05-MAY 20-2021

The New NormalGood morning.
There’s an old saying that everyone is a genius in a bull market.  Now, with tech stocks rolling over, cryptocurrencies crashing, and the broad market flatlining on inflation fears, investors need a new strategy.
Part of that strategy is moderation.  After watching triple-digit moves in some more speculative corners in the market, many traders, particularly new ones, may have unrealistic expectations.
For a market with considerable daily volatility, now’s the time to look at opportunities in dividend-paying stocks, writing covered calls rather than making naked options trades, and looking to buy great companies when they fall to a reasonable price.  If you buy right and grow your wealth during a bear market, you’ll be on your way to trounce the next bull market.

Now here’s the rest of the news:

Soaring Inflation Changes Your “Magic Number” for Retirement
We might be looking at a rough decade (or two) ahead.  That means your magic number, a goal like “saving $1 million for retirement,” could get a lot more challenging, if it’s possible at all.  Here’s why… [Read Here]

Yes, Paul Krugman, Booms Are UnsustainableWilliam L Anderson, Mises Institute
Booms are always good, bringing prosperity, and anything that discourages prosperity is bad, end of argument.  This analysis misjudges both booms and busts… [Read Here]

May 20, 2020

More Confusion IIGood morning.
Last March, I wrote about the insider selling that has occurred in Moderna, Inc (MRNA).  That selling has continued all the way up as insiders look to capitalize on higher prices before the company reaches its tip-ping point and falls back down.
That tipping point may have finally been reached as the company announces a secondary offering on the heels of a 20% gain on news of their vaccine trial.  As the news of the offering hit the wire, it began to look a lot more suspicious and Tuesday’s STAT News report raising concerns about the trial results caused the price to sell-off along with the market.  We’re in a climate where speculators are rampant and clearly corporate leadership is trying to get theirs while they can.  It’s a pretty toxic and volatile mixture.

Now here’s the rest of the news:

The market had one of its worst first-quarter performances in history.  The reason: the COVID-19 pandemic.  The coronavirus has crippled the global economy, but for the time being, it looks as if things are calming down — all thanks to the mass quarantine and stay at home orders.
Right now, some countries are looking to turn the economy back on, such as China.  Since the world has not encountered this coronavirus pandemic before, many are questioning whether there will be a second outbreak — the coronavirus pandemic 2.0.

If the second wave of COVID-19 hits China, the market could take out recent lows.

If you look at the heatmap of the S&P 500 Index constituents… you can see there weren’t a whole lot of green stocks during Q1 2020.

Finviz Trailing 3- Month Performance on March 30, 2020
Source: Finviz Trailing 3- Month Performance on March 30, 2020

Could stocks get pummeled in Q2 2020?  I think they can, if there’s a second wave of coronavirus infections.

P.S.  I used-to-be an iffy but successful day-trader!  Now I’m more cautious and prefer-to-be a weekly trader — buying on Monday and selling on Friday.  Hindsight is perfect: 20/20, therefore, If I had bought 20k shares of AMRN (hearing bad news) at $4.70 on Monday and sold them on Friday… I might-have-made around $17,000 when they hit $5.55 … (But I didn’t).  If I had $94K hanging around… I still don’t believe I would have bitten-the-bullet…

May 20, 2019

Business Lessons: What keeps CEOs awake at night?

The results found that almost every aspect of doing business must be completely rethought for both short-term survival and long-term success. Harvard Business

The issues cited fall into three main categories: 

    1.  Continuous learning and integrating new information.
    2.  Making complex decisions and plans quickly and solving problems.
    3.  Empathy, maintaining wellness and focus.

I’m a big believer in lifelong learning.  You don’t go to school once for a lifetime; you are in school all of your life.  Companies need to create a corporate culture that strives for continuous improvement.
In his 1995 book, “Managing in a Time of Great Change,” Peter Drucker, the late, great management guru, wrote:  “It is a safe prediction that in the next 50 years, schools and universities will change more and more drastically than they have since they assumed their present form more than 300 years ago when they reorganized themselves around the printed book”.

“What will force these changes is, in part, new technology … in part, the demands of a knowledge-based society in which organized learning must become a lifelong process….”

Students and teachers at all levels have had to adjust to remote learning, and that will most definitely not be just a passing fad.  With a majority of people now working remotely, new systems have been developed in short order.  I don’t expect that to change as companies and employees recognize the benefits of working from home.
Where, you might ask, does compassion fit in business?  Will it hurt the bottom line?  Will it make our company look soft, or like a pushover?
Their answers are; at all levels, no, and definitely not.  Compassion and profitability are not mutually exclusive.  On the contrary, companies that are perceived as people-oriented and good corporate citizens have a far better chance of succeeding than those that put profits ahead of people.  In times like these, empathy will win the day.
As for wellness, personal health is important for corporate health.  Exercise is good for your mind as well as your body.  Corporate America has long endorsed fitness and physical health, but it’s done a mediocre job getting employees to buy into the whole program.
Maintaining focus may be challenging right now, but if you can focus fully on the task at hand, and shut out everything else, you can accomplish amazing things.  Focus is a topic I hear about frequently in biz.  The most common complaints?  Too many projects spinning at one time.  Too many interruptions.  Too many phone calls and emails.  Too many things to do.  Too little time.  Too many schedules to balance.  Too much uncertainty about the future.
Stay focused as best you can, and don’t let things happen to you — not when you can make things happen.

Mackay’s Moral:  It’s not about what you can’t control, it’s about what you can control.

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Come From Aways, Do You?

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