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ASpring is here. Tulips are rising. They do so every year of course. A miraculous reminder of the ebb and flow that surrounds us. That includes us. That is us. And for some, rising tulips return us to stories of Holland’s mass hysteria. It left them in 1637 for no apparent reason. A single bulb that traded one day for 10x a skilled craftsman’s annual earnings was virtually worthless the next. Natu
Hope all goes well… “101 degrees!” screamed Mara, taking her own temperature with a dodgy infrared thermometer from some Chinese Magic 8-Ball factory, each reading random. Charlie raced across the kitchen like a cheetah. Silent. Sliding in socks. We stared in wonder. He grabbed his mother’s face with both hands, looked into her startled antelope eyes, and planted a juicy kiss on the lips. “There,
A“Want a scary story?” I asked some nerds. They nodded, firing up Excel in eager anticipation. “Once upon a time, America’s vast state pension system was insolvent. But everyone pretended otherwise.” One little nerd interrupted the Zoom session, and asked me why? “Because no one admits they’re broke. Anyhow, pension boards required perpetual +7.5% returns, and tasked their CIOs with the search for
Hope all goes well… “You know the best part about giving Charlie a mohawk?” asked Jackson dealing at the kitchen table. “What’s that?” asked Charlie, counting his chip stack, all of us on edge. “It’ll be watching him explain to his 5th grade teacher on Zoom that he got his head shaved because he lost a game of poker with his dad,” said Jackson, trash talking. I kept quiet, sipping Tequila because,
Hope all goes well… Dusted off an anecdote from 2012 about the drive to win (see below). And for those not yet utterly sick of what I have to say, Ted Seides published a Capital Allocators podcast with stories, markets, outlook: https://capitalallocatorspodcast.com/2020/04/05/peters/ Wishing you and your families good health, physical, mental. And hoping you make the most of these extraordinary ti
Of all the survival tales written, Into the Land of White Death is the most fascinating. The better-known story is that of Ernest Shackleton, captain of the Endurance, who through inspired leadership and good fortune led his entire crew home safely from a failed 1915 Antarctic expedition. “I have often marveled at the thin line which separates success from failure,” wrote Shackleton, self-aware,
Hope all goes well… “Hey, look who it is!” said Jackson, feigning surprise. “Whoa, it’s Dad!” said Charlie, facetious. Teddy and Olivia laughed; it’s become the running joke. Three weeks into isolation, and I see them less and less each day. Up extra early, plans for a long run. Or a ride far north, to clear the head. But the phone buzzes, WhatsApp, Signal, encrypted messaging. Research floods in.
Hope all goes well… “That’s my ship Dad!” texted Olivia. I’d sent her a story about Mercy, the US Navy’s floating hospital headed for Los Angeles. Mercy, along with her sister ship, Comfort (headed to NYC), care for wartime troops and provide humanitarian aid to developing nations when at peace. One year ago, Olivia decided she’ll someday head to the Naval Academy, study medicine, and serve aboard
AStarted in Chicago, standing in a pit, 1989. I knew nothing about trading. But other professions seemed boring. Trading appeared to be the ultimate mystery, forever evolving, but with a periodic rhythm, not a random walk. And its masters often stumbled, which meant you need to stay sharp to succeed. And think creatively, abstractly, independently. They said I’d lose less money in corn, so with an