Portfolio Strength. Four Moves Toward More.

OCTOBER 12, 2019. Trade “agreements” are never final and “deals” are firstly talk. Meanwhile your portfolio turns in the wind created by all that gas. Individual investors can’t stop such. We can however reposition. Trade’s a drag, but not the only macro funk we face. Additionally there’s that pesky “economic slowing” thing. O.K.
Many people talk and some actually make sense. Here’s some. Opportunities only truly end when we stop looking, or thinking. Here’s more. Everything good’s now too expensive. Hog shit. The door toward greater safety or growth’s now closed. Pish-posh. Sometimes the good stuff stares you in the face to the point you don’t even notice anymore. Or maybe that stuff simply looks very different in this macro light. We have one, or two, and they’re not secrets. Both are in fact perfect examples of five characteristics that work brilliantly now. Buy either, or use them as ideas to narrow your process. Your portfolio will love you back for that. The future’s yet coming. Now is always when we’re preparing, Sumo-style. “Portfolio Strength. Four Moves Toward More.” Continue reading Portfolio Strength. Four Moves Toward More.

Harbor. Here Comes The Storm.

MARCH, 31, 2019. Times change. But god it’s been nice. For years we rode that rising wave. Everyone had a great time. Now it’s curling if not crashing. Storms have come to our formally splendid seas. Many have harbored. As the placid and neat turned angry, utils have grown too expensive to buy. That’s how it goes. Did you grab your slice? Upward and onward we go. Oops, we meant simply onward, and up and down.
The S&P can’t hold 2815 with either wet hand. Our fed’s given up attempting to predict what he isn’t reading. Our bull’s shuffling restlessly. Long term investors are rethinking their approach, as every spike simply melts away into sad little puddles. Has your thinking shifted? Still attempting to climb in that smart slow way? Yeah, us too. But we’re scattered.
Predictable pauses had for years led gracefully into plumy runs of joy and slap-happy success. We’re here to help you forget all that. The way forward feels different now, more difficult, and clearly less promising. We’re struggling to maintain focus. We’re ready to instantly sell any three hundred dollar move. But we did exactly that when ETSY reported, and were promptly left behind.
Market storm socks are stiff. Headwinds shift and gales whip ugly everyday. The warnings are in the water. Our markets now, as seen through five mega-leaders and their clutch of sectors. FANG will not prove a pristine harbor this time. Nor will healthcare. We’re all gonna get wet. Continue reading Harbor. Here Comes The Storm.

Bewitched Night at the Nuclear

MARCH 20, 2019. Our skies run thick with speculation, and hesitation. When will Boeing’s phenomenal new workhorse move? Outside Las Vegas sits the Nuclear Motor Lodge. Us also. Peace brings with it perspective. We’re gaining some. Meanwhile in Renton Washington fresh copies of the 737 Max pile up on the moist tarmac. Shares of BA are piled up also, between the EMAs.
BA will fly Max 8s again, and pretty soon. Count on it. Bet on it. STOCKjAW continues to. We also lucked into a talk with a top level Boeing insider–no kidding. Life’s weird that way.
Some say BA’s a “battle ground.” Thanks Cramer. But that’s indeed true. And then, so what? Wasn’t Target a battle ground in the fugly sprawling aftermath of it’s mammoth data breach? And everybody who pounced on that ick got paid.
Modern living can prove a bitch at times, but then what isn’t? Modern motor lodge living makes that a bit better, particularly mid-week. By then all crowds have fled leaving a quiet elite grace to unfurl. Listen Woody. Amid the utter cool of a turquoise pool, you may just notice Amazon busily busting a major move. We did, and now we share it with you. Check our mega-fresh charts. Get here, and get square on the facts. Continue reading Bewitched Night at the Nuclear

Standing Tough. SJ Portfolio Now

FEBRUARY 3, 2019. Change often comes in a flash. Ask the man who brings pizza to our office. He sports shorts everyday. He came from southern California where snow is unknown and assures us “its’ all good.” That’s when we pay him 50% above pie price and discuss stock picks.
He’s one of the few and only the few who wear shorts year round. Shorts in the snow may be an individual thing, but for sure only the rare individuals own individual stocks when things get tough. That’s like shorts-wearing while strolling the snow around the building ledge. And only the few out of the last group make it pay.
STOCKjAW works around the clock to make it pay. We’re lucky that way and share it all with you joyously. It’s not a secret to sell, as far as we’re concerned. It’s spreading the joy. Stand tough now and you’ll get 50% above pie price. Our picks now. Continue reading Standing Tough. SJ Portfolio Now

Docking For Earnings. Verizon, Abiomed, Boeing, Amazon.

JANUARY 29, 2019. After the banks reported with strength we now move on to the loved, the growth, and a haven many use to talk. Amazon is the Death Star, and nothing will change their path of dominance, for now. Boeing has however done something we would never have expected. See what.
This very morning Verizon calls. We are hoping for something snappy and crisp. And on Thursday we hope and trust in Abiomed to enliven our hearts. Docking For Earnings right here. STOCKjAW. Continue reading Docking For Earnings. Verizon, Abiomed, Boeing, Amazon.

Cord-Cutter. Eclipse Of Power.

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When the world was young viewers sucked television signals straight from the ether.
cord cut·ter

noun

informal
  1. a person who cancels or forgoes a cable television subscription or landline phone connection in favor of an alternative Internet-based or wireless service.
    “a popular way for cord cutters to view programming on their TV is with a streaming video box.

“Outcomes

change when you grab the bull by the horns.”  Being bilked by your cable operator might make one grab their cable company by the bill.  “It’s exciting,” the doctor smiles.  It’s a smile of the contented.  “They had it coming and so did I.”  This Cornell-trained doctor’s glee is clear, after she chopped her cable bill down to nothing.  “They messed with the wrong woman.”  Right.

 

 

 The cable pricing ball is finally in your court.  Don’t like your cable bill?  Say so–to them.  Relief does not come to the silent.  

 

 

Like most people, Dr. Sabine Feline had for years resented shoddy service and nose-bleed pricing leveraged by the local cable operator.  “Suddenlink ‘s pretty widely disliked, resented, for those two reasons.  Actually, I don’t know anyone who likes the service,”  The psychotherapist recognized she was far from alone.

 

 

Those in the know using pricing pressure to their advantage.
Some people are refusing blood-sucking cable rates.  Many are saving real money.  How?  Speaking up, backed by the willingness to walk.  Complaining and writing negative reviews are fine.  But voting with your dollars means it’s all over but the fussing.

 

“People have been complaining forever” she says “and in near unison.  Pricing and service are routinely cited as frustrations, and outrages.  No service is even possible without physically traveling to their office.  Their customer service line really isn’t viable.”  Her palm turns half-over casually, a puzzled twist mixed into a smart smile.

 

 

“Everyone I know is continuing to look at alternatives.  I felt stuck, and then I tried Amazon Prime.  Prime’s great, on every level.”

 

 

“Time is limited,” the doctor says from the snug of a corner office.  A dash of receptionist speak floats through the open door.  She looks over.  “Confrontation is rarely fun, and not my favorite–I prefer other means.”

“Suddenlink being the sole choice in the area could be fine, were they to behave better.  But again you see the company’s on-demand offerings aren’t available, or are very late, or slow.  Add that together with their data game.  They challenge their own usage data they provide to consumers, saying “their reading is…”  They control the data, and then claim that data is inaccurate.

 

 

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“Things only change when you do something different.  I discovered Prime is more than 2-day shipping.  Prime Video includes the FX series ‘The Americans.’  Love that–and ‘Fearless’ and ‘Bosch.’  And then there’s still that sweet 2-day shipping.”

 

Critical mass simply clicked over one day.  Flipping through her mail one sunny afternoon a couple years back, the doctor again read of yet another rate increase.  Inflation reads like a travel brochure when compared to cable’s price climb over the years and nationwide.

 

For the doctor a line had been crossed–critical mass.  Suddenlink remained the sole cable provider, but not the sole source of video.  What do you do when you’re an empowered psychotherapist marrow-sick of poor service and ever-expanding price?

 

 

“My job as a customer is to pay.  Yet cable turns a common service transaction into a dishonest game.  Done with games I contacted the disconnect department.”

 

People are widely adopting streaming services, and now feel TV should come to them, as ordered, when they want it, wherever.  And they’re right. And they’re getting it.  As is, cable operator’s pricing power is eroded, much like their product’s appeal.  Releasing skinny bundles will not be enough.

 

 

mall, escalator,
The mall concept is fighting for its’ very life.  Only the spectacular will prosper.  Is cable TV like the mall, holding on by its’ anchors–live sports and news?

 

The industry’s caught in traffic it can’t dodge.  SVOD carves away at the core of its’ very business model–liner ad-driven pre-packaged TV, while a sophisticated customer base increasingly realizes much wider choice, on-demand convenience, better pricing, and ad-free content.

 

 

Dr. Feline, a psychotherapist specializing in women’s issues, took her complaints directly to Suddenlink.  “Finally I moved.  I confronted the issue.  Yet they responded slowly to my concerns, until I contacted the service disconnect number.”

 

 

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Cable has ruled American homes with an iron obedience beam for four decades. The SVOD deliverance star has arrived.  Cable’s power is being eclipsed by streaming.

 

As a cable operator, Suddenlink’s strategy from the start has been to focus on under-served, less densely populated, areas. Zero competition, thus monopoly pricing power.  The strategy has worked, but the clock is ticking on their pricing power.

 

Back in 2015 Suddenlink agreed to be acquired by NYC-based cable operator AlticeUSA(NYSE: ATUS) $18.42, for 9.1 billion.  Altice USA’s parent company is Altice N.V/EQ(ATC), a multinational telecoms run out of the Netherlands by an Israeli billionaire named Patrick Drani.

 

 

Old questions remain concerning Suddenlink’s ability to work well with others.  Beginning in 2006 the company battled twin conflicts called “carriage disputes” against both Sinclair Broadcasting and Viacom.  The dispute involved rebroadcast rights to a pair of local TV channels in West Virginia.  Attorneys swarmed., the FCC was dragged in, and everyone had a great time.

 

 

Altice USA went on a buying spree in 2015.  From it’s home base in New York City the company snatched Cablevision, along with Suddenlink, thereby creating the 4th largest cable operator in the country, serving 4.6 million subscribers.  Altus operates in two wings; Optimum by Altice, and Suddenlink by Altice.

 

 

-The woes of a cable operator-

-42.9%, since last summer.

Altice USA(NYSE: ATUS). 7-6-18. Close.

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Tracking below or on your 50 day simple moving average(yellow descending line) is not health.

 

Like all savvy consumers, Dr. Feline did her homework.  She considered Netflix, and then Amazon Prime.  And then she accepted Amazon’s free month-long trial–and loved it.  Next came the between seasons lull.  “A couple of shows I like were between seasons, leaving nothing of particular interest from cable.”

 

While examining options the doctor considered and rejected Verizon Fios and AT&T.  In the end it seemed a simple internet connection was all she desired through Suddenlink.

 

 

“Dealing with Suddenlink is a game.  So I gamed back, by calling multiple times, multiple lines, and taking down names along with pricing quotes.  That was key.”

 

 

people, woman, phone
Savvy people are done with the market detachment of cable offerings. That means shifting pricing power.  It’s proportional.  Increasingly attractive streaming options are attracting subscribers, and often creating cutters.  More cutters means more pricing power cable consumers wield.

 

 

Dr. Feline landed on Suddenlink’s Customer Service line knowing fully what she wanted.  What did she hear when addressing pricing concerns?  “You’re one of our lowest-paying customers,” the service rep challenged.  What?  Without hesitation the doctor jousted back “Why are you charging everyone so much?  It’s too much.  Please cancel my cable service, now,  How much is internet alone?”

 

  The rep quoted a price, and then I took his name, informing him that ‘I will be calling back, to check pricing.’  Suddenly, he suggests that he could check with his supervisor.  From some hazy higher number the quote then landed at $49+fees/taxes.  That’s when I phoned Suddenlink’s Service disconnect number.”

 

“When you’re speaking with service disconnect they realize you’re displeased.  The  woman was very nice–and helpful, as she quoted a $40 flat price.  And when my first bill arrived at $45 I was back at the Suddenlink office, now out of principal.  Now my bill’s $35, flat.”

 

 

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It signals a fundamental power shift when price push back continues growing, and pricing power significantly slips. The dynamics of cable’s core business are shifting. Where do cable operators turn, when your monopoly is a fat bundle of liner ad-driven programming no one wants?

 

 

“I wasn’t out to get anybody.  People can change.  Companies can change.  Hooray if they do.  Maybe they could begin by treating people more fairly, and honestly.  They’re still playing the data-overages game.  We’ll see.  Meanwhile, I cut my cable bill from $144 to $35.  That’s a 75% discount.  Add in my annual Prime membership of $119, and my overall savings are 69%.  I also get free 2-day shipping, Prime music, and more.”

Continue reading “Cord-Cutter. Eclipse Of Power.”

Reduce Your Risk Now. 5 Box List.

APRIL 24, 2018. On May 1st U.S. tariffs against China ramp. That’s a week away. Does anyone think our markets will be perfectly fine? Not. Time remains to reposition portfolios for tariffs, or more.
In an environment of rising rates and shadows of inflation, investors face a global atmosphere of nuclear tension, unclear alliances, and an odd mix of political and legal discord and confusion in Washington. With the next Tweet may very well come another tussle, fight, or who knows?
Standing pat seems, questionable. Being gaffed seems, possible. Investors are pressed, insistent issues piling up. Time to reevaluate holdings and overall market exposure. Yet few places remain to hide from a potential equity price collapse and pain. What are investors to do? We’re sticking with our established themes, and checking position size. Is less more now? Continue reading Reduce Your Risk Now. 5 Box List.

Investor Stress Test. Having Fun Yet?

FEBRUARY 10, 2018. Remember the side-lined money that finally came creeping back late last year? Trial by fire, flame-thrower really. New money floated in swarms to market homes, following endless empty years in the wilderness. Our market promptly exploded. One lever-jerk release of pent-up fury. All bore witness. Retail investors wanted some. What about now? Does “horror” capture the welcome received by returners? What now? Are you just in? Thinking about leaving?

This week ripped a gap in most portfolios. We sunk 6.4%. We trimmed , and cut, prior to the crash. We’ve only bought since then. What’d we sell in the run-up? What’s worth buying now? Making faces at the market. Continue reading Investor Stress Test. Having Fun Yet?

That Smiley Amazon Show

CHOOSING WELL DOES NOT MEAN BEATING THE WEEDS FOR THE OBSCURE AND UNKNOWN.

I s there a Best Stock and Company in the World? Sure seems that way–more by the day. Hum? Sj called AMZN a BUY below $950.00. It hit $932.00.” Now we hear Bezos, Buffet, and Dimon from JPM, are together aiming at what? The systematic bilking machine we call healthcare. And now the sector’s confused, and just when you were totally enjoying UNH’s Butt-kicking quarter. You already heard about the med distributor licences right? And you know what some call them now? And you remember Prime Day where sales topped more than $1 billion dollars. And the NFL and still the drones thing…
Continue reading That Smiley Amazon Show