Stock tickers spell trouble for traders

August 23, 2019

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Today, social-media savvy fast-food brands duke it out on Twitter and Fitbit partners with Singapore to make its citizens fitter, but first….

The Hustle Daily Email


These common spelling mistakes cost investors millions each year

Automotive behemoth Ford Motor will release it’s Q3 earnings on October 24th, and when it does, countless investors will scramble to purchase shares of stock ticker “FORD.” 

Only one problem… 

“This is not the FORD you’re looking for”

“FORD” is the ticker symbol for “Forward Industries,” a manufacturer of “carrying cases for medical monitoring systems” worth $10m — not the $40B car company listed under ticker symbol (F).

And we thought the newsletter industry was niche…

In fact, experts estimate that this mistake costs investors an average $1m in trading fees alone. Most investors don’t even catch the mistake until at least a week later, and some never correct it at all, “they just rationalized the purchase as still being a good investment,” one researcher writes.

Other notable ticker travesties:

  • HP vs. HPE: “HP” stands for Helmerich & Payne, a drilling rig company, not Hewlett Packard (which trades under “HPQ”), or Hewlett Packard Enterprises, which trades under “HPE.”
  • ZOOM vs. ZM: “ZOOM” is an obscure Chinese wireless company. “ZM” is a $25B video conferencing platform.
  • TWRTQ vs. TWTR: “TWTRQ” is a bankrupt home entertainment retailer whose stock spiked 1000% in 2013 after Twitter IPO’d under ticker symbol “TWTR.”

This is just the short list — Professors at Rutgers identified “250 company pairs where the possibility of confusion is particularly high.”

Even “robo investors” make mistakes

Big institutions that rely on algorithms to watch for big movements in stocks often get tripped up when a bunch of poor proofreaders dump money into the wrong companies.

Computers don’t ask why a bunch of investors are suddenly optimistic about a defunct stereo seller, they just execute. That means the responsibility falls on investors to “spellcheck” their holdings, whether they’re a basement daytrader, or a hedge fund hotshot. 

We’re bullish on GOGG…
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Fitbit outsteps Apple to outfit Singaporian health initiative

Fitbit announced a first-of-its-kind public health partnership in which the pedometer pioneer provide “free” health trackers to citizens of Singapore. 

According to Fitbit CEO James Park, the deal could result in bands on more than 1m Singaporean wrists.

Start steppin’, Singapore!

Next month, Singaporeans can register to receive a Fitbit Inspire HR… if they commit to paying $10/month for a year of Fitbit’s coaching services (that’s more than the cost of the band, which retails for $99.95). 

Users will also be asked to consent to sharing their health data with Singapore’s Health Promotion Board. 

Singapore boasts the world’s longest life expectancy — 84.8 years, baybee — and a renowned healthcare system. But with heart disease and diabetes on the rise, the city-state hopes to help people adopt healthier habits … and avoid higher healthcare costs.

The deal is helping Fitbit get back in shape, too

Fitbit was once the biggest name in wearables, but it’s been hurt by competition from the Apple Watch and other cheaper models.

But this Singaporean partnership signals a shift in direction for Big ’Bit: By focusing on services, Fitbit hopes to create some recurring revenue — a crucial step towards realizing its 2019 revenue projection of $100m.

Let’s get physical
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Is “Cheap Flight Day” real… or just another brand-made holiday?

Today — August 23rd — is known as “Cheap Flight Day” in the air travel biz because it’s the day when high summer prices drop and airlines offer high-flyin’ deals.

But, unlike other branded holidays such as Amazon’s Prime Day or National Rotisserie Chicken Day (invented by Boston Market), Cheap Flight Day wasn’t randomly dreamt up by someone in a corporate marketing department…

Cheap Flight Day was created by the market, not a marketer

August 23rd consistently kicks off the cheapest flight deals of the year. 

So why is today the best day to start booking? The summer vacation booking season has just ended, and holiday travel-booking has not yet started. 

Many airlines will offer discounted tickets for the next few weeks: Aggregators like CheapOair and Matt’s Flights are promoting the “holiday,” and many airlines will likely offer incentives and giveaways to boost sales.

Matt’s Flights emailed The Hustle a few examples of Cheap Flight Day discounts:

  • Boston to Madrid: $230
  • New York to Paris: $374
  • Los Angeles to Copenhagen: $371
  • San Francisco to Hong Kong: $359

It’s not just the month that’s predictable…

Certain days and times offer considerably better deals

According to data from British travel company Skyscanner, booking domestic flights in August is 4% cheaper than average, while booking in June is 4% more expensive. 

For international flights, the differences are even more dramatic: Booking in September is 6% cheaper than average, while booking in June is 10% more expensive.

Saturday is the cheapest day to book domestic flights while Sunday is the cheapest day to book international flights. 

The best time of day to book? 6 am.

Early bird catches the flight


Popeye’s serves up a new chicken sandwich… with a spicy side of social media

Fast-food chicken chain Popeye’s recently released a fried chicken sandwich (you’ve probably heard about it).

The sandwich is, well… a chicken sandwich. 

But the seemingly straightforward announcement started an all-out fast-food feud across social media — and managed to garner coverage from The New York Times to the Washington Post to The New Yorker.

Popeye’s didn’t start this fast-food fire… 

This time, it was competitor Chik-fil-A, which responded to the release of Popeye’s new sandwich with an ad for its own “original” chicken sandwich — a move perceived as a jab at Popeye’s.

But even though Popeye’s didn’t light it, it chose to fight it, responding to Chik-fil-A with a Tweet that asked simply, “… y’all good?”

Then, social media really started sizzling as other chicken chains jumped into the fast-food fray with their own emoji-fueled roasts:

  • Wendy’s: “Y’all out here fighting about which of these fools has the second best chicken sandwich.”
  • Shake Shack: “If you’re lookin’ for a chicken sandwich (without the beef 😉), you know where to find us.”
  • Zaxby’s: “Did🥪 someone🥪 say🥪 sandwiches? 🥪”

Fast food brands can’t just have flavor, they need flair

Wendy’s was famously the first major fast-food chain to develop a larger-than-life “personality” on Twitter, using its social media accounts to crack jokes and roast critics and competitors.

The strategy was so successful that other brands soon followed suit, and now sizzling social banter between fast-food chains on social media is standard fare.

This Popeye’s spectacle was a perfect example: Thanks to the extra attention, Popeye’s sold out of its sandwiches at many locations — and it also added more than 25k followers.

Brands behaving badly

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Shower Thoughts
  1. If a dog could use a computer, he’d likely have his owner as his desktop background.
  2. For the first 18 years of your life, your body is under warranty. If you get broken, the people who made you have to pay for repairs.
  3. We as a population somehow universally decided on mint as being the taste of fresh breath.
  4. It didn’t matter what abandoned house they were in, Scooby and Shaggy always managed to find fresh produce in the fridge for sandwiches.
  5. Saying “Everyone on Earth” excludes about 6 people.
  6. via Reddit
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