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A down day. Lessons on diversification and sundry “gotchas.” I’m not panicking. Neither should you

I woke up this:

Wow! I’m a lucky fellow.. oops, great stock picker.

Then Apple did this:

It lost only half a percent on the day, which was actually good because Nasdaq lost 2.13%, by doing this:

My dearest friend, Gerry

emails  me “I’m smelling 1999 in tech stocks…”


Today, Monday, Nasdaq fell 2.13%

I replied:


Don’t smell anything. You can’t predict. No one can.

It’s just as likely to go up tomorrow as it is to go down.

Every time we’ve “predicted” and panicked we lost.

I speak from expensive experience.

This time I’m doing nothing.

If it goes down further, I’ll selectively buy.

Curiously a handful of my stocks actually went up today:

MRNA, UNH, ZTS, TSM, JNJ, GILD, CHWY and PG. TSM was the only tech stock that went up.

First half’s results

At the end of each quarter The New York Times runs a piece on mutual fund returns. Here are the returns, courtesy Morningstar:

The second quarter covered April, May and June — pretty heavy months for the virus.

The good news is that my emphasis on being heavily in tech stocks worked.

The second time it’s much easier

At home in lockdown, things break. Like toilets. Our Toto slow-close toilet lid is now fast-close. The BIG Bang. It needs a new seat. Fine.

I buy one. It came with this mounting “hardware.”

I smelled a rat when I couldn’t find a hole on the bottom side of the toilet.

An hour later, Toto’s customer support told me I needed this:

It was available for $7 (plus, plus, plus) from Click here.

This is what I call a “gotcha.” Which leads me to weekend conversations:

Why all of us have given up “diversifying,” most particularly – investing in startups in industries we know absolutely nothing about — except what the PowerPoint presentation tells us. Which is pretty well nothing.

The startup loves us — until they get our money. Then, a year or two later, we hear why things went wrong — called gotchas. My dearest friend, who knows about real estate, wanted me to mention one word “COAL.” No story. Just COAL. It’s a painful word — for him.

Is there anyone so stupid to accept this?

This came in today’s email.

When I need to “think,” I walk to the kitchen

This virus is making me a big fat slob. Hence, my new slogan:

Favorite (?) cartoon

Notice that it has Ayers Rock (now called Uluru) in the background. So it must be authentic Aussie.

Grandson Peter looking angelic

A fleeting moment, but a great picture.

Last night under the lights

On Mark Johnson’s wonderful court in West Ghent , NY.

It was our 120th consecutive daily game of tennis during this quarantine.

You’d think by now I’d be getting better? You’d think. Mark kicks my tushy.

Thought to leave you with: 

In an election year, Washington loves to give away your money.

Favorite Roger Stone quote

I am not in touch with any Russians. I don’t have a Russian girlfriend, I don’t like Russian dressing and I have stopped drinking Russian Vodka.”

So there.

I suspect we’ll be quarantining well into Spring next year. I’m glad I’m playing tennis every day and glad I have high-speed Internet.

No more bagels with heavy cream cheese, until tomorrow.

The weekend blog was good, said many of my readers. If you missed it — it was called “How to invest your money today, while stock prices are high and the virus rages on. Why tennis is like picking stocks” — it’s here.

See you tomorrow. Harry Newton