Stock Notes for 12/19/20

Well that was fun

Hey I did it! If it takes 21 days to develop a habit, I am halfway through this habit forming journey of continuous blog posting. 😅 Here are my stock highlights for the week. Let’s go!

Facebook (FB)

Facebook launched an all out war on Apple through an old-school print ad published in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal.

Facebook, the advertising behemoth that values misinformation, leans in on using small businesses as pawns to argue Apple is an evil company. Apple is limiting Facebook’s ability to serve personalized ads, or behavioral advertising, the creepy ads that follows you around the Internet. Facebook and Google are the duopolist in this space that have profited over this business model, which requires collecting as much personal data as possible to the point where they can predict someone is pregnant.

According to Gabriel Weinberg, CEO of privacy search engine DuckDuckGo, states that companies like Facebook whose business model rely on behavior advertising can turn to contextual advertising (the less intrusive advertising business model) and still be profitable. However, he believes that Facebook and Google choose to prioritize profit over people by squeezing every bit of profit in their behavioral ad business, a model they’re fully entrenched in.

Tim Apple did not disappoint with a rebutle of his own:

While I don’t own positions in the above mentioned companies, I did own The Trade Desk (TTD) earlier this year. In a come to Jesus moment, I came to the realization that ad companies don’t belong in my portfolio because I value digital privacy rights. As such, I voted with my investment dollars by choosing not to support companies that aren’t aligned to my personal values, even if that means leaving monies on the table. 😄

Cloudflare (NET)

Networking and Information Security departments across corporate America are evaluating their security posture this week thanks to SolarWinds. SolarWinds (NYSE: SWI) is an IT infrastructure management company that focuses on corporate network management, systems management (database performance, etc.) and IT security management (that’s questionable given this week’s events). This week, SolarWinds’ Orion platform was hacked through a supply chain attack.

According to CISA, SolarWinds’ attack is part of a greater advanced persistent threat (APT) by well funded entities, which pose a “grave risk” to the Federal Government and state, local, tribal, and territorial governments as well as critical infrastructure entities and other private sector organizations.

SolarWinds’ business focuses on selling traditional appliances (physical boxes) that are placed in corporate data centers. This is significant because corporate IT departments can eliminate this sort of supply chain attacks simply by moving their corporate network to the cloud. And I believe companies like Cloudflare stand to benefit from the accelerated shift to the cloud as well as eliminating attack vectors (the physical boxes) from their corporate network.

Tesla (TSLA)

It was a big week for Tesla: the S&P 500 inclusion.

Tesla TSLA Chart 12/18/20

As usual, there was a lot of hype on the S&P 500 inclusion process. And depending on your expectation, it was either super exciting or anti-climatic. For me, it was a bit anti-climatic.

Truth be told, I was hoping to see a wild squeeze on Friday, but we closed the day at $695/share (+5.96%). The smarty pants on Wall Street prepared itself well enough where, like clockwork, they were able to create selling pressure towards the end of the trading day. Institutional buyers picked up shares, which caused a modest 10% rise at the very end. 🤷🏻‍♂️

Nothing has changed fundamentally for Tesla. Next month, we will see how well they do with their Q4 2020 deliveries. And I hope to contribute a Model 3 to their Q1 2021 deliveries. 😄