Of The Day
But, sometimes not every day.
used to be long-term buyers waiting years for the pioneers of
emerging fields to deliver huge profits in reward for their patience
and confidence. Today, trades are made while waiting at traffic
lights, on elevators and escalators, and even while on hold.
Small investors with just thousands of dollars, like insurgents
in a guerrilla war, come running out of nowhere onto the trading
floor, hit us all with their send and delete buttons and disappear
into the subway crowds commuting endlessly. As we track along
with our plodding spreadsheets of wisdom, they beam into the
middle of the trading floor, spray us all with their color laser
printers, $4 trade fees and day trade their way into surprisingly
smart buys and sells, leaving with the cash flying everywhere.
Just a few years ago, mutual funds were all the rage. Now, mutual
funds, bonds, and dinosaurs are just standing there like museum
pieces. "Oh, yeah, I remember those things. 7 or 8%, right?
Hah! That's what my money market holding account pays."
It doesn't really matter that broadcast.com is actually inaccessible
to almost all internet players who don't come in with a T-line,
cable modem, or some other mega-baud downloading streamer. It
was a hot stock in and of itself. And people slashed and burned
for two days. In the history of the Internet and the maturing
boomer market that will be like Alan Sheppard's now ridiculous
spurt into space on the way to 30-hour Moon walks. You ain't
seen nothing yet. Stocks going up and down 100, 200 points a
day will be as common place as Walter Cronkite saying to you
as you ate your TV dinner, "It was quite a day on the stock
market today. Blue chips were up two-eighths!" The trick
now is to monitor the websites, forget newspapers, that's just
really old news, and catch the one, two, three day window. As
I watch the intraday charting on Nasdaq, I think to myself that
that's where the real money is. There definitely is a pattern
to hot stocks. They start out early and blast off, or down, rest
before lunch and then during lunch all hell breaks loose. If
you check in towards the end of the day, it's way over. The Nikkei
is interesting because it's there overnight, and those guys are
really smart (the yen is still stronger than you'd expect). But
one thing is clear, it's not business as usual anymore when it
comes to investing. Financial planners are going to be last ones
to catch the wind here. If you really want to know what's going
on read Internet authors who publish every day and who do it
full time. Go to the newsgroups. Dig around. Gaming sites, believe
it or not, are good directional guides to emerging technologies.
Also look at the page counting sites. Remember, the Internet
is more like a living thing, a life form, than just a directory
or a reference center. It is enormously intelligent, arrogant,
rich beyond your wildest dreams, influential, nosy, intrusive,
and it's moving faster and faster all the time, 24-hours a day,
365 days a year. By some counts, in Internet years, it is just
now nearing puberty. Think about that. It's going to be a wild
ride, my suggestion is to each of you, run hard, catch the bottom
step, grab the hand rail, and swing on board. Just don't bet
the farm. Invest in access speed long term, in information
access gathering and sorting short term. Bet on winners and remember
losers always imitate winners. It's all they can do. CNN's
lower front screen is a good place to start.