In this episode of Industry Focus: Financials, host Jason Moser sits down with Fool.com contributor Matt Cochrane, who happens to have a unique day job related to the financial sector. Also, regular guest Matt Frankel, CFP discusses why JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon thinks America's economic growth isn't nearly as robust as it could be, and answers a listener question about stock buybacks. Finally, as always, Moser and Frankel each reveal what stocks they're watching right now.
A full transcript follows the video.
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This video was recorded on April 8, 2019.
Jason Moser: Welcome to Industry Focus, the podcast that dives into a different sector of the stock market each day. It's Monday, April 8, and we're talking Financials. I'm your host, Jason Moser. On today's show, we'll talk about Jamie Dimon's recent letter to shareholders, we'll tackle a listener question in regard to share buybacks. We'll of course have One to Watch for you today. But we're starting today with another installment of Between Two Fools.
By night, Matt Cochrane is a contract writer for fool.com. You've probably heard his name once or twice. Given his penchant for the financials sector, I'm sure you've probably read some of his great takes out there. By day, however, Matt is an economic crimes detective, helping catch the bad guys who in today's tech-heavy world have a lot of ways to steal our information. During a recent trip here to Fool HQ, Matt and I sat down and talked more about the biggest ways thieves are stealing personal information these days, and what we can do to prevent them from getting ours.
Moser: OK, Matt, so you have very interesting work history. We talk all the time about stocks and leadership and stuff here on these shows. But your job has given us a lot to talk about today in the world of financial scams, something I'm sure our listeners will love to learn more about. Tell us about how you got to where you are right now, because you've been in law enforcement for some time, right?
Matthew Cochrane: I've been in law enforcement for 13 years. The last four and a half of those, I've been an economic crimes detective.
Moser: Economic crimes. As an economics major, I can appreciate that. Now, what is economic crimes? Tell me a little bit about that.
Cochrane: It's what most people would probably casually call white-collar crimes: identity theft, credit card fraud, money laundering, and all types of scams.
Moser: As technology continues to take up more and more of our lives, I think these types of scams are just getting easier and easier to pull off. Is that a fair statement?
Cochrane: Yes. If you put yourself in the shoes of a criminal real quick, the risk-reward proposition for, let's just call it a traditional crime, or one of these types of crimes, it's just so much in favor for doing some type of fraudulent activity. If I break into a car, I might, on a good night, get some quarters, a cellphone that was left behind, or an old GPS system, maybe some kind of electronic gear. A few hundred bucks, on a good night. Then, I risk: If I cut myself on the glass, leaving my blood behind, leaving my fingerprints behind, someone sees me, the police see me, I could get bit by a dog, a surveillance video. But for these types of crimes that are over the internet, it's so much easier to protect yourself from all those things. You can disguise your IP addresses and things like that, disguise your phone numbers, where you're calling from. Technology has, one, made it a lot harder to catch these types of criminals; and two, the reward is so much greater. If I break into your car, the most valuable thing I could get is your driver's license or your personal information, because then I can use that to apply for fraudulent credit cards or all types of things. Whereas if I just break into your car, and you left your wallet in it, but no personal information, just cash, you're out some cash, but that's it. It's over.
Moser: Yeah, it's so funny that we're actually sitting here talking about this at this particular time. Just in the last three weeks, my wife and I each had our own little individual credit card fraud. My wife had a little bit of fraudulent activity on her debit card that was linked to our bank account. Thankfully, it was just a couple of Domino's pizzas, and the bank caught it and didn't pay for it. Then a few days later, I had one with my American Express card. And what I noticed with American Express, and I think Bank of America as well, is they're very quick to jump on top of this. I noticed, particularly with the American Express people, the customer service was through-the-roof good. They were very quick to make sure that any questions were answered, any problems I had resolved. Essentially, at the end of the day, we bore no risk. We didn't lose anything. They made it like it never happened. But we're sitting there trying to figure out how in the world it happened in the first place. To your point, it seems like technology makes it so easy for these people to hide.
Cochrane: Yeah, it is. Like I said, you can disguise your IP address. You can disguise your phone number, where you're calling from. And the reward is just so great. You're not out money, but American Express or Bank of America is. And we all end up paying those fees for our accounts.
Moser: Sure. Or higher insurance rates for insuring against this. Somebody bears the cost somewhere. It all ends up costing us in the end. Alright, that's all really neat information. What I'm really excited about is, you want to talk about some particular scams, common scams, what they are, how they work, how people can look out for them. I know for me, just reading through this, this was a tremendous learning experience. I can't wait for you to tell everybody out there.
Let's start out with the first one here. This is called the grandparent scam. What is this? And why does it work?
Cochrane: What happens in the grandparents scam is, the scammer will call an elderly male or female. They'll either start off the conversation pretending to be the grandson or granddaughter.
They'll say, "Hi, granddad!"
And they'll say, "Who is this?"
"It's your favorite grandson."
And now, they hand over the phone to someone else who will be posing as an authority figure. That could be a doctor who's pretending to be at a faraway hospital. It could be a jail guard. It usually follows one of two storylines. The first is: your grandson, Johnny, was skiing in Canada. He fell and broke his leg. His health insurance doesn't cover him overseas or in foreign countries. So, before the hospital can operate, he needs $2,000, and Johnny said he knew he could count on you to send them that money.
Moser: [laughs] Just tugging on their heartstrings.
Cochrane: Tugging on their heartstrings. The other one is, Johnny was on a tropical island, tropical paradise. He was partying a little too hard, and he was drinking and driving or whatever. And he's in jail, and he needs bail money. He said he could count on you to send them the money. And please, he really doesn't want you to tell his parents. Please, he just said you would send the money, and he'd talk to you about it later, but please, to not tell his parents.
Moser: Building up that trust there. I'm sharing this with you and no one else. Be my friend here, help me out. As in investing, emotions can get you pretty much anywhere.
What can individuals do to protect themselves from this kind of a scam?
Cochrane: What you have to realize for this game, and most games, it's creating a sense of secrecy and urgency. He needs to be operated on. He needs the money quickly. He's going to be sitting in a jail cell until you send the money, so do it quick. Also, secrecy. Don't tell his parents. He really doesn't want his parents to know. He says his dad would just be so mad, he really doesn't want you to tell them. Because they know if you call his parents, they'll be like, "Johnny's not in Canada. Johnny didn't go to Central America for spring break. He's studying for finals class." So, they don't want you to talk to anyone, and they want you to act quickly.
So, what you need to do to protect yourself, one, just take a step back. I was talking to one elderly couple who had fallen for this scam. As soon they got off the phone, they followed the instructions to the letter. They went to a Western Union, they wired money. And they got back home, and they were eating lunch, and they were talking about it. That's when all the red flags started coming up. They're like: "This doesn't make sense. He doesn't even ski," or whatever. I live in South Florida, so they're like, "He's never even seen snow, and he went on a skiing vacation?" Things like that. And they started talking about it. And then they called Johnny, and he answers the phone. He's like: "No, I'm, studying right now. I'm in class, what do you need, Grandma?" That kind of thing. And that's when they realized it was a scam.
You want to just take a step back and realize, it doesn't have to be this second. You want to talk to people. Break that aura of secrecy. Call his parents. Call him, if you don't want to tell the parents.
One thing that's very common in scams, just be wary of how you're asked to pay. If it's a hospital that's calling, or a jail that's calling, why would they want a cryptocurrency to be paid? Why would they want the number on the back of a gift card to be paid? Why would they want you to wire money? Why can't you write them a check? These kinds of things. Be very careful anytime you're being asked to pay in one of those ways.
Moser: As in investing, no knee-jerk reactions. The next one, this is perfect timing, given that we are in the middle of March, coming up on Tax Day. Before you know it, the IRS tax scam. Tell me what this is.
Cochrane: So, again, somebody calls. They say they're from the IRS, and you owe $5,000 in taxes, and if you don't pay right now, they're coming to arrest you. It plays on a lot of the same emotions.
Cochrane: Fear, right, and it creates that sense of urgency. You have to pay right now. If you even hang up this phone, we're coming to arrest you. I had one victim, who fell for this scam. He said, "I wasn't buying it. I thought it didn't make sense. I was familiar with the process, it didn't make sense. But then they said, 'We're not just going to arrest you. We're going to arrest your wife, too.'" And he said all he could imagine from that point on was IRS agents breaking into his wife's work, dragging her away in handcuffs in front of all her friends, and how she would rather die than go through that. And he said, "At that point, all I could think about was no matter what, I can't let that happen."
Moser: I feel like with this one, really, the key to protecting yourself is just recognizing that we live in a country where, just as you said, the IRS is not going to come bust down your door and haul you away in cuffs. Particularly if you're sitting there thinking: "What in the world? I'm not committing any tax fraud here." So, not only does it sound a little sketchy to begin with, but you're not going to see a situation where the IRS is just going to come barging into your door, hauling everybody away.
Cochrane: 100%. One, the IRS will never just call you without sending official mail first. They're not going to contact you through social media. There's a due process. There's due process for this. And you always, always have a chance to appeal. They might have questions about your returns. They'll say, "Can you come into one of our offices?" They might send an agent to your house, worst case scenario, and say, "Can you explain these refunds you're asking for?" or whatever. But they're not coming to arrest you right away.
Moser: Innocent until proven guilty. Innocent until proven guilty, Matt. Alright, next up, we've got the lottery scam. Tell us how this one works.
Cochrane: It's a little bit different, but there's still a lot of similar echoes. This one doesn't play on fear. Somebody will call you and they say, "You won the Jamaican lottery." "You won the Publishers Clearing House prize."
Moser: Hey, mon!
Cochrane: [laughs] "And all you have to do to collect your prize is pay your taxes on it. You're going to win $5 million. Just pay your $20,000 in taxes, and we're going to send you your prize."
Moser: [laughs] You can't do that!
Cochrane: No! Again, you just have to realize like, if you haven't played the Publishers Clearing House, if you didn't enter your name for this, if you haven't been to Jamaica, you probably did not win the Jamaican lottery. And even if you did win a jackpot, you never have to pay your taxes before you collect. You pay after you collect. This one doesn't play on fear as much. It plays on almost a sense of greed, but, a sense of hope.
A lot of times, it sounds silly to hear these scams, because you're not the one being emotionally triggered. But if you really think you won $5 million, and $10,000 is standing between you and collecting $5 million, that's not going to be the issue. You're just seeing that jackpot. You're seeing: "I can quit my job. I can do this, I can do that." And they know, once you have that figure in your head, those red flags -- "This doesn't make sense; why would I win the Jamaican lottery?" -- you're going to override it.
Moser: Yeah. We talk about that Warren Buffett quote regarding greed and fear. Be greedy when others are fearful and fearful when others are greedy. Those are two of the most powerful emotions out there. Playing on those two emotions, it's easy for us right now to sit there and see it. But if you're caught in the middle of it, those types of emotions can really take over and make you say and do some stupid things.
Cochrane: Exactly, exactly!
Moser: OK, last one up. We've got the blackmail scam. Tell us a little bit about this one and why it works.
Cochrane: The blackmail scam, you'll check your inbox one day, and there's an email in it. It says, "Without you knowing about it, you visited some website, and we installed malware on your computer. Because we installed this malware, we hacked the camera on your computer as you were browsing the internet and we recorded you doing some embarrassing things." And what gives it a ring of authenticity is that it'll say, "We were able to install this malware because we know your password." And they'll actually have your password in the email.
Moser: What do you do to protect yourself from something like this? Just throw a piece of tape over your camera and never use it?
Cochrane: That's one thing, for sure. Like, if you have a laptop with a camera on it, you might want to keep a cover on it. They actually make covers that you can put on your laptop. If you have a camera that plugs into your desktop, unplug it unless you need it. But, just be aware of password security. The reason why these scammers have your password is that a lot of time, data breaches -- passwords, we don't think about that. When we hear "data breach" -- if I was a Marriott customer during their breach, my information might have been leaked, you think about your name, maybe your credit card number, where you stayed for your last vacation. You don't think about the password you used for that account. Because we have so many different accounts these days, there's no way we can keep track of all the passwords. And what a lot of us do is we use the same password for every single account. If you're one of those people in a data breach, once they have the password for your Marriott account, which really doesn't matter, if it's the same one you use for your bank account or your computer password or whatever, when you see that password in the email, it's going to scare you. Like, "Oh, that is my password!"
Moser: That's what scares me about Okta, just a little bit. A neat business. It's really solving a problem in that we all have a million and one passwords we have to remember. Okta, I know, is technology built based on security. That's one of their competitive advantages. I'm of the mindset that if it's man-made, its hackable, you know what I mean?
At some point or another, it's going to be hacked. To that point, all of these passwords to remember, even if you're using one of those password engines that basically signs into everything for you, remember, change that password on occasion. That's one of the nice things with work. You have to change your password every so often here in order to be able to keep it fresh and keep it from being discovered.
Cochrane: Right. You definitely want to use a different password for your accounts. While that seems like an impossible task, there are programs like LastPass I use. I know there's others. It'll generate a unique password for every account. They have a free version, they have a paid version. You just want to be aware. Don't use the same password for all your accounts.
Moser: It's good advice. Listen, that is all great stuff. Before we take off, I ask this of all of my Between Two Fools interviews. I want a book recommendation from you, and I have to believe you have at least one good one. But, man, you and I talk stocks a lot on Twitter. I want to get a stock recommendation from you, too. Let's start with a book recommendation first. You have one or two, we're all interested in.
Cochrane: It relates to this topic. If you're looking for a good book, Catch Me If You Can by Frank Abagnale.
Moser: Isn't that a movie?
Cochrane: It's what the movie was based on. But, like a lot of times, the book is a million times better. But yeah, it was the movie that Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio starred in. It's a true tale. It has the audacious scams that this guy pulled off, it's amazing. There's parts of the book that are hilarious. There are parts of the book that are very sad. But then, in the end, it's ultimately very redeeming, and how he turned around his life, and how he used all this knowledge from pulling off cons for so long -- he was actually pretty young when he got caught. Pulling off so many different cons when he was young, and how he turned his life around, redeemed himself at the end. It's a great, great book!
Moser: Interesting. Alright, and you got one stock recommendation?
Cochrane: I'm going to go to one of your old standbys. My favorite stock is Mastercard.
Moser: Mastercard, I like it! I was watching the Arnold Palmer Bay Hill golf tournament this past weekend. I know, exciting TV for everyone, right? But the thing that I kept on gathering from it was, every flagstick on every green had the Mastercard logo. The whole time, I'm just watching that thing, and, cha-ching! [laughs]
Cochrane: [laughs] They've made a lot of acquisitions in recent years that have involved security. I have a few articles about this, I personally think they might be pulling ahead of Visa in that space. So, Mastercard is my pick.
Moser: Alright, great stuff! Matt, listen, it has been a thrill talking with you! I'm glad you were able to make some time while you're here in town at Fool HQ to stop in the studio and talk with us. Matt Cochrane, everybody! Thanks so much!
Cochrane: Thanks, Jason!
Moser: Joining me now in the studio via Skype is my man, certified financial planner, Matt Frankel. Matt, how's everything going?
Matt Frankel: Just great! It's 80 degrees and sunny in South Carolina. Hopefully it's pretty nice up there.
Moser: Yeah, that must be contagious. That's about what it's like up here, too. I think we finally got spring, and it's just in time, right? It's Masters week for all you golf nerds out there. You know what I'm talking about.
Frankel: It is!
Moser: We wanted to get in today, talking a little bit about the JPMorgan Chase shareholder letter. Jamie Dimon publishes this letter every year. We talk to investors all the time about things to read. We always love reading shareholder letters from the CEOs of our favorite companies because they are educational, enlightening. You always learn something from them. I think Warren Buffett's probably the most obvious suspect there. You also have letters from Markel, JP Morgan, Amazon and others. A lot of great material out there.
Matt, you put together an article here on Jamie Dimon's most recent letter. It seemed like the theme of the letter was what is holding back economic growth here domestically. You wrote an article that keyed in on that. Tell me, what were some of your takeaways?
Frankel: He listed 11 different things that are holding back growth. And Jamie Dimon knows a thing or two about economics, so when he writes a letter like that, I take it pretty seriously.
Moser: [laughs] One or two, yeah.
Frankel: It's really hard to argue with some of it. The big thing that stood out to me was education. He said our education system is really, for lack of a better word, failing the U.S. population. We're not doing a good job at educating people to the available jobs. I read headlines on CNBC every other day about how there's six-figure jobs that they just don't have enough talent for. These are vocational-type of jobs. A lot of people don't know what a good electrician makes. It's a pretty good living.
When I was in school back in the '80s and '90s -- aging myself a little bit here; Jason remembers this, too -- it was standard to take things like wood shop, auto shop, things like that. That exists less and less these days. I was a high school teacher up until a few years ago, so I know this very well. They cut all the vocational programs out. The old wood shop was being used as a history classroom in the school I taught at. Are we training people to be historians? No. We need vocational education. We need to collaborate with businesses. This is a big point of Dimon's. We need to have schools and businesses work together so we're educating people to the jobs that are available. Makes sense, right?
Frankel: But we're not doing that. [laughs] And no one no one really knows why. It's something that used to be a big priority of ours. But over the past couple of decades, it's been the push, every kid needs to go to college, every kid needs to go to college. Some of the best jobs don't require a college degree. They just need to be taught how to do these things. And we're just not doing it.
Moser: Yeah, that's a real good point, Matt. For whatever reason, it just seems like it's all about college, and not about all of those different types of careers that are out there that may not necessarily require a college degree these days. What else struck you from the letter?
Frankel: There's a bunch of common-sense things that he brought up. Infrastructure has been huge, not just in the political spectrum, but just in general. People are frustrated that roads and bridges are collapsing all over the place. The inability to get something done in less than 10 years in the permitting process. Dimon's quote, I have it right here, is that: "It took eight years to get a man on the moon. Now it could take decades to get the permits to build a new bridge." It's true. It took eight years to get a man on the moon in the '60s. So that's definitely a problem.
He also mentioned litigation. This is a stat that really stood out to me. In the U.S., litigation expenses as a percentage of GDP are 150% higher than the average developed nation. So much of our time and money and is just tied up in legal costs. He said we need to do some real legal reform to find a way to get rid of frivolous litigation, which is a big problem. If you've seen some of the advertisements for lawyers, you probably know what I'm talking about?
Frankel: It's just wasteful. Immigration policies are another one he pointed out. 40% of the students who come to the U.S. and obtain advanced degrees have no legal way to stay here. We're effectively exporting the knowledge that we're teaching people.
Moser: Yeah, it seems to be completely the opposite of what we should be doing. [laughs] I'm with you. The one that stood out to me was that capricious and wasteful litigation system. We grew up watching The Simpsons. Back in the day, Lionel Hutz was a joke. That was the attorney who would sue you for anything. But it does feel like we've gotten to this point now where that's the norm. Anybody can basically come up and sue you for anything. And then you're stuck having to go through this awful system without any guarantee that you're not going to be damaged in one way or another, either reputationally, or financially, or both, even if you didn't do anything wrong to begin with. So, yeah, I tend to agree. It seems like our litigation system has gotten way out of hand. I don't know exactly how we fix that, but there's no question something has to be done.
Frankel: It's definitely a problem. All these are clearly identifiable problems, but the solutions aren't that clear.
Moser: Yeah. We're going to tweet out the link to your article on the Industry Focus, Twitter feed. Listeners, you can follow us on Twitter @MFIndustryFocus. You'll see Matt's article out there later this afternoon. He goes a little bit more into all 11 points there in regard to this letter, and what's holding economic growth back. Very well written, Matt! I enjoyed reading it myself. Good job there!
Frankel: Thank you!
Moser: Next up, we wanted to talk about a listener question we got recently. This comes from Adam Wilson. Adam tweeted this to us, @AdamFWilson426. He says: "Hi! Love the shows and I'm a member." Thanks, Adam! Glad you love these shows, and thank you for being a member and trusting us with your financial independence there. "I have a question about buybacks. I understand that it increases my ownership at a company. But being a retail investor, I own a very small percentage anyway. For example, I own about 80 shares of Starbucks. There are 1.243 billion shares outstanding. It doesn't make much difference to me that they buy back shares. It won't make a substantial difference in my ownership over the time I hold the company. Why are buybacks good for people like me?"
Matt, I think we have a few thoughts regarding this matter. I'm going to let you kick it off here. What do you think about what Adam's saying?
Frankel: You're correct in the sense that a buyback is never going to increase your percentage of ownership to a substantial level. For example, my Apple stock, Apple's buying back shares very aggressively right now. My ownership is never going to get to where I am a significant stakeholder in Apple. That's not the point. The point is that, over time, this will inherently make your shares more valuable. For example, let's say a company's buying back 4% of its stock each year, which a lot of companies are doing, in that ballpark. Over a two-decade period, they're going to buy back roughly half of their stock. By that logic, your shares will inherently be worth about double what they are right now. That's not including any profit growth and things like that.
Buybacks can also be a really tax efficient way to get capital returned to you as a shareholder. Let's say a company was buying back your stock instead of giving you a dividend. You don't have to pay tax on that buyback until you sell. Whereas if you get a dividend from that company, you pay tax right away. The other way is if a company could buy back stock for less than it's actually worth, which is the Buffett rule. Berkshire Hathaway just modified their buyback plan so that Buffett and Charlie Munger can buy back stock whenever they think it's trading at a discount, which is clearly in investors' best interest. This is like if a company were buying $100 bills for $90. Of course you'd want them to buy as much as possible. From that standpoint, it definitely creates shareholder value. This is why I love the big bank buybacks that have been going on. Wells Fargo has been buying back like 10% of its stock this year. It's great, because if they're correct, and its intrinsic value is worth a lot more than its trading for, then shareholders are making a lot of money in addition to the company's profitability.
So, although you're never going to be a major stakeholder in Starbucks if you're starting with 80 shares, that doesn't mean you shouldn't care about buybacks. They're still a really great way for a company to return capital.
Moser: Yeah. To your point there, it essentially is looking at it from the perspective that really, all shares are created equal. Whether you have one share or a million shares, every share is an equal unit. To your point, that buyback over time, in theory, should shrink that share count, thereby making your shares, in theory, more valuable. That's one of the questions I always have with buybacks. The data out there is pretty clear that more often than not, management teams get share buybacks wrong. Oftentimes, they buy those shares back when the stock is trading at these lofty multiples, and everything is going hunky dory. Then all of a sudden, the you-know-what hits the fan, and then they start pulling at the purse strings there, and nobody's buying back anything when that's actually when they should be buying back more stock. So, you do have to pay attention to that, understand that if they are buying those shares back, take a look at the balance sheet over time. See, is that share count coming down over time? If it's not, that's a big problem.
On the one hand, dividends, yeah, that's cash in the pocket, but to your point, you're going to pay a tax on that. Whereas buying back shares, making those shares a little bit more valuable over time, you won't pay the tax on that until you sell. So, you see the pluses and minuses for both.
Ultimately, the point to look at it is that every share really is the same unit. All shares are equal there in that regard. Whether you have 80 shares or 1,000,080 shares, you're going to recognize some value through those share repurchases, assuming that management is actually doing a good job in the repurchases to begin with. Again, that's not always a given. You have to approach these buybacks at least a healthy dose of skepticism. Take a look and make sure that when they're making those buybacks, the share count is coming down over time. That's really one of the key points to look at. You can find that information on the balance sheet over time. I like looking at stretches of five years. You can really get an idea, how much are they spending on buybacks? How much has that share count come down? Does it make a little sense? That can give you the answer to how well the company's being managed.
Very good question there, Adam. Appreciate you firing it up here for us. Hopefully we were able to give you some things to think about.
OK, Matt, let's wrap this up. We've got One to Watch for all of our listeners. What's your one to watch coming up this week?
Frankel: I am watching GE, General Electric. I have a pretty big position in my portfolio. They were just downgraded today by an analyst. The stock dropped 6% last I looked. The point I wanted to make with this. it's not necessarily about GE's business. We all know GE's problems. [laughs] Yeah, there's no surprise. The point is, when the problems are already known, and analysts downgrade it, and it plunges, it can be a good buying opportunity. Is GE's business worth 7% less than it was yesterday? No. So, I'm considering adding to my position at this level. It's just a good lesson, to watch a few stocks after analyst downgrades. They generally -- in my experience, anyway -- shoot right back up to where they were.
Moser: Yeah. It's funny. If you see one that's downgraded based on valuation, I think those are the ones you really need to pay attention to. They can oftentimes represent opportunities because valuation is as much art as it is science. Again, valuation is more or less an opinion. And you know what they say about opinions, Matt. I'm not going to go over it here on the show. I think a lot of people out there know what they say about opinions. [laughs]
I'm going to go with Amalgamated Bank this week, ticker AMAL. If you listened to last week's show, you heard our interview with CEO Keith Mestrich. Amalgamated Bank is a really interesting story, building America's socially responsible bank. That resonated with a lot of listeners. I got a lot of positive feedback from this interview. It's a small-cap bank up in New York. Still fairly small bank. Total deposits of little bit more than $4 billion, total assets just under $5 billion. I think that based on what they're trying to do, in building this socially responsible bank, it's resonating on a customer base that is really liking being a partner of Amalgamated, and liking what that company, what that bank represents for the future. I think that socially responsible investing is something that's going to become more important to investors as time goes on here. It seems like Amalgamated is really helping blaze that trail.
If you didn't get to listen to that interview from last week, go check it out. It was, again, CEO Keith Mestrich. He had a lot of great things to say, a lot of neat things we learned from speaking with Keith. We're very grateful to have had that chance.
Matt, I think that wraps it up for us this week. You got anything else you want to add?
Frankel: No. I'm looking forward to seeing you guys in person next week!
Moser: That's right! You're going to be here in studio. We're going to knock out some interviews, we're going to knock out some shows here. It's going to be a lot of fun. We don't have to Skype you in. We'll be able to talk across the table from one another. Looking forward to getting you here! Travel safely, alright?
Frankel: Alright! I'll see you next week!
Moser: As always, people on the program may have interest in the stocks they talk about, and The Motley Fool may have formal recommendations for or against, so don't buy or sell stocks based solely on what you hear. Today's show was produced by Austin Morgan. For Matt Frankel and Matt Cochrane, I'm Jason Moser. Thanks for listening! And we'll see you next week!
John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Jason Moser owns shares of Amazon, Apple, Markel, Mastercard, Starbucks, Twitter, and Visa. Matthew Cochrane owns shares of Amazon, JPMorgan Chase, and Mastercard. Matthew Frankel, CFP owns shares of American Express, Apple, Bank of America, Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), General Electric, and Markel. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon, Apple, Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), Markel, Mastercard, Okta, Starbucks, Twitter, and Visa. The Motley Fool owns shares of General Electric. The Motley Fool recommends Marriott International. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.