The Reminder That We Are All Human

“A philosopher once asked, “Are we human because we gaze at the stars, or do we gaze at them because we are human?” Pointless, really…”Do the stars gaze back?” Now, that’s a question.”

Source: Neil Gaiman

I do not have the words for what is currently happening.

There is so much uncertainty. It is almost crushing, the sheer weight of the unknown. I didn’t realize that it would be so heavy. I didn’t understand how much I relied on knowledge, on the fact that today would at least be similar to tomorrow, that yesterday was like today, and that this would repeat indefinitely.

I didn’t realize how much I was taking for granted.

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Diving into 5G: The Future of Network Connectivity

  • Verizon has received a lot of attention in the news for being the “first” company to launch 5G services
  • There are headwinds to 5G, including a lack of devices to support the network
  • The 5G business isn’t expected to have much of an impact until 2021
  • The 5G discussion is complex and convoluted and no one really knows what’s happening
  • China is an industry leader, due to government support, and the US has a steep learning curve in adapting 5G nationwide

Diving into 5G: The Future of Network Connectivity

5G is a game-changing proposition for the communication services industry. People are demanding faster and faster network speeds, and 5G offers a combination of that speed, as well as “capacity, reliability, and ultra-low latency required for mission critical services and the growth of massive IoT.” 5G surrounds the idea of connecting devices and creating smart cities with applications to healthcare, retail, and utilities among others

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Microsoft: Reaching for Infinity and Beyond

  • MSFT is an industry leader in software services, and has been a strong company for many years
  • They are allocating a large amount of resources to their cloud segment
  • The industry as a whole is constantly evolving, but could be prone to a slowdown if the economy contracts

Microsoft is one of the most well-known companies in the entire world. In a perpetual race against Apple and Amazon for “Most Valuable Company”, Microsoft has been able to make a name for themselves over the past 44 years based on their product line and their openness to growth and innovation.

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The Fourth Estate: The Future of the Media Industry

  • “If the product is free, you are the product.”: Advertising dollars speak volumes, and data collection on consumers is driving the bottom line
  • The newspaper industry has experienced a contraction in advertising revenues, and have to find other sources of cash
  • Subscription services will become more prevalent over time
  • It is vital to community success and engagement that local newspapers remain afloat
  • Digital media companies have strong growth prospects

The newspaper industry has been undergoing an evolution, and the economic challenges that the industry faces have been well-documented over time. Employment in newsrooms has declined by 45% since 2004. BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, and Gannett all let go a percentage of their workforce in late January 2019. Vice Media announced that they are cutting 10% of their workforce on February 1st, and more companies are expected to follow suit. Gannett owns USA Today, among other circulations, and many local newspapers. The local newspapers in particular have been slammed over the past several years, and the most recent round of layoffs were just another slap in the face.

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Emerging Markets: Strong Dollar & The Path to Emerged Markets

How do you value pieces of paper? What creates currency? What makes the dollar a reserve currency?

There are several different models used to value currency, including Purchasing Power Parity and the BEER (Behavioral Equilibrium Exchange Rate) model, amongst others. There are several variables that go into those models, most notably conditional expectations, current rates, term premiums, national savings/investment, demographics, and interest rate differentials.

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Starbucks & Growth: Embracing China’s Multi-Billion Dollar Market

  • Starbucks created the “coffee experience” which was their economic moat in the beginning and has deteriorated over time for numerous reasons
  • Howard Schultz (Founder and Former CEO) & Scott Maw (CFO) leaving will create temporary headwinds and investor concern
  • Success in China is necessary for the success of the company

SBUX is America’s favorite drink – the one that costs a little bit more than we would like, but is addicting. Coffee is a staple of most American’s mornings – wake up, grab a cup, and go to work. SBUX has made it into a “Starbucks Experience”, creating the stores into a place where you can go to catch up with friends, a job interview site, and a place to study for finals, fueled purely by caffeine.

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Futures, Forwards, and SPOTS: How the World Can Trade Pork Bellies Without Ever Touching a Pig

Confession: I normally don’t do much research outside of options and long stock.

Not because the other platforms are some terrible place where people are yelling about pork bellies and soybeans, but simply because I don’t really understand it.

So to make up for admitting my weaknesses in finance on my finance blog, I decided to learn.

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