April 7, 2005

Happily Losing Money


So I met an accountant yesterday. I got to write off $3,000 in tax losses this year from internet stocks I bought while in the Navy (a bleak period of my life).

A few observations:

  • there is little reason to gamble. the stock market is a much better gamble. if you lose you get to claim up to $3,000 of losses per year.
  • what the fuck was I thinking. I mean back then I was only making like $10,000 to $12,000 a year in pay. how in the hell could I afford $3,000 of stocks? (I think my total losses probably comes a bit closer to the $5,000 to $6,000 dollar range)...I lost that much on stocks on top of giving money to charity and sending money to my sister.
  • some of the companies (or ideas) I was buying in back then were spot on. the timing, execution, and business models were just piss poor. for example I had stock in Inktomi, which was then the webs largest search service - but one with a piss poor business model. Today Google is a better version of what they were back then, but with contextually relevant ads.
  • It took a while for people to see the value of targeted leads. back in the day DoubleClick was one of the leading online advertising companies. (had some of their stock too...as well it went to shit). Now that some people are tracking and Google has created such a large demand engine there is a ton of money in online advertising. already internet ad spend has trumped radio ad spend in the UK. again, spot on idea, with piss poor timing and execution.
  • If I would have known then what I know now I would have been less inclined to buy Inktomi stock and more inclined to spam their search results, but oh well. hehehe
  • again, like a schmuck, I am an owner of a few web stocks. this time more to give me added excuse and reason to view at greater depth the economics, legalities, and social implications surrounding search services - which thus makes my other weblog, and hopefully my business products better offerings.
  • me owning some stocks might be a conflict of interest to some, but I have an exceptionally small stake in them and own stocks across the search industry to where it is not going to be something that makes me inclined to selfishly promote some companies and try to beat down the stocks of others. If I think a company is overtly horrible I would not buy their stock. my limited reach and small positions also means that I have little to gain in promoting any companies.

Posted at April 7, 2005 6:03 AM
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