Mostly Sunny with a Chance of Froth and How Can You NOT Love Fintech and Chyyyyyyna!

We are in the ‘pinch me’ phase of this stock market and Crypto boom. It is mostly sunny with an increasing chance of global warming and froth.

My friend Charlie has an incredible piece on it today asking ‘Is this as good as it gets‘? Read it. He ends with:

Is this as good as it gets?

I don’t know, but for investors it’s pretty darn close. The challenge, as we know from history, is that just because something is really good doesn’t mean the next stage has to be really bad. If it were, the game would be easy. You would just sell everything today and wait until everything is really bad next month to buy everything back at a lower price.

But that’s not how the market works. Most of the time, really good environments continue to be good for some time and even when they’re less good, they’re still ok. And importantly, investors can still make money in the transition from really good to ok.

While the best investing opportunities invariably present themselves during bad times, there are (thankfully) many more good times than bad times. Which is why it can be nearly as challenging for investors to stay invested during good times as it is during bad times. We have a hard time accepting that good can continue to be good just as we have a hard time accepting that bad will not be bad forever.

Eight years have now passed since the expansion began in June 2009. Each June since has been increasingly challenging for investors to hold on. The litany of reasons to sell grows with each passing year as does the fear of giving back your hard-earned gains.

As good as it gets? Maybe. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

As for the increasing chance of froth?

Stefan at Stocktwits put this fun chart together for me which shows the moves in Crypto the last few months versus JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs:

The markets move in mysterious ways (short term, but not long term) and tonight the Bitcoin market capitalization is $45 billion which is half of Goldman Sachs $90 billion market capitalization. By tomorrow, the combined market capitalization of Bitcoin and Ethereum may pass that of Goldman. For you old people yelling scam….Goldman was founded in 1869 and had to be saved by the government in 2008.

Finally…how can you NOT love Chyyyyna?

My friends at Fintech Collective have a good weekly fintech email and I cut this piece to share:

For the past decade, fintech startups in the U.S. have successfully unbundled financial services. By focusing on one vertical such as consumer lending or life insurance, these startups leverage modern tech stacks to reimagine a single offering, and do it better than the incumbents.

However consumers may still desire the simplicity of a “one-stop-shop.” With this in mind, is it possible for financial services to be re-bundled on a modern tech platform?

Ant Financial, the $60b financial services behemoth spun out of Alibaba, may have created the playbook. Formerly known as Alipay, Ant Financial was launched in 2004 as an escrow-based method for Alibaba’s customers to pay online. Today, Ant Financial’s users can also build and obtain credit, manage investments, save in a digital bank, and acquire insurance.

In the process, Ant Financial has established a dominant market position in China. Over 70% of China’s online commerce goes through Alipay, and the company sees accelerating adoption of its other services. The company also has international ambitions, partnering with First Data in the U.S. to enable its users shop with 4 million American merchants. The company is now paying $1.2b to acquire Moneygram and dip its toe in the international money transfer market.

I have been obsessed with fintech and financial markets for over two decades. This is no doubt the most interesting moment in time since the financial crisis in 2008. Bitcoin, Ethereum, Blockchain, Robinhood, Vanguard, Venmo/Paypal, Apple Venmo competitor announced today, Visa, Mastercard, Ant Financial, Tencent (Wepay), Tokens/ICO’s and yes even Goldman and Schwab but boy those two last ones (which I own as well) feel really tired and old.

Also published on Medium.