Daily Nos: Mark Twain on Facebook Stock

Samuel Clemens, 103 years ago.

“Good decisions come with experience.  Experience comes with bad
decisions.” – Mark Twain

One of the many stages of becoming an adult is learning how various financial instruments work.  For example, I recently opened a 401k account, a tacit admission that making it to the age of 59 is a realistic possibility.  After all, I made it to 30, and I can’t go much harder than I’ve been going.  But deciding to play on the stock market with real money was probably a stupid decision.

It’s like any casino- the house always wins, but the adrenaline of winning one moment obscures the bitterness of losing immediately before and after.  I would actually be killing it right now on a mixture of tech and renewable energy stocks (mixed in with go-tos like Apple) if it weren’t for that damned Facebook.  I waited for it to dive before buying in.  Unfortunately, it had not yet begun to truly sink.

It’s easy to mock people who bought even discounted Facebook stock.  Believe me, I know how to read a comment section.  But what’s remarkable is how many reputable sources were just wrong at every turn.  When it was worth $30, they said that sounded right.  When it crashed to $25, they said, ‘eh, we meant $27-28.’  When it plummeted to $20 they muttered, ‘$24 seems like its real value.’  Look fellas, you’re not experts if you can just correct your mistake every day and pose it as wisdom.  Or maybe they’re just accumulating experience.  I sure am.

Ultimately this reckless gambling only appeals to me because it’s not fantasy basketball season.  Once that starts I’ll have a whole different set of numbers to stare at and refresh for hours on end, with significantly fewer consequences.

Obama and the Dead would be a great live tour.

Who isn’t in the mood for a sweet Grateful Dead cover band?  A week from today, Dead Tape is rocking some classic Dead sets from the early years at Zebulon in Williamsburg (258 Wythe).  After their sets DJ WILDFLOWER is spinning more Dead bootlegs.  Get your fill for 2012!

The free show starts at 9pm.  There are few better ways to transplant yourself on a weeknight than a Dead cover show.

Though I love the Dead (well, like them a lot.  I have no claim on Deadheads), they have done horribly at livingthedream.org music tournaments.  Gmo can fact-check this, but their combined record must be something like 2-9.

Can this man save Hollywood? There’s a new Mr. Lee in town.

As another summer blockbuster season winds down, you might be wondering if you actually saw any new movies.  Or if you’re not a moviegoer, why it seems movie marquees are frozen in time.   It turns out that sequels are an even bigger deal than you think.  In 2011, the nine top grossing movies of the year were from the following existing franchises, respectively:  Harry Potter, Transformers, Twilight, The Hangover, Pirates of the Caribbean, Fast and Furious, Mission Impossible, Cars, and Sherlock Holmes.   It would be nice if someone could come up with new plot lines.  Our friend Finch just moved out to Hollywood, but intel is that he is focusing on television.  Someone should write a screenplay about Biloxi days, add a couple explosions, Rihanna and aliens, and that would be a major hit.

Related anecdote- early in his career, Will Smith and his agent sat down to plot his career.  The agent pointed out that nearly all of the biggest grossing movies of all time involved either aliens, cutting edge special effects, or both.  That nugget is what drove Mr. Smith’s summer blockbuster run that lasted from the mid-90s deep into last decade.   At least he wasn’t just remaking Marvel and DC Comics.

About Janos Marton

Janos Marton is a lawyer, advocate and writer.
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3 Responses to Daily Nos: Mark Twain on Facebook Stock

  1. Adam S says:

    Here’s some sound financial advice from someone who spends his days writing software trying to help people pick stocks: Don’t try to pick stocks. It’s nearly impossible to beat the market in the long run, and you wind up exposing yourself to an unnecessary and signficant small-portfolio risk (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CAPM , “Risk and Diversification” ). For the average guy thinking about long term savings/earnings, put your money in a low-cost ETF, and check in on it every 10 years.

    Note: Don’t hold me responsible if this strategy backfires 🙂

    • janos marton says:

      You are absolutely right. I’m basically hoping to break even and then pulling the troops home. Meanwhile, I have done exactly as you’ve suggested with a different pool of cash.

  2. Dem Adam says:

    My investment advice is to tell Facebook to go fuck itself.

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