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Certainty: It’s not what we’re “enjoying” right now in the stockmarket. But elsewhere there are opportunities

I have a very smart real estate syndicator who didn’t buy anything for three years. Nothing met his purchase criteria.

Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger make very few decisions. They read a lot. They are calm.

Being anxious is the worst. Have cash? Wall Street will help you “put it to work.”

Every time I hear that I know they have another clever way for them to make fees and for me to lose my money.

Some time next year office buildings will become cheap. Real cheap.

The essence of real estate is the price you pay and how expensive your borrowing — which is now getting a whole lot more expensive.

Startups are desperate for money — their traditional sources are drying up. They are probably dinging you for money. Most fail. Beware.

Nothing can waste your time more than endlessly analyzing a startup’s chances of success.

Now is a peculiar, strange time.

A while back I told everyone not to own shares. I was right. Until the last few weeks, when it popped up — again. Here’s Nasdaq and the S&P 500 this year. The trend is clearly down — unless you believe the latest pop is the beginning of another huge run — like the one that started at the end of March 2020.

Here’s year to date:

It looks very different if you chart the last ten days.

In short…

+ It’s OK to read and study.

+ It’s OK to be confused.

+ It’s OK not to try to be smart and to try to time this.

+ It’s OK to say NO.

 + It’s OK to play tennis.

There are people who believe every negative — from escalating interest rates to galloping inflation to collapsing tech earnings — have been priced in and stock prices are on their way through the roof.

I made some good decisions this year. I said don’t buy Chinese stocks. I shorted Meta, which is still toxic. And I got out of non-earning tech stocks, including the pandemic plays like Zoom.

Now I’m in cash, treasuries and real estate deals. I have bought some Apple, some JNJ, and some VZ. And I’m short some VGT. But my positions are small, reflecting confusion and mulling.

You can now get 4.59% safely on a one year treasury. Hold it for a year. Or you might lose something if treasury rates go up this week.

The Fed will raise another 75 basis points but I don’t know if that will be reflected in higher yielding, in which case they will fall in price — which will affect you — unless you own them for the full year. Which I’m doing.

Problem solved. Thank you X1 credit card

I really believe this:

And I love their graphics:

And their classy stainless steel credit card. But the best thing I love is their

That means I can take advantage of this offer:

And when I don’t like the subscription (which I’ve now determined I don’t like), I don’t have to spend the rest of my life trying to cancel the auto-renew at their big price. I paid them $1 and I will never pay them another cent — no matter how often they keep auto-renewing me.

Now you can afford to take advantage of all the various introductory and other great deals without worrying that you life will be destroyed by trying to cancel the deals. I can give you a boring list.

X1 doesn’t charge an annual fee and has lots of benefits.  Highly recommended. Get your X1 credit card here.

Now keep reading what happens when you have a different credit card, like one from Citi.

Don’t ever get a credit card from Citi

You can’t dispute a transaction. You can’t talk to anyone. They have gone nuts with customer “service” automation.

I disputed an endless charge from a company called Kiwi Crate, which supplied our grandkids art supplies. But the kids grew out of it all. And though I’ve cancelled the annual service on their web site, they keep billing my Citi credit card.

I complained to Citi’s web site. They sent Kiwi a letter. Kiwi said the charge of over $400 was legit and I got billed. All without the benefit of a human being.

Late I found a key:

Scream or type: FRAUD. FRAUD. FRAUD.

I got to speak to someone who cancelled my Citi credit card (thus saving me $99 a year).

But she told me if I cancelled my Citi credit card in two years I’d lose my 649,000 miles on American Airlines.

I don’t want spit out what I now think of Citi.  Maybe I’ll vent on the new Twitter, where apparently everything now goes.

Why I like YouTube TV

  1. I can watch my chosen show any time.
  2. I can watch it wherever I am (except overseas). Maybe  a VPN will work? But I haven’t tried that yet.
  3. I can pause it. I can rewind it. I can catch what they said. I can take notes. I can fast forward. I can skip the commercial for diseases I don’t want.
  4. YouTube TV is much cheaper than cable or satellite.
  5. I actually prefer watching YouTubeTV on my laptop on my knee. I can see and hear better.
  6. Their quality is better than satellite. YouTubeTV is reliable. Satellite TV is not, especially when it rains.

I bought a My Pillow once

It was awful — my worst pillow ever. I returned it. They have a full “money-back guarantee.”

But you pay shipping both ways. Hence they make money, even if you return it.

 How goes housing?

This is from the Economist. It pretty well sums housing up:

Over the past decade owning a house has meant easy money. Prices rose reliably for years and then went bizarrely ballistic in the pandemic. Yet today if your wealth is tied up in bricks and mortar it is time to get nervous. House prices are now falling in nine rich economies. From Stockholm to Sydney the buying power of borrowers is collapsing. That makes it harder for new buyers to afford homes, depressing demand, and can squeeze the finances of existing owners who, if they are unlucky, may be forced to sell. The world’s worst housing-related financial crisis will be confined to China, whose problems-vast speculative excess, mortgage strikes, people who have pre-paid for flats which have not been built-are, mercifully, contained within its borders. But as an era of low interest rates comes to an end, a home-price crunch is coming-and there is no guarantee of a better housing market at the end of it all.

Useful stuff

+ Windows Key + V

You get multiple scissors and paste. Not just one — if you do Ctrl C and Ctrl V.

What we learn at the golf course

The guys at the golf course asked me to name a gorgeous Hollywood actress I would like to be stuck in an elevator with.

I told them the one who knows how to fix elevators.

I’m old, I’m tired, and I have to pee a lot.

OK I’m obsessed with bears. 

This video is called Life Lessons for All of us.

It’s wonderful. Show it to your kids and grandkids and ask them what the lesson is?


Thank you for all the concerned emails asking “Where are you?”

I am back.  — Harry Newton