Monkey Mind Money Matters

AnnaLisa is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.

When you have “Monkey Mind” you have a mind full of chittering, chasing, chattering thoughts. It is an old Buddhist concept of an all too contemporary condition of anxiety. When you have a portfolio with stocks that worry, obsess, and grieve you then you have monkey mind money.

Given that humans think upwards of 100,000 thoughts a day, if the majority of your thoughts are about your stocks’ performance then they’re not good stocks, at least not for you. If you are trading these names short or long then you are probably checking level II quotes constantly. You look at volume both pre-market and post-market. Maybe you don’t even stop for the weekend and you’re still checking every headline on these names. You don’t have time for pleasure, you sometimes think about wearing adult diapers for fear of leaving your screen in case of a new analyst rating or news flash. If your loved ones found you slumped on the floor with the laptop on top of you after a trading halt they wouldn’t be surprised.

Does Zen have anything to do with Zynga )? It still hurts to think about Zynga. I lost a little money but managed to get out by the skin of my teeth between trading halts on the day of the Facebook IPO. But getting out even with a loss made me feel relieved, released, almost rejuvenated. No more would I have to obsess about Zynga. Zynga's lack of innovation forces them to pay up for smaller indie game design companies. That's just not a model for growth and hopes for online gambling pay to play are still in the indefinite future. With -0.99 in earnings and trading in the two dollar range the class action lawyers are circling. They just gave a preview of this week’s earnings on October 24 and the look is for a loss of around -0.13 a share with profits having been earmarked for the OMGPOP acquisition. There have been serious defections of top talent, too, some taking trade secrets with them. Last week, CEO Mark Pincus, retweeted a tweet that Zynga should go private. A retweet, so what? But I bet going private would help him sleep at night.

As for Facebook ), at least it has earnings even though the P/E is 66.47. Facebook is going to have yet another lockup expiration this week . Director and major investor Peter Thiel sold 20 million shares in late summer. To be fair, Thiel didn’t abandon ship; he is still on the Board holding over $100 million worth of Facebook as of late August. With no definitive positive news about mobile monetization Facebook remains a hold off, (different from a hold; I mean just stand back and wait until at least after the lockup expiration and earnings). Goldman Sachs still owns almost 9 million shares. Facebook Music seems like just so much noise here (pardon the pun) but several pundits are liking the new “Gift” initiative which allows users to purchase from friends’ want lists and gift it to them while Facebook takes a cut. Others are reading the Mashable news that 70% of Facebookers prefer Pinterest for ecommerce shopping ideas and aren’t so thrilled about Gift. Facebook reports October 23.

Groupon ) has bounced some from its 52 week low of $4.00. Maybe it seems like the free-fall from $31.14 has stopped. But remember every local news outlet including metropolitan and community newspapers, TV stations, Yellow and anyone with a laptop has been coming up with deal sites. The Groupon Goods site is also competing with Amazon, eBay,Gilt, Brad's Deals, and No More Rack, etc. You get the picture. At one point it had offered a unique "Dallas'' experience where it teamed up with TNT and I thought maybe they could possibly turn this shipwreck around with a strategy of offering big one time only deals that couldn't be replicated anywhere else. Unfortunately, they are not pursuing this and every day not only do I get the Groupon emails but dozens of other deal sites with new ones are popping up all the time.

Groupon has been lashed with bad news from every front in a Rasputin-like assassination attempt. (He survived at least four different means of murder in one night and his actual cause of death is still a mystery). Accounting issues, social media sympathy downturn, increased competition, and the decision by major competitor Living Social not to attempt an IPO have taken Groupon to the woodshed. Now, it has to compete with Facebook Gift. Negative EPS of $0.19 aside just looking at the world of competitors I can't countenance a position in Groupon even with its recent dead cat bounce. Groupon reports again on November 8.

“What you resist, persists.” It’s a famous saying among the psychology community. If you double-down in a stock that’s already making your monkey mind fling excrement about, it will only get worse.

Send your monkey mind back to the jungle and buy companies that make something, that have yield, that are low-beta and have investor buying instead of lockup expirations, boatloads of competitors, and continual downgrades. Free your mind and your portfolio will thank you.

Compare and Contrast

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leglamp has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Facebook and has the following options: long JAN 2014 $20.00 calls on Facebook. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Facebook. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.If you have questions about this post or the Fool’s blog network, click here for information.

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