Image by Jon Tyson

Across our city today, there is deep frustration about the homelessness crisis. What happened at Echo Park and the tragic murder of Gabriel Donnay in Beverly Grove are the recent manifestations of a dangerous tension that has been building up in Los Angeles for years. Voters thought, rightly or wrongly, that things like Proposition HHH and Measure H could solve homelessness or at least make a difference. But things have been getting worse, not better since these measures have passed.

As a result, there’s a growing sense that the time is right to aggressively focus on a strategy that involves…

Image by Rachel Sanner

Last month we discussed inflation, its relationship to radical central bank policy, some of its curious (questionable) measurement anomalies and explored some implications for the markets of the inflation narrative. Usually when I write, the long (sometimes painful) process of it all naturally gets out everything I want or need to say about a topic but all month I have found myself thinking about this exact same stuff. Normally by now I’m on to new topics and questions but I realized the other day that I must have more to say here.

It’s clear where I stand on this question…

For better or worse, the events of the past year have brought government and politics to the forefront of our collective consciousness. I think there’s always been a subset of people who are really passionate about and clued-in to the on-going dialogues of political debate but this is the first time in a while where there has been mass interest in the subject. And when you look underneath the hood of the American political system, the first thing you notice is that what’s going-on is kind of crazy. The dialogue is confusing and inconsistent and the debates are increasingly either…

Success requires that you have the right relationship with money. You see, money is not, as the economists like to define it “the medium of exchange” or “the store of value.” Well, it is those things but also much, much more. Money is really the symbolic representation of one of the most powerful psychological forces of the human condition: desire.

Our default mode is to think of money as a “thing” and to want as much of it as possible. It’s one of the few things in life that we quite literally cannot get enough of.

Desire is an incredible…

Rational Exuberance? Image of a Bull
Rational Exuberance? Image of a Bull

When I first started writing this newsletter — all the way back in those dark, uncertain days of October 2020 — there was just a lot that we didn’t know. Who was going to be our President? Were we going to get a vaccine? Was Congress ever going to get another stimulus passed? In the face of that uncertainty, I had become bullish on things Bitcoin, gold and gold miners, cautiously optimistic on certain segments of the real estate market and neutral/bearish on the broader equity and fixed income markets. …

I think everyone should, at least one time in life, establish a practice of exercise that goes a step beyond the usual. This practice must be of sufficient intensity that you find yourself feeling nervous or somewhat afraid before every single workout. In my own life I have only been able to find this a few times — once with martial arts and in recent years with Crossfit-style workouts.

Why? What’s the point of the fear? Why can’t I just exercise? Look, exercise of the “normal” variety is good. In fact, it is a basic necessity for healthy functioning and…

Red barn with American flag in an open field
Red barn with American flag in an open field
Photo by @specphotops

As this tumultuous and consequential year comes to a close, I’ve been thinking a lot about the state of our country. We have proven resilient once again. Our economy did better than expected, as did our democracy. We’ve seen again the great power and potential of American ingenuity. At this moment, vaccines are being administered across the land and there’s hope on the horizon. But great challenges lie ahead. We have to heal the wounds of loss. We have to put out the fires of hate and divisiveness. …

Last month I spent a lot of time thinking about the American Dream. I got interested in the subject because of what I saw happening in the housing market. Right at the start of the summer, when the initial shelter-in-place orders were coming to an end, I started getting a lot of calls from friends and friends-of-friends looking for help and guidance. The request was always the same: “I/We want to buy a house and we want to do it right now! What do you think, is now a good time? Can you help?” Here in Los Angeles, a very…

Empty road leading toward sunset
Empty road leading toward sunset
Photo by Andreas Dress

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the American Dream. Maybe it’s all the time I’ve spent in the house this year. Isn’t that what the dream is all about anyway? Land and houses and the chance to own property? Maybe it’s the election and all the visible signs of our democracy at work. Maybe it’s the unrest in our streets. Whatever the case it’s been on my mind and on the minds of many of my friends and colleagues. Something is happening in America, something really important and it relates to this dream. In the profound uncertainty of these…

Boy riding bike with American flag, girl running behind with American flag
Boy riding bike with American flag, girl running behind with American flag
Photo by Frank McKenna

Dear Americans,

You have a responsibility to engage faithfully with your community. Don’t forget the other side of your freedom. Remember the price.

You actually have to be a citizen. Citizenship is not just some status; it is a way of being.

While the murder of George Floyd has sparked a reawakening in our civic consciousness, it has also revealed the stark truth of the consequences of civic apathy. In a democracy you cannot ignore injustice, corruption and inequity. These problems don’t just go away. You must engage in democratic processes as-if your life depends on it because someday it…

Nick Halaris

Nick Halaris is an Investor, Civic Leader and the founder of Metros Capital. Check out Profit to get Nick’s unique insights into our challenging world.

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