FUNDAMENTALS, INVESTING, MARKETS/ECONOMY, MEDIA, STOCKS, TECHNICALS, THINKING NOW, TRADING

Zero to Eighty% in Six Months. Ford.

NOVEMBER 19, 2020. Pop the hood on your car and sneak a peek. Right. WTF? The once recognizable is gone. Car guts look very different now, as does the car business. Ford’s looking in too–into it’s own business. What are they seeing? “Trucks and SUVs–all good. Love that. The dumpy sedan’s dead. Broom that.” What else? The Chinese operation’s politicized and chaotic. And then there’s our shareholder base.
Customers love the F-150, and batteries too. F’s blending those next year. The new Mustang Mach E’s flat rubber-burning evil, with no range. The revamped Ford Explorer launch was a monkey rodeo. Jesus. Empty showroom floors never please, or sell. That means you have to “incentivize” customers to buy cars they can’t touch. They did, incentivize. The press and public excitement surrounding the new Bronco is through the roof.
Meanwhile F’s share price has rocked heavenward by 80% in just six months. That’s promising. Or perhaps extended? From its’ Dearborn base just outside of Detroit, Ford’s shooting for the moon with EVs, and running on pure adrenaline. The real threat of extinction will do that to a company. Extinction feels very real when you sport a $4 share price–$3.96 back on March 23rd this year.
Well, again, that puny share price has been seriously juiced since by a crazed confluence of market factors. There’s also a whole new segment of shareholders who care nothing for dividends, raging risk, or the company’s years of ruinous struggle. O.K. Yet, the question now is, do you believe in “Zero to Eighty% in Six Months. Ford.”(Cover photo. 2020 Ford Shelby GT-500)

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FUNDAMENTALS, INVESTING, MEDIA, STOCKS, THINKING NOW

Windows Down. Tesla.

MARCH 7, 2020. Visions are power. Back in 1969 the Saturn 5 boosted the Apollo Program into our collective imagination. That summer cars were personal and SRBs tumbled in silent grace back to Earth. The vision above bloomed for all to see on the bright side of the moon. Vision turned reality.
Space X lands solid rocket boosters upright on the launch pad. That’s different. The sea doesn’t need them. That’s the power of vision. Elon has an EV vision. Musk is a legitimate visionary, and a charismatic lightening rod. Tesla, his EV car company is on the lie detector presently, seeking a true valuation. None exists–not really. The market simply spins one up by the day. Think spinning Twister dial.
Investors believe in Elon’s visions, and Tesla’s future. They cling to Musk’s future with their dollars. That’s nice, and tradeable. Now Tesla is a legitimate phenomenon, busy making a believer of the wider market. It’s not luck when you only build 365 thousand cars annually, yet sport a market cap larger than Ford and GM combined. Riding the wild vision, “Windows Down. Tesla.”

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EDITOR'S DESK, FUNDAMENTALS, INVESTING, MARKETS/ECONOMY, STOCKS, TECHNICALS, THINKING NOW

REIT Down the Street. 10% They Pay. MFA.

JANUARY 28, 2020. We’re inhabiting what’s known as an “expensive market.” The flight to safety, and quality, has seemingly left little to choose from if you like income. Well, perhaps not.
AT&T has for years been viewed as income and even safety. But that was before shares ran from the low $30s to $39. The dividend’s nice, but let’s face it. The company’s at best a barely-manageable mess.
We admit it. We used it for the dividend, until we found something we like better. Are there alternatives to the AT&T show? We take readers on a zip tour of the “REIT Down the Street. 10% They Pay. MFA.”

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BUSINESS, Editor's Choice, GREEDY CREEP, MEDIA, MONEY, THE AMERICAN DREAM, THINKING NOW

Auto Insurance. Your Best Rate Awaits. It’s So Easy.

JANUARY 18, 2020. Let’s face it. Life isn’t a leafy lane a lot of the time. Life is challenging. Yet, once we accept that premise, it becomes easier. Often only a fine line lies between us and more–really. Car insurance is a prime example. You need it. They want an arm for it. We just saw through it, to a 29% lower premium, from a higher rated company, for the exact same coverage. Fact. You have as much say in the price you pay as they do. How? We made a choice, had an insight, took an action. That can change things. Did for us.
Turn the tables on how you think about auto insurance. Competition is alive and well. But the real competition is between quoting agents, regardless of the company or other price-carving details. The agent’s the end of the pipe. We exercise as much say over our premium as companies do, if we’re willing to walk. No one’s chained us to any particular agent, policy, or company. Switching’s not a sin. It’s called business.
A better rate and probably a better agent are out there ready to meet your motoring coverage needs. We found both, again, saving us 29% or $360.00 a year without bundling. Fact. And it was so easy. All it takes is a bit of time, a telephone, and an internet connection. “Auto Insurance. Your Best Rate Awaits. It’s So Easy.”

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EDITOR'S DESK, FUNDAMENTALS, INVESTING, MONEY, TECHNICALS, THINKING NOW

Moonbeam Metrics. Schwab Brings Out Light in the Night.

NOVEMBER 14, 2019. Who’s got your back, front, and middle, when you’re investing? You hope it’s your broker. When you wade into the retail investing world you’re holding hands with those in between you and the trading rig. It’s a complicated business and how they do it and what they’re bringing matters.
The world’s weird busy. We spend as much time beneath the umbrella of our broker as we do with our loved ones. How we’re treated and what we find there shapes more than the moment. Such shapes our experience of investing on a daily basis, and the returns we see at the end of each. We share some of how in “Moonbeam Metrics. Schwab Brings Out Light in the Night.”

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EDITORIAL, FUNDAMENTALS, INVESTING, STOCKS, THINKING NOW

Apple TV. 4Ked.

NOVEMBER 3, 2019. Mashing your numbers is a terrible and embarrassing thing. We did that yesterday and we’re mopping up now. Apple is truly wonderful and amazing. Apple TV launched last week and already an analyst has suggested the service is a reason to buy the stock. That’s sweet.
Opinion is fine but accuracy shines brighter, like superior programing. Apple might be offering some of that, but not much. When Tim Cook announced Apple’s quad package of services last summer everyone heard that Apple TV had 24 shows lined up. Apple TV+ has precisely 9 shows now. Nine.
Last week HBO launched HBO Max., and NBC slipped-in the notion of offering their ad-supported “Peacock” streaming service for “free,” if you can stand the ads. Peacock is “on-demand,” but with those goddamn ads. Let’s just say the arena Apple’s entered with TV+ is exceedingly crowded, add they’re very late to the battle. Here’s our hi-def on-demand “Apple TV. 4Ked.”

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Editor's Choice, FUNDAMENTALS, GREEDY CREEP, INVESTING, Reader's Choice, STOCKS, THINKING NOW

4 Bullets To Savvy Dividends

OCTOBER 26, 2019. Dividends don’t flutter from fall skies like seasonal leaves. Dividends are paid out of cash flows, if there’s enough. Who has enough? It isn’t always those promising. No problem. Checking’s a piece of cake. We’ve got cake.
But paying isn’t the only issue. Dividends are paid by companies doing real business, in a rapidly changing environment. No one gets a free pass through macro chaos or the battle for market share. The fight for cash flow goes on everyday and everywhere. That includes “dividend aristocrats” like JNJ, with it’s’ 57 year history of consecutive dividend raises. How about an affordable, recession-proof, price-performing example, paying 4%? We’ve got that too.
Hoping to be paid regularly for the market risks you take isn’t rocket science. But it isn’t simply aristocratic standing either. Smart people get this one wrong, routinely. We’ve got the right, in “4 Bullets to Savvy Dividends.” Make sure you’ll be paid, top and bottom–and enjoy.

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FUNDAMENTALS, INVESTING, STOCKS, TECHNICALS, THINKING NOW

Walking Away From JNJ

OCTOBER 20, 2019. Looking for trouble is unneeded. Plenty exists.
We’ve warned against one since August 29th. It’s glowed right before us, everyday. JNJ, and it proved that trouble, clinically. On October 11, Bernstein analyst Lee Hambright charmed JNJ with an upgrade to “Outperform,” and a price target of $155. Seven days later shares dropped -6.22% on greater than triple volume. Why? FDA testing revealed asbestos contamination in its” baby powder. That came right on the heels of the massive judgment against the company for it’s antipsychotic Risperdal, creating a new nightmarish third legal front. That judgment was for $8 billion, for one individual.
Meanwhile, the company suggested it was “open” to a collective settlement of thousands of looming lawsuits relating to its’ part in the opioids plague. And in the foreground Purdue Pharma is being eviscerated on the very same charges. This month comes the start in Ohio of the first federal-level opioids case.
New Brunswick-based Johnson & Johnson has for decades been viewed as a cozy haven of stability and payouts to investors in all markets. Besides the Bernstein upgrade, eight days ago Barron’s named it as one of its’ five best dividend plays. For now JNJ will be more known as a defendant, on multiple fronts. Their payouts in the future will look very different. “Walking Away From JNJ.”

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