Such an odd end to the year. Driving up to an empty ghost town with trash bags of locker contents distributed outside.
I’ll offer a few, hoping to get some good suggestions.
1.) Afterlife (Netflix) is best thing Ricky Gervais has done in years. It has his typical pace, so slow, awkward. But it has a huge heart, and very human. And some great views of Hemel Hempstead, London’s best town. It’s a show about grieving that somehow ends up uplifting.
2.) The Plot Against America (HBO). Wow. This is intense, and perhaps a bit too real. David Simon is the best tv writer of a generation. John Turturro is an amazing actor. Like everything from Simon not an easy, light watch. But very well done.
3.) The Leftovers (HBO). Uneven, up and down during its run. But the last season is really really really great tv. Just like The Wire is what Homicide should have been, this is what Lost should have been. If you even sorta liked Lost you’ll want to watch this until the end. And both Justin Theroux and Carrie Coon are really good.
(None of these are for the family)
So what should I watch next?
For those with time on their hands (and, well, that’s everyone, huh?) I was a guest on Motley Fool’s Industry Focus podcast discussing the current environment and transport/aerospace stocks in particular.
Carole Brookins was a commodities trader in Chicago who in 1980 realized the massive gap in info/understanding between markets and government folks, and capitalized on it by forming her own company. She went on to serve as executive director of the World Bank. A hellova career by any standard.
One summer during college I worked for her at World Perspectives. Total nepotism thing. I’ve never been less qualified for anything in my life. But Carole was kind and patient and I learned more about markets and econ and so many things that summer from her and her crew than from any other experience in my life. She was passionate and quirky and amazing and so many more adjectives.
When I graduated from college Carole gifted me a travel wallet, with an assortment of currencies from various countries (yes, pre Euro. I’m old) and a note that basically said “now go use these.” I cashed them in, and probably bought beer instead. But her perspective, her world perspective, has stayed with me. She will be missed.
Here is one Fool’s thoughts on how to stay in control of your emotions at a time of chaos and fear.
Please, whatever you do, don’t cash out your 401(k).
Throw in fall colours, and there’s no better excuse to get lost in the woods.
What does one even begin to make of this?
With all respect to Katia Porzecanski, who is just doing her job, this could not be more wrong. Just as it was wrong to write it when Leon Cooperman said something similar last month. The noise you hear isn’t a market prediction, it is a couple of old blowhards flapping their jaws as if they were in the steam room at the country club trying to get reactions from the other members. Reporters would be wise to ignore.
These guys have trading in their blood. And traders dream of 25% price moves. If Cooperman or Paul Tudor Jones really thought the market would move 25% on a Warren presidency, they’d position their portfolios accordingly and spend every waking hour of the next year getting Warren elected. It is who they are.
Even if you don’t believe me, you should know this sort of dramatic, over-the-top pontification is malarkey. Just as it was less than three years ago when it was said that a win by the current White House occupant was going to cause the markets to plunge. Try as Trump has over the last few years, and damnit it does appear he is trying, the markets are hanging in there pretty well.
The reason is simple: It’s really hard to forecast future price movement. Especially over the short-term. I’ll confidently tell you that over 30 or 40 years the S&P 500 will appreciate significantly. But if I, or Leon Cooperman or Paul Tudor Jones or Warren Buffett or anyone tries to tell you what is going to happen in the next year or 18 months, or what will happen in response to some other event, run away and cover your ears. And the more specific the prediction is, say 25%, for example, the faster you should run.
(Warren Buffett to his credit tries to avoid these sorts of predictions for exactly these reasons.)
The truth is always more complicated than the soundbite. Even if Warren is elected and decides she does want to go pure pinko Venezuela socialism on day one bureaucracy, the courts, gridlock in Congress (including many from her own party) and a million other things will prevent that from happening. And whatever she does want to do, businesses will adjust to it, just as they have attempted to adjust to the current occupant of the White House.
Paul Tudor Jones, Leon Cooperman, and the rest of the gang know that investing is hard. They count on it being hard. That’s how they can justify charging insane investment fees. They know better than anyone that BS predictions like the headline above are, well, BS. Don’t fall for it.