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Interesting story about “Fry Speed”

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News Tech: Consumer behaviour is incredibly complex and nuanced.

Travel is one industry that has experienced unusually high levels of inflation, with airline rates rising by 28% from a year ago. Vacation travel, which is a discretionary item by the way, has been one of the strongest areas of consumer spending.

Over the past year, we’ve learned that consumer spending can rise even as consumer sentiment plummets amid high inflation and the rising risk of a recession.

On the matter of discretionary spending, Bank of America analysts recently found ”consumers do not necessarily dine out less during downturns, but rather they tend to shift to cheaper restaurants.”

Here’s a little more color from CFO Bernadette Madarieta:

Overall, we expect U.S. demand to remain solid, but will also likely be affected by significant inflation that consumers are facing. In the event of an economic recession, we expect demand for French fries will be resilient, although with little to no growth. That’s consistent with what we experienced during the great recession from 2008 to 2010. While the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression might’ve stalled growth, it wasn’t enough to get people to stop ordering fries.

Fascinating stuff. In case you missed it
Many of you became new subscribers in recent months. (Welcome!) Some of you haven’t had the time to open all of the newsletters. (We’re all busy!) Some of you are free subscribers looking for a reason to become a paid subscriber.

For all y’all, here’s a roundup of some of TKer’s most talked-about paid and free newsletters. All of the headlines are hyperlinked to the archived pieces. Passive investing is a concept usually associated with buying and holding a fund that tracks an index. And no passive investment strategy has attracted as much attention as buying an S&P 500 index fund. However, the S&P 500 — an index of 500 of the largest U.S. companies — is anything but a static set of 500 stocks. From January 1995 through April 2022, 728 tickers have been added to the S&P 500, while 724 have been removed.

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Media outlets sometimes unfairly characterize a new piece of data as they attempt to draw attention from their audiences. The November 2021 jobs report came with a lot of mainstream news headlines suggesting that the creation of 210,000 jobs was a bad thing. Nine months later, we’re learning that the labor market boom continues without interruption. Picking stocks in an attempt to beat market averages is an incredibly challenging and sometimes money-losing effort. In fact, most professional stock pickers aren’t able to do this on a consistent basis. One of the reasons for this is that most stocks don’t deliver above-average returns. According to S&P Dow Jones Indices, only 22% of the stocks in the S&P 500 outperformed the index itself from 2000 to 2020. Over that measurement period, the S&P 500 gained 322% while the median stock rose by just 63%.

Investors should always be mentally prepared for some big sell-offs in the stock market. It’s part of the deal when you invest in an asset class that is sensitive to the constant flow of good and bad news. Since 1950, the S&P has seen an average annual max drawdown (i.e. the biggest intra-year sell-off) of 14%. S&P Dow Jones Indices found that funds beat their benchmark in a given year are rarely able to continue outperforming in subsequent years. According to their research, 29% of 791 large-cap equity funds beat the S&P 500 in 2019. Of those funds, 75% beat the benchmark again in 2020. But only 9.1%, or 21 funds, were able to extend that outperformance streak into 2021.

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