There’s no disputing the evidence – the Covid-19 vaccine works. Data from highly inoculated countries – such as the United Kingdom and Israel – shows that 95% of patients requiring hospitalisation due to Covid were unvaccinated. There’s an assumption that the vaccine prevents you from contracting the virus. This is not so. What it does, however, is significantly reduce your chances of getting life-threateningly ill. As BizNews founder Alec Hogg wrote in an earlier newsletter, “the case for vaccines, especially of older people, is incontrovertible.” Below, Sean Peche of Ranmore Fund Management looks at the question of whether to vaccinate or not, by using a money manager’s approach. – Jarryd Neves
By Sean Peche*
Read lots of books about the best investors and traders in the world, and you’ll discover two things:
1. They manage risk
2. They are open to changing their mind
But don’t take my word for it, here’s what they say about it –
Paul Tudor Jones – “Risk control is the most important thing in trading.”
Sam Zell – “Never risk what you cannot afford to lose.”
George Soros – “It’s not whether you’re right or wrong, but how much money you make when you’re right and how much you lose when you’re wrong.”
Nicholas Nassim Taleb – “If a gambler has a risk of terminal blow-up (losing back everything), the ‘potential returns’ of his strategy are totally inconsequential.”
And what about being open-minded?
Charlie Munger – “You have to have the habit of re-examining your old ideas all the time. Because if you don’t, they’ll become so firm you can’t see it when they become wrong. You have to have the habit, like house cleaning, you just can’t let the dust pile up. So you got to clean out your idea cabinet all the time and throw out the bad ideas and put in better ones. You just can’t get through life successfully without it.”
Bruce Berkowitz – “Facts change, we change.”
Stanley Druckenmiller – “Probably one of my greatest assets over the last 30 years is that I’m open-minded and I can change my mind very quickly.”
Steve Clark – “Really good traders are also capable of changing their minds in an instant. They can be dogmatic in their opinion and then immediately change it.”
Dan Loeb – “You have to kind of listen to the market and be willing to have your stories challenged and be willing to change them. There’s a distinction between sticking to your beliefs that you know to be true, and sticking to an opinion or theory you have, that may or may not be true.”
Marc Andreessen – “Conviction. Conviction. Conviction. New facts. Change.”
Pretty consistent, you agree?
Good – now think of your vaccine strategy:
1. Are you managing your risk?
2. Are you open to changing your mind?
Because the UK’s surveillance report week 26 said this:
“Vaccine effectiveness against hospitalisation with 2 doses of the Pfizer vaccine is around 98% and with 2 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine around 94%
And the report in week 31 said this:
“Vaccine effectiveness against mortality with 2 doses of the Pfizer vaccine is around 95 to 99% and with 2 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine around 75 to 99%”
On 4th December 2020 only 2 people had been vaccinated worldwide.
And on the 8th August, 2.3bn people have had one dose – 2.3bn data points.
So when did you form your view?
Because who doesn’t want to take 99% odds of living?
And yet, everyday, I read sad stories of young, fit and healthy people who – on their deathbed – tell their siblings, partners or parents, that they wish they’d been vaccinated. But they didn’t, because they thought they only had a 2% risk.
Sadly, it seems they hadn’t read Sam Zell’s quote and risked what they couldn’t afford to lose.
- Sean Peche is director and portfolio manager at UK-based Ranmore Fund Management
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