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Robots are making workers more productive – not replacing them



From Brian Tycangco, Editor, Stansberry Churchouse Research:

It takes a lot of people to build things. Construction is one of the global economy’s most labour-intensive industries.

In the U.S., for example, one out of every 10 skilled workers is involved in construction.

According to, there are more people working in construction in China – 49 million – than there are people living in Spain.

And the construction sector has also been one of the slowest to adopt new technology to increase productivity. Construction hasn’t changed much over the last 50 years.

Every construction site requires dozens – sometimes hundreds – of workers with very specific skills… bricklayers, masons, welders, equipment engineers, drillers, painters, electricians, installers, carpenters, boilermakers and many more. Each is vital.

That means that construction is, by its nature, complicated. According to consultants KPMG, from 2012 to 2015, only 25 percent of construction projects globally came within 10 percent of their original deadlines. And only one-third of these came within 10 percent of meeting their budgets.

This is because the industry is a hodgepodge of companies of all shapes and sizes, with so many moving parts that can go wrong. Poor organisation and communication, contractual misunderstandings, subpar planning and inadequate risk management all factor into construction delays.

On top of that, there’s a growing lack of skilled workers to meet the ever-increasing number of pending projects.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in the U.S., almost 200,000 construction jobs were unfilled (as of February 2017).

And in Hong Kong, a study by the Construction Industry Council states there will be a shortage of 10,000 to 15,000 skilled construction workers over the next four years or more. That’s 7.5 percent of their 200,000-strong construction workforce.

In Japan, the number of construction workers is expected to shrink from 3.4 million to just 2.2 million by 2025 due to retirement. Yet Japan is undergoing a surge in infrastructure spending growth – involving lots of construction.

So the global construction industry doesn’t have enough workers to take on new projects. Even worse, the workers they have are often sent back to old sites because of delays and unnecessary revisions. It kills productivity.

According to McKinsey & Company, the global construction industry suffers from US$1.7 trillion in lost productivity each year.

But that’s about to change…

Robots are making workers more productive – not replacing them

On the surface, simply because of the sheer number of people involved in it, construction seems like an industry that may be hit hard by robots – with robots replacing human workers (we’ve talked about the robotics revolution here and here).

But that’s far from what’s been happening in industries that have already embraced robotics.

For example, auto manufacturing has been the biggest adopter of robots, accounting for 70 percent of the nearly 2 million industrial robots currently in use around the world.

But the number of automotive workers has not changed much, even though building cars is highly automated today. The global automotive industry employs 8.4 million people, which is around the same number from a decade ago, according to the Paris-based auto trade association OICA.

And robots in factories have enabled car manufacturers to increase productivity, by 40 percent over a decade.

So robots are making workers more productive, rather than replacing them.

Robots are moving into construction

Robots in construction are now just starting to make themselves felt.

Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) companies all around the world are rushing to design and build robots that can improve the efficiency of various aspects of construction.

ETH Zurich, a university in Switzerland, has developed In Situ Fabricator1, a robot capable of laying bricks into pre-programmed structures. Equipped with AI, lasers and sensors, the robot can move around and adapt to changing situations.

Australia-based Fastbrick Robotics (Exchange: Australia; ticker: FBR) has developed a 3D robotic system designed to improve the safety, speed, accuracy, cost and waste management in bricklaying.

Hong Kong-based construction companies Gammon Construction and Chun Wo Development Holding have started using robotic machines, drone surveying, building information modelling (BIM), and 3D printing in on-site and off-site works.


Last year, Gammon also started using imported wearable exoskeletons from Japan with built-in motors designed to help workers lift heavy objects. The exoskeleton reduces back strain by helping to raise the upper body.

Meanwhile, New York-based Construction Robotics has developed a bricklaying robot called SAM100. It’s made up of a conveyor-belt, mortar pump and robotic arm.

One builder helps feed the bricks into the machine, which are picked up by the robotic arm, slathered in mortar and placed on the wall. SAM100 can place between 300 and 400 bricks an hour, compared to a human, who can only lay around 60 to 75 bricks an hour.

Demand for robots in construction will double in five years

Of the more than a quarter of a million industrial robots being sold worldwide each year, almost none are sold to the construction industry.

But that’s about to change.

With the introduction of SAM100, the In Situ Fabricator1, exoskeleton lifting suits and other revolutionary technology, the use of robots in the construction industry is set to explode.

From just US$77 million in 2018, the market for robotic construction equipment is forecast to more than double to US$166 million by 2023, according to market research company MarketsandMarkets. That’s an annual average growth of 17 percent.

By then, about 1,000 construction robots will be sold each year.

While that’s still a drop in the bucket compared with the more than 300,000-per-year industrial robotics market (US$38 billion). So it’s clearly only the beginning.


In short, construction robots will continue to be one of the fastest-growing segments of the robotics market for the foreseeable future, further keeping the foot on the gas pedal in demand for industrial robots.

Good investing,


P.S. The next decade will see an explosion in the way humans interact with robots in day-to-day activities. This isn’t a fad. It’s a mega-trend, borne out of necessity, that’s built up enormous momentum. In coming years it will reshape forever how we do everything. And early investors could make a fortune. To learn more about the robotics revolution – and how you can profit – go here.

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Gilead and Celgene’s stocks may have more room to run




CNBC’s Jim Cramer was somewhat surprised to see the biotechnology sector bounce back in 2018 after months of weakness.

“At a time when President Trump keeps slamming the pharmaceutical industry over excessive drug pricing, … you might think that the biotech stocks should be getting slaughtered,” the “Mad Money” host said on Tuesday.

“But you know what? After spending a long time in the doghouse, biotech as a whole is actually having a pretty darned good year, with the Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF, the IBB, up 17 percent for 2018,” he continued.

To make sense of the biotech stocks’ new leadership role, Cramer brought in technician Bob Lang, the founder of and part of’s Trifecta Stocks newsletter team.

Lang, who uses technical tools to track the action in particular stocks, decided to look at the group’s most recent leaders and laggards, beginning with the daily chart of Gilead Sciences.

Since Gilead went out of style on Wall Street in 2015 for curing Hepatitis C — a feat that, somewhat ironically, investors figured would lead to less recurrent business for Gilead — its stock has been pummeled.

But Lang noted that in the last few months, particularly after Gilead’s $11.9 billion acquisition of cancer immunotherapy play Kite Therapeutics, its stock has been bouncing, logging higher highs and higher lows.

Gilead’s stock has managed to break through its 50- and 200-day moving averages as well as its former ceiling of resistance, and key momentum indicators like the Relative Strength Index have surged into positive territory, Lang said.

Better yet, Gilead’s moving average convergence-divergence indicator, which technicians use to predict changes in a stock’s trajectory, recently made a very bullish crossover, telling Lang that the stock could be prime for a rally.

“The stock is overbought right here and the next ceiling comes in at around $82, up $5 bucks from these levels, but given everything else he sees in the chart, Lang believes Gilead can keep climbing,” Cramer said. “In fact, it’s his favorite name in the group and he wouldn’t be surprised if it starts challenging its old highs of around $110 by the end of the year.”

Next, Lang turned to the daily chart of Celgene, a biopharmaceutical giant with a focus on treating cancer and inflammatory disorders.

Shares of Celgene are down 20 percent for 2018 because of concerns about its leading drug, Revlimid, and the rest of its pipeline. But, like Gilead, the stock has been making a comeback in recent weeks.

Lang started by inspecting Celgene’s Chaikin Money Flow, which measures levels of buying and selling pressure in a stock. Not long ago, this indicator turned green, indicating to Lang that institutional buyers were warming up to the stock. He added that the stock has made a “W” formation of late — another bullish signal.

“Right now, the stock’s at $86. [Lang] thinks it could make a move to the 200-day moving average, … currently around $97 bucks, in the coming weeks,” Cramer said. “He may be right given the recent rotation into biotech. Without the rotation, though, I’m less sanguine.”

Lang also threw a third name into the mix — Illumina, a biotech-oriented medical technology company that builds machines for DNA analysis with one of the best-performing big-cap health-care stocks since 2017.

“As far as Lang’s concerned, the chart is a thing of beauty,” Cramer said, noting the stock’s steady climb, “robust” Chaikin Money Flow and “insanely strong” moving average convergence-divergence indicator.

The only issue seemed to be that the stock was overbought, but that didn’t shake Cramer or Lang.

“This thing, though, has been overbought very frequently since 2017. Now, that has never been a reason to sell the stock,” the “Mad Money” host said. “Instead, you’ve done much better if you simply wait for the next pullback — and we get those all the time — and use that weakness to do some buying.”

Lang’s analysis echoed that point, recommending that investors use weakness in Illumina’s stock to buy and strength to sell.

“The biotechs and the biomed techs have finally started showing some signs of life and the charts, as interpreted by Bob Lang, suggest that Gilead, Celgene and Illumina have more room to run,” Cramer said. “My view? Look, if you believe the economy is going to stay strong, then maybe this rally does peter out, but you’ve got my blessing to put on some exposure on any one of these or all of them, as I think Lang is going to be dead right.”

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The greatest obstacle to investing success is… you




From Richard Smith, Founder, TradeStops:

If you’re like the average investor, you’d say it’s easy to feel overwhelmed at times by confusion in the markets – and sometimes even by fear.

But why should it have to be this way?

Investing is a noble pursuit. Generating wealth for a comfortable retirement means creating the financial freedom to live well in the golden years… while providing support to loved ones… enjoying the finer things in life… and possibly making a real difference in the world.

Those are all good things. The pursuit of good things should not be a stressed-out experience! But for too many investors, that’s exactly what it is. Their market journey is a series of obstacles and worries.

There is bad news and good news here.

First the bad news: Your greatest obstacle to investing success is… you.

And the good news: The solution to overcoming your “greatest obstacle” is within reach.

What does that mean, to say the greatest obstacle to investing success is you?

It means that when it comes to investing successfully, finding great stocks is not the hardest thing. And dealing with volatility is not the hardest thing.

The hardest thing for any investor  and this includes everyone from Warren Buffett on down  is overcoming the natural pitfalls and challenges within their own brains.

Walt Kelly, the artist who drew “Pogo,” had a caption on his most famous cartoon that read: “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”


That statement could have been tailor-made for investors. Your biggest challenge as an investor will be overcoming your natural behavioral shortfalls and biases  learning to do the right thing and overcoming your built-in bad behaviors in the process.

(And again, this isn’t just “you” specifically. It’s also true for me, and Warren Buffett, and everyone else.)

This really goes back to the essential mission of TradeStops. We want to help as many investors as possible find a path to comfortable retirement. (We’ve helped 25,000 so far, but that number should expand 1,000-fold.)

A key goal of TradeStops is to remove anxiety from the investment process, and in doing so, help investors rediscover the joy of investing as they build long-term wealth.

How do we do this? By combining science, technology, and proven principles of behavior modification.

To get rid of bad investing habits, you can’t conduct brain surgery on yourself (and you wouldn’t want someone else to try).

But you can use software as a tool in the investment decision-making process… which in turn serves as a form of painless behavior modification… which puts you on the path to anxiety-free investment success.

Again, this is what TradeStops is all about: Helping investors overcome their greatest obstacle to investing success… so they can meet their long-term wealth-building goals… and have a positive impact on everyone around them.

Here’s something else funny about the brain: Knowledge makes behavior modification easier.

The better and deeper the brain understands the “why” behind something, the easier it becomes to make a positive behavior change around that thing. And sometimes the “why” is even more important than the rules.

The importance of the “why” was once vividly demonstrated by Ed Seykota, a famous trend follower who made countless millions in the commodity futures markets.

Seykota was one of the earliest adopters of mechanical trend-following techniques. In the 1970s he was a pioneer in the use of exponential moving average crossover systems. (They were so new and exotic at the time, people called them “expedential” moving averages.)

At one point, Seykota decided to teach a classroom course on trend following. For the curious who signed up  remember, trend following was totally new at this point  Seykota spent something like 10 percent of the classroom time explaining the very simple rules of his trend-following system  and the other 90 percent explaining the “why” behind the importance of sticking with the rules!

We’ve realized a similar idea applies to TradeStops software.

No matter how good our software is  and you continue to give us rave reviews, for which we are deeply grateful – it feels like there is always more opportunity to help you, our customers and fellow investors, to get more out of TradeStopsby better understanding the “why” behind certain basic principles.

To that end, we are excited to start something new: An “education series” of editorials, designed to help you become a better investor by sharing the “why” behind some very important concepts.

Our game plan with the education series is to start with the following concepts, exploring each one over a period of weeks or months:

  • Cognitive Biases
  • Probability
  • Investor Psychology

We’re confident the insight you gain from this series can help make you a better investor, even if you aren’t currently using TradeStops. (Though of course, if you haven’t yet experienced the power of TradeStops, we suggest rectifying that immediately!)

Another one of our goals for 2018 is to accelerate the development of TradeSmith University, our ongoing effort to enhance your education as an investor. It goes back to the same set of goals: Giving you more of the “why” behind the principles of investing… so you can make better use of the TradeStops software… in order to reach your wealth-building retirement goals.

It’s an exciting project. We’ve got some great material to draw from, and we’re confident you’ll learn a lot.

If you have any questions, comments, or just something you’ve always wanted to know about cognitive biases, probability, or investor psychology, let us know!



Crux note: Richard’s TradeStops philosophy is to cut your losses and let your winners ride… And the results speak for themselves.

You can discover why one satisfied investor called TradeStops his “safety net” right here.

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Two things the World Cup can teach you about investing




From Jason Bodner, Editor, Palm Beach Trader:

Last week, my phone had a temper tantrum. It just wouldn’t work and was so slow that I couldn’t take it. I took it to the phone store to see my upgrade options.

I brought my three sons. While I waited to get a new phone, they watched the World Cup game in the store.

I wasn’t paying attention, but my seven-year-old Liam proudly proclaimed that Belgium was playing Japan.

This was big deal. (And in a moment, I’ll tell you how it all relates to investing.)

You see, my wife was born and raised in a small city in Belgium. My kids all have dual citizenship. I’m the only one in the family who has just a U.S. passport.

When we left the store, the score was 0-0 at halftime. We were still confident our team would win. There was talk of how Belgium could go all the way. We seemed a sure bet against Japan. (Belgium lost to France in the semifinals on Tuesday.)

About 20 minutes later in the car, I asked Sacha, my middle son, to tell me the score…

Belgium was down by two goals and still hadn’t scored. It was quickly turning into one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history.

Sacha was bummed, but being an optimist said, “You never know… We can come back. It’s not over yet!”

I saw his face was mixed with disappointment and hope. I replied with a weak moment of adult realism: “I don’t know Sach, it seems doubtful. Sorry dude.”

I felt bad the way a dad does when he’s gotta break bleak reality to his kid.

Five minutes later, he said “Oh yeah, Daddy? Look now!” I nearly crashed the car when I saw on his phone that the score was now 2-2. I was screaming with glee with the windows open. It must have looked strange to anyone standing on the street.

When I got home, we ran into the house to watch the final minutes of the game. Belgium scored an injury-time goal to win 3-2.

My sons and I started jumping around. Belgium turned what would have been the biggest upset in the World Cup into the biggest comeback.

Aside from being a fantastic game, there is a point to this story…

You see, I was ready to throw in the towel on Belgium. Psychologically, I had given up.

There was plenty of time for a comeback – improbable as it was. But my mind had written off that possibility and given in to despair.

Sure enough, I was dead wrong. And that’s the point…

Emotion is the true enemy of investors. It can lead to despair and fear. And that can cause you to make drastically wrong decisions.

If Belgium were a stock, emotion would have told me, “I can’t take it anymore!”

I would have sold at the exact bottom.

It took me a long time to learn how to overcome emotion as an investor. Ultimately, the most important thing I had to master was my own mind.

Like most people, I have a knack for doing the wrong thing at the worst moment when I act based on emotion. That’s why I built a stock investing system to take guesswork and emotion out of it.

Your stock positions will move up and down, day-to-day, and week-to-week. The market itself will get bumpy from time to time. We all know this… Yet we still act on our feelings when it happens.

The key to overcoming emotion is to stay rational – especially when things get bumpy.

There are two ways I do this:

  • Stay patient. I need to remind myself that investing in stocks is a long-term game. I need to stick to my system and not sell out of fear.
  • Stay focused. When I feel overwhelmed by emotion, I find it helpful to take a walk or do something to focus my attention on something other than what’s bothering me. For me, listening to music or walking my dogs calms me down and helps me refocus.

Emotions cause us to react. Logic dictates that we stay disciplined. Patience and focus will get us to where we want to be.

Talk soon,



Crux note: In case you missed it…

Palm Beach‘s crypto expert Teeka Tiwari is teaming up with political commentator and radio host Glenn Beck to create a one-off special extended broadcast live from his studio in Dallas: The Great Cryptocurrency Conspiracy of 2018.

Tune in July 19 at 8 p.m. Eastern time to discover the secret behind making money with cryptos like bitcoin – something both Wall Street and Washington would like to keep hidden from you…

Click here to register for this free event.

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