It seems that every year I think we have finally reached the peak of crazy, only to be proven wrong the next year. The stock market and thus index funds, just like real estate, have only gone one way – up. Index funds became the blunt instrument of choice in an always-rising market. But you don’t have to be a stock market junkie to notice the pervasive feeling of euphoria.
I was having lunch with a close friend of mine. He mentioned that he had accumulated a significant sum of money and did not know what to do with it. It was sitting in bonds, and inflation was eating its purchasing power at a very rapid rate.
On the 30th Anniversary of my family’s arrival in the United States from Soviet Russia, I reflect on my time here. After recounting the hard early days in a new country when I was “fresh off the boat”, I offer perspective on how America has changed since I arrived. What I see now is, in some ways, more troubling than what I found all those years ago as a new immigrant.
There happens to be a cryptocurrency, one of thousands, that is also named Omicron. I still cannot grasp the logic behind it, but that cryptocurrency was up 900% on the day the South African variant was christened. There must have been a trading algorithm or a lot of bored investors looking for the next gamble, to drive something seemingly worthless up 900%.
Today we are experiencing a perfect storm of inflation. A perfect storm is formed by seemingly small factors. Each one on its own may not be particularly significant, but once combined they result in an event that significantly exceeds the sum of all parts. I provide an update on my previous two inflation articles, and the risks I see on the horizon in the next few quarters.
My thinking on gold, the US Dollar, our national debt and our reserve currency status has not really changed much since August 2020, except that at IMA we have been increasing our exposure to foreign companies whose business is not tied to the US. We still have a small hedge in gold – I am as unexcited about it as I was when I wrote this article.
I re-share and update my analysis of Uber, and why it remains an attractive investment. I provide a mental model of how to analyze companies that may appear expensive but have yet to reach escape velocity in their cost structure and have a large market addressable market that they’ll likely dominate.
In this article, I update my views about the US and China, and include my original article going over the risks posed by tensions between the two nations. I also discuss and share an update on IMA’s investment in defense stocks, in light of the current geopolitical climate.
The Financial Times recently published an article about my travails in recruiting. After sharing the article, I expand on what I learned about recruiting, teams, and culture since becoming CEO of IMA.
“At least a billion people on earth at this moment who would consider their prayers answered if they could trade places with you.” – Sam Harris