The underwriters just created too many stocks. There's too many new companies, too many companies that help you with analytics, too many that offer video, too many data collectors and too many real-time analysis, and too many cybersecurity companies. There's been too many new electric vehicle derivatives, too many cannabis plays and way too many new fintechs.
The effect? We are now facing a bewildering number of companies that simply do the same things and can't be differentiated and, frankly, are too hard to understand unless you are deeply involved in the transfer of data from on your premises to the cloud.
Why does this matter?
Because these stocks are defenseless. They are defenseless against inflation because so many of them sell at a multiple to sales and any company that trades as a multiple to sales will see its value erode more quickly than any other in this stock market because the company has to graduate from a multiple to sales to a multiple of earnings, or just keep losing money. So many new investors have not experienced real inflation where these kinds of stocks can't be given away.
They are defenseless against an economic boom. I have been reading through countless software as a whatever with a go to market strategy and a huge TAM to land and expand, and my eyes glaze over. Who needs a company with all of those buzzwords that's growing at 27% and losing money when I have plenty of high quality industrials that are growing at 27% and spewing cash to the point the biggest issue is how much should be put to growth versus rewarding shareholders.
They are defenseless against older companies with a balanced policy toward dividends and buybacks, so that supply is mopped up while demand is bolstered by a yield. The land and expanders don't have anything backing them up which makes them vulnerable to sudden shocks down as we have seen.
They are defenseless against insider selling. If capital gains rates are going up, these are the companies with the most vulnerable stocks because so many of the people in these new companies have stocks that are still up substantially from when they got stock so a company with a stock down 30%-40% is vulnerable from scads of insider selling, including secondaries I am now expecting with increasing frequency.
They are defenseless against SPACs. While there are many good SPACs there are too many SPACs with too much stock sloshing around. I keep thinking about that MP Materials (MP) secondary offering in late March, where entities controlled by CEO James Litinsky sold 4.6 million shares of his company in a deal priced at $35. Now it is a small percentage of his holdings and many others involved with the company sold small amounts, too. That's not the point. It's more of a statement: this stock traded at $50. You might have been inclined to buy on the pullback but you would have been massacred as the stock is now at $27. If you have a so-called successful SPAC its success might be measured by how much money you took out of it before its stock fell by 50%. There are hundreds of things and when you consider all of the warrants out there, you know this market is going to be overwhelmed with this stuff.
Now there are people out there willing to buy the incredibly almost stupidly risky stocks, people like Cathie Wood, who demonstrated her unflappable conviction to her method of buying stocks that worked when there's scarcity value but there's anything but that now.
Maybe she can take down tens of billions of dollars worth and save the day. I wouldn't count on it. I am sorry to question her stock picking, lord knows she's been amazing. But unless others copy her, we know the stocks she is buying resemble what's not working at all. Maybe someday, but not now.
I try to figure out what the end game for these stocks might be if the economy keeps heating up and inflation accelerates. There's simply not enough money from young people or ETFs based on high growth or Cathie Wood to keep these stocks higher, and there's too much opportunity for the insiders to do what MP did, something that crunched the stock even as it reported a quarter ahead of expectations, which meant something at one point but means absolutely nothing now. Nothing at all.