A LOT Going on…Pay Attention

Stocktoberfest is March 29-30 in NYC and here is some background for those interested in attending:

Stocktoberfest East is for traders, investors, fintech entrepreneurs and those who invest in them, financial media, and others all collaborating on “What comes next?” in the financial markets. Join us for an intimate discussion with some of the greatest minds disrupting and developing the industry today. The event will feature a speaker series, company demos, fireside chats with top executives, and the first ever “Cashtag Awards,” an award ceremony celebrating “The good, the bad, and the ugly of the markets.”

Onward to today’s post….

The world is moving so fast as we stare at our screens.

I have not played golf/picked up a club for 90 plus days. That’s ridiculous especially living in Phoenix so I plan on playing this week.

At our fund Social Leverage, we made our fist Phoenix investment in a long time – Commloan. My partner Tom led the deal with some local investing friends/partners.

I rarely use this blog anymore to talk about our portfolio companies but I intend to start doing that again so readers can see how we are thinking…not just about public stocks.

One of our fast growing portfolio companies is NoRedInk. The product is focused on helping students improve their grammar and writing skills. As the machines take over our lives, writing becomes one of those ‘human’ skills that becomes even more important if you want to stand out at your job. There are over 20 open jobs right now at NoRedInk .

The fintech space has heated up again – a lot has to do with the changes coming to regulation with the new administration and the spike in bank capitalizations.

I am obviously thrilled to see this.Last May I had a bad feeling about a slowdown and ‘bubble’ behavior in fintech. Most issues that made me nervous about the fintech vertical seem to be resolving themselves in the public markets as bank and brokerage stocks explode higher.

Elsewhere…I shared the Tom Wheeler interview on the FCC and open internet yesterday and Fred Wilson has chimed in on this too with a very bearish outlook and how he sees the landscape for the internet changing.

As the big get bigger and the ‘no big is too big’ era gets exploited, expect our costs of accessing and using the internet to inflate.

By the way – Gold has crept up 10 percent the last few months and I guess that makes sense:

I don’t own any gold and have no interest in owning it, but Bitcoin (I do own some) is back over $1,000. The Blockchain is the fintech buzzword of the year and one person who knows a lot about it is Nick Tomaino (he will be speaking at Stocktoberfest). This piece on tactical investing in blockchain assets is great.

Finally – Twitter has crept back to $18 and they report their ‘lack of earnings’ on Thursday. It will be very interesting how their slow growth and all the revenue team changes. They have to switch the narrative and Thursday needs to be the day. Snapchat S1 and $25 billion valuation is all about ‘future’ invention and potential ARPU growth. Twitter can’t compete with Snapchat young audience engagement story or compare themselves to Facebook. I hope they admit their limitations, take massive writedowns/layoffs and focus on getting massive ARPU growth from the huge, addicted users/audience they have today! Being a cash machine is not a bad thing.

Have a great day.

Also published on Medium.