EDITOR'S DESK, EDITORIAL, INVESTING

Dying To Be a Star. Sit Still.

AUGUST 24, 2019. Following Friday this trade war’s about as much fun as a 15-watt light bulb. The pressure’s enough to pop about any bulb. The experience for investors is like either a slow motion explosion or high-speed rust. Yet another bomb hisses and blows every other day and absolutely no one has a program to check for the next.
Meanwhile the market’s a psychotic marvel with no map. The best are beaten with the rest. The simple hope of most–buy low sell high–reads like a joke sought by a fool written by a sadist. America’s been knifed in the neck for decades by China, and China wants it like that. Smart people say there will be no winner, while the losers are plain to see. Where we’re at now and what we’re doing about it, when China’s “Dying to be a Star.”(Photo. Shanghai skyline.)

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BUSINESS, EDITOR'S DESK, EDITORIAL, Reader's Choice

Do We Have A Witness? GE.

AUGUST 18, 2019. The shocking is often unbelievable until it’s believed. Does a historic track record of truth matter? Not really. It’s more fun to simply scoff and savage the messenger. There’s always time to act like you were a professional from the start.
Harry Markopolos has a track record. You’ve heard of Madoff. Harry made that call, four times. The SEC slid his 30 page Madoff Ponzi scheme road map into the trash and split for lunch. They treated him like some mad urban shepherd spouting stories of invisible monsters.
On Thursday Markopolos made another call, this time on GE. He was promptly encircled and ripped on by smug CNBC “hosts.” Aren’t they paid to shed light? No apologies for stark professional failure will be forthcoming. That’s how arrogance works.
Never mind that the man clearly stated his expertise is forensic accounting, and that he and his team worked for seven months investigating. Providing a bullet-point breakdown went nowhere. That’s also how arrogance works.
Charges are just that, until proved. Skepticism is human and healthy. Brute contempt upon first hearing is known as arrogance. “Do We Have a Witness? GE.”

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Editor's Choice, EDITOR'S DESK, INVESTING, MARKETS/ECONOMY, STOCKS

Dividend Glory. Ford 6.33%. If You Can Find A Cheaper Dividend, Buy It.

AUGUST 8, 2019. Investing insight has a short shelf-life. We just covered Ford. Now we’re stockjawing again. Why? Ford’s a miracle. Now is the time to recognize that–right now. Again–why? Others are beginning to catch on. Ask Adam Jonas of Morgan Stanley.
Why is Ford all the rage again, so soon? Again, it’s a miracle, even more so since Monday’s market face-plant. Ford’s Fa King dirt cheap, almost free. The dividend is sky-high, at 6.33%. And? And increasingly many believe it’s payable. And? And it’s holding up like a heavy weight champ, amid some of the fugliest conditions we’ve ever seen. Again, think Monday. Think “Dividend Glory. Ford 6.33%. If You Can Find A Cheaper Dividend, Buy It.”

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BUSINESS, EDITOR'S DESK, EDITORIAL, INVESTING, MONEY, Reader's Choice

Blind Investing by Fidelity. It’s More Fun Without Those Pesky Facts.

JULY 18, 2019. Someone wants your help with their Fidelity retirement account you say? Nice. Fidelity’s literally got that covered. Their “Limited trading authority’s” darkly ingenious. Just close your eyes and select.
Who doesn’t enjoy a blindfold for a car rite, or while investing? Handcuffs and half-facts too. Relax, it’s only your nest egg. All mutual finds smell different over the phone. Besides, investing research grows dull when you can actually see the facts.
Admit it. Everybody loves game show-style retirement navigating. Details muck everything up. Fidelity’s unique Zero-View format is for anyone attempting to help a participant in any of the retirement plans they manage. How? Fidelity snaps off the lights and instructs you to ask questions, over the phone. Two ways past this bat-mad lunacy. “Blind Investing by Fidelity.”

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CULTURE, EDITOR'S DESK, FUNDAMENTALS, GREEDY CREEP, INVESTING, TECHNICALS, THINKING NOW

Turd Spotting. Roku. The New Cable.

JULY 5, 2019. Facebook didn’t charge you up-front. FB played your back side, the data usage shell game. Roku does both and more. Roku deceives you up-front, charges you for their device, then leverages an account and a c card to activate what you already paid for, tracks your every move, pimps you with the ads you sought to dodge, shares your personal and viewing data, and then assists others in their attempts to target and track you. Roku is the new cable, on steroids.
Free was never free and Facebook illustrated such. The old East Germany was never free and the Stasi showed that. Today many simply flip their privacy away like a cigarette butt. Years ago Zuckerberg declared blithely that “privacy is dead.” FB then created the standard of contempt for “privacy” in the digital age. None. Like Daniel Ortega he’s now on the other side of that. Whatever it takes.
Along came TiVo, and their DVR surveillance platform. TiVo brought advertisers right on to your sofa. Only one step remained. Direct surveillance. Apple’s now got that covered–auditory and visual surveillance. No? Sharp consumers found the Apple camera in their digital assistant. There’s also Mitsubishi TV. They also tell you, after you buy and install.
Is it only Us? Little things create character. Roku is dishonest, by omission. “So what?” Dishonesty displays contempt. Dishonesty in business displays contempt for both you, and the business you bring. Honesty means saying “Credit card required to activate.”
But they don’t. If Roku games you like that from the very start, what else do you think they’re willing to do? Sj shows you.
Contempt, “the feeling that a person or a thing is beneath consideration, worthless.” -Google. That’s why Sj is “Turd Spotting. Roku. The New Cable.”

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CREDIT CARDS, CULTURE, Editor's Choice, EDITOR'S DESK, FUNDAMENTALS, INVESTING, MONEY, STOCKS

JPM Beaten Like a Brexit Goat. “But Still All Good–For Now.”

JUNE 27, 2019. Alexander Bell wasn’t thinking banking when he unwound some wire to create a connection. Quaint it seems now, the notion of telephones for talking.  Who talks?  Phones are for textual grunts, photos, useless apps, and moving money.  Nothing stays the same, and caring just gets in the way.  That’s why there are museums. That’s also like our big, old, banks.  Soon they will need parks, just like dinosaurs, for those who wish to remember.
Moving money used to be hard, and physical.  Slow and expensive marred the experience while Western Union provided the piratical pricing.  Western Union increasingly looks like Xerox, a company looking for a future.  It’s about to get much worse for them.
JPM is far more than either of those dinos, and more then a money mover.  But who cares?
Many would say JPM is the best at what it does  However some of what it does is caught in a costly change, and under pressure.  Should you want any? Commissioner Gordon could be about to hard-beam the Bat Signal over big banking.

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