FANG Today, Toothless Tomorrow?

FANG stands for Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google.

The term, emblazoned on the front page of yesterday’s edition of USA TODAY, was popularized by CNBC’s Jim Cramer.

Some think the FANG clan is unstoppable, and looking at the trajectory of technology and commerce at this moment, it’s hard to see the dominance of these companies ever waning.

But many may remember the portmanteau Wintel as well, which referred to the total dominance maintained by Windows (as a proxy for Microsoft) and Intel.

Wintel had meaning inside the tech industry, but in the early 1990s among investors it represented the duopoly that was a ‘must have’ in any growth oriented portfolio.

It’s difficult to argue Microsoft and Intel have faded from view, but it’s not difficult to argue their hegemony has dissipated and now the FANG stocks are soaring to unimaginable heights.

The oldest FANG company is Amazon, founded in 1994, and the youngest is Facebook, founded in 2004 (Netflix was in the class of 1997, Google 1998).

These historical time lines suggest the companies which may one day eclipse the FANG stocks have already been founded, and have likely put a target on the back of each of its members.

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