EURUSD at the Center of Trade Wars, High Profile ECB and Fed Meetings

Talking Points:

  • The first day of the G-7 meeting resulted in the exact cold reception for the US expected amid charged trade tensions
  • Not only will the Dollar find itself buffetted by trade war developments, it has a FOMC decision expected to produce a hike
  • Other key events ahead include: an ECB decision; a run of Brexit-related votes; a Swiss currency vote and much more

What makes for a ‘great’ trader? Strategy is important but there are many ways we can analyze to good trades. The most important limitations and advances are found in our own psychology. Download the DailyFX Building Confidence in Trading and Traits of Successful Traders guides to learn how to set your course from the beginning. Download these and more guides on the DailyFX Trading Guides page .

An Icey Reception at the G-7 Summit

As expected, the G-7 summit in Canada proved the antithesis of unity that we had seen come from these events in the past. Trade wars inflamed tension among these key economies’ leaders even if that exact term wasn’t uttered at the discussions. The Trump administration’s decision to move forward with the steel and aluminum tariffs against the European Union, Canada and Mexico on May 31st marked a definitive escalation in an already unstable course for global relations and the collective growth and market gains that has resulted from these fluid connections over the past years. By the close of the first day, there wasn’t definitive ‘breakdown’ during the event – most of these leaders are too well-practiced to purposefully or even inadvertently cause a panic. However, the snubs, the threatened refusal of an official communique and the early departure by President Trump all signaled that this was not an event to patch relations. Day two is unlikely to resolve or further divide, but the troubles will linger with the global markets. If complacency remains come Monday, don’t consider it a sign of strength. Rather see it for the anxiety and straining temporary supports (like extreme monetary policy) that it is.

EURUSD at the Center of Trade Wars, High Profile ECB and Fed Meetings

Dollar: The FX Markets Most Risky Member

We typically think of the US Dollar as the last resort safe haven that capital flees to when liquidity is the only thing that matters. If push came to shove, the Greenback would still step up to a frantic need for financial stability – something to consider should the markets start to truly fall apart. However, where global market participants retain a sense of differentiation for their risk-reward balance, the US currency is perhaps the most risky player on the board. It finds itself at the center of the growing trade wars by design. While the move to implement tariffs on China, the EU and its North American neighbors was meant to confer benefit upon the economy; its ultimate impact will be loss by its being ostracized by an angry collective. If you want to gauge how significant the change in sentiment surrounding global trade is following the G-7 summit, measure through the Dollar. In the event the Greenback refuses to extend its retreat or revive its general bull trend of the past two months, look ahead to the Fed rate decision on Wednesday. This event is heavily expected to end with a hike which makes it easier to disappoint th an to impress. Beyond the move at this particular meeting, the assessment of pace moving forward amid economic trends and a troubled trade environment will be evaluated thoroughly in the Summary of Economic Projections and the Chairman’s press conference.

EURUSD at the Center of Trade Wars, High Profile ECB and Fed Meetings

Euro: The Second Most Intense Volatility Windup

Next to the Dollar, the Euro is the second most at-risk currency in the week ahead. While the US and China seem to be dealing with the largest negotiation terms through tariffs, the health of the relationship between the United States and European Union is far more critical to global health and stability. That makes EUR/USD an unexpected but nevertheless critical baseline for the path for global trade. Beyond this particular theme though, we have unique fundamental concerns and themes to deal with on the Euro’s side over the coming week and beyond. Though we have seen the tenor of headlines related to Italian politics cool lately, the situation is far from resolved. A populist government formed out of a coalition of members that have clear anti-EU and anti-Euro beliefs is still in power. At the top of the docket, we also have Thursday’s ECB rate decision. This too is a ‘quarterly’ event where more insight is expected than usual. Over the past few weeks, we have seen speculation over a definitive shift in monetary policy ramp up. The anticipation is for plans of a full taper to be announced and the path towards the first hike to be paved. Here too, it is easier to disappoint than it is impress.

EURUSD at the Center of Trade Wars, High Profile ECB and Fed Meetings

Closer to the Fire (Emerging Markets) or Further Away (Aussie Dollar)

Moving forward, it is important to monitor the bearing and breadth of risk trends. Trade wars, monetary policy and most other key themes are generally catalysts for more systemic changes in the current of speculative sentiment. It is important not to concentrate completely on the spark to the exception of the true fire. The US tech sector in US equity indices are particular attuned to the ebb and flow. If we wanted to look at the bleeding edge of the curve, the FAANG group is even closer to the core of performance over the past three to four years. Another leveraged asset class through sentiment is emerging markets. The EEM ETF failed in its break higher this past week, but the pain is more obvious in EM FX. The drop from the South African rand and Indian rupee are good examples of the trend developing these past weeks. Rebounds from the Turkish lira and Brazilian real recently were leveraged by extreme intervention and anticipation of rate hikes. On the opposite end of the spectrum, we can look to the Australian Dollar and Swiss franc as more disconnected currencies. Normally, one is a carry and the other a safe haven, but those roles have been unseated by extreme monetary policy and cross winds. We discuss all of this and more in this weekend Trading Video.

EURUSD at the Center of Trade Wars, High Profile ECB and Fed Meetings

If you want to download my Manic-Crisis calendar, you can find the updated file here .

original source

DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.
Learn forex trading with a free practice account and trading charts from IG .

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Trump, Trudeau Claim Progress on Nafta

QUEBEC CITY—President Donald Trump struck a more positive tone Friday on ties with Canada, following pointed criticism a day earlier via his Twitter account, saying the two countries discussed how to find a breakthrough in stalled talks involving the North American Free Trade Agreement.

“We have made a lot of progress today, we will see how it all works out,” Mr. Trump said at start of a bilateral meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, held on the sidelines of the Group of Seven leaders’ summit in Quebec’s Charlevoix region. “The relationship is as good or better than it’s ever been, and I think we will get to something very beneficial to Canada and the U.S.”

As for Nafta, the president said he was focusing on a “much simpler agreement, much easier to do.” Talks toward a revamped continental trade pact are stalled, largely due to a disagreement between Washington and Mexico City on autos.

At the start of another bilateral meeting, this time with French President Emmanuel Macron, Mr. Trump again addressed talks with Canada, saying U.S. officials “had a very good meeting with Justin [Trudeau] and his representatives.”

Canadian senior officials told reporters late Friday that Mr. Trudeau and Mr. Trump had a “productive and positive” meeting on trade, including how to accelerate the pace of Nafta talks. They added the meeting went on longer than originally planned.

The softer tone between the U.S. and Canada is in stark contrast from just 24 hours earlier. On his Twitter account, Mr. Trump took umbrage with complaints Thursday from Mr. Trudeau and French President Emmanuel Macron about U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum products made by its closest western allies. Mr. Trump described the Canadian leader as “indignant,” and complained about Canadian tariffs on U.S. agriculture products, especially dairy.

Trade watchers warned the Trump administration’s decision to impose steel and aluminum tariffs could put tenuous Nafta talks on even shakier footing. Rather than forcing Canada and Mexico into concessions on Nafta, analysts say, the tariff move is likely to strengthen Canada’s and Mexico’s resolve to not back down on unconventional U.S. demands for Nafta, such as the elimination of international panels to resolve trade disputes and a sunset clause under which the pact would expire if not explicitly renewed every five years.

Mr. Trump has also mused about negotiating separately with Canada and Mexico, and ditching the trilateral approach. Canada, and Mexico, have rejected this plan, and a senior Canadian official said Mr. Trudeau reiterated this point yet again during Friday’s bilateral get together.

Mr. Trudeau said last week he had offered to go to Washington and meet with the president to work toward a Nafta deal. However, the Trump administration stipulated Canada had to agree to the sunset clause. Mr. Trudeau said no.

Write to Paul Vieira at

Snapchat Plays Defense Against Apple's New Memoji

As it turns out, Snap (NYSE: SNAP) was on to something when it acquired Bitstrips, the maker of Bitmoji personalized avatars, in March 2016. When Snap went public last year, it disclosed in its prospectus that it paid approximately $64.2 million for the Toronto-based developer, which consisted of $46.6 million in cash and $11.6 million in stock in addition to assuming $6 million in accrued expenses and other liabilities. That was much less than the $100 million price tag that was reported at the time.

With Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) recently announcing Memoji , an animated personalized emoji that users can control with their faces, Snap is rightly scared.

12 examples of customizable Memoji

Memoji is coming in iOS 12. Image source: Apple.

Playing defense

Snap is opening up Bitmoji just a little bit more, allowing users to use Friendmojis outside of the core Snapchat app in iOS, according to Engadget . Friendmojis are the Bitmoji stickers that include both the user and a friend. Standalone Bitmoji have long been available as stickers within iOS. The company will require users to link their Snapchat accounts with Bitmoji in order to utilize the new feature.

It’s a minor change, which also could be related to the fact that more direct rival Facebook is reportedly working on its own personalized avatars for users, which would be the latest in a slew of features that the social juggernaut has copied from Snap. Incidentally, Bitstrips actually started out on Facebook, allowing users to create customized comic strips.

Snap now finds itself playing defense against two tech giants.

Goodwill hunting

Apple’s angle is pretty obvious: Sell more iPhones by including a social feature that is becoming increasingly popular, particularly in messaging, which itself has huge platform potential.

The risk to Snap is less conspicuous. Bitmoji’s revenue model is through sponsored partnerships, customized bitmoji that feature certain brand advertisers like McDonald’s , which announced the first such deal in December. Bitmoji is free to regular users and does not offer in-app purchases. Snap is also leveraging the underlying technology to create 3D bitmoji in augmented reality (AR) on Snapchat — which Apple is also replicating with Memoji.

It’s also worth remembering that Snap recorded $52.7 million in goodwill on its balance sheet from the Bitstrips acquisition, comprising the vast majority of its purchase consideration. If Bitstrips’ potential to bolster Snap’s business falls short, it may have to impair that goodwill, eating a painful impairment charge in the process.

10 stocks we like better than Snap Inc.
When investing geniuses David and Tom Gardner have a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, Motley Fool Stock Advisor , has quadrupled the market.*

David and Tom just revealed what they believe are the 10 best stocks for investors to buy right now… and Snap Inc. wasn’t one of them! That’s right — they think these 10 stocks are even better buys.

Click here to learn about these picks!

*Stock Advisor returns as of June 4, 2018

Evan Niu, CFA owns shares of Apple and FB. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Apple and FB. The Motley Fool has the following options: long January 2020 $150 calls on Apple and short January 2020 $155 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

What's Accenture's Secret Sauce?

Global technology consulting firm Accenture (NYSE: ACN) has had a strong run over the past few years. During its 2012 through 2017 fiscal years, Accenture’s stock appreciated 138%, beating both the S&P 500’s 95% return and the Information Technology Index’s 125% return. In fact, Accenture outperformed its competitor basket for 16 straight quarters.

Accenture is known as what investors call a high-quality compounder, earning a robust 40% return on equity . The high returns on equity have led not only to the strong increase in the share price, but also a steadily rising dividend that has increased 50% over the past five years.

Companies that generate such efficient returns, strong cash generation, and steady growth usually have one or more sustainable competitive advantages . So what’s the secret sauce behind Accenture’s success?

a woman celebrates sitting at her office desk.

What’s made Accenture so successful? Image source: Getty Images.

In the sweet spot

The first thing to appreciate about Accenture is that it’s a big player in a really great industry, technology consulting, at a time when the world’s largest companies are currently in the midst of huge technological change. Brick-and-mortar companies are focused on improving or establishing a digital presence, companies are moving important data from internal data centers to the cloud, and enterprises are also investing heavily in cyber-security defenses as hackers become more sophisticated and dangerous.

These three huge shifts — digital, cloud, and security — are what Accenture’s management calls “The New,” and Accenture has been able to transition its core IT consulting and business process outsourcing businesses to these new growth sectors seamlessly. In the 2017 fiscal year, Accenture grew revenue from “The New” by 30% to $18 billion, encompassing more than half of the company’s $34.9 billion in total revenue and growing much faster than the company’s overall 7% revenue growth rate (in local currency).

A comprehensive portfolio

Accenture is extremely diversified across the types of services it offers, the types of industries it serves, and the locations it operates in. The company’s five service areas are Accenture Strategy, Accenture Consulting, Accenture Digital, Accenture Technology, and Accenture Operations.

Accenture Service



Helps clients achieve specific business outcomes through technology-based strategy.


More generalized consulting across the entire organization with the aid of in-house industry experts.


Helps companies with digital marketing and mobility through advanced analytics.


Systems integration, application outsourcing, and implementation of leading tech infrastructure, platforms, and software vendors.


Provides outsourced services for business clients and management of client IT infrastructure.

Source: Accenture. Table by author.

Accenture also operates across just about every type of industry, with revenue relatively evenly dispersed across its five industry categories, allowing the company to combine industry expertise with cross-industry insights.

Industry Group

Percentage of Overall Revenue (2Q 2018)

Communications, Media, & Technology


Financial Services


Health & Public Service


Products (Consumer, Industrial, Life Sciences)




Source: Accenture Second Quarter 2018 10Q. Table by author.

Accenture is also geographically diversified, with offices in 200 different cities across 53 countries around the world, relatively evenly distributed across its three main regions.

Geographic Region

Percentage of Overall Revenue (2Q 2018)

North America




Growth Markets


Data source: Accenture Second Quarter 2018 10Q. Table by author.

Comprehensive service offerings, combined with global reach and expertise, make Accenture a convenient one-stop shop for international companies. It’s no wonder that Accenture counts more than three quarters of the Fortune Global 500 as clients, including an impressive 95 of the top 100. It’s also impressive that all of Accenture’s top 100 clients have been clients for more than five years, and 98 out of the top 100 have been clients for 10 years or more.

A matter of trust

Accenture is a premier technology brand with highly diversified operations. And there’s one final piece of the puzzle: It’s a pure-play consulting firm that doesn’t sell hardware. In other words, it only serves as a consultant, it doesn’t sell its own technology, so there’s no potential conflict of interest. While some of its competitors are also pure-plays, its competitors include consulting arms of large tech companies, such as IBM (NYSE: IBM) and HP Enterprise (NYSE: HPE) , which sell their own technology.

With the advent of cloud computing and more commoditized equipment vendors, enterprises have more choices for their IT needs than ever, and it’s perhaps for this reason that clients continue to flock to unbiased, vendor-agnostic consultants like Accenture.

A winning combo

Accenture’s unique position as a leading technology expert, combined with its highly diversified business and vendor-neutral orientation, has allowed it to succeed over competitors. I expect the good times to continue, as the need for tech expertise should only accelerate in the coming years.

10 stocks we like better than Accenture
When investing geniuses David and Tom Gardner have a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, Motley Fool Stock Advisor , has quadrupled the market.*

David and Tom just revealed what they believe are the 10 best stocks for investors to buy right now… and Accenture wasn’t one of them! That’s right — they think these 10 stocks are even better buys.

Click here to learn about these picks!

*Stock Advisor returns as of May 8, 2018

Billy Duberstein owns shares of IBM. His clients may own shares of some of  the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Accenture. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Referenced Symbols: ACN

CenturyLink Bears Have It Wrong

CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) has become a battleground stock among income investors. On one hand, the company’s outsized dividend attracts yield-hungry investors. On the other, bearish investors cite increased pressure as more consumers cancel their landline telephone connections and cut the cord. Eventually, they argue, the company will be forced to cut its massive dividend and the share price will plummet.

For the most part, Mr. Market agrees with the bears as these concerns have weighed heavily on the stock price: Over the last five years, shares are down approximately 50%. The upside is that shares currently yield 11.7%, which is nearly 10 times the yield of the greater S&P 500. But what does the future look like?

A plant sprout surrounded by a pile of coins.

Image source: Getty Images.

The bearish argument for CenturyLink tends to focus on residential consumers, often comparing the company to Frontier Communications and Windstream Holdings , both of which had to cut their dividends and have seen their stocks plummet afterward . However, these bears are wrong on two accounts, and it’s possible shrewd investors can take advantage of their misconceptions.

CenturyLink isn’t Windstream or Frontier

The death of residential cable and legacy phone lines is an easy argument, but it’s not as applicable to CenturyLink as Frontier and Windstream. CenturyLink is now more tethered to enterprise clients (businesses). As of last quarter, which includes the Level 3 acquisition, residential consumers comprised only 23% of total revenue, down from 33% last year. Additionally, the bulk of consumer-based revenue is now in broadband, a growth area for the company.

At approximately two-thirds of CenturyLink’s revenue haul, the business segment is more important to investors. Although it’s slightly disconcerting that pro forma (incorporating Level 3) business revenue decreased 1% over the prior year, management’s free cash flow guidance is encouraging as this metric is the most important measure for dividend sustainability.

Management expects free cash flow of $3.25 billion at the midpoint, which is more than adequate to service the estimated $2.3 billion in dividends. While it’s important to note that this figure includes net operating loss carry-forwards, reducing taxes paid for the next several years, the recently enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will significantly lower tax bills afterward.

Fellow Fool Billy Duberstein did an in-depth workup using estimates from both companies , and also came to the conclusion CenturyLink can service its dividend, although his margin of safety was lower, most likely due to lower synergy assumptions.

Dividend cuts are not as negative as you may think

Let me be clear, I do not think CenturyLink’s dividend is at risk anytime soon. However, even if I’m wrong, that does not mean CenturyLink investors will be subject to negative returns. A study from Morgan Stanley shows that from the 10 years ended March 2016, companies that were expected to cut their dividend underperformed both the market and their sector. However, those that eventually did go on to cut their dividend saw their shares outperform both benchmarks in each of the 6-month, 12-month, and 24-month periods following the cut.

The hypothesis is that the company’s dividend cut affords it the capital to service debt, take on more-profitable projects, etc., which attracts a new class of investor. Additionally, the initial sell-off and the prior period of underperformance often result in cheap valuations, all other factors equal. As a hypothetical, CenturyLink could cut its dividend in half, saving approximately $1.15 billion in cash annually and eliminate most doubts that it can service its dividend going forward. And at 5.9%, CenturyLink would still be one of the larger yielders in the S&P 500.

Notable exceptions to this study’s conclusion are Windstream and Frontier, which have both underperformed after cutting their dividends due to deteriorating fundamentals. As earlier stated, CenturyLink is not in the same position due to its business-focused operations.

I think the upshot is that this will not occur, but dividend cuts aren’t necessarily a negative. While I think it’s a folly to say that the stock is going to turn into a growth juggernaut, it appears the company will continue to service its dividend for the foreseeable future while posting minimal capital gains — and with a near 12% yield, that’s likely enough for most income-focused investors.

10 stocks we like better than CenturyLink
When investing geniuses David and Tom Gardner have a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, Motley Fool Stock Advisor , has quadrupled the market.*

David and Tom just revealed what they believe are the 10 best stocks for investors to buy right now… and CenturyLink wasn’t one of them! That’s right — they think these 10 stocks are even better buys.

Click here to learn about these picks!

*Stock Advisor returns as of May 8, 2018

Jamal Carnette, CFA owns shares of CenturyLink. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Referenced Symbols: CTL

Pixar Co-Founder John Lasseter to Leave Disney

LOS ANGELES—Walt Disney Co.’s top creative animation executive, John Lasseter, is leaving the company at the end of this year, the company said, following accusations that he hugged and touched subordinates in unwelcome ways.

Mr. Lasseter has been away from Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios since November, when he started what was described as a six-month leave of absence. At the time, he sent a letter to colleagues apologizing to “anyone who has ever been on the receiving end of an unwanted hug or any other gesture.”

In a statement Friday, Mr. Lasseter said he planned to “begin focusing on new creative challenges.” The company said he declined to comment further.

Mr. Lasseter will work for Disney as a consultant through the end of this year before fully separating from the company, according to a company statement released Friday. For the remainder of this year, he isn’t expected to have an office at either Pixar or Disney Animation, according to a person close to the company.

Beginning in 2019, Mr. Lasseter will have no more contractual relationship with Disney, this person said, and he could move to a new venture.

Disney is likely to name two replacements for Mr. Lasseter, one as creative chief at Disney Animation and one at Pixar, the person close to the situation said. The leading candidates are “Frozen” co-director Jennifer Lee for Disney Animation and “Inside Out” director Pete Docter at Pixar, this person said.

Disney weighed Mr. Lasseter’s fate for several weeks beyond his initial leave of absence, which had been scheduled to end on May 21. Mr. Lasseter is considered one of Disney’s most valuable executives, but some employees at his animation studios didn’t want him to return.

Disney had considered bringing Mr. Lasseter back in a creative capacity that stripped him of any managerial oversight, The Wall Street Journal previously reported.

Mr. Lasseter’s exit came amid broader executive turnover at Disney, which reorganized its operations earlier this year.

A co-founder of Pixar, the 61-year-old Mr. Lasseter has been of the most visible creative executives in Hollywood. After Disney acquired Pixar in 2005, Mr. Lasseter helped lead a revival of Disney Animation, which made “Zootopia” and “Frozen” under his watch. He is credited with building Pixar into a family-entertainment powerhouse and helping to rebuild Disney Animation.

Mr. Lasseter directed five movies, the most recent in 2011, but was known to weigh in on even the tiniest detail on every feature at either studio. His signoff was necessary at every stage of moviemaking, from writing to storyboards and editing.

Mr. Lasseter became as closely identified with the studios he oversaw as their animated characters, appearing at Disney conventions to introduce new footage in his signature Hawaiian shirts.

Employees within the animation houses were torn on what should happen to their boss. Some said the behavior hadn’t bothered them, while others, and in particular younger workers, said his return would be a blow to the broader #MeToo movement.

In his absence, Pixar and Disney Animation have relied on a panel of artists, producers and executives to make creative decisions, employees said. Ms. Lee and Mr. Docter have been among those taking a larger role at the company since Mr. Lasseter left.

Pixar’s next movie, “The Incredibles 2,” opens June 15.

Write to Erich Schwartzel at and Ben Fritz at

Appeared in the June 9, 2018, print edition as ‘Animation Executive To Leave Disney.’

Pineapple Express to Host Investor Conference Call

Company announces new branding and marketing arm, stock dividend progress, and transition to elevated trading tier 

LOS ANGELES, June 08, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Pineapple Express, Inc. (OTC Grey: PNPL) (the “Company”), a publicly traded company that offers consulting, technology, capital and real estate services, turn-key property rentals and branding concepts to businesses in the legal cannabis industry, today announced that it will host a conference call for investors and interested parties on Monday, June 18, 2018 at 6pm Pacific Time.

The dial-in number for this pre-recorded conference call is (515) 739-1309 and the access code is 876791#. After entering the access code, please press # again when prompted. The call will be hosted by Matthew Feinstein, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Company and will be available for replay through the end of June 2018.

Interested parties are asked to submit their questions via email to, for possible inclusion in the Q&A portion of the call.

Conference call highlights are expected to include:

  • Comprehensive update concerning the Company’s progress in obtaining a market maker and the Company’s plans to have its stock quoted on the OTCQB marketplace;
  • Update on the Company’s planned stock dividends to shareholders to be issued subject to FINRA’s announcement;
  • Specific details concerning the Company’s development of its fully leased 38,000 sq ft “Pineapple Park” cultivation rental project in Adelanto, CA;
  • Launching of the Company’s patented Top-Shelf Safe Display System (SDS) for use in cannabis dispensaries to mitigate inventory loss and also ensure regulatory compliance.
  • Development of the Company’s website and trademark;
  • Details concerning the Company’s licensee relationship with its contracted branding partner to launch a robust Cannabidiol (CBD) product line under the Pineapple Express brand in exchange for a 10% royalty on all products sold;
  • Details concerning the Company’s licensee relationship with its contracted branding partner to launch a robust cannabis product line under the THC brand in exchange for a 10% royalty on all products sold;
  • Details concerning the Company’s licensee relationship with its contracted branding partner to launch a City/State licensed Cannabis Delivery Service under the Pineapple Express brand in exchange for a 10% royalty on all products sold;
  • Details concerning the Company’s licensee relationship with its contracted branding partner to launch a chain of retail stores under the Pineapple Express brand in exchange for a 10% royalty on all products sold; and
  • Launching of an in-house branding and marketing division to assist other cannabis industry participants in development of synergies between them and the Company.

“We look forward to showcasing all of our many exciting projects on the call and demonstrating commitment to building long-term value for our shareholders through consistent messaging, superior branding, unfaltering execution – all while keeping our management team lean and project costs to a minimum,” said Matthew Feinstein, CEO and Chairman of the Company.

About Pineapple Express, Inc.

Pineapple Express, Inc. (the “Company”) is based in Los Angeles, California. Through the Company’s operating subsidiary Pineapple Express Consulting, Inc., the Company provides capital to its canna-business clientele, leases real properties to those canna-businesses, and provide consulting and technology to develop, enhance, or expand existing and newly formed infrastructures. The Company intends to create a nationally branded chain of cannabis retail stores under the “Pineapple Express” name as soon as federal laws allow, which will be supported by anticipated Company-owned cultivation and processing facilities, and will feature products from anticipated Company-owned manufacturers. As long as cannabis remains federally illegal the Company’s operations will be limited to consulting, product licensing, leasing to and investing in existing and new canna-businesses, selling industry specific technology, and providing ancillary support services. The Company believes that its competitive advantages include its wealth of experience, business model, exclusive proprietary technology, and key industry contacts in an industry that is foreign to most. It is the Company’s expectation that these factors will set it apart from most of its competitors.

Forward-Looking Statements:

All statements other than statements of historical facts contained in this press release are “forward-looking statements,” which may often, but not always, be identified by the use of such words as “expects”, “anticipates”, “intends”, “estimates”, “plans”, “potential”, “possible”, “probable”, “believes”, “seeks”, “may”, “will”, “should”, “could” or the negative of such terms or other similar expressions. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause actual the Company’s results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements, including uncertainties as to the application and enforcement of U.S. and state federal laws in the cannabis industry (including to the Company’s business activities and the business activities of some of its customers and counterparties, while believed to be compliant with applicable state law, may be illegal under federal law because they violate the Federal Controlled Substances Act), the Company having a limited operating history, the Company’s ability to attract new canna-business clientele, successfully implementing the Company’s growth strategy (including relating to the Company’s intention to create a nationally branded and vertically integrated chain of cannabis retail stores under the “Pineapple Express” name and anticipated development of Company-owned cultivation and processing facilities), dependence on key Company personnel, timing of the filing the Company’s amended Registration Statement on Form 10 and clearing related Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) comments, timing of the filing the Company’s Form 211 with FINRA and clearing related comments, obtaining approval for the Company’s common stock to be quoted on one of the three OTC Markets, changes in economic conditions, competition and other risks including, but not limited to, those described from in the Company’s Registration Statement on Form 10, filed with the SEC on January 23, 2018, and other filings and submissions with the SEC.. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement and the Company undertakes no obligation to revise or update these statements except as may be required by law.

Company Contact: Matthew Feinstein
Pineapple Express, Inc.
Office: 877-310-PNPL

Broadway Gold Mining Announces Re-pricing of Options


VANCOUVER, British Columbia, June 08, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Broadway Gold Mining Ltd. (TSX-V:BRD) (OTCQB:BDWYF) (“Broadway” or the “Company”) announces that its Board of Directors, subject to disinterested shareholder and TSX Venture Exchange (TSX-V) approval, has approved the re-pricing of a total of 840,000 options to purchase common shares (“Options”) to an amended exercise price of C$0.20 per Option (the “Re-Pricing”). The closing price of the Company’s common shares on the TSX-V on June 7, 2018, prior to the approval of the Re-Pricing, was C$0.165.  A total of 440,000 of the Options had been issued on April 3, 2017 with an original exercise price of C$1.11. A further 400,000 Options had been issued on July 13, 2017 at an original exercise price of C$0.74.

In the coming weeks, Broadway will approach warrant holders to determine if there is unanimous approval to reprice existing warrants given the exercise rules triggered by such an event.

The Re-Pricing of the Options will be submitted for TSX-V approval shortly and shareholder approval will be sought at the Company’s upcoming 2018 Annual General Meeting. The Re-Pricing of the Options is subject to a simple majority approval of the Company’s shareholders excluding votes attached to shares that are beneficially owned by insiders to whom options may be granted under the Company’s stock option plan or associates of such persons. Prior to the Company’s receipt of TSX-V and disinterested shareholder approval, none of the Options may be exercised at the revised price.

The Re-Pricing of the Options to insiders, employees and consultants is undertaken to attempt to ensure that the objectives of the Company’s stock option plan are fulfilled and to compensate directors, who receive no cash compensation.

About Broadway Gold Mining Ltd.
Broadway Gold Mining Ltd. is focused on the exploration and development of the Broadway and Madison mines and the discovery of the porphyry source of their mineralization. The Company owns a 100% interest in a four-square-mile property, which is in the Butte-Anaconda region of Montana, a porphyry-based mining district. The Company is permitted for exploration and bulk sampling. Of two underground mines, one, the Madison, is Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) compliant. While actively expanding known copper and gold zones open for development, the Company’s exploration program has identified new anomalies along the two-mile contact zone, and across its extensive four-square-mile land package. The Company confirmed a Latite porphyry discovery in holes C17-24 and C17-C27 (see news release dated January 22, 2018) that appears to be of significant size with intercepts to-date measuring up to 234 meters, open in all directions.

For more information:

Thomas Smeenk
President and CEO
Broadway Gold Mining Ltd.


Adam Bello
Primoris Group Inc.
+1 416.489.0092

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release includes certain forward-looking statements or information. All statements other than statements of historical fact included in this release or other future plans, objectives or expectations of Broadway are forward-looking statements that involve various risks and uncertainties. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from Broadway’s plans or expectations include risks relating to the actual results of current exploration activities, fluctuating commodity prices, possibility of equipment breakdowns and delays, exploration cost overruns, availability of capital and financing, general economic, market or business conditions, regulatory changes, timeliness of government or regulatory approvals and other risks detailed herein and from time to time in the filings made by Broadway with securities regulators. Broadway expressly disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise except as otherwise required by applicable securities legislation.

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange Inc. nor its regulation services provider (as that term is defined in the policies of The TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Stock Stories, Volume II: Get the Big Picture Right

Every stock has a story, and on this week’s episode of Rule Breaker Investing , we’re sharing some of ours. Motley Fool co-founder David Gardner, along with a few other Foolish analysts and special guest speaker Dan Pink, go through their stock stories and the lessons they’ve learned from them. Sometimes you can win big, even when you get the details wrong. Sometimes you think you’re buying too late or that you’ve sold too early, only to find that there’s still plenty of time.

Sometimes, two completely contrary positions on a stock can both end up green. Find out what ventures into Twitter (NYSE: TWTR ) , Canadian National , Five Below (NASDAQ: FIVE) , and more have taught this motley assortment of investors.

A full transcript follows the video.

10 stocks we like better than Walmart
When investing geniuses David and Tom Gardner have a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, the Motley Fool Stock Advisor, has tripled the market.*

David and Tom just revealed what they believe are the ten best stocks  for investors to buy right now… and Walmart wasn’t one of them! That’s right — they think these 10 stocks are even better buys.

Click here  to learn about these picks!

*Stock Advisor returns as of June 4, 2018
The author(s) may have a position in any stocks mentioned.

This video was recorded on June 6, 2018.

David Gardner: Welcome back to Rule Breaker Investing ! Let’s start June together! Happy June! June is always a delightful month. We have some family birthdays in our family, you might as well in yours. You might also be already at the beach as you’re hearing us do this podcast. I hope you’re enjoying better weather. That’s especially true if you’re in the northern hemisphere. Anyway, June looks like a fun month for this show.

This week, we’re going to do Stock Stories Volume II . One year ago-ish, we did our very first in this series, Stock Stories , where rather than talk about story stocks, which is a phrase that a lot of us in the investing world have heard over the years — story stocks, you know, stocks that maybe don’t have the numbers behind them, maybe that you haven’t researched that much, but it has a story. And if it has a story, it becomes a story stock, and maybe one that you could or should own. Rather than pay obeisance to that, we flip it and we make it about stock stories, with the thinking that behind every stock is a story.

Over the course of this week’s podcast, I’m going to get to introduce some wonderful guest stars. They’re going to tell the story of a stock. It might be a stock that you know of. It might not be a story that you know. But, each of us has a story to share. We have six, just like we had a year ago for Stock Stories Volume I . At the end, we have Dan Pink, the celebrated author of nonfiction works about business, work, and productivity. Dan has his stock story, and we have the pleasure of sharing that. That came from FoolFest, which is our annual conference where we invite in many of our members, many of our longtime best members, and they come together with us in Alexandria, Virginia. We have some star-studded guest speakers. Dan Pink was one of them. Dan graciously told a stock story to FoolFest last weekend. I’ll be including that on this podcast. That’s what we’re doing this week.

Next week — I already want to be previewing this, because next week, it’s back to the Market Cap Game Show , the latest episode. I’ll be bringing my friend, Matt Argersinger, back in, and we’ll be playing with you, playing at home, the Market Cap Game Show . That’s always fun, always worth looking forward to. Oh, and, by the way, Matt will be a guest on this week’s show as well, telling a stock story.

One other housekeeping note before we get started. We’re going to have a Rule Breaker extra this weekend. I really love this. I hope you’ll love it, too. If you’re around Saturday or Sunday and want to download one extra Rule Breaker Investing podcast, you’re going to get to hear the interview that my brother Tom and I did with Fred Rogers, Mister Rogers of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood fame. Tom and I interviewed him back in the day. If you were around for a podcast a couple of months ago when we did our B last From The Radio Past , you heard one or two Fred Rogers-isms in that podcast. We excerpted a little there. But, this week, we’re going to present the entire thing, uncut.

I know there are a lot of Fred Rogers fans out there. If you want to hear Fred with his brush with The Motley Fool, I am delighted and excited to share that with you. I thank, in advance, my producers Mac Greer and Rick Engdahl for making that possible. We are timing that up with Mister Rogers’ documentary, Won’t You Be My Neighbor? , which comes out this weekend. A little bit of publicity and a little bit of love for that documentary. I have not seen it yet. It looks spectacular! It’s kind of a Mister Rogers week here around Fool HQ, and we’re happy to share that with you as well.

Alright, stock story No. 1. For this one, I get to invite in my longtime friend and collaborator, Karl Thiel. Karl, welcome!

Karl Thiel:  Thank you for having me!

Gardner:  It’s a delight to have you, Karl! Before you start, I’d like you to just talk briefly about what you do around The Fool and how we’ve worked together over the years.

Thiel:  I have, I guess, unlike a lot of people around Fool HQ, I’ve really done one thing for a long time. I’ve worked on Rule Breakers and I’ve worked on Stock Advisor . I now feel oddly protective about both of those things. [laughs] I just love them. But, yeah, I’m an analyst on both of those services. I have a particular sort of gravitation toward biotech and technology in general, but my work at Stock Advisor  takes me all over the place, which is also, I think, good for me, and hopefully good for other people.

Gardner:  You bet. Karl, it’s been a delight to work together! It seems like almost about 15 years at this point?

Thiel:  I think that’s about right, yeah.

Gardner:  And these days, you live in?

Thiel:  I now live in Austin, Texas, after many years in Portland, Oregon.

Gardner:  Which is pretty awesome. The one thing you and I haven’t really done together is work in a co-located way, Karl. But we’ve made virtual work pretty well over more than a decade now. Karl, what is the stock that you’ll be sharing a story about this week?

Thiel:  The stock is Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA) , ticker NVDA.

Gardner:  Excellent! Karl, maybe start with once upon a time, and take it away.

Thiel:  OK. Once upon a time — and by once upon a time, I mean earlier this afternoon — David told me that I could tell a stock story. I quickly gravitated toward Nvidia, because, for a very short moment, it makes me look really smart. So, I’m going to start with the smart part. If you take nothing else away from this, this is the part you should remember: I bought shares of Nvidia at $12.56 a piece in April 2013.

Gardner: Awesome!

Thiel:  I can pause there for a little bit of applause in the audience.

Gardner:  [laughs] Since the stock’s somewhere around $250 these days, that’s been a really, really good call over five years.

Thiel:  Right! This is my stock story, this is the story as it’s been for me, I think what follows next is a story of why you can be wrong on the details and still come out ahead. Unfortunately, the inverse can also be true. You can get all the facts basically right, successfully predict the future in broad terms, and still lose out. I have stories like that, too.

But, in this case, I would say that, when I decided to buy Nvidia, I had general beliefs and specific beliefs about the company. At that point, it had already been a Stock Advisor recommendation since April of 2005. It was, at that point, in 2013, outperforming the market, but not spectacularly so. I would say, my general belief could probably be summarized as something like, “Video processing, this is going to be big for more than just games.” I had specific beliefs. My specific beliefs were that the company’s Tegra processors, because of their high performance, would find an increasing role in tablets and smartphones, and maybe other areas like cars. I’d been out to CES and seen some really cool demos of their infotainment systems, really amazing tricked-out automobiles, and I was excited.

The general belief turned out to be, I think, pretty correct. The specific beliefs were really pretty wrong. [laughs] Tegra is still around. It’s incorporated into SHIELD gaming devices, it’s in the DRIVE system. It’s no slouch. Tegra revenue was $442 million in the most recent quarter, which is about 14% of total revenue. But Tegra for the most part, and most certainly smartphones, are not what catapulted the company forward.

I think, what happened in the interim is that the tablet market, which is really the only mobile market where the Tegra ever found much traction, just kind of fell apart. Then, Tegra wasn’t a good fit for most phones because it was too power-hungry and it wasn’t well-integrated enough with other components. And Nvidia even bought a company called Icera in 2011 so that it could incorporate modems and radio frequency stuff. That’s another part, I was thinking that this could finally position them to do better in the mobile market than they had, which also turned out to be wrong. Nvidia sold Icera in 2015 and essentially exited the mobile chip market at that point.

I guess, if you’re looking right now at, what is it that really ended up driving Nvidia forward, I think it started in 2015 when they launched into some of their deep learning stuff and introduced the Pascal architecture. And then, more recently, the Volta architecture, which I still think is really not appreciated for what it’s going to do.

But, I went back and I looked at the 2005 original recommendation, and that one really hit one very accurate idea. The idea was, video games are big and they’re getting bigger. I think, if you had to update that for today, it would be, artificial intelligence is big and it’s getting bigger.

Gardner:  [laughs] It sure is. And it’s still so early on for AI, isn’t it?

Thiel:  Absolutely. So, I think, to end this story, if there was a lesson that you wanted to draw from that, if you’re trying to predict the future, aim for a broad portrait. Don’t necessarily get too bogged down by expert details about what needs to happen in exactly what order. Make sure that the broader picture is still emerging, because that’s really what’s going to drive success or failure.

Gardner:  That’s a really great point, Karl. I think about how, sometimes, you’ll talk to a friend who’s very much into a given stock, and they’ve already choreographed what’s going to happen with the next few corporate developments and the stock price. I mean, God bless that person if they’re right, but so often, we’re wrong. But the good news is for you and me, and you’re describing one of those cases where we didn’t quite get it right, yet the stock does even better than we probably thought.

Thiel:  Absolutely. And in a way, maybe that’s kind of a Peter Lynch observation. You can use your own experience, even if it’s somewhat general, to make good choices.

Gardner:  I really like that. I think, about Nvidia — in fact, I told the story at FoolFest to some of our members last week. Just to think, we recommended it below $7 a share back in 2005, as you referenced, and it went to $30 within two years. So, it was a four-bagger for us by 2007. Then, you and I remember what happened — well, we all remember what happened to the stock market in 2008 and 2009. It went from $30 down below our cost of $6.75 or so one year later. So, we watched it go from basically $7 to $30 down to $6, which hurt a lot. When you’ve made 4X your money, you don’t like to watch all that go away and a little bit more. You had it in 2013, right, Karl? Your cost was $12, did you say?

Thiel:  Yeah.

Gardner:  It wasn’t until 2016 that the stock finally actually got back to $30, which we’d seen in 2007. And you know this because you’re on the team, we held it all the way through. In 2016, just to add a little bit to your story, the stock went from $30 to $90 that year. It tripled. It was the No. 1 performing stock for the S&P 500 that year.

And in 2017, we decided to rerecommend it right again, because we’re not afraid of things already having gone up. Usually, that’s a good sign. The good news is, we picked it there again in 2017 at $100, and it’s somewhere around $250-260 today.

It has been spectacular. But, yeah, I don’t think we were foreseeing, were we, back when we wrote that 2005 buy report, that artificial intelligence would come along, autonomous vehicles and all of these prospects for Nvidia and its graphics processing units.

Thiel:  Yeah. We weren’t, but, looking back at that, I think it really did get at what was important. It was about gaming, it was about the continued rise of gaming. And that continues to be a huge driver for the company. That is a very true observation 13 years later. And in broad terms, that original 2005 recommendation was absolutely accurate.

Gardner:  And at a cost of about $6.75, we’re sitting pretty on that one. Not every story has a happy ending. Today, for now, this one does. But for you, from that spectacular buy just five years ago at $12, or for some Stock Advisor members that had to wait for seven or eight years for the thing to do anything for us at all, it’s sometimes that epic Odyssey story, Odysseus making the effort to get all the way back to fair Ithaca, and all of the things that he had to do to get through. That’s how investing — which, by definition is for the long-term — feels a lot of the time.

Karl Thiel, thank you very much for joining us and sharing stock story No. 1!

Thiel:  Thank you!

Gardner:  And now it’s time for stock story No 2. We’re welcoming in, here in Fool HQ, my friend Matt Argersinger. Matt, how are you doing?

Matt Argersinger:  I’m doing pretty well, David.

Gardner:  Awesome! You and I — I already previewed this — we’re going to go back and play the Market Cap Game Show  next week. I always get excited about this.

Argersinger:  I’m excited about that.

Gardner:  Do you get a little nervous about it, Matt?

Argersinger: I think I’m getting more and more nervous, because I have this streak going. Six out of ten. I feel like, if I don’t hit that, I’m going to be really disappointed.

Gardner:  I understand. I’ll try to balance out, some hard ones with some easier ones. We’ll see how the numbers come out. But, you’ve always impressed me, because I would never have done more than about three or four out of ten. I think many of our listeners feel the same way. That’s all next week, though.

For this week, we’re going to talk about a story. Before you start, Matt, can you just briefly introduce yourself to people who have not met you before? What do you do around Fool HQ?

Argersinger: Sure! I’m an analyst in our investing team here at The Fool. I’ve actually been at The Fool for just over ten years now. It’s amazing.

Gardner:  Awesome!

Argersinger:  I have the great honor of being in Supernova and on our Odyssey 1 Mission .

Gardner:  The outstanding Odyssey 1 Mission . A real-money portfolio. I know we have some Odyssey 1 listeners right now. For those who’ve never heard of Odyssey 1 or Supernova , Matt, what is it that you do? You can brag a little bit, if you’d like, in terms of the performance you’ve generated for members.

Argersinger:  [laughs]  Supernova is a collection of real-money portfolios in missions, we call them, that are pursuing different goals. The Odyssey 1 Mission , it was one of the first real-money missions we launched in Supernova when Supernova launched in 2012.

Our goal is to help the investor who’s still saving, investing for retirement but somewhere out in the future, a wage-earning investor who’s probably adding money regularly to their portfolio. So, we’ve taken, I’d say, some fairly riskier investments, brought them into Odyssey 1 from the Supernova universe, and put together a pretty good track record. In six years, the Odyssey 1  portfolio has delivered roughly a 200% return, so roughly a triple in six years.

Gardner:  Right, which has been completely awesome. The market over that time has been good, but not anything like that good, so, wonderful. I know a lot of members are very grateful for your and your team’s work, Matt.

The idea of our real-money portfolio missions is that anybody can mirror them who’s a member. If you want, Matt and his team tell you what to do ahead of time, so you can find out, what stock am I supposed to buy next? We’re always scoring ourselves at or after when you do, so anybody, truly, can mirror these portfolios. In a world where a lot of people think you can’t beat the index fund — could you? Well, the good news is, I think that Odyssey and really all of Supernova prove that yes, you can, and it’s quite lucrative to do so.

Anyway, enough with that. Matt, what is the stock you’re presenting for stock story No. 2?

Argersinger:  Sure. The stock I’m bringing here today is Twitter, ticker TWTR. I think we all know what Twitter is and what it does. This is a stock we actually bought three times in Odyssey 1 over the years. I believe we’re the only Supernova  portfolio mission that has recommended Twitter.

Gardner:  Excellent. Matt, start us off with once upon a time.

Argersinger:  Once upon a time, go back to December 2013, Twitter enters the Supernova universe via your team in Rule Breakers . At the time, the price was $64 a share. It had recently come public after much anticipation, fanfare.

We waited roughly nine months to finally bring it into Odyssey 1 . This is August 2014 now. The stock price was $46. We actually added it a month later, again, in September 2014 — back-to-back months for us, we were excited about the company. I thought it was fun to go back and read some of our write-ups for Twitter at the time.

Gardner:  Mm, because, not to foreshadow, but Twitter would drop some from there, wouldn’t it?

Argersinger:  Yes, it would drop quite a bit. But, if you go back and read some of the things we wrote — my team and I, this is Aaron Bush, myself, Tim Beyers, and Sarah Goddard — just to give you a taste: “Twitter is the preeminent real-time communication platform of the future. The active user base of Twitter is accelerating. Revenue growth is growing over 100%. It’s the operating system of news, increasingly the way people consume news and information in real-time, and more relevant every day to individuals, corporations, sports teams, celebrities, government agencies, news feeds. And, as Spencer Rascoff of Zillow  continuously emphasizes, advertisers follow audience. Twitter’s audience is growing by leaps and bounds in an almost unlimited number of verticals.”

Gardner:  Now, that was pretty awesomely true back then, and some of it is definitely true today. The story may have changed a little bit in the meantime.

Argersinger:  It did. You go forward, and really, the timing of that, after our second rec — so, here’s Twitter September 2014 at $52 a share, and it was pretty much downhill from there. Every quarter hence, not only did revenue growth decelerate pretty fast —

Gardner:  That was a big thing.

Argersinger:  — the active user base for Twitter, which, at the time, was approaching 300 million, it really flattened out. The active user base went from growing, I’m saying, at 30% year over year, it went down to about 5% year over year, eventually flattening out.

Of course, as you can imagine, this really changed the market’s perception of Twitter. It dropped quite precipitously, at one point getting as low as $14 a share.

Gardner:  Yeah, I remember that!

Argersinger:  That was not a fun time!

Gardner:  And when was the bottom, Matt, roughly?

Argersinger:  It kind of hit two bottoms. It hit one, that $14-15 bottom, in 2015, and it hit it again later on in, I believe, early 2017. So, two trips to the depths.

But, interestingly enough, we weren’t deterred by that. We actually added it a third time in December 2015, so, roughly 15 months after our last rec, specifically because Jack Dorsey, the founder of Twitter, and today the CEO once again, he came back around that time.

Gardner:  Kind of like Steve Jobs coming back.

Argersinger:  Right. We thought, “Here’s the founder coming back,” and he did something that we thought was tremendous at the time, he came in and he gave away $200 million of his own worth of his share ownership in Twitter to his employees at Twitter upon coming back. We thought that was an interesting move.

Gardner:  One of the bigger gifts that we can think of any CEO ever giving their employees.

Argersinger:  Right. And, of course, we were wrong at the time to rerecommend it, because Twitter, again, as we foreshadowed, hit another new low shortly after that. In the fall of 2016, it was interesting, it actually shot up from that low teens to about $25. This was because there was a rash of buyout rumors, if you remember, companies from Salesforce (NYSE: CRM)  to Disney , there were rumors that they were bidding for the company. It shot up to $25. Of course, a buyout never materialized. The stock fell sharply after that, and slumped down again to that $14-15 range.

But, this is when you, David, and your team, Rule Breakers, in January 25th, 2017, made your second recommendation of Twitter at around $19, which I thought was incredibly prescient at the time. And, of course, it’s turned out to be an incredible investment. The reason I thought of Twitter today, or this week specifically, was because it was just announced this week that Twitter’s going to be joining the S&P 500.

Gardner:  Yes, indeed! Twitter had a very nice day. In fact, the day that it was announced was Monday, I believe. We’re taping here on Tuesday, and Twitter’s up about 5% or so —

Argersinger: That’s right.

Gardner: — largely on the news, right? Because all the index funds now pile in and need to own some Twitter.

Argersinger:  That’s correct. It’s nearly $40 as we tape, which I think is tremendous. Not only is it more than a double from when you last recommended it in Rule Breakers in January 2017, it’s up 60% —

Gardner: Awesome!

Argersinger: — since our last recommendation in Odyssey 1 about two and a half years ago, and it’s actually, as of this week, above our cost basis. Our cost basis was about $38. And for the first time in roughly five years, Twitter is back above our cost basis.

Gardner:  That’s great. Now, of course, I assume you intend the story to end there, Matt. I’m going to ask you about the lesson in a sec. But, there can be an epilogue here that I want to ask you about, as well, because all that really matters now, of course, is what happens going forward. First, Matt, what’s the lesson?

Argersinger: I think the lesson is, Twitter hasn’t been a great investment. It’s one of those investments, when we looked at it at the time, it had just recently gone public. The hype around the platform and how it was growing was tremendous. It looked like it was going to have the same kind of trajectory as, say, Facebook , in terms of advertising growth, user growth. There was all this excitement. It didn’t materialize.

But, never at any point, I think, in the last five years has the influence of Twitter declined at all. In fact, I think that today, all those things we said joyously several years ago are actually coming true. I do think it’s becoming that No. 1 source for most people to go when they want real-time news or real-time communication with a lot of different outlets.

So, I think, we were wrong, maybe, with our timing, as often investors are. But I think, actually, all those original stories we had are coming true, and the evolution of Jack Dorsey coming back, making the platform more interesting, connecting it to a lot of different things that we find more relevant — sports, for example, for Twitter has become a very popular vertical.

So, not a great investment. The story, I feel like we had it right, and I think it’s just starting to play out now.

Gardner:  It’s funny to think that each time your team bought, Matt, it dropped from there after you did. And yet, even though you might feel like, strike one, strike two, and strike three, you’re now back to even-slash-maybe even a little bit above where you started, and that itself is instructive.

Argersinger: That’s right.

Gardner:  Do you like Twitter going forward?

Argersinger:  I do like Twitter quite a bit going forward. Maybe it’s just mostly anecdotal right now, but I feel like, especially with, maybe not so much the Facebook fallout, and it’s not really fallout we’re talking about, but maybe, with Facebook focusing more inwards and more on things like friends and family, relationships, I feel like there’s a big opportunity for Twitter to really now dominate the “news feed” for most people, especially as they interact with the rest of the world in real-time. So, I think I’m as excited about Twitter as I’ve ever been. And I think the business of Twitter, especially when it comes to advertisers and ad revenue and things like that, is really going to start reflecting that pretty soon.

Gardner:  Matt, who are you on Twitter?

Argersinger:  Well, I’m not very original, I’m @MArgersinger, which is just my first initial, Matt, and then Argersinger. So, MArgersinger.

Gardner:  So, nobody else grabbed MArgersinger?

Argersinger:  No. And, I’m not a verified account or anything like that, but I doubt anyone’s going to be looking for that username anytime soon. [laughs]

Gardner:  Awesome, Matt. Thank you for stock story No. 2. See you next week!

Argersinger:  Thanks, David!

Gardner:  Now, it’s time for stock story No. 3. I get to welcome back my friend, Brendan Mathews. Brendan, how are you doing?

Brendan Mathews:  Great!

Gardner:  Awesome! Now, I know the company you’re talking about. You and I talked about it ahead of time. I’m not sure what the story’s going to be, but it’s Canadian National, the railroad company. CNI is the ticker symbol.

Before you start with it, though, Brendan, how long have you been at The Fool, and what do you do here?

Mathews:  I’ve been at The Fool six years now. I’m part of the Stock Advisor research team, and I’m the portfolio lead for Odyssey 2 and Supernova .

Gardner:  Awesome. Remind me, Brendan, is Canadian National in Odyssey 2 , in our portfolio?

Mathews:  It is not. I don’t believe any of the Supernova portfolio services have picked it up. It’s hard to get excited about a railroad, sometimes.

Gardner:  [laughs] You say that, and yet, you’re going to make it exciting in stock story No. 3, or at least interesting. Brendan, take it away!

Mathews:  Once upon a time, commodities were in a historic boom. Housing was booming, too. People were using all kinds of forestry products to build homes, and there was an outstanding railroad that connected the Pacific and British Columbia to the Atlantic and Nova Scotia, and then the Great Lakes and the Gulf of Mexico.

This time, if you might have guessed, it was 2008. That’s when you recommended Canadian National to Stock Advisor members. The shares, on a split-adjusted basis, were $28. The CEO was Hunter Harrison, who has recently passed away after being the CEO of CSX and Canadian Pacific . He was a legend in the railroading industry. He was Morningstar ‘s 2013 CEO of the Year.

So, $28 a share, March of 2008. I think we all know what happens in the fall of that year. Bear Stearns is the first to fall. We see the housing market come apart. Stock market hits historic lows in March of 2009. Canadian National is not immune. Its shares fall to $16. And along with the stock market, the housing market and the commodities market both completely fall apart, and they’ve really not recovered to a huge degree.

Canadian National, shares fall to $16. But earnings actually didn’t fall that much. They had $2.1 billion in profits prior to the Great Recession. Profits fell to $1.9 billion, stayed that low until recovering in 2010. Since then, shares have chugged along from $16 lows to $82 today. Now, there were highs and lows along that way. In 2014, shares hit $71 before falling to $59 in the beginning of 2016.

Basically, this is a company where a lot of interesting and unpredictable things have happened. Hunter Harrison, the CEO I was talking about, left in 2009, shortly after we recommended the shares. The company completed a big acquisition of Elgin, Joliet and Eastern Railway around Chicago, so, they made an important acquisition. Their forestry business, shipping a lot of lumber to supply houses, that portion of their business kind of fell apart. As we’ve seen in a lot of other railroads, coal shipments have fallen off.

But, all along the way, forgive the pun, they just were kind of chugging along, from $28 to $82 a share. And along that time, they paid $8 in dividends.

Gardner:  Ah, I’d forgotten that!

Mathews:  That’s a four-bagger return. 316% vs. 157% for the S&P. Really outstanding returns for a company that’s not super exciting, and a lot of tumultuous and unpredictable things happened over the course of a decade.

Gardner:  Brendan, the lesson may be self-evident, but can you double underline the lesson of this story as you see it?

Mathews:  For me, the big lesson is, you can’t predict everything. But if you can get the big things right, you’ll do well. I think, with this stock, the one thing that we got right when I look back at your original recommendation was the quality of Canadian National’s network. They have that three-coast rail network that really nobody else has in the North American continent, and they’re just a great railroad. You can’t predict commodities booming and busting, housing, CEOs coming and going. But, you’ve really got the right railroad with the right assets, you get that right, and it worked out.

Gardner:  It’s really wonderful to hear you remind me and us what’s happened over the last ten years — yep, that’s how long we’ve been holding Canadian Natty. From my standpoint, your analysis itself felt like the longer-term, bigger landscape of railroad companies themselves, talking about a big acquisition, talking about the CEO leaving within a year of our recommendation. Something delightful for us as long-term thinkers and actors, to be able to step away and see a business like this. I think what’s especially cool, Brendan, is that this is railroads! The business itself has been around for a couple of centuries now. That’s pretty cool on its own.

Mathews:  Yeah, its history goes back to 1832, almost 200 years.

Gardner:  Tremendous. Before I let you go, how about, talk about a recent Odyssey 2  purchase, one that you and your team like, just a little extra candy for our listeners as you depart?

Mathews:  The newest stock that we’ve added to our portfolio is Salesforce. They’re the original top dog in SaaS software. They offer customer relationship management software and a couple of other things. Really just had a great quarter. If it’s possible to say a company is selling for a cheap multiple at over 8X sales, then that’s the case here with Salesforce.

Gardner:  [laughs] Probably one of the best performers that’s the least acknowledged or talked about. Marc Benioff, the founder CEO, is a guy who is definitely one of the great CEOs of our time, but a name we haven’t mentioned as often on the show.

One funny stat I was looking at, Brendan, you know that we’ve counted spiffy pops for all of our stocks — when a stock makes more in a single day than our cost basis. For Salesforce, which has been thanks to Tim Beyers, who brought it into Rule Breakers about a decade ago, Salesforce is up 18X in value, but has only — and this sounds crazy to me — has only spiffy popped three times. Now, when your stock goes up 18X in value, and only on three occasions has it had enough volatility to jump over the cost basis you once paid, that’s very unusual. I was looking back, the last couple of years, it hasn’t made more than about a 4% move either way, and that’s through a pretty strong and sometimes volatile stock market. It’s a great company.

Mathews:  Yeah, that’s true. It’s the amazing thing about Salesforce. They have this great backlog of business. They have future revenue in the bag. Unlike other high flyers, you don’t necessarily see those big drops when they miss earnings by a couple of pennies.

Gardner:  Mm, excellent point. Thanks so much, Brendan! Fool on!

Mathews:  Thank you!

Gardner:  Alright, stock story No. 4. My next guest star I’ve worked with for probably longer than anybody else except maybe my brother at The Motley Fool. I think that’s fair. Rick Munarriz, welcome!

Rick Munarriz:  Hi, thank you, David! Yes, I’ve been here a long time. I think 1995 was when I first started working with you guys, and it’s been an amazing run ever since.

Gardner:  And you’ve added so much value to our lives, not just those of us who worked with you in Motley Fool Supernova , where you, today, manage the Phoenix 2 portfolio mission with a talented team, but, Rick, your byline appears more on our site than mine does, I think, because you’ve written so many articles over the years on so many different, and often fun, and fun to read, companies. Thank you for your great work!

What is the stock that you have for stock story No. 4?

Munarriz:  Once upon a time, there was a company called Taser Systems. Of course, we know it now as Axon Enterprise , a very successful, one of the hottest stocks in the Supernova universe over the past few months, and over the past year, really. We recommended it back in late 2004 in Rule Breakers. It was rerecced nine months later in the summer of 2005, after the stock has lost almost two-thirds of its value. This was a company, back then, all they were really making were Tasers. True to their name, they were the leading stun gun maker. And when we actually sold, we recommended that our readers and subscribers actually sell the stock back in February 2009, the stock was taking a beating. This was a company that, there was a lot of negative publicity. There were some deaths related to Tasers, and that led to both the negative publicity and some lawsuits. Revenue fell in 2008. It would also go on to decline in 2010. The company was not profitable at the time.

It was pretty much a very sad stock. You almost tell yourself, “OK, let’s write this one off. Let’s never revisit it. Let’s never check into the story again.” But as investors, we have to think beyond that.

This was a stock that did not bounce back right away. It’s not like, you think of early 2009, the market was pretty rough at that time, anyone who remembers — it wasn’t a stock to just bounce back once we said let it go. The stock was actually waffling about in the mid-single-digits for more than four years. And it wasn’t until 2013 when the stock actually cracked over that double-digit ceiling again.

Let’s fast-forward to happier times. Rule Breakers, October 2015, where you recommend it again. And it’s still Taser Systems, it’s not yet Axon Enterprises, but the model itself had evolved. This was a company that was no longer relying on their stun guns, even though it was commanding the largest chunk of their revenue, and it continues to do that. But, this was a company also behind the Axon wearable body cameras that police officers and military personnel were wearing so that they could document things that happen. This was also the company that would go on to establish, which is the cloud-based platform that a lot of this data is stored on. There’s a lot of video that gets recorded on these cameras.

Basically, they have the whole system down. They have the stun guns, they have the cameras. And these cameras, they have in-car cameras, it’s not just the body cameras. They recently signed a partnership with DJI for drones, to work in partnership with them. This is a company that’s really expanding the whole surveillance and tracking stuff. And when you think about stuff in the news, where there’s always these very unfortunate fatal encounters between officers and people on the road, whether the suspects are innocent, whatever the case may be, these are incidents that are recorded because Axon Enterprises is there recording these things.

Ever since Rule Breakers recommended it in October 2015, the stock has almost tripled. Back in early 2017, the first week of 2017, in Supernova in the Phoenix 2 mission that I’m the lead analyst for, we bought it, and it was essentially roughly at the same price as the Rule Breakers recommendation in 2015, $23 and change.

Gardner:  Great!

Munarriz:  But the stock then has also gone on to triple. I bought it personally. I can say that I’m glad that I bought it personally. I bought it three weeks after the Phoenix 2 recommendation, and I’m up 167%. So, I’m not doing as well as Rule Breakers subscribes and Phoenix 2  subscribers that have followed us from the very first get-go, but I’m very happy to say that this is a stock that, the company is now very profitable. It’s growing. In its last quarter, revenue was up 28%, but stun guns were up 10%, and accounting for almost two-thirds of the revenue.

But the real driver here, obviously, is these wearable cameras, this, all these new ways, the sensors and software segment of the company that exploded by 75% in its last latest quarter. This is a very dynamic company.

To me, the lesson here is, quite simply, goodbye isn’t always forever. Always remember that. Sometimes you buy a stock too soon, you buy a stock too late. You could sell a stock too soon, you could sell a stock too late. But when you recognize that the company has changed, it’s evolved into the company you always wanted it to be, it’s never too late to approach your ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend or ex-high school sweetheart and say, “Let’s give it another go, because I think you’ve changed.”

Gardner:  [laughs] It is an outstanding tale of that, Rick. I’m really glad that you bought it. I’ve never owned it personally. I’m delighted that we’ve recommended it for Rule Breaker members who’ve benefited. I’m very happy, though, to hear that you have more than doubled.

To me, especially, I think last year was exciting for this stock, because the performance of the stock at the time was not that exciting about 12 months ago. But what was happening is, the company was getting these cameras, these police body cams, out in the field, more at cost, not making a lot of money. So, their revenues were growing, but the profits didn’t look so good. The stock was getting a little bit dinged for that. But, we were talking as a team, you and I were talking about how, it’s, their website, where all this video goes up and lives in the cloud, and every police department subscribes to it. That’s the kind of razor and blades model that was in place for Axon Enterprises. And now, we’re benefiting from that same dynamic, where people start to realize there’s a lot of profit up there.

Munarriz:  Absolutely! Axon is selling the stun guns and the body cameras, and even (unclear 39:00) cameras. They like to sell them with five-year deals. It’s a five-year deal, you pay $129 a month and you have access to the unlimited storage on It’s sort of like, once they get a sale, it’s almost locked in for five years, so there’s great visibility now in what Axon is doing. Not only is it growing, but it’s actually becoming a more reliable, dependable, steady company. Almost boring, but not if you look at its stock chart.

Gardner:  Alright. In closing, Rick, you and I are looking backwards. Obviously, we’re telling stories of the past. But, when you consider that Axon today has a market cap of only about $3 billion, I don’t think this is a stock that anybody’s missed. I don’t think they should think, “Oh, darn it, I wish I had bought it with Rick a couple of years ago.” I think, going forward, I see a category leader. I don’t see a lot of competition. I see only a $3 billion market cap. Your thoughts?

Munarriz:  Yeah, definitely. Clearly, we were way too early in 2004. But I think we were still early in 2015. I definitely think the best has yet to come for Axon Enterprise. And yes, obviously, the stock has been hot for the past year and a half. But the real big gains, I think, will come in the future. Everything that it’s doing, everything that it’s expanding, is going to play out. It’s going to work out pretty well, I hope, for investors.

Gardner:  Thank you, Rick Munarriz!

Alright, stock story No. 5. This one is mine. I want to talk about two stocks, only one of which is presently in the Supernova universe. You may have noticed, the source for all of our stock stories are from our Supernova universe, stocks that we’ve picked in Stock Advisor , Rule Breakers , and Supernova . Thank you again to my previous guests for their stories.

This one is about Five Below, ticker FIVE. This is a company that is based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and for quite a while now has sold stuff in stores that costs, generally, $5 or less. It’s a company that is very much in the bricks and mortar of today, which you would think wouldn’t work so well in retail. I’ll talk a little bit about Five Below in a sec.

But first, once upon a time, David and Tom Gardner were invited to give a keynote at a conference that happened to be in Puerto Rico. The year was probably around 1999 or 2000, so, around 20 years ago. We were invited by Aetna , the very large and successful insurance company.

Tom and I went and played a round of golf before giving that keynote talk to Aetna. In fact, that was the one round of golf I’ve ever played where I was bitten mercilessly by fire ants in an incident somewhere on the seventh hole, when I decided I would take a digital photo of my brother, Tom, hitting out of the rough just behind a water trap. I think it was on the seventh hole. I remember mocking a disclaimer that was in our golf cart at the time. It said something like, “Beware of fire ants.” And I thought, “You know, it’s sad how the lawyers have even gotten into our golf carts now with their disclaimers on seemingly every product and service around us.” So, I knelt down right near that water trap as Tom took his backswing, and I felt the most ungodly pain on my right knee.

Fire ants, as it turns out, all work together. They crawl up your leg, and then, through some communications device which I don’t fully understand but would be better understood by entomologists, they all communicate at the same moment, “Bite!” And at that moment, I felt a huge amount of pain. And I learned that disclaimer was in that golf cart for a good reason.

Anyway, that was all before we gave our talk to Aetna, which was later that afternoon. As we got there, some of the entourage around the CEO, including the person who was in charge of the event, some of the PR team, and the investor relations team, they said, “Oh, David and Tom Gardner, great! It’s good you guys are here! We almost cancelled you yesterday.” And, since we’d been flying on a plane to the event the day before, we said, “What?! You almost cancelled us?” And they said, “Yeah! You didn’t see the article you guys published on your site? It incensed our CEO.”

For a couple of decades now, if you’re a long-term Motley Fool or follower, you know that we write a lot of articles. Every day in the markets, we try to cover the movers and shakers, the stocks up and the stocks down, as we try to tell the story of global business through the public companies that you and I can invest in. We have a lot of contract writers who write articles on our site about all kinds of different stocks, some of which we’ve picked, some of which we never have. I had never personally picked Aetna.

But, as it turns out, that day before, the very day we flew to Puerto Rico, one of our writers had penned an article with this title: Dial 911, Aetna Needs Help . Again, this is not a viewpoint that I had. I didn’t even know that much about Aetna. It’s not one of my stock picks. But, on our website, the day before we go to speak with the CEO, keynoting at their conference, we wrote, Dial 911, Aetna Needs Help .

So, you can see how that might have upset our sponsor, but we’re happy to say they graciously still had us speak at the conference. I think we did a good job, and I’m pretty confident that Aetna still had a pretty good future, whether it needed help back in 1999 or not.

That’s all a long windup for Five Below. Earlier this year, just a few months ago, one of the things we do at The Motley Fool is, we have an internal university where we have a class of what we call fellows. And with that group of fellows, it’s kind of like a mini business school within The Motley Fool — you have some projects, you work with a team, you learn more and more about business, our business and business at large. And one of the things we’ve always done with our fellows, which we’ve graduated annually or so for some years now, is that we take them on a trip. This one was to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We arrived at the headquarters of Five Below. Five Below, very generously making time with its CEO and its team to meet with our fellows. Tom and I were there.

And just as we got ready to proceed over to Five Below’s lovely headquarters in Philadelphia, I noticed that Jeff Fischer, our lead advisor in The Motley Fool Pro team, had previously shorted Five Below. And I began to get a Dial 911, Aetna Needs Help vibe to this. I was giggling a little bit as I pointed out to Tom, unbeknownst to both of us, that our company had previously shorted Five Below. Now, I want to mention, this is a stock that we recommend in Motley Fool Rule Breakers . It’s been a good pick, I’m going to provide numbers in a sec. But, there we are, on our way to their headquarters with a previous short on Five Below, wondering if the CEO knew that or not.

So, here are a few numbers. On April 23rd of 2014, I picked Five Below for Motley Fool Rule Breakers . It was at $38.50. I’m happy to say, today, it’s at $79.46. In fact, as we do this taping, it has just crossed the 100% mark. It’s kind of a historic moment for me to tell the Five Below story on this day, because it’s up 100.3%. That’s 41% ahead of the market. That’s over that four-year period, so it’s been an excellent four-year stock.

But, just a few months after I picked it in Motley Fool Rule Breakers , my good friend Jeff Fischer shorted it in July of 2014. I was worried. I didn’t know if he still had that short in, and if so, it wasn’t good advice for our members.

And as I finally got to the headquarters of Five Below, I had looked it up, and as it turns out, Jeff and his co-associate Bryan Hinmon, The Motley Fool Pro team had shut down that short in December of 2015. That was held for 17 months. Amazingly, they shorted at $36 and it went down to $28.

What I love about this story is, not only was there no downside — and, I don’t think the Five Below CEO knew this or ever mentioned it at all. But, simultaneously, two Motley Fool services had different positions on Five Below. I and my team have a four-year hold that’s still in, and we’ve more than doubled our money now, which is really exciting. Meanwhile, Motley Fool Pro rode a $36 stock down to $28 and covered its short from July ’14 to December ’15. I think that’s just a delightful story.

For me, the lesson is, you don’t have to be all long or all short. You don’t have to be single-minded in terms of how you view a stock. In that particular case, as I discovered that morning in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as I nervously got off the bus and stepped into headquarters, as it turns out, both of our Motley Fool services had profited by taking opposite tacks over different time frames.

Sometimes, as a long, never forget that your best friend is the short. Anybody who’s short a stock has to buy that stock back over time, which means they’ll be a net buyer going forward. So, in a sense, Motley Fool Pro helped us out. And perhaps we helped them out, as well. I’m not sure. But, if you’re a member of either of those services, I think you have different views of Five Below, but you did well either way.

One thing’s for sure. Five Below, ticker FIVE, has been a fine company, in part, I think, because it’s pretty Amazon  – proof. Amazon isn’t really in the business of sending off $2-3 items, where you’d have to pay for shipping or they’d have to pay it to make it free for you. Somebody has to pay the shipping. And when you’re shipping $2-4 items, it’s not that efficient. That’s why I really like and have liked Five Below as a company. And, having got to know them and their CEO and team, a couple of months ago, a little bit better, I feel really good about FIVE going forward.

Alright, that was stock story No. 5, Dial 911, Aetna Needs Help . And, as I mentioned, we’re going to close — I think I’ve saved the best for last. We have celebrated author Dan Pink, a good friend of The Fool, here with his stock story. Since I already know this one, because he told it at FoolFest last week, I’m pretty sure I can tell you, he’s going to top us all with what you’re about to hear. Dan, take it away!


Dan Pink: Once upon a time, in the middle of the first decade of this century, I wrote a book called A Whole New Mind. It had an orange cover. One of the ideas in the book, which I’m not sure is totally right anymore, was that, I had this argument that the MFA, the Masters of Fine Art, is the new MBA. The MFA is the new MBA, because a lot of MBA skills can be outsourced and automated. The skills of an MFA, the Masters of Fine Art, are harder to outsource and harder to automate, therefore they would be more valuable. The MFA is the new MBA.

That idea got me invited to a lot of art and design schools, [laughs] because everybody loves confirming their own biases. In the course of this, I went to the Rhode Island School of Design, one of the premiere art and design colleges in America. It’s an incredible institution. There, I met a young man. I’m not going to tell you his name. I’m just going to tell you, I met a young man who came up to me after the speech and talked to me a little bit, and then sent me an email afterwards and asked me some questions. And I responded to the email. He seemed like a good dude. I liked this guy, I thought he was super creative.

Maybe a year later, two years later, he emailed me. I thought he was just a super creative guy. He said, “I have this crazy idea for a business,” and he told me about the business, and I thought it was absurd, it was just an absurd idea.

But, as a way to raise money for it, because he was a pretty skilled designer and a very creative guy, he decided — this is now 2008 — to do a set of limited edition cereal boxes. This is going to sound weird. Limited edition cereal boxes, where he and some of his design colleagues created these two boxes of cereal — literally, it had cereal in it. One brand was called Obama O’s. Hope in every box. And the other one was called Cap’n McCain’s. And they said, “To raise a little bit of money, we’re going to do these limited edition cereal boxes.”

They’re actually works of art in a limited edition, and each cereal box had stamped on it, No. 4 of 500, No. 6 of 500, or whatever. And I thought, “That’s pretty good!” I actually really enjoy fine art, particularly conceptual art. Like, I like going to the Hirshhorn, and I like the more outré, forgive my French, kinds of art, and these kinds of wacky things. And they were selling it, and I like this guy, and I said, “This guy could be a famous artist one day. It’d be really cool if this guy were, like, the next Andy Warhol or Jeff Koons or something like that, and I had one of his early pieces.”

So, for a tiny little amount — literally, I think they were $75 a piece — I bought these things. And I said to this young man, “This is totally cool. I mean, it’s cool that you’re raising money for this business, but I’m buying these things because I think you could probably be a well-known artist, and this is my investment, but I would never put a cent into your company.”

So, I have in my office — I think David might have seen these — these cereal boxes. They look really nice. They’re super cool-looking. Obama O’s and Cap’n McCain. And on the top of it, it says, “A product of AirBed and Breakfast.”

Thank you.

So. You know that old line, the country song, it’s like, “You got the coal mine and I got the shaft?” I didn’t want to say his name to tip it, but it’s a fellow named Joe Gebbia, who is now, I don’t know, what, the 41st richest person in the world. So, Joe got the billion-dollar company that’s going to go public next year, but I have my cereal, man!


Gardner: Alright. Of all six companies that we covered this week, that’s the only one that you couldn’t have invested in that remains a private company. If it ever does come public, we’ll certainly take a hard look at it for Stock Advisor or Rule Breakers . Perhaps one day, Airbnb will be in the Supernova universe. But as of now, it’s un-investible. Although, Dan, it sounds to me like he did have a shot that he ended up not taking. Well, thank you again to Dan Pink!

As we prepare to close, one reflection back on some of the stories we heard, I heard that theme, that lesson, of trying to get the big things right. And I really appreciated how a few of my storytellers underlined that. I think that, even though I didn’t come in with that on my mind, that’s maybe the takeaway lesson for this week.

A lot of times, especially if you’re a Rule Breaker investor, you have more of a venture capital mentality, you want to ask yourself, what’s the big stuff of our time? What are the big total addressable markets and the interesting technologies? You don’t have to get all the details right. Sometimes, you don’t even have to get the timing right. But, if you get some of those bigger-picture things right, I think we heard loud and clear a few different times this week, that can be really lucrative. So, there’s a thought for you.

Two notes to close. First of all, a reminder. Mister Rogers, Fred Rogers, his brush with The Motley Fool, is our weekend extra, coming to you for Rule Breaker Investing  this weekend. I also recommend, again, maybe you want to go see that documentary, I hope it’s in a local theater, Won’t You Be My Neighbor , this weekend. I’m going to try to get over there. Big Fred Rogers fan. That’s note No. 1.

Note No. 2 is that next week, as I mentioned earlier, is the Market Cap Game Show , latest episode with Matt Argersinger. And, if you’re a Dan Pink fan, you should know that the following weekend, we’re going to run that entire interview with Dan for your pleasure. In the meantime, Fool on!

As always, people on this program may have interests in the stocks they talk about, and The Motley Fool may have formal recommendations for or against, so don’t buy or sell stocks based solely on what you hear. Learn more about Rule Breaker Investing at .

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Brendan Mathews owns shares of Amazon, Facebook, and David Gardner owns shares of Amazon, Facebook, Walt Disney, and Zillow Group (A shares). Karl Thiel owns shares of Facebook and Nvidia. Matthew Argersinger owns shares of Amazon, Twitter, Walt Disney, and Zillow Group (A shares) and has the following options: short September 2018 $55 puts on Axon Enterprise and long January 2019 $15 calls on Twitter. Rick Munarriz owns shares of Axon Enterprise, Twitter, and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon, Axon Enterprise, Facebook, Nvidia,, Twitter, Walt Disney, and Zillow Group (A shares). The Motley Fool recommends Five Below. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

These 3 Stocks Are Up Over 500% in the Last 5 Years

Stocks have had an incredible run of success over the past five years, with substantial gains for major market benchmarks like the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 . Yet now that the market has hit some choppiness to start 2018, some investors are focusing more squarely on individual stocks that they believe can thrive even if the overall market suffers a correction.

Gains of 65% to 70% for the broader market since 2013 are impressive, but a handful of stocks have managed to post much stronger gains. In particular, (NASDAQ: AMZN) , Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) , and Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) have all climbed 500% or more, and there are many reasons to believe that the stocks could have a lot further to go.

AMZN Chart

AMZN data by YCharts .

Amazing Amazon

Amazon has given investors powerful long-term returns, with the stock’s 535% gain since mid-2013 being just the latest part of an impressive rise that has made the company one of the most successful stocks in the market over the past 15 years. From its modest roots as an online bookstore, Amazon has pivoted not just to extend its retail reach across just about the entire universe of available goods but also to provide a host of nonretail services. Cloud computing , streaming video, and technological advances like the Kindle reader and Echo smart speakers have given Amazon exposure to some of the highest-growth areas of the tech sector. Acquisitions like the Whole Foods purchase have extended Amazon’s reach into the physical-store world, and use of its newly acquired real estate opens up some new opportunities for the e-commerce giant to improve distribution efficiency.

Some investors fear that Amazon might be reaching its peak . But the company still has a number of growth avenues still open, including international expansion and further development of cutting-edge technology. In those areas, Amazon faces extensive competition, and traditional retailers have also fought back to embrace the e-commerce revolution and find ways to get their once-loyal customers to shop with them again. Add to that Amazon’s past ability to come up with needs that its users didn’t even realize they had, and there should be plenty more room for the tech giant to grow in the years to come.

Amazon logo with word amazon in lower case and right-pointing upward-arcing orange arrow.

Image source: Amazon.

Fantastic Facebook

Facebook’s gains over the past five years have been more impressive even than Amazon’s, with the social media giant posting a return of almost 750% over that time frame. Much of that rise came after a disappointing debut for Facebook in the public stock market, with its shares plunging after its 2012 initial public offering amid worries about the service’s viability as the tech industry shifted from its previous desktop focus toward mobile devices. Yet Facebook came up with growth strategies extremely well, with purchases of Instagram and WhatsApp having received criticism at the times they were made yet proving to be highly successful over the ensuing years. A well-executed transition toward a viable version of the service for mobile devices kept Facebook relevant even as mobile proliferated, and a focus on optimizing its ability to offer targeted digital advertising to its multi-billion member user base continues to pay off well for the company.

Recent challenges have made a dent in Facebook’s share price recently, including the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the European Union’s enactment of its General Data Protection Regulations to support user privacy. Some investors also fear that the advertising market might be approaching the saturation point, limiting Facebook’s potential future growth, and that generational shifts might make Facebook less attractive to younger users. Yet by embracing Instagram, Facebook has shown that it can develop and promote other services to meet users’ needs even if its namesake service ceases to have the appeal it initially had. That will be critical in driving future share-price gains.

Nimble Netflix

Netflix tops this list of high-performing stocks, posting gains of well over 1,000% since mid-2013. The streaming video giant has successfully reinvented itself over its longer history, pivoting away from the dying DVD-rental business and instead embracing technological advances that made it possible for viewers to watch their preferred entertainment options more quickly and efficiently. Having made huge inroads in the U.S. market, Netflix then turned its attention overseas, where it found an equally hungry audience for its content and distribution services.

One of Netflix’s biggest challenges has been obtaining high-quality content to show to its viewers. Although the streaming service has made successful partnership deals with many outside content providers, Netflix also found it worthwhile to start working on developing its own original content. That’s been an expensive up-front proposition, but it has also created cost savings on the back end that should keep paying off for decades to come. Critical acclaim has also shown that the upstart could successfully carve out a niche despite Hollywood’s long reign over the movie and television production arena.

Even with Netflix having raised subscription prices on a fairly regular basis, its value proposition is still a lot more attractive than traditional cable television. As more people cut the cord, attractive price points should give Netflix a competitive advantage that it can use as leverage well into the future, producing further potential share gains in the years to come.

Keep looking for more

Stocks that can produce 500% returns in just five years are few and far between. But even if they might not continue to rise at the same rate they have in the past, Netflix, Facebook, and all have plenty of positive prospects that should support their businesses into the future. That makes these high-flying stocks still worth a look for new investors.

10 stocks we like better than Netflix
When investing geniuses David and Tom Gardner have a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, Motley Fool Stock Advisor , has quadrupled the market.*

David and Tom just revealed what they believe are the 10 best stocks for investors to buy right now… and Netflix wasn’t one of them! That’s right — they think these 10 stocks are even better buys.

Click here to learn about these picks!

*Stock Advisor returns as of June 4, 2018

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Dan Caplinger has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon, Facebook, and Netflix. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

PayPal's Power Play to Capture Payment Processing Industry

PayPal Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: PYPL) went to market…and made another merchant-related acquisition. That’s right, within weeks of acquiring iZettle , the European-based payment processing company that caters to small merchants, PayPal made another acquisition that augments the overall package it can offer merchants looking for its services. This time, the company acquired Jetlore, an AI-powered platform for retailers. Jetlore takes billions of customer data points, analyzes them, and creates actionable data that businesses can take for each individual customer.

In the press release announcing the acquisition, Harshal Deo, PayPal’s Vice President of Commerce Solutions stated:

With Jetlore’s talent and AI-powered technology, we will enhance and accelerate PayPal Marketing Solutions, adding new capabilities that continue to expand PayPal’s value proposition for merchants beyond the online checkout experience.

Jetlore already boasts some pretty impressive customers, including eBay , Nordstrom  Rack, and Uniqlo, a popular Japanese lifestyle-brand apparel retailer. The deal was for an undisclosed amount.

Front of PayPal corporate headquarters.

PayPal has made two key acquisitions in the past month, iZettle and Jetlore, to help augment its payment processing services. Image source: PayPal Holdings Inc.

PayPal’s second major merchant-based acquisition in weeks

What’s truly notable about the deal is that it came just two weeks after PayPal announced its $2.2 billion acquisition to acquire iZettle, ” the Square of Europe .” iZettle represents the largest acquisition in PayPal’s history, and at first glance, it appears PayPal paid a pretty penny for the company. iZettle is expected to facilitate about $6 billion in payment volume and generate approximately $165 million in revenue this year. As a stand-alone company, it was expected to be profitable by 2020, which amounts to PayPal acquiring iZettle for a valuation of a price-to-sales ratio in the low teens — that’s high!

However, the deal should not be viewed solely through a valuation lens, because it looks even more compelling from a strategic rationale. For starters, the agreement gave PayPal a payment processing presence in 12 different countries where it previously had no such presence, including Brazil, Mexico, and several European markets. The deal also allows PayPal to approach merchants with what management believes is a best-in-class omnichannel solution and, importantly, enables the company to cross-sell iZettle to existing PayPal merchants and PayPal to existing iZettle merchants.

PayPal’s renewed focus on merchants

The deals seem to mark an inflection point as PayPal begins to make a much bigger push toward acquiring merchants for its payment processing solutions business. While this practice has always been a part of PayPal’s overall business, it was never seen as management’s top priority, which was rightly focused on growing PayPal’s core platform. That seems to be starting to change.

During his presentation at PayPal’s recent Investor Day, transcribed by S&P Global Market Intelligence , CEO Dan Schulman said:

On the merchant side, it is all about providing an end-to-end, one-stop shop solution for digital commerce … [I]ncreasingly, retailers are turning to PayPal as a must-have platform in order to compete with the likes of Amazon  … And what we have now is a full platform, a full commerce solution for them to write their application on top of our platform, connect into our platform, and then we provide all of these different services underneath. Whether it’d be a full omnichannel solution, that’s part of the reason why we bought iZettle. Whether it’d be marketing solutions, we are increasingly not just being a checkout solution but moving up the funnel, in the middle of the funnel to turn prospects into buyers and to help merchants identify high value prospects and then how to convert them into buyers. And so we are more and more becoming a solutions company, a platform company than a button company.

PayPal’s many advantages

One of the things Motley Fool co-founder David Gardner stresses when looking for good investments is optionality : Does the company have many possible futures that will allow it to evolve? What makes PayPal’s positioning unique in the payment processing industry is how it might be able to leverage its 237 million-strong active user base to capture these merchants’ business. While much is made of Square ‘s (NYSE: SQ) Cash App popularity  — and rightly so! — its 7 million user base represents just a tiny fraction of PayPal’s immense scale. At least Square has Cash App, though; other payment processing companies, such as Worldpay  and Global Payments , have nothing that even comes close to PayPal’s digital offerings.

It would be awfully hard for retailers to turn down a pitch for PayPal’s payment processing solutions that include world-class digital payments offerings, competent point-of-sale (POS) services, and, oh yeah, almost a quarter of a billion potential customers that can be directed to the business. In the past, PayPal has already discussed a future that includes ad placements on its popular Venmo platform , an especially enticing feature because customers would be able to pay without ever leaving the platform. PayPal’s ability to control both sides of the purchase — the consumer’s and the merchant’s — gives it an exceptional advantage over other competitors in this space.

In PayPal’s first quarter , revenue grew 24% to $3.69 billion, and adjusted earnings per share (EPS) increased 29% to $0.57. While the company’s adjusted P/E ratio clocks in at over 40, I’m not sure that’s all that expensive given the company’s invigorated focus on acquiring merchant customers along with its massive active user base. As a shareholder, I continue to be excited about this company’s future, and though PayPal is already a fairly sizable position for me, I am considering adding to it.

10 stocks we like better than PayPal Holdings
When investing geniuses David and Tom Gardner have a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, Motley Fool Stock Advisor , has quadrupled the market.*

David and Tom just revealed what they believe are the 10 best stocks for investors to buy right now… and PayPal Holdings wasn’t one of them! That’s right — they think these 10 stocks are even better buys.

Click here to learn about these picks!

*Stock Advisor returns as of June 4, 2018

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Matthew Cochrane owns shares of Amazon, Global Payments, PayPal Holdings, and Square. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon, PayPal Holdings, and Square. The Motley Fool recommends eBay and Nordstrom. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Apple Is Playing It Safe This Year With iPhone Production

Last year, there were numerous reports that Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) had reduced its orders  for iPhone X in the months following the flagship’s launch, which suggested that demand for the smartphone may not have been as strong as anticipated. At the same time, CEO Tim Cook has cautioned investors not to read too deeply into supply chain reports, once saying that individual data points (if even accurate) are ” not a great proxy for what’s going on .”

That being said, let’s overthink the latest media report about component order cuts, which caused Apple shares to fall modestly in trading today.

iPhone X lineup

iPhone X suffered from production delays last year. Image source: Apple.

Lowered expectations

Nikkei Asian Review  reports that Apple is telling suppliers to expect 20% fewer component orders for the iPhones that it plans to launch within a matter of months, citing supply-chain sources. Those sources say that Apple is taking a more “conservative” approach this time around, after having to adjust orders for various components destined for iPhone X. For example, Apple reportedly reduced its orders for OLED displays  from Samsung in February, which led the South Korean conglomerate to try to find new customers for those panels, as Samsung had already heavily invested in production capacity.

“The scheduled time frame for components for the OLED models to go into iPhone assemblers like Foxconn and Pegatron for final assembly falls in July, while the schedule for components for the LCD model would be in August,” Nikkei ‘s anonymous source said. “Two OLED models are likely to be ready roughly one month earlier than the cost-effective LCD model, according to the current plan.”

During the last product cycle, Apple had its supply chain ready to produce 100 million units combined of the three models it launched (iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus). Apple is again expected to launch another three models for 2018, but is now only targeting 80 million units, according to the report. Apple sold nearly 130 million iPhones in the fourth  and first  quarters combined, although that includes all iPhone models and Apple does not disclose product mix. The Mac maker did address demand fears by noting that iPhone X has been the most popular model every week since launch.

Apple is expected to integrate its TrueDepth camera system, which enables 3D sensing and 3D facial recognition, across the lineup — even the LCD model. That would follow Apple’s typical practice of proliferating new technologies across its product portfolio after introducing the new technology in a flagship device.

As always, it’s hard to decipher what a supply-chain report means for Apple’s business. Apple has significant flexibility with modifying its orders throughout its supply chain, including both increases and decreases depending on market conditions and product demand. The company could very well just be taking a more conservative approach this year. Moreover, unit sales are just part of the equation; Apple was able to post a 13% jump in iPhone revenue in the fourth quarter, even though unit sales declined by 1%.

10 stocks we like better than Apple
When investing geniuses David and Tom Gardner have a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, Motley Fool Stock Advisor , has quadrupled the market.*

David and Tom just revealed what they believe are the 10 best stocks for investors to buy right now… and Apple wasn’t one of them! That’s right — they think these 10 stocks are even better buys.

Click here to learn about these picks!

*Stock Advisor returns as of June 4, 2018

Evan Niu, CFA owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Apple. The Motley Fool has the following options: long January 2020 $150 calls on Apple and short January 2020 $155 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Referenced Symbols: AAPL

Joint-Life Payout

What is ‘Joint-Life Payout’

A joint-life payout is one of two options normally available for retirees to choose as the method of payout for their employee retirement benefits. The joint-life payout option allows the retiree to receive benefits during the remainder of his/her life and guarantees income for another person after he/she has died, most often this other person is the retiree’s spouse. Unless the retiree’s statements explicitly states the joint-life payout, the default payout option is the single-life option.

BREAKING DOWN ‘Joint-Life Payout’

By contrast, a single-life option will pay out benefits to a retiree starting at retirement, but the payouts cease upon the retiree’s death. Choosing a payout option is an important decision and several factors should be taken into consideration, such as health, anticipated life expectancy and family’s financial circumstances. 

In a joint-life payout, benefit payments continue as long as one of two spouses is alive. In turn, joint-life payouts guarantee income for a person’s spouse or partner after the person dies. A joint-life payout can secure the future of a person who has not worked outside the home for several years or who would not have income without the support of the retiree. 

It is important to note, however, that joint-life payouts cost extra, sometimes in the form of lower monthly payments or higher fees. That’s because the pension or annuity must base its payments on the life expectancies of two people. Also, the survivor’s monthly benefits are often less than the amount the retiree receives. 

How Joint-Life Payouts Work

Consider the example of Jack that buys an annuity with a joint-life payout. Ten years later, Jack retires and annuitizes the contract, which means he elects to begin receiving benefits from the annuity. He receives monthly payments of, say, $1,800, which he and his wife use to support themselves in addition to Social Security.

This goes on for 20 years, and then Jack dies of a heart attack. Because the annuity has a joint-life payout, the payments do not end. Instead, Jack’s wife continues receiving $1,800 a month, even though the annuity was in his name.

Joint Life vs. Single Life

Although it may seem simpler to have individual policies with a separate premiums each person, in some ways, it’s more complicated. However, there are more “what if” scenarios to consider with joint life insurance policy. What if both members of a couple die at the same time? Will the payout be enough for the upkeep of children? Could the couple get more coverage if each had an individual life insurance policy? What if a couple separates? What if the surviving member of a couple needs life insurance coverage and can’t get it because he or she is too old?

One advantage of joint life insurance policies is the low cost. Joint life insurance can be a good budget option for a young couple that hasn’t yet hit the big-time financially. If, however, one member of a couple gets life insurance through work, it may be more cost-effective and provide a bigger payout to simply buy an individual policy for the other spouse.

Trust-Owned Life Insurance (TOLI)

Loading the player…

What is ‘Trust-Owned Life Insurance (TOLI)’

Trust-owned life insurance is life insurance that resides inside a trust. Trust-owned life insurance is used by many high net worth individuals as the cornerstone of their estate plan. It enables the trust to provide for survivors, cover estate tax liability planning, balance inheritances among heirs and meet charitable objectives.

BREAKING DOWN ‘Trust-Owned Life Insurance (TOLI)’

Life insurance is viewed as a long-term asset that will not be used for its true purpose, ideally, for decades. Consequently, it is often overlooked when monitoring and managing the overall trust. However, it is important that the trust-owned insurance policies be reviewed regularly. The existing policy might not meet the current needs of the trust, and newer insurance products might be more cost efficient and offer better options and features.

If you expect your estate value will be over the exemption amount, or if the calculation is still unpredictable and you wish to cover your bases, it may be a good idea to establish an irrevocable life insurance trust (ILIT) and have the trust own your life insurance policies. This would remove the insurance proceeds from your estate completely, so they can remain income and estate tax free. 

However, there are some potential disadvantages to owning assets in a trust. The most glaring disadvantage is the loss of control. While there is a trustee named to carry out the instructions of the trust, the grantor is effectively relinquishing ownership of the life insurance policy.

In cases where life insurance policy isn’t established inside of the trust and is transferred into it, it’s important to remember there is a three-year look-back period. If you die within those three years, the insurance proceeds will be considered part of your estate and subject to estate taxation. This is why it usually makes sense to do this type of planning in your 60s or 70s rather than waiting until you are older.

Advantages of Trust-Owned Life Insurance

By having one’s life insurance owned by their ILIT, it allows assets owned by the trust to pass to the beneficiaries according to the grantor’s wishes, without being subject to the federal estate taxes. This is possible because the owner is the trust, which now removes the proceeds from the insured’s estate. It also allows for the proceeds to provide liquidity to help the estate pay expenses and taxes once the grantor passes away. This is possible, due to a provision, which allows the trust the latitude to purchase assets from either spouse’s estate, or to make loans to either estate, which keeps cash available for estate liquidity purchases. 

An ILIT also gives an individual the opportunity to provide for a charity, while preserving an inheritance for their chosen beneficiaries. The ILIT provides a death benefit that replaces the value of the gift made to charity. Furthermore, the gifts that are made to the ILIT will reduce the overall value of the estate, which reduces the amount that would be calculated in the taxable amount.

Eurozone Activity at 18-Month: 4 ETFs to Watch

Growth in Eurozone economic activity declined to a one-and-a-half year low in May. IHS Markit’s Eurozone Composite PMI revealed that Eurozone growth fell to an 18-month low of 54.1 in May 2018 from 55.1 in April.

Italy led the slowdown with the weakest growth among the top four Eurozone countries and the fifth straight month of decline. This was followed by France and Germany that saw their growth rate fall to a 16 and 20-month low, respectively. Spain is the only country that experienced PMI growth of a three-month high in May.

The IHS Markit Eurozone PMI Services Business Activity Index also slipped to 53.8 last month from 54.7 in April. Backlog orders and increase in input costs were mainly responsible for the slowdown (read: Negative News Flow Puts Eurozone ETFs in Focus).

The number of orders received by the four countries decreased with capacity constraints becoming more visible. Inventories have increased exponentially (24-month high), due to a lesser number of orders placed, which resulted in slow business growth since February. In response, firms have increased hiring that helped in service sector employment growth. Spain had the highest increase in employment, with Germany and France experiencing slower growth. Price rise continued as input costs and output charges picked up. Italy saw a drop in the selling price while it went up in the other three countries.  

In this situation the ECB, has scheduled a meeting on Jun 14, to decide whether the quantitative easing program of bond purchase would continue till year-end or slowly wind up by September end. In view of this, the 10-year Treasury note yield rose to 2.98% reflecting an increase of 5.9 basis points, while the 30-year bond yield climbed 5.7 basis points to 3.13% as of Jun 6. Also the Italy bond yields went up 20 basis points to 1.18 on the same date.

Geopolitical tension on account of trade-wars between the United States and China, as well as import tariffs on European Union countries suggest that Eurozone recovery will take much more time than anticipated.

Given this, we have highlighted four ETFs that target the top four Eurozone countries each:

ETFs in Focus

iShares MSCI Italy ETF (EWI Free Report)

The fund tracks Italian stocks and investment results of the MSCI Italy 25/50 Index. It has an asset base of $464 million and has a moderate expense of 49 basis points a year. The fund has 25 holdings in its basket and has a daily average trade volume of 1.25 million. Financials, Energy and Consumer Discretionary are the top sector exposures in this fund with 31.8%, 18.4% and 15.4% weight respectively. As for individual stocks ENI, ENEL and Intesa Sanpaolo are the prominent ones with exposures of 12.4%, 12.2% and 10.9% respectively. The fund has a Zacks ETF Rank #3 (Hold) with a Medium risk outlook.

iShares MSCI Germany ETF (EWG Free Report)

The fund tracks the performance of the MSCI Germany Index. It has amassed assets of $3.8 billion and has daily trade volumes of 4.2 million shares. It has 68 holdings in its portfolio and has an expense ratio 0.49%. SAP, Siemens and Bayer are the three largest individual stocks with none holding more than 9%. Consumer Discretionary, Materials and Industrials are the top sector holdings with weight of 18.4%, 14.8% and 13.7%, respectively. The fund has a Zacks ETF Rank #2 (Buy) with a Medium risk outlook (read: Currency Hedged Eurozone ETFs to Buy After ECB Meet).

iShares MSCI France ETF (EWQ Free Report)

The fund has exposure to large and mid-sized companies in France and tracks the MSCI France Index. It has AUM of $888.7 million and charges an annual fee of 49 basis points. Comprising 81 holdings, the fund has Industrials, Consumer Discretionary and Financials as the top sectors with weights of 21%, 19.8% and 12.2% respectively. Individually Total SA, LVMH and Sanofi are the top three allocations with none holding more than 10%. The fund has a Zacks ETF Rank #2 with a Medium risk outlook.

iShares MSCI Spain ETF (EWP Free Report)

The fund has exposure to large and mid-sized companies in Spain and tracks the results of the MSCI Spain 25/50 Index. It has 23 holdings in its portfolio and has amassed an asset base of $1.05 billion. The fund charges an annual fee of 49 basis points and has a daily average trade volume of 1 million shares. Banco SA, Banco Bilbao and Iberdrola SA are the top individual holdings in EWP with weight of 18.9%, 9.2% and 8.3%, respectively. Financials, Utilities and Industrials are the top sectors in this fund with allocations of 41.4%, 16.7% and 14.7%, respectively. The fund has Zacks ETF Rank #3 with a Medium risk outlook (read: Top and Flop ETF Areas of May).

Want key ETF info delivered straight to your inbox?

Zacks’ free Fund Newsletter will brief you on top news and analysis, as well as top-performing ETFs, each week. Get it free >>

Mortgage Life Insurance

Loading the player…

DEFINITION of ‘Mortgage Life Insurance’

A mortgage life insurance policy is an insurance policy designed specifically to repay mortgage debt in the event of the death of the borrower. These policies differ from traditional life insurance policies. With a traditional policy, the death benefit is paid out when the borrower dies. A mortgage life insurance policy, however, doesn’t pay unless the borrower dies while the mortgage itself is still in existence.

BREAKING DOWN ‘Mortgage Life Insurance’

There are two basic types of mortgage life insurance: decreasing term insurance, where the size of the policy decreases with the outstanding balance of the mortgage until both reach zero; and level term insurance, where the size of the policy does not decrease. Level term insurance would be appropriate for a borrower with an interest-only mortgage.

Before buying mortgage life insurance, a potential policyholder should carefully examine and analyze the terms, costs and benefits of the policy. Remember, there are two lifespans to consider – the lifespan of the policy holder and the lifespan of the mortgage. It’s also important to investigate whether one could get the same level of coverage for your family at lower cost – and with fewer restrictions – by buying term life insurance.

Don’t confuse mortgage life insurance with private mortgage insurance, a product that people who take out a mortgage for less than 80% of the value of their home are required to buy.

Advantages of Mortgage Life Insurance

Mortgage life insurance provides near-universal coverage with minimal underwriting. There is often no medical examination or blood sample required and can be a valuable insurance policy option for any homeowner with serious preexisting medical conditions which, would prevent them from buying traditional life insurance.

Other advantages include:

A mortgage-free home in the event of death, illness or disability that prevents work. With a mortgage life insurance policy in place, heirs won’t have to worry or wonder what might happen to the family home. If a policyholder dies or become gravely ill and unable to work, the mortgage life insurance policy will pay off the entire mortgage loan.

A policyholder doesn’t need to die to take advantage of coverage. With some exceptions, most traditional life insurance policies will not pay out unless you die within your coverage period. Most mortgage life insurance policies, on the other hand, offer coverage which works if you become disabled or unable to work, which makes this type of insurance a bit more versatile than a traditional term or whole life policies.

Policyholder peace of mind. This coverage relieves a policyholder’s worries about family having a place to live if you die or cannot work. With the mortgage paid off, the family will always have a place to live, provided they can afford the property taxes and insurance each year.

Jura Announces Results of Shareholder Meeting

CALGARY, Alberta, June 08, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Jura Energy Corporation (TSX-V:JEC) (“Jura”) announced that at the annual and special meeting of shareholders held on Wednesday, June 6, 2018 at the office of Jura located at Suite 5100, 150 – 6 Avenue SW, Calgary, Alberta at 8 a.m. (Calgary time), the shareholders approved Jura’s amended and restated stock option plan and each of its incumbent directors, Stephen C. Akerfeldt, Timothy M. Elliott, Syed Hasan Akbar Kazmi, Muhammad Nadeem Farooq, Stephen Smith and Frank J. Turner were re-elected by the shareholders present in person or by proxy. The detailed results of the votes are set out below.

Director Votes for % Votes withheld %
Stephen C. Akerfeldt 98.90 1.10
Timothy M. Elliott 98.90 1.10
Syed Hasan Akbar Kazmi 100.00 0.00
Muhammad Nadeem Farooq 100.00 0.00
Stephen Smith 98.90 1.10
Frank J. Turner 100.00 0.00

About Jura Energy Corporation

Jura is an international energy company engaged in the exploration, development and production of petroleum and natural gas properties in Pakistan. Jura is based in Calgary, Alberta, and listed on the TSX-V trading under the symbol JEC. Jura conducts its business in Pakistan through its subsidiaries, Frontier Holdings Limited and Spud Energy Pty Limited.


Mr. Nadeem Farooq, Interim CEO
Tel:  +92 51 2270702-5
Fax:  +92 51 227 0701

Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Mt. Tabor Homes Portland Much Cheaper Than West Coast Neighbors

PORTLAND, OR / ACCESSWIRE / June 8, 2018 / Portland home prices of $200,000 per 773 square feet are the lowest among major West Coast cities, according to a study by PropertyShark, a national real estate blog.

“The reports provide a broader perspective for Portland residents who have concerns about the economic impact of steep home prices and rents in Portland,” said Augusto Beato, CEO of Portland SEO. “This is true despite seeing rates increases slow down in 2017.”

To learn more about the Mt. Tabor real state market click here.

The analysis by Robert Demeter entitled, “For $200K, Would You Rather Buy a Box in Manhattan or a Mansion in San Antonio?” revealed on how much square footage $200,000 will buy in major cities in the United States.

The highest prices in the West Coast turned out to be San Francisco where you could only get 260 square feet for $200,000. This was followed by San Jose for 376, San Diego for 496, Los Angeles for 501, and Seattle for 525.

The most expensive real estate is from Manhattan, with only 126 square feet for that price while Cleveland brings over 3,700 square feet.

To read more about this report, follow this link.


Augusto Beato
[email protected]
616 SE 68TH AVE #101
Portland, OR 97215

SOURCE: Portland SEO

Variable Survivorship Life Insurance

What is ‘Variable Survivorship Life Insurance’

Variable survivorship life insurance is a type of variable life insurance policy that covers two individuals and pays a death benefit to a beneficiary, only after both people have died. Variable survivorship life insurance does not pay any benefit when the first policyholder dies. Variable survivorship life insurance is also called “survivorship variable life insurance” or “last survivor life insurance.”

BREAKING DOWN ‘Variable Survivorship Life Insurance’

Like any variable life policy, variable survivorship life insurance has a cash value component in which a portion of each premium payment is set aside to be invested by the policyholder, who bears all investment risk. The insurer selects several dozen investment options from which the policyholder may choose. The other portion of the premium goes toward administrative expenses and the policy’s death benefit (also called face value). This type of policy is legally considered a security, because of its investment component, and is subject to regulation by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

A more flexible version of variable survivorship life insurance called “variable universal survivorship life insurance” allows the policyholder to adjust the policy’s premiums and death benefit during the policy’s life.

Advantages of Variable Survivorship Life Insurance Policies

  • Variable survivorship life insurance policies allow you to invest premiums. Variable survivorship life insurance policies let policyholders invest premiums in a separate account whose value will fluctuate, based on the performance of the market.
  • Cheaper. Variable survivorship life insurance is usually less expensive than traditional single-insured life insurance. In the case of survivorship policies, the premium is based upon the joint life expectancy of the insureds. As such, premiums are slightly cheaper than buying separate policies for both people, since the insurance company owes nothing until both insureds die.
  • Easier to buy. Qualifying for a survivorship life policy is easier than for single-insured life insurance. Since both policyholders must die before the benefit is paid, the insurance company is less concerned about their health. Companies are often willing to write the policy, even if one of the customers is “uninsurable” by traditional life insurance standards. However, those standards can vary.
  • Builds estates. In some cases, survivorship life insurance is marketed as a way to build an estate, not just insulate it from taxes. Like traditional life insurance, the death benefit of a survivorship life policy can ensure that beneficiaries receive a minimum amount of money, even if a policyholder spends every dime during your lifetime.
  • Preserves estates. A survivorship life insurance policy appeals to individuals who wish to leave their assets for heirs. With a survivorship policy, their estate transfers intact to their heirs. In such a situation, the life insurance benefit is used for paying the state and federal estate taxes. Issues Statement In Response To 13D Filing By Starboard Value

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., June 08, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:WEB) today issued the following statement in response to the Schedule 13D filed by Starboard Value LP:

“ welcomes open communication with its shareholders and values any input and suggestions that may advance its goal of enhancing shareholder value. We expect to engage in a constructive dialogue with Starboard moving forward.”

Since 1997 (Nasdaq:WEB) has been the marketing partner for businesses wanting to connect with more customers and grow. We listen, then apply our expertise to deliver solutions that owners need to market and manage their businesses, from building brands online to reaching more customers or growing relationships with existing customers. For some, this means a fast, reliable, attractive website; for others, it means customized marketing plans that deliver local leads; and for others, it means customer-scheduling or customer-relationship marketing (CRM) tools that help businesses run more efficiently. Owners from big to small can focus on running the companies they know while we handle the marketing they need. To learn how this global company collaborates with customers and employees to achieve their potential, explore or follow on Twitter at @webdotcom or on Facebook at

Note to Editors: is a registered trademark of Group, Inc.


Ira Berger

Corporate Communications
(904) 680-6633