COVID-19: What’s Wrong with This Picture?

Shah Gilani | Dec 04, 2020

This Total Wealth is about something different today.

It’s about you, me, and the country. It’s about the whole COVID-19 picture, at least the picture we think we see. It’s about the surge in the U.S., Europe, and elsewhere, but not in one country.

It’s about what you think is going on, what you think we should do, or shouldn’t do.

Yes, I’m “isolating” but I’m not isolated. I’ve got a huge audience here and I’m calling on you to help us all understand how you all feel. And why we’re suffering and China’s not.

So, please send me your comments, experiences, thoughts, and what you believe we should be doing.

Let’s dive in…

Bitcoin: Is This Time Really Different?

Shah Gilani | Dec 02, 2020

Blockchain is here to stay. Bitcoin, maybe not so much.

Just because bitcoin made a new all-time high of $19,920 on Monday (enthusiasts round that up to $20,000… close but no cigar), which is “about” $137 higher than its previous high back in 2017 (all over the Internet you’ll get different prices for the old high, hence the “about,” from BBC news), it doesn’t mean squat.

Why not? Because bitcoin is like ether, or Ethereum if you prefer; it’s made up. It’s made out of, make that mined” out of, thin air.

That doesn’t mean it isn’t a store of value, though it isn’t. It doesn’t mean it isn’t digital gold, though it isn’t. And it doesn’t mean it isn’t perfectly “permissionless,” perfectly fungible, perfectly private bearer e-cash, though it isn’t.

And it certainly doesn’t mean the price of bitcoin can’t go a lot higher, because it can.

Here’s the truth about bitcoin and what you should do about it as it ticks higher…

More Headlines

  • Yes, It’s Getting Scary, But Just Go with It

    I’ve been having lots of conversations lately with lots of investors (on the phone, by the way). And there’s something creeping into their optimism: doubt.

    It’s understandable. Amidst the rampant bullishness that seems to be pervasive across all demographics of investors, from retirees and Baby Boomers, to Millennials, Gen Xers, even Gen Z, there are signs of that smack of bullishness reminiscent of 2007 or 1999, two years that preceded spectacular crashes.

    Last week, a shortened trading week, saw more of the same – more record highs for benchmark indices, that is:

    • The Dow rose 647 points on the week, closing Friday 2.2% higher on the week, after notching a new all-time high of 30,116.51 earlier in the week.
    • The S&P 500 notched a new high too, and closed the week up 2.2%.
    • The Nasdaq Composite, which had been lagging, made a new high too, ending the week 2.95% higher.
    • And the Russell 2000, measuring stick of the “value” and “rotation” trades, also hit a record, ending the week up a stellar 3.9%.

    Irrational exuberance? Yes, I’d say so.

    Are things that good everywhere, in all sectors, in all industries, by all measures? No, I’d say not.

  • Why You Shouldn’t Buy Chinese Bonds, and What You Should Buy Instead

    Hypocrisy is everywhere, even in U.S. capital markets.

    Maybe it’s because U.S. capital markets aren’t really “free markets” anymore, meaning they’re manipulated by the Federal Reserve, by so-called investment banks, by fund sponsors selling thematic products that aren’t true to their mandates, and by institutionalized greed.

    Now U.S. institutions are buying Chinese government bonds directly from China. Talk about hypocrisy.

    American investors shouldn’t buy Chinese government bonds (CGBs), no matter how tempting they may look, nor should our supposed allies in Europe for that matter, for a lot of reasons.

    Here’s a short list of them and what China’s really trying to do and succeeding in doing…