I’ve been on a big country music kick and this morning Pandora started targeting me with ads for Christian-only dating sites. I need to mix in some classic rock or something…

Ex-Post Analysis on Predictions

Who Got It Right? A Look Back at Expert Predictions For 2021

Charlie’s COVID Email from March 29, 2020

Just as an aside, my favorites might be the Summer of Love. Can you really measure that?

In all seriousness, lookbacks on predictions key for improvement.

Anyone who is interested in making more accurate predictions (everyone in our line of work) should read Superforecasting by Phil Tetlock and Dan Gardner.

Rising Rates and Portfolio Protection

Four Tips to Protect Portfolios in a Rising Rate Environment

Nothing Earth-shattering here but a couple great visuals. Perhaps what’s most surprising is that it is sponsored by a company that sells annuities snake oil.

  • 1&2) Companies positioned to perform in an inflationary environment.
    • This is exactly what we look for when buying companies in Novem models. Strong brands, pricing power, high margins, strong fundamentals.
  • 3) The longer you hold, the greater your odds of success! When you factor in transaction costs and taxes, short-term investing is worse than a coinflip!
  • 4) Avoid the common investing mistakes! To maximize your odds of success, simply avoid these major issues and focus on the long-term! You don’t have to reinvent the wheel! Keep it simple, stupid!

COVID 19 is my second favorite topic to discuss with people.

Unfortunately it’s not an easy one to avoid these days. It’s also impactful to my job so I kind of just have to grin and bear it. Cases in NYS are now higher than they were in the Spring of 2020, though there was probably significant underreporting in 2020 due to few tests. Additionally, I believe that current positive tests are underreporting due to the rise of at-home testing which is not necessarily reported to the state. So the first and third waves of new cases are probably larger than they appear in the charts we’ve all seen. Either way, I dove back into this topic this week. I like to follow the UK on this because I feel like they are further along in the pandemic than the US. What happens there will probably develop here.

In the United Kingdom overall cases are higher than they’ve ever been.

UK Positive Covid Cases Graph

But deaths and hospitalizations are much lower…

UK Hospitalizations Due to COVID
UK Deaths Due to COVID

Just based on the numbers, the bottom two charts don’t even look related to the top chart! Yes, I realize that hospitalizations and deaths are a lagging indicator but new cases in the UK have been elevated since early July. Now, my experience in virology goes back to a B+ I got in 9th grade biology. But based on these numbers alone, it looks like the newer COVID variants are highly contagious and not that dangerous (as measured by hospitalizations and deaths). So are lockdowns and restrictions still the best way to combat this pandemic? When is the mortality rate low enough that it’s no longer a pandemic?

MMA to Settle Political Scores

Brazilian Politicians Are Now Settling Disputes With MMA Fighting

This has the potential to solve so many issues.

  • Average age of a US legislator is like 109 years old. Would be 110 w/o AOC. This fixes that.
  • Filibuster? Fist-buster.
  • Might cut into the insufferable info-tainment cycle that is FOX/MSNBC. Maybe we can have personalities fight on the undercard… Who ya got for Maddow v. Carlson?
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