Skip to content

Tech stocks bounce back. Wonderful animals to see in Australia. And, the story of the activist (very successful) short seller

The past five years have witnessed a huge run in technology stocks.

The QQQ tracks the Nasdaq 100 Index. The QQQ is heavily weighted toward large technology companies, with over 50% in information technology.

Here’s the last five years. Very impressive.


Here’s the last ten days. A bump down.


Here’s the last two days. Notice the strong bounce back yesterday afternoon. That’s a good sign.


What does this tell me?

It suggests we shouldn’t bail on tech stocks, quite yet — despite a recent bearish Merrill Lynch survey :

A record 44 per cent of global fund managers believe sharemarkets, particularly those in the US, to be overvalued after years of overstimulative monetary policy, according to a monthly Bank of America Merrill Lynch survey.

In the note, titled “Fed up with Bubbles”, three quarters of professional money managers polled said they believed the internet stocks that had driven Wall Street to record highs were either “expensive” or “bubble-like”.

But the mood now is notably different to those in the 1999 tech bubble, the last time the figures approached June’s highs, the BoA Merrill Lynch strategists stated, as cash levels are rising rather than falling, showing far less “irrational exuberance” than earlier periods.

Excess valuations, they added, were coinciding with higher profit expectations, though these expectations had been falling since the start of the year.

Read more on the survey here. 

Today’s blog is a little weird.

My brain often leads me into strange directions, viz today’s blog.

Skip the parts you don’t like. Enjoy the photos and the cartoons down below.

Buying glasses online

My two favorite vendors are Zenni Optical and EyeBuyDirect. They’re about 10% of the cost of corner retail store glasses, or worse, buying them from your eye doctor’s in-house store.

Caution: You do NOT want anti-reflective coating, whether it’s free or you have to pay for it. It’s useless. In fact it’s worse, it scratches, making it difficult to look through your new glasses.

Not all toilets are the same. 

The cheap ones get blocked. The cheap ones never stop flowing.

The flowing is easy to fix. You open them and fiddle with the cheap, nasty chain.

The blocking. …Well, it’s best not to use toilet paper.  Use the shower or someone else’s toilet.

Replacing a toilet is major irksome. Often you can’t replace a cheap toilet with a a decent one, because you don’t have the space.

This discussion gives boredom a whole new meaning — until you’re faced with a blocked, running toilet. Then your need is urgent.

Things About Australia You Need To Know Before Visiting

I was born there. I just spent a month there. I’ve never seen most of these creatures. I found these amazing photographs on (where else?) the Internet.

Pythons are this big. 2. Flying foxes (which pretty much look like the modern day pterodactyl) exist. And 3. Pythons eat flying foxes.


Pythons are strong enough to pull wallabies up out of the water. Look carefully.


A stonefish can look like a rock or coral reef but it is one of the most venomous fish in the world. The spines on the dorsal fin inject toxic venom that cause immense pain and possible death.


The great white shark can grow up to 21 feet and is responsible for the most reported unprovoked attacks on humans, even though humans are not their choice of prey.


The saltwater crocodile is the largest reptile in the world with males growing up to 22 feet. They are quick and strong and treat human as prey if in their territory.


When you literally witness snakes on a plane, you know you’re in Australia. Snakes like to roam freely on the tarmac and climb onto unassuming aircraft. This is a Qantas plane in the air.


The Sydney funnel web spider can grow up to 2 inches long and has venom that is toxic enough to cause serious injury and death if left untreated. Their defensive behavior also causes them to strike multiple times when they bite.


This is a sea angler fish.


On Christmas Island, you will find a sea of crabs. Upwards of 45 million crabs walk across the island, causing locals to have to drive slowly on the roads or just stay home and lock their doors.


Those incisors look like razor blades, so you don’t want it latching onto you. The frilled-neck lizard uses this colorful design to defeat its opponents in battles over mates.


Being pinched by these alien-like creatures called coconut crabs causes excruciating pain, not because they’re poisonous,f but because they hold their grip for a long time.


This sea turtle is hanging out on a beach in Ningaloo Marine Park on the west coast of Australia. This area is a hot spot for tourists snorkeling the local coral reef.


Start here and go backwards. (It’s easier.) There are 51 photographs of spiders, snakes, crocodiles and other sundry nasties. It’s all fascinating.

Real news from yesterday.

Representative Steve Scalise underwent a third operation. He remains in critical condition.

Republican lawmakers called for looser gun laws so people facing similar attacks could defend themselves.

Suggested Weekend reading

+ The small town that fought fracking. It’s not the fracking that’s the real problem. It’s something called an “injection well.” It’s where the frackers put all their waste chemicals. They inject the goop deep into the earth. It can really mess up the environment and hurt the health of the locals. It’s much worse than fracking. Click here.

+ I didn’t know there were people called activist short sellers. Here’s a story on one of the best (if not the best):


An excerpt:

In the finance world, Left, 46, is what is known as an “activist” short-seller. After he places a bet against the price of a stock, he then publishes research designed to torpedo the company’s value, often by airing accusations of fraud or abuse. This is entirely legal, as long as what he publishes is not itself fraudulent. Left takes short positions in companies across a whole range of industries — Tesla, Valeant, GoPro — and though he makes mistakes, he has an unusually high success rate.

For the full fascinating article, click here.

Favorite recent New Yorker cartoons




And now, for my absolute favorite:


Harry Newton, who’s flying with Susan to New Orleans today to celebrate the 50th wedding anniversary of one of my favorite classmates from business school. Should be fun.