SPOT: Spotify

I listen to Spotify every damn day. At the gym, on the Metro, at work, Spotify is constantly pleasing my ear drums. It is a easy to use platform that I have no problem spending $10 a month for. But TODAY Spotify is changing things in more than just the music department. Today they are going public. What this means is anyone with money to spend can now purchase shares of their stock on the New York Stock Exchange. You can review more about that in my Stock 101 post. 

Normally when companies go public there is an IPO or an Initial Public Offering. This means the company going public will hire lots of fancy bankers who try and ensure their IPO is successful. These bankers make sure due diligence is done on the company, and then they go and pre-sell shares to investors. Therefore, by the time the IPO happens they generally know that people will actually buy shares of the company. These bankers also help to determine the price range for a share of stock. They value the company and help to determine how much they are worth. This is the tricky part because you want an attractive price range that investors will be interested in. Meanwhile, the Banks are earning a hefty fee for all of this. 

So what the heck is Spotify doing?

They are just doing a Direct Listing. This means while they hired a couple of bankers they did not go through the usual IPO process to hire bankers that will help push their public offering to be successful. Spotify is leaving the stock price to the market place's decision. As people start buying stock the price will go up and down. People are not sure what to value Spotify at. 

So here we go... You can watch Spotify's progress throughout the day and see for yourself

AMZN: Amazon

If you don't know Amazon, you live under a rock. Considering I am an avid Amazon "Prime-er" and order someone about once a week when I am too lazy to go to the store, this is my favorite company. Not to mention they seem to be taking over every aspect of society and are doing a better job at it. I can get a product I need right to my door in two days (or less) and it will satisfy my need for instant gratification. Alright, enough about my love of Amazon as a company. How are they actually doing?? How is their stock performing and should you think about adding it into your portfolio mix?

As of this morning (January 8, 2018)  at 9:40 am this is their stock:

 

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This same stock in 2014 around this time period was $387.60. In the past 4 years they have grown 3.2x. But when does the growth stop? Apparently, not any time soon for Amazon.

As I write this post, I am watching their stock tick up and up and up. While, it will probably have its ebbs and flows, ups and down, this is a strong buy. They are an innovative company with projected Earnings Per Share around 4.32. Earnings per share is Net Income/# of Outstanding Shares. What this means is that for every ONE Share of Amazon stock they are earning $4.32. That is not bad at all. As well, analyst are forecasting 20% growth in the next 5 years.

Downside of Amazon stock: Its freaking expensive. $1242 to buy a share. If you had bought Amazon 4 years ago you would be very happy right now. However, unless you have a large sum of money ready to be invested you won't get much bang for your buck in Amazon. 

My recommendation: BUY. If you can. HOLD. if you have it. and keep holding on to it. 

 

What have I recently purchased on Amazon...

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Chlorophyll

Bought to mix with water and drink "Green Water" as a natural detox

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Mister for Succulents

Use this to mist your succulents and keep them wet

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<< This book

Learning how to live a good life

LULU: lululemon

It's that time of year again when girls start to pull out their lululemon leggings and spend all winter staying warm while looking trendy. I spent the morning analyzing Lululemon as a company and how they are performing. Lululemon is currently outperforming the big brand names, including Under Armour and Nike. I looked at Revenues, Cash, Debt and Market Capitalization to understand Lululemon's current performance. Their stock price is at an all time high in the last 6 months and therefore I was wondering do I buy this stock??

My Recommendation: Buy or Hold

Based on my analysis, Lululemon is performing well. It is currently overvalued compared to its competitors. However, there are other environmental factors to consider. The overall stock market is at an all time high which is generally pushing stock prices higher. If you current hold LuLuLemon Stock then I would say keep it. If you want to buy it I would recommend waiting for a correction in the market and then buying it while its cheap. Here is some of the data from my valuations:

 EV = Enterprise Value , EBITDA = Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation, and Amortization

EV = Enterprise Value , EBITDA = Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation, and Amortization

As you can see, Lululemon has higher ratios above than their competitors. Based on the average of UA and Nike ratios I create the valuation for Lululemon. Their current numbers are outperforming their valuation. 

And now... I will show you some of my favorite Lululemon Shopping Picks right now:

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Wunder Under Pants

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Speed Up Tight

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Vinyasa Scarf

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Get Set Bra

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Light as Warmth Scuba Fleece

Stock Trading Platforms: My Picks

If you are going to start trading stocks and want to do it from the comfort of your computer you can use an online trading platform to do so. You could also hire a Financial Advisor who has to ability to conduct trades for you. They also give advice on how to allocate the money into investments besides stocks and usually take a 1%+ fee.

My picks for platforms are based on experience and what I have heard from other people.

TD Ameritrade

When I was getting my MBA I had fellow students and a professor recommend this platform as the best overall experience. It costs about $6.95 per trade, which is a little more expensive, but provides you with education and references to help you make decisions and track your investments. Right now they are offering that you can trade free for 90 days and get up to $600 cash. One of the coolest features is the Social Stream so you can see what people are writing on Social Media about the stocks you choose. Combine that with the many tools to analyze your picks and you will be set!

Charles Schwab

I currently have a Charles Schwab account and I hold one whole stock in it. I used to have more stock in this account but liquidated it to pay for graduate school. Fun. This platform is a little cheaper, around $4.95 per trade. As well, I can speak from experience that they have great customer service. They may have a few less tools to analyze your picks but are a trustworthy platform to get started with. 

Fidelity

I currently hold my 401k assets in a Fidelity account. I can tell you that it is easy to use and they have retirement funds you can easily invest in. They are also currently offering 500 free trades when you register and fund an account and usually each trade is around $4.95 per trade. Along with the other platforms they have real time analytics that will help you track your stock picks. 

 

These are the platforms that I have experience with or personal reviews on. However, there are many other platforms to use including E*Trade, Trade Station, Options House, Merrill Edge. Make sure you do your own research and find one that you are comfortable with!