Friday, April 28, 2006

Information Age is Dead, Long Live the Communications Age

I believe that the information age is over. The last several years have brought about numerous ways of obtaining information immediately, through the Internet, through search engines, through huge repositories of data which are accessable by anyone. Libraries are moving more and more to the electronic format, so that information can be accessed instantly and in a more flexible format. Information now quickly flows around the world.

Remember the 'old' days (pre-Internet) when you wanted to get information (such as an annual report) about a company you had an interest in investing in? First, you had to get the address of the company. So you had to drive to the nearest library (or use their phone-in service if they had one), go to the reference section and look for Value Line, Hoovers, or one of the other corporate directories. You then needed to write down that information, take it home, type up a letter on a computer (or typewriter in the pe-computer days) asking the company for their lastest annual report, quarterly report and recent new releases. Finally, after waiting at least a couple weeks (sometimes a couple months), you would finally receive the information through the U. S. mail. This actually wasn't so long ago - think back just ten years.

Now on our computer, we click on the stock we want with all the latest reports, including government filings, and up-to-the-minute news releases.

We now have access to more information than we will ever need, and more information is becoming available on a second by second basis. So now that our info needs are met, what's next?

Communication is now the next evolution. Look at the way we are communicating now: emailing, instant messaging on computers, text messaging on cell phones, calling people on cell phones (hey, there's a new concept), calling people through the Internet (VOIP). The number of senior citizens who are using the Internet is increasing dramatically. How do they communicate with their children and grandchildren? By email. Yes, they still use the phone and write letters, but the use of email is skyrocketing amoung the elderly.

How do we communicate with our children now? By cell phone. Remember the old days when we were kids riding our bicycles out in the middle of nowhere and we were running late getting home? We would just have to suffer the consequences when we did get home. These days, our kids just call us and say they are running late, we get to ask them why, they get to give us an excuse, and we don't have to worry about them.

How do the entertainment companies now communicate to us, with their advertising and programming? We can now get videos on our cell phones! Communications is the next big wave, and I am now looking for stocks that will ride that wave.

Copyright 2006 stockerblog, All rights reserved.

Friday, April 14, 2006

No Post-MacWorld Trend for Apple stock

In a previous blog, I mentioned the pre-MacWorld rising trend of Apple Computer stock. I was wondering if there was also a post-MacWorld trend showing a reduction in price since I noticed the huge drop recently in Apple during the last couple months. I found that there is no such trend. I used March 10 as the comparison date since it was a couple months after the conference. Here are the results:

1/11/2002 ..... 10.52 ....... 3/11 ..... 12.53 .....19%
1/10/2003 ....... 7.36 ...... 3/10 ..... 7.18 ..... -2%
1/9/2004 ...... 11.50 ........ 3/10 ..... 13.84 ..... 20%
1/14/2005 ..... 35.10 ..... 3/10 ..... 39.83 ..... 13%
1/13/2006 ..... 85.59 ..... 3/10 ..... 63.19 ..... -26%

As you can see, three up years, two down years = no trend.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Bowie Bonds and a Novel

Bowie Bonds are bonds that are secured by future royalties from copyrighted songs of musicians. They are called Bowie Bonds because David Bowie was the first entertainer to have such bonds issued. In 1997, investment bankers raised $55 million in ten year bonds backed by the future royalties of his copyrighted songs. Unfortunately, the public couldn't buy any of these bonds as they were all sold to Prudential Insurance. Bowie used the proceeds to make other investments such as a record label and a web based radio station.

Other musicians who have taken advantage of Bowie Bonds include:
Rod Stewart 1998 $15.4 million (royalty loan)
Dusty Springfield 1998 $10 million
Ashford & Simpson 1999 $25 million
James Brown 1999 $30 million
Isley Brothers 1999
Iron Maiden 1999 $30 million
Marvin Gaye 2000

A couple years ago, there was a book written which used Bowie Bonds as its major theme. It is written by Linda Davies, an outstanding financial mystery writer, and her book is called Something Wild. It is about a young, extremely intelligent, beautiful female semi-retired investment banker from London who meets a rock star in Wyoming interested in raising money. Beyond that, I don't want to give away any of the plot. However, the book has mystery, suspense, drama, romance and action. It doesn't have as much action as her previous books, Nest of Vipers and Wilderness of Mirrors , both excellent books, but I consider Something Wild an even better book.

One of the bizarre things about the Something Wild book is that you can't buy it in the United States. If you go to the sites of Amazon or Barnes and Noble and type in Linda Davies, it will show her other books but not Something Wild. Apparently, it can only be bought in Canada and Great Britain. I had to go to Amazon Canada (amazon.ca) in order to order it. I highly recommend this book, even if you have to pay the high shipping to order from Canada.

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