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BlackRock warns of inflation risk portfolio impact

The biggest risk to investors right now is an unexpected jump in inflation, but it's still being overlooked, according to multiple leaders at BlackRock. The $6.8 trillion investment firm recently flagged the potential damage this event could do to portfolios, and shared its recommendation for how to hedge the risk.Click here for more BI Prime stories. Various Wall Street firms have flagged similar risks that stock-market investors should have on their radars right now. These include a profit slowdown, the US elections, lack of progress on trade, and a corporate-credit crisis. But one risk that is not being talked about nearly enough is inflation, according to BlackRock, the world's largest money manager with $6.8 trillion in assets.This apparent oversight can be explained by the fact that inflation — defined as a sustained increase in prices across the board — has lived below expectations for a long time. The Federal Reserve's favorite gauge of inflation has averaged 1.5% over the past decade according to Bloomberg data, missing its 2% target.Additionally, a separate measure compiled by BlackRock shows there has yet to be an inflation surprise comparable to the oil-price shock of the 1970s. It is represented in the red area chart below.To get more news about Financika, you can visit WikiFX news official website.

Even BlackRock does not consider an inflation shock next year as a likely event. However, multiple leaders worry about the damage such a surprise could do to their clients' portfolios, they are flagging the danger before it's too late.Inflation is “the hidden risk longer-term” given how few investment professionals have experienced it, said Tony DeSpirito, BlackRock's chief investment officer for fundamental US active equities, at a recent media briefing. Marilyn Watson, the head of global fundamental fixed income strategy team, was in agreement along with Mike Pyle, the global chief investment strategist. All three of them had the same response to a question about the most underappreciated risk in the market right now. A 'high-impact event'Pyle elaborated that their concern is about how inflation would impact diversified portfolios of stocks and bonds.When stock prices fall in a fear-filled climate, bond prices typically rise as investors flock to a safer asset. In other words, bonds and stocks normally have a negative correlation with each other. But if inflation rises above prevailing bond yields, bonds would lose their appeal to investors as a safe haven. This could upend the negative correlation and alter the diversification benefit of bonds, Pyle said. “That is a really high-impact event — even if it's really low in probability risk — and one that's very unappreciated by market prices,” Pyle said. Higher inflation could stem from a rebound in economic growth — a prospect that would not be far-fetched if more progress is made on the US-China trade front.On Friday, the US announced it agreed to lower the tariff rate on China to 7.5% from 15% and cancel plans to target virtually all imports from that country. Following this news, the bond market's inflation expectation over the next decade — US 10-year breakevens — rose to 1.75%, the highest since July according to Bloomberg data. The big picture still has not changed. So what's an investor to do in order to protect themselves from a real surprise? BlackRock recommends buying Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities, a category of US government bonds that work as advertised because their yields are indexed to inflation. And if you would rather not buy TIPS directly, BlackRock has an exchange-traded fund for you: the iShares TIPS Bond ETF.


Illegal Financika Cleared Investor’s Account Balance

Near the end of the year, as all walks of live strive to meet their goals, even scam brokers become more active in preying on investors. Recently, an investor from Oman reported to WikiFX how the illegal broker Financika defrauded him. As a victim of the platform, he hopes his experience can warn others against this broker. WikiFX reminds investors to be extremely careful in choosing a broker. It is best to check the relevant information and qualifications of the platform in advance. If you suffered from broker scam, please seek WikiFXs help at wikifx@wikifx.com to defend your rights.To get more news about Lockwood, you can visit WikiFX news official website.
  “Financika swallowed up the US$600 in my account balance after I refused to deposit more money!” The victim told WikiFX. He first learned about Financika through a seminar, and soon after that several of the company‘s agents bombarded him with advertising calls, trying to get him to open an account. “This broker kept nagging on me. When I didn't sign up and make deposit immediately after listening to their introduction seminar, they kept on calling me to asked me to open an account. One of them named Lara Soliman even promised to send 120% of the margin into my account once I sign up, which was rather irresistible.” According to the investor, not long after he opened account and made deposit at Financika, the broker constantly tried to coax him into making further deposits with the deceptive “high investment, high return” promise. And when the investor refused, his trading account balance was arbitrarily cleared up through the broker’s manipulation.
  Per checking WikiFX App, Financika is rated at only 1.30. The broker registered in Vanuatu is currently unregulated, bearing substantial risks, and WikiFX suggest investors stay away from it!


Investor’s Losses Snowballed after Trading at Lockwood

Mr. Odai, interested in forex investment, signed up on a forex website named Saudi money and submitted personal information including his name, phone number and email. A few days later, Mr. Odai received a call from a British number. The man who called himself Mustafa Jamal spoke to Mr. Odai in Arabic, telling him about the global stock market and that he should also consider trading because it makes good profits. In an effort to convince Mr. Odai, the man kept in touch with him for a week, and finally talked Mr. Odai into opening an account with US$250 of deposits. A day later, another man, Abdulsalam Rizk, asked Mr. Odai to approve the transaction made from his account. After Mr. Odai did as told, his account profited steadily for the next two weeks. Abdulsalam then advised Mr. Odai to make more money by entering the gold and oil markets, and Mr. Odai accepted the proposal, sending the guy US$250 in hope to increase his profits.To get more news about NAVER, you can visit WikiFX news official website.
  Abdulsalam, who gradually gained Mr. Odai's trust, continued to persuade him to borrow money from banks to make better use of his trading account to profit. Mr. Odai again followed the advice and successfully loaned US$3,000 from the bank. According to their previous agreement, he only need to pay half of the loan(US$1,500) while Abdulsalam should pay the other half. After that, Mr. Odai's account balance increased every day and reached US$16,500 a month and a half later. Then, Abdulsalam and the illegal broker Lockwood eventually revealed their true colors. Abdulsalam asked Mr. Odai to transfer US$1,500 to him twice with the excuse of tax avoidance, but irregularity occurred during both transactions, as he got warnings from the bank about his transactions and was asked to pay taxes. Mr. Odai tried to contact Abdulsalam, but the man was already out of reach, leaving him unable to withdraw the balance in his account. What was worse, he still has a bank loan to pay.
As people often say “lookers-on see most of the game”, Mr. Odai, as an “insider” of the investment, failed to notice the many warning signs that would otherwise seem quite obvious. Meanwhile, the unscrupulous Lockwood abused investor‘s trust and coaxed him into making deposits with money borrowed from the bank, which is truly outrageous. Obsessed with the illusive high profits in his account at Lockwood, Mr. Odai failed to take the most crucial step during forex investment - checking the broker’s profile and compliance.
  Rated at 1.29 on WikiFX App, Lockwood is an extremely unreliable broker and WikiFX suggests investors to stay away from it.


Illegal Broker Threatened to Sue Defrauded Investor

Although illegal brokers tend to use similar tricks, many investors still fall victim to these traps. In a recent complaint against broker scam that WikiFX received, the illegal broker Shi Jin Investment tricked investor in a way that appears surprisingly similar to that of ZHENXI Investment, a formerly exposed broker.To get more news about TurboForex, you can visit WikiFX news official website.
  Mr. Jin was first introduced to Shi Jin Investment by Mr. Li, a “financial analyst” from a live video streaming investment program. the “analyst” bombarded him with attractive empty promises about the “Eagle Scheme” and eventually hypnotised him. But pretty soon, Mr. Jin‘s withdrawals were frequently rejected by the broker. Sensing something was wrong, Mr. Jin contacted the customer service agent, who was rather aggressive during their communication. When Mr. Jin finally realized he must have been defrauded, he told the broker’s agent that he might take legal actions against them, yet the latter contemptuously reply they‘ll “meet him in court”. Until now, Mr. Jin’s large account balance remains unavailable.
Similar to ZHENXI Investment, Shi Jin Investment also used live video streaming to lure investors into their traps. Worrying about not making the right decisions in their forex trading, many investors will often grasp at any straw and turn to so-called “signal providers” online for help. Yet its exactly this mindset that the illegal brokers are targeting to defraud investors.
  In the information age, the internet has both pros and cons. Investors should learn to cross-check a broker‘s profile, rather than blindly trusting the broker’s advertisements. As a leading forex media, WikiFX has now recorded detailed profiles of over 14,000 brokers, and investors can draw on the authoritative and comprehensive information to make better decisions when trading forex.
  Conclusion
  Rated at 1.21 on WikiFX App, the broker Shi Jin Investment has no valid regulation, bearing significant risks. WikiFX suggests investors to stay away from it.


Ohio lottery players have new digital option for Mega Millions jackpot

As a growing Mega Millions jackpot increases lottery fever nationwide, officials in Ohio are touting a digital lottery option that allows players to enter games on their phones.Get more news about 菲律宾彩票包网服务,you can vist loto98.com

The new mobile-enabled Lottery Card, available in select grocery and retail stores statewide, including Kroger, allows Ohio consumers to enter lottery games on their phones and get notified and paid electronically if they win, officials said.Ohio is among the first states to debut this digital lottery option, which is available for Powerball and Mega Millions.Jackpots for both games are growing this week and the Mega Millions total is expected to be at least $1.6 billion, possibly approaching $2 billion or higher for Tuesday’s drawing.Lottery Cards cost $10 for five plays and $20 for 10 plays. Consumers are charged the cost of their chosen Lottery Card plus $0.89 for Mobile Play Benefits, officials said.
To play, consumers purchase the Lottery Card. When ready to enter the next lottery drawing, the player texts in the Lottery Card’s unique code to a specified number, provides their name and confirms their location to complete a one-time card enrollment, officials said.

The player then receives a picture message with the quick pick numbers, draw date and other transaction information. Winners are notified via text and picture message, and most winnings are paid automatically via PayPal.


Scratch-off lottery sales soar

At a time when cooped-up Americans are looking for entertainment and hoping for a windfall more than ever, scratch-off lottery ticket sales have skyrocketed.Get more news about 彩票包网服务,you can vist loto98.com

It’s a rare bright spot for state budgets, since most states’ tax revenue has dropped and spending is up because of the coronavirus.

For example, in Oklahoma, total lottery sales were just over $7.7 million for the week ending April 25, up about 75% compared with the same time last year, driven almost entirely by scratch-offs. That included nearly $5.9 million in scratch-off sales, up from $2.5 million last year.

“The numbers are extraordinary,” said Jay Finks, marketing director for the Oklahoma Lottery. He attributed the surge to the introduction in December of a new $20 scratch-off ticket, the expansion in February of lottery sales into 7-Eleven stores, and a “demand for gaming because … people are looking for things to do. People can’t gamble on sports, can’t watch sports, can’t go to casinos, can’t go to movies.”

“I think you are seeing the discretionary income go to what’s available,” he said in a phone interview.

At the same time, the multistate Mega Millions and Powerball games are seeing significant drops in players and jackpots. People are not getting out of the house as much and when they do, they are reluctant to take the time to pick numbers and hand cash to attendants.

With fewer players, the jackpots diminish — a vicious cycle since lower jackpots usually mean less interest, and even fewer players. That has made total state lottery revenue decline in most states.But scratch-off tickets, with their more immediate gratification, have brought states good luck.

Lottery sales in Texas for the week ending May 2 totaled $146 million, one of the highest weekly sales totals since January 2016, when a Powerball jackpot of over $1.6 billion led to a nationwide frenzy that lifted all states’ sales. The May 2 total was driven by the highest-ever sales of scratch-off tickets, a 24% increase over last year. Draw game sales were down 3.5% from the same week last year.

Gary Grief, the state lottery’s executive director, said pent-up demand for entertainment and casino closures in surrounding states have contributed to the increase in scratch-off ticket sales in late April and early May.

Lottery critics say the uptick in April sales coincided with Americans’ receipt of federal stimulus payments of $1,200 and argue that states shouldn’t be cashing in on aid to people in need.

“People play state lotteries when they are financially desperate,” said Les Bernal, national director for Stop Predatory Gambling, an anti-lottery organization. “We have 30 million people who are unemployed.”

The U.S. Labor Department reported last week that more than 33 million Americans have filed for initial jobless claims since the coronavirus pandemic tore up the economy.Bernal’s organization sent a letter to governors of the 45 states with a lottery, calling on them to shut the games down during the pandemic.

“Federal tax dollars are being sent to American families in order to put food on the table, make rent or mortgage payments, or provide for other daily necessities — not to subsidize state lotteries,” the group said in the letter.

But no state has shut down its lottery. On the contrary, Grief in Texas said the lottery is striving to boost scratch-off sales even more.

“As these sales provide critically needed revenue for public schools and veterans’ services in Texas, the agency is doing all we can to ensure our retailers are provided with the necessary support and scratch ticket inventory to continue this trend,” he said in his email.

To be sure, lottery revenue makes up a small part of state budgets, most of the time less than 2%. In West Virginia, the state that derives the greatest percentage of its revenue from lotteries, the lottery brought in about 3% of state revenue.

But every dollar is proving significant as states face budget shortfalls caused by the pandemic. Each state dedicates lottery revenue differently, though many reserve the money for education or infrastructure.

Powerball and Mega Millions ticket sales have declined so much that the two games are reducing their jackpots for the first time in memory. The new jackpots will be determined by game sales and interest rates.

Powerball and Mega Millions tickets are $2 a play. Tickets for both games are sold in 45 states and the District of Columbia, and winning numbers are drawn twice a week.

“More states and cities have asked their residents to stay at home, which has affected normal consumer behaviors and Powerball game sales,” Gregg Mineo, Powerball Product Group chairman and Maine Lottery director, said in an April 2 statement. “In response to the public health crisis, interest rates have declined.”

But the fact that many people are buying scratch-off lottery tickets during an economic downturn is not surprising, academic experts say.

“When we feel a loss, we become much more willing to take a risk to regain what we had,” said Cornell University business professor David Just, who completed a study on lottery purchases earlier this year. Scratch-off tickets, he said, give the buyer “more immediacy. It’s much more of a reinforcer, and gives you a jolt right away and that leads you toward habit formation.”
 


Mega Millions tickets now on sale in Mississippi

If you’re hoping to cash in on millions or even just win a few bucks, you can buy a chance beginning Thursday.Get more news about 彩票包网,you can vist loto98.com
Powerball and Mega Millions lottery tickets are officially on sale at hundreds of retailers across the state. Scratch-off tickets have been available since November.
One lucky winner could cash in on $155 million in Friday’s Mega Millions drawing. Then, on Saturday, a whopping $40 million is up for grabs in the Powerball drawing.
Stores were already bustling by 6:30 a.m. Thursday with Mississippi residents eager for the chance to win big.Prizes under $600 may be claimed at any Mississippi Lottery retailer. Prizes less than $100,000 must be claimed at the Mississippi Lottery Headquarters office in Flowood or by mail. Prizes of $100,000 or more can only be claimed in person at the headquarters. Download a winner’s claim form HERE.
ABOUT POWERBALL
Powerball tickets are $2 per play. Tickets are sold in 45 states. Drawings are broadcast live every Wednesday and Saturday at 9:59 p.m. CT from the Florida Lottery draw studio in Tallahassee. The cutoff to buy tickets for the next drawing is at 8:54 p.m. CT on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Powerball jackpots start at $40 million and increase by a minimum of $10 million per draw until the jackpot is won. Players select five numbers from 1 to 69; and one Powerball number from 1 to 26. Players can multiply non-jackpot prizes by 2, 3, 4, 5 or 10 times with the POWERPLAY? option for an additional $1 per play. NOTE: The Match 5 + POWERPLAY prize is always $2 million. The 10X multiplier is only in play when the advertised jackpot is $150 million or less.
Powerball jackpot winners may choose to receive their prize as an annuity, paid in 30 graduated payments over 29 years, or a lump sum payment. Both advertised prize options are prior to federal and jurisdictional taxes.
Mega Millions tickets are also $2. Drawings are held Tuesday and Friday at 10:00 p.m. CT at WSB-TV in Atlanta, Ga.
Jackpots start at $40 million. You choose six numbers and there are nine exciting ways to win in the game.
There are nine ways to win in Mega Millions, and prizes range from $2 all the way to the jackpot. Options include the Megaplier, which increases non-jackpot winnings by as much as five times for $1, and Just the Jackpot, which allows players to get two chances at the jackpot for just $3. Learn more about how other ways to play Mega Millions on their website.
If you are a Mega Millions jackpot winner, you will have the choice of a Cash Option or an Annual Payout. Annuity option: Provides for an initial annual payment followed by 29 annual payments. Each payment is 5 percent larger than the previous one. Cash option: A one-time, lump-sum payment that is equal to all the cash in the Mega Millions jackpot prize pool.


Auto insurance relief sought for businesses

Empty roads and vacant workplaces due to the coronavirus outbreak mean fewer cars on the road, fewer fender benders and fewer insurance claims.To get more auto finance news, you can visit shine news official website.

Attorney General Maura Healey's office wants auto insurers to return their windfall to businesses that have been especially hard hit.

In a letter to state Insurance Commissioner Gary Anderson, Healey's office calls on regulators to direct commercial auto insurers to reduce premiums for owners of taxi cabs, limousines, school bus companies, van pools and other businesses that operate fleets of vehicles "commensurate" with the drop in claims.

"Without a reduction, Massachusetts businesses will be overpaying for this insurance at a time when many are already in difficult economic circumstances as a result of the national emergency," wrote Glenn Kaplan, chief of the attorney general's Insurance and Financial Services Division.

Kaplan notes that some insurers have been providing rate relief but only on an "ad hoc" basis. He asked regulators to "level the playing field" by requiring all commercial insurers to reduce premiums.

"This reduction should remain in effect until the substantial reduction in exposure to loss ends," he wrote.

Healey said businesses have been hit especially hard during the pandemic, and state regulators should be taking steps to ease their financial burden.

"These businesses deserve to pay fair rates and not be overcharged during this difficult time," she said in a statement.

Stay-at-home orders mean many taxis, limousines companies and other commercial fleet operators are driving less, resulting in fewer crashes and claims.

Some estimates suggest traffic around the state — even in Greater Boston — has been reduced by more than 50% since the outbreak began.

Many private auto insurers have been touting rebates and discounts for individual policyholders, ranging from 10% to 30%, to reflect the decline in claims.

Several other states, including New Jersey and California, have directed commercial insurers to reduce their rates to reflect lower risks amid the pandemic.

Kaplan said there are other steps auto insurers can take to lessen the impact on businesses, such as allowing companies to purchase lower-cost coverage when the terms of current policies expire.

"It is important that we do all we can to assist policyholders during the pandemic and ensure that the cost of their insurance reflects the true risk of loss," he wrote.

Christian M. Wade covers the Massachusetts Statehouse for North of Boston Media Group’s newspapers and websites.


BAIDU SEES ROBUST QUARTER AS CHINA'S ECONOMY REOPENS

Chinese search engine giant Baidu Inc forecast second-quarter revenue above expectations on Monday, as businesses reopen in the world's second-largest economy after strict lockdowns to curb the spread of the coronavirus.To get more China economy news, you can visit shine news official website.

Baidu's U.S.-listed shares jumped 8% in extended trading after the company also reported a smaller-than-expected drop in first-quarter revenue and easily beat profit estimates.

China's stalled economy is starting up much earlier than Europe and the United States, which are easing restrictions gradually as they struggle with high reported infections and deaths from COVID-19, a disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Baidu forecast current-quarter revenue between 25.0 billion yuan and 27.3 billion yuan, while analysts on average had expected 25.55 billion yuan.

The company said daily active users for Baidu App surged 28% in March to hit the 222 million mark.

"This performance is encouraging, as it shows that the worst stretch is likely over for Chinese internet companies as the economy slowly gets back to its feet and the digital ad market revives," said Haris Anwar, senior analyst at financial markets platform Investing.com.

Revenue from Baidu's online marketing services business, which includes search, news feeds and video apps and is a major contributor to overall sales, tumbled 19% to 14.24 billion yuan in the first quarter ended March 31.

Total revenue declined about 7% to 22.55 billion yuan (2.6 billion pounds), but beat estimate of 21.93 billion yuan.

Baidu in February estimated revenue between 21 billion yuan and 22.9 billion yuan.

Subscribers for the company's iQIYI — a Netflix-like video service — climbed 23% to 118.9 million, benefiting from stay-at-home orders. Revenue rose 9% but net loss attributable to the company widened to 2.87 billion yuan from 1.81 billion yuan.

On an adjusted basis, Baidu earned 8.84 yuan per American depository share, above expectation of 3.99 yuan per ADS, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

($1 = 7.1086 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru and Yingzhi Yang in Beijing; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri and Sriraj Kalluvila)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.


The "Perfect" ATRI Turned Out to be an Illegal Broker

Brokers on the forex market always strive to present their clients a perfect image, but sometimes such a flawless image may turn out to be a lie. Recently, Mr. Liu told WikiFX about how ATRI, a deceptive illegal broker, had rejected his withdrawal and suspended his trading account for no reason.To get more news about ATRI, you can visit WikiFX news official website.
This August, Mr. Liu was introduced to ATRI by an IB and started investment on the platform. Though still young and not very experienced, Mr. Liu still made considerable profits within a month through his keen sense about the market trend. Yet when he applied to withdraw part of the fund, the illegal broker‘s risk control department suspended his account for alleged violation of platform’s restrictions, apparently not willing to let Mr. Liu claim his investment profits.
  Not only couldn‘t Mr. Liu take his profits, he wasn’t even able to withdraw the initial deposit. After that, he contacted the broker‘s IB agent for several times, but the latter offered no concrete solution besides prevarications and soon stopped answering his questions altogether. Up till now, Mr. Liu’s account remains unavailable and he still cant withdraw his money.
After receiving Mr. Liu‘s report, WikiFX checked ARTI’s official website and its regulatory information and found the following 2 aspects that appeared suspicious.
  Firstly, the brokers official website has both English and Chinese versions, but we noticed that the Chinese version claims the broker has NFA regulation, while the same information was missing from the English version.When looking at ATRI‘s website, we noticed that it has made great efforts to impress investors as a compliant and strong broker. The broker claims to be a settlement member of prestigious global exchanges such as CME(Chicago Mercantile Exchange) and NYMEX(New York Mercantile Exchange), while boasting other highlights such as MT4 trading software and fixed spread. Fooled by the sense of superiority created by such false claims, inexperienced investors like Mr. Liu often end up suffering heavy losses from the illegal broker’s trap. But the false regulatory information reveals more about ATRIs real status than any of its deceptive self-proclaimed advantages.
  Therefore, investors need to verify and cross-check a broker‘s profile through multiple sources to ensure it’s truly compliant and credible. Do not rely solely on information from brokers official site or advertisements.
  Conclusion
  According to WikiFX App, ATRI which is currently unregulated has been in business for less than a year and uses white-label MT4/5 trading software. The broker is rated at only 1.68 on WikiFX App, bearing significant risks, and WikiFX reminds investors to stay away from it.