A day in an Opera owner’s life

I am interested in the concept of employee ownership, and early on while working for Opera I set a goal of a 1/1000 ownership. I never quite reached that goal, the rest of the world has more money than I do and I have not been willing to borrow money to invest in shares, but still I am more economically exposed to the fortunes of Opera Software than anything else I own. So when Opera posted excellent results, the market reaction made me more paper money in a day than I can expect to make in real money in this year. ;cheers: I’d say.

This 17% rise in a single day and a similar fall earlier when a disappointing result was posted is fair enough, this can be seen as a reaction to real performance by Opera, but most share price movements have not been a result of changes in Opera’s profitabilities or potential. My experience of Opera Software is as a serious longterm company, my experience of Oslo Stock Exchange (OSE), where Opera is listed, is the very opposite. OSE has had a terrible reputation in the past, and there is no indication that it is any better in the present. In my view OSE has been, is, and will be gamed, and there is not much to lead you to believe that the Norwegian government will apply the same rules of transparency to it as it does to itself. OSE is no more trustworthy than most emerging market bourses.

As an Opera employee I reflected that it was probably possible to make (or lose) more money on short-trading the Opera stock than what it would be as an employee. Due to insider trader consideration short term trading was inconvenient to say the least, but it was pretty obvious that the market had little understanding of the consequences of an event, reacting strongly to an inconsequential event and ignoring an important one. It was also a useful lesson in why not to invest in the company you are working for, not so much due to spreading risk as due to the delay in buyng/selling stock.

I could go into trading, at least on a hobby basis. Two things hold me back, high transaction costs and a distrust of OSE. That said, longer term fundamentals always matter, some of the time.

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  1. I don’t get it. You r an insider, and you are afraid of the gaming of others? There are many strategies for manipulating a stock, but in all of them you are taking a risk. Failure in convincing the others biting the bait means money loss ofr you. And in the long term noone can deny fundementals. What you need is not more regulations on OSE, but almost certainly less. Insider trading prohibition is basically bullshits. Every single investor has diferent access to information and noone can change that. It’s a natural thing.

  2. I am no longer an insider, and insider trading is not my primary concern here (and as an outsider congratulation to Opera for good work). A free market depends on regulations and rules, without them you no longer have a free market. For OSE more transparency might help. Fortunately there is a free market of markets, so if the OSE exchange is untrustworthy I can pick another to bet on.

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