Man bets entire life savings on 1 roulette spin – Red or Black

Good old video from 2006.

From youtube:
Crazy gamble with entire life savings on one roulette spin!. Mad Englishman sells everything he owns and risks it all in Las Vegas.
1 spin. Double or nothing?

Why he did it? The whole story….

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The Big Escape Picture

Inspiration from Escape The City Newsletter

Photo: Amanda Rogers
Quote: Gilbert E. Kaplan
escape the city

Apple – The Numbers Part II

postcard--giant apple 2
Here are some of the reasons why Apple is under pressure. It used to be that every time Apple released a product there was a Usain Bolt advance between 1st and 2nd. You couldn’t name who was in 2nd place. They were irrelevant. If they mentioned anyone it was the spectacular Nascar crash of RIM and Nokia. Now with the release of the iPhone 5 the difference between 1st place and 2nd place is pretty blurry and when you leave a decision in the hands of the judge everything is arguable.

Apple’s cash cow, the iPhone 5, is severely under assault.
iPhone 5 = 65% of Apple’s overall profit. Gross margins: 55%

These hot numbers are under attack. Such fat margins are not sustainable. It attracts competition. And now the competition is not inferior to Apple anymore. You can have a debate that the Samsung Galaxy S3 is equal or superior. Microsoft has some credible phones and early reviews of RIM’s Blackberry 10 claims that it will be the best smartphone to hit the market. Carriers like Verizon are less likely to fork over $400 for every sale of iPhone sold.

New products like the iPad mini are more costly to produce and are not as profitable. The release of the iPad mini represents a defensive move by Apple. They used to be the leading proactive company and now they are becoming more and more reactive to the competition.

The bottom line: It’s getting harder and harder for Apple to justify that you pay over $500 for a phone. Competition will bring price down to grab market share.

Photo Credits: Ferrum College/News

McDonald’s Best Commercial Ever

The credits goes to the Buckwheat for this nice find.

Apple – The Numbers

AppleApparently not only a new iPhone will set you back financially, Apple’s shares (AAPL) will do the job too. The value of the shares have been plunging faster than the resale value of an iPad and it seems that they don’t have an app to stop it.

The shares are in free fall after last quarter’s numbers. Shares are down 10% following the results of the holiday quarter and more disappointing; the stock is trading for about $450, down from the $700 high back in September. On the company’s conference call, Tim Cook, the CEO, described Apple’s results as “extraordinary”. And he is right, they were extraordinary.

Revenue: $54.5 billion
Profit: $13.1 billion, compared to $13.06 billion last year
iPhone: 47.8 million, compared to 37.04 million in Q1 last year
iPad: 22.9 million, compared to 15.43 million in Q1 last year.

Of course they are extraordinary, they just had a record $54 billion in sales in one quarter. Any company that achieves that kind of number is excellent. And they have monster record profits. And they have $137 billion cash sitting in their bank account. And they have cool products that people wait in line for day to buy. They sold 10 devices per second last quarter. They sold more products last quarter than they ever sold before.

Apple1

So what’s the matter? Why are the shares crashing? How can investors not be happy with these kind of numbers?

Investing is a game of expectations. The company grew less than analysts expected. That’s it folks. Every quarter you have to match or beat the analyst’s numbers or you take a beating. Why? Because a stock is price in functions of future expected earnings. After all you are investing your money for a future stream of earnings. If it wasn’t for expectations Wall-Street would be honoring Apple right now because of record sales and profits. For comparison, Netflix crushed the analyst’s expectations and the shares went up 30%. To use a football analogy, imagine a receive just caught a super important pass and he is one inch out of bound. It nullify everything. Same with expectations.

So what’s next? After madness is gone their might be some opportunities. Investors need to stop being so emotional about Apple and need to treat it and value it like any other company. Apple is trading at 10x earnings, relatively cheap for a premier technology company. It has $137 billion and counting in cash on the balance sheet. They are paying some dividend and started a $45 billion share repurchase program. And their earnings are monstrous. They will not have hyperbolic growth they had last decade but they remain profitable. This time valuation might be on your side.

Photo credits: Reuters and Forbes

Misconceptions and Realities of Investing in Africa (Mark Mobius Repost)

From his blog here is Mark Mobius’s take on Africa. Nice insighful simple read.

Reposted from Investment Adventures in Emerging Markets
By Mark Mobius

It’s easy to fall prey to misconceptions and generalizations about places we’ve never been: to assume everyone in the United States drives big cars, all the French love croissants and all Canadians play hockey. There are many misconceptions about investing in developing markets, and Africa certainly has its fair share, but it’s dangerous to make sweeping generalizations. It’s impossible to know everything about this huge and diverse continent (the second largest in the world by land mass and population) so my team’s approach has been to keep our minds open to the growth possibilities while keeping our eyes open to the potential risks. Continue reading “Misconceptions and Realities of Investing in Africa (Mark Mobius Repost)”

2013 MLB Payroll

According to Yahoo! Sports, MLB payroll is expected to surpass $3 billion thanks to the Dodgers, the Jays, and the Nats. The Dodgers will possibly have the highest payroll in the league, going from $95 million to $213 million. The credits probably goes to the new ownership. Here is a table of the payroll of 2012 and 2013.

MLB Payroll

US Oil Importations Reaches New Lows

From The Economist: Net imports of oil to America are set to fall to 6m barrels a day next year, the lowest level since 1987, according to the Energy Information Administration. This is because domestic fuel production, helped by hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is booming while consumption is declining.

Mobius on Emerging, Frontier Markets, Commodities

Reposted from Bloomberg

Mark Mobius, executive chairman of Templeton Emerging Markets Group, talks about global emerging and frontier markets, commodities and his investment strategy. He also discusses the prospects for the U.S. economy and the debt ceiling negotiations. He spoke from Kuala Lumpur with Bloomberg Television’s Susan Li yesterday.

Link to video

Facebook artist millionnaire David Choe Interview on Howard Stern (Video)

Voilà an over the top interview with David Choe by Howard Stern. It’s very raw, very honest, and it’s not for the sensitive hears. If you are familiar with Howard Stern’s interviews then you know what to expect.

Why am I suggesting this weird video? David Choe might not be the ideal image of a role model but beneath all the garbage talk and jokes, there are some life lessons in it. The medias are addicted to his story. If you managed to listen to the whole thing, the central message is to pursue what you like doing no matter what. Do what you like. Pursue your passions. Have fun doing it. Money is secondary, it will be a result of your hard work and dedications. Live everyday like it could be your last. Seriously. It’s the only life you got. When are you ever going to be happy? Might as well be it now.

Who is David Choe?
You might have heard bits and pieces here and there. David Choe is the artist that turned down $60k for FB shares when FB was in its start-up stage. Looks like a no-brainer today, but back then FB was nothing but a crazy idea (Myspace was king). David couldn’t even get a FB account because it was only for college students. He didn’t think it was going to make it either but he was friend with Sean Parker (Napster guy) and knew that he was smart with a track record of making money with crazy ideas. He followed his gambler instinct. Now his FB shares are estimated to be worth between $140-$200 million. Nice call David. But he is more than just the traditional artists. He life story is just as crazy.

Enjoy!