Onboarding, Educating and Arming the Next Generation of Investors – Stocktwits, Social Leverage and Stocktoberfest

Stocktoberfest East (the first and last of it’s kind) is next Thursday the 30th in New York City.

The day is packed with content all geared to help people make money investing in public and private markets. The cheat sheet to our day at Stocktoberfest…

I am an optimist. I look at the world through a glass half full lens.

I am also cynical. I think institutions can be great but we live in an awesome country that offers a lot of ‘crazy’ founders the tools, freedoms, networks and capital to disrupt them.

The US financial industry now lags behind the rest of the world because of the ‘securities act of 1933‘, but it is those early securities laws that built the trust for a system to lead the world until we abused the system with financial leverage and cheating, that culminated with the crisis in 2008. That crisis along with China’s ‘grey means go‘ attitude towards securities law, their digital wall, and now crypto have made the pie bigger for those wanting to speculate and invest.

A new generation of 80 million millennials and their $30 trillion inheritance (US alone) is what makes the future of money and investing so exciting.

Take advantage of the fact that most Americans don’t care about the language of finance, money and markets. I have been an open book on how I see the financial industry evolving and who I think the winners and losers will be.

Learn how to speed up and shrink the amount of time it takes to get domain experience, learn the language of the markets and gain financial independence.

Applying common sense it is possible to profit and have a life of joy investing.

While we have the web and networks to help everyone speed things up to an unprecedented pace, we should all have mentors too.If you can get people to mentor you for free great, but I believe we are way too cheap spending money on mentorship. The right mentor will change your life.

Meet and hear from founders of early-stage financial technology/service companies demoing the evolution of their products:

Denise Thomas, Founder, Apple Pie Capital
Scott Coyles, Co-founder, ClickIPO
Ryan Randall, Capital Markets, Point
Gary Zimmerman, Founder, Max My Interest
Stuart Sopp, Founder, Current
Rachel Mayer, Founder, Trigger Finance
Lindsay Holden, Founder, The Long Game
Jordan Lee, Founder, College Backer

I asked some of the most incredible people I have ever met and worked with to stop by for fireside chats. If we run late we run late.

For example, my friend Fred Wilson has agreed to stop by and chat. I have hung out on Fred’s blog for 12 years, he was my first investor in Wallstrip and an incredible mentor to me. Fred shuns stocks and market discussions for the most part but promises to go rogue talking ‘crypto’, digital assets and decentralized startups.

Brett Wilson, the founder of Tubemogul, whose Company was recently acquired by Adobe, will sit down with me to talk about one of the biggest web trends in the world – VIDEO. Brett now has some capital himself so I can’t wait to talk with him about how he now sees the world of investing now that he has money to invest.

The biggest difference of this year’s event is our first ever ‘Cashtag Awards‘ that same evening of the 30th. I have always wanted to celebrate the yearly good, bad and ugly of the financial market…the people and and the events that helped us learn and profit. My friend Josh Brown will be hosting and we have a slew of financial community friends presenting and sharing some wisdom.

The venue is fantastic, the attendance is a record (over 450 signed up) and we all love investing and talking about the markets. I am heads down with the Stocktwits team in a final sprint trying to make the content, pace and flow fantastic.

I look forward to hosting everyone and hope to see you there next week.

Pepsi Can Buy Russia and Make America Smoke Again

Fox news and Trump long for the late 70’s and early 80’s because we could smoke on airplanes and dance disco with Donald Trump at Studio 54.

I on the other hand will take my chances saying America has never been greater based on the following:

iPhone
Spotify
Tempurpedic
Ambien
Legal Weed

But, what is the world thinking right now?

A bunch of charts jumped out at me in the last few days and they all point to the rest of the world getting on in a post Trump nationalist America. This piece from Bloomberg on ‘thinking global‘ was also excellent.

Great American companies start everyday and are incredibly resilient.

Take the old American institution of cigarettes and smoking.

America loved their cigarettes back in 1980. Today we only love them half as much:

Despite the poisonous death and destruction created by Philip Morris (Marlboro) and America quitting, the stock has climbed from 30 cents in 1980 to $76 today.

The world is a big place.

As the political media buries us in Russia/Trump headlines, remember that Pepsi is bigger than the entire Russian Stock market.

The higher powers will not have a country the size of Pepsi run the United States.

Finally, if you think Asia is scared of Trump, thing again:

The headlines are frightening and sad but headlines are for suckers.

It’s Feels Good to Be Appreciated…

The March 30th Stocktoberfest schedule of speakers and fireside chats is now live (scroll down). I am really proud of this lineup. Most importantly, the evening ‘Cashtag’ awards should be a fantastic party and celebration of the social financial web. If you are in NYC and you like stocks and markets…please join us. Taylor Becker and Pierce Crosby did a hell of a job organizing a big event in the big city.

Onwards…

I got a very nice compliment from WSJ Technology columnist Chris Mims the other day on my markets riff:

This is the densest, funniest, most wonderfully manic commentary on our current tech/financial bubble I’ve yet read

I write for myself but it feels great to have professionals appreciate it. Thanks Chris.

A few months ago Entrepreneur magazine reached out to profile me for their magazine. It’s like the People Magazine for entrepreneurs and I was thrilled with the ask. Nancy Miller, the author of the story, has followed my blog a long time and really did a nice job curating the interview down to some of the big wins. I shared some of the ugly, but they stuck with some of the big wins. In essence, I love to start companies, I love Stocktwits, early stage investing, my partners at Social Leverage and the entrepreneurs that make the magic happen. I am excited that both Mike Lazerow and Brett Wilson will be sitting for fireside chats at Stocktoberfest to talk about investing and the trends they see themselves, now that they are moving up and on.

Nancy really nailed me in the opening:

Howard Lindzon is an irreverant buzz machine who powers through wall-to-wall- meetings on five milligrams of Adderall.

The full article is here:

Weed Prices Up and Apple Prices Down

Apple is back at all-time highs as their luxury products of the future (watches and airpods) have the lowest relative prices.

I am long Apple and all I hear is that Apple has had no new products . Meanwhile, I love my Mac Air and iPad air. I love my iPhone 7 plus but will for sure buy an 8, am waiting on a pair of Airpods and will likely buy another Apple Watch by Christmas.

As Apple become cheap luxury, up in Canada, the price of weed stocks are up 6 fold in the last year:

howardlindzon shared a chart on StockTwits

Apple is cheap and weed is expensive…

PS – This made me laugh today. Why Does Trump Jr. have such a hard time sitting?:

The Era of Mass Customization

The battle for attention is fierce. The stakes are high.

As this boom era of mass customization goes on, we will see even bigger and bigger acquisitions as leaders protect and expand attention.

The investors that have ridden this ‘moneyball’ of valuations have been rewarded with massive gains in Netflix, Amazon, Facebook, Tencent (WeChat), Snapchat and on the enterprise side Salesforce.

There will be no movie about the investors that have made the most money off this trend, but this podcast interview of Reed Hastings (Netflix CEO) by Marc Andreesen is excellent and worth your time.

Have a great weekend.

You Can Read Everything You Believe on The Internet…What a Time to Be Alive!

Never has there been a more true statement about the state of the internet.

I do not remember who blurted what is now the title of this post as I skimmed through Twitter but I laughed.

I have hit that age where I have to stop by the front desk of my hotel each night because I forget what room I am in. A friend suggested I just take a photo of my room which is genius, until I start forgetting that I took the photo…

I spent the last few days in San Francisco and it was intense. So many smart people and a blur of me pitching and getting pitched.

I am headed back home now and going to lock myself down for the next 10 days to prepare content for Stocktoberfest SIX in New York (our first), on March 30th. It is such an interesting time in the markets and fintech which is where I live. Some of the topics I will be discussing with our wicked smart lineup of speakers include:

The Snapchat IPO is already yesterday’s news. As I mentioned on Bloomberg TV a few weeks ago – $40 billion is the new $400 million. Snapchat by any measure that Wall Street has ever made up is overvalued.

Bitcoin is old news and Ethereum is the shit?

In a world of Snapchat at $40 billion and the planets of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google …it is hard to build financial models but does that mean we should stop?

Wall Street gave up on research long ago and is all in on machines, ETF’s, derivatives. Bloomberg just reported that fund managers will be cutting another $300 million on external research (nobody needs research when prices just go up).

In an era of the ‘last mile’ and the ‘last minute’ it might be data, not land or money that is the most important asset. At the same time…we are in an AI bubble.

Voice is the new Keyboard.

Three years ago, 27 percent of Morgan Stanley’s assets were fee based. Today it is 40 percent.

Staying private is not a fad. The US tech sector boasted 371 IPO’s in 1999 and in 2016 there were 20. The IPO market will not ever be cool again, but it is not dead. WeWork, Dropbox, Palamtir, Airbnb and UBER could file at any time.

Between incubator/accelerator Techstars, YCombinator and 500 Startups – over 3,000 startups have been funded in the last 10 years.

Banks are hard to kill and stronger than ever despite the billions raised to disrupt them.

Unrelated to everything, but hey this is my blog and I think it’s a great business opportunity and am an investor…there is a Salesforce of pot. Thank god.

Bill Gross just blogged this on the Janus website… ‘Our highly leveraged financial system is like a truckload of nitro glycerin on a bumpy road’. I don’t think he’s bullish. Thank god for him that a Salesforce of pot is here. His grumpiness may also be related to the fact that over the last five years the annualized returns for his beloved bonds is ZILCH.

The Fed has raised interest rates three times and the US Treasury yield closed above 1 % for the first time since November 2008.

Most importantly, as always and in the face of a President that has never read a book, it is easier to be an optimist. I have no idea what’s next for the markets, but my goal is to help people embrace and better understand, enjoy and profit from them.

The Digital Boom in a Few Charts and Fire Tim Cook

I had the idea for our firm Social Leverage back in 2007. In November 2007 I wrote on this blog: ‘Social Leverage – Inning One and Impossible to Value’.

It’s almost 10 years later and we might be in inning 3. The leading stocks have never been harder to value.

Social Leverage is as I predicted the new financial leverage.

While the world levered itself to social graphs, the commodity indexes imploded.

Here is a chart of the Bloomberg commodity index over the last 15 years.

The iPhone and AWS (Amazon Web Services) sum up the acceleration in the digital boom and possibly the accelerated decline in commodities. The US digital ad market will grow by 16 percent this year!

Look no further to the divergences than my sweet son Max who is quite content with an iPhone, Uber, Amazon, Netflix, Snapchat, Google Docs and excellent bedding.

Unless Donald Trump can turn off this cloud thingie, I like my continued chances with digital assets and a life of social leverage.

Elsewhere in the world of nothing makes sense to old white people that made their fortune in commodities:

Mexico is up 17 percent since Trump vowed to wall it off.

The USA is up 6 percent since Trump threatened to wall us in.

The only thing I know is that Donald Trump will take credit for everything.

And finally, how is this Tim Cook still employed:

Please Hold….

I called Metlife today to see if some dental work would be covered.

They put me on hold and made me finger dance my way to find a human.

I am sure they will find a way to not pay.

Tonight their machines called me back to ask me how the experience was.

I have them on hold.

Bill Ackman PLUS Permanent Capital EQUALS Valeant

It was all Bill Ackman late today in my streams.

It is amazing that Intel’s $15 billion purchase of Mobileye could be overshadowed by Bill’s $4 billion realized loss in Valeant, but for the moment it is. Today, both Netflix and Amazon are also on verge or breaking out to new all-time highs.

So why the fascination with Ackman?

Bill has permanent capital. In the world of finance, that is the BIGLY of BIGLY.

By scoring permanent capital, Bill had socialized all his future activist losses.

Back in 2014 I did a podcast with my friend Michael Parekh (he ran Goldman’s internet research back in the day) about Bill’s score. In the same podcast we discussed legendary venture capitalist Bill Gurley’s yellow flag raising about valuations in the Silicon Valley. Little did I know, or for that matter did Bill Gurley, he was talking about Bill Ackman.

Back in 2015, Forbes ran a breathless cover story on Bill Ackman as a Baby Warren Buffett:

Talk about magazine cover jinxes. By the way, the same Forbes cover was also trumpeting the bond crash that never happened and Honda’s flying cars. No wonder my son Max thinks reading is overrated.

Today I asked my followers to rewrite the Forbe’s headline. There were so many funny ones but my favorite was from @stratostrades who wrote in – ‘I Lost 50 pounds on Herbalife, find out How I did it’.

Tomorrow, the Ackman and Valeant jokes/memes will continue. I doubt Bill Ackman cares. The lessons from his losses here are what matters most. Bill should have followed his own 9 lessons that he shared on the internet back in 2013:

Jack Damn adds this for emphasis…losers average losers:

jackdamn shared a chart on StockTwits

Ok back to work.

The Ten Best Stocks of The Last Ten Years…Do Not Underestimate The Power of a Good List

Ivanhoff posted the ten best stocks of the last ten years back in February and it has really stuck with me.

Forgetting the individual names for a minute, it makes sense in hindsight that the internet, biotech and China dominated the list.

I have no idea if the same trends carry the same stocks, different stocks or if tomorrow one new super trend emerges that carries ten stocks I have never heard of to this list.

I do know I will easily spot these winners and own some if not all of them. I will have to do the most work on ‘holding’ them.

It does not take as much work as you might think to spot winners. These stocks spend a lot of time on the 52-week and all-time high lists. These are the two lists I check most often for ideas.

When I helped Ivan start his premium service now at Marketwisdom.com, the goal was to isolate, track and organize a list of stocks that we felt had the best overall strength and therefore the best chance at large future gains. I had been doing this the last twenty years and now formally with Ivan the last three. Ivan has a growing business and it is fulfilling work for both of us.

It is amazing that after all these years studying markets and stocks that (most of the time) I have to look up the companies on the list just to see what they do.

This week alone, I am only familiar with two of the top ten companies.

Once I have eyeballed the list, it only takes me another few minutes to look up the companies that I am unfamiliar with and start to think about the industries they are dominating and the catalysts that may continue to drive them.

By studying the list Ivan publishes just weekly, your understanding of the markets, prices, trends and psychology will improve very quickly.

Even if you do not want to buy and sell stocks, it makes sense to study this list. If you are an angel or venture capital investor it will help you think about the stocks and industries that institutions are buying. If you are younger it could help shape the skills you want to have or the career you may want to pursue. The markets are all connected and following past leaders is under appreciated.

PS – Stocktoberfest is where I pull all this thinking together with CEO’s, investors and entrepreneurs. If you can’t make it to NYC for the event March 30th, share the event link with your friends interested in the markets.