“With all your getting, get Wisdom & Understanding.”
Forbes uses a spin off along these lines. The original is found in Proverbs 7:
“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.”
That was a tall order to fill in 2020. But there are a lot of useful takeaways. Some of them will no doubt apply in 2021.
#1: Live Your Own Path
There hasn’t been a morning this year that the first thing going through my head, somewhere between 4 and 5 AM, wasn’t “Why do I write every morning?“
The answer is always the same: “I love people in general. And we each have a path, and we can learn from one-another. Problem is, there’s not enough thoughtful discussion (data-based, hype-free) and forward-thinking in corporate media.” We try to provide commentary and counterpoint.
Living your “Own Path” isn’t easy. It takes brutal internal criticism and the harshest possible view of a broader Reality as a starting point.
Then comes our second question of the morning. Borrowed from the “method school” of Acting:
“What’s my motivation?”
I have written about this several times, but as a final column of 2020, I’d like to remind you we all die. So the treasures (and toxics) collected in Life probably do turn into the Life Review reported by so many survivors of Near Death Experiences (NDE’s).
Can’t speak for your Life, but mine is an adventure film. Even with 72 looming in 2021, every dream that can be remembered is, and it all goes into that film library between the ears. “B-roll”? Perhaps. Still, Pappy taught me, as Shakespeare wrote:
“”Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once.” “When beggars die, there are no comets seen; The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes.”
I don’t write to spread fear of anything. I write so the valiant can seize their proper weapons – and slay the uncertain future – for their own great benefit.
#2: Money Isn’t Everything
Another question I begin the day with? “What’s my Objective today?“
I’ve found that with modest, yet consistent effort, on-plan, anyone (at least for now) living slightly below their income level,, can use their savings to buy a better personal, sustainable future.
When younger, the fraction of time spent Earning is high. Getting older, I’ve been blessed with more time for Learning.
Because? The treasures you can take with you are all “between the Ears.”
#3: “Enough Ain’t Much”
Fundamentally, we either “own things” or “Things own us.”
The basics are a full belly a couple of times a day, a warm, comfortable bed, someone who loves you unconditionally, and prospects to build the life you dream of.
None of which takes much money.
If you haven’t enjoyed the lockdowns and shut-ins, you might want to pick some better “goals between the ears.” Lacking in ideas? How about Shaolin Iron Shirt for a discipline? Everyone can use more qi.
#4: Politicians Lie and Are Lazy
President Trump, in my view, was assassinated prior to taking office. That is, he suffered a character assassination.
No one called the FBI – besides, who (there) would have answered?
This political assassination was based largely on Clinton-sponsored “opposition research” and twisted-up by Dennis Schemer and Nasty Peloser to where America suffered – and continues to do so. Lacking National Goals worthy of this great Nation, the squandered millions were a shitshow for media.
Effectively, runaway politics – enabled by leftist elitists like Jack what’s his twit – drove America to a state of hyper-agitation. Which was promptly monetized; with the media using puffery and exaggeration and tools of persuasion to line their own pockets at the expense of America’s heart.
Somewhere along the way, we forgot the Constitution, the last bastion. Then, on top of which, the Supreme Court failed its simple mission to ensure Justice. As a result, we enter 2021 as a country having lost both the capacity and inclination to Judge anything honestly.
In such an environment, demagogues and charlatans flourish. Which is what’s just been elected and will take office shortly. Free lunches for all, and then a “good night…”
#5: Balance Sheets Matter
As I explained for Peoplenomics subscribers, in painful detail: The stock market has run up – from the start of 2020 to present levels; which are nearly as much as the final year of the Internet bubble.
With the huge gains in made-up digital tulips, the picture of “profits without work” and “something for nothing” is complete.
Over 2020, the market also rallied massively based on phony injections of Money by the Fed. Because (with charlatans and dishonesty rampant) it was held in 2020 that it would be better to “cook the books and scuttle the future” than to allow for the pain of an economic unwinding.
The incoming administration is friendly to Modern Monetary Theory. Where it’s been tried – in shitholes like Zimbabwe and Venezuela – the outcome has been one socialist disaster after another. Even as Cuba looks to “open” a bit, their “dollar equivalent” will equal 1/24th of even today’s watered-down U.S. Dollar.
#6: Dividends Matter, Too
The reason people invest is to get a return on their money. Used to be an honest rental fee.
You see,, most of the time, at least in Days of Old, companies were well-managed. You could tell: There was money left over at the end of each Quarter. This was turned into dividends. A fair metric, was it not?
Investors were honest, too. The received – as dividends – fair “rent on their money” invested in the company’s stock – which in turned owned actual goods like plant and equipment.
Regrettably, dividends are scarce (*and almost accidental for some twits) and getting scarcer. People don’t by stock (or crypto currencies) based on any fundamental storehouse of value they represent. The whole House of Cards continues to depend on a rich supply of Greater Fools. And by God, 2020 produced ’em by the boatload!
What has Money become? It’s all just a “game taw.” A “marker” for accountants. For children, a taw may be as the “shooter” in marbles. Leading us to suspect that America has “lost her marbles.”
Although stocks have some nominal value, they are not throwing off cash. Instead, the markets sit around playing Monopoly with stacks of colored paper and a laser printer at boardside. Surely, it’s a laughable concept. But, remember how extensibility works. We’ll check Boardwalk when the bell signals today’s herd-culling.
#7: There are Still Losers
The swill served-up by the Liberalista Academics is that we can’t have any “losers.”
Result? Universal Basic Incomes (UBI) and other socialist free lunches are proposed. All to be funded with Made-Up-Money. Whee!
Yet, as my consigliere pointed out: “Remember, if the average I.Q. is 100, then by definition, half the people in America are below average.” Fortunately, he whispered it; the Correctness SWAT team hasn’t found us, yet.
The Union movement languished in 2020, however. Because there’s a soft détente in play during this slice of history. Unions used to lead but Corporations (and those swindle- not unlike, zero-dividend types) hate Unions. But, as long at one Party uses them to advantage, they are tolerated straw men. Empty symbols held up to bolster Party Lies.
Instead of Unions has come a Squad and a reactionary Right; BLM, Antifa, and Proud Boys. All out of touch with Reality and unable to balance the Books (financial or social). Let alone articulate worthy and coherent goals. The one thing they do admirably is keep We the People whipped up and divided against one-another. Which is a crying shame. But it’s also a media monetization – so it won’t end quickly.
#8: Invest In Reality
But, when you do, pay it off as quickly as you can.
Although we expect the Caracas on the Potomac crowd will opt for the Easy Out (soft hyperinflation) the current dollar costs for things will continue to scream higher.
Elaine and I have been investing in things that will appreciate. Seeds can grow more profitably than the same dollars in stocks. Better for you, too.
#9: Eschew Crooked Data
Final point before a few headlines and tossing a New Year’s Eve prime rib in the oven for an ultra-slow cook:
Government (and sycophant media) present a large body of economic data in a misleading way. The sleight of hand is “Seasonal Data Adjustments.” Like the socialist mantra that “There are no Losers” these “Seasonal adjustments” keep the doors open for liars and deniers.
Believable and reasonable numbers reflecting Reality are thus turned into whoppers.
This Wikipedia note is refreshingly on point:
“Use of seasonally adjusted time series data can be misleading because a seasonally adjusted series contains both the trend–cycle component and the error component. As such, what appear to be “downturns” or “upturns” may actually be randomness in the data. For this reason, if the purpose is finding turning points in a series, using the trend-cycle component is recommended rather than the seasonally adjusted data.”
It’s actually worse: Weekly trend-cycle data is inherently noisy as hell. But you’ll get a clearer picture looking at raw and not doctored numbers in most cases.
Seasonal adjustments are often used to support political lies and agendas. Unless there is a baseline (same methodology) of at least 10-years, be suspicious! And even then, only annual seasonality is predictive at a reasonable confidence interval.
Most “seasonally adjusted” data lands in our “likely statistical lies” pile. You know what “Piled higher and Deeper” means, right?
With that, an end to Ure’s takeaway’s except to restate our Core Beliefs:
- “Everything is a Business Model”
- (And with a hat tip to my Deflationist pal Jas): “Human’s seek pleasure, but not Truth.”
- (2020 Bonus): “Most people are Lazy.” Which is why so many people are “average.”
- And without constant self-criticism, we’re all just People.
A finer summary of what drives America into 2021 couldn’t be found.
Ready for a heaping helping of Seasonal Adjustment nonsense?
The Layoff Fix
You’re bright enough to read:
See how Seasonal Adjustment makes it look like the Insured unemployment was only down 103,000? When without adjustments, it was down 171,035?
Gee…almost 70% off.
The Media swill? 787,000 filed – and that’s better than expected. Dow futures still down 24…because maybe some of the Series license holders can do simple math, too?
Money supply and Fed balance sheet after the market close. Which is at 1 PM for stocks and 2 PM for bonds.
Going into the weak ending: New Year’s storm moves snow, ice across the U.S. and we’ve had just under 2 inches of rain here in the Outback of East Texas overnight.
Politician with a conscience? Nope. Not if you read the WaPo slam in “Josh Hawley reminds us that the GOP is the sedition party.” Fortunately, opinions are like a**holes. Everyone got one. How the treasonous usurpation party earns a pass is beyond me. Both parties are crooked…anyone who says otherwise hasn’t read much.
To the Moon (on hot air): “Rat Poison Squared” Bitcoin Tops $29k, Surpasses Berkshire Hathaway’s Market Cap. In our view, digidough is letting some of the steam out of stocks, which is not very surprising.
Life may change a bit in England as Brexit To Take Full Effect As UK Leaves EU Single Market.
And this story looks to us like Time is trying to make a run at TV Guide maybe? “Here’s Everything New on Netflix in January 2021—And What’s Leaving.”
Off to the oven.
Usually, we don’t have a beverage before 4PM (Martini time). But, I couldn’t help but notice the “two-legged elf” left out the Cointreau, White Agave, orange juice, and a bottle of Coke next to the Captain.
Go take the rest of the year off.
Write when you get rich,