Put not thy trust….

“Put not thy trust in Princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no hope.” Goes the old scripture verse (Psalms 146:3) or the words of The Earl of Strafford in 1641 when he heard King Charles 1st had signed his death warrant. Which is one of the odd pieces of wisdom scattered across that venerable tome. Hey, just because I’m an agnostic doesn’t mean I can’t cherry pick my references. Wisdom is wherever it is found and even a stopped clock is right twice a day. Even Noam Chomsky gets it right sometimes. Not often but sometimes.

A while ago, my financial advisor pressed me to put money into Facebook, Twitter and Alphabet, the Google parent company. I strenuously declined, describing them bluntly as ‘bubble stocks’. On reflection I think my pejorative was unfair. They’re more ‘Tsunami investments’. Which isn’t a bad analogy if you think about it. Such stocks arise and move very quickly and do a lot of damage when the wave breaks on the shore of reality. The trick is to stop surfing the crest just before it starts breaking. Buy low, sell high and cash out just before the market peaks. A worthwhile piece of investment advice is when everyone else is buying the answer is to look elsewhere. By the time the press get hold of a gold rush story it’s usually far too late to make real money on a buy-in. Unless you’re in the middle of a serious bull market.

Facebook broke last July and its value has been like a dead cat bouncing down the stairs ever since. Despite the latest scandal, Twitter is still at the beginning of this process so there’s still time to get out with minimal loss. Their market peaked in mid 2018. Indeed Google (Alphabet) share values are down about USD 200 since then. Peak value was slightly over the USD 1280 mark, now Google shares are bobbing around USD 1080. None of these three are worth the buy in. Facebook is heading the way of Myspace. Twitter will follow (Are following?) As will Google. There is a slow fragmentation of Internet related services as increasing numbers of people seek alternatives.

Expect Microsoft to follow next year as people increasingly look for alternatives to the utter abortion that is Windows 10. A well-marketed strain of Linux might just do it. The Microsoft product is rotten to the core. They’ve tried to turn what was a moderately useful but buggy operating system into a ‘service’ and come up with an appalling piece of crap. Full of bloatware I can’t get rid of.

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