Co-Founder and President of Fundamental Global Lewis Johnson Joins Me on Panic with Friends to Discuss the Business of Investing – from Asset Management to the Nature of Cycles

It was fun to have my friend Lewis Johnson on the podcast. I met Lewis a few years back through my old friend Lowell Kamin in Toronto. Lowell was sending me Lewis’s research and we started to chat. I am fascinated by the changes in the financial advisory industry and Lewis was nice enough to share his firms origin story. Lewis is in Naples, Florida so we eventually got around to some fishing stories and Lewis gave me an open invite. I took him up on the offer last year and we had a great day of fishing.

I think you will enjoy this conversation Lewis and I had recently on the possible cycle changes at hand and the benefits of asset allocation. If you listen closely you will notice that one of us has a slight accent.

You can listen to the podcast here on Spotify or Apple.

For more details on the conversation keep reading…

Guest: Lewis Johnson

Profile: Co-Founder & President of Fundamental Global; Co-CIO of Capital Wealth Advisors

Where to Find Him: LinkedIn, Twitter

Fun Fact: Lewis loves to fish, which is something he can take advantage of as a Florida resident. I’ve had the pleasure of going tarpon fishing with him in the past. He’s great company to keep.

What’s the Panic About:

I had the pleasure of catching up with my good friend Lewis Johnson on this episode of Panic. Lewis has an incredible background, garnering titles like UPenn Wharton MBA grad, money manager, stock picker, researcher and entrepreneur. Lewis’ company, Fundamental Global, is an alternative asset management firm which advises on over $2 billion of assets through its affiliates and deals in research, portfolio diversification and investment advice. If you’re looking for asset management experience and advice – or just someone to go fishing with – he’s your guy. In this episode, Lewis and I had a wide-ranging conversation, discussing managing alternative assets, the value of research and data, his work at Fundamental Global, the markets, the industrialization of China, gold, the Next Big Thing, supply and demand, cycles, crypto, decentralization, SPACs, education, silver lines in COVID-19 and more. It was clearly a smörgåsbord of a discussion. Enjoy!

The Takeaway:

An important insight Lewis touched on is that cycles are powerful. The ‘Next Big Thing’ could be starting now, in two weeks or even a year. But if there’s one question you should listen to Lewis’ response to, I recommend starting at the 23 minute mark and hearing his answer to “What we don’t know that keeps him up at night.”

Favorite Quotes:

“Price is the traffic cop that balances supply and demand.”

“More data does not mean better decisions.”

“Investing can be very humbling and very punishing.”

“If you can communicate a message with humility – what you know and don’t know – people respond.”

Food for Thought:

One thing I admire about Lewis is his intellectual curiosity. He’s got a great monthly publication, Trends and Tail Risks, where he offers in-depth investing insights. If you want to get more into Lewis’ mind after you finish listening to this episode, I recommend taking a look.

PS – I am now doing two ‘Panic With Friends’ podcasts per week. Thanks for listening and make sure you subscribe over on Spotify or Apple.

My Latest Thoughts on 8 to 80 Portfolio Companies

Last month, I wrote about the new “8 to 80 Portfolio” we’re now offering at Compound (click here for an intro and FAQ).

Since then, Charlie Bilello has written up deeper dives into a number of portfolio companies. Below are my thoughts from each of those posts.

If of interest, feel free to reach out to me or Charlie to learn more about the 8 to 80 Portfolio.

Apple

“Apple is now almost all about subscriptions. There are now one billion iPhone users and growing, but the stock won’t be valued on hardware growth anytime soon. This is a great piece on the state of Apple from the research team at Above Avalon that focuses almost completely on Apple research/coverage.

I do think that accessories and wearables like the watch and the airpods are underestimated in terms of the lockdown to the Apple ecosystem. The airpods have brought incredible joy and productivity to my day, opening up the world of podcasts and music and even phone calls.” – Howard Lindzon

Read Full Apple Post Here

Amazon

“Amazon has been one of my 8 to 80 stocks from the beginning. Amazon has the brand and the products that people live with from the crib to their final homes. It is my proxy for the cloud, ecommerce and the digital economy.

At their size, Amazon is a planet, not just a company and a country. It moves where it likes. The government can’t stop it, but Jeff Bezos could, if he wanted, spin off AWS if he thought it would help the overall valuation of the combined businesses.

Amazon will never, ever, ever be cheap. As a planet, they will always get the benefit of the doubt from investors. There will be times when the mood of the market changes and Amazon does drop 20-50 percent. When it does, remember how they think about turning their costs into sources of revenue (see chart below) and you should be able to keep your cool and add into panics, not sell.” – Howard Lindzon

Read Full Amazon Post Here

Google

“Google has been the ugly duckling of FAANG. Microsoft, which is not in the FAANG gets more love. So does Tesla.

I have done 120 episodes of ‘Panic With Friends’ that talk about investing, markets and stocks and Google rarely gets mentioned.

As always, though, I think Google has many cards to play and tricks up their sleeves. They are behind Microsoft and Amazon in the cloud, but I would not count them out of AI. I do think they need to be more aggressive with acquisitions (remember Android, YouTube, DoubleClick), but I am confident they will go on the attack again soon.

Despite the lack of attention, Google has been the best performing FAANG stock of late, hitting all-time highs daily and the ongoing DOJ investigation will likely slip away under the new president.

With Search, YouTube, Gmail, Maps and Android I continue to hold Google as an 8-80 company in my portfolio.” – Howard Lindzon

Read Full Google Post Here

Netflix

“Netflix continues to be a buy the dip stock for me in my 8-80 portfolio.

The growth of course can’t possibly keep up with the last 5 years and the competition for attention will keep coming as we have seen even Apple TV release some of my favorite shows of the year.

That said, I still go to Netflix first and it remains Netflix’s war to lose.

Just this week Ellen and I spent eight hours binging on ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ which was fantastic.” – Howard Lindzon

Read Full Netflix Post Here

Spotify

“Spotify has been a new addition in 2020 to my 8-80 portfolio. Spotify is a founder led company that has never had it easy. It has battled the music industry (a business with terrible margins) and internet juggernauts around the world to build a top global brand. I believe the podcast and AirPods have helped make Spotify a buy the dip company for the very long term.” – Howard Lindzon

Read Full Spotify Post Here

Have a great Saturday.

Disclaimer: All information provided is for educational purposes only and does not constitute investment, legal or tax advice, or an offer to buy or sell any security. For our full disclosures, click here.

Invesco’s John Hoffman and Nasdaq’s Sean Wasserman Join Me on Panic with Friends to Discuss the Mother of All ETFs ($QQQ) and Investing in Innovation

If you read my blog you know I have been banging the drum about owning $QQQ over $SPY forever. Technology has been the place for your money and going forward I expect more of the same as technology bleeds into healthcare and biotech which also make up large parts of the $QQQ. You can see all the $QQQ holdings here on Koyfin.

A few weeks ago Invesco teamed up with The Nasdaq to launch a suite of $QQQ new products including the $QQQJ (up and comers). I thought this was an excellent idea and decided to go deeper in a podcast with the people closest to it. Thanks to my good friend Allan Schoenberg for coordinating it all.

You can listen to it right here on Apple or Spotify.

For more details on the podcast keep reading….

Guests: John Hoffman & Sean Wasserman

John’s Profile: Head of Americas, ETFs & Indexed Strategies at Invesco

Sean’s Profile: Vice President, Global Head of Index & Advisor Solutions at Nasdaq

Where to Find John: LinkedIn

Where to Find Sean: LinkedIn

What’s the Panic About:

We brought on Invesco’s John Hoffman and the Nasdaq’s Sean Wasserman to talk about the ETFs of all ETFs – QQQ. Invesco, a global asset management firm, is the father of the QQQ ETF, which launched with the Nasdaq over 20 years ago. John says the company now manages just north of $1.2 trillion (no big deal). Now, Invesco and Nasdaq are expanding their partnership to launch the Invesco QQQ Innovation Suite. This will offer investor access to the NASDAQ-100 and NASDAQ Next Gen 100 portfolios. I won’t go into too much detail because Sean and John are the real experts in this space. But I will say after listening to this episode, you will feel like an ETF and QQQ expert. In this episode, the three of us have a wide-ranging discussion about all things QQQ, ETFs, Invesco and Nasdaq’s new partnership product, investor relationships, managing & building portfolios, the democratization of investing, network effects, emerging tech companies, the next generation of young investors and more.

The Takeaway:

Success is not an overnight thing. QQQ started a little over 20 years ago, and their growth didn’t just happen on day one. Innovation and growth is a long-term investment, and one that the teams behind QQQ continues to make.

Favorite Quotes:

“The ETF as a delivery mechanism for investors has really transformed the way portfolios are built and capital is allocated.”

“The major breakthrough in all of this is bringing all these investors together in one democractic vehicle.”

“You don’t have to sell during these periods of stress, but if you want to – you can.”

Food for Thought:

I think you all will have enough thoughts about QQQ to last for at least a week after listening to this episode. So, I want to leave you all with a big THANK YOU to everyone who supported and came out on Saturday to Stocktwits’ charity poker tournament, with all the proceeds from the event going toward Wall Street Bound. Over $70,000 was raised.

PS – I am now doing two ‘Panic With Friends’ podcasts per week. Thanks for listening and make sure you subscribe over on Spotify or Apple.

Happy Thanksgiving

There has been a lot of pain in 2020.

I am grateful to have been spared.

I missed last year’s Thanksgiving completely. I was in the hospital and out cold from an infection post surgery.

I only remember the pain at this point. I missed two weeks of writing before and after this post.

This year will be very quiet and I am looking forward to it. I will try and savor every minute of it.

I hope everyone here has a great Thanksgiving and really appreciate all the support the last year.

Dow 30,000 and High Performance Underwear

Nothing says Dow 30,000 more than me getting served an ad for High Performance Underwear on Instagram while killing time waiting for my home Nespresso machine to spit me out an espresso.

Of course I am going to try a pair. I imagine my sharts will smell like fresh orange peels and further be turned into fuel that will earn me enough money to buy another pair of high performance underwear.

But I digress…

Before reading on please stoop by the Stocktwits store and buy as many Dow 30k t-shirts that you can.

Dow 30,000 is a nice round number to do some remembering.

I remember where I was when the Dow crossed 10,000 (1999) because and I wrote about in when the Dow was about to cross 20,000 in late 2016. (little known fact – the move from Dow 9,000 to 10,000 was fueled by the FDA approval of Viagra in 1998).

In late 2006 the Dow crossed 10,000 once again and rushed to 12,000. I had started Wallstrip and we made a show dedicated to Dow 12,000. I loved making these.

So here we are at Dow 30,000 in 2020 and just back in March the Dow was at 18,000.

My best advice now that we have finally gotten to Dow 30,000…turn off the TV and ignore all the people that tell you they know what will happen next.

Have a great Wednesday.

The FOMO Is Back…BUT…What If This Is The Start Of The Bull Market?

We have come a long way since the panic in March. At one point on March 12th, the $VIX hit 90 and the Stocktwits Social $VIX was 2.5 (2.5 bullish messages to bearish messages). Here is my blog post from that day.

That panic led to a bottom in prices over the next week and a rally that has been epic in nature.

Yesterday, the indexes all closed at or near all-time highs, the $VIX closed down at 22 and the Stocktwits Social $VIX was THIRTEEN (13). Thitrteen is the highest ratio I can remember in my 12 years looking at the data. Stocktwits users are giddy for good reason. Their IPO’s, SPAC’s, Chinese Electric Vehicle stocks, Semiconductor stocks, weed stocks and Crypto tokens rise every day. They don’t have time for FAANG anymore!

March was misery and November is giddy.

I am neither amused, or excited or worried… I am just in awe.

Ryan Detrick shared a chart of the small cap sector yesterday that showed it having its best month in history. Here it is:

Only February 2000 was as close to this good. What followed that spike was years of misery and poor returns.

I have no idea what lies on the other side of this incredible rally but I do know that anytime I say something the least bit optimistic on Twitter I get tweets yelling back ‘THE TOP’ at me.

Market bottoms, at least for me have, are much easier to spot than tops.

Like I said yesterday, this positive momentum is something I will keep riding, not trade against.

It is rare to see this strength in small caps and usually bullish

Most interesting is this chart of the $VIX that shows if the $VIX can close below 21, it will end one of the longest streaks above 21. What has followed from previous high streaks is a long bull market…

I can feel the FOMO in the air and in the tweets, but what if this is just the start of another bull market?

Have a great day.

Momentum Monday – What Is Not Working?

As a reminder, Marketsmith (by Investor’s Business Daily) is now a sponsor of the weekly show. All the charts you have been seeing in the videos and will continue to see are from Marketsmith. They are offering my readers a three week trial for $19.95. Click this link if you would like to try it out.

On my long ride yesterday in North Scottsdale I saw a bobcat just off the road

I am not superstitious but I think that means hunting for stocks will be good for at least two months.

Getting right to it, each Monday Ivanhoff and I tour the markets looking at the momentum and it had been easy to find.

Here is this week’ episode...have a watch/listen. There are some new ideas as usual.

Disclaimer: All information provided is for educational purposes only and does not constitute investment, legal or tax advice, or an offer to buy or sell any security. For full disclosures, click here

What A Year For Fashology and Brad Gerstner On High Flying Growth

Before I get started, yesterday my link to the Barclay’s SPAC research was a bad one. Here you go:

Barclays_US_Equity_Linked_Strategies_SPAC_Metamorphosis (1)

Onwards…

My fashology list expanded in 2020. I added Anta Sports (the $LULU of China) in January (here is my blog post) and Farfetch ($FTCH) a few months ago in the 20’s (shared on Stocktwits).

Through Friday, the list has had an incredible year:

The list still remains small at seven. You can follow the list on Koyfin if you have an account (it is free).

In hindsight, fashology might have been the biggest winner of COVID as most of America worked from home and could live in the clothing most comfortable to them. I am ok with being lucky. I am a Rapha guy myself, but I am a fickle fashologist so who knows what 2021 will bring to my wardrobe.

I do NOT expect 2021 to be as rewarding for high growth stocks and that means my fashology stocks, not just software and internet stocks.

As I write about each Monday, momentum is hard to time so I try to let it run it’s course, but in the back of my mind it does feel like we are on borrowed time for these multiples.

If we are on borrowed time, who better than Brad Gerstner of Altimiter Capital to talk about what may happen next. I mentioned Brad yesterday and shared his interview/podcast re SPAC’s.

Brad offered up some great insights in this interview and I highly recommend you take the time to listen.

Brad also launched a SPAC recently which trades under the ticker $AGCUU (Altimeter Growth – no position).

I am off for my Sunday ride. Have a great day.

The Halfway Point …..And My SPAC Learnings

My friend Barry has a good post titled ‘The Halfway Point‘ (Barry was on my podcast recently and we had a bunch of laughs). The gist:

Here is a shocking observation:

The pandemic lockdown began in March of 2020. As of today, the two leading vaccine candidates from Pfizer and Moderna are requesting FDA approval for emergency use, then a fast track approval for distribution. These should become available in Q1, then be more widely distributed in Q2 and Q3. Best estimates for any form of herd immunity is later next year. Expectations are for life to begin to return to normal — meaning, going to back to work, mask-less social interactions, commuting, public events, etc. — are for sometime around June 2021.

From the March 2020 lockdown to a June 2021 re-opening is a 16-month span. The halfway mark? It’s today.

Imagine someone came to you and said the following: You will be locked up at home with only a limited ability to travel locally for 6 month to a year. You can do whatever you want over that period. What would you want the results of that soft incarceration to be?

Assuming this is just the halfway point, I have a lot of time to keep on keeping on with some big projects I took on.

I took up podcasting and I love doing it. I might be making too many episodes, but I have so many smart people I want to talk too.

This year – if you are a reader you know this – I have also become fascinated with SPAC’s.

I have been working with a great group of people to make our own SPAC mark on the world.

In the meantime. I wanted to share two great reads and a listen on the subjects of SPAC’s.

The first is from Barclay’s research titled ‘SPAC Metamorphosis

The next is from Peter Hebert of Lux Capital titled ‘The once obscure, derided financial product that just might transform deep tech venture capital‘.

The last is a Patrick O’Shaugnessy podcast with guests Rich Barton (Zillow CEO) and Brad Gerstner (Altimeter Capital). The first 20 minutes are a fantastic discussion about the possibilities and opportunity of SPAC’s. Have a listen.

Wall Street Bound Founder and CEO Troy Prince Joins Me on Panic with Friends to Discuss Investing in Diversity and Our Youth

Troy Prince cold emailed me a couple years back about his Wall Street Bound non profit and I had to meet him. We met for a bagel in Grammercy and we hit it off. He has been on a mission to bring the language of finance and the markets to inner street youth. Like Troy, I believe anyone and everyone should learn this language and as Troy says – ‘Talent and IQ are equally and universally distributed‘.

Have a listen to our conversation on Apple or Spotify.

For more details on the conversation read on below.

Guest: Troy Prince

Profile: Founder and CEO of Wall Street Bound

Where to Find Him: LinkedIn, Twitter, Email

Fun Fact: Troy says he was first introduced to the stock market in high school after reading “Market Wizards” by Jack Schwager.

What’s the Panic About:

Troy Prince is a native New Yorker, first generation Carribean immigrant, world traveler, veteran trader and founder of the incredible nonprofit Wall Street Bound. No words can express how much I admire and respect the work Troy does. His nonprofit, Wall Street Bound, teaches the technical “hard” skills of finance and the “soft” skills of corporate culture to help get inner city youth into front office intern positions on Wall Street. In short, Troy is helping connect marginalized and underrepresented groups to capital markets. In this episode, Troy and I discuss all things Wall Street Bound: the 15 year journey of starting the company; what services, programs and curriculum is provided; their progress; where Troy sees the company in the next five years; their success and more. We also talk more holistically about onboarding the next generation of investors, leveling the playfield and the value of social capital. I hope you learn something new after listening to this episode.

The Takeaway:

We need to do better at using our networks and resources to help onboard the next generation of traders, investors, founders and more who reflect the world we live in. The excuse “we can’t find them” just isn’t going to cut it. Troy’s nonprofit work is proof of that.

Favorite Quotes:

“I don’t think we have to argue that talent and IQ are universally distributed.”

“Given the opportunity, these young people can do lots of things that can surprise us all.”

“That’s how you get access to capital — not only can you learn by doing, but you can also have generational impact.”

Food for Thought:

In case you missed my recent episode with Stocktwits CEO Rishi Khanna, Stocktwits’ first ever Chips for Charity poker tournament is fast approaching. And guess what? All the proceeds from the event go toward Wall Street Bound! I’m so excited for these two companies that are near and dear to my heart to be collaborating. The event is November 21 at 2 p.m. EST. Here’s the link if you’re interested in learning more: Chips For Charity.

PS – I am now doing two ‘Panic With Friends’ podcasts per week. Thanks for listening and make sure you subscribe over on Spotify or Apple.