Welcome to The Diary, the newsletter for essential small-cap investing intelligence, presented twice a month by Dear Retail. We hope you enjoyed our last issue – if you missed it, you can find it here.
Oil stocks to date have had a remarkable run since WTI oil futures were trading as low as -$40.32 per contract for a barrel of oil – a truly bizarre and unprecedented moment in global financial markets. The precipitous drop into negative territory occurred as the pandemic was unfolding, when countries went into lockdown and people were confined to their homes. Demand for crude evaporated in the market and supply became bloated as participants in the oil market sought whatever means to offload inventories of crude.
It was just before dawn when my train pulled into the station.
I surveyed the scene outside from the comfort of my first-class car.
It was shocking.
The railway platform was packed with ragged people sleeping under soiled blankets.
Have you ever bought a bag of chips but once you opened it, felt like the bag wasn’t even half-full? Or perhaps you grabbed a smoothie after a workout and finished it in little more than a few sips, leaving you feeling that the price you paid was not really worth it? This phenomenon tends to cause indignation amongst consumers, as it can leave them feeling cheated or ripped off – but as a retail investor you should also be paying attention to what it means for your portfolio.
The other night I was sitting around channel-surfing, determined to find something fun to watch.
That’s how I stumbled onto Narcos.
As you may know, Narcos is a Netflix series that highlights notorious Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar.
He reportedly made $30 billion by trafficking cocaine to the U.S.
In the process of amassing that fortune, he turned his country into a war zone.
In fact, his crews killed so many rival drug gang members, cops, politicians, judges and innocent bystanders, Colombia became known as the murder capital of the world.
Those murders dropped off dramatically after Escobar was killed in a 1993 police shootout.
But the flood of Colombian cocaine into the U.S. continues to this day.
Rival drug cartels have seen to that.
You don’t hear much about cocaine from Colombia anymore.
If you follow metals and mining on Twitter, you may have stumbled upon the hashtag #tinbaron, and asked yourself what is the big deal about a metal from antiquity?
I’ve got a 91-year-old father who means the world to me.
And I’ve devoted this summer to spending some quality time with him. So I sublet my apartment in California and rented an Airbnb in the town of Bainbridge, Ohio, a few miles from where my dad lives.
I figured we’d spend the summer going on walks together… play a little golf… maybe even take a few mini-road trips.
None of that’s happened.
Dad’s suffering from severe low back pain – everything he does hurts.
Now he can’t even leave the house without a walker.
Doctors haven’t been able to do much for him, other than prescribe painkillers and cortisone injections.
All that’s helped a little, but he’s still miserable.
I said it in my last article, and I’ll say it again…
Diesel-powered vehicles are on their last legs.
Governments are seeing to that.
As of the beginning of 2021, 31 cities, states and countries worldwide have diesel bans in place.
More are sure to follow.
The main reason – excessive NOx emissions from diesels are polluting our air, making people sick and causing deaths.
His name was Phil Baker.
For 18 years, he worked as an engineer for Norfolk Southern Railroad in Georgia.
The pay was good…but there was a catch.
Black smoke from the train constantly flooded the crew cabins of the diesel trains he ran.
He ended up dying of a rare head and neck cancer.
A jury ruled all that exhaust caused it.
Anthony Nigro was also exposed to diesel exhaust every day he worked.
It came from buses he maintained for 28 years at the New York City Transit Authority.
A Workman’s Compensation judge ruled that exposure was a major cause of his lung cancer.
It took his life mere months after his retirement.
There was also a mechanic for the Illinois Central Railroad who died of throat cancer…
A machinist who died of multiple myeloma…
And a railroad trackman who lost his life to gastric cancer…
The Disastrous Consequences of Plastic Pollution – and How to Invest in Alternative Materials
Dear Fellow Fed Up Investor,
What’s the world’s biggest problem?
Climate change? Inflation?
Bad as they all are, my vote goes to pollution.
It’s hard to fathom just how polluted the world is – especially the “Undeveloped” World.
I saw this first-hand during my travels through Asia some years ago.