Speed Through Security During Your Summer Travel

by Fred Fuld III

If you haven’t already, you are probably planning your summer travel. However, there is something else you should plan on, one or more of the services available to travelers to help them get though security faster.

There are a few options available to you. One service, that gets to you the front of the security line is called CLEAR. This service has been around since 2010 and is available in more than two dozen airports, everywhere from Atlanta and Austin to Los Angeles and San Francisco to New York and Washington DC.

In addition to being escorted to the front of the line by a CLEAR representative, the company utilizes another feature to speed things up. Biometrics, such as your fingerprints and eyes are used to check your identity, so you don’t have to fumble around with a card.

I have used CLEAR and became an affiliate as it has saved me a ton of time at the airport. CLEAR has one other big advantage. It can be used at stadiums and other venues, such as Oracle Park, Madison Square Garden, and Yankee Stadium.

The cost of  CLEAR is $179 per year, and if you have kids under 18, they can accompany you for free. You can add a spouse for only $50. You will need to complete your registration at the airport.

An additional option is TSA PreCheck which is available in most airports across the United States. This allows you to avoid taking off your shoes and your jacket, and you don’t have to take your laptop out of your bag. The service is primarily for domestic’s flights.

The cost for PreCheck is $85 for five years. Children 12 and under are free if traveling with you, but kids 13 to 18 will require a separate registration. Some airline will PreCheck you for free; check with your airline.

For international travelers, the Global Entry program is available, with includes the same benefits as PreCheck but also allows you to return to the US through customs much faster. The price is $100 and children need their own pass The service is available in about a third of the PreCheck airports.

Happy travels!

Happy Money

If you are stressed about money, or have any other negative feelings that are money related, you need to read the book Happy Money: The Japanese Art of Making Peace with Your Money by Ken Honda.

Many believe that money paves the road to happiness, but Honda explains how achieving happiness can be the goal and money will flow.

The book is filled with great advice, along with humor, that will keep you turning pages.

If you need to improve your relationship with money, you need to read  Happy Money.

Upcoming IPOs

by Fred Fuld III

Were you able to get any IPO shares of Zoom Video (ZM), Pinterest (PINS), or Greenlane (GNLN)? If you did, you made out like a bandit.

Zoom closed up 72% for the day. Pintrest was up over 23$. And Greenlane traded over 20% from its IPO price.

If you want to get in on one of these popular IPOs, try calling your broker. One brokerage firm will let you get in on an IPO as long as you qualify. The qualification is either an account with over $250,000 in assets OR an account with over 60 trades in the last 90 days.

Just because you are approved, doesn’t necessarily mean that you will get shares. The firm has to be part of the underwriting, and it has to have enough shares to distribute to all its interested clients.

So if you are looking for upcoming IPOs, here is a list:

HEALTH SCIENCES ACQUISITIONS CORP HSACU
SONIM TECHNOLOGIES INC SONM
CONVERSIONPOINT HOLDINGS, INC. CPTI
CORTEXYME, INC. CRTX
SOUTH PLAINS FINANCIAL, INC. SPFI
MILESTONE PHARMACEUTICALS INC. MIST
MAYVILLE ENGINEERING COMPANY, INC. MEC
APPLIED THERAPEUTICS INC. APLT
NEXTCURE, INC. NXTC
PARSONS CORP PSN
AXCELLA HEALTH INC. AXLA
DIAMOND EAGLE ACQUISITION CORP.
UBER TECHNOLOGIES, INC UBER
AGBA ACQUISITION LTD AGBAU
RED RIVER BANCSHARES INC RRBI
SO-YOUNG INTERNATIONAL INC. SY
ACT II GLOBAL ACQUISITION CORP. ACTTU
TREVI THERAPEUTICS, INC. TRVI
TRANSMEDICS GROUP, INC. TMDX
SCIPLAY CORP SCPL
BRICKTOWN BREWERY RESTAURANTS LLC BEER
IHEARTMEDIA, INC.
POSTAL REALTY TRUST, INC. PSTL

Maybe some of these will skyrocket, but be careful. Lyft (LYFT) has dropped substantially since its IPO price.

Disclosure: Author owns LYFT indirectly.

Forging an Ironclad Brand

by Fred Fuld III

Do  you own your own business or manage a business? If so, do you have a brand? If not, or if you do and you’re not promoting it, you better read the book, Forging an Ironclad Brand: A Leader’s Guide by Lindsay Pedersen.

The author goes into detail, but in an easy-to-understand way, what a brand is and the reasons why you need a brand and need to promote it. She also shows how to expand, extend, and enhance your brand.

The eight steps she provided in the second section, The How of Brand, is probably the most important, with Step Number 2 being the critical one.

Figures and graphics are included to make the concepts more understandable. In addition, there is an extensive glossary.

Forging an Ironclad Brand is a book you will need to get for your business and refer to on a regular basis.

 

Are You Watching the Streaming Video Stocks?

by Fred Fuld III

Could you have imagined 15 years ago that you would have the ability to watch almost any movie or TV show whenever you want, as many times as you want, and could pause it and replay parts of it, without having to insert a disc into a player, would you have believed it?

Most major films and television programs can now be watched on your smart TV, you computer, your laptop, and even your phone. Several companies are benefiting from this major trend, providing investors with stocks that they should keep an eye on.

Amazon’s (AMZN) Prime Video is an Internet video on demand service that offers television shows and films for rent or purchase and Prime Video, a group of Amazon Studios original content and licensed acquisitions including Bosch, The Man in the High Castle, Sneaky Pete, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Amazon trades at 64 times forward earnings, and revenues for the latest reported quarter jumped by almost 20% year-over-year.

Netflix (NFLX) is the biggest pure play in this arena, having around 140 million subscribers. The company also has extensive original programming including stand-up comedy specials. The stock trades at 88 times forward earnings. Sales for the latest quarter went up by over 27%.

Streaming video is a small but growing piece of Disney (DIS) which owns 60% of Hulu, in addition to its own streaming services. Like Netflix and Amazon, Hulu has its own original content. Disney has a very reasonable forward price to earnings ratio of 16, and even pays a dividend of 1.53%.

Of course, video streaming is a small part of a lot of large companies, such as Apple (AAPL), Facebook (FB), and YouTube, owned by Alphabet (GOOG) (GOOGL), better known as Google.

Let’s watch and see which company will be the best performer.

Disclosure: Author owns AMZN, AAPL, and DIS.

The Art of Preventing Stupid

If you own a small business (like me), or even run a medium size or larger business, you need to read the book, The Art of Preventing Stupid: How to Build a Stronger Business Strategy Through Better Risk Management by Matthew Neill Davis, Esq.

Businesses can’t avoid problems completely, but they can prepare for them and they can do many things to prevent problems as much as possible. Davis explains how businesses can do this, and one of the key ways is to avoid the stupid mistakes. The other strategy a business owner can utilize is to know how to deal with problems before they arise.

These strategies are covered thoroughly in the book. Probably the most important chapter is Chapter 6, The Preventing Stupid Method.

The book has many easy to understand tables and figures, and ends the book with actual case studies. In addition, the author provides bullet point summaries at the end of each chapter.

So if you want to prevent major problems (including bankruptcy) with your business, and how to deal with problems when they do happen, you should read  The Art of Preventing Stupid.

Water Stocks are Floating on Dividends

by Fred Fuld III

If you are looking for growth along with income, you should check out the water utilities. Most communities are served by governmental water district entities, but residents of some communities buy water through publicly traded companies that own water rights. The nicest feature about these companies is that they are practically recession-proof since people don’t stop showering or drinking water. There are several of these water companies that investors can choose from.

One example is American States Water (AWR), founded in 1929, which is a distributor of water in over 70 communities in California. It trades at 35 times forward earnings and pays a yield of 1.58%. Last summer, the company raised its dividends by 7.8%. Earnings for the latest quarter were up significantly, by 23%, year over year.

Aqua America (WTR) distributes water to customers in Pennsylvania, Texas, North Carolina, Ohio, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Florida, Indiana, Virginia, Maine, and Georgia. The stock has a forward price to earnings ratio of 24, and yields 2.41%. The company has raised its dividends every year since 1988 and has had many stock splits during that time.

Connecticut Water Service (CTWS) trades at 29 times forward earnings and yields 1.83%. The company, which was founded in 1956, serves customers in over 50 towns in Connecticut.

Maybe I’m all wet but one of these water companies might just clench the thirst of your portfolio.

Disclosure: Author didn’t own any of the above at the time the article was written.

From Monk to Money Manager

“Money is not the root of all evil. Money is the root of everything, good and evil. Ignoring half the truth blinds us to the truth.”

From Monk to Money Manager: A Former Monk’s Financial Guide to Becoming a Little Bit Wealthy – And Why That’s Okay

Doug Lynam used to be a monk, and he’s now a financial advisor. He’s a sort of unicorn to most people, but that’s what makes this book so important. For too long religion and money have been held separate. But as Lynam says, “The cold, hard truth is that in this modern life we need money. We can’t live our lives and serve others without it.”

Lynam joined a monastery, in part, to escape the world of money and ended up spending more time worrying about money than almost anyone in the outside world because the monastery was going broke – and he had to fix it. Another irony, directly related to the first, is that he learned he is good at helping people with their financial problems.

The lessons Lynam learned as a monk made him realize that the most powerful way for him to have an impact in the world was to leave the monastery and advise people about their finances full time.

What makes this book different is Lynam’s unique background and experiences that have brought him to where he is today and the helpful mindsets he shares. This is a different kind of ‘financial book’ because of the connection of money problems to the personal and spiritual components. Lynam helps people uncover what those are to avoid them all getting tangled together.

Lynam wrote From Monk to Money Manager: A Former Monk’s Financial Guide to Becoming a Little Bit Wealthy – And Why That’s Okay (Thomas Nelson, March 26, 2019) as a mass-appeal book intended to hook adults of all ages, religions, and political persuasions because the discussion of ethics and money impacts you regardless of your beliefs. He believes the lack of money is the key driver for most of the suffering in the world, and if we can face that problem squarely, honestly, and with good minds and hearts we can mitigate some of the worst problems in the world.

More specifically, the book is aimed at anyone who wants to learn how to become wealthy while remaining an ethical person. Even more precisely it helps anyone who wants to:

•       Retire on time and with dignity
•       Live debt free
•       Pay for college
•       Stop living paycheck to paycheck
•       Afford quality healthcare
•       Own a home
•       Start a business
•       Conquer their emotional money baggage

Doug Lynam, author of From Monk to Money Manager: A Former Monk’s Financial Guide to Becoming a Little Bit Wealthy – And Why That’s Okay, is Director of Educator Retirement Services at LongView Asset Management in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is a self-proclaimed Suffering Prevention Specialist.

How to Invest in Ride Hailing Stocks

by Fred Fuld III

Did you notice what happened with the IPO of Lyft (LYFT)? The stock came out at $72 per share and immediately jumped to 88.60 per share. Since that time, it has drifted downwards, and closed at exactly 70.00 today, two bucks a share below its original offering price.

The stock has a market cap of almost $20 million but no earnings. The price to sales ratio is 7.61.

Lyft’s biggest competitor is Uber, which hasn’t gone public yet. Unless you are an accredited investor who may have gotten pre-IPO shares, the chances of you getting some IPO shares from your broker are slim.

Currently, the largest shareholder of Uber is Softbank (SFBTY), the telecommunications and e-commerce company based in Japan. The company currently owns about 15% of Uber. Softbank trades at 9.42 times trailing earnings and even pays a small dividend of 0.40%.

There is a small publicly traded company called HereCar (HYRE) which has a business that allows car owners to rent their idle cars to ride-sharing service drivers. The company has a market cap of $63 million and a price sales ratio of 4.55.

Hopefully one of the ride sharing stocks can your portfolio for a ride to higher profits.

Disclosure: Author didn’t own any of the above at the time the article was written.

Every Woman’s Pocket Guide to Financial Sovereignty

by Fred Fuld III

If you are a woman who wants to learn all the basics about personal finance, it doesn’t matter what stage you are in life, you need to read It’s Good to be Queen: Every Woman’s Pocket Guide to Financial Sovereignty by Roselyn Wilkinson.

The book covers all aspects of money in an easy to understand format. Wilkinson doesn’t just describe the “what” and the “how”, she also gives the “why”.

The book details everything from budgeting, to insurance, to debt, to investing. Chapter 11 discusses the option of finding a financial advisor and how to find a good one.

Readers will also enjoy the humor of a few cartoons scattered through the book.

I recommend It’s Good to be Queen: Every Woman’s Pocket Guide to Financial Sovereignty by Roselyn Wilkinson to any woman who doesn’t have considerable knowledge about finance and money and wants to learn more.