Dow Plunged 1,000 Points This Week After Reddit Traders Stormed The Stock Market–What Happens Next?

Despite blowout corporate earnings and more solid news on the vaccine front, the stock market just posted its worst weekly performance in three months after Reddit traders squeezed Wall Street’s elite out of billions of dollars, sending prices of heavily shorted stocks up to atmospheric new highs and fueling concerns over market frothiness–but experts seem in broad agreement that the bull market can rage on. 

Key Facts

Investor sentiment took a massive hit over the “relentless option buying by retail investors taking advantage of a structural weakness in market,” Oanda Senior Market Analyst Edward Moya said Friday, noting that the Dow’s 1,000-point plunge this week was the index’s worst weekly loss since election uncertainty tanked sentiment in late October. 

“The market is not broken, but recent events have revealed some cracks,” says Commonwealth Financial Network Chief Investment Officer Brad McMillan, who thinks one likely result of the week’s frenzy could be that the price of options–which helped fuel some of the outsized meme-stock demand–rise to help curb “price hacking” in the future.

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McMillan eschews concerns from other experts that the Reddit-fueled price mania could be a sign the market is in the middle of a bubble akin to the dot-com era in the late 1990s, but he says “crackdown” by regulators is likely.

The big question surrounding the week’s short squeeze remains around how regulators–and prosecutors–will respond to the volatility, with lawmakers urging the SEC to act quickly on investigations into potential market manipulation by retail traders, brokerages and hedge funds alike. 

Like McMillan, LPL Financial Chief Market Strategist Ryan Detrick is also adamant that the week’s events are not indicative of a market bubble or impending correction, though he concedes recent events point to “excessive optimism in certain segments of the equity markets,” particularly in big-cap names losing capital from institutions covering shorts at sizable losses.

“Don’t forget, overall market breadth is extremely healthy, and the credit markets are functioning just fine—we don’t see a repeat of 1999 like some are claiming,” says Detrick.

Crucial Quote 

“The damage this week is real, but it is also part of the game: Hedge funds and banks routinely make mistakes and suffer for it, and traders losing money is not a sign that the system is broken,” says McMillan. “Another source of worry is that somehow markets have become less reliable because of the price surges–perhaps so, but the dot-com boom didn’t destroy the capital markets, and the distortions were much greater then than now.”

Surprising Fact

Meme stocks GameStop and AMC skyrocketed 400% and 275%, respectively, this week, while the Dow, S&P 500 and tech-heavy Nasdaq all fell about 3%.

What We Don’t Know

How long the retail trading frenzy may continue. Meme stocks largely surged Friday, and Erlam says “a solution for this entire market dislocation will take time, which suggests this insane trading will continue a little while longer.”

Key Background

The bull market rallied to new highs earlier this month in light of fiscal stimulus expectations, vaccine optimism and corporate earnings that keep surpassing expectations. Democrats this week have indicated they’ll move forward with stimulus even if they can’t muster up much Republican support, and–though disappointing–Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine candidate results mean another vaccine could reach the market soon, notes Vital Knowledge Media Founder Adam Crisafulli. Meanwhile, big firms like Apple, Microsoft and Tesla all smashed earnings expectations this week.

 

What To Watch For

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has asked the SEC to respond to a list of questions about its GameStop response by February 5. That includes details over whether Reddit traders, hedge funds and brokerages may have influenced the market. With regards to the Reddit crowd, veteran trader Richard Smith, who heads up the Foundation for the Study of Cycles, said Thursday they could “absolutely” be vulnerable to regulatory scrutiny from a pump-and-dump standpoint, but he says it could be years before the mechanisms behind their market influence are leveled. McMillan, meanwhile, says he sees evidence of the “pump,” but doesn’t believe they’re looking to sell anytime soon.

Further Reading

‘Bubble Fueled By Cynicism’: Meme Stocks Surge Again As Reddit Traders Pile Back In—But Dow Falls 300 Points (Forbes)

The Hedge Fund Genius Who Started GameStop’s 4,800% Rally Now Calls It “Unnatural, Insane, And Dangerous” (Forbes)

Robinhood Raises $1 Billion In Emergency Funds As Platform Struggles With Reddit-Fuelled Trading Surge (Forbes)

Not Just GameStop: Here Are The Meme Stocks WallStreetBets Traders Are Pumping Up During This ‘Extremely Erratic’ Reddit Rally (Forbes)

Warren Demands SEC Response To GameStop Frenzy After It Vows To Protect Retail Traders From ‘Abusive Or Manipulative’ Activity (Forbes) Follow me on Twitter. Send me a secure tip

Jonathan Ponciano

Jonathan Ponciano

I’m a reporter at Forbes focusing on markets and finance. I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where I double-majored in business journalism and economics while working for UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School as a marketing and communications assistant. Before Forbes, I spent a summer reporting on the L.A. private sector for Los Angeles Business Journal and wrote about publicly traded North Carolina companies for NC Business News Wire. Reach out at jponciano@forbes.com.

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Business News 2.8K subscribers Despite blowout corporate earnings and more solid news on the vaccine front, the stock market just posted its worst weekly performance in three months after Reddit traders squeezed Wall Street’s elite out of billions of dollars, sending prices of heavily shorted stocks up to atmospheric new highs and fueling concerns over market frothiness–but experts seem in broad agreement that the bull market can rage on.”The damage this week is real, but it is also part of the game: Hedge funds and banks routinely make mistakes and suffer for it, and traders losing money is not a sign that the system is broken,” says McMillan. “Another source of worry is that somehow markets have become less reliable because of the price surges–perhaps so, but the dot-com boom didn’t destroy the capital markets, and the distortions were much greater then than now.”

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Top Dividend Stocks for January 2021

Dividend stocks are companies that pay out a portion of their earnings to a class of shareholders on a regular basis. These companies usually are well established, with stable earnings and a long track record of distributing some of those earnings back to shareholders. These distributions are known as dividends, and may be paid out in the form of cash or as additional stock. Most dividends are paid out on a quarterly basis, but some are paid out monthly, annually, or even once in the form of a special dividend. While dividend stocks are known for the regularity of their dividend payments, in difficult economic times even those dividends may be cut in order to preserve cash.

One useful measure for investors to gauge the sustainability of a company’s dividend payments is the dividend payout ratio. The ratio is a measure of total dividends divided by net income, which tells investors how much of the company’s net income is being returned to shareholders in the form of dividends versus how much the company is retaining to invest in further growth. If the ratio exceeds 100% or is negative (meaning net income is negative), this indicates the company may be borrowing to pay dividends. In these two cases, the dividends are at a relatively greater risk of being cut.

Below, we look at the top 5 dividend stocks in the Russell 1000 by forward dividend yield, excluding companies with payout ratios that are either negative or in excess of 100%. Each of the dividend stocks listed below significantly underperformed the Russell 1000’s total return over the past 12 months of 19.7%, as of December 21, 2020.1 All data below is as of December 22, 2020.

Lumen Technologies Inc. (LUMN)

  • Forward Dividend Yield: 10.08%
  • Payout Ratio: 86.56%
  • Price: $9.92
  • Market Cap: $10.9 billion
  • 1-Year Total Return: -17.7%1

Lumen Technologies, formerly known as CenturyLink, is an integrated communications company that offers services including local and long-distance voice, broadband, Ethernet, colocation, hosting, data integration, video, network, information technology, and more.

Brookfield Property REIT Inc. (BPYU)

  • Forward Dividend Yield: 8.86%
  • Payout Ratio: 63.63%
  • Price: $15.01
  • Market Cap: $587.3 million
  • 1-Year Total Return: -10.0%1

Brookfield Property is a real estate investment trust (REIT) that owns, develops, builds, manages, and leases various commercial properties. Among the company’s portfolio of properties are restaurants, malls, entertainment facilities, and parking areas. On November 6, the board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.3325 per share on its Class A Stock payable on December 31, 2020, and a quarterly dividend on the 6.375% Series A Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock of $0.39844 per share payable on January 1, 2021.2

New York Community Bancorp Inc. (NYCB)

  • Forward Dividend Yield: 6.65%
  • Payout Ratio: 82.59%
  • Price: $10.22
  • Market Cap: $4.7 billion
  • 1-Year Total Return: -8.3%1

New York Community Bancorp is a holding company with multiple banking subsidiaries, including Queens County Savings Bank, Roosevelt Savings Bank, Atlantic Bank, and others. Through these subsidiaries, New York Community Bancorp offers a full range of banking products and services to businesses and consumers. The company primarily serves customers in the New York City metropolitan area.

Brandywine Realty Trust (BDN)

  • Forward Dividend Yield: 6.50%
  • Payout Ratio: 43.84%
  • Price: $11.69
  • Market Cap: $2.0 billion
  • 1-Year Total Return: -20.2%1

Brandywine Realty Trust is a REIT that owns, manages, leases, acquires, and develops urban, downtown, and suburban office properties primarily on the East Coast and in Texas. Its services include asset management, development and construction, investment, marketing and leasing, and property management. On December 8, the board declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.19 per common share and OP Unit payable on January 20, 2021. The quarterly dividend is equivalent to an annual rate of $0.76 per share.3 

TFS Financial Corp. (TFSL)

  • Forward Dividend Yield: 6.41%
  • Payout Ratio: 66.57%
  • Price: $17.47
  • Market Cap: $4.9 billion
  • 1-Year Total Return: -6.8%1

TFS Financial is a holding company engaged in retail consumer banking, mortgage lending, and similar services through its subsidiaries. The company’s businesses include originating and servicing residential real estate mortgage loans and attracting retail deposits. Its main business is retail consumer banking.

The comments, opinions and analyses expressed herein are for informational purposes only and should not be considered individual investment advice or recommendations to invest in any security or to adopt any investment strategy. While we believe the information provided herein is reliable, we do not warrant its accuracy or completeness. The views and strategies described on our content may not be suitable for all investors.

Because market and economic conditions are subject to rapid change, all comments, opinions, and analyses contained within our content are rendered as of the date of the posting and may change without notice. The material is not intended as a complete analysis of every material fact regarding any country, region, market, industry, investment, or strategy.

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Top 10 Dividend Stocks – January 2021! In this video I show the top 10 stocks in January of 2021 that the thousands of dividend investors on my discord server (https://discord.gg/kkSr5FY) had the opportunity to vote for that they were buying or planning to buy. Then I’ll end this video with a powerful life story that is worth hearing and reflecting on, so I recommend you watch this entire video. Referral Link to M1 ➜ https://m1.finance/AUzJllYh-gGh To get access to my Spreadsheet 2.0 then please sign up as a Patreon Aristocrat or King (and double check my Patreon site to ensure I’m still offering access, as I only have limited seats available). You also get other perks for signing up including the ability to watch my videos on my Discord before I release them to the public, and the ability to vote on what thumbnail I’ll use in some of my future videos, and you gain direct access to me.

Support me & get Patreon perks ➜ https://www.patreon.com/genexdividend… Please join my Dividend Discord chat server: https://discord.gg/kkSr5FY Please use my Amazon Affiliates Link ➜ https://amzn.to/2YLxsiW Thanks! As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. My Dividend Merch Store ➜ https://teespring.com/stores/genexdiv… Donate to St. Jude’s Children Hospital: https://www.stjude.org/donate/donate-… Please LIKE, COMMENT and SUBSCRIBE to support this channel – it helps me immensely! Also, please SHARE this video with your friends 🙂 Thanks, I really appreciate it! Get more great info – Subscribe! ➜ https://www.youtube.com/c/GenExDivide… Share this Video ➜ https://youtu.be/XKyydmdmASg Watch this Video next ➜ https://youtu.be/cvbR0NwiviQ Feel free to ask questions on Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, or here on YouTube. Listen to my videos as Podcasts on iTunes, SoundCloud, Castbox.fm, etc. My Dividend Portfolio on M1 ➜ https://m1.finance/9gGguPKhh Referral Link to M1 ➜ https://m1.finance/AUzJllYh-gGh Instagram ➜ https://www.instagram.com/genexdivide… Reddit ➜ https://www.reddit.com/user/GenXDivid… Twitter ➜ https://twitter.com/GenExDividend Listen to my Videos as Podcasts on iTunes ➜ https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast… Listen to my Videos as Podcasts on SoundCloud ➜ https://soundcloud.com/genexdividendi… Chat with me on my Dividend Discord Server ➜ https://discord.gg/kkSr5FY Investing Books to read (as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases): The Intelligent Investor ➜ https://amzn.to/2WPwgtj One Up on Wall Street ➜ https://amzn.to/2YTDAXt Rich Dad, Poor Dad ➜ https://amzn.to/2SUCwOZ The Richest Man in Babylon ➜ https://amzn.to/2SUHStw A Random Walk Down Wall Street: The Time-Tested Strategy for Successful Investing ➜ https://amzn.to/2YUgjo4 The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing ➜ https://amzn.to/2STECPp Other Books I Like (as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases): Skin in the Game ➜ https://amzn.to/3fD4lFt How to Win Friends and Influence People ➜ https://amzn.to/3dxHI3p The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People ➜ https://amzn.to/2WP86iv The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable ➜ https://amzn.to/3fDXLhM My Recording Gear (as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases): Blue Yeti Microphone – Blackout edition ➜ https://amzn.to/3cm40os Professional Foam Windscreen Cover for Blue Yeti ➜ https://amzn.to/2YVNqYG Boom Mic Stand to Clip Blue Yeti on Desk ➜ https://amzn.to/2WHsBxs Disclaimer: I am not a financial adviser. These videos are for entertainment, inspiration, and educational purposes only. Investing of any kind involves risk. I am only sharing my opinion with no guarantee of gains or losses on investments. Please consult an appropriate adviser and do your own research before making any decisions on anything. I am not responsible or liable for any actions you take. LINKS/ATTRIBUTIONS: https://www.4recruitmentservices.com/…https://thoughtcatalog.com/january-ne…https://www.developgoodhabits.com/ins… MSFT – Microsoft JNJ – Johnson & Johnson AAPL – Apple ABBV – AbbVie T – AT&T 3M – MMM JPM – JP Morgan Chase KO – Coca-Cola O – Realty Income MO — Altria Amazon – AMZN Copyright © 2021 Gen Ex Dividend Investor. All rights reserved.

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How Determining the Dividend Rate Pays off for Investors The dividend is the percentage of a security’s price paid out as dividend income to investors. more

Special Dividend A special dividend is a non-recurring distribution of company assets, usually in the form of cash, to shareholders. more

Dividend Yield Definition The dividend yield is a financial ratio that shows how much a company pays out in dividends each year relative to its stock price. more

Dividend Payout Ratio Definition The dividend payout ratio is the measure of dividends paid out to shareholders relative to the company’s net income. more

Dividend Clientele Dividend clientele refers to a group of shareholders that have a common preference for a company’s dividend policy. more

Dividend Definition A dividend is the distribution of some of a company’s earnings to a class of its shareholders, as determined by the company’s board of directors. more

To Recognize Risks Earlier, Invest in Analytics

You’ve probably heard business leaders justify their flat-footedness in a crisis by claiming that every organization is flying blind in times of deep uncertainty. But in fact some leaders know precisely where they’re going. They understand what’s required to chart a course through market turbulence, and they’ve built organizations with keen situational awareness.

When it comes to developing the ability to figure out where things are heading and respond nimbly to a changing environment, nothing is more important than analytics. Unfortunately, in recent years analytics (also known as data mining or business intelligence) has become the unloved stepchild of data sciences, overshadowed by machine learning and statistics. Those two disciplines layer mathematical sophistication on top of a foundation of human intuition, creating an appealing illusion of objectivity and deft steering. Ironically, of the three, analytics is the most essential competency for navigating crises.

Solutions based on AI and machine learning hum along well during stable times but fall apart when disaster strikes. These technologies automate tasks by extracting patterns from data and turning them into instructions. Such models can quickly become obsolete when the inputs to the system change. Analytics, in contrast, alerts you when the rules of the game are changing. Without that kind of a warning, automation solutions can quickly go off the rails, leaving you exposed to exogenous shocks.

Statistics has a similar shortcoming during a crisis. Statisticians help decision-makers get rigorous answers. But what if they’re asking the wrong questions? While statistical skills are required to test hypotheses, analysts have the acumen to come up with the right hypotheses in the first place. To attempt statistics without analytics, you’d need great confidence in your assumptions—the kind of confidence that’s foolhardy when a crisis pulls the rug out from under you.

Analysts thrive in ambiguity. Their talent is exploration, which makes them particularly good at foreseeing and responding to crises. By searching internal and external data sources for critical information, analysts keep a finger on the pulse of what’s going on. They scan the horizon for trends and formulate questions about what’s behind them. Their job is to inspire executives with thought-provoking yet qualified possibilities. Once the highest-priority hypotheses have been short-listed by leaders, then it’s time to call in a statistician to pressure-test them and separate true insights from red herrings.

During good times, leading organizations build analytics capabilities to strengthen their ability to innovate. Analysts’ ability to find clues to such things as shifting consumer tastes can help firms take advantage of opportunities before less-savvy competitors do. When the going gets tough, however, what looked like a nice-to-have innovation booster turns into a must-have safety net. To be sure, some events are impossible to see in advance—the true black swans—but addressing their fallout is a game best played with open eyes.

Unfortunately, it’s very hard to cobble together a mature analytics department on short notice. The technical skills that allow analysts to guzzle data with lightning speed merely increase the mass of information they encounter. Spotting a gem in it takes something more. Without domain knowledge, business acumen, and strong intuition about the practical value of discoveries—as well as the communication skills to convey them to decision-makers effectively—analysts will struggle to be useful. It takes time for them to learn to judge what’s important in addition to what’s interesting. You can’t expect them to be an instant solution to charting a course through your latest crisis. Instead, see them as an investment in your future nimbleness.

It also takes time to secure access to the promising data sources analysts need. Ideally, business leaders won’t wait for a big disruption to begin building relationships with data vendors, industry partners, and data collection specialists. Bear in mind that in the face of an extreme shock, your historical data sources may become obsolete. If your understanding of the past fails to give you a useful window on tomorrow’s world—perhaps because a pandemic has changed everything—it doesn’t matter how good your information was yesterday. You need new information. After the 2008 financial crash, for example, banks around the world recognized that there might be an advantage to analyzing nontraditional signals of creditworthiness, such as data from supermarket loyalty cards, but not all players were equally positioned to get access to them.

Additionally, your internal data stores may require special processing before analysts can mine them, so it’s worth thinking about hiring supporting data engineers. If analytics is the discipline of making data useful, then data engineering is the discipline of making data usable; it provides behind-the-scenes infrastructure that makes machine logs and colossal data stores compatible with analytics tool kits.

When I began speaking at conferences about the importance of analytics, I found that convincing an audience of its value was the easy part. The mood changed when I explained the catch: Analytics is a time investment. You can’t count on getting something useful out of every foray into a data set. To succeed at exploration, your organization needs a culture of no-strings-attached analytics. As the leader, you are responsible for setting the scope (which data sources should be looked at) and the time frame (“You have two weeks to explore this database”). Then you must ensure that analysts aren’t punished for coming back empty-handed.

During an extreme shock, your historical data sources may become obsolete. Then it doesn’t matter how good your information was yesterday. You need new information.

Once business leaders accept that analytics represents an investment that may not immediately pay off, I hit the next stumbling block: the perception that only a large and technologically sophisticated company such as Alphabet can afford it. This is nonsense. In my experience you’re more likely to find analytics thriving in start-ups than at well-established behemoths.

Start-ups naturally invest in analytics as they try to navigate a new market, with several generalists taking on a share of the exploratory work. Then as the venture grows, the culture changes. Workers are trusted less and made more accountable for return on their efforts, and overzealous management stifles opportunities for analytics to thrive. Analysts hired into this culture rarely get to enjoy the most interesting part of their work—exploration—and instead serve as human search engines and dashboard janitors. Many quit out of frustration as their potential is squandered.

Creating a culture where analytics flourishes takes thoughtful leadership. As organizations grow toward incumbency, only the most visionary will have the courage to nurture a true analytics department and make sure that business leaders have access to it and are influenced by it. Industries that have been burned by a previous crisis — banking is a good example — are especially likely to invest in analytics and apply it to risk management.

Becoming a leader in analytics takes a commitment to trust your analysts and give them space to do their work. Their job, after all, will be to reveal threats that you never even imagined should be on your radar. That sort of work can’t be managed with a stopwatch and a checklist.

Crises such as a pandemic—when no one has the answers, and uncertainty is high—remind us of the importance of asking the right questions. Analytics gives firms an edge in learning and adapting. When the world is suddenly upended, those who can learn the fastest are best positioned to succeed. Smart companies will invest in analytics today to get ahead of whatever is coming tomorrow.

By: Cassie Kozyrkov

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RedRisks

👀 OVERVIEW: On the 3rd June 2020, I presented a live event on Risk Management Fundamentals. This video is an extract of the “Risk Identification” presentation. Due to demand, a future live event rerun is planned and if this appeals to you, please subscribe to the weekly newsletter on the website and I can keep you posted. 🖥 WEBSITE / POST: https://www.redrisks.com/risk-managem… 📧 SUBSCRIBE to my free WEEKLY newsletter: https://www.redrisks.com 🙏 ABOUT THIS YOUTUBE CHANNEL (“RedRisks”): https://youtu.be/AsXUaIACQrA 🔔 PLEASE SUBSCRIBE AND SUPPORT THIS YOUTUBE CHANNEL: If you liked this video, please give me a thumbs up (or a thumbs down – they’re all important). 👪 CONNECT WITH ME: Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sonnigopal/

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6 Stocks Set To Soar In 2021

It’s crystal ball time. Technology and environmental stocks have been the big winners of 2020, but which stocks will skyrocket next year? The enforced digitisation of the world during the pandemic drove the likes of Amazon, Apple, Google and Netflix to new highs, while making household names of companies such as Zoom.

Coronavirus vaccine breakthroughs in November sparked a much-vaunted rotation in market leadership from the “stay at home” play to “the reopening trade”. Many believe this has much further to run, with the potential for missteps along the way around mass vaccination delivery or central bank policy.  

Here are six stocks analysts are backing to shine in the New Year.

Cineworld

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The cinema chain, which has screens across the U.S. and U.K., has been an archetypal business victim of the pandemic. Worst still, it went into the pandemic with $8 billion of net debt, following two highly leveraged acquisitions in recent years. Investors took flight, with the stock collapsing by just over 90% as lockdown was announced.

It has rallied by 122% since November, driven by the vaccine news, plus a fundraising and new $450m debt facility. MORE FOR YOUWhy Huawei’s New Update Is Seriously Bad News For Android UsersWhatsApp Users Suddenly Get This Surprise New Boost From FacebookHuawei’s Striking New Billion-Dollar Gamble Targets Apple, Google (And Tesla)

Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Markets.com, is backing Cineworld as a higher risk reopening trade. “This new debt facility should act as a bridge to get to a point where it can reopen screens in the U.K. and the U.S. and get the cash flow moving in the right direction again,” he said.

Assuming it can reopen its screens fully in May, it has sufficient cash to cover “2021 and beyond”. However, “if there is a stock trading on this vaccine roll-out it’s Cineworld”, he cautioned. 

Tekmar 

Tekmar operates in power and telecommunications infrastructure, delivering systems that protect cables under the sea. It’s a niche area, but fast-growing, with offshore wind projects a big customer.

AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould describes the U.K. micro-cap stock as high risk, given its size, but believes it can deliver for patient, longer-term investors.

Tekmar’s shares have sold off sharply in 2020, down 61.9%, in part down to contract delays that can punish small businesses disproportionately.

But Mould points to the company having net cash of £36 million -against a net asset value of £46 million- cost-cutting, and a new product launch due in 2021.

“Meanwhile, the company’s leading position in the niche of protection systems for subsea cables and pipes offers plenty of scope for upside. There are surely few markets as packed with potential as this one, as the UK prepares to launch its green industrial revolution and throw money at wind power, an area where Tekmar’s skills are likely to be in high demand,” he said.

Vulcan Materials

American building supplier Vulcan Materials has lagged the bounceback in U.S. equities, still trading down 3.8% for the year. Some analysts have highlighted the company’s hefty debt burden, at around three times earnings before interest, depreciation and tax as a red flag to investors.

However, Steve Clayton, head of equity funds at Hargreaves Lansdown, believes Vulcan is solidly positioned to prosper from the expected further financial stimulus under president-elect Joe Biden.

“Vulcan sells building aggregates like gravel and because these are expensive to transport, Vulcan benefit from local monopolies and oligopolies, giving them reliable pricing power in what should be increasingly active markets,”

With the requirement for extensive new housebuilding and infrastructure development in the U.S., he rates the stock a good play for more balanced investors.

IAG

British Airways owner IAG is a classic reopening trade. Its stock was pummelled earlier in the year as flight routes, down just over 74% at their worst in August. Since the November vaccine breakthroughs, IAG’s stock has surged by 80%, but remains 38.5% below where it started the year. 

Wilson said that while the recent rebound has effectively priced in flight routes reopening in 2021, “there could be further upside driven by on the ground improvements to travel”.

“In addition to the roll-out of vaccines, efforts by airlines like BA and airports like Heathrow to find creative solutions to ending quarantine requirements for travellers such as digital health passes will progress and make it easier for travel to take place,” he said. 

Wilson added that he does not expect the airline conglomerate’s shares to return to their pre-pandemic levels next year, as “passenger travel levels are not seen returning to 2019 numbers for some years”. 

“But a steady reopening of the economy and pent-up demand among holidaymakers to get out and travel ought to support earnings recovery in 2021,” he added, making it a good pick for balanced investors.  

Haemonetics

Braintree, Massachusetts-based Haemonetics is a global operator in blood and plasma services and supplies. Clayton said it is a fast-growing field and one in which the company has built a significant presence, operating in 16 different countries.

Haemonetics’ shares have had a relatively pedestrian year, near-halving in the savage March sell-off before going on to claw back two-thirds of those losses. They remain 16.6% down for the year but have likely been overlooked by many investors who were focusing on biotech this year.

Clayton believes the firm is well-positioned to benefit from advances in blood plasma therapies, with the stock a buy for balanced investors.

“Haemonetics leads the world in blood plasma technology and has a new generation of products that should boost profits at the same time as saving customers money,” he said.

“Looking ahead, there are over 750 new therapies that use plasma undergoing trials. As trials turn to product launches, demand looks set to grow for years to come.”

SSE

The U.K. power company, formerly known as Scottish & Southern Energy, is a good play for cautious investors, according to Mould. With stable revenue streams, it is paying a healthy 5.6% dividend with inflation-linked increases planned for the next two years.

But there could be a bit of a hidden growth story in the FTSE 100 stalwart too, he feels.

“SSE’s existing renewables portfolio and growth plans leave it well placed to be in the vanguard of the drive in the UK toward alternative sources of energy, a drive given fresh impetus by the government’s announcement in November of a multi-billion-pound green industrial revolution,” he said.

The value of SSE’s renewable assets was underlined earlier this year when the firm bagged a nice profit selling a stake in a wind project in Dogger Bank that SSE co-owns with Norway’s Equinor to Italian oil major ENI earlier this year.

“That seemed to confirm the clear upward trend in the market value of renewable assets and with oil majors potentially wading in at almost any price given their determination – and need – to reinvent themselves – SSE’s shares could yet offer greater potential for capital appreciation than many investors realise.”

James Phillipps

James Phillipps

I have been writing about wealth, the wealthy and investment for 20 years now. From how the rich amassed their fortunes to the investment strategies they employ to build and grow their assets, and what we can learn from them. But also what they spend it on, because all work and no play would be no fun. I was previously editor of Citywire Wealth Manager for eight years, where I saw first-hand both the good and bad of private client investment management. My goal is to help you identify opportunities while navigating the pitfalls. You can contact me at jamesp.freelance@gmail.com

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GenZ Investor

Top 6 Stocks To BUY For 2021! Best Stocks To BUY NOW! This year is almost over, so investors are looking for stocks they believe will climb higher in 2021. In this video, I go over 6 stocks that I chose from a larger list of companies all expected to grow next year. Get 2 FREE STOCKS On WeBull when you deposit $100 (Worth Up To $1400): https://act.webull.com/k/FegF9ThR1Vio… Subscribe For Daily Stock Videos: https://bit.ly/2ulEGxL Check Out These Other Investing Videos: -TOP Dividend Stocks From Each Sector: https://youtu.be/KnR1u56AYDE -HUGE Dividend Growth Stocks: https://youtu.be/9V8Epc1o62w -BEST DIVIDEND Stocks Under $50: https://youtu.be/f9sn5ABsU9U -VALUE Stocks To BUY NOW: https://youtu.be/XHptXf8yrtE -PASSIVE INCOME Stocks: https://youtu.be/gH7OjqpMAU8 Always do your own research and speak with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions! I am not a financial advisor and I am not making any investment recommendations. These videos are for entertainment purposes only!

Market Alignment With Segmentation and Differentiation

This is the second in an exclusive series of articles from Total Alignment authors Riaz Khadem and Linda Khadem titled “The Alignment Factor.” Check back in every Thursday for new installments. 

Businesses small and large are being impacted by the pandemic, and entrepreneurs are not immune. In order to survive and prosper during these difficult times, it might be necessary to reinvest in your business concept and redesign your offerings.

As a successful entrepreneur, you have been aligned with your market, but are you still aligned? Do your customers need the same things as before, with the same mode of delivery? For example, imagine a previously successful restaurant that has lost its customers during the pandemic. Does the owner truly understand the current needs of his customers beyond the menu it used to offer or the ambiance it had created before? 

Related: The Alignment Factor’: The Keys to Internal Alignment

What Is Market Segmentation?

In a nutshell, it’s grouping heterogenous people into homogeneous groups, or segments, by some criteria related to their needs. By defining a segment and focusing on the needs of that segment, and aligning products or services with those needs, you have taken steps toward market alignment. The key characteristics of a market segment could be similar customer needs or preferences. In a company with multiple locations, a segment will likely account for geography, demography and choices people make, the type of services they value and the quality they expect. In a smaller company, it could be a subset of these criteria.

Let’s look again at restaurants. Assuming the wearing of masks is a pretty universal requirement, the first pressing issue for owners is how to proceed over the next few months. Should the restaurant continue to offer inside dining? If so, how do you protect the customers? Usually, this is met by distancing the tables farther apart, requiring the servers to wear masks and hopefully the kitchen staff to wear masks and gloves. But what about the substantial number of people who now want to-go meals? Should they be forced to walk into a restaurant where people are eating (obviously without masks) to pick up the food? Or, more conveniently, can the restaurant offer to bring the food to the car? What about payment? Does the customer need to enter the dining room and present his credit card? Or can they pay over the phone or on the website when ordering?

These issues are not unsolvable, yet many restaurants seem unable to adapt. Perhaps it is a rigidity in the way the owners see their establishments and an unwillingness to re-evaluate the new needs of the market segment they were serving. It’s crucial to re-evaluate your customers and perhaps re-segment your market in line with the new reality. Otherwise, precious resources can be wasted on activities that are no longer in alignment. Flexibility and creativity at this juncture can mean the difference between success and failure.

What Is Differentiation?

After re-defining your market segments, you will have to identify what is important to customers in a segment likely to buy your product. Value drivers could be cost, quality, features, safety, buying experience, after-sale support, etc. In a restaurant, they could include the cost of items on the menu, the quality of the food (e.g. organic or not; using meat and poultry and sea food from sources that care for the animals well in a healthy environment), the variety in the menu, safety in the process of acquiring the food and eating, the restaurant experience and treatment received after the service is completed.

For each segment, evaluate the importance to the customers of each appropriatevalue driver on a scale of low to medium to high. For example, quality might be high for a segment while cost is a medium. Safety could be high, and follow-up support could be low. The evaluation should be based on data, not just opinion. You may need to use customer surveys to hear the voice of the customer.

Next, evaluate the same value drivers in terms of how your offering is different from your competitors. For example, is the quality you offer significantly better than your competitors? Is the cost you offer substantially lower than your competitors? Are the features you offer unique to you and unavailable to the customer from other suppliers? As you evaluate your value drivers, you can assign a low, medium or high rating to each. For example, if your value driver is features, and you offer unique features no one else is providing, your differentiation would be high. If everyone offers the same features, then your differentiation is low. Again, the evaluation should be based on data. 

After evaluating your differentiation on each of the value drivers, you have a set of two evaluations for each one: The first is how important the value driver is to the customer in a segment, and the second is the differentiation of that value driver from your competitors. You can plot the two evaluations on a two-dimensional grid, the scale being low, medium and high on both axes

The value drivers that fall in the (High:High) category should become your primary focus, both in terms of the message you send to the customers in that segment and in terms of making absolutely sure that those value drivers are perceived by your customers as you promised — or even better. For example, if quality and safety have been evaluated as (High:High), your resources should be directed toward making sure your customers are aware of your differentiation and that your quality and safety are, in fact, at the highest possible levels.

Strategies for Each Segment

Your market segments don’t all deserves the same attention. You could close out some segments and put your investment into others, especially during these challenging times. As entrepreneurs, you will have a preference based on emotional attachments. This is dangerous, as your pet offering might not be appropriate for all segments. Having re-segmented your market during this pandemic, you are in a position to decide where to put your energies and investment. You will have to choose the segments to grow, those that could stay at the same level of growth and those you should exit.

How do you make such decisions? There are guides in the management literature to help you do this. Essentially, for each segment, you perform a two-fold evaluation: How strong is your segment compared to your strongest competitor in terms of the internal processes that deliver value to the customer? And how attractive is the segment to an investor?

If you are much stronger than your strongest competitor, then your strength in that segment would be high. If you are at the same level as your strongest competitor, your strength would be medium, and if you are weaker than your strongest competitor, your evaluation in that segment would be low.

As for market attractiveness, you will have to evaluate whether the market in a segment is extremely favorable, (considering a set of external criteria) or not. The external criteria could include the size of the market, the growth of the market and the profitability of the market. If the market segment is favorable, then the evaluation for that segment would be high. Otherwise, it could be medium or low. The value of this exercise is that it will enable you to see the relative position of your different segments compared to each other.

The segment with high strength and high market attractiveness (High:High) is the one that deserves your attention the most, and the segment that has low strength and low attractiveness (Low:Low) can be divested unless it provides input into an attractive segment. Other segments will require appropriate strategies based on their evaluation.

Related: The One System That Changes Employees’ Behavior

Strategic Mindset

The strategic mindset we are proposing in this article will help you arrive at a set of strategies appropriate to each of your market segments. To develop a strategy, you need to have identified your market segments, differentiation and the relative position of your segments on the business strength/market attractiveness continuum.

Choosing where to put your time and investment will be key to your survival and growth, enabling you to make sound decisions and use your precious financial and human resources to deliver maximum value to your customers.

By: Riaz Khadem and Linda Khadem Business Strategy Experts

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tutor2u 112K subscribers The STP (segmentation, targeting & positioning) model of marketing is outlined in this revision video. #alevelbusiness#businessrevision#aqabusiness#tutor2ubusiness#alevels#edexcelbusiness#businessalevel

https://www.tutor2u.net/business/reference/market-segmentation

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