Chinese Charm. American Assets.

DECEMBER 31, 2018. On the cusp of a sparkling new year, who can deny it? China is thrilling, and amazing. As Anthony Bourdain noted, it’s far too large, diverse, and old, to know. Nonetheless the world clamors and struggle’s to be let in. Even Alphabet has switched course. From without, China is yet more a paradox than not. And on it goes.
Globalism daily corrals more of our thinking. Advocates prattle about that big pie of unity. The so-called synergies of an efficiently interconnected world system are said to be worth it, and nations without barriers the path. Can we have a “nation’ without barriers? Having cake and eating too.
History is not a blank state–oops, slate. History indeed is routinely “written by the victor.” Yet not all history is bunk. Thanks Aldous Huxley for the joke. What in fact does history tell us about China’s ability to become a trusted and open free-trader? Is their true goal simply economic? U.S. history has never been simply that. STOCKjAW takes a closer look.

Read more

Mexico’s Reboot. The Pop Way.

DECEMBER 25, 2018. Some say fences make good neighbors. Perhaps, but what’s going on south of that perhaps wall? For the first time in decades an authentic power shift now holds out a promise for Mexico. Money talks everywhere, but nowhere more so than in Mexico City. The monied establishment Pri party is out and populism is in. He’s known as AMLO.
Our southern neighbor just concluded an election of mind-bending violence, leaving more than 100 politicians dead. Right–100. Mexico also yet faces crippling entrenched corruption, and a 40% poverty rate.
We also see a new president just assuming office, one willing to listen to the ordinary people. He prefers plebiscites. He’s vowed to “uplift the needy.” Before even assuming office, he has indeed stubbed his toe, and “damaged the economy.”-The Economist.
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is being called a “left-wing populist” by the often superb British weekly. That’s bad right?
AMLO deserves a fair shake. The new guy is daring to try alternatives, like it or not. The Economist does not. The paper talks blithely about “AMLO’s errors” and “…going about it in the wrong way.” Really? Mexico’s issues are complex. Nothing’s simple there, except “Plata-O-plomo.”
What does the paper offer as better?
They offer paper-thin, single-word solutions such as “improve,” “secure,” and “strengthen.” That’s it. Read what they said. Decide for yourself. We did.(Cover photo) El Paso. The turf between El Paso and Juarez ranks as one of the hottest boundaries worldwide.

Read more

Eat Salesmen. Cows Don’t Shill.

DECEMBER 21, 2018. “We like the banks here.” Really? A thousand times. That’s the number of times in 2018 we’ve witnessed that cow pie observation.
Is that a recommendation, or shills posing as advisers? Banks have done precisely nothing all year. But one should never allow facts to interfere with sales. Television guests are supposedly providing insight. No. They’re selling their brand. It’s call conflict of interest. But then everybody knows that. More dodging and weaving happens on financial TV then in boxing. The foul tricks of the dodge and weave.

Read more

Inverted. Can United Health or Boeing Float Through This?

DECEMBER 7, 2018. The view is different upside-down. You’ll hear then say that about the “inverted yield curve” Is that real? What’s it do just before the end?
The dreaded curve yielded on Tuesday. But this one was the twos and fives. That’s kid stuff, but look what happened. Smart people say an inversion of twos and tens spells doom, the equity death dirge. We’re close, very close. We don’t know if anything lives through that. But aren’t inversions like volcanoes? They may huff but they don’t always go off.
Meanwhile, United Health and Boeing battle along with the rest. How are two towering leaders doing amid a very busy brutal mix? Do you trust them still? STOCKjAW takes an informative technical look.

Read more

Victims Of Every Sector Storm. Feeling Clever Costs.

SEPTEMBER 2, 2018. Markets change and so do portfolios. Half of that gyrating is needless, and expensive. “Somebody’s got to pay the bills.” Right. But don’t let it be you.
Markets are like clock hands. They move. But they always arrive right back where they began. Few really need to take that predictably painful journey. Understanding the game and thus skipping the trip isn’t hard. Even when the market becomes dry, most of the good stuff remains right where it was. Stay where you are, if you enjoy superior returns.

Read more

Google. Cash Swarm.

JULY 26, 2018. Smack talking about Google or Amazon is like dangling some stamped pot-medal chandelier in the ballroom of Wayne Manor. Nice. The Joker–oops, we mean Elizabeth Warren, seems to feel that the squeaky-clean European Commission is all good using Google like a cash machine. $2.7 billion last year and $5.01 billion this month. Very nice.
Perhaps the truly laudable senior senator from Massachusetts should focus on the CFPB, or EU Airbus subsidies.
Meanwhile, Batman–oops, Alphabet, soars to all-time highs off the glory of a monster $11.75 EPS score. The consensus estimate was $9.58.
What do you say when an $870b. company cranks out a retina-detaching 23% revenue growth rate, in constant currency terms, after turning 20? What do you say about Alphabet’s obscene cash mountain? Well, you say “Sorry for the smack–we love you.
Where’s the buy counter?”

Read more

Trade? NATO? Change Without Disruption? Dream On.

JULY 13, 2018. Beyond politics and a polarized media, the facts defining trade and NATO stand clear, despite media spin. Both are negotiations, not some flossy brunch with the partners. It’s business, national business, and that means upset.
But not to worry. Our European allies dearly love us–like a Sugar Daddy. Besides, fussing is much easier, and cheaper, then reworking insular national budgets. How upset does your daughter get if the funds aren’t there?
World War II ended 73 years ago. The Soviet Union collapsed 27 years ago. Treaties are binding, all round. Abrogations matter. Yet, is the United States really obligated to continue subsidizing the security of nations unwilling to live up to their own treaty commitments? If they don’t care enough to pay, why should we?
In stark violation of WTO rules, and free trade, China subsidizes, dumps, cheats, hacks, and shields, on behalf of its’ industries. Japan’s done so forever. The WTO is AWOL. Successive U.S. presidents have sat on the issue like an egg, and hatched a fat zero. But no, don’t do anything different, like tariffs. More importantly, never be disruptive, or unpredictable. Somebody might get upset. Worse yet, things might actually improve.

Read more

3 SELLS Now. Dump Downers Before They Devour You.

JULY 2, 2018. Your mission is simple. Buy low and sell high. Sell? You actually want me to sell? Do you realize how hard I worked to create this cost basis?
Stock market fervor lives on the buy side. Some myth exists concerning the sell–like it’s just supposed to happen. And it will be right. Wrong.
Knowing sell disciline is one of the hardest skills of all. Who wants to sell at a loss? Who wants to sell their cherished horses? You do. Here are three examples time is proving right.

Read more

Summer Blockbusters. The Very Best, In Bright Light.

JUNE 25, 2018. Myths die hard, or never. Here’s one.
The real winners are a secret, waiting for you to discover them. Not really. So why beat the weeds for that rare gem?
Secret stocks are the ones Wall Street never talks about. Guess what? If Wall Street doesn’t talk about them, they’re likely not worth your time. Again, why?
No doubt the equity investing world harbors stocks that are doing well, in near perfect darkness. Yet simple reasons exist for not beating the ditches to find such unusual names. How about your time? Instead of sifting the obscure for a great hope, simply follow the spotlight. The light is where things grow. Summer blockbusters you can grow with.

Read more