Saturday, April 18, 2020

How much of your investments are in Cash?

In about 2008, I was with a client in Doha, Qatar  and he asked me a question that sticks in my mind:
"How much of your investments are in cash?"

Now I know that I am a high risk investor and that nearly all my invested capital was in my businesses that I reasoned I had 100% control but "she who must be obeyed" had all her investments in bank accounts [cash] so I said "about half"

My client was happy with the answer with him saying "that's good I am about the same."

Fast forward to 2020, my buinesses have had their values stripped to zero by The Donald, The Virus and "The Black Dog" and "She how must be objeyed" has all her CASH but is bitterly complaining about the lack of interest she is earning.

The last share I bought were in Bond Corporation because I truly believed he could walk on water, but they [The Bond Corporation shares] sank to zero very quickly and Alan went to jail... The good part of the story it cured my share buying days instantly and permanently. I haven't purchased shares in a company that I had no influence on the management team since.

Earlier this week I asked whether you thought we would "snap back" and there was a 50/50 split and some very deep and meaningful answers. Personally, I think we are going to hell in a hand basket BUT sometime things will get better - different but better!
Now, I say all of this from a position of complete ignorance and uncertainty. Nobody knows what’s going to happen next, or how long this pandemic will last.
But to simply expect that everything will return to normal in a few weeks-- and willfully ignore the countless other possibilities-- seems a bit foolish.
Worldwide, the number of deaths from Covid-19 reached 150,000. That’s more than double the number of deaths from 10 days ago. So it’s still growing.
Singapore was initially successful in controlling the virus outbreak. But they’re now experiencing a nasty second wave of infections.
In the US alone, more than 20 million people have lost their jobs so far, and the government’s $350 billion program to bail out small businesses has already run out of money.
It’s great to hope for the best. But let’s be realistic: there are a lot of reasons why the economic consequences of this pandemic could be long-lasting.
And that’s what brings me to real assets.
If the negative consequences linger, it’s reasonable to expect that governments and central banks will shovel piles of cash into their economies at a feverish pace.
Most developed nations have started this already.
Here in Australia, the government has passed at least $130 billion in stimulus measures so far-- a princely sum in a country where the population is just 25 million people.

What will happen in the future? I think nobody knows.

On my morning walk, I snapped 12 For Lease signs that weren't there a month ago - that is 12 buinesess and maybe 120 jobs that will never come back. The owners just took the opportunity to walk away rather than sign up for a new lease and go into hock for another 5 years. Many clients are saying they would love to take the packages that the Government have on offer and throwign at them BUT not when they are loans which will hve to be paid back so they will "milk" the system until it someone asks for a signature and then they will hand back the keys.

All this sounds doom and gloom but the World Economy recovered from WW1, WW2, the Cold War, the Great depression, The Spanish Flu, 9/11, the GFC etc and I have no reason to believe this won't be the same... there will be many "Motivated sellers of distressed businesses" and not many willing purchsers, so there will be bargins a plenty and I feel that there will be a generational change in wealth and I am planning I will be on the right side of the shift.

Project 2025 was born in better times but it is now more likely to succeed... you should allocate some risk funds [the money you throw at the ponies or buy lotto tickets with] and jump on board... the ride will be fast, bumpty but ultimately rewarding.

Do you want o join me in Project 2025!?

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Do you think The Economy Will "Snap Back?"

The big story over the last few days has been ‘reopening the economy’.
And that’s certainly a nice idea. Countless people have been living in despair over the last month, and the prospect of everything going back to normal soon feels really great.
I certainly hope for the best.
Have you read about James Stockdale talking about how he cultivated the mental strength to survive 7 torturous years as a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam.
When asked, “Who didn’t make it [out of the POW camp],” Stockdale replied,
Oh that’s easy. The optimists. They were the ones who said, ‘we’re going to be out by Christmas.’ And then Christmas would come, and Christmas would go.
And then they’d say, ‘We’re going to be out by Easter.’ And then Easter would come, and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving. And then it would be Christmas again.
And they died of a broken heart.
“This is a very important lesson,” Stockdale continued. “You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end—which you can never afford to lose– with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.
There’s clearly been a lot of positive data lately showing that the growth rate of the virus seems to be slowing [flattening the curve], and that the mortality rate is lower than originally estimated. [At the time of writing Australia's death toll is just 63!]
This is all good news.
But I'm seeing a lot of ‘Stockdale optimists’ right now who only look at the good news and refuse to confront brutal facts. [PM Morrison saying we will "snap back!"]
Many of the world’s most prominent financial markets have been bitten by Stockdale Optimism; stocks, for example, are way up because investors believe everything is about to return to normal and the economy will experience a ‘V-shaped recovery’.
(This means that the economy will bounce back as quickly and aggressively as it stalled.)
But anyone with the discipline and emotional courage to confront the most brutal facts of our current reality realizes that ‘normal’ is still far away.
Here are a few things to consider:
1) Hardcore PTSD
We’re now living in a world where hugging is considered an act of biological terrorism.
It would be silly to think that everyone will come out of hiding and go back to normal… packing bars, airplanes, shopping malls, elevators, offices, etc. like we used to do.
There’s going to be some serious, worldwide Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Millions of people will permanently change their behavior, reduce consumption, stay home, and avoid contact with others.
And this is clearly going to have a lingering economic impact.
2) RIP Small Business
Countless small businesses ‘temporarily’ closed last month. Many of them will never reopen. Have you noticed all the For Lease signs?
Others have had to make deep cuts and lay off a number of employees in order to survive.
But even when economic conditions finally start to normalise, many small business owners will realize, “Gee I didn’t actually need some of those workers.”
They’ll do the maths and determine that the business can be more profitable and efficient without all the employees. And some of those temporary job cuts will become permanent.
3) Big business downsizing
Ditto for big businesses. A typical medium-sized or large company can ditch at least 10% of its workforce with minimal impact to operations.
And so a lot of big companies who have laid off their workers will not hire everyone back.
Big companies now have an opportunity to shrink their overhead further by reducing their office footprints.
Executives now realise that many employees can work from home. And frankly, many employees prefer it. Previously, they didn't trust people to work "at home."
This will likely reduce demand for office space, causing a steady increase in commercial property vacancy rates.
4) Retail was dying before this started. . .
Let’s be honest-- retail stores were already dying before this pandemic; the entire industry is being swallowed up by likes of eBay and Amazon.
A number of major retail chains (JeansWest, Roger David, PToys are Us, etc.) had surrendered well before the pandemic started. Plenty of others are on the ropes.
And now with so many places on lockdown, many of them simply will not survive. [Have you walked through a mall lately]
Between the continued rise of e-commerce, the lockdown consequences, and the lingering PTSD that could keep millions of people from visiting stores, physical retail is in pretty serious trouble.
Retail makes up roughly 10% of the work force in the Australia alone, so it’s not hard to imagine a million jobs lost just from this one sector… not to mention the impact to the real estate market of so many shops and malls going under.
5) Additional outbreaks
While the social distancing and lockdown measures have reduced the rate of contagion, it’s important to remember that some places (like Hong Kong and Singapore) already experienced a second wave of outbreaks after they loosened their restrictions.
Yet the ‘V-shaped recovery’ fantasy completely ignores this very real possibility… and the huge economic consequences it would have.
In fact, any of the five points mentioned above could have a nasty impact-- to the unemployment rate, financial markets, GDP, real estate prices, corporate earnings, government deficits, etc.
But they’re all being ignored.
The prevailing narrative right now is that we’re out of the woods and the economy is about to come roaring back.
And that would certainly be nice.
Staying positive is great. Like Stockdale said, we know that we will prevail in the end.
But it’s important to be realistic-- to confront the most brutal facts of our reality. And our reality is that the consequences of this pandemic could last much longer than many people are choosing to believe.
Let me know what you think!

Wayne Mansfield

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Not in my life time

Have you been so sure you are right and you make the statement "Not in My Lifetime!"

I have irrational feeling about petrol especially when it was $1.69 a litre but this week [ end of March / early April 2020] I saw it at 87.9c/litre and todays paper says it might get to as low as 70c/litre

Thursday, April 09, 2020

There is a bear in there!

From SBS: "Seeing bears in the windows of our neighbours’ houses is a signal of friendliness and warmth. A bear in the window is like the friendly smile and nod you give to a stranger. It’s a way of telling others that you are no threat."

There is a bear in there!!

From early morning walks...