It was just three days ago that Amazon (AMZN) opened up its first bookstore in the San Francisco area. In case you haven’t heard, Amazon is giving Barnes & Noble (BKS) a (bigger) run for its money, by opening up bricks and mortar establishments, better known as retail stores.
The shop that I visited is located in Walnut Creek, California, a fairly wealthy suburb near San Francisco, just a 40 minute ride on BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit).
In spite of the fact that Amazon is headquartered in the state of Washington, only two Amazon Books stores are located there, yet there are now four in California. The other three are in San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Jose. The rest are located in Oregon, New York, Massachusetts, Illinois, and New Jersey.
The store I visited is located at 1265 Broadway Plaza and is a little hard to find, but if you can find the kate spade shop, it is next door. And if you can find the Tesla (TSLA) store, it is across the street. The first thing I noticed was that the place was packed. Of course, the space wasn’t as big as the two-story building Barnes & Noble had occupied when they were located in Walnut Creek, but they had shut down in January of last year.
I noticed all the usual categories for books that you would find in any decent size bookstore, but there were a few new ones, such as The Books with Over 10,000 Reviews. Included in that section were the following books:
All in all, it was a fun adventure to see what was being offered and how strong the patronage was. It will be interesting to see where the next shop will open, and how many more Amazon Books shops there will be.
The following business and finance Kindle books are currently on sale at Amazon (AMZN). If you are interested in any of these books, you should order them as soon as possible, because often these sales only last for just a couple days.
The Complete Cardinal Guide to Planning for and Living in Retirement
by Hans Scheil
This comprehensive guide makes it easier to navigate through the major options, providing straightforward and effective strategies to help with your plans.
Regular price: $1.99 Sale price: $0.99 http://amzn.to/2v5n7Qn
by Will Peters
How Warren Buffett, Walt Disney, and Steve Jobs managed to make an impact on the world. Discover the essential principles of leadership that propelled the legendary careers of six business titans.
Regular price: $9.99 Sale price: $1.99 http://amzn.to/2vqg9qi
By Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald
How hidden biases shape our behavior — and how we can control them to become better people in the workplace.
Regular price: $6.99 Sale price: $1.99 http://amzn.to/2v5Wta0
The Sweet Spot
by Christine Carter
Banish stress by finding the perfect balance of productivity! From daily habits to positive psychology, this book “illuminates the simple and sustainable path toward a precious and happy balance” (Deepak Chopra).
Regular price: $11.99 Sale price: $1.99 http://amzn.to/2vBpQCX
QBQ!: The Question Behind the Question
by John G. Miller
Over 2,000 five-star ratings on Goodreads: Discover how practicing personal accountability can give you an edge in the workplace. This guide will teach you how to attain professional growth by asking yourself the right questions.
Regular price: $14.99 Sale price: $1.99 http://amzn.to/2v5LJsm
Great news for you coffee drinkers. About a week ago, the news came out that drinking coffee can extend your life expectancy. And it wasn’t just one study that released this information, there were two studies.
One study, funded by the European Commission Directorate-General for Health and Consumers and International Agency for Research on Cancer was the largest research on coffee ever, involving half a million subjects from ten European countries. The study found that there was reduced risk of death from various causes, due to drinking coffee.
The other study involved multiethnic participants, including African Americans, Native Hawaiians, Japanese Americans, Latinos, and whites. This study, funded by the National Cancer Institute, found that coffee drinking was associated with a reduced risk for death in African Americans, Japanese Americans, Latinos, and whites.
If the desire for a longer life through coffee consumption catches on, this could certainly benefit the coffee companies. It is interesting to note that since these studies were released on July 11, the price of the iPath® Bloomberg Coffee Subindex Total Return ETN (JO) has increased by over 8%. JO consists of one futures contract on the commodity of coffee, and it is a way for investors to participate in the price of coffee without investing in the futures market.
Of course, Starbucks (SBUX) is the big elephant in the coffee cup with a market cap of $84 billion. The stock trades at 23.8 times forward earnings, and pays a dividend yield of 1.63%. Dividends have increased every year for the last seven years. Earnings for the latest quarter jumped 13.5% year-over-year.
If you are looking for a coffee producer and distributor, there is Coffee Holding (JVA), which is a very low cap stock at $25 million, and therefore very speculative. The stock trades at 20.8 times trailing earnings and has a very favorable price to sales ratio of 0.36.
If you are looking for a list of publicly traded coffee companies, look no further than the free list of coffee, caffeine, and tea stocks HERE. Hopefully one of these stocks can stimulate your portfolio and keep it healthy.
Disclosure: Author didn’t own any of the above stocks at the time the article was written.
Imagine that you have just landed from a flight and your cell phone is dead due to a used up battery charge. You walk through the airport and as you are strolling along, your phone is picking up radio frequencies that is charging your phone’s battery.
Or say you are walking down the street, the battery is dead in your cell phone, so you head into a coffee shop. A tiny chip in your phone picks up radio frequencies and converts them into energy to charge up your phone.
Think this is science fiction? Companies are already working on this technology now.
As an example, Energous Corp (WATT), a San Jose, California based company founded in 2012, has been working on just such a system. The company is developing WattUp, which allows for the wire-free distance charging of devices, including laptops, cellphones, and smart watches.
The stock took a dump today, dropping 5% to 14.74 per share, probably due to the fact that it was just announced yesterday that the Senior Vice President of Product Marketing sold 1615 shares on June 14. However, if you look closer, you would find that, first, this was an automatic sale, and second, he still has over 100,000 shares of the stock. So the sale represented only a small part of his position.
According to a report in the Weekly Register, 27 institutions have increased positions in the stock, with 21 new positions. The stock has a market cap of $303 million.
Investors should be aware that the company is generating significant negative earnings, and should therefore be considered very speculative.
Other wireless electricity stocks can be found by looking at the publicly traded members of the Wireless Power Consortium, of which over 200 businesses have joined. They utilize Qi wireless charging as an open standard.
Of course, you will find many of the large corporations, such as Apple (AAPL), AVID (AVID), Texas Instruments (TXN), and Verizon Wireless (VZ), are members.
Leggett & Platt (LEG), which is a producer of engineered products, has a division for developing wireless power transmitters for integration.
ON Semiconductor (ON) is also working on wireless power technology. This semiconductor company is based in Phoenix, Arizona.
Semtech Corporation (SMTC) a Camarillo, California which makes and sells analog and mixed-signal semiconductor products, is also developing wireless power technology products.
Altogether, there are about 20 publicly traded stocks that are part of the Consortium. Maybe one of these companies can charge up your portfolio.
Disclosure: Author owns WATT.
Please note: some of these stocks are very low cap and should be considered very speculative.
If you have never checked out a stock motif, maybe it’s time you did. A motif is similar to an exchange traded fund or ETF that is created by an individual investor. The motif may contain five stocks or fifty stocks or any number of stocks, and are usually concentrated around a particular industry or investment idea.
These motifs can be bought and sold, just like any other ETF, with a commission of only $9.95. Several of these motifs have significantly outperformed the S&P 500.
For example, I created a motif called Horse Race Stocks. This is a motif that contains stocks involved in the hope racing arena. It is interesting to note that this motif is up over 50% since its inception, which was less than a year ago. I created the motif on July 21, 2016 and as of today, the motif has increased by 52.5%. Not a bad return for less than ten months.
My Cuba Stocks motif which holds stocks of companies that should benefit from the opening of relations with Cuba is up 24.2% since the end of July last year.
The Marijuana Cannabis Stocks motif is my most popular. The stocks in the portfolio are self-explanatory, and with legalization of medical marijuana and recreational marijuana, what motif has spiked by 25% in less than a year.
Here is our latest update on the stock trading technique called ‘Buying Dividends,’ also commonly referred to as ‘Dividend Capture.’ This is the process of buying stocks before the ex dividend date and selling the stock shortly after the ex date at about the same price, yet still being entitled to the dividend. This technique generally works only in bull markets, and can work in flat or choppy markets, but you need to avoid the technique during bear markets.
In order to be entitled to the dividend, you have to buy the stock before the ex-dividend date, and you can’t sell the stock until after the ex date. The actual dividend may not be paid for another few weeks.
WallStreetNewsNetwork.com has compiled a downloadable and sortable list of the stocks going ex dividend in the near future. The list contains many dividend paying companies, lots with market caps over $500 million, and yields over 2%. Here are a few examples showing the stock symbol, the ex-dividend date, the dividend amount, and yield.
American Express Company (AXP)
Barnes & Noble, Inc. (BKS)
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMY)
Celadon Group, Inc. (CGI)
J P Morgan Chase & Co (JPM)
Monsanto Company (MON)
Morningstar, Inc. (MORN)
The additional ex-dividend stocks can be found here at wstnn.com. (If you have been to the website before, and the latest link doesn’t show up, you may have to empty your cache.) If you like dividend stocks, you should check out some of the other high yield stock lists at WallStreetNewsNetwork.com or WStNN.com. Most of the lists are free.
Declaration date: the day that the company declares that there is going to be an upcoming dividend.
Ex-dividend date: the day on which if you buy the stock, you would not be entitled to that particular dividend; or the first day on which a shareholder can sell the shares and still be entitled to the dividend.
by Ed McLaughlin Veteran entrepreneur and former Fortune 100 executive, Ed McLaughlin comments below about the reality that Americans can see failure as a stepping stone to success, “It’s difficult to celebrate failure as a stepping stone to startup success if entrepreneurs can’t pay their bills, provide for their families, meet payroll or realize their business visions.” Ed’s own research tells us that 75% of new businesses fail within the first five years. Ed continues with this challenge for small business owners and entrepreneurs in some of the big ‘innovation-driven’ cities, “What if we could turn the tables on the startup failure rate by introducing a new set of business principles that increases the probability of startup success?” He also offers the four failure points things that undermine the success of a small business below, excerpted from his book, using his own company as an example. Ed has also highlighted the framework for sustainability and profitability in his new book, The Purpose Is Profit: The Truth about Starting and Building Your Own Business, by focusing entrepreneurs on these principles, including: Distinctive Competence, Dynamic Planning, and the Ten Commandments of Startup Profit.
Only nine months after starting USI, I launched a second business called Sigma Communications Inc., or Sigma for short. Starting Sigma had been the culmination of a long-term vision to create a vehicle that would more efficiently connect buyers and sellers of commercial real estate. After three years of bleeding red ink, I was forced to shut down Sigma.
Here are the 4 failure points that undermined the success of Sigma Communications.
Failure Point #1: Starting a business based on passion alone, rather than building a business based on distinctive competence.
When I started Sigma, I believed that my passion for publishing the magazine would trump everything else. That proved to be a costly assumption. The hardest lesson I learned from the Sigma experience is that a venture filled with passion is not enough. You will substantially increase your probability of startup success if you build a business based on your distinctive competence.
Failure Point #2: Starting up without preorders to validate your business model.
I made the fateful decision to launch the magazine without selling advertising and securing paying customers first. In the end analysis, I took a huge gamble on a concept business with an untested business model. Sigma spent millions before I shuttered the business in failure. Securing preorders is the single most important point of validation for a startup.
Failure Point #3: Launching your business without adequate time and funding to reach profitability.
Unfortunately, I had not properly factored the size and scale of Sigma, nor how long it would take to ramp-up to profitability. Since I had never manufactured and shipped a product before, I underestimated the continuous cash drain from ongoing production and distribution. Rather than bootstrapping the business with the profits from USI, I should have lined-up outside funding with a more reasonable timeline to breakeven. Make sure to allocate the time and the funding needed to achieve profitability.
Failure Point #4: Closing your ears to the advice of industry experts.
Rather than listening to my advisors, I convinced myself that I could beat the normal ramp-up to profitability in the publishing industry. My unbridled passion for becoming a publisher, combined with my lack of distinctive competence put blinders on me. Cultivate relationships and heed the advice of industry experts.
Ed McLaughlin is the founder & CEO of Blue Sunsets LLC, a real estate and angel investment firm based in Darien, CT. Previously, McLaughlin founded and served as chairman & CEO of United Systems Integrators (USI) Corporation, a corporate real estate outsourcing firm, sold to Johnson Controls (JCI) in 2005. In 2001, he earned Entrepreneur of the Year honors from Ernst & Young, and USI was named to the Inc. 500 list of America’s fastest growing companies. His book, The Purpose Is Profit: The Truth about Starting and Building Your Own Business, is available on Amazon.
Excerpt reprinted with permission from Ed McLaughlin’s PR firm.