Boxer’s Briefs: Seis Cosas

Now for seis cosas that grabbed my interest this week and might also pique yours.

1. Fuel Efficiency

We drove Little Libre to the doc’s office this week for a regular checkup. Which meant we all piled into the LibreWagen for the first time in a while.

I hadn’t been paying attention to our fuel efficiency lately, so when we got home I checked the diesel gauge and trip odometer. The gauge was pointing skyward like a miniature Washington monument, indicating half-full (half-empty?), and the trip odometer was glowing 325 in LED red. Not too shabby for a free car. Can we go 700 miles on a single tank? Challenge accepted.

700 Miles Per Tank? Roll on LibreWagen!
700 Miles Per Tank? Roll on LibreWagen!

2. Surgery

Being at the doc’s office reminded me of a joke he told us during Little Libre’s circumcision. Yeah, yeah, some of you are now feeling queasy or thinking circumcisions are brutal or archaic or whatever. Fine. Not the point.

Here’s the joke, delivered as el medico was snipping: A small-town doc was nearing retirement. Since retirement had been coming for some time, he’d been training a couple of younger docs to take his place. And the two newbies were trying to think of an appropriate gift to say “thanks.”

They finally decided that, since the older doc had been responsible for all the circumcisions in town for a couple of generations, they knew exactly what to give him. A few weeks later at the doc’s retirement party the youngsters presented him with a small box. “What is it?” the old doc asked. “It’s a wallet we made you from the foreskin of the last few weeks’ circumcisions. And the best part is, if you rub it, it turns into a briefcase.”

3. Profit

Every so often Prosper updates their seasoned annualized net returns (SANR) results. As of the last update, my account’s SANR stands at 7.02%. Which is about 7 times the risk-free rate (using the 5Y treasury). And which continues to leave my Lending Club account’s returns in the dust.

Meaning: A) P2P loans continue to be great components of a balanced portfolio; and B) Prosper still beats Lending Club in a head-to-head death match. Like a grizzly bear going after a koala.

Prosper Loans Net Returns
Prosper Loans Net Returns

4. Stocks

The Dow, S&P and Nasdaq are all sitting around record highs, valuations remain lofty by earnings-linked metrics, and investor complacency (measured by a very low VIX) is nearing asleep-at-the-wheel levels. Which means…stocks are expensive.

But bond yields are at record lows, the stocks with some of the highest valuations are divvy-yielding stalwarts (suggesting anything but frothiness), and there’s little indication the Fed or other central bankers are inclined to stop the cheap money music. Which means…stocks are not expensive.

All of which, combined, means our scenario planning exercise to understand where stocks go from here still 100% applies.

No Crystal Ball Required
No Crystal Ball Required

5. Getting Shredded

Brand new adjustable dumbbells loaded up with 100 pounds each for some traps work equals serious trauma to dry hands. Which means, no, I do not subscribe to the Planet Fitness model of exercise. And neither should you. C’mon, now! Chili’s and Uno’s are not competitors of any gym worth sweating (or bleeding) in.

Get Shredded
Get Shredded

6. Pain & Pleasure

The fifth edition of my economics/business strategy textbook has now been updated and is slated to enter circulation early next year. Which means, for many of the book’s readership, there will be much, much scarcity and very little optimism, and probably a whole boatload of booze. And that’s just the first chapter.

But maybe the agony can be attenuated by reading the thing on an exotic beach somewhere. For free. I was blown away to learn so much about travel hacking from the inimitable Ms. TJL over at The Jolly Ledger. A free trip would definitely make the prose suck less, or maybe the beach suck a little more.

And there you go, bros and babes: Six things to bounce around in your crania like Mexican jumping beans in a foreskin wallet-sized gift box.

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