Karen Blumenthal, like most people, is mystified by the stock market. Just why is it, she wonders, that seemingly good news can send a stock plummeting and bad news can send it skyrocketing again?
In Grande Expectations, she shows how money is made and lost by following one of America’s hottest growth stocks, Starbucks, through a year of rapid store openings, fancy new drinks, and clever promotions, revealing how the many players—big and small investors, company management, analysts, and the media—propel its shares up and down.
Blumenthal pulls back the curtain on the stock market to expose its quirks and inner workings, from the power of a penny of earnings and the unexpected impact of a stock split to the image-enhancing effects of a brand of bottled water. With a fly-on-the-wall, character-driven narrative, Grande Expectations not only makes investing interesting but also will help you make smarter and savvier investing choices by:
•Understanding how big pension and mutual fund managers decide whether to buy more Starbucks—or dump it
•Seeing the unique ways that analysts and other finance professionals assess an investment—dissecting not only the numbers but also the company’s management, demographics, and global opportunities
•Learning how Starbucks executives manage our expectations and keep excitement percolating about the business—and the stock
•Watching how a stock is traded and how that might affect your buying or selling
•Gleaning how multibillion-dollar private hedge funds make money on infinitesimal changes in a stock’s price
•Entering the dark, strange world of the short sellers
•Realizing how different people can make absolutely opposite bets and all still come out ahead
You’ll come away with new insights into how the stock market really works—the power of expectations, stock buybacks, and profits—and explore Starbucks’ phenomenal growth and whether it is sustainable. By unraveling the market’s mysteries, Grande Expectations shows how investing can be both profitable and understandable. Get ready for the ride of your life—and a lifetime of fruitful stock market success.
Blumenthal, a business journalist with more than 25 years of experience, puts her prodigious talents to work distilling a solid drama from the 2005 stock performance of steaming-hot coffee company Starbucks. Having been given access to the Starbucks' corporate office, the annual shareholders' meeting and other inner sanctums, Blumenthal (Let Me Play: The Story of Title IX) provides an outside expert's colorful, considered viewpoint on the caffeinated personalities behind the company's success, and the stock they propel, during a particularly tumultuous year: Hurricane Stan in Central America, a Starbucks stock split and the IPO of rival Caribou Coffee. Alongside prescient data analysis, Blumenthal provides intriguing glimpses of the culture: "Shareholders huddled around tables bulging with stacks of muffins... and lined up ten deep at espresso bars. Emergency medical personnel actually tended to an older man who appeared to be having heart problems." Blumenthal's transition between statistics and scenes of corporate color can be abrupt, but the intimate detail into which she delves makes this book stand out from the business-profile pack, and it's got enough narrative finesse to make it a fun read for both committed investors and the NYSE-curious.