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 about to end. The year 2018 has brought forth its own unique series of unexpected news, celebration, joy, disappointment, tragedy, and political intrigue. For me personally, I have endured three surgeries and a weekend hospitalization. Yet, I did not miss one day of market action, and lived through the market disaster in the fourth quarter. I hope that 2019 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 2018 (and never want to see or hear about ever again), in no order:
- LAUREL OR YANNY – This year the nation was divided by the debate as to whether you heard “Yanny” or “Laurel” in the clip below. Frankly all I hear is Layni; my wife’s name. Now that’s true love.
- REBOOTS & REMAKES – It appears that the major networks; ABC of Disney (DIS), CBS (CBS) and NBC of Comcast (CMCSA) have run out of original material, creativity or both. How many more legal, police or medical shows can these networks pump out? I really am saturated with legal. police and medical dramas. Occasionally, one or two of their reboots are successful such as Will & Grace (NBC), Hawaii 5-0 (CBS) or Roseanne (ABC); that’s before the politically correct crowd killed off Roseanne and had a spin-off of a reboot calling it “The Connors” which is not faring well. However, we were handed a bunch of duds, such as: 24: Legacy, Murphy Brown, and Magnum P.I. Reboots don’t just fail on the small screen. There are plenty in the movie theaters, such as Deathwish, Superfly and Robin Hood (for the umpteenth time). Therefore, people are watching quality new original content on HBO of AT&T (T), Showtime of CBS, Netflix (NFLX) and Amazon (AMZN). CBS pulled a fast one and put new shows on its paid site CBS All Access. I would make an exception and welcome a reboot of NYPD Blue – I miss Det. Andy Sipowicz (I do hear that a sequel is being considered)
- RUSSIAN COLLUSION – The Federal Government is spending tens of million of dollars investigating Russian collusion (which is not even a crime) in the 2016 election. However, the real Russian collusion in Washington had to do with the Washington Capitals winning the Stanley Cup Championship over my hometown Vegas Golden Knights. Certainly, with no doubt in my mind, Vladimir Putin was behind Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov as they conspired to win the cup. Remember Putin already stole Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s Super Bowl ring. Return the Stanley Cup to its rightful owners, Vegas Golden Knights, immediately or else I will call for a special prosecutor to be appointed.
Read this: https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/capitals/it-was-incredible-capitals-captain-alex-ovechkin-brings-stanley-cup-to-his-homeland/2018/07/08/76c7f5ea-82b0-11e8-9e80-403a221946a7_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.43ad3b29b209
- THE WAR AGAINST CONTROVERSIES – California passed a bill making illegal for restaurant servers to give diners plastic straws unless requested by the patron. The fine is up to $1,000 and jail time up to six months. However, California did not ban plastic lids for fountain drinks. Paper straws are lousy as they collapse the more liquid gets sucked through. My wife and I bought some reusable glass straws with a carrying case in July but have yet to use them. Plastic straws are made from type 5 plastic or polypropylene. I believe that it would be better for California to mandate plastic straw recycling. That would be too easy. Instead, waitresses and waiters can lose their entire paycheck or get thrown into the hoosegow. In the meantime, San Francisco is covered with feces and hypodermic needles. It was once a beautiful city, where I often traveled to for business and pleasure, but I won’t go there anymore. It is a good thing that the State of California has its priorities in order.
- SPORTS STANDERS – When I pay for tickets to a sporting event, I pay to sit down in a seat. However, some people insist on standing up in the middle of a play, blocking my view and the view of others. You can see just as well if you always sit. There must be some neurological deficit in certain fans that force them to stand as a big play is about to occur. I did not pay big bucks for a seat to watch on the stadium/arena screen. I could do that at home. I don’t want to stand and frankly standing is not easy for me. I think I might shoot spitballs through my glass straw at those people to get them to sit down.
- CELEBRITY POLITICS – When I go to a live show or watch one on TV I want to be entertained. I could care less about the political view of celebrities. If they want me to listen to their politics, then pay me to do so. I am not cheap.
- 2018’s ANNOYING COMMERCIALS – It’s a three-way tie. I cannot stand the My Pillow and the Tommy John commercials and the Verizon (VZ) commercials with the computer geek from Silicon Valley. Shelve all three. However, I love the TD Ameritrade Lionel Ritchie “All Night Long” commercial.
- NOBEL PRIZE COMMITTEE – I have no beef with the concept of the Nobel Prize (with one exception to be discussed). I studied under a Nobel Prize winner, Robert Shiller. Two prize winners were clients. Plus, I know at least one person nominated for a Nobel Prize. However, the Committee has become too political in its decision making, hence why President Donald Trump will not win a Peace Prize for his work in North Korea. For sure, another President who did the same work as President Trump would get the Nobel Prize hands down. My one beef with the Nobel Prize itself is that it is only awarded to living people (or active organizations). Many people or organizations who have been awarded the Nobel Prize now find that their work or theories have proven false or have deficits, over time. All told, the Nobel Prize (of all varieties) has lost its luster.
- KENTUCKY DERBY BROADCAST – I am a horse racing enthusiast. Along with a business partner. I own South Mountain Stables which races and breeds Standardbred horses (see our multiple stakes winning Filly, World Apart win the 2017 Lady Maud Pace at Yonkers below – I stood at the finish line for the entire race in the rain). When I watch the Kentucky Derby I want to see and hear horse racing professionals interviewed – owners, drivers, trainers, handicappers, etc., – about this classic race. Rather NBC turned the broadcast into a fashion freak show. So, let me revise what I said above. I could care less about the political view and fashion of celebrities. I want horse racing. Please put a bridle and saddle on Tara Lipinsky and Johnny Weir. Maybe even a bit in their mouths. Better yet, scratch them from the race coverage.
- UNFUNNY COMEDIANS – I used to watch The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Many times I did so with my grandmother Selma, of blessed memory, who loved the comedians on the show. Carson himself was a great comedian. His guest list (and those of his predecessors, Jack Parr and Steve Allen, who I did not watch) and successor Jay Leno, another great comedian (who we saw here in Las Vegas) included the finest of comedians over three generations such as (in random order): Joan Rivers, Don Rickles, Milton Berle, Bob Newhart, Mel Brooks, Jack Benny, Bob Hope, Rich Little (who we saw for my birthday this year in Las Vegas), Bill Crystal, Rodney Dangerfield, Redd Foxx, Alan King, George Carlin, Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor, Bill Cosby (he was a comic genius but a rapist nonetheless), the aforementioned Roseanne Barr (who we also saw this year in Las Vegas), Lenny Bruce (you can see his character on the entertaining AMZN show The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), David Brenner, David Letterman, Gilbert Gottfried, etc. as I could go on for a while. Now, late night talk shows are unwatchable. Today, we have no comedic talent worth watching, other than those still living mentioned before. Comedy is dead in this generation. I would add that the politically correct crowd today would reject classic comedies such as Blazing Saddles (one of the few movies my father Clark, of blessed memory took me to and I can still see him laughing), Caddyshack, and A Day at the Races (a must watch for a horse racing enthusiast such as yours truly). The quality and quantity of comics under age 50 is nil. That is unless you consider Michelle Wolfe, Samantha Bee, Chelsea Handler and Trevor Noah to be in the above list. If you do, then, as Joan Rivers would say “can we talk?”
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. It is a Christmas staple at one friend/colleague’s home. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org .
P.S. Sorry Steveo, there were no foods fads worthy of mention in 2018
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 AMZN, NFLX & VZ 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 a professor at the Seton Hall Stillman School of Business in South Orange, NJ.
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