Friday File: This, Too, Shall Pass (but first, let’s buy some stuff)

A few sells and buys in the Real Money Portfolio as earnings season kicks into high gear, plus update on Apple, Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, Fastly, Teladoc, Markel, Goosehead... and a dozen others.

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, October 30, 2020

Kind of seems like everyone wants to run away and hide until after the election, no? I can’t emphasize enough just how happy I am that this will all be over a week from now… or, at least, that the voting and the initial results will be over, I hope the polls are correct and that the margin of victory for President Biden will be clear… or if the polls are wrong, that they’ll be even more wrong than 2016 and President Trump will have a clear victory. I’m not sure I can stand another 2000-style month-long showdown among the lawyers over results in Pennsylvania and Florida… but short of that, I still expect that this weakness going into the election will become a “relief rally” once the winner is clear.

As always, that’s just an exercise in reading the tea leaves, I am not certain enough of this future to bet on it… just focusing on making individual decisions about individual companies, and making my buy and sell moves small enough that mistakes in this very volatile period won’t come back to bite me too hard.

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So… what’s going on with the Real Money Portfolio this week? We’ve got plenty of earnings-related updates to share, and a few transactions as well, but I’ll start small…

Chewy (CHWY) inspired a little excitement among investors this week — I’d guess that’s both because the COVID shutdowns or caution seem to be more likely again (perhaps providing yet more of a boost to e-commerce), and, more immediately, because they announced the rollout of a pet-focused telemedicine product.

Which seems nutty, but I guess there are some things a vet can tell just by looking at a pet, and some things that a vet can have the owner (sorry, parent) do on a telemedicine call to diagnose the animal. I guess it’s worth a try…. so far, this is more like a triage service to help both veterinarians and pet parents, it’s not really replacing a vet when it comes to real diagnosis but is more of a “call the hotline for support” offering — here’s how they describe it:

“With this service, Chewy makes it possible for pet parents to connect directly with a licensed veterinarian to get answers to some of the most commonly asked questions, to receive advice, discuss concerns they might ...

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