Who's in the FANG gang?

How we're all feeding the unstoppable rise of Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google

1. This predatory-sounding acronym covers the five most successful and closely monitored tech companies in the world. Doubtlessly we have all given money to AAN, while F&G have grown rich selling our eyes to digital advertisers. Together they are worth an INSANE $3 trillion.

2. FANG was coined by Jim Cramer, the Mad Money host on America's CNBC network. Think George Clooney in the 2016 film Money Monster. (Bizarrely watchable)

3. The F letter this year posted a stunning 50% rise in profits in the first quarter, to almost $12 BILLION. So revelations of the improperly handled data of 87 million Facebook users has done nothing to stop Zuck's money machine.

4. Apple comes out top dog in terms of sales ($229bn in 2017). Yet things change. If you had invested $1,000 in Netflix ten years ago you would be sitting on $51,966. Whereas Apple would have returned you just $6,228. Peanuts!

5. Amazon is also slaughtering it. Their first quarter 2018 revenues were $51 billion, up 43% from a year ago. Main man Jeff Bezos revealed there were 100 million Prime members worldwide. So he says he's now going to sting us (not me, I'm an Amazon Prime refusenik) for a 20% rise in the annual fee. They hook you then they reel you in, natch.

6. These tech CEOs tend to avoid the proletariat. Last year Zuck spent $7.3 million on 'personal security' (srsly?) and $1.52m on private jets, while Bezos spent $1.6m on security, according to the fintech website Investopedia. In 2016 Google CEO Sundar Pichai spent $372,000 on security and private jets.

7. But what about their actual salaries? Zuckerberg's is a token $1, Bezos's base salary is a token $81,840, Apple's Tim Cook got $12m cash last year, Netflix's Reed Hastings has a token $840K base salary but took home $24.4 mill, while Google's Pichai has another token $1 salary but is in line to pocket a whopping $380 million for last year's work.

The operative word here is 'token'.

8. Although most FANG stocks are investor darlings, hardly anyone cares about Google - apparently it's just not sexy enough. (Despite the fact we all use Google search more often than we buy from Amazon.) Apparently it's an opportunity for astute investors. Just saying. You know, with all your spare cash.

Then again, those moneymen are always talking about the Great FANG Bubble.

I'll believe it when we all stop buying Apple phones, watching Netflix, Googling, buying everything on Amazon and Facebooking.


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