The five best-performing stocks of 2013 were … Tesla (check), Netflix (check), Twitter (check), Herbalife (check), and … Best Buy?

The first couple seem to make sense — Tesla could be the future of cars, Netflix is just crushing it in every way, Twitter had an IPO this year, and Herbalife, well, at the very least they drop dime on lobbying.¬†But those are all Silicon Valley companies and Herbalife is based in Los Angeles; Best Buy, while a notable brand, is based in Minneapolis and has been considered a major failure as recently as a year ago.

The video above goes into it a little bit, so I won’t drastically elaborate. Read this paragraph from Yahoo Finance and bask in it:

Another big winner in 2013 is Best Buy (BBY). The stock has more than tripled from where it started the year, recovering from a couple of years of steep declines and bucking assumptions that Amazon will bury Best Buy like it has other retail chains, like Circuit City. Best Buy has become the big brick and mortar that could. Whether the steep upward trend in the stock price can continue through 2014 remains to be seen, but investors in 2013 found a bargain in Best Buy (BBY). $10,000 invested in Best Buy at the beginning of this year would now be worth about $33,000.

Good point brought up: there’s a major assumption that online/streaming will destroy brick and mortar, and while that assumption holds a lot of veracity, there are huge swaths of the country for whom it’s not true. Small example: I went to my aunt’s funeral in October. It was in western PA. The hotel my family was at was, typically, near (like within seconds) of a Wal-Mart, Target, and Best Buy. My mother has spent 40+ years on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and knew nothing about any of these things, but — even on a Tuesday/Wednesday afternoon, they were all fairly crowded (I walked around these stores post-funeral as an almost detox thing). You can evolve (or revolve) online help to an amazing standard, and people will still want to embrace face-to-face and/or leaving their houses on errands to figure stuff out. Best Buy is seen as kind of an all-in-one for tech, whereas Walmart (where you’d assume things are cheaper), one might worry that it’ll be harder to find a person, or that said person might also be working with grocery or something.

It’s interesting how quickly things move in America. I think about this in terms of sports sometimes. Literally a few years ago — maybe three or four at most — the NFC West was a complete joke, and 8-8 teams were winning it. Now you’ve got three 11-win teams in there, you know? A 40 year-old in today’s society? They didn’t have Google when they were in college. 80 years ago, it took almost a day to get from New York to Philly. Now it takes about 1 hour. We move through cycles¬†really fast. The conventional idea 20 months ago was that Best Buy was dead, brick-and-mortar was dead, Amazon was king … negative.

Oh, and as an aside … I have an interview at Best Buy on January 6. So if y’all know anyone there… let em know I’m a good person.

Ted Bauer


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