Good morning, it's Paul here with Monday's SCVR.

Estimated timings - most of today's report is already up (at 11:24), but I'll carry on adding bits & bobs until about 2pm. Today's report is now finished.

Covid preamble

There's been lots of fascinating media coverage over the weekend, and it feels to me as if the tide might be starting to turn in a more favourable direction. Accordingly, I have now closed my index shorts.

I'm obviously not claiming to be in any way knowledgeable on the medical side of things. Instead, I'm a layman trying to diligently gather as much information & informed views as I can, then process it all to settle on an overall view. This is exactly the approach suggested in Super Forecasting (by Tetlock & Gardner), my latest favourite book. Over the weekend, I started typing up my notes, which is a very time-consuming process. Here's a link to my notes, for the early part of the book, which you might like to take a look at, to see if the book looks interesting to you, or not. When time permits, I'll carry on updating my notes.

So far, this approach has served me very well, in anticipating both the market plunge, and the market bottom, and positioning my portfolio reasonably well in advance of both. We can never get the timing exactly right, and I've made plenty of mistakes along the way, but getting the broad direction right works well enough. A vital factor in this is a willingness to change our minds when the facts change.

Key recent news includes;

Several newspapers are reporting that Doctors at Royal Brompton Hospital have discovered, using CT scans, that blood clotting around the lungs could be a significant factor. Therefore blood thinning drugs seem to help. This was also found in a study at Mount Sinai Health System in New York, with apparently striking results. Anything like this which makes the virus less deadly, could enable it to be more of a treatable condition, than a death sentence for the elderly & those with pre-existing conditions. That would enable us to move towards a herd immunity approach, very bullish for the retail & hospitality sectors of course, as they could open up again with few (if any) restrictions, if we get to a point where hardly anyone is actually dying from covid.

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