In this podcast, Motley Fool senior analysts Ron Gross, Maria Gallagher, and Jason Moser discuss:

  • Nike's tough quarter.
  • Macro headwinds for Carmax.
  • Questions about Peloton's retail strategy.
  • Lululemon's new subscription service.
  • Signs that Cintas is focused on the long term.
  • Amazon's data strategy and product announcements.

Scott Galloway, author of Adrift: America in 100 Charts, discusses his new book, why nuclear energy needs a rebrand, and the CEO who's created the most shareholder value in history.

Jason Moser and Maria Gallagher share two stocks on their radar: Cadence Design Systems and Target.

To catch full episodes of all The Motley Fool's free podcasts, check out our podcast center. To get started investing, check out our quick-start guide to investing in stocks. A full transcript follows the video.

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This video was recorded on Sept. 30, 2022.

Ron Gross: We've got earnings from Nike, thoughts on Amazon's new hardware, and a look at the future of America through the lens of 100 charts from its past. Motley Fool money starts now.

It's the Motley Fool Money radio show. I'm Ron Gross sitting in for Chris Hill. Joining me today are senior analysts, Maria Gallagher and Jason Moser. Fools, how you doing?

Jason Moser: Hey.

Maria Gallagher: Good. Thank you.

Ron Gross: Let me just say right at the top that our hearts go out to those impacted by Hurricane Ian and certainly our thoughts are with you all. Fools, it was another very volatile week for the markets as the quarter drew to a close with some mixed economic data, the coming earnings season is going to be, let's just say, interesting. Today, we're going to talk about new gadgets, mountains, and used cars but we begin by just doing it. On Friday, Nike reported sharply lower profits, highlighted by soaring inventory, markdowns, and higher operating costs. Maria, the stock sold off rather sharply on the news are the inventory and cost issues temporary or do we have a bigger problem here?

Maria Gallagher: I think it's not just Nike, I think this is a trend we're going to keep seeing, which is just really uncertainty on consumer spending and really an increase in inventory from a lot of these retailers as there's also uncertainty with supply chain issues. The overall quarter wasn't terrible for Nike. Their revenue was up four percent to 12.7 billion, their direct sales were up eight percent. Their brand digital sales were up 16 percent with 46 percent growth in EMEA. There was a big growth driver in footwear in America, which was up 17 percent. There was a decline in China that market as a whole was down about 16 percent, which isn't too surprising.

Gross margin was down about 220 basis points and they said that as a part of elevated freight and logistics costs, lower margins in some of their direct businesses due to higher markdowns, like you were saying Ron, they're working on liquidating their excess inventory with their inventories up 44 percent and their elevated transit inventories from some supply chain volatility. I don't think that's unique to Nike. I think that they have a brand name and consistent revenue growth even during hard times in recessionary periods. I think there'll be OK, but I do think that is a trend we're going to keep seeing with a lot of these retailers is really high inventory and a need for some markdowns to the upcoming months, especially going into the holiday season.

Ron Gross: They made some negative comments about Christmas. I was going to ask you, do you think that this is the first of many that we're going to see follow along with that sentiment?

Maria Gallagher: As I'll talk about a little bit later to with some other retailers that are doing that. I think they're trying to entice these consumers as much as they possibly can as they spent two years really growing faster and saying this is going to continue into perpetuity. They're now realizing, I think a couple of months ago, a lot of these retailers are saying, maybe it's not going to continue with that growth the way we saw it in 2020 and 2021.

Ron Gross: On Friday, CarMax lost a whopping quarter of its value as inflation and on economics concerned weighed on Americans demand for buying used cars and profits declined sharply. Jason, is this just a storm that CarMax is going to have to weather or is there something more troubling going on here?

Jason Moser: You're right. The stock got hammered on this report and I think it's a storm they're going to have to wether. This is a combination of missing expectations and a view that things are likely going to get worse before they get better from a macroeconomic perspective. There is vehicle affordability that is really a challenge there, which stems clearly from persistent broad inflation as they noted, climbing interest rates, low consumer confidence. This is just a lot of things coming at this business at once. It's not a business that is in parallel, the numbers weren't that bad. Revenue was $8.1 billion up two percent from the same quarter a year ago. Earnings per share really got hit hard though, $0.79 versus a $1.72 a year ago.

When you look at the metrics that matter for the company, total retail used units sold fell 6.4 percent, but gross profit per retail use unit was actually up a little bit there, close to a $100 per unit. That was nice. Average selling prices for used vehicles up 9.6 percent for the quarter and for the first six months up 18.8 percent. I tell you one thing that stood out to me even more so is, CarMax has this wholesale side of the business where they auction vehicles. Those prices were up 17 percent for the quarter and 32.8 percent for the first six months. Get costs really coming into play for this business. It's challenging for sure. It's not really been the best investment when you look out over the last five years, but they seem to do something very well. Maybe this is a point where prospective shareholders could get interested in the stock.

Ron Gross: On Thursday, Peloton announced it will begin selling its bikes, treadmills, and other products in Dick's Sporting Goods stores. Maria, Peloton's going to do something to turn this ship around. Is moving into retail the right move?

Maria Gallagher: It's going to be good. In some instances, it's going to raise awareness but I still think the price point for Pelotons is still sell high. The bikes are almost $1,500, the treadmills are almost $2,000 and at least for my family and we're going to Dick's or Modell's or a sporting goods store. You're not really going to purchase those big ticket items but I do think at least it's good for brand awareness there. It's going to be available in over 100 stores during this holiday season. Dick's has 700 stores, so there's potential for expansion down the line if it goes well. Like you're saying, they'd need to do something. This is after six quarters in a row of losses for Peloton. I think that's similar to Nike. We're just going to continue to see discounting to get consumer interests which do hurt profitability and brands like Nike and contrast, I think can withstand that, or I don't know that Peloton will be able to in the same way. It'll be interesting to see.

Ron Gross: I wanted to stick with fitness for a second Maria. On Thursday, Lululemon announced it was expanding the reach of Mirror, which is its at-home fitness device and it would make it a central component of its new paid membership program called Lululemon Studio. Members will pay $39 a month to have access to thousands of streaming and in-person workout options and receive other perks and discounts. I've been critical in the past of the 500 million Lulu paid for Mirror. The companies still hasn't told us if Mirror is even profitable. Do you like this move?

Maria Gallagher: I think that it's smart rate. I think expanding their fitness options is a good move, but I think that they should consider the route at Peloton went which was you had the app that was associated with the bike or the treadmill, but you could also do it independent of that as well, to just get more and more people to get into the ecosystem. Right now, what Lululemon is doing with the studio is you have to own a mirror to join it. You can now buy the mirror for just $795, which is a 47 percent discount. I think that it's safe to say that the acquisition isn't growing, maybe the way they hoped it would. There are Mirror plus Lululemon shoes the most detail we have is that that's going to be about five percent of their business in the next five years.

They had slashed the expectations for that business in 2021. I do think that it's a smart move. I think that part of this membership launch as it's partnering with popular fitness studios like Jog Pound, Pure Bar, and Rumble. They're going to have deals on both in-person classes and this through the studio. I think it's trying to bridge that gap between saying, you're just going to work out at home. You just want to go back to the studio here you have multiple options. If you have customers who have a lot of disposable income, this could be attractive to them.

Ron Gross: On Thursday Bed Bath & Beyond reported rather dismal results as the company tries to turn itself around. Jason, Bed Bath continues to struggle to turn the business as it tries to clear out excess inventory, shift its merchandise strategy again, and shore up its relationship with vendors. Are they doomed or do they have a shadow pulling with?

Jason Moser: Doomed is a strong word. I don't want to go there yet, but this is a company in turnaround mode. Obviously, it's always a very difficult thing, but it can be done. But for now, it does continue to hemorrhage Money as management works to right the ship and obviously very tough time. We'll see if CFO Gustavo or recent passing. This is now fully in interim leadership team, and I think that's one of the challenges that they have to really address. The number is dismal not anything to smile at. Sales of $1.4 billion down 28 percent, comps down 26 percent, digital sales down 22 percent, and that still remains about 40 percent of the overall business gross margin clocking in at 27.7 percent. This is a company that at least used to generate gross margins above 40 percent.

You can see where they've come in such a short period of time but there are some pockets of improvement. They're seeing some positive sales trends and seasonal categories that are bringing more national brands back into the business. They see opportunity on the Buy Buy Baby side of the business trying to get back to reinvigorating the registry and ultimately creating a relationship with the consumer that starts much earlier. You can't start much earlier than when you're born. Maybe there's some potential there. I think you certainly know when you have kids that register is pretty handy thing to have. They're making some progress on the loyalty program as well, 6.4 million members now that's up 30 percent. I wouldn't say doomed, but they've certainly got a lot of work to do on the clock is ticking.

Ron Gross: Coming up. We'll talk Amazon hardware and we'll do a little skiing and cruising. You're listening to Motley Fool Money. Welcome back to Motley Fool Money, Ron Gross sitting in for Chris Hill. As always people on the program may have interest in the stocks they talk about, and the Motley Fool may have formal recommendations for or against them. Don't buy or sell stocks based solely on what you hear. Earlier this week, Amazon held its fall hardware event where it unveiled some interesting new gadgets. Jason, a lot to unpack, but what's stood out to you?

Jason Moser: Yeah, a lot of interesting new gadgets is right. There's some of the stuff you just forget that it is out there at times but some pretty neat hardware, a couple of big new TVs with Alexa built-in, of course, a new fire cube, updated remote control, Ring camera. People probably forget that they own Ring. They've made an update to the Astro robot that includes pet detection. I don't know how many people are actually going to buy that Astro robot though, Ron. The one thing that stood out to me was the Halo Rise bedside sleep tracker. Enough for really a good reason. I don't really care about how I sleep, I just wake up in the morning and it was either a good night or a bad night but this thing sits by your bedside and it just stares at you and monitors your sleep. I'm not sure I can get on board with that, Ron.

Ron Gross: My Sleep Number bed claims subtract my sleep, but I'm not sure.

Jason Moser: There's a point where I need to be disconnected. Speaking of being connected, I think it speaks toward Amazon's bigger strategy. You're right, they shipped 11 and 1/2 percent of all US smart home devices in 2021, up 15 and 1/2 percent from the year before the runner-up, [Alphabet's] Google, six and 1/2 percent, Samsung and third at 5.8 percent. Amazon has a very clear lead in this space, and the other thing, they own that Eero mesh Internet system. I have one in my house here. They bought that and I think back in 2018. They're getting a lot of data from those Internet connections there. It speaks to this bigger, a philosophy that these devices help them sell more stuff. For them, it's not about making money on the devices, it's about using the devices in making more money from people buying things. It does seem like it's playing very well into that strategy.

Ron Gross: On Thursday, Vail Resorts reported better-than-expected results as the company continues to benefit from the weakening of the COVID pandemic, and it was perhaps the only stock on my monitor that was up for the day. Maria's results for the quarter and the guidance looked pretty good. What do you think?

Maria Gallagher: Yeah, Vail is a company that has a pretty clear vision and executes on it really well, last quarter had net income of 348 million. They announced a quarterly cash dividend of a dollar and 91 cents. For last year, their total lift revenue was up 21.7 percent. Their ski score revenue was up about 55 percent, lodging up 51 percent. Like you said, they're really benefiting from more people getting back to vacation. They are planning to make its largest ever investment in both properties and resorts for this upcoming season, they're investing 175 million in employees. A higher minimum wage, career and leadership differentials, and potential their new 800 newer replacement lifts. I think that that's going to be important to see how this season shakes out and if those are good investments for them. I will also say that something interesting, it just finalized its first strategic investment in a ski resort in Europe with Andermatt-Sedrun which is, I'm sorry I forgot that name, but it's in Central Switzerland. They have about 55 percent ownership. I think that has also a good growth potential for them. I was impressed.

Ron Gross: On Thursday, Cintas reported better-than-expected results and management raised its full-year guidance. Jason, strong report for the uniform and corporate apparel supplier, is this mostly about the strong labor market? If so, what happens if that starts to show some cracks?

Jason Moser: There, I think it plays a big role in our workforce. It holds a strong position in a relatively resilient market. That doesn't hurt, and they offer a strong value proposition to their customers in the face of scarce labor and rising costs. There probably is something to that present-day environment for them, but this has been a pretty decent place to park your money for a while. You look at the five-year chart on this stock, shares are up 188 percent. You stretch that out to 10 years, 985 percent total return on this thing. Bet you it flies under a lot of radars too, but the revenue, $2.17 billion, organic growth of 13.9 percent maintain gross margins, which was nice to see.

The uniform rental and facility services side of the business, that's the biggest part of the business. That revenue was $1.7 billion versus 1.51 billion a year ago, and organic revenue growth of 12.3 percent there. No worthy contributions from first aid, safety, fire sides of the business as well but all back to that raising of the annual revenue expectations that that certainly plays into it. It was just a neat quote, I saw on a call Todd Schneider, the CEO of the business. Only been CEO for a short time, but he's been with the company since 1989. He said, "We don't think about our customers and quarters or fiscal years. We think about them over decades." I think that really is a testament to the long-term thinking that this business that this leadership team takes and clearly is paying off.

Ron Gross: Cintas, one of those under the radar, not so sexy stories, but they get it done and then investors may want to take a look. I don't know, I haven't looked at the house cheap or not cheap this stock may be, but it's a company that puts up nice results year-in and year-out. The numbers don't lie. On Friday, Carnival reported quarterly results that seemed to indicate a continuing rebound in the business with a measure of adjusted cashflow coming in at a positive $300 million, and Maria, I know on the face of it, some of these numbers still look pretty good, pretty bad, I should say. Then the stock did fall sharply but there are some bright spots in the report. Is Carnival on the right track here?

Maria Gallagher: I was pretty impressed with some of its capacity numbers which I didn't think would be so close to 2019 levels. I feel like cruise ships are pretty specific environment that I thought would take longer to return to normal, but their occupancy was up 15 percent to 90 percent occupancy rate on August sailings. They're hoping to reach full capacity this upcoming quarter. They're booking volumes for future sailings continue to see some accelerated interest, especially since the company has relaxed a lot of COVID protocols in August. Some of them are credit, so they're still actually below that historical average and price, but they're definitely trending in the right direction.

Their revenue was up 80 percent and they are continuing to work on closing the gap to 2019. They're saying that they're going to expect occupancy to reach historic levels during 2023. Still a little bit, a little ways to go but they're expecting higher advertising expense to drive revenue. They're trying to really get people back, get people interested, and is one of the only companies I've seen recently that saying we're going to really go in more on advertising. I thought that was interesting. I'll be fascinated to see what advertising Carnival Cruises has in the next couple of months.

Ron Gross: Cruises have historically had to deal with the norovirus, that pesky stomach element that sometimes it goes through the ships and then of course, had to deal with COVID. My question to each of you is, have you been cruising before and would you cruise now? Jason you're up.

Jason Moser: I was just going to ask everybody around the table, who's been on a cruise? I grew up on the water down in Charleston, South Carolina. I grew up on boats. I love boats. Honestly, I have zero desire to go on a cruise like that though, and I'm not certain if I can say precisely why other than just I don't want to be around that many people on a ship in. I feel like you're going to get sick. I'm not even, like a germophobe. I just feel like there's no way you're not going to get sick on one of those ships. It's just not anything that has ever really attracted, but I know Mac Greer would take the other side of that argument. He loves those Disney cruises. He said some of the greatest stories to tell. I don't know, maybe I need to take a cruise one day.

Ron Gross: Maria, have you been on one?

Maria Gallagher: No, I can't swim and I know it's a boat, but the water scares me. 

Ron Gross: I haven't been on one since I was 22 years old, quite some time ago. All right Fools. We'll you see a little bit later in this show. Up next, a conversation with NYU Stern School of Business professor my alma mater, Scott Galloway, on his new book, Adrift: America in 100 Charts. You're listening to Motley Fool Money. Welcome back to Motley Fool Money. I'm Ron Gross. Scott Galloway is a professor at NYU Stern School of Business and the author of several best-sellers, including The Algebra Of Happiness and The Four. The hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, [Meta's] Facebook, and Google. Earlier this week, Chris Hill caught up with Professor Galloway to talk about his new book, Adrift: America in 100 charts.

Chris Hill: I think the last time you and I talked, it was your book about happiness. This is a very different book. How did you get the idea for this one?

Scott Galloway: Well, I've been fascinated by charts and trying to communicate information with images and visuals. We've had an alphabet for 1,500 years, but we've been interpreting actions and taking instruction through images for tens of thousands, whether it's paintings on cave walls or trying to figure out when to plant the crops based on the height of the sun in the sky. We can process information communicated through visuals six to 60 times faster, and I've always over-invested and everything I've done in finding someone exceptionally creative to help display information visually. I always said with everything we put out a podcast.

Well, that's actually not true, no podcasts but a book, a video, I would say, can we say this with an image as opposed to words? We produced several thousand images across our body of work over the last decade, and I thought if you were to try and pick the 100 most illuminating or shocking or insightful and then group them or cluster them into themes that told a story. How would you do it? There's a narrative. It's basically the book is laid out a chart than a page of narrative, than another chart and tries to tell a story around A, some of our biggest problems, and then I save the last chapter for what I think there's some potential solutions.

Chris Hill: The process you just described reminds me a little bit of a documentary film maker who has, in some cases, 70, 80 hours of footage and tries to distill it down to maybe 90 minutes or two hours. How challenging was the process of getting it down to a 100 charts? Because certainly, if I was your publisher or your publicist, I would very much be focused on a nice round number, like 100.

Scott Galloway: It's definitely the phenomenon. If I had more time, I would have written you a shorter note. The hard part wasn't what to include, it was what not to include. We've literally have several thousand charts and I backwards integrated, and I said, what do I think are the biggest issues facing America and the people aren't or that are under-reported or if you will, many of them. Then which charts best Illuminate the issue, but the hardest part is finding that narrative and that arc. That story Arc that tells a story with them and then bringing it, trying to bring it all together. That's the hard part. The hard part is the clustering and assorting. You can find the ingredients but somebody really intelligent figured that out. Chocolate and peanut butter actually go really well together. So yeah, that was the hardest part but it's something. This was fun.

This stuff is fun. Writing a book is the hardest thing I do professionally, and they're supposedly a hormone that comes over women up right after childbirth that gives them amnesia. Otherwise, they would never have more kids because it's so painful and unpleasant, and I think there was a similar process with writing a book about halfway. This is my fourth book, about halfway through every book, you think, why the heck did I agree to do this again? Right now is the euphoria stage. You get to the end of book like never again, I get to speak to smart people like you. I get to have fun, people are nice to me on Twitter and LinkedIn, and all of a sudden I can feel that amnesia washing over me and already, we're like, well, what's the next one? We'll see.

Chris Hill: When I think about your first book, which is about Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google was that book, as you were writing this one, was that book, I don't want to say a NorthStar but was part of the process of putting this book together. Looking back at that first book about Big Tech and essentially saying, I want to update what I wrote before.

Scott Galloway: There was some similarities, but for example, in The Four my publisher didn't want charts, the conventional wisdom when you put charts in a book, it feels like a textbook and won't sell. We said no, and I think we have 30-50 charts in The Four. Just think sometimes it's just much more illuminating to show the dominance of these companies graphically. The difference, the major contrast though versus The Four is I started The Four is a love letter to these companies. They are the largest recruiter out of my class at Sterne. I have a decent amount of economic security because I've owned their stocks for a long time. I love their products, and then as I really dug into the research and marinated in the data around these companies. The book turned morphed into a cautionary tale. By the end of writing the book, I was just like cheating, it was like for a moment when you write a book, with the day finished the book, you feel like for a few minutes, you know more on that topic than anyone in the world. Then a few minutes later you don't because things change, but I felt like I was the kid who could see dead people.

That is, I thought these guys are scary people don't realize. If people don't remember when I wrote The Foreign 2017, the only debate about The Four was who's going to be president? Jeff Bezos or Sheryl Sandberg. The general assumption was Sheryl Sandberg was the lock on for governor of California and then going to be Bloomberg's running made and then be president, and we were just all so enamored with these companies including Mark Zuckerberg. I generally for a moment think, I'd like to think, I saw the externalities a little bit sooner than some other people just by looking at the data. This book, Adrift: American 100 Charts, I started out very pessimistic polarization, Failing Young Men, Income Inequality. There's just some Rise Of The Shareholder Class, Decline Of The Middle-class, but by the end of the book, I felt much more optimistic because I think one of the major messages of trying to get across in the book is the biggest problems we're facing are of our own making and we can absolutely unmake them. I have a chapter in the book called The World We Made, and if you look at the things we have faced out, if you look at the things we have pushed back on, if you look at the things and really bad ideas that we have defeated, there's nothing we're facing now that we can't defeat.

There's this great photojournalist. I think her name is Maria Amallo. She's colorizing World War II photographs, and there's this wonderful photograph of land and craft and allied land and craft. That's just front skaters was dropped, and there are a couple of dozen young men. Their average age was 26 or average wage was $800 a month after inflation, weighting toward Omaha beach. Two of three of those men would not leave that beach alive and I imagine them turning around and somehow through some space and time lokey like metaverse, warm hole can see what's going on in our lives, and oh my gosh, we're facing income inequality, we're facing polarization in our media. Then going, I can't imagine they wouldn't say, you can't fix that. Look what's waiting for me on the beach.

Look what I'm about to sacrifice and overcome, and whether it's coming up with vaccines that saved one to two million American lives by most estimates, no one's waiting in line for Russian or Chinese vaccines. Whether it's 50 percent of global philanthropy is sponsored by American organizations, and we've taken world poverty down. The World Health Organization in 1970 said, let's commit to a cutting in half in 40 years. They cut it in half in 20 years, and then they cut it in half again. So in most of this has been American lead, so I actually came out of this book, started down and came at, started at half-empty, started at half-full. Come out of the book actually quite optimistic about America and our ability to face down these challenges.

Chris Hill: I was going to say you end this book on a very hopeful note. For anyone who might be thrown off by the word Adrift in the title. You end the book was, I think a great deal of optimism, and as you touched on recommendations for specific remedies, things like simplifying the tax code. The one that really caught my attention was rebranding nuclear. I'd love to have you share a little bit more about this because I think there's, among other things, relies on your expertise as a professor of marketing, but when I was reading that, I thought yeah, nuclear power really could use rebrand.

Scott Galloway: Well, think about Hollywood and how it portrays electric vehicles or wind and solar. These are generally like the ultimate boyfriend and a Hallmark Channel movie is a guy who owns a solar firm or installed solar panels, or our heroes are innovators coming up with electric vehicles. Think about Hollywood and nuclear power. Start with Monte Burns on The Simpsons, the evil guy owns the nuclear power plant or there's that incredible DOCU, trauma, chernobyl, or there's the China's syndrome with Jack Lemmon where we're going to burn a hole through. Hollywood has done a great job of basically like Nazis than South African Sterne apartheid, there was found a bad guy than the Taliban and nuclear. Nuclear is the corporate bad guy, maybe only second to tobacco executives. If you look at, and I'm not an expert on energy, but it strikes me that if you look at the fact that one power plant or one reactor can power a city the size of Philadelphia, when you look at the actual number of fatalities stemming from 50 or 60 years of nuclear.

When you look at the fact that we are arguably funding a war in Ukraine with fossil fuel dependence. It just strikes me and then you also quite frankly, just look at the relative efficiency or inefficiency of some of the cleaner, sexier technologies, wind and solar, just how much of it we'd have to build to replace fossil at the rate we want. I would argue that most data leads you to any serious conversation around the type of pace and cadence we need to establish to turn back climate change has to involve a sober conversation around nuclear, and that's not to say there are risks. That's not to say there aren't externalities, but the emissions, I think the total nuclear fuel spent from US nuclear power plants could be put in some encasing six feet high and cover a soccer field.

Now it's dangerous stuff and you got to be really careful with it, but that's nothing I believe, compared to the emissions of most other, especially fossil fuels. So in some very bright people including Bill Gates and some people I really respect are saying, yeah, let's start calling it elemental energy because there's some interesting conversation now around whether we put up plans to mothball some plants in California, Germany is thinking maybe they don't unplug their plans, but I think nuclear and the advances in nuclear are really interesting. Even some of this new technology is where you can have a mini plant the size of a Winnebago, that can power a fairly sizable town, or even something the size of a backpack that can power a neighbourhood. I'm actually really excited about nuclear. I think it offers a solution. Sometimes, the most obvious solutions are right in front of you.

Chris Hill: Bill Gates is someone you referenced an article you wrote recently for the Atlantic entitled Americas False Idols. Tech entrepreneurs and one of the things that caught my attention in the article was the number of times a company founder lists his name in the S1 filing, which seems like it might be a new exercise for investors to just go through the S1 and see how many times someone like Adam Neumann lists himself in WeWork IPO paperwork. I am curious though, Scott, if you look at the follow-on leaders of companies differently, if you look at someone like Tim Cook, differently than Steve Jobs or Andy Jassy, different from Jeff Bezos because I don't know, they don't have everything that comes with being a founder attached to them and instead, they are an operator.

Scott Galloway: There's a lot there. The Dollar Tree of innovators, and by the way, if I wrote that article again, I probably wouldn't include Bill Gates in that imagery because actually Bill Gates is doing really good work and have a lot of admiration for him. I think we could do worse than have the wealthiest people in the world with the foci as Bill Gates, but anyways, having said that the charismatic storyteller leader has been a key component of any of these companies that have accelerated from zero to half-a-trillion dollars or more. That is their ability to articulate an incredible vision, whether it's Steve Jobs in showmanship or Jeff Bezos, 1997 investment ladder where you read the thing and you just want to buy shares, or Adam Neumann, who I've been on stage interviewing before, who is just incredibly charismatic. You just want to be around him and a part of what he's building. That ability, that competence of a CEO to articulate a really compelling vision such that they attract cheap capital and basically, to use another World War II reference to overwhelm the enemy with just brute strength.

That's what capital is. Typically, the company in any sector that has access to the most capital, the cheapest capital, that's the odds-on favorite to win. So a really compelling CEO who can raise a lot of capital well ahead of the curve and pull the future forward with that capital to combine amazing things, plans, property, IP, people, wins. What's unusual about you brought up Tim Cook, he's an exception, and Tim Cook has added more shareholder value than any individual in history, and people might say what Steve Jobs did taking a company from zero. Three hundred billion was more difficult, but nobody has taken a company from 300 billion to 2.5 trillion. Tim Cook has added $2.2 trillion in shareholder value and no one has ever done that, accomplish that. He's a supply chain guy, and I don't know if it says as much about the difference in CEOs because I still think at the end of the day, they are spokespeople. When you listen to Tim Cook in his own way, he just wreaks credibility and integrity and the performance is just so outstanding.

I think the jury is still out on Andy Jassy. I don't know if he brings the same level of compelling vision storytelling as Jeff Bezos. I think that's still TBD, but I think there's Elon Musk weaponizing or leveraging whatever the term is, Twitter with 90 million followers and as a result, spans almost zero on traditional marketing and General Motors has to spend two billion. The storytelling visionary, charismatic CEO has become the criteria for a CEO. They become our new heroes. We have an Idiology of dollar and specifically tech CEOs every third year. Times person of the year just picks the richest tech person, and I think it's a phenomena. Talking about the book, the Dollar Tree and innovators is nations become wealthier and more educated. The church attendance and reliance on a superman goes down, but we need new idols. We need to look to people who can answer the unanswerable and technology is the closest thing we have to mysticism or magic or spirituality because my iPhone going to do amazing things. I have no idea how it works, so Steve Jobs is the information age, Jesus Christ and I would argue Elon Musk is taken that mantle, and it leads to some very unhealthy places.

These firms aren't regulated the same way other firms are regulated and these individuals are given a wider birth than any leaders in history. Unfortunately, I think it wallpapers over things such as teen depression, or organizing insurrection, and my last point, I'll stop this word Sal. There's an illusion of complexity that's fomented by these companies that these are big problems we can figure out and yet, you remove one account from Twitter and 30-60 percent a lot misinformation goes away in one night. Amazon gets critic bombed on their lord of the rings series where people are showing up in making incendiary comments and fake comments. They close the common section down. They use AI, they enforce identity, they posted 48 hours later in the comments are legitimate and have more veracity, so they figured it out in 48 hours, but Meta and Google throw up their arms and say these problems are too big. No, they're not. We're not talking about around with a possible we're talking about the realm of the profitable, so they create this illusion of complexity to try and stave off what are fairly obvious solutions and actions they should take.

Chris Hill: The book is Adrift: America in 100 charts. It is out now and available wherever you find books or pick up a copy. Scott Galloway, always great talking to you. Thanks so much for being here.

Scott Galloway: Chris, thanks for your good work.

Ron Gross: Coming up after the break, Jason Moser and Maria Gallagher return with a couple of stocks on their radar. This is Motley Fool Money. Welcome back to Motley Fool Money. Ron Gross here with Maria Gallagher and Jason Moser. Okay, Fools, we've got just a little time for a couple of stocks on our radar, and I'll bring in our man, Dan Boyd, to pick his favorite Jason Moser. You're up first. What do you got?

Jason Moser: Going with Cadence Design Systems, Ticker CDNS that played extremely important role in the semiconductor value chain with their suite of solutions which enables our customers to design and deliver fully functional electronic products. Ron, with a strong recurring revenue model cadence is going to bring it about three-and-a-half billion dollars in revenue this year. Management plans to spend around $900 million of free cash flow and share repurchases this year as well. I've recommended the stock already, Ron. It's one to keep an eye on.

Ron Gross: Maria, you're up. What are you looking at?

Maria Gallagher: I'm going classic. I'm going Target ticker symbol TGT, as we talk through inventory management this upcoming holiday season, I want to spend more time looking at it, see how they've historically performed during tighter spending markets, and I probably have to go to see some of their Halloween offerings.

Ron Gross: Dan, you got a favorite for your watch list?

Dan Boyd: Surprisingly enough, Ron, I think that semiconductors might be the future. I'm going to go with Cadence this time.

Ron Gross: Maria Gallagher, Jason Moser, thanks for being here. That's going to do it for this week's Motley Fool Money. Our engineer is Dan Boyd. I'm Ron Gross. Thanks for listening and we'll see you next week.