Zen in the time of FOMO

One of the most valuable lessons I’m learning from this board is discipline.

I wouldn’t call this summer “dry” exactly, as I watched UPST drive from $80 to $300 and take over my portfolio…essentially having the same value now as my whole portfolio did only 2 years ago (!!) and it’s still less than 25% of the total. Exciting to be sure, but new options were a lot fewer.

Lately however, there’s been a deluge of additional options: MNDY, APPS, RSKD, GLBE, and several others. Each has (or had for a while) a compelling story and I found myself stressing wondering how to free up cash to participate in many of them. GLBE seems particularly compelling.

But it’s a mirage, the human instinct to chase the shiny and new. I have no more conviction in these new offerings than in the ones I already own. And after seeing many “invest by example” lessons on this board, it finally sunk in: step back, relax, purge the instinct and treat the new with the exact same discipline as you continually apply to the old.

I wish I had something more tangible to contribute, but it occurred to me that maybe others were experience similar feelings, so hopefully this is somewhat useful.


I really liked this post, jwiest, and I’ve been ruminating on it for the last couple days. I agree that we are in a time of “FOMO” (fear of missing out). Valuations are high and some of our recently favorite companies are showing signs of slowing, but many times we hang on to them because “we have to own something!” That is the definition of FOMO.

I disagree that the new companies we’ve been looking at are a mirage, and in fact I have even taken a position in two that you mention: MNDY and GLBE (Monday.com and Global-e). But they are tiny 2% positions. I think this is important because I think it’s important to get to know a company before jumping in head first, and this goes double when things are so expensive.

I’ve also sold out of Snowflake and Cloudflare and Docusign and drastically reduced Crowdstrike. Docusign is an interesting case. Saul and WSM and others were faster to see it as a sell than I was…even after their last earnings call, I thought I would hold at 5%, but as its price fell further I realized I didn’t want to add back. That seemed like a good sign that the reason I was holding was FOMO.

The VERY SIMPLE principles I try to keep to are these:

  1. own the companies you think are the best ones to invest in at present
  2. allocate to these stocks the percentages that you want
  3. re-evaluate regularly
    After you do that, you can be very “zen” about holding cash, or buying an index fund to stay fully invested, or buying a bunch of small positions, or whatever you choose – that is portfolio management and is off topic, and it’s also a personal decision.

So, at present, what do I think are the best companies to invest in? Upstart, Datadog, and Lightspeed. We can disagree about that list. But I think it’s important to know yours, and realizing this in recent days really has help me let go of the fear of missing out. If I decide to get back into Snowflake or Cloudflare or Docusign, it will be with a very small position – because they don’t rise to the category of things I think are the best to invest in at present. Again, not looking to argue that – make your own list!

But if I don’t ever buy back into those (or other recent favorites), I still hope they go to the moon for anyone in them. I won’t have any FOMO. I’m rocking a 50% cash position, or so, but I will get it invested eventually. If I was still working, maybe I’d just dump it all into Upstart and Datadog and Lightspeed, but in my situation I am allocating the percentages I want.

Anyway, sorry if this has been slightly off topic – hopefully my years here have earned me a little latitude. And please, no questions on portfolio management here – if you have thoughts on anything I’ve written, make it about the companies. But I do think in crazy times – whether up or down – it pays to take a step back, and that’s what I’ve been doing. Feeling very “zen.”


PS – Even though it’s always dangerous to assume NTM “next twelve month” growth rate, I find Jamin Ball’s work interesting. Look how far things have run in the last 4 months or so!
May 7: https://twitter.com/jaminball/status/1390763930306318336
Sep 17: https://twitter.com/jaminball/status/1438959348760281091

PPS – Even with all this said, on down days like yesterday, I’m buying! Maybe in small increments for now, but I’m still looking to add!