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Modern Wall Street AM Anticipation: December 23, 2016

12/23/16 It’s Friday morning and stocks are pointing to a lower open as the 3-day Christmas holiday weekend nears. Also, new home sales and consumer sentiment are due and Europe slides.

Commodities Report: December 22, 2016 (via Modern Wall Street)

12/22/16 Oil prices are seeing a slight rise from early lows as investors turn to a a strong Q3 GDP read. Also, gold and silver are mixed in afternoon trade.

Reporting by Modern Wall Street’s Olivia Voznenko:

Mistress Inflation: The Hermes Crossbody Bag is in Play

By: Todd M. Schoenberger, @TMSchoenberger, @JonesFallsPub

Ah, the holiday season.  The time of year for some of you to make your list, while being extra careful who checks it twice.

For those who find that loving feeling with someone other than the spouse, it’s time to pay up.  No, I’m not talking about divorce, alimony, child support, etc., etc., etc.; I’m talking about the gift for the mistress.

Oh no.  Or is it, oh yes.

todd-schoenberger-mistress-spendingRegardless of your morals, religious commitments and yadda, yadda, yadda, the mistress is expecting a present worthy of, you know, epic appreciation.  So, if you even have the resources to take on a mistress, well you’d better pony up if you want to keep her smiling.

And, I’m talking diamonds and luxury items—not a new Dyson.

It wasn’t always this way for the secret lover, though.  The Great Recession a few years ago meant great disappointment in terms of gift-giving for the lady on the side.  Men generally stayed away from having a torrid love affair, and opted to be the wholesome man everyone thinks they are, rather than getting trapped into paying thousands of dollars on gifts from Hermes, Bulgari or Prada.

But times, they are a changing.  The GDP report released Thursday morning shows the economy grew at a very healthy 3.5 percent, and the guy who recently won the Presidential Election is likely to bring the roaring 80’s back to the USA.  Reagan 2.0 will lead to the ultimate proxy for a healthy economic environment: Spending on a mistress.

Men are going all out this holiday season for their lovers, as many feel more confident in their personal economic situation.  Like one Wall Streeter who, obviously, spoke on the condition of anonymity said to me: “My girlfriend isn’t stupid.  She watches FOX Business.  She knows what the market has done since the Election and is expecting a luxurious gift and a Vespa.  Good thing my wife only watches The Today Show.

Unfortunately for some of you out there, is no more.  The company completely rebranded itself from a service promoting infidelity into an innovative, open-minded dating service company, named Ruby Life.  Open-minded still seems to be stepping over a line, but that’s a topic to tackle at another time.

todd-schoenberger-mistress-spending-holidaysAshley Madison did leave us with some excellent metrics, however, before shuttering.  In a 2014 survey, the company was able to obtain some excellent subscriber data on mistress spending during the holidays.  And, the numbers are definitely an “eye” opener.

According to the former company, the mistress always receives the “best” gifts.  Men generally spend under $100 on wives, but well over $300 on mistresses.  And these same men are 47 percent more likely to buy their mistress diamonds and luxury items than their brides.


And what’s worse for the wife is men are 35 percent more likely to buy their spouse items of necessity: tech products, cleaning supplies, an ice scraper for the car; whereas, the top mistress gifts are expensive jewelry, sexy lingerie, fashion accessories (can you say Hermes Crossbody Bag), technology and vacations/getaways.

No wonder would experience a huge spike in new registrations following the holiday season!  I suppose the wives wanted to flip the role and receive luxury items next season.  Makes you wonder which company will fill the gap and step in to fulfill this much-desired service.

So being a former Wall Streeter (no, that is not my quote above but it wasn’t hard to get a former colleague to spill the beans!), let’s talk about making money.  If anybody has the chutzpah, I’d suggest launching a hedge fund investing in “lover stocks.”  Here’s a couple to consider.

Hermes International (EPA: RMS) has the hots for profits.  The stock has hearts a flutter with a pop of 24 percent in 2016, and the company’s leather-goods and saddlery revenue rose 15 percent over the summer, beating the 12 percent consensus.  The company, as most luxury retailers, did experience a slowdown worldwide this year, but this drop presents a perfect opportunity for the future: Rapid growth.

And with the success of the stock in 2016, many investors are looking at Hermes as a long-term play as discretionary incomes rebound, thus enabling purchases of high margins items such as silk scarves and ties.

todd-schoenberger-mistress-spending-for-holidaysNext up has to be Tiffany (NYSE: TIF).  The stock is up a toe-curling 27 percent in the prior six months and is expected to continue its upward trajectory leading into 2017.  Tiffany’s third-quarter earnings release showed sales increased 1 percent, however, on the bottom line, net income rose 4.5 percent to $0.76 a share.  Seeing the luxury market growing is another bullish signal for companies like Tiffany.

It should also be noted how 90 percent of sneaky men prefer to pay for their mistresses’ presents in cash to avoid the incriminating paper trail.  So, cash is king (and private) for some of these luxury retailers, like Hermes and Tiffany.

There you have a couple of investment ideas to tie you up and consider for your infidelity investment portfolio.  Happy holidays and seasons greetings to you, your wife, your mistress, and probably your soon-to-be divorce attorney!

Disclosure: The author does not own the stocks mentioned in the article and has never been a member of

Cheslock’s New Year’s Recap: Market Theories, Myths, & “Can You Meet The Higher Bar?”

12/22/16: Matthew Cheslock from Virtu Financial joins ‘The Voz’ for a Holiday & New Year’s special! He takes an in depth look at 2016’s divisions & phenomenons, and the entrance of 2017.

With Modern Wall Street’s Olivia Voznenko…

Modern Wall Street AM Anticipation: December 22, 2016

Valdes: “Fed Challenge is Real Job Growth” (via Modern Wall Street)

12/21/16 Silver Bear Capital’s Alan Valdes discusses the “real challenge” for the U.S. economy in 2017. Valdes considers the time horizon for implementing potential policies proposed by President-elect Donald Trump.

With Remy Blaire of Modern Wall Street, from the New York Stock Exchange.

Commodities Report: December 21, 2016

12/21/16 Oil prices are inching lower as investors turn to a surprise increase in stockpiles for last week. Also, gold and silver continue to slide as a stronger dollar and growing Fed rate hike expectations remain in focus.

Jones Falls Publishing Director, Todd Schoenberger, with Steve Forbes, Mike Huckabee and Maria Bartiromo – on FOX

Forbes Media Chairman Steve Forbes, Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and LandColt Capital Managing Partner Todd Schoenberger discuss Obama’s executive action on immigration and the GOP’s next move.

College Football’s Army of Volunteers take Control

By: Todd M. Schoenberger, @TMSchoenberger, @JonesFallsPub

Historians will look back at 2016 as the year of the people.  Political junkies will prefer to describe how absolute power had shifted from the Democrats to the Republicans this year, but our changing ways are much more emblematic than something this simple.

People have decided to take the necessary steps to regain control.  Control of their lives, control of their futures.  Those with power took one too many bites from the proverbial apple and pushed the public a few too many times.

And you would be naïve to think the ‘power to the people’ shift ended with the Election.  It’s likely just beginning.

todd-schoenberger-alabama-fansThe most recent example of this is the activity taking place at the college (amateur) football level.  Several marquee athletes—those with extremely bright futures in the professional football league—are voluntarily deciding to skip their team’s upcoming postseason bowl game and have chosen to focus on their primary goal: Increasing their position in the April 2017 NFL draft.

For those not in the know and boycott ESPN because you believe it poisons today’s athletic youth with those goofy X-games, a player’s rookie contract value is determined by the pick they are selected in the draft.  For instance, a player selected fifth overall will likely receive more money than the guy picked tenth.  Therefore, it makes perfect sense to concentrate on making oneself better by focusing on fitness and skills rather than participating in what is really considered a meaningless game.

But don’t tell this to those with a vested interest in getting (i.e., forcing) its army of volunteers to play in a league that severely restricts its players from earning and receiving money regardless of the hundreds of millions of dollars spread amongst its participating teams.  College football is not the minor leagues for the NFL; it is its own industry and it’s an economic juggernaut.

NCAA Football: Orange Bowl-Oklahoma vs ClemsonAccording to Forbes Magazine, all—not many—but all teams in the Power Five conferences (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC) produce tens of millions in profits every year.  The University of Alabama football program, which is highly considered the favorite to win its fifth National Championship in the last eight years, receives nearly $82 million in revenue with expenses of $37 million.  Apple doesn’t even boast this kind of profitability.

Think that’s impressive, the University of Texas Longhorns received nearly $104 million last year with only $26 million in expenses—and they won’t even be playing in a bowl game this season.  Incredible.

With all this money being splashed around, the casual college football observer may be of the belief that some of these players are sporting the finest clothes and backpacks while trekking over to PolSci 101 class.

No chance.  None of this cash makes its way down to the player level.

To be fair, though, the players on these teams do receive economic benefits in the form of free (or partial) paid tuition, free books, free room and board, and free team meals.  And, anybody raising a child fully understands how out-of-control college expenses can be.  But the end goal, as many of these parents will attest, is for the child to graduate and obtain a job with a higher-than-average wage.

Please tell me if there is a better paying job than that of being a professional athlete.

So when the student-athlete opts out of his extracurricular activity and decides to give all of his attention to increasing his stock value by removing the distractions of the team, then why are people up in arms about it?  The answer as it always is with anything, is money.  It’s always about the money.

todd-schoenberger-nfl-draftOklahoma University star defensive lineman, Charles Walker, didn’t even wait until the end of the season to say so long to his team to prepare for the 2017 draft.  With two games remaining on the schedule, the player went to his coach, Bob Stoops, and said he was leaving the team.  But rather than wishing his player the best of luck and thanking him for his sacrifices to the University, the coach responded with a vicious parting shot.

“Quitting on your teammates is hard to take as a coach,” said Coach Stoops to The Oklahoman.


Funny because I wonder what the players from the University of Houston thought when their coach, Tom Herman suddenly bolted for the same position at the University of Texas, before the season ended.  The Houston Cougars still had a bowl game to play, which they lost 34-10 to San Diego State in the Las Vegas Bowl.  Yet, Herman said ‘thanks for the memories’ to the young Cougars and inked a contract that will pay him $5 million a year.

And, yet, we have some of Herman’s own colleagues villainizing its free labor participants for choosing to do the exact same thing!  University of Miami football coach, Mark Richt, addressed the ongoing conversation about skipping bowls for the NFL draft by saying it’s “sad.”

“I think it’s sad, personally.  Everybody is counting on each other.”

todd-schoenberger-university-of-texasI agree.  Everybody is counting on each other.  But it does seem in such a rich and vibrant industry, known as NCAA football, a select few take care of their own.  And when the power begins to shift, change tends to occur.  If the idea of skipping games and vacating teams becomes a stable trend, don’t be shocked to see the NCAA begin to reverse course and begin some sort of profit-sharing program for players.

I don’t know what the answer is or should be, but it seems like common sense to permit a student-athlete to put themselves in the best position possible to obtain their dream as a professional.  If that means a share in the money made, which balances the power between the parties, then I bet the league will become even more valuable—and entertaining—then it already is.

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