20200519T Day 140: Drive Shack Opens Up

Wind Surfing Beach near Davenport, CA – May 19, 2020

One stock that my brother recommended to me was Drive Shack. It is a Top Golf competitor that, as most other non-essential businesses, has been closed down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This week, they opened back up and their stock opened up on Tues as well, closing at $1.43.

On Tues I visited a new beach where I saw some wind surfers. It reminded me of my kite surfing in Morocco.

I also worked a bit on my RV – mainly cleaning it up and testing the fridge which still refuses to operate.

 

20191227F Day -4: A Wedding and a Stock Market High

20200511M Santa Cruz, CA: On the 27th of December, I attended my cousin’s wedding in Texas. I didn’t realize that wedding ceremonies like this would be a rarity in 2020.

San Antonio Botanical Garden, Dec. 27, 2019 (Credit: SurfingTheUniverse.com)

The stock market also hit a high for the year on this date. I found this article and headline by Ben Levisohn of barrons.com to be appropriate looking back:

The Dow is Closing Out 2019 With a Bang. Good Luck in 2020.

Some quotes from this article:

The market will probably have a hard time living up to 2019. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has risen 23% in 2019 after gaining 190.17 points, or 0.7%, to 28,645.26, this past week, while the S&P 500 index has gained 29% after rising 0.6%, to 3240.02, and the Nasdaq Composite has climbed 36% after finishing the week up 0.9%, at 9006.62. The S&P 500 and the Dow both closed the week at all-time highs.

For reference, today – May 11th – the DOW closed at 24,221.99, the S&P 500 index closed at 2930.19, and the Nasdaq closed at 9192.34.

As the market attempts to perform a V recovery as Trump wishes, these final thoughts of this article are worth noting:

All that’s missing is what could go wrong. We have a few things: The trade war between the U.S. and China could heat up again. Europe could become President Donald Trump’s next trade target. Inflation could heat up and cause the Fed to start thinking about raising rates again. And the economic acceleration the market appears to be expecting might simply fail to show up.

Everyone else may be looking at the bright side. We have our doubts.

 

 

 

20200508F Day 129: Long Stock Picks for June 8th and Beyond – 5 Week Update

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In 20200403F-05u Days 94-96: Long Stock Picks for June 8th and Beyond, I listed some stocks I purchased on that day. I just checked the return of the stock picks and it matched  the S&P500 over the last 2 weeks, exactly, at 18.2%. This compares with up 15% 3 weeks ago.

I am a bit surprised that these long picks so closely matched the SPY. With 500 stocks, the SPY provides better diversification. I prefer to be a bit more conscious of the stocks I am picking and don’t want to blindly invest in an index.

For some reason, I started looking at the current price of the S&P 500 of $2929.80 and looked back to when it was about this price in the past. On Oct 4, 2019, S&P 500 closed at $2951.01. Much more synchronistically, the S&P 500 hit a local top of $2925.51 on Oct 3, 2018. Over the next 3 months from that date, the S&P 500 dropped 17% to $2447.89. The Oct 3, 2018 date is synchronistic to me because I referred back to it in AAPL Stock Prediction for Oct 3, 2019, in which I noted:

On Oct 3, 2018, AAPL hit an all time high of $233.47 and today it is down over 20% from that high, opening at $178.37.  Could I surf to a universe where APPL stock is up over 25% from today by Oct 3, 2019?  In that universe, AAPL would be above it’s all time high price of $233.47.  While I can imagine how I could increase my odds of that universe, I do not feel a calling to do so due to the limited influence I believe I have on that event.  So, I’m left with a sense based primarily on wishful thinking that AAPL stock will hit a new all time high before Oct 3, 2019.

The AAPL stock prediction was close. AAPL closed at $220.83 on Oct 3, 2019 and a week later set a new high of $236.21 on Oct 11, 2019. On Mar 20, 2020, AAPL hit a year low of $229.24.

If it’s synchronistic, then there must be some meaning to it. The meaning that I’m feeling is that the world is at an inflection point and something unexpected is about to happen.

 

20200421T Day 112: Surfing Towards A More Diversified Stock Portfolio

20200421_StockList

The stock market is still quite volatile, as evidenced by the daily movement in my top 6 stock picks: AAPL, IBM, WETF, SLV, AMD, and SFM. This is definitely not as diversified a list as I would like, with 3 technology companies in the mix. However, it is much better than it was 6 months ago when it was all in AAPL and AMD at about a 75%/25% mix. In December and January, I sold some AAPL and AMD and waited for the coronavirus crash before buying or adding to positions in IBM, WETF, SLV, and SFM. My mix is now 44%/20%/14%/11%/6%/5%. From a diversification point of view, I feel much better. My average price for these stocks are $1.23, $109.20, $3.50, $14.25, $10.00, and $16.48.

I would like to be in a universe in which there is an app, program, or website that will give me a summary financial report of my stock holdings. As a website, I would send up some JSON such as:

{ “AAPL” : 0.44, “IBM”: 0.2, “WETF”: 0.14, “SLV”: 0.11, “AMD”: 0.06, “SFM”: 0.05 }

and get back a combined set of financial parameters such as P/E, Cash Flow, Market Cap, etc. Mutual funds, especially a commodity fund like SLV, would likely need to be ignored.

20200412u Day 103: Stock Market Thoughts and Predictions

Santa Cruz, CA: Last week the stock market had a good week – one of the best in quite a while. A few days ago I spoke to a friend from the future who is betting against the market. She is not alone. I just googled “hedge fund bets on sell off” and found the following – interesting from Nov. 22, 2019!

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Ray Dalio replied to the WSJ by posting that it is misleading to report that he had a bearish view of the stock market and that his hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates, had no “net bet” that the stock market would fall. What seems clear is that he was hedging his stock portfolio to protect it from a drop in the overall market.

So, Ray was apparently feeling the recent market plunge back in October of last year and started buying “insurance” against a total market correction. It would require delving into conspiracy theories to ponder the reasons why he felt the need for such insurance. Perhaps he took notice of the Event 201 Pandemic Simulation Exercise. From the website:

Event 201, hosted by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, envisions a fast-spreading coronavirus with a devastating impact

In an article from almost a month ago, Bridgewater has placed even bigger bets – $15B against Europe and UK. From the article:

The world’s biggest hedge fund manager’s short positions amount to more than $5.3 billion in France and $4.7 billion in Germany, while in Spain its shorts add up to almost $1.4 billion and $821 million in three Italian companies.

Data was not available to show whether Bridgewater, which has $160 billion in assets under management, holds more European stocks than it shorts.

Another hedge fund manager, Bill Ackman, posted about a 100x return on his company’s website:

On 23 March, we completed the exit of our hedges generating proceeds of $2.6bn for the Pershing Square funds, compared with premiums paid and commissions totaling $27m.

I’m sure if I searched I could find other examples of huge bets against the market. Given the fear caused by the pandemic, and the obvious negative effect it is going to cause on the world economies, a bet on the market failing seems like a safe one. However, my thought is that any bet on a failing market should be truly a hedge in this time of uncertainty and act to cushion the loss in value of a net long position. By being long on solid companies and adding a hedge against the entire market dropping, hedge fund managers should be able to sleep better at night.

My thoughts on where the stock market is going is all of the above. It will drop due to the increasing costs of the pandemic, it will rise due to the monetary and governmental stimulus, and it will stay the same due to the balance of these two. There are a set of universes for each of these three scenarios and I would like to plan so that my portfolio stays roughly the same in each of these cases.  For bonds, I like floating over fixed, shorter over longer, and treasuries over non-treasuries. For real estate, I like residential over commercial. For equities, I like American over non-American – although the stronger dollar is going to be a weight on American companies. For currencies, I like the Dollar over the Euro and Yuan and the Yen over the Dollar. For precious metals, I like Silver over Gold. There is a high likelihood that one or more fiat currencies experiences hyper inflation and the Dollar is not immune.

20200403F-05u Days 94-96: Long Stock Picks for June 8th and Beyond

My brother asked me for stock picks for Monday and this is the list I gave him, with prices as of the end of the day last Friday, April 3rd. Once the U.S. makes it past June 8th, the following stocks should, as a group, be a diversified portfolio that will beat the performance of the SP500 (SPY=248.19, S&P=2488.65). I plan to track them from here until June 8th, and until the end of the year.

20200404_StockPicks
Stock Prices end of day April 3rd, 2020

I noticed the post yesterday has the wrong day of the week (0402F). It should have been “0402h”. I’m sure the fact that I wrote it on Friday contributed to this mistake. But, it could also be explained by universes colliding. I hope to get back to posting every day, at least until day 160 of this year, June 8th, by which time I hope to be back in a universe in which I’m rarely thinking about or posting about coronaviruses or pandemics.

Today I experienced merging back into a universe I was in a week or so ago. Before the California shelter-in-place order for Santa Cruz County, I had planned to rent a room in a community house. Then, when the initial order was until April 7th, I delayed my move in until that date. Later, when the initial order was extended until May 3rd, I decided to stay where I am until the end of April. However, after feeling into the different universes, I feeling a stronger alignment with the universe where I move in April 7th. I spoke with the owner of the house this morning, and now plan to move in on that date. I wonder if this will pull closer to me universes where the Santa Cruz County shelter-in-place order ends earlier than May 3rd, or at least doesn’t get extended longer.

Some other sets of universes merging this weekend are:

  1. Universes where hydroxychloroquine is or is not part of the treatment for COVID-19 patients (Ref: https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/05/politics/white-house-malaria-drug-hydroxychloroquine-disagreement/index.html);
  2. Tigers at US zoo test positive for SARS-CoV-2, bringing us closer to the universes in which COVID-19 is spread via pets;
  3. Japan has not yet, but may, declare a state of emergency due to COVID-19; and
  4. The US has COVID-19 outbreaks under control or not – Dr. Fauci says the US doesn’t and is instead struggling.

 

20200327F Day 87: Unemployment, Stock Market, and COVID-19 Cases are All Up

This week a record 3.28 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits. Yesterday, the Dow had it’s best 3-day gain since 1931 and today it finished the week up 12.8%, it’s best weekly advance since 1938. The S&P 500 rose 10.3% – best week since 2008. The Nasdaq rose 9.1% – best week since 2009. U.S. COVID-19 cases topped 100,000.  U.S. Influenza A cases topped 128,000 and Influenza B cases topped 113,000. Also, the largest relief package ever, at $2 trillion for coronavirus relief, was signed into law.

 

20200324T Day 84: 4th Best Percentage Gain in DOW

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Top 20 percentage rises and falls of the DOW as of today

Today, the DOW had a gain of 11.37%, the best one day gain since Mar 15, 1933, which happened to be the best one day gain ever at 15.34%. Today’s gain narrowly beat out the gain of 11.36% on Sept. 21, 1932. Just last week, the DOW had the second largest one-day percentage drop ever of 12.93%. This was only a few days after the then 4th largest one-day drop of 9.99% (and don’t you wonder who kept it from being 10%). And this was only a few days after the then 11th largest one-day drop of 7.79%.

For the last four days, I’ve been sensing a change in my universe surfing. I am no longer interested in this universe where a pandemic sweeps the globe. In this universe, I consume more twitter than I have in a lifetime prior. My intention to create instead of consume has been challenged by my weak free will in the face of the universe. I have a choice now. I can continue to be pummeled by the huge waves of the universe sending me into this pandemic. Or I can strengthen my free will and surf to a new set of universes in which COVID-19 is not dominating the daily thoughts of myself or the world.

From what I know about universe surfing, I can’t do this alone. So, if you find yourself reading this, please join me in surfing to a universe in which SARS_CoV_2 and COVID-19 are not dominating the world’s psyche and are only a distance memory. Oh, and your retirement savings will also be higher in the universe I’m surfing to. I’m putting myself on an 80-day surfing plan from 4 days ago. Target date of June 8, 2020, the 160th day of this year.

 

20200319h Day 79: Number of new cases in China equals $IRX 13-week T-Bill Interest rate equals Zero

20200318_IRX_equal_zero

China announced that it had no new cases (excluding imported cases) of COVID-19 yesterday and the 13-week US Treasury Bill index (IRX) interest rate fell to 98.18% to 0.003%, within rounding of zero percent interest. The 5-year and longer treasure yields all rose as the US dollar and liquidity are now precious assets. March 18th was another volatile day for stocks. AAPL hit a low of $237.12, only a few dollars above the then all-time high of $233.47 that I blogged about in 2018: AAPL Stock Prediction for Oct 3, 2019. More interesting, the NASDAQ closed at 6989.84, below the 7560 prediction I felt “more than 50%” confident about in Aug 2018: NASDAQ Composite Index prediction for March 9, 2019. It’s interesting that I made that prediction for 2019 and it is now true in 2020. The NASDAQ actually fell below 7560 almost a week ago on March 12, 2020. Oh wow, I’m going back to look at 2019 and the NASDAQ on March 12, 2020 closed at 7591.03 and was 7505.92 the week before. So, very close to 7560 on March 9, 2019. Interesting! What I wrote back in August 2018 seems quite synchronistic to me now:

I’m feeling a universe where it is possible for me to sense large changes in the financial markets before they happen.  In this universe, I’m sensing a large change in the negative direction occurring either between October 5th and October 19th, on November 9th, or between December 26th and January 19th, 2019.  Based on this, I sense that there is a greater than 50% chance that on March 9, 2019, the NASDAQ Comp will be lower than 7,560, the value it was on March 9, 2018.

I’m more curious about why I feel compelled to make this prediction.  Only the future knows.

“Feeling” the direction of the market is risky business. If you were to ask me to feel the market now, I would likely stay with safe bets all based around the belief that a year from now, the US dollar will be of relatively lower value compared to other fiat currencies and precious metals. Partly because of this, and partly because the stock market has taken a beating due to the coronavirus pandemic, the NASDAQ, SP500, and most publicly traded stocks will be of higher value, priced in dollars, than they are now.

2020 Day 16: 3.33 miles in 29:19

Having not run since 2020 Day 10: 3 miles in 27:20, I thought this morning would be a good day to see what running universe I was in. I noticed something interesting as I ran a slightly different route which caused me to run clockwise around a main loop rather than counter clockwise. During the first mile when I was running to the loop, I ran an 8-minute mile. But during the second mile when I was running against the flow that I’ve run every other time, I felt resistance, ran a slower 9 minute mile, and my right leg was starting to talk to me at the end. At 2.5 miles, I didn’t even feel like I could finish all 3 miles and wanted to stop. My pace was about a 10 minute mile at that point. Then I decided to just turn around and run counter clockwise around the loop. Immediately, I felt additional energy. I could feel my alignment with the universe in which I had more strength and more speed. A positive feedback loop started where as I believed more, I felt stronger, which caused me to believe more. As my watch buzzed me to let me know I had run 3 miles, I didn’t want to stop. I wondered when I would begin to loose energy. I thought to myself that I’d run 27:20 and stop to see how much farther I ran that last time. I still felt strong so I gave myself a stretch goal of running 3.25 miles. At 3.25 miles, I still felt strong and I saw the hill coming up that always gets me. As I approached the hill, I saw I was about to hit 3.33 miles, and so I stopped. I felt good about my final time of 29:19. It reminded me that 10+19=29.

In other news, the stock market rose strongly at the beginning of this 16th day of the month. I plan to start paying attention to the first day and 16th day of future months to see if I notice a pattern that matches this study of S&P 500 first day tendencies.