Moby Live: Crypto, Earnings, Sofi, Outlook & More!Oct 15, 2021
The Following is a transcript of the most recent episode of Moby’s weekly live discussion about the stock market.
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Peter Starr: And now coming to you live from our coast to coast trading desk. This is Moby.co live, a weekly live podcast discussing stocks, the economy, and the mechanics that make your money grow.
I'm your host, Peter Starr. I'm joined as always by moby.co co-founder and our lead analyst, Justin Kramer. Justin, what's good? How's life over in your false autumn. You got going on?
Justin Kramer: Good So far! Can't complain every day in the markets. It’s been a crazy week in the markets
Peter Starr: Yeah, that seems to be the major theme. Like usually Q4 is when you see the most heat on the economy and it's just, we have a very hot economy already. So watching all of this volatility, there's a lot of noise coming at our market reports this week. There's not a lot of signal to latch onto.
There's so many like disparate things at play. Crypto is on a tear right now, but at the same time oil and energy prices are high. So supply chains are still messy and we've got demand and volatility for days. But I guess the best place to start is the latest earnings calls in banks and other services rapidly driving the S&P up right now at the very end of the day right before close here on Thursday.
What's the deal? What's driving these really huge earnings calls that are just shooting the market up?
Justin Kramer: Yeah, It's a great question. And there's a few things going on here. One of them is just sales. If you look at the supply chain, something we've been talking about for a bit now, it's so backed up.
And so demand is also backed up and tense. So, when some supply issues get fixed, the demand starts to pick up and that creates this cyclical effect that spirals into each other, where you get this increase in demand that happens quarter over quarter as more supply gets there.
And then ultimately you see this growth and numbers, quarter over quarter. So when the most recent earnings report came out to lead this week, it got, I think, surpassed some people's expectations and that's why the market really started running off. And then some of the inflationary stuff seems to be a little bit ignored for now.
Shockingly, we saw the markets sit down, um, not too bad yesterday when they announced it, but I want to think we want to start more of a reaction, but I guess there, the earnings are really. You know, making sure that the other stuff is ignored more or less. But the talk with interest rates starting to creep back up since springtime.
So now a lot of the banks too are starting to pop back up as interest rates talks as fed talks to raise interest rates overall, profitability, the interest on their outstanding. And that's why we saw JP Morgan, Bank of America. A lot of those kinds of finance stocks pop up, um, today. And then also over the last year.
Peter Starr: Exactly. And it's one of those things where, you know, we are still seeing a lot of supply chain woes, but it's one of those things where that's only driving stock prices down. As people can't quite match demand, the moment they match that demand, it just completely pops off in terms of profitability. So the fact that demand is just high right now for some companies who can figure it out, who can vertically integrate, it's going to be a great thing, but the main thing driving this rally is services obviously, and banking too, based on the back of interest rates. And so that gets me to one of the major reports you did this week.
Justin, we've talked about the market as a whole really quickly, so let's dive into some specifics. I wanted to hear about some of your thoughts on a specific piece of analysis you did this week. Specifically, I'm talking about SoFi.
Since they IPO’d this year, SoFi has been a really controversial stock.
And I wanted to get some more in-depth thoughts from you in terms of what their future is like. Obviously this year, it's all about financial services. If you even mentioned the word FinTech, like within 50 feet of a VC, they will just hurl a =can money at you. So there's a lot of that interest.
There's a lot of demand there too, but why, SoFi specifically? You've had a really bullish view on what SoFi is doing to grow. What’s you view on what SoFi is doing to make sure that they establish really strong position?
Justin Kramer: Well, first real quick: you were talking about just like, how investors are selling to FinTech. And I was just saying before I jumped into, so by brief recap on where we stand, because obviously as you mentioned, investors were showing up into FinTech, right.
We got a lot of investor attention and we just raised our seed round very recently. So if you guys missed the news, we announced it on Instagram, but we just closed out our initial seed round of funding, which we're super excited about. And we're super excited about it because we're going to be scaling up, hiring like crazy.
We're going to be bringing on a ton of new writers and engineers and designers, um, new analysts. I mean, you name it like we're going to be hiring. And so we're really excited to expand our product, bring new teachers and continue building on honestly what we're doing now. I’m really excited to have all you guys here as early adopters.
So, back to SoFi: It's a boring answer, but it was always an easy stock to hate. They were as part of the SPAC trend, they were part of the off trend and a lot of what he was putting out at the time. In retrospect, it was just a lot of noise.
However, looking back so far, it’s one of these few SPAC companies that’s doing well. They’re diversifying and integrating.
They have the ability to trade crypto. They offer a lot for what they're doing so different is their go to market is primarily scoped around credit.
And if you're not familiar with credit or you don't have credit debt-- credit is an extremely dry, boring topic that people just ignore till they need it. But what SoFi is doing, which is really different and unique, is that they're leading with credit for the younger generation.
So for people who have student loans who have debt for whatever reason, or are sucking them in giving them either lower rates or an easier platform to do. Yeah, our overall wound needs. And then once they're there, especially for a lot of the ones that are extending these 10, 20, 30 year loans, by the time that person pays them back, which is obviously a long period of time, they then suck them in with their other products.
So that's where the investing kicks in. That's where the crypto kicks in. That's where they're applying for a bank charter right now that they want to hopefully do your banking. You're trying to be like a one-stop shop for all your financial needs were point-based Obviously they're super deep into crypto.
You have Robinhood, obviously super deep into brokerage and you have all these other players within the consumer FinTech space. We're specializing in some sort of niche. SoFi has taken the opposite approach and more or less is trying to, could you, everything that you need as an individual.
So if you need a credit union, bank, or all the things I mentioned before, they may do it for you. And so the overall go to market is a lot harder to acquire you. But once they do acquire them, the metrics we've been looking at now that they're public is that they hold onto them better than pretty much anyone else in the industry.
And, you know, lifetime value, which is basically how much they track that of every single user is far superior to everyone else. And so they're really just in the early stages of starting to ramp up scale of their platform of who they were. Um, and, and money they got from going public is certainly like help is going to gear them towards like that next generation of the company.
So long story short, when we started looking under the hood to see what the most recent numbers were and their overall differentiation versus everyone else, we got super bullish on the future of the company and the growth over the next year. Especially when a bank charter hopefully gets approved.
I think relative to Robinhood and a lot of other financial services stocks it isn't being priced in and they didn't gain the hype, everyone else has. So that's where we see a lot of the upside. We put it into our models for a projection. Can we really honestly think that the market is just missing a big opportunity here.
A lot of stocks are getting hurt right now. So it may take a bit for this one to fully be realized. I think this time next year, when people are starting to look at the earnings and the numbers, they aren't just projections and they're real. That's when a lot of this is going to start to come to.
Peter Starr: And to really drive this home for you audience, I want to just point out, I want to do a very quick analogy here to really like lock this in one thing that's really important to keep in mind is that right now, this moment is a moment of very cheap capital for services, specifically financial services.
And the analogy I want to use here is -- back in like the early 2010s, 2013 to 2016, we saw really cheap capital for e-commerce and Amazon took advantage of that and vertically integrated and became the one-stop shop for all life on earth, for e-commerce. And that's how they dominated. You're seeing a very similar dynamic play out here with SoFi. Everyone else is trying to specialize. Whereas SoFi is literally trying to own your entire financial journey from the moment you exit university to the point where you need to start a family to everything else you need credit wise and like growing your wealth.
So I'm also really bullish on SoFi looking at those factors, because they can just keep borrowing to like, first of all, services are the game in town right now. And at the same time, financial services just have such great margins that they're going to be able to get really good capital for a really long time.
So I'm also very excited for it. We'll be, we'll be checking back in Q2 2022 to see how Justin's really aggressive position played out there for now though. Let's get into our next topic. So we D we try to talk about specific stocks when we try to look at the economy as a whole. It's really great to be in services right now, really excited about it.
But what I'm concerned about now is our general inflation worries. We talked a lot about supply chain last week. We've talked a lot about lots of inflationary pressure at ports and stuff, but I think one thing too, now we're seeing a lot of weird things like oil. The energy crisis in Europe is starting to hit the U S.
All not an all-time high, but like a relative high today as well. What's going on in terms of oil and food, , Justin, what are you, what are you thinking about in terms of inflation? Like everyone thinks it's transitory, but what's, what are your thoughts in terms of just like all the heat in our economy right now?
Justin Kramer: It's a good point. And it's really interesting right now because the reports come out in the U S most recently that that inflation is running quite more rampant than like the fed cares to even still, frankly, Um, and then you have in Europe to your point, a lot of stuff going on gas in the U S there's food.
I mean, social security also, I think it was just increased by the most. It has been in the last decade. So there's a lot of indications that inflation is not transitory and that it's been here for some time and will continue to be here for some time. Right. The Fed's in an interesting position right now, because in order to combat inflation, they typically use a handful of tactics, but given where they sit with interest rates, where they see the outlook for COVID and given where they stand in a global economy, that tools at their disposal are interesting in terms of what they're able to actually do.
Going forward to fight inflation. I think that the market has shown its resilience over the last few years through COVID through a lot of scares. And so that's why on days like today we see like more rebounds when corporate earnings go up. The long-winded way of saying these are real problems in the economy, but until there is a real question mark on certain sectors that are weeding the S&P so like really right now, it's healthcare finance, financials and tax.
I don't really see that dragging down the market over the long-term, even with any hiccups in, you know, bad and markings of economic indicators. So you saw the most, very recently, you saw the most amount of people quit their jobs voluntarily over the last quarter event ever before. Well, and there's a whole supply shortage on the actual non-skilled side of the waiver for, so people are finding better opportunities.
People are making money. Companies are making money. As they're starting to, I continue to scale up their operations. Inflation is becoming an issue. It will be an issue. Um, I don't think that again, I don't think I would drag down. There, there may be an interesting, and I think we're far from it, but I think there may be an interesting inflection point where inflation runs so rampant that people are starting to be discouraged from spending overall, which then we'll have a really robust.
The actual corporate earnings. But again, until that point happens I don't think we're at yet. I, I don't think that most American investors, especially on the institutional side are going to be taking their money out of these asset classes. Anytime soon you look across the economy to, there's not really a better place right now to find upside as interest rates.
So fixed income instruments are a 30 year loan. I'm not really going to be pouring their money into it. It's the best of the worst right now. So it's a long-winded way of saying it's a problem, but I don't really see a dragging down the stock market for a long period.
Peter Starr: And it is complicated because what it is really is heat, right?
It's when you look at the inflationary pressures, Like when you learn about this and like macroeconomics, like 1 0 1 and 2 0 1, you think just about in terms of monetary supply, but the inflationary pressures we're seeing are all the results of supply chain issues. The cost of getting anything into the United States right now is astronomical.
The cost of getting energy to or out of Europe is ridiculous. And therefore, you're just what you're seeing is those like fundamental foundational costs rippling across making inflation happen rather than like, there's just too much money in the economy, which I guess you could still say, like there's more money in the U S economy than there ever has been before, but there's also more productivity, so it can go either way.
So when they say inflation is transitory, they're talking about that in terms of the inflationary pressures, themselves being transitory, the port of LA and long beach is open 24 7. And so there is a small chance that this could be a transitory situation as well, given that the inflationary pressures are those real world ones where costs are rising in places where they are solvable.
Either way, when we get into another report you did, as we get to the back half of this here, Justin, one thing you see too, you mentioned, first of all, 4.3 million people voluntarily quit their jobs in the last quarter, which is the most ever, which is staggering and that's of 6.3 separations, which means two thirds of the people who don't have jobs anymore quit.
And that also means that ties into the unemployment report that came out today, which wasn't as bad as it should be with that many people out of work.
So the question is where did these people go? And at the same time we think about food inflation. We're seeing those skilled labor Leave that labor pool entirely and therefore lots of smaller restaurants and lots of small businesses dry up in America. And so you're seeing the classic story of the last 20 years where small players get dried out where big players come in, when you're looking in that food space.
Justin, in a recent report you outlined three companies that you think are like the Kings there, when you're those big, one of those bigger companies that have a lot of that supply chain, how can you take advantage of a situation like this and how do you see a lot of growth happening in the food space?
Justin Kramer: Yeah, no, it's an interesting point. And on the unemployment rate side, what a lot of people actually don't realize is that the unemployment rate is a function of people looking for work. So all those people that quit their job actually aren't counted in the unemployment rate they got, they're not actively looking for work.
So the number is actually going to be a bit understated. But having said that, the true reason why all these people have quit their jobs, it feels easy out there to figure it out. So I'm assuming there's greener pastures. But until there's actually definitive data, it's hard to point to any single factor, but yeah, so transitioning over onto the food part.
It's really interesting because to your point there there's so much inflation right now and COVID like fundamentally changed the food business. 90,000 restaurants closed independently. And it represents 4% of the United States GDP. And so it's obviously a massive impact on the economy and a lot of local businesses, obviously we're the ones who had to bear the brunt of this.
While a lot of corporate chains were able to keep pushing on. They invest in technology. You don't have to worry about supply chain issues as much since they're dealing directly with distributors and manufacturers. So. It's unfortunate, but the reality is that a lot of money started moving more towards these large corporate chains, people who have scale and reach, and then the local shops that are obviously important for culture and important for the local economy are getting pushed to the side.
So it's, it's, it's a sad story, but it's a continuation of things we've seen for a while now. It got really amplified with COVID. Um, so that's why that article, that post, that we pushed out, we talked about the companies that are able to. You know, circumvent a lot of the issues that the small businesses in America are facing.
So when you look at your brands, you look at McDonald's and you look at Domino's, you know, they're not the sexiest companies out there that are go double a year over a year, but there are companies that are, they don't have to worry about the supply chain as much. And if they do, they have pricing power, they're invested deeply in technology.
So for delivery for integrations with third party, They don't have to nearly worry as much, or if they do, they have the money to continue on any, , continued path, any issues. Um, and so when you look at their sales numbers, they're, they're, they're as strong as they've ever been. And Domino's specifically is an interesting one because even pre pandemic therapy business, that has one of the, it has been one of the best IPO's can throw in 2000 and they've returned an insane amount of capital over the years to shareholders they're growing like crazy.
It's a name that a lot of people sleep on because it's a, it's a pizza company, but these companies and companies like them, other, other chains, not all of the chains, because Starbucks is having some issues. Um, they're going to continue. Doing really] well. And then you see it with like the wealth captain America, between the rich and the poor, the, divide between corporate food versus local food is going to continue widening, which again is unfortunate, but it's just the reality of the world we live in.
So as investors, these are like the stocks and it's actually companies. We need to be careful.
Peter Starr: And that makes a lot of sense. And that does tie into the whole conversation we've been having.
So audience, when you, when you see this inflationary pressure, when you're thinking about how to invest in sort of this very hot environment, the main thing you need to keep in mind is, is during these periods where costs are going up, it's going to be the larger players who can, who can vertically integrate and take over their supply chain who are going to survive.
Whereas you can see that a lot, a lot of food services companies specifically in a lot of small businesses only survived because of how low wages were allowed to be for the last 20 years. And so once you have wage pressure rising, all of those businesses get wiped out. So when you're thinking about trying to build your portfolio right now, it's less about looking for moon behavior. It's less looking for those huge. 50 to 75% upside in a year. And just making sure that you are beating the market as much as possible as your investments become your main inflation hedge.
So you think in that growth mindset, as opposed to overly cautious, this is the time to be medium aggressive
Justin Kramer: People are just getting so ahead of themselves. They saw Bitcoin go up 10 X, 20 X in the last few years. They’ve seen so many investments radically increase in size. I think the days of having these crazy outside your terms for honestly, relatively low risk are what about behind us for the medium term.
So to your point, you should be looking for companies that are a little bit lower risk that still offer upside, but aren't going to 10 or 20x.
It's A boring answer, but honestly, the people who are out there searching for the 10, 20 X are taking such ridiculous risk that yeah, maybe they'll get it. I know they'll find a coin.
They'll find a stock. They'll find a company that can do that for them. But for every one person who's able to do that. There's going to be 99% of people who fail. And it's an unfortunate answer. Because obviously everyone wants to be making as much money as possible all the time. The environment we're in right now, that's the maturity of even the crypto industry, which is a hilarious thing to say within itself.
I think that, like, if you think this is going to continue again, where you can, put money into an NFT or put money into a stock and expect it to two, three X in one year, and there's multiple, I'm doing that. I think those days are behind us for a bit. And especially on the NFT side, we even saw the market cool off there.
So I know I'm getting a little bit of a tangent here. On the energy side. A lot of the money now is going towards the creators of the end of the day, the people who are mentoring them and the sellers are making money, but not nearly as much as they were even six months ago, people who are actually making it, selling it, doing the creation.
That's where the money is. It’s going to be had on the exchanges where the selling happens. It's a cycle right now where people are greedy and they're, and they're looking for assets that can rapidly appreciate. I just think a lot of people are going to get burned pretty, pretty hard.
Peter Starr: Honestly.Yeah. It's one of those things where the have all of the markets that heated up the fastest, it was the NFT market. Like it was even faster than the altcoin boom we sawin 2017, 2018. Like it's been absolutely wild watching these on chain assets come out of nowhere. So I'm really excited to see what happens to this very crowded, very hot space in web three, but that does give us a very nifty transition Justin into right now.
We only have, we have one real question from the audience The only question I got so far from our audience, obviously our audience is very excited about crypto. I mean,Bitcoin being up what? $10,000 in like the last week and a half, a lot of altcoins sort of picking up as well. So a real quick call here, Justin:
Ethereum, or Solana what's your pick?
Justin Kramer: Like what timeframe?
Peter Starr: I would say medium term, because we're living in that medium term moment. I'm sure the question was for the short term, like which one's gonna have the biggest pump, which you can't ever predict in the short term, but medium term metrics.
Like when you're looking at the big player or the small player in. How do you feel in terms of who has that better medium term?
Justin Kramer: Yeah. I mean, it's all a function of risk. It's like, do you want to be taking on a ton of risk yet? If the answer is yes and so on and definitely is going to offer a lot more upside than any theory in is if you're looking for something that's a little bit more stable and at the end is the end of the day.
Solana again, this is so ridiculous that I'm even saying this on as a little bit past the point where it's going to go up 10 X while the rest of the market goes up is relatively flat. Those coins out there. If you're seeking those crazy returns, those are the ones that are a little bit more off the beaten path.
Whereas Solana is not at Etherems level yet, obviously, but starting to get to the point where it's going to say. So large that it starts to track the broader crypto market. So if the crypto goes up 10, maybe it goes up 12 or, or maybe it goes up five, but you're taking on significantly more risk and chasing, not as much upside.
So it's a long-winded way of saying think you should have exposure to both. If you're trying to minimize your risk, I'd rather go with Ethereum, but Solana over the next five years has attached, still has a ton of time we're outside. So I like it as a longer term tech, but in a shorter medium, I think, um, if your income is, if you look at a price chart and so on to create, starting to consolidate around the one 50 level, there, there obviously could be breakouts.
Ethereum, based on the technical analysis we've done so far that you continue going that way until there's any, some sort of a catalyst. If it, all of a sudden it goes up 20, 30%. So it shows the rest of crypto. It's not going to be having any sort of breakout.
Peter Starr: No, I love that. And that really cements what we've been talking about for this whole conversation.
We went, we had a winding road with the whole economy we had here. We had a lot of really good discussions about, , inflation, about service, the services economy, about everything that goes through, um, just the heat that we're seeing in the economy right now. And the ultimate answer to every single question that we had today was think medium term.
Long-term, it's really hard to tell. Like how big risk is short-term is going to be mayhem, but medium two to five-year term, that's where you're going to see how you're going to chart the best possible path through this period of, I don't think it's going to be years of inflation, so to speak. I think we're going to power through the supply chain issues and then supply will catch up to demand and that'll be just a super fun period in the market.
Maybe Q3 2022 Q1 2023. But the main thing to keep in mind is you have to think medium now, and that's going to be how you make sure that your wealth keeps up with costs as they continue to rise. So just in a really, I'm
Justin Kramer: going to say the people. Yeah, because the people out there who saying, oh, Solana is going to be at a thousand dollars in five, 10 years from now, or are going to do this.
Most people who say stuff like that are full of shit. There's no fundamentals. Like there it's a team that has a ton of funding and a lot of these projects have a ton of fun. They're so early in their business, if you look at any venture capitalist or any like investor who is, who truly has like a, , an understanding of what's going on a lot of is a crapshoot.
So like there's no fundamental way to say it's going to be at here an X date. A lot of it is you fundamentally believe in the project, in the investors, in the people working at the company. Um, and so do you believe in them? And it's like, there's no way to quantify, but that's how you have to think about some of these longer term projects.
To your point in the medium term, in a shorter term, there are certain things we can look for and we can use technical analysis and we can look at the broader pricing trends of the industry. But I mean, for, for everyone who's listening now, if. You hear Gary V and you hear some of these people get on and just talk about how this coin has gone to the moon in the next 10 years.
A lot of it is just pure speculation, or they have underlying motives for wanting to pump a lot of these coins. Like that's something, especially in the crypto industry. Honestly, got to watch out
Peter Starr: for, especially in the defy space, especially when you're thinking about the ecosystem being built by Ethereum and Solana.
Just thinking about it in terms of an asset class is the wrong way of thinking about it right now. The main thing, the main energy you can get out of web three that is Solano and Ethereum and those kinds of adjacent defy blockchains. Yeah. Being part of that infrastructure. Like there's a lot of people who are slowly but surely learning how to code, whatever that weird language is.
You have to code to make a theory of contracts and Solana contracts, but there's a lot of work out there too. So you should be looking into a lot of these communities and seeing what dowels are coming out, people looking for folks to help build those projects because that's real. I mean, well, it's real Solana, whatever.
But it's one of those things where if you're a part of a building class on web three, it's probably a lot more upside than just buying and holding. If it's one of those things where if you're thinking about side hustles, if you're thinking about, , adding to your productivity, Do you have a lot of upside from taking your skills and donating to that?
Not necessarily donating them, but bringing them to a web three platform like anybody building on top of Ethereum and Solana. And that's maybe how you should be thinking when you're in this very inflation, heavy state, it's going to be actually. Building that's going to help your wealth go up. Not necessarily just the financialization we've seen so far, but either way, Justin, it's been a really awesome conversation.
I appreciate you sticking with, do you have any final thoughts for us? Anything else on the back end here, man? Anything you want us to keep in mind as we roll through to the end of the weekend, the rest of October.
Justin Kramer: Yeah, 100% right now is like investors. And it's been like this for a while and it will continue to be like this, the volatility, the choppiness, is tough to stomach, but that's why, again, we say it every day and we sound probably boring and like broke records at this point.
But if you're in a five, 10 year time horizon, then this, day-to-day bullshit doesn't matter.
As you need to be paying attention to the economy and you need to be paying attention, but once you initiate or you buy one of the things we recommend, because you fundamentally believe in what we're saying, and we believe in the stocks and the investments as well, like don't be looking at your portfolio every single day.
Don't be staring at the stock gains, go up and down. You're just going to drive yourself crazy. All it takes. It's like, if you fundamentally believe in it today, unless anything has changed over the next year or the next two years, then there's no reason you need to be selling this stock. Anytime soon, the crypto side of things, we are doing active trade.
So that's something that we are flipping daily, weekly, monthly. So that's something you need to be aware of. But when there are stocks that we're saying we're holding for multi-year periods, just deal with the volatility. It sucks. You can't be measuring your wealth to the. You were worth a hundred K six months ago, and now you're worth 90K.
You can't be like I'm down 10K and you just investing doesn't work like that. You can't be measuring yourself from your high point. There's going to be dips. There's going to be. Anyone who's been invested in crypto for over five years. Fundamentally knows that. So I'll leave everyone with there's volatility in the market today.
When you fundamentally believe that the markets will continue to trend upwards over the next few years and the stocks we put out while they will experience upside and downside for the next several months and quarters. And these are things we fundamentally believe in, and yes, we're not going to be right down a hundred percent of what we do.
Yeah, I think our track record has spoken pretty well for what we have.
Peter Starr: And that's a hell of a bow to put on that. And I think one thing you keep, you, you keep talking about boring as if it's like this negative thing, but in an economy like this boring is beautiful folks. Like you need to go boring. Our attention economy is so hot right now, too.
Like everyone, the only way you can get ahead is by. Just being as loud as possible and saying the sky is falling or saying that Bitcoin's going to go to 200 K by December any of this wild stuff, you have to keep in mind that a lot of the noise comes from the market pressures within our actual knowledge economy to do all of the noise isn't quite as good as the actual signal, which is medium.
15 to 20% gains year over year and just, you know, holding the.
That's how you're going to win in this period. Either way, I really appreciate your time audience. Thank you so much for being here with us.
Thank you so much for your time. And as always, I like to leave you with peace, love and incremental gains. Everyone be well, thank you so much.