Instavest Blog

by Instavest Team

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Investing or Gambling, What’s The Difference?

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Peter Lynch once said, “When people discover they are no good at baseball or hockey, they put away their bats and their skates and they take up amateur golf or stamp collecting or gardening. But when people discover they are no good at picking stocks, they are likely to continue to do it anyway.”

In traditional sports, it’s easy to measure if you are good based on batting average, goals scored, or other statistics. In the stock market, some investors seem to believe their next great stock idea will be the big winner that makes up for all of their losers. The question every investor needs to answer is…are you investing or gambling?

What is Investing?

According to one definition, investing is, “the act of committing money or capital to an endeavor with the expectation of obtaining additional income or profit.” What this definition lacks is the real difference between investing and

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10 Reasons Why Twitter is Still Dying

After Twitter (Nasdaq:TWTR) released Q2 earnings this past summer, they held an earnings call that not only frightened investors, but was full of ominous quotes by then interim-CEO Jack Dorsey and CFO Anthony Noto.

We at [Instavest](instavest.com/?utm_source=blog&utm_medium=post&utm_campaign=TwitterQ3) summarized much of the concern raised during that call through an infographic that laid out 10 reasons Twitter is dying. Three months later, following the Q3 earnings call led by now-CEO Jack Dorsey, many of the same concerns ring true, sending Twitter’s stock into a downward spiral.

The stock has fallen to $30.86 at close on 10/28/2015, down 20% for the year, a day after Q4 expectations were announced - which were below prior estimates. Subsequently, 18 analysts on Wall Street lowered their price target for the stock.

We’ve updated our infographic - Here’s 10 reasons why Twitter is

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Infographic: Whole Foods - From Beloved to Troubled

Whole Foods Market (WFM) has been a pioneer in organic food since it’s opening in 1980. The company went public in 1992 with just 10 stores, hoping to have 100 locations some day.

Today, Whole Foods operates 431 stores and is worth $11.5 billion. The supermarket chain played a monumental role in promoting healthy, organic, and natural products. However, in the past year, it has been mired in controversy. Mis-pricing scandals, $6 jars of asparagus in water - mocked as part of a larger segment by John Oliver on Last Week Tonight on HBO, and a reputation of “Whole Foods, Whole Paycheck” have hurt the business, with some consumers so outraged they called for a boycott.

Once America’s progressive darling, Whole Foods seems as though it may have fallen from grace.

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Infographic: McDonald’s is Simply Filthy

The Dow Jones is up almost 300 points today in part on news that McDonald’s turnaround strategy is finally working. U.S. quarterly same-restaurant sales grew for first time in two years as the new buttermilk crispy chicken sandwich as well as increased breakfast sales drove foot traffic. While we’re happy for MCD shareholders, let’s not forget all of the goodness MCD puts into this world. Let’s take a look.

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Infographic: Where Are The Hidden Fees in FinTech?

We found them by going through the SEC filings of these investment services. What’s been your experience with hidden fees?

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Replicate The World’s Best Investments at Instavest where we have no hidden fees!

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Forget Cipriani - Activists Are Going to McDonald’s

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In 2015, McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD) stock seems to have turned a corner. Shares have risen by approximately 10% and investors are hoping this is the start of a new trend. The stock has been a strong long-term play, with an average annual return of nearly 12% over the last ten years. Prior to this turnaround, however, the stock’s performance was far less impressive. When a large company like McDonald’s lost its way, activist investors began to step in.

Big Mac Anyone?

Since the beginning of 2015, a number of activist investors have increased, or taken a new position in McDonald’s. Take a look at the list of investors involved:

  • Barry Rosenstein of Jana took a new 125,000 share stake
  • Keith Meister of Corvex Management bought over 200,000 shares
  • Larry Robbins of Glenview Capital Management bought 3 million shares
  • Highfields Capital Management LP raised its stake to almost 10 million

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Infographic: Activists investors - Bill Ackman vs. Carl Icahn

Continuing our discussion about activist investors, we at Instavest have profiled two of the most iconic activist investors - Bill Ackman of Pershing Square Capital Management and the legendary Carl Icahn. Their approach has found historical success in unlocking shareholder value across a variety of situations. On Instavest today, you can find a growing number of activist ideas being posted as investment opportunities for our users.

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How to Invest with Activists

Some would say that today’s market has become too efficient. With the advent of computer trading programs, in-depth research platforms, and teams of analysts following every whiff of data, the small investor might feel outgunned. In order to combat these challenges, large hedge fund players may try to force companies to unlock value, by purchasing large chunks of shares. With investors like Bill Ackman, Carl Icahn, and Daniel Loeb roaming about, it would be all too easy for individuals to stick to index mutual funds. That being said, there is a way for small investors to band together to fight back.

Under Pressure

An activist investor is described as one that uses an equity stake in a corporation to put public pressure on its management. There are normally two reasons an activist takes a position in a company. The first, is to attempt to increase shareholder value. The second, is to

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The (un)predictable Fed

For the past six weeks, the Federal Reserve has been in the headlines as the markets anxiously await its decision regarding raising the Federal Funds Rate for the first time since December 2008.

Between official press releases of meeting minutes, off-hand comments by Fed governors, and commentary by Chairwoman Janet Yellen, the Fed has poorly communicated what to expected, creating severe volatility in the markets, alongside a major correction that occurred in mid-August.

It has been argued that by keeping interest rates artificially low for the past several years, investors have mispriced risk as gains were relatively easy to come by. The market hit record highs in mid-2013 and continued to climb, nearly unabated, until recent events this past summer began to create fear and uncertainty. This puts the Federal Reserve in a difficult spot, as a further correction may be looming as the

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Three Ways PayPal Could Put Cash In Your Pocket

Most investors already know that PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL) is now an independent and publicly traded company. After serving as eBay’s growth engine for years, the company is finally free to chart its own course. PayPal faces huge competitors like Apple Pay, Google Wallet, and even Visa Checkout. However, even with significant competition, there are at least three ways that PayPal can put cash in your pocket.

Time to Xoom Ahead

The first way PayPal can put cash in your pocket is, by letting you skip more expensive options to send money overseas. PayPal already has a worldwide presence because of its usage as an online payment system. However, the company’s ability to get into the $600 billion international money transfer market has been somewhat limited.

To address this weakness, PayPal expects to close its Xoom acquisition sometime in the fourth quarter of this year. Xoom allows its 1.3

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