Another TBB Tuesday Best Bits post featuring just a few eclectic links from from around the web such as how we always have Uncertain Markets, 99 year old Munger Unloads on Crypto speaking his mind and it’s a beautiful thing, Kremlin’s Grand Delusion, the website History Maps is a great resource, the Boy in the Bubble, see you Friday…if I can get to it…
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This blog publishes every Friday and some Tuesdays. Fridays are the long curated posts, Tuesdays are the much shorter posts with a few curated links to share with you…
Welcome to all new blog readers from George, your diligent curator of the BEST web content I find and share with you. No ads, no clickbait.
Never ever forget this. If you are going to take a chance because you are convinced that something will happen, maybe, you know, don’t bet the house in case you are wrong! This is why it is good to make mistakes early in your investing when you don’t have that much money to blow. The first stock I ever bought (back in college, $500 on F&M stock!) went to zero and I never forgot it. In retrospect, what a great lesson that was! F&M used to be this weird discount retail chain in Michigan and I thought it was a value gem to be discovered and my research pouring over the financials and shopping at the store often made me go all in with the spare cash I had at the time. Which was only $500 lol. Well, long story short, company went bankrupt soon after my genius purchase, thanks Mr. Market.
Anyway, after this personal intro, please avoid forecasts okay? Author makes fun of them, deservedly so. Such as:
JP Morgan: “In the first half of 2023, the S&P 500 is expected to re-test the lows of 2022, but a pivot from the Fed could drive an asset recovery later in the year, pushing the S&P 500 to 4,200 by year-end.”
My summary: Markets should go down and they might go up.
In any given year, someone, simply due volume of forecasts, is “right”. I have yet to see anyone who can repeatedly, accurately forecast market outcomes. What we can say, with all certainty, looking backward, is that the S and P (and virtually every other market) has inexorably risen.
Forecasters stay in business because we keep them in business. We reward their firms with our investment dollars. These folks are all over the news. It makes sense when you ignore the data and let your emotions drive the investing bus.
If you are investor, and I am distinguishing investors from traders, it is clear that making frequent, substantive changes to your portfolio reduces your returns. There is plenty of research finding that the associated anxiety and stress are damaging to your mental and perhaps physical health.
Statistically the most accurate forecast is to say: “I have no idea. What I do know is that long periods, where you make few changes, have historically been extremely rewarding to investors.” We can also note, quite accurately, that something will happen which we could not predict.
I agree with the above of course and the following advice on what you should do:
Ignore the forecasters.
Have a plan.
Stick to your strategy.
Save continuously and automatically.
Maintain a cash reserve.
Understand that this is not necessarily a fun process. It’s boring.
He is 99 years old! Think about that for a moment. Are you done shaking your head? Ok, I’ll wait. I wish I can be this sharp at that age!
He is taking no prisoners and I love it!
In Munger’s view, traditional currencies have helped turn man “from a successful ape to a [successful] human,”…
“It isn’t even slightly stupid, it’s massively stupid, and of course it’s very dangerous, and of course the governments were totally wrong to permit it,”…
“And of course, I am not proud of my country for allowing this crap — well, I call it crypto shit. It’s worthless, it’s crazy, it’s not good, it’ll do nothing but harm, it’s antisocial to allow it.”…”I think the people that oppose my position are idiots,”…”And so I don’t think there is a rational argument against my position.”
“You oughta be able to state a lot of issues: how big should the social safety net be? That’s a place where reasonable minds can disagree, and you should be able to state the case on the other side about it as well as the case you believe in,” Munger said. “But when you’re dealing with something as awful as crypto shit, it’s just unspeakable,” he added. “I’m ashamed of my country that so many people believe in this kind of crap and the government allows it to exist.”
This is written by Fiona Hill and Angela Stent. I excerpt below the first two paragraphs, read the whole thing, it is a must read imho!
Despite a series of blunders, miscalculations, and battlefield reversals that would have surely seen him thrown out of office in most normal countries, President Vladimir Putin is still at the pinnacle of power in Russia. He continues to define the contours of his country’s war against Ukraine. He is micromanaging the invasion even as generals beneath him appear to be in charge of the battlefield. (This deputizing is done to protect him from blowback if something goes badly wrong in the war.) Putin and those immediately around him directly work to mobilize Russians on the home front and manipulate public views of the invasion abroad. He has in some ways succeeded in this information warfare.
The war has revealed the full extent of Putin’s personalized political system. After what is now 23 years at the helm of the Russian state, there are no obvious checks on his power. Institutions beyond the Kremlin count for little. “I would never have imagined that I would miss the Politburo,” said Rene Nyberg, the former Finnish ambassador to Moscow. “There is no political organization in Russia that has the power to hold the president and commander in chief accountable.” Diplomats, policymakers, and analysts are stuck in a doom loop—an endless back-and-forth argument among themselves—to figure out what Putin wants and how the West can shape his behavior.
What an amazing resource! I clicked on the link about the history of Greece and it was amazingly well done! Have fun with it, much better scrolling here than Facebook and Tik-Tok!
I ran into this recently and it triggered memories watching this kid on TV. Good to see science has advanced so much since then! Great 12 minute video, what a brave boy!
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