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The best news for 2022: Covid is ending. Grab the bargains — while they last

Every one of us has it (not me, yet). Or we know family members and friends who have it. All in the past week.

Soon it will have nowhere to go. That’s how the 1918 Spanish Flu ended, they think.

Meantime, we need to be careful — masking, boosted vaccination, drafty ventilation, no travel, no socializing.

Be a hermit.

Stop with the gruesome stats. The media sells more when it pushes gloom and doom. Don’t play their game.

I’m pushing light at the end of the tunnel. Joy and happiness.

The 1918 virus mutated to a less lethal strain — like we now have with omicron. Evolution of bugs is common: Pathogenic viruses become less lethal with time, as the hosts of more dangerous strains tend to die out, often in our friends. (Lovely thought.)

It won’t stop instantly. But, by the end of 2022 we will be living in a world that feels and looks more normal.

That’s my prediction. Remember I’m trained as an economist.

“An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didn’t happen today.” Famous line by Laurence Peter, Canadian.

Meantime, as the blood runneth in the street, we need to fine-hone our investment strategy:

+ Banks have busted properties they might sell cheap. The regulators encourage banks to get rid of their non-performing assets — even though in a year or two they might be performing, i.e. have new tenants.

+ Some people are pushing REITs — for the same reason. Though some have already seen a bounce. I own GOOD. Here are some. Click here. Seeking Apha has lists also.

+ The “economy opening” stocks — like airlines, hotels and cruise lines — should be up by the end of the year. Try something like JETS. It should be up by 25% by end-2022.

+ The pandemic plays which got hammered by reality — like Zoom and Peloton — might even come back.

+ My hope is that my favorite stocks will recover from their dismal fall — led by Tesla’s latest magnificent car delivery numbers. Thank you Elon. Take a vacation to the Moon or Venus or wherever, but please come back.

+ Here’s a pretty typical chart. big bounce to the third week of September, then down since. I’m guessing good companies like CRL will come back, though its down today.

+ Stay away from stuff we don’t like (or at least I don’t like) – Disney, Intel, eBay, PayPal, cannabis, bitcoin, etc.

I generally stay away from biotech

Too hard to understand. Too much government regulation. Time frame too long. In short, too hard to manage.

There is one called BioNTEch (BNTX), which has done well with its covid vaccine with Pfizer.

The founders of BNTX are “looking beyond covid” in a really interesting piece in this weekend’s Economist. They write, “We believe that in 15 years, one-third of all newly approved drugs will be based on mRNA.” (Which is their sticht.) I bought some BNTX this morning. I’m already losing money on it. Biotech sucks you in, then spits you out. Yuch.

Their article in the Economist is worth reading. Click here.

What the heck is the Metaverse?

There’s a talented venture capitalist called Matthew Ball. He writes about technology and the technology he invests in. He’s written the best piece on the metaverse. Here are some excerpts:

To return to Nye, “Henry Ford didn’t first conceive of the assembly line and then delegate its development to his managers. … [The] Highland Park facility brought together managers and engineers who collectively knew most of the manufacturing processes used in the United States … they pooled their ideas and drew on their varied work experiences to create a new method of production.” This process, which happened at national scale, led to the ‘roaring twenties’, which saw the greatest average annual increases in labor and capital productivity in a hundred years…

Over the past 20 years, nearly every industry has hired, restructured, and re-oriented itself around mobile workflows, products, or business lines. This transformation is as significant as any hardware or software innovation — and, in turn, creates the business case for subsequent innovations….

The Metaverse is best understood as ‘a quasi-successor state to the mobile internet’. This is because the Metaverse will not fundamentally replace the internet, but instead build upon and iteratively transform it. The best analogy here is the mobile internet, a ‘quasi-successor state’ to the internet established from the 1960s through the 1990s…

The fixed-line internet of the 1990s and early 2000s inspired many of us to purchase our own personal computer. However, this device was largely isolated to our office, living room or bedroom. As a result, we had only occasional access to and usage of computing resources and an internet connection. The mobile internet led most humans globally to purchase their own personal computer and internet service, which meant almost everyone had continuous access to both compute and connectivity.

Metaverse iterates further by placing everyone inside an ‘embodied’, or ‘virtual’ or ‘3D’ version of the internet and on a nearly unending basis. In other words, we will constantly be ‘within’ the internet, rather than have access to it, and within the billions of interconnected computers around us, rather than occasionally reach for them, and alongside all other users and real-time.

The progression listed above is a helpful way to understand what the Metaverse changes. But it doesn’t explain what it is or what it’s like to experience. To that end, I’ll offer my best swing at a definition:

“The Metaverse is a massively scaled and interoperable network of real-time rendered 3D virtual worlds which can be experienced synchronously and persistently by an effectively unlimited number of users with an individual sense of presence, and with continuity of data, such as identity, history, entitlements, objects, communications, and payments.” …

The Metaverse, like the internet, mobile internet, and process of electrification, is a network of interconnected experiences and applications, devices and products, tools and infrastructure. This is why we don’t even say that horizontally and vertically integrated giants such as Facebook, Google or Apple are an internet. Instead, they are destinations and ecosystems on or in the internet, or which provide access to and services for the internet. And of course, nearly all of the internet would exist without them.

Here’s his chart:

You can read Ball’s full piece here.

Covid masks fire up Australia

A man has set himself and his car on fire in front of horrified diners while screaming about Victoria’s Covid-19 vaccine mandates. (Victoria is a state in Australia.)

He doused himself with gasoline and then light a match.

Police officers and firefighters poured  water to extinguish the blaze and then rushed the idiot to hospital.

Australia’s prime minister later issued a statement, “Not all Australians stupid.”

The past weekend

I played tennis and really did my shoulder in. That was not bright. Do I visit a doctor or let it rest? Do I lather up with IcyHot? Do I heat it or cool it? Do I learn to play leftie?

Such are the momentous decisions this morning, as I watch Nasdaq yo-yo up and down, like a whore’s drawers — Australian expression.

I updated our list of stocks we like. See you in the next day or so. — Harry Newton