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2021 State of Venture Capital

2021 State of Venture Capital.....»»

Category: blogSource: THEBIGPICTUREJan 14th, 2022Related News

1970 Mazda Cosmo Series II

Anyone who is familiar with Mazda today likely knows of the brand through the MX5 Miata. That tossable, perfectly balanced little roadster back in 1989 single-handedly revived the convertible market. It also Mazda the brand from But before there was a Miata or even an RX-7, there was the Cosmo. The early Series I version… Read More The post 1970 Mazda Cosmo Series II appeared first on The Big Picture. Anyone who is familiar with Mazda today likely knows of the brand through the MX5 Miata. That tossable, perfectly balanced little roadster back in 1989 single-handedly revived the convertible market. It also Mazda the brand from But before there was a Miata or even an RX-7, there was the Cosmo. The early Series I version arrived in 1967, and the Series II you see below was the 1968 upgrade. It gave the pretty little Series II (L10B) a power bump to 128 horsepower from its twin rotary engine with a 7,000-rpm redline, a five-speed gearbox, and a top speed over 120 mph. Over time, the flagship Cosmo morphed from a sport to a luxury car. There were 343 Series I produced by Mazda from 1967-68; 833 of the series II, starting mid-68 through 72, were made. They are not a lot of these around anymore, and they have become increasingly collectible. The RHD model you see below sold for $105,000.     Source: Bring A Trailer The post 1970 Mazda Cosmo Series II appeared first on The Big Picture......»»

Category: blogSource: THEBIGPICTUREJan 14th, 2022Related News

Living Through a Crash

Living Through a Crash.....»»

Category: blogSource: THEBIGPICTUREJan 14th, 2022Related News

Which Companies Won or Lost Your Affection During Pandemic?

    Did any particular company win your affections during the pandemic? What shops might you have fallen in or out of love with? Who performed admirably under challenging circumstances? Who stunk the joint up? Since lockdown began ~March 2020, I have been observing relationships between consumers and companies. After all, companies are managed by… Read More The post Which Companies Won or Lost Your Affection During Pandemic? appeared first on The Big Picture.     Did any particular company win your affections during the pandemic? What shops might you have fallen in or out of love with? Who performed admirably under challenging circumstances? Who stunk the joint up? Since lockdown began ~March 2020, I have been observing relationships between consumers and companies. After all, companies are managed by people, and people occasionally have lapses in judgment. Every now and again, a company is blind to its relationship with its customers and stumbles. How they respond when these errors are pointed out says a lot about its management team, and how they think about their relationship with the people who keep them in business. There were some broad policy changes and corporate behaviors that altered how some companies interacted with their customers (and society). I wonder how much this has impacted whether or not some customers want to vote with their dollars to encourage that company to keep doing what they are doing — or not. Note I am not discussing a single slight to any one person (What is more tone-deaf than a celeb whining on Twitter about flight delays to airline Twitter accounts?) Where are people “feeling the love” – or not? The pandemic has created very specific winners and losers – but I suspect we have yet to realize the long-term effects of how sentiment might have shifted over time. A few companies that stood out; here are my  subjective observations: Delta: Travel (and espeically airlines) were among the first companies to get hit by lockdowns. Airline had few options, but I greatly appreciate how some – in particular Delta – responded: Their CEO emailed travelers that COVID cancelled flights would be refunded or you could choose to receive a credit in perpetuity (this was greatly appreciated). Frequent flyer miles would continue indefinitely; your flight status (Silver Medallion!) would be rolled over (meaning you wouldn’t be penalized for any lack of flying in 2020). It was just smart customer relations by $DAL, and I will remember that the next time I have to book a flight. Starbucks: I am a long-time consumer of Starbucks coffee (and their breakfasts). When we moved offices a few years ago from the Park Ave South region over to the Bryant Park, I had to shift my local Starbucks. What a difference 3 blocks makes: It always took longer to get an order, even pre-ordering with the app. My favorite breakfast (egg whites / turkey bacon on English muffin) was out of stock four of five days; it’s amazing the difference service and competency a few avenues made. I share that to let you know I was primed pre-pandemic to be disappointed by $SBUX A few articles about how successful the company was with their app and gift cards and how much money their customers had lent to them (note: this was old news) kind of piqued my curiosity. Rather than being grateful for free capital, Starbucks kicked off the pandemic by telling app users their Starbucks points (which had already become much chintzier than they once were) were soon expiring. What a thoughtless way to respond to the pandemic! It was the last straw for me, and – Adios muchachos! – I deleted my Starbucks app. The company has gradually moved away from what made them so successful in the first place. I am not angry, its more of a disappointed shrug. As my buddy Todd Harrison always points out, the opposite of Love is not Hate, its indifference. And that is how I now feel about them. I’m not suggesting anyone boycott Starbucks, I’ll still go, just far less frequently than I used to. They no longer give me the warm fuzzies they once did. Amazon: A funny thing happened during the pandemic: Amazon no longer was my automatic choice for online retail purchases. Pre-pandemic, I’d hit Amazon.com automatically for nearly everything, never thinking twice about it. But during lockdown with items in short supply, I began searching and finding things elsewhere, often at significantly better prices. For the longest time, Amazon was THE low-cost provider; today, this is no longer true. The site is filled with third parties often of dubious quality, occasionally price gouging. Every page is overwhelmed with ugly advertising – and often for the wrong item. It was once a huge advantage having your credit card + address information on file but because of the decline of the entire Amazon experience, people set up accounts at competitors: Chewy, Walmart, target, Google Wallet, lots more. Don’t get me wrong: Amazon will still be the beneficiary of my online spending; but the pandemic has led me to lots of new relationships with many other companies. Assuming others did the same, the net result will be declining Amazon market share over the next decade. YouTube: We all understand Netflix and Amazon Prime and HBO Max, and I thought I understood YouTube. But over the past two years, I have been continually astonished by the breadth and depth of YouTube’s massive collection of videos. My appreciation for what they have created continues to grow and compound. It is nothing short of astonishing. Pre-pandemic, I spent time on a handful of automobile and music videos. Today, I use the site as a resource for cooking, home repairs, figuring out how to change the date on an antique watch, adjusting the carburetor an old Vette, building a bat house, installing nerf bars on the Jeep, potty training a puppy, just about anything you want to learn how to do. And that’s before we get to endless entertainment and education choices. Whatever I previously thought about YouTube, its probably 100X that size. Amazing! What’s App/Google Translate/World Remit/Remitly: I mentioned this previously, but What’sApp ($FB) combined with Google Translate ($GOOG) and global transfer apps has made it very easy to do busines around the world. This made specific overseas sales, purchases, shipping, etc. possible. Just a decade ago, this required incredible expertise and resources. Today, there is an app for that. Local Restaurants: Restaurants were hard hit by pandemic, and we have been saddened by the loss of some that were like old friends to us. But a lot of restaurants exhibited entrepreneurship and savvy as they adapted as best as they could to a challenging set of circumstances. Some built sidewalk sheds, others filled their patios with gas heaters, and all of the survivors tacked towards take out. I have been especially impressed and how productive and efficient some restaurants have become at this. One of our favorable local joints separate the burger from the bun, fixins, and fries to keep everything from getting soggy. Others do something similar with all of their dishes. the effort has not gone unnoticed. Even when you’re doing takeout, you should always tip generously as much of the staff at restaurants are paid via gratuities. Others had mixed results: I was furious at Toyota for being one of the first car companies to back the insurrectionists in Congress, but other car companies (like Ford) soon followed. Live Nation/TicketMaster did pretty okay and they barely stayed alive, but I heard of people who had much worse experiences than I did. There were lots of companies that donated to local food banks and generally were good corporate citizens, but there were too many exceptions to that observations. What companies impressed you over the past year or two? Which ones disappointed you?     Previously: The Cutting Edge (September 30, 2021) America’s CEOs Are Having a Good Year (February 19, 2021)   The post Which Companies Won or Lost Your Affection During Pandemic? appeared first on The Big Picture......»»

Category: blogSource: THEBIGPICTUREJan 13th, 2022Related News

MiB: Ray Dalio

    This week, we speak with Ray Dalio, who is founder, co-chair, and co-chief investment officer of the world’s largest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates. His most recent book is “Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order: Why Nations Succeed and Fail.” We discuss how there is nothing truly unprecedented, what that word tends… Read More The post MiB: Ray Dalio appeared first on The Big Picture.     This week, we speak with Ray Dalio, who is founder, co-chair, and co-chief investment officer of the world’s largest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates. His most recent book is “Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order: Why Nations Succeed and Fail.” We discuss how there is nothing truly unprecedented, what that word tends to refer to are things we have not seen in our lifetime. Even the current Covid pandemic has a predecessor in the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic. He explains how the rise and fall of great empires have all followed a very specific pattern: the Roman Empire, the British, French, Dutch, and Spanish empires, now the US hegemony, and the rise of China — all of these are following the same patterns we have seen time and again. He tells how history happens over and over, and why China is the next country to become the dominant economic, military, and trading entity, which means it is going to be the most significant geopolitical comp[etitor for the West and the United States for the  next few decades. A list of his favorite books is here; A transcript of our conversation is available here. You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here. Our prior interviews are here: October 24, 2020, November 10, 2018, December 9, 2017, and MIB Live in 2018 (MIB Live, Round Up). Be sure to check out our Masters in Business next week with Jim McKelvey, co-founder of Square (with Jack Dorsey), and currently CEO of Invisibly, empowering people to manage the future of their personal data.       Ray Dalio’s Authored Books   The Changing World Order: Why Nations Succeed and Fail   Big Debt Crises Principles: Life and Work   Ray Dalio’s Favorite Books The Hero with a Thousand Faces (The Collected Works of Joseph Campbell) by Joseph Campbell The Lessons of History by Will Durant River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life by Richard Dawkins   Ray Dalio’s Current Reading The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers: Economic Change and Military Conflict from 1500 to 2000 by Paul Kennedy No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention by Reed Hastings and Erin Meyer Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World by H.R. McMaster The World: A Brief Introduction by Richard Haass   The post MiB: Ray Dalio appeared first on The Big Picture......»»

Category: blogSource: THEBIGPICTUREJan 13th, 2022Related News

Transcript: Ray Dalio

    The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Ray Dalio, is below. You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here. ~~~ ANNOUNCER: This is Masters in Business with Barry Ritholtz… Read More The post Transcript: Ray Dalio appeared first on The Big Picture.     The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Ray Dalio, is below. You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here. ~~~ ANNOUNCER: This is Masters in Business with Barry Ritholtz on Bloomberg Radio. RITHOLTZ: I’m Barry Ritholtz. You’re listening to Masters in Business on Bloomberg Radio. My extra special guest this week is Ray Dalio. He is the founder of Bridgewater, one of the world’s largest hedge funds. He is the author of numerous bestselling books, including “Principles: Life and Work” and “Big Debt Crises.” His latest is called “The Changing World Order: Why Nations Succeed and Fail.” Ray Dalio, our returning champion, welcome back to Bloomberg. DALIO: Thank you, Barry. It’s always a pleasure to be with you. RITHOLTZ: So, before we get into the book, I want to give listeners who may not be familiar with some of your work a little background. And you first came to my attention for the work you do on mistakes as, quote, “opportunities to learn and improve, the key to success in life is learning how to fail well.” Tell us a little bit about that. What — what led you to that understanding? DALIO: The markets. You know, but I mean, it’s true like pain is a great teacher, you know, so I learned pain plus reflection equals progress, and so the markets. You know, markets teach you humility. You got to be aggressive and you got to be defensive at the same time. So, what I learned is whatever successes I had in life had to do more with how I dealt with what I didn’t know than what I know. And so, that means taking it in. But making mistakes and reflecting on them, hey, that’s a great way to learn, right? RITHOLTZ: It certainly is. And there’s another issue that you bring up related to that, which is hyperrealism. You have to understand how reality works then learn how to deal with it, which kind of raises an issue. Isn’t that obvious? Who gets that wrong? Who doesn’t deal with reality? DALIO: Well, I — I think the most people have a wish of what reality is, and they get upset that their reality is not that. And they get hung up in that upsetness rather than to look at it and accept it, and then say, “What does that tell me about how reality works and how I should deal with it?” Right? I think most people are upset. They’re stuck in that upsetness and wishing something is different rather than thinking how do they best respond to what is their reality. RITHOLTZ: That – that’s very zen of you — accept reality for what it is and — and interact with that as opposed to just being upset about the way the world isn’t. DALIO: Well, zen are practical, I think it is practical. RITHOLTZ: So, let’s talk about some things that you have helped create some products. Treasury Inflation Protected bonds, TIPS, the U.S. Dollar Future Index, risk parity, the stock market of China, and my favorite, Chicken McNuggets. How did you have a hand in creating all of these products? DALIO: Well, you know, you just go along with your life and you do the thing you do, and then you come up with an idea. So, in my case, I was at, you know, markets since I was a kid, 12. I played around. I mean, I didn’t know what I was doing in the beginning, but I played around with markets, and I encountered things. So, I used to start off with commodities. I traded commodities — grains, and meats, and all of those things. And then this McDonald’s wanted to have the chicken McNugget, but they were worried that chicken prices would change a lot, and so then I needed — I worked with a chicken processor who then made chickens and chickens grain, and I showed them how they can work a deal out where they would hedge the grain and so on so forth, and that’s how Chicken McNuggets could come out without — at a fixed and stayed at fixed price. But anyway, one thing leads to another. You know, then the financial markets … RITHOLTZ: Right. Wait, I just want to make sure I understand. A hedge on green prices leads to stable chicken prices and, therefore, a consistent nugget price. DALIO: Right, because the cost of a chicken has nothing to do with the price of the chick. It has to do with the price of the grain that you feed the chick. RITHOLTZ: Right. DALIO: And so, by being able to lock in that price with the producer, we were able to lock in the price for the chicken for McDonald’s so that they could have stable prices. But anyway, that other stuff, the world evolves and I’m trading, and so then I come into trading financial instruments because then we have the printing of money, and we have all of those other things, so monetary policy becomes a thing. And one thing leads to another, then idea of risk parity is the idea of how I could balance a portfolio well, that I wanted to balance it well. So, one thing leads to another, you know? RITHOLTZ: Interesting. So, a couple of quotes from you that relate to each of the books you’ve — you’ve written, but I think they’re very revealing about who you are. One is unprecedented question mark. Big developments that haven’t happened in my lifetime, but have occurred numerous times in history. It’s not so much that they’re unprecedented, it’s that we just haven’t experienced them recently. Tell us about that. DALIO: Well, I learned about this. In 1971, I graduated college and before I went to business school in the summer, August 15, 1971, I’m following the markets. I’m clerking on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, and President Nixon gets on the television. And he explains that money as we know it ceases to exist because then gold was money … RITHOLTZ: Right. DALIO: … and paper money was what your claim like a check in the checkbook, you could go get your money. And he said to the world, “You can’t go get your gold.” And I walked on to the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, and I thought that this is a big deal so there would be a pandemonium. And — and I didn’t, but the pandemonium was rather than go down a lot, the stock market went up a lot the most in a couple of decades. And then I said, wow, I didn’t understand what happened. So, I went back and I looked at history, and I found the exact same thing happened on March 5, 1933 with Roosevelt saying, “You don’t get the gold,” and they print the money, and the stock market went up, and then behaved that way. Now and I learned about the valuations. So, I started to learn that I needed to go back to things that didn’t happen. So, I studied, for example, the Great Depression. And because I studied the Great Depression, then in — I was able to anticipate the 2008 financial crisis, so we made a lot of money when others were losing money in the financial crisis, but I wouldn’t have that if I didn’t study things that didn’t happen before my lifetime, right? So, things like the pandemic, let’s think as you start to think about the things … RITHOLTZ: Unprecedented. DALIO: … there are a number of things like right now, the reason I did that book is because there are things that are happening now that never happened in our lifetime before, and I want to be like a doctor who knows many cases of those, but I have to go back and see them in history in order to gain that perspective. RITHOLTZ: Right. There’s a fascinating discussion between – I think it was St. Louis and Philadelphia in the 1918 pandemic. One of the cities was very aggressive in shutting down schools — I think was St. Louis — and advocating masks for everybody, and Philadelphia didn’t. Huge difference in the outcome for that pandemic. DALIO: Man, I could learn about that from you. You got it, right, but you … RITHOLTZ: Well, you sent me — you know, in your book — and we’ll — we’re going to get to the changing world order. So, let — let’s talk about something from the changing world order right now. One of the most interesting quotes I pulled from the book, quote, “There are only a limited number of personality types going down a limited number of paths, which lead them to encounter a limited number of situations to produce a limited number of stories that repeat over time.” So — so you’ve brought that up a number of times in — in some of your previous books as well Hero of a — of Thousand Faces and — and a lot of the Joseph Campbell stuff. Tell us a little bit about that limitation that we see the same cycles, the same stories over and over again. DALIO: Well, that’s — that’s it. I mean, I think you said it very well. If you look back in history and you read human nature does not change much. RITHOLTZ: Right. DALIO: OK? Our — it’s — and it’s a major driver. You put a person into a certain set of circumstances, and then you got the reaction, and you’re going to have — and the dynamic like you borrow money. And if markets go up, people borrow more money to speculate on the thing, and then they get over indebted, and then some — there were wealth gaps and there are all these things that happen over and over again. And — but we don’t think about it. Everybody is almost dealing with whatever is happening to them at the moment and they’re just thinking about it, but think about it like I mean, you could go to anything, OK, and it happens over and over again. It is a life ark — all of our life arks. You’re — you’re born at certain age, your kids go to school. Certain age they — they have kids. You move on. There were these things that repeat over and over again. And so, let’s look at those things and how they repeat. It’s remarkable. So, it’s almost as though the only things that change pretty much are the clothes people wear and the technologies they use, right? RITHOLTZ: There’s a truth to that, for sure. And a lot of the clothes are based on the technology, you know, they’re not — they’re not just old flax and — and cotton and what have you. DALIO: Right. So, what you see, you see evolution if you decompose it. You see that there’s a force of evolution that moves things toward improvement, OK? And then around that there are cycles and give the same circumstances around that, they repeat over and over again. And that’s why in order to understand today you cannot look what happened yesterday, OK? You have to look at what has happened repeatedly. RITHOLTZ: So, you mentioned we all go through these lifecycles, both as individuals and societies. You’re at the stage of life where you’re writing books, sharing wisdom. What’s the motivation for this act of your life? DALIO: Well, I think there are three stages in life. The first stage is you’re dependent on others, you’re going to school, you’re learning. In the second stage, you are independent. You — others are dependent on you, and then you’re trying to be successful. As you move past that stage, your goal isn’t to be successful in that same way before, you want to pass on what you’ve learned and so on, and then you go into your third stage of life where, you know, you’re free to live, free to die, OK? That — that ark is basically it. So, I’m at — I’m 72 years old. And while — my joy is in being able to pass along that which is valuable, and I’ll do that for probably maybe my one more book, which is “Economic and Investment Principles,” and then I’ll be done with that. And — but I still love the game, but — but that’s where the stage of life is. So, like I did this study because I needed the information to know how to deal with today, and I ordinarily wouldn’t put it out as a book. But I now figure, OK, it’s too important and I think it’ll be helpful for the people to take or leave as they like, but that’s why I’m doing it. RITHOLTZ: Quite fascinating. So, let’s talk a little bit about the changing world order, and I have to start with the — the U.S. dollar. It’s been the reserve currency for quite a while. Do you see that changing anytime soon? And is that part of the changing world order? DALIO: You know, it was that question that led me to study what causes reserve currencies to rise and fall and to go back for the 500 years because you need the cycles, and these cycles have long lasting cycles. So at first, it was the Dutch guilder, then it was the British pound, then it was the U.S. dollar, OK? And what is that dynamic to answer that question? So — and then it brought me into contact with all the things that matter. What were they doing economically? How — what percentage of world trade where they? How strong were they militarily, the whole package? And that’s what the book then takes one through took me through that journey. That was my exploration. So, what you find out in history is that there is the — the world order that we began began in 1945 … RITHOLTZ: Right. DALIO: … the end of the World War I mean, New World Order. The United States owned 80 percent of the world’s money because the world’s money was gold. RITHOLTZ: Right. DALIO: And the United States had 80 percent of the world’s gold. And so, that gave it the reserve currency. It was also had all the economic power. It was more than half the world GDP, and it also had the only military. It had nuclear weapons and so on. There was no comparison. Hence, we began the American World Order and the U.S. dollar going with that, OK? And then there’s a cycle, and I saw the cycle. As those — as the economy grows and you have prosperity and so on, it’s self-reinforcing. That’s — those are the good years. After the war, nobody wants to fight the opposition and you build this, but you get into a period where then it becomes, when you have a reserve currency, others want to hold it as an asset, so they lend to you. And you can borrow a lot of money. RITHOLTZ: Wait, does this trace back to where the Dutch … DALIO: Same thing … RITHOLTZ: … jetters (ph), the — the British jetters (ph) … DALIO: Yes. RITHOLTZ: … the Spanish jetters (ph)? DALIO: Yes, every time. RITHOLTZ: Wow. DALIO: OK? The same pattern begin. There’s a war, you win a war. You become the dominant power, also technologically and so on. The Dutch, for example, invented ships that could go all around the world … RITHOLTZ: Right. DALIO: … and collect all sorts of treasures, but in order to do that, they had to have a military. And then when they went around, they got to pay in their money and it became the world’s reserve currency because they want – they were trading all over and they can do that, like the United States, like the British, and so on. RITHOLTZ: So, wait, let me interrupt you. Technological advancement leads to military superiority, leads to booming trade, leads to economic dominance and reserve currency … DALIO: That’s right. RITHOLTZ: … and how long does that tend to last? DALIO: That ark, it can vary, but it’s usually somewhere in the vicinity of — the total empire is like 150 years, on average. RITHOLTZ: Right, so — so the Romans were an exception because they had all of that … DALIO: That’s right. They … RITHOLTZ: … and they lasted much longer. DALIO: That’s right. They lasted about 350 years, 325 years or something. But you can take each of those, so there’s a variation around those. But anyway, you’ve got the pattern. And so, to answer your question about the reserve currency, then what happens is the country gets into — deeply into debt, OK? And — and then with that, it runs deficits because it wants to spend more money and wants to maintain that position, but it does — but those deficits mean that it’s earning less than it’s spending and it’s required that debt money. And then when you get down to a zero-interest rate type of situation where — like we’re in, then we need more debt because everybody wants more money. So, the government has got to send out more to checks, and you — as always, you either have to get that money from somebody, which means you have to get taxes. But when people get that — get taxed, they get angry. So, what always happens at that point is you send out the money and you print the money, OK? And then there’s the mechanics of the printing of that money. So right now, we have a situation where there is a lot of debt and a lot of dollar-denominated debt in others — foreigners’ portfolios because they’re holding it because the reserve currency is what it is, and there’s low interest rates. Now we can get into how that compares with othe.....»»

Category: blogSource: THEBIGPICTUREJan 13th, 2022Related News

COVID Deaths Per Million (July 2020-Present)

    Amazing infographic from Dan Goodspeed showing the state by state relationship between Covid deaths and partisan affiliation. More on this later this week . . .   The post COVID Deaths Per Million (July 2020-Present) appeared first on The Big Picture. .flourish-embed { width: 95vw; max-width: 130vh !important; margin: 2em auto; } header { display: flex; flex-wrap: wrap; margin: 1vw 5vw; max-width: 90vw; } header > * { flex: 1; padding: 1rem; min-width: 280px; align-self: stretch; display: flex; align-items: center; flex-wrap: wrap; border-radius: 1rem; margin: 1vw; } .nav-box { background-color: #FED; } select { display: block; margin: auto; } .credit { font-size: .9em; background-color: #DEF; } .support { background-color: #DFE; } .support p { font-size: .75em; max-width: 600px; margin: .5em auto; } h1 { font-family: 'Passion One'; margin-top: .5em; font-size: calc(1.5em + 1.5vw); } .content-box { max-width: 60em; margin: 0 auto 5em; padding: 0 5vw; font-family: Georgia; } .content-box .explanation { font-size: 1.1em; } p, ol { margin: .5em 0; font-size: .9em; } a { transition: all .25s; } h1 a { color: #036; } .lead { font-size: 1.5em; font-weight: bold; margin: 0 auto; max-width: 90vw; width: 40em; } h4 { line-height: 1; margin-top: .5em; } a.home-links { display: flex; width: 86vw; margin: 0 auto; color: black; max-width: 50em; padding: 2em; border-radius: 1em; background-color: #FFF; transition: all 250ms; } a.home-links .img-cont { flex: 1; padding: 0 1em } a.home-links .desc { flex: 1; padding: 0 1em } a.home-links .home-image { width: 100%; box-shadow: 0 0 1em rgba(0,0,0,0.5); display: block; opacity: 1; margin-right: 1em; } a.home-links:hover { text-decoration: none; background-color: #EEE; } ul.list { margin: 1.5em 0; font-family: sans-serif; } ul.list li { border-top: 1px solid #0056b3; margin: 1em 0; padding-top: .5em; list-style-type: none; } ul.list li .topic { font-weight: bold; } ul.list li .detail { margin: 0 1em; font-size: .9em; } @media (max-width: 640px) { a.home-links { display: block; } } function loadChart(chart) { window.location.href = "/covid/"+chart.value; } (function() { var param = 'fbclid'; if (location.search.indexOf(param + '=') !== -1) { var replace = ''; try { var url = new URL(location); url.searchParams.delete(param); replace = url.href; } catch (ex) { var regExp = new RegExp('[?&]' + param + '=.*$'); replace = location.search.replace(regExp, ''); replace = location.pathname + replace + location.hash; } history.replaceState(null, '', replace); } })();     Amazing infographic from Dan Goodspeed showing the state by state relationship between Covid deaths and partisan affiliation. More on this later this week . . .   The post COVID Deaths Per Million (July 2020-Present) appeared first on The Big Picture......»»

Category: blogSource: THEBIGPICTUREJan 13th, 2022Related News

Not How I Wanted to Spend NYE

This year, I spent New Year’s Eve in the Emergency Room. More accurately, in the ER parking lot behind the hospital — Covid protocols only allow the patient seeking care into the ER (not family). Security very politely escorted me outside to impatiently await an update. My wife was on antibiotics for an infection for… Read More The post Not How I Wanted to Spend NYE appeared first on The Big Picture. This year, I spent New Year’s Eve in the Emergency Room. More accurately, in the ER parking lot behind the hospital — Covid protocols only allow the patient seeking care into the ER (not family). Security very politely escorted me outside to impatiently await an update. My wife was on antibiotics for an infection for a few days, but thanks to her prior antibiotic regime (Lyme) this bug was resistant. Her pain had increased all week to the point that by New Year’s Eve it was unbearable, and so off we went to a non-trauma hospital ER. That turned out to be a fortuitous choice. The hospitals around us had been filling up with Covid patients (nationally they are at record highs). Despite 80.6% of New Yorkers being fully vaccinated, the state’s 24-hour positivity rate that day was 22.24%. Estimates of Omicron’s regional prevalence are running between 92-99%. It seems to evade prior vaccinations (but with far milder results). It is sending more children to the hospital.  We heard lots of stories of other major hospitals where there were no beds available. She was one of two patients in the ER (Northwell continues to impress as a private hospital). She was taken care of quickly and efficiently, despite the NYE/Covid circumstances. With an IV bag of antibiotics and painkillers dripping into her arm, she texted me “Happy New Year” from her hospital bed. I looked at the dashboard clock of her car, snapped a pic + texted it back to her. About 2 hours later they released her, and we went home to crash. Omicron presents the starkest warning yet about mutations. The good news is people who catch it are at a 70% lower risk of severe illness compared to Delta. The bad news is it’s wildly virulent, at least 4X Delta’s infection rate; Prior Covid-19 infections provide little in the way of protection; those recovering unvaxxed are 10X more likely to catch Omicron than prior variants. Unvaccinated people around the world have become mutation factories. Its real-time evolution of an aggressive, iterative adaption via endless variations. Virii do not require intelligence; they are not purposeful; like all infectious pathogens, the replicate process is strictly an adaptive evolutionary fitness test. This is why the anti-Vaxx crowd is so pernicious — they are helping to create conditions leading to future variants — and these may not be as survivable as Omicron has been. Maybe we dodged a bullet. In many parts of the country, not only is elective surgery getting canceled, but emergency medical care is becoming unavailable. We were lucky to find an ER that could take us (always good to avoid sepsis shock). Others have not been as fortunate. There have been too many news stories of people getting turned away from ERs to die at home from treatable conditions. Hospitalizations due to Omicron are running 95%+ unvaccinated across the country. Manufactured ignorance is leading to terrible medical outcomes for those who have chosen to remain at risk, and for the entire medical system straining under avoidable hospitalizations. My wife is fine. She ran her course of treatment and fully recovered. Others may not be so fortunate. If you choose to remain unvaccinated you not only risk your own health, but you put others at grave risk as well. If we are lucky, Omicron will spike mid-January, and rapidly burn itself out. (To repeat: If we are lucky). But this may not protect us from future variants, some of which might be even more dangerous. This is not how we wanted to ring in the new year.     Previously: COVID Deaths Per Million (July 2020-Present) (January 9, 2022) The Economic Risks from Anti-Vaxxers (July 15, 2021) DELTA is Coming For Your Economic Recovery (August 13, 2021) How F*cked Is Business Travel? (August 11, 2021)   Source: CDC The post Not How I Wanted to Spend NYE appeared first on The Big Picture......»»

Category: blogSource: THEBIGPICTUREJan 13th, 2022Related News

Why You Are A Bad Market Timer

Barry Ritholtz, Bloomberg Opinion Columnist and Ritholtz Wealth Management Chairman and CIO says market timing is impossible for the majority. Note: This was the post that Tom referenced at the top of the hit:   Market Timing Impossible, Says Ritholtz  Source: Bloomberg, January 11th, 2022       Previously: The Post-Normal Economy (January 7,… Read More The post Why You Are A Bad Market Timer appeared first on The Big Picture. Barry Ritholtz, Bloomberg Opinion Columnist and Ritholtz Wealth Management Chairman and CIO says market timing is impossible for the majority. Note: This was the post that Tom referenced at the top of the hit:   Market Timing Impossible, Says Ritholtz  Source: Bloomberg, January 11th, 2022       Previously: The Post-Normal Economy (January 7, 2022) The post Why You Are A Bad Market Timer appeared first on The Big Picture......»»

Category: blogSource: THEBIGPICTUREJan 13th, 2022Related News

What Companies Won or Lost Your Affection During Pandemic?

    Did any particular company win your affections during the pandemic? What shops might you have fallen in or out of love with? Who performed admirably under challenging circumstances? Who stunk the joint up? Since lockdown began ~March 2020, I have been observing relationships between consumers and companies. After all, companies are managed by… Read More The post What Companies Won or Lost Your Affection During Pandemic? appeared first on The Big Picture.     Did any particular company win your affections during the pandemic? What shops might you have fallen in or out of love with? Who performed admirably under challenging circumstances? Who stunk the joint up? Since lockdown began ~March 2020, I have been observing relationships between consumers and companies. After all, companies are managed by people, and people occasionally have lapses in judgment. Every now and again, a company is blind to its relationship with its customers and stumbles. How they respond when these errors are pointed out says a lot about its management team, and how they think about their relationship with the people who keep them in business. There were some broad policy changes and corporate behaviors that altered how some companies interacted with their customers (and society). I wonder how much this has impacted whether or not some customers want to vote with their dollars to encourage that company to keep doing what they are doing — or not. Note I am not discussing a single slight to any one person (What is more tone-deaf than a celeb whining on Twitter about flight delays to airline Twitter accounts?) Where are people “feeling the love” – or not? The pandemic has created very specific winners and losers – but I suspect we have yet to realize the long-term effects of how sentiment might have shifted over time. A few companies that stood out; here are my  subjective observations: Delta: Travel (and espeically airlines) were among the first companies to get hit by lockdowns. Airline had few options, but I greatly appreciate how some – in particular Delta – responded: Their CEO emailed travelers that COVID cancelled flights would be refunded or you could choose to receive a credit in perpetuity (this was greatly appreciated). Frequent flyer miles would continue indefinitely; your flight status (Silver Medallion!) would be rolled over (meaning you wouldn’t be penalized for any lack of flying in 2020). It was just smart customer relations by $DAL, and I will remember that the next time I have to book a flight. Starbucks: I am a long-time consumer of Starbucks coffee (and their breakfasts). When we moved offices a few years ago from the Park Ave South region over to the Bryant Park, I had to shift my local Starbucks. What a difference 3 blocks makes: It always took longer to get an order, even pre-ordering with the app. My favorite breakfast (egg whites / turkey bacon on English muffin) was out of stock four of five days; it’s amazing the difference service and competency a few avenues made. I share that to let you know I was primed pre-pandemic to be disappointed by $SBUX A few articles about how successful the company was with their app and gift cards and how much money their customers had lent to them (note: this was old news) kind of piqued my curiosity. Rather than being grateful for free capital, Starbucks kicked off the pandemic by telling app users their Starbucks points (which had already become much chintzier than they once were) were soon expiring. What a thoughtless way to respond to the pandemic! It was the last straw for me, and – Adios muchachos! – I deleted my Starbucks app. The company has gradually moved away from what made them so successful in the first place. I am not angry, its more of a disappointed shrug. As my buddy Todd Harrison always points out, the opposite of Love is not Hate, its indifference. And that is how I now feel about them. I’m not suggesting anyone boycott Starbucks, I’ll still go, just far less frequently than I used to. They no longer give me the warm fuzzies they once did. Amazon: A funny thing happened during the pandemic: Amazon no longer was my automatic choice for online retail purchases. Pre-pandemic, I’d hit Amazon.com automatically for nearly everything, never thinking twice about it. But during lockdown with items in short supply, I began searching and finding things elsewhere, often at significantly better prices. For the longest time, Amazon was THE low-cost provider; today, this is no longer true. The site is filled with third parties often of dubious quality, occasionally price gouging. Every page is overwhelmed with ugly advertising – and often for the wrong item. It was once a huge advantage having your credit card + address information on file but because of the decline of the entire Amazon experience, people set up accounts at competitors: Chewy, Walmart, target, Google Wallet, lots more. Don’t get me wrong: Amazon will still be the beneficiary of my online spending; but the pandemic has led me to lots of new relationships with many other companies. Assuming others did the same, the net result will be declining Amazon market share over the next decade. YouTube: We all understand Netflix and Amazon Prime and HBO Max, and I thought I understood YouTube. But over the past two years, I have been continually astonished by the breadth and depth of YouTube’s massive collection of videos. My appreciation for what they have created continues to grow and compound. It is nothing short of astonishing. Pre-pandemic, I spent time on a handful of automobile and music videos. Today, I use the site as a resource for cooking, home repairs, figuring out how to change the date on an antique watch, adjusting the carburetor an old Vette, building a bat house, installing nerf bars on the Jeep, potty training a puppy, just about anything you want to learn how to do. And that’s before we get to endless entertainment and education choices. Whatever I previously thought about YouTube, its probably 100X that size. Amazing! What’s App/Google Translate/World Remit/Remitly: I mentioned this previously, but What’sApp ($FB) combined with Google Translate ($GOOG) and global transfer apps has made it very easy to do busines around the world. This made specific overseas sales, purchases, shipping, etc. possible. Just a decade ago, this required incredible expertise and resources. Today, there is an app for that. Local Restaurants: Restaurants were hard hit by pandemic, and we have been saddened by the loss of some that were like old friends to us. But a lot of restaurants exhibited entrepreneurship and savvy as they adapted as best as they could to a challenging set of circumstances. Some built sidewalk sheds, others filled their patios with gas heaters, and all of the survivors tacked towards take out. I have been especially impressed and how productive and efficient some restaurants have become at this. One of our favorable local joints separate the burger from the bun, fixins, and fries to keep everything from getting soggy. Others do something similar with all of their dishes. the effort has not gone unnoticed. Even when you’re doing takeout, you should always tip generously as much of the staff at restaurants are paid via gratuities. Others had mixed results: I was furious at Toyota for being one of the first car companies to back the insurrectionists in Congress, but other car companies (like Ford) soon followed. Live Nation/TicketMaster did pretty okay and they barely stayed alive, but I heard of people who had much worse experiences than I did. There were lots of companies that donated to local food banks and generally were good corporate citizens, but there were too many exceptions to that observations. What companies impressed you over the past year or two? Which ones disappointed you?     Previously: The Cutting Edge (September 30, 2021) America’s CEOs Are Having a Good Year (February 19, 2021)   The post What Companies Won or Lost Your Affection During Pandemic? appeared first on The Big Picture......»»

Category: blogSource: THEBIGPICTUREJan 13th, 2022Related News

Ford vs Ferrari Tesla

    This week, we have been looking at some of the market surprises from 2021: The various charts, relative performance, returns, and other issues that were unexpected. Today’s surprise: Ford versus Tesla. Everybody knows Tesla has been on a tear, becoming of the 10 largest companies by market cap, making Elon Musk the richest… Read More The post Ford vs Ferrari Tesla appeared first on The Big Picture.     This week, we have been looking at some of the market surprises from 2021: The various charts, relative performance, returns, and other issues that were unexpected. Today’s surprise: Ford versus Tesla. Everybody knows Tesla has been on a tear, becoming of the 10 largest companies by market cap, making Elon Musk the richest man in the world. TSLA’s stock performance was stellar, adding 49.8% in 2021. It’s just a shame how badly TSLA lagged F, which had gains of 137.5% in 2021 — nearly tripling the market performance of the pioneering EV company. Here’s where things get interesting: Ford has a market cap of $95 billion, revenues of $135 billion, and profits of ~$3B. Tesla’s market cap is over $1 trillion, revenues of $46.8B, and profits of ~$3B. Tesla’s narrative was wonderful: Its technology was years ahead of everyone else’s, especially its in-car software and over-the-air updates; its designs were better, its battery tech was superior, its range was world-class, and its driving experience unlike anything else on the market. The stock price would rise as the S&P500 managers would have to add the company to the index. Ford’s narrative is less known but also intriguing: The only US automaker that did not need a bailout in the GFC, whose quality and designs have improved enormously. The company’s Mustang Mach E was a minor EV hit, the Lightning, a new electric version of the Ford 150 pick up (America’s best selling vehicle) has presold 200,000 units. The new Bronco is also a smash success, with an EV version sure to follow. What is the Tesla story today? It’s much more challenging than it was in the 2010s: Their success has attracted competitors from around the world, from well-financed start-ups to world-class legacy automakers. Their future product line is let’s just call it a work in progress, especially the cyber truck versus the Ford Lightning and the Chevrolet Silverado. That is before we get to the endless new choices from Porsche, Audi, Lucid, Rivian, Polestar, Mercedes, Volkswagen, Toyota, Hyundai, Genesis, Kia, GMC, Mazda, BMW, Volvo, the rest of Ford, and whoever else I forgot. Ford is currently trading at 1/10th of Tesla’s market cap. Can you imagine any scenarios where a decade from now, they are at (or close to) parity? Where both Ford and Tesla have market caps of say $500B? I think there is at least a 25% possibility that might come to pass. Said differently, would you lay 4-to-1 odds that Tesla is still bigger than Ford in 2032? I am not sure which side of that bet I would want to be on . . .         Previously: What Does Equal versus Market Cap Weight S&P500 Say About Top 5 Stocks? (January 3, 2022) 2021: Small, Medium & Large Cap Returns (January 4, 2022) 2021’s Surprising Laggard: Amazon (January 5, 2022)   See also: 7 Trends in Car Markets (December 23, 2021)   The post Ford vs Ferrari Tesla appeared first on The Big Picture......»»

Category: blogSource: THEBIGPICTUREJan 6th, 2022Related News

2021’s Surprising Laggard: Amazon

    Perhaps the most overlooked story of 2021 was Amazon.com’s poor stock market performance. For the year, the giant gained a mere 2.4%. Among its closest mega-cap competitors Apple was up 34.7%, Tesla gained 49.8%, Microsft added 52.5%, and Google tacked on 65.2%. Rising 2.4% looks like losing money compared to its peers. Beyond… Read More The post 2021’s Surprising Laggard: Amazon appeared first on The Big Picture.     Perhaps the most overlooked story of 2021 was Amazon.com’s poor stock market performance. For the year, the giant gained a mere 2.4%. Among its closest mega-cap competitors Apple was up 34.7%, Tesla gained 49.8%, Microsft added 52.5%, and Google tacked on 65.2%. Rising 2.4% looks like losing money compared to its peers. Beyond its stock price, Amazon had a rough year. In 2020, the company rose to the challenge of the pandemic, showed its logistical expertise, the wizardry of Amazon Web Services (AWS), and the strength of its founder/CEO. 2021 saw a lot of the gloss on Amazon fade: -Jeff Bezos stepped down as CEO -Amazon lost its status as lowest-cost retailer; -Advertisers seemingly overran the site; -3rd party sellers added regulatory headaches; -Brad Stone’s Amazon Unbound revealed some of the less attractive aspects of the company (pod here) But all of that is hindsight. The simple market fact is this: After a decade where the company was unstoppable, AMZN’s stock rising 1830% and bringing the company to a $1.6 trillion market cap, Amazon.com stumbled. This might be the most overlooked, underreported story of 2021…         Similar chart showing with top 5 market caps   The post 2021’s Surprising Laggard: Amazon appeared first on The Big Picture......»»

Category: blogSource: THEBIGPICTUREJan 5th, 2022Related News

2021: Small, Medium & Large Cap Returns

    Claims that the top 5 or 10 stocks are the sole or primary drivers of markets do not hold up to close scrutiny. We discussed this yesterday, using both the Equal Weight S&P500 Index as well as sector performance to show this is a broad and healthy rally. That post generated some pushback.… Read More The post 2021: Small, Medium & Large Cap Returns appeared first on The Big Picture.     Claims that the top 5 or 10 stocks are the sole or primary drivers of markets do not hold up to close scrutiny. We discussed this yesterday, using both the Equal Weight S&P500 Index as well as sector performance to show this is a broad and healthy rally. That post generated some pushback. And so I want to try a different tack: Comparing the S&P600 Small Cap, S&P400 midcap, S&P500 Large Cap performance for 2021. The S&P500 index beat the S&P600 Small Caps, but barely: 27.7% vs 26.6%. That is not the sort of wild underperformance you expect to see from a narrow, top-driven market. Ironically, it was the midcaps that did the least well at 23.6%. Note: Almost 24% would usually be considered a great year, but in 2021, it was the laggard. If you want to see a (cherry-picked) example of a narrow market where big caps outperformed small caps, see 1998: The S&P 500 saw gains of 26.7% (quite similar to 2021), but the small-cap S&P 600 actually lost 2.14%. THAT was a narrow market:   These charts tell a story of a market that is broad, not narrow.       Previously: What Does Equal Weight S&P500 Say About Top 5 Stocks? (January 3, 2022)   The post 2021: Small, Medium & Large Cap Returns appeared first on The Big Picture......»»

Category: blogSource: THEBIGPICTUREJan 4th, 2022Related News

Transcript: Richard Nisbett

    The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Richard Nisbett on Cognition, is below. You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here. ~~~ BARRY RITHOLTZ, HOST, MASTERS IN BUSINESS: This… Read More The post Transcript: Richard Nisbett appeared first on The Big Picture.     The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Richard Nisbett on Cognition, is below. You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here. ~~~ BARRY RITHOLTZ, HOST, MASTERS IN BUSINESS: This week on the podcast boy do I have a fascinating guest. Professor Richard Nisbett of the University of Michigan, this could be the most influential academic that the average person has never heard of. His work is touched on everything from psychology to intelligence to childhood and child rearing to pharmaceutical side effects, it’s just endlessly astonishing who he is, the research he’s done, understanding the impact of culture and society on just how we think and how different let’s just use East versus West as examples, is different parts of the world approach problem-solving and societal issues and economics and just endlessly fascinating. He has written a dozen books, the most recent of which is “Thinking: A Memoir” which was quite fascinating, he is one of those people, I don’t want to say he name dropped because he worked with all these people but he just so casually works in various characters from you know the canon of 20th century psychology and economics and academia because he was really there as all these things were being developed. I mentioned during the interview Professor David Dunning of Dunning Kruger is the one who said, “Hey I work with Richard Nisbett you should really talk to him” and really what more do you need than that as an introduction? I wish we had another two hours the conversation was actually fascinating, it’s a deep dive into intelligence and thinking and how we get smarter both as individuals and society. Absolutely fascinating. I’m going to stop here and say with no further ado, my conversation with Richard Nisbett. ANNOUNCER: This is Masters in Business with Barry Ritholtz on Bloomberg Radio. RITHOLTZ: My extra special guest this week is Professor Richard Nesbitt, he is the codirector of the Culture and Cognition program at the University of Michigan focusing on culture and reasoning and basic cognitive processes. No less than Malcolm Gladwell called him the most influential thinker in my life. And when Professor David Dunning, yes that Dunning, offered to make an introduction, I jumped at the chance. Professor Richard Nisbett, welcome to Bloomberg. RICHARD NISBETT, CODIRECTOR OF THE CULTURE AND COGNITION PROGRAM, UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN: Thank you. RITHOLTZ: It’s my pleasure to have you. Before we dive in, I just want to give you a little bit about my background because I have no real psychology background, my bias is the world of behavioral finance and cognitive errors really in the context of investing decisions, especially bad investing decisions, so pardon some of the naïveté that I may exhibit in some of my questions. There’s like the slightest bit of overlap between what I’ve looked at and your whole career and that’s why found it so interesting and let’s start with your career. There’s nothing really in your background growing up in El Paso and in California that suggests an academic career in psychology, what led you to the study of human reasoning and decision-making? NISBETT: I think it was just meant to be, I mean, that’s was I was meant to do but I learned it very early, fortunately, I read Calvin Hall’s “A Primer of Freudian Psychology” and it was just that – that’s it, that’s what I’m going to do. RITHOLTZ: Right, interesting. I really like the idea that has been talked about and you referenced it in your book, “Thinking: A Memoir” which we will talk about in a few moments that the human propensity for flawed reasoning was advantageous on the savanna but it really doesn’t serve us well in modern society. Tell us a little bit about that. NISBETT: Right, well there’s a whole enterprise, I’m sure you’re aware of in psychology and economics showing people reasoning is flawed in many respects. And most of the, many people said well, that can’t be, you know, I manage to get through my day pretty well, that’s sometimes self-delusional but by and large, it’s correct to say we’re not terrible at reasoning across the board. It’s just that the Industrial Revolution and then in spades the information revolution just changed the nature of what we need to do in our reasoning in everyday life. It gave us data, it gave us numbers, it gave us graphs, it gave us reports from people we never heard of, we encounter people that we don’t know at all, all of this is just completely unanticipatedly from the life of a hunter-gatherer. So the problem is the rug has been pulled out from under us so we make errors all the time. RITHOLTZ: Quite interesting. Some of the research that you’ve done on cognition is really quite fascinating because it’s so challenging to figure out what’s actually going on in people’s minds. I was kind of intrigued by some of the research that was done on birth order and how that impacts people’s career choices and aversion to risk taking or not. Tell us a little bit or even how they embrace riskier sports, tell us a little bit about birth order and how did you figure out that was significant? NISBETT: Well, my adviser in graduate school at Columbia, Stanley Schachter studied birth order and one thing he discovered is that firstborn females are more frightened at the prospect of electric shock than later born females, and I thought, hmm, that’s interesting because I’ve always been kind of afraid of getting hurt and my younger brother was getting hurt all the time when he was a kid. So I sort of filed that away and I heard one of these people who looks at primates, and she studied monkeys, and she’s made this offhand observation that when a monkey mother has her first baby she’s all arms and legs and tails keep it in the tree to keep her from falling 30 fee.....»»

Category: blogSource: THEBIGPICTUREJan 3rd, 2022Related News

What Does Equal Weight S&P500 Say About Top 5 Stocks?

    I keep hearing how much the stock market is driven by its top 5 stocks. Flip on the TV, check out Financial Twitter, or read any media, it’s all some people want to discuss. There have been endless digressions about this: Why it is so dangerous and how it all ends very badly… Read More The post What Does Equal Weight S&P500 Say About Top 5 Stocks? appeared first on The Big Picture.     I keep hearing how much the stock market is driven by its top 5 stocks. Flip on the TV, check out Financial Twitter, or read any media, it’s all some people want to discuss. There have been endless digressions about this: Why it is so dangerous and how it all ends very badly Spoiler: Every bull market eventually ends badly. But I rarely see convincing data to back up the claims that just 5 companies — Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft — are what is driving the entire stock market. A simple test helps answer this question: How has the rest of the S&P 500 index performed relative to that cap-weighted index? The answer is a thorough repudiation of the claim that markets are being driven by just 5 stocks: S&P500 (SPX) = 26.89%. S&P500 (IQX) = 27.48%. While the S&P500 cap-weighted index had an excellent year, gaining just under 27%, the equal-weighted index edged it out by 59 basis points. And it’s not merely the price index, if we look at the total return of both, equal weight beats cap weighting by a greater amount: 29.63% versus 28.71%. How could this be? The general answer is that the current market is healthy, with broad participation by lots of companies. The combination of Fiscal and Monetary stimulus, near full employment, and robust retail sales has impacted lots of companies in terms of revenues and profits. Getting more granular, consider the specific sectors of the S&P500 (I used the Select Sector SPDR ETFs as an easy way to do these comparisons): Consumer Staples (XLP) had a good year, up 14.3%; the Industrials (XLI) did even better, up 19.5%. Even Utilities (XLU) had a good year, gaining 14.2%. Note Consumer Discretionary (XLY) +27.2%, Health Care (XLV) +24.2%, and Materials (XLB) at +25.2% all finished within a point or so of where the index finished the year. What were the big surprises, besides Technology (XLK), which soared 33.7%? The first surprise was the Financials (XLF), which was right behind technology, adding 32.5%.  But the biggest surprise had to be Energy (XLE), which added 46.4% for the year. ~~~ When you hear people say it’s only 5 stocks driving the market, it is because they have not looked at actual market data, specific S&P sectors, or even something as simple as the equal-weighted S&P index. This is a broadly driven market, with lots of participation by all of the sectors and many stocks. Historically, that has been very healthy for future returns.       See also: The Market’s Okay (Irrelevant Investor, December 16, 2021) S&P 500 Dispersion (Irrelevant Investor, December 21, 2021)   Previously: Top 5 Stocks: What Does This Mean? (December 16, 2021) How to Mislead with Data, Large Company Edition (November 12, 2021) Criticism of Concentrated Index Risk Are Off Base (August 21, 2020) Are Too Few Stocks Driving S&P 500? (June 20, 2017)   The post What Does Equal Weight S&P500 Say About Top 5 Stocks? appeared first on The Big Picture......»»

Category: blogSource: THEBIGPICTUREJan 3rd, 2022Related News

Everybody Is A Star

  We’re in the post-internet era, What do I mean by that? The innovation, the bubble, is over. As for cryptocurrency, it took so long to mature that the governments are now involved, regulating or talking about doing that, whereas the goal of crypto was to obviate the need for banks and governments. Let’s see.… Read More The post Everybody Is A Star appeared first on The Big Picture.   We’re in the post-internet era, What do I mean by that? The innovation, the bubble, is over. As for cryptocurrency, it took so long to mature that the governments are now involved, regulating or talking about doing that, whereas the goal of crypto was to obviate the need for banks and governments. Let’s see. You were on AOL. You got a high-speed connection. You got a smartphone. You’re on social media. There was tumultuous change and now it’s over, not that you’ll hear this from Silicon Valley. Expect minor steps, not great leaps forward, techies were sideshows in the seventies and early eighties and they’re going back to that role. I mean why should we be listening to Marc Andreessen, who told Zuckerberg to stand up to the criticism of Facebook. It’s a family, it circles the wagons, and you’re not a member. In other words, these tech billionaires are the enemy. And if Elon Musk doesn’t stop acting like an evil buffoon, he’s going to wreck Tesla. I mean who wants to be associated with a company run by a guy like that? And then there’s Belarus. Where the president installed his girlfriend in the government. Only reminded me of America, where Trump pardoned Steve Bannon and Roger Stone, it’s gotten so bad we just shrug our shoulders. And we wonder how Germany got away with the Holocaust…it was in the news, but the average person just didn’t care. As for governments… The U.S. can’t even manage Covid, what are the odds it’s got a lock on anything else? That’s what Covid has taught us. If there’s anybody home, they’re not in control. Hell, the CDC shortens quarantine days because of pressure from business. And they ask doubters to respect the science? Yes, no one is in control, no one has that much power, and those who had power and control in the past don’t want to admit this, never mind see it publicized. TikTok had more traffic than Google. Think about that, once upon a time Google was a panacea. Now no one goes beyond the first page of results. As for TikTok…you know it’s time-stamped. Social networks are cool and then they’re not, they’re fads. When it’s still new, when the buzz is still occurring, everybody wants to make videos for TikTok. But once they realize views are low, considering the amount of effort involved, they’re gonna stop. Happens each and every time. But my point is these people on TikTok are today’s stars. Certainly not actors, who can no longer open a movie, and certainly not musicians. The record industry. Quick, who runs the companies? And if you know that, and even insiders in the music industry don’t, you can’t name the VPs. Because they’re irrelevant, they’re worker bees, that paradigm of the all powerful record company, changing the culture, is kaput. All of its controlled tools faded away. First, record stores. Then TV. Then terrestrial radio. Those were the good old days, the days of record stores, BECAUSE IT WAS A CONTROLLED UNIVERSE! Not only was distribution a huge hurdle, floorspace was limited, which meant most legacy acts were not stocked whatsoever, or had just a greatest hits package, today was unthinkable, when 66% of streams are catalog. I mean just try competing against Led Zeppelin and the Beatles. As for those inured to the 808… God, you’re using a forty year old fake drum/clap sound and trying to pawn it as hip? Who do you expect to believe this? And then you’ve got the oldsters, still fighting the old wars. Streaming, payments. These topics are already dead, and soon those bitching about them will be too. The classic rock acts can’t get arrested with new material and SiriusXM bumped Sixties on 6 to channel 73. After all, if you remember the sixties exactly how old are you? While we were focused on Trump, and then Covid, the whole world changed. It became further decentralized, and not only in politics. There is no such thing as universal reach anymore, every act/band is a cottage industry. You try to grow your audience…AND THAT’S IT! There is nowhere to cross over to. Terrestrial radio is a backwater riddled with commercials that is only listened to by the aged and the cheap. These are people who don’t even have a streaming music subscription. You should just forget them. They’re not active consumers, and now it’s all about the activity. They’ve got to listen, they’ve got to buy tickets and merch, otherwise the economics don’t work. As for TV… SNL and “CBS Sunday Morning” move the needle a little, but the rest of the late night programs are worthless for spreading music. Hell, look at the ratings, not only are there too many talk shows, there are too many shows period! And the thought of watching them in real time… If anything good happens, we’ll hear about it the next day and watch it online. That’s the game late night TV is playing. As for having your own TV show… Ratings are bad and so is the pay. All those old goals you were building towards…they’ve been lopped off, they mean almost nothing. As for TikTok…it’s about creativity, it’s not static. Music can contain these elements, but it has not changed with the times. Recorded music is static. Want to satiate your fans? Constantly release alternative recordings/mixes/new tracks. Don’t spend so much time getting it exactly right, the idea is paramount, as it always is in pop culture. Don’t bother comping the vocals, no one cares. So everybody on TikTok is a star. There are fewer barriers to entry than there are in traditional entertainment. You make it on your identity and charisma, the penumbra is irrelevant. That’s how it is today, you’re selling YOURSELF! And everybody on TikTok thinks they’re equal to the recording stars, the politicos, the so-called rich and famous. They know they’ve been excluded from that game, but without their purchasing power the old game doesn’t exist, but they still get no respect. So no matter who you are online, a saint, you’re gonna have haters. And then there are those gaming the system, trying to get ahead. Hell, they can’t even eradicate spam, what are the odds they’re gonna get rid of the scamsters? Your “bank” texted you for your password recently? As for less spam in your inbox, that’s at the price of the good stuff being weeded out. You hear all this talk about the power of newsletters, but everybody with a newsletter knows it’s almost impossible to reach the public. Gmail puts your missives in spam and…god forbid you use profanity, then you’re toast, nothing will get through. As for Substack… Ever check the numbers? They’re anemic! As for building an audience…that’s the hardest part. A household name sports outlet went deep on podcasting, but they were lucky if the podcasts hit four digits. That’s right…A THOUSAND LISTENERS! As for the people you think are stars… You don’t have to hear Billie Eilish if you don’t want to, never mind Adele. You’re not exposed the way you used to be, never mind AM radio in the sixties or MTV in the eighties. There is no center anymore! That’s what Covid has taught us. Today, the “New York Times” printed a chart showing that most Covid infections per capita are in red states, where vaccination rates are lower. It’s not rocket science, but the truth can no longer compete with fiction. Then there’s that woman who went to an antivax rally and boasted she had Covid and her husband was in the hospital for it, but it was harmless. You can’t make this stuff up, or maybe this story was fake, despite the footage, how do you know? I mean those people with incredible editing skills on TikTok are CHILDREN! And the biggest star to die is John Madden. Bigger than the passing of Harry Reid. And you know why…BECAUSE HE WAS HONEST! He didn’t censor himself, he went deeper into the game, we crave authenticity and knowledge, but this is what the old media barons say we can’t handle as they manipulate us. Duplicity is rampant in America. So, despite being able to find likeminded people online, don’t get the impression that your club is known outside its borders. Just because Phish sells out arenas, don’t get the impression there are millions of diehard Phish fans, hell, there may only be 20,000, going to each and every gig! But at least Phish engenders this belief, most new acts do not, and then they wonder why they’re not rich. First and foremost, you can’t get rich making music. Hell, it’s hard to get rich at all. Used to be you could start at the bottom and then ring the bell at the top, now you’re playing the lottery, there are too many barriers to upward mobility. And it’s only going to get murkier. This is the new reality. An overload of input that no one can make sense of. We want order, which is why people vote for authoritarians, but the truth is there can’t be, there’s just too much stuff in the pipeline. You’ve got your life, your career, and that’s it. There’s almost no context. You’re on your own. And you can feel as good about yourself being a star online as you can plying the boards as a traditional entertainer. Never forget, most musical stars make the music themselves and it’s a hit online before the label signs them. The label is a MARKETING ENTERPRISE! As for live… There’s nobody everybody wants to see. Let’s see, you go on a nationwide stadium tour. Fifty dates at 50,000, even though no one can do that. That means you played to 2,500,000 people, in a country of 340 million. Not too good. And Garth Brooks has proven this. To keep prices low he plays as many gigs as are needed to satiate demand. And then he has to move on, there’s no one else left who wants to see him! And Garth was built under the old model. Today’s stars are laughable compared to those of yore, flavors of the moment like Dua Lipa. Next year it will be someone else, but the point is you can’t reach everybody if you’re just selling entertainment, you’ve got to sell more, excellence and gravitas, and then you still can’t reach everybody! The Tower of Babel is here. Right now. It’s arrived. There’s plenty of money to be made serving a relatively small audience, but if you think you can reach everybody, you’re out of touch and dreaming. And it’s not going to get better, only worse. Hits are gonna shrink. Because everybody has their own taste and limited time. Choices are seemingly endless. And if it’s not on demand, at a low price, it’s a nonstarter. But you won’t hear this from the purveyors. You won’t even hear it from the government. Elected officials are afraid of offending…exactly who? No one really knows. Is this a center right or center left or progressive country? How big is the right? Polls are more inaccurate than ever before. Everybody’s planning their actions on false data. The past keeps sliding by. The year 2000 was TWO DECADES AGO! If you’re in college today not only do you not remember 9/11, you don’t remember the meltdown of 2008! Yes, everything changed while you weren’t looking. And it’s going to continue to change. Unless you live in China, where you can only play videogames for so long, they persecute religious minorities to extinction and they can build infrastructure in nearly a minute. It’s the iron fist of Xi. Which many people want in America. They want someone to make sense out of the chaos. And when someone comes along and says they will, watch out. Because people are sick of the mealy-mouthed and always prone to the deceptions of snake oil salesman. We are not going backward, this is where we are, forget the past, it’s nearly irrelevant, everything’s up for grabs in today’s society, it’s utter chaos, and unless you accept this you’re doomed.   ~~~ Visit the archive: — Listen to the podcast: — @Lefsetz — Subscribe to the LefsetzLetter The post Everybody Is A Star appeared first on The Big Picture......»»

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After Vaccines: Where Covid Death Rates Have Risen

After Vaccines: Where Covid Death Rates Have Risen.....»»

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Economic & Market Impact of Pandemic

Barry Ritholtz tells Jonathan Ferro, Matt Miller, and Kailey Leinz why he thinks the coronavirus pandemic brought the future forward 10 years. He says 2021 looks more like 2031 if we hadn’t had a pandemic… impacting everything from medicine to the way we buy cars.   Barry Ritholtz on the Impact of the Pandemic Source:… Read More The post Economic & Market Impact of Pandemic appeared first on The Big Picture. Barry Ritholtz tells Jonathan Ferro, Matt Miller, and Kailey Leinz why he thinks the coronavirus pandemic brought the future forward 10 years. He says 2021 looks more like 2031 if we hadn’t had a pandemic… impacting everything from medicine to the way we buy cars.   Barry Ritholtz on the Impact of the Pandemic Source: Bloomberg, December 30th, 2021   The post Economic & Market Impact of Pandemic appeared first on The Big Picture......»»

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1971 BMW 2800CS 3.2L

The predecessor to the BMW 6 series was the E9, the 2800 CS model. The 1968 car introduced a lot design cues and features we now think of as quintessential BMW: the straight-six engine (code-named M30), the longer nose, and front-end treatment of quad headlights and kidney grill that became the BMW standard. It came… Read More The post 1971 BMW 2800CS 3.2L appeared first on The Big Picture. The predecessor to the BMW 6 series was the E9, the 2800 CS model. The 1968 car introduced a lot design cues and features we now think of as quintessential BMW: the straight-six engine (code-named M30), the longer nose, and front-end treatment of quad headlights and kidney grill that became the BMW standard. It came with a 4-speed manual, though the one you see below has had a 5-Speed swap. The new focus was on the mainstream appeal, but we can trace BMW’s bias towards luxury and sportiness back towards this car and the 2000 that preceded it. Relatively light at 3131 lbs, making about 168/180HP, with staggered-width 16″ Alpina wheels, the 2800CS was successful as both a middle coupe and weekend racer. The 3.0 CS and 3.0 CSi were the replacements in 1971-72. Only 183 of the E9 2800CS models were exported to the US in 1971, making this a relatively rare car. These have become increasingly collectible: The version you see below sold for $49,500 in May 2018 and then resold two years later June 2020 for $60,000.    Source: Bring A Trailer The post 1971 BMW 2800CS 3.2L appeared first on The Big Picture......»»

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10 New Year’s Eve Reads

My last of 2021,  New Year’s Eve reads: • Farewell to 2021, the stupidest year in American history Instead of unity and immunity, this year has brought us stupidity and insanity on an unimaginable scale. In the categories of public health, education policy, fiscal policy and investment options, we appear to have taken leave of our… Read More The post 10 New Year’s Eve Reads appeared first on The Big Picture. My last of 2021,  New Year’s Eve reads: • Farewell to 2021, the stupidest year in American history Instead of unity and immunity, this year has brought us stupidity and insanity on an unimaginable scale. In the categories of public health, education policy, fiscal policy and investment options, we appear to have taken leave of our collective senses. (Los Angeles Times) • This is the worst economy we never had For months, the GOP-Fox News axis forecast the bluest of Christmases. House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy joined 159 House Republicans in a letter to President Biden saying his policies “will certainly ensure that this Christmas will not be merry” because of a “supply chain crisis” and inflation. And then — a Christmas miracle! (Washington Post) • Underestimate the U.S. Economy at Your Own Risk People have been betting against the U.S. economy for decades. They’ve never been rewarded for it. Progress is in our DNA. Good luck betting against it. (Wealth of Common Sense) • IPOs Had a Record 2021. Now They Are Selling Off Like Crazy. Threats of higher rates are driving down prices of high-growth stocks; two-thirds of 2021 IPOs now sit below their offer prices (Wall Street Journal) • The Year in Graphics The year 2021 held great promise—for starters, it meant 2020 had finally ended. But dreams of a return to normalcy were quickly dashed by U.S. Capitol riots that threw into question the very survival of American democracy, supply chain issues that snarled global commerce, an uneven rollout of Covid vaccines and new waves of infections, deadly wildfires and extreme market volatility driven by Redditors pushing meme stocks. Here’s how we told some of 2021’s most important stories with charts, maps and visuals. (Bloomberg) • The 5 most undersold political stories of 2021 It’s the most wonderful time of the year: when we recap the political stories of the preceding 12 months that didn’t get their due. We present, as we do most years. (Washington Post) • How Ted Koppel’s trip to ‘Mayberry’ turned into one of 2021’s most striking moments of TV The veteran newsman and “CBS Sunday Morning” contributor explains how a seeming puff piece about “The Andy Griffith Show” turned into an unsettling snapshot of an angry America. (Washington Post) • Champagne bubbles: the science As you uncork that bottle and raise your glass, take time to toast physics and chemistry along with the New Year. (Knowable) • 18 Sports Highlights From 2021 Worth Watching Again World records, no-look shots, extraordinary goals, trick base running, come-from-behind victories … we may not know what sports will look like in 2022, but 2021 had it all.  (New York Times) • Boba Fett, Intergalactic Man of Mystery How did this fearsome “Star Wars” bounty hunter go from a peripheral player to the star of “The Book of Boba Fett”? He used the support of fans — and a little brute force. (New York Times) Be sure to check out our Masters in Business next week with Richard Nisbett professor of social psychology and Co-director of the culture and cognition program at the University of Michigan, focusing on culture and reasoning and basic cognitive processes. Malcolm Gladwell called him “The most influential thinker in my life.” He is the author of numerous research and books, most recently, “Thinking: A memoir.”   This year has the second most new highs ever Source: @ISABELNET_SA   Sign up for our reads-only mailing list here.   The post 10 New Year’s Eve Reads appeared first on The Big Picture......»»

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