Closing out this week's Industry Focus holiday power session, all the hosts get together to look at what 2019 might bring. Tune in for some reckless predictions, stocks to watch in the future, and a few New Year's resolutions. Apple (AAPL -1.23%) possibly considering buying Tesla (TSLA 0.73%) is old news. What about Apple buying Square (SQ 6.13%)? Or how about Tesla blasting into the healthcare industry?
Speaking of healthcare, what'll come of that massive JP Morgan (JPM 2.87%)-Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A 1.05%) (BRK.B 1.08%)-Amazon (AMZN -0.09%) healthcare conglomerate that formed in 2018? Meanwhile, Facebook (META -1.54%) will have a lot to answer for in the year ahead, and regulators are getting less patient with every new scandal. The world of sports betting opened up this year, but 2019 is when we'll really see that take shape. Tune in for more.
A full transcript follows the video.
10 stocks we like better than Walmart
When investing geniuses David and Tom Gardner have a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, the Motley Fool Stock Advisor, has tripled the market.*
David and Tom just revealed what they believe are the ten best stocks for investors to buy right now... and Walmart wasn't one of them! That's right -- they think these 10 stocks are even better buys.
Click here to learn about these picks!
*Stock Advisor returns as of November 14, 2018
The author(s) may have a position in any stocks mentioned.
This video was recorded on Dec. 14, 2018.
Dylan Lewis: Welcome to Industry Focus, the podcast that dives into a different sector of the stock market every day. It is Friday, December 28. We've got the whole gang in the studio for part three of our conversation about 2018 and 2019. I'm your host, Dylan Lewis. I'm joined by Shannon Jones, Jason Moser, and Nick Sciple. Guys, home stretch.
Shannon Jones: I promise we change our clothes. [laughs]
Lewis: It's a good thing we're not videotaping.
Jason Moser: Yeah, they don't have the video to prove that.
Lewis: [laughs] Just as a refresher if you're coming into this episode, there are two prior where we lay out some major stories from 2018 that we've been following, some fun movements with stocks, some new debuts that we've been following, all that kind of stuff. You can go back and check that out. This is going to be more of a 2019-focused show looking forward. We're going to talk about some stocks to watch, a couple [of] reckless predictions, and maybe some resolutions to try to better ourselves in the new year.
I think we should start things off with Stocks to Watch. I think that's the most interesting one. That's what the people are here for. They want stock picks. I'm going to start with you, Jason, for Stocks to Watch. What's on your watchlist for 2019? What are you interested in?
Moser: Obviously, with financials, we're paying attention to things like banks and insurance companies and fintech. I think it's reasonable to believe that we may be headed toward some more difficult economic times sooner rather than later. I'm looking at 2019 and trying to be a little bit more defensive. In line with that, I'm looking at Travelers Insurance (TRV 0.87%).
I used to work at Travelers Insurance. I have nothing but good things to say about the company. I was impressed with the business itself. As an analyst now, going through the business, it's done very well over long periods of time. I think that's for a good reason. The philosophy there always was, let's just pay what we owe, get this claim done, and move on. Whether you're homeowners insurance or automobile insurance or boat insurance or whatever, that's really the best course of action. You want to avoid subrogation and drawing out these insurance claims and all these fractional costs that come with that. Travelers has always been really good about paying what they owe and moving on.
Much as I said with Progressive earlier, Travelers has done a very good job of maintaining that brand. There's a lot of brand equity in that red umbrella. People know what it is. Again, with insurance, you may love it, you may hate it, but you have to have it. If you drive, if you own a house, you need health insurance, whatever it may be, insurance is going to be one of those necessities that we always have to have. I think that they've done a very good job over the course of time building up a loyal customer base. That's shown through the financials, very consistently keeping that combined ratio under 100%.
The stock isn't what I would call cheap today. It's around 1.4 times book value. But it's a high-quality business. It's a reliable business. Insurance is a reliable market for the most part. We often talk about Berkshire Hathaway and Geico. We talk about Progressive or Markel. I think Travelers is one that's been missed by a lot of folks here. I don't know why it was never a recommendation in a service. If you've owned that stock for the past 10 years, you have just been loving life. I think it's a great one to own. If you're looking at 2019 and want a little bit of a defensive position in your portfolio, Travelers is a good way to go. The ticker is TRV.
Lewis: I like the way you set that up, thinking about what people need. If you're looking to the next 12 months, 18 months, and you're a little worried about what's going to be happening in the stock market, you have to be thinking about what people are going to be continuing to buy. To your point, insurance isn't going anywhere. You'll cut back on a lot of discretionary spending before you start not paying your insurance premiums.
Moser: Yeah, that's just it. If you have a mortgage, you don't really have a choice. Most people are going to escrow that and it's going to be part of their mortgage payment every month, and the bank is going to make sure that it gets paid. Same thing with cars. If you want to drive, you have to have insurance. They do a good job of packaging that stuff together, much like Progressive does. I think those are two insurers that do a very good job of protecting that brand and developing some customer loyalty there that plays out over long periods of time.
Lewis: Nick, were you thinking defensive, too, with your 2019 stock?
Nick Sciple: For my 2019 stock, I wanted to think about, what is a big company that's going to be on everyone's radar for the next year? And what's a company, if we're going to watch it over the next year, that has a lot of questions that need to be answered? I think the company with the most questions in the stock market is Facebook. Facebook is down close to 20% for the year. It's another one of these services where, as Jason mentioned, it's something you're going to use every day. Twenty percent of people worldwide use Facebook every single day.
But we've got a lot of questions going on. Of course, this year, we've had the Cambridge Analytica scandal and then the response of Facebook to that controversy. There were some issues with going after George Soros, what relation he might have to this stock, engaging some lobbying groups called The Definers to see what they could do. That's raised some questions, like, does Sheryl Sandberg get fired after her response to these sorts of things? Is regulation going to come into play? All these legislators have started putting Facebook under a microscope. Zuckerberg testified in the U.K. There's been a lot of things going on there.
Facebook has mentioned that their costs are going to increase significantly going forward. They've been signaling that for a while. How much are those going to increase over time? How are they going to handle them? Facebook is starting to test out some new services. Facebook Dating is something that got mentioned. How is that going to roll out over the long term? Amazon is moving into advertising. How is that going to affect Facebook?
We're really looking at a company that's a massive global monopoly when it comes to social media, but there are an obnoxious number of questions facing the business. Hopefully some of them get answered in 2019. It'll be a fun story to watch, for sure.
Jones: What about Facebook Portal?
Moser: Nobody's getting that.
Lewis: I saw the most perfectly heartwarming holiday ad. It was this grandson and grandfather hanging out for the holidays, and the grandson being all disappointed that his grandfather wasn't there. And then the parents drop a Facebook Portal, and they're basically Skyping with each other. [laughs] They're trying to tug at those heartstrings. But I think that product gets at so many of the problems that people have with Facebook. Same for Dating. The idea that this company has some privacy issues, and maybe people feel like it's a little too invasive, it knows a bit too much about them. And then, "Yeah, just take this smart device and put it in your living room! We're not going to monitor you!"
Same thing for dating. I think people like having some walls between these different elements of their lives. And when a company has proven several times that they aren't worthy of that trust, you start to run into issues when you're looking to expand that out.
Sciple: Yeah. How is it going to get turned around? It's going to be an interesting question. Definitely something to follow. We mentioned earlier, Microsoft under Ballmer, and the issues. They were lost in the forest for a long period of time. Facebook maybe is having some similar growing pains. This is a company that's grown significantly over the first 10 years of its being around. They're really struggling now. Are they going to have the inspired leadership to reposition the company for growth over the long term? Or are they going to languish for the next year?
Lewis: I'm a shareholder. Maybe a year ago, a year-and-a-half ago, this is a stock that I was, like, this makes sense to me as a buy. You look at their properties. At that time, Facebook was very well monetized and there was pretty high saturation in terms of ads. It was early days for Instagram. Then, they also had those two other big messaging properties that are now at over 1 billion monthly actives, WhatsApp and Messenger. And you just think the monetization opportunities there are huge. We haven't really seen a lot of progress in turning those properties into cash machines the way that they have with their namesake platform. That's something I'm starting to worry about. Zuckerberg and his management team have had this very clear blueprint for how they like to monetize all these platforms. It's worked well with Facebook, and it's worked really well with Instagram, because they're very similar properties. Messaging properties are totally different. They're not newsfeed-based. You're only going there when someone shoots you a message or you need to shoot someone a message. You're not idly scrolling.
Moser: The other thing to remember is, Facebook will sit there and tout the fact that WhatsApp is fully encrypted, your messaging is private, no one's going to get at it. But answer me this: If they're going to monetize a WhatsApp by advertising, that implies that someone is looking at your data in order to advertise in that thread.
Now, I don't use any Facebook platforms at all. I shut Facebook down a year ago, one of the best moves I ever made. I don't think messaging is going to monetize as easily as Facebook or Instagram. They've got big challenges there between Messenger and WhatsApp. I think they overpaid for WhatsApp. They made that case long ago that it was going to be so valuable because 1 billion users, that was the number they kept throwing around. But we haven't seen anything today that it's even close to coming to worth it.
Facebook itself, I look at my kids, two girls, 12 and 13 years old. They don't have Facebook and they don't want Facebook. They have Instagram. I think that what we're going to see as time goes on, we're going to see Facebook become less and less relevant. Instagram is kind of the Facebook 2.0 -- until they screw that up and people defect and go somewhere else. Now, the somewhere else, it's going to be a lot more difficult for Facebook to make any of those future acquisitions because what they've done to date. So yeah, I think the low-hanging fruit maybe has been picked. But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe they have something in the back of their mind that they're thinking of that will make some sense of those properties they have. But I'm not sold yet.
Sciple: A big question, particularly in the U.S. and Europe, there's really been a huge pushback against Facebook. But the real growth opportunities for them going forward are going to be overseas. They have 300 million users in India. That gives them, as more folks get internet access, there's a billion user upside just in that country alone. There are a lot of issues in the U.S. We all have questions of what regulations are going to look like. But the real story, if we're looking at Facebook's growth over the next five, 10 years, it's going to be outside the U.S. and Europe. It's going to be in these Asian areas.
Lewis: On the user side, you have to remember, the average revenue per user in the U.S., Canada, and Europe is dramatically higher than most other markets because the ad market there is so valuable, so compelling. It takes a lot more users in developing markets to match any losses that they have in their more saturated, more mature markets. This is all to say that --
Moser: We could do an entire episode just on this.
Lewis: And I have. [laughs] It's one of my favorite companies to talk about because you have so much potential, but man, you guys have to stop stepping in it. You have to figure this out.
Shannon, what are you watching in 2019? What's the company that you're really interested in?
Jones: This is a company in the healthcare space that you really haven't had to worry much about until now. This will probably come as no surprise, but that's actually Amazon. Amazon's foray into healthcare is, I think, really ramping up, especially in 2018. In January, it was Amazon, Berkshire, and JPM announced they were forming a new nonprofit partnership to tackle one of the biggest challenges in the healthcare space, and that's, of course, the cost of healthcare, the cost of drugs. They're going after disrupting healthcare. They want to provide lower-cost care and improved outcomes within their companies. Combined, they have about a million employees, so they've got enough people to actually see if this works. But you could easily see that expanding. You know Amazon. You know they're going to go after just about any target that they can get to. Healthcare is one of those that certainly needs it.
Also, of course, they hired their CEO in June, Atul Gawande. He's a surgeon professor. He's also an accomplished book author. He's done so many things. He's got an extensive background. I think he's still going to be practicing, at least part-time. I don't know how much commitment he'll actually give to this joint venture. The details have been a little scant. But that's the first sign that they're heading in that direction.
The second and probably the largest step for Amazon is their acquisition of PillPack. This was an acquisition for a little less than $1 billion. It came after rumors emerged that they were planning to enter the pharmacy market space. Right now, about 40 million Americans take five or more prescription medications a day. That's an astounding number. Half of those actually fail to keep up with that schedule.
Lewis: That's insane.
Jones: It's insane. Adherence is a huge issue. PillPack developed this automated scheduling system. Basically, it synchronizes your prescriptions so they're all on schedule. It renews your prescriptions ahead of time. It bills your insurance company. It communicates with patients. It'll send you a text when they ship. Now, with this acquisition, a lot of the retail pharmacies are certainly being mindful of what this means. This is a huge threat. Combined with the joint venture, I don't know how they're going to make it nonprofit. We'll see how that goes. Plus, this PillPack acquisition, I think 2019 is the year that you'll start to see Amazon becoming a much stronger healthcare player in the space.
Lewis: As if they needed to be in one more market. My gosh! Who is Amazon-proof at this point? They're everywhere.
Jones: And at what point do they get too big, and now you've got the regulators knocking on their doors?
Sciple: We've heard some folks calling for them to spin off AWS next year. We'll see if that happens.
Jones: And they can afford to do that. AWS could stand alone on its own if regulators were to step in and say, "You've got to break some of this up." It could work.
Sciple: AWS by itself is probably a top 10 market-cap company on the stock market today. It's in the ballpark there.
Lewis: That ties into what I'm watching in tech a little bit this year. To Jason's point earlier of the low-hanging fruit being taken, the easy days of growth for a lot of these tech companies are over. Regulators have caught up to everything that can happen in their platforms. So it's no longer the wild wild west in terms of, "Oh, we're just a social-media company." "Oh, we're just providing search results." No, you're providing information and you're providing news to people. There's a certain responsibility that comes with that, especially when people can use it as maliciously as some people have. For Facebook, [Alphabet], and I think Amazon to a certain extent, too, with potential antitrust issues, the more spaces they get into, certainly, the more they're going to be in the crosshairs there.
Looking at individual stocks, I do have one to watch as well. A little bit of a lighter note, something to be excited about. My Stock to Watch in 2019 is DocuSign (DOCU 0.97%). This is a company that I've talked about on the show. I know it's a Premium rec in at least one service. For the folks that aren't familiar with DocuSign, it's e-signature company. Basically, this is a software-as-a-service [SaaS] business. It helps with document management. They take all these agreements, all these contracts that need to be signed, and turn them digital. They're growing revenue at about 30%. Ninety percent of the revenue is recurring. They have a dollar base net retention rate of 115%. A lot of the signs that you like to see in a subscription model.
They went public earlier in 2018. We're still within that first year of reporting results and seeing how management handles things. But we're getting past the point where things are really frenzied, there's a lot of hype. If you're looking to buy into a relatively new company in some small positions over time, it might be an interesting one to watch.
Moser: Yeah, that's one we got to use a little bit. We bought a new house in 2017 up here. DocuSign was part of that process. It was very seamless. It made things a lot easier. I remember in 2010 when we moved up here, we were trying to find a house to buy, apparently had to send faxes. You couldn't do anything over email. It all had to be faxed. It was befuddling. DocuSign really seems to have taken over as a reliable and secure way to do all of that.
Lewis: That's exactly what you want to see with a SaaS company. Take something that, frankly, stinks, that you have to do -- it's either offline or it's really jumbled, and make it simple and streamlined. If you can do that, you'll get pretty good adoption and you'll get some really big partners onboard. If you start seeing the Vanguards of the world, these huge enterprise companies that need to regularly push contracts and agreements out to people, and they're using this type of software, that's an indicator that it's catching on.
One of the reasons I like them so much is, they're really a first mover in the space. There aren't a lot of other players there. I think they're going to become the default, which is something that you love to see. They're still small enough that they can multiply a couple times. A really interesting business.
Jones: I think we now use that as a verb around here. Can you DocuSign this? [laughs] That's a valid point.
Lewis: We use it at HQ. There are a lot of businesses that we first use as employees. Zendesk is used by our customer service team. That's been an incredible software-as-a-service stock to own.
Lewis: Slack. Okta has been a pretty interesting stock, as well. That's something that I first got a glimpse of because we use it here at HQ. Just a good reminder to keep your eyes peeled for the stocks that maybe you don't even realize are stocks -- they're just services in your everyday life.
Moser: I feel like Zillow tried to get into that. They bought Dotloop a while back. But having dealt with that in selling our home in Georgia when we moved up here, Dotloop was really not a good experience at all. I don't even know that they're really doing a whole heck of a lot with it now. Today, Zillow is more than anything just real estate advertising.
It seems to me like DocuSign has taken over that conversation, which makes me wonder, what is Zillow doing with Dotloop, if anything at all, at this point?
Lewis: Yeah, I haven't heard much on it. I'm going to assume DocuSign is continuing to lead the pack. [laughs] You want to switch gears and talk Reckless Predictions for 2019? You guys have anything interesting for us?
Moser: Sure, why not?
Lewis: Why don't you go first, Jason?
Moser: Alright. Everybody always talks about Apple buying Tesla. Apple needs to buy Tesla, blah blah blah. I'm going to say Apple is going to buy something else. I think perhaps that 2019 is the year that Apple tries to acquire Square. That's for a number of different reasons. One of them is, they seem very compatible from a hardware perspective. Anywhere you go, when you see Square hardware installed at a merchant's store, it either looks like it's Apple or it has an iPad, or something integrated with it. Given Dorsey's love of Apple hardware, as well, I could see where he wouldn't mind collaborating with them a little bit.
Also, I think that with these companies -- Apple, Microsoft, to an extent -- when they're looking to figure out ways to grow to generate new income streams, payments is a really big part of that. There was a time where one of those businesses could have acquired PayPal. PayPal is too big, they can't do that now. Square is still about a third the size of PayPal. So maybe there is the opportunity out there to bring a payments company into Apple, give them a new revenue stream of something that really is only growing. So 2019 is going to be the year that Apple tries to buy Square.
Lewis: I was wondering if we were going to be able to get through this whole taping without you talking about payments. [laughs]
Moser: [laughs] No! Come on, man!
Lewis: Listeners at home, you can drink now. It's been hit. [laughs] Nick, what are you recklessly predicting for 2019?
Sciple: 2018 was a year of rule changes. We saw marijuana being legalized in Canada. We saw the tariffs in the U.S. The rule change I want to talk about is sports betting. Back in May, Christie v. NCAA, the Supreme Court lifted PASPA, a 25-year-old ban in sports betting outside of Nevada. My prediction is, we're going to see 25 or more states legalize sports betting by the end of 2019. Currently, we have seven states that are legal. That's Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi, West Virginia, New Mexico, and Rhode Island. There's already a bill in place in New York that had legalized sports betting at select locations in 2015. That didn't quite get to a vote last year.
One of the reasons I think we're going to see a wave this year is that the Supreme Court case came in late May of last year. If you know the calendars of most state legislators, they typically run from mid-January to around end of May, early June. There wasn't a lot of time to get through the full cycle to pass the legislation needed to legalize sports betting on a wide scale.
According to ESPN, over 21 states and D.C. had a bill in the pipeline last year that didn't make it through or have dropped the bill this fall that's going to hit the legislative term coming forward. I think this is going to be a major trend. It opens up new revenue for states, particularly as they take a cut of the revenue that the casinos get. According to Deloitte, it's going to be a significant driver of TV traffic. According to Deloitte, U.S. sports betting will drive 40% of all TV watching by men 25 to 34 years old, and that 64% of American men ages 25 to 34 who watch sports on TV will also bet on sports. So it's going to be a big driver for TV watching. Everybody's talking about live sports being the real source for live entertainment today, where the real demand is coming from, and sports betting is only going to amplify that.
I think that's part of why, when this case was passed back in May, that Mark Cuban said he thinks the value of the average sports franchise is going to double as a result of this sports betting legalization taking place. It's a wave we're going to see this year. It's always reckless to gamble on legislators doing anything quickly, but I think the dominoes are set up for a wave to occur and drive a change in how sports are consumed.
Lewis: Oh boy... I bet Mark Cuban would like to see the average value of a franchise double, as the proud owner of the Dallas Mavericks. The main beneficiaries, is that going to be the casinos? Are there companies that work in this space in the U.S. now that are going to hop right in?
Sciple: What we've seen so far is that casinos that have partnered with DraftKings and FanDuel have, at least in New Jersey, absorbed an outsized amount of the benefit of the legalization of sports betting. That's the trend we've seen so far. MGM has partnered with every major sports league except for the NFL to use their data. They're the first major business that's done that. I think The Stars Group just reached a deal with the NBA.
Part of this is going to be, what does this legislation look like? It depends what the states decide to do. In some states, we've had sports betting confined to racetracks or onsite casinos. I think the states where it is legal for mobile betting, that's probably where there's going to be more outsized benefits for sports betting in the short term. It's going to depend what form these laws take place, who the beneficiaries are going to be. I would expect the mobile operators to be the ones to absorb most of the benefit. We'll just have to see.
Lewis: Shannon, what do you have for 2019?
Jones: I have a really reckless one. You know we couldn't get through an episode without talking about Tesla, at some point. My reckless prediction is that Tesla will throw its name into the ring to disrupt healthcare.
Moser: Wow! I like it!
Jones: I think -- this is even more reckless -- next year, after they go through the restructuring and all of that that's required, they come out on the other end of this a brand new company, a brand new focus, they become like a Tesla bio blockchain.
It's not as far-fetched as you think. Right now, Tesla has already started setting up medical clinics that are employee-exclusive. They've got an orthopedic surgeon running it. They've got their own healthcare providers. We know that Elon Musk loves to disrupt an industry where he sees inefficiencies, he's going to go for it. I think this could be the first step.
On top of that, obviously, as we've talked about, healthcare is ripe for innovation. We know there's a lot of middlemen in the middle, pharmacy benefit managers, the ones that are serving between the drug manufacturers and the insurers, trying to negotiate discounts. I could see that being completely cut out. And where there's a middleman, I think Musk goes after it.
Also, the healthcare space is rife with regulators. We know Elon Musk loves to pick a good fight with regulators on Twitter. Where else can you do that but in healthcare?
All in all, I think you've got a company right now that there's a lot going on with it, but it would not surprise me to see them throwing their hat in the ring on healthcare. Amazon's got their own clinics. Apple actually has their own clinics, too. Both are starting to jump into healthcare. It would not surprise me to see Tesla do so, too.
Lewis: Boy, Tesla ... I sold my Tesla shares, but it's still a source of so much anxiety for me. I hit a point -- earlier this month, actually -- where I was just fed up with it. [laughs] I couldn't do it anymore. I was sitting on decent returns, and I was like, "They're long-term returns, I'm not going to get crushed on my capital gains, I have some stuff that I'm interested in buying with some of the sell-off," and they seemed impervious to the sell-off. They're still up. So I decided to sell, namely because it was tough for me to stay behind Elon Musk, honestly, with a lot of the stuff that he's been doing recently.
I would love to see them take on that kind of stuff. I'd also like to see them hit their car deliveries and maintain consistent profitability. [laughs] We'll see if that happens, though. I, too, will be watching Tesla quite a bit.
My Reckless Prediction is a non-stock Reckless Prediction. This is something that you could all have a hand in. Based on track record, I don't know if it's going to hold. My Reckless Prediction is that all current Industry Focus hosts --
Moser: [laughs] I know where he's going with this!
Lewis: -- will be hosting a show at this point in 2019.
Moser: I'll put money on that. I think you're right.
Jones: I'll put money on the table.
Austin Morgan: That was also my Reckless Prediction.
Lewis: Oh, I stole your thunder, huh, Austin! [laughs]
Morgan: I will say, we'll probably have one more host in the studio next year.
Lewis: Ooh! Well, I'd like to see that. Listeners might know that Vince Shen has left The Fool and is doing some awesome traveling with his wife. We wish him the best. But it puts us in a position now where we have four hosts and five shows, which is not a 1-to-1 ratio, as it turns out. So, for at least the beginning of 2019, we're going to be doing some hosting by committee to manage that. We're hoping that within The Fool ranks, we have someone out there that might be interested in hosting our Consumer Goods show. Until then, get used to hearing all of these voices a little bit more often.
Before we wrap the show, why don't we hit people with some resolutions? Some financial resolutions, some non-financial resolutions. This is going to be airing just a couple [of] days before New Year's Eve, and people want some guidance.
Jones: I think we have to start with Jason Moser's former New Year's resolution, [laughs] just to set the stage.
Moser: Well, I'm pretty sure I set this precedent on Market Foolery a couple of years ago. It was a time in my life where I was eating probably a few too many Jolly Ranchers. My wife makes fun of me about it. Now, let me be very clear: When it comes to dental care, oral health, I'm very fastidious. I brush, I can't go to sleep without flossing. So this was not a dentist-mandated thing. I just decided, "Hey, let me try, let me see if I want to quit Jolly Ranchers. Can I do it?" And I went the whole year, didn't eat one. And that was going from like 10 to 15 a day, down to zippy. So I was proud of myself for being able to do that. With that said, I have a few Jolly Ranchers in my pocket right now.
Jones: You have one right now.
Moser: I've eaten one today. But that's just where I'm coming from on a perspective of resolutions. It can be big or small. It doesn't have to be finance-related. It's about figuring out a way to make yourself a better person, right?
Jones: One Jolly Rancher at a time.
Moser: Exactly! I'm not anti-Jolly Rancher, don't get me wrong.
Lewis: There are so many other turns that could have taken with, "There was a time in my life." That was the most perfectly innocent way you could have wrapped that up. That could have been so much worse. As pits go, I think you lucked out.
Moser: Well, I'm back on the Jolly Ranchers.
Lewis: [laughs] Do you have something for 2019 that you'd like to fix?
Moser: I'm going to say something I have been studying a decent bit this year, and it's somewhat work-related and hopefully we'll be able to help members out with this information. I want to learn more about this burgeoning space market. I read a book this year called The Space Barons by Christian Davenport on Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Richard Branson. It talked about their race to space and the things that they're doing. To me, when I think about what Jeff Bezos is doing and his goal to basically push industrialization out into space, off of the planet, these bold -- you want to talk about Reckless Predictions, he's calling for, one day there will be 1 trillion human beings. Obviously, they can't live here. So we're going to be an interplanetary species at some point.
It's early days as far as public investments that we can sink our teeth into. But those investments are coming. After interviewing Christian Davenport, after reading the book, I love the whole concept of space and everything that's out there. I really want to dig in and learn more about that market this coming year to be able to bring more to members and hopefully uncover some good ideas.
Lewis: I like that. That's a good one.
Jones: I'd sign up for that, Jason.
Lewis: Shannon, what are you aiming to be better at or fix in 2019?
Jones: For me, it's a small thing. Kind of like Jason. I want to take control of this -- to stop drinking so much coffee. In one of our prior episodes, Nick talked about the price of coffee going exorbitantly high in Venezuela. That also brought it back to mind -- I pay way too much for my coffee. I really need to stop this.
I think I'm drinking right now maybe two-to-three cups a day, which started back in college. You had to make it through coursework. And it's stuck on through my professional career. I want to pare back. I don't know what an alternative is.
Moser: [whispering] Jolly Ranchers.
Jones: It's not Jolly Ranchers! Listeners, if you're out there, send me some ideas because I am looking to cut back caffeine, in general.
Lewis: Nick, what about you?
Sciple: Jason mentioned The Space Barons, I want to read more. Shannon mentioned on a previous episode, Bad Blood. I've had that sitting on my nightstand for a good month-and-a-half. I just finished reading Bethany McLean's Saudi America about the emergence of fracking and where that's going into the future. It taught me a lot about the backbone of that industry and where it's going, particularly how it's financed and where that's going in the future. I think, just reading more, particularly in spaces that I'm not as familiar with, just to grow that knowledge base.
When you build up these things, sometimes you make connections that weren't there. In the earlier episode, I was talking about Mohammad Bin Salman. That was one of the features in that Saudi America book I read earlier this year. Building that knowledge base and diligent about doing it every day is what I'm trying to do over the next year.
Lewis: For me, in terms of improvement, I've knocked out the financial resolutions at this point. I've gotten to the point where I can afford to fully max the contributions that I make to my 401(k) beyond just employer match, which is great. I've focused on some other financial resolutions in terms of saving. My one last year was to update all of my important passwords, and have it be some nice, coherent system so that I can remember them and not have them saved on some Google Drive folder.
I'm going to go back to the finances a little bit this year and focus a little bit more. I noticed that I'm wasting a lot of money on food, in the sense that I'm buying groceries and then not using them. I have stuff that's spoiling. Actually, it's one of the largest sources of waste, both financially and physically, in the country. So I'd like to try to be a little bit more judicious about what I'm bringing into the house and what I'm actually cooking and using, because I'm realizing that I'm throwing out a decent amount of produce that has just gone too bad.
Moser: Now, is your mood to go to the store and buy a few days' worth of food? Or are you more like, "I'm going to do this for dinner tonight," and then you stop by the store on the way home?
Lewis: I don't have an excuse because I live right around the corner from a Giant. It's a four-minute walk for me to get to the Columbia Heights Giant in D.C. It's easy enough for me to get off the Metro and pick up what I need to get.
I think what it's going to look like is tracking my spending on groceries and seeing what it looks like, then doing perhaps a bi-weekly clean of my shelves of the fridge at my house and make sure that I am not throwing out the same things over and over again. What I hope doesn't happen is that I wind up just going full prepper mode and getting all cans of things that won't go bad, because my sodium will probably go up.
Moser: Preparing for the apocalypse.
Jones: We're all going to Dylan's house in the end.
Lewis: Come bunker down with me. Austin Morgan, you've been quiet so far in these taping sessions. Do you have a resolution for 2019, financial or otherwise?
Morgan: My resolution is not financial. My resolution is to pick up a new hobby that's not so taxing on the old skin bag. All of my hobbies right now, sports and snowboarding and all that stuff, is taking its toll.
Lewis: Yeah, it can be rough.
Jones: It comes with age. You're getting older, Austin.
Morgan: Yeah, I'm not 22 anymore.
Jones: No spring chicken.
Lewis: I hear you. I play soccer once a week, and when winter comes around, I snowboard. Those first couple [of] times out after not doing it for a little while, your knees really start to feel it in a way that they didn't about five years ago.
Moser: Watercolors, man.
Lewis: Yeah! Take some lessons with J-Mo!
Moser: That'll keep you going.
Morgan: I don't know about that one.
Lewis: Any idea on what that resolution might look like? What activity you might be getting into?
Morgan: The frontrunner right now is learning to smoke meats. That's a full-day thing.
Lewis: If you want to joint do one sometime --
Jones: Where is this going? [laughs]
Lewis: -- I have a smoker at my house.
Morgan: There you go. I have a friend who, every time we have an event, he brings some ridiculously good meat that he spent all day making, and it's mind-blowingly good. So I'm like, I would like to be able do that, because that doesn't hurt.
Moser: There's a place in Manassas called Dizzy Pig. They make these terrific spice concoctions. They do classes all the time at their store. Check them out on Twitter.
Morgan: I'm taking note.
Lewis: And check us out on Twitter. @MFIndustryFocus.
Moser: We're lonely.
Lewis: [laughs] We'll start retweeting some of your watercolors, so people can get a sense of what those look like, Jason.
Moser: That was my new year's resolution last year, was to get back to go into that. I did it for a while, and then with kids and moving, everything ground to a halt. That was a resolution fulfilled.
Lewis: I think you nailed it.
Lewis: As a follower of you on Twitter, I saw it.
Moser: I am, in fact, getting older. Just getting out of bed hurts. The watercolor thing is working out.
Lewis: Listeners, we would love to hear what resolutions you have in store. If there's anything interesting that we might have missed with any of our breakdowns of the year that was in 2018 and what to look forward to in 2019, you can write in at [email protected] or tweet us @MFIndustryFocus to do that. Of course, we'd like to wish you guys all happy new year, happy holidays. Hope you're enjoying it and being safe.
As always, people on the program may own companies discussed on the show, and The Motley Fool may have formal recommendations for or against stocks mentioned, so don't buy or sell anything based solely on what you hear. Thanks to Austin Morgan for all his work behind the glass in all of 2018 in addition to just today. For all the hosts, I'm Dylan Lewis, thanks for listening and Fool on!