I Hate Tesla

The most important rule for writing a business bog – at least my most inviolate rule – is to never, ever, forecast or make “market calls,” on individual stocks. I have broken this rule only once in my 5.5 years. It’s time to break my rule again. On the same damn stock.

I slather this self-rebellion in thick layers of irony. But irony with a purpose!

Some background. I last tucked my only-ever individual-stock forecast into a post in March 2015.

The point of that 2015 post was to highlight – in my contrarian way – the unpleasant fact that “sin-investing,” especially in a nasty tobacco company like Altria has been extraordinarily profitable over the past 40 years. 

But that wasn’t my stock forecast. Instead, I contrasted MO with green-tech market darling Tesla (TSLA) the sexy electric-car company that combines virtue-signalling for reducing your carbon footprint with 0-to-60 acceleration in 1.9 seconds.

I wrote the following about Tesla in March 2015: 

“Tesla Motors, to name one public company that I’m reasonably certain will be dead in five years, despite its $25 billion market cap, is an innovative company. But that doesn’t make it a good stock to own.” Then, to further metaphorically point to the bleacher seats while stepping into the batter’s box for my inevitable home run, I wrote “Would a few people mark their calendars for five years on Tesla and let me know how I did with my call? Because I AM SO RIGHT.”

Anyway, time flies. It’s five years later.

I’ll save you the hassle and let you know that Tesla stock is up 182% since then, from $200 per share at the time of my home-run call to $565 per share as I write this. The market cap has expanded from $25 billion to $102 billion. It’s up 35% just this year. Tesla will announce 4th quarter 2109 results on Wednesday January 29th.

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