Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Retail Strategy Slowdowns

Great article that shows how retail strategies compare, their average shoppers, etc. Given a slowing economy I found it a VERY timely article.

Because, on Friday (3/28/08), JCPenney announced they were missing their EPS guidance for the 1st quarter and really put a shot across the bow for retail investors :)

Dan Ross

ITUNES is #2 in music sales!

Only Wal-Mart sells more music than iTunes

Apple continues to tighten its grip on music sales as iTunes has become the second largest U.S. music retailer.

A report released by tracking company NPD Group, showed that Apple now has more than 50 million customers and sold more than 4 billion songs last year.

Apple's digital music store jumped past Best Buy to capture the No.2 spot behind Wal-Mart stores. Apple is on a roll. It was only last June that the company overtook Amazon as the nation's third-largest retailer.

How long before the company can surpass Wal-Mart to become top dog in music sales?

Dan Ross

B of A increases Credit Card Interest Rates

GOOD DAY FOR: Burning plastic, after Bank of America started notifying credit card holders with good credit and no late payments that their interest rates will more than double, to as high as 28 percent, for no apparent reason. "Either Bank of America has more financial troubles than it is willing to admit or it has a level of institutional arrogance that is unacceptable," said Credit-dot-com CEO Adam Levin.

My take
Their profits should be good & this is probably trying to extract more $$$ from people not paying down their cards when they have the ability to do so or they are trying to contain their exposure to people who have balances so high, relative to their income, that they warrant more concern.

Either way, looks like they might get some political heat based on the article and December Congressional hearings.

Dan Ross

Monday, February 11, 2008

From -

Great facts re: The American Workforce

This is what the experts are saying:
1. “92 precent of American workers feel that they don’t haveenough flexibility at work to meet the needs of their children andfamilies.” Source: Workplace Flexibility 2010

2. “77 percent of workers expect to work for pay after they retire.” Source: Pew Research Center

3. “74 percent of men rate having a work schedule that allows themto spend time with their families as very important.” Source:Workplace Flexibility 2010

4. “66 percent of woman who left their jobs for family reasons wantto return to work.” Source: Center for Work-Life Policy

5. “25 percent of all working moms are dissatisfied with their work/life balance and are actively seeking jobs that will provide them with more flexibility.” Source:

6. “63 percent of workers between the ages of 50 and 70 say theywill work part-time before full retirement.” Source: Watson WyattWorldwide

7. “55 percent of mothers said they did not have enough time tospend with their children.” Source: Workplace Flexibility 2010

Dan Ross

Immigration & Housing by Dan Ross

As a resident here in the states since age 4 (now 28 years) I find that most Americans don't really understand citizenship, how it impacts the U.S. economy and what the pros/cons are of the U.S. vs. other industrialized, "modern" societies.

This article illustrates how immigration has impacted housing in the last 5 years.

Key Points:
1) More population = need for more roofs over heads
2) More purchasing of base level homes = appreciation and then everyone "upgrades" as they can afford more home.
3) Organic population growth or immigration growth are the two ways to grow a population and most modern societies are populating at < 2 adults per person, meaning that their populations are actually shrinking. Japan is the worst with European nations behind them. What saves the U.S. population growth is immigration and organic, hispanic population growth as this demographic tends to have larger families, on average, than other U.S. Households

Dan Ross