Monkeying Around With 6G
Great Ones, y’all know I love technology. Absolutely love it.
The steady march of human growth and progress resounds in every new semiconductor, every electric vehicle, every hydrogen power advancement, every new gene therapy development.
I mean, I wouldn’t be writing to you right now from BFE, Kentucky if it weren’t for technology.
Is that a good thing or a bad thing, Mr. Great Stuff?
In the words of Han Solo: “Laugh it up, fuzzball.”
But I have to admit … y’all have a point. At some point you have to sit back and say: “Enough with the hype!”
Weird Al wasn’t wrong when he crooned: “My new computer’s got the clocks, it rocks. But it was obsolete before I opened the box.”
Alright, I’m dying to know — what’s got you all hot and bothered today?
Today, I’m talking about the “Gs.” Like all the “Gs.”
You thought we were only upgrading to 5G? That 4G is still too prevalent to look for more “Gs?” Oh boy, you were wrong.
According to Nokia CEO Pekka Lundmark, 6G mobile networks will be here by 2030.
There’s already a Chinese consortium of companies that have been working on the technology since 2019. Leading the charge, Chinese telecom giant Huawei expects to launch its version of 6G before the end of the decade.
Great … I can already see the ads now: “Make 2,000% gains with this tiny, unknown 6G company in North Carolina!”
Lol. Quiet you.
Anyway, when it comes to 6G … my problem isn’t with the inexorable and unrelenting march of technological advancement, or even the ads and marketing that surround it.
My problem lies, very specifically, with where Lundmark believes 6G will lead us:
Sure, you can make jokes that many of us have already implanted a smartphone in our hands. It might as well be attached as much as we use it, right?
But … implants? Technological body modification? Does no one watch sci-fi anymore?! Star Trek? The Borg? “You will be assimilated!”
You’re overreacting, Mr. Great Stuff. It won’t come to that.
Really? Have you seen what Neuralink is working on?
For those who don’t know, Neuralink is another of Elon Musk’s pet projects. The company’s most newsworthy development was connecting a Macaque monkey to a computer with neurological impacts so it could play Pong with its mind.
That monkey died, by the way… Surgical complications or something.
But I’m not some old codger who’s afraid of technology. In the right setting, with the right safeguards, I’m all for a Matrix-style online metaverse. Just … not one run by Zuckerberg, or Musk … or Bezos … or…
Okay, I have my issues. But you understand right, Great Ones?
And don’t even get me started on the level of tracking that governments would suddenly have at their fingertips with an implanted 6G “smartphone-like” device.
I’m gonna need some seriously airtight privacy laws and a reaffirmed/strengthened 14th Amendment before I go anywhere near implanted wireless technology.
No, we get it … but, umm … isn’t this an investing newsletter? Got any investing advice on the topic?
Right. I was trying to distract myself from the current Wall Street nightmare, but … investing advice, hmm.
Y’all probably already know the companies you should invest in to take advantage of the continuing boom in 5G wireless. Those are the same companies that will push 6G even more over the next couple of years.
Companies such as AT&T (NYSE: T), T-Mobile (Nasdaq: TMUS), Version (NYSE: VZ), Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM) … maybe even Nokia (NYSE: NOK), if the company doesn’t go hog-wild on the implant thing.
Honestly, while I don’t like AT&T right now, the company has a chance with the coming 6G revolution to take the lead once again. Now that it’s completely focused on wireless and not distracted by trying to run a streaming service, AT&T should put all its focus on the next generation of wireless.
It already lost the 5G race, which will become increasingly obvious as the distance between it and Verizon/T-Mobile grows. So why not bet the farm on 6G and take the lead once again?
Seems like a no-brainer to me. Your move, AT&T.
Got something to say about 5G or 6G wireless? Implants? Monkeys playing Pong with their brains? Drop us a line at GreatStuffToday@BanyanHill.com, and you just might find your email in this week’s edition of Friday Feedback!
In other, less dystopian news…
America’s No. 1 crypto expert — whose crypto trades have soared as high as 1,061%, 1,934% and 18,325% all in less than a year — says: “Bitcoin’s best days are behind us. And one ‘Next Gen Coin’ is going to take center stage.”
Bitcoin? Biting the dust?
Get the full story right here.
The Good: Zoom? Dead? Not Even Remotely…
I have to say, I’m impressed that Zoom Video Communications (Nasdaq: ZM) is still with us in its present form post-pandemic. I thought for sure it would get bought out by a bigger company once people started going back to the office.
But based on Zoom’s latest earnings report, the remote conferencing company may yet survive to dance on its doubters’ graves.
See, for the entirety of its existence, Zoom has only ever offered one service. Like a less spooky séance — and with far fewer candles — Zoom lets you conjure up the corporeal images of your coworkers from anywhere around the world … and that’s about it.
Hey, sometimes there’s sound too! When the mute button’s disabled…
But unlike other one-trick-pony stocks such as Peloton (Nasdaq: PTON), Zoom realized it was walking a dangerous path by only doing one thing … even if it did that one thing better, not to mention cheaper, than its other videoconferencing cousins.
So what did Zoom do? Well, it decided to innovate.
With its volume of video calls waning, Zoom is now offering other products that fit into the hybrid workplace ecosystem, including a customer contact center that pairs with its phone-from-anywhere capabilities.
Now, this probably won’t excite shareholders like Zoom’s pandemic-propelled pop did … but I’ve always said that slow, sustainable growth wins out over rapid (but brief) expansion any day.
Has Zoom saved itself from a slow and painful death? It’s honestly too soon to tell. But the company’s certainly taking a step in the right direction by diversifying its business — and it may yet pay off.
The Bad: Smells Like Teen Something…
The mere mention of Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE: ANF) was enough to get the gag reflexes going this morning … and not just because its earnings report dealt another deathblow to the ragtag retail sector.
Like the lingering scent of Abercrombie’s perfume in a derelict shopping plaza, this year’s economic headwinds just. Will. Not. Quit. Or so says the struggling clothing store.
Costly freight fees and excess inventory dragged on Abercrombie’s performance this quarter, resulting in a loss of $0.27 per share on $813 million in revenue.
Sensing more trouble ahead, Abercrombie slashed its sales outlook for fiscal 2022 and said it would stop issuing any guidance on gross profit or operating expenses beginning in the second quarter (always a good sign).
With Abercrombie’s customers — or rather, their parents — now pinching pennies to pay for essential goods, shareholders are concerned Abercrombie might have to do the unthinkable and discount items to move them off shelves.
Sixty dollars for a threadbare t-shirt is a little steep in even the most prosperous economy if you ask me … but hey, maybe all that perfume just went to my head.
Either way, Abercrombie investors didn’t take today’s news too well, with ANF stock falling a painful 29%.
The Ugly: Snap Back To Reality
Ope, there goes Snapchat, he choked, he’s so mad but he…
Retail stocks might be caught in a rip tide of conservative consumer shopping habits, but social media stocks are starting to look just as slippery for shareholders these days.
Take Snapchat parent Snap (NYSE: SNAP), which stumbled nearly as much as Abercrombie this morning after announcing first-quarter forecasts that fell short of the mark.
When asked about Snap’s performance, CEO Evan Spiegel said 2022 has been “more challenging than expected,” with the “macroeconomic environment [deteriorating] further and faster than anticipated.”
You don’t say…
But why is the social media company struggling so much?
Well, even though Snap expects to have between 343 million and 345 million daily active users on its platform by the end of June — ahead of Wall Street’s projections — the company is having difficulty monetizing those users thanks to Apple’s (Nasdaq: AAPL) App Store privacy changes.
Basically, Snap isn’t able to track its users as easily as it once did, which makes marketing to those users with tailored ads that much more difficult. In fact, last month, Snap told investors that sales could drop as much as 25% despite its strong user growth.
Until Snap fixes its marketing machine — or Apple loosens its privacy grip, an oxymoron in itself — the company’s unlikely to bring its advertising sales back on track.
It goes without saying that investors didn’t like the sound of this one bit, which explains Snap’s slide into the social media abyss.
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Coinbase is experimenting with having employees rate each other…
Staff are reportedly asked to evaluate one another after meetings and other interactions based on how well they model 10 core values. Employees can give their colleagues a thumbs up, thumbs down, or neutral review… — Sarah Jackson, Yahoo Finance
Ever wonder how to get your employees to quit en masse? Here you go.
This week’s surprisingly Zuckerberg-esque quote isn’t from Office Space or a “Dilbert” strip — it’s Coinbase’s (Nasdaq: COIN) new efforts to make corporate meetings even more, well, corporate.
Seriously, is there not enough to do over at Coinbase HQ? What even started Coinbase’s employee micromanagement kick in the first place?
Ah, sure enough, all roads lead back to Ray Dalio. Coinbase points to the famed hedge fund investor as the “inspiration” for its employee-sentiment harvesting:
You had me in the first half, not gonna lie…
Honestly, this sounds like a Ray Dalio problem, not a me problem, to be honest. Have you bred a company culture that’s so hostile and inhospitable that the only way you get truthful answers out of your workers … is by algorithmic rating?
Has no one at Coinbase watched that one Black Mirror episode? Seriously.
Sure, everyone wants a meaningful work life. But I’d reckon that most office workers’ ideals of meaning and purpose at work don’t include the anxiety of knowing your every action is being ranked, rated and recorded.
I can see this being useful for reporting problematic workplace concerns or hostility … but it might as easily cause those problems too.
And radical transparency? You really think this would bring actual transparency? Those are noble intentions, but … have you ever been in an office? Or heard of a little thing called office politics?
Let’s see, Ralph fell asleep twice during my presentation, but he’s also our bowling team captain and we need him tonight. I’ll rate him highly there. Ed, though, microwaved fish earlier. He’s definitely getting low marks for the day.
Right, right, forgive my pessimistic skepticism. Of course everyone will vote 100% honestly toward their colleagues every single time. There is absolutely no way this could wrong. Don’t worry, the algorithms will sort it out.
Poking fun at a current Great Stuff Pick? That’s gutsy…
That’s, umm, kinda what we do around here. No stock is safe from critiquing, criticizing, cajoling or nonstop meme-age — especially Great Stuff Picks. And when a Pick does some ignorant, stupid $&%@ like wanting you to rate your fellow human beings like computers … we gotta take a reasonable look at the situation.
Between this guffaw in-the-making and Coinbase’s interest in the NFT game, it’s time we put COIN stock on hold.
Coinbase is getting pretty far away from the “make bank off of crypto traders” sticking point that made the company so appealing in the first place. We’re not selling the stock … yet … though you’re always welcome to sell any position you are personally uncomfortable holding.
What do you think about Coinbase’s new employee rating system — brilliant or blunder?
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Until next time, stay Great!
Editor, Great Stuff