Friday File: Par-ty Time, or a World in Decline?

Big news from PAR, plus some big-picture blatheration and a new crypto buy (and a sell), plus a new watchlist stock

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, April 9, 2021

Blather alert… skip down a ways to the ***** if you want to get right to the specific investments I’m talking about today…

The market feels very uncertain, despite the massive stimulus and reopening boost that we all expect to see in the real economy this year, and the doomsayers are clearly out in strength in some corners, so I continue to get questions about those “dollar will die” or “China will destroy the US” or “the ATMs will stop working because Joe Biden is stealing all your money” stories that serve as clickbait for a large part of the financial marketing world.

When it comes to “big picture” fears, we’re almost all going to make big mistakes in forecasting almost all the time. There is no way to predict the way the world will look in the future with any specificity, and our human tendency is to force a narrative onto the future that looks like the recent past or to notable and memorable events in the deeper past.

Sometimes that’s fairly close to the mark, but not very often… and having some general idea of what the future might look like doesn’t mean you can predict how that future will impact any particular kind of investment in a period of a year or three or five. A lot of things that seem like huge societal or economic problems or trends really do exist, but they tend to play out over timeframes that give investors fits. We can know that the US Federal budget is obviously unsustainable, that the dollar has to weaken in the general sense, that other nations will rise to challenge the US, as has happened with past global empires… but we can’t know exactly how it plays out, or when, and therefore that doesn’t tell us anything helpful for the time frame of the average investor. Some things are in the “very likely to happen in the next 30 years” pile, but that doesn’t mean we have any idea how the next two or three years will go, and most individual investors hold stocks for far less time than three years (the estimates I’ve read are that the average holding period for stocks in the US is now down to less than six months). If we’re long-term investors, we have to live with uncertainty.

And it has ever been so… here’s a ...

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