Mar 23, 2018 | Sam Rook


A Few Scattered Thoughts

  1. Facebook and Cambridge Analytica- This is one of those stories that makes great headlines (deservedly so) for a while then fades away fast. Consider this: Facebook will still dominate online advertising budgets (along with Google) while user engagement is massive, so watch that number as it is the key to the kingdom. Also consider that tighter regulation of Facebook and Google was ALWAYS going to be coming. This situation may speed it up a bit and this will likely start in Europe rather than in the US. It will be an interesting year in the social media space.{Mark Zuckerberg promising to again “get to the bottom” of this issue}
  2. Terrible Tariffs- Freer trade has generally been a huge reason for a worldwide reduction in poverty and improving living standards for nearly everyone. The developed world gave up low-margin business like simple manufacturing to switch to high-margin business like engineering and services a long time ago and those low-margin businesses have been taken up by the developing world. Many [Narrator: MANY!] have prospered and a few have not because their location and skills did not match the new reality. Enacting tariffs does little to change that situation for the affected people of your country, in fact it may make things worse for them as prices rise to pay for the tariff.  Read this great piece by Josh Brown and especially the links he attaches for a full overview: http://thereformedbroker.com/2018/03/23/trade-stuff-again/
  3. Raising Kids Is Just Like Investing- I have two young children. I love them to the moon and back but every so often they go “off the rails” and have a tantrum at Canadian Tire [Narrator: This happened earlier this week]. As my wife described the latest tantrum I realized it had a lot of relation to investing. Ninety-five percent of the time life goes along swimmingly. Your child/portfolio behaves itself and follows along with the plan. Of course 5% of the time is the tantrum time (we now even use tantrum in our world to describe quick drops in the market for no reason) where you child/portfolio suddenly drops and starts crying uncontrollably. What I have learned is that the only way out of that tantrum is to be calm, cool and collected. Get them back up, brush them off and offer a nice hug. Getting mad and making an emotional decision NEVER STOPS the tantrum of a child. Funny enough, getting mad and making an emotional decision is also bad for your portfolio. These are the kind of insights you can’t get just anywhere!


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