I also frequently appear as a guest on national TV shows, such as CNBC, the Fox Business Network and Yahoo! Finance, to offer my analysis of big tech trends and how to invest in them.
But around Christmas time, I start getting questions about devices themselves.
Folks figure that since I spend hours each day researching every conceivable aspect of high tech, I must have some ideas about products that would make great Christmas gifts.
Of course, they’re right. In fact, I consider myself something of a technophile. There’s just something satisfying about holding the fruits of all that technical work in your hand, plugging them in your ears, or seeing them on your screen.
And that’s why today, I want to set you up with a Christmas gift list of seven really cool high-tech presents that are sure to surprise and delight your loved ones this holiday season.
Now then, since I don’t know what your personal budget is, I put this list together without making price the highest priority.
And along the way, I also let you know about an exciting new tech investing opportunity that’s set to get your New Year off to a good start.
When we spoke on Tuesday, I noted that blockchain technology is an unstoppable force set to disrupt industries around the world.
In particular, I said investors should look beyond cryptocurrencies to understand blockchain’s enormous potential.
We’re talking about technology that, I believe, could affect $8 trillion in global transactions. And I actually think that’s a conservative estimate.
See, the world’s total GDP runs at around $80 trillion a year. And blockchain tech could eventually underpin all of that buying and selling.
But I’m only assuming blockchain grabs a 10% market share of systems that are rapidly becoming archaic.
Here’s the thing. As amazing as it sounds, trillions of dollars in trade each year still relies on paper-based contracts or, frankly, old computer networks.
Thanks in part to blockchain technology, that’s all about to change. In a big way.
That’s why today, I want to show you four industries where blockchain technology could add security, transparency and greatly reduce business costs – and bolster the bottom line for the innovative firms using this technology.
This is the kind of “strategic info” that could make you look smart at your office Christmas party or next family gathering.
Better yet, put it to use wisely, it could help you pinpoint your next few triple-digit winners – and that’ll be even more fun to share with friends and family.
I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to hear from my friend Frank Holmes.
For those of you who don’t know him, Frank has won numerous awards and accolades as the CEO and Chief Investment Officer at U.S. Global Investors, Inc.(Nasdaq:GROW).
It’s a boutique investment management firm specializing in actively managed equity and bond strategies. Frank and his company also are some of the savviest folks in the world when it comes to metals and mining.
That’s the reason I started following his career in the first place. Fact is, I have been involved with strategic metals and minerals most of my adult life.
Turns out, Frank and I have one more thing in common. Both of us are big believers in the disruptive power of blockchain technology. Indeed, Frank and his associates recently interviewed me for a profile that I republished, and which you can access here.
In particular, Frank’s editors wanted to get my take on where the blockchain is headed.
It’s not much of a surprise, really, as many folks we chat with here also have questions of their own about what blockchain technology is, and what it represents in terms of its profit potential.
That’s why today I’m going to fill you in on what Frank and I discussed in the interview.
And I’ll go further and explain what I see as the big opportunities that lie ahead with blockchain tech…
Big news this morning – and I hope you’re hearing it from me first.
As I’ve been predicting since I first started covering the field in late 2016, Big Tobacco is diving head first into legal cannabis.
Altria Group Inc. (NYSE:MO), maker of Marlboro cigarettes and other major brands, said early today that it’s taking a $1.8 billion, 45% equity stake in Canadian cannabis leader Cronos Group Inc.(Nasdaq:CRON). Plus, Altria has the option to take over Cronos through 55% ownership over the next four years.
The “bigness” of this news is evident in the price Altria paid: $12.14 per share – an 18% premium over Cronos’ stock price as of Thursday, and approaching the stock’s all-time high of $15.30.
And it’s evident in how Cronos absolutely skyrocketed on the news. As I write this, the Toronto-based firm’s stock is already up more than 25% for the day.
Altria’s dive into pot makes sense, of course. Its long-running global experience in the highly regulated tobacco industry is going to come in handy for an internationally oriented cannabis firm like Cronos, which has operations not just in Canada, but also in Colombia, Germany, Poland, Israel and Australia.
And Cronos should supply a nice shot-in-the-arm for Altria, which, like all tobacco firms, has been hit hard by public health laws and anti-tobacco campaigns. It no doubt hopes the Cronos deal will help turn the tide.
As for what happens from here – to Cronos and the rest of the legal cannabis industry we follow so closely here – no one can say for sure.
The other day, I grabbed the opportunity to sit down with the CEO and Chief Investment Officer at U.S. Global Investors, Inc.(Nasdaq:GROW), Frank Holmes.
His firm specializes in actively managed equity and bond strategies. And the folks at U.S. Global Investors are highly astute in the metals and mining sectors as well.
Frank and his team wanted to interview me to get my take on where the technology, cannabis and blockchain sectors are headed. And they’ve kindly allowed us to publish the piece that resulted from our interview.
It’s got some important details about where I see the investment opportunities lie ahead for these industries, so I’ve decided re-publish the article here for you today.
In Pennsylvania, it’s been 26 years since the last legal bet was placed on a game, play, or point spread.
That is, until two weeks ago.
On November 15, a local resident walked into the Hollywood Casino at Penn National near Harrisburg and put $20 on the Pittsburgh Steelers to win the 2018 Super Bowl.
Of course, it’s too early to tell how his bet will fare.
But it’s not too early to see the excitement surrounding the newest addition to casinos.
You see, this isn’t the pen-and-paper operation at the corner candy store where your father used to place his bets at. Gamblers log their bets at high-tech kiosks, without ever talking to a person, saving time and minimizing mistakes.
There are additional kiosks where patrons can customize their screens, so they’re only watching the games they choose. The screen shows in-play odds, and wagers can be placed directly onto the screen.
Three more Pennsylvania casinos are preparing to open their sportsbooks in the next few weeks.
See, I recently took up the sport of skeet shooting and I want to get better. So over the Thanksgiving weekend, I bought a two-hour instructional video.
The process couldn’t have been any easier. I sat at the dining room table on Black Friday, the kickoff of the Christmas shopping season, with my iPad. I went to the website, ordered the video, and paid for it using a credit card, all in a matter of minutes.
My purchase may have been unique, but it was hardly isolated. Fact is, online and mobile sales soared on Black Friday. That’s critical because, as online shopping grows, these stats are now serving as a snapshot of our economic health.
Consider that Adobe Analytics says Black Friday alone accounted for $6.2 billion in online sales, up 23% from a year ago. Some 33.5% came from mobile phones and 10% from tablets.
That means mobile commerce accounted for nearly half of all e-commerce orders for this shopping bonanza.
With that in mind, let’s dig into a great way to tap the fast-moving world of mobile commerce.
It’s a trend that shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.