Tag Archives: CrossComm

Did YOU Know That ‘They’ Now Have IPO Allocation FLIPPING Restrictions?

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


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I used to be an IPO junkie. The very first stock that I ever bought was an IPO of sorts, dear Margaret Thatcher’sBritish Telecom‘ (BT) privatization lottery. I got an allocation, and unlike others, I, as ever, played by the rules, and only submitted one entry. I was hooked. BT, to start with, did extremely well. I then participated in every other ‘British’ privatization IPO: BP, BA, BAA etc. etc. To say I was right in the thick of the ‘dot.com’ mania would be an understatement. It was my life. I consulted for so many of the major players. I was at the Wellfleet office in Burlington the day they went public – though I can’t remember whether they gave me an allocation! I do remember with great fondness that CrossComm, a company that I spent a lot of time with, did put me on their ‘friends & family‘ list and as such I did get an allocation. I am sure I made money on that.

I took part in IPOs by rote. It was the thing to do. Yes, of course, I got burned. But, it was fun. Part of the dot.com mania.

Given that I have been with them since about 1989, though I am but a very small minnow when it comes to assets owned, Fidelity does allow me to bid on IPO allocations. Since I tend to be ‘long’ (though my son the investment whiz of 2013 is trying to cure me of that bad habit) I usually don’t bid for IPOs since I don’t have ‘cash’ lying around.

In 2008 I did bid for VISA (V) and was amazed and jumping for joy when I got an allocation. That and the ‘Bear Stearns‘ stock I bought the day they went BUST ensured that 2008 wasn’t as painful as it was for others.

Recently I haven’t been that fortunate and I had stopped asking. I asked for VMWare and LinkedIn and was overlooked. I didn’t bother with FaceBook (FB). Instead, just for fun, I bought 5 shares, on the IPO day for “free” (i.e., using money from an options call) just to say that I had participated in the IPO of the ‘year’. Yes, those 5 shares are NOW making money after a year.

Until now I have never encountered restrictions on selling IPO shares.

Flipping IPOs at the pop was what you were supposed to do. That how you made the ‘BIG’ bucks.

Last week after I sold the last of my Apple (APPL) stock I looked at the IPO market as a ‘good’ place to invest some of that hard fought capital. Bid on two, got one: ClubCorp Holdings (MYCC).

But, it came with a NO FLIPPING warning from Fidelity. Stopped me in my tracks. Seemed so UnAmerican. You can’t flip IPO shares? What next? You are going to be forced to buy healthcare insurance?

I called. As ever they are very, very nice and helpful. Appears that other brokerages do the same thing too; i.e., protect the major shareholder SELLERS by preventing new owners from dumping their shares.

So here is the Fidelity rules on it. Yes, you can sell BUT then you incur their wrath with a penalty. So, as of now I am going to think twice about asking for IPOs.

Click to ENLARGE.

Click to ENLARGE.

Have YOU Been Watching The Latest (34th) “America’s Cup” Races From San Francisco? Wow. Today MIGHT Be Last Day.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


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Click to access the official "America's Cup" Website.

Click to access the official “America’s Cup” Website.


Wow. Wow. Wow.

This year’s boats don’t sail. THEY FLY. It is bloody amazing to watch. NASCAR, which I find tediously boring and would rather sit on my steps and watch the grass grow, has nothing on this. This is Formula 1 on water.

And the TV coverage technology. Mind blowing.

Plus the COMPETITION. Larry Ellison’s Oracle U.S. money & technology against Emirates-financed bravado from the cricket and rugby playing ‘All Black’ New Zealanders (though I always get confused watching the TV because the Kiwis are using a red flying machine while Oracle has a black one).

Sailing is not my thing. I was into motor boats. But, I love speed whether it be with cars, running, skiing, boats, computers, planes … The America’s Cup is all about speed and technology. Wow. Wow. Wow.

A couple of nights ago I heard an NBC commentator claim that the America’s Cup was the world’s OLDEST International sporting trophy. I was sure that he was wrong. International cricket goes back a long time. But, I went and checked. He was right. I was mistaken. ‘The Ashes’ is 20 years younger!

I was introduced the America’s Cup by Gregory W. Koss, my most loyal and lucrative client when I used to be a consultant. He hired me, more or less on a daily basis, for over a decade across multiple companies spanning: CrossComm, Andrew, Sonoma and SavaJe. Greg was and still is a passionate and very capable sailor. His lifelong ambition was to sail in the America’s Cup — ideally emulating Larry Ellison. In 2002 he might have got close but the dot,com bust kind of put paid to that. Greg still follows the Cup avidly. Greg is a member of the New York Yacht Club which as its Club House in Newport, RI. That is the symbolic home of the America’s Cup. Given that Greg is one of the most hospitable and generous Americans I have ever had the fortune of meeting he invited me to the Club. I got to see all the pictures and memorabilia. I loved it.

I keep on promising myself that I will follow the Cup. I really haven’t because time has been scarce. This year I caught the last few races. I have about 9 hours on ‘tape’ (DVR) right now.

Today could be the last day and NBC is not covering it. I am bummed. I am contacting as many folks as I can to get it put right.

There is an underlying story here too. The All Blacks, no doubt using American technology, is beating Oracle on the technology front! Kind of funny. Larry must be livid. He is being kind of humiliation. Adds to the drama.

Yesterday’s Was A ‘Classic’ Blue Moon; As With ‘A.M.’/’P.M.’ Do You Remember What The ‘Blue’ Denotes?

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge


The ‘dot.com‘ boom of the mid-1990s also spawned a whole new resurgence of vocabulary among media writers, all of us (and I was cranking out articles like there was no tomorrow) scrambling to come up with cute, clever words and phrases, legitimate but henceforth not often used, to adequately capture the amazing events happening around us at breakneck speeds. ‘Nascent‘ was one of the early words. I came up with ‘embryonic‘, ‘incisive‘, ‘pussy-foot‘ and ‘livery‘ — and I manged to have ‘pussy-foot‘ included in the first paragraph of one of my monthly columns in the ever so proper ‘Network World‘, to the amazement of most, and the amusement of the rest. [My favorite in those columns, however, was when I managed to say: ‘Tad may have underestimated the actual figure by a tad, …‘ — referring to my friend (and benefactor) Tad Witkowicz, the legendary founder of CrossComm. (See below. Thanks to Google, I found the original.) For days afterwards I was getting phone calls and e-mails saying: ‘I can’t believe you said that. Was Tad mad?‘ Tad (famous for not suffering fools gladly) never said a word to me, but I heard that he shook his head and said at a meeting: ‘I can’t believe Anu said that‘. But, he never stopped the commissions I got from CrossComm one of my best (if not most lucrative) clients thanks to their irrepressible V.P. of Marketing, Gregory W. Koss.] Anyway, a phrase that was very popular at the time was: ‘once in a Blue Moon’ … as in: ‘IBM once in a Blue Moon will manage to get it right’. So all of us writers of that era knew what ‘blue moon’ meant — of course, many of us having to look it up the first time around.

Last night we had a Blue Moon; a special one at that. I did not know that until it was too late to tell any of you. I knew it was a Full Moon. I had seen the Moon the night before, on Thursday, and realized that it was close to full. Every night, around midnight, as I am shutting down my PC after my 3rd shift of working, I check Alton weather on the awesome, information-overload ‘wunderground.com‘. They have a comprehensive almanac, so I knew that Full Moon was Friday, August 31, 2012. Yes, if I had checked I could have found more.

I made a point of locating it on Friday night — as I invariably try to do with Full Moons. It was around 10:45 pm. I was taking the dogs out for their final outing of the day. While they did their thing, I wondered up our drive to get a clear view of the resplendent, bright Full Moon, sans cloud cover. As is customary, I then put my head back and howled (confusing the dogs) to show my affinity with all my distant ancestors, who I am sure all howled at the Full Moon.

There was a time when I used to keep a list of the forthcoming Blue Moons — so I could conveniently drop references to them in my articles. I don’t anymore, BUT the next ‘regular’ Blue Moon will be on July 31, 2015 and the one after that on January 31, 2018. So, please make a note of those. A ‘regular’ Blue Moon, the definition that most of us know, is the 2nd Full Moon in a month — thus most of them occurring on a 31st or 30th.

The astronomical definition of a Blue Moon is different. Per that definition, it is the 3rd Full Moon in a Season that has 4 Full Moons — we having Four Seasons, Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. So in a typical season you will only get 3 Full Moons. Yesterday’s Full Moon met both criteria, 3rd in a season of 4 Full Moons and the 2nd in a Month, we also having had a Full Moon on August 1, 2012.

Click to access original ‘Network World’ column and be shocked to see how young I looked in those days …