NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Earlier this week on TheStreet, Doug Kass argued that "Twitter's shares will likely double in the first month of trading -- or maybe sooner."
I'm not here to question Kass' wisdom.
First, he's walked Wall to Nassau, Nassau to Pine, Pine to Broadway, Broadway to Wall quite a few times in his life. That's called having been around the block.
Second, he's probably correct, but that doesn't mean Kass doesn't deserve to hear it from a member of an upper-level gallery that contains primarily peanuts, but the random nugget of wisdom.
Let's say Twitter gets priced at $22 a share. That's the number Kass used for discussion's sake. It wouldn't shock me to see Twitter open at $44 a share. A double. And, bingo, Kass is correct. But, who benefits from that type of pop? Certainly not the retail investor.
You're not getting shares at the offering price. Well,
might be getting shares, but the rest of us most likely are not (though
editorial policy prohibits me from trading or investing in them even if I could get them). As such, Kass sets up a scenario that concerns me.
While Twitter will not be, at least from chaos and glitch standpoints, anything like the
(FB - Get Report)
IPO, the pain could be just the same for investors who chase an elusive, almost mythical double.
TWTR opens at $44. You chase it. Some report comes out reaffirming that mobile ad revenue will be robust, but growth will moderate just a bit. Or One Direction quits Twitter. Something scary to the business
something the media takes and runs with to create a spectacle. Either way, it doesn't matter. The stock could drop from its early morning IPO day price as fast, or faster, than FB did.
So you lost money on a stock that doubled! That's almost as bad as making an options trade, being right about the directional move, but losing all of your money because you didn't consider, or understand, the impact of time decay and premium pricing.
Or you get in at $44 and TWTR, miraculously, goes to $88 on day one or in the first week or month. Kass was correct any way you slice it then. It doubled before us retail slugs had a shot and then did it again, even more impressively when we did. But, as I often preach, a Vegas gamble steeped in luck and timing and other things you never could have seriously predicted does not make a strategy.
For many of us, psychology takes over. We'll think we did something extraordinary by catching this double. Then when
(for heaven's sake!) goes public, we try to repeat the magic. You can't do that. You give back all of the gains you made when you got lucky with Twitter.
Think of a doubling after the open on IPO day TWTR like an unbelievably hot woman or man at a bar. You know she or he is out of your league, but (and sorry to be crude, but often crude equals real life) she or he has had a bit too much to drink. That makes you look good. And even better in the dark. Magic happens.
But that's a one-off. That success -- as sweet as it was -- cannot be replicated on a consistent basis. Think about the TWTR IPO like a drunk girl or guy at the other end of the bar. Because, no matter how strong we think Twitter's business or popular (media geek) culture cachet is, it reflects the realities of an inebriated market investors cannot ignore in the often-elusive and risky search for a double.
Written by Rocco Pendola in New York City