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Gold is breaking out all over. So is lithium, real estate and technology, maybe everything… Maybe

Here’s the latest magnificent month. Blind Freddie and his merry band of dart-throwing monkeys made money in the stockmarket:

SPXLastMonth

Half my friends are 100% in cash.The other half are praying.

The logic is: we’ll have tax cuts, de-regulation (especially in banking), more jobs (coal and manufacturing, etc.), less burdensome health costs. In short, Nirvana.

None of this has happened, yet. The market has risen on hope, euphoria and a little reality — the economy and profits continue to improve.

Half the gurus — the market analysts — say the stockmarket boom will continue. The other half say “No Way. It’s over-bought.”

But then the over-bought gurus have been saying this for months. And the market has continued to rise. God bless optimism,euphoria, or insanity, or whatever it’s called these days.

The old standbys are doing well. Here’s Berkshire Hathaway over the past year:

BRKAOneYear

My personal approach is cautious. I’m sticking with the stocks in the right hand column — go to the web site. Click here. 

I’m also aggressively looking at alternative investments, e.g. companies that lend to growing businesses. And I’m broadening my real estate syndications into student housing.

This column is about the search for the perfect investment. My sojourn in California (as I escape the eastern winter) has concluded “there’s only one answer: It’s your own business.” I run across wonderful services out — from roofs to solar, from flooring to carpentry, from big TV installations to custom furniture. Everyone and their uncle is booming.

And then there are the product companies.

A favorite is Nite Ize. They make these gear ties.

GearTie

They come in a million sizes. I think I have several of each. They also make these carabiners, again in all sizes.

slidelock

I have them, too. Get their stuff on Amazon. Click here.

Wonderful quotes

+ Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said we have it all wrong about Amazon’s Alexa. It’s not just a cash register in people’s homes.

+ Refugees Pose Less of a Threat Than Trump. And They Pay More Taxes, an email I received.

+ Trump says the White House is running “like a fine-tuned machine.” He said that today at his 77 minute press conference.

+ TV commercials for Andrew Puzder’s burger chains feature young women in bikinis lasciviously eating, washing expensive cars, or riding a mechanical bull. In 2011, the company issued a press release explaining its marketing strategy: “We believe in putting hot models in our commercials, because ugly ones don’t sell burgers.” (I don’t make this stuff up.)

Stuff

+ Don’t buy a matte black iPhone 7. It chips easily.

+ Don’t over-exercise. Everyone I know has a back ache. The Wall Street Journal just wrote:

Newguidelines

For the piece, click here.

Quora explains Donald Trump’s language.

I like Quora. Submitted questions gets answered, often by experts. This man is an expert, and for real. I checked. It’s the best explanation of Trump’s language I’ve read. It is not negative or positive on Trump. It’s simply an explanation of how our President uses language.

by Andrew Gumperz, LMS Administrator at John Muir Medical Center

Trump uses language in a different way from most people. Most people use language to communicate. Distinguishing truth from untruth is important when your goal is to exchange information since untruth threatens the effectiveness of communication.

Trump uses language to get what he wants. For his purpose, the distinction between truth and untruth is meaningless. If he got what he wanted, the communication was terrific and if he didn’t it was terrible. This is why he sometimes seems baffled when people question his veracity. To Trump, only a fool would expect his words to be true; that is not what words are for.

This utilitarian approach to rhetoric also explains why Trump is so prone to reversing his positions. If he thinks his audience wants him to call Mexicans rapists and criminals, he does it. While if he holds a press conference with President Pena Nieto, he says Mexicans are beyond reproach and describes his respect for Mexican-Americans. For most of us, the contradictory statements are confusing and enraging, but Trump sees no contradiction. In his utilitarian calculation, it only makes good sense to show respect to Mexicans in front of President Pena Nieto, while a different message resonates for a xenophobic audience, so the rhetoric changes.

His primary communication tactic is to build emotional resonance. He speaks in metaphor to elicit a feeling response from his audience. The truth of his statements do not matter when evoking an emotional response-That is why he will claim he saw thousands of Muslims celebrating in New Jersey after the Twin Towers came down. If you read the statement literally, it is a blatant lie because the events described simply did not happen. But to his audience the statement feels true because it accurately reflects how they feel about Muslim-American immigrants.

Some Muslims really do resent how they have been treated by this country and his audience has seen them on TV so even if his statement isn’t literally true, it does reflect his audience’s belief that Muslims hate and despise the United States.

His audience adopts a simplified world view where “Muslims” is a thing, not a group of diverse individuals with billions of different opinions. His audience acts as if a feeling held by one Muslim is held by all Muslims.

Much of his audience fears and despises Muslims, which isn’t surprising for a person thinking all Muslims are as hateful as the tiny minority of nut jobs.

His audience has a profound anti-immigrant bias. By claiming American Muslims celebrated the fall of the towers, he sends a message that immigrants are dangerous which matches their pre-existing anti-immigrant feelings.

For that reason, they go nuts when he makes such statements. They have felt repressed by liberals who call them racists for giving voice to what to them seems an obvious truth: immigrants are dangerous. So they love him for “telling the truth” by giving voice to their feelings without judgment.

Whether you think he speaks the truth or lies depends on how you personally process communication. If your internal truth function is based on literal meanings, almost everything he says is a lie. You can prove it to yourself. Go find any Trump speech online and pick the first fact he asserts. Then google that fact. It won’t take long to find evidence disproving it. But if your truth function is emotional, you’ll hear his statement another way. You’ll ask if his statement describes feelings similar to your own. If you are in his audience, you’ll resonate to his words like a tuning fork. And if you are not, you will feel visceral disgust.

++++++++++++

Several commenters have misinterpreted this answer as supportive towards Mr. Trump. It isn’t. I am as disgusted as anyone else by Mr. Trump’s dishonesty and I disagree with every public policy position he stands for.

You may have noticed how Trump and his proxies have frequently flummoxed interviewers with their use of “alternative facts” and faux-outraged denials when confronted with real facts contradicting their statements. When that happens, they win. Their audience has heard their message loud and clear while their opponent wasted his time arguing over “facts”-something their audience does not care about-and missed the opportunity to counter the emotional resonance they achieved. And that is exactly why I want everyone to see his methods exposed. So all of us can confront his supporters with words that resonate and have impact, not just factual arguments they tune out.

Favorite slogans

shreddedcheese

claearconscience

HokeyPokey

Favorite cartoons

Alternativeheaven

LifeisShort

Whenindoubt

HarryNewton
Harry Newton, who apologizes for not posting for several days. In today’s confusing world, it takes time to get one’s brain into writing-gear. Meantime, my top spin backhand is much improved, courtesy Dima Drozdov, my young coach from Kazakhstan. I have a free slidelock carabiner for any reader who can email me the capital of Kazakhstan — without checking Google.

 

  • scottInOma

    Kazakhstan City, right? 🙂

  • Paul Livingston

    Want to fly high on marijuana? Take a look at these two.

    Ecosphere Tech Inc “ESPH” OTCQB

    EARTH SCIENCE TECH INC COM “ETST” OTC Pink

  • Paul Livingston

    I recommend Lithium X Energy Corp. (LIXXF) as a 5 year play.

  • Angry_Dfns_Eng

    Harry, Since you are “In Search of the Perfect Investment” perhaps you could include your thoughts and comments on your asset allocations. “My personal approach is cautious. I’m sticking with the stocks in the right hand column — go to the web site.” You seem to spend most of your investment discussion time talking stocks, in general and certain specific ones. But I understand from having read you for years now that you have a high percentage of your assets in Fixed Income. You keep a list of stocks you like on the right column of your blog. How about a pie chart giving you asset allocation at any point in time? Then also include which types of fixed income assets you have. I have liked the comments on the Real Estate Syndications in the past. But for those of us who have not participated in one before, perhaps you could take the time to lay out one you are in. Include what you like and don’t like about it and what has and has not worked the way you anticipated when you entered the Syndication. Also, how did you pick that Syndication versus the others I suppose you could choose from. Thanks for your time. I always enjoy reading your blog. I think this may be the tenth year I have read your words.

  • TomFromVa

    You may say that the article is not positive or negative about Trump, but it is clearly negative about his supporters. I guess they are just deplorable people who believe that Islam has something to do with ISIS, Al Queda, Hamas, Al Shabab, Boko Haram, Abu Nadal, Hezbolla……….really stupid. And as for thousands celebrating in New Jersey – I dont know about New Jersey but there were tens if not hundreds of thousands celebrating around the world. That is what the media is afraid to say, and that is why Trump resonates on this subject.

    • Angry_Dfns_Eng

      Just like it is important to note that not all Trump supporters are racists and xenophobes, it is important to note that not all muslims are terrorists.

      • TomFromVa

        Yes, I agree, but I think that the peaceful ones could do more to disassociate themselves from the jihadists and to help eliminate them. Specifically, they could
        a. announce publicly and loudly that they do not support violence and those that do are not welcome in their mosques
        b. the leadership could issue fatwas declaring that those who kill in the name of Islam will be excommunicated
        c. in connection with b, violent jihadists should then be denied a Muslim burial and banned from paradise
        That would send a pretty strong message that needs to be sent

  • Brian Hill

    Half your friends are morons. So are you. You should NEVER, EVER be 100 percent in cash. You should never be 100 percent in anything – cash, stocks, bonds, real estate, BEanie Babies, art, cattle futures, whatever. Why would anybody say, “Well – I think I’ll go 100 percent to cash, which is earning .002 percent.” Even back when cash was returning 6 percent per year it was dumb to be ALL in cash. Now it’s just asinine.

    • harrynewton

      I agree 100% with you. And I’m not 100% in cash.

  • Lucky

    After all your ranting on President Trump have you tucked your tail between your legs yet with all the money you have now made on the TRUMP RALLY? With the DOW now at the highest in history!
    Check-out how The Market looked after Obama’s first 30 days in office in 2009…you will have to look very near the bottom of this list!

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/how-president-trumps-stock-market-performance-in-his-first-30-days-ranks-2017-02-17?mod=

    Happily the gold I bought in November is up very nicely and looks to be climbing even higher, even as the market continues an upward spiral. Of course Europe is helping gold out a lot.

    • Brian Hill

      Harry has anything in the market. HE hasn’t made much money in the Trump rally.

      • harrynewton

        Not true. Harry has done very well in the Trump Rally. See his stocks in the right hand column.

        • Brian Hill

          Shortly before the election you wrote that you only had 15 percent of your money in the stock market. I don’t care if you picked the right stocks (“even a blind squirrel sometimes finds an acorn”) that is such a low percentage that you have not shared in the Trump Rally like most investors.

    • Angry_Dfns_Eng

      Please think about your posts before hitting “Post”. The comparison means nothing. The president does not control the economy or the stock market. I am no Liberal, nor a Obama supporter. But, Obama inherited the 2007 Financial Collapse. Trump has inherited a tepid recovery. Also, the rally in gold means nothing at this point except you have succeeded in the first half of trying to time the market. Next is when do you sell.

  • Putwo

    Good to have you back. Too much fun in the desert?

  • Gary S

    Stuff:

    I have the matte black iPhone 7 since it came out 5 months ago and have no chips – never in a case – looks and works great.

    • harrynewton

      You’re lucky. Treat it gently.