Welcome back to Close Calls for the week of August 4 through
August 8, 2014. They give you the trend, I give you the
You can't blame the markets for being transfixed by the
massive build-up of Russian troops on the border of Ukraine this
week. The situation is now serious enough to make a brave man
cry, and yes, it is time that even those who don't normally
follow international news need to start paying attention.
Unfortunately, a slew of experts have laid out a very realistic
scenario in which
in the clever guise of delivering humanitarian aid. Here are some
good rundowns of the issue:
I often get foreign news from European sources to avoid the
taint of US partisanship, not there is any real disagreement
about the seriousness of this threat.
And yet I'm in too good a mood to reconsider anything
As I mentioned, my stocks had a particularly good week. My
favorite 3D printer company, Stratasys (
), blew away everyone's expectations, as did the much-maligned
Elon Musk company SolarCity (
), which saw its revenue rise on "unprecedented demand."
), a company the evolution of which I have followed closely, also
had a fantastic quarter, while NVIDIA (
), which I have been long in for years, post a surprise revenue
jump of 30%. You know I'm often humble and self-deprecating in
this section, but how can I do that when the names of my favorite
stocks are the blazing winners in every finance headline? It
would be a lie this week, and I won't do it.
I have described my investment methodology as social trend
analysis, though the word "social" could be replaced by
"economic." This should in no way be confused with the BS
technical analysis technique of drawing meaningless lines on
charts-what I'm doing is attempting to reason out how people will
spend their money differently in the future. Why do I pick stocks
this way? Because it is the only way they can be picked.
Everyone sees the same numbers-they are already priced in. The
only way to get an edge over the market is to spot a spending
trend early, understand it better than the market does, make a
lot of guesses based on that understanding, and be prepared for
many of them to be wrong. If you can do that, chances are you
will go far.
Based on social trend analysis, followed by a lot of guesses,
here are five companies I pronounced terminal this week:
Five stocks that aren't long for this world
And here's what else I had to say:
The success of Michael Kors means nothing for
Is the tablet market crashing?
S&P: Wealth disparity is bad for the
Bully hotel threatens $500 fines for negative
Walgreen won't expatriate to avoid taxes - and
Wall Street is enraged
Six fatal investing mistakes
Yes, monkey stock pickers really do beat fund
managers and the S&P 500
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