There’s a telling quotation in Howard Marks’ latest memo to clients (highly recommended, as always):
We established long-term relationships with many important strategic partners, including America Online, Yahoo !, Excite, Netscape, GeoCities, AltaVista, @Home and Prodigy.
It’s from Amazon’s 1997 annual report. As Marks goes on to ask,
How many of these “important strategic partners” still exist in a meaningful way today (leaving aside the question of whether they’re important or strategic) ? The answer is zero (unless you believe Yahoo ! satisfies the criteria, in which case the answer is one).
Every generation of investors has its darlings. The baby boomers had the Nifty-Fifty. Generation X had the first dotbombs. Millennials – those actually in possession of any savings in a world of QE and ZIRP – have the global mega-caps and the FANGs. But after a nine-year stock market rally that has perversely become one of the most hated in history, the tide may be starting to go out.Boom