Dow Theory Buy Signal, A New Buffer ETF, & Barbie Smashes Expectations

The Dow Theory buy signal just flashed, suggesting there may be more upside to be had in the current rally.

Plus: a new ETF can help protect against stock market losses, and ‘Barbenheimer’ outperforms expectations at the box office.

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On The WealthChannel Podcast, we unlock the world of wealth, money, and finance. Hosts Jimmy Atkinson and Andy Hagans deliver unfiltered views on the most important news that investors need to know right now.

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Jimmy: Welcome to The WealthChannel podcast, the show where we explore the world of wealth, money, and finance. He’s Andy Hagans. I’m Jimmy Atkinson. On today’s episode, the Dow Theory signal just flashed in the stock market. There’s a new ETF that can protect against market losses. And Barbie is a box office hit. Andy, did you catch Oppenheimer or Barbie over the weekend? What did you go see?

Andy: I saw them both. Of course I saw the double feature. No. That’s one of our questions, right? Are we going to save that small talk for later in the episode? I did not see either Jimmy. It’s going to be a really rare movie that’s going to get me into the theater. The last one may have been like the Lord of the Rings trilogy or something, but how about yourself? Did you see either of them?

Jimmy: Yeah, that was a while back. I didn’t see either one. I was in my office watching OZ Pitch Day all day on Thursday, and then I cut all the videos on Friday. So that was our big Opportunity Zone investing event, which was my bull of the week last week. So it came through for us, and hey, I’d rather watch that than either of those movies. I think I will try to go see…

Andy: Jimmy, I think you’re gonna win an Oscar. I’m predicting you’re gonna win Best Producer. You might even win Best Director.

Jimmy: I sure hope so. Maybe we’ll win best actor for one of these podcast episodes going forward. I think I will try to go see Oppenheimer at some point. I read a couple of weeks ago that the movie creator, I forget his name now, he shot it in IMAX 70 millimeter. I’ve been doing a lot of research on that.

Apparently there’s only 30 theaters nationwide that show it in its proper aspect ratio at the highest quality possible. And one of them is in Dallas, about 45 minutes from my house. So I might go try to check it out over there. but everything’s sold out for the next three weeks. Anyways, we’re gonna talk more Barbenheimer a little bit later in the program today, but first let’s move on to story number one…

Andy: I love that it’s like a couple. What was the couple? JLo? What were they called? It’s like the movie is like a power couple, a Hollywood couple.

Jimmy: Yes, a power couple indeed. We’re gonna talk a lot more about it. Um,

Andy: Was it JLo? What was the couple? Come on, you remember.

Jimmy: Brangelina, it was Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

Andy: Okay, Brajolino, okay.

Jimmy: Right? Yeah. That’s what it was. Anyways, we’ll get we’ll get to that a little bit later in the episode. Barbenheimer. We’ll be talking a lot about Barbenheimer.

But first, let’s move on to story number one. Stock market story here. The headline is from Business Insider. And the headline is a more than 100 year old buy signal just flashed in the stock market. Man, that caught my eye when I saw this morning, Andy, according to LPL resource research, excuse me, uh, this buy signal just flashed in the stock market and it is called Dow theory.

So I hadn’t ever heard of Dow theory before this morning, but I read up on it. And I thought let’s do the first segment of the podcast on this theory. It’s based on the relative price action of the Dow Jones industrial. and transportation averages. And according to Dow theory, the market is in an upward trend if the industrial and transportation averages both advance above a previous important high. And then recently this just happened. Both the Dow Jones industrial average and the Dow Jones transportation average hit new 52 week highs. It’s the bull market that nobody wants, right Andy, as you’ve alluded to over the last few weeks.

Andy: I want it, but yeah.

Jimmy: Yeah, you want it. The signal suggests that there is more upside to be had in the current rally. By the way, this signal was created by Charles Dow himself late 1800s early 1900s. I’m not sure but here’s what he wrote in his newspaper, The Wall Street Journal in 1901. He wrote, “A person watching the tide coming in and who wishes to know the exact spot which marks the high tide sets a stick in the sand. at the points reached by the incoming waves until the stick reaches a position where the waves do not come up to it and finally recede enough to show that the tide has turned. This method holds good in watching and determining the flood tide of the stock market.”

So I just love that bit of poetic analysis by Charles Dow himself, the namesake of… one of the namesakes of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Andy: Legend.

Jimmy: And anyways, the Dow theory buy signals are based on these two averages confirming each other’s breakouts and have historically produced above average forward returns when the signal flashes. The transportation index tends to outperform both the industrial average and the S&P 500 following a buy signal, including an impressive forward 12 month return of 17 and a half percent, which is pretty bullish, I would say. Pretty impressive signal there. So Andy, what do you make of this signal? I know there’s all sorts of signals out there. I think we were just talking about. a different signal a couple of weeks ago. I forget which one it was now, but how good of an indicator do you suppose this is of what might be coming for the stock market?

Andy: Well, I got to say, I follow the logic. You know, sometimes with these kind of indicators, especially technical indicators, I can be very skeptical, right? Uh, to say the least, I mean, I would say more than skeptical. At many of them, but I am a big believer in leading indicators and like certain types of economic data, you know, they, they might seem esoteric or they might seem, uh, you know, uh, a little bit out there. But they’re really quite logical, right? So for instance, we talked about disinflation and I had Cullen Roche on my other podcast, The Alternative Investment Podcast. This was six, eight months ago.

And he was talking about all of these leading indicators for inflation. Show so clearly that we’re experiencing disinflation and that inflation will be coming down like clockwork is just going to take six, eight months. for that to show up in the actual CPI, which is more of a lagging indicator. And he was right. And it wasn’t even that bold of a call, but he was 100% correct, right? And so you could sort of follow the logic and say, well, you know, he’s actually not out on a limb. He’s just pointing out a pretty clear pattern.

It seems like this specific indicator, to me it’s very logical to follow. It’s not like some, you know, again, some kind of technical chart. You know, trying to sell me a $997 stock trading system or something like that. If there are lots of goods and services, uh, you know, special goods rather being moved around the country and we’re seeing economic activity in traffic in our highways, in rail data, then that means economic activity is occurring. It doesn’t matter if your politics like it or not. You know, if maybe you don’t want Joe Biden to be reelected or whatever, so you’re secretly hoping for a recession or something, it doesn’t matter. Right.

If, if we’re seeing a lot of economic activity and if that’s being reflected in this, you know, sector of the Dow, then it is what it is, you know, so my advice always to investors don’t invest based on your politics. Right. So, and that’s kind of where this theory of the bull market that everybody hates. And for me, it’s really both sides of politics, right? Because we talked about biodynamics last week, a week before, and it’s like, you know, the fact that inflation has been high and is now coming down, that’s true. Whether you’re on the right, whether you’re on the left, that’s just true.

It’s happening. Right. The fact that we are in a bull market right now, it’s just true. We could go into recession and still have a bull market. Uh, but it looks to me like, you know, I don’t know this, this narrative that we’re seeing, uh, is sort of contradicting Jimmy, the, the idea that we might even be in a recession. What do you think?

Jimmy: We’re not in a recession. We think we keep saying we might be headed toward one, but maybe we are wrong. Maybe all the economists are wrong. We… it was earlier this month Andy…

Andy: Right. Well, we are headed towards one. If you just say we’re going to hit a recession, I mean, you’re always going to be right. You know, I mean, there’s al… exactly.

Jimmy: Oh, we’re… Yeah, we’re definitely gonna hit a recession. Some point in the next 20, 30 years, it’s gonna happen. It might happen tomorrow. It might happen six months from now. DJ Van Keuren says it’s gonna happen in 2026 or eight. I can never remember. I gotta look that up.

But we’ve got him on the record as saying that and he’s been holding fast to that prediction for a while, which, man, when he told us that like a year or two ago, we thought he was crazy. We’re like, what are you talking about? There’s the recession is coming way before that. And I don’t know, maybe he’s onto something. So Yeah, the indicator we were talking about earlier this month, Andy, was the inverted yield curve.

It hit its most negative point in, I forget how long, 15 years or so, or was it 40 years? Maybe it was 40 years, pointing to, you know, we’re going to hit a recession, or at least that’s the sentiment. Or I think maybe more realistically, maybe all that meant was, maybe all it continues to mean is, hey, yields are high right now, but they’re not going to be as high. down the road, right? That’s really the only thing that we know for sure that it’s telling us. And that’s oftentimes an indicator of a recession coming pretty quickly.

This Charles Dow theory is really interesting because his whole theory was, hey, if there’s industrial activity, if these companies are starting to make more of a profit, then these goods need to be shipped across the country. This was the late 1800s, early 1900s, turn of the 20th century when he developed this theory. And I think it still holds true to this day. So the fact that both of those averages are hitting 52 week highs in close succession with one another, it’s very bullish. But by the way, I did kind of Google around a little bit after reading about this.

I was wondering, how good of an indicator is this? And I think my favorite, there were a lot of articles talking about how good or how bad of an indicator this was. But my favorite one was from Fisher Investments, the… the question, the headline was, how good of an indicator is Dow Theory? And the first paragraph, like in all caps, like 100-point font, just simply said, not very. So take all this with a grain of salt. I think it’s just like any other. I mean, I don’t know. You said it wasn’t just like any other technical indicator.

But in some ways, I think all these technical indicators are fundamental indicators. They all have their flaws. Andy, though, if If the bull market that everyone hates does have more upside to it, or if you think it has more upside to it, according to Dow Theory or whatever other indicator you may be looking at, what are investors to do? What would you advise a self-directed high net worth investor, our tribe basically, the people watching this episode potentially, what should they do with this information?

Andy: Well, you know, the biggest thing, you know, go back to my earlier point, don’t let your politics determine your investment strategy, right? It, I feel like so much of even in the investment world, it seems like, you know, all this economic talk, obviously there’s always economic talk in the investment world, but the economic talk links to political talk and it’s like, there’s always this, uh, implications of bull markets and recessions. and inflation. And when I speak with a lot of investors, you know, you almost have the feeling that because of their political views or whatever, they might almost be rooting for inflation or, or they’re rooting for, you know, economic expansion or whatever.

And it’s like, you know, you, you really should, I think as an investor, you need to have that wall, you know, the newspapers, uh, pretend that they have between advertising and editorial, you need to have that wall where, you know, your political aspirations, your political hopes and dreams, who you’re gonna vote for, et cetera. You needed to decouple that entirely from your investment strategy, right? Because if you’re a Republican, you need to come to terms with the fact that bull markets can happen during democratic administrations and vice versa, right? And it’s almost unbecoming, I would say. to be rooting for a bear market, to be rooting for higher inflation, to be rooting for a recession. It does feel like some people are in that, kind of a mode though.

Jimmy: Well, I think some people are in that mode, Andy, because maybe they saw signs of a recession coming or signs of a bear market coming. They think the stock market is overheated. Maybe it had too steep of a recovery post pandemic. And so they kept a lot of cash on the sidelines…

Andy: Right.

Jimmy: … and maybe they missed this huge rally. The S&P 500 is up 20% this year. It’s up, I don’t know how much it’s up, 25 or 30% since it hits lows last year. Don’t quote me on that, but somewhere in that ballpark range, I think it’s up about 20% year to date, at least. You know, maybe they missed out on it, because they kept cash on the sidelines. And now their cash is eroding at a rate of what probably about 10% over that last 12 month period or so if not more if they’ve held that cash for longer than 12 months, I mean…

Andy: Yeah that’s valid, Jimmy.

Jimmy: Maybe that’s all it is to it, right?

Andy: That’s valid and I’ve kind of said, I’ve been rooting for real estate correction. Beg my pardon, anyone who’s a real estate seller in the next 12 months or whatever, but if you’re out shopping, if you wanna invest in real estate or if you’re a first time home buyer who’s looking to buy a home, cheaper prices can be a good thing

And so I think maybe a lot of investors feel that way that maybe a stock market correction. could be a good thing, but applied to the economy, I think we’re not rooting for recession, right? I don’t think anybody should be, unless they’re just, I guess if you’re short everything, if you’re short the S&P, maybe then.

Jimmy: Well, I think the Republican presidential candidates are rooting for a recession, if you ask them, and they’re being honest with you. They’d probably love the economy to go into the tank right now, right? Like, wouldn’t that be huge for Ron DeSantis or Donald Trump if the economy just totally went into the dumps over the next 12 months? Like, what better gift could they get than that, right, Andy?

Andy: Fair, you said if they were being honest with you, but yeah, I don’t think a politician would ever be honest

Jimmy: Yeah.

Andy: with you about that sort of a subject, but that’s a fair point. Well, I get bottom line. I, you know, I don’t bet the farm on a recession. Don’t bet the farm against a recession. This is a little bit of a muddle through period for our economy. There’s mixed data all over the place. If you want to find a bearish signal, you can find one. If you want to find a bullish signal.

You can find dozens of each, right? So this is the exact time where you need that portfolio model, where you need that investor personal statement or portfolio statement where you know this is my default allocation, these are my guardrails, this is my minimum allocation to bonds, my minimum allocation to stocks, whatever the case may be, and you stick to the plan. Because otherwise we are all prone to behavioral mistakes, we’re prone to psychological mistakes. We’re prone to wanting to invest based on our politics or whatever other biases that we may have. You kind of got to use the other side of your brain, right? The lizard brain, I don’t know, but whatever, the other side of it.

Jimmy: Something like that, yeah. Well, and I’ll just kind of put a bow on it by saying this. We have 24-7 access to just tons of data about the economy and the stock market. CNBC is on 24 hours a day. Bloomberg television’s on 24 hours a day. You can read and read and read until you pass out. Heck, our podcast is on once a week, right? And maybe that’s too often. No, I kid. But the fact of the matter is I don’t think that it’s appropriate for most investors to be trading in and out of positions on a daily basis, or even a weekly basis, really.

I think even a monthly basis would be kind of pushing it. I think really you want to have that long term plan, have your investor personal statement, have a portfolio allocation and target goals and objectives in mind, and stick to the plan. And frankly, like Andy, you and I are mostly buy and holders, right? Like we buy and hold. pretty low cost index mutual funds for the vast majorities of your portfolio and my portfolio as well. We’ve got some fun stuff, we’ve got some alternative assets in the mix as well. But for the most part, I would say Andy and I, I guess I would describe us as sophisticated but probably boring and lazy investors. And I use the term lazy lovingly.

Andy: Well, Jimmy, if I can clarify…

Jimmy: And I think that most people would…

Andy: If I clarify one thing, I would just say, I think I am, I would describe you as well as opportunistic. We will take some risks and be opportunistic, you know, go out on a limb, whether it’s with an angel investment or venture capital, whatever, but it’s not going to be based on. Uh, a news headline, right? It’s not going to be based on story of the week. It’s okay to take some risks. It’s okay to be not boring. It’s okay to be bold But just don’t be manipulated into anything, you know based on flavor of the day be more intentional

Jimmy: Well said Andy. I think you’re absolutely right there. And with that, let’s move on to the rest of the show. As a reminder You’re listening to The WealthChannel Podcast. This is the show where we explore the world of wealth money and finance.

Let’s move on to story number two Andy story. Number two comes to us from Yahoo finance The headline is new ETF says it protects against all market losses Andy you and I were two of the co-founders of the ETF database at What year was that? 2008, I wanna say, right around the time of the Great Recession.

Andy: ’08 or ’09, right around there, yeah.

Jimmy: Yeah, in that timeframe. So you and I know a thing or two about ETFs, not quite as much as the primary founder and head of that site, our colleague Michael Johnston, but you and I know enough about ETFs to be dangerous. So I don’t know, this one caught my eye this week. I thought it’d be fun to discuss.

Innovator ETFs is the name of this fund issue where they launched a new product this week that it says… is the first to protect investors against all market losses. The equity defined protection ETF, ticker symbol TJUL began trading just last week and TJUL uses options to track the performance of the SPYR S&P 500 ETF trust, ticker symbol SPY of course, over an approximately two year period starting on July 18th, 2023 when it began trading.

The option strategy offsets all losses that the S&P 500 incurs over that time, but there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Of course, there is a catch. Gains are capped over that two-year period at 15.06% after fees. The ETF does have an expense ratio of 79 basis points, which is pretty hefty for an ETF, although not bad as far as annuities go and. While the fund protects against market losses, it doesn’t offer a guaranteed return like a treasury bond might over the same period. By the way, so those main points are from a Yahoo Finance article.

I also read an article in MarketWatch, which pointed out a couple of alternative options that investors can take on to replicate this style here. The core idea would be to invest in US treasuries and use the interest to purchase call options on the S&P 500 essentially so then the maturity date of the bonds and the expiration date of the options would be the same and would reflect whatever time horizon over which you want to be protected from any losses. The article also points that you could invest also in five or 10 year fixed income annuities and get a bit higher upside, but. I’m gonna use the term lazy investor again.

gain, I say it lovingly. For the lazy investor, accessing this strategy inside your brokerage account with just the click of a button just got a lot easier. So Andy, I don’t know, there’s some enticing parts about this TJUL ETF here. Are you gonna add any to your portfolio maybe?

Andy: Well, I don’t think so. I do think it’s an interesting product. And I know that these kind of buffer products, they’re more popular on some of the alt platforms like iCapital or Case. I know that these kind of buffer funds, buffer products are increasingly popular. You know, these variable annuities, you know, that have that, you know, kind of buffer component to them, they’re, they’re fairly popular. So it doesn’t surprise me that kind of strategy is now showing up in different kinds of wrappers, right? Because that kind of strategy, that buffer product doesn’t have to be in annuity, right? Because annuities have their own idiosyncratic details that are pursuing just that type of product.

One thing I would caution investors, think about if the losses, if it’s guaranteed not to… not to lose money, right? Well, you need to factor in still that expense ratio, right, the fee, and you need to always think of these investments on a triple net basis. So I don’t wanna pick on this ETF, but you always have to factor in inflation, taxes, fees into your return. And I mean, when I’m viewing this product through that lens, I’m like, okay, you’re removing a lot of risk, but then you’re leaving very little upside. Um, and, you know, depending, I guess I need to look into this ETF a little bit more, but correct me if I’m wrong, Jimmy, if you have a year where inflation is 8% and the ETF, you know, stays at that minimum par value, you’re losing 8% of your purchasing power, right? And then that’s before fees.

Jimmy: Correct.

Andy: So it’s not that it’s a bad product, but when you really think through, um, You know, it wouldn’t replace a three fund portfolio or even a 60 40 portfolio or really any kind of portfolio. It’s trying to, you know, squeeze out significant positive returns on a triple net basis in my opinion.

Jimmy: Yeah, it’s worse than cash if the S&P 500 declines, but it’s better than holding SPY if the S&P 500 declines. So I think that’s kind of the upside to holding it. The lack of the downside is the upside. It’s an interesting gimmick. It’s an interesting product. I don’t know if it’s a great fit for most investors’ portfolios. What do you think though, Andy? Should investors seriously consider this or some… buffer strategy like this? Or do you think the opportunity cost of a cap upside is just too great? And especially since we just spent, what, 15 minutes talking about the Dow theory signal, which indicates that the stock market might have room to run, why limit your upside?

Andy: You know, here’s what I would say, Jimmy, you know, a point in this ETF’s favor is that there are so many bad annuities out there. There’s a lot of just terrible annuities, right? That are not good products that don’t deliver good value to, you know, investors that may pay relatively high commissions to advisors that may make a lot of money for the insurers, but that are just not good products. So. The fact that this brings more transparency and more options to the audience for, you know, annuity products, I think is, I guess inherently a good thing. Um, but I would say, you know, if you really want, you know, what are you looking for?

Are you looking for growth or safety or a blend? You can probably achieve that, uh, with better numbers using other instruments, right? Whether it’s money market funds or CDs. or even tips, depending on what you’re looking for in terms of capital preservation, or if you’re looking for growth, just in very efficient ETFs or index funds that track the stock market, blending them together. The strategy you mentioned, probably too complex for individual investors. But I probably, in my opinion, I’ll do respect to the issuers of this ETF.

To me, this is a good strategy. kind of a marginal product that’s not going to fit in a ton of portfolios. But you know, at the same time, ETF universe now was so diverse. There’s so many little nooks and crannies that I’m sure this will slot in, you know, in a few niche roles that I’m not even, you know, thinking of imagining right now.

Jimmy: Yeah, interesting. I might try to read some more analysis of this one in the coming weeks. And I’d be curious to see how they do in terms of inflows over the next several weeks and months. Maybe we’ll have to check back in on this one, because I do think it’s a very interesting strategy. It can be replicated relatively easily, as I mentioned.

But again, that wouldn’t really be for the average investor, certainly wouldn’t be for the lazy investor. It takes a little bit of effort, takes a little bit of sophistication, some knowledge about. how to buy call options and you got to time everything just right with purchasing your treasuries. Yeah, I don’t know. This one’s not for me, but it’s interesting. Maybe it’s right for the investor who has a short time horizon and is looking for the simplicity and the accessibility of being able to just add this to his or her portfolio with the click of a button inside a Fidelity or Schwab account.

Andy: But if you have a short… Jimmy, if you have a short time horizon, money market fund or CD, you know, or whatever, two, three year, you know, high quality bond fund or, you know, whatever, I just think if you have a short…

Jimmy: They don’t have quite the same upside as this one though, Andy. Andy, this one could go up, you know, by 15%, which is better than a bond fund or a money market fund.

Andy: over a two-year period, right? So that’s…

Jimmy: Yeah, over a two-year period.

Andy: Seven… So you have a little bit more.

Jimmy: That’s still higher than, that’s still higher than, what are the money market averages? Money market’s yielding right now, like 5% or so, five and a half maybe?

Andy: Let me look it up.

Jimmy: Look it up, I think it’s about five or five and a half percent, last I checked. So I think this would probably outperform those, especially considering if we think that interest rates might go down over the next 12 to 24 months, then I don’t know, this actually looks fairly attractive. You have to be the right type of investor with the right time horizon, the right goals, the right mix of kind of laziness. And again, I say that lovingly, like I call myself a lazy investor, oftentimes opportunistically lazy, I guess. But

Andy: Yeah. So Jimmy best case is so money market right now around 5%. So this, this product that you’re talking to, you’re right. So it’d be like, what, seven and a half percent or so return per year. If it add up…

Jimmy: Yeah, I could beat it by 250 basis points a year, roughly. Yeah.

Jimmy: After fees. Yeah. But.

Andy: But it has, it’s a lot of work and even some downside compared to the money market. I just, for me, I’m having a hard, but you know what? To each his own, right? So, or to each her own. So maybe there, there is a particular mindset or situation that this product will appeal to.

Jimmy: Well, let’s check in on it in a few weeks and see if it’s still out there. See how much it’s brought in terms of inflows.

Are you ready for story number three? Cause I think this is why everyone’s tuned in today, Andy. Let’s talk Barbenheimer…

Andy: I don’t know.

Jimmy: Yeah?

Andy: Jimmy. I don’t know if I am ready, but you know what? I think you just gotta you gotta throw the pitch and let’s see how I do

Jimmy: Let’s drop the bomb here, okay, Andy?

So Barbenheimer has had a huge weekend. This is the headline from Variety Magazine. I got you with that one, didn’t I, Andy? The headline is, Barbenheimer even bigger than expected. Barbie soars to $162 million. Oppenheimer jumps to $82 million. So combined, Barbenheimer brought in a total of $244 million. That’s just the domestic box office, by the way, if you factor in international, I think it’s more than double that, but we’re just talking domestic numbers right now over the first weekend. Barbie beat expectations by tallying $162 million during its first three days in theaters. It’s the highest opening of 2023.

And Oppenheimer also beat expectations with $82.4 million in box office receipts. Analysts expect this weekend to be the highest grossing weekend. of the year at the domestic box office. All of this comes in the face of a boycott attempt by some prominent right-wing voices. Andy, I want you to comment on that in a minute, but first, just to put this, just put a little more context around this.

This is the biggest three-day opening weekend at movie theaters since the pandemic. It was the top-selling box office weekend ever, not involving Star Wars or the Marvel Universe. Now, by the way, That fact is not adjusted for inflation, so take that with a grain of salt. And it’s the first time a three-day weekend has seen one film open with more than $100 million and another with more than $50 million. Again, not adjusted for inflation, so take with a grain of salt. I think we commented on how these box office numbers never account for inflation in one of our first episodes.

Jimmy: But anyways, Andy, are you boycotting Barbie? Is that why you didn’t see it this weekend?

Andy: I’m not you know, you referred this article that I sent you, you know with Senator Ted Cruz of the GOP insulting this movie and I guess it’s not clear to me. This is a CNN article So I guess I need to take it with a metric ton of salt, Jimmy. It’s not clear for me if Senator Cruz actually called for a boycott But but if he did if or really if any…

Jimmy: I wouldn’t put it past him.

Andy: Sure, if anyone on the right did… Um, my question would be why I think there’s like this fundamental misunderstanding that flagrantly political media or flagrantly political products or brands now because of the bud light thing People like, you know go woke go broke and i’m like, oh no, no That’s that’s not how this works guys.

That is not how this works at all the bud light thing happened because that was a product with a huge consumer segment, folks buying their products, and they misunderstood their own customers. Right? So they misunderstood their own target market. Huge misfire. And I think you could say the same thing maybe with Disney and some of the family movies with a lot of parents not wanting political type stuff in kids movies. So again, a misfire.

But how are conservatives going to… Boycott a movie that’s not even aimed at them, right? Like nobody cares You know the people who want to see the movie are still gonna go see it so I think this movie was made for a Particular market segment and it seems like they had a very effective marketing campaign From what I read the marketing campaign rival the actual production that the budget for the marketing campaign rivaled the production budget For the movie so hats off to the to the marketing, you know team that Promoting this movie. I probably won’t see it, but that doesn’t matter because I’m not the audience.

Andy: Yeah.

Jimmy: And hats off to Mattel also, guys. I think they’re gonna cash in big on this.

I would also say one other thing about the Bud Light boycott versus the Barbie attempted boycott. Bud Light is a light beer. It’s a rather commoditized product. I mean, how many beer choices does a consumer have when he’s going down the beer aisle in the grocery store or he’s sitting at the bar? I mean, it’s very easy to just buy a Miller Lite or a Modelo or whatever. It’s easy to ignore Bud Light and never drink Bud Light again. Especially if all your friends tease you for suddenly liking Bud Light, right?

Andy: Right.

Jimmy: It’s kind of ridiculous. But like Barbie’s Barbie. Like, I mean, what other movie are you going to see this weekend? Maybe Oppenheimer. But probably if you’re the type of person who’s interested in seeing Barbie, you might not necessarily be the same person who’s interested in seeing Oppenheimer. I mean, Barbie’s like this big cultural phenomenon here over the last, well, last weekend in particular, but the build-up to it…

Andy: Well, Jimmy…

Jimmy: The hype train left the station a few months ago. Go ahead.

Andy: …to stop you there, though, I mean, I would presume that this movie is kind of aimed at the Hamilton audience, the Whole Foods audience, the Patagonia audience, you know, the college educated, probably left leaning, college educated female audience. And there’s tons of those people who want to see this movie and they’re going to see it. Obviously, they’re going to see this movie. It’s it’s aimed towards adults, though, is it not? from what I understand it’s PG-13.

Jimmy: I think so. I think it’s rated R. PG-13 or R, I’m not sure. But yeah, it’s definitely not meant to be a kids movie, which is also kind of weird…

Andy: And that’s…

Jimmy: I guess Barbie’s a toy that little girls play with, but it’s not directed at them. That’s a good point, Andy.

Andy: Well, you know, I pulled up this link on Disney’s Strange World. This was there. This is it lost nearly 200 million dollars. Right. So this is Disney. I never saw a strange world. I think it maybe had some progressive themes in it. I don’t know that it was a good movie, obviously like that matters.

I think audiences, they want to see good movies more than anything else. But the fact that the Barbie movie is aimed towards adults, I think that then. You know, it can be explicitly political, right? It’s a free country. You can have a left leaning movie, a right leaning movie, movie with whatever themes it’s aimed at adults, right? Who cares?

I think some of this backlash with like Disney and some of their movies is these are movies aimed at kids, obviously. Parents don’t necessarily want ideological or political content in movies that their kids are watching. So again, I think it’s just this totally different when people bring up the Bud Light thing. or some of the backlash towards Disney.

It’s a totally different animal towards like this Barbie movie to me it’s more like Hamilton. I never saw Hamilton. It wasn’t aimed at me, right? Obviously with my tastes or preferences as a consumer or music fan or whatever, but plenty of people saw it, made a ton of money and there’s a huge demographic for that.

Jimmy: You’re not much of a Broadway fan, Andy, is that right?

Andy: No, I’m not, you know, my brother is, but not me so much.

Jimmy: Okay, well good to know. By the way, what’s also impressive about this movie run over the weekend, putting the boycott aside, putting the politics aside, Indiana Jones and Mission Impossible sequels are also both in the theaters relatively recently and they haven’t generated nearly as much buzz.

Are people just sick of Harrison Ford and Tom Cruise finally? Are people sick and tired of all these sequels, Andy? I think it’s kind of cool that these two movies are new movies, right? We’ve never had a Barbie movie before. This is a, go ahead.

Andy: People aren’t sick of sequels. I mean, if you look at the Marvel cinematic, you know, if you look at all the, by the way, I loved like the first five Marvel movies and then I fell off the wagon. So, you know, I don’t really find them to be, you know, my thing anymore. But when you kind of look at which of those movies succeeded and which of them failed, and I saw Into the Spider-Verse, like that was a fantastic movie that was animated, I think. people see movies and talk to each other.

And it’s really pretty simple that if a movie gets good buzz at the grassroots level, it succeeds. And if it gets bad buzz, and I’m not talking about critic reviews, I’m talking about like at the office water cooler, the virtual water cooler. I honestly think word of mouth matters more than anything. So if Indiana Jones or Mission Impossible flopped, I’m guessing that they weren’t getting a lot of word of mouth recommendations, sounds like these movies are.

Jimmy: Yeah, I’ll stand by my opinion that there were only ever three Indiana Jones movies. The fourth one was so bad. I can’t even see this fifth one. The original

Andy: Fair enough.

Jimmy: three. That’s it. They should have just ended it right there. Well, with that, let’s move on to the ever popular segment. That’s right. It’s time for this week’s edition of the Bull of the Week. Andy, what’s your Bull of the Week this week?

Andy: My Bull of the Wekk is a lizard.

Jimmy: Ooh, wow. So

Andy: So the big…

Jimmy: So tell me about that one.

Andy: Godzilla, this is Godzilla. I’m a Godzilla super fan. This trailer came out about a week ago. I’m staying on the movie theme, Jimmy.

Jimmy: Yeah.

Andy: Godzilla Minus One. How’s that for a sequel? This is not even Godzilla Zero. It’s Godzilla minus one. Now here’s the thing.

Jimmy: So hang on a second, what does that mean? Is this a prequel? I don’t know anything about this movie.

Andy: I don’t either. No, this is the beautiful thing. Let me sell you on this Bull of the Week, okay?

Jimmy: Okay.

Andy: Godzilla has a long and storied history. I think the first one came out in 1954. And Toho is the Japanese film studio that owns the franchise and produced the vast majority of the movies over the years in Japan. Since 2016, we’ve had the Monsterverse, which is the American version of Godzilla. But in, or was that 2014, 2015, you know, seven or eight years ago, we’ve, we’ve had this monster verse in America simultaneously. They’re still making Godzilla movies in Japan. If you’re, you know, generally, I think a lot of the super fans like myself, we love the, the movies that come out of Japan in 2016, we had Shin Godzilla, kind of a cult favorite.

And this is sort of a followup movie to that one. So this is produced by Toho. And we know very little about it. You know, the whole marketing process, the way the press operates, the way the industry operates in Japan, I think is very, very different than the way it works in the United States. And I think basically they did come out with a very short trailer, but very little is known about this movie in the United States. It’s basically just going to, you know, appear here, I believe, in November later this year. But I’m pumped because Shin Godzilla. was really, really good, and I think Toho has hit its stride, and this movie’s gonna be awesome.

Jimmy: And you are a huge Godzilla fan. You almost, if it weren’t for the sticker shock, I think you were about to buy some very expensive Godzilla merchandise at that Japanese bookstore that we went to in Midtown Manhattan. What was that earlier this year? That was a fun trip. You ready my Bull…

Andy: I’ve had the opposite. Sorry. I got to cut you off.

Jimmy: That’s okay.

Andy: But the opposite of buyer’s remorse, there was this giant Shin Godzilla action figure and Jim… he tried to talk me into it. And I was like, you know, I can’t even like fit that in my suitcase. So, but every sense that I’m like, man, I should have got that activated. I probably, you probably can’t find it anywhere else in the world except that, you know, what’s, what’s the name of that bookstore?

Jimmy: I don’t remember what the name of the bookstore is. Let’s

Andy: It’s famous.

Jimmy: Let’s link to it in the show notes, though. I’ll send it to you when we get off.

Andy: Okay, let’s do that. Or you can look it up while…

Andy: What’s your Bull, Jimmy?

Jimmy: I’m giving you… I’m gonna give you my bull. Well, by the way, I almost kind of want to make it Mattel since Barbie had such a huge opening weekend.

Andy: Yeah.

Jimmy: I think Mattel’s gonna do great. They’re gonna probably sell a heck of a lot of Barbies over the next few months here…

Andy: Yeah.

Jimmy: But that’s not my bull. My bull this week is X.

Now, it’s a bit jarring that after more than a decade, the blue birdie is suddenly dead, and the name Twitter is no more.

By the way, what are tweets gonna be called now, Andy?

But in case you missed it, by the way, Elon Musk renamed Twitter over the weekend. It is now called X. And I don’t know what tweets are gonna be called, and I don’t even know if people are gonna still call it Twitter, but the blue bird is gone. If you load the website right now, the blue bird has been replaced by the letter X.

A lot of… A lot of people might be confused about this. It’s like a kind of a strange thing to rebrand such a powerful brand name. I mean, could you ever imagine like Coca-Cola or Disney or IBM like rebranding, just changing their name overnight? Maybe Twitter isn’t quite as deeply entrenched in American psyche as those brand names. But I still think it’s kind of wild that Elon Musk would change the name.

But I think I’m bullish on it because I think Elon Musk has just an enormous vision for what formerly Twitter, now X could be. He wants it to be more than a social media platform. He intends to transform it into what he’s referred to in interviews as an everything app. He wants it to be social media. He wants it to be payments. He wants it to be commerce.

And I don’t know how it’s all going to unfold, Andy, but I can’t help but be bullish on Elon Musk and his ideas after seeing all of the success that he’s had in his career, particularly. with Tesla and with SpaceX. And he, I mean, he has had a lot of critics and he’s made some missteps with Twitter since he acquired it. How long, how long did he acquire? It was sometime last year, I think. It hasn’t been in his hands for too long.

Andy: Time flies.

Jimmy: But I’m pretty bullish on what he’s done with it already. He’s got some super fans in his corner. The fact that he’s starting to pay content creators merely for creating content. All they had to do was link up their bank account. I mean, he’s revolutionized the app already in so many ways. I’m bullish on X. I think he’s gonna take it to the moon. I don’t know how or why or when, but I’m kind of curious to go along for the ride. What do you think about X, Andy?

Andy: I like your bull pick, Jimmy. I mean, I guess I’m open-minded. I could see it flopping, but I also wouldn’t want to bet against Elon Musk. And I have to say just from that branding perspective, I was prepared to make fun of this, right? Because Facebook rebranded to Metta, didn’t Google rename themselves Alphabet or something. But the thing is with those other…

Jimmy: Alphabet, yeah.

Andy: Yeah, those other companies, they didn’t commit, right? Like when you go to Facebook, it’s still the Facebook app. It’s still called Facebook. Meta is almost like I feel like it’s the butt of many jokes now

Jimmy: It’s… Meta, I feel like Meta, they wanted to call Facebook Meta, but they just didn’t go that extra mile. It’s basically just the holding company is called Meta and same with…

Andy: Right.

Jimmy: Google. Nobody calls it Alphabet unless you’re analyzing the stock. It’s because it’s the holding company for Google and all their products. Right. But go on.

Andy: And that’s why I respect this bull pick, because Elon Musk says we’re going to be called X and I didn’t even know that this logo was already up, Jimmy.

Jimmy: Yeah, it just happened.

Andy: Sure enough, I loaded…

Jimmy: I think it just happened. When are we recording this? It’s it’s 3pm on a on a Monday or having like 15 hours ago. I think it happened like at midnight last night, basically.

Andy: Yeah, so here it is. So the guy moves quickly and actually, you know, delivers on my okay, well, this rebrand actually is happening on like Meta, sort of a fake rebrand, you know, so I like it.

Jimmy: And by the way, what’s interesting is, yeah, what’s interesting is Elon Musk, for those who don’t know, he’s owned the domain name for over two decades, I think, like, which is a great single letter domain name to own, there aren’t too many of those in case you’re mathematically challenged.

Andy: I’m out.

Jimmy: Just take my word for it. But it was was part of PayPal when Elon worked there, however many years ago, 20 years ago, when he was one of the… co-founders or I think he merged into PayPal. I can’t remember all the details, but he since got back from PayPal, and he’s basically held on to it and done nothing with it for about 20 years and now last night, it redirects to and Twitter is now X and I don’t know, again, like I don’t know what he’s doing.

But I know he’s got great vision and I’m bullish on it. So, well, Andy, this has been fun. We’re out of time for today. But this week’s app has been explosive, I think, don’t you think?

Andy: He thinks so. Godzilla thinks so.

Jimmy: Fantastic. Well, thanks for listening to today’s episode of The WealthChannel Podcast, the show where we explore the world of wealth, money, and finance. As a reminder, you can find us online at slash podcast.

The WealthChannel Podcast is available on YouTube, Apple, Spotify, and all other podcast listening platforms. Just hit that subscribe button so you can get our new episodes every Tuesday morning and we’ll see you and Godzilla next week.

Andy Hagans
Andy Hagans

Andy is co-founder and co-CEO at WealthChannel.