Halloween in Salem—and How it Relates to Investing

investing 101 written on chalk board

I was born in Salem, Massachusetts, and the odds are very good that I’ll die here—though hopefully not for a very long time.

And certainly not like the 20 people who were executed for crimes associated with witchcraft back in 1692-1693. (19 were hanged; one was pressed to death.)

But I bring this up because I want to tell you a bit about Halloween in Salem, the way I’ve been doing it for the past 20 years.

(Believe it or not, there is an investing connection here—but I want to start with the fun stuff.)

Halloween in Salem

First, we don’t celebrate at my house; we live on a quiet dead-end street at the edge of town where there are hardly any trick-or-treaters.

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Instead, we go downtown to the house of friends, where there’s lots of action.

We start with food and drink, of course.

We put on our costumes; you can see me below halfway into my Chewbacca costume, which I’ve been wearing for the past 20-odd years. (It’s quite cozy on chilly nights.)

We give out candy on the doorstep to the young trick-or-treaters. I admit—I like to scare a few.

And then we head into the center of the city, where thousands of fun-seeking adults wander the streets dressed up in the greatest variety of Halloween costumes you can imagine.

On the way, I stop to pay my respects to Elizabeth Montgomery, star of the Bewitched TV show from 1964-1972.

What does investing have to do with a Chewbacca costume? Well, I'll get to that.
The statue was installed by the Nickelodeon network in 2005 and is well maintained by them.

It’s a favorite spot for photographs.

And when I walk around on Halloween, I’m a favorite spot for photographs, too!

People like Chewbacca.

Some people love Chewbacca.

Even cops—yes, that’s a real cop.

They don’t know there’s an old guy with white hair inside that Chewbacca costume, and they don’t want to know.

On this one night of the year, people get to pretend, and to be whatever they want, whether it’s a pirate or a princess or Darth Vader or some scary, indeterminate ghoulish creation.

Every year, I’m Chewbacca, which I suppose says something about my inner self. 

But what about this guy with the stinky cigar in the rainbow astronaut suit?

Now the Serious Stuff

One of the 20 people executed for witchcraft back in 1692-1693 was Rebecca Nurse, who just happens to be my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandmother (that’s nine greats).

She was 71 years old at the time, with eight living children, so she has a lot of descendants alive today, most of whom are unaware of the connection.

It wasn’t something people bragged about for the first couple of centuries.

But times have changed in Salem. What was once a sober, God-fearing town is now a diverse and progressive city that is not shackled by its past but has taken it as an occasion to put on costumes and have fun.

Yes, there are still traditionalists in Salem who fought against the Bewitched statue and who complain about the trivialization of our history. I know some of them. But they’re a shrinking minority—and they don’t have any fun on Halloween.

So here’s the investing connection.

Investing Requires Forward Thinking

You can look back to the past as you invest, and lament the closing of Sears (SHLD) and the fact that General Motors (GM) is shrinking. But if you focus on stocks of the past, your profits will be smaller, guaranteed.

If you look to the future, however, and embrace the fact that change is an unrelenting reality of our culture and our economic system, you’ll invest instead in small, fast-growing companies. And your profits will be bigger, guaranteed.

For example, the fastest-growing industry in America now is cannabis, thanks both to the legalization in Canada just last week and to the state-by-state efforts in the U.S., where California and Colorado and Washington have led the way.

I jumped on this trend last year with a brand new investment advisory focused on marijuana stocks, and so far, the results from Cabot Marijuana Investor have been spectacular.

From August 2017, when I started, until the end of the year, my portfolio of 10 stocks was up 121%

And so far this year, my portfolio is up 45%—even after the sharp market correction of the past two weeks.

This correction has created some great buying opportunities in marijuana stocks, but they won’t last.

Because the long-term trend is clear. Before long, cannabis will be a major part of our culture—just like alcohol—and the earliest investors will be the biggest beneficiaries.

If you’d like to be one of them, I’d love to help you. All you need to do is click here.

In the meantime—Happy Halloween!

Timothy Lutts

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