Investing in Togetherness and Love


May we share a weekend thought about why Merri and I are among the luckiest people in the world. This good luck is not because business and investing are good, or because we live the life we desire. Nor is it just because we are in great health and in our 60s feel like we are just getting started…but because of our children…five…all healthy…all productive….all independent. Plus we actually love and like our sons in law…really. All four of our girls all made a great choice! Our son Jake is not married, but I bet we will like his wife when the time comes.

Yet being an international family has a downside. We are spread all over the world and do not get to see each other as much as we would like. This year we have lucked out and been able to spend time with all five and their families since June.


Here’s are eldest, Cheri at her Florida home with our grandson Garren and yours truly. After massage school she went to work for an NGO helping people who cannot afford it get medical care.


Cinda, next in line lives in Portland and is a veterinarian.


Here I am with Jake, at the Jyske Bank Gala Ball last month. After studying at University of Edinburgh and Florida Gulf Coast University worked for the NGO National Wildlife Federation. Then he moved to Leeds where he works for the British Environmental Agency and is completing law school.


Here I am taking Francesca to her wedding earlier this summer. She completed her MBA at London School of Economics before moving to to Switerland where she worked at a United nations related NGO to help poor people. Now she lives in Swaziland in Africa where she works for the national health service. She is sponsored by another NGO called SkillShare International.


Our youngest, Eleanor just visited and we rode the Virginia Creeper bicycle path for 20 miles. Ele finished her education at Middlesex University in London before becoming a professional singer. Later she bought a drama-dance-singing school “Stagecoach” in Epsom and now operates three schools there.

Yet such togetherness with the kids is rare and this rarity highlights three economic stories that we as investors and business people should incorporate into our investing and business thought.

The first economic story we can see is that families are scattered as never before. This creates a market for togetherness and love. Though we often link love with romance, it is something far deeper. Love is the moving force of humanity, the world, the universe and possibly all of existence. The 14th century Sufi poet, Rumi, describes love as the spark that gives grass the animal enthusiasm.

Yet modern society often demands that we are separated from those we most love. This creates a yearning to express what we feel and this creates a demand. The market for love affects multitudes of markets, jewelry, perfume, movies, music, (most songs are about love) weddings, even funerals and the home.

Smart investors spot both the trends and counter trends and can make money in both ways.

No song ever stated a truth better than the song “What the World Needs Now is Love Sweet Love, That’s the Only Thing That There’s Just too Little of”. No matter what technology brings, no matter how fast the world turns, one thing we can be sure of is that everyone will be seeking in one way or another to receive and express love.

Investors and businesses should never forget this truth!

Our fast paced lives make it increasingly difficult to be together and express our love in traditional ways. As we have less time to spend in our house we will spend more making the house a symbol of family togetherness. Houses will become more than status symbols. Houses will become love symbols (matching accessories, communal living rooms, etc.) Look in home and garden type magazines and see who is advertising. See how many ads there are for modern, super comfort beds for example. This is partly created by a growing market caused by sleeplessness in an increasingly hectic, unknown and worrisome world. This is also due in part to the love market. The bed is a symbol of love, the place where couples spend time together.

Perfume and chocolate businesses will grow as will shops in airports so overworked travelers, forced away from home for longer than desired, can easily return with tokens of love. Expect jewelry businesses to grow as well. Love is the key market for the Disney corporation, its theme parks and movies offering organized ways that parents can express love for their kids.

Camera manufacturers that succeed will know that love is more important than the quality of the shot. People take pictures at love events (family reunions, holidays, vacations, birthdays, etc.) and want these pictures to affirm again and again their love.

Modern technology and love create the phenomenon of family home pages. This is a modern way of saying, “See how much love we have”.

When you review your investing strategy and ask, what markets will grow…do not ignore the problem of families being apart. Look for businesses that provide solutions to this dilemma and you will have a winner.

The second economic story to be gained from my family album above is about value. We’ll share it soon in this series here.

Until then we hope you have all the love in the world this weekend and every week through.

Gary

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P.S. Delegates are arriving today for our International Business & Investing Made EZ course in North Carolina . We’ll missed you here but invite you, as cold November days come to join us here at El Meson de las Flores in our court yard in the sun.

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Join us and Jyske Bank at our Hotel El Meson de las Flores for International Business & Investing Made EZ in Ecuador , November 9-10 and 11. http://www.garyascott.com/catalog/IBEZec/


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