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You need guts to fight the noise (and your anger). The rewards are huge. Check out Rosie’s Recommendations.

I am inundated with “end of the world” emails and learned, lengthy brokerage reports: China. The Trade War. Brexit. NATO. Trump. Peak stock prices. Pick your own villain.

Then this happens: A huge upside explosion yesterday and my portfolio has one of its best days ever. Here’s NASDAQ Tuesday and Wednesday.

isictwodays

I have a weak explanation: Local and overseas investors are seeking stocks with heavy exposure to the growability/low variable cost economics of outstanding domestic (non-China exposure) domestic technology. (Horrible mouthful.)

The BIG attraction is The Cloud. Kingpins of the Cloud are stocks like AMZN, NFLX, ADBE, CRM, MSFT, AAPL, GOOGL and even SQ.

When some moron downgraded NFLX yesterday, I jumped in and bought more. By the end of the day, I was feeling like a genius. (Winning at tennis also helped.)

There’s psychology here. I actually know people who dumped all their stocks the day Trump was elected and haven’t been back in. I know people who let their anger with him and his antics cloud their brain. They do not focus on the fact that our economy is doing well. (And there may actually be some method to his madness. I’m looking.)

Earnings are up. And those earnings are usually beating estimates. Wall Street likes that. We’re moving into earning season and it’s going to look good. An example: JPMorgan reported earnings today. They were blowout. In contrast , Citi and Wells Fargo just reported and their earnings were awful. Fortunately I don’t own either of those two. Generally I don’t like banks. Banking is too hard and you’re too reliant on three hard things: 1. Having to constantly re-invent your business. 2. Too reliant on the government and idiosyncratic regulation. 3. Too reliant on your people — too many of which has fled you to start their “bank-like” entity. Would you want to work for a big bank?

Stick with technology, where innovation is rewarded and you don’t have to sleep with your compliance officer. (A truly horrible thought.)

Alerts are good.

You can get emailed alerts from your credit card company and your bank. I get told every time a charge goes through. I get told my daily balances. I get told when some fraudster with acme buys pricey face cream. That one is true. And Citigroup will eat the ongoing face cream charges — though I’ve told them three times that the charges are fraudulent.

All these alerts are a lot of emails. But they’re easy to delete.

Stocks not to own:

+ Biotech
+ Marijuana (despite being 100% legal in Canada in October and many U.S. states)
+ Cryptocurrencies, like bitcoin and ethereum
+ Miners
+ Banks.
+ Energy companies
+ Tobacco companies
+ Most retailers — except those with their own proprietary products
+ Companies caught in Trump’s cross hairs, e.g. Harley Davidson, Ford and Pfizer

More discussion on these three days ago. Click here.

I really dislike electricians

To wit:

+ They don’t follow your architect’s plans.

+ They install fixtures but “forget” to get them working.

+ Their “documentation” gives abysmal a whole new meaning.

Hold back at least 15% of their fees until you check every switch, every fixture, and get real written documentation.

That advice applies to every contractor you employ. Never give them much up front. Dribble it to them when they show up for work and actually work.

From elected, to dictator to disaster

I’ve been to Istanbul several times. It’s a nice place. Once I went to scope out a property investment there.

Fortunately, I kept my check book closed and never bought anything. But Istanbul was a nice pleasant place, making all the right investment noises.

No more. Then came Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has now dominated national life for 15 years. On Monday Erdogan (pronounced Erdo-van) was sworn after a dubious election in as new boss with extraordinary new powers. Reports the New York Times, “He has wielded his influence to deliver relentless economic growth through unrestrained borrowing, lifting debt levels to alarming heights. And the additional authority he has been granted is expected to further test the limits of economic reality.”

Interest rates from the central bank are 17.75% and the Turkish Lire continues to plummet:

Turkishlire
That’s exactly what happened to my father in Mexico. Interest rates were high — 14% plus. But then the devaluations came and the high interest was for naught and he lost most of his money. Pigs get slaughtered.

Erdogon is spending hugely on massive infrastructure projects. He has family connections to many of the contractors. Surprise. Surprise.

The BIG infrastructure is the new airport.

IstanbulAirport
Istanbul’s new airport could handle 200 million passengers a year when it’s completed in a decade. That would make it the busiest airport in the world. CreditAndrew Urwin for The New York Times

The New York Times just published a long piece “Turkey’s Economy Is So Hot That It May Face a Meltdown.”  Fascinating reading. Click here.

Iran’s boil

This is Iran’s present Supreme Leader.

Khamenei

He is called Ali Khamenei.  He is 79. He has been Iran’s absolute leader for over 29 years. Absolute means absolute.  He has absolute control over absolutely everything. And I mean everything, including making women wear head scarves. As Supreme Leader, Khamenei can issue decrees and make the final decisions on the economy, the environment, foreign policy and national planning, which terrorist group to support, etc. Khamenei has either direct or indirect control over the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government, as well as the military and media. People have been put on trial for insulting him. Their sentences have included lashing and jail time. Some have died in his jails.

My friend, who lives in Iran, says there is major unhappiness with Khamenei and his regime. When Khamenei dies, my friend predicts there’ll be a military coup and widespread bloodshed. During  Khamenei’s long 29-year regime there have been many protests. They have all been squashed, many brutally.

Read his bios on Wikipedia: here and here

My friend hopes Trump will somehow stop other countries from buying Iranian oil and precipitate an economic, social and apolitical crisis. We don’t buy Iranian oil. In fact, America is now emerging as the largest oil producer in the world.

This is hysterical. Watch it to the end

HarryNewton
Harry Newton, who’ll be watching today’s men’s semi-finals at Wimbledon. And then the women’s and men’s finals this weekend. Glorious weather predicted this weekend. Get out. Bike. Tennis. Swim. Keep moving. I look at many of my friends who have more excuses why they’ve stopped moving than Carter had liver pills. Many are overweight, sluggish and complain of aches and pains in their knees, hips, back, wherever. To them, I say: Take some Aleve. Get out. Move. Soon you won’t need the Aleve. Life is wonderful. Best: Rosie is getting better. Everyone should have a dog. They really put your life into perspective. They love you whether you win at tennis or your stocks go up, or down. They’re always happy to see you. They do have a big payoff: Have you seen our ZTS and CENT? Big gains in pet stuff providers. Thank you Rosie. The gains on ZTS and CENT have more than paid for your expensive medical bills,

Rosie