What Will Happen After COVID-19 Pandemic Goes Away?

Although COVID-19 is still running rampant in the West, especially in the United States, I think when the dust is settling, everything will be amazing again. Why am I so positive like this even though we don’t even yet have a mass vaccination for the COVID-19 pandemic? Just let’s say I believe in the effects of human nature, and certain effects of human nature will never change even if the world is going to end tomorrow!

Right now, people are not going to movie theaters, eating out, shopping at luxurious malls, and whatnot, but believe me I think when COVID-19 is over — you can believe that people will do all of that and even more than they have had ever done in their entire life! I think the feelings of being pampered and served are so amazing that people want to feel something like that again! After all, they are being cooped up indoors for so long during the pandemic — once COVID-19 is gone — isn’t it obvious that there will be a revenge of massive consumerism on the service sector?

Currently, malls and other public physical consumerism/service spaces are not being favored by everyone for obvious reasons — DUH! — not getting infected by COVID-19… So, let me tell you why am I being Mr. Obvious(!) — well, let’s say it’s common sense folks! Let me ask you this, do you want to go out and having a fun dinner with your best friends in various delicious restaurants that you used to go out before COVID-19? I would! So, for me being optimistic about how things would return to normal or things would turn out to be even better than how things were before the whole COVID-19 thing is rather Mr. Obvious(!)…

One small problem though! I think my prediction could be a little off from the bulls-eye because of the negative effects of the COVID-19 aftermath. Although we’re not out of the wood yet and I still could imagine that the people — who are losing jobs due to the massive shutdown of various restaurants and other service businesses — may not be able to get back into the same job career that they had enjoyed before the COVID-19 pandemic. Companies that are being badly affected by COVID-19 may not be able to survive even if COVID-19 is going away. Many retail stores may have to file for bankruptcy! Survivable companies may have to employ more robots and automation to recuperate the costs that they lost during the COVID-19 pandemic, thus these companies may hire fewer human employees.

The negative effects of the COVID-19 aftermath could be so huge that it could push down the market prices for unfavorable real estate areas. For example, several real estate areas could see people walk away from their mortgage payments since they could not afford the mortgage payments any longer for not having to be able to find a new job. When the real estate sector turns negative — depending on how bad it could become — it could also affect the businesses in such neighborhoods. Local businesses could see a huge loss in revenues. It’s like a chain of effects or chain of reactions, and the negativities could multiply throughout the economy.

Nonetheless, I feel that the economy is a strange beast because it could contain both the negatives and the positives all at the same time. I could see a scenario of people will go hungry and yet some people go out and spend money like crazy to make up for the time that they were forced to be indoor for so long during the COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps, we could see the unbalance of the income quality thus we could have huge inequality in income after the COVID-19 is going away. Some people will be able to do more and enjoy their life more during the COVID-19 aftermath, and other people will have to go hungry and become homeless. I just pray that everyone would be able to do better and feel better after this horrendous COVID-19 pandemic — but we all know praying might not be enough. Let’s hope I could be so wrong, and everything will be super-duper after the COVID-19 goes away.

An Honest Opinion: Can the West Decouple from China?

I have a feeling that even though the West is trying to decouple from China, with job loss increases during an ongoing pandemic, I don’t see how a country like the United States can bring jobs home since unemployment is going to be high still. By this, I feel that with more people are relying on the government to create jobs and whatnot, bring jobs home mean companies in the United States have to hire more and spend more to produce anything. Meanwhile, China is once again increasing the output of their manufacturing, albeit that wages are increasing in China, the living costs in China are still way cheaper than the West, and so I think their wages won’t be rising to a point that foreign companies want to shift their manufacturing bases away from China faster. After all, producing in China does save on the costs of shipping and exporting.

Producing at home means that local companies have to be able to produce things cheaper than their foreign imports. Usually, import stuff should be more expensive than locally made since there are import costs and shipping costs that would add on to the top of the costs of the goods that are being made elsewhere. Unfortunately, it’s also depending on how productive a local manufacturing base is and other variables such as how cheap are the local wages and whatnot. Furthermore, we also have to worry about how is the local economy is doing. To add salt to the already infected wound, the COVID 19 pandemic is still an ongoing thing. So, I don’t see how decoupling from China is easy at all.

When we are trying to decouple from China, we should be prepared for China’s backlash such as how China would ramp up their distaste for foreign products even though most of these products are being produced in China. For an instance, China could ramp up the investigation into foreign companies that are actively opened for business in China, and by doing this China could persuade its people to trust less on foreign imports. By doing this China could also support their local economy through local made, and so in the long run China would be less exposed to foreign imports. I also see that China is producing much more stuff for foreign countries than foreign countries produce stuff for them — in a way why would China import more stuff when they could make everything at home?

As the United States tries to ramp up the pace of decoupling with China, China could see itself ramp up the pace of relying less on foreign imports. Meanwhile, China could also make it a lot harder for foreign companies to operate in China. At home, Western companies are facing the uglier local economy, and so these companies may not be able to produce higher revenues from local markets. Now, through geopolitical conflicts between China and the United States, it would make a lot harder for Western companies to make profits in China. Of course, Asia is a big place, and so Western companies should be able to ramp up their marketing elsewhere! The question is can other places replace the loss of the Chinese market?

The Future Is EVs!

Electric vehicles are hot at the moment because these cars are being promoted as futuristic rides. Most importantly, companies that are trying to build EVs — are trying to marry the most futuristic technologies into these EVs such as fully autonomous driving. In the United States, we got Tesla, but in China, there are hundreds (or probably more since I don’t know the exact number but I know there are a lot of them) of new EV makers compete for the same niche but eat away the traditional ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) car market. For Chinese EV makers, I’m particularly interested in Nio, Geely, and now Aiways.

As we all know the largest EV market in the whole wide world is in China. So, it’s natural for me to be very interested in the Chinese EV makers. Aiways is different than the other two EV makers I mentioned because Aiways isn’t yet a public corporation/company — and only a three-year-old (private) company. Yet, Aiways can already deliver Aiways U5 to the European market. This means Aiways is the first Chinese car company to deliver EV cars outside of China (homegrown) market. This makes me wish for Aiways to start an IPO (Initial Public Offering) soon so investors around the world can begin investing in Aiways’ adventure as a hot new EV maker.

I just sold all of my Nio position when Nio hit $9.26. Now, Nio is like around $12.88 at closing for the day. I guess I had sold Nio a bit too early. Anyhow, why did I sell all of my Nio position? Well, I read several news articles that had mentioned that the U.S. is trying to pass a bill that would target several Chinese companies that are being listed on the U.S. stock exchange. Since Nio has the support of China’s local government Hefei (capital of Anhui province), I fear that Nio could be one of those Chinese companies that would be targeted since it’s being listed on the U.S. stock exchange. This bill was passed by the Senate and is now in the process of getting ready to go through the House. If the House is going to pass this bill too, I think the chance is high for many Chinese companies to be targeted by this bill. This bill is the reason I’m not so hot for Nio.

What I’ve read so far on the web is that several big-name Chinese companies such as Alibaba are either already listing or going to list their shares on Hong Kong’s stock exchange because they are ready for the days that they could no longer list their stocks on the U.S. stock exchanges. I surmise that Nio might think about this too but I have no insight on if Nio would do this or not. In reality, I got no info on what Nio would do as I’m just another investor who got his info on Nio through the Internet.

I have bought some shares of Geely on Hong Kong’s stock exchange through a U.S. stockbroker. I’m interested in Geely because this company is also trying to build awesome EVs. Geely also owns Volvo, a 10% share of Daimler (if I remember correctly), Lynk & Co, PROTON, and Lotus. I think Volvo is a very good brand, and Geely is doing an awesome job in upkeeping the brand’s good name. I also like Lotus since I love its new supercar Evija (2000hp).

Geely is also well known for making affordable cars for China’s local consumers. If I’m not wrong I think Geely delivered around 2.1 million cars in 2019. This means Geely is no joke! Latest but very well received compact SUV from Geely is Coolray.

Geely is also supporting Volvo’s Polestar to come out with their own EVs. I’m interested in Polestar Precept.

In conclusion, I’m interested in investing in China’s car market because I think China’s huge population of 1.4 billion people and counting is also interested in buying Chinese cars. Furthermore, Chinese car companies will venture out of their homegrown market and start selling cars in Europe and elsewhere in the world. As a small investor, I love to look for more ways to generate income, and so investing in Chinese automakers is a no brainer for me. I think EV automakers will be able to eat away a huge chunk of traditional (ICE) automakers’ market share. I think the future in terms of cars is EVs and not of ICE types of cars. Naturally, I’m interested in investing in EV automakers.

Disclaimer: I had bought shares of Nio but sold them. I’m currently owning some shares of Geely (Hong Kong) through a U.S. broker. Naturally, I’m biased toward Nio and Geely in a positive manner. This means I love to see these companies do well in developing futuristic cars and selling new cars. I do not give out stock advice. This blog post is all about my opinions on what I think of what stocks I like to invest or have invested in. So, please do your homework before investing in anything and do not take my opinions as stock advice and risk losing real money.

Can New Energy Vehicles Win The Race Against ICE?

Why do I think new energy vehicle makers such as Tesla will be the biggest winners in the race of selling more cars in the near and longer future? Just think about it! Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) has had been around forever, and it’s as good as it gets! Before Tesla introduced EVs (Electric Vehicles), a self-driving car wasn’t even a big deal until Tesla pushed hard on introducing self-driving levels onto its own EVs. As new energy vehicle makers eager to compete against ICE, they want to prove that their vehicles are more modern, longer-lasting, faster, stronger, and smarter — thus innovation is going to be unstoppable in the new energy vehicle sector which is a sub-sector of the auto industry. Eventually, this sub-sector could overtake ICE one day for good because after all — driving EVs and other new energy vehicles helps the world stops the global warming phenomenon.

Disclaimer: I have an investment in a stock that belongs to an EV maker. Thus, I tend to be more biased with a positive attitude toward the EV industry.

Nio’s Battery Swap Technology Is One Great Way In Producing More Jobs

I think Nio’s battery swap technology is one great way to produce jobs. For those who don’t know what is Nio — Nio is a company that is currently specializing in producing luxury electric vehicles (EVs) for Chinese consumers in China’s mainland only. Although Nio is only producing EVs for Chinese consumers, Nio so far had only listed its stock in the United States (surprisingly not yet in China). People like to compare Nio with Tesla and thinking that Nio is a Chinese Tesla, but I think Nio is uniquely different than Tesla besides the point that both of them are producing luxury EVs. Vaguely summing my gist, besides producing EVs, Nio is trying to promoting a lifestyle which caters to Chinese consumers in which Nio knows best — this means besides selling luxurious EVs, Nio is probably trying to provide other luxurious venues that complimentary with Nio EVs. Tesla is just concentrating on producing awesome EVs.

Back to the main point in which I had raised in the first paragraph. I think Nio’s battery swap technology is great for producing more jobs! I imagine that it would require more jobs to produce even more EV batteries for the expansion of battery swap stations. As battery technology improves, Nio has to scale up newer types of EV battery output to fill up each battery swap station — this means even more jobs. As consumers see that their EV isn’t stuck with just one old battery, they can feel confident in getting out to buy an EV since they know their Nio will always be able to swap an improved battery into their EV as each time they go to a battery swap station. As Nio set the standard for battery swap station and battery swap technology, a newer chain of supply for battery swap technology would spring up which creates even more jobs. Each presence of a Nio battery swap station is like a permanent advertisement that drivers would see on the road, and so this could boost Nio’s image in long term — this could allow Nio to grow and prosper which creates even more jobs. I mean I could go on and on…

Disclaimer: I do invest a little bit of my money in Nio. Thus, I do have a favorable outlook (bias) when writing on Nio. Nonetheless, I believe Nio is a great EV automaker in the making, and this is why I have invested some of my money into Nio’s stock.

My little dance with Luckin Coffee Inc Stock.

I was using an app to buy partial shares of Luckin Coffee Inc. (LK), and before I could heavily invest into LK the news broke out that there was a financial fraud report occurred for awhile while the chairman of the company was encouraging such a behavior — nonetheless, the whole incident pushed the stock price of LK way down. Luckily, I bought only around $300 worth of shares of the company since I was testing the water before I would see if I want to heavily go into LK — the loss wasn’t big at all and since then I didn’t even take a look at how much I had lost with the app I bought the partial shares of LK with.

Fast forward today, LK share price jumps 21% since I last checked, and all because there is a rumor that China’s Yum brand (if I remembered correctly) is intending to purchase LK’s China assets. I don’t know what are these assets, and now I’m curious. Whether this rumor is true or not, LK share price is now way higher than since their last drop. Last Friday they were at $1.41 per share, but today LK share price is closing at $2.59 per share.

Investors who are investing in LK are probably now worrying about LK is going to be delisted too since the news last broke that LK’s stock exchange had notified them about their decision of going to delist LK. Furthermore, the United States is trying to pass the law in which to delist all Chinese companies that do not report transparently to the United States’ whatever authorities (I think it’s SEC but I could be wrong). LK could be one of these companies that will get delist from the U.S. stock exchanges.

Personal opinion: I think I’m more confident with LK now since they fired their CEO/Chairman or whoever that got the most saying and was running the company fraudulently. Still, I won’t buy any more shares from LK since the delisting possibility is still there for LK. I also see LK won’t file bankruptcy and still be OK if they don’t sell any asset to Yum or whichever corporation (else) because LK is quite popular in China. Furthermore, LK got a lot of locations that they can easily raise the coffee price per cup just a bit and will make money like a bandit.

I won’t invest any more money into LK share unless LK got delisted from the U.S. and then relist elsewhere. Only when LK relist elsewhere that I could have more confidence in my decision in giving LK another chance. Perhaps then, I might heavily invest in LK, but obviously, I will wait and see how all of this will turn out for LK before I’ll try to do anything rash on LK. This means, even when LK relists elsewhere, I’ll wait a bit before I go strong on LK.