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December 29th was a Black Swan Day for Me

December 31, 2015

I was taken off-guard to find myself in the middle of a Black Swan event during the recent break.

Yes it came totally out of the blue; it had been unperceptively building up for some time and it did take me out of my known comfort areas. It made me really stop and think that a lot of perceived wisdom had been thrown out the window. I was so taken aback that I even talked about it with my neighbour who had dealt with the same situation on the same morning for the first time in his life.

So what was it?

I cut my grass

It may not sound a big event but usually in the UK climate it goes so cold from about late October onwards that you don’t have to find the mower until Easter. So the mower had to come out of hibernation and had to have fuel put back into it (I drain it as the usual cold temperatures can wreck an engine if restarted- also had to fill the fuel container). The other surprise was that in the middle of the wettest month on record in the UK we had 3 fine days which allowed the ground to firm up to get a mower on it.

I gave the lawn just a high cut, but good enough to be noticed by my wife when she returned 24 hours later after dark from a visit to her family, that all was looking so much neater and tidy.

So what’s this got to do with 2016, markets and managing a financial business you may ask? Well for me it was the shock of doing something I was not programmed to do at this time of year in this country. For me that is the way that I see the year unfolding.

The easy money fuelled world is still only just perceptively growing and that the inherent problems are not being fully addressed. We react to a crisis by trying to prevent it getting worse. I am not too sure how much longer we can do that without people losing faith. So as the world looks to welcome in tonight the New Year I see the Black Swan swimming out. Still don’t know the tipping point but it could well be related to the excesses of the recent years in mining and development.

It could be a very rough year to be Australian.

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