Contributor Commentary

Jeff Kagan | |

A year ago, Elliott Management bought AT&T stock and wanted to completely overhaul the company and its growth strategies by breaking everything up in order to increase their share value. Now, one year later, the fund manager sold its AT&T stock. So, let’s take a look at this potential disaster that was averted.

David Nelson, CFA CMT | |

On Tuesday, November 24th, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 30,000 for the first time. That's a long way from its first close of 40.94 May 26, 1896. Today's Dow looks a lot different than the original 12 companies. Even General Electric was kicked out of the index in 2018.

Jeff Kagan | |

As COVID-19 continues its impact on industries, we should expect to see changes or adjustments in growth strategies from many companies. Let’s take a look at companies in the wireless, telecom, pay TV, entertainment, Internet space and more. Companies like Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Comcast Xfinity, Charter Spectrum, Altice, Disney and many others.

Today, smart companies are now actively studying their growth strategies and planning on changes that will help them continue to grow going forward over the next year or two or longer during Covid-19.

David Nelson, CFA CMT | |

Wall Street loves complex theories of why an asset class will outperform or head south. We tear apart income statements, balance sheets and parse every word from the FOMC. We run thousands of back tests on multi-factor quantitative models diving through virtually every data point that relates to a company, commodity, fixed income instrument or real estate. Real time satellite imagery, super computers not to mention the thousands of engineers using fast programing languages like Python have all been tapped to determine what an asset class is going to do in the next minute, hour, day, month and year. The point is we will do almost anything to gain an edge.

Jeff Kagan | |

Customers have big hearts, but don’t like to be taken advantage of. COVID-19 has been very hard on the restaurant industry. I have family that works in the industry, so I know about the troubles. Too many restaurants are hurting themselves further, however, by lowering the quality of the product they sell, which damages their brand relationship with the customer.

This is hurting them in addition to coronavirus. This is destroying their brand value in the customers' minds. That is business suicide. The customer always notices everything.

Silvia Davi | |

With the winter and holiday season fast approaching in what has been one of the most unpredictable years on record, many of us will be gearing up for more virtual holidays and Zoom happy hours as the pandemic enters another, more resurgent wave. During this unprecedented time, the wine community was one of the few that broke new records. Fantinel Winery, located in the revered Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of Italy, is a perfect example of a fast-growing winery reinventing the art of winemaking. Having recently teamed up with Mary J. Blige for the launch of Sun Goddess Wines, Fantinel’s entrepreneurial spirit, international reach, continued growth and innovation is both fascinating and inspiring. Learn first-hand about the family journey from CEO Marco Fantinel and indulge in one of the vineyard's awesome wines during this Thanksgiving.

David Nelson, CFA CMT | |

Even before Pfizer's historic announcement that its COVID-19 vaccine trial was showing 90% efficacy, the S&P 500 was on track to break out above important resistance. Stocks have been held hostage trapped in a 350-point S&P trading range defined by the all-time September 2nd high and where 2020 started. In a near manic depressive state, investors have been caught in a tug of war with rising COVID-19 cases, increased shutdowns and political unrest on one side and falling unemployment, better economic data and strong earnings on the other.

Michael McTague | |

This final entry in the series (see Part I and Part II) considers at the title itself, taken from the famous statement by Lord Acton: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” This implies that anyone who gains control is likely to misuse it. 

As the coronavirus and the election grip everyone’s attention, the fifty governors of the states had to make their decisions on what kind of restrictions to roll out to protect people. In a democracy, one might assume that a wide number of voices will be heard prior to a choice. In fact, one side of the debate dominates and loves it. According to the New York Times, Michigan Governor Whitmer’s early statewide restrictions were not so tight and gained bipartisan support. However, the later, more heavy-handed restrictions lost their bipartisan flavor.

Jeff Kagan | |

Wondering which wholesale club to pick as a customer or investor? I am a member of all three major wholesale clubs — BJ’s, Costco and Sam’s Club — and I have some definite opinions based on my own experience. Most people just invest in and join one. There are significant differences you need to be aware of among all three companies to make the right call for you.

In this column, I will share with you my opinions and some valuable insight into the best and worst of the group. Some have great customer service and customer care. Others have poor customer service and customer care. That is a big difference to keep in mind.

Jeff Kagan | |

Seeing the writing on the wall, cable TV companies Comcast Xfinity, Charter Spectrum and Altice decided they needed to start selling wireless to their customers. The only problem was, they didn’t own a wireless network. So, they took the next best alternative… they became MVNO resellers. Let’s take a look at how cable TV is doing in wireless so far.


The separate industries of wireless, telephone, Internet, pay TV and m...