For the longest time, the big boys of Silicon Valley – Facebook, Amazon and Google – were all the reason you needed to be invested in stocks. Now, they’re the best reason to get out. I’m Bryan Ellis. I’ll tell you why right now in Episode #309 of Self-Directed Investor Talk.
Hello, Self-Directed Investors, all across the fruited plane! Welcome to today’s special edition of the SHOW OF RECORD for savvy self-directed investors like you.
This is episode #309.
The stock market, as you likely know very well, has been booming with astounding consistency since the day that President Trump won the Presidency in 2016. Yes, there’s certainly been plenty of volatility, but even this year, 2019, when the markets have been a bit rougher than in some other years, still, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is STILL up by about 10% since the start of the year, and we’re not even halfway through. So the bull market rages on in a HUGE way.
But there is a headwind resisting the markets which will only get stronger… and frankly, this one may just be the thing to motivate SOME OF YOU – and you know who you are – to begin diversifying some of your assets AWAY from Wall Street and into alternatives like real estate or private companies or… nearly anything but Wall Street assets.
Now if you guessed that the headwinds have something to do with the ongoing trade wars with China, which now seems to be engulfing Mexico as well, you’d not be unreasonable to make that guess, but you’d be mistaken, my friends.
Rather, the big issue is the intense regulatory scrutiny of the big tech companies that is coming from both the department of justice and from Congress. Just when the word “bipartisan” seems an impossibility, it appears there’s support from both sides of the aisle to limit the power of Big Tech, albeit for entirely different reasons.
The companies most at risk in here are Facebook, Amazon and Google. I suspect there might be some saber rattling towards Twitter as well, but the truth is that Twitter is not relevant in the grand scheme of things. But Facebook, Amazon and Google? They’re going to feel some real heat, and with good reason.
And while I certainly have an opinion on whether regulator scrutiny is called for, that’s not relevant to the bigger point today, which is this:
Anti-trust actions – which appears to be the path that Google will face, and maybe Amazon and Facebook too – can be utterly devastating and require decades for recovery. You have to look no further than Microsoft. Under the command of Bill Gates back in the 90’s, Microsoft became the most valuable company in the world and was the envy of the world. Gates was practically a cult figure, and Microsoft was so profitable it could do almost literally anything it wanted…
…until the FTC took an interest in a serious way. When Microsoft’s anti-trust trial was done, restrictions so severe were placed on the software giant that its stock would flounder for year after year… and it would take until 2016 for Microsoft’s share prices to again reach the previous high point it had achieved way back in 1999, nearly 17 years earlier.
17 years is a LONG TIME for a stock to be flat, but that’s exactly what happened. Now at that time, Microsoft was the clear market leader. No doubt about it. And guess what happened to the market as a whole when it’s leader went flat for years on end?
You guessed it: The broader market did the same thing. At basically the same time as all of the air went out of the tires of Microsoft’s stock in 1999 and 2000, the broader market just treaded water for several years.
As the market leader went, so went the market.
And now, it’s like déjà vu all over again… only the names have changed. This time, the crosshairs are focused on Facebook, Amazon and Google. If your last name is Zuckerberg, Bezos or Pinchai, you should be sweating right now.
And if your portfolio depends on those companies, you should be sweating too. But not just on those companies. The Microsoft lesson from the 90’s and early 2000’s is clear: When the Department of Justice gets involved, that can change the market as a whole. And not only is that happening right now, but Congress is apparently launching its own investigation of Facebook, Amazon, Google and… APPLE. That’s right, folks… Apple is under the microscope, too.
Why do I share this with you?
Well, I don’t want you to lose your money, folks. And history tells us this could be a risky time for the market.
What should you do? That’s up to you, but strategically I think it would make some sense to put yourself in a position to be able to very easily diversify OUT of stocks and into some other asset class whenever you decide to do that.
You could, after all, simply transfer your IRA or 401(k) into a self-directed IRA or 401(k) without even cashing in your stocks… just leave your money invested as is… but go ahead and get your money into a self-directed account so that when the time is right for YOU to cut bait and move on to greener pastures, you’ll be ready to do that at a moment’s notice.
And, of course, if you need any help with that, reach out and I’ll be glad to help. You can reach me at [email protected]. I’ll be happy to give you some good, unbiased advice since I’m not an IRA or 401(k) company… I just want you to be set up for success.
My friends, invest wisely today and live well forever!