Category Archives: Daily Top Ten

Top 10 – January 30, 2024

1. Buying at All-Time Highs

@Callum Thomas (Weekly S&P500 #ChartStorm) Buy the All-Time High:  Or BTFATH as some call it — historically, there is a slight performance edge in buying on days the market reached an all-time high.

Source:  @PeterMallouk via The Chart Report


2. History of a Negative First 5 Days for Small Cap

From Dave Lutz at Jones Trading Negative returns during the Santa Claus Rally and first 5 days of the yr, but a higher Jan?  That will likely be ’24 and I was really surprised how rare this combo is historically.  The good news is full yr up nearly 20% on avg and higher all three times, Ryan


    5. Top 13 Stocks 70% of Returns 2024

    Netflix Documentary Yogi’s stats were off charts and10 world series rings https://www.netflix.com/title/81712015

    From Zach Goldberg Jefferies Narrow… The top 13 stocks have driven the whole of the S&P’s YTD upside with the top five contributing ~70%.


    6. China Stock Exchange Fat Line

    Marketwatch By Jamie Chisholm

    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/this-market-is-a-bear-trap-and-so-heres-what-to-buy-strategist-says-7914fe5c?mod=home-page


     

    7. China Heavy Stimulus Packages and Shutting Down Short Selling……KWEB Still Sideways

    KWEB Chinese Internet ETF Nowhere 2 Years


    8. Checking-In on 60/40 Chart

    60/40 50 week thru 200 week to upside …See if it breaks to new highs in 2024


    9. EV’s Increasingly Leased Except Tesla

    WSJ By Stephen Wilmot

    https://www.wsj.com/business/autos/why-it-makes-sense-for-new-ev-drivers-to-look-beyond-tesla-44a78425


    10. Research shows that reduced blood flow is the #1 brain-imaging predictor that a person will develop Alzheimer’s disease. Amen Clinic

    Do you find yourself forgetting your keys? Spacing out on why you walked into a room? Losing your train of thought mid-sentence? If you answered yes to any of these questions and you’re also a couch potato, there is one important strategy that could put you on the path to improved recall.

    The secret to a better memory? Moving more.  Aerobic exercise provides greater blood flow to your brain, especially to the hippocampus, a region that’s crucial to memory. A 2017 study in 51 healthy men and women, ages 18-35, found that those who had the highest fitness levels had a firmer, more elastic hippocampus and scored the best on memory tests.

    BLOOD FLOW AND THE BRAIN

    Healthy blood flow is crucial to your brain—and to your whole body. It transports nutrients, including oxygen, to every cell in your body and flushes away toxins. Even though your brain, which weighs about 3 pounds, makes up only 2% of your body’s weight, it uses 20% of the oxygen and blood flow in your body.

    Exciting new research in Human Brain Mapping dispels the long-held belief that our brain cells age quickly; rather, it is the blood vessels that feed our neurons that are aging faster. If you want to keep your brain healthy, your mind sharp, and your mental health strong for as long as possible, you need to protect your blood vessels.

    If you keep your blood vessels healthy, you may be able to avoid not only memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease, but also a host of mental health issues (see below) as well as physical problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and erectile dysfunction, among others. You’ll also have a lot more energy and you’re less likely to be overweight.

    BRAIN HEALTH PROBLEMS OF LOW BLOOD FLOW

    Anything that damages your blood vessels or impairs blood flow hurts your brain. Brain SPECT imaging studies reveal that low blood flow is related to many behavioral and psychiatric issues. SPECT is a type of brain imaging study that measures the brain’s blood flow and activity. Low blood flow seen on SPECT has been seen with:

    In fact, research in Nature Communications shows that low blood flow is the #1 brain imaging predictor that a person will develop Alzheimer’s disease.

    11 WAYS EXERCISE PROTECTS MEMORY

    Here are some of the many ways physical exercise enhances brain health and protects memory:

    1. Helps increase the size of the hippocampus, the Holy Grail of any memory enhancement program, according to the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and several other studies.
    2. Protects the hippocampus from stress-related hormones, like cortisol, which normally shrinks it. Even leisurely walking has been shown to increase the size of the hippocampus in women, according to findings in Hippocampus.
    3. Stimulates the production of growth factors, such as BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factors), which nurture stem cell production.
    4. Stimulates “neurogenesis,” the ability of the brain to generate new neurons
    5. Decreases the formation of beta-amyloid plaque, clumps of protein found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Journal of Neuroscience.
    6. Improves cognitive flexibility, as shown in 2015 research in Current Biology.
    7. Improves mood, which is important because research shows depression has been linked to an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
    8. Enhances insulin’s ability to lower high blood sugar levels, reducing the risk of diabetes. In some scientific journals, Alzheimer’s has been called “type 3 diabetes.”
    9. Allows for greater detoxification through sweat, which is critical because toxins in any form damage the brain and increase the risk of memory problems and dementia.
    10. Improves the quality of sleep. Some scientific research suggests that sleep disturbances may be a predictor of Alzheimer’s.
    11. Improves immunity. Several studies have found immune system dysfunction in dementia.

    WHICH EXERCISES ARE BEST FOR YOUR BRAIN?

    Racquet sports are particularly beneficial. A 2016 study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine that followed more than 80,000 adults found that those who played tennis, table tennis, squash and other racquet sports had the lowest risk of dying during the nearly decade-long research. Swimming and aerobics are good choices, too. And if you walk, just be sure to keep up the pace to get the most benefits.

    MORE WAYS TO BOOST BLOOD FLOW

    In addition to physical exercise, there are many other ways to improve your blood flow, including treating high blood pressure, cholesterol, or other vascular problems, and avoiding cigarettes and caffeine, which constrict blood flow to the brain. Here are more easy, beneficial moves:

    • Hydrate better! Drinking at least 5 glasses of water a day could decrease your risk of hypertension
    • Drink more green tea
    • Limit salt intake
    • Take a good multivitamin/mineral, vitamin D, magnesium and an omega-3 EPA/DHA supplement daily
    • Support your memory with ginkgo biloba extract
    • Enjoy an ounce of dark chocolate every day (for the cocoa flavanols)
    • Eat more beets, green leafy vegetables, berries, pumpkin seeds, and cayenne pepper
    • Increase your intake of foods high in magnesium, such as avocados, nuts, and seeds
    • Eat more foods loaded with potassium, such as spinach and sweet potatoes
    • Limit alcohol, fruit juices, and sodas (including diet sodas)
    • Sleep 7 to 8 hours a night, and if you have sleep apnea, get it assessed and treated
    • Try hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), a simple, non-invasive, painless treatment with minimal side effects that use the power of oxygen to enhance the healing process. Before-and-after SPECT scans of people who have undergone HBOT reveal remarkable improvement in blood flow.

    Blood flow is so important, it is the first risk factor in the Amen Clinics Memory Rescue BRIGHT MINDS Program, which identifies and treats the 11 risk factors that can steal your memory and your mind. Preventing and treating these risk factors is the best way to keep your memory sharp for the rest of your life.

    We are available for in-clinic brain scanning and appointments, as well as mental telehealth, remote clinical evaluations, and video therapy. Find out more by speaking to a specialist today at 844-987-1117. If all our specialists are busy helping others, you can also schedule a time to talk.

    Boost Your Blood Flow, Get Your Memory Back


    3. More Small Cap History

    @Charlie Bilello What happened following the 3 previous largest Russell 2000 drawdowns when the S&P 500 was at a record high?

    Both indices would rally higher over the next year with the Russell 2000 outperforming and joining the S&P 500 at an all-time high…

    • April 7, 1999 (-19.2% Russell 2000 Drawdown): S&P 500 gained 14.3% over the next year and Russell 2000 gained 36.5%.
    • February 13, 1991 (-13.5% Russell 2000 Drawdown): S&P 500 gained 12.1% over the next year and Russell 2000 gained 35.5%.
    • January 21, 1985 (-13.3% Russell 2000 Drawdown): S&P 500 gained 17.4% over the next year and Russell 2000 gained 18.2%.

    But what about the notion that “weak breadth” is a bearish signal for markets, something we heard from pundits throughout 2023?

    The data simply doesn’t support that thesis. Historically, stocks have experienced above-average returns following periods of small cap underperformance (“weak breadth”) and below-average returns following periods of small cap outperformance (“strong breadth”). (see video discussion here)


    4. Cyber Security ETFs Hitting All-Time Highs


    5. Top 13 Stocks 70% of Returns 2024

    Netflix Documentary Yogi’s stats were off charts and10 world series rings https://www.netflix.com/title/81712015

    From Zach Goldberg Jefferies Narrow… The top 13 stocks have driven the whole of the S&P’s YTD upside with the top five contributing ~70%.


    6. China Stock Exchange Fat Line

    Marketwatch By Jamie Chisholm

    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/this-market-is-a-bear-trap-and-so-heres-what-to-buy-strategist-says-7914fe5c?mod=home-page


     

    7. China Heavy Stimulus Packages and Shutting Down Short Selling……KWEB Still Sideways

    KWEB Chinese Internet ETF Nowhere 2 Years


    8. Checking-In on 60/40 Chart

    60/40 50 week thru 200 week to upside …See if it breaks to new highs in 2024


    9. EV’s Increasingly Leased Except Tesla

    WSJ By Stephen Wilmot

    https://www.wsj.com/business/autos/why-it-makes-sense-for-new-ev-drivers-to-look-beyond-tesla-44a78425


    10. Research shows that reduced blood flow is the #1 brain-imaging predictor that a person will develop Alzheimer’s disease. Amen Clinic

    Do you find yourself forgetting your keys? Spacing out on why you walked into a room? Losing your train of thought mid-sentence? If you answered yes to any of these questions and you’re also a couch potato, there is one important strategy that could put you on the path to improved recall.

    The secret to a better memory? Moving more.  Aerobic exercise provides greater blood flow to your brain, especially to the hippocampus, a region that’s crucial to memory. A 2017 study in 51 healthy men and women, ages 18-35, found that those who had the highest fitness levels had a firmer, more elastic hippocampus and scored the best on memory tests.

    BLOOD FLOW AND THE BRAIN

    Healthy blood flow is crucial to your brain—and to your whole body. It transports nutrients, including oxygen, to every cell in your body and flushes away toxins. Even though your brain, which weighs about 3 pounds, makes up only 2% of your body’s weight, it uses 20% of the oxygen and blood flow in your body.

    Exciting new research in Human Brain Mapping dispels the long-held belief that our brain cells age quickly; rather, it is the blood vessels that feed our neurons that are aging faster. If you want to keep your brain healthy, your mind sharp, and your mental health strong for as long as possible, you need to protect your blood vessels.

    If you keep your blood vessels healthy, you may be able to avoid not only memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease, but also a host of mental health issues (see below) as well as physical problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and erectile dysfunction, among others. You’ll also have a lot more energy and you’re less likely to be overweight.

    BRAIN HEALTH PROBLEMS OF LOW BLOOD FLOW

    Anything that damages your blood vessels or impairs blood flow hurts your brain. Brain SPECT imaging studies reveal that low blood flow is related to many behavioral and psychiatric issues. SPECT is a type of brain imaging study that measures the brain’s blood flow and activity. Low blood flow seen on SPECT has been seen with:

    In fact, research in Nature Communications shows that low blood flow is the #1 brain imaging predictor that a person will develop Alzheimer’s disease.

    11 WAYS EXERCISE PROTECTS MEMORY

    Here are some of the many ways physical exercise enhances brain health and protects memory:

    1. Helps increase the size of the hippocampus, the Holy Grail of any memory enhancement program, according to the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and several other studies.
    2. Protects the hippocampus from stress-related hormones, like cortisol, which normally shrinks it. Even leisurely walking has been shown to increase the size of the hippocampus in women, according to findings in Hippocampus.
    3. Stimulates the production of growth factors, such as BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factors), which nurture stem cell production.
    4. Stimulates “neurogenesis,” the ability of the brain to generate new neurons
    5. Decreases the formation of beta-amyloid plaque, clumps of protein found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Journal of Neuroscience.
    6. Improves cognitive flexibility, as shown in 2015 research in Current Biology.
    7. Improves mood, which is important because research shows depression has been linked to an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
    8. Enhances insulin’s ability to lower high blood sugar levels, reducing the risk of diabetes. In some scientific journals, Alzheimer’s has been called “type 3 diabetes.”
    9. Allows for greater detoxification through sweat, which is critical because toxins in any form damage the brain and increase the risk of memory problems and dementia.
    10. Improves the quality of sleep. Some scientific research suggests that sleep disturbances may be a predictor of Alzheimer’s.
    11. Improves immunity. Several studies have found immune system dysfunction in dementia.

    WHICH EXERCISES ARE BEST FOR YOUR BRAIN?

    Racquet sports are particularly beneficial. A 2016 study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine that followed more than 80,000 adults found that those who played tennis, table tennis, squash and other racquet sports had the lowest risk of dying during the nearly decade-long research. Swimming and aerobics are good choices, too. And if you walk, just be sure to keep up the pace to get the most benefits.

    MORE WAYS TO BOOST BLOOD FLOW

    In addition to physical exercise, there are many other ways to improve your blood flow, including treating high blood pressure, cholesterol, or other vascular problems, and avoiding cigarettes and caffeine, which constrict blood flow to the brain. Here are more easy, beneficial moves:

    • Hydrate better! Drinking at least 5 glasses of water a day could decrease your risk of hypertension
    • Drink more green tea
    • Limit salt intake
    • Take a good multivitamin/mineral, vitamin D, magnesium and an omega-3 EPA/DHA supplement daily
    • Support your memory with ginkgo biloba extract
    • Enjoy an ounce of dark chocolate every day (for the cocoa flavanols)
    • Eat more beets, green leafy vegetables, berries, pumpkin seeds, and cayenne pepper
    • Increase your intake of foods high in magnesium, such as avocados, nuts, and seeds
    • Eat more foods loaded with potassium, such as spinach and sweet potatoes
    • Limit alcohol, fruit juices, and sodas (including diet sodas)
    • Sleep 7 to 8 hours a night, and if you have sleep apnea, get it assessed and treated
    • Try hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), a simple, non-invasive, painless treatment with minimal side effects that use the power of oxygen to enhance the healing process. Before-and-after SPECT scans of people who have undergone HBOT reveal remarkable improvement in blood flow.

    Blood flow is so important, it is the first risk factor in the Amen Clinics Memory Rescue BRIGHT MINDS Program, which identifies and treats the 11 risk factors that can steal your memory and your mind. Preventing and treating these risk factors is the best way to keep your memory sharp for the rest of your life.

    We are available for in-clinic brain scanning and appointments, as well as mental telehealth, remote clinical evaluations, and video therapy. Find out more by speaking to a specialist today at 844-987-1117. If all our specialists are busy helping others, you can also schedule a time to talk.

    Boost Your Blood Flow, Get Your Memory Back

    Top 10 – January 29, 2024

    1. Election Year Average 7.2% Returns with Higher Volatility

    Nasdaq Dorsey Wright https://www.nasdaq.com/solutions/nasdaq-dorsey-wright


    2. Energy vs. QQQ Chart Closes Below 200-Week Moving Average

    On a 2-year basis energy still beating tech….but chart breaking down.  This chart compares energy etf XLE vs. tech etf QQQ

     


      5. Equal Weight Index Rolls Back Over vs. Cap Weight

      Mega Cap Tech Rally sends equal weight back down.

      https://dailyshotbrief.com/


      6. History of Fed Lowering Rates at All-Time Highs?

       


      7. Natural Gas is the Largest Source of American Electricity Generation

      Barrons-For all of the momentum toward a greener energy system—U.S. electricity generation from solar and wind increased more than threefold from 2012 to 2022, according to the Energy Information Administration—natural-gas power has climbed 38%, to become the largest source of electricity generation in the U.S. Even in California, which has among the most aggressive decarbonization targets in the country, three natural-gas power plants that were originally slated to close in 2020 will instead operate until at least 2026, officials said last year. Others will remain in service even longer.

      It’s not just a U.S. phenomenon. India’s government wants to nearly triple electricity production from natural gas by 2030. China, the world’s largest energy consumer, is increasing its use of natural gas as it shifts away from coal. Europe continues to rely on natural gas as it makes its green transition. Natural gas will remain essential, even as oil and coal fade away.

      By Nicholas Jasinski https://www.barrons.com/articles/buy-chesapeake-stock-price-pick-576aa474?mod=past_editions

      Natural Gas making a run at 2023 lows

       


      8. It Takes on Average 8 Months from the Last Fed Hike to First Fed Cut

      Torston Slok Apollo.

      Fed Following Historical Pattern


      9. U.S. Start-Up Nation Again

      Hustle culture A swathe of fledgling entrepreneurs have taken the plunge and set up their own companies, with review site Yelp counting a record number of new business openings last year. All told, Yelp tallied a total of 762,200 new ventures in 2023, representing a 20% uptick on 2022.  The data confirms a similar finding from analysis of governmental filings, which has revealed a pandemic-inspired “entrepreneurship boom“, as an increasing number of Americans take their economic fates into their own hands.  Golden handcuffsThe Yelp report categorizes the new businesses by industry, finding a particular boom in the home services sector, with hundreds of new endeavors set up across carpentry (up 54%), masonry and concrete services (up 40%), and contractors (up 33%). Those new companies might be looking to capitalize on the “golden handcuff” phenomenon, as sky-high mortgage rates and property prices leave people investing in their current homes, rather than moving to new ones.Elsewhere, the leisure sector also saw a resurgence, with the number of new hotels and travel services up 28% on last year and restaurant openings up 10%, with major boosts for creperies and hot pot spots, which were up 63% and 53%respectively.
      Related readingYesterday‘s better-than-expected 3.3% US GDP growth and rising consumer sentiment suggests the US economy is holding up well.

      www.chartr.com


      10. Five Ways Mindfulness Rewires Your Brain

      Psychology Today Evan Parks Psy.D. Here are five ways mindfulness helps rewire the brain, giving us better control over how we respond to stress, handle difficult emotions, manage pain, and adapt to change.

      1. Mindfulness improves our brain chemistry.
      Research suggests that regular mindfulness practices help the brain increase levels of GABA, which helps us stay calm; dopamine, the pleasure and reward neurotransmitter; and serotonin, which helps us experience positive emotions.

      2. Mindfulness changes our fear and stress response.
      When we take in sensory information about a possible threat, the amygdala is the first brain structure to process that information. The amygdala evaluates images and sounds; if it detects a threat, it passes on the information to the hippocampus, which activates the body to prepare for a threat. With regular mindfulness practice, the size of the amygdala shrinks. A smaller amygdala is correlated with a reduced fear response, increased calmness, better management of anxiety, and a feeling of well-being.

      3. Mindfulness helps us stay connected to the present moment.
      Falling and staying asleep is often a challenge when we experience stressful periods of life. Our mind races back and forth between our regrets about the past and worries about the future, keeping us awake. During the day, our busy minds distract us from being present with the people we love and the work we need to accomplish. Because of changes in the insula and cingulate cortex, mindfulness practices help harness our ability to shift and focus our attention on our bodily sensations and regulate the emotional responses associated with those physical sensations.

      4. Mindfulness facilitates learning and memory.
      The gray matter of the memory areas of the brain generally decreases with age, impacting memory processes, emotional regulation, and perspective-taking. As a result, our memory suffers as we get older, we become less flexible with change, and we find it difficult to appreciate the perspective of others. Mindfulness has been demonstrated to increase the size of the hippocampus, which leads to improved learning, memory, and stress management.

      5. Mindfulness helps with brain healing and pain management.
      Mindfulness practices greatly enhance neuroplasticity. Recovery from brain injury requires healing damaged areas of the brain and using other areas to recover lost functioning. Mindfulness can improve emotional regulation and mental fatigue and help regulate pain. (Click here to learn more about how mindfulness helps pain management.)

      https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/pain-rehabilitation/202401/5-ways-mindfulness-rewires-your-brain-and-improves-your-life


      3. Solar Stock Update…TAN Resumes Downard Trend

      $40 print will be break to new lows.


      4. Chinese Investors Pouring Money Out of Mainland

      WSJDesperate Chinese Investors Are Pouring Into the U.S., Japan  By Rebecca Feng

      The frenzied buying of Japanese and U.S. ETFs is a sign of how tough it will be for Chinese authorities to lift investor sentiment. PHOTO: YING TANG/ZUMA PRESS

      Chinese individual investors want to shift their money out of the country—and they are willing to pay a big premium to do so.

      The best example of their desperation: Some this week have been buying funds that offer exposure to Japanese stocks at a 20% premium to what those stocks are worth.

      An exchange-traded fund launched by China Asset Management Co. traded at a 14% to 20% premium to its indicative net asset value over the first three days of the week. 

      The ETF became so popular that China AMC halted its trading for an hour on Thursday, a move also taken by another firm. It warned investors about the big difference between the fund’s price and its net value and said investors could suffer heavy losses if they invest blindly.   The premium came down to 5% on Thursday.  https://www.wsj.com/finance/stocks/chinese-investors-are-pouring-into-the-u-s-japan-386be98e

      Japan ETF vs. China ETF straight up in favor of Japan


      5. Equal Weight Index Rolls Back Over vs. Cap Weight

      Mega Cap Tech Rally sends equal weight back down.

      https://dailyshotbrief.com/


      6. History of Fed Lowering Rates at All-Time Highs?

       


      7. Natural Gas is the Largest Source of American Electricity Generation

      Barrons-For all of the momentum toward a greener energy system—U.S. electricity generation from solar and wind increased more than threefold from 2012 to 2022, according to the Energy Information Administration—natural-gas power has climbed 38%, to become the largest source of electricity generation in the U.S. Even in California, which has among the most aggressive decarbonization targets in the country, three natural-gas power plants that were originally slated to close in 2020 will instead operate until at least 2026, officials said last year. Others will remain in service even longer.

      It’s not just a U.S. phenomenon. India’s government wants to nearly triple electricity production from natural gas by 2030. China, the world’s largest energy consumer, is increasing its use of natural gas as it shifts away from coal. Europe continues to rely on natural gas as it makes its green transition. Natural gas will remain essential, even as oil and coal fade away.

      By Nicholas Jasinski https://www.barrons.com/articles/buy-chesapeake-stock-price-pick-576aa474?mod=past_editions

      Natural Gas making a run at 2023 lows

       


      8. It Takes on Average 8 Months from the Last Fed Hike to First Fed Cut

      Torston Slok Apollo.

      Fed Following Historical Pattern


      9. U.S. Start-Up Nation Again

      Hustle culture A swathe of fledgling entrepreneurs have taken the plunge and set up their own companies, with review site Yelp counting a record number of new business openings last year. All told, Yelp tallied a total of 762,200 new ventures in 2023, representing a 20% uptick on 2022.  The data confirms a similar finding from analysis of governmental filings, which has revealed a pandemic-inspired “entrepreneurship boom“, as an increasing number of Americans take their economic fates into their own hands.  Golden handcuffsThe Yelp report categorizes the new businesses by industry, finding a particular boom in the home services sector, with hundreds of new endeavors set up across carpentry (up 54%), masonry and concrete services (up 40%), and contractors (up 33%). Those new companies might be looking to capitalize on the “golden handcuff” phenomenon, as sky-high mortgage rates and property prices leave people investing in their current homes, rather than moving to new ones.Elsewhere, the leisure sector also saw a resurgence, with the number of new hotels and travel services up 28% on last year and restaurant openings up 10%, with major boosts for creperies and hot pot spots, which were up 63% and 53%respectively.
      Related readingYesterday‘s better-than-expected 3.3% US GDP growth and rising consumer sentiment suggests the US economy is holding up well.

      www.chartr.com


      10. Five Ways Mindfulness Rewires Your Brain

      Psychology Today Evan Parks Psy.D. Here are five ways mindfulness helps rewire the brain, giving us better control over how we respond to stress, handle difficult emotions, manage pain, and adapt to change.

      1. Mindfulness improves our brain chemistry.
      Research suggests that regular mindfulness practices help the brain increase levels of GABA, which helps us stay calm; dopamine, the pleasure and reward neurotransmitter; and serotonin, which helps us experience positive emotions.

      2. Mindfulness changes our fear and stress response.
      When we take in sensory information about a possible threat, the amygdala is the first brain structure to process that information. The amygdala evaluates images and sounds; if it detects a threat, it passes on the information to the hippocampus, which activates the body to prepare for a threat. With regular mindfulness practice, the size of the amygdala shrinks. A smaller amygdala is correlated with a reduced fear response, increased calmness, better management of anxiety, and a feeling of well-being.

      3. Mindfulness helps us stay connected to the present moment.
      Falling and staying asleep is often a challenge when we experience stressful periods of life. Our mind races back and forth between our regrets about the past and worries about the future, keeping us awake. During the day, our busy minds distract us from being present with the people we love and the work we need to accomplish. Because of changes in the insula and cingulate cortex, mindfulness practices help harness our ability to shift and focus our attention on our bodily sensations and regulate the emotional responses associated with those physical sensations.

      4. Mindfulness facilitates learning and memory.
      The gray matter of the memory areas of the brain generally decreases with age, impacting memory processes, emotional regulation, and perspective-taking. As a result, our memory suffers as we get older, we become less flexible with change, and we find it difficult to appreciate the perspective of others. Mindfulness has been demonstrated to increase the size of the hippocampus, which leads to improved learning, memory, and stress management.

      5. Mindfulness helps with brain healing and pain management.
      Mindfulness practices greatly enhance neuroplasticity. Recovery from brain injury requires healing damaged areas of the brain and using other areas to recover lost functioning. Mindfulness can improve emotional regulation and mental fatigue and help regulate pain. (Click here to learn more about how mindfulness helps pain management.)

      https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/pain-rehabilitation/202401/5-ways-mindfulness-rewires-your-brain-and-improves-your-life

      Top 10 Friday – January 26, 2024

      1. Defensive Stock Sectors Continue to Make New Lows.


      2. 30-Year Treasury Yield Update.

      Keeping in mind this bounce went from 1% to 5%…Breaking red downtrend line that went back to 1982

      www.stockcharts.com


        5. The Multibillion-Dollar Clean Energy Bet Gone Wrong

        Offshore wind turbines are proving too risky for many utilities

        By David Uberti Building gigantic turbines in the ocean is more of a challenge than expected for some energy industry players.

        U.S. power companies raced to get in on the offshore wind boom a few years ago. Now some are rushing to get out.

        Already, utilities have unloaded pieces of a planned New Jersey wind farm and a yet-to-be-built seabed off Massachusetts. Now, “for sale” signs sit on stakes in four developments aimed at electrifying hundreds of thousands of homes in New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Virginia.

        The pullback is adding to the turmoil in a new industry at the center of the U.S.’s renewable-energy ambitions. Developers behind projects totaling 8.5 gigawatts of electricity—more than a quarter of President Biden’s 2030 goal—canceled or are expected to cancel state-approved power contracts to propose deals with new terms, according to Intelatus Global Partners. Two projects have been nixed outright.

        The retreat by utilities underscores the challenge of building turbines the size of skyscrapers in the ocean, with supply-chain snarls and higher interest rates blowing up project budgets.

        https://www.wsj.com/business/energy-oil/renewable-energy-wind-utility-companies-reconsider-329df2b7


        6. BABA Insider Buying.

        CEO Tsai has bought about $151 million worth of Alibaba’s U.S.-traded shares in the fourth quarter, via his Blue Pool Management family investment vehicle, a securities filing confirmed on Tuesday. Ma, who stepped down as the company’s executive chairman in 2019 but remains a major shareholder, bought $50 million worth of Hong Kong-traded stock in the quarter, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. (Both men already hold sizable amounts of Alibaba stock.)

        https://www.nytimes.com/2024/01/23/business/dealbook/jack-ma-alibaba-shares.html


        7. GDP…Behind the Number.

        Zerohedge The result, for better or worse, speak for themselves: while Q4 GDP rose by $329 billion to $27.939 trillion, a respectable if made up number, what is much more disturbing is that over the same time period, the US budget deficit rose by more than 50%, or $510 billion. And the cherry on top: the increase in public US debt in the same three month period was a stunning $834 billion, or 154% more than the increase in GDP. In other words, it now takes $1.55 in budget deficit to generate $1 of growth… and it takes over $2.50 in new debt to generate $1 of GDP growth!

        https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/gdp-number-was-great-there-just-one-huge-problem


        8. Ranked-The Most Popular AI Tools

        Visual Capitalist

        https://www.visualcapitalist.com/ranked-the-most-popular-ai-tools/


        9. Watch This Weekend…”Dumb Money” on Netflix

        The Story Behind the Real Amateur Investors Who Inspired Dumb Money

        TIME BY MARIAH ESPADA Dumb Money dramatizes the true story behind working class Redditors turned investors who flipped Wall Street on its head. Currently out in limited theaters and expanding in the coming weeks, director Craig Gillespie’s comedy-drama, written by Lauren Schuker Blum and Rebecca Angelo, weaves together multiple storylines to bring to life the GameStop saga of 2021. That story, which dominated headlines while many were stuck at home during the days of the Omicron variant, has its roots in the practice by mega hedge funds to invest stock in companies like the gaming retailer, with the hopes for a short selling, an investment strategy that looks to profit from their falling stock prices. And those top dogs appear in Dumb Money, in the form of characters played by Nick Offerman, Seth Rogen, and Vincent D’Onofrio.

        But the story really got interesting when working class investors banded together on the Reddit Internet forum r/WallStreetBets and short-squeezed the billionaire investors, causing a rapid rise in the stock’s price, thus leading to short sellers losing big. At its peak, GameStop stock traded at $483 per share. With these individual investors making an unprecedented impact on the market, the short sellers were offered several bailouts—leading to criticism that the system was rigged in their favor.

        “I think it’s very easy to look around and see how broken, fragmented, and seemingly hopeless things are,” Schuker Blum tells TIME. “But here was an inspiring story of an incredibly diverse and large group of people coming together around an idea.”

        And that group of people—represented in the film by characters portrayed by Paul Dano, America Ferrera, and Anthony Ramos, among others—serve as the audience’s stand-in for the every-person. Some depict real-life characters, while others play fictional or composite characters based on the experiences of several investors.

        During their research process, the filmmakers sourced a wealth of information from interviews with Reddit investor participants like Harmony Murphy (whom the movie character Harmony Williams was named for, but not directly based on, and who is currently in a pending lawsuit against Robinhood, the app that controversially froze trades on GameStop). They also used as source material Ben Mezrich’s 2021 book The Antisocial Network: The GameStop Short Squeeze and the Ragtag Group of Amateur Traders That Brought Wall Street to Its Knees. Mezrich was one of the executive producers on the film.

        https://time.com/6315779/dumb-money-real-people/


        10. Investing Lessons From Nick Saban

        Savant Wealth by Chip Kalousek With the retirement of revered University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban set against a backdrop of other significant personnel changes, such as the retirement of Bill Belichick and departure of Pete Carroll from the Seattle Seahawks, the beginning of 2024 has marked substantial shake-ups in the world of football. This slew of transitions signals not only the end of an era, but the start of a new chapter for the sport.

        Seasons of change provide great opportunities for reflection and personal growth. In my 12 years of living in Alabama, I’ve had the chance to study Coach Saban and his many successes. His profound impact is evident not only in football, but his principles are often applied in business strategy and leadership. It’s intriguing to draw parallels between Saban’s approach to the game and the intricacies of the investment world. Here are investment lessons inspired by Coach Saban’s prolific career, offering insights derived from his methods for success that transcend the boundaries of sport.

        Follow “The Process”
        Saban’s well-honed philosophy, “The Process,” emphasizes focusing on what one can control in the present moment, and not on a distant, lofty goal, such as a National Championship. For investors, the message is this: don’t obsess over short-term market movements or get distracted by “hot tips.” Instead, follow an investment process that relies on empirical data and research, guided by discipline.

        Pay Attention to Detail: Everything Matters
        Saban spent decades developing his unparalleled eye for detail, studying player metrics, opponent strategies, and game film. In investing, well-informed decision making becomes elevated through meticulous data examination, leaving no stone unturned to make informed decisions. Small details such as taxes, turnover, and transaction costs can have a significant impact on investment outcomes.

        Build a Diversified Team
        Saban’s success was due in part to his ability to recruit a well-rounded and diverse team of players. In investing, this equates to being broadly diversified across assets, market cap, style, and geography for better risk-adjusted returns. Research shows that a diversified portfolio, rather than individual stock picking, tends to outperform the market over the long term.

        Surround Yourself with the Right People
        Coach Saban never failed to credit his carefully curated staff for his team’s success. He understood you are the sum of those with whom you choose to surround yourself. Similarly, successful investors surround themselves with a sort of personal board of directors who will hold them accountable and offer practical and objective advice. This personal board can include professionals (accountants, financial advisors, or attorneys) or informal relationships, such as family and friends.

        Have a Plan and Execute It
        Saban was a master strategist. His clear, well thought-out game plans were key to his success. Investors should similarly have a solid plan and understanding of their personal risk tolerance, goals, and objectives to help create a roadmap for investment success.

        A Winning Combination
        Nick Saban’s principles of being process-focused, detail-oriented, diversified, well supported, and meticulously planned can be a winning combination for financial success. At Savant, this wisdom and foresight are integrated into our evidenced-based investing approach. If you’d like to learn more about how our investment approach helps clients pursue their ideal futures please consider talking with one of our financial advisors.

        Congratulations on your retirement, Coach Saban. Roll Tide!

        Chip KalousekSenior Investment Research Analyst

        Found at Abnormal Returns Blog. www.abnormalretrurns.com

         

         


        3. Weed Stocks Rally in 2024…Outperforming Bitcoin.

        Why Marijuana Stocks, Cannabis ETFs Are Up Now Cannabis ETFs like the AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF (MSOS) and the Roundhill Cannabis ETF (WEED)jumped as much as 25% this month after a release of documents that support a recommendation by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to lower the federal classification of cannabis to Schedule III from Schedule I.
        The recommendation from HHS would make it harder for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to reject, thereby opening the door for wider state legalization, as well as the potential for increased capital from investors, investment firms and banks.

        From its August 2023 low, the WEED ETF is up 85%. The ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (MJ), which is the first ETF to focus on the global cannabis market, has not had a positive calendar year return since 2017, with its worst year in 2022 as it fell 60%.

        5 Top Cannabis ETFs of 2024 by Performance

        Ticker

        Fund

        Expense Ratio

        AUM

        YTD Return

        WEED

        Roundhill Cannabis ETF

        0.40%

        $3.89M

        23.91%

        MSOS

        AdvisorShares Pure US Cannabis ETF

        0.83%

        $775.57M

        23.40%

        MJUS

        ETFM U.S. Alternative Harvest ETF

        0.76%

        $143.18M

        22.94%

        LGLZ

        Subversive Cannabis ETF

        0.75%

        $555.1K

        20.24%

        YOLO

        AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF

        1.03%

        $45.4M

        14.57%

        Total return as of January 22, 2023. Leveraged ETFs were not considered for our list. https://www.etf.com/sections/etf-basics/why-cannabis-etfs-are-flying-high-again


        4. Lithium ETF Makes New Lows.

        Check in on this chart every few months…..50week thru 200week to downside.


        5. The Multibillion-Dollar Clean Energy Bet Gone Wrong

        Offshore wind turbines are proving too risky for many utilities

        By David Uberti Building gigantic turbines in the ocean is more of a challenge than expected for some energy industry players.

        U.S. power companies raced to get in on the offshore wind boom a few years ago. Now some are rushing to get out.

        Already, utilities have unloaded pieces of a planned New Jersey wind farm and a yet-to-be-built seabed off Massachusetts. Now, “for sale” signs sit on stakes in four developments aimed at electrifying hundreds of thousands of homes in New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Virginia.

        The pullback is adding to the turmoil in a new industry at the center of the U.S.’s renewable-energy ambitions. Developers behind projects totaling 8.5 gigawatts of electricity—more than a quarter of President Biden’s 2030 goal—canceled or are expected to cancel state-approved power contracts to propose deals with new terms, according to Intelatus Global Partners. Two projects have been nixed outright.

        The retreat by utilities underscores the challenge of building turbines the size of skyscrapers in the ocean, with supply-chain snarls and higher interest rates blowing up project budgets.

        https://www.wsj.com/business/energy-oil/renewable-energy-wind-utility-companies-reconsider-329df2b7


        6. BABA Insider Buying.

        CEO Tsai has bought about $151 million worth of Alibaba’s U.S.-traded shares in the fourth quarter, via his Blue Pool Management family investment vehicle, a securities filing confirmed on Tuesday. Ma, who stepped down as the company’s executive chairman in 2019 but remains a major shareholder, bought $50 million worth of Hong Kong-traded stock in the quarter, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. (Both men already hold sizable amounts of Alibaba stock.)

        https://www.nytimes.com/2024/01/23/business/dealbook/jack-ma-alibaba-shares.html


        7. GDP…Behind the Number.

        Zerohedge The result, for better or worse, speak for themselves: while Q4 GDP rose by $329 billion to $27.939 trillion, a respectable if made up number, what is much more disturbing is that over the same time period, the US budget deficit rose by more than 50%, or $510 billion. And the cherry on top: the increase in public US debt in the same three month period was a stunning $834 billion, or 154% more than the increase in GDP. In other words, it now takes $1.55 in budget deficit to generate $1 of growth… and it takes over $2.50 in new debt to generate $1 of GDP growth!

        https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/gdp-number-was-great-there-just-one-huge-problem


        8. Ranked-The Most Popular AI Tools

        Visual Capitalist

        https://www.visualcapitalist.com/ranked-the-most-popular-ai-tools/


        9. Watch This Weekend…”Dumb Money” on Netflix

        The Story Behind the Real Amateur Investors Who Inspired Dumb Money

        TIME BY MARIAH ESPADA Dumb Money dramatizes the true story behind working class Redditors turned investors who flipped Wall Street on its head. Currently out in limited theaters and expanding in the coming weeks, director Craig Gillespie’s comedy-drama, written by Lauren Schuker Blum and Rebecca Angelo, weaves together multiple storylines to bring to life the GameStop saga of 2021. That story, which dominated headlines while many were stuck at home during the days of the Omicron variant, has its roots in the practice by mega hedge funds to invest stock in companies like the gaming retailer, with the hopes for a short selling, an investment strategy that looks to profit from their falling stock prices. And those top dogs appear in Dumb Money, in the form of characters played by Nick Offerman, Seth Rogen, and Vincent D’Onofrio.

        But the story really got interesting when working class investors banded together on the Reddit Internet forum r/WallStreetBets and short-squeezed the billionaire investors, causing a rapid rise in the stock’s price, thus leading to short sellers losing big. At its peak, GameStop stock traded at $483 per share. With these individual investors making an unprecedented impact on the market, the short sellers were offered several bailouts—leading to criticism that the system was rigged in their favor.

        “I think it’s very easy to look around and see how broken, fragmented, and seemingly hopeless things are,” Schuker Blum tells TIME. “But here was an inspiring story of an incredibly diverse and large group of people coming together around an idea.”

        And that group of people—represented in the film by characters portrayed by Paul Dano, America Ferrera, and Anthony Ramos, among others—serve as the audience’s stand-in for the every-person. Some depict real-life characters, while others play fictional or composite characters based on the experiences of several investors.

        During their research process, the filmmakers sourced a wealth of information from interviews with Reddit investor participants like Harmony Murphy (whom the movie character Harmony Williams was named for, but not directly based on, and who is currently in a pending lawsuit against Robinhood, the app that controversially froze trades on GameStop). They also used as source material Ben Mezrich’s 2021 book The Antisocial Network: The GameStop Short Squeeze and the Ragtag Group of Amateur Traders That Brought Wall Street to Its Knees. Mezrich was one of the executive producers on the film.

        https://time.com/6315779/dumb-money-real-people/


        10. Investing Lessons From Nick Saban

        Savant Wealth by Chip Kalousek With the retirement of revered University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban set against a backdrop of other significant personnel changes, such as the retirement of Bill Belichick and departure of Pete Carroll from the Seattle Seahawks, the beginning of 2024 has marked substantial shake-ups in the world of football. This slew of transitions signals not only the end of an era, but the start of a new chapter for the sport.

        Seasons of change provide great opportunities for reflection and personal growth. In my 12 years of living in Alabama, I’ve had the chance to study Coach Saban and his many successes. His profound impact is evident not only in football, but his principles are often applied in business strategy and leadership. It’s intriguing to draw parallels between Saban’s approach to the game and the intricacies of the investment world. Here are investment lessons inspired by Coach Saban’s prolific career, offering insights derived from his methods for success that transcend the boundaries of sport.

        Follow “The Process”
        Saban’s well-honed philosophy, “The Process,” emphasizes focusing on what one can control in the present moment, and not on a distant, lofty goal, such as a National Championship. For investors, the message is this: don’t obsess over short-term market movements or get distracted by “hot tips.” Instead, follow an investment process that relies on empirical data and research, guided by discipline.

        Pay Attention to Detail: Everything Matters
        Saban spent decades developing his unparalleled eye for detail, studying player metrics, opponent strategies, and game film. In investing, well-informed decision making becomes elevated through meticulous data examination, leaving no stone unturned to make informed decisions. Small details such as taxes, turnover, and transaction costs can have a significant impact on investment outcomes.

        Build a Diversified Team
        Saban’s success was due in part to his ability to recruit a well-rounded and diverse team of players. In investing, this equates to being broadly diversified across assets, market cap, style, and geography for better risk-adjusted returns. Research shows that a diversified portfolio, rather than individual stock picking, tends to outperform the market over the long term.

        Surround Yourself with the Right People
        Coach Saban never failed to credit his carefully curated staff for his team’s success. He understood you are the sum of those with whom you choose to surround yourself. Similarly, successful investors surround themselves with a sort of personal board of directors who will hold them accountable and offer practical and objective advice. This personal board can include professionals (accountants, financial advisors, or attorneys) or informal relationships, such as family and friends.

        Have a Plan and Execute It
        Saban was a master strategist. His clear, well thought-out game plans were key to his success. Investors should similarly have a solid plan and understanding of their personal risk tolerance, goals, and objectives to help create a roadmap for investment success.

        A Winning Combination
        Nick Saban’s principles of being process-focused, detail-oriented, diversified, well supported, and meticulously planned can be a winning combination for financial success. At Savant, this wisdom and foresight are integrated into our evidenced-based investing approach. If you’d like to learn more about how our investment approach helps clients pursue their ideal futures please consider talking with one of our financial advisors.

        Congratulations on your retirement, Coach Saban. Roll Tide!

        Chip KalousekSenior Investment Research Analyst

        Found at Abnormal Returns Blog. www.abnormalretrurns.com

         

         

        Top 10 Thursday – January 25, 2024

        1. 52-Week Highs During Yield Curve Inversion.

        Nasdaq Dorsey Wright


        2. Sector Performance Large Cap vs. Small Cap 2024

        Large Tech vs. Small Tech Spread

        Marketwatch ByChristine Idzelis https://www.marketwatch.com/story/tech-has-fueled-large-cap-stocks-this-year-it-hasnt-boosted-struggling-small-caps-396c7e16?mod=home-page


          5. Mega Cap ETF No Weakness Yet…..Trading 20% Above 200-Week Moving Average


          6. 2023 Worst Year in a Decade for VC-Backed Acquisitions.

          Pitchbook Blog VCs and market participants have been predicting an uptick in M&A activity for at least six quarters, but their forecasting powers keep failing them.

          2023 turned out to be the worst year in a decade for acquisitions of VC-backed companies, according to the Q4 2023 PitchBook-NVCA Venture Monitor. Companies purchased nearly 700 startups at a combined value of $26.7 billion, about a quarter of the value sold during the 2021 peak.

          Declining Nuptials

          https://pitchbook.com/news/articles/VC-acquisitions-startup-decade-low-2023?utm_term=&utm_campaign=VC_news&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_source=daily_pitch&utm_content=snapshot


          8. 2024 -Americans Will Spend $32B Less than 2023….$79B Less than 2022 on Gas.

          From Stephen Kroculick Jefferies According to GasBuddy projections — which were very accurate for 2023 — US gas prices will average $3.38 a gallon in 2024. This would be a significant improvement from 2023’s average of $3.51 a gallon, and an even bigger drop from 2022’s average of $3.95. Gauging the impact of this, GasBuddy expects Americans will spend about $32 billion less on fuel than in 2023 and $79 billion less than in 2022. “Next year should represent a continued march towards what most Americans would consider normal prices at the pump,” GasBuddy’s head of petroleum analysis told CNN in a phone interview

          https://www.gasbuddy.com/go/what-can-drivers-expect-to-pay-for-gas-in-2024


          8. China Four Interventions in Little Over One-Year.

          https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2024-01-25/can-xi-jinping-reverse-china-s-6-trillion-stock-market-crisis?srnd=premium&sref=GGda9y2L


          9. Tesla Profitability-Bloomberg

          https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2024-01-24/stock-market-today-dow-s-p-live-updates?sref=GGda9y2L


          10. Emotional Intelligence Has 12 Elements. Which Do You Need to Work On?

          by Daniel Goleman and Richard E. Boyatzis HBR

          https://hbr.org/2017/02/emotional-intelligence-has-12-elements-which-do-you-need-to-work-on?tpcc=orgsocial_edit&utm_campaign=hbr&utm_medium=social&utm_source=linkedin


          3. Large Cap vs. Small Cap Ratio

          Schwab Large Cap Turned Back Up


          4. Dow Stocks Percentage from Highs by Name.

          Nasdaq Dorsey Wright

          https://www.nasdaq.com/solutions/nasdaq-dorsey-wright-research-platform-login


          5. Mega Cap ETF No Weakness Yet…..Trading 20% Above 200-Week Moving Average


          6. 2023 Worst Year in a Decade for VC-Backed Acquisitions.

          Pitchbook Blog VCs and market participants have been predicting an uptick in M&A activity for at least six quarters, but their forecasting powers keep failing them.

          2023 turned out to be the worst year in a decade for acquisitions of VC-backed companies, according to the Q4 2023 PitchBook-NVCA Venture Monitor. Companies purchased nearly 700 startups at a combined value of $26.7 billion, about a quarter of the value sold during the 2021 peak.

          Declining Nuptials

          https://pitchbook.com/news/articles/VC-acquisitions-startup-decade-low-2023?utm_term=&utm_campaign=VC_news&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_source=daily_pitch&utm_content=snapshot


          8. 2024 -Americans Will Spend $32B Less than 2023….$79B Less than 2022 on Gas.

          From Stephen Kroculick Jefferies According to GasBuddy projections — which were very accurate for 2023 — US gas prices will average $3.38 a gallon in 2024. This would be a significant improvement from 2023’s average of $3.51 a gallon, and an even bigger drop from 2022’s average of $3.95. Gauging the impact of this, GasBuddy expects Americans will spend about $32 billion less on fuel than in 2023 and $79 billion less than in 2022. “Next year should represent a continued march towards what most Americans would consider normal prices at the pump,” GasBuddy’s head of petroleum analysis told CNN in a phone interview

          https://www.gasbuddy.com/go/what-can-drivers-expect-to-pay-for-gas-in-2024


          8. China Four Interventions in Little Over One-Year.

          https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2024-01-25/can-xi-jinping-reverse-china-s-6-trillion-stock-market-crisis?srnd=premium&sref=GGda9y2L


          9. Tesla Profitability-Bloomberg

          https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2024-01-24/stock-market-today-dow-s-p-live-updates?sref=GGda9y2L


          10. Emotional Intelligence Has 12 Elements. Which Do You Need to Work On?

          by Daniel Goleman and Richard E. Boyatzis HBR

          https://hbr.org/2017/02/emotional-intelligence-has-12-elements-which-do-you-need-to-work-on?tpcc=orgsocial_edit&utm_campaign=hbr&utm_medium=social&utm_source=linkedin

          Top 10 Wednesday – January 24, 2024

          1. Tesla -15% Year to Date


          2. 2023 Extreme Daily S&P Moves Fall in Normal Range

          VIX at $12 but 2023 normal range -Nasdaq Dorsey Wright

          https://www.nasdaq.com/solutions/nasdaq-dorsey-wright


            5. Everybody is Working and Gasoline Dropped from $5 to $3


            6. Demographics is Destiny…Japan 8 Million Abandoned Homes

            Business Insider-Why Japan has more than 8 million cheap abandoned houses that people are renovating into dream homes

            • More than 8.5 million abandoned homes in rural Japan are creating a “ghost town” problem. 
            • A push into the city and population decline are two reasons these homes sit empty.
            • Locals see them as a burden, while foreigners view them as an opportunity to own property cheaply.

            Japan has millions of abandoned rural houses for sale.

            The glut delights foreigners who’ve been able to buy one for as little as $23,000. But underlying the surplus are meaningful shifts in Japan’s culture. Demographic and economic patterns — including a shrinking population and migration from the countryside to cities — are combining to create a “ghost town” problem in Japan.

            There are more than 8.5 million akiya, or abandoned homes, in rural Japan, according to the country’s 2018 Housing and Land Survey, its most recent on record. By some counts, there are many more. The Nomura Research Institute, or NRI, pegs the number closer to 11 million. The institute predicts akiya could exceed 30% of homes in Japan by 2033.

            For foreigners looking for a change of scenery, akiya are an opportunity to be a homeowner abroad on the cheap. Some foreigners have even turned to akiya to enrich themselves by launching short-term-rental businesses.

            https://www.businessinsider.com/japan-abandoned-houses-renovations-dream-homes-akiya-2024-1


            8. Demographics is Destiny….France Demographics Vapor Lock Down

            https://www.cnn.com/2024/01/22/health/alzheimers-blood-test-screening-study/index.html


            9. Top 10 Hottest Housing Markets 2024

            Zillow

            https://www.zillow.com/research/2024-hottest-market-33566/


            10. The Socialism Of Grades at Universities

            Vitaliy Katsenelson, CFAStudent of Life https://investor.fm/

            The Socialism of Grades (Part 3)

            “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.” –Winston Churchill

            Socialism is a terrific idea in theory. Who would not want everyone in society to have a house with a white fence, the job of their dreams, 2.5 kids and a dog? But plain vanilla socialism has failed every single time it has been implemented, and it turned each of those countries into a totalitarian state: Cuba, the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, Venezuela — the list goes on.

            In a socialist state, success is pushed down, and failure is elevated — this is how equality of outcome is created. In the Soviet Union’s version of plain vanilla socialism, we were taught to hate the wealthy and empathize with the poor. This empathy was easy for us because everyone (with the exception of the tiny ruling-class bureaucrats) was poor. 

            Capitalism does not offer the sexy, utopian promise of socialism, but it works in practice. Capitalism has lifted billions out of poverty; but it is now under threat, ironically, from those who have benefited the most from it — academics. Universities  have been among the biggest beneficiaries of the wealth created by capitalism. 

            As I am writing this, I am reminded of Margaret Thatcher’s “Socialism is a great idea until you run out of other people’s money.”

            Universities used to be spartan gyms for our minds, places where opposing ideas collided and gave birth to new ones and where our thinking got challenged through healthy debate. This growth came with healthy pain, the type that accompanies and stimulates intellectual growth.

            Today, many universities have been turned into day spas, where for $300,000 a student’s mind will be pampered and coddled. Now they are “safe places” from opposing ideas, which are considered as microaggressions. This is where free speech goes to die, unless it calls for the genocidal extermination of Jews; then you can speak your mind.

            College administrations are afraid to upset their spa customers (sorry, I meant students). They are not focused on challenging their thinking (the point of education) and producing the brightest but are instead fixated on making students feel better about themselves and giving them their money’s worth. 

            I was not surprised to learn that socialism is slowly poisoning our universities, but I was surprised by its new avenue — the socialization of grades. Professors at a local law school are required to grade to a B+. When professors submit their grades, if the average is below a B+, the system will reject it. The university is afraid of making students feel bad about a low, albeit deserved, grade and wants every student to have a high grade-point average upon graduation. 

            However, what is inflation for one group is deflation for another. This practice punishes hardworking students, as their work may result in a lower grade than they deserve, compared to classmates who are preoccupied with attending “TikTok University” during lectures. 

            Universities are on a quixotic mission to right a wrong — they are fighting against grade inequality. This is what socializing (equalizing) outcomes looks like. In fact, this seemingly innocent practice of equally high grades has the familiar ring of a Karl Marx slogan that I heard endlessly in the Soviet Union: “From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.” Law students need a B+, so they get a B+. 

            With each graduating class, our capitalistic (equal-opportunity) society is being slowly diluted by equal-outcome dogma (socialism).

            Grade inflation is happening in virtually every college across the country, but colleges should not receive all the blame for this, as unfortunately it starts in high schools, which are suffering through super grade inflation — grades have gone up while reading and math skills have fallen (with minorities experiencing the largest grade inflation). 

            Bad (deserved) grades are a necessary part of education. How else would you know that you had not learned something as well as you thought you did? I failed English as a freshman in college. I had been in the US for two years. My English was objectively horrible. I’m glad I didn’t receive special (woke) treatment for being “fresh off the boat.” I studied a lot harder, retook the class and passed it my senior year. If I had not, my English would not have improved and I would not have written several books or received national awards for writing.

            The beauty of the Declaration of Independence is that you are guaranteed the “pursuit of happiness” — you are given an equal chance to pursue it. You are not guaranteed the outcome, just the opportunity. There is enormous value, and yes even happiness and meaning in the pursuit of happiness. This pursuit will often take you down a harder road, but it will result in the best version of you and bring a sense of pride and accomplishment. 

             


            3. Spot Bitcoin ETF -21% Since Launch


            4. China Weighs Stock Market Rescue Package Backed by $278 Billion

            BABA Holding 2022 Lows


            5. Everybody is Working and Gasoline Dropped from $5 to $3


            6. Demographics is Destiny…Japan 8 Million Abandoned Homes

            Business Insider-Why Japan has more than 8 million cheap abandoned houses that people are renovating into dream homes

            • More than 8.5 million abandoned homes in rural Japan are creating a “ghost town” problem. 
            • A push into the city and population decline are two reasons these homes sit empty.
            • Locals see them as a burden, while foreigners view them as an opportunity to own property cheaply.

            Japan has millions of abandoned rural houses for sale.

            The glut delights foreigners who’ve been able to buy one for as little as $23,000. But underlying the surplus are meaningful shifts in Japan’s culture. Demographic and economic patterns — including a shrinking population and migration from the countryside to cities — are combining to create a “ghost town” problem in Japan.

            There are more than 8.5 million akiya, or abandoned homes, in rural Japan, according to the country’s 2018 Housing and Land Survey, its most recent on record. By some counts, there are many more. The Nomura Research Institute, or NRI, pegs the number closer to 11 million. The institute predicts akiya could exceed 30% of homes in Japan by 2033.

            For foreigners looking for a change of scenery, akiya are an opportunity to be a homeowner abroad on the cheap. Some foreigners have even turned to akiya to enrich themselves by launching short-term-rental businesses.

            https://www.businessinsider.com/japan-abandoned-houses-renovations-dream-homes-akiya-2024-1


            8. Demographics is Destiny….France Demographics Vapor Lock Down

            https://www.cnn.com/2024/01/22/health/alzheimers-blood-test-screening-study/index.html


            9. Top 10 Hottest Housing Markets 2024

            Zillow

            https://www.zillow.com/research/2024-hottest-market-33566/


            10. The Socialism Of Grades at Universities

            Vitaliy Katsenelson, CFAStudent of Life https://investor.fm/

            The Socialism of Grades (Part 3)

            “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.” –Winston Churchill

            Socialism is a terrific idea in theory. Who would not want everyone in society to have a house with a white fence, the job of their dreams, 2.5 kids and a dog? But plain vanilla socialism has failed every single time it has been implemented, and it turned each of those countries into a totalitarian state: Cuba, the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, Venezuela — the list goes on.

            In a socialist state, success is pushed down, and failure is elevated — this is how equality of outcome is created. In the Soviet Union’s version of plain vanilla socialism, we were taught to hate the wealthy and empathize with the poor. This empathy was easy for us because everyone (with the exception of the tiny ruling-class bureaucrats) was poor. 

            Capitalism does not offer the sexy, utopian promise of socialism, but it works in practice. Capitalism has lifted billions out of poverty; but it is now under threat, ironically, from those who have benefited the most from it — academics. Universities  have been among the biggest beneficiaries of the wealth created by capitalism. 

            As I am writing this, I am reminded of Margaret Thatcher’s “Socialism is a great idea until you run out of other people’s money.”

            Universities used to be spartan gyms for our minds, places where opposing ideas collided and gave birth to new ones and where our thinking got challenged through healthy debate. This growth came with healthy pain, the type that accompanies and stimulates intellectual growth.

            Today, many universities have been turned into day spas, where for $300,000 a student’s mind will be pampered and coddled. Now they are “safe places” from opposing ideas, which are considered as microaggressions. This is where free speech goes to die, unless it calls for the genocidal extermination of Jews; then you can speak your mind.

            College administrations are afraid to upset their spa customers (sorry, I meant students). They are not focused on challenging their thinking (the point of education) and producing the brightest but are instead fixated on making students feel better about themselves and giving them their money’s worth. 

            I was not surprised to learn that socialism is slowly poisoning our universities, but I was surprised by its new avenue — the socialization of grades. Professors at a local law school are required to grade to a B+. When professors submit their grades, if the average is below a B+, the system will reject it. The university is afraid of making students feel bad about a low, albeit deserved, grade and wants every student to have a high grade-point average upon graduation. 

            However, what is inflation for one group is deflation for another. This practice punishes hardworking students, as their work may result in a lower grade than they deserve, compared to classmates who are preoccupied with attending “TikTok University” during lectures. 

            Universities are on a quixotic mission to right a wrong — they are fighting against grade inequality. This is what socializing (equalizing) outcomes looks like. In fact, this seemingly innocent practice of equally high grades has the familiar ring of a Karl Marx slogan that I heard endlessly in the Soviet Union: “From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.” Law students need a B+, so they get a B+. 

            With each graduating class, our capitalistic (equal-opportunity) society is being slowly diluted by equal-outcome dogma (socialism).

            Grade inflation is happening in virtually every college across the country, but colleges should not receive all the blame for this, as unfortunately it starts in high schools, which are suffering through super grade inflation — grades have gone up while reading and math skills have fallen (with minorities experiencing the largest grade inflation). 

            Bad (deserved) grades are a necessary part of education. How else would you know that you had not learned something as well as you thought you did? I failed English as a freshman in college. I had been in the US for two years. My English was objectively horrible. I’m glad I didn’t receive special (woke) treatment for being “fresh off the boat.” I studied a lot harder, retook the class and passed it my senior year. If I had not, my English would not have improved and I would not have written several books or received national awards for writing.

            The beauty of the Declaration of Independence is that you are guaranteed the “pursuit of happiness” — you are given an equal chance to pursue it. You are not guaranteed the outcome, just the opportunity. There is enormous value, and yes even happiness and meaning in the pursuit of happiness. This pursuit will often take you down a harder road, but it will result in the best version of you and bring a sense of pride and accomplishment.