Having been involved with high-tech since 1979, and having lived in Palo Alto since 1984, I have some acquaintance with the psyche of the Silicon Valley. It has long been a very imitative place, in spite of its frequent self-praise with respect to innovation and “outside the box” thinking (the phrase itself being quite cliche and, itself, very inside-the-box).
Today was the last day of Kobe’s life. Kobe was my dog. One of eight that I’ve had in my life. He was a beautiful yellow lab with a heart of gold, and he lived nearly sixteen years. He’s gone, and my heart is heavy with his loss.
Longer-time readers may recall that I adopted Kobe a couple of summers ago, and I wrote a post about him called In Praise of Older Dogs. (The post is worth checking out, if only to see a thirteen-year old dog tromp around in my fish pond or swim with my kids).
I hate tech bubbles.
No, that’s not the secret. Everyone knows that. The secret I am referring to is a company named, literally, Secret. And the existence of this company, as well as the easy $6 million its co-founders pocketed when they shuttered the place, is absolutely symptomatic of this bubble-of-bubbles we are living in (the third one of the past fifteen years, incredibly).
I didn’t even know Secret existed, because I’m too old to spend my time worrying about every new little app that comes along that lets teenagers engage in cyber-bullying and exchange dick pics. It’s just not my cup of tea. But I happened to stumble across this article yesterday, which was headlined:
Now a startup shutting down isn’t any bigger news than someone finishing a satisfying lunch somewhere, but the “Ferrari” mention intrigued me, so I read further.
I would like to make my own modest effort to put to rest a trite little phrase that gets trotted out every time silver and gold are getting trashed (which has been the case for years now). “I just checked, and my pile hasn’t gotten any smaller.”
These precious metals kooks – sometimes called “stackers” (since they stack up coins, as well as losses) somehow make the point that since their physical asset hasn’t changed shape or amount, it hasn’t really dropped in value. Not in a real sense. Honest Injun.
We are well into the eleventh year of Slope of Hope, and I think part of the appeal of the blog has been that I write from the heart. I’ve debated today whether I should write this post, but I’m just going to go with the same instinct that I’ve always had and write what I’m feeling.
Specifically, I am starting to wonder if I’ve completely lost interest in the markets. My life still revolves around U.S. equities, watching the charts during market hours and keeping an eye on the ES and NQ after hours, as well as FOREX. But, I’ve got to tell you, the past six years have transformed my disposition toward the markets from excitement to frustration to despair to disillusionment to sheer tedium.
I hardly even know where to begin this post. I’ve certainly been thinking about it a long time, but I don’t think I can do the subject matter justice. Perhaps I’m overestimating its importance, but it matters a lot to me: today marks, to the day, the 10th anniversary of the Slope of Hope.