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Multi-dimensional investing

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It’s the NBA playoffs season again, and I watched the two games between Phoenix Sun and San Antonio Spur lately. As you may know, I am a big fan of Phoenix Sun/Nash. But they disappointed me again this year: they lost 2 games in a row. The main reason is that Phoenix is pretty much a one-dimensional team: a fast tempo, “Nash passing, Stoudemire dunk” team. After the Spurs sealed the ball from Nash to Stoudemire, Suns lost its touch. I did not see meaningful contributions from other key players (Diaw, Barbosa, Bell), and Shaq is just a bit too old. So what’s my point? In the NBA, the team with the best balance of offense and defense wins (if we exclude referee, luck factor). A team can not win the championship simply by one strategy, one super star,…they need the supporting cast, the defense as well as offense.

Back to the investing. Yesterday we saw a huge disppointment from Starbucks (Nasdaq:SBUX) earning report. It says “it experienced the worst consumer enviroment”.

starbucks coffee cup size pic
(picture souce: will work for food)

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Weekend random discussions

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1) Walmart and Sam’s club: my friend thinks wal-mart has the lowest price for most things. He is looking for a mattress, and he asked why “Wal-mart does not carry the mattress”? I think the implied meaning is: he can be sure getting a deal if it’s sold in Walmart.

I know many people have similar perceptions about Walmart and Sam’s club: they think the price at Walmart is always lowest. A while ago, I read from a report this is not always the case. But Walmart obviously created a good impression (price advantage) on many consumers.

2) Isn’t Hyundai made in Korea? While at a parking lot, a few guys looked at my Nissan Altima, and their Hyundai Sotana (both are black), they mistook my car also as Hyundai’s. So we started the conversation: oh, your car is Nissan, it’s Japanese. Our car is Hyundai, it’s made in Korea. My reply: well, actually my Nissan Altima is made in the USA, and I believe Hyundai made cars in the USA too. So we got a little discussion about the cost, the union, etc.