NewsLetter - April 2023
I HAD NO IDEA
Bald eagle nests are generally 5 feet wide and 3 feet deep. The largest recorded bald eagle nest was 9.5 feet in diameter, 20 feet deep, and weighed almost 6,000 pounds!
UNDER THE RADAR
This is very cool!
NARM reciprocal benefits include* free/members admission price, discounts in the shop, and discounts on ticketed events at all NARM member organizations! There are more than 1,000 member institutions in 6 different countries.
WHO’S ON FIRST?
If somehow you missed seeing this, here’s your chance:
PENNY WISE, POUND FOOLISH
When writing about fund performance I often reference the “tax-cost” ratio but I’m not sure many readers really appreciate the importance of this metric. Russell Investments did an excellent job of explaining the importance and I’ve included an excerpt below.
Financial Advisor IQ
I ALWAYS WONDER…
…when I see a story or ad like this, why are they still working for a living?
How to Trade Stocks and Make Money Like a Pro
“Even beginner investors can trade stocks and make money like a pro…
For pro investors, the quality of stock research makes the difference. TipRanks provides the tools and insights to help you research stocks and invest like a pro.”
NICE ROUND NUMBER
Beyoncé has charged $24 million to perform at the opening of Dubai’s Atlantis The Royal luxury hotel.
And that’s not all. Naturally, she’s staying in the luxurious $100,000 per night room at Dubai’s Atlantis The Royal – spread across 11,000 sq. ft. The two-level penthouse is the world’s largest and most expensive hotel room.
Take a look at Beyonce’s ridiculously luxurious $100,000 per night room at Dubai’s Atlantis Royal – Spread across 11,000 sq.ft. the two-level penthouse is the world’s largest and most expensive hotel room | Luxurylaunches
I REMEMBER, DO YOU?
A VW was my first car – 1962.
MORE GOOD TIMES
For those of you who remember…
From my friend Michael Kitces
The brokerage industry is pushing for “disclosure” to be the “answer” to protecting investors. Michael reminds us…
Disclosure doesn’t build trust; it just provides a list of reasons why people shouldn’t trust you.
I’m just glad they weren’t in my class
AND THAT’S PROBABLY GOING TO BE YESTERDAY’S NEWS
“So absurd”: Bernie Sanders says the top 15 hedge fund managers earn more than all the kindergarten teachers in the US.
HOW MUCH IS A ROOM FOR SUPERBOWL?
A Motel 6 near State Farm Stadium in Glendale starts at $854 a night.
I can’t believe that with 40+ years in the profession I didn’t know the simple answer to “risk-free” investing.
“This stock screener analyzes stocks and the market to help you make risk-free investments.”
And a lifetime subscription is ONLY $119.99!
YOU FREAKIN’ IDIOTS
Although I don’t think much of David Ramsey’s advice, I’m on board with this sentiment.
The New York Times recently uncovered that at least eight universities have partnered with online sports-betting companies, while at least a dozen athletic departments and booster clubs have signed agreements with brick-and-mortar casinos.
Personal finance author and radio host Dave Ramsey lambasted the institutions on The Ramsey Show. “You freakin’ idiots … Selling out your own students who you’re supposed to be caring for,” said Ramsey.
Universities listed in the article include Syracuse, L.S.U., University of Maryland, Michigan State, University of Colorado Boulder, University of Nevada Las Vegas, and TCU Ft. Worth.
DUCK & COVER
One of the less good memories of the Fabulous Fifties … and yes, I do remember.
BEFORE YOU DIS US OLD FOLKS, REMEMBER…
50 years ago the owner’s manual of a car showed you how to adjust the valves. Today it warns you not to drink the contents of the battery.
MORE GOOD ADVICE
How to Ride Out a Turbulent Market
· Don’t try to time the market.
· Do take some stock market risk.
· Don’t reach for unsafe yields.
· Don’t keep all of your money in cash.
· Finally, remember the words of Nobel laureate Paul Samuelson – “Investing should be more like watching paint dry or watching grass grow.”
Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia is one of the longest words in the dictionary — and, in an ironic twist, it’s the name for a fear of long words.
Must be nice to have pockets deep enough to pay this off.
The Life-Saving Acronym to Remember if Someone Has a Stroke
COULDN’T AGREE MORE
THE 5 HABITS PEOPLE WITH NEAR-PERFECT CREDIT SCORES HAVE
The story left the main one out – Lots of money.
Can you believe…
· 350 slices of pizza are eaten each second in the U.S.
· About 13% of Americans eat pizza on any given day.
· The first known documentation of the word “pizza” is from 997 C.E.
· The most expensive pizza in the world costs almost 9,000 pounds
· The world record for the largest pizza is 122 feet, 8 inches in diameter.
· One 18” pizza gives you more pizza than two 12” pizzas.
· $38 billion worth of pizzas are sold annually in the U.S.
· 3 billion pizzas are sold in the U.S. each year.
· 93% of Americans have at least one slice of pizza per month.
· There are approximately 70,000 pizzerias in the U.S.
· The average American eats more than 23 pounds of pizza a year.
I know what I’m having for dinner…
Check for any unclaimed property at Unclaimed.org. This allows them to search for property, from trust proceeds to dividend checks, that is yours but currently sits in government coffers because it has not yet been claimed.
MY GOOD DEED FOR THE DAY
NOT A FAN
As my readers know, I’ve not been a fan of Ms. Wood. But I must admit, so far, it’s looking good.
Elon Musk fan Cathie Wood seized a sizable chunk of Tesla stock (TSLA) late Wednesday after the stock extended a recent skid to its lowest level in more than two years.
ARK Invest, Wood’s investment management firm, snapped up 74,862 shares of the electric-vehicle maker across three of her exchange-traded funds… The purchase was valued at around $11.7 million.
Purchased at about $157 and, as I write this (3/29), TELSA is trading at about $194 and ARKK is up from about $34 to $39 … I’m still not a fan.
I MAY BE WRONG
But I’m in good company.
Morningstar analyst Robby Greengold described Wood’s decision to double down on a shrinking number of highly volatile stocks in “hopes of a repeat of 2020” as “perilous.” He accused her of saddling “the portfolio with greater risk by slashing its number of stocks to 35 from 60 less than a year ago—thereby amplifying stock-specific risk.”
Another serious criticism is that the firm “has no risk-management personnel.” In his scathing piece, Greengold also argued that Wood’s methodology, or absence of an established investment process, is seriously flawed due to its “reliance on her instincts to construct the portfolio,” which he termed a liability…
Yet another factor behind the downgrade was that the ARK complex’s holdings tend to be in companies that are “often unprofitable” and whose “stock prices are highly correlated”—a dangerous combination.
Greengold also charged that ARK has “in place a poor succession plan for the 66-year-old Wood, who is essential as the firm’s majority owner and lone portfolio manager.”
MORE SIGNS CONTINUED
“Amateur trader Omar Ghias says he amassed roughly $1.5 million as stocks surged during the early part of the pandemic, gripped by a speculative fervor that cascaded across all markets.
As his gains swelled, so did his spending on everything from sports betting and bars to luxury cars. He says he also borrowed heavily to amplify his positions.
When the party ended, his fortune evaporated thanks to some wrong-way bets and his excessive spending. To support himself, he says he now works at a deli in Las Vegas, which pays him roughly $14 an hour plus tips, and sells area timeshares. He says he no longer has any money invested in the market…
During the pandemic lockdowns in 2020 and 2021, scores of Americans got hooked on trading stocks, options and cryptocurrencies, driving up shares of companies that were once left for dead. Now some of these so-called retail investors are backing away from the markets after the worst year for stocks since 2008. Others are paring their positions or shifting their money to more conservative holdings, such as bonds or cash…
The average individual investor’s portfolio has declined 27% since peaking in December 2021, according to estimates from Vanda Research, compared with the S&P 500’s roughly 13% decline over the same period.”
You’ve got to love hindsight.
ANOTHER GOOD GIG
Because each team has two drivers, there have been a total of 20 drivers in a Formula 1 Grand Prix each year since 2017. Here are the salaries, countries of origin, sponsors, and car numbers for the drivers in 2022, according to Spotrac:
1. Lewis Hamilton, U.K. (Mercedes, #44) – $40 million
2. Max Verstappen, Belgium (Red Bull Racing, #1) – $25 million
3. Fernando Alonso, Spain (Alpine, #14) – $20 million
4. Lando Norris, U.K. (McLaren, #4) – $20 million
5. Sebastian Vettel, Germany (Aston Martin, #5) – $15 million
6. Daniel Ricciardo, Australia (McLaren, #3) – $15 million
7. Charles Leclerc, Monaco (Ferrari, #16) – $12 million
8. Valtteri Bottas, Finland (Alfa Romeo, #77) – $10 million
9. Lance Stroll, Canada (Aston Martin, #18) – $10 million
10. Carlos Sainz Jr., Spain (Ferrari, #55) – $10 million
A flock of flamingos is called a flamboyance. The name for a collective group of rhinoceroses is called a crash. The collective name for a group of unicorns (something you don’t see very often) is called a blessing.
AND I HAVE A HOME FOR THEM
Plenty of room to spread out.
7 beds, 11 baths, 17,545 sq. ft. and only $250,000,000.
The Penthouse at Central Park Tower occupies the top three floors of one of the most significant buildings on Billionaires’ Row. Each floor has its separate entry and each room offers incomparable views of the skyline.
From my friend Leon
I’D RATHER HAVE A GOOD BOTTLE OF WINE
“The world’s most expensive water is like a glittering oxymoron selling for $4.6 million… Acqua di Cristallo Tributo a Modigliani is water sourced from Fiji and France’s natural springs and contains actual glacier water from Iceland. There’s glitz inside as well, owing to 5mg of 23 karat gold dust sprinkled into the water.”
Still seems a tad pricey.
What’s worse than watching your mutual fund investments decline in value? Getting hit with a big tax bill too.
Mutual Funds come with, for many, the hidden risk of having an unexpected tax bill even if the fund lost money and the owner did not sell any of the fund during the year. It’s a special risk for funds with active management and/or unsophisticated investors who bail based on short-term losses.
IT COULD BE WORSE
This is worse than Ithaca and I guess I won’t complain about Lubbock weather.
TIME MATTERS AND PATIENCE AND DIVERSIFICATION WORK.
From JP Morgan’s 2Q 2023 always excellent Guide to the Markets
SMART, NOT BRILLIANT
SOME GOOD NEWS
Although I remain a skeptic, there was some good news for Bitcoin (at least in late January when this article came out).
Goldman Sachs ranks Bitcoin as the best-performing asset of 2023.
I THOUGHT I HAD STRONG OPINIONS ABOUT CRYPTO
Legendary investor Charlie Munger pulled no punches when it came to offering his latest anti-cryptocurrency views.
In Munger's opinion, traditional currencies have helped turn man “from a successful ape to a [successful] human,” he said during the Daily Journal’s shareholder meeting in Los Angeles on Wednesday. Munger said claims that cryptocurrencies can replace national currencies are the equivalent of saying that air can be replaced.
“It isn’t even slightly stupid, it’s massively stupid, and of course it’s very dangerous, and of course the governments were totally wrong to permit it…
“And, of course, I am not proud of my country for allowing this crap—well, I call it crypto shit. It’s worthless, it’s crazy, it’s not good, it’ll do nothing but harm, it’s antisocial to allow it.
“I think the people that oppose my position are idiots.”
NO IDEA WHAT THIS IS
But sounds like an “amazing” opportunity. NOT!
SOME PARTING WORDS OF WARNING
Exercise Caution with Crypto Asset Securities: Investor Alert
March 23, 2023
TLDR: The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy continues to urge investors to be cautious if considering an investment involving crypto asset securities. Investments in crypto asset securities can be exceptionally volatile and speculative, and the platforms where investors buy, sell, borrow, or lend these securities may lack important protections for investors. The risk of loss for individual investors who participate in transactions involving crypto assets, including crypto asset securities, remains significant. The only money you should put at risk with any speculative investment is money you can afford to lose entirely.
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