Falling Thursday – Elon Musk Pleads the Fifth in a Conference Call – Who’s Next?

WTF?

Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla (TSLA) gave a Donald Trump-like conference call yesterday where he refused to answer questions and insulted the analysts – even calling out "fake news" on well-documented problems with their auto-pilot system.  At one point in the call, Musk ignored the professional analysts for 23 minutes to chat with a blogger who had "friendlier" questions than, for instance "How are you going to replace all the cash you are burning?" and "How many model 3s will you produce now that you've failed to hit goals for the 3rd consecutive quarter?"  

This morning, even their biggest supporter at Morgan Stanley is bailing:

"While the consequences are unquantifiable, we believe Tesla’s CEO made a mistake in refusing to answer some of the analyst questions about the Model 3 ramp. Additionally, we found the posture out of character with the normally inviting,enlightening tone of prior conference calls over many years," writes Morgan Stanley's Adam Jonas.

To be clear. Tonight’s conference call didn’t go very well. Feedback we have received from investors during and following the call support this view. Irrespective of the Tesla CEO’s annoyance with the genre of questions he was receiving from the analyst community, we note that an important part of Tesla’s success has been its relationship with the capital markets in funding its ambitious plans. The analysts on the call represent the providers of capital that Tesla has throughout its history depended upon.

Image result for elon musk failure cartoonOther analysts blasted TSLA as well:

  • TESLA INVESTORS SAY ODD EARNINGS CALL ’SHOOK CONFIDENCE’: RBC
  • TESLA LIKELY TO FALL TODAY AFTER ‘TRULY BIZARRE’ CALL: JPMORGAN
  • TESLA REITERATED SELL AT GOLDMAN ON LIKELY MISSED TARGETS

Musk is playing a serious game with other people's money and refusing to answer questions about what he's doing with that money and whether or not his company
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Wednesday Weakovery – An Apple a Day Keeps the Bears at Bay

Image result for iphone x salesWhat is fake news?

I'm not going to talk about AAPL earnings because everyone is talking about Apple earnings but I am going to make you a better investor by helping you to break the habit of making investment decisions based on BULLSHIT!  How do you know what is bullshit and what is not?  At PSW, we do our best to help our Members weed through the market noise and separate the real news from the fake news so we're pretty good at it at this point.

I often point out the fact that Apple tends to be attacked into earnings by funds who want to drive the stock down, so they float rumors about Apple that they know AAPL will not respond to and there's not much we can do about that (Jim Cramer explains how "every fund manager does it if they want to keep their job") - other than applying logical analysis to the story to see if it makes sense.  Something you can do, however, is to stop reading the publications that publish this BS as if it's real news.  

Sales of the IPhone X are a good example.  As it turns out, the IPhone X is Apple's best-selling smartphone EVER (for this part of the cycle) yet think about how many articles you read saying, very authoritatively, that the IPhone X was a disaster and people weren't buying them and Apple was going to discontinue it and give up on their "experiment".  It's been going on for months yet the completely irresponsible "news" sources that published that nonsense will go unpunished and keep misleading you in order to steer you into another round of bad investment decisions based on their fake, Fake, FAKE news.  


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May Day Massacre – Markets End April with a Whimper

Image result for stagnant wages top 1%Europe is closed, Asia is closed.  

Today is a day the World celebrates it's ordinary workers so, of coure, American doesn't even aknowledge it.  As you can see from the chart, since the Reagan Revolution (when the Rich overthrew the Poor and set up an Oligarchy in the United States), the wages of the Top 1% have grown 138% in the past 4 decades while the wages of the Bottom 90% have grown just 15%.  To acknowlege the working poor in this country would be to potentially begin a conversation on how badly we treat them – and that's a conversation the Oligarchs dare not have in America.

As the Wage Gap expands, so does the Wealth Gap, exponentially – especially now that we're no longer taxing the wages of the wealthy.  As I warned back in 2007's "The Dooh Nibor Economy (that’s “Robin Hood” backwards!)":

One of the great tricks of our economy is that there are avenues of wealth creation that are available to those of us who are already rich that are denied to those of you who aren't.  Only 1% of a Prince and Associates survey of high net worth individuals between $5 and $10M invest in ETFs and only 17% invest in mutual funds, NONE of the investors with more than $20M in assets invested in mutual funds, which are the new "opiate for the masses" but that's a whole other article I will write!  76% of the super-rich (> $20M) invest in hedge funds (Ka-Ching for me!) and another 36% invest in my other enterprise, start-up companies privately and through venture capital firms (and you think I just choose these professions at random).

Obviously, if you have less than $1M in household income you are essentially prohibited from investing in hedge funds due to government restrictions aimed at keeping out the riff-raff protecting the small investor.  This game is rigged so that the bottom 90%


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