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  • An Investor's View - 10/9/2011
    Subject Article - An Operating System for Smart Cities

    The capabilities of the internet have morphed from the simple sharing of basic information to the sharing of more social data with the likes of Facebook and Twitter. Many theorists believe that the next big step for the internet is transmitting data collected as people move about their daily lives. For example, connected buildings can send real time data of people in the building so managers can monitor energy usage. Or wired cars will alert other cars if there was an accident helping reduce congestion and hopefully increase safety.  These “smart cities,” have received a lot of press lately.

    If this is the next big step for the internet, which stocks will benefit?
    Johnson Controls (NYSE:
    JCI) – It’s hard to predict which software, or which application is going to be at the forefront of this adaption. But the one thing that all aspects of this trend have in common is the need to measure the data collected. JCI makes sensors for building efficiencies and automotive manufactures. The company has been around for over 125 years and is a solid financial shape. IBM (NYSE:IBM) – Stemming from the general trend of the growth of the amount of data the internet provides, IBM decided to tackle the analytical side of all that data as their future growth engine. Multiple acquisitions have made them a leader in this space. All the data this trend could provide further advantages for Big Blue. Verizon (NYSE:VZ) -  Well, all the carriers would really benefit as their networks are currently the most efficient method of reaching multiple users. Innovations such as Near Field Communication could hurt the carrier’s advantage but their reach is very limited. Which stocks do you think would benefit? Send me an email
    Tags: JCI, IBM, VZ
    Oct 09 11:40 AM | Link | Comment!
  • An Investor's View - 10/2/2011
    Cloud-Powered Facial Recognition Is Terrifying Carnegie Mellon University has begun testing a mobile app that uses facial recognition software to match faces found in public with the user’s ubiquitous public data found on Facebook and Google. This article is not going to talk about the potential privacy issues relating to this technology but the vast commercial opportunities this software provides. Which stocks would benefit from this technology? Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) for instance would greatly benefit. Why? Well for starters they own the software discussed in the article. Second, they are the premier destination for information on the internet. Maybe the software can be used beyond recognizing faces and can be adjusted to recognize objects. You take a picture of the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia and it immediately recognizes it as such and brings up Google search information on the bell. Cisco System(NASDAQ:CSCO), Rackspace(NYSE:RAX), F5 Networks(NASDAQ:FFIV), EMC(NYSE:EMC) to name a few. This is purely from a hardware side of things. All of this data needs to be stored somewhere. Facebook could be as big of a benefit as Google. Facebook is the face to name (no pun intended). In a very Minority Reportesque event, the software would know that Shawn Robinson visits Chipotle (NYSE:CMG) often, and most likely on Sunday’s (once again ignore the privacy side of things for a moment). Chipotle would want this information and most likely would pay for it to present Shawn with coupons/other information. Who else would benefit from this software? Send me an email
    Oct 02 4:53 PM | Link | Comment!
  • Stocks for Generation Y
    2001 through 2011 has been classified by many financial writers as, “the lost decade,” or in other words, a time period where stocks appreciated about the same as this nation’s desire to watch soccer. For Baby Boomers, this is detrimental to their financial goals because the decades left until retirement are dwindling. An often overlooked group affected by the recent market performance is Generation Y – those that are between the ages of 18-30. A recent survey by MFS Investment Research found that 40% of Generation Y agreed with the statement, “I will never feel comfortable investing in the stock market.” For someone who is fits into this age group and whose stock market fascination was a product of the tech boom of the late 1990’s, this survey is disappointing. While experiencing the tech bubble bursting, the 9/11 attacks, and the recent financial crisis during their financially fragile years, Generation Y has many reasons to be skittish about investing in the market. What needs to be reinforced is that the stock market is a great vehicle for individuals, especially younger individuals, to save and grow their money for the future. Not to mention it provides the satisfaction of owning a piece of a corporation that is creating economic value daily. I have identified a few stocks below that Generation Ys most likely interact with on a daily basis that have proven to weather many economic downturns and are currently trading at bargain levels. Gen Ys should take a look at these stocks for potential investments to facilitate becoming interested in the market. Coca-Cola – (Ticker KO). P/E of 13. This 125 year old company has weathered two world wars, two huge recessions and has become more than a distributor of sugary soft drinks. Their Vitamin Water, Minute Maid and hundreds of other brands are being sold in over 200 hundred countries. International sales account for more than 75% of Coke’s total. Disney  – (Ticker DIS). P/E of 13. Any time you watch ESPN, ABC TV or Pixar and Marvel films you are interacting with Disney. The company has grown itself to a distributor of more than Mickey Mouse and Bambi products. Not to mention the historical business of their theme parks. Search “kids going to Disney” on YouTube and witness the power of Disney’s brand. Microsoft – (Ticker MSFT). P/E of 9. The last few years might have seen Microsoft deploy new products at a slower pace than their rivals but the company still has a dominant market share in operating systems and office products, the lifeblood of productivity for the majority of corporate America. Plus any gamer out there who plays with an XBOX or the highly successful Kinect motion device should notice that Microsoft still has it. Target – (Ticker: TGT). P/E of 11.  The company has done a fantastic job maintaining comparable prices with discounters like Wal-Mart (Ticker: WMT), while maintaining a mid-upper scale image. With the middle class dominating in numbers here in the US, this is a good market to… target (pun intended). There are plenty of other stocks priced at similar bargain levels. Generation Ys can find their own bargains by paying attention to the brands they interact with most often. Pittsburgh based American Eagle (Ticker: AEO) is a good example or GAP (Ticker: GPS), which owns the Banana Republic and Old Navy brands is another. The market sure isn’t riskless, and will continue to provide volatility in the future. But if Generation Y can begin to take small steps, coordinate with a financial professional and become interested in the market, the volatility swings won’t seem as daunting.

    Author’s disclosure – Author currently owns shares of Disney.

    Tags: KO, DIS, MSFT, TGT, AEO, GPS
    Sep 27 9:00 PM | Link | Comment!
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