I can’t wait for Tuesday.
It’s the day after the day after the Super Bowl.
After that we have an entire year without hearing about the “Super Bowl Indicator.”
You’ve surely heard about this before.
It says that if the Panthers win, stocks will go up this year. But if the Broncos win, stocks will go down for the year.
It’s been right like 44 years out of 49 years or something like that.
It’s probably the best example of mixed up correlation and causation in the markets.
Worse yet, it turns off investors from another “Super Bowl Indicator” which can lead to significant gains in the year ahead regardless of where the markets go and which team wins.
Follow The Money
I like to call it the “Real Super Bowl Indicator.”
It has it’s foundations in one of the simplest and effective investment strategies ever discovered.
Have you heard of Peter Lynch?
He’s the former manager of the Fidelity Magellan Fund.
He averaged annual returns of 29.2% per year when he ran the fund between 1977 and 1990.
That’s enough to turn every $10,000 invested in the fund into more than $350,000.
Lynch trounced the markets. But he also told everyone how he did it too.
In his first book, One Up On Wall Street, Lynch gave away the story behind how he found some of his most successful investing ideas.
In one chapter he wrote that if you want to find big growth stories, just to go to the mall and walk around. Watch what people are buying. Then buy the stock.
It worked for him. Why not you?
That advice created thousands of mall-walking investors with plenty of their own successes and failures.
Today though, the same premise works too.
Of course, it’s 2016 and going to the mall won’t work anymore...it’s actually far easier today.
In fact, you don’t even have to leave home. You just have to pay attention. More specifically, pay attention to advertising.
Now, if you’re like the average American, you spend 11 hours per day consuming electronic media.
So you see so many ads it tough to tell which ones are important for this exercise.
Well, about 95% of them are at best worthless or at worse will lead you in the completely wrong direction.
Here’s how to the find ones that matter and can lead to lucrative investments from the ones that don’t.
Basically, there are two types of ads: branding and direct response.
The “branding” advertisements make up the vast majority of ads you’ll see and aren’t going to lead you to any investments.
Branding ads are the ones you remember and people talk about.
Take this ad of puppy-powered Rube Goldberg machine. It’s cute. It has 10 million views on Youtube. But it’s not likely to get too many customers to switch over to whatever pet food brand was mentioned (do you even remember the brand 30 seconds later?).
Another example is that Goldman Sachs (GS) ad where they talk about funding 10,000 women and minority-owned small businesses.
That’s nice. But we both know Goldman made $6 billion in profits last year. It wasn’t from funding small businesses.
Those are just distractions from the ads you should be watching - the “direct response” ads.
Take this one from Verizon (VZ) to see what I mean.
Verizon is currently offering to pay for all the transfer costs to sign up with Verizon.
Naturally, there are quite a few catches. The new customer has to buy a new phone and/or sign up for Verizon’s monthly phone service payment plan. The new customer has to get a higher-end data plan which can rise to up to $100 a month just for data alone. And the new customer has to stay with Verizon for six months.
In exchange for all that, the new customer gets up to $650 to cover the costs of moving from their current provider to Verizon.
That last part is a real key here.
First, we can assume the new customers will have average transfer costs of between $200 and $250 based on the assumptions of average phone costs, average time with service, and average early termination fees.
We’ll just call it $200.
So that’s it right there. Verizon is paying $200 for each new customer to sign up from a competitor plus the advertising costs to get this offer out there.
Why would Verizon do that?
The only sensible reason is Verizon is going to make far more money from the new customer than it pays out up front.
That’s a pretty big deal for Verizon and its shareholders.
This Verizon promotion is the kind of advertising you can see and get a much better idea of where to invest.
If an ad is making money for the person paying for it, you’ll see the ads on TV, on the Internet, and elsewhere too.
You don’t have to count how long the line is at the Orange Julius. Just pay close attention.
There will undoubtedly be Budweiser and many other “branding” ads during the Super Bowl. Enjoy them and forget about them.
The rest of the ads -- especially the ones which make you a direct offer -- pay attention to those. They might just show you which companies are going to have strong earnings growth this year.
Tomorrow, we’re going to go over one of the most aggressive customer acquisition campaigns we’ve seen in years, how such a “great” offer can be made, and how -- contrary to Wall Street’s current thinking -- could be one of the best bets for the rest of the year.