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IS blockbuster busted?

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VHS:blockbuster vs. DVD:Netflix

This is the GRE (Graduate Record Exam) analogy I would use for movie rental companies Blockbuster (NYSE:BBI) and Netflix (Nasdaq:NFLX). The popularity of VHS tape made the success of Blockbuster, as I read from Wiki, the first Blockbuster movie rental store was established in Dallas in 1985 (24 years ago). By similar token, the popularity and technology bring huge success to the “all you can eat” DVD by mail service provider Netflix.

Blockbuster logo

Blockbuster did not stand still. They got rid of the infamous “late fees”, replaced all the good old VHS tapes with much slicker DVDs, even tried the Total Access (combining DVD by mail and at store), but it appears they are still losing a lot customers to Netflix. More recently, the Redbox and Movie Box, those help-yourself (a dollar per rental) kiosk show up in McDonald, Walgreens, grocery stores, and people like it because it’s both cheap and convenient. But they also add salt to the injury of Blockbuster.

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Stocks for kids

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I remember once my Accounting instructor told his father bought him a Kansas ulility stock when he was a kid (maybe 10 years old or so). The interesting part is everyday he would read the stock section of newspaper and check the price of his stock. One reason he chose accounting as his profession. I also believe everyone remembers his/her first stock purchase clearly, for me that’s also my first employer (a large state owned manufacturer decided to go public in early 1990s). For my kid, I am think of the follow stocks for “buy and hold”. Note this is mostly for fun, not trying to making money for kid’s college fund. That being said, those companies have excellent fundamentals and will be in the business for a long time, I think.

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