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09-SEPTEMBER 28-2023

AlienGood morning.  The volatility index, or VIX, is a popular tool for measuring how calm or wild markets have been.  Following last week’s drop, the VIX popped up to about 19.  Historically, that’s close to its long-term average.  It’s also a 45 percent jump from where it traded the week before.
That suggests the market may pause for a while here before making its next move.  And that it’s not the time to buy cheap options to protect yourself quite yet.
Traders can still take advantage of relatively high volatility today.  But buying inexpensive put options to protect against a further market decline will have to wait for a market pause first.

Now here’s the rest of the news:

UN Leader Calls for Massive Fossil Fuel Changes
“Humanity has opened the gates to hell.  Horrendous heat is having horrendous effects.”  So said António Guterres, the secretary-general of the United Nations, in his opening remarks to the Climate Ambition Summit… [Read Here]

Cash To Be Abolished Using CBDCs
The world is headed toward Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) and everybody knows it, even the people who don’t want them (which at the moment looks to be most people)… [Read Here]

September 28, 2022

pass interferenceGood morning.
One benefit to the slowing economy has been the big drop in oil prices.  After peaking at nearly $125 per barrel at the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, oil prices have managed to slide under $80, even as the US dollar that oil is measured in has soared in foreign exchange markets.
However, that may not last long. Russia is proposing that OPEC+ address the drop in prices with a 1 million barrel per day cut in production.  It’s also likely that as prices head lower, marginal producer will have to shut down.
Investors can likely see some continued volatility in the energy markets, but we may be nearing the low of a range and setting up for a bounce here.  That can give traders some opportunities going long stocks in today’s bearish market.

Now here’s the rest of the news:

Crash Alert – What the Smart Money Is Doing
We already know from last week that Powell’s Fed pledged to keep raising interest rates to combat inflation.  That’s a problem for the stock market.  Stocks and corporate bonds have been… [Read Here]

Top Economist Reveals What Comes Next
Surveying the current condition of the financial markets, we presently observe a combination of still historically-extreme valuations, rising yet still only normalizing interest rates, measurably inadequate risk-premiums in both equities and bonds… [Read Here]

September 28, 2021

Business 2021Good morning.
There’s a great investment saying when buying a great company at a great price: Load the boat.  Sadly, in the global shipping market, the opposite is true right now.  A record number of ships are outside of ports, some for as long as month, waiting to unload their cargo.
With freight rates high but labor scarce, part of today’s supply chain issues entail getting cargo off of container ships.  Until the clogged ports are cleared up, supply chains will remain disrupted, which will likely impact nearly every company at some level at some point in the coming months.  This is just another reason to stay cautious overall in today’s market — and wrap up that holiday shopping as soon as possible.

Now here’s the rest of the news:

Fed Holds Interest Rates Steady, Says Tapering of Bond Buying Coming Soon –Jeff Cox, CNBC
Economic projections pointed to slower overall growth this year along with higher inflation than previously projected.  In other words, nothing’s changed… [Read Here]

U.S. Default Would End 6 Million Jobs, Wipe Out $15 Trillion in Wealth, Study Says –Jeff Stein, Philadelphia Inquirer
“This economic scenario is cataclysmic.  The downturn would be comparable to that suffered during the financial crisis” of 2008, said the report from Moody’s Analytics… [Read Here]

September 28, 2020

Any QuestionsGood morning.
Markets are showing some signs of life, largely as the S&P 500 enters into correction territory.  Twice now, the market has tested a 10 percent drop from its recent (and all-time) highs, and headed higher.
Markets usually have their worst performance in September on average, making this one of the few months of 2020 where stocks have behaved as expected.  The second worst month is historically October, and with the election coming up, investors should still expect volatility.

Now here’s the rest of the news:

Silver, Gold, Palladium or Bitcoin?
“It doesn’t take a lot of silver to make a big difference in terms of efficiency and energy around.  That’s why you see it in solar panels, in high efficiency mobile phones, mobile electronics, and as those types of issues become more important to society, silver will play a bigger and bigger role.”

September 28, 2019

“There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.” —Epictetus

3 Secrets to Happiness

One morning, a friend called me in distress about her relationship with her boyfriend.  There was one misunderstanding after another, and now they weren’t talking.  After 20 minutes we worked out a plan and I’ll share it below.  But it got me thinking about how easy it is for us to slip from what I call, The Simple & Happy Life Plan.

The source of this plan, one that has made me happier and less stressed than any other resource, is called, The Art Of Living.

lt’s a series of short lessons translated from the ancient Stoic philosopher, Epictetus, and it gave me the 3-C Formula for life:

  • happily ever afterControl what you can.
  • Cope with what you can’t.
  • Concentrate on what counts.

I take this to mean:

  • You can only control your thoughts, words and deeds.  What you say, how you think, and what you do can make a situation better or worse, so choose wisely.
  • You can’t control other people or their moods, or the weather, or traffic.  That means we must be prepared to cope with the wild and wacky ups-and-downs of friends, family, and yes, even the weather.  (Always remember: You control your reaction.  You can raise your voice, or you can be calm.  It’s your choice.)
  • You must concentrate on what counts.  Focus on what really matters in life, not the things that won’t matter in 3 months, 3 weeks, 3 days, or 3 hours from now.

But wait, what really matters?

The answer, according to science from Harvard University, is that we must focus our time and energy on people and experiences — these two things matter more than anything else in life when it comes to our happiness.

In a study that started all the way back in 1938, and has since tracked over 700 people (including JFK!), if you want to be happy, don’t chase money or fame.

Instead, spend more time with others that you love.

The most important factor in happiness, long-term health, and wellbeing is:

The strength of your relationships with your family, friends, and spouse.

happiness isThe study has also led to other interesting findings such as:

  • The #1 thing you can do for your health is to avoid smoking.
  • Alcohol was the primary cause of divorce.
  • Alcohol abuse often precedes depression.

But most importantly…

“The people in the strongest relationships were protected against chronic disease, mental illness and memory decline — even if the relationships had ups and downs.  Those good relationships don’t have to be smooth all the time,” said Dr. Robert Waldinger, the current leader of the research study.

“Some of our octogenarian couples could bicker day in and day out.  But as long as they felt that they could really count on the other when the going got tough, those arguments didn’t take a toll on their memories.”

So what does the Harvard study suggest we do?

Well, it’s the same sort of plan I gave my friend to help her relationship… (yep, I’m a regular ol’ Dr. Phil here, ha!)

The Plan for My Friend to Regain Her Happiness & Relationship

Happiness and Relationships1. Stop trying to have the difficult conversations via email.  You must talk things through face-to-face.  When he gets home tonight, go for a walk.  We communicate — and understand one another — better in person, especially when the conversations are difficult.

2. Once you sort out the issue, do something new together.  The Harvard study recommends livening up stale relationships with long walks or date nights.  My good friends, Bedros and Di Keuilian, go out every Tuesday for a date night.  It’s one of the foundations of their strong marriage.

3. Don’t ignore conflict.  The old saying about “Never go to bed mad” is great advice that stands the test of time.  This goes for family relationships, too.  According to the Harvard study, we should “reach out to the family member we haven’t spoken to in years — because those family feuds take a terrible toll on the people who hold the grudges.”

No one’s perfect, myself included, and we won’t ever live a life free of conflict, but as long as we work to strengthen the relationships with our loved ones, and focus on people and experiences, we’ll live a long, satisfied, and healthy life…  😉

Come From Aways, Do You?

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