Powerball: To Play or Not to Play

FullSizeRenderSubmitted by George Taylor

Ok, I understand the odds. If you don’t play, you can’t win. If you play, you probably won’t win. For the 5th time in my life, I bought a lottery ticket. About as many cavities as I have had.

I felt very stupid as I have little experience in playing the lottery.  I headed to my dear friend Peter Aziz’s gas station to buy the tickets where I learned that one ticket was $2. The staff was helpful in explaining how this particular game worked. I was told you could buy a multiplier but it doesn’t increase your chances of winning or make the jackpot bigger. Being a former math major, I calculated the odds were in my favor by buying one ticket. By buying one ticket,my odds went from 0 to something like 1 in 292 million. Much better odds!!!!

I have made plans of what I am going to do with the money. Being a financial advisor, I will set up trusts for my kids, make some cool investments, take care of debts, etc. I don’t think I will retire but I will take some cool vacations. I’ll also invest in some of many investments I have access too.

Since I am planner I have to think about what happens if I don’t win. My backup plan is to find the lucky person(s) who did win and convince them that we should be their advisors. Then I would make the recommendations that I have been trained to do as a Sudden Money advisor by the amazing Susan Bradley. Don’t make any big moves while you develop your strategy. Set up a GST trust to hold the money, probably coupled with an LLC. Don’t promise everyone who comes out of the woodwork claiming that they need help or want to borrow a couple thousand dollars or has a great investment idea. Take some time and make careful planned out decisions. Decide who you are going to take care of and who you are not.

Now if I don’t find that person or they don’t find me, I will leave my dreams and go back to my current reality. Just hope that person finds the right advisor so their life does not spin out of control.

I guess that I will go back to figuring out how big of a problem China is in the current market…

Apple Watch

photo credit: mac via photopin (license)
photo credit: mac via photopin (license)

 

All eyes were on Apple yesterday.  CEO Tim Cook announced details of the first “Apple Watch” release.

The watch, which tethers to your iPhone, is set to price around $349 for entry level and we have read up to $10,000 for a fancy gold version.  The question that we all have?  Is Apple going to transform (or, really, define) the wearable computing market?  Samsung, Apple’s nemesis, has watches on the market, as do other smartphone makers, but no one has yet to definitively set the standard for this market.

Alas, Apple has an opportunity to make us all think we all need one. The current “smart watch” market is around 4.6 million sold in 2014. Projections for Apple alone are around 10 to 30 million this year.

We are excited to hear about the new watch and see how the market reacts.

An Apple a Day

photo credit: Iphone 4 via photopin (license)

photo credit: Iphone 4 via photopin (license)

 

The big headline “APPLE GRABS 93% of the Handset Industry’s Profit” was somewhat of a surprise. You would expect them to get the majority of the profits, but 93% is, again, staggering.

Last quarter (Q42014), Apple brought in $18 billion in earnings, so we knew they would have the lion’s share, but what happened to Samsung? It looks like the race for smartphone dominance is all but won.

We continue to own Apple and are excited to see what comes next. The buzz is Tim Cook wants to give Elon Musk a run for his money.

Interest Rate Outlook for 2015

photo credit: bhautikjoshi via photopin cc
photo credit: bhautikjoshi via photopin cc

 

We get two big questions every year: 1) What do you think the market is going to do? 2) What are interest rates going to do?

One is easier to predict than the other. Long term, both go up from here. Though historically, rates had been falling for 30 years and can only go up and the market goes down for short periods but has always recovered.

Back to question #2. What are interest rates going to do? Kathy Jones, a fixed income specialist at Charles Schwab, sees rocky times ahead in the fixed income markets. Tighter fed policy implies that real and inflation-adjusted rates will rise.

“The liquidity party of the last 6 years appears to be coming to an end.”

Give us a call to discuss how this might impact your planning.

Is this a Bear, a correction or what?

photo credit: ota_photos via photopin cc
photo credit: ota_photos via photopin cc

 

What. Probably.

This article gives a great insight to technical analysis and what a correction is.

We have called this rally, the one that started February 2009, the “Most Hated Bull Market in History.” With perspective (Go look at a 10 year chart of SPY), you will see the latest pullback is, at this point, a healthy pullback. (It just can’t go up every day!)

What Are You Getting For Christmas?

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photo credit: Kačka a Ondra via photopin cc

 

ShopperTrak estimates total retail sales hit $10 billion last Saturday.  $1 billion more than black friday!

This article highlights one of our favorites, Under Armour.

It is easy to get excited about the sports apparel trend.  It seems as though every time you turn around a new exercise trend is sweeping the country and Disney’s ESPN is dominating the airwaves.

So what are you giving or getting for Christmas?  We hope that this Holiday Season brings love, laughter, and joy to all of our friends and clients and their families!

Gas is cheap. What is going on?

photo credit: Kool Cats Photography over 2 Million Views via photopin cc
photo credit: Kool Cats Photography over 2 Million Views via photopin cc

Oil prices are getting hammered, as are oil companies’ stock. Is supply overshadowing demand? Is it the middle east manipulating supply? Is the Global economy causing a slowdown in demand?

What we do know for certain is that this time of year, saving $30 at the pumps will translate into more presents under the trees. We also hope that lower oil prices will mean lower operating costs for American companies which should lead to better profits. This article does a great job explaining the various viewpoints.

What do you think?

Sometimes It Is More Than The Apple

photo credit: ircharizard via photopin cc
photo credit: ircharizard via photopin cc

 
What is an iPhone? More importantly, what is IN an iPhone. Part of researching investment ideas is looking past the glossy product and digging in to what is underneath. Reportedly, the components alone cost $200 to $250.

What is the most costly component? The display or touch screen. You also have processors, semiconductors, wi-fi and bluetooth chips, speakers, the casing and various other significant parts that I’ll bet most don’t think of. Mobile technology is a market in an of itself. As fans of Apple, we look to some of the component manufacturers as well.

As iPhone sales continue to break records, the component manufacturers should follow.

BMW follows Apple. Genius ensues.

photo credit: Falcon_33 via photopin cc
photo credit: Falcon_33 via photopin cc

 

One of the reasons we love Apple? The Apple store. You walk in and immediately are met with a knowledgeable “Genius” who helps you navigate the myriad of products. Once you are custom fit into the right iPhone or MacBook Air, you are then handed off to the sales professionals who help you complete your purchase.

BMW is taking a page out of Steve Jobs’ book and implementing its own Genius program. Imagine walking into a dealership and engaging with a person whose compensation is not driven by the number of sales he makes, but by the knowledge he imparts to his client.

Sounds sort of like an RIA to us. Sounds like a genius idea.