What a year. As 2020 draws to a close, I wanted to reach out with a personal message, and a bit of a pep-talk. I think we could all do with one.
I am grateful for many things in life:
As you reflect on 2020 yourself, I’m sure a mixed well of emotions apply. I know that’s the case for me. Anger, despair and uneasiness at what is going on in the world are all present. But not fear. Fear is counter-productive. You are no longer a vulnerable hominoid living on the African savannah or a primitive caveman in Europe at the mercy of your surroundings.
If you are reading this, you have knowledge, skills and tools at your disposal to change your circumstances.
As I wrote earlier in the year…
You may never get such set of circumstances again. If ever there was a year when doing radical, formerly unheard of or unthought of things suddenly became not only possible, but acceptable and advisable, it was 2020.
Seize that opportunity. Make a change. Sticking with the status quo out of fear, or inertia, frozen by indecision in the face of all the uncertainty in the world is not going to lead to any improvement.
I can’t stress this enough. Things are not going back to “normal” … whatever that means.
This is not some passing phase. If and when the pandemic fades into the rearview mirror, the world is not suddenly going to revert to the way it was in 2019.
Innumerable times during this crisis, the powerful, and the wealthy, who make the rules for the rest of us, have moved the goalposts to suit their evolving agenda. Shockingly, even the medical definitions of things such as “herd immunity” are being altered. Don’t believe me? Check the evidence straight from the WHO website.
Saving lives, “flattening the curve,” and getting over the worst of the onslaught of the strange pneumonia-like virus that allegedly emerged from Wuhan in the early stages, as best we could, seems to have been replaced in many countries, by moves to test, and trace everyone, and where necessary shut entire cities down, throw up internal borders, and ignore all other cost-benefit analyses in a zealous drive to eradicate Covid-19.
To me, it makes no sense. Especially when, by the WHO and Center for Disease Prevention’s own admissions, for most people, influenza, aka “the flu” is a far more discomforting illness.
Already it’s clear that the vaccines that have been rushed to market are not going to stop governments requiring mandatory Covid-19 tests and quarantining. The vaccines have only been tested and shown to reduce symptoms. Whether they actually prevent infection or stop potential carriers from being able to spread the virus to others is unknown. The clinical trials were not even designed to test this!
In fact, according to one former Professor at Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health writing in Forbes Magazine the trials were “designed to succeed.”
Unfortunately, as individuals there is not much we can do about any of this. We just need to cop it on the chin. Then, as I am fond of saying …
For most of us, that means our choice of place to live (both the country, and where specifically within the country), what job to do, or business to be in, as well as whom or what to rely on for information and support, among other things.
Unless you’re in the lucky minority for whom the status quo is just fine (and I readily acknowledge there are some people who are this fortunate), the best Christmas present you can give yourself is to reflect on your own personal situation. See if there aren’t some adjustments you can make, which might make sense, in order to help improve your physical, mental and financial well-being.
For those who don’t know already, the other business I have been involved in, and a part-owner of, for the better part of a decade, Sovereign Man offers a wealth of practical and actionable information and advice about what you can do to take back more control over your life. You may want to check it out.
As far as your investments and financial well-being are concerned, I’m happy to be here to offer opinions and guidance via Global Value Hunter.
African Lions Fund is also off to a great start. It is up over 10% since inception and was the third-best performing fund for November in the entire African investment fund universe tracked by Africa Global Funds. December is looking strong so far, as well.
As to what 2021 holds, it’s impossible to know. Things are fluid and changing very fast.
and so on and so forth, are to be expected now.
To be “shocked” or outraged is, by now, as far as I am concerned, the same as being ignorant of what’s going on in the world.
We need to learn to live with the virus. But more importantly we need to learn to live with the REACTION by governments and policymakers to the virus.
Just as 19+ years on from 9/11 we still submit to body scans, taking our shoes off, and (the one that gets me every time) tests for traces of explosives on our clothes or luggage, we will be submitting to all the new coronavirus tests and tracing mechanisms, and control measures and vaccines for decades to come.
That is, unless there is a sufficiently large backlash, from enough people all over the world to say enough is enough and cause a genuine revolution.
While I’d like to think that were possible, I don’t see it. From my observation, 75%+ of the population nowadays seems just fine to have their remaining, limited freedoms eroded further and further by rules, regulations, and government controls over and interference in every aspect of their lives.
While you can’t ever get away from it, you can make choices as to what rules and regulations you’re prepared to live with by making the necessary changes in your life. That realization, if nothing else, is what I hope you might take away from this column.
If you’ve been following me for a while now, especially on my Telegram channel, you know I practice what I preach. Just before the launch of the African Lions Fund, I decided to take a leap of faith, packed our bags and flew to Tanzania (back to where I was born). In this part of the world, the effects of this pandemic are mild compared to other parts of the world. Had I stayed in Bali, once one of the most sought-after places to live on earth, I would be stuck in my villa with all the comforts but no freedom to travel out (or in again).
Next time, I promise, I’ll get back to my core beat – finding overlooked, unloved, and undervalued investment opportunities here in Africa, or elsewhere around the world. But I feel strongly that we should all use the holiday period to take stock and reflect on things.
Right now, I’m in Nairobi Kenya, where I’ll be doing my best to celebrate a traditional Danish Christmas on Christmas Eve with my wife and daughters.
Enjoy the holidays.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,