Dirty Money and Pharmapalooza

Before I get started this was funny.

Ok onward…

I watched a few episodes of a new Netflix documentary series called Dirty Money with Ellen today.

The Valeant episode was excellent.

Valeant never interested me on the way up. Pharmaceuticals and biotechs are too complicated for me to understand. Wall Street and greedy executives take advantage of these complications.

The whole company was rigged. Wall Street got paid to play along. Here is a chart:

From 2008-2014 CNBC played along as well, covering the industry with the term ‘pharmapalooza’. You can search it. Cheerleading not reporting.

I cheerlead. I root for my positions. It’s also why I generally focus on companies whose products I use everyday and can understand the catalysts for profit and growth.

I think it is important to remember that things can go really wrong when everyone is leaning one way or just looking the other way.

From a check of Google search, CNBC stopped using the term ‘pharmapalooza’ in 2014.

No wonder Amgen and Pfizer are breaking out to highs as we speak.

The Race to 1 Trillion

I have long thought Apple would be the first company to get to $1 trillion in market capitalization, but the race is heating up.

Here is the latest:

Tencent has moved into the TOP FIVE and I would imagine 95 precent of investors do not know who they are or what their ticker symbol is.

I would not be shocked to see Tencent in the top 3 next year. If America stumbles just a bit, Tencent may find themselves (with some acquisitions) the first company to get to $1 trillion.

PS – This Oxfam report titled ‘Reward Work, Not Wealth‘ is an eye opening read. This one stat really blew my mind:

42 people own the same wealth as the bottom 3.7 billion people.

Have a great weekend.

Robinhood Goes Crypto

I am thrilled to see Robinhood announce (launch in February) zero commission Crypto trading.

Part of the thrill of this fintech boom is seeing companies like Robinhood that we have invested in and/or products I want to see come to life.

I actually got the news this morning via text from a few friends. Robinhood is careful not to tell me everything because I am ‘chatty’.

Robinhood is the first major brokerage to add support for cryptocurrency trading. No small feat.

I suspected Robinhood would be launching this in 2017 so I was only a month off.

Jeff Morris who leads the revenue team at Tinder sums this launch up the best:

The skeptics will continue to laugh, but Josh Brown sums it up further:

You can tell these kids whatever you want about the olden days but they don’t care. Unless they all go to zero, it’s game on.

I texted a congrats to Robinhood founders Vlad and Baiju and also a bug that I was seeing with the app upgrade. I have the uncanny ability to break apps and find bugs.

Later in the day, I was chatting with Baiju about how I liked the look and feel and caught up on their accomplishments. It really is an exciting company.

I Want To Sleep While I’m Alive

I googled ‘I Want to Sleep While I’m Alive’ and the first result was Bon Jovi’s ‘I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead‘.

I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead has it’s own Wikipedia page.

I guess I now own the search term’I Want to Sleep While I’m Alive’ with this blog post.

I write about sleep a lot on this blog.

When I was young I reveled in my ability to stay awake.

In college, 2 am meant everyone else was asleep and I could begin to cram.

I marvel at people that tell me about their naps and I hold a special disdain for people that can sleep in an airplane middle seat (not those knocked out by United Airlines staff of course).

I’m not alone in saying I want to sleep when I’m alive.

I think sleep is a superpower.

No wonder Resmed ($RMD) continues to make all-time highs:

They are the only pure play public company that focuses on sleep. Hedge funds that want sleep exposure have to own it. Back in 2006, I Wallstripped Respironics which is a competitor to Resmed (since gobbled up). Here is the proof (go to minute 2-30 to laugh at me).

I kick myself for not holding this stock. The fact that I sold it 15 points ago is just another reason I will sleep restlessly tonight.

I’m cursed.

PS – If someone wants to start a ‘SLEEP’ ETF …hit me up. I think it will perform better than the ‘Blockchain ETF’s’ launching daily.

Melt Up… and My First Momentum Monday of 2018.

I have been pretty brief with recent posts but I have a lot of links and ideas to get off my chest.

Let me start with a laugh.

First off…this is just hysetrical. You can fill in any tagline and it works:

Now, here we go with your OMG (this is not a jew) video of the day:

Ok…here we go.

What a giant party every day the markets open. At this point in the boom we should all submit a yearly return we want on our cash accounts to Janet Yellen and Trump and just close the markets.

Although it’s been easy to make money – if you are long – this stat blew my mind about the S&P:

Since 1993, if you bought the S&P 500 on the open and sold on the close each day, your return would be -5.2%…

But if you did opposite (bought on the close, sold on the open the next day) your return would be a stunning 568%.

(meaning more than all of the S&P’s investment performance came in after-hours trading)

As fun as the markets are, they are broken in so many ways.

The good people at GGV Capital shared this today which is one reason markets remain broken…investment banks won’t do non unicorn IPO’s.

No wonder ICO’s, tokens and cryptos are the craze. In fact, more than TEN percent of the $3.7 billion raised in ICO’s has been stolen. So, millennials and global traders think that having 10 percent stolen is a fair price to pay for not dealing with bankers.

If I was younger and richer I would be putting together a boutique investment bank to help leading series D software companies get public NOW. Obviously this window will shut, but nobody knows when.

It’s not just public markets raging.

The Global VC market hit a decade high at $155 billon invested (or pissed away) with $48 billion coming from China!

Coinbase which charges commissions to buy digital currencies that your nephews and cousins trade with their Korean doppelgangers while playing ‘World of Warcraft’, did $1 billion in sales in 2017. Oh My god. Of course Coinbase today hired Twitter’s head of customer support. Makes sense that the person in charge of letting Trump tweet and Russian trolls roam wild now is in charge of support at the largest firm selling currencies to kids at high commissions.

Ok back to the markets…

Michael Batnick had a great post with some stats that made me shake my head:

Amazon gained 56% in 2017. Google gained 33%. Apparently that wasn’t enough. Year-to-date they’ve tacked on another 12.5% and 10.6% respectively, adding a combined $147,782,647,497 in market capitalization.

Amazon’s market cap was $70 billion in 2011. It just added the equivalent amount in fourteen days. That’s bigger than Colgate-Palmolive and General Motors and Marriott and 83% of companies in the S&P 500. Things are starting to get silly, and it’s not just happening at the company level, it’s showing up in the indexes.

There were massive biotech deals today as the large bought the small. The small cap biotech index is now back at all-time highs:

Amgen – the granddaddy of biotechs also hit all-time highs. That’s not bearish!

It’s so raging out there that I decided to do a ‘Momentum Monday Video’ with Ivanhoff this afternoon to tour a bunch of sectors and ideas. I hope you enjoy.

The Rise of Solar and Wind

I have blogged here for 12 years and rarely write about oil or energy.

I have no clue how it all works.

My friend Gregor does. He has been writing about it the ‘powergrid’ and energy for a few decades.

In 2015 we chatted and he told me to keep it simple and own $GRID. So I bought some and put it away.

It’s no Bitcoin, but I have held it and it has performed well, especially the last 12 months.

Today, Gregor is out with a new series on the rise of Solar and Wind and if this interests you, I recommend spending a few dollars and downloading it.

The short version is as Gregor told me today… stick with $GRID.

Here is a tear sheet on the $GRID ETF.

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.