Special Announcement from the Publisher
I am thrilled to announce the launch of our Eagle Investing Network YouTube Channel. You’ll find lots of great videos to help you navigate the markets and become a better investor. Click here now to check it out — and be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss any new videos, as we will put them up at least on a weekly basis.
Don’t Hate, Celebrate
Haters gonna hate.
That’s a little youthful slang for the notion that, no matter how successful, accomplished or good someone is, there are always going to be those “haters” out there that want to denigrate their achievement.
Sadly, I saw quite a lot of this “hater” sentiment in the days leading up to, and after the outcome of, Super Bowl LV (this was the one held on Feb. 7, 2021, and I bring it up here because the 2022 NFL season is just about two weeks away!).
That hatred was directed toward one Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr., also known as the “G.O.A.T” or the Greatest Of All Time, when it comes to NFL quarterbacks. As you likely know, Brady was then fresh off his seventh Super Bowl victory. That’s more than any other player in NFL history. Heck, that’s more Super Bowl wins than any other franchise in NFL history.
Yet, this column isn’t about football. In fact, I’m not really all that into football or sports in general, although I do like watching the best at what they do battle it out for on-field supremacy. Rather, today’s column is about philosophy, and more specifically, a destructive attitude that permeates society. It is best encapsulated by what philosopher/novelist Ayn Rand calls a “hatred of the good for being the good.”
The concept can be found in Rand’s essay, “The Age of Envy,” which is part of a collection of essays I highly recommend titled, “The Return of the Primitive: The Anti-Industrial Revolution.” The premise here is that people tend to hate those who achieve their values, and those who are able to deal with reality on a level that others simply cannot, or that have not. Yet, perhaps it’s best to let Rand herself elaborate on this issue, and here I quote:
“This hatred is not resentment against some prescribed view of the good with which one does not agree… Hatred of the good for being the good means hatred of that which one regards as good by one’s own (conscious or subconscious) judgment. It means hatred of a person for possessing a value or virtue one regards as desirable.”
Image courtesy of www.shutterstock.com
Now, I don’t know about you, but if you look at things honestly and objectively, wouldn’t we all like to be Tom Brady? I don’t mean that literally, of course, but wouldn’t we all want to possess the man’s attributes? Here are just some of the values he embodies, at least from all the accounts I’ve read about the man.
He’s a supremely hard worker, and he pushes himself to achieve the highest levels of his profession. He demands the best from those he works with. His presence and work ethic uplift and inspire his co-workers to be their best. He is handsome, fit, disciplined and supremely focused. He’s wealthy, and that wealth has been earned through the blood, sweat and tears of more than two decades in one of the toughest and most violent sports around. Finally, he is married to one of the most beautiful women on the planet, and one who is equally successful in her profession as Brady is in his.
Yet, for the haters, the aforementioned values and virtues Brady embodies is why they like to engage in sniping, criticism or in joyfully witnessing his defeats. I even read social media posts that openly pined for Brady to be injured during the Super Bowl, because he doesn’t “deserve” another Super Bowl victory. Other posts I read were rejoicing in the notion that Brady would be “dethroned” by rival quarterback Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs.
Well, I got news for you, the same hatred of Brady’s success would then be transferred onto Mahomes, because for a certain element of society where envy, jealousy and a hatred of the good for being the good is a dominant characteristic, whomever embodies the values they wish they had will become the living example of what they’ve failed to achieve.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.” For Tom Brady haters who don’t like him because he embodies attributes they wish they had, well, then what does that say about their character — or lack thereof?
My recommendation to the haters is as follows: Don’t hate, celebrate.
Doing so will liberate you from the ugliness of envy, and it will save you from descending into the abyss of the hatred of the good for being the good. And who knows, celebrating another’s virtues might just get you ready to focus on celebrating and cultivating your own virtues — and that might actually help you be the kind of person you really want to be.
Finally, I’m excited to announce that I’ll be speaking at the W3BX conference, Oct. 10-13, in Las Vegas. Join some of the biggest names in the industry, including my colleagues Bryan Perry and Jon Johnson, along with our Publisher Roger Michalski, to learn more about investing in blockchain, cryptos, NFTs, Metaverse, mining and all things Web Three.
The Web Three sector is expected to grow from $3.2 billion to $81.5 billion by 2030. The more you know about it, the more potential money you can make from this explosion.
Click here now to learn more about the conference and be sure to enter the code “EAGLE” when you register to save 20%. I’ll see you in Vegas!
ETF Talk: Stumbling Upon a ‘Cash Cow’ ETF
You may not know that the common expression “cash cow” was coined by the great management guru Peter F. Drucker in the 1960s to refer to a product or business that continues to retain its sizable market share, even as the market itself is stagnant or declining.
Such a business or product is able to continually churn out profits with little maintenance, investment or oversight, in much the same way that a cow is able to generate milk virtually endlessly if simply provided with grass for grazing. Meanwhile, the funds that are generated are then able to be used by the parent company for investment or research and development purposes.
Nowadays, it seems that many investors are looking for their own cash cows in a time when the Treasury yield curve inversion reached levels not seen since 2007. All eyes are now fixed on what Fed Chairman Jerome Powell will say at the upcoming Jackson Hole conference in Wyoming, as many investors are wondering what Chairman Powell’s remarks will do to the bond market.
Of course, there are exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that will do well if bond yields begin to come back down due to a slowing economy. One such ETF is the Pacer US Cash Cows 100 ETF (BATS: COWZ).
This ETF is focused on the belief that companies with a high free cash flow are the most stable ones. The fund’s managers begin with the Russell 1000 index and then screen companies via their average projected free cash flows and earnings for the next two fiscal years. Companies with negative cash flow or earnings are removed. Then, the qualifying companies are ranked according to their 12-month free cash flow yield. The ETF index is then comprised of the top 100 names. Each security is capped at 2% of the index.
The top holdings in the portfolio are McKesson Corporation (NYSE: MCK), CVS Health Corporation (NYSE: CVS), Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO), Nucor Corporation (NYSE: NUE), Moderna, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRNA), General Dynamics Corporation (NYSE: GD) and Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD).
As of Aug. 23, COWZ has risen 14.59% over the past month and 7.05% for the past three months. It is currently up 29.76% year to date.
Chart courtesy of www.stockcharts.com
The fund has amassed $7.45 billion in assets under management and has an expense ratio of 0.49%.
In short, while COWZ does provide investors with access to potential “cash cows,” this kind of ETF may not be appropriate for all portfolios. Thus, interested investors always should conduct their due diligence and decide whether the fund is suitable for their investing goals.
As always, I am happy to answer any of your questions about ETFs, so do not hesitate to send me an email. You just may see your question answered in a future ETF Talk.
In case you missed it…
Slam Dunkin’ with Shaq
Pass me the pill, and I’ll slam dunk ya like Shaquille O’Neal…
–Ice Cube, “Wicked”
Last week marked a personal milestone for me, as the podcast and lifestyle website I created, “Way of the Renaissance Man,” turned four years old.
I’ve learned a lot over the past four years, and I’ve been fortunate to have met and interviewed some of the most interesting people in the world. Now, this time last year I interviewed one of those interesting people, basketball legend and omnipresent pitchman Shaquille O’Neal.
In honor of the Way of the Renaissance Man podcast anniversary, I am republishing the lead story of a year ago in “The Deep Woods” titled, “What I learned from Shaq.”
Not only do I suspect you’ll be swayed by the “Big Fella’s” charm, but you’ll also find about an investable opportunity that Shaq’s involved with that I think could be a big winner for investors.
So, let’s dig into that article right now:
I’m a very lucky man.
I have been blessed with myriad opportunities from an early age, with parents who took an active interest in my education and who always pushed me to be my best.
In fact, my mother did so in a very shrewd way. For example, say I came home from school with a 97% on a test. My mother would look at the result, pause contemplatively, and then say, “Well, Jim, that means there’s room for improvement.”
Now, you might think this is a bit harsh, but it actually was the epitome of love. You see, love is expecting the best out of someone, including yourself, in every situation. It is also holding yourself up to the highest standards, or the term that I often use, and that serves as the closing thought in every one of my publications, and that is to act “in the name of the best within us.”
But why am I bringing up this blend of history and personal philosophy? Well, because both really are at the animating core of my work, not just here in “The Deep Woods,” but in all my investment advisory newsletters. And, this is particularly true of my labor-of-love project, the Way of the Renaissance Man lifestyle website and podcast.
Today, I am proud to present the kickoff episode of Season Four of the podcast, and this week’s guest is by far the most famous individual I’ve had on the show.
Indeed, all I must do is to you his abbreviated first name and you’ll know exactly who it is… “Shaq.”
That’s right, on the new episode of the Way of the Renaissance Man podcast, I speak with basketball legend, entrepreneur, actor, musician, corporate spokesman and investor Shaquille O’Neal.
Now, when you grow up in Los Angeles like I did, the Lakers are practically a religion even if you don’t closely follow sports. So, as you might imagine, speaking with one of the high priests of the Lakers for the kickoff episode of Season Four was a true delight.
In this conversation with Shaq, we were joined by The Alkaline Water Company Chairman Aaron Keay. Now, as you may recall, Alkaline88 water is the only brand of water that I endorse, and it’s also the brand that Shaq represents.
Now, in this episode, you’ll learn how Shaq decides what business projects to get into, and just how intimately he’s involved in the details of his business ventures. As Shaq says, “he’s not just a pretty face” when it comes to business. In fact, he’s extremely hands on.
Plus, you’ll learn all about Shaq’s influences and mentors, including his main mentor since age 18, both on the court and in business, fellow Laker priest and entrepreneur Earvin “Magic” Johnson. Interestingly, I share an anecdote about when I first met Shaq and Magic some three decades ago, even before Shaq was in the NBA.
If you’ve always wanted to peek into the mind of a legendary athlete, as well as an extremely successful businessman, then I invite you to listen to the Season Four premiere episode of the Way of the Renaissance Man podcast with Shaquille O’Neal.
Finally, it’s hard to believe that we are already on Season Four of the Way of the Renaissance Man podcast. It seems like just yesterday we published the very first episode of the show, which featured tax cut warrior Grover Norquist. Yet that first episode was almost exactly three years ago to the day (four years, now).
Yes, we’ve come a long way in our journey to help each other discover the tools needed to better focus our minds, integrate our thoughts with actions and live the lives we really want.
So, to all of those involved in making the podcast possible, and to all the fantastic guests I’ve been privileged to speak with, and most of all, to you, the podcast listener and reader of “The Deep Woods,” I want to thank you for allowing my labor of love to be part of your life.
May we continue sharing that love for years to come.
The Unbearable Knowing
“This is what youth must figure out:
Girls, love and living.
The having, the not having.
The spending and giving,
And the melancholy time of not knowing.
This is what age must learn about:
The ABC of dying.
The going, yet not going,
The loving and leaving,
And the unbearable knowing and knowing.”
I recently celebrated another trip around the sun, and as it always does, the occasion forces me to confront the man I am, the man I could have been, and the man I can still be. Chalk it up to serendipity or “the universe” or just plain coincidence, but on my birthday, I stumbled upon the above words from writer E.B. White.
While my youth has long passed, I must say that an objective assessment of that time has led me to conclude that I “figured out” most of these things (well, as much as girls and love can ever be figured out). As for what age must figure out, well, an objective assessment here also makes me smile in the sense that all of these topics have come front and center in my life over the past several years. And while I don’t think any person will ever truly figure out these things, being on the path to honestly doing so is about the best anyone can hope for.
Wisdom about money, investing and life can be found anywhere. If you have a good quote that you’d like me to share with your fellow readers, send it to me, along with any comments, questions and suggestions you have about my newsletters, seminars or anything else. Click here to ask Jim.
In the name of the best within us,