Perhaps the most glaring reminder of the current investor mindset is that the new exchange approved by the SEC a couple years ago, the Long Term Stock Exchange (LTSE), designed to help build long-term relationships between companies and their investors, has just now formally gone live with its first two listed companies at launch, Twilio (TWLO) and Asana (ASAN). Frankly, that makes me want to buy those companies… though both, while attractive growth stories that I like and might consider nibbling on at some point, are pretty wildly valued at the moment, and I’ve got enough of my portfolio already levered to nosebleed valuations. With companies like The Trade Desk, Roku, Shopify, Sea and NVIDIA holding pretty large sway over the portfolio, my sphincter probably can’t handle too many more of those “25X sales” growth stories, even if they’re good ones.
And yes, to be fair, the LTSE is very new, these are just the first two companies to sign up — perhaps there will be more. There’s no real reason for a company not to participate, other than that it creates a bit of work and a commitment to behave in a particular way, they don’t have to pull themselves off the NASDAQ or limit their shares to the LTSE (ASAN and TWLO are both dual-listed, and probably any other new additions in the near future will be as well), it’s really just a statement of solidarity with the idea that they’re investing for long-term growth, they don’t want to focus on tick-by-tick share prices, and they want investors to know that about them.
Every company wants long-term shareholders, of course, so this is not exactly revolutionary — and LTSE does not charge listing fees at this point, so there’s no reason not to check it out. We may end up seeing companies that aren’t otherwise public join the LTSE at some point, which could be interesting, they are providing some tools to private companies now to manage relationships with their equity investors, but this is what they say about themselves right now:
“Companies that want to list on LTSE adopt long-term standards that consider strategy, stakeholders, investors, executive compensation, and the board of directors. We support companies as they prepare for the transition to the public markets as well as those that want more control over their public market experience.”
I like this general notion ...