Weekend Reading

23 February 2019 | by Ensemble Capital

A summary of this week’s best articles. Follow us on Twitter (@INTRINSICINV) for similar ongoing posts and shares.

Will a New Goldman – Backed Credit Card Breathe Life Into Apple Pay? (Jeff Kauflin, @jeffkauflin, Forbes)

Apple is partnering with Goldman Sachs to offer a new credit card in a test phase coming up in the near future.  This new card will have integration capabilities into the many Apple products such as the iPhone, Apple Watch and the Apple Wallet.  With slowing sales of iPhones, Apple is working to expand into areas of sticky products to become further entrenched within the consumer ecosystem.  Ensemble President and Chief Investment Officer, Sean Stannard-Stockton wrote about valuations and The Risk of Low Growth Stocks on our blog here.

It’s the Real World – With Google Maps Layered on Top (David Pierce, @pierce, The Wall Street Journal)

The accuracy of GPS maps on our digital devices have made significant strides since their introduction several years ago but how precise is it?  GPS technology paired with smartphone cameras are able to provide a better picture of the direction you are heading and apps can now layer directions on top of what your camera is seeing, giving the user an up close and personal augmented reality experience.  This new technology is changing the precision of GPS and making navigation easier than ever.

JPMorgan Chase Moves to be the First Big U.S. Bank With Its Own Cryptocurrency (Michael J. de la Merced, @m_delamerced, The New York Times)

With the introduction of cryptocurrency into the marketplace investors have been questioning if this could be part of the evolution of the way payments are exchanged from one party to another.  Cryptocurrency doesn’t come without skepticism and JPMorgan was one of those skeptics until this year when they announced their own blockchain platform, Quorum.  Many institutions are now beginning to use this platform to keep track of financial data.  In this article, de la Merced discusses blockchain technology and the potential future of cryptocurrency.

Housing is Already in a Slump.  So it (Probably) Can’t Cause a Recession (Conor Dougherty, @conordougherty, The New York Times)

The volatility of the fourth quarter of 2018 left many investors concerned about the possibility of an upcoming recession.  This paired with the uncertainty of the path of interest rates raised concerns amongst the housing market. “Even though housing does not account for all that much of the economy, its role in recessions is huge, because it is highly cyclical and sensitive to interest rates.”  In this article, Dougherty discusses the stability of the US housing market as well as the sustainability of economic growth.


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