- Twitter revenue growth exceeded the market average of 18.6%. Same quarter last year revenues leaped by 97.4%. Growth revenue appears boost the earnings per share.
- This trend suggests performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, Twitter continued to lose money by earning -$0.96 versus -$1.05 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings $0.39 versus -$0.96. I've watched my stock improve within the last year 10.64% since 2013.
- Debt-to-equity ratio of 0.44. Twitter industry is higher than that of the industry average.
- According to some analysts Twitter has underperformed the S&P 500 Index. The stock selling for less than others in its industry.
Twitter has jumped beyond Yahoo as third advertising on-line giant. Google and Facebook are number one. Twitter has become competitive in the market place.
Molly was left alone in the house with no one to pet her on a regular basis. Neighbors and friends came to feed her but when we decided to watch her for awhile, she wrapped herself around our legs in our car and there was an immediate bond. Molly is an older cat who has the best manners of any cat we have taken in. She eats neatly around her bowl without spreading food everywhere. She goes in her litter box without spraying cat litter all over the floor. We never really have clean up too much after Molly. Our arrangement though is only temporary because we travel so much. We have to return her to her southern home for a few months out of the year, but in the meantime, she has a lot of care. To watch her inspect our living space, keep a watchful eye on us while relaxing on the couch we know she has adopted us.Cats adopt you. Molly is comfortable with us enough that my wife can place drops in her ears to fight an ear inflection. Though she growls (yes this cat growls) she just loves the attention. I brush her daily and she lays back and her tails just moves all over the place from the excitement.
We took her to the vet for her checkup and for an older cat she's in great shape. She had fleas we applied medicine once a month. She has an ear inflection, got her shots and she returns to vet this month for booster shots.
Molly travels well and there a lot of pet friendly hotel. If we need to go on a short trip we can take her with us. When we travelled from her home in the south to the north in slight cooler temperatures, sleeping a few days in hotels, Molly took it well. She went in her litter box ate her food from her dishes and climb in our beds.
Molly claims my wife as her own sleeping partner. These days I have to share my wife with Molly. It's a loving relationship.
Our Jeep had manifold issues and my wife was considering purchasing a new car after we were hit with $750 repair bill. The Jeep 2009 Patriot had over 129,000 miles. We travel all over the country so we rack up the miles. We kept up on the maintenance. How did we negotiate the best deal?
1. Start with cash
If you have cash handy or as much cash for down payment start with cash. My wife is the negotiator so the price on the Honda 2013 was $19,000. It had 23,0000 miles on it. We wanted to walk out of the door with car for $15,000 everything included. We wanted a $5,000 trade in value for our Jeep. We kept telling the salesman we were going to pay cash for the car.
This cash we comes from savings, investments. We had budgeted for a new car.
2. Take a high trade-in value
Car salespeople are the best negotiators in the world. They know how much the cars are worth and what their markup is. However, they don't want used cars or large inventory on the lot. The power you have is they have to move vehicles.
We felt our Jeep was worth $5,000 even though they were offering only $3,000. Since the Honda was a used vehicle they probably took that as trade-in and it had moderate to high markup value on it.
3. Never take the first offer
Make them work for the sale. In most negotiation tactics you never want to make a deal with the person that can't give you the final offer or make the deal. Negotiate with the manager, but usually that person sits in the back room waiting for the salesperson to come through the door.
This is a negotiation tactic. So the tactic we used for our deal was I was extremely uninterested in purchasing a new car. I didn't show up when my wife decided to return to the dealership. We agreed on a price and if they didn't come down to our price, she would walk away.
The salesman returned with a few offers but my wife informed him he had to get close to $15,000 or she had to walk away since I didn't want purchase the car in the first place.
4. Try to avoid the insurance or maintenance agreements
When I was a credit manager for a bank, we were instructed to always offer insurance on our loans. It was pure profit for us. Car dealer's profit from offering maintenance insurance because they usually know that you have your own mechanic that you deal with. The newer the car the newer the manufacturer's warranty is and the less maintenance. A use car maybe riskier but they gives you about 90 days of maintenance free. If there are major problems with the vehicle their mechanic might have spotted that already. They would sell the car as is.
Insurance adds more money to the deal. Try to avoid paying any additional cost once you reached your price for your vehicle.
We walked away spending only $15,000 below book value for 2013 Honda which is around $19,000. We got $5,000 for our trade in and $15,000 was with everything included.
I like to invest like Warren Buffett so I purchased Berkshire Hathaway (BKR-B). When Berkshire purchased Heinz Pittsburghers were concerned about their jobs. There was controlling of expenses. Some manufacturing was moved elsewhere. Now, that Berkshire has purchased Kraft Industries there are concerns. Berkshire and 3G Capital a Brazilian investment firm purchased Kraft and according to several sources, there is a claim that there will be no loss of jobs. However, James Angel, associate professor of finance at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business believes that there will be job losses due to purchase.
My Berkshire stock is performing is great. My return is 23.4% since I purchased the stock in 2013. I got in around $116 and it's selling for $143 currently.
What do I think about Berkshire and Buffett combining the two food giants? These two companies have huge name and brand recognition. Berkshire and 3G Capital purchased Kraft for 28 billion dollars and Kraft stock soared on the market. When Berkshire purchased Heinz the same thing happened to its stock now it sort of dormant. The offices of Heinz will remain in Pittsburgh while Kraft corporate headquarters will remain in Chicago. Both companies will have to appeal to the ever changing taste buds of healthier consumers while dividends will make some investors interested in these companies. Kraft plans on keeping its current dividend structure.
The expect to save $1.6 billion dollars through combine manufacturing efforts. Eight brands have annual sale of $1 billion dollars while five brands have $500 million.
I love Heinz as a consumer not necessarily as an investor and Kraft products are too salty and fat for me. Both brands have slow growth while Heinz is known internationally Kraft struggles in this department. When I travel aboard in South Korea for example, I see Heinz products everywhere not so much Kraft. Kraft doesn't appeal to international taste which will have to change if they want to sell their products aboard.
Driving a rented Harley Davidson toward the Daytona Beach for Bike Week was a thrill. Along the way to our hotel I was flying down the road and looking around and catching glimpses of lakes off roadside, trees leaves moving in the wind and fragrant flower smells that I would never have experienced if I was driving our car.
"The Bettys" allowed me to ride with them. What impressed me about riding with The Bettys that they followed a very safe driving procedures. We were not racing through the back roads and monitored each other along the ride. I had to learn how position my ride along with a group and where I was suppose to be.
The power of Harley put my small 440 Kawasaki to shame. It's have been over 20 some years since traveling across country on motorcycle from Los Angeles to Pennsylvania. Sitting on a Harley passing slower vehicles was as rock solid driving experience while my Kawasaki which would shift from side to side when a truck or any other vehicle passed me.
So why the hair? Well, my wife purchased the hair just to make sure that was fitting in at bike week. This hair was the hit. The Bettys dubbed me "Pretty Betty". Really like the name. Love waving my hair around and getting a lot of stares. A few women whispered to their boyfriends, husbands, "Do you see his hair". At the bike week a lot of people thought it was real. I'm keeping in mint condition for next year.
We shed so much weight that my wife told me I lost my butt. My pants are falling off. I went from a 34 inch waist to less than 31 inch waist. I dropped from 161 pounds to 151. At 151 is the lowest weight I've been in decades. I did loose some muscle, but I lost a lot of fat. What were we doing to loose so much weight?
We got up early and worked around house painting, replacing doors, cleaning up around the house and drinking a lot of water. The temperature in Panama is constant 80-90 degrees so we were sweating so much that we took showers 2-3 times per day.
Our diet in Panama is more fish which we get from the fresh fish market daily. My wife shops at the local farmer's market for fresh vegetables. We are more active, drink moderate amounts of wine and beer, yes I said wine and beer. We are not living at the fast food restaurants or going out to eat that often. Most of our friends come over to our house for dinner and few are vegans.
My wife and I are always amazed on how much weight we drop when we are in Panama. We are more relaxed. Here's what we determined to keep the weight off in the states and the future.
1. Limited eating out and choose better foods.
2. Eat more vegetables
3. Eat more fish
4. Develop way to be more active
5. Buy clothes that match our waist size (get rid of our larger clothes we don't want to go back to that size)
Even Cramer from "The Street" jumped on the bandwagon about Twitter stock today. He asked the question, "Can Twitter stock continue to climb?" Twitter is a leader in the social media investment circle. Facebook has proven his worth by returning over 124% since I've invested in it in 2012.
Can Twitter keep going is the real question. I've watched Twitter continue to surprise the market investment with solid returns. Investors are beginning to believe in this stock and its CEO.
Twitter was up 6% over $51 per share. I'm enjoying the raise finally since purchasing the stock. My return is 13.87% since 2013. Finally, I can tell my wife Twitter was a good investment.
After several years of hitting the pitching circuit in Hollywood, getting agents, pitching before Disney studios, these are the top 3 things I learned.
1. Few People Read Scripts
Producers, Directors, Actors, Studio Executives don't read scripts. No one has time to sit around reading scripts from writers. They hire readers. Usually someone trying to break into the business. A college student out of film school will have the task of sitting all day reading the tons of scripts that come into the office.
When you are writing a script, unless you have agent, you are writing for the reader not for the producers or directors. I have met readers and their task is to reject the majority of scripts that come into the office so that their boss only has to read one or two.
2. Tell Your Story in Five Minutes or Less
Learn how to pitch an idea in less than five minutes. Know your story so well that you can pitch it simply. This skill will come in handy for any salesperson. You meet a producer or director in the elevator. You know him from a small independent film you saw and you pitch them your idea. You got thirty seconds. If they are interested they ask for you to explain your story in more detail. Maybe if you're lucky they ask you to send a ten page synopsis of the story.
Hollywood wants new ideas but they are busy. My first agent I pitched over the phone. He loved the idea and after reading my script we signed a contract.
3. Your Story Has To Better Than Anything They Got
As writers we have to be original. You can't copy a trend from a film you saw this year because most films take three to five years to produce. The trend is already dead. If you are watching a movie and think you want to write something close forget it.
Hollywood has heard so many stories that they are burnt out. Even though Solomon said, "There is nothing new under the sun". You have to supply a new twist to an old idea. Pitch something that is off the wall original and fresh which is the hardest challenge to writers when studios hear pitch ideas by the thousands every month from professional writers, their friends, their relatives, and their family members all trying to crack into the business.
PureFunds ISE Cyber Security ETF (HACK)
Pure Funds has been up since November as high as 17%. It was funded in November. Pure Funds invest in cyberspace companies that develop cyberspace protection for commercial data bases. Companies like J.P. Morgan Chase will spend over $500 million for cyber security this year. Citicorp pushed his budget to $300 million and I believe other entities including the federal government will follow suit. Hacking has become the new form of terrorist and pirating. An ETF like Pure Funds will benefit by all the attention.
What I like about this stock is that it has room to grow. It's one of those trends that hasn't been talked about very much in the media. I'm one of the few writers that follow it and finding information becomes a little challenging which makes me enjoy the stock even more.
Hackers have taken over $1 billion dollars from banks from all over the world since 2013. No bank or any other industries want to admit they have problem protecting your personal data it might be the reason it's being downplayed in the media but it also presents great potential for a savvy investor.
Under Armour (UA)
Under Armour is giving Nike some competition has start up. I was impressed when the research showed that UA double digit increases in stock equity every year. Under Armour sportswear I saw in South Korea and Republic of Panama on my visits. It is closing rapidly on the Nike's market.
Nike still dominates but the opportunity for growth is with the underdog. Since September of last year I saw my stock bloom over 16%. Under Armour year to date has been up 43%.
Where is their market? I have asked people who purchase the product what they like. Under Armour clothes just have better feel they tell me. They look stylist. I have conversations with anyone wearing the brand. One young man I spoke with in Florida not only wears the brand he can get he also invested in company.
Under Armour is going after Nike's youth audiences by sponsoring Notre Dame, Auburn, and Maryland basketball teams. While others are focusing their attention on the Nike I'm watching Under Armour put a few wrinkles in the market waters. I believe in time this will play off in greater stock equity for investors. Some analysts write that UA is a better investment than Nike per capital investment return on your money.
1. Take The Cheapest Maintenance Person Available
Some landlords are so concern about saving money that they make a mistake when they chose to take the cheapest bid. The problem with taking the lowest price could be he quality of the work and dependability of the contractor. Taking a contractor solely based on price the work might not be guaranteed and you might have to hire another contractor to correct it. Compare every bid to same definition of work.
How do you fight this? Check out your contractor before you hire them. Ask for references and go check out their work. I find the landlords that pay rock bottom prices for repairs always have crappy buildings.
My father was general contractor and we would constantly go on jobs to correct work other contractors's mess. Don't make this mistake as a landlord. Get several bids and just don't always look for the cheaper one.
2. Supervise the work
While my wife and I were on vacation we were having work done in our apartment units. It was huge job remodeling the entire three apartments in the building. When we returned from our several weeks of vacation the contractor decided to replace the entire porch. There was nothing wrong with the porch except a few rotten boards. It cost us several thousand dollars.
Contractors no matter who you hire must be supervised. Remember this is your money. Some skilled laborers like electricians and plumbers prefer to be left alone but I still peak in on them from time to time.
Landlord usually don't live in the area where their rental investment resides. You can't afford the mistake of not supervising the work, if you find it hard to do, hire a professional manager. Having a professional property manager doesn't guarantee the quality of the work but it might give some oversight if you physically can't be there.
3. Doing the work yourself
My wife and I handle 85% of all maintenance for our rental units. I have an in-depth knowledge of carpentry, plumbing, electrical outlets, painting but I would not recommend this for landlords. If you have a knowledge of home improvement you can defray some of your cost, but your time has to be calculated into maintenance cost. How much is your time worth?
For electrical or complicated plumbing issues we hire a professional. My wife can a change of a faucet but pipe leaks we hire a professional. It would take us longer to fix the problem and the professional is insured for any future damage their work might cause. You don't want to fix a electrical problem and then you have electrical fire. If you are not a registered electrician, they might be better business practice to hire one.
My father like doing all his own work. Because he was general contractor it didn't make sense for him to hire an outsider and he had all the professional contacts. However, he had over 20 investment properties, he couldn't keep up to all the repairs when his business took off during the summer months. His time was more important to concentrate on his remodeling business. He should have dedicated a separate group just for his rental maintenance.
The seminars my wife and I were in over the years, they don't go into detail about how much money you spend on maintenance. Maintenance expenses can rob you of profit if you don't keep your cost under control. Be mindful of quality of work being done in your buildings.