A Message To Parents Of Millennial And Generation Z Investors…

One of the top questions I get from parents that read my blog is how to get their kids investing?

Here is my answer…

Study shows that giving young people an investing account, starting from zero financial literacy, is actually beneficial.

Learn by doing!

I am really excited that millions of millennials are in fact opening their first brokerage accounts. It has never been easier to learn by doing.

If your kids are not into investing, they will be one day.

In the meantime, don’t tell them what to do, but do send them interesting investing pieces that may get them interested. Sharing articles that may help them overcome the fear of taking the first few steps might peak their interest.

I loved this post titled ‘The Illusion of Control‘ which is something every parent can print/forward for their kids as they begin their investing journey.

If all else fails, buy them some shares in Google, Nike, Amazon and Alibaba and tell them to put you in a nicer home in 20 years.

What Makes a Great Investor – The Network

I did a podcast with Sam Maule of FintechInsiders and I am really happy with how Sam interviewed me and polished the final cut. Sam pulls out some of the key things I have learned from years of starting companies and investing at the seed stage.

You can listen by clicking here.

I am paid to find great founders and invest in them. And of course to make money.

Along the way, if I get labelled a great investor…awesome.

I loved this post from Andrew Thrasher titled ‘What Makes a Great Investor’. The post outlines SEVEN traits of the great investor. I will have to make this a series of posts over the coming months just like my Nasdaq 10,000 series.

However you read Andrew’s post – and you should read it – Andrew’s takeaway is dead on. No matter which traits you may or may not have, take being a great investor as a challenge rather than a deterrent.

In that vein…

I believe you can’t be a great investor without a great network. The sooner you start investing in it, the better.

I am where I am today as an investor (on a path to being a great investor) because of the cold calls I have made, the no’s I brushed past, the partners I have chosen, the mentors that I have chased down and keep, the routine I follow, what I read, who I follow and the network I have created.

Brett Steenbarger has a timely post titled ‘A Subtle Strategy For Becoming A Better Trader’. It is excellent. The gist:

One simple but effective strategy is to find the people who post ideas online and do so with a passion. They post regularly, and they post over periods of years. They do so because the ideas speak to them. Their passion has become a purpose–and very often it anchors their profession.

Once you find a few such sites, you can then see who those people link to and whose work *they* admire. The odds are good that purposeful, passionate people hang out with–and link to–others of their kind. Before you know it, you can develop a network simply by following the links of those who post with purpose.

What an amazing resource hidden amidst the noise.

In 2018, everyone has the opportunity to build a fantastic network which means everyone could be a great investor.

Have a great weekend.

The Wonderful World of Disney

Ellen and I are having a fantastic week mostly off the grid in Aspen.

I have had a lot of time to catch up on reading and sleep.

Today we did a 10 mile hike.

As usual, I watch of the yearly and all-time high list and all of a sudden Disney is starting to work it’s way toward them both.

Here is a look at Disney in a daily, weekly and monthly chart:

I expect the eventual announcement of Disneyflix will pull Disney’s stock out of it’s current base into into the digital subscription age that Wall Street loves.

Have a great Friday.

Nasdaq 10,000 – A Break in Aspen

I am having a great time at The Fortune conference in Aspen. I have gotten to see some old friends and make some new friends.

Our (Social Leverage) portfolio company WagWalking has a new CEO Hilary Schneider, who I have never met, and we got to meet because she is at the conference.

I ran into David Lawee who I have not seen for over 30 years. David went to the same university as me (University of Western Ontario) and we shared a great group of friends. David is a veteran of Google, ran mergers and acquisitions for them and now runs Google Capital. Fellow Torontonian Lorna Bornstein (David’s wife) joined us. She launched Ebay Canada back in the day and today is the founder of Grokker. Over lunch we chatted about our kids and self driving cars. David and Lorna sit in unique seats in the tech world so I had a lot of questions. I am happy they share my optimism for technology companies.

Aspen is a jewel of a place

Ellen joined me for the week and we are staying with our friends Brad and Amy Feld. Here are Brad and I in his backyard:

I rode with a group of attendees to the top of Maroon Bell and though I struggled with the altitude, I made it. Lance Armstrong happened to be at the top as well with a group of his friends, so naturally I asked for a photo:

When they took off, I decided to trail them. I managed to keep up for 100 meters before they went into a downhill tuck and took off like rockets.

Since I am on the continuing topic of Nasdaq 10,000 the last week, Brad (a founder of Foundry Group) has a great post about the 3D printing Industry that I truly do not understand. It is titled ‘The REPL for Hardware“. It is this technology that I cannot explain or understand that is continuing to be developed and written about on page 10 of tech news that will push us past 10,000.

Momentum Monday – Down Goes Netflix

The headlines will be all Netflix tomorrow.

Ivan and I ignore Netflix on this week’s show (they will be fine) but do share some new ideas as we tour the world of momentum in the video below:

The real (good) news for the markets continues to be the strong breadth. My friend JC (AllStar Charts) has been giving the all clear signal forever it seems and continues to be happy with the technicals. Here is his recent piece on the the markets.

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.

PS – Netflix factoid of the day – Netflix market cap is down more after hours than it was worth three years ago.

Nasdaq 10,000 – India and China…The Next Billion

You can’t have a Nasdaq 10,000 series of posts and not talk about China and India.

This Buzzfeed piece on the state of the mobile phone infrastructure and market in India was great.

I had never heard the term ‘next billion’:

Ever heard of the Next Billion? It’s a term that the big tech companies use for people in fast-developing corners of the world like India who can finally afford to buy a smartphone and get online for the first time in their lives. Tech companies are hoping to hook these users by releasing slimmed-down versions of their apps and un-bloating their operating systems to run on their low-end smartphones.

As weak as solutions are today for Indian consumers, it is easy to feel the opportunity at hand.

Next up is this ‘Letter From Shenzen‘ which outlines how Chinese tech isn’t an imitation of its American counterpart. It’s a completely different universe.

Here is a taste:

Shenzhen is a city built on exceptions. David explains that when the Chinese government decided to experiment with capitalism in the 1980s, it didn’t want to expose existing major cities like Beijing or Shanghai to the risk of failure. Instead, the government chose Shenzhen, a tiny cluster of fishing villages, even building up a wall in some parts to demarcate the boundary between socialism and capitalism.

Since the beginnings of the experiment, Shenzhen has exhibited all kinds of hockey-stick-shaped growth that people in Silicon Valley talk about in hushed tones of exaltation. The population has skyrocketed from 30,000 to almost 12 million, the cost of living has gone up, innovation is surging, and the time it takes to create, design, or build a new product decreases day by day.

Have a great week.

Nasdaq 10,000 – It Will Be YouTubed

This tweet from Raoul Pal caught my attention today re Google:

Smart people just want to be bearish. I encounter very few smart people (that care about stocks) extremely bullish right now…at least publicly. That is a fuel the Nasdaq seems to be riding right now and will likely continue to help push it higher.

I have been long Google forever it seems and it has been rather boring the last few years.

I am excited to see it break to all-time highs. Quietly it is now just 20 percent from $1 trillion and could conceivably beat Apple and Amazon in the race to the magic market capitalization.

I have no idea how to value Google, but nobody does. The good news is people keep trying and failing.

There has never been a public company with so many levers to pull come earnings time.

I think the biggest fuel for Google is YouTube.

I saw this baby (Ellen guessed 8 months old) at Chipotles last night surfing YouTube on an iPhone. It blew my mind:

Talk about an amazing 8 to 80 brand and company… and by 8 in this case I mean 8 months old, not 8 years old.

Nasdaq 10,000…I Am Really Serious

I have a lot more to say on Nasdaq 10,000 because when we get to Nasdaq 9,000 the Nasdaq 10,000 stuff I am writing now will be in every headline and useless.

One of the biggest changes between the Nasdaq bubble in the year 2,000 and the Nasdaq today is the fact that great internet growth companies have stayed private longer.

The real technology boom has been pre public.

One of the smartest and nicest investors I know is Manu Kumar who started K9 ventures and is a founder of Carta (I could have and should have invested).

In his latest blog post he nails the future in a post titled ‘The Logical Evolution of Private Markets: A New Kind of Company‘. Please read it, but in a nutshell:

5) A need for transparency: Most secondary transactions that are occurring are happening with very little information being made available to buyers and a lack of market efficiency for sellers. This is where I start to speculate a bit, that if we continue to see an increase in secondary transactions, then there will also be an increased need for transparency by these companies.

6) SEC oversight and regulation: The distinction between public companies and private companies has been very binary so far. I postulate that in the near future, we will see the emergence of a new class of company — one that is a privately held company, with a high valuation/market capitalization, and an active/regular secondary market for its stock.

Such a company would probably be asked to comply with a new/different set of rules and regulations than what exist today. The binary distinction of a private vs. public company is not going to be sufficient to capture the need for transparency and the fact that such a company will have an active/regular secondary market (albeit not publicly traded) will/should invite additional scrutiny and regulation.

This transitional class of company (a privately-traded company) can be viewed as a semi-private or semi-public company. If such a class of company dos exist in the future, it could further elongate the amount of time before companies enter the public phase of their existence.

Because of this transformation, I don’t really care when or if the Nasdaq actually does reach 10,000 because of the opportunities in private and privately-traded technology/software companies that continue to exist today.

Nasdaq 10,000 …Thank You FAANG? Marijuana? Bitcoin? Biotech? Esports?

The Nasdaq is back at all-time highs again tonight at over 7,800…so pretty much everything in my silly world is golden.

The last time I saw this many ‘breakouts’ I was 14 and looking in the mirror.

I’m celebrating like any 52 year old would do in 2018 …I’m loaded and lathered up on CBD’s.

Here is the long term chart of the Nasdaq:

We are a LONG way from Nasdaq 10,000 but it does feel like it could really happen.

I first blogged about Nasdaq 10,000 in 2014 after a conversation with eToro founder Yoni Assia. The Nasdaq was still below the year 2,000 bubble highs.

At Nasdaq 5,000 in the year 2,000, mobile phones were all Nokia. There was no mobile web. Eighty hipsters were stealing all the dial up from CD ROMS.

Cramer was somewhat interesting. Now Josh Brown and Joe Wiesenthal get Charlie Rose face time. Everyone is a curator and the celebrity and in charge of filters.

Taxi drivers were giving stock picks in 1999, now they are entreprenuers driving Uber’s, trying to figure out Google Maps to earn their keep.

Steve Jobs was about to rock Apple’s world and ours. Google was not public. Zuckerberg was in high school. Social and sharing on the web, now fabric, were not in the vocabulary of the web.

Yoni’s grandfather has lived past 100 which is a miracle, but all three of his young kids could make it easily.

Software, 3D printers, plunging oil prices…

China, India and a new financial system built around the blockchain that takes global trading to the next level, leaving America in the dust as a global financial superpower.

Last June, I revisited Nasdaq 10,000 as the Nasdaq passed 6,200. Amazon had just crossed $1,000 and $480 billion in market cap. My friend Michael Porat (corporate development at Cisco) was dead right as usual about the prospects for Amazon. Worth a full read again as Amazon passes $860 billion.

Since last June, Fat Nixon became President, Bitcoin bubbled and crashed, interest rates have skyrocketed, oil prices have doubled, coal is the new solar and you can see Russia from Washington DC…not just Alaska.

If I were to guess…Esports, Fintech and Biotech are the catalysts that get the Nasdaq over the 10,000 hump.

PS – Do read this piece on Esports titled ‘Confessions of a Digital Dinosaur‘.