Exactly one year ago I wrote a column citing the many reasons why “Internet Investors Should Give Thanks.”
This year’s column will be much shorter.
At this point in 1999, internet.com’s Internet Stock Index was up 144.5% for the year. Through Tuesday’s trading, the ISDEX for 2000 is down a dismal 46.8%. Yet there are those in the Internet investing world who should be thankful.
Short-sellers. Last year, as in 1998, a random bet on any Internet stock was almost bound to pay off with a large (sometimes obscenely so) gain as Internet mania fueled feverish and foolish ticker run-ups. Investment geniuses – OK, self-proclaimed geniuses – proliferated like chads on the floor of a Miami-Dade County polling station.
This year the smart money is riding the Internet downdraft. While many people have waited in vain for a widely predicted – including (sigh) by me – fall rally, some investors are cleaning up by betting that ‘Net stocks will continue to plummet. May they get a margin call in their Christmas stocking.
Sideliners. Those investors who have resisted the temptation in recent months to jump into the Internet market to catch the fall frenzy (see above) also should give thanks. If you’re not short-selling, the sideline is a pretty painless place to be these days.
Spring cleaners. Investors who cashed out of the Internet market by mid-March, as ‘Net stocks hit their peak, are the real geniuses of 2000.
Value investors. Admit it; they were right all along.
Underwriters and venture capitalists. Let’s face it; somehow, they ALWAYS have a reason to be thankful.
Enjoy your holidays. See you Monday.