Like a few friends of ours that ran the Comrades, US markets took off in good shape in the morning, but ran out of steam and battled home in the afternoon. Our favourite index, the tech-oriented Nasdaq, is now down for seven straight trading days. You will be disgusted to learn that this is the longest losing streak since November 2016.
In company news, Juul Labs has reached an agreement to pay $440 million to 33 US states to settle allegations about the e-cigarette manufacturer's marketing of addictive nicotine products to children. Elsewhere, Volkswagen (ETR: VOWG_p ) is pursuing an IPO of its lucrative Porsche (ETR: PSHG_p ) division, which could trade with a market cap of up to $85 billion. Vroom!
One Thing, From Paul
In recent weeks I've seen some interesting photographs of Jeff Bezos online. Now that he's retired from the CEO job at Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN ), he seems to have more time on his hands.
In the one picture he's sitting on a rollercoaster at an amusement park, more or less alone. In the other, he's eating a hamburger at McDonald's (NYSE: MCD ) with a wistful look on his face. That's the picture below.
Some people have been scathing, suggesting that he must be sad, lonely and unhappy. I had the opposite reaction, I find it quite endearing. He's just a person, in the end. He eats three meals a day, like you and me. He can only sleep in one bed at a time, even if he has multiple homes. He only needs one smartphone, to access the same Internet that we all use.
The fact is, even those with an average income in 2022 can enjoy days off, take travel breaks and good holidays. Everyone can access the great artistic works of humanity. Everyone can watch live sports, and cheer on their favourite team.
Jeff Bezos is a smart guy, so I'm pretty sure that he makes an effort to stay close to his family and friends. That's more important than money, after all. Good luck to him.
I recently went to an event organised by the Entrepreneurs' Organisation (EO) in Durban which was very enjoyable. Dr Imtiaz Sooliman from Gift Of The Givers did a wonderful talk that provided much-needed inspiration for South Africans during a trying period in our country's history.
In case you were not aware, EO is a global peer-to-peer network with more than 17 000 influential business owners from 60 countries. To become a member you need to be a founder of a business that meets certain revenue criteria and then you go through an application process. Once you are a member, the advice and support you get from fellow entrepreneurs is outstanding. The networks are great and you get to meet very interesting people all around the world.
Entrepreneurs are the heart and soul of every economy. They take financial and emotional risks to solve problems, create jobs, pay taxes and make money. Many of our clients own their own businesses and have entrusted us to manage some of their hard-earned savings. We take that responsibility very seriously.
Owning a business is not an easy journey and networking is crucial. If you run your own business and feel you need a good support base, you should get in touch. They have divisions all over the country.
Lululemon (NASDAQ: LULU ) reported another strong set of earnings last week, thanks to a 30% increase in in-store traffic, and a 40% increase in direct-to-consumer business. The athleisure company is also very positive about future sales because people higher up on the LSM rankings tend to be less affected by consumer price gyrations.
The Vancouver, British Columbia-based company reported quarterly revenues of $1.87 billion, up 29% year-on-year. Sales were boosted by a number of new ventures. Its nascent menswear division grew by 27% and their latest endeavour - getting into the shoe market - is looking promising.
Lululemon's management run a tight ship and my bullish thesis on humans getting healthier or looking healthier, especially rich people still remains strong. We like the share, and have clients who have owned it for a decade. You could own some too?
The infographic below shows the amazing growth in Lululemon's online business since 2016.
Chart courtesy of: chartr
Asian markets are looking sloppy this morning, although the Shanghai index managed to creep into the green at the close. Hong Kong and Tokyo are lower. The overall Asian equity gauge slid to levels last seen in the pandemic fallout of 2020.
The Rand is trading at around R17.30 to the US Dollar. The JSE was down 0.8% at the open.
US equity futures are now flat, after a weak start. That seems promising!
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