Extraordinary Happenings In Brazil

image: Brazil protests (link).

It has not been highly publicized in our media but the events in Brazil in the last few weeks are nothing short of extraordinary and underscore how socialist, crony policies and actions are always doomed to fail.  What is most notable is that Mises is being preferred to Marx by the young people in the streets; 4 million of them!  This is worth noting as we have watched the "Latin Miracle" go up in flames in recent years.  In the 1990s, led largely by movements in Chile and Argentina, it looked like the decades of "Banana Republics" were finally over and free enterprise was taking hold.

Many businesses were being privatized, most notable Telebras, the Brazilian telecom monopoly that was broken up in favor of regional "baby bras's".  Over the course of the next several years however, many of the nations that were leading the charge seemed to give up on the experiment and allowed characters like Lula in Brazil, Kirchner in Argentina, Morales in Bolivia and of course, Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, in one form or another to set back or completely reverse the reforms that had made it look in the 1990s as though Latin America was going to join the ranks of the "free enterprise" nations.

Maybe they will someday get it right?
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Mobile World Congress 2016

We just returned from the Mobile World Congress 2016 (MWC 2016) in beautiful Barcelona, Spain.  With over 2,000 companies presenting their products and services, and 100,000-plus people in attendance, MWC 2016 lived up to expectations as the premiere trade show/conference for "everything mobile" again this year.

We attended MWC 2016 in order to get firsthand experience viewing the latest and most innovative offerings from many of the companies in our portfolios, as well as to gain exposure to new ideas and companies from around the world, upon some of which we will certainly be doing due diligence with respect to new investment opportunities.

As the MWC 2016 tag line was "everything mobile" and "mobile is everything," we couldn't agree more as there is no doubt that some of the most exciting ideas in the investment world relate but their  to mobile/wireless technology.  Full disclosure: we are invested in private Israeli company ASOCS, Ltd through  Taylor Frigon Capital Partners LP (TFCP LP), but their launch of the generation 3 virtual base station (vBS) was simply mind-boggling!  

ASOCSs software defined radio (SDR) is going to make it possible for carriers such as Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica, Verizon and AT&T to reduce the cost of deploying base station for cell towers by roughly 90% by some estimates.  This is huge for purposes of increasing cell coverage and the bandwidth capability for mobile networks around the world.  The most significant take away from our discussions with CEO, Gilad Garon, was his statement: "5G is just a software upgrade with our system."

Additionally, the Internet of Things (IoT) was a major focus at MWC 2016.  Here, TFCM Core Growth Strategy holding Qualcomm (QCOM) was clearly making major noise with its Snapdragon processors.  Snapdragon can be found in devices that enable everything to be "connected" -- from your car to your clothes!

TFCM Income Strategy holding, Intel (INTC), is also a big player in the IoT.  Its "Smart Home Gateways" are set to connect just about everything in your home.  It's great to see a company that pays significant cash dividends is still investing in the future so as to ensure they will be able to grow those dividend over the coming years!

Another big hit at the show was the Samsung "Gear VR" (powered by Oculus, a Facebook company) virtual reality device which enables you to connect your Samsung Galaxy phone to the Gear VR headset and become immersed in "virtual worlds."  Another TFCP LP company, OTOY, Inc., is very closely working with Oculus on the delivery of VR/AR content through the cloud.

The description of innovative and fascinating technologies can go on and on but the most important revelation we take away from the 2016 MWC is that many of the trends and paradigm shifts that we have been following for the last fifteen to twenty years seem very much intact and perhaps even accelerating.

At the time of publication, the principals of Taylor Frigon owned securities issued by Qualcomm (QCOM), Verizon (VZ), Telefonica (TEF),  and Intel (INTC). At the time of publication, the principals of Taylor Frigon did not own securities issued by Facebook (FB), AT&T (T), Samsung Electronics (SSUN), or Deutsche Telekom (DTE).

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