Daily Writing 10/03/2019

My goal is to write every day.  I am going to do things that are outside of my comfort zone.  Writing this blog forces me to be accountable.  I will put myself out there even if it’s not perfect.  I will do everything I can to be open to the world so that I can make mistakes and then learn from them.  Writing should be fun and enjoyable for both the reader and the writer.

I’m not organized enough to structure my blog in any meaningful way, but at least I am practicing how to write different things.  I won’t be afraid to put myself out there because I am trying my best.  Taking action is the most crucial step.  I will not take criticism or feedback personally.  I will work to hone my skills as a writer and a communicator.

National Day, Shadow Banking, and Pork Prices

The start of a new month brings with it some new ideas.  Here’s what I’m thinking about:

The 70th Anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China

Today marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the people’s republic of China.  It’s interesting to note that western reporting of Hong Kong protests is overshadowing reporting of the National Day festivities underway in Beijing.

This has been an event the Chinese leadership has been focused on for quite some time.  Many China analysts speculated that the lead up to this significant event influenced top leadership’s decision making, particularly concerning the repeal of the profoundly unpopular Hong Kong extradition bill.

 

Shadow Banking in China

Over the past several weeks, I have focused my attention on domestic capital flows in Mainland China.  Nearly all lines of inquiry into the subject refer to the importance of shadow banking activity for China’s overall economy.

Andrew Collier, the author of “Shadow Banking and the Rise of Capitalism in China” and Managing Director of Orient Capital Research, presents four key metrics economists have used to understand the risks of China’s shadow banking sector.  Enumerated and summarized below are these metrics:

  • The private sector credit-to-GDP ratio
  • The growth of real credit per capita
  • The real credit growth gap
  • The debt service ratio

Most compelling is Mr. Collier’s assertion that “none of these measures of credit suggest China is in good shape.”

 

Pork Prices in China

Unrelated to the story surrounding the senior UBS economist and his controversial remarks in June, over the past few weeks pork prices in China have been the Wholesale pork prices in China have nearly doubled since the end of last year due to a proliferation of African swine flu.

 

CNPORKWH Index (China Agricultur 2019-09-03 08-33-50_cropped_2
China wholesale pork spot price (RMB/kg) Source: Bloomberg

 

Why does this matter?

Unstable commodity prices breed unstable societies. Especially when you consider that China is the largest consumer of pork in the world.  Officials in all levels of government are openly acknowledging a slowing of China’s economy for reasons distinct to consumer commodity prices.  If we start to see too downward economic forces converging then, this could lead to Hong Kong-style unrest in Mainland cities.  Food for thought.

Five Hundred Words 12/17/2018

Monday, December 17, 2018

Daily Writing

 

Housekeeping

Over the next few days, we are gearing up for a long-scheduled, much-anticipated trip to China on December 25, 2018.  Throughout this week we will focus on some of our main goals for the China trip.  I am genuinely worried about the state of China, its economy, and its political climate.

 

Things I’m thinking about

  • What does the economic environment currently look like in China?
  • How is the political climate changing?
    • E.g., political propaganda more prevalent, increased patriotic sentiment?
  • How does the average Chinese citizen view the economy vis-à-vis the “average” Chinese political and/or business elite?
  • How have views of the United States changed since this time last year?
  • What are Chinese companies doing to prepare for a global economic slowdown?
  • What is the overall market sentiment China?
  • If folks in China aren’t worried about the economy, then what are they worried about?

 

 

Market Observations

The S&P started the day with a 1.00% spike downward.  US Treasury yields continue their push lower, with the yield on the 10-year Treasury now 2.86% and the yield on the 30-year Treasury now 3.13%.  Keep in mind that just a few weeks prior the yield on the 10-year Treasury Note was higher than 3.25%.  At the time many experts felt that US Treasuries could online continue to move higher, with some speculating that the 10-year yield was more likely to reach 4.00% than 3.25%.

The CBOE put/call ratio also remains elevated, at time of writing sits at 1.16 after opening the day at 1.24.  The average ratio is 0.76, and a rate over 1.00 is elevated.  The CBOE put/call ratio is a measure of overall fear in the market.

At the time of writing, WTI crude has dropped more than 3.50% where it currently sits at $49.40/barrel.  I find it interesting that amid the current market turmoil gold has hardly budged.  For the past few months, gold has traded within a tight range between $1200 – $1250/oz.

 

 

Personal thoughts

I’m not sure if this belongs in my daily writing, but I feel it is essential to grant this sliver of insight into my own thinking.

When I wake up each morning, I tell myself three things that help propel me forward:

  • I will be proud of my actions
  • I will strive to help others
  • I will be kind

It can be quite tricky to balance these things, and the results are not immediate.  However, in general, I’ve found that by following these commands that I give myself I can enhance my own learning and growth.  The focus is not on me, but those around me.  Also, I do not ‘hope’ to accomplish these tasks each day, I give myself the command that I ‘will’ strive to accomplish these things each day.  This allows me to feel a greater sense of control and accountability for my actions.  I must be a pillar of support for others, but I also must be vulnerable at times.  Kindness is highly undervalued.

 

Developing a personal investing style

Last week I met with a trusted advisor for lunch.  We discussed the importance of identifying broad trends in market behavior and even human behavior.  Sometimes patterns cannot be quantified 100%, although that doesn’t deter many from trying.

My biggest takeaways were focusing on using Time to my advantage.  It seems obvious, but the more time you have, the more options and flexibility you must employ different strategies.  The second takeaway was the importance of discovering my own style and utilizing that style to my advantage.  I’ll never be able to obtain an edge if I blindly copy the path of others, even if I emulate Warren Buffett there will be times where I need to make decisions based on my own intuition, experiences, and processes.  I’ll never be the next Warren Buffett because I am focused on being the next Kevin Tellier.

General Notes

Types of Hedge Funds

  • CTA/Managed Futures
  • Equity Hedge
  • Event Driven
  • Fixed Income Directional
  • Fixed Income Relative Value
  • Macro
  • Multi-strategy

Market Data

 

Resource Commodities

 

December 17, 2018

December 14, 2018

December 13, 2018

December 12, 2018

Gold Spot

1238.10

1241.70

1245.00

1242.90

Silver

14.535

14.715

14.720

14.535

Platinum

785.00

794.00

802.00

783.00

Copper

2.7200

2.7590

2.780

2.7854

Crude(WTI)

50.53

51.10

51.41

51.83

 

Global Government Bond Yields

 

December 17, 2018

December 14, 2018

December 13, 2018

December 12, 2018

US 10 year

2.86%

2.89%

2.91%

2.90%

US 30 Year

3.12%

3.14%

3.16%

3.13%

UK

1.27%

1.24%

1.26%

1.24%

Germany

0.26%

0.25%

0.27%

0.26%

Brazil

9.67%

9.61%

9.86%

10.02%

Italy

2.95%

2.93%

2.93%

3.00%

Japan

0.02%

0.02%

0.05%

0.04%

Major U.S. Indices

 

December 17, 2018

December 14, 2018

December 13, 2018

December 12, 2018

VIX

22.36

21.57

21.00

21.91

DOW

239.86

244.08

245.76

245.09

S&P 500

259.39

262.92

266.45

267.45

NASDAQ

6864.23

6961.86

7096.00

7163.89

 

Currency Cross Rates

 

December 17, 2018

December 14, 2018

December 13, 2018

December 12, 2018

USD/JPY

112.9200

113.2900

113.6700

113.210

EUR/USD

1.1344

1.1306

1.1355

1.1366

AUD/USD

0.7181

0.7178

0.7223

0.7230

USD/MXN

20.223

20.2528

20.069

20.0358

USD/CNY

6.905

6.9049

6.878

6.8777

USD Index

97.15

97.42

97.15

97.46