NOVEMBER 16, 2019. You need socks and stocks. You don’t wanna pay. Is Wal-Mart your way? Yes socks and maybe stocks. Back in the day there was Y2K. While others worried over the end of the world Wal-Mart was thinking groceries, and an even bigger future. Netflix was new and busy over a predictive algorithm. VHS yet clattered on and trash-strewn cable snorted and roared and robbed everybody every night.
Meanwhile Wal-Mart thought about–right again, groceries, and a blue heaven of fabulous sprawling one-stop shopping, the way mother never did it.
Simultaneously Thomas Jefferson–oops, Jeff Bezos, was laboring like some mad troll out in the mists of Seattle. Jeff was re-envisioning America. Let’s face it. Americans are professionals, at shopping, and doing so from home has always been the inevitable American Dream.
Straight out of Jeff’s bubbling cooker popped Marc Lore, freshly resentful and bent with intent. Burning hot in Hoboken Marc sharpened a savage scheme to gut-punch Bezos. Lore promptly began Jet.com behind the clever refinement of even lower online prices, driven by efficiency and extreme cost cutting, mostly on a new shipping configuration. Customers could save if willing to wait, bundle purchases, and select vendors within the same region. Big surprise. Wal-Mart noticed and popped out their Wal-let.
Jet.com’s now part of Wal-Mart’s fast growing e-commerce push, and again–Fa King groceries, are the center of all that. And after we remind you that Sam Walton’s Wal-Mart was begun in ’62 in the harboring Ozarks, Rogers Arkansas, not Bentonville, you’ll have heard the roots of modern American Retail. “Should You? Wal-Mart?”
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.”
NOVEMBER 9, 2019. Hurricanes, typhoons, and cyclones are all tropical storms. Mostly they differ only in hemispheric location. Does it matter what we call them? All create chaos and loss, with a halftime pause. This year’s hurricane season ends on Saturday, November 30th.
Wall Street and those who comment on said have no season. They create chaos and toss shit around all year long. We saw that this week. Xerox? You Fa King kidding? 92%YTD. Oops. The Real Real”s apparently not all real, and neither is most of the coffin nail-pounding hog shit spun by the street. Spin’s just business, like loose electricity, regardless of the precise nonsense it’s comprised of.
We do our own homework, like a mad typhoon. Why? It’s nobody’s money but ours, and trust is no substitute for knowing. Even really smart, savvy, and honest people disagree, and blunder sideways to the tune of billions. On Wall Street you often can’t even tell you’re in a blow, until you’re already spinning. Besides, you don’t really want to repeat goofy moves made by others while crouched in “The Eye of the Storm.”
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.”
NOVEMBER 2, 2019. Apple TV finally launched on Friday. How many years have they been working on that? It’s funny really. When a company does something awe-inspiring and spectacular, many simply stop questioning them when the company rolls out what’s next.
We know. You’re thinking “Apple’s wonderful.” Well, yes, of course. Just look at your phone. They do make the most amazing devices, ones that don’t catch fire while you’re flying home for the holidays. Apple’s indeed the biggest and the best. Yet keep looking. How many Apple Music subscribers are there? Do you know? Ever heard of the Apple Newton, or the Apple Pippin? The tiny core of “Apple TV. Big Show?”
Halloween, 2019. “A horror story” you say? Kevin Burns, Juul CEO, comment reported by whistle-blower lawsuit citing “contaminated nicotine pods:” Burns; “Half our customers are drunk and vaping like mo-fos, Who the fuck’s going to notice the quality of our pods?” It’s a horror show when your company’s CEO attempts to make up for lost fruit-flavored revenues by purportedly shipping contaminated product. And referring to customers as addictive drunks? It’s all good bro.
O.K., so does Ford’s trunk load of troubles still seem so horrific? Let’s see. The share price hasn’t ceased dropping since the 31% EPS beat reported last Wednesday. Sedan sales dropped 29% in Q3. Don’t forget looming talks with the UAW. And then there’s this comment. “Moderate, strong, and stable.” Hum. That’s what Powell said yesterday as he cut rates for the third time.
“Moderate growth, a strong employment market, and stable inflation.” Hold-up. What’s the chatter about the holidays and retail sales and the health of the last leg standing–the U.S. consumer? “Stronger than last year.” And Q3’s GDP? 1.9%. Taken together, that’s not all bad, and neither is Ford. Let’s look at “Ford.Fugly. Can You?”
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.