Topley’s Top 10 – May 24, 2022

1. Russian Economy Imploding…GDP -30%

2. Concentration on Way Up…..Conentration on Way Down…..8 Stocks are Half the Stock Markets Decline.

Found at Barry Ritholtz Blog

3. 1100 Corporate Insiders Buying Stock in May

Bloomberg-ByLu Wang

Investors bailing on stocks because they’re afraid of a recession may want to consider the buying spree that is happening among people in charge of American businesses. 

Corporate insiders, whose purchases correctly signaled the bear-market bottom in 2020, are bottom fishing during the S&P 500’s longest stretch of weekly losses in two decades. They were rewarded Monday, as stocks jumped almost 2% on optimism the US will lift some tariffs on Chinese goods.

More than 1,100 corporate executives and officers have snapped up shares of their own firms in May, poised to exceed the number of sellers for the first month since March 2020 marked the pandemic trough two years ago, according to data compiled by the Washington Service.

4. Precious Metal ETF Flows Turn Positive

Commodities:  Precious metals ETF flows have turned positive.

Source: Daily Shot

5. GDX Gold Miners had a Fast -25% Correction April/May

6. 75% of Companies Mentioning Supply Chain for the Last 3 Quarters


7. Looks Like Supply Chain Issues Loosening….Total Ships L.A. Ports…..

From Dan Stratemeier-Managing Director-Equities, Event Driven Strategies

8. U.S. playing catch-up on electric vehicles

Axios on facebook

Axios on twitter

Axios on linkedin

Axios on email

Data: Global EV Outlook 2022; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

9. Pew Research Majority of Americans Favor Exporting Natural Gas to Europe.

61% of Americans would favor exporting large amounts of natural gas to Europe

10. The Hidden Secret All Successful People Have but Don’t Talk About

 Chazz Scott


When most of us think about success in life, we automatically fix our minds upon material items of money, cars, clothes, or power. Many successful people indeed have these items at their disposal. However, many of us get blinded by these symbols of success and misplace where successful people actually receive their source of prosperity, abundance, and wealth.

All wealth, abundance, and prosperity in any aspect of life come from our minds. More specifically, our imagination. Many self-help authors and speakers may call this practice visualization.

Napoleon Hill said, “the imagination is the most powerful, most miraculous inconceivably powerful force that the world’s ever known.”

Why is it so powerful? Because if you cannot see the positive circumstances on the outside, you can build it on the inside, as Bob Proctor would say. In other words, if what you see with your eyes is not what you prefer in your life, you can imagine something different and work toward this image in your mind to reproduce it in your reality.

The Elon Musk way

Do you think Elon Musk could have built SpaceX if he didn’t have a vision or imagination? His goal was to create a fully reusable rocket that achieved a vertical soft landing back on earth. They failed numerous times but kept going. He held on to a future vision of the possible.

Now SpaceX is the first privately owned company to send a liquid-fueled rocket into orbit and the first to achieve a vertical soft landing of a reusable orbital rocket stage

This had never been done. NASA couldn’t do it, and neither could many private companies that had billions of dollars of research and development. And just like that, SpaceX achieved what many thought was impossible. And because of this innovation, money is being saved, making it cheaper to send rockets to space. Now NASA depends on SpaceX’s rockets for their space missions.

So, what did SpaceX have that all these other companies didn’t? They had a leader who had a vision and a vivid sense of imagination. Elon built an image of the possible instead of relying on what always had been. Even though SpaceX’s competitors had basically an unlimited budget, they still couldn’t get the job done. Vision mattered more than money. As Sam Walton, founder of Walmart, has said, “capital isn’t scarce; vision is.”

The Oprah Winfrey story

If that example seems extreme to you, let’s take Oprah as an example. A Baltimore TV producer told her that she was “unfit for television news.” Yet, she didn’t become consumed by her external conditions of what was said – she continued to follow the vision she built in her mind of what was possible. As a result, Oprah is one of the wealthiest people on TV.

Imagination is not something to be taken lately. If you think this is child’s play, that’s precisely what it is. Child’s play got Oprah, Elon, and many others rich and successful. Most people use their imagination as kids but never exercise it as they grow. Forcing many of us to rely on what we can see with our eyes for growth, success, and achievement. This results in stagnation because nothing changes unless you do. Change comes from within, not outside in.

Most people unconsciously use their imagination to guide them toward the very circumstances and conditions they don’t want. Why not use your imagination for success, happiness, health, and fulfillment? 

Unfortunately, if you continue to search for success with your eyes – your success is futile. What do I mean by this? Let’s think about this: every successful person you’ve ever heard about had to rely on vision to achieve their goals. They could not rely on their external conditions to pull themselves to success.

Each of them experienced pain, failure, disappointment, and loss. Still, they continued to follow a vision built with their imagination of what could be possible for them despite the negative they may be experiencing in their external conditions.

Pain is simply a teacher

Michael Beckwith famously said, “pain pushes us until our vision pulls.” In other words, pain is an excellent teacher to tell us how we don’t want to experience life. Once you know what you don’t want to experience in life (removal of pain), then you can begin to develop a future vision for yourself. Then, when your future vision of your success and life is created using your imagination – you will be pulled toward it.

This is when your brain’s reticular activating system (RAS) goes into full gear, finding conditions in your external reality that match the vision you’ve developed in your mind. This is when synchronicities, the right people will call, and things start working in your favor because you’re relying on a higher vision that is propelling you toward the very intention you’ve set for yourself.

Even the bible talks about how you must develop a future vision for yourself. More specifically, it says, “where there is no vision, the people perish.” So, if you have no vision, not only do you parish, but so does everyone around you – family, friends, and anyone that may rely on you.

In order to develop a future vision for yourself and begin to be pulled toward new conditions in your life that you may not be able to see with your physical eyes – you must exercise your imagination.

So, let’s do that now. Where do you want to go? Who do you want to become? What type of people do you want to be around and work with? How do you really want your life to be? What’s a big goal you’ve always wanted to accomplish? Do you want to become more confident, peaceful, or develop a sense of calmness in the face of adversity?

Begin to close your eyes and imagine it first, then work every day towards the dream you’ve developed in your mind. This is the true path to manifesting the life you desire despite the external conditions you may be facing.

As the saying goes, “if you don’t have a dream, there is no way to make one come true.”

Topley’s Top 10 – May 23, 2022

1. Bull/Bear Indicator 1.5 ..Sentiment Can’t Get Much Lower

2. Market Performance During Summer Months

Dorsey Wright

3. Fang Plus Index Still 2000 Points Above Covid Lows.

FANG Index -40%….Covid Low was 2800

4. Right Now…90% of SPACS Below List Price

500+ SPACS in Last 2 Years Underwater

5. Growth Valuation Reset


6. $4 Trillion in Equity Value Lost Emerging Markets

After $5 Trillion Rout, Emerging Markets Seek Turnaround Signal—By Srinivasan Sivabalan and

7. Why the Fed matters to regular Americans, in one stunning chart…Year Over Year Mortgage Payments +43.4%

Myles Udland-Yahoo Finance

8. Nine Months in a Row of Year Over Year Existing Home Sales Declines

Wolf Street-It was the ninth month in a row of year-over-year declines, even as supply of homes listed for sale continued to rise (data via YCharts):

9. XHB Homebuilder ETF -32% from highs

10. Why the Most Intelligent People Love Spending Time Alone

If you crave time to yourself, science says you might be much more intelligent than the average person.


Science says people who socialize more tend to be happier. Makes sense: Relationships, friendships, connections, spending time with people we enjoy… all of that makes us happier.

But that’s not completely true if you’re highly intelligent. If that’s the case, socializing with friends will actually not increase your level of satisfaction with your life.

Here’s why. When researchers followed people between 18 and 28 years old, they found the more most of the people socialized, the happier they were.

How This Tech Founder Runs 4 Companies As a Digital Nomad 

But not the subset of people in the study who were highly intelligent: The more theysocialized, the less happy they were.

Why? Researchers ventured several explanations.

One theory is evolutionary: Greater intelligence lets smart people more easily adapt to a modern world where the benefits of staying in close contact with a social group for food, shelter, protection, etc., are no longer as important.

Another theory was aspirational: The smarter you are, the more focused you will be on longer-term goals — which means spending time with friends can be distracting instead of helpful.

In short, if you’re hanging out with people, you aren’t getting stuff done.

Of course, this is just one study. It may be only directionally accurate.

And the relationship between intelligence and the desire for “alone time” doesn’t necessarily work in reverse.

I’m a prime example: I like time alone… but I’m not particularly bright.

But in your case, if you like to spend time alone working on a project, learning something new, developing your business plan, or grinding away on the things you need to do achieve your goals, don’t assume you’re a loner.

And definitely don’t assume you’re antisocial.

There could be a much better answer: You might just be smarter than the rest of us.

Topley’s Top 10 – May 18, 2022

1. Highest 10% of Volatility Index Levels (VIX) Followed by Strongest S&P Returns

After the highest 10% of weekly closes in the Volatility Index ($VIX above 28.6), the S&P 500 has posted average returns over the next one to five years that are not only positive but well above periods when volatility was lower.

And following the 20 highest weekly closes in the $VIX, we’ve seen the strongest future returns on average.

2. Comparing 3 Bull Markets…..Current Bull Nowhere Near 1999-2000 Bubble.

Ozcam’s Razor: Mean Reversion-by Barry Ritholtz  Occam’s Razor: Mean Reversion – The Big Picture (

3. Cash Levels the Highest Since 2001

Cash levels among investors hit the highest level since September 2001, the report showed, with BofA describing the results as “extremely bearish.”

4. The Percentage of Small Cap Firms that Lose Money is at All Time High

5. Natural Gas Prices Have Doubled this Year….Now Facing Hot Summer.

Natural gas prices have already doubled this year. A hot summer could push them even higherthumbnail



  • U.S. natural gas prices have jumped 137% this year, and they could soar another 25% or more this summer if hotter weather persists.
  • The southern U.S. is hotter than normal, and a heat wave is contributing to higher demand and prices.
  • U.S. supplies in storage are below normal, and the hot weather comes at a time when the industry typically adds gas to storage for the winter months.
  • “The consumer is kind of at the mercy of mother nature at this point for the summer,” said one analyst.

Natural Gas ETF….50day about to go thru 200day to upside.

6. M2 Money Supply Round Trip

Schwab Liz Ann Sonders-More than half of S&P 500 stocks are now in a bear market. The primary culprit is the drain of liquidity, both in terms of the “fiscal cliff” and monetary tightening underway. There are only two other periods in the past 40 years when financial conditions tightened more than they have in the past four months: the Global Financial Crisis and the COVID-19 bear market eras. As shown below, there has been an epic round-trip in M2 money supply growth—helping explain both the market’s surge coming off the pandemic low in March 2020, and the bear market(s) that recently got underway.

Money supply’s round-trip

Source: Charles Schwab, Bloomberg, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, as of 3/31/2022.

M2 is a measure of the U.S. money stock that includes M1 (currency and coins held by the non-bank public, checkable deposits, and travelers’ checks) plus savings deposits (including money market deposit accounts), small time deposits under $100,000, and shares in retail money market mutual funds.

7. Construction Employment Slows Prior to Recessions…An Indicator to Watch

Macro Alf

8. The Gap Between House Payments and Apartment Rents is Expanding

Entry costs for home purchase have spiked. With the typical U.S. home price now pushing toward $400,000 and the average mortgage interest rate rising above 5 percent, a household buying in 2022 has a standard monthly payment that tops $2,300, once taxes and insurance costs are added to the calculation.

That typical monthly mortgage expense is more than $600 above the nation’s average apartment rent of $1,671, according to Institutional Property Advisors (IPA) calculations. The country’s monthly payment premium to buy versus rent housing is at the highest level recorded since the 2006-2007 time period.

Greg Willett

9. Traffic Deaths Back Up Post Covid


Nearly 43,000 people died on US roads last year, agency saysBy TOM KRISHER and HOPE YEN

10. The Best Leaders Have a Contagious Positive Energy

by Emma Seppälä and Kim Cameron

Researchers and leaders have looked for the secret to successful leadership for centuries. Dozens of new books each year promise to deliver the answer. We decided to examine this question empirically, and when we did, we found that the greatest predictor of success for leaders is not their charisma, influence, or power. It is not personality, attractiveness, or innovative genius. The one thing that supersedes all these factors is positive relational energy: the energy exchanged between people that helps uplift, enthuse, and renew them.

Here’s what leaders need to know about positive relational energy, which we’ve found to be the most underutilized yet powerful predictor of leadership and organizational success.

The Importance of Positive Relational Energy

In our work, including interviews with thousands of leaders and employees, an upcoming book, and two decades of research on positive leadership, we’ve looked at people in terms of their networks of relationships: communities, organizations, and families. We’ve observed that certain relationships within those networks are extraordinarily life-enhancing and uplifting. The result is extraordinary performance. In particular, there’s usually one person at the center of these networks who’s responsible for most of the forward motion — not to mention well-being — of all the rest. We call them positive energizers.

Energizers’ greatest secret is that, by uplifting others through authentic, values-based leadership, they end up lifting up both themselves and their organizations. Positive energizers demonstrate and cultivate virtuous actions, including forgiveness, compassion, humility, kindness, trust, integrity, honesty, generosity, gratitude, and recognition in the organization. As a result, everyone flourishes.

The pandemic has taken a significant toll on the well-being and energy of so many. Positively energizing leaders are more crucial than ever. Positive energy, however, is not the superficial demonstration of false positivity, like trying to think happy thoughts or turning a blind eye to the very real stresses and pressures overloaded employees are experiencing. Rather, it is the active demonstration of values.

You’ve met people like this. They’re like the sun. These people walk into a room and make it glow. Everyone becomes energized, enthused, inspired, and connected. These incandescent people are positive energizers. Other members of these networks are depleting: the ones who leave the others feeling de-energized, demoralized, diminished, and uninspired. You know the ones — they sap your energy every time. We’ve given them the name de-energizers.

In our analysis of these energizing and de-energizing individuals in the work environment, we were especially interested in studying the energizing effects of leaders, because leaders are the single most important factor in accounting for an organization’s performance. These studies gave us tremendous insight into the secrets of every successful leader.

Numerous studies run by our group and our colleagues show that positive energizers produce substantially higher levels of engagement, lower turnover, and enhanced feelings of well-being among employees. This is partly because at the cellular level of brain activity, cortical thickness is enhanced through exposure to relational energy, hormones such as oxytocin and dopamine are increased, and at the cellular level in the body, inflammation is reduced and immunity to disease is enhanced. In organizations, superior shareholder returns occur, and in some of our studies, outcomes exceeded industry averages in profitability and productivity by a factor of four or more.

Here’s what differentiates positive relational energy. Physical energy diminishes with use. Running a marathon exhausts us. We need recuperation time. The same is true with the use of mental and emotional energy. We become fatigued and need to recover. The only kind of energy that doesn’t diminish but actually elevates with use is positive relational energy. We rarely get exhausted, for example, by being around people with whom we have loving, trusting, supportive relationships. Positive relational energy is self-enhancing. The ability of leaders to engender relational energy is in fact so powerful that it gives energizers an extraordinary advantage. They can turn around failing companies, resolve seemingly doomed situations, and revitalize disengaged and burned-out employees.

Assessing Relational Energy

Here’s how we identified energizers: We asked members of hundreds of organizations — from mom-and-pop startups to multinational corporations — this question: “When I interact with this person [person X] in my organization, what happens to my energy?” In other words, each person was asked to rate themselves on a scale from very positively energized to very de-energized when they interacted with another person in their enterprise. Each member of a senior team, for example, rated their interaction with every other member of the senior team.

We were astonished by the results of this research. When leaders display positive relational energy, it catapults performance to a new level. More specifically, positive energizers:

  • Are themselves far higher performers than others
  • Positively impact others’ performance, so that other people tend to flourish in their presence
  • Exist in greater numbers at high-performing organizations than at average-performing organizations

When the leader is a positive energizer, the organization has greater:

  • Innovation (the number-one attribute that CEOs look for across industries and countries)
  • Teamwork
  • Financial performance, including productivity and quality
  • Workplace cohesion

And when a leader is a positive energizer, employees have greater:

  • Job satisfaction
  • Well-being
  • Engagement
  • Performance
  • Relationships with family

What Makes Positively Energizing Leaders So Successful?

There is a botanical term for these results: the heliotropic effect. That’s the phenomenon whereby plants naturally turn toward and grow in the presence of light. In nature, light is the life-giving force; photosynthesis occurs only in its presence. Human beings have the same inherent attraction toward life-giving and life-supporting energy. This form of energy is what you receive — and give — in relationships with others.Decades of research shows that this positive relational energy nourishes us and makes us come alive. For example, research by UC Irvine professor Sarah Pressman shows that the need for positive social connection is so great that the lack of it is worse for your health than smoking, obesity, or high blood pressure and reduces longevity. In contrast, positive social connection can not only lengthen our life, but also strengthen our immune system and lower rates of anxiety and depression.

In organizations, these effects are magnified through the leader. That is, leaders’ relational energy has an outsize effect on employees, more so than almost any other relationship at work.

Consider, for example, Ashley Bernardi, founder and CEO of media relations firm Nardi Media. She saw her business revenue double in the span of two years, from six to seven figures — despite the economic upheaval of the pandemic. Bernardi had made one change in who she was when she was leading, and it’s something anyone can learn.

A health crisis in 2016 led her to change direction on how she was leading her company and team. After experiencing a debilitating form of Lyme disease coupled with postpartum depression that left her bedridden after the birth of her third child, Bernardi had a moment of truth. Her illness led to greater compassion and understanding for others. She realized that everyone shows up to work with the challenges they’re facing in their personal lives. As she healed physically and became a more compassionate leader, her business began to blossom. She dedicated time to creating her company core values — which include family and kindness — and made sure to set that example for her growing team and clientele. And for the first time in her life, Bernardi began to take excellent care of her physical well-being and emotional health: She regularly practiced meditation, breathwork, and yoga; took up running; prioritized good sleep; and, yes, even took work breaks and naps. She signed up for Yale’s Coursera course on the science of well-being.

As you can now guess, Bernardi is a positively energizing leader. As she tells the story: “When I learned to put myself first, I saw transformation happen in my life in the most powerful ways: I attracted like-minded team members who lifted each other up and aligned with my core values, one of them being kindness. Our business flourished.”

How Do Positive Energizers Do It?

There’s more to this than the need for employees to feel valued, respected, and engaged; we already know those things are important. When they get recognition, support, and encouragement, absenteeism is low, productivity and profitability are high, and quality and safety improve. But positive energizers catalyze all this and more.

Positive relational energy then becomes reciprocal. An energizing approach to others acts as a continual energy-boosting mechanism, which, in turn, produces an abundance of energy in the whole network. Energizers reproduce themselves, building networks of positive energizers around them, and that heliotropic effect expands to attract still more. To paraphrase the proven leader Dolly Parton: If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a positive, energizing leader. Many studies on positive leadership demonstrate that leaders focused on contributing to others are substantially more effective than leaders focused on personal achievement and success. Their organizations and their employees excel.

Can organizations flourish with leaders who deplete rather than generate energy? Of course — in the short term. But the empirical evidence is clear that positive energy is far more effective long term. Over time, employees become averse to de-energizing and life-depleting leaders, and that’s not a chance leaders can take during the Great Resignation (nor, we would argue, in economic boom times, either). That heliotropic energy will renew itself many times over, and inspire focus, trust, and sincere investment in your goals. Your employees will turn toward the sun.

Topley’s Top 10 – May 17, 2022

1. IPO Drawdown (Sell Off) Equal to Dotcom Bubble.

Bespoke Investment Group

2. Russell 1000 Growth -24% Year to Date

IWF-Russell 1000 Growth ETF still above 200 week moving average

3. Hedge Funds See Largest Gross Risk Reduction in Last 6 Years.

Dave Lutz at Jones Trading–GS Notes May 5th to 11th saw the Largest 5-day gross reduction by hedge funds in the last 6 years

4. University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Approaching 2008 Levels.

United States: University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index dropped to the lowest level since 2011.

Source: Daily Shot

5. Muni Performance Year to Date

History of Muni Drawdowns…Recent  History Since 2008 the Drawdowns were for Credit Issues….Now Higher Interest Rates.

6. Record Inflation ….Gold Sideways for Over a Year

7. $76 Billion in Inflows Last Week to ETFs…No Mass Exodus

Top 10 Creations (All ETFs)

Ticker Name Net Flows ($,mm) AUM ($, mm) AUM % Change
BSV Vanguard Short-Term Bond ETF




SHV iShares Short Treasury Bond ETF




IWM iShares Russell 2000 ETF




SPYD SPDR Portfolio S&P 500 High Dividend ETF




VOO Vanguard S&P 500 ETF




BIL SPDR Bloomberg 1-3 Month T-Bill ETF




MUB iShares National Muni Bond ETF




SPY SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust




TLT iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF




GOVT iShares U.S. Treasury Bond ETF





Top 10 Redemptions (All ETFs)

Ticker Name Net Flows ($,mm) AUM ($, mm) AUM % Change
GLD SPDR Gold Trust




VHT Vanguard Health Care ETF




XLF Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund




VLUE iShares MSCI USA Value Factor ETF




QQQ Invesco QQQ Trust




GSLC Goldman Sachs ActiveBeta U.S. Large Cap Equity ETF




VBR Vanguard Small-Cap Value ETF




SRLN SPDR Blackstone Senior Loan ETF




VGT Vanguard Information Technology ETF




VB Vanguard Small-Cap ETF




8. Saudi Aramaco 80% Increase in Net Profit.

Oil giant Aramco reports record first quarter as oil prices soarthumbnail



  • Oil giant Aramco reported a more-than 80% jump in net profit Sunday, topping analyst expectations and setting a new quarterly earnings record since its IPO.
  • The Saudi Arabian behemoth said net income rose 82% to $39.5 billion in the first three months of the year, up from $21.7 billion over the same period last year.
  • The Aramco results reflect an ongoing momentum in the oil and gas industry, which has benefited from a more-than 45% increase in prices since the start of the year.

9. Tesla is the Ultimate Believers vs. Non-Believers Stock….Wide Price Range by Analysts $250 to $1620

10. Take It Easy: Too Much Exercise Frazzles the Vagus Nerve

Excessive exercise lowers heart rate variability and negatively affects mood.  Christopher Bergland


  • Heart rate variability (HRV) is an index of healthy vagal tone. HRV reflects how the autonomic nervous system is responding to stress.
  • Vagus nerve stimulation increases HRV and calms the nervous system by activating parasympathetic responses that counteract stress.
  • Overstressing the body with too much exercise disrupts vagus nerve activity, as indexed by low HRV and negative mood states the next day.

Improving physical fitness requires putting stress on your system during vigorous workouts. But the quest for peak performance often backfires—the psychophysiological distress caused by excessive exercise isn’t good for you. Finding a “Goldilocks zone” where your daily workouts put enough stress on your body to improve fitness without overdoing it can be tricky.

For example, when I was trying to get in shape for extreme events like the Triple Ironman (7.2-mile swim, 336-mile bike, 78.6-mile run), the risk of injury and burnout was extremely high. Monitoring fluctuations in my heart rate variability (HRV) was a way to make sure I wasn’t overtraining.

The vagus nerve‘s ability to counteract the sympathetic nervous system‘s fight-or-flight stress response is reflected by higher HRV.

In addition to keeping tabs on how my nervous system responded to the previous day’s stress load by using HRV, I also kept tabs on day-to-day mood changes. Through trial and error, it became clear that if I was really cranky and in a foul mood the morning after an intense training session, it meant I was on the verge of getting burned out from overtraining and needed to take it easy for a day or two.

As a retired extreme-distance athlete, I know from lived experience that doing too much exercise can be harmful to your psychological and physical well-being. Overtraining is every endurance athlete’s Achilles heel. It’s so easy for one’s passion for sports and competition to become exercise fanaticism, which often leads to injuries or overwhelming psychological distress.

Overtraining, Low HRV, and Negative Moods Go Hand in Hand

New research (Alfonso and Capdevila, 2022) from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) in Spain gives us fresh insights into the link between HRV, overtraining, and mood states. Their peer-reviewed findings were published on March 30 in the PeerJ journal.

Carla Alfonso and Lluis Capdevila of UAB’s Laboratory of Sport Psychology found that if a bike workout was very intense and put too much stress on a cyclist’s body, HRV plummeted the following morning. Alfonso and Capdevila also discovered that HRV levels correlated with cyclists’ moods. Low HRV was correlated with negative mood states; higher HRV was associated with better mood states.

“The objective of the research was to explore the relation among three aspects: training, heart rate variability, and mood,” Alfonso said in a news release. “With this study, we aimed to know when an athlete must rest, because their system is saturated, and when an athlete can train, with more or less intensity, because their body is ready to assimilate the training load.”

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The main takeaway from this pilot study is that HRV and mood states seem to rise and fall in tandem. For example, if a “weekend warrior” overdoes it on Sunday, odds are that they’ll be cranky or in a bad mood Monday morning. Negative mood states the day after putting too much stress on your body by overtraining correlate with lower HRV.

Heart Rate Variability Reflects the Vagus Nerve’s Response to Stress

The vagus nerve secretes an inhibitory substance directly onto the heart, slowing it down. Heart rate variability measures how effectively vagus nerve activity is creating healthy fluctuations between heartbeats. Higher HRV indicates that the body has a robust ability to tolerate and recover from stress. Conversely, lower HRV means that the vagus nerve is “frazzled” and isn’t effectively inhibiting the sympathetic nervous system’s fight-or-flight response, which revs up heartbeats and reflects a lower stress tolerance.

Otto Loewi won a Nobel Prize in 1936 for his discovery that stimulating the vagus nerve releases an inhibitory substance that slows heartbeats and calms the nervous system.

In the 1970s, my neurosurgeon father taught me about Loewi’s vagus nerve research in the context of maintaining grace under pressure. My dad knew that “vagusstoff” was released during the exhalation phase of the breathing cycle. So, he used breathing exercises to stay calm during brain surgery and on the tennis court. (See “How ‘Vagusstoff’ (Vagus Nerve Substance) Calms Us Down.“)

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When I was a young tennis player, Dad coached me to take a quick inhalation through my nose followed by a long, slow exhalation through pursed lips to calm my nerves before every serve. A recent study found that one five-minute session of deep, slow-breathing exercise (four seconds in, six seconds out) increases vagal tone and reduces anxiety. Personally, I prefer an inhale-exhale ratio of four-second inhalations followed by eight-second exhalations.

On the basis of evidence-based research and lived experience, I know that longer exhalations are an easy way to hack your vagus nerve by triggering the release of vagusstoff. But, I also understand that the calming effect of these breathing exercises tends to be short-lived.

When the sympathetic nervous system is overstimulated by too much exercise, diaphragmatic breathing is just a bandage that gives you temporary relief. Rest is the best remedy for giving your vagus nerve and parasympathetic system a chance to bounce back.

To Sum Up: Excessive Exercise Reduces Vagus Nerve Tone as Indexed by Low HRV

HRV is an indispensable tool for keeping tabs on how your vagus nerve responds to exercise-induced stress and ensuring that you don’t overtrain. Low HRV indicates that the fight-or-flight mechanisms of your sympathetic nervous system are in hyperdrive and that vagal tone is weak. Conversely, higher HRV shows that vagus nerve activity is robust and that your parasympathetic nervous system is handling stress well.

The latest research (2022) on HRV and overtraining reaffirms that low HRV is a warning sign that your vagus nerve may be “frazzled” from too much psychophysiological distress. If you don’t have access to an HRV monitor, experiencing negative moods the day after exercising vigorously may be a sign that you should take it easy for the next 24 hours and give your system time to recuperate.

Topley’s Top 10 – May 13, 2022

1. Each of the prior 14 rate rising cycles something broke

Barry Ritholtz Blog

2. Nasdaq -16% One Month

10 Year Treasury Yields Fall Last 5 Days ….3.10 to 2.84

3. Global Growth Stocks Underperformance Hits 2008 Levels.

4. Valuations Getting Close to 25 Year Median Levels Based on Forward P/E

From Zerohedge

5. Recent Favorite….Uranium ETF Corrects -34%

6. Softbank -66% from Highs….50day thru 200day to downside long-term weekly chart

7. China Dominates Some Key Minerals

The Daily Shot Blog

8. Inflation Tops Americans List of Biggest Problems.

9. Inventory Crunch Making Things Impossible for Homebuyers.

Marketwatch–By Katie Marriner  Jacob Passy

The U.S. is experiencing an unprecedented housing inventory crunch, but no city in the nation has seen the available homes for sale drop more than El Paso. In March of this year, there were just 1,154 homes listed for sale in El Paso County, down 78% from March 2017—the steepest decline of any highly populated U.S. county over that period, according to a MarketWatch analysis. In El Paso, the median home had been on the market for just 38 days as of March, down from about 3.5 months five years earlier. Investor purchases in March more than doubled from five years earlier, while all-cash deals were up 130%, according to data from Attom Data Solutions.

10. Deepak Chopra: A Life of Fullfillment  By Mike Zimmerman | August 17, 2021 | 


On his 14th birthday, Deepak Chopra’s father made a small, yet purposeful gesture: He gave his son some novels by Sinclair Lewis and W. Somerset Maugham as a birthday gift.

Chopra’s father was a doctor in their native India, and he wanted his son to become a doctor, too. Chopra dreamed of becoming a writer. He ignored biology and chemistry in school. “The people I most admired were journalists and other writers who were friends of the family,” he told SUCCESS. “I had no interest in being a physician. But my father knew two things: that I had a fertile imagination and that those books were all about doctors and healers. At 14, you’re very pliable, so after reading them, I went to my father and said I wanted to be a physician.”

Imagine the knowing smile on dad’s face. Chopra went on to America to become a respected endocrinologist, a medical school professor and eventually, one of the foremost proponents of mind-body medicine, or the combination of Western medical knowledge with ancient Eastern philosophies. He is also the author of more than 50 books, including Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul. And today, when you consider that our culture’s standard definition of success is money, fame and influence, Deepak Chopra indeed has collected them all.

But that last sentence cheapens his accomplishments. He didn’t just become successful. He fulfilled his own definition of success. That’s a far richer accomplishment. The fact that he fulfilled the fame/fortune/ power success trifecta along the way (what he calls the “restricted” definition of success) is almost a byproduct. “I define success as the following,” Chopra says. “No. 1, the progressive realization of worthy goals. No. 2, the ability to love and have compassion. No. 3, to be in touch with the creative source inside you. And No. 4, to ultimately move from success to significance.”

That last part is crucial. It’s what creates people like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett—people whose material success becomes great enough that they can concentrate on more humanistic and satisfying endeavors, or “significance,” as Chopra says. Through that work, they become greater than their success, and ultimately, when they’re alone, out of the spotlight, that’s what drives them. “Material success by itself without significance to the common good ultimately is not fulfilling,” says Chopra, and he speaks from experience.

In short, folks like Gates, Buffett and Deepak Chopra are not the type who think about making enough money to “retire by 40,” or some other target age. They don’t think about retiring at any age. They’re at war with dissatisfaction, which keeps them fine-tuning their A-game and their long-term goals. Money is simply the byproduct of that process.

Now, Chopra warns, that’s not to say that material success isn’t exciting. “Oh, in the beginning it’s very exciting,” he says with a chuckle. “Though, over many years of soul-searching and observing people, I have discovered to my own amazement, actually, that being extremely wealthy is meaningless.”

He cites a close friend of his, a multimillionaire, as proof. “This man’s level of happiness or misery depends every evening on an e-mail that informs him what his net worth is, based on what the stock market did that day. What kind of life is that? He’s a classic example of millions of dollars not making a person happy.”

“Material success by itself without significance to the common good ultimately is not fulfilling.”

So the secret is to forget all about money? Not at all. “Financial security is very important,” says Chopra, for the freedom it allows. However, the secret to real success goes deeper. Don’t pursue happiness, he says. Especially don’t pursue excitement, like the kind provided by making and spending big numbers. Pursue excellence. Pursue fulfillment. And Chopra has done that by fulfilling not society’s definition of success, but his own. It’s real. It’s meaningful. And the best part: It’s all his.

“True wealth comes from creativity,” he says. “Somehow, in modern society, wealth and money have become equated. Money is not wealth. Wealth in its true sense is success,” as Chopra defines it for himself.

How does creativity impact success? Creativity is all about its root word: Create something of value that wasn’t there before. Creativity is also freedom of thought directed toward your goals. Very few people embrace this, Chopra says. Oh, they talk a terrific game about life goals and potential business models and cool new ideas to increase income streams. But true creativity requires an open mind and curiosity, two phenomena that have become rare these days.

Why? Today, people don’t have open minds. Many of us are closed off to even the slightest deviation in mindset, even though most people would probably consider themselves “creative” and “curious.” They’re liars, says Chopra, and two factors—the financial crisis and Sept. 11—prove it.

“Curiosity and open-mindedness mean being aware of what’s going on in your world,” he says. “What has happened in the past couple decades with economic disasters is the result of not having full awareness of what’s really happening around us. We were forced to do that after 9/11. Now we know more about the rest of the world, and we also see the context in which violence arises, in which power arises, in which ecological disasters occur.”

You might ask, What does that have to do with fulfilling my potential? Well, being locked up in your own mindset means being locked out of the world around you. “Creativity, imagination, insight, intuition, conscious choice-making, love, compassion, understanding— these are the qualities of a core consciousness that we come with into the world as children,” Chopra says. “But then we get programmed into the hypnosis of social conditioning, which says instant gratification is the way to be happy. That’s sold to us every single day.”

Chopra suggests several ways to break open more creativity and curiosity:

Adopt a growth mindset.

Chopra says research over the past five years has shown that when adversity strikes, happier people tend to see creative opportunities, while unhappier people see, well, adversity. “It’s programmed through childhood through a phenomenon called mirror neurons,” he says. “If you saw people complaining all the time when you were a kid, that’s what you do. Your neurons mirror the behavior.” To change your mindset, step back and ask yourself, How can I turn this into an opportunity?

Engage the “unfriendlies.”

This is not the same as “sleeping with the enemy.” It simply means make an effort to connect with those you have the least in common with, or even flat-out disagree with, and dissect their point of view until you understand its inherent value (it’s there, alright). This, Chopra says, is the hallmark of the creative, curious, open mind. “There has been a lot of literature on emotional intelligence, social intelligence, and how they’re all linked. We have a person who is now president who, on some level, knew all this. He bonded with America in a way that was amazing, despite the fact that his middle name is Hussein, and he transcends in many ways the definition of identity: Is he black? Is he white? And yet, he beat all the odds and became president.”


Such a simple concept, but a hallmark of learning that’s, again, ignored by many (even with pride by some). But reading is what allowed Chopra to fulfill two life dreams. The boy who wanted to be a writer instead became a doctor… who has written more than 50 books. Indeed, you can fulfill multiple destinies. Chopra could not have done that without reading and more reading. “Books have always influenced my life. I get a strange sense of joy boarding a plane knowing I’m carrying 100 books [on my Kindle].”

This article was published in November 2009 and has been updated. Photo by Getty.

Mike Zimmerman