The Secret Broker: Welcome to a new year and a new decade
The Secret Broker
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After 35 years of stockbroking for some of the biggest houses and investors in Australia and the UK, the Secret Broker is regaling Stockhead readers with his colourful war stories — from the trading floor to the dealer’s desk.
To me it’s just another day in a month, but I have to keep stumm because the general sentiment of opinion is that you now have 12 months to reach your goals and dreams.
No one I know ever starts the new year saying: “I hope this year will be worse than last year” or “let’s see how much money I can blow up trading this year”.
Also, Mrs Broker understands not to join the masses and steer my breakfast towards bowls of Muesli filled up with skimmed milk as it makes me too grumpy to function properly and, as she says, the moaning is worse than any bout of ‘Man Flu’.
What I can tell you though is that, whoever appears as an expert in the press or TV making 12-month predictions on the A$, interest rates or the ASX200 are just making it up.
If they really could see into the future, they wouldn’t be telling everyone, they would be getting set and quietly making their fortune.
So, I tend to take what they say with a pinch of salt and concentrate on looking for the next interesting investment trends.
One trend coming out of the States, is the movement towards setting up restaurant kitchens that have no sit-in customers and cater to just the local home delivery market.
Travis Kalanick became a self-made billionaire at the age of 43 by founding Uber after he stayed at an Airbnb in Paris and couldn’t get a cab. It’s hard enough to become a millionaire, so his achievement is truly outstanding.
Now, some of the $US3 billion ($4.3 billion) of cash that he received by selling out of Uber is being reinvested into setting up state of the art kitchens in cheaper than the high street locations, like industrial estates on the edge of large towns.
When he comes to Australia, niche local food players will be able to rent kitchen space from him and expand nationally, with local chefs recreating their popular dishes and then home delivering them via firms like Menu Log, Deliveroo and of course, Uber Eats.
Imagine being able to get an official Bondi or Byron Bay Burger delivered to your home, even if you lived 500km away?
Also, equity crowdfunding (ECF) should this year become more popular with Australian investors, as more appealing equity offers appear on the local platforms.
With the ASX suspending and delisting more and more companies, the knock on financial effects of their actions is starting to bite into the Australian risktakers’ pool of capital.
I mean, if you are going to risk losing all your money, why not lose it on something you can also get to use, rather than just stare at the suspended shares in the portfolio.
A great local ECF example is Shebah, the women-only taxi app, which reached its $3m crowdfunding target in April this year.
Their 2,000 investors, injected various amounts from $100 to $1m and they now have over 1,000 female drivers earning some side hustle income. A win-win all round, as most of those investors are also their customers.
It looks like wellness and mental health will become more investment prevalent in 2020, especially if you take the recent ASX IPO of America-based corporate wellness advisor Limeade (ASX:LME). It managed to raise $100m at $1.85 just before Christmas.
Imagine trying to get that away five years ago? Things are changing and it is no surprise to me that the fastest growing apps worldwide in 2019 were the ones that offer meditations with both words and music.
Start-up Insight Timer registered over 6 million customers in just 12 months. Investment enlightenment appears on its way.
Finally, cryptocurrencies should start to stir again as the Chinese government looks like it is going to launch an official crypto version of its currency, after five years in the planning.
It’s early days and no one really knows all the details yet, but it looks like the beginning of China’s push to reign in the global dominance that the US dollar currently holds.
So, all up, it’s going to be an interesting year and I look forward to crowdfunding a couple of craft breweries and the odd burger bar, but mostly importantly, I hope that Trump manages to secure another term as Michael Bloomberg’s tweets are just so boring.
The Secret Broker can be found on Twitter here @SecretBrokerAU or on email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feel free to contact him with your best stock tips and ideas.