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The Return of Stagflation

I have been writing this letter for 22 years. Sometimes I look into the future and other times merely try to explain the present. Today I’m going to look at several possible futures. There are forces at work in both Congress and the Federal Reserve that could take us...

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Human Capital Losses

Remember math class? Let me give you a quick refresher. In the equation 3 x 5 = 15, the 3 and 5 are factors, and 15 is the product. You can’t have a product without factors. In economics we talk about “factors of production.” If you want to produce something, you need...

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Perfect Storms

Having been Puerto Rico residents for almost three years now, Shane and I have learned a few things about living in the tropics. In Dallas, we didn’t often think about hurricanes, though we did have tornadoes and severe thunderstorms. Ditto for earthquakes. North...

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Buy Businesses, Not Stocks

I write this letter on my way home from Steamboat Springs, Colorado, where I spoke to the fascinating “GoBundance” group of mostly young, successful, enthusiastic entrepreneurs. Before that I was in Grand Lake Stream, Maine, for the Camp Kotok economics/fishing...

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Bulls Charge Ahead On Hopes Fed Stands Pat 08-13-21

In this 08-13-21 issue of “Bulls Charge Ahead On Hopes Fed Stands Pat.”   Market Rally Gains Steam Market Internals Extraordinarily Weak The Fed Gave Investors No Choice Portfolio Positioning Sector & Market Analysis 401k Plan Manager Follow Us On: Twitter,...

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Ubiquity, Complexity, and Sandpiles

“How did you go bankrupt?” “Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.” ―Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises Change happens quickly and, often, unpredictably. And as we will see, the unpredictable part is actually a mathematical principle. As in the Hemingway quote above,...

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Technically Speaking: A Test Of The 200-DMA Is Coming

A test of the 200-dma is coming. The only questions are when and what will cause it? Two weeks ago in the Real Investment Report (subscribe for free email delivery), I discussed the rather long span of 6-straight positive return months. “An additional ‘red flag’ is...

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COVID Consumer Headache

If you look just at 2021, it seems the US economy is tearing higher. Real GDP grew an annualized +6.5% in the second quarter, the Commerce Department estimated last week. This follows a similar +6.3% first quarter, and a pandemic-interrupted 2020 that turned out not...

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Policy Errors Have Consequences

“T.S. Eliot once wrote, ‘Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.’ It seems the US financial system is bound and determined to find out.” —John Hussman, July 29, 2021 “If I was Darth Vader and I wanted to destroy the US economy, I...

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Secular Bear Birth, Bull Death May 7, 2021

Many investors are excited due to the S&P 500 attaining a new all-time high on July 26, 2021.  However, based on the following the probability is high that a new Secular Bear, the first since 2000-2009 and 10th since 1802 was born on May 7, 2021.  The bear’s birth...

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Federal Reserve Folly

Great news: The US economy is officially out of recession. We know this because the National Bureau of Economic Research’s official recession-calling committee said so this week. The economy has been in an expansion phase since last April, making this the shortest...

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Technically Speaking: Hedge Funds Ramp Up Exposure

The “Fear Of Missing Out” has infected retail and hedge funds alike as they ramp up exposure to chase performance. We have previously discussed the near “mania” of retail investors taking on exceptional risk in various manners. From increasing leverage, engaging in...

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Xi’s Big Mistake

I have mixed feelings about China. On the plus side, I think the country’s massive economic transformation may be one of the most impressive events in human history. Bringing hundreds of millions from primitive rural lives into relatively prosperous cities within a...

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TINA Is Stupid

In the 1980s, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher liked to say, “There is no alternative” to her market-driven economic reform ideas. She said it so much people began abbreviating it as “TINA.” Whatever you think of Lady Thatcher’s policies, the slogan was...

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The New Inquisition

It is as essential to democracy that the minority should voluntarily submit to the measures adopted as it is that the majority should voluntarily approve them. Democratic government rests upon the principle that it is better to count heads than it is to break them....

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Technically Speaking: Warnings From Behind The Curtain

“Warnings From Behind The Curtain” almost sounds like the title of a good “Cold War” fiction novel. However, this time, the story is of warnings for investors not often discussed by the mainstream media. Notably, there is a necessary clarification that must get made....

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Long Humanity

“At the end of the day” is a trite figure of speech, but it sometimes fits. It signals you’ve used all your time, and now you’ll wrap up and begin thinking about tomorrow. I like to say designing the Strategic Investment Conference agenda is my personal art form....

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Strategic Investment Potpourri

If it seems I have been talking about the Strategic Investment Conference for weeks… well, you’re right. It really was that much to unpack, and I’ve still only scratched the surface. I will wrap up next week. First, however, I want to make sure you get a few other...

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Politics with No Labels

You can’t always get what you wantBut if you try sometime you findYou get what you need There’s no way around it: Investing in public companies is always political. Corporations exist because governments charter these artificial entities and legally shield the owners...

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Technology Rules

Macroeconomic forecasting is too politicized. I don’t mean that in a partisan sense, though it may be so. The bigger problem is that forecasters spend most of their time thinking about central bank decisions and government policies. In the long run, those aren’t the...

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Deflation Talk

If you could ask the world’s top central bankers what really terrifies them, I think the honest answer would usually be “deflation.” It is their greatest nightmare. They think a little inflation is good (thus the 2%+ target), and they’re confident they can subdue it...

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Expecting Inflation

The annual whirlwind is over. SIC was once again a mental overload. This year our virtual schedule spread it over almost two weeks, which was actually nice. The in-between days let the ideas settle a bit before the firehose opened again. Fifty powerful, thoughtful...

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A Giant Consumptive Force

The SIC was in full swing this week. I am finishing this on Friday morning, a few hours before the start of the last official day and then a “Plus Day” on Tuesday. My mind is swimming with new connections and revelations. While the live events are mostly over now,...

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This Kind of Duality

We’re midway through the SIC 2021, and as I expected, it’s shaping up to be the biggest and best Strategic Investment Conference I’ve ever hosted. So far, all of our presenters and panelists have given stellar performances... and attendees seem to agree with that...

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Anomaly of a Recovery

We did the first Strategic Investment Conference 18 years ago. I remember one of the partners in the firm that cohosted the event telling me as I walked up to the stage, “John, it doesn’t get any better than this. Don’t screw it up.” He was wrong. Every year the...

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Stumbling to Scarcity

In economic forecasting, reality is usually somewhere between the extremes. The best-case and worst-case rarely happen. That’s why, when they do happen, markets react so quickly to the “missed expectations.” I saw this early in my career. Realizing we will “muddle...

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Tsunami Warning

A tsunami is a wall of water that wipes out everything in its path, typically caused by earthquakes. But first, the water actually disappears from the usual shoreline, leaving land where there should be sea. A tsunami is a wall of water that wipes out everything in...

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#Fundamentally Speaking: Earnings Optimism Explodes

As markets surge to record highs, analysts are rushing to ratchet up earnings estimates as optimism explodes. “The first quarter of 2021 marked the largest increase in the bottom-up EPS estimate during a quarter since FactSet began tracking the quarterly bottom-up EPS...

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Tiny Housing Bubbles

Recently I searched the Thoughts from the Frontline archives to see how often I used the word “bubble.” It was more than I thought, and I wasn’t quoting Don Ho. The bubbles I talked about were anything but tiny. Most of them subsequently popped, too. For most people,...

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The Exponential Ride

The last year brought exponential growth in, among other things, use of the word “exponential.” It is now the go-to term when you want to say something is “growing super-fast.” I've got to admit it's getting better (Better)A little better all the time (It can't get no...

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The 1970s Never Ended

Big economic storms are rare and usually end quickly, but they tend to have long-lasting effects. Today I want to talk about a storm 50 years ago that still affects us now. Important things happened in the 1970s. I personally remember that decade well. I was in my 20s...

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Broken Debt

Modern technology is amazing but our ancient forebears built some wondrous things, too. Long-ago historians organized them into “Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.” (Of course, their “world” was the Mediterranean and Middle East. Other wonders existed elsewhere.)...

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What Interest Rate Triggers The Next Crisis?

What Interest Rate Triggers The Next Crisis? The Ten-year U.S. Treasury note yields 1.61%. 10-year high-quality corporate bonds yield 2.09%. The rate on a 30-year mortgage is 3.05%. Despite recent increases, interest rates are hovering near historic lows.  We do not...

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Inflation Is Broken

I have been writing for many years that the US in particular and the Western “developed” world in general were approaching a time where none of our choices would be good. We have arrived. Any choice the government and central banks of the US and the rest of the world...

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Everything Is Broken

Broken CreditBroken RetirementBroken StocksBroken DataBroken Unemployment SystemPuerto Rico, Vaccines, and Some Good News Broken lines, broken strings,Broken threads, broken springs,Broken idols, broken heads,People sleeping in broken beds —Bob Dylan, “Everything is...

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The Great Jobs Reset

We are almost through February and (knocking on wood) the US COVID-19 situation is improving daily. The B117 and other variants haven’t yet made a big impact. Possibly they will, but as time passes more people are getting at least partial protection through vaccines....

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Bear Trader Subscriber Notice 02/23/21

There have been two recent discoveries that are relevant to the Bull Vix algorithm’s open VXX and UVXY positions:   The clustering of BSAs. Four periods from 1999 to 2021 in which a minimum of four BSAs were clustered within 6 to 11-week timeframes.  For the...

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Random Thoughts from the Frontline

Readers often ask how these letters appear so regularly. The answer is we have a process. Normally, I talk to my associate Patrick Watson on Monday about the next weekend’s letter. We both go into research mode, verbally outlining a letter, and by Thursday I have an...

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Overstimulation Risk

Among the many strange, unforeseen changes of the last year is a new respect for Keynesian economic theory. Practically everyone in power now agrees that deficit spending produces GDP growth. They differ only on its expected magnitude and duration. The few exceptions...

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Prepare for the Bear

The peaking process that the S&P 500 must go through after its 4th “Perilous Peak” since 1881 occurred in January 2021 is well underway. The S&P 500 must churn at the high to provide the fuel for the first double-digit correction since March 2020 to occur. ...

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Controlling the Curve

If time is money, then interest rates are the price of time. The most important interest rates in the world are for US Treasury securities. This is why I’ve long said it makes no sense for a committee to set those rates. The markets could do just fine without that...

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Technically Speaking: Is A Larger Correction Coming?

In last week’s Technically Speaking post we discussed why we reduced risk in anticipation of a pullback in the markets. However, there are some warning signs which beg the question “is a larger correction coming?” A Tough Start What started out as a promising January,...

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Detached Parabolas and Open Trap Doors

  John P. Hussman, Ph.D. President, Hussman Investment Trust February 2021 The nutshell is this: the old line economy stocks just don’t work because they have earnings and eventually rising interest rates impact earnings. New economy stocks have no earnings, so...

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Inflation and Broken Windows

I’m often asked if I foresee inflation or deflation. This week we had an “Ask Me Anything” session for Alpha Society members and it came up several times. Both are possible in their own ways, and frankly I feel a little funny telling people I think we will see both. I...

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Technically Speaking: Why We Reduced Risk Last Week

Why we reduced risk last week. During the last few weeks, I have discussed the rising levels of exuberance in the markets. On Friday, I tweeted the following: Money flows very close to flipping negative. I might be a few days early but we are dropping #equity exposure...

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Forecast 2021: The Stock Market

This will be the third part of my 2021 Forecast Series. You can read the first two parts here and here. The general theme has been “On the Gripping Hand.” Science fiction writers imagined a three-handed alien race with a left hand, right hand, and a very strong...

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S&P 500 at 3rd Perilous Peak since 1929!

On January 8, 2021, the S&P 500 reached its third Perilous Peak since 1871 according to the Extreme Analytics (EA) algorithm.   Recently concluded research of empirical data revealed that 1929 and 2000 were the first-ever Perilous Peaks for the S&P 500 since...

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The Speculative “V”

  John P. Hussman, Ph.D. President, Hussman Investment Trust January 2021 It’s essential to monitor the uniformity of market internals, because investors still have the speculative bit in their teeth. The problem is that this has also often been true at the very...

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The Grip Tightens

This is part two of my 2021 forecast series. I began last week (you can read it here) discussing a three-handed alien race envisioned by science fiction writers Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven. They had two regular hands and a third “gripping hand,” which though less...

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Year of the Gripping Hand

This week’s letter is the first part of my 2021 forecast. There is simply too much to cover in one letter, and today we’ll start with the most important factor, a known unknown, that I think will be the driver for 2021. Before beginning, I want to make two points, one...

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Waiting For The Last Dance

Executive Summary The long, long bull market since 2009 has finally matured into a fully-fledged epic bubble. Featuring extreme overvaluation, explosive price increases, frenzied issuance, and hysterically speculative investor behavior, I believe this event will be...

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Bull Vix: Vicious Accuracy

The Bull Vix now has vicious accuracy due to its new algorithm.  The results from a 10 year backtest indicated that the algorithm’s performance for its defined trading periods after an occurrence of a Bullish Sentiment Anomaly (BSA) were flawless.  The Bull Vix...

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A Good Response to a Bad Situation

  John P. Hussman, Ph.D. President, Hussman Investment Trust Late-December 2020 In traditional financial theory, interest rates are a key component of valuation models. When interest rates fall, the discount rate used in these models decreases and the price of...

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Stock Market Party

"History repeats itself, that's one of the things that's wrong with history.” The end of 2020 has me looking back. I started writing the letters that later became Thoughts from the Frontline back in the late 1990s. Similar to COVID-19 today, we had a giant macro issue...

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Survival of the Biggest

The essential point to grasp is that in dealing with capitalism we are dealing with an evolutionary process… At the heart of capitalism is creative destruction. …Situations emerge in the process of creative destruction in which many firms may have to perish that...

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Elites on the Edge

Growing income and wealth inequality were on my (and probably your) radar screen long before COVID-19 came along. The pandemic has made them both more obvious and more urgent. The actions by the Federal Reserve have widened the gap. We are now in a situation where...

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Hypervaluation and the Option Value of Cash

  John P. Hussman, Ph.D. President, Hussman Investment Trust December 2020 One of the most insidious ideas foisted on investors by Wall Street, in tacit cooperation with activist policy makers at the Federal Reserve, is the fiction that zero interest rates offer...

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The Financial Fire Trucks of 2021

A Happy Thanksgiving weekend to all my US friends. This year was different for many of us—sometimes by choice, sometimes not. But there’s one bit of good news I think we can all share: The holiday season means 2020 is almost over. Soon, we’ll be able to turn the page....

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The Great Reset vs. The Great Reset

In baseball, there is a situation where a base runner is sprinting to home plate and can’t see what is happening behind him. Totally focused on scoring, he doesn’t know if the outfielder is throwing a ball that will reach home plate first. That’s where we get the...

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Pushing Extremes

  John P. Hussman, Ph.D. President, Hussman Investment Trust November 2020 The one reality that you can never change is that a higher-priced asset will produce a lower return than a lower-priced asset. You can’t have your cake and eat it. You can enjoy it now, or...

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Premature Vaccine Rally to soon Fizzle!

Article edited on 11/15/2020 The stock market rally after Pfizer announced that its Coronavirus vaccine had 90% efficacy was premature since the vaccine: Now in stage 3 clinical trials has been fast tracked by FDA for emergency use ONLY Must finish Stage 3 and also...

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A Chance for Normalcy

Last week I talked about the polls misleading us. I, for one, didn’t see a high probability of a Biden presidency combined with a Republican Senate. But, pending recounts, legal actions, and some run-off elections, that’s probably what will happen. We will muddle...

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Complexity Wins Again

Here in Puerto Rico we are now an hour ahead of Eastern Time, as we don’t do daylight savings time. I stayed up much later than normal on election night to watch the returns. I knew fairly early, when Florida and North Carolina looked so close, we weren’t going to see...

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BullsNBears’ Four Election Outcome Scenarios

There are four possible post 2020 election outcome scenarios which will determine the direction of the US stock market through November 2022:  Republican President/Republican Senate/ Democrat House Republican President/Democrat Senate/ Democrat House Democrat...

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What Will Not Change

“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.” If you feel a bit overwhelmed, you’re not alone. A lot is happening right now. The US has a big election next week. We’re all on edge about the pandemic, which appears to be getting worse again,...

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The Green Shoots of 2020

Appearing on 60 Minutes, Fed Chair Ben Bernanke said the recession’s end was in sight because the Fed’s asset purchases were generating “green shoots.” They turned out to be slow-growing shoots. The US unemployment rate kept getting worse for seven more months...

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Herd Mentality

  John P. Hussman, Ph.D. President, Hussman Investment Trust October 2020 That the rate of interest will be lower when commerce languishes and when there is little demand for money, than when the energies of commerce are in full play and there is an active demand...

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Market Stumbles As Stimulus Hopes Fade 10-16-20

In this issue of “Market Stumbles As Stimulus Hopes Fade.” Hopes For More Stimulus Election Night Risk Economic Disappointment Portfolio Positioning Update MacroView: Recessions Are A Good Thing, Let Them Happen Sector & Market Analysis 401k Plan...

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Caught in a Debt Trap

We're caught in a trapI can't walk outBecause I love you too much baby Elvis Presley’s rendition of Suspicious Minds topped the record charts in 1969. The lyrics portray a romance that couldn’t work, but was also impossible to escape. That’s also a good way to...

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Market Regains Footing On Hopes Of More Stimulus

In this issue of “Market Regains Footing On Hopes Of More Stimulus.” Hopes For More Stimulus Market Regains Its Footing Policies Over Politics Portfolio Positioning Update MacroView: The Second Derivative Of More Stimulus Sector & Market Analysis 401k...

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Timeline to the New Normal

Like everyone else, I am weary of this pandemic mess. I want to travel freely, enjoy dinner with friends, hug, and shake hands. And, of course, I want everyone who lost jobs and businesses to get them back. I wasn’t thrilled with the economy a year ago, but I’d take...

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Statements made by Michael Markowski and Profitfromthecrash.com  pertaining to returns made from investing in Airbnb, UBER and Snapchat are not indicative of a TRACK RECORD. They are examples for educational purposes only.