Hall of Fame Bull Market

Plus! Berkshire after Buffett and the Facebook Crime Wave

Facebook Crime Wave

Quick housekeeping item - I am saying this here in the hopes that as many people as possible who follow me will see it: I do not solicit people on Facebook or Instagram to join Whatsapp groups or trade crypto. 

I do not sell stock picks via text message. I will never DM you. I will never ask you to DM me. If you ever see an advertisement using my image or name or some unverified version of my profile, I promise you it’s not me. It’s a scam. Do not engage. Simply click the Report button and tell Meta / Facebook / Instagram about it. Reporting a fraudulent account or a harmful advertisement takes 5 seconds.

I can’t believe I feel the need to say this, but I have been inundated with messages asking “Is this really you?” and it’s a picture of me with a Whatsapp link telling people to join some penny stock or crypto trading group. I am being told the same thing is happening with Abby Johnson (the CEO of Fidelity), Mohamed El-Erian (Allianz), Liz Ann Sonders (Charles Schwab) and, hilariously, Peter Lynch (retired from the mutual fund business for over thirty years now).

And, for some inexplicable reason, some people are reporting it immediately while others aren’t sure if it’s possibly real. I am telling you here that it is always fake. No well known person in finance will ever solicit you for anything like this except maybe Kevin O’Leary. If it’s him in the advertisement, it might be real. Anyone else, you can take it to the bank that it’s a scam.

Part of me feels like if you’re dumb enough to think Mohamad El-Erian wants to have a text message relationship with you, it’s your problem. Part of me feels like if you think Liz Ann Sonders wants to talk to you about crypto on a fucking Whatsapp channel, you might have brain damage. But then part of me is like “Well, people are young and inexperienced...” Or “people are desperate and can talk themselves into something if it looks like free money.”

So I am posting this message here. I don’t have a public Facebook account to say this on. I don’t know what else to do. I am being advised behind the scenes that I should sue Meta / Facebook for allowing people to use my likeness to sell products on their platform. By allowing scammers to utilize my name and image, it’s a form of defamation that is not covered by section 230 immunity because, again, these are not fake profiles they are paid ads. Meta is making money from this. In public statements we are hearing about how wonderful the company’s AI is. In reality, they have fired thousands of employees and now have a free-for-all of unlawful content on their services.

If you know someone who works in Facebook Privacy or Meta security, please send them this note to wake them up.

Thank you for reporting these fake ads when you see them.

Finally, as a reference, my compliance chief posted this notice on ritholtzwealth.com about digital assets in general and how scammy the digital asset space is specifically:

Digital Asset Disclosures 

As cautious as you are in believing what you read about stocks on social media, multiply that by ten when you’re reading about crypto and then double your caution again just to be sure.

Hall of Fame Bull Market (with asterisks)

Okay, that’s enough negativity for one day.

As much fun as you could possibly have on a finance podcast

We have Brian Belski on today’s brand new episode of The Compound and Friends! Belski has been very right about all of the biggest things over the last 18 months or so. He’s gotten a bit more cautious of late for the short term but is as resolute as ever about the longer term “25-year secular bull market.”

BREIT was in the news this week, I had a take…

We talk about his outlook for the remainder of the year, his take on earnings season, some of his favorite opportunities in the stock market right now and some of the biggest news of the week.

Bringing back “fan favorite” guests has now become a really important feature of what we’re doing. It allows you to watch the ideas and outlooks evolve over time and get a sense of how professionals think about investing over longer stretches of time.

Who’s better than Belski!?!

Berkshire After Buffett?

Warren Buffett is 93 years old. It’s truly remarkable how he continues to communicate with the shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway in both his writing and his annual get-togethers. This years was the first time he had to do it without Charlie Munger after decades of the two of them sitting on stage side-by-side. But Buffett is by no means alone. Greg Abel, a long-time Berkshire executive who will succeed to the top of the org chart when the inevitable happens, was front and center this time. Michael and I discussed all of the highlights coming out of this weekend’s Berkshire meeting on an all new edition of What Are Your Thoughts!

Make sure you’re subscribed to the channel for next week. We have a new episode of Great Quarter, Guys with a brand new guest coming Monday. Plus! The return of Nick Colas and Jessica Rabe of DataTrek Research for our monthly “What Did We Learn?” check-in.

Thanks everyone, have a great weekend! - Josh