MARKET WATCH


Most international indexes (both developed and emerging) currently trade more than 7% higher over the previous month’s end.

 

North American markets are also higher, but only half as much. It’s been some time since international markets have done so relatively well. As U.S. markets are more richly valued than international ones, a number of long-term projections favour international returns over American performance. It’s too early to know if this is an aberration or the beginning of a trend, but I’ll be keeping a close eye on it.

 

On the commodity side, gold is having a strong month, almost 9% higher when converted to Loonies, while Canadian energy stocks are flat following a very strong October.

 

Looking forward, we seem to be in a holding pattern as we wait on a number of developments to progress. These being: the pending recession, the war in Ukraine, COVID, China’s COVID lockdowns, and the readjustment of global supply chains.

 

Though there’s much uncertainty, I’m confident the value over growth trend will remain intact for the foreseeable future, and possibly for the next few years.

 

Lastly, I’d like to wish everyone south of the border a very Happy Thanksgiving!


As always, feel free to reach out if you have any questions, and if you’re looking for more timely information on the markets, you can find them on the research section of my website, or on my Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn feeds.

BOOKS AND OTHER LONG THINGS


Endure by Alex Hutchinson: I still actively (and obsessively) participate in online cycling races and was looking for an edge, so I bought this book after two endurance athletes highly recommended it. As the title alludes, it focuses on optimizing performance in endurance sports.

 

Despite being written for those immersed in endurance endeavours, I was surprised by how many of the insights are transferable beyond that realm. My big takeaway was gaining a better understanding of the control our minds maintain over our bodies, in both expected and unexpected ways. From placebos to replacing limiting beliefs (ie: breaking the four-minute mile barrier) to downright fooling the brain, study after study illustrated how our minds affect performance - both positively and negatively. It’s not that I doubted the power of our minds, but seeing it repeatedly demonstrated has a way of crystallizing this fact.

 

While this is a great book if you partake in any endurance sports, it will likely also resonate with you even if you aren’t an endurance athlete. And insights aside, it’s well-written and has an intriguing through line story.


Map and Territory by Eliezer Shlomo Yudkowsky: Last month, I shared an article called “Do the Right Thing.” As mentioned, it led me down a rabbit hole, which included Map and Territory, a book of essays on rationalism posted on Eliezer Shlomo Yudkowsky’s blog Less Wrong.

 

For those not familiar with rationalism, the author describes rationality as:


  1. Epistemic rationality: systematically improving the accuracy of your beliefs.
  2. Instrumental rationality: systematically achieving your values.  

 

As to be expected, the essays range in quality, but I’m glad I read it. It not only progressed my understanding of rationalism beyond the common Star Trek tropes, but it also made me think. Which for me, is one of the great rewards of engaging with ideas.

 

For those interested, below are some links to my favourite chapters:


 

The Latticework: (Mental Models - 1 Pager) by Blas Moros: Having mostly settled into our new home, I’m revisiting topics that have been simmering on the back burner - one such being mental models. This 152-page PDF (though not yet complete) is one of the best places to become acquainted, or, in my case, re-acquainted with the world of mental models.

 

For those not familiar, mental models are basically models of how the world works. Some are ubiquitous, while others work in more specified realms. The beauty of keeping them top of mind is that they can be used to effectively improve your ability to analyze information and make better decisions. And when used together, they can lead to exponential results.

 

If I’ve piqued your curiosity, take a look at the first section on “Worldly Wisdom” (pages 7-22). In just the past few weeks, I’ve more effectively been able to focus on the things that are important to Tanya and me. And I’ve barely scratched the surface.

ARTICLES


Thinking About the Next Warren Buffett by Frederik Gieschen: Interesting article on why it’s so hard to replicate what Warren Buffett has achieved. I found this excerpt particularly insightful: “In The Big Short, Michael Lewis described how Michael Burry studied Buffett and found that the more he learned, ‘the less he thought Buffett could be copied.’ Rather, the lesson from Buffett’s life was that ‘to succeed in a spectacular fashion you had to be spectacularly unusual.’”


What Moneyball-for-Everything Has Done to American Culture by Derek Thompson: I’m a huge fan of the book Moneyball, but perhaps even more so, of the framework it provides for improving the way we analyze data and make decisions. However, before reading this article by Derek Thompson, I’d never considered that it may have come with a cost. In heavily relying on formulas and rationality, some - perhaps even much - of the fun, randomness, and passion have been squeezed out of systems that were loved, in part, for their chaotic and arbitrary nature.


However, and this may be a personal bias speaking, the magic that Thompson feels has been massaged out of the system, may re-emerge as strategies evolve over time.


World’s Population Reaches 8 Billion People for the First Time - and That’s Fine! by Lauren Leffer: Apparently the global population reached eight billion last week. The nine billionth is expected in 15 years - four years longer than it took to climb from seven to eight.


The Optimal Morning Routine by Andrew Huberman: Interesting and excellent.

 

Tiny Gains. Massive Results by Farnam Street: One of the surest ways of achieving great results are from small, but very consistent, action.

 

China’s “Dangerous Storm” Coming: The Eight Big Challenges Facing China and the People Chosen to Deal with Them by Ray Dalio: China has a number of big challenges including: demographics, COVID, its real estate situation, and the economic war with the U.S. In this essay, Ray Dalio draws on his research and decades of experience meeting with Chinese leaders and doing business in China to provide his perspective on how things may shake out.

PODCASTS


Dan Carlin (Hardcore History) on the Lex Fridman Podcast: Dan Carlin, of Hardcore History fame, sits down with Lex Fridman for more than three hours. This fascinating conversation covers topics ranging from: is violence and force fundamental to human civilization?; the Russian front in World War II; Vladimir Putin; is journalism broken?; Elon Musk; and a lot more.

 

I’d like to take a moment to comment on Lex Fridman and his show. It gives me immense pleasure that a relatively boring (sorry, Lex) personality who wears the same outfit for each show (chauffeur chic?) has become so popular. He’s smart, open-minded, attempts to set aside his biases, apologies when he’s wrong, and wants to elevate the global discourse and will talk to anyone!

 

In other words, his success stands out in a world where social media disproportionately rewards extreme opinions and behaviours, often with little emphasis on intelligence, truth, or a coherent argument. I’m sure there are others out there like him (and feel free to let me know who they are if you know of them), but I sincerely hope he and they succeed in the future.

AUTUMN MUSINGS


"The safest way to try to get what you want is to try to deserve what you want. It's such a simple idea. It's the golden rule. You want to deliver to the world what you would buy if you were on the other end."

- Charlie Munger

 

"Let's start with a test: Do you have any opinions that you would be reluctant to express in front of a group of your peers? If the answer is no, you might want to stop and think about that. If everything you believe is something you're supposed to believe, could that possibly be a coincidence? Odds are it isn't. Odds are you just think whatever you're told."

- Paul Graham, on the importance of being a little contrarian

 

"We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us happy is something to be enthusiastic about."

- Priest and novelist Charles Kingsley, on what makes us happy

 

"Let the improvement of yourself keep you so busy that you have no time to criticize others."

- Roy T. Bennett

 

"That which can be destroyed by the truth should be."

- P.C. Hodgell

Matthew Lekushoff
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matthew.lekushoff@raymondjames.ca
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