Topley’s Top 10 – September 28, 2022

1. 2022 Historical Event…Bonds Down More Than Stocks.

Michael Gayed Below are the top 20 largest peak to trough drawdowns for the S&P 500 going back to 1961. Never, IN HISTORY, in an EXTREME drawdown for stocks, have Treasuries, THE risk-off asset, GONE DOWN MORE THAN STOCKS.

(23) Michael A. Gayed, CFA on Twitter: “Below are the top 20 largest peak to trough drawdowns for the S&P 500 going back to 1961. Never, IN HISTORY, in an EXTREME drawdown for stocks, have Treasuries, THE risk-off asset, GONE DOWN MORE THAN STOCKS. WAKE. THE. FUCK. UP. $TLT $SPY” / Twitter2.

2. 30 Year Treasury -30% from Highs

30 year treasury ETF …oversold short-term

First time American investors experiencing a “short-term safe bond fund” chart that looks like BSV

3. Hockey Stick Spike in Put Option Hedging

From Dave Lutz at Jones Trading–You can practically smell the fear. Single stock put premium has been surging to record levels! (FT via the Twits)

4. U.S. is Facing Shortest Lead Time Ever Between Inverted Yield Curve and Recession

@Charlie Bilello Back then, the expansion peaked in March 2001. Today, many believe we are already in a recession.

If that’s the case, it would be the shortest lead time we’ve seen from the inverted yield curve signal.

5. Amazon Market Cap in S&P Almost Cut in Half

6. FANG Stock ETF Closes Below 200 Week Moving Average.

7. S&P Retail Index Closes Below 200 Week Moving Average

8. China vs. India…Straight Down

This chart shows China ETF vs. India ETF….China straight pattern down vs. India starting in 2021

9. New fully self-driving Volkswagen allows you to work, eat and SLEEP

Cody Carlson VOLKSWAGEN has shown us the future of transport with its fully self-driving GEN.TRAVEL vehicle.

The all-electric GEN.TRAVEL car operates at the highest self-driving level and acts as an alternative to short-haul flights.

Rearview image showcasing Volkswagen’s GEN.TRAVEL vehicleCredit: Volkswagen AG

The Society of Automotive Engineers [SAE] formed a ranking system for self-driving car automation in 2014.

These autonomous (or self-driving) rankings are leveled from 0 to 5, with level 5 being the highest.

Volkswagen’s GEN.TRAVEL vehicle has level 5 autonomy, meaning it can travel through bad weather and isn’t limited to specific geographical locations, according to the manufacturer.

GEN.TRAVEL’s interior is customizable for each journey, offering configurations for working, eating, and sleeping.

The fully self-driving vehicle’s work setup includes a conference layout with four seats and a large center table where passengers can work and eat.

Illuminating GEN.TRAVELS work environment is dynamic lighting that helps passengers avoid motion sickness.

GEN.TRAVEL riders looking to catch some rest can convert the four chairs into two flat-lying beds.

The dynamic lighting within this Volkswagen also induces passenger melatonin release to promote better rest.

10. The Science of Weekend Recovery

Finding your own best way to recover from the work week—and go back stronger. Jeffrey Davis M.A.


  • Many Americans are spending weekends and holidays working, leading to negative work-related stress.
  • Unwinding on the weekend is important, but how we choose to unwind is equally important.
  • The right form of recovery for you depends on the nature of your work.

Does it feel like it’s more difficult to disengage from work these days? If so, you’re not alone. According to the latest American Time Use Survey, one in five American workers spends an average of 5.94 hours working on weekends and holidays.

Working on the weekends is the message society tells us about how to get ahead. A Google search of what entrepreneurs do on weekends returns cheerful articles filled with advice to unwind and relax—yet Quora and Reddit forums asking the same question reveal what entrepreneurs actually do: work on their businesses.

Is it any wonder that the American Psychological Association’s 2021 Work and Well-being Survey found three in five workers are experiencing negative work-related stress?

It’s time to reclaim our weekends.

Recent Research on Weekend Recovery

Earlier this year I wrote about setting goals for a life worth living outside of work and how, if we want to avoid burnout and improve our resilience, we need to rethink how we refresh ourselves while off the clock.

Since writing that piece, I’ve become curious about a pair of studies that go beyond the fact that relaxation is necessary and ask the question of which type of activity can help us feel the most rejuvenated.

In a 2017 study from San Francisco University, Kevin J. Eschleman and his colleagues found that workers in less-creative jobs (such as cashiers, security guards, and technicians) were more likely to benefit from creative activities outside of work. Workers in creative jobs such as designers and architects, on the other hand, were more refreshed by noncreative pursuits.

A more recent study from the Université Grenoble Alpes in France extended the question to look at not only the activities participants did but also the amount of effort those activities took and the way they made the participant feel (which they call “experiences”; e.g., relaxation, mastery, control).

They found that participants who engaged in activities related to their work experienced lower recovery over the weekend, while those who engaged in social, physical, and creative experiences recovered better. Digging even deeper, they discovered that two specific experiences—psychological detachment from work and relaxation—were more likely to assist with recovery.

I want to highlight this for the one in five of us who are working 5.94 hours on weekends and holidays: the more distinct your nonwork activities are from your work activities, the more recovered you will feel at the end of your weekend.

Complementary Work and Recovery

Given this, how should you be spending your weekends? What you find most restorative will depend on the nature of your work.

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Because so much of my work throughout the week is cerebral and done at a computer, I find that activities that are outdoors and physically engaging are incredibly restorative—even if they’re technically “labor.” A few weekends ago I spent the weekend stacking two cords of wood at our home, then helped a friend spread cedar chips. I ended up sore, but happy and refreshed.

I’ve seen similar stories from clients who have chosen to engage in recreative activities that complement their work.

  • One client, a tenured law professor, turned to painting to relieve stress, refresh her spirits, and spark her creativity. For several winter months, she awoke early and painted a small watercolor with soil paints. The pursuit opened up new creative avenues for her; she wrote a book to inspire other lawyers.
  • Another client, a writer, chooses a sewing or woodworking project when she needs a break from wordsmithing. She says it engages her creativity in a different way, engaging the problem-solving and engineering part of her brain and allowing her to come back to her creative writing refreshed.

Whatever the activity, it seems participation is a key factor in how it affects us. A 2014 study followed two cohorts in 10-week classes. One group was given art lessons and actively produced paintings, while the other only viewed and discussed art. The group that produced art saw increased connectivity in the brain’s default mode network, which can improve our ability to be creative and imaginative.

Your Own Best Weekend Recovery

Which activities will help you recover best over the weekend? Start by asking yourself the following questions.

1. What is the mental nature of your work?

Those in noncreative jobs should look for ways to explore their creativity on the weekends, such as taking up a new hobby.

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If you’re in a creative field, try giving your mind a few days to recover while you engage in physical work, or a complementary hobby that lights up other parts of your brain besides what you use in your work.

2. What is the physical nature of your work?

For those of us who spend our days physically sitting at a computer or desk, activities that get our bodies moving can be good recovery. Those who are more active throughout the week might find stillness to be the best thing for them.

Think about your environment. Do you spend most of your work week in an office or in the city? Try an activity that gets you into a natural environment. Do you spend your days in a home office? Try an activity that gets you out into a more social space.

3. What is the social nature of your work?

Changing up who you interact with throughout the week can also make a difference. If most of your work is solo, consider taking a weekend class or going on an outing with friends. If you spend your week in meetings, maybe a solo hike or a morning spent reading are just what you need to unwind.

Whatever activity you choose, I encourage you to experiment with your weekends and vary the pattern of your recovery to learn how you can best show up refreshed on Monday morning.

Topley’s Top 10 – September 27, 2022

1. The Covid Gap in Total Federal Reserve Assets

From Steve Blumenthal CMG

2. 1970 Stagflation Stats vs. 2022

LPL Research—Barry Gilbert

3. Marketwatch-Global bonds are in first bear market in 76 years based on two centuries of data, says Deutsche Bank

Vivien Lou Chen

It’s been a terrible year for financial markets and perhaps even more so when you weigh 2022 against more than two centuries of data.

Global bonds are now in their first bear market in 76 years, after having dropped 20% from their peaks, according to Deutsche Bank research dating back to 1786. The last time global bonds fared so poorly was in 1946, the year that the first session of the United Nations was held in London after the end of World War II.

Read: A historic global bond-market crash threatens liquidation of the world’s most crowded trades, says BofA


Driving much of the brutal selloff in global bonds, which has sent yields soaring across developed markets, is expectations for much higher interest rates as central banks try to combat the highest inflation spell in 40 years. As financial-market players rush to factor in much higher rates, they’ve aggressively sold off government bonds — pushing yields to multiyear highs, particularly in the U.S.

Global government bonds have seen a decade’s worth of positive nominal returns wiped out, so far, based on a rolling 10-year return basis. “By the end of September 2022, this may be the worst rolling 10-year period for U.S. bonds in history,” Deutsche Bank researchers said.

“What makes this current period even worse historically is that we are now seeing deep losses in nominal terms which, for many countries, has never previously happened over a sustained period outside of wars or defaults,” said Deutsche Bank researchers Jim Reid, Henry Allen, Luke Templeman and Adrian Cox.

On Monday, investors and traders continued to sell off Treasurys, lifting the policy-sensitive 2-year yield TMUBMUSD02Y, 4.303% further above its highest levels of almost 15 years. Meanwhile, the rate on 2-year gilts TMBMKGB-02Y, 4.527%, the U.K. counterpart to Treasurys, soared above 4.5% as Bank of England Gov. Andrew Bailey said policy makers will not “hesitate to change interest rates as necessary” to bring inflation down to 2%.

4. UK 5 Year Bonds Acting Like Third World Country


5. Softbank Closes Below 200 Week Moving Average

Not sure if we should use this as lead/tell for venture capital forward returns….But Softbank approaching -50% from highs.

6. Coinbase has Surprisingly Not Made New Lows.

COIN holds above Summer lows

7. Copper -31%…Arguably the commodity to watch as macroeconomic indicator

8. Income Needed to Afford a House 2020 vs. 2022


9. The Disappearance of the American Starter Home.

NY Times–By Emily BadgerThe disappearance of such affordable homes is central to the American housing crisis. The nation has a deepening shortage of housing. But, more specifically, there isn’t enough of this housing: small, no-frills homes that would give a family new to the country or a young couple with student debt a foothold to build equity.

The affordable end of the market has been squeezed from every side. Land costs have risen steeply in booming parts of the country. Construction materials and government fees have become more expensive. And communities nationwide are far more prescriptive today than decades ago about what housing should look like and how big it must be. Some ban vinyl siding. Others require two-car garages. Nearly all make it difficult to build the kind of home that could sell for $200,000 today.

Whatever Happened to the Starter Home? – The New York Times (

10. 12 Efficiency Secrets of the World’s Busiest People

By Michael Pietrzak | September 20, 2022 | 

Picture this. On Friday morning you rush to the hospital with a sick child. Your partner is crying and you’re suffering from chronic lack of sleep. You cancel your 11 a.m. consultation with a potential client who’s clearly annoyed.

At 4 p.m. you’re supposed to start a brand-new college teaching job. Luckily the doctor gives the little one the all clear just in time for you to rush home for a quick shower. No time to review your lecture notes. You survive class, but a million tasks wait at home. You can’t get to them because friends have decided to “check-in,” and they’re staying for dinner.

Saturday morning you visit a coffee shop to work on that presentation for your day job. It’s due Monday. You’re about to put on headphones when a stranger strikes up a conversation. He’s your ideal client, so 90 minutes later you say, “Sorry, I have to get going.” Looking at your phone you find three texts that say, “Hey is this meeting happening?”

You missed your virtual team meeting for your side hustle, so you reschedule—that product launch will have to wait. At home you ignore the dishes from Friday’s half-eaten breakfast, open your laptop, and spend seven hours on sales calls. So much for Sunday off, you spend it finishing that presentation. Monday you’re back to the 9-5, and give a surprisingly expert performance. Nobody detects the cloud of chaos swirling around you.

This is life for most side hustlers: simultaneously invigorating and pressure-filled.

Is “having it all” inseparable from chaos? Yes, but no. Some disarray is built into the pursuit, but you can take back control. Here are 12 efficiency secrets for busy people like you who are building a side hustle while juggling a full-time job, a social life, exercise, sleep and 47 other desires.

1. Clarify your purpose.

Clear conviction is an unstoppable force. A clear “why” provides at least 80% of the motivation needed to achieve anything. Unfortunately, clear purpose is rare among side hustlers. Many say, “I’d like another $1,000 a month,” or, “I want to quit my job.” But when the sick kids and bad deals inevitably come to test your grit, “Gee, I’d like more money” will not carry you over the mountain. Success demands a “burning desire,” to paraphrase Napoleon Hill. And the only way to create that fire is to connect with your purpose at an emotional level.

Humans put forward logical explanations for decisions, but our emotions have a not-insignificant effect on our decision-making as well. So take the time to get emotional about your purpose. Write and think about it. Walk in the woods and scream it at the top of your lungs. Once your “why” is lodged in your heart, abundant motivation will tame the chaos.

2. Create a ‘Will Not Do’ list.

The Latin origin of decide, decidere, means “to cut off,” and cutting the nonessential is as important as selecting priorities. Most achievers have no trouble codifying clear goals but then let time-sucking “opportunities” creep into calendars. Be ruthless with your time in order to grow a business while balancing a full-time job and life responsibilities. Essentialism author Greg McKeown calls this “The power of a graceful no.”

Write a list of activities you refuse to do and plaster it on your walls. Start with obvious fluff, like post-work drinks. Then say a teary goodbye to activities that, while important, will not lead to your best life. Ruthlessness here might mean skipping that birthday party or telling your in-laws that Sunday dinner is no longer a tradition. When you mindfully choose the activities you’ll sacrifice, the gods of productivity will fortify you with the courage to say “no” when the time comes.

3. Play offense, not defense.

Billionaire Chris Sacca has a golden touch for investing. He bought early in Twitter, Uber and Instagram. You’ll know him from his tour of duty on ABC’s Shark Tank and his nifty cowboy shirts. The secret to his success? Unlike typical venture capitalists, he left Silicon Valley to get away from the constant stimulation, “just touching base” emails and endless coffee dates. “I was just reacting to everything, rather than actually going out and playing offense,” Sacca says. He moved three hours east to focus only on priorities he set, rather than every shiny opportunity.

You’re forced to play defense when your car breaks down, a client goes bankrupt or your child gets sick. But you can make a conscious decision to put the lion’s share of your focus on priorities that bring you closer to Goal City, and not let others control your time. Be unavailable; that’s playing offense. Yes, this means passing up exciting opportunities, but when you chase two rabbits you lose both.

4. Practice self-care.

The most neglected piece of any productivity plan is your most important asset: YOU. Best-selling author and business strategist Tony Robbins says that 80% of success is determined by your mindset. If the programming between your ears is delivering anxiety, doubt, fear and frustration, no amount of hustle or strategizing will deliver results.

One key to creating an optimal mindset is to invest in self-care: inspiring hikes in the woods, playing your favorite game, an excellent meal, time with close friends; whatever recharges your soul’s battery. You can’t do your best work when your mind and heart are overwhelmed. You wouldn’t constantly run an engine at the redline without oil, but Western culture applauds this same abuse when we inflict it on ourselves. Then we wonder why burnout strikes.

A word of caution: Brushing your teeth, taking your meds and reading self-help books is self-maintenance, not self-care. To accomplish more, prioritize compassionate activities that supercharge your spirit. For many entrepreneurs, this is the missing link in their success plan.

5. Leverage health hacks.

The standard disclaimer applies: this is not medical advice, talk to your doctor before you try any of these current favorites of some of the highest achievers in Silicon Valley.

  • Bulletproof coffee: Your morning cup mixed with grass-fed butter and MCT oil from coconuts. It provides the fuel your brain needs to function at its peak until lunchtime, leading to the next hack.
  • Intermittent fasting: Don’t put any food into your stomach for 16 hours in a 24-hour period. Simple. This means lunch at noon, dinner at 6 p.m., and your bulletproof coffee in the morning. Benefits include fat loss, muscle gain and growth of nerve cells in the brain, which unlocks peak performance.
  • Supplements: Nature provides loads of goodies. Ginkgo biloba may reduce anxiety and stress, and omega-3s can improve sleep and protect you from disease. Find the right cocktail for you.
  • Cut sugar: It can contribute to—or increase the risk of—disease, potentially suppress or weaken the immune system, impair cognition, and increase stress.
  • Sauna: Spending time in a sauna may trigger growth hormone production, improve physical endurance and improve cardiovascular health.

Take care of the vehicle that carries you through life and your work output will soar.

6. Play to your strengths.

Stop doing things you’re not great at. Yes, in a startup of one, you’ll need to tackle bookkeeping or mop floors. Essentialism author Greg McKeown calls these obligations the “slowest hiker” because they keep you from your destination. “Even activities that are ‘productive’—like doing research, or emailing… can be obstacles,” he says. They require energy better allocated to your strong suits.

Sure, you’ll feel proud teaching yourself how to code an app over three weekends. But you could outsource that to an expert in Croatia for $300. Sites like Upwork, Fiverr and Freelancer are a side hustler’s best friend.

To be truly efficient, spend maximum time applying your unique abilities. Are you a strong writer? Then delivering blog posts via an email list will be a better marketing strategy than creating video. You’re an amazing photographer? Find your tribe on Instagram and start selling there. Do not mistake activity for efficiency. Play to your strengths and your results will multiply.

6. Be the early bird.

Time is the one shared asset no one can create. Take advantage of the productivity goldmine that is your early morning hours. At the moment we wake, our willpower and creativity are highest and our minds are free from phone notifications, external demands and noise. Rising late forces you to rush to work, skip a healthy breakfast that activates your metabolism, and robs you of the solitude that creates calm and joy.

Tackle your most important work during these golden hours. Productivity master Brian Tracy calls this “eating the frog”—striking your ugliest, most-likely-to-procrastinate-on task off your list first. This doesn’t need to be unpleasant; string enough morning wins together and you’ll crave more, no matter how wart-covered the task.

How do you own your mornings? Author Robin Sharma suggests:

  • Exercise: Start with 20 minutes to activate healthy brain chemistry.
  • Reflect: Journal or meditate to create a productive mindset.
  • Inspire: Read or listen to books in order to lift your spirit.

8. Understand the maker’s vs. manager’s schedule.

In 2009, Paul Graham, co-founder of startup accelerator Y Combinator, wrote an essay entitled, Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s Schedule. Read it, and you’ll have a lightbulb moment about work rhythms. The Manager’s schedule is comprised of one-hour chunks, where you run from one task to the next. But the Maker needs clear, half-day sessions to excel. A coder or a writer can’t do great work in an hour; he can barely get started.

Side hustlers are Makers and Managers at different times, but tend toward managing. A business only succeeds by creating value, and creation is easier in those Maker periods. Wise entrepreneurs schedule Maker time first thing each morning, leaving frenetic Manager work for late-day.

Tim Ferriss simplifies this to the dictum: “Make before you manage.”

“Even token efforts allow me to reassure myself with ‘Don’t worry. You did produce something today,’” Ferriss says. First, understand which work belongs to each domain, then prioritize Maker time each week.

9. Always be shipping.

Planning is crucial, but over-planning is poison. Another hour of research, one more self-help book, a deep dive into the analytics—these are excuses to avoid action, a.k.a. procrastination. The antidote to “preparing to start syndrome” is to set yourself deadlines to “ship” regularly: Post the article, call the client, record the video, release the app, eat the frog. Author Seth Godin admits shipping is dangerous because it exposes us to criticism, failure and financial loss. His response? You can’t spend life curled up in a ball. “You’re going to ship anyway… why bother indulging your fear?”

Set regular, non-negotiable shipping goals that leave you not quite enough time to finish. Why hurry? Because according to Cyril Northcote Parkinson, author of Parkinson’s Law, “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” You don’t need as much time as you think. Light a fire under yourself to ensure you’re getting in front of customers. That will provide valuable feedback about your strategy, and keep you motivated to keep going.

10. Overlap your efforts.

Always follow the “two birds with one stone” approach. This could mean getting paid for the same work multiple times, reusing blog content on multiple platforms or choosing a side hustle that complements your day job.

Brian Dean has built a thriving SEO training company,, by producing quality blog posts. When he wanted to start marketing through YouTube, he didn’t create new content, he converted existing blog articles to video. This is working smarter, not harder. For you this might mean using your company’s data in your side business or sharing clients. Hustling as an interior designer? Take a job in a furniture showroom where you’ll meet a stream of clients. Just be sure to get written permission from the boss. Get rewarded for the same work more than once and your productivity multiplies.

11. Mind the analytics.

You can’t hit a target you can’t see, so you set goals. By extension, you can’t reach your goal without tracking progress. Analytics is the art of pulling valuable information from raw data. Your analytics can reveal how website visitors or app users are behaving and which features generate sales. But analytics become most powerful when applied to yourself.

You can track any metric. Simple ones include how many gym sessions or alcoholic drinks you had this week. Prioritize metrics tied to your main goals. If you market your side hustle through social media, create a spreadsheet that records your engagement rate, comments and clicks to your website from social networks. Does your business rely on a lead funnel? Then monitor leads, sales calls made and conversion rate to sales.

There’s also hidden power in analyzing your mindset. Any free daily mood tracking app will reveal which activities promote productivity and happiness—and which hamper you. Only when we analyze results can we evaluate our strategy. If you’re on track, the rosy picture will generate serious motivation.

12. Adjust your sails.

When he was a general in World War II, Dwight Eisenhower said, “No plan survives contact with the enemy.” The same is true off the battlefield: No business or life plan stays intact once we start executing. The process of planning is indispensable because it forces us to anticipate outcomes, setbacks and the resources we’ll need to succeed. But reality will always surprise us.

In your side hustle, you adapt or it dies. Tracking analytics shows us reality, but this information is valuable only when used to alter strategy. As you cross the gulf between your present and your desired future, be willing to navigate around reefs and storms, always pointed toward the port where fortune awaits.

* * *

The colossal test of building a business while working full-time and trying to have a semblance of a personal life can energize you like nothing else. One day you’ll look back on this struggle as the most beautiful chapter of your life. But the road to your most exceptional life is littered with boulders, and you’ll need every advantage to stay motivated. These 12 secrets are no magical shortcuts, but they will roll some of those stones out of the way.

This article originally appeared in the May/June 2020 issue of SUCCESS magazine and has been updated. Photo by G-Stock Studio/Shutterstock

Michael Pietrzak

Topley’s Top 10 – September 26, 2022

1. Dow Industrials and Dow Transports Break Previous Lows.

Dow also closes below 200 week moving average on long-term chart

Transports close below 200 week moving average

2. S&P and Nasdaq Right on Previous Lows

S&P about to break to new lows….Still above 200 week moving average in red

Nasdaq Composite above previous low but broke 200 week moving average

3. The FED is Hiking Faster and Further than Anytime in History

Chartr Blog The Fed’s 3×3-This week the Federal Reserve signed off on its third consecutive three-quarter point rate hike, lifting the benchmark federal funds rate to a range of 3-3.25%.

That’s an unprecedented pace of rate-rises in modern history, signaling the Fed’s strong resolve to get double-digit inflation under control. No other hiking cycle has started this steeply since the Fed started targeting the Effective Funds Rate in the 1980s.

4. VIX-Volatility Index Still Trading Below May 2022 Levels.

VIX still below $30….50day still trading below 200day

5. Airlines JETS ETF…..JETS Hits Mid-2020 Lows

6. Millennials Dumping ….Majority sold some or all of their investments

From Callum Thomas Chart Storm Generational Selling Opportunity:  Intriguing statistics. Seems just about every millennial sold some or all of their investments. Could have to do with life stages, but hard to guess what is specifically driving this. The other key thing that sticks out in this chart is that aside from millennials, everyone else has held tight. That gels with my previous observations about the difference between very bearish surveys vs relatively minor movement in equity allocations and margin positions.

Source:  @justLBell

7. Elections Have Little Effect on Long-Term Returns-Capital Group

8. Zillow-Monthly Mortgage Payments +58% Year Over Year

9. Following All the “Disappearing” Russian Executives.

Zerohedge Blog Mysterious Deaths of Four Gazprom Executives

On Feb. 25, Gazprom executive Alexander Tyulakov was found hanged in a garage near St. Petersburg. Tyulyakov was Gazprom’s Deputy General Director of the Unified Settlement Center (UCC) for Corporate Security. Police and the company’s security department arrived at the scene almost immediately after the incident.

In late January, Leonid Shulman, head of the company’s investment and transportation services, was found dead in his bathroom with multiple stab wounds. Rusian media reported that a note was found next to him, stating that he couldn’t bear the pain from a leg injury.

On April 18, Vladimir Avayev, former vice president of Gazprombank, his wife and 13-year-old daughter were found dead in their Moscow apartment.

Investigators say Avayev, 51, killed his wife and daughter before taking his own life. His older daughter, 22, reportedly said that the door to the apartment was locked from the inside and there was no sign that anyone else was present at the time of the shooting.

However, people who contacted Avayev shortly before his death said he had been in a good mood and did not seem likely to shoot his family to death. Shortly thereafter, the company’s two other senior executives were found dead in a mansion compound near St. Petersburg.

In addition to these four deaths, in July, Yuri Voronov, the founder of Astra-Shipping, a transportation and logistics company and a contractor for Gazprom’s arctic projects, was found dead in the pool of his luxury villa outside St. Petersburg, shot in the head at close range.

In addition to the theory that the top executives knew too much about fraud, some suspect they were murdered because they opposed the Russia–Ukraine war, although none of them had publicly denounced Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine.

10. The Most Practical Skill in Life is Learning to Do Things when you don’t Feel Like Doing Them

Farnam Street Blog Tiny Thought

My high school football coach used to run us like crazy after a bad game. While I’m sure these tactics wouldn’t be accepted today, the lessons I learned in these moments still help me when things are hard.

The most practical skill in life is learning to do things when you don’t feel like doing them. Anyone can do it when it’s easy, but most people drop out the minute easy stops.

Muhammad Ali was asked how many sit-ups would do to prepare for a fight. His reply: “I don’t count my sit-ups. I only start counting when it starts hurting. When I feel pain, that’s when I start counting, because that’s when it really counts.” True to Ali’s mindset, our coach would only start counting the sprints when people started falling over.

Inevitably someone on the team would say they wanted to quit. The coach would shout back a bunch of things that can’t be repeated, but he’d finish with “If you really want to quit, you can quit tomorrow, but you can’t quit today.”

No one ever quit the next day.

The person who is consistent outperforms the person who is intermittent every time. While inconsistent effort works for some things, for the things that really matter you need to be consistent. If you want to be consistent, you need strategies to keep you going when things are hard.

The key to doing something you know you should do when you don’t feel like doing it is telling yourself that you can quit tomorrow but not today.

Topley’s Top 10 – September 23, 2022

1. 88% of High Grade Bonds Trading Below Par….Highest Number Since 2008 Crisis

Advisor Perspectives Blog—JP Morgan-About 88% of high-grade bonds in a Bloomberg index are trading below par through Tuesday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That compares to just 4% a year ago, highlighting the destruction on fixed-income returns wrought by inflation and a historically aggressive Federal Reserve rate-hike program.

“We’re seeing the bonds across the board, across all of our portfolios, trading at big discounts to par and as you know as long as they don’t default, they end up back at par,” Collins, PGIM senior portfolio manager, said on Bloomberg Television. “So you have this really positive long-term opportunity in fixed-income which we haven’t had in well over a decade.”

JPMorgan, PGIM Say It’s Time to Buy High-Grade Bonds With 88% Trading at Discount by Katie Greifeld  JPMorgan, PGIM Say It’s Time to Buy High-Grade Bonds With 88% Trading at Discount – Articles – Advisor Perspectives

2. Bonds Making New Lows Before Stocks….LQD-Corporate Grade Bond ETF Breaks to New Lows …

See 50-week blue line thru 200-week red line

3. Not Sure If It Matters with Rates Rising at this Pace but……Here is History of Stock Returns Following Mid-Term Cycle.

Dorsey Wright-As we are often reminded, past performance is not indicative of future results. However, the historical tendencies of past presidencies do point toward the potential for stronger returns following the mid-term election cycle. The third year of a presidential term shows an average gain of 13.51%, with year three showing a positive return in 18 of the 24 instances examined. In fact, Q4 of year two and Q1 of year three show the best back-to-back averages of any two quarters, with each averaging a gain of more than 5%.

4. Sentiment Trader…American Public at Record Bearishness

Found at Abnormal Returns Blog

5. But Sentiment has not Shown Up in Mass Selling Yet …Fidelity Outflows


6. Institutions and Hedge Funds Also Positioned Bearish

Bloomberg-ByMichael Msika Another gauge, CFTC’s S&P 500 net non-commercial futures, also shows an extremely negative view, having reached levels last seen during the downturns of 2008, 2011, 2015 and 2020. Such bleak sentiment is often seen as a contrarian indicator, flagging a rebound.

7. QQQ Nasdaq 100 Official Previous Low $272…Hold or Break?

8. Lithium Rises 4x in One Year

WSJ By Joe Wallace and Hardika Singh Surging prices for lithium are intensifying a race between auto makers to lock up supplies and raising concerns that a shortage of the battery metal could slow the adoption of electric vehicles.

Lithium carbonate prices in China, the benchmark in the fast-growing market, stand at about $71,000 a metric ton, according to price-assessment firm Benchmark Mineral Intelligence. That is almost four times as high as a year ago and just below the record set this March in yuan terms.

9. Despite pandemic, U.S. Latinos’ output eclipses U.K. and India GDPs

Axios Russell Contreras

Data:LDC U.S. Latino GDP Report; Chart: Tory Lysik/Axios

The total economic output of U.S. Latinos reached $2.8 trillion in 2020, surpassing the GDPs of the U.K. and India, according to a report released Thursday.

Why it matters: The report showed U.S. Latino buying power and economic output grew during the pandemic despite the disproportional impact it had on Latino communities, Russell writes.

By the numbers: The report showed U.S. Latino GDP grew 65% from 2010, when it was $1.7 trillion, to 2020.

  • In 2020, Latinos spent $1.84 trillion, representing a consumption market larger than the entire economies of Canada or South Korea, the report said.

Details: The study by the Latino Donor Collaborative, a non-profit organization researching Latino issues was unveiled Thursday at the L’attitude conference in San Diego.

  • That’s likely due to a strong workforce that rebounded quickly despite a disproportionate rate of infections, the report says.
  • Pay in low-wage positions like hospitality and service jobs — in which Latinos are overrepresented — also grew over the last couple of years as businesses struggled to find workers.

What they’re saying: “Latinos have proven to be a tremendous source of resilience for the broader U.S. economy, even in the face of a one-in-a-century global crisis such as COVID-19,” the report’s authors wrote.

  • “The performance of Latinos during the pandemic is exemplified by income data. From 2010 to 2020, Latinos enjoyed significantly higher wage and salary income growth than non-Latinos,” they added.

Go deeper: Report: U.S. Latino GDP tied with France, greater than Italy in 2019

Subscribe to Axios Latino to get vital news about Latinos and Latin America, delivered to your inbox on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

10. 5 Rejected Shark Tank Companies That Are Crushing It

 Ryan Peck

People love success stories, especially when the road to success was not smooth and assured. It’s those businesses that rise through rejections and adversity that make us realize that we, too, can take our businesses to new heights.

This is true even when people may not believe in these companies right now.

Consider companies that were ultimately rejected on the television show Shark Tank, for example. At first blush, it might look like a failure. However, some of those companies are doing remarkably well today. Let’s look at five of these businesses and see what lessons they hold.

1. Copa Di Vino

This is one of the most successful rejects from Shark Tank. The founder, James Martin, went on the show twice, but he never received an offer. The idea was relatively simple and something that should have been thought of years ago—sell wine by the glass rather than by the bottle: offering pre packaged glasses of wine, sold in recycled plastic containers. It now has a value of more than $25 million.

2. BedJet

When Mark Aramli went on Shark Tank and pitched BedJet, he was quickly rejected by everyone on the show. His invention was a fan system for under the sheets to keep everything cool. The Sharks were not impressed, and Aramli said  “They hated me and my product. They told me no one would ever want BedJet.”

However, that didn’t turn out to be true. He used his own money to fund the project rather than relying on investors. Within just a couple of years, his company is estimated to be valued at $16 million.

“Building a business is little more than a series of quick opportunities followed by a big a series of big obstacles. The opportunities arrive and leave so quickly that they’re way too easy to miss. If I hadn’t quit my job on a stranger’s suggestion the moment I heard it, I would have probably thought about it and not done it. Every great decision I’ve made in business since was made exactly that way — quickly without any thought. I’ve learned that thought gets in the way.” – Barbara Corcoran

3. Xero Shoes

Lena Phoenix learned that even though there wasn’t any additional investment money after appearing on Shark Tank in 2013, the publicity did wonders. After the show aired, there were an additional 3,000 orders for their sandals. Within a few years, the company has made more than $7 million in sales and has many customers around the world. They also set up a crowdfunding plan offering shares to investors, which provided them with money to expand

4. Nerdwax

This is a cleverly named product that can be helpful for anyone who has glasses that keep sliding off their nose. Enter Nerdwax, a wax that can be applied onto the nose pads of eyeglasses, which then help them to stay on the wearer’s face. It’s a simple product and seems like one that a lot of people with glasses would appreciate.

However, the Sharks did not believe that people would be willing to pay $10 per tube for this product. The idea was quickly rejected, but the owners now report more than $1 million in sales.

5. Ring

Most people today have heard of Ring but might not realize that it was originally called DoorBot and that it was a reject from Shark Tank. The creator, Jamie Siminoff, invented the security camera, which he says was worth about $7 million at the time of his appearance on the show in 2013. He didn’t get any traction from the Sharks as they all turned his idea down. However, just a few years later the company was bought by Amazon for $1 What You Should Take from These Stories

You will note that all the ideas that went on to become successful were sound ideas with fully-fledged products/services. They weren’t just a dream and an idea—the creators had already put a lot of time and effort into creating working products.

Just because they weren’t offered a deal, or at least not an agreeable deal, from the Sharks doesn’t mean that the business wasn’t viable. These owners had some of the most business savvy minds in the world reject their ideas and told them they would fail, but that wasn’t the case.

You will want to consider the types of products that were successful. They all focus on needs or wants—ways to make life better, easier, or safer. The products were helping to make real changes.

One of the most important lessons to learn from this is to believe in what you are doing. If you know there is an audience, if you can make the product affordably, and sell it for a profit, you can find success.

Believe in yourself and your products. Don’t let the doubters and naysayers dictate your future and steal your success.

Don’t let setbacks or lack of faith from potential investors keep you from your path to success.

Topley’s Top 10 – September 22, 2022

1. S&P 500 Approaching the Re-Test of Lows

S&P 500 Rolling Over to June Lows

$364 was low on the SPY S&P 500 ETF

2. Risk Appetite Lowest Since 2000 Internet Bubble.

3. China Large Cap Breaks Previous Lows.

FXI China ETF makes new 2022 lows

4. China Ownership of U.S. Treasuries 14% of Total Down to 4%

From Irrelevant Investor Blog

5. Commodity ETF COMT -20% Correction from Highs.

COMT trading below 200day

6. Two-Year Treasury Yield 4% for the First Time Since 2007

See top of chart RSI well overbought.

7. In Case Anyone Missed It Yesterday…….AGG (bond index) Outperformed BSV Short-term Bonds by 40 basis points in One Day

Longer Duration Outperformed Yesterday

8. Euro Area GDP Growth….

Jim Reid-Deutsche Bank

The energy crisis in Europe means that 2023 will likely be behind only 2009 and 2020 as the worst year for the European economy since WWII. Today’s CoTD shows that DB expect Germany to see -3.5% GDP growth in 2022 and France at -1.2%. We expect euro area GDP to be at -2.2%.

These are pretty bleak numbers with Germany being most exposed to the gas shock. Even with voluntary gas use reduction, which is already hitting growth, the likelihood is that rationing in some form or another will have to come in before the end of winter.

See our economists’ latest views here in a big piece out today.

In addition, Adrian Cox in my team has put together an Energy Crisis 101 presentation pack today to look at the context on why it’s happened, what’s being done about it and what comes next. This is part of a new series where we are going to try to distil topics of great importance to financial markets to a generalist audience. Please see here for more and feel free to suggest future topics we can explore in this series.

9. American Congress 23% Over 70-Chartr Blog

New age

Congress could gain its first Gen Z member in January, as 25-year-old Maxwell Frost — a young Democrat backed by Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and other stalwarts of the DC scene — looks likely to fill a reliably-blue Floridian seat in the House.

President Biden, who would be 55 years older than Frost by the time the 118th Congress is sworn in, has fended off questions about his age throughout his tenure, most recently in an interview with 60 Minutes. However, the President isn’t the only politician in Washington who would feel old in the Gen Zer’s company.

Elder law 

Data compiled by Insider, and visualized above, shows how dramatically Congress has aged in recent years. A stunning 23% of Congress’ members are now over 70 years old, compared to twenty years ago when just 8% of legislators were 70+. If they keep their seats in November, two members would even turn 90 whilst serving in Congress next year.

With midterms just around the corner (8th of November) and POTUS’s 80th birthday not far behind, discourse around America’s aging congresspeople is getting louder — with a CBS poll showing remarkable bipartisan support for age limits of elected officials.

Go deeper: Insider’s Red, White, and Gray series is a thorough exploration of America’s gerontocracy.

10. Mark Cuban Says the Worst Career Advice Is ‘Follow Your Passion.’ What Should You Do Instead?

Turns out it’s something you already do. You just need to turn it up a notch.


Ask just about any motivational speaker or career expert. Or ask Steve Jobs:  As the Apple co-founder once said, “You’ve got to find what you love. The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking.”  

Most people believe passion comes first.

But not Mark Cuban. When Adam Grant asked him if there was a “worst piece of career advice you’ve gotten,” Cuban said:

Follow your passion? No.

Follow your effort. No one quits anything they’re good at.

While passion can spark effort, the reverse is more often true. Effort, and the improvement that results, creates passion. Do something poorly? You probably dread doing it. Do something well? You enjoy it — and the better you get, the more you like doing it.

Science agrees, especially where starting a business is concerned. According to a study published in Academy of Management Journal, the more effort entrepreneurs put into their startups or side hustles, the more enthusiastic they get about their businesses

Morningbrew CRIME

47 charged in massive $250m Covid fraud scheme

As startup founders gain skill, expertise, and experience, their enthusiasm grows — with or without early financial success. Effort, and resulting improvement, creates passion.

Not the other way around. 

‘Follow Your Passion’ Can Be Disastrous

It’s easy to confuse a hobby or interest for a passion, especially one that will result in career or business fulfillment. Rarely is that type of preexisting passion valuable. 

As Cal Newport writes in So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Search for Work You Love, “Telling someone to follow their passion can be disastrous. That advice has probably resulted in more failed businesses than all the recessions combined, because that’s not how the vast majority of people end up owning successful businesses.”

That’s because most passions indicate interest, not effort. Plenty of people — maybe you’re one of them — are passionate about sports. Or adventure. Or travel. I enjoy motor sports, and I really like driving — or riding — fast.

But how much effort do you, or I, put into that passion? How much effort do we put into improving our talent, our knowledge, and our skills? In my case, not a lot. Passion only indicates interest.

Instead, ‘Follow Your Effort’

Passion is nearly always the result of significant time and effort, because effort leads to improvement and expertise. 

As Cuban wrote on his blog in 2012:

There are a lot of things I am passionate about. [But] the things I ended up being really good at were the things I found myself putting effort into. A lot of people talk about passion, but that’s really not what you need to focus on.

… when you look at where you put in your time, where you put in your effort, that tends to be the things that you are good at. And if you put in enough time, you tend to get really good at it.

If you put in enough time, and you get really good, I will give you a little secret: Nobody quits anything they are good at, because it is fun to be good. It is fun to be one of the best. 

But in order to be one of the best, you have to put in effort.

What you do in your spare time — not passively experience, but actively do — clearly indicates an interest. As Cuban would say, you’re already putting in the effort. 

So follow that effort. Every highly skilled person started learning, and then benefited from the virtuous cycle of effort and achievement: Effort leads to achievement, however small. Achievement feels good. Feeling good motivates you to put in more effort, leading to more achievement, more motivation, more effort–the result is a never-ending virtuous cycle.

Follow your effort, and place a little more structure around the process of improving, learning, and growing. The more effort you put in, the more enthusiastic you will get. The more passionate you will become. The more likely you will be to develop the talent and experience required to turn a passion into a new business or career. 

One where passion is not required, because in time you’ll realize you’re doing what you love. 

Even if it didn’t start as a passion.

Mark Cuban Says the Worst Career Advice Is ‘Follow Your Passion.’ What Should You Do Instead? |\