Good Times Bad Times
In the days of my youth, I was told what it means to trade like a man.
Now I’ve reached that age, I’ve tried to do all those things the best I can.
Good times, bad times … we’ve all had our share, Great Ones.
Wait … isn’t it Thursday? Where’s the “Are you ready kids?” and Reader Feedback?
Hold your horses! I’m getting there. Jeez, a guy can’t even take a lyrical Led Zeppelin break anymore…
Today is Reader Feedback day. But before we get to your stock questions, market rants and general tomfoolery, it’s long past time for a Great Stuff Picks portfolio update!
My apologies, Great Ones, I meant to get this out to you much sooner. In fact, there are a lot of new readers that have no idea that the totally free Great Stuff Picks portfolio even exists.
Well … it does. I haven’t forgotten about it. Times is weird, ya know? Anyway, without further ado, here’s what the portfolio looks like right now:
Just look at that! I mean, y’all are still killing it with a 95% win rate and a nearly 80% average return!
If you bought in when I recommended these stocks, you’re sitting on some pretty sweet returns.
How’s that for a free portfolio?
Not too shabby! But, what’s with all the red?
Right. The red. It filters through. But we’re not going to lay down … not really. We’re taking profits, Great Ones, for reasons I’ll explain right now:
Sell Insulet (Nasdaq: PODD) — This maker of insulin delivery systems really scared the tar out of investors with its last two trips to the earnings confessional, missing expectations both times. The shares hit bottom back on May 11 and have rebounded sharply since.
The company has another earnings report next week. While there is a possibility that Insulet turned things around last quarter, we’re not going to take that change. Let’s lock in 119% gain and move on.
Sell ServiceNow (NYSE: NOW) — ServiceNow hit paydirt with the pandemic, growing revenue hand-over-fist as millions began working from home. Now that workflow has reversed, and people are flooding back into office spaces across the country.
That means less revenue growth for ServiceNow, and Wall Street knows it. As such, we’re locking in our 68% return on NOW and heading for the hills.
Sell AbbVie (Nasdaq: ABBV) — You typically can’t go wrong investing in pharmaceutical companies. Especially ones like AbbVie with market-leading treatments for diseases like Crohn’s and rheumatoid arthritis — i.e., Humira. But AbbVie has rested on its laurels for too long. It’s too dependent on Humira, and that’s a problem, doubly so since several key patents protecting Humira have expired.
With no new “hotness” ready to emerge from its drug pipeline anytime soon, it’s time to scrape together our 40% profit on AbbVie and look for better opportunities.
Sell Arena Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ARNA) — I blame myself for letting this trade run for far too long. Arena’s horrible fourth-quarter miss back in November should have been a red flag. But I wanted to recoup some of those losses … which ARNA eventually did. The shares rallied back to once again trade north of $80 back in February before reversing course once again.
Arena still looks promising, with several key drugs in its pipeline. But now is not the time for risky speculation. We’re sitting on a gain of about 11%, and we’re going to take it and move on to greener pastures.
You’ll notice that every single sell today was a winner — some big, some small. But winners one and all.
Congratulations! And remember, these gains aren’t hiding somewhere in the night. They’re right here — for FREE!
However … while the Great Stuff Picks portfolio is free, you must be a daily reader … a true Great One … to really get in on the action.
The portfolio doesn’t live anywhere. You can’t find it online, and I update it … basically when I feel like it. Such is the way of a free portfolio, though.
But I get the impression that some of y’all would like a few more trades … more trade updates … more, more, more!
I hear you … so let’s keep it simple, shall we? My colleague Mike Carr has mastered an approach that narrows the market down to One. Single. Trade. Period.
You can make this trade over and over again, every single week, for the chance to make gains of 10%, 50%, even 100% or more. It takes two days on average — in fact, the top position went up 313% in just 24 hours!
Alright, alright … alright! It’s finally Reader Feedback time!
For you newcomers, Reader Feedback day is when I dive into the Great Stuff mailbag like Scrooge McDuck, swim around for a bit … get my backstroke workout in … and answer whatever emails are stuck to me when I climb out.
Eeew! You what? I didn’t need that image…
You’re welcome. Now, with that fresh in your mind, let’s get this party started:
Both … Both Is Good
It’s time to put Comcast or any other “old” cable company on your buy list. Wi-fi 6 is going to crush all of them with tech, and they own all the broadband. It’s over for all telco companies, and they are scrambling to purchase any and all broadband they can with not much success. Comcast has tons. Even lowly Nokia landed plenty to maybe get them out of all the short positions, and I expect the U.S. government to buy them back. Maybe check this out, and I’d love to hear what you think. Short one today. Your favorite fan. — James S.
James! Good to see you again, Great One. I hope the cryptos are still treating you well because if you’re betting on Wi-fi 6 to topple 5G … you’re in for a rude awakening.
So, let’s clarify a couple things real quick. Wi-fi 6 and 5G are essentially built on the same technology. Both are ultra-high bandwidth connectivity platforms that offer upload and download speeds never seen before. I mean, they both top out at around 10 gigabits per second under pristine conditions.
However, due to technology constraints, Wi-Fi 6 is very limited in range, as you would expect from a wi-fi access point. Furthermore, it operates in the 2.4 to 5GHz spectrum, and that doesn’t penetrate walls very well at all.
Now, the biggest deal with Wi-fi 6 is that it essentially saves landline broadband providers like Comcast and AT&T. Many analysts predicted that 5G would make in-house wi-fi a thing of the past. But Wi-Fi 6 brings in-home speed up to par with 5G, with a lot more stability and consistency.
But, that stability and consistency has a very limited range, which is why you’ll need 5G once you leave the building to keep on blazing on the internet.
What this means is that you’ll need both 5G and Wi-Fi 6 as you go about your daily life. You’ll use 5G when you’re out and about, listening to tunes on your way to work or heading out for a run. Meanwhile, you’ll use Wi-fi 6 at the office, in shopping centers and businesses and while chilling at home.
Sorry to burst your bubble, James. But it do be like that sometimes. Thanks for writing in!
The World Versus Apple
What gives me the shivers, well s#&ts really, is that when you become a successful business, others want to tear you down.
Does anyone give two shakes of a lamb’s tail at the profit that retailers — both bricks and mortar and online — make? Or the deals that work in the favor of grocery stores where manufacturers sell their products at a discount to retail price, then pay for shelf space as well as giving advertising subsidies.
If developers are unhappy with 30%, then stop developing. No one is forcing them to do so. There is no way they would sell anything if they tried it on their own.
Stop whining and relying on the courts to go to bat for them. — Grunter
Good to hear from you, Grunter! Thanks for writing in.
I love rants like this. That passion for capitalism always warms my heart. But, sometimes, that passion gets a little carried away. It happens.
Let’s look at your points, shall we? Selling products below retail price, paying for shelf space and providing advertising subsidies. In moderation, these are all standard business practices.
However, when you have the market share and power of companies like Apple, Microsoft or Amazon … these practices can quickly become anticompetitive and monopolistic. Once that critical mass is reached, these policies no longer benefit the consumer, the manufacturer or the market as a whole.
I’m all for a company making a profit. But when it essentially has both its customers and its suppliers by the short-and-curlies … something has gone horribly wrong in the market.
Yes, Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) deserves credit for creating its iThing empire. And it has that credit in the form of literally billions sitting in offshore bank accounts. Apple’s walled garden — aka, The App Store — is designed to limit competition. It’s not just the 30% take from developers, it’s the fact that those developers cannot let their customers know that they can purchase additional services through other means.
Epic Games was a multi-billion-dollar company before it started selling games on The App Store. And there are many other billion-dollar companies selling apps in Apple’s walled garden. So, saying that “there is no way they would sell anything if they tried on their own” is patently wrong.
And while I see your point that “no one is forcing them” to use Apple … and what point does that become a false statement? Apple has more than one billion iOS users globally. That’s about one-seventh of the global population. How big does that number need to get before “no one is forcing them” is no longer true? And if you wait that long … what recourse do you have then?
The thing is Apple needs services revenue from The App Store to make up for stagnating iPhone sales. Whether it gets to continue unabated with its current practices is up to the courts to decide.
And if you’re against deciding pesky things like legal matters in the courts — Whining? Really? — then I guess we’re just living in a world where the biggest companies make all the rules.
Thanks again for the rant!
She’s my Apple pie, cool drink of water, such a sweet surprise. Tastes so good make a grown man cry, sweet Apple pie.
I’ve been hearing about the demise of Apple for more than a decade now, but they keep on churning higher and higher, year after year. Stock split. Rinse. Repeat. This little dustup with Epic is a mere blip. If anything sour turns out from this, Tim will cook it into a sweet Apple brandy. — Mike B.
Sup, Mike B. in the place to be! I will never pass up a chance to riff on some late ‘80s rock — though I hear that Warrant’s lead singer Jani Lane absolutely hated that song.
I have to say, I’m pretty well Apple’d out after that last reply … but I have one more mini-rant for you, my man. And that is: I hate that you’re right.
Apple will be just fine no matter how its legal battle with Epic goes. It has billions in cash just sitting around and will likely drag any unfavorable ruling out for years. The real reason Apple is even fighting this battle is to hold on to that sweet, sweet App Store services revenue. You know, because it’s iPhones aren’t selling anywhere near as well as they used to.
But Apple will endure and continue what it does best: taking technology that others have developed and making it prettier and more accessible to the masses — with a 30% markup, of course.
I don’t think I’ve ever called for Apple’s demise — shame on me if I have. What I have said, however, is that Apple is no longer an innovator. It’s lost that “one more thing” that Steve Jobs always brought to the table.
I still believe that if you are looking for massive growth in your portfolio, Apple isn’t it. If you are looking for slow and steady, blue-chip style growth … Apple is your man, for now. Who knows? Maybe losing to Epic will light a fire under the company again. Now that is something I would like to see.
And that wraps it up for today’s edition of Reader Feedback. I’m sorry I didn’t get to more of your emails today. I am only one man with limited space.
Still, I love hearing from you all, and I read each and every email personally. So, continue to write in Great Ones! Please?
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Until next time, stay Great!
Editor, Great Stuff