We recently published an in-depth article covering how investors can use Amazon’s Kindle 3 for reading SEC filings. The approach outlined in the article can be a viable solution for investors who would like to save paper, but it only scratched the surface in terms of the Kindle’s utility as a newsreader. While reading newspapers on the Kindle is not yet equivalent to traditional newsprint, the timeliness of delivery and the ability to subscribe to distant newspapers can be quite compelling. Unfortunately, the cost of subscriptions through Amazon.com can meet or exceed the price of print versions which seems like a poor value proposition. In this article, we will discuss a way to legally gain access to literally hundreds of newspapers and magazines at no cost. Read this article for more details.
Much of what we do as investors involves studying businesses and critically evaluating the returns that are likely based on management’s competitive strategy. The elusive search for true “moats” is often frustrated by quick technological change which can make yesterday’s incumbent firm today’s dinosaur. Investors who pay a rich valuation for a business with a moat must be confident that the advantages leading to high returns today are not destroyed by new types of competition in the near term. Smart phones may soon threaten to drive retailers without a coherent competitive strategy to extinction.
Many readers will relate to this scenario: The printer is hard at work producing a 100+ page SEC Filing when the room becomes strangely silent. Surely not enough time has passed to signal a completion of the job? Sure enough, the printer has run out of paper, depleted its toner, or may even require a new drum unit. The only positive aspect of the breakdown is that fewer fine particles of indoor air pollution are being produced, at least for the moment. Surely there must be a better way? We think there is: The Kindle 3 from Amazon.com. Read this article for more details.
One year is a relatively short period of time but represents an eternity when evaluating the products offered in the nascent market for electronic reading devices. One year ago, there was much excitement regarding the potential for the Kindle DX to revolutionize the market for textbooks. The Kindle DX is a larger version of Amazon.com’s popular Kindle device which is more suitable for larger formats such as textbooks. Several business schools aggressively rolled out materials specifically designed for the Kindle DX. The results of the experiment are now in and according to the Financial Times, the device has received very mixed reviews. Read this article for more details.
Rupert Murdoch has an enduring devotion to newspapers and is eager to extend his key franchises from print to emerging digital formats. Mr. Murdoch has embraced Apple’s iPad tablet device for delivery of News Corporation’s Wall Street Journal and The Times of London. However, long before the iPad emerged on the scene, The Wall Street Journal was one of the only newspapers that succeeded in operating a website with mostly paid content. The Financial Times reports that News Corporation has sold 10,000 iPad subscriptions at $17.29 per month and 5,000 subscriptions to The Times of London for £9.99 per month. The one sticking point for many Wall Street Journal subscribers? Print can often be a cheaper alternative which rankles consumers who expect to share in the benefits of lower production and delivery costs. Read this article for more details.