Manages Parisian Family Office. Began Wall Street, 82. Founded investment firm, Native American Advisors. Member, White Earth Chippewa Tribe. Was NYSE/FINRA arb. Conservative. Raised on Native reservations. Pureblood, clot-shot free. In a world elevated on a tech-driven dopamine binge, he trades from Ghost Ranch on the Yellowstone River in MT, his TN farm, Pamelot or CASA TULE', his winter camp in Los Cabos, Mexico. Always been, and will always be, an optimist.

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Life, Death and today in the Market............

Just out of the ocean and back to my desk.  Did my usual two laps in some great wave action to the buoys.  Not much better exercise than an ocean swim to feel alive and get some sun at the same time!  Planning for some sushi tonight and it was a beautiful day in Los Cabos. It started out rather nasty, I will get to that in a bit.  We are closing in on year-end.   Many of the AUM players are done for the year and figuring out where to spend their bonus money.   Some guys who ran hard in the jet fuel of November are out now, lying around in cash.   I never had that luxury. I played better offense than defense in football but it is defense in the markets that will always be most important.  Remember I said that.

For the first 3 years of running my investment firm in the 2002 and 2003 time-frame, I made more money from the stock market than I did from my company.  It was a costly endeavor of time and effort flying to a plethora of Native American tribes to present our "pitch" of what Native American Advisors, Inc. could do for them.   If you don't know what Indian time is you haven't spent time in Indian country.   We started before cell phones and the internet were in play.   It was time-consuming to fly, drive, pitch, drive, fly, and trade on top of everything.  Hard enough to get a tribal council together on time.   Having never smoked a single cigarette in my life it was difficult to fake taking a drag on the pipe when it was passed around the council meetings.  Wouldn't trade a day of it!

We helped so many who hired us.   We didn't buy anyone off, we didn't come up with professional sports tickets, we didn't play politics, zero kickbacks to tribal councils, and we didn't promise stellar returns, our only promise was to do our very best.   We saw it all in the early days of Indian gaming.  Sovereignty meant they could and would do as they pleased.  Fiduciary behavior in Indian country?  How do you spell fiduciary? 

It has been 4.5 years since my retirement.  Time flies when having fun.  I have continued to trade and am fairly active when the market dictates.  For sure I am learning daily and making my usual bone-head mistakes.  Mistakes in the markets are easy to see in the rear-view mirror.

I am often asked what someone should do with their own money if they want to learn how to be a successful investor.   I am always concise with my answers.  First, you must be able to take losses and secondly, you have to invest a lot of time and learn about yourself.  You have to read books.  You have to study which means work.  Most people don't want to work.  Don't believe me, think again.

I always tell people to buy a book.   That book was written by William J. O'Neil long ago and updated regularly.  The name of the book is HOW TO MAKE MONEY IN STOCKS.  I tell people to READ IT TWICE and then call me.   Funny, no one reads it twice, and hence, no one calls.  See how that works?   

Daily I am awake and up before sunrise.  So was my Dad.  He would have been 101 years old tomorrow.  Like Dad, I am awake in the dark!  Nothing unusual about that, been doing it for decades.   Today, my bride and I started our normal exercise routine which gets me back to my trading turret before the market opens.  We were on the beach, in the deep sand, and suddenly found ourselves looking at the tracks of dozens of baby sea turtles that had hatched in the full moon of last night and headed for the sea.   I found one baby upside down, flailing his little self with all of his might and my wife found this little fella, I don't do pronouns and don't know how to sex a baby turtle so for now he/she is a fella for the woke pronoun police.


I got both of the little guys into the water's edge and then had to contend with several gulls circling so I plucked them up and got them out into the deeper surf.  I was wearing my Swarovski binoculars so didn't go all the way in but was wet up to my waist and was cheering my new little friends on to life in the open ocean when they both surfaced and were immediately picked up and devoured by ravenous gulls. 

The circle of life.  Woulda, shoulda, coulda.  Was late to the market open, lost both baby turtles, seawater chafing all the way home, for sure a hot mess!

It was a good day, I have my health and the love of my family.  This afternoon I popped on to Instagram where you should follow the two people I follow.  Well, I follow more than two, but I do follow Cameron Hanes and David Goggins.  Goggins, like me, can cuss a blue streak, Dad taught me well.   I am going to reprint here from a David Goggins post he put up today on Instagram.

We live in a world where people want to see you fail, many of you may disagree with that statement, oh but I know all too well! When you are on top of a mountain, people want to push you off! They are waiting for your mistakes. They are waiting for the moment when you can’t take another step. They are smiling at your failure.

For those people who want to see you fail, what they don’t understand is this… they are at the bottom of the mountain where there is tons of oxygen which allows them to run their mouth.

For those few who have the guts to climb, the higher you climb, the less oxygen there is which means the less you talk. The air gets thin the higher you guy so you make a conscious choice to conserve your energy knowing that you want to get to the top of the mountain. And the air at the top of that mountain is very thin. Very little needs to be said while you are climbing the mountain let alone standing at the top!

Remember this: all those days you don’t want to do something, all those days where injury plagues your mind and all those days when fatigue is keeping you in bed, you, my friend, are making a motherfucker happy by giving in to those feelings.

I wanted those turtles to make it today.  They had a lot of things to overcome.  I did too.  Growing up in Indian Country, going to 4 high schools in 3 states, living in government housing, putting myself through college trapping fox, moving to San Diego in 1979 not knowing anyone but my roommate and when Merril Lynch wouldn't hire me because I didn't have any sales experience I sold life insurance for 3 years for the Northwestern Mutal Life Insurance Company until one day I sold some life insurance to a stockbroker who was licensed to sell himself his own life insurance and he said I needed to meet his boss,  a guy by the name of David B. Utter.  By the way, selling life insurance in San Diego in 1979, 1980 and '81 when inflation was 20% and interest rates were half that was no easy task when whole life policies were returning dividends of maybe 7% and no one was dying on a sunny day in San Diego! 

The rest is pretty much history.  

I still make mistakes.  It has been a great fall even being laid up with Covid for a few weeks.   When the market took off and roared in November I was down with Covid and stayed out for a few weeks because I couldn't remember much.  Today, I found myself bitching about losing a towel.  After the market closed I was walking to the beach to swim and somehow a fresh towel, clean and fluffy, fell out of my beach chair, strapped on my back.   I took it personally.  I attached real value to that towel!  It had been with me a long time. I liked it. I walked every step back to my home from the beach to find that towel and then back to the beach with another towel.  Today I needed to pull my head out of my ass and be happy for the person who has it.  It was my fault I lost it.  All mine.  Maybe tomorrow I will go and buy a dozen towels and give some away to make myself feel better.  I am still in a world of growing up with nothing while I learned to watch out for and appreciate everything.

Today was a good day.  I am still learning. It's been a good fall hunting big game animals and big stocks.  

2024 has a lot of promise.  I live in the greatest country the world has ever known.  This wonderful experiment, started by Washington and Jefferson long ago may still have some legs.  Having good health and the ability to function helps.  That and some hard work.  Funny thing, my late German grandfather in Hancock, Minnesota always told me the harder he worked the luckier he got.  I listened.





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