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Mulling irrational exuberance. Should we buy the new, pricey IPOs? How not to get hacked.

I spent the weekend freaking out, once again.

Prices of many technology stocks are in nosebleed territory. IPOs are in crazyland.

It’s like 1999 — before it all crashed in 2000.

Even Blind Freddie can read this chart. One spike is 1999 and the other is now.

Our times look eerily similar.

What got me started was a piece in Seeking Alpha:

We Are Now In Crash Territory

+ The amount of exuberance in the market today for select tech, EV and IPO names is approaching 1999-2000 levels.

+ Most young investors cannot appreciate just how much a stock can fall when or if the bubble pops.

+ Value is still surprisingly available if you are willing to forego the next big thing and positioning yourself around solid core value stocks can provide a solid base.

Wow, if you are young in tech right now, it must make you feel like you simply cannot lose!

You are the next Warren Buffett and you are the smartest person in the room. Your friends are all idiots for not being in the market and you will retire at 35 a multi-millionaire travelling the world.

The above statement is not a judgment on today’s youth. These were my thoughts and dreams as a 20-year-old kid as I watched my portfolio double yearly, like clockwork from 1997 to 2000.

I didn’t have much in the market at the time, I had been working since I was 14 as a dishwasher saving every penny but watching $20,000 growing to $40,000, then to $80,000 at age 20, certainly can give a person an expectation that these things will continue linearly indefinitely.

My tech companies of choice in 1997? Intel (INTC), Oracle (ORCL), Microsoft (MSFT), Corning (GLW), Cisco (CSCO) along with the now defunct and Base 10 Systems among others.

You can read the rest of this morality tale here.

BusinessInsider has a story:

‘I’m getting a sense of deja vu’: A prominent bear rips into the argument that the stock market’s ‘obscene’ valuation is justified — and lays out why a Great Depression-like collapse could strike at any moment

That piece is here.

So I thought, I should sell all my high-flying tech stocks and invest in boring dividend paying stocks, like AT&T and Verizon. (Yuch.)

Or I should invest in some of the recent IPOs?

Well…. BusinessInsider has another piece, replete with all the statistics:

Why the IPO market is exploding in a frenzy that rivals even the 1999 euphoria

Not since the days of Y2K, GeoCities, and have initial public offerings garnered such unbridled enthusiasm from investors.

When DoorDash and Airbnb went public this week, their stock prices shot up on the first day of trading, soaring 86% and 113%, respectively. The average IPO this year has enjoyed a 41% first-day return, according to data compiled by University of Florida professor and IPO expert Jay Ritter — the highest mark since 2000, when IPOs jumped 56% on average amid the dotcom bubble.

The record high — a 71% average first-day bump — came in 1999.

The IPO market has notched other staggering figures this year as well, with nearly 430 deals, the most since 2000, and $160 billion in deal value, an all-time high, according to data from Dealogic.

The dynamics fueling the 2020 IPO euphoria are nuanced. But as retail traders fight over small allocations of popular, high-growth stocks and momentum chasers follow in their wake, market valuations are inflating and some experts are throwing around the “bubble” word again.

You can read that piece here.

So, I thought that, since I can never get any IPO allocation, I should buy some in the aftermarket?

OK. How would that have gone? I charted four recent ones ABNB, AI, DASH and SNOW over the last five days. Not a pretty picture.

Wait a little. Let them fall a little more. Maybe wait six months until the lockups are over?

And my final thought? You can’t predict anything. I can’t. You can’t. No one can.

We’ve gone through this before. Items;

+ One friend sold 50% of his stock portfolio in March. Precisely the wrong time.

+ One friend did nothing and his portfolio is up 33% so far this year.

+ Another friend bought some poorly-performing residential properties because he needed them for tax planning. Then he refinanced them at about half what they were paying. Suddenly his yuchy properties are now extraordinary performers. Who knew for being able to finance at today’s low rates? Who knew you could get a mortgage for under 2%?

Our tech stocks are up strongly today – some are up over 4%.  Check out our list. I just updated it.

I don’t know why? Maybe it’s the virus. Then why is Pfizer down 3%?

Send money today to Turnout in Georgia, please

The story: Two Georgia men are standing for Senate. It’s a run-off. Electing these two will swing the U.S. Senate to the Democrats, away from the Mitch McConnell, who holds too many purse strings. Get these two elected, and we’ll get relief for the states,  for many ailing businesses and for people who lost their job to covid.

Give money to Turnout here. I have.

This is the best place to make Georgia happen. If you want more info, email me.

Your contribution is tax deductible.

In praise of flash sticks

Our government got hacked by the Russians, again. Part of the hack targeted Microsoft’s Office 365, which I never liked for two basic reasons:

+ I didn’t like the software. Office has become too complicated. Office 365 is a de-improvement (i.e. a worsening of previous Offices).

+ all your work and your emails sits somewhere out there in the Cloud, available to everyone’s favorite hacker.

My preference: A standalone Office. I’m currently using Office 2007 and the $33.74 flash drive (pictured above) to back all my brilliances up. Buy it here.

Once again, do not open email attachments unless you’ve checked their legitimacy with the sender. While the U.S. is getting hacks for its secrets, you, I, hospitals, towns and businesses are being hacked for ransomware, which is far more profitable than robbing banks.

Big accomplishment

I traded in my iPhone 11 Pro Max on a new iPhone 12 Pro Max and today I received $500 cash trade in from Apple.

Heh, that’s better than a slap in the belly with a cold fish.

I love my iPhone 12 Pro Max, with its better camera and its 5G, which is faster. I used it last week in New York City with Verizon. It worked. Miracles never cease.

Totally tasteless, but funny

The 2020 GOP Christmas Album:

We’re in the middle of Hanukkah

Lat’s also celebrate Christmas

I’ll have more tasteless photos of our local country town later. — Harry Newton