I’m kind of an atavistic type. That’s a favorite word of the legendary Hunter S. Thompson, go and get Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas from your library if you have never read it. Loosely, it’s an adjective describing characteristics that are a throwback to an earlier age or era. That’s partly how I come to loath certain parts of modern “progress.” Now, this is not a judgement of anyone who uses or loves certain products or services that I find useless and repulsive. I embrace it as part of what makes us all unique in values and actions. You’re likely to find some of my favorite activities and products extremely jack-asstic. Over the years as we run along the yellow brick road to independence I have developed almost a physical aversion to things like advertising and marketing, which has helped in “not wanting to buy shit” area of life. Here are some of my favorite things to rant on and hate on (drinkin’ all that hater-aide) but that I will gladly put my investment dollars into because the rest of the world can’t seem to get enough of them.
I own a good chunk of Activision Blizzard (ATVI). I haven’t played video games since my teenage years when Centipede cost a quarter per play in the 80’s. In fact I find them useless but that doesn’t matter because the public gobbles up billions of hours at these consoles per year. Now there are even eSports leagues where you can tune in and watch other people play games, just in case wasting time playing for yourself wasn’t enough. All that matters for my investment is that they keep playing. Hell, buy a ticket to a stadium to watch some “pro gamers” play Overwatch on the damned JumboTron. Have a great time and I’ll get paid.
I met my wife, Mrs. Smidlap in a whiskey bar, old school. That was a lucky and unlikely event as she was just there visiting family and going to a Lyle Lovette concert. But I digress. I bought MTCH, which owns Tinder and a bunch of other online dating sites, a couple of years ago. I didn’t buy it because I would ever consider using the product, especially the paid version. All that matters is that the generation who struggle with face to face communication uses the living hell of of it. Swipe right, I get paid. Swipe left, I get paid. There is something very satisfying watching a share price rise on the back of something I find so silly I could wet my pants. See somebody you want to go out with or get to know better, go ahead and ask them out, like….right to their face? Better yet, keep on swiping, even spgrade to GoldMember status and I’ll be able to retire.
I used to love coffee. In fact I still do when I’m at home. I especially like a decent double espresso with a bourbon on the side. The thing I don’t care about which has saved me a bundle are buying regularly at chain coffee shops. For 2 people it always seems go cost close to 10 bucks to pop in for a caffeine fix. That doesn’t stop us from owning shares of DNKN and SBUX though. I’ll give Starbucks credit in that in a pinch when we’re on the road I enjoy a cup of their coffee. I always thought Dunkin’ Donuts java sucked and they put the cream i for you and use way too much for that swill. But I don’t have to go to these joints on a regular basis, only the rest of the world needs to support my yearly dividend increases. So, if you patronize these shops regularly, thank you and keep up the spending.
I admit to liking television. We watch Jeopardy most night at 7:30 and I am a sports junkie too. The thing that has driven me nuts of the years is pharmaceutical advertising. I jump up and down and start mock shouting in the living room “I need these pills they’re selling me!! I’m not sure what they are but I’m sure I need them! PILLS, PILLS, PILLS!” Mrs. Smidlap really is a tolerant one to put up with this juvenile behavior, but that’s a topic for another day. Also remember the movie Repo Man from 1984 predicted the rise of the big pharma advertisement. So, I rail against the industry and it’s promotion and give them a good chunk of blame for the opioid epidemic in this country, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to own shares of ABBV or GILD. For all the gobs of cash they rake in while paying themselves handsome salaries, they tend to share a good amount with shareholders in the form of dividends. They also raise the payout with good frequency. So keep up with the pills, America.
Those just scratch the surface but other things I loathe are cell phones, 50 thousand dollar SUV’s, and anything related to the uber plastic and sterile world of Disney. Whew, that was quite a tirade. For your general mockery, I do waste my own hard earned cheddar on shit like betting on race horses, a little tobacco, TV, and a little too much fine wine, but I earned it. What do you think? Am I wrong?
p.s. I’m glad I didn’t jump out the cellar window during the market tribulations last week, did you?