Dec 112014
 

Grumpy Cat is a Wealthy Cat

The internet is the best thing to have happened to cats since the ancient Egyptians. The most popular cat in the world right meow is none other than Tardar Sauce. Her first picture was uploaded to the social news site Reddit in 2012. Denizens of the web quickly fell in love with her distinctive expression. She was given the label Grumpy Cat and variations of her pictures, often with sarcastic captions, spread all across the web and turned her into a popular internet meme.

Two years since her internet debut, Tardar Sauce has now made over $114,000,000, according to the CBC. That is more money than most “A” list Hollywood actors including Brad Pitt, and top athletes including Christiano Ronaldo. There is even a Grumpy Cat Christmas themed movie, Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever, in which she’s voiced by Aubrey Plaza, who is best known for playing April from NBC’s comedy, Parks and Recreation.

14-12-grumpy-cat-christmas-aubrey-rich-million

Continue reading »

Nov 062014
 

How Midterm Elections Affect the Stock Market

Imagine if you knew an investment strategy where the historical odds are almost 100% in your favor! 😀 Well here’s how. 🙂 Since 1942 there has been 18 midterm elections, not counting the one that just happened earlier this week. Every single time the S&P 500 has gone up after one year following each of those elections. The average stock market gain over the 12 month period following all 18 elections was 16%. 🙂 If we only look at what happened after just 6 months following the midterm elections, once again 18 out of 18 times the S&P 500 rallied, and on average by 15%. Chart below for details. (source)

14-11-midterm-election-stock-performance

As we can see, the chart shows the percentage change of the stock market index after 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months following each midterm election. The only negative change is after the 3 month period following the 2002 midterm when the S&P 500 dropped 8.7% as shown in brackets. Every other time the stock market has gone up. 🙂 This indicator has been very consistent because regardless of which party wins in the house or the senate the results of a midterm election adds certainty to the political landscape. And certainty gives confidence to the financial markets. 🙂

Continue reading »

Oct 312014
 

It’s that time of year again when we encourage kids to go beg for candy at random people’s houses. Yes, because taking candy from strangers when it’s dark outside is exactly the kind of thing we should be teaching children to do. 😛 Sometimes kids are forced to wear embarrassing costumes because parents think they look cute. Even animals are subject to such abuse. The National Retail Federation estimates that people will spend $350 million on Halloween costumes — for their pets. 😆 Some people make their own outfits, but it’s often more convenient to buy them from stores where the costumes are mask produced. 😀

elsa-halloween-drinking-game

The Economics of Halloween

Halloween is big business. In the U.S. alone people anticipate spending an average of $80 this year on decorations, costumes, and candy, according to the National Retail Federation. That’s about 10% more than last year. Altogether Americans are expected to spend about $7.4 billion on Halloween in 2014. Which will be good for the economy. Below is a breakdown of the $7.4 billion U.S. Halloween spending by category.

  • Costumes – 38%
  • Candy – 30%
  • Decorations and Cards – 32%

October 31st is actually the chocolate industry’s most lucrative holiday for sales. More chocolate is purchased for Halloween than for Easter, Christmas, and even Valentines Day.

Chocolate will probably become more expensive in the future. It’s due to limited supply and a growing world wide demand. On the supply side the cocoa plant can only grow in very specific parts of the world, mainly near the equator in West Africa. Two countries in that area, Ivory Coast and Ghana, produce most of the global cocoa supply. It sounds like West Africa is a pretty sweet place to work in. 😀 But basically the production of cocoa cannot be easily scaled. And on the demand side consumers in developing economies of Asia and Latin American are quickly developing a sweet tooth for chocolate, with sales expected to increase by more than 20% over the next few years.

As global demand continues to increase the world’s largest chocolate manufacturers like Mars, Mondelez, Barry Callebaut, and Nestle have to raise prices in order to maintain their profit margins. Hershey has already announced they’ve increased their wholesale price this year by 8%. The global chocolate market is expected to grow from $83.2 billion in 2010 to $98.3 billion by 2016 at an estimated annual growth rate of 2.7% from 2011 to 2016.

Have a fun night everyone. 🙂 Stay safe. And for anyone who cares, just a friendly reminder to turn your clocks back on Sunday morning this weekend. 😉

 ————————————————————————
Random Useless Fact:
Many animal shelters won’t allow black cats to be adopted around Halloween, out of fear that they might be sacrificed or tortured during rituals.

14-10-black-cat-halloween

Sep 072014
 

For cat lovers what could be a better housewarming gift than having a furry feline delivered right to your new home? 🙂 The largest bank in Eastern Europe called Sberbank Rossii is offering this unique service right meow. 😀 For a limited time only anyone who signs up for a mortgage with this lender will be able to choose one from a selection of ten different cats on the company’s website.

14-00-catlending

Then the bank will litter-ally deliver the cat to the customer’s new property. The home owner can play with the cat and take pictures of it but eventually will have to give the cat back so the bank can satisfy its other customers. But Sberbank is a Russian bank and this offur is not available in Canada or the U.S. Large banks are always thinking of creative ways to acquire new clients. This is probably one of the most bizarre strategies I’ve seen though 😕

Continue reading »