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Thursday, October 24th, 2013

13 1024 luxury

One could be forgiven for thinking in the dark days of early 2009 that global stock markets could be in for years of struggle.  Or that — with the games of levered finance coming unwound and extraordinary capital destruction occurring almost everywhere — luxury goods would not be the category to place a bet on.

But extraordinary measures (some of which are still being applied today) brought the system back from the brink.  And nothing has been more luxurious than selling things to those at the top end of the wealth pyramid.  We are now back to pre-crisis follies like the 66-page advertising supplement in the New York Times on Sunday for — wait for it — watches.  (Now you know why that guy across from you keeps inching up his cuff, even though he checks his phone for the time.)

The chart shows the performance of luxury goods versus world stock markets, with the top panel marking the nominal percentage gains and the bottom one the relative outperformance of luxury.

Well, the money has to go somewhere, doesn’t it?  (Bloomberg terminal.)

research manager summit

The latest essay on the original site takes a look at investment conferences — and recognitions — to ask whether product marketing has overwhelmed everything.  What should a research manager summit look like?

a digest of investment design

The most recent edition of The Prudent Fiduciary Digest could be called “The Design Issue,” in that it deals with some of the big design problems that face the investment industry.  Asset owners need to be players in creating the new world that is needed.  (A sign-up form and back issues of the free newsletter can be found here.)