Naming the Beast

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It seems to me that for every one owner of a Tesla electric car, there are about 2,000 “investors” who trade the thing. This reached a new apex of absurdity a few days ago when a little-known research firm trotted out a target price for TSLA at, conveniently, a trillion dollar market cap. The intended result played out as you might expect.

By this morning, however, TSLA had tumbled by about 30% of its peak price from just a couple days before. Countless words and charts have been spilled in the past 72 hours about the TSLA madness, but I wanted to take a moment to ask: what is the nature of this creature that seems to come along with every investment mania and top-tick it with an absolutely absurd prediction?

Although I spend most of my waking hours charting and writing about stocks, I don’t pretend to be well-versed in the world of professional analysts. The firm with the aforementioned $7,000 price target, Ark Invest, is wholly unknown to me. Maybe they are wizards. Maybe they were just trotting out a zany target to get some free press (which, if that was their intent, worked beautifully). Glancing at the apparent age of some of their staff, it looks to me like some of them have about about seven or eight weeks of hard-boiled financial analysis under their belts.

But the youngsters at Ark don’t have a monopoly on far-fetched predictions. As I hinted, this phenomenon seems to emerge at the top – – virtually the millisecond – – of any given investment mania. Late in 1999, for example, there was no shortage of books declaring just how high the stock market was going to go. They seemed to all be trying to out-do one another. I think this one must take the prize:

Of course, 21 years and $23 trillion in debt later, we’re still 70% shy of that goal.

More recently, of course, was the Crypto-Currency Madness, which peaked late in 2017. Around that time, James “Choose Yourself” Altucher went on the road with this beauty:

Well, 2020 isn’t done yet, so I think we should give Jim and his prediction time to play out. There are still almost 11 months to make up for the remaining $990,400 in needed price gains.

I think this top-tickers deserve a name. As a student of Latin back in the day, I’d like to propose Extremus Targetus Animalus, or ETA. These are beings which, throughout the centuries, have managed to garner global attention and conversation based on nothing more than an outlandish guess. The next time you hear one, just think of ETA. As in, The ETA of the peak of whatever it is they are talking about is………..right about now.