Rule #1

Mar 01, 2019 | Jeremy Goldfarb


Running a business can be tough business, and when faced with tremendous competition, there are only so many things that one can control to achieve success (or bottom line). You lose pricing power with a narrow competitive moat, so internal controls become all the more important along with product quality.


One of the most critical errors that a company can make in my opinion, when trying to control expenses, is to cut the sales and marketing budget. A primary driver of sales and exposure, effective marketing can mean the difference between success an failure in some cases. Why am I saying this?


I believe that Tesla is committing 2 egregious errors in their most recent announcement which can be found here. Elon Musk announced that the Model 3 will finally be priced at the "attainable for everyone" $35,000 level......but at what cost? He also announced they will be cutting the sales and marketing budget, and also moving all sales to the online platform (meaning store closures). I think this will lead to problems.


Tesla (including the solar shingles and power wall) has great ideas, but they are taking on tremendous established competition. With a P/E that commands and enormous premium over the other automakers, I think I'll take a pass. I could be wrong, but I'm ok with that.