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Adam Johnson anchored several business programs at Bloomberg Television over five years, interviewing CEOs, heads of state, and Nobel laureates. His daily video investment blog, Insight and Action was sponsored by a major U.S. lender. Previously he managed global risk assets for ING Furman Selz and Louis Dreyfus, trading oil futures, listed equities and equity options. Adam began his career at Merrill Lynch with a degree in economics at Princeton.
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Get Your Money Right
Digital First Mobile Banking
- 250M US account holders use more than one institution and consume multiple financial svcs (Bloomberg)
So-called “neo-banks” target highly active, often younger and digitally-native consumers who bank online
One top 5 neo-bank is posting triple digit earnings growth and has a long runway with just 5% marketshare
Brave New World – I vividly remember opening my first checking account at age 15. I had just started bussing tables over Christmas break and needed a place to deposit my daily earnings of $33. My parents introduced me to the local branch manager, who knew them both by name, and an hour later I had a checking account. There were no ATMs, but I was told that any of the half a dozen tellers could help me whenever I came in… even on Saturdays ’til noon! How times have changed. I do all my banking by iPhone, and have even sorted out mortgages with keystrokes. I think this is the emerging Holy Grail of Personal Finance, whereby all imaginable money-related services are bundled together in one mobile app accessible 24/7. BofA and Charles Schwab do a reasonably good job at this, but the so-called neo-banks are superior. They’ve been designed as digital-only from the ground up, and they’re extremely popular among 20 and 30-somethings. I think one in particular has the edge.
October 15, 2021Read More
Buy Now Pay Later
US #1 BNPL in Focus
- Buy Now Pay Later purchasing accounts for significant e-commerce volume abroad but only 2% in the US
- Recent acquisition of Australian provider AfterPay by Square for $32B shines a bright spotlight on BNPL
- Largest US BNPL provider has 30-40% market share in a market that could double within four years
Lay Away 2.0 – My mother’s favorite painting hangs proudly at her home in Connecticut, a lovely bouquet of wildflowers she bought on lay-away in 1965 for about $150… a notable sum for a kindergarten teacher married to first year ad exec planning on kids. She loves that painting, because of how it looks and what it represents. America has always been aspirational, and paying over time to afford big ticket items is something we embrace. Curiously, one-quarter of Millennial and Gen-Z consumers don’t use credit cards according to Mizuho Securities, but they’re quite happy to utilize By Now Pay Later platforms. In Europe, BNPL accounts for 7% of all e-commerce. In Australia and Sweden the percentage rises to 10% and 25% respectively, compared to just 2% in the US. Last week Square announced a $29B acquisition of Aussie-based BNPL provider AfterPay, betting the US will soon follow suit. I agree, and I’m using the announcement as justification to buy the #1 US BNPL platform, a company which IPO’d in January and I’ve been watching closely.
October 15, 2021Read More
Treating Heart Failure
- One in five adults is at risk for heart failure costing $30B annually according to the American Heart Assoc.
- No drug currently exists to address heart failure resulting from stiffening heart muscles (HFpEF)
- Life-saving drug to address HFpEF awaits FDA approval having already received EU approval for Diabetes
Take Care of Your Ticker – One in five adults is at risk for heart failure according the the American Heart Association, costing insurers an estimated $30B/year and the economy another $12B/yr in lost productivity. Sadly, many of these people go undiagnosed. They typically visit an Emergency Room complaining of chest pain, but recover soon enough and are released without follow-up. Many return 4-5 times over the next several years, earning the unofficial title of Frequent Flyer among ER staff… though it’s no laughing matter. At a cost of $9,500 per visit and a 2% mortality rate based on NIH data, heart disease has become the number one cause of death in the US (Healthline.com). A small biotechnology company with a promising drug seeks to change that. While there are no drugs on the market currently to treat the type of heart failure which results from a stiffening of the heart muscle, trial data are promising and await FDA approval. At less then $5/share, I think the stock is worth a shot… especially since the drug is already approved to treat Diabetes in Europe.
October 15, 2021Read More
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