NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Facebook (FB - Get Report) did what it did on its first earnings conference call as a public company. I listened to the call. I read the post-mortems. And, frankly, I'm ecstatic to start a two-week vacation on Monday.
It's both a thrilling and thoroughly depressing time to be a long-term investor.
Thrilling because dividend stocks continue to receive their due. It's fantastic to see such a core strategy reward patient investors. That's one of the few bright spots in a scatterbrain market. Please don't call it volatile. The reactionary ups and downs and the overdone broad-based and stock-specific selloffs that we've seen have been nothing but the workings of a beer-league stock market.
It's thoroughly depressing because we should reflect less on the alleged Great Recession. We should halt the hysteria, fueled by media hounds such as "Dr. Doom" Nouriel Roubini, who drive fears of a global depression.We're living through the "Great Contradiction." This bewildering zeitgeist should frustrate patient and visionary long-term investors. In one breath, we bash companies for how they handle their cash. We brand them un-American if they park it overseas or find some way to pay less tax on the capital they do keep onshore. For goodness sake, Apple (AAPL) practically got bullied into paying a dividend. Then, in the next breath, we scoff as pioneers such as Facebook, Pandora (P - Get Report) and Zynga (ZNGA - Get Report) when they aggressively reinvest in their businesses. We're walking contradictions. On one hand, we stress patience. We run around quoting the world's greatest investors -- "Buy when there's blood in the streets! Be greedy when others are fearful!" When the time comes to do likewise, gents we refuse to walk the walk. Investors do not want to hear about long-term opportunity if it delays their perverted need for instant gratification. I would be beyond depressed about the Great Contradiction if Amazon.com (AMZN - Get Report) did not exist to restore sanity to the markets. Yes, sanity. Who knows what will happen going forward, but it was refreshing to watch AMZN do what it always does after an earnings report. It pulled back and then recovered. Often, it takes several trading sessions for this process to play itself out. On Thursday, it took place in one after-hours period.