Kingsmill's Investment Miscellanea: Friday, November 13, 2020

November 13, 2020 | Joshua Kingsmill


Key Takeaways

  • When a vaccination becomes readily available, there will be different “phases” of mass-inoculation.
  • The changes in the economy are still being understood, but many of the transformations are remarkable.
  • A company like Amazon and its adaptation of technology is a template for most industries.

Of course, we are closer to a vaccination, and the news of positive results (Link) gets us nearer to the next stage in the recovery of the economy, our health, and our lives.

Once a vaccination is approved for emergency use, I have included an interesting chart that is perhaps a “template” for the public's roll-out. The first available doses will go to high-risk groups, namely healthcare and other frontline workers, the elderly, and people with significant co-morbidities. These groups benefit most from immunity themselves but their vaccination—at least in the case of frontline workers—also has the greatest positive impact on the broader population.

Once the high-risk groups have been vaccinated, broader distribution will commence. The timeline for all of this is still not certain, but an optimistic timeline would have a wider distribution to the public, perhaps as early as May/June:

National Association of Medicine

A lot has changed in all facets of our lives during this period: Some industries have transformed, new business practices and computer-driven software-based solutions have greatly improved the economy's efficiencies.

I just wanted to highlight a few interesting aspects from Amazon: as one of the best examples of this transformation.

Over the years, it has turned each of its main cost centers into a source of revenue. Their Cloud storage services, which were built first for their operations as an “expense,” have become significant profit centers.

In the first 9 months of this year, Amazon’s “shipping costs” were a staggering $40 billion (for reference, Fedex’s 2019 revenue was ~$70B)

Underneath this spend, there’s a big change happening at the company, which is primarily technology-driven. Transportation Services has:

  • 30,000 branded 53-foot trailers
  • 80 leased cargo jets
  • 69 US package sorting centers

Amazon is simply the largest and best-known company. I used it as an illustration of the progress made. One day there will be vaccination, and many things will return to normal. But we will look back, I do not doubt, at this period as incredibly transformative for our lives.

Even my most favourite annual sporting event, the Master's Golf Tournament: its adaptation and incorporation of technology has truly transformed the viewing experience across all mediums. In a perfect circle back to this week’s post, Bryson DeChambeau, whose use of technology and data-driven improvements, will end up the perfect champion on the weekend. His scientific approach has already transformed the old-fashioned, traditional golf industry, just as technology has in other sectors: (Link)