Social Trading Stocks – My Experience

Social trading has been around for a while – it's where traders share all the trades they make, so you can copy them.  But the trading has been limited to forex.  But that has all recently changed.  eToro – the worlds largest and most popular social trading network now lets you copy traders who trade in stocks.  Social trading stocks has arrived!

Social trading stocks - my aapl trade

First Off, How Does Social Trading Work?

What if you took a social network, and turned it into a trading platform?  What would you get?  A social trading platform.   There are lots of different social trading networks, but as I'm most familiar with etoro, I'll explain how it works.

1) When you open a trade on etoro, that trade is posted to your profile, and everyone can see it.
2) When you close a trade, that is also shared, so people can see if it is profitable or not.
3) You can “copy/follow” other traders on etoro.  When you “copy” a trader, you invest, say $100 in a trader, and then whenever they open a trade, your account will open that trade too.  Your investment amount will be scaled depending on how much you've chosen to invest in a trader.

Social Trading is for Beginners

You don't need to be a forex guru or stock picking expert to social trade.  This is because you can follow others and automatically make the same trades.  You just need to pick the right people.   And yes, there is some skill to picking the right traders.  Read my guide here for more help on finding the best traders to copy.

Introducing Social Trading for Stocks

eToro is the first platform I've come across (legit platform) that offers stocks.  In the past you've been able to invest in currency (forex) and commodities.  Stocks are a obviously a bit harder to do.  eToro took their time, and they have put together a really impressive offering.  And it works really well!

Forex tends to be a little wild.  It's hard for forex traders to create consistent results.  Simply because the markets can move with massive swings.  I've found that stock trades tend to be a lot less violent.  So I've begun copy trading investors who invest in stocks as well as forex.  And I've had great results.

Netflix Trade

So Do I Actually Own the Stocks?

When you open, lets say an Apple (aapl) trade and buy $50 worth, do you actually own the stock?  Nope.  You are a buying what's know as a CFD.   You'll be able to buy and sell them at the market rate, however it can be done much faster than actually buying the stock.  The other advantage of CFD's is you don't need to buy an entire share.  You can buy a fraction of a share.  eToro lets you buy stocks with as little as $10 which is awesome.  You can also open leverage CFD trades on etoro, which increases your profit potential, but it also increases the amount you could lose.  I would recommend staying away from these unless you are an advanced trader.

Can you Short stocks on eToro?

Yes.  Again this is more of an advanced trading technique.  If your new to trading, I would recommend just copying the trades of the actual traders on etoro.  Many of these traders will open “short” positions which will of course will be copied automatically by you.

What Type of Stocks are Available?

eToro offers a selection of stocks.  Meaning, you won't find every company listed in the major exchanges.  But the goods news is they have all the big players.   You'll also find stocks from all over the world.  Which lets traders reach out and invest in different markets.  In my view, the bigger the diversity, the better.

How much Does it cost to start Social Trading?

eToro has a $200 minimum first time deposit.  After this, you can deposit any amount (over $10).   I would recommend starting with between $200-$500.  This will allow you to copy multiple traders.  The more you can spread the risk the better.  Make sure you're comfortable with how the platform works before you try investing more.    And remember, just like all investments, social trading carries risk.  And it can be more risky, then many other types of investments.  Start with a comfortable amount and take your time!  It's not a get rich quick scheme.

You can open an etoro account here

Motivate Yourself Using the Streak


xnegativespace1_71_1300x867Struggling with your efforts to make more money?  I think at least 50% comes down to how much motivation you have.  I see so many people starting out with big ambitions only to let things fade away over the following months.  It takes months and months possibly even years to see results.

So you're going to need motivation!

Think of Motivation like a Bank Account

Motivation isn't something you just have.  It comes and goes.  Think of motivation like a bank account.  But this bank account automatically drains itself.  If you don't keep topping it up, it will eventually hit zero.  This is when you're drained.  Ok that's a shit analogy, but you get the idea.

Starting Small

The best way to build motivation is over time.    Don't jump into a project with all guns blazing and set yourself ridiculous goals.  You will only end failing.  I've done that many times before.  I discovered that when I was successful it was because I had tackled the project more slowly and built up momentum and motivation over time.

Build Habits Using the Streak

The idea of the streak is simple.  You basically try and see how many days in a row you can complete a task.  If you miss a day, reset the streak to zero.    For example, you might want to blog everyday – so see how many days in a row you can blog.  You might want to increase your social presence.  How many days in a row can you find interesting people to follow on twitter?  Get the idea.

My tips For being successful with the Streak

  1. Keep count on paper.  Don't use an app.  Don't use anything digital.  The physical action of creating a mark on paper is not only satisfying but it creates a powerful link in your brain.  Trust me – it makes a difference.
  2. Keep this paper visible.  I use a bright sticky note.  Which I usually put on my desk.  Even then, sometimes I forget about my goal.  So every time I fail, and need to start again, I choose a different color stiky note.
  3. It takes about 11 days to start getting into the habit.  The first couple of days are easy.  Then it gets a little harder before becoming easier.  Most people fail at the 1 week mark.  So if you push past this mark you're doing better then 99% of people.

Success Happens When You Fail

Ok this sounds stupid, but success happens after you fail.  Here's the deal.  You are going to fail.  I am 100% sure that you won't be able to keep a streak going for an entire year.  The magic happens, when you do fail.  You have a choice – start again or give up.  Most people give up.  That's the difference between true success and failure.  My last streak was 500+ days.  And recently I had a mind fuck and forgot for a day.  It was so hard throwing away that piece of paper and getting a new one.  But when I did, I knew that the next 500 days would make me even more successful.


The Easiest Way to Start Your Own Investment Portfolio

So what's the  easiest way to start your own investment portfolio?  Fancy yourself as a bit of a day trader?  Think you've got what it takes to lead other investors?  Well then you should definitely think about joining etoro.

eToro is a social trading platform where investors can follow other traders.  Whenever a trader makes a trade, that trade will be duplicated by the followers.    As a copytrader, I can invest a minimum of $200 in following your trades.  Whenever you make a trade, a duplicate of that trade will be opened in my account based on a ratio.  So even if you make a trade with $10k I will still open that trade, but with a smaller amount.  It's really cool!!

The Popular Traders on Etoro

eToro has this thing called “popular traders“.  Basically they will pay you if you people start following you and copying your trades.  You basically earn a monthly income for simply sharing your trades.

Why Become a Popular Investor on eToro?

Cash.  Simple as that.  Popular traders get generously rewarded on etoro.  I think the rewards are far better then any other trading platform I've seen.  Plus etoro has a massive community so it's easier to get followers.

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 10.54.30 am

Whats a Copytrader?

A copy trader is someone who follows you on etoro, and has invested in you.  They will automatically copy every trade you make.  The more copiers you have on etoro, the more cash you make on top of all your usual trading income.

Social Trading is the Future

I'm a big believer in social trading.  I think it's the future.  eToro is the worlds largest social trading platform with millions of users, and it's only going to continue growing.  It's worthwhile getting in now – people are only going to start copying you if you have a history of successful trades.

How to Become a Popular Investor on eToro.

Build a Portfolio – eToro tracks all the trades you make on their platform and generates a sexy stats page.  This stats page is what potential copiers will look at to see if they want to follow you.  Most people will only copy a trader who has at least 6 months history on the platform.  Otherwise you won't even show up high in the search filters.

Invest in Currency and Stocks – Spread the risk around.  Now sure, if you're an expert currency trader, then obviously you should stick to your guns.  But I've found that most of the traders I copy invest in a variety of different products.  On etoro you can invest in stocks, forex, commodities and indexes.  So no matter what your style, you'll be covered.

Build a Complete Profile – Upload a profile picture, use your full name and right a bio.  The etoro search has filters which show traders with full profiles.  This is about trust.  So take the time to build out your profile.  Make sure you list your trading experience in your bio.

Interact with the Community – etoro is a trading community.  You can comment on every trade, you can also comment on different markets.  So if you have news to share – share it!  If you're a popular investor, people will also post questions on your profile.  Be active and respond to these.  Remember, some members on etoro won't have  a lot of experience – use comments to reassure these members and help educate them on how financial markets work.

Make Regular Trades – When i'm looking for a trader to copy, the first thing I usually do is make sure they make at least one trade per week.  I'm not looking to have my money tied into a single trade for the next 12 months!  I want a popular trader who is active and engaged.

Post to Twitter and Facebook – Want to expand beyond the etoro community?  Reach new investors, and potential copytraders by posting your trades to social networks.  eToro has a built in feature that allows you to quickly share trades.  This is a great way to expand your reach.

Become a Popular Trader on Etoro Here

Building an Authority Site: Update 2

Ok so it's been about a month since the last update, which I guess means another one is due.

What I Did in April

7NDMKC6NH8You know how you set out to do so much… anyway enough excuses.  I did manage to build the website.  As I mentioned when I announced the project, I'm using a custom built CMS.  Instead of going with WordPress I've built at a custom php website.  Obviously I wouldn't recommend even thinking about going down this route unless you're a) a good coder and b) have a good reason. I wanted complete control over the site.  Not just the look.  But how users interact with the content.  So I custom built.

The build process took longer then I had expected.  But that's ok.

The site is now live albeit it without any content.

What I'm Doing in May

Gonna knuckle down and create the content.  As a bit of a challenge I came up with 100 blog post ideas that I can use on the site.   Once you get on a roll, coming up with ideas, it's actually not that difficult.  It's a great thought exercise.  Give it a go.

My target is 20 posts for the month of May.  Let's see if I can make it.

Revenue, Traffic?

No point in even reporting until I get the content up.  I'm not aiming to make revenue until month 3 at the very earliest.


A Big PopCash Update and the Ultimate Cheatsheet.

I've written about how I had made over $2.5k using PopCash.  Well here's a big update, that number is now over 5k and ever climbing.  Since writing that post, i've gotten lots of questions about how to make money with popcash, so I thought I would put together a more in depth blog post.  So without further rambling, here is my popcash cheatsheat:

PopCash earnings

WTF if PopCash?

It's a popunder advertising network.  It works by loading a popunder ad when a user interacts with your site.

What Type of Sites Should I Use PopCash on?

Some users will find popunder advertising annoying.  I use it on a viral image site, where the users are happy to see the odd ad, because in return they get a lot of value (and laughs) out of viewing the image galleries.  Popunder ads also only work best when you have a lot of traffic.  So if you're getting a hundred visitors a day, you might want to wait until you hit the big boys club.  Otherwise you'll just get disappointed at the lack of $$$.    There are lots of different types of sites that work well.  If you've ever seen a popup ad (of course you had) just take note of the website, and what type of content they have.  And why not take inspiration from them and build your own similar site.  That's what I did, it works.

How Often are Payouts.

Every day.  Seriously!  And they have never missed a payout.  Sometimes there is a slight delay during holidays (like the easter holidays at the moment) but they always let you know, and you're never left wondering.  I've have never had a network payout as regularly and as fast as popcash.

I personally choose to cashout once a week.  Which is more then frequent enough for my needs.  From the time of requesting a payout to it landing in my account is usually just a few hours.

How do They Pay

PayPal and Payza.  I use paypal.  No issues here.

What is the Minimum Withdrawal Amount

$10.  I have no problem making this every week (I make a lot more).

Do They Accept Adult Traffic

Yes.  It obviously doesn't pay as well.  I wouldn't go down this route if I were you.  There just isn't as much money in it.  I always try and create a really high quality site with high quality traffic as it just earns so much more.

Do They Accept Worldwide Traffic

Sure do.  I have traffic from all over the world.  Obviously U.S traffic pays better then traffic in China.  But it all counts.

Do they pay for every visitor?

This is a common noob mistake people see.  They see lets say, 10k visitors to their site, but the reports on popcash only show $8k impressions.  What's going on?  PopCash only shows an ad when a visitor interacts with your site.  (clicks a link etc).  So if someone is coming to your page and then leaving straight away then you won't see an ad.  Focus on building a higher quality site that makes visitors want to click around.

How Often are Popunders Shown to a Visitor?

Once every 24 hours.  This makes sure your users don't get pissed at being shown a ton of ads.


Does Pay? They Sure Do is a way to make money from links.  Basically, they insert an add in between your site and the destination link.  It's a great way to make money on certain websites.  If you have the type of content that people just want to have, then this type of monetization works really well.  I use it in conjunction with popcash.

The most important thing about these ad networks is the money!  I've tried other networks (i'm looking at you linkbucks) and have had problems. on the other hand seem to be extremely reliable.  I always get paid out on time.  At the moment, my earnings aren't nothing to write home about.  Literally just a few dollars a month.    Compared to what I make using popcash, which is in the few thousands.  But I only use on a very small percentage of the traffic I get.  Now that they've proven to be a reliable and well paying partner over the last 6+ months, I'm going to be ramping up and adding their ad codes to more pages.

So gets a big thumbs up from me.

Building an Authority Site: Update 1

In the beginning.

I already own an authority site, it makes anywhere between $700-$3000 a month.  Not a huge amount but this site is completely passive.   I mean, completely.   I do absolutely nothing.  I don't build links, I don't post content, I don't promote it.  It goes to show if you find the right niche, put up the right content, and promote something that will bring you $$$$ instead of $, passive income is possible.

And now I want to do it again.

I'm going for something a little less passive this time, I'm wanting to create a site in the mens fashion/lifestyle niche.  There are lots of sites out there with good content, but I still believe there is room for one more;).

The Domain

I'm going to reuse an old domain of mine.    At the moment it gets around 100 visits a day.  It's a bit of a risk because basically those visitors will go, and i'll be starting from scratch.  But the domain currently makes no money.  I don't like having domains sitting around, costing a yearly registration, without them at least generating enough to pay for themselves.    Sometimes you need to take a chance.  I plan on doing that.

The Website

I won't be using wordpress.  Instead I'm using a custom built publishing platform.  It's built in PHP.  Why?  Well I hate with a passion the templating system in wordpress.  In fact I kind of hate wordpress.  It feels like something from last decade (which obviously it is) but it hasn't kept with the times.  So I've built out a new platform.  It's what publishing should be in 2015.    I'll optimize it over time, tweaking bits and pieces to make sure it's perfect – thats why building your own software is awesome – you can keep changing it, iterating, until you reach your goals.  With wordpress it's limited in scope.  You can only do so much.

The Content

I'll probably create most of it myself to begin with.  That way I can set the tone and quality.  I specialise in high, high quality content.  Better content that can be written by the cheap articles writers.  It's how  I compete.  You'd need to pay someone around $100 an article to get similar quality – and if you do that the economics just won't work.

I'm aiming for 20 posts in April.  That's a goal I've set.  Each post will be around 1k in length and have lots of images.

The Promotion

The good thing about using an existing domain of mine, is that it comes with a twitter account with followers.  Sure they aren't in the right niche, but just having a few hundred followers to begin with lends some authority.  The promotion I'll be doing is posting on Twitter and Facebook.  And I'll expect very little traffic from it.  I'm looking for organic growth and expect most of the traffic will come from Google.  And that traffic won't exist for possibly the first 3 or 4 months.  I need to be patient.

I'm not going to build backlinks.  I don't believe you need to anymore.  Content is king.

The Money

You can't make money without traffic.  So I don't expect anything within 3 months.  After that I'm going to be targeting affiliate offers.  I have quite a good strategy in place for my other sites, and i'll use the same thing.

So lets get building….

So far I've built the site, I just need to design the logo, put it online, and start adding content.  I'm only writing these updates to keep myself accountable.  I'll try and check in every few days.  And yes, i'll share every traffic detail as well as full revenue breakdowns.


The Ultimate Make Money Online Cheatsheet

Here I've put together all my best tips for making money online into one big cheatsheet.

A) It takes time.  My ultimate advice has always been that you need to stick at it for years.  Not weeks, not months but years.  My rule of thumb: 5-10 years of obscurity before you figure out enough stuff and learn enough to make it work.

B) Social Media isn't actually that important.  I have a twitter account, I have an instagram account etc etc.  They don't have many followers.  I don't think I've made $1 from them.  I've made thousands without social media.

C) You do need a website.  Social sites come and go.  Money making methods come and go.  Websites will always exist.  So you need one.  Think of a website as your homebase.  This isn't mine.  This is just my diary.  I've built a homebase that is going on 10 years old – and as you can imagine it's fucking valuable.

D) Diversify.  Don't put all your eggs in the one basket.  If you're making 100% of your income from one affiliate program and it suddenly dies (has happened to me before) you're fucked.  Spread things out.  Target multiple affiliate programs, have a backup website etc.  However…

E) Focus is important.  Don't jump from one thing to another every week after if nots working.  Read point A again.  It takes time!  Stick at it.

F) Ignore all “make money at home” scams.  Never pay for a product on Clickbank.  Never pay for anything on the warrior forum.  They are all scams.  the people who are actually making money don't tell people exactly how they do it.  Stop buying that crap.  Notice how I never actually tell you the websites I own??!!

G) Stop working for cents.  Don't join sites that promise to pay you a few cents to click a link or read an email.  Or the sites that pay you $1 for writing hundreds of words etc.  You will never ever succeed using these methods.

H) Invest in opportunities that have huge upside.  Last month I dropped around 10k on domain names.  Not lots just two quite valuable names.  These are investments.  If I build a site on these domains and it works out, I could be in for a 100K+ return.    Invest in yourself.  Don't save money away.  Be a risk taker and make a move.

I) Be Unique.  Working on an affiliate offer that nobody else is doing is 10 times easier than trying to promote something like Hostgator or Bluhost where everybody is promoting it.  Look for opportunities which are new and haven't been exploited by the stupid masses.

J) Spend 90% of your time making.  10% communicating.  Most people talk 90% of the time.  Trying to network, emailing, setting up deals etc.  I don't do that.  I spend 95% of my time actually building stuff.  And I occasionally check my email.   I make enough to hire an assistant to read my email for me.  I don't answer phone calls – my friends msg me.  Just focus on building.

K) Take Time Off.  You don't need to work 18 hour days.  You don't need to be “busy” all the time.  The people who run around looking “busy” actually achieve very little.  I get 8 hours of sleep, I look after myself and take days off every week.  I still launched a new product last week, got a fuck load of press and attention and still managed to take the weekend off.

L) Sell Your Company.  Two sides to this.  If you sell your company too early, you could leave money on the table.  But don't be afraid to cut and run sometimes.  But this shouldn't be a yearly thing.  This is an occasional practice.    Selling your company could mean having to start from scratch.  So think carefully about this.  Of course selling gives you cash.  Which is nice.

M) Search Engines still rule.  SEO doesnt.  I havent built backlinks for years.  But somehow you managed to find this page.  If you create good content + add time then I've found that search engines will show you some love.  The SEO guys will get all hot and flustered and tell me i'm wrong.  However, they work for $$.  I make $$$$$.  Because…

N) Good Content is King.  I'm not a great writer.  But I can write content that is better than 99% of similar content written by some indian guy working for $1 an hour.  I'm always going to be better than that.  I don't be afraid to create controversy.  Always write honestly.    And don't copy content – it doesn't work.  If you can't write spend 10 years writing a blog.  I did that.

O) It's Not Easy.  Obviously or everybody would be doing it.  A lot of people make money online.  Most people don't however.  But there are lots of opportunities.  It does take skill.

P) Learn to Design, or Code.  Or learn to design and code like me.  The combo is hugely valuable.  Whenever I think of an idea, the difference between you and me is that I can build it.  To me that is fucking incredible.  Being able to think of something, and then sitting down and 48 hours later, it exists.  Learn to code.  Then learn to design.  If you can make your code look pretty with design, people will give you money 🙂

Q) Experiment.  I bought bitcoin, I still trade forex using  copytrading.  I like experimenting with different ideas.  Most of the time I end up ahead.  You'll never know what will take off in a big way.  So be prepared to experiment with things like bitcoin.  But…. you're about 2 years too late to invest in bitcoin.  You have to be on the edge of ideas.

R) Build websites.  Build software.  Build apps.  Aka Build.  The money is in building and owning an asset.  Not writing pages on Squidoo etc.  There is no money in that.

S) There is no secret method.  There are however literally hundreds of thousands of different ways to make money online.  So its up to you to discover on your own through trial and error what works.  You won't find the answer on a blog like this.

T) Build a portfolio.  I think I own about 6 apps, 10 websites.  I don't know how many hundreds of domains I own.  But lots.  Although I recommend focusing on just one project to begin with, over time, when project number one is making $$$ each month, move onto project two etc.  Owning some domains is also a good way to store value.  I sell a lot of domains each year.

U) Outsource.  Once you are making $$$$,  hire someone to handle all the mundane tasks that require no creativity.  Automate as much as you can first.  Then all the stuff that can't be automated, outsource.  There are still countries where your dollar can hire someone on the cheap.

V) Having trouble.  Spend 30 minutes each day.   If you're not having success.  Spend 30 minutes each.  Each and every day.  Then once you've figured out what you were doing wrong you can ease off.  30 minutes each day will ensure that you are at least moving forward.  Most people give up after about 2 weeks of doing something.  Read point a again.  It takes years.  Can you spend 30 minutes for the next 2 years?  If not then you might as well stop reading.

Four Things That will Improve Your Life and Income in 2015

Here are 3 things you should be doing in 2015 if you want to improve the amount of cash you make.  These are simple, almost obvious ideas, but the reality is, so many people keep chasing ideas.  Searching out new information (come on, how did you find this blog post!!), without just putting their heads down and working.

Build a Website.  One Website. And stick with it.

You don't need to build 10 different websites.  Start with one.  If it isn't making at least $100 a month (which, come on, is nothing!), a new website ain't gonna help.  Time.  That is what it takes to make money.  And you have to focus that time on the one project.  Even if you start out with a shitty site, if you improve it a tiny bit each day, in 10 years time, you'll have a behemoth.  If you give in after 6 months.  You will have nothing.

Build a personal blog and post to it each day.  Build an advice site and share knowledge.  Build a review site, and review all the things you genuinely find cool.

Example – Many, many years ago, I built a site about a travel product.  I loved this product so much so that I reviewed all the different brands.  Of course, I linked to amazon to get a commission each time someone clicked through.  And now, well 8 years later, I'm still getting an amazon gift card each month and I don't have to pay for books anymore.  Any book I want – it's free.  I make sure the site is online, I make sure the site is usable by making sure it's design is good and current.  I make sure there are no broken links and occasionally I post new content.  The lesson here is that I didn't sell the site as soon as it make a $.  I stuck with it and it paid dividends.

Start Investing.  Stop Saving

I can't stand the personal finance bloggers who live by the gospel according to budgeting.  Chapter 1, verse 2: though shall live a miserable life, pinching every penny and saving every cent in order to live a miserable retirement.

Stop!  I have a HISA.  But I use the money in that account, not to save for tomorrow, whenever tomorrow might be…. some distant time.  I save for two things – a) to buy shit (which isn't very much as I prefer to buy a few very good items rather then lots of crap. And b) investments.  By investments are usually websites.  And if I'm not buying websites I'm usually trading.

The point is I'm giving myself a shot.  If you only buy stocks.  Or only save in a bank account.  You are limiting your possible returns.  You might make 15% in a killer year by investing in stocks.  You might make 1000%+ in a year buy creating shit like websites or building a startup.   Give yourself a chance.

Focus on Creating.

Build something.  If you're good at design, create logos, banners, websites etc.  give them away for free.  If you can write code, create jquery plugins, or ios components and make them open source.  If you're good at writing, create copy content and let people use it.  Get the idea.  Just start creating, creating and creating some more.  There will come a point where you just go – fuck – I can sell this, and you'll do that.  Try not to worry to much about the business model right away.  Just focus on creating for now and the rest will follow.

Stop Buying So Much Shit

Last year I probably bought too much stuff.  The problem is I discovered Mr Porter and they do a great job selling me stuff.  Damn you. But I am actually buying less stuff I don't need and more quality stuff that I actually enjoy.  Anyway, I think this is something we can all work at improving at – stop buying shit we don't need.

My buying habits have changed a bit over the past 12 months.  Instead of just go for a spray and pray approach – thinking that if I buy 10 cheap shirts, one of them will end up being good – I've started being more careful.  Sure, i'm now dropping $500 on a shirt, but I've researched this shirt, I've know the quality, I know the cut.  I know what I'll wear it with and I know it will last.  And when I put it on, I'll look good and feel good.   And I apply this approach to everything I buy – making sure it is the best for me, it will last  and be quality.


PopCash is still a Great Source of Revenue for Me

A quick update on PopCash – the popup advertising network that I've been using.  I've written about how I made over $2.5k using popcash and I wanted to give an update on how things have been progressing.

The good news is, that I'm still seeing regular cash payments from popcash.  They haven't been late paying out.  Not once.  Earnings from popcash aren't huge, and you will need an appropriate website that has lots of traffic, and where the visitors won't mind this type of advertising.  But if you do have that type of website, then I can't recommend PopCash enough.

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