When will it end? The crazy sharemarket boom has continued this morning with the 12th rise in 13 trading days – up 35 points to 5995 – as the 6000 point mark comes within reach.

Surely we are now right at the apex of the resources and private equity boom and it can’t go much further – Australian stocks having more than doubled in three years.

The stories of amazing paper wealth are everywhere. For instance, Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest, CEO and largest shareholder in wannabe iron ore miner Fortescue Metal, has just had a $100 million day.

Fortescue shares are up 97c to a record $17.30 this morning, valuing the company at $4.57 billion and lifting Twiggy’s stake by $100 million to $1.77 billion. But Twiggy doesn’t actually produce anything yet.

I’ve been selling equities with my ears pinned back into surge over the past month but the $30,000 worth of shares disposed of are probably now worth close to $40,000.

The strategy has been to buy $500 worth of shares in anything vaguely interesting and then sell half if they double. Having done that with resources stocks like Zinifex, Paladin, Jubilee, Minara, Cudeco, ERA and Fortescue – many of them are close to doubling again.

However, many others have also doubled over the past couple of years – stocks like Regional Express, Tassal, David Jones, Just Group, Macquarie Goodman, Reece, Seek and Incitec Pivot. It’s crazy and is surely unsustainable.

With private equity running rampant, the ASX has its hands full keeping a lid on all the speculation surrounding sudden leaps in share prices.

I emailed the ASX yesterday morning and criticised them in yesterday’s edition for not querying the sudden surge in trading systems tech stock IRESS, which has the ASX as its largest shareholder.

Lo and behold, the query and response came through this morning as you can see here and IRESS disclosed that it is negotiating to buy Investorweb’s advisory software division.

I dumped half my IRESS shares at $8 yesterday, but they’ve kept rising to a high of $8.15 this morning.

Leave something on the table for the next person, as they say.

Peter Fray

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