What a Market Top Looks Like…Part 2…Patent Trading, Instagram to Facebook (Entrepreneur Envy) and Why I am Selling Apple

Back on February 12th, I blogged ‘What a Market Top Looks Like‘. I was not telling investors to sell everything. If I had told you to sell everything, I would have been wrong. The markets were awash with momentum. But, a few months later, my concerns outlined remain.

Today the S&P is still up a couple percent from that time. Goldman Sachs is flat. Apple is us 25 percent. Tops are generally processes as the paper transfers from the few to the many. The transfer is happening faster than back in February for sure.

I was not a net seller on February 12th as the momentum felt maintainable, but I have been a bigger seller in April. I have sold the rest of my $AAPL and a lot of Liveperson $LPSN. I have about 30 percent allocated to stocks. I like ‘Fashology $NKE, Biotech, Software (especially payments and SMB offerings like $INTU) and some wierd tech like 3D printing $DDD. Of course I like my angel portfolio. But, I continue to slow down my investing.

Let’s review the last 2 months.

Europe has likely gotten worse, not better.

Apple is now the ‘American Index’ trade and I remember Nokia, Nortel and $RIMM as country trades. I don’t remember $AAPL 1,001 price targets the week after Steve Jobs passed. The Apple share price shows no signs of slowing price momentum, but I have blinked at the silly price targets and decided to sell down my final shares.

Crowdfunding is now legal for the most part…I like this, though not sure it’s bullish or bearish.

Patents are being traded as if they are liquid assets – see $AOL. The markets LOVE that $AOL sold their patents and rewarded Tim Armstrong with an all-time high stock. He will need it as Facebook has the ammunition to buy any startup he likes. If $AOL gives back the billion to shareholders great. Tim also has the ammunition to repurpose the technology and talent around all the eyeballs he has for years to come.

Startup prices are getting too high and the enterprise remains as hard as ever to sell into.

The Facebook grab for Instagram is extremely important and exciting. In approximately 2 years, Instagram created an asset that was worth $1 billion without a website and with less than 15 people. All the money will be invested and spent so that is good for the economy. The entrepreneur envy will be interesting to watch as startups,angels and VC’s react to the 99.9 percent of the other startups that exist with regular problems like trying to find any organic growth. On the odd chance growth is found, it will never be Instagram growth. Instagram changed the math yet again and stretched the boundaries for what is possible. Congrats to all those involved. If you are an entrepreneur, you have witnessed a startup outllier, unless a new pattern has emerged (hopefully it has), just get back to work and focus on the things that got you excited about starting your non $1 billion 12 person startup.

When the tea leaves are all aligned, I like to put money to work. In October when I was blogging ‘What a Bottom Looked Like’, I nibbled and leaned in as we turned. In February, my guard went up and now I am selling more than I buy.

The best news for stock markets is the low interest rates. Relativity matters…a lot.

I am interested to see how these signs all play out over the summer.


  1. Temtbv says:

    If your a day trader or short term swing trader its WHATEVER you want.  But for the “LONG” term your DEAD i mean “DEAD”  wrong  about Apple!!!. As a Investor for over 45 years there are VERY FEW stocks which will outshine The Big Apple Stock in the History Books of Successfully Investing in American.!!

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