You can imagine Your Survival Guy’s surprise when my cell phone rang while Becky and I were driving to dinner. Not recognizing the number, I picked up anyway. “Hi E.J., this is Scott Walker.”
• You may recall it was Gov. Walker whose yeoman’s work broke the back of the unions and collective bargaining in Wisconsin. Now he’s the president of Young America’s Foundation whose mission is: “[E]nsuring that increasing numbers of young Americans understand and are inspired by the ideas of individual freedom, a strong national defense, free enterprise, and traditional values.”
Gov. Walker and I talked for a while about the madness going on in schools with kids being brainwashed by the radical left. He and I agreed both of us needed to educate our own children (now grown) around the dinner table and refute a lot of the stuff they were hearing in school.
As an aside, I’ll never forget how when President Obama won the election there was a picture of him framed in the entrance to their grade school. When Trump won? An empty wall. Becky and I are supporters of Young America’s Foundation.
• “Who Pays for ESG Investing? BlackRock and others bill the cost to middle-income investors, in the form of lower returns,” heads a WSJ Opinion piece by Andy Puzder and Diane Black:
Consider BlackRock. Its 2020 Investment Stewardship Report states that ESG investing is “core to long-term value creation” for its clients. After being criticized for being insufficiently woke, CEO Larry Fink appears determined to show that BlackRock is serious about ESG investing. Mr. Fink has stated his goal is an economy “that emits no more carbon dioxide than it removes from the atmosphere by 2050,” which he acknowledges will require “a transformation of the entire economy.”
• Your Survival Guy’s take on ESG?
Under the heading that bigger is not better, how do you think these big fund firms will survive in a zero-cost game? They’re commodities after all. They need to have big ideas, like ESG, to vacuum up more money from you and me and all the other investors out there. In other words, they need novelty funds that charge high fees.
Believe me, they’re emailing me ESG crap all day long. This is the only way forward for them. They need to keep pounding the pavement to suck in new money and charge higher fees. “Hey, let’s talk about saving the environment and making everyone feel good about throwing money at this idea and hit ‘em where it hurts,” is the pitch.
• Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why by Laurence Gonzales: “The maddening thing for someone with a Western scientific turn of mind is that it’s not what’s in your pack that separates the quick from the dead. It’s not even what’s in your mind. Corny as it sounds, it’s what’s in your heart.”
• What’s Next? Deadly 21st Century Crashes
• Turning to Chapter 8, p. 94 of the fourth revised edition of The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham copyright ©1973. (My emphasis in bold.)
We have suggested as a fundamental guiding rule that the investor should never have less than 25% or more than 75% of his funds in common stocks, with a consequent inverse range of between 75% and 25% in bonds. There is an implication here that the standard division should be an equal one, or 50-50, between the two major investment mediums. According to tradition the sound reason for increasing the percentage in common stocks would be the appearance of the “bargain price” levels created in a protracted bear market. Conversely, sound procedure would call for reducing the common-stock component below 50% when in the judgment of the investor the market level has become dangerously high.
These copybook maxims have always been easy to enunciate and always difficult to follow—because they go against that very human nature which produces that excesses of bull and bear markets. It is almost a contradiction in terms to suggest as a feasible policy for the average stock owner that he lighten his holdings when the market advances beyond a certain point and add to them after a corresponding decline. It is because the average man operates, and apparently must operate, in opposite fashion that we have had the great advances and collapses of the past; and —this writer believes—we are likely to have them in the future.
• “Rule VIII: Try and make one room in your home as beautiful as possible,” Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life, by Jordan B. Peterson.
• “If politicians like Gov. Whitmer didn’t have double standards, would they have any standards at all?” writes James Freeman in his WSJ
Holy Hall.#NHLBruins pic.twitter.com/AekTAkIsTg
— x – Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) May 11, 2021
• Looking forward to the Bruins’ first-round matchup against the Washington Caps, current home of 14-year Bruins captain Zdeno Chara. Here’s a pretty goal by Bruins’ trade deadline pickup Taylor Hall.
• Love the steel drums in this Orleans cover of King Harvest’s “Dancing In the Moonlight:”
Action Line: Thank you for being here. We’re in this together. Survive and Thrive this weekend.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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