Diageo: The Ultimate 12- to 18-Year Play

Have you ever noticed that new “premium” vodka brands seem to pop up every other year, yet the quality scotch brands you see on shelves today are the same ones you might have seen in your grandfather’s liquor cabinet? There is a reason for that. Vodka is colorless, flavorless and can be mass produced from [...]

China is Slowing: How to Invest

It’s a peculiar sort of problem when your economy grows at 8.1% in the first quarter and yet talk abounds of a “hard

Profiting from the Art Boom, Part II

Perhaps it is all the research I’ve been doing lately on investing in the art market, but I find myself enjoying the exploits of Neil Caffrey, the gentleman art thief, bond forger, and lead character of USA’s White Collar.  In the recent season finale, Mr. Caffrey was kind enough to

Tiffany, Wal-Mart and the Two Americas, Part II

At the end of  August I wrote about the diverging fortunes of the “Two Americas” and used the relative performance of high-end jeweler Tiffany & Co (NYSE: $TIF) and the Everyman’s store Wal-Mart (NYSE:$WMT). (See “Tiffany, Wal-Mart and the Two Americas”).  While Tiffany had been enjoying massive sales and profits

Diageo: Into the Wilds of Africa

There is something about the words “Scotch whisky” and “Africa” that conjures the mental image of Sir Henry Morton Stanley and Dr. David Livingstone’s 1871 meeting in the wilds of Tanzania.  Stanley was a reporter who went to Africa in search of the missing missionary and who upon finding him

Tiffany’s, Wal-Mart and the “Two Americas”

Tiffany & Co. (NYSE: $TIF) made news on Friday when it announced sales growth of 30% in the second quarter and earnings growth of 58%. Adjusted for currency moves, same-store sales rose by 22%. But perhaps most impressively, the luxury jeweler managed to absorb enormous price hikes in its inputs—precious

The Luxury Toilet and the Rise of the Affluent Chinese Consumer

In the interconnected web of the global economy, the rise of China has been one of the biggest drivers of the decade-long bull market in energy and commodities. But China is also making its presence felt in other less obvious areas of the economy. Yes, it would appear that affluent

A Barrel of Oil or a Bottle of Wine?

According to new research released by the International Monetary Fund, there is little difference in the two, at least from an investment standpoint. In their 2010 whitepaper, Serhan Cevik and Tahsin Saadi Sedik found that supply constraints have surprisingly little impact on the prices of commodities. The researchers found that

Luxottica: An Eye for Emerging Market Growth

Luxury handbag maker Louis Vuitton surprised investors earlier this month. It appears that the venerable French brand is closing the doors of its flagship store on Paris‘s Champs-Elysées an hour early this fall. Is the high-end retail boutique another victim of a bad economy?  Not exactly. As it would turn