Apple just crossed the trillion Dollar threshold. Shares have been rising, up over 27% this year, on strong sales figures. Everything seems good, right? Think again, says Barron’s, as it believes the stock could be in for a “clobbering”. The reason why is that Apple’s recent success with the iPhone X may have weakened its prospects for 2019. Because there is a longer and longer timeline between phones that have the dazzle to get customers to actually trade up, currently good iPhone X sales may be sapping demand for 2019, meaning the next few quarter’s earnings might be quite disappointing.
FINSUM: This makes sense to us. Customers only have so much wallet share for smart phones, and the iPhone X took a lot of that this year, which means the next several quarters could be lean.
Advisors looking for good sources of income for clients should check out this piece, which is comprised of actual advisor ideas. Income is a tricky question at the moment, as one needs to preserve short-term income but also protect against rising interest rate risk. One key point is to focus on total return, or harvesting income not just from coupons and dividends but from portfolio gains too. While reaching for good yields in bonds can be very risky at the moment, considering sticking to traditional short-term bonds, but laddering their maturities from 1 to 5 years. Once you have that in place consider adding some higher-yielding options, like high yield municipals. MLPs are another good potential option given how strong the oil market is.
FINSUM: This is a nice range of specific ideas from other advisors. We favor short-term bonds for income right now, as yields are solid and interest rate risk is comparatively lower.
Tesla’s stock is currently in limbo. The company is under SEC investigation on multiple fronts, including for the tweet heard round the world, or Elon Musk’s announcement that he intended to take the company private. Markets are finding it hard to handicap the odds of the deal, which is supposed to take place at $420, actually coming through. However, JP Morgan made a big comment on the company this week, saying the funding to take the company private had likely not been finalized. JP Morgan cut its price forecast to just $195, or well under half the price at which Musk wanted to buy the company back. Tesla’s shares are currently trading around $308.
FINSUM: Based on the news that has come out since the tweet, it does seem like Musk exaggerated having the funding secured, which makes this whole deal look very shaky.
The current rate environment has put investors in a pickle. How does one protect short-term income needs while also protecting against interest rate risk? One important factor is to remember is that one can balance short-term losses by holding bonds to maturity, so stringing together groups of short-term bonds can be a solid risk-mitigating, but yield-maximizing strategy. There are a number of funds to look at to make managing the situation easier. These include the Lord Abbott Short Duration Income Fund (LDLFX), Transamerica short-term bond (ITAAX), and the Nuveen Short Duration High Yield Municipal bond (NVHIX).
FINSUM: It is a difficult fixed income environment right now, with corporate bonds broadly in the red for the year. A well-crafted and balanced strategy is a must, and given that short-term bonds currently have strong yields and less interest rate risk, they seem like the best bet.
The market has become very worried about tech valuations. Even with recent selloffs, tech stock prices are very rich. However, despite the broad fears, some fund managers are ditching the concerns, as they think the obsession with P/E ratios is short-sighted for tech. In particular, one manager says that he likes to think about how tech companies will look as mature businesses, and thus judging them by their current P/E ratios is unfair.
FINSUM: We agree that it is hard to assess tech stocks according to standard P/E ratios. They are growing much faster, have much higher margins, and have a brighter future than stocks in any other sector of their size. Accordingly, it is hard to contextualize their P/E ratios because there is no benchmark.