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Investing style. Every one is different. Store-base retailing is yuchy. Two factor authentication is good. Fed holds rates.

My friends range from day traders to “It’s too dangerous.”

My day traders are out by the end of the day. I prefer to stick around.

As Buffett says, “Never bet against America.”

I wanted today to write about style.

Everyone has a different investing style.

The only commonality is you go with what you feel comfortable with.

What you feel comfortable with is what you know.

Learning what you know can take months of research. Hence it’s difficult for me to write a daily blog.

The 23-year old man ahead of my at the barber left a $30 tip. Huge. He had just made five times his money on Blackberry.

I admired his haircut and his acumen. But playing this chart is too difficult (for me). This is year to date:

Playing this is not for me. It’s a different style. My barber benefitted.

For now, I’m sticking with the tech stocks I understand. It’s taken years to figure them out.

Beware of Spacs

Special Purpose Acquisition Vehicles are the latest scam, or not — depending.

Here’s the elevator pitch:

+ A company goes public through an IPO. That’s the traditional way. It takes a lot of work with regulators, who hold the company to strict reporting standards. Questions flow back and forth. It’s both time-consuming and expensive.

There’s another way. It’s called a spac. You raise money for a new company that does nothing except wait around until it finds a company to buy.  Bingo, we now have a public company. Fast, cheap, not irksome. No talking to Washington.

The good news is you can pump your new company.

They did that with Lordstown Motors, which just lost its CEO and CFO after bad pumping. They fibbed about orders.

In the going-pubic business, there are fees — like 7% or 8%. Some spac managements have taken 20%. Yes, 20%!

Wall Street is a product machine. It invents new ways to take money from investors.

Some work. Some don’t. On balance, I believe spacs haven’t worked.

Store-base retailing is DEAD…

…unless you have something special that’s not available online. Examples:

+ B&H Photo has one store staffed with experts. Best Buy has millions of stores staffed by unhelpful idiots. Oh yes, they also don’t have any inventory and their computer systems are awful. They talked me into a Best Buy credit card for a discount on my purchase. But their computer system didn’t work. I never got my discount. Their stores make no sense, except in an emergency. Like you need a cable now.

+ Apple’s stores. You can play with the most important gadget in your life and get free advice.

+ LuluLemon has classes.

Can you think of any retail stores you like visiting? I’m back in New York for three days. Yesterday I biked around to check out the landscape. Many retail spaces were empty. But those that were selling stuff were totally uninviting. Gap? Nordstrom’s? Coach? H&M? Hugo Boss? J. Crew? Moleskine? Michael Kors? Tumi?

I need their stuff like I need a hole in the head.

I saw a pair of shoes I liked. The salesman said he’d “be right back.” He never did. Zappos is much better.

I asked Susan if there were any retail stores she liked visiting? She said she had not been in a store for so long she couldn’t remember.

Today’s boring security tasks

+ Change passwords to your bank and online broker. Make them ALL different and complex. Don’t use a password manager. They get hacked.

+ Ask your bank and your online if you can get Two-Factor Authentication. It’s much safer than just one id and one password. Choices:

— Your callphone is called with a number to enter as I log on. Fidelity has that. And I now have it.

— You use the RSA app from your cell phone. It gives you a six-digit number, which you enter. JPMorgan has that. And I now have it.

+ You get a completely different ID and password, which you must enter in addition to your normal ID and password. In other words, you go through two different servers to get in. When I introduced this on the back-end of this blog (where I write and upload photos to), it totally stopped all outside attempts to get in. Somebody was trying to get in to post something bad on my blog. (There’s enough bad on my blog without the outside help.)

Two factor authentication is a miracle and will protect you and your handsome, bulging (I hope) bank and brokerage accounts.

Take this seriously please.

Don’t open an incoming attachment or visit sites that your incoming emails highlight. Watch that last step going down.

Staying alive peacefully has its charms.

New York City is definitely coming back

There are people on the streets. They’re busy. The weather is great. The subways are full, comfortable, clean and on time. I took six yesterday. Everyone was masked up. I felt safe.

Uber’s service is going from bad to worse

You call an Uber driver. He pretends to come. He doesn’t. He’s trying to be super-smart and balance several trips.

You cancel the trip. Uber says it won’t charge you. It does. It did last night. Good luck arguing with them.

We’ve given up on Uber.

Totally wonderful cartoons

Don’t forget to to watch this. It’s on Netflix

And it’s very funny.

The Fed just issued its statement. My bolding.  No rate hikes:

Federal Reserve issues FOMC statement
For release at 2:00 p.m. EDT, June 16, 2021

The Federal Reserve is committed to using its full range of tools to support the U.S. economy in this challenging time, thereby promoting its maximum employment and price stability goals.

Progress on vaccinations has reduced the spread of COVID-19 in the United States. Amid this progress and strong policy support, indicators of economic activity and employment have strengthened. The sectors most adversely affected by the pandemic remain weak but have shown improvement. Inflation has risen, largely reflecting transitory factors. Overall financial conditions remain accommodative, in part reflecting policy measures to support the economy and the flow of credit to U.S. households and businesses.

The path of the economy will depend significantly on the course of the virus. Progress on vaccinations will likely continue to reduce the effects of the public health crisis on the economy, but risks to the economic outlook remain.

The Committee seeks to achieve maximum employment and inflation at the rate of 2 percent over the longer run. With inflation having run persistently below this longer-run goal, the Committee will aim to achieve inflation moderately above 2 percent for some time so that inflation averages 2 percent over time and longer‑term inflation expectations remain well anchored at 2 percent. The Committee expects to maintain an accommodative stance of monetary policy until these outcomes are achieved. The Committee decided to keep the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent and expects it will be appropriate to maintain this target range until labor market conditions have reached levels consistent with the Committee’s assessments of maximum employment and inflation has risen to 2 percent and is on track to moderately exceed 2 percent for some time. In addition, the Federal Reserve will continue to increase its holdings of Treasury securities by at least $80 billion per month and of agency mortgage‑backed securities by at least $40 billion per month until substantial further progress has been made toward the Committee’s maximum employment and price stability goals. These asset purchases help foster smooth market functioning and accommodative financial conditions, thereby supporting the flow of credit to households and businesses.

In assessing the appropriate stance of monetary policy, the Committee will continue to monitor the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook. The Committee would be prepared to adjust the stance of monetary policy as appropriate if risks emerge that could impede the attainment of the Committee’s goals. The Committee’s assessments will take into account a wide range of information, including readings on public health, labor market conditions, inflation pressures and inflation expectations, and financial and international developments.

See you tomorrow — Harry Newton