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2010 Consumer Predictions…

Investing is simple:  Know the trend, know where to invest.  As a fun brainstorming activity, we at iBC like to predict important events and trends in the coming year.  So, while I won’t be predicting the best stocks or worst stocks for 2010 in this post, I thought I’d give a brief outline and list of what to expect in 2010 for consumers.

1.  Super cell phones:  Cell phones with projectors; paying for goods using your phone as a credit card swipe; using your cell phone as an airline ticket, movie ticket, opera house ticket.

Winners:  Google Maps, Google, security programmers,
Losers:  Consumers… because it will cost an extra $200 for this technology and it will make everything else more expensive (i.e., service charge); mobile carriers

2.  Real Estate Bargains-  we will see the banks go nuts with a backlog of bad assets.  Never heard of that before.  Anyway, home prices will slide another 10-15% due to oversupply.  Oddly enough, while everyone is in panic, it will be the time to buy. 

3.  iPod app mayhem–  programmers will develop a number of highly illegal apps that will infringe on privacy and be a threat to competition.  For example, the FaceFinder app will allow a user to take a picture of someone, and it will then search a large database that will return a list of information such as the name of the person, their email, phone number, marital status, and social security number.  Nerds will then hack this and put false data into the database which will return data like “registered sex offender”, “racist”, “reader of theStreet.com” and “likes fat men.” 

4.  Audio/Visual Ebay–  First let me mention, Craigslist will be entirely reprogrammed and reformatted to get rid of spammers and scammers.  Ebay will finally use Skype to allow sellers to have audio or visual auctions.  Of course, the sellers will allow only certain people to join their auction so probably only the higher end sellers will benefit most.  Only those with 90% feedback will have buying and selling powers.  Another application is to have a pre-bidding video conference where the seller advertises a day and time of which they will showcase the product and take any questions.  Then the bidding will commence as usual.  The showcase can be recorded and embedded as a video on the product page.

5. Electric-Mode–  Towards the end of 2010, car manufacturers will have an “electric-mode” where the cars will switch from gas to electric when travelling at <10 mph.  Of course, the cars will be a little smarter to detect that the driver is in stop-and-go traffic versus a car that is at a stop light.  It will use a simple algorithm to predict that the driver is in traffic, and therefore will switch the motor to electric power. 

6.  Digital Media Advertising-  We’re already seeing LCD monitors pop up everywhere with ads like in supermarkets, gyms, and office.   I won’t be surprised if I see an ad about Prostate Cancer or Viagra on a urinal LCD.

7.   Star Bucks Catering and Twitter Menus–  why not?  They already have those on-the-go coffee packs (which taste nasty), so why not cater?  I could see a large conference with SBUX served in the morning.  As for Twitter, I could see larger establishments to start tweeting their flavor of the day, special of the day, and discount code.  It’s about mixing technology with society and profiting off it.

8.  Outsourced drive-thru.  Yep, we will see more and more of this.  The people taking your order at the drive-thru window will be someone in the Philippines.

9.   $9.50 combo meals at Jack-in-the-Box– okay, so while I’m at it, let’s just admit that we will soon see meal combos at fast food restaurants equal to that of a real restaurant.  Egregious!

10.   Shutterfly will merge with Facebook – or some kind of clever combination like that.   Another possibility is that we will have a new TV-Show:  “America’s Top Facebook Model”

Got any other ideas?  Let us know!

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Bears Attack

Hi all, I’ll be meeting with some clients in the morning so I’ll come up with a better list in the evening for plays for the rest of the year.  But for now, my guns are loaded… no, not for the clients.  Haha, maybe.  Anyway, get ready for a combo bear attack.   Use light volume holiday trading as your entry point for medium term shorts.  Yes… “medium term”, which means you have time to average in.   Swing traders must start adding shorts to their portfolio.  I’m not saying completely switch over night, but to get through these churning periods you need a good blend and some sort of timing in your method.

As for longs, I am only adding one more stock this weekend that I like for a swing long:  EnerNOC, Inc. [[ENOC]] .  I am also bullish on [[KIRK]] but it looks better as a day-trading stock (long/short).  Maybe a pullback to 17.xx would serve as a good entry for initial position.

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Beware of Light Volume Trading

Hi all.  Volume is very light today, as was for the past week.  This is the holiday trading effect.  I believe today’s up-day on the market presents us with a good opportunity to open up new shorts.   Right now I am aggressive short niche-consumer products like TPX.  Go for high-end retail like Coach, Inc. [[COH]] (with conservative stop at 37), or Tiffany & Co. [[TIF]] (conservative stop at 44.70), and Blue Nile, Inc. [[NILE]] .  These are all trading near highs, however a significant pullback is imminent on them due to volume decline.

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Trade: SFLY … and a moment with Airlines

New longs:  SFLY (17.05)

I use them, so why not invest in them?

In preparation for 2010, I am putting together a 3-step approach to shorting the airline stocks.  Tourism in Hawaii has it’s bright spots, but to me it feels like they are sporatic gasps of air before they completely sink.  Kind of weird to use a water analogy for something in the air.  You get the point.  Airlines are going down.

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Trade: TPX, AKAM

New shorts:  AKAM (25.07), TPX (22.59)

Thanks all for the support and kind words throughout the year!  Even though we’re strangers, I feel we are united in the same struggles and blessings.  Aloha!

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Back from Lanai (La – nah – e )

We’re getting some 20+ foot waves in Waimea Beach so I’m going to head there soon.  Anyway, I just got back from Lanai last night.  Stayed at the Four Seasons Lodge.  Wow, I highly recommend running away to there if you just want to get away from the stress of life, work and the market.  It’s a bit pricey though- about 300/ night… just sell two stocks in AAPL and book one night!     Lanai is a small island, but it’s elevated so the temperature is quite cool- a very unique feature of the island… it’s almost as if you are in the Mainland.  If you are in to nature, then you’ll love it there… there’s great fishing, hunting (wild turkey and some strange looking deer, ha!), and great people who are total country.  The “city” there is smaller than my community.  It’s hilarious.  Everyone leaves their doors unlocked, even the keys to their cars are left inside the ignition.  Basically everyone knows everyone.  Sadly, I didn’t have any internet in my hotel room, so I couldn’t really finish up on my research on the utilities sector and foreign outsourcing sector.  Maybe it was better that way.  Anyway, the real reason I went there was for a funeral so I don’t really count it as a vacation.  My friend’s grandfather passed away two weeks ago, and he wanted to be buried there.   So, it was a little bitter and sweet, but enough to make you drink in what life has to offer you.  On another sad note, I just wanted to relay my condolences to them as well as the Yoshida family from Haleiwa (North Shore).   I had Russel over for lunch a few months ago, so I was shocked to hear the story.  He was one of the friendliest persons you could ever meet… it seemed like he did not have the ability to frown- always smiling.  He had a lot of great fishing stories, but sadly it had to end with this one.  It all kind of brought back memories of my friend I lost earlier this year, especially since my last visit to Lanai was with him and his brother for a fishing trip.  It was very awkward trying to enjoy that island, but feeling and knowing that something was different.  I don’t know how to explain it.   So, pardon me if I haven’t been myself lately… it’s been a tough year.   I don’t even know what day of the week it is sometimes.  Lol.  Anyway, I hate talking about sad stuff so I won’t mention of this anymore.  It’s just not me.

Continue to have a safe winter.  Love your enemies.  Hold your loved ones.  Crush the market.  -gio-

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