“Pan, who and what art thou?” he cried huskily.“I’m youth, I’m joy,” Peter answe

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  1. Avatar for Trey Trey says:

    I don’t disagree and I thought the price was an attempt to get us all on the teat. Then raise the price by a dollar every year because once my kid has Disney+ there’s no going back.

  2. Avatar for nick nick says:

    “Here ya go, kid. First one’s (basically) free.”

  3. Something valuable I learned from ET over the years is to not smirk at this,

    “I don’t even think $6.99 is an NPV-maximizing price, not even if we use the Amazing Amazon Algorithm to daydream about price hikes someday that will make it all worth it[,]”

    as something that will come crashing down, but as a narrative to be understood, respected and assessed for weaknesses and strengths.

    Since Ben launch it all in 2013 with ET’s “Manifesto,” (lucky my bond-trader girlfriend pointed it out to me so that I got into ET when it started - choosing a smart girlfriend is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, that she somehow chose me is one of the luckiest things that’s ever happened to me), I’ve traded and invested the following six years much better than I would have without it.

    Now, I try to keep a meta perspective for when a narrative will break, but will trade/invest in it as well; before, I was all about the “when” of the break - i.e., staying away and waiting for the “foolish” to be proven wrong - but if a narrative can go on for a decade or more, I can’t stay away. Or, to explain it better, let me quote ET again, this time from the ET note “American Bandstand,”

    “I can sleep well at night if you get nothing else out of Epsilon Theory beyond the recognition that a) you are being played, and b) there are rules and logic to how you are being played. But I’d also like to demonstrate that c) it’s entirely rational to play along (to a point), and d) you can be a player, too.”

    All that’s ⇧ good and well and smart (on ET’s part), but heck, you still gotta love a well-crafted snarky phrase like this:

    “…the Amazing Amazon Algorithm to daydream about price hikes someday that will make it all worth it”

    Thank you Ben and Rusty - the consistency of your theories and the joy of your writing make ET a wonderful pack to be part of.

  4. Avatar for jz1 jz1 says:

    “Narrative can go a decade long and you have to respect it”.
    You know, Mark, I am NOT a trader. I never gamble more than 300$ in casino per trip, and I have only joined friends in casinos 3 or 4 times in my life. I was NOT born to transfer other people’s money. I was born to respect and earn W2 income. I thought if I could just earn, spend half and save half, I will raise and retire okay.
    How wrong I was proven for the past decade.
    I know I have NO edge against flash boys, NO edge against macro rate of change quants on inflation, growth and rates, no edge against IPO insiders. My value gene told me there are only about 3 weeks in 2009 that S&P was “fairly valued”, and I missed the entire 10 year S&P bull market waiting for it to be “fairly valued” some day,
    and mean while I can just save my W2 in zero rate accounts. Then I see house prices got bid up, insurance and tuition gets expensive. What’s funny is that the average house around me gain exactly the same amount of saving I put in every year.
    I am NOT looking for frame works to trade better. I am looking for ways to protect my savings so that I am NOT on a treadmill. ET made me understand how I was played, or how my savings were transferred, how I was fucked, how “value” is a story too and until the story breaks, man will wear hats for decades for NO reasons.
    It is sad that w2 earned money can NO longer get you a living. Everybody is forced to sit on the same table with Ray Dalio and gets money transferred to him. I would rather NOT stay on the same table with Ray and play poker. But here I am, Central Banks pointing a gun at my head to force me to sit with Ray and I need help from Ben and Rusty to play against him.

  5. I feel your pain. I don’t like the Central Bank game, but since I don’t have a choice, I want to play it as best that I can from my perch, which, in many cases, means I don’t play many parts of the game because - as you note - I can’t beat those with advantages that I don’t have.

    It’s too long, too self indulgent and too boring to others to go into here, but a big part of how I trade and invest is all about not being the sucker at the table, not doing things I will only lose at, while trying to identify methodologies and niches that I can do well in. ET has been incredibly helpful for me in trying to do all that.

    And whatever the game - whatever the time period, whatever the era, whatever the society - it will always be hard because the future is always unknown. We can look back and say, oh, that generation was able to save, invest conservatively and retire modestly but comfortably - but that was probably just a blip in history when those behaviors happened to align with the meta models and narratives then prevailing. It was an aha (and un-fun) moment for me when I discovered that making money (w2 income, as you say) was only a part - and a small part - of achieving some measure of financial independence and security.

    Now, I know that the harder game is investing and trading to maintain / grow the purchasing power of that hard-earned w2 income. We - every single person - has this challenge. Some choose to ignore it or believe in “the answer” (target-date funds, passive investing, indexing, “my advisor,” annuities, 60/40, bond ladders, etc.), but - and I mean this with no condescension - they are only kidding themselves as the future is always unknown as the value of every asset (fiat money very much included) is always changing as are the narratives around them.

    Hence, IMO, we simply have to play some version of “the game -” we have no choice. All I try to do is play the game as best that I can for myself and that is not easy at all.

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