Nasdaq: AMZN Archive
by Justin Dove, Investment U Executive Editor
Friday, April 12, 2013
It’s happening all around you, at this very second, and you probably haven’t even noticed.
Right now, on the same networks that carry your internet data, people are exchanging goods and services – completely off the grid. Out of the reach of the tax man, the Fed, or any other government regulation.
You see, there are two types of web…
The Surface Web is what you and I are used to. It’s the part of the World Wide Web that’s indexed by search engines like Google.
The second goes by many names, but we’ll just call it the Dark Web.
And just like eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY) and Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) have created thriving online marketplaces on the Surface Web, there also exists thriving black markets on the Dark Web.
So what makes these underground markets possible?
Bitcoin.To continue reading, please click here...
by Steve McDonald, Investment U Research
Friday, January 25, 2013
In focus this week; global gorillas, platinum costs more than gold and, of course, the sitfa.
According to Market Watch the global gorillas, large multinational companies that offer more stable access to the emerging markets, which will account for 80% of the growth in the world in 2013, are one of the best plays in this market and will offer growth and stability for many years to come.
These companies have all weather management teams, established markets and large workforces but are still nimble enough to play some of the smaller developing opportunities. This willingness to look beyond the BRICs gives them greater return opportunities in infrastructure, food and mobile bandwidth.
David Darst, Morgan Stanley’s Wealth management Chief Strategist says this is the end of the world as we know it and we must embrace the massive demographic changes we are seeing in the developing world.
Let the changes push you, don’t fight them, said Darst.
He called the Global Gorillas one the trends of 2013 you must watch.
These gorillas are essentially the S&P 100 Global Index (NYSE: IOO) which includes some of the biggest and best established companies in the world, and MarketWatch thinks it is the best emerging market play for the average investor.
The IOO is referred to as emerging market lite because it does not offer a pure emerging play but also does not have the tremendous volatility inherent in most of the EM’s.To continue reading, please click here...
by Steve McDonald, Investment U Research
Friday, January 18, 2013
In focus this week; the number two deep-water driller, Amazon in the cloud and the sitfa
Deep-water drillers have to go farther and farther offshore for new fields, but they are finding bigger and better reserves, and, according to a recent Barron’s article, that’s good news for the number two driller, Good news for Ensco.
Ensco (NYSE:ESV), a former Houston based driller, made a shift to the deep-water arena in 2009 when it moved to Britain and purchased Pride Petroleum, one of the most technologically advanced offshore drillers.
Since the Pride purchase offshore drilling accounted for 56% of ESV’s revenues and earnings this year are expected to jump 30%.
Brad Handler, an analyst at Jeffries expects ESV to double its dividend in four years.
ESV has the newest, safest and most technologically advanced fleet of deep water rigs, and that means less down time and faster safety certification. All of that adds up to very big savings for its customers.
ESV’s operation is so advanced they can show a profit on oil as low as $70 per barrel and they currently have $9 billion backlog of orders.
The daily drilling bill from ESV to its customers is up 50% in the past two years, from $400,000 to $600,000, and it is trading at a cheap forward P/E of about 8.To continue reading, please click here...
by David Eller, Investment U Research
Tuesday, October 23, 2012: Issue #1888
Can you get an edge over the analysts on Wall Street?
Peter Lynch thinks so. In his book One Up On Wall Street, he devotes the introduction and the second chapter to highlighting the advantages an individual investor has over professional investors. Two constraints really handicap the pros, and you can take advantage of them: Group Thinking and Timing Constraints.
Professional investors have people looking over their shoulders on a daily basis. If the risk manager, director of research, peers, or key investors don’t understand a position, they have to take time to defend their choices. This takes a lot of time and energy from someone who would rather be on the golf course. Rather than finding a small, but growing company that’s creating a new market, why not just direct investment dollars to stocks that are growing faster than the S&P?
In 2001 as a young analyst, I was working for a tech-focused hedge fund. I remember pitching the idea of a search company called Overture, which was relatively unheard of at the time. The idea was so exciting… I met the company’s CEO at a conference and walked away believing that revenue growth would be much greater than people believed.
Unfortunately, the paid search industry was so new, people didn’t understand the opportunity.
I discussed the idea with our portfolio manager, but the upside was so dramatic, that as a newbie, I couldn’t get him to believe it. I was literally screamed at for not knowing how to model the company properly. There were no specific errors, but the numbers were just so far from consensus that I must be wrong.
My numbers turned out to be too low and the stock price exploded. Overture went on to beat expectations in future quarters and we still didn’t buy it because we missed the early trade. Eventually, Overture was bought by Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) and became the basis for its paid search business. I made nothing on the trade and was yelled at a second time for not being convincing enough.
So from then on, instead of going out on a limb, I took the politically correct, safe route. In 2002, when internet opportunities were exploding, I was pitching ideas like PeopleSoft and Siebel. Big, slow-moving companies that a former hardware analyst (my portfolio manager) understood and was comfortable with. I went on to collect a pretty decent paycheck while producing mediocre investment ideas that were safe.To continue reading, please click here...
by Alexander Green, Investment U Chief Investment Strategist
Monday, August 20, 2012: Issue #1842
In ancient and medieval times, castles and even entire towns often built a moat – a deep ditch filled with water – as a preliminary line of defense to deter the enemy.
The same technique is essential in the world of equity investing, too. In a capitalistic society likes ours, you can be sure that if someone has found a profitable niche, it isn’t long before others show up to exploit it. This is generally a positive development for consumers who quickly see prices plunge. But it’s a different matter for business owners who just as regularly see profit margins wither up and die.
Two prime examples are Circuit City and Borders. The first sold consumer electronics, the latter books, music and DVDs. Both had razor-thin operating margins and virtually nothing to protect them from competitors, either online or in the brick-and-mortar world. Selling commodity products available from anyone, both wound up in bankruptcy.
What provides an effective moat in our competitive marketplace? A few examples are patents, trademarks, brand names, regulatory complexity and huge economies of scale.
Take patents, for example. One of the reasons for Apple’s (Nasdaq: AAPL) extraordinary success is that most of its products are patent-protected. The Mac operating system is not licensed to other vendors. And iPods, iPhones and iPads have many patent protections, too. (Some of these are currently being disputed in court with Samsung.) Likewise, a former big winner in The Oxford Club’s Trading Portfolio was Intuitive Surgical (Nasdaq: ISRG), a company with a patented monopoly on the manufacture and sale of surgical robots.
Another effective moat is early adoption. This has been a huge benefit for Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG). When I shop online, I don’t even bother checking other retailers. If I do a search, it’s always through Google. A service becomes increasingly valuable as more people adopt it.
Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO) is a company whose business is protected by brand names. Coke offers quality and reliability in all its products, something that isn’t generally established with upstart soda companies.
Altria (NYSE: MO) actively supports much federal government regulation of the tobacco industry. Why? Because it knows regulatory hurdles and liabilities deter potential competition. Tough regulatory oversight is itself a moat.To continue reading, please click here...
by Ryan Fitzwater, Investment U Research
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Nowadays, many of us have internet-connected devices in almost every room. Sometimes more than one.
At any given moment mom, dad and the kids may be streaming movies through game consoles, shopping on Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) on their smart phones and reading the latest stock market moves on their tablets, all at the same time.
This stresses our current wireless network systems, and many aren’t producing fast enough speeds for our growing electronic demand.
But have no fear…
Starting next year, wireless networks will have a new standard called 802.11ad that will support a 60 GHz band. This will allow wireless networks to run a great deal faster than those that run on today’s 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands.
To draw comparisons, today’s 5 GHz Wi-Fi can work as fast as 600 megabits per second, while the new standard will support speeds up to 7 gigabits per second.
However, this new, faster band standard doesn’t mean jack if you don’t have products to support it.
That’s where Marvell Technology (Nasdaq: MRVL) and its recent partnership with Israeli-based start-up Wilocity come into play.To continue reading, please click here...
by Alexander Green, Investment U Chief Investment Strategist
Friday, August 10, 2012: Issue #1834
Do you have a tendency to sell stocks when the market is down only to buy them again when it recovers? If so, you’re probably a frustrated investor… and definitely not alone.
It’s hard to stay calm when a lifetime of savings is at stake. (After all, this is real money we’re talking about.) But one way to overcome emotional and counterproductive tendencies is to build a personal stock portfolio. Here’s what I mean…
Many years ago, in an earlier life as a stockbroker, I had a particular client who found it impossible to overcome his worst instincts. Whenever the market had a sudden downdraft, he’d run to cash, abandoning his investment discipline. Then when the clouds cleared and the market rose again, he’d resume the confidence to invest again.
As you might surmise, this had disastrous consequences as he was forever buying high and selling low. After trying unsuccessfully to calm his fears, I finally hit upon a solution that allowed him to ride through the tough patches in the market with relative equanimity: a personal stock portfolio.
“What kind of car do you drive?” I asked when he inquired about the market again.
“A Toyota (NYSE: TM),” he said.
“Ok, we’re going to buy a few shares of that,” I said. “What kind of computer do you own?”
“A Mac.”To continue reading, please click here...
by Gary Spivak, Investment U Research
Tuesday, July 31, 2012: Issue #1826
When I started in IT in the mid 1980s, all computer applications ran on the mainframe – a large computer that was efficient and well-managed.
I recall watching “in horror” in the late 1980s and early 1990s as individual departments began to embrace “client-server” computing, where a “server,” which was equivalent to a large PC, began to run critical applications.
There were some benefits – better graphical user interfaces and greater control – but distributing the computing power to hundreds of locations was destined to be a maintenance nightmare.
As individual devices became more powerful, the computing power got pushed further down to the end-user – PCs, laptops, and now smartphones and tablets.
But put everyone on the same network and it seems destined that the pendulum would have swung back to the centralized environment.
From the perspective of a former IT guy with plenty of gray hair, cloud computing is a natural progression…
Cloud computing is simply any technology service, such as an application, infrastructure, or platform that’s offered to customers over the internet.
With the proliferation of devices connected to the internet, why not keep key resources in a centralized location? This centralization allows everyone to use the “public utility” called the internet to access these resources. There are certain benefits to centralized resources – such as cost efficiencies and a better customer experience.To continue reading, please click here...
by Mike Kapsch, Investment U Research
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
What’s about to happen?
Well, just consider this scenario:
There’s a lot of hype surrounding The Avengers DVD hitting stores September 25.
If you had the option to drive and pick up your copy at a big box retailer – like Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) or Target (NYSE: TGT) – or order it online and receive it the same day, at a not-much-higher price, which option would you choose?
Beginning this September, that’s exactly what Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) plans to do – same-day deliveries.
According to Slate, “Amazon is investing billions to make next-day delivery standard and same-day delivery an option for lots of customers. If it can pull that off, the company will permanently alter how we shop.”
Currently, Amazon does have local express delivery that can deliver certain items on the same day you place your order. But that’s only for customers in a few select cities who pay $79 a year to be Amazon Prime members.To continue reading, please click here...
by Alexander Green, Investment U Chief Investment Strategist
Monday, July 9, 2012: Issue #1810
It’s a truism in our capitalist society: You don’t get rich working for someone else. You get rich working for yourself.
Yet the overwhelming majority of Americans don’t understand how to start their own business. They feel like they don’t have a good enough idea or enough capital to make a go of it. To top it off, most are understandably scared to leave their current job or risk their savings on a new enterprise. Still… they understand that they will never achieve financial independence – or significantly upgrade their lifestyle – without becoming an entrepreneur of some sort.
If this sounds familiar, let me make a recommendation. Pick up a copy of The Reluctant Entrepreneur by my friend and colleague Michael Masterson.
And buy a highlighter, too. You’re going to need it.
Michael Masterson is the real deal, an astonishingly successful wealth creator who has launched dozens of businesses in many different industries. He retired more than 20 years ago but, fortunately for the rest of us, found it unspeakably boring. Today he devotes his business life to instructing and mentoring others.
His new book is something special. It’s a call to action – and a step-by-step plan – to embrace your fears and start your own business without a lot of investment capital and with as little risk as humanly possible.
Of course, Masterson has written many business bestsellers, but this book is different. Here he focuses only on the first two stages of business growth – from zero to $1 million and from $1 million to $10 million. However, he begins with an even earlier stage of entrepreneurship – the point where you may be now: a “would-be” business owner. As the chapters unfold, he describes, in detail, how to develop a good, workable idea for a business and how to carefully put that plan into action.
The advice here is anything but theoretical. Using examples from his own business career – and from those he’s mentored – he shows you exactly how to proceed, how to overcome your fears, how to achieve business success without leaving your current career (at least at the outset) and without risking a lot of money. I personally know dozens of individuals who have seen their lives – and their fortunes – transformed by guidance and advice from Michael Masterson.To continue reading, please click here...