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It’s up today. But it will stay rocky. BIG time rocky.

During yesterday’s downdraft, I nibbled at some “cheap” stock. Also called “catching a falling knife.” I bought Microsoft, Netflix and Ladder Financial. They’re all up today. Which doesn’t make me a genius. Just lucky.

Today markets are up 3+%.

But, funny, I’m still making money on my XOM (Exxon Mobil) short, my only short.

There are four major things affecting stock markets:

+ Covid-19.

+ Oil and financial disasters it might trigger.

+ The upcoming election, and its palette of three uninspiring candidates.

+ Corporate earnings, which will be seriously depressed this year.

Since there will be no early solution to any of these, markets will continue to be very volatile. Also called rocky.

Are you prepared to live with the stomach-churning? If so, don’t look. Play tennis.

If not, sell some of your shares on an UP day — like today.

 There’s no simple answer. No one knows what stock markets will look like a year from now.

My rule is simple: Have enough cash on hand to last for two years of living expenses.

Covid-19 is dangerous

+ Because we don’t have a cure.

+ Because we don’t have a vaccine.

+ People with no symptoms can infect you and me.

+ There is no immunity in the general population. No one is immune.

+ It’s much worse than the flu.

+ The virus is multiplying exponentially. Doubling and doubling and doubling.

+ If you catch it, it can be painful — even if you ultimately recover.

+ And, at worst, you can die from it.

It transmits with viral droplets. To protect yourself from any viral droplets you may have picked up, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer the moment you get off a train or a bus.

Do not touch your face with your hands because, to cause infection, the viral droplets must enter your body through your eyes, your nose or your mouth.

Preliminary research suggests that droplets from the virus may be able survive on hard surfaces, like a metal pole in a subway car, for several hours.

When riding the subway, don’t touch the pole, the turnstile or a seat with their hands. Wear disposable gloves:

Available from from Amazon. click here.

Amazingly, the best source of information on Covid-19 is The Rachel Maddow show, which is on at 9:00 PM at MSNBC.

The governor of Washington State was a guest last night. He was brilliant, and very comforting. Click here.

The governor told it like it was — in contrast to the Administration in Washington which is censoring its people. For example, the Administration encouraged seniors to fly. Their scientists recommended against flying.  From a story on my iPhone:

A teenager from Seattle has built a website that is keeping the world updated on the COVID-19 pandemic as it spreads. The website,, has been visited by 12 million people since it launched in late December.

This New Yorker cover beautifully summarizes our President, whose focus, today, is on being re-elected. Hence he downplays the seriousness of this epidemic and limits the number of test kits being produced, their availability and the huge cost of being tested — over $3,000 in at least one case I know of.

Want to get away from it all?

The 2020 Iditarod is on. Here’s a photo from the second day:

Latest Scams

+ My business is not verified by Google. Pay them $300 and they’ll tell Google. But it takes ten minutes of Q&A before I finally found out that they weren’t Google.

+ “Express Couriers” brings you a present of wine you didn’t order. It needs a $3.50 “delivery charge.” The delivery man asks you to swipe your credit card  on a small mobile card machine with a small screen and keypad. From a story I heard: Frank, my husband, was asked to enter his PIN number and a receipt was printed out. He was given a copy of the transaction. The guy said everything was in order, and wished us good day. To our horrible surprise, between Thursday and the following Monday, $4,000 had been charged/withdrawn from our credit/debit account at various ATM machines.

+ “The phone rings. “This is Anne from the warranty department. Our records show..” I have a daughter-in-law called Anne. she’s nice. This one isn’t.


The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent virus threat and have therefore raised their threat level from “Miffed” to “Peeved.” Soon, though, level may be raised yet again to “Irritated” or even “A Bit Cross.”

The English have not been “A Bit Cross” since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out.

The virus has been re-categorized from “Tiresome” to “A Bloody Nuisance.” The last time the British issued a “Bloody Nuisance” warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.

The Scots have raised their threat level from “Pissed Off” to “Let’s Get the Bastard.” They don’t have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front line of the British army for the last 300 years.

The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its alert level from “Run” to “Hide.” The only two higher levels in France are “Collaborate” and “Surrender.” The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France’s white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country’s military capability.

Italy has increased the alert level from “Shout Loudly and Excitedly” to “Elaborate Military Posturing.” Two more levels remain: “Ineffective Combat Operations” and “Change Sides.”

The Germans have increased their alert state from “Disdainful Arrogance” to “Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs.” They also have two higher levels: “Invade a Neighbour” and “Lose.”

Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual; the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels.

The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.

Australia, meanwhile, has raised its alert level from “No worries” to “She’ll be alright, Mate.” Two more escalation levels remain: “Crikey! I think we’ll need to cancel the barbie this weekend!” and “The barbie is cancelled.” So far, no situation has ever warranted use of the final escalation level.

The Russians have said “Its not us.”

There’s a shortage of toilet paper in Australia

Now you know why. It’s panic buying by a few nut cases:

Crazy world. See you tomorrow. — Harry Newton