Confessions of a high-tech late-adopter

Millennials watching ipad
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Looking backwards and nostalgia are dangerous things. A couple of years ago I broke a golden rule of mine. I went to a LIFFE market reunion. It was a big mistake. There is nothing worse than a bunch of graying, balding, slightly tubby middle aged men (mostly) banging on about how great times were 'back on the floor'.

Don't get me wrong it was great to see so many old faces but I got to thinking after a few minutes that we should have left the 1990s in the 90s and moved on. Too many people just couldn't. Yes open outcry was the best job a young man who loved the City could have had in his twenties. It was fast, exciting and stunningly well paid but it was also rife with front running, dodgy deals, huge cost for the clients and slow by today's microsecond trading times.

I don't want to go through the whole pros and cons but the fact is open outcry is now toast for a whole host of good reasons and markets where it is still the main way of order execution outside of Portobello Road or Romford market are quite possibly doing the clients a disservice

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In the same way every time I see a picture of a TDK 90 minute tape, a Sony Walkman or my VHS player sitting in my mother's loft gathering cobwebs something nostalgic rises to the surface. Then of course I remember having to get out a Bic biro on countless occasions and trying to wind the missed tape back in. Life is so much better now in so many ways.

Not sure if it is a midlife crisis or a midlife epiphany but I'm suddenly getting overly excited about a whole host of technologies, at the same time I am getting more and more suspicious of technology market valuations.

I have had countless arguments on set of Squawkbox Europe about tech company IPOs. Every time an AO, an ETSY or an Ocado etc comes to market someone is there to tell me about how they are disrupters, how they are going to change the world etc....puff, puff,puff?

However, of course there are true disrupters from Tesla to Apple and yet those stocks normally come with a long train of baggage and groupies. Being a bit of a contrarian at heart it is hard to fall in love with stocks so adored by such large herds. So to recap, I seemingly don't like any tech stocks either because they are full overpriced and unprofitable or they are profitable and owned by so many unquestioning fans as opposed to cold hearted investors. So much for putting growth in my portfolio.

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On the other hand as a consumer, my epiphany is becoming a bit tiresome to my younger millennial colleagues at CNBC. "Have you tried Uber?", "Oh my god, this Spotify lark is amazing?" And "You know Twitter is so much more than 140 characters you know." SHUT UP You sad old man is one of the kinder responses.

And now i've been asked to work on a live blog. Truth is it will probably be a work in progress but I'm genuinely pretty excited about it. The days of me just spreading my very often contrarian but as often incoherent stream of consciousness purely for three hours on SquawkBox are over. As a late adopting technology junkie I can only apologise in advance.

Steve Sedgwick (of course on Twitter @steve_sedgwick)

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