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Square kisses $100. And the best pleasures of being a grandfather

Make a crisis.

Make it the end of the world.

Then solve it.

Bingo, you’re a genius. And the markets go up.

I forecast many times that all the trade and tariff crises would be solved by Election Day November 6. That’s five weeks from today. A little early. But more than enough time for all the victories to percolate out to the electorate.

I got a few shares in GTX spun off from my holdings in Honeywell. I’m hanging onto them, for now. Everyone else seems to be selling.

Square is kissing $100. Oh so close.

From Seeking Alpha this morning:

Square gets big price target boost from KeyBanc analyst

Square (NYSE:SQ) gains 1.1% in premarket trading after KeyBanc’s Josh Beck boosts his price target on the stock 53% to $115 from $75, making it the second-highest on Wall Street, according to Bloomberg.

His old price target, though, was 23% under Square’s closing price of $97.28 on Monday. Average analyst price target for Square stands at $77.72.

Beck notes that sellers plan to increase the number of non-payment products they plan to adopt. According to a KeyBanc survey of 20 sellers, respondents on average expect to use 3.4 non-payment products, including such applications as invoices, loans, marketing, payroll, in the next year, up 106% from now.

Also from the survey, about 70% of sellers didn’t consider a competitor when choosing Square.

Read more here. 

Stories of emerging country disasters

+ Indonesia lost 1000+ people in the tsunami in Sulawesi. None of the 22 tsunami warning buoys were working. Donor countries had given Indonesia the buoys the last time a tsunami hit. But Indonesia had failed to maintain or protect them. Some of them were stolen. So why am I not surprised? I remember how inept the Indonesian government was when I visited it in the late 1960s. Nothing seems to be have changed.

+ My friend’s brother is an orthodontist in Brazil. He’s a good one and for years was able to afford a pricey life style with three BMWs, all the dresses his wife could buy and a lifestyle that wouldn’t quit. Then came the Brazilian recession in 2014. No one could afford his expensive treatments. The cost of imported dental stuff skyrocketed as the Brazilian real fell 40% (from 2014 to now). Meantime, unemployment in Brazil is touching 20% and every Brazilian and his uncle is leaving for Portugal where, sadly, jobs for Brazilians are ultra-scarce.

The moral of this story is simple: When things are good, take some money home.

Remember BRIC? They were the hot countries only a few years ago — Brazil, Russia, Indian and China. Fortunately, I kept myself and my readers away from them.

Apple continues to do brilliantly

My friend just bought the new Apple XS Max with 256 gig for $1300 (including tax). He’ll never use the phone’s awesome abilities, but his friends will be awed by his extravagance. I bought the new watch, which hasn’t come yet.

The New York Times ran a piece “Emerging Stronger from Big Tech’s Crisis” and lauded Apple.

The piece contained

But this year, as it begins to roll out a new set of iPhones, the story line surrounding Apple has improbably shifted. In an era of growing skepticism about the tech industry’s impact on society, Apple’s business model is turning out to be its most lasting advantage.

Because Apple makes money by selling phones rather than advertising, it has been able to hold itself up as a guardian against a variety of digital plagues: a defender of your privacy, an agitator against misinformation and propaganda, and even a plausible warrior against tech addiction, a problem enabled by the very irresistibility of its own devices.

Though it is already more profitable than any of its rivals, Apple appears likely to emerge even stronger from tech’s season of crisis. In the long run, its growing strength could profoundly alter the industry.

For the full piece, click here.

Amazon blows me away with its breakneck innovation

Now it’s signed me up to its new

It’s $10 a month. The first book I signed up to read:

Ray Dalio is a hugely successful investor. I bought his book because I wanted to find out if we were going to have another 2008. By 5:00 AM this morning I was no wiser (but a lot sleepier). I learned all the big depressions/recessions — including 2008 — were caused by too much debt, and too much of it was debt that couldn’t be repaid. I also learned that Dalio, like myself, doesn’t like debt.

Have we got too much bad debt now? I don’t think so. And I don’t think Dalio does either. But it’s a long book. More reading tonight.

I did find this quote:

While tops are triggered by different events, most often they occur when the central bank starts to tighten and interest rates rise. In some cases the tightening is brought about by the bubble itself, because growth and inflation are rising while capacity constraints are beginning to pinch.

You can buy Dalio’s book here.

The greatest backup bargain ever

Only $39.99 for a whopping 256 gigabytes. You can back your life onto this thing.

Only don’t lose it. Or buy two. Click here.

Portfolio updated

I updated my recommended portfolio. It’s in the right column on the web site.

The hospital information system

A sweet grandmother telephoned St. Joseph’s Hospital. She timidly asked, “Is it possible to speak to someone who can tell me how a patient is doing?”

The operator said, “I’ll be glad to help, dear. What’s the name and room number of the patient?”

The grandmother in her weak, tremulous voice said, “Norma Findlay, Room 302.”

The operator replied, “Let me put you on hold while I check with the nurse’s station for that room.”

After a few minutes, the operator returned to the phone and said, “I have good news. Her nurse just told me that Norma is doing well. Her blood pressure is fine; her blood work just came back normal and her physician, Dr. Cohen, has scheduled her to be discharged tomorrow.”

The grandmother said, “Thank you. That’s wonderful. I was so worried. God bless you for the good News.”

The operator replied, “You’re more than welcome. Is Norma your daughter?”

The grandmother said, “No, I’m Norma Findlay in Room 302. No one tells me sh-t.”

Harry Newton, who has found a new definition of Great Pleasure. This is Sophie and I at the wedding. The crown is from the wedding. It’s hers. She was a flower girl. But she allowed me to wear it:

This is Eleanor. She’ll be five in November. That makes 71 years difference.

I’ve been researching sizing at Disney. Another year of growth and Harry Daddy will indulge them with pizza for breakfast, ice cream for lunch and donuts for dinner and very ride we can get on.