Topley’s Top Ten – May 6, 2019

1.Millennials Take Over…Barron’s Feature this Week

$1.4 trillion

Millennial spending will account for 25% of total U.S. retail sales in 2020,
or $1.4 trillion annually.

Source: Accenture
5 Stocks to Ride the Coming Wave of Millennial Spending
Daren Fonda

2.Two Millennial Themed ETFs….MILN and GENY.


Top Sectors and Holdings.


Top Sectors and Holdings

3.U.S. Millennials Dwarfed By Indians…..India Under 25 Population 600m.

4.Mutual Fund Flows…Negative Equities/Positive Bonds.

Bespoke Investment Group

Mutual Fund Flows: A Tale of Two Asset Classes

5.Fear and Greed Index Benign Right Now.

6.More Benign Sentiment….Fund Flows Rolling Over as S&P Makes New Highs.

7.Earnings Calls Show Increased Mention of “Higher Wages.”

Nonetheless, companies continue to talk about higher wages.

  • Earnings calls:

Source: @LizAnnSonders, @DataArbor


8.Netflix Re-Run Problems.

This chart is actually even worse for Netflix than it already looks

Here’s a crash course in what it means to “own” a show: TV networks almost never make the shows that they air. (Indeed, until the early ’90s, they were legally forbidden from doing so.) Instead, the shows are made by production companies, from which the networks license the broadcast rights for a specific window of time or number of showings.

Sometimes, production companies are very, very big — like Warner Bros. Television. Sometimes, they’re very, very small — like Tornante, a company headed by former Disney chief Michael Eisner, which makes BoJack Horseman, among others. But they are the companies actually doing the work of making sure TV shows get made. They hire talent, set budgets, and try to keep the trains running on time.

Networks are only able to collect the money they make directly from selling ads, from charging cable company “carriage fees” (which your cable company pays per consumer to the network itself), or from subscription fees (this is where networks like Netflix come in).

Production companies collect all of the other streams of revenue, like DVD sales and selling reruns of the show in syndication. Thus, airing a show like The Office was great for NBC, as any network can make lots of ad money from a hit show, but there’s substantially more money involved for NBCUniversal, which produced The Office and will make money off of it in perpetuity. (Just think about how long reruns of The Twilight Zone and I Love Lucy have run to get a sense of the money involved.)

Michael Scott has an idea to start his own streaming service. NBCUniversal

Now, a traditional TV network has a little hack to this system, in that it is usually part of a gigantic corporation that owns a production company. In the case of The Office, for instance, the show aired on NBC, and was produced by NBCUniversal. So all of the money it made — from ad revenue to DVD sales to streaming sales to so many other revenue streams — went back to the same place.

Netflix, until very recently, didn’t have as robust of an integrated production system as other companies, so it relied on leasing content from other production companies’ libraries (shows like The Office and Friends and The Flash, which first aired elsewhere) and on purchasing its original series from other production companies. Only in the last couple of years has it finally started owning the movies and TV shows it produces outright.

But what this means is that the chart above is even more devastating for Netflix than it might look at first. By my count, Netflix fully controls the rights to only two shows on that list: Black Mirror and Big Mouth, both of which it produces in league with smaller production companies who don’t have the leverage to demand some sort of rights-sharing agreement. Every other show on the list is controlled by some major outside entity in some way or another.

Now it’s distinctly unlikely when it comes time for Netflix to reup its commitment to BoJack Horseman or Orange Is the New Black (which is owned by Lionsgate Television) that either show is going to suddenly decamp for Hulu or Amazon. There is substantial value to having your TV show on the world’s largest streaming platform. But the fact that either show could is something Netflix still has to guard against.

Similarly, a show like Frasier (whose rights are controlled by CBS’s TV library) has been consciously licensed out to all major streaming companies. That specific strategy means the show will likely remain on Netflix for some time to come.

But there are no guarantees. And as more and more media companies increasingly view Netflix not as a way to make money off their older shows while getting those shows seen, but as a competitor, the value of those shows only goes up — as a recent $100 million deal to keep Friends on Netflix for a single year suggests. And once new streaming services from Disney (which will soon control all of the assets of 20th Century Fox) and Warner Media launch later in 2019, using popular programs like Grey’s Anatomy (Disney-owned) and Friends as a lure to attract new subscribers will only become more tempting.

This is both why Netflix keeps producing its own shows and movies so frantically, and why you shouldn’t count on many of your favorites always being available on the platform. Netflix is hoping its gigantic lead in the streaming space, its best-in-the-industry interface, and its brand-name recognition will help it weather the inevitable loss of some of these popular older shows. Other media companies are hoping that a future version of Netflix that only boasts Netflix original programming will be a lot less enticing than one that offers reruns of your favorite comfort food sitcoms alongside that original programming.

I don’t know how this situation will shake out, but we’re going to start finding out very soon. Either it ends with Netflix as one of the biggest fish in a pool it has made much, much smaller just by existing, or it ends with Netflix going the way of Napster or MoviePass — a good idea that shook up the entertainment industry but ultimately boasted an unsustainable business model. Increasingly, it seems as though there’s no in-between.

Netflix’s upcoming content crisis, in one chart

The biggest shows on Netflix are shows owned by other companies.

 9.Number of Americans with Alzheimer’s 5.8m Today …13.8m by 2050

In her work, but also while visiting with her mom, Feldman considered the enormity of the Alzheimer’s problem: About 5.8 million Americans now have the disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. That number will climb to at least 13.8 million by 2050, a 138% rise, and as many as 1 in 3 people who live to be 85 in the United States will die with Alzheimer’s disease.

Aging baby boomers are about to push Alzheimer’s disease rates sky high

Kristen Jordan Shamus,

10.How Stress Can Guide Your Way to Success

By Amanda Enayati | April 25, 2019 | 

One of the most frequent questions I get in the course of my work as a stress expert is, how do I eliminate stress from my life? There is no doubt in my mind that at first glance, my answer is shocking to most of those who hear it.

There are two things you need to know about stress-free living: One is that it is a myth no matter who you are. All life is stimulus that knocks you out of equilibrium, and you will stop stressing only when you die.

The second is that while you can’t deny or eliminate stress or anxiety, you can often understand and harness it better, and sometimes even use it as your guide and superpower. And if stress can be used to your advantage, why would you want to eliminate it entirely?

The Stress Spectrum

The key to mastering stress is to see it in a more nuanced way, across a spectrum, differentiating between good stress, toxic stress and tolerable stress. Because when it comes to stress, our perceptions matter, and the stories we tell ourselves over and over again about what is happening matter even more.

Stress is less about what’s happening to you and more about how you think about what’s happening—and how you make sense of it. Our perceptions and the stories we continue to tell ourselves become the lens through which we interpret everything: as a punishing threat or as an opportunity for and invitation to change.

Yes, there is a type of stress that is harmful. Toxic stress involves strong, ongoing activation of your body’s fight-or-flight response. This stress becomes deadly when it is unrelieved and when protective factors are absent (more on those a little later).

Good stress, on the other end of the spectrum, is life saving and life enhancing. It can help you meet a tough deadline, ace a test, feel the excitement of a new romance or give a great speech. Pioneering research by neuroimmunologist Firdaus Dhabhar shows a range of benefits associated with this kind of acute stress response. Dhabhar’s experiments show that short spurts of stress can even help you recover better from surgery.

Between toxic and good stress lies tolerable stress, which often looks and feels very much like bad stress except that is relieved and/or accompanied by protective factors. Tolerable stress is at the heart of what poets and philosophers wrote about when they told us that “the obstacle in the path becomes the path” and “that which does not kill us makes us stronger.”

Tolerable stress helps you grow, learn and evolve as a human being. It can help you make sense of the world, see patterns, both good and bad, and uncover novel insights and solutions forged from the pain of difficulty and adversity. Our stories and narratives, on the one hand, and intentional self-care, on the other, are at the heart of transforming toxic stress to tolerable stress.

Optimizing Good Stress, Protecting Against Toxic Stress

One of my earliest interviews as a CNN stress columnist was with Dr. Michael Gervais, a high-performance psychologist. Gervais works with some of the world’s most elite athletes to help them develop strategies to not only perform better, but to thrive under extreme pressure.

According to Gervais, “All stress means is that we are engaging in change. Everyone wants to grow, but somehow no one wants to change.” But you can’t have one without the other. He trains his athletes to see extreme stress as a necessary pathway to excellence and far from avoiding it, to see their breaking point as the pathway to breakthroughs.

“Pressure can be an amazing gift,” Gervais told me. “It sharpens our mind, sharpens our focus … Growth is impossible without change. You can’t have one without the other. And all stress means is that we are engaging in change.”

Moving from stress as a game-ender to a game-changer involves three important steps:

  1. Disciplining Your Mind

Gervais sees a disciplined mind as the key to peak performance. And he works with athletes to approach that in the same way they do any other training: practice, practice, practice. He recommends gaining insights and taking inventory of your internal narratives and dialogue through journaling, talk therapy, or even texting daily observations and insights to yourself or someone else you trust. As you understand and master your internal dialogue in safe environments, Gervais observed, your response will slowly evolve to become automatic, reflexive and affirming, even in hostile or stressful circumstances.

  1. Calming Your Body

Most of us pass days, months and years going from peak of high stress to peak of high stress at a frantic pace. And while you may not be able to control your deadlines, the realities of your job or career, or even your personal circumstances, you can make a conscious effort to insert periods of low to no stress throughout your days.

Much like the urgent advice to make sure you’re not sitting all day long, you should also not be stressing all day by intentionally inserting moments of pause throughout your day. Formal mindfulness practices like meditation or yoga can be potent protective factors, but equally important (and perhaps far more realistic) are the micro-moments of calm, rest and stillness sprinkled throughout your day: spending a few minutes with your eyes closed, taking deep breaths, going for a walk around the block, sniffing a calming essential oil, reading a chapter of a good book, spending some time in nature, walking or cuddling your pet, even taking a short nap. All of these have research validating their effectiveness in creating a sense of calm and well-being. Research also shows that exercise, in its many forms, is a powerful stress reliever. Gervais recommended simple breathing, which he finds to be the best tool to calm your body.

The bottom line, though, is that any protective factor you choose only counts if you actually do it. And if you don’t, it won’t work, no matter how great your need and how good your intentions.

  1. Using Stress as a Design Prompt

Oprah Winfrey famously said: “I say the universe speaks to us, always, first in whispers. And if you don’t pay attention to the whisper, it gets louder and louder and louder. I say it’s like getting thumped upside the head. If you don’t pay attention to that, it’s like getting a brick upside your head. You don’t pay attention to that—the brick wall falls down.”

Our lives are moving at an unprecedented pace and intensity, with both good and bad news coming at us from multiple platforms and devices at any given moment of the day and night. Stress is about as a good an early warning system as we have about the fact that something is not working. It is said that the “obstacle in the path becomes the path.” And while this realization may not change the discomfort we feel, it does give us the ability to enter the space with curiosity:

What is not working?
Why is it not working?
How can I change it?
And what other possibilities might there be?