The Diary

7
Mar

Copper Has Not Peaked Yet

Markets and commodity prices have fluctuated wildly since the Russia-Ukraine conflict broke out on the evening of February 23 (Eastern Standard Time).
And because Russia produces many of the world’s most critical commodities, this will likely continue. Yet unlike most metals, copper didn’t spike immediately on news of the Russian invasion.

1
Mar

Stagflation is coming

What the Russia-Ukraine conflict means for global markets
That sent me back to my local CVS to buy more of that oral cleanser.

But they didn’t have any.

Neither did any of the other half dozen or so drug stores I went to.

When you can’t find a product locally that you really need, you order it through Amazon, right?

That’s what I did.

And since I’m an Amazon Prime member, which entitles members to overnight shipping, I figured I’d get it the next day.

Wrong.

You see, Amazon’s overnight delivery service for Prime members doesn’t apply to orders fulfilled by stores that contract with Amazon.

And of course my oral cleanser was coming from one of these stores.

Four days passed before I finally got it.

Since I was in pain, I would’ve paid triple for overnight delivery.

I’ll bet you can also recall times when you would’ve given anything to get what you ordered online right away.

You see, we Americans are an impatient lot.

We want what we want RIGHT NOW!!!

We’re hopelessly addicted to speed and convenience.

Helping satisfy those demands is what enabled Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) to grow into the $1.65 trillion behemoth it is today.

Now operations large and small are trying to improve their deliveries.

They have no choice because…Some kind of digital art thing? The latest crypto craze? A speculative frenzy? Correct.

21
Feb

Gold’s Big Run

“You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.”

Remember those lines from The Matrix?

They came from Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), who delivered them to Neo (Keanu Reeves).

It was his way of giving Neo the choice of living in a fantasy land most people believed was real…

Or seeing the world as it really is.

Neo chose true reality, of course.

Now, 23 years after The Matrix was released, it feels like we’re living in a real-world version of that movie.

It seems to me like just about everyone has taken the blue pill.

Consider that most people are glued to their cell phones 24/7… addicted to social media… absorbed in video games…

Well, guess what?

4
Feb

Will semiconductor shortages tank the economy?

I always wanted to be a travel writer. Once I even churned out a 150,000-word manuscript about my misadventures in South Asia.

But all I got from that effort was a wastebasket full of rejection letters.

4
Feb

Copper Market Outlook 2022 – the “New Oil” is preparing for liftoff

Copper had a nice ride in 2021.
After a stomach-churning 2020, the red metal went on to rebound sharply in 2021, hitting an all-time high of $10,512 per metric ton on May 9, 2021 – an increase of 130% compared to March 2020’s pandemic lows.

14
Jan

How to profit from the surging demand for “overnight” shipping

There’s a great product called Life Oral Wound Cleanser. I used it to help heal a nasty sore in my mouth several years ago (courtesy of a tooth-capping procedure my dentist performed on me). Recently I suffered another mouth sore.

That sent me back to my local CVS to buy more of that oral cleanser.

But they didn’t have any.

Neither did any of the other half dozen or so drug stores I went to.

When you can’t find a product locally that you really need, you order it through Amazon, right?

That’s what I did.

And since I’m an Amazon Prime member, which entitles members to overnight shipping, I figured I’d get it the next day.

Wrong.

You see, Amazon’s overnight delivery service for Prime members doesn’t apply to orders fulfilled by stores that contract with Amazon.

And of course my oral cleanser was coming from one of these stores.

Four days passed before I finally got it.

Since I was in pain, I would’ve paid triple for overnight delivery.

I’ll bet you can also recall times when you would’ve given anything to get what you ordered online right away.

You see, we Americans are an impatient lot.

We want what we want RIGHT NOW!!!

We’re hopelessly addicted to speed and convenience.

Helping satisfy those demands is what enabled Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) to grow into the $1.65 trillion behemoth it is today.

Now operations large and small are trying to improve their deliveries.

They have no choice because…Some kind of digital art thing? The latest crypto craze? A speculative frenzy? Correct.

14
Jan

Understanding NFTs and How to Invest in Them

At this point, you’ve likely heard the term “NFT” thrown around enough to have a vague idea of what they are.
Some kind of digital art thing? The latest crypto craze? A speculative frenzy? Correct.

14
Jan

Lithium Runs Hot in 2022

Commodities had a stellar year in 2021. Whether it was fossil fuels, coffee, oil, copper or quartz, last year marked a decidedly bullish turn for several key commodities.
Gradual economic recovery, combined with an ongoing supply-side hangover from the pandemic, pushed prices up.
Fossil fuels including propane, heating oil, coal, ethanol, and gasoline surprisingly ended up being some of the strongest performers in 2021, thanks to OPEC cuts and the unprededented pandemic-induced lows of 2020. Oil prices this week hit a two-month high, with analysts predicting prices will continue to rise in 2022 as demand outstrips supply.
But the best performing commodity in 2021 by far was lithium—up 486% according to Trading Economics – a trend that looks set to continue innto 2022.

9
Dec

How to Invest in Digital Learning

I was taking a leisurely drive back to California from the East Coast, primarily staying at Airbnbs along the way. My last Airbnb host, Maria, rented me a room in her Las Cruces, New Mexico home.

She’s a 60-something woman of Mexican descent.

I arrived early in the afternoon, and after I settled in she offered to make me lunch.

I accepted, and during the meal we chatted for about an hour.

That’s how I learned she’s a former schoolteacher and psychologist who invested in real estate.

Now she rents out several houses, as well as two rooms in her home to Airbnb guests.

Much of our conversation revolved around the political situation in the U.S., and the country’s great ideological divide.

She’s extremely conservative and has deep disdain for the primary school educational system in Las Cruces.

The seeds for her disdain were planted decades ago when her three children were in grade school.

At the time, New Mexico had passed a bill mandating certain teaching practices that conflicted with her conservative values.

So she pulled her kids out of school and homeschooled them.

Her kids did well as homeschoolers.

In fact, they received scholarships at area colleges and are now very successful professionals.

Why am I telling you this story?

Because homeschooling and digital learning are experiencing explosive growth.

Obviously the 2020 Covid lockdowns have played a huge role in this trend.

Many parents, forced to work from home or who were no longer able to go to work because of the lockdowns, suddenly found themselves helping their kids do schoolwork remotely.

9
Dec

The Oil Rollercoaster

Few investments present the kind of narative you get with oil.  It’s one of the most highly traded commodities in the world, with a global market worth over $5 trillion and counting.
It has been referred to as “black gold” and the “lifeblood of the modern economy.” Because it is . . . at least for now. 

Oil is used in many ways: as a key component for energy generation, transportation fuels and petrochemical products such as plastics, solvents and adhesives. 

This means it’s highly lucrative. And because it’s unevenly distributed, it’s also highly political.

The result is that oil is very volatile and greatly influenced by politics, weather, sentiment and even unprecedented events like a global pandemic, for example. 

Speaking of which . . .