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Please use the following address
400 Country club Drive
Stockbridge, GA 30281
to get close (to about 100-200 feet)
to the gate / entrance of our subdivision / colony,
(Eagles Landing Country Club)
Only after entering the sub division / colony, should the taxi driver plug in the following Home address in the GPS;
912 Northern Pines Drive,
McDonough, GA 30253
If the 912NPD address is plugged in to begin with, the GPS has a tendency to use the
- wrong exit number on the interstate and
- wrong entrance (unattended) to the subdivision.
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3 days ago by neerajsinghvns
Travel Channel: How to Tip Around the World
https://www.travelchannel.com/interests/food-and-drink/photos/how-to-tip-around-the-world ;;;
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Travel Channel
Tipping can be a controversial topic, since whether or not you should tip, and how much, depends on who you ask. Therefore, consider this a general guideline, keeping in mind that there are no hard and fast rules in many countries. United States It should be noted that even in countries without a tipping history, an increasing number of people in the service industry, especially in touristy areas, have come to expect tips from Americans, even if they don’t expect tips from the locals. In those Read the full story
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How to Tip tipping Around the World in different various countries cultures
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october 2018 by neerajsinghvns
These are first 7 Alexa skills you should enable
https://www.cnet.com/how-to/the-first-alexa-skills-you-should-enable/
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august 2018 by neerajsinghvns
What to say when a job interviewer asks, ‘Do you have any questions?’
What to say when a job interviewer asks, ‘Do you have any questions?’
August 10, 2018, 9:00 AM EDT
One of the most important moments of a job interview comes just before the end, when the hiring manager asks, "Do you have any questions for me?"
According to bestselling management author and CNBC contributor Suzy Welch, how you respond to this question, "the finale of your job interview," can either make you a front-runner for the job or significantly hurt your chances.
While you may be tempted to ask a simple question — for instance, "What would a typical day be like for me?" — doing so won't help you stand out.
"Don't do it," she says. "It's so expected. It's not particularly thoughtful. And it's probably already been covered."
Make the most of that crucial last opportunity to shine. According to the leadership and career expert, the best questions to ask a hiring manager should accomplish these two things:
1. Show you've been listening
"This is your chance to show you were fully engaged," Welch says. "Focus in on an aspect of the job as it's been described."
To show you've been paying attention, ask a question that digs deeper into part of the job description they laid out for you.
A great example of this, Welch says, is something like, "Mary said part of my job would be interfacing with the operations team. I'd love to hear a little more about what that entails."
2. Show you think big
Next, demonstrate that you think "expansively" by asking a forward-looking question on an industry-related topic.
"Go up to 20,000 feet," Welch says, "and ask about the competition, the industry."
You can ask about a new product or feature the company just rolled out, or you can inquire about a trend that's impacting the sector, citing an article you recently read.
A good example of this, Welch says, is saying something like: "I just read an interesting article about how your competitors are using artificial intelligence. How are you thinking about that development?"
That type of question shows your potential boss you are already thinking about the company and how it works.
"Show in a positive way that you're excited about the future," Welch says, "and that a part of your brain is already there."
And while you're thinking about what to ask, remember there are also topics you should avoid. Under no circumstances should you bring up salary or benefits during the interview.
"That's for after you get the offer," says Welch.
This is an updated version of a post that appeared previously.
Video by Mary Stevens .
Suzy Welch is the co-founder of the Jack Welch Management Institute and a noted business journalist, TV commentator and public speaker. Think you need Suzy to fix your career? Email her at gettowork@cnbc.com.
Like this story? Subscribe to CNBC Make It on YouTube!
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august 2018 by neerajsinghvns
401(k) Mistakes to Avoid | 401ks | US News
401(k) Mistakes to Avoid
Those who understand the 401(k) rules can take care to minimize penalties and fees.
Fees and penalties for your 401(k) can often be avoided if you understand how your 401(k) plan works. You can also take advantage of employer contributions and tax breaks once you figure out how to qualify. Here's how to fix several common 401(k) problems.
A low default savings rate. Many employees are automatically enrolled in a 401(k) plan, typically at the default savings rate of 3 percent. But sticking with this low savings rate could be a mistake. "That 3 percent is not enough," says Shannon Nutter-Wiersbitzky, head of participant strategy and development at Vanguard. "If a younger person could start at the 12 percent rate, they are certainly going to benefit tremendously from the benefit of compounding over time." If you can't save that much at the beginning of your career, aim to increase contributions each year. "It's typical that you would start at potentially a lower percentage and then increase that over time," Nutter-Wiersbitzky says. "If you generally get your raise at the end of the year, set your 401(k) to automatically increase. You won't feel it as much in terms of what is being saved for you out of your pay."
[See: How to Max Out Your 401(k) in 2018.]
Missing out on the 401(k) match. Find out if your employer provides a 401(k) match, and make sure you save enough to qualify for the maximum possible match. One common 401(k) match formula is 50 cents per dollar saved up to 6 percent of pay. In this case you would need to save at least 6 percent of your salary in order to claim the full match. "A 401(k) match anywhere from 4 to 6 percent of pay is typical," says Gregg Levinson, a senior retirement consultant for Willis Towers Watson. "It might require 8 percent deferral [of your pay] to get the full 4 percent [match]."
Failing to maximize tax breaks. Workers defer paying income tax on the money they contribute to a traditional 401(k) plan. Participants can delay paying taxes on up to $18,500 in 2018. Those age 50 and older can make catch-up contributions of up to an additional $6,000. A 55-year-old in the 24 percent tax bracket could reduce his income tax bill by $5,880 if he maxes out his 401(k) plan. "There is a big tax advantage if you contribute to the max allowed," says Lavina Nagar, a certified financial planner and president of Maya Advisors in Palo Alto, California. "If you can stretch yourself and save the full $18,500, that is the ideal situation." Income tax won't be due on the money in your traditional 401(k) plan until it is distributed from the account.
Automatically accepting the default investment. Workers who are automatically enrolled in a 401(k) plan are invested in a default fund selected by the plan sponsor. The most common default investment is a target-date fund, which typically contains a mix of stocks, bonds and cash that grows more conservative over time. However, the fees, underlying investments and rate at which the fund grows more conservative won't be an ideal fit for all employees. Take a look at the other investment options in your 401(k) plan before sticking with a target-date fund.
Paying excessive 401(k) fees. While some 401(k) plans negotiate for low costs on behalf of their employees, others are riddled with expensive funds and excessive fees. However, you can move your money to lower cost funds within your 401(k) plan. Your 401(k) plan is required to send each participant an annual 401(k) fee disclosure statement that lists how much each fund in the 401(k) plan costs to own in a single chart. "There are disclosures that have to come with those investments that detail the fees," says John Scott, director of the The Pew Charitable Trust's retirement savings project. "You should be able to get that information from your human resources person or the plan service provider or the mutual fund provider." Check this document each year to see if there are lower cost funds in the 401(k) plan that will meet your investment needs.
[See: 9 Ways to Avoid 401(k) Fees and Penalties.]
Leaving the company before you are vested. You don't get to keep employer contributions to your 401(k) until you are vested in the account. Some 401(k) plans immediately vest company deposits, while others require several years of job tenure before you can keep any of the 401(k) match. There are also graduated vesting schedules that permit employees to keep a portion of the 401(k) match based on their years of service at the company, and some employers require five or six years on the job before employees qualify for the entire 401(k) match. "Vesting can be immediate or vesting can stretch over a period of time," Nagar says. "If you move you might leave something on the table, and that should be part of your negotiation for the new job."
Triggering the 401(k) early withdrawal penalty. Cashing out your 401(k) plan before age 59 1/2 (or in some cases age 55) will trigger a 10 percent early withdrawal penalty in addition to the income tax you will owe on the distribution. A $5,000 withdrawal at age 50 will result in a $500 early withdrawal penalty and another $1,200 in income tax for someone in the 24 percent tax bracket.
Initiating a 401(k) loan. If you need access to your savings before retirement, account owners are often allowed to take a 401(k) loan of as much as 50 percent of the vested account balance up to $50,000. The loan typically must be paid back with interest within five years. However, 401(k) loans charge a variety of fees and you miss out on the investment gains you could have earned in the account. "It should be a last resort because the interest isn't deductible and you're tapping into a retirement asset," says David Clarken, a certified financial planner for FWI Wealth Management in Atlanta, Georgia. If you leave your job, the loan balance must be paid back by the due date of your federal income tax return. Loans that aren't repaid on time are considered distributions, and taxes and penalties may apply.
Forgetting to take 401(k) distributions in retirement. 401(k) withdrawals are required after age 70 1/2. The penalty for missing a required distribution is 50 percent of the amount that should have been withdrawn. But you don't need to wait until age 70 to take retirement account distributions. Some retirees start withdrawals during their 60s, which allows you to space out the tax bill and in some cases pay a lower tax rate.
[See: How to Pay Less Taxes on Retirement Account Withdrawals.]
Ignoring old 401(k) plans. When you change jobs you can generally leave your retirement account balance in the 401(k) plan. You might want to maintain a 401(k) plan with a former employer if the plan has especially good investment options, low costs or contains company stock. However, if you have multiple 401(k) plans at several former employers you can simplify your financial life by consolidating accounts. Some workers open an IRA and roll their 401(k) balance into it each time they change jobs. Moving your money to an IRA maintains the tax benefits, while also giving you a wider range of investment options.
10 Tips for Rolling Over a 401(k) When You Change Jobs
1 of 12
(Getty Images)
Rollover options
Each time you change jobs you need to decide what to do with the money in your 401(k) plan. While you can typically leave the money in a former employer’s 401(k) plan, there’s also an opportunity to transfer your retirement savings to an individual retirement account or a new 401(k) plan. Here’s how to roll over your retirement savings when you leave a job.
Updated on May 16, 2018: This slideshow was originally published on Oct. 23, 2017, and has been updated with new information.
Maintain the tax benefits.
(Getty Images)
Maintain the tax benefits.
You can maintain the tax benefits of your 401(k) plan by rolling the account balance over to an IRA or transferring your savings to a new employer’s 401(k) if the plan allows it. However, there’s no need to make a quick decision. In most cases you can leave the money in a former employer’s 401(k) plan. Take some time to find another tax-deferred account that has the investment options you want at the best possible price.
Transfer your money directly.
(Getty Images)
Transfer your money directly.
If you decide to move your money, you can avoid taxes and penalties by having the account balance directly transferred to a new retirement account via a trustee-to-trustee transfer. If a check is made out to you, 20 percent will be withheld for income tax. If you don’t put the entire distribution, including the withheld 20 percent, in a new retirement account within 60 days you will owe income tax on that money. A 10 percent early withdrawal penalty could also apply if you are under age 55. A trustee-to-trustee transfer allows you to avoid the tax withholding and potential fees.
Find better investment options.
(Getty Images)
Find better investment options.
401(k) plans have a limited menu of funds, typically chosen by an employer, plan sponsor or consultant. While some 401(k) plans provide excellent investment options for participants, other 401(k) plans are riddled with overpriced funds and unnecessary fees. IRAs have a much wider selection of investment options. Take some time to shop around for the investments that make the most sense for your retirement portfolio. A job change can be an opportunity to move your money into better funds with lower fees.
Keep costs low.
(Getty Images)
Keep costs low.
Retirement accounts charge a variety of administrative and maintenance fees and each individual fund charges an expense ratio or fee to maintain the fund and perhaps other costs. However, it is increasingly possible to find retirement accounts and funds that charge very low fees. It’s especially important to choose low-cost funds for your retirement savings because you are investing over a long period of time and might pay those fees for several decades. Paying lower fees means you get to keep more of your investment returns.
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august 2018 by neerajsinghvns
Better Buy: Amazon (AMZN) vs. Shopify (SHOP)
Better Buy: Amazon (AMZN) vs. Shopify (SHOP)
August 13, 2018, 11:00 AM EDT
Perhaps you've heard: E-commerce is eating retail. One walk around your -- probably vacant -- megamall should be all the evidence you need. Or maybe a glance at the cardboard boxes piling up on your neighborhood's front stoops will convince you of the trend.
But as big as e-commerce has gotten, here's the scary part: it still accounts for 9.5% of all retail purchases in the United States. That means that there's still tons of room for growth. And the two companies facing off today are at the forefront of that movement: Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Shopify (NYSE: SHOP).
Mini orange shopping basket on a smart device and a laptop with boxes
Image source: Getty Images.
While one company (Amazon) has created an Everything Store for people to shop at and created a fulfillment network to deliver all those packages, the other (Shopify) has created a platform that allows anyone to start a business with an online presence -- including on Amazon itself.
Which is the better buy at today's prices? Let's evaluate the question looking through three different lenses.
Financial fortitude
The first thing we want to do is check and see how safe our investment would be if tough economic times hit unexpectedly. Companies with large war chests and healthy cash flows not only survive such downturns but can actually grow stronger as a result. Those that are in heavy debt are in the opposite boat -- forced to narrow their ambitions to just stay afloat.
Remembering that Amazon is a $900 billion behemoth while Shopify is valued at "just" $16 billion, here's how the two stack up.
Company
Cash
Debt
Free Cash Flow
Amazon
$28 billion
$25 billion
$8 billion
Shopify
$1.6 billion
$0
($20 million)
Data source: Yahoo! Finance. Cash includes short- and long-term investments. Free cash flow presented on trailing 12-month basis.
On the one hand, Shopify is in a very healthy position given its secondary offering was recently successful and it has absolutely no long-term debt. Until recently, Amazon was in a similar position, but the company shelled out billions to acquire Whole Foods.
That being said, I still believe Amazon is in the superior position. Not only does it have far superior cash flows, but if tough economic times hit, CEO Jeff Bezos could take his foot off of the reinvestment pedal and I believe free cash flow could explode -- albeit at the expense of long-term opportunities.
Shopify might be able to do the same, but because the company's Merchant Solutions division would likely suffer in a downturn as well, I'm not sure the effect would be as positive for the company's balance sheet.
Winner = Amazon
Next we have valuation. And I'll spill the beans from the outset: neither one of these companies is anywhere near "cheap" based on traditional metrics. In fact, they're downright expensive -- insanely expensive if you ask conservative investors.
Data source: Yahoo! Finance, E*Trade. P/E calculated using actual and estimated non-GAAP earnings where applicable.
The task, then, is to simply ask: Which stock is less insanely expensive? Based on every metric above, that is clearly Amazon.
It's not every day you'll see Amazon being viewed as the "cheaper" stock, but when lined up against Shopify, it earns the designation.
Winner = Amazon
Finally, we have sustainable competitive advantages. Because both of these companies have multiple moats, we'll evaluate how they stack up in terms of the four major sustainable competitive advantages.
The first moat can come from intangible assets -- in this case, the strength of a company's brand. Within the industry for creating an e-commerce platform for small to medium-sized businesses, Shopify has an excellent brand name. When compared to Amazon -- whose brand Forbes ranks as the world's fifth-most valuable at $71 billion -- however, Shopify has the short end of the stick.
The next major moat comes from high switching costs. This is right in Shopify's wheelhouse. Once a company begins using Shopify to meet its e-commerce needs, the pain associated with switching to another provider is enormous. Not only are there migration and coding costs, but businesses suffer downtime and have to retrain their entire workforce on a new operating system. That's what has helped Shopify keep revenue retention above 100% for every year it's been a public company. One could make an argument that switching away from Amazon Prime offers the company a moat -- but there are no real metrics to track this, and Shopify's lead on this front is significant.
Low-cost production is the next major moat, and here is where Amazon is the clear winner. Because the company has spent decades and billions of dollars building out its network of fulfillment centers, it can afford to guarantee two-day delivery at a fraction of the internal costs competitors would have to fork over. Shopify has no such meaningful advantages.
Finally, there's the network effect. This moat comes into play when each additional user of a service makes the service more valuable. Both Amazon and Shopify benefit. For Amazon, the site has become such a popular destination for shoppers that third-party merchants are incentivized to list their wares on the site and use Fulfillment by Amazon for shipping. Revenue for third-party services grew 36% last quarter.
Shopify's network effect comes from the fact that third-party app developers look at Shopify's 600,000 merchants as a huge pool of potential customers. As more apps are developed for Shopify's platform, the tools attract ever more merchants -- a virtuous cycle.
Put it all together and you can see that while both companies have strong moats, Amazon comes out ahead.
Winner = Amazon
So there you have it: Amazon is cheaper, has a better balance sheet, and has a wider moat than Shopify. Don't let that stop you, however, from considering Shopify as well for your portfolio. I already have outperform ratings for both companies on my CAPS profile, and together, they account for 29% of my real-life holdings. While I clearly think Amazon is a better bet, they both deserve your consideration.
More From The Motley Fool
John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Brian Stoffel owns shares of Amazon and Shopify. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon and Shopify. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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august 2018 by neerajsinghvns
The $250 Biohack That’s Revolutionizing Life With Diabetes - Bloomberg
The $250 Biohack That’s Revolutionizing Life With Diabetes
DIYers used a security flaw to bypass the $8.3 billion insulin delivery business with a cobbled-together artificial pancreas.
More stories by Naomi Kresge
August 8, 2018, 5:00 AM EDT
When her daughter, Sydney, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 8, Kate Farnsworth stopped sleeping through the night. She’d set the alarm for 3 a.m. so she or her husband, Dave, could prick the girl’s fingers and check her blood sugar. If the results were worrisome, they’d adjust her insulin and keep checking every 15 minutes. At 6 a.m., another alarm went off to signal the next insulin dose, but by then, Kate had usually snapped awake again already. When Sydney got home from school each afternoon, Kate was there to check her glucose level. “Diabetes is one of the only diseases where you’re sent a prescription and have to adjust the dosage on your own” forever, Kate says. For Sydney, the biggest worry was “how I wouldn’t ever be normal again.”
Two exhausting years in, Kate found the beginnings of an alternative in an online forum. A loose confederation of do-it-yourselfers were working on a system that would eventually help link an insulin pump to a glucose monitor and connect both to a smartphone app. The idea was that the wearer—or her parents—could track and adjust her blood sugar, in person or from afar. That would mean fewer pinpricks, and far fewer alarms, because her blood sugar would stay out of the danger zone. Most of the time, the contraption would be able to regulate the wearer’s insulin itself.
Sydney Farnsworth (left) and her mother, Kate.
Photographer: Mark Sommerfeld for Bloomberg Businessweek
Two long years after that, Kate, a graphic artist in the Toronto suburbs, was able to follow the community’s step-by-step instructions and build her daughter what amounted to an artificial pancreas, the organ that regulates blood sugar. Suddenly, the Farnsworths could take a breath. Sydney, now 15, is still using an updated version of that DIY system, which, because a fellow DIYer donated the pump, cost only $250 to make. “I’m really happy with where I am now,” she says. “It’s so simple to just click a button and give insulin while I’m on my phone.” The app she uses, connected to a sensor under her skin, keeps monitoring her whether she’s sleeping, taking a math quiz, or doing jumps on her snowboard. “It has totally changed the way we manage diabetes,” Kate Farnsworth says.
Twenty years ago, internet utopians envisioned scientific innovation gradually becoming more open-source. Instead, most amateur “biohacking” has remained fringe-y and often focused on aesthetics—inserting lights under the skin as a fashion statement, for example. But like the prosthetic arm a teenager built himself out of Legos, the device keeping Sydney alive is a rare example of the idea working out, at least in microcosm. By some estimates, as many as 2,000 people around the world have used a home-built pancreas, cobbled together mostly via social media and the free-code clearinghouse GitHub. Tech support consists of parents and patients who use Facebook Messenger or email to help newcomers fix bugs or revive busted equipment. There are plenty of potential converts: In the U.S. alone, about 1.3 million people have Type 1 diabetes, and there are indications the technology could also help some sufferers of Type 2, the group that accounts for most of the world’s 422 million diabetes cases.
Although no users have reported a disastrous malfunction, trusting your life (or your child’s) to a DIY pancreas carries obvious risks. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is years away from approving a comparably flexible and automated rig for sale. “You’ve got a group that is circumventing all of the controls that are in place,” says Hooman Hakami, president of the diabetes group at Medtronic Plc, the leader in the $8.3 billion market for old-school diabetes devices. “I can show you what a few of our engineers have put together over a weekend, and it would blow you away. But we don’t call that a finished product. We call that a prototype.”
So far, though, the rough-and-tumble version is way ahead of the market. Apple Inc. and Eli Lilly & Co. have hired DIYers, and Medtronic’s latest FDA-approved product can now do most of the things the Farnsworths’ system can—for $7,000, before insurance. It’s not hard to understand why diabetics and their loved ones might opt for the Farnsworth model, says Courtney Lias, who oversees chemistry and toxicology devices at the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “You can do everything on your phone except manage diabetes,” Lias says. “You should be able to do that, too.”
The DIY pancreas movement would never have happened if not for a Medtronic blunder. In 2011 a pair of security researchers alerted the public that the wireless radio frequency links in some of the company’s best-selling insulin pumps had been left open to hackers. Medtronic closed the loophole after the researchers warned of risks to patients, but it never recalled the devices, leaving thousands in circulation.
By then, Ben West, a programmer and diabetes patient in San Francisco, had decided to hack the pump. “This is not what I wanted,” he says. “This is all a last-ditch effort.” He says he’d been careful to use his existing pump as directed but still wound up in the hospital more than once when his blood sugar veered dangerously high or low. He despised needing to retreat to the corner of a party to prick his finger and test his blood sugar, and he couldn’t stand how his pump itched and came unstuck during yoga.
The Artificial Pancreas
Source: Loop Docs
Working evenings, weekends, and vacations for five years, West reverse-engineered the pump’s communications code, making it possible to send the device instructions. During that time, a group of DIYers calling themselves Nightscout figured out how to relay data from glucose monitors to a smartphone or watch, so parents could monitor kids’ blood sugar levels remotely. Theirs were the instructions Kate Farnsworth followed to build a homemade wireless link for Sydney’s glucose monitor and do the coding needed to create a custom display for the Pebble, an early smartwatch. Kate could then watch Sydney’s blood sugar move on her watch in real time during the day, texting her daughter if she saw any irregularities. And Sydney could watch her blood sugar move without drawing attention to herself in class.
In June 2014, West met Seattle couple Dana Lewis and Scott Leibrand, who had written an algorithm that could suggest insulin doses. The next step, they decided, was to automate the insulin pump using software. The three traded ideas on GitHub and at the Twitter office where Leibrand worked. By December, Lewis, who has diabetes, had hooked up her new artificial pancreas. At first, she intended to use it only while she slept, but it left her so well-rested that she kept it on during the day. “It has constantly surpassed my expectations,” she says.
West, Lewis, and Leibrand posted their work in early 2015. It was intimidating for nonprogrammers such as Kate Farnsworth to try to replicate, but when DIY coder Nate Racklyeft created Loop, a more user-friendly version for the iPhone, Farnsworth decided to try it out. Yet another DIYer gave her an old, hackable Medtronic pump, which she connected to a glucose monitor and the app using a tiny Bluetooth-equipped computer called a RileyLink. It was designed by Minnesotan DIYer Pete Schwamb, whose daughter, Riley, has diabetes.
In 2016, with the components spread out on the desk in her home office, Farnsworth decided to test the system with water and without Sydney, by then 13, attached. She filled the pump and aimed its tube into a napkin, watching it spit out tiny jets of faux insulin as the app showed her daughter’s blood sugar rise and fall. “I could see the logic of it,” she says. After two days, she was satisfied everything worked properly, and on a weekend when the family had no other plans, they tried it out for real. “That was the first night I slept through the night in years,” she says.
Kate applies the glucose monitor to Sydney.
Photographer: Mark Sommerfeld for Bloomberg Businessweek
Farnsworth set up a Facebook group called Looped to help other parents follow her lead. Today it has more than 4,000 members, and Farnsworth spends several hours a day answering messages from curious parents. “They know their kids the best,” she says, “and sometimes technology or medicine is slower and doesn’t know what we need as much as we do.” Loop volunteers have shipped about 2,000 RileyLinks, built by a Kentucky company that mostly makes parts for electric guitars, as far away as China and Sierra Leone.
Nightscout, the DIY group, has grown from five families in April 2014 to some 55,000 people in 33 countries. A European team recently created an app for Android phones and cracked the code in a popular pump from Roche Holding AG. About 50 people signed up for the Android system last month, says developer Milos Kozak.
On a warm weekend in late May, Kozak hosted about 20 DIYers from around Europe in Prague. Accustomed to conversing via Gitter, a chat platform for open-source coders, it was the first time many had met in person. The youngest of the group was 15-year-old Tebbe Ubben, who’d helped build his own artificial pancreas and had traveled by train from rural Germany. “If I can showcase something that results in a manufactured product changing, that’s exactly what I want,” says Jon Hudson, a U.K. software engineer who helped Ubben with his rig.
At least one big device maker has given up on the artificial pancreas. Johnson & Johnson shut down its project last year, saying it could no longer charge enough for its hardware to make further research and development worth its while. Despite shrinking profit margins, however, the DIY projects have helped stir industry … [more]
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august 2018 by neerajsinghvns
These 5 tech stocks are in a dot-com-like bubble (and they aren’t all FAANGs) - MarketWatch
These 5 tech stocks are in a dot-com-like bubble (and they aren’t all FAANGs)
Getty Images
Spot the micro bubbles.
Although the overall stock market looks reasonably valued, there are pockets of extraordinary risk where stocks with 2000-bubble-like valuations lurk.
Specifically, there is a “micro bubble” in certain tech stocks, where valuations reflect expectations for future cash flows that would require unrealistically high margins, growth, and market share. These expectations might not be so “bubbly” if not for the fact that the current margins and cash flows of these companies have trended at very low or negative levels for years.
5 tech stocks in a micro bubble
Figure 1 lists the five tech stocks we put in our first micro bubble. They share a few key characteristics:
• Low or negative return on invested capital (ROIC) and free cash flow
• Unrealistically high valuations: all 10 companies either have negative economic book values, or they have a PEBV above 20
• Expectations that they achieve heretofore unseen dominant market shares
These are five of the largest micro-bubble companies. Briefly, here’s what makes each of these companies part of the micro-bubble.
Amazon
Fun fact: Amazon’s AMZN, +0.20% $885 billion market cap is higher than Walmart WMT, +0.45% Home Depot HD, +0.69% Oracle ORCL, -0.39% and Disney DIS, +0.53% combined. Investors are betting that Amazon can grow to dominate multiple industries while earning significantly higher margins than it does now.
Amazon has finally shown an ability to earn a profit, but it still must grow net operating profit after tax (NOPAT) by 30% compounded annually for 19 years to justify its current valuation. See the math behind this dynamic DCF scenario. For comparison, only six companies in the S&P 500 SPX, +0.28% managed to grow NOPAT by 30% compounded annually for just the past 10 years. Maintaining that growth rate for nearly double that time frame would be an extraordinary feat.
Amazon prefers to point investors to free cash flow, but its reported free cash flow numbers are an illusion. In reality, the company continues to experience significant cash outflows.
Investors who focus on understanding true cash flow and fundamentals know the disconnect between actual cash flow and the market’s expectations for future cash flows borders on the absurd.
Netflix
Netflix NFLX, +0.16% has become one of the leading creators of original content, but it’s done so with an unsustainable cost structure. As this excellent video from The Ringer explains, Netflix earns an accounting profit, but only because its reported content costs understate its actual content spending by about 50%. The company continues to lose billions of dollars a year and grows increasingly dependent on the high-yield debt market.
Felix Salmon of Slate recently published a piece titled “Netflix Can Either Become the Dominant Media Monopoly of the 21st Century or Go Bust.” The market values Netflix as if it will be that dominant monopoly when, frankly, there’s a very good chance it goes bust. Risk/reward for this stock is so bad that no investor with any respect for fundamentals can own this stock in good conscience.
Salesforce.com
Salesforce CRM, +1.21% has racked up losses for years while pursuing growth at any cost. The theory behind this strategy is that the company will eventually be able to cut back heavily on its marketing and R&D costs while maintaining its recurring revenue stream.
Even if this strategy does work, which is far from certain, the company is currently valued at 10 times revenue, or double the valuation of Oracle. This hasn’t dissuaded bulls, as Salesforce generates classic tech bubble-style headlines like “Ignore Salesforce’s Valuation.” In other words, they want investors to ignore fundamentals.
Tesla
Tesla TSLA, -1.09% currently has a higher market cap than GM GM, -0.05% despite selling about 1% as many cars in 2017. What’s more, GM is already ahead of Tesla in self-driving technology and rapidly catching up when it comes to electric vehicle production.
Elon Musk keeps promising that Tesla will revolutionize the auto industry, but so far Tesla hasn’t shown an ability to navigate the manufacturing logistics that the established auto makers figured out decades ago. The company’s valuation is blind to fundamentals and seems entirely focused on the cult of personality that has built up around Musk.
Read: Tesla confirms intention to go private, sending stock up 11%
Spotify
Spotify Technology SPOT, -0.24% wants to disrupt the music industry, but so far it remains beholden to the Big Three record labels that own 85% of the music streamed on its platform. The market thinks of Spotify as a trendy tech company, but as we wrote in our report on the stock, the economics of its business are more similar to the movie theater industry.
Spotify’s leverage against the record labels is further weakened by the rapid growth of competitors like Apple Music AAPL, -0.08% It’s hard to see how Spotify can justify the growth expectations implied by its valuation unless it could pull off the unlikely feat of taking over ownership of its content from the labels while holding off competition from other streaming services (all without having to overspend like Netflix has).
Again, we see a company where the valuation reflects the best-case scenario with little to no tether to fundamentals.
How to bet against the micro bubble
Investors that want to bet against these micro-bubble stocks can short them directly, but that can be expensive and risky for these momentum-driven companies. As the saying goes, the market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent.
Another way to profit from the busting of this micro bubble is to invest in the incumbents from which these companies must take major chunks of market share. When these micro-bubble stocks fall back to earth, a great deal of capital should be reallocated to the incumbents.
Macro bubbles vs. micro bubbles
Today’s market has some micro bubbles, or smaller groups of overhyped stocks trading at ridiculous valuations.That makes it very different from the tech bubble, which was a macro bubble, a marketwide phenomenon that distorted the valuation of the entire market.
A few new features are shaping the market now and explain why today’s bubbles are unlikely to spread to the entire market, at least for the foreseeable future:
• Politicians and policy makers are focused on preventing macro market crashes. Today’s politicians and policy makers are heavily shaped by both the housing bubble of the mid-2000s and the tech bubble of the late 1990s. They will likely do everything in their power to prevent recurrence of such cataclysmic events on their watch.
• Rising influence of noise traders. Noise traders, who make investment decisions based on noise and have no regard for fundamentals, are an increasingly influential force in today’s market. Roughly a quarter of all U.S. adults with internet access are retail online traders. That’s around 50 million investors who don’t have professional trading (much less investing) experience and might be more susceptible to buying into “story” stocks without understanding the fundamentals. There’s power in those numbers.
• Overhyping “transformative” technology. The splintering of online media has led journalists to overhype nearly every new technology and trend in a relentless competition for clicks. For example, despite the “Retail Apocalypse” narrative, brick-and-mortar sales still account for 90% of retail sales, and Walmart earned nearly three times more revenue than Amazon last year. In reality, very few new technologies are as transformative as we like to imagine.
• Value transfer vs. value creation. Too many investors overestimate the value-creation opportunities for new technologies. Even when technologies are transformative, predicting who will reap the benefits of these technologies is difficult. Often, most of the value accrues to end users/consumers and not corporations. When it does accrue to a company, it’s usually at the expense of another company. During the tech bubble, bulls believed the internet would make our economy radically more productive and allow the GDP growth rate of around 5% in the late 90’s to persist for many years. When this utopian future failed to materialize, the market collapsed. By contrast, today’s micro-bubble companies compete against firmly established incumbents from which they must take large chunks of market share to survive. Instead of adding value, these companies aim to take value from existing players. Even if they succeed, we think much of that value will eventually pass to consumers.
This last point is key. In 1999, investors gave Microsoft MSFT, -0.10% its absurdly high valuation because they believed its software would create enormous amounts of value and growth for thousands of other companies. On the other hand, Tesla’s sky-high valuation implies it will take market share away from General Motors and Ford F, +0.50% which decreases the valuation of those companies.
These modern-day micro bubbles reflect the zero-sum nature of today’s crowded and more mature competitive landscapes.
Why we’re not in a macro bubble
Figure 2 sums up the difference between the tech bubble and today’s market pretty clearly. It shows the price to economic book value (PEBV) of the largest 1,000 U.S. stocks by market cap going back to 2000. PEBV compares the current valuation of a company compared to the zero-growth value of its cash flows, i.e. NOPAT, so a higher PEBV means the market expects more future cash flow growth.
While the market’s PEBV has more than doubled since 2012, from 0.7 to 1.5, it’s nowhere close to its tech bubble level of 5.7.
There are definitely some outrageously valued companies out there, but those high valuations … [more]
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august 2018 by neerajsinghvns
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august 2018 by neerajsinghvns
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TOTO Washlet: Meet the TOTO WASHLET ; competitor bidet
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10 Reasons Why I'm Selling All of My Apple Stock
10 Reasons Why I'm Selling All of My Apple Stock
This Fool thinks it is finally time to cash out on one of his biggest winners of all time.
Brian Feroldi
I've been an Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) fanboy for nearly two decades, so this is a bittersweet article for me to write. In my house, you'll find two iPhones, three iPads, an Apple Watch, an Apple TV, and an iMac. My three young children literally have no clue how to use Microsoft Windows.
My love affair with Apple's products convinced me to become a shareholder in February of 2010. I made several more purchases in the ensuing years. My average cost basis is about $35 per share. With the stock currently hovering around $193, buying and holding Apple ranks as one of the smartest financial decisions that I've ever made.
And yet, despite my long-term devotion to Apple's products and stock, I've concluded that it's finally time for me to move on. Here are 10 reasons why I've decided to cash in all of my chips.
Image source: Apple.
1. The megacap multiplier obstacle
Apple's market cap is $949 billion as I type this. That makes it the most valuable publicly traded company in the world. Long-term shareholders like me have already won big by owning this stock.
The downside to Apple's gargantuan size is that it's going to be extremely difficult for the stock to produce multibagger returns from here. Fool co-founder David Gardner coined the term "the megacap multiplier obstacle" to describe this principle many years ago. The idea is that it becomes harder and harder for a company to double in value as it increases in size.
Consider this: Even after factoring in hundreds of billions in additional stock buybacks, Apple's market cap would probably have to reach $1.7 trillion or so for the stock to double from here.
2. My upgrade cycle has been getting longer
I vividly remember buying my first iPhone. I happily switched from a BlackBerry Storm -- which was a piece of junk -- the day that the iPhone became available on Verizon Communications' network.
Switching was an amazing experience. The iPhone was fast, intuitive, and extremely useful. I was so happy with my decision that I convinced my wife to become an iPhone user soon after.
We both happily jumped on the iPhone upgrade cycle. We were happy to pay up to get our hands on the latest iPhone as soon as we qualified for an upgrade.
Unfortunately, the charm has worn off. We eventually realized that we use our iPhones primarily for text messaging, taking pictures, browsing the web, posting to Facebook, and listening to podcasts. Our current iPhone 6s handles all of these tasks just as well as a brand-new iPhone X. Paying hundreds to upgrade every two years now just seems like a waste of money.
It's a similar story for our other Apple products. Our iPads, Apple TV, and iMac were all purchased years ago and continue to function flawlessly.
Our revised upgrade strategy is to buy used Apple products that are at least two generations old off of sites like eBay, glyde.com, or gazelle.com. Aside from a few small hardware differences, we can barely tell the difference between these new-to-us models and our old products. They are functionally identical.
I have no doubt that millions of other loyal Apple users have reached the same conclusion. If my assumption is true, then it will act as a major drag on unit sales volume growth for many years to come. That's a big problem since the vast majority of Apple's revenue is generated from the sale of brand-new products.
3. Average selling prices on iPhones could be peaking
While Apple's portfolio has become more diversified over time, the iPhone still accounts for more than 60% of total revenue. That means that top-line growth will be driven by two primary levers for the foreseeable future: iPhone unit volumes and average selling price.
I have a hard time seeing the company producing meaningful unit volume growth from here. The company sold 217 million iPhones in the last 12 months. Since there are only so many consumers around the world that can afford to buy a brand-new iPhone in any given year, moving this number higher is going to be very challenging. That's especially true since Mary Meeker's must-read 2018 Internet Trends report just showed that worldwide smartphone shipment volumes were flat in 2017.
This likely means that Apple's most important lever for driving iPhone revenue growth is the average selling price. On this front the company is currently doing phenomenally well. Last quarter Apple reported unit volume growth of just 3%, but total iPhone revenue actually grew by 14%. The big difference between those two numbers is largely owed to surging average selling prices thanks to the recent launch of the ultra-premium iPhone X.
This leads to the question: Will Apple still be able to sell enough ultra-premium iPhones to keep its average selling price so high? It's possible, but I think that skepticism is warranted since iPhone X demand appears to be weaker than the company was expecting.
If iPhone average selling prices do flatline (or fall) and unit volume growth stalls, then Apple is going to struggle to move its top line higher.
4. The repatriation tax catalyst is over
Apple bulls have been pointing to the company's massive overseas cash hoard for years as a potential catalyst. The idea was that Congress would eventually change its repatriation tax policy that kept the vast majority of Apple's cash trapped overseas. Once the law was changed, Apple would be finally able to use its mountain of cash to reward shareholders.
Well, now that the lower repatriation rate has been announced, Apple CFO Luca Maestri recently said that the company's goal is to become cash neutral over time. Getting there will require spending hundreds of billions on buybacks, which is great news for shareholders.
However, since this news is so well known, I think it is reasonable to assume that this catalyst has already been priced in.
5. Apple is behind in the home-speaker market
While Apple has a history of slowly entering new markets -- there were plenty of other smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches available before the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch were introduced -- I think there are reasons to worry that Apple won't be successful with its delayed entry into the home-speaker market. This market is already flooded with popular products made by Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOG)(NASDAQ: GOOGL). These companies sell a range of cheap products that are supported by vast ecosystems that make them highly attractive to consumers.
Will the superior sound quality of the HomePod prove to be enough to convince consumers to pay a big premium to own it instead of the current market-leading devices? While that can't be ruled out, the early signs are not very encouraging.
6. The Buffett bump
Warren Buffett recently took investors by surprise when SEC filings showed that his Berkshire Hathaway he had been buying Apple's stock hand over fist. In fact, it's bought so much Apple stock that it has officially overtaken Wells Fargo as Berkshire Hathaway's largest publicly traded stock position.
While it is great to see such a huge vote of confidence from Buffett, I think that his interest in the stock is at least partially responsible for Apple's recent P/E ratio expansion to a five-year high.
AAPL PE Ratio (TTM) data by YCharts.
Will Buffett's blessing allow Apple to sustain its higher valuation in the years ahead? It's possible, but that theory didn't hold up when Buffett took a meaningful position in IBM a few years ago.
7. Apple deserves to trade at a below-market multiple
Apple bulls will point out that even after the recent run, shares trade for "only" 18 times trailing earnings. That seems to be low when considering that the average company in the S&P 500 currently trades for about 25 times trailing earnings. The mismatch makes no sense to many investors since Apple is clearly a better company than the average business.
For the longest time, I couldn't figure out why the market wouldn't award Apple an above-average multiple either. However, I've since changed my tune and now fully agree that Apple deserves to trade at a below-market multiple.
Why? The reason is that Apple is a tech hardware company at its core. The vast majority of the company's revenue and profits are made from selling brand-new iPhones, iPads, iMacs, and other electronic products. This means Apple has to continually refresh its product lines with brand-new features that continually convince customers to stay loyal and upgrade. If new products fail to capture the public's attention -- or even just don't sell as well as a previous model -- then Apple's revenue and profits would fall hard.
Thus far Apple hasn't had any problems convincing millions of customers to buy its new products in droves as soon as they come out. But will this still ring true three, five, or 10 years from now? That's awfully hard to say since the tech world moves fast.
This omnipresent uncertainty is likely to be a major reason why Wall Street consistently keeps Apple's P/E ratio so low. Since this situation won't change anytime soon, I have a hard time believing that Apple's current P/E ratio of 18 means that its stock is "cheap." In fact, I think there's an argument to be made that today's valuation is actually quite generous, especially when compared to what this company's P/E ratio has been over the last five years.
8. Dividends and buybacks don't excite me
There's no doubt that Apple has become one of the most shareholder-friendly companies in the world since Tim Cook became CEO. Under his watch, Apple has spent hundreds of billions of dollars on stock buybacks and dividends
I love dividends and stock buybacks as much as the next investor, but I have a hard time getting excited about owning a business that relies heavily on financial engineering to drive earnings growth.
9. I've got plenty of other FAANG exposure
FAANG is an investing acronym that stands for Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google (Alphabet). These super-high-quality tech … [more]
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july 2018 by neerajsinghvns
Apple and FANG could lose a third of value, market watcher warns
Apple and the FANG stocks could lose at least a third of value, market watcher warns
Keris Lahiff
Wall Street's crown jewels, the FAANG stocks, have lost their shine lately.
Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google parent Alphabet are selling off again Monday after losing a combined $185 billion over the previous two sessions.
Ahead of Apple earnings scheduled for Tuesday evening, Larry McDonald, editor of the Bear Traps Report, warns to stay away from what has been one of the hottest areas of the market this year.
"These are stocks you want to run away from," McDonald told CNBC's "Trading Nation" on Friday. "I see potentially 30 percent to 40 percent downside on the FAANGs."
A 30 percent decline would turn Apple and Alphabet lower for the year. Facebook is already negative for 2018 and currently trading in a bear market having fallen more than 20 percent from its 52-week high.
Netflix is close to a bear market, but would still be positive for the year if it fell 30 percent from current levels. Amazon would also remain higher for 2018, but would be pulled into a bear market.
McDonald sees a brewing crisis in passive investing, a method where capital is placed in market-weighted indexes over individual stock picks. The FAANG names make up a large portion of a number of popular indexes.
"About $6 trillion has come into passive management in recent, say, last five to 10 years, and all of that money has to go into the FAANG stocks," said McDonald.
Apple is the largest holding in the SPY S&P 500 ETF with a 4 percent weighting. Alphabet and Facebook make up a combined 5 percent, while Amazon makes up 3 percent. Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Facebook and Netflix made up nearly 40 percent of the QQQ Trust.
McDonald's call on Apple is a contrarian one. Bill Baruch, president of Blue Line Futures, is bullish on the iPhone maker, alongside the majority of Wall Street analysts.
"Apple will be a buy at about $189 to $190.25. That's where I think you've got to step in and look to be buying that," Baruch said Friday on "Trading Nation." "I think we'll find Apple higher than this by the end of the year."
Sell-offs in Apple over the last two days have put the shares within Baruch's range. By midday Monday, it was trading at $189.90 a share.
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july 2018 by neerajsinghvns
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july 2017 by neerajsinghvns

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