FUNDAMENTALS, INVESTING, MARKETS/ECONOMY, STOCKS, THINKING NOW

Dividend Destroyer. The Illusion of a Payout.

MARCH 2, 2021. Crowbar in a sand pile. It’s dividend-simple. Dividends are the auto-joy of investing success, a sweet cash kicker, a bankable confetti storm of goodness. Many employ such as a livable income. AT&T lives on such income investors. Own it?
Dividends can be all of that, except when they’re not. We’re not talking about div problems like Ford, or Macy’s, both of whom completely discarded dividend payouts. That’s the obvious hole in the boat. When cash is king and more is better you win. Cash or additional shares, both mean a larger pie right? Market wisdom says that “Forty percent of the S&P500’s return comes from reinvested dividends.” So how can that go wrong? The two stone ways when dividends are not a win. Even the big names fail here. Think “Dividend Destroyer. The Illusion of a Payout.”

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BUSINESS, CULTURE, Editor's Choice, EDITOR'S DESK, GREEDY CREEP, INVESTING, MARKETS/ECONOMY, Reader's Choice, THINKING NOW

You–the Real Retail Target

FEBRUARY 20, 2021. Retail investing means dancing with the big money. The subject is money and the object is to get it–from us. It’s always worked that way, until Reddit traders turned the tables and nearly squashed Melvin Capital. What does that mean? That for the first time in history the retail investor flipped the game on the predacious big money gangs. How was this Reddit move described? A “flash mob.” Retail investors have been the strategic target of stunningly-sophisticated “firms” forever. How?
Think account management fees, account maintenance fees, trading fees, commissions, the 2/20 hedge fund structure, and private equity’s short selling schemes, a practice that works, and profits, against every long retail investor. “You–the Real Retail Target.”

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FUNDAMENTALS, INVESTING, MARKETS/ECONOMY, MEDIA, Reader's Choice, 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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