Thin Film Electronics: A Pure Play Investment On The Internet Of Everything


We hear quite a bit these days about the Internet of things ((IoT))and the number of devices that will soon be interconnected with one another. IDC defines it as

a network of uniquely identifiable endpoints that communicate without human interaction using IP connectivity. With uniquely identifiable networked endpoints, large quantities of data are managed and monitored by intelligent or traditional embedded systems.

The winners and losers in the Internet of Things have yet to be determined and while household names will certainly be mentioned as potential beneficiaries, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), and IBM (NYSE:IBM) to name a few, there are a few unknown players that are industry leaders in a fast growing piece of the IoT pie. An area that is primed for rapid growth within the IoT is the connectivity of non-connected items. They may also be termed passive products, that is, products that don’t necessarily require ‘human’ or any input for that matter but merely generate and distribute information about the product and the process in which that product arrived at its current location. I know the concept sounds nebulous right now but bear with me.

Hydrocarb’s Opportunity in Africa To Boost Up-Listing Ambitions

Hydrocarb Logo

A lot has happened over the last eight months at Hydrocarb Energy (NASDAQ:HECC). The company has experienced an acquisition, a reverse split, and is now preparing for an up listing at NASDAQ. All this has taken place at a time when the company is making giant steps towards unearthing the opportunity at its African operations, in Namibia.

Several reports indicate that since the beginning of this year, there have been so many IPOs such that, you would have to go back some 14 years to find a bigger number. Indeed, reports suggest that the first quarter of 2014 registered the most number of IPOs since the year 2000, when compared to similar quarters.

Now, Hydrocarb seems to have seized this IPO-frenzied opportunity to move one-step up, by listing in one of U.S’s top-tier exchanges. The company had gone through an acquisition, after Duma Energy, aggressive-growth oil and gas exploration and Production Company, with onshore and offshore operations in the U.S. bought it late last year.

Planning Now for Your Retirement

Retirement Ahead

If you ask my friends or family, they’ll attest to the fact that I’ve always said that once I hit retirement age, I’ll spend my days skydiving, bungee jumping, golfing and skiing. Before you say anything, I’m aware that some of these things may not be as appealing once I hit retirement age, but that’s not the point! The point is that retirement age will happen, and when it does, I want to actually retire and relax!

Drop in Oil Prices Does Not Change My Opinion of Ring Energy

REI Logo

Earlier this week I posted an article on Ring Energy Inc. (Ring Energy: Digging for Gold in all the Right Places) In it I describe the attractive opportunity available to oil and gas drillers in the US, and particularly those that focus on the Permian Basin. With the sharp decline in oil prices, I’ve been asked whether the investment thesis is still valid and where oil prices might stabilize.

To the first question, the answer is yes, the investment thesis is still valid despite the sharp price in oil. In fact, the Wall Street Journal published an article on October 9th, that addresses the challenges for some of the oil and gas drillers if prices drop another $4-$5. Read Article (subscription required) The article specifically mentions the Eagle Ford Shale and the Permian Basin:

Ring Energy: Digging For Black Gold In All The Right Places

Oil Drilling

Some of the largest companies in the world operate in the oil and gas industry. Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) has a market cap of $402 billion as of 9/29/2014; Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.B) has a market cap of $243 billion; PetroChina (NYSE:PTR) has a market cap of $236 billion; and Chevron (NYSE:CVX) has a market cap of $230 billion. They weren’t always that big, even though it seems like forever that these companies sat atop the rankings of largest global companies by market cap.

Investing in any one or several of these companies is probably a pretty safe bet that you will generate some kind of positive return over the long-run. Sure, in the short-term, prices can fluctuate based on oil and gas prices or geopolitical tension across the globe, or even another war, as is the case in Iraq, Syria, Russia, Ukraine (it seems to never end). And while investing in some of these large mega cap names can reduce volatility and minimize the risk of losing your investment, the upside is limited by the fact that any new oil or gas discoveries made by these companies is a mere drop in the bucket and rarely moves the needle on their revenues and/or earnings. Investing in them would be a smart, albeit safe move. If, on the other hand, you’re willing to accept higher volatility or the risk of capital loss for a much higher potential payoff, you may also want to consider looking at the little guys in the oil and gas space.

Should Your Bond Allocations Follow Bill Gross to Janus?

Bill Gross

A week ago Friday, the investment world was shocked when Bill Gross, the venerable bond manager, known as the King of Bonds, announced he was leaving the firm he founded and heading to Janus. Not only is it unusual for the founder of a firm to leave abruptly as he did, but to go to a shop that is not known for its fixed income funds? The whole situation was odd, to say the least.

For the last week, investors have been evaluating their options and trying to figure out whether to stay with PIMCO, or take their money elsewhere. These are big money investors so naturally, the risk of heavy outflows from the fund are a major concern for all other investors in the fund. And liquidity issues that may arise from possibly being the biggest seller of certain financial assets could affect the net asset value of the fund in the short term.

Senior Housing Properties Trust: It’s Fallen, Can It Get Back Up?

SNH Logo

We’re getting old. We all are. But no one group is reaching ‘old age’ faster than the baby boomer generation born between 1946 and 1964. By ‘old age’ I’m referring to retirement, and unfortunately for many seniors, it means senior housing facilities. Today’s younger generation isn’t like that of days past, which cared for their elderly parents for many years. In today’s society, seniors are increasingly going into senior housing, whether independent living facilities, assisted living facilities, skilled nursing, etc.

This secular trend has not gone unnoticed and everyone from real estate developers to hedge fund managers has made investments in senior housing in anticipation of an increase in demand. The first baby boomers entered retirement age just a few years ago and even though people in general are living healthier lives for longer, traveling more and enjoying retirement for a few more years, the sheer number of baby boomers means that senior housing will be in greater demand.