I’m going to be changing my long-standing policy on Finance Gourmet on not recommending specific investments. Stock buying opportunities require more knowledge than most would-be investors are willing to acquire, but for those willing to learn, there is gold in them thar stock markets. Instead of babying my readers, I’m going to go all out. I think we both can handle it.
Investing Recommendations from Finance Gourmet
For years, I’ve kept my mouth shut when I see good opportunities for a few reasons.
- Most people don’t properly understand how and when to invest in individual stocks. — This is still true, but this is my job. I’ll be cranking out investment articles as fast as I can to educate readers how and when buying stocks and other investments is appropriate. (I have sort-of, partially, noted here where I need future investing strategy and knowledge articles to fill in a smart investing opportunity curriculum, but there are many, many more. – I need to get my email list up and running so I can keep you notified when I get them written up. For now, keep checking back.)
- Until recently the costs associated with buying and selling small amounts of stock were prohibitive. — Before the zero commission, micro-investing apps and platforms came along, a discount brokerage offering $9 trades (or maybe $5 trades) was the best deal going. The catch is, if you are investing $100, a $9 commission is a 9% hit, before you even get your investment going. With new zero-cost commission structures at traditional discount brokerages, and new micro-investing platforms, like Robinhood, this cost disappears.
- Likewise, buying $40 per share companies when investing even $5,000 meant either giving up all diversification or buying just one or two shares of specific companies. The new micro-investing platforms offer the ability to invest in fractional shares. This is also an area where education is sorely required. Again, I will take on this responsibility.
- Despite what books, analysts, and Wall Street pundits like to tell you, the best investing opportunities are not daily events. A frequent Google search is best stock buying opportunities today. That most certainly is not the sort of thing you can Google, even if such a thing existed. But, when you have to put a TV show on air every day in order to earn a bloated paycheck, you have to make it look like constant smart investments flow through the market every day. That simply isn’t true. – Again, I will take on this education challenge and show that if you are patient. If you wait for the ideas and investments to come to you, there is a way to make smart, long-term investments that will profit you.
- Day Trading is not what I’m talking about. I have no doubt that your cousin knows a guy who makes $800,000 a year day trading, or whatever. We all “kind of knew” a guy just like that back in the 90s as the Internet Bubble inflated, and grew larger and larger. I’m not going to fight you on day trading, but it isn’t a real opportunity for most people. For the people who can do it, it takes a significant amount of capital, and ongoing expenses to make work. I may try and crank out a little education on this topic, but you’re just going to have to trust me. Or, you can read about that stuff elsewhere, but don’t blame me (or credit me) with your results.
- I like dividends. Dividends are real. Dividends earn you money while the markets are figuring out that you are right. This is where I will really work the education. Smart investing is out there, but it isn’t popular, flashing investing. All those shiny investment newsletters, and recommendation services, and daily stock picks are the fad diets of investing. I do the eat healthier, exercise more form of investing. It isn’t flashy, but it works.
- I hate share buybacks. I loathe share buybacks. Share buybacks equal weak companies with weak management in all but a tiny fraction of cases. This might be the one thing that separates me from all those stock analysts who got their MBAs at Top-10 business schools. Share buybacks are supposedly return of capital shareholders, but they aren’t in any way but as an accounting gimmick.
- My investing doesn’t rely on being able to predict the future. It relies on being able to see the obvious future in front of us. There is a difference. I will spend a lot of time teaching this trick of investing.
- I believe in investing accountability. Everyone else believes in covering their tracks, and showing you all the shiny stuff they found while wallowing in the muck. (Alright, that’s a bit dramatic, but I’ll show you what I mean.) – I will make an ongoing feature of watching shiny stock analysts that the finance news love to showcase, because it’s an easy article with build-in quotes. See my article on Jeremy Grantham track record, Abbey Joseph Cohen track record, and Meredith Whitney track record. (These are a few I did because they jumped out at me, or because I remember them from when they made news before, but everyone else “forgot” about that.) And, that one time I called out everyone who predicted a first half of 2019 downturn. (OK, that was easy, but still…)
Smart Stock Investments
Why am I making this change at Finance Gourmet?
Mostly because I feel like a bit of a hypocrite. When I see good investing opportunities, I jump on them. All the while I keep my mouth shut to avoid triggering unintelligent attempts to follow my investing.
That’s not fair.
Worse, is that there are so many people out there offering terrible investing advice. There are so many websites and publications that throw out stock recommendations, that ask you to buy their stock picking newsletters, that simply are not good at it. Most of them aren’t even trying. They make money selling their picks to you, not by investing in their picks.
I will endeavor to build this into a great little guy, investing, learning platform that gives you the real world investing skills you need to be successful, as well as the real world knowledge to avoid pitfalls.
There will be no get rich quick schemes. There will be no day trades, month trades, or sure things.
But, there will be smart picks. Smart investments.
There won’t be daily stock investment recommendations. There can’t be. There are not good opportunities every day. This is actually a good thing, because you don’t have enough money to invest every day anyway. No one does, except investment funds, hedge funds, and the like. Those newsletter? They invest fake money, and have fake investment returns. That’s how you invest daily.
Here we go…
Investing Opportunities Look Like This
Apollo Global Management, Inc (APO) is buying the Venetian casino in Las Vegas. Some are scratching their heads, but Alex van Hoek of Apollo says they are bullish on the recovery of Las Vegas.
Is Apollo a good investment right now?
Maybe. We’ll get into that, but something else should have been what jumped out at you.
We are very bullish on the recovery of Las Vegas.Alex Van Hoek, partner Apollo Global Management
Aren’t you? Think it through. A Las Vegas that has been crushed by a Covid-based, coronavirus downturn. An America, and the world, rapidly vaccinating its population. A dedicated crowd of visitors in the form both of dedicated Las Vegas tourists and convention goers that will be dying to get out of the house and go to a reopening Vegas. If you don’t think this is true. If you think Vegas is down and out, then this is not your investment, but otherwise…
Do we invest in Apollo?
Easy there, Cowboy.
We look. Not just at Apollo, but at all of Vegas. Where is the opportunity?
Remember what I said about education? I’m serious. We will need a lot of it, but for now, let’s take a sneak peak.
Is Apollo Global Management a Good Investment Now?
Here is what an investing look starts like in no particular order. These bullet points will turn into articles that put together show you how to make smart, savvy stock investments along with your long-term diversified portfolio that you use for retirement and sending your kids to college. This is your “after that” money. That will be an article too. Whew. That article list is getting long. No wonder there are so many 300-page books about how to invest.
Deep breath… this is the start. There is no end in this article. Keep reading. Don’t worry, we’ll get specific yes or no at the end, but I need you to get there with me.
- Price – At $47.39, this stock is trading near its 5-year high. (Stock price analysis article – future article placeholder)
- P/E and other such nonsense is for speculators. We want our investments to be as close to sure things as possible (P/E and earnings analysis – future article placeholder)
- Dividend Yield – Dividends are everything. Yield is everything. Yield is what turns speculation into investing. (Multiple articles – future article placeholder – My god, this dividend article at Investopedia is yummy. I wish I wrote it. I will, my version, but for now, read theirs.)
- The dividend yield for APO is 5.02% – YUM! (You can literally earn 5% on this investment while you wait to see if you were right about Vegas)
- What is Apollo? – Apollo is not a Vegas company. In fact, it’s buying The Venetian through a subsidiary that isn’t a Vegas company either. It’s a real estate company. Apollo is an investing company, kind of like Berkshire Hathaway, but with an emphasis on credit and real estate. It’s actually super interesting, and worth a deeper look, but we were trying to invest in Vegas, so maybe this isn’t the way… then again…
Oh my god. So much yes. We’d have to dig to see if this is true, but if so– YUM!
This is the kind of investing and management that makes strong, long-term, powerful companies and investments. Imagine if GE has the fortitude to go this route instead of selling off its credit division for a short-term salve for whiny, short-term shareholders. Ka-ching! But, alas…
Is Apollo A Good Las Vegas Investment Now?
OK. I’m going to be honest I started writing this article as a quicky, update that I would start doing investment recommendations when I saw easy winners. I should have done the research first, but I’m 1500 words into this bad boy, and I’m not throwing it away now.
Apollo is undergoing an all-stock merger with a company called Athene. I’ve never heard of them. I’m going to dig, but this is a good lesson right here.
We came not to bury Caesar, but to…
Time to pivot. Apollo is not a Vegas company. It looks tasty on the surface, but that’s not what we are doing today. We’re looking for a smart investment in Las Vegas and the coming turn around. A credit investing company with a real estate subsidiary in the middle of a merger with a retirement services company is not the way to invest in Vegas. We’ll come back though. A five-percent yield and forward-looking management makes me all tingley.
Apollo is NOT a good investment for a Las Vegas turn around. So, what is?
Smart Las Vegas Investments?
A lot of smart investing is learning to cultivate the tools you need to find smart investments. (future article placeholder) In this case, we happened to see the news about Apollo buying The Venetian on Bloomberg, which has a stingy free-article limit, but since we are there, let’s use them.
Bloomberg lists “related” stocks in the margin of its stories. It’s as good of a starting place as any.
I see LVS, CZR, MGM, and RRR to start our research….
Yup, this is starting to get too long and too sloppy. I’m going to call it here, but go through the little bit I gave you above and see what you think about some of these investments. Do you see delicious yields? What about company news? (future article placeholder) Remember, we are fine with negative news about today’s slump. That’s our whole investment theory. Other negative news… well, we wouldn’t like that…
Super quick analysis (Do NOT take this thumbnail look as a full stock analysis or good investment research, but feel free to start your own research…)
LVS – Las Vegas Sands Corp looks like 5.02% yield (YUM), but there is a news story about selling Vegas investments to focus on Macau… are we trying to invest in a Vegas turnaround, or something else?
CZR – Caesars Entertainment is not paying a dividend. That’s not an investment, that’s speculation (future article placeholder). You’ll need to find another website for those kinds of investing. A dividend isn’t required as a hard and fast rule, but if I can get a dividend, we really like that over trusting the accounting (future article placeholder). That being said, if they cut their dividend due to Covid with the intention of restoring it when Vegas returns, well that might be us.
MGM – MGM Resorts International – 0.03% dividend? Barf. At least they are trying. They might have cut the dividend due to Covid. That’s reasonable and responsible management, we’d have to look deeper, plus the stock just took a big leap on news that it is (checks notes) partnering with Buffalo Wild Wings? This doesn’t sound Gourmet at all.
RRR – Red Rocks Resorts – A 3.96% dividend. That’s better, but they aren’t necessarily focused in Vegas. Are we betting on Vegas or on all gambling properties, including some Native American casinos?
Like I said. I should have done the research before I started writing. For now, I can’t recommend any stocks here, but I can promise when I do, they’ll be as smart of stock recommendations as I can possibly make.
LINK TO ARTICLE ABOUT BEST LAS VEGAS STOCK INVESTMENT FOR A POST-COVID TURNAROUND (come back soon…)
About the Author of Finance Gourmet
By Brian Nelson – Brian is a former Certified Financial Planner and financial advisor. He writes as a freelance financial writer for the Finance Gourmet and other financial publications. The material provided on this website is for informational use only and is not intended for financial or investment advice. At the time of publication, Mr. Nelson did not own any securities mentioned above, however, that may change at any time without notice. ArcticLlama, LLC, FinanceGourmet.com, and Brian Nelson, assume no liability for any loss or damage resulting from one’s reliance on the material provided. Please also note that such material is not updated regularly and that some of the information may not therefore be current. Consult with your own financial professional when making decisions regarding your financial or investment options.