Nov 132014
 

IMAX at Home

If you happen to have $3 million just lying around you can install a home theater system, IMAX style. 🙂 The 3D theater company will install one of its screens, along with the projectors, seats, and lighting all in the comfort of your very own house. Actually, most houses won’t even fit the installation. IMAX needs a room that’s a minimum of 21 feet wide, and 20 feet deep, plus 10 feet of additional space for the projection. That’s roughly a 600 square feet room, except it also has to be 12 feet high, lol.

14-11-imax-home-theatre

Once it’s installed you can watch Hollywood blockbusters the day they hit theaters. You just have to pay $500 per movie. 🙂 You can also watch sports, play video games and stream concerts on the large, crystal-clear projection screen and custom sound system.

Continue reading »

Sep 252014
 

With the recent pull back in the stock market I thought it would be a good time to add a couple of new stocks to my portfolio 🙂 So earlier today I bought 13 shares of Time Warner Inc, (TWX) at $75.69/share, as well as 26 shares of Twenty-First Century Fox (FOXA) at $34.06/share. Both are U.S. companies so I purchased them inside my RRSP using Canadian currency.

14-09-time-warner-fox-stock-purchase

The part I enjoy most about investing is learning how businesses work. By looking through the financial statements and analyst’s reports on large media conglomerates I’ve learned how television programs get funded, how much actors and writers are paid, how advertising works, and many other interesting titbits.

Why Invest in Time Warner Inc

I wanted to invest more money into media and entertainment because this is a relatively stable sector with predictable earnings growth. After some thorough research I have decided to go with Time Warner Inc. Check out the impressive earnings per share (EPS) growth on this bad boy.

14-09-time-warner-eps-growth

Those are some pretty good numbers eh 🙂 Time Warner is most well known by consumers to be the parent company of Warner Bros. Entertainment. But to investors Time Warner represents a collection of highly valued multimedia businesses and brands, not the least of which is HBO 😀

14-09-time-warner-hbo

…Which includes HBO on Demand, HBO Entertainment, Cinemax, HBO International (Asia, Europe, Latin America,) etc. About 30% of all households in the U.S. with television service receive an HBO channel. HBO broadcasts in over 150 countries, covering about 114 million subscribers worldwide, wow 😯

Time Warner also owns Turner Broadcasting System which includes Turner Sports, NASCAR Races, websites like NCAA.com, NBA.com, and other television channels like Cartoon Network, and Adult Swim. It also owns the CNN News Group, which includes CNN.com, CNN Money, and a bunch of other media outlets.

TWX’s total market capitalization is $64 billion, which is about twice as big as BCE (Bell Canada.) Below are some brands, tv shows, and logos that you may already know about, but perhaps didn’t know they belong to Time Warner, or was premiered through one of Time Warner’s distribution channels.

Continue reading »

Jan 102014
 
Retiree Wins Lottery – Then Gives it all Away

What would you do if you won the lottery? Tom Crist, retired CEO of an electrical wholesale company who lives in Calgary, said he’s giving away his entire $40 million Lotto Max prize. He lost his wife to cancer 2 years ago. He now plans to put the lottery winnings into a trust fund to be given out over the years to charities such as the Canadian Cancer Society. “I don’t really need that money.” He said. Faith in humanity restored 😀

 

Weak Loonie

The Canadian dollar fell to just 92 cents USD lately. This is the lowest our currency has been since 2009. Fantastic news for manufacturers and exporters 🙂 If you are American this is great news for you too because Canadian goods are now more affordable for you. Last year when we were at parity I suggested Canadians should buy U.S. assets like stocks or currency. I wrote about buying Google, Qualcomm, Starbucks, and Disney when the $CAD was still high.  Now the tides have turned, our Loonie’s value has dropped, and I’m reaping the rewards 😀

.

Every Major Marvel and DC Movie Release Until 2019

list-of-marvel-dc-movies-release

2014 Movie Releases

Speaking of Disney (DIS), they have several Marvel blockbuster movies coming out this year. Each one is expected to make huge profits. Disney shares are up 43% year over year! How can anyone possibly resist investing in this globally diversified, money printing company? 😀 Anyway, here are a list of popular movies that are coming out this year 🙂

14-01-moviecalendar

 

.

TFSA Participation Fail

A recent ING DIRECT survey revealed that 53% of Canadians still don’t have a TFSA.

Funny-facepalm-meme-computer

Not having the money to contribute is the main reason they haven’t opened a tax free savings account yet. If you are currently in school and have $50,000 of student loan debt and no income yet, then it’s understandable that you have no savings. But for most people who can put some money away the TFSA is one of the best tax saving vehicles there is. We have a perfectly legal way to not pay any taxes on our investment gains, yet less than half of us are actually using it? ( ಠ_ಠ)

.

Video of the Week

Caterpillars in Hawaii have developed hunting skills

————————————————

Blog roundup – Below are some finance and other articles from around the web this week.

May 022013
 

13_05_ironman3posterTomorrow the much anticipated Iron Man 3 movie comes out in North America 😀 I can’t wait to see it! Other movies I’m looking forward to this summer are Star Trek Into Darkness, Man of Steel, World War Z, Pacific Rim, and The Wolverine. What movie are you excited for this year? The film industry is a very lucrative space bringing in more than 10 billion dollars a year just in US domestic box office revenue.

How can ordinary folks like us get a piece of this market? I am successfully doing it in two ways right now. The first is to own a piece of the giant movie studios that are making these films 😉 They include names most people are already familiar with like Universal (Comcast), Buena Vista (Disney), Fox (NewsCorp), Paramount (Viacom), Sony, and Warner Bros. All these companies are publicly traded. Any time these studios make money, which they all do, you and I (as long as we own their stocks) will be the beneficiaries 😀 This is why I decided to invested $2,000 in Disney earlier this year. When The Avengers movie broke sales records and they announced more Marvel movies to come out over the next few years I knew Disney was going to take me places 🙂 I bought Disney in March and its shares have appreciated by more than 10% already woohoo \(^_^)/

But there are so many movie companies. How do you know which one to invest in? I would look at businesses that you think has the strongest brands. I like Disney because besides Marvel Entertainment, they also own Pixar Animation, ESPN, Lucas film, and about 27% of Hulu. And I like all those brands! Not to mention Disney is also in the business of lodging and merchandising. So they’re a very diversified and well rounded company ∩( ・ω・)  They even have a Disney University where cast member go for professional development and job training lol.

13_05_theater

The second way we can profit from the film industry is to invest in movie theaters. Every year there are more visits to cinemas than amusement parks and sporting events combined. In 2011 I wrote about how I invested $2,000 in Cineplex. They are the largest theater name in Canada. And so far their stock price is up over 30% from when I bought them, woohoo again (^_^)

 

Nov 112012
 

Yesterday I went to see Skyfall in the theatre. Not going to ruin anything, but the first 20 minutes of the film was just filled with adrenaline pumping action (*o*) The movie took an estimated $150 million to make according to IMDB.  With that kind of budget, the 50 year old franchise had to leverage its James Bond brand in order to acquire funding from sponsors. Many people think product placement is how companies advertise in movies, but branding can work in other ways too (^_-)

Heineken allegedly paid £28 million ($45 million) on their advertising campaign with Skyfall. That’s almost 1/3 the cost of the movie. The deal means that Bond (Daniel Craig) has to drink Heineken beer on the big screen. But that’s not all. Besides just having their brand in the film, the Dutch brewing company also has associated branding power they can use themselves. For example they have the exclusive rights to make a beer commercial with Daniel Craig in it, along with his co-star Berenice Marlohe (la Bond girl)  Here’s Heineken’s 90 second advertisement promoting the movie if you want to see it.

Another form of associated branding is of course new promotional packaging for beer bottles and cans. All of this is included in the $45 million deal.

Co-branding empowers companies to create marketing synergy that would benefit both parties. For example, having an Aston Martin in a James Bond film is what fans of the series will expect and appreciate (because that’s Bond’s signature car) making the movie a more positive experience for its viewers. At the same time Aston Martin, the luxury sports car company, benefits from the onscreen exposure of their automobiles. Coca-Cola is another major partner of Skyfall. They have secured some very lucrative licensing deals with the James Bond brand as well.

Associated-marketing can also bring fictitious products into reality. P&G, the consumer goods company, has introduced a James Bond 007 Cologne right before Skyfall was released. Good timing. It is described as containing notes of bergamot, geranium, rose thorn, and vetiver. Guys, how much would you pay to smell like a double O agent? lol. Apparently you can buy these at Kohl’s for $30 to $40. There was even a theatrical ad for this cologne right before the movie started.

Hmm, it’s a pretty smart marketing move by P&G I admit, but I wonder how many people would actually buy the cologne. Because that’s almost as silly as coming out with a new nail polish and claiming that women who wear it can feel like a sexy Bond girl 😛 Like how gullible can consumers be?

Oh, never mind. Apparently the women in Skyfall are actually wearing OPI nail polish.  So what we see in the movie is the real deal. So now the nail lacquer company OPI can create and market their own 007 line of nail polish and boast about how good their product looks on the big screen. They’ve also done associated marketing deals on Casino Royale, Die Another Day, GoldenEye, and other Bond films. Pretty clever actually.

I love the ingenuity companies are coming up with 😀 From inventing a fragrance based on a fictional character to nail polish, branding partnerships is a win-win for everyone. Sometimes these side deals and co-marketing licenses can be very complicated and take years of planning, negotiating, and working with retail/distributors to finally make a deal. The Belstaff jacket that the antagonist wears in the movie for example had been in negotiations since the last two Bond films. But if you have clever ideas and know what you’re doing, there’s definitely money to be made in this space. Some people may not like the idea of product placement. But even Bond himself admits without the support of all their partners they couldn’t have made the film.

“We have relationships with a number of companies so that we can make this movie. ..without them, we couldn’t do it. This movie costs a lot of money to make. It costs as nearly as much again if not more to promote, so we go where we can” ~ Daniel Craig

The shooting of Skyfall was delayed due to funding problems because the film maker MGM was having financial difficulties. If what Graig said is true then expect to see just as much branding in future Bond movies, if not more.

————————————————————————
Random Useless Fact:  Other brands seen in the Skyfall film include Sony, Tom Ford, Caterpillar, and Omega. See if you can find them all if you ever get a chance to watch the movie :0)