Wisdom From Jerry Seinfeld

This post is by Howard Lindzon from Howard Lindzon

A lot of people told me I had to listen to Jerry Seinfeld’s interview by Tim Ferris.

I finally did.

It was fantastic!

I am a big Jerry fan so it was fun to hear him talk about his early days, the process, the craft of comedy and writing and his general philosophies.

I am lucky in that I see the world a lot like Jerry does. Who knew that being ‘irritable’ was a gift.

You can find it on YouTube but here is the link on Spotify.

Have a great Saturday.

Bloomberg’s Ted Merz Joins Me on Panic with Friends to Discuss Financial Journalism and Information Dissemination in the Age of Social Media

This post is by Howard Lindzon from Howard Lindzon

My friend Ted Merz at Bloomberg has one of the most interesting jobs in the world. Ted has been at Bloomberg since 1991 and today heads Bloomberg’s Global News Product. That is a complicated job and this is a complicated era of news considering the 24/7/365 flow of information, misinformation and of course news. Ted makes it all look easy. I miss visiting with him at the Bloomberg HQ.

I love talking to Ted about Twitter and the rest of social media and the deals he has had to cut and the way he thinks about data.

One of the best compliments I have gotten is having Ted tell me he enjoys my writing style and reading my daily blog. That is not why I invited him on as a guest, but it is definitely one reason I am so happy I started to write in the first place and a motivating factor for me to keep writing!

You can listen to the podcast here on Spotify or Apple.

For more details on the episode read on below…

Guest: Ted Merz

Profile: Global Head of News Product at Bloomberg

Where to Find Him: LinkedIn, Twitter

Fun Fact: Ted worked his first journalism job in Mexico at an english language newspaper.

What’s the Panic About:

I always love getting to interview people typically asking the questions. And this episode with guest Ted Merz is no exception. Ted has spent over 20 years at Bloomberg, first as a journalist and later overseeing application and product building. Now, he works as their Global Head of News Product. Ted was there at the early days of Bloomberg when financial journalism was at its infancy. It was fascinating getting his perspective on this sector and how it has changed and grown over the years. In this episode, Ted and I talked about how he landed his first role at Bloomberg, the biggest story he’s covered, financial journalism, the value of content, integrating Twitter into Bloomberg, data and more.

The Takeaway:

Information is coming at us from all different angles. And this a trend that is only going to get more complicated.

Favorite Quotes:

“I think of Twitter as a giant warehouse where there’s amazingly interesting stuff in there but you have no idea where it is.”

“Media is more of a needle in a haystack now. You have to know what you’re looking for.”

“There’s so much information and data that people can’t find what’s important or they can’t focus on what’s important.”

Food for Thought:

Ted has a website of his own with posts focusing on news content and analytics, personal essays, his travels (pre-COVID of course) and notes and observations. You can read it here.

PS – I am now doing one ‘Panic With Friends’ podcast per week. Thanks for listening and make sure you subscribe over on Spotify or Apple.

The Stock Market and Crypto Market Are The Ultimate Platform and Game

This post is by Howard Lindzon from Howard Lindzon

When I was a kid I played ‘Pong’ and ‘Space Invaders’ and Coleco Football and Mattel ‘Intellivision’.

In college I stopped.

Maybe if there were smartphones and no women, I would still be a ‘gamer’, but my generation was looking up not down.

I found the markets because I needed a first job and I was hooked.

It has been a battle of wits and behavior since. The markets have brought me to panic and fear on many occasions but mostly they bring me joy.

I have no time or energy for the grind of ‘poker’ which so many of my friends tell me to try, or any video or mobile games. I do see Rachel playing mobile smartphone games while watching Netflix shows.

I have spent the last year mostly at home and staring at my laptop so I have been happily fascinated by the insane growth in new investors/traders and the investor in me continues to wonder what is next.

Gaming is such a part of the human life experience, but as a non gamer it is very hard for me to participate in the mega trend because I don’t use the products. Between Tencent, Riot, xBox, Nintendo, Skillz, Zynga, Roblox, Playtika…I have no idea how to analyze the sector and opportunities.

The great thing about the markets as I think about the gaming platforms is the markets have basically one playing field…price and volume. Of course there are tickers and now a whole world of decentralized tickers and exchanges, but it is still just one giant platform of tickers and prices and fundamentals and opinions and behavior and wit.

I think this ‘game’ of the markets is more a game than ever because onboarding is so much easier and fractional ownership allows for people to play the game in a much more enjoyable way.

So while everyone is yelling that the markets and stocks are overvalued and due for a long bear market and that this ‘bubble’ will pop I am contemplating the idea that we just have a massive supply/demand imbalance and the game creators (bankers and founders and venture capitalists and SPACers) need to create more supply. They are of course.

When Secular Trends Reverse…and Economic Time Bombs

This post is by Howard Lindzon from Howard Lindzon

My partner Charlie (who runs the advisory business Compound Advisors) and I have been chatting for a month or so about the possibilities of secular changes in the markets. Charlie put together a great post on the changes that have my attention. It begins:

The most significant investing trends over the last 10 years can be summarized as follows…

1. Large Caps over Small Caps.
2. US over International.
3. Growth over Value.
4. Tech over Everything.
5. Long Duration over Short Duration (Yields Falling, Curve Flattening).
6. Stocks over Commodities.
7. When Covid-19 first hit the US last February and March, all of these pre-existing trends accelerated.

And that made perfect sense.

The narrative: a global Depression coming, and during a Depression a) large companies were more likely to survive than smaller companies, b) the US should do better than much of the world given the enormous monetary/fiscal stimulus, c) growth companies would be bid up in a world starved for it, d) technology would thrive as people were forced to stay at home, e) bond yields would plummet as deflationary pressures took hold, and f) commodities would crash from the lack of demand.

These narratives seemed inevitable, and prices were confirming.

But then, with no advance warning, a strange thing started happening. One by one, these trends began to reverse course…

Take the time to read because it is excellent and you will have an idea of the subtle changes we are keeping an eye on, but the gist of the research on these big trend changes is as follows:

When secular trends reverse, no bell is rung, and no one can believe that a shift has actually occurred.

But as narratives follow prices, the longer they are sustained, the more the story changes and the more people believe it.

That has already begun, with the current narrative of a Depression averted, with a) small companies benefitting more from stimulus measures than their larger counterparts, b) global stocks benefitting from a falling dollar and higher global growth, c) value stocks improving with the rise of interest rates and the steepening yield curve, d) technology underperforming as the vaccines and herd immunity will allow people to leave their homes again, e) bond yields rising with inflation pressures mounting, and f) commodities moving higher with a resumption of growth and demand.

When Covid-19 first hit, all of these narratives would have seemed absurd. And yet here we are. Where the story goes from here remains unknown, but the fact that we’re even entertaining these secular shifts is remarkable, and more proof that the only sure thing in markets is that they are full of surprises.

As Trump slouches out of the White House without a tweet, and China ‘putz’ Navarro leaves his perch with China stronger than ever (oh look we found Jack Ma the day you leave), and with the Chinese internet stocks at all-time highs, and Yellen back at the helm at The FED, the economic and financial time bombs of the past Presidency will start detonating making these secular changes of trend even more difficult to read.

in the meantime, this morning Netflix is up $60 to ‘all time highs’ as they surpass 200 million members. Old trends (and 8-80 companies) die hard.

Disclosure – Long Netflix, Tencent, Alibaba

The Death Of Retail Is The Birth of Retail – Part 3…A Post Covid World… And More Gamestops?

This post is by Howard Lindzon from Howard Lindzon

Back in 2016 I wrote my first ‘Death of Retail Is The Birth of Retail‘ post and it had some good links and thoughts. I concluded to stay long $aapl, $amzn, $shop and $pypl. That was a good idea and I still own Apple, Amazon and Shopify, but I sold Paypal too early last year.

I have updated the series over the years and the whole process has helped me think through which companies/brands matter as ecommerce grew and retail changed.

Here we are in January 2021 and the end of COVID is in sight now that we have working vaccines so where are we with ecommerce and retail?

I like Elena Berger’s take:

The takeaway shouldn’t be “eCommerce is eating the world” it should be “despite lockdown, store closures, mass layoffs, and global logistics networks that rival militaries in terms of sophistication, eCommerce was less than one-sixth of sales in the US.”

Elena had a good essay I just read on the subject. You can read it here.

Web Smith follows it up with his take on the essay and the bubble that we had built in physcial retail with his post ‘The Forgotten Middle‘. For more with Web, I had him on my Panic Podcast this summer and he dropped some great knowledge on all these subjects.

As the physical bubble in retail gets reorganized and reimagined and the next generation of investors gets into stock picking, while the current generation of ecommerce moguls begins to think about taking their skills and applying them to beaten down retail brands and the influencer economy continues to explode (TWO great recent reads on that here and here)…look for more Gamestops.

The reimagining of retail, not just e-commerce, will continue to create venture style returns in the public markets for many investors.

Momentum Monday – Is Small The New Big?

This post is by Howard Lindzon from Howard Lindzon

As a reminder, Marketsmith (by Investor’s Business Daily) is now a sponsor of the weekly show. All the charts you have been seeing in the videos and will continue to see are from Marketsmith. They are offering my readers a three week trial for $19.95. Click this link if you would like to try it out.

It’s Monday and though the markets are closed, Ivanhoff and I never stop bringing you Momentum Monday. Ivanhoff and I tour the markets and share some fresh ideas.

You can listen/watch today’s show here on Youtube and the show is embedded below:

There is a lot going on in the markets, but my attention is on the change of trend that might be underway with small caps and large caps. Eddy sums it up best with this chart and set of tweets:

Also, The big cap tech – Facebook, Apple et al are now underperforming the resrt of the Nasdaq 100:

The one stock and company that has surprised me most is Goldman Sachs which has broken out to new all-time highs. The suits are having a day.

The other big surprise in looking at the charts is gold’s relative weakness to the other commodities which are all rallying. The gold bugs are miserable seeing their rock get digitized and blockchained before paper and Goldman.

Ivanhoff sums up the action this way:

The two big catalysts in the past couple of months that have defined everything in the stocks market are:

1. The U.S. election results – clean energy stocks accelerated their ascent since then. Cannabis stocks gapped up and have been clear leaders. Semiconductors and biotech have also been extremely strong post the elections for their own unpolitical reasons. The odds are that those sectors will continue to lead in 2021 but that doesn’t mean chase them when they are up multiple days in a row. Wait for proper setups that create better risk/reward entry points – pullbacks to rising 20 day moving average or a range contraction.
2. The announcement of a working COVID vaccine – after Pfizer and Moderna revealed their vaccines, retailers, financials, and energy gapped up and have been among the leaders since then. Basically, they are the reasons the small-cap ETFs have done so well. Russel 2000 (IWM) doubled in 9 months since its March 2020 lows. To see a move of this magnitude, you have to go back all the way to 2009 when it took IIWM 14 months to double from its lows. Nothing goes up with such veracity in such a short period of time without having reactions along the way. Don’t be surprised to see 10-20% pullbacks in the indexes in 2021, but overall I expect those pullbacks (corrections) to be buying opportunities.

In the meantime, mega-cap stocks and many software stocks have pulled back or just moved sideways consolidating their gains from the first half of the year. I expected some of them to have strong pre-earnings rallies (AMZN, NFLX) considering their reports in the previous quarter but so far I have been wrong on that. The new earnings season officially starts next week with NFLX and a bunch of financials. After that, we have the big tech and everyone else.

Have a great week everyone.

Disclaimer: All information provided is for educational purposes only and does not constitute investment, legal or tax advice, or an offer to buy or sell any security. For full disclosures, click here

Sunday Sentiment…Penny Stock Peddlers On Reddit and #WeekendsAreForCrypto on Stocktwits

This post is by Howard Lindzon from Howard Lindzon

I am going to try something new on the blog…a regular ‘Sunday Sentiment’ post.

I am fascinated by the moods of the markets and the fact that narratives and storytelling have driven the fundamentals to the background.

Because I am more excited and fascinated than ever to be a full time investor in private and public markets I think having a Sunday sentiment post will help me improve my long term returns.

I write this blog for my own personal selfish needs and to hopefully grow, but do appreciate everyone reading and sending their comments so please feel free to chime in on this idea and share some ideas on sentiment, who to read, follow and how to think about it.

This week a few charts and data points stand out but long story short make

I think JC nailed something in his post ‘Stealth Correction‘. Small Caps, SPAC’s, IPO’s, Alts, and lates stage monster rounds are getting money flows while $10 plus trillion in the FAANG and friends group of 10 stocks goes nowhere.

There is a new narrative developing and I am trying to piece it together, but for now, it seems like a possible change in trend towards smaller caps over mega caps and decentralized over centralized.

One of my favorite ‘feelings’ about Trump being out of the Oval Office is that the overall tensions in markets will drop. Trump loved to move the markets using Twitter.

One thing that will not go away with Trump gone is that social media influencers (while not as likely to be able to move markets) will be able to move stocks.

The king of that for now is Elon Musk. Brian captured this perfectly with this tweet:

My friend Jim O’Shaughnessy, a smart man and a quant, says Brian’s tweet perfectly captures the zeitgeist of our times. I agree with Jim and would add that the markets going forward will be a great platform for both the quants and the artists. The unbundling of the indexes as new investors pick stocks, build their own portfolios because of fractionalization and the repleneshing of the markets with thousands of new public companies over the next 3-5 years is a trend I am positioned for.

Of course, while this is happening, the pockets of froth and exuberance (Reddit had to change their rules as penny stock peddlers have been piling in) that we see right now as the put/call ratio flashes warning signs would indicate that a correction might be at hand.

Finally, one thing I have noticed about this recent surge in crypto is that weekends on Stocktwits have become dominated by crypto discussion. In 2017 that never happened. This boom haas a different feel.

Have a great Sunday.

Only On Twitter…

This post is by Howard Lindzon from Howard Lindzon

There are a lot of people calling Zoom ‘the next AOL’ as we start 2021.

Zoom is in my 8-80 portfolio so of course I have to think about that because there is a BIG difference between a company for the ages and one that flames out like AOL.

I won’t get into that today, but the pessimism is good. Stocks can’t go higher if everyone agrees that the product and company is invincible.

One sector that will NEVER give up Zoom is one that I never thought would use Zoom and that is the financial industry.

This week I had a bunch of calls with banks and hedge funds and Zoom was the product of choice. There was not one mention of security in any of the calls. I imagine my calls were beamed to China and someone that looked like me is now using the same pitch to raise money from bankers in China?

Anyways, this post has nothing to do with China or bankers or pitches or Zoom…I think.

At the end of the day, I walked past Knut as I left the office and we thought my Zoom fundraising attire deserved a photo.

I shared it on Twitter:

This morning it has nearly 500,000 views and some very funny comments and threads.

My point is that while Twitter the stock is a turd (for reasons I have outlined over the years on this blog), only on Twitter could a 55 year old putz like me get a laugh from such a broad community over something so silly and mundane as my life.

What Happens When Everyone Is A Storyteller ?

This post is by Howard Lindzon from Howard Lindzon

I love to tell stories.

Back in 2017 I wrote a post called ‘Tell Me A Story‘ and today it feels like everyone has caught on and is doing the same.

There are Snapchat Stories and Instagram Stories, but Tik Tok ‘tipped’ storytelling for a next generation.

Now that the TikTok generation has discovered stocks, the markets just might have reached ‘peak’ storytelling.

That does not mean stocks will stop going up or crash today or next month, but I do worry when everyone can tell a stock story like me.

Lately I get 10 -20 texts a day from a friend who just bought Cathy Woods ETF’s ($ARK_, $ARK_ etc) asking me ‘what do I think’? Until mid last year I had not heard of her.

Each and every one of her family of ETF’s (I now call them WTF’s) was up over 100 percent last year.

She is not famous just for being up 100 percent. I know many people up multi-hundred percent last year. My daughter’s Robinhood account was up more.

If you search Cathy’s name…she is everywhere. She has been telling ‘stories’ specifically technology stories about Tesla and Genetics and now Space that just resonate.

My friend Michael has the very best take on the power of storytelling as it relates to Cathy Woods right now.

I have mad respect for Cathy Woods and storytelling. It is fantastic that a next generation of investors is now both onboarded (thanks to the FED, COVID, TikTok, Robinhood, Etoro, Stocktwits etc) and doing their part to unbundle the indexes and push money to companies that resonate with them. The idea that you blindly put your money in an index fund that went to Wells Fargo, Exxon, Nokia to neaty fit the ‘cost’ narrative pushed by Vangiard and Blackrock was maddening.

I have been telling the story of ‘do it yourself’ and the ‘unbundling’ of indexes for a long time.

Now that we are here, I would and do urge people to be careful whose stories they are following and where they just might be in the storytelling food chain in an era where everyone has the tools to be a great storyteller.

Bone Fide Wealth President Douglas Boneparth Joins Me on Panic with Friends to Discuss Financial Advice and Millennials

This post is by Howard Lindzon from Howard Lindzon

My ‘Panic With Friends’ today is with the VERY funny Douglas Boneparth. He is a financial advisor to the yoots.

I really tried to make it difficult for him to start the conversation but he smoothly worked through my banter to talk about building a financial advisor business catering to millennials.

You can listen to the podcast here on Spotify or right here on Megaphone.

For more details on Douglas the the show read on below…

Guest: Douglas Boneparth

Profile: President, Financial Advisor at Bone Fide Wealth

Where to Find Him: LinkedIn, Twitter

Fun Fact: Douglas became a fully licensed Certified Financial Planner at age 21.

What’s the Panic About:

If our last guest Tiffany Zhong was the Gen Z whisper, then Douglas Boneparth might just be the Millennial version. And he has the titles to prove it, including the newly named millennial voice of CNBC’s Digital Financial Advisor Council. After spending over a decade in the financial planning industry, Douglas noticed a gap – a Buzzfeed reading, avocado toast eating, Slack using gap. Millennials weren’t getting the same level of thoughtful time and advice as other older players in finance. Douglas stopped chasing after old money and started finding young people to invest in. He is the founder and president of Bone Fide Wealth, a Manhattan-based wealth management firm specializing in high achieving Millennials, young professionals and entrepreneurs. They currently oversee approximately $80 million in assets. Douglas is a funny, charismatic, driven and smart man. In this episode, Douglas and I talk about high earning millennials, financial education, when he got interested in the financial world of business, his comedic perspective on his professional and personal life, what a day in the life of a financial planner looks like, his plans for the future, marketing, SEO and more. Enjoy!

The Takeaway:

Millennials just want respect, transparency and time. And they see through BS. The second you sound like you’re making something up or being opaque, you’re going to lose this valuable group of people.

Favorite Quotes:

“If you’re not growing, you’re dying.”

“Be ridiculously objective and transparent in everything you do and say.”

“I’m a big promoter of leaving this planet more financially educated than when I found it.”

“the hedonistic treadmill of SEO” – not a full quote, but a phrase I think I’m going to start using more in my everyday life

Food for Thought:

If you’re interested in learning more about Douglas’ perspective, I recommend checking out his book “The Millennial Money Fix” and his podcast “We Should Be Sleeping.”

PS – I am now doing one ‘Panic With Friends’ podcast per week. Thanks for listening and make sure you subscribe over on Spotify or Apple.

It’s All Ball Bearings…And Hydrogen – The Fletch Investor

This post is by Howard Lindzon from Howard Lindzon

I loved the movie Fletch. When Max was young he loved it too. Little kids know silly.

One of my fave scenes is Chevy posing as a mechanic and riffing ‘It’s all ball bearings‘:

Fetch/Chevy got away with this because he said it with such confidence.

I see this behavior all day from people talking about stocks and markets.

They wax poetic about the latest stock and catalyst that will make their stock a 10-bagger. In markets like today’s it can actually work, but over the years I have seen so many people get burned.

If I can’t understand the technology in the moment with a practical use case…consider me out.

That has not stopped me from catching many incredible trends in the public and private markets with my relatively boring 8 to 80 and ‘fashology’ companies/stocks (you can search my blog archive for past posts).

One sector that has always made me think of Fletch is ‘hydrogen’. Two stocks that have been etched in my brain over that time and perennial dogs (losers) have been Plug Power and Fuel Cell ($PLUG and $FCEL).

Here are the charts over the last 12 months:

Here they are over the last 20 years:

The last 20 years, investors were ‘Fletched’.

Maybe this time it is for real?

I am asking a lot of questions these days about hydrogen, fuel cells and batteries.

Twitter and Trump…Continued

This post is by Howard Lindzon from Howard Lindzon

One of the great things about being an old man armchair quarterback with a keyboard is I get to change my mind and not cost too many people their jobs. I wrote some initial thoughts a couple days ago.

Because I started a much smaller social network than Twitter, I never had to make the ‘should we kick off Donald Trump (insert any terms of use abuser)’ because it might turn into a global debate decision. We have our house rules and we kick people off often. It is not something we enjoy. We would rather everyone use our network/platform to share ideas and journal their trades.

Fred Wilson who was an early investor in Twitter and still holds shares had a much different take. Here is Fred’s thoughts:

Yes, I think it is problematic that Twitter has this much power. Not only are they silencing Trump, they are taking away his tens of millions of followers, and they are prohibiting all of his followers from seeing his tweets.

We should be careful what we wish for. This is a slippery slope we are heading down.

It is long past time that we move away from centralized applications to protocols.

If Twitter was a protocol, Twitter the app could ban the President from using its application and could block his tweets from being available in its app. But Trump could use another Twitter protocol client and his followers could as well and all of that social graph would still be available to them.

That is the way the web works. That is the way email works. That is the way social media should work as well and it is high time we start moving there.

This should be a warning sign to everyone in DC; the Senators, the Representatives, the folks leaving the White House and the folks entering it. He who kills the king becomes the king.

It is time to force the big centralized apps to open up. It is time to force the mobile app stores to open up. The longer we wait the worse this will get.

No wonder Bitcoin and Ethereum have been rallying. Many executives at the networks knew this was coming and maybe they leaked it or they themselves started buying crypto. Maybe Team Trump knew it was coming and bought crypto.

Now the news is out and talks of decentralization are all over Twitter.

I like Pomp’s take…’Decentralization is a Necessity Now‘.

We will see decentralized websites, decentralized mobile apps, decentralized social networks, and much more. The risk of a centralized organization imposing their will, regardless of the validity of that decision, has become too great to ignore now. It was previously believed that decentralization was only a fascination of those who were paranoid, but now we are seeing that it is becoming a business imperative at a breakneck speed.

This transition won’t happen overnight. It also won’t only be about decentralization. We are likely to see a significant rise in privacy technologies, along with decentralization. These renewed focuses will leverage technology to equalize power on the internet. The days of large centralized companies overseeing their dictatorships without fear of being held accountable are over. The people can’t change the status quo, but they can vote with their feet and start using new technology stacks.

These new decentralized, privacy-centric tech stacks will take time to build. It isn’t about building a new front end. We literally have to rebuild everything at this point. You can’t simply rely on Amazon’s AWS. You have to leverage Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and self-hosting in combination with each other to drastically improve the resiliency of what you’re building. You have to allow for the natural adoption of these new technologies and products, so that they can reach true decentralization.

Any shortcuts that someone takes will jeopardize the very decentralization and privacy that is going to be sought now. Developers and entrepreneurs will have to do the work. Investors will have to fund the work. And users will have to adopt the work.

This mission is too big for any one person. A global shift is underway and it is likely to impact every company, every industry, and every product. Why are people going to use communication products where companies spy on their every word if there is a product that has feature parity, dense network effect, and also happens to be privacy-centric? (Hello, Signal!)

The age of decentralization is here. The age of privacy is here.

Fred’s partner Albert has his own great take on the subject worth reading titled ‘Welcome To The Government – IT Infrastructure Complex

Lots of people seem to think: what’s the harm? These are corporations enforcing their Terms of Service and they should have every right to do so. And yes, if there were lots of competitors (e.g. multiple app stores) then this line of reasoning would be perfectly fine because the Terms of Service don’t suddenly substitute for the law. We have to keep in mind that Terms of Service can and have been changed again and again and thus something that’s perfectly fine today may run afoul of a change tomorrow.

What is the worst the can happen? I believe there is a high likelihood that we are witnessing the visible emergence of the government-IT infrastructure complex. Government will be even less inclined to try and generate competition in this space. It is so much more convenient to have just a few large entities that an executive agency can influence behind the scenes rather than having to bother with the rule of law. We have already had this in the payments space for a while where instead of targeted interventions against actual abuses payment providers withdraw wholesale support for companies in certain categories (most prominently anything related to sexwork).

Where will this power be used next? One obvious place is crypto and blockchain technology, which threatens both the power of governments and the power of large corporations. A difficult set of topics that would require judicious law making and novel regulations. So much easier to just deal with it behind the scenes. Or take encryption. Why bother trying to come up with good regulation? Get Facebook to backdoor WhatsApp and then have everyone agree that Signal represents too much of a risk and needs to be banned. The big companies are inviting this approach. It will be good for them and good for executive power. But it will be bad for democracy.

Sure it is absolutely possible that none of this will happen. That Parler will be a one time emergency event. An exception and not a precedent. I would love nothing more than to be wrong with my concerns here, just as I would have loved to be wrong about Trump.

Howard here…

Twitter the company continues to pay the price for early ‘very bad’ strategy decisions (per Fred’s post) that led them to this point.

To undo the Trump ban would mean a new CEO. I think it is long past that time either way.

Momentum Monday…The Wall of Worry Continues To Eat Through Supply

This post is by Howard Lindzon from Howard Lindzon

Happy Monday everyone…

As a reminder, Marketsmith (by Investor’s Business Daily) is now a sponsor of the weekly show. All the charts you have been seeing in the videos and will continue to see are from Marketsmith. They are offering my readers a three week trial for $19.95. Click this link if you would like to try it out.

It seems like every Momentum Monday since June has been the same…buy stocks!

This week looks like more of the same.

Too many sectors look good and while there is a rager of a SPAC party happening in the neighborhood, it is best to join for a cocktail or two rather than report it to the cops.

My favorite line about this came from Mike Alfred a really good investor I follow on Twitter

They’re creating money far faster than they’re creating bad companies. The nominal bull will continue for awhile.

Here is this weeks episode of Momentum Monday. I have embedded the show below:

It is best to watch/listen to each week’s episode to get a feel for how we look at the markets and momentum.

We shared a few new ideas as always.

With the Roblox IPO (gaming) ahead, expect more attention on the sector. The best looking leaders include Acivision, Take-Two and Zynga. The $NERD ETF is a gaming ETF that is an easy way to own the sector.

Here is Ivanhoff on the action:

The Senate flipped blue. The market was somehow expecting that as solar, EVs, batteries, other clean energy, cannabis, infrastructure, and Chinese stocks have been rallying ahead of that. Most of them continued higher after the election results. Many are extended for new swing entries and are likely to offer better opportunities when they pull back or consolidate sideways for a few days/weeks.

Inflation expectations continue to rise. Interest rates jumped which boosted financials. Saudi Arabia cut oil output which sent energy stocks higher. Quite a few momentum stocks that took a dive late last year, bounced towards the end of the week. In other worlds, the bull market is still strong and going.

Mega-caps underperformed last week while the rest of the market has been strong. This has been a sign of risk-seeking as of late as capital hasn’t left the market but rotated into smaller caps.

If you find yourself looking for fresh ideas or confused about what is driving the markets, look no further to the all-time high and 52 week high list.

I do that every day,

Very few investors follow this simple screen and they end up missing all the biggest moving stocks.

Take a look at the big winners from last week:

As I have been saying for weeks, the FAANG stocks have not been the story. It is Tesla, Electric Vehicles, SPAC’s, crypto, hydrogen and China web/ecommerce,

You can spend 10 minutes on the weekend scanning the Stocktwits 25 (which is free) and you will quickly get a flavor of which sectors are leading the markets.

As for sentiment, I will leave you with this magazine cover overlay JC put together that sums up the negativity the overhangs the country:

The markets are cruel. It feels like they have become more cruel since 2008. My job is to not judge the market but to try and participate.

Have a great week.

Disclaimer: All information provided is for educational purposes only and does not constitute investment, legal or tax advice, or an offer to buy or sell any security. For full disclosures, click here

Some Sunday Reads and Listens

This post is by Howard Lindzon from Howard Lindzon

I am headed for my long Sunday ride this morning but first some good reads and listens for you.

Ben Thompson with his take on Trump and Twitter.

Morgan Housel has a great essay titled ‘Two Worlds: So Much Prosperity, So Much Skepticism‘.

This New York Times piece inspired by the ‘Auschwitz’ sweatshirt at The Capitol is moving.

My favorite listen of late has been Conan O’Brien’s podcast. It does not matter who the guest is, Conan just riffs and riffs and riffs. He really makes me laugh and smile and that is not easy to do. Yesterday I laughed out loud for an hour while I was on my ride as he caught up with JP Smoove. Have a listen.

Have a great Sunday.

Some Sunday Reads and Listens

This post is by Howard Lindzon from Howard Lindzon

I am headed for my long Sunday ride this morning but first some good reads and listens for you.

Ben Thompson with his take on Trump and Twitter.

Morgan Housel has a great essay titled ‘Two Worlds: So Much Prosperity, So Much Skepticism‘.

This New York Times piece inspired by the ‘Auschwitz’ sweatshirt at The Capitol is moving.

My favorite listen of late has been Conan O’Brien’s podcast. It does not matter who the guest is, Conan just riffs and riffs and riffs. He really makes me laugh and smile and that is not easy to do. Yesterday I laughed out loud for an hour while I was on my ride as he caught up with JP Smoove. Have a listen.

Have a great Sunday.

Twitter and Trump…and Elon and Roblox

This post is by Howard Lindzon from Howard Lindzon

It’s finally over.

What an abusive, ugly relationship.

One thing stands out as usual from the end of the relationship is that neither Twitter or Trump have a plan.

If Trump thought Twitter was so vital to his brand and voice he should not have put himself in a position of getting kicked off everyday.

Now he only has Grindr (I could not resist because it is hysterical):

Twitter must feel Trump is so vital to their business because they let him shit all over it everyday. The stock is down 5 percent after-hours because investors think Trump is their plan.

Now Elon Musk is not just the wealthiest man in the world, but the most powerful (at least businessman) in the world.

Just yesterday Elon tweeted about ‘Signal’ (a private company) but drove the price of a bulletin board penny stock up over 1,000 percent…

Elon stays and Trump goes. Elon may be crazy, but he has a plan and while he might bend the rules, he knows how to work the refs.

Twitter is just a game and Elon is winning. Twitter has no idea how their own game is played and what their core users want which is why Roblox (another game with a fraction of the users) is pricing a direct listing at $30 billion and will pass Twitter in market cap the week it goes public.

I say shame on Twitter, Jack and their board for bending the rules to shape Trump and too many other political figures who do not understand the privilege of having such an incredible product and tool and shame on Trump for as usual not having a plan.

Goldman and Bitcoin at All-Time Highs But Little Is Fixed – The Next Frontier in Fintech….

This post is by Howard Lindzon from Howard Lindzon

The other day I talked about the unbundling of markets and indexes.

Rex Salisbury a fintech VC at a16z asked where the next ‘war’ in fintech will be fought.

The thread is here.

I replied that with Bitcoin and Goldman Sachs at all-time highs right now, it looks like the last ‘war’ got very little fixed.

Yoshi, the founder of Alpaca (we are investors and here he is on my podcast) chimed into the conversation with:

It will be “war of crossing-borders” While work-from-anywhere enables live-from-anywhere, it also surfaces various issues around our daily financial lives (spending, getting paid, tax, sending money etc).

Alpaca is going after an incredible opportunity.

Just yesterday, I had a fintech entrepreneur email me this re Alpaca:

OMG — alpaca looks pretty awesome

Everything Apex is not

It is the same day that SOFI was merged into Chamath’s SPAC which is a 15 percent owner in Apex!

It’s exciting to see the fintech space get so much attention and for me to have the opportunity to invest in this sector. There is much to be done.

Zebra IQ CEO and Gen Z Whisperer Tiffany Zhong Joins Me on Panic with Friends to Discuss the 5 Cs: Creators, Community, Content, Commerce and Culture

This post is by Howard Lindzon from Howard Lindzon

I am surprised by how many young people use Twitter to follow me and ask great questions. It turns out that a lot of these young people are the ones I turn to on Twitter to learn from.

One of my faves is Tiffany Zhong who I asked to be on ‘Panic With Friends’ to answer a bunch of my questions about the yoots and Tik Tok, SnapChat, the creator economy and culture.

You can listen to the full podcast here on Spotify or Apple.

For some more details on the episode have a quick read below…

Guests: Tiffany Zhong

Tiffany’s Profile: Co-founder, CEO at Zebra IQ

Where to Find Tiffany: LinkedIn, Twitter

Fun Fact: Before starting Zebra IQ, Tiffany was a VC at just 19 years old. She has a great post breaking down 55 things she learned from this experience.

What’s the Panic About:
OK boomers, we’re kicking off our first episode of 2021 with Gen Z whisperer and Zebra IQ CEO Tiffany Zhong. I’m a big fan of Zebra’s annual Gen Z report and I recommend all my listeners take a look at it too. It’s important to stay in touch with audiences and perspectives other than those similar to you (something Tiffany talks about in this episode). Tiffany’s company Zebra IQ helps brands create communities to understand Gen-Z and Millennial consumers by offering real-time feedback. They’ve worked with more than 20 companies including Snapchat, Levi Strauss and Turner Broadcasting. Zebra IQ is just one example of how Gen Z can help you make a lot of money if you just listen to them. In this episode, Tiffany and I talk about Zebra IQ, dropping out of college, her Twitter strategy, her “five Cs,” moguls, monetizing an audience, TikTok, startups, ecommerce and more.

The Takeaway:
Social platforms like Twitter can be a powerful tool. Tiffany started using Twitter in high school to ask investors and entrepreneurs questions. Her advice: Use Twitter as a place to learn as opposed to a means to gain clout.

Favorite Quotes:

“I learn best when I’m thrown into a real-world environment.”

“Today’s creators are going to be tomorrow’s fortune 500 founders.”

“The two main types of content are entertainment and education.”

“Startups are interesting because they have the chance to disrupt things.”

Food for Thought:

That teen of yours that won’t talk to you might just be on his way to being a mogul. I think 2021 is the year I figure out a fun way to build an audience on TikTok.

PS – I am now doing two ‘Panic With Friends’ podcasts per week. Thanks for listening and make sure you subscribe over on Spotify or Apple.

The Unbundling Of Indexes and Markets – Further Explained

This post is by Howard Lindzon from Howard Lindzon

I have some very smart friends who have been asking me to further explain what I mean by ‘unbundling of indexes’ when I write about it on my blog and Stocktwits and Twitter. I am sure I have riffed about this on many podcasts, but let me try again in as few a words as possible.

In the first internet bubble, picking stocks was cool. If you did not want to pick them you picked a mutual fund manager with a cool name or hair and you let them do it. Fees be damned. That did not end well.

For reasons that probably don’t matter to my explanation, the idea of indexing really accelerated after the bubble crashed. The mantra of ‘cut your fees’ and ‘you can’t beat the S&P 500‘ was all that mattered.

Over the last 15 plus years, Vanguard, State Street and Blackrock have taken advantage of this movement and herded as many people as possible into what I consider the same product/s.

It has mostly worked for investors as they build a 60/40 or 70/30 portolio of indexes and bond funds/etf’s with their financial advisor. Advisors get to show a pretty smooth return line with lower and lower fees.

At many levels this is great.

The trend just may continue forever.

I have long believed that Blackrock, State Street and Vanguard should have opened up the tools and processes they created to help people own fractional shares of hundreds of stocks so that people could just build their own indexes.

They did not and have not. They won’t.

Along comes software and the iPhone and Etoro and Crypto and Robinhood and free trading and collectibles and collectible investing and trading (Rally Rd) and Stocktwits and Reddit and Twitter and WhatsApp and Discord and Slack and Koyfin and Alpaca. Yes of course I am pimping many of my own investments in that last sentence.

Also, the $QQQ has outperformed the S&P 500 for forever.

This software and free money and technology boom and now COVID have spawned so many new exciting companies and industries that just not available in the S&P 500 and it turns out that people want something new. They also want to play. They also want ridiculous growth because they have seen it. There friends talk about it all freaking day on social media.

Too many choices, too many ways to learn and so the unbundling.

Startups and consumers have used software to unbundle the indexes because it is now simply unbundleable.

We are very early in this trend away from owning 500 stocks.

I have no idea what this will look like five years from now.

Maybe people will own 30 stocks, 20 liquid collectibles, pieces of 10 private software companies that pay them a yearly dividend and some crypto but I doubt they own a simple 60/40 or 70/30 indexed portfolio.

This is what I mean by unbundling.

Already Behind In My Reading…

This post is by Howard Lindzon from Howard Lindzon

I have some reading to catch up on so I thought I would share it today.

Fred Wilson wrote ‘What Is Going to Happen in 2021‘.

Brad Feld wrote about the ‘Great HQ Migration.’

Eli Dourado’s ‘Notes on technology in the 2020’s‘ was shared a bunch of times so I plan on reading it today.

Blake Robbin’s ‘Modern Suppliers‘ was also being passed around and I am going to read it as well.

Finally, ‘Building The Middle Class Of The Creator Economy‘ is excellent. I am sharing it again. Read it.