I am Irrationally Exuberant

I am back from a long work trip to New York.

The trip was longer than the crypto bear market.

I am thrilled to be out of the cold. My joints were really starting to ache. It tuns out eating pizza every night does not help my knees.

I spent a lot of time meeting with founders and I remain irrationally exuberant about investing opportunities and the Social Leverage portfolio of companies.

The markets remain in beast mode. As further fuel, there are trillions that will flow back into the US from the tax breaks. If that was not enough, Softbank just sprinkled some quantitative Uber easing into the economy and there are hundreds of new cash rich Uber millionaires that wont just sit and count. They want to invest.

While smartphones, FANG and the social web is getting trounced on right now for contributing to the end of the world, I am doubling down on my time it seems as I continue to find smart people that as Jeff Bezos likes to say, will help me look around corners.

Beyond the Bitcoin Bubble

Let’s assume that everyone’s grumpy father in law is correct and we are in a Bitcoin bubble.

What’s next?

Steven Johnson has a great piece in the New York Times titled ‘Beyond the Bitcoin Bubble‘ which is worth a Saturday read.

If you are driving this weekend or working out, scroll through Abnormal Returns Friday podcast links (Tadas puts this together every Friday).

I am on a plane and will listen to this one on the ‘Cryptopocalypse

Have a great Saturday.

No Turning Back…Fintech Fintech Fintech

This made me laugh today amidst the losses in cryptoland from Stocktwits user @guidoish who titled this photo simply ‘compromise’:

The crypto genie can’t be put back in the bottle.

A next generation is hooked on the idea of big returns.

They will have their bear markets too, but at least they have been introduced to the markets.

When geeks talk about crypto they get excited about decentralization and the creation of a new world order, but I agree with Anthony Pompliano (ex Facebook and Snapchat product leads) that it’s the fractional ownership and the global 24/7/365 nature of these new products, in the era of the smartphone that are the most interesting aspects of crypto.

By the way…look at Gold perking up as crypto assets hit the skids.

Have a great Friday.

Bruce Springsteen on Broadway

I remember the summer of 1978 because my summer camp counselor at Camp New Moon would not stop playing Bruce Springsteen’s new album Darkness on the Edge of Town.

I have been a fan ever since.

Tonight I treated myself to Springsteen on Broadway with a friend Frank Pottow.

I did not read any reviews or know what to expect.

The show was fantastic from beginning to end.

I can’t believe Bruce is 68, mostly because he is still so damn good. The show was all about the lyrics, the guitar and the storytelling.

In classic and hilarious internet fashion, I posted the above picture on Twitter and got this response from a faceless, nameless internet troll with of course, endless opinions:

I must!

I Told You So Tuesday…The Crypto Crash of 2018

As I write this on Tuesday eve at 5 pm, cryptos and tokens are crashing. Bitcoin briefly traded below $10,000 and Ethereum back under $900.

We crashed (or are in the middle of a crash).

There are a ton of ‘I Told You So’s’ flying around my streams today.

I get a kick out of people trying to ‘save’ others from bad investments using social media. It’s the only thing worse than a ‘I Told You So’ tweet.

You can’t save people when a mania is underway. People will chase. The fever as I have chronicled here the past six months has been raging.

The media was fueling it.

I pick on #CNBC because they make it easy (here are some old posts that offered some advice to them). Here they were running a ‘How to Buy Bitcoin’ special with Bitcoin at $19,000 in December (this afternoon at Bitcoin $10,000 they will not run this same special which would be a much better time to run it and they won’t). By mid December I was nervous and started to sense we were on the ‘borrowed time‘ part of the mania and continued to sell some positions down.

The media continued feeding the fever.

Today, I sense a lot of nervousness. We went from confident to smug to nervous very fast. The rapid 1,000 percent rises followed by fifty percent crashes will do that.

It is very hard to make good decisions when you are nervous. I have been nervous hundreds of times when it comes to my positions and markets. I only got better at investing (and even trading) when I started to journal in 2005. I guarantee that all the best investors do it religiously.

If you want to be a better investor, write all your trades/investments down on paper or keep a digital journal. You do not have to share anything publicly. Find mentors and groups that don’t lecture, but lead by example. Find people that share and take responsibility for their ideas and they do it consistently. Most importantly when you find that person and/or group, be respectful, show some appreciation and pay it forward.

PS – Losing money is not funny, but the money business has always had a dark sense of humor. There are no feelings. In that vein…this was hysterical from Stocktwits today – many creative replies.

Group Frenzy and Hilariously Rich

The New York Times just took a dump on the crypto train on the weekend in this article titled ‘Everyone is Getting Hilariously Rich and You’re Not‘.

I met one of the roasted – Jeremy Gardner – in Tel Aviv this past November and blogged about the walk and chat we had. The kid is smart and a crack up. Nothing like the obnoxious rich yoots of past generations. I bought some of the $REP.X tokens and mentioned it in the post. At the time it was $19 and tonight the tokens are over $80 (they traded as high as $110 last week). No wonder The New York Times is upset with him. They were not in on the group chats or reading my blog and buying it for themselves.

I am not sure what Jeremy was expecting when he agreed to this piece, but I did tweet at him to never agree to major press pieces when you are doing well because they love to take you down.

What’s lost in the takedown is that this next generation is doing their own hustle and working the tools of their generation to make a few shekels. San Francisco was long gone wacko before the crypto craze, so I sighed a lot when I read the piece.

Which brings me to group chats which is not discussed enough in this era of crypto.

At the moment, I have more group chats going than ever.

I have iMessage groups, Telegram groups and Whatsapp groups. My phone is buzzing all day.

I am always bullish on groups.

You just have to be in the right groups.

Sunday in SOHO … From the Eyes of a Trend Follower

I am in NYC working for a bit.

It’s freezing here in the city, but the locals stay inside and the streets are quiet so I like that. This afternoon I got some shopping done in SOHO.

SOHO is my favorite part of New York. I like the low buildings, the light, the shopping and the streets. In 2008-2010, the Stocktwits HQ was out of an apartment I rented in SOHO.

It’s a little city within the city for people like me that like to shop, eat, people watch and check out brands new and old.

For movies, there is Angelica theatre (totally needs to be redone already).

There are great hotels.

Everything I wear has a store in SOHO. AG jeans, Apple store, Nike store on Spring (5 floors), Converse store (Broadway), Stance store for underwear and socks (Broadway). I get my dress shirts, coats and suits at ARI on West Broadway.

It’s not just the shopping…

I get my pizza at Prince Street or Lombardi’s.

Falafel at Taim’s.

I get cake at The Little Cupcake Bakeshop on Prince Street.

I did not know much about SOHO until Malcolm Gladwell’s book ‘The Tipping Point‘ in the early 2000’s. The Hush Puppies story really rung true to me.

I started to walk the streets and wonder why Malcolm Gladwell had not taken the next step in talking about trends and apply ‘tipping points’ to making money in stocks.

Ever since, SOHO is a place I spend a lot of time walking the streets to see how the big brands are thinking and how the newer brands are attacking.

Of course, SOHO has changed a lot in the last 10 years. Between Amazon and high real estate prices, the boutique retailer is all but gone. But, an emerging trend today is e-commerce ‘first’ brands launching ‘pop-up’ stores. In essence a ‘gig economy’ for new brands to test, launch and grow sales to a global audience of shoppers.

Despite all the changes, SOHO remains a trend followers dream.

State of The Markets…Everyone in the Pool

This made me laugh today:

One more laugh because it is Sunday and Hawaii was not obliterated.

Ok…here we go.

It is hard to find any weakness in the markets right now.

Scroll through this ‘Chartstorm‘ to see what I mean.

It is this once in a lifetime market that makes me glad I am a trend follower. I know I will be ‘long at the top‘. I like this riff from the post:

It seems people have a fear of being long at the “top” or caught in a bear market. I have pre-defined exit points for all positions. I know exactly what gets me in and what gets me out, I just don’t try to predict when it will happen or rationalize why. Trading with these pre-determined exit strategies allows me to continue to hold my long positions, risk-sized properly, with no hesitation or fear of being caught in a prolonged downtrend. My belief is that by knowing exactly what gets me out, from a technical price based perspective, I don’t feel the need to try to anticipate when the top is coming. I have fully accepted that I will be long at the top, that is the only way that I can ensure that I will catch the entire long term uptrends, which have been significantly profitable.

At the same time, I continue to believe the other side of this trend will be brutal and terrifying.

What do I mean?

I loved this piece from Morgan Housel titled ‘The Thrill of Uncertainty‘. I won’t pick any particular pieces to highlight because you should read it all.

Finally, take a look at this Bear Sterns chart (RIP 2008) as a friendly reminder of what can wrong when arrogance, fraud and leverage unwind…

Have a great Sunday.

Facebook Flinches… And Some Creative Hypergrowth Companies

Risk could not be more on. I continue to just try and enjoy the ride.

In a normal bull market, Facebook gapping down 5 percent (which it did on news I will see more posts from distant cousins versus fake Russian cousins) would cause some dislocation.

In this bull market, it means Twitter rises 5 percent and the Nasdaq rises too.

This is the biggest boom the world has ever seen.

Yesterday, the Microcap index broke out to all time highs.

Today the biotech index also broke to all-time highs.

Crypto? …well you know!

BTW…

Team Stocktwits has the ‘highlights page on the web and in the app if you want to check it once a day in the morning or after the markets. There is just no faster and visual place to get some ideas and see whats moving.

I spent this week in New York and Toronto talking to as many crypto and blockchain fanatics as I could and basically I fell further behind.

One new cool thing about this stretch of the boom are companies exploding in growth that are not buying growth on Google or Facebook.

This story on the ‘magic’ rapid rise of @HQtrivia, which does not even have a web page, is a great read and a hopeful sign of some creative and cool apps that could be coming.

Next, I am blown away by the way Binance ($bnb.x on Stocktwits) which did an ICO and used tokens to create demand for their crypto exchange. They are now the fastest growing profitable unicorn in history.

New marketing attacks and hacks to the social growth systems and for the first time in a while, marketing and customer acquisition money out of the Google, Facebook marketing clutches.

Bad if you are long Facebook today, but good if you are a founder with a good product trying to create a plan to grow creatively.

Howard Lindzon – A Kind of Internet Celebrity

What a burn of this guy Howard Lindzon from Strictly VC (thanks Niv):

I guess being ‘kind of’ an internet celebrity means the press can butcher the spelling of your name!

If you would like to come see Hoeard Lindzon talk about markets and trends in the flesh… Stocktoberfest East was announced today. It is April 25th, in Manhattan at a great venue (same as last year). We are putting together another amazing lineup of traders and investors that will prepare you for the rest of the year.