A Few Things....

October 15, 2019

The news on Friday has got me pretty excited about markets…

Looks like Trump blinked. The combination of (maybe temporary) a trade truce, bullish market technicals, negative sentiment and positive fundamentals means that we are well set up for the next bullish leg in equities to start in the coming weeks.

In addition, investor flows shows the market is hugely offsides and will be forced to rush back into stocks should equities break higher, which could create a bullish feedback loop, combined with the fact that earnings season starts this week, and consensus expectations are pretty low.

I’m watching the USD here too, because a break in the dollar would further boost earnings, ease global financial conditions, and drive a major trend change in EM equities.

Away from public markets, I continue to be pretty excited about technology & innovation, with a lot of great new companies being built. I was recently at the Investor Day for Founder’s Factory and was impressed by a handful of companies there.

While WeWork and other unicorns imploding is real and will lead to a mark down of valuations, I don’t think it changes the reality of the companies that are being built and there are plenty of great ones out there for those willing to look.

Stepping away from the market fluctuations, the things that get me excited are the companies that are going to change:

How We Live & Function as a Society - including how we sleep, shop, eat and treat diseases.

How We Treat our Environment - including industrial technology and climate change.

How We Re-imagine What it means to be Human - including genetic modifications and what it means to be human in a world of AI.

I think the next ten years will be about us better understanding ourselves and re-imagining a better social contract built around many more stakeholders than just the shareholders.

As a friend said to me earlier today, maybe we have hit peak anxiety about our problems and the pendulum is beginning to swing towards solutions.


B. One of my favorite subjects recently has been Longevity.

I’ve shared my ambition of living to 150 while staying in great shape with a few of you (most of you laughed at me).

By the way, the World Health Organization has recently declared ‘Aging’ to be a condition. Something we can treat.

For now, I’m just focused on the science and one of the researchers at the forefront is Professor David Sinclair (of Genetics) at Harvard. He was recently at Google discussing his book - “Lifespan: Why We Age and Why We Don't Have To". Which is all about Genetics and Epigenetics….by the way he is 50.

If you’re interested in learning more, I recommend you also listen to his Joe Rogan podcast, detailed notes here or read the book.

If you want more practical tips on living longer, then read “How Not To Die” By Dr. Michael Greger.


C. A few things worth checking out:

1. If you are going to watch one thing this week, it has to be Prof. Scott Galloway. He’s been calling all the tech changes to perfection and it’s super entertaining !

2. I’m fairly apolitical and think our democracy has been broken for decades, but the 1st presidential candidate I might vote for in two decades could be Andrew Yang. He was recently on Eric Weinstein’s Portal podcast discussing our future, detailed notes here.

3. Great discussion on why value investing has underperformed recently - tying together Carlota Perez’s concept of Techno-Economic Paradigm Shifts to markets.

Just like other technological shifts like electricity, canals, railways, telecom, in the beginning the ‘growth’ stocks outperform, since they have the new technology, but over time technology is dispersed, turning it into just another tool.

4. Peter Frankopan, author of The Silk Roads was on the Modern Wisdom podcast discussing his new book. Think of him like Yuval Hariri but for history. Great perspective, particularly on China.

5. Great discussion on how to be a value investor in software stocks.


Quotes I’ve been thinking about:

People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them.

- George Bernard Shaw

Talent hits a target no one else can hit; genius hits a target no one else can see.

- Arthur Schopenhauer