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  • Ultimate Sustainable Dividend Portfolio - September 2012 Update [View article]
    Interesting list. I am curious about the title of Ultimate Sustainable Dividend Portfolio though. You must mean that the dividends will be available for a long time as opposed to companies who are focused on lowering CO2 and resource use and driving innovation and employee engagement through their core strategy. Or do you mean that as well? And, how do you quantify "sustainable" with regard to the long term availability of the dividends? It would seem that this metric is directly correlated with the company's ability to remain stable given the dramatic shifts occurring in global business today.
    Sep 13, 2012. 03:47 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Mobile Payments Will Never Take Off [View article]
    Thank you, Felix, for your thoughtful article on mobile payments. You bring up some interesting points about human behavior and how we are slow to change. You point out the empesa model from Kenya as being very popular, but expensive. Considering that most Kenyan's have no power, sanitation or banking structures in place and most make paltry incomes, the empesa gives millions of Kenyans the ability to actually engage in commerce and move money around quickly and easily. It is not perfect, but clearly it works and it is growing.

    Your article also highlights Square Wallet, Clinkle, and LevelUp, which are new entrants into the mobile payment space. I agree that these models are interesting, but may not ultimately change the way humans behave.

    The mobile payment application I use all the time is my Starbucks app on my phone. I can easily reload the credit balance using my saved credit card information and then pay using my phone, which I usually carry in my pocket. In fact it is much faster than putting my purse on the counter, dragging my wallet out and handing the clerk my debit card. Also, I earn rewards and discounts via the same application. Using this mobile payment system revolutionized my thinking. Now when I go to Safeway and buy my weekly groceries, I pull out my smart phone and tell them they need to grow their app to enable me to pay for my groceries with it. The weekly specials are already on it, so adding the payment option is the next logical step.

    I think the future of mobile payments is very bright and as more retailers figure out how to combine their reward programs with the payment method in an easy to use application, people will clammer to change their habits.
    Jul 4, 2013. 10:35 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Chipotle's Food Costs Could Weigh On Earnings As Restaurant Expansion Continues [View article]
    You mention the increased cost of raw materials (33.5% vs 32.6%) and that higher consumer prices will offset these costs. This is surely true, but is a bandaid solution, at best. I would ask how long Chipotle can raise prices before they price themselves out of their own market. If I were an investor, I would ask Chipotle what they are doing to manage those increased prices in raw materials. Deeper relationships with suppliers? Increasing efficiency in their supply chain to mitigate some of the increased price? Working directly with agricultural producers to ensure that growing, harvesting and distribution methods are more efficient?

    The solution is a combination of intelligence for both Chipotle and the shareholder, otherwise the shareholder will flee when the stock begins to slide.
    Feb 5, 2013. 07:15 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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