April at Lykeion

We look back at what we've written over the past month

After spending most of last month in Kenya, I was reminded of the importance of allocating time to settings where nature, rather than humans, are the architects of the surrounding landscape. The fear of sleeping next to hippos and buffalos (number 1 and 2 killers of humans in the savannah, respectively), the bug you meet in the shower (who is as scared of you as you are of it), the sunrises that cast light to how many antelopes have been hunted by the ruling group of lions – all of this to remind us that so many of the forces that drive our behavior in concrete jungles, filled with offices and striped suits, are not too different than those you see amongst animals in Africa. As Naval once tweeted: “Don't take yourself so seriously. You're just a monkey with a plan.”

It's against this backdrop that, last month, we brought forward the investment case for Latin America (and followed up with a Twitter Spaces so that you, the reader, could actually ask us questions directly), refreshed the Energy investment case after a stellar Q1, published several unique charts that you likely haven’t seen elsewhere (except if you read Housel’s “The Psychology of Money”), and caught up with the latest in Bitcoin-land.

There’s so much happening around the world that it’s important to take a step back and remind ourselves of everything else there is to experience besides Markets, Crypto, and Geopolitics. And for whenever you feel the urge for an Update – fear not, we’ll have your back.

The Panamanian jungle, the lack of reliable WiFi, the all-day swells rolling in, and the regular 8+ UV days in remote beach towns have all come together to give Tim some serious inspiration, helping him draft his best Charts of the Month to date – a true “Lykeion Original”. Ever wondered how the US spends its budget? Are you thinking of buying the Netflix dip? Are you worried about where in the global supply chain your recently ordered IB branded Patagonia vest is? Hit the link below…

One of our favorite traits about Jacob is that he’s not afraid to bring forward non-consensus ideas to help us all understand a certain theme a little bit better. That’s what he did when he decided to write a (super insightful) thesis on why recent global geopolitical developments might just be the necessary catalyst for Latin America to finally unleash its long-overdue potential. This was also the first piece we did a Twitter Spaces on in order for Eduardo Gavotti to challenge our thesis publicly – we’ll be doing much more of this, so make sure you stay tuned.

This is the piece you need to read if you spent Q1 not focused at all on how the market performed (we’re jealous of you). We quote: “Practically all assets delivered negative real returns (adjusted for inflation). The exceptions were commodities, commodities-related sectors, and commodity-exporting countries. So… commodities”.

We leveraged Morgan Housel’s insights from his most recent book and asked our network of contributors why is it that from 1854 to the Depression era, the U.S spent 46% of the time in a recession, but that after the Depression, that number dropped to just 14%. Is it good? Is it bad? What are the consequences?

Bitcoin has moved backstage given how much is happening everywhere else. It seems stuck in a range, “with some run-ups that gave us enough of a kick to believe this might be ‘it’ (the good one), and other run downs that worried us about this being ‘it’ (the bad one)”. What matters though is that “Bitcoin outperformed the S&P 500 in Q1 despite the risk-off environment, ending the quarter basically flat (-0.6% for the pedantic ones out there) versus the S&P down 5% and NASDAQ down 9%”.

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Wishing you a healthy month of May,