Topley’s Top 10 – May 19, 2023

1. QQQ +25% YTD vs. Stock Buyback ETF PKW Negative

Buybacks were key component of bull market…Massive lag in the ETF vs. QQQ/SPY 2023

2-3. Stories Abound About End of Dollar This Year

25-Year Dollar Chart Still Strong

Currencies of smaller economies that have not traditionally figured prominently in reserve portfolios but offer high returns and stability— like the Australian and Canadian dollars, Swedish krona and South Korean won—account for three quarters of the shift from dollars.

There is good reason that other currencies do not yet qualify. They are either too small (Switzerland), operate under totalitarian regimes (Russia and China), or allow for protectionism (India).

Finally, a reserve currency needs to be market-based, free-floating and, most important, stable. That rules out cryptocurrencies that are prone to wild swings and live outside the regulatory system.

Dollar and Euro 80% of Reserves …other currencies too small.

There are no viable or readily available alternatives to the U.S. dollar being the reserve currency.

The Real Economy Blog JOSEPH BRUSUELAS,reserves%20held%20by%20central%20banks.

4. The S&P 490 -0.5% in 2023

 Jim Reid Deutsche Bank

We are strongly of the view that AI will change the world. The things we’ve seen from chatGPT and read about with regards to the technology suggests its going to be a game changer. ChatGPT was launched on November 30th last year and as you can see this closely coincides with the surge in the ten US mega-cap tech stocks.

Stocks associated with AI such as Nvidia (+108% YTD), and Microsoft (+30.6% YTD) have surged and have taken tech along for the ride (lower yields have helped a bit too). These ten are up +33.3% YTD and have helped the S&P 500 be +8.0% YTD so far. (Price only moves).

Many people have asked why equities aren’t pricing in a recession if people like us think it’s so likely. The main answer is two-fold; a) Equities tend not to fall much (if at all) in advance of a recession, but fall sharply in the first half of its arrival, and b) mega-cap tech has such a dominant weight in the S&P 500 that it can help the index march to a different beat.

However if you strip out these 10 mega-cap tech stocks, the “S&P 490” is actually -0.5% YTD. So those ten mega cap tech stocks have increased the return of the index by 8.5pp so far this year and have turned a potentially disappointing year into a very decent one for trackers and those who simply view the S&P 500 as a bellwether for global risk.

You could read this two ways; 1) that the “real” economy stocks are treading water and reflecting the risk of tougher times ahead, or 2) that the surge in tech is helping keep financial conditions from tightening as much as it should be on a cyclical basis.

If you believe the second point could it help avert a recession?

Doubtful in our eyes but it is something to keep an eye on. As discussed at the top we are very enthusiastic on the impact of AI on productivity in the years ahead. However this is likely to play out comfortably beyond the immediate cycle.

Next week my Thematic Research team are publishing an AI themed week with daily pieces on the subject from different angles. So please keep an eye out for that. I’ll highlight the first piece in my CoTD on Monday assuming the robots haven’t replaced me by then.

5. Commercial Real Estate Debt 2023 vs. Residential Real Estate Debt 2008

The stock of CRE debt outstanding today is significantly smaller than the stock of residential mortgage debt outstanding in 2007, see chart below.   As a result, this recession will be milder than in 2008, but it will likely be longer because the required correction in CRE prices will be spread out over a longer period.

Torsten Slok, Ph.D.Chief Economist, PartnerApollo Global Management

6. The Probability of Fed Easing Rates

Elizabeth O’Brien-Barrons

7. AGG-Bond Index

AGG rolling back over….rally stopped short of 2022 highs

8. April Retail Sales Positive After 2 Months of Negative Numbers.

The United States: April’s core retail sales topped expectations.

Source: The Daily Shot

Source: @WSJ

9. NYC Apartment Rents New Highs

Dave Lutz at Jones Trading HI JACK– New York apartment hunters are facing higher rents than ever before and having a hard time finding bargains anywhere.  The median rents on new leases in Manhattan, Brooklyn and northwest Queens reached records in April as confident landlords pushed up prices and cut down on incentives, according to a report by appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate.  In Manhattan, the median rent hit $4,241, 8.1% higher than a year ago and $66 more than the previous record set in March, the data show.  The Brooklyn median of $3,500 was up almost 15% from last year, while the median in the section of Queens that includes Astoria and Long Island City rose nearly 13% from a year earlier to $3,525.

10. A New Study Explains Exactly How to Spend Your Money to Maximize Happiness

Buying experiences rather than stuff helps. But this approach will squeeze even more joy out of your hard-earned money.


Can money buy happiness? Science has been puzzling over this question for decades and is still far from a complete, uncontroversial answer. What is clear from a huge number of dueling studies is that the relationship between income and happiness is complicated

Both common sense and research tell us that when you’re struggling financially, making more money leads to big boosts in happiness. The endless stress of poverty is, by all accounts, misery inducing (and it messes with your functional intelligence). But if you’re comfortable — previous research suggested above a threshold of $75,000 a year in income — more money seems to help only some people and some measures of happiness. 

All of which makes for fascinating science. But practically, where does that leave the average entrepreneur who wants to wring as much joy as possible out of every hard-earned dollar? While the science of whether earning more will make you happier may be in flux, recent research does offer simple guidance on how best to spend the money you do have to maximize your well-being. 

Is it experiences, or stuff? 

The most common answer to the question of how to spend your money for the most happiness is to focus on experiences rather than stuff. The thinking goes that we tend to get used to upgrades to our possessions–a bigger TV, a fancier car–fairly quickly, which means the thrill wears off quickly, too. Experiences like trips, classes, and activities with loved ones, however, leave us with memories that we can savor for the rest of our years. 

Not only that, but planning experiences brings us joy even before they happen. “The anticipatory period [for experiential purchases] tends to be more pleasant … less tinged with impatience relative to future material purchases we’re planning on making,” researcher Amit Kumar said at a symposium on the relationship between money and happiness. “Those waiting for an experience tended to be in a better mood and better behaved than those waiting for a material good.”

There’s nothing wrong with this line of thinking. Tons of evidence confirms that focusing on material wealth and possessions tends to leave people feeling empty and unsatisfied. Experiences are the better bet compared with more stuff. But a new study adds an additional wrinkle to the most up-to-date scientific advice on spending your money to maximize happiness. 

Actually, it’s all about goals. 

For the new study — recently published in the British Journal of Social Psychology — researchers asked 452 participants to describe a recent sizable purchase, excluding everyday expenses like bills. They were also asked to rate how much the purchase added to their life satisfaction and happiness and how closely it aligned with both their extrinsic goals (those that have to do with other people’s expectations) and intrinsic goals (those we chase for our own reasons). 

“The researchers found that, the more a purchase reflected people’s intrinsic goals, the more they thought it improved their well-being. In other words, the greatest well-being occurred when people spent money on something that was personally important to them,” reports UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center

Which isn’t to say the material goods versus experience factor was irrelevant. Experiences brought more joy than stuff. But bringing yourself one step closer to what you really want in life mattered the most. 

This finding has a very practical takeaway, according to one of the study authors, University of Cardiff psychologist Olaya Moldes Andrés. “She recommends pausing to think about the reason for our purchase, and what use we will get out of it. If we’re spending money on trying to impress people or project a certain image (in other words, extrinsic goals), the purchase may not actually be worth it,” sums up Greater Good. 

So, next time you find yourself in the pleasant position of having some extra cash to spend, take a minute to reflect on your goals. Figuring out what you want in life and how you can deploy your money to get you closer to that is the way to get the most happiness bang for your buck, according to the latest science.

Topley’s Top 10 – May 18, 2023

1. Debt Market View FAANG as Safer than U.S. Government Debt.

2. FAANG Rallies Right Back to 2022 Highs.

3. Cash to Debt Ratio Show Corporate Borrowers Maintaining Liquidity


4. The Risk On Chart of Year ..Bitcoin +64% YTD

5. Shopping Center Rents Record Highs

By Kate King WSJ

6. Retail Shopping ETF Still in Downtrend…RTH

7. Credit Card Debt not Getting Paid Down in Q1

WE O U $17T  The New York Fed recently released its first-quarter report on household debt, revealing that American households now owe someone a staggering $17 trillion.  The majority of that is tied up in home mortgages, with the remainder split across student loans, car loans and credit cards — with the latter (and smallest) of those 3 categories particularly striking.

Credit card debt remained at a record level of $986 billion, defying the usual trend of post-holiday debt reduction. Indeed, this is the first time in over two decades that credit card balances haven’t decreased in the first quarter — a period when many cut back on spending after the holiday period of October-December.All told, credit card debt rose 17% in the last 12 months, a potential sign that consumers are turning to credit cards to cope with mounting daily expenses as inflation continues to bite. Another concern is the rising delinquency rate, with ~4.6% of credit card debt transitioning into “serious delinquency” — where debt remains unpaid for 90+ days — up from just 3% during the same period last year.

Save to spendThis current situation stands in contrast to the pandemic, when US consumers, buoyed by stimulus checks and lockdown savings, managed to pay off $160bn of credit card debt between the end of 2019 and March 2021.

8. U.S. Commercial Real Estate Prices Turn Down in Q1….First Time in a Decade.

Bloomberg Rich Miller

9. Office Space-Is 50% the New (Metro) RTO?

The Big Picture by Barry Ritholtz

I mentioned a few weeks ago how much better Europe‘s return to office rate was doing versus ours: 90+% RTO, while the USA is ~60%. I cannot speak to Europe, but that U.S. number is an average across all regions, industries, age groups, etc. In some parts of the country, it is appreciably higher or lower; as you might imagine, it varies greatly.

The biggest drag? Big cities.  As Torsten Slok’s chart above shows, the biggest metropolitan employment centers run lower than the national average — which is about 50%. The range is surprisingly wide, from mids-30s to upper-60s: Austin,1 Texas is in the mid-60% range; San Jose is in the high-30%; San Francisco, D.C., and Philidelphia are low-40%. New York City, the biggest US metro center, is one of the laggards with an office occupancy rate of 46%.

Hybrid work models are now well-established. This leads Slok to ask a fascinating question: Is 50% the new permanent level in most metropolitan areas for RTO?

10. Odds of Premature Mortality

Scott Galloway According to the U.S. Surgeon General (an impressive man who makes you feel good about America): “Evidence across scientific disciplines converges on the conclusion that socially connected people live longer.” Social isolation is associated with a 29% increase in the risk of heart disease and a 32% increase in the risk of stroke. Put another way: loneliness kills.

Topley’s Top 10 – May 17, 2023

1. Margin Debt -35% from Peaks.

– margin debt tanked -35% off peak and -$330 billion
– greater than GFC peak to trough
– and 1.59% (% market cap) lowest since dot-com low

2. Fed Fund Rate Greater than CPI….This May Signal the End of Rate Hikes.

From Dave Lutz at Jones Trading Ryan notes Another clue the Fed is likely done hiking?  Fed funds rate > CPI YoY – Each of the previous 8 cycles could stop once this was in place.

3. Software ETF Still Bouncing Along Bottom

4. Biotech ETF Still in Range Near Bottom-IBB ETF

5. IPO Market Still Closed…IPO ETF Sideways

6. Walmart vs. Target

This chart shows Walmart performance vs. Target….straight up since 2021…50day thru 200day to upside.

7. Home Depot Chart.

HD closes right at 200 week moving average.

HD P/E Ratio..15x has been bottom of range since 2014 Macrotrends blog

8. Personal Savings Rates by Income

GMO Research

9. Drug Enforcement Administration Announces the Seizure of Over 379 million Deadly Doses of Fentanyl in 2022

WASHINGTON – As 2022 comes to an end, the Drug Enforcement Administration is announcing the seizure of over 50.6 million fentanyl-laced, fake prescription pills and more than 10,000 pounds of fentanyl powder this calendar year. The DEA Laboratory estimates that these seizures represent more than 379 million potentially deadly doses of fentanyl.

Fentanyl is the deadliest drug threat facing this country. It is a highly addictive man-made opioid that is 50 times more potent than heroin. Just two milligrams of fentanyl, the small amount that fits on the tip of a pencil, is considered a potentially deadly dose.

“In the past year, the men and women of the DEA have relentlessly worked to seize over 379 million deadly doses of fentanyl from communities across the country,” said Administrator Anne Milgram. “These seizures – enough deadly doses of fentanyl to kill every American – reflect DEA’s unwavering commitment to protect Americans and save lives, by tenaciously pursuing those responsible for the trafficking of fentanyl across the United States. DEA’s top operational priority is to defeat the two Mexican drug cartels—the Sinaloa and Jalisco (CJNG) Cartels—that are primarily responsible for the fentanyl that is killing Americans today.”

Most of the fentanyl trafficked by the Sinaloa and CJNG Cartels is being mass-produced at secret factories in Mexico with chemicals sourced largely from China. In 2021, the DEA issued a Public Safety Alert on the widespread drug trafficking of fentanyl in the form of fentanyl-laced, fake prescription pills. These pills are made to look identical to real prescription medications—including OxyContin®, Percocet®, and Xanax®—but only contain filler and fentanyl and are often deadly. Fake pills are readily found on social media. No pharmaceutical pill bought on social media is safe. The only safe medications are ones prescribed directly to you by a trusted medical professional and dispensed by a licensed pharmacist.

Just last month, DEA alerted the public to a sharp nationwide increase in the lethality of fentanyl-laced fake prescription pills.  DEA laboratory testing in 2022 revealed that six out of ten fentanyl-laced, fake prescription pills contained a potentially lethal dose of fentanyl. This is an increase from DEA’s announcement in 2021 that four out of ten fentanyl-laced, fake prescription pills contain a potentially deadly dose.

In 2022, DEA seized more than double the amount of fentanyl-laced, fake prescription pills that it seized in 2021. DEA also seized nearly 131,000 pounds of methamphetamine, more than 4,300 pounds of heroin, and over 444,000 pounds of cocaine. DEA is now providing a regularly updated counter at to track approximate amounts of fentanyl pills and fentanyl powder seized by DEA.

DEA has created a Faces of Fentanyl memorial to commemorate the lives lost from fentanyl poisoning. To submit a photo of a loved one lost to fentanyl, please send their name, age, and photograph to, or post a photo and their name to social media using the hashtag #JustKNOW.

10. Motivation: The Driving Force Behind Our Actions

By Kendra Cherry 

What Are the 3 Components of Motivation?

If you’ve ever had a goal (like wanting to lose 20 pounds or run a marathon), you probably already know that simply having the desire to accomplish these things is not enough. You must also be able to persist through obstacles and have the endurance to keep going in spite of difficulties faced.

These different elements or components are needed to get and stay motivated. Researchers have identified three major components of motivation: activation, persistence, and intensity.4

  • Activation is the decision to initiate a behavior. An example of activation would be enrolling in psychology courses in order to earn your degree.
  • Persistence is the continued effort toward a goal even though obstacles may exist. An example of persistence would be showing up for your psychology class even though you are tired from staying up late the night before.
  • Intensity is the concentration and vigor that goes into pursuing a goal.5 For example, one student might coast by without much effort (minimal intensity) while another student studies regularly, participates in classroom discussions, and takes advantage of research opportunities outside of class (greater intensity).

The degree of each of these components of motivation can impact whether you achieve your goal. Strong activation, for example, means that you are more likely to start pursuing a goal. Persistence and intensity will determine if you keep working toward that goal and how much effort you devote to reaching it.

Tips for Improving Your Motivation

All people experience fluctuations in their motivation and willpower. Sometimes you feel fired up and highly driven to reach your goals. Other times, you might feel listless or unsure of what you want or how to achieve it.

If you’re feeling low on motivation, there are steps you can take to help increase your drive. Some things you can do to develop or improve your motivation include:

  • Adjust your goals to focus on things that really matter to you. Focusing on things that are highly important to you will help push you through your challenges more than goals based on things that are low in importance.
  • If you’re tackling something that feels too big or too overwhelming, break it up into smaller, more manageable steps. Then, set your sights on achieving only the first step. Instead of trying to lose 50 pounds, for example, break this goal down into five-pound increments.
  • Improve your confidence. Research suggests that there is a connection between confidence and motivation.6 So, gaining more confidence in yourself and your skills can impact your ability to achieve your goals.
  • Remind yourself about what you’ve achieved in the past and where your strengths lie. This helps keep self-doubts from limiting your motivation.
  • If there are things you feel insecure about, try working on making improvements in those areas so you feel more skilled and capable.

 What to Do When You Have No Motivation

Causes of Low Motivation

There are a few things you should watch for that might hurt or inhibit your motivation levels. These include:

  • All-or-nothing thinking: If you think that you must be absolutely perfect when trying to reach your goal or there is no point in trying, one small slip-up or relapse can zap your motivation to keep pushing forward.
  • Believing in quick fixes: It’s easy to feel unmotivated if you can’t reach your goal immediately but reaching goals often takes time.
  • Thinking that one size fits all: Just because an approach or method worked for someone else does not mean that it will work for you. If you don’t feel motivated to pursue your goals, look for other things that will work better for you.

Motivation and Mental Health

Sometimes a persistent lack of motivation is tied to a mental health condition such as depression. Talk to your doctor if you are feeling symptoms of apathy and low mood that last longer than two weeks.

Theories of Motivation

Throughout history, psychologists have proposed different theories to explain what motivates human behavior. The following are some of the major theories of motivation.


The instinct theory of motivation suggests that behaviors are motivated by instincts, which are fixed and inborn patterns of behavior.7 Psychologists such as William James, Sigmund Freud, and William McDougal have proposed several basic human drives that motivate behavior. They include biological instincts that are important for an organism’s survival—such as fear, cleanliness, and love.

Drives and Needs

Many behaviors such as eating, drinking, and sleeping are motivated by biology. We have a biological need for food, water, and sleep. Therefore, we are motivated to eat, drink, and sleep. The drive reduction theory of motivation suggests that people have these basic biological drives, and our behaviors are motivated by the need to fulfill these drives.8

Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is another motivation theory based on a desire to fulfill basic physiological needs. Once those needs are met, it expands to our other needs, such as those related to safety and security, social needs, self-esteem, and self-actualization.

Arousal Levels

The arousal theory of motivation suggests that people are motivated to engage in behaviors that help them maintain their optimal level of arousal.4 A person with low arousal needs might pursue relaxing activities such as reading a book, while those with high arousal needs might be motivated to engage in exciting, thrill-seeking behaviors such as motorcycle racing.

The Bottom Line

Psychologists have proposed many different theories of motivation. The reality is that there are numerous different forces that guide and direct our motivations.

Understanding motivation is important in many areas of life beyond psychology, from parenting to the workplace. You may want to set the best goals and establish the right reward systems to motivate others as well as to increase your own motivation.

Knowledge of motivating factors (and how to manipulate them) is used in marketing and other aspects of industrial psychology. It’s an area where there are many myths, and everyone can benefit from knowing what works with motivation and what doesn’t.

Topley’s Top 10 – May 16, 2023

1. 5-Year TIPS Break-Even at FED Target 2%,long%20term%20average%20of%201.91%25.

2. Re-Visit of XLF Financials ETF Chart

XLF still holding 200 week moving average …50week still above 200week

3. Howard Marks on Private Credit.

From Dave Lutz at Jones Trading OAKTREE WARNS– Howard Marks, the co-founder of $172bn investment group Oaktree Capital Management, has warned that the boom in private credit will soon be tested as higher interest rates and slower economic growth heap pressure on corporate America. The 77-year-old billionaire told the Financial Times that big asset managers had competed aggressively to lend to the largest private equity groups as money poured into their coffers in 2020and 2021, raising questions over the due diligence the funds conducted when they  agreed to provide multibillion-dollar loans. “Did the managers make good credit decisions, ensuring an adequate margin of safety, or did they invest fast because they could accumulate more capital? We’ll see”

Data provider Preqin estimates the private credit market, which includes loans for corporate takeovers, has grown to about $1.5tn from roughly $440bn a decade ago. Fundraising has been brisk, eclipsing $150bn every year since 2019.  But part of that influx of capital was lent when markets were on a seemingly unstoppable march higher — before the US Federal Reserve began aggressively raising interest rates. Competition among private lenders pushed borrowing costs down at the time.

4. International Breadth Stronger than U.S….75% of Names Above 200day.

LPL Research

5. U.S. Budget Deficit is Widest Ever Entering a Recession

Zerohedge The US’s budget deficit is currently running at 8% of GDP, wider than any other major country, and already significantly more than where it was prior to previous recessions.

6. Institutional Money Selling Stocks for 12 Months.

7. Chicago Office Space 22% Vacancy…Bad Quarter of Demand.

Bloomberg-Things aren’t looking up for the commercial real estate market, with the city’s office-vacancy rate reaching a record 22.4% in the first quarter. Even tech companies, once seen as a bright opportunity for Chicago’s future, are retrenching: Salesforce Inc. and Meta Platforms Inc. are giving up almost 240,000 square feet (22,300 square meters) of space. By

Isis Almeida and Shruti Singh

8. U.S. Retail Gas Prices -30% from Highs


9. 14 million mortgages were refinanced during ‘pandemic boom.’ That makes life very difficult for home buyers.

Aarthi Swaminathan Marketwatch

The great pandemic mortgage refinance boom is most definitely over, but the aftershock is still rippling through the housing market. Homeowners are holding up home sales, as their ultra-low prize is too precious to give up.

During the early days of coronavirus pandemic in 2020 and 2021, mortgage rates fell sharply, and millions of homeowners jumped at the opportunity to refinance. The 30-year mortgage fell down to 2.65% in early January of 2021, according to Freddie Mac data FMCC, +2.11%.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York estimated that 14 million mortgages were refinanced during the “pandemic refinancing boom.” 

The surge in refinancing was, in part, due to strong household balance sheets and an increased need for housing, the New York Fed said in a blog post published Monday.  The average homeowner who refinanced saw their monthly payment drop by $220, the Fed said.The biggest share of mortgages that were refinanced originated from 2015 onwards, the NY Fed. said. Older mortgages, such as those originated before 2010, were the least likely to be refinanced. 

Homeowners most likely to refinance their mortgage owed a balance of $400,000 to $500,000 on their mortgage, the NY Fed concluded.  “The mortgage refinancing boom is over, but its impact will be seen for decades to come,” Andrew Haughwout, director of household and public policy research at the NY Fed, said in a statement.

10. 10 Ways to Declutter Your Mind

How to feel lighter and more hopeful using these powerful, yet simple tools.  Shonda Moralis MSW, LCSW


  • Cluttered minds can weigh people down and cause unnecessary stress.
  • Individuals can use simple practices to declutter and spring clean their minds.
  • It just takes a few minutes a day to create healthy, sustainable habits. 

This time of year often brings thoughts of spring cleaning our homes—throwing open the windows, decluttering, and organizing. A fresh start to a new season feels light and hopeful.

It’s also the perfect time to spring clean our minds (and our lives in general) by taking stock and recommitting to our priorities.

Whether house or mind, attempting a massive overhaul all at once is not recommended—taking it one small step at a time is far more effective for sustainability and follow-through.

The following are some easy, fun tips to spruce up your life in manageable, bite-sized pieces:

Begin with your mindset.

Let go of thoughts that don’t serve you. We find evidence for what it is we focus on. If my mind is trained on what’snot going well, I will notice the negative more—and vice versa. We can habituate our minds to be on the lookout for the good stuff daily.

Be in the moment. We spend so much of our time in the past or in the future and miss out on what is happening right in front of us. Notice when you are worrying (the future) or rehashing (the past) and come back to what’s here now. (Meditation also helps train our minds to be more in the present moment.)

Do a daily brain dump. Get all of your to-do’s, worries, and thoughts down on paper first thing in the morning, or keep a notebook and pencil by your bed to jot down random thoughts when your mind is full late at night.

Do a digital or screen detox. Spend a weekend day or shorter block of time screen-free in order to make room for creative thought.


Where in your life could you use more organization? Even if you are a well-organized person, there is usually at least one area that can be streamlined—emails, finances, paperwork, the sock drawer—pick one. If you need some motivation, set a timer for 10 minutes or blast your favorite music.


Reflect: After the upheaval of the past few years, what have you learned? What do you want to let go of, and what gets to stay? If you’ve acclimated to a slower pace or more downtime, you might keep one day on the weekend for unscheduled rest or fun.

Identify your top four values (what matters most to you—think nature, learning, community), and let them guide your actions and priorities. Knowing our top values helps keep our priorities and actions in check. If family is one of your top values, for example, each time you decide whether or not to take on a work project or say yes to a social engagement, ask yourself if you are allowing enough family time.


Track your energy: Notice your level of energy when engaged in various activities or tasks. Do you love to garden? You might feel relaxed, calm, and content. Carve out time for more of that (and less social media, which likely drains you). Does cooking dinner and deciding what to make tire you out? Meal plan, assign other family members to make dinner on certain nights, or order a meal subscription service. When possible, do more of what energizes you and less of what drains you. What can you add, delete, or delegate from your to-do list?

Get outside and get moving. Spring ushers in a renewed sense of energy. Moving our bodies helps calm our minds and opens up creative thought.

Cold water swimming is trending to boost energy and ward off depression. Cold bodies of water are decidedly not for me. I do, however, love to step outside in the morning with my cup of coffee, listen to the birds sing, and let the cold air wake me up, starting the day refreshed.

Start a new healthy habit. Be intentional about what habit you choose. What do you want to do and why? Knowing our why helps renew our motivation when it inevitably flags. I might, for example, begin stretching five minutes a day to increase flexibility, lessen stiffness, and prevent injuries, and it feels great!

Which one life spring cleaning tip will you experiment with today

Shonda Moralis, MSW, LCSW, is a psychotherapist, mindfulness educator, writer, and mom of two. Shonda Moralis MSW, LCSW

Topley’s Top 10 – May 15, 2023

1. History of Bonds Post Fed Rate Hike Cycle.

JP Morgan Private Bank

2. Where Will All This Cash Be Deployed?

Capital Group

3. Oil Down 4 Weeks in a Row…Energy ETF Bearish Cross to Downside.

50day thru 200day to downside for last year’s winning sector energy

4. GOOGL Bullish Cross to Upside.

Last year’s loser tech add another bullish chart….GOOGL still well off highs but 50day thru 200 day to upside.

5. The Dramatic Increase in Satellite Launches.


6. Space ETF UFO Testing Previous Lows.

7. Credit: The US still has too many banks.

Source: Goldman Sachs

8. Youth Unemployment in China 20%

9. Tech vs. Banks Dispersion

Barbara Kollmeyer Marketwatch

10. Shifting Paradigms: 3 Business ‘Truths’ That Are Fundamentally Untrue

Reframe your entrepreneurial dream with a few shifts in perspective and a clear methodology to achieve a more joyful life.


Photo: Getty Images

Michèle Hecken is an Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) member in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. An ex-CEO, she is the founder of The Art of Offboarding, a proprietary leadership and operational methodology which she implements in Fortune 500 companies. She is also a public speaker who delivers keynotes and workshops for organizations across the world. We asked Michèle how she transformed her business to do what she loves on her own terms. Here’s what she shared:


“Go from good to great. Build a big business. Size matters.”

“Don’t work too hard. Work-life balance matters.”

Sound familiar to you? I know I’ve heard and grappled with these universal “truths” over the years, after starting a global translation company in my twenties and trying to grow it while raising two young children. 

Eventually, I realized something that would change the course of my entire life: There was a way to build a successful business based almost entirely on what you love doing rather than what you think you should love doing. 

I carved out a system to grow the business that served my family, my team, our customers, and myself. In 2019, it culminated in a high-seven-figure exit

Here are the three paradigm shifts that form its foundation: 

1. From “Delegating” to “Offboarding”

According to some, you should delegate to successfully grow a business. I’m here to tell you that this is not the solution but the problem. Why?

What happens when you delegate is a placebo effect. You feel good in the moment because you shuffled something off your desk. But then you do it again. And again. 

What happens next? You get lost in the follow-up. The time you saved on executing the tasks is replaced with endless coordination of employee work.

Delegating simply shifts the kind of work you do. You still own the task. Eventually, you become more stressed, as delegation encourages micromanagement. 

Offboarding is a game changer because it transfers task ownership–your employees own the entire outcome. Speaking from experience, this is an excellent way to train employees, increase their value to the business (and ensure they feel valued), and relax your grip. This also frees up your schedule, allowing you to pursue other goals.

2. From “Work-Life Balance” to “Life”

I’ve never met an entrepreneur who works optimally within a standard nine-to-five schedule. Some days we are in a deep state of flow and work 14 hours. On other days, we might struggle to get out of bed. At the same time, we build our businesses to give us the flexibility to be present for our non-work engagements whenever we want–trying to please everyone around us. 

When you try and make everybody happy, all while keeping everything “balanced,” it becomes an impossible challenge. 

The solution, something that I do when advising other entrepreneurs, is to reverse-engineer it all. Ask yourself:

·         What do I want my life to look like?

·         What is my ideal day?

·         How does my flow work on that day?

·         What kinds of freedoms do I want and need?

The goal isn’t to ensure burnout never happens again. Instead, it’s to optimize your life and business so that they align with your true self, your wants, and your needs.

3. From “Good to Great” to “Good to Happy”

Everyone wants to be happy in life–most of us prioritize happiness as a goal. 

The happiest lives are those that are continually enriched with new knowledge, connections, and experiences. That means having the willingness to get out there, try new things, and make time for enjoyment every day. You can’t get to this point by feeling forced to fit in fun or relaxation time, nor by stagnating and stifling your growth.

One practice I’ve implemented, that has worked wonders, is treating every day like a “mini life” and living it on my terms. Am I allocating my time and energy where I want it to go? Am I enjoying my day to the fullest and achieving the goals I’ve set? Most of all, have I done things that brought me joy today?

If you can respond with a resounding “yes” to these questions every day, you can theoretically achieve an entire lifetime of happiness. Sounds much more realistic this way, doesn’t it?

Reframing paradigms and shifting away from what you’ve been told should make you successful is not easy. The opportunity to co-author a recently published book, Lead Like a Woman: Audacity has allowed me to reflect on just how profoundly I’ve subverted traditional expectations both in my business and in my life.

I believe the entrepreneurial dream needs to be reframed to include a joyful life in which you never have to give up happiness for the sake of your business. I know that with a few shifts in perspective, a clear methodology, and a remarkable support system, every entrepreneur can achieve that reality.