Sex Sells: SM Cinemas Will Miss Out Big on Fifty Shades of Grey Ticket Sales

Fifty Shades of Grey is one of the most highly anticipated movies this year. The movie will hit theatres on February 11, 2015 in the Philippines. However, the biggest cinema chain in the Philippines, SM Cinema, will not be showing Fifty Shades of Grey in its theatres as it follows its traditional rule of not exhibiting R18 movies.

Fifty Shades of Grey, a movie based on the book of the same name by E L James, will hit theatres in most parts of the world this month.

Gif of Bathroom scene in Fifity Shades of Grey movie
Fifty Shades of Grey will be “unveiled” to worldwide audiences this Valentine’s week. Image by popsugar.com from the official movie trailer

 

Fans of the movie in the Philippines will be lucky to see it earlier than most since the movie will open here on February 11, ahead of its February 13 release in the United States.

Decades ago, Hollywood movies are usually shown in the Philippines a few months after their American releases. Due to movie piracy, that practice has changed. Continue reading Sex Sells: SM Cinemas Will Miss Out Big on Fifty Shades of Grey Ticket Sales

The Big Mac Index and Purchasing Power Parity: Which Big Mac is Actually the Yummiest?

The Economist invented the Big Mac Index in 1986 to better demonstrate Purchasing Power Parity (PPP). But does The Economist actually eat the Big Macs in their study? The Big Mac Index assumes parity in value; but I disagree, because Big Macs around the world are not equal in yumminess.

What is PPP? Investopedia defines it as:

An economic theory that estimates the amount of adjustment needed on the exchange rate between countries in order for the exchange to be equivalent to each currency’s purchasing power.

In layman’s terms; if a basket of goods and services is worth US$100 in the United States and an identical basket of goods and services is worth only US$ 77 in the Philippines at current exchange rates, then the Philippine Peso (PHP) is undervalued by 23 %.

Unfortunately, many people in the world no longer use baskets, and deciding which good makes it to the basket may be contentious. Since McDonald’s (see MCD:US latest stock quote), the company that serves Big Macs, can be found in most countries, using the burger as a proxy for the “basket of good and services” makes sense. Of course, the Big Mac method is not accurate; but according to The Economist, this makes the PPP theory more “digestible”.

Digestible? Did The Economist staff actually eat the Big Macs? Do The Economist writers actually eat at McDonald’s? In my opinion, some Big Macs are yummier than others.

 

Here is a rundown from Big Macs from around the world, and a depiction of the countries’ under/ over-valuation against the US Dollar:

 

Big Mac from New Haven, Connecticut, United States of America. Average Price: US$ 4.79

Big Mac in New Haven Connecticut USA
Do students in Yale eat this New Haven Big Mac while debating the merits of the Big Mac Index? Image from spaceofjase.com

My friend spaceofjase liked this burger from New Haven. My opinion: I ate an American Big Mac in Chicago. As the city is the location of franchise no.1, Chicago didn’t mess this up for me. The US Dollar is our base currency here by the way. Continue reading The Big Mac Index and Purchasing Power Parity: Which Big Mac is Actually the Yummiest?

Risk Management: Does Marsh Ltd Insure Against a “Sex Scandal” Risk?

Marsh Ltd, an global insurance company, has been in the news recently for a sex scandal involving its New Zealand employees. Do Marsh’s risk management solutions cover sex scandals?

Two employees having sex in the the Marsh ltd office in Christchurch were seen and filmed by patrons of the nearby Carlton Bar and Eatery.

An office romp in Marsh ltd. Christchurch branch that was witnessed and filmed by patrons of nearby Carlton Bar and Eatery
It started with a kiss. An office romp in Marsh ltd. Christchurch branch that the whole world saw. Image from dailymail.co.uk

 

Companies face different kinds of risks. This is why risk management is so important.

Marsh new zealand logo
Image via newzealand.marsh.com

 

This is how Marsh ltd describes itself in its website:

“Marsh is a global leader in insurance broking and risk management. Marsh helps clients succeed by defining, designing, and delivering innovative industry-specific solutions that help them effectively manage risk.”

Continue reading Risk Management: Does Marsh Ltd Insure Against a “Sex Scandal” Risk?

Fashion: Is There Such a Thing as an Investment Piece?

Since the focus of this blog is investments, I’ll post about what fashionistas call as “investment pieces”. From a perspective of an investor and not a fashionista, do these things really exist?

Fashion pundits throw the term “investment pieces” as if they were Jordan Belfort  – played by Leo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street – throwing money off a yacht.

Leonardo DiCaprio throwing money off a yacht in The Wolf of Wall Street
Because “luxury” confetti is so much more expensive. Image by popsugar.com from scenes of the movie The Wolf of Wall Street.

 

How do fashionistas qualify an item as an “investment piece”? Continue reading Fashion: Is There Such a Thing as an Investment Piece?

Who’s the Left Shark at Super Bowl XLIX?

The New England Patriots won over the Seattle Seahawks. The audience was treated to an exciting finish. The game had record ratings. NBC got to charge US$ 4.5 million per 30 second ad. Katy Perry wowed in the halftime show. However, the unexpected winner of Super Bowl XLIX is Left Shark.

 

Left shark fumbling the choreography at Super Bowl XLIX halftime show
Left shark with two left feet. Image from NBC

Continue reading Who’s the Left Shark at Super Bowl XLIX?

Tennis Pay Disparity? I Have an Explanation – It’s Geometric

Like in the real world, the income gap between the “haves” and the “have nots” of tennis continue to widen. The disparity actually exists even between the “haves”. I can offer some explanation for this. Geometric progression has something to do with it.

 

A lot has been said about the income disparity between the have and have nots of tennis. I’m just talking about prize money here. The disparity between endorsement money is a whole different ballgame… errr match (since we’re talking tennis here).

Apparently, the disparity exists between the “haves” themselves. The Wall Street Journal ran an article last year regarding the income gap between the 1st and 32nd ranked tennis players, and compared that gap across a variety of professional sports.

Why the number 32? In a tennis grand slam, such as the recently concluded 2015 Australian Open, there are 32 seeded players. The seeded players represent the top tier of the sport. The article is pointing out the disparity even within that top tier. Here is an infographic:

 

Prize money disparity between the 1st and 32nd ranked men and women tennis players
Alexa rankings pay much better. Image cropped from wsj.com

Note: The data from the wsj article is as of August 22, 2014. After the 2015 Australian Open, the no. 1 ranked male and female players are Novak Djokocic and Serena Williams respectively – they also both won the Australian. The no. 32 players are Fernando Verdasco (still!) and Coco Vandeweghe.

 

The article also showed a graphic comparing the incomes (just from playing, endorsements are excluded) of the No.1 up to the No. 32 highest paid players across many professional sports. Continue reading Tennis Pay Disparity? I Have an Explanation – It’s Geometric

The Australian Open Finalists’ Outfits: The Sponsors Tell You to Buy Them Now!

The 2015 Australian Open Men’s and Women’s Singles Finalists are playing for the championship. Get a piece of the action by wearing their outfits. Don’t know where to buy them and how much they cost? This post will help you.

For two weeks, we have seen tennis players at the 2015 Australian Open wear the same outfits over and over again. There’s a reason for that. There’s also a reason why those clothes (or variations of them) are available in stores now. That reason is for you to buy them. That’s marketing for you.

Some outfits looked great. Some outfits looked hideous. At the end of the day (or tournament in this case), only the outfits of the tennis stars matter. That’s why they are paid the big bucks.

Federer and Nadal obviously got the best kits from Nike. Does anyone want to buy the outfits that handed Roger and Rafa early eliminations? Nah, I’ll pass on those. I’m buying what the winners were wearing.

Here are the outfits of the 2015 Australian Open Men’s Singles finalists, where to buy them, and how much they cost:

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic's Uniqlo ensemble for the 2015 Australian Open Tournament
Among a sea of look-at-me outfits, Novak’s kit looks refreshingly normal and relatable. Image from Quinn Rooney/ Getty Images

 

Buy the shirt at Uniqlo for US$ 49.90. The white version which Novak also wore is also available for the same price. (see 9983:JP latest stock information)

Novak Djokovic Australian Open 2015 Shirt
Look, it says low stock. Image from uniqlo.com

Continue reading The Australian Open Finalists’ Outfits: The Sponsors Tell You to Buy Them Now!