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I (Sort Of) Predicted the Amazon – Whole Foods Merger

By now, Amazon.com’s (AMZN) purchase of Whole Foods Market (WFM) is old news. I’d love to tell you that I expected this merger to happen… but that might be stretching the truth a little. Though back in October of last year, I did tell Newsmax TV that I expected to see Amazon make a major move in the grocery space:

To be sure, Newsmax Finance Insider Charles Sizemore recently predicted to Newsmax TV that Amazon is about to “upend the grocery industry” as it plans to expand its grocery business with shops that let people quickly pick up milk, vegetables or other perishable foods.

“Amazon is trying to get your grocery dollars for a very good reason,” Sizemore told Newsmax TV’s JD Hayworth.

“Groceries, while they are a low-margin business, it’s still something that every American pays for, usually on a weekly basis. If you’re already buying your groceries at Amazon, you might also buy something that’s higher margin,” he said.

“Amazon’s smart, they know what they’re doing here,” he explained. “I have a feeling they’re about to really upend the grocery industry. It’s about to get really interesting. It’s just not quite what everyone’s expecting.”

See Amazon’s Whole Foods Conquest Is a ‘Game Changer’ to read the full article.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos famously said “Your margin is my opportunity.” I don’t expect groceries to be any different here. Groceries aren’t an exceptionally high margin business already, but you can bet that Amazon will squeeze them a lot harder.

It’s worth noting that Amazon isn’t the only competitor looking to shake up the grocery business. Walmart (WMT) itself was a major disruptor two decades ago, and the Behemoth of Bentonville isn’t sitting idly while Amazon takes over the world. Walmart recently opened a state-of-the-art automated grocery pickup kiosk that allows shoppers to order their groceries in advance and skip the hassle of having to actually enter a Walmart store.

If I were Kroger’s (KR) management, I’d be terrified right now.

 

Disclaimer: This material is provided for informational purposes only, as of the date hereof, and is subject to change without notice. This material may not be suitable for all investors and is not intended to be an offer, or the solicitation of any offer, to buy or sell any securities nor is it intended to be investment advice. You should speak to a financial advisor before attempting to implement any of the strategies discussed in this material. There is risk in any investment in traded securities, and all investment strategies discussed in this material have the possibility of loss. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The author of the material or a related party will often have an interest in the securities discussed. Please see Full Disclaimer for a full disclaimer.

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Sizemore Insights Makes the List of Top 100 Financial Advisor Blogs

Sizemore Insights made Feedspot’s list of Top 100 Financial Advisor Blogs and Websites, coming in at #44.

The blogs were ranked based on Google reputation and Google search rankings, influence and popularity in social media, quality and consistency of posts and and editorial review by Feedspot’s editorial team.

My thanks to Feedspot’s editorial team, and congratulations to the other bloggers!

 

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Disclaimer: This material is provided for informational purposes only, as of the date hereof, and is subject to change without notice. This material may not be suitable for all investors and is not intended to be an offer, or the solicitation of any offer, to buy or sell any securities nor is it intended to be investment advice. You should speak to a financial advisor before attempting to implement any of the strategies discussed in this material. There is risk in any investment in traded securities, and all investment strategies discussed in this material have the possibility of loss. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The author of the material or a related party will often have an interest in the securities discussed. Please see Full Disclaimer for a full disclaimer.

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Chuck Norris Facts: The Aging of the Baby Boomers

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Actor and martial arts legend Chuck Norris quoted me in a piece he published today about the aging of the Baby Boomers: Chuck Norris Bows to Healthy Seniors.

Here’s an excerpt:

The entry into “senior” membership in this country is rarely looked at as something to be celebrated. “Over the Hill” novelty items have long been a thriving industry – from gift boxes featuring prune juice and anti-aging soap, to birthday cards mocking the mobility, intellect and sex drive of the no-longer-young. It’s good for a laugh. Others see it differently, as a sign of the need for a deep-rooted change in society’s view of aging. As, in a society so captivated by youth culture, a form of dismissing a club that they, if they’re lucky enough, may one day be a member.

By 2060, people 65 and older will constitute one in every four U.S. residents, roughly 98.2 million people. Of this number, 19.7 million will be 85 or older. Accurate information and continued and accelerated research on the aging process are critical as we age as a population. We also cannot forget about the mass of reinforcements on the way. According to Baby Boomer Magazine, every eight seconds a Baby Boomer in this country turns 50.

According to the American Geriatrics Society, only about 10 percent of U.S. medical schools require work in geriatric medicine. As the oldest of an estimated 77 million baby boomers approach their 60s, the elderly and their concerns can be expected to inevitably move higher on the national agenda. According to John Rother, policy director for the AARP, a major change on the perception of aging is on the way…

“The Boomers, as a generation, were the single most important economic force of the past 70 years,” adds Charles Sizemore, chief investment officer of Sizemore Capital Management in Dallas. As more Boomers cross the line into senior citizenship, Sizemore believes that this powerful shift in demographics will reshape America’s society and economy.

It’s hard to believe Mr. Norris is a senior citizen himself. But I also heard that Chuck Norris fought Father Time… and won.

You can read the full article here.

I can now cross “Being quoted by Chuck Norris” off of my bucket list. Have a great weekend.

Photo credit: Carlos Killpack

Disclaimer: This material is provided for informational purposes only, as of the date hereof, and is subject to change without notice. This material may not be suitable for all investors and is not intended to be an offer, or the solicitation of any offer, to buy or sell any securities nor is it intended to be investment advice. You should speak to a financial advisor before attempting to implement any of the strategies discussed in this material. There is risk in any investment in traded securities, and all investment strategies discussed in this material have the possibility of loss. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The author of the material or a related party will often have an interest in the securities discussed. Please see Full Disclaimer for a full disclaimer.

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Protecting Against An Inflation Surprise

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I don’t see much in the way of inflation coming down the pipeline. In fact, I see the same deflationary forces that are plaguing Japan and Europe to continue nipping at our heels for the next several years.

But… let’s say I’m wrong. Let’s say something comes out of left field that ignites inflation. What then?

I gave my thoughts on inflation to Kira Brecht, writing for US News and World Reports:

“Real estate is a natural inflation hedge that also tends to pay decent current income. A basket of REITs is generally a good addition to any portfolio, and now more than ever,” says Charles Sizemore, founder of Sizemore Capital Management.

One option for investors includes the Vanguard REIT ETF (VNQ). Sizemore calls it “a very solid option. It gives broad diversification to the REIT sector and has the lowest fees of any of its competitors.”

Sizemore says the best advice for investors now may be to stay flexible.

“Be willing to invest in new ways you’ve never invested before,” he says. “We’re in uncharted territory. We’ve never had negative interest rates, nor have we had this level of central bank manipulation. We don’t know how this story ends, so we need to stay nimble and flexible.”

You can read the full article here.

Charles Sizemore is the principal of Sizemore Capital Management. As of this writing, he was long VNQ.

Disclaimer: This material is provided for informational purposes only, as of the date hereof, and is subject to change without notice. This material may not be suitable for all investors and is not intended to be an offer, or the solicitation of any offer, to buy or sell any securities nor is it intended to be investment advice. You should speak to a financial advisor before attempting to implement any of the strategies discussed in this material. There is risk in any investment in traded securities, and all investment strategies discussed in this material have the possibility of loss. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The author of the material or a related party will often have an interest in the securities discussed. Please see Full Disclaimer for a full disclaimer.

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What’s Ahead for Ford and GM?

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Photo credit: Adam Dooley

I recently gave my thoughts on Ford (F) and General Motors (GM) to US News and World Reports’ Lou Carlozo:

“Ford and GM have both had excellent runs operationally,” says Charles Sizemore, a portfolio manager on Covestor and founder of Sizemore Capital Management in Dallas. “Sales have been robust and profits have followed. Yet Wall Street seems unduly pessimistic about their prospects going forward, pricing in pretty significant sales declines.”

Another reason for the pessimism revolves around a bad accident that hasn’t even happened yet: skyrocketing interest rates.

“Yes, rising interest rates — if they ever actually happen — are bad for auto sales, which depend on credit,” Sizemore says. “I get that. But if the economic outlook is as bad as the prices of auto stocks suggest, then U.S. stocks should not be trading at a Shiller price-to-earnings ratio of 26. So either investors are wrong about auto stocks — or they’re wrong about the rest of the market.”

You can read the full article here.

As of this writing, I’m long both General Motors and Ford in my Dividend Growth portfolio.

Disclaimer: This material is provided for informational purposes only, as of the date hereof, and is subject to change without notice. This material may not be suitable for all investors and is not intended to be an offer, or the solicitation of any offer, to buy or sell any securities nor is it intended to be investment advice. You should speak to a financial advisor before attempting to implement any of the strategies discussed in this material. There is risk in any investment in traded securities, and all investment strategies discussed in this material have the possibility of loss. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The author of the material or a related party will often have an interest in the securities discussed. Please see Full Disclaimer for a full disclaimer.

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