Published Research on Digital Lifestyle Theme

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 […]

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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.

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.

This Asset-Iite Business Model company is taking steps to win back advertisers, while a Rise & Fall of the Middle Class one holds its annual Investor Day today.

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What is Thematic Investing

Thematic investing looks to identify pain points by looking at the intersection of shifting economics, demographics, psychographics and technologies, mixed in with regulatory mandates and other forces. Such pain points result in a pronounced secular market shift that shapes and impacts behavior, forcing companies to make fundamental changes to their businesses to succeed.  Read More >>

What We Do at Tematica

Tematica Research provides equity research, economic insights, and investment ideas based upon its proprietary thematic perspective of the world and financial markets. The thematic discipline utilized by Tematica across its research and economic commentary, as well as its index and portfolio construction efforts, is the culmination of the more than 20 years Chief Investment Office Chris Versace spent analyzing industries and companies.  Read More >>