Editors’ Note: Welcome to the new Wall Street Daily Weekend Edition.
In addition to our regular roundup of top content featured at Wall Street Daily during the week that was, we’re now including extended commentary from Editorial Director David Dittman.
And highlighting this new digest is the video-based Saturday Spotlight, which will “shine” on one member of our talented and hard-working team of market analysts each week.
Enjoy! And please let us know what you think of the new format by contacting us here.
Greg Miller is the kind of analyst who pounds the pavement in search of every last bit of information about technologies, trends, and companies he researches, identifies, and recommends.
He’s the type of guy whose Vegas vacation includes a side trip not to hike Turtlehead at Red Rock Canyon or to hoover down a meal at one of the very few In-N-Out Burgers located outside California. Heck, he didn’t even make the short trip to Hoover Dam when he was out west last August.
Instead, he booked a site tour of the Sin City-based SUPERNAP facility, which, according to Greg, is “on the leading edge of data center technology.” Even his leisure time is defined by what he can learn.
Our intrepid Senior Technology Analyst was also on the ground at the fourth annual Baltimore Innovation Week. Greg gathered intel on startup funding, heard from local entrepreneurs about learning from mistakes and seeding ultimate success, and rubbed elbows with tech legends such as AOL Co-Founder and Venture Capitalist Steve Case.
This type of investigative work is by no means the sole province of analysts. Indeed, as Greg discusses in today’s Saturday Spotlight, you can get involved in this process of discovery by chatting up clerks at your local electronics shop, your home improvement center, or your big box retailer.
Who’s buying what? Which products are moving off your shelves? Where is the demand?
I think you’ll find Greg’s talk about investors and how to do your own on-the-ground research entertaining, informative, and useful.
Wall Street Daily’s tagline is, “In a world of liars, the truth starts here…”
Well, it takes hard work to uncover the truth.
Because we can’t seem to get through this space at least through the first couple weeks without some reference to investing legend Benjamin Graham, note that the one major departure his disciple Warren Buffett takes from the master is to engage in more qualitative analysis.
That is, Buffet is a big fan of visiting companies and talking to management in order to form a better understanding of business models and their long-term potential, rather than relying on a purely quantitative, valuation-based approach advanced by Graham.
This combination of quantitative and qualitative analysis is the foundation of the work Greg Miller and Chief Technology Analyst Lou Basenese do for Wall Street Daily.
Greg and Lou aren’t eliciting “insider” information from such visits. Management teams aren’t giving up anything they aren’t disclosing via public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
But there’s a big difference between, say, watching the Rose Bowl on TV, even the latest, most advanced big screen variety, and sitting inside the Arroyo Seco on New Year’s Day for the Granddaddy of Them All.
And, as Greg pointed out to me this week, although you can’t ask a CEO to give up non-public information about his or her company, he or she can talk about what they’re seeing in the broader market, discuss strengths and weaknesses among competitors, suppliers, and customers, and opine on longer-term, bigger-picture industry trends.
Diverging from the “Rose Bowl” analogy, developing subject matter expertise is not a spectator sport. It’s a function of experience, of being inside rooms where ideas are exchanged, developed, and worked out into saleable products, of asking questions.
It’s this level of expertise that’s on display in this presentation, wherein Lou talks about discovering new technologies, explains what’s meant by the term “quarks,” and demonstrates his command of “the incubator life cycle.”
In our data-driven day and age, technology can’t move fast enough to keep up with consumers’ expectations. It helps to have a couple experts on your side, helping identify realistic profit opportunities.
The stock-selection criteria driving VentureCap Strategist include 17 unique indicators – one of which Lou and Greg deem “the most influential force driving small-cap stocks higher.”
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Lou is especially drawn to technologies – known as “quarks” – that are virtually assured to generate mass adoption.
A Profitable Future
“To living and investing in the future.”
That’s the valediction above Greg’s signature on every VentureCap Strategist alert.
It sure is an optimistic send-off. And to be an investor which by definition is someone who provides money or resources for an enterprise, such as a corporation, with the expectation of financial or other gain in the future is to be an optimist.
What we have with Greg and Lou is optimism complemented by a realism earned through rigorous inquiry.
Based on his single trip to the SUPERNAP server farm, Greg has charted out new paths of inquiry, in addition to his continuing research into profitable opportunities based on the continuing “mobilization” of global communication.
Among them are the implications of the proliferation of solar panels in the Las Vegas Valley and the potential for distributed generation to disrupt the utility industry. Storage remains the key here. And unlocking technology that makes solar and wind realistic sources of continuing, reliable, round-the-clock power remains a hope.
But you can be sure Greg and Lou will know when critical mass is reached for a breakthrough technology. Be sure to keep up with their research via Digital Fortunes.
Three days a week Monday, Wednesday, and Friday my wife and I rise at 4:15 AM to get to our 5:00 U.S. Masters swim practice. Our younger daughter is right there with us, working out with her Nation’s Capital Swim Club teammates.
Abby’s still a competitor. For my wife and me, both in our mid-forties, it’s what we do to maintain some modicum of fitness.
Several months back my wife picked up a Fitbit, hoping to track her movement outside the pool and perhaps use the activity tracker as a motivator.
These wireless-enabled wearable technology devices are certainly full of promise on the health front.
But, as Lou Basenese explains, while it may merit a spot on your wrist, Fitbit is a questionable addition to your portfolio at these levels.
There’s no value in Fitbit. But Chief Income Analyst Alan Gula has identified “one bombed-out industry that both income and value investors should love right now.”
Indeed, mortgage real estate investment trusts meet Alan’s criteria of not just high yield, but safe high yield.
Elsewhere on the income front, Global Markets Analyst Martin Hutchinson urges yield-seekers to eschew junk bonds at this time, noting that “the risk-reward dynamic is strongly biased against the retail investor.”
Don’t be tempted by Wall Street salesmen and their high-pressure tactics. Avoid junk bonds.
Last weekend we featured pattern-trading expert Jonathan Rodriguez in our Saturday Spotlight. This weekend, be sure to check out what Jonathan has to say about another way to trade options: Long-Term Equity AnticiPation Securities, or LEAPS.
And finally, Senior Correspondent Shelley Goldberg takes a look at a long-in-the-works upgrade to the nation’s railway system. The time has finally come, after Congress passed a law in 2008 mandating its implementation, for positive train control (PTC).
Railroad companies were given seven years to install PTC, which should help prevent collisions and derailments caused by excessive speed.
Thanks for taking time out of your Saturday for Wall Street Daily. Enjoy.