Ben Hunt’s ‘Men Who Wear Hats‘ post has really got me thinking about my job. The gist:
What do Tesla, crypto, and men-who-wear-hats all have in common? They’re all driven by fashion, which is another word for the Common Knowledge game.
People get angry with me when they ask my opinion of Tesla, and I tell them it’s brilliant performance art. People get angry with me when they ask my opinion of Bitcoin, and I tell them it’s wonderfully innovative fashion. They think I’m putting them down, that terms like “fashion” and “art” are pejorative. They’re not. Not to me, anyway. My personal opinion is that there is no greater calling than to create Good Art. I love Good Art, and I will pay good money for Good Art. But I don’t kid myself and call it investing.
Buying Tesla stock or crypto coins is NOT investing, any more than buying an amazing Gucci jacket or a beautiful pair of Lucchese boots is investing. Yes, there’s an “investing” component to buying any security or any commodity, but that’s not what drives any of these behaviors. The primary meaning of owning Tesla stock or owning crypto or wearing fashionable things is to make an identity statement. To say to the world who you are and what you’re about.
Can you make money buying and selling fashion? Sure! Can you become very rich and famous by creating fashion or by commenting on fashion or by modeling fashion? Absolutely! But in the immortal words of Heidi Klum before she axes a contestant on Project Runway, “In fashion, one day you’re in, and the next day you’re out.”
I would take what Ben is saying and take it one step further when it comes to how I think about investing in public stocks (at least the ones that I like to own) and that is, the whole thing is fashion. I am just trying to own companies as they come into fashion (driven by catalysts) and get rid of them before they are two seasons behind and in the ‘everything must go’ bin.
I would be ecstatic if people called me an artist for picking stocks and great startup founders.
Speaking of fashion…the $LULU is on fire (I am long and the stock is in my 8 to 80 portfolio).
Here is a long term chart of $LULU – not counting the $10 it is up after hours tonight on a crazy good growth:
In the last 10 years this fashion/fashology company’s stock has gone from $3 to $150, but the stock has made all of it’s gains over 5 of those years (2008 to 2011 and 2017 to today).
The most fashion of fashion public stocks has itself only been in fashion half the time.
Owning a fashion company when it’s stock is in fashion is like Ben says …performance art.
I am off to Amsterdam tomorrow for a week both on the grid and on the canals. Expect extra run on sentences and even more typos until I am back stateside.
Also published on Medium.