NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- When it comes to my investments and due diligence - much of which I am privileged to share with you in my writing -- nobody is harder on me than I am on myself. Allow me to just get that out of the way.
However, I do understand that being the public figure that I have become certainly draws its share of criticism. Sometimes I take it with a grain of salt and other times . . . well, let's just say being wrong and
being reminded by readers that you were wrong
has a way of humbling a person. It introduces doubt about one's own ability to do that which he thinks he is good at -- I hope that made sense.
Earlier this week when discussing the recent trading activity of social media giant
, I was forced to ask myself
? I asked this for no other reason than the fact that I was dealing with a great deal of regret -- something that I am sure that you can probably relate to. Three days after exiting my position with a 22% gain at what I thought was the top at $31.20, the stock closed last Friday above $33 for an extra 7% gain.
This prompted ridiculing emails throughout the weekend calling me stupid -- I had no choice but to believe it. After all, I'm supposed to have been the pro trader -- the person that perfectly
So imagine my frustration once the stock hit $33 with no meaningful signs of slowing down. Readers wanted an opportunity to get back at me
that arrived too early to the party. They wanted that opportunity and they got it. Even more painful was the fact that I had an entire weekend to think about it -- Monday couldn't come fast enough.
At that point, I realized that the fanaticism attached to the stock had reached an all-time high to the extent that it has now prompted writers to ask if
First of all, no it isn't and secondly, I'm realizing that Facebook has acquired the same cultish interest that mirrors the likes of
Research in Motion
-- names that have made many look pretty foolish over the years both on the long and short side.
A Measure of Discipline
However, today -- a full week later, in assessing the current status of the stock, it seems that I'm not so stupid after all. Since reaching a near-term high of $33.45 on June 22 the stock has now fallen below my sale level -- essentially giving back the all of the 7 percent that I had left on the table.
Is there cause for joy? Perhaps and perhaps not. What I'm realizing is that as fast and as furious as the stock had fallen, it was certain to gain a considerable momentum bounce -- which it did. But momentum is only as good as your next trade. Clearly $33.45 was the near-term top and the question is, where is it heading next?
Although at this point I would consider re-entering the stock at any price under $31, I think $28 is its next target. What is working against me in this projection is the fact that the stock does not present sufficient trading history to play on investor psychology -- even from a technical standpoint. However, other stocks that have had similar IPOs offer a similar pattern and thus have become my gauge. These include
What I have found were pretty consistent patterns that suggested that while Facebook will be fine in the long term, from now until the rest of the year, it is going to experience some wild swings.
Furthermore, the fact that the so-called "quiet period" from its IPO is over, there will likely be more selling from those that were "lucky" enough to have gotten it on it. I think these investors may say "enough is enough" and punish the stock further for its disappointment -- one that is still down 18% from its IPO price.
For me, it seems that the roles have been reversed and perhaps some of my lost credibility has been restored. While I am still not ready to forgive myself by missing the top and leaving an extra 7% on the table, I think the fact that the stock did not run away from me suggests that I was "this close" from timing the top after nailing the bottom -- which means not only was I a tad
last week, but also critical readers owe me an apology.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
At the time of publication, the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned, although positions may change at any time.