It has been a great year, but one of worst investments ever in terms of laziness, greed and stupidity has slapped me in the face again – Cars Direct (INET).
I have written about my dumb investment often and their recent IPO provides a fitting ending to the absurdity and waste of money. It also is a ‘How To’ in ignoring your investors, paying off investment banks, burying and bullying investors with paperwork and going public at the absolute wrong moment and for the wrong reasons.
Many people boast about investing at he height of the bubble, but my wire to CarsDirect bank account perfectly coincided with the peak. As it crossed the line of ‘wired money no return’, the Nasdaq dropped 100 points in an instant and Nasdaq 5,000 was gone. Poof. So was my money.
Or so I thought.
As CarsDirect found some legs and a bull market for internet, it changed it’s name to Internet Brands and somehow squeezed out a crappy IPO a few weeks back . Trust me that nobody knew the date was upon us, they forgot to tell even us the investors. They brought back a stock symbol from another crap Company Instinet (INET) to get it done. Fitting. ZERO would be the more appropriate symbol. They changed lead underwriters a week before the IPO, did a last minute reverse split to stick it to us one last time than snuck out a loose $8 IPO price on a down 300 Dow Day, $4 below the $12 price set just a few days ago. It’s already busted (below IPO) even after a 700 point Dow run.
So, for a lousy $20 million dollars (they had raised $1 billion in 2000), they decided to wipe 75 percent of my equity out in one week. Nice.
The deal had been a bad joke until that point. Now, I think it just borders on criminal behavior and I am making inquiries.
The joke of a process they conducted is worth chronicling because I made so many mistakes right up to agreeing sell my shares at the IPO price.
Sometime in 2004 after NEVER having gotten a Company update (no investors did) and having a pretty good year myself, I wrote the thing off. It was the only positive thing Cars Direct had to offer me in 4 years. Therefore, the 15 percent of my investment that I eventually received a few weeks ago was a ‘tiny’ surprise. The surprise that I won’t let go so fast at this point is the conduct by management, Bill Gross and Thomas Wiesel (Weasel) to stick it to investors one last time.
I just unfriended Bill Gross ( Mr. ‘Dumb’ Idealabs) on Facebook. I just friended a good security lawyer in exchange :) .
Disclosure – Lawyers always win