📈 R.I.P. Munger

Plus: Will home prices drop in 2024?

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Good Morning!

Tributes are pouring in for Investment Guru Charlie Munger, who passed away peacefully at the age of 99. He was vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway alongside Warren Buffet and had a tremendous impact on value investing.

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Will home prices drop in 2023 and 2024? (5+ minute read)
The remarkable surge in home prices observed during the pandemic has left numerous prospective buyers priced out of the market, raising questions about the possibility of a return to affordability. Despite the anticipation among potential homebuyers for a housing market bubble burst, any substantial decline in home prices seems unlikely in 2023 or 2024.

Contrary to expectations, current trends indicate that home prices are not decreasing; in fact, they continue to rise. As of September 2023, home prices in the US have experienced a 6.08% increase this year. While prices initially peaked in June 2022 and experienced a dip late last year, they reached their lowest point in January 2023 and have been steadily climbing since.

Tesla Cybertruck to debut Thursday amid production challenges (3 minute read)
The Tesla Cybertruck is now set to make its debut on the roads, presenting a unique blend of unconventionality that serves as both its main attraction and potential drawback. Representing Tesla's first foray into the American pickup market and the company's inaugural new model in three years, the Cybertruck's delivery launch is scheduled to take place at an event in Austin, Texas, four years after its initial concept unveiling.

CEO Elon Musk revealed the commencement of vehicle shipments in North America last week on X. While the Cybertruck is Tesla's initial venture into the pickup segment, which currently holds the top three positions in U.S. vehicle sales, it is not expected to break into the upper echelon. According to Evercore ISI analyst Chris McNally, sales projections for 2024 are estimated at 78,000 units, with an increase to 165,000 units anticipated in 2025.

Where Will Gold Prices Be Heading? (4 minute read)
Gold has sustained a bull market trajectory since 2000, with its driving force being the dynamics of real interest rates, determined by the variance between nominal rates and inflation. Over the past two decades, interest rates hovered close to zero, resulting in negative real rates, a condition favorable for gold. However, as real rates are currently turning positive in the short term, this shift is anticipated to exert downward pressure on gold prices.

The negative impact is further exacerbated by central bank tightening. Yet, a potential reversal in the trend could occur when central banks shift from tightening to easing, potentially happening next year, especially in the context of a global recession. The extent of easing measures, influenced by the severity and nature of the recession, could subsequently propel gold prices higher in the latter part of next year and into 2025.

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Tributes pour in for investment guru Charlie Munger (3 minute read)
Tributes are flowing in for Charlie Munger, the trusted confidante of veteran investor Warren Buffett, who passed away at the age of 99. Warren Buffett acknowledged Munger's profound impact on the success of Berkshire Hathaway, stating that the company's current stature owes much to Munger's inspiration, wisdom, and active involvement.

Munger, who was slated to celebrate his 100th birthday on January 1, had served as vice chairman at Berkshire since 1978. His peaceful passing occurred at a California hospital. Berkshire Hathaway, under the guidance of Buffett and Munger, transformed from a struggling textile maker into an investment powerhouse with a market valuation of $785 billion (£618 billion). Munger's integral role involved close collaboration with Buffett in capital allocation, and he was renowned for his straightforwardness, unafraid to voice his opinions when he disagreed with his business partner's decisions.

In death, Charlie Munger is loved by China (4 minute read)
While Wall Street mourns the passing of investing legend Charlie Munger, Chinese social media, particularly on Weibo, China's equivalent of Twitter, is expressing admiration for the renowned Berkshire Hathaway lieutenant.

Users on Weibo are applauding Munger's longevity and his adept wealth-building skills, an unusual sentiment given the current tensions between the U.S. and China. In a platform often aligned with the central government's views and subject to heavy moderation, The Paper, a state-owned media outlet, has published Munger's "top 10 investment principles," which interestingly resemble life guidelines. Sina Finance, a news division of a major Chinese tech firm, has also shared a similar list.

Munger had previously garnered attention for his positive remarks about China, praising its economic growth and suggesting that the communist party in Beijing had shown greater acumen in managing economic booms than capitalist America.

Investing Behavioral Hacks (3 minute read)
Engaging in speculation, market timing, and stock picking can be highly detrimental to a portfolio, yet merely advising against these behaviors is often ineffective due to the inherent desire for excitement and thrills in human nature. Ignoring these aspects may jeopardize the health of investment portfolios.

To address this challenge, small but impactful hacks can be implemented to redirect these instincts into less destructive outlets. By making subtle adjustments to one's outlook and investment approach, it is possible to mitigate the negative impact of impulsive behaviors and promote a more strategic and sustainable investment strategy.


Nobody Wants to Hear Your Story (3 minute read)
The current trend in marketing emphasizes the power of storytelling as a means to market and distinguish businesses, with the notion that sharing personal stories, experiences, and philosophies will attract ideal prospects who will be inclined to engage with and hire the business.

The underlying concept is to establish a personal connection through the narrative, fostering an emotional bond that leads to trust and, ultimately, a successful sale—an approach rooted in the traditional "know-like-trust" method of selling. However, this widely adopted strategy carries three concealed weaknesses rarely acknowledged by its proponents: the prevalence of similar approaches by others, the potential lack of distinctiveness in your story to your prospects, and the likelihood that prospects prioritize their own stories over yours. This revelation may be disheartening for those who have invested significantly in developing and marketing their unique stories.

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