Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Evolution of Fear.

For investors the world over, the last week has been anxiety inducing. Gripped, as we’ve been, by a cocktail of fear-inducing biological responses comprehended by few.

First, a contextual digression.

Consider February’s 10.02 percent correction. The week before that occurred, we saw $25 billion in new cash flow into stock funds. The sixth-largest amount on record. Largely a consequence of Main Street investors finally pouring back into equities after sitting on the sidelines for most of this historic nine-year bull.

The number of individual investors claiming to be “bullish” jumped to 60 percent. The highest reading in over seven years, according to the American Association of Individual Investors. Continue reading

The Politicization of Everything

In last year’s letter to shareholders, Warren Buffett sagely counseled, “If you mix your politics with your investment decisions, you’re making a big mistake.”

We’ve long recognized such wisdom. As markets care little for party politics. Preferring to focus on earnings, productivity, efficiency, and other achievement-oriented metrics that rarely resonate within the political spectrum.

Unfortunately, many have ignored Mr. Buffett. Allowing politics to invade their daily lives.

The Kabuki Theater of American politics, and its interminably caustic media coverage, has become like Norway’s summer sun. Omnipresent.

We get it. President Trump is a blowhard. Lacking couth. Diplomacy. The placid demeanor expected from the Oval Office. The media abhors him. The right is terrified of him. The left detests him. And since the 2016 election, there is not a move this administration has made that has been left unscathed by critics. Continue reading

Triumph of the Optimists

The universe we inhabit is infinite. The unknown expanse of which renders our cozy little nook as a grain of sand floating in an ocean of inestimable scope.

Scientists estimate that 68 percent of the universe is dark energy. 27 percent is dark matter. The rest — everything on earth or at least capable of observation via our instruments — comprises less than five percent of the universe. Which hardly makes it normal.

To some, this great, mysterious space is frightening. To others, an exhilarating invitation. Physicists, tending to camp with the latter, embrace their ignorance by diving into the folds of the universe’s most vexing perplexities. And as most of them will admit, we know nothing. Continue reading

9/11 Reminds Us

Some people say
It’s what we deserve
For sins against g-d
For crimes in the world
I wouldn’t know
I’m just holding the fort
Since that day
They wounded New York
Some people say
They hate us of old
Our women unveiled
Our slaves and our gold
I wouldn’t know
I’m just holding the fort
But answer me this
I won’t take you to court
Did you go crazy
Or did you report
On that day
On that day
They wounded New York

-Leonard Cohen, “On That Day”

. . . . .

For a brief moment, seventeen years ago, the global tapestry was perfectly interwoven in a spirit of loss, love and commitment. Continue reading

The Camel’s in the Tent.

An ancient Arab fable features a Bedouin camel herder who allowed one of his camels to stick its nose into his tent. Gradually, the camel had half its body inside. And before long, the Bedouin herder realized that the entire camel was in the tent. And there was nothing he could do to get the camel to leave.

The “Camel’s Nose” fable became a metaphor for those situations in which the allowance of a small, seemingly innocuous occurrence opens the door for much larger, undesirable events.

Today such occurrences are called “Black Swans.” Popularized in the superb book by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Referring to circumstances that are extremely improbable from a statistical sense, but that come to fruition nonetheless. Much to the detriment of those involved.
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Global-Macro Review

“If you mix politics with your investment decisions, you’re making a big mistake.”

-Warren Buffett, 2017

. . . . .

Today’s headlines contain more compelling stories than an Appalachian family reunion. Forcing us to sit back and scan the horizon. As we attempt to identify the risks and opportunities extant in today’s global marketplace.

So, grab a coffee, water or cocktail. And join us as we spitball through a multitude of issues and scenarios burdening the psyches of global investors…
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Tails, You Win.

Long-tail events represent those that occur on the tail ends of the statistical bell curve. Representing rare occurrences that exert a more dynamic impact on everyone and everything involved. Be that even good, or bad. These happenings represent the exception. Not the norm. They can be the two investments – out of 100 – that create one’s fortune. Or they can take the form of an unforeseen crisis. Like the Great Recession of 2008.

The following article on long-tail events was written by the ever-astute Morgan Housel. Excepted from his website, CollaborativeFund.com. Please enjoy.

. . . . . Continue reading

The Genius and the Wolf.

Occasionally, one’s most epiphanic thoughts transpire at four in the morning. As the mind noodles through the day’s detritus. As mine did last night. Having introduced Pulp Fiction to my son. I found myself considering Tarantino’s character, Winston “The Wolf” Wolfe. Played perfectly by Harvey Keitel, Wolf is the classic fixer. Sui generis. Called upon to efficiently navigate any seemingly impossible scenario.

Musing over Keitel’s role, I was reminded that cool resolve and efficiency are often more valuable that intellect. That nerves of eight-inch coiled steel cable – the kind that tethers 300-ton ships to the harbor – can be more beneficial than genius.
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