Blog


October

2019

Samsung’s new smartphone features could beat Apple

Apple’s latest flagship product, the iPhone 11 series, is looking to innovate, and Samsung, an industry competitor, has begun its own game of leaks to entice the interest of a wider audience. Samsung’s new Galaxy S11 is looking to be a fierce competitor with the ever-popular iPhone. First, Samsung has reportedly been upgrading their cameras, now with a mind-boggling 108-megapixel resolution and a lens that enables 5x optical zoom. Next, the phone’s new display is suspected to be similar to those before it, with Samsung’s dubbed “Infinity Display” and a small front camera. Further, the S11 could be the first Galaxy phone without buttons, although that is still unknown. Next, and maybe most importantly, Samsung’s upcoming flagship may also feature a special, graphene-based battery, which could substantially improve charging times and total battery capacity. Unfortunately, this battery may not be used until 2021. Before you jump into a new iPhone11, make sure to take a look at the competition for the best bang-for-your-buck.  10.29.19

Will buying a house be as simple as buying a stock?

Soon, the housing market may be as simple as trading stocks. We have talked about artificial intelligence in our blog before, but recently, AI has been making a massive change in the housing market that may revolutionize the way houses are bought and sold. As different business models of home-trading companies, sometimes called “iBuyers” have been collecting lots of attention by shaking the foundation of the housing market, information technology has set its sights on an industry where “paperwork is still done on paper, and where customers are often steered among professionals scratching each other’s backs.” Zillow, a company that has continued to revolutionize the real estate market, has started their own iBuying division, buying and selling homes, all online. Zillow executives have begun to see the listing price as a machine learning exercise. Furthermore, Zillow has access to incredible amounts of information about demand, gleaned from 180 million unique website visitors each month. How much of what comes next comes down to algorithms? For now, the onslaught of machine learning in the housing market continues unabated. 10.24.19

Netflix

Many Americans have found a love for the streaming service Netflix. While this love blossomed, it became a popular investment for the amateur trader. Although its price has risen significantly since its founding, Netflix is still a company that you may want to investigate a little deeper before purchasing stock. Netflix is projecting revenue of $5.25 billion, up 31.3% from a year ago, with earnings per share of $1.04. That would be 26% growth in the second quarter. Despite the upward trend in revenue, the company added 2.7 million new subscribers, well short of its previous guidance for 5 million.

Guggenheim analyst Michael Morris notes that investors are especially focused on membership trends after last quarter’s miss. Morris wrote in a report that some third-party services that track app downloads suggest another potential miss this quarter, adding some recent pressure to the stock. That said, he maintains a Buy rating, and adds that his own survey data suggests members trends are consistent with guidance. 10.14.19

The Future of Tesla and the Electric Car

Many of our clients have taken an interest in the electric car company, Tesla.  This week, opinion writer Vitaliy Katsenelson wrote about the future of Tesla and the future of the electric car industry. As more and more tech companies invest billions into larger and faster-charging batteries, the industry will evolve tremendously. According to Vitaliy, “Tesla doesn’t own the battery-cell technology that goes into its batteries; that belongs to its partner, Japanese conglomerate Panasonic.” The battery is a key technology for Tesla, but at the moment Panasonic is in control of a big part of it. Just as Apple chose to bring development of the CPU that powers its iPhone in-house, Tesla may eventually increase its control over its battery technology. While in the short run battery technology is going to be an important differentiating factor, in the long run the EV battery will likely become a commodity and the differentiating factors will be in software and self-driving capability.  10.08.19


September

2019

Can’t Take the Robo-Calls Anymore?

I’ll bet at some point last night many of our clients got a robo or spam call. Maybe perhaps when they were watching TV or putting the kids to bed. In this article, Paul Brandus, a columnist for MarketWatch.com, lists many of the ways to eliminate these pesky calls from your day-to-day life. His varied solutions range from fun ones to more legitimate ways to block these calls. For example, one of his ways to fight back is by simply turning the tables by saying something along the lines of “Hi, thanks for calling the Internal Revenue Service, please hold.” Another way, albeit more serious, he suggests to deal with these calls is by buying a landline with blocking capabilities. 09.23.19

Make your retirement savings last forever

Many clients have expressed concerns about their own spending. Some new research out of Spain, discussed by Market Watch’s Mark Hulbert, proposes that maybe it’s not your spending, but rather your withdrawal rate. Within this new article, Hulbert discusses the possibility of changing withdrawal rate with the flows in the market; to put it simply, if the economy is in a worse spot than the year before, withdraw less than that year. When the economy starts to perform well again, that money you saved will gain in value. You may find this reduction to be intolerable, but keep in mind the gain in future withdrawals when your savings are ahead of schedule. The even broader implication is that the world is profoundly uncertain, and no amount of good planning can possibly deal with eventuality. So it behooves all of us to plan for flexibility. 09.16.19

10 Best Bed Pillows

This is some serious pillow talk.

Not getting enough sleep — or not getting quality sleep — can impact everything from your mood to your heart health, according to the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School: ”In the short term, a lack of adequate sleep can affect judgment, mood, ability to learn and retain information, and may increase the risk of serious accidents and injury. In the long term, chronic sleep deprivation may lead to a host of health problems including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even early mortality.” 09.04.19