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These Married Co-Founders Poured Their Life Savings Into Their Company. Then a Mistake Almost Cost Them Everything

In 2017 Farzan Dehmoubed, a marketer, and his wife Jennifer, a schoolteacher, created the Lotus Trolley Bag, a set of washable bags with attached rods that can be hung inside a shopping cart. The bags, with features like secure pockets for egg cartons and wine bottles and an insulated pocket for frozen foods, quickly became the top-selling reusable bag on Amazon, and are now sold in stores like Wegman’s, Albertson’s, Kroger, and TJ Maxx. But getting to that point required overcoming a mishap that nearly sunk their startup. –As told to Kevin J. Ryan

We invested $45,000 into our first inventory. It sold out in 10 days. We were really excited. We called up our manufacturer and placed another order. We wired them $50,000–everything we made on the first batch and more.

Six weeks later a big container arrived. We had our friends and family help us unload it. We opened up the boxes and looked at the product, and it was nothing like the first set of bags. It looked the same from a distance, but when you actually looked at the stitching and the quality of the printing and the logo, it was not what we had ordered. My wife and I looked at each other and said, “This can’t be real.”

I remember thinking to myself, ‘We can fix this, maybe it’s just some loose thread.’ But it wasn’t salvageable. We placed a complaint with the manufacturer, even though we knew it wouldn’t go anywhere, since we were just a family business with very little leverage. We later learned it had outsourced the order to save pennies on the dollar.

We decided pretty quickly we couldn’t sell the bags. We didn’t feel comfortable putting our name on them. That meant we would have to take the $50,000 loss. I don’t think Jenn and I talked for the rest of the day. It took a day or two to absorb the shock. 

Even though the manufacturer promised us they would do better the next time around, we weren’t going to be fooled twice. I flew to multiple manufacturers in Vietnam until we found a new one we were happy with. We hired a third-party quality check company. When the goods were ready to ship, they would go in and do an audit: open up each box and check them, and send us videos. We kicked ourselves for not doing that in the first place.

We placed a new $50,000 order, which required emptying our life savings and practically maxing out our credit cards. It was two months before the new inventory came. We were pretty upfront with our customers during that time. We told them very frankly: The bags didn’t come out the way we ordered them, the shipment is going to be delayed, and we really thank you for your patience.

I think letting your customers know you’re just like them, and that you’re just trying to provide a product that they’ll be happy with, goes a long way. People related to us. They were very understanding.

We still had a lot of orders canceled though, and we gave discounts to customers who had been patient. We were nervous when the new container came–if the product was bad, we would have lost everything. But it was exactly what we’d ordered. We sold out almost right away. Because of the discounts, we didn’t make much money at all on that order, but we had our reputation.

Not putting that product on the market was one of the best decisions we ever made. If we had, I can guarantee you we wouldn’t be where we are right now. It would have killed our reviews. It would have ruined our brand.

We now have a 4.6-star rating on Amazon with more than 700 five-star reviews. We’re on pace for $3 million in sales this year. We just launched our second product, a reusable produce bag, and those same early consumers are buying it.

As a business owner, you have to make your decisions for the long-term. For us to take that financial hit was scary, but we had bigger goals in mind. We got through it. And we made a lot of loyal fans in the process.

By Kevin J. RyanStaff writer, Inc.

Source: These Married Co-Founders Poured Their Life Savings Into Their Company. Then a Mistake Almost Cost Them Everything

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Every business has risk associated with it. In this video Mr. Ashok Ajmera in very simple words talks about various kind of risks and how to manage them which can be very useful in any business.

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How to Show Your Customers That Small Business Saturday Isn’t the Only Time to Shop Local

Who has time to shop small?

I’m the president of a company, a wife, a mother, and an active member of my community. I get stressed out just thinking about the commitment it takes to go to stores in my small town and shop. Truth be told, I don’t have time to do much purchasing that can’t happen on a flight or after I’ve put the kids to bed — even for groceries. If that’s the case for me, I know that it’s the same deal for your potential customers. That’s why, as business owners, it’s important to educate the community about shopping local.

I live in Sonoma County, where the Kincade fire recently devastated the region. Local businesses have been hit especially hard by the fires themselves and by PG&E power outages. The last time I was at the grocery store, it occurred to me that I shouldn’t be buying strawberries from seven states away or a different country. I need to put my money where my mouth is and shop local businesses. I love farmers’ markets, but struggle to make time to get there. I still have to buy groceries, so I’ve switched from my nearby Safeway to a store that sources food only from within Sonoma County called Oliver’s Market.

That’s just one way that I’ve found that I can give a boost to small businesses without going out of my way. In honor of Small Business Saturday, here are others ideas for how to help your area entrepreneurs this holiday season.

Challenge customers to eat local for Thanksgiving and other meals.

I already talked about how I’m doing this every day, but even confirmed local diners sometimes find it challenging for the big events.Your job is to convince your customers that it’s worth the effort.

Do you have a cracker company that would be perfect for a celebratory cheese plate? Consider partnering with a local dairy to get the word out. Whether you’re a turkey farm, are smoking up the best hams in town, or have a small business selling tamales to add variety to shoppers’ holiday tables, your community needs your flavors right now.

Dessert is easy. There are plenty of people looking for local bakeries ready to fill up a flaky crust with pecans or chocolate cream. Being mindful of where your food comes from isn’t just good for local business people, either. It’s better for the environment (bye-bye food miles) and is likely to be healthier, too.

Buy from small businesses on Amazon.

Most of us think of Amazon as the big, bad brother. I mean, it’s been accused of being a monopoly. You can’t get any further away from being a small business. But in reality, there’s more to it than that.

Amazon Sellers are small-business people. They are just using the biggest platform they can to get their products to the masses and I respect that. One user I know is Crystal Swain-Bates, whose excellent line of children’s books ensure black children are highlighted throughout stories. Goldest Karat Publishing made her an Amazon featured seller. For the holidays, I especially love Amazon Handmade, a community just for artisans to sell their handcrafted wares.

But I promise this isn’t just an ad for Amazon. I also love Etsy. You can search it by location so you can specifically choose gifts made by someone in your community. I’m always surprised by all the cool handiwork my neighbors are presenting.

Make time to go analog.

Yes, I know I said I’m too busy to shop downtown, but I can make an exception a few times a year. Heading to Main Street has many advantages. If your business is brick-and-mortar, congratulations. If not, it might be high time to get involved in a holiday market or two.

Connect with real, live people with whom you can have lasting relationships for years to come. As you get to know their likes and dislikes, you’ll help them learn to shop smarter — and with you.

Look at your own company.

OK, you’re not buying your business a Christmas present, but when it comes to shopping for yourself and your team’s daily needs, you can keep small and local in mind. For example, at my company, we use a local business for many of our printing needs. It’s harder than going to Office Depot, but well worth it. In our Houston division, we just moved offices, and we’ve made it a point to work with local designers to get everything on point.

Whether it’s candies or technology, we try to shop among the people who need us most. In my experience, that’s how you find the best gifts of all, just shop small.

By Elizabeth GorePresident and chairwoman, HelloAlice.com

Source: How to Show Your Customers That Small Business Saturday Isn’t the Only Time to Shop Local

Script: “Small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities. Absolutely crucial. Vital. They make it unique and they make you happy to live where you live. It brings a little flair to the towns that we have. On November 26th, you can make a huge impact by shopping small on Small Business Saturday. One purchase. One purchase is all it takes. Pledge to shop small on Small Business Saturday. It will help support your community. And that is a big deal. It’s pretty big. So, pick your favorite local business and join the movement. I pledge to shop small: at Big Top Candy Shop; at Juno Baby Store; Allen’s Boots; Sammy’s Camera. You don’t have to buy the whole store. Make the pledge to shop small. Pleeeease. On Small Business Saturday. [SHOP SMALL] [SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY – NOV. 26] [American Express – founding partner]

20 Stocks That Could Double Your Money in 2020

It might be hard to believe, but in just seven weeks we’ll be saying our goodbyes to 2019. Although investors have endured a couple of short-lived rough patches, it’s been an exceptionally strong year for the stock market. The broad-based S&P 500 is up 23%, the iconic Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 18%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite has returned almost 27%.

How good are these returns? Well, let’s just say that the S&P 500, inclusive of dividends and when adjusted for inflation, has historically returned 7% annually, with the Dow closer to 5.7% a year, on average, over its 123-year history.

And it’s not just these indexes that stand out. Of companies with a market cap of $300 million or larger, 124 have gained at least 100% year to date, through Nov. 5. Just because the calendar is about to change over to a new year doesn’t mean this optimism can’t carry over.

If you’re looking for a number of intriguing investment ideas for next year, consider these 20 stocks as possible candidates to double your money in 2020.

1. Innovative Industrial Properties

Yes, cannabis real estate investment trusts (REIT) are a real thing, and they can be quite lucrative! Innovative Industrial Properties (NYSE:IIPR), the best-known marijuana REIT on Wall Street, is already profitable and growing at a lightning-quick pace. After beginning 2019 with 11 medical marijuana-growing and processing properties in its portfolio, it now owns 38 properties in 13 states that span 2.8 million square feet of rentable space.

The beauty of Innovative industrial Properties’ business model is that it creates highly predictable cash flow. The company’s weighted-average remaining lease term is 15.6 years, and its average current yield on its $403.3 million in invested capital is a cool 13.8%. At this rate, it’ll net a complete payback on its invested capital in just over five years.

As long as marijuana remains illicit at the federal level in the U.S., access to capital will be dicey for cannabis cultivators. That makes Innovative Industrial’s acquisition-and-lease model a veritable green rush gold mine for 2020.

A user pinning interests to a virtual board while using a tablet.

Image source: Pinterest.

2. Pinterest

If you missed out on the Facebook IPO and have been kicking yourself for the past seven years, don’t fret. Social media photo-sharing site Pinterest (NYSE:PINS), which allows users to create their own virtual boards based on their interests, could be your second chance to profit.

Like most brand-name social media sites, Pinterest has seen exceptionally strong user growth. Monthly active user (MAU) count rose to 322 million by the end of September, up 71 million from the prior-year period. What’s most notable about this growth is that it’s mostly coming from international markets (38% MAU growth vs. 8% in the U.S.). Even though ad-based revenue is minimal in foreign markets, it nevertheless demonstrates that Pinterest has global appeal.

The company is also making serious strides to monetize these users by boosting average revenue per user (ARPU) globally. In recent quarters, Pinterest has simplified its ad system for smaller businesses, focused its efforts on boosting ARPU in overseas markets, and pushed for video, which has a much higher repost rate than static images. These efforts appear to be paying early dividends, with international ARPU more the doubling to $0.13 from $0.06 over the past year.

With Pinterest forecast to push into recurring profitability next year, a doubling of its stock is certainly not out of the question.

A biotech lab researcher using multiple pipettes to fill test tubes.

Image source: Getty Images.

3. Intercept Pharmaceuticals

Never overlook a first-mover advantage — especially when it pertains to a $35 billion indication!

Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a liver disease that affects between 2% and 5% of all U.S. adults, has no cure or Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved treatments, and is expected to be the leading cause of liver transplants by the midpoint of the next decade. And according to Wall Street, it’s a $35 billion untapped disease.

In late September, Intercept Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ICPT) submitted a new drug application for Ocaliva, a treatment for NASH. While the high dose of Ocaliva did lead to an unsettling number of pruritus (itching)-based dropouts in late-stage studies, it also produced a statistically significant reduction in liver fibrosis levels, relative to baseline and the placebo, without a worsening in NASH at the 18-month mark. Even if Intercept’s Ocaliva only secures a small subset of the NASH market, it has the potential, if approved by the FDA, to quickly earn blockbuster status of $1 billion or more in annual sales. Suffice it to say that 2020 could be a banner year for this midcap biotech stock.

A Redfin for sale sign on the front lawn of a home, with a black sold sign attached.

Image source: Redfin.

4. Redfin

With interest rates and mortgage rates on the rise throughout much of 2018, it looked as if the fun had come to an end for a hot housing market. But following a trio of Federal Reserve rate cuts and a big drop in Treasury yields, the housing industry is hotter than it’s been in more than a year. That, along with low mortgage rates, could be the perfect recipe for online real estate brokerage company Redfin (NASDAQ:RDFN) to double in 2020.

Unlike some of the companies you’ll see on this list, profitability isn’t a near-term priority for Redfin. Rather, scaling its tech-driven platform and taking real estate service market share are its primary goals. One way Redfin is doing this is by undercutting traditional real estate agents with its salaried agents. With a listing fee of just 1%, Redfin cuts out costs that generally irritate buyers and sellers.

More so, Redfin is looking to infiltrate the high-margin servicing business to make the buying and selling experience less of a hassle. It’s expanding nationally and consolidating tasks, such as title, appraisal, and home inspection, into a single package that consumers can designate the company to handle, thereby removing a key buying or selling objection. Perhaps it’s no surprise that this real estate disruptor grew sales by 39% in the second quarter and saw its market share rise 11 basis points to 0.94% of U.S. existing home sales from Q1 2019.

Two smiling young women texting on their smartphones.

Image source: Getty Images.

5. Meet Group

The online dating industry is worth, by some accounts, $3 billion in annual revenue, and Meet Group (NASDAQ:MEET), which specializes in livestreaming and social media interaction (including online dating), is a company that growth and value investors should be swiping right on.

Whereas most of the tech world focuses on bigger names with broader brand recognition, Meet Group’s mobile portfolio of apps, which includes MeetMe, Lovoo, Skout, Tagged, and Growl, has done an admirable job of growing the business. More specifically, the company’s laser focus on bolstering its video business is really paying dividends. During the second quarter, daily active video users increased to 892,000, representing 21% of total users where Live is available on their app. This is important given that video revenue per daily active user grew to $0.26 in Q2 2019 from $0.15 in the prior-year quarter.

Furthermore, Meet Group’s big spending on security enhancements is now in the rearview mirror, according to a third-quarter preliminary update. This mobile livestreaming site is growing at a double-digit rate, has a focus on high-margin video, and sports a forward price-to-earnings ratio of eight (yes, eight!). This multiple, and stock, could both easily double and still have room to run.

A prescription drug capsule with a boxing glove coming out of it that's knocking out a cancer cell.

Image source: Getty Images.

6. Exelixis

In all fairness, Exelixis (NASDAQ:EXEL) has had an incredible run on the coattails of lead drug Cabometyx. Following its approval to treat second-line renal cell carcinoma (RCC), and first-line RCC, the company’s share price rose from $4 to $32 between Jan. 2016 and Jan. 2018. Now, back at $16, Wall Street is wondering, what’s next?

In the early months of 2020, Exelixis and partner Bristol-Myers Squibb may have that answer. The duo are expected to reveal results from the CheckMate 9ER late-stage trial that combines Cabometyx with Bristol-Myers’ blockbuster immunotherapy Opdivo, which also happens to be an RCC rival. If this combination therapy dazzles, the duo could snag an even greater share of the RCC market, further boosting Cabometyx’s case as a blockbuster drug.

Investors should also know that Exelixis offers a rare value proposition in the highly competitive and often money-losing biotech space. This is a company offering double-digit sales growth, a forward P/E of 16, and a PEG ratio of a minuscule 0.36. With patent cliffs remaining challenging for Big Pharma, Exelixis, in addition to potentially notching a win with CheckMate 9ER, might find itself as a buyout candidate in 2020.

A person inserting a credit card into a reader in a retail store.

Image source: Getty Images.

7. StoneCo

Although Warren Buffett is best known for buying value stocks, the fastest-growing stock in Buffett’s portfolio (at least from a revenue perspective), StoneCo (NASDAQ:STNE), could be primed to double in 2020.

StoneCo isn’t exactly a household name, but this $10 billion payment solutions and business management software developer is finding plenty of interest for its fintech offerings in Brazil. During the second quarter, which StoneCo reported in mid-August, the company saw total payment volume for its merchants rise 61% year over year, while active clients increased 80% to 360,200 from the prior-year period. Since Brazil remains largely underbanked, there’s a long-tail opportunity for StoneCo to make its mark with small-and-medium-sized businesses in the country.

StoneCo is also investing heavily into its software subscription model. On a sequential quarterly basis, subscribed clients more than doubled to approximately 70,000 in Q2 from 32,000 in Q1 2019. While StoneCo won’t appear cheap in 2020 due to its aggressive reinvestment strategy, its Wall Street-estimated top-line growth rate of 38% may have enough firepower to double this stock.

The facade of the Planet 13 SuperStore in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Image source: Planet 13.

8. Planet 13 Holdings

Although legalizing marijuana across the U.S. would make life easier for vertically integrated multistate operators (MSO), it’s not exactly a problem for Planet 13 Holdings (OTC:PLNHF), which approaches its seed-to-sale model a bit differently than other MSOs.

Planet 13 is all about creating the most unique experience imaginable for cannabis consumers. The company’s SuperStore in Las Vegas, Nevada, just west of the Strip, spans 112,000 square feet and will feature a pizzeria, coffee shop, events center, and consumer-facing processing site. At 112,000 square feet, it’s the largest dispensary in the U.S., and is actually 7,000 square feet bigger than the average Walmart. The company is also developing a second location that’ll open next year in Santa Ana, Calif., just minutes from Disneyland.

Aside from its sheer size and selection, Planet 13’s transparency and technology stand out. The company is utilizing self-pay kiosks in its stores to facilitate the payment process, and provides monthly updates on foot traffic and average paying ticket size for investors. Maybe most striking, Planet 13 has about 10% of Nevada’s entire cannabis market share. It could have its investors seeing green in 2020.

An up-close view of a shiny one ounce silver ingot.

Image source: Getty Images.

9. First Majestic Silver

Precious-metal mining isn’t exactly known as a high-growth industry. However, following years of conservative spending, and after witnessing gold and silver spot prices soar in 2019, miners like First Majestic Silver (NYSE:AG) are suddenly sitting pretty.

Even before gold and silver moved higher by a double-digit percentage in response to falling U.S. Treasury yields, First Majestic was making waves. In May 2018, it closed a deal to acquire Primero Mining and its flagship San Dimas mine. Between incorporating the low-cost San Dimas into its portfolio, and looking at ways to bolster its existing assets (e.g., modifying the roasting circuit at its La Encantada mine to add up to 1.5 million ounces of silver production per year), First Majestic has seen its silver equivalent ounce (SEO) production grow from 16.2 million ounces in 2017 to perhaps north of 26 million SEO in 2019.

First Majestic should also benefit from a return to historic norms in the gold-to-silver ratio (i.e., the amount of silver it takes to buy one ounce of gold). Historically, the gold-to-silver ratio has hovered around 65, but is currently at closer to 84. This would suggest silver has the potential to outperform gold in the intermediate-term; and no mining company has greater exposure to silver as a percentage of total revenue than First Majestic Silver.

A veterinarian with a stethoscope around her neck examining a small white dog.

Image source: Getty Images.

10. Trupanion

According to the American Pet Products Association, an estimated $75.4 billion will be spent on our pets in 2019, with $19 billion alone on veterinary care. Given that 63.4 million U.S. households have a dog, and 42.7 million have a cat, the opportunity for the pet insurance market is huge. That’s where Trupanion (NASDAQ:TRUP) comes in.

Trupanion is a provider of lifelong insurance policies for cats and dogs. Like any insurance company, Trupanion is built for long-term profitability. Most insurers offer predictable cash flow and have exceptional pricing power, which is a necessity if they’re to cover claims. But Trupanion is going where few insurers have gone before. U.S. and Canadian pet insurance market penetration is just 1% and 2%, respectively, which is providing some learning curve bumps along the way, but also giving Trupanion an incredibly long runway to growth.

Trupanion is currently unprofitable, but it appears close to turning the corner to profitability. Sales grew by 26% in the second quarter, and are expected to romp higher by 20% in 2020, according to Wall Street. If the company continues to find success with referrals, it’s very possible it could surprise in the earnings column next year.

A hacker wearing black gloves who's typing on a keyboard.

Image source: Getty Images.

11. Ping Identity

What do you get when you combine some of the hottest tech trends into one company? None other than identity solutions provider Ping Identity (NYSE:PING), which recently IPO’d in September.

While there are plenty of cybersecurity providers, Ping’s uniqueness derives from its use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to attempt to identify users and computers as trusted. Being able to operate within the confines of traditional enterprise networks, or being tasked with securing cloud networks, Ping offers an assortment of products that should be able to meet the needs of small, medium, and large-scale businesses. Not surprisingly, it should be capable of double-digit sales growth in the near-term, like its peers.

What also can’t be overlooked in the fast-growing security space is that Ping’s valuation is a modest $1.3 billion. After being acquired by private equity firm Vista Equity for $600 million in 2016, Ping delivered a doubling of that value in three years, following its IPO. This demonstrates the potential of focused individual security, and makes it all the more likely that Ping Identity could be quickly scooped up by a larger rival.

A woman checking her blood glucose readings on a connected device.

Image source: Livongo Health.

12. Livongo Health

As you’ve probably caught on by now, this list of stocks that could double in 2020 is full of disruptors, and Livongo Health (NASDAQ:LVGO) certainly fits the bill.

Livongo is a developer of solutions that helps people change their health habits. By supplying testing kits that connect to smartphones, and utilizing data science, Livongo works to change the behavior of diabetics, and can also be used to assist patients with hypertension. Given that over 30 million people have diabetes (most being type 2 diabetics), and a number of these folks could use some serious help managing their symptoms, Livongo Health’s products are exactly the disruptor needed in this space.

According to the company’s second-quarter results, the number of clients in Livongo’s ecosystem nearly doubled on a year-over-year basis to 720, while the number of enrolled diabetes members did more than double to 192,934. More importantly, Livongo’s triple-digit sales growth rate cannot be overlooked. While profits are highly unlikely in 2020, a year of market-topping revenue growth is very possible.

An assortment of couch sectionals pushed together in a living room.

Image source: Lovesac.

13. Lovesac

When the calendar changes to 2020, relax, put your feet up, and let small-cap Lovesac (NASDAQ:LOVE) do the heavy lifting for your portfolio.

Lovesac, the home furnishings company that sells beanbag chairs, sectional couches, and a host of other in-home decorations, has struggled in 2019 amid trade-war concerns. It’s been hit hard by higher tariff costs, and that’s clearly brought investor worry to the forefront.

However, a quick look at Lovesac’s second-quarter operating results should relieve most worries. By passing along modest price hikes to consumers, as well as reducing its reliance on China from 75% to 44% of its manufacturing, the company has, in a very short time frame, reduced the impact of the trade war going forward.

What’s more, these price hikes don’t appear to be adversely impacting the company’s fast-growing and niche furnishings business. Lovesac reiterated full-year sales growth of 40% to 45%, with comparable store sales growth coming in at 40.7% in the second quarter, and noted that new customers and repeat clients are driving growth. Although profitability is still probably two years away, sales growth of at least 40%, with a price-to-sales ratio of right around 1, could be more than enough to send this stock rocketing higher.

A lab researcher in a white coat holding a vial of blood in his left hand while reading from a blue clipboard in his right hand.

Image source: Getty Images.

14. Amarin

The biotech industry is always a good bet for a volatility, and Ireland-based Amarin (NASDAQ:AMRN) might have a real shot to grow from a midcap to a large-cap valuation in 2020 thanks to its lead drug, Vasecpa.

Vascepa, a purified fish oil derivative, was approved by the FDA all the way back in 2012 to treat patients with severe hypertriglyceridemia (SHTG). But it’s not Vascepa’s potential in treating SHTG patients that’s got Wall Street excited. Rather, it’s a supplemental new drug application stemming from a five-year Harvard study in 8,179 people with milder (but still high) triglyceride levels. The results showed that Vascepa lowered the aggregate risk of heart attack, stroke, and death in these patients by 25%. In other words, if Vascepa were to be approved for an expanded label indication to reduce the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events, its potential pool of patients could grow tenfold, as would its sales potential.

Later this month, on Nov. 14, an AdCom meeting will take place to discuss Amarin’s marketing application for Vascepa, as well as to vote on whether or not the members of the committee favor approval. By January 2020, at the latest, Amarin should have the FDA’s official decision on Vascepa (the FDA isn’t required to follow the AdCom’s vote, but it often does). If I were a betting man, I’d count on positive reviews all around.

A large city canvased by blue dots, representative of a wirelessly connected society.

Image source: Getty Images.

15. CalAmp

In Aug. 2018, Bain & Co. predicted that the Internet of Things global market would more than double from $235 billion in spending to $520 billion in just four years’ time (between 2017 and 2021). That global opportunity is too lucrative to overlook for small-cap CalAmp (NASDAQ:CAMP).

CalAmp, which provides software and subscription-based services, as well as cloud platforms that support a connected economy, has been hurt in recent quarters by the trade war with China, as well as sales weakness in its Telematics segment that’s been tied to a few core customers. However, CalAmp has reduced its Telematics product sourcing from China to around 50% from 70% to 80% earlier in the year, thereby minimizing the pain it feels from the trade war. Also, a number of customers blamed for its sales slowdown in Telematics (e.g., Caterpillar) are on the cusp of ramping up production as upgrades are made from 3G to 4G.

As Telematics growth picks back up, the company has seen record sales from its software subscription segment. Sales rose 65% year over year in the latest quarter, and now account for a third of total quarterly revenue. In short, the CalAmp growth story is just getting started, and 2020 could feature some very favorable year-on-year comparisons.

A female physician high-fiving a young child sitting on her mother's lap.

Image source: Getty Images.

16. Aimmune Therapeutics

Another biotech stock with a potential first-mover advantage in 2020 is Aimmune Therapeutics (NASDAQ:AIMT).

Aimmune’s lead drug is Palforzia, an oral drug that’s designed to lessen the symptoms associated with peanut allergy in children and teens. There is no FDA drug currently approved to treat peanut allergy in adolescents, and an estimated 4% to 6% of all children in the U.S. have some form of allergy to peanuts.

Now, here’s the great news: Palforzia looked like a star in late-stage clinical trials. Patients aged 4 to 17 were administered increasingly larger doses of peanut protein during the study, and 67.2% taking Palforzia completed the study without needing to discontinue the trial. This compared to a mere 4% on the placebo who completed the trial.

More good news: Palforzia has already been given the thumbs up by the FDA’s Allergenic Products Advisory Committee. Even though the FDA isn’t required to follow the vote of its panel of experts, it does so more often than not. It appears likely that Palforzia will get a green light in January, and it could be on track for more than $470 million in annual sales (by Wall Street’s consensus) by 2022. With other treatments in development for egg and walnut allergies, Aimmune looks well on its way to carving its own niche in the biotech space, and potentially doubling its stock in 2020.

Oil and gas pipeline leading to storage tanks.

Image source: Getty Images.

17. Antero Midstream

Midstream is the unsung hero of the energy infrastructure space. While drillers retrieve fossil fuels and refiners process them, it’s midstream providers that are the essential middlemen providing transmission, storage, and a host of other services that ensure these products make it to refineries for processing. Antero Midstream (NYSE:AM) may be just one of many midstream operators in the U.S., but it also might hold the distinction of being the cheapest and most likely to rebound in 2020.

Antero Midstream acts as the middleman for Antero Resources, a producer of natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGL) operating out of the Marcellus Shale and Utica Shale region in the Appalachia. This region is known for its natural gas and NGL production, which is worth noting given that LNG demand in North America could quadruple between 2018 and 2030, according to estimates from the McKinsey Energy/Insights Global Energy perspective model. This should provide a solid foundation of fee-based revenue for Antero Midstream.

Antero Midstream also recently announced a $300 million share repurchase program, suggesting that its board feels its stock is too cheap. If fully executed, this share buyback would remove about 8% of the company’s outstanding shares, and it shouldn’t impact the company’s jaw-dropping, yet seemingly sustainable, 17% dividend yield. Including this payout, Antero Midstream could very well double next year.

A gloved individual holding a full vial and dropper of cannabinoid-rich liquid in front of a hemp plant.

Image source: Getty Images.

18. MediPharm Labs

Marijuana stocks throughout Canada have suffered through supply issues since day one of adult-use legalization more than one year ago. But one ancillary niche that should be immune to these struggles is extraction services. The company you’ll want to know in this space is MediPharm Labs (OTC:MEDIF).

Extraction-service providers like MediPharm take cannabis and hemp biomass and produce resins, distillates, concentrates, and targeted cannabinoids for their clients. These are all used in the creation of high-margin derivatives, such as edibles and infused beverages, which were just legalized in Canada on Oct. 17, and will hit dispensary shelves in a little over a month. Since derivatives offer much juicier margins than dried cannabis flower, demand for cannabis and hemp extraction services should remain strong.

What’s more, extraction providers like MediPharm often secure contracts ranging from 18-to-36 months, leading to highly predictable cash flow. With MediPharm’s Barrie, Ontario, processing facility eventually on its way to 500,000 kilos of annual processing potential, and the company already profitable, it would not be the least bit surprising if MediPharm doubled in 2020.

A woman opening up a personalized box of clothing.

Image source: Stitch Fix.

19. Stitch Fix

Even high growth stocks can hit a rough patch; just ask the shareholders of online apparel company Stitch Fix (NASDAQ:SFIX). Following poorly received fourth-quarter results and weaker-than-expected sales guidance for the first quarter, Stitch Fix is a lot closer to its 52-week low than 52-week high at this point. However, things could change in a big way in 2020.

For starters, Stitch Fix is a potential retail disruptor that can capitalize on consumers in two ways. First, there’s the subscription side of the business that includes a stylist who picks outfits and accessories out for customers, who then to decide to keep (buy) or return these items. Secondly, but more recently, Stitch Fix has also been finding success with its direct buy program, which allows its members to skip the stylist and purchase highly curated and personalized product directly off its website. The company believes this dual-growth approach will play a key role in revenue growth reacceleration. It’s worth noting that despite its fourth-quarter report being poorly received by Wall Street, active clients grew 18% to 3.2 million from the prior-year period.

Stitch Fix is also planning to expand its offerings to men and children, and would be expected to bolster advertising as these new lines roll out. The company pointed out in its most recent quarter that fiscal first-quarter sales guidance is weaker because it lifted its foot off the gas pedal with regard to advertising. That’s an easy fix that should have Stitch Fix mending its weakness pretty quickly in 2020.

A white prescription generic drug tablet with a dollar sign stamped on it.

Image source: Getty Images.

20. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries

Not every stock that doubles has to be growing at 20%, 30%, or more, per year. Sometimes, it just requires Wall Street and investors to readjust their outlook.

Brand-name and generic drug giant Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (NYSE:TEVA) has had a miserable go of things for nearly four years. A combination of generic-drug pricing weakness, opioid lawsuits, bribery allegations, high debt levels, and the shelving of its once-hefty dividend, have sunk Teva’s stock by almost 90%. But a renaissance of sorts may be on the horizon.

You see, Teva lost more than half of its value in 2019 after 44 U.S. states sued the company, and many of its related peers, over the manufacture and sale of opioids. However, Teva appears to be making progress on these lawsuits by offering free medicine to select states, and, more importantly, not having to outlay much of its precious cash. If these opioid suits are resolved, it’s not crazy to think Teva regains pretty much all of the ground it lost when they were announced.

At the same time, Teva’s turnaround specialist, CEO Kare Schulze, has reduced annual operating expenses by $3 billion and lowered net debt by $8 billion in a couple of years. Teva has the potential to really change some opinions in 2020, and that could lead to a doubling in its share price.

A man in a tie who's holding a stopwatch behind an ascending stack of coins.

Image source: Getty Images.

Don’t forget the most important “secret” to wealth creation

While it’s possible that many, or only a small number, of these 20 companies doubles next year, the important thing for investors to remember is that great ideas often take time to develop. The grandiose secret to wealth creation isn’t going to be found by day-trading or trying to time the market. Rather, it’s discovered by investing in high-quality businesses that you believe in, and allowing your investments to grow for five, 10, or even 20 years, if not longer.

It can be fun to predict next year’s top performers and potentially find yourself a proverbial gold mine, but don’t take your eyes off the horizon, which is where the big money is being made.

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Randi Zuckerberg, a former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and sister to its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Sean Williams owns shares of Exelixis, First Majestic Silver, Intercept Pharmaceuticals, and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Facebook, Livongo Health Inc, Pinterest, Stitch Fix, and Trupanion. The Motley Fool owns shares of Stoneco LTD. The Motley Fool recommends CalAmp, Exelixis, Innovative Industrial Properties, Intercept Pharmaceuticals, and Redfin. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Source: https://www.fool.com/investing/2019/11/11/20-stocks-that-could-double-your-money-in-2020.aspx

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3 Key Signs Your Startup’s Business Plan Needs to Change

Pivoting is expensive, but so is making smaller changes to your business plan to address the present-day realities of your market, your customers and your company. Revising your plan and implementing those changes can be time-consuming and expensive, and it can result in considerable operational upheaval.

But sometimes that’s exactly what your small business must do to ensure future success. How will you know it’s time to re-write your small business’s playbook? Here, three key signs:

1. Your growth is stagnant.

In a startup, momentum is everything. Growth provides the resources to continue to expand, beat the competition, improve quality and service, and increase efficiency through economies of scale.

Unfortunately, most small businesses can’t afford to simply plow additional funds into advertising in order to grow. Keeping customer acquisition costs down — and churn rate down as well — is key in the early stages for any bootstrapped startup.

In that case, growth might require jettisoning — or at the very least de-emphasizing — some products to focus on more profitable products. (See Steve Jobs when he returned to Apple in 1997.) That may require you to shift employees into new seats: sales, service, operations, etc.

Do this and the result might be a ripple effect of positives: Shifting employees provides opportunities for them to learn new skills, demonstrate new talents and learn about other functional areas. Moving a few employees into different roles can help re-energize and re-engage a number of other people.

Growth could also require introducing new products or services, especially when they complement existing offerings. Complementary offerings are a great way to re-engage existing customers as well as to bring in new customers who may then purchase other products or services.

In short: If your growth has stalled, what you planned to offer may not be sufficient. So how will you know what changes to make?

Ask your customers. They’ll tell you.

2. The needs of your “ideal” customer have changed.

Every business plan includes information on the target market: Demographics, interests, needs, pain points, etc. Over time, those needs can change (or maybe they never actually existed, at least on a sufficiently broad scale).

If you’re a tech company, evolving technologies can change the way customers interact with your service. If you’re in the restaurant business, today’s hot trend can be tomorrow’s outdated fad.

More likely, as your business has grown, so too has your infrastructure — meaning the level of one-on-one service you planned to provide is no longer necessary. (Or even desired.)

A great business plan lays out a blueprint for meeting customer needs and solving customer pain points. A great business constantly evolves to ensure those needs are met and those pains are eliminated.

Stay on top of metrics like return, service calls, churn rate, etc. to keep up with changing customer needs. Talk to your customers to find out how their needs may have changed.

Then revise your plan to make sure you provide not just what your plan says, but what customers really want and will pay to get.

3. You need full-time people in freelancer seats

Early on you may not have needed — or maybe couldn’t afford — to hire full-time people to perform certain functions. Wisely, you turned to freelancers. Freelancers are great for completing specific tasks, especially when sufficient expertise or specialized knowledge is a necessity.

The problem with freelancers is that they can only perform specific tasks. They can’t step into other roles. They can’t step into other functions. Because they aren’t a part of your company, they can’t learn and grow and develop with your company.

At some point it makes sense to hire a full-time employee. While they might not currently possess every drop of skill and experience they need to succeed in the role, when you hire people who are adaptable and eager to learn, they soon will.

And then they will help create an outstanding foundation upon which your company can grow.

By: Craig Bloem Founder and CEO, FreeLogoServices.com

Source: 3 Key Signs Your Startup’s Business Plan Needs to Change

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Tutorial starts at 1:20 Whether you’re starting a new business or just trying to get your existing business a bit more organized, writing a business plan is the perfect way to clearly outline how your business operates, declare goals, and set out a strategy to reach those goals. In this video you’ll learn about the six essential pages every business plan should have, what to record on each of those pages, and also how to write your business plan as quickly and easily as possible — even if you’re a complete beginner! 🔹 Download the FREE Six-Step Business Success Plan: https://www.gillianperkins.com/downlo… // WHAT TO WATCH NEXT Six Ways to Earn Six Figures Working from Home https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1i8x… How I (actually) Got My First Client Online https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AST3P… How I Created Multiple Streams of Income for Myself https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfaH_… How to Decide What Business to Start https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mid_A… // LINKS Learn more about Gillian and find resources to build your online business: https://www.gillianperkins.com Join our private Facebook group! https://www.facebook.com/groups/start… Follow Gillian on Instagram to get a BTS look at what it’s like to be a digital entrepreneur: https://www.instagram.com/gillianzper… // MAIL Gillian Perkins International P.O. Box 13573 Salem, OR 97309 NOTE: This description may contains affiliate links to products we enjoy using ourselves. Should you choose to use these links, this channel may earn affiliate commissions at no additional cost to you. We appreciate your support! KEYWORDS how to write a business plan, free business plan, do i need a business plan, #entrepreneurship, #gillianperkins, business plan how-to guide, business plan step by step, business plan tips ,gillian perkins, gillianperkins, do you need a business plan, How To Write a Business Plan To Start Your Own Business, how to write a business plan step by step, business plan for beginners, simple business plan, business 101, business plan template, business plan example, how to write a business plan for beginners

Borderless Investing: Eduardo Saverin And Raj Ganguly Grow B Capital

Eduardo Saverin and Rajarshi “Raj” Ganguly are two of the three cofounders of B Capital Group, a venture capital firm with close to $800 million, split between a first and a second fund (still being raised). The third cofounder is legendary investor Howard Morgan. Brazilian Saverin, 37, is based in Singapore and best known for being the cofounder of Facebook – whose shares in it give him a net worth estimated at about $10 billion.

Americans Ganguly, 43, and Morgan, 73, come from diverse backgrounds. Ganguly, based in Los Angeles, spent his early career at Bain Capital, overseeing a number of investments. Morgan, based in New York, helped start ARPAnet, the internet’s precursor, in the 1970s, and later was president of hedge fund Renaissance Technologies.

B Capital has dual headquarters in Los Angeles and Singapore, as well as offices in New York and San Francisco, with a total of 40 full-time staff. B Capital focuses on companies already in series B or C rounds, generally over $10 million in revenue, and looks to invest roughly $20 million. The trio would like to keep the total number of companies in each fund to about 20.

The firm has the slogan “innovation without borders,” reflecting the founders’ belief that innovation can originate anywhere, not just in Silicon Valley. B Capital also uses global consultancy Boston Consulting Group (BCG) to help it grow startups and match them with larger firms. Saverin and Ganguly sat down with Forbes Asia in an exclusive interview in September at Singapore’s Shangri-La hotel to discuss their goals for B Capital.

Today In: Asia

Forbes Asia: How are you deploying your capital into startups?

Eduardo Saverin: Primarily we focus on companies that have an existing level of traction. There are a lot of places where you could invest in technology, but you need to have an edge and focus. For us, together with our relationship with BCG, it’s about accelerating growth. Most companies we invest in have a B2B angle. When the company is still an idea on a napkin, it’s hard for us to introduce them to some of the largest companies in the world. So we tend to invest where there’s a particular amount of value that we can bring through those corporate introductions and value acceleration, which means they tend to translate to series B and beyond. But frankly the staging is fungible. It’s about traction.

Raj Ganguly: As we build the firm we want to be really conscious of being able to invest into some companies really early, probably smaller amounts of capital, and as some of those companies scale and grow, we want to bring larger amounts of capital to those companies. Then finally for some of the companies that really continue to go into highly accelerated growth mode, we would actually not just double-down, but we would take outsized ownership stakes. As we’re growing the capital, we’re increasing our ability to invest across multiple stages. The best use of our capital, rather than finding a new investment, is finding a company in our portfolio where we can see the trajectory of the company before an outsider can see it.

What is the value-add you want to bring to your entrepreneurs?

Ganguly: We focus on doing three things really well ourselves and then partnering with BCG and others for everything else. We focus on helping make introductions and really helping get that growth flywheel going. The second part is we are focused on hiring key C-level talents into companies once we invest into them. We find that every single time we make an investment, if we can help them with one or two better hires on the margin, it fundamentally changes the direction of the company. And third, we help them raise strategic capital. We think, while it’s great to have other venture capital firms and folks like that, there are so many large enterprises sitting on over $1 trillion of capital and many of them want to invest and partner with startups. They could be much more strategic in the capital and the value that they bring.

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Juliana Tan for Forbes Asia

Can you give an example of this value-add to a portfolio company?Saverin: One of our early investments was in a company in the clinical trials space called Evidation Health. It’s a perfect example of a business where they can develop all the technologies that they would like. The truth is, success will come from adoption of virtual clinical trials from the largest pharma companies in the world. When we first met the business, it was working with a lot of smaller biotech firms, which are the traditional early adopters of such technologies. But leveraging our partnerships, including BCG, we had a chance to meet with some of the largest pharma companies in the world.

Through those discussions we understood that, unlike traditional tech innovation cycles where things over time get a little bit cheaper and faster, in the pharma world, you were seeing kind of a reverse innovation cycle where it was getting more expensive and taking longer to get to market.

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Juliana Tan for Forbes Asia

And one of the largest pharma companies in the world took one of their existing trials that they had already done, and then just replicated it through a virtual standpoint, and saw both the speed, the cost effectiveness, and the depth of the data. That gave us conviction to invest, because we knew there was a real appetite for experimentation. Today, that business has most of the largest pharma companies in the world as customers. Some of them have become investors.

Ganguly: It just announced, a few weeks ago, a landmark partnership in dementia with Apple and Eli Lilly. We’ve been a part of helping make some of those connections.

What’s unique about B Capital’s approach to investments?

Ganguly: There are four key parts of our model. It’s about global thematic investing, one single team leveraging global data. It’s about deep local expertise in each market that we invest in. It’s about being the single highest value-add investor in every company and having the capital through partnerships with our investors and through our own capital to fund the growth of these companies as they scale. Our risk model is a lower risk model than early stage, which is about investing in ideas on a napkin, and having one of 20 companies that you know will drive your whole returns. Our model is about backing companies that have customer traction, that have a founding team that has high potential. We are looking for large potential customers and large potential partnerships that further mitigate risks. We believe our approach has upside because we’re investing in companies that are growing at 100% plus a year.

Saverin: The VC game is an information edge game. You need to leverage it not just in the first investment, but across the lifecycle of the company. Our model is about rolling up our sleeves and getting deeply involved, where entrepreneurs want us to, and where we can tremendously add value.

You believe in innovation without borders, can you expand on that idea?

Saverin: Companies are becoming global increasingly by design. There’s no border to where innovation can be received and used. Whether you start a company in Silicon Valley or in Africa or any part of the world, there really is the increasing impetus to go beyond your existing borders. When you start thinking about the evolution of innovation, some of it is the enablers, including the engineering talent. When you go to Silicon Valley, that’s actually one of the hardest places in the world to get engineering talent because of the massive competition. In other parts of the world you can ask is there enough raw talent, even though it’s not as competitive? So we’ll see a broader equalization. It would be hard for me to believe that as tech enablement becomes a big part of much larger industries, that all that innovation will come from one place. If that were to happen, I’d do anything I can to change it because the truth is the whole world is consuming technology.

What opportunities do you see in Southeast Asia?

Ganguly: We understood early that e-commerce was being inhibited in the region because e-commerce companies had to do their own delivery. That’s what really convinced us that we wanted to invest in all the picks and shovels around e-commerce, but no longer invest in e-commerce, or at least not focus on e-commerce. So today we’re investors in Ninja Van, BlackBuck, Mswipe and Bizongo, all companies that enable e-commerce.

Given WeWork’s pulled IPO, have valuations gotten overdone?

Ganguly: Where we are in the cycle and when it changes, that’s not our business. We don’t time the market, but we fundamentally take a long-term perspective. There are times when you’re in a cycle and you have to pay a little bit more for that. But if you have the right time horizon, we think it’s still far better to do that than to be looking for value plays where you’re looking at the second- or third- or fourth-best company. We always say that you might sleep better if you have a value play, but you won’t sleep very well when you exit because the valuation differential is even more stark when you exit a lower-tier player. It used to be that you were forced to go public because you had to pay out early investors. That’s no longer the case. You can now continue to stay private, and have access to very large amounts of private capital. Your early investors can cash out because later stage investors are willing to buy them out. There’s a very active secondary market. What’s changed is I think there’s no longer this belief that going public is something that you have to do. There are a lot of questions about whether going public drives long-term value. While it’s worked for some companies, it hasn’t worked for others.

What would be the process if a portfolio company might fit with Facebook?

Saverin: We are trying to facilitate introductions with any enabler, hopefully a win-win on both sides. So Facebook of course would be part of that equation, and parts of its strategy that converge with some of our focus areas, especially in financial services. Many companies will already have some type of relationship with Facebook, given where Facebook is today, through WhatsApp or otherwise. The innovation ecosystem touches Facebook all the time, so it’s just a question of extent.

Where is B Capital going to be in 10 years?

Saverin: That’s an important question. I usually think about it in two ways. We are incredibly ambitious, and we want to have an institution that will outlive us, so we are always thinking of the very long term. One thing I say every single day, whether in our partner meetings, or when we speak to our entrepreneurs, is to always push focus. Focus on what you’re doing today, that’s how you’re going to get to a bigger vision ten years from now, and even a vision well past our lifetimes. But at a really top level what I want us to do is to enable technology to get into the hands of consumers faster by leveraging the existing distribution networks of the largest companies in the world. Push intrapreneurship, it doesn’t necessarily need that push, but enable them to not only think of disruption but a positive win-win transformation. It’s not about the top ten tech companies that will take over a market by themselves, but the enablement of every company in the world with technology in collaborative innovation.

What do you mean by collaborative innovation?

Saverin: This is a really high-level idea, that can be seen in the platform technologies, such as Facebook, WeChat and others. They have created massive innovation acceleration by enabling other businesses to come on top of their platforms to gain distribution and engagement. What we are looking for is a win-win using the distribution assets of the largest companies in the world to ultimately get API-ed to the innovation ecosystem. If we get even 0.5% of the way in driving that, we will be doing the right thing for ten years from now. I think it’s not always a success when a startup out-innovates and massively disrupts a big company, when it could have leveraged a big company’s distribution, the licenses, the regulatory know-how, and so on, so that consumers could get the advantages of technology much faster.

This conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Pamela covers entrepreneurs, wealth, blockchain and the crypto economy as a senior reporter across digital and print platforms. Prior to Forbes, she served as on-air foreign correspondent for Thomson Reuters’ broadcast team, during which she reported on global markets, central bank policies, and breaking business news. Before Asia, she was a journalist at NBC Comcast, and started her career at CNBC and Bloomberg as a financial news producer in New York. She is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School and holds an MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Yahoo, USA Today, Huffington Post, and Nasdaq. Pamela’s previous incarnation was on the buy side in M&A research and asset management, inspired by Michael Lewis’ book “Liar’s Poker”. Follow me on Twitter at @pamambler

Source: Borderless Investing: Eduardo Saverin And Raj Ganguly Grow B Capital

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Eduardo Saverin, Co-Founder, Facebook & Co-Founder at B Capital Group alongside Raj Ganguly, Co-Founder at B Capital Group discuss how global trends in innovation and venture capital can be leveraged to benefit entrepreneurs beyond Silicon Valley. Fore more news and insights visit SuperReturn365: https://goo.gl/9nEbXA

 

How’s the Consumer Doing? Financial Sector Earnings Next Week Could Help Tell Us

Key Takeaways:

  • Big banks to kick off reporting season the week of October 14
  • Earnings for sector expected to fall slightly, analysts say
  • Brexit, trade, consumer health on topic list for Financial earnings calls

During Q2 earnings season, Financial sector results helped renew investor confidence in the U.S. consumer.

The question heading into Q3 is whether banking executives still see the same kind of strength, and if they think it can continue amid trade wars, Brexit, and signs of weakness in the U.S. economy.

Over the last three months, as the broader stock market rallied to an all-time high, slammed the brakes, and then re-tested earlier peaks, consumer health arguably did much of the heavy lifting. It felt like every time stocks pulled back, they got a second wind from retail sales, housing or some other data or earnings news that showed consumers still out there buying.

Today In: Money

The banks played a huge role in setting the stage by reporting better-than-expected Q2 results that showed signs of strong consumer demand even as some of the banks’ trading divisions took a hit. Next week, six of the biggest banks come back to talk about their Q3 experience and what they expect for Q4. Analysts expect Financial sector earnings to drop slightly in Q3.

That said, most of the major banking names have done an excellent job keeping costs in check as they wrestle with fundamental industry headwinds like falling interest rates and slowing revenue from their trading divisions. This time out, it wouldn’t be surprising to see more of the same, and you can’t rule out a bit more vigor from the trading business thanks to all the volatility we saw in the markets last quarter.

Earnings growth may not be there for Financials this time around, or it could be negligible. At the end of the day, though, Financial companies are still likely to be remarkably profitable considering a yield curve that remains relatively flat and global macroeconomic concerns, according to Briefing.com. This sector knows how to make money, but it might just not make as much as it did a year ago. Earnings will likely show large banking companies still in good financial condition with the U.S. consumer generally in decent shape for now, as the U.S. economy arguably remains the best-kept house on a tough block.

Investors have started to pick up on all this, judging from the S&P 500 Financial sector’s good health over the last month and year to date. The sector is up 3.4% from a month ago to easily lead all sectors over that time period, and up 15% since the start of 2019. The 15% gain is below the SPX’s 17% year-to-date pace, but it’s an improvement after a few years when Financials generally didn’t participate as much in major market rallies.

What to Listen For

No one necessarily planned it, but it’s helpful in a way that banks report early in the earnings season. Few other industries have larger megaphones or the ability to set the tone like the biggest financial institutions can. The other sectors are important, too, but they often see things from their own silos. Combined, the big banks have a view of the entire economy and all the industries, as well as what consumers and investors are doing. Their positive remarks last quarter didn’t really give Financial stocks an immediate lift, but it did apparently help reassure investors who were nervous about everything from trade wars to Brexit.

Going into Q3 earnings, those same issues dog the market, and bank executives have a front-row seat. How do they see trade negotiations playing out? Can consumers hold up if trade negotiations start to go south? How’s the consumer and corporate credit situation? Will weakness in Europe spread its tentacles more into the U.S.? And is there anything bank CEOs think the Fed or Congress can do to fend off all these challenges?

On another subject closer to the banks’ own business outlook, what about the shaky initial public offering (IPO) situation? That’s getting a closer look as a few recent IPOs haven’t performed as well as some market participants had expected. One question is whether other potential IPOs might get cold feet, potentially hurting businesses for some of the major investment banks.

All the big bank calls are important, but JP Morgan Chase (JPM) on Tuesday morning might stand out. Last time, CEO Jamie Dimon said he saw positive momentum with the U.S. consumer, and his words helped ease concerns about the economic outlook. More words like that this time out might be well timed when you consider how nervous many investors seem to be right now. On the other hand, if Dimon doesn’t sound as positive, that’s worth considering, too.

While few analysts see a recession in the works—at least in the short term—bank executives might be asked if they’re starting to see any slowdown in lending, which might be a possible sign of the economy putting on the brakes. Softer manufacturing sector data over the last few months and falling capital investment by businesses could provide subject matter on the big bank earnings calls.

Regionals Vs. Multinationals

While big banks like JPM operate around the world and might be particularly attuned to the effects of trade, regional banks make most of their loans within the U.S., potentially shielding them from overseas turbulence.

Regional banks also might provide a deeper view into what consumers are doing in the housing and credit card markets. With rates still near three-year lows, we’ve seen some data suggest a bump in the housing sector lately, and that’s been backed by solid earnings data out of that industry. If regional banks report more borrowing demand, that would be another sign pointing to potential strength in consumer sentiment. Refinancing apparently got a big lift over the last few months, and now we’ll hear if banks saw any benefit.

One possible source of weakness, especially for some of the regional players, could be in the oil patch. With crude prices and Energy sector earnings both under pressure, there’s been a big drop in the number of rigs drilling for oil in places like Texas over the last few months, according to energy industry data. That could potentially weigh on borrowing demand. Also, the manufacturing sector is looking sluggish, if recent data paint an accurate picture, maybe hurting results from regional banks in the Midwest. It might be interesting to hear if bank executives are worried more about the U.S. manufacturing situation.

Another challenge for the entire sector is the rate picture. The Fed lowered rates twice since banks last reported, and the futures market is penciling in another rate cut as pretty likely for later this month. Lower rates generally squeeze banks’ margins. If rates drop, banks simply can’t make as much money.

The 10-year Treasury yield has fallen from last autumn’s high above 3.2% to recent levels just above 1.5% amid fears of economic sluggishness and widespread predictions of central bank rate cuts. The long trade standoff between China and the U.S. has also contributed to lower yields as many investors pile into defensive investments like U.S. Treasuries, cautious about the growth outlook.

Another thing on many investors’ minds is the current structure of the yield curve. The 10-year and two-year yields inverted for a stretch in Q3, typically an indication that investors believe that growth will be weak. That curve isn’t inverted now, but it remains historically narrow. Still, some analysts say the current low five-year and two-year yields might mean healthy corporate credit, maybe a good sign for banks.

Q3 Financial Sector Earnings

Analysts making their Q3 projections for the Financial sector expect a slowdown in earnings growth from Q2. Forecasting firm FactSet pegs Financial sector earnings to fall 1.8%, which is worse than its previous estimate in late September for a 0.9% drop. By comparison, Financial earnings grew 5.2% in Q2, way better than FactSet’s June 30 estimate for 0.6% growth.

Revenue for the Financial sector is expected to fall 1.6% in Q3, down from 2.6% growth in Q2, FactSet said.

While estimates are for falling earnings and revenue, the Financial sector did surprise last quarter with results that exceeded the average analyst estimate. You can’t rule out a repeat, but last time consumer strength might have taken some analysts by surprise. Now, consumer strength in Q3 seems like a given, with the mystery being whether it can last into Q4.

Upcoming Earnings Dates:

  • Citigroup (C) – Tuesday, October 15
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) – Tuesday, October 15
  • Wells Fargo (WFC) – Tuesday, Oct. 15, (B)
  • Goldman Sachs (GS) – Tuesday, October 15
  • Bank of America (BAC) – Wednesday, October 16
  • Morgan Stanley (MS) – Thursday, October 17

TD Ameritrade® commentary for educational purposes only. Member SIPC.

I am Chief Market Strategist for TD Ameritrade and began my career as a Chicago Board Options Exchange market maker, trading primarily in the S&P 100 and S&P 500 pits. I’ve also worked for ING Bank, Blue Capital and was Managing Director of Option Trading for Van Der Moolen, USA. In 2006, I joined the thinkorswim Group, which was eventually acquired by TD Ameritrade. I am a 30-year trading veteran and a regular CNBC guest, as well as a member of the Board of Directors at NYSE ARCA and a member of the Arbitration Committee at the CBOE. My licenses include the 3, 4, 7, 24 and 66.

Source: How’s the Consumer Doing? Financial Sector Earnings Next Week Could Help Tell Us

21.3K subscribers
JP Morgan Chase: https://www.zacks.com/stock/quote/JPM… PNC Bank: https://www.zacks.com/stock/quote/PNC… US Bank: https://www.zacks.com/stock/quote/USB… Banks are usually at the front of earnings season and help to set the tone for the rest of the market. However, with a terrible interest rate outlook, can the space still post good profits and give us a positive lead-off for this earnings season? Follow us on StockTwits: http://stocktwits.com/ZacksResearch Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ZacksResearch Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ZacksInvestm…

Why You Should Try a Subscription Model for Your Business (and Some Tips on How to Do It)

Every entrepreneur wants consistent monthly income to fuel their cash flow and business goals. However, between economic cycles and changing customer interests, that regular revenue may be hard to achieve.

I’ve talked with more and more small business owners lately who use a subscription business model. It involves offering monthly subscriptions for various products and services. Options for these subscriptions cover all kinds of items. Maybe you know someone who receives a subscription box filled with clothing or makeup. Perhaps you’ve tried making meals prepared by Blue Apron or you receive shaving supplies from Dollar Shave Club. Millions of people enjoy Netflix and Spotify for streaming. Other companies offer toys for kids and treat boxes for pets.

The subscription e-commerce industry generates hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue each year. A 2018 McKinsey survey noted that nearly 60 percent of American consumers surveyed had multiple subscriptions. The monthly subscription economy doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. People love the time and money they save, as well as the excitement of personalization and convenience.

Besides attracting and retaining customers who want these benefits, there’s a significant advantage for subscription companies: recurring revenue. Instead of a one-time payment, monthly subscription businesses collect a monthly fee (or sometimes a year of fees in exchange for a lower monthly rate) before sending out the product or service.

This revenue model provides an upfront spike in cash flow along with a longer-term outlook for stable income. Moreover, you’ll get a better sense of product volume for inventory planning and management.

There is no time like the present to start a monthly subscription business to ride the lucrative wave. Here’s how to launch:

Decide on a subscription model type.

There are three main sub-models that can frame your monthly business within the subscription model. The curation model involves creating a personalized box for customers based on interests they share when they sign up. This might include sample-size versions of products related to a hobby or lifestyle.

The replenishment model is the one I use most often. It offers a regular stream of products the customer uses. For example, Amazon offers this under the name, “Subscribe and Save,” for many food items, cleaning supplies, vitamins, and more.

The access model provides a feeling of exclusivity for customers who get products and experiences not available to anyone without a subscription. Again, let’s reference Amazon. Its Prime program gives members special discounts, offers, and products not accessible to non-Prime members.

Consider a service-oriented subscription model.

You may be wondering how to find your niche. Consider a service-oriented skill set you have that could fit this approach. For example, if you specialize in graphic design, web development, or writing, consider this model for your monthly business.

In contrast to a monthly retainer model, a service-based subscription model provides upfront revenue while giving clients the opportunity to select a pricing tier with accompanying services that fit their needs.

Proceed like any business startup.

I’ve met many a startup founder that didn’t do the basics. Make sure you conduct research, determine a market need or interest, think about what the new product looks like, scope out any competition, and establish pricing.

Create a business plan that outlines your monthly business model, marketing plans, launch timeline, budget, and profitability forecast. Explore technology that helps automate the ordering, processing, and payment aspects of your subscription. I know entrepreneurs who use SaaS companies like Zuora or Zoho here. Also, study how other subscription brands have used marketing tools and platforms to launch and grow their business.

When you are ready to share your subscription business with your audience, consider a no-obligation trial. This entices people to try it on their terms and get excited to sign up for a longer period. In addition, make sure your website or social media promotion has a transparent subscription pricing guide that describes what customers receive at each pricing tier.

Taking all these steps prior to launch can set your monthly subscription business up for success. You want to know that you can attract customers and then deliver an exceptional experience so they maintain their subscriptions and spread the word.

Offer a recurring automatic payment method.

As part of establishing a successful subscription business, it’s ideal to offer old and new customers a way to select recurring automatic payments for their monthly subscription service. They can choose where to deduct the money from — a bank account or credit card.

This model works because it saves them from having to remember to make a payment each month. Instead, they can set up a payment method and comfortably receive the service on a regular basis.

By: John Boitnott

Source: Why You Should Try a Subscription Model for Your Business (and Some Tips on How to Do It)

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For more info: http://smarturl.it/COBS-YT Could doubling or tripling your revenue this year be a reality? Are you serious about growing your business and maximizing its success? Business growth is extremely teachable and you can “Clone” success strategies and tactics as easily as it is to learn a recipe and bake a cake! The Cloning of Business Success is a one-of-a-kind, live hands on business event where you will be guided through a proven process for creating the specific blueprint to dramatically increase your revenue and profits in the next 6-12 months. I realize this is a bold claim, but the truth is, there are a few key things that (when done right), will have an immediate positive impact on your business’ revenue. I know this to be true because I’ve done it may times myself and have shown thousands of small business owners all over the world how to do it for themselves. Now, it’s your turn. For more info: http://smarturl.it/COBS-YT Subscribe To My Channel: http://www.youtube.com/subscription_c… Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/johnassarafpage http://www.facebook.com/PraxisNowLLC Twitter: http://twitter.com/johnassaraf http://twitter.com/PraxisNowLLC Website: http://www.johnassaraf.com http://www.praxisnow.com

ONEX Is Coming Back & Its Actually Perfect For Investing

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Founded in 1984, ONEX invests and manages capital on behalf of his shareholders, institutional investors and high net worth clients from around the world. ONEX platform include: ONEX Partners, private equity funds focused on larger opportunities in North America and Europe, ONCAP, private equity funds focused on middle market and smaller opportunities in North America, ONEX credit, which manages primarily non-investment grade debt through collateralize loan obligations, private debt and other credit strategies and Gluskin Sheff’s actively managed public equity and public credit funds.

In total ONEX assets under management today are approximately $39 Billion, of which approximately $6.9 Billion is their shareholder’s capital. With offices in Toronto, New York , New Jersey & London, ONEX is experienced management teams are collectively the largest investors across ONEX platforms.

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ONEX main task is to increase customer profits. In trading, ONEX use automated bots, the latest strategies and approaches for working on each exchange, this ensures the declared high income. Safety is ONEX top priority. In every decision make, ONEX is supervised by security concerns. They use the most reliable and effective technologies available to ensure the safety of investors funds.

The investor has the right to:

  • 1. Produce awareness of others in order to attract them to participate in ONEX Financial Corporation;
  • 2. Create sites and post information about the company;
  • 3. Send to Administration comments or feedback to improve ONEX services;
  • 4. Require ONEX Financial Corporation fulfillment of the conditions of ONEX agreements

The ONEX Financial Corporation team has specifically designed smart, high-return investment packages. Each package has its own life and type of charges. Be careful when choosing an investment rate. Those who believe in us will be satisfied and get a good profit. For us, the most important thing is the loyalty of our customers, therefore ONEX Financial Corporation always tries to take into account the general situation in the cryptocurrency market, this allows us to consistently increase the company’s profits, and earn not only an increase but also a decrease in the market.

Source: https://onexfinancial.com

Cisco, Tilray, Aurora Cannabis, Alibaba, Trade Talks – 5 Things You Must Know

Here are five things you must know for Wednesday, May 15:

1. — Stock Futures Lower Amid Subsiding Trade War Worries

U.S. stock futures were lower Wednesday though sentiment was lifted by a softening of the rhetoric from Donald Trump in the U.S.-China trade war and suggestions that talks could resume in the coming weeks.

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Markets also were soothed by weaker-than-expected economic data from China that pointed to not only slowing growth in the world’s second-largest economy but also a weakening bargaining position in Beijing’s trade standoff with Washington.

With Trumps describing the dispute with China as “a little squabble” on Tuesday, as well as confirmation from the U.S. Treasury that Secretary Steven Mnuchin will soon travel to Beijing to resume trade talks, markets were happy to add risk following Tuesday’s gains on Wall Street.

Contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 85 points, futures for the S&P 500 declined 8.70 points, and Nasdaq futures were down 23 points.

The economic calendar in the U.S. Wednesday includes Retail Sales for April at 8:30 a.m. ET, the Empire State Manufacturing Survey for May at 8:30 a.m., Industrial Production for April at 9:15 a.m., and Oil Inventories for the week ended May 10 at 10:30 a.m.

2. — Cisco, Alibaba and Macy’s Report Earnings Wednesday

Alibaba Group Holding (BABAGet Report)  posted stronger-than-expected fiscal fourth-quarter earnings as consumer growth on its online marketplace surged and its tie-up with Starbucks (SBUXGet Report) , the world’s biggest coffee chain, helped boost revenue and its cloud computing sales surged.

Macy’s (MGet Report)  earned 44 cents a share on an adjusted basis in the first quarter, higher than estimates of 33 cents. Same-store sales rose 0.7% in the quarter vs. estimates that called for a decline of 0.6%.

Earnings reports are also expected Wednesday from Cisco Systems (CSCOGet Report) and Jack in the Box (JACKGet Report) .

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3. — Tilray Rises After Revenue Beat, Aurora Cannabis Slumps

Tilray  (TLRY) shares were rising 4% to $50.71 in premarket trading Wednesday after the Canadian cannabis company posted stronger-than-expected first-quarter sales, while its domestic rival Aurora Cannabis (ACBGet Report) slumped after revenue missed analysts’ forecasts amid caps on retail store growth in the Canadian market.

Tilray said first-quarter revenue rose 195% from a year earlier to $23 million, as sales in Canada surged following the country’s decision to legalize cannabis for recreational use. The adjusted loss in the quarter was 27 cents a share, wider than analysts’ estimates, after a 5.7% drop in the average price per kilogram sold.

CEO Brendan Kennedy also said Tilray was looking to further its partnerships with U.S. and international companies as the potential $150 billion global market for cannabis undergoes a generational change in both regulation and consumer acceptance.

“We’ve been inundated with contacts from Fortune 500 companies who are interested in exploring partnerships with Tilray,” Kennedy told investors on a conference call late Tuesday. “And it’s a range of companies from a broad variety of industries.”

“We’re also starting to have conversations with U.S. retailers who are interested in carrying CBD product in the second half of this year,” he added.

Aurora Cannabis, meanwhile, was tumbling 4.7% to $7.99 in premarket trading after its fiscal third-quarter revenue of C$75.2 million missed Wall Street forecasts of C$77.2 million and consumer cannabis sales were just under C$30 million as provincial regulators limited the number of retail outlets.

The company reported a loss attributable to shareholders in the quarter of $C158 million said Aurora Cannabis said it was “well positioned to achieve positive EBITDA beginning in fiscal Q4.”

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4. — Walmart Considering IPO for U.K. Unit Asda

Walmart (WMTGet Report) is considering an initial public offering for its U.K. grocery subsidiary Asda, a listing that that could value the company at as much as an estimated 8.5 billion pounds ($11 billion), Bloomberg reported.

The news comes just weeks after U.K. antitrust regulators blocked a planned merger between Asda, Britain’s fourth-largest supermarket, and rival J Sainsbury.

“While we are not rushing into anything, I want you to know that we are seriously considering a path to an IPO,” Judith McKenna, the company’s international chief, told employees at an event in Leeds, according to a summary of the event provided by Asda. Any preparations for going public would “take years,” she said, Bloomberg reported.

5. — Nelson Peltz’s Trian May Wage Activist Campaign at Legg Mason – Report

Nelson Peltz’s Trian Fund Management may wage an activist campaign at Legg Mason (LMGet Report) and push the mutual fund company to improve its flagging results, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

It would be the second time in 10 years that Trian has targeted the mutual fund company, according to Reuters.

Trian recently has held discussions with Legg Mason about the need to cut costs and improve profit margins, the people told the Journal. The two sides may still negotiate a settlement that sidesteps a proxy fight, the sources added.

On a conference call with analysts Monday, Legg Mason CEO Joseph Sullivan said the company was moving to slash expenses.

“While there is much work to be done, we now have increased visibility into and have gained even greater confidence in our ability to deliver $100 million or more of annual savings now within two years,” he said.

By:

 

Source: Cisco, Tilray, Aurora Cannabis, Alibaba, Trade Talks – 5 Things You Must Know

Crypto Investment App Abra to Restrict Service for US Users Over Regulatory Uncertainty

Cryptocurrency investment app Abra has revealed it’s set to restrict services for users in the United States over continued regulatory uncertainty.

According to a blog post the company published. It’ll adjust its offering in the country in an effort to “continue to be compliant and cooperative with US regulations as they currently exist.” This means Abra users in the US will see the firm restrict its services.

The blog post reads:

As a part of this effort we are migrating any synthetic assets to a native hosted wallet solution. On Abra, these are defined as anything other than Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).

As such, users in the US will no longer be able to hold QTUM, bitcoin gold (BTG), Status (SNT) and OmiseGO (OMG) on the platform after August 29. Those who have positions in these cryptocurrencies are advised to withdraw their funds before said date, as any remaining balances will be automatically converted to BTC.

Those in New York will be more affected than others, as they will no longer to able to use wire transfers, bank Automated Clearing House (ACH), Or American Express cards to deposit and withdraw funds from Abra’s app.

Users outside of the country will reportedly not be affected by the changes. The move comes months after Abra launched a service that allows users to gain exposure to some of the most popular stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the world using bitcoin.

The service also allows users to gain exposure to indexes like the S&P 500 and the Russell 2000. This won’t, however, give them ownership of the assets themselves, meaning those who use the app to invest won’t, for example, receive dividends from stocks.

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