December 13th, 2021

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Dear Retail Investor,

This will be the final issue of The Diary for 2021, and we’d like to thank you, our valued subscribers, for another great year. We hope you’ve learned a few things from reading this newsletter, and perhaps taken up some new hobbies over the Covid lockdowns of the past 2 years – we took up drinking on weekdays.

Speaking of Covid lockdowns – are we finally through them? While the markets experienced a pullback after the Omicron variant made headlines in late November, evidence suggests that symptoms are relatively mild in comparison to previous variants, quashing fears of another March 2020 situation.

But there is still a lot of uncertainty about what 2022 has in store for the markets, and it’s making analysts jittery.

For one thing, there’s inflation. We woke up this morning (Dec 10th) to headlines that U.S. inflation had risen 6.8% in November – the highest level in almost 40 years. The core price index, which excludes volatile markers like food and energy, climbed 4.9% from a year earlier, the highest rate since 1991.

What does that mean for you, dear retail investor? Well, your groceries and gas are getting more expensive. Many asset managers are calling for small-caps and value stocks to perform well in 2022. And rising demand coupled with looming supply chain issues will likely push oil and energy prices higher over the next few years, despite the global push to adopt renewables – you can read more about that in this issue’s Spotlight.

Wishing you a joyful holiday season and a prosperous new year,

– Dear Retail Investors Editorial Team

In This Issue:

Spotlight: Oil has risen 300% from its 2020 lows. What opportunities can retail investors look for in 2022?
Opinion: Why Silver is the best play for retail investors right now.
Trend Watch: More parents than ever before are deciding to home-school their children. Here’s how to invest in digital learning.

Spotlight

How to Play the Oil Rollercoaster

Few investments present the kind of narrative 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.

Opinion

Why Silver is the best play for retail investors right now

Few investments present the kind of narrative 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 . . .

Trend Watch

Investing in digital learning

Until 2019, the number of homeschooled students had been growing by between 2% to 8 each year.

From 2019 to the fall of 2020, the percentage of homeschooled students changed from 3.4% to 9%.

According to a study by the United States Census Bureau (USCB), by early 2021 at least 5 million American parents had decided to educate their children entirely from home.

That’s up from 3.2 million parents in February 2020.

The USCB also says more than 11% of U.S. households were homeschooling as of March 2021.

That’s double from the September 2020 percentage of 5.4%.

A big driver of this trend?

Besides Covid, many parents across the country have lost faith in traditional schools.

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