The "Mistress" Index: Happy Holidays
It's really quite sick, but quite a nice indicator for the state of the economy going into the new year. I'm talking of course about a lesser known and lightly studied index used by Wall Street around the holidays, known as the "mistress" index. Hopefully, you'll take away that I'm demonstrating new and interesting ways to evaluate the state of the economy -- I'm in no way condoning the actions of these individuals.
The idea is simple: it is known that many high ranking professional men (and in some cases women too) have a mistress (or mistresses) separate from their wives. While their wives and kids definitely receive gifts from them around the holidays, the spending on their wives and kids nowhere near compares to the amount of money they spend on their mistresses.
It it also known that trying to get a dinner reservation in New York City is hard to do on December 23 or 24 - why? Because this is when men take their mistresses out to dinner and give them gifts because they are (of course) obligated to spend the next week with their families. According to AshleyMadison.com - you know, that website for married people who are looking for a significant other "on the side" - actually surveyed their clientele and discovered that on average men spend between $51-$100 on their wives, but when it comes to the mistresses, they spend $251-$500! Additionally, about 87% of men try to avoid the paper trail (especially if their wives check their bank statements) so they give their mistresses cash instead.
What exactly do men purchase in a good year? According to the site, the number one choice for mistress presents is jewelry - in fact, men are more likely to buy diamonds for their mistresses than their wives. Wives tend to get items that they "need" while mistresses get items that they "want".
Oh how do you know that it was a good year for the cheating husbands? Take a look at the performance of these stocks and you'll get a good sense. A boost in Tiffany's does not mean that all of a sudden guys are buying diamond earnings for their wives; know that the economy is good and the douches are just spoiling their "side" girls.
Blue Nile (NILE)
Victoria's Secret (The Limited) (LTD)
Michael Kors (KORS)
Louis Vuitton (LVMH)
Apple (well, to a lesser extent...not sure how many mistresses are excited about getting an iPod) (AAPL)