Paul Mampilly Says Amazon Is Powerful, But Don’t Give Up On Health Stocks

Amazon made what many have called one of the most disruptive deals in healthcare made in history when it announced a partnership with Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan Chase to rollout new prescription purchase plans. Paul Mampilly, an author and investment advisor for Banyan Hill had previously warned about Amazon’s activities telling investors that some healthcare stocks were going to suffer as a result of this. But he took a different tone in a more recent article about Amazon’s move saying that although Amazon has wiped out a number of companies and certainly will be changing things in healthcare, it may not spell the end of healthcare the way some are predicting.

Paul Mampilly described some of Amazon’s previous entries into other industries like food distribution and wholesale when they bought Whole Foods. This merger caused Kroger’s stocks to go down initially, but the new business model showed flaws in its initial phase and since then Kroger has come roaring back in the market. Mampilly also noted how they seemed to bump Netflix off of its online streaming perch when they opened Amazon Prime, but Netflix responded to that and also saw its stock shoot back up and is showing they can compete as well as ever with the e-commerce giant. All these point to signs that healthcare may not be as dead as Amazon would have you believe. Read more at Talk Markets about Paul Mampilly

Paul Mampilly is a graduate of Montclair State University, a former manager at Deutsche Bank, ING and Baker’s Trust, and former Managing Director of Kinetics International Fund. During his professional career, he’s managed billions is assets for fortune 500 companies, institutional investors, investment banks and other upscale hedge fund clients. He’s also known for winning the Templeton Foundation investment competition for taking $50 million and buying some of the few profitable stocks during the 2008 recession and gaining 76% on them in one year. He also has been in stories in Barron’s magazine and a guest on the Fox Business Network and CNBC.

Paul Mampilly made a lot of money as a professional, but he renounced that job because he wasn’t getting to be with his family much, and he wanted to help people other than the top 1%. He moved out of Wall Street and into a more suburban area of Raleigh, NC, but he continued to buy stocks and invest and decided to tell others how to do it right through newsletters and articles at Banyan Hill. This company offers investment information for a lower price than most other premium newsletters, and Mampilly gives his followers a detailed look at his portfolio and explains investing in simple terms. His first newsletter, “Profits Unlimited” became so popular that over 60,000 subscribers signed up in just three months. You can get access to that newsletter and others by signing up at www.BanyanHill.com. Read more: https://stocktwits.com/paulmampilly

 

Internet And Tech News: Amazon Opens First Cashier-less Supermarket

For those who wondered how long until artificial intelligence begins changing the customer shopping experience that day is already here. With the recent launch of the Amazon Go cashier-less Seattle store long lines and waiting are a thing of the past. These shop and go supermarkets allow consumers the convenience of picking up items, and leaving the store without ever having to stop and pay.

Store customers sign up for an Amazon account, download the Amazon Go App before shopping, and scan a QR code. Stores are equipped with AI advanced sensors. When customers pick up items sensors detect it, as well as when customers put items back on the shelf. Also eliminated is the need to return items. Customers can receive a refund on an item without ever returning to the store. It’s a futuristic method of shopping, but saves time and offers a high level of convenience to shop and go, without having to pay a cashier before leaving the store.

Most physical grocery stores are already equipped with automated machines for added convenience so the idea of a totally cashier-less shopping experience is not completely new. Consumers are already used to the convenience of online automated shopping when ordering groceries as well. The idea of a store loaded with sensors and AI technology is new, but represents added savings to the customer and the business as it reduces shop lifting, and adds safety to stores.

The Amazon Go store in Seattle, Washington is the only cashier-less store, linked to the app, currently open to the public. Others are undoubtedly on the way, and may introduce a higher level of automation in the grocery industry as a whole. Amazon Go stores will not be void of employees. Employees are still needed to stock shelves, and oversee other sections of the store, such as the beer and wine section. Many labor advocates point to automation as a loss of jobs across industries, such as in fast food, and manufacturing, but Amazon points out previous positions will simply be absorbed into new positions. This may increase as needs and technologies advance. In a marketplace with varied products and services, it is ultimately consumers who decide what changes and shopping experiences are acceptable.

Internet and Tech: Amazon and Investors Form Healthcare Company

Healthcare costs have risen astronomically in recent years, leaving many Americans uninsured, and others in fear of losing coverage. Even those with insurance are often forced into positions of obtaining health loans, suffering unexpected health problems, with lack of enough coverage for needed services. Government funded healthcare has done little to bridge the gap of rising costs. Though government healthcare was a solution for some, it didn’t solve rising health costs, or lack of coverage for millions of other Americans. In addition, when leading healthcare insurers began pulling out of affordable care, the government was little equipped to stop them.

As the political debates regarding healthcare options continue, private financial companies, assisted by leaders in technology, are opting for more immediate solutions for their employees. Amazon, JP Morgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway, owned by Warren Buffett, announced they intend to partner to find an overall healthcare solution for their United States employees. The companies intend to form an independent company that will focus on new technologies, which they say will result in simplifying the healthcare process, provide more transparency, and higher quality healthcare at affordable rates. They also hope to eliminate problems within present insurance models, including high levels of profit that contribute to rising costs. Such a venture may ultimately prove viable for all Americans, if successful.

Interest in the healthcare market is also not new for Amazon, who recently expanded into other industries, such as food and pharmacy. As early as last year, news outlets began reporting Amazon health industry ventures. Such ventures included the formation of a health tech team, entry into telemedicine, and wholesale pharmacy licenses. Amazon’s expanding technical role into various industries has resulted in more customer convenience, reduced costs, and faster turnaround times in those industries.

What this new healthcare company will end up looking like, the technologies or services included in an industry presently built around high costs and competition is presently unknown. Plans for this independent health insurance company are still in very beginning stages. If successful, such a venture could certainly provide a cost reducing model for other companies, and may result in a catalyst for change for the U.S. health crisis.

Alexa Suggests Games as Amazon Dominates the Market

Echo owners are finding that Alexa has more skills than they could have imagined, and if they can’t imagine a certain skill Alexa is more than happy to tell them “there is a skill for that.” With the new capability of suggesting skills Alexa will help people learn the full capability of their devices.
Alexa’s newest update takes a tried and true method straight from shopping on Amazon, Alexa will now suggest games for you when you are done playing one. Amazon has stated that this new feature is being received well.
With over 30,000 skills Alexa users might be left wondering which ones will be beneficial to them and are they missing out on any of the most helpful skills? According to CNet there are 40 must have skills. You can find them here: https://www.cnet.com/how-to/amazon-echo-most-useful-alexa-skills/
If 30,000 skills sound impressive check out the smart home capabilities Alexa has. Amazon is becoming a major contender in that market. Alexa can now control more than 4,000 smart home devices. According to Amazon tens of thousands of devices have already been connected to Alexa across the globe. With announcements at CES 2018 this number will most likely continue to grow despite Google making an appearance on the field.
At CES 2018 Alexa is giving Google some real competition. With both companies trying to make a splash in the virtual assistant market, Alexa still beats Google hands down with the capability of connecting to so many third-party devices.
Even as Google races to catch up, announcing plans to allow Google Assistant to help manage your home, Alexa also got some major boost announcements. Jabra unveiled Alexa capable headphones, Windows 10 is now going to be Alexa capable, and you will see Alexa Asus mesh routers.
Perhaps the biggest benefit Alexa has over Google Assistant is users already integrated Alexa into their homes. This makes them unlikely to switch to Google Assistant even if Google catches up on smart home integration.
With so many new skills and capable devices this year it will be interesting to see where Alexa goes from here.

Amazon’s Alexa Comes To Android

The popular virtual assistant known as Alexa finds itself appearing in front of a greater audience than ever before. Amazon, the online retail giant, contributed a great deal to this cause by integrating the virtual assistant into its shopping app. Originally, Alexa could only be accessed through the app on iPhones. The audience for iPhones definitely is huge, but there are other devices and operating systems out there.

Now, Amazon adds the Alexa feature to Android devices. The number of potential users in the Android world could be best described as stratospheric. Amazon absolutely gains great benefits from expanding the Alexa feature to Android users. While Amazon might be a retail colossus, not everyone uses Amazon to shop. After all, Amazon does not have a monopoly. Scores of other companies, eBay being one, compete with Amazon for customers.

Through bringing the extremely helpful virtual assistant to Android, a host of potential customers may end up drawn into looking closer at Amazon. Since Alexa can do so much for them through voice-operated control, there is no reason not to use the app. Anything that makes life easier always has appeal.

Access to Alexa’s responsiveness to requests to browse online merchandise adds a new layer of ease and comfort to online shopping. Customers really like things that make their shopping endeavors quicker and effortless. The entire reason online commerce maintains high levels of popularity is summed up in one word: convenience. Anything adding to convenience should further facilitate sales.

The combination of reaching new shoppers and making shopping easier could lead to a huge windfall for Amazon. Amazon may have Alexa to thank for such a result.

Amazon now selling pre-packaged meal kits

Amazon continues to grow and expand its inventory. The company sells everything from computer accessories to animal food to books and everything in between. The giant online retailer just recently announced that they are offering pre-packaged ingredients for home-cooked meals.

The Seattle-based retail giant is changing the way customers get their groceries. Getting in your car and driving a few miles to pick up ingredients from a nearby grocery store may not be needed shortly. In recent years tech companies have placed emphasis on food delivery and convenient transportation services wherever you are.

Amazon bid $13.7 billion to buy the grocery chain Whole Foods. This move already has shares of Blue Apron down 11 percent.

Josh Chadd is a systems engineer living in Seattle who has tested out a variety of food delivery services such as Sun Basket, Blue Apron, and Home Chef. He just recently tried out the Amazon Meal Kits and raved about how good it was. The steak dinner he ordered was packaged by Corfini, and the side dishes were fresh and very sweet. The onion was cut before it was shipped. Green peppercorns were included as a complementary side item. There aren’t any other recipes that use these quality ingredients. The recipe directions were very easy to follow. To be honest, anybody could recreate the Steak Au Poivre meal.

Amazon bills all Meal Kit customers $14.99 per month on top of the yearly Prime membership fee. Customers have the option to pick up their meal kit groceries at their nearest pickup location to avoid the $14.99 fee. Amazon claims that all the ingredients sent to customers can be put together start to finish in around half an hour.

There are currently seventeen meals that can be ordered. The cheapest option is $15.99. The boxes the ingredients come in are a little smaller than they are pictured and can almost entirely be recycled.

Amazon Enters Music Streaming World

Some consumers have referenced Amazon as the cyber store that has everything. For a company that was originally only designed to sell books, Amazon has grown in a cyber store giant. It has become the online store that sells everything that people could imagine, and it sells these items at great prices. That may be the reason that so many people are interested in checking out the new unlimited streaming service that Amazon is able to provide.

 

This is something that people should have expected with Amazon. This is a company that has rode the wave of technology to the limits. This is a cyber store that has streaming services in place already for Amazon-based television shows. There is a level of commitment to getting customers the best quality service and products, and the streaming service appears to be the next service that more customers desire. Amazon is providing unlimited music streaming. That may be the reason that people are getting prepared to make the switch from the streaming company that they are with.

 

Technology has really allowed people to do a lot more than they ever thought that they could do with their music collections. Now that consumers have access to unlimited data plans they can roam the Internet and stream all of the music that they want to stream. In years past, it was evident that this was not possible because streaming was causing a lot of high phone bills. People were downloading music and listening to music offline. The Internet has come a long way though. There are websites that have unlimited cloud storage, and there are data plans that are also unlimited. This gives music lovers chances to do far more streaming than they ever thought that they could do before.

 

This is why Amazon has tapped into the hot music streaming market. This is just the right time to capitalize on this franchise. It is like Amazon Jeff Bezos analyzes the market, sees the growth potential for a certain concept and locks in on the idea. Music streaming is not anything new to the technology world, but there have been issues in the past. The 4G networks of today, however, have made it possible for music lovers to stream continuously.

Amazon Enters the Amazing Realm of Drone Delivery

The future is finally here and with comes extra-fast deliver of Amazon orders. In the United Kingdom, Amazon entered a brave new phase of operations. The legendary online seller has now completed its first delivery via a drone. Things are absolutely in the development stage as only two — yes, two — shoppers are approved for drone delivery. Consider them very lucky shoppers since they have been approved just as the holiday season arrives.

 

Plans are to slowly expand the delivery to select Amazon Prime members who live near the local Cambridge fulfillment center. Eventually, the goal is to quickly facilitate drone delivery to hundreds of customers in the Cambridge area. That is the short-term goal. Amazon’s long-range plans are sure to include global drone delivery no matter where someone lives. How this is going to work out logistically remains to be seen. Drone delivery is limited to how far a drone can fly from where the order is stored.

 

Both figuratively and literally, the sky is wide open regarding the future of drone deliveries. Drones can fly out of the Amazon warehouse any time a crew is working on facilitating orders. This could mean Sunday delivery or even delivery at any hour of the day or evening. Amazon won’t be limited to the post office or private couriers. Deliveries to the same neighborhood could even be made at different times during the same day.

 

To say this would boost the fortunes of Amazon would be one of the greatest understatements ever uttered about online retail sales. Customers enjoy convenience. The ability to receive something very quickly after hitting the “purchase with one-click” button is preferable to Prime members. Paying extra shipping means little to customers who want their order right away. Drone delivery could speed the whole process up immensely.

 

The quicker the customers get their order, the quicker they are more likely to buy something else. Amazon and third-party sellers both benefit immensely in a deal like this. No real surprises should exist as to why Amazon is putting so much effort into developing modern drone delivery services.

 

Drone delivery is going to become the future of online retail sales. Amazon is getting itself ahead of the game by launching a beta program. Look for more retail companies to follow.

 

 

Amazon Must Repay Millions for In-App Purchases

Judge John Coughenour out of Seattle has ordered that online retail giant Amazon refund parents for purchases that their children made in app on Android and Kindle devices without their knowledge. The Judge ordered Amazon to start refunding parents over a 12 month period that will start January of next year.

 

The move is aligned with legal action that has already been taking by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission). However, the FTC asked for $25.6 million to be refunded and the Judge stated that this amount was too large. He did not exactly side with Amazon either however rejecting their offer to refund customers via gift cards.

 

Amazon is just one of many platforms that offered the option for users to pay extra for content within music and gaming apps on their mobile devices. Parents did not like the new add-ons complaining that it was way too easy for children to buy extra content without their parents knowing. They also argued in the case of toddlers and other young children that it was too simple to make accidental purchases while using the apps.

 

In 2014 the FTC decided to take action to combat the fact that in-app charges did not require any type of password confirmations in kids’ games. It cited the example of an app in which the free acorns exchange screen looked the same as a screen in which kids purchased coins with real money. Therefore, children could easily make purchases without realizing they were spending real money.

 

Starting in 2014 Amazon started noting in its app store which apps had add-on purchases within the apps and also changed the confirmation process. Additionally, parents can now use the parental control options to disable purchases from being made within the app completely.

 

Amazon is not the only mobile device operator to be affected by the FTC lawsuit as Apple also has to pay customers over $30 million and Google is due to pay its customers another $19 million.

 

 

More tech updates coming to retailers

Many have wondered whether or not brick and mortar stores will be able to keep up the competition with e-commerce websites, and in the near future, their concerns may be answered in a way that many may not have expected. Certain technological developments are expected to help retailers make more lucrative use out of their physical facilities and human staff. If these developments pan out in the retailers’ favor, then it just might help them level the playing field with e-commerce websites like Ebay and Amazon.

The key advantage that brick and mortar establishments have always been able to leverage over the e-commerce giants is the interactivity between customers, salespeople and merchandise. Despite the convenience of being able to buy with a click, there are still many who appreciate the human element of in-store help; conversational commerce has been brought into play in the hopes of eliminating the need to choose.

Conversational commerce is an endeavor to give online customers the same privilege of a salesperson’s direct assistance that they would have when physically in the store, and it’s already made a strong impact in China.

In some Chinese retailers, the customer can use an application called WeChat to directly speak to the staff. While digitally browsing the store, the sales associate asks if the customer would like to know about any special promotions or new merchandise. Customers who are interested in getting more information may then simply trade contacts with the salesperson and continue getting personalized help.

Dozens of U.S. retailers have begun tasking their staff with running chat messages applications to provide assistance and brand-relevant advice to customers who patronize the store virtually. Time will tell just to what degree this trend could possibly reshape the public perception of brick-and-mortar shopping versus online catalog browsing.