Sex, booze and chocolate: Vice sells! (but not as much as you thought)


For the past few months, as frightened investors have scurried to find something that isn't losing value, numerous writers, pundits and analysts (including yours truly) have advised so-called vice investing. Basically a euphemism for betting one's money on immorality, vice investing runs on the basic premise that, recession or no recession, humans are weak, flawed animals that will ultimately pony up the dough to feed their addictions.

On the surface, vice investing is a pretty sound idea. After all, many vices are directly tied to insecurity and stress. When the market starts going belly up, insecurity increases, and the vices come out. While there is unlimited evidence of this trend, one need look no further than the coy statements that the White House has recently made about President Obama's smoking habit. I can personally attest that it's hard to stay off the cancer sticks when the bill collector is knocking; one can only imagine how hard it is when Wall Street is in the process of self-immolation.