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How to somehow deal with the fact that everything we knew about the world is no longer true. Useful tips on exploding scams and cracking windshields

Change couldn’t be coming quicker. Some good. Some bad. Today, we gave up on tennis early because of the Canadian fires smog.  Five  of my office real estate syndications have now stopped paying dividends. The bloom seems to be coming off the AI investment boomlet.

There is good news. My friend missed his trip on the Titan. He was scheduled on the next dive. He is now planning a helicopter tour of the eight highest peaks in Nepal. His daughter is sane. He’s not.

There are five baby barn swallows in this nest at our tennis club.

I’d get you a better photo. But every time I got close to the nest, the mother dive bombed me. She was serious about inflicting pain on my tender body.

The good news is that yields are edging up on Treasuries. Look at these delicious yields on short-term ones:

This was earlier this week for 3 month, 6 month, 9 month and 1yr treasuries.

Today it’s a huge increase:

I have a nice position in JEPI, which is yielding 11.05%. I’m not putting my life savings in this high-yielder but it pays a monthly dividend. And I’m reinvesting each month. Thanks to Brendan M. at Chase for JEPI.

JEPI doesn’t equal what we made on Nvidia in the first half. But it’s better than a slap in the belly with a cold fish.

I’m not making any predictions on where hot AI stocks — like Nvidia, Microsoft, Meta, Google and Super Micro Computer (SMCI) — are going. Nor whether they’re way overpriced. But my friends can’t stop talking about AI and how it’s going to change their lives and their businesses. Their enthusiasm is infectious, though what they’re planning to use AI for is a little (a lot?) up in the air.

I’d be happy if the companies I buy things from would put AI into their customer support chatbots and actually answer my questions.

These days, investing is a lot about saying NO. Building a list of industries and areas you don’t want to be in, like crypto and China.

The New York Times today talked about not getting into bed with “crazies.” China’s Xi is a serious crazy. He gives new meaning to the old expression:

  Power corrupts.
Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Don’t believe me? Look at Alibaba’s stock since Xi decided he didn’t like tech companies — for reasons I still don’t understand.

My Obsession with security — part 3

Figure this: Everything in the cloud is hackable. Hence your bank or email account is in the cloud, it’s easy to get into. Your password is on the dark web, easily bought.

In recent days, I’ve begged all my readers to change their passwords AND get two factor authentication.

Change all your passwords today and get two factor authentication on all your online financial accounts.

If you’re wiring money, get the person at the other end to read you the ABA and account numbers.

When you get sent wiring instructions by email, it’s easy for a crook to intercept the PDF attachment, change it to their account. And bingo you’ve lost all your money.

If you send your money to the wrong account, your bank cannot get your money back. Trust me on that one.

I get scamming emails

  Hi Dear,  I am Mr. GLADWIN JONES of the Claims Department with a bank here in London, United Kingdom. I wish to notify you that you are clear to claim the total   sum of Twenty Five Million Five Hundred thousand  British pounds in the codicil and last testament of a deceased customer (Name now withheld for security reasons). Kindly Contact me for more details.  I look forward to your response, treat as most confidential  Regards
  Mr.Gladwin Jones

Mr.Jones’ email address:
   Gladwin Jones > [<]

And anther one:

1 hour left to redeem your -50.00 from Ace Hardware

Email address:
Eduardo Page []

I really love this one:

Imagine what would happen if I opened the PDF.

And here’s one late today:

Useful stuff

+ Good to check your car’s registration and inspection stickers. They’ve probably expired. Semi-easy to update them online. Susan’s registration had expired. I fixed it online with a credit card. Why New York State hadn’t reminded me earlier I don’t know.

+ Cut every serving in half. Eat half and take the other half home for tomorrow. My friend’s diet –no bread, no desert, smaller portions — actually works.

+ Nike does make a better shoe. From my tennis shoes to my casual slipons, Nike’s are more comfortable and work better.

+ If you have assets, you need a Trust. Having them in your name may subject your assets to probate. And that is a painful No-No.

+ Do not buy Penn tennis balls. They’re cheap. But they don’t bounce. Wilson makes a much better ball. Tennis balls may be the only area I’m an expert on. .

+ Older folks love pickle ball. So do hospital emergency rooms. Lots of problems because of the jerky movements and lack of physical conditioning. Tennis is easier and safer.

+ Yeti makes the best water bottles. They keep ice as ice. In others the ice melts and contents warm up.

+ This stone flattened my tire.

I fished this out of my trunk and off I went.

Run-flat tires were designed by car companies to free up space so they could sell you something — like a third row. They were not designed for your benefit.

If you have run-flat tires, you won’t have a spare. Drive it. You’ll destroy your flat run-flat tire and end up paying nearly $1,000 for a new tire. I paid $60 to have my trusty tire plugged. Thank you Subaru for having the foresight NOT to have run-flat tires.

+ Studies show people work about a third less time at home than they do at the office.

+ Every day I take three pills. I always forget. My best reminder is this app called Pill Reminder. I have it programmed to nag me until I take the pills and shut it the app off for that day.

Want to know how bad your air is?

Click here.

Windshield scams

My car windshield was cracked. It needed to be replaced. The TV advertisers, like Safelite, wanted $1,500+.

A local guy did it for less than half.

I didn’t need “recalibration” or new $125 wipers. Nor was I going to make my insurance company pay.

What a great actress

Want to know how things are changing?

The New York Times did a long piece “

   Why It Seems Everything We Knew About the Economy Is No Longer True

For the piece, click here.

Summer is Maine

All four grandkids are off to sleepaway camps in Maine.

Grandfathers (like me) are advised sternly “Do not send food or candy.”

What a bummer. — Harry Newton