I kick things off with a rant about COVID-19. Then, Daniel and I discuss the pent up demand for all kinds of services as economies open back up and individuals are flush with stimulus cash. [0:35]
Now that the stimulus bill has been passed, we break down the next major piece of legislation the market is looking forward to: infrastructure.
We also discuss—and debate—the craziness around non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Plus, it’s that time of year: March Madness is upon us. As the college basketball tournament kicks off this week, I give a detailed breakdown of how to fill out a winning bracket. [46:39]
Wall Street Unplugged | 765
Madness is all around us
Announcer: Wall Street Unplugged looks beyond the regular headlines heard on mainstream financial media to bring you unscripted interviews and breaking commentary direct from Wall Street right to you on Main Street.
Frank Curzio: How is it going out there? It’s March 17th. I’m Frank Curzio, host of the Wall Street Unplugged podcast, where I break down headlines and tell you what’s really moving these markets. I have to start out by saying Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Some of you might know this: I’m half Irish. My mom is 100% Irish, my dad is 100% Italian, hence the name Curzio. So, we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. I love it, great holiday. Yes, those Irish people like to drink. So, of course, I’m wearing my green today, kind of aqua, but it’s pretty close to green. I’m colorblind, so I really can’t tell. But we sent our girls to school with green and stuff like that.
Frank Curzio: And for all of you who watch this on our Curzio Research YouTube page, because we have all this stuff in video for you. Again, just go to Curzio Research YouTube, video and everything. All of our interviews, everything really, are really cool. But I took a picture of my daughter here, that I’m showing right now. It says, “Kiss me, I’m Irish.” She’s smart. She’s dressed in all green. And I wanted to ask you watching this is which looks better, her… And by the way, I’m going to bring up a picture of myself, and it’s the same shirt that’s on her, the same size. So yes, I’m sucking in my gut as much as I can, and it’s still not working. But when you see this picture, yes, you’re not going to see a six pack, eight pack, or anything like that. But I’m pretty sure she wears it better, pretty sure anyway. But no, all cool stuff. And Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all the Irish, everybody out there. It’s just a fun holiday.
Frank Curzio: So, one year ago today, the entire world began to know how dangerous, and how real COVID-19 was. Major news organizations… And talk about this week in 2020. I went back and actually looked, did the Google search and everything like that. They’re reporting things like, the White House has advised people not to gather in groups of more than 10 people. France has banned all family and social gatherings and closed its borders. Canada will deny entry to anyone who isn’t a citizen or permanent resident. The New York Times, I mean, their biggest headlines on March 16th, when it was getting crazy with COVID was, “Trump says he’s strongly considering pardoning Flynn.” “Does Florida really want ex-felons to vote?” But they did have a couple of COVID headlines in the middle of doing everything they can to destroy Donald Trump 40 times a day.
Frank Curzio: Like, “A man with 17,700 bottles of hand sanitizer just donated.” Another headline from top New York Times is, “How to work from home if your company closes its offices.” So, everyone was getting very familiar with COVID. This was around the time we started to close restaurants, bars, gyms, almost everything, being mandated to be closed. We’re running out of ventilators, very scary stuff. Don’t forget that. And confirmed COVID cases were just 14,000 total for the US, total. I mean, of what we knew, it was probably well over 100,000, but that’s when we just began testing. And put that in perspective today looking at cases, and actually, we go back to December, it was 50,000 a day. Remember, it’s 14,000 total a year, a year from today. But in December, 50,000 cases.
Frank Curzio: Around 30 million people today have had COVID in the US, while 535,000 people have died, which is an unbelievable number. It’s very sad. So, during this time, we just started to learn about this dreadful virus. Everyone was really scared, and they should be. It was something new, something never happened, something we never saw. We didn’t understand it. And now, every single state, it was 14,000 total had confirmed cases. We were watching the death rate start to spike in other countries through Europe: Italy, France. The entire world was put on hold. And what was really cool about this situation, if you find a positive from it, is every large cap pharmaceutical company, biotech company, scientists, doctors, everyone joined together, started researching the shit out COVID, launching studies, launching major research reports, research projects, learning how it spreads, who it targets, how we could prevent the spread of it, how to keep people alive once they got it, along with how could we come up with a vaccine as fast as possible that will help us eradicate the virus?
Frank Curzio: And the quickest we had a vaccine come to market was four years. It’s pretty amazing when you look at what these pharmaceutical companies were able to do to come out with a vaccine this quick. Pretty awesome. But everyone was doing everything in their power to learn about COVID-19. And I thought that was pretty cool, we’re just coming together. Now, in two months’ time, say around May, a lot this data was being published. We learned so much about this disease by May, like how young kids don’t really get it easily. And now, if you’re under 12, you have close to the same rate as dying from COVID than dying from the flu. This is based on CDC data. This is the CDC, don’t get mad at me. Don’t send to me, email@example.com. Send to the CDC if you’re pissed off. I’m just reporting what’s on their site.
Frank Curzio: We learned that this disease is incredibly dangerous for people over 65, and even more dangerous if you’re over 65 and have underlying conditions. So, we know who it targeted. During this time, we had doctors, scientists, suggestions were made to stay six feet apart and wear masks at all times. That was not based on science; that was just common sense, especially on masks… Which, why would you wear a mask? Because it’s going to help you avoid a stranger from basically spitting in your mouth from their mouth. They call it droplets, and that’s going to prevent it. Which only happens if you’re basically intimate with someone, or we’re talking inside of two feet, which almost only happens when you’re talking to people that you know. But we all had to wear masks. And they said the science and the data… No, not really.
Frank Curzio: I mean, everyone bought it: Six feet of distancing, wear masks at all times. Even when you have sex with your spouse they were telling you to wear masks when you have sex with your spouse. Obviously, they probably didn’t have spouse. Be sure to watch your privates with antibacterial soap, wash hands 20 times a day. I thought it was funny how doctors and politicians started comparing to the Asian culture, which failed to mention that they wear masks, you see them wear masks, if you… I went to China, you see them wear masks. But they wear masks when they’re actually sick. You forgot to mention that. They don’t want to wear a mask when they’re not sick in hopes that they’re not going to spread a disease they don’t have to people they don’t know. No, that’s not why they wear a mask. They didn’t explain that. You didn’t need to explain… That’s okay. Doesn’t matter.
Frank Curzio: But saying masks prevent the spread of COVID is like saying if you wear a hazmat suit, you will not be affected by anything ever. Which is, yeah, pretty cool, no kidding. You’re wrapped in a plastic covering all over your body. We don’t do that because we have pretty good immune systems, fight off tons of diseases and viruses, and there’s significant consequences for us wearing a hazmat suit 24 hours a day. Remember that point, significant consequences. The significant consequences of making big decisions. What happens if you make a decision, and what happens if you don’t? I’m going to explain this very important in a minute, and get back to it. Now, I always question mask use, but I wore masks. I wear masks now when I go to stores, indoors. I had Curzio Research masks made out for my employees, basically wearing out of respect to all the people who should fear contracting COVID-19. I get it.
Frank Curzio: But for me, my family, I already had COVID, so I’m not going to catch it again no matter what people try to tell you. You’re not going to catch it again. Yes, there’s a case in England that’s… Just like with the chicken pox, if you get it, you don’t get it again. But there’s a few people that get it again. But with all the people that have it, I mean, it’s probably .00001% that actually get it again. But you got to hear that story because that’s a great story to tell. That’s a great story to tell in the media. You want to get the shit out of people. This way, people are clicking, and that’s how they make a fortune. They want to scare the crap out you. They want to… They don’t want to report to you how everything’s okay now and you’re good. No, no, no, that doesn’t work. You don’t make money by doing that. Uh-uh.
Frank Curzio: But when I questioned masks on social media, holy cow, people just wanted to kill me, trashed the crap out of me. “Frank you’re an idiot. You don’t know nothing.” And it’s not because they had facts. It was because they were conditioned by the media to believe that you’re basically going to die if you don’t wear a mask or distance yourself six feet apart. In Florida, it was never that extreme, but in New York and California, it was. I mean people will beat the shit out of you if you walk down the street… If you walk into a store without a mask, they’ll kill you. They go, “What, are you crazy? Oh my God, you’re going to die.” Relax. 99.5% survival rate; you’re going to be okay. And these are 35, 40-year-old people who this disease really doesn’t impact them that much, and they’re going to be okay. It’s like a mild flu to them.
Frank Curzio: But it’s funny on social media, I can post something about a stock, can write original analysis through social media channels, say, “This is going to…” and I get a few responses. Like, just a great analysis on something, really quick, “This is something you should be looking at.” And I get a few responses. But I talk about COVID, where I had great knowledge of this disease, talking to numerous doctors, interviewing people in quarantine zones in China and Italy on this podcast, warning you to get out of the market, get ahead of this, understanding this disease very, very early on because of the contacts that I have… Just lucky to have… Before we locked down in the US. But nobody cared. Nobody cared. They just say, “We watch TV. We watch this channel, and this is the way it is.”
Frank Curzio: They wanted to believe what they want you to believe, what they’re being told. At the end of the day, it’s what you read and what you’re being told. It’s how you find the information that’s happening all around the world. How do you find it? You go on the internet and you read a story, or somebody tells you about it. And you’re assuming that that’s the truth, but I don’t know. Now, March through May, Dr. Fauci became a superstar. He took center stage, talking about how you didn’t need to worry about COVID in January, February, saying that we don’t need to lock down or wear masks. We’re not going to need that. And then, he totally flipped, saying that masks are needed, and this disease is very dangerous.
Frank Curzio: That’s perfectly fine. I have no problem with that. I like people who change their mind when the data changes. We sit in the market all the time with permabears, who continue to try to sell all stocks over the past seven years, the markets are going to crash, even though the Fed mandated low interest rates forever. And the Fed pumped nonstop stimulus into the markets. Now, we’re talking trillions and trillions and trillions, and more is coming, even after this 1.9 trillion. But you never change your thesis, even though the facts change. But then, something interesting happened. We saw numerous doctors… A lot of these people were dying to be celebrities, loved the celebrity status. I’ve seen this happen to people in my industry, when they become TV personalities. Holy shit, it’s like you don’t even know the person, it’s totally different. It really messes with you. It really does. You have to look good all the time. You wake up out of bed, you’ve got to look good. You have to look good. Everybody is watching you. That’s all you care about. It changes your life. It really does. When you have that…
Frank Curzio: A lot of friends, a lot of my friends in the industry just became really different the more bigger they got, especially when they’re on TV. I guess everyone would be the same way. Everyone wants to be on TV. A lot of people want to be in TV and be famous. They don’t know what to be famous for. They just say, “I want to be famous,” because they’re on TV, that we saw this among doctors. They went on TV to promote mask wearing, social distancing. Some of these doctors also suggested that we close schools immediately. This was based on science, they said, even though there was zero science that told us we needed to close schools immediately.
Frank Curzio: We just closed them because we were scared. And so, this is in May. So, we started about March, the end of March, a lot of schools closed. And then to April, we started getting the data in May, getting the data, and they’re like, “We’ve got to stay closed. We’ve got to stay closed.” And the data showed that this doesn’t impact kids. It’s not spread too much through kids. Now, around this time, in May-ish, numerous doctors began to email me from my network. I never even realized how many doctors listen to my show. I do understand doctors and stocks go together, unbelievably, which is really, really cool, risk-takers. But I have a lot of doctors that listen to me. I didn’t know. And they started reaching out to me. They would tell me how they were being suppressed. How they couldn’t talk publicly about COVID or express their true feelings as people who are in the field treating patients. Think about that for a minute. Think about that.
Frank Curzio: COVID is a brand new virus we know very little about; yet we’re not letting doctors who are in the field treating patients try new things to help them. This is a stage where we’re just learning, but they won’t let us speak out. Why is that? If you look at the goal of science, it’s to question everything and then test everything, and then let the data do the talking. The data do the talking, not opinion, data. That’s how we figure out problems, how we save lives. There’s no ego involved, just data in hopes of making the world a safer place for the next generation, and the one after that. But that wasn’t the case here. It’s masks, six feet apart, or you’re going to be banned from every social media site if you disagree with that mandate. And you may actually lose your job if you’re a doctor and you say that, especially when you speak out publicly on public platforms.
Frank Curzio: Don’t do it. Don’t speak out against status quo. This is the mandate. That’s it. Don’t question it. Don’t try to figure it out. I mean, we’re allowed to voice our opinion in a free country that has free speech. You couldn’t do it. So what does that leave your information? Where do you get your information provides? Where are you getting it from? It’s the media. They shut everybody off, closed everybody off, and the media was telling you, basically that fear for your life because you have a risk of dying if you get COVID, which is in their best benefit. Again, no data is available in May showing anything about masks working, six feet apart working. There was data available that showed that 98% of people under 50 years old survive this disease, and that number is much higher today at 98%.
Frank Curzio: More people getting tested, getting more data. But again, they told everyone to stay home, wear masks. All stores except the ones our government selected, the Walmart’s, Targets, Home Depots, CVS’, supermarkets. All the stores had to close. So, too bad, even if you provide the same services as Walmart or Target or whatever, got to close, forced to close. And be sure to say six feet away from everyone if you go out. In fact, stores that were allowed to stay open, they needed to put stickers on the floor to make sure people abide by these rules, like we’re all effin idiots and we don’t know how far six feet is apart. No, stand here. Stand here, there’s a big sticker there. You’re not standing on the sticker, stand here. These stickers are still there today; are you kidding me? This way we all know exactly how far six feet is.
Frank Curzio: Let’s fast forward to today. So, the journal of Clinical Infectious Diseases has come out a couple days ago, published a report showing that there is zero statistical difference between staying six feet away, compared to staying three feet away. But Dr. Fauci was questioned on this couple days ago, and said, “Yeah. I’m aware of the data. And the CDC will be conducting its own tests on this.” CDC will be conducting its own tests on this. Why was Fauci not running these tests himself? I mean, I know you’re really busy, going on TV, being on the front cover of magazines, and stuff like that. But why? Why weren’t you running these tests or instructing the CDC to run these tests?
Frank Curzio: I mean, we’re still learning about this disease. We really don’t know how it’s… We really don’t know what it spread so fast during a certain times than other time. We really don’t know that much about it. And plus, China, where it came from, is not giving us any information. They told the World Health Organization, “You cannot come into Wuhan.” And then, during that time, the World Health Organization said, “We want to commend China for doing such a great job.” They had no fricking idea what China is doing. China didn’t let any scientists in there to state this. Why is that? You guys come up with your own opinion on that, blaming everybody else like they always do.
Frank Curzio: But again, back to Fauci and CDC, that’s a pretty big deal. Why aren’t you running tests? Six feet to three feet. You made it seem like a big effing deal, six feet to three feet. What’s the difference? Ask a restaurant that question. Ask a gym that question. Ask kids in school that question. Ask anyone that has limited the amount of people in their stores or businesses over the past three to six month. And I say three to six months depending on where you live. Six months ago, Texas, Florida, were opening up. New York, California, still have major lockdowns in place, even though there’s numerous data now showing that, “Hey, open up. You already to destroyed a lot of these cities. Now, you’ve got to open up.” But that’s a huge deal.
Frank Curzio: And why are we only knowing about that right now? Especially considering that the doctors told us, the science was a reason behind the six foot of social distancing. It wasn’t science. It was an educated guess, it’s a big difference. And you know what, you were wrong. You told us it was science even though there was no real science behind it. It gets better. Another new study, this is from this week, by the medical center of Massachusetts says that after surveying 251 school districts, there is zero difference between the number of COVID cases among students or staff between those observing three feet and six feet rules and wearing masks. So, more and more studies are coming out on this. Again, why now?
Frank Curzio: The same institution also said that its study shows that COVID transmission rates are low in schools. This came out last week. No kidding. Really. Thank you. Thank you for that, medical center of Massachusetts. Thank you so much. When all those studies showing that COVID transmission rates are low in schools. Really? Because that was data we had in May. Schools should have been opened up. But you’re just reporting that this week, after a millions of children, millions, tens of millions of children forced to miss school for an entire year. And shit, schools are still closed in California. Why? 100% political, not data, not science. No. But good job. Thanks putting those kids first, destroying their lives. Way to go to California.
Frank Curzio: And by the way, interesting data for you from California, and this is from this week. You know how many kids under 17 died of COVID in California? And we’re over one year now with COVID in the US. 14, which is too many. And it’s sad that any child should die from this disease, but 14. But we need to put this in perspective, because schools are still closed there. 14. There are over nine million kids under the age of 17 in California, so that puts a death rate from COVID at 0.000144%. So, the flu is much, much, much more dangerous than COVID when it comes to kids under 17 years old. But schools in California are still closed. Again, who cares? It’s data. Nobody cares about the data. It’s the data, it’s the science. Nobody has data. This is data. This is actual data. Again, don’t get pissed at me. Get pissed at the people providing these stats. If you think they’re lying, go to the CDC, don’t get pissed at me. I’m just repeating and doing my research here.
Frank Curzio: Now, another scientist has come out against lockdowns just a few months ago, saying, “Lockdowns will be remembered as the biggest public health mistake we ever made. The harm to people is catastrophic.” This person is Stanford professor, Jay Bhattacharya. I probably destroyed that name. Who is part of something called Great Barrington Declaration, stay with me here. So, this an initiative written by three public health experts months ago. They’re from Harvard, Stanford, Oxford, encouraging governments to lift lockdown restrictions on young and healthy people, while focusing protection measures on the elderly. Makes sense, doesn’t it? Makes so much sense based on a data. Protect the elderly who die from this disease or contract it. That’s where most of the deaths came from, and let the young and healthy people get out there, because this is not that bad for them, based on all statistics that we have, world statistics, not just in the US.
Frank Curzio: Now, the Great Barrington Declaration… I know, stupid name, I don’t know. But it has received over 13,000 endorsements, those are signatures from medical and public health scientists, and more than 41,000 medical practitioners. You know what, that’s a lot of medical experts. And this isn’t some crazy person, or a cult, and a big idea, and some guy goes on TV and shouts and said, “No mask wearing. No…” I mean, 41,000 medical practitioners, and $13,000 endorsements from medical and public health scientists… I don’t even know how many public health scientists are there, and that percentage of that… Saying that lockdowns are really, really bad. But don’t worry. Don’t worry; the science is telling us we need to stay home.
Frank Curzio: Now, of course, most states COVID deaths hospitalizations, cases are down 85 to 90% across the board. This includes states like Texas and Florida who did not have strict lockdowns. Remarkable. I’m not saying that they should be going out spring break like they are and going crazy and partying and going nuts. But we did a good job here wearing masks, but keeping the economy open so people could live. You compare that to New York, California, some of these major cities, and it’s sad. It’s sad that they closed people. I don’t care if you’re Democrat or Republican, you work… It’s because you’re about working. This economy is about taking care of your family. It gives you the opportunity. And you’re telling people, “No. you cannot do that. You cannot work.” And you’re basing that decision not on data and science, mostly out of political reasons.
Frank Curzio: And such is fewer lockdowns, when you look at Texas and Florida, it’s no coincidence these states have seen massive inflows of new people flocking from those high tech states like California and New York. If you look at the whole picture, and what they’re doing now they’re actually raising taxes. New York said, “We’re raising taxes on people making a million dollars or more.” It’s pretty smart. It’s a good idea to raise taxes right now. What are you going to do? They’re going to move. Florida, Texas, they’re moving… They’re leaving. It’s going to result to much lower tax revenue. That means taxes will be raised on the middle class, they have to, to pay the bills. It’s pretty simple. It’s economics 101, very easy to see.
Frank Curzio: So, the politicians running these states that are raising taxes while keeping those lockdown measures in place, I would like to say that they’re complete idiots, but they’re not. They’re doing this intentionally. It gives them more power. Why else would they be doing it? Why now would Cuomo come out and say, “Oh, well, New York has to open or there’s not going to be another New York.” Really? Because that’s what DeSantis said in Florida. It’s what the governor said in Texas five, six months ago. Why are you saying it now, when people are leaving in droves? Now, I want to share some statistics, data with you that nobody in the media is reporting. Why? I’m not sure. Maybe you can answer the question for me. Because all I’m seeing being reported is how Biden said, and this is his first appearance since becoming president over four months ago. You think when you become president you’d be out there go, “I’m the president, this is exactly what…”
Frank Curzio: No, disappeared. Go hide. Nowhere. It’s fine. Way to get out there, bud, as soon as you become president. So, he makes an appearance, and he says, “If we all wear our masks. So, if we all wear our masks. Continue to get vaccinated. We do our part. We do this together. By July 4th, there’s a good chance you and your families and friends will be able to get together in your backyard or in your neighborhood and have a cookout and a barbecue and celebrate Independence Day.” He goes on to say, “It doesn’t mean large events, with lots of people together, but it does mean small groups will be able to get together.” Right. So, you may be able to spend July 4th, the date America became an independent nation, free nation, you may be able to have a barbecue with a few members outside, and spend… This is outside, spend time with them outdoors, not even indoors. You may be able to do that. But still, no parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions. Nope, none of that. None of that still, even though we have data showing that this crazy.
Frank Curzio: But you may be able to eat a hotdog with a few members of your family outside four fricking months from now, if you follow my rules. If you follow my rules. What are your rules based on? I’m curious. Because now people are starting to smarten up. And again, it’s not politics, people are not working because of these mandates, and it’s insane when you’re looking at the data when cases are crashing. To just follow me because I said so, that’s the way it is. Now, let’s have some fun and actually look at data, the science. And all these are easy numbers, I’m not getting analytical, anything like that on you, I promise. It’s very simple, very easy, so I don’t want to lose you. So, it’s March 16th yesterday, US reported 40,400 cases, new cases of COVID, 589 deaths and 35,200 current hospitalizations. Compared to a week ago, they’re all down. They’ve been down on a weekly basis, tremendously. Most states have seen these numbers fall by 80%, or more than 90% from their peaks, which is awesome. That’s what we wanted. That’s what we needed to see.
Frank Curzio: So, now it comes to vaccinations, we’ve seeing the rollout. The media is reporting that 21% of the population has taken at least one dose, you’ll see that everywhere. And it said, “Well, 11.5% have taken both.” It’s data from this week, the latest available. That’s pretty good. It’s encouraging. But let’s dig into those numbers a little further, because I’m surprised this isn’t being reported. So, the media, when they post those stats, are using the total population, which includes 18-year-old kids and under, even though there’s zero reason for these kids to take the vaccine. And studies haven’t been performed on children on vaccines yet. So, I’ve been saying, “Okay. They’re going through process now, because it’s not priority because most kids are perfectly fine. They’re not at risk of dying from COVID compared to older people.”
Frank Curzio: So, if we exclude the 18 and younger part of the population, we exclude them, close to 30% of the population. Again, the population that’s over 18 years old has gotten one dose already, while 15% received two doses. It’s incredible numbers. But it gets even better. We all know who gets impacted the most from COVID, these are people who are 65 years old. Now, when we separate that demographic, the 65-year-old and up in the United States, separate from the rest of the population, 64% of these people who are over 65 have received one dose, while 36% have already received both doses. That is an incredible statistic. Why? Because we were told by scientists that 70% of population needs to be immune before we achieve herd immunity, or need to get that vaccine.
Frank Curzio: Now, when it comes to people over 65 years old, almost 70% already got one dose, and you’re going to get the next dose in 30 days. It’s actually 28 days, that’s 28 days later is when you get the next. So, we’re looking at it next month, we’re going to have pretty close to 70% of our older population, again, people over 65 have the biggest risk of dying from COVID will achieve herd immunity, shouldn’t that be everywhere an incredible achievement, celebrated to be a biggest headline every major newspaper and media site. No way. No, absolutely not. We’re just going to report that 21% of the population has taken at least one dose while 11.5% have taken both. Those are the only numbers you see. These numbers are all available on the CDC website. But it’s not being mentioned in the media anywhere. Why not?
Frank Curzio: Based on these numbers that are on the CDC site right now, why would Biden say that in a few months close to four months, you’ll be able to have a small outdoor gathering, maybe a barbecue outdoors. Again, why would he say that based on this data? I mean if you’re looking at 80% of the people who are at most risk of dying from COVID will be fully vaccinated. And the reason that number is not going to be close to 90, 95% is because some people don’t want to take the vaccine in that age group. That’s their choice. That’s fine. You have your own choice. This is America. If you want to take it, I would advise you to take it if you’re over 65 because you’re at risk. They say most people over 65 have an underlying condition. Those that don’t, good for you, it’s hard to stay healthy, man.
Frank Curzio: Now, why is this relevant to an investment podcast? Probably what you’re asking. So, if you subscribe to any of my services, you know I always provide the risks and rewards of each investment. So, in short, is the risk that you’re taking enough to justify the potential reward, if you look at both sides of the equation. I would love to tell you that every one of my investments is going to go higher at least 100% 12, 24 months, and I’m always right. Always. I’d love to tell you that. I’m right more times that I’m not, otherwise I’d have a different job. That’s why I have a lot of subscribers.
Frank Curzio: But I always look at the risks. That’s my job. The risks of picking this stock, and how much will we lose if I’m wrong. And there’s tons of data analysis that goes into that decision. But in the end, there’s always a trade-off, to if I’m right on this, the stock is probably going to go up more than 100% in 24, 36 months. But if I’m wrong, we’ll lose 25% because I placed stops, maybe 35% if it’s smaller names, a little bit more volatile and have much more upside. But there’s always trade-offs, there’s trade-offs. It’s not just, “Buy this, it’s going to go higher. You have…” No. Now, when it comes to our government, and all the scientists that provide data analysis to our president to both presidents, so Trump, when he was president, and to Biden. Was there not one that looked at the risks of locking down the economy? And what would happen to us? What would happen in mask wearing, social distancing, how that could actually hurt people? Because I didn’t see any analysis on that pretty much the whole entire time until this week, past couple of weeks.
Frank Curzio: The only analysis I saw was based on opinion and how to stop the spread of COVID, and why we need to focus on this, it’s interesting that we’re a year in, guys, over a year in. Because new data is coming out every day, every week showing what lockdowns have done to our children, to our parents, to our society. Like, data from the CDC shown between April and October 2020 hospital emergency departments saw a rise in the share of total visits that were from kids for mental needs. And the Riley Hospital of children in Indianapolis showing a 250% increase in the amount of children and teen suicide attempts in 2020. What weren’t we looking at the risks of locking everything down, and keep everyone home, and closing schools? Nobody had analysis on this. Why? Why didn’t you get economists involved? Why don’t you get doctors… Really? Why? Why? Our researchers, the National Commission on COVID-19, and Criminal Justice saw a 30% rise in homicide rates in the largest cities in America, which include rising homicide rates in 29 of the 34 largest cities.
Frank Curzio: Lockdown, but let certain people out. And yeah, crime is going to increase. Why? Because there’s no cops on the streets, because you’re defunding police. The UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland, the suicide rates among kids more than doubled in the fall 2020 compared to the fall of 2019. The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine reviewed 65 studies from around the world, involving 97,000 healthcare workers. We’re talking about healthcare workers here. This is first response people, people we care about, they risk their lives every day. They found that one in five, to be exact 22% have experienced depression, anxiety, or PTSD during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Frank Curzio: It makes sense, right? With everything that they saw, and how stressful it is, and how crazy is, and hospitals got overcrowded, emergency rooms… It makes sense, right? The anxiety of seeing people die. And this compares to around 4.4% of the entire world population experienced anxiety disorders. But in just healthcare workers alone, it was 22%. Yet, NBC who gathered data on ranges of children welfare metrics is recently said, “Emergency rooms have seen a 24% increase in mental health related visits from children ages five to 11 compared to last year. Food banks have been slammed with hungry families. As an estimate, 17 million children, many largely cut off from free school lunches are now in danger of not having enough to eat.” That’s an increase of one in six million hungry children compared to pre-COVID.
Frank Curzio: More and more of these tests are coming out. National testing organization report the average student, grades three to eight who took a math assessment this fall score five to 10 percentile points behind students who took the same test last year with Black and Hispanic poor students falling even further behind. An estimated three million vulnerable students who are homeless in foster care had disabilities, or are learning English appear to not be in school at all. We’re talking guys, tens of millions of kids, our future generations, the future of America. You closed schools, even though you had data available. And look what’s happening, what are the consequences of… Nobody looked at the other side of the equation. You’re not going to stop every single death from COVID, absolutely not. You can, that’s what politicians will tell you. “We’re going to eradicate, it’s going to be gone.” No, it’s not.
Frank Curzio: We want to try to prevent as many deaths as possible, to get the vaccine to as many people as possible, to lower the risk as much as possible. But we have to make sure that the rest of the world, 99.5% who survived this, and 98% who are really not at risk of dying at all need to live their lives. Kids need to go to school, people need to go to work. But when it comes to kids, I’m seeing the same thing with my oldest daughter who’s really behind, and schools opened up pretty quickly in Florida. I’m helping to back up them par studying with her almost every day, see a troll in math and reading. Because most of this is online in terms of the homework assignments, and test taking on the computer. A lot of this stuff doesn’t get inputted, it gets lost. Homework assignments, teachers forget to put the data in because not everything is automated.
Frank Curzio: But there’s still to this day, and my kids have been in school since May, lots of confusion. And I got to tell you, parents from New York and California, where some schools are just opening up with only what? They want to open up with one or two months left in school year, they got to open up. There’s going to be a steep learning curve for the teachers, definitely for the students, and definitely for you as parents. And it takes months and months to get used to. You know your kids are going back to school and you’re celebrating, it’s going to be months before they could really focus on the actual math, the reading, because you have to learn different computer systems, different software systems. Even if you go into the same to the same school and you have 7, 8, 9 class, whatever you have, I mean, classes, you… We’re using three different programs for each of my kids, not just everyone uses one program and… No, you got to go different places and it’s crazy.
Frank Curzio: Teachers are confused. You try learning a new software program in a month. It’s impossible. I mean I’m doing this on Vimeo, it took me six, nine months to really get good, and doing all taping and stuff like that, and video. It takes a long time to learn any software program. So expect that, if you’re in New York, California, good luck. You know, going back to school, it’s months before you really get to understand this system, and especially your kids, before they really start learning stuff again. But again, I ask the question, why have scientists, so-called experts, scholars, largest teaching institutions, why have they not run studies on the effect of lockdowns, the effects of social distancing? Why didn’t they do this in May, June, July, August? Why?
Frank Curzio: Because the cure for this virus and to stop spreading has now become worse than COVID itself. There’s lots of responsibility to go around here. Which of course, now one politician, statistician, scientists will admit, no way, never admit to being wrong if you’re political figures, not allowed. It’s not the American way anymore. It’s no mistakes. I’m always right, I’m arrogant, which is so effing sad. That’s what we see. We saw it from Trump. We saw from Biden. We see it from everybody. They never say that they’re wrong, ever. Trump said numerous times, “This isn’t a big deal. It’s going to be fine. It’s going to be fine. It’s going to be fine.” It’s bullshit. You should have known.
Frank Curzio: Biden is saying, “Oh, it’s all Trump’s fault.” You killed Trump. You made fun of Trump when he closed the borders in January. You made fun of him, which means it would have spread a lot faster. Biden will never admit that. Those are all facts. Again, the political spectrum across all of it… I don’t care if you’re a Democrat. I don’t care if you’re Republican. But I know you care about your family and your kids, and working, and that’s what these politicians are controlling right now.
Frank Curzio: So, as an investor, how do you look at this? This country is going to open up a lot faster than anyone thinks. They can’t stop it no more. Airlines going to be booked for months out, there will be no hotel rooms available for months out. Rent-a-car companies will thrive, travel-related companies still have loads of upside potential. Something that everyone who is a subscriber to any of my products should be benefiting a ton from, since we were early to this party. Under the Russell 2000, many of those travel related stocks are smaller names in the Russell 2000. Up 20% this year. It’s almost four times what the NASDAQ is up this year, 20% in March 17th.
Frank Curzio: And I don’t think it’s buying the major cruise lines here whose enterprise values are all higher right now than pre-COVID levels due to the massive capital raises they’re having on past month, because they still have no cruise in operation, and they just suspended those cruises for a couple more months. Pretty crazy, you have high evaluation with no cruises, no ships in operation than pre-COVID when all these ships were in operation. Getting a little ahead of yourself, got to be careful. We look at Vegas starting to boom, it based on recent reports. Opened up at 50%, MGM said they’re open up more than that. Avis rent-a-car bought this a while ago when Hertz went under. These guys are great, they did a great job deleveraging, a big on it, but I still see more upside.
Frank Curzio: Expedia is another name we’re up a lot on, where earnings are going to explode higher in the months and years ahead. Huge demand. May ask, why are profits going to explode? Well, for one reason, I’m talking about profits here, these companies cut costs dramatically during COVID. They cut salaries. So, what happens when business goes back to normal and such surging? It results in explosion in earnings. Trust me, I’m an analytical 25 years. The best companies to but are those that have had problems, and they cut costs, and they’re restructure. And once they get that restructuring, their cost is so low, and once they find out, “Hey, these are the divisions that are working, this is what we’re going to focus on.” That’s when you see the stock explode 5X, 10X, 20X. That’s how you make the biggest gains, and that’s what we’re seeing. And it’s just the beginning.
Frank Curzio: Another reason why they’re going to explode is the recent stimulus bill of 1.9 trillion just passed. So, $1,400 checks for everyone. “Here you go.” Handing out money, trillions. It’s going to result in the US personal savings rate surging to around 18%. What does that mean? That’s 11% higher than normal. So, if you want to put numbers on this, that’s close to $2 trillion consumers will have to spend on whatever they want after they get these checks. $2 trillion, combined with all the other stimulus plans. And you know as well as I do, everyone, everyone in this country is dying for a vacation. They’re dying to go out. They’re going start spending money like crazy well through the summer, likely through 2021, because they’re dying to go out. They’ve been locked up debating with their kids.
Frank Curzio: So, while our government refuses to report facts, continues to give us mandates based on zero data or scientific group, you could do two things. You can bitch about it all you want to your friends and family, which I know a lot of people on the left are going to be sending me emails about this intro. “Right. Do you know what you’re talking about?” Again, go to CDC, don’t yell at me, look at the stats, it’s fine. Again, you could bitch all about it, that’s fine. I don’t care. Or, you could choose to position your portfolio to maximize your returns and be incredibly wealthy, which is why anyone who wants assets is making a fortune right now.
Frank Curzio: Again, you could do this by buying the reopen trade. I mean, subscribers have been doing since September, October, shared a few names with you just recently. I would include airlines in there, which are at 52 week highs, but still down 20, 25% from all-time highs. Buy cyclical names, cyclical names do better when the economy recovers and come down when the economy is not doing… We’re going to see an explosion in the economy. It’s likely going to go north of 7% this year, which will mark the first time, and I believe in over 40 years that our economy grew faster than China’s. Again, we had COVID, stuff like that, but still pretty remarkable. Developed nation growing, the biggest nation, 6%. I know how bad it was, believe me, I know.
Frank Curzio: The economy was crap last year, but this year, different story. Cyclical names that’s banks, consumer discretionary names that lag the overall market because some of these names are up enormously from their March lows. Some are restaurant names and retailers, and things like that. But there’s a lot that have lagged, and when everything opens up, these guys are going to see an explosion in earnings, an explosion in demand. And again, they cut costs significantly. And also, you could do this by buying infrastructure companies, when Goldman Sachs just published a report yesterday, they say that $1.9 trillion bill just passed.
Frank Curzio: They published a report, and already, they’re on to the next one. The next report, suggesting the next stimulus package, which only needs 51% approval from the Senate, not more than that, which they have. That means control of everything. But this could be as much as $4 trillion. The next stimulus bill, of which two trillion will be infrastructure related, and the other two trillion, you know as well as I do, is going to be full of pork, nonsense that we saw with the 1.9 trillion COVID package, where I think 85% of it was non-COVID. That’s what they were fighting about, who gets their payouts. These are politicians, that’s all it was. And it has nothing to do with helping the people that you forced to close their businesses, what you did, because now with these trillions of dollars being passed, you get to sit there with the bag opened up, and just that money filtering in for every one of the politicians.
Frank Curzio: That’s how they played it. And they played you and they played me. By all bullshit stats that they reported, and all saying that science and the data was all bullshit, all of it. But to call them on that bullshit, position yourself right in your portfolio. I saw Steve Liesman get on TV today, and he goes, “Wow. The 30-year is only up to 1.6%, but it’s amazing that we’re not seeing inflation.” Really, Steve? Come on, man. Really, we’re not seeing inflation? I know we’re not seeing inflation from the CPI, and that’s all that matters from the Fed because they’re going to keep interest rates low. I get it.
Frank Curzio: But we’re not seeing inflation. Have you seen lumber prices? Adding $24,000 to the price of a new home? Which is what? $325,000 which the average home price goes up around 2%, 3% every year. Lumber prices are accounting for 7% in increase in home prices alone. No inflation there. Copper, no inflation there. No, I don’t see it. Gasoline prices. No, I don’t see it. No. Gasoline prices a pump. No. No inflation. Food prices. No. Where’s the inflation? Steve, get out there. Stop looking at your fricking charts in a dark room, man. Come on, you’re on CNBC, do you want to hear from you. Understand what the people are going through. I get it from the point of view, where I’m the same way saying, “Listen, it doesn’t matter what we think about inflation because the CPI is all it matters.”
Frank Curzio: But come on, don’t say where is the inflation on TV? Are you kidding me, you’re basically calling everyone who pays bills a fucking idiot. Do better than that. And I like Steve. Anyway, we’re going to talk more about that in a second. Bringing in Daniel Creech. Going to listen to this opening in person before giving him a chance to reply and speak. But Daniel’s a senior researcher with Curzio Research and a weekly feature now on Wall Street Unplugged, where we break down top stories of the week, and how to profit from them. So, Daniel, what’s going on, bud?
Daniel Creech: Hey, Frank, what’s happening? Happy St. Patty’s Day.
Frank Curzio: I know.
Daniel Creech: Happy Wednesday to everybody. This is always a good day. And this week, it’s a little bit extra. So, that’s cool.
Frank Curzio: No, I know. Thank you for that. Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everybody out there. And a lot of news this week. I mean you heard me talking about COVID. I know you helped to even provide a lot of the stats and the data and stuff like that on it, which was really cool. And just going over how the science and the data, and how we’re being told different things. But I won’t beat that to death because, again, I might have beat to death already. But I did want to talk about some of the things, where Goldman just came out with the infrastructure bill saying that it could be four trillion, two trillion of that is infrastructure. And they’re going to use budget reconciliation, which means they’re only going to need 51 votes which they have in order to pass this, and Goldman believes that’s going to happen next year. So, we just passed 1.9 trillion, we’re already talking about the next one. I mean pretty crazy, right?
Daniel Creech: Yeah. I mean Gundlach a bond manager that we’ve talked about often had a great saying, it’s expected now. People are going to expect stimulus as a permanent thing, and the market is going to continue to expect more infrastructures, or other bills. And infrastructure is going to be the next one. The interesting thing that’s going to pop out is once negotiations start, and headlines start coming around, is the spending is going to be a lot less impactful in the short-term than the recent Coronavirus bill.
Daniel Creech: Frank, I’d like your thoughts on that because if they pass four trillion, obviously, they can’t spend it all in the first year, it’s going to be spread out. And the reaction of the market, depending on what’s in there in the early years is going to give investors, I think, a real good heads up. So, infrastructure is obviously on there, some green energy, ESG, the environmental, social, geopolitical, or governance, or whatever the hell the G stands for in that. But that’s what really jumped out at me is the spending and the size.
Frank Curzio: Yeah. The spending and the size. I’m going through the Goldman report too guys to have the wave access to things like this, just showing it to you. I think the report was interesting. I mean, you’re looking at the amount of spending, and they’re saying that it could be offset a little bit. Though they had a couple things they were saying, which I thought were interesting. President’s aid desire to enact bipartisan legislation, and a likely resistance among centrist Democrats immediately pursuing legislation via reconciliation process, which only requires 51 votes in the Senate. It’s a big deal. Because we were looking for infrastructure bill from Clinton, and also… Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, they both ran on a trillion-dollar infrastructure bill.
Daniel Creech: Yep.
Frank Curzio: But Trump got elected. And nothing fricking happened. Nothing. They couldn’t assign it because they didn’t want, whatever. And it wouldn’t have worked either with Hillary, but they both wanted a trillion dollars, maybe you tweak it a little bit. So is there… But now, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter because if they do reconciliation, it’s 51 votes, and they have that in the Senate. Yeah. They go on to say, September is the deadline for infrastructure bill, though it could pass earlier. So, we’re not looking at that long.
Frank Curzio: But into 2021, they’re saying it’s going to be phased out like most projects are phased out where they don’t say, “You’re getting your $20 billion right off the bat in one year. Here you go,” where it’s $20 billion for a 10, 15-year contract. But again, that’s going to result in more money coming into the system. And it’s going to be interesting because they say two trillion is for infrastructure, and two trillion is going to be for whatever, which is going to funny, education or whatever it is. I don’t even know, actually.
Daniel Creech: Well, there’s going to be plenty of pork, no doubt. I mean, you know that.
Frank Curzio: Yeah. Of course.
Daniel Creech: What’s wild is some of the offsets, and the way, they’re going to pay for it with the tax hike and things like that. So, what people really need to pay attention to is, and I’ve joked about this, but this is one of the best clichés, when people tell you who they are, listen. And when you know tax increases are going to be kicked around and coming down the pike, you want to look at companies that have pricing power. Because if the corporate rate goes from 21 to 28, okay, math is funny, don’t think 6%, that’s 33% increase. Okay. That’s a huge jump. If you don’t think corporations are going to pass that on to customers, I agree to disagree. And that’s going to go through the prices of oil and lumber. Did you see Lennar housing earnings last night?
Frank Curzio: Yeah.
Daniel Creech: They’re amazing. They’re going to do an average $400,000 house, and they’re going to do 60 some houses, I think, this year, and demand is through the roof. So, lumber prices are going to continue to go up. Oil, and their prices at… I know you love this. They don’t include them. But when you factor in grocery prices and things like that, that’s what you want to look for as an investor, getting ahead of that.
Frank Curzio: Yeah. No, definitely. And just a little bit more into this Goldman report, they’re just talking about. However, large numbers are not comparable to the bill Congress just passed, for several reasons. Most of these policies will cover several years, and some could be even permanent. But again, over seven years, which is flying, they say second to headline price of an infrastructure package likely to count to some ongoing spending. For example, last year, 1.5 trillion. The House passed infrastructure bill that accounted nearly 500 billion of highway transit spending towards…
Frank Curzio: But then they go and say… Again, this is a wild card here. We all know taxes are going to be raised, they too have to be raised. But they say, “Some of the spending is likely to be offset by tax increases and other spending cuts.” And they talk about expected increase in a corporate tax rate, which they ran on, which is fine, and Biden ran on, we get it. And the increase in the capital gains rate, which a lot of people are hoping not, that doesn’t happen. You’re looking at big risks to this market here. I mean, yes, we’re getting more stimulus, but taxes have to be raised. We have enormous amount of debt.
Frank Curzio: And then, Daniel, we’re going to go to a big risk, which is interest rates, which we saw. The 10-year now, closer to 1.7%. I don’t know if we’re there right now that I’m looking at this, which is around noon today, Wednesday. But we’re seeing rates… And it is hurting the markets again, and it’s a significant risk. But what are your thoughts on it? Because we did have Wells Fargo come out with a report from today, saying that it’s going to hit 2.2% this year, and it’s going to happen right away.
Daniel Creech: That’s massive.
Frank Curzio: I mean, that is not factored into the stocks, does not factor into the stocks-
Daniel Creech: No.
Frank Curzio: Right now. And now, they say it’s going to be over 3% next year. Again, not factored into stocks, and the amount of debt we have, we have to control that, right?
Daniel Creech: Yep.
Frank Curzio: And it’s really saying that, “Hey, you know what…” It’s saying, “We’re expecting inflation.” That’s what that rate is saying. And it’s crazy. But that’s a big risk to the market.
Daniel Creech: Yeah. I mean the market is always right. The reason it’s upset about… We’ll see how it reacts to taxes and things like that, price hikes. One more point on that, and the reason you, for everybody out there that’s rolling their eyes or thinking, “Oh, it’s only on the rich.” The reason you ought to fight back as individuals and investors on higher taxes, because the economy is the most important thing, and it never stops. The cut off, you’re only raising taxes at 400,000 or a million or two million. That number is a one-way number and it’s always going to go down and get closer to the masses. It has to. So, that’s my last rant on taxes. That’s why you should be fearful of that.
Daniel Creech: Interest rates, the FOMC, the Federal Reserve, is meeting today. They’re going to do a… Jerome Powell, this is why we need the sound more, Frank. I need the Willy Wonka theme song playing while we’re doing this. Okay. I want Oompa-Loompas. It’s St. Patty’s day; they wear green. Anyway, we’re going to have a lot of fun with that. But it’ll be interesting to see if he lets the market sell off. It’s the Jerome Powell temper tantrum. And it’ll be interesting to also see what Secretary Treasury Yellen says afterwards, because there’s going to be comments on the White House.
Frank Curzio: Yeah. No, definitely. But yeah, it will be an interesting meeting. I mean, I’m not expecting any surprises other than maybe… Obviously, they’re going to say that they’re going to raise the inflation target from 2%, which is-
Daniel Creech: Yep. They’re going to let us-
Frank Curzio: 2%, and they’re saying like, “Well, it’s not 2%, it’s…” I mean they’re going to go to 3% or higher, because that’s what you’re going to see. But-
Daniel Creech: You really think… What do you think? I don’t think there’s any way they let it get to five. I think they’ll have to announce something before that because if the 10-year goes there, the markets… I would bet the market is got to have to sharply pull back.
Frank Curzio: It should because that’s the thing. I mean, debt is never a concerned. We talked about debt, and I brought this up, I believe, in the past podcast. But debt is not a concern. People have been citing debt as a reason for the market to crash, the world to end, the Dow to disappear, since the ’60s, ’70s, ’80 and ’90s, all the way up. And we’re at all-time highs. And sometimes it came where there was a lot of leverage, and we need to correct itself. In 2008, we got bailed out, and again with the pandemic, and stuff like that.
Frank Curzio: But debt is only a problem when you can’t pay. And right now, when interest rates low, it promotes risk. It promotes you to take out more leverage. This rate going higher with the amount of debt that we have, holy shit, that is not factored into stocks. And I’m telling you, that is the biggest risk by far that can crush the markets. Now, the good news for you is the Fed knows this. They see it coming. It’s not like the pandemic; they had no clue. I was reading research reports and breaking them down. I remember in February, into early March, and saying, These guys are crazy.” Goldman is like, “It’s going to be a V-shaped recovery. Next quarter is going to grow…” I was like, “These guys have no fricking clue what’s coming down the pipe with COVID. They have no idea.”
Frank Curzio: So, when the Fed sees this risk, and like 2008, they didn’t see the massive leverage behind everything. The housing crisis, they didn’t really understand. They didn’t understand it until mid-2008, where everything was… AIG was involved in all that crap. And everybody got… It filtered through to basically every financial institution. But the Fed sees this. So, what could they do, is yield curve control, which it did in World War II, which basically caps rates, long-term rates. So, now they cap long-term rates, and they control short-term rates. If they announced yield curve control, whenever they announced it, because if we go to two and a half percent, I’ll tell… Just say we’re very far away from that, but as quick as it just moved, it is pretty impressive, from one to 1.7. If it goes to 2.5, we’re going to see the market come down a lot. We’ll see the market sell off by at least 10%. If the Fed comes out and announces yield curve control, stocks are going to pop by 20% plus, everything… Everything is going to take off. You’re going to see massive-
Daniel Creech: Even with everybody expecting it. And I wonder-
Frank Curzio: They’re not expecting it.
Daniel Creech: And I don’t think that he’s going to do it today.
Frank Curzio: The bond market a little bit, you could say is expecting it, but it’s just the timing of it. When are they going to do it?
Daniel Creech: Exactly.
Frank Curzio: Because now that takes a major, major, the biggest risk in the market off the table, and it just promotes risk. And you’re going to see all risk assets, especially cyclical names, really, really surge. Everybody has money now. I know there’s a big discrepancy and the wealth gap is wider than it’s ever been for people who don’t own assets compared to people that do, I get it. But they’re handing checks to a lot of these people, just handing them checks. These were-
Daniel Creech: Oh yeah.
Frank Curzio: Unemployment, and now they’re opening up. These people are getting their jobs back; they should. The restaurants going to hire again, the bar is going to hire again, a lot of companies going to hire again, and bring these employees back, with Disney and stuff like that. You will see an absolute explosion if they announce yield curve control, because that is the biggest risk that’s on the table right now. And they will announce that if we surge to two and a half and approach 3%, because they have to. They have to because-
Daniel Creech: They’re going to have to do something.
Frank Curzio: We just have too much debt.
Daniel Creech: Exactly. They’re going to have to do something. I’m with you. I’m studying that. It was really interesting. I’m still nervously bullish, because there’s so much liquidity and so much free money, and everything sloshing around. But the crazy thing is that you’re Jerome Powell, you have to do… They’ve been foreshadowing everything and being transparent and trying to tell the market what they’re doing, because nobody wants prices to go down. Nobody wants to be in office over anything and have the economy drop or have a stock market lower, no matter what they say. Biden looks at it just as much as Trump does. He just don’t tweet about it.
Daniel Creech: But they’re playing with investors emotions of confidence. Because if they wait too long, and then announced this, and yields are… What the market is scaring the hell out investors, and people will think it’s out of control. And that will come to show. There’s no other time in history where you haven’t had huge inflation once you stir it up and tried to calm it down. You can’t control the world economy like a puppet and a string, and that’s what they’re doing. But if you wait too long, maybe you don’t get the good reaction, then what do you do? Now, you’re going to have to come up with some new QE silliness of whatever. But that’s the aggravating part on my side, when you’re trying to analyze everything, cutting through the big gray areas to look at good companies and solid businesses.
Frank Curzio: Yeah. I mean there’s going to be sectors that benefit, and sectors that don’t. We’ve seen that rotation of money out of tech. Yes, tech has made a little bit of a rebound here, but into cyclical names that have taken off. You’re going to continue to see a rotation of money, and not money being pulled, unless we do see interest rates go higher. Then we could see money leave the stock market. Where I think a lot of bond money has gotten into the stock market where negative yields were everywhere. And you still had a 1.8% yield in S&P 500 and risk gone. Super low interest rates. So yeah, which is great for equities and most assets.
Frank Curzio: So, it will be interesting to see how this plays out. Everything is fun right now, and everything is cool because everyone’s getting checks and handouts and stuff like that. But I want to see how these businesses actually start performing. It was an easy environment for them. It was made easy for a lot of companies. They were able to cut costs. Now, everything is opening back up. But you’re going to see some winners and losers, like we saw with cloud. I mean, did you see the numbers from Oracle, and did you see the numbers from IBM or cloud?
Daniel Creech: Yep.
Frank Curzio: Oracle was not good at all, IBM was okay. The hybrid cloud that promoting trillion-dollar industry that they’re really getting it. They’re tried to dominate. But then you saw the numbers from Amazon, from Google, from Microsoft, and what a difference. So, you’re going to see separation between companies, but the yield curve control is really… You could just throw a dart and you could make money. Again, it’s good until it’s not good anymore. It’s going to really end up bad, but where-
Daniel Creech: Who did… Tepper, what did he say, when they asked him, “What’s going higher?” Everything. In response to-
Frank Curzio: Yeah. Rising interest rates.
Daniel Creech: Was that 2012?
Frank Curzio: Yeah. I think was 2011 where he said, “You know what’s going to go higher?”
Daniel Creech: Okay. I just love-
Frank Curzio: Everything.
Daniel Creech: Everything.
Frank Curzio: And I was like, “This guy is exactly right.” You’re looking at… Another hot topic is NFTs, non-fungible tokens.
Daniel Creech: Yeah. Here we go.
Frank Curzio: We’re going to go, or what?
Daniel Creech: Oh, man.
Frank Curzio: Because I got to be honest with you, you know how I feel about them, but I want to hear your opinion-
Daniel Creech: This is so amazing. I laughed because we were talking the other day about this. And I’m standing in the doorway dumbfounded. I couldn’t believe Frank was so pissed off about this. I mean, he was probably getting upset at me, because I probably looked like a smart ass with a grin on my face. I wasn’t prepared that you were going to be… He was like, “This doesn’t make any sense.” And I said, “Hell, they don’t have to make any sense.” $69 million for a digital artwork that anybody can look at. But like I said, humans are weird. All of us. We value scarcity and one-of-a-kinds. And whoever out there can say, “Hey, I got proof that that’s mine.” And evidently, that’s worth $69 million.
Frank Curzio: I mean, if you have art, and it’s on your wall, and it’s a very, very expensive piece, it’s much different than seeing a picture of it. That’s different. You own it. When I see Rob Gronkowski, saying, “It’s for my fans.” It’s not for your fans; it’s for you. You want to make a fortune off of people being idiots right now. And it’s funny, because he can’t even use the NFL logo for one of his digital pictures of him catching a touchdown pass. He’s going to sign it, so he owns it. And by the way, signatures mean nothing if you’re alive. You could sign something a billion times when you’re alive. Okay. Signatures mean something for someone that signed something that died. Just something to know if you got to be a-
Daniel Creech: Very heartwarming interview-
Frank Curzio: Collecting person. You want to buy rare stuff, stuff that… It’s not rare if you’re buying a LeBron James jersey. Even if championship jersey. He says he’s won a ton of championships, and it’s signed. Because he could sign if he wins this year with the Lakers, next year he could sign a million more. So, to sign something where… And he couldn’t even use the NFL logo. He wasn’t allowed to. So, he had to change a digital image. And now, to sell that and to make money off it when I could actually go on YouTube and watch that every single day of my life, and not pay a fortune for it, millions dollars or whatever the going to sell it for. Tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, maybe. It’s funny how this…
Frank Curzio: Listen, fans go crazy, non-fungible tokens are for real. There’s digital assets that make sense. I mean they really are. So, I think that it’s a good business but of course, like we saw with the ICO industry, what happened? The ICOs, cryptocurrency, they had some, but 80% of these assholes just said, “Hey, you know what, it’s a money grab, we’re going to rob people. These people are so stupid, they don’t even know that we’re not getting equity in a company that doesn’t exist.” You don’t have equity in them. So right now, I think it’s something like 70% of these companies still don’t have a working model, don’t have any revenue, nothing. And again, they’re going high because crypto is going high. But you saw separation between the good companies and the bad ones, and the DeFi projects. But with this industry, and what to doing with NFTs right now. The one bullish thing, Daniel, the one bullish thing I like about this is Peter Schiff hates NFTs. That’s why I’m actually not bullish.
Daniel Creech: His son is all in on Bitcoin, or maybe not all in. I don’t want to… But I saw him tweeting, which honestly, I just think is good PR. I think the whole thing is put on. From what little I’ve seen, going online and arguing that your kid is in Bitcoin you got to untrain him or train him to get back to common sense or whatever, I think that’s brilliant PR. I could be wrong on that.
Frank Curzio: I mean, he’s got a ton of followers. He’s an entertainment figure. But it said that people go to him to make money and believe what he’s saying, but he’s entertainment. That’s how you have to look at Peter Schiff.
Daniel Creech: The NFT-
Frank Curzio: I have nothing personal against them. If you want to lose your money, listen to him. That’s fine.
Daniel Creech: You know what’s interesting? I’m glad you said that because you reminded me of this. And, you know what’s terrible about NFTs, Frank? Did you know how harmful they are?
Frank Curzio: How harmful are they?
Daniel Creech: Check out… I don’t know this. But Shelly Palmer, you know, Shelly Palmer from-
Frank Curzio: Shelly Palmer. Yeah.
Daniel Creech: The CES, right?
Frank Curzio: Mm-hmm. I’d hate to be Shelly Palmer.
Daniel Creech: One of his emails that went out, he says, “You just minted your first NFT. That’s hot. You know what’s hotter? The Earth. On average, minting a new NFT takes about 130 kilowatts of electricity.” That’s about $27 worth of electricity in New York City. Why am I reading that? Because the same with Bitcoin, and the same with NFTs, the same with anything that’s going to grow and give a lot of individuals wealth, is going to be looked at in negatived towards the green environment, the green movement. That’s how you suppress, and that’s what it’s going to be. So, I’m a huge fan of NFTs if globalist and environments are against it. I hate to go against you, but just out of that. If Shelly Palmer doesn’t like it, and I don’t know him, but-
Frank Curzio: Yeah. So a guy with a-
Daniel Creech: I’m sorry if you’re going to bitch about what it costs in electricity to do NFT I’m all for it. Maybe we need one for Curzio Research, let’s cash in on this.
Frank Curzio: Let’s cash in on it. The first podcast I ever did, I’ll put a signature on it and sell it. I don’t know maybe that would be worth. Something if I die tomorrow, but I don’t know. I see the value in some of these things, but whenever I see… It’s like SPACs, when I see celebrities when I see Kaepernick getting involved, and Alex Rodríguez getting involved, it’s time to worry. And you’re seeing that with some SPACs, you’re not seeing the crazy moves, you’re seeing some of these things come down now. Wall Street’s business model is to make money as fast as you can, leverage the shit out of other people’s money, make that money as fast as you can, and always be liquid and specs, check off every single one of those boxes. And that’s why every pension fund was like, “Oh my god, I can’t believe people are falling for this. All right. Let’s buy these things.”
Frank Curzio: This company was trading at a $300 million evaluation last week, we’re a spec, we just took it over, has a $1.5 billion valuation a week later, because we’re a SPAC and we took it over. Which again, it’s going to come back, and just going to get ugly just like we saw with a lot of these names. A lot of the ESG names… Look at Plug Power, it’s getting destroyed again.
Daniel Creech: Well, hell, when you come out and out you got to restate your financials, what do you expect?
Frank Curzio: Yeah. I know.
Daniel Creech: It’s not going to have any position, it’s not going to hurt cash position, it’s not going to hurt revenue reoccurring, we’re still going to be guidance. So, what the hell are you-
Frank Curzio: You know how I know that that company is completely full of shit? Because whenever someone has a huge negative headline, what do they put out, “We’re buying liquefied plants from-
Daniel Creech: Yeah. They’re going to build or… Yeah. Absolutely.
Frank Curzio: Chart Industries, or something. They put out at the same time. “Oh, yeah. And by the way, by the way, we’re going to-“
Daniel Creech: Hey, I respect the good news, bad news thing, I give them that. That-
Frank Curzio: I too, but it’s-
Daniel Creech: It’s funny. I was reading through it, and it’s not going to impact anything or this or that. And I’m thinking, “All right, well, that makes a whole hell of zero sense.”
Frank Curzio: Yeah. Again back to-
Daniel Creech: Oh, sorry. Good ahead.
Frank Curzio: No, go ahead. I just going to say, to get back to the NFTs really quick is, I was poking fun at Peter Schiff because his posts are entertaining because he’s basically telling everyone, “You’re an idiot for buying Bitcoin,” since it was like 5,000, 4,000. And as it goes higher and higher, “Everyone, you’re an idiot, you should be buying gold,” all the time. And he does it, he gets people riled up. And again, it’s good marketing and stuff. But the fact that he hates NFTs and is making fun of them makes me think this market has a lot-
Daniel Creech: Yeah. Like I said, I’m all for it. If it’s bad for the environment, I’m all for it. Take that headline and run with it.
Frank Curzio: Yeah. No, absolutely. And you’re going to go into something else before I break down-
Daniel Creech: Yeah. Last thing, just speaking of SPACs, eToro is going public via SPAC. And the reason that’s really interesting, and I encourage people to look at this, or at least watch it, is it’s going to go… It’s a crypto trading platform. But supposedly later this year, they’re going to roll out the opportunity to invest in stocks. So, the awesome thing here is that, you would combine basically the Coinbases and the Robinhoods. So, if you can go to one platform, and the industry is going this way, and everybody knows we’re as excited as can be about it, because when security tokens are easily accessible, there’s no reason that shouldn’t boom just like crypto and alternative coins.
Daniel Creech: So, when you can have the infrastructure and the platform in place for people like me and everybody else to go and either choose to buy bitcoin or the Curzio Research coin, or the tZERO coin, plus Apple, Facebook, Google, GameStop, I think that’s a big deal. So, they’re out first, I think it’s awesome that they’re out in the limelight. I like it with a SPAC. So, I did want to comment on that, because that’s awesome. That’s a big deal. This is a timestamp issue to watch for good or for bad.
Frank Curzio: Yeah. And I have to tell you something about eToro. eToro is a company that was early adopter into the space. It’s basically a trading platform, 20 million people are on this platform I got a picture of it up right now. Yeah. That’s funny, their promoting is great. So, one thing I will just say is, a lot of these… And again, I like to hear from my crypto people out there. But I’ve been in a lot of research, and really a lot of research on this, because I don’t understand it. And it scares me that I don’t understand, where… I’m not sure of eToro. I’m pretty sure they’re doing it.
Frank Curzio: But there’s 30 to 50 sites that do this, that are pretty big names in the industry. So, you’re going to see probably a lot of takeovers or whatever. But what they’re doing now is, it’s not just trading, it’s not just trading cryptos, it’s not just storing them. It’s not just providing a wallet where you could do it from an app, because again, there’s hundreds of companies that do that. But now you could earn interest on your tokens. And this interest is sometimes 5%, 9%, 25%, 30% annually. And for me, when I look at that, and trying to figure out, how are these companies able to pay so much interest? Well, it’s by leverage, by offering other native tokens. You have to get in early to do this.
Frank Curzio: But they have special algorithms set up and nobody shares these algorithms. This is the DeFi movement, nobody shares these algorithms of how they’re actually able to provide all this interest and stuff like that. And everything works. Everything works if Bitcoin goes higher, if Ethereum goes higher. That’s fine, everybody is happy. When these things crash, look out. Because when I can’t track something and things, it’s just like the credit crisis. You’re looking at the Fed and this is four or five months in, this is after Lehman. After Lehman went under they still didn’t know how much debt exposure, AIG. And AIG was the key to the whole entire thing, because they thought they were smart insuring everything, making a fortune, and then you get all these guys who decided to short the housing market did it through AIG. And AIG was left holding the bag, and that’s where all the balance came in and stuff like that.
Frank Curzio: So, the fact that you can’t track this, that they don’t show the algorithms, how they pay that interest… It’s interesting. But like you said, it is a SPAC, Daniel, and they are going into the crypto world. I’ve seen, I think, two or three of them venture into the crypto world. You’re going to see more, because these companies have forced, these specs are forced to buy something that has huge growth potential. And right now, people see that as cryptocurrency.
Daniel Creech: Absolutely. Yeah.
Frank Curzio: ESG names, space names, software names with cloud capabilities and AI all over it. That’s what they need to focus on. Companies that are growing tremendously that they can inflate these evaluations for, and eToro is one of them. But it’s going to be interesting to see how this whole movement goes, if Bitcoin does go to 30,000. Which it could, 30, 35, 40. I mean it was at 61, it’s 54 today. It’s coming off a little bit off of its all-time highs. But who knows? And all of this works when everything’s going high, when it’s not how they’re going to make these payments.
Frank Curzio: And one thing you can think of is if the government… Not the government, if our banks are paying almost nothing in interest, how are these tiny companies compared to banks who have trillions in assets, the biggest banks, how are they able to pay 5%, 10%, 15% interest on all these things and not tell you exactly how that process works? You cannot find out exactly how that process works. You really can’t. And that scares the shit out of me. And that could be a major risk to cryptos going forward, but it’s something I wanted to bring up. But eToro: Good for them. They’ve been around for a long time. They are legit company. But let’s see what happens in this market. I mean, it’s pretty crazy, with what we’ve seen, Daniel.
Daniel Creech: Yeah. Like I said, if they’re on time, and they roll out the ability to do crypto and stocks on the same platform, I think that’s a huge breakthrough. And you’ll no doubt have other companies follow, which is who’s going to be there first. And then yeah, mergers and acquisitions. And it’s great. Forget what we’re talking about; what’s so exciting to me as just a history, or a fan of history, and markets is that, whether it’s Bitcoin stocks, oil, NFTs, it doesn’t matter. You have booms and busts. People are going to bid it up. People are going to fight for it, be against it. That’s just fantastic. So, that’s exciting to me, and we’ll see if they can roll that out, and we’ll see what happens. But that’s a good stock.
Frank Curzio: It’s really cool. So, Dan, thanks so much for coming in. Enjoy, because you are leaving driving to Ohio, right, right from here.
Daniel Creech: Nope. North Carolina.
Frank Curzio: North Carolina. Oh, that’s right.
Daniel Creech: Stopping short of Ohio. Going to North Carolina because my Ohio friends that I’m going to meet and play golf with, I guess, only go south until the weather breaks a little bit. So-
Frank Curzio: It’s going to be warm.
Daniel Creech: I’m going to colder weather.
Frank Curzio: It’s going to be nice, Though. Yeah. You’re going a little cooler, but it should be 75-ish, I think.
Daniel Creech: No, not at all.
Frank Curzio: It’s going to be that cool.
Daniel Creech: Oh, it’s going to be in the 50s.
Frank Curzio: Is it really-
Daniel Creech: The low 60s-
Frank Curzio: During the day?
Daniel Creech: If we’re hoping… Yeah. Check the weather.
Frank Curzio: They should’ve come down to Florida. Come to Florida. Should have booked that flight six months ago-
Daniel Creech: I didn’t put this together. I’m just tagging along. I’m just going to show up and play. But it’ll be a great time. I can’t wait. And yeah, I’m hitting the road right after this. So cheers, everybody. We’ll see you next week.
Frank Curzio: Awesome, buddy. Thanks for coming on. I appreciate it. Okay, guys, so the last segment here, the most important. As you know, I always break down the Super Bowl, which is one of the things I do and people love it. firstname.lastname@example.org, even get great feedback for it. Because I… Most of the time, I always lose the Super Bowl, and which means that you do the opposite of me and you win, and that’s all I care about. So, I have fun with it. But one of the things I do that is pretty good, that actually is much, much more accurate than my Super Bowl, is the NCAA bracket. March Madness is here. Yes, it’s going to be a little different, and I’m going to break it down for you. So, if you don’t like college basketball, you could fast forward about 10 minutes.
Frank Curzio: But I’m going to break down these brackets and tell you my analysis. And I do this every single year. Didn’t do it last year because COVID, the tournament got canceled, and of course Kansas which is my favorite team of all time of any sport was the odds on favorite to win. They really had a really, really good team last year. I thought they had a very good shot of winning. They were going to go into the overall 1-seed, and they canceled it which really pissed me off. But this year, we’re having it, a lot going on. And again, I’m usually pretty good at this. It’s my favorite sport. I’ve watched it since I was six, and played it since I was six. Watch a lot of teams not just Kansas. So, I just love the sport, and I usually do okay with these, especially my sleeper picks.
Frank Curzio: And Cramer, Jim Cramer got a firsthand look at my NCAA Tournament bill, these are in 2007, when he really started getting popular, and his show was starting getting popular. Mad Money just launched, and Sports Illustrated did celebrity bracket. And they asked Jim to participate in, and he came to me and my buddy John, who is a research analyst to help him out since Cramer, who is a big sports fan, just doesn’t really follow college basketball that much. So, we picked all the games from him after the first week he was at first place. And we winded up placing well. We didn’t have the actual winner, I don’t think we had the runner up, but he did really, really good Cramer, and especially that first week he was in first place. So, he was really, really fricking happy. I mean he was going… Which is a big deal, I mean Cramer is happy for us.
Frank Curzio: I could ask for anything that week, his SkyBox tickets for the Eagles or whatever, and he probably would have said yes, but that lasted about a week or two before he started getting a little pissed at us again. But anyway, he would get all angry if one of his picks go all over from his portfolio. But I do miss those times with the research analyst. We had a really great team with Cramer during his prime, watching him become a mass celebrity. Really, really cool stuff. But anyway, let’s get to the brackets.
Frank Curzio: So, really quick, you need to know one thing before picking your bracket. Sometimes it’s better if you know nothing, and that’s how you pick upsets and things like that, if you don’t know anything. But for people who really want to try to win, or… There’s a big difference in looking at certain things. And one of the things is the BPI, it’s the power index for the NCAA Tournament teams. Which includes strength and schedule, defense, offense. Total package. Also, I look at defense efficiency which is almost, if I had to guess 70 to 75% of the teams that have been the top 15 of that list have made the final four, been three or four teams. And I bet you there’s a lot of names in this tournament that will surprise you.
Frank Curzio: One of them, Abilene Christian. Abilene Christian is a 14-seed. They rank number one, number one in the nation in team defense efficiency, and they’re playing Texas in the first round. And that is the East bracket. Now, Abilene Christian is in Texas, Abilene. And they were D2 team until 2003 and then move to D1. So, they’re going to be super pumped. They’re playing in Texas. It’s like Wichita State playing Kansas. You want to beat them, you’re going to be pumped. There’s a lot of egos in there. Texas didn’t play well in the past five weeks. Texas like suppress a lot but Abilene is also ranked high, and this is turnover ratio, so they should be able to break the press pretty easily. And Texas, their assist to turnover ratio, they’re ranked 200 out of all NCAA team in Division I.
Frank Curzio: So Abilene Christian, number 14-seed as an upset pick. And also watch out for Georgetown the 12-seed in the East that played absolutely fantastic in the Big East Tournament which is surprising because they didn’t win the tournament, then they won at-large bid. So, they actually got the at-large bid by winning the tournament, but they were not going to make it unless they won the tournament, because they didn’t have good year, but the last three four games they played great. Looking at the South, Arkansas is a number 3-seed playing Colgate as a number 14-seed. Colgate is a pretty good team. They’re ranked number two in assist to turnover ratio, third in three-point percentage which is huge in a tournament where you can bang threes from everywhere. So Arkansas is good but it’s going to be a close game. I don’t know if Colgate is going to win, but they’re probably a good bet against Arkansas, Colgate.
Frank Curzio: In the Midwest, again, just talking about sleepers here. I like Syracuse, is an 11-seed, very good team, ranked 33 overall in BPI much better than NC suggests. And I’m also not sold on the team they’re playing, who is San Diego State. And in the West watch out, and I know I’m going to say this, and I hate saying this, watch out for the Kansas upset here. They’re playing a team called Eastern Washington, who, I’ll be honest, I really don’t know too much about them. But Kansas just came off COVID protocol. They couldn’t finish the Big 12 Tournament.
Frank Curzio: And a lot of teams that went on this protocol in the middle of the year came back, and they just played differently over the next three four weeks. Baylor is a good example, they were undefeated, and then they got blown out by Kansas, and then they lost another game after that. But they did crappy for a few weeks, are a number 1-seed. Kansas may come up cold, plus Kansas if you press them, they’re dead. I never seen a team at no point guard, no one could pass on that team. They have no passing skills, nothing, which means no fast break point. If they get pressed, they’re going to have tons of turnovers. I mean that’s easy if you’re a coach to see from a mile away if you did just 10 minutes of homework on that team. Kansas is a much better team better talent, but won’t be surprised if they just come out in this game really, really flat. So, that’s my double digit sleepers.
Frank Curzio: Now, let’s get to the West. The West is Gonzaga, a very easy road. Matched to played Virginia, who I’m not impressed with. KU is a 3-seed. They blew out Kansas earlier this year. Iowa is good, but not in the same class as Gonzaga here. When I look at this bracket, I mean if Gonzaga does not make it to the final four, it’s going to be a massive, massive, massive, massive disappointment. Massive disappointment. Let me see if I can bring up this bracket here, if you’re watching this on YouTube. So, you’re looking at all these names here, you’re seeing them one season stuff like that. But I’m looking at Gonzaga, definitely the class in the West.
Frank Curzio: Now, let’s go to East. You have Michigan as the number 1-seed. Great team hasn’t played their best ball coming into the tournament, though. So, Georgetown is a 12-seed. Maybe one of the hottest teams in college basketball. Has four weeks when the biggest tournament, get an at-large bid. They’re the 12-seed, so playing Colorado, they should win that game, I think. I think they’re a better team than Colorado, even their season says that. St. Bonaventure also a solid team, ranked 26th in BPI, and they’re ranked as a 9-seed which is high. Not sure if they can beat Michigan early on. The number 2-seed is Alabama which should make it to the Elite Eight. But the team I love in the East in this bracket is Florida State.
Frank Curzio: Florida State they have to make the final four in the East. They’re top 10 in three point shooting percentage. They beat North Carolina, one the hottest teams right now in the NCAA. They’ve been playing great past few weeks. Just Florida State has been really clicking. I like that team. It is a little bit of a long shot, because they are number 4-seed, and I know not too many people have them in the final four, but I do like Florida State. Get to the South, toughest division by a mile. Baylor is a number 1-seed, and they’re awesome. And I might have picked them even though they haven’t really been playing that good lately, by far best back coordination. But they’re really small.
Frank Curzio: And they play North Carolina which they’ll play in the second round if North Carolina beats Wisconsin, which is not an easy game. But a gain, North Carolina has played awesome over the past few weeks they could lose that game. North Carolina has a lot of height. They’re very, very big, they’re fast, they’re clicking. I think they give Baylor a lot of trouble here. Baylor probably wins, but it’s a risk there. Also, they have Villanova. They have beat Villanova, and beat North Carolina, and Wisconsin just to make it to the final eight, Baylor. So, if you’re picking Baylor, just think about they have the toughest road by far. Villanova is a really good team that could beat anybody but could lose to everybody. They’re crazy. It’s a really crazy team. They played some terrible games this year. Tons of talent. And I’ve seen them put more on people this year.
Frank Curzio: The top half as tough as it is for Baylor, it’s pretty easy for Ohio State. Really easy for Ohio State, who played very well last four games. They beat all the great teams in the best division Big Ten, other than in the final losing to Illinois. So, when I see Ohio State and the road they have, they have a much easier road until they get to Baylor. Baylor has to win a lot of big games, so I got Ohio State in that division, and that is the South Division. Go to the final four. Then the Midwest real quick. Illinois is 1-seed, has an easy road outside of Tennessee which is a good team. But not impressed at all with the bottom half of that bracket.
Frank Curzio: I mean Houston is a number 2-seed, and they’ve played absolutely nobody this year. I think they played one ranked team which is West Virginia as a number 3-seed. I think they beat West Virginia this year. But they probably played one team, and West Virginia is a 3-seed overall in this bracket. But Houston is number two, and I went back to all the games they played, yes, they won by a lot, but they really haven’t played anyone, haven’t played good talent. I’m just surprised they’re a number 2-seed. They just won a lot of games while the people were losing and they made it to top eight teams in the nation. I just don’t see them winning. I’ve seen him play a couple times. They are good, but I just think they rank way too high, so I add Illinois going into the final four. Who was very, very good. Again, Ohio State played them great down to the wire overtime.
Frank Curzio: So, I have Gonzaga, Florida State, Ohio State, and Illinois. So, two number 1-seeds, a number 2-seed number, and a 4-seed. So, it’s not chalk. I have Gonzaga beating Florida State in semi, while Illinois should beat Ohio State in a rematch of the Big Ten Football Championship, and they did beat them again, can actually be really, really great, great match up, two amazing teams. And the winner, I know this is chalk, is Gonzaga. Gonzaga is my team to pick down the nets.
Frank Curzio: Look, they have three players up for the Wooden Award. That’s best player in a team. So, they’re all on the same team, three different players. Defense is great. They can run, they’re fast, they have height, they can shoot, their scoring margin is 23 points, that’s ranked first in the nation. That’s how much they beat teams by. And usually, Gonzaga plays a crappy schedule, not this year. They play a lot of good teams. A lot of good teams. They beat Kansas, they beat West Virginia, they smoked Iowa who is a 2-seed. They blew up Virginia. 13 out of 26 games, they scored over 90 points. If they score 90 points in a game, nobody is beating them at 90 points. And they scored 100 in several games as well.
Frank Curzio: The only way Gonzaga loses this championship is if they beat themselves or they choke. In fact, I’ll go out there and say this, as someone who knows college basketball. I’ve never seen the number one overall seed this much better than the rest of the field, probably since UNLV in 1990 when they beat Duke in the finals by 40. And they were favored next year, and Duke came back and won. That was great, all that stuff. But they don’t have weaknesses. Three guys that are going to go in first round NBA, and they’ve probably been the first five picks because one of them is a senior, but one is a freshman, and the other is a sophomore. And actually they could be even better if they don’t leave, but they’re probably going to leave because they’re first round picks. They have senior leadership, they have a great coach, and all of that, and all of that stat means that they probably won’t make the Elite Eight.
Frank Curzio: But Gonzaga is my pick to cut down the nets. I know a lot of you, I get so many emails on this. Probably more emails than any other subjects, so I wanted to break that down. I always like going through it, I love the NCAA Tournament. And gives you chance to watch basketball games all day Thursday, Friday. I used to watch with my friends all the time, and go back to New York for 20 years, and just you know spend entire Friday from 12 o’clock to 12 o’clock, when all the games were going crazy. I know it’s a little different schedule this time. But a lot of fun, looking forward to it, should be really, really great tournament.
Frank Curzio: So guys, that’s it for me. I covered a lot today. A little bits of rants here and there, gave you some COVID stats, some fun, some ideas like always. Thanks to Dan for coming on. And of course, my NCAA bracket, which you guys will be able to destroy on Sunday if the first week is over, I’m sure. So, last thing here, guys, I still get a lot of questions on Dollar Stock Club, where we take a pick from our guests or interviews from Wall Street Unplugged, and publish it in PDF format, buy up to price, stop loss, and nice one or two-page write up, which is really cool. And it’s pretty much $1 a pick, it’s almost $1 pick, where it’s $4 for the month. But we try to have a pick almost every week. We probably have about 42 to 45 picks a year, and a lot of those picks have been really, really good, man. We’ve outperformed tremendously.
Frank Curzio: It’s good starter newsletter, it’s good to get new ideas, and you’re not just getting new ideas from me listening to the podcast, you’re getting new ideas from my guests, and some of those ideas they don’t always share in the interview. They’ll share before, or after, or I’ll look at their portfolios if they’re running funds. And I look and analyze a stock and say, “Hey, these guys like this name, and that’s the one not making in portfolio.” So, you can’t just get it by listening, sometimes that pick doesn’t come from the actual interview part, but that’s Dollar Stock Club. I mean I created this product and love this product because anyone could buy it, you can cancel it anytime, any month, whatever, just go to our website cancel, it’s like two seconds. It’s not a whole thing where you can’t find the website or anything to cancel. Everything is out there.
Frank Curzio: You try to cancel a service that you pay a monthly fee, you can even cancel Disney. Try canceling Disney+. I’ll give you 10 bucks if you could do it within 45 minutes. There’s no way. There’s no way you could do in… In 30 minutes, if I’m going to give away money, I’d say. But anyway, Dollar Stock Club is available for you on our website Curzioresearch.com. Be sure to check out our Curzio Research YouTube page, where I broke down the bracket here. I showed a lot of stuff, showed the research reports. Again, all this is in video format, and we did a lot of work to make that happen. We’re really excited, and the quality is great. It’s awesome, getting a lot of compliments for it. So, be sure to subscribe to it, this way you get our podcast every single week through YouTube. And again, Dollar Stock Club is available on our website, curzioresearch.com. So guys, that’s it for me. Thanks so much for listening. Enjoy March Madness. Have some fun, and I’ll see you guys in seven days. Take care.
Announcer: Wall Street Unplugged is produced by Curzio Research, one of the most respected financial media companies in the industry. The information presented on Wall Street Unplugged is the opinion of its hosts and guests. You should not base your investment decisions solely on this broadcast. Remember, it’s your money and your responsibility.
- COVID-19, reopening economies, and stimulus [00:35]
- Infrastructure, non-fungible tokens, and March Madness [46:39]
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