Why the Tech Selloff Gets the Kanye Shrug

This past Friday, over the weekend and then into Monday far too many financial pundits and analysts were harrowing the coming breakdown in Tech stocks. Authoritative articles were written about it, CNBC and Bloomberg dedicated entertaining television segments to it and top Tweeters tweeted about it – all were ready to usher in the doom of Tech.

As a long term investor this is the type of hyperbole you have learn to filter out and/or ignore. Rule #1 in investing: very, very few can predict the timing of a downturn in the market and those people usually aren’t heard until well after. Rule #2, when everyone is predicting a downturn at the same time that breaks Rule #1 so therefore ignore their opinions. Yesterday in Marketwatch there was an excellent article detailing how past market crashes (1987, 2000, 2008, etc.) were not easily predicted and how events outside of finance were the actual catalysts for the downturns.

Also you have to recognize there is no penalty for these market expert’s bad calls. A pundit who called a top in the S&P 500 or Nasdaq six months ago was dead wrong and if you followed their advice you would have lost out on all the gains since then. That same pundit isn’t placed in a penalty box for that bad call and that prior synopsis is seldom re-litigated when that expert makes another dramatic pronouncement. You should ignore these Wall Street experts all together or at the bare minimum listen to their opinions with a big giant grain of salt.

There is another element to market or sector selloffs that one must consider in this day in age and that is algorithmic trading. A vast majority of the shares traded in the markets today are not traded by human hands, instead computers run by algorithms execute the majority of trading on the exchanges. No doubt that as the Nasdaq began to selloff on Friday and into Monday that the machines and their complex algorithms accelerated the selling.

I’m not knowledgeable enough to declare whether Facebook, Apple, Tesla, Netflix, etc. are overvalued stocks. I don’t think it even really matters, if Tech stocks are overvalued that doesn’t mean the Nasdaq still can’t or won’t claim another 5%, 10%, 20% or more to the upside. Tech stocks rebounded on Tuesday and they’re up again this Wednesday morning. The poor Chicken Littles proclaiming the sky was falling on Friday don’t seem so clairvoyant right now.

Leave a Reply