Sunday, November 18, 2018

A few comments...

---It seems here that there is no leadership to this equity market.  No idea here what tomorrow may bring, and that seems to be the case broadly when listening to market talk during the weekend.  Of note, few really smart analysts and investors are talking, and the ones that do appear to be cautious.  Generally that means that they are not positive about near term market direction, but don't want talk down their own existing holdings.  The view here is that there is too much money looking for a home, one that offers the potential for capital gains or an adequate yield.  This is all short term talk but, as has been said before, the long term is just a series of short terms.  With a strong economy right now, will we soon be looking in the rear view mirror?  The debate now is whether global growth is slowing as tariffs, failed cooperation agreements, and chaotic U.S. "diplomacy" are finally having an impact.

---As we approach year end, the solicitations from various charities begins to increase.  They are acutely aware that potential donors are looking at their capacity to give, and their tax accountant's ability to improve their tax position.  It's tax avoidance really, but the rules are there to be followed.  Especially beneficial can be the donation of appreciated stock, and it can be a windfall for both the charity and the donor.  So "Doing the Most Good", "Fighting Hate, Teaching Tolerance, Seeking Justice", and other good causes are filling the mailbox, and sending donors back to their records to remember what's already been done.  One received today gave the option of checking the donation box of  $2000, $3000, or $4000, as well as an "other" at least.  Pushing your luck folks, that comes off as beyond presumptuous.

---Today and yesterday, New York resident Andrew Stein has been in the print news and on cable.  It's been a while since this ambitious rich Kennedy wannabe tried to act important.  He never has been, but why stop trying now.  He is much older and has a new rug that can only be called comical, about the only change.  His father's cronies fed him viable issues for years that he would find a way to bungle.  He now heads an organization called "Democrats for Trump", and predicted in a New York Times Op-Ed written with, meaning by, Mark Penn saying that Hillary would be nominated by the Democratic Party in 2020.  Only the NYT would print something by this nitwit, but they deserve a weakness like this that shows up in various ways as they are a New York institution.

Oh well.

Postscript:  Just read a comment on Fidelity's website by Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital, a long time successful fund manager.  The title is "Time for Defense" and he suggests that it is more important now to worry about not losing money than missing opportunities.  That's straightforward at least.


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