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.

In The Face of Fraud Allegation Against GE by Harry Markopolos, Is It OK to Short GE’s Stock?

Harry Markopolos came out with a damning report which suggests there are some irregularities with GE’s accounting that have led him to believe GE is cooking the book. I haven’t read his report and so I don’t know the details, but this news has made many rounds in the mainstream media. Since the news broke, GE’s share price has dropped a bit too. As I’m writing this, GE’s share price is now $7.97 a share. Short interest in GE’s stock is climbing too.

The big question is what is going on with GE that has led a famous fraud investigator Harry Markopolos to stake his reputation on a report that alleges GE is a fraud? Even if GE is cooking the book, do you want to be brave and short GE’s stock? According to Statista.com, GE has employed about 283,000 people worldwide from 2005 to 2018. I don’t know how many employees GE is currently employed though. With so many employees are being employed by GE, will the government dare to throw GE under the bus even if the allegation may come true?

Whether the market is up or down, I think traders don’t care because they can make money either way. They can buy into the bull and they can also short into the bear. With the current trade war atmosphere that is going on between the U.S. and China, the market is having a seizure. It behaves erratically. It could spike 300 points in a day or it could also plunge into the abyss such as down 700 points in a day for the Dow. In this current atmosphere, I can see the temptation for shorting GE stock since Harry Markopolos’ report came out. Nonetheless, in this atmosphere, I could also see GE has a chance to weather the storm unless GE is unable to meet its financial obligations on all fronts.

GE is a veteran when it comes to weathering the storm since it’s a 127 years old company. Nonetheless, nothing could last forever, and so GE could be on its last leg. You never know, right? As I mentioned GE is employing a lot of people, and so I’m wondering even though Harry Markopolos may be right about GE is cooking the book — GE could very well be cruising along just fine throughout this storm since it’s a big company and may have the means to connect to the government and the right people to calm down the storm in coming days. When a big company like GE goes bankrupt, I could imagine a lot of people will lose jobs. This could negatively affect the company’s host country in a very big way!

As of writing this, I have not shorted GE’s stock. I’m thinking about shorting GE’s stock but fearing that Harry Markopolos’ report won’t affect GE’s stock price that much. Harry Markopolos said it’s impossible to make sense of GE’s balance sheet, and so I don’t know how much sense for one to go to take a deep look at GE’s balance sheet. Harry Markopolos is famous because he was very early in condemning Bernie Madoff for being a fraudster and he was proven to be very accurate. This man now stakes his reputation on GE is cooking the book, and he compares GE with Enron’s scandal. I think when there is smoke, there may be a fire. It’s just that how brave can you be when there is an opportunity which just appears right in front of you, right?

Self-Driving Trucks Are Going To Become Very Real, Really Soon! Andrew Yang Isn’t Lying!

Has Andrew Yang been so right about automation is slowly taking over more jobs, especially for the trucking industry? Well, check out CNBC video right after the break to see how customer focus of retailers like Amazon has driven more people into developing self-driving trucks!

Can The Automation of Cars Do Away With Dealerships?

I imagine that the future of transportation is all about automation. I don’t think this is at all a guess because one just takes a look at China’s huge population and see why right away. I can’t imagine that all people in China, each and every one of them, own a car because there won’t be enough space on the roads and highways — the traffic would be stupidly horrendous than ever before. This is why I think China may lead in the race of AI and car automation!

In order for the automation of cars, I think AI needs to be improved tremendously so accidents won’t occur so frequently. At least, the AI should be a lot better than the human drivers. Once the AI part of the automation of cars got nailed down, I can see that a car service such as Lyft would try to deliver cars to whoever needs ’em. This is when 5G comes into the picture to facilitate the communication between cars, cars and the transportation system, and so forth.

Anyhow, in this blog post I want to concentrate on the Lyft part of the whole automation of the transportation equation. I’m wondering, how Lyft and Uber would fare in a world where all cars are driverless? Imagine, car companies could actually get into the Lyft game themselves. Why would they allow Lyft and Uber to be the middlemen?

Nonetheless, I can see those car manufacturers like Toyota may not want to join the Lyft game because of additional costs. Perhaps, car manufacturers rather manufacture cars only and let the costs of the logistic of delivering cars to the user through car services such as Lyft and Uber. Then I’m still wondering how the dealerships would fare, right?

I can see those car manufacturers would prefer to deal directly with car services such as Lyft and Uber and let go of their dealerships entirely in a world of driverless cars! The dealerships would become rather redundant unless the car manufacturers prefer to allow the dealerships to become a car service like Lyft and Uber. But we have to ask who got more experience in delivering a car to a user in a taxi manner? Of course, the answer would be Lyft and Uber and not the dealerships!

In summary, I think if we’re heading in the direction of all cars to be driverless, then I can see the fading out of car dealerships in favor of Lyft and Uber. Of course, I could be wrong and the car manufacturers like Toyota decides to join the Lyft/Uber game and turn their dealerships into Lyft/Uber service. Nonetheless, I still can’t see car dealerships to be around when driverless cars become proliferated. I see car making companies may rely on Lyft/Uber sort of service or just jump into the game themselves delivering cars through an app and not relying on a costly dealership.

Can Lyft Be A Good Investment?

Lyft has filed S-1 for IPO on March 18th of this year (2019). Since Lyft isn’t yet a public company, we can’t really know the true numbers of Lyft’s finance. Nevertheless, leaked information tells us that although Lyft revenues are increasing tremendously it is also losing a lot of money on operational and R&D costs. Leaked information may not be accurate at all, but if the information is accurate Lyft may have to struggle a lot before it can become a profitable company.

According to the information we have Lyft is operating at a loss of $911 million net loss in 2018. Net loss is very important because a net loss tells us that Lyft isn’t a profitable company yet. It seems Lyft’s revenues are not able to cover the operating and R&D costs. The general definition of a net loss is that a total of expenses is bigger than a total of revenues.

Nevertheless, Lyft seems to boost its revenues very fast! In 2016, Lyft’s revenues were totaled at $343 million, but if the information is correct in 2018 Lyft’s revenues are totaled at $2.2 billion. If one looks at this closer, it seems Lyft has a chance of making it if the revenues are going to continue to go through this positive, exploding trajectory for some time to come.

Lyft is considering to invest more in R&D in regards to rolling out a self-driving fleet. If Lyft can get behind a self-driving fleet enormously and get the technology to work for real, then I think Lyft has a big chance to cut costs tremendously. If revenues continue to pick up, eating away Uber’s market share, and cut costing measures are going to be effective — Lyft could very well become a profitable company.

Lyft and Uber are competing for the same market, and both of these companies are driving Taxis out of business. Since Lyft and Uber are able to do this to Taxis, we can tell that companies like Amazon, Google, and even the car rentals and car dealerships themselves could get into the same act as Lyft and Uber when self-driving becomes a reality. This could be a very crowded market, and if my intuition is accurate it could mean Lyft and Uber may have a very tough market to operate in as time goes on. So the profits/revenues Lyft is having now could very well dwindle in the future!

Self-driving will change how people commute in the future. Car dealerships can jump into the act of allowing people to hail for self-driving cars. Perhaps, people of the future will not buy cars as much since they can just hail for a self-driving car? Google and other big tech companies can also create apps to allow the sharing of self-driving cars like how we have bike-sharing now. This could mean companies like Google don’t have to own a fleet of self-driving cars to be in the business of self-driving car-hailing. It’s like people to people self-dealing business but using a futuristic app of a huge tech giant where the tech giant gets to keep a small portion of the profit.

In summary and in truth, I’m not very sure if Lyft could be a good investment or not. Leaked info tells us that the company got a good chance of becoming profitable since the revenues keep on exploding to the positive territory — but the company has to be able to keep the operating and R&D costs down eventually! Nevertheless, the market which Lyft is operating in is possibly getting very crowded because of the self-driving car technology. If by the time the market gets so crowded and yet Lyft isn’t becoming profitable, then Lyft could find itself in a world of hurt! Personally, if I ever want to invest in Lyft, I won’t make it as one of my long term investments! If I ever invest in Lyft, I may have to watch out for the actions of other companies in the car-hailing market very closely. I may also have to watch out for new players that could enter the car-hailing market because new players could dilute the profitability of car-hailing market.

Tesla’s Online Selling Only Is A Desperate Move?

Tesla announces that it will close most dealerships to cut costs and to mainly sell cars online. To know more about this new development on Tesla’s online car sale only you can read this article “Tesla Online Sales — Bigger News Than $35,000 Model 3.” What I think about this?

So, I don’t own any Tesla car, but I’m driving a Toyota! My Toyota is a hybrid car, and so I don’t trust auto mechanic from auto mechanic shops. I’ve always brought my car into the Toyota dealership. Of course, sometimes I think I do have to pay a little bit more in the dealership than at the auto mechanic shop. Nevertheless, I’m pretty lucky because the Toyota dealership I go to never upsells me. Sometimes, I even persuade them to help me maintain my car, and this is really an ironic thing to do.

For an example, two weeks ago, I carelessly drove over a curb in Dunkin Donut! Yep, that was a stupid thing to do, but it could happen to the best of us. I brought my car into Toyota dealership to have a quick check. They ask me how the car was driving. I said it felt alright, but I need a quick check anyway. They gave me a free check and told me everything was alright. I had to persuade them to do a car alignment anyway.

Now, it seems I have digressed but I assure you I’ve not! How? Let’s say I currently own a Tesla and want to do something similar to the situation above, but how am I going to do so if all Tesla’s dealerships are closing?

I think it’s a bad move for Tesla to sell cars online only! Furthermore, if Tesla is in a good financial position, it does not have to do this! Perhaps, it should close only the dealerships that do not perform in selling cars, but it should not close all stores. I’ve heard that model 3 is not that great since many sought after options do not make into Tesla model 3. One example is that Tesla model 3 does not carry leather seats! Am I wrong on this? If I’m not then Tesla model 3 isn’t that appealing!

Tesla is trying to cut costs, closing stores/dealerships and reducing prices for Tesla models. All these measures could be a good thing for prolonging Tesla’s lifespan. Nonetheless, this does not mean Tesla is in a healthy condition! Some cost-cutting measures such as closing all brick and mortar stores are quite dubious in my opinion!