Topley’s Top Ten – April 19, 2019

1. No Shortage of Debt Issuance….Record Start to 2019.

Bond sales are booming in 2019, running at a record pace globally for the year so far, as a pivot in monetary policy among the world’s central banks prompts a fresh binge in corporate borrowing – Global corporate bond issuance has reached almost $747bn for the year to Monday, according to FT, edging ahead of the previous record of $734bn issued over the same time period in 2017, which ended up being the biggest year on record for new debt sales.

From Dave Lutz at Jones

2.Healthcare Relative Strength vs. S&P Hits 6 Year Low After This Week’s Sell Off.

On a relative-strength chart, which compares the XLV’s performance relative to the S&P 500, the XLV hit a six-year low Thursday.

Why the health-care stock selloff may actually be a good thing—Tomi Kilgore

3.Stock Traders Active in China….Turnover Ratio China 197% vs. 116% in U.S.

By contrast, stock traders in China are far more energetic. With a turnover ratio of 197 percent, versus 116 percent in the U.S., China’s equity markets are among the world’s most liquid. Higher churn means more trading revenue.

Unlike in the West, too, investors in China still have faith in active managers. In March, it took just 10 hours for a star stock picker to attract more than $10 billion in orders for his firm’s debut mutual fund. This month, First Seafront Fund raised 6.5 billion yuan for a new mutual fund run by its top manager, Qiu Jie. So far this year, 15 star managers have raised a minimum of 1 billion yuan each, according to China Fund.

The Last Place for Traders to Earn Real Money

It’s not the U.S. but China, where an inefficient market means that star managers with smarts and the right connections can make a killing.
Shuli Ren

4.Cheaper to Buy Than Rent.

5.Marriott is building the tallest modular hotel in the world in NYC — and it’s expected to only take 90 days to assemble

Katie Warren

The world’s tallest modular hotel is coming to New York City.

The 360-foot-tall AC Hotel New York NoMad will include 168 guest rooms that will be built in a factory in Poland before being shipped to the city.

Once they arrive, the tower will be erected in just 90 days, according to Marriott.

The construction process in North America is “ripe for innovation,” Marriott’s chief development officer in North America, Eric Jacobs, said in a press release. “The world’s tallest modular hotel in one of the world’s greatest destinations will act as a game-changing symbol to ignite even greater interest in modular among the real estate and lending industries,” he said.

The 168 prefabricated guest rooms will arrive in New York City fully constructed. Each “module” will house a fully outfitted hotel room complete with beds, sheets, pillow, flooring, and toiletries.

Each module will arrive fully outfitted with beds, sheets, pillow, flooring, and toiletries. Danny Forster & Architecture

The hotel will be topped off with a modular roof and a modular rooftop bar, but the restaurant and lobby will be built using traditional construction methods.

According to Bloomberg, one benefit of a modular hotel for guests is quieter rooms.

“In traditional construction, a hotel room usually shares a wall with its neighbor, but modular designs typically call for an insulated gap between rooms,” Patrick Clark wrote.

The AC Hotel New York NoMad is expected to open in late 2020.

6. Half Of England Is Owned By 1% Of The Population

Guy Shrubsole, author of the book in which the figures are revealed, Who Owns England?, argues that the findings show a picture that has not changed for centuries. “Most people remain unaware of quite how much land is owned by so few,” he writes, adding: “A few thousand dukes, baronets and country squires own far more land than all of middle England put together.”

Tyler Durden zerohedge

7.Howard Marks: 3 Tenets for Investment Success

Look for value in inefficient markets

April 18, 2019

It’s rare to find an investment manager who has both an impressive track record and is also willing to share their philosophy with other investors. Howard Marks (TradesPortfolio) is one such guru. While he is best known for his memos that combine astute observations on the market with pithy aphorisms and relatable anecdotes, he has also given many interviews on the subject of investing. In a recent interview, as shared by Investors Archive, he discussed his guiding tenets for success.

Control your risk

“The most important thing for the money manager is not making a lot of money, it’s not beating the market, it’s not being in the top quartile – the most important thing is controlling risk. We are in risk-prone sectors of the market. We don’t do high-grade stocks, high-grade bonds, we do alternatives. I’ve always thought that the best formula is to be the low-risk manager in high-risk asset classes.”

This is a common line of thinking among successful investors. Missing out on money-making opportunities is not what kills managers in the long run – excessive exposure to risk does. Being conservative may mean you don’t make as much money as you might have wished for, but you will never get another shot if you blow up.

Be consistent

“We and our clients don’t have the objective of being in the top 5% of money managers in a given year, and we’re unwilling to be in the bottom 5%. They want consistency…It’s not important to beat the market when the market does well, which is most of the time. Our clients want to beat the market when it does poorly. If we can deliver average returns in the good years and above-average returns in the bad years, we will have above-average returns overall, below-average volatility, especially good performance in the bad times – which is when I think you need it – and happy clients.”

Consistency is an underrated quality in the investing game. Some people pursue strategies that are highly volatile and yield wildly differing results. While these may be profitable overall, the emotional toll they can take on the investor should not be overlooked. It is difficult to watch a portfolio lose value over a long period of time, even if you know intellectually that the strategy is statistically profitable. The truth of the matter is, most people don’t have the emotional fortitude to stomach losses and end up abandoning their high-volatility strategies.

Look for bargains in less efficient markets

“Market efficiency basically says that if everyone understands a market, knows about it, has the data, is highly motivated to participate – their efforts will drive out the bargains, and everything will end up being priced fairly. I believe in the concept of market efficiency, I don’t believe that any markets are fully efficient.

We’re active in non-investment grade credit, which means high-yield bonds, leveraged loans, direct lending, mezzanine finance and things like that. We’re active in real estate and real estate debt, infrastructure, emerging markets, Japan – anything off the beaten path. Now, some of these have gotten more efficient than they used to be, because knowledge is cumulative. Once people learn things they basically don’t forget them, so there’s sort of an upward ratchet…It’s tougher. Everyone knows more today than they used to know.”

Marks operates in the bond market, which is significantly less accessible for the retail investor than the stock market. However, his principles can be applied to equities as well as bonds. For instance, you could look at equities outside of the United States. Or you could explore opportunities in markets that require a higher degree of specialist knowledge, such as biotech. The less information there is, the greater the likelihood you will find inefficiencies to exploit.

8.9 Ways to Organize and Manage Your Calendar Properly

John Rampton

It’s your responsibility to plan how you’re going to spend your time. You can watch binge-watch Netflix all day, but that’s most likely not the best use of your time. Additionally, you also have to set boundaries and keep yourself motivated day-in-and-out. In some way — you want to find a direction to follow to gain that balance between work and your personal life.

As overwhelming as that may feel and sound, it’s not impossible. From my own experience, the best way to achieve a directional balance to your work and life goals is to organize and maintain your calendar correctly. Here are 9 of the most effective ways to guide yourself to better choices with the resulting organization for your work/life balance.

  1. Schedule everything.

Yes — I do mean schedule out everything from tomorrow’s to-do-list, to what you have planned for next week. It sounds excessive, but you need to have deep-structure so that you can remain focused and productive.

My colleague and co-founder of Calendar John Hall does this by creating a zero-based calendar. A zero-based calendar is “where you account for every second of your day. This way there’s no blank space in your calendar,” says Hall. “If something isn’t scheduled, it doesn’t deserve your attention.”

To begin, you need to book all of your daily activities into your calendar — this includes both your personal and professional tasks. Next, plan out how long each item will take so that you can create time blocks. Make sure that you use in-between time block productively. For example, during the 30-minutes between meetings, you could clean-out your inbox, read, or reflect.

  1. Break down your activities into simple problems.

“Utilizing your consciousness requires more energy and can be avoided by simplifying your problems,” writes Mario Peshev in Entrepreneur. “Excellence in time management revolves around establishing a process and breaking it down into small, automatic operations that are easy to grasp and don’t require intensive resource consumption.” Entrepreneurs are known for their ability to take any “complex task and decompose it into pieces, thus making the remaining process easier to comprehend and follow.”

The same is true when organizing your calendar. Writing an eBook, for example, doesn’t translate well into calendar-sized chunks. To make an extensive job more manageable, you can set aside a block of time daily to write a certain number of pages — such as blocking out two hours to compose five pages per day.

  1. Color-code your calendar using the chakra system.

Color-coding your calendar is a proven and effective way to create balance and differentiate all of those items you scheduled on your calendar. While you’re free to use any colors that you like, you should at least give chakra color-coding a try first. A “chakra” is one of the seven energy points found in the body. Each of these energy centers has a color (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, or violet) that is associated with it.

For example, because red is the root chakra symbolizing survival and safety you would want to use that color for all work-related tasks. For creative tasks, you might choose to use orange; yellow would represent the items that help you grow; green is reserved for personal events like lunch with a friend; blue equates activities that express your mind like writing, and indigo is meant for activities that deserve your attention. Using this organizational method prevents you from becoming overwhelmed. As you look at your calendar it creates an easily seen balanced and stress-free day.

  1. Choose strategy over opportunity.

You don’t want to spread yourself too thin by chasing every opportunity. Everything from money, time, and attention are in short supply when starting a business. Frankly, time, money and attention are in short supply no matter what you do in life. Use your calendar — full of activities — and make sure that you focus on strategy. Your calendar will be your success strategy.

“Time and energy are best spent on activities that align with the company’s core values and strategic plan, both of which are defined by the needs of the customer and the internal team,” says Sean Hinton of SkyHive Technologies Inc.

  1. Eat that frog.

Championed by Brain Tracy, this favorite time management technique is where you work on your most important task (MIT) for the day before anything else. According to Tracy, conquering your most challenging job will allow you to “go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worse things that are going to happen to you all day long,” Science has found that we often have the most energy and focus in the morning. It’s also the best time of day to keep distractions at bay.

If you have several important tasks, Tracy advises that you “start with the biggest, hardest, and most important task first.” He also recommends that you take action immediately and keep practicing until perfect.

It took a little bit of time for me to master this. But, when creating my calendar, I always block out the from nine am to noon for my top priority for the day. While I do take breaks, and often finish before noon, this creates a routine in my schedule and ensures that distractions won’t get in the way.

  1. Consider time blocking instead of to-do-lists.

While to-do-lists can be an asset during your time blocks, they can become a source of stress and disappointment. If you go over your list at the end of the day, and only crossed off a couple of items, how do you think you’ll feel? Research has found that 41 percent of to-do-list items are never completed. Additionally, Kevin Kruse author of 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management, found that top performers don’t rely on lists. Instead, they build time blocks into their calendars.

Time blocks are merely chunks of time used for specific tasks. For example, blocking out two-hours to “eat your frog” in the morning, an hour to clean your inbox following lunch, and an afternoon block dedicated to a meeting. Organizing your time, as opposed to tasks, forces you to prioritize, reduces distractions, and eliminates multitasking.

To get started, identify when you’re most productive so that you can block out that time for your MIT. Track how long these tasks take you to complete so that you can allocate enough time. Most importantly, create a schedule around these blocks and stick to your schedule. Schedule your work — and work your schedule.

  1. Create an “optional” calendar.

I wasn’t aware of this concept until I came across a Muse article written by Caroline Liu. The idea here is that you make an “optional” calendar that includes everything that isn’t mandatory. For example, an elective could be a social event or attending a class that can improve a skill. “These are events that, ideally, I’ll be able to fit in, but they’re the first to go when I’m feeling stressed,” explains Liu.

Instead of continually adding and removing events and activities from your personal and professional calendars, you have a third calendar that’s full of options when your schedule changes at the last minute. Now you don’t have to worry about how you’ll spend that time because you’ve already made that decision in your “optional” calendar.

  1. Build unstructured time into your calendar.

“When you’re constantly busy and have no free time — as in every minute of every day is scheduled back to back — you max out your brain’s bandwidth: your cognitive abilities decline, you become more prone to making errors, and you’re less insightful,” writes Jocelyn K. Glei.

To counter this, add two to four hours of unstructured time into your calendar daily. You can use this time to think, learn, meditate, or explore. I know that this may seem like a waste of time, but this free time can also boost your creativity, make you happy, and will allow for more flexibility in your schedule.

  1. Use the right tools.

Finally, if you truly want to stay on top of your game, then make sure that you’re using the right tools. The appropriate tools include:

  • calendar app. Whether it’s Google CalendarMicrosoft Calendar, or an app like Fantastical2, this allows you to add items and manage your calendar anytime, anywhere.
  • Scheduling tool. Calendar is a smart calendar that uses machine learning to make smart suggestions on when, where, and how to schedule a meeting.
  • Time tracking software. If you want to keep your calendar organized, then you need to know how you’re spending your time. Tools like RescueTime and SmarterTime can track your activities throughout the day.
  • Note-taking apps. Whenever you have an idea or thought, get it out of your head by using an app like Evernote or Google Keep.
  • To-do-lists. If you love them: Todoist, Things, Remember the Milk, and Wunderlist are each part of just a handful of apps that allow you to create, manage, and share your lists.

John Rampton is an entrepreneur, investor, and startup enthusiast. He is founder of the calendar productivity tool Calendar. You can sign up for early access to Calendar here!

This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.