Category Archives: Thematic Signals

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Thematic Signals highlights confirming data points and items to watch for our list of investing themes. Whether it’s a news item, video clip, or company commentary, we’ve included this full list of items literally “ripped from the headlines.”

Pilot study shows how Amazon’s Alexa helps older adults feel independent and safe

Pilot study shows how Amazon’s Alexa helps older adults feel independent and safe

In February 2017, the Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing (FPCIW) launched its Amazon Alexa Pilot at Carlsbad By The Sea (CBTS). The positive results from the pilot showed the positive impact Alexa and smart home technologies can have in the lives of older adults: 75% used their smart devices at least once a day. 100% […]

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Discounts & coupons are the primary driver behind growth in mobile app shopping

Discounts & coupons are the primary driver behind growth in mobile app shopping

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 […]

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40% of Americans can’t cover a $400 emergency expense; 25% have no retirement savings

40% of Americans can’t cover a $400 emergency expense; 25% have no retirement savings

We keep hearing the mainstream media talk about the improving economy and the falling employment rate, but beneath the headlines and talking heads, we’ve seen consumer debt continue to climb. Why? Because those who don’t have sufficient funds either have to borrow, the likely option, on in some cases sell something. This has increased borrowing […]

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Starbucks, not Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay, is the most popular mobile payment system in the U.S.

Starbucks, not Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay, is the most popular mobile payment system in the U.S.

  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 […]

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Millennials increasingly cash strapped as incomes are hit by rent costs

Millennials increasingly cash strapped as incomes are hit by rent costs

No wonder younger Americans are taking longer to leave the family nest – it’s expensive out there! While growth rates in rents have slowed this year compared to the last few, Freddie Mac’s April Outlook report said that higher housing costs and younger adults’ decisions to delay buying have led to an uptick in apartment sharing […]

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Campbell CEO Morrison retires, kicking off a strategic business review

Campbell CEO Morrison retires, kicking off a strategic business review

What we are seeing in the Campbell’s earnings report and decision to undertake a strategic review is yet another company that is grappling with the changes to their business model as consumer preference shifts toward healthier eating and snacking. Some businesses are able to use acquisitions to pivot their businesses more quickly and respond to […]

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PayPal to acquire iZettle and challenge Square

PayPal to acquire iZettle and challenge Square

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 […]

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Cashing in on the Cash-Strapped Consumer theme, BJ’s Wholesale Club going public (again) but it’s no Costco

We’d like to think the above headline sums it, it only partially does. Yes, given several data points that show consumers have taken on more debt and its sapping their disposable income, our Cash-strapped Consumer investing theme remains intact. The wind up of this theme is consumers are foregoing certian spending or saving, in some […]

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Target adds AR, but still focused on stores

Target adds AR, but still focused on stores

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 […]

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Chico’s – if you can’t beat Amazon, join ’em

Chico’s – if you can’t beat Amazon, join ’em

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 […]

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