Matthew Lekushoff |


The U.S./China trade war continues to hurt overall market sentiment, as both sides dig in their heels. 

As expected, President Trump continues to express displeasure by dictum via presidential tweet. Until recently, Chinese leaders have been measured in their comments. 
However, lately, more loaded terms, such as, "trade war" and "China's unwavering resolve" have been used. 

Beyond rhetoric, there are whispers that China might retaliate by selling U.S. Treasuries and halting the purchase of U.S. Boeing jets. President Xi also visited a rare-earth mineral facility (of which China is the world's largest producer), which, if denied to the U.S., could be a powerful part of its trade-war arsenal

Gold, real estate investment trusts (REITs), and fixed income securities continue to provide valuable diversification during this period of uncertainty.


The Book of Five Rings  by Miyamoto Musashi: Written around 1645 by Miyamoto Musashi, arguably the world's greatest swordsman, this short book was the author's prescription for becoming a great swordsman and living a good life. Although there are better life advice books out there, two of its themes are worth considering. 

First is the importance of practice and mastery. Musashi was obsessed with self-improvement. Almost every section ended with words to the effect of "practice and know this well." The second theme explores the idea of single-minded focus. Musashi's profession involved duels to the death. The goal was to kill his opponent, while ensuring his own survival. Nothing more, nothing less. Integrating movements for the purpose of looking good was not only unimportant to him, but could end his life.
Today, we rarely find ourselves in such do or die situations. But these themes can be used to improve our odds of success and happiness.
Preludes & Nocturnes (The Sandman #1)  by Neil Gaiman: This first graphic novel in Neil Gaiman's popular Sandman series follows Dream (aka Morpheus) on a quest to reclaim his lost belongings. Despite, by his own admission, the first book not having found its footing yet, Gaiman's imagination is on full display and the art work is often stunning. As a caution, Preludes & Nocturnes is dark and often disturbing.
The Biggest Returns  by Morgan Housel: Sometimes the biggest returns in life are not from what you make, but rather what you save.
Bill Gates: This is What We Need to Do to Tackle Climate Change  by The World Economic Forum: Climate change is a huge issue that requires creative solutions. In this short article, Bill Gates discusses green technologies in which he's invested and highlights strategies that will help reduce greenhouse gases.
Philosophy - Ludwig Wittgenstein  by The School of Life: In a  recent Tim Ferriss podcast , Ferriss mentions that many clear thinkers he's encountered admire philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. Not knowing much about Wittgenstein, I watched this short video on his life and work. From what I've seen, it warrants a deeper dive.
Resonance: How to Open Doors For Other People  by Farnam Street: "True, sustained listening is one of the hardest skills to achieve. I've met only a handful of people with the ability. A simple way to focus your attention is to listen with the intention of summarizing the other person's point of view. This stops you from using your mental energy to work out your reply, and helps store the other's words in your memory as well as identify any gaps in your understanding so you can ask questions to clarify."
Going Critical  by Melting Asphalt: This article is on diffusion, which of course, is the way things move and spread across a network. Who cares? Well, diffusion applies to infectious diseases, memes, wildfires, and ideas. So, it's worth understanding.
Three things set this piece apart: It's detailed, but not cumbersome; it fully explains the basic principle of diffusion; and it's interactive. I had fun playing God with each variable to see how the models responded. Interestingly, changing an input by one unit sometimes magnified an output many times over, while in other situations, the change was inconsequential.
Making Sense with Sam Harris - The Edge of Humanity :  A great conversation between Sam Harris and his guest  Yuval Noah Harari. Harari is perhaps best known for his influential book  Sapiens . He's smart, insightful, and has a unique perspective on human history and our path forward.
The 150 Apps that Power the Gig Economy  by Visual Capitalist: The  Gig Economy  is here to stay. These are the apps that are most critical to it.


"Boiling water will soften a potato but harden an egg. You can't control whether you're a potato or an egg, but you can decide to play a game where it's better to be hard or soft. If you can find a more favorable environment, you can transform the situation from one where the odds are against you to one where they are in your favor."
- James Clear

  • It's funny how algorithms work. Last week, my YouTube feed recommended I watch a professional tag match. Being unaware of said sport's existence, I complied. I don't think I'll be a regular fan, but wow, are these athletes agile.

Matthew Lekushoff

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