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Good day to do some hedging. This is not over — Ukraine, Inflation, Rate hikes, Supply chain and Omicron

It’s up today. A nice relief rally. The opposite of last week’s panics.

Nothing has changed.

Choices today:

+ Sell some stock you’ve long felt uncomfortable with. Or were it in for a only short ride. I just sold all my oil stocks. I made a few shekels. They rose because oil and gas is up — but not as much as I had hoped. It’s not a good idea to move out of our little bubble of knowledge — by listening to the talking heads on BubbleVision. I’m down on fintechs, like PayPal and Square. You know that already.

+ You might buy some puts on heady stocks — with hugely high P/Es (like Workday) or TradeDesk…. or for that matter most of the stocks in our portfolio. Start with the high-priced tech stocks.

+ Yo could also sell some calls on stocks you own that are very high, but you don’t want to sell because you’d prefer to deprive Uncle Sam of the shekels he doesn’t need and would probably spend badly anyway. (Am I sounding like Peter Thiel? I did buy some Palantir for a short-term bounce cause it was so “cheap.” It’s up a little. I’ll take my short-terms, if only to afford tennis balls.

My portfolio is now worth about 15% less than it was at its mouthwatering peak in late fall 2021. It was then that the better investors — e.g. Soros — dumped their overpriced tech stocks in favor of “value.” I’m not that good. Moreover every time I try to time the market, I mess up. My best investment “strategy” seems to be to stay with the tech I understand and don’t go near the tech that I do understand, but don’t like. Like Intel.

For example, Intel is wasting $5 billion (or is it $6 billion?) to buy an Israel chipmaker, which it will destroy (as it’s destroyed virtually all its pricey acquisitions of the last 30 years. I love buying faster Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Windows laptops, with Intel inside. Yesterday I went looking. The fastest machine I could buy from Lenovo today — with the latest and greatest Intel chip is only 3.9% faster than the one I already have — and the one I already have is  “old.” The Intel chips powering my laptop cost nearly $700 a piece. You’d think Intel would have a decent incentive to salve Harry’s need for speed.

I’ve been using PayPal to buy stuff I don’t need — but is a “reward” for working. Lately I’ve been using Amazon Pay. Whoopee, I prefer it to PayPal, which is flat today (remarkably since it’s a hot day on the stock market), but PayPal is still down over 60% from what it was in the Fall.

My letter to the New York Times

Last night I wrote a Letter to the Editor:

No one likes being told what to do — no matter how good it’s for them.

A better way is TV ads focusing on unvaccinated covid patients begging to be vaccinated, as many have done on their death bed.

Focusing on the ills of smoking has cut smoking significantly. Search YouTube for anti-smoking ads. They’re scary — deliberately.

For some scary non smoking ads, click here.

Online Quackery Goes Far Beyond Rogan

Joe Rogan Is a Drop in the Ocean of Medical Misinformation

Click here.

Bill Maher weighs in on crypto

He doesn’t like it. This video is brilliantly done. It summarizes everything he hates about crypto.

The reality is that people who got into bitcoin/crypto early have done well, as these charts show :
A reader emailed me this:
He said he asked a friend who has crossed 70 and  is heading towards 80 what sort of changes he is feeling in himself? He sent me the following:

1. After loving my parents, my siblings, my spouse, my children and my friends, I have now started loving myself.

2. I have realized that I am not “Atlas”. The world does not rest on my shoulders.

3. I have stopped bargaining with vegetable & fruit vendors. A few pennies more is not going to break me, but it might help the poor fellow save for his daughter’s school fees.

4. I leave my waitress a big tip. The extra money might bring a smile to her face. She is toiling much harder for a living than I am.

5. I stopped telling the elderly that they’ve already told that story many times. The story makes them walk down memory lane & relive their past.

6. I have learned not to correct people even when I know they are wrong. The onus of making everyone perfect is not on me. Peace is more precious than perfection.

7. I give compliments freely & generously. Compliments are a mood enhancer not only for the recipient, but also for me. And a small tip for the recipient of a compliment, never, NEVER turn it down, just say “Thank You.”

8. I have learned not to bother about a crease or a spot on my shirt. Personality speaks louder than appearances.

9. I walk away from people who don’t value me. They might not know my worth, but I do.

10. I remain cool when someone plays dirty to outrun me in the rat race. I am not a rat & neither am I in any race.

11. I am learning not to be embarrassed by my emotions. It’s my emotions that make me human.

12. I have learned that it’s better to drop the ego than to break a relationship. My ego will keep me aloof, whereas with relationships, I will never be alone.

13. I have learned to live each day as if it’s the last. After all, it might be the last.

14. I am doing what makes me happy. I am responsible for my happiness, and I owe it to myself. Happiness is a choice. You can be happy at any time, just choose to be!

I decided to share this for all my friends. Why do we have to wait to be 60 or 70 or 80, why can’t we practice this at any stage and age?

This week’s Economist

Just in case you needed another reason to hedge today.

I ended tennis today with a magnificent cross-court forehand, passing my partner who could only stare in awe.

Every day should bring us a joy. Seek it out. A cross-court forehand. Or an interesting blog today  — which I had fun writing.

Seek out small pleasures. And ignore the fact that, despite my cross-court forehand, I lost the match ignominiously.

I’ve been reading books, articles and postings on the great financial crashes. The common theme seems to be the banking industry gets into big trouble. And things go down from there. Our banks are actually in good shape now. …

But, look at today’s headline. There are plenty of Black Swans circling. Despite that I’m not selling. Maybe I’ll buy some crypto with today’s paper profits? If I do, watch the crypto markets plummet. At least you’ll know who to blame.

See you soon — Harry Newton