Solve for the Last Mile and the Whole World Changes


By Maurice Stouse, Branch Manager and Financial Advisor

Maurice StouseWhile sitting in the office of Santa Rosa Beach architect Jeff Margaretten, you might happen to hear a few thoughts on how things could change in various sectors or parts of the economy when solving for the last mile. The term came in to use some time ago as it spoke to what the last thing was to get done, to physically do it, when making things happen that have lasting effect in the economy: The last mile of cable to connect a community to cable TV; or perhaps the internet; the last mile of train track; or the last mile of road, as other examples. It is commonly a far and expensive reach.

Jeff often thinks about how certain “last miles” could change the world or perhaps sectors of the world. Take electric cars, for example. Recharging stations are far from ubiquitous and recharging an electric vehicle takes a lot more time than filling the car with a tank of gas. He wonders, for example, if diners, while out to eat, could simply plug in their cars which are in the parking lot charging while they eat. Once they are done for the evening, their car has been charged and it was with little effort. It was done in their leisure time. Solve for that, as in this example, and the whole world changes. You can think of a lot more examples in technology, with 5G, in health care, with cancer—or perhaps with fitness and weight loss.

What is the implication for investors? Think about electricity generation and where that comes from. Think about the need for cleaner burning fuels and renewable sources. The most common today is natural gas (currently seen as cheaper, cleaner and abundant). Wind and solar are two more. As a matter of fact, electric utilities are continuing to consume less coal and replacing that in direct proportion with natural gas, wind and solar.
The energy sector in the stock market would be an area that investors might want to investigate if they see the possibilities of the whole world changing. Investors should take note that the energy sector just turned in the lagging performance of all 11 sectors of the market over the past five years. Some investors might see this as an area to avoid because of the relative under-performance. Others might take a contrarian approach and see it as undervalued (cheaper) relative to the possibilities within the sector. To see if this might work for part of your investing strategy, do further research or visit with a financial advisor to learn more about it all.

Maurice Stouse is a Financial Advisor and the branch manager of The First Wealth Management and Raymond James and resides in Grayton Beach. He has been in financial services for over 32 years. His main office is located at The First, First Florida Bank, 2000 98 Palms Blvd, Destin, FL 32451. Branch offices are in Niceville, Mary Esther, Miramar Beach, Freeport and Panama City. Phone 850.654.8124. Raymond James advisors do not offer tax advice. Please see your tax professionals. Email:

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