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The best Christmas investment advice. When God closes a door, He opens a window. Covid, skin and alls

The best Christmas investment advice

The 98-year-old Mother Superior lay dying. The nuns gathered around her bed trying to make her last journey comfortable. They tried giving her warm milk to drink but she refused it.

One of the nuns took the glass back to the kitchen. Then, remembering a bottle of Irish Whiskey that had been received as a gift the previous Christmas, she opened it and poured a generous amount into the warm milk.

Back at Mother Superior’s bed, they held the glass to her lips.

The frail nun drank a little, then a little more and before they knew it, she had finished the whole glass down to the last drop.

As her eyes brightened, the nuns thought it would be a good opportunity to have one last talk with their spiritual leader.

“Mother,” the nuns asked. “Please give us the best of your wisdom before you leave us.”

Mother Superior raised herself in the bed, looked at them and said: “Don’t sell that cow.”

Some things I learned this weird year

+ Panic is what you shouldn’t do when your stocks hiccup.

+ You can’t time the market by selling when it’s awful and buying when it’s good. The average annual return for stocks from 1926 to 1987 was 9.44 percent, but if you had gone to cash and missed the best 50 of those 744 months, you would have would have missed all of the return and ended flat. This stat from this excellent book:

+ When a stock plummets, you need to find the reason and assess its logic. Recently DocuSign hiccupped 42%.  The company warned that consumers were returning to more normalized buying patterns with the widespread rollout of Covid-19 vaccines and the gradual return to the workplace. The CEO panicked. Fact is DocuSign is now an integral part of the way we all do business, whether at home, at the office or on the beach. It’s a bargain now.

+ Cramer is right about 60% of the time. He is worth watching. Many of his stocks have done very well – Apple, Nvidia, Microsoft, Netflix, Google. But some of mine have done well also — like Generac, Atlassian, Zoetis, TradeDesk, and Abbott Labs. For the full list of stocks we like, check out the column of Stocks I like on my web site. Click here

+ When God closes a door, He opens a window. And He keeps opening them. I just met a fellow who started and failed in 19 startups. The 20th worked bigtime. He’s now rich beyond his wildest dreams. And looking for the next window.

Staying healthy: Covid, Skin and Falls

This is so boring, but:

+ Cramer Just came down with covid, despite having three Moderna shots. He got it at an inside event where everyone was fully vaccinated. This Omicron variant is plenty transmissible.

+ Israel is about give many of its people a fourth shot. That’s how serious this has become.

+ Everyone and their uncle (including me) is sporting skin problems, some cancerous. Please visit your dermatologist every six months. Show him/her new spots, growing spots. When in doubt, remove them. Better to be ugly than dead.

+ The sun is not your friend. There are a zillion ways to protect yourself from it. Use all of them.

+ Friends are still falling down the last step. They are not holding the hand rail. My family has my tombstone all ready: Watch The Last Step. I’ve written this blog for over ten years. It’s the only thing readers remember. Watch The Last Step. Go figure.

+ You can only predict two things: First, the world is actually getting better — health, income, longevity, etc. Second, there will always be Black Swan events. Not one learned analyst predicted the covid pandemic. It killed over 800,000 in the U.S.. But stocks went up strongly. The human mind identified, and found, pandemic stocks. Next year? 2022? There’ll be something.

Favorite Christmas cartoons

We did well in 2021

Both Nasdaq and The S&P 500 gained over 23%. Save yourself the agony of choosing individual stocks. Just buy VTI (S&P 500) and VGT (Technology stocks).

The Economist is my favorite magazine

I love their “Explainers.” Here’s an easy link to finding the best ones. Click here.

I’ll be back later in the weekend. Meantime, enjoy the family. — Harry Newton