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Mark Jr.

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  1. The COVID-19 “case” counts aren’t actually “cases”. As Dr. Chris Martenson observes, a medical “case” actually means a patient presenting actual symptoms requiring medical attention. Running a PCR test with cycle thresholds of 45 yields grossly inflated false positives (as David B Collum PhD says “with CT’s over 40, you can get a positive result out of a dog’s ass”) So, all of the shrieking around cases is really a media driven frenzy about asymptomatic instances of some non-negative amount of antibodies being present and most of the people involved wouldn’t even know it. Further, there is no hard evidence that there is any appreciable asymptomatic transmission - most of the transmission is from close contact, indoor settings among symptomatic actual cases - hence the Long Term Care facility crisis and that ensuing shit-show. Go to any interactive dashboard that lets you categorize by transmission vector (like government of Ontario), take out the Long Term Care facilities, watch the case count lines drop to the floor. Of the fatalities we know that the vast majority are with COVID rather than of it. The CDC reported 6% but I have remarked elsewhere that I do think a lot of the fatalities with co-morbidities should still be counted as COVID fatalities. That said, this isn’t Ebola, it isn’t 1918 Spanish Flu. It’s bad, but it’s not civilization ending pull the plug on everything bad. We lose more people every year to alcohol and alcohol related deaths (3 million annually) and we could (presumably) turn that off like a switch with a global ban on alcohol. Do we do it? Of course not. We deal with it, just like we could have dealt with this if hadn’t become politicized by the media. Lockdowns were absolutely wrong headed and either conspiratorially malevolent “Great Reset” style circle jerks, or a cascading contagion of hysterical incompetence. Neither scenario garners credibility for “authorities” who take their masks off as soon as the cameras stop rolling, memory hole legitimate alternative medical responses (like Great Barrington Declaration style focused protection) and galavant off to soirées and luxury vacations while everybody else is on lockdown. All this to say, making new, untested, unproven vaccines de facto mandatory on a population who has basically had the majority of their civil rights revoked by decree, is a hard sell (at least it is for me). Whoever wants it should take it, whoever doesn’t shouldn’t have to be facing the prospect of living like a Mennonite from here on in. But that’s what it looks like will happen.
  2. upload images upload Blue = DJIA Red(?) = SP500 Gold = Gold Silver = Silver
  3. As Bill Fleckenstein says, if you think the unicorn economy is overvalued (and I do), and the markets have departed from fundamentals (ditto) and you don't want to get your head handed to you shorting this dogshit (never again), then gold is the way to express this thesis. And it's been working for me for awhile, but I've been invested in gold since 1998. Overweight at various times since maybe 2006 or so and seriously overweight now. What I've been doing this year is piling into silver. My gold positions are large enough. I'm glad people are skeptical, I'm glad mainstream media still bashes gold. I'm glad that after gold is up 63% in 18 months and is the best performing asset class since 2000 that nobody cares. I'm glad the miners are still about half what they were at the high in 2011 and nobody notices. I'm glad everybody I who I tell I'm super overweight in gold thinks I'm a total idiot and I'll be glad when the next time they call me a total idiot is when it comes time to sell. MMT is here. UBI is coming. Rates are stuck at zero and headed negative. Cash is done. Central bank issued digital cash is coming, with "use it or lose it" as a "feature". The miners just put up another quarter of stellar earnings and nobody cares. HUI up over 100% since March panic lows and all of the majors and many of the mid-tiers have been hiking the dividends. Still, nobody cares. This is the fattiest pitch in a long time, and nobody cares. The longer people don't care, the better.
  4. Yes it is! Thanks! This link seems to be dead, or else you need a membership and they are not taking new members at the moment. Does anybody have access to this link? Is this it? https://moiglobal.com/henry-singleton-lessons/
  5. This link seems to be dead, or else you need a membership and they are not taking new members at the moment. Does anybody have access to this link?
  6. Just wondering something lately, are there any notable examples of companies or businesses that embarked on a growth phase after already existing for 10 or 20 years without high growth? The main one that comes to mind is I once read that after Sam Walton opened his first store, it took him 20 years to open his second location. That is the other part I'm wondering, in cases where small, microcap or even nanocaps (or privately held) companies started growing after a long precursor of steady state or low growth, how many did so under the same CEO? Or in those cases, is a CEO change (or management change) always the catalyst? Working on a particular thesis and looking for historical parallels.
  7. CloudMD (DOC.V) added to a starter position. Growth, acquisitor, building out a vertical healthcare space. Last week: FWZ.V - Zinc. Commodity super-cycle theory. Entered on a technical pattern. RBX.V - Gold miner, profitable (P/E ~ 9), paying a special dividend 0.04 on Sept 25, 0.06 paid this year, trading at 0.48.
  8. I have noticed, from here in Canada, certain instances of "Amazon arbitrage", where a particular rare book I was after that was expensive here, could be bought significantly lower on the com site, even after exchange and delivery (although I have Prime so that helps). Outside Amazon, looking at eBay is good, Alibris, Powells... But the reason I'm chiming in is because I just recently learned about Addall , it's another aggregator but the pricing is significantly lower than Amazon third party sellers.
  9. If anyone is interested, I just did a podcast in my weekly series where we interviewed Brenna Smith, who is a crypto reporter and we talked a lot about the difference between government digital currencies, which are coming, and how BTC fits in after that happens. https://axisofeasy.com/podcast/salon-20-brenna-smith-where-does-bitcoin-fit-in-after-nation-states-embrace-digital-currencies/
  10. I'm doing some work on a microcap I found on the CSE (BYRN, also lists on OTCBB). I've opened a position, I really like the product, they're growing fast and having a hard time keeping up with demand. I think this could be somewhat akin to the next Taser. (It' a non-lethal gun that fires a chemical irritant, see byrna.com - I do plan on posting to the Investment Ideas section) There are about 124M shares out, but when I was researching insiders, I found that Pierre F Lapeyre Jr., who owns 10% of the commons, also owns 338 Pref A's. Looking at the 10Q is appears as though when "certain conditions are met", the prefs can convert into commons at the rate of 0.15*5000 There are 1,391 prefs issued, which by my math would fully convert out to another 46M shares, or 37% of the equity. This is an obscure microcap, but Lapeyre seems to be a heavy hitter - is this a par for the course scenario, where if this works out I just have to factor in and anticipate forthcoming dilution? Or would you consider this over the top?
  11. I have the same issue around my Tucows trade, which was my first real value investment, and it was somewhat textbook: I had a profound understanding of the business (my own company is both a competitor and a client of Tucows), the realization they had off-balance sheet assets which were conservatively worth more than 3X the market cap of the entire company, that they had a clear path and plan to unlock that value (the Yummynames aftermarket portfolio), and the company was already profitable via their normal course operations and trading at a PE of 10. Started buying at 0.60 (2.40 post split), and bought a lot, given my portfolio size of the time. Concentrated play - held for 8+ years. Then exited between $17-$19 only to watch it continue right up to $80+. The way I made peace with it over the years was to understand that we all have regrets, regrets are unavoidable, and that some regrets are better having than others. So, “I wish I bought more” or “I wish I let that run longer” are examples of benign, not-bad regrets to have. “I wish I never tried heroin”, or “I which I didn’t bet the farm on Bitcoin in December 2017”, “I wish I never had that affair” are examples of bad regrets. If you can get through your career and your life with mostly good regrets, you should come out ok.
  12. Government involvement and central bank policy are the reason these markets are so irrational in the first place, don’t look to government invovlement to bring more discipline in. Discipline means letting bear markets unfold, and discipline means no bail outs. Do you see governments doing more or less of that? We are at a secular extreme of low interest rates, correlation in the markets (everything moves together), passive flows and indexing. Even “value is dead” is at an extreme sentiment. Ironically, when value is dead, is when value investors should be stepping into it (to that end I’ve been considering Tobias Carlisle’s ETFs just as a general bet on value as a principle). At some point, my thinking is there will be a mother of a mean reversion, I just don’t know what the catalyst will be, and am somewhat fearful for the various forms it can take. It will involve some kind of total functional breakdown globally, and/or a coordinated monetary reset, cold fusion, something. Lately I’ve been hunting around micro and nanocaps and plan to be posting about them here. The CSE has yielded 2 or 3 interesting outfits.
  13. Investing: The Acquirers Multiple with Tobias Carlisle Planet Microcap Value Hive Economics / Finance: The Grant Williams Show - this feed combines his regular podcasts, with guests like Ben Hunt, and a new show he’s calling “The End Game” which has Bill Fleckenstein as a co-host. James Grant has a podcast which he puts out sporadically. Jelly Donut was great, but around May or so he pulled the plug because he thinks markets have disconnected so much from reality that he thought there was no point doing the show anymore. But he put out 28 episodes of really great material. Extreme Contrarianism Quoth The Raven - do not listen with children in vehicle Tesla Charts: podcast with one of the more notable $TSLAQ luminaries. If you want to understand the bear thesis around Tesla (which cannot conceivably be considered a “value stock”, btw...) then listen to these. Peter Schiff Show - he gets accused of being a broken record, but he called the housing bubble and if we was a few years early calling The Everything Bubble then so be it. General / Varied / Eclectic Hidden Forces with Dmitri Kofinas - really first rate guests, amazing preparation, good rundowns and add-one if you’re a premium subscriber (which I am) Kunstlercast - not for everybody but I’ve always liked James Kuntsler. I’m going to add one I do called #AxisOfEasy in here, a weekly “salon” with Charles Hugh Smith and Jesse Hirsh which we started up earlier this year.
  14. And once again....Bitcoin down 43% over the last 24 hours. This is NOT a safe haven asset. It’s volatile to be sure. For a new asset class that has only existed for a few years, it’s to be expected. Still, up over 33% since this last comment. What I’m really interested in seeing is how it performs once the wealth taxes, capital controls and bail-ins start happening.
  15. I've been having a hell of a time opening a TFSA (RBC) that operates the same way as my RRSPs (which allow options trading), it seems some banks don't allow this and constrain your investment options to mutual funds, etc. Is here anywhere I can open a TFSA that allows option trading?
  16. Haha. It has pen marks and possible water damage, but I'll pass. Thanks :)
  17. No plans on selling but I think the estimates so far are to the high side. On Abebooks we see listing as high as 40K for signed ones. But near the low end is $1,500 for the 1934 - this is probably more the case as it's a library copy and not in great shape.
  18. Was driving down Quebec St in Toronto today and passed a "Little Free Library" I hadn't seen before (more on LFL here: https://littlefreelibrary.org/) and on a hunch I pulled the car over to check it out. In it I found a 1934 first edition of Graham and Dodd's "Securities Analysis". A library copy that used to be in Dalhousie University.
  19. What’s interesting about this book is that Cialdini wrote it to educate the consumer and give them the tools to protect themselves against being manipulated. Crickets. Book didn’t sell, it went nowhere. Years later, it was discovered by marketers, and suddenly his phone started ringing, he was getting hired to go talk to marketing firms, consultants, etc. and the book took off. That says something about the world we live in. (He talks about this in the forward to a subsequent printing).
  20. Anecdotally, we shut down our business office in June, we’re 21 years old and were in that office for about 14 years. Nobody was using the space, more and more of the staff have moved out of Toronto to places like Cambridge, Kitchener, even New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, etc. We’re an internet company, and we do everything online. We were already doing everything virtually, phones, email, video conferencing, project tracking. The savings were substantial and go directly to the bottom line. It was a no-brainer. It turns out we’re not alone and this is becoming more the norm within the industry. I’d be wary of commercial real estate (office rentals), even the temp/space on-demand unicorns like WeWork are fighting an uphill battle I think. In a few years we may buy our own building, but it’ll be a mixed use: office downstairs, with multi-tenant rentals on top. We’ll see.
  21. I was exploring an idea with a discount long distance telco that is edging into hosted PBX and internet telephony. Revenues are down to 8M from when I started following them (were 19M). Market cap is like 500K right now, they have close to 2M in debt that was used to fund an acquisition gone bad. At one point I had about 1% of the shares and one of the shareholders was going to *give* me his stake which would have put me at something like 12% but after I talked to other shareholders, met the CEO, looked at the debt holders, etc I just figured it was hopeless unless I actually went in and got a lot more involved than I wanted to be. I can message you the ticker if you want.
  22. "The graveyards of Wall Street are littered with the skulls of those who were too early". A great book on that exact phenomenon is Nick Gogarty's "The Nature Of Value" which I may have once posted in the books forum, I can't remember. It's all about the stages a new technology paradigm goes through before it is reasonably investable.
  23. Indeed. For example I disagree with him about his thoughts that AI will not displace jobs. I mean he could be right in the sense that I'm an AI skeptic. (Was, then wasn't, now I am again). But automation is another thing entirely, and what we call "AI" today is really just expert systems. Those will displace jobs, lots of them. If you read any of the work by Charles Hugh Smith (oftwominds.com) he does a good job showing how the numbers of jobs displaced by big tech are being replaced by a much smaller number of jobs. I guess one would call that productivity gains. I really do worry that there will be no jobs in the future, or rather, my joke for it is "in the future there will be one occupation: managing one's wealth. And most of us are gonna be unemployed". Gilder doesn't share this vision, and I'd prefer it if he were right about this and I'm wrong.
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