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Tech stocks are the future. But It’s a rocky road. You gotta have faith. I do.

Tech stocks — especially cloud stocks — are the future. No other industry can provide the fast scaleability. Go from ten customers this week to ten thousand next week — courtesy the cloud. You don’t have to build a factory, or rent an office. Start off at Starbucks. Graduate to WeWork. Amazon Web Services is there to help you and your laptops as you grow.

Tech stocks are volatile. One day they’re out of fashion and horribly down. The next day they rise. But not all together. They’re impossible to predict. Sometimes they do well, yet fall, viz Adobe last night which reported better quarterly earnings and sales than expected, but offered a forecast that didn’t live up to expectations. It fell after hours. Dumb. It will bounce back.

When in doubt, you can stay out or own lots and be diversified (within tech). That’s my “strategy.” I just updated and broadened my holdings. They’re in the right hand column of the web site — click here. Seven of my picks are up between 20% and 77% — from the time I bought them.

I would not be a good hedgie since I have other interests — most importantly playing tennis and seeing kids and grandkids.

Key to my weird portfolio is staying away from companies I’m not sanguine on or don’t understand. Including:

+ Transports. As the trade war ramps up, these guys ramp down. They did well as retailers stocked up for Christmas. But now?

+ Banks. With low interest rates and uncertainty in business, I can’t see how anyone can make decent money in banking.

+ Retailers. Bike around Manhattan. The weather is gorgeous. Every block seems to have one or two shops for rent. Who goes shopping any longer when you have Amazon, with its 100 million prime members!

+ Fossil fuel companies. The world is awash in oil. Who wants that stuff when you don’t drive to the mall.

+ Cannabis, crypto currencies, precious metals. But I can be convinced.

All my generalizations are just that — generalizations. There are retailers proving the exception — like Costco, Home Depot and most recently Target and Walmart. But I don’t have the time to pick needles in haystacks. I prefer sticking with big trends I understand  — like technology.

Why I didn’t write a blog yesterday

My main laptop email client — Outlook — blew up and lost me about 5,000 emails in my inbox. It took until 3:00 AM this morning before I had recovered most (not all) of them.

First of all, it’s very stupid of me to use my inbox as a gigantic filing cabinet. Clearly I ought to be moving the important stuff to safe places. That’s what I’m doing now.

If you use Outlook, know that everything — from emails to your calendar — is in one miserable file, called Outlook.pst.

You need to back it up every day, every week, every month and keep dated copies so you can go back. Don’t trust the cloud.

Wait, there’s more…. Windows and Apple machines blow up routinely. You need to back up your day-to-day working files every day, every week, every month, etc. I have all my life in a subfolder called AllHarry. I have six backups — from various dates. I don’t back up to the cloud. Some people do.

My most important “backup” is identical laptops, all set and ready to go. Just drop my AllHarry files into another machine and bingo I can go to work. Unless I have a Black Swan event (like yesterday) and my Outlook.pst gets corrupted….

The primary rules are:

+ Learn as much as you can about your “system.” Tech support is semi useful, frustrating and very time wasting.

+ Invest $5,000 in a couple of backup laptops, flash drives, duplicate software etc. It will be your best ever investment. I bet you spend more money insuring your house. I have four working laptops. I was lucky to find an uncorrupted Outlook.pst on one of them. It was the last one I checked.

+ Your friends will tell you to buy MacBook Pro because it’s bullet-proof. It’s not. It’s still something made by stupid humans with strange ideas. In contrast, my Apple stock has been really bullet-proof. And very profitable. With my Apple stock profits, I can afford to buy over 100 MacBook Pros.

You think I’m crazy? A reader has been going through his own computer problems. Early this morning he emailed me:

I have 6 hard drives – plus two devices they can be plugged into, so there all multiple backups — plus a weekly cloud backup just in case still with all that — it has taken HOURS and HOURS to get through this.

I am at 90% back to normal. All my programs do have to be re-installed, but at least all the data is there ++++

Let’s hope and pray there are no more “surprises.”

How to protect against viruses

+ Don’t open attachments to emails. Call the sender on the phone first.

+ Keep Windows Defender which Microsoft provides with Windows 10.

+ Install Malwarebytes. It’s free.

+ Don’t do stupid. Backups are good.

New wisdom

+ Let’s stop sending money to other countries. Let them hate us for free.

+ Vegetarian: Ancient tribal name for the village idiot who can’t hunt, fish, or light fires!

+ I look at people and sometimes think “really? — that’s the sperm that won?

+ Camping: Where you spend a small fortune to live like a homeless person.

Looking for a Halloween costume?

They’re on sale at Amazon. Only $39. Click here.

Chicago ATM, courtesy my friend who lives there

More wisdom words

+ Vegetarian: Ancient tribal name for the village idiot who can’t hunt, fish, or light fires!

+ People:  i look at people and sometimes think “Really, that’s the sperm that won?”

+ Camping: where you spend a small fortune to enjoy the life of a homeless person.

Mission Inscrutable: My Tours in Afghanistan

Australia withdrew its troops from Afghanistan 14 years ago.

This is a picture of m

Today one of these marines wrote a front page story in the New York Times called A Marine Looks Back at His Battles in Afghanistan.

The piece ended with these five paragraphs. I cried after reading them.

Our war went on until July and then we left. People got medals. Our battalion even had a Marja challenge coin. There was an HBO documentary. You can watch it on YouTube.

My father was a Swift boat officer in Vietnam. Both my grandfathers fought in World War II, one in the Pacific and the other in the Atlantic. I was in eighth grade on Sept. 11, 2001, and I knew then that I was going to follow them all into the military.

I think it’s safe to say we lost Marja, our little part of the war. The rest of us are just waiting for all of it to end, to write in our journals: the war in Afghanistan 2001-20??. To start making some cohesive narrative out of the whole mess of our youths before our children can read.

Even as we want it all to stop, we know on one level that it won’t. After any peace deal, now, later, in another decade, we’ll still be fighting the war in one place.

Our heads.

You can read the full article here.