Topley’s Top Ten – November 13, 2019

1.Per capita liquid milk consumption in the U.S. has declined more than 40% since 1975.

And the company’s deeply distressed 6.5% bonds maturing in March 2023 recently traded at 15.5 cents on the dollar to yield 87.6%, according to IHS Markit. The spread is 8,584 basis points above comparable Treasury yields.

Dean Foods declares bankruptcy …The drop to penny stock.

No. 1 milk company declares bankruptcy amid drop in demand


2.Gold Sees Biggest Outflows in 3 Years..


Heavy Global Inflation Prints this week from USA, EU, UK, Japan.  Yesterday Gold Hits Three-Month Low on Trade Worth 3 Million Ounces – It has traded lower six out of the last seven days.

From Dave Lutz at Jones Trading

3.Financial ETF Makes New Highs….Rates Bottom?

XLF-Financials ETF

KRE-Regional Bank ETF Still Below Highs.

4.Four Week Jump in Sentimet.

Erin McGough-Linkedin

5.Risk On Buybacks Regain Favor Over Dividends and Semiconductors 10% Above Previous Highs.

Claudio Brocado

Semi-Conductors 10% Above Previous Highs.

6.Top Ranked Unicorns.

300 Unicorns-Private Companies with $1B Valuations.

Full List

The IPO market is rebelling against many of 2019’s money-losing unicorns. Here’s what’s scaring investors away — and what it means for the future.

Ben Winck

  • Many of the startups that have tested the initial public offering market in 2019 have floundered amid a disconnect between private valuation and public trading levels.
  • Several unicorns – or startups valued at more than $1 billion – have even called off their IPOs or pushed them back as the market sends mixed signals.
  • Here’s what’s keeping public investors wary of the IPO market, and what it means for the future of startups looking to go public.

7.London set for over 200 new hotels as investors take advantage of weak pound

Evening Standard

Scores of new hotels are planned in London ( Getty Images )

More than 200 new hotels are planned for London, with investors enticed by tourist numbers and the weaker pound, research showed on Monday.

Of the 210 hotels that have planning permission, or on which construction has started, almost a quarter, 48, are in the Westminster borough. 

Projects under way include Qatari Diar working on transforming the former American Embassy on Grosvenor Square into a 137-bedroom luxury hotel that will feature restaurants, shops and a ballroom.

Law firm Boodle Hatfield, which compiled the data, said that the UK’s hotels market is one of the few sectors of the British economy hereto have benefited from the Brexit-related slump in sterling. 

That has made it cheaper for international tourists to visit and encouraged more “staycations”.

The study also pointed to it being less expensive for overseas buyers to invest here.

Rajeev Joshi, partner at Boodle Hatfield, said: “For tourism to continue to grow, the UK needs to ensure that post-Brexit, we do not start to be seen as a less convenient destination for tourists from the European Union or from further afield.”

He added that: “Greater investment in infrastructure will be a key part of this.” 

The delayed Crossrail project is expected to bring significantly more shoppers into central London when it opens.

8.Industries Transformed by Millennials.

Is there anyone who doesn’t “know” how much technology has affected our lives? If you didn’t “know” better, you’d think that you should put all your money into data analytics and artificial intelligence. Unfortunately for investors, technology doesn’t make the top 20 industries which will be prospered by the aging of our largest adult population group (see chart below).

Nobody Knows Nothin’ at Psychological Extremes

by Bill Smead of Smead Capital Management, 11/11/19

9.Are You Prepared to Be Your Parent’s Parent?

byAlison Robb

Financial Frequency. myFamily
November 12, 2019 .3 min read

Even though I was all grown up, married, working full time with a family of my own, I still felt like I was my parents “kid”. I still went to them for advice and I still needed their help. They were always there for me when I needed them.

As you grow older, it’s easy to forget that your parents are growing older too, and that there may come a time when the roles of parent and child will reverse. I definitely wasn’t thinking about it until life forced me too.

Due to a cancer diagnosis, I was suddenly thrown into the role of being a parent to my parents.  I was now the one giving advice and helping them make the important decisions. It was now my turn to be there for them.

The situation also forced me to think about not only their future together, but apart as well. So I had to have the tough conversations with them to make sure when the time came, we were properly prepared to get through the difficult decisions that were to come.

Based on my own personal experience, and what I learned along the way, here are some tips that might help make transition with aging parents go more smoothly for all involved.

Start the Conversation Early

Having the “you’re getting older” conversation with your parents is never easy but it’s one that needs to happen. The earlier you can get talk to your parents about their living and financial future, as well as end of life care the better.  Planning ahead as much as possible relieves a lot of stress for when the time comes that you have to make those tough decisions.

Know Where Their Important Documents Are Located

It’s important to know where documents such as birth and marriage certificates, Social Security cards, all insurance policies, and mortgage information is located.  The last thing you want to do is scramble to locate them in the event of a sudden sickness or loss. In addition, you should have a discussion about adding your name to bank accounts and safety deposit boxes in the event you need to access them if your parents cannot.

Do your parents have a will or power of attorney?  Make sure you know where the originals and copies are located.  If they don’t have either, make it a part of your conversation as both are important tools when it comes to financial planning.

Understand Their Finances

Make sure you are aware of your parent’s current income and expenses.  Know how much they have coming in each month from sources such as retirement accounts and pensions, social security, disability, etc.  You also want to know things like how much they pay for their mortgage if they have one, car payments, credit card bills, utilities, and any personal expenses to fully understand their monthly budget.  This is especially important when one parent dies. The loss of retirement or social security income of the deceased spouse can have a big financial impact, so you will want to be able to plan ahead so you can be prepared for such changes.

Assess Their Current Living Arrangements

As your parents grow older, it’s also important to have an open and honest discussion about their living arrangements, and decide if it still suitable, or if downsizing/moving should be considered sooner rather than later.  Depending on their proximity to you or other family members, age and wellness, there are many options, like staying at home with help from family or professionals, independent living communities, assisted living communities, or living with family members.

Understand Their Medical Wishes

Another tough conversation but one that needs to happen is about medical decisions. Do they have a Health Care Proxy?  If not, you should discuss who should be designated to make health decisions if your parents are no longer able to. This is important to make sure any medical treatment being provided fits the wishes of your parents in the event they cannot communicate it themselves. Without it, the doctor may have no choice but to provide medical treatment they wouldn’t want.

Something else I learned while going through this process was that I also needed to be having similar conversations with my husband.  Even though we are not that close to our twilight years, having things in place such as life insurance, wills, and even a Health Care Proxy is still necessary, especially if you have kids.  It’s never too early to start getting organized and preparing for the future so you children aren’t left in limbo.

No one said getting old was easy and it’s especially hard watching your parents change with age.  But, taking the time to help your parents plan for their future needs will prepare them and you for the journey that lies ahead. That way you can spend more time on the really important things, like making memories.

10.Leaving the SHOULD Life

Brian Von AnckenHow and why to stop letting SHOULD run your life

Photo: Javier Allegue Barros

Did you know the most common regret at the end of life is having lived your life to other people’s expectations?

Living a life filled with other people’s agendas and belief systems is what I call a SHOULD life.

We all live a SHOULD life to some degree, and I lived it more than most.

For most of my life, I believed following the expectations of friends, family and society would lead to the perfect life. And so I became an All American guy: football star, good grades, college, 9–5 job, and married my college sweetheart. I was happy, but also always worried about other peoples’ perceptions, and constantly felt pressure to do what I thought I SHOULD do.

It wasn’t until life threw me a devastating curveball in the form of miscarriages and divorce that I realized despite all efforts to do things the ‘right way’, the SHOULD life was no path to true contentment. If I was going to move forward on my own path, I first had to shake my addiction to the SHOULD life. Which started with the word SHOULD.


Once I became aware of how much I encountered the word SHOULD (sometimes over 100 times in 1 day), I realized I wasn’t alone. SHOULD is the 25th most common verb used in the English language and is used more than ‘need’ and ‘feel’. Tune into almost any news, social media or personal conversation, and it will be hard to miss an ‘I SHOULD’, ‘they SHOULD’, or ‘you SHOULD’.

And it would be one thing if SHOULD was a necessary component of language but that’s not the case. Many other languages, including Italian, French and Dutch use SHOULD much less frequently than English. In fact, in some languages (such as in the African language Mende) you either do or don’t do something, there is no SHOULD at all.

If we don’t need the word SHOULD, why live the SHOULD life?


Reflecting on my life, I realized SHOULD seemed productive but actually played a negative role. SHOULD poses as giving directions on how to live life, but actually just reminds us how we are failing. SHOULD poses as a motivator (I SHOULD go to the gym), but is really the voice of self hatred (I am so lazy!).

Being bombarded with a word that tells us we are failing has its consequences. My own daily uses of SHOULD fast tracked me to negative headspaces of regret, guilt, and anger. Every view of social media shouted out all the things I SHOULD be doing. Even something as simple as “you should read this book” could be a trigger for guilt and stress.

The SHOULDs I had thought were pushing me toward a perfect life were actually weighing me down. And it was clear I needed a SHOULD diet.


SHOULD Awareness and Reduction

First, I made a conscious effort to become aware when SHOULD was used around me and to evaluate my own true feelings about the SHOULD proposed. I then tried to avoid using the word myself.

Removing SHOULD from my vocabulary was challenging. I still struggle in certain situations to find an alternative to SHOULD. The best method for me is to focus on why I want the underlying desire and speak to that. ‘I SHOULD do yoga’ becomes ‘My body feels great when I do yoga’. Instead of telling someone, ‘You SHOULD eat more broccoli’ say, ‘I know health is important to you and I’ve read broccoli is really healthy’. By reframing it, the thought is no longer a directive with negative implications, but a realistic assessment of needs. In most cases, just noticing SHOULD in the present moment allowed me to reframe to a better alternative.

Take the Pressure Off

An essential complement to SHOULD reduction was taking the pressure off myself. SHOULDs are A+ perfection chasers and I committed to take the pressure off doing all the SHOULDs for a week. That meant noticing anytime I felt pressure around something I SHOULD do, catching it and letting it go. So instead of agonizing over finishing every to-do for the day, I could feel content with what the day allowed me to get done. That week of less pressure became a month and then a year. Taking the pressure off and focusing on my true needs gave me a lightness I hadn’t felt in years.

The Results

By focusing on my needs rather than SHOULDs, I reduced those unwanted feelings of FOMO, insecurity and unworthiness. I am now more assertive and empowered to make decisions even if I didn’t know their outcome. My life is following an unconventional and uncertain path untethered to society, family or friends’ expectations. And it feels great.


I’m aware of the irony that on some level this article can read like one big SHOULD but the intent is to raise awareness. Awareness of the simplicity and benefits of a SHOULD diet and how you don’t need a tough life curveball to start your journey away from the SHOULD life.

Simply remember the SHOULD life as the top regret of the dying and ask whether your use of SHOULD has consequences for yourself and others.

If you want to try a SHOULD diet for yourself, these could be useful places to start:

  • 1 DAY SHOULD CHALLENGE: Try to not use SHOULD at all for 1 day and notice how you feel when you hear others use it. Sounds easy, but it is harder than you think. Don’t forget, instead of ‘I SHOULD go to the gym’, try something like ‘I feel so alive and strong when I make time for myself to go the gym’. If 1 day goes well, try another!
  • NOTE TO SELF ‘TAKE THE PRESSURE OFF’: Create a reminder for yourself to take the pressure off of needing SHOULDs’ perfection. This can be something simple like a sticky note with an A+ crossed out, or a daily morning reminder of “Need over SHOULD” to help you value your needs and wants.
  • SHARE YOUR SHOULD DIET: Share your experience of these exercises with others and you’ll be surprised how much people have to say about SHOULD. You can also share your experience direct with me on Instagram @brianvonancken.

These exercises are simple, accessible and powerful. Small efforts to raise your basic awareness and intentionality around using the word SHOULD can lead to large scale positive change. It’s not like you need to quit your job and move to Bali.

Now I actually relish when I find myself wanting to use SHOULD, because it is an opportunity to take a moment to reflect on what I really want.

And in doing so, while it may not get me that imaginary perfect A+ life, it has allowed me to move from living the SHOULD life, to the good life: my life.