Logixboard – Fix Freight Forwarding

I am in Montreal today for a fintech conference, hosted by my friends at Portage (P3VC). I have not been to Montreal in a few years so I was excited to come back and see some old friends and catch up on the Canadian fintech scene. I will head to Toronto tomorrow.

Late last night I made it over to Schwartz’s, a famous ‘smoked meat’ restaurant that is not for the feint of heart. I am a little woozy this morning as I write.

This was after having a great steak and fries lunch at one of my favorite spots in New York – L’entrecote.

Today I will sneak out for some of Montreal’s great Lebanese food.

Enough about food…

My partners Gary and Tom recently led a Social Leverage investment in Logixboard which aims to modernize freight forwarding.

A freight forwarder, forwarder, or forwarding agent, also known as a non-vessel operating common carrier, is a person or company that organizes shipments for individuals or corporations to get goods from the manufacturer or producer to a market, customer or final point of distribution.

If you’re not at the scale of Apple or Amazon, transporting goods internationally is extremely challenging. Freight forwarders reserve space on trucks, trains, ships and planes. They ensure cargo is properly transported from carrier to carrier and port to port. And they prepare and provide customs documentation. They are the project managers of the shipping industry, managing logistics and transportation. These are all specialized skills, performed by upwards of 500,000 worldwide companies. This is a multi-trillion dollar industry that is largely unknown.

And yet, the front end of this industry is manual and outdated. It takes an average of 50 emails back and forth between a shipper and a freight forwarder to agree on details for a shipment. Behind the scenes, freight forwarders scramble through spreadsheets, send out emails and figure out logistics each and every time. The user experience is broken.

Founder/CEO Julian Alvarez and his brother Juan Alvarez have created Logixboard to positively impact this industry. Their first product improves the user experience for freight forwarders’ customers. Shippers can now long into a modern web app, easily create new shipments, see the status of their inquiry and ultimately track their shipments.

Gary has more details of the investment and Logixboard on our company blog.

PS – This Sunday I took David Perell to a fave Sunday Brunch spot in New York called ’12 Chairs’.

I am a big fan of his Monday Musings newsletter. He is only 25!

This essay he dropped on Boeing – ‘Why Did the 737 Max Crash’ is a great read.

Dear Professor Galloway – Great Call on Schwab

A few weeks ago, Schwab lowered their commissions to zero and the stock fell hard. The stock had been falling for the last 12 months.

NYU Professor Galloway said the following:

Until yesterday, Robinhood was a disruptor. But Schwab announced they were eliminating commissions on trades, and Robinhood’s top of the funnel (customer acquisition) collapsed. Schwab has other products/revenue streams. Robinhood’s VCs must now fund a company whose $7.6 billion valuation (see above: white powder around nostrils) was cut in half yesterday. Similar to Walmart, Schwab’s leadership will result in multiple expansion. Look for Schwab stock to recover its 8 percent one-day loss within 30 days.

I wrote a post titled ‘Dear Professor Galloway …Let’s Talk about Schwab and Robinhood‘.

I continue to disagree with everything Professor Galloway says here BUT, he made one hell of a stock call as Schwab has after two weeks recovered the full 8 percent one day loss.

I hope he continues to share his trade ideas.

Seeing that I am talking about the professor, this latest post from him is good titled ‘MARGINal‘.

Have a great Tuesday.

PS – I loved this post from Ben Hunt titled ‘To My Fellow Billionaires

Momentum Monday – Housing Stocks and Verizon…Barf

Ivanhoff and I did our weekly show and you can watch/listen right here.

A roundup in case you do not want to take the time…

Software continues to be sold and the rotation into ‘value’ continues. The purest of software assets – Bitcoin is technically weak and stressing a lot of bulls.

The Koyfin team put together a great dashboard for software/cloud stocks so you can follow and try to get a feel for the sector. Click here to follow it.

The question to be answered is will the big money continue to sell software stocks on rallies and rotate into other areas of the market. Right now it does feel that way.

Software stocks continue to have extremely high valuations and sentiment towards them has been changing as the big IPO’s of $UBER, $LYFT, $WORK and of course WeWork have floundered and failed.

Not all software stocks are the same so if the selling continues, the new leaders will start to stand out.

Housing stocks, Verizon and select technology and biotech are standing out on the momentum list.

The lesson (at least in Verizon’s case) is bad customer service and delayed roll out of new 5G services is cool if you have mega profits and a 4 percent dividend. Go team go.

The markets are holding well as money moves into value like Verizon, JP Morgan, Walmart and Apple. Don’t shoot the messenger…do adjust your expectations.

Unbundling Education

I really really enjoyed this piece by Byrne Hobart titled ‘Y Combinator, Not Lambda School, Is Unbundling Education’.

The premise:

American universities are some of the most powerful institutions on earth. They provide a valuable brand name to talented people, they create incestuous networks that persist for decades, and their in-house hedge funds are all on the AUM leaderboard. But they’re not the best opportunity for everyone, and in particular they’re not the best opportunity for some of their best students.

As Paul Graham once pointed out, both Facebook and Microsoft were not just founded at Harvard, but specifically founded during the January “reading period,” when students are supposed to be studying for exams. The most lucrative months in Harvard history are the months where class is not in session!

It may not happen in my lifetime, but I expect the dropout rate from colleges to soar as ‘professional’ jobs get automated and the creative and investing class continue to explode. I need to dive into these predictions in a later post.

There is no doubt that reverse globalization will also hurt many universities.

A lot of prime real estate will have to be reimagined.

Have a great Sunday.

Rally Rd …I See Your Zero Commissions and Mickey Mantle It!

Before I dive in… must apologize for all the errors in yesterday’s blog post.

Normally I strategically place one error in my posts so that Ellen can find it and text me as she drinks her morning coffee. It’s our little thing…

Yesterday though, from my New York hotel room the size of my iPhone, I could not spread my elbows to type properly and butchered the post.

Here is the actual link to ‘How Sports Changed The Way American Dress

Ok onwards…

Our portfolio company Rally Road continues to innovate while brokerages drop commissions to zero.

Yesterday, Rally completed – in just 4 minutes – the first ever SEC qualified Initial Offering of a sports collectible – a $130,000 Micky Mantle baseball card.

Here are some more stats from the Mickey Mantle IPO:

I was at the company HQ in SOHO this week catching up on the exciting offerings in the pipeline and got to see the new storefront that is going to be unveiled soon. It is fantastic.

I have a lot more to say on zero commissions and now fractional shares for all, but will save it for a longer post tomorrow.

In the meantime, congrats to team Rally Rd for moving the investing chains forward in fresh and unique ways for a next generation.

I Like Peking Duck And I Can Not Lie

I am in New York on a major east coast swing that takes me to Montreql, Toronto and then way east to Israel.

Tonight I organized a quick fintech dinner for some founders, LP’s and VC’s at Peking Duck House which is one of my fave places for good duck.

Without my bike and surrounded by carbs at each corner of manhattan, I may add 10 pounds before getting back west.

This weekend I will check in on my fashology companies down in SOHO – Apple, Nike and LULU…as well as some up and coming brands that are always popping up in the neighborhood.

I talk a lot about ‘fashology’ here, so I thought this article was timely —Yoga pants, tennis shoes, and the 100-year history of how sports changed the way Americans dress’.

Have a good Friday.

Laugh Lounge – Claude Shires Joins Me On Lindzanity to Talk Comedy

I love to laugh.

I am not alone. A staggering 50 percent of the 130 million Netflix subscribers have watched one comedy special and one third of those have watched three specials.

As I have gotten older I don’t laugh as much but I seem to get better at making others laugh (both at me and with me).

Over the years I have made a couple personal investments in the comedy space which have created some tax losses.

I am undeterred.

Last year I got a cold email pitch deck from someone at Laugh Lounge and because it was comedy related I opened it.

The next time through LA I met Claude the founder and we have become friends. I have not invested in the company but have been advising and you never know. We would love feedback on the app of course.

I had Claude on my podcast to talk about the industry, life as a comedian, his work at Netflix and Amazon as a producer and of course his vision for Laugh Lounge.

He recently launched his app Laugh Lounge (the live streaming comedy network) and you can get it here. The Android version is here.

Claude tells me there are only 1500 working standup comics right now…an exclusive group of wierd people. The combined social reach of the top 50 working comics is over 300 million.

What makes a comic laugh vs an ordinary person:

For ordinary people: you can dress a guy up like and old lady and have him accidentally fall down the stairs and everyone will laugh, for comedians to laugh, it actually has to be an old lady.

I hope you enjoy the podcast. You can watch or listen here on YouTube. You can subscribe to the channel and get the podcast alert each time I drop a new one.

You can also go to the Apple podcast app or Spotify and seach my name or Lindzanity.

Vaping and The Vice Matrix

I never know which tweets I share will strike a chord.

A lot of my most popular tweets get few likes or retweets but get me a lot of email and texts. Those are my favorite because people are too embarrassed to engage directly with the actual tweet for fear of backlash. That means I nailed some truth.

Often though, the tweets I put the least amount of thought into get the most public engagement.

Yesterday on the subject of Vaping I tweeted:

My son Max is a Republican …. I send him press clippings about the dangers of Vaping and he texts back ‘Fake News’ … thanks Fat Nixon.

The responses were an interesting mix of funny and mean (mostly aimed at me).

My son Max Vapes but I have no idea what his politics are.

Ellen and I have sent him a bunch of links to read and he has read them. There are a lot of facts mixed with a heavy dose of hysteria and strong opinions. The way news will now always be and it is stressful.

I was in a Circle K today getting a Gatorade and paying for gas and it really struck me how much these places are just convenience shops for vices. Sugar, booze, chew, smokes and vapes.

Combined with the iPhone and social networks we have spiraled into a new dimension in vices.

A vice matrix.

Don’t Cry For Me – Commission Free Brokers

I took the afternoon off with Max to play the aweomse Scottsdale National Golf Club.

For the first time in a long time we saw a few rattlesnakes sunning themselves on the course.

Of course, Max made me take the pictures. He says ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ wrecked snakes for him.

Speaking of wrecked, last week Fidelity joined the ‘free trades’ zone and now everyone thinks the good times are over for discount brokerages.

They might be.

Dave Nadig at ETF.com does a good job of explaining how the brokers will make money now that trading is free.

PS – Speaking of free…You can now buy a $1 deodorant stick using Amazon Prime and have it delivered the next day. We are getting close to ‘Peak Amazon Rome’ a moment I discussed when Prime started where I would be able to order ‘one grape’ a day using my Prime account.

Momentum Monday…Why Aren’t Markets Higher

As a reminder, Marketsmith (by Investor’s Business Daily) is now a sponsor of the weekly show. All the charts you have been seeing in the videos and will continue to see are from Marketsmith. They are offering my readers a three week trial for $19.95. Click this link if you would like to try it out.

The earnings season kicks off in full this week.

Here is this week’s Momentum Monday with Ivanhoff and I going through the markets. You can watch or listen here.

The market sentiment is as bad as last December which is bullish for stocks. Bloomberg reported that we are seeing the largest rush to safety since the Lehman collapse. Even as Apple exploded Friday to all-time highs, sentiment on the stock remains very negative. I will take lines in store and happiness with my new iPhone camera over the sentiment.

Negative sentiment is on its own not enough to get me excited about adding more stock exposure, so I am just watching right now.

Technically – both the bulls and the bears have evidence to support moves their way.

As for the trade deal, nobody has a clue what is really happening so all we have to go on is the price action on Apple, Alibaba and the semiconductors which is mostly strong. The big money continues to price in a broader deal.

My big concern as we ended last week is why are the markets not much higher?

Interest rates continue to be incredibly low. On Friday alone we got…Brexit “progress”, China “partial deal”, $82.7B repo, $60B/month Treasury buying announcement. All this on top of multiple rate cuts already.

The answers may come this week.