I am feeling really discouraged

I am feeling really discouraged. I feel that I just don’t understand what’s going on in the market at this point. Look at Enphase. They dropped about $57 yesterday from about $221 to $164.

It looks as if the analysts don’t understand it either. Here are the updates that Schwab sent me yesterday.

  • Enphase : BMO cuts target price to $275 from $286

  • Enphase : Capital One cuts target price to $257 from $268

  • Enphase : Craig-Hallum cuts target price to $259 from $315

  • Enphase : Goldman Sachs cuts target price to $285 from $295

  • Enphase : J.P. Morgan cuts target price to $258 from $307

  • Enphase : Northland Capital cuts target price to $300

  • Enphase : Oppenheimer cuts target price to $302 from $328

  • Enphase : Piper Sandler cuts target price to $230 from $255

  • Enphase : Scotiabank cuts target price to $275 from $300

  • Enphase : Truist Securities cuts target price to $260 from $285

  • Enphase : Craig-Hallum cuts target price to $259 from $315

  • Enphase : Citigroup cuts price target to $267 from $285

AFTER the cuts in target prices yesterday, the average target price of these 12 analysts is $269. That is over $100 more than yesterday’s close!!! Even the one low-ball estimate at $230 is more than $65 and 40% over yesterday’s close.

What in the heck is going on?

Enphase sells microinverters, and now batteries, for solar energy systems. They announced first quarter results on Tuesday. They have the tailwind of the whole shift to renewable energy and climate change, but they sold off mightily after decent results because of the usual bugaboo, guidance.

As far as this quarters actual results, let’s see:

Revenue was up 64.5%, and slightly above expectations,

Adj gross margin of 45.7% [which was a record, and up hugely from 41.0% a year ago and from 43.8% sequentially].

And this isn’t some money-losing company trying to reach profitability. It had:

Adj EPS of $1.37 in the quarter, beating expectations by 15 cents and up 73% from 79 cents a year ago, and let’s not forget

Adj op income of $234 million!

Adj net income of $192 million!

Free cash flow of $224 million!
This company is making money.

Now, does that sound like a $57 and 26% sell-off to you? Well that’s what happened because they reported that increased interest rates are hurting sales in the US (people often have to take out a loan to buy the whole system), and because people in California have to get used to a new system for receiving payments for electricity that they feed into the grid. Thus they predicted roughly flat sequential results next quarter.

So please don’t follow any of my trades or positions. I clearly don’t understand this market, and I am seriously feeling discouraged.



And by the way, I’m not kidding about being discouraged. This Bear Market in our best of the best companies has been going on for a year and a half now, and that’s not only discouraging but it makes me feel that I truly don’t know what’s going on… I wonder if that’s a sign of a bottom? :grinning:



Here’s what I think is going on, with ENPH at least:

Back in early 2020 ENPH was a $30 - 50 stock (it’s always been volatile). It got bid up like most stocks did in the 2020 - 2021 exuberance. Then, because of some massive growth in 2022 Q2 and Q2 (20% sequential revenue growth two quarters in a row is insane!) it got bid up even more, to really ridiculous heights.

Ever since they hit that crazy level of well over $300, the stock has been pulling back to a more reasonable level, because the market realized they wouldn’t usually grow like they did for those two quarters. As of yesterday, the PE ratio is just over 30. That seems fair for a company that sells a physical good. Yes, it seems like a bargain for a company growing at 60%+…but I believe you have to zoom out. Enphase hasn’t been a 60%+ grower consistently, or for long. And it’s at an almost $3b revenue run rate, so it’s not likely to grow anywhere near 60% going forward. In that light, the market is searching for the right price.

I think the current price is pretty reasonable, but I still don’t know have even an approximate guess as to how fast they’ll grow going forward, so I’m not comfortable building a position.

Hope that helps. Whether searching for new ideas or just hunkering down with old ones like DDOG and ZS, it hasn’t been a fun year and a half. I still believe we’ll eventually make money in the market again, provided we pick the best companies. Enphase seems like a very good one. I don’t know if it’s one of the absolute best. It might be. But I’m more convinced with our ole SaaS companies.



Enphase is doing what Enphase has been doing for the past four or five years.

This crazy volatility is very hard to predict and the models analyst use are very short term focused. The only way to look at Enphase is with a long distance telescope.

This is what a typical analyst sees (from Seeking Alpha):

From a technical standpoint, ENPH was clearly topping at the end of 2022. With the lower lows now, it is starting to look like the long-term bull trend is in trouble. I’m going to watch for $80 entry point later this year.

My reply:

@sandimas “From a technical standpoint, ENPH was clearly topping at the end of 2022.” → ENPH topped THREE times before that. It’s a highly volatile stock.

“With the lower lows now…” → Even after yesterday’s 25% drop the low is higher than the 2022 low, 36.56% higher.

link to above chart

I wonder how many stop loss orders triggered in a chain reaction yesterday.

The difficulty is timing the crazy volatility and the answer might be to very slowly dollar cost average into a position. I use covered calls. Over the past three weeks I lowered my costs basis by 1.5%. It’s not much but it adds up in time.

Patience Grasshopper! :cricket:

Do you believe in the inevitability of the transition to renewable energy? Buy ENPH only if you have the courage of your conviction.

Denny Schlesinger


Director Thurman Rodgers bought $5.49 million worth of shares yesterday at 166.88, bringing his total stake to 1.22 million shares. Nice little vote of confidence


Their revenue in 2022 was 301% of their revenue in 2020. Tripling in 2 years. Hard to call the stock price irrational exuberance.

Then, because of some massive growth in 2022 Q2 and Q3 (20% sequential revenue growth two quarters in a row is insane!) it got bid up even more, to really ridiculous heights.

Their growth was actually even faster in 2021 than in 2022. Roughly 79% in 2021 and 69% in 2022. Then two unexpected things happened: the Fed started pushing interest rates up at rates never seen before, and California changed the law, now paying holders of solar panels a quarter or so of the price they had previously been getting when feeding electricity back into the grid.

Calling their 2022 growth and price “insane” hardly makes sense as it would probably be continuing at those rates now without the Fed and the California legislature. :grinning:


that’s not only discouraging but it makes me feel that I truly don’t know what’s going on… I wonder if that’s a sign of a bottom? :grinning:

it’s been quite a while since I’ve seen that, and the last time you expressed such a sentiment, we went on to have a 6 year bull run where investors like you and Bear managed to 10x your capital :slightly_smiling_face: So perhaps you’re right on the bottom

I have the same sentiment that I did back then, lumpy returns (I said 20% back then, but you’re doing far better than that annually) is better than a more predictable and smoother curve but lower total returns. Our companies might be out of favor at the moment, but at some point the market rotations will be back to high quality growth again, and in the meantime revenue will continue to grow 30-60% each year.


Yes but the 2021 growth was against 2020 – the covid year, in which they only grew 24%.

The 69% growth in 2022 was astounding. To scale like that can’t be easy when you’re dealing with not software, but a good that you have to manufacture and someone has to install. Expecting that to continue just seems like too much to ask.

I think it was the market’s expectation, though. That’s why I said the price was insane. I guess if you’re expecting that kind of growth, it’s not. But whether because of the Fed, California, or something else, I don’t believe that kind of growth is sustainable for very long.

With the flattish guide, though, YoY growth will only be about 40% next quarter. If it’s flattish again in Q3, YoY growth would be around 20%. Surely this explains what we’re seeing with the stock price, right?



Thanks for the post. I will say very briefly something that @StockNovice and I went over at the Mongoose forum in the sunny days of Summer 2021. No, I did not do any better than anyone else here in 2022 because timing is nearly impossible but it explains the big picture: 1/ monetary backdrop, nothing matters when that changes abruptly pro or against “long-duration” assets. So QQQ lost more than SPY, WCLD lost more than QQQ, and ARKK lost more than WCLD. I disagree with the framework, but logical within it. 2/ sector is next. It is very hard to do well with individual companies if Big Money that buys and sells sectors more than individual companies is pulling money out of the entire sector. 3/ only then come individual picks.

Now, on to ENPH, I felt clearly that the Q4 call was pessimistic looking forward but I expected a better Q1 call. Instead, this one felt even worse. I totally agree that a -26% was bonkers but unfortunately while I dislike the logic, I see it. Risk minimization rules due to macro. With so many fund decision-makers presumably convinced that a recession is nearly inevitable, then it is logical for them to anticipate even worse times ahead. I suppose the idea is “if this terrible guidance is what we get now, what will happen if/when recession hits”?

Finally, am I discouraged? Not yet.

On April 21 my indefinite port looked like this and I was +28% YTD (mind you that it looked nothing like this on Jan 1 except for AYX which I bought in AUg 2022 and I did benefit from NET’s January recovery and others like that including positions that did really well quickly and were sold: TTD, DKNG, AI, now SWAV will likely follow):

INSP and KNSL 16.5% each, FOUR 15.5%, AYX 14%, ENPH 11%, SWAV 8%, IOT 7%, FSLY, yes that FSLY 5.5%, and TWLO 4.5%.

So I will know pretty soon how discouraged or not I am about 2023. The idea behind my port is that I want high growth in diverse areas including medical devices and something that benefits from higher rates (KNSL).

As for your method in general, I am totally not discouraged. But it does require IMO some degree of fundamental macro stability, not necessarily positive direction.

EDIT: oh, how could I forget: where I am discouraged is my 401k because it only allows ETFs. That’s where I am really not happy but I can do nothing about it.


My thoughts on ENPH first quarter 2023 results.

My first impression is this is better than what I would’ve feared given the very high interest-rate and tough macro environment and the transition from NEM2 to NEM3 in California.

Before this quarter:

US Revenue - 71%
Rest of World - 29%
Europe sequential growth - 22%

This Quarter:

US Revenue - 65%
Rest of World - 35%
Europe sequential growth - 25% (Sequential growth of 25 percent corresponds to 244 percent annual growth).

Note - Europe has the same seasonally weak quarter and a similarly tough macro environment as in US. US Sequential decline - 9% (15% seasonality is expected on average, but NEM rush helped them this time.)

At this rate in a couple of quarters we will see the split of revenue between US and ROW at close to 50-50% with one half in hypergrowth and likely to continue in hypergrowth.

Why do I feel confident about that ? We need to understand what is driving the fast growth in Europe and ROW. Enph has just entered international and European markets. In fact their flagship IQ8 is not even available in many important markets yet. I fully expect ENPH to become the dominant player in micro inverters as it did in the US. So the hyper growth cycle here will likely continue for some time.

For more context, ENPH went from negligible market share in the US a few years back to being the dominant player today providing it the first leg of hypergrowth. How dominant is ENPH in US? Today every solar quote I and a friend solicited (maybe over 10 quotes), the solar inverters came back with Enphase microinverters. This was certainly not the case in 2020 when installers tried to sell me other solutions. So it seems the US residential market Enphase pretty much has it captured and further growth will come from secular growth of solar and entry into other markets (storage, small scale commercial, chargers, portable backup systems etc).

Obviously the US growth suffered because of high interest rates and California changing from NEW 2.0 to NEM 3.0. So how does the outlook like ?

First on the macro. Let’s say your solar panels cost $25,000 the monthly mortgage for the 25 yeah for father 25 year loan for 25,000 would come to $150 - $180 in the current interest rate environment. In the lower interest-rate environment of 2021 of around 2 to 3% And the monthly payment would be $110-$125 so this is the plain economics of it.

To add to the above, the federal ITC credit is now for a period of 10 years so the consumers do not feel the urgency to make a decision as they did before.

Looking at the positives in US market:

  1. Even with high interest rates in most places solar will still save consumers some money rather than paying the utility while building an asset over time.

  2. Besides though the federal credit has now been extended reducing the urgency for consumers to jump in now, consumers still have some incentive to invest today as net metering rules can change as in California, once solar installations in their states hit a critical mass.

  3. Badri on the call made an important point - that the small tail of installers seemed to have adapted better than the larger installers in the changed environment. Higher interest rates also unlock more capital for solar for smaller installers AS ROI for capital providers is now more attractive (Solar is not an unsecured loan). There has also been more innovation on lease and lease to buy now increasingly available to smaller installers. After the initial shock of rate hikes, things can only improve on this front.

  4. When the interest rates were really low, the wait time for solar installation was weeks and months. If there is realization that interest rates are here to stay, more consumers waiting on the sidelines will step in.

  5. ENPH management has been consistently bullish on NEM 3.0 as their new generation of batteries to be introduced in Q2 and software gives ENPH a competitive edge. First like they did with inverters, they are laser focussed on getting the installation time significantly down. Given their past track record no reason to believe management will not achieve this. Second, it has a significantly higher peak power output which will allow customers to export electricity at the opportune moment keeping their solar payback time constant at 6 to 8 years.

Given the above, the growth in USA will likely bottom in Q2 and Q3 before incrementally taking off again even if the interest rates remain high. I am excluding the impact of new products for now. Even at flat quarterly guidance, yoy growth rate is in the high 30s and with Europe and rest of world in hypergrowth and increasingly a larger pie there is no reason to see why this growth rate and more cannot be maintained for the foreseeable future.

One last point on valuation. Last quarter ENPH non-gaap eps was 1.56. This quarter it was 1.41. So even with flat growth in two quarters trailing annual eps will be approximately 6, giving a PE of 28 and a PEG less than 1 which should make even value investors salivate.

I think this is an over reaction, likely triggered by algorithms which are flush with data on stop losses, margin and what it would take to trigger a mini collapse. It is also the reason this stock is very volatile. This too will pass.



Perhaps it is helpful to widen the lens a bit.

As you know, I am the pastor of a local church in the Metro Boston area. While the congregation is wealthy and financially savvy, with many working in the financial industry, my actual job could not be further from the world of investing or even from the work of the companies we follow on this board.

But the people coming to me for pastoral care this year, in this extremely privileged town, are all expressing the same feeling. They feel discouraged, lost, and largely unable to comprehend what is going on around them. Your feeling is not unique to the investment world. You are not alone.

What is part of my job is trying to keep up with what is going on in the world so that what I say on a Sunday morning has relevance to real life in the here and now. And what I see is a vast sea-change (literally and figuratively!) across the globe.

Since I began my current position at the start of the pandemic, I have been trying to adjust people’s language away from any talk of going “back to normal.” As I told them in a sermon two weeks ago, “There is no going back. The ship called normal has sailed. The world has changed in fundamental and irreversible ways.” In essence, we will find our ground in a new normal, but we are not going back to what was–not even to what was in 2019.

Part of the irony for those of us on this board is that many of those “fundamental and irreversible” changes are directly related to the companies we follow and those which paved the way for them. And part of the angst for this style of investing is that the pace of change is now so quick that any one of our companies could well be disrupted–not by a better mousetrap necessarily; but by a world that is suddenly without mice at all.

Every one one of us has to navigate the vast changes and threats in our world in a way that feels true to who we are. All I can do is share how I am trying to drop anchor in the storms:

  1. I don’t expect the market to act rationally. “The market” is people; and the combination of storms–pandemic, war, climate disruption, political unrest–mixed with instant communication and real-time data has everyone on edge. High anxiety typically results in a fight, flight, or freeze response rather than rational, reasoned action. See the run on SVB bank and the surrounding fallout as a case study for this. Runs on banks have happened before, but it took today’s technology to create this one.

  2. I continue to look for the best, high-growth companies in relative terms. By relative, I mean that I do not expect the previous bull market to have permanently set the definition for “high growth.” That was then. The pandemic “pulled forward” growth for exactly the kinds of SaaS companies we follow. Now we’re getting into the years that the exploding growth of 2020-2021 pulled from.

  3. I review companies in a holistic way. By “holistic” I mean that I look well beyond the numbers. There’s a reason that everyone wants “real time” data. By the time numbers are available to us, everything could have been upended internally and we would not know it. I’m also really bad at math, so there’s that! But paying attention to corporate culture and leadership is a key screening tool for me. This article from yesterday’s Financial Times, is a great piece on why it matters.

  4. I screen for geopolitical risk. This can be very hard to suss out with global supply chains and multi-national companies. It is also something that often is out of both our control and even the companies themselves. Congress threatening to default on our debt is an example of a geopolitical risk in the US that probably only corporate lobbyists can counter. As many have said, the market will not like a default one single bit and will punish every company in every index. I also do my best to stay away from dictators. When a nation’s leader can change economic and trade policy overnight or can shutter or attack a company abruptly and with no checks and balances, I don’t sleep well. We have that risk here in the US with some state governments. Despite loving NVIDIA and finding their CEO to be truly visionary, I finally decided to get out and stay out because such a large percentage of their business is with China. President Xi could shutter a huge income stream in a heartbeat. And US tensions with China could result in legislation or executive orders that also make the relationship at least unprofitable if not untenable.

  5. I look for high-growth trends first and then search for companies within the sectors that interest me. I am in Global-e (GLBE) because I see e-commerce is a high-growth trend and GLBE gets me in the growing sub-trend of cross-border e-commerce without having to pick a single winner in the field. Renewable energy is a high-growth trend. Many of you have gone with solar in Enphase (ENPH). I went with plastics recycling in PureCycle Technologies (PCT). Cybersecurity is a high-growth trend. I used to own CRWD, ZS, and S. I am now down to just CRWD, mostly because of my confidence in George Kurtz. Cloud everything is a high-growth trend, and I am in Cloudflare (NET) because I believe Matthew Prince can deliver on his promises. Data is high-growth. I’m still in Datadog (DDOG), but have trimmed quite a bit. Digital advertising is a high-growth trend, and that’s why I’m in The Trade Desk (TTD). And, yes, I’m still in Upstart (UPST) because I see their mission as critical and their formula for beating FICO results as on-track. Digital banking is just getting started, imo. Health care is high growth, but very high risk/reward. If you back the right horse, congratulations. But they are subject to every risk imaginable, and that makes me lose sleep. So I haven’t gone there at all.

That’s enough of a treatise for now. My main goal is to assure Saul and anyone else that the whole world is pretty discouraged and unmoored right now. Those who aren’t, likely aren’t paying attention! That’s why the community fostered by this board is so important. It takes a village to raise a child; it takes a board to raise a portfolio. Thank you, Saul, for your leadership.




I’m not saying Enphase is/was a bubble, but this chart is a commonly shared chart that is reflective of the emotional swings we go through during periods like this. I hope we are in “despair”, because that would mean we are close to the end. But I’m not sure if we’ve gotten there yet (not just for ENPH, but for the market as a whole). This is the main reason I have been in such a high amount of cash for so long. It can take years to reach the low. Shorts keep pressing until they exhaust everyone’s spirits (and cash).

I traded tweets with someone earlier this year and said that as long as the Fed is raising rates, it is entirely possible that high growth stocks are going to keep going sideways or down for years. Everyone is hoping that the Fed is almost done, but if inflation surges again (which I personally think is likely), then rates are going to stay high and possibly go higher. If that occurs, then people are going to stay in money market funds and CD’s - and not in high growth stocks. You can earn a guaranteed 5% right now and I think that is keeping lots of people on the sidelines.

I am down a ton from the all time highs, and my 3rd largest holding NET is suffering tonight. So, I’m feeling pain too. I don’t claim to know when it’s going to end, so I just keep dollar-cost-averaging in small increments for now. Things could change tomorrow, and none of us know for sure.

Please don’t reply to this because discussion about this is not allowed - but if you are feeling despair about your stocks then maybe take a little time off and learn about something else. It starts with a “B” and ends with an “oin”.


In case this helps somebody:

AYX made it crystal clear during the Q1 call that the banking scare caused some contracts to slip from Q1 on to Q2 and ALSO that it resulted in unusually aggressive tactics from customers, including such Anderson said he had never seen before. Trying to pay far too little. So AYX chose to stay disciplined and not do those deep discounts.

I am saying this here because the same dynamic likely played out across the board. If anyone wonders, which I doubt :), I am neither selling nor adding to AYX as what I heard on the call overall explains what I saw in the release.


A couple unsolicited comments:

Saul: You’ve changed investment philosophies before. It’s time for another change. As you know, adaptability is pretty important. I suggest shifting to underpriced profitable growth companies. I don’t claim it’s the best. Just the best I see. Not a big deal… just adapt.


[quote=“Oracleoo, post:10, topic:91733”]
At this rate in a couple of quarters we will see the split of revenue between US and ROW at close to 50-50% with one half in hypergrowth and likely to continue in hypergrowth.[/quote]

You are absolutely correct. Yeah, I throw around “absolutely”. It’s “merely” highly likely. :wink: There’s also an unclear opportunity ahead with battery backup. I say “unclear” only because it’s a big opportunity… I just can’t say how fast it’ll grow other than I don’t think anyone will be disappointed.

Post-earnings report, I greatly increased my ENPH position and am currently selling short term calls for gains until the market catches on to the fact that ENPH’s situation is transitory. Too bad my PRE-earnings position got whacked, but I over-estimated how aware the market was regarding ENPH’s situation. No big deal… adaptation again, eh?

Anyway, those are my two cents.

IMO, no reason to be scared or discouraged. There are fabulous opportunities out there waiting to be grasped.

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose


Saul - I’d like to remind you of something. You have achieved returns of >30% before SaaS even existed. Anyone who questions your ability to play this game has no idea that you have a multi-decade track record only comparable to the best investors in history.

I’m reminded of the quote that, “the longer things are going up and to the right, the more difficult it becomes to separate the alpha from the beta.” This community thrived during the golden era of SaaS, but a lot of us had to come to the tough realization that our portfolios were tracking beta [1]. Simply the right place at the right time. There are few alpha’s out there, and your returns speak for themselves.

As @JabbokRiver42 elegantly pointed out, you’re not alone. Everyone here has a ‘story’ in this market that is manifested through discouragement, angst, and desperation.

A simple example is those of us who hadn’t discovered SaaS investing during its golden era (2016-2021), and don’t have those gains to fallback on. It’s been a brutally tough lesson to learn, but I just wish I had a few cents to show for the thousands of hours spent on analysis. I keep telling myself that it will be worth it at some point, but every quarter I get closer to giving up.


[1] That is not to diminish anyone’s credit in doing so.


That chart is similar to the

Gartner hype cycle


Denny Schlesinger


Best news I heard in a long time. About the only thing better would be that you were selling calls and buying puts.

When the best are ready to throw in the towel, there is money to be made!

In 2001 I started enough projects for Southwestern Bell to double the network bandwidth in Houston. This happened over a period of three months and was happening after the dot com burst and as the upstart long distance companies were going into bankruptcy. Shortly after this Enron would go bankrupt and 911 would happen.

Yet, telecom while never the darling again, grew and grew and grew and grew. In 2001 if you could get high speed internet it was 1.5 megabits up and 384 kilobits down. By the market bust in 2008, that is what you got on your Iphone 3g.

In 2001 everyone was ridiculing Amazon for selling books at a loss, Apple was being run by a soda salesman, and learning to text from a telephone keypad was what the cool kids did.

I remember reading some years ago you talking about 2008 or 2001, you would have sold out, but to whom?

In the 2000’s when you look at the amount of data being pushed through the networks, and its growth, the no brainer was to investing telecoms. An investment there would have had significant negative returns.

However, an investment in a book seller losing money on every book would have made good money, and investment in a company sending out movie disks in the mail would have made good money, and an investment in a company that helps people find stuff and does it for free would have made good money.

What did they have in common? They were growing in a green field.

They had the same attributes that the companies we own now have.

They also had the earth shift under their feet. Amazon makes most of its money on AWS and providing a market place. Netflix became a streaming service and Google is the advertising jabberwocky of the world.

Many others made money and ceased to exist. One must stay nimble, but in the end this is the way.



Nice post! Green field is important but one has to own stocks that bounce back. One fantastic stock of the era you are talking about was Global Crossing. They crisscrossed the world with optic fiber but ran into a problem, Moore’s Law on steroids. The technology of sending data over optic fiber was so efficient that prices dropped so fast that Global Crossing did not have the cash flow to pay off their bonds and went bankrupt. Amazing outfits like Bell Labs went broke. Iridium and GlobalStar satellites went broke.

Amazon bounced back! Imagine the pain during 2001

Denny Schlesinger


Exactly! And this is why Saul’s careful analysis and his skittishness at holding stocks has proven so successful. While he does not seem to have a dedicated portfolio management system, his
method of being fully invested and pulling money out spend seems to provide some discipline.



I put most of my wife’s IRA into Global Crossing a long time ago. And it was vaporized. She reminds me of this periodically. Luckily, it was early in our careers - but it was a sizable amount of money. We were also invested in MSFT and CSCO during the 2000 bubble. I have experience with bubbles popping. IT IS PAINFUL AND LEAVES SCARS FOR MANY YEARS. I completely stopped trying to invest after that for a long time. I was in investing despair for years, and I missed out on some potentially great gains if I had kept at it.

If that is you now, don’t loose heart. Keep learning and studying. You can recover. All of those painful experiences have made me a much more cautious investor.