Omicron & Where the Financial Markets are Trending

2nd Crypto Crash of 2021

Friday marked one of the bigger corrections in the crypto market and everyone is trying to understand why?  There are many theories including larger easy to blame reasons like:

Specific causes included:

NYDIG estimates that $1.1 billion of leveraged bitcoin positions and $2.5 billion of crypto leveraged positions (including bitcoin) have been liquidated in the past 24 hours, representing the largest such notional liquidation since Sept. 7.

  • The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) hit its highest levels since January (’21)

It is rare for the VIX to have such big spikes and usually the market goes on to have positive returns over one to six month periods, as the panic and forced selling from OmniFed subsides—as we saw last January,” Reyes added.”  Source

  • The MACD may be confirmed tomorrow

“Fairlead’s Stockton says that if the downturn persists, after bitcoin broke through an area of support at around $53,000, it would qualify as a more troubling technical breakdown of the uptrend in the asset’s price.

“ Momentum has weakened to the extent that there is a pending weekly MACD ‘sell’ signal that would be solidified upon a confirmed breakdown tomorrow, she wrote, referring to the Moving Average Convergence/Divergence, used by technical analysts as a gauge of momentum in an asset.”  Same Source

The source is over 2 weeks ago when the market appeared to first start softening, but it’s a consistent theme that’s been reported.

Larger Financial Market Implications

The cryptocurrency market did crash earlier this year, but this time, we may see both the virtual market match that of the traditional one which could match the housing crisis impact we saw more than a decade ago.

In a elucidating conversation with my good friend here in LA, the picture for where the economy is heading became clearer.  While I can never claim to be as prescient as successful investors like Ray Dalio or Warren Buffet, I’ve been focusing more on all the factors that may help us understand where the value of the many currency options we have today.

In the 2008-09 housing crash, the main cause post mortem was our income  not being able to sustain the massive amounts of mortgages that people had accumulated over the previous decade.  The adjustable and many forms of risky debt had no way of being paid back over the long term.  Today, we have many regulations that were implemented to ideally prevent another crash from happening.  However, as with most disasters, we usually can’t see them coming.

One of the main topics we discussed were to see if the debt is increasing like it was back in the first decade of this millennium.  We turn to the Fed to learn it has.

Household Debt and Credit Developments as of Q3 2021

MORTGAGE DEBT(+) $230(+) $811$10.67
HOME EQUITY LINE OF CREDIT(-) $5(-) $45$0.32
STUDENT DEBT(+) $14(+) $38$1.58
AUTO DEBT(+) $28(+) $83$1.44
CREDIT CARD DEBT(+) $17(-) $3$0.80
OTHER(+) $2(+) $6$0.42
TOTAL DEBT(+) $286(+) $890$15.24

*Change from Q2 2021 to Q3 2021
** Change from Q3 2020 to Q3 2021

At the same time, my friend mentioned that the increase in debt could be the result of people moving from renting to ownership.  So, looking at what the Census says, it does look like ownership definitely increased from 2016 to 2020, BUT here in 2021, we see a massive decline in ownership:

Also, earlier in the report, one stark change in the types of ownership was “owner occupied” homes dramatically decreasing from 2021 compared to 2020:

So, this points to not renters changing to home owners, but investors possibly piling on mortgage debt possibly to obtain additional rental income (like we saw in the housing crisis).  The good news for the short term, however, is that defaults are not occurring like they were starting in 2005.

Flow into Serious Delinquency (90 days or more delinquent)

CATEGORYQ3 2020Q3 2021


However, some say it might increase despite the improvements in 2021.

TransUnion Senior Vice President and Mortgage Business Leader John Mellman said he expects a rise in delinquencies in 2021 due to expiring forbearance plans.

“Refis continue to be a major driver of the increase in activity,” he said. “While reported delinquencies are currently low, we expect to see a rise in delinquency levels at the end of the first quarter and into the second quarter.

While Mellman wasn’t correct about this year, maybe his predictions are just a little too early.  Also, if we look at the Fed’s rosier picture above with “serious delinquency” rates, it should be pointed out that 2020 was the worst on record for average consumer debt levels:

Total Overall Debt Growth
2010201920202019-2020 Change
Total debt$11.32T$14.08T$14.88T+$800B (6%)

Source: Experian

And quite shocking is that consumer debt is at the same levels as it was during the housing crisis:

2008 Housing Crisis Debt Levels


At the height, the total amount of debt was $14 trillion.  In 2020, the level was $14.88 trillion.

So, if debt levels are the same (or possibly higher), how are people able to pay these debts?  The next question becomes is “Income higher/lower/the same as they were in the 2 periods?”

Real Median Household Income during the Housing Crisis

At best, income was $62,865/per capita (2007) and at the lowest, $60,200 (2009).

Real Median Household Income 2020

Here in 2021, the latest numbers are $67,560/per capita (2020) with the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis’s FRED tool trending lower for this year.


Income may have increased as much as 12.2% between the 2 periods (2020 vs. 2009) or as low as 7.4% (2020 vs. 2007).

Maybe we have more money today?  However, how about this little thing we’re all feeling: inflation?

Inflation in 2021

Inflation is definitely higher than it was during the housing crisis and it doesn’t seem to be decreasing with this report published by the Brookings Institution just 3 weeks ago.

Core Goods Inflation is markedly higher:

Two of our most important needs: food & energy are spiking.

So much so, it’s:

The Highest Core Goods Inflation Rate in 30 Years

While our income may be higher, it may be wiped out by the increased costs of much needed goods which appear to only be rising.

Debt to Income Ratios in 2020

One last data point that might make sense of this are what were at the crux of the pain points during the crisis: debt vs. income.  The good news is that the latest data highlights it’s not as bad (yet) as it was in 2008:

Debt vs. GDP


The Fed also monitors this as “household debt.”  Taking a snapshot of a handful of states including the biggest one (California) in the latest quarter (Q1 2021):

vs. the height of the housing crisis (2008):


For more visual clarification, the Fed color codes it:

With today’s situation looking less scary:

But our country looked healthy as well during the dot com bubble:

While it’s impossible to predict, the current economic situation looks quite concerning.  I’ve been thinking the market would crash for 4 years+ now keeping a bit of reserve funds just in case.  However, I haven’t put this much effort into all the indicators.

Frankly, there are other factors (that I might be overlooking), but with all these issues currently at play, it is definitely creating additional considerations with future crypto valuations.

Life is a zero sum game.  To raise the prices of all the cryptocurrencies, you need to pull from the traditional sources of value: i.e., the almighty dollar, gold or other forms of stored value.  We haven’t seen the latter markets tank as much as the crypto markets have risen.  Just as the housing market imploded, there’s a chance we may see values get pulled from one market or the other.

Who will win?  




My year end compendium

While I shared a bit of this with my friends and family, I’ve omitted some somewhat private info and left most of the thoughts I feel might be good for the world to see.  Frankly, as my journey continues to become more public, I’m finding that it’s o.k. to share a considerable amount to the world who may find themselves in this batch of “good peoples” I hope will surround me.  Happy 2021!


This past year deserves a good swift “get out of my life” kick in the pants!  As a result, this is my part at doing it in spite of it being one helluva “365 days.”

Believe in Yourself


  • realizing how “rich” I truly am
  • priorities w/ relationships
  • new faces & hearts I’ve been blessed in crossing paths
  • the 19+ year journey continues
Korean lesson
I don’t do these every year.  When I can, it’s my small way of sharing what’s going on in our lives; would love to get one from you!  😬
As you know, my last name is “Na.”  In hangul, it’s 나.  In Korean, it means “me” informally.  나 want to do.  나 in pain.  나 am happy.  These are poor examples, but I hope you get the point.  So, when you hear in a song “나나나” again … just think of “me, me, me” or “Brandon, Kade & Kamden.”  Ha, ha, ha.  Or should I say again 나, 나, 나?

Just finished 1000 km
Yup, I can’t believe it myself, but one of the activities I hated the most growing up, happened the most this past year.  More on it below in “believe.”

Wealth is not measured in dollars
This year, I realized I’m richer than anyone I know — in “real”ationships.  I’ve stopped counting in dollars & started tallying high quality conversations.  It’s not about reaching $1 mill or $1 bill.  It’s about taking each zoom call, one at a time. 😂

And if you know me, I’m not counting, but I’m appreciating each conversation.

This year I said goodbye to 2 good friends — it’s o.k.

Focusing on who matter
2020’s been a brutal year, but it’s also reminded me of who is important.  First and foremost, my parents.  I am lucky that their love has gotten me to where I am.  Sure, they did some crazy things to me growing up, but ultimately, they’re the reason I’m alive.  They could have aborted like my mom did with multiple others, from what I learned.  I was lucky.  I’m alive.

And my 86 yo Aunt.  She’s the reason why we’re in the states.  So, I’ll do my best to spend as much time as I can with her — that’s most of the reason why I flew up to Seattle this past Thanksgiving.

And moving forward, I’m going to do my best to simply help my friend first and foremost with my education and digital marketing superpowers.   The Digital skills have helped Bezos become the richest in the world.  And I even got this company onto page one right before they sold for $500 mill.  So, let’s just say this power is underutilized and very few understand they can leverage it for their own good.  And yes, I’m saying I’ll help my dear friends for free.  You can ask some of them how I’ve already been doing it.  Anyway, just ask.  Oh, and if you’re skeptical and need proof, google “andover ssat scores“, “SEO Seattle” or “Seattle SEO” and you’ll see what I mean.

Schools must change
Also, I’ve been helping my mom’s dream come true of me broadcasting once again.  After my stint as the drive time host for BeFM in Korea, I’ve launched a podcast called EduK8 haven’t some absolutely amazing guests from Emily Carrion to her husband Lazaro and my old Expedia Co-worker now future Elon Musk Honor to my 40 year educator friend Bob.  It’s been an incredible time with each of them getting to know them better than ever and talking about a subject that needs improvement.

More than ever, Education needs to change.  Covid shed light on it, but honestly, it’s been needing improvement for years.  And my show is an attempt to partially fix it.  After doing it for another 1-4 years, I’m thinking, I’m going to launch a venture in the field.  I’m not going to let my 10+ years of actively working in it and 20+ years of seeing it first hand with my sons and 30+ years of experiencing it my life go to waste.
For now, however, I need to focus on WiL.

Always keep your doors open (& swinging each way)
While I’m focused on the people closest to me and prioritize them highly, I’m adding a few to the list and it’s because I’ve allowed myself to meet some absolutely wonderful souls.  As I mentioned Jen has graced us with her support because she understands the journey more than most.  I’ve met some absolutely astounding founders including Kwame & Claudius and reconnecting with past friends like Nick.  I had the fortune to get to know 30 under 30 Sara Itucas who’s graced my little group of entrepreneurs ( Rosalinda, Margie & Tina) with her mentorship.  Charles and Derek have also been incredible new friends in the startup space.  My friend Steph who runs AdmitSee introduced us to her main architect & he’s been supporting us in amazing ways.

And before most of these new relationships blossomed, old relationships reignited and helped    us in so many ways.  I have to thank Peter Yoon, who I used to work in the Daechi district of Seoul — considered the most intense education center in the world.  Peter helped our company get its first legs and did so many things for so little money.  He charged me for 4 hours a week, but easily put in 20.  He introduced us to his most amazing wife Liz who works for one of the coolest design firms in the country more people should know.

If you’re connected with me on FB, you’ll see that I recently reposted a little pic of the boys with a sign that said “believe.”  Let’s “believe” 2021 will be the best ever.  You might be surprised what a little faith might do to your wishes.

On a related note, I “believed” I could run 82 miles or 131+ km in two weeks.  After I realized I was about that much away from 1000 km a little over a week ago, I embarked on the most painful set of runs I’ve ever done.

You see, I would have to run 11.7 miles a day (or 4.8 MORE kilometers than I have ever run in a single day)!!!  I would have to do this 7 times over the next 2 weeks.  Could I do it?  The answer is here.

Not sure if I’ve shared this, but 2019 was one of my worst.  I couldn’t get myself to continue running after attempting to start about ironically 7 times.  My stomach has been a little off over the past 5 years or so where it gets so hungry, it starts to feel like it’s literally eating away at things inside.  I probably should get it checked out, but every time I go to the doctor, they say the same thing: let’s run some tests and after we get them back, it’s usually “You’re o.k.  Just exercise and eat healthy.”  LOL

In December of 2019, I literally thought I had prostate cancer (esp after my homeopathic doctor had said I have “nodules”).  The urologist in January said, “Nope. You’re o.k.  Just exercise and eat healthy.”  After the emasculation, I was relieved (I know — any guy reading these words together must be ROFL).

Shortly before this little episode, I also had thoughts about the last 5 minutes of life.  All the thoughts that Seneca had in “How to Die,” or Randy Pausch’s “The Last Lecture” or Paul Kalanithi’s “When Breath Becomes Air” had become so clear that I decided moving forward, I would live every moment I could as if it were my last.

This revelation helped me start  This revelation helped me call my boss a coward (yah, I’m surprised I still have a day job).  This newfound “belief” let me truly become stronger than ever.
As a result, it wasn’t impossible to achieve my last goal of the year.  As I prepare for this email to send on the last day of this year, I am only 10 km away (or ~1.5 to 2 miles less than any run for the past week).
I have a feeling I’m getting there.   😬

Happy 2021!  You are much appreciated. And I know you can achieve anything you want.  If you don’t believe it, at least tell the youth of our world that they CAN!!

And be safe and well.  “Health is wealth,” as my friend D says.

My best,

p.s. On top of the day jobstartuppodcast, running, agency & other side hustles, I run a few YouTube channels that have been garnering steam.
p.p.s. We would love it if you can add $1 to our crowdfunding campaign.  The more “votes” we have, the higher the chance we have in getting VC funds later.  We’ve been fortunate with what’s already there, but I think having a larger number of “backers” will be a great signal moving into 2021. 

L. A. Take Two – 2020 Edition

playa vista in LA

More than a 1/4 century later, I land back in the City of Angels  – to stay.

This time, it may be much longer than that incredible summer I had as a young, naive 22 year old — fresh out of college.  I am joined by my older twin, who is just 3 years younger, while his younger brother is building his Kpop career in Seoul.

On a drive up Crenshaw Blvd on the way to H Mart in Koreatown, I pondered how this time is much different from that summer of 1993.  The world has completely “changed” (mentally) having experienced the depths and highs of life and having lived in 4 other grand cities other than L.A. for extended periods (Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai & New York).

Having my older child with me might also be why I’m a wee bit more conservative this time around.   Being (potentially) “wiser” may be why I have already formulated some immediate thoughts as to what the city represents to me now:

Liberal, yet “dog eat dog”

Continue reading “L. A. Take Two – 2020 Edition”

Morning Brew Email News Summary for April 2020

morning brew image

As most successful entrepreneurs experience, you get “very busy” with building your company even though you would love to tap into some valuable resources along the way.  My friend Trenton Erker suggested I read the “Morning Brew” and I have been trying.  However, it comes in just as fast as my WSJ emails along with a handful of other great summaries.  So, I’m simply not able to process it all, every day.  However, there will be days where I have more time and for them, I’ve decided, I’m going to simply copy and paste some of this great content below.

Great snapshots of economic/startup history

You see, they aren’t always JUST relevant for the days they are published.  Eventually, they will be good glimpses into our recent history and maybe even longer term history.  While they are granular in that they focus on the most recent news all in one email (i.e., content that will ideally be simply about “today”), they have larger points that could be interpreted as the “news of the time.”  The Morning Brew likes to take a few topics, if not just one at a time — thus, the very interesting “perspective” I was hoping to get.

Anyway, here are the ones I haven’t deleted yet (but will as soon as I upload them here):  Continue reading “Morning Brew Email News Summary for April 2020”

How to be an Interviewee for an Anchor App Podcast

If you’ve been invited to a podcast that uses the Anchor app to produce the show, you may wonder how it works.  Depending on your level of comfort with today’s apps and podcast solutions, these instructions may be anything from confusing to as simple as drinking water.

Instructions for guest interviews using the Anchor (Podcast) App

The Podcast host will send you an invite from her/his side asking to send you, the interviewee, an invite/link via multiple medium.  S/he will will click “invite friends to join.”

host invite anchor app

There are so many mediums that are available today, Anchor provides multiple ways of reaching out to you, the guest: users who already have the app and are ready to go, text messages, twitter, facebook, and all the other default apps or media that your phone lets you select when clicking on … More.   Continue reading “How to be an Interviewee for an Anchor App Podcast”

What’s the English Equivalent to the Korean phrase “멋있어” or “멋있다” (romanized as “muh-shee-ssuh” or “muh-shee-dah”)

Itaewon Class Park Sae-ro-yi

The Korean phrase “멋있어” means “chivalrous” in English

The Korean word 멋있어 (romanized as “muh-shee-ssuh”) can exude many other concepts including: debonair, courageous or valorous.  There could be arguments that it means charming, suave or even heroic.  However, as many words are defined or received in terms of meaning, it can depend on so many factors including who is defining it or who is using it for whatever reasons.  Linguistically, semantics can have so many dimensions that make it almost impossible to provide the perfect twin in a completely different language. Continue reading “What’s the English Equivalent to the Korean phrase “멋있어” or “멋있다” (romanized as “muh-shee-ssuh” or “muh-shee-dah”)”

Top (potentially bold) 3 Predictions Post Covid-19

On a recent jog, I pondered what might be the “new normal” after the deadly breakout of the corona virus.  I felt several larger trends would emerge.

Given that I’m buried in search data daily, I have insight that many others aren’t regularly monitoring.  A few of them are exhibited here on Google Trends.  (note: this link is not semantically friendly which leads me to believe this may die at some point.  FYI, this link lives currently under the main “google trends” when you visit the homepage).

Examples include these 4 topics which “broke out” in the thousands of percentage points++ on the dates delineated.

4 breakout google searches on 05.13.2020
“3 stage plan to reopen Australia”, “sneeze guards for office”, “twitter jobs” and “return to church guidelines South Africa” are breakout searches on 5.13.2020

Here are my (plausible) prescient thoughts:

Continue reading “Top (potentially bold) 3 Predictions Post Covid-19”

South Korea’s Richest People (as of April 2020)

Top 10 Richest Koreans by Net Worth

Note: The recent stock market volatility has stripped some of the riches of these top10:

At top, the “South Korean business magnate and the chairman of Samsung Group” Lee, Kun-hee is still #1. In Korean, his name is spelled “이건희” and in “Hanja,” he’s 李健熙.

He’s worth a cool $15.4 billion dollars (as of 3/26/20)

#2 Seo Jung-jin – $6.9 billion

Not to get confused with the soccer player, this tycoon is CEO of Celltrion, a biopharmaceutical company which develops drugs to treat cancer, influenza and rheumatoid arthritis, among others. Probably a good time to be in his industry, eh?

#3 is Kim Jung-ju, founder of South Korean online-gaming company Nexon; he is chairman of its holding company NXC. His current net worth is $6.5 bill.

Continue reading “South Korea’s Richest People (as of April 2020)”

The latest Corona Velocity (Speed) of Transmission

I’ve been keeping track of the death rate from Corona on a daily basis since March 12th.  Before that, I tried to decry that Covid-19 is MUCH more significant than people would give me credit.

Today, people are clearly aware that it wasn’t just many boys (or girls) who were crying wolf.

Latest update on April 17, 2020, 10:19 GMT.  

Marking today (3/30/2020), we’ll start to profile the:

Deaths in the World Velocity — Increasing or Decreasing — from Corona 

World Deaths Velocity April 17, 2020, 10:19 GMT
  • It’s NOT slowing down; there was a perception it was from over the weekend, but that was false — our theories are that weekend stats are not as accurate
  • Reminder: I’ve found weekends tend to have weaker data.  Moving forward, I’ll try and capture only M-F data.
  • Our latest statistics as of Coronavirus Update shows people were dying at ~291.500/hour on April 17, 2020, 10:19 GMT
  • 04/16/2020 showed people were dying at 337.333/hour/hour
  • 04/15/2020 showed people were dying at 448.375/hour; the WORST rate thus far (they may have rejigged the numbers ~4/16 b/c this was not this bad a few days ago)
  • 04/14/2020 showed people were dying at 224.875/hour/hour
  • 04/12 (~253/hr) & 04/13 (~225/hr) will be omitted.  I’ve found weekends tend to have weaker data.  Moving forward, I’ll try and capture only M-F data.
  • 04/11/2020 showed people were dying at 290.583/hour
  • 04/10/2020 showed people were dying at 301.375/hour
  • 04/09/2020 showed people were dying at 267.250/hour
  • 04/08/2020 showed people were dying at 307.583/hour 
  • 04/07/2020, 04:58 GMT showed people were dying at 217.792/hour
  • 04/06/2020, 04:21 GMT showed people were dying at 197.375/hour
  • 04/05/2020, 05:06 GMT showed people were dying at 241.667/hour
  • 04/4/2020, 04:36 GMT showed people were dying at 249.708/hour
  • 04/3/2020, 04:33 GMT showed people were dying at 248.667/hour throughout the globe vs. 203.458/hr the day before
  • 04/2/2020 at 12:35 AM showed people were dying at ~203.458/hour throughout the globe vs. ~180.625/hr
  • 03/31/2020 11:20 PM showed people were dying ~180.625/hour throughout the globe vs. the day before at 154.541/hour
  • Latest statistics Globally: 937,167 cases worldwide & 47,267 deaths (Last updated: April 02, 2020, 07:27 GMT)

Continue reading “The latest Corona Velocity (Speed) of Transmission”