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Listen to the latest episode of the Emerald Wit & Wisdom Podcast (5/29/24)


Good morning.

Sometimes, I just don’t get it.

Sure … I am reading the same things as everyone else … about how recession is imminent, and I will admit that some of the rationale is compelling … along with a little frightening … but I found this morning’s headline in DailyShot befuddling.

Showing “real consumer spending” falling in April … unexpectedly, I might add … the comment is that it indicates “a slowdown in economic activity.”  But while the chart shows this is the second occurrence this year, it also shows a slowdown happened for two months last year, twice the year before and … oh, yes, three times in the previous year … with one of those years painful to investors (2022) while the other years brought quite a bit of joy.

While today’s claim might be on target … with a downturn ahead (which is supported by separate data) … I’ve always had the concern that a conclusion is made first and then a search started to find supporting rationale … instead of the other way around.

Am I worried about a downturn in the markets?  I always am.  But history has shown the futility of timing the markets and I’ll leave it at that.

Meanwhile, Sam Stovall put out a note this morning reminding us that June typically has presented increased volatility and below-average returns but is quick to point out the CFRA Research view that despite all this … and the headlines … they still expect stocks to be higher at the end of the year.

Stocks opened this morning with a small gain … but only a boring, small gain … and, for some, slow and sometimes unsteady is no fun at all … not when there are “meme” stocks out there and millions to be made.

That’s right, Gamestop is back in the news, as a simple comment that “Roaring Kitty” has a large position was enough to drive up this stock north of 75%.  While us old-timers will think of Warren Buffett as being the investment guru of our time (like Peter Lynch before him), the younger generation looks at Keith Gill for guidance.  Analysis?  EBITDA?  Profit margins?  None of these are needed … as all you need is to jump on the moving train with plans to jump off before it (again) derails.

Many theories are taught during finance lectures given in colleges … but few are as powerful as “The Greater Fool Theory.”  Just get in hard with the expectation that there is a greater fool than you willing to take a stock off your hands at a much higher price.

Which reminds me …

… the tulips I planted last year are starting to bloom.

Have a great day,

Joseph G. Witthohn, CFA

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A Look At The News | June 3, 2024

As of 9:00 AM today

There are a lot of people starting to sense a storm is on this way. But their warnings have been premature in years past. Will they be right this time? (Finbold)


A lot of people are on edge right now … over so many different things … but how you react to them could be the difference between a mild disarming and something worse (BuzzFeed)


Few people enjoy public speaking but is just doing it the only way to get experience and comfort?  Maybe not … as Virtual Reality could give you the practice you need (NeuroScienceNews


While this has been talked about for years it seems that oil may be on its way out as the energy leader. But don’t think it will be gone for good, as that will take a long, long time (LiveScience)


It is tough to get too excited about this but there is tremendous hope … mixed with prayers … as cancer vaccines are now in the early stage of testing and review (Futurism)


… but something else … a little less important, of course … is the thought that human teeth can actually be regrown.  A crowning achievement if there ever was one (NewAtlas)


The statements above are supplied for educational purposes only. The statements depict the viewpoints and opinion of the author and are not necessarily the views of Emerald Asset Management or its affiliates. The information described herein is taken from sources which are believed to be reliable, but the accuracy and completeness of such information is not guaranteed by us.