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Hello, <<First Name>>

If you listen to PM on the radio or check your pension portfolio once a month you'd be forgiven for thinking not much is happening in the stock markets just now.

The S+P and Dow are near all-time highs and the FTSE's up a few points down a few points, both seemingly marching relentlessly upwards as the world inches towards some semblance of normality.

Then there's all the one-year-on stuff in the news about once-in-a-generation yearly gains (from the March lows) of 60% for the S+P and 76% for the Nasdaq, even more if you were prescient enough to invest in the fund favoured by many UK tech investors, Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust.

But you'd be wrong.

Whether what Ryanair's O'Leary characterised on a Zoom call yesterday is market hysteria or not, the third waves sweeping through Europe, necessitating the tightening of lockdown restrictions, and the vaccine argy-bargy, are spooking the markets – way down below the surface, in the deep.

And even though this pitch-black activity is not evident when you listen to the news, there's a lot going on 10.000 leagues under the sea.

This past week has seen much of the UK deep-value stock rally dissipate with reopening plays like Rolls-Royce, Capita, IAG and Hammerson running aground while some of the more-growthy US tech stocks have continued their tumble: good-quality solid companies like Teladoc are down nearly 40 per cent off their highs, back to where they were in June 2020.

Meanwhile the FTSE is still 12% below where it stood on February 19 2020, alternating between two neon signs on its poop deck (enough with the sailing stuff, Sawyer), one saying "screaming buy", the other "patience is a virtue, one last dip".

Of course, if you don't have an active bone in your body and are invested solely in a one-world index fund or the RESET portfolio, this will be of at-best passing interest to you.

Congratulations, you've won a (Swiss) watch, one that will serve you well in perpetuity. 

But if you do like to study the form so to speak, if even a tiny portion of your overall portfolio is not passive, such things are useful to know. I say useful, perhaps that's the wrong term. Enthralling might be a more apt adjective. captivating an even better one.

On an unrelated note, I've had a most productive week and enjoyed setting the world to rights with an old friend over what in ordinary times would have been a working lunch in town, but actually turned out to be a bracing walk around an obscure wildlife reserve overlooking Glasgow.

Sign of the times, eh.

What have you been up to, <<First Name>>? What's been your wildlife reserve equivalent this week?

Okay, okay, I know, you're exhausted. It's almost Friday, it's Groundhog Day no. 369 and you just want to sit back on the couch with a giant beaker of white wine and stick on Line of Duty (ahem, not long now David).

But spare a thought for the brain cells that got you to where you are today and once you've finished with the fun, find the strength to browse through this smorgasbord of esoterica. I guarantee you'll find something of interest.

Until next week, and more digressions.


Enjoy
 

Dave @zudepr
I Fancy a 1-2-1 Consultation With This Guy, So Enthralling Are His Digressions
#1 The Worst Type of Sell-Off...

What I was just talking about, by the excellent Michael Batnick.

On Teladoc, by the guys at Telescope Investing. Highly recommend this deep-dive on a company that I too believe is going places.

I'm off to buy one of these. Doh!

Who doesn't like a good five horsemen post?

The Escape Artist's follow-up on how creative types can go about making money.

Where are you going to put your money in future?

Monevator's Weekend Reading, included specifically for the preamble and comments on investment platforms. I'll be interested to see what and when Trading212 do with their imminent (in that they said it'd be coming this year) SIPP.

BOF on building wealth in your 50s. Focus on the future.

A phenomenally comprehensive piece on Coinbase.

This post's been doing the rounds, but I recommend you read it. I've seen different views about the guy. For me, this is the sort of post the Internet was built for; taking due time to read it was an experience that I hugely enjoyed.

Funny financial writing, as per, from Matt Levine.

The year in review.


#2 Good Slides Reduce Complexity...

(Or how to build a PPt presentation.)

How to make an audiobook.

Ben Thompson is the voice of reason in the Substack brouhaha.

I think this was the post that sparked the controversy.

Diese post reminded me of Steven Pressfield's super-inspiring The War of Art.


#3 I Asked Hundreds of People About Their Biggest Life Decisions. Here’s What I Learned...

Good on regrets, too.

#4 Tips of the Ultra Trade...

I found this inspiring, considering I'm injured and can't run just now. 

If you're not particularly interested in investing, comms or ultra-running, this is the section for you.

There are some Hovis digestives and a distinct absence of unsalted water biscuits in these terrific ten posts from all over the place.

Savour them.

Volume up, Police Academy on, back to the Eighties, or is it the Seventies? Or in my case the early Nineties, when I discovered Led Zep.

The story of Bill Benter.

The best docs of 2021.

Brrrr.

Kosher drone footage of an Icelandic volcano blowing.

Has 13% of the world's trade been put on hold because of some boatmen making a bet about who can draw the most obscene Strava art?

Beanie babies. Remember Hacky Sacks?

Amazon flip-a-thon.

I've only just got my head round NFTs. What even are DAO?

Wow. Engineers. You've got to hand it to them. They'll be building a wok-off tunnel to Northern Ireland from Stranraer next.

Right, that's all folks. I'm off to watch my eldest play non-contact football.

Have a great weekend. 

Tootle pip.

Dave @zudepr
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