Snap Inc. (NYSE:SNAP) goes public tomorrow, and millions of investors are waiting with baited breath to buy shares of what could be one of the biggest technology-related IPOs of the past several years with a valuation that could hit $30 or even $40 billion.
Only problem is, companies like Snap are called "unicorns" for a reason – they're fantasy.
Which is why I've got a far better and potentially more profitable alternative for you today.
What Snap Hopes You Miss in Its S-1 Registration Statement
Most investors are familiar with the term "unicorn," and not because they read children's books.
Unicorns are what Wall Street calls private startup companies valued at $1 billion or more. Once the stuff of myth and legend, today "unicorns" like Uber, Xiaomi, Airbnb, and, of course, Snap seem to fall off trees.
You'd think unicorns are a license to print money based on how Wall Street pitches them to the investing public in highly choreographed "road shows," but sadly that's not the case.
Like their mythical counterparts, unicorns are complete fantasy masquerading under the guise of a legitimate investment opportunity. When you look deeper, they are little more than an illusion intended to make a small group of founders, early investors, and investment bankers wealthy…
And it's a bad illusion at that.
Take Snap's S-1 Registration Statement, for example.
An S-1 is a filing required by SEC for any company that wants to go public. It's the investing public's first opportunity to review a unicorn's financials and other critically important data that insiders have known for years.
I call S-1s "anti-marketing marketing documents" because they highlight all the reasons why you don't want to invest – especially when it comes to a company like Snap Inc.
Naturally, Wall Street's investment bankers – who stand to make hundreds of millions on the deal – hope you'll never pick one up.
Instead, what they want you to concentrate on is the "potential" associated with five years of mainstream social usage, the hype associated with telling stories through pictures that disappear, and the fact that the company has a "gee-whiz-bang" set of funky filters and glasses called Spectacles that will let you document life.
They're also hoping to play up the fact that Snap CEO Evan Spiegel famously refused a $3 billion offer from Team Zuckerberg. The implication, of course, being that Snap is somehow worth far more than that.
Don't believe it for a New York minute.
Initial public offerings like this one are the world's greatest shill game. Silicon Valley is very much in cahoots with Wall Street, and both want to set you up as the patsy.
I have a hard time taking a company seriously when the S-1 it's filed references sexting, selfies, and party-goats as formative influences, something company lawyers clearly tried to obfuscate by stating they knew that Snapchat "was being used …
About the Author
Keith is a seasoned market analyst and professional trader with more than 37 years of global experience. He is one of very few experts to correctly see both the dot.bomb crisis and the ongoing financial crisis coming ahead of time - and one of even fewer to help millions of investors around the world successfully navigate them both. Forbes hailed him as a "Market Visionary." He is a regular on FOX Business News and Yahoo! Finance, and his observations have been featured in Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, WIRED, and MarketWatch. Keith previously led The Money Map Report, Money Map's flagship newsletter, as Chief Investment Strategist, from 20007 to 2020. Keith holds a BS in management and finance from Skidmore College and an MS in international finance (with a focus on Japanese business science) from Chaminade University. He regularly travels the world in search of investment opportunities others don't yet see or understand.