Ep660: Dave Collum – What Should the US Be Doing in Ukraine?

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Quick take

BIO: Dave Collum is a professor of Organic Chemistry at Cornell University who developed an interest in markets, which, in turn, led to an interest in geopolitics.

STORY: Dave talks about his 2022 Year in Review: All Roads Lead to Ukraine.

LEARNING: Never trust politicians and bureaucrats.


“The more the fact-checkers, the more likely the thing they’re checking is true.”

Dave Collum


Guest profile

Dave Collum is a professor of Organic Chemistry at Cornell University who developed an interest in markets, which, in turn, led to an interest in geopolitics. He enjoys the human folly of it all. He has a natural predilection for being contrarian, which makes him a “denier” on almost all hot topics.

2022 Year in Review: All Roads Lead to Ukraine

Given his interest in geopolitics, Dave has strong opinions about many things. For him, it’s a natural thing to go against everybody. Today, we’ll not talk about his worst investment ever but rather hear more about his 2022 Year in Review: All Roads Lead to Ukraine.

Every year, Dave writes an annual survey of what is happening in the world. The reviews started as a handful of pages for friends and family on a simple website, and then it just got bigger. One year he decided to do a serious job. Now every year has gotten bigger and bolder. Dave has a friend who’s binding all the views so he can sell them all on Amazon.

Every year, Dave writes about human folly. In his 2022 review, his primary focus was Ukraine. In his true controversial nature, he took the pro-Putin stance. Dave says he can easily make the case that NATO is bad.

Dave argues that Putin is making incredibly rational moves and believes that NATO could have stopped the war but chose not to. He gets pretty troubled to watch people become self-righteous about Ukraine while the US is no victim. Going back in history, Dave says the US has bombed more countries than Russia over the last 20 years. The government has also killed more people with military weapons in the previous 20 years. People want to talk about the Ukraine war while ignoring that the US gave weapons to the Saudis to bomb the Yemenis into oblivion. Or the fact that last year, the US bombed Syria three times to send a message to Tehran. In Dave’s opinion, that should be a war crime.

Dave predicts that the war in Ukraine will end soon. A Twitter poll he did shows that people are tired of the war and no longer support it. To end the war, the US must stop sending money and weapons to Ukraine.

Go to Peak Prosperity to read Dave’s full honest review.

Andrew’s takeaways

  • Andrew has three guiding principles:
    • Never trust politicians.
    • Never trust bureaucrats just like that. They’ve got to earn your trust.
    • The majority of people follow politics blindly.
  • Andrew believes that to really see a change in society, you’ve got to effect that change through the political system and apply that across all boards.


Read full transcript

Andrew Stotz 00:02
Hello fellow risk takers and welcome to my worst investment ever stories of loss to keep you winning in our community. We know that to win in investing, you must take the win big, you've got to reduce it. Ladies and gentlemen, I'm on a mission to help 1 million people reduce risk in their lives to join me go to my worst investment ever.com and sign up for the free weekly become a better investor newsletter where I share how to reduce risk, create, grow and protect your wealth. Fellow risk takers this is your worst podcast host Andrew Stotz from a Stotz Academy, and I'm here with featured guest, Dave Collum. Dave, are you ready to join the mission?

Dave Collum 00:41
It should be fun.

Andrew Stotz 00:43
Well, you know, life should be fun, don't you think? There's so many parallels, I want to introduce you to the audience's parallels between you and my father and your grandfather and you know, other things. But Dave Collum is a professor of organic chemistry at Cornell University, who developed an interest in markets which in turn, led to an interest in geopolitics. He enjoys the human folly of it all. He has a natural predilection to be contrarian, which makes him a denier. on almost all hot topics, Dave, take a minute and tell us about the unique value you bring to this wonderful world. Um,

Dave Collum 01:25
well, one of the reasons I'm able to do that, as I went into an odd area of chemistry was always a little crazy. So I was a kid, I, you know, I'd tell my dad, I was going waterskiing and instead go skydiving and things like that, but But I went, I went from being drug sex, rock and roll in high school to being a Genetics major at Cornell to decide to get a PhD in organic chemistry, all of which, therefore, sort of unusual. And then when I got to Cornell, as an assistant professor, I switched fields again. And so I had just sort of got my feet on the ground as a chemist. And so I was all in grad school for about two and a half years, that's a story in itself. So I got a job at Cornell at the ripe old age of 24, arrived at 25. And then, then I switched fields, again, from one sub discipline of organic to another, so probably not of interest, but I was totally unqualified to do it was a magnetic field, and I had no math. So to give you an idea, um, it turned out it was a good move, and the field was essentially unoccupied. And people thought that I either would fail or no one would care or whatever. And it turned out to be wrong. So it was a perfect country move, it was a bottom call by finance standards. And, you know, over the years, I had strong context with being kept farm and stuff that worked really well. But again, no one saw it coming. And, and, and, and I'm now 42 years in, I'm not too far from retiring. And what it does is, it's not the science, it sets me up for talking about finance, I there must be advantages that I'm not aware of. But the field I went into, almost without fail, almost every project, every year of my entire adult life turned out to show that someone was completely full of crap. And sometimes it was amazing, where, you know, Nobel Prize is given for this class of molecules, when we study them and find out they're not worth the shit, you know, that sort of thing. And so, um, and so I reached the point where I had no trouble believing that experts could be dead wrong. And this is in a field where they're trying to get it right. So you get into finance and geopolitics, and you know, you're the pathological liars grow on trees, right. And so, so in finance, at least, it's over, you're dealing with people who are trying to make money off. Yes. So you know, trust them. But the politics gets very strange. And, and I would say it has reached a point of pathology. At this point. I think politicians have always been bad people at some level. But I can't name a single narrative, for which I believe the standard story, just nothing, nothing holds up to scrutiny, in my opinion. And so I was at a recent investment conference, and they said, give us a gives us conspiracy theory, where there's a panel of three of us who are economists. Give us a conspiracy theory, don't defend it. Let the audience just ask you questions about it. So my first answer was, little green men live in my phone and come out and will ask me late at night when I sleep. That turned out I said, No, no, I'm just kidding. And I said to academia is full of liberals. I said, No, I'm just kidding about that too. And then what I said was most of the shoot Things are sovereign states, most of these mass shootings are sovereign states. I actually believe this. So whether it's Las Vegas, which I have no doubt, you've all the you name it, I think that a good percentage of them are not what they appear to be. I think the crazy drug addled teen shooting everyone is not the story. And people were intrigued by it. And I can make the case on some and others, I just say there's just too many too similar to parallel. I love going outside the box, especially in class. And then I said, Look, I need you to not believe everything, you're told, I need you to be willing to go out and say, what if this story is actually wrong, and I present examples in class. And so for me, it's a natural thing to go against everybody. And then usually you're right. The problem. And then as you know, every year I write an annual review, which is it started as a handful of pages for friends and family sort of things in a prudent bear website, run by Doug Noland. And, and then it just got bigger than one year I decide to do a serious job and just click a fan. And so every year has gotten bigger and bolder. And I've got a friend who's one of the prominent gold bugs, I think you'd know him. I don't know if I should name him. Who's actually binding them all. He wants me to sell them all on Amazon. I'm still he's working real hard to help me and I'm being a lazy bastard. Um,

Andrew Stotz 06:36
and I noticed you publish that the link that you sent me that was peak prosperity.

Dave Collum 06:41
Yes. Where it's published at peak press. Right? So my pin tweet if you're a twit, Twitter fan, and so every year I write about human folly. And the problem is, it's just gotten crazier and crazier. And it's reached the point where it's just, it's also no longer falling, right? It used to be funny things. And I got a look at this guy, you know, you know, made off or whatever. It was just comical to me, right. But now we're bombing the hell out of people. And we're doing things that are really bad. And so I wrote this year, I would say the real focus of the whole thing this year was Ukraine. And I hesitate to say it this way, but I will because I like to provoke. I took the pro Putin stance. And I think I make the case. I mean, in no way do I try to say Putin is a cupcake and a nice guy. And, you know, but I think you can put it this way, I can easily make the case that NATO is bad. That's an easy case to make. NATO has been a problem for for a dozen years, at least. Right. And, and, and that's not being covered by the media, and I got a whiff of it right away. I've been kind of intrigued by Putin since 15. I think I picked up on it after the US the Ukrainian coup, which was CIA led coup. And, and and Putin was sort of peripherally involved in that because it influences Russia. And I become kind of a bit of a Putin follower, because the guy intrigued me. I mean, he was either believably direct. So unlike every other politician, you'd ask him some question. And if you give me a straight answer, you know, whoa, I didn't see that coming. And so there's nothing about putting it's a madman, he might be a sociopath, because he did grow up in Russia. And, you know, it's like, it's a rough place. But he's not crazy. And he's making incredibly irrational moves, in my opinion. And I believe that NATO could have stopped the war and, and they didn't, they chose not to.

Andrew Stotz 08:49
So it's, there's enough information out there to make these kinds of conclusions. It's been surprising, actually, to see how people our minds are directed. But I, I looked back a while ago, I was looking at what was happening in 2008. And in the April, I think it was the Budapest conference where the US delegates were putting pressure on NATO to announce that Ukraine and Georgia were going to come into NATO. And I believe it was a miracle. And maybe it's a cozy at the time that we're saying, you know, that we're against that because they knew what that could, you know, it would weaken, you know, Russia, and then to see the statements coming out of Putin right after that. And I think it was last year off also at the time, and then to see in August of 2018, the kind of invasion I wouldn't call it a takeover of Georgia, but there was a tactical invasion into particular provinces to protect the Russian speaking people. They're in Georgia, but also obviously, to say no, we've already said that. We don't Want to see GA in NATO? And so there was a, you know, it was a pretty clear playbook that it already, you know, it was already unfolding. So it wasn't that much of a surprise what happened? And I think the other point that I would make related to what you said, is it. Putin, if you just listen to a q&a session of Putin, it'll go on for three hours. And it just translations of them out there. And it's like, wow, it's pretty amazing when you listen to it. I mean, he's not a dummy. He's got him. I mean, you put him for three hours against Biden, and I think you're gonna find that he's got

Dave Collum 10:36
down for the count in one minute. Yeah, I mean, it just even be close.

Andrew Stotz 10:40
So therefore,

Dave Collum 10:42
the other thing, what you have to do to understand the Ukrainian war, you have to go all the way back to the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union. And what, what you have to know is, is that NATO promised Putin, when, for example, Germany was reunifying. And Putin was the Soviet Union wasn't the only group that was afraid of that big Germany has been causing trouble off and on through the years. Right. And, and NATO basically promised the Soviet Union look, you don't reassemble the Warsaw Pact and we won't, we won't push NATO eastward. The first push was Clinton in 97. And you know, some of it you might say, it's kind of forgivable, but George Kennan, the very famous cold warrior said it was moving NATO eastward was the worst political policy blunder in US history. And so guys, who you don't think of as wimpy left wingers are saying this is a terrible move to do. So we just kept moving NATO NATO east and what people for example don't know is that there's been a civil war in Ukraine for a decade now. And and Western Ukrainians have been slaughtering the ethnic Russians in Ukraine for about a decade. And they don't know that, that legitimate Nazis, not metaphorical Nazis, legitimate Nazis have been running around Ukraine, causing all sorts of carnage at the level of sort of drug cartel level for years, and that the CIA has been funding these guys and arming these guys and causing so much trouble. So if you dig into the pre 2022 history of Ukraine, you find nothing but civil rights violations, you find horror stories, all you have to do is search a xOP Battalion on Twitter. And you will find this nightmare after nightmare. You don't even have to do a time filtered search. You can find nothing good about the Aesop battalion. And these are the freedom fighters. These are the guys we are using to fight the Russians

Andrew Stotz 12:49
that let me ask you a question about America since I've been gone for so long. One of my questions, I have two questions. The first is anything gotten better in America, number one? And number two is what is the state of the scientific method in America? Is it still allowed? can it survive the onslaught of I don't know social media political correctness, as we used to call it wokeness, as they call it. So what has gone right and gotten better in America? In what's the state of the scientific method?

Dave Collum 13:25
Well, a lot of has gone wrong. I mean, there's flash stuff that goes right, I guess. But, you know, years ago, I started arguing that the internet was our biggest hope and our greatest enemy. I have, in recent years concluded that we've lost that fight, I think, yeah. And now then along comes Elon Musk, and you get this little glimmer of hope that maybe something's going to happen, right. But it really appears as though the digital world is now flat out an authoritarian vehicle to control the masses. And we love it. Right. I mean, we're all you and I are talking through it right. But with that said, the propaganda mechanisms that it provides is just extraordinary. So the Ukraine war, you will not find a shred of discussion about the Ukraine war anywhere but Tucker Carlson, right, maybe Bill Maher, you will find guys like Greenwald and tyy be an independent journalist to him. But the mainstream network has left it alone for the most part. The vaccine was truly an extraordinary story. And that what it did was I don't even know what the purpose of it was at this point. So I'm going to zoom group it's mostly doctors but there's lawyers. There's a national security analyst there. There's all sorts of type. Anyone who's famous in the battle. If you've been following the vaccine slash ivermectin slash COVID battle. Anyone who's famous for going against that narrative is somehow pass through. We're in the same group. It's an amazing group. And, and in the horrifying state of science in the COVID narrative is just beyond comprehension. So you gotta go like Jay Bhattacharya who with called Arvind Gupta put together Great Barrington declaration. These were a lead scientists of unquestionable importance in the world. And they basically said, we should handle this pandemic, like any other pandemic, this whole lockdown stuff is crap. And they got a million signatures. And they got annihilated. Gosh, I

Andrew Stotz 15:35
didn't even know they got a million signatures. That's a million

Dave Collum 15:38
signatures. Yeah. Yeah, they might not all be legit signatures, you get the idea, right? I'm sure it was not 20. Um, and, and I also see No, he was a Cornell two days ago, and I missed it. But I am getting the link to this. But in another podcast, he was talking to someone and he said he was afraid for his well being walking through the Stanford campus. Unbelievable. And Stanford should just shoot itself, right? The Stanford authority should just dissolve the school if that's really the case. I mean, if there were some guys, I'd be out there with a shotgun or a rifle. I'm defending the guy if that was a problem at Cornell. And I never felt risk at Cornell. Even though once I got kids, I got my ass cancelled off one day, one day, but two weeks worth. Stanford should be so ashamed of themselves for letting that happen. But it did. And for the scientific community lost their shit completely. Now, most of science is not that political. Yeah, so what we're seeing is the part where science overlaps with politics. And the world I live in, it's not political at all. So we're just doing our thing.

Andrew Stotz 16:50
I mean, I would think, would it be correct to say that in some ways, you could say science is personal like where a one scientists looks at the work of another and says that can be and I'm gonna prove that wrong. And, and then they spent five years personally on a vendetta to go and prove

Dave Collum 17:07
I don't think science normally works that way. Because there's not a lot of upside to picking fights in science, okay. So it's more of an infinitely expanding universe, and we're all carving out a galaxy to work on. And, and if you're lucky, you get something that reaches and touches other people and other so. So for example, the strength of my own program after 42 years was that we had tremendous impact on Pharma. And so it's very hard for someone to say, Well, what you do is not worth shit. And I go, Well, don't tell the guys at Merck or Pfizer or Sanofi Ventus, because we didn't, we didn't have time for that. Right. And, and we save them gazillions of dollars on some stuff. And so, so that's kind of a metric for me. But, but so I don't think scientists generally fight like crazy, it could be true. And another other disciplines I was in a poll for somebody was surprised when I said, No, I don't see any of that or that or that they're asked me, and maybe the chemists I think are not candy asses. So I don't know. I think there are fields in science where the corruption is much more profound. I think the here's what I would not trust at this point. I wouldn't trust the biomedical community at all. Now, I know there's good work being done right. Whoever invented Imodium give that person a Nobel Prize, right. Um, but, but I think, I think some of the most bizarre bad science is done where, where where medicine meets, meets society meets science, that triple overlap of laws. And, in that, that's what created the COVID mess.

Andrew Stotz 18:47
In the when COVID started to happen here in Thailand, I knew first thing you know, I have a couple of general rules. Number one, never trust politicians. And the second one is never trust bureaucrats like that, just they got to earn that. And number three is businesses are the motive of business is profit. And then number four is Peep majority of people will just follow. And those are kind of my guiding principles. And when I saw the whole COVID thing I as a financial analyst, I'm able to you know, at least go through every every medical, academic paper that I could to try to understand and I went through everything that I could and I the first thing I did is went down and bought ivermectin and vitamin D because I knew number one didn't know via vaccine if the vaccine is effective, and is necessary. It didn't come into Thailand anytime soon. And so

Dave Collum 19:39
right you guys weren't at the front of the line no anywhere then you'd be real nervous because he Oh my god, the US scientists are using Thai as guinea pigs, right? So you don't want to be the head of that line either.

Andrew Stotz 19:53
Exactly. And then I live with my 86 year old mother. So you know, I have to understand you know the risks but based upon age and comorbidities, and all that, and then and then I was wondering why, for instance, why in Thailand and in Vietnam, the deaths were minimal. Why in Africa,

Dave Collum 20:11
the other strange thing is remember when it first broke out, we were getting videos out of China. They look pretty fake to me. Right away, I'm going wait a minute, the lady is walking down the street and she just does a face plant. Yeah. aren't you in bed by that point in time? And then welding people in their apartments like, oh, isn't that a little dramatic? And, you know, you know, you know, kilns running you know, 24/7 burning bodies and claims of sulfur dioxide clouds, and I'm gonna just their office, residential towers that are dark, because everyone in there's a rotting corpse and I'm gone. And there's just something about people being thrown in the back of ambulances, who supposedly or are infected and watching me go on, they're putting up a pretty goddamn good fight for an infected person, right. And so I smiled, I smelled the problem with the Chinese story. But then it didn't take me long. I hadn't paid note, I paid no attention to Fauci, none. What I will tell your audience now is if they haven't figured this out, Fauci is a mass murderer by any metric. I'm not talking to mass murderer because he's a bonehead and he blew COVID. He has been a mass murderer for 35 years, and I'm not being metaphorical. He should be taken to the Hague tried for crimes against humanity, and hung from the neck until dead. Now, that is Fauci. And if you haven't read Anthony, the real Anthony Fauci by Kennedy, you're missing a real treat. I bet you have.

Andrew Stotz 21:48
It's on my shelf, but it's not in front of me right now. But that gets the audiobook

Dave Collum 21:52
or there's now a documentary that covers it. Okay. And then the second one to follow up on is sickening by John Abramson, a sickening Kennedy hates Fauci to his core because Kenny has been burned Dagenham for 30 years. But Abramson is the guy who discovered the Vioxx was killing people. And he then became sort of center of this What the hell's going on with the FDA? If you read sickening, you will conclude that the FDA has completely fallen apart. Yeah. And that the clinical trial system is about as accurate as Wayman, this one will make sense to your audience. But as accurate as the bond rating agencies and oh seven same incentive problem to you rate our bonds, well, we'll keep giving you business you give it you, Claire are drugs, you give us good clinical data, some fly by night company that does clinical trials, you'll get another gig out of this right. And so Oh, my God Pfizer's drug looks fantastic. Well, it turns out that if you read Abramson, this book, you will discover it's called sickening, you will discover that they can push through a drug, even if it doesn't have any positive effects whatsoever.

Andrew Stotz 23:05
So I'm just looking at it on Amazon, and I'll have it in the show notes. And it's got it's about a 4.6 out of five with about 200 ratings on it. And I haven't listened to it. So I'm going to I'm definitely going to your audio

Dave Collum 23:19
file to. Yeah, I

Andrew Stotz 23:21
mean, I love audiobooks. I love there's certain ones Kennedy's book on his personal life story, America American story or something, I can't remember the name of it. But that was really great on Audible, you know, to listen to his telling his story, family values, or American values, something like that. I can't remember the name right now. But that was a good book was one of the I teach the ethics and finance class here in Thailand, and one of the I have debates and I tried to help the young kids get, you know, the ability to analyze the pros and cons of things. And, you know, one of the things I asked I said that it would I tried, I tried to trip them up a bit. And I said, it would be against ESG policies to invest in a pharmaceutical company, because of the past history of criminal activity and prosecutions or criminal fines. And I, you know, had a really good debate on that. No, no, that wouldn't be a problem. It also

Dave Collum 24:27
be unethical to use that for investing, too. Right. There's a whole ERISA rule. Yeah. And so the question is, should ESG even exist? That's backhoe companies. It's not out of morality.

Andrew Stotz 24:42
Yep. Yep. And that's so it started an interesting debate they hadn't even really thought about and I posted something on LinkedIn called a 26 reasons why I'm anti ESG. And, you know, there's a lot of things that I see wrong with it. But one of the things As I see wrong with it is, you know, it weakens democracy in the sense that all of a sudden, we start to think that businesses are going to solve our political problems and social problems. And you know, I have a factory in Thailand, and I follow every regulation from the regulators that come down my pipe, you know, here, you know, don't here's where the water's got to be treated by the time it leaves your factory, here's how the airs got to be treated. You know, here's the rules on how you can treat employees and you have to pay severance pay and all that I follow all those rules. And my point to the ESG movement is that if you really want change in society, then you've got to effect that through the political system and apply that across all if they say, Look, we want companies to release less, you know, chemicals into the water, then set the new standard and pass it through a parliamentary or a congressional process where people have ability to have a say and then and then and then you permanently implement whatever that grovia thing and drives me

Dave Collum 26:06
nuts. And I in Ukraine, this really bothered the hell out of me it's because everyone Oh, got weepy eyed overs. olanski Celeste, he's a total slimeball complete and utter slimeball and I caught the sanctimony industrial complex. These are people who got you know, Putin spared Sullins, he's good. What else we need to talk about? I go, Well, you have not yet in any way shape or form dug into what Solinsky has done. And what he's doing. I think people are getting it now. So I think this is a short live grift. But it was a spectacular one. A lot of dead Ukrainian. So zolecki and Biden can both get rich. I was so I have real trouble with the people get all sanctimonious about Ukraine. I said, okay, okay, let's back out a bit. Name, which country, USA Russia bombed more countries over the last 20 years. Okay. Okay. Okay. Name which, which country has killed more people with military weapons over the last 20 years? Right? You don't forget that we killed the current Madeleine Albright 500,000 Iraqi children. And you're sitting there having a shit set over a war in Ukraine. And you're ignoring the fact that we gave the weapons to the Saudis to bomb the Yemenis into oblivion. And you're forgetting about the fact that last year, we bombed Syria three times to send a message to Tehran. And as I put it, I don't remember Turon being in Syria. So we run one country to send a message to another country. Why is that not a war crime? Why isn't Biden in the Hey, got me, I'd shoot him.

Andrew Stotz 27:53
And recently, Biden was in Kyiv. And

Dave Collum 27:58
I was watching hoping something clever,

Andrew Stotz 28:01
I thought, I thought, you know, I just had a little glimmer of hope and thought, Okay. So Biden, and Zelinsky are figuring out Zelinsky exit, so that he's not kind of shithole. I should be which the history of Americans. But

Dave Collum 28:18
here's the problem. If they were really figuring out the exit, it wouldn't be Biden there. It would be some guy whose name we may or may not know. You know, the analog of Kissinger or whatever and they're saying okay, here's, you know how to end the war you and I both know how to end the war if we said today we're sending you no more money, no more weapons. How many days would it takes on you to sign a deal with five long enough to make the phone calls and get security in place and make the deal? We are killing Ukrainians for us purposes. We are arming them to go get slaughtered.

Andrew Stotz 28:57
And how what is your prediction about how long it will last?

Dave Collum 29:00
I'm a contrarian on that too. And that is I'm a contrarian amongst those who are screaming about how bad the war is. I don't think it lasts much longer. I think I believe and if you want to pay attention to this you got to read guys like Aaron Matej Greenwald McGregor Ritter guys like that. Max Blumenthal and, and McGregor in particular, who's a very high level former military guy says that the Ukrainians are getting pasted they are getting tattooed. They're getting slaughtered. So we talked about sending 31 Abrams tanks over first of all, they're not there. Second of all, we're going to send the ones without the good armor because we don't dare let the Russians get a hold of one of those. And it will take to take out 31 tanks how many shells 31. So 31 Abrams tanks, what are you going to defend with 30 When Abrams tanks, the Sunoco station and camp, what are they going to do? Right? So this is all theater, except for Ukrainians being handed weapons and sent out to the front and get killed. McGregor says it's somewhere between six and 10 to one death ratio Ukrainian to Russia. The idea that the Russian army is incompetent, I'm not qualified to know. But I know a lot of smart guys that are saying the Russian army could crush them. They're being very, very methodical. And these putative retreats are all tactical. They're not the Russians scampering away because they suck. They're sucking Ukrainians into places they want him to be in then and running him and going down and slaughtering more Azar battalion guys.

Andrew Stotz 30:45
So what is the end game? I mean, how does it end? For instance, is it that when America sees 200 billion going there and catastrophes happening in America and feeling like we got to stop this? Or is it money?

Dave Collum 31:00
Never say, I don't see evidence, our opinion matters. I did a poll the other day that basically said, What should we do in Ukraine? I can't remember how I worded it but it was basically what should we do in Ukraine, like 86% is get the hell out. So we don't support the war. The problem is, we didn't support the lock downs. You know, if you actually pull people, you don't just accept what the news is telling you that no one believes in the vaccines anymore. No one believed, you know, everyone seems to have no ivermectin worked, and yet in and my god masking, Holy Jesus before, in region, various 2005 book on the great influenza, he talks about how masks do nothing. And so the masking star was never legit. And so, but that doesn't seem to matter to the people calling the shots. Yeah, let's just find it.

Andrew Stotz 31:57
Yeah. And that. Let's I'm just looking at that poll that you did on February 22. There was 1200 people that responded now, of course, it's there's probably a political leaning to the people that are responders in the whack job wing of the Republican Party. Yeah, exactly. It says, social awareness poll, what should the US be doing in Ukraine, sending US troops increased support, stay the current course or pull out let shit happen? At 6% of people on your Twitter or that saw this through your post said, pull out, let shit happen. There's 7.6% That said stay the course. So even if we adjust for maybe the political leanings of the people that answered that you probably get down to maybe 50 60%. That would probably

Dave Collum 32:48
so I often do political polls, I'll do polls where it's really a binary question. If it's a binary question, I'll add to it Do you lean left or right? Right? And that way, I get the left saying yes. And no, when I get the right saying yes. And now and that tells me or, and it shows you what my Twitter following is. But you know, what, forget once it escapes that containment field, it's off to the races, right. And so 1200 might be a lot of mine, but it's starting to escape the containment field. And, and, and, and then whenever I do those left, right polls, I invariably have people say, Why don't we left or right and I go get a therapist, get a therapist, you lean left or right, don't give me that crap. You know, maybe you don't support Trump, I don't care you lean left or right, you know, full Well, right. And you can be a left leaning libertarian, or a right leaning libertarian, but you still lean left or right. So they think they're so smart. They don't even lean left or right.

Andrew Stotz 33:49
So in the interest of time, I think that we're going to skip the big question on this podcast. And we're going to, maybe we'll get a chance to revisit that later about your worst investment. But I would like since you've got so many different things going on and things that you've got strong opinions about. What I'd like to do is ask you two questions. The number one question is kind of what's a resource that you would recommend to our listeners to understand and learn more about the things that you're seeing? And then maybe you could leave us with? What's maybe a lesson that you've learned or something that you really want people to pay attention to. So a resource and a lesson or a focus point that you want the audience to remember? Well,

Dave Collum 34:37
I'm sure your audience knows this. Um, you can't believe anything coming out of mainstream media. Now. fact checkers are worthless shills that are prostitutes. So if my cardinal rule is that the more fact checkers the more likely the thing they're checking is true. And and my favorite book of the year, the one that really got into my soul was called the true believer by Eric Hoffer and in 1953, in which he talks about mob psychology and mass movements, and as you're reading into my half the length of a normal book, some guy emphatically told me to read it. I didn't know about it. And it was just as I'm reading, I'm going, there it is, there it is. There it is. So now, I would like to emphasize also audiobooks. I wish I had been told this course they didn't exist in the number of things just now. But when I drive to work, it's 12 minutes each way. My wife says, Would you go the store, she's not asked me to do an annoying favor. She's asked me to read for 10 minutes. And when I go on a long trip, I can do a whole audio book in one trip. And I will I have a wish list than I have. I buy a couple of them. I just I finished one and I go, What do I want now? So it's the same as saying, Okay, do I want takeout Mexican or takeout Chinese or takeout Thai? Right? And, and I just bought two probably 25 audiobooks a year and and instead of listening to talk radio, instead of listening to your favorite tunes, or instead of, instead of chasing podcast, sorry, it's your world. But an audio book is a one, one decision move, where you get about 10 or 12 hours out of it. Yeah, the thing is, you're almost always finish. You don't have those faded yellow posters hanging outside the book at chapter five. Yeah, yeah, it gives it just keeps rolling along on you. And that's a great,

Andrew Stotz 36:32
it's a great point and a great I'm gonna I'm looking at the true believer thoughts on the nature of mass movements. Eric Hoffer is the brilliant, okay, it is really, I'm gonna have links to that as well as sickening in the show notes. And let's say those are two,

Dave Collum 36:49
the real Anthony Fauci. Yeah,

Andrew Stotz 36:53
that's another one. So I have those three. Those are great resources. And as you say, the audible aspect of those of any book is great. And the

Dave Collum 37:01
point that you I know every one I'm saying buck, so I have a book I was listening to the other day, which is a trimester length course. 118 lectures, the cost 10. Box. Credit, why one of the world's most famous linguists about the origin of language? 10 box, right? How do you beat that?

Andrew Stotz 37:21
And the idea to about books, that's great, is it what I love about books is that, you know, that there's a person who put in a huge amount of effort to bring it to a coherent, you know,

Dave Collum 37:35
1000s of man hours 1000s of man hours, brought to you through your phone

Andrew Stotz 37:43
for 10 for 10 bucks, and bucks. And what's something that you want the listeners to understand? So you provided a good resource there, but what's something that you want listeners to really wake up to?

Dave Collum 37:59
Okay, I'm gonna give you my finance pitch. Okay. This is something I assembled a night, it's now my elevator speech. In my opinion, the markets are roundly 2x overvalued. I've got 25 metrics and valuation I track every one I'm supposed to x overvalued. You can say they're not but I can whip your ass, I guarantee you, I can just flop them in front of your face, and you will not be and you got to come up with some new era thinking. So here's the problem. The last 40 years will not be repeated in my opinion. And, and I got a memory stall, give me some of this information. Some of it's my own. In the early 80s, Russia was collapsing. Soviet Union was collapsed. They were another decade before they were done, but they had to sell resources to get capital. So we got the world flooded with cheap resources. And from other countries, the world was globalized. The Chinese were totally starved for cash literally under 40,000 in their banking system and US reserves. And they had to get capital and they sold labor, dirt cheap. The demographic model which most economists endorsed enthusiastically, the Boomers were just hitting stride. So the biggest glut of workers in the US history, starting their work lives. And they brought their wives with them. Interest rates went from 16% down to essentially zero. And if you read Buffett's 1999 Eric Jose, that's the whole game right there. So the direct it's not whether rates are low, or high, it's whether rates are dropping or rising. So once rates are super low, that's bullish, that means you're done. And so rates went from 16% monotonically, down to 0%. over four decades, and during that period, back to the value mouth valuations rose on average 3% annualized over those 40 years valuations. If you think the next 40 is going to repeat that, you need a CAT scan.

Andrew Stotz 40:14
And that is a wrap on another great discussion to help us create, grow and protect our well fellow risk takers. Let's celebrate that today. We've added one more person to join our mission to help 1 million people reduce risk in their lives. This is your words podcast. So as Andrew Stotz saying I'll see you on the upside. And Dave, thank you so much for your time and your opinions. My pleasure.


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About the show & host, Andrew Stotz

Welcome to My Worst Investment Ever podcast hosted by Your Worst Podcast Host, Andrew Stotz, where you will hear stories of loss to keep you winning. In our community, we know that to win in investing you must take the risk, but to win big, you’ve got to reduce it.

Your Worst Podcast Host, Andrew Stotz, Ph.D., CFA, is also the CEO of A. Stotz Investment Research and A. Stotz Academy, which helps people create, grow, measure, and protect their wealth.

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