AWM Blog

ENTREPRENEURSHIP SERIES: USING REALISTIC ASSUMPTIONS CAN BE TRICKY, BUT VALUABLE

Over the years I have written many business plans and created countless financial forecasts for startups and early-stage companies. One of the most difficult aspects of creating a financial forecast is identifying realistic assumptions. The earlier the stage of development of the company, the more difficult it typically will be to make reasonably accurate assumptions. Depending on the main purpose of the financial forecast, or the business plan that the…

Market Psychology and the Risk of Compacency

With the markets reaching new all-time highs, I thought it would be worthwhile to consider how far the markets have run from the lows after the “Great Recession” of 2008/2009. The S&P 500 bottomed out at 666. As of today (August 27, 2018), the S&P 500 is trading at about 2,890, which represents a 333% gain since March of 2009. We can review multiple metrics to try to determine if…

Entrepreneurship Series: Men With Hats

From time to time I write articles about the tenets of good entrepreneurship qualities and guidelines, and this article definitely fits within that category. In teaching entrepreneurship classes, one thing that often is discussed is the need for professionals to wear many hats. This is especially true with start-ups and very early-stage companies. Typically these firms just do not have the resources to attract and compensate a full compliment of…

THE FIVE MOST COMMON MISTAKES MOST STARTUPS MAKE

THE FIVE MOST COMMON MISTAKES MOST STARTUPS MAKE In working with startups and early-stage companies for two decades, there are a few common mistakes I have seen these companies make that can be highly damaging to their chances for success. Statistics show that more than 90% of all startups fail within their first year. While there are many reasons for failure, these common mistakes are heavy contributors to the percentage…

Tech Weakness Continues to Drive Market Direction

Despite yesterday’s reprieve, stocks are pushing lower today with Technology stocks leading the way. Over the past few weeks, we have seen tech stocks trending lower, lead by the FAANG stocks – Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google (Alphabet). These stocks have been the darlings of the stock market rally over the past 4 years, but have now rolled over, and are dragging the rest of the tech sector, the…

Tech Stocks Continue to Diverge

In the past few weeks we have witnessed a marked change in leadership for the overall stock market, with Technology stocks, which were the previous leaders, weakening significantly. As evidence of this, we have seen the tech-heavy NASDAQ Composite Index trending lower, while the Dow and S&P 500 have maintained their strength. I have written about the FAANG stocks (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google) – these stocks have been…

Shifting trends show that Millennials are living their lives differently from past generations and there are strong implications for investments

The following link to a very interesting article shows the shifting trends within the millennials generation that we should all pay close attention too when evaluating investments. These trends are likely to continue to develop, and future generations will build upon these trends, driving meaningful shifts in the economy. These shifts will drive many businesses into extinction, while others will grow dramatically, and still others will be born of these…

Amazon Buys Whole Foods for $13.7B in Cash – Is this the end of brick and mortar grocery?

Amazon announced today that it will acquire Whole Foods for $13.7 billion in cash. Following this news Whole Foods was up almost 30%, a great day for shareholders of both Whole Foods and Amazon, but not so great for the rest of the retail grocery segment (Kroger is down about 9% today). The grocery segment is nothing new for Amazon – they have been selling a multitude of typical grocery…

Fed Rate Increase As Expected; Shrinking Balance Sheet Much More Interesting

As expected, The FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) of the Federal Reserve raised the Fed Funds rate by 1/4-point to a range of 1% to 1.25%. They further projected that one more rate increase will be needed this year. This is all pretty much as was expected (the futures were indicating a 99%+ likelihood on a 1/4-point raise). What was much more interesting is that the Fed now plans to…

FAANG Stocks Try To Rebound After Dismal Two-day Slide

The so-called “FAANG” stocks (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google (Alphabet)) have been the stars of the stock market during the long and profitable bull market. Over the past 4 years, Over the past four years, Facebook gained 544%, Amazon jumped 268%, Apple increased 170%, Netflix advanced 441%, and Alphabet added 124%. These technology names have outperformed the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite – up 84% during that time, and the S&P…