24 February 2017: Tax reform plans still vague

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Steven Mnuchin, the new US Treasury secretary, was very concrete about the introduction date of Trump’s tax reforms (August), but vague about the actual plans. It fueled this week’s somewhat more pessimistic mood among investors. Maybe the optimism of the last few months has gone a bit too far? Investors have ridden a wave of promise and are now waiting to see where they will end up: a new promised land or will they be dumped back on the beach from where they started?m

white-chapel-logo-small

US indices showed a mixed picture yesterday: the S&P 500 hardly moved, the Dow saw a small gain and the NASDAQ dropped moderately. The VIX closed almost unchanged. Our UVXY ETFs made a substantial gain nevertheless: +5.27%. Return since the start improved to 249%. Our return for the year improved to -13%.
White Chapel moved further away from a trading signal. We hold on to our UVXY ETFs.

Accumulated capital at close of previous trading day

Return since start

Return this year

Return this quarter

$34,899

+248.99%

-13.43%

-13.4%

Our initial capital was $10,000 at 1 January 2016. Our average Annual Return is 196%.

RS_v05-small

René’s Reflections @ Friday: On being a contrarian

Not following the mass mentality sometimes invokes reactions of disbelief, frustration, and even anger, from people in the mainstream.
Every now and then, I am asked: “You don’t use WhatsApp? Why’s thát?” Or dozens of similar questions. Replace ‘WhatsApp’ by whatever is a current trend or ‘social must’.
For me, the mere fact that everybody is using this, or doing that, just doesn’t cut it. If it doesn’t make sense to me, I’m out.
It’s an interesting phenomenon. Nobody will ever ask you to clarify yourself, in case you ‘do what everybody is doing’. But even the slightest bit of deviation from the norm makes people raise their eyebrows and widen their eyes, as if hearing something for the first time. When you prefer to make up your own mind, instead of blindly following every trend, you will find yourself being pushed into the defensive corner, over and over again.
The rise of social media and social connectedness over the past decade seems to have intensified this phenomenon. What if this trend continues over the next decades? Will there be a day when we will see our individual freedom limited by ‘rules of conduct’, deriving from ‘generally accepted standards of behavior’? When that day comes, I will probably have stopped using email as well.