10 Wednesday AM Reads

My mid-week morning train WFH reads:

Jamie Dimon’s Shareholder Letter 2020 was an extraordinary year by any measure. It was a year of a global pandemic, a global recession, unprecedented government actions, turbulent elections, and deeply felt social and racial injustice. It was a year in which each of us faced difficult personal challenges, and a staggering number of us lost loved ones. It was also a year when those among us with less were disproportionately hurt by joblessness and poverty. And it was a time when companies discovered what they really were and, sometimes, what they might become. (JPM Chase)

Why You Shouldn’t Pick Individual Stocks You shouldn’t pick stocks because of the existential dilemma of doing so. The existential dilemma is simple—how do you know if you are good at picking individual stocks? In most domains, the amount of time it takes to judge whether someone has skill in that domain is relatively short. (Of Dollars And Data)

How to Invest in Growth Leader China and Promising Distant Rival India CPPIB and CalSTRS are among the many institutions that have put money into the expanding Asian economic powers. (CIO)

The Robinhood Generation Is Debating Old School Investors on Trading Stocks The wrangling over the best way to go about investing is not only playing out online, but also making its way into the family sphere. (Bloomberg) see also A Traditional Wall Street Advantage Is Suddenly Being Threatened It has been close to impossible for regular people to buy shares at IPO pricing. Now that is changing.  (Bloomberg)

NFTs Weren’t Supposed to End Like This When we invented non-fungible tokens, we were trying to protect artists. But tech-world opportunism has struck again (The Atlantic)

Why Time Slows Down When We’re Afraid, Speeds Up as We Age, and Gets Warped on Vacation “Time perception matters because it is the experience of time that roots us in our mental reality.” (Brain Pickings)

Singapore Shows What Serious Urban Farming Looks Like In a city-state that imports 90% of its food, rooftop gardens are a matter of national food security. (Reasons to Be Cheerful)

Bitcoin and Ethereum Carbon Footprints Although miners are willing to spend a lot on power today to earn BTC, this does not mean that they will be inclined to use and pay for a lot of power in the future. Bitcoin’s issuance rate is halved every four years which means that, in the long run, miners’ revenues from block rewards will shrink. ~90% of all BTC have been mined already and fees are not a major source of revenue today. Most of the power-intensive block reward action has already happened. (2 Quants)

The New Shortage: Ketchup Can’t Catch Up The pandemic turned restaurants into takeout specialists, boosting demand for the condiment; ‘Everyone out there is grabbing for ketchup’ (Wall Street Journal)

Let Us Now Praise Tiny Ants Even in the densest human habitations, there are orders of magnitude more ants than there are of us, doing the hard work of making our crumbs disappear. (New York Times)


Be sure to check out our Masters in Business interview this weekend with John Schlifske, CEO of Northwestern Mutual. The firm underwrites over $2 trillion in life insurance, with $200 billion in client assets. Schlifske joined Northwestern Mutual in 1987 as an investment specialist, and climbed through the ranks, becoming CEO 11 years ago. The firm announced a record $6.2 billion dividend in 2021.


S&P 500 indicator signals broadest strength in 11 years

Source: Dave Wilson’s Chart of the Day



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