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The Best of What They Said and I Read week ending 5/7/2017

Short excerpts from articles I found interesting.

I may not agree with the author and the following material is not intended as investment advice.

 

ssa.gov – May 1, 2017 – New Social Security Features for my Social Security

  • “Social Security is adding a new requirement to protect the privacy of my Social Security customers.  We will be alerting current my Social Security account holders of the change via direct email over the next few weeks.
  • Effective June 10, 2017, my Social Security customers will be required to use their cell phone or email account as a second means of identification for each registration and sign in.  To learn more please visit the latest edition of Social Security Update online...”

 The Wall Street Journal – May 1, 2017 – Apple’s Mountain of Cash Is Set to Top $250 Billion – by Tripp Mickle

  • “Apple is expected to report Tuesday that its stockpile of cash has topped a quarter of a trillion dollars, an unrivaled hoard that is greater than the market value of either Wal-Mart Stores Inc. or Proctor & Gamble Co…”
  • “…Apple’s quarterly results will show the company has doubled its cash in just over 4 ½ years.  In the last three months of 2016 it racked up cash at a rate of about $3.6 million an hour.  As of December, the company had $246.09 billion total cash, cash equivalents, and securities.  Apple, like many big American companies, parks most of that cash offshore rather than paying U.S. taxes on its overseas profits...”
  • “…Robert Nichols of Windward Capital Management Co., an Apple shareholder, says it should buy Netflix Inc., valued around $65 billion, to jump-start tis video-streaming business and bolster its position against Amazon.  “You can either build content and distribution or you can buy it,” and buying would help Apple gain ground where it is behind, he said… With $250 billion, Apple could buy both Tesla and Netflix and still have plenty left over…”

 U.S. Global Investors – May 5, 2017 - Investor Alert - by Frank Holmes

  • “…In the last 20 years, the U.S. stock market has undergone an alarming change that too few people are aware of or talking about. Between 1996 and 2016, the number of listed companies fell by half, from 7,300 to 3,600, according to a recent report by Credit Suisse. This occurred despite the U.S. economy growing nearly 60 percent over the same period…
  • “…So why’s the pool of publically-traded companies shrinking? We can point to a few different culprits.  For one, merger and acquisition (M&A) activity has strengthened in recent years, and when an M&A takes place, a company is consequentially delisted...The same thing happens, of course, when a company goes out of business.  Another reason could be the growth of private capital, which allows companies to raise funds without having to go public. Between 2013 and 2015, the amount of private money invested in tech start-ups alone tripled from $26 billion to $75 billion, according to consulting firm McKinsey…Think wildly successful companies like Dropbox, Airbnb, Pinterest, Uber—all of which, for now, have avoided selling shares to public investors.
  • “My belief is that, out of all the reasons for fewer U.S. stocks and IPOs, the most impactful has been the surge in federal regulations over the last two decades. Rising costs associated with being listed on an exchange and meeting compliance standards have prohibited IPOs for all but the very largest U.S. firms…”

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