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March 22, 2019

Beware the Guarantees

We all know them, the late night TV ads that spur us on to buy the golf chipper that is “guaranteed” to get you out of the sand or the “guaranteed” weight loss pill that will change your life with three easy payments. What was interesting about the recent school admissions scandal was the way Rick Singer, college placement specialist to the elite, sold the idea of “guaranteed” admission to your school of choice as opposed to putting the child in the best position to be admitted. Guaranteed, on top of a tax write-off for the bribes, pushed these elites to make gross moral choices and now the wrath of the nation and the legal system. When investing, beware of the guarantees, think Madoff and never a losing month, or other Ponzi type schemes, because as they are finding out in Hollywood, the fact is more powerful than the fiction.
March 13, 2019

American Dream Alive and Well

This week Forbes named Kylie Jenner the youngest billionaire ever as she achieved this feat at the mere age of 21. The youngest of the provocative Kardashian clan, the new mother has been promoting her make-up line since she was 13 and with 125 million followers on Instagram, she has harnessed the exponential power of social media. Congratulations to Kylie, who had to grow up in what can only be described as an “off-beat” family that was broadcast live for the world to see. As for compounding, at 8% a year, Kylie will hit $25 billion by the time she is her mother’s age of 63 without adding another dollar. Go girl.
February 13, 2019

Feel the Burn

With yesterday’s announcement that Peloton, the “best cardio machine on the planet” according to Men’s Health, is interviewing banks this week in anticipation of going public later this year, the IPO market is heating up to a sweat. With expected IPO’s from Uber, Lyft, and Slack Technologies, 2019 could go down as the biggest year in dollar terms since the halcyon days of 2000. This is also happening while the government has been shut down, putting a stop to IPO’s for that period of time. Wall Street likes big deals, so we should keep an eye on the big bank stocks. Systematic exercise combined with systematic investing, now feel the burn.
January 28, 2019

Big Up in Smoke

In 2018, the best performing national market according to Bloomberg was Jamaica, up about 28% in US dollars. Now granted, this is a very small market and there are zero Jamaican stocks in US exchange traded funds, but this does point to the fact that as investors we have to continue to look for the best opportunities around the world. Our 328 million people in the US represents less than 5% of the over 7 billion people in the world, so there is and will be opportunities in international and emerging markets for stocks and bonds. “Ya mon, money flows to where it is treated best.”
January 2, 2019

Average Achievers vs. High Achievers

Average achievers tell themselves ”I can only do a little so I might as well do nothing.” High achievers say to themselves, “Even if I can only do a little, I’m going to do as much as I can.” You may not have the whole day, but you have 15 minutes. Put those minutes to good use. They are the little things that will take you to your goals. As the late Zig Ziglar pointed out, “I lost 37 pounds in ten months by losing 1.9 ounces- per day. I wrote ‘See You At The Top,’ a 384 page, 2 million copy best seller, by writing an average of 1.26 pages every day for ten months. People who are successful at whatever they do, reach their objectives, by a series of little things they do every day.” Daily discipline adds up. Ever watch a  small drip of water into a bucket?  Come back 4 days later and that empty bucket is now overflowing. Drip drip drip. Small repeating habits; it’s the stuff winners are made of.