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Author Topic: Itís over, it seems..,  (Read 4759 times)

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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Itís over, it seems..,
« Reply #80 on: January 02, 2018, 10:36:12 AM »
The current administration also makes no secret that it dislikes Amazon business model and practices.  I would not be surprised to see sales tax enforced on internet sales going forward, along with taxation on robotics replacing human employment.   Recently, the president encouraged the USPS to hike shipping rates to Amazon.  Both sides of the table also see corporations like Amazon as a roadblock for small business growth.
Harry,

As you may know. Jeff Bezos personally owns the Washington Post and they have not been kind to President Trump. As a result, many feel that is at the heart of Trump's actions in this regard.

Peter

Offline HarryHaller73

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Re: Itís over, it seems..,
« Reply #81 on: January 02, 2018, 12:47:18 PM »
Harry,

As you may know. Jeff Bezos personally owns the Washington Post and they have not been kind to President Trump. As a result, many feel that is at the heart of Trump's actions in this regard.

Peter

The so called establishment made their wealth past 25 years in the deflation arbitrage.  A new regime is most likely worrisome to them.

Regardless of his biases towards individuals, Trump seems to be pro-competition.  Amazon is the antithesis of competition, and approaches an oligopoly.  This type of economy has also destroyed middle class in 1st world East Asian nations, like Japan and South Korea where <10 companies pretty much control most of the economy and there is no small business there to speak of except for food stalls and restaurants. 


« Last Edit: January 02, 2018, 04:17:02 PM by HarryHaller73 »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Itís over, it seems..,
« Reply #82 on: January 02, 2018, 01:34:13 PM »
Harry,

Here is another projection for GDP for 2018 but keep in mind that the numbers are for inflation adjusted GDP:

http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2018/01/question-1-for-2018-how-much-will.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CalculatedRisk+%28Calculated+Risk%29

The author of the above cited blog is best known for his musing on real estate but he ventures into other areas as well.

As for small companies in Japan, Fidelity has a mutual fund called Japan Smaller Companies Fund (FJSCX). It's not and index fund and doesn't try to be, so it holds only 85 stocks. The fund has appreciated over thirty percent in 2017 (https://fundresearch.fidelity.com/mutual-funds/summary/315910760).

Peter

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Itís over, it seems..,
« Reply #83 on: January 02, 2018, 03:37:50 PM »
BakingBusiness.com has a three-part article on what Millennials look for in the way of food, including snacks:

http://www.bakingbusiness.com/articles/news_home/Trends/2018/01/Appetite_for_change_Examining.aspx?ID=%7B8E973320-776B-4E3A-8D56-E91FE37359DE%7D

Peter

Offline HarryHaller73

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Re: Itís over, it seems..,
« Reply #84 on: January 02, 2018, 04:23:43 PM »
As for small companies in Japan, Fidelity has a mutual fund called Japan Smaller Companies Fund (FJSCX). It's not and index fund and doesn't try to be, so it holds only 85 stocks. The fund has appreciated over thirty percent in 2017 (https://fundresearch.fidelity.com/mutual-funds/summary/315910760).

Peter

Those are publicly traded co's with market capitalization of between $300 million and $2 billion.  They're considered "small" compared to their large cap peers.  When I was referring to small business, I was referring to privately owned startups and businesses of the working/middle class.  It was the middle class businesses which used to provide the ladder to prosperity.  It is now nearly impossible for an individual to start a company in Japan outside of the food/retail business.  One of the policies of the current administration here in the US is to reduce regulation to jump start and incentivize small business and level the playing field.  If a young Steve Jobs working out of his parent's garage tried to build a business to compete directly with IBM in such a business environment of the past 10 years, Apple probably never happened.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/robbmandelbaum/2017/01/24/the-83000-question-how-much-do-regulations-really-cost-small-business/#5207ca081b25

https://cei.org/blog/red-tape-rollback-report-trump-ends-fiscal-year-americas-least-regulatory-president-reagan

http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/14/politics/trump-deregulation-in-gifs/index.html
« Last Edit: January 02, 2018, 04:42:37 PM by HarryHaller73 »

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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Itís over, it seems..,
« Reply #85 on: January 02, 2018, 05:31:48 PM »
Harry,

Thanks for the clarification. However, I noticed that there are quite a few "unicorns" in the U.S. I don't closely follow them but do you think that some of them can catch on and become really big and important or will they become like the small internet companies without earnings that led to the dotcom bubble from 2000-2002?

http://www.visualcapitalist.com/57-startups-unicorns-in-2017/

Peter

Offline HarryHaller73

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Re: Itís over, it seems..,
« Reply #86 on: January 02, 2018, 06:02:17 PM »
Harry,

Thanks for the clarification. However, I noticed that there are quite a few "unicorns" in the U.S. I don't closely follow them but do you think that some of them can catch on and become really big and important or will they become like the small internet companies without earnings that led to the dotcom bubble from 2000-2002?

http://www.visualcapitalist.com/57-startups-unicorns-in-2017/

Peter

There's a difference between VC backed internet startups and a 24 year old who wants to make and sell high quality guitars, sailboats or desks.
If a company doesn't sell a real product or service, then YOU are the product and monetize your eyeballs to ads.

Yes, I think most internet startups inevitably fail, because it's a flawed model and really just an IPO ponzi supported by capital lending in low interest rate environments.   They hope to go public or get bought out by an acquirer.  It only persists because there is the chance something becomes the next Facebook, Google or Amazon.   Also, the internet behemoths and startups 15-20 years ago are mostly dead, the Yahoos, the AOLs, Hotbot, Lycos, MySpace, Kozmo.com, Pets.com, Napster, InfoSpace, Geocities, Razorfish, TheGlobe.com, Broadcast.com (Mark Cuban bailed in time, lucky him), Altavista, AskJeeves.com, Angelfire, Netscape, ICQ.com,  the list goes on and on.  Even more recent internet companies have a life cycle of about 5-10 years until most just implode.  I reckon in 20 years, 95%+ internet companies of today won't exist.  Maybe one finds 1 in a few hundred that turns out some kind of value.  1 in a few hundred is still alot better odds than the lottery and why I believe it persists, the potential payout to discovering those few is enormous.

« Last Edit: January 02, 2018, 06:25:57 PM by HarryHaller73 »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Itís over, it seems..,
« Reply #87 on: January 03, 2018, 11:26:51 AM »
I saw the chart posted below, without comment (but see the footnotes), in an email sent to me that relates to real GDP growth projections.

Peter

Offline HarryHaller73

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Re: Itís over, it seems..,
« Reply #88 on: January 03, 2018, 04:09:34 PM »
I saw the chart posted below, without comment (but see the footnotes), in an email sent to me that relates to real GDP growth projections.

Peter

The best proof will be in hindsight, it will be interesting to bump this thread in a year's time.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Itís over, it seems..,
« Reply #89 on: January 04, 2018, 10:04:26 AM »
It looks like the fast food chains are engaging in price reductions to attract customers. I wonder if the same phenomenon will spill over to the pizza side of the food business, including the fast casual sector:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/companies/fast-food-wars-heat-up-as-mcdonalds-taco-bell-and-others-roll-out-low-priced-items/ar-BBHQqfA

Peter

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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Itís over, it seems..,
« Reply #90 on: January 04, 2018, 11:20:19 AM »
I have shown below another chart (courtesy of Deutsche Bank) that I received via email together with the following comment:

The United States: The US will face significant demographic challenges in the years to come as the population growth stalls. That is why the Fed is projecting a sub-2% GDP expansion over the long run.

The 20-64 year bracket is usually selected because it leaves out students and the like at the low end and retirees at the high end. However, some retirees may be included in the range because, statistically, more than fifty percent of Americans retire between 61 and 65 with the average according to one study being 63.

I also noted a link to the article from which the chart is taken, at:

http://www.businessinsider.com/immigration-is-good-for-the-economy-trump-restrictions-hurt-2017-8

I should add that Business Insider is not a big fan of Pres. Trump.

Peter
« Last Edit: January 05, 2018, 10:00:25 AM by Pete-zza »

Offline Randy

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Re: Itís over, it seems..,
« Reply #91 on: January 04, 2018, 04:49:36 PM »
I think the USA had 3.5 million immigrants last year.

Offline causearuckus

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Re: Itís over, it seems..,
« Reply #92 on: January 23, 2018, 04:31:21 PM »
It looks like the fast food chains are engaging in price reductions to attract customers. I wonder if the same phenomenon will spill over to the pizza side of the food business, including the fast casual sector:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/companies/fast-food-wars-heat-up-as-mcdonalds-taco-bell-and-others-roll-out-low-priced-items/ar-BBHQqfA

Peter

I wanted to offer my 2 cents on the fast casual and death of chains. From a younger, millennial, perspective, fast casual restaurants have the perception of using highly quality ingredients and an "artisan" approach to "fast food". Chipotle was at one point the leader of this, however ever since their food contamination issues the quality of their ingredients has suffered, in my opinion. I also believe expansion hurt a lot of the mid-tier chains such as Applebees or Buffalo Wild Wings. In an effort to open more stores, they have reduced the quality of their meals. These places didn't get popular because their food sucked. The traditional fast food chains such as Burger King and McDonalds are resorting to price competition or gimmicks instead of either simplifying their menu and doubling down on quality, or innovating such as Taco Bell, who is embracing their late night, stoner persona. Quality is key here. 5 Guys got huge cause they use the best ingredients, which makes a delicious burger. Its also almost $8.

As for pizza, you see how the chains have started to focus on better ingredients, or at least at making their pizza taste better. Domino's campaign of admitting their pizza sucked and they are making it better has been huge for them, and Pizza Hut seems to be following.

I see the independent pizza culture thriving in my current city of Philadelphia. Pizza has a low cost to entry, and people are getting super creative with their business. Some are only open for limited times and for carry out, such as Beddia. Others do pop-up pizza shops and guest cooking at restaurants like Pizza Gutt. I think fast casual pizza really has no spot in the market. It occupies this weird space between the chain pizza and your local shops that no one is all that interested in.

Offline HarryHaller73

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Re: Itís over, it seems..,
« Reply #93 on: February 13, 2018, 01:55:36 PM »
I wanted to offer my 2 cents on the fast casual and death of chains. From a younger, millennial, perspective, fast casual restaurants have the perception of using highly quality ingredients and an "artisan" approach to "fast food". Chipotle was at one point the leader of this, however ever since their food contamination issues the quality of their ingredients has suffered, in my opinion. I also believe expansion hurt a lot of the mid-tier chains such as Applebees or Buffalo Wild Wings. In an effort to open more stores, they have reduced the quality of their meals. These places didn't get popular because their food sucked. The traditional fast food chains such as Burger King and McDonalds are resorting to price competition or gimmicks instead of either simplifying their menu and doubling down on quality, or innovating such as Taco Bell, who is embracing their late night, stoner persona. Quality is key here. 5 Guys got huge cause they use the best ingredients, which makes a delicious burger. Its also almost $8.


Looks like Gen Z and younger millennials returning to the old names.  Experts predict Gen Z will be the largest conservative generation since Reagan's generation. 
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/12/burger-king-fourth-quarter-earnings-2017.html
https://seekingalpha.com/article/4141459-mcdonalds-mcd-ceo-steve-easterbrook-q4-2017-results-earnings-call-transcript

I walk by Shake Shack downtown, don't see a long line there anymore.  Same for other names like 5 Guys.   The MCD on Broadway next to Wall Street and the mega McDonalds on 42nd is packed.  I'm sure the pricing war is helping the traditional chains, but it also seems the Millennial names have lost some of their luster.   Food business sure is cyclical.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2018, 03:32:38 PM by HarryHaller73 »

Offline HarryHaller73

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Re: Itís over, it seems..,
« Reply #94 on: February 13, 2018, 02:00:09 PM »
Granted this is in Asia where these fast food chains are infinitely better, but McDonalds is currently bringing these technologies and processes here to the US.


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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Itís over, it seems..,
« Reply #95 on: February 13, 2018, 02:34:30 PM »
Granted this is in Asia where these fast food chains are infinitely better, but McDonalds is currently bringing these technologies and processes here to the US.
Harry,

I think you can see from this document that talks about Hong Kong why McDonald's is able to do there that which it cannot easily do, if at all, in the U.S.:

https://www.heritage.org/index/country/hongkong

As for your comment about the more conservative nature of Gen Z members, you may be right. Over the course of the Xmas holiday, after I spent an hour alone with my 16-year old granddaughter discussing the concept of money and its meaning and use (and misuses), she told me that she is a libertarian and then went off on a spiel on the subject :-D.

Peter

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Itís over, it seems..,
« Reply #96 on: February 13, 2018, 05:51:50 PM »
Here is an article from Slate that purports to make a case that the fast food chains tend not to take hold in places with independents, such as the I-95 corridor with pizza places, but do take hold with a good part of the South:

https://slate.com/business/2018/02/why-fast-food-dominates-the-sun-belt-but-not-the-pizza-belt.html

Peter

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Itís over, it seems..,
« Reply #97 on: February 14, 2018, 11:42:29 AM »
Here is an interesting article about how to create a Millennial-friendly digital menu that restaurants might find useful, if not necessary:

https://www.wandcorp.com/6-ideas-designing-digital-menu-signage-millennials/.

The link to the article at https://www.wandcorp.com/five-reasons-your-qsr-restaurant-isnt-attracting-millennials/ also plays into the Millennial theme as applies to their choices of where to eat.

Likewise, the three-part article I saw yesterday at:

http://www.foodbusinessnews.net/articles/news_home/Consumer_Trends/1/01/Understanding_the_millennial_m.aspx?ID=%7B681D043E-0777-4F63-B282-75B7D4CDCD0B%7D

Peter



Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Itís over, it seems..,
« Reply #98 on: February 14, 2018, 02:22:58 PM »
Here is an article from Slate that purports to make a case that the fast food chains tend not to take hold in places with independents, such as the I-95 corridor with pizza places, but do take hold with a good part of the South:

https://slate.com/business/2018/02/why-fast-food-dominates-the-sun-belt-but-not-the-pizza-belt.html

Peter

I would guess that real estate is a major driver and not just in terms of cost. In the places where chain fast food dominates, the companies can pretty much put whatever building they want wherever they want which I would think is greatly preferable for the brand - as opposed to the areas where independants are leading where it would seem chains are much more confined to the limitations of existing structures and suboptimal locations.
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Itís over, it seems..,
« Reply #99 on: February 15, 2018, 09:21:22 PM »
I walk by Shake Shack downtown, don't see a long line there anymore.
Harry,

To me, it sounds like Shake Shack is whistling past the graveyard :-D:

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/15/shake-shack-reports-fourth-quarter-earnings-2017.html

Peter

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