Radigan Carter

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JCD
Posts: 73
Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2019 9:12 am

Re: Radigan Carter

Post by JCD »

Hristo Botev wrote:
Thu Mar 11, 2021 2:15 pm
It's nice to hear a perspective on the important issues of the day from someone who is well read and thoughtful and NOT from academia (or from corporate media, or think tanks with policy preferences, etc.), but from someone who actually has firsthand knowledge of the shitshow that is international politics; as opposed to someone who has merely studied it in school and written academic papers about it that no one will read.
You might find it interesting to listen to Peter Zeihan, who is sort of the academic that informed much of his opinions, particularly the views he states in part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyICg5OYXvM I know he references Peter in his discussion, but at least for me, it just feels like a rebranding of Peter Zeihan with that personal touch element you note so eloquently. Last but not least, I think it is worth providing an intellectual with many divergent views from Peter, who was also recently interviewed by hidden forces: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8JIzP8HmjQ From that interview it sounded like Hidden Forces might try to get together different folks with different ideas together like Radigan Carter or Peter Zeihan to discuss their particular views and battle test those views to make them more rigorous. If done well, it could be pretty good.

Campitor
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Joined: Thu Aug 20, 2015 11:49 am

Re: Radigan Carter

Post by Campitor »

I see the risks in index funds - I really do. However current circumstances force most people toward index funds because they don't want to spend the time doing value investing research. The professionals who do this full time can't beat the index consistently. The pros who can beat the index charge a premium for their expertise and usually require a minimum amount of money that most Americans do not have. Then you have Warren Buffett recommending index funds.

Then you have articles like this: https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/investi ... gs-impact/
Millennials have decades to save for retirement, but also decades of exposure to avoidable investment fees. NerdWallet analyzed a variety of scenarios and in one case found that paying just 1% in fees could cost a millennial more than $590,000 in sacrificed returns over 40 years of saving.
or this: https://www.investor.gov/sites/default/ ... penses.pdf
In 20 years, the total amount paid for a 1% annual fee adds up to almost $28,000 for a $100,000 initial investment. In addition, if you were able to invest that $28,000, you would have earned an additional $12,000"
I personally looking at my investments as "non-resilient" because who knows what governments may decide to confiscate or tax into oblivion. They took gold during the great depression and devalued currency - no asset is safe. Even your house can be seized by imminent domain.

The only thing that can't be taken is your skill and resiliency - unless they shoot or imprison you of course. Life has always been a gamble and will continue to be so. The only thing we can do is tack with the wind and realign the compass accordingly.

If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable. ~ Seneca

nomadscientist
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Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2020 12:54 am

Re: Radigan Carter

Post by nomadscientist »

I'm not aware of many smart people who are holding very large proportions of their wealth as BTC. Some are but mostly they're in the BTC business somehow (i.e. they are entrepreneur and hold BTC as part of their business activities; any own-business is inherently undiversified in some way). Lottery ticket type "investors" are certainly holding large BTC allocations but they tend to have small portfolios and rarely use the term "investing." If it weren't BTC their money would be invested in checking accounts or takeout.

Index funds may be overplayed to an extent but part of the opposition they experience here is just contrarian posturing. Boglehead investing style is similar to that recommended by Benjamin Graham's The Intelligent Investor, a value-investing book written in 1949. Unlike most (all?) others, the strategy really has stood the test of time. Bogle's tweaks to Graham's basic strategy were aimed at countering the psychological and knowledge limitations of salaryman investors, not maximizing returns; those limitations are very real not just for salarymen but for most people.

Hristo Botev
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Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:42 am

Re: Radigan Carter

Post by Hristo Botev »

Well, well, well, RC just put out his portfolio mix (https://www.radigancarter.com/dispatche ... -portfolio), and while I very, very much appreciate his writing (he really is a fantastic writer), his historical perspective and his perspective as someone who has seen much of the worst of the world, we're basically talking about a variation of the permanent portfolio but with a tiny bit of bitcoin thrown in as part of the inflationary hedge, and a focus on small cap stocks, without the cash. This all makes sense, but Tyler9000 and his Portfolio Charts, along with the PP folks generally, already taught us the benefits of a PP-like portfolio for managing volatility over the long term.

white belt
Posts: 515
Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 12:15 am

Re: Radigan Carter

Post by white belt »

Campitor wrote:
Thu Mar 11, 2021 6:06 pm
I see the risks in index funds - I really do. However current circumstances force most people toward index funds because they don't want to spend the time doing value investing research. The professionals who do this full time can't beat the index consistently. The pros who can beat the index charge a premium for their expertise and usually require a minimum amount of money that most Americans do not have. Then you have Warren Buffett recommending index funds.
Well it’s the Fed’s ever-lowering interest rate policies that have forced people to invest in the stock market. If interest rates were allowed to float in the 5-15% range, you’d see the religious devotion to index investing disappear because making money from savings accounts would be feasible again. The US stock market is too big to fail for the US economy, so I don’t see this changing anytime soon until it blows up to the point that the Fed can’t even stop it. Then it’ll be catastrophic and heads will roll.

@HB

Yeah it does look like he basically took the ideas from PP and the Dragon Portfolio while incorporating them into a simpler portfolio. It’s not a perfect solution, because without Long Volatility exposure you’re losing the profits from times of crazy volatility when lots of assets sell off in parallel (e.g March 2020 when stocks, bonds, and gold all took a nose dive). But it is definitely simpler than incorporating Vol options. I see BTC as having similar function to gold, although it is much more speculative so I wouldn’t allocate more than a few percent to it. Of course I also like commodity exposure during times of inflation, but then we’re just talking about the Dragon Portfolio.

white belt
Posts: 515
Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 12:15 am

Re: Radigan Carter

Post by white belt »

I’m listening to his interview on Hidden Forces. To be honest, I am usually quite skeptical of military veterans who lean on their combat/service experience as providing some kind of superior perspective for marketing purposes. Maybe this is because I am in the military and there are so many people who are “combat” veterans that spend all of their deployment sitting at a desk and never leaving base. It sounds like that wasn’t the case for him in Afghanistan. He does sound like he has been shaped by his experiences but some of these insights could come from just traveling internationally or talking to immigrants in the US I think.

Edit: This isn’t a criticism of Carter. More just me thinking aloud about the fetishization of military experience I see in some circles.

Edit2: I think my issue is that most of what I’ve read from him just seems like recycling the same ideas I’ve already learned about from Mike Green, Chris Cole, and other macro thinkers. His revelations about human nature aren’t all that novel to me probably because I’ve had experiences in the military that have taught me similar things. I’m probably not the target audience anyway.

Hristo Botev
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Re: Radigan Carter

Post by Hristo Botev »

I think, no doubt, he's playing up the whole Jocko-type vibe.

white belt
Posts: 515
Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 12:15 am

Re: Radigan Carter

Post by white belt »

Hristo Botev wrote:
Fri Mar 12, 2021 4:53 pm
I think, no doubt, he's playing up the whole Jocko-type vibe.
Right. Since I have experience working in the military, I understand very well the differences between someone like him who worked on a ship and then as a NCIS agent in Afghanistan compared to someone like Jocko who was a SEAL Commander with experiences of intense fighting in Ramadi compared to a member of Seal Team 6 who exclusively kills people for a living.

If I had to come up with an American football analogy it would go something like this:

-Navy (conventional forces) = high school football
-Special Ops Tier 2 (SEAL) = D1 college football
-Special Ops Tier 1 (SEAL Team 6) = NFL

So to me it comes off as someone who played high school football talking about how good they were with a bunch of former D1 college players and NFL players. That’s not to de-legitimatize his combat experiences because they are very real, but just to put some perspective on the differences in kind between different types of military service.

Hristo Botev
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Re: Radigan Carter

Post by Hristo Botev »

So, my Peace Corps "tour" (ha!) qualifies me for, what? Like, Pop Warner? I mean, everyone in my village thought I was a spy.

Qazwer
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Re: Radigan Carter

Post by Qazwer »

The key concept is how transferable mindsets, knowledge and skills are. Peace Corps to investment in local communities might be more than most
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transfer_of_learning

white belt
Posts: 515
Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 12:15 am

Re: Radigan Carter

Post by white belt »

Well every analogy has its limitations and I didn’t include other forms of service in my example. However, I think my analogy is apt for the following reasons:

-Physical requirements. Each level you go up in the military has more stringent physical requirements, which means you’re not only going to have to be very fit but you also will need to have the discipline to maintain that fitness year around. In high school football you see some kids that aren’t the most athletic or committed, but that changes at the upper level as those kids fall off.

-Mental requirements. Each level requires more mental toughness and agility than the previous level. Whether this is pushing through physical pain, stress, decision making, time management, etc.

-Resources, equipment, coaching available. At the higher military level you have special access to physical trainers, strength coaches, psychologists, special equipment, etc. Just as an NFL team has way more resources than D1 college program than a high school program.

-Cream of the crop dynamic. Every person was a star player/service member at the lower levels, but they will have to manage ego to be a team player at the higher levels. They may go from being relatively exceptional to be relatively average or relatively mediocre, even though they may be improving in absolute terms.

-Transformative effect. This one is more speculation, but I theorize that the higher the level you go, the more transformative the overall experience will be to a person. Perhaps this is also a function of time, but I do see people in the military all the time who basically stagnate after their first term in the military even if they continue to get promotions and serve for a long career. You see this less in higher levels.

Edit: I realize this analogy isn’t perfect because no one can play high school football for more than 4 years, but is the common case that someone will spend their entire career in the conventional military. A better comparison may be to the ERE Wheaton Levels.

Hristo Botev
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Re: Radigan Carter

Post by Hristo Botev »

Sorry, that was my attempt at a joke; I wasn’t challenging your analogy, which is apt. I grew up in an Air Force town, and the difference between the rank and file airmen and the commandos at the next base over was night and day. Similar to my father who did a combat army special forces tour in Vietnam and got out compared to my father in law who was a career officer with a desk job. Both are service, just very different in kind. Though perhaps not quite right to analogize as to a progression in extremes, like football or Wheaton levels; just different in kind.

Qazwer
Posts: 146
Joined: Thu May 16, 2019 6:51 pm

Re: Radigan Carter

Post by Qazwer »

But should you take investment advice or legal advice from either based on how cool their day job is?

I am slowly realizing why this might engage me so much. You might have the chair force; you might have fast action Air Force operatives; you might have Seal Team 6 etc It does not matter in this analysis
This is no different than an actor going on TV selling gold or giving medical advice. Specialized knowledge in one domain does not necessarily imply skills in another. I am guilty of looking at people who impress me as having special abilities to help me understand the world. Gurus are hard to find though

I guess if I wanted to go with an ex military person for investment advice

https://rickferri.com/about-rick/

And if I wanted painting advice, then Air Force is probably best

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Ross

Or maybe if I wanted to learn viral marketing from Steezy or Blippi would be better Air Force

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stevin_John

Hristo Botev
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Re: Radigan Carter

Post by Hristo Botev »

Funny, he's now expressly a permanent portfolio guy: https://www.radigancarter.com/dispatche ... h-new-info. It really is like reading an ERE journal of someone trying to figure stuff out (which makes me very skeptical that he appears to be separately charging folks for investment advice, especially given that he apparently was unaware that a thing called the permanent portfolio even existed).

white belt
Posts: 515
Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 12:15 am

Re: Radigan Carter

Post by white belt »

@HB

I totally agree about the skepticism. I do wonder how much he’s made charging $1k for “Private notes on building an investment practice focused on ample liquidity and permanent, productive assets”. Like you said, based on how frequently his portfolio changes and the fact that he still is learning about the basic functions of different assets in his portfolio, I don’t see how he’s qualified in anyway to charge people for his “expertise”. I’m no expert, but even I can see some issues with his methodology (he didn’t understand how small cap and large cap equities might behave differently, his look-back period for performance is only 50 years, etc).

I think his meandering posts that cover his change in perspective is totally fine as a blog, but it crosses some kind of line when he’s trying to build a business around his unique insight in a field where it seems like his understanding is at best advanced beginner. Compare to most macroeconomic thinkers or investment advisors who spend 4-6 years in college studying finance and then another 10+ years working in finance before standing up similar businesses.

Mister Imperceptible
Posts: 1470
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:18 pm

Re: Radigan Carter

Post by Mister Imperceptible »

As my name was cited in the thread I should note the original share that led to @HB going down the rabbit hole was not investing advice but rather regarding Joker memes and the mention of “dudes in the military doing state level violence that do not care about your stock market being orderly.”

viewtopic.php?p=236215#p236215

Hristo Botev
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Re: Radigan Carter

Post by Hristo Botev »

white belt wrote:
Wed Mar 17, 2021 9:29 am
I think his meandering posts that cover his change in perspective is totally fine as a blog, but it crosses some kind of line when he’s trying to build a business around his unique insight in a field where it seems like his understanding is at best advanced beginner. Compare to most macroeconomic thinkers or investment advisors who spend 4-6 years in college studying finance and then another 10+ years working in finance before standing up similar businesses.
Very much agree with you. I really enjoy his writing, but I enjoy it for the same reason I really enjoy a lot of the ERE journals: they are quite clearly works in progress as folks (a) try and figure out what their mission or purpose or whatever is, and then (b) try and figure out to live in a way consistent with that mission/purpose/etc. He's someone who seems to be very focused on self-improvement and self-education, which is great (I've read or am reading at least 2 really good books based on him referencing them). But I'm skeptical of him trying to straddle the fence between self-improvement journey, on the one hand, and combat-hardened personal investment guru, on the other. FWIW I'm just as skeptical of folks who tend to do the same thing on this forum.

Hristo Botev
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Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:42 am

Re: Radigan Carter

Post by Hristo Botev »

Mister Imperceptible wrote:
Wed Mar 17, 2021 9:39 am
For the record, I certainly didn't mean to suggest that you referencing him was any sort of endorsement of his investing prowess; and at this point I think I've made myself pretty clear that my interest in him has nothing to do with his investing advice either. But I do appreciate him as a social commentator; I just wish he'd stick with that, however.

Papers of Indenture
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Location: Baltimore, Maryland

Re: Radigan Carter

Post by Papers of Indenture »

This is exactly the vibe I got after reading his blog. Millennial Vet Bro who is gearing up to monetize the Permanent Portfolio advice through subscriptions from the whole Jocko listening crowd. Historical investment literacy for the Black Rifle Coffee set. It's a niche! Not sure if it's a niche that will pay $1,000 for Bitcoin Harry Browne but this guy might have the writing panache to do it.

white belt
Posts: 515
Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 12:15 am

Re: Radigan Carter

Post by white belt »

Papers of Indenture wrote:
Fri Mar 19, 2021 12:38 pm
This is exactly the vibe I got after reading his blog. Millennial Vet Bro who is gearing up to monetize the Permanent Portfolio advice through subscriptions from the whole Jocko listening crowd. Historical investment literacy for the Black Rifle Coffee set. Probably not a bad niche!
You're giving me ideas for a semi-ERE source of income once I leave the military. Although I can't stand the Millenial Vet Bro crowd and probably could never do that.

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