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The Life of a King in an Island Paradise

Okay, first things first.

For those of you that love language and the use thereof and who aren’t playing Wordle or Connections, you need to give them a try. Pull up your favorite internet search engine and type in “NYT wordle” or “NYT connections,” and you’ll find it. For those that do not know, “NYT” is an abbreviation for New York Times, but I’m not sending you to the op/ed page.

Conservative or liberal, I don’t read the op/ed anymore. I’ve had enough.

As for Connections and Wordle, each puzzle requires a minute or two to solve and is a fun mental challenge sometime during the day; well, for me, it is, at least. It’s also turned into a major competitive event betwixt my two daughters and myself. Either they are getting harder to beat in these little thought contests, or I’m getting easier to trounce. And yes, you’re right; it is some of both.

In other non-trivial matters, I just finished season 3 of Ted Lasso.

She Who Must Be Obeyed (Rumpole of the Bailey reference – go watch it if you haven’t), and I have to binge-watch a few shows each year on Apple TV because She Who Must Be Obeyed has a strategy such that there are two months of the year allotted to paying for this particular subscription; other months are allotted to other streaming services. And you thought I was the only OCD-type in my two-person house. Not hardly. I have mostly enjoyed the humor and the message of treating one another with kindness found in Ted Lasso, but they do like the profanity and salacious storylines that I could do without. As years go by, I am acquiring more and more of my parent’s revulsion and intolerance towards the vulgar and the profane.  Better late than never, one might say…or even cling to if recalling the foibles of youth.

As for me, I am satisfied with Grit TV.

But I do have to record them today and watch them tomorrow so I can fast-forward through the commercials. No, I don’t want to buy any “less than a dollar a day” insurance, nor do I want anything either Joe Namath or Tom Selleck is hawking, although I am a fan of both.

I am pretty sure, however’ they don’t consider me their buddy despite their most earnest efforts to convince me otherwise during their 60-second product pitches.

And just so there is no confusion on the matter, I will also pass on any “rare mollusk extract that is found only in a small South Pacific archipelago and harvested by the indigenous people who have done so for thousands of years.”  I have a doctor’s script for medicine that is good for prostate health, so I’ll stick with that. Besides, do mollusks even have prostates?   I’m neither curious enough nor brave enough to check for myself, so we will have to leave it in the “one of life’s many unanswerable questions” category.

And speaking of the South Pacific, my late and much missed Uncle Ralph used to tell a long and involved story (must be a family thing, I can hear you thinking) about a small kingdom in the undiscovered islands that had an ornate, massive throne, hand-carved from teakwood with origins dating to antiquity.

Since this accouterment of the royal family was considered very sacred, the king sat upon it once a year during the annual rite of something or other.  The tribe, living on tropical islands as it were, built tiki huts for their homes, and so that the throne would remain close to both its heavenly origins and the anointed king of the moment, an attic of sorts was included with the king’s hut to keep the throne from the sight of the mere mortals when not in use for the annual rite of something-or-other. Alas, tragedy came one year in the form of a category 5 typhoon (the native name for this was “really big storm”), which destroyed the king’s hut and dropped the massive throne onto the king and rendering him dead and giving him the new title of Former King.  This, of course, is a reminder to us that people who live in grass houses shouldn’t stow thrones.

I have found these stories to be extremely useful if you have relatives who overstay their welcome or if people want to corner you for small talk at some event that your spouse made you attend. You’re welcome. We are a full-service firm here at Allen & Company.

Shout-outs this month go to my friends Tom, Gary, and Tanner, who all provided helpful feedback on my monthly epistles to you.

At the very least, it is gratifying to know I have at least three readers out there, so this isn’t necessarily all about self-indulgence. Oops, four readers, I momentarily failed to include my friend Mike, the fisherman; I need to call him to see what is new in his world…there’s that reminder to stay in touch that both I wrote about last month and harp on frequently, in you’re not paying attention.

I appreciate all of you who choose to share some time with me each month by reading my ramblings.  If you are looking for the sardonic or sarcastic in that last sentence, stop, because there isn’t any.  It is high praise that you take the time to read what I share, and believe it or not, these things aren’t all that easy to write. I have to have quiet and delve deeply into my mind to get these thoughts to unreel. It’s a dark and spooky place in there, I tell you.

Finally, I do want to apologize to you for I have been very tardy in getting to my column this month.

I hope I get published, but I’m late because while there has been a lot on my mind (nothing new there), I did take two weeks off to finally have my own bout with Covid; I have been immersed in Nathaniel Philbrick’s three-book series on the American Revolutionary War – Nathaniel Philbrick  – and I had a lot of plain old work to do. The editor’s deadline was a week ago, so I hope I make the website.

It does, I understand; it takes time to set the type and run the presses.

So, bear with me (double-checked that, just to be sure I didn’t write “bare with me” – that has connotations none of us want) as I explain the world of investing to you.

Oops again. I forgot this was supposed to be about investing, so on to part two.

Part II:  Hey, have you noticed we’ve had a nice little recovery in the equity markets during the first half of 2023?  Enjoy it. By golly you earned it for being patient investors during the traumatic nadir of last year. As for tomorrow, we will continue to seek value where it can be found and plant some seeds for growth to enjoy in years to come. We will continue to strive to hold a steady course while those infuriating markets, yes, they will fluctuate.

August 2023

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