This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS - See his portfolio and get alerts BEFORE every trade. Learn more NOW!

Elon Musk's Fabulous Distractions

Space travel. Solar. Super-expensive electric cars. These are all concerns of the rich. Toys of the rich. And, if you break each area down into unit sales, Musk's ventures add up to something less than a pimple on the rears of Apple (AAPL - Get Report), (AMZN - Get Report) and Starbuck's (SBUX - Get Report).

It's not that these companies are curing cancer -- though you could argue that Apple products in the hands of medical professionals gets us closer -- but they're the ones changing the world. They're the one making billions of people's lives most certainly different and arguably better.

And they were/are led by great CEOs. Only one -- Steve Jobs -- received more press than Musk. Jeff Bezos sort of does, but not really. And, for whatever reason, the media and general public tend to treat Howard Schultz (he's the Starbucks CEO) like a red-headed stepchild. Maybe he likes it that way, but the man deserves loads more respect than he gets.

Ubiquity -- Apple products, cardboard Amazon boxes and its emerging slew of services and Starbucks coffee. That's what I am talking about. Daily habits now, but massive disrupters not only in their infancy, but as they continue to emerge. While you can make the case that Musk will set his various ventures on similar trajectories, I just don't see it.

He's a sensational leader set on doing sensational things. Jobs, Bezos and Schultz -- sensational leaders set on doing practical things. Things that impact millions of people in billions of experiences and transactions every single day.

Starbucks took a hit after its Thursday earnings report. The stock probably needed to breathe anyway after setting 52-week highs north of $60. But, largely because of Schultz's leadership and his mobile/digital teams' track records of innovation, you can buy his stock knowing full well the long-term narrative remains intact.

Same with Amazon, which investors dinged after a seemingly lackluster earnings report. Jeff Bezos makes it completely clear that how he runs Amazon's business. There is abundant long-term opportunity. Opportunity that involves you. That has nothing to do with Mars (space travel is merely a Bezos' side project). Amazon will chase it down and own it, spending whatever it needs to spend along the way.

You're not speculating when you buy SBUX or AMZN, even if you buy it because of the CEO in charge. You're buying into practical, stable and ubiquitous futures you can see in front of you each day. You live these futures now.

On something like Tesla or any other Musk venture, you're not only taking a speculative flyer into uncertain territory, you're buying "stock" in the whims of a rich man who plays a key role in society's decision to make him larger than life.

-- Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.

Rocco Pendola is TheStreet's Director of Social Media. Pendola's daily contributions to TheStreet frequently appear on CNBC and at various top online properties, such as Forbes.
2 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Try it NOW
Only $9.95
Try it NOW
14-Days Free
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
AAPL $124.43 0.00%
AMZN $372.10 0.00%
SBUX $94.70 0.00%
TSLA $188.77 0.00%
FB $82.22 0.00%


DOW 17,776.12 -200.19 -1.11%
S&P 500 2,067.89 -18.35 -0.88%
NASDAQ 4,900.8850 -46.5560 -0.94%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs