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Our incredible boom. Why not to buy Chinese stocks. How not to get hit by ransomware. Reasons to play tennis. How to win the lottery in Arkansas (Yes, you can).

I drove to the tennis court early this morning and noticed:

Daffodils. They’re everywhere.

Deer. They’re everywhere.

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Help wanted signs. They’re everywhere.

Factset reports today:

S&P 500 Likely to Report Highest Earnings Growth in More Than 10 Years in Q1

As of today, the S&P 500 is expected to report (year over-year) earnings growth of 24.5% for the first quarter.

This economy is on a tear. I can’t predict that our stocks will continue on their most recent tear.

But 2021 sure is looking good.

The world is changing

It’s urgent to figure out what not to invest in. What with technology,  new startups, new politics, etc. Old industries are being killed over night. It’s very fast.

It’s a critical part of my investing philosophy to list industries and companies not to invest in.

Uber killed the taxi business in New York City (and probably elsewhere). Amazon is killing retail. Car dealerships are soon to be killed by electric cars which are being sold direct and need almost no service. Brooks Brothers just died because no one wears a suit.

I wouldn’t touch a Chinese stock, given the dictator (Xi) who’s running China in crazy ways. Here’s a chart showing key China stocks. They’re virtually all down YTD, and going lower (my prediction).

The shortage of hired help. It’s desperate

Click below on this great TikTok.

My friend’s company got hit by ransomware

Points:

+ Most ransomware comes via incoming emails. Train your people to spot strange emails, strange attachments, strange links to weird websites. Above all, does the incoming email make sense? You really did win that lottery in Ethiopia? (That’s a real story.)

+ If you’re not expecting it, don’t open an attachment. Good idea: Call the sender and ask if the attachment is OK?

+ No matter how much you protect yourself, you’re likely to get hit again. Keep training your people.

+ Back up to the cloud. After interviewing my friend’s brilliant IT director, I’m expanding my own personal backup strategy. I now have three laptops running all my software. They have copies of all my files. I back up to each.

+ As of this weekend, I’m backing up to the cloud. He recommends Carbonite, CrashPlan and Backblaze. I’ll probably go with Carbonite this weekend. He likes Carbonite the best.

Reasons I play tennis

+ Great thinking game. “How do I kill the a**hole on the other side?”

+ I’m running around, chasing a ball. And I’m also getting exercise. Yipee.

+ It’s fast. Golf is an eternity. Tennis is over in 90 minutes.

Here are reasons from a place called Paspa Physical Therapy:

16 Reasons Why You Should Play Tennis for Your Health

Did you know that…

  • People who participate in tennis 3 hours per week (at moderately vigorous intensity) cut their risk of death in half from any cause? (Research according to physician Ralph Paffenbarger who studied over 10,000 people over a period of 20 years.)
  • Tennis players scored higher in vigor, optimism, and self-esteem while scoring lower in depression, anger, confusion, anxiety, and tension than other athletes and non-athletes? (Research according to Dr. Joan Finn and colleagues at Southern Connecticut State University.)

Click here.

Gambling in Arkansas

A gas station owner in Arkansas was trying to increase his sales. So he put up a sign that read: “Free Sex with Fill-Up, just guess the right number between 1 and 10.”

A local redneck pulled in, filled his tank and asked for his Free Sex.

The owner told him to pick a number from 1 to 10. If he guessed correctly he would get his Free Sex. The redneck guessed 8, and the proprietor said, “You were close. The number was 7. Sorry. No Free Sex this time.”

A week later, the same redneck, along with his brother pulled in for another fill-up. Again he asked for his Free Sex. The proprietor again gave him the same story, and asked him to guess the correct number.

The redneck guessed 2 this time.

The proprietor said, “Sorry, it was 3. You were close, but no Free Sex this time.”

As they were driving away, the redneck said to his brother, “I think that game is rigged. I don’t think he really gives away Free Sex.”

His brother replied, “It ain’t no BS Billy, It’s not rigged. My wife won twice…

This weekend

My goal is to lose some of the eight pounds I’ve put on since March 14 last year when we fled the city.

I have no idea how I’ll do that. I’d like my weight to look like Viacom’s stock price.

My God, it’s still going down. Someone did a real number on that poor company. Beware of hedge funds that “juice” up their returns with excessive margin borrowing.