[Hmmm. This was supposed to run February 24. I posted it myself and it just . . . vanished. Thursday was supposed to be “Three Signs” followed by Friday, “Three Sites.” Don’t know what happened. Sorry. But here they are now: THREE SIGNS.]
1. My broker says that after the UPS guy and the FedEx gal drop off their packages every morning, they stop to get stock quotes. This is great — if they are long-term investors and we are widening the circle of ownership and prosperity, so that everyone has a stake in America (and, one day, the world). A little scary if they are hooked on the casino.
2. Goldman Sachs is having trouble recruiting. Once considered the absolute top job out of business school; now a lot of the best and brightest are headed for dot-coms. Who wants to wait 10 years for a shot at $5 million a year when you can grab $5 million in an IPO after 10 months? The thing is, this is what’s known as “a contrary indicator.” Often in the past, the hot field for b-school graduates has been the field that is peaking.
3. An outfit with no sales or earnings (or customers or appreciable assets), Pacific Century Cyberworks — which sports a $30 billion market valuation — is attempting to take over Hong Kong’s phone company . . . and is considered to have a reasonable chance of success.
Writes Tony L: “Some days I feel like I’m standing in a money rainstorm, yet somehow manage to stay completely dry. A friend invested his complete 401K fund and everything he could borrow in a $2 stock 8 weeks ago. He urged me to join, and I told him it was lunacy. Tried to point out the risks. Today the stock is worth $10. Several other friends went to work for dot-coms and are today worth seven figures. None of the dot-coms is remotely profitable, yet they are making stock millionaires of people who work there. It all seems to make a mockery of ‘sound’ investment principles.”
The future could not be more exciting or the Internet more real . . . but investment success this easy and giddy is unreal. (And there’s an old saying on Wall Street: Don’t Fight the Fed.) So promise me at least this much: You will not invest on margin. Margin loans are way up over last year, and I just hope you are not one of the borrowers.
Tomorrow: Some Things I Didn’t Know about John McCain
Quote of the Day
The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much, it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.~Franklin D. Roosevelt
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