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Swinging for the fences? A good idea if you’re young, and old (?)

Talk to your kids this weekend.

Many believe that the best way to invest is to take Warren Buffett’s advice and invest in index funds.


With years of productive, good paying work ahead of them, they all need some spice (and a little risk) in their portfolios — exciting individual stocks.

Don’t believe me? Look at this chart of the past five years. The bottom blue line is the S&P500. Not exciting.

The other lines are … well … they’re the stocks your kids know and should have been in. Check them out: Amazon, Google, Netflix, Nvidia and Tesla.


 My man picks two overseas ETFs
ETFs are ultra-useful if you eye trends but can’t identify individual stocks. I have one money manager, Chris Radici of UBS in La Jolla, CA, whom I found through some happy friends who are clients. He runs a strategy called the Dividend Ruler Program.  He’s done well domestically but now favors stuff with an overseas flavor. Here’s his latest two favorite ETFs:
+  WisdomTree Europe SmallCap Dividend Fund – This ETF seeks to track the investment results of dividend-paying small-cap companies in the European equity market. The Index is comprised of the bottom 25% of the market capitalization of the European companies from the WisdomTree International Equity Index after the 300 largest companies have been removed. Companies are weighted in the Index based on annual cash dividends paid. With a dividend yield of 3.35%, this is a great way to play the growth in the European market and earn a good income stream at the same time. This fund has outperformed their respective benchmark over 1, 3, 5 and 10 years. This fund is currently up 20.79% year-to-date.

+ iShares MSCI Eurozone ETF –
This ETF seeks to track the investment results of large and mid-cap companies from developed market countries that use the Euro as their official currency (France, Germany, Netherlands and Spain having the most exposure). We recommend investors diversify internationally and currently have an overweight recommendation on the Eurozone. This ETF is a liquid, low cost way to get access to Eurozone equities. The current dividend yield is 2.56% and is up 19.7% total return year-to-date.
Big Pharma overcharges, but earns big and will. 
No one likes overpaying. But we all do for our drugs. We have drugs that cost $1,000 a pill in the U.S. that sell for $4 a pill in India.
In 2015, the 20 largest drug companies made $124 billion in profits.
Trump announced early in the race that he was in favor of bringing in cheaper drugs from Canada and made it a big stump theme.
Wrote Rolling Stone recently, “No such luck. Trump’s support for drug importation basically went up in smoke from the moment he started filling out his executive appointees. Virtually every Trump nominee who would have influence over the importation question was bluntly opposed to the idea.”
The reason? Congresspeople — Democrats and Republicans — get oodles of money for their campaigns from big pharma. And I mean oodles.
Harry’s conclusion: Drugs are going to stay high. And big pharma may begin, once again, to make sense. This chart shows the past ten years.
After I published this, I got pushback…the best ETFs are the Healthcare Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLV) or the Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT).
UBS has recommendations on how to invest in this sector:
The title of the article is
Republicans and Democrats Continue to Block Drug Reimportation – After Publicly Endorsing It
The one true bipartisan instinct in Washington? Caving to rich industries
Read the article here.
The Secret Treasures of Lost Luggage Land

Take a peek inside Alabama’s Unclaimed Baggage Center. That’s the headline on a Conde Nast Traveler story about where lost luggage goes to die, and to be sold. Excerpts from the story:

For every $100,000 diamond-and-platinum bracelet, taxidermied ram’s head, or live rattlesnake that shows up in someone’s lost luggage (all true stories), there are tens of thousands of swimsuits, sunglasses, scarves, maxi dresses, blue jeans, capri pants, Panama hats, neck pillows, and sunblock bottles. So. Much. Sunblock.

We still buy lots of tacky souvenirs when we travel.

Rest assured, Americans love a magnet, keychain, snow globe, and shot glass. And yet, there are surprisingly few Bubba Gump margarita cups for sale at UBC. That’s because the warehouse doesn’t waste time pricing out 50-cent magnets when it’s got gold wedding bands coming through the door. Junky souvenirs are usually tossed or bundled into plastic take-out bins and sold in lots for a couple of bucks.

Elizabeth Gilbert is the vacationer’s book of choice.

We spotted more copies of Eat, Pray, Love on our visit to UBC than any other title. Also more Apples than Androids, more Kindles than Nooks, and more Beats than Bose. “For years and years we had Bose QC2 and QC3 headphones, and then Beats came on the scene,” says Cantrell. “Now it’s Beats, Beats, Beats! Millennials are traveling more, and this is their generation’s choice of noise-canceling headphones.” Loads of DSLR cameras come in, too, which must rank up there with laptops in terms of the most painful Items to lose on the road. (For what it’s worth, the UBC warehouse follows strict Department of Defense protocol for wiping data from electronics before selling them.)

Amazingly, we still don’t label our luggage right.

With so many stylish luggage tags in the world, you’d think we could take 20 seconds to write down our name and address. And yet, many of the bags that get separated from their owners have no identification on them: No tag outside (sometimes because it was ripped off in transport) and no contact info inside. When Cantrell flies, she lays everything she is packing out and takes photos of it. Then she places three identification tags on the outside of her bag and a business card for UBC inside, along with a print-out of her full itinerary. “It’s hysterical how I pack,” she admits. “But I’ve never had a bag mishandled.”

For the full Conde Nast Traveler article,  click here. 

Watch this on Sunday night. It’s on National Geographic.


To watch the trailer, click here. 

Watch this in the theaters. This is from Men’s Journal:

Al Gore has a follow-up, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, which opens in theaters nationwide on July 28. It’s a heartbreaking, frustrating, maddening, and inspiring look at both the current reality of climate change and its growing impact around the globe. The film chronicles Gore’s dogged, often thwarted efforts to make headway on the issue — culminating, like a sucker punch, with the election of   Donald Trump.

You can read the full article here.

Really impressive men clothes

Maybe it’s my antiquity? Maybe it’s because they’ve really improved their design. But LLBean men’s clothes fit well, feel great, wash well. And are cheaper than their competitors.

Cheaper shipping

UPS is hideously expensive. Several readers suggest I use PayPal UPS shipping, but that only works for stuff you sell on eBay.

UPS has a discount service you can sign up for. I did. And then I ran my package through again. Exact same price. $31.90 to ship 5lbs to my son in Portland, Oregon from me in New York City. Ridiculous.

Maybe it’s time to try FedEx Ground? I signed up for a FedEx discount program. I haven’t priced it yet. Click here. 

Looks like Amazon is jack of UPS. Look what you can now see in the west:

amazontruck3 AmazonTruck2 amazontruck

Don’t go snorkeling. 

Two older friends had heart attacks while snorkeling in the islands.

Maybe this is another “Don’t Do Stupid.”

The French Tennis Open (Roland Garros) finals are this weekend.

Murray and Wawrinka are playing in a semi-final as I write this.

 Never lie to your Rabbi

At Friday night services, Morris goes to his friend Irving and says, “I need a favor. I’m sleeping with the Rabbi’s wife. Can you hold him in synagogue for an hour after services for me?”

Irving is not very fond of the idea, but being Morris’ lifelong friend, he reluctantly agrees.

After services, he strikes up a conversation with the Rabbi, asking him all sorts of stupid questions. Just to keep him occupied.

After some time the wise Rabbi becomes suspicious and asks, “Irving what are you really up to?”

Irving, filled with feelings of guilt and remorse confesses to the Rabbi, “I’m sorry, Rabbi. My friend is sleeping with your wife right now, so he asked me to keep you occupied.”

The Rabbi smiles, puts a brotherly hand on Irving’s shoulder and says, “You’d better hurry home, Irving. My wife died two years ago!”

Harry Newton, who has a 75th birthday tomorrow. It’s leading him to be philosophical:

+ When you fall down, you wonder what else you can do while you’re down there.

+ Time may be a great healer, but it’s a lousy beautician.

+ It’s especially frustrating when you know all the answers, but nobody asks you the questions…

And my personal favorite….

Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional…

  • Bruce Miller

    …growing old and up? Can it be done at the same time? Happy belated if you are still on the top side of up.

  • dave

    I hope your birthday sucks as much as your investment advice.

  • Dman

    Harry, the definition of stupid is believing one single word that comes out of Al Gore’s mouth.