Labor Worth Celebrating

Andrew Snyder
by Andrew Snyder, Editor-in-Chief, The Oxford Club

It’s Labor Day. Time to fire up the grill, put a six-pack on ice and flip through the pages of the back-to-school sales fliers.

For most folks, it’s just another holiday - an excuse to head to the beach. They have no idea what the holiday is all about.

But at Investment U and The Oxford Club, we dig deeper. If we followed the pop-culture trends or relied on the mainstream media to help make our decisions, we’d go broke... financially and morally.

We’ve said it a lot lately, but we have a strong do-it-yourself mentality - especially when it comes to managing your wealth. After all, nobody cares about what’s in your checking account more than you do.

That idea has a funny connection to the modern meaning of Labor Day.

You see, the first official “Labor Day” was celebrated in New York City on Tuesday, September 5, 1882. It was promoted by the region’s powerful Central Labor Union as a way of praising the rank and file. With union popularity soaring, it didn’t take long for the idea to spread across the nation.

But in the 130 years or so that have passed, the power of organized labor has waned. We can argue today that unions are losing power at a record pace. With just 7% of all workers belonging to a union, membership is at historic lows.

For the labor bosses, there’s not much to celebrate today. But for do-it-yourselfers, oh boy, times have never been better.

The ability to be self-reliant is at an all-time high. Thanks to technology and the potential to unleash a flood of information with a few mouse clicks, it’s easier than ever to be a truly independent investor.

With just a bit of your own labor, you can control your financial fate.

Just like the modern worker, today’s investors can toss off the shackles of dependence. These days we don’t need to pay the union leaders to get us a raise... and we certainly don’t need to pay the bosses of Wall Street to manage our money.

For the folks who invest their own labor, self-reliance is easier than ever. And that’s an idea worth celebrating.

So that’s our short-but-important message for today. The labor that you do yourself is the most rewarding.

Good investing,


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Self-Reliance Is Propelling This High-Growth Stock

The growing empowerment of the consumer is a huge trend in today’s marketplace.

Think about it. You now have more control than ever over your life. With endless programming and DVR you can watch whatever you want, when you want. With online shopping, you can have just about anything you can imagine delivered right to your doorstep. I could go on and on...

And this trend is exactly what’s driving one of Alexander Green’s favorite growth stories - SodaStream International (Nasdaq: SODA).

SodaStream makes a beverage system that allows people to create customizable sodas. It sounds pretty trivial on the surface, but with SODA’s system you have complete control over the contents and flavor of your soda. The fact is, soda is a huge business (think of how much revenue Coca-Cola and Pepsi bring in). And SodaStream is revolutionizing it. Despite the stock backing off its 52-week highs recently, it’s still in a pronounced uptrend. And we expect that to continue.

Here’s what Dave Fessler recently told us about the company’s exciting growth potential:

“According to Beverage Digest, U.S. annual soda sales are $75.7 billion a year. Worldwide, we’re talking about a $264 billion industry. Sparkling water adds another $39 billion worldwide.

“With those numbers, you can see why big guns like The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) and PepsiCo Inc. (NYSE: PEP) are both heavily invested in getting folks to drink soda.

“As the big guys boost their marketing efforts, it will certainly benefit SodaStream. First, the company is barely scratching the surface of the soda market, with about 1% of the global market share. In Europe, SodaStream’s market penetration is already over 10%...

“SodaStream’s growth is another exciting story.

“It’s growing 20 times faster than Pepsi and Coke. In SodaStream’s latest quarter, its sales of soda makers, gas refills and syrups jumped 78%, 101% and 119% respectively. Last year alone, SodaStream sold the equivalent of 4.5 billion cans of soda worldwide.

“As you can see from the numbers above, SodaStream is a classic razor/razor blade business model. Over 100 patents protect its system and it adds new ones with every innovation.

“For 2013, the company is predicting year-over-year revenue and net income growth of 25% and 18%. I believe these are conservative estimates, given the company’s latest quarterly numbers.

“One of the big reasons I say that is SodaStream recently announced it’s teaming up with Whirlpool Corp. (NYSE: WHR). The two are planning a joint development effort aimed at a carbonation system that will carry the KitchenAid brand. The packaging will clearly denote that the appliance is “powered by SodaStream.”

“Investors wanting to latch on to a company with a great business model - and with nearly unlimited upside potential - might want to consider adding a few shares of SodaStream to their portfolios. And if you’re a big soda or seltzer drinker, go out and try the machine.”

- Justin Dove with Dave Fessler

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