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Boomers And Seniors Finding Great Benefits From Smart Home Technology

When you think about smart phones and smart home technology, you probably picture Millennials making their living spaces as convenient as possible. That’s not an inaccurate picture, but it’s not a complete one either. Boomers and seniors are an enthusiastic and growing market for these features, which can make living independently easier, safer, healthier and more enjoyable for the 55-plus crowd.  

Smart home technology features are popular with Boomers and Seniors, as well as Millennials.

“There is a misconception that older adults are tech-adverse. In fact, technology is already a central part of life for older Americans, and the connection with their devices is only expected to grow,” observes Rodney Harrell, AARP’s vice president of livable communities and long term services and supports. “Our recent survey looks at technology use among adults age 50 and older and finds that one in seven own a home assistance device, such as Google Home or Amazon Alexa. Moreover, more than 80% of Americans age 50 to 64 have smartphones, which is about the same as the population at large,” he points out.

Alex Capecelatro, co-founder and CEO of the smart home technology luxury brand,, sees this in his firm’s business. “Many of our clients are 65-plus, with quite a few 75-plus. They find voice control simpler than navigating a complex app. This helps with mobility, poor vision and simply not having to learn something new.” Capecelatro’s award-winning voice control product is sold through smart home technology integrators, who then help clients automate multiple operations into simple commands to operate security, lighting, entertainment, climate control and privacy, for example, with a single spoken order like “Morning routine” or “Night routine.”   

“There are new innovations in the home coming out every day that can help older adults manage things like their medications, connect with friends and family, and even connect with community services,” Harrell says. Many of the Millennials mentioned above – and their Gen X siblings – can use their smart technology to support parents who need some assistance at home. “Family caregivers are often looking for ways to save time and money with everyday tasks,” the AARP executive adds. ”So grocery delivery, transportation, and even scheduling smartphone apps can be very useful.”

Joe Wheeler, co-director of Virginia Tech’s Center for Design Research and its award-winning FutureHAUS program within the School of Architecture + Design, is working on innovations to help older adults remain safely in their own homes. “Some examples include automatic exterior doors with security interfaces, countertops that automatically adjust to a user’s height, faucets with voice-activated water temperature control, slip-fall detection throughout the home, and adjustable toilets with sit-to-stand accommodation,” he shares. 

“As we enter the digital age, so many opportunities are becoming available to accommodate design for aging in place,” the professor notes, using the design industry’s term for keeping older adults in their own homes as long as possible. “With access to digital controls, sensors, affordable motorization and the ‘Internet of Things,’ we are able to design and integrate affordable components in the home that can accommodate a wide range of disabilities and provide 24-hour monitoring and care.”

Safer living spaces for older adults are being created with seamless technology integrated into the ... [+] design.

FutureHAUS/Virginia Tech

Wheeler observes that technology needs to be integrated seamlessly into a home’s design: “Our goal is to design spaces with integrated technology that feels like home, not a hospital room.”

Paula Kennedy, a certified master kitchen and bath designer in Seattle, works toward the same goal. Half of her clients are Boomers, she says, and they’re very tech savvy. “They are gearing up to enjoy the next season of their lives full of vigor and hope,” she declares. Designing for them means adding features that help these older homeowners stay independent, healthy and safe, including these:

  • “Controlled light systems and controlled blinds (easing any reach issues they might have);
  • Heated floors in kitchens, bath and shower floors with integrated controls;
  • Human centric lighting with controls, connected smart lights and blinds;
  • Water filtration systems and water leak sensors;
  • Sensors that sense high temperatures that can be precursors to house fires;
  • Connected smart showers;
  • Home generators for when the power goes out;
  • Smart thermostats;
  • Security at the front door;
  • Faucets with touch, motion, temperature light cues, and voice control;
  • Bidet attachments that aid personal hygiene.”
  • Hands-free operation and voice control can make household chores easier for someone with Parkinson's ... [+] or arthritis.

    Kohler Co

    Privacy is an objection the designer frequently encounters, she says. AARP’s Harrell has seen these privacy concerns, as well. “Less than one in five of those 50 and older have a high level of confidence in their online privacy,” he comments. Usability is another concern he cites: “These devices are useless if older adults and their family caregivers don’t understand them or aren’t educated on how to best use them. We need devices that are specifically created with people of all ages and all needs in mind.”

    Harrell also points out that even the smartest technology can’t overcome bad home design. “Having a voice-controlled smart speaker connected to your blinds can help you let in sunlight without physically opening every blind. But if your home wasn’t designed with well-placed windows to let in natural light, the smart device cannot solve for that.”

    As the AARP executive wants people to know, smart home technology isn’t a cure-all for every Boomer and Senior challenge, and can’t replace human connections. It has tremendous potential, though, to address quite a few of life’s daily hurdles, and many older Americans are tapping into its ability to help with those.

    Source: Boomers And Seniors Finding Great Benefits From Smart Home Technology

    Were Hedge Funds Right About Buying Seagate Technology plc (STX)?

    "Since 2006, value stocks (IVE vs IVW) have underperformed 11 of the 13 calendar years and when they beat growth, it wasn't by much. Cumulatively, through this week, it has been a 122% differential (up 52% for value vs up 174% for growth). This appears to be the longest and most severe drought for value investors since data collection began. It will go our way eventually as there are too many people paying far too much for today's darlings, both public and private. Further, the ten-year yield of 2.5% (pre-tax) isn't attractive nor is real estate. We believe the value part of the global equity market is the only place to earn solid risk adjusted returns and we believe those returns will be higher than normal," said Vilas Fund in its Q1 investor letter. We aren't sure whether value stocks outperform growth, but we follow hedge fund investor letters to understand where the markets and stocks might be going. This article will lay out and discuss the hedge fund and institutional investor sentiment towards Seagate Technology plc (NASDAQ:STX).

    Seagate Technology plc (NASDAQ:STX) investors should pay attention to an increase in hedge fund sentiment lately. Our calculations also showed that STX isn't among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q3 rankings and see the video below for Q2 rankings). Video: Click the image to watch our video about the top 5 most popular hedge fund stocks.

    5 Most Popular Stocks Among Hedge Funds


    Why do we pay any attention at all to hedge fund sentiment? Our research has shown that hedge funds' large-cap stock picks indeed failed to beat the market between 1999 and 2016. However, we were able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that outperformed the Russell 2000 ETFs by 40 percentage points since May 2014 (see the details here). We were also able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that'll significantly underperform the market. We have been tracking and sharing the list of these stocks since February 2017 and they lost 27.8% through November 21, 2019. That's why we believe hedge fund sentiment is an extremely useful indicator that investors should pay attention to.

    [caption id="attachment_30493" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Jeffrey Ubben of ValueAct Capital[/caption]



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    Unlike the largest US hedge funds that are convinced Dow will soar past 40,000 or the world's most bearish hedge fund that's more convinced than ever that a crash is coming, our long-short investment strategy doesn't rely on bull or bear markets to deliver double digit returns. We only rely on the best performing hedge funds' buy/sell signals. We're going to go over the key hedge fund action surrounding Seagate Technology plc (NASDAQ:STX).

    At the end of the third quarter, a total of 26 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, a change of 13% from the second quarter of 2019. By comparison, 27 hedge funds held shares or bullish call options in STX a year ago. With the smart money's capital changing hands, there exists an "upper tier" of notable hedge fund managers who were increasing their holdings meaningfully (or already accumulated large positions).

    Story continues



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    More specifically, ValueAct Capital was the largest shareholder of Seagate Technology plc (NASDAQ:STX), with a stake worth $1697.3 million reported as of the end of September. Trailing ValueAct Capital was Renaissance Technologies, which amassed a stake valued at $227.9 million. Two Sigma Advisors, AQR Capital Management, and Arrowstreet Capital were also very fond of the stock, becoming one of the largest hedge fund holders of the company. In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position ValueAct Capital allocated the biggest weight to Seagate Technology plc (NASDAQ:STX), around 18.31% of its portfolio. 13D Management is also relatively very bullish on the stock, designating 5.35 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to STX.

    As one would reasonably expect, some big names were leading the bulls' herd. Arrowstreet Capital, managed by Peter Rathjens, Bruce Clarke and John Campbell, established the most valuable position in Seagate Technology plc (NASDAQ:STX). Arrowstreet Capital had $52.4 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Dmitry Balyasny's Balyasny Asset Management also made a $6.2 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The other funds with brand new STX positions are Peter Muller's PDT Partners, David Costen Haley's HBK Investments, and Jeffrey Talpins's Element Capital Management.

    Let's go over hedge fund activity in other stocks similar to Seagate Technology plc (NASDAQ:STX). These stocks are UDR, Inc. (NYSE:UDR), Banco de Chile (NYSE:BCH), Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTWO), and Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:LYV). All of these stocks' market caps are similar to STX's market cap.

    [table] Ticker, No of HFs with positions, Total Value of HF Positions (x1000), Change in HF Position UDR,21,560389,5 BCH,4,66263,-2 TTWO,57,1596551,-3 LYV,40,1097828,1 Average,30.5,830258,0.25 [/table]

    View table here if you experience formatting issues.

    As you can see these stocks had an average of 30.5 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $830 million. That figure was $2311 million in STX's case. Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTWO) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Banco de Chile (NYSE:BCH) is the least popular one with only 4 bullish hedge fund positions. Seagate Technology plc (NASDAQ:STX) is not the least popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still below average. Our calculations showed that top 20 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 37.4% in 2019 through the end of November and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 9.9 percentage points. A small number of hedge funds were also right about betting on STX as the stock returned 10.9% during the first two months of Q4 and outperformed the market by an even larger margin.

    Disclosure: None. This article was originally published at Insider Monkey.

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    Source: Were Hedge Funds Right About Buying Seagate Technology plc (STX)?

    PAX Global Technology: A No-Brainer Investment

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