A Closer Look …

with Anthony Newcombe 

Let’s take a closer look …

Date: January 6, 2021 

This month’s topic:  

Hello 2022 … how is it different than 2021? 

 2020’s #NYE thought: “Wow, if we can just get to 2021, all will be fine!”  And then, chaos on Capitol Hill. This, followed by the Delta variant incurring its wrath. Now it’s Omicron. “Wow, if we can just get to 2022, all will be just fine!” Well, what the h*ll are we supposed to do NOW?! 

Last fall, others simply fretted over whether they would be able to exchange gifts over the holidays. Remember the shipping container fiasco? Will that holiday gift arrive on time? If so, when and how much more will it cost? Should I go onto Amazon.com like almost everyone else who used to shop in the brick-and-mortar retail stores? We better hope and pray these guys never need a government bailout!  

Now, we’re in 2022 (exhale)  

Factoid: we just tallied over 1 million new U.S. infections in one day earlier this week. Some Americans are having to wait in line for hours for COVID tests or pay up to $75 per testing kit at a local pharmacy. All this simply to determine whether or not they can return to work or send their kid(s) back to school for the new year. Worse yet, it looks like the few checks sent last year for childcare are instead being diverted to pay for overpriced groceries, gasoline, school supplies, medications – just to name a few.  

 So, with all this, one would think 2022 would bring about a “fix” for our problems. Well, with just a few days into the new year it doesn’t seem so, does it? Interest rate hikes are looming (and expected to rise beginning EOQ1 2022), gas prices are forecasted to hit $4.00/gallon (or more) in many states, which translates to practically $6.00/ gallon in some spots like California.  Home prices are skyrocketing still, but let’s face it: who can really afford to move anywhere “cheaper” in the country? 

Any ideas? 

See you next month (at the gas station) 

-A.N. 

A Closer Look 👁👁

👁👁with Anthony Newcombe 👁👁

Let’s take a closer look …

Happy Holidays ALL!!

This month’s topic: Required Tests for Congress Members

We’re going to end this year with a BANG!! Let’s just call it like it is: we need to require all candidates who run for all congressional seats and judicial appointments to pass a test that ensures they are: qualified, sane, interested, and able to perform all of the necessary duties of the job. We don’t have this in place at the time this blog goes to publishing.

COMMON SENSE RED ALERT!!

Q: Could we ever be able to be hired for or allowed to start set foot in a job that we didn’t even want to succeed in?   
 

Q: Would we ever be granted access to secrets of any business without first providing proof of qualifications for the position?  
 

Q: Might we ever see a situation where employees (decision-makers) are allowed to cavalierly sit back and allow the company they are in charge of to be smashed to smithereens?   
 

Clearly, the answers to all of the above hypothetical scenarios is of course, in fact, NO!!  
 

It would never happen, and if it did, there would be a swift and permanent termination of employment and possible legal consequences beyond.   
 

For these reasons, it seems asinine that we would think that this couldn’t, isn’t, or would never happen to our governing bodies. We are observing some of the most clear-cut examples of people with who have zero interest in continuing democracy: blitzing seats, refusing to govern, and participating in the some the most vile, pathetic – let alone dangerous – behavior imaginable. Why are we sitting back and allowing it?  Why the continued lack of outrage?
 

Current major areas affected  
 

Covid-19/ our collective health: 800,000 dead … say no more.  
 

Overturning laws/ court uncertainty:  If we no longer can trust the people who are creating, writing and adjudicating our laws, then how the heck are we supposed to abide by them?
 

Debt ambivalence: $30 Trillion? $35 Trill? How about a nice, round $40T?  Why does it seem nobody’s bothered by this number anymore? 
 

Civil disobedience:  Are we paying attention to all of the destruction and anger we have towards each other?  How about sharing commercial airplanes, public roadways, and other community space? Is it now the one with the biggest fists, guns, or whatever the one who has the last say?  What have we become?  
 

⏰Wake up call ⏰

Look people.  I don’t enjoy stopping at red lights in big city traffic any more than the guy next to me who thinks he’s Mario Andretti.  But, one thing I do know … is if we all decide to continue to do our own thing, society as we know it may not know we all won’t last or be around much longer.  I mean, how could it?!
 

Happy holidays (seriously) and see you in 2022 (… hopefully)

-A.N.

A Closer Look …👀👀👀

Let’s take a closer look

with Anthony Newcombe 

 

It’s practically another fall season, and I don’t know about YOU, but to US, it still feels like we’re inches from the summer sun! Some other areas of concern:  

Whereas most of the above is nature’s doing, we must also be much more vigilant in how we are contributing to the increasing strength and duration of each.  We need to do a much better job of collectively working towards solutions to these problems – as opposed to exacerbating them.    

  • Should our infrastructure plans “adjust” according to the frequency and severity of these events? 
  • What do YOU intend to do about these problems?   
  • What am I going to do? 

These are the questions that need to be asked and addressed.  Otherwise, we are kidding ourselves while we idly stand by as observers of our own demise.   

Any ideas?  

-A.N. 

A Closer Look … Stocks-Inexperience-Investors-Hedge Funds-Day Trading-

with Anthony Newcombe 

Let’s take a closer look … 

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!  

Any ideas?    

-A.N.     

Feeling a little nauseated?

Supporting links  

Bloomberg 

CNBC Business 

Business Insider 

A Closer Look … Vaccines-Eligibility-Costs-Americans-Pandemic-Covid-A Shot in the Arm-

with Anthony Newcombe

Let’s take a closer look …

Topic:  How and who will pay for COVID-19 vaccinations?   

Issue:  Pandemic, vaccination costs, and the risks of ongoing collateral damage in the U.S.  

  1. Terminology 

Pandemic was recently dubbed the “word of the year” by Merriam-Webster (click link either left or below).  Congrats, pandemic, you’ve officially arrived!  However, now the discussion has shifted from acknowledgment of the pandemic (for many – but not all – of us) to another word, Vaccine/Vaccination

Whereas ‘pandemic’ can be delivered to our shores for free, ‘vaccine’ cannot and will not come ashore for the same, wonderful price.  What that leaves us with, is, how and who will be actually paying for the delivery and distribution of each vaccine? And, how much per dose?

  1. U.S. Imports: To me, it’s starting to take the form of most every other import into our country.  Those who have the means will receive the goods, and those who don’t will just have to sit and wait.  And since we’re not talking about the newest G.I. Joe (with the ‘Kung Fu grip’) toy or BMW model, it isn’t quite so simple a formula for success going forward. 

Read More

A Closer Look

with Anthony Newcombe

Let’s take a closer look …

Topic: Reopening vs. Testing (Covid-19)

Issue: Is it better to risk an economic collapse using a more deliberate approach in reopening America (with a broader national testing program), or, try to get us ‘back to normal’ as quickly as possible and risk another spike in infections and deaths?

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/09/trump-reopening-america-coronavirus

What do YOU think?

Let us know …

A Closer Look …

with Anthony Newcombe

Topic: Lockdown (and its aftermath plan)

Issue: Is an “Around the World Itinerary” next?

After this lockdown ends (sometime before the end of time, I imagine), I’ve decided to book a trip around the world. Who’s with me?! Nope, just pulling your leg, but sounds pretty tasty, huh?

It’s just that, you know, being a lifelong “travelin’ man,’ I’m struggling with the “everyday backyard scene.” No, it’s not quite Groundhog Day, but pretty close.

In fact, I just posted a video of what appeared to be my full grown, ash tree uprooting and exiting my backyard. For reals…I think.

Okay, maybe it was my imagination or something. Anyhow, the point is that we are at the point of, well, seeing fleeing trees! And, no, it’s not worth the risk of contracting anything outside the home, but it’s something to take a closer look at, right?!

And, until then, I guess the only outdoor fun will be watering the plants…Woo….Hoo.

Hang in there, my friends. And I’ll try the same.

Let us know how you’re doing out there

-A.N.

Photo credit: BAN Solutions/ BAN Consulting ©2020 (presented in ‘cartoon style’)

A Closer Look

with Anthony Newcombe

Let’s take a closer look

Arena: Healthcare and Politics (and why they don’t mix), Vol. III

Topic: How do we manage to blame the ‘other party’ during a global pandemic?  

I understand all too well that America in 2020 is in the midst of a political tug o’ war over, well, almost everything.  We have demonstrated that we can brawl about just about anything: from guns and ammo, to impeachment, and just about every bit of minutiae worded in a congressional bill.   

But, the coronavirus, seriously?  I mean, do we really think that this little bugger even cares whether you are pro-life or not?  Or, how about whether you have open carry permissions in your state?  Or, whether you voted for Hillary or Trump in 2016?  The obvious answer is NO, it does NOT. 

It only cares about finding a way into your bloodstream (and mine, too) and causing enough harm to hopefully derail us from future family births, graduations, weddings, and the like.  The virus is the real enemy, not your next door neighbor (with the Bernie bumper sticker you may despise). 

Let’s try to bear all this mind moving forward.   Remember, the people who #StayAtHome aren’t lazy, foolish or have an aversion to sunlight.  They are, hopefully as you are too, trying to get this monster to go away.  For good.  So, let’s try to bury the egos, the bravado, and, in some cases, the reckless disregard for stay at home orders.   

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A Closer Look … (that virus)

with Anthony Newcombe (Vol. II)

Let’s take a closer look

Area: Covid-19 / Health & Pandemics

Issue: What “good” has already resulted from shutting down entire city, state, and nation populations due to the Covid-19 pandemic? Let’s take ‘a closer look’ …

If you haven’t yet noticed, we are in an international health crisis – the likes of which have never been seen on this size and scale. Our global population is closing in on 8 billion – and one of its largest, China, first experienced one of the most enigmatic and deadly outbreaks of what is termed “Covid-19.” As of this post publication (3/21/2020), China has (reportedly) gained control of the outbreak of new infections. Conversely, the location I’m currently residing in, Los Angeles, Calif., U.S.A. – is in its second full day of a complete lock down/ social distancing/ shelter-in-place, house arrest, or whatever you’d like to call it.

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