It’s all Robots and Ball Bearings

In June, I started to dig into the robots trend. Here is how it started.

This weekend, the media went full shizzle on Robots as focus went to $GOOG and all their acquisitions. In June though, Andreesen laid out a huge signal as I noted and iRobot was busting out to multi – year highs on the public side. Drone stocks have also been bursting in 2013.

Yesterday, iRobot was trending all day on Stocktwits. I had a feeling that finally the stock was in play for more than it’s current financial results and was leaning on the stream with ideas and links. I did not buy any. I should have. Today it is up 20 percent. Not on earnings, not on a new product…just Wall Street analysts waking up and chiming in a few days later. The last two days they were probably waiting for approval and banking relationship paperwork to be signed before dusting off their keyboards.

Investing is hard work. Even when you are right, you can go broke.

I truly believe that a mentorship and journalling platform like Stocktwits has made it easier to speed up the process and even more enjoyable. At minimum it’s an idea generation and sentiment machine for the 90 plus percent of the population that is there to just read.

Investing as a hobby or career is fulfilling, but you do suffer so many disappointments picking stocks and allocating capital.

I am in the business of tea leave reading. I pick up signals from price action, money flows, leadership signals, colleagues, friends on the streams, lists like the Stocktwits 50 etc…

I journal and write to help me flesh out my convictions. Most of the time I am just ‘faking it, until I make it’ thinking through big trends.

With all this in mind, take a look at this ‘Fletch’ video where Chevy Chase just fakes it, with the confidence that only Fletch could have, to get the information he wants. This is how a lot of Wall Street works. Traders and hedge funds are out there just making stuff up.

Last week, I was stopped out of most of my $IRBT (I always give my personal ideas with my own money a little more flexibility – not sure mathematically if this is correct thing to do) and all of iRobot for our ‘model portfolio’ on Stocktwits 50. Ivan and I run a model portfolio that is very rigid with respect to money management and price action.

The stock continued to go down.

My thesis for buying $IRBT looked broken. That is until The New York Times started covering the Google push into Robots last week.

In the last two days, iRobot is up 25 percent. The stock has not given me much time to update my thinking and factor in all the new possibilities. Investing is just hard. You can be right and lose money. You can be dead wrong and make a living.

I like being right, but this is just one example where being right has not been profitable…yet.


  1. EB says:

    Howard, I share your enthusiasm on secular robotic trend. I bought iRobot in 2010 for many of the same reasons you have outlined in 2013. Three years later I think that iRobot is a broken company incapable of representing the secular trend we believe in.There are a number of financial, technical and product engineering facts that paint a rather negative picture of the company. But most importantly iRobot lacks a passionate, energetic leader who can realize the future we dream about. I’m afraid associating robotic revolution with iRobot is just like betting on Palm for a smartphone revolution play. Right thesis, wrong company.

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