Published Research on Digital Lifestyle Theme

We see this every month in the Retail Sales report and almost every week in our everyday lives – consumers continue to flock to digital shopping – and that is spurring demand for distribution centers and warehouses as well as workers to fill them. As Amazon looks to expand not only the reach of its […]

We’re halfway through the March quarter earnings season and so far, aggregate earnings for the S&P 500 is running ahead of expectations, and that has helped drive the market to new highs. Yet, as evidenced by results from 3M, Tesla, Sherwin Williams, Gorman Rupp and others that are feeling the impact of the slowing global […]

This week we go from the frying pan into the earnings season fire with 30% of the S&P 500 companies report their quarterly results. This will offer a number of thematic data points, as we illustrate with the results from Coca-Cola, Lockheed Martin, Twitter and Verizon. We also chew on the conflicting signals between the Retail Sales and Housing data for March. The answer to that leads us to add a call option position in Home Depot shares at Tematica Options+.

On this episode of the Cocktail Investing Podcast, we walk through which earnings reports we’ll be digging into with respect to those themes and the other 5 investing themes.

News coming out of Bentonville, AR this week details a series of store enhancements and renovations to 500 Walmart stores in the coming years. As we read through the discount retailer’s plans, the “ding” buttons were going off in our heads as many of them directly touch upon our investment themes. At a reported total cost of $11 billion, these plans are set to have a major impact on both store operations and the customer experience of shoppers. Here is a quick rundown of what we learned.

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Ahead of the Easter holiday week, we have a jam packed issue as we review some of the latest economic data and breakdown the IMF’s recent downward revision for its 2019 GDP forecast. And yes, earning season is almost upon us. Before that, we have Disney’s annual Investor Day at which it will formally debut its streaming service Disney+. We also visit with Middle Class Squeeze Thematic Leader Costco Wholesale (COST) following blow out March quarter same-store sales. And eMarketer gives us reasons to be positive on Alphabet/Google as well as Thematic King Amazon. At Options+, we will continue to hold our short position in Veeco Instruments as well as our inverse call option position as earnings season gets underway.

Walmart is teaming with Alphabet Inc. to take the grocery fight via voice ordering to Amazon and its Whole Foods, Alexa combination. In a blog post, Walmart shared that starting this month, customers would be able to grocery shop through the Google Assistant by saying, “Hey, Google, talk to Walmart.” This seems like a positive […]

In June of 2018, Amazon (AMZN) acquired Pillpack as its first significant move into the health care space through with its online pharmacy that lets customers buy medications in pre-made doses. Just this week, the internet giant announced that its Echo device — viewed as a critical “trojan horse” across more and more spaces — […]

As we close the books on the barn burning March quarter for stocks, risks remain as we head into the March quarter earnings season. A number of Thematic Leaders delivered outsized returns during the March quarter, and we recap several positions that have been in the news including Apple, Universal Display and others.

At the intersection of our Connected Society and Disruptive Innovators investing themes sits those companies that will turn the datafication of our lives into actionable information.

Airbnb continues to experience high growth as it benefits from the tailwinds of our Connected Society and Middle-Class Squeeze investment themes.

One might think that today’s Digital Lifestyle would have lead to an overall reduction in traffic on the roads as more folks work for home or in their leisure time choose to stream movies via Netflix (NFLX) and order food via food delivery services. That notion couldn’t be further from reality however. According to new data from […]

For UPS, Amazon’s has success has been a bit of a dilemma for the package delivery service. On one hand, there has been a drastic increase in its package delivery demands, while on the other, Amazon appears to be actively encroaching on UPS’ business model as it continues to expand its own logistics operations, even down […]

On this episode of the Cocktail Investing Podcast, we share not only what the Fed said exiting its latest monetary policy meeting, but how and why that was very different from the last few of these meetings.

Walmart is joining the ranks of the tablet market, which comes at a time when some device owners are balking at the increasing price points for smartphones. This tablet, which will have a price point that is very friendly with cash strapped consumers associated with our Middle-class Squeeze investing theme, leverages Chinese manufacturing and the […]

On this episode of the Cocktail Investing Podcast, we focus on the growing headwind for the economy and retail that is associated with our Middle-Class Squeeze investing theme. Consumers, especially those associated with our Aging of the Population investing theme, have racked up record credit card debt over the last several years, and it’s beginning to weigh on their ability to spend.

Spinning out of Mobile World Congress 2019, an annual mobile event that tends to see a number of announcements each year, perhaps the biggest news on the 5G front is found in one of the smallest devices that you’ll probably never see. These strips could help solve the coverage and range issues associated with 5G […]

The end of February was a painful month for consumers. Not only did we learn that Personal Income fell in January, marking the first such decline in a number of months, but there will soon be fewer locations for consumers to spend. As I discussed on a recent Cocktail Investing podcast, we continue to see […]

In this week’s issue, we dig into the latest shareholder letter from Warren Buffett, examine the growing number of dividend cuts and other factors make the year to date melt up in the stock market something of a head-scratcher. That best performance in 20+ years hinges on a successful trade deal with China, but there are other factors that we need to examine so we don’t fall prey to a “buy the rumor, sell the news” scenario. We recap the sharp move in Universal Display shares following its latest earnings report and touch on favorable news emanating from Mobile World Congress 2019 for Nokia.

As we enter Mobile World Congress 2019, arguably the mobile event of the year, 5G network and device launch details are coming into greater focus. Verizon is taking the early lead in the US staking out 5G to 30 cities in the US by the end of 2019. Of course, 30 cities is hardly national […]

A few days ago we ran across a story that probably didn’t make headlines in too many places. Here at Tematica, however, it was quickly shared with the team because it perfectly depicts the coming together of two of our investment themes: The New Global Middle Class and the Digital Lifestyle. Here is part of […]

Another week of the stock market melting up as December quarter issues continue to fall the wayside. Yet, companies continue to serve up weaker guidance leading earnings expectations to fall. There are fresh concerns over the speed of the domestic economy, which continues to look like the best one on the economic block. We break down recent positive data for Amazon, Google, and Costco Wholesale, and discuss what’s ahead with Universal Display and Mobile World Congress 2019.

Mexico looks to mobile payment systems to lift people out of poverty.

With Apple and Disney both showcasing their streaming subscription services in the coming weeks, we walk through not only what’s expected but the implications as well. If you’re Netflix, you’re going to want to hear this, especially our blockbuster bundling advice for Apple.

As we approach the halfway market for the current quarter, stocks continued to rally as December quarter concerns appear to melt away. While the market is hopeful, we will continue to focus on the details and nitty-gritty. Several Thematic Leaders continue to trounce the market and upcoming economic data should put some favorable context around Costco Wholesale (COST) shares. With Middle-class Squeeze consumers struggling, we take a look at LendingClub (LC) shares.

The US stock market rallied in January and continues to move higher in February even as earnings expectations for the market continue to slump. While caution is warranted near-term, opportunities are emerging with Thematic King Amazon being a shining example. A Board additional to Living the Life company Del Frisco’s signals it is seriously evaluating takeover bids.

We recently published a Thematic Signal in which we discussed the comment from Netflix management why it isn’t so worried about HBO, but rather Fortnite. If there was any doubt it was put to rest in the form a recent live concert held inside Fortnite that drew “25 times as many people that attended Woodstock in […]

We inherently know that we as people are spending more time online shopping, streaming, communicating and the like. So much so that Apple and others have built tools to tell us as individuals how much time we are spending chewing through data. A new study puts some context and perspective around what that looks like […]

The market catches a positive breather following Apple’s not as bad as it could have been December quarter earnings report. We still have several hundred reports to go, and the preponderance of companies are issuing weaker than expected guidance. As we navigate upcoming reports and puzzle what they mean for 2019 earnings expectation, the Fed will emerge from its latest monetary policy meeting today, and later this week we should learn how the latest round of US-China trade talks went. Verizon is bulls up on 5G, and that along with issues for China mobile company Huawei as well as bullish earnings report from Ericsson pave the way for a solid one from Disruptive Innovator Leader Nokia.

While China’s economy may be slowing now, the long-term implications associated with our Living the Life, Rise of the New Middle-class and Digital Lifestyle investing themes in that market will continue to be felt. Even if China’s economy slows to something between 5%-6%, the economic reality is it will continue to grow far faster than […]

Episode 94 of the Cocktail Investing Podcast: Why Netflix Should be Afraid of Fortnite

Thematic signals for this week span our Digital Lifestyle investing theme as we explain why we think Netflix (NFLX) is right to be scared of not Hulu but Fortnite. Our Digital Lifestyle theme meshes with Aging of the Population as the use of sensors and other technologies are being used to keep tabs and assist our aging loved ones. Beer may be a shrinking Guilty Pleasure of choice in the US as consumers continue to flock to wine and other alternatives.

We can pretty much agree the Digital Lifestyle tailwind continues to change consumer behavior and shake up how companies do things. Early on it was with commodity items – books, CDs, DVDs, and the like – but as consumer became increasingly comfortable with digital shopping and the quick delivery times, the kinds of products they are […]

Within its December quarter earnings comments, Netflix shared something that caught a number of folks off guard. I’m talking about this comment from the company’s latest quarterly investor letter in particular: “We compete with (and lose to) Fortnite more than HBO.” Let’s deal with the HBO part of the comment first. HBO has developed a […]

As the Market Bounces Off Oversold Conditions, Is this the start of another bull run?

So far in 2019, we are seeing a reversal of the heavily oversold conditions from the end of 2018. Those stocks that were hit the hardest in 2018 are materially outperforming the broader market in 2019. The fundamentals, however, both domestically and internationally are not giving us reason to think that this bounce is the start of another major bull run. With all the uncertainty out there, despite the market’s recent “feel good” attitude, we expect to see rising volatility in the months to come as these problems are not going to be easily sorted out.

Earlier this week, we discussed how Pizza Hut will be digging deeper into our Guilty Pleasure tailwind by expanding its offering to include the delivery of beer. Today, we have Domino’s Pizza sharing that it looks to deliver significant growth as it expands its footprint. The details are below, but with expansion in India and […]

Several new findings confirm what we have been observing over the last several quarters – the continued whittling down for the usage of cash. There is little question given the data that a key driver of this is the accelerating shift toward digital shopping be it delivered or picked up by the buyer at a locker or store location. The […]

The December quarter earnings season is upon us, and those reports have started on a decidedly mixed front. We’ve gotten more data pointing to a slowing economy, and the government shutdown continues. As we wait for the pace of earnings reports to move into high gear, the second half of 2018 was home to a number of thematically inspired M&A, and odds are more will be had in 2018. We add back USAT shares to the Tematica Select List and review several of the Thematic Leaders.

It’s not only the pace of the smartphone market that is slowing here in the US, so is the rate at which we are downloading apps even though Apple’s App Store and Google Play remain dominant platforms. A new report shows that China, India, Brazil, and Indonesia are the driving force behind app downloads and […]

We have another sign that transformation is underway at the pharmacy, which over the years has morphed from pharmacy only to a mix of pharmacy, personal care products, and convenience store. Yes, I’ve been known to pick up holiday decorations and even some pre-movie candy. There has been another set of pivots, including the launch […]

Artificial Intelligence, robotics, autonomous vehicles, smartphones, tablets, and cloud computing. These are the “sexy” Disruptive Innovators, Digital LIfestyle and Digitial Infrastructure theme gadgets that grab the headlines for the annual Consumer Electronics Show held each year in Las Vegas. What isn’t expected is the latest and greatest purchases we will make for Nana in 2019.

For much of the past decade, the Clicks vs Bricks battle has been playing out on the retail landscape of the country. The “Death of the Mall”, “Retailmageddon” — these are headline-grabbing phrases in the news on an almost daily basis. Some context and perspective is key however, and the retail landscape is a murky […]

We’ve seen a pronounced pickup, as expected, in the shift to digital shopping that is one of the central aspects of our Digital Lifestyle investing theme. New research shows that shift is also serving as a spark for cyber attacks, increasing the risk of malicious activity that is a tailwind for cyber spending and our Safety & Security investing theme.  

Smartphone demand is expected to explode in India as more than 400 million new users come onstream in the next few years, which will drive several thematic tailwinds in the process.

As we head into the depths of the holiday shopping season, we enjoyed an incredible conversation with Beck Besecker is the co-founder and CEO of Marxent. Founded 2011, Marxent’s 3D technology solutions that leverage virtual reality and augmented reality are disrupting how consumers shop.

We’ve closed the books on a painful November, and while progress on the US-China trade front is popping the stock market today a number of issues remain that will likely come into focus as the relief rally fades. We recap the Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday holiday shopping, a boon for our Digital Lifestyle investing theme and discuss what investors should be watching this week as we kick off the last month of the trading year.

We are in the midst of major shifts in market dynamics. With risiing debt levels and falling liquidity we are seeing a headwind to EPS generation that investors and the multiples they assign to the stock market will have to contend with.

On this week’s Cocktail Investing Podcast, Tematica’s Lenore Hawkins and Chris Versace center not only on the rash of holiday shopping data coming out of the Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday period but also discuss Fed Chairman Powell’s “near neutral” comment on interest rates. That comment led the stock market to rip higher, offering relief to beleaguered investors that saw the majority of 2018 gains for the domestic stock market wiped out in recent weeks. But… you knew there was a but coming… the reasons behind that shift in tone as well as other risks mean we are not out of the woods just yet.

Cisco Systems says more traffic will be created in 2022 than in the first 32 years since the internet started. That’s a powerful tailwind for our Digital Infrastructure investing theme that is being led by our Digital Lifestyle and Disruptive Innovators investing themes. 

While we’ve witnessed the digital wallet explode in Asia, thus far it remains a rather fragmented nascent market here in the US. We’ve seen efforts by Apple, Google, PayPal, and others, but so far here in the US adoption of mobile payments remains low compared to that in Asia. Yes, there are some successes, like the […]

Apple is looking to overhaul electronic medical records, starting with 9 million veterans, which would not only expands its iPhone user base but make the device even stickier with consumers. We see it as a dynamic push-pull between our Digital Lifestyle and Digital Infrastructure investing themes.

Cocktail Investing Podcast Episode 86

This week on the Cocktail Investing podcast our resident mixologists – Chris Versace, Tematica Research’s Chief Investment Officer and Lenore Hawkins, Tematica Research’s Chief Macro Strategist – talk about major changes underfoot in the equity and bond markets as well as the major macro factors that are likely to impact investors in the months ahead.

Cocktail Investing Podcast Episode 85

As we push past Halloween and focus on the upcoming holidays, this week we’re joined by Katherine Cullen from the National Retail Federation to hear about what her organization expects for retailers during this year’s holiday shopping season.

Our disruptive technology investing theme is pervading many aspects of the grocery industry from robotics to autonomous delivery vans, reinventing one of the oldest sectors of the economy.

This week we closed the books on the month of October, and what a month it was for the stock market. In short, the month of October wiped out most the market’s year to date gains as investors digested both September quarter earnings and updated guidance that spurred a re-think in top and bottom line expectations.

Mondelez often floats to the top of the conversation whenever we dig into our Guilty Pleasures investment theme — Cadbury Creme Eggs, Oreos,  Nutter Butters, Toblerone . . . these pieces of heaven here on earth are all part of the Mondelez empire and are perfect representatives of those products and services consumers will buy no matter what the economic environment. But at the same time, the snacking giant focuses its business around a core concept of “empowering people to snack right by offering the right snack, at the right time, in the right way” and that is why this new initiative announced by Mondelez caught our attention because it taps into three more of our investment themes

A successful shift to gaming content from hardware is driving Sony’s business higher.

October Buy-the-Dip Trick or Treat?

For months we have pointed out that US stocks have been outperforming the rest of the world and we warned that this earnings season would likely be a very bumpy ride as earnings would probably be decent, but guidance would not support the market’s multiples. Our concerns have proven warranted.

Retail companies, like Proctor & Gamble, are tapping into the changing needs and preferences of the aging population to jumpstart their growth prospects.

Cocktail Investing Podcast: Artificial Intelligence to Improve Investing Returns

On this week’s podcast, we are joined once again by Jamie Wise, founder of Buzz Indices, a Toronto-based hedge fund that has also created the index which powers the BUZZ US Sentiment Leaders ETF (BUZ).

New findings from OC&C Strategy confirm the influence of Gen Z Chinese shoppers on the luxury goods market, a major aspect of our Living the Life investing theme

In a busy as well as volatile week, we continue to receive confirming data points for our investment themes and thematic holdings from a variety of sources including the September Retail Sales report as well as September quarter earnings reports and other events. This week we are scaling once again into our DFRG shares.

Cocktail Investing Podcast September Retail Sales Report

  On this week’s podcast, Tematica’s mixologists, Lenore Hawkins and Chris Versace, take a thematic deep dive on the September Retail Sales Report. With the consumer directly or indirectly accounting for nearly two-thirds of the domestic economy and the average consumer spending 31% of his or her paycheck on retails goods, this monthly report is […]

The growing Boomer population will have profound implications – both good and bad – for the housing market according to the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing and Care (NIC) and we could not agree more.

What we are currently seeing in the market is a symptom of a whole lot of leverage in equities that had been in rich territory at a time when, even though it is still moving along, signs abound that the economy is slowing. Is this a ‘buy the dip’ opportunity or is it just the […]

Soon to go public Revolve is embracing media influencers to drive sales, a strategy that leverages our Living the Life investing theme.

If we were only to read the headlines, one might think that cybersecurity is the only form of protection one needs these days. I’ll grant you that as we venture deeper into our Digital Lifestyle and Digital Infrastructure themes, odds are cybersecurity will play an increasing role, but there will still be other forms of […]

Retailers and other businesses are chewing through industrial space using it to ramp fulfillment center needs as they position themselves for digital shopping growth.

Since the Great Recession, we’ve seen new auto sales rebound due in part to the attractive if not aggressive low to no interest financing. That’s helped mask the rising cost of buying a new car as original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) ranging from Ford and General Motors to Volkswagen and Honda have packed connective technology and […]

Over the last several quarters, one of the few blemishes to be had with Disney has been ESPN as chord cutters moved away from the sports programming behemoth. While it took some time for Disney to get its digital offering together, which included some headcount pruning and other cost-saving measures, this past April it launched […]

Last week all eyes were on Apple and Fall 2018 new model iPhone launch and this week Amazon is taking the new product spotlight as it announces a number of new Echo products and others that include its digital assistant, Alexa. These products confirm that our view several years ago that voice would be the […]

If you’ve been in a checkout line – either one with a cashier or a self-checkout one – you’ve probably experienced the hassle of waiting in line, sometimes for what may seem like forever if coupons, checkbooks and the like are being fished for. One of the successful strategies employed by Amazon is its ability […]

Following several bullish data points from last week, including ones found in the August Retail Sales report, we are adding to our position in Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group (DFRG). The August Retail Sales report was also positive for our Amazon, UPS, Costco Wholesale and McCormick & Co. shares.

It’s rather easy to recognize the growing influence that gaming (and by that we mean video games) is having on our culture from entertainment, sports, and a few other vantage points. With networked and multi-player gaming, we are seeing gaming chip away at more traditional forms of content consumption, with certain titles giving way to […]

People shop at convenience stores, well, because they are convenient. In an effort to maintain its level of convenience in today’s Digital Lifestyle world, 7-Eleven announced today that it is expanding its mobile payment options to include Google Pay and Apple Pay and most of its locations. “Frictionless experiences are the future, and digital payments […]

When even the owner of a gym is struggling the time for fitness, we see the market as ripe for a Disruptive Innovator. Peleton is the first major entrant into this space we see between Disruptive Innovator and the Digital Lifestyle in which those seeking fitness are able to squeeze a class into their ever […]

We have long said one of the dark sides of our Digital Lifestyle investing theme is a tailwind for our Safety & Security theme, and a new report makes the case for the not only the reverse, but it also invokes our Disruptive Innovators one as well. I’m talking about mobile payments. With debit and […]

Much has been made about the declining ratings in the NFL over the past two seasons and its causes. Cord-cutting, political protests, distaste for the violent hits, the fact that your team hasn’t had an 11-win season since 1991 . . . no matter what the cause, fewer and fewer folks plopped down on the couch last season and that has owners concerned.

While technically Poshmark is a digital marketplace where people from the United States can buy and sell new or used clothing, shoes and accessories, the reality is it’s a community based social media platform that matches buyers and sellers of personal clothing. If that sounds like a company at the intersection of our Disruptive Innovators, Digital Lifestyle, Middle-Class Squeeze and Living the Life investing themes, we could not agree more.

Over the last few quarters, we’ve seen a growing number of streaming content services come to market to challenge the success had by Netflix and to a lesser extent Amazon’s Prime Video. And the new entrants are from over given the pending launch of Disney’s Disney Play, AT&T/Time Warner’s DC Universe, Walmart’s Vudu and of […]

We are nearing the commercial deployments of 5G, one of the next-gen technologies that fall under our Disruptive Innovators investing theme. By sharing its 5G essential patent licensing rates, Nokia is offering one of the firmest signals that 5G devices will soon be a reality. Initial shipments are expected to begin in 2019 and reach […]

The Rise of the New Middle Class investment theme that we cover at Tematica Research focuses on areas around the world where rising disposable incomes are driving demand for a host of products and services. While their absolute level of wealth will remain quite low compared with that of consumers in developed countries, this group […]

There is are several factors pressuring margins at hospitals that are poised to accelerate the pace in hospital closures. This comes at a time, keeping with or Aging of the Population investing theme and Boomer Economy Index, that population dynamics are expected to drive a spending shift that favors the demand for healthcare. As we […]

Acquisitions are one way a company can transform its business as it looks to tap into the tailwinds associated with our thematic lens. I’ve talked before about how Best Buy is targeting the Boomer Economy, another way of describing our Aging of the Population investing theme, and earlier this week it took another step in […]

The chicken or the egg problem that has been facing mobile payment adoption in the US continues to ease with Costco Wholesale joining the ranks of 7-11 and CVS Health to accept Apple Pay. It’s all about reducing transaction friction but I’d also add it’s a relief for someone like me that sometimes forgets his […]

We saw many confirming data points for Amazon, Costco Wholesale, Habit Restaurant and McCormick & Co. shares in the July Retail Sales report as well as in Walmart’s stellar July quarter results.

To understand exactly how Amazon has changed the landscape, we look at this interview by eMarketer with representatives from eBay, PayPal and OLX Brasil discussing the challenges of managing an eCommerce business in Latin America

As we hit the midpoint of the current quarter, we acknowledge our quarter to date winners as well as those that are lagging the market. We also scale deeper into Dycom shares, examine the impact our Middle-Class Squeeze investing theme is having on the housing market and share a Digital Lifestyle company that could be the next Blue Apron.

When it comes to the market that is diabetes — it affects some 30 million Americans, more than 9% of the population, according to the CDC and rates of those diagnosed with diabetes rises with age, to 25% of those 65 and older — we are seeing a number of new products and services that […]

  When it comes to the confluence of our Digital Lifestyle and Aging of the Population investment themes, this recent article from eMarketer hits the nail on the head: A June 2018 survey by the International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation in collaboration with AARP Foundation shed more light on the digital grocery buying behavior of older […]

We’ve all heard about and even longed or the day when we would no longer have to carry one’s money, credit cards, keys, and identification. Mobile payments like Apple Pay and aspects of the Connected Home have helped ease the burden on our pockets and bags, but identification has been the more elusive category. It seems, […]

A new report finding security holes in digital trading platforms is a sharp reminder of one downside associated with our Digital Lifestyle investing theme. While most tend to take it for granted the ease of shopping or in this case trading or at least buying and selling stocks, mutual funds, and ETFs online, few are likely […]

With transaction friction increasing across our Digital Lifestyle investing theme, one underappreciated market is unattended retail even though it is poised to deliver significant growth in the coming years. One driving aspect of digital shopping that is carrying over to unattended retail is the consumer convenience to grab, pay and go without waiting on line […]

During the June quarter earnings call, the CEO of Charter Communications Tom Rutledge caved to mounting cord cutting pressure on its TV business admitting that it no longer sees cable TV as a stand-alone product. On the one hand, we are surprised to see this admission as it casts some serious strategic questions on the […]

Amazon’s recent PillPack acquisition and surging health and beauty sales should have not only have traditional pharmacies and beauty retailers concerned but really every retailer should be asking themselves just how “Amazon-proof” is their business model?

Prepping for 5g Technology

5G is poised to become a reality over the coming quarters and access to that technology will not only improve mobile data speeds and network capacity, but it will also give rise to a number of new disruptions across the Connected Home, Connected Car and the Internet of Things.

Over the last few days, we’ve had quarterly results from two companies that are riding tailwinds associated with our Digital Lifestyle investment theme – Facebook (FB) and Amazon (AMZN). The report from each company, however, and their reception from investors couldn’t have been more different. 

Straight from the horse’s mouth, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson explains the value of the AT&T-Time Warner marriage echoing the reasons why we recently combined our Connected Society, Content is King and Cashless Consumption investing themes to form the Digital Lifestyle one. All we can say is great job Randall, you’re going somewhere kid!   We’ve […]

We’re also looking for confirming data points for our investment themes, especially those that are poised to disrupt existing business models. In the case of 5G mobile technology, one of the meaningful questions is when we will see commercial deployments of both 5G networks and 5G devices. After all, a 5G network is pretty hard […]

As we saw this past Prime Day 2018, Amazon is targeting international expansion of its Prime services. It’s also doing the same with its acquisition of online pharmacy as PillPack it looks to disrupt the pharmacy market, an event that we here at Tematica are anxiously awaiting. As Amazon builds on PillPack that acquisition should […]

If we needed any confirmation that aspects of our Digital Lifestyle investing theme are bleeding over into in-person fun, here it is – theme parks are adding free Wi-Fi. Now, in some cases, it may be to stream videos, but more likely it’s to access maps, schedules, and tickets that one finds inside a theme park’s […]

The knee-jerk reaction when it comes to the fall of broadcast content is streaming service from Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and others. While that is certainly putting a world of hurt on broadcasters and forcing advertisers to rethink where to spend their advertising dollars, it would be a mistake to overlook the growing influence that gaming-related […]

If you’ve purchased a new or used car, then you know the pain associated with the process and what a time suck it is. Even after all the research, there is the customary back and forth with the salesperson and his or her manager to haggle out a deal BEFORE you get to the financing […]

We’ve recently recasted our Middle Class Squeeze and New Middle Class investing themes, which entailed splitting a few themes apart and reconstituting them to make them clearer and more focused. Today, we’re combining Connected Society, Content is King and Cashless Consumption to form our Digital Lifestyle investing theme, which reflects consumers’ existing and increasingly digital footprint and making a key addition to the Tematica Investing Select List along the way.

One of the industries that has both adapted to and felt the pain of our Digital Lifestyle investing theme is the music industry, something near and dear to the hearts and souls of team Tematica. Over the decades, we’ve seen the migration from vinyl albums to 8-track to cassettes to CDs followed by the abiltiy […]

While mobile payments made with one’s smartphone and other forms of contactless payments, such as transactions completed with watches, necklaces and rings, may not be blazing the payment trail in the US, it’s a very different story outside the US. A great example of the Cashless Consumption aspect of our Digital Lifestyle investing theme and […]

Apple CEO Tim Cook has been vocal about growing the company’s Services business as way to not only diversify its revenue stream, but in my view also make its iOS and other devices even stickier with consumers. As we have seen before Content is King is a key driver in our Digital Lifestyle investing them […]

One of the problems with US investors is they tend not to look much past thier shores for investment opportunities or confirming data points. Here at Tematica, we recognize our investment themes are global in nature, and that causes us to take a more wholistic perspective. The US is not the only country battling truck […]

We as a people have been carrying many things in our pockets when we leave the house – first keys and wallet then keys, wallet and phone. As part of our Cashless Consumption investment theme we have seen mobile wallets begin to proliferate as well as apps like Apple Pay and PayPal that likely mean […]

The dust has barely settled on the legal ruling that is paving the way for AT&T (T) to combine with Time Warner (TWX), and we are alread hearing of new products and services to stem from this combination. No surprise as we are seeing a blurring between mobile networks and devices, social media and content […]

This latest report from eMarketer serves to inform over the disparity between internet access in the developed and developing economies, but we see it more as confirming our Rise of the New Middle Class investing theme. Moreover, odds are these developing economies will leap frog the developed ones in terms of new, Disruptive Technology adoption. […]

There are several aspects to our Safety & Security investing theme, one of which is being proactive vs. reactive, which we see as one of the differences between “security” and “defense.”  While the headlines over the last few years have focused on body-cameras, we are seeing the coming together of our Connected Society and Safety […]

What can we say other than it’s the latest sign of the woes faced by traditional brick & mortar retailers – the closing of once iconic flagship locations as they are caught between the push-pull of our investment themes. In this case it’s the accelerating shift toward digital shopping that is part of our Connected […]

In today’s increaingly Connected Society and our Digital Lifestyle, in which credit card, brokerage and banks are practically forcing one to go paperless, only now are mutual fund companies able to do the same. Much like those that have already made the switch, it will save billions of dollars on paper and mailing costs – […]

We continue to hear more and more about chord cutting as consumers increasingly to over the top and streaming vidoe services and they shift how, where and when they consume that content. Given the Content is King perspective that we have, it comes as little surprise to see that consumers are utilizing multiple platforms because […]

One of the strategies behind getting consumers to adopt alternative payments is to reduce if not remove friction to the transaction as well as make it easy peasy for the consumer to use. In the case of Comcast teaming with Fandango to enable the buying of movie tickets through the television, it’s pretty cool but […]

The iPhone is not only one of the most addictive devices around, something that is becoming even more so thanks to Fortnite, it is also one of the most connected. As tends to be the case, however, Apple will lag the overall market with features until a tipping point is at hand. It appears that […]

A new report from App Annie confirms what we’ve already suspected when it comes to our Connected Socity – that consumers are increasingly using mobile apps to shop. Per the report, consumer spending has more than doubled, exceeding $86 billion in 2017, up more than 105% since 2015. Interestingly, while time spent in apps increased by […]

  Just because you build it and offer it doesn’t mean consumers will use it. We’ve heard that before and it also applies to mobile payment platforms given that Samsung Pay is the most widely available among Apple Pay (AAPL) and Google Pay (GOOGL), but it’s the least used of the three. The most popular […]

While we applaud Coca-Cola (KO) for embracing technology to connect with consumers while enabling them to customize their soda beverage of choice, the larger question to us is how does this fit with the shifting consumer preference for healthy food, snacks and drinks? In many ways it appears that Coca-Cola is looking to extend the […]

The world of cashless consumption continues to expand as PayPal (PYPL) makes a direct move to compete with Square (SQ) on its home turf by acquiring iZettle. This also brings it into competition with Verifone (PAY) and other payment/transaction hardware companies. Our view has been the mobile payments landscape, like many that are in their […]

Target has been one of those retailers that in our view has been lost between the shift to digital commerce offerings from Amazon (AMZN) and club/warehouse ones from Costco Wholesale (COST) and others. What we find interesting is how Target continues to baby step its way into the Connected Society with GPS maps being deployed […]

We continue to hear about the retail apocolypse that is destroying brick & mortar retail. Each monthly Retail Sales report shows continued share gains by non-store retail sales, government speak for digital commerce, one of the core drivers of our Digital Lifestyle investing theme. Following the path blazed by Nike (NKE), Carter’s (CRI), Calvin Klein […]

“The talk of the death of the mall, and many bankruptcies of retailers … it’s basically because [mall owners] are not servicing their customers properly in a way that they like,” Lowy said. That’s mall operator Westfield co-CEO Steven Lowy sharing his view at the recent ShopTalk conference and while it is possible a factor that is […]

Unlike companies like GoPro and SNAP, which have failed to realize their entire business is a feature, not a product, Blackberry has embraced the fact that at its core feature is security, not connectivity in the form of a phone or smartphone.  This is perspective is reinforced with it’s recently announced deal with former rival […]

This could very well just be a playbook for when and where Amazon is going to head next, or it could be the last bastions of retail that will continue and thrive . . . only time will tell. … roughly 96% of US internet users said they primarily shop for food and beverages at […]

While it is rather clear to us why Toys R Us is filing bankruptcy and even Star Wars themed toy sales weren’t enough to help Mattel (MAT) this past holiday season, in-app purchases for the new iOS version of Fortnite are rather revealing. The recently launched gaming app, which sits at the center of our […]

  The demise of cash has been something we’ve written quite a bit about here in Thematic Signals, and that investment theme has played a significant role in several of our Tematica Investing Select List holdings that have produced strong returns for our subscribers. Of course, there are always two sides of a coin — […]

The bottom line is whether you’re a fan of super hero films or not, Disney’s The Black Panther is a well-crafted story that expands as well as enhances the Marvel tapestry, and the post-credit scenes advance the inter connected storyline that Marvel has carefully put in place over the last 10 years. It’s great fun, and I recommend seeing it.

Inflation rising while hourly earnings have fallen in 5 of the past 6 months. The Fed will find it is under further pressure to hike and/or taper, which applies the brakes to any economic acceleration from tax cuts and more government spending.

In a recent Thematic Signal post, we shared that Apple (AAPL) is making in roads with Apple Pay as smartphones account for a growing percentage of digital commerce. We lamented on the lack of loyalty program support in Apple Pay, but it is becoming increasingly clear that shoppers want digital couponing. Currently there are third […]

The current headlines are rumor mongering over iPhone X production cuts for the first half of 2018, but Apple continues to improve the stickiness of iPhone by tapping into the exploding world of mobile payments with Apple Pay. Initially off to a slow start, Apple Pay is now reportedly accepted in 50% of US retail […]

It used to be that if you ran out of laundry detergent, the dirty clothes would pile up. Those days may soon be over as Amazon (AMZN) is rolling out virtual  Dash buttons to third-party screens, like those now found on washing machines, dryers, dishwashers and other appliances. This further extends Amazon’s reach into the […]

It used to be there were a handful of places on could retreat to find some downtime, but it looks like we are on the verge of losing one as Moen is bringing the connected home and virtual assistant connectivity into the shower. Based on the price points, this functionality will mesh with our Affordable […]

With consumers increasing shifting their content consumption to streaming services, be it online or via mobile, we are seeing a number of moves by companies to position themselves accordingly. AT&T (T) is looking to buy Time Warner (TWX), Alphabet (GOOGL) is expanding the reach of YouTubeTV and Apple (AAPL) is hiring programming talent. Amid all […]

There are several thematic aspects that make the Disney acquisition of Fox a good one.

We’ve spent our fair share of time looking into the future of autonomous vehicles — the technology behind them, the players that are making it happen and the implications this new technology could have on everything from the car manufacturers to parking systems to rental car companies. One comment, in particular, stands out from our special […]

We’ve been rather vocal over the disruption that has occurred due to our Connected Society investing theme but also the disruption yet to be had. We see the potential partnering of Ford and Alibaba supporting our view that the current Retailmegaddon is poised to spread from beyond the mall and brick & mortar retail to […]

In 2017 the intersection of our Connected Society and Content is King investing themes saw Digital Kill the TV Ad.

Amazon customers can now buy retail goods for every member of their family on the site’s marketplace — including their pets. The eCommerce giant has launched Pet Profiles, which allows customers to add their pets to their account.According to news from The Next Web, users can sign up their first pet and receive a one-time 20 […]

The adoption of social media by companies to reach customers, share its wares, drive revenues and build its brands continues. Amid the battle between Facebook and LinkedIn, we are seeing businesses embrace Instagram, in some cases as its only web presence, to reach customers. Even as we peruse Instagram, we are seeing more companies have […]

Over the last year, we’ve seen considerable progress in the use of voice interface technology, due in part to the success of Amazon’s (AMZN) Alexa, but also efforts by Alphabet and to a lesser extent Apple. Like most Disruptive Technologies, we are seeing the use cases continue to expand and ripple across our Cashless Consumption […]

Despite the advantages offered by Cashless Consumption, may in the Eurozone continue to pay with cash, even more than they admit. Is this a permanent headwind for our Cashless Consumption investing theme or a tailwind in disguise?

In this week’s issue, we once again boost our Amazon (AMZN) price target and offer several updates alongside yet another annual dividend increase from McCormick & Company

Mobile phones are making our Connected Society ever more connected as we become increasingly obsessed with that precious device. It is the first thing many of us look at in the morning and the last thing at night, but there is ample opportunity for a lot more folks around the world to join us addicts!

In this week’s episode of the Cocktail Investing Podcast, hosts Lenore Hawkins and Chris Versace digest all of the data coming in from the official start of the 2017 Holiday Shopping Season and the shakeout between the brick and mortar retailers versus the impact of online sales.

  Earlier this week we shared that Lord & Taylor partnered with Walmart, and just a few days later Calvin Klein shared a new relationship with Amazon as part of its Amazon Fashion efforts. We expect to see the lines become increasingly drawn over the coming weeks as months as retailers and branded apparel companies […]

After Amazon acquired Whole Foods, it seems that many forgot about its prior effort to disrupt the grocery industry with Amazon Go. Now the company has shared that it is close to bringing this worker-less concept that relies on its mobile app and a litany of sensors to allow shoppers to do their thing all […]

  Earlier today it was reported that at the Morgan Stanley European Technology, Media, and Telecoms Conference in Barcelona, T-Mobile USA’s (TMUS) Chief Technology Officer Neville Ray said T-Mobile would roll out its 5G network in the U.S. by 2020. This builds on the recent news that AT&T (T) would bring its 5G Evolution service […]

E-sports has a growing fandom that is garnering corporate endorsement deals and seeing competitive leagues debut. Today we share an overview of this aspect of our Content is King investing theme.

It’s starting to accelerate, the shift to digital commerce from brick & mortar that is part of our Connected Society investing theme, and it’s giving way to some interesting partnerships and business models. In this case, it’s Walmart, traditionally a retailer that meshes with our Cash-Strapped Consumer investing theme, partnering with Lord & Taylor, a retailer […]

Our Rise and Fall of The Middle Class investing theme was front and center as Alibaba’s Singles Day blew away Black Friday in the U.S., with about 90% of those sales done via mobile, illustrating the power of our Connected Society investing theme.

  To resist the crush of the convenience and cost-savings of online shopping, the old brick and mortar retailers need to have some sort of angle — a terrific experience, a unique offering, or as this article in the New York Times suggests a luxury item that you would like to touch and feel and […]

Leveraging its smartphone install base and the popularity of messaging Apple is bringing its Apple Pay Cash feature to market with its iOS 11.2. Currently available to those in the iOS beta program, Apple Pay Cash will offer stiff competition to Venmo, owned by PayPal (PYPL) as well as other “send cash” apps like Zelle […]

On this week’s Cocktail Investing Podcast, Tematica’s Chris Versace and Lenore Hawkins do a deep dive on our Connected Society investing theme and discuss the coming creative destruction to be had with 5G wireless technology. Carriers like AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ) are beta-ing 5G networks and commercial deployments are expected to begin in a […]

  Most U.S. investors tend to keep their purview on domestic companies and their shares, but there is a problem with that strategy. That limited gaze means missing out on opportunities outside the U.S. that are benefitting from our thematic investing themes. For example, when most folks think of the company riding our Connected Society […]

Being a smart investor means knowing when to avoid a troubled stock like this one.

Apple reports 3Q 2017 results this week. The focus will be on the company’s guidance not only on iPhone production commentary, but the timing around these models being launched in other markets. We see the Apple story far from over and are using this opportunity to make a move on the shares with an aggressive price target.

We have seen the creative destruction that Amazon has unleashed on the world of retail and now we are seeing it occur in food & grocery, and soon apparel. Even as Amazon expands its footprint in these markets, it is laying the groundwork for another move into pharmaceuticals. We see Amazon’s underlying logistics business that […]

  Over the last three years Wal-mart has been exploring ways to compete more effectively with the rise of e-commerce, but also help improve its in-store experience for those shoppers that continue to… you know… actually go to a physical store. One of those strategies has been to test robots that would scan the shelves […]

  While there were lots of details in Nike’s 3Q17 earnings call, one item, in particular, came into focus under our thematic investing lens, at that was the following quote from Nike Brand President Trevor Edwards: “Undifferentiated, mediocre retail won’t survive. We will be shifting away from this over the next five years.” We, of course, […]

Given the growing number of cord-cutters in the U.S. as more shift from broadcast TV to a variety of streaming services, Nielsen (NLSN) is pivoting its business model to ride this Connected Society tailwind. Give the enormous pool of advertising dollars that are at stake given the shift in viewer consumption habits it makes perfect […]

Source: Rent the Runway seeks to broaden appeal with new monthly service |Chain Store Age   Yesterday, apparel Rent the Runway company announced a new, lower-priced service to broaden its target audience: The New York-based company on Monday announced a less costly membership option that allows women to rent four items from its website, choosing […]

Tematica’s investing strategy focuses not only on those long-term forces that generate formidable tailwinds or headwinds but also on major pain points, as solutions can generate serious value to entrepreneurs and investors alike. The problem of Social Security numbers for definitive identification is one such pain point.

Recently it was announced that Amazon (AMZN) partnered with Olo, a supplier of order and pay technology to thousands of U.S.  restaurants, to expand its burgeoning food order/delivery service. After testing a similar solution over the last year, Facebook (FB) is now taking its own take on this live across the U.S. As we watch […]

During the summer, we here at Tematica spoke at length on the growing number of private label products and brands at Amazon (AMZN). Having seen the strategy work at a number of other retailers, like Costco Wholesale (COST), Kohl’s (KSS), Wal-Mart (WMT) and even JC Penny (JCP), we see it as “expected” that Amazon would […]

The publishing industry has been one of the early victims of the internet as readers shifted to online articles and publications, which altered the dynamics of the all-important advertising revenue stream and subscription dynamics. As we approach nearly two decades of internet related creative destruction, the rise of mobile usage is another thorn in the […]

  Jane Helgesen had a rough night recently, as nausea kept the 71-year-old retired nurse scurrying to the bathroom. A sensor under the bed recorded her comings and goings, sending alerts to her daughter, Britt, who lives nearby. Feeling better the next day, Helgesen used a doorbell camera to welcome guests, whose images are displayed […]

A new report from Moody’s reinforces the negativity surrounding department stores like Macy’s (M), JC Penny (JCP) and Nordstrom (JWN). Unlike most that focus on the shift to digital commerce that is part of our Connected Society theme, Moody’s adds a perspective that meshes extremely well with our Cash-Strapped Consumer and Rise & Fall of the […]

The 2017 holiday shopping forecast from the National Retail Federation adds credence to our thesis on two call option plays.

As we upsize our price target for this Connected Society derivative, we are adding a call option play to the mix as well.

We’re upping our price target on this Connected Society derivative company as we get ready for holiday shopping 2017.

Fewer people are moving today than at any point in recent history and while inventories are tight, sellers are having to cut asking prices…

We’ve seen several gaming and augmented and virtual reality applications as well as some furniture based ones come to market but now we are seeing a new partnership jump into the AR/VR waters. This pairing of MasterCard and Swarovski brings our Disruptive Technologies and Cashless Consumption investment themes together as shoppers can purchase within the […]

  As the quote goes, “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.”  This article by The Atlantic’s Derek Thompson lays out the parallels between today’s Amazon and impact Sears had in America 100 years ago: Why is Amazon looking more and more like an old-fashioned retailer? The company’s do-it-all corporate strategy […]

Historically speaking, the adoption of new technology has been West to East, but when it comes to mobile payments the East is clearly leading the West. This has profound implications for potential winners in the push away from cash, checks and even debit and credit card swipes that is part of our Cashless Consumption investing […]

In this special excerpt from Episode 33 of the Cocktail Investing Podcast, Lenore Hawkins discusses that while JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon is likening Bitcoin to the Dutch tulip bulbs bubble in the 1600’s, the reality is we are just in the early innings of cryptocurrencies.

We knew Apple’s special event this week was headed downhill fast when the first thing mentioned about the new iPhone was the pretty colors it would come in. This week in Cocktail Investing we share our takeaways and insights for that event, as well as for the latest economic data and thematic signals that are the backbone of our thematic investing lens.

  As we’ve entered the latest season, NFL ratings have continued to fall. While some may attribute it to concussion-related concerns, we see the loss in viewers stemming from the need to compete with consumers being able to watch what they want, when they want, where they want. In other words, it’s the confluence of […]

  With innovation stalling, at least for now, in the smartphone market, we see companies shifting their R&D investments in technologies that are poised to disrupt other markets. One of those receiving the most attention these days is the automotive industry. While the guts of cars and trucks have become littered with chips and sensors, […]

We are seeing another sign of brick & mortar retailers embracing creativity to expand their business beyond the physical store format. While this could lend a helpful boost to the shift to mobile payments from credit and debit cards, we see it more as retailers contending with headwinds associated with our Connected Society investing theme. […]

  Alipay, a third-party mobile and online payment platform developed by Alibaba (BABA), is  teaming with First Data Corp. (FDC) tells that not only is our Cashless Consumption theme heating up in general, but the greater adoption of Cashless Consumption products and services outside the US likely means more international players than many a U.S. centric […]

Even though our concerns over the underlying fundamentals of the market remain — especially amidst this most recent rebound — thematic tailwinds continue to propel several of our positions on the Tematica Select List, particularly those tailwinds for the Cash-Strapped Consumer and Connected Society investment themes.

Several of the Disruptive Technologies investment theme companies on the Tematica Select List will play a key role in the Apple Special Event scheduled for Tuesday, September 12th, even if the companies themselves are never mentioned. With expectations once again running high ahead of this Apple event, here’s what we’ll be watching for as it pertains to the Tematica Select List.

While there may be some enthusiasm for Apple’s newest iPhone model, odds are it’s not going to alter the business model in a meaningful keeping the company reliant on a slowing market.

Despite the potential impact to be had from Irma, Disney’s return to business in the coming quarters, plus its buyback program, keep us comfortably patient with the shares.

Another day, another company compromised through a cyber attack. With this latest high profile attack on Equifax (EFX), personal information, such as Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and driver’s license numbers as well as credit card numbers for tens of thousands of people. Given the sensitivity of the information, we strongly suspect IT budgets at […]

From time to time, we are reminded of the growing threat of cyber attacks, one of the downsides of our increasingly Connected Society. This attack on computer networks of U.S. energy companies speaks to risks associated with the “industrialization of the internet” better known as the internet of things as part of our Safety & […]

With the Labor Day holiday behind us, things are picking up this September and it’s no rest for the weary as we make several moves on the Tematica Options+ Select List

  We’ve seen a number of companies, like Netflix (NFLX) and Amazon (AMZN) look to position themselves within our Content is King investing theme. It’s a smart strategy as that proprietary content is a competitive moat that helps reduce customer churn. With Watch, Facebook (FB) is looking to push into streaming video and vie with Alphabet’s […]

Our latest weekly issue of Tematica Investing sees us shedding one position, but offers confirming data points for several others on the Tematica Select List.

Best Buy continues to make progress on its digital efforts, but it’s not enough to make the Tematica grade just yet.

After visiting several Whole Foods locations, here is our initial view on the Whole Foods-Amazon marriage.

A filing by Samsung Electronics confirms our bullish stance on this semiconductor capital equipment company as China looks to become a player in chips.

While this time it really seems like it could happen, the dire threats of the elimination of the human workforce isn’t anything new: WHEN the first printed books with illustrations started to appear in the 1470s in the German city of Augsburg, wood engravers rose up in protest. Worried about their jobs, they literally stopped […]

Battle Lines Between Amazon and Wal-Mart are being set

As the country turns the page on the eclipse, political maneuvering retakes center, all while the battle lines between Wal-Mart and Amazon are being set for the future of retail. Of course, we have our sleeper pick too that is strengthening its position while everyone else focuses on WMT and AMZN.

We’re not only seeing a blurring of our Content is King and Connected Society investing themes here in the U.S., we’re seeing in China as well in a deal between Tencent and the NFL. Live news and sports were two of the holdouts in streaming content, but with Google (GOOGL) adding streaming news to YouTube; […]

Several quarters ago we shared our view that after capacitive touch, voice would be the next interface to watch. We’ve seen adoption growth in smartphones with Apple (AAPL) and Siri, Microsoft (MSFT) and Cortana, and then in intelligent speakers like Amazon’s (AMZN) Alexa powered Echo products. We’ve even read about licensing deals between Amazon and […]

Over the last few quarters, we’ve been rather vocal here at Tematica about the “transformation” at malls across the U.S. as part of the headwind that many brick & mortar retailers are facing “thanks” to our Connected Society theme. The move by Wegmans is a new one, but it also underscores the types of changes […]

New technology adoption can be driven, primarily, by two forces – bubbling up based on consumer demand or pushed down due to a mandate from companies or the government. With contactless payments, we’ve seen consumer uptake grow as mobile payments, like Apple Pay, have come to smartphones and wearables. Now Mastercard  (MA) and Visa (V) are mandating […]

Here at Tematica, we are watching the changing landscape when it comes to advertising dollars. We’ve witnessed the shift from analog advertising at newspapers to Internet-focused advertising and we are now seeing another shift emerge.  For many, especially outside the US, the smartphone is the first device on which they access the internet. A report by comScore […]

  Whether it’s on the go, at work or at home, streaming content continues to account for a growing portion of consumer content consumption. It’s, therefore, no surprise that Apple (AAPL), Facebook (FB) and others are looking to join Netflix (NFLX) and Amazon (AMZN) in delivering proprietary content. On the flip side, Disney (DIS) is […]

Several months ago, Chief Macro Strategist Lenore Hawkins shared a view that has been percolating inside Tematica for a while – 2-day delivery or less is the standard by which e-commerce and traditional retailers will be judged. With the success of both Amazon Prime and Prime Now, we are seeing others striving to meet that […]

  Through our thematic lens, we see this as Content is King meeting the Connected Society, a theme that has led to much creative destruction over the last several years. With Netflix (NFLX), Amazon (AMZN) and now even Apple (AAPL) moving into proprietary content that is streamed to wherever and whenever consumers want, perhaps it’s […]

We’ve seen the reports of rising consumer debt, and a new one confirms one aspect of our Cash-strapped Consumer investing theme —  “wage growth has been stagnant for five years for a large segment of the working populace — and that using cards is the result of the simple fact that people have to use […]

Our Content is King theme isn’t the only one getting a lot of attention this week as more companies look to invest not only in payments, which we see as Cashless Consumption but also artificial intelligence, a slice of our Disruptive Technologies theme. As we look at these moves, we are reminded of the global […]

While it’s true that companies, especially large ones, take time to evolve their business very much the way it takes a large boat to turn. That said, there is a tipping point at which the turn picks up speed, and we are seeing that at Wal-Mart when it comes to our Connected Society investing theme. […]

  Thus far Apple (AAPL) has stayed on the Content is King theme sidelines, but a combination of recent hire and a purported $1 billion check book to develop content change that. Granted, that $1 billion is well below what Netflix (NFLX) and Amazon (AMZN) are spending, but Apple has Apple TV – a solid […]

A premium outerwear best known for its signature goose-down jacket with fur-trimmed hood is expanding its fledgling store footprint.  Canada Goose Holdings Inc. announced plans to open three additional retail stores this fall, with locations in Boston, Calgary (Canada), and Tokyo, Japan. Also opening this fall are two previously announced stores in Chicago and London.  “Having a […]

It’s a phrase we use often here at Tematica, but it bears repeating: the only thing better than one thematic tailwind, is multiple tailwinds. This story on pymnts.com — a favorite of ours for keeping tabs on our Cashless Consumption investment theme among others — we count three themes:

Timberland, the shoemaker, has rolled out a concept store that will be completely overhauled and stocked with new products every six weeks to help enhance its customer service and the retail experience.According to a report announcing the news, the new brick-and-mortar format will be located in a mall in Pennsylvania and will be called Timberland Tree […]

Tematica’s Chief Investment Officer Chris Versace shares his first-hand findings that Singapore is embracing Tematica’s Cashless Consumption investing theme.

The Southdale Center in Edina, Minnesota paved the way for the construction of thousands of climate-controlled malls throughout the US that looked like it. Source: History of Southdale Center, the first modern American shopping mall – Business Insider   The great American mall is struggling to say the least. The causes are many, but all […]

Dan Sisco has discovered a technology that allows him to access half a dozen major TV channels, completely free.“I was just kind of surprised that this is technology that exists,” says Mr. Sisco, 28 years old. “It’s been awesome. It doesn’t log out and it doesn’t skip.”Let’s hear a round of applause for TV antennas, […]

You’ve got to spend money to make money. That appears to be the mantra over at Netflix, where the DVD-by-mail service turned mega-streaming outlet has racked up nearly $20 billion in debt expanding its platform to new areas, producing original content, and buying the rights to show other company’s movies and TV shows.The Los Angeles […]

Would you consider getting a cable-replacement TV service from a cable company? If so, Comcast has a proposal for you.The company says it is rolling out an internet-based streaming video service, called Instant TV, this fall. The service will join other streaming video services from pay TV providers, including Dish’s Sling TV and DirecTV Now […]

While Alphabet warns of rising costs in its Google division, it crushes 2Q 2017 expectations as it continues to ride several thematic tailwinds. The market, however, is putting downward pressure on the shares, a move we don’t think is warranted as we look at the situation through our thematic investment lens.

Three Square Market (32M) is offering implanted chips to employees interested in being biohacked.The new scheme, which 32M emphasized as being voluntary, begins on 1 August. According to the firm, the RFID chip will be implanted into their hand to “make purchases in their break room micro market, open doors, login to computers, use the […]

  Amazon.com Inc plans to meet on Wednesday with a dozen U.S. ranchers, seeking to expand distribution of organic and grass-fed meats as it takes over Whole Foods Market Inc, according to the meeting’s organizer.Analysts and investors have speculated that Amazon is aiming to combine its expertise in order fulfillment with the grocer’s facilities to […]

Well, the continued melt-up in the markets can only be met by the melt up coming out of Washington DC this week — we’re talking the temperatures here in DC, not the White House. The current record highs for the market means the multiple is being stretched even further — 18.5x earnings today versus 16.2x expected 2017 earnings in early November. The same earnings that have not been materially trimmed despite evidence of a slowing economy and the push out in the Trump agenda. Things are getting hot everywhere it seems.

In this excerpt from Episode 28 of Cocktail Investing, Chris and Lenore digest what a panhandler in China reveals about the power of the Cashless Consumption investment theme.

In this week’s program, Republicans’ repeal and replace of ACA plan falls flat, more data points to slowing economy as market melts higher, why Netflix’s belief that “negative free cash flow will be an indicator of enormous success” is worrisome, despite the focus by Apple and others on mobile payments and our Cashless Consumption thematic investment theme, Alibaba and Tencent are killing it in China, and why Facebook’s latest moves set it apart from other the social media platforms.

This week, Amazon sent more than a flare across the bow of newly public meal kit company Blue Apron (APRN) and took one step deeper into expanding its food focused efforts

At last weekend’s D23, Disney shared what’s up and coming for both its animated as well as live action movies. For those of us that have been paying attention, there was only modest new news, but the event did solidify our view that 2017 is a transition year for the company’s core film business and will set the stage for strong growth potential in 2018 and beyond.

Second quarter earnings season really began late last week, and it has been anything but smooth sailing, exactly as we have been predicting for awhile

Janet Yellen finally copped to the fact that the domestic economy is indeed moderating, and Wall St quickly followed with the same assessment. But as a regular reader, you know, it’s been a drum we’ve been banging for quite some time. The scary thing is it comes at a time when the S&P 500 closed Friday at 18.7x times 2017 earnings per share. This week we break it all down and what it means for investors as we head into what will no doubt be some serious readjustments in expectations.

In this week’s program, Dovish Yellen pushes the market higher, but underlying economic data points to things headed in the opposite direction, the move away from cash is picking up (good news from our Cashless Consumption theme) and nearest and dearest to our hearts — coffee and wine are good things for our health. Yes!

    Visa Takes War on Cash to Restaurants. Company offers up to 50 merchants $10,000 apiece to upgrade payment technology and stop taking cashVisa’s new initiative is part of its broader effort to steer Americans away from using cash, long one of its biggest competitors. Visa Inc. has a new offer for small merchants: […]

In this week’s issue, we’re adding a new commodities ETF to the Tematica Select List as part of our Scarce Resources investment theme. Plus updates on AMZN, AMT, OLED, MKC, IFF and BETR.

Online shopping from a great selection at Amazon Smart Home Services Store. Source: Amazon.com: Amazon Smart Home Services   For the most part, Amazon’s Echo devices are pretty much “plug-and-play”.  We recently received the Amazon Echo Live devices and it was pre-configured to our Amazon Prime account, and by simply entering our WiFi password automatically […]

In this week’s program, Tematica’s investing mixologists, Chris Versace and Lenore Hawkins discuss the week’s economic data, relevant political happenings and share where they have spotted a few of the latest Thematic Signals.

Trader Joe’s has Two Buck Chuck. Amazon? A new wine label called Next with bottles costing $20, $30 and $40 a pop.The company recently announced that it helped develop this new wine brand produced by King Vintners, a subsidiary of Oregon’s King Estate Winery, and had started selling it on Amazon.com. In a press release, […]

Amazon’s Echo is about to have some more competition in the digital assistant arena: China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba will start selling a $73 voice-activated speaker.The Tmall Genie X1 will be available for 499 yuan ($73) to the first 1,000 people who buy it during a one-month trial, the company announced on Wednesday. It may prove […]

As it seems like most of the country is on vacation this week, we’re going to use the lull in activity to take a moment to look back at the quarter that was and get our house in order as we enter the back half of the year.

In this week’s program, Tematica’s investing mixologists, Chris Versace and Lenore Hawkins discuss the week’s economic data, relevant political happenings and share where they have spotted a few of the latest Thematic Signals. We then have a fascinating discussion with the Chairman & CEO of Alert Logic, Gray Hall.

With the Nasdaq Composite Index and technology, in general, starting to pull back, we’re using it as an opportunity to take our gains on this ETF and move on.

The cyber threats keep coming, which is good news for HACK, and the market seems to be putting an unfair beating on COST, which we’ll use to our advantage this morning by adding to our position.