes the passer with more of a plan overall, I think he could be a Pro Bowler in year two. https://preview.redd.it/z1xft71mug651.png?width=720&format=png&auto=webp&s=58865bb25882e11cf324d4541eb9fd75ea088307
A four-year starter at Wisconsin, Edwards recorded 366 tackles over the course of his career and made several impact plays for the Badgers. Unfortunately he could not participate in any on-field drills at the 2019 NFL combine due to a banged up ankle and if you can trust his pro day results, his athleticism is still below-average. Labelled as a classic college linebacker with limitations to translate his game to the next level, Edwards ultimately went undrafted and signed with the Eagles. As a rookie, he mostly made an impact on special teams, with nine combined tackles on punt and kickoff coverage. He only played 11 percent of the defensive snaps, but when he was on the field, he earned close to an elite grade by Pro Football Focus and got involved on another 21 tackles. When you divide those 122 snaps by the amount of tackles he recorded, that actually gives him the highest tackle rate of any player at the position with at least 100 snaps played. In his first year under defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, he was mainly utilized on early downs to stop the run, as he was on the field for 89 run downs compared to only 33 pass plays. That is somewhat understandable, since you just have to love his oldschool mind-set in the frame of a well-built, strong guy. Edwards aggressively shoots downhill on inside runs and drops the shoulder on lead-blockers trying to move him out of there, actually stonewalling some of those guys and creating traffic jams that way. At the same time, he shows enough patience with combo-blocks in front of him to not just give away free cutback lanes by overrunning plays, keeping bouncy feet as he deciphers what he sees in the backfield. He offers a sturdy base to absorb the contact by offensive linemen climbing up to him and keeps them at extension, while also showing the mobility to mirror pullers and beat them to the spot. Then he really brings some thump at initial contact on tackles to stop the forward momentum and missed only one attempt on the year (on special teams). It is kind of funny how Edwards was labelled a pure run-stopper because of some athletic limitations, when he actually intercepted ten passes and broke up another 15, while adding eight sacks throughout his career at Wisconsin. He may never be a candidate to shadow more dynamic backs or tight-ends one-on-one, but his feel in zone and ability to get involved as a blitzer should keep him on the field for third downs more. Edwards is also quick to recognize play-action and turn his head for potential crossers behind him before swiveling back towards the quarterback. I believe Edwards will be an excellent replacement for Zach Brown at MIKE, who left in free agency. There are some questions about linebacker trio with Duke Riley and Nathan Gerry, Jatavis Brown or Davion Taylor, but Edwards should be a fixture in the middle on first and second down at least. https://preview.redd.it/lgoeh60mug651.png?width=720&format=png&auto=webp&s=38e707ed0ad52312a4c01fc5f2f16153b2c83245
Murphy was my number one corner heading into the 2019 draft ahead of guys like Greedy Williams and DeAndre Baker and he was the first pick in round two. While he started all 16 games for Arizona and missed less than 30 snaps the entire season, I think barely anybody really knows about or watched this guy play for the Cardinals as rookie. There were definitely some learning experiences early on and if you look at the total yards and touchdowns allowed, it’s not a beautiful sight and 78 total tackles for any corner aren’t a great sign either. However, a lot of that had to do with the 105 targets coming his way (fourth-most by any player in the league) due to lining up on the opposite side of Patrick Peterson and the fact he was part of the 31st-ranked pass defense. I thought he improved every single week and he actually put up better marks in coverage than his running mate Peterson, despite being targeted at a much higher rate – 7.7 compared to 9.3 yards allowed per target. Murphy also intercepted one pass and broke up another ten. What I loved about Murphy coming out of Washington last year was his innate feel in zone coverage with an outstanding ability to click-and-close and be a play-maker. He can flip his hips with ease and has that gliding speed to stay on top of routes, rarely allowing opponents to detach from him late. In the run game, Murphy does not shy away from getting involved as a tackler, arriving low and up-ending bigger ball-carriers routinely. You see him fill the D-gap or squeeze plays from the outside on several occasions. He also won’t allow bigger receivers to bully him as blockers, keeping them away from his frame and leveraging the ball accordingly. The rookie mostly played in the slot versus 11 personnel once Patrick Peterson returned in week seven last season and he was utilized as a blitzer off the edge a few times, where he chased running backs down from behind or got into the face of the opposing quarterback. He was heavily exhausted when he was moved in the slot and had to follow receivers back-and-forth across the formation on motions at times. The one thing Murphy really struggled with as a rookie was playing with his back towards the quarterback on slot fades and such as, where receivers could use subtle push-offs and win with their frame, as he almost purely face-guarded them and didn’t even try to snap his head around. The Cardinals have added a super-rangy player is Isaiah Simmons and beef up front to stop the run on early downs, in order to set up third-and-long situations. Allowing the now second-year player to focus more on his coverage and now with veteran Robert Alford being brought in as another outside corner, I see Murphy taking the next step in his developing. By the way, re-watching those Cardinals tapes – Budda Baker is just a freaking baller. https://preview.redd.it/znok171mug651.png?width=720&format=png&auto=webp&s=18e3a805075eebfb64e6cea9726c1ceaaa2bd921
At the start of last year’s draft process, Ya-Sin wasn’t a huge name since he had only played one year at the FBS level for Temple. However, after he and now-49ers receiver Deebo Samuel went back and forth at the Senior Bowl, I started falling love with this guy and so did the scouting community. As a rookie with the Colts, wearing number 34 as the spot he was selected at, he started 13 of 15 games and played at least 93 percent of the snaps in ten of them. Ya-Sin was targeted on 15.2 percent of pass plays and he had some struggles, but he also improved a lot from the first to the second half of his debut campaign. There was one really rough showing versus one of the NFL’s young star receivers in Courtland Sutton, when he was penalized five times and was responsible for 75 receiving yards. However, the rest of the season he was called for defensive holding three times and for pass interference just once (40 total yards). That’s not too bad for a rookie who likes to get into the face of receivers and whose play-style out of college could be described as “grabby”. Over the final eight weeks, Ya-Sin held opposing QBs to a passer rating of just 75.8 and didn’t allow any touchdowns (after being responsible for two up to that point), while coming up with his first career pick. Ya-Sin can be described is a very sticky, quick-footed corner. As a rookie, he primarily played outside and faced some tough matchups, while even being asked to travel with some of the game’s elite, such as Michael Thomas. While I’m not saying that always went great, his competitiveness is off the charts and I think he has all the tools to develop into an excellent cover-corner. Ya-Sin was rarely just caught out of position. It was more about struggling to find the ball down the field and panicking a little when he did overcommit initially. The more experience he had, the more comfortable he felt turning his head and making a play on the ball. I still love his competitiveness, rapid feet at the line, ability to read the hips of the receiver and use his length to get his hands on the ball. He had a few textbook reps, staying in phase with the receiver from press alignmenz on hitch or curl routes and knocking the pass down coming out of the break. I thought playing in year one, he was also a pretty good edge-setter in the run game and he didn’t just wait for the ball-carrier to cut back inside to stay clean. You saw him fight off blocks and try to cut down the guy with the ball. Now with Pierre Desir gone in free agency, I expect Ya-Sin to step into the spotlight as Indy’s true CB1. The Colts also brought in veteran Xavier Rhoades, who I thought looked broken down last season, but will help this kid grow mentally as well. https://preview.redd.it/7m1nru0mug651.png?width=720&format=png&auto=webp&s=a0dea575bc086e12e446f31656bfcbab75acacb0
My top-rated safety from a year ago, I thought Adderley was a perfect match with Derwin James on the Chargers, because he has that range for a true deep middle safety to allow Derwin to roam and play more around the line of scrimmage. Unfortunately he had hamstring issues before even being drafted, which forced him to miss mandatory minicamp and most of training camp. He only appeared in one preseason game and then played 10 defensive snaps across four regular season games, making two pretty meaningless tackles, before the Chargers placed him on injured reserve. So with that little experience, Adderley barely meets my criteria, but he was active for four games and I want to grab the opportunity to talk about one of my favorites in last year’s draft. Coming out of Delaware, he filled the alley in the run game with the mind-set of a linebacker, while also showing the ability to cover ground to bail out his team-mates on the back-end. When the ball is completed in front of him, he punishes receivers and when it gets into his hand, he shows off his background as a kick returner, where we had one of the sickest plays I have ever seen, running an opponent over, staring him down and proceeding to go the end-zone. Outside of some questions about the level of competition in the FCS and how much different he moved different than anybody else, I loved everything about his game. The one time we did actually see him play with pros – week four of the preseason – Adderley made one interception and deflected another three passes, while one of them should have been another pick, with a receiver knocking the ball out of his hands late, and he got both hands on another ball down the seams to deny a touchdown. You could see him show up outside the numbers against go-routes and cut in front of deep in-breaking routes, which led to the one INT he actually made. In addition to that, you saw him try to go underneath offensive linemen and be willing to take on some contact on screen plays, instead of staying back and avoiding collisions, getting involved late on scrums or jumping on the back of a receiver trying to catch the ball at the sideline. Now with Chris Harris added to the mix, Casey Hayward on the opposite side and Desmond King in the slot, with the guys they have up front to get after the passer, plus Derwin possibly being sent as a blitzer with his stupid closing burst, Adderley has the ability to gamble and make plays. Plus he gives them somebody who plays with an attitude, which I really appreciated going back to my evaluations coming out of college. Before he can become an impact player, he first needs to beat out Rayshawn Jenkins, but I’d be shocked if he wasn’t on the field for the majority of snaps.
You're converting your CS:GO sensitivity wrong, here is why.
UPDATED: This new FOV method is the ONLY way to achieve a near-perfect 1:1 conversion between both games, providing you are willing to loose (or gain in some situations) a little bit of screen real-estate. This will match your games' FOVs in terms of screen distances by taking advantage of Valorant's locked FOV. This is now my preferred method, and I'll leave it at the top. I've left the old post below if anyone can't handle loosing some screen real-estate. In the following few paragraphs, most use-cases are covered. I will create a set of custom resolutions to run Valorant at below. These should all be scaled 1:1 by your video card on your monitor (No Scaling, aka, no pixel stretching). If you have stretched CSGO, you are screwed, see the next paragraph. 4:3 non-streched users can rejoice, as can 16:9 users. 16:10 users can't use the FOV method, but get a reasonable multiplier, and aren't entirely screwed, but its not as good news as the 16:9 and 4:3 non-stretched users who get heaps of options. For non-streched users, these will all use the standard 3.18 divider for your CSGO sensitivity, as we have matched FOV, and we can happily match 360 rotations AND achieve perfect on-screen distance for aim. If you don't want to have any black bars on the horizontal, just match the vertical resolution to the same as CSGO. I believe this will give you some vertical sensitivity error though (eg: instead of using 3622x2038 in Valorant in the first example in the resolution list below, I could just use 3622x2160 and accept some vertical error, but only take on side black bars, with no top and bottom black bars. Valorant will look a little more distorted though too). If you can't figure it out with other weirder CSGO configs, feel free to request, and I can give it a go, but I have already spent a lot of time on this and would rather let people start reporting them in. If you really can't figure it out, ask and let me know. STRETCH USER: Note to users who take a CSGO 4:3 native ratio/resolution and stretch it out to fill a 16:9 or 16:10 monitor: TLDR: Stretched CSGO users are screwed. Nothing can be done, and as I said near the bottom of my original post, this is your punishment for sweating over fat terrorists your whole life. It is IMPOSSIBLE to salvage the same FOV in valorant. You have an hFOV of 90 in CS, stretched out to take up your whole screen real-estate. You need to somehow get Valorant's hFOV from 103 down to 90. You can't. You would have to somehow superscale the game past the edge of your monitor, and clip its wings, loosing much of your HUD, and I also have no idea how you could even render it like that. For these users, either use the original 3.18 value, or 2.53 if you want your horizontal distance to match. See my footnote for stretched users way below (2.53 will FUBAR your vertical sens for Valorant, and give you radically wrong 360 motion.). There is no ideal solution for stretch CS users. For most stretch users, I would recommend the 3.18 value as a starting point and learning the new sensitivity. Any data I presented was based on Non stretch conversions. Stretch conversions has the same kind of error gradient that emerges, but radically worse. CUSTOM RESOLUTIONS FOR VALORANT TO MAINTAIN A 1:1 FOV CONVERSION WITH CSGO: CSGO NOT STRETCHED, 1:1 implies pixel perfect scaling. Pixel doubling would also be ok (using resolutions half the amount of your monitors native). If you are not 1:1, or 2:1 with pixels, it might still work as long as the ratios are the same, depending on how your graphics card behaves. Not listed below? If your CSGO VERTICAL resolution is listed below, then pick any one that has the same vertical res as you, regardless of horizontal, and find the valorant conversion. They all become the same, because csgo just clips your horizontal anyway. Simple formula!!!: Take your csgo vertical resolution (the 1080 in 1920x1080 for example): Times by 0.9428793 = new Valorant horizontal res Times by 1.67622932 = new Valorant vertical res Thank you to x_Delirium in this following post for the math (I adapted his math to figure out the vertical constant without needing to use mouse-sensitivity.com): https://www.reddit.com/VALORANT/comments/fw5nb9/guide_how_to_get_valorant_103_fov_in_csgo/ Common list already done for you, rounded to nearest whole and even numbers: CSGO: 3840×2160 1:1 16:9 -> Valorant: 3620x2036 1:1 CSGO: 2880x2160 1:1 4:3 -> Valorant: 3620x2036 1:1 CSGO: 2560x1440 1:1 16:9 -> Valorant: 2414x1358 1:1 CSGO: 1920x1440 1:1 4:3 -> Valorant: 2414x1358 1:1 CSGO: 1920x1080 1:1 16:9 -> Valorant: 1810x1018 1:1 **\* CSGO: 1440x1080 1:1 4:3 -> Valorant: 1810x1018 1:1 **\* CSGO: 1366x1080 1:1 ??? -> Valorant: 1810x1018 1:1 **\* CSGO: 1280x960 1:1 4:3 -> Valorant: 1610x906 1:1 CSGO: 1024x768 1:1 4:3 -> Valorant: 1288x724 1:1 CSGO: 1280x720 1:1 16:9 -> Valorant 1206x678 1:1 CSGO: 960x720 1:1 4:3 -> Valorant 1206x678 1:1 CSGO: 640x480 1:1 4:3 -> Valorant 804x452 1:1 **\* See how if you use a blackbar res that isn't 4:3, you can get 1:1 with valorant by finding a res above that matches your csgo VERTICAL res, here, that res is 1080. A decent guide for custom rez creation: https://appuals.com/how-to-create-custom-resolutions-on-windows-7-8-or-10/ 16:10 Native USERS CSGO: Any 1:1 16:10 NATIVE Resolution -> Valorant IMPOSSIBLE. You only have 100.39 degrees of FOV in CSGO, and you have no more monitor horizontal space to work with to give Valorant room to breathe. It is the same fundamental problem the stretch users are facing. If you use 16:10 on a monitor natively, but somehow have horizontal black bars (this would be weird and unlikely) then it might be possible to do something. For 16:10 users, your best bet is to just use 3.18 or 3.037 (based on my original post's logic) as your sens divider, and see what you prefer, or use something in between. Fortunately for you, 3.037 is a decent multiplier that won't fuck your vertical sense, or 360 too badly. It is pretty much as good as the 3.370 multiplier that 16:9 users who don't want to match FOV can use. 16:9 USERS NOT WILLING TO CHANGE THEIR SCREEN REAL-ESTATE TO MATCH FOV The divider value I originally posed as being better than 3.18: 3.370 Not everyone will agree, no problem. Consider 3.18 to 3.37 as the sensitivity region you may like. If you pick one, and something feels wrong, try the other. Yes, my original claim about 3.18 being the downright wrong choice is alarmist. Some people will reasonably prefer one or the other, and there are merits to both choices, as I pointed out all along. Now back to the ideal FOV changing method, and how this ideal FOV matching method works: CSGO maintains a variable horizontal FOV depending on resolution ratio width, and at 16:9, it is 106.260205, and maintains 73.739795 vertical FOV, LOCKED. At more boxed resolutions/ratios, the sides get sliced off, and you loose hFOV. You never lose vFOV Valorant maintains a tight 103 horizontal FOV, and ~ 70.5328 vertical FOV. BOTH locked. I've tested this in game by wildly changing ratios and custom resolutions. The game image will always distort to maintain the H and V FOV. We can use this to our advantage to distort Valorant into a screen space that matches what those angles and distances would be in CSGO. Valorant is basically just a slightly zoomed in image compared to CSGO, so now we are going to zoom it out on our monitor a bit to match it. I originally did some incorrect math to convert this (didn't use trig...). There is a simpler way using the mouse-sensitivity website. I'll run through what I did for my screen (2560x1440). This should be correct providing the mouse-sensitivity equations are correct behind the scene, and I do trust that they are. (This is redundant now. I used the trig to get the constants. See near the res list to the easiest method possible). Select CSGO as your game. Set sens and DPI. Set res to 2560x1440 (or your native res of CSGO). Start to adjust the 2560 number until it closes in on 103 degrees actual hFOV at the data readout. 2414 pixels is the spot... We just found out what our horizontal res needs to be for valorant (with some small black bars) to match perfectly to csgo, seeming valorant will lock at 103 hFOV no matter what. You could stop there, and it would be pretty good. Horizontal aim and 360 degree matching is now near pixel perfect. I haven't proven this, but I believe your vertical aim will still be off though. So let's do the same for vertical matching: Now, convert to Valorant as the output. Set the above horizontal res number just found (2416) as your Valorant res. Now adjust the Valorant vertical res number, until Actual vFOV output closes in on 70.5328. This is taking advantage of what I believe is actually a bug on the Valorant data on the website: it thinks valorant's vFOV can change, even though it can't, so we can use it to figure out what pixel count will salvage our smaller vFOV with black bars. I believe for me, 1358 is that number. If they fix this, we will loose the ability to easily match this using the website (redundant now, we can just use the trig derived constants instead of the website. See above the Res list). Redundant: However, it will still be possible to do by matching it until the vertical distance based sensitivities are the same as the 360 degree rotation sensitivities, but it won't be quite as precise or easy, and will require payment on the site. It is plausible that the vertical component of this is slightly off, but I can't see how or why, and if it is, it would be a tiny deviation. If anyone wants to do the math manually to check, please do. We now have a new resolution 2414x1358. Set this with NVIDIA control panel, (or AMD, not familiar with it though) as a custom res, and use it in valorant. Divide your csgo sens by 3.18, or use the default (and free) 360 match on the website (it is doing the same division, just more decimals), and use that. Set scope multiplier to 0.747, or set/leave to preference (see closer to bottom of my original post far below). I still use 0.747. A near perfect 1:1 experience between both games is now achieved within a tiny and imperceptible margin of error. All we have done is matched Valorant to fill 103 degrees of CSGO's 106.26xxx screen real-estate on the horizontal (talking from a 16:9 perspective), and 70.5328 degrees of CSGOs 73.73xxx on the vertical. You may have lost about 11% of your screen real-estate. Effectively, it is like playing CSGO with a little bit of the top, bottom and sides of your screen sheered off. The benefit is a near perfect match in horizontal and vertical behaviour at both the aimer, all the way through to 360 degree movement, a 1:1 match. If you just do the black bars at the sides, your vertical sensitivity will be the same as when using the 360 method, so slightly off, but you've salvaged your horizontal sens completely. Add the vertical black bars, and it should be perfect all-round. If you use a 4:3 CSGO native resolution, you will GAIN screen real-estate in order to match FOV. A few notes. This does NOT significantly distort Valorant from a native 16:9 (providing you are coming from 16:9 CSGO). Things look absolutely fine. You will almost certainly need to run on Fullscreen mode for it to function well. Windowed mode would work too, but leave your desktop in the wings. Fullscreen Windowed doesn't work for me, it just stretches it back out to full screen. Are there any negatives to the FOV method in terms of perception and aim? Well, your perception may hinge somewhat on the moving region of the screen being identical in both games. However, I think it most likely that matching FOV, and distances on your monitor, sitting roughly equidistant at all times, and having everything else perfect, will be by far the most successful method for the vast majority of users transitioning between games. I personally have also clipped CSGO now to give it 103 FOV on the horizontal instead of 106.26 (giving me the same vertical black bars between both games) for the utmost consistency. So the only difference between the two games is Valorant has some horizontal black bars. Doing this of course didn't impact my sensitivity in CSGO at all, it just clips the image at the sides a little, giving me some black bars. Remember, CSGO's horizontal FOV is variable based on resolution. My CSGO res: 2416x1440 native black bar ~ 103x73 FOV blackbars on sides My valorant res: 2416x1358 ~ 103x70 FOV blackbars on sides, top and bottom. Hopefully that makes sense. If you refuse to loose a bit of screen real estate, this is my original post below which uses a different divider that prioritises screen distance instead of 360 degree rotation as the method of matching sensitivities between both games. Both my number below, and the original 3.18 number (without doing what I propose above) will have significant errors, in different parts of your aiming. I argue that my number is better if you want to match your aim. It won't feel right for everyone, and some still preferred 3.18, which is perfectly reasonable. I personally now will be using my above method of matching FOV for a 1:1 match, making this entire section obsolete. THE ORIGINAL POST WITH THE ORIGINAL VALUES THAT CAN RECOVER SOME OF YOUR AIM IF IT WAS FEELING OFF, FOR THOSE NOT WILLING TO LOOSE SOME SCREEN REAL-ESTATE: IMPORTANT EDIT: This new number can change depending on your game window ratio. If you are not using the simple 16:9 to 16:9 conversion, proceed with caution. This is largely, although not just, due to how valorant distorts to maintain its 103 hFOV. However, it should be ok if neither game is distorted. So black bars 4:3 CS is ok, as long as valorant is 16:9. I encourage you to head to mouse-sensitivity.com to get a more reliable value using 0% horizontal distance as your match if there is any deviation from these norms. It will cost $3. To anyone I recommended a value to NOT using 16:9, it may be wrong. Apologies. I have a caveat about stretch to non-stretch conversions in a footnote you need to be aware of if deploying this. TLDR: The normal method is to divide your CSGO sens by 3.18. This doesn't actually give you correct aim, only a correct abstract sense of movement in the world. Divide by the below instead: 16:9 CSGO to 16:9 Valorant (Native to native): 3.370 4:3 CSGO blackbar non-streched to 16:9 Valorant: 3.370 4:3 CSGO STRETCHED to 16:9 Valorant (Don't fuck with valorant here, it won't behave how you hope): 2.53 PEOPLE USING STRETCHED CONVERSIONS, SEE THE FOOTNOTE BEFORE ASKING QUESTIONS PLEASE :) TLDR IS THAT ALL OPTIONS SUCK AND YOU REALLY MAY WANT TO JUST STICK WITH 3.18. Ideal, and common scope multipliers are given at the bottom in the scope footnote. For any other weird options, again, pay and go do the work at mouse-sensitivity.com Yes, using 3.370 will 'feel' a little slower to get around in Valorant now compared to 3.18, at worst about 6% slower in fact, but your aim is more likely to be left in tact. Use whatever you prefer though. Just giving people another option and some stats to what the difference is. Keep reading if you want to know why these proposed conversions (really just the 3.370 one) are technically "better" than 3.18: This is the bulk of my original post: ORIGINAL POST AND PROOFING: People are under the impression that they should be converting their sensitivity from CS:GO by dividing their CS:GO sensitivity by 3.18... People think this will give them the same sensitivity, thus muscle memory, between the games. They are (kind of) wrong. This will only give you the same sense of traversing the game world, as it matches the amount of distance required to move your mouse for a 360 degree rotation. BUT, due to the FOV difference between the two games of 3.26 degrees, you will not have the same feeling of SENSITIVITY. Here is the result of some math as to why. How far do I have to move my mouse, in order to get from where my crosshair is, to where that enemies head is on my screen? You can only achieve a perfect conversion between the two games at ONE point on your monitor. ONE distance. And I can tell you, the 360 degree rotation conversion is wildly off, unless you intend to do a few rotations first in order to hit someone in the head. I ran the math, and the correct point to calibrate to on your screen is almost certainly 0%, right at the crosshair, making subtle movements at the crosshair (in order to target enemies near your crosshair) perfect between both games. Many may already be aware of this, but it is interesting to understand why. Ok, if we use the 0% conversion, we end up with a 1:1 SENSITIVITY match between CS:GO and Valorant AT THE CROSSHAIR. Great, but what about points AWAY from the middle of my screen? Well, things gradually get worse the further the distance, and I will provide the percentage of deviation from a perfect match between the special 0% mark, and the very edge of your monitor, if you set at this 0% mark, and I include the error in doing a 360 too. %distance from edge of screen to crosshair with 0% reference: % error in ideal conversion from CSGO at 0% reference What do we notice? Perfect conversion (within a few units of error not shown) within a full 15% distance from crosshair to edge of your screen. And very low error, less than 1%, all the way up to 50% distance to edge of screen. This is the hot spot region of aiming. If you are flicking to the VERY edge of your screen, 100% of the way, you have a 2.89% error. Achieving a 360 degree rotation has a 6.02% error, so moving around the game world will feel a bit slower compared to CS:GO, but your aim is comparatively left in tact. A 180 will have about a 5.78% error according to my best calculations. To compare, lets check the error at each aiming location using the 360 degree as our baseline, the common method where one divides their CS:GO sens by 3.18... %distance from edge of screen to crosshair at 360 rotation reference: % error in ideal conversion from CSGO 360 rotation reference We can see, our 0% distance from edge of screen naturally carries the most error with this method. The aiming hotspot is the WORST translated region. Only a 360 spin is well conserved, NOT your aim. Even aiming to the edge of the screen at 100% carries a (slightly) higher error of 2.95 compared to matching your aim to the 0% mark (2.89% error). At 120% distance from your crosshair (heading offscreen by 20%) the methods switch place, and the 360 degree method becomes less error prone compared to 0% matching. So, unless you intend your muscle memory to be all about matching for flicking to targets OFFSCREEN, you should absolutely NOT be using the default division by 3.181818.... Match instead to 0%, and divide your CS:GO sensitivity by 3.370 (This is accurate to +- 0.001 units of Valorant sensitivity). This will give you a cleaner conversion in the region of your monitor from 0% to about 115% off your screen, with the MOST conserved sensitivity region being closest to your crosshair. What is better... for your near-crosshair aiming to carry a 5.68% error? Or a 180 spin to carry about the same amount of error while your key crosshair region carries between none to 1% error. You get the latter with the division I provided above. It seems to me a no-brainer as the better option. SCOPE FOOTNOTE: As for your scope multiplier? Unfortunately, at this time you can only correct for one zoom level. I use the 2.5x zoom, to correct the scopes to the same 0% level of my valorant sensitivity, and if you correct as I have said, using the superior 0% CSGO conversion, you will also end up with your scopes behaving the same between CS:GO and valorant. Otherwise, they too will carry the error over from the 360 degree conversion. These values are below (assuming you use 3.370 as your division initially, things get wonky if you want to keep to your 360 degree rotation conservation, yet want your scopes to somehow match). These are independent of your sens. I think the default of 1.0 in Valorant is equivalent to calibrating all of them to the edge of your screen, 100% by distance. This is, at least, a consistent behaviour. I personally still change it to 0.747. SCOPE: To correct the 2.5x valorant scope: 0.747 This = ~ 0.82 from CSGO. Specifically0.818933 A note about scope multipliers: The ideal provided above is for matching your scope movement to distance via the exact same logic as presented for matching the two games, at 0% distance. A few other common scope mulits that people like: CSGO 1.2 = 1.142 Valorant CSGO 1.0 = 0.927 Valorant ALL these values are dependent on using 3.370 as your primary sensitivity divider, and not 3.18. Otherwise, your scopes will carry the error of the primary sens. If using different stretched values, these scoped values should still work ON THE HORIZON. Remember, stretched conversions cook your vertical sensitivity, and you can't do anything about it. Hopefully Valorant releases the ability to tune every scope/ADS level individually, because right now, every other ADS will be a bit off compared to the ideal 2.5x scope. But still closer than the default 1.0 value. For example, the 1.25x ADS of the vandal etc should be set to 0.870, and will be a bit slow with the 0.747 setting. Yes, scope values can, although not always, change if you deviate from the default 16:9 to 16:9. STRETCHED GO TO VALORANT FOOTNOTE (or vice versa, non-stretched to stretched): Converting from stretched to any Valorant can COOK your vertical sens. Nothing can be done, this is your punishment for sweating over fat terrorists your whole life. The divider for 4:3 stretched to Valorant is generically 2.53. Any divider that deviates from 3.18 will increasingly add error to your 360 degree movement. This means that the with a stretch value you end up with a much greater error ramp through the distances, even though your 0% and nearby is correct. I don't have the percentages of error, and I can't be bothered running them, but expect it to be awful. Not to mention, you can't salvage horizontal AND vertical sens anyway with thiscombination, so it still won't feel right. My recommendation for these users is to match to the 360 or nearby (divide by 3.18), tune to personal preference, and learn the new sensitivity, sorry. If you are doing more bizarre conversions, go pay $3 and figure it out at mouse-sensitivity.com using 0% horizontal monitor distance as your hipfire conversion method. Or tune to 3.18 manually, because just like the above, you can't salvage your old sensitivity with varying stretch conversions to any point that won't feel awful on the vertical and 360 movements. BETTER DATA: For the data folk, this much more complete and accurate set of data will give you the error to each point of the screen given a calibration at a specific point. You'll notice at the bottom, all multipliers to use said distance is provided. You'll notice I've used actually the 15% distance as the default, this is because it is a simpler number (3.37) and it actually will give you, almost 100% of the time, the exact same sensitivity as 0% anyway (3.374). However, if you want to have minimum error across the whole visible space, then you actually want to use 50% as your target point (3.334) BUT the error around the crosshair, at 0-15%, is no longer negligible, even though, in reality, across the whole screen, you could consider this the best choice. Sum of the error is of course absolute values. 360 Rot is provided for comparison of error in these regions against the default 3.18(2) method. https://preview.redd.it/z9yz28m5nm451.png?width=602&format=png&auto=webp&s=5e8e88596e7c77faae03c7caf112deef96b0605f DISCLAIMER: I made extensive use of the mouse-sensitivity.com website for gathering all data points involved in these calculations. I did not do any of the math to generate those data points myself, just the analysis. Check them out, and consider giving them some cash if any of this ended up making things better for you. It's a great site.
Day Two Here Day Three Here Gettysburg is by far my favorite battle of all time. First, it is an all-American battle in an all-American war, and myself being an old school nationalist it carries significance that other battles simply don’t; I may find Austerlitz or Stalingrad nifty, but nobody there was my people. More, it was an extraordinarily clean fight. At any point, a soldier on either side could hurl down their rifle and grab some sky and be reasonably assured of having their surrender accepted without reservation, and for that matter their captor could rely on their new POWs to trudge back to the rear under light guard in good faith. Even though much of the fighting took place in an urban environment with embedded civilians, only one civilian died in the fighting. Let me tell you, the more military history you read up on, the clearer it is that massacring civilians before, during, and after a rough fight is par for the course. One might even say that butchering unarmed men, women and children of the enemy tribe is the de facto military objective more than half the time; it might be some weird, half instinctual, proto-game theory going on: “We told them to surrender or else. They didn’t surrender, we won anyway, and now there’s gotta be an ‘or else’ to persuade the next batch of holdouts that we mean business.” In the long run, butchering the first village usually made it morelikely the next three villages would get the message and surrender without a fight, saving the invaders men, materiel, and time. Or perhaps it’s that killing civilians has always been pure bloody-mindedness. But not at Gettysburg. Gettysburg is where the American platonic ideal of soldiers fighting soldiers and leaving the civilians be actually happened. Another aspect to the battle that fascinates me is how utterly unplanned it was. Neither army had intended to fight there, and between the scale of the brawl, the rapidity of developments, the intransigence of their subordinates, and the communications lag, neither the Confederate general Lee nor the Union general Meade had a grip on the situation at all until the second day of the battle, and neither could enact their ideal plans until the third day. It was something of a clusterfuck for both sides, and the course of the battle depended on the initiative and guts of small unit commanders with little idea of what the big picture was. Gettysburg tends to be remembered as the turning point in the war, when it stopped being a gallant passage at arms between roughly equal powers and started being a slow, painful inevitable grind towards Union victory. This is not exactly accurate; only with years of hindsight could anybody construct a narrative that framed this fight as the turning point, for at the time Gettysburg was seen as just another grisly slaughter yard in a long series of them. Still, between this fight and the conquest of Vicksburg out west, this does appear in hindsight to be the high watermark in terms of Confederate progress towards successful seccession. Certainly it was the last time any Confederate army went on the strategic offensive. For diehard secessionists (both during the war and in the years after), this was the last hurrah before the war started being truly hopeless. It is also, I should mention, a place of spiritual significance for me. Myself being secular humanist with a vaccination against Protestantism from my younger days, I don’t have much in the way of codified religion. But when I was a youngin’ visiting relatives out east, I got to visit the battlefield. I found myself standing in front of a monument on the field on the north end of Herbst Wood (where the right flank of Iron Brigade stood and charged on the first day of the battle). It described how a Michigan regiment of about a thousand men stood on that spot and suffered two thirds casualties over the course of the day. I read the details on the monument, and stared up at the mustachioed rifleman staring defiantly to the west. Looking left and right, I saw more monuments every fifty yards or so in a straightish line, spreading out to mark where a human line had once stood and bled. And I turned my back on the monuments to face away, and behold, I saw an opposing line of Confederate monuments stretched out horizon to horizon about a hundred yards away. Two lines, violently opposed but unmoving; courage and horror frozen into place forever. And the world there seemed very big, and very grand, and I felt very small and unworthy. The air was at once colder and hotter than any air I’d ever felt. The wind cut through my clothing and reminded me that flesh was mortal but spirit was eternal. This was holy ground, soil consecrated by blood. Shi’ite Muslims have Karbala. Catholics have the Road to Calvary. Australian aboriginals have Uluru. I have Gettysburg. ———————————————————————— BACKGROUND A brief note- I will be including maps periodically to show the progression of the fighting. These maps must be taken with a grain or three of salt. They are intended to show relations between the armies and the terrain, not to mark the exact positions or dispositions of the units, nor to show an exact proportion of numbers involved. This is because I am not an expert mapmaker, and I thank you in advance for your understanding. First, a map of the northern part of the battlefield. Note how many roads lead there, and note the high ground of Cemetery Hill and Culp's Hill to the south of the town. The Battle of Gettysburg happened because Lee needed to go on the offensive, and Lee needed to go on the offensive because of the big picture. I shall cover the broad outline just so the significance doesn’t pass anybody by. The Confederacy in the Spring of 1863 was in a terrible dilemma. The leadership had two urgent problems, either one of which could (if unaddressed) destroy their enterprise, and to make things worse they didn’t have the resources to solve either of them alone without a miracle. One, the Union was fixing to shove yet another army down Richmond’s throat. Two years of failed invasions into Virginia had been brutal to both sides, but the North had immense reserves of cash, food, industrial output, and manpower with which to replenish themselves, and the South simply didn’t. The Army of Northern Virginia on which every invasion thus far had broken was underarmed, underfed, and undermanned, and if these issues were not fixed then they’d be seeing Union soldiers in the Confederate capitol before Autumn. There had already been a push that year, which Lee had staved off at Chancellorsville. There was plenty of time left before winter for a second attack. And two, Vicksburg, the railway hub that sat on the Mississippi River, was under dire threat. The Union had already grabbed New Orleans at the south end and pushed north up the river, and had been pushing south down the river since day one of the war, but Vicksburg prevented the whole river from falling in to Union hands. Vicksburg alone let the South shift resources and information from its Western half to its Eastern half. Losing it could be a death blow. The garrison of Vicksburg was also underarmed, underfed, and undermanned. The fresh crops taken off the farm and the fresh host of new recruits also taken off the farm were middling at best. Even throwing all the resources they had at either problem and letting the other develop as it would might mean losing on both fronts. Splitting the resources in half to prop up both didn’t seem promising either. Lee, being something of a strategist, developed a third option. There was no point (he reasoned) in trying to prop up Vicksburg at this point- it would take weeks to shift reinforcements that far west, and by then it would be midsummer. If the siege lasted that long, either the garrison would fold or disease would rip through the Yankee army and drive it back home, as it had the last two years running. In either scenario, further support would affect nothing. Therefore, he proposed a bold plan- don’t sit around waiting to get hit in the face. Invade north. Take the fight onto their turf. The more the Confederate leadership considered it, the better it sounded. Northern land hadn’t been ravaged like Virginia had- it would be easy to live off of the enemy’s food for once, thus lessening the headache of their constant supply problems. It was also an election year, and the anti-war Democrats were raging at the ocean of blood and gold being wasted on bringing States back into the fold who very clearly wanted to go their own way. One good, solid victory on Northern soil could tip the balance, drive home the point that that war was unwinnable. Get the Black Republican warmonger Lincoln kicked out of the White House, get a reasonable Democrat in, and next year they just might get a negotiated peace that would lead in time to true and recognized independence. To which end- Lee snaked his newly reinforced army of about 75,000 men up through the Shenandoah Valley, using the mountain range to mask his movements instead of using to well-worn direct route that the Union was camped on. He would end up north of the bulk of the Army of the Potomac, simultaneously threatening Washington D.C., Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Philadelphia, which for a guy trying to score a symbolic victory to discourage the enemy voters put him in a pretty nice spot. Lincoln freaked out, told Hooker and his Army of the Potomac to go out and beat Lee, to utterly destroy his army, and also not leave any weak point undefended, which are just the kind of orders one enjoys receiving. Hooker, having a bit of an ego and a poor history of getting his ass kicked by Lee, got into a feud with Lincoln’s advisors and impulsively offered his resignation as Commander of the Army of the Potomac following some stupid spat with the bean counters back in Washington. Lincoln called his bluff and fired him three days before the battle, putting General Meade in charge of the whole damn army with almost no prep time. I should cut the narrative here to cast moral aspersions right quick. The Union were the good guys, and the Confederates were the villains. That said, the North made for really terrible heroes, and the South had more than its fair share of virtues. This was not a grand crusade of freedom-loving Yankees tearing down the moral abomination of human bondage. This was a brutal, no holds barred death struggle between the efficient new urban Industrial Revolution and the rural Cavalierlatifundias. Only a smallish segment of New England Puritans and bleeding heart Quakers hated slavery on moral grounds- the rest of the North either hated it on financial grounds, didn’t give a fuck one way or another, or were actively supporting racial slavery. And on the flip side, most Southerners who fought in the war perceived quite accurately that outsiders were coming into their world to demand submission, and had decided to give these invaders the William Wallace treatment. This is a normal and admirable response that every healthy society should have in its toolbox, and in my not-even-slightly humble opinion it is a damn shame that so many people endured so much agony in support of so un-American a cause. For you see, when Lee’s army reached Pennsylvania, they kidnapped every black person they could find, free or not, and sent them all south in chains. There was no attempt to ascertain their status by some legal due process, no splitting of hairs. The bare skeleton of Confederate ideology, the great Truth that would have snuffed out by continued political loyalty to the Union, had been that all men were not created equal. To be more precise, men had white skin, and anyone with black skin was not a man and did not have the rights of man. As such, anyone with black skin was to be sold into slavery and threatened with torture and death if they refused to labor in the cotton fields. The army that invaded the North was, in practice, the biggest slave-hunting gang that had ever set foot on American soil. The side wearing grey were staunch defenders of a country based on the Ideal of Ethnic Supremacy, and the side wearing blue were fighting for a country based on the Ideal of Equality. There were a million nagging features of material reality in the South and the North that challenged both of these Ideals, but there were no Ideals to challenge these Ideals, save only for each other. We know that this is true, because as the war shifted away from a Federal attempt to rein in wayward states to an all out assault on the institution of slavery, more and more Northerners balked at the idea of dying to set niggers free; men who had fought for years to bring the rebels into the fold again threw down their rifles and went home in disgust after they heard of the Emancipation Proclamation. And as it became clearer that poor whites who never owned slaves were expected to die for plantation owners’ right to stay rich, fewer and fewer Southerners were willing to jump into the meat grinder feet first; many of them deserted to go home and form Unionist bushwhacker gangs instead. Speaking of the draft, a higher percentage of southerners dodged the Confederate draft than in Vietnam, yet Vietnam is remembered as a deeply unpopular war while the Lost Cause has painted the South as a unified bloc striving as one against the Yankee oppressor. Also, the Confederacy had a draft imposed upon the states by its federal government. So, yeah, State's Rights. Tell me how that worked out. To reiterate. Both sides are not the same. We are rooting for the Union. Slavery. Etc. Pushing on- The two armies surged northward, on parallel tracks with Lee on the west side of the Appalachians and Meade on the east side. Being critically low on recon drones and spy satellites, the only ways to find the enemy army was to send guys out on horseback to physically look at them before riding back, and to talk to locals whether they’d seen anyone wearing the other team’s uniform recently. Clouds of skirmishers, cavalrymen, and small detachments of infantrymen from either side scattered themselves in all directions, straining to catch a glimpse of the other army. The first side to locate the enemy, amass sufficient force, and maneuver against them would probably win, without regard for right or wrong. ———————————————————————— JULY 1st, 1863 Early Morning General John Buford had a 2,500 strong brigade of cavalrymen patrolling southern Pennsylvania, being one of dozens of detachments sent out to find the enemy army. Using human intelligence from locals in Gettysburg, he learned that there was a column of rebel infantry marching down the Chambersburg Pike. And indeed there was. Advance scouts from Buford’s brigade made visual contact with a column marching south towards Gettysburg. The ball was now rolling. The story goes that the Confederates were looking for new shoes and heard that there was a stockpile in Gettysburg. As far as I can tell, this is a baseless legend- inspired by the true fact that the rebel army didn’t have enough shoes, but baseless nonetheless. The three Confederate commanders marching towards Gettysburg (Archer and Davis with a brigade apiece and Heth as division commander coordinating them), were simply doing what their counterpart was doing- reconnaissance in force, hoping to develop a lead for the rest of the army to follow. 7,000 infantry under Archer and Davis were about to pick a fight with 2,500 cavalrymen under Buford. The currents of this morning fight would provide the grooves for the next three days to follow. Buford’s men fought as dragoons; the horse let you scoot around to where you need to go, but you got off it and fought on foot. They Union cavalry broke into tiny little four man teams to bloody the approaching Confederates’ noses. The terrain was a bushwhacker’s paradise- plenty of rocks and trees to hide behind, and plenty of low, rolling hills to speed off behind to break line of sight. One man would hold the horses while the other three crouch-ran forward under cover to pop off rounds into the enemy column from the sides of the road. When the enemy infantry redeployed from a fast moving but harmless column formation into a slow moving but dangerous line, the three shooters would run back to their buddy to mount up and retreat to a new position. The cavalrymen were outnumbered nearly three to one, and their carbines had less range and power than the rebel rifles; then again, the terrain was working for them and their breechloading carbines could shoot much faster than the enemy’s muzzleloading long rifles. It was very close to being an fair fight, as long as the cavalry could stay mobile and keep their distance. Buford and Heth both had unclear, contradictory orders- “Push forward aggressively to locate the enemy, but do not enter into a general engagement until we know what we’re up against.” It was an order that must have made sense in the tent when Lee and Meade sent their own versions off. You wouldn’t want to force a battle until you knew the enemy’s location and disposition and the terrain you were going to be standing on, any more than you’d want bet it all on a poker hand before looking at your cards. But to the guys on the front line, it meant “charge forward, but do not charge forward. Attack, but do not engage. Show some initiative, but don’t pick a real fight.” Heth decided they were up against a skeleton crew of skirmishers, and he had orders to check out Gettysburg. He send riders back with a quick report and a request for reinforcements. Buford decided that if the whole damn rebel army was heading his way, he needed to delay their advance for as many hours as he could to give the rest of the Union army time to get to Gettysburg- the high ground south of the town looked like ideal terrain to fight from and he wanted his buddies to get there before the rebels. He too sent riders back with calls for help. And meanwhile, the murderous, hazardous stalking of the rebel column continued as it trudged towards Gettysburg. Meanwhile, in the Rear with the Gear Imagine running a marathon- 26 miles and a bit from start to finish. That’s how spread out a Civil War army is, from vanguard to rear guard. You can’t really concentrate 75,000-100,000 people together that closely. Disease starts killing people off really fast, feeding everyone is a headache, and if you have to march out, the lead element will march all day before stopping for the night, while the rear element hasn’t even left camp yet. It’s unwieldy. So they all spread out to grab some real estate and forage easier and not choke on each others’ dust and crap. The riders from the Chambersburg Pike were spreading the word through the marathon length of the armies. Units were halting, turning around. Captains and colonels and generals were consulting maps to figure out what roads to take to get south or north to Gettysburg from where they were now. Regiments were putting their heads to together to figure out whose company oughtta go in what order. The movements were slow and and ungainly and awkward, but they were starting up. Mid Morning to Noon The rolling hills on either side of the Chambersburg Pike stopped at McPherson’s Ridge, a grand place to make a stand- plenty of cover, steep incline. In any case, there wasn’t much further to retreat to. Archer and David pushed the cavalrymen, Archer on the south side of the road and Davis on the north. Thoroughly annoyed infantrymen backed up on the Pike behind them, eager to get at the enemy but without frontage to occupy. Buford dug in on McPherson’s Ridge, and the full force of Heth’s division slammed into him. Denied their mobility by the necessity of holding territory, the fair fight turned into a meat grinder for the dismounted cavalrymen. When Confederate artillery set up on Herr’s Ridge, it turned into a bloodbath. Buford, at last, got in contact with somebody who outranked him. General John Reynolds, second in command of the whole Union army, rode ahead of his division to get eyes on the situation. The two struck a deal in the middle of a firefight. Buford promised to hold to the last man, and Reynolds promised to reinforce him. It was an exercise in trust; if Buford’s men held firm and Reynolds let them down, they’d be swamped and slaughtered to a man, and if Buford’s detachment broke and scattered, Reynolds’ reinforcements would march directly into a line of hills held by an entrenched enemy force of equal size. Failure on either side would be fatal. Reynolds rode south again, leaving Buford and his dwindling cavalrymen to fend off 10% of the Confederate army all alone. Meanwhile, Buford’s thin line was cracking. Outnumbered, outgunned, and unable to advance or retreat... That which was inevitable to start with was happening now. Davis’ brigade was pressing against Oak Ridge on the Union right, and Archer's was taking Herbst Woods tree by tree. Buford’s men were giving ground they couldn’t afford to lose. Confederate artillery was blasting giant holes in the ranks of the defenders. That’s when the relief came- two fresh brigades of infantry coming up the Emmitsburg road, under generals Cutler and Meredith. Cutler got there first, taking up positions on Oak Ridge and straddling either side of the Pike with cannons. Their massive volleys disrupted Confederate momentum and silenced some of the rebels’ big guns as everyone scrambled for cover. Grateful and exhausted cavalrymen sidled off to the flanks to safety. Meredith’s brigade is still lagging behind- that’s the problem with columns, only the guys in front can do anything. If Buford and Reynolds expected everything to be right in the world once reinforcements arrived, they were very much mistaken. Those men out there attacking up Oak Ridge were some of the finest infantrymen in the world- dedicated, disciplined, contemptuous of death. They did not stop being efficient killers just because they now fought peers instead of the hornet-like cavalry skirmishers. Cutler’s brigade was facing a small tidal wave of battle-maddened Southern veterans, and had no time to dig in and situate themselves before the moment of impact. Davis’ men ripped into them like a pack of starving wolves. Cutler’s men fell back to safety on the top of Oak Ridge. In pieces. Meanwhile, Meredith’s brigade was finally in position to retake Herbst Woods on the south side of the road. Now, Meredith’s brigade were the absolute elite of the Union army. They were the grizzled veterans, the old crew, the best drilled, the most experienced, the hardest of the hard. They were nicknamed the Iron Brigade, and the Black Hat Brigade, because they were authorized to wear dashing black foraging caps to signify their status as the best of the best. With their comrades north of the road falling back, it was imperative that the Black Hat Brigade protect their left flank. To which end, Reynolds frantically snapped orders for them to line up and charge Archer’s men who were occupying Herbst Wood. Their charge was met by a storm of musket fire that churned the Iron ranks into blood and guts. But this was the Black Hat Brigade. For them, taking ten percent casualties in a single minute was just another Tuesday. They got in close to the rebel line to return the volleys with a vengeance, and then charged with the bayonet. Archer’s men saw the distinctive black hats come for them through the musket-smoke. For the first time, they realized that these were no mere cavalry skirmishers, no half-assed militia company facing them. The best of the best of the Army of the Potomac was coming at them at terrifyingly close range. Archer’s men cracked and scattered. The ones who stood firm, died. The ones who threw down their rifles and grabbed sky were allowed to live as prisoners. The ones who ran, lived, but found the Iron Brigade hot on their heels. Meredith’s elites carved through Archer’s brigade like it wasn’t even there. Reynolds was a good leader. A great one, in fact. He was decisive, experienced, competent. Many thought he should have gotten command instead of Meade. As his men retook Herbst Wood, he turned behind him to check on how close reinforcements were, some rebel rifleman did his cause a world of good, and shot Reynolds in the back of the head. Now the situation got pretty weird- Davis’ brigade had kicked the shit out of Cutler’s brigade and was pursuing them on the north side of the road, and the Iron Brigade had kicked the shit out of Archer’s brigade and was pursuing them on the south side of the road. Neither victor was aware of what had happened across from them, and soon enough they would pass each other by almost touching the edges of their lines. The first one to figure out what was happening would get to win. As it so happened, General Doubleday (in command now that Reynolds was dead) saw the danger and the opportunity first. He broke off an Iron regiment from his reserve to swoop in and protect the flank just in time, setting them up in a defensive stance facing the road. That regiment was joined by another broken off from the Iron assault, and yet another from Cutler’s brigade, who had seen the maneuvering and joined in on its own initiative. It was like a ballet, all three regiments coalescing into a single front facing north across the road, as though they’d spent the last week rehearsing. Under their protection, the rest of the Black Hats gave chase to their prey. When Davis finally turned and attacked, they were chopped down by a mass of highly accurate fire from the newly entrenched men. Confederates died by the dozens and were maimed by the score. As they reloaded, the Black Hats were astonished to find that the whole Confederate brigade vanish into thin air, like magic. The firing stopped; no more targets. It was bizarre. The three regiments advanced cautiously. And were gutted by a close range surprise volley by the hidden Confederates as they tried to scale the fences on either side of the Pike. It turns out that there was a cut in the side of road, deep enough for a man to jump down into with only his head able to peek out. Davis’ men had leapt into it as a source cover when the firefight started and found it was a grand place to shoot out of. But it was also a death trap. Once the Union regiments figured it out, they got in close enough to fire blindly down at point blank range into the milling mass of men. Davis’ men surrendered, thousands of them all at once. Unable to move, unable shoot back, it was really the only choice. And with that, the first round of Gettysburg was over. Oak Ridge and Herbst Wood had held, and about 150,000 odd soldiers were converging on Gettysburg to shift the tide of war this way and that. AFTERNOON The rest of the first day was not free of drama, and heroics, and mass suffering. But it was free of surprises. The iron laws of physics had decreed that more Confederate units would be on hand for the fighting in the afternoon, and so it was. Fresh rebel troops swept down from the north and from the west, relieving their exhausted comrades and preparing themselves to assault Oak Ridge and Herbst Woods. Fresh Union troops arrived from the south to reinforce what they had and to extend their line out east, protecting their right flank and screening off the town itself. Hours passed without a shot being fired. Everybody was reorganizing themselves, resupplying, carting the wounded to the rear to let the surgeons saw their shattered limbs off. Two small things happened that delivered a Confederate victory on day one, and a Union victory on day three. Union General Barlow pushed his brigade out to occupy Blocher's hill, and Union General Steinwehr plopped two of his brigades on top of Cemetery Hill. The first created a huge gap in the Union right, and the second secured the invaluable high ground for the rest of the battle. Meanwhile, three Confederate divisions set themselves up for a concerted attack- Heth would press into Herbst Wood on the Union left, Rodes would assault Oak Ridge at the center, and Early would swoop down the Harrisburg road to threaten the Union right. When the big push came at around 2 p.m., it was badly organized and mismanaged. Southern commanders couldn't get it together and attack at the same time. Individual units charged at Oak Ridge alone, like a mob of Hollywood henchmen attacking the hero only to be smacked around one by one. Cutler's men didn't just fight them off; it was closer to mass murder. General O'Neal's brigade swooped down off of Oak Hill only to be cut down by musketry and cannon fire, and they did it without O'Neal, because O'Neal stayed in the rear while his men died. When O'Neal's brigade fell back having suffered heavy losses, Cutler shifted his men to greet the new threat from Iverson's brigade, who also charged without their commander. Iverson's men marched in parade perfect order across open ground, without so much as a molehill for cover. The story goes that during the assault, Iverson looked out from safety and saw half his men lying down on the ground. Iverson was pissed off because he thought his men were surrendering. In fact, he was watching his brigade die in droves. The issue wasn't morale. The Confederate troops were eager to get at the enemy. The problem was purely organizational in nature. The men in charge of telling people what to do were simply too confused and disoriented to work out the solution in real time. While O’Neal and Iverson were getting bloodied, Barlow’s men on Blocher Hill were getting slaughtered. Barlow’s desire to hold the high ground on the defense was understandable- high ground being a grand place to fight from- but he was about one mile ahead of any friendly units. This meant that it was trivially easy to flank and destroy his brigades. Georgia men under generals Early and Rodes linked up to flank and destroy Barlow’s isolated brigades. A thick stream of filthy, bloody, and terrified Union men flowed back to the town of Gettysburg, leaving a gaping hole in the Union line and spreading their panic like the plague. Victorious Confederates whooped and hollered. As the men to the north of town trade massacres- the failed assault on Oak Ridge being roughly balanced by the disastrous dissolution of Barlow’s brigades- Heth finally attacked the Iron Brigade still occupying Herbst Wood in the west. He’d been delaying it all afternoon, stymied by the contradictory orders from Lee. Lee, who was several miles away and not at all in touch with the situation, still wanted to avoid a general engagement. But now, Heth has been let off the chain to avenge Archer’s brigade. Heth’s full division attacked Herbst Wood. It was a slow, hot, gory fight. The attacking rebels are aggressive, but also methodical and well-organized. The Black Hats made them pay for every tree they seized. But there’s only one outcome for a fight like this. The Iron Brigade has the ghastly honor of having the highest casualty ratio of any Civil War brigade, North or South. Out of the 1,885 men in their ranks that morning, 1,153 (61%) were be dead or maimed by nightfall on the first day. The fates of individual units from within the brigade are even more gruesome- in the 2nd Wisconsin regiment, 397 out of 496 (80%) were killed or wounded. But despite the horrific losses, they didn’t break. They gave ground slowly and in good order, but they gave ground nonetheless. Iron does not break, but it does bend. By late afternoon, the dominoes fell as they were always going to. With the debacle at Blocher’s Knoll, any hope the Union had to hold the right was lost. The Black Hats were being ground into sawdust on the left. And Rodes has finally gotten his brigades to charge at the same time, overwhelming Cutler’s defense. Every Union man was running now, some in a blind panic, some withdrawing in good order like professionals. The open field battle turned into urban warfare as the Confederates chased the Union army through the streets of Gettysburg. Companies blocked the streets to hold off the enemy advance long enough for the comrades to scamper. Marksmen played sniper games in the windows, either shooting men in the back as they ran away or ambushing overly aggressive platoons, depending on the color of their uniform. The Union men were desperate to reach Cemetery Hill, south of the town. High ground and the reinforcements already stationed there promised safety. The Confederates were just as desperate to catch them first and seize that invaluable terrain for themselves. Nightfall A great deal of “woulda coulda shoulda” ink has been spilled over the orders that Lee gave to General Ewell, the man in charge of Rodes and Early: “Take Cemetery Hill if practical”. But Ewell saw two brigades with a lot of artillery standing on top of what appeared to be a natural fortress designed by God to repel infantry, and his men were exhausted to boot. Ewell decided it was not practical, and so did not try. Just one of those things, I expect. In any case, the day was a Confederate victory. Every spot on the map the Confederate troops wanted to go, they had went. They had crushed all resistance, had even gone toe to toe with the cream of the Army of the Potomac and won. Their enemies were in flight before them. There was, possibly, a certain amount of disquiet because the enemy had merely been driven from one ridge into another ridge, one even steeper and with more cover than the last. And rumor had it the rest of the Army of the Potomac was coming at them. But that was a problem for the next day.
It's been a while since I made a big post. Lots of people are still messaging me about the energy sector post, especially for the ENPH tip, so I'm here to show my portfolio. I don't own all companies yet, this is partially hypothetical. I'm holding on to a reasonable cash position for a possible new downturn, but I have starting positions in most companies and will DCA. I will try to keep it summarized, as I have done quite a lot of analysis on each of them. I'll draw the main picture and give the most important arguments for my choices, but I'm not expanding too much. If you're interested, you can DM me to talk about them more. Let me start by saying I'm a growth investor. I always look for a combination of growth with a great track record, if possible at a reasonable price. There are exceptions as you will see below, but the main balance stays the same. I'm not a defensive investor, but no aggressive one either. My timeline is 2-5 years at least (due to a possible start of a small business), but I would gladly hold on to these companies 10+ years. TLDR; For you guys not interested in my portfolio, I've added a short list of interesting smaller cap companies at the end, most of them trading at decent values. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- ADVANCED MICRO DEVICES - $AMD This one is becoming a blue chip, but has more than enough growth potential to live up to those high valuations. Preferred by gamers and beating their biggest competitor in the CPU market hard. While AMD and INTC were close competitors at the beginning of the 21st century, INTC took the lead by a lot. Since 2017, they introduced 7nm CPU's and GPU's and they are closing the gap fast. Not only are their chips more performant, they are also cheaper. Market cap $60B vs $261b. Those next generation chips lead them to new partnerships, often beating INTC. Microsoft, a long time Intel customer, began using AMD chips in their Surface laptops. Lenovo using AMD for their new servers. Nvidia started using the chips in their AI products. AMD is also used by Apple's high-end laptops, while Intel (used in the budget range) will probably get replaced by Apple chips made in-house. Apart from laptops, AMD has government contracts to deliver supercomputers in 2021/2023 and they are used in both PS and XBOX consoles, to give a few examples. For the CPU market, AMD is destined to take over, but they're also taking on NVDA for their GPU's. They have been catching up for years and in 2019 they finally made a better performing GPU in the $350-400 price range. There is a possibility to gain GPU market cap since NVDA has been pushing their prices due to the lack of competition. Therefore, with AMD stepping up their game, they need to give up market share or lower their margins. Financial Assets over liabilities are x1.88. Cash to debt ratio well above industry average, debt to EBITDA well below IA. ROE 17.12% and ROIC 28.06%. Earnings were growing fast before Covid (125% in Q3, 78% in Q4). Yes they're overvalued, but with their future outlook, I would always buy below $49. Doubts Now that they are done catching up, the question is, will they outperform in the future. To gain more market share of Nvidia, they need to be better, not equally good. AMD also needs to control the heating better, as it is one of their long term problems. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- MASTERCARD - $MA Fintech companies like SQ and PYPL are a great investment. However, a lot of big companies will (and already did) implement online financial services. MA is able to easily work with multiple of those companies and they're using their global presence pretty well, that's why they're my pick for the fintech industry. They launched Mastercard Accelerate last year, implementing those online paying platforms and letting start-ups take advantage of their global presence to grow and transform very fast. Last year they acquired Ethoca (managing e-commerce fraud) and Vyze (platform to connect merchants with multiple renders, giving them the opportunity to get those financial needs for start-ups). MA is basically helping start-ups to grow faster, which will result in more financial transactions in the future. Last but not least, they like to focus on expanding to countries where there isn't much competition yet. They are expanding their exposure to Middle East and Africa, working with local networks and e-commerce platforms. They are in a strong position to capitalize those regions in the future and take on market leader Visa even more. They get compared a lot to Visa, so I'll expand on that subject a bit as well. While V is focussing on performance and speed, MA plays the cyber security card. They are already working on ways to implement cryptocurrency and Mastercard tend to have more growth potential vs stability from market leader Visa. While V is in the lead, MA is more widely used by fintech companies, which shows potential take-over in the future. Next to their credit services, they also own debit service Maestro, which is widely used in Europe. Financial Returns as high as 150% (ROE) and 60% (ROIC). Very large margins and perfectly stable balance sheet. High EPS growth YoY, 53% and 42% in the last two years. Quick ratio 1.87. V has more assets and even bigger margins, however MA wins in returns and cash. In terms of more growth, I like to focus on those last numbers more. Doubts It's a blue chip at a $300B market cap. Their growth potential might be limited, although I see them as one of the better picks between blue chips. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- ENPHASE ENERGY - $ENPH I already talked about solar energy in another post, so I'm gonna skip the explanation. As some of you know my choices were ENPH and SEDG, so I'll explain a bit about why I choose ENPH here. Mainly it's because of their financials, so I'll dive that straight away. Quick ratio - 2.35 vs 1.74 ROE - 142.94% vs 21.51% ROIC - 85.51% vs 25.81% Net margin - 25.81% vs 10.28% However I think SEDG balance sheet is a lot better and safer, ENPH is working on their future more efficient. They are paving the way smoothly with bigger margins and return on investments. Although SEDG might be the better pick right now, ENPH will be the better one in a short while. ENPH is also a bit less overvalued and their PEG ratio is lower, which makes them the better pick to get in right now. Diving into the products as well, ENPH just has the better and more efficient product. Their micro inverters are more durable (20 vs 12 years) and give the chance to increase or decrease the amount of solar panels easily, depending on your personal situation. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- GALAPAGOS - $GLPG I'm not a big fan of biotech companies, but these guys have my attention. Not because they're working on Covid vaccines, but because of two reasons. First one is them getting back-up from Gilead Sciences. That's the push they needed to start operating worldwide, increasing their potential market cap. Now that they have the cash from GILD, they can keep on buying interesting divisions and increase their growth. While having almost no long term debt, they are set pretty well with about $4 billion extra in cash. Second, they have multiple medicines in later trial phases, with Filgotinib as their biggest one. They had a setback on those results, but the company is very confident, giving an opportunity to get them at a decent price. I wouldn't be surprised if they partner up with another big pharmaceutical company in the metabolic disease section. Financial High PE (84 vs 44 average), but PEG ratio is 1.2. Quick ratio 9.28. ROIC 75.91% and ROE 7%. Became profitable this year with 16.25% net margin. 38.7% YoY EPS growth. Doubts Like all biotech players, there's a lot depending on medicines getting through phase trials and being commercialized. If Filgotinib will fail, their stock will obviously fall. However since they are backed by a big US giant, they can commercialize the product faster and on a bigger global scale if trials succeed. That's what gives them the advantage in comparison to other biotech companies for me. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- WALT DISNEY - $DIS This one has got me doubting a lot. I've taken them off and put them back on my list multiple times, but eventually I decided to keep them at least 2 years to see how they will evolve into streaming. Biggest advantage they have on their competitors is they basically have a monopoly on kids entertainment. Kids are growing up with electronic devices and content, so they're creating customers at a very young age. That's how Coca Cola used to work. They targeted 14-16 year olds, dumping loads of money into advertising which resulted in life long customers, as people didn't change cola brands often. Disney+ is a big hit and they won't get so much competition from other streaming services as Netflix and Roku will. They have one of the strongest defined brands out there and they know perfectly how to build and maintain their company. It's also still unclear how sports with public will evolve, but it's certain streaming will become even bigger after Covid. Therefore their money-losing ESPN acquisition could even turn into a moneymaker. Financial I can't really say great things about their financials. ROE is 12.67%, above 10% is decent. Assets over liabilities are x1.85 and debt to equity is 0.61. You could apply the saying "too big to fail' here, but that's about it. The bad financials are mainly caused by their big investment to streaming of course and they're working on it hard. They doubled their cash position, increasing their quick ratio from 0.75 to 0.89. Doubts I would say financials are their weak point here. They still have to go through some bad weather this and next year I would say. Them doubling their cash position in Q1 was soothing, as I see it being the biggest issue for the future. It might be better to wait it out and keep an eye on them for next year, but I wanted to take a position already. Not higher than 8% of my portfolio though. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- MICROSOFT - $MSFT They don't really an introduction I guess. 2nd biggest player for cloud services with Azure. Naming Satya Nadella as CEO and making the transition from hardware to software in 2014 were the best decisions they could've made. Acquired the government contract with Pentagon, however there's still uncertainty about it. In short, Amazon is claiming they were about to win the contract, but Trump criticizing the company would've lead to calling off the deal. For me, that's probably the main reason why MSFT didn't fly as high as their fellow cloud competitors yet. Financial Assets over liabilities x1.67. ROE and ROIC respectively at 43.82% and 28.88%. Quick ratio of 2.88, 0.65 debt to equity and 1.86 cash to debt. Decent financials, great returns. Talking about blue chips, I would say MSFT is still fairly valued with a PEG ratio just below industry average. Also paying a small dividend. Doubts The Pentagon contract allegations could be pretty negative for the company. They will probably not come back on their decision, cause if they do, MSFT will claim they already made big investments towards them and things will just keep on dragging on. Even without the contract, MSFT should be a 10 year hold while buying on dips. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- INNOVATIVE INDUSTRIAL PROPERTIES - $IIPR Haven't read a lot about them here on Reddit, but they're a very decent investment. Basically, they buy properties from cannabis companies and leases them back to the sellers, giving them the cash they need to grow faster and IIPR keeps the long term advantage of renting out those properties. They need to buy about 6-8 properties a year to keep their growth rate going and they already bought 7 this year. They still have a lot of cash ready to take advantage of the crisis. Not only are they 20% undervalued right now, they have a lot more growth potential after that and on top of it, they pay close to 5% dividend. I'm not a big fan of betting on the best cannabis company for the future, but IIPR is a great buy to have exposure in that industry. It doesn't happen very often I come across a company that combines growth potential with a high dividend, but IIPR does. Financial Quick ratio 6.75, cash to debt 2.8 (while REITs have an 0.07 average). Net margins 13% above average. Assets over liabilities x4.88. Annual EPS growing by more than 150% and about 41% in the last quarter before Covid. They just missed Q1 estimates, but it was only an 8% drop from Q4, performing way better than other REITs. Doubts IIPR has held a lot of new investment rounds, diluting shares. Of course extra capital will result in higher growth and will eventually be positive in the long run. There has been a drop in these last few days due to the announcement of selling 1 million more shares soon. I would look at it as an opportunity to get an even better price on them. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- TELADOC HEALTH - $TDOC It's the only company I don't own yet. I can't force myself to invest more than $140 per share for them, although I really like their business model. A lot of people are skipping doctors visits these days, going straight away to get medicines and counting on the advice of pharmacists. A lot of times, there's more examination needed. Not only do I see them succeeding in their field, I see them as an essential part of the automation of the pharmacy industry. It's a useful tool in emergencies, giving advice and deciding how serious the condition is, if (fast) medical care is needed. Teladoc will also play a role in insurance and giving the employers a checking tool. 98.9% of their shares are owned by institutions. Financial In terms of profitability and returns, not great of course. They are estimated to get profitable in 2023. Great balance sheet, assets over liabilities x2.66. Quick ratio 6.14, cash to debt 1.06, debt to equity 0.48. Doubts It's hard to see if a company is well managed before they are profitable. Their moat isn't very narrow, however I feel being one of the first ones gives you a big advantage in this field. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- DRAFTKINGS - $DKNG Gonna keep this one pretty short, there has been enough posts about Donkey Kong. For me, the most important factor for choosing them in this industry is their fantasy sports section. They are widely popular and that division will only get more interesting while online gambling, and especially in-game betting, gets more and more legalized in the US. Although they realized major revenue growth in 2019, they almost doubled their earnings loss. Main reason of course having to develop their platform and system. Good thing is, their technology is highly scalable, meaning they margin will grow massively while expanding in to more states and countries. Not many ratios available yet, so that's about the only financial information I own atm. The only negative I see is their pretty wide moat, so this one should be monitored more closely in the future. But for now, they have the momentum and are one of the most popular choices, great investment. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- RAYTHEON TECHNOLOGIES - $RTX As many of you know, two great companies (UTC and RTN) merged together in April. While United focussed on aircraft engines (Pratt & Whitney), Raytheon manufactured weapons, military and commercial electronics. They always delivered advanced technologies and them gaining multiple government contracts in the last decade is confirmation of their performant products. Raytheon will continue to grow their leadership in different segments. Because of their diversity, they seem perfectly in place to grow even more into an aerospace & defense giant. Engines, aerostructures, avionics, sensors, cybersecurity and other software solutions are just a few examples of their working fields. Financial With a PE ratio of 13.58 and PB ratio of 1.41, this is probably the most undervalued stock in my portfolio. Assets over liabilities x1.43. The rest of their financials isn't that great. UTC was carrying a lot of debt, but because of the merger, it will be better balanced as RTN was only carrying $2 billion net debt. If they can decrease their debt and optimize their merger, they are set to be the new number one in defense. Doubts It's still unclear how the merger will work out financially and logistically. In theory, they should be very well armed (pun intended) to take on LMT as market leader. Their exposure to commercial aircrafts is also a big threat, but it's less of an issue because they can make up with their other practices. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- As you can see, I've tried to get the best blue chips with still some growth potential and stable growth companies together. Since a lot of companies already got mentioned on this forum, I'll include a bonus round of interesting companies I came across during my search for the best companies. I didn't include them in my portfolio mainly because I feel the chance of them succeeding and living up to their future potential is more risky than others. For you looking for higher risk, higher reward, check out these companies below.
$INMD. They offer minimally-invasive aesthetic medical products for various procedures, such as liposuction with simultaneous skin tightening, body and face contouring. They are actually the only company in my watchlist that scored maximum on my financial checklist. I love to watch their financials. While we're in an overvalued market, INMD has only 18.73 PE and 0.6 PEG. They certainly got hit by Covid, but I would be very surprised if they don't multiply their market share over the next years.
$SMCI. Based mainly on servers and storage solutions. They are the supplier for cloud computing and AI based companies. They were ranked 18th fastest growing company by Fortune Magazine in 2016, but they still have a long way possible to grow. I see them stagnating a bit for a few years, but they definitely have potential in the long run. Financially very stable, big on cash to make some acquisitions and trading at only 14.84 PE.
$CDLX. Great business model. They basically turn financial transaction data into valuable information for advertising. They show returns as high as 30:1 for advertising spent. Not only is the online payment industry growing fast, but after Covid companies will need to work their advertising budgets even more efficiently. CDLX has momentum and will increase that market cap massively. That future outlook has a price unfortunately and I feel they're too expensive right now.
$OLED. They hold patents on ultra high definition OLED screen technology. There's still a large transition going on from LED to OLED screens. They are estimated to increase their manufacturing with 50% by the end of 2021. Unfortunately most of that growth is already priced in right now. It doesn't take away the longer term potential, but it doesn't make it that sexy of a buy right now.
$OMCL. Omnicell provides pharmacy automation solutions and other tools for healthcare systems. Big on cash, low on debt. They have an interesting business and the automation of healthcare will continue to grow, however they are also trading a bit above value.
$PCOM. A technology company based on e-commerce and services through loyalty programs. Most of their partners are airlines, which explains their difficulties of getting back up since the drop. At the moment it's unsure how this will work out. There will barely be room for bargains or rewards, however while the industry has to build up again, there's an opportunity to take away long time customers from competitors. Although they have enough cash to weather this crisis, they are depending on the industry. At PE below 10 and having a decent cash position, it's worth a gamble.
$APPS. Digital Turbine offers a mobile platform mainly for new apps. They have a very high future revenue forecast of 202.2% over the next 3 years. Big on cash and no debt as well. They already acquired Mobile Posse in March, diversifying their platform. Analysts are putting an average price target of $9.88 on them, giving it a 61% potential return.
$NVMI. They develop and produce process control systems used in the manufacturing of semiconductors, mainly focussing on industrializing X-ray and optical technologies like holographic images. Cash to debt 6.1, debt to equity 0.1, quick ratio 5.75, ROE 12.83% and ROIC 20.26%. Their financials are great. The only thing you could say is they are slightly overvalued, but still a very nice buy in comparison to the overvalued tech industry.
$INS. Active in the fintech sector, they provide tech solutions and processing services. Very similar financials to NVMI. Big on cash, almost no long term debt, great returns (ROE 29.7% / ROIC 85.95%) and steady growing EPS. They are also slightly overvalued, but should easily get back to $45 range after the crisis is over.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- So, that's about all I have to share. This will also be my last big post a while. Analyzing stocks has been my main occupation for the last three months, but it's time to work on opening up the hotel and bar again. I hope some of you get something out of this. I'm not a professional so always check again for yourself. I'm gonna hold on to these companies for a while now. Will add some extra capital at the beginning of 2021, so you could expect another big post about my newest findings then. For now, I'm gonna take a break from following the market day in day out and enjoy the weather a bit more. Have a good one!
DD: Covid cases are spiking...but buy these instead of SPY puts!
Hello fellow Autists! Longtime reader, first DD post for me. Like the rest of you, I see the writing on the wall with the spiking cases in Florida, Arizona, California, Texas (I am in Houston), etc. and want to profit from the next market move. I believe many of these states will be slow to respond with effective quarantine measures, and anecdotally I have seen very limited compliance with social distancing and mask guidelines. Due to the long incubation period of SARS-CoV-2, the case count spike we are seeing is most likely from exposure 2-3 weeks ago, and opportunities for spread have only increased since then. Additionally, a large percentage of the population is unable to interpret widely available public data and believes the increased case count is a fabrication because "we are testing more". However, a linear regression of the data for Texas shows the percent of tests that come back positive has increased from an average of ~4% 30 days ago to ~12% now, while the average number of tests have only increased by 10-20%. It is very clear from the data that we are seeing community spread at an exponential rate. Many will not come to this realization and alter their behavior until one of their loved ones becomes very sick. This will allow several more weeks of community spread to go on before R0 is brought back below 1. If the death count gets high enough, fear will take over and many will shelter in place again, either voluntarily or by mandate. The V-shaped recovery thesis becomes much harder to defend at this point, to say the least. For those of you still reading, you are probably thinking "I know all of this, how do I make those sweet, sweet tendies, fuckface?". Most of you are banking on SPY puts, but I think you might have better odds at a roulette table. The Fed has killed price discovery, and can severely restrict the risk/reward ratio of bearish positions with literally an infinite arsenal. The retail investors know this and will buy any dips, and any new shelter-in-place orders gives Jerome a fantastic excuse to fire up the digital printer again. Don't fight the Fed, and don't bet against a retail-mania driven bubble. However, the Fed is not interested in propping up the price of oil (gasp!). Chart with colors and lines and shit so you know I is tarded West Texas Crude dropped from a pre-COVID high of $65/bbl to futures at negative $37/bbl as a result of the demand destruction from worldwide quarantines. During this same period, an ETF that inversely tracks crude at a 2x clip, SCO, went from $12 to an intra-day peak of $67. SCO spiked twice more in the following days as crude underwent wild price swings. Fast-forward to today. Crude just formed a double-top chart pattern $40.50, exactly at the 61.8% Fibonacci Retracement level from it's January 2020 peak to it's April 20th low. This all-time low occurred an entire month after SPY bottomed on March 23rd, and this is because crude prices are actually driven by...wait for it...supply and demand. In other words, crude is still driven by fundamentals, while the stock market is (currently) not. In fact, government bailouts of the struggling US shale oil companies would only allow them to continue to flood the market, further driving down the price of oil. The US Energy Information Administration has forecasted 2H 2020 crude prices to average $37/bbl based on a V-shaped recovery (https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/steo/report/global_oil.php). We are currently at $40/ bbl based on OPEC+ compliance and recovery optimism, and we aren't even into Q3. There are too many variables for me to accurately predict actual crude demand in a W-shaped scenario as subsequent infection spikes slow the world's energy demands down again, but a gain in crude stocks will immediately send prices falling. I would expect crude to look for support near the 50% retracement level around $32/bbl, which would push SCO approximately 40% higher than current due to the daily compounded 2x leverage. Another wave of government mandated lockdowns would likely see crude fall to $25 or below, which would put SCO at around $44. Another Oil-geddon scenario would put SCO -at $60 or more. EIA 2021 Forecast Risks Nothing boosts oil prices like a foreign conflict, and tensions have certainly been on the rise this year. An airstrike on a tanker would be a bad headline for this position. Also further OPEC+ cuts would not be good news for me, but many of the participating countries are facing recessionary pressure and may violate their agreements to attempt to save their own budgets. If I am missing any other risks, please let me know. TL;DR COV-SARS-2 is once again pressuring global energy demand. The Fed can fuck your SPY puts, but might actually hurt oil prices. Go long on SCO or go with UCO puts. Choose expiration and strike price per your risk tolerance. Buying SCO directly will decouple the risk associated with trying to time the market. But I know how safe you guys like to play it, so load up on those puts! 🚀🚀🚀 Trade Updates 6/24, 10:00 - I have 7,000 shares of SCO cost averaged in at $17.50. After peaking at $41.62 yesterday, WTI is now trading below $39 on news that crude stocks are building while COVID cases continue to rise exponentially in parts of the US and the world. 6/24, 12:15 - RSI hit oversold on the bounce, so I bought 2,000 more shares. Shaping up to be an excellent day. 10% plus daily gains on an almost 200k position with lots more room to run. Also interesting to note that crude stocks actually gained today even before second wave demand destruction is here. Oil is down over twice as much as SPY for the reasons explained above. 6/25, 7:30 - WTI is down another 2% in pre-market on second wave fears. $37 was a level of support for June 9-17th, and we are right up against it again. If we break through today the next level is at $34.50 for another 15% or more of profits. 6/25, 9:00 - WTI bounces HARD off of the $37 support level on news that continuing unemployment claims dropped slightly. Lesson learned: take partial profits when prior levels of support are reached and buy back in after either support is breached with conviction or next level of resistance is met. 6/26, 8:00 - WTI durdled at the $39 resistance level overnight and is now falling hard pre-market. Looks like I may have a chance to try the partial profit-taking strategy above later today. 6/26, 14:55 - Another strong day, but we did not retest the $37 WTI level again. I took some partial profits (4,000 shares) at end of the day and will watch oil prices through the wknd. As predicted, Texas is already rolling back re-opening plans and cases continue to build exponentially all over the South. South America and India are showing textbook exponential rises as well. I also started some positions in AHPI and APT to play the potential mandatory mask laws. So far the trade is up over $15k. 6/29, 9:30 - Oil is recovering on more economic bullishness. I was stopped out of the rest of my position at $18.50. I will let the dust settle and find another entry point later this week. 7/5 - Several states have rolled back re-opening guidelines as cases continue to grow exponentially. I will be watching WTI action overnight to see if a bearish head and shoulders pattern will complete.
Rebuttal to "Zoom (ZM) stock analysis" with an actual analysis
The highest-voted post of today was a post saying that Zoom is overvalued, linking to a "stock analysis". I was underwhelmed, so I suggest a counter-analysis. Debunking the previous "analysis" Basically, the only arguments were that: the earnings per share and the revenue per share are low. Both of which are usually irrelevant for an early stage company with a high potential for growth. The earning per share are completely useless for such a company:
Amazon had very low profit, or had losses for a large part of their history (so P/E ratio was >500 for 3 years, with a quarter at 3,600 and 7 quarters at infinity P/E ratio, source). The average annual return on Amazon stock was +35% since then (1,000% total)
Facebook had a P/E ratio of 1200 at their first quarter. Average annual return of +37% since then (933% total)
Tesla never made a profit, so their P/E ratio has always been infinite. But average annual return of +49% since their IPO (3,700% total)
Edit: I chose the most famous examples. But, because many commenters focused on those particular companies, I looked for random ones. Between tickers AAA and ACA, in the Russell 2000, I found Axon Enterprise, Ameris Bancorp, Asbury Automoative Group, ACADIA pharmaceuticals, and Axcelis Technologie. All traded with infinite P/E ratio, all of them were excellent buys at the time. P/E ratio doesn't mean anything by itself, especially for small and medium companies.
I'm no financial analyst, but I think I can do better than that youtube video. The first thing to do is to look at their 10-K (annual report) https://investors.zoom.us/static-files/09a01665-5f33-4007-8e90-de02219886aa A good analyst would probably read the whole thing. I just went to page 38 to read this: Zoom financial statement Here, you can see that their YoY growth in revenue was +148% in 2017, +118% in 2018, +88% in 2019. So, if the pandemic had not happened I would have assumed a revenue growth of 60-70% in 2020. Which would mean a 1 billion revenue in 2020, without a pandemic. The "practical investor" video states "suppose that Zoom does very well and their revenue for this year is 1 billion dollars". So, their optimistic estimation with covid19 and everybody working from home and talking about Zoom is... my base expectation for the counter-factual "no covid". Why $68 was a fair share price in 2019 For a company growing so fast, no one should care about their current EPS or revenue. Without the pandemic, you could imagine a $3-4 billion of annual revenue within 6 years. Compared to most companies, their cost of revenue is super low (20%). The research & development cost can scale pretty well (if you have 10 times more users, you can afford 10 times more software engineers, but you don't *need* 10 times more engineers). Same for "General and administrative". And their cost of sales and marketing would probably go down when they leave exponential growth (most of the revenue coming from recurring customers, it costs less to keep them than to get new customers). So, if they were dominant in that field, I could see them having a profit of 40% for their core business. They would probably use most of that do diversify, invest in new products,... (like Google is no longer just a search engine, profits from the engine funded their investments in other projects). But for an investor that's equivalent, that's money which grows the value of the company. In that situation, you would get $1.2-1.5 bn of profit/year. Let's say they have an EPS of 20 then, that means a valuation of 24bn share price of $96 in 2026. So, if I want a return > 5%, I would pay at most $68 in 2019. Which was basically the share price back then. Questions to ask now that there is Covid19 How does covid change the company valuation? I don't think the personal use matters directly: those users are unlikely to get a paying account. And people will stop drinking over Zoom after the pandemic (at least not nearly as often). The money will come from professional accounts. But those free personal account can help as a marketing tool, getting people used to the tool, everyone talked about Zoom. The questions are:
For how long people are required/encouraged to work from home because of the pandemics
Does this significantly change culture after the pandemics?
What shares of the professional video conferencing does Zoom capture?
What are their margin on revenue?
My estimates would be:
Lots of variance, but I guess a large share of the jobs which can be done remotely will be encouraged to work remotely, at least part of the time, until enough people have been vaccinated to reach herd immunity (hard to predict but end of 2021 is reasonable).
If it lasts for so long, many companies will have put things in place making remote work easier. People will have gotten better at this. Most people will return to the office, but I bet it will change the remote-work culture in a big way.
That's the biggest interrogation mark for me. Because of the quality of product, tons of users used the free version during the pandemics (even though there are many other free services). So the name recognition is almost universal. When somebody will think about choosing a video conferencing service, Zoom will be on their mind. But they will only keep those users if they are worth it: they seemed to work better, but they have to keep their competitive edge.
I'm not that worried about margin, their cost of revenue has consistently been under 20%. I don't see cost of cloud computing going up significantly. Their main cost has been sales and marketing. This is expected when you are in exponential growth phase, the percentage will decrease later. The main threat is if competitors push the price down. For this, they have to make a product good enough that companies will choose to pay for Zoom, rather than using free versions (like Microsoft teams included in office, or google meet).
Estimating the value So, is Zoom overvalued? To be worth $240 today, I would like them to be worth $300 in 5 years, in 2020 dollars (5% inflation-adjusted annual return). If anything, the pandemics accelerate their growth, upfronts it. In 5 years, they will be mature without easy room to grow in developed markets (at least for their videoconferencing product). So their value would come from their earnings, not expected growth. Price share of $300, means a company valuation of $83bn. To justify a $83bn valuation, I would like at least $4.1bn of profit (P/E ratio of 20), preferably $5.5 (P/E ratio of 15). Let's say $5bn What would it take to get $5bn of profit? I'll assume their cost of revenue stay at 20%, their administrative go from 10% to 5% (economy of scales), marketing goes from 50% to 20% (market is more mature), research and development stays at 10% (important to keep their edge). That means their profit could be 40% if they did not see investment opportunities. So to get $5 bn of profit, they would need $12.5bn of revenue. Can they get to $12.5bn of revenue (in 2020 dollars)? They price their main service at $20/month/host. So they would need 50 million paid accounts (less than that if you count higher priced items like zoom rooms). Those may be for people working from home, companies which have more than one office,... My guess is that most worker who could work from home, could benefit from good videoconferencing. Even if they work at the office, they might use it to meet with people in other buildings. In my previous companies, all our conference rooms were equipped with Zoom, we all had accounts, even though nobody was working full-time remote. Before covid 5% of the workforce worked from home, both in the US and EU (total of 20 million). But 50 to 70% of people could work from home (so > 200 million people, just with US and EU). Counting the whole world, I could see 400 million regularly using videoconferencing for work (growing population, countries like China switching from manufacturing to service as they develop,...). Most won't need it often enough to justify paying for it. So free solutions will do for them. But I could see 150 million people paying for a good videoconference service, and 50 million of them choosing Zoom. Is it optimistic? Maybe. But if remote work grows, if colleges use Zoom for some classes,... Fifty million accounts is far from absurd. And, again, that's not counting their other products (right now: Zoom Rooms, Zoom Video Webinars, and Zoom Phone, maybe others in the future). Option play? That's where I'm really not sure. It's not clear to me that Zoom is over or undervalued. But there is a lot of variance. If they become the dominant player, they are under-valued, if Microsoft crushes them with Team they are way overvalued. I don't see much middle ground. So I would probably do a straddle with deep OTM calls and puts very long-dated (like 01/2022). But, of course, the Implied Volatility of ZM is high, so those options are expensive. I bought some 01/2022 $160 calls when ZM was around $115 (just after the price crashed from Facebook announcement, I thought it was dumb, I don't see companies using Facebook for their video-conferences and that's where I see the money). But I sold those when ZM reached $150, for a 90% profit (if I sold today, I would have gotten > +300% profit). Again, I'm not a stock analyst, and I don't have experience in the videoconferencing field. EDIT: Since I detail how I came up with the valuation. You can easily plug-in your own estimations of paid users in a few years, and return target (Eps when mature, return until then) to get to your esfimation of ZM value. EDIT 2 : Added other examples of good buys at infinite P/E ratio
Rant from a Financial Advisor (no love for this in personal finance)
This is a rant from an individual who considers himself an advisor and advocate for his clients. The first myth I would like to dispel is the idea that just because someone works for an RIA or is a fee only advisor they are not a salesman. Instead of looking for a FA, that is this or that, please just evaluate them on one criteria. Are they a salesman or are they there to advise you on your financial life. I know that this goes against the grain of everything you have heard but just keep reading. Just because you are working with an RIA or a fee only advisor you are not guaranteed impartiality. Sorry to burst your bubble but that is how life works. For example they will only sell you certain funds that pay a commission to the firm and the advisor. Oh.... you want to buy a vanguard index fund, nope not happening we have this A share fund and that is it. SEE LOOK!!!! we can only sell you certain funds and since they charge the same commission we are fulfilling our fiduciary relationship. THIS IS WHERE THE INDUSTRY IS GOING PEOPLE!!!! Ok. now you will say BUT if you just buy an S&P 500 index fund you will do better than most advisors and managers, follow Warren Buffet's advice. NO SHIT!! This is true and should be used by everyone. BUT guess what??? Most people are not smart enough or disciplined enough to do this. People hire advisors like me to keep them on track. To keep them grounded when the market turns bad. Mostly to keep them invested. Yes you heard me "to keep them invested." Your grandma or aunt that you want to take over the account and invest in VOO because you read on the inter-webs that it is the best thing since sliced bread. Guess what happens when the market drops 25%. She fucking sells out and does not buy back in for years. This is the reality of the situation. This is why most advisors will buy a growth moderate income fund or balanced fund, because guess what? Most people are OK with mediocre returns if they don't lose money in sharp declines. This is the real secret to the business. we work to keep people invested NOT make them the most money possible.
How do you select an advisor you ask. here is how. Ask FUCKING questions.
Education: sociology major or English major, yeah fuck that guy
Time in the industry: your cousin who cold called you, fuck him.
AUM: this should be at least a few million if he is with an RIA, much more if a broker!!!
Captive or independent: go independent all the way or get the shit "A share" funds.
Ask them technical question. If they can not explain a PE ratio run or how a stock price is affected by a dividend then run.
Ask for stock picks!!! No joke but don't buy them ( you will likely lose money). Because if they cant give you any analysis on a single stock why the fuck should you talk to this guy. They are a salesman nothing more.
Don't buy shit from your CSR at the bank!!!!
Will they work with your insert CPA, Lawyer, business partner?
Speaking of that don't use your CPA or Lawyer as your FA. Conflict of interest.
Beware of the old fuck who has 2 years experience but looks like he has 25 years in the industry. Usually overweight balding and wearing a J. Bank Suit from the buy one get three free line.
Oh yeah the guy that seems to give zero fucks about you and your money. That is the one you want. Why??? because he does not need to sell you shit to pay his bills. He will give you advice based on your best interest not his. His car and mortgage are golden and do not depend on your $10,000 IRA to keep his BMW from the repo man.
A few more things Whole Life insurance: FUCK WHOLE LIFE INSURANCE. This is the worst investment known to man. Buy term. Whole is a savings account with life insurance attached. Annuities: These get a bad rap but are great if you understand what you are buying. Most people do not. CD at 1% for 5 years or a fixed annuity at 2.4% for 3 years buy the fucking annuity. $200,000 in your MMA for the last 10 years thinking interest rates will go up. Buy an Index annuity for 7 years at a cap of 5%. Fuck you were not doing anything with the money anyway. See my point!!! Mutual funds: Just buy an index funds. There I said it. But really it is your best bet to make real money. If you can not deal with the ups and downs look to a no load fund from a reputable company with a fixed income component. Individual stock: The only way to beat the market. Also the quickest way to lose money. buyer beware. This rant is not geared to people who can invest for themselves. It is geared toward those that want to evaluate and Advisor without the sugar coating from someone in the industry. EDIT: Thank you to the persons who gave this post gold and silver. I thought when I made it that the post would be deleted before morning!!! I want to address a few things that people have asked the most and I will try to answer everyone's questions
Education: This pissed a lot of people off! I was not trying to say that if you are not an econ major you can't be an advisor. I was trying to give people a way of cutting out the BS of the industry. You need to understand how people are recruited. Many firms will take on about anyone who can breath and pass the series 7, then they put them in a room to do cold calls or go knock on doors asking for business. A great deal of the folks get jobs with the firm only to be exploited and to wash out of the industry. People with a business or econ background are more likely to work at reputable and legit firms that don't exploit you for your circle of friends or family.
Fiduciary Standard: Everyone likes to make mention of this. Well.... what does this mean??? In the financial services industry it means that the advisor will not sell you one product over the other based on personal gain to the advisor. This is different from a suitability standard where you can sell whatever you want no matter the commission as long as it is suitable for the customer. How each firm deals with this is different across the board. RIA's for example will only invest your account under a Wrap fee usually 1-2% of the AUM. Commission based sales will remove low commission products so they can say that they did the best for you on their platform. What it does NOT mean is the advisor must do the very best for you and send you down the street if there is a better deal. IT ONLY MEANS THEY MUST DO THE BEST FOR YOU WITH WHAT THEY CAN SELL.
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