thoughts as we finish out this 2nd Week of August 2020
In 2014, (yellow circle above) oil and gas was topping and few clients gave me push-back when I began reducing their exposure to energy stocks. It was, however, a major bone of contention with my co-workers at Pinnacle and it led to my leaving the firm. Climate change, and the threat that fossil fuels posed to oil and gas stocks, was inescapable, in my opinion. Stock prices of the major oils have seen a steady down-trend over the last 6 years, but the bombshell came today! BP announced it would cut oil and gas production by 40% over the next decade and dramatically increase investments in low-carbon technology. They have capitulated to years of activist’s protest; to the challenge of cheap, clean renewable energy and to the collapse in demand that came with coronavirus. Last week Exxon conceded that it might have to wipe 20% of its reserves off its books as investments in places like Canada’s tar sands were no longer profitable at today’s prices. The fire sale is under way. 😲 Why does this matter to you? Those who ignored the flashing yellow signs that are now red have seen declining prices and now are facing write-downs as stranded assets WILL reduce the stock price by the amount of the write off. Moving to fossil fuel free was all about the risk!
What does it mean when you hear the U.S. dollar is weak? Our currency loses buying power in comparison to foreign currencies and the financial effects are like ripples on a pond. A weak dollar can boost our GDP because the products we produce and export cost less, so foreign buyers buy more. Think of the things we buy that come from overseas: a weak dollar drives up our prices. The ripple comes as prices go up, the consumer spends more and at some point, is forced to reduce spending. Retailers then increase prices to keep profits moving higher, which contributes more to the cycle of rising prices. If the dollar weakens more, firms risk having to lay off workers, cut wages or cut their benefits. ☹ Why does this matter to you? Lower sales and layoffs ultimately lead to inflation and a business slowdown or recession…or the worst of all cases: STAGFLATION…which has not been seen since the 1980s.
Eastman Kodak announced it was retooling to be a maker of generic drugs in an effort for the Administration to help slash drug prices. Many of us scratched our heads about how Kodak would switch their business model on a dime, but the stock rocketed 13-fold after the U.S. International Development Finance Corp. announced it would make Kodak a $765 million dollar loan. Under question is whether Kodak leaked the information of the loan before the news was reported, The stock has pulled back 55% since July 29. 😊Why does this matter to you? Seasoned Skye clients do not chase a stock when it behaves this way. While it may be fun to watch the headlines, we all know if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
“Phosphosate is a non-selective herbicide, meaning it will kill most plants. It prevents the plants from making certain proteins that are needed for plant growth. Glyphosate stops a specific enzyme pathway, the shikimic acid pathway. The shikimic acid pathway is necessary for plants and some microorganisms.” We have read of the dangers of glyphosate…the active ingredient in Monsanto/Bayer’s Roundup weed killer, which is linked to a host of human illnesses, including cancer, liver and kidney disease and chronic gastrointestinal disease. Round-Up has been fending off warnings for more than 20 years though U.S. regulatory agencies steadfastly refuse to acknowledge the science, new studies highlight once again, the link between glyphosate exposure and infertility. Want to protect your immune system? Get glyphosate out of your body. The best way to reduce your exposure to glyphosate. Switch to an organic diet. “Considering the fact that the average daily diet of most Americans is abundant in glyphosate as well as other pesticides, one can appreciate that chronic dosing of glyphosate will result in an under-performing immune system which is unable to meet the challenges of modern day infections.” One “modern day infection” include, of course, COVID-19. We cannot stop pushing for a ban on glyphosate but until we get it, your best line of defense is to make sure you, and your kids, eat organic. 😊Why does this matter to you? You will never find these companies in your portfolio: they are a risk to your life and performance!
Hoping you are safe, well and looking forward to the coming of Fall!
Best Always, Julie
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