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What do you think about predictions?

I think they’re fun.

But I don’t think anyone ever puts too much stock into predictions.

We enjoy them because of the escapism, a look at what could be in the coming months and years, but no one truly believes them. In sports, we love reading them because it lets us enjoy a sport even though it’s not being played. In finance, we pretend we know where the markets will go.

Practically every prediction of the markets in 2023 thought they’d crash. We were on the verge of a recession. It did the exact opposite.

2023: A Year in Returns [Novel Investor] – “2022 ended with fears of a recession, rising interest rates, and higher and rising inflation costs. It was the first year in a long time where both stocks and bonds were down. “Experts” predicted more of the same. 2023 proved them wrong. A diversified portfolio, made up of broader asset classes, returned 12.8% for the year. US, International, and Emerging Market indexes, broadly, were up double digits. In fact, the S&P 500 even set a new all-time high!”

Multigenerational Living Often Makes Sense. That Doesn’t Make It Easy [The Walrus] – “OW THAT I live with my mom, my preferred mode of communication with her is by text. We’re in each other’s faces enough these days. Her first messages come in the morning, before sunrise, when she hears my heavy tread from her suite downstairs in our Vancouver Special, a mainstay structure in the city’s residential areas. Once deemed boxy and cookie cutter, the architectural equivalent of a Honda Element, Vancouver Specials are now touted for their ability to accommodate two households, one on each floor. I’m in the kitchen, making my eight-year-old’s school lunch, when my phone buzzes and my mother puts in her breakfast request.”

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a “heist” of some kind. Today, I fix that:

The Billion-dollar Ponzi Scheme That Hooked Warren Buffett and the U.S. Treasury [The Atlantic] – “Yet there, at his life’s lowest, the remarkable happened. A contraption he’d rigged up in his driveway—a car trailer decked with solar panels and a heavy battery—got the attention of people with real money. Carpoff could scarcely have imagined it. He’d never gone to college and had no experience in green technology. His invention, he thought, was “crazy, harebrained.” But investors saw the makings of a clean-energy revolution.”

Have a great weekend!