A Right SPAC’led Mess
Are you ready, Great Ones?
Aye, aye … wait … not the SpongeBob intro again! It must be Reader Feedback day.
Right you are! Today’s the day that we raid the Great Stuff mailbag for your stock market questions, crazy conspiracy theories, ridiculous rants, personal praise (my favorite) and everything in between.
And all you have to do to join is sing it the next time it comes around on the guitar … with feeling. Or, you know, you could skip the Arlo Guthrie route and just email us at GreatStuffToday@BanyanHill.com.
You can get anything you want at Great Stuff’s restaurant … except Mr. Great Stuff!
Now you’re getting the hang of it. But I don’t have a restaurant … yet. I do have a bright shiny new website, though. Check it out: GreatStuffToday.com. Isn’t she pretty?
Now, back to Reader Feedback. Today, we’re covering topics ranging from SPACs to NFTs … and we’ll even cover questions not involving newfangled acronyms. Promise.
But first, let’s revisit SPACs with today’s featured presentation:
I am confused about SPACs because I am a fairly new investor. In fact, just one year ago, I signed up for Ian King’s Automatic Fortunes service to get me started in the world of investing. I had such a great experience with him and that service that I bought into his next service New Era Fortunes.
New Era Fortunes started out good, and then it went SPAC crazy. Naturally, because I believe in Mr. King, I bought up all the SPACs he recommended. Fast forward to now, and I am not so sure why he bought into so many SPACs and some of which have now put me in the hole. So, to hear so much negative feedback about SPACs, it surprises me that others at Banyan Hill don’t like them as much.
I managed to sell all the other SPACs I owned and am glad to have made some quick profits on those before they all sank. Personally, I am going to avoid SPACs from here on out. — Samuel F.
Thanks for writing in, Samuel! I received more than a few fearful emails just like yours on the topic of SPACs, and I feel that I need to clarify my stance on these IPO-wannabes.
Earlier this week, I compared the SPAC craze to the dot-com bubble. It’s not hard to do. There are many similarities between rampant dot-com speculation and the current SPAC market.
However, remember that some of today’s biggest investments and companies came out of the dot-com madness. Amazon, Netflix, Apple and Google were practically born in the dot-com era.
What I’m trying to say is that it’s healthy to be nervous and cautious when it comes to investing in SPACs. But you’d be cutting off your nose to spite your face if you ignored them completely. Ian King’s New Era Fortunes is a prime example of pursuing SPACs the right way.
Ian dissects the underlying company. Weighs the pros and cons of available SPACs and only recommends the most promising investments. Now, I can’t reveal the trade secrets behind Ian’s investment selection process, but I imagine it’s a process somewhat similar to the points I laid out on Tuesday:
- Only invest in SPACs with a legit product or service. Think Hyzon Motors … not Nikola.
- If you invest before the merger, make sure the SPAC has a clear acquisition plan (and that you understand it).
- Seek out SPACs with revenue and growth in a stable industry or a market on the verge of disruption.
These steps aren’t anything new. In fact, you should conduct this due diligence with every investment you make. Just like Great Stuff does when I recommend a Great Stuff Pick. Just like Ian King does when he researches investment ideas in New Era Fortunes.
But you don’t have to take my word for it, Samuel. Here’s what your fellow Great Ones have to say about SPAC investing:
I own several SPACs. It all depends on the leadership. A private company looking to go public looks for money AND expertise in market development in their area. But you want to buy units before they split so you get shares and warrants. — Tim P.
I like SPACs; they are better than Spam in a can. — Lee S.
Both Tim and Lee are correct. (Thank you both for writing in!)
Just like Spam, SPACs aren’t for everyone. I personally think it’s the bee’s knees. Furthermore, buying SPACs willy-nilly will get you broke real quick. And buying too much Spam … well, I shudder to think about it.
But let’s be honest here: Now’s a rough time to be a SPAC investor. The market is going through a valuation hiccup based on inflationary concerns. And, judging from your email, Samuel, you’re feeling the heat a little bit.
Do not panic. These concerns will pass. Just remember that leadership, expertise, planning, and revenue are all critical elements of SPAC investing. These factors will play out in your favor. But it’s gonna take time. A whole lot of precious time. It’s gonna take patience and time. To do it. To do it. To do it right.
Said, Samuel, take it slow, and it’ll work itself out fine. All we need is just a little patience. And you’re already doing it right if you’re following Ian King.
Ian’s latest recommendation is a tiny technology firm poised to disrupt the $18 trillion energy industry, and the only way to get full details on this stock is to subscribe to New Era Fortunes.
OK, Great Ones, enough SPACulation for now — let’s get on with feedbackin’ show. Today, we get a refresher on rampant robocalling, throw virtual stones in glass houses and check in with our resident docs. Dig it and dig in!
New Person, Same Ol’ Mistakes
New twist on an old scam. Used to be, you would get a person or robocall saying something like: “This is the IRS, we need your Social Security number.” Yesterday’s phone (ROBO) call went like this: Your Social Security number was used to commit a felony. We need you to verify/give us your Social Security number so you will not be prosecuted.
NO LEGITIMATE GOVERNMENT AGENCY WILL ASK OR HAS THE RIGHT TO YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER ON THE PHONE!
Thanking you in advance, Oh Great One. Sincerely, — Dave S.
Well, would you look at the time, Dave — you beat me to my annual tax season robocall scam-a-thon reminder.
Great Ones, I know you’re burned out on pandemic prank calls by now, but don’t let down your guard just yet. Or … ever, really. It’s always scam season. Sorry to break it to you, but no one really cares about your vehicle’s extended warranty coverage.
Don’t give info over the phone to random numbers you don’t know. If you need to call a government agency, find their number on their official site and call them first. If you have doubts about whom you’re talking to, it’s probably best not to give out your social, address, first pet’s name or favorite e-zine editor.
Finally, don’t click on random links in random emails from people you don’t know. (Before you ask, yes, of course you know me! We go way back to that one time with the … the thing.) Now, for something that totally doesn’t lend itself to scam-happy folks, let’s net up some NFTs…
Call That A Rockchain
Hey there, I see you’ve written about the madness of NFTs on BanyanHill.com and thought you’d be amused by this one: etherrock.com.
Pet rocks on the blockchain. Started in 2017 and during the NFT craze traded tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of pictures of rocks :/
— Katie H.
Virtual, tradeable pet rocks? It’s sedimentary, dear Katie. What were we just saying about the market matching products for people willing to drop cash on virtually anything?
I love how there’s already an inherent tier structure to this between already-owned “used” rocks and the exclusive, never-before-sold rocks. No human eyes have ever rested upon the sheer spectacle of these virtual virgin rocks! (Paging Ted the caver…)
At least this site’s upfront about the purposelessness of said rocks beyond the fact that you can trade them and gain “a strong sense of pride in being an owner of 1 of the only 100 rocks in the game. ”
Ugh. I share your sentiment entirely, Katie. :/
You’re Not Wrong, But…
Dear Great One, you seemed to forget how to do basic math when a few days ago you commented on Gov. DeSantis’ comments about data and cruises etc.
Yes, 560,000 dead folks from this damn germ is a lot, but when you do the math and take that as part of the 380,000,000 folks, it is a pretty tiny fraction of the whole. I happen to be a doctor and don’t like seeing people die, but as a realistic doctor, I know that thousands of people die every day from something, and that is the fact.
To save you the pain of doing the math, the death rate from the germ as a percent of the total population is 0.14%. So, DeSantis is sort of right. Food for thought. I did not do the math for the world, but from epidemiology sources like Bhattacharya at Stanford, the numbers are close to the same. Pardon any spelling errors — I am a doctor, not a spelling bee winner! — Dr. Bob
Dr. Bob, thank you for writing in. I didn’t forget anything. I simply don’t use math that way. I’m not a doctor, nor am I a spelling bee winner — I love spellcheck and my editor!
What I am is a snarky financial analyst and writer. If we were talking about investments, sure, a 0.14% loss is more than tolerable on an investment — even if that loss is $560,000 on a $380,000,000 account.
But we’re not talking about money.
We’re talking about lives. 560,000 is a statistic. It’s easy to brush off. After all, people die every day. It happens. $%&# happens … just ask Forrest Gump. It’s easy to sit behind our keyboards and screens and say that Gov. Ron DeSantis is right. We need to reopen every part of the economy, and that means cruise lines too.
It’s easy … until someone you love becomes one of those 560,000. Tell me, Great Ones: How does the math work out on that?
Doc, I Get No Respect
Joseph, how is it that visits to the doctor are not yet making use of voice-to-text software?
Or maybe they are… I wouldn’t know, I stopped going to the doctor years ago because I just couldn’t stand the rudeness and inefficiency of a highly-trained physician with his head buried in his laptop as he tapped away with two fingers while I carefully explained the reason for my visit…
Simply infuriating. Any reason at all that the insurance companies couldn’t get on board with allowing voice-to-text to take on that particular task so that the doctor could at least look you in the eye once in a while? — Ken B.
Ken … have you been talking to Dr. Bob up there?
So far, voice-to-text software hasn’t taken off in health care because, frankly, most voice-to-text software is a pile of steaming shitake … speaking as a former transcriber, anyway. Oh jeez, you have mesothelioma? Sorry, our notes say “masterclass Tacoma.”
Not all software is as bad as YouTube’s auto-generated captions, but even my non-doctorly eyes can spot the data security issues with some current voice-to-text platforms. There’s a reason why much of the medical profession still uses fax machines, and it ain’t about scanning butt pics.
Honestly, the entire medical tech sector is overdue for an overhaul of sorts, and the pandemic’s response has spotlighted that. That overhaul’s already happening, too — click here to see how!
After you’ve checked that out — hey, I said after! — why not tell us your thoughts on today’s crop of emails?
Whatever’s on your mind, send it along to GreatStuffToday@BanyanHill.com! Oh, and thanks to all y’all who wrote in today. Your messages are the real Greatness — yes, even yours, Doc.
And for all those numerous readers writing in saying “Add me!” or “Sign me up!” … first off, how’d you receive this? Second, all you have to do to sign up for Great Stuff is click here!
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Until next time, stay Great!
Editor, Great Stuff