Thursday, December 28, 2017

Tesla Buy and Hold

I was reading about Elon Musk and his latest tweet about his plans to make a pick-up truck.  While I think this is a great thought, I do not know if it really is the best place to focus.  The PU truck owner is usually about HP and loudness.  While this would be a good platform, if it were built as a platform, it could be used for other vehicles as well.  It would need to be at least 1 ton, and would have to have all wheel drive (4 wheel drive is the past).  It would be difficult with dual rear wheels to have all wheel steering, but that leads me to another line of thought.

All cars made today should be not only all wheel drive, but should also be all wheel steering.  Vehicles like Tesla make are especially well suited to such things as they are built on the platform style of building.  Such as the case, it should not be hard to develop an all wheel steering system that would work with all wheel drive.  The model S is a good example.  Using the Model S platform, several versions could be built, including duty cars (those used by security forces, or fleet vehicles for services like taxi or Uber), and business class limos and such.  He really needs to consider third party collaborations so that he can expand on his current line of cars without setting up whole new lines.

I think it is great that he is getting into commercial vehicles (pick-ups are quasi commercial vehicles), but he needs to build a platform truck, one that can be modified to suit many different needs.  I believe his ranges will continue to expand, and that will be great, and help a lot.  With the addition of fast charging stations, and more and more innovations in the battery technology, Tesla is poised to be a good buy for the foreseeable future, but only as a buy and hold.  I think Tesla represents a long term commitment, as even if Elon Musk fails to deliver, at some point his company will be a buyout for another company, maybe even Alphabet.

He is also involved in power production, at least on the small to medium scale, and at place.  That he does not have exactly a local power production solution is only a matter of scale.  Farms produce a lot of power now, and will be producing more power in the future as they try to leverage their interest and gain more income streams.  I still think that farms will become important parts to the power generation equation.  If he can continue to develop in that area, he will be poised to take advantage of that stream as well.  As farm as farm use vehicles, I do not know that he will compete in this area, it is highly competitive, and several suppliers are already working in that stream.

Elon Musk does not play well with others, and to some extent that limits him in capacity, but ensures the customer that you have a single point to find solutions to issues with.  If he were to collaborate with a company like Alphabet, or even one such as MB, but few of them other than Alphabet have the resources, and the diversity that Tesla has, so that really is the only good match.  It remains to be seen, but I could easily see Tesla as a buyout option for Alphabet in five or six years, as long as he continues to work on innovation, and produces just enough product to keep the company alive for the time being.

Overall, Tesla is a buy and hold for the next few years.  A process of slow accumulation of shares could ensure that if they are bought out, the holder will get a good position on the stock split when it does sell.

Anyway that is my thoughts on Tesla, for now.  I am not a financial advisor and all that crap, so if you lose money that is your problem.


Cold Bitch

All sorts of things have come to mind this week.  I do not even know where to begin.  First a debate on a video I watched.  It goes to a core problem I have with people using the argument of Mac vs PC.  I do not know why it bothers me so much but it does.  It is Mac vs Windows!  Both Macintosh and Windows OS are run on Personal Computers (PCs).  Apple has only attempted servers and other than personal computers a few times, all of which never went anywhere.  Even smart phones are PCs, usually running iOS or Android OS, but still they are PCs, albeit very small ones, they are still PCs and not phones.  Smart phones are small PCs, not phones, but they do have cellular phone capabilities, so in that respect they are like a phone.  Telephones are a specific device designed to conduct voice data over distances through analog connections.  They are based on the same technology that was used for telegraph systems, hence the name telephone.  Once you get into digital telephone, voip, or anything else, it is no longer a telephone, but a computer designed to transmit data across the network, using one of the various types of protocols that are used for such data, like SiPP.  This is akin to calling e-mail the same as postal mail, though they sort of serve the same market they are not the same service.

Enough about that, lets talk about cold.  It is ridiculously cold here right now.  Now I say this, as I write this, as I am trying my best to stay warm.  If I had a nice cozy cabin with a nice fire burning in the fireplace, I would not care if it were cold outside.  Trying to stay warm in the RV is difficult, but it is not quite ready to move south, so here we are, in the winter of our discontent (sort of).  I need to buy a bunch of stuff to get the RV in shape for winter and to get it going.  I have all this stuff I need to sell, and I can not quite get it going.  Once I can get the lights for the camera, so I can start selling things, and then start dumping the money into private label, we should be in better shape to get things done.

That leads me to another area I have been looking into, Private Labeling products.  Some years ago Arleta and I made personal care products (soap, lotion, etc.) and back then had we had the cash infusion to make it go, we could have made a go of it.  Now that is not possible.  However during that time I made several contacts with companies I feel confident with who have also shifted to offering private labeling.  If I can put together the same formula as we used, with the same suppliers, but through a private labeling provider, we can still produce a high quality product at a reasonable cost that we can sell online and make a decent profit.  I do not expect that this will be our only income, but that it will provide a decent low maintenance passive income that we can rely on for most of our base expenses.  We will obviously need other income streams to have enough income to pay for things such as health care and discretionary items.

I am still going to publish some books, but currently my time is taken up with so many other things, that if I expect to sleep at all, I have to put the books on the back burner again.

Speaking of expenses, the cost of living has gone up a lot recently.  We used to figure if we could just earn about $45,000.00 per year we could get by.  This is not true today.  Just for basic expenses, like food, fuel, heat, housing, health care, vehicles, and such, not even accounting for such luxuries as internet and cell-phone service, we would need to earn a minimum of $65,000.00 per year.  To live a comfortable life, with a little left over for going out once or twice a year, and maybe buying the grandchildren a gift here and there, we would need to at least bring in $85,000.00 per year.  Sad that we nearly need a six figure income to live like a lower middle class citizen.  Perhaps it is because we live in NY State, but I have traveled around enough, and done enough research, that even in the lower cost of living states (like TN), there are enough cost that it is not easily done even with such concessions.

When I read back through this it just sounds like I am whining about my life.  I am not really, I am relatively happy with my life, cold but happy.  A lot of people are a lot worse off than we are, and I feel some sympathy for them.  Though truth be told, with the online services we have in this country, and with the service industry that exist today, most of this is an excuse.  I could work, but my wife is on disability.  She needs me to help her with her care.  So I do that, willingly and without complaint.  I could work, but she would lose her SSI and her health insurance.  For every dollar I make the SSA takes $0.50 from her SSI benefit.  Okay, I am okay with that, it is not like the few dollars they pay us is hard to make up.  I could work part-time at a McDonald's and earn nearly the same dollar amount.  I certainly could work from home as a customer call rep, or a technical rep and make even more.  Unfortunately it is not enough to make up for the health care that we get through the government.  For that I will need to earn at least $4,500.00 per month.  To do that I will need to work full time, which means I would need to hire someone to take care of my wife while I am working.  This means I would need to earn even more.  Give or take a few dollars, I would need to earn at least $6,500.00 a month to make up for our expenses and have enough to pay for additional help I would need to hire to help my wife with her disability.  The PL thing will gross us about $3,000.00 a month according to my base calculations.  This is about half our expenses, and would not cover the health insurance.  Still it is a start, and maybe with the combination of my books, and the PL program, we can get close to that figure.

Some people make enough off their blog, I make nothing on mine, nor do I suspect that will change anytime soon.  Like this post, my blog is raw, it is not focused, and it is for me, not for the audience.  The bloggers out there would tell me that is the wrong way, and it can not be monetized.  I do not care about that, really.  It might be nice if I could at least pay for my internet through something like a blog, but that I can not does not mean I will stop writing one.  Yes this post is mostly bitching, and yes it is very personal, so if that bothers you do not read it.

Well I have bitched enough I guess for one day, maybe more, so I will get on with other things.