The investment world is fraught with anxieties, brought on by a wide spectrum of events such as geopolitical issues, economic worries and fears of the unknown. Since Valentine’s Day has similar anxieties to investing such as, “Do they love me?”, “Am I spending too much?” and, “What if they don’t like my gift?”, let’s use this modest correlation as an excuse to review the results of some recent surveys on the spending patterns of men and women around the “Day of Love.”
According to the National Retail Federation, men who plan to purchase a gift for Valentine’s Day will spend an average of $123.94, while women will spend roughly $53.80. Maybe it’s that men just don’t know how to shop, since 36.5 percent said they were most likely to shop at a department store and 30.1 percent would shop at a florist. On the other hand, 43.9 percent of women were likely to shop at a discount store, 37.4 percent were likely to shop at a department store and 24.2 percent were likely to shop online. Those men who like to surprise their spouse with a gift that’s bright and shiny will spend an average of $69.87 at a jeweler’s.
In a survey conducted by Men’s Health, both men and women were asked, “Who should plan the day’s festivities?” The overwhelming response was “both” people by 68.2 percent. When asked who should pay, men basically thought they should, giving the equivalent of a sheepishly raised hand, with 40.3 percent concurring. Women, on the other hand, were quite clear it was the man’s responsibility with 71.7 percent in agreement. Finally, when asked, “Do you even like Valentine’s Day?”, men were rather lukewarm on the holiday with only 38.1 percent in favor, and women slightly more enthusiastic at 54.7 percent.
Although the anxieties surrounding Valentine’s Day are approaching fast, simultaneously, investors’ anxieties appear to be diminishing. This can be most clearly seen in the bond market over the past week, as high-quality bonds have declined in value and low-quality bonds have risen to the top. This week, the Barclay’s Convertible Bond index is in the top spot, rising 0.81 percent over the past five trading days.
This commentary originally published in the Reno Gazette-Journal. Performance numbers used in this article were obtained through eSignal and are not guaranteed to be accurate.
This article was written by Laif Meidell, CMT, president of American Wealth Management, and portfolio manager of the AdvisorShares Meidell Tactical Advantage ETF (MATH).