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You are being more than gracious. Thank you for your tolerance.

Permit me, if you would, to explain the chips I carry on my shoulders and the axes I have to grind. My parents were blue-collars, as were their parents all the way back to the 1700's in their respective home countries. I'm what the Brits would call 'working class' for whom easy access to wealth and financial markets didn't/doesn't exist. But I was a bright kid and wrangled my way on scholarships, first to a private, then all-men college and later into UC Berkeley where I did my grad work, intending to teach English. But to whom do the plum jobs go, then as now? To those that them hiring recognize as being "one of their own". So I went right back to the steel mills and shipyards where I had worked to put myself through school, where they, too, were suspicious of me --because I wasn't "one of them".

But one of the things schools can teach --or used to -- is how to learn, and I ended up becoming one of the best marine mechanics on the west coast, able to overhaul everything from ferry boats to aircraft carriers. (E.g., my rep with the ship sups was so good, they'd wave inspections when they learned I was running the job.) But I've never forgotten my roots. My sympathies are with "the poor folk" of this country for whom financial markets are a mystery and who are constantly being preyed upon by the like of the G BoyZ, who lie about their returns and who don't care about the damage suffered by those who try to follow their "advice".

All the G Boyz care about is fees collected from subscribers. You were a victim, as have been hundreds of others, and I'd like to put an end to that. The first myth about investing that needs to be dispelled is that that the game is easy. It's not. Your counter-party to every trade you made --and all "investments" are just trades-- is faster, meaner, better informed, and better capitalized. He (or she) intends to pick your pockets and to eat your lunch. To defend against such foes, you've gotta bet widely and small, so you can survive long enough to find a niche for yourself in markets where what is happening is interesting enough to you that you're willing to the needed work and where the risks are within your ability to tolerate them.

Investing isn't "a job' where you can get paid just for showing up. (My quarrel with indexing, as laid out by Ben Stein.) Instead, investing is a small, owner-operator business that requires (1) a sound plan, and (2) persistent, often decades long effort, and (3) ruthless attention to managing risk.

What's the G Boyz mantra? You gotta hold 3-5 years and all will be well. Sometimes, maybe most times, that's true enough. Prices do return to former highs. But has one's purchasing-power been restored on an after-taxes, after-inflation basis? Right now, US debt to GDP is running 130%. (90% is the "red zone" beyond which recovery is unlikely.) Using the same metrics as were used in the '80's to calculate CPI, inflation at the household level is running 20%. Recently, Russia pegged the ruble to gold and a commodities basket. Other countries are looking to do the same. That signals the end the $US as the world's sole reserve currency. When our dear Congress can't spend, because the Fed/Treasury cartel can't print, the US economy crashes, as does our over-bought stock market, housing market, etc. Then value investing, as laid out by Ben Graham, will be the only thing that makes sense, and the current Nifty 50's scam -- the FAANGS-- will be shown to be the fraud that it is.

When does "small/mid-cap "growth" investing makes sense? In the early part of the business cycle. We're way past that now, as the chart in the middle of the article suggest.

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