Every year since 2002 I have closed out the year with my satirical look at the world through the eyes of a professional investor / writer poking fun at what has transpired in our global society during the year we are about to turn the page on. 2015 has brought forth its own unique series of unexpected news, celebration, joy, disappointment, tragedy and political intrigue. I hope that 2016 will be a year of health, happiness and prosperity to all of the members of my family, clientele, students, co-workers and readers. So without further ado, here is my List of 10 Things I Won’t Miss About 2015 (and never want to see or hear about ever again), in no particular order:
- PEOPLE WHO SPEAK IN HASHTAGS – Communication skills are on the decline due to social networking and the increasing use of smartphones or other hand held devices. That I can accept. However, when people (you know what age group I am talking about) speak using hashtags, I get annoyed. The conversation goes something like this: “I want pizza for dinner – hashtag iwantpizza.” I got the message, so why do I have to go to Twitter (TWTR) to find out what you meant.
- SPOILED WHINY COLLEGE STUDENTS – My wife and I have five children all of which we are very proud. Our eldest son is an attorney. Or eldest daughter is a nurse. Our middle child is a graphic designer for the iHome company (they make fantastic products). Our fourth child and middle son is a senior at UNLV studying hospitality and hotel management. Our youngest just began to study psychology at Purdue and wants to pursue a career in diabetic counseling. My wife and I focused our children on career paths, of their own choosing, before they ventured off to college (in four different states no less, five if you include law school) and spent hundreds of thousands of our dollars. I worked multiple jobs to help put myself through the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and New York University’s Stern School of Business. We do not mind spending hard earned money on quality education with a purpose. However, when I hear the demands of students for free education and loan forgiveness I get real upset. Just listen to this interview between Neil Cavuto of Fox Business (FOXA) and the leader of a national student movement. Don’t even get me started on the anti-microagression movement and growing institutionalization of anti-Semitism on college campuses.
- FINAL COUNTDOWN COMMERCIAL – Every year there is one commercial that is so bad and annoying that you would rather poke a sharp stick in your eye than have to endure the advertisement. This year’s award goes to Geico; owned by Berkshire Hathaway (BRK/A; BRK/B); for the company’s Final Countdown commercial sung by 80s glam metal band Europe. Even the Geico Gecko has to stick his fingers in this ears when this commercial airs. Without a doubt, the best commercial of 2015 and one of the classiest one in years is the You Never Know Who You’ll Meet at Barnes & Nobel spot with Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga singing a marvelous version of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” duet. I can’t get enough of that commercial.
- FIFA / OLYMPICS – Soccer, I mean non-American football is a mess. FIFA is a multinational organized crime venture. It ought to be disbanded. The Olympic movement, born to give opportunity to amateur athletes, especially in non-commercial sports is bankrupting nations. Just look at what happened to Greece, Russian and soon to be Brazil as a result of billions of dollars (or euros or rubles, etc.) spent on these lavish events. Increasingly, cities are rejecting the opportunity to submit bids for Olympic events because citizens are getting fed up with footing the bill for overpriced corrupt multination sporting events. Boston and Hamburg are just two recent examples. Stop blaming the 1%ers for societal problems and point a finger at these two organizations.
- GOING PAPERLESS – I am sick and tired about being asked to go paperless, especially after I already responded no to a request. Do you know that the court system, Internal Revenue Service, mortgage companies, retailers and many other organizations that we have to deal with on a daily basis in our lives, demand paper documentation as evidence? Have you dealt with the hassle of retrieving or printing old legacy statements? So, if you don’t mind, I will keep my records the old fashioned way – on paper – and stop bothering me to go paperless.
- PUMPKIN SPICING – First the cronut took over our salivary glands. Then kale commandeered our menus. In 2015, it was pumpkin spicing that controlled foods and beverages. Tell me this – why did everything we consume seem to have to be enhanced with pumpkin flavoring? I enjoy a nice slice of pumpkin pie every now and then, although it is way behind key lime, pecan and cherry on my list of pie favorites. 2015 will mark the beginning and end of the great pumpkin craze.
- STEVE JOBS MOVIES – Wasn’t one bad Steve Jobs movie enough? No, Hollywood had to bring us another one in 2015. His legacy lives in his company, Apple (AAPL) and does not need any movies.
- BAD MAYORS – Mayors Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg not only cleaned up Times Square but did so for the entire city. Under their administrations, squeegee people no longer harassed drivers. Trust me it was harassment. Times Square was turned from a dangerous section of the city littered with XXX movie theaters, peep shows, prostitutes and muggers into a glitzy, thriving, safe tourist destination. It became Disney (DIS) safe. Under Mayor Bill de Blasio, the Big Apple has taken a step in the wrong direction in many aspects – homelessness, crime, etc. You can argue if you want whether it was his fault or something he inherited from his predecessor (I think it is de Blasio’s fault). However, you can pin one thing on de Blasio – the naked ladies running around Time Square. When I think of de Blasio; Mayor John V. Lindsay comes to mind and we all know how much of a disaster he was as mayor. Then there is Chicago’s mayor, Rahm Emanuel. His administration suppressed videos of the killing of Laquan McDonald during his reelection campaign. Emanuel resides over a city with the worst murder rate in the country. Just as it was under Al Capone, gangs are running Chicago once again. Next is the entire San Francisco government who refuses to see the problems inherent in its sanctuary city policy. Finally, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was deemed so incompetent in dealing with the city’s riots that she realized that her political career was over and announced that she would not seek reelection. That sort of makes her the Lyndon Baines Johnson of mayors
- CAITLYN JENNER – Just when you thought we had enough of the Kardashians, along comes Bruce, I mean Caitlyn Jenner. At least Bruce, in his Olympic heyday had some talent worth watching. Of course, that was when the Olympics were still for amateurs.
- FEDERAL RESERVE TIGHTENING – enough is enough already. Rates were at zero for seven years. They had nowhere to go but up and the time was right. The time and energy wasted as to when the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) would raise rates in 2015 was just unbearable.
I hope you enjoyed this year’s 10 Things and thank you for reading My Gut Feeling. LakeView Asset Management is always available to help you with your investment needs, so don’t be shy to reach out to me.
PRIOR YEARS’ 10 THINGS I WON’T MISS ABOUT….
Disclosure: At the time of this commentary Scott Rothbort, his family and/or clients of LakeView AssetManagement, LLC was long AAPL & DIS — although positions can change at any time.
Scott Rothbort is the President & Founder of LakeView Asset Management, LLC, a registered investment advisor specializing in high net worth private wealth management. For more information on investing with LakeView Asset Management, LLC call us at 888-9LAKEVIEW or request more information by clicking on the contact button on the top right hand corner of the website. LakeView Management, LLC is a Nevada LLC, with its principal office located in Henderson, NV and branch office located in Millburn, NJ
Scott Rothbort is also the publisher of the LakeView Restaurant & Food Chain Report, a newsletter focusing in on food, restaurant, beverage and agricultural stocks. An individual subscription to the newsletter can be ordered at www.restaurantstox.com Furthermore; Scott is also a professor at the Seton Hall Stillman School of Business in South Orange, NJ.
– Read Scott’s intra-day thoughts and comments on Scutify for which he is a co-founder of its parent company Wall Street All-Stars, LLC
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