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This is difficult to figure. Health and the economy are not getting any better. So stocks should be cratering…

This is gruesomely  difficult to figure.

Health and the economy — confirmed by awful unemployment numbers and escalating virus deaths — are not getting any better. The outlook for asset values — stocks, residential and commercial real estate,  commercial loans, and anything else we’ve invested in over the years — is just plain awful.

It’s now April and everybody and their uncle are not paying their rent and/or are looking for a deal. Landlords are fighting a difficult battle. Investors, like me, are wondering “What now?”

There is no pleasure in looking at the screen of your portfolio. There’s a helplessness there as you watch your portfolio’s value eking slowly away. But then bouncing. For weird reasons. Or lack of weird reasons.

My favorite Zoom Video zoomed and today crashed after reporting that the explosion in its users (a good thing) had caused it to compromise its much-touted security (a bad thing), thus handing a huge win to competitors Cisco and Microsoft, who seem to be better on video conferencing security, for now.

Here’s Zoom Video over the last ten days:

There are clarion calls for a “balanced portfolio.” The easiest way to get that is to buy the triple S&P downers — SPXU or SPXS. Some friends are 100% in these. Other investors, like myself have some of them, while I progressively dispose of my favorite stocks — or at least the ones I have left, like Microsoft, Apple and Adobe.

I also had this fantasy that I should own some Covid-19 stocks — like LLY, GILD, JNJ and REGN. But that collection is just spraying red ink across my screen. Yuch.

I’m concluding that I’m not up for owning stocks in this toxic environment. I should give up that endeavor, hold more cash, and focus on staying well — which largely consists of doing what my children tell me to do and not to do.

I do know that some point we’ll reach bottom. Stocks will be a bargain — like they were in March, 2009 — and I’ll pile in and get rich beyond my wildest dreams. Right on, Harry.

But will I be able to do that? Look at this chart. Why wasn’t I smart enough to buy Netflix at $300 on March 16?

For now I have enough cash to maintain my stay-at-home life style. No travel. No Airbnb or Vrbo. In the next few days, we’ll be playing tennis outside. That game is the ultimate social distancing sport.

I can always take Rosie (our dog) for a walk. Though I suspect she is walked out.

Now to some “humor”

Outside a book store, now closed:

Here’s some virus ingenuity

My daughter loves Peeps. But these?

Granddaughter Eleanor just lost her first tooth

She got a miserable $2 from the Tooth Fairy. It’s hard times for tooth fairies.

But she’s happy taking lessons over the Internet on the iPad which her school provided.

This is hard

Now the market has turned positive and my triple shorts are in the doo-doo. This is not your father’s stockmarket. A few days ago I wrote a blog saying

Maybe I was right? Click here.

Wisdom: Stop looking at the screen and thinking you can play this. You can’t.

I’ll try to see you tomorrow. Harry Newton

 

 

  • TomFromVa

    Harry – you have the best cartoons of anyone – you should figure out how to monetize that (but I should get them for free). Also I am glad to see you are still playing tennis. That was the last sport to shut down in my area. Our old-timers tennis group had voted to keep playing (with precautions) but then they shut down all the indoor AND outdoor tennis courts. Now I have found some semi-private ones so I am getting back into it. I dont mind the social distancing but you can only take so many walks.

    Anyway, keep it coming. I suspect the market bottom is still a ways off, but even shorting will be a very bumpy ride.