Take, for example, two ideas shared by readers this last week.
The first was from an alert reader who replied to a message at this site about opportunities for exporting leather from Ecuador.
He sent information about the potential of investing in Coach Inc. (NYSE-COH) a leading maker of luxury accessories. The data he shared showed that this business is growing 20% a year and caters to the rich with high-end products and upwardly mobile growth strategy.
The share has a number of reasons why it will grow. First, this company’s main client is pretty immune to recessions, the falling dollar, inflation or other economic ills.
Second, the company is cashing in on a trickle-down effect. The glamour associated with the high end of the market finds its way to a wider group of consumers prepared to pay a premium for quality that is endorsed by famous buyers.
Third, the company produces many high end leather goods but its main product is handbags, and this sector has incredible growth. Demand for
handbags rose 20% in 2006. The average American woman buys four handbags a year now, vs. two in 2000. This is an incredible shift.
There are other reasons, the information pointed out, why Coach shares could rise.
This, though, is not the point we share here. Instead let’s look at goats. After last week’s message about cleaning up a tangle of blackberries, bramble and vine, a reader sent me a note about their great little business called Rent-A-Goat!
Their website reads: “The idea of Rent-A-Goat was born when we purchased 6 wethered Boer meat goats. Even though, the main purpose of these animals is for meat consumption, we soon discovered they also served another purpose…devouring our enormously over grown blackberry bushes that had started taking over our property (this is something our pygmys would never do). Within weeks these 6 little guys had devoured most of the blackberries in the upper field and within months we had to move these boys to another field because they had cleared everything in the upper pasture and all that was left was grass and dead, dried remnants of those pesky blackberry bushes.”
What in the dickens does renting goats have to do with buying high end leather? A lot.
Merri years ago had a position on a consumer consultation board for a chain of luxury department stores. One of the facts she learned is that a huge portion of their profits came from the sale of handbags and shoes. “The reason for this,” the store manager explained, “is that once women grow a bit older, are settled and put on more weight, they stop buying so many clothes but they still like to shop, so they buy shoes and handbags instead.”
So this huge growth in handbag sales suggests a large shift in the buying habits of baby boomers. So to does the success of rent a goats. This success shows that more people are moving to the country, part time or full time but not to farm.
I spotted this need because my first thought was, this is great…for me. We have this farm, all these blackberries and clearing them is lots of work. Goats are perfect, but who will look after them when we are not here?
Farmers do not have this problem because they are always on the farm. Rent A Goat appeals to part time farmers…like me…aging, affluent and the core of AARP.
How will I or you use this tiny glimpse at a growing trend? Each will use it differently because each of us should invest in what we know. Yet the clues here can help each of us see some opportunity that will spring from what we do know.
For me, I have already alerted my daughter and son-in-law who just bought a small farm and recently acquired some goats. They have already talked about selling the milk they are getting. This opens another avenue for income.
I’ll also be looking at the innumerable leather goods produced in Cotacachi, Ecuador, in a new light. There may be some extra wealth in this new idea as well.
Trends do not just explode. They grow like everything else, starting small like a snowball headed downhill and gradually expand. Keep your eyes open and watch for unusual connections like leather handbags and goats. Do this and you may well find yourself spotting some huge new trends and extra wealth as well.
Until next message, may all your trends be good!
We look at how to spot opportunity at our next two International Investing and Business Made EZ courses.
Come visit us at our Blue Ridge farm during our North Carolina courses. Enjoy its beauty. Here is a shot of the entrance. We don’t have goats to eat the thorns but do have horses that eat the grass. Here is a shot of Lucy and Goliath taken by one of our recent guests as they tried to enter the covered bridge.
One reason we love Ecuador is all the wonderful products that can be exported. Here is a shot of some art we have been bringing back. Original art in the US is now so expensive that this type of painting can be sold for excellent markups. We continually look at import export opportunities in our Ecuador Living updates. See how to get these updates at https://www.garyascott.com/catalog/ecrep/
We hope to serve you at one of our upcoming courses or correspondence courses.
International Business & Investing Made EZ in North Carolina.
Super Thinking + Spanish with Free Oct 1 – Mon. Andes Extension & Real Estate Tour.
Self Fulfilled – How to write and Publish for Income, Freedom and Fun.
If you are bothered by bushes and brambles around Seattle learn about Rent-A-Goat there at clearvalleyfarm.com/rentagoat.htm