In 1982, I was a sophomore in high school. One day at noon it was announced that one of my favorite rock bands, The Who, was going to be coming to Cleveland, actually the Richfield Coliseum, on their first of many farewell tours. Tickets were going to go on sale at Ticketmaster at 4 PM. I would immediately have to leave after school to head to Chapel Hill Mall, get in line, and hope there were still tickets available. (Our children and grandchildren have no idea what I am talking about in the above story).
There was one major problem. I did not have enough money with me to buy a ticket. If I drove home to get the money after school, the tickets would certainly be gone by the time I got back to the mall. Fortunately, Ms. Griffith, my Algebra II teacher, as well as a music hippie from the 60s and 70s, loaned me $20 so I could buy a ticket to my very first rock concert.
The previous year, The Who recorded their first album since the passing of drummer, Keith Moon, entitled Face Dances. This album included what is still one of my favorite songs from the band You Better You Bet. It was the last single by the group that made the top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in the US, and it was their last top 10 single in the UK. I have included a YouTube link to the video for the song below if you want to listen and sing along.
Speaking of betting, as I write this over Super Bowl weekend, it is expected that approximately 50 million Americans will be betting on the Super Bowl this year. This is an incredible 61% increase from last year, and the collective wagers could total as much as $16 billion according to the American Gaming Association.
This is being driven largely by the increasing availability of online betting sites. Five years ago, the Supreme Court overturned a 1992 federal law banning sports gambling. This has led to legalized gambling in more than 30 states currently, and likely more to come.
It is interesting that during the first six months after the outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, which is now coming up on its third anniversary, both online betting platforms and online stock trading platforms, saw their volumes increase dramatically.
However, as the economy reopened, people returned to work, and the government-funded stimulus checks and enhanced employment benefits were depleted. The stocks of many of these platforms have fallen back to earth and have largely underperformed the broad US stock market indexes.
2022 was arguably one of the most difficult years in both the global stock and bond markets. Now it seems that Americans are also betting against the stock market. A recent Gallup poll shows that nearly 1/2 of all Americans predict that the stock market will fall during the first six months of 2023. This is the highest percentage of pessimism since the firm began asking this question two decades ago.
We know that the markets have a way of separating people who are focused on short-term time frames and emotions from their hard-earned dollars. Betting and speculation are not strategies that have historically led to success in building wealth. As legendary investor Warren Buffett has stated…
It is extraordinarily important to differentiate betting from investing. We know that historically markets go up more than they go down, although the downs are financially and emotionally difficult to live through. We also know that the longer your holding period, the higher the probability of success, as you can see in the chart below.
As we think about the Super Bowl and the commercials, that so many people look forward to, it is important to remember that the peak of the dot.com bubble coincided with many dot.com companies running ads during the 2000 Super Bowl. It is also interesting to note how many crypto companies and exchanges ran ads in the 2022 Super Bowl. One good bet is that you will likely not see any of these ads during this year‘s game.
I would like to thank Ms. Griffith who bet I would pay her back, for allowing me to see my first concert. You Better You Bet is a fun song that I enjoy listening to every time it comes on the internet radio or streaming platforms. We thought this would be a fun way to remind you that while many more people are betting on sports games, it is not a strategy we recommend for managing your family’s hard-earned assets. We hope you enjoy the game. As someone from Northeast Ohio, I do not have a horse in this race, as usual. Maybe someday Cleveland fans will have a team to bet on in the Super Bowl. We can always dream as we continue “Moving Life Forward”.
© 2023 Jesse Hurst
The views stated are not necessarily the opinion of Cetera and should not be construed directly or indirectly as an offer to buy or sell any securities mentioned herein. Due to volatility within the markets mentioned, opinions are subject to change without notice. Information is based on sources believed to be reliable; however, their accuracy or completeness cannot be guaranteed. Past performance does not guarantee future results.