Here are some recent "Investing Notes" from two talks I attended this past week by Mark Yusko. I'm a very big fan of Mark Yusko. We personally had a chance to meet him at a Morgan Creek investor luncheon in early 2019 (I think I was pregnant with our second baby when we first met him). He is the first person I've ever met that has managed or manages more than a BILLION dollars. Mind blowing the number of zeros. And, Mark was the first interview we did on our podcast. I can remember being so nervous. He turned out to be a really nice person, with some really good words of wisdom. One of my favorite words he said that I say quite frequently, is "health is wealth".
You'll see that Mark's general tone is that of a bear... he's bearish for sure.
Link to the original Mark Yusko podcast interview (episode 22), if anyone wants to check him out. We spent a lot of the time trying to learn about who he is as a person, how he thinks, how his mind is wired, and his character - not just him as an investor. We have the interview on over 12 different audio platforms, including:
Also, Mark Yusko's bio here, if you want to know more about him.
Investing Notes on Mark Yusko Talk from 9/24/2020
From the weekly Webinar from Hedge fund investor and CIO (Chief Investment Officer), Mark Yusko (also of Morgan Creek) notes.
Mark Yusko went on a road trip across the company. NC, NV, KY, AR, OK, NM, AZ, CA, AZ, NM, TX, LA, MS, AL, GA, SC, and NC. Not as many signs out on lawns showing support for Trump. Economy is hurting. Global tourism will contract 75-80% in 2020.
Trends seen from being on the road:
We’re in a recession - even with the market bounces, we’re in a global financial crisis. We have lost 62million jobs over the last 26 weeks (this doesn’t count federal #’s). This is worse than the peak of the Global Financial Crisis (2008-2010). This is bad. Small business are the most effected by the global lockdown.
Central bankers have hit “control P” - and they are printing money. The Fed is committed to low rates for many more years. Interest rates are ugly. 10 year treasury is going down. Oil prices are suffering, the demand is just NOT there. South Korea loves QE (Qualitative Easing) but it is fading. Another market trend that's going on: Everyone wants to be a day trader - and everyone is buying the same stocks. If you become the largest top market cap leader…. If you buy the top stocks, you may not make money. EBITDA is flat and starting to roll over. Debt is supporting everything. The DEBT is skyrocketing in order to maintain the illusion of growth. In the last 3 weeks, they are all down, and we’re just getting started. Risk happens fast. These stocks are really overvalued. Don’t just own what everyone else is owning.
Focus on healthy cash flow. Ecommerce is a global phenomenon. Cloud/software is eating the world. S&P is up 10% over the past 2 years. NASDAQ up 35%. FANG is up 40% (FB, Amazon, NFLX, Googl). Gold Miners is up 115%. C Limited is up 950% (Asia). TWLO (is up 180%) over the past 2 years. JD.com (China) up 120%. You’d be a lot better if you did the other stocks over the last 2 years.
August 26 was all-new all-time highs. So be prepared: NASDAQ stocks could fall, and fall very fast. The trade is very crowded…. People are paying too much. NASDAQ is declining. Banks are falling even harder in the past week. This might mean that people are liquidating, another de-leveraging. EVERYTHING will go down. People will be forced to sell what they have to sell. This will be an across-the-board WIPEOUT as we get into October.
What kind of rational investor pays 10x revenues? A lot of them are doing that now in the market. $SNOW (Snowflake) is just the top of the bubble. "TechWreck 2.0 is coming." 227 times sales is what people paid and are paying. NOT 227 times EARNINGs. This is 227 times SALES. $SNOW falling. And it’s just getting started. Now it’s at 127 times sales.
ZOOM ($ZM) was at 95 times sales. ZM went up … Zoom is a great company, but you can’t do this kind of math as a rational investor.
TSLA is down 25% this month. AND it’s up 3.5x year to date.
NKLA is likely a fraud.
Everyone should be worried.
S&P is a money supply story - more money supply means more higher S&P. It is not going to keep up. This will be a repeat of 1930/1931,
Pay attention to money illusion. You might think that the value of your stock is up. It looks like it if you look at it in terms of nominal value. What's the REAL value? Look at them in terms of GOLD. Then you’re DOWN 44% when you look at the value.
2020 is supposed to be a panic year. Volatility crashed…. Take note, VXX (helps hedge against stock market volatility). VXX Risk/Reward is rising again. VXX has also outperformed equities - if you bought VXX early in 2020, then you’d be up 80%.
The Fed has collapsed and is reversing as people freak out. We’re having a liquidation again. People are scared and are buying “safe havens”.
Oil markets are worried. Everyone should be nervous about these energy/oil stocks. There’s too much supply. Short tech. Long oil might be a good strategy for right now. Maybe wait. Maybe buy it back after it hits the bottom.
MLPs (I don't know what this acronym is yet - trying to figure it out) is looking good, and someone is selling. We don’t know who. It’s someone BIG. Don’t fight it. Emerging Markets are selling. Is it pension funds? Is it sovereign wealth funds? TBD. Maybe there’s forced selling going on? Someone or something big is liquidating right now.
GLD and Bonds are outperforming Stocks. Gold Miners have been doing well. Gold is still very undervalued. GLD was overbought in August. THere’s been an abnormal liquidation in GLD. SIL is doing worse.
Paper currencies are getting destroyed around the world. Bitcoin is in the initial adoption phase. Still on track to be $100,000 value per Bitcoin. (Stock to Flow model). Over the long term, Bitcoin is likely to be one of the best on the planet, better than gold.
Bitcoin is the best major performing asset in 2020. Bitcoin is outperforming everything. Diversify.
Question from the audience: Are there any good public crypto mining companies? Biggest miners don’t need capital. They make a lot of money. Recommend staying away from. Better way to play is to own the CHIP manufacturers. Those prices are ahead of themselves. AMD has been a great play over the past couple years. Prices are a bit high. Better play than direct buy of mining public companies.
Question from the audience: Where should you hold cash? Cash is pretty attractive. Money market cash. Mutual fund cash. A small amount in the cash in the bank. Usually he would like GLD. But today he likes Cash. We are in a strange period. Buffet has the highest amount of cash in history. Soros has a lot of cash. Lot of really smart people in Cash right now. Probably a good place for it.
Question from the audience: Would you put cash in a SPAC fund (Morgan Creek). It’s a perfect fixed income substitute. An inverse relation to interest rate. Bonds (if interest rates rise), then you wipe out yield. Spac + fund, then you get a 10% bump from warrant. Then you get a bump post deal announcement. That’s a good question. As a cash substitute, if you don’t need the cash for 4-6 months, SPAC + is going to compound at 9-10-11%? You’ll make a good 4-5% over that time. SPACs are a great instrument.
Investing Notes on Mark Yusko Talk Interview 9/25/2020
He went across the country to see first hand what’s going on for real on "Main Street". Traveling allows you to separate reality from narrative. There’s no recovery on Main Street. 1 out of every 3 businesses boarded up in New Mexico. This focus and narrative on the stock market on highs is not good. It’s called “money allusion”. That’s because people denominate them in US dollars. Dominate them in gold, they’re down 40+%. Dominate them in Bitcoin, they’re down 80+%?
The only way out is to devalue the currency - and the rich will feel richer on paper. There will be uprisings. The divide is bigger. Mostly RED states. They used to be really RED with every yard with a Trump sign. It’ll be a very interesting election. It’ll be unexpected for people. It’s the mission of the Fed to create income and wealth inequality. It’s to make the bankers really rich. It is built to steal from the poor and middle class, and give to the top.
Bitcoin is the best performing asset of the decade, of the year. Everyone is devaluing their currency, globally. We have the illusion of prosperity. The reality is not the case.
On FAAANG - From the bottom of the crisis. $FANG has outperformed FAAANG. The new FAAANG, are up twice as much as the market. Gold miners - is there a lot of risk? These companies mint money. They are making more money in Q2 than ever in their history. Their output, gold silver is going up. Their inputs are going down (oil, gas, electricity…). Snowflake is losing money $350m on revenues of $250m and is significantly overvalued.
The Fed has kept liquidity ample. Putting off the pain. When you put off going to the dentist, that root canal is bad. This obsession of not letting failure happen and participation trophy is bad. 40% of companies cannot serve and cover their debt service with their EBITDA. Let the fail. Don’t save them. UBI is dumb - communism with a label is bad.
Leverage in the household is high. Every household up to their eyeballs in debt. Government and corporation up to their eyeballs in debt. Ray Dalio. You want an orderly de-leveraging. They don’t usually happen that way. 2002 is the better comparison - Worldcom/Enron. Nikola might be a fraud…. If there are more frauds, then it’ll get ugly more quickly.
Mark likes Gold/Gold Miners for deflation. McDonald’s is real. Deflation in real estate. Urban center real estate is in trouble. People believe inflation is a monetary phenomenon. It’s a demographic phenomenon. 25-35 year olds are not as productive = deflation, 65-85 year old are not as productive. Every baby bust company is Ono the far end of this greying. Huge deflationary. Killer deflationary. Debt is deflationary. Lacy Hunt. Demographics + Debt = Deflation.
Every interest rate in the world will be negative. Negative interest rates everywhere, within 5 years. Wouldn’t that cause huge problems? We’re at .65% on the 10 year. A year ago we were at 2%. If 40% of companies can’t pay interest with sub 1% rates? They can’t pay with higher rates.
The echo boom (kids of the baby boomers) turning 45 will get more productivity. 10-15 years out still.
The problem is because of Fear and because of lack of understanding, the whole federal government lives in the bubble nationalistic inward world. They’re fighting a fight that they cannot win. Technology - the internet of everything. Internet 1996, Mobile 2010. Internet of Value (blockchain) - 2010 the US chose social media as our technology. And, China choose AI (Artificial Intelligence) and 5G. 5G is key which allows connectivity everywhere. As a result, we’ll end up with 2 internets: 1) Chinese centric will be all over Asia, where there are billions of people. 2) America, South America, Europe will be another. Their’s will be bigger and faster. Rather than collaborate, imagine if China said, "Apple can’t sell in China." We’re fighting the wrong war - it’s not about “Made in China”. With "Made in China", the USA 20 years ago, 10 years ago we outsourced our jobs and pollution to China. We got all the cheap stuff. We "felt" richer because we could buy more with less. It’s not about “Made in China” anymore. We, the USA, are now a consumer force. That will not win. We need to focus on making stuff to SELL TO OTHERS (ESPECIALLY CHINA), Not BUY from them.
Hope these notes are helpful. Let me know if any feedback or questions. I'll keep doing them if it seems to be helping.
I actually pushed hard for several weeks in February, March and April of this year about running for Seattle City Council this year. Yes, while very pregnant with #theQuinoa. The timing did not work out. I have political interests for the future, yes.
Promised on our podcast episode of Windshield Time, "Ray Dalio Report, Poopcoin, and Local Politics" that I'd share this, so here it is.
Why now? Here's what we've experienced as a family, all in the last 1.5 - 2 years that's caused my strong attention to our local political scene in Seattle:
Here's what I think. Those in positions of public service, do not seem to understand that public service is about stewardship and taking careful care of our communities. I am very skeptical that many who are in Seattle City Council positions or that are running for Seattle City Council positions are doing so because they want to serve - and more for the $100,000+ salary that it comes with. Many are running for the pay-raise. Maybe some have run for the political platform and access. What we need is stewardship. Stewardship. Stewardship. Stewardship. Servant leadership. "The careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care" is how Merriam-Webster defines Stewardship. Do a job so carefully that it's left in an even better state than when you originally were entrusted with it. As Seattle, that's what is missing.
So, there are endorsements and voter guides being published left and right. Liberal. Conservative. Facebook. Media. Pamphlets. I took what I have seen so far, and threw it into a spreadsheet. Excel. For transparency, I added a column for where I am leaning towards today - it may change by the time I fill out the ballet. The lens I share/vote from, is in this post above. I want to be able to safely take my children to the playground. I do not want to worry about my family's safety. I want to see the active stewardship of our city - by the City Council and everyone in the community. I found and like this resource that seems to easily list the data on all the candidates here.
Another great tool to help you figure out who you want to vote for is Align Vote. Here's the link.
Here's my spreadsheet, along with my thoughts:
My current vote-leanings and thoughts:
There it is. You may strongly disagree or agree with my votes or thoughts. Always happy to chat and learn more - hopefully, via a mutually respectful conversation.
Recognize the people in the image above?
Yes. That's my husband, Dae (aka @LuggageDonkey) on the left, me on the right.
Back when we had just started dating, my husband introduced me to the idea of "windshield time". Knowing is half the battle - knowing the idea of windshield time allows us to intentionally use it with each other. Dae uses it to catch up and bond with his aging father (who is now 79 years old). I use it with colleagues to prepare for meetings when driving together to a meeting.
I never thought I'd actually work with my husband... and here we are. We've argued and fought, and battled our way to actually LAUNCHING the pilot podcast episode this week. WHOO-HOO! I wish you could have seen his face on Tuesday - Dae was so happy. He was beaming about the beautiful weather, the view of Mount Rainier that was magnificent as we were driving to a meeting. We're on anchor.fm now. Check us out - give it a listen, send us some good mojo/feedback/ratings if you can to help us out. Thank you so much!
Can't believe we actually got this done. Whew!
Here's the link: https://anchor.fm/windshieldtime206.
For my next post, I'll work on a list of quick early lessons that I've picked up in working with my husband. We both have strong opinions and personalities - and we are married, live together, and have two very young children together. We're both sleep deprived. That makes for an interesting mix.
Hope you like it.
P.S. Second pilot episode of Windshield Time going live today!