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Washington’s miserable performance is scaring me and confusing me. But I have some rules for avoiding the idiocy and inaction

If you arrive in Australia from overseas, they whisk you from the airport to a hotel for your 14-day mandated quarantine. If you escape from the hotel, they hunt you down and fine you heavily. Often $1,600. They have police on the roads checking where you’re going and …more fines. They’re serious down under.

Australia has 25 million people. So far, it has 98 covid-19 deaths. The U.S. has 13.1 times as many people (328 million). If it had Australia’s numbers, it would have 1,287 deaths. The latest numbers for the U.S. is 86,676 deaths. That’s 67 times as many deaths as it should.

Australia does nothing more the U.S. could easily do if our Washington Administration had the leadership and the will.

My reason to lead with this dreary statistic is because I’m personally scared. So is Susan.

I’m 77, fortunately in good health. I don’t mind being in quarantine. But I fear catching this virus because our Washington Administration is doing so little to protect me. It continues to substitute magical thinking mixed with heavy diversion for intelligent action based on science.

Check out the CDC’s latest “guidelines” on opening the economy. No, don’t. They give vagueness a whole new meaning.

Washington’s flow of diversions demonstrate a level of creativity that’s quite impressive. There’s an escalating dispute with China. There’s Obamagate. There’s the nonsense with Michael Flynn. There’s the WHO. And now there “the covid death numbers are overstated.”

My God, can’t we see through this? Just another diversion from the inaction and incompetence. Even if our deaths of 86,676 were overstated by a factor of ten, they’d still be way too high — based on Australian numbers.

This blog is called “In Search of the Perfect Investment.” So what is today’s “perfect investment?

Common stocks. Simple.

Reasons:

+ The Fed cares about the stockmarket.

+ Trump cares about the stockmarket.

+ There’s huge money on the sidelines waiting to pounce.

+ There are companies doing well — like many financials, and special purpose stocks like Peloton.

+ Bonds are dead. They pay nothing. And when interest rates rise — as they will one day — they’ll fall in value. Oops.

On the other hand,

+ Stocks are well priced. Everyone and his uncle has said that.

+ The economy is sliding into depression — much worse than any we’ve had since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

+ Opening up the economy won’t do it, since there are too many of us afraid to venture forth into malls, restaurants and sporting events and cram ourselves into an over-crowded airplane with sick people sneezing and coughing on us.

Where do I come down, since I clearly can’t predict where this is all going:

+ I’m heavily in cash.

+ I’m sticking with Stay-at-Home stocks, like Zoom, Amazon, Apple

+ I’m staying away from whole classes of stocks I don’t like — banks, energy, retail, cruise lines, airlines, etc.

+ I’m analyzing stocks — especially those in Cramer’s Covid-19 ETF.

+ I’m putting in low bids on stocks that sort of appeal (at much lower prices), like Cisco.

+ I’m not looking at “distress” real estate. It’s too early.

I remain conflicted. If we have a depression, will stock prices plummet? If so, I should short my “favorite cockroach stocks” like Boeing and the banks.

Or should I stop this nonsense altogether and do what so many of my clearer-thinking friends do — dollar cost averaging. They pick a sum to invest — say $10,000 a month — and they buy like clockwork. Often they put their money into index fund or two. Sometimes a nice stock like Amazon, Google, Shopify, Moderna. UNH, Walmart or Nike.

The big plus is No Emotions. With dollar cost averaging, you don’t look at where we are or where we’re going. You just put more money in. And keep putting more money. Long-term markets go up, so why fight them by trying to figure out where they’re going tomorrow.

Right now, we need to recognize:

+ No one is looking after our health, especially Trump.

+ If we get sick, it’s because we were stupid.

+ We need to exercise, cut back on eating, and rest.

+ And we don’t discuss anything with Trump supporters. That’s a guaranteed way to get agita big-time.

Susan finally got her iPad Pro and Magic keyboard

It ain’t cheap — $1100. But it’s a joy. Fast. Logical. Portable. Perfect for Zoom calls.

I’m allowed to play with it “so long as I don’t change anything!!”

Here’s one thing I like:

See those two squares on the right. Click on them and you’ll get this.

Bingo, it shows you all the sites your browser has open. Click on one of them and it opens up immediately. You don’t have this simple feature on any Windows browser I can’t find yet — whether Edge, Chrome or Firefox. Dumb Windows.

Recording videos on the iPad for YouTube or doing Zoom videos is a joy. The iPad’s new camera is stunning.

The keyboard actually is pretty good too. A good keyboard with a great touch screen is really a lovely way to work.

I could go on and on. Susan said I should buy myself one for Fathers Day. I bought hers for Mothers Day. Is there an irony here?

Country quarantining. From our Post Office’s noticeboard:

Our local Chatham, NY supermarket.

Lots of new bottoms quarantining among us to wipe.

They walk among us.

She snipped a hole in her mask because she found it difficult to breathe. This is a real photo of a real idiot.

The Jewish Prison

This is our 60th consecutive day of tennis during this quarantine:

That was two days ago.

Note the silo in the distance. It used to be full of stuff to feed the animals over the winter. You can’t make money at dairy farming any longer, so it stands empty, a testimony to changing times. Like today.

Send me your favorite stay-at-home stock.

See you Monday — Harry Newton

  • TomFromVa

    Harry you are a smart guy and I like your column, but it seems like you let the media do your thinking for you. Consider:
    1. the EU and the US are reasonably close in size, GDP, and population. But the deaths per capita are much higher in the EU. So are their leaders all worse than Trump? And what about their wonderful National Health systems?
    2. take away the New York metro area and our death rate is about half what it is now. And why is that? How about these reasons: a. de Blasio telling everyone to come to the Chinatown parade in February b. Cuomo telling New Yorkers that they would NOT be sheltering in place – 2 days AFTER Trump issued National distancing guidance c. the 25 March bulletin from New York Health Department of Health MANDATING that Nursing Homes take COVID patients.
    We now know that most of the COVID cases in the US came from New York, and that COVID was present at the Chinatown parade. Connect the dots.
    Lastly, you are ALWAYS the person most responsible for your own health. What specifically have you been denied because of Trump?

  • Hugh

    Harry, very well put. Amazing, how gullible the Trump supporters are. They can’t see what a lousy job he’s doing even when it stares them in the face. I’ve yet to see any explanation of how other countries have done much better with the pandemic other than Trump’s incompetence. It is truly is a cult. Thanks for being willing to state the truth and incur the rath of his enablers. Don’t back down. If people keep telling the truth maybe it will get through to some of them.

    • Dman

      Watching mind controlled liberal assholes like you crash and burn is going to be glorious beyond your wildest imagination.

  • JKEngineer

    Harry – While people may feel fine posting their phone numbers on local bulletin boards for local consumption, I don’t think you should be spreading them all over the world by posting them on the internet. Obfuscate them now, and before posting in the future.

  • Bruce Miller

    Okay Harry,

    How do you explain that your address and phone number can now be found?
    You have rudely deleted all my post. Am I to be deleted too?
    247 Reed Road~~~ 917-297-1818 or are you willing to find out some depth? 1984 is here today and you are it. Best you visit the local post office and change your #. But then again that will sent up red flags to all the spammers you wish you never knew. So Glad to see you changed Wshington to either Wishington rather then Washington. Please clean up your one person act and get a reviewer like in the old days when you delegated. You are looking more like both Trump and Biden these days and that need not be so.

  • LRStingley

    “If you escape…they hunt you down…” What Australia is doing is disgusting and heart wrenching. I would not wish this on any citizen! What is truly frightening is our compliance to this kind of control. We can’t
    work, our kids can’t go to school and businesses are being destroyed because of a virus that outside of NY is no worse than previous pandemics throughout history. Why are you willing to exchange your freedom for a false sense of security? Wake up, please!

    • Bruce Miller

      Remember this blog was not a dead cat bounce. It is a statement about current US leading candidates.

  • Scooter

    Harry, your insistence to blame Trump for COVID19 is getting old. Weren’t we told in the beginning that all the people that would get it, would still get it and the shutdown was only to flatten the curve?
    Now the scope of the shutdown has continuously changed in some of the Democratic Governor states to the extent now that if one person still has it we can’t go outside. Because if he comes in contact with someone, then we could start this whole thing all over again.

    Insanity and politics are what is going to kill us. Not the virus.

  • Omer Acikel

    Harry, I enjoy reading your posts for sure but once in a while I see these comments just ready to jump to opportunity to get to you makes me a little uneasy. I wonder whether these people hide behind internet’s anonymous nature to lash out their anger or it is really them on- and off-line. Never the less, I find investing in this environment difficult. I also keep most my investment in cash. The only smart thing I did recently was buying some Tesla at low $500s. My best stay at home stocks would be chip makers for streaming the likes of AMD (own some), NVDA (don’t own any). , and recently told by a friend INPI (InPHY) which had a surge in recent 7 weeks. I don’t own any of the latter either.

    • Dman

      Omer, try this link, but remember the NYT, WashPost, CNN and MSNBC will all tell you that it’s nothing but a “conspiracy theory”. I wonder why not a single reporter will ask Trump if he knows anything about the Qanon Movement? They won’t because they know Trump will tell them that the Qanon Board is the only TRUE REAL NEWS………therefore they are then out-of-business…….FOX included.

      Qmap.pub

  • Sorehead

    I don’t know Richard Marks who commented here. But yesterday in a telephone conversation with a relative, he cited almost Word for Word what Richard Marks posted. Interesting.
    I suppose the three of us are “related”.

  • Tom

    Putting your address and phone number on the internet like that is really dumb. Must be Trump’s fault too

    • harrynewton

      where did you find my address and phone number?

      • Are You Crazy

        IT IS ON THE PHOTO YOU POSTED. PACKAGES NEWTON. NOT GOOD HARRY. PLEASE DELETE THAT PICTURE!

        • Time To Retire

          <>
          Yeah, I’m 77 and going senile, by publishing photos of my home address and telephone number! And, you spelled Washington incorrectly as well. CHECK, CHECK, CHECK! Were you drunk when you posted this entry????

          • Bruce Miller

            TTT, I think Harry won at tennis today to early for the 5 to 5 cocktail or is that Rooster-tails? Smile Harry, I did.

          • Dman

            Harry has a severe case of TDS. By this time next year Harry will be dealing with the harsh reality of realizing his entire life is a lie.

            The Great Awakening
            Trust The Plan
            WWG1WGA
            Q

        • harrynewton

          Deleted. Thank you.

          • Bruce Miller

            Sure glad you deleted my post too Harry. It was 1st post this morning and I was wondering how long it would take you. It pays dividends to check and recheck. All good.

  • Bruce Miller

    A new meaning of idiocy? Move to Oz for less covid -19 death due to newly installed police state. It’s has nothing to do with the total sunshine and warm weather where covid-19 1/2 life in half a minute or less. If you do so you will find that you are missing out on a great used tennis balls sale @ 247 Reed Road, however by calling 917-297-1818 you may get free shipping via 600,000+ free miles, all balls come in pre-opened cans. Enjoy the EZ life and have a Great Day.

  • Richard Marks

    Hi Harry
    With all due respect, why are you blaming Washington for the problems with Covid 19 in New York? Trump gave the responsibility for dealing with the virus to the Governors of each state. Cumo is your governor and he was the one responsible for sending virus positive patients to nursing homes when the staff had no way of protecting themselves and their tenants. The result was that thousands of those residents died. Your governor did that, not Trump.
    Trump sent your governor a hospital ship and a portable hospital to help with the emergency which NYC barely used. Trump sent ventilators when asked and your Governor didn’t even know he had over a thousand in storage. Even your governor praised Trump over his support for New York in equipment and supplies.
    Harry, please look at the problems created by your Governor rather than trying to blame The President for things he has not done which were the responsibility of your LOCAL government.

    • harrynewton

      Brilliant. I’m saving my agita by not arguing with this.

      • Dman

        Save all the agita you can Harry. You have no idea the amount of agita you’re going to need just to get you to Election Day. No matter how much agita you save it won’t come close to being enough. The Seth Rich Murder, Julian Assange and corrupt Crowd Strike are waiting on the back burner. See the John Podesta emails, he OK’s the murder. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the Awan brothers bring down the evil house of cards.

        Best Of Luck…….

        The Great Awakening
        Trust The Plan
        WWG1WGA
        Future Proves Past
        These People Are Sick
        Q

      • Mike Hamon

        Thanks for your address and phone number! It is cached forever on the internet.

        • Bruce Miller

          Yes sir. Harry is still in damaged mode.

      • Secret Squirrel

        Does the truth give you agita Harry? No wonder you won’t argue with it.

        • Bruce Miller

          He’ll delete this whole day and rid the agita if he keeps his blog active you think?

    • Angry_Dfns_Eng

      Nice revisionist history Richard. The US gov should not spend decades in the roll of leading efforts to overcome problems like CoVid and then throw it over the wall to the states 2 weeks after it becomes clear the the US gov itself has dropped the ball. Cuomo is not the problem, though he may not be likeable. The hospital ship is another canard. When things looked dire additional beds were needed. The ship made sense. Then improvements happened like social distancing and lock downs. Less people became infected. The worst case did not happen. Ship wasn’t needed as much. By promoting these false narratives you are contributing to the problem.

      • Dman

        Now explain the Javits Center canard. Cuomo isn’t only completely incompetent, he’s a thief and a murder. Cuomo is going to pay dearly for what happen in those nursing homes.

        Liberal dems are satanic.

      • Secret Squirrel

        The ship could have been used for all those Covid positive patients Cuomo instead sent to die in nursing homes and take others with them.