01-JANUARY 26-2022

Lookin' Good, Frosty!Good morning.
In spite of 7 percent inflation rates right now, consumers are continuing to spend.  While their overall confidence has dropped, the actual spending itself shows that the economy, largely dominated by such spending, is likely to continue moving higher this year.
If inflation rates start to decline in the coming months, the market could be setting up for a solid return as the current fears abate.  Given the latest data showing that consumers continue to be interested in buying homes, automobiles, and appliances this year, even a small change higher in interest rates will unlikely derail the economy’s growth – and could even help fuel a further surge higher when inflation rates start to drop.

Now here’s the rest of the news:

China’s Real Estate Bubble Reaches Jaw-Dropping Levels
As of 2016, China’s empty apartment units could house New York City 27 times over.  What does this mean for America and the world given the already high state of inflation?  Could a collapse in China trigger the next American depression? [Read Here]

Inflation Endangers The United States Oil Supply
The United States booked a 7-percent inflation rate for December, which was the highest in four decades.  The oil price rise really could not have come at a worse time for central banks, which are preparing to start winding down the… [Read Here]

 

January 26, 2021

Bad looking bathing suitGood morning.
Shares of Gamestop (GME) were halted not just once, but twice on Monday.  The stock hit a price of $158 in trading, then dropped down to a more modest return for the day closer to $77, or 50 percent off.  That kind of parabolic move higher is great if you’re already in the trade, but jumping in now can be a headache, as the buyer of GME shares at $158 can attest, having lost half their money on the trade in just a few short hours.
To win in the game of the short squeeze, you have to identify the trade early, and have the patience to let the squeeze get started, then be willing to take a profit when there’s still a lot of potential left in the trade — since it’s like a game of hot potato or musical chairs that may end abruptly.  Just ask traders of Bitcoin in 2017, gold in 2011, or tulips in 1637.

Now here’s the rest of the news:

Desperate governments do desperate things.
If you had any doubt whether or not the new Biden administration would look for radical new ways to grab more money… Look no further.
Last week, Biden’s new Treasury Secretary discussed a proposal that is sending shockwaves through the financial industry.  Janet Yellen (former head of the Fed and current Biden nominee to head the Treasury) dropped a bombshell on U.S. investors when she said she will consider proposals to tax “unrealized gains” in the stock market.  In other words…
You might soon pay taxes on all your stock market gains… year after year… even if you never plan to sell!

January 26, 2020

Shootin' the MessengerCreate New Habits

New year, new you, right?  Darn tootin’!  If you really want to tum over a new leaf, the first step is to focus on daily habits and making small, consistent improvements.  We know that does not sound nearly as sexy as a grandiose resolution, but we all know how those typically pan out.
Believe it or not, research tells us that about 45% of what we do on a daily basis is habit driven.  In essence, habits, which are responses to specific triggers that are semi-automated, form the foundation for a tremendous chunk of our day-to-day behavior.
The roots of habits — both good and bad — run deep.  According to BJ Fogg and Charles Duhigg, experts in behavioral change and habit formation, identifying triggers that drive our habits is the key to making a successful change.  According to Duhigg, all habits are created to produce a reward, and there are three main parts to a feedback loop:

      • First, a cue or trigger occurs that makes us anticipate a coming reward.
      • Next, we have a routine that has been automated to obtain the reward.
      • Finally, we obtain the reward.

According to BJ Fogg, successful behavior change requires Motivation to change, the Ability to make the change, and the understanding of the Triggers that either promote or derail the formation of a new habit.  The blueprint for making a new good habit, according to researchers, has seven steps.

1. Keep it simple.  A small, achievable, and simple goal will move us closer to the ultimate reward we are seeking.  To paraphrase James Clear, tiny changes yield remarkable results.

2. Identify triggers.  By identifying the triggers that make the habit more or less successful, we can influence how likely a new habit will be to form.  If you want to exercise in the morning, lay out your clothes and shoes the night before to increase your likelihood of working out.

3. Give it a week or more.  The average new habit takes 66 days to establish and to move it to the background of our brain where it becomes automated.  By tracking consistency, we create a second complementary habit — the habit of a streak.  The longer a streak persists, the less likely we are to break it.

4. Expect setbacks.  Many perceive the end of a streak as a failure, which results in giving up on the good habit, or worse, picking up a bad habit.  Setbacks are part of the process.  Don’t get discouraged and don’t give up.  What can you learn from the setback?

5. Remove negative triggers.  Triggers work both ways, and the more we learn about our triggers, the easier it can be to avoid a cue that stops our progress.

6. Don’t go at it alone.  Change can be hard, really hard.  Surrounding ourselves with a group who has already made the same or similar changes we are working to make can support us through the early stages of habit formation and help keep us accountable.

7. Build on successes.  While it’s important to start simple, as those small habits become automated, you have to progressively move the target and continue to build on positive change.

“The only secret behind a good day is a good attitude.”  🙂

January 26, 2019

Which Is It Need or Greed … on this Saturday afternoon?  I am expressing my voracious appetite to read, and to study ‘the masters’.  Today it’s Brian Tracy.

My friend Brian Tracy says: ”Successful people are always looking for opportu-nities to help others.  Unsuccessful people are always asking, ‘What’s in it for me.’”  😉

Our materialistic society preaches to accumulate more.  We “need” a bigger house, a bigger car, a bigger TV.  We see other people with more stuff, and we want more.

Let’s face it: few of us would ever turn down a pay increase.  It’s natural to want more.  The quandary lies in when deciding how much more is enough.  There’s no crime in accumulating money or things.  The problem arises when the quest for more dominates all else.

The Merriam-Webster definition describes greed as “a selfish and excessive desire for more of something than is needed.”  The key word is excessive.

Greed doesn’t necessarily only relate to money.  Any time someone wants more than their fair share or has a strong desire to accumulate something, especially at the expense of others or if there is only so much to go around, is an example of greed.  

Greed is one of the seven deadly sins, along with gluttony, lust, sloth, pride, envy and anger.  Each of those also relates to greed: Greed is the gluttony of stuff.  Greed is the lust for stuff.  Greed is sloth that becomes a thoughtless consumer.  Greed is the pride of having stuff.  Greed is the envy of those who have stuff.  Greed is the anger that believes we have the right to possess.  Greed is destructive.

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Come From Aways, Do You?

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05-MAY 13-2022

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05-MAY 12-2022

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05-MAY 10-2022

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05-MAY 09-2022

Good morning. People don’t mind inflation when it hits things like assets.  When stocks and home prices are rising, consumers feel wealthier.  This “wealth effect” tends to be beneficial to spending, which then become a self-fulfilling prophecy. The 2009-2020 market rally started with this effect.  The bank bailouts propped up the banks, but didn’t cause inflation on Main Street.  Today, thanks to the stimulus measures during the pandemic, Main Street went on a spending binge.  That’s caused a reverse wealth effect as the prices of goods like food and utilities are rising at a rapid rate — but now asset

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