The Hallmark Channel

Bill Parrott |

The Hallmark Channel has hit the motherlode with their romantic holiday themed movies.  Women of all ages are attracted to their shows, especially women between the ages of 25 to 54. My wife is a huge fan of their movies, especially during the Christmas season. She says, “I love a good love story, they make me laugh and feel good.” She adds, “The women are often portrayed as positive female role models in the workplace and the men are nice guys who respect women.”

Their movies follow a predictable pattern. A snowstorm or some other event brings a man and woman together in a bucolic setting straight from a Norman Rockwell painting.  At first, there’s no connection between the two, but through a series of events the couple gets together and fall in love at the end of the movie – usually in the last 5 minutes.  In addition to being predictable, the movies are safe to watch with the entire family without any hidden surprises. It’s wholesome entertainment and they have no desire to lower the bar by adding R-rated material or foul language. They know their target audience well.

One of their more popular shows was Christmas Under Wraps starring Candace Cameron Bure. She was about to receive a prestigious fellowship before taking a job as a doctor in a small Alaskan village. Ms. Bure has appeared in several Hallmark movies, as have many of their cast members including Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex.

But does their model work? In 2017 they generated $390 million in ad revenue from the Hallmark Channel. The movies and mysteries added another $146 million – that’s a lot of love! The HBO channel spends about $10 million to $15 million to produce one of their shows; Hallmark spends about $2 million. In 2017 they were expected to draw 85 million viewers and since 2008 they have made 136 original movies.[1] The shows are economical to produce, and they generate a lot of revenue

Investors would be wise to follow Hallmark’s blueprint for success. They focus on predictable content, steady actors, minimal locations, and sensible budgets.

How can you write an investment script to stand the test of time? Here are few thoughts.

  • Develop a financial plan. Your financial plan will direct your investments, asset allocation, risk tolerance, goals, timeline, etc. It will be your guide.
  • Diversify your portfolio with a basket of low-cost mutual funds or exchange traded funds. Funds managed by Blackrock, Dimensional or Vanguard are solid candidates for your portfolio. A portfolio of large, small and international stocks will give you global exposure. Adding bonds to your account will reduce your risk.
  • Stay invested. The less you trade, the better. If you trade often, you’ll end up paying excess fees and missing key market moves. For example, traders who moved to cash in December because of the drop in the stock market, missed the surge in January. A buy and hold strategy will allow you to create wealth over time.
  • Rebalance your accounts once or twice per year. Keeping your asset allocation and risk tolerance intact is key to your long-term success as an investor. If you start the year with 60% stocks, 40% bonds and by the end of the year your allocation is 70% stocks, 30% bonds, then sell 10% of your stock holdings and buy bonds.
  • Work with an advisor. A registered investment advisor (RIA) who holds the Certified Financial Planners designation can work with you to develop your financial plan, implement your investment strategy, and keep you focused on your financial goals.

A buy and hold strategy with low cost investment funds based on your financial plan and asset allocation is safe and predictable. It’s a G-Rated strategy that’s appropriate for investors. And, who knows, you may fall in love with your long-term results!

Do everything in love. ~ 1 Corinthians 16:14

February 4, 2019

Bill Parrott is the President and CEO of Parrott Wealth Management located in Austin, Texas. Parrott Wealth Management is a fee-only, fiduciary, registered investment advisor firm. Our goal is to remove complexity, confusion, and worry from the investment and financial planning process so our clients can pursue a life of purpose.

Note: Investments are not guaranteed and do involve risk. Your returns may differ than those posted in this blog. I like the Hallmark Channel too – but don’t tell anybody.