Here’s a Marijuana Investment Portfolio that’s flying Sky high

Back in June of this year I published a video titled “How to Invest in Marijuna”.  In the video I provided an in depth summary of five companies that Perry and I found compelling enough to select for a diversified marijuana investment portfolio. We ended up selecting 4 of the 5 firms with each receiving an equal share of capital. Today, less than 5 months later, the portfolio has nearly doubled in value (it’s up 95%). For the the same period (June 1, 2016 –  October 13, 2016) the S&P 500 has gained a mere 1.45%.

cannabis-index-coverIndex Strategy Advisors, Inc. Cannabis Index Strategy vs. S&P 500 Return History

Here’s a recap and breakdown of the analysis and predictions I made for each of the marijuana companies in the June video:

COMPANY # 1: Terra Tech Corp

marijuana investment portfolio - Terra Tech

Terra Tech Corp., through its subsidiaries, engages in the design, marketing, and sale of hydroponic equipment with proprietary technology to create sustainable solutions for the cultivation of indoor agriculture in Newport Beach and Irvine, California. It operates through two segments, Hydroponic Produce and Cannabis Products.

What I predicted:

“ Terra Tech had strong revenue growth in 2015 and is on track to do better than that in 2016 with May sales up over 42% from January. Terra Tech’s marijuana grower “Edible Garden” even sells herbs and spices in the grocery market,  NOT the black market so it can operate for long-term success.  I love Terra Tech’s vertical control of their business.  Edible Garden harvests the product, IVXX Elevate innovatively packages the product, and their dispensary retail chain Blum distributes it.  Blum stores literally have lines out of the door and around the block. This shows me they are on the right track despite the financial losses. “

How Terra Tech has performed within our marijuana investment portfolio since June 1, 2016:

Terra Tech is up 42% since June 1, 2016 versus 1.45% for the S&P 500. Terra Tech represents 20% of the total holdings within the Index Strategy Advisors, Inc. marijuana investment portfolio.

marijuana investment portfolio - Terra Tech marijuana investment portfolio - Terra Tech

COMPANY # 2: Kush Bottles, Inc.

marijuana investment portfolio - Kush Bottles

Kush Bottles, Inc. markets and sells packaging products and solutions for the medical and recreational cannabis industries in the United States. It offers pop top bottles; child resistant exit, paper exit, and foil barrier bags; tubes; and polystyrene, polypropylene, or silicone containers to urban farmers, green house growers, and medical and recreational cannabis dispensaries. The company also sells its products through an online store. Kush Bottles, Inc. was founded in 2010 and is based in Santa Ana, California.

What I predicted:

“Kush Bottles does not excite me, but I must give credit where credit is due. Lets face it, you can’t get marijuana to consumers without it first being packaged and that’s Kush Bottles’ sweet spot. These products: Packaging Supplies, Glass Pipes, vapes etc. are not unique.  However, I do see a strategic fit here in our portfolio for another reason:  As a specialty firm in a new, fast moving market, Kush Bottles would be a good acquisition target, and acquisitions move stock prices up, way up.  For this reason, I am making an allocation to them despite not loving their business. “

How Kush Bottles has performed within our marijuana investment portfolio since June 1, 2016:

Kush Bottles is up 192% since June 1, 2016 versus 1.45% for the S&P 500. Kush Bottles represents 20% of the total holdings within the Index Strategy Advisors, Inc. marijuana investment portfolio.

marijuana investment portfolio - Kush Bottles

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COMPANY # 3: Zynerba Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

marijuana investment portfolio - Zynerba Pharmaceuticals

Zynerba Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company, focuses on developing and commercializing proprietary synthetic cannabinoid therapeutics formulated for transdermal delivery. Its products candidates include ZYN002, which is in Phase I clinical trial for the treatment of refractory epilepsy, Fragile X syndrome, and osteoarthritis; and ZYN001 that is in preclinical stage for the treatment of fibromyalgia and peripheral neuropathic pain. The company was formerly known as AllTranz, Inc. and changed its name to Zynerba Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in August 2014. The company was founded in 2007 and is headquartered in Devon, Pennsylvania.

What I predicted:

“Zynerba offers “The Patch” for marijuana smokers.  But its products will also benefit the tens of millions who suffer from epilepsy, fibromyalgia and arthritis. If it can get regulatory approval, Zynerba could be a big hit because its clinical trials show a lower incidence of diarrhea and vomiting compared to current treatments on the market and it has better interaction with other drugs. Commercialization is set for 2018 and Zynerba’s patents are protected through 2031 so there’s enough time after a successful debut to richly reward investors.  Zynerba is one of two public pharmaceutical companies focused on cannabis related drug treatments.  The other company is  GW Pharmaceuticals which offers an orally delivered solution.  I like both firms and have important, strategic investments in them for our cannabis investment strategy.”

How Zynerba has performed within our marijuana investment portfolio since June 1, 2016:

Zynerba is up 33% since June 1, 2016 versus 1.45% for the S&P 500. Zynerba Pharmaceuticals, Inc. represents 20% of the total holdings within the Index Strategy Advisors, Inc. marijuana investment portfolio.

marijuana investment portfolio - Zynerba Pharmaceuticals marijuana investment portfolio - Zynerba Pharmaceuticals

COMPANY # 4: OrganiGram Holdings Inc.,

marijuana investment portfolio - Organigram

OrganiGram Holdings Inc., through its subsidiary, Organigram Inc., produces and sells medical marijuana in Canada. The company was founded in 2013 and is based in Moncton, Canada.

What I predicted:

“OrganiGram is a compelling investment because marijuana growth in Canada is even stronger than here in the U.S.. The Canadian market is also newer as the Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (“MMPR”) act only came into effect On April 1, 2014.  The market in Canada is also simpler: Patients obtain a prescription from a physician stating quantity of grams permitted per day, Licensed producers (LPs) register patients directly and ship medicine direct to the patient’s home. Organigram’s margins are great, with a cost per gram of $2.03 and an Avg. selling price of $8.42 . When you combine these 400% margins with 38% 2nd quarter sales growth, you can see why there’s a very high potential for this firm. “

How Organigram has performed within our marijuana investment portfolio since June 1, 2016:

Organigram is up 118% since June 1, 2016 versus 1.45% for the S&P 500. OrganiGram Holdings Inc., represents 20% of the total holdings within the Index Strategy Advisors, Inc. marijuana investment portfolio.

marijuana investment portfolio - Organigram

COMPANY # 5: MassRoots, Inc.

marijuana investment portfolio - MassRoots

MassRoots, Inc. operates a technology platform for the cannabis community in the United States. The company’s mobile network enables users to share cannabis content to connect with the legalization movement. Its network is accessible as a free mobile application through the iOS App Store and the Google Play marketplace; and as a Website at massroots.com. The company also operates MassRoots.com/shop, an e-commerce platform that allows visitors to order MassRoots T-shirts, jars, and stickers; and MassRoots for Business, a free online portal for dispensaries to schedule posts, view analytics, and gain insights into followers. MassRoots, Inc. was founded in 2013 and is headquartered in Denver, Colorado.

What I predicted:

“I’m a little skeptical about the future revenue prospects of any firm trying to compete in the social media space.  Let’s face it, Facebook is the 800lb gorilla in the room and they are able to outspend anything or anyone that threatens them. Although some upstart social media platforms have managed to succeed: Snapchat, Instagram, etc. these firms were OPEN portals which allowed unique communities to organically form within.  MassRoots wants to build a marijuana focused community on its own terms and within its own social network . I do respect that they have taken the company public and grown to a million users…  Neither is an easy feat to accomplish, especially for such an offbeat idea such as this, but for them to generate enough profits from advertisers to move the stock price, they would have to grow to a scale larger than what the marijuana community can deliver.  I’m not very excited about nor including this company as an investment in our cannabis investment strategy.”

How MassRoots has performed within our marijuana investment portfolio since June 1, 2016:

MassRoots, Inc. is down 40% since June 1, 2016 versus 1.45% for the S&P 500. MassRoots, Inc.  was rejected for inclusion within the Index Strategy Advisors, Inc. Cannabis Index Strategy Portfolio and represents 0% of the total holdings.

marijuana investment portfolio - MassRoots

 

How to invest in the Marijuana Investment Portfolio

It’s important to point out that while the marijuana investment portfolio has performed well so far, several risk factors including but not limited to legislation, company financing, and increased competition could dramatically change the fortunes of these firms (and their stock prices) overnight.  It is our fiduciary responsibility to monitor these and other factors on an ongoing basis and to maintain a rigorous risk management system to protect investor capital.  We highly discourage investors from attempting to personally invest in any of these stocks and to consult with a professional before embarking on any investment strategy involving high risk equities.

To speak with me about how to invest in our professionally managed cannabis index Strategy, please visit www.indexstrategyadvisors.com and click “Talk to an advisor”.  Or email me at james@indexstrategyadvisors.com to schedule an appointment. I look forward to our call.

Rich Dad Poor Son

Last month McKinsey and Company released their 112-page report on falling incomes in advanced economies.

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The report concluded with a number of disturbing macro trends that demonstrate just how much the socio-economic landscape has, and continues, to change. Index Strategy Advisors (ISA) has extracted what we believe to be pertinent to our investors, and though we can’t predict the future, we can help you prepare for it.

Key Takeaway: Real incomes are flat or shrinking for the majority of American households, and savvy investors must plan today to be prepared for an uncertain tomorrow.

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Source: OECD/McKinsey Institute

As the graph denotes, low and middle-income households have been hit the hardest, while only a portion of the wealthiest 20% of Americans enjoyed relative economic prosperity. For context, the period of 1993-2005 saw less than 2% of all household incomes fall.

Changes in tax laws and wealth transfers like unemployment benefits and social security have helped to lessen the impact of falling incomes; however, the great depression has left an impact on the American psyche.

Why Have Household Incomes Fallen?

Shrinking households, a smaller share of economic output going to wages, and increased automation in the workplace are some attribution factors of income stagnation.

Aging Population

Median population ages in developed nations are rising while we are also experiencing lower birth rates, as people have fewer children, later in life. These factors ultimately diminish aggregate labor participants and household size. As households shrink, the economies of scale enjoyed by cohabitation are diminished.

Wage Share and Technology-Driven Automation

Wage Share is defined as the portion of corporate profits that make their way to employees rather than shareholders. Factors that adversely impact wage share are rising returns of technology investments, smaller returns from labor due to international competition, rising rent, and increased depreciation on capital assets.

Corporate profits in N. America and Western European, as a percentage of GDP, have increased by more than 2% in the last 30 years, which amounts to over 1.5 trillion dollars in 2015 alone. Essentially, corporations, through increased technology-based automation and labor outsourcing have been able to increase the percentage of revenues they keep as profits rather than spend on employees. Investments are being made in “knowledge” and capital as they provide greater long-term profits than investing in labor expansion.

Societal Impact of Stagnating and Falling Wages

Taxes, Entitlements and Wealth Creation

Even maintaining current levels of taxes and transfers could become more challenging. For example, central government debt is close to 100 percent of GDP or higher in Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States, where it rose from 56 percent of GDP in 2005 to 97 percent of GDP in 2016 (Exhibit 7).

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Prior to 2008, economic growth contributed to 19% of household wealth for middle-income families. In 2015, that number stood at 4%. Not only has wealth been stagnant or falling for the majority of middle-income families, but the share of wealth from economic growth has almost solely been absorbed by those who already have a high household income creating even greater income inequality.

Age and Skill Related Unemployment

Both the production of goods and services have experienced tremendous changes in labor effectiveness since the advancement of things like IT, Cloud services, Global broadband access etc. Organizations can now be formed with fewer headcount, but require those with higher skill sets.

McKinsey estimates that the rate of growth of medium-skilled labor displacement could double in coming years as companies continue to develop technologies that can keep with a low-cost global labor force. As more jobs are removed from the low and medium skilled labor force, demand continues to grow for high-skilled laborers as evidenced by growing income disparities: In 1981, college-educated workers in the United States earned 48 percent more than their non-degree carrying peer. In 2005, the income of college-educated employees was nearly double that of those with only diplomas.

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During prior innovation waves, more jobs were created than destroyed. McKinsey argues that this may no longer be the case as scalability and scope are greater now than ever before. For example, Amazon the retailer has nearly 2 times the revenue per employee of any other major retailer in the United States. Essentially, we need less and less labor input for greater and greater economic output.

How Can A Savvy Investor Plan Ahead?

  • Given the growing need to finance current economic prosperity with future debt, it is reasonable to assume that tax hikes in the future will need to happen in order to manage the growing demand for entitlements by individuals not part of the high-skilled labor force. For example, certain investment vehicles, like a Roth IRA, can help protect you from future tax hikes by taxing contributions today, not in retirement.
  • As corporations continue to increase their investments in technology, structuring your portfolio to reap benefits from these long-term positions can be accomplished through proper asset allocation.

To speak to an advisor about positioning your portfolio to manage the risks of macro trends, visit www.indexstrategyadvisors.com and click “Talk to an Advisor”.

How to Invest in Pokemon

Today, we’re taking a look at the phenomenon that is – Pokemon Go and how to invest in Pokemon. Launched on July 6th, 2016, Pokemon Go is a gaming app for your android or IOS device that has now topped Twitter in active daily users and Facebook in time spent on its app.

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Minutes on App in Week 1 of Launch for Android Users

Minutes on App in Week 1 of Lauch for Android Users

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Created over 20 years ago, Pokemon takes players into exotic worlds populated by snakes, dragons, dinosaurs, birds, eggs, trees, and even swords. “Trainers” tame these creatures, and, ultimately use them to battle against each other.

A digital egg hunt of sorts, Pokemon Go is based on the Japanese hobby of bug catching. The game objective is to collect all of these virtual creatures by way of augmented virtual reality through the use of your phone camera and GPS capabilities.

Nintendo, a parent company of Pokemon, has drawn great interest from investors in the last month.

When we look at Nintendo and its competitors, it becomes apparent just how enthusiastic investors are:

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Nintendo’s trading price, relative to earnings, outpaces every relevant industry comparable by 2 to 10x, making Nintendo the most “expensive” security in the gaming space.

In-game sales as well as some future revenue generating opportunities are not Nintendo’s revenue to keep. In fact, Nintendo owns the intellectual property to Pokemon, and has little control of the game itself. Revenue generated lines the pockets of Niantec, the games developer, as well as Apple and Google, through their itunes and play stores.

An initial increase of $25 billion dollar in market value for Nintendo suggests future revenues from Pokemon Go and derivative products at over $100 billion dollars. Is this assumption realistic?

If so, the $25 billion in additional value was justified. However, confidence in future revenues of such large numbers is not shared by all investors.

Last week, Nintendo announced the impact of Pokemon Go was not as large as what many Investors had hoped for. The value of the company adjusted to reflect the new information, representing a 34% decline in value since July 19th.

For investors who want exposure to events like Pokemon Go, there are investment methods, for example, a gaming index, that provide the opportunity to profit from large swings in a company’s value, without absorbing the risk of a market correction that often wipes out any earlier gains.

These strategies spread the risk across the entire asset class, for a smoother return profile, allowing investors to tolerate variations is their portfolio. Investors often refer to these indexed strategies as having a “dominant risk-reward profile”. The following chart displays just how volatile Nintendo (green line) is relative to a Video Game Index (blue line).

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To cite hedge fund billionaire George Soros: “markets are supposed to swing like a pendulum; they may fluctuate wildly in response to exogenous shocks, but eventually they are supposed to come to rest at an equilibrium point”.

ISA  vigilantly monitors this pendulum, and our index strategies allow us to capitalize when large shifts occur.

To learn more about ISA and our gaming index strategies, visit www.indexstrategyadvisors.com and click “Talk to an Advisor”.  We look forward to your call.

Forget the 529 Savings Plan: Here’s a better way to pay for your kid’s college.

529 savings plans have been the first choice for many investors seeking higher education financing. However, when time horizons are long, conservative investments under perform the market, which means less money available when the college tuition bill comes due.  Super Trends, on the other hand offer excellent growth prospects that historically have outperformed the market.

BREXIT Shock: 5 Ways to Protect your Portfolio after the U.K vote to leave the EU

Last night the U.K. declared its intention to end its 40-Year relationship with the European Union.  The overwhelming majority of Economic, Political and Stock market experts predicted the U.K would vote to stay.  They were all wrong.  Consequently stock markets around the world are experiencing a major shock and staggering losses are reflecting this shock.

ISA CEO James McDonald offers 5 Ways to Protect your Investments after the historic Brexit U.K vote to leave the EU.

Will Brexit tank your investment portfolio?

On Thursday, June 23, Britain will vote on whether or not to leave the European Union. If they vote to leave, some experts have called for a potential U.S. market correction of 10% or more. James McDonald, CIO of Index Strategy Advisors,Inc. shares his views on a potential Brexit impact to investor’s portfolios.

Gregory Cartright named Ft. Lauderdale, Florida Investment Advisor Representative for Index Strategy Advisors, Inc

MIAMI, FL (July 14, 2014)

Houston, Texas based Index Strategy Advisors (ISA), a Registered Investment Advisor, has made an addition to its sales team, naming Gregory Cartright as Investment Advisor Representative in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Greg Cartright

Gregory Cartright, a former mortgage banking officer, previously with East Coast Equity Funding Mortgage Corp., joined Index Strategy Advisors today as Investment Advisor Representative Trainee in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. He holds an A.S. degree in Business Administration from Miami Dade College and a NASD Series 56 and 65 securities licenses.

Gregory Cartright, a former mortgage banking officer, previously with East Coast Equity Funding Mortgage Corp., joined Index Strategy Advisors today as Investment Advisor Representative in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. He is finalizing his Bachelor’s degree in Finance with minors in Statistics and Economics from Florida International University and holds a NASD Series 56 and Series 65 securities licenses. He also is planning on studying for his Masters in Financial Science.

Prior to joining ISA, Mr. Cartright was a Proprietary Equity Trader at T3 Trading Group. Prior to T3 Trading Group, Mr. Cartright was an Executive Sales Manager at East Coast Equity Funding Mortgage Corp, where he managed sales of bank products, supervised training, staffing, coaching and development of all new hires.

While at East Coast Equity Funding, Mr. Cartright was a 6-time member of “The Millionaires Club” for producing over $1 Million in monthly volume.  Mr. Cartright was a Senior Loan Officer with Concord Mortgage Bank prior to joining East Coast Equity Funding.

Mr. Cartright shows a passion for problem solving, portfolio management and for helping others find financial freedom. He will lead the delivery of investment solutions to ISA’s South Florida-based clients and will be based in Fort Lauderdale.

“I’ve had the pleasure to meet Gregory in person and he’s got a great deal of potential as an investment professional.” said James McDonald, ISA CEO and Chief Investment Officer. “He’s smart, conscientious about delivering on promises to his clients, and has experience in both the sales and money management aspects of financial services”.

“Gregory has a tremendous opportunity in the South Florida Market,” said Mark Keramidas, ISA Managing Director of U.S. Advisory Services. “We are expecting big things from Gregory as he launches his financial advisory careers”.

“I’m looking forward to working with the ISA team to dutifully serve investors in the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale region.” says Cartright. “I intend to ensure that each of my client’s receives not only the best investment strategy for their unique situation, but also unmatched service from our team at all levels of the company”.

ABOUT INDEX STRATEGY ADVISORS, INC.

Index Strategy Advisors, Inc. is a Houston, TX based Registered Investment Advisor delivering customized portfolio management to individuals throughout the United States.

More information on career opportunities with Index Strategy Advisors in South Florida, and nationwide can be found at www.isacareers.com.

The ISA Advantage: Dynamic Asset Allocation

For the first time in over 70 years, 2000-2010 challenged investor expectations of “normal returns.” Because of heightened volatility, investors with an income focused portfolio would have fared better than investors with a Moderate Growth Portfolio. At ISA we believe, we have entered a New Era of investing. A time when volatility is predominant and an investment manager’s best strategy for generating sustainable returns is to manage client portfolios more actively.

Dynamic Asset Allocation

DYNAMIC ASSET ALLOCATION IN THE NEW ERA OF INVESTING

This article is the first of a series which will explain “The ISA Advantage”. Our company was created to help investors in the New Era of investing with different yet important inter-related concepts. The first concept of our investment methodology is our Dynamic Asset Allocation. We believe that the best way to over perform in the long-term is to reduce investment cost by using Exchanged Traded Funds and actively managed our clients’ portfolio. By performing Rigorous Research, which will be overviewed in the next article, we are able to identify market trends. Our Dynamic Asset Allocation allows us to quickly react to these trends to reduce exposure during down markets while fully participating when markets are rising.

ISA Advantage Differentiator

Compare ISA to traditional investment manages to see how we’re different.

ISA WAS DESIGNED FOR DYNAMIC ASSET ALLOCATION

Our Registered Investment Advisor status helps us align ourselves with our clients’ best interest. Our compensation is derived from a percentage of the assets we manage instead of a commission for products we sell. This way we can take every step we feel necessary to help our clients. Furthermore, by taking advantage of our preferred discount broker’s low transaction fees, we can make sure investment cost stays at a minimum.

WANT TO EXPERIENCE OUR DYNAMIC ASSET ALLOCATION?

Our Dynamic Asset Allocation is the basis of The ISA Advantage. By positioning our clients’ portfolios accordingly depending on our research, we strive to reach higher returns while reducing volatility.  If you would like to have The ISA Advantage, let us create a 2nd Opinion of your portfolio. The 2nd Opinion is the best way to experience The ISA Advantage. Please visit us at indexstrategyadvisors.com and click ‘talk to an advisor’ to set-up an appointment.  We are looking forward to our call.