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Intermittent happiness. How to handle the vagaries of The Investment Life

Happiness works when you have control.

You rarely have control.

When you run your own business, you tend to be happiest. You have control.

When you sell your business — as I did — and look to invest your gains, you look for happiness by:

+ Being as certain as you can, (i.e. lots of due diligence), and

+ Having an easy “out.” Stock and bond markets are good. They let you sell things today, not have them drag on for 15-agonizing years of depressing financial reports and endless frustration — as I’m experiencing with my “investment” in a venture fund that focused on Indian stocks. This crazy place:

You make rules:

+ Health is number number. Exercise. Rest. Limited stress.

+ The family is critical. Last week I spent with two grandkids — Eleanor and Peter. This is us at the end of the 5K Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot.

And Saturday we’re taking Sophie to the Nutcracker in New York. Here she is this morning checking out the size of my “huge” nose:

+ You spend time looking for great investment ideas. That’s what I’ve been doing in the past 10 days, as I “enjoyed” Nasdaq’s gyrations:

My biggest conclusion:

+ Things are getting better in business and technology. An example:

This shows two computer chips: The one the right is the chip powering the two-year old laptop I’m writing this blog on — a Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon. The one of the left is the chip powering the new X1 Carbon laptop I just bought. It’s 2.72 times faster. Read that again — 2.72 times faster in two years. Amazing.

You can test your speeds here.

I can now book tennis time on my iPhone at the two clubs I play at. Saves me times. Creates entrepreneurial opportunities in computerizing tennis clubs — and a million other places. Tell your kids.

Investment ideas for me?

I eyed several startups. Too long. Too risky. Too much potential government interference.

I eyed selling stocks that had fallen. Bad mistake in this market. Tech stocks are volatile. The good ones bounce back. The good ones have floors (maybe). I put in a limit buy for Amazon at $1750 and snagged a few before it bounced back. It closed last night at $1760.69. I’m a happy genius!

I’m still looking. You gotta kiss a lot of frogs in this business to find a prince. My friends in real estate business look at 100 properties, to  bid on ten and eventually  (if they’re lucky), buy one.

One BIG happiness key is to avoid the negative press, e.g. the latest issue of Fortune Magazine. Read the top line:

I was going to summarize Fortune’s conclusions — namely that trade wars are destroying CEO confidence and not delivering the all the benefits promised. For example, steel stocks are now down 29% from November 2016 — the presidential election.

I’m hopeful that Trump will solve the trade wars. Sadly he’s now expanding them to South America, to France and saying he won’t close the China one down until after November 2020’s election. Yuch.

But Nike and Apple are up strongly this morning. Go figure.

Want to be really depressed?

Vox asked the democratic candidates seven questions on technology. Here’s two candidates’ insanity:

Should Facebook, Google, Apple, and/or Amazon be broken up? Why or why not?

Bernie Sanders: A few massive corporations have control over vast swaths of Americans’ lives. Facebook harvests the data of 228 million Americans and uses this sensitive information in dangerous ways. They have endangered our democracy and enabled the spread of disinformation and hatred on their platform. Amazon has amassed control over the e-commerce industry, capturing a full 50 percent of the market and using its power to drive down wages for workers and prices for suppliers.

When [I am] in the White House, [I] will reinvigorate the FTC and appoint an Attorney General who will aggressively investigate and break up these tech giants and other conglomerates that have monopolized nearly every sector of our economy. These corporate giants control too much of what we see, hear, and read online and must be subjected to regulation and antitrust authority.

Elizabeth Warren: Yes. I introduced my plan for this back in March. Today’s big tech companies have too much power over our economy, our society, and our democracy. They’ve bulldozed competition, used our private information for profit, and tilted the playing field against everyone else. And in the process, they have hurt small businesses and stifled innovation.

To make our government and our economy work, we need to stop big tech companies from throwing around their political power to shape the rules in their favor and throwing around their economic power to snuff out or buy up every potential competitor. That means breaking up Big Tech.

For the rest of their madness, click here.

the Infinite Wisdom of Phyllis Diller

+ As your beauty fades, so will his eyesight.

+ Housework can’t kill you, but why take a chance?

+ Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing up is like shoveling the sidewalk before it stops snowing. –

+ Best way to get rid of kitchen odors: Eat out.

+ A bachelor is a guy who never made the same mistake once.

+ I want my children to have all the things I couldn’t afford. Then I want to move in with them.

I’ll be back tomorrow.

For now, I’m taking Sophie (5) to the New York’s Museum of Natural History.

Better to look at dinosaurs than to look at politics. Probably more relevant, too.

  • gerryb

    Handsome grandchildren–shocking how fast they are growing.

  • Bob Crites

    Thanks For Phyllis Diller today!
    Bob Crites

  • Mike Nash

    Harry, nice blog today. I enjoyed the insight. I’m also hoping that Donald J. Trump is reelected so he can finish the job of bankrupting America’s wealthy! He will destroy all rich Americans! His supporters, mostly uneducated people living in manufactured homes or in institutions, eat it up. They HATE the wealthy. Of course Joe Biden would likely defeat Trump at the ballot box and restore some sanity to this formerly great nation. But, will the Dems be smart enough to nominate the one candidate who can defeat Trump? Maybe not! CNN and MSNBC hosts are pushing hard for Warren and Bernie. Iowa voters have Bernie and Buttagieg in the lead. TRUMP WOULD DESTROY EITHER ONE! What a messed up nation we live in. AS a New Yorker I know you’re supporting Mike Bloomberg but he has zero chance of winning the nomination!

    • Dman

      Hey asshole Joe and Hunter Biden are both scum bags. Keep putting yourself up on your liberal pedestal, it’s going to be a huge joy watching all of you sick evil liberal bastards fall. Stop worrying about Trump 2020, that’s over, now you need to begin preparing your own personal “exit strategy” for Trump 2024. You heard it here first. Please remember I said Trump 2024.
      The Great Awakening will soon be upon us—that is terrible news for asshole liberals suffering from TDS.

      • gerryb

        umm, I thought the 22nd amendment limited a president to 2 terms.

        • Dman

          Remember I said it…..

          TRUMP 2024!!!

          Asshole libs and their demonic sick evil media stole Trumps first term.

      • Mike Nash

        You read my post and deduced that I am liberal?! You just proved my point – Trump supporters are stupid! They don’t read, or watch the news, and mostly live in manufactured homes and trailer parks. Trump promised that if he was elected he’d get you a double-wide BUT HE LIED, DIDN’T HE? Biden will rule this world in 2020 and don’t you forget it. It’s amazing how Uncle Joe has taken control of the Democratic race in the past few days and his new commercial showing world leaders LAUGHING AT TRUMP is sheer genius. Your liar-in-chief will be in prison two years from now.

        • Secret Squirrel

          In your Trump hating dreams Nash. Old Joe 30330 will be finished once the Dems stupidly boot this BS impeachment to the Senate and his corrupt family comes under scrutiny during the trial.

        • Dman

          Your democrat party is finished thanks to Trump.

          …and by the way, when the “PAIN” phase begins Trump is going to extract every ounce.

          …..every ounce
          …..Seth Rich
          …..Julian Assange

          The Great Awakening