with Anthony Newcombe 👀👀👀
NFL Draft 2021👀👀👀
Here we go again … (you junkies!)
Well, after nearly 4 months of yawns, lawns (preferred), and less-than-riveting entertainment award shows … WE ARE HERE! The endless speculation as to who the Jacksonville Jaguars might take at #1 (Hint: rhymes with “Brever Torrance”), who the New York Jets will replace Sam Darnold with, and all the rest will pretty much begin to be answered starting this evening from Cleveland, Ohio.
Let’s celebrate! Why? Because we now don’t have to watch all of that other crap they’ve been shoving through our remote during this Covid thing. We can finally see something LIVE! Pinch me!! With people around! Really?! You know what they say: “Beggars can’t be choosers.” We’ll take it. And, sorry for such a brief post, but I need to pick up my keg, wings, and the blocks of ice we’ll be sliding on in the backyard after my team picks … somebody who can ball!
with Anthony Newcombe
Some Causes of the Stock Market Volatility Craze
Topic: That ‘silly, crazy stock market’ this month
Categories: Economics, Financials, and Social Psychology
Between a rock and a hard place? You probably spent some of the past few weeks rummaging through the onslaught of news concerning the stock market. In just a few days, there were swings from single digits to over thousands of percentage gains. What is the most amazing part? Ironically, these public companies did absolutely NOTHING different to cause this phenomenon. In fact, some of the biggest debt funds pounced on this situation to dump old, crappy positions they had. This generated some outlandish profits (for those who could get out in time!)
However, for those who don’t own any stocks, I hear you. Who cares, right?! Well, the rest of us care. Unfortunately, it caught our attention instantly. This might be due to many of a certain age recall being caught up in this “spin cycle” very similar to this in our investing past. In fact, if your stomach didn’t roil a bit, and your brow didn’t raise, you must be a first-time trader. You have no scar tissue built up from previous downturns. You haven’t been burned…yet.
Moreover, if you recall in spring, 2001, there was a ton of hoopla regarding “surging dotcom stocks.” It seemed like you didn’t even need an ounce of ability to make profitable picks during that time. Just buy, buy, buy (Thanks, Jim Cramer!) Subsequently, there was a different kind of BOOM! There was a “crash-landing.” In little time, the markets tanked. Everyone ran for the hills, and many brokers ducked their calls. We were shirtless, stuck, and scared!
Nevertheless, I’m not naïve enough to think that the ‘dotcom bubble of 2001’ is anywhere near the same as the last two weeks have been. But I tell you, when you see some of the publicly traded stocks like GameStop (GME) and AMC Theaters (AMC), it forces a reflection moment. These stocks went from (practically) zero to amazing heights. Then, they returned to earth again in mere days. Unfortunately, it rhymes with some of our tortured past like 1987’s Black Monday, spring 2001, and September 2008. I agree, all had different characteristics. We won’t get into them all, but each created a form of sheer terror in the marketplace at the time!
Thankfully, at least for today, it seems like the storm has mostly passed. We’re back to the “old, regular froth” that we’ve become accustomed to from the past several fiscal years. We’ll just keep our chinstraps fastened, our eye on the ball, and continue onward, right? I mean, what else can we do? Happy investing, folks!
with Anthony Newcombe
HAPPY NEW YEAR 2021 (#HNY)!
We can finally pat ourselves on the back after taking more than a few big ones in the teeth throughout much of 2020. However, I promise not to mention the “C” word (“Covid”) again today. It will be the only time that word will have escaped mention in my A Closer Look… entries since last spring some time. Let’s get to one of the few “survivors in sports” from last year – the entire NFL. Most owners, coaches, players and others emerged with delays and confusion, but no actual cancellations and a full season’s completed regular schedule. Wow! That’s a mouthful!
Topic: NFL Playoffs
Issue: Where is the upper brass of the league taking this thing?
As you can imagine, this is hardly the first time I’ve had a conversation about playoff eligibility, league alignment, and whether (or not) teams should even be allowed to appear in the playoffs with a losing record. I would like to get this on the record prior to this weekend’s bonanza of games meant to keep us all on our couches for its entirety. Q: During a lockdown, where the heck else are we going to go? Uh, is that Doordash?!
Anyway, I’d like to begin by arguing I believe the addition of a seventh spot in each conference is an okay thing. However, what I disagree with is when it is combined with the “divisional championship” system from the good old days. That’s when it becomes somewhat of a mess. We are literally going to bid adieu to some teams with 10-6 records – while enabling the NFC East winner to host a game while not even sniffing a winning record. No offense, but what did they do to deserve that?! To use the “S” word, it kind of “SUCKS!” And speaking of the NFC East (no offense Texas) but, the Dallas Cowboys should have been moved outta there a long time ago. We can’t have partial nostalgia and the rest disruption. Right?!
You know, I’m old enough to remember when the Seattle Seahawks played in the AFC West. So, for NFL “purists” who choose to argue that Dallas, Philly, the football Giants, and yes, the newly titled Washington Football Team should remain in close divisional proximity, I say, POPPYCOCK! If the league is going to make radical changes to its playoff schedule – and, I hear game #17 is coming soon to your football platter, we should also become comfortable with other logical changes likewise.
Since I know you’re holding your breath for my suggestions (kidding), I recommend something like: BLOW UP the divisions completely and instead have each conference award 8 (yes, 8! Or, 9!) playoff spots to the best records in each conference. That gives half the teams in the league the opportunity to play in the postseason. And it sets the table for plenty of revenue raising options for the upper brass in NYC and elsewhere. Let’s face it, I would be embarrassed to hang a divisional championship banner in my mancave on the heels of a 5-11 season (or 7-9). Wouldn’t YOU?! C’MON MAN!
Oh, and one other thing: let’s give the top two teams BYES again! I think it’s shameful to overlook a 14-2 or 13-3 team just because the #1 team is 15-1. Again, it’s great to incentivize the lower half of playoff contention, but let’s not cheat the consistent, rightful earners of the best records in the game while we do it, okay?!
It’s not much, but it’s a start. Let’s keep the ball rolling with some debate…
Tell me what YOU think?
with Anthony Newcombe
Area(s): Education, Business, Psychology
Topic: Reliance on remote technology for school, work, and emotional well-being …
Issue: Are we putting so much emphasis on virtual technology that we may find ourselves paralyzed when it’s time to ‘come back into the real world?’ Let’s get something straight from the outset. I have no special insights or secrets for what the heck we are expected to do from 2021 onward. However, like nearly all of you out there, I find myself thinking, discussing, and, occasionally, well, fretting about the repercussions of this new world we’ve had to carve out for ourselves in order to move forward however quickly or slowly we perceive we are. The most recurrent thought is about this Zoom/ GoToMeeting/ TikTok ‘stuff.’ Whether we’re trying to get through a lecture, business meeting, family call, or, creating the next (wink, wink) viral video sensation (we’re all at some point toying with our 15 minutes of fame, right?) – we should also wonder what exactly all of this means. We instead seem to mindlessly download, log in and share every nook and cranny of our lives with – well, who knows who?! In other words, are we potentially exposing ourselves to future legal matters (IP/ property theft, civil liability, etc.) while making use of this technology?
with Anthony Newcombe
Area: business, politics (and the strange ways they seem to intersect these days)
Topic: Business “Monopoly sweepstakes” during this pandemic
Issue: Are “favored” companies taking unfair advantage of “unfavored” ones – as well as the rest of us – during this pandemic?