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Why gyrations? Hint: They’re part of a “strategy.” Here’s how to profitably ride them. More reasons to be optimistic.

The market’s up today. Apple, Amazon, Nvidia, Shopify and Square are up strongly.

Everyone and their uncle are  opining that the economy is about to crash — including CNBC, the Wall Street Journal and an eminent Harvard Business School professor, called Professor Richard Vietor, who started his Friday PowerPoint presentation with this wonderful slide:

Here’s my thinking: President Trump wants to be re-elected. Presidents don’t get re-elected if the economy is doing poorly. It’s doing well now, but slowing down. Trump eyes two measures:

+ The stockmarket

+ Unemployment — the stats that appear the first Friday of every month.

He must be seen a problem-solver. There aren’t many problems in today’s U.S. economy. So he makes a few — like Mexico – and “solves” them quickly, as he did with killing the proposed tariffs on the weekend. Some take a little longer — like China. But they’ll be solved because he wants to be elected. Repeat that: He wants to be re-elected.

For all of us collateral damages, the keys remain:

+ Buy good stocks when they fall, as they will when investors panic over year another Trump-created problem. Think tariffs on German cars. Think threatened War with Iran, North Korea, or Australia (?).

+ For God’s sake, don’t panic. Don’t do like me. When stocks fall, they’re on sale. They’re good stocks on sale. They’re not bad stocks gone bad.

+ Don’t listen to all the Gloom and Doom stuff the media, the professors and the gurus are pumping out. They get ink with their bad news. Ego is a powerful force.

+ Look for bargains. A friend just bought a gorgeous house in Palm Springs, CA from an estate. The children didn’t want it, so they dumped it. He’ll fix it up with Ikea furniture and rent it for several months a year on VRBO. He has two other houses — also in gorgeous places — and both are now returning a profit. He decorates for rental, not for his taste. Hence he gets to visit beautiful places for free.

Your Life Coach

The weekend was our 50th Reunion from the Harvard Business School. I learned oodles. (More tomorrow.) I came away with the conclusion that most of us need a Life Coach, a Life Advisor, a Career Maven, or an  Opportunity Czar or whatever you want to call him/her. Many of my classmates made horrendously bad career decisions simply because they didn’t have anyone to talk to.

Some organizations actually employ consultants to counsel their people as they move up the ladder. They get coached on their new responsibilities.

Emails are ONLY good for two things:

+ Confirming an arrangement — an appointment, or a deal.

+ Giving flattery. Most of my readers are intelligent to understand flattery?

Want to get something actually done? Pick up the phone. Go visit them. Then confirm it in writing.

It’s raining. 

A friend bemoaned today’s  weather.

I’m loving it.

It’s washing the pollen away.

My nose and throat are on the mend.

When the sun’s out, take Claritin.

Don’t do stupid

+ Classmate Carey Cook put his face next to the dog. Someone scared the dog. Look what happened.

It took 18 stitches to fix Carey’s lip.

+ Another classmate walked his neighbor’s dog (as a favor), fell into a big doggie hole and tore his Achilles tendon.

+ Watch for bathrooms. Our weekend hotel had the shower in the bathtub. The tub was icy slippery.

+ Don’t buy a ticket online and not check if it went through. Amtrak chucked us off the train from Boston because the train was full and they couldn’t find our pricey tickets. But then neither could I. CHECK. CHECK. CHECK.

+ Don’t buy a new Mercedes car. Second hand ones are much cheaper and much more reliable. Our new Mercedes is already in the shop enjoying major repairs to its leaking, gushing, Niagara waterfall differential. Mercedes won’t let us drive it. Their service is so good, they didn’t have spare parts. They need to order them from Who-Knows-Where, rural Germany, or Beyond-The-Stump, Australia. This is our second Mercedes lemon.

$500 a night. The Liberty Hotel, Boston

This gives “luxury ” a whole new meaning.

Four reasons to visit Boston for my 50th Reunion

The four grandkids at a local Boston playground enjoying lunch daughter Claire made:

This is daughter Claire demonstrating a skill even law school couldn’t educate her out of.

This is Eleanor. She’s good at climbing and I like the photo:

At the Reunion

Susan and I posed in front of Baker Library. In 1969 I gave a speech standing on the top step. I spoke to the entire faculty and students of 1,500 gathered at the bottom of the steps. My speech made the front page of the following day’s Wall Street Journal. Several years later the Vietnam War ended. Maybe my speech contributed a tiny bit to its ending? I like to think so.

Susan and Harry Newton, Boston, June 9, 2019. Fifty years later, Still alive. Still together. Still happy.

Everyone, please be grateful. Today is nothing like 1969. It’s much, much better. Today is my birthday. I’m 77. I’ve outlived my father and my mother. That makes me sad and happy. I miss them.

   

  • Omer Acikel

    Happy birthday Harry. There is nothing like having friends and family to celebrate with. BTW the saying goes a long way about your 2nd lemon Mercedes, fool me once shame on you fool me twice… 🙂 When are you going to give in to an electric car. No service needed, literally.

    • harrynewton

      Susan likes her Mercedes. I refer my Subaru. you’re right about we should buy an electric car.

  • pop

    happy birthday harry. enjoy the frequent musings; look forward to many more.

  • Mike Nash

    I don’t follow. Was your speech about the War? I protested Vietnam and was at Kent State when the national guard opened fire. I’m in an iconic photo standing over a dying kid.

    • harrynewton

      My speech was about the Vietnam War.

  • jcm

    Happy Birthday Harry!!! I truly enjoy your daily missives! Thank you for all your efforts!!

  • Carlos

    Big Happy Birthday and Many more to you Harry!

  • gerryb

    Beautiful grandchildren.

  • Great insights, Harry. Toyota has always been good for us. Bland but reliable, and cheap to maintain. One observation on the market: Long-term Treasurys (TLT) and Gold (GLD) have outperformed the Nasdaq over the last year. PEs are still high. Not sure what that means.

  • Lucky

    I always found my Mercedes nickel and dimed me to death…$500-1000.00 at a time…I love my Subaru Outback…best car I ever had and after 2 years has cost me ZERO in maintenance and 10,000 miles between oil changes!!!