But first . . .

You know how someone you think you know can turn out to have a secret life?

Usually, that doesn’t work out well.

But at dinner last night a close friend’s husband announced: “Dan’s album just dropped.”

Unbeknownst to any of us — and barely known to his husband — Dan, who works on the sociology side of high tech, has been composing, performing, and recording an album.  And it’s good!  Here it is.  (And on Spotify and elsewhere: Fadersmith.)

Dan is an accomplished cellist.  This is not cello.  Enjoy.

Yesterday, I offered two speculations for money you can truly afford to lose.

Long-time readers know I believe most people should invest money they want exposed to the risks and rewards of the market via index funds and ETFs.  Boring — but likely to put you ahead of 90% of everyone else, with less effort . . .

. . . but that those who want to have a little more fun should carve out some small portion of their stock market money (10%? 20%?) and split it among five or six interesting speculations.  Some will crater; one or two might do really well.  If you use the losers to lower your taxable income and your winners-held-more-than-a-year to fund the charitable donations you would otherwise have made with cash — perhaps through a Gift Fund account at Fidelity or Schwab as described here — then, even if you only break even, you’ll still come out ahead after tax.

So yesterday I mentioned the August EVLO puts I had bought.

(One of you wrote back to ask why Guru believes the stock will fall.  Answer: “The stock will drop below $4 in July when they announce the results of their pivotal phase 2 trial of 225 patients with psoriasis. To treat psoriasis they are using an oral solution of killed, freeze-dried Prevotella bacteria, which they have convinced themselves will stimulate an immune suppressive response needed to treat psoriasis. Yes, you are reading this correctly: they are using dead bacteria to try to turn off the immune system.  As you can imagine or could find out from Google, uncontrolled Prevotella when alive create infections such as tooth caries or pneumonia, although when found in the lower intestine they mostly get along with everybody else that’s in the bacterial world. The point is that of course they don’t turn off the immune system, they turn it on, but when you kill them you  have a bunch of bacterial shells  that just get dumped out the other end.  They did run some phase II trials and announced that they had statistical significance, but when you look at their efficacy it looks the same as the placebo arm in the large well-done trials such as the one they are running now. It’s pretty amazing that people do crazy stuff like this but, with luck, we will get to take advantage of it.”)

Today, Guru offers RFL.  He believes the good results they hope to announce in September will not materialize and that, as a result, this $60 stock could plunge toward $10.  I paid $3,50 for puts that allow me to sell it at $40 any time until November 19 . . . which would be a total loss for me if the stock remains above $40 but a large gain if the stock fell to $30 or $20 or $10.



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