The Rockstar …Liam Gallagher Speaks For Every Old and Angry Pre-Internet Person

This rant made my day.

Liam is a rockstar (my friend John Maloney calls him a legend..fine). I love Oasis. I am listening to a few songs now as a tribute to this post.

There is so much truthiness in Liam’s rant.

Music has really changed. I guess I am part of the problem as I once lived on iTunes and now live on Spotify. I do not pay enough!

I guess the thousands of classic rock songs I flip through and play each day will have to do.

Being a rockstar was never easy and now it is harder.

Yo Liam:

SAME. WITH. EVERY. PROFESSION.

Post YouTube, Uber and AirBNB…everyone is a rockstar!

Just today, Tadas posted this awesome piece on how investing was never easy and just getting harder.

The bigger problem for investors may be that the challenge of investing is only likely to get more difficult. Michael Mauboussin in his book and elsewhere has discussed the idea of the ‘paradox of skill.’ Mauboussin describes it:

In investing, as in many other activities, the skill of investors is improving on an absolute basis but shrinking on a relative basis. As a consequence, the variance of excess returns has declined over time and luck has become more important than ever…This process is called the paradox of skill.

Above all, Mauboussin says investors need to play “attractive games” where they are not the obvious patsy. This is easier said than done. For investors who don’t want to play the active investment game there are plenty of options. For those who choose to continue to play, remember that investing wasn’t ever easy and likely won’t be getting easier any time soon

I think this rant should be a meme and I hope some leaders in other industries pick up on it.

I expect more rants like this from older people in every profession.

PS – Speaking of old, angry and in this case ‘potential rockstar/legend’ this quote from LaVar Ball on the price and timing changes to the new ‘Big Baller‘ is an instant classic:

“What happens if you ordered a 2017 diesel, and I came out and told you, sight unseen, that I was giving you a 2018 Bugatti for the same price?” Ball said. “You wouldn’t ask for a refund.”

The Tyrannosaurus Rex and Jamie Dimon

I was doing a fireside chat with Blair Livingston today for his team at StreetContxt in Toronto. Blair founded the Company back in 2012 and has built a fantastic content management, measurement and research distribution service for financial institutions. Our fund Social Leverage was a seed investor.

As always, the question of digital assets and crypto currencies came up…Will it be around in 10 years? Is it a bubble? What about China? Will the US regulate?

I went into my ‘Jurassic Park’ mode to explain. Back in 2013, I wrote this post which continues to be the simplest explainer to what could happen and what actually now has happened.

You better learn how to code.

Math and technology is winning over commodities in this epic run.

Obama promised us infrastructure. I guess cheap servers used to build Bitcoin was what he meant by infrastructure. Jurassic Park has been unleashed in the financial world. The economists have been calling for a currency war. While they have been busy writing books about the war, Jurassic Park happened.

I saw 40 people in the room relax and laugh, but they got it.

You do not want to be the banker sitting on the toilet when the T-Rex breaks through the fence.

I joked in another post in 2013, that I was using Zillow to search for home prices on Mt. Gox. It seemed funny at the time, but now Mt. Gox is long gone, so the joke would have been on me. The takeaway… while Bitcoin is here to stay, the landscape (winners and losers) is changing rapidly. Buyer beware. Risk management is everything.

The Looming Avocado Toast Shortage in China and Momentum Monday…on Wednesday

I heard an interesting fact from Marc Spilker this evening.

The US has 40 million millennials plowing through avocado toast and Tinder dates as we speak. China has 400 million!

Marc did not make any individual investment recommendations, but was making a point that we can talk all we want about a ‘bubble in China’ but he was not going to fight this powerful trend of globally, social, mobile connected consumers. Me neither as you know.

I have spent the last week coast to coast talking to LP’s, potential future LP’s (fund of funds), successful entrepreneurs, traders and investors and the money is flowing rather thick.

How is this all playing out right now in public markets?

With the exception of Russia, every country ETF in the world is positive in 2017 with an average return of 22.5%.

Here are some other charts and ideas…

Here are the financials that once again look poised to lead markets even higher…keep an eye. They make up 17 percent of the S&P:

Here is the shit (fertilizer stocks) literally hitting the fan (to the upside):

Did you know Lithium is on fire? A great read.

I joke that you must sell your Lithium prescription and take the proceeds to buy the Lithium ETF.

You do not need to get fancy in this market. A lot of boring stuff continues to work. For example – While AirBnB gets all the press…the hotel stocks have been a happy place for investors as well.

I am excited for the Jewish new year. I hope everyone has a happy and healthy one. I am heading back up to Toronto to spend it with family and friends.

All is Fair in Love and War…and Markets

All is fair in love, war and markets.

I own some Bitcoin and Jamie Dimon yelled fraud last week. In the course of a few days, Bitcoin fell 30 percent.

Today Wall Street Journal is calling it a ZERO .

Jesus H. Christ!

I also owned some $UBNT and today Citron research called ‘fraud’ on them. I woke up and saw the stock being pummeled.

I don’t have deep enough pockets to argue with the markets or the people that can move them.

Some days you wake up and just take lumps.

The question is what do you do next.

Unless it is one of my 8-80 stocks, I generally kick out any stock that gets attacked with ‘fraud’ and take my lumps. I did that with $UBNT. If Citron is wrong, today was just a gift to those that have conviction in Ubiqiti Networks ($UBNT).

Bitcoin fraud and zero calls I shrugged off. I love this line from a Bloomberg piece outlining what Jamie Dimon got wrong:

Asking a bank CEO what he thinks of bitcoin is like asking the head of the post office what he thinks of e-mail.

If anything the last few days are a good reminder that stocks and markets don’t just go up every day.

I hate getting blindsided, but that is part of the business.

Ten Years With a SmartPhone …All I Need…

I love this last scene from ‘The Jerk’ when Steve Martin goes off with ‘All I Need

In 2007, the smartphone took off when Apple got rid of the keyboard for a multi-touch interface.

As much as the smartphone has increased our productivity, some days I feel like Steve Martin/Navin R. Johnson. I wonder what the same scene would look like in 2017 if Steve could only take his smartphone and a few apps.

Google Maps was great before 2007, now it is the only I app I could not live without.

I need iMessage. I don’t need Whatsapp, Facebook, Messenger or Instagram.

I could live without Amazon Prime and Amazon, but I probably could not live without AWS.

I can’t live without Verizon. I wish I could.

I could live without Uber, but not without something Uber like to replace it.

In 2012, Netflix was nominated for ZERO Emmy’s, in 2017 91. I could live without it.

I love love love Spotify, but I could live without it.

I can live without Bitcoin and the Blockchain.

Ten years from now, I wonder what consumer technology products I won’t be able to live without?

Turning 52

I am not thrilled about being 52 years old today, but it’s better than the alternative.

I don’t have many regrets this past year.

Ellen is doing well and the kids are off to school and thriving.

I wanted to lose weight and get in better shape and I did that. I wanted to write here everyday on the blog and probably only missed a couple of days.

I wanted to orchestrate a smooth transition of Stocktwits off to Ian our CEO and we did that.

This year I want to focus on the creative side again, which I am lucky to have the freedom to do.

I can’t control the markets, but I can control my attitude.

I am chasing more smiles in year 53.

I Demand an Apology!

Nobody demanded an apology from me today.

I am thrilled.

Sadly, it seems like everyone is demanding apologies from everyone else on the internets.

I am settled into New York with Ellen after a hectic week of travel to the West Coast. I apologize for the flu that I no doubt spread throughout the Valley. It only seemed to affect Bitcoin.

Today was a perfect September day in the city.

I ran the streets at 6 am and than walked about 8 miles getting to all my meetings. To make the last one I did hitch a bike…

On Sunday I turn 52.

Ellen asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday and I said Murray’s bagels for breakfast, Mamoun’s falafel for lunch and Prince Street Pizza for dinner. How easy am I to please?

That said, I have big goals for my 53rd year.

Next week I am headed back to Toronto to hang with family and friends for the Jewish new year. I imagine mentioning the word Jewish here will have me targeted by Facebook and Twitter. I demand an apology in advance from Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg!

Have a great weekend everyone.

Picking Winners… and My New Book with Ivanhoff

A couple of shameless promotions to start:

1. I had this idea for a Stocktwits weekly email that highlighted the best 5-10 ideas from the 150,000 plus messages we get a day. Ian (our CEO) liked it and the team put it together and it is called ‘Rapid Ruturns’. It is FREE and you can sign up here.

2. My 3rd (and favorite) book ‘8 to 80 – The Next 1,000% Stocks and Trends That Everyone Can Ride’ is finally in my hands. Ivanhoff did a fantastic job pulling it together from our years of writing about stocks, markets and trends.

You can order it for free ($8 shipping and handling)

Or you can get it for free as part of my $79/year ‘Peloton’ monthly research newsletter.

I asked my friend Josh Brown if he would write the foreward to the book and he agreed. I was expecting something funny and punchy but what I got back was touching. I am so grateful that he has such good memories of our friendship and our efforts building a community. I have enclosed it below:

OK …now to the post…

While there is no such thing as passive investing, low cost index investing is a great way to participate in the market and it does guarantee you will own the next Apple and Google.

You will also own the next Nokia. And own it. And Own it. And Own it.

This Forbes cover from 2007 is exactly what I mean about ‘passive’ index investing:

I want to own the Nokia’s of the world when they are on their way to 1 billion customers, not when they are on their way off the S&P 500.

Picking winners is hard. Riding Winners is harder. Knowing when to exit (having a strategy to exit) winners is the hardest.

It is in my blood and I love the work. I am willing to put in the time and hone my discipline to focus on the very high returns possible from trend following individual stocks and certain markets.

Apple Baby

I get asked hundreds of times a day about passive versus active investing and what stocks to buy.

It’s a slippery slope but when pressed I have for years talked about Apple (and Google) as an ETF. I own them both.

It’s boring, but it has worked very well.

If you dollar cost average into either on Robinhood your cost has been less than buying the S&P at Vanguard and the results better. We could argue forever about diversification but I am comfortable that both Apple and Google offer better diversification for the world we live in.

Yesterday Apple officially announced the iPhone x and cellular watch.

As Maximus said in Gladiator…’are you not entertained?’

Sure – JP Morgan and Jamie Dimon stole a lot of geek media thunder yesterday by calling Bitcoin a fraud, but we all know the real fraud.

Sure JP Morgan stock was up and Apple was down because this is 2017.

All a distraction.

My favorite take on Apple in 2017 is from Om Malik titled ‘Steve Jobs’ Legacy and the iPhone X

Apple as now the most important chip (semiconductor) company and they have done this because it had to be done to control their own destiny.

Sure enough, Apple wants in on the Toshiba sale tonight.

I don’t know how you could diversify much better than owning the largest global hardware, software, chip, vertically integrated, biggest bank, most cash, largest hedge fund, lowest taxed, high margin, best retailer of all time.

Seems risky!

I guess owning a little Equifax and Wells Fargo with your S&P index fund is the answer?

The Content is the Kingmaker and The Platform is King

My friend Michael Porat invited me to speak at ICON in Palo Alto today.

The highlight of the day for me was listening to Jeffrey Katzenberg talk about strategy and video content.

To put it mildly, Jeffrey is excited about short form video for our mobile devices. It makes sense that he thinks Netflix is a buy. He’s talking his book. But, it was fun to hear him be as excited to play with an iPhone X as the rest of us thousandairres.

He’s super bullish on Hollywood which makes me think that Jeff Bezos and Amazon might just make their second HQ in Los Angeles, not Denver (do read this NY Times piece though).

Jeff explained that because of Silicon Valley, content is now just the kingmaker and it is the platform that is king.

Jeff also follows China very closely and offered some staggering stats. For instance, a recent film in China grossed $850 million in just THREE weeks. The movie is playing on 130,000 movie screens. For context, there are just 40,000 screens across all of America.

The best thing about Jeffrey’s chat was that he never mentioned Bitcoin. I don’t think he cares how you pay for the content that he’s going to fund and distribute.