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Monday, October 19, 2020

Don't Bet On Your Politics


Whatever your political beliefs, no matter how confident you are in them, do not invest according to those beliefs. You will lose money. The reason for this is that the political opinion becomes the ideological basis for an economic theory which, because it is based on an opinion, is by definition biased and leads to wrong conclusions. This is true whether you are on the right, on the left, or somewhere in between; it also applies if you identify yourself as far away from that spectrum entirely.

In short, political bias is an investment bias that can and does lead people astray; to demonstrate the risks of this way of thinking, I want to highlight two very bad mistakes I have seen in my time active in equity markets, and how the political biases of these mistakes resulted in massive underperformance.

The Mistake on the Right

The best example of this at play was in 2008. At the time, libertarian thinkers believed that quantitative easing would lead to hyperinflation that would wreck the U.S. economy throughout the 2010s. The theory behind this argument is that an increase in the monetary base would cause hyperinflation, and the only proper response was austerity and leaving the market to sort itself out. This theory was based on the political belief that markets have a natural, healthy force guiding them and that intervention is bad.

Some of the people who spouted this nonsense were highly respected. Bryan Caplan remains a revered economics blogger and thinker, despite sounding like a crackpot at the time. This blog post has not aged well:

Normatively, I still favored the privatization of money. … Bernanke and company ignored their own research, got predictably bad results, and pleaded impotence. Instead of playing the voice of reason, they acted like they'd believed in bailouts and fiscal stimulus all along. I expected better. I was wrong."

None of this is true or even remotely accurate; not only did Bernanke follow his research quite well (and learned significantly from Japan's lost decade), but he also used a monetary stimulus program that worked somewhat well to help the economy recover - and would have worked better had it been bigger. So successful was QE that the Federal Reserve's decisive response to COVID-19 by offering liquidity, opening loan programs, and other actions has become applauded by serious thinkers on the left and right, and dismissed only by a very tiny crackpot minority.

Caplan gets it very wrong because of his libertarian bias; fine, professors get things wrong all the time (it seems to be a favorite pastime of the cohort if not part of the job description). But what's really worrisome is if you invest according to this political view.

Unfortunately, many people have made this mistake in the past, and bizarrely, the people helping them lose money have had long high-profile careers. Peter Schiff warned of hyperinflation in 2009; he was wrong. That didn't stop him from urging investors to buy gold; while this worked for a couple of years, thanks to a broader delusion and the market's ignorance about the impact of QE on the market, it's been a terrible investment since.

The reason is simple: that hyperinflation never came.

Not only did inflation stay below 3% over the decade, but the average rate of CPI growth underperformed the long-run average. Gold underperformed even long-term Treasury bonds over the decade, because that libertarian-view of market intervention causing an apocalypse was silly and wrong.

That hasn't stopped people from buying Schiff's mutual funds (and underperforming at best, or losing money at worst); the guy has even guested on Joe Rogan several times, making predictions that never came true. Meanwhile, investors who listen to him are poorer as a result.

So the libertarian ideology, whether it has moral or logical principles that are superior to other ideologies or not, was clearly a bad guide for making an investment decision. Libertarians may be right when they say, as Caplan did, that the Fed's acts "set a long list of dangerous precedents, and pushed the U.S. and the world down the road to serfdom." You can believe that, and think this underperformance is temporary and one day the chickens will come home to roost.

How long will you wait? 20 years? 50 years? In the long run, we're all dead, and do you want to be poorer and right? If a sense of moral superiority matters to you more than money, maybe you should just donate everything you own.

The Mistake on the Left

The mistake on the left is equally easy to demonstrate and dismiss, and it all comes down to Donald Trump. Your feelings of the man and his followers can be whatever they are, but if you invest according to those feelings you're going to make a mistake.

I had friends call me shortly after the election and ask if they should sell everything due to Trump's surprise victory. I obviously laughed, but at the time it was a serious position. Check out this Politico article titled "Economists: A Trump win would tank the markets." Of course, that didn't happen.

Immediately after Trump's victory the market went up, because politics and markets aren't connected in the way some people think they are. The media should have known this; the clickbait-addicted pundits warned just a few months before Trump's victory that another ideological event was on the cusp of destroying the world. Namely, Brexit.

While Brexit did cause a short-term blip in markets as seen above, markets recovered in two weeks' time, and in the longer-term chart above that short-term period is unnoticeable.

Of course, well-meaning liberals investing on their conscience would have sold both after Trump's victory and again following Brexit. If they read through from their convictions to the conclusion that the world is about to turn into an apocalyptic nightmare, they would have missed out on these returns.

Furthermore, as we have seen from 2020, an actual global catastrophe like the pandemic has a very different implication for financial markets than what seems most plausible. This is the problem with investing according to your political beliefs: it can blind you to the subtle and counter-intuitive implications of the facts and cause you to underperform as a result.

So What Should I Do?

If you want my advice, being less political is a good idea; you'll be happier, healthier, and have more friends. But if a strong political belief is very important to you, the better course of action would be to ignore your political beliefs when investing.

The stock market is a mechanism whereby the market can price the value of future earnings (and sales). There's very little politics involved, and when people invest according to their beliefs and not based on the fundamentals of sales and earnings, that becomes a market opportunity for someone to profit off that politically biased person buying or selling. Your best course of action should be to logically analyze the value of a business, the growth (or lack thereof) of the market in which that business operates, the quality of management and the potential effectiveness of their strategy, and whether the market has overestimated or underestimated the value of those things.

Of course, that takes a lot of time, energy, and work, which is why you're probably better off just buying a high quality closed-end fund managed by people who spend their time doing just that

Ballot breakdown: Amendments and Sports Betting Proposition


Voters consider seven constitutional amendments and a sports betting proposition in the Nov. 3 election.Amendment #1There is no specific mention of “abortion” in the Louisiana Constitution. A vote for Amendment #1 would change that, adding language that the right to an abortion is not protected in the state. A vote against it leaves the law as is.Abortion is protected by federal law. Unless the Supreme Court overturns the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, this amendment is largely symbolic. If justices allow the ruling to stand, Louisiana’s constitutional amendment could create legal battles that might ultimately involve the Supreme Court.Amendment #2Local property taxes on oil and gas wells have been a contentious point for parish assessors, who’ve battled with industry over whether their value should be based on their output or the value of the actual equipment. Assessors largely feel a newer producing well should be valued higher than one that’s abandoned or offline.Amendment #2 would allow the output to be factored into valuations and has the support of oil and gas interests, although an exact formula for these calculations is still in the works. Louisiana law only allows severance taxes to be collected on oil and gas. The new property valuation method would be, in effect, a new tax, which requires a change to the constitution. Opponents say this is one example of many why Louisiana’s state charter needs a total overhaul.Amendment #3Louisiana has a Budget Stabilization Fund to tap into when revenue for the state budget hits lean times. It’s commonly called a rainy fay fund, and backers of Amendment #3 want to be able to use it whenever the federal government declares a natural disaster. Their argument is that access to the fund would allow the state to spend money during these emergencies immediately with the guarantee that Washington will reimburse it.Opponents say the fund was created to address fiscal crises in Louisiana, which aren’t as frequent as weather-related ones. The concern is that using the stabilization account too frequently could deplete it. Plus, opponents point out that any revenue shortfall that occurs as a result of a devastating storm can already be handled through the rainy day fund.Amendment #4The Louisiana Legislature has to approve a balanced budget every year, meaning the state can’t spend more money than it makes. That won’t change, but Amendment #4 would limit how much more the state could spend from year to year, in an attempt to force budgetary belt tightening that hasn’t really taken place in the past.The problem with the amendment, according to opponents, is that it doesn’t apply to constitutionally protected portions of the budget. That means higher education and health care will continue to be most vulnerable to resource cuts. Plus, there’s already a limiting formula in place for the state budget, and there’s no guarantee the version in Amendment #4 would be lower.Amendment #5Tax breaks are the typical enticement governments use to attract businesses and manufacturers. Amendment #5, if allowed, would add another lure to Louisiana’s economic development tackle box. It would allow local governments to expand their use of payments in lieu of taxes (PILOT). Instead of paying property taxes over a set period, a business would make regular payments to the local government – typically less than they would have paid in taxes.Supporters of the amendment say it puts more decision-making power in local hands, letting them negotiate a front-loaded PILOT that could address immediate fiscal needs. Opponents worry that the 25-year maximum period allowed under the law could ultimately be too costly in terms of tax revenue. Plus, a law that’s still fairly new already allows local authorities to negotiate advance property tax payments.Amendment #6Amendment #6 would raise the income ceiling to qualify for a homestead exemption on property taxes in Louisiana to $100,000. It’s currently around $77,000, meaning any household making more than that cannot have their valuation frozen for the sake of calculating their taxes. Homeowners 65 and older, the disabled and spouses of military veterans killed in duty also currently qualify for the freeze, provided they fall below the income limit.Nine out of 10 Louisiana residents who’ve had their assessments frozen are 65 and older, and amendment proponents age 65 is no longer an accurate retirement threshold. They want working seniors in dual income households to get the same tax break. Opponents say the existing exemption is already benefiting the people who need it; expanding the homestead exemption would deny additional tax revenue from local governments.Amendment #7The state treasurer manages an Unclaimed Property Program, which is where money from utility deposits, forgotten bank accounts and insurance payments lands when their rightful owner can’t be found. So much unclaimed property has amassed over decades that when less is claimed than the state collects, the treasurer can move the excess to meet other state needs.The current treasurer expects higher claims from the public, thanks to technological improvements, which would in turn limit the amount put into the state’s general fund. Amendment #7 would create an Unclaimed Property Fund for excess collections, and interest from the account could go into the state general fund. It should be noted that the Unclaimed Property Program has never paid out more than it's collected in its 50 years of existence. Opponents fear pulling what’s been reliable money from the general fund could lead to budget cuts.Proposition to allow sports bettingThe proposition to allow sports betting does not change the state Constitution. It does allow any parish in which the majority of voters approve the proposition to expand legal gambling to include sports betting. According to the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana, retail and online gambling companies could net up to $330 million in new revenue each year if the proposition passes. PAR also notes that the expansion would allow betting inside of private homes and online, which it said runs the risk of getting young people hooked. It said sports betting would not be immediately available, even in Parishes where the proposition passes. State laws and regulations would still have to be created, including how the new revenue is taxed.

Voters consider seven constitutional amendments and a sports betting proposition in the Nov. 3 election.

Amendment #1

There is no specific mention of “abortion” in the Louisiana Constitution. A vote for Amendment #1 would change that, adding language that the right to an abortion is not protected in the state. A vote against it leaves the law as is.

Abortion is protected by federal law. Unless the Supreme Court overturns the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, this amendment is largely symbolic. If justices allow the ruling to stand, Louisiana’s constitutional amendment could create legal battles that might ultimately involve the Supreme Court.

Amendment #2

Local property taxes on oil and gas wells have been a contentious point for parish assessors, who’ve battled with industry over whether their value should be based on their output or the value of the actual equipment. Assessors largely feel a newer producing well should be valued higher than one that’s abandoned or offline.

Amendment #2 would allow the output to be factored into valuations and has the support of oil and gas interests, although an exact formula for these calculations is still in the works. Louisiana law only allows severance taxes to be collected on oil and gas. The new property valuation method would be, in effect, a new tax, which requires a change to the constitution. Opponents say this is one example of many why Louisiana’s state charter needs a total overhaul.

Amendment #3

Louisiana has a Budget Stabilization Fund to tap into when revenue for the state budget hits lean times. It’s commonly called a rainy fay fund, and backers of Amendment #3 want to be able to use it whenever the federal government declares a natural disaster. Their argument is that access to the fund would allow the state to spend money during these emergencies immediately with the guarantee that Washington will reimburse it.

Opponents say the fund was created to address fiscal crises in Louisiana, which aren’t as frequent as weather-related ones. The concern is that using the stabilization account too frequently could deplete it. Plus, opponents point out that any revenue shortfall that occurs as a result of a devastating storm can already be handled through the rainy day fund.

Amendment #4

The Louisiana Legislature has to approve a balanced budget every year, meaning the state can’t spend more money than it makes. That won’t change, but Amendment #4 would limit how much more the state could spend from year to year, in an attempt to force budgetary belt tightening that hasn’t really taken place in the past.

The problem with the amendment, according to opponents, is that it doesn’t apply to constitutionally protected portions of the budget. That means higher education and health care will continue to be most vulnerable to resource cuts. Plus, there’s already a limiting formula in place for the state budget, and there’s no guarantee the version in Amendment #4 would be lower.

Amendment #5

Tax breaks are the typical enticement governments use to attract businesses and manufacturers. Amendment #5, if allowed, would add another lure to Louisiana’s economic development tackle box. It would allow local governments to expand their use of payments in lieu of taxes (PILOT). Instead of paying property taxes over a set period, a business would make regular payments to the local government – typically less than they would have paid in taxes.

Supporters of the amendment say it puts more decision-making power in local hands, letting them negotiate a front-loaded PILOT that could address immediate fiscal needs. Opponents worry that the 25-year maximum period allowed under the law could ultimately be too costly in terms of tax revenue. Plus, a law that’s still fairly new already allows local authorities to negotiate advance property tax payments.

Amendment #6

Amendment #6 would raise the income ceiling to qualify for a homestead exemption on property taxes in Louisiana to $100,000. It’s currently around $77,000, meaning any household making more than that cannot have their valuation frozen for the sake of calculating their taxes. Homeowners 65 and older, the disabled and spouses of military veterans killed in duty also currently qualify for the freeze, provided they fall below the income limit.

Nine out of 10 Louisiana residents who’ve had their assessments frozen are 65 and older, and amendment proponents age 65 is no longer an accurate retirement threshold. They want working seniors in dual income households to get the same tax break. Opponents say the existing exemption is already benefiting the people who need it; expanding the homestead exemption would deny additional tax revenue from local governments.

Amendment #7

The state treasurer manages an Unclaimed Property Program, which is where money from utility deposits, forgotten bank accounts and insurance payments lands when their rightful owner can’t be found. So much unclaimed property has amassed over decades that when less is claimed than the state collects, the treasurer can move the excess to meet other state needs.

The current treasurer expects higher claims from the public, thanks to technological improvements, which would in turn limit the amount put into the state’s general fund. Amendment #7 would create an Unclaimed Property Fund for excess collections, and interest from the account could go into the state general fund. It should be noted that the Unclaimed Property Program has never paid out more than it's collected in its 50 years of existence. Opponents fear pulling what’s been reliable money from the general fund could lead to budget cuts.

Proposition to allow sports betting

The proposition to allow sports betting does not change the state Constitution. It does allow any parish in which the majority of voters approve the proposition to expand legal gambling to include sports betting. According to the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana, retail and online gambling companies could net up to $330 million in new revenue each year if the proposition passes. PAR also notes that the expansion would allow betting inside of private homes and online, which it said runs the risk of getting young people hooked. It said sports betting would not be immediately available, even in Parishes where the proposition passes. State laws and regulations would still have to be created, including how the new revenue is taxed

Friday, October 16, 2020

How many social channel one can manage well?



















I’ve read that the average person has 7 social media channels. I was surprised at that number as I’ve always remembered reading that one person could only manage 3 social media channels well.

(I’m not talking about having a social media channel where no update has been done in years.)

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That number of course is without using any social media scheduling or other tools to manage the social media. There are at least 65+ social networking sites worldwide today.

Yesterday I was on a Twitter chat —#BizapalozzaChat and many peeps were talking about spending 20–25 minutes on LinkedIn everyday. This got me to thinking: Is 30 minutes enough on each channel and if you have 7 channels that would be 210 minutes or 3.5 hours per day!

Does the Social Media Channel Matter?

If you spend 30 minutes a day on LinkedIn do you generate as much business or leads from spending 30 minutes a day on Twitter or Facebook?

Oftentimes, I check my own blog stats and those that I manage. I do find a correlation between the time spent on a social network and the amount of traffic to the blogs.

It seems to be that where you spend your time, your efforts will flourish from it. But you may want to dig deeper and see if that traffic is converting or generating leads that you can develop.

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Time on Social Media is Time Which Equals Money

Therefore, if you are on social media to generate business and earn money you have to consider the time aspect. Is social media worth your time and effort?

You may have read those stories from people who quit Facebook all together. They claim their lives got better after they did. I’m not recommending that but to be aware of the time you spend on social media each and every day.

If your traffic is not producing leads maybe it’s time for you to channel your time into another social network.

Below are some tips on which social network you may want to use for your business or personal pleasure.

Which Social Network Channels Should You Focus On?

Facebook:

Facebook is the biggest social network channel of them all. If you have a Facebook page you may want to set a marketing budget for it. The algorithm there is not favorable unless you do a lot of videos and/or spend some money on boosts or Facebook ads.

Facebook pages that are old may have a lot of “dead-weight” likes that consist of people not really interested in your page. They can bring down your page quality. You may want to market to increase your page’s likes to get more of an engaged audience there.

You may also use your personal profile to gain more visibility but I would not post only your content and business there. It’s a great place to keep up with family and friends if you so desire to.

People are on Facebook for mostly pleasure or because they are bored and want to be entertained.

LinkedIn:

LinkedIn is great for business to business type of businesses. It is where more CEO’s and leaders spend their time.

If you need to reach decision makers LinkedIn may be the place for you to spend your time. It is also a great social media channel to be on when you are looking for a job or some new freelance work.

Twitter:

Twitter is a wonderful place if you have content to share and consume. A must for those with blogs. It’s my favorite place to meet new like minded people.

You can chat with them without having to know them first like on Facebook or LinkedIn.

Twitter is a like a virtual networking party everyday.

Instagram:

This platform is really being consumed by a younger female audience. Many of these young females are behind a lot of purchasing power.

So if your products are geared towards them you may want to invest some time on Instagram. Instagram can be time consuming!

Between optimizing images and stories and then engaging, you can spend easily 30 minutes a day on this one.

Tik Tok:

This social network is the fastest growing one today but it’s really being used by a much younger audience. I’m not on it yet but watching what is happening over there.

It’s a video based social network that young people love.

YouTube:

If you love doing videos and have a lot of tutorials to share, YouTube is a place you may want to create some videos for and participate on their social network. Engage with others videos via the comments and share buttons.

On YouTube you could generate some dollars for your videos.

Pinterest:

Retail websites can gain decent sales and traffic via Pinterest. It’s gotten much more complicated today than several years ago on this social platform. Video has started to become big with pins on this social network.

I highly recommend you try Tailwind to automate some of your pinning and shares.

Tailwind can also be used for Instagram too!

Social Media in the 2020's

So, where will social media take us in the coming decade? I believe it will be more personal as with groups of people vs. hanging out on the network itself.

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Stories have explored in recent years and they will continue to play a bigger role on most of the social networks.

I still believe one person can only manage 3 networks well unless they have tools and others to help them along on the social channels.

But, how much time will people be spending on social media in the next decade? That’s the unanswered question for the new decade.

I’d love to know how much time you are spending on the social networks now. Which is your favorite social channel today?

Opera News App Download Finally, Asuu Ends Strike. Fix Date For Resumption.

ee Details Inside

IdowuAbiodun1993
2020-10-15 18:03:22

Finally, Asuu has decided to call off the prolonged strike that had been in for months. This came at a time where private and state higher institutions has already resumed lectures and in some cases, exams.

After several and frequent meetings with the federal government representatives, led by the minister for Education, Adamu Adamu, it has been decided that all federal universities should resume and proper lectures begin. Nevertheless, the government had instructed that the Covid-19 safety measures be carried out appropriately so as to deter any uprising of the deadly disease that have seen thousands dead

The date fixed for resumption is 19_10_2020. This was tweeted on Asuu official page few minutes ago.

However, people believe that the cancelation of the strike is as a result of the ongoing protest against the now defunct SARS brutalization of the Nigerian populace.

As postulated by Reno Omokri, it is believed that the constant meeting between Asuu and the federal government is only to put a stop to the protest which is gradually having a revolutionary outlook.

Nonetheless, the news of resumption is a huge welcome as students can now go back to their schools to study.


Kindly share and follow this page for more updates

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Barron Trump also tested positive for COVID-19, first lady says

 

Barron Trump also tested positive for COVID-19, first lady says

President Trump’s 14-year-old,Barron tested positive to covid 19 Melania Trump disclosed Wednesday, about two weeks after it was revealed that she and the president had contracted the disease.

Both President Trump and the first lady tested positive for COVID-19 on Oct. 1 and appear to have since recovered from the disease that has so far killed more than 216,000 Americans. In an update posted Wednesday afternoon on the White House website, Melania Trump said Barron did not initially test positive for COVID-19 following his parents’ diagnosis. His positive result came in a subsequent test, the first lady wrote. 

“Luckily he is a strong teenager and exhibited no symptoms,” she said in her statement. “In one way I was glad the three of us went through this at the same time so we could take care of one another and spend time together. He [Barron] has since tested negative.”

As the president was leaving the White House for a campaign rally in Des Moines, Iowa, on Wednesday afternoon, Trump told reporters on the South Lawn that “Barron’s fine.”

President Donald Trump walks with first lady Melania Trump at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport in Cleveland, Ohio on September 29, 2020. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)
President Trump and first lady Melania Trump at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport on Sept. 29. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

Melania Trump said she was fortunate that her own diagnosis came with “minimal symptoms” and added that she chose to go the “more natural route in terms of medicine, opting more for vitamins and healthy food.” She wrote that she has tested negative for COVID-19 and hopes to resume her duties soon.

The president returned to the campaign trail this week. The White House medical team announced last weekend that he had tested negative “on consecutive days,” after having been treated for COVID-19 for nearly four days at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

While hospitalized, Trump was given steroids and experimental drugs.

A view of the White House on Sunday morning, while U.S. President Donald Trump is at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on October 4, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
The White House on Oct. 4, when President Trump was being treated at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Trump became ill after hosting a series of events that largely ignored social distancing measures designed to stop the spread of the virus. Dozens of attendees at those events, including the Sept. 26 Rose Garden announcement of Amy Coney Barrett as Trump’s pick to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court, were also sickened with COVID-19.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Apple unveils four new iPhone 12 models with 5G: CNBC After Hours


Here's everything Apple just announced at its iPhone 12 event

Apple just wrapped up its big iPhone 12 event, where it announced four new iPhone 12 models, all of which support new faster 5G networks.

It also announced a new smart home speaker, called the HomePod Mini, and some fun accessories for the new iPhones that use magnets to attach to them.

Big-box retailers like Walmart, Target try to beat Amazon on speed by focusing on curbside pickup

As big-box retailers throw their own sales events during Amazon Prime Day, expect to see them tout an asset that the e-commerce giant doesn't have: numerous stores across the country where customers can quickly retrieve their online purchases.

Buy online, pick up in store options — such as curbside and in-store pickup — have gained popularity during the coronavirus pandemic as a safe, convenient alternative to browsing store aisles.

A 25-year-old man becomes first in the U.S. to contract coronavirus twice, with second infection 'more severe'

A 25-year-old man in the U.S. state of Nevada has contracted the coronavirus on two separate occasions, a study in the Lancet Infectious Diseases journal showed, with the patient becoming seriously ill following the second infection.

It is the first confirmed case of a U.S. patient becoming re-infected with Covid-19, and the fifth known case reported worldwide.

The resident of Washoe County, who had no known immune disorders or history of significant underlying conditions, required hospital treatment on testing positive for Covid-19 for the second time

iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max announced with larger displays, updated design, and 5G


Apple has officially announced its 2020 flagship iPhones: the $999 iPhone 12 Pro and $1,099 12 Pro Max, featuring support for 5G and a new squared-off design that’s reminiscent of the iPhone 4. It’s also the first major redesign for Apple’s full-screen smartphones since it introduced the bezel-less design with the iPhone X in 2017.

Both the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro and 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max are bigger than last year’s 5.8-inch iPhone 11 Pro and 6.5-inch iPhone 11 Pro Max. The 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max, in particular, is notable for taking the crown as Apple’s biggest phone to date. The Pro models feature a stainless steel design (instead of the aluminum on the iPhone 12) in four colors: gray, stainless steel, gold, and a new blue.

The new iPhone 12 Pro models will feature Apple’s A14 Bionic chip — first introduced on the refreshed iPad Air last month — which VP Greg Joswiak has previously said was the “most powerful chip ever made” by Apple. The new chip is Apple’s first to use a 5nm process (instead of the 7nm process used on last year’s A13 Bionic). Apple says that both the new six-core CPU and the four-core GPU are the fastest ever, with performance that the company claims is up to 50 percent faster than any other phone.

One of the biggest new additions on this year’s models is 5G. The iPhone 12 Pro will support both sub-6GHz and mmWave 5G, meaning that both phones should work with all the various types of 5G networks from all three major US carriers. Apple says that it offers “the most 5G bands of any smartphone” promising that it’ll support a wide array of cellular carriers around the world and their various 5G standards.

Also new — and exclusive to the iPhone 12 Pro models — is a LIDAR sensor, which, similar to the iPad Pro, will be used for additional AR effects. Apple also says that the LIDAR scanner will be used to help focus in low-light situations, making autofocus for low-light photography up to six times faster. It also enables Night Mode portrait photography shots.

The new iPhone 12 Pro models also offer “Ceramic Shield” technology, which Apple says offers glass that’s tougher than any other smartphone display, with four times better “drop performance” when it comes to preventing your phone from cracking when dropped.

Like last year’s iPhone 11 Pro models, Apple is once again offering a triple-camera system on both the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max, with 12-megapixel wide, telephoto, and ultrawide camera lenses. The wide camera now offers a faster f/1.6 aperture, which Apple says offers 27 percent improved low-light performance, while the 52mm focal telephoto now offers a 4x optical zoom range.

The iPhone 12 Pro Max builds out the camera system even further. There’s a new 12MP telephoto with a 65mm focal length that can optically zoom in up to 2.5 times. There’s a new wide camera with an f/1.6 aperture and a new OIS system. The wide sensor is also 47 percent larger, which combines with the lower aperture for 87 percent better low-light performance.

Apple also teased a new feature it calls “Apple ProRAW” that will be available on the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max later this year. The company says that it’ll offer existing computational photography benefits like its Deep Fusion and Smart HDR along with the flexibility of RAW photos. The format will be available across all four cameras and will let users adjust things like sharpening, color highlights, and more while still taking advantage of Apple’s existing photography enhancements.

The new iPhone 12 Pro phones will also be able to shoot in HDR video, a first for the product line, including support for shooting directly in Dolby Vision HDR. The iPhone 12 will also be able to edit Dolby Vision HDR video straight from the Photos app.

Like the iPhone 12 and 12 mini, the two iPhone 12 Pro models will also be compatible with Apple’s newly announced MagSafe wireless chargers and accessories, which offer magnetically attached cases, charging pads, and even attachments like wallets.

Apple will be removing its included USB wall bricks and wired EarPod headphones from the box on the new iPhones as part of the company’s ongoing environmental goals, a change that mirrors the company’s move in removing wall bricks from its Apple Watch smartwatches earlier this year. Apple will, however, still include a USB-C to Lightning cable in the box for charging.

Along with the two flagships, there are also two more new iPhones. The iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 mini, which are set to replace last year’s iPhone 11 models, can be read about here.

The iPhone 12 Pro will start at $999, and the iPhone 12 Pro Max will start at $1,099, with 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB storage options. Preorders for the iPhone 12 Pro will start on Friday, October 16th and will ship a week later on October 23rd, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max will see preorders on November 6th and ship on November 13th.

Don't Bet On Your Politics

Whatever your political beliefs, no matter how confident you are in them, do not invest according to those beliefs. You will lose money. The...