2013 Is the Year of Transparency

The retail space is in the midst of the biggest paradigm shift since mail order took off at the turn of last century, and not just in terms of transparency. Only those most forward-looking and capable companies will survive, and they'll handsomely reward those investors who understand the landscape. You can read about the 3 Companies Ready to Rule Retail in our special report. Uncovering these top picks is free today; just click here to read more.

Blake Bos: Speaking of trends, we have a new year. A lot of times, investors like to look at a new year. It's just a date in the big picture of things, but they like saying, "What's going to happen in 2013? What am I looking for in 2013?"

My question to you, Isaac, is what's 2013 to you? What are your stories here? What are you watching in 2013?

Isaac Pino: The big story I'm looking at -- it's not like I'm trying to make a prediction about the year ahead, but I just want to see this trend unfold, personally, but then also for investors I think it's a great thing -- is the idea of transparency.

Whether it was in financial reporting before, and companies just being a little bit more transparent about their shareholder letter ... Warren Buffett has identified that in the past. If you can find a shareholder letter that's very frank and honest, and really speaking to the issues where they didn't perform incredibly well, at least they're addressing those issues.

I think companies are doing that more and more throughout their business, so I'm learning a lot more about how Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) runs, for example, because they're bringing information out to the world that otherwise wouldn't be easily available.

That's going to be important for consumers, it's going to be important for retailers. You have Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN  ) working with some small-scale retailers to understand the supply chain. All of a sudden, these retailers are giving a lot of their information to Amazon, and perhaps to the consumer, too, because they're able to use this kind of distribution network, this utility network, to get their goods out to the consumer.

It's really fascinating. I think that's going to happen across the board, whether it's Whole Foods (NASDAQ: WFM  ) disclosing where their foods come from, where they're affected in the supply chain, where their fish came from around the world, or it's Google showing us all kinds of data about the economy, showing us all kinds of consumer trends and really making everything more transparent. I think that's a fascinating thing to watch.

Blake: Definitely, the consumer seems a lot more focused on information and having everything available to them. They want to know everything about what they're consuming, what they're buying, so it's definitely kudos to any company.


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