Luck is for rabbits

DOUG  By Guest Blogger Doug Rowat

Even if you’re not a fan of the long-running, trivia-based game show Jeopardy! you’ve probably still heard of James Holzhauer and his incredible winning streak. Holzhauer’s total winnings thus far are a whopping US$1.7 million and he’s now won 22 consecutive games—the second-longest streak in Jeopardy! history. He has a legitimate shot at dethroning the all-time Jeopardy! champion, Ken Jennings, who brought in more than US$2.5 million during his string of 74 straight victories. But, remarkably, Holzhauer may exceed Jennings’ winnings in less than half the number of games. Holzhauer has, in fact, been so successful that many are wondering if he could actually ‘break’ Jeopardy! Lawyers, I’m sure, have been consulted.

Not only does Holzhauer have outstanding general knowledge, but he’s also playing the game much differently than his predecessors. One of the keys to winning at Jeopardy! is to hit more of the Daily Double squares as these allow contestants to control their wagers and more rapidly amass money. Holzhauer hits a disproportionate number of these and bets aggressively each time.

He’s been called a genius and, no doubt, he’s much smarter than you or me, but what’s been lost in the accolades is the sheer amount of hard work that also must have gone into his success. FiveThirtyEight, for instance, looked at the frequency of all the Daily Doubles by game-board location (see chart below) going all the way back to 2001. Naturally, this information is critical to winning Jeopardy!, but there’s a high likelihood that Holzhauer had to produce similar data on his own. So, let’s consider the time commitment. I’ve read that there are about 225 shows filmed each season, so over 17 years this would amount to about 3,800 individual shows, each requiring a painstaking, one-at-a-time review. The end result is this simple, but incredibly powerful chart:

Pick a square, any square: where Jeopardy! Daily Doubles are most likely hiding

Source: FiveThirtyEight. Games from November 26, 2001 to June 6, 2018

Holzhauer’s background is also as a Las Vegas sports bettor, which has certainly aided his Jeopardy! betting strategies. But this knowledge wasn’t just bequeathed to him. His correct wagering also represents countless hours of past trial and error. And final proof that Holzhauer’s success is not simply the result of luck? He apparently practiced at length with a makeshift buzzer made of masking tape and a mechanical pencil in order to develop the perfect timing to click-in faster than his opponents.

So, why do I highlight all of Holzhauer’s efforts? To emphasize that successfully building wealth rarely occurs by random chance or through some inherent ‘genius’; it involves a substantial amount of work and, ultimately, the implementation of a disciplined strategy. And good discipline always means obviating emotion and focusing instead on the percentages. Holzhauer answers about 90% of the Daily Doubles correctly and, of course, he already knows his success rate before he makes his wagers. He can probably make further refinements based on the categories (“I’m 95% accurate with sports, but only 85% accurate with history”, for instance). Holzhauer didn’t win US$1.7 million (so far) by being controlled by fear. He’s winning because he coolly follows the percentages.

I was about three years into my investment-industry career when I started building charts like the one below, which shows rolling returns for the S&P 500. As the chart indicates, your chances of making a profit by investing in US stocks over the long term are extremely favourable—also about 90% (of note, the chart doesn’t show accumulating dividends, which tilt the profitability chances even more in your favour). Talk about a simple and powerful chart. Charts like this one provided my first insights into the basic probabilities of equity-market investing:

S&P 500 rolling 10-year returns (%)

Source: Bloomberg, Turner Investments

Once you’ve done the research and are aware of the basic odds then it becomes easier to set your emotions aside and simply make correct decisions based on probability.

Now, Holzhauer does make massive wagers with his Daily Doubles, something we would, of course, not do with our clients’ hard-earned money. But, his wagering is clearly part of a disciplined game plan and, interestingly, his ‘money at risk’ is actually decreasing over time because his past earnings are already locked in. But, regardless, his overall approach is similar to any good investment strategy: emotion-free decision making backed by countless hours of research and a clear understanding of the odds.

And what he’s doing is no fluke. It’s taken hard work.

Let’s just hope that by the time he’s done Alex still has a job.

Doug Rowat, FCSI® is Portfolio Manager with Turner Investments and Senior Vice President, Private Client Group, Raymond James Ltd.

 

60 comments ↓

#1 not 1st on 05.04.19 at 12:57 pm

I am curious, if 40% of Canadians are $200 away from insolvency, another bunch are house poor, another bunch laden with consumer debt and another bunch get more money back than they pay in taxes, who on earth is the average investor in the TSX?

#2 Flop... on 05.04.19 at 1:12 pm

Robax, how have you been?

I worry about you.

I’m not sure you made the right career choice.

You gave up a life in construction, sucking in dust, trapezing on death-trap scaffolding, slowly developing crippling arthritis, just to wear a suit.

I also get to see oversize stool samples of my co-workers each day, thanks to them leaving the lid up on the portaloo…

M44BC

“Visualizing How Much Financial Advisors Earn in Each State.

There may be more financial planning to be done in the next ten years than there are financial planners. As the U.S. population ages and Baby Boomers begin to retire, the Bureau of Labor Statistics suspects that their services will be a hot commodity and that the field will grow faster than others in the same time period. How much do financial advisors make, on average, in your state?

Financial advisors earn more than $30K more than the national average of $60,336
Average income for financial advisors in the Northeast exceeds $100K except in Vermont
Advisors in the middle of the country tend to earn less than in other regions
Personal financial advisors are making pretty good money these days. The median salary for this type of position ranges from $76.1K to $166.1K across the country, and the median income for financial advisors in 2017 was $90,640.

Top 5 States Where Financial Advisors Earn the Most
1. New York- $166.1K

2. California- $144.1K

3. Connecticut- $137.1K

4. District of Columbia- $135.8K

5. Maine- $134.4K

Compared to the national average household income of $60,336 according to the Census Bureau, financial advisors across the nation are doing pretty well for themselves. Financial advisors in states where they make the least (on average) are still making more than the average household in America is bringing in, and ‘household’ frequently means two or more incomes.

These higher-than-average salaries can be attributed to the education, skill, and extra hours put in to meet with clients on nights and weekends, but it can also be attributed to the fact that it’s a service that’s in high demand.

There’s no doubt that the U.S. population is aging. Aging people tend to want to retire, and financial planning is a big part of making that happen. Because of this, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the field to grow 15% between 2016 and 2026. That’s a much faster rate of growth’ than is expected of all occupations despite that robo-advisor services are becoming more common in this industry.

Despite that robo-advisor services may be cheaper, they’re not for everyone.

This means that despite the sci-fi trope about robots taking over human jobs, the technology that allows robo-advisors to operate typically works alongside real-life advisors rather than co-opting their positions.

While the numbers above won’t necessarily tell you how much you’d pay a financial planner, they might just convince you to set out on a new career path (or maybe encourage your kids to do so).”

https://howmuch.net/articles/how-much-money-financial-advisors-make-in-every-state

#3 Andrewski on 05.04.19 at 1:16 pm

Great analysis Doug. Holzhauer’s game play has been very polarizing, people either love him (& his strategy) or hate him. It’s kind of like for those in your industry.

#4 MF on 05.04.19 at 2:06 pm

#1 not 1st on 05.04.19 at 12:57 pm

Obviously institutional and international investors.

I also question that 40% of Canadians statistic. I have not once been contacted for any of these surveys. Has anyone contacted you?

MF

#5 -=jwk=- on 05.04.19 at 2:16 pm

@Dolce Vita

re; seasonally adjusted stats

Please stop harping about something you cleary don’t understand. The *whole point* of seasonal adjustment is to be able to compare xmas 2017 to xmas 2018 in a sane way. And valentines day. And back to school shopping. All of which are clearly shown on the graph you linked to….

#6 AK on 05.04.19 at 2:39 pm

(“I’m 95% accurate with sports”)
=====================================

Is than on individual games or does it include Parlays and Teasers.?

#7 Deplorable Dude on 05.04.19 at 2:42 pm

I suspect Holzhauer also has a photographic memory or whatever the medical term is…sure he knows how to play the percentages….but he knows the answers as well in just about any subject.

#8 AK on 05.04.19 at 2:51 pm

#4 MF on 05.04.19 at 2:06 pm
#1 not 1st on 05.04.19 at 12:57 pm
“Obviously institutional and international investors.
I also question that 40% of Canadians statistic. I have not once been contacted for any of these surveys. Has anyone contacted you?”
MF
====================================

I get contacted on a weekly basis by an individual with an Indian accent, claiming to be a CRA agent and demanding that I send them money immediately, or I will be arrested. LOL :-)

#9 Howard on 05.04.19 at 2:57 pm

I don’t think anyone ever argued that Holzhauer’s streak has been a fluke. I mean how could it be? By definition a STREAK of this magnitude kind of precludes it from being a fluke.

Good on him, nice to see someone get rich for being smart rather than being born in the right year or buying a condo at the right time.

Ken Jennings has commented on Holzhauer’s strategy. It’s really interesting how he sees it, look it up.

I have three friends who have made it on to Jeopardy, one of whom was a two-time winner. The process takes years, you can audtion 10 or more times and do well, but still not get picked.

#10 MF on 05.04.19 at 3:02 pm

#8 AK on 05.04.19 at 2:51 pm

Ha..

The full statistic must be:

“40% of Canadians are $200 away from insolvency…because all other income goes towards Itunes gift cards.”

It’s an Itunes gift card epidemic in this country!

MF

#11 Truly Dissapointing on 05.04.19 at 3:15 pm

#4 MF on 05.04.19 at 2:06 pm
#1 not 1st on 05.04.19 at 12:57 pm

Obviously institutional and international investors.

I also question that 40% of Canadians statistic. I have not once been contacted for any of these surveys. Has anyone contacted you?

MF

*****

If you would like to be a data point, go sign up to be included in the surveys. All you have to do is find the company doing the surveys and sign up to their list.

From my observations, 48% appears to be a very real stat. Your point of view and comments are very biased towards what you believe you see around you and not real data. It’s very disheartening really, as you seenm to be a bright person otherwise. Alas, you are not alone in your generation. Data be damned, millennials believe what they see and hear without any critical thoughts.

#12 baloney Sandwitch on 05.04.19 at 3:30 pm

Given that long term there is 90% probability that you will win in the stock market, using the kelly principle 80% of your wealth should in the stock market (not in your home). That’s what Garth tries to teach day in and day out.
You have to think of the stock market as a money machine – churning out cash year after year. After about 5 years after I started investing I playing with “house money”, i.e., the money I did not have when I first started. That was a very liberating feeling.

#13 Vampire Studies (post grad) on 05.04.19 at 3:49 pm

1 – you ARE first! – it’s not “another bunch”, the first three are the same bunch!

#14 Smoking Man on 05.04.19 at 4:10 pm

One drunk rabit here.

https://www.pscp.tv/w/b53o9jFETEtCQWVselJrUUp8MU1ZR05kZXp6WGJ4d5-mFQR_tf81Nh4uUOUXBPfr3p-VJGCZn9up9Ttb9rMh?t=2s

#15 Penny Henny on 05.04.19 at 4:18 pm

Hey Mr. Doug,
does your S&P 10 years rolling return chart account for inflation?

#16 Dolce Vita on 05.04.19 at 4:29 pm

#5 -=jwk=-

I created that chart using StatCan published Retail Trade data.

BLUE line represents the Unadjusted or Raw (Actual) data they gathered but DO NOT show in their table data as the default, you have to know where to look and muck about to see it, discombobulating to get at (a few table Add/Remove and Customize Layout permutations necessary).

RED line is the Seasonally Adjusted data, statistically massaged and the DEFAULT table data, that they do show – no Add/Remove necessary.

Thank you for pointing out the clarity of my charts Unadjusted Data (blue line) vs. the greatly obfuscated Seasonally Adjusted Data (red line).

THAT was EXACTLY the point I was trying to make and GLAD you saw the CLARITY (chart link below so you can look at it again, per the above explanation and link to the StatCan Retail Trade page data table to corroborate the above):

https://i.imgur.com/MI5vSfm.png

https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/t1/tbl1/en/cv.action?pid=2010000801

PS: Canadians need to spend more in February on Valentines Day to elevate that yearly trough of near nothingness in spending.

———————————

COROLLARY

I created the chart to explain the Unadjusted vs. Seasonally Adjust Labour Force Survey (Jobs Report) – Full Time Employment numbers:

https://i.imgur.com/JSMRK44.jpg

It seemed odd to me that you would have a large hiring binge in May-June (Unadjusted, Raw data) and that needed explaining. If there was nothing to explain that hiring binge, then the Seasonally Adjusted data may well be better.

Well, Consumer Spending (60-65% of GDP) to the rescue, May-June is when Canadians spend the most during the year – near mirroring the May-June hiring binge.

Higher spending —> Higher job creation.

Why I take a dim view of StatCan Seasonal Adjusting and its statistical massaging. Canadians understand seasonality from yearly climate changes alone (and, they are a very well educated populace).

Why then deprive them of the actual data? Why, oh why?

#17 Remembrancer on 05.04.19 at 4:44 pm

#1 not 1st on 05.04.19 at 12:57 pm
I am curious, if 40% of Canadians are $200 away from insolvency, another bunch are house poor, another bunch laden with consumer debt and another bunch get more money back than they pay in taxes, who on earth is the average investor in the TSX?

#4 MF on 05.04.19 at 2:06 pm

Obviously institutional and international investors.
—————————————-
Why do these states have to be mutually exclusive?

And for the love of Pete, are we going to now have a thread on how the stock price of Canadian companies is being driven up to be unaffordable to average Canadians b/c of foreign investers?

#18 Dolce Vita on 05.04.19 at 4:47 pm

Firstly Doug, I’m all in on what you say about the S&P 500.

You need to annotate your chart better.

The % return’s are rather high, undoubtedly unadjusted for inflation and the base year must be a very long time ago.

For example, similar chart to yours, base year was 1900 and unadjusted for inflation:

https://bespokeinvest.typepad.com/bespoke/2008/03/historical-10-y.html

Having stated the above technicality, it is VERY clear to see that the GREEN far outweighs the RED by a long country mile, and I suppose in the end that was your point (still, have a care with base year and whether adjusted or unadjusted for inflation).

The Jeopardy! analogy to the S&P 500 chart lost on me; however, I liked the story and your verve.

Ciao d’Italia.

#19 Unhinged Trader on 05.04.19 at 4:55 pm

People watch television?

Is this some sort of Boomer thing?

#20 Dolce Vita on 05.04.19 at 5:13 pm

#14 Smoking Man

I hate to tell you this but the first thing that came to mind viewing that video was well healed trailer court residents out for a day in the real world.

Just kidding.

Imagine that over near 7,600 km of coastline, on near 400 blue flag beaches, beautiful Mare Nostrum in front of you, mountains behind you, with MUCH BETTER food, coffee and libations…welcome to my Italia*. California my 2nd choice though, I will admit.

Good video, thanks for sharing.

Now back to my Winston Silver 100.

——————————————

*Example, Viareggio, Toscana:

https://i.imgur.com/turxS1o.jpg

About 15-20 km of beach, one of my favorites in Italia…there are so, so many more like near where I live (Lignano Sabbiadoro, Caorle, Bibione and Jesolo – the latter a hop and skip from Venezia…about 40-50 km of beach in total, all next to each other).

#21 jess on 05.04.19 at 5:16 pm

…”multiple law enforcement partners today announced the largest coordinated sweep of elder fraud cases in history, surpassing last year’s nationwide sweep. The cases during this sweep involved more than 260 defendants from around the globe who victimized more than two million Americans, most of them elderly. The Department took action in every federal district across the country, through the filing of criminal or civil cases or through consumer education efforts.

In each case, offenders allegedly engaged in financial schemes that targeted or largely affected seniors. In total, the charged elder fraud schemes caused alleged losses of millions of more dollars than last year, putting the total alleged losses at this year’s sweep at over three fourths of one billion dollars.

Last year, the FBI opened more than 200 financial crime cases that involved elderly victims, Bowdich said. The investigations covered a range of crimes, from investment frauds to reverse mortgage scams. Often, the cases involved “outright theft by people the victim should have been able to trust, to include their attorneys, financial advisers, and, even more egregious, their guardians and caregivers.” (doj)

========

#22 greyhound on 05.04.19 at 5:17 pm

One of the best non-Garth articles ever — well done!

#23 Ponzius Pilatus on 05.04.19 at 5:38 pm

#8 AK on 05.04.19 at 2:51 pm
#4 MF on 05.04.19 at 2:06 pm
#1 not 1st on 05.04.19 at 12:57 pm
“Obviously institutional and international investors.
I also question that 40% of Canadians statistic. I have not once been contacted for any of these surveys. Has anyone contacted you?”
MF
====================================

I get contacted on a weekly basis by an individual with an Indian accent, claiming to be a CRA agent and demanding that I send them money immediately, or I will be arrested. LOL :-)
—————
That’s a Nigerian accent.
That guy is well known to the CRA.
Impersonating a CRA agent is a crime.
They’ve been trying to get him extradited for some time.

#24 Ponzius Pilatus on 05.04.19 at 5:51 pm

Regarding Holzhauser. The Rainman comes to mind.
As for Jeopardy! going under:
I’m sure their advertising revenue is going through the roof now.
And they could make the question impossible to answer..
Americans are notoriously ignorant about world geography.
Also, at one point, regression to the mean will work its magic.

#25 tccontrarian on 05.04.19 at 6:05 pm

A post that I’m in TOTAL aggrement with, finally!


“But, his wagering is clearly part of a disciplined game plan and, interestingly, his ‘money at risk’ is actually decreasing over time because his past earnings are already locked in. But, regardless, his overall approach is similar to any good investment strategy: emotion-free decision making backed by countless hours of research and a clear understanding of the odds.

And what he’s doing is no fluke. It’s taken hard work.”
————————–

Without getting too deep into Scripture, it’s been stated in the Bible:

<>
Matthew 7:7-8

Although many will attribute this to ‘prayer’ (asking for divine ‘gifting’), I just think of it as a variant of:

doing the necessary WORK/making sacrifices/learning from mistakes/open up in perspectives… in order to obtain a high level of competency – which then seems to bear fruit in abundance.

In light of all this, I’ve begun shorting the SP500/Russell 2000 precisely because the odds of a decline is very high.
Conversely, I have long positions in Emerging Markets, Precious Metals, and Energy because of the odds for gains there is also high.
Now, since I act gradually in allocation of funds (long or short), I can be wrong in the exact timing and still make out like a bandit (not the dog). It takes discipline and being able to act ‘contrarian’ – something that I’ve found VERY few can do.

TCC

#26 tccontrarian on 05.04.19 at 6:07 pm

This didn’t make it in my last post:

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye
shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh
findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

TCC

#27 The assassination of truth by the coward William Barr on 05.04.19 at 6:11 pm

Great Saturday post!

You left out one interesting piece of Holzhauer’s story (as per his interview with the NYT). He acquired his vast store of knowledge by reading books on a wide variety of subjects found in the Children’s book section of the library. He found that children’s books contained the most relevant facts/knowledge and were written/illustrated to maintain interest.

#28 Flop... on 05.04.19 at 6:25 pm

Hey Yvrmc, you still sniffing around for a house on the North Shore, or has the renter lifestyle grown on you?

This one in North Van just came on for 999k

https://www.zolo.ca/north-vancouver-real-estate/1335-frederick-road

It’s got some miles on it, but my main concern is the slanted angles upstairs where you could possibly bang your head.

Nothing wearing a motorcycle helmet to bed wouldn’t take care of…

M44BC

#29 Sail Away on 05.04.19 at 6:43 pm

Today’s Berkshire Hathaway AGM was excellent, as always. Buffett and Munger are always so sharp and on point for hours and hours of discussion and questions.

Munger concluded with, “how many intelligent and successful people do you know who take that one extra step and fall flat on their face?”. Good investing advice to stay in your circle of competence.

#30 Tony on 05.04.19 at 6:45 pm

My forte is betting prize fights but I’ll go with the chalker in the derby.

#31 Yukon Elvis on 05.04.19 at 6:54 pm

Send ‘em. Send the rabbits. All of them. Send hats too, there might be rabbits in ‘em. We are gonna need all the rabbits we can get when the Telfon Turd gets re-elected. In the meantime it is woodpecker season. We can wear the hats to protect ourselves.

#32 Boots on the ground in Ptown on 05.04.19 at 6:59 pm

Totally unrelated today, but:

Watched this 9 episode series recently. It’s up thru tomorrow evening for free:

Shake the consumer mindset, embrace the producer mindset.

I suppose mileage may vary depending on the country you’re in. This is a US production.

Garth I especially think you’d like it given the heavy slant to entrepreneurship and conscious capitalism.

Moneyrevealed.com

Interviewees include Rich Dad Poor Dad author Robert Kiyosaki, Garrette Gunderson-author of Killing Sacred Cows, Patrick Byrnes CEO Overstock.com, Roger Hamilton, Whole Foods founder whose name I forget…etc. 33 interview in total. I recall. Inspiring. Tucker Max of Scribe media I think was my favorite. Talk about an unlikely career trajectory.

Enjoy. North America needs creative juices to flow to solve the big problems we face and need it now. Lots of these guys are working globally and have the big picture. Fascinating.

#33 AACI Homedog on 05.04.19 at 6:59 pm

That’s one of the rare shows that I miss a bit, now not having cable, etc.

#34 Boots on the ground in Portland on 05.04.19 at 7:04 pm

#25 tccontrarian on 05.04.19 at 6:05 pm

———————+++++-+——–

Hey TCC just noticed your comment
Bet you’d love the docu I posted the link to.

Along the lines of your first post (which I agree with your take on that in Matt) how about in Rev: “that no man shall buy nor sell but that he have the number of his name..” or however that goes.

Blockchain.

#35 Doug Rowat on 05.04.19 at 7:07 pm

#18 Dolce Vita on 05.04.19 at 4:47 pm

You need to annotate your chart better.

The % return’s are rather high, undoubtedly unadjusted for inflation and the base year must be a very long time ago.

The returns don’t adjust for inflation, but then they also don’t include dividends. The returns also can’t be “rather high” they’re just what they are–accurate.

A rolling 10-year chart doesn’t have a ‘base year’–it rolls. These are not cumulative returns since inception. The starting year would simply be 10 years prior to the earliest date you see on the chart (i.e., ~1927).

–Doug

#36 NoName on 05.04.19 at 7:19 pm

#27 The assassination of truth by the coward William Barr on 05.04.19 at 6:11 pm
Great Saturday post!

You left out one interesting piece of Holzhauer’s story (as per his interview with the NYT). He acquired his vast store of knowledge by reading books on a wide variety of subjects found in the Children’s book section of the library. He found that children’s books contained the most relevant facts/knowledge and were written/illustrated to maintain interest.

That’s so funny, when i was here for about a year or less, and this girlfriend she told me youbwant to learn Eeglish fast start with children’s books, iland it will help to smooth up an accent.

Instead of me following sound advice, i just ignored it and learn my english from factory shop floor…

@MF

We went to bog smoke today to have lunch, there is a pie take-out on Duncan street, beat pies, luckily not an American Pie. May 4 and people are wearing winter jackets.

I drove lakeshore queen and king street, there is an interesting thing closer you get to downtown younger the people are, but driving back on king towards roncesvale, you start to see “wretched” old people iam sure same applies for drive west on same streets.

Hey MF how far out of downtown core do you actually venture?

#37 Tony on 05.04.19 at 7:20 pm

My horse got DQ’ed not Dairy Queened.

#38 Sail Away on 05.04.19 at 7:41 pm

97 Gravy Train on 05.04.19 at 4:25 pm
#76 Sail Away on 05.04.19 at 6:36 am
“Such a self-important species we are. The planet doesn’t actually care about us. The planet will be just fine.”
———————————————————-

You’re correct, of course, but I think you’re missing the point. While our 4.5 billion-year-old planet will continue to exist for billions of years to come, we want it to remain habitable for our species. :)
———————————————————–

Sure, no argument here. It’s just that the hyperbole around the environment is a little silly. When 9 out of 10 movies made for teenagers are about saving the world, maybe it’s time for another catchphrase to avoid over-exaggeration.

#39 Westcdn on 05.04.19 at 8:02 pm

An excerpt:
”At the dark heart of The Prince is an unsparing and unsentimental view of human nature. Most men, Machiavelli writes, are “ungrateful, fickle, dissembling, anxious to fear danger, and covetous of gain.” In such a world, the ruler who conducts himself according to Christian morality will fast come to grief. “The way men live is so far removed from the way they ought to live that anyone who abandons What Is for What Should Be pursues his downfall rather than his preservation.” He explains “Hence it is necessary that a prince who is interested in his survival learn to be other than good.”

An interesting read – something I will keep in mind regarding my future.
https://nationalinterest.org/commentary/machiavelli-still-shocking-after-five-centuries-9126

#40 yvrmc on 05.04.19 at 8:10 pm

Hey Flop , good to have you back !! Yes I’m still waiting to get back in the market. I monitor the MLS listings daily. I was just noticing that there are a few on now under the magic million mark. Its a slow process for greedy realtors and sellers to figure out that this isn’t 2016 anymore. Need the slide to continue some more…..

#41 Remembrancer on 05.04.19 at 9:22 pm

#38 Sail Away on 05.04.19 at 7:41 pm
Sure, no argument here. It’s just that the hyperbole around the environment is a little silly. When 9 out of 10 movies made for teenagers are about saving the world, maybe it’s time for another catchphrase to avoid over-exaggeration.
——————————————
That’s b/c its a topical metaphor for external forces you can’t control, fighting back against an authority figure trying to control you or similar standard YA fiction tropes. Its teenage angst being channelled for profit (mainly through popcorn and soda sales), not a secret plot to modify young minds for whatever agenda 20xx that gets brought up here by certain tin foil hat covered commenters…

See the original Red Dawn, for back when we really paid attention to what the Russians were up to or further back authors like Enid Blyton with the plucky public school kids stories, etc etc etc…

BTW, while the planet doesn’t give a damn and it would take a really big Earth-shattering kaboom Marvin to literally destroy the planet, like Gravy Train, I’m kinda partial myself to the thin strip of its dirt and air that we all exist in too… don’t crap where you eat isn’t as catchy a slogan I guess…

#42 Leo Trollstoy on 05.04.19 at 9:28 pm

Let’s just hope that by the time he’s done Alex still has a job

Or more importantly, that he’s still alive

#43 Smoking Man on 05.05.19 at 1:56 am

Old man going for it.

https://www.pscp.tv/w/b55ySjFETEtCQWVselJrUUp8MUJkR1lBTFBqelpHWMYdmE97GgaL0ljzE4nX4mePWme_F3zmMGcRcvq7gFiO?t=4s

#44 Smoking Man on 05.05.19 at 2:51 am

Doug. Your a pussy. Safe topics. I want the bald guy, wherevyou guys hiding him.

Explaine to me how building 7 fell at free fall speed.

Right. No comment. And if you serve up fires well then I know your an idiot..

An entire generation of young kids striped of deductive reasoning skills, by freek show purple haired teachers.

#45 Gravy Train on 05.05.19 at 7:36 am

#44 Smoking Man on 05.05.19 at 2:51 am
“Doug. [You’re] a […].” Go to the nearest hospital, Smokey, and seek immediate medical attention! Doug, please feel free to delete such comments.

#46 reynolds531 on 05.05.19 at 8:17 am

#41 did you just mention Enid Blyton? Does that make Garth the grouchy guy who lives in the tree?

#47 technical analysis?? on 05.05.19 at 9:25 am

#18 Dolce Vita on 05.04.19 at 4:47 pm

You need to annotate your chart better.

The % return’s are rather high, undoubtedly unadjusted for inflation and the base year must be a very long time ago.
_______________________________________

the chart is correct. it is simply looking back 10 years. April 30 2019 SPX closed 2945, April 30 2009 SPX closed 872. (2945-872)/872*100=237% gain. that’s what the chart shows.

charts are available for inflation adjusted. inflation adjusted and total return. DOW charts available from 1885. you just have to know where to look or do the work yourself. in reality it doesn’t matter. this chart is just as good/valid as those others.

also, just because this chart is “mostly” green, does not mean the market was actually going up during those periods. look at the chart, pay attention to 2000-2009… those were absolutely horrible periods for markets, yet, the chart is “green”. this is true even on a total return/inflation basis.

in fact, if you look at 20 year TOTAL return SP INFLATION Adjusted charts, for the period ending Dec 2019, you made 3.39% compounded annually over those 20 years. hardly stellar returns for what’s happened

the above chart is basically a 10 year momentum chart. nothing more. as long as momentum is rising, you’re ok. once it starts to fall, you’re running huge risks. sometimes the market can continue to rise even as momentum falls. sometimes… not.

good luck

#48 MF on 05.05.19 at 10:43 am

#36 NoName on 05.04.19 at 7:19 pm

-I’m at Yonge and Steeles so most of the time I venture as far south as Yonge and Sheppard lol.

But I go down to king and queen a lot. Lots of millennials there like you mentioned (Garth mentions it a lot too). Can’t tell if they are wealthy entrepreneurs, students, working professionals, athletes, or just people who came from the suburbs for the evening for some fun and live at home with their parents. Probably the latter :)

MF

#49 Sam on 05.05.19 at 10:45 am

Don’t try to complicate wealth ,C’mon

Save a % if your monthly paycheck. Open up a online account and buy the SPY each month

Your done

#50 Doug in Londinium on 05.05.19 at 11:38 am

Good luck? It reminds me of something I heard or read back in the 1990s, namely: Yes, I absolutely DO believe in luck. In anything I do, the more effort I put into it the luckier I get.

#51 Remembrancer on 05.05.19 at 11:39 am

#46 reynolds531 on 05.05.19 at 8:17 am
#41 did you just mention Enid Blyton? Does that make Garth the grouchy guy who lives in the tree?
—————-
Reynolds, Garth is faraway from that, he’s more famous… Take your pick though, maybe even Judy Bloom when she’s darker, the many faces of Franklin W Dixon, Eric Walters etc, the trope has been around forever, hence making it a trope… adults are bad and doing bad things – its genetic programming as entertainment… like the boss battle at the end of every level…

#52 Bdwy sktn on 05.05.19 at 12:19 pm

Trump hikes china tarrifs to 25.

Are the lucky out of equities???

#53 Remembrancer on 05.05.19 at 12:45 pm

#52 Bdwy sktn on 05.05.19 at 12:19 pm
Trump hikes china tarrifs to 25.

Are the lucky out of equities???
———————————————
BTW, it’s day 338 of the Trump National Security Aluminum and Steel Tariffs and NAFTA, beautiful NAFTA in all its glory remains, in its original language, in place. Hope you’re enjoying those #TrumpTaxes on imports Manufacturers of America…

#54 Remembrancer on 05.05.19 at 12:54 pm

#48 MF on 05.05.19 at 10:43 am
. Can’t tell if they are wealthy entrepreneurs, students, working professionals, athletes, or just people who came from the suburbs for the evening for some fun and live at home with their parents.
——————————————–
More likely all of the above; a cross-section of urban society of a certain age group… Watch out with the Mils knocks though, northern North York / southern Richmond Hill doesn’t exactly give you rural (main) street cred…

#55 Spectacle, challenging the odds on 05.05.19 at 12:56 pm

Doug ,

Loved the use of the Jeopardy analysis ! It made a very clear message , and I appreciate your work.

Your analogically use of sports, Berkshire Hathaway, Jeopardy, is unique.

I appreciate the contribution, makes me want to view The Big Short Again. Using your exact story/message, I have doubled my income over the last year. Applying that change is a bit frightening, exciting, and after a while my own personal strategy.

Can I do it again, and double my income another time with security? Your blog post indicates that defying the odds/stats is achievable. Research the most unlikely sources……

Thanks, to Garth as well

#56 crowdedelevatorfartz on 05.05.19 at 12:57 pm

@#44 Smoking Ruin
“Explaine to me how building 7 fell at free fall speed.”

########

Gravity.

#57 Tony on 05.05.19 at 12:58 pm

Re: #52 Bdwy sktn on 05.05.19 at 12:19 pm

Finally some good news. I hope Trump doesn’t change his mind. I bet the derby but with 44 years at the races I too would have thrown Maximum Security out.

#58 Shawn Allen on 05.05.19 at 1:06 pm

Best Advice from the Berkshire meeting…

Munger said “Figure out what works, and do it.”

This could apply to anything in life. The harder part is often the “do it” part. That takes discipline.

Their response, especially Munger’s response, to most suggestions to change anything at Berkshire… Ah, yeah, no! (Why would they…)

#59 AK on 05.05.19 at 2:27 pm

#52 Bdwy sktn on 05.05.19 at 12:19 pm
“Trump hikes china tarrifs to 25.
Are the lucky out of equities???”
=====================================

Why is that a bad thing?

China doesn’t allow anybody to sell into their markets and they dumped their garbage into North America for little or no tariffs.

In 2018 the US exported $120 billion worth of goods to China. Do you lie on purpose, or just through ignorance? – Garth

#60 Remembrancer on 05.05.19 at 5:02 pm

#59 AK on 05.05.19 at 2:27 pm
into North America for little or no tariffs.
—————
You realize that it would be Canada that would impose tariffs on any Chinese imports to the (Canadian) purchaser, don’t you?