Skip to content

Saying NO to overseas. Saying YES to exploding U.S. stocks. Scams to watch for.

Our portfolio is doing well, lead by he usual suspects — Apple, Amazon, Shopify, TradeDesk, DocuSign, PayPal, Zoom, Coupa, OKta, Nvidia, Zscaler  etc.

If you can’t leave your house, you might as well make it nice.

That’s the theory behind buying eight retail stocks that benefit (recommendations by Bank of America).

+ Lowe’s. LOW.

+ Tractor Supply. TSCO

+ Bed Bath and Beyond. BBBY

+ Restoration Hardware. RH

+ Purple Innovation. PRPL

+ Tempur Sealy International.  TPX

+ Amazon. AMZN

+ Wayfair. W

I think they’re missing HD, ETSY, COST, and SHOP. I don’t know Purple Innovation.  And I wouldn’t touch BBBY. For more, click here.

Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely

The statement was made by Lord Acton, a British historian of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

The meaning: A person’s sense of morality lessens as his or her power increases.

Today’s effective dictators include Putin of Russia, Erdogan of Turkey, Xi of China, Duterte of the Philippines,  Lukashenko of Belarus, Aliyev of Azerbaijan, Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea, Maduro of Venezuela, al-Assad of Syria, Afwerki of Eritrea, Kim Jong-Un of North Korea, and a-Bashir of Sudan. A long list.

These are extreme examples of places NOT to invest in. They’re obvious today but they were not so obvious a few years ago, when the new-dictators won their first legitimate election. Now many of them have made themselves presidents for life.

Before Erdogan , I flew to Turkey to look at neat investment opportunities. I thank my lucky stars I said “NO.”

I’ve also looked at Egypt and ditched that one.

Two things about dictators: There’s no rule of law. Which means no protection for my investments. And they get increasingly crazy as they get older.

Talking about crazy. In Egypt, this lady, a popular belly dancer, Sama El-Masry, has been sentenced to 3 years in prison over claims of ‘inciting debauchery’ on TikTok. This is her.

She’s a belly dancer — not a porn star. To read the full story, click here.

Why am I writing this? At one stage my father invested money in Mexico, attracted by the 13% interest being paid. Sadly politics got in the way and the peso shortly, depreciated by 50% or so and wiped out all his gains. After that, he kept all his money in Australia, which still has The Rule of Law and free elections, despite speaking funny.

Henry Blodget of Business Insider wrote today, “Hong Kong is gone. It’s over.” Over 300 arrests have been made and new restrictive laws have been passed by China Central. I know of people who’ve left Hong Kong and taken all their money.

Scams 

+ “Your business is not registered with Google.” I get a thousand calls a week — all from different numbers. Just delete the voice messages. Google does not require you to be registered with them.

+  “We have your passwords, and videos of you watching porn. Send bitcoin.” They don’t have my passwords. And I don’t watch that much porn.

+ “We need $10,000 to meet tonight’s goal. Can you please send money?” I’m never, ever giving my email address to any politician. They share it and I get begging email after email from politicians I’ve never heard of.

The worst scam is ransomware. They have snuck software onto my laptop, which locks all my working files and those in my company’s servers. Unless I pay them bitcoin, I will never get to my files again.  The ransomware software that gets on my machine (and then my company’s central files) typically comes from an email attachment, which we stupidly open.

Don’t open email attachment even from your dearest friends. Keep backup files and backup laptops. That hardware is the cheapest investment you’ll ever make.

I shouldn’t have done this??

Wonderful thoughts on life

This morning.

It was my 109th consecutive game this Covid quarantine. We ran out of numbers at 99 and had to start again.

This is the view from the tennis court in Ghent, Columbia County, NY. It a handsome replacement for the theater and ballad of New York City.

See you tomorrow when I play my 110th tennis game. — Harry Newton.