BUSINESS, EDITOR'S DESK, EDITORIAL, INVESTING, MONEY, Reader's Choice

Blind Investing by Fidelity. It’s More Fun Without Those Pesky Facts.

JULY 18, 2019. Someone wants your help with their Fidelity retirement account you say? Nice. Fidelity’s literally got that covered. Their “Limited trading authority’s” darkly ingenious. Just close your eyes and select.
Who doesn’t enjoy a blindfold for a car rite, or while investing? Handcuffs and half-facts too. Relax, it’s only your nest egg. All mutual finds smell different over the phone. Besides, investing research grows dull when you can actually see the facts.
Admit it. Everybody loves game show-style retirement navigating. Details muck everything up. Fidelity’s unique Zero-View format is for anyone attempting to help a participant in any of the retirement plans they manage. How? Fidelity snaps off the lights and instructs you to ask questions, over the phone. Two ways past this bat-mad lunacy. “Blind Investing by Fidelity.”

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CULTURE, EDITOR'S DESK, FUNDAMENTALS, GREEDY CREEP, INVESTING, TECHNICALS, THINKING NOW

Turd Spotting. Roku. The New Cable.

JULY 5, 2019. Facebook didn’t charge you up-front. FB played your back side, the data usage shell game. Roku does both and more. Roku deceives you up-front, charges you for their device, then leverages an account and a c card to activate what you already paid for, tracks your every move, pimps you with the ads you sought to dodge, shares your personal and viewing data, and then assists others in their attempts to target and track you. Roku is the new cable, on steroids.
Free was never free and Facebook illustrated such. The old East Germany was never free and the Stasi showed that. Today many simply flip their privacy away like a cigarette butt. Years ago Zuckerberg declared blithely that “privacy is dead.” FB then created the standard of contempt for “privacy” in the digital age. None. Like Daniel Ortega he’s now on the other side of that. Whatever it takes.
Along came TiVo, and their DVR surveillance platform. TiVo brought advertisers right on to your sofa. Only one step remained. Direct surveillance. Apple’s now got that covered–auditory and visual surveillance. No? Sharp consumers found the Apple camera in their digital assistant. There’s also Mitsubishi TV. They also tell you, after you buy and install.
Is it only Us? Little things create character. Roku is dishonest, by omission. “So what?” Dishonesty displays contempt. Dishonesty in business displays contempt for both you, and the business you bring. Honesty means saying “Credit card required to activate.”
But they don’t. If Roku games you like that from the very start, what else do you think they’re willing to do? Sj shows you.
Contempt, “the feeling that a person or a thing is beneath consideration, worthless.” -Google. That’s why Sj is “Turd Spotting. Roku. The New Cable.”

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CREDIT CARDS, CULTURE, Editor's Choice, EDITOR'S DESK, FUNDAMENTALS, INVESTING, MONEY, STOCKS

JPM Beaten Like a Brexit Goat. “But Still All Good–For Now.”

JUNE 27, 2019. Alexander Bell wasn’t thinking banking when he unwound some wire to create a connection. Quaint it seems now, the notion of telephones for talking.  Who talks?  Phones are for textual grunts, photos, useless apps, and moving money.  Nothing stays the same, and caring just gets in the way.  That’s why there are museums. That’s also like our big, old, banks.  Soon they will need parks, just like dinosaurs, for those who wish to remember.
Moving money used to be hard, and physical.  Slow and expensive marred the experience while Western Union provided the piratical pricing.  Western Union increasingly looks like Xerox, a company looking for a future.  It’s about to get much worse for them.
JPM is far more than either of those dinos, and more then a money mover.  But who cares?
Many would say JPM is the best at what it does  However some of what it does is caught in a costly change, and under pressure.  Should you want any? Commissioner Gordon could be about to hard-beam the Bat Signal over big banking.

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EDITOR'S DESK, EDITORIAL, THINKING NOW

Theft and Tariff. Thriving This Trade War.

JUNE 15, 2019. Who doesn’t enjoy a mad swarm of bees–more than a trade war wedgie? Bees obey rules, usually. Besides, it’s hard to make sense with your unders wrapped around your chin. Trade is a fight and all fights are personal. Can anyone else hear that back-up warning beep? Once launched trade wars float forward creating some funky life all their own. Trade wars are also sort of like that guy stitch-fixed together out of spare parts by that famous German doctor. No one knows what’s coming next. They lumber and lurch clumsily crushing anything good and sensible. Soon the goal shifts to stopping the damage.
Thieves piss everyone off, with the exception of those doing the thieving. Some entities refuse anything but a boot in the ass. Ask T. May. Middle school also proved that. Such requests should be solemnly honored. Talk goes only so far.  Sometimes only a frown signifies progress. “Forced technology transfer” is not free trade, and “Joint venture partners” who systematically steal are not partners. Meanwhile the WTO has never loved America and looking to them for fairness is as effective as tossing empty pop cans.
This gargantuan pie fight mashes onward, and investors make their way through the mess. Doing so intelligently means sticking to what works. No one knows our collective future. They only pretend to. We alone hold on to our portfolio rudder. Thriving this trade war. Ultimately one truth exits. The decisions are ours.

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CULTURE, EDITOR'S DESK, EDITORIAL, MARKETS/ECONOMY, Specials

Stock Summer. Moving Through.

MAY 30, 2019. Summer comes.  The heat boils up your neck and beads down your back, and then it’s over.  Once again days shorten.  Again we miss the blazing light and glance quickly back wondering  where it all went.  A perspective falls naturally into place.
Summers don’t come off a rack.  They are not stock.  Each is unique, in its’ own way.  Patterns shift.  Yet each year we stare past a sunglass and feel a solidarity with others–people we don’t know, yet sense a unity with in this thing we know as life, and heat, and prolonged unfolding.  Amen to that, because together we’re at our strongest. That’s one thing that brings us to this page.
Stocks are only part of our days.  But we love it–honestly we do, or we wouldn’t bother.  You’ve heard it before “Sell in May and go away.”  Summer action is a slower, even sleepy time, traditionally.  Many money managers actually go on vacation.   Funds go on auto-pilot.  The French abandon their desks.  They flee a heated Paris for a month and live.  God knows the Italians do.  They understand.  Perhaps there’s a clue here, for us, concerning stocks, and a sweaty stressed stupid market, in need of a flighty butterfly heart.  It’s summertime.

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CULTURE, EDITOR'S DESK, EDITORIAL, FUNDAMENTALS, INVESTING, MARKETS/ECONOMY

Galaxy of Guesses. Stone Fact.

MAY 5, 2019. Fighting stone theft has brought down the acid rain of trade warring. Correcting the outrage of “Forced Technology Transfer” is turning out to be outrageously expensive. Follow the bouncing tariffs, as the process takes now bumbling share prices down the basement stairs into chaos. No predictable end exists to a war that looks likely to produce a prolonged market decline.
If you’re not defensively positioned now, it’s too late. The remainder of the market seems set for lower prices. We see China-free secular momentum stocks as a refuge, even in a slower economy. Yet even those are targeted now. A descending market takes everyone down. Stay and ride it out? Or return when prices are lower?
Should you be invested in this trade war market?

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