Uncertainty and Risk

This feels like a particularly risky time to me. The macro situation is not great; rising interest rates, trade tensions, saber rattling, etc. In tech we have dominant platforms extracting rents but also attracting scrutiny. Old line industries continue to struggle to adapt to new ways of doing business. And health care continues to eat up more and more of the GDP.

So what is an investor to do?

I think a barbell strategy is best in this environment. You want a healthy amount of low risk investments, like cash and low volatility cash producing assets (like real estate). And you want some risk too. I like venture capital and tech stocks, particularly ones that are not in the regulatory spotlight.

The thing about risk is that it is correlated with return over time. It is very hard to make money without taking risk. And those who tell you that they have a low risk/no risk way to make money are either lying to you or lying to themselves.

So you need to take risk. But you need to take risks you understand and avoid risks you don’t. I think there is a lot more risk in “the markets” than is priced in right now.

I don’t know if all the chickens I listed in the opening paragraph will come home to roost, or when. That is uncertainty. We have to live with the uncertainty. It’s always there.

So the stance you take is important. And I think the best stance in times like this, maybe all times, is one foot in and one foot out.

#life lessons

Comments (Archived):

  1. Frank W. Miller

    I’ve been buying back in on the dips. I’m about 20% reinvested now with the money I took out last August. I see continued downside risk being greater than upside right now, but I’m buying on the way down.

    1. Salt Shaker

      Me too (more selectively)…stupid or smart, only time will tell.

  2. Tom Labus

    Rates combined with the recent tax bill are, for me, the biggest concern. Besides being based on false economic assumption and fantasy history the bill guarantees us not just trillion dollar debt but trillion dollar debt payments. Toss in a stoppage of bond buying by China and/or Japan and we got big trouble.Plus we have an extremely unstable administration and a president who has major legal problems including a charge of treason.

    1. sigmaalgebra

      I can reduce the risk for you right away: Trump has no significant legal problems at all. Any claims that he does are just anti-Trump propaganda from (A) the Mueller witch hunt or (B) CNN, MSNBC, NYT, WaPo, mainstream media fake news. I understand that Stormy will be on 60 minutes tonight. I’m sure you will eagerly watch.For Stormy, let me give you a preview: There will be lots of innuendo, FUD, suggestions of sin and shame, a lot of strained facial expressions, likely some visible thigh and cleavage, maybe some pictures from Vegas, some good insight into the oldest profession, a lot of beautifully washed, dyed, wavy long hair, a lot of beautifully done makeup, but not so much as a single drop of any solid evidence that Trump cheated on Melania. So, the piece will get eyeballs and ad revenue but nothing, nichts, nil, nada, zip, zilch, zero at all significant about Trump.For taxes, poor people weren’t paying much anyway. Getting rid of the Obama mandate took a big load off a lot of the middle class, and that will help them meet the taxes they do have and with the rest grow the economy.For the deficit, so darned what? The solution is simple and just dirt cheap — just print the darned money. That is, “grow the balance sheet at the Fed”.Isn’t money printing bad? Depends: (A) With the money LBJ and Nixon printed to pay for the war in Viet Nam, the result was some massive inflation that finally Fed Chair Volker killed off with 22% interest rates, ruined the US S&L industry, got the wasteful LBO scam going, etc. (B) But with the money we refused to print from 10/1929 until 12/7/1941, we devastated huge fractions of the US and US families, created a gap in social and psychological capital we are still paying for, supplied the main stimulation for both Hitler and Tojo, and killed, ballpark 50 million, maybe 100 million people.October, 1929 destroyed much of the money supply. The solution was to replace the destroyed money. That was so obvious it was fully clear even in a Betty Boop cartoon. There was also a good short story. But the selfish, isolated, arrogant, ignorant power elite refused to print the money until 12/7/1942 at which time we were out of the Great Depression in 90 days flat. We could have been out in November, 1929.So roughly, if have a full employment economy and print too much money, then can cause inflation. Otherwise, there is a good chance that the economy has too little money and we need to print some.We destroyed a lot of money in the crash of 2000 and again in the crash of 2008. We still have enormous excess capacity in labor, factories, raw materials, etc. So we need to print some money.Tell the rock-ribbed, highly principled, Puritanical, FUD squad, ignorant, arrogant elites to sail their yachts across the Pacific a dozen times or so each and in the meanwhile print the darned money.The Fed’s increase in interest rates is just the Fed covering their back sides so that they won’t get blamed for printing too much money, causing a stock market bubble, causing inflation, etc. But when the US Treasury walks over to the Fed with a big box of T-bills, the Fed will buy them as usual.We have enormous forces of deflation holding down prices:(A) I’m now working with an AMD FX-8350 eight core processor with a clock of 4.0 GHz (e.g., last night I discovered that the Western Digital Data Lifeguard Tools and Acronis are now much the same — apparently Western Digital bought or cut a deal with Acronis). The current price of the FX-8350 at Amazon is about $115. When I was doing AI at IBM’s Watson lab, we had as our main computing six VM/CMS mainframes, IIRC, U, V, W, X, Y, Z, at maybe $1+ million each. Well, that FX-8350 is faster than all six of those put together. Deflation! Same for main memory, hard disk space, flash space, laser printers, video displays, keyboards, Internet data rates, operating system software, subsystem software (e.g., for database), applications software, etc. The fall in the price of a billion bytes of hard disk space has been one of the most spectacular steps forward in all of civilization, no joke. At one time the whole US long distance voice telephone network had a data rate of about, IIRC, 38 Gbps (billion bits per second). Well, JLM has 1 Gbps for his own house; so his neighborhood has more than 38 Gbps. Big, huge change.(B) Cars now run much longer with much less maintenance. Much of the reason is electronic controls for fuel and ignition. More progress is from better materials, e.g., suspension bushings, springs (fiber glass with essentially infinite fatigue life), rubber for tires, plastics, etc.(C) Voice telephone is comparatively dirt cheap, e.g., so cheap commonly we have long distance too cheap to meter.(D) Oil: In the US and the world, the real price of oil has been falling. Due to the new pipelines, opening Anwar and off-shore leases, and fracking, the US stands to be awash in cheap oil for decades.(E) Agriculture: It was 40 acres and a mule. Then it was some 100 acres and some farm machinery. Now one farmer can handle 1000 acres, maybe more, using high end farm equipment with four huge drive wheels, some with two tires each, several touch screens, GPS, good data on when and where to apply seed, herbicide, pesticide, fertilizer, etc. Chicken breeding and chicken egg production are much more efficient. Etc. Farm productivity, e.g., number of people one farmer can feed, is much higher.(F) Residential and small commercial building construction is much more efficient due to new materials and techniques. E.g., next door the house went up by placing some forms for the basement walls and then having a big truck with a long boom come in and pump the concrete into the forms. In about an hour, it was all done. The alternative would have been person-days setting concrete blocks. Then, with plywood, oriented strand particle board, laminated, engineered trusses, new glues, nail guns, PVC plumbing, vinyl siding, foam insulation, etc., net, it’s all cheaper, that is, in labor hours per house. Actually, the rest of the house was delivered on flat bed trucks in four big pieces. So, in about two hours, all four pieces were in place. Then there was some external trim to fix up and some internal connections. Presto, bingo, a nice house — it does look good.(G) The cheap computers are saving labor all across our economy. We’ve gotten rid of typewriters, many uses of paper, many bank tellers, lots of business back office paper pushing, etc. We have much less need for paper mail. Now we can shop on-line and get big savings on the costs of going to the malls. And the sellers also get big savings from fewer fancy retail stores. Advertising can be targeted to the relevant people.So, Wal-Mart is getting some robots to go down the isles and see what is short on the shelves. Okay, except due to the bar code scanning at checkout, Wal-Mart already knows just exactly what was bought, when, so has exact inventory data except for shop lifting.(H) More generally, people just learn to do things more efficiently.So, we have some massive deflation. So, we should print a lot of money and get the idle people, equipment, buildings, businesses, etc. busy.Late, breaking news, this just in as of this morning on Twitter: For the Wall, it’s a national security issue. So, have the US DoD, maybe the US Army Corps of Engineers, build it. Sorry Pelosi, Schumer, Ryan, McConnell, your slaver donors, etc. Pay for it? One way is to throttle the drug money we’ve been sending to Mexico so that in this sense Mexico pays for it. Another way is to negotiate NAFTA so that Mexico pays for it. Another way is to notice that just the savings from the costs of the crime and medical problems from the illegal opioids coming across the border will quickly pay for it.Schumer got a $60 billion tunnel. Well, call that some of the new infrastructure Trump wants.But a huge point about the Omnibus bill is what Trump is likely doing about North Korea: So, in just two words, no doubt Trump has crash programs going for both offense and defense. US national security is Trump’s first priority.Trump has already gotten some progress — Little Rocket Boy in Ping Pong Yang has done no more nuke or rocket testing. So, likely Trump made Rocket Boy an offer he couldn’t refuse. No doubt more to come. The money for that is likely much of why Trump did sign the Omnibus bill.

      1. Gregg Dourgarian

        This was brilliant. Thank you.

      2. JLM

        .Going out on a limb here.I think Trump was sexually intimate with the full breasted porn impresario, the apologetic Playboy rodent, the super model, the Southern belle, and the Olympic skier.He married 3 of them.The reality TV strumpet? No.Twelve years ago Donald Trump was promiscuous and reckless. Shame on him.This, of course, is an attempt to delegitimize Pres Trump. They are blowing their wad too early. Blows over by DJT’s re-election.Premature excoriation.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. sigmaalgebra

          I’m guessing that Trump is paying attention to timing, e.g., the importance of events and headlines in October or late September. E.g., I’m guessing that Trump wants Mueller finally to fall flat on his face, “SPLAT”, about then. And maybe Sessions will have some indictments about then. And maybe HRC will still be in India about then. And more.

        2. SubstrateUndertow

          “This, of course, is an attempt to delegitimize Pres Trump”11 dimensional chess management style he is ?So you would hire him to run your company ?

          1. JLM

            .I would hire him to run OUR country.Oh, wait. We already did.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    2. JLM

      .Treason? Really?May I call EMS for you?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. Tom Labus

        I’m good. Your guy will need it a lot sooner.

    3. LE

      Besides being based on false economic assumptionEconomics is an art not a science. As such different experts have different theories. Plus there are always reasons to do things that don’t make sense in one context in order to prevent a greater evil. So focusing on the negative is a bit like deciding to not take a drug or even have a risky operation by focusing on only the downside and nothing else.This is not a comment on whether I personally think it’s a good idea or a bad idea (recent tax bill) but just the reality of the fact that it’s nowhere near as clear cut as you present it.

      1. Tom Labus

        Understood. But the rhetoric during the run up to the vote on the tax bill was standard supply side three card monte!!!

        1. awaldstein

          The most positive thing of the last few years is the mass of kids, their communities, their parents in the streets.Millions of people that will be voting out the incumbents with ties to the NRA.Feels good to be optimistic.

          1. Tom Labus

            Amazing day. These kids!!!

          2. JLM

            .Vast majority are too young to vote and don’t live in the right Congressional Districts.Below 30 voters are the least reliable segment of voters. Less than 10% vote.They go off to college and can’t figure out how to vote absentee.Old people vote.JLMwww.themusingsofthrbigredca…

          3. LE

            They go off to college and can’t figure out how to vote absentee.I was just sent a packet of info (not requested at all) by the local man whose job is county clerk. Happens to be Kelly Ripa’s father [1] that’s his job (really). Application to vote by mail.And it comes in two languages. English and Spanish.Something seems off here. I never requested it and I don’t understand why they need to send these out and especially why it has to be in spanish as well.Seems there are exceptions:https://www.uscis.gov/us-ci…[1] Secretario del Condado de (the county)

          4. JLM

            .Did you vote in the last party primary?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          5. LE


          6. pointsnfigures

            3% turnout in our latest primary in Illinois. Interestingly, the Democratic primary in Chicago is the only one that matters. They are stronger than Putin here.

          7. sigmaalgebra

            So, tens of thousands of high school students showed up in DC to protest, …, well, …, well Trump, over, well, maybe something about guns, but definitely about Trump. And that was spontaneous, right?How about that was quite well organized by some significant bucks by people who had a lot to gain from HRC and have a lot to lose via Trump. E.g., they stand to lose some of their illegal immigrant slave labor and some of the cheap products they import.So, for the first time in their lives and maybe not the last time, those high school students filled the classic shoes of manipulated “useful idiots”.

          8. PhilipSugar

            Arnold, you know me……really sorry they will be offset by those that will do the exact opposite.Thing is those people usually didn’t care and didn’t vote. Now they will.

          9. awaldstein

            All good.Trump is so lame and so disgusting and has done so much damage i simply:-decide what actions I can do and do them.-become more optimistic as my belief is that the more that people vote the better, that these kids will remove these ancient morally bereft people in the upcoming elections, that every single gun will be registered and that assault weapons will be banned.-common sense and humanity will prevail over time is what I believe in.Aspirational of course. The only way to live is to belief that shit will get better and that the lame asses will be brought down.

          10. sigmaalgebra

            > so much damageExamples?

    4. Girish Mehta

      Linking to my old comment here on AVC about the difference between risk and uncertainty…dangerous to confuse risk with uncertainty.https://disqus.com/home/dis……In risk the positive and negative outcomes are known along with the probabilities, and the risk can be modeled. In uncertainty, the probability of outcomes cannot be modeled, and the outcomes themselves are not defined.Not discerning if something is Risky or Uncertain and approaching an Uncertain situation with a Risk management framework can set one up for failure down the road…

      1. Tom Labus

        Excellent distinction. Thanks for the insight. You still have to cover your tail somehow?!!

        1. sigmaalgebra

          Just use the law of large numbers; don’t even need the strong law; the weak law of large numbers is good enough.For the strong law, that is, convergence with probability 1, martingale theory provides a very short proof. For the weak law, that is, variance goes to zero, which does mean that some subsequence converges with probability 1, just simple high school quadratic algebra is enough.If don’t have the independent, identically distributed (i.i.d.) assumptions for the law of large numbers but if do have the covariances, then have a problem of minimizing a convex, quadratic function. H. Markowitz got a Nobel prize in economics for this.

    5. TeddyBeingTeddy

      25% SPY. 10% FANG call options. 5% long NVDA. 10% long VVR. 10% cash. 10% int’l index. 29% real estate. 1% long FAZ.

  3. Salt Shaker

    Markets driven by psychology as much as fundamentals these days. Also, I think there’s a fair amount of hedge fund manipulation. That’s the prob w/ Trump’s tariffs. No one knows the outcome of such policies and what impact retaliatory measures will have. Unchartered territory, combined w/ increase in debt leads to skittishness (volatility) in market. Fed can actually have a calming influence here.

  4. Richard

    What you “feel” means absolutely nothing. The world economies have never been healthier. Global growth has never been stronger.

    1. Vendita Auto

      “What you “feel”” means a large part of your experience as a successful businessmortal and means a great “deal” autonomous means & mechanism did not see / sense the person on the bike coming out of the dark side

    2. LIAD

      Uncalled for .

      1. Richard

        How so? See the work of the economist Ed Hyman

      2. Salt Shaker

        He wasn’t disparaging Fred, he’s saying take emotion out of the equation

    3. fredwilson

      I don’t agree with that. Investing has always been feeling for me. I understand the argument you are making but it’s not how I do it

  5. LE

    In tech we have dominant platforms extracting rents but also attracting scrutiny.Examples of this? Specifically what companies?Edit: Relative to the econ concept of ‘extracting rents’.

    1. fredwilson

      Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon

      1. LE

        I don’t see those companies in that way. At least if the concept is ‘rent seeking’ which seems to be what you are referring to. With ‘rent seeking’ the following classic example applies (is ‘extracting rents’ different from ‘rent seeking’?)I have bolded the relevant sentence.The classic example of rent-seeking, according to Robert Shiller, is that of a feudal lord who installs a chain across a river that flows through his land and then hires a collector to charge passing boats a fee (or rent of the section of the river for a few minutes) to lower the chain. There is nothing productive about the chain or the collector. The lord has made no improvements to the river and is not adding value in any way, directly or indirectly, except for himself. All he is doing is finding a way to make money from something that used to be freeHow is it that any of those companies then are ‘extracting rent’?https://en.wikipedia.org/wihttp://archive.hrnicholls.c

        1. pointsnfigures

          The question is if you want to regulate Facebook, Google, Amazon, how do you do it? They all are opt-in services. I don’t have to use them. I am not against regulating them-just want to figure out how to do it so I don’t have a policy that limits competition and creates other oligopolies.

  6. Gregory Magarshak

    It’s true. I used to recommend investing in crypto currencies for the last few years to people, and those who have listened to me increased the investments’ worth by 2 – 10x. But now it’s different. It’s hit the mainstream and I no longer know how much more money is to be made in that sector. So I can’t really make recommendations on that (except possibly a long term investment in SAFE Network and decentralized exchanges like AirSwap).More generally the asset bubble (stocks, real estate, crypto x 10) was spurred along by Fed policy since 2008. I am not quite sure why we can’t just keep interest rates low forever (I guess I didn’t live through the stagflation days of old) but one of the mandates of the Fed is to keep inflation under a manageable threshold. We seem to have had the opposite of stagflation in the last 10 years — all in all a great ride. But now (as Austrian theory alludes to) there have been tons of “malinvestments” all over the place and the private sector is about to experience some deleveraging.I would say a diversification strategy can help hedge against the asset deleveraging. So now is a good time to start an Index fund, Fred 🙂

    1. creative group

      Gregory Magarshak:If you were promoting crypto-currency at any level which doesn’t have any intrinsic value your advise wasn’t sound. Now that the majority of crypto-currencies are tanking the same people are now attempting to say the advise they gave needs to be recalibrated.That advise is no different than the pump and dump promotions before the stock market crashes.This is why regulation is important to save people from themselves. Chasing greed from promotions.Do you have any of the following certifications?Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification.Financial Risk Manager (FRM) Certification.Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Certification.Financial Modeling Certification.Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA)Series 63Captain Obvious!#UnequivocallyUnapologeticallyIndependent

      1. Adam Sher

        Those certifications are virtue signalling for analysts who want to work on the buy-side. With that said, the curriculum for the CFA is great and I enjoyed learning what I did from it. (3 time failed CFA level 2 so I didn’t demonstrate my knowledge well).

        1. creative group

          Adam Sher:If difficult disciplines were easy everyone could do it. Applying what a person knows is just as important than a academic proficient person with no common sense. As people who had failed the bar examine numerous times but became brilliant Attorneys.Captain Obvious!#UnequivocallyUnapologeticallyIndependent

  7. jason wright

    risk = danger (French).The great danger is the risk of becoming an unwitting reseller of the news media’s toxicity.

    1. creative group

      jason wright:Question?What is your view of DJT telling endless lies to an under-educated blue collar working base with built in bias and conspiracy theory training?We are Independent and the only consistent voice on this blog citing the three or four posters who actively promoted outright lies which now is all clear with the Russian trolling and interference with the Election that was denied and continues to be denied.(Note: we are not Democrats or Republicans. We were not high on HRC but definitely didn’t want DJT to win with his racist, misogynistic, etc platform, We supported the Never Trump view)Captain Obvious!#UnequivocallyUnapologeticallyIndependent

      1. sigmaalgebra

        > racist, misogynistic,Any credible data, examples?Who are the people you are listening to, CNN, MSNBC, NYT, WaPo? Where do they get the really strong funny stuff they’ve been smoking?

        1. meredithcollinz

          How bout that Access Hollywood tape? It’s his voice and he admitted it. Grabbing women by their genitals counts as misogyny as well as sexual assault.

          1. sigmaalgebra

            How about it? How about nothing, nichts, nil, nada?On that tape he just acted like a good, senior mentor for the much younger Bush telling him that from some powerful, rich men some women would put up with being grabbed that way. That’s true. I wish Dad had told me all the advice like that he omitted. Trump did the Bush boy a BIG favor of mentoring. But never did Trump say that he had actually done such a thing. And I’ve seen no solid evidence that he has. In particular, I’ve seen no solid evidence that he has in that way or any way cheated on Melania. And why should he? He’d be a total fool to cheat on Melania.But apparently there was a case: Miss Mimi Alford, 19 year old, NJ debutante, from Miss Porter’s School, engaged, White House intern, was grabbed just that way and worse because he lifted her skirt, in the White House. Not by Trump but by JFK. Later they were in a White House bathtub together playing with rubber ducks. See Alford’s NBC interview and her book.For Trump, I’m all ears, but I’m just not seeing any solid evidence of anything significantly wrong, at least since his marriage to Melania.You and millions of people believed the mainstream media propaganda that the tape meant that Trump had grabbed some women that way. Well, all of you were deceived because the tape said no such thing. So, you were listening to tone of voice, facial expressions, hints, pretend outrage, everything but the actual words on the actual tape.With those techniques, can argue anything and bring us back to witch trials, the dark ages, monkeys swinging in the trees, and worse.I believe that Trump did Bush a big favor, but Melania’s explanation is okay, also: Boys’ locker room talk or some such.Again, for any significant evidence of anything significant, I’m all ears. But so far all we have are rumor, accusations without evidence, gossip, insults, innuendo, etc., no due process, all being really nasty to Melania and trying to drive from office a duly elected POTUS. It’s dirty, dangerous business, nasty propaganda, a serious threat of serious US discord, highly disloyal to the US, serving the interests of US enemies.Any anti-Trump people can believe the NYT, right? Well, I just did a little Google search asking for the actual, genuine, authentic, dyed in the wool, exact, word for word, totally true transcript of the Access Hollywood Tape, right away found it athttps://www.nytimes.com/201…and read it. I’m right: Trump never claimed he had ever done such a thing. He did say what I said, that some women would put up with such a thing, and that’s correct, but that doesn’t mean Trump ever did it.When I was a normal teenage boy, I saw a lot that some girls would put up with, like, and/or invite. I really didn’t do any such things until I was in a long term, monogamous, romantic relationship. I met her when she was with one of her girlfriends when they were 11 and I, 15. Apparently she was highly influenced. Later when I was 18 and driving each day to summer school in college, she, 14, noticed and sat on the curb in front of her house about the time I drove by. On the third such day, I stopped. We talked. We started taking walks around the neighborhood in the evening. I treated her with 100% full respect and never grabbed her, forced her, or any such thing. Soon her mom said that at 18 I was too old for her at 14, but her mom didn’t break us up. Actually, at 14, she was too old for me! We continued until I was 21 and she 17, I was in graduate school and she, a long way away, in college. I saw her once more and then decided that she really was not serious enough about us for me to marry her so didn’t ask her. Much later I learned that soon after that last time I saw her she got married and had two boys. She got married long before I was ready for marriage! During those years I was seeing her, I could have grabbed her, but I never did.And there were other cases: Not all boys have done everything they understand some girls will put up with.Any girl I wanted I wanted to be cute, sweet, pretty, darling, adorable, precious, sugar and spice and everything nice, affectionate, loving, communicative, candid, caring, respectful, responsive, honest, faithful, frugal, productive, well informed, thoughtful, insightful, and eager to have us build a great relationship, family, and life together. No way did I want to grab her, attack her, force her. I wanted to respect her, cherish her, protect her, love her, bond with her, support her and our children, etc.Donald could be playing the field with a different bimbo bed warmer every night. Instead he worked hard to get Melania to marry him, had their son, seems to love and cherish her, and treats her better than nearly any royal queen. And at them, you want to throw nasty lies.In particular, so far I’ve seen no good evidence that Trump ever grabbed any woman as described in the tape or cheated on Melania in any way.Got some solid evidence? I’m all ears — trot it out. Else we should drop the matter. All this is really ugly to Melania for no good reason.If you do care about women, then why are you so eager to toss out lies that hurt Melania? I like Melania: She’s working really hard, being a really good FLOTUS, being a really good mother for their son, I assume being a really good wife for Donald, and is having to suffer outrageous, ugly lies. Dirty business. No way should she have to put up with such sewage.For the lie you tossed out about Melania’s husband, how would you like to apologize to Melania, here, now?Apparently I care more about women than you do. And I can believe that Donald does also.

          2. meredithcollinz

            You might want to look up what misogyny means and how it manifests.

          3. sigmaalgebra

            Okay for your four syllable obscure verbiage:misogyny: dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women.Trump has “dislike” of women? HA!!!!!! What a HOOT!!!!!! In his early years, he was a NYC front page skirt chaser!!!! I’m sure he has a dedicated processor that continually, autonomously, accurately evaluates female figures, personalities, age, libido, and fecundity on moonless nights, without illumination, 500 yards away, through thick fog, in about 2 nano seconds, and that has to be close to some information theory limit! Since I’m sure he’s better than I am and since I can still do the same in about 3 nanoseconds, I can believe his 2 nanoseconds!!When I was 14, I saw a girl of 12; she was the prettiest human female I ever saw, in person or otherwise; I dated her for 18 months; if Dad had given me some good mentoring on girls, I would have married her; I still think of her everyday. I like women. I can believe that Trump likes women at least as much as I do.”Contempt”? He treats Ivanka like a princess and future POTUS and Melania like a royal queen.”Ingrained prejudice”? He was about the first in construction to have a woman head a major project. In the campaign and the White House, one of the most influential and important persons was Hope Hicks. His press secretary and his heads of DHS, Department of Education, CIA are all women.The data and facts are not on your side.You took your best shot claiming that the tape had him claim to have grabbed women by the genitals. There you blew it: As I showed, the actual word for word transcript shows no such thing. Your best shot jammed in the breech, never left the barrel, and backfired.Now you are making more mistakes with your four syllable obscure verbiage.You are consistent, consistently badly wrong.I’d think you’d get tired and be embarrassed being so wrong.And you are really nasty to Melania. You are the one being nasty to a woman, not me or Donald. And what do you have against Melania? How about “prejudice”?Okay; okay; okay; I get it: You really, really hate Donald Trump and even his wife Melania. You have no data or evidence, no rational reason, but still you hate.Okay, why? Well, a lot of people hate Trump — CNN, MSNBC, NYT, WaPo, Huffpost, etc. are awash in such haters. Good reasons? No. Big hate? Yes.Well, with so many in the media hating Trump, e.g., Mika and Joe daily pumping out all the hateful sewage they can concoct, totally without evidence, various crackpot, totally incompetent and irresponsible, absurd psychiatric diagnoses, lots of people begin to think that all the right people hate Trump so want to fit in. Or, Dan Rather and Bob Woodward hate Trump, and that’s reason enough, right?So, maybe you just want to fit in with the mob, the gang, the tribe, the left and right coasts. And lots of feminists hate Trump, e.g., put on their cute little knitted caps and said “I’ve thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House.”.Still, no data or evidence, no rationality.But there are some people who have big reasons to hate Trump. First there are politicians who want the political power that Trump has or at least wanted Hillary to win because they were “stronger together” with her. Second are the people in business making big bucks from illegal immigrant slave labor and/or importing cheap products. So, from the second group, the ones with the money, there is campaign money, favors, etc. for the politicians in the first group.How powerful are the money people? Well, playing on the Florida high school shooting, they decided to organize and did: They got some tens of thousands of classic “useful idiots” to show up in DC about guns, race, and everything else they can think of to try to beat Trump.You might look in the mirror and see if you are just being a classic “useful idiot” joining a mob organized by rich and/or powerful people for their own selfish interests.More generally, before you draw conclusions, you need to look at the actual evidence. That’s not common on the pages of the NYT or time on CNN, but it’s rock solid in pure and applied math, physical science, engineering, medical science, law, finance, and some other fields.No way would you want to be treated by a physician who makes decisions the way you do; if the engineers who design airplanes made their decisions like you do, the planes would never get off the ground or if they did no one would want to be anywhere near one.And in particular, it would be nice if you would quit being nasty to Melania.Okay, okay, okay: There was a girl in the fifth grade. She claimed my handwriting was illegible, and as is common for boys of that age it wasn’t very good. She smiled while saying that. So, I wrote out a sample more carefully. She said the same thing. That continued even when I carefully drew block capitals. So, she was having fun being a “troll”. Good at the social skills of manipulation! In the fifth grade? Yup! But she was factually wrong! She didn’t mind being wrong.But soon there were high school math classes. Okay, big time payback time! I really like math, and no one ever beat my math SAT scores by much! The nastiest human I ever knew was the woman who tried to teach plane geometry. I just taught myself and slept in her class. When once on a problem from outside of class I reinvented similitude and showed her, she said “You can’t do that.”. Well, she was wrong.So are you. But to heck with me: You are being nasty to Melania. Bummer.

          4. meredithcollinz

            I don’t know who you are talking to, but I wasn’t “nasty” to anyone. As for the rest of your rambling rant, no comment.

          5. sigmaalgebra

            > I don’t jnow who you are talking toJust read a little at the grade school level.> I wasn’t “nasty” to anyone”Nasty”? You just need to read what you wrote.(1) You wrote> How bout that Access Hollywood tape? It’s his voice and he admitted it. Grabbing women by their genitals counts as misogyny as well as sexual assault.As I documented with the actual transcript athttps://disq.us/url?url=htt…in the tape, Trump never claimed to have so “grabbed” a women.So, your claim about the Access Hollywood tape is false. To make that false claim is being nasty to Melania.(2) After I showed your first effort was false, you went on with your second effort, your claim of misogyny.So I gave Google’s definitionmisogyny: dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women.and responded to each part of that definition with strong evidence that the part did not apply to Trump. So, that’s your second false claim and is also nasty to Melania.To be thorough, I needed a long post. E.g., you just tossed out your claim of “misogyny” with no evidence, and I responded with a definition with several parts and responded to each part.So, net, you don’t like Trump. And you are following the anti-Trump campaign of just tossing out accusations, claims, etc. with no evidence. Debunking takes more words than the accusations.But the situation is now clear: You along with many others want just to toss out accusations. Since about half the 11/2016 voters voted for HRC, that’s a lot of disappointed voters. If they toss out accusations on all the media outlets they can find, then that’s millions of accusations. That’s a flood. Since the accusations rarely or never come with evidence, it’s a flood without meaning. But debunking requires much more words so that the flood, while meaningless, might have some effect.But, here you have shown how empty that flood is: You attacked Trump twice, and I carefully showed you were badly wrong on both attacks. You gave no evidence, and I gave solid evidence.So, net, you are not interested in evidence. Now we know.Apparently a major fraction of the people posting here at AVC are doing what you are — making negative claims about Trump with no evidence and then ignoring evidence when it is given. It all looks like some tribal unity, irrational but unified.But this tribal unity is limited mostly just to the two coasts and even there is not really respected. Otherwise in the US, Trump has a LOT of supporters based on evidence, what he’s doing, etc. As JLM has outlined, Trump stands to do well in 11/2018 and 11/2020.The anti-Trump tribe’s false accusations with no evidence and refusal to consider solid evidence in effect give Trump a very clean bill of health. Your tribe is on a losing path.You can ignore my words but not without ignoring good evidence. Good evidence is important stulff.

          6. creative group

            meredithcollinz:Our questions were rhetorical. We don’t require those pimping lies, racism and misogynistic views for a view. We just enjoy having it on record again and again.Their new talking point from Breitbart is reselling of fake (really real) news from established sources that don’t agree with their tummy.For those of us who have been afforded a degree this is insulting over and over.We blocked three of those disinformation posters so when they reply someone else replies. We have no interest in them.Captain Obvious!#UnequivocallyUnapologeticallyIndependent

          7. creative group

            meredithcollinz:Dictionaries, facts and reality isn’t ever going to be the new normal to a conservative. We are currently witnessing unpatriotic Russian spy apologists.The soft hearted progressives may view some other non-redeeming qualities. We doubt it.Captain Obvious!#UnequivocallyUnapologeticallyIndependent

          8. nowaybigguy

            You might want to look up what “duly elected president” means.

          9. meredithcollinz

            Oy. Two different things. I never said anything about him not being duly elected.

        2. chartreuse

          Are you really saying there are no examples of Trump’s racism? What are you, a bot?

          1. sigmaalgebra

            No, I’m the opposite of a “bot”. I’m a thinking human who wants to see the data, the evidence. CNN, MSNBC, NYT, WaPo pundits with no evidence don’t count.So far I like Trump. But I don’t want to be wrong. For solid evidence of where Trump is wrong, I’m all ears.So far the worst solid evidence is something about two scoops of ice cream. Thus the two years or so of 24 x 7 nasty accusations about Trump, heavily about the two main Democrat cards, the race card and the gender card, without meaningful evidence have in effect given Trump a very clean bill of health.If there is a lot of solid evidence against Trump, then you should be able to reference some. So far you have referenced nothing. Using your technique, could build an equally good case for the earth secretly run by little green men from the moon.Look at the other side where there is no shortage of rock solid evidence: So HRC defended her husband, a rapist, or if don’t believe that, then just look at the DNA evidence on the little dress. Then there’s HRC and her high praise of West Virginia KKK guy and US Senator Robert Byrd.So much for the race card and the gender card: Uranium 1, the e-mail server, and more should put HRC in jail.

          2. chartreuse

            Here is a story from the Guardian on Trump’s history of racism with links and citations https://www.google.com/amp/

          3. sigmaalgebra

            Thanks for the reference.That’s actually not very good evidence because of (A) in places the writing seems biased instead of merely objective, (B) some of the worst of claims are from hearsay from a long time ago in just a narrow business context, and (C) the recent evidence is no good at all.For Trump’s mention of “shitholes” in much of Africa and Haiti, he is 100% correct. But that’s just fact and not racist. E.g., he made no claims about race, genetics, fundamental abilities, etc. Moreover such claims are tough to make and be correct due to the big role of the societies involved. E.g., I hold a good Ph.D. in applied math and did very well on the Math SATs, but had I grown up nearly anywhere in Africa I’d likely still be struggling to learn to read — the point is much of African culture, not race. And Haiti and much of Africa are not nearly the only serious “shitholes” since there are many more in South and Central America, SE Asia, Bangladesh, India, long the ISIS parts of Syria and Iraq.For the travel bans, IIRC Ann Coulter has collected some simple but telling statistics: Muslim immigrants to the US are MUCH more likely to execute acts of terrorism than anyone else. That’s not racism but is just true. In part it can be turned around keeping races the same: E.g., the Saudis were very embarrassed about the fact that the 9/11 attacks were so heavily by Saudis with Saudi money. Quickly they changed their banking system to throttle the money, and now, with a lot of help from Trump, they are coming down hard on terrorism. And now Trump with his son in law Jared Kushner have the Saudis and Israelis talking and, for a water system for Gaza, working together. The Saudis just permitted Israeli airplane overflights. And Trump signed a big weapons deal with the Saudis. So, the Saudi terrorism was from culture, not race, and without changing race has been heavily changed.Some decades ago, if were running an apartment building where have to please the main customers, then it was important, just as a practical business matter, to keep out blacks. That was because 90+% of the customers wanted that. That’s why to get rid of such practices, we need some laws. Now we have the laws. So, now a white tenant can’t scream and leave because the next apartment building will be the same, a few blacks as tenants. And then nearly no one cares. That was not racism but just practical business.Trump’s not a racist. Instead, Trump is about the best friend people of color have had: He wants to put the people of color in poor ghettos BACK TO WORK, and that is one of the main reasons for his trade tariffs. He wants to stop the flow of opioids into the poor communities, and that’s one of the main reasons he wants the Wall. The Democrats are fighting the wall with all they have, to hell with the poor people, disproportionately of color. Trump has Secretary of HUD, Dr. Carson lined up to set up job training programs in the ghettos for new companies, maybe Foxconn, Apple, Chrysler, moving into those areas.Trump’s not a racist.

          4. chartreuse

            I am not here to change your mind. I’m just looking at the record. I’m a person of color who lives in NYC. Trump’s racism and shady business wasn’t a secret. That’s why in a city that voted for Guliani twice, he couldn’t get 15% of the vote. He’s our president and I wish him the best but let’s be honest, he’s a peice of shit.

          5. sigmaalgebra

            Giuliani is a strong Trump supporter.So, by your reasoning, losing an election means the loser was a racist. Okay, HRC lost.> peice of shit.So far you are still short of evidence.

          6. chartreuse

            If calling countries shitholes is truthfull then Clcalling Trump a peice of shit is no less accurate.If Guliani was able to get elected and the same voters hated Trump says something about Trump. I think it’s because NYC knows him. HRC has nothing to do with this conversation.

          7. sigmaalgebra

            > If calling countries shitholes is truthfull then Clcalling Trump a peice of shit is no less accurate.Okay, you don’t like Trump. I can’t figure out why. One guess is that you are in NYC which apparently now is heavily on the liberal side of the Democrat party, and those people are political opponents of Trump, e.g., want the political power he has.Apparently NYC politics has shifted from far left and, really, Communist, to Republicans, e.g., Bloomberg — NYS politics had Nelson Rockefeller, etc. — and back and forth.Haiti and most of Africa are “shitpits” because of just the standard measures of development and prosperity: So, we’re looking at really bad water systems, e.g., drinking from some river that upstream had various animals using that stream as a toilet. They have a tough time even putting in a well that draws from below just top of the ground ground water and filtering the water. So, there is a lot of infant mortality, and a lot of the people who don’t die come down with some parasites and some just awful diseases. There are big insect problems, for malaria and more. There are big malnutrition problems. Far too many young mothers have to cook food in a small hut over animal dung, and the smoke causes terrible lung problems. There are terrible communicable diseases, e.g., TB. Generally health care and public health are just sick-o. The last remaining sites of polio are in such places. Life spans are short. Education is awful. Economic development is awful. Standard of living is awful. So, those are some criteria for a shitpit.In parts of India “shitpit” is especially appropriate due to the fact that commonly people defecate in the open in the woods.None of those situations apply to Trump.

          8. chartreuse

            Let me tell you a true Trump story.Trump hired some contractors to build a building in NYC. Trump agreed to pay the electriciand $35 per hour ( a discount here in NYC) The project was done and when it came time to pay he said he was only paying $20 per hour. They said we have a contact. He said sue me. After years they settled for $28 per hour because the contactor was losing money in legal fees. That’s why people in NYC hate Trump. He’s a peice of shit. He lies constantly, his word means nothing. He’s a peice of shit. All your NYC is communist is from someone who is not here and just listens to right wing media. Like I said, you sound like a bot.

          9. sigmaalgebra

            No, that NYC used to have a lot of real Communist stuff is rock solid. I have a NYC friend who explained that some of his relatives were in it. I’m guessing that there are some people here at AVC who know and can confirm a lot of the details.My understanding is that on construction projects, disputes on pay of the work of the trades is common. Maybe Trump deliberately “stiffed” some of the trades; if so, he was not nearly the first. Maybe some of the trades guys worked too slowly or did poor quality work. Tough to know. Sadly in part we have to hand that over to the courts. But, IIRC the trades can place a lien on the property. Likely JLM could fill us in on the legalities and realities of hiring, managing, and paying subcontractors on a big construction job. If Trump was really bad and got a really bad reputation for not paying, then likely subcontractors would not want to do work for him. Or the subcontractors would have in their contract progress payments, maybe each day. Sounds like standard business negotiation to me unless there were some mob enforcers putting dead bodies in concrete and dropping them in the East River.For his “word” since he announced for POTUS, so far it appears that he’s doing well considering that often he needs Congress and that nearly all the Democrats are bitterly anti-Trump, really, pursuing a mostly non-violent civil war, and over the old issue, slavery (the Democrats are for it; Trump and his fly-over state supporters are against it), and a lot of the Republicans, Ryan, McConnell, McCain, Flake, and off and on some more, are strongly against a lot of the Trump agenda.But Trump promised to build the Wall. The latest is that as of yesterday morning on Twitter he asserted, as Commander in Chief, that the Wall is about US national security so is able to have the US DoD build it and fund it from DoD appropriations. No doubt the US Army Corps of Engineers could be putting up wall at rate of several miles a day or some such.He promised to get us out of the Paris Accords, and did that.Same for the TPP.He got Anwar and the US off-shore open to oil leasing, and I don’t remember if that was one of his promises.He promised to negotiate trade deals with other countries one country and deal at a time. And from a White House presentation last week he has Wilbur Ross and Lighthizer strongly on the case. Just announced, South Korea wants to let US cars into South Korea if the US will let steel from South Korea into the US. Uh, that deal may not be the deal Trump signs!He promised to do something about NAFTA — likely Lighthizer and Co. are on that case.He promised to repeal lots of absurd regulations, repeal 2 for each 1 new regulation. The claim so far is that he has repealed 22 for each new one — the news should report the details, but I have yet to see any such. If Trump is exaggerating, then someone should get the data and make a case.He promised to put some “conservatives” on the SCOTUS, and with Gorsuch he did.He promised to build up the US military, and the next two budgets show that he’s doing that. And there’s more evidence and a lot of hints about high end, classified stuff, especially for missile defense.He promised to “repeal and replace Obamacare”, and he started with that but Priebus was not able to get Congress to go along. But since then Trump has gotten the “mandate” repealed, and that’s going a long way on the promise of “repeal and replace”.He promised to fix the badly broken VA, and supposedly highly qualified Shulkin has been doing that.He promised tax cuts, got something significant passed, and now is planning the 2.0 version.With the tax changes, Apple is bringing back big bucks to invest and is investing more than that, just as Trump hoped and expected. Chrysler said that going to Mexico “was a mistake” and is returning to Detroit, again as Trump hoped and expected.Trump promised “to bomb the shit out of ISIS”. Well Trump handed that job over to his Secretary Defense, four star Marine General James “Mad Dog” Mattis who pushed that down the DoD chain of command, and, presto, bingo, already 98% of the ISIS land has no more ISIS. Some of that land also has not much left in buildings. I don’t know if what Mattis did was exactly “bomb the shit out”, but he won a brilliant victory, which should be close enough for government work!He wants “merit” based immigration, with “severe vetting”, e-Verify, and no more Schumer “lottery”, and he’s been trying and making progress, but the slavers are powerful in Congress and pushing back hard.He wants a big infrastructure program, and that was to be the next item at bat, but with the Omnibus bill I don’t know where that stands.The above is just from my memory as I type this — I didn’t look up anything. A good review would likely show much more.From what I’ve heard, Trump has a list of his campaign promises and has been executing on them about as fast as he could given that he is often highly constrained by Congress.But Trump knows that he needs more votes, especially in the Senate — or an improbable change in Senate rules.As IIRC JLM here has explained, for this November Trump will do a lot of campaigning, maybe gain enough seats in the Senate to have 60+, and keep or grow the Republicans in the House.Then we will see faster progress on his campaign promises.

          10. chartreuse

            Trump has lived the majority of his life in NYC. He was pretty much politically agnostic ( like most New Yorkers) and generally the city hates him. Rich, poor, black, white, in general those that know him, hate him.He has to get contractors from out of state due to his reputation. The reason he does so much business overseas in the last 20 years is because of his bad rep among legitimate business people in the USA.You see the same thing happening in D.C., fewer and fewer want to work for him. He is having trouble hiring lawyers ( imagine that!) . Only people who are on the fringe want to work for him. It seems DC is learning what we New Yorkers already knew, he’s a peice of shit.

      2. jason wright

        resellers seem to be everywhere.

      3. jason wright

        Is that what DJT is doing? Under-educated is not necessarily stupid.When a country is run as a corporation (and not as an inclusive society) it inevitably leads to a scramble for ‘profits’ at the expense of people. You end up with a Trump, a Bush, a proxy Obama/ Clinton.America went in its next wrong direction after 1975. This is a course correction. It’s ugly, but it’s necessary.Internet We.

  8. LE

    I think there is a lot more risk in “the markets” than is priced in right now.Much of this could have to do with the age of people that are making investment decisions in the market. Young vs. old timers are in charge.I am reminded of two situations that might illustrate this.I was discussing the market with an old timer (had to be in his 80’s) a few years ago when the DJI was at iirc 17,000. He wasn’t advising me but he said very clearly that it was overpriced and super risky. Stay out!! Almost like he was laughing at others. Then last year I asked the person who invests money for me in stock [1] what he would put the money in if I sent him more. It had gone up considerably since I did this at the end of 2015. He said ‘everything is overpriced I would just hold it in the mm and you will get nothing’. So he also thought that the market was overpriced. He wasn’t as old as the first person I mentioned but had been around through many cycles.Now I would imagine that a nice percentage of people making investing decisions today (not personally but say for institutions) have no long term history and don’t have a seat of the pants feel for any downturn or negative. Sort of the same thing as Elon Musk. To young to have lived through how John Delorian went bust so he isn’t distracted by memories of that failure and can go boldly ahead in his plans for a car company.Not saying that young people are making all investment decisions. Just that enough of them are that the dynamics are shifting.[1] Not a large amount; not my thing more just a FOMO reaction after all I can’t add value and have no control and not enough info to work on.

    1. PhilipSugar

      I am not 80!!!

    2. Joseph K Antony

      Not only are e seeing a different class of investors, we have to recognise the nature of the underlying economy itself has changed. Any investment strategy has to get its head around the nature that change.

    3. Adam Sher

      Not losing money is an underrated investment strategy. Holding cash (or MM) is excellent advice when you’re uncertain.

  9. Matt Copenhaver

    I’ve been thinking a lot barbell strategies too.It’s hard to beat a portfolio of 6-8% return over time.Conventional wisdom says you should create that with lots of exposure to medium risk assets (e.g., US equities). But when those crap the bed, your entire portfolio craps the bed.You can also create a portfolio that generates an average of 6-8% over time with a barbell strategy (e.g., 80% cash / real estate, 20% crypto / high beta stocks, etc.), without exposing your entire portfolio to equities crapping the bed.And if you do that properly, you can still achieve a decent rate of return over time, cap your loss, and perhaps be pleasantly surprised on the upside with your high risk bets.Barbelling aligns with a life mantra that is working well for me: Optimize for serendipity.

  10. sigmaalgebra

    What to invest in? Sure, stuff that looks good and is relatively immune to the obvious risks.A great example is a cheap, safe, effective single pill taken once to cure any cancer. We are nicely on the way to such a pill, and when we get it it will stand to do well without much regard for the usual risks.Well, we don’t have that pill yet, but it illustrates a principle: Find a problem where the first good or a much better solution with a good barrier to entry that will be a “must have” for enough people and enough revenue per person to make a good business. So, we have the issue down to selecting such a problem and finding such a solution. That’s good progress!

  11. Joseph K Antony

    The US was very well positioned economically possibly roiled a bit by a possible trade war. If not for unnecessary disruptions, the Fed would have found it extremely difficult to raise interest rates as continuously rising productivity keeps inflation down. A lot of the “real” increase in productivity is not easy to measure. The normal strategy should have been to hold a well-diversified equity portfolio for the long term. The “risk” is manageable.The “uncertainty” comes from the political scenario – politics being the grossest fundamental factor underlying everything, it cannot be managed. Only to the extent, we cannot control the impact of uncertainty arising out of politics, do we need to adopt a barbell strategy.

  12. Pete Griffiths

    I totally agree.I see two huge areas of risk.Firstly, the tax breaks are unlikely to be able to pay for the exploding deficit and after the better off have gorged on the benefits it will come home to roost.By then we may well have a democratic administration but whichever, their hands will be tied. It will be too late to claw the tax giveaway back, the deficit is real and the only quick way to pay it off will be attacking ‘entitlements.’ This will result in huge social unrest with unpredictable consequences. If you think the people currently banking on Trump are angry now…get ready for pitchforks.Secondly, a new war. Kindleberger spelt out the fatal sequence as Populism, Nationalism, Protectionism, War. I anticipate military action from this President. If I had to guess it will be against Iran. This too will have dangerous and unpredictable consequences. This second risk area could come into play sooner rather than later.Sorry to be so pessimistic.

    1. sigmaalgebra

      > Firstly, the tax breaks are unlikely to be able to pay for the exploding deficit and after the better off have gorged on the benefits it will come home to roost.We have a LOT of people to be put back to work, business buildings to get busy again, etc. That might balance the budget. Keep in mind that as people return to work, the costs of the social safety net decrease. Also keep in mind that we had enormous debt in 1946 but did well with high prosperity, low inflation, and rapid growth for about 10 years. Also recall that before the income tax, the Federal government was funded largely just by tariffs. For these issues, I’d like to see some credible, telling numbers.> Secondly, a new war. Kindleberger spelt out the fatal sequence as Populism, Nationalism, Protectionism, War.Supposedly through the big industrialization, the US was quite protectionist; that’s how we built steel, rails, steam, electric power, etc. That’s why in 1942 Yamamoto said, IIRC, “I’ve traveled widely in America my friends. Their industrial capacity is AWESOME.” and on about 12/8/1941 “I fear that all we have done is awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”.Now, guess who is protectionist without starting wars? The EU, Japan, China. Don’t try to sell US farm products into France or US rice into Japan.Trump is trying to get the US back to a good balance of trade. The US had that for several decades after the end of WWII. There’s nothing fundamentally wrong, dangerous, or war like having a balance of trade. > I anticipate military action from this President. If I had to guess it will be against Iran.W was the one so eager to go to war in Iraq and Akrapistan. Trump was against those.Obama continued spending big US blood and treasure in Iraq and Akrapistan.Trump helped Iraq get stable and to drive ISIS out of 98% of their territory. And he taught Assad some lessons about chemical weapons. Those operations were fast and neatly done. Trump is trying to wind down Akrapistan; what the real situation is I don’t know.For Iran, they are the ones screaming “Death to America. Death to Israel.”.North Korea and Iran should not have missiles delivering nukes. The US is about the only country to correct that situation. The first key to make that correction peacefully is a very strong US military, strong mostly in some special ways.It appears that Trump will convince Little Rocket Boy to behave with little or no US military action. Then it will be Iran’s turn: Lots of pressures can be applied. Especially in the case of Iran, there is time, more time once Little Rocket Boy is out of the nuke and missile business. Part of the issue is that Iran is scaring the rich Sunni Gulf states, e.g., Saudi Arabia.There are problems. We need solutions. Among Bill Clinton, W, Obama, Hillary, and Trump who would you prefer as the best problem solver?

      1. Pete Griffiths

        “That might balance the budget”It might. I’m skeptical but we shall have to see.On the military front I hope you’re right.I don’t see Trump as a problem solver. I see him as ill informed and impulsive.

        1. sigmaalgebra

          > It might. I’m skeptical but we shall have to see.Again, I want to see some credible, telling numbers.> I don’t see Trump as a problem solver. I see him as ill informed and impulsive.Problems solved:(1) ISIS out of 98% of their lands.(2) Obamacare mandate gone.(3) Trans essentially totally OUT of the military.(4) Much better relations with England, Israel, and the Saudis.(5) Problems of lots of dumb regulations gone.(6) Got China to get on board for no nukes in Korea.(7) Got Little Rocket Boy to stop testing nukes and missiles.(8) As of this morning, found a way to build the Wall, have the US DoD do it via, say, the US Army Corps of Engineers.(9) Get the oil from Canada and the Bakken down to the refineries in Texas.(10) Get oil leases off-shore and in Anwar.(11) How to get around the anti-Trump fake news and get his own message out. Sure, just use Twitter. It’s worked great.That’s a fast 11.He was well enough “informed” to do those 11.In his campaign, he had a problem — beat Hillary. He solved that one.For his nomination, he had a problem — beat 16 Republicans. He solved that one.In NYC, there was a problem, the city fumbled the skating rink. He solved that one quickly.> impulsiveNot really: If he were impulsive, then he would have directed the attack on ISIS directly from the White House Situation Room like W, LBJ, etc. did. Nope: He gave the work to Mattis who did the right things.If he were impulsive, then he would have fired Mueller. Nope — he is giving Mueller plenty of time to look foolish, rope to hang himself.If he were impulsive, then he would have us backing a wider war in Ukraine. Nope, he’s going slow in Ukraine.If he were impulsive, he would have us doing more, maybe shooting, at Iran. Nope: As much as he hates the Iran deal, he’s going slowly.He’s being prudent about keeping the sea lanes open in the South China Sea as China is trying to make that their own lake.If he were impulsive, then he would have at least fired some shots at North Korea. Instead he’s being prudent, thoughtful, getting China on board, keeping South Korea and Japan happy, etc. and so far as far as we know has yet to fire even a single pistol. He’s got about three air craft carrier battle groups just off the coast of NK, has done B-1 exercises over South Korea, has lots of US submarines appropriately deployed, apparently has a crash program for missile defense. He’s being well informed, prudent, taking his time, but doing a LOT, intends to WIN, and likely will.Remember the hurricanes — he was right up to date, hour by hour, on the scene, feet on the ground, with the people most concerned, right there, right away. So, he was prudent and well informed and he was being a no-BS kind of guy. No way was he going to have another Katrina disaster, and he didn’t. And he took Melania along, and they got on the ground, with the suffering people, with the children in the shelters, served food to the suffering people, etc. Well informed. Prudent. Active. Involved. No-BS.He can LOOK impulsive because he is a no-BS kind of guy. He wants to look like a no-BS kind of guy.

          1. Pete Griffiths

            Let’s agree to disagree.Time will tell

    2. jason wright

      Iran? What makes you think that?

      1. Pete Griffiths

        If things go badly for Trump domestically he will feel the need to make a dramatic statement to win back the love. He won’t be able to do much domestically but leaders of his kind have generally lagged out overseas where Congress has much less control. The question is where?Reviewing the options1. Russia – way too dangerous.2 China – could pick a fight in the S China Sea it about Taiwan but very dangerous3 N Korea – very dangerous for S Korea4 Iran – perfect. Muslim, enemy of Saudis and Israel, no problem painting as bad guys. Bottom, if confirmed. Hard them and wants to lick their ass, Easy to underestimate the dangers of this step.

        1. jason wright

          Iran would be complete madness. The repercussions would be monstrous. It would open the gates of hell in western countries.

          1. Pete Griffiths

            I agreeBut I can’t throw off a horrid suspicion that it’s the way we’re headedHope I’m wrong

  13. howardlindzon

    pretty much…

  14. jason wright

    i’m willing to go with this pessimism. where are the safe havens from stormy seas?

  15. pointsnfigures

    Flip side is the tax decrease for corporations will take some time to work through the system. But it’s a big positive. The left has a lot of confirmation bias around this President that they didn’t have with the last one. Neither of them are/were ideal. BTW, it’s actually a good development to see interest rates rise. Means there is demand for money.

  16. Jason Peterson

    Why do you think a barbell strategy makes sense in this environment? Versus perhaps equally weighting low, medium, and high risk investments?

    1. Adam Sher

      I think a barbell strategy makes sense in any environment and it’s how I structure my investments. First, it’s very hard to know where exactly you are in a cycle where you may feel comfortable with a distributed bucket of risk. Second, it’s hard to model the risk of most financial investments and you are more likely to conclude a high-risk investment is a medium-risk investment than the opposite, which is that a low-risk an investment is a medium-risk.

  17. chartreuse

    I’m an occasional poster/reader and obviously fell into the trap. Thanks for the ( late!) warning! Duly noted!!

    1. creative group

      chartreuse:We have them blocked so we had no idea what you were discussing. The Progressives on this blog would attack an Independent before the Alt-Right, Rightwing posters that constantly have demonstrated they tow the line of White Nationalist, racist, xenophobic and misogynistic viewpoints. Head scratching but just view the interactions.There is one common thread that can not be separated between the two fractions that you could never makeup. Get use to it if viewing or contributing to the blog owners blog.Captain Obvious!#UnequivocallyUnapologeticallyIndependent