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Finance: Stocking up on stocks

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PHUKET: Market corrections like the one that started last August are never times to completely abandon the stock market. Instead, they are great opportunities to buy quality stocks with strong fundamentals and technical charts, that should emerge higher once the correction is over.

For that reason, you should consider adding the following stocks to your market correction shopping list because (thus far) they have held up nicely and are likely to continue being leaders once this correction has run its course:

Salesforce.com, inc (NYSE: CRM). Large cap salesforce.com has a $48 billion market cap and is focused on customer relationship management (CRM) as a provider of enterprise cloud computing solutions that include apps and platform services along with professional services. Salesforce.com also happens to be a favorite on Wall Street right now because many analysts see substantial billings growth and have raised their fiscal 2016 estimates on both revenues and earnings.

Palo Alto Networks Inc (NYSE: PANW). Large cap Palo Alto Networks has a $15.4 billion market cap and calls itself the next-generation security company that helps keep both private and government organizations secure from cyber-attacks. Given that the rising panic over high profile attacks or hacks is fueling spending on cybersecurity, stocks like Palo Alto Networks are able to consistently beat earnings expectations quarter after quarter. Moreover, cybersecurity stocks like Palo Alto Networks might make nice acquisition targets for growth-starved vendors like Cisco Systems and IBM.

Priceline Group Inc (NASDAQ: PCLN). Large cap Priceline Group has a $63.5 billion market cap as a leading provider of online travel and travel-related reservation and search services through brands that include Booking.com, KAYAK, agoda.com, rentalcars.com and OpenTable. Priceline Group has also recently acquired rival Orbitz (adding brands like Orbitz.com, CheapTickets, ebookers, HotelClub and Orbitz Partner Network to its portfolio). In addition, low oil prices for the foreseeable future will mean more disposable income for consumers around the world to spend on leisure travel.

Google Inc (NASDAQ: GOOGL; GOOG). Large cap Google Inc has a $429 billion market cap with most revenue (as much as 90 per cent) still derived from its core internet search and advertising business. In August, Google announced it would restructure into a parent company called Alphabet. A slimmed down Google will contain the company’s core businesses (including Android, YouTube and Maps) while anything further afield will be placed under Alphabet.

While Google.com remains the search engine of choice for most Internet users (at least a two thirds market share), the advertising business has been flat-lining as marketers spend more on mobile where rates are much lower partly due to the smaller screen sizes. Nevertheless, there will be enough ‘moonshot’ projects (e.g. driverless cars, Google Glass, etc) along with more down to earth ventures (e.g. High-speed broadband internet and cable TV, smart home products, venture capital investments, etc) under Alphabet to ensure potential growth in the future.

However, let me add a word of caution in that I don’t believe the current market correction is completely over, as I can easily see a further 10 to 25 per cent downside from September market levels. I’ve also raised the cash allocations within the portfolios of my clients to both limit any further downside risk, as well as to have funds on hand to shop for quality stocks as they go on sale.

One final consideration: You may already own some of the previously mentioned individual stocks without realizing it because they are already in the ETFs or other funds you own. For that reason, you should always consult with an investment adviser who will make any asset allocation in individual stocks based upon your entire portfolio and any underlying investments in the funds you own.

Don Freeman,BSME is president of Freeman Capital Management, a Registered Investment Advisor with the US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), based in Phuket. He has over 15 years’ experience working with expatriates, specializing in portfolio management, US tax preparation, financial planning and UK pension transfers. Call for a free portfolio review. Don can be reached at 089-970-5795 or email: freemancapital@gmail.com.

— Don Freeman

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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Governments & old media versus social media – who will win? | VIDEO

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Governments & old media versus social media – who will win? | VIDEO | The Thaiger

We look at the recent changes made by the Australian and Indian governments to except control over the world’s biggest social media platforms. India has issued strict new rules for Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms just weeks after the Indian government attempted to pressure Twitter to take down social media accounts it deemed, well, anti social. There is now an open battle between the rise of social media platforms and the governments and ‘old’ media that have been able to maintain a certain level of control over the ‘message’ for the last century. Who will win?

The rules require any social media company to create three roles within India… a “compliance officer” who ensures they follow local laws; a “grievance officer” who addresses complaints from Indian social media users; and a “contact person” who can actually be contacted by lawyers and other aggrieved Indian parties… 24/7.

The democratisation of the news model, with social media as its catalyst, will continue to baffle traditional media and governments who used to enjoy a level of control over what stories get told. The battles of Google and Facebook, with the governments of India and Australia will be followed in plenty of other countries as well.

At the root of all discussions will be the difference between what governments THINK social media is all about and the reality about how quickly the media landscape has changed. You’ll get to read about it first, on a social media platform… probably on the screen you’re watching this news story right now.

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The social media giants in battle with ‘old’ media and world governments | VIDEO

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The social media giants in battle with ‘old’ media and world governments | VIDEO | The Thaiger

“The rules signal greater willingness by countries around the world to rein in big tech firms such as Google, Facebook and Twitter that the governments fear have become too powerful with little accountability.”

India has issued strict new rules for Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms just weeks after the Indian government attempted to pressure Twitter to take down social media accounts it deemed, well, anti social.

The rules require any social media company to create three roles within India… a “compliance officer” who ensures they follow local laws; a “grievance officer” who addresses complaints from Indian social media users; and a “contact person” who can actually be contacted by lawyers and other aggrieved Indian parties… 24/7.

The companies are also being made to publish a compliance report each month with details about how many complaints they’ve received and the action they took.

They’ll also be required to remove ‘some’ types of content including “full or partial nudity,” any “sexual act” or “impersonations including morphed images”

The democratisation of the news model, with social media as its catalyst, will continue to baffle traditional media and governments who used to enjoy a level of control over what stories get told.

The battles of Google and Facebook, with the governments of India and Australia will be followed in plenty of other countries as well.

At the root of all discussions will be the difference between what governments THINK social media is all about and the reality about how quickly the media landscape has changed. You’ll get to read about it first, on a social media platform… probably on the screen you’re watching this news story right now.

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Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

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Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO

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Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO | The Thaiger

When the airlines, in particular, were asking the government to put their hands in their pockets for some relief funding in August last year, it was genuinely thought that international tourists would be coming back for the high season in December and January. At the very least local tourists and expats would head back to the skies over the traditional holiday break. And surely the Chinese would be back for Chinese New Year?

As we know now, none of that happened. A resurge in cases started just south of Bangkok on December 20 last year, just before Christmas, kicking off another round of restrictions, pretty much killing off any possibility of a high season ‘bump’ for the tourist industry. Airlines slashed flights from their schedule, and hotels, which had dusted off their reception desks for the surge of tourists, shut their doors again.

Domestically, the hotel business saw 6 million room nights in the government’s latest stimulus campaign fully redeemed. But the air ticket quota of 2 million seats still has over 1.3 million seats unused. Local tourists mostly skipped flights and opted for destinations within driving distance of their homes.

As for international tourism… well that still seems months or years away, even now.

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