Your Job in 2022: Take Back Control!
Hardly anyone would say the year 2021 was ordinary and humdrum. I daresay many would be unable to mention a year as strange and perplexing.
Apart from living through months of confinement at home and only venturing out for exercise or buying groceries, many would also have realised the markets make little sense.
The ASX All Ordinaries Index [ASX:XAO] is up almost 12% as at the close of Wednesday.
The Dow Jones Index [NYSE:DJIA] is up almost 16%.
These are broad market indices.
The performance of certain assets is even more jaw-dropping.
Take Ethereum [ETH], for example, it’s up 453%.
I’m sure there are cryptos and non-fungible tokens (NFT) that are telling Ethereum to ‘hold my beer’.
I suspect that gold enthusiasts may feel a little sour about how their investments performed this year. It has been underwhelming, to say the least.
Gold in US dollar terms fell by just under 6%, but is up by almost 2% in Australian dollar terms.
Gold mining stocks copped a smacking this year. The ASX Gold Index [ASX:XGD] fell 13.7%. Still, it fared better than their US counterparts.
But I’m not here to moan about it. There’s a blessing in disguise when a market is out of favour.
What I want to focus on today are several interesting trends happening in the markets over the year.
Main Street finds a way to beat Wall Street and hedge fund managers
From the perspective of the financial markets, 2021 saw some interesting developments.
The ordinary Joe and Jane on Main Street actually beat Wall Street and hedge fund managers at their own game.
Yes, winning against professionals who earn millions each year investing on behalf of others.
Basically, a motley group of investors from a Reddit subgroup, ‘WallStreetBets’, launched targeted buying sprees on selected companies that Wall Street firms and hedge funds had a volume of short positions on, to squeeze out these positions.
This would force these institutions to reverse their positions and buy back the shares, only to do so at much higher prices so they incur a hefty loss.
It worked so well that the ‘Establishment’, comprising the financial regulators and hedge funds, worked with the online share-trading app provider, Robinhood, to save their skins by changing the rules to stop these buying sprees.
You know that the ‘Establishment’ is on the losing end when it has to move the goalposts to fix an unfavourable situation.
It may have been years in the making. We are seeing the façade of ‘the smartest guys in the room’ fade from Wall Street, hedge funds, and financial regulators.
How about media darling Cathie Wood, the Chief Investment Officer and Portfolio Manager of ARK Investment Management? She frequented the mainstream financial programs, where she discussed her investment strategies, especially the ARK Innovation fund that focuses on the technology sector.
Well, her fund has plunged over the last month and is down over 20% this year. Actually, eight out of nine funds run by ARK are down for the year.
To her credit though, seven funds are still up from five years ago. Some of them are up by triple digits in percentage terms.
My point is, the shine is coming off of these market gurus.
The hidden agenda of managed funds
There’s something else aside from the shine that’s coming off of these market gurus — their veil of secrecy and ulterior motives.
You’re probably becoming aware over the year that some of these investment funds are vehicles of political and social activism. Look no further than the likes of George Soros, Warren Buffett, David Rubenstein, and Chuck Feeney. These people don’t just move markets, but societies.
The reason why the typical Joe or Jane go to the polls and up being disappointed is that the lobbyists have taken all the seats at the table. It’s a cruel twist of fate when Joe and Jane unwittingly funded them to do so via their superannuation and managed fund investments.
We saw it this year as many corporations either initiated, played along with, or went beyond government authority to impose mandates and tred on the liberty of the people.
2022 could be the year where the world will see how these investment vehicles have a more ignoble agenda about them.
In short, you should know that you are handing over your voice to the trustees when they invest your hard-earned savings. These people vote on your behalf on company boards, the government, and the broader community. They never write to you and ask for what you stand for, nor do they care.
They just assume you are satisfied with a solid return or a stable income stream.
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The reward of taking back control
This year, many people are starting to realise that they can take matters into their own hands and earn a solid return for themselves.
Social media has made it that much easier.
The key is to follow the right groups, set up a share broking account and/or crypto wallet, and away you go. Others subscribe to investment advisory services, which is what you have done.
In fact, most of you are years ahead of the crowd. You wanted to be ‘hands-on’, and we’re more than happy to work with you by offering our recommendations, complete with trading instructions.
It’s like a cooking kit that comes with the recipe. You do the work and enjoy the fruits of your labours.
Furthermore, you are not just taking back control of your money, but also the destiny of society.
As I sign off for 2021, I wish you and your loved ones a blessed Christmas. See you in 2022.
Editor, The Daily Reckoning Australia
PS: Our publication The Daily Reckoning is a fantastic place to start your investment journey. We talk about the big trends driving the most innovative stocks on the ASX. Learn all about it here.