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Become a Better Investor Newsletter – 19 November 2022

Noteworthy this week

  • Borrowing to keep up with the Joneses
  • The US gov’t has also borrowed to keep up
  • Rich nations continue to pay for others to reduce coal
  • ESG rating firm scores a fraud above fossil fuels
  • When you spot a virtue signaller, run!

Borrowing to keep up with the Joneses: What do you do when you don’t have money to spend? Apparently, you get a credit card and continue spending. The growth in retail sales has been driven by expanding consumer credit.

The US gov’t has also borrowed to keep up: No news to most of us, but it’s still staggering to see how the interest costs are now rising as the cost of borrowing increases.

Rich nations continue to pay for others to reduce coal: Maybe not bad to reduce the use of coal, but how much will $15bn move the needle if $600bn is needed?

ESG rating firm scores a fraud above fossil fuels: It turns out that a rating agency had a better ESG score on SBF’s FTX than on Exxon Mobil. Makes sense?

When you spot a virtue signaller, run!: SBF basically admits that he played the woke game to defraud investors of billions. Some people, like SBF, just play the game to get what they want. Others actually think they’re morally superior. It’s hard to determine what’s worst. But I’d stay away from both kinds.

Poll of the week

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Results from last week’s poll


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Weekly market performance

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Chart of the week

Discussed in the Become a Better Investor Community this week

Andrew: My first thought is that the Republicans did an absolutely terrible job.

But they did win control of the house, which puts the system into a bit of a deadlock for the next two years. Deadlocks have generally been good for markets because people think if the government can’t do anything, it’s better than the government doing something.

Join the Become a Better Investor Community today! You can cancel any time, and as a newsletter reader you get a massive discount when you use this coupon code: READER

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Podcasts we listened to this week


Another great interview by William Greenm gives refreshing perspectives on value investing.

Readings this week

In an article by Vox, SBF tries to explain himself. It’s just horrible to read about this fraud. This is the kind of story that makes people lose trust in the financial system. And the financial system is all about trust.

Read the full article.

Book recommendation

The Psychology of Totalitarianism by Mattias Desmet

“The world is in the grips of mass formation—a dangerous, collective type of hypnosis—as we bear witness to loneliness, free-floating anxiety, and fear giving way to censorship, loss of privacy, and surrendered freedoms. It is all spurred by a singular, focused crisis narrative that forbids dissident views and relies on destructive groupthink.”

Audible or Kindle.

Audible is great; have you tried it? If not, click here to get 2 books for free.

Memes of the week

New My Worst Investment Ever episodes

Ep620: Robert Glover – Start Building a Wisdom Council When Young

BIO: Dr. Robert Glover, coach, speaker, and educator, is a relationship expert with over 40 years of professional experience.

STORY: Robert went shopping for a pop-up trailer, and when he found one, he bought it before inspecting it thoroughly. His gut told him this was a terrible idea, but he ignored it. The trailer turned out to be useless to him. He sold it off for half what he’d paid for it.

LEARNING: When you spot a virtue signaller, run!

Ep619: Shil Shanghavi – Find Your Elite

BIO: Shil Shanghavi is a public speaking specialist, storyteller, and highly regarded speaker coach. He is redefining the meaning of public speaking by demonstrating its value across all forms of communication.

STORY: Shil’s worst investment was paying for ecstasy for over 15 years. However, this also turned out to be his best investment because he discovered house music while high on drugs. He learned to speak to music to control his stuttering and talk fluently.

LEARNING: Find a way to flip your challenges into your success story. Reach out to people around you when you need help. Write your thoughts down but don’t feel compelled to action them immediately.

Ep618: Mike Michalowicz – Stay In Your Lane

BIO: Mike Michalowicz leads two new multi-million-dollar ventures as he tests his latest business research for his books.

STORY: Mike made huge profits from selling his second business, and his ego as an entrepreneur exploded. He took the gains and decided to fund multiple companies in different industries where he had no experience. They all failed and left him with zero assets.

LEARNING: Stay in your lane. Take time after selling a business to think before you rush into another investment.

Published on Become a Better Investor this week

In this episode, David and Andrew continue to talk about the thorny problem of tracking student progress – grading – and how to remove it from the classroom.

Listen to How to Track Progress (Continued): Deming in Education with David P. Langford (Part 3)

Daqin Railway Company Limited (601006 SH): Profitable Growth rank of 4 was down compared to the prior period’s 3rd rank. This is above-average performance compared to 1,470 large Industrials companies worldwide.

Read Daqin Railway – World Class Benchmarking

DTS Corporation (9682 JP): Profitable Growth rank of 3 was the same compared to the prior period’s 3rd rank. This is above-average performance compared to 700 large Info Tech companies worldwide.

Read DTS – World Class Benchmarking

Amata Corporation Public Company Limited (AMATA TB): Profitable Growth rank of 4 was up compared to the prior period’s 6th rank. This is above-average performance compared to 340 medium Real Estate companies worldwide.

Read Amata Corporation – World Class Benchmarking

Titan Company Limited (TTAN IN): Profitable Growth rank of 2 was up compared to the prior period’s 3rd rank. This is World Class performance compared to 1,040 large Cons. Disc. companies worldwide.

Read Titan – World Class Benchmarking

DISCLAIMER: This content is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Readers should not consider statements made by the author(s) as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. While the information provided is believed to be accurate, it may include errors or inaccuracies. The author(s) cannot be held liable for any actions taken as a result of reading this article.