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Esports and gaming stocks are returning more profit than Bitcoin

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Investors seeking to capitalize on the world’s rising online presence found huge returns in esports and gaming stocks in the first three quarters of 2020.

In fact, the two most prominent ‘esports and gaming’ Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) on the market, HERO and ESPO, are respectively up 64% and 59% this year, while the tech-heavy NASDAQ 100 index has risen just 29%.

Even Bitcoin, BTC often pegged as a “safe haven” asset during times of global unrest, hasn’t benefitted quite so much from our new normal as esports and gaming stocks.

esports, stocks
Esports stocks are good, but they still can’t beat ARKW’s “actively managed” portfolio of internet-adjacent companies.

ETFs work just like regular stocks, except they represent investment in an underlying portfolio of stocks rather than a company.

ETFs are available for almost every industry, and while they’re not without disadvantage they do offer retail buyers a low-effort alternative to choosing a balanced portfolio themselves.

Global X’s HERO and VanEck’s ESPO are “passive” ETFs, meaning their portfolios automatically track a particular stock market index. But while the two funds have performed quite similarly and share some overlap, there are some big differences.

HERO and ESPO, same but different

The visualization below compares the portfolios side-by-side; you can select each ETF individually, or choose both to show them together.

Note, China’s gaming overlords Tencent and US chip princes AMD are currently absent from HERO, but ESPO holds around $40 million worth of stock in each company.

(If the visualization doesn’t show, try reloading this page in your browser’s “Desktop Mode.”)

Also missing from HERO is Japan’s Bandai Namco and Poland’s CD Projekt. Both game studios still feature relatively heavily in ESPO  Bandai Namco is up 20% this year while CD Projekt has gained 27%.

Instead, ESPO holds $59 million worth of shares in a raft of low- and mid-cap gaming stocks from around the world, including Ireland’s Keywords Studios, China’s Joyy, and San Diego’s Turtle Beach.

Sweden pays off big for gaming and esports ETFs

To help find which country is home to the best-performing gaming stocks, the interactive chart below splits the featured 47 stocks into their native groups, ordered by average share price returns for the year so far.

[Read: Inside the $2.5B internet fund dominating the stock market]

Gaming stocks hailing from South Korea, China, and the US have done particularly well on average this year, but a pair of Swedish picks have proven the most profitable.

Stillfront, which specializes in free-to-play strategy games, has seen its share price skyrocket by 204%, while THQ Nordic parent Embracer Group has gained 136%.

On the lower end of the scale is Japan. Aside from Capcom’s 98% return year-to-date, the nine other Japanese gaming stocks found in ESPO or HERO haven’t performed all that spectacularly.

None of this is investment advice. Don’t pretend it is, because it’s not. Always do your own research.

Published October 7, 2020 — 15:57 UTC

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You can now buy Vizio’s rotating Atmos soundbar

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Vizio’s Elevate soundbar has finally hit shelves. You can buy it today for $999.99. The 48-inch soundbar supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. The soundbar houses 18 speakers and comes with a wireless eight-inch subwoofer. The cool thing is that some of the speakers rotate — they face upward while you’re playing Dolby Atmos content and point forward for standard audio.

I spoke to Vizio CEO William Wang about the Elevate earlier this year. He said the soundbar is intended to hook non-enthusiast customers on Dolby Atmos by showing them, visually, the difference between the two tiers of audio. He also noted that while the Elevate is asking a steep price, he expects the rotating speakers to appear in lower-cost devices down the road. The Elevate is being positioned as a good companion purchase for Vizio’s first 4K OLED TV, which is also now available.

Currently, you can order the Elevate at Best Buy and Walmart. Vizio says it’s coming to Amazon and Sam’s Club, too, but those don’t appear to have active links yet.

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Don’t Eat Deli Meat if You’re Pregnant or Old, CDC Says

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slices of salami on bread, surrounded by pretty food things

Photo: photocrew1 (Shutterstock)

There’s an outbreak of listeriosis linked to deli meat, the CDC says. The exact source has not been tracked down, but they say if you are pregnant, over 65, or have a weakened immune system, to not eat deli meat or take extra precautions.

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Listeria bacteria can live at refrigerator temperatures, but are killed by heat. That’s why they turn up in deli meats (including Italian style processed meats like salami) and soft cheeses made with unpasteurized milk. If you’ve ever been told not to eat brie while you were pregnant, this is why—although most soft cheeses in U.S. supermarkets aren’t made with raw milk. In the past few years, Listeria outbreaks have also been linked to lettuce and other produce.

If you don’t fall into those risk groups, listeriosis is not a serious illness. But if you are pregnant when you get it, it could cause miscarriage, stillbirth, or death of your newborn. It can also be serious for people who are elderly or have a weakened immune system.

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The CDC says it knows of 10 recent cases in which people were hospitalized, and one died. Here’s what they say about the source:

  • Ill people have reported eating Italian-style meats, such as salami, mortadella, and prosciutto.
  • People have reported purchasing both prepackaged deli meats and meats sliced at deli counters. The investigation is ongoing to determine if there is a specific type of deli meat or common supplier linked to illness.

If you are in one of the higher risk categories (pregnant, older, or with a weakened immune system) the CDC recommends either avoiding deli meats or making sure they are heated just before serving until they are steaming hot. (That’s an internal temperature of 165 Fahrenheit, if you’re able to get a thermometer probe into your salami.)

You should also wash your hands after handling deli meats, clean any surfaces that deli meats or their juices have been in contact with (such as your refrigerator shelves) and make sure you’re not keeping deli meats in the fridge too long. Meat you buy from a deli counter is usually good in the fridge for five days; factory sealed packages are good for two weeks.

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See Who’s Mooching Off Your Netflix Account by Checking Its Recent Access

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A screenshot of the Netflix

Screenshot: Joel Cunningham

Depending on how much you pay for your plan, your Netflix account can only be used by so many people at once. Exes, old roommates, or thoughtless siblings—anyone you’ve unwisely trusted with your password—might be mooching off the account you pay good money for, but it’s not too difficult to find out if they are.

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A simple trip to your Netflix account settings will allow you to discover the IP addresses and locations of whoever has been accessing your account. Here’s how to find it:

  1. Head to the Netflix home page in your browser and sign in.
  2. In the upper right-hand corner you’ll see your account symbol. Mouse over it, then click “Account.”
  3. Scroll down and click the “Recent device streaming activity” link.
  4. Then click the “See recent account access” link.

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You’ll see the IP address, location and type of device that has been watching Netflix with your account, as well as when. You’ll probably be able to deduce who has been using your account from there. Once you know who is mooching, you can ask them to get their own account and stop filling your queue with bad movies, or you can just return to the Account page, choose “Sign out of all devices” and then change your password in your account settings and shut them out for good.

Netflix also allows you to download some content to your device(s), but how many are allowed to do so will once again vary based on the details of your monthly plan. From your Account page, you can also select “Manage download devices” to remove any that are unauthorized; this will remove content downloaded to those devices and free you up to offload content on your own phone or tablet.

This post was originally published in 2016 and updated on October 27, 2020 with more complete, up-to-date instructions and screenshots.

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