The Secret Behind Barefoot Cellars Becoming a National Bestselling Brand with co-founder Michael Houlihan
Welcome to another edition of PowerTalk. I’m your host Chris Versace, editor of the investment newsletter PowerTrend Profits, and these are my 1-1 conversations with the movers and shakers in the business world that take you behind the scenes and in the know. Be sure to check out ChrisVersace.com for more on PowerTrends and past editions of PowerTalk.
Joining me on PowerTalk today is Michael C. Houlihan, co-founder of Barefoot Cellars where he was president and CEO for 19 years, During that time, Michael and his partner Bonnie Harvey took Barefoot from a startup and grew it to a business that sold over half a million cases making it a national best seller when they sold the company to E&J Gallo in 2005. What’s even more amazing is Michael and Bonnie did it all without advertising. 
As Michael points out, you can have a great product at a great price, but what so many companies forget is that they are also in the distribution business. We’ve seen the product and distribution success of other companies that bear this out — The Coca-Cola Company (KO), PepsiCo, Inc. (PEP), Anheuser Busch Inbev SA (BUD), Molson Coors Brewing Company (TAP) and Diageo plc (DEO), which is the home of many top brands of spirits, wines and beers.
Not only do Michael I talk about how he and Bonnie built Barefoot Cellars into a national bestseller, but we also discuss the New York Times Bestselling book that he and Bonnie wrote  — “The Barefoot Spirit -- How Hardship, Hustle & Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand.” 
My advice to you is the following - pour yourself a drink and listen up to this edition of PowerTalk.

Direct download: 12-16-13_BAREFOOTPOWERTALK.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:25pm EST

Welcome to another edition of PowerTalk. I’m your host Chris Versace, editor of the investment newsletter PowerTrend Profits, and these are my 1-1 conversations with the movers and shakers in the business world that take you behind the scenes and in the know. Be sure to check out ChrisVersace.com for more on PowerTrends and past editions of PowerTalk.

Joining me this week on PowerTalk is Michael Gorton, the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Principal Solar Inc. (PSWW). There’s been a lot of speculation by investors in the solar space, some making big money along the way and others losing it in the shares of companies like First Solar (FSLR), SunPower Corp. (SPWR), and of course Solyndra, Inc. It’s the view by those at Principal Solar that many are thinking about the solar industry the wrong way. Rather than replacing traditional forms of energy — nuclear, coal and natural gas — Michael and his team see solar generated electricity becoming a self-sustaining, investment grade asset within two to three years. 

Driving that transformation are the 40+% price declines in solar technologies over the last two years, and as Michael tells me by late 2014 or early 2015 the price will be substantially lower making them very cost competitive as a generation source for electricity. By riding the innovation wave much like that in the semiconductor industry that has paved the way for personal computers, tablets and smartphones, Principal Solar sees the use of solar expanding dramatically in the coming years. 

Perhaps that is why the International Energy Agency (IEA) projects solar will provide up to 25% of global electricity production by 2050. Now you may not believe that forecast, I’m not sure I do, but it’s not slowing down solar investments by Germany, China and Japan. Meanwhile here at home, traditional electricity generation companies are preparing for that coming move down the solar cost curve. It sure sounds like Principal Solar is on to something and sometimes to see the real opportunity you have to have a different view on things and that’s just what Michael shares with us today. 

Direct download: 12-10-13_PRINCIPALSOLARPOWERTALK.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:17am EST

Joining me this week on PowerTalk is Peter Schiff, American businessman, investment broker, financial commentator, author and radio show host as well as the CEO and Chief Global Strategist of Euro Pacific Capital Inc. As I’ve come to appreciate about Peter, he is not shy about his views and that always makes for a great conversation, particularly this one that touches on the economy, the direction of the stock market and what lies ahead for both. 

Despite slower earnings growth and the lackluster U.S, economy, the domestic  stock market continues to grind its way higher following the government shutdown. Your probably asking yourself - What’s fueling this continued rise? 

If you look around in your every day life, you are likely thinking there is a disconnect between the economy and the stock market. After all the money the Federal Reserve has used to stimulate the economy, we continue to have huge numbers of people dropping out of the work force each month, wages have stagnated, unemployment remains at high levels and businesses are hesitant to invest and deploy capital. Is it any wonder that Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index remains well below the six year high level of -3. That’s right, the high over the last six years is a negative number!

Yet, the stock market moves higher.

With little return in alternative assets, like CDs for example, thanks to continued easy money from the Federal Reserve investors have few other places to turn. What’s worrisome is that the average investor is extremely bullish even though at some point either the Fed will have to taper its efforts or as Peter points out, we will have another crisis on our hands. The most recent American Association of Individual Investor’s sentiment readings points to levels of bullishness that are well above the long-term average. 

It’s the lack of tapering or at least the unlikelihood that the Fed will tighten that have Peter concerned with the health of the economy, the dollar  and more. As we delve deeper into the reasons for what Peter sees ahead - another financial crisis, we also discuss where he is having his clients invest their capital today to deliver returns for tomorrow. 

Direct download: 12-02-13_SCHIFFPOWERTALK_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:38am EST