Hudson Taylor


The Diary Newsletter 1/17

Welcome to The Diary, the newsletter for essential small-cap investing intelligence, presented twice a month by Dear Retail. We hope you enjoyed our last issue – if you missed it, you can find it here.


How to profit from the surging demand for “overnight” shipping

There’s a great product called Life Oral Wound Cleanser. I used it to help heal a nasty sore in my mouth several years ago (courtesy of a tooth-capping procedure my dentist performed on me). Recently I suffered another mouth sore.

That sent me back to my local CVS to buy more of that oral cleanser.

But they didn’t have any.

Neither did any of the other half dozen or so drug stores I went to.

When you can’t find a product locally that you really need, you order it through Amazon, right?

That’s what I did.

And since I’m an Amazon Prime member, which entitles members to overnight shipping, I figured I’d get it the next day.


You see, Amazon’s overnight delivery service for Prime members doesn’t apply to orders fulfilled by stores that contract with Amazon.

And of course my oral cleanser was coming from one of these stores.

Four days passed before I finally got it.

Since I was in pain, I would’ve paid triple for overnight delivery.

I’ll bet you can also recall times when you would’ve given anything to get what you ordered online right away.

You see, we Americans are an impatient lot.

We want what we want RIGHT NOW!!!

We’re hopelessly addicted to speed and convenience.

Helping satisfy those demands is what enabled Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) to grow into the $1.65 trillion behemoth it is today.

Now operations large and small are trying to improve their deliveries.

They have no choice because…Some kind of digital art thing? The latest crypto craze? A speculative frenzy? Correct.


Understanding NFTs and How to Invest in Them

At this point, you’ve likely heard the term “NFT” thrown around enough to have a vague idea of what they are.
Some kind of digital art thing? The latest crypto craze? A speculative frenzy? Correct.


Lithium Runs Hot in 2022

Commodities had a stellar year in 2021. Whether it was fossil fuels, coffee, oil, copper or quartz, last year marked a decidedly bullish turn for several key commodities.
Gradual economic recovery, combined with an ongoing supply-side hangover from the pandemic, pushed prices up.
Fossil fuels including propane, heating oil, coal, ethanol, and gasoline surprisingly ended up being some of the strongest performers in 2021, thanks to OPEC cuts and the unprededented pandemic-induced lows of 2020. Oil prices this week hit a two-month high, with analysts predicting prices will continue to rise in 2022 as demand outstrips supply.
But the best performing commodity in 2021 by far was lithium—up 486% according to Trading Economics – a trend that looks set to continue innto 2022.


You won’t believe these 2022 predictions

It was your typical holiday party.
Eggnog… sugar cookies… ugly sweaters…This party had it all. A number of good friends who know I write about the markets were there.

What, I was asked, did I think 2022 has in store for us retail investors?

Would pot stocks take off?

How about gold and silver – would they make a runup?

Would inflation get worse?

Well… of course I have no divine superpowers that allow me to see into the future.

But I do have plenty of opinions about what will happen in 2022.


The Restaurant Chains I’m Investing in NOW

I recently completed a six-month odyssey.

I drove through Northern California, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota and the Midwest until I reached Cleveland, Ohio – the place of my birth.

Then I spent a few weeks in Tennessee and Florida, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and finally up home to Northern California.

The trip also revealed something that gave me an interesting investment idea.


The Diary Newsletter 12/13

Welcome to The Diary, the newsletter for essential small-cap investing intelligence, presented twice a month by Dear Retail. We hope you enjoyed our last issue – if you missed it, you can find it here.


Why This Early-Stage Cancer Detector is on my Watchlist

I’ll never forget when my mom was diagnosed with bladder cancer. A year after the diagnosis, she was dead. Bladder cancer also hit my dad. But not only is he still alive, he suffers no ill effects from the disease.

So what was the difference between my mom’s cancer and my dad’s?


How to Invest in Digital Learning

I was taking a leisurely drive back to California from the East Coast, primarily staying at Airbnbs along the way. My last Airbnb host, Maria, rented me a room in her Las Cruces, New Mexico home.

She’s a 60-something woman of Mexican descent.

I arrived early in the afternoon, and after I settled in she offered to make me lunch.

I accepted, and during the meal we chatted for about an hour.

That’s how I learned she’s a former schoolteacher and psychologist who invested in real estate.

Now she rents out several houses, as well as two rooms in her home to Airbnb guests.

Much of our conversation revolved around the political situation in the U.S., and the country’s great ideological divide.

She’s extremely conservative and has deep disdain for the primary school educational system in Las Cruces.

The seeds for her disdain were planted decades ago when her three children were in grade school.

At the time, New Mexico had passed a bill mandating certain teaching practices that conflicted with her conservative values.

So she pulled her kids out of school and homeschooled them.

Her kids did well as homeschoolers.

In fact, they received scholarships at area colleges and are now very successful professionals.

Why am I telling you this story?

Because homeschooling and digital learning are experiencing explosive growth.

Obviously the 2020 Covid lockdowns have played a huge role in this trend.

Many parents, forced to work from home or who were no longer able to go to work because of the lockdowns, suddenly found themselves helping their kids do schoolwork remotely.


The Oil Rollercoaster

Few investments present the kind of narative you get with oil.  It’s one of the most highly traded commodities in the world, with a global market worth over $5 trillion and counting.
It has been referred to as “black gold” and the “lifeblood of the modern economy.” Because it is . . . at least for now. 

Oil is used in many ways: as a key component for energy generation, transportation fuels and petrochemical products such as plastics, solvents and adhesives. 

This means it’s highly lucrative. And because it’s unevenly distributed, it’s also highly political.

The result is that oil is very volatile and greatly influenced by politics, weather, sentiment and even unprecedented events like a global pandemic, for example. 

Speaking of which . . .