Topley’s Top 10 – November 16, 2021

1.Bond Market Not Worried About Inflation

Irrelevant Investor– Inflation is terrible for bonds because rising prices hurt fixed payments. In theory, if the bond market were worried about inflation, rates would increase. That isn’t happening.

How Much Does Inflation Cost?Posted November 15, 2021 by Michael Batnick

2.Hedge Funds Selling Tech and Buying Financials.

The Daily Shot Blog Equities: Hedge funds have moved into financials and further out of tech/communication stocks amid a flatter yield curve.

3.Current Forward Price to Sales Ratio and Forward Returns.

Current price to sales ratio and Forward Returns

4.2021 Private Equity Transactions will Break 2006-2007 Previous Record.

Private Equity in a Changing Environment
By Prakash Melwani, Senior Managing Director and Global Chief Investment Officer of Blackstone Private Equity
PE performance in a post-lockdown world Private equity activity has reached record levels this year: by year-end 2021, PE firms will have announced approximately $1.1 trillion of transactions globally, which exceeds the previous full-year record of approximately $800 billion set in 2006 and 2007.1 Several factors explain this elevated activity: optimism about post-COVID earnings growth, abundant and attractive financing, and owners selling their companies ahead of anticipated tax increases.

As Figure 2 shows, the PE industry has increasingly focused on growth sectors, including tech, fintech, life sciences, and healthcare IT. Growth investments increased to over 40% of all PE transactions in 2020 as companies in these sectors experienced faster growth after COVID accelerated changes in spending patterns that were already underway. In 2021, the absolute value of growth investments has continued to grow, but dealmaking in COVID-affected sectors has also increased as investors anticipate a return to normalcy.

Figure 2: Sponsor Acquisition Aggregate TEV
(US$ in billion)

Source: Citi GAM, as of September 15, 2021. Includes North American deals over $500 million. Excludes energy and power. Growth sectors consist of tech, fintech, life sciences, and healthcare

5.Softbank -45% Correction but Holds 200 Day Moving Average.

Softbank holds 200day moving average and bounces

6.Precious Metals Up and Energy Down…Commodities this Month

Precious metals, traditionally considered inflation hedges, have taken off (silver & gold among top performers in S&P GSCI MTD); conversely, natural gas continued its October decline, -12% so far in November (production is forecast to soon climb to 6y high) ⁦


7.90% of Americans Have Heard of Crypto and 16% Have Invested.

BY TYLER DURDENOver the last few years, cryptocurrencies have moved from extreme niche to more widespread adoption, shrugging off skeptics and ‘bankers’ along the way, as the vast majority of U.S. adults have heard at least a little about cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ether, and 16% say they personally have invested in, traded or otherwise used one, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

Coinbase Co-Founder Raises Largest VC Crypto Fund Ever To Bet On Ethereum, Token Economy

8.Rents are 41% of CPI…Surge to 15 Year Highs

LPL Research

9.The pickleball explosion


Kendall Baker, author of Sports

Pickleball — a combination of tennis, badminton and ping-pong — surged in popularity over the past two years. But the sport’s rapid rise is much more than a pandemic-fueled fad.

State of play: Pickleball participation grew by 21.3% between 2019 and 2020, prompting the Economist to declare it “the fastest growing sport in America.” 4.2 million Americans now play at least once a year.

  • Demand for courts is exploding, with cities building new facilities and private clubs replacing tennis courts.
  • Professionalization has expanded, with newly-launched Major League Pickleball joining the APP and PPA tours. Country clubs are also hiring their own pros to teach members.
  • Commercialization is happening fast, with equipment/apparel brands like Recess and publications like In Pickleball banking on the sport’s continued rise.
  • A youth movement is underway, as more schools add pickleball to physical education classes. Most “core” players (play 8+ times per year) are still 65+, but most “casual” players are now in the 8–34 age range.

What they’re saying: “Pickleball is the only sport where my whole family — from my kids to my parents — can play together and have an absolute blast,” says Dave Fleming, 54, a senior pickleball pro.

  • “At the same time, people are starting to recognize that it can be played at a crazy high level, in huge venues, in front of tons of fans.”
  • “Celebrities are playing. Athletes from other sports are playing. It was just on the ‘Today’ show. It’s an incredibly exciting time.”

Courtesy: USA Pickleball

How to play: Pickleball was invented in 1965 on Bainbridge Island (near Seattle) by three dads, including future Rep. Joel Pritchard.

  • Games are generally played to 11 (win by two) on a surface roughly a third the size of a tennis court (20 feet x 44 feet) with whiffle balls and paddles. You can play doubles or singles.
  • Points are only scored by the service team. Volleying is allowed as long as it’s not on the service return or the return of that return — and as long as it’s not in “the kitchen,” a seven-foot-deep area on each side of the net.

Between the lines: While tennis remains a country club tradition, pickleball’s low-profile and relative ease makes it more accessible — a sport that almost anyone can pickup fairly quickly.

  • “If you’ve ever swung any sort of a racquet before, you can become competent in an hour,” Stu Upson, CEO of USA Pickleball, tells Axios.
  • That’s part of why it gained traction during lockdown, when families — desperate for outdoor activities — put up courts on their driveways and streets.

Of note: Pickleball hasn’t fully shaken the elitist image often associated with racquet sports. It’s become popular in the Hamptons and is, naturally, all the rage in Hollywood.

“Leonardo DiCaprio plays every day … George Clooney says his wife, Amal, routinely torches him on their home court in L.A. … ‘Survivor’ winner Tyson Apostol has parlayed his reality-TV fame into a career as a pickleball influencer … This year’s Sun Valley Conference, also known as the ‘summer camp for billionaires,’ featured pickleball.”

Craig Coyne, Vanity Fair

What’s next: The world’s best pickleball player, Ben Johns, makes roughly $250,000 a year, but most pros can’t sustain a living (next month’s USA National Championships has a total purse of $90,000).

  • That could change if participation growth keeps up. After all, more players means more fans means more media means more sponsors means more prize money.
  • Bold prediction: “In a few years, I think you’ll see tennis players on the cusp of the pro tour opting to pursue pickleball as a viable career,” says Fleming.

🎥 Watch: How to play pickleball

Correction: This story was updated to include a more accurate definition of “the kitchen.”

10.What Is Luck?

Do life events happen to you or do you make them happen?
Barbara Blatchley Ph.D.


  • People who believe in luck tend to see life events as something they don’t directly control.
  • Believing in luck can be a way to defend against the chaos of life.

2021 is shaping up to be another transformational year as we slowly emerge from the pandemic and try to get our lives back something resembling normal. Stories about people who were infected by the virus and survived are appearing in newspapers, magazines, and online. A recent article in Vox documents how some survivors of the pandemic have described feeling out of control and helpless in the face of the disease.[1]

And, sadly, many have also described feeling guilty for having survived when others didn’t. Survivors, as well as people who never got sick at all, often attribute their survival to luck. This made me wonder: Do people typically feel lucky they survived COVID-19 or unlucky to have been exposed to it? Deciding if one is lucky to have escaped or unlucky to have been affected in the first place can be a difficult thing to do. So what exactly is luck?

Defining luck

People who believe in luck describe themselves as either lucky or unlucky as if luck were a stable and enduring personality characteristic. However, researchers who study luck usually see it very differently.

Luck in psychology is usually thought of as an attribution. An attribution is a decision we make about the cause of an event or the reason for something happening in the world. Because we’re social animals, the “event” we’re focused on is very often other people. We are deeply invested in figuring out why people do what they do.

When we go looking for factors that cause an event, we tend to attribute causality to our own skill, our effort, the difficulty of the task or to luck. Skill and effort are internal, relatively stable, personal factors that can be controlled by the person doing the attributing. The difficulty of the task and luck are external to us, unstable and less controllable.

Attributions of luck

Imagine you’re a student, taking a course in something brand new to you—let’s say a course in statistics. You get the results of the first exam back and you see a large red “F” on the page. How do you explain the cause of this event? Researchers say that your attribution will focus on three basic features of the situation: the locus and stability of the cause, and the degree of control we have over that cause. The locus of a cause refers to whether we see the source of the cause as an aspect of our own personality and behavior (an internal locus) or as coming from the situation we are in (an external locus.) So, if you say to yourself, “I flunked the test because I blew it off and went out partying instead of studying,” that’s an internal attribution—an explanation based on an assessment of your own behavior.

If you then say, “I’ve always been a good student, I just have to apply myself next time,” then you see your internal attribution as a stable one. And, if you go on to say, “I can join the study group that was just organized on my dorm floor or go see the tutor for the class before the next exam,” then you’re saying that the cause of your poor grade on the first exam is internal, stable and that you have some control over it. This student is not likely to attribute his or her grade to luck.

Now imagine that your response to the poor grade on the exam is to say “Wow, the teacher really hates me! She graded my exam way too harshly. She was probably ticked off about something when she graded my exam—maybe next time she’ll be in a better mood.” Then your attribution is external (based on the situation, not on your own abilities), unstable and outside of your control. This student is much more likely to say that he or she flunked because of bad luck.

The attribution explanation of luck works in some situations, but it doesn’t work in all of them, and, worst of all, it doesn’t really match up with the way that most people talk about luck in daily life.

Two researchers in the Netherlands asked gamblers, a group of people who should be familiar with luck and being lucky, what they thought about luck.[2] To their surprise, not one gambler mentioned cause and effect relationships, or luck being something that was external or out of their control. On the contrary, the gamblers said that some people were just luckier than others (implying that luck is an internal characteristic of some people) and that luck was also something that existed out there in the universe somewhere, external and separate from humanity. The trick was to recognize when luck was available, and when it could be used, when you might get it to linger beside you by rubbing your lucky rabbits’ foot or using your lucky dice, and when luck was running out.

Luck has a multitude of definitions, varying not just across individuals but also across situations. Sometimes we see ourselves at the mercy of chance. Other times, we see luck almost as our birthright. We often believe in luck and in our own personal luckiness as a defense against the whims of fortune. Ascribing survival during the pandemic to luck is an example of this defense against randomness in the universe.