Engagement rings charlottesville va

Lauren B 3 Stone Emerald- Details in Comments

2023.03.21 18:43 Economics-Numerous Lauren B 3 Stone Emerald- Details in Comments

Lauren B 3 Stone Emerald- Details in Comments submitted by Economics-Numerous to EngagementRings [link] [comments]


2023.03.21 18:30 ThePacificLights Sharing my engagement ring stone I cut myself. 6.3mm Moissanite, DEF, in Voltolinis design Fritillaria (modified by me). The perks of being a gem cutter! Ring is too big 😂 but I'll get resized

Sharing my engagement ring stone I cut myself. 6.3mm Moissanite, DEF, in Voltolinis design Fritillaria (modified by me). The perks of being a gem cutter! Ring is too big 😂 but I'll get resized submitted by ThePacificLights to Gemstones [link] [comments]


2023.03.21 18:19 cbvv1992 🔥50% Off Code And Clip Coupon – $8.99 Stainless Steel Wedding Engagement 4 Carat Women Ring (6 sizes)

🔥50% Off Code And Clip Coupon – $8.99 Stainless Steel Wedding Engagement 4 Carat Women Ring (6 sizes) submitted by cbvv1992 to DealAndSale [link] [comments]


2023.03.21 17:53 Shephen Engage Character/Unit Discussion: Emblem Roy

"Rise up, Emblem of Binding!
Roy is known as the Emblem of Binding, or the Ring of the Young Lion. A nobleman who excels as a general, brave and intelliegent. A noble of Pherae in the Lycia region of Elibe, a land in another world. He stood up to Bern and confronted the revived Demon Dragon Idunn. He is protagonist Lord of FE6. He joins in chapter 8 and is initially paired with Diamant.

Stats

Bond Level Hp Str Res
1 5 1 1
2 5 2 1
4 7 2 1
7 7 2 2
9 7 3 2
12 10 3 2
14 10 3 3
16 10 4 3
17 10 5 3
19 10 6 3

Engravement

Name Mt Hit Crit Wt Avoid Dodge
Binding +2 - - +8 -30 -

Emblem Weapons

Name Bond Level Weapon Type Mt Hit Crit Wt Range Effects
Lancereaver 1 Sword 9 80 5 9 1 Grants advantage vs. lances but disadvantage vs. axes.
Wyrmslayer 10 Sword 10 70 0 5 1 Effective: Dragon.
Binding Blade 15 Sword 14 95 10 8 1-2 Grants Def/Res+5. Can strike close or at range.

Engage Skills

Skill Name Skill Affect Dragon Bonus Backup Bonus Mystic Bonus Covert Bonus Cavalry Bonus Flying Bonus Armor Bonus Qi Adept Bonus
Rise Above Grants Lvl+5. Additional Lvl+1. - - - Mov+1 - Max HP+5. -
Blazing Lion Use to attack adjacent foe and an area 3 spaces wide. Target area and the 2 rows beyond it are set on fire. Sword only. Expands attack area - Expands flame area - - - - -

Inheritable Skills

Level Skill Name Skill Affect Skill Type SP Cost
1/8/13/18 Hold Out/+/+/+ If unit had 30%/20%/10%/2 HP or more at start of combat, unit always survives combat with at least 1 HP. Sync Skill 2000/3000/4000/5000
3 Advance Use to move 1 space toward a foe that is 2 spaces away and attack. Sync Skill 500
1/2/9/14/17/19 Str +1/2/3/4/5/6 Grants Str +1/2/3/4/5/6 Inheritable Skill 500/1000/3000/4000/5000/6000
4/7/9/12/16 Sword Power 1/2/3/4/5 Grants Atk+2/4/6/8/10 at a cost of Avo-10 when using a sword Inheritable Skill 1000/2000/3000/4000/5000
What units do you like to give Roy?
What skills do you like to inherit from Roy?
What are your thoughts on Roy's Engravement?
Previous Emblem Discussions: Marth, Sigurd, Celica, Micaiah
Previous Unit Discussions:Vander, Clanne, Framme, Alfred, Bourcheron, Etie, Celine, Louis, Chloe, Jean, Yunaka, Anna, Alcryst, Citrinne, Lapis, Diamant, Amber, Jade, Ivy, Kagetsu, Zelkov, Fogado, Bunet, Pandreo, Timerra, Merrin, Panette, Hortensia, Seadall, Rosado,Goldmary, Lindon, Saphir, Mauvier,Veyle
submitted by Shephen to fireemblem [link] [comments]


2023.03.21 17:48 CFH016 Vintage ring

Vintage ring
My girlfriend had mentioned to me she wanted a vintage engagement ring. Not just a vintage style, actual vintage. I want to find reputable jewelers to find one so I can be sure of it's authenticity, but not sure where to start. Can you find vintage stuff at all jewelers? I'm located in Canada.
submitted by CFH016 to EngagementRings [link] [comments]


2023.03.21 17:23 shadowkat678 [Online][Roll20][CoC 7e][Sunday 7pm CST][$20/week] Crimson Letters, a 3-5 session Call of Cthulhu mini campaign looking for three to five investigators to solve the case!

Crimson Letters

We start our story at Arkham Massachusetts, and more specifically at Miskatonic University, where a rather strange death has just occurred. Professor Charles Leiter was found in his office. The official cause of death is a heart attack.
Yet, the Dean seems to be interested enough in the circumstances, or at least on a project the professor had been working on before he died, that he calls you in at the recommendation of the morgue assistant. You are all connected to an amateur university investigation club, with a bent toward the unexplained. With no one else to turn to and not wanting this to get out to the press and create a potential scandal, Dean Fallon puts you all on the case. Surely nothing can go wrong?
Hello, I'm Kat! An experienced Game Master but newer to Call of Cthulhu and looking to dip my toes into the system with a short adventure on Roll20. By my estimate, Crimson Letters will last from three to five sessions depending on how deeply the group...well, investigates!
It will be starting on Sunday April 2nd and going weekly until the scenario wraps up.
Crimson Letters leans rather heavily into a sandbox style of game where it'll be up to your sleuthing to discover exactly what happened to the deceased Professor Leiter, as well as the whereabouts of some missing documents he'd been researching prior to his death. This is not a linear point A to B to C scenario. Where you go, who you talk to, and how you go about solving this case before it's too late is completely up to you! So get your notepads ready, and keep an eye out for shadows moving in the dark...

Character Creation

I have made a set of nine premade investigators that you can choose from for this adventure, complete with background information and ties to the scenario and the other investigators involved. I am open to talking about tweaks to characters if you would like, but as a new Keeper, using premade, especially for a short scenario, is the way I have decided to go to help both me and any new players.

What is provided

I will set up music, splash screens, and a lot of props. All you need to do is show up. Everything else is provided and I've done my best to make sure it's an atmospheric and professional experience. I will again forewarn you that though I am an experienced Game Master, I am newer to the system of CoC, so I am still becoming acquainted with the rules.
That said, I have read both the Keeper and Investigator guides as well as posted a number of resources to the Discord channel for help with rules referencing on anything that may arise that I am not as familiar with, as well as to help other newcomers to the system.

About the Keeper

I have been running various games for about seven years now, from (with varying amounts of experience) Cyberpunk Red, Blades in the Dark, Vampire the Masquerade, D&D 5e, Avatar Legends, and now Call of Cthulhu 7e. I come from a writing and amateur acting background, so my big love as a Game Master is making a realistic, breathing, and growing world for players to impact and explore. I particularly pride myself on making a cast of dynamic NPCs to interact with, regardless of system.
I am not a voice actor. I can do a few accents, and some funny voices, but mostly I try to vary tones, speech patterns, and other smaller aspects. If you come in expecting Matthew Mercer's level of acting skill, you will be disappointed. I have not been to VA school. I have been told, however, that I can do a near-perfect sheep impersonation.
Lastly, I value communication and mutual respect. I find 99% of problems at a table stem from not understanding the boundaries and expectations of other players, and listening to the group around you. If you have problems or concerns, we will talk about them like mature adults and try our best to find a solution.
My table is always a safe space for minority communities and bigotry, despite playing in an era where it runs rampant, is not tolerated by players.
Any experience level is welcome as long as you're liking what you're reading and enjoy story-driven games with a large amount of roleplaying. If you have any questions at all don't hesitate to ask, and feel free to pm me on Discord at Shadowkat678#0160 where I will see any messages quicker.

When you sign up, please let confirm that you agree to the following conditions:

-Payment will be $20/session through Paypal, Venmo, or Startplaying (Though this last option is a bit more expensive due to fees I have to pay).
-Please be eighteen years old or older to apply.
-New players are welcome but note that this is an RP-heavy story with a more complicated plot, so please make sure you are comfortable with that.
-Make sure you can commit to the sessions, time slot, and payment amount.
-Have a clear microphone and a stable internet connection, please.
-Just be a decent person.

Player Reviews

Here are a few reviews from players already in current campaigns that I'm plucking off of my StartPlaying profile.
Jack:
"Kat is very prepared and invested in the lore and story, but remains open to player collaboration and shows interest and engagement with character details across the board. (...) The game world feels dense and alive, with much going on beyond the party's knowledge, and also open to charting our own course. Highly recommended."
Nick:
"They put a lot of effort into their story weaving, and the attention to detail really shows. (...) Heavily roleplay focused, these sessions have really made it feel as though we are living, breathing entities in the world, and we are going to shape our story by our own means. It is delightful to have such an open and caring DM who considers everyone in the conversations, and makes sure everyone has a chance to shine."
GM Gabe (DnDUnlimited):
"They know what players want/need to hear and how to adjust on the fly to bring the story to life. The best way, I think, to describe their gameplay is IMMERSIVE. They bring you in with amazing hooks and keep you going with plot twists that you never see coming. They are fun and intuitive when it comes to role-playing and always find a way to make, both the storyline and linked NPCs feel real. If it isn't enough that they do all that, they allow for some epic rule of cool moments and know exactly when to apply them and not. "
Timothy:
"I've been playing with Kat for years now, first as a fellow player alongside them, then also as a player in games they've run. They never fail to be creative and nuanced, especially when it comes to the dramatic roleplaying side of things. Always a delight to share the table with."
Speaking of Startplaying, if you would like to sign up through that site, I upped the price to match StartPlaying's Fees, HOWEVER I am also offering an Early Bird Discount for the first two people who sign up on the site, which would half the price for a session and would have you registered as someone who has officially played with me if you wished to leave me a review on my profile after the game has ended. Let me know and I can send you a link.
submitted by shadowkat678 to startplaying [link] [comments]


2023.03.21 17:18 Acc21w Freya Parker Puts Her Engagement Ring In Her Mouth And Lets Her Fianc�'s Friend Cum Inside - Mofos

Freya Parker Puts Her Engagement Ring In Her Mouth And Lets Her Fianc�'s Friend Cum Inside - Mofos submitted by Acc21w to Bebjuib [link] [comments]


2023.03.21 17:16 shadowkat678 [Online][CoC 7e][Sunday 7pm CST][$20/week] Crimson Letters, a 3-5 session Call of Cthulhu mini campaign looking for three to five investigators to solve the case!

Crimson Letters

We start our story at Arkham Massachusetts, and more specifically at Miskatonic University, where a rather strange death has just occurred. Professor Charles Leiter was found in his office. The official cause of death is a heart attack.
Yet, the Dean seems to be interested enough in the circumstances, or at least on a project the professor had been working on before he died, that he calls you in at the recommendation of the morgue assistant. You are all connected to an amateur university investigation club, with a bent toward the unexplained. With no one else to turn to and not wanting this to get out to the press and create a potential scandal, Dean Fallon puts you all on the case. Surely nothing can go wrong?
Hello, I'm Kat! An experienced Game Master but newer to Call of Cthulhu and looking to dip my toes into the system with a short adventure on Roll20. By my estimate, Crimson Letters will last from three to five sessions depending on how deeply the group...well, investigates!
It will be starting on Sunday April 2nd and going weekly until the scenario wraps up.
Crimson Letters leans rather heavily into a sandbox style of game where it'll be up to your sleuthing to discover exactly what happened to the deceased Professor Leiter, as well as the whereabouts of some missing documents he'd been researching prior to his death. This is not a linear point A to B to C scenario. Where you go, who you talk to, and how you go about solving this case before it's too late is completely up to you! So get your notepads ready, and keep an eye out for shadows moving in the dark...

Character Creation

I have made a set of nine premade investigators that you can choose from for this adventure, complete with background information and ties to the scenario and the other investigators involved. I am open to talking about tweaks to characters if you would like, but as a new Keeper, using premade, especially for a short scenario, is the way I have decided to go to help both me and any new players.

What is provided

I will set up music, splash screens, and a lot of props. All you need to do is show up. Everything else is provided and I've done my best to make sure it's an atmospheric and professional experience. I will again forewarn you that though I am an experienced Game Master, I am newer to the system of CoC, so I am still becoming acquainted with the rules.
That said, I have read both the Keeper and Investigator guides as well as posted a number of resources to the Discord channel for help with rules referencing on anything that may arise that I am not as familiar with, as well as to help other newcomers to the system.

About the Keeper

I have been running various games for about seven years now, from (with varying amounts of experience) Cyberpunk Red, Blades in the Dark, Vampire the Masquerade, D&D 5e, Avatar Legends, and now Call of Cthulhu 7e. I come from a writing and amateur acting background, so my big love as a Game Master is making a realistic, breathing, and growing world for players to impact and explore. I particularly pride myself on making a cast of dynamic NPCs to interact with, regardless of system.
I am not a voice actor. I can do a few accents, and some funny voices, but mostly I try to vary tones, speech patterns, and other smaller aspects. If you come in expecting Matthew Mercer's level of acting skill, you will be disappointed. I have not been to VA school. I have been told, however, that I can do a near-perfect sheep impersonation.
Lastly, I value communication and mutual respect. I find 99% of problems at a table stem from not understanding the boundaries and expectations of other players, and listening to the group around you. If you have problems or concerns, we will talk about them like mature adults and try our best to find a solution.
My table is always a safe space for minority communities and bigotry, despite playing in an era where it runs rampant, is not tolerated by players.
Any experience level is welcome as long as you're liking what you're reading and enjoy story-driven games with a large amount of roleplaying. If you have any questions at all don't hesitate to ask, and feel free to pm me on Discord at Shadowkat678#0160 where I will see any messages quicker.

When you sign up, please let confirm that you agree to the following conditions:

-Payment will be $20/session through Paypal, Venmo, or Startplaying (Though this last option is a bit more expensive due to fees I have to pay).
-Please be eighteen years old or older to apply.
-New players are welcome but note that this is an RP-heavy story with a more complicated plot, so please make sure you are comfortable with that.
-Make sure you can commit to the sessions, time slot, and payment amount.
-Have a clear microphone and a stable internet connection, please.
-Just be a decent person.

Player Reviews

Here are a few reviews from players already in current campaigns that I'm plucking off of my StartPlaying profile.
Jack:
"Kat is very prepared and invested in the lore and story, but remains open to player collaboration and shows interest and engagement with character details across the board. (...) The game world feels dense and alive, with much going on beyond the party's knowledge, and also open to charting our own course. Highly recommended."
Nick:
"They put a lot of effort into their story weaving, and the attention to detail really shows. (...) Heavily roleplay focused, these sessions have really made it feel as though we are living, breathing entities in the world, and we are going to shape our story by our own means. It is delightful to have such an open and caring DM who considers everyone in the conversations, and makes sure everyone has a chance to shine."
GM Gabe (DnDUnlimited):
"They know what players want/need to hear and how to adjust on the fly to bring the story to life. The best way, I think, to describe their gameplay is IMMERSIVE. They bring you in with amazing hooks and keep you going with plot twists that you never see coming. They are fun and intuitive when it comes to role-playing and always find a way to make, both the storyline and linked NPCs feel real. If it isn't enough that they do all that, they allow for some epic rule of cool moments and know exactly when to apply them and not. "
Timothy:
"I've been playing with Kat for years now, first as a fellow player alongside them, then also as a player in games they've run. They never fail to be creative and nuanced, especially when it comes to the dramatic roleplaying side of things. Always a delight to share the table with."
Speaking of Startplaying, if you would like to sign up through that site, I upped the price to match StartPlaying's Fees, HOWEVER I am also offering an Early Bird Discount for the first two people who sign up on the site, which would half the price for a session and would have you registered as someone who has officially played with me if you wished to leave me a review on my profile after the game has ended. Let me know and I can send you a link.
submitted by shadowkat678 to roll20LFG [link] [comments]


2023.03.21 17:09 InternationalWash822 Warren Buffett invested in these Fintech Companies - How does SOFI Measure Up?

Warren Buffett invested in these Fintech Companies - How does SOFI Measure Up?
The fintech industry has seen one of the most exciting growth trends as it revolutionizes how people access financial services. Right now, there are over 30,000 fintech startups and by the end of 2021, fintech investment reached a total of $210 billion. The fintech sphere is only expected to grow, so I believe it is a very attractive industry for investors and Warren Buffet seems to think so too.
The Oracle of Omaha has been making large investments in multiple fintech companies. In fact, Buffet has invested over $900M (107.1M shares) in the Brazilian company, Nu Holdings, and $907M (30M shares) in ALLY. This is a huge investment even for someone like Buffett. Nu Holdings is actually his 8th largest investment in terms of shares. This raises the question, why has Buffett invested in these other fintech companies, but not in Sofi?
Throughout this post, I’ll be talking about Sofi, ALLY, and Nu Holdings - comparing their pros, cons, and similarities. My goal here is to see if there is room for 3 top dogs in the fintech industry or not.
Why has Buffett purchased a lot of shares of Nu Holdings, specifically?
For starters, the company has grown its customer base to 70.9 million clients in just over a year since going public. Nu Holdings provides credit cards to people who are not eligible to get one through other banks & tries to minimize risk by reducing the eligible benefits that the customer is initially eligible for. As they pay their bills on time, they unlock more benefits & more credit limits.
Another reason is its management. It's no secret that Buffett likes to invest in companies with good management. As he once said, “When we own portions of outstanding businesses with outstanding management, our favorite holding period is forever.”
Nu Holdings has recently hired David Marcus (former president of PayPal & former Meta Board member) on March 6 to be part of its Board of Directors. It’s expected that David will play a crucial role in Nu’s journey going forward.
The rest of the management team brings a lot of experience to the table as well:
  • CEO, David Velez, was a partner at Sequoia capital between January 2011 & March 2013. He also worked for Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and General Atlantic.
  • CGO, Cristina Junqueira, worked for a Boston Consulting group before founding Nu Holdings in 2013.
  • CFO, Guilherme Lago, worked in Credit Suisse Group AG & Mckinsey as well.
  • CPO, Jagpreet Duggal, worked as a director of product management at Facebook.
So you can see Nu’s management team has significant experience in this sector and under their leadership, Nu Holdings grew its revs from $1.7 billion in 2021 to $4.8 billion in 2022 - a 182.3% increase YoY.
Nu Holdings’ Edge - Brazil’s Unbanked Population
Before Nu Holdings started, over 55 million Brazilians were unbanked. This is because it's notoriously difficult for people who are not wealthy to obtain credit cards in Brazil. In general, it's very difficult to get a credit card in Latin America without being one of the wealthy elites.
By offering credit cards to people who would not be able to obtain one any other way, Nu has captured a large, untapped market. This is the main reason Nu is as successful as it is today.
Compared to SOFI, Nu Holdings has a much larger client base, this is of course due to its operations in Brazil, Mexico, & Columbia which in total have a larger population than the US. Thanks in part to these widespread operations, Forbes listed Nu Holdings as one of the world’s best banks in 2022.
Nu Holdings has a larger client base, more revenues, and is growing at a much faster rate than Sofi. The main reason for this is the fact that Nu Holdings doesn’t have as many competitors as Sofi, especially since they focus on an untapped market in Latin America. With Sofi, they have competitors right, left, and center due to established banks and fintech competitors. Nu Holdings became profitable Q3 2022 - only a year after its inception. After making a net profit of $7.8 million in Q3, it went on to make $58 million the next quarter and is on track to report an EPS of $0.02 & $1.393B in revenues in Q1 2023
Whereas SOFI is still struggling to become profitable and is forecast to make an EPS of $-0.077 & $442.262M in revenue in Q1 2023.

https://preview.redd.it/gkta3om784pa1.png?width=626&format=png&auto=webp&s=4d1bfed341d05e0187966a6da3b3e34c4895cbfd
https://preview.redd.it/eu2am7q684pa1.png?width=622&format=png&auto=webp&s=6b0d5b8ff376c5c0ae86c565cbc715a50d293f28
*Screenshot taken from Future Investing YouTube*
How are Nu Holdings & Sofi similar?
But Nu Holdings & Sofi share one very important thing in common. They both want to be a one stop shop for financial services.
Since Sofi specializes in student loan refinancing, it creates a bond with younger customers who - hopefully - will turn into lifelong customers that use Sofi for all their banking needs. Similarly, Nu Holdings offers credit cards to customers younger than 18 in Brazil - capturing a demographic of young people who will hopefully become lifelong customers.
This means that both companies could continue to grow and expand as their customer base grows older and younger generations adopt their services as well.

https://preview.redd.it/xlub4fg884pa1.jpg?width=500&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=9d8d039e9347417080f9035758f5cb9435e6dc29
Why has Buffett invested in ALLY?
Having invested $1.7B since 2012 in the industry giant, General Motors, you could say Buffet is an expert on the auto industry. Which helps explain why Buffett took an interest in Ally.
This fintech company offers multiple services but specializes in the auto loan industry since it once was a financing division of GM, originally known as GMAC. After GM sold the rest of its 8.5% stake in Ally for $900M in 2013, Ally has expanded its market by offering mortgages, credit cards, wealth management, & other services.

https://preview.redd.it/y1c473va84pa1.png?width=605&format=png&auto=webp&s=84b47713c9d3fc8551a21260e51fc863cc7d1570
Another reason Buffett is investing in ALLY could be its history of share buybacks. Buffett is a big believer in stock buybacks and has said they can be the best use of corporate capital. ALLY also offers quarterly dividends to shareholders, which is a sign of the company’s fundamental strength.
How does ALLY compare to Sofi?
The main difference is the source of Ally’s revenue. 65.6% of Ally’s total revenue in 2022 came from the auto finance industry, while Sofi’s edge is student loan refinancing. In 2019, Sofi generated 59.7% of its revenue from student loans. But it’s worth noting that it can be quite difficult to qualify for student loan refinancing if you have a bad credit score whereas it’s a bit easier for people to get auto loans.

https://preview.redd.it/q9efotfb84pa1.png?width=615&format=png&auto=webp&s=3dc7776eb6c02cd0e9293b82cb11e14b391cd86b
How are Ally & Sofi similar?
Ally & Sofi both offer commission free stock trading for investors with a high APY as well. Ally’s savings account offers 3.60% APY and Sofi offers 3.75% APY with a direct deposit. This means that with a direct deposit, you’ll earn a higher APY with Sofi, but without one, you’d earn a higher APY with Ally.
Both companies offer multiple services such as mortgage loans, credit cards, insurance, etc. and are online banks with no physical locations. Given their different niches, it makes sense that Ally’s customers tend to be millennials while Sofi’s customers tend to be students or fresh graduates.
Sofi’s Edge
So after going through the pros and cons of all three of these companies, you might be wondering if SOFI has what it takes to gain market share in the growing Fintech industry.
I believe Sofi has an edge over these two competitors when it comes to diversification. The two pictures below show the type of services that Sofi & Ally offer. Sofi is constantly trying to increase its market by opening up different services to attract new customers. To name a few:
  • Sofi Relay: Allows members to link all their existing deposit accounts, investment accounts, & retirement accounts into a single mobile dashboard.
  • Money Vaults: Helps users prioritize saving money. Vaults are used to save money for a certain purchase to be made in the future (Ex. Car or house).
  • Retirement accounts: Traditional, Roth, & SEP IRAs
    • Traditional: Traditional retirement account, withdrawable
    • Roth: Allows you to contribute after-tax dollars, and then withdraw the money tax free in retirement.
    • SEP IRA: A retirement account for someone who’s self-employed.
  • Sofi Protect: Gathers details to get comparisons on insurance providers to find the best rate for you.
  • Sofi Invest:
    • Crypto investing: offers trading for 30 cryptocurrencies with a 1.25% charge per trade.
    • Stock investing: stock and ETF investing commission free.
    • Automated Investing with goal setting, auto rebalancing, & Diversification
  • Loans:
    • Wedding loans: Loans used to purchase an engagement ring, wedding, or honeymoon with a low fixed-rate personal loan from $5k-$100k.
    • Travel Loans: Loan used to travel. Low fixed rate personal loan from $5k to $100k.
    • Law school loans: Loan for Law school students. Competitive rates, exclusive member benefits, & no fees
    • MBA Loans
    • Home Improvement loans
  • Cyber Insurance: Protection from Cyber financial fraud, cyber extortion, identity theft, phishing scams
  • Sofi Insights: Tracks all your money in one place on the mobile app, monitor your credit score, set multiple goals, track your spending.
  • Estate Planning: Partnered with Trust & Will to give members 15% off their trust.
I recently learned that SOFI is even letting its customers get early access to IPOs which could draw more traders to the company’s services. If SOFI underwrites more IPOs, investors like you and me may join its platform just to get in on that action. Personally, I think this is a fantastic service because up till now IPOs have been a very exclusive process.

https://preview.redd.it/0vcs7h5c84pa1.png?width=541&format=png&auto=webp&s=3521404dec4a95cb3ed2212eb32bbee5416a0fd1
Besides diversification, SOFI’s focus on student loan refinancing is also a plus imo. College education is essential in the US and without a college degree, most people can only get so far in their career.
For instance, 53.7% of the US working population in 2021 graduated from college and at least 75% of new jobs require a college degree.
When you factor in the average cost of tuition - which has soared 31.4% from 2010-2020 - and that the average student debt among college graduates is $28,000, SOFI is in a great position to profit from this sector.
Given this inflationary environment & higher interest rates, I think that demand for student loan refinancing will only increase. This is because employers are constantly looking for people with degrees & the number of jobs requiring this are increasing every year. So it's no surprise that CEO Anthony Noto recently said, “We’d expect the demand for that product (student loans) to really go through the roof and be back to normalized levels that we saw in 2019.”
But with the student loan pause in place, SOFI is losing a lot of money. The company stated that it has lost $300M to $400M and is pushing very hard to get a decision passed ending the student loan moratorium. The Supreme Court already heard the oral arguments regarding the case and is expected to give a decision in June.
If things are not resolved by then or the Supreme Court rules against federal student loan forgiveness, then payments are expected to resume by the end of August. This is because payments are expected to start up again, 60 days following the ruling.
Needless to say this would be a huge catalyst for SOFI and I, personally, believe that the Supreme Court will rule in SOFI’s favor. And the flood of refinancing requests that could come in once this limbo ends could give SOFI’s revenues a much-needed push. With this in mind, June will be a make-or-break moment for SOFI.
Now, you might be thinking ‘that’s great and all but what about Buffett’s 8th largest investment by shares? OP is just some dude on the internet, and this is THE Warren Buffett’.

https://preview.redd.it/w3k57vtc84pa1.png?width=288&format=png&auto=webp&s=8e5770fad03ae86cb15bcbe116bc706a512d9364
Well, you wouldn’t be wrong. It's hard to argue against Warren Buffett’s logic and I think NU could be a good investment as well, but compared to SOFI, I think that it presents a lot more risk.
For one thing, Brazil has just gotten out of one of its worst economic crises in history and with a new government taking over there’s a lot of uncertainty. Corruption is very high in Brazil, and banks which provide their services almost exclusively to the rich in Brazil could use their power to turn the government against Nu Holdings if they feel threatened.
Also, giving out credit cards to kids under 18 (even if the card’s benefits are limited) just sounds really risky to me. Given that most people in Brazil are not as financially well off as most US residents, its weaker currency, and struggling economy, Nu Holdings could face the greatest risk of all three companies. But time will tell whether the Brazilian government will make life easier or more difficult for a company like Nu Holdings.
So this means that ALLY, which also focuses on the US market for financial services, is probably SOFI’s greatest competition.
Both companies have a lot in common, but they’ve chosen to specialize in different niches. So let’s break it down:
  • 91.55% of households reported having access to at least one vehicle in 2020, however, the number of registered vehicles declined between 2012-2019 by over 25 million.
  • The average cost of a car in 2021 was $42,258 with an average payment of $563 per month. Today, it costs an average of $48,080 to purchase a new car.
  • Moreover, around 31% of American adults have relied on auto loans to pay for their car in 2022.
  • Rising inflation has caused new vehicle prices to increase 5.8% YoY according to February’s CPI report, although used car prices decreased 13.6% from last year (probably due to overstock).
With ALLY being specialized in the auto industry, its fortunes may take a hit as the US enters a recession since consumers are less likely to purchase new or expensive vehicles when they are monitoring their budgets. New vehicle sales dropped nearly 40% during the 2008 recession and I believe history is likely to repeat itself here if the economy enters a recession.
Regardless of the potential hit to the automotive sector, when you compare auto loans to student loans you quickly see that student loans take the cake.
The market size of the Auto leasing, loans, & sales financing industry is $173.2 billion, while the student loan industry is a massive $1.76 trillion. So Sofi has the upper hand here in terms of the market potential.
With college tuition constantly increasing & students entering college year after year,
SOFI also has stricter requirements for qualifying for personal loans, such as a credit score of 680 and other factors which make their loans comparatively safer since its clients are more thoroughly vetted. This is good because it allows Sofi to minimize the potential risk of a customer not being able to pay back their loan in the future.
Conclusion:
So, in conclusion, I think SOFI is in a fairly safe spot as long as the Supreme Court gives a favorable ruling. Since Nu Holdings operates in Latin America it won’t compete with Sofi for market share. Ally & Sofi also have different specializations, but Ally is a more established FinTech company which could take customers from Sofi. Still, SOFI’s goal is to become a one stop shop for all financial services and it has diversified its services extensively over the years which could give it an edge in this industry.
Personally, I believe SOFI will be able to grow its customer base better than ALLY because it appeals directly to young adults heading into college. If these customers have a good experience, then SOFI can become their go-to financial service provider for the rest of their life.
On this note, the FinTech industry is on track for major growth especially since Covid-19 acted as a catalyst for the industry - leading to wider adoption at a time when contactless payments were becoming essential.
Besides this, the FinTech industry will likely continue to grow just out of sheer practicality. For one thing, Fintech cuts down servicing costs like maintaining physical branches while still providing a very high value service. As more and more transactions move online, the digital revolution continues to work in the industry’s favor and the widespread adoption of smartphones means that our phones will increasingly act as wallets. So, it's not surprising that the use of Fintech companies increased 88% from 2020 to 2021.
So I'm pretty bullish on three of these stocks for the time being at least.
Now for the TA...
$SOFI

https://preview.redd.it/djuk58id84pa1.jpg?width=1600&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=74f72c6e21506030efc6bbc44374cb04b07096bb
$SOFI has been stuck in a sideways channel since April 2022. The stock has a strong resistance at $7.59 which it tested on its positive Q4 earnings, however SOFI dropped almost 18% to its support at $5.25 due to market uncertainty.
Now trading at $5.20, SOFI is below the 50, 200, and 21 MAs on the daily timeframe. Despite this, I’m expecting a bounce and potential retest of the $7.59 resistance leading up to the Supreme Court decision in June since the RSI oversold at 30.
Right now SOFI is fundamentally oversold IMO. I bought 1k shares here as a starter with a stop loss at the $4.92 support. I’ll be averaging down under the $5.25 support or averaging up depending on the trend. My take profits will be the 200 MA, $6.43 resistance and the $7.59 resistance.

https://preview.redd.it/pakxnr1e84pa1.jpg?width=1458&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=3fb5c7d97c02030b7ad888463c4c2cf572e973c5
$ALLY:

https://preview.redd.it/8zwd6jme84pa1.jpg?width=1600&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=af9de5ffc042ca2bfaf546417438edac1e9dc409
ALLY was in a downward channel all of 2022 but it broke out at the start of 2023 - testing the $34 resistance after earnings. Since then the trend has reversed and is now bearish. The stock touched its $21.91 support mostly due to market turmoil rather than fundamentals.
I’m expecting ALLY to break out of this channel like it did at the start of this year when it approached the $34 support. The stock recently tested what was once the upper trendline and bounced off of it which is a bullish sign.
Personally, I think that these banking fears will dissipate now that the government has stepped in - as illustrated by the XLF closing green on Monday. Looking at the daily timeframe, ALLY is oversold with the RSI at 30 so I am expecting a bounce over the next few weeks.
Long-term, I think ALLY will trade in a sideways channel between the $23.80 support and $34 resistance until a strong catalyst is able to break it out.
But for now, I’ll take a swing here with a stoploss at $23 and my take profits at $27.05 and the 50MA.
$NU:

https://preview.redd.it/1x33g57f84pa1.jpg?width=1600&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=2e1b3757785d4d1a40bd84ea5607052fd7d5c833
Compared to ALLY and SOFI, NU has not dropped as dramatically, which is likely due to its exposure to Latin American markets rather than the US.
The stock is currently trending downwards within the sideways channel. The stock is testing the 200 MA on the daily chart, if it breaks through it I will be going short with the lower trendline as my take profit and the 50 MA as my SL.
submitted by InternationalWash822 to Shortsqueeze [link] [comments]


2023.03.21 17:01 The_one_with_no_name Loose bridge pickup in two different guitars? (Blacktop Filter'Tron / FT-5E Filter'Tron)

Hi everyone. Two weeks ago, I bought the G5230t (the double platinum edition - stunning guitar) - first Gretsch I have ever held in my hands. Unfortunately, there were a few things wrong with the guitar, so I ended asking for an exchange. One of the things I thought were wrong was a bridge pickup (FT-5E, which - as far as I can tell - have the same construction as Blacktop Filter'Trons) that was more or less loose in the cavity. Basically, when the pickup was set to the correct height, the springs between the pickup ring and the pickup base plate were not engaged at all - there was no tension that would stabilize the pickup and the height adjustment screws in relation to the pickup ring - both the pickup and the screws were therefore free to move vertically 2 or 3 milimeters. The springs themselves were just just rattling in the cavity (and around the height adjustment screws) with any bigger movement of the guitar... Today, I got the replacement, and the bridge pickup is exactly the same as last time. Is this actually normal, or am I just extremely unlucky?
submitted by The_one_with_no_name to gretsch [link] [comments]


2023.03.21 16:35 20squiggles Stuck in a vicious cycle of low energy and existential ennui. How to snap out of it?

I’m in a generally hectic line of work (think finance/law/IB) and recently got myself into a rut. I’m always in a bad mood, low energy, don’t have emotional energy to engage friends and family in conversations. All that despite having just take a week’s holiday to travel. While work is getting busier (which is a source of my growing anxiety), it’s not the busiest as the economy is turbulent now. I don’t think I’m burnt out as work hasn’t been the busiest in recent months and has only recently picked up?
I can’t sleep properly at night and end up on my phone until 2am, jump out of bed when my alarm rings feeling super anxious about the work day, then the cycle starts again.
Is there a way I can fix this? I know all the usuals like meditation, exercise, yoga, etc but I can’t get calm enough to do them consistently. The best I can do is to force myself to do it, be a bit calmer while doing it (meditation / exercise / yoga) but then immediately back to anxiety after.
Would appreciate self-help suggestions that don’t involve therapy or medication..
submitted by 20squiggles to askatherapist [link] [comments]


2023.03.21 16:04 Cold-Struggle7024 I need help with my feeling of envy/jealousy!

I’m not sure if it is envy or jealousy I’m feeling. But my whole life I’ve been pretty private (26M). I got into boxing as a kid and didn’t tell any friends because I liked it to be my hobby. Something im good at that other people in my life didn’t do. I’ve struggled with confidence issues so it has always been nice to have hobby’s only I do. Im a carpenter (I build houses). Over the years I’ve found my passion of woodworking. It’s something I’m good at and would like to turn it into a business. My girlfriend and I have a bunch of projects we want to do together. I plan on making her an engagement ring box when it’s time.
But basically her room mate is going on a date with a carpenter, who is also a woodworker and has his on woodworking business. Idk why but it is bothering me. I feel like the one thing I had that was unique someone else in the group now does. He actually took woodworking in school where I took carpentry (two very different trades). I’ve seen his work on Instagram and he already built a table I was planning on building. I can’t help but feel frustrated.
This has been something I’ve always struggled with… I know it sounds selfish and immature but idk how to fix that mentality!
Thanks in advance for any help!
submitted by Cold-Struggle7024 to selfimprovement [link] [comments]


2023.03.21 15:40 zatan130 Jim Goldberg

Jim Goldberg submitted by zatan130 to YouOnLifetime [link] [comments]


2023.03.21 15:39 zatan130 Jim Goldberg

Jim Goldberg submitted by zatan130 to DunderMifflin [link] [comments]


2023.03.21 15:33 shadowkat678 [Online][Roll20][CoC 7e][Sunday 7pm CST][$20/week] Crimson Letters, a 3-5 session Call of Cthulhu mini campaign looking for three to five investigators to solve the case!

Crimson Letters

We start our story at Arkham Massachusetts, and more specifically at Miskatonic University, where a rather strange death has just occurred. Professor Charles Leiter was found in his office. The official cause of death is a heart attack.
Yet, the Dean seems to be interested enough in the circumstances, or at least on a project the professor had been working on before he died, that he calls you in at the recommendation of the morgue assistant. You are all connected to an amateur university investigation club, with a bent toward the unexplained. With no one else to turn to and not wanting this to get out to the press and create a potential scandal, Dean Fallon puts you all on the case. Surely nothing can go wrong?
Hello, I'm Kat! An experienced Game Master but newer to Call of Cthulhu and looking to dip my toes into the system with a short adventure on Roll20. By my estimate, Crimson Letters will last from three to five sessions depending on how deeply the group...well, investigates!
It will be starting on Sunday April 2nd and going weekly until the scenario wraps up.
Crimson Letters leans rather heavily into a sandbox style of game where it'll be up to your sleuthing to discover exactly what happened to the deceased Professor Leiter, as well as the whereabouts of some missing documents he'd been researching prior to his death. This is not a linear point A to B to C scenario. Where you go, who you talk to, and how you go about solving this case before it's too late is completely up to you! So get your notepads ready, and keep an eye out for shadows moving in the dark...

Character Creation

I have made a set of nine premade investigators that you can choose from for this adventure, complete with background information and ties to the scenario and the other investigators involved. I am open to talking about tweaks to characters if you would like, but as a new Keeper, using premade, especially for a short scenario, is the way I have decided to go to help both me and any new players.

What is provided

I will set up music, splash screens, and a lot of props. All you need to do is show up. Everything else is provided and I've done my best to make sure it's an atmospheric and professional experience. I will again forewarn you that though I am an experienced Game Master, I am newer to the system of CoC, so I am still becoming acquainted with the rules.
That said, I have read both the Keeper and Investigator guides as well as posted a number of resources to the Discord channel for help with rules referencing on anything that may arise that I am not as familiar with, as well as to help other newcomers to the system.

About the Keeper

I have been running various games for about seven years now, from (with varying amounts of experience) Cyberpunk Red, Blades in the Dark, Vampire the Masquerade, D&D 5e, Avatar Legends, and now Call of Cthulhu 7e. I come from a writing and amateur acting background, so my big love as a Game Master is making a realistic, breathing, and growing world for players to impact and explore. I particularly pride myself on making a cast of dynamic NPCs to interact with, regardless of system.
I am not a voice actor. I can do a few accents, and some funny voices, but mostly I try to vary tones, speech patterns, and other smaller aspects. If you come in expecting Matthew Mercer's level of acting skill, you will be disappointed. I have not been to VA school. I have been told, however, that I can do a near-perfect sheep impersonation.
Lastly, I value communication and mutual respect. I find 99% of problems at a table stem from not understanding the boundaries and expectations of other players, and listening to the group around you. If you have problems or concerns, we will talk about them like mature adults and try our best to find a solution.
My table is always a safe space for minority communities and bigotry, despite playing in an era where it runs rampant, is not tolerated by players.
Any experience level is welcome as long as you're liking what you're reading and enjoy story-driven games with a large amount of roleplaying. If you have any questions at all don't hesitate to ask, and feel free to pm me on Discord at Shadowkat678#0160 where I will see any messages quicker.

When you sign up, please let confirm that you agree to the following conditions:

-Payment will be $20/session through Paypal, Venmo, or Startplaying (Though this last option is a bit more expensive due to fees I have to pay).
-Please be eighteen years old or older to apply.
-New players are welcome but note that this is an RP-heavy story with a more complicated plot, so please make sure you are comfortable with that.
-Make sure you can commit to the sessions, time slot, and payment amount.
-Have a clear microphone and a stable internet connection, please.
-Just be a decent person.

Player Reviews

Here are a few reviews from players already in current campaigns that I'm plucking off of my StartPlaying profile.
Jack:
"Kat is very prepared and invested in the lore and story, but remains open to player collaboration and shows interest and engagement with character details across the board. (...) The game world feels dense and alive, with much going on beyond the party's knowledge, and also open to charting our own course. Highly recommended."
Nick:
"They put a lot of effort into their story weaving, and the attention to detail really shows. (...) Heavily roleplay focused, these sessions have really made it feel as though we are living, breathing entities in the world, and we are going to shape our story by our own means. It is delightful to have such an open and caring DM who considers everyone in the conversations, and makes sure everyone has a chance to shine."
GM Gabe (DnDUnlimited):
"They know what players want/need to hear and how to adjust on the fly to bring the story to life. The best way, I think, to describe their gameplay is IMMERSIVE. They bring you in with amazing hooks and keep you going with plot twists that you never see coming. They are fun and intuitive when it comes to role-playing and always find a way to make, both the storyline and linked NPCs feel real. If it isn't enough that they do all that, they allow for some epic rule of cool moments and know exactly when to apply them and not. "
Timothy:
"I've been playing with Kat for years now, first as a fellow player alongside them, then also as a player in games they've run. They never fail to be creative and nuanced, especially when it comes to the dramatic roleplaying side of things. Always a delight to share the table with."
Speaking of Startplaying, if you would like to sign up through that site, I upped the price to match StartPlaying's Fees, HOWEVER I am also offering an Early Bird Discount for the first two people who sign up on the site, which would half the price for a session and would have you registered as someone who has officially played with me if you wished to leave me a review on my profile after the game has ended. Let me know and I can send you a link.
submitted by shadowkat678 to lfgpremium [link] [comments]


2023.03.21 15:21 Wolfsangel123 What am I doing wrong? (SoloPVE)

Edit: Thanks guys, I think I figured it out now. I completely forgot trophy was a thing in this game. I'll try re install the game as well.
Sometimes I get hit for half my HP bar with no warning. The damage happens at the same time as the enemy animation starts. It feels completely random.
This is conditioning me to only 1x1 in every situation. And never engage without full HP.
My PC and Internet are great.
I'm used to dodge. (I'm decently comfortable with short reaction times in most games).
I run full set of Resilient, Pshysical Aversion and Vigor. With Diamond. (600GS). Amulet with Health and Ward. Ring with Slash/Piercing Pritection and Lifesteal.
At least 100 Con at all times. (I tried 300 Con but always felt like more damage to life steal from ends up tanking way more)
What am I missing? Please help me not quit.
submitted by Wolfsangel123 to newworldgame [link] [comments]


2023.03.21 15:03 renalowery Princess diamond engagement rings Tacori.com

If you are looking for a modern and chic engagement ring that is an alternative to the round cut diamond then the princess diamond engagement rings is the one you want. Tacori has some of the best collections which are hand crafted to your specifications.
submitted by renalowery to u/renalowery [link] [comments]


2023.03.21 14:59 wbro1 Advice on traveling with a ring

I’m traveling with the engagement ring and plan to propose in Italy. I’m nervous about where to keep it as I will not leave it anywhere other than with me. Any tips for hiding it and keeping it safe? I’m sure someone in here has done the same.
submitted by wbro1 to EngagementRings [link] [comments]


2023.03.21 14:55 crystals_01 Is Amethyst the best substitute gemstone for blue sapphire?

Is Amethyst the best substitute gemstone for blue sapphire?
When it comes to gemstones, blue sapphire is one of the most popular choices due to its stunning deep blue color and rich history. However, blue sapphires can also be quite expensive, and not everyone can afford them. This begs the question: is amethyst the best substitute gemstone for a blue sapphire? In this blog, we'll explore the properties of both gemstones and determine if amethyst can indeed be a suitable alternative.
Properties of Blue Sapphire

https://preview.redd.it/m5hyr6ffl3pa1.jpg?width=360&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=89a66b3cf4f1b8f4042420b10705f21095cb0df7
Blue sapphire is a member of the corundum family and is a variety of the mineral aluminum oxide. It is typically found in shades of blue, ranging from pale blue to deep blue-black, and is a durable and hard gemstone, ranking 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness. Blue sapphires are commonly found in Sri Lanka, Australia, and Madagascar, but can also be found in several other locations.
Blue sapphire has a rich history, with many cultures considering it a symbol of power, wisdom, and truth. It is the birthstone for those born in September and is often used in engagement rings due to its beauty and durability.
Properties of Amethyst
Amethyst is a variety of quartz and is a purple or violet gemstone. It can range in color from light pinkish violet to deep purple and is found in several locations, including Brazil, Uruguay, and Zambia. Amethyst is a hard and durable gemstone, ranking 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness.
Amethyst has been used for thousands of years and has been associated with spiritual and healing properties. It is also the birthstone for those born in February and is often used in meditation and crystal healing practices.
Can Amethyst be a Substitute for Blue Sapphire?
While amethyst and blue sapphire are both beautiful gemstones, they have distinct differences that may make it difficult to use amethyst as a substitute for blue sapphire.
Firstly, the colors of the two gemstones are vastly different. While blue sapphire is a deep blue color, amethyst is a shade of purple. While some amethysts can be very dark and may resemble blue sapphire, they still have a distinct purple undertone.
Secondly, blue sapphire is much harder than amethyst, making it a more durable gemstone that can withstand everyday wear and tear better. Amethyst, while still relatively hard, is more prone to scratching and chipping than blue sapphire.
Lastly, the value of blue sapphire is typically much higher than that of amethyst. While amethyst can be a stunning gemstone, it is not typically considered a high-value gemstone in the same way that blue sapphire is.
Alternatives to Blue Sapphire
If you are looking for an alternative to blue sapphire, there are several gemstones that may be a better substitute than amethyst. One such gemstone is tanzanite, which is a blue-violet gemstone that is similar in color to blue sapphire but is often more affordable. Aquamarine is another alternative, with a blue-green color that can resemble blue sapphire.
Conclusion
While amethyst is a stunning gemstone in its own right, it may not be the best substitute for blue sapphire due to differences in color, durability, and value. If you are looking for an alternative to blue sapphire, there are several gemstones to consider, including tanzanite and aquamarine. However, if you are set on blue sapphire, it is important to invest in a high-quality gemstone that will stand the test of time and be worth the investment.
Visit Our Website
Crystals
submitted by crystals_01 to u/crystals_01 [link] [comments]


2023.03.21 14:45 InternationalWash822 Warren Buffett invested in these Fintech Companies - How does SOFI Measure Up?

Warren Buffett invested in these Fintech Companies - How does SOFI Measure Up?
The fintech industry has seen one of the most exciting growth trends as it revolutionizes how people access financial services. Right now, there are over 30,000 fintech startups and by the end of 2021, fintech investment reached a total of $210 billion. The fintech sphere is only expected to grow, so I believe it is a very attractive industry for investors and Warren Buffet seems to think so too.
The Oracle of Omaha has been making large investments in multiple fintech companies. In fact, Buffet has invested over $900M (107.1M shares) in the Brazilian company, Nu Holdings, and $907M (30M shares) in ALLY. This is a huge investment even for someone like Buffett. Nu Holdings is actually his 8th largest investment in terms of shares. This raises the question, why has Buffett invested in these other fintech companies, but not in Sofi?
Throughout this post, I’ll be talking about Sofi, ALLY, and Nu Holdings - comparing their pros, cons, and similarities. My goal here is to see if there is room for 3 top dogs in the fintech industry or not.
Why has Buffett purchased a lot of shares of Nu Holdings, specifically?
For starters, the company has grown its customer base to 70.9 million clients in just over a year since going public. Nu Holdings provides credit cards to people who are not eligible to get one through other banks & tries to minimize risk by reducing the eligible benefits that the customer is initially eligible for. As they pay their bills on time, they unlock more benefits & more credit limits.
Another reason is its management. It's no secret that Buffett likes to invest in companies with good management. As he once said, “When we own portions of outstanding businesses with outstanding management, our favorite holding period is forever.”
Nu Holdings has recently hired David Marcus (former president of PayPal & former Meta Board member) on March 6 to be part of its Board of Directors. It’s expected that David will play a crucial role in Nu’s journey going forward.
The rest of the management team brings a lot of experience to the table as well:
  • CEO, David Velez, was a partner at Sequoia capital between January 2011 & March 2013. He also worked for Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and General Atlantic.
  • CGO, Cristina Junqueira, worked for a Boston Consulting group before founding Nu Holdings in 2013.
  • CFO, Guilherme Lago, worked in Credit Suisse Group AG & Mckinsey as well.
  • CPO, Jagpreet Duggal, worked as a director of product management at Facebook.
So you can see Nu’s management team has significant experience in this sector and under their leadership, Nu Holdings grew its revs from $1.7 billion in 2021 to $4.8 billion in 2022 - a 182.3% increase YoY.
Nu Holdings’ Edge - Brazil’s Unbanked Population
Before Nu Holdings started, over 55 million Brazilians were unbanked. This is because it's notoriously difficult for people who are not wealthy to obtain credit cards in Brazil. In general, it's very difficult to get a credit card in Latin America without being one of the wealthy elites.
By offering credit cards to people who would not be able to obtain one any other way, Nu has captured a large, untapped market. This is the main reason Nu is as successful as it is today.
Compared to SOFI, Nu Holdings has a much larger client base, this is of course due to its operations in Brazil, Mexico, & Columbia which in total have a larger population than the US. Thanks in part to these widespread operations, Forbes listed Nu Holdings as one of the world’s best banks in 2022.
Nu Holdings has a larger client base, more revenues, and is growing at a much faster rate than Sofi. The main reason for this is the fact that Nu Holdings doesn’t have as many competitors as Sofi, especially since they focus on an untapped market in Latin America. With Sofi, they have competitors right, left, and center due to established banks and fintech competitors. Nu Holdings became profitable Q3 2022 - only a year after its inception. After making a net profit of $7.8 million in Q3, it went on to make $58 million the next quarter and is on track to report an EPS of $0.02 & $1.393B in revenues in Q1 2023
Whereas SOFI is still struggling to become profitable and is forecast to make an EPS of $-0.077 & $442.262M in revenue in Q1 2023.
https://preview.redd.it/517fe3t9i2pa1.png?width=626&format=png&auto=webp&s=158aa08fc0e5eb43bc1517777988d21200732ccb

https://preview.redd.it/j2npx01ci2pa1.png?width=622&format=png&auto=webp&s=e72bdae4deb04c74fb2e4b69be83c7d06c0f6de9
*Screenshot taken from Future Investing YouTube*
How are Nu Holdings & Sofi similar?
But Nu Holdings & Sofi share one very important thing in common. They both want to be a one stop shop for financial services.
Since Sofi specializes in student loan refinancing, it creates a bond with younger customers who - hopefully - will turn into lifelong customers that use Sofi for all their banking needs. Similarly, Nu Holdings offers credit cards to customers younger than 18 in Brazil - capturing a demographic of young people who will hopefully become lifelong customers.
This means that both companies could continue to grow and expand as their customer base grows older and younger generations adopt their services as well.

https://preview.redd.it/ovc89ptgi2pa1.jpg?width=500&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=3b00c14bfa93afe32b4fdf2bcea562538e114b2b
Why has Buffett invested in ALLY?
Having invested $1.7B since 2012 in the industry giant, General Motors, you could say Buffet is an expert on the auto industry. Which helps explain why Buffett took an interest in Ally.
This fintech company offers multiple services but specializes in the auto loan industry since it once was a financing division of GM, originally known as GMAC. After GM sold the rest of its 8.5% stake in Ally for $900M in 2013, Ally has expanded its market by offering mortgages, credit cards, wealth management, & other services.

https://preview.redd.it/6liekr1ji2pa1.png?width=605&format=png&auto=webp&s=35371e326a0eef95abca694e301214fc37b2a922
Another reason Buffett is investing in ALLY could be its history of share buybacks. Buffett is a big believer in stock buybacks and has said they can be the best use of corporate capital. ALLY also offers quarterly dividends to shareholders, which is a sign of the company’s fundamental strength.
How does ALLY compare to Sofi?
The main difference is the source of Ally’s revenue. 65.6% of Ally’s total revenue in 2022 came from the auto finance industry, while Sofi’s edge is student loan refinancing. In 2019, Sofi generated 59.7% of its revenue from student loans. But it’s worth noting that it can be quite difficult to qualify for student loan refinancing if you have a bad credit score whereas it’s a bit easier for people to get auto loans.

https://preview.redd.it/wvzss9cli2pa1.png?width=615&format=png&auto=webp&s=c18ca9f460bb243e20b50511b4cfeb75cdb1c707
How are Ally & Sofi similar?
Ally & Sofi both offer commission free stock trading for investors with a high APY as well. Ally’s savings account offers 3.60% APY and Sofi offers 3.75% APY with a direct deposit. This means that with a direct deposit, you’ll earn a higher APY with Sofi, but without one, you’d earn a higher APY with Ally.
Both companies offer multiple services such as mortgage loans, credit cards, insurance, etc. and are online banks with no physical locations. Given their different niches, it makes sense that Ally’s customers tend to be millennials while Sofi’s customers tend to be students or fresh graduates.
Sofi’s Edge
So after going through the pros and cons of all three of these companies, you might be wondering if SOFI has what it takes to gain market share in the growing Fintech industry.
I believe Sofi has an edge over these two competitors when it comes to diversification. The two pictures below show the type of services that Sofi & Ally offer. Sofi is constantly trying to increase its market by opening up different services to attract new customers. To name a few:
  • Sofi Relay: Allows members to link all their existing deposit accounts, investment accounts, & retirement accounts into a single mobile dashboard.
  • Money Vaults: Helps users prioritize saving money. Vaults are used to save money for a certain purchase to be made in the future (Ex. Car or house).
  • Retirement accounts: Traditional, Roth, & SEP IRAs
    • Traditional: Traditional retirement account, withdrawable
    • Roth: Allows you to contribute after-tax dollars, and then withdraw the money tax free in retirement.
    • SEP IRA: A retirement account for someone who’s self-employed.
  • Sofi Protect: Gathers details to get comparisons on insurance providers to find the best rate for you.
  • Sofi Invest:
    • Crypto investing: offers trading for 30 cryptocurrencies with a 1.25% charge per trade.
    • Stock investing: stock and ETF investing commission free.
    • Automated Investing with goal setting, auto rebalancing, & Diversification
  • Loans:
    • Wedding loans: Loans used to purchase an engagement ring, wedding, or honeymoon with a low fixed-rate personal loan from $5k-$100k.
    • Travel Loans: Loan used to travel. Low fixed rate personal loan from $5k to $100k.
    • Law school loans: Loan for Law school students. Competitive rates, exclusive member benefits, & no fees
    • MBA Loans
    • Home Improvement loans
  • Cyber Insurance: Protection from Cyber financial fraud, cyber extortion, identity theft, phishing scams
  • Sofi Insights: Tracks all your money in one place on the mobile app, monitor your credit score, set multiple goals, track your spending.
  • Estate Planning: Partnered with Trust & Will to give members 15% off their trust.
I recently learned that SOFI is even letting its customers get early access to IPOs which could draw more traders to the company’s services. If SOFI underwrites more IPOs, investors like you and me may join its platform just to get in on that action. Personally, I think this is a fantastic service because up till now IPOs have been a very exclusive process.

https://preview.redd.it/ji26in1xi2pa1.png?width=570&format=png&auto=webp&s=dc4061d928758f1c0eefdaafe27c6757f6646cc3
Besides diversification, SOFI’s focus on student loan refinancing is also a plus imo. College education is essential in the US and without a college degree, most people can only get so far in their career.
For instance, 53.7% of the US working population in 2021 graduated from college and at least 75% of new jobs require a college degree.
When you factor in the average cost of tuition - which has soared 31.4% from 2010-2020 - and that the average student debt among college graduates is $28,000, SOFI is in a great position to profit from this sector.
Given this inflationary environment & higher interest rates, I think that demand for student loan refinancing will only increase. This is because employers are constantly looking for people with degrees & the number of jobs requiring this are increasing every year. So it's no surprise that CEO Anthony Noto recently said, “We’d expect the demand for that product (student loans) to really go through the roof and be back to normalized levels that we saw in 2019.”
But with the student loan pause in place, SOFI is losing a lot of money. The company stated that it has lost $300M to $400M and is pushing very hard to get a decision passed ending the student loan moratorium. The Supreme Court already heard the oral arguments regarding the case and is expected to give a decision in June.
If things are not resolved by then or the Supreme Court rules against federal student loan forgiveness, then payments are expected to resume by the end of August. This is because payments are expected to start up again, 60 days following the ruling.
Needless to say this would be a huge catalyst for SOFI and I, personally, believe that the Supreme Court will rule in SOFI’s favor. And the flood of refinancing requests that could come in once this limbo ends could give SOFI’s revenues a much-needed push. With this in mind, June will be a make-or-break moment for SOFI.
Now, you might be thinking ‘that’s great and all but what about Buffett’s 8th largest investment by shares? OP is just some dude on the internet, and this is THE Warren Buffett’.

https://preview.redd.it/qonrid93j2pa1.png?width=288&format=png&auto=webp&s=013b4d5c65fb57d66bf5dd85ef7e9543f13c4f7f
Well, you wouldn’t be wrong. It's hard to argue against Warren Buffett’s logic and I think NU could be a good investment as well, but compared to SOFI, I think that it presents a lot more risk.
For one thing, Brazil has just gotten out of one of its worst economic crises in history and with a new government taking over there’s a lot of uncertainty. Corruption is very high in Brazil, and banks which provide their services almost exclusively to the rich in Brazil could use their power to turn the government against Nu Holdings if they feel threatened.
Also, giving out credit cards to kids under 18 (even if the card’s benefits are limited) just sounds really risky to me. Given that most people in Brazil are not as financially well off as most US residents, its weaker currency, and struggling economy, Nu Holdings could face the greatest risk of all three companies. But time will tell whether the Brazilian government will make life easier or more difficult for a company like Nu Holdings.
So this means that ALLY, which also focuses on the US market for financial services, is probably SOFI’s greatest competition.
Both companies have a lot in common, but they’ve chosen to specialize in different niches. So let’s break it down:
  • 91.55% of households reported having access to at least one vehicle in 2020, however, the number of registered vehicles declined between 2012-2019 by over 25 million.
  • The average cost of a car in 2021 was $42,258 with an average payment of $563 per month. Today, it costs an average of $48,080 to purchase a new car.
  • Moreover, around 31% of American adults have relied on auto loans to pay for their car in 2022.
  • Rising inflation has caused new vehicle prices to increase 5.8% YoY according to February’s CPI report, although used car prices decreased 13.6% from last year (probably due to overstock).
With ALLY being specialized in the auto industry, its fortunes may take a hit as the US enters a recession since consumers are less likely to purchase new or expensive vehicles when they are monitoring their budgets. New vehicle sales dropped nearly 40% during the 2008 recession and I believe history is likely to repeat itself here if the economy enters a recession.
Regardless of the potential hit to the automotive sector, when you compare auto loans to student loans you quickly see that student loans take the cake.
The market size of the Auto leasing, loans, & sales financing industry is $173.2 billion, while the student loan industry is a massive $1.76 trillion. So Sofi has the upper hand here in terms of the market potential.
With college tuition constantly increasing & students entering college year after year,
SOFI also has stricter requirements for qualifying for personal loans, such as a credit score of 680 and other factors which make their loans comparatively safer since its clients are more thoroughly vetted. This is good because it allows Sofi to minimize the potential risk of a customer not being able to pay back their loan in the future.
Conclusion:
So, in conclusion, I think SOFI is in a fairly safe spot as long as the Supreme Court gives a favorable ruling. Since Nu Holdings operates in Latin America it won’t compete with Sofi for market share. Ally & Sofi also have different specializations, but Ally is a more established FinTech company which could take customers from Sofi. Still, SOFI’s goal is to become a one stop shop for all financial services and it has diversified its services extensively over the years which could give it an edge in this industry.
Personally, I believe SOFI will be able to grow its customer base better than ALLY because it appeals directly to young adults heading into college. If these customers have a good experience, then SOFI can become their go-to financial service provider for the rest of their life.
On this note, the FinTech industry is on track for major growth especially since Covid-19 acted as a catalyst for the industry - leading to wider adoption at a time when contactless payments were becoming essential.
Besides this, the FinTech industry will likely continue to grow just out of sheer practicality. For one thing, Fintech cuts down servicing costs like maintaining physical branches while still providing a very high value service. As more and more transactions move online, the digital revolution continues to work in the industry’s favor and the widespread adoption of smartphones means that our phones will increasingly act as wallets. So, it's not surprising that the use of Fintech companies increased 88% from 2020 to 2021.
So I'm pretty bullish on three of these stocks for the time being at least.
Now for the TA...
$SOFI
https://preview.redd.it/rrr2t6qri3pa1.jpg?width=1600&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=f75f0cc4ccb5f94ee14743e50a6988cc67079f2d
$SOFI has been stuck in a sideways channel since April 2022. The stock has a strong resistance at $7.59 which it tested on its positive Q4 earnings, however SOFI dropped almost 18% to its support at $5.25 due to market uncertainty.
Now trading at $5.20, SOFI is below the 50, 200, and 21 MAs on the daily timeframe. Despite this, I’m expecting a bounce and potential retest of the $7.59 resistance leading up to the Supreme Court decision in June since the RSI oversold at 30.
Right now SOFI is fundamentally oversold IMO. I bought 1k shares here as a starter with a stop loss at the $4.92 support. I’ll be averaging down under the $5.25 support or averaging up depending on the trend. My take profits will be the 200 MA, $6.43 resistance and the $7.59 resistance.
https://preview.redd.it/5co1e6nvi3pa1.jpg?width=1458&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=b97304f23081aa807ce1d59ea912bd8895725cbf
$ALLY:
https://preview.redd.it/dsie3d0mj3pa1.jpg?width=1600&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=9ffa57a2231b5f47f9456edefb900bcaea469f9b
ALLY was in a downward channel all of 2022 but it broke out at the start of 2023 - testing the $34 resistance after earnings. Since then the trend has reversed and is now bearish. The stock touched its $21.91 support mostly due to market turmoil rather than fundamentals.
I’m expecting ALLY to break out of this channel like it did at the start of this year when it approached the $34 support. The stock recently tested what was once the upper trendline and bounced off of it which is a bullish sign.
Personally, I think that these banking fears will dissipate now that the government has stepped in - as illustrated by the XLF closing green on Monday. Looking at the daily timeframe, ALLY is oversold with the RSI at 30 so I am expecting a bounce over the next few weeks.
Long-term, I think ALLY will trade in a sideways channel between the $23.80 support and $34 resistance until a strong catalyst is able to break it out.
But for now, I’ll take a swing here with a stoploss at $23 and my take profits at $27.05 and the 50MA.
$NU:
https://preview.redd.it/79rqip8jj3pa1.jpg?width=1600&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=13fa8969d4890aa9c704d8b6a2a93f1e96d62335
Compared to ALLY and SOFI, NU has not dropped as dramatically, which is likely due to its exposure to Latin American markets rather than the US.
The stock is currently trending downwards within the sideways channel. The stock is testing the 200 MA on the daily chart, if it breaks through it I will be going short with the lower trendline as my take profit and the 50 MA as my SL.
submitted by InternationalWash822 to pennystocktoday [link] [comments]


2023.03.21 14:41 martun-baker Captain Shipley, how much did he know about Alex?

When he gave Alex his wife’s ring was it more than an act of kindness or did he recognize her as royalty?
There was documentation he had to fill out, it was in his hand with a stamp of some kind when he returned to the table with the box of rings. What we don’t know is the name Alex provided for the document. She obviously was hiding that from Spencer for her own reasons.
There’s also the day the Captain had them taken ashore by dinghy. He and Spencer are talking on the bridge and he said to Spencer he had a tiger by the tail. At the engagement dinner Arthur’s father toasted the couple and referred to Alex as having the spirit of a lion. Alex must have been known as free spirit to some degree for both men to basically discribe her as a wild cat. He could be called on to give conclusive proof of the marriage of Spencer and Alex thus speeding up Alex’s journey to the States.
submitted by martun-baker to 1923Series [link] [comments]


2023.03.21 14:09 Spidersfromvenus Simple Simon

(Contempt, and pride.)
_ _ _
Simon arrived in the middle of town, in something big and yellow, which definitely wasn't a taxi. He had no idea about the extent to which he would end up identifying with that bright coloured (though often filthy and smelly) thing, or how much pride he would eventually have in it, and how much confidence its enormity would one day instil in him. Because, when it pulled up, and he climbed uneasily down from it onto the busy pavement (along with some other guys, who were pretty fit and pretty strong, and who alighted with much more confident ease) he was feeling as fish-out-of-watery as he may have ever have felt in his relatively young life.
Not feeling working class. Not like he'd hoped. Not feeling heroic.
A couple of impressive looking young women approached (among the throng) on their way to the cute little station thereby, from which they would be catching the heavily sardined train up to London. Simon didn't envy them that existence, at the points when he tended to think about it, but he knew what it all meant. He felt their impatience, as with all of the passing people, with a bunch of these stupid and burly young men suddenly creating an obstacle on the path to commuterdom. They were on their way to being powerful, these women, probably, things to say and be. Well, maybe. Simon hoped so, retrospectively.
The 'ganger' (the crew's mobile boss) was taking control. Kind of. But this was no normal day, not even for the ganger, because not only did he have to deal with the incompetent Simon (people in new jobs that they have never, ever done before are hard work, for trainers, Simon still thinks) but there was also a manager present, from the council. There had been a huge restructure, routes had all been changed, confusion had been caused, resistance had been encountered. It had all gone wrong, where loading on rounds been added to - only slightly, but the impact of this supposed slightness was that nothing was being completed. Work that was meant to happen weekly was lagging awfully.
'No, like this,' he was saying, to Simon. The ganger.
All the other guys had already got things sorted. Wielding black bags, in packs of fifty, that came in rolls and that those with experience could unroll, fold over their forearms, and be ready to set off with and individually detach with total nonchalance. All waiting, for fucking Simon.
They slipped off. The bags. They were, for sure, very slippy - which, for the practised people, made them all the more easy to slide, one from the other, so as to distribute them to individual households. But for stupid L drivers, they slithered free of their intended dispenser, and parachuted to the pavement where they still (but now unhelpfully) separated into a whole carpet of black bagness - meaning that those determined young women, with proper jobs, had to either avoid this new carpet or walk on it while Simon was bent down trying to pick its constituent parts back up.
Once separated, those rolls of bags will never go back together right. Drop them, or lose control of them, and that's fifty houses you have to completely empty of rubbish, before you have a new pack of black shinyness to work with. (Although, when you get the hang of it, fifty houses - which is actually a seriously daunting total - is only a drop in the bucket.)
'Ok, look, try it again?' (Ganger, again)
Sorry, sorry. In his head, over and over, not even able to speak audibly. Sorry.
The other guys had all set off. Away along the road. The manager, too. Just Simon, and the ganger, on that original bit of pavement. Stood next to where the driver still had that fucking massive truck, stationery, on a rush hour road, because he couldn't move either, couldn't accompany the main gang. Because of Simon.
Where's all your learning now, little boy? Your reading, your writing, your arithmetic. Can you even count to fifty, so as to have that many stray bags back in control?
Put your hands on your head? Put your hands by your side? Or put your legs into gear, and fuck off home? To your nice family, your suburban security? Period house, garden?
The ganger knows nothing of that. Not yet, not today.
Simon and his new boss are possibly ten minutes into this part of the day, by the time Simon's first bin is actually approached. It's almost right next to the waiting truck, apart from the intervening and fairly wide pavement, which is mostly why no movement of the truck has yet happened. This bin needs to be dealt with. And what is this bin now appearing as? A metal cage, a bit like a dalek, designed to keep out foxes and squirrels but able to allow some sort of air flow, and with a kind of gate-come-door at the front so that 'people' can undo a hook and get at what's inside. So what you have to do is unhook that hook, open that 'gate', and pull out a black bag that is now full (or over full, meaning it won't budge, and is ripping and spilling and overflowing everywhere) but, at the same time, you have to flip up the dalek's head, the lid, and undo another catch which loosens the metal ring that's securing the aforementioned crap laden bag into place. (Anything could be in that bag, or by now abandoned beside it. Hot fat, ashes which will have melted the plastic's bottom, and invalidated the structural purpose - assuming the bag wasn't from one of those cheap batches, that never had any validity in the first place - or maybe the contents will include slidy oil, or maybe massive shards of glass, or bricks, or maybe a combination of all of these things...) But forget the exact oozing, maggot infested contents, for now. What Simon was grappling with, was the problem of getting two separate catches undone, at more or less the same time, whilst opening a 'gate' and lifting a lid, while over one arm he is trying to keep control of a bunch of already unruly and slidy black eels, one of which will have to be separated away from the others and slipped back under that gripping ring, for some householder to properly insert, ready for the next bunch of crap to be dropped into it.
Sure, these tasks could all be separated out, and Simon could take a couple of minutes over (just) emptying each bin, instead of (when he finally got the hang of it, some days later) a couple of seconds. But 400 bins (per person) times 2 minutes, divided by 60, comes to over 13. He doesn't have 13 hours, to do this all in. None of the guys have 13 hours, and that is why the time and motion guy, the manager from the council, is tagging along. He is wrestling with the problem as to how the new rounds have gone so drastically to hell, and how everything is not hours behind, or even days behind, but weeks behind.
(Once a dustbin round gets that far out of synch, it's an issue. It's an issue which the dustmen themselves can do almost nothing about, anymore, because every path they walk up will take them to a bin that is so out of control, so unhealthy, so ravaged and torn, so piled-beside-of, that all ye who enter will just abandon hope.)
This is back in the 1980s. Before wheelies, but after the era of the heavy (even when empty) metal bins that had actually needed to be physically carried to the cart, and upturned by hand, as in 'My Old Man's a Dustman'. (Although Simon's old man was a commuting professional. Working from home not an option, back then. Covid, never heard of. Other diseases, but not that one.)
Simon's first ever overloaded bin was not even a lone bin. It was in a fenced off area, in a bin collective, where there were about 20 of them, all excitedly waiting for release. Everyone, it turned out, had made a serious error (including the time and motion man, who was away along the highway with the other guys) because Simon was not going to have those daleks under control, their tummies sicked up, and everything out and then fed into the - at this point - shiny, modern truck, any time soon. So the truck is still waiting, still in rush hour traffic, with a yawning driver who is being paid for his (amazing, it turned out) driving skills, completely redundant. Everything, in fact, is redundant, including the ram at the back of the truck, which could shove even the most ludicrous types of debris up the chute and into the body of the 'cart' with incredible efficiency, but which is motionless. Simon isn't feeding it, the ganger isn't feeding it, the other guys making their way up the street aren't feeding it, so rubbish (in toppling bags, but also loose) is piling up all along the busy footways, by the kerbs, and out towards to the impatient cars... The truck, not available to eat it up. Because of Simon.
The time and motion guy wasn't anything like as clever as he thought he was, despite being the manager. He was the one that had suggested the starting point, for the day's work. Trying to sort things out. He was the one who had set off up the road with most of the crew, leaving Simon to deal with 20 bins on his own. Because of him, the manager, and his teachings, round 6 had got off to an even worse start than probably any of the other rounds that morning, where all of the others would have been behind too, but at least their strategy might have been better, left to itself. No way would any of the other rounds have started off, 8 in the morning (by the time they had driven to where they were going, from the yard) in a street on the main through route across a town centre, and right on the busiest of all of the walking approach routes to the trains.
Simon, months later, was a ganger himself. (Proud, by that time, instead of feeling society's contempt, the way he experienced it on that first day.) No fucking way would he, as a ganger, have made those same choices, once he understood. (And they weren't anyway, as indicated, the choices that even the existing ganger, himself, would have made.) Simon would have changed (and did change) a whole lot of things, including the start times, and certainly including the decisions about when, and how, to tackle the areas by the various local stations, or other periodically heaving access points. But he will only ever be able to work that stuff out once he has listened to what the guys around him are telling him, including learning from the experiences of that particular ganger - who, whilst Simon is trying and failing to deal with those 20 bins, is probably wishing he was dead. He gives in and helps, of course. Gangers always did.
Without his help, and guidance, Simon could have been in that compound for the rest of his life, never mind 13 hours.
_ _ _
I'm going to leave Simon there, for now. He'll be back, I think, because what the dustmen had to say (about The Falklands, about right to buy, about race, about education, about music, about drink, and about a whole lot of other things) is interesting. It deserves airing. How dusting fits into the world is crucial, despite that it may now be on wheels. A very visible element, in the 'winter of discontent': piles of those bags, where you can send in the army but the army are just, in many respects, in context, a bigger and fitter and more expensive bunch of Simons, with things they might better be doing if far away islands are going to get appropriated. And if Simon can be kept free of other baggage, then maybe he can write about just that one area of interest, with only little bits of stray voices sometimes creeping in (the way they always will, in all writing, but which may need to be controlled better, in my case.
Incidentally, I like that there's a singer called Eliza Doolittle. Interesting, that she apparently dropped the Doolittle part. But Eliza Doolittle, and 'My Fair Lady' are definitely going to get passingly written about, once this whole question of how to do it is sorted out. Eliza Doolittle had a dustman father. A proper one, with those old metal bins, that have inspired (I think) some seriously engaging pieces of art. I'm not a great art lover, but I know what I like, in that wardrobe. Art, though, definitely for another time.
_ _ _
Now let's meet Paul. (Again?) Paul is a different character to Simon, because he's emotionally fucked. He gets used as a narrator by someone who is even more fucked, to try and straighten things out. Someone who can't work out how to write, because it's fine to have a voice, but not a whole rampant gaggle of them, like the results of the tower of Babel.
Paul once played a song, as a part of a band, for his friend and his friend's wife (both of whom he loves) at their wedding. (He has a different song which he thinks of, when thinking of them, themselves, which is 'I Will Always Love You', as sung by Dolly Parton and not as rather more elaborately sung by Whitney. Obviously, that is not the only song that occurs to Paul, when thinking about a massive relationship which has endured years, but it is the one which his friends themselves like to go back to, when considering their marriage. They have it on a juke box, at their house. Honestly, a real juke box. With lots of songs on.)
Anyway, Paul played guitar at that wedding, their wedding, for the one song only. For the rest of the performance of 'his' band, he played drums. It was another first ever. Like, it could have been walking three baby steps to a chair, or learning his alphabet, or driving a car the opening few yards and then realising that stopping a car in control is far more difficult that getting one moving. (If you mess up the part about getting one moving, it just stalls, or jerks for a bit, and all is fine - assuming that you didn't try and pull out into a busy road, in rush hour.)
Paul, he has always had nothing but contempt for his performance, that day.
The song he played is sometimes regarded as a showpiece song. It includes a solo, which gets talked about. It is, however, a solo which is pretty much within the grasp of more or less any determined guitar player, assuming they happen to have a very musical sister who will spend hours and hours working out the exact notes, on the piano, from a slowed down LP, and writing them down on a stave. No 'You Tube', back then.
Paul is not great with staves, but he managed, and was hugely grateful, and would have been totally stuck otherwise. He learns mostly by ear, which is why he couldn't sort out the pattern of that solo for himself. It's too fast for his ear to deal with, and his ear is not totally reliable (where many, many musicians have ears which are better, including one of Paul's brothers, who again is for another time). But where this is getting to is that that solo isn't too fast to play, once you know the road map. And it's a whole lot easier on a guitar than, say, on a piano and in fact you can't possibly play it (perfectly) on a piano because a piano can't bend notes in order to move toward, and then reach, different notes. You can't take your finger off one note, on a piano, and in doing so automatically drop that note to a different one. Given those tricks (which Jimmy Page uses, too, very nicely, if he's not completely off his head) it's definitely doable, that solo. But this all then ties in to one of Paul's developed problems in looking back at this song, on that day (the first problem being that he is the kind of person who does do that kind of looking back, in the first place, where others may just move forwards). He thinks people may assume he is merely trying to big himself back up, after having apparently fallen right down. But he's never felt specially big, just decent. Paul can play a guitar, but then so can Ziggy, and Mick Ronson is in a different class, and Paul absolutely knows that and has no problem with the truth of that. Paul's former best friend could pay a guitar too, and make it ring like a bell. Go, Johnny. Let it rip! It's not about being specially Goode, or any of that. In the end, its about good old fucking up, when there was no need to, even in nursery type environments. But where, in those first times at trying things, it often happens.
You don't want to let friends down, in expensive marquees (and maybe a part of that might involve not being in a pub, getting pissed as a fart, during their actual speeches and risking being unable to stand, let alone play, so as to be able to perform what they'd asked - which had been practised, and which we (as a band, not as a collection of individuals) could have pulled off no problem, in theory, but which we didn't - when we lost the audience (one of whom, afterwards rather amusingly shouted out 'play 'Stairway to Heaven'?'). But we didn't let them down. They asked for it, and we played it (and my friend and founding bandmate Graham, as already stated, played it solidly - not as John Bonham, but as a perfectly competent drummer, having never drummed in his life) and the recording exists for the now long wed couple to listen to, and remember their day, and...
What the fuck is the problem, for Paul, in all of that? OMG. There isn't one!
Years later, Paul played some Brian Ferry style bass on 'Baby I Don't Care', and some kinda quirky but passionate rhythm/lead guitar on 'Blue Suede Shoes' and 'Sea Cruise', in that huge room where the juke box stands, and we (the whole band, including a piano player) fucking blew that room away. It wasn't musically brilliant, it wasn't hard stuff - it was just rehearsed, and tight, and we believed in it, and we had resolved a few other issues along the way. It got there, in the end. Why the agony, over the journey?
As late as last night, I think I finally put 'Stairway to Heaven' to bed, having made my way up to our current bedroom, along with my wife, happier. I still wrote about it this morning, though, but only, in part, so's I could send this to my sister. And, in part, because maybe I can further continue to see a way through, for me, for better writing, for later. And, relative to this skeleton, I can survey its wondrous bones, overwrite my contempt, and pour some rational pride on it. And, at the same time, I can marvel at what must have been going through my Grandad's mind, when he used to sit in his chair in the early mornings, bible to hand, contemplating his own wondrous crosses. I still need to deal with that hymn's line about gains and losses, in my head, but not now, when I (like Alice Cooper, in 'Hello Hooray') feel so (much more) strong.
It really doesn't matter, after all of this, what I actually think about Stairway to Heaven? - but now that I can get to it, I may as well make a comment or two. John Lennon (it may in fact have been Jasper Carrot, in a retrospective joke, but who knows for sure) supposedly once said that Ringo Starr was not the best drummer in the world, and not even the best drummer in 'The Beatles'. (Which didn't make Ringo a bad drummer, by any stretch.)
The same, for Stairway. As implied already, elsewhere, I think that 'Celebration Day', for example, is better. But that's an opinion that I haven't always dared to express, other than to people very close to me.
And maybe writing never could work, for me, if I never dared to say anything that indicated what I actually believed in.
Further down the line I will try and pay tribute to a man that my wife and I knew, who wrote plays, and who had already passed that particular milestone, by a long way.
Step, by step. To be a rock, but still to roll. Otherwise, you stay in the same place, for ever?
submitted by Spidersfromvenus to creativewriting [link] [comments]