Jul 6-Jul 10, 2020 


a look back at this week’s essays…


Not So Positive 


Two questions I’ve been trying to answer since I got the bug…


Click here to read more.



Even Less Positive 


JM is negative. So are PR, RT, and SC. K is positive. So is PB, my trainer…. I’m back to reading the most recent studies, trying to answer the questions everyone is asking.


Click here to read more.



Wealthy Is Not a Number 


“A billionaire? Why do you want to become a billionaire?” I asked.


He proffered a few unconvincing answers. Finally, he told me the truth…


“Man,” I said. “That’s a heavy burden.”


Click here to read more.




what I’m reading 


The Soul of America by Jon Meacham 


I went into this book knowing nothing about it or the author, which is not something I typically do and for good reason. It’s intellectually inefficient.


One of our book club members praised it highly. And I liked the title. So I started with an optimistic mind. By the time I was halfway through the Introduction, I had misgivings. I felt like I was listening to (on Audiobooks) a speech written to gratify a room full of campaigners for the next Democratic candidate for presidency.


The great bulk of the book consists of quotations strung together from eminent politicians, writers, and philosophers from the past praising America and the presidency. All of those quotations have a slant toward what today you’d call liberalism.


There are no facts – other than the facts of when and where the quotation was made. There is no argument – unless you would argue that a string of quotations showing a certain social and political bent is an argument. And there is no primary idea – except for the unspoken but evident suggestion that Trump is the worst president in history.


What I have noticed is a certain ideological smugness – the same attitude that made it possible for my liberal family members and friends to commend Hilary Clinton’s summation of 30-odd million Americans as “deplorable” and fail believe that Trump had any chance of being elected.


But I haven’t yet read the whole thing. So I won’t jump to conclusions. There is one sentence I admire. Toward the end of the Introduction, Meacham wrote, “We cannot ensure equality of outcome, but we can ensure equality of opportunity.”




recommended links from this week’s blog 


* “An Uphill Battle” – a nostalgic essay from Taki’s Magazine. To read it, click here.


* An amazingly detailed animation of the human brain…here.


* I ran Part 1 of this talk a few weeks ago. This is Part 2. Here, Stanford University’s Michael Levitt discusses two commonly used growth curves, the Sigmoid Function and the Gompertz Function.


 * My brother-in-law sent this to cheer me up. It did. Here


* Once again, Rancho Santana made it to Travel & Leisure magazine’s list of the Top 10 Central American resort hotels. To read the article, click here.


* All cultures are not equal… all religions are not fundamentally the same. Here





Your Question: 


Have you ever invested in foreign currency? If so, When? Which currency? Grateful for your knowledge. – BP


My Answer: 


I have. But never willingly. Well, that’s not exactly right. I have invested in currencies several times, but they were always indirect investments.


The currency market is enormous. It is larger, by far, than any other asset class in the world. It is also volatile – extremely so – with millions of dollars (in currencies) trading almost every second in exchanges all over the world. It is also very complex. It is a market appropriate for the most sophisticated banking and financial analysts assisted by speed-of-light tracking systems and computer analytics that can make decisions in seconds.


It’s not for me.


But I have participated in currency plays indirectly in simpler, slower ways. For example, I’ve bought residential and commercial property in Buenos Aires and Moscow when local currencies, compared to the dollar, were very weak. I’ve done the same with businesses in Europe, Asia, and South America. And as a long-term hedge against the US dollar, I bought a fair amount of gold bullion when it was trading at about $450.


I know this is probably not answering the question behind your question. My answer to that is “no.” Do not put any of your money in any currency-trading scheme.


Remember what usually happens when two people do a deal together and one of them has the money and the other has the knowledge: After the deal is done, the person with the knowledge has the money, and the person who had the money now has knowledge.


Have a question for me? Submit it on our Contact Us page. 



For a look back at the stock market, click here