Friday File: The Relative Safety of Agencies

Some Real Money Portfolio transactions in Insurance, plus a bit on hedging, SPAC mania and more...

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, June 12, 2020



The plan for today?  Figure out what other name might be associated with Nikola Tesla, and use it as the name for a new-age company.  Venture funding should flow without regard to merit, and you might just be able to go straight to an IPO and buy that private island.

Nikola (NKLA) is taken, thanks to the surge in that SPAC merger in the past few weeks, Tesla (TSLA) is obviously taken (and Elon Musk seems threatened enough by Nikola’s truck plans that he tweeted about speeding up the launch of the Tesla semi program), so what else?  

We can try to mash up the names a bit, maybe Kolates?  Or should we go into Tesla’s family tree?  His roots are in the priesthood, both his father and maternal grandfather were Eastern Orthodox priests, but he apparently got his mechanical aptitude and creative genius from his mother — so I’ll suggest Đuka Mandić, her maiden name, or maybe just Đuka.  Plus, that way you get to use the cool Dyet (Đ) in your logo.  Maybe Đuka will make electric hovercars, or solar tractors.

OK, I’ll confess I’m too lazy to form Đuka and take it public… so you can have the idea, I’ll just take a small finder’s fee — perhaps you can give me a small yacht and docking rights on your private island.

But in more serious pursuits, what’s going on with the market?

I thought we’d see a lot more days like yesterday, following the March collapse and the rapid recovery, which is why I’ve mostly been a “microdose” buyer, somewhat more heavily in March and April than in May and June because prices boomed higher. The market so quickly got enthused that I’ve mostly been a bit gun shy recently, but I’m hopeful that if this is the start of more of a “reset” for valuations perhaps we’ll see more buying opportunities again.

This is really a reminder that we’re in a “Story” market — when the story about the coronavirus is “we’re all bouncing back, reopening is proceeding, and vaccines or treatments are looking good,” then everything does well… including the most beaten-down names (hotels, airlines, even real estate)… when the story turns back to “uh oh, maybe that second wave is coming since cases are rising in places that are reopening, and clearly people are a lot more ...

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