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Do We Need Social Media?

Let’s say that a year ago Aunt Tillie died and left me some cash. Let’s say she left me with a million bucks or so. And let’s say that I decided I would put the money to work for me by buying social media stock.

After all, everyone knows that social media is the coming thing. When was the last time you walked into a restaurant and saw one diner sitting at a table who wasn’t on their phone? And it’s not like they were talking to someone else on another phone. They were all flipping from one pic or one video to the next and sharing it around.

That’s social media, okay? And that’s the reason I took some of the money left to me by Aunt Tillie and bought a million bucks or social media stock back on November 1, 2021.

Before I put my money in the market of course I did my research. I love doing research on the internet. It’s so much easier and certainly more reliable than going down to the library, squeezing into some crummy, uncomfortable chair in the reference room, then having to get up and thumb through all those dirty cards in the card catalog.

That’s what we called ‘research’ back when I went to school. Thanks God we have the internet which speeds everything up, including how long it takes me to get some information about this company or that company before I pour myself another cup of coffee and take a much-deserved break.

So, I did my research, and decided to buy stock in the following social media concerns:

1. META. Which used to be called Facebook.

2. TWITTER. A year ago, it wasn’t owned by Elon Musk.

3. PINTEREST. The kids love this one because it’s basically communication by pics.

4. SNAP. The best app for turning my droid into a camera and snapping away.

5. WELBO. The dark horse in the group, a Chinese Twitter-like company with nearly 500 million active users over there.

Just to make sure that I had all my bases covered, I invested the same amount of money in each stock. Then I sat back, didn’t look at financial news again for a year because I figured that: a) these stocks would all increase in value as social media continued to expand, and b) I didn’t want to sit there every day biting my nails.

I’m in the market for the long term. I got into social media stocks because a year ago everyone told me that social media was the wave of the future and in a year, I’d be very upset if I decided not to get into it now.

This morning, I went to the web and typed in the ticker label for each of those stocks. It was the first time I did this since November 2, 2021.

On November 2, 2021, the five-stock average was $104.60, with META (Facebook) at $328 and WELBO at $43. This morning, the five-stock average was $38.8, with META at $95 and WELBO at $12.

This isn’t possible! How could my five social media investments lose more than 60 percent of their value over the same period of time that the Dow Jones dropped by a whole, big 10 percent? And even though the NASDAQ exchange, which holds four of these 5 stocks lost roughly 30 percent over the same twelve months, it didn’t drop by two-thirds!

Shit! What the fu*k is going on here? I understand that the market has up and downs – fine. But losing two-thirds of a stock’s value isn’t a stock that’s going down. It’s a share of a company which is going to collapse.

And by the way, as much as he’s looking like everyone’s definition of a jerk today, thank God that Elon Musk first mentioned buying Twitter back on April 1st. Because I bought the stock on November 1, 2021, when it was selling at $54 a share. The day before Musk announced his interest in becoming a social media entrepreneur, the stock was selling at $40 a share.

Had Twitter not become a takeover target but instead had continued its downward slide from where it was priced last year, my overall holdings today would be averaging out to around $32 a share, which is only 70 percent less than what I stuck into the market with the money from Aunt Tillie’s estate.

And while we’re on the subject of social media stocks, let’s not forget the biggest bust of them all, which is a company called Truth Social. Remember that one?

Now the truth is that I never had an Aunt Tillie, and I never invested a dime last year in social media stocks or anything else. But plenty of other investors have stuck serious money into social media issues and what the performance of these stocks tells me is that while the kids all love sending videos back and forth, they aren’t the people who see a social media ad and then go out and buy whatever that ad tells them to buy.

My only hope is that the average voter is paying no more attention to political messaging on social media than is being paid to that advertisement for a new ‘laboratory certified’ cream that wipes that pimple off the tip of your nose.

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