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Eyeing trends for investment opportunities

The world of investing is changing at a speed I’ve never before seen. This means we, as investors, have to be more nimble — recognizing when industries are dying (e.g. retail)  and we bail, and recognizing which are exploding — like online, and we back up the truck.

I started with the trends:

+ Retail is dead. Long live Amazon. All the dead retail stores are being replaced by restaurants. Don’t believe me? Start at 14th Street in  Manhattan and drive slowly up 8th Avenue. Barely a retailer survives. Dead retailers are listed in Wikipedia. Huge list. Click here. 

+ Some plucky entrepreneurs are buying dying retail stores at bargain prices and, ultimately, repurposing them. The Wall Street Journal runs a piece:

Bargain Hunters Pounce on Weak Retail Properties
Most of the buyers say they have plans to improve operations and expect higher returns

For the Journal’s piece, click here.

+ No one cooks. Specialty restaurants are exploding. They’re morphing into takeout. There’s home delivery of fresh and cooked food. Our favorite Seamless is now GrubHub (GRUB). We love FreshDirect.

+ Designer farms. Farmers are working their “organic” stuff into designer labels.

+ No one goes out. They stay at home and binge watch Amazon and Netflix. I wish I owned more of those stocks.

+ Interactive gaming is exploding. Check out TTWO.

+ No one owns. They rent vacation homes, e.g.AirBnB. And they rent their own home out,e.g. Airbnb. Some friends are buying homes exclusively to rent through Airbnb.

+ No one has a permanent office. They use WeWork, Breather or Starbucks. WiFi is everywhere, even as HotSpots on phones. corporations that needed 100 desks for 100 people now only need 50 desks, as their people travel and work on the road. That’s impacting the demand for office space.

+ The most scaleable businesses are based on the cloud, most likely using Amazon Web Services (AWS). Read their web site. It’s mind-blowing. They’re giving away free accounts. Click here. 

There’s a wrinkle in Harry’s simplistic trends. Everyone is aware of them and is taking action.

Mary Meeker is out with her Annual Internet trends for 2017. She has 355 slides in her deck. You can find some “takeaways” and all her slides here.

Here are the Meeker slides that most impressed yours truly. (I went through all 355.)

MarketCapleaders - Copy

I was truly impressed with her slides on digital health:

healthcaregnerations - Copy personalizedmedicines - Copy genomics - Copy

She thinks digital health will be adopted faster than even the Internet.


If you can’t see an entire slide on your screen, click on it.

Apple’s Developer Conference this week 

What was announced is good for Apple progress, but not breakthrough. Useful software upgrades for everyone coming soon. And some new pricey hardware that will have limited appeal. But no iPhone 8 (yet), which is slated to be a “game changer.”

In short, Apple stock is fine. To buy more, wait for a pullback.

LEDs – the final words

My LED guru, Wayne Carney, emails:

“To simplify,  a 100 watt bulb pays for itself in one year using it one hour a day. After that …money in your pocket! A no brainer.”

Hence, the economics of LED bulbs depends on how many hours a day you have it turned on.

Other LED issues:

+ Do you like the light from your new LED bulb? Try for 3000K.

+ Is it dimmable? Some aren’t. Or cost much more if they are. Or don’t work in your dimmers.

+ Some LED bulbs are too large for the light fixtures you have.

Don’t Do Stupid. Take it slower. And think. Don’t do it, if in doubt.

+ A friend planted her garden, rushing to fill it. Now she can barely walk, with her newly-crook knee and back.

+ Her husband went out mowing and got stuck in the bog. He had to call his son for a rescue. He’s been mowing that same field for 40+ years.

Take it easy.

The French Open Tennis is on. 

It’s on NBC, the Tennis Channel and maybe elsewhere. To my jaded eyes, the most enthralling part of the matches is watching the sheet athleticism of players like Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. They make winners out of winning shots. The finals are this weekend.

Tennis remains my favorite sport — you get aerobic exercise without the boredom of the machines in the gym. I love chasing tennis balls. I love the joy of hitting a winner down the line — once every hour or so.

Why I Mow My Own Yard by Lee Trevino


One day, shortly after joining the PGA tour in 1965, Lee Trevino, a professional golfer and married man, was at his home in Dallas, Texas, mowing his front lawn, as he always did.

A lady driving by in a big, shiny Cadillac stopped in front of his house, lowered the window and asked, “Excuse me, do you speak English?”

Lee responded, “Yes Ma’am, I do.”

The lady then asked, “What do you charge to do yard work?”

Lee said, “Well, the woman in this house lets me sleep with her.”

The lady hurriedly put the car into gear and sped off.

(Apparently a true story.)

Harry Newton, whose grandchildren are learning yoga and demonstrating “Downward Dog” — a useful skill when they are directors of a unicorn and don’t wish to hear the latest bad news. That’s Eleanor on top and Peter on the bottom.


Make sure you backup, backup, backup. The cloud went down on me twice as a I wrote this blog. Nothing is reliable in computers and networking. Just ask British Airways. They just blew $100 million because they were sloppy with their IT. Read more here.