Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Thoughts on October 9th --- age, luck, intuition...

---Not to be morbid, but there are days, not infrequent, when one of the most interesting parts of the New York Times are the obituary pages.  There are lengthy obits of people not so well known but important, with plenty of history to cover.  Today there is Beverly Watkins, an Atlanta based blues guitarist who worked since the 1950's with bands backing various blues and soul artists, and played in bars at nights for many years while "cleaning houses and offices and working at carwashes during the day".  She had her first album at 60, and won an award for best new artist at age 62.  Another is about Gunter Kunert, unknown here, who was an East German writer of satiric novels who was allowed by that government to spend 1972 as a guest professor at the University of Texas.  Calling himself a "cheerful melancholic", he later emigrated to the U.S. and taught at several other colleges.  Then there is Wayne Fitzgerald who spent a successful career making the opening sequence of movies and t.v. shows, including some of the most famous soap operas, no doubt watched by my grandmother, her "stories".  The most fascinating one today is about Pierre Le-Tan, a Paris based artist who did everything from "The New Yorker" covers to advertisements for chic French brands, covers for books by well known writers, and paintings that hang in museums in Europe.

Only very rarely do I find an NYT obit of someone that I personally knew, but at times of people that are related to others that I had contact with, often in business.  My age must have something to do with these observations?

---Along that tangent, while watching the financial and market news these days I occasionally notice people that are related to people that have been part of my circle in the past.  Today that observation was almost certain.  A fund manager at a mid-sized but highly regarded asset management firm was being interviewed on CNBC this morning.  Her parents worked at MHT.  Her last name matched.  She looked like her mother, good thing, and hair was identical.  She had the slight but unmistakable accent of someone who grew up in Minnesota.  I listened to her comments carefully as my inclination was that she was astute.  Another example, a senior fund manager at a major east coast asset manager is related to friends from the 1970's.  I never knew him, but I was making a pitch at this firm when he was much younger and in attendance with others.  Researching today a company based in Louisville, I noticed that his firm was one of the major holders.  Guess he should have some long term insight?

That said, there are some investors still around that were known relatively well;  Miller, Danoff, Pohl,  Gendell, to a lesser extent Cooperman and a few others. Watching what they do is of interest, but not necessarily what is followed.

---The financial markets remain volatile, and unpredictable as a whole.  Investors and analysts on news programs have opinions:  "Europe is where to invest now";  "Value stocks are back";  "Emerging market bonds are an opportunity, or not";  "Health care is a demographic imperative, must buy";  "Small caps are dangerous, no flexibility in a downturn";  and on and on.  Only thing to do is invest in personally researched companies and ignore the chatter, my thought for the day.  BUT, dry powder is important as is diversification.  These are just reminders to myself, back to that age thing!

Luck helps. I like to call that intuition


Post a Comment

<< Home