ATMs, consumer receivables, correlation, credit checks, debt agreements, discount stores, distressed assets, distressed consumers, distressed investing, European sovereign debt crisis, gold, healthcare, home shopping, life settlements, litigation, marijuana, Mosney, pawn shops, payday loans, pre-paid cards, scratch cards, student loans, sub-prime, trailers, unsecured loans, vice stocks
You may just consider this exploitation of the great unwashed – but in reality, they’re often the most expensive customers (pro rata) to acquire & service. (Illegal) immigrants also fall into this category – a fairly unavoidable cost of freight they pay in light of their status. [As US-listed Hispanic plays become increasingly touted & expensive, distressed consumer businesses are a cheap back door play on a sub-set of that population]. Also, the amounts involved with these customers is (inevitably) small. Actually, businesses are really targeting a much bigger & more lucrative opportunity – the democratic exploitation of an enduring human frailty:
The obvious place to start here is with the usual vices – drinking, smoking, gambling, luxury goods… 😉 But these sectors are huge & everybody’s doing ’em – I’m going to skip anything so mainstream (but I’m fascinated how highly rated they are!). I probably should consider drugs too, with marijuana access now increasingly legal & convenient across the US – but the real stupidity here might actually be investing in marijuana stocks!?
While I’m at it, we could make a case for including healthcare – people who make poor financial decisions surely make even worse decisions about their long-term health? [Especially with the communist approach to healthcare in the US & most other developed nations: All good deeds go unrewarded, and the worst 20% consume 80% of the resources… Which simply encourages everybody to race to the bottom (of the ice-cream tub). Look, I’m all for providing a safety net, but not when it’s stuffed with cheese burgers!] Let’s skip healthcare as a whole other mess… In similar vein, a trillion dollars of US student debt could have mutated into the biggest distressed consumer play around – since everybody seems to have now decided they can’t/won’t pay any longer – but that’s underwritten by a suckered population also.
Right, let’s move on – picture you’re an average distressed consumer: