Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Tuesday Night Links

  • Trailing performance has not exactly been a selling point for value investment strategies in recent memory. As the last 15 years unfolded, a wave of bad performance has seen allocators shift remorselessly away from the strategy of investing primarily at undervalued companies to more growth-orientated approaches. This has hollowed out the value investing community. As far as I can tell, the universe of value managers has shrunk to the aged whose records pre-2009 are strong enough to keep investors loyal, quants who trust the long-term data and cranks who are weirdly obsessed with natural resources stocks. [Verdad Weekly Research]
  • I am using going to use a 7mg slow release nicotine patch (of the type made for smoking cessation) for the next 3-5 days to see if it impacts my over-stayed their welcome Covid symptoms. I started my experiment at 9am Saturday July 6th. I am treating this as a “kitchen table” science experiment in which I am clearly an N of 1 from which you can only take anecdotal evidence. But maybe one data point becomes many and with the network effects of social media maybe we push forward other experiments. [Julie Fredrickson]
  • I suspect that the sustainable solution is neither the open-borders of neoliberals nor the isolationist instincts of the nationalist right. If the West survives, it is not in our nature to ignore suffering people. It seems a return to some sort of privately administered government for failed states would align the proper incentives. If we reformed some of the laws restraining American private interests from managing their property rights in foreign jurisdictions, the market might solve the problem. American oil companies, for example, would be more than capable of raising private security forces to create free provinces, call them “opportunity zones,” in Nigeria where Christians would be welcomed and well-governed under a private, Western-aligned regime, and everyone profits from an orderly society engaged in positive economic activity rather than grift. Service in private security forces would create an alternative to the increasingly woke conventional military for Western young people with an impulse to earn good money, see the world, and truly, sustainably help the oppressed. [The Tom File]
  • There emerged a comical overlap between the beliefs of the nation’s most elite liberal Biden supporters and the beliefs of the most rabid and conspiratorial supporters of former President Trump. Resistance or QAnon, they shared a grand theory of America in 2024: There has to be a secret group of high-level government leaders who control Biden and who will soon set into motion their plan to replace Biden as the Democratic presidential nominee. Nothing else made sense. They were in full agreement. [New York Magazine]
  • If Biden really were a puppet of secret higher powers, you might think that the shotcallers would have had a contingency plan for how to replace him in case the stubborn old egomaniac becomes so senile that even the public notices. As it turned out, the elites don’t seem to have had any plans. The Best and the Brightest are currently stumped by the fact that Dr. Jill and Hunter, while they despise each other, are in agreement that they, personally, would benefit from Joe being President until 2029. [Steve Sailer]
  • In To Overthrow the World, Sean McMeekin investigates the evolution of Communism from a seductive ideal of a classless society into the ruling doctrine of tyrannical regimes. Tracing Communism’s ascent from theory to practice, McMeekin ranges from Karl Marx’s writings to the rise and fall of the USSR under Stalin to Mao’s rise to power in China to the acceleration of Communist or Communist-inspired policies around the world in the twenty-first century. McMeekin argues, however, that despite the endurance of Communism, it remains deeply unpopular as a political form. Where it has arisen, it has always arisen by force. [To Overthrow the World]
  • Everett is very keen to use the Pirahã as an example to disprove Noam Chomsky’s theory of universal grammar. Curiously, I don’t believe anyone has considered the opposite: rather than considering whether the Pirahã disprove the universality of grammar in humans, maybe their language suggests Pirahã aren’t entirely human? [Misha Saul]
  • Conservatism has died, not from an assassin’s bullet, or even from old age or because it was run over by a bus. It has died because there is no call for it anymore. This isn’t to say that nobody wants it, but that nobody cares that we want it. The same thing has happened to most of the things I like, from the forgotten Aztec chocolate bar to railway restaurant cars, from woodland peace to proper funerals. [Peter Hitchens]
  • The whole people appear to be divided into an almost endless variety of religious factions, and I was told, that to be well received in society, it was necessary to declare yourself as belonging to some one of these. Let your acknowledged belief be what it may, you are said to be not a Christian, unless you attach yourself to a particular congregation. Besides the broad and well-known distinctions of Episcopalian, Catholic, Presbyterian, Calvinist, Baptist, Quaker, Sweden-borgian, Universalist, Dunker, &c. &c. &c.; there are innumerable others springing out of these, each of which assumes a church government of its own; of this, the most intriguing and factious individual is invariably the head; and in order, as it should seem, to shew a reason for this separation, each congregation invests itself with some queer variety of external observance that has the melancholy effect of exposing all religious ceremonies to contempt. It is impossible, in witnessing all these unseemly vagaries, not to recognise the advantages of an established church as a sort of headquarters for quiet unpresuming Christians, who are contented to serve faithfully, without insisting upon having each a little separate banner, embroidered with a device of their own imagining. The Catholics alone appear exempt from the fury of division and sub-division that has seized every other persuasion. Having the Pope for their common head, regulates, I presume, their movements, and prevents the outrageous display of individual whim which every other sect is permitted. [Domestic Manners of the Americans]


ValueSeeker said...

Re: the Verdad Research article, Juan Correa-Ossa from BCA argues that the typical Russell 2K stock is much lower-quality than in the past, so even after 15 years of underperformance, mean reversion of smaller/cheaper stocks is not guaranteed:


Tautologically, undervalued stocks will outperform because they're undervalued, but I think he's right that value traps are more common than before.

CP said...

Thanks - agree that IWM is garbage, but still think that the Mag 7 are overvalued.

Don't think IWM vs SPY or QQQ, think RSP vs SPY.