buy, buy, buy, sell, sell, sell

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Wahay, I’ve just made some money! You know that great feeling when find a crumpled tenner in the pocket of those jeans that you’ve not worn for a while, or when the ‘premium bonds’ envelope hits the welcome mat and you’re in for at least £25? Well, I’ve just experienced the online, digital equivalent when I saw that Dell, the builder of your gran’s PC (and mine!), is putting its hand in its pocket and shelling-out a whopping 67 billion dollars for fellow behemoth, data storage company, EMC. Wahay. Again.

In a deal that represents the single largest takeover in technology history, EMC stock, being valued at seven bucks over its current price, gives me a very healthy return and a princely sum, and I’m delighted. Or am I? Yes, of course I am, but it does make me cast my mind back as to how I came to hold some EMC stock in the first place.

Back in the late 90s several of us, involved on the periphery of the IT world, started to dabble on Nasdaq, and for a few short years we appeared invincible, we couldn’t pick a duff stock for love nor money. Everything grew, a couple absolutely flew, several split and then grew some more, and we all sat on our comfortable piles ready to hit the sale-button before retiring to the Bahamas and self-congratulating one another on how super-sharp we all were. Needless to say, it didn’t quite go to plan and within a blink of the proverbial eye, all turned to nowt and we were condemned to a lifetime of recruitment, with no parole forthcoming. Thankfully, one of my punts, Documentum, didn’t bite the dust, and, hunkering down and continuing to successfully ply their trade, were eventually recognised as being a great company with strong product & determined management, by…EMC. Wahay!

So am I going to cash-in or take a gamble and hold onto Dell stock? Well, apparently founder Michael Dell, who wrestled back the public company a couple of years ago, is funding the deal by raising an astronomical $50 billion in debt, though he’s confident he can pay down the borrowings rapidly once the deal is done. Really. Borrow 50 to pay 67? Being a, normally a risk-averse saver by nature, what do you think? Furthermore, one of Michael’s reasons for buying the data storage organisation is that he feels the selfie-generation’s appetite for taking data-heavy pictures and streaming music & video is truly insatiable and can only go one way. Being a dour, humourless northerner who has never taken a selfie in his life, what do you think? Oh, it can only go one way, Michael, bit like my Inktomi stock, or Digital Island, or Viant, or Trintech, or et al. Bet your bottom dollar I’m taking the cash.