Wall Street Unplugged
Episode: 840January 11, 2022

The best and worst of CES 2022

What a great and busy start to the year… I just returned from the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2022)… and today, I’ll highlight the best and worst companies that showcased at the event. [0:30] 

But first, Goldman Sachs just increased its prediction for the number of interest rate hikes we’ll see this year as the Federal Reserve attempts to control inflation…

I pound the table on why inflation is the biggest risk to the markets today… the single, painful solution I see for the Fed… and how to start protecting your portfolio NOW. [1:30] 

Cryptos are also seeing a lot of volatility, with Bitcoin dropping from $60,000 to around $40,000 over the past month or so. I explain why the pullback is creating a great buying opportunity. [7:50]

Turning to CES, while Omicron had an obvious impact on the number of attendees (several companies ended up canceling last-minute)… there were still plenty of amazing products being showcased—like BMW’s new electric vehicle (EV), which I got to test-drive. [9:20] 

One of the biggest themes of the event was the “metaverse.” While the whole concept is still somewhat ambiguous… the biggest companies—including Apple, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft—are already making big moves into the trend. [20:00] 

But two companies really stole the show… and I believe one device in particular will become my personal favorite product of the year. [25:50] 

Finally, a new cross-industry alliance is a huge deal for the smart home trend. [29:20]

Check out our YouTube, TikTok, and the CES 2022 Timeline for all of my deep-dive updates from this year’s event.

Inside this episode:
  • How to protect yourself against inflation—the biggest risk to the market [1:30] 
  • The crypto pullback is creating a great buying opportunity… [7:50]
  • COVID’s impact on CES 2022… and my BMW test-drive [9:20] 
  • Apple, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft are moving into the metaverse trend [20:00] 
  • The two companies that stole the show… and my personal favorite product [25:50] 
  • A new cross-industry alliance is a huge deal for the smart home trend [29:20]
Transcript

Wall Street Unplugged | 840

The best and worst of CES 2022

Announcer: Wall Street Unplugged looks beyond the regular headlines heard on mainstream financial media to bring you unscripted interviews and breaking commentary direct from Wall Street right to you on main street.

Frank Curzio: How’s it’s going out there? Hope all you enjoy the New Year. It’s January 11th. I’m Frank Curzio, host of the Wall Street Unplugged Podcast, where I break down headlines and tell you what’s really moving these markets. So, whoa, what a week. Was it the third I left for the CES last Monday? About six days, come back, markets sound like every single day, especially at NASDAQ, which is mostly high growth technology companies. And make no mistake, this downfall is due to one thing, one specific thing, and that is inflation. This is something we’ve been pounding the table on for a long time, saying how it’s not going to be transitory, but you’re looking at this as a whole and seeing how the Fed is late to the party. Just make no mistake: Inflation is here, and it’s not going away anytime soon.

Frank Curzio: This is one of the things I was worried about it. It’s why the Fed did a 180 in November, which the Fed never really does. They usually explain months ahead what they’re going to do. They don’t just go out there and do something crazy, and they did it in November, surprised the markets. Saying, it’s going to raise rates sooner than expected and stop buying bonds. It’s why Goldman, after writing its forecast just three weeks ago of three rate hikes this year and predicting that the Fed’s going to end its bond buying program in December, yesterday, came out and said, they’re predicting now four rate hikes. And pushing forward its forecast from December to July for the Fed to end its bond buying program, push it forward by six months. Goldman made this forecast three weeks ago, guys. This isn’t like a six months ago or even three months ago, this is three weeks ago. What’s changed over three weeks?

Frank Curzio: It’s also why Jamie Dimon, the most connected guy in banking in terms of politics, global, close ties to the Fed, he said this week, he would be surprised if it’s only four rate hikes this year. And some of it was saying, a few weeks ago, three rate hikes. I broke down that Goldman report, said, no way, there no way it’s only going to be three. Unless it’s 50 basis point hikes, which usually, they’re not going to do, I don’t think, they might have to. But it’s also why I pushed Moneyflow Trader the last two weeks of December, which helps you make a lot of money during extreme volatile times. Which will likely to see at least, at least, guys, over the next 12 to 18 months with the Fed in tightening mode.

Frank Curzio: You are looking at extreme volatility, and you need to realize it’s not just the Robinhoods, which was over 80 and is now $15 a share. AMC was over 65. It’s now 20, $22. Renewable energy, marijuana stocks, have gotten destroyed the second half of the year, and now, they’re down more than 10% plus in 2022. We’re 11 days in, guys, a little over week here. But if you look outside the sectors and go into industries, specific industries, holy shit. Biotech is down 10% this year, software is down 9% this year, transport’s down 8% this year, apparel companies down 8%. This is the opening of the year, but you have to come to terms with inflation.

Frank Curzio: Something a lot of people have been shouting from the rooftops for such a long time, for decades, “We’re going to have…” and we haven’t had it for decades, but this time it was different. You hand the money directly to people, you didn’t hand them to the banks, the backstop, the financial system, the credit card, you handed it to people. You give them check, after check, after check, after check. The reason why holiday sales were okay. Digital killed it, but they were okay year-over-year, because everyone was spending money during the year because they had so much money.

Frank Curzio: It was handed to them. Loans, you didn’t have to give back for businesses. Even Harvard filled out for a freaking loan, for the PVP loan. What a surprise. But when it comes to inflation, it’s by far the biggest risk to the market. It’s not default, it’s not bankruptcies, it’s not debt. We continue to print our way and push it down further and further and further, we can continue to do it. We’ve done that, we’ve done that, and look what happened. Look at the bull market, for what? Over 10 years, 12 years outside of a few hiccups? With COVID, maybe a 15% decline in 2018, I believe, late in 2018, but other than that, holy cow, record highs. But when you have inflation, none of those things work.

Frank Curzio: The only way to stop it is to basically force a recession. You have to take money out of the system. Want specifics? The Child Tax Credit, it’s going to end this year. Very, very soon, unemployment benefit’s going to be scaled back, not offered forever, where you’re making more money on unemployment than you would working. You wonder why there’s a labor shortage in almost every single fricking industry. There you go. It’s why the Fed will stop buying bonds much sooner than expected, which helps keeps rates low. It’s why almost every Wall Street firm, I just mentioned Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, everyone’s going to follow. They’re going to continue to raise, increase their Fed hike outlook over the next few weeks. They see it coming. Inflation is here, it’s not going away soon. It’s why interest rates are starting to surge, with the 10-year touching 1.8%. That’s a major move. You can compare it historically and say, it’s still very low, you’re right. But we’re looking at 1.3 not long ago, a few months ago, to one point… That’s a major, major move at the 10-year.

Frank Curzio: Again, still low by historical standards, but you see the shift. There’s a fundamental shift going on. Inflation is here, and the Fed is behind the curve, and they’re like, holy shit. You have to realize that. That doesn’t mean everything’s going to crash or you should go 100% into cash. Don’t do anything. I mean, look at the oil gas, it’s up 7% this year already. Regional banks, insurance stocks, all up over 5% this year. There’s sectors that are working, stocks that are working.

Frank Curzio: But it does mean, companies with strong balance sheets and dividends, they’re going to outperform growth names who had not expected to be profitable for many years. That worked when you have free money given to… Everybody’s funding every project. You guys see some of the crypto projects. I see they raised 3 million, 7 million, 15 million. They don’t even have a business model, and they’re saying, “This is what we’re going to do.” They don’t even have something that’s in existence. “Hey, we’re generating a million dollars in revenue right now, and this works and this…” No, they’re like, “Listen, here’s an idea. This is what we’re going to do.” And it’s these kids that never ran a business before in their lives, and you’re like, holy shit, these guys just got 10 million in funding. Are you kidding me?

Frank Curzio: I’m not saying those days are over, but they’re going to be pretty close to being over. The good ideas will always get funded, but the shitty ideas get funded when you have easy monetary policy, which we’ve had for a long time, especially, the past few years. You look at small-caps, many of those names are going to take a hit, especially the ones that don’t have strong balance sheets to go along with their huge potential growth. It means gold’s finally going to have its day or should I say year? It provides a nice safe haven, even as rates are going up, since when you account for inflation, real interest rates are still well into the negative, but it also means it’s a good time to buy Bitcoin on this sell off. It’s being viewed as a risky asset and people are selling it.

Frank Curzio: Well, there’s a lot of margin, I know that. You’re going to see margin calls, and I get it, but I really don’t see that as a risky, risky asset in this environment. Is it volatile? Of course, it’s going to be volatile. But to me, it’s much less risky than owning assets that are sensitive to higher interest rates. You don’t have to worry about dilution. Institutions that were late to the party are going to likely start buying Bitcoin at these levels. Even Novogratz said, it was finger on the pulse, 38, 39,000 is going to be an interesting level because the institutions were late to the party, and why else are they going to buy Bitcoin? Because it’s a two trillion dollar market. That’s one reason. Two is, they’re mandated to own alternative assets, which here you go, gives you a shot to own alternative assets.

Frank Curzio: That’s why you’re seeing massive hiring, JP Morgan, City Group, Wells Fargo for crypto jobs, massive, massive hiring across the board. The most important thing is, their clients are screaming for it, they want crypto exposure. Even Jamie Dimon said that. Our clients want this, and it’s a big enough market where there’s volatility and there’s liquidity, and that’s what you need to get big money in there. I think Bitcoin’s a very strong buy here. Volatile, but a good asset to own in this type of environment.

Frank Curzio: As the markets fell last week, I was out there doing my boots on the ground research at the CES, the Consumer Electronics Show, which I attend basically every year, except for last year, they grew up to 10 years now. A lot of companies canceled. There was a lot of open space. If look at my videos, which are on YouTube and TikTok, especially our website, Curzio Research, we published everything. My team put together a great timeline of all my videos that I did and sampling the products, it was awesome. The floor space, it was kind of uncomfortable because companies canceled late. Even though you had 1700 companies, including 800 startups, it’s probably about 60% less than it was in previous years, in previous years, I mean, pre-COVID. But the fact that the new variant, again, it’s going around like crazy, everybody’s getting it. A lot of companies canceled within the last week, 10 days. So, there’s just so much space there.

Frank Curzio: They opened up a whole west hall just for autos, but it was a little disappointing because the major auto companies weren’t there, there was a few of them. BMW, Hyundai, you had Chrysler there, a few of them, but Ford, GM, Mercedes, all these guys, holy cow, this is bigger than Detroit Auto Show. So much so, they created a brand new hall, which you have to take the Hyperloop, Tesla there. Basically it’s a two mile drive, that’s in a big loop, a big tube that, they just drive to from one area to the other in the CES. That’s how big the CES is. That’s how big the convention center is.

Frank Curzio: I’m just talking about the convention, going from central hall to west hall to south hall. You’re taking this Hyperloop, which opened, I think, a year ago, the first time I took it. But man, you’re looking at the west hall, they opened that specifically. They used to have it in north hall, and that’s how big it was going to be, and a lot of these companies canceled and you saw it, the floor space, it was uncomfortable. LG just packed it in really, where they decided to cancel late. LG is the one, if you guys saw my videos, where you go in, you walk in and they have pretty much like over a hundred TVs connected and curved TVs, and you walk in, and it’s just amazing. It has surround sound, and all the TVs are connected together, and they have all these designs, and planets and space and stuff like that, and I tape it every year.

Frank Curzio: It’s the first thing, it’s the first experience you get when you walk into that north hall, which is really, really cool. They didn’t have it this year; they canceled. What they did is, they went to Home Depot and got all this lumber and put out… I don’t even know how to describe how big this area was. Then they had this VR thing where, it would show off its products, you scan the barcode. The only problem is, it wasn’t compatible with Safari or iPhones, but the space was massive. When you walk in, all you see is, just wood, a wood floor, huge, and then you have these little stations where you would scan the barcode and it’s supposed to come up with the product and you see it, kind of like in a virtual reality thing, but it doesn’t work with the iPhone. What a waste, disappointing.

Frank Curzio: The crowds were down tremendously, tremendously. Usually, have to wait for the tram, which I take all the time. I stay to Flamingo Hotel only because it has access to the tram. And when I bring our video guy there, and he has a ton of equipment, it’s five minutes there, five minutes back, which is awesome because I’ve stayed outside of that, taken buses, which could be two hours each way. Usually, it’s a lot quicker there than it is coming home because everyone’s leaving at the same time, but the tram usually has a line on it though, and it goes pretty quickly, but there’s a lot of people there. Lines everywhere to sample the newest, the best technologies and products, there were hardly any lines. Other than two, the COVID testing line was really big, the COVID testing line. And look, there’s people there internationally, and you’re going to have to get a COVID test three days before you hop on a flight. So, that’s normal.

Frank Curzio: I’m going away to The Bahamas next week on business, and same thing. You have to fill out a special visa, passport, and fill in all the data, get a test taken before I leave, and a test there taken before I come home. So, I get that. But the other line was to spin a wheel where you automatically get a free vibrator or sex toy from a company called Satisfyer, by far the longest line, by far, longest line. I thought it was cool because there was a couple who was probably in their seventies that spun the wheel and she’s walking away with one of these things, and I thought that was absolutely cool. Some people might say, “Well, that’s not too cool.” To me, I thought that was fantastic. But that was the biggest line.

Frank Curzio: Everything else, it was kind of like you had access to, and that was a disappointment. That was a disappointment. To see a lot of companies, a lot of major companies really cancel and cancel that late. The disappointment isn’t from canceling, and hey, I understand the safety concerns and even traveling international, but you did it so late, and the CES had to put this show on because the hotels would’ve been crushed. That’s one of the things really quick before I get into some of these products. The hotels were kind of empty. I have no idea how these guys are going to make money over the next six months. Wearing masks, people just don’t like wearing masks and going to Vegas, you have to wear a mask almost entire time indoors.

Frank Curzio: It’s definitely resulted in few people going. It’s definitely resulting in… The casinos weren’t crowded at all. You’re seeing at least 60, maybe 65% of the people who are supposed to be are not there. We’re talking, probably close to 200,000 people go, I would say there was about 60,000. Sounds like a lot, but man, that’s a lot of lost business, a lot of lost business for Vegas. So, if you wonder why Wynn, Las Vegas Sands, a lot of these stocks are getting nailed, a lot of people are not going to Vegas right now. They’re just not. You want to have that experience and freedom and go crazy. A lot of people are angry there as well, a lot of people. I got dropped off at Mandalay hotel and that was where, for a media day, and that was the Tuesday that I went.

Frank Curzio: Qualcomm, Sony, Samsung, three companies that were there in attendance, where they weren’t virtual, that started at 11 o’clock. That was one of the early shows. I got dropped off at the wrong area, so I thought two guys came out of a big black SUV with tinted windows on it. They had their badges on, you have to wear a badge. I asked them, I said, “Hey, do you know where the conference is?” Because I thought it was in the main conference area and it wasn’t. He’s like, “Well, you might have to go around here.” I said, “Where? Around there?” In the backseat, there was a lady so, obviously these guys didn’t come out of the car, I thought they did. And the lady’s like, “He said he didn’t know, leave him alone.” I was like, I’m asking a guy one question.

Frank Curzio: I turned and walked away, and looked at the guy, I said, “Hey, I really appreciate it, and I’m sorry that you’re driving around a Karen all day. People were a little angry too. I ran into a lot of that, especially with masks and stuff. It’s just a different environment, it’s supposed to be fun and free and it wasn’t, it definitely wasn’t. You didn’t feel that great vibe. CES was a little bit better, but just outside the CES, I didn’t really feel that vibe.

Frank Curzio: With that said, doesn’t mean there wasn’t great products on display, and great ideas to share. Let’s talk about BMW, if you haven’t seen it, you can look at our video on our site, Curzio Research, it’s a color changing car. They use electronic ink technology, and it’s the same tech used for the Kindle e-reader, but you could change your car to any color using your app. This is a concept, but the fact that they were doing it there, it’s hard paper product.

Frank Curzio: It wasn’t something that I think is the most durable thing right now, but just showing how they could this. It was going from black to white, the rims were changing colors. If it’s a hot day, you change your car to white. If you wake up in the morning, your car could greet you with whatever color you want, a nice, bright color. It was fantastic. It was definitely one of the biggest products, created the most buzz for BMW, 70%. They have the statistics on social media sharing and tracking products, and I always go there because one, you can see what everyone’s talking about at such a big place. Usually the top product is probably 30%, 25% maybe, from past years. BMW was at 70%.

Frank Curzio: 70% of the social media shares, everything going out was people showing the BMW cars and their booth, which was incredible. Because it just wasn’t that color changing car. It was their new EV lineup. I test drove the IX, which is the first fully EV crossover, over 500 horsepower. It was absolutely insane, and if you are watching this on YouTube, I will bring this up for you right now. This car was unbelievable. 500 horsepower, zero to 60 in four seconds, 325 miles charge, starts out at 83,000, probably be over a hundred thousand dollar car. But wow, this was… It was incredible. It was incredible. Just gunning this thing, and I did, I went zero, 70. It felt like it was even faster than that.

Frank Curzio: The ride, the display, the test drive was long. It was like, three, four miles, if I to guess. They’re like, “Hey, just keep making a right, making a right.” I got lost a little bit, which was pretty funny because I didn’t think it was that big. I thought it was like, a lap around a track or just around a block. It was probably a good two, three miles where you could drive it and places that you can gun it, man, we got all that on video. They just killed it. BMW really killed it. Another company that killed it was Hyundai, which was not just about cars. You have to realize that cars, guys, these aren’t just car companies anymore and hardware companies. The software, the technology, they were displaying their robotics.

Frank Curzio: They bought Boston Dynamics division, which is owned by Google through 2017, then sold to SoftBank and SoftBank sold the Hyundai. But those are the ones with the dogs. It looks like these robotic dogs that are pretty crazy, holy shit, they had that and incorporated the metaverse. Hyundai talking about the metaverse, healthcare companies talking about the metaverse, but they had these dogs where they were dancing. You got to see the technology. It’s unbelievable. We got a lot of this on tape, but the focus on the metaverse was a huge surprise. Yes, we knew that would be a big theme from technology companies, not from healthcare companies, not from car companies. That was incredible.

Frank Curzio: But you saw the metaverse, Microsoft, Qualcomm talked about it, FinTech. The metaverse, I wouldn’t say it’s here yet, and you know it’s not here because you can’t really explain what the metaverse is. Try explaining what the metaverse is. You can’t really explain it. This virtual world we’re all going to live it. Yeah, but what do you mean? Virtual, how? People still can’t grasp it because it’s such a big concept to really condense it into the elevator pitch, it’s not easy. A lot of companies are seeing how big this industry is, how Microsoft’s going all in, Apple’s going to go all in pretty soon. Probably going to have their own AR, their technology, glasses, VR, all this stuff. Meta, the major technology companies are getting into this, and, man, look at their balance sheets. Tens of billions of dollars, hundreds of billions of dollars, if you’re looking at Apple, Google, these companies.

Frank Curzio: You can see why it’s such a big theme, but they’re starting to get into it. And metaverse is not necessarily AR and VR. AR and VR is gaming. However, a lot of companies incorporated virtual reality into their presentations, like Sleep Number. Sleep Number had a great presentation. You put the headset on, and you lay down in the bed and the headset has speakers and takes you through the whole process and lowers the number. And as it says, “We lower the number based on your…” And it lowered the number. It was in sync with the VR, but it made the presentation a million times better. It wasn’t some guy, when you’re laying down, talking to you and saying, “Hey, press this, go to number 27.”

Frank Curzio: It wasn’t like that. It was seamless. It was a really cool presentation. I actually told the guy, I said, “This is a great idea.” He’s like, “I know.” He was like, ” This is really cool.” He’s like, put on the headset, there you go. You lay down on the bed, and it just takes you to the presentation, and it’s doing everything totally in sync with it. But a lot of companies were using that to present their products. Eureka park, it’s a startup section. This is by far the most crowded. So several companies, I may bring to Curzio One members to invest in alongside me. One in particular was incredibly exciting, big investors already involved. The product just made sense.

Frank Curzio: When it comes to products and services, I have to say this, there’s innovation on the crypto level. There’s some crypto companies there, nothing too crazy. There’s innovation, and like I said with metaverse, got new technologies coming up, but there’s nothing there that I felt that’s going to make our lives better. It wasn’t like an Amazon there, it wasn’t like an iPhone there. It wasn’t that kind of technology where something’s like, holy shit, it’s going to make your life better, and when you do, you make life better or you make a product cheaper, or it’s a necessity. That’s how you disrupt markets. I’m not saying metaverse is not going to disrupt markets. I’m not saying that EVs aren’t going to disrupt markets.

Frank Curzio: I’m saying that, it’s not a necessity. I don’t have to go out and buy an EV right now. I don’t have to get into the metaverse. I don’t have to. You want to or have to shop at Amazon or one of these places where, you’re getting your products, you’re getting it delivered and they’re cheaper, things that make your life better. That was a little bit of a disappointment. You still have 5G. Everyone’s talking AI. I hate when these startup talk AI, because AI is just… Listen, for AI, you need data, you need data analytics, and what it does is, analyzes data and shoots out outcomes and predictability. This is what’s going to happen based on this. And it gets more accurate the more data is fed.

Frank Curzio: So, when you have a startup and you have no data, AI is useless, it’s useless. Unless you’re buying data from other places or whatever. AI was a very big buzzword that everyone seemed to use. To me, it’s a turnoff when a startup says AI, because you’re not really using AI, you’re using it as a buzzword. It’s like, the mining industry, when cobalt is hot, they change their name to cobalt one or uranium whatever. Whatever is hot, you just change your name of it. It’s a little frustrating, but AI was a big theme for a lot of companies, but for startups, not too crazy, but the startup session was really cool. Had lots of robotics, VR presentations, really, really cool stuff.

Frank Curzio: I did have the media badge, as I told you guys. So, I had a first look at Sony’s presentation. It was great. There was a lot of people there. I was able to walk right in. I sat right in the third row and to my surprise, who walked out right in front of me, Tom Holland, Tom Holland. For anyone over 65 that’s Spiderman. So Spiderman, which I think it’s up past 1.5 billion, third, all time. He was talking about his new unchartered movie, it’s coming out with Mark Wahlberg, and that was great. Then Sony also, after he came off stage, I was surprised, I was like, holy, Tom Holland’s right here. It was awesome. They showed a trailer, which is really cool. And I have a lot of this stuff that I filmed through TikTok. Sony also announced its new Sony mobility division and brought out Sony cars called Vision, which was awesome.

Frank Curzio: They didn’t say that they’re definitely selling the cars. I think it’s a terrible idea for Sony. I think it’s amazing with their technology and their software and everything else, but you’re competing with a lot of majors and it is hard to launch brand new cars, or a brand new car company. Tesla broke through, JetBlue broke through with airlines, hardly ever happens. A new airline, a new car company, hardly ever happens. It’s not their specialty. I think, lights in their technology and still has some of the best TV screens and things like that. Makes sense for them. The cars are pretty cool and going all in on, on mobility, again, a lot of this stuff is concept. Which means, this is what we’re capable of doing over the next few years.

Frank Curzio: Samsung’s presentation, the first 35 minutes of the presentation, the CEO came out and I almost left. It was horrible. It was about being more energy efficient. It was about going green, and these chips are going to save energy. It’s the most boring thing ever, the most boring thing ever. When it came to a lot of these companies talking about ESG, look, it’s a Consumer Electronics Show. I understand, I understand the landscape. I understand this is being forced on you. Whether you believe it or not as a company, you have to put it in your presentations, you have to talk about it all the time. You want to make it a point to talk about it as much as you can.

Frank Curzio: This is the CES. This is where you display cool products that everyone gets to take pictures of, everybody could take videos. You could send them everywhere, like BMW. Again, there’s all the products I’m going to mention in a minute, but talking about green energy is the biggest buzz kill, because it’s not exciting. You don’t go home and say, “Holy shit guys, you got to see this new energy efficient chip that Samsung had or Nvidia had. It’s going to save energy and…” Nobody says that. It’s like hygiene. You don’t say, “Oh, I brushed my teeth. It was so great. I brushed my teeth.” We know you got to brush your teeth. We know, we understand the landscape, but at the CES, it’s a about creating buzz.

Frank Curzio: You’re paying over a million dollars for your booth, a lot of these companies, because it’s just state of the art technology, displays, the people that you take there, shipping the products. These massive, massive booths, some of them just really 100% focused on alternative energy. To me, it was just, energy efficiency and ESG, I’m like, come on guys. It was the same story over and over again, but that was the first 35 minutes of Samsung. This is when I was able to get into this with media.

Frank Curzio: However, after that, Samsung killed it. They introduced probably the best product of the whole show called a Freestyle. It’s the size of… I don’t know how to describe it like, a thick thermos type thing, the size of it, but it could project a screen almost anywhere up to a hundred inches wide. It’s a great screen, just from your phone, just from an app. It could be used as a lamp, so it could screw into the lamp and it’ll project a small screen on your desk of anything you’re watching on the phone. You could use it as a light fixture, where you have two or three of them above an island and they could project anything you want on the island, change the color, have different things walking around.

Frank Curzio: It’s incredible when you see it. Again, lots of videos and stuff, all that’s for free through Curzio Research and YouTube and stuff where we post a lot of this in real time. It also is a camera. It also has WiFi capabilities and Bluetooth capabilities. It has a speaker with 360 degree sound, with amazing quality, but the product was awesome. Sampling that thing, it was incredible. Qualcomm also killed it. Talking about new end markets for its Snapdragon chips, that company’s been doing very well lately. Also, highlight that chips are going to be used for the metaverse, another company talking about the metaverse, which you wouldn’t think so. Along with Nvidia, AMD. Metaverse was a big theme. It wasn’t just from Facebook, which is now Meta or Microsoft. It was a pretty big theme throughout the show for a lot of companies.

Frank Curzio: What else did we see? Holy cow, there’s just so much stuff. Here’s products, the biggest trend, I thought, metaverse, AR, big themes, but one of the trends that excited me the most in terms of making money off of was smart homes. This has been a theme for a while, I understand, but smart home, think about DVD players like Blu-ray and DVD, and how to pick a technology. With smart homes, it’s such a fragmented industry, and a lot of this stuff doesn’t work with other things. For example, Samsung has the worst appliances in the world. Don’t buy them, I know from firsthand experience. However, maybe you have the Samsung phone that you’re using or you’re using their software, Philips lights, you’re using Ring doorbell, you’re using all these different things, maybe even just cameras.

Frank Curzio: All this technology, a lot of it would not work with each other. They were not in sync with each, they wouldn’t talk to each other. That results in, you have to buy all the products, whether it’s cameras and bells and lighting and appliances from, maybe one, two companies and maybe you could go through Alexa. Now, there’s an alliance that’s been created, and it’s called a Connectivity Standards Alliance, it’s a very big deal. Amazon, apple, Google, Samsung. All the major players, every single one of them are all members of this now. What it does, it allows for one operating system, and it looks like it’s going to be a company called Matter. It’s not publicly traded, I already look but Matter, M-A-T-T-E-R. Just go on the website, Matter CES, and you’ll see, it’s amazing.

Frank Curzio: That technology is going to allow all devices for these companies to work together. One operating system where you could just use any products you want, have a Ring doorbell, smart lights from Philips, blinds from Ikea appliances from GE. That’s going to work with Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home, or through your Samsung or Apple phone. This is going to accelerate this trend. All these new homes that are going to be built are going to have smart capabilities going forward.

Frank Curzio: It was a pain in the ass for the past few years. You had a lot of cool products that people have, including the Ring doorbell and stuff like that, but some of it’s not compatible with other technology. Now everything’s going to be in sync, talking to each other. All through Alexa, Google Home, whatever you’re using or the technology through your app, which a lot of companies have, but it’s a really big deal. It’s going to accelerate this trends. Lots of pure plays in this industry where growth is going to accelerate in the years ahead and based on this alliance, which basically, every major company in this industry is a part, you’re going to see a lot of consolidation.

Frank Curzio: You’re going to see a lot of companies get taken over in this industry. And that’s going to be cool, because it’s highly fragmented. There’s a lot of different companies all over the place, it’s highly fragmented. But now that all this stuff is going to be working under one system, one technology and being able to communicate with each other, where you can buy almost any single thing, and it’ll be compatible with whatever else you buy through a smart home. That’s a huge deal. That makes it easier for the consumer. That makes a learning curve easier. Doesn’t say, “Well, you need this, oh, you need this app, but you also need this app to work on top of it. But Alexa will work with this, but it’s only going to work if you have this app open.” None of that shit.

Frank Curzio: It’s, “Hey, here it is. Ask Alexa and there you go, you got it.” Close the blinds, turn the lights on, hook it up to the Ring doorbell, whatever you want, but all that stuff’s going to work together. Which I thought was a very, very big deal. I’m looking at names within that space. Some of them were expensive a year ago. They’re a lot cheaper now, but for the smart home and even smart cities where there’s technology again, easy to communicate with each other. These are two trends that are going to be accelerated. To me, that was a surprise. That was a big theme four years ago, three years ago. You saw a couple of companies, breakout, alarm.com. Look at Ring. Holy cow, some companies did break out, and you saw tons of sales for these products, but now you’re really going to see this trend explode. There’s a lot of companies, a lot of money being made in this sector.

Frank Curzio: Overall, great time at the CES. Again, it included visiting so many startups at Eureka Park. Going to be opening up maybe one of those companies that’s looking for funding. Every company there is looking for funding to Curzio One members. Also, I’m thinking of having my own booth there next year to talk about security tokens as a funding idea for these guys. Because the venture capitalists, not the easiest thing, and they’re going to want to take a lot and own a lot. A lot of times you say, “Wow, they’re going to give us $5 million.” A lot comes along that price tag. Venture capitalists are there for the short term, they’re not there for your long term vision.

Frank Curzio: They want to make sure they’re going to get their money back right away. A lot of people say yes to the money, but get pissed off afterwards. That’s what I’ve learned over the last 20 years of being involved in a lot of these companies. But security tokens, what a way to fund a lot of these companies and getting an equity stake, that’s cool.

Frank Curzio: But overall, really enjoyed the CES. Got to sample a lot of technologies. If you want to learn more, I say this a lot, go to our Curzio Research website. Again, that team put together a great timeline of all my videos, very easy to watch, including interviews and me sampling technology. It’s entertaining, you see a lot of cool things, including me test drive the BMW IX crossover and holy cow, that car is fast. Holy cow. I gunned it a couple times, you’ll see it in the video, the video… Garrett snaps back in the back seat, who’s taping it. It was just really cool. It’s amazing just to display, you see the cars at night, it was really, really cool.

Frank Curzio: Also, I’m going to be coming out with a full recap for you. I’m going to highlight the top seven companies that killed it at CES and which names may make their way into my portfolio. So, kind of a watch list. Details going to be available to you guys, and I’m going to provide that for free early next week. I’m just writing it up. So you guys could see some of the research I do. We’ll also include some of the videos in there and things like that, but I want to offer that for free and you could see some of the technology. Plus, what we’re seeing right now in the markets where technology’s getting killed, a lot of these ideas you’re going to be able to buy at 30%, 40% cheaper than what their highs were probably three, four months ago. Because a lot of technology companies are getting crushed.

Frank Curzio: Even some of the majors are down 5% plus and NASDAQ as a whole is down 7% already. Technology sector’s down 7%, but it’s rough out there. It’s going to continue to be rough during this environment. However, you could find a lot of hitting gems, some of the ones that I’m going to be writing about and that report’s going to be available for free to you, if you want it. It’s going to be available on our website early next week. Don’t worry, I’ll let you know exactly how to get it. Probably be like a banner or something like that, something simple on our Curzio Research website.

Frank Curzio: So, if you’re a CRA member, Curzio Research Advisory, check your email on Wednesday, going to have a cool pick for you from the CES. Along with the breakdown of the markets, how we’ll make money during this rising and straining environment and also portfolio review of every single stock, because I know it’s been volatile and I’m there for you 100% of the time, whether it’s good, whether it’s bad. Some stocks have held up pretty well in that portfolio, and others have gotten hit along with some of the rest of the market.

Frank Curzio: So, I’m going to give you a profile, just details analysis on every one of those stocks. Which ones we want to continue to hold, which ones we’re adding to and maybe which ones we might want to sell as the environment has clearly changed over the past couple of months. Again, it’s going to come out Wednesday afternoon. So guys, that’s it for me. Questions or comments, I’m here for you, frank@curzioresearch.com. Going away on business next week as well, it’s going to be a lot of fun. Getting lots of ideas, we’ll be presenting a lot of these ideas for you in the first couple months of the year. So, very exciting for all of you who are subscribers. Appreciate all the support. I’ll see you guys tomorrow. Take care.

Announcer: Wall Street Unplugged is produced by Curzio Research, one of the most respected financial media companies in the industry. The information presented on Wall Street Unplugged is the opinion of its host and guests. You should not base your investment decision solely on this broadcast. Remember, it’s your money and your responsibility.

Frank Curzio
Frank Curzio, founder and CEO of Curzio Research, is one of America’s most respected stock experts. His research is regularly featured on media outlets like CNBC’s Kudlow Report, The Call, CNN Radio, ABC News, and Fox Business News. His Wall Street Unplugged podcast—ranked the No. 1 “most listened-to” financial podcast on iTunes—has been downloaded over 11 million times.

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