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Blue Chip

Brace yourself India – Walmart and Amazon are coming!

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Everyone wants to get into India… Walmart spent billions to do it, and now Amazon is following suit. Amazon is going to buy a 49% stake in More, a booming Indian supermarket. The other 51% of More will stay with the Indian private equity firm Samara Capital. The supermarket has over 540 stores across India.

 

Customers will get more… because Amazon is getting More. The tech giant will address customer needs by providing the groceries they want. Amazon also bought a small stake in Shoppers Stop, an Indian fashion retailer. However, Amazon’s investment in More marks the company’s most significant brick-and-mortar move in the country to date.

 

Walmart invested in… Flipkart to the tune of $16 billion and a 77% stake. Walmart will be killing it in Indian e-commerce no doubt. However, Indians, like Americans, still like to buy groceries in-store. Amazon hopes that More customers will continue to buy groceries in-store…

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Fang

To heck with your ‘Gmail’ privacy!

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Gee, thanks Google… for allowing and defending third-party apps scanning our Gmail accounts. Gmail has over 1.4 billion users, and the platform enables third-party users, such as trip planners and “customer relationship management systems” to integrate themselves right in. These third-parties can use your data as long as they are transparent about how they are using it.

 

Just last year… Google stopped scanning accounts for advertising purposes. If it makes you feel any better, Google has made its privacy policy “easily accessible” to users deciding whether or not to grant access. And if third parties aren’t transparent, Google supposedly removes them before they do any harm.

 

Google says… that third party users must undergo a review process before accessing your account. This process includes an automated and manual review of the developer, app testing, and an assessment of the company’s privacy policy.

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Blue Chip

Getting real clients is proving difficult for Wells Fargo

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We hope you don’t work at Wells Fargo… because the company is planning to cut up to 26,500 jobs over the next three years. We guess there are less fake accounts to service? Just kidding. However, the rise of online banking and the legal bills resulting from those fictitious accounts are putting pressure on the bank.

 

You won’t have a job… but according to CEO Tim Sloan, you will be treated with respect, so there’s that. Legal troubles for Wells Fargo are proving costly and have cut into profit margins in a significant way. The hefty fines are one thing, but added scrutiny has also increased compliance and marketing costs. Last quarter, things like profit, loans, deposits, and revenue (you know, everything important) were down; however, expenses continued to rise.

 

Banks have been shutting down… and Wells Fargo will be joining those banks by dropping another 800 branches by 2020. The company will also be selling all branches in Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio. The third-largest bank in America is in a bit of trouble, to say the least…

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Miscellaneous

The do-it-all app that can make YOU money

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This app can handle everything… it’s called Meituan, and you can use it to make lunch reservations, buy movie tickets, book vacations, and call for car rides. Sounds good, right? If you haven’t heard about this app, it is because it is brought to you by Chinese tech company Meituan Dianping. However, with 300 million users plenty of people have already heard…

 

They killed it in the IPO… with shares of the company ending up 5% on the day. The IPO along with the one-day gains give the stock a market value of $50 billion. The company earned $4.2 billion from the IPO itself which was at the top of its target price.

 

People love their phones… and this app is capitalizing on that fact. The company was formed in 2015 when Meituan and Dianping merged – the two companies are China’s equivalent of Groupon and Yelp, respectively. The company’s biggest investors include Google and Tencent. Meituan Dianping will be using their windfall to improve tech, develop new offerings, and invest in the future. And with $4.2B they should be able to do just that…

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Blue Chip

Don’t FORGET your credit cards…

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Square, PayPal, and Venmo… that’s how the kids are paying these days, right? Not entirely…or at least not according to the share prices of AmEx, Visa, and Mastercard. AmEx is up 10%, Visa is up 30%, and last but not least, MasterCard is up 45% on the year. And surprisingly, Visa and MasterCard actually rallied after settling their $6.2 billion “mistake.” These guys just can’t lose…

 

The future of money… WILL includes AmEx, Visa, and Mastercard because all three companies are investing in it. For example, Visa is one of the biggest shareholders in Square and AmEx and Mastercard both are investing in other forms of fintech. Also, traditional credit cards are still thriving in Spain, Italy, Poland, and many other countries, for that matter.

 

And all the money Americans are spending… doesn’t hurt either. In fact, Wall Street is forecasting for all three credit card companies to see significant sales growth this year. So don’t forget your credit card at the market and don’t forget to get your credit card stocks on the market!

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Miscellaneous

John Hancock: Save MONEY by getting your @$$ in shape!

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Giving discounts for exercise… and other healthy habits is what John Hancock is giving its life insurance customers. That’s right – all life insurance policies through the company will come with a free version of its wellness program called Vitality. With the program, customers can log their fitness and health data and get discounts at places like Amazon and can receive up to 15% off annual premiums.

 

You see the goal here… is to get people healthier and living longer so that they don’t have to pay up when you drop dead of a heart attack at 30. And while you’re still kickin’, the company gets loads of free data on you and can build better relationships with customers.

 

About 40% of people are doing it… and the other 60% couldn’t be bothered. However, the ones that are doing it check in on Vitality an average of 40 times per month. The new program aims to engage policyholders and attract younger ones who don’t think they need life insurance. We know you, in particular, are invincible – but maybe you should consider life insurance…you know, just for fun.

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Blue Chip

Sony PlayStation: Your childhood is coming BACK!

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This announcement is a blast from the past… because Sony is planning to release a revamped version of the PlayStation and it will be called PlayStation Classic. The system will be released on December 3rd and will cost you $99.99.

 

The differences… first off, the console will be about half the size of the original. Also, there will be no discs; instead the system will come with 20 pre-loaded games which include “Final Fantasy VII” and Tekken 3.” Sony will announce the other games at a later date.

 

It worked for Nintendo… who released the NES Classic, a remake of the original Nintendo system from the 1980s. The system sold over 2 million retro devices in just five months. Nintendo also released the Super Nintendo Classic Edition which sold over 4 million devices. And honestly, the PlayStation may do just as well, if not better, given the 90s kids desire for nostalgia…and their overall childhood back.

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International

China is an independent country and doesn’t need no America

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No more foreign tech… because Alibaba, China’s largest tech company is planning to develop artificial intelligence chips and use them for cloud computing, internet-connect devices, and many other things. According to the company’s chief technology officer, Alibaba’s advantages in algorithms and data give the company an edge in chip-making.

 

Here’s what Jack Ma thinks… America rules the market for chips, and that needs to end. If America stops selling chips to China, then what? This lack of diversification is the reason why Jack Ma is advocating for home-grown technology. You can’t fault the logic because the US Commerce Department just stopped American companies from selling parts to ZTE, a Chinese tech company (although both parties have made up since).

 

Let ZTE be a wake-up call… because relying too heavily on foreign technology, or probably foreign anything, can put you in a vulnerable position. However, that is easier said than done and China has some catching up to do. But hey – just how hard can making super high-tech artificial intelligence chips be….

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Miscellaneous

It’s September – who’s ready for CHRISTMAS!?!

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Retailers have holiday plans of their own… and that is to hire as many workers as humanly possible. The Gap plans to hire 65,000 seasonal workers, Target will try to snag 120,000 workers, and Macy’s is looking for 80,000. And to deliver your Christmas presents, UPS will be hiring 100,000 workers and FedEx 55,000 workers.

 

That should be easy… NOT. Unemployment is already under 4%, and wages are climbing fast. Oh, and since most people already have jobs, this holiday season is poised to be HUGE because everyone has money to blow. It is estimated that retail sales will hit $720 billion this year, up 4% compared to last year.

 

Here’s the job outlook… 6.9 million jobs were open in July, and the number of unfilled retail positions were up by 100,000 compared to last year. Kohl’s started hiring for Christmas this past JUNE and JCPenney began in JULY. So those other companies looking to recruit an army of season workers better get on it and fast. We heard Gap is giving a generous 50% discount on full-priced Gap, Banana Republic, and Old Navy clothing – any takers?

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Miscellaneous

Yusaku Maezawa is the most interesting man in the world…

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The Japanese billionaire… goes by Yusaku Maezawa and is a rock star turned fashion entrepreneur. Now, not only is Maezawa a fashion mogul, but he is set to become the first-ever “moon tourist.” SpaceX just announced that Maezawa has a seat aboard the Big Falcon Rocket to take a trip around the moon as soon as 2023.

 

How he got so effing rich… Maezawa decided to skip college (because who needs it?) and follow his then-girlfriend to the United States. In the US, Maezawa started collecting CDs and vinyl records and eventually, went into the business of selling CDs and vinyls by mail from Japan after returning in 1995. In 1998, Maezawa launched Start Today; a mail-order music business. Eventually, Start Today started selling clothing, and it was such a hit, the fashion arm of the company was spun off into Zozotown.

 

Zozotown was so good… that Vogue even dubbed it ‘a cross between Net-a-Porter and Amazon.’ And unlike other CEO billionaires in Japan, Maezawa doesn’t wear suits and likes to have fun – he even delivered his company’s yearly results dressed as a mushroom. And nowadays, this guy runs a company, collects art, and apparently, flies around the moon. I think we all need to be a little more like Yusaku Maezawa.

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