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A Barron’s Roundtable Primer – MarketWatch

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To the Editor:
Regarding “Primed to Prosper” (Roundtable Part II, Jan. 20), my advice is to listen to the macro suggestions and not always the micro. Decide which themes and industries discussed best align with your understanding and views of data and economic trends. In recent years, I didn’t go with one of Scott Black’s recommendations but did go with an industry pick (D.R. Horton versus Lennar), thanks to the underlying comments that he made about the housing industry, and I did very well that year.

To the Editor:
For me, Christmas comes on the second to fourth weeks in January. We get National Football League playoffs and the Barron’s Roundtable.

Black’s and William Priest’s picks are usually spot on, and I agree about Raytheon Technologies. China is building large amounts of ships, which the U.S. simply cannot counter.

More missiles, torpedoes, and avionics make more sense, especially with the huge backlog.

Carleton Jones,On

The Rise of Gold

To the Editor:
Regarding “Gold’s Awakening May Make Investors Sleep Less Soundly” (Up & Down Wall Street, Jan. 20), gold is and has always been a haven whenever the dollar is threatened or experiences decline. I believe that this phenomenon was evidenced by a steady decline in gold’s value when the dollar surged in October 2022, and now the reverse trend seems to be emerging as we head into 2023. There is also geopolitical-driven emotion behind this, such as the world energy market starting to gravitate away from the dollar.

Although I don’t view this as necessarily a long-term threat, I do believe that it could explain the recent surge in gold’s value in that investors might be spooked by the dollar’s current shift and are seeking their haven in gold.

In other words, the recent upward trends in gold could easily be explained by the dynamics in various world currencies and might be all but completely decoupled from inflation and stocks, as far as we know. But we really don’t know.

Thomas Drury, On

Ski Butternut Instead

To the Editor:
When I read that the levelheaded Jack Hough would report from Davos, I knew I was in for an enjoyable read (“A Davos First-Timer’s Recap on What 4 CEOs Told Us in Switzerland,” Streetwise, Jan. 20).

While Hough had some fun with the little Ski Butternut area in the Berkshires of Massachusetts, and suggested it as an alternative to the Swiss Alps for hoi polloi, he didn’t note that Butternut was in Great Barrington. As in the Great Barrington Declaration of autumn 2020, when noted (and disfavored) public-health experts came together there to challenge what would become the tragic lockdowns—conceived and managed by the Davos crowd and their bureaucrat and media friends—that cost the world trillions of dollars and accomplished little. Just ask the Chinese.

Yes, the masters of the universe in Davos might try a dose of Butternut, if only to squash their ideas that powerful authoritarians and climate alarmists don’t need more deference, but instead must be made to answer difficult questions from free people and a less fawning press.

Tom Ward, Cumberland, R.I.

Why Buy an EV?

To the Editor:
Regarding “How to Get Your $7,500 Electric-Vehicle Tax Credit—Before It’s Too Late” (Jan. 19), the U.S. government would like to incentivize consumers to purchase electric vehicles for the benefit of the environment, but the EV tax credit disappears for singles with a modified adjusted gross income above $150,000 and couples with a MAGI above $300,000 (i.e., those consumers with the discretionary income to purchase an EV at the manufacturer’s suggested retail price).

As Consumer Reports’ Chris Harto points out, it usually takes six years of ownership for an EV to be more cost-effective than a conventional model.

Putting aside the obvious environmental benefits of owning an EV, as well as the “feel good” and “cool” factors, who would buy an EV in 2023 at sticker price if the break-even point is six years and there is no tax credit?

Steven A. Kagan, Raleigh, N.C.

Lucid Group

To the Editor:
Lucid Group was a great short pick (“Barron’s Stock Picks Beat the Market in 2022. Here’s Our Report Card,” Jan. 20). In addition to its inability to produce a quality product, its marketing targets a demographic that absolutely doesn’t buy electric vehicles at any price point, least of all not $150,000.

Michael Spiellman, On

Going Nuclear

To the Editor:
What’s missing from the discussion about nuclear power today is what has been missing for decades: Without government underwriting the cost of waste storage, nuclear is by far the most expensive type of energy production around (“How Climate and Energy Crises Are Giving New Life to Nuclear Power,” Preview, Jan. 20).

Without that taxpayer underwriting, nuclear energy production as a stand-alone business has had questionable profitability.

With it, let’s call it what it is, socialized energy production. Which means that we the people will have the final say on CEO salaries, private jets, and whether that trip to Davos is in the best interest of generating consistent returns for our money.

John Marshall, Hot Springs, Mont.

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