A Letter From Our CIO

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 12:54pm -- Eddie Cordoba


To All Visitors, Clients and Our Entire Team, Here is the Wal-Mart Story and How We Uncovered it First!


At Capital Ladders Advisory Group, LLC., we pride ourselves at performing in depth research for which we can offer a closer look at developments within a specific company. Our analysts travel internationally following leads and formulating relationships with industry insiders, which prove to provide us with this highly sought after information.  Capital Ladder’s Chief Market Strategist, Seth Golden, was able to come through once again for clients when he attended the International Home and Housewares Show in Chicago, Illinois this past March.


For the first time, we are now able to publicize his findings and communicate his interaction at the IHH event.  We are now issuing a detailed conversation, to the public, between Seth Golden and Gisel Ruiz, President of Operations for Wal-Mart USA.  Today’s Soda Stream Conference Call outlined the distribution deal between Wal-Mart and Soda Stream, and this affords us the ability to move forward with our insights and the communication process of how we initially discovered this particular deal.  The following paragraphs will go into great detail of how Mr. Golden acquired the knowledge of the aforementioned deal. In an article directed to clients, Mr. Golden described his experience:

“The IHH Show is the biggest consumer home goods show every year.  Roughly 100,000 individuals attended the show and I went to the show to discuss and discover operational insights with Soda Stream’s management team. The facility utilized to house the IHH Show spans a city block, absolutely sprawling exhibit and attended by vendors, financial community participants and buyers galore.  Buyers from retailers around the globe came with the intent of adding SKUs to their respective shops.  All attendees of the event wore a laminated and lanyard name badge, complete with person’s name, company name and classification.  The classifications were exhibitor (Soda Stream), guest (financial community participant) and buyer (Wal-Mart).  Everyone can clearly see whom they are interacting with”. 

“Once entering the building, I made my way to the Soda Stream exhibit and found it to be one of the largest exhibits at the show, complete with at least 20 representatives demoing the machines and serving up different flavored drinks. The entire management team was there as well.  The Soda Stream exhibit was extremely busy and packed with buyers.  I began a one-on-one conversation with Gerard Meyer, President of Soda Stream USA. As we spoke in-depth about the distribution prospects for the US in 2012, I noticed three Wal-Mart buyers coming toward us and escorted by a Soda Stream representative.  As Gerard kept talking I couldn’t help but to concentrate more heavily on the Wal-Mart buyers who were now talking about merchandising strategies no more than two feet away from me.  It was very hard to listen to Mr. Meyer although I remained respectfully attentive, to the degree that I could at least”. 

“Then there was commotion to the right of me as Gillian Michaels entered the Soda Stream exhibit with a film crew ready to shoot an ad-campaign for Soda Stream.  My attention was diverted for only a few minutes, but in that time I lost track of the Wal-Mart buyers.  Regaining my senses and hoping to uncover if they were still at the Soda Stream exhibit, I walked around the entire exhibit only to realize they were gone.  I was completely at a loss for words as I had the clearest opportunity to ask the Wal-Mart buyers what they thought of the Soda Stream product line and if they are considering carrying the product. It was the first day of the IHH Show and I had blown the biggest opportunity I would ever have to uncover anything with regards to a deal with Wal-Mart.  I felt as if I had failed my clients and my team”. 

“Feeling completely dejected, I left the Soda Stream booth with the hopes of tracking down these three Wal-Mart buyers in a crowd of over 100,000 participants.  It was a tall order but my choices were limited at this point.  Walking throughout the exhibit and visiting different vendor booths and platforms for the next few hours proved fruitless, the buyers from Wal-Mart were nowhere to be found.  Trying to perform more due diligence I knew I had to visit the Primo Water exhibit as they are a competitor to Soda Stream.  As the time dragged on, I became even more melancholy and at 5:00pm I was tired and hungry.  I decided to leave and headed toward the exit while fighting through the crowds of people.  As I came closer to the exit I lifted my head and saw, no more than 10 yards in front of me, the Wal-Mart buyers. I would not lose this opportunity again”.

“I quickly walked up to the Wal-Mart buyers and tapped one on the shoulder for which they all halted and I apologized for startling them.  I introduced myself and informed them that I saw them at the Soda Stream exhibit.  Quickly I asked what they thought of the products.  “We got out of a two hour meeting and we listed them”, said Gisel Ruiz.  Not knowing exactly what she meant by “listed” I made a further inquiry about the meaning of this comment.  She replied by saying, “We will be selling them in stores this June”.  Mouth agape at this comment, I quickly composed myself and congratulated all three buyers and we exchanged pleasantries.  My job and the cost of traveling to and attending the IHH Show proved to be fruitful in the end”.

So this is how it happened and we are proud of our analyst for utilizing different channels of research in order to better gauge the developments of companies such as Soda Stream.  Seth Golden and his team of researchers held this information close to the Capital Ladders Advisory Group, LLC. due to SEC regulations and the filing of material information clearance documents. 

While many individuals may believe it is a great thing to have such material information, at Capitalladders.com we must admit that it is not always a great thing. Regulations behind the dissemination of certain information can be a delicate matter for anyone involved in the financial markets. Mr. Golden’s activity through Capitalladders.com, a subsidiary of Capital Ladders Advisory Group, LLC., put him in direct contact with retail investors he was attempting to offer institutional level insights and information.  He reached out to as many as he could and his success in uncovering inside developments and the reception of this information by his retail clients has proven to be impactful to the investing community as a whole. 

My name is Frank Morales, CIO of Capital Ladders Advisory Group, LLC., and we want to extend a much deserved thank you to all visitors and clients of capitalladders.com at this time.  Seth Golden and Edward Cordoba have spearheaded our firm’s efforts within the retail investor community and we hope the future proves to show this market of the investment community that the tide can change.  It is a slow process and it begins with one retail investor at a time.  Over the last decade, the retail investor has been subject to heavy losses while the institutional investors run out in front of them.  We hope to change history and the future of the investment community one day at a time. 

A very special thank you goes out to Seth Golden and Martin Costa for their due diligence and research efforts with regards to Soda Stream.  These two gentlemen have maintained their integrity throughout their research process and it is our pleasure to have them as part of our team. 



Frank Morales, Chief Investment Officer

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