Posts filed under “Consumer Spending”

Holiday Gift Guide for Your Favorite Hedge Fund Managers

Thanksgiving is behind us, and we are in full Shopmas mode. By now, you should have already made up your list of who has been naughty — overcharging for subpar performance — and who has been nice (those rare alpha-generators). Reward them accordingly.

Let your favorite 2&20-er know exactly how much you appreciate their work with a thoughtful bauble or two. In our mad consumerist society you can remind these folks that their efforts are appreciated by choosing just the right gift from our hand-curated selection.

Disclosure: Just like last year, all of the items on this list are selected by your humble scribe, free from the interference of the PR flacks and other media manipulators who haunt my e-mail inbox. No compensation is accepted for these recommendations.

Here are my picks, gift-wrapped with a touch of snark, to help you play Santa to your favorite hedge-fund manager.

• “The Art of McCartney” ($23)

This is the easiest trade you will make all year: two CDs of 46 songs written or sung by Paul McCartney — as a Beatle, solo artist or with Wings — performed by a Who’s Who of musical talent. Part of the fun of this album is trying to guess which artist is covering which song. A DVD of how this project came together is also good fun. Spoiler alert: Some favorites include “Let It Beby Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders; “Junior’s Farmby Steve Miller; an inspired choice of Kiss playing “Venus And Mars/ Rock Show; and the incredible vocals of Roger Daltrey on “Helter Skelter.” Senior fund managers of the baby-boom era and millennial traders alike will find something to love in this collection.

• “Breaking Bad: The Complete Series” ($255)

Give your favorite “bad” manager the complete series — 16 Blu-ray discs should help any manager lagging his benchmark to relax during off hours. They might even interpret some themes from the show as a warning of what happens to underperformers. The box set is loaded with lots of extra commentary, interviews with cast and crew, out takes and more. Sure, you can stream “Breaking Bad” at no extra charge on Netflix, but that’s for proles and office admins.

• “Triumph of the Optimists: 101 Years of Global Investment Returns”  ($123)

The first book to show comprehensive evidence of the long-term equity risk premium. Required reading for the fund manager on your gift list who hasn’t quite hit their benchmark, but is close.

• The Bay+ Oru Kayak for the (heh heh) active manager ($1,495)

A 12-foot, 28-pound kayak that folds into a 28” by 32” box for easy transport to anywhere you need to be in order to stay above that high-water mark. Never let your favorite leveraged-fund manager find themselves up a river without a kayak (paddles sold separately).

kayak photo


Clean shave: Moustache month is over, and unless you’re a 1970s porn star, it’s time for a smooth shave: Start with Billy Jealousy Hydroplane Super-Slick Shave Cream ($20) to lubricate your skin for less irritation and fewer nicks, or Musgo Real Shave Cream ($15). Use your favorite brush to lather this up straight out of the tube. After the shave, soothe the skin with Kiehl’s Calendula Herbal Extract Alcohol-Free Toner ($21). Finish it off with L’Occitane Cade Baume Apres Rasage ($34), with its light, non-greasy shea butter formula.

LifeSpan TR1200-DT5 Treadmill Desk ($1,350)

Keep the weight off your favorite fat-finger trader with this treadmill trading turret. If your manager is putting up great numbers, but putting on the pounds or has other health issues (high cholesterol, blood pressure), don’t let that alpha-generator slip away to the great beyond. Keep him here for a few more years with this top choice of PC Magazine. Perfect for the aspiring “active” fund manager. (Bloomberg terminal not included).

Music of the Season  Here is the soundtrack to this year’s holiday party: Start with A Charlie Brown Christmas,” by Vince Guaraldi ($7). The jazz soundtrack exudes the pure holiday magic of the original animated holiday special. It has become a quirky, humorous favorite that warms the soul. Then get the party moving with “Holiday For Swing” by “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane ($10). A Christmas confection of McFarlane and a 52-piece orchestra, it brings to mind the best holiday cheer of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Bing Crosby. Finally, he may be serving 19 years to life for second-degree murder, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy “A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector.” (Thanks for the e-mails about last year’s “Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas“).


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Category: Consumer Spending, Hedge Funds, Humor

About Those Black Friday Numbers . . .

Stories based on Black Friday consumer spending numbers are a holiday tradition. Bob talks with investor and Bloomberg View contributor Barry Ritholtz about the problems with stories based on those numbers.   NPR/WNYC: Source: On the Media

Category: Bad Math, Consumer Spending, Data Analysis, Really, really bad calls

Tony Robbins: 2014 vs 2010

  Tony Robbins is out promoting his new book, MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom. Based on who he interviews, I plan on giving it a read over the next holiday break. However, I was a little disappointed in this WSJ video interview with Tony Robbins, dated WSJ 11/19/2014 6:03PM. Within…Read More

Category: Consumer Spending, Economy, Psychology, Really, really bad calls

Economics Indicators Dashboard

Here’s the monthly update from Russell:   click for interactive graphic Source: Russell Investments

Category: Consumer Spending, Data Analysis, Economy, Employment, Fixed Income/Interest Rates, Inflation, Markets

Don’t Shop on Thanksgiving and Other Good Advice

This is the time of year when Americans gather with family and friends to give thanks. A bounteous feast is the time to express gratitude for our good fortune. We count our blessings, humbled by the fortuity of our circumstances, grateful for whatever it is we have. Once you get that over with, it’s time…Read More

Category: Consumer Spending, Data Analysis, Really, really bad calls, Retail

The Effect of Oil Price Declines on Consumer Prices

The Effect of Oil Price Declines on Consumer Prices Ben Craig and Sara Millington 11.19.14       Oil prices have declined significantly in recent weeks, reaching levels not seen in several years.  At the same time, the year-over-year percent change in the most widely known measure of inflation, the Consumer Price Index (CPI), came…Read More

Category: Consumer Spending, Energy, Think Tank

October Car Sales

Source: NY Times

Category: Consumer Spending, Digital Media, Economy

How Credit Came to Rule – and Ruin – Our Economy

On this day 56 years ago, the U.S. economy began to undergo a momentous change. It was Oct. 1, 1958, and the company known best for its Travelers Cheques introduced a new product: The charge card. Although American Express technically wasn’t the first company to introduce a charge card, it was the first to make…Read More

Category: Bailouts, Consumer Spending, Credit, Cycles

30 Years of Music Industry Change

Source: Digital Music News

Category: Consumer Spending, Digital Media, Music, Weekend

Busy States of America

Click either graphic for interactivity awesomeness.

Source: Retale

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Category: Consumer Spending, Data Analysis, Television, Weekend