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. The year 2017 has brought forth its own unique series of unexpected news, celebration, joy, disappointment, tragedy, and political intrigue. I hope that 2018 will be a year of health, happiness, and prosperity to my family, friends, clientele, students, co-workers, and readers. So, without further ado, here is my List of 10 Things I Won’t Miss About 2017 (and never want to see or hear about ever again), in no order:
- FIDGET SPINNERS – I don’t see the attraction of fidget spinners. Do we really need something to do with our hands when we put down our smartphones or remote controls? Though; my hat is off to the inventor who did make a fortune on Fidget Spinners, the Pet Rock of 2017.
- DO YOU MEGI? – Have you seen the latest Merrill Lynch advertisements for MEGI? It is without a doubt the worst advertising campaign and commercials of the year (see video below). It is likely turning Misters Merrill, Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith over in their graves. Merrill Lynch is now owned by Bank of America (BAC), the most incompetent bank in the USA. I worked at the old (pre-BAC) Merrill Lynch from 1990 through 2011 when it was the best place to work on Wall Street. Merrill Lynch once produced one of the smartest commercials of all time, the “Bull in a China Shop” commercial (also see below) which was filmed without the use of today’s computerized generated imagery (CGI). I miss the good old days.
New MEGI commercial
Old Bull in a China Shop Commercial
- AIR FRYERS – The mass marketing machine for Air Fryers are out in full force. Is there really a big demand for Air Fryers? I do not know anyone who owns one. If you want fried food, you will seek it out. A year from now, Air Fryers will be in the basement with crock pots, rotisserie ovens and Veg-o-Matics.
- PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY COMMERCIALS – Personal injury attorneys; we used to call them ambulance chasers, but that is politically incorrect I guess; have massive advertising campaigns across the nation. “In a wreck? Get a check.” “We are on your side.” That, of course, is less the 30% contingency fee. I cannot really give my opinion on those attorneys, but I am sick and tired off those commercials. I will say this, my favorite law firm names are the Faux Law Group here in Henderson, NV and Pond LeHockey in Philadelphia. With names like that who needs commercials?
- MARISSA MAYER – Mayer was one of the most overpaid, overrated, and worst corporate CEOs of all-time. This is something that even Fox News (FOXA) (video below) and the New York Times (NYT) can agree about, so it must have veracity. By the way, Jeff Immelt, formerly of General Electric (GE) gets honorable mention.
- MICROSOFT WINDOWS UPDATES – Why do I have to lose half of my day waiting for Microsoft (MSFT) Windows updates to take place? You might as well go see a movie while the updates are in process. Apple (AAPL) products update in the middle of the night when you are asleep. Microsoft does it on boot up or shut down. Did you also know if you have a device plugged into a USB port when the update is loading, you might wind up in an endless loop, whereby you cannot log into Windows? The solution – keep an Apple product nearby or get rid of the Windows products all together.
- FOOTBALL PLAYER NAMES – Last year I wrote how I would not miss Colin Kaepernick and it seems he is the gift that keeps on giving to the media and critics of the NFL. The NFL has its share of problems, and perhaps its popularity is in secular decline. Please allow me to suggest a solution to the league’s ills that they might consider. You see, what I won’t miss about the NFL are its current player names. Except for Rob Gronkowski, there is a paucity of rough and tumble football names. You know what I mean, names that would make you quiver in your boots, such as: Bronko Nagurski; Chuck Bednarik; Otis Sistrunk, the man from the University of Mars; and, Dick Butkus. Would you be scared by a guy named Charles Greene? I think not. Mean Joe Greene on the other hand, was a force to be reckoned with. I think that it should be a requirement that NFL players, like professional wrestlers, be forced to take on a football name. That might get interest in the game on the uptick again.
- BAD OVERPRICED MOVIES –The movie business stinks. Except for reboots and sequels, the quality of movies was so poor this past year that domestic box office sales, on an inflation adjusted basis are likely to be the lowest in at least a decade. Rising production costs are being passed down to consumers. I remember paying $1 for a movie in the 1970s. Now it is $13 – $15 for a ticket. You need a second job to take a girl out on a date these days. It seems that all consumers can look forward to is the next installment of Star Wars, Star Trek or the Fast and the Furious movie franchises. Otherwise, we just wait till it hits Netflix (NFLX); HBO, owned by Time Warner (TWX); Vudu, owned by Wal*Mart (WMT) or some other streaming service for a fraction of the price at the box office. Don’t even get me started on the price of a combo soda and popcorn.
- AVACADO OIL –Why did avocado oil suddenly become the must have cooking oil? What was wrong with olive oil? Is there some sort of trade war between Mexico and Italy that American consumers are being caught in the middle of? Is there a surplus of avocados because of dwindling sales at Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG)? We may never know the real answer, but I am maintaining my loyalty to olive oil. That is unless we make latkes (potato pancakes), then we use Mazola, made from good old American corn. Come over some day for kosher beer battered chicken wings and latkes.
- AWARD SHOWS – Let’s be honest, the major award shows – Oscars, Emmys and Tonys – have been losing viewership for years. Ratings agencies well document this fact. Sure, every occasionally a production like Hamilton can boost a single year’s ratings but otherwise, these award shows are in secular decline. Why is that? To begin with, they are longer than a baseball game with a rain delay. Second, you don’t need to watch these shows anymore to find out who won. All you need is a Facebook account (FB), Twitter (TWTR) feed or access to the internet via your smartphone to be kept up to date. Third, the entertainment value has declined for these shows. Fourth, there are too many other entertainment options (see 8 above)
I hope you enjoyed this year’s 10 Things and thank you for reading My Gut Feeling throughout the year. Please forward this year’s “10 Things” around to friends and family and invite them to sign up for 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, I am always available by phone 888-9-LAKEVIEW / 702-749-9343 or email email@example.com .
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, FB, MSFT, NFLX & WMT — 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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