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The Best of What They Said and I Read Week Ending 12/15/2019

Short excerpts from articles I found interesting.   I may not agree with the author and the following material is not intended as investment advice

Barron’s – December 13, 2019 – Lots Went Right for Investors This Week.  The Dow Still Ended Friday on a Flat Note  – Ben Levisohn

  • “Sometimes your dream comes true and you realize you weren’t dreaming big enough. That was true for the stock market this past week. Consider everything that went right for investors. The Federal Reserve and European Central Bank both pledged to do what they could to underpin their respective economies. The United Kingdom gave Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party a landslide victory, virtually guaranteeing that the Brexit saga will end, finally. And on Friday, President Donald Trump announced that a phase-one deal with China had been completed and that negotiations on phase two would begin immediately. Details were lacking, but it was surely good news.”
  • “The market, however, may have been tuckered out by that point. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose just 3.33 points on Friday, to finish the week up 120.32 points, or 0.4%, at 28135.38. For the week, the S&P 500 index gained 0.7%, to 3168.80, and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.9%, to 8734.88.  “Markets had a pretty big wish list, and we got everything we wanted,” says Kevin Russell, chief investment officer at UBS O’Connor. “The only problem is the market was expecting to get all four of those things.”


U.S. Global Investors - Investor Alert – December 13, 2019 – Frank Holmes 

  • “…In his letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders for fiscal year 2001, Warren Buffett made one of his now-famous pronouncements: “Predicting rain doesn’t count, building an ark does.” Buffett admitted to forecasting some of the market turmoil during the year, which was exacerbated by 9/11, and yet he failed to convert thought into action. Thus, he violated what some investors now call “the Noah rule,” named for the ancient prophet who saved himself, his family and a few million animals by building a ship in anticipation of a great flood.”
  •  “…Unfortunately, an alarming number of Americans aren’t saving for retirement. They may have “predicted the rain,” but for whatever reason—and there are many we could point to—they haven’t gotten around to “building the ark.” Earlier in the year, I shared a Bankrate survey with you that showed that one in five working Americans have nothing saved for retirement. And according to the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Household Economics and Decision Making, four in 10 Americans are so short on cash right now that they wouldn’t be able to afford a $400 “emergency expense.” This is despite a stellar jobs market and booming stock market.”
  • “…Bloomberg reports that Germany has passed Norway to become the country with the most electric vehicle sales at almost 60,000 cars so far in 2019. Norway has been the top seller of electric cars than any country in Europe since at least 2010. Bernhard Mattes, head of Germany’s VDA lobby, said that “the electric model offensive of the German manufacturers is in full swing” and that the country will triple offerings to 150 models by 2023.”

The Kiplinger Letter – December 13, 2019 

  • “…How much does the new North American free-trade pact differ from NAFTA? Not very. But several changes are worth noting when comparing the two. Barring some last-minute hiccups, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement appears poised to replace 1994’s pact, the North American Free Trade Agreement. Key changes: Stricter requirements for automakers, who must now have 75% of their components manufactured in the U.S., Canada or Mexico. Plus, 40% to 45% of automobile parts must be made by workers earning at least $16 per hour by 2023. Better access to the Canadian market for U.S. dairy farmers…a big ag win”
  • “… The Tory victory in Britain’s parliamentary elections means Brexit is a go. The hard part for London will be negotiating new trade deals with Europe and with other nations. Such talks are complex and tend to take longer than planned. Don’t be surprised if a new U.K.-EU trade agreement isn’t reached until after 2020.” 


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