About Robert

Robert is employed by day as a government employee, responsible for a lot of different -yet important - little tasks that keep things running smoothly. At night, he spends time with his small family while simultaneously running for city council in Clinton, Utah. He is trying to get back into the swing of things writing wise, though he thus far has failed at writing something everyday. Sometimes, there's just too much going on in the world to find something to write about.

FR: 5 Foreign Banks Worth Considering

Article: 5 Foreign Banks Worth Considering

The next article in my “Fool Revisited” series is a bit of a departure from previous articles, and a theme you might see come back from time to time over the course of all these articles. It is, again, a sector piece, this time about banking, though instead of writing about U.S. banks, I decided to go off the beaten path a little bit and identify a handful of options from overseas.

It was the first article that I wrote using screening criteria, using some metrics that they presented to us in our class about banks. I chose the following criteria: a price-to book ratio under1.0, price-to-earnings ratio under 15, and a dividend yield over 4%. Also, after featuring a chart in my previous article, this was the first one with a table!! Continue reading

FR: 1 Refreshing Stock That Has What This Fool Wants

Article: 1 Refreshing Stock That Has What This Fool Wants

Up next in my “Fool Revisited” series was yet another sector piece, this time about the beverage industry. It’s also my first article with a fancy chart, so maybe that was encouraged during that particular week. It was also written on the heels of my previous Ford article, as I looked to establish a stable of companies that I could start following more closely in the expectation of starting to invest beyond a 401(k).

The beverage company that I chose was Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO) for a lot of reasons. As outlined in the article, they are the best company at selling flavored sugar water to the masses, as well as bottling and distributing their brands and other partners. Coke has also expanded its non-soda offerings by completing the acquisition of Honest Tea earlier in 2011, so it looked like they were going to not rely only on (very bad for you) soda.

Here is an ancient tweet announcing the article:

While things seemed rosy at the time – Coca-Cola probably wasn’t going to see massive growth, but rather be a nice stable stock that would at least keep pace with the market – that didn’t bear out over the past 6+ years. Had an investor purchased and held onto Coca-Cola after the publication of my article, which was positive, they would have kicked themselves for not simply investing in the S&P 500. The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) and total growth of Coca-Cola trailed the S&P 500 despite a pretty healthy dividend from article publication (September 23, 2011) through January 12, 2018:

Stock Start Price End Price CAGR Total Growth Value of $10,000
Coca-Cola $27.86 $46.15 8.33% 65.65% $16,565
S&P 500 $1,136.43 $2,786.24 15.27% 145.17% $24,517

Source: Yahoo! Finance & author calculation; Stock prices include dividends & stock splits

Soda stocks tend to be pretty steady performers, though focusing specifically on soda-like products in a health conscious environment may not be the path to success anymore. I’m personally a bigger fan of Pepsico (NYSE: PEP) for this very reason since they diversify a bit beyond the sugary drinks by selling salty snacks. This has also bore out in its return over a similar period, with a total growth of over 130%, which isn’t that far off of the S&P 500 returns. This is one of the reasons why I invested in Pepsi within my mother’s portfolio that I manage (but also because she is a pretty regular Pepsi drinker). Therefore, if given the choice between the two, my choice would be Pepsi, but it would also not me the first choice for new money invested in the market.

Until next time…

Disclaimer: I do not own currently own shares in Coca-Cola, but I did purchase shares of Pepsi for my mother in her retirement portfolio in 2015, which she still owns. However, I have no plans to purchase shares of either company within the next 60 days in any account in which I manage investment funds. You can read a little about my personal investment philosophy here.

FR: Is MGM All-in on CityCenter?

Article: Is MGM All-in on CityCenter?

Up next in my “Fool Revisited” series was another sector piece, this time about the gaming industry. When I started the Writer Development Program, I thought that I would eventually focus on gaming stocks, but I never got around to it, primarily because there was another Fool that already had cornered the market on all things gaming.

As you can see from the title of the article, it was influenced by MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) investing a lot of money on a development called CityCenter, a $9.2 billion investment that included a new hotel, condominiums, shopping, and all sorts of other crap. This was a trend in Vegas over the past decade or so, with luxury casino/hotel owners trying to complete with big money developments outside of the US. Despite some early struggles, CityCenter is a thing that exists, and people are obviously buying condos or shopping in its stores. Continue reading

FR – Wait a Minute, Mr. Postman!

Article: Wait a Minute, Mr. Postman!

Up next in my “Fool Revisited” series was a piece based on some news at the time. Back in September 2011, there were some worries that the US Postal Service was going to default and shut down. Could you imagine if that had actually happened? It’s almost like the current Congress continually pushing off a government shutdown for four weeks at a time because they can’t figure out how to get anything done. That would probably not happen in a developed democracy or anything…

I used the news of the potential USPS closure to take about Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX), who at the time still delivered movies via the mail (such a quaint time in our nation’s history!). And while I believe you can still sign up for its disc-by-mail service, the majority of Netflix’s customer have moved to streaming, spending hours upon hours staring at an endless array of movie and shows every night before finally deciding to just watch old episodes of something that you have seen hundreds of times… or is that just me? Continue reading