Contrarian Ideas

A collection of contrarian ideas ranging from out-of-favor investments to counterintuitive business strategy.


Airline Customers Know Not What They Want

An article in the WSJ states that airline customers favor the "unbundling" trend even if they claim not to. While customers claim they would rather see an overall higher ticket price, purchase data suggests customers prefer to select exactly which perks are worth the money.

The trend was started by Southwest Airlines and Ryanair, but increasingly full-service airlines appear to be adopting the trend as well. Per the article, it is paying off for Ryanair:

"Ancillary revenue was up 28% year over year and now accounts for more than 30% of the total, compared with 22% five years ago. This was due to a change in baggage policy, implemented in November 2018, that restricts non-priority travelers to one small cabin bag. In exchange, the carrier lowered the fee for checking in the smaller 10 kg wheeled cases that passengers often take as hand luggage."

Source: Jon Sindreu | “Airlines Shouldn’t Always Listen to Their Customers” | The Wall Street Journal | 2/3/2020 | Visit



Companies That Handle Cash Soar

An article in the WSJ reports that companies with revenue tied to the dispensing, handling and moving of physical cash have seen terrific share price performance:

"... [companies] such as ATM providers like Cardtronics or Diebold Nixdorf, or companies that transfer or protect cash, like Western Union or Brink’s, soared last year. Over the past year through Thursday, those four stocks on average are up 83%. That easily tops the average 39% gain for Mastercard, PayPal, Square and Visa."

An interesting outcome when the investment community is otherwise so heavily focused on the digital transformation of banking.

Source: Telis Demos | “Cash May Not Be King, but It’s Still Royalty” | The Wall Street Journal | 1/31/2020 | Visit


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