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😱 The Robots Are Taking Over!

GM Money Masters, 👋

Who needs Santa when you got the newsletter that keeps on giving, right?

Here at Money Mastery, we want to wish you and your families a wonderful Christmas holiday. And we thank you all for being part of this wonderful journey, in which we have been given a rare opportunity to provide amazing people like you the gift of information, analysis, news, and tips.

We sincerely hope our newsletters have given you the insights you need to better plan your financial futures. Because we know, the best gift we can offer someone else is the gift of knowledge.

And with that, let’s get this party started! Cheers. 🥂

MONEY MASTERY BRIEF

  • World’s First AI-Powered Restaurant
  • Warner Bros & Paramount Shake Hands
  • Toyota’s 1M Car Recall Fiasco

🤖 CaliExpress Puts the ‘Auto’ in ‘Autonomous Dining’

A new restaurant is in town where the only human touch is the one you use to open the door. Nestled in the heart of Pasadena, CaliExpress is gearing up to unleash a dining experience so automated, you’ll start questioning your existence.

The real-life scene: The kitchen is a futuristic playground with robots flipping burgers and tossing fries, all under the watchful eye of an all-powerful artificial intelligence. CaliExpress is not just another fast-food joint; it’s the world’s first fully autonomous restaurant, from order to munch.

This restaurant literally features its own state-of-the-art artificial intelligence that cooks and manages the entire workflow.

John Miller, PopID’s CEO and Miso Robotics board member, exclaims, “We’re flipping the script on traditional dining. We’re talking robots, not waiters!”

Meanwhile, Alana Abbitt, VP of Product Development at Miso Robotics, the mastermind behind this culinary uprising, cheekily states, “This isn’t sci-fi; it’s just like having your Roomba make your breakfast, but cooler.”

Upon entering CaliExpress, you’ll be greeted not by a friendly “How can I help you?” but by the subtle hum of AI efficiency. CaliExpress isn’t just a cool place to grab a byte—it’s backed by visionary companies and innovative minds working tirelessly to push the boundaries of food and tech.
This means every meal is prepared and delivered with exact precision and perfection.

CaliExpress in Pasadena isn’t just changing how we eat; it’s rewriting the entire menu on how we experience dining. Hungry, anyone?

🎥 Lights, Camera, Merger

In a plot twist that even Hollywood couldn’t have scripted, Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) CEO David Zaslav and Paramount Global CEO Bob Bakish recently sat down for a power meeting at Paramount’s headquarters in Times Square. A meeting that could reshape the entertainment universe once and for all.

The topic? A possible merge of the two media giants.

Basically, Paramount is reportedly on the lookout for a financial ally to rescue it from a $15 billion debt. Meanwhile, WBD, having spent the year bringing its own debt down to a mere $45 billion, is eyeing Paramount as the “leading lady” in its quest to tackle the Disney and Netflix giants.

WBD and Paramount’s combined streaming services, including Max, Discovery+, and Paramount+, boast an incredible 158 million subscribers. This powerhouse duo could snatch the silver medal from Netflix’s grip, placing them firmly in the second spot with 247 million subs.

Putting this into perspective, WBD would gain access to Paramount’s treasure trove of franchises, including Mission: Impossible, Terminator, and Star Trek. While Paramount loyalists get VIP entry into the world of Harry Potter, and the mystical realms of Lord of the Rings.

Not a shabby deal.

But, there may be a hindering problem looming over this merge. Antitrust scrutiny: The combined company could end up holding 35%–40% of the linear TV market, setting off alarms in the regulatory control room. But things seem hopeful since, hey let’s face it…WBD doesn’t own a broadcast network.

🚗 Toyota Airbags Opt for a No-Deployment

Toyota, the automaker with more recalls than a favorite childhood snack, has announced yet another f*** up reminiscent of Tesla’s recent faux pas. This time, we’re talking 1 million cars being recalled. Picture this: your trusty Toyota or Lexus, models from 2020 to 2022, suddenly deciding that airbag deployment is optional.

We’re not kidding. So which cars were affected?

If your heart beats for a Toyota Avalon, Camry, Highlander, RAV4, Sienna, Corolla, or any hybrid variations, then you’re basically screwed. Included with these is the Lexus ES250 sedan and RX350 SUV.
The glitch is in the sensors in the front passenger seat, possibly due to an engineer’s espresso binge during production. These sensors might throw a short circuit curveball, leaving the airbag system puzzled about your weight. The outcome? An airbag that decides not to deploy in certain crash scenarios.

Fear not, dear car owner, for the Toyota and Lexus dealers will be inspecting the Occupant Classification System (OCS) sensors at no cost to owners, which includes any replacements. Toyota plans to send out recall notifications by February 2024, because nothing says “I care” like fixing your car’s quirks.

Interestingly, this isn’t Toyota’s first blunder. In November, the company made headlines with a recall of 1.9 million RAV4s due to a tendency for the batteries to break into a fiery flamenco during sharp turns. And who could forget October’s recall of over 700,000 Toyota Highlanders?

Our parting words to you? May your airbags always have your back, and may your car’s quirks be nothing more than a brief intermission in your driving adventures.

Drive safe out there, guys.

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We’re in the mood to give you guys something different today, so instead of a quote, we give you a new take on an old Christmas carol called “The 12 Days of Rule #1 Investing”. So, instead of partridges in pear trees and turtle doves, how about we give gifts that will make you rich and keep on giving? Here goes:

$2.2B. This is how much Abu Dhabi-based CYVN Holdings will invest in Chinese electric vehicle maker Nio (NYSE:NIO). After the deal is finalized, CVYN will possess nearly a 20% ownership stake in Nio.

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Samsung (SSNLF): Samsung traditionally unveils its new Galaxy smartphones early each year, and as the anticipated first Unpacked event of 2024 approaches on January 17, rumors and credible leaks are surfacing. Leaker Evan Blass has shared a spec sheet detailing the components of the rumored Galaxy S24 lineup. Full story

Honda (NYSE:HMC): You thought it was just Tesla and Toyota with problems? Honda’s U.S. division is recalling over 2.5 million vehicles due to a fuel pump defect (2017-2020 Acura and Honda models). The issue arises from improperly molded fuel pump impellers, causing low-density impellers that can deform over time, potentially leading to engine failure or stalling. Full story

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN): If you had your eyes set on ordering donkey meat from Amazon to spice up your Christmas feast, you might need a plan B. Turns out, the big shot online retailer decided to give the edible donkey a break in California. This surprising move came after some lengthy chit-chats between Amazon and the Center for Contemporary Equine Studies, the horse-loving nonprofit. Full story

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL): After a patent dispute, the International Trade Commission (ITC) sided with Masimo over the blood oxygen sensor in Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2. The ITC ordered a sales halt in the US right before the holidays. Apple’s attempt to pause the ban during an appeal was denied by the ITC today, leaving the ban in place unless the President intervenes. Full story

Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE): Expedia wants people to start their travel searches on its site using AI to cut Google out of its trip-planning business. The company already uses AI for customer service and property descriptions. The goal is to recommend travel destinations to users based on past trips. While not fully realized yet, Expedia aims to use its vast data to offer personalized recommendations and shift the balance of power on the web. Full story

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL): Apple is giving us a sneak peek at the new CarPlay interface in fancy cars from Porsche and Aston Martin. This upgraded version, set to launch next year in specific models, is a step up from the previous CarPlay. The cool part? It connects with all screens in the car, not just the main one in the center, according to Car and Driver. Full story

So, let’s talk about the stock market kings, aka the Magnificent Seven — Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, Amazon, Nvidia, Tesla, and Meta. These guys are rocking Wall Street and leaving the other 493 S&P 500 companies in the dust. In 2023, they’ve pulled off a mind-blowing 75% jump, while the rest are doing a respectable but less flashy 12%. These tech giants take up 30% of the S&P 500’s market value, and almost break stock market domination records.

Gonna make this part quick so you guys can get to your families quicker this weekend. We are venturing into a new year that will probably outpace this year in terms of tech mergers, AI development, and crazy court shenanigans. But aside from all that, what matters is what you, dear investor, hold in your portfolios.

So in light of today’s news, we’re just curious:

Do you feel comfortable with your portfolio holdings coming into the new year?

Let us know by replying YES or NO to this email.

Thanks for reading, and may your investments thrive. 🙂

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Money Mastery (and Lark Davis and team) is a publisher of educational and entertainment information in the financial sphere, but is not a financial advisor. We do not provide personalized investment advice. Nor are we registered to provide financial advice and are not a broker-dealer or underwriter. Money Mastery is not responsible for any gains or losses that result from your investments.
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