Happy Friday. What a trashing in the tech sector. Meta is off 70% year to date, Amazon is getting trashed this morning, and Apple’s earnings disappoint. Your Survival Guy can tell you my new iPhone 14 Pro is heavy and glitchy. iPhones account for half of Apple’s revenues. Seems top-heavy to me.
When you look at the carnage of the so called FAANGs, you can see why investors are freaking out. Not Your Survival Guy. Slow and steady is a way of life. My life, at least. There’s no problem with getting rich slowly. I have no problem collecting dividends and interest when some investors find them “boring.” It’s a long race. Stick with me.
You’d think the Biden admin believes we heat our homes with gasoline. Before taking that victory lap, maybe they should consider winter is coming. Fox Business reports:
However, other energy prices have surged over the last year and are projected to continue rising during the critical winter months ahead, according to multiple analyses. While gas prices have spiked 11% year-over-year, fuel oil surged 58.1%, utility gas service increased 33.1% and electricity prices went up 15.5% on an annual basis last month, Bureau of Labor Statistics data showed. “For consumers, the problem is that a lot of people think that because gasoline prices have come down, the cost of home energy has come down as well which isn’t true,” Mark Wolfe, the executive director of the National Energy Assistance Directors Association (NEADA), told FOX Business in an interview. “They’re different fuels and different dynamics,” he continued. “So, as we go into winter, for families struggling with very high inflation for the last year, this is another issue that’s going to fall.”
The hubris and lack of understanding by leadership are breathtaking:
- In the past, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos said he wanted to build cities in space and do heavy manufacturing up there to preserve earth. Well, that sounds nice Mr. Bezos, but what happens to the rest of us left behind while earth freezes over?
- With Elon’s purchase of Twitter and the firing of its CEO and CFO, I’m looking forward to seeing some old accounts reinstated.
How about BlackRock walking back its ESG campaign? Nothing like money going out the door to change one’s attitude. From RealClearMarkets:
BlackRock looks to be in some trouble. It’s assets under management have fallen from $10-11 trillion to $8 trillion, with profits falling 16 percent in the third quarter. Much of this is the result of falling markets, but for BlackRock, that’s no excuse because it and its CEO Larry Fink have been so integral in pushing the policies and creating the conditions that have caused markets to fall.
Some of the drop has also come from withdrawal of assets, particularly by red states and their pension funds. In recent days, South Carolina, Louisiana and Missouri have withdrawn more than $1 billion in funds. There’s every reason to expect that more will follow as the economy slows and the partisan and incoherent nature of BlackRock-based investments become clearer.
Sizing up the situation, UBS recently downgraded BlackRock from buy to neutral and reduced its stock price target by more than 17 percent – a price still not as low as the one that BlackRock was trading at last week. In its message, UBS indicated that it expected more significant withdrawals from BlackRock to occur and for regulatory, investigative and legislative risks to increase.
In response to all of this, BlackRock has thrown up a new webpage claiming to “set the record straight” on the investment house’s “energy investing.” Instead, though, the information on that page (and in a lengthier letter from BlackRock to state attorneys general) muddy the issues at stake and demonstrate just why UBS is right – perhaps more than it realizes – in its decision to downgrade BlackRock.
Action Line: When the hubris is thick, and there’s an endless supply of it, stick to what you know. It’s a rough world out there. As Your Survival Guy, I have no problem hunkering down in my cave. Please join me.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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