The Shirt on My Back

A recent trip to the mall was the perfect environment to test this theory. My wife and I were recently in Nordstrom's, a high-end retailer known for its excellent customer service, to pick up my son's pants for homecoming. On our way out the door, I noticed a sales rack in the men's department. I found a delightful shirt--just my size!--but one glance at its $150 price tag left me reeling.

I immediately went to the sales clerk. After explaining that we are, after all, in a recession, and in my own words "it's unlikely you will sell a shirt on a clearance rack for this much money," the clerk quickly summoned her supervisor.

Depending on one's perspective, my actions were either a bold move in a challenging time or an opportunity to find the elasticity of non-durable goods in the Western U.S. My wife's utter disgust signaled her apparent disregard for either explanation (she ran to women's shoes to avoid embarrassment). Tune in next time to find out what happened.

Ben Warwick (ben@qesinvest.com) is chief investment officer of Quantitative Equity Strategies LLC in Denver, and Memphis-based Sovereign Wealth Management, Inc.

See More of Ben Warwick's Portfolio Gourmet Blog Posts

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Tandem Performance Puzzle September 25, 2009 Typically, stocks and bonds go in opposite directions, a tendency that has exhibited itself throughout most of 2009. But in the last four weeks, long-dated Treasuries have risen right alongside equities, as the pair has each notched a 6% gain....
The State of the Consumer September 22, 2009 There's some obvious trepidation out there among buyers, who would rather save than spend. But instead of money-market accounts (and their zero yields), it seems that most folks prefer to stash their savings in the stock and bond markets.
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