Topley’s Top Ten – November 18, 2019

1.Investors have Sold $230 Billion in Shares this Year Amid a 20% Rise in Global Markets

That said, Citi Says Next Leg in Bull Market Coming as Outflows Turn Around – Investors have sold a net $230 billion in shares this year amid a 20% rise in a gauge of global stocks – That has only happened twice before and when the trend reversed, inflows helped spur another 20% gain over the next year, they said.  “November is on track to be the first month of inflows into emerging and developed market equities funds in two years,” the Citi team wrote. “If they continue, this could add further momentum to the rally.”

From Dave Lutz at Jones Trading

2.This Bull Markets Gain Still Well Short of 1990’s Internet Bubble.

Below-Average Bull Market

Posted November 13, 2019 by Joshua M Brown

My Chart o’ the Day comes from LPL’s Ryan Detrick, who notes that:

Many consider this bull market the greatest ever, given it has incredibly lasted more than 10 years. But in terms of magnitude, many would be surprised to hear that the 357% gain during this bull market is still beneath the record 417% gain seen during the 1990s.

This bull market also isn’t the strongest in history in terms of gains, even though it has lasted longer than any other bull market…On an annualized return basis, this bull market has gained 15.3%, which is actually weaker than the average bull market annualized gain of 18.9%.

3.U.S. Equity Ending 10 Year Cycle of Outperformance Vs. International Stocks?

So why is this topic even of interest anyway, and why now? The chart below shows the relative price performance of US equities vs global ex-US (emerging and developed ex-US). The chart shows there are clear (circa-10 year) cycles of relative outperformance vs underperformance, and right now it looks like we are nearing the end of another 10-year cycle of outperformance…

4.MJ-Weed ETF Breaks Thru 2016 Lows.

5.The Holy-Cow Moment for Subprime Auto Loans; Serious Delinquencies Blow Out

by Wolf Richter • Nov 13, 2019 • 175 Comments • Email to a friend

But it’s even worse than it looks. And this time, there is no jobs crisis. This time, it’s the result of greed by subprime lenders. 

Serious auto-loan delinquencies – auto loans that are 90 days or more past due – in the third quarter of 2019, after an amazing trajectory, reached a historic high of $62 billion, according to data from the New York Fed today:

This $62 billion of seriously delinquent loan balances are what auto lenders, particularly those that specialize in subprime auto loans, such as Santander Consumer USA, Credit Acceptance Corporation, and many smaller specialized lenders are now trying to deal with. If they cannot cure the delinquency, they’re hiring specialized companies that repossess the vehicles to be sold at auction. The difference between the loan balance and the proceeds from the auction, plus the costs involved, are what a lender loses on the deal.

The repo business, however, is booming.

6. 8 life events millennials are putting off longer than their parents because they can’t afford it

Hillary Hoffower

Nov 16, 2019, 12:15 PM

7.U.S.Trade in Goods Balance.

8.The State Of The Subscription Economy, 2018

Louis Columbus Contributor

Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

These and many other insights are from an in-depth survey McKinsey & Company completed to better understand the dynamics of the subscription e-commerce market and its major trends. The results of the survey, Thinking inside the subscription box: New research on e-commerce consumers are a fascinating glimpse into the current state of the subscription economy. McKinsey’s research team interviewed 5,093 U.S.-based respondents, 4,057 of which were online shoppers who had spent at least $25 online in the past month. For additional details on the methodology, please see the study here. A PDF of the study is available here (9 pp., registration on site required).

Key takeaways from the study include the following:

  • 15% of online shoppers have subscribed to an e-commerce service over the past year, with 46% of respondents subscribed to an online streaming-media service including NetFlix. Subscription-box services that deliver products regularly include Blue Apron, Dollar Shave Club, Ipsy and Stitch Fix. Subscription-based media includes Amazon Prime Video, ClassPass, Hulu, Netflix, Spotify, and others.

Forming A Foundation: My Life As A First-Gen Military Child

  • Women account for 60% of subscriptions, and men are more likely to have three or more active subscriptions. The median number of subscriptions an active subscriber has is two, and nearly 35% have three or more. Men are more likely than women to have three or more active subscriptions (42% versus 28%) suggesting that men value automated purchasing to save time by reducing store trips.
  • 55% of all subscriptions are curation-based, making this category the most dominant in the 2018 subscription economy. Curation-based subscriptions’ dominance reflects online customers’ demand for a continued series of personalized, high-quality experiences.Replenishment-based subscriptions account for 32% and access subscriptions, 13%

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9.Do Ridesharing Services Increase Alcohol Consumption?

Jacob Burgdorf

University of Louisville – College of Business – Department of Economics

Conor Lennon

University of Louisville

Keith Teltser

Georgia State University

There are 2 versions of this paper

Do Ridesharing Services Increase Alcohol Consumption?

Number of pages: 42 Posted: 13 Nov 2019

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Do Ridesharing Services Increase Alcohol Consumption?

Andrew Young School of Policy Studies Research Paper Series No. 19-23

Number of pages: 43 Posted: 12 Nov 2019

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Date Written: November 7, 2019


Recent studies show ridesharing services, such as Uber and Lyft, reduce intoxicated driving. However, ridesharing may also have negative health effects by increasing alcohol consumption. In this paper, we directly examine the effect of ridesharing on drinking activity. Our approach leverages variation in the existence and entry timing of Uber’s taxi-like service, UberX, across the United States. Using self-reported measures of alcohol consumption, we estimate that UberX is associated with a 3.1% increase in the average number of drinks consumed per day, a 2.8% increase in number of drinking days per month, a 4.9% increase in the maximum number of drinks consumed on one occasion, and a 9% increase in the prevalence of heavy drinking. When we focus on areas with relatively weaker public transit options, we estimate UberX is associated with a 17.5% to 21.8% increase in instances of binge drinking. Using administrative data, we support our findings by showing that UberX is associated with a 2.4% increase in employment and a 2.3% increase in total earnings at drinking establishments. Our results imply that the net social impact of ridesharing is more complicated than the existing literature and policy debates suggest.

Keywords: Ridesharing, Uber, Alcohol Consumption, Binge Drinking, Drinking Places

JEL Classification: I12, I18, D12, L83, L91, R41

Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation

Burgdorf, Jacob and Lennon, Conor and Teltser, Keith, Do Ridesharing Services Increase Alcohol Consumption? (November 7, 2019). Available at SSRN: or

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10.Five Reasons to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Improve your happiness and health by taking a new look at your personality.

They call it a comfort zone for a reason. There is definitely comfort in having a life that is predictable and without unpleasant surprises. There is also comfort in having steady routines that you follow day in and day out, and from year to year as you go through the ebbs and flows of the seasons.

People who know you won’t call you at 7 p.m., because they know, with certainty, that you’ve just sat down to eat dinner. They also know what to get you for a birthday gift, because your preferences for clothes, wine, or even store gift cards are so well-established. As it turns out, though, treading the “straight and narrow” pathway may not be all that beneficial to your well-being. Even if you never actually change those reassuring routines, just contemplating a break in your patterns can be of value.

People may gravitate toward steady routines for a number of reasons, but one of the most probable has to do with personality. The Five-Factor Model proposes that the quality of “openness to experience” is one of the basic building blocks of personality, influencing whether you’re willing to contemplate new ideas, explore new opportunities, try out new cultural experiences, question your values from time to time, and take the time to explore your feelings. Although openness to experience is somewhat the poor step-child of the Five-Factor Model, paling in comparison to popular favorites, such as introversion/extraversion and neuroticism, there is now increasing evidence of its importance in overall psychological health.

In one recent study by the National University of Ireland’s Anna Soye and Páraic O’Súilleabháin (2019), a sample of 77 women ages 18-25 were subjected to two different stress-producing conditions while their blood pressure and heart rate were monitored. In the active stress condition, participants had the unusual task of speaking as loud as possible into a camcorder about words presented to them on a screen. In the passive stress condition, they were required to watch the recorded videos as they performed this task.

Previous research has actually revealed both of these conditions to produce cardiovascular stress responses. The findings showed that women highest in openness to feelings were most likely to show elevated stress reactions, but only in the acute stress condition. Across the passive stress condition, these highly open individuals actually recovered more successfully. In other words, being willing to explore your feelings might help you become better able to adapt to stressful situations.

Openness to experience as a personality trait may also benefit your longevity. Yannick Stephan of the University of Montpellier (France) and colleagues (2019) examined data from a large U.S. sample initially including over 10,000 adults and followed them for 8 to 20 years. Participants completed measures of Five-Factor personality traits, along with self-report measures of physical activity and subjective age (calculated by subtracting self-rated age from actual age and dividing by actual age).

The final statistical model in the Stephan et al. study revealed the beneficial effects of physical activity on subjective age, via a route through openness to experience. In other words, as the authors concluded: “A physically active lifestyle contributes to feeling younger, in part because of the personality and health benefits of such a lifestyle” (p. 7).

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Other research shows that being open to experience can also boost your creativity. In the “Big Two” model of personality, the five factors break down into plasticity (openness and extraversion) and stability (low neuroticism, agreeableness, and conscientiousness) (Feist, 2019). Supporting this concept, Angelina Sutin et al. (2019) showed positive relationships between openness and verbal fluency, another indicator of cognitive functioning related to creativity. People high in openness may even have more gray matter in the brain (cortical thickness), as observed by Defence Research and Development Canada’s Oshin Vartanian and colleagues (2019).

This research leads right into the Openness-Fluid-Crystallized-Intelligence (OFCI) model (Ziegler et al., 2018). The OFCI model proposes that people higher in personality openness also have more varied interests and improved ability to assess situations, strengths that are reflected in higher scores on measures of intelligence as they develop through adulthood. More openness, this model proposes, leads to more “learning opportunities,” which in turn stimulates the cognitive processes that underlie intelligence.

With these findings in mind, then, here are the five reasons you need to open your own personality as well as your routines to stretch your own comfort zone, bit by bit:

1. Improve your heart health. Giving yourself that extra emotional push from being willing to look at your feelings in a range of situations can wake your cardiovascular system enough to learn to adapt to real stress.

2. Feel younger. When you are open to new experiences, you freshen your perspective. It’s especially useful if you adopt this perspective in re-examining whether you can squeeze in more time for exercise, rather than sticking to your tried-and-true excuse that you’re too busy (hint: most people aren’t).

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3. Expand your verbal horizons. Research showing the relationship between verbal fluency and personality openness highlights the value of adopting a mentally flexible approach to life.

4. Become more creative. Feeling “stuck” is one of the chief reasons why people feel their creativity is stifled. By being willing to consider new ideas and approaches, you can think yourself out of that constraining mental box.

5. Strengthen your intelligence. As the OFCI model proposes, people higher in personality openness get more out of their experiences, allowing them to expand their intelligence more than their comfort zone-loving age peers.

You may be wondering how to go about making these transformations, now that you know why it’s worth doing so. The answer is to look at personality openness as a learnable skill. Train yourself to look in new ways at your world, your feelings, and even your most cherished daily schedules by taking off your straight and narrow blinders.

To sum up, fulfillment in life can come from the sources of comfort you’ve grown to love, but as the research on personality openness shows, some stretching of that comfort zone can enrich your life even more.

LinkedIn Image Credit: Hortimages/Shutterstoc