There is no doubt that technological innovation has automated more tasks and this will only become more pronounced with the greater use of artificial intelligence and robotics. This has created a greater demand for workers who have “soft” skills since routine job tasks are becoming more automated or commoditized.
Mark Twain once said, “I didn’t have time to write you a short letter, so I wrote a long one.”
When writing (and speaking) it’s fairly easy to let the words flow without much regard to precisely communicating. If one gets into a stream of consciousness state it can be helpful for the writer and speaker to release what’s welling up inside but this may not be what’s best for the reader or listener in terms of communicating clearly,
Investing has some parallels with driving. It’s important to have a destination that keeps you on course. I think of the destination as financial goals rooted in thoughtful consideration of powerful trends upon which to capitalize such that the wind can be put at your back while also being fully cognizant of what exposures you may have that can lead to a permanent loss of capital based on shorter-term issues arising.
I have been turning to charts more regularly for my weekly blog posts than I have in the past. Like most people, I see many of the challenges and price pressures resulting from the massively disrupted global supply chain. It shows up in terribly unreliable contractors (I’m having a pool built so I am experiencing this first hand) and the significant increase in the cost of materials that are leading to the rationing of some goods like plywood and even chlorine.
Japan has been my model for why I think interest rates will stay low. Its rapidly aging society has led to a shrinking pool of labor over the last two decades which has led to less consumption and more savings. In addition, public spending has increased significantly to help keep the economy growing in the face of strong demographic headwinds.
Inflation is clearly one of the hottest topics for investors in particular and society more generally as the following chart shows. Core inflation has not moved commensurately with the exploding interest in the topic.
The following charts show why inflation is such a hot topic.
Although I’m in the camp that the Fed will stick to its word and not raise short-term interest rates until after 2023 at the earliest, the market is betting differently. Rather than focusing on when the Fed will start raising rates, let’s assume that they will.
The first quarter was incredibly ugly for bond investors, particularly those with exposure to longer-maturity ones. Bond investors were not happy as Treasuries generated the worst quarterly return since 1980.
[UPDATE] 3:00 PM Egypt – 6 AM PST the Ever Given was refloated and is on the move again. Credit is given to the full moon bringing the spring higher tides, 14 tug boats, and the 27,000 meters of sand removed. The following was written prior to this news.
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