It’s been a while since my fingers have tickled this ebony keyboard, dispensing my free advice or intellect to anyone who would listen. I’ve lived my life wearing many masks…pauper, gawazillionaire, land baron, real estate investor, stock market prodigy, CEO. Through every job and every mask, I’ve learned important lessons that form the foundation for the next direction I need to move in to make more money and be more successful.
I have sat on boards and owned a few small companies in the past. But when one of my friends who respects my work ethic and brain came to me and asked me to help turn around his small business, I found yet another venture. Just like Jon Taffer of Bar Rescue or Marcus Lemonis of The Prophet, I invested some money into this business that I feel could really take off…if I can get the ship back on course.
So I’ve been on my hands and knees scrubbing shelves. I’ve front and faced. I’ve put systems in place and worked on advertising. I’ve mopped. I’ve scrubbed. I’ve done a ton of this while employees sit and watch me while eating at the register.
What I’m getting at is that I know the value of a dollar. I remember when I lived paycheck to paycheck how everything around me (my time, my family life, my dreams and goals) each had a value. If I wanted to buy a fancy new tie for work at the carlot (oh young, naïve Cash), I knew that I had to work x amount of hours. I knew that if I wanted to save up for an exotic trip to the Texas coast (sigh), I would have to work y amount of hours. If I sacrificed those things, then I could have the most valuable asset of all…time. The fact that the mantra TIME IS MONEY is still mentioned so often is no coincidence.
Our country’s issue is that no one understands the value of a dollar anymore. Too many people get handouts or eat government cheese and work no longer equals money. You can have more money today than I ever did growing up just by sitting on your couch popping out babies.
If you don’t think companies take advantage of this, let’s look at today’s Target $TGT ad. On some of their most popular toys (Star Wars Legos $DIS) they’re offering buy one, get one 40% off. As I went with the baby on a morning stroll through Target (8am on a Sunday, mind you), parents loaded up their shopping carts with Legos. They didn’t compare prices with competitors. They didn’t pay attention last week when Legos were already cheaper than they were today. They didn’t pull up Amazon $AMZN to see that the Legos were already almost 40% off without having to buy one. You can say what you want about my observation, but I promise you are aren’t in the Golden Age of America just yet where you can throw $10-$20 extra bucks out the window on toys, right?
So this might be a nice little buying opportunity for Target, if you like business practices like this. Last week the toy was $15. This week the toy was $20 but you get 40% off a second marked up toy! The old bait and switch! Based on my microcosm of a study (one product in one store on one day), Target should be making some major bank. They have convinced the consumer that you must buy this STUFF this week and load up as much as you can!
The stock is down almost 12% since the beginning of the year, and a chunk of that came from their security breach and a plethora of other issues. I recommended them not too long ago (Does Target SwimSUIT You for Value?! $TGT $WMT $COST www.AtTheMoney.com/swimsuit) in February based on them paying attention to the NOW. Since that blog, the stock is down less than 1% so the opportunity is still there.
Sneaky and shady ways like the Lego anecdote usually lead to profit. Hate me all you want, but in the end, I just care about that sweet, sweet, green, no matter how a company is making it (almost). I still have a BUY on Target, a BUY on Costco $COST, and a hold on Wal-Mart $WMT (though I’m paying extra attention to their current Sam’s Club expansions across the Southwest).
I’ll see you at the money.