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Episode 139: Just another Friday??

Episode 139: Just another Friday??


Today, we look at the dark side of Thanksgiving week and the deals and dangers that Black Friday brings


Thanksgiving week is upon us and so are the Black Friday deals.


Today we’re looking at the history of Black Friday, the dangers it brings, and some of the ways we can all shop more safely…


“Do companies need all their stores if people just go online, are people spending more, what products are being purchased?”– G

Time Stamps:

00:37 – The biggest things we’re thankful for this year.

01:20 – Our market updates for the week.

02:20 – Why the appointment of the Fed Chairman (‘head of the fed’) affects the markets.

03:03 – The dark side of thanksgiving week and the problem with the name ‘Black Friday’.

04:07 – How accountants changed the connotations around Black Friday.

04:57 – Some of the wild deals there were when Black Friday started in the 90s.

06:17 – The number of people hurt or killed due to Black Friday.

06:30 – The benefits and drawbacks of shopping online.

07:00 – How the activity of Black Friday affects companies and the market.


Connect with Ben Jones:




GRANT: Yes, it’s an exciting time of the year, and so happy you joined us, right before the holiday. We’re out of school and getting ready for some time with the fam, and a great meal.

DAD: Grant you were at a birthday party and did an “escape room” and saw Ghost Busters, the movie! Very cool. Sometimes I wish I could escape all the craziness of this time of year!

GRANT: It was fun. But, Thanksgiving is a chance to remember what we’re thankful for. You’re thankful for something, right?  Lay it on me.  What are the biggest things you’re thankful for?

DAD: Ok, I’m really thankful for our family. You, Mak, Mom, and your brother Oreo. But, I’m also thankful for child tax credits, deductions, and refunds. What about you?

GRANT: OMG.  I got to say it.  You’re such a “Noob”. But, I’m also thankful for the family because you’re pretty special to me.  But, I got to say…..(SOMETHING FUNNY).

DAD: I’ll take that, even if I am a “Goob”.

GRANT: Ohhhhh dad…. It’s not short for “Goober”!

DAD: I have to torture you somehow, right? The end of November is here, a quick wrap of the market sounds good since trading over the holiday week is normally light.  Thursday it’s closed (Gobble) and Friday is a partial day. In recent years we have seen small gains on Monday, with a small decline on Tuesday and then a small rally the rest of the week. Call me “smalls”. What about you Mak?

GRANT: Like Mak. This is Mak and these are the markets.  Seriously, the S&P had 66 record-high daily closes in 2021.  It’s up over 25%, which is huge. When there are over 50 of those record-high days in a year, the next year has shown to grow slightly under 7%. Dad, is this a question of FOMO or FONGO?

DAD: Great question, are people buying stocks because of the fear of missing out (FOMO)? Or the fear of not getting out (FONGO) at the right time, if things turn quickly? It’s a great question.

GRANT: People are watching for jobs, inflation, and corporate earnings. I don’t know the names of people in government. But, the head of the Fed is important for our money talks.

DAD: Yep, he decides some key things for the economy, like interest rates. President Biden is going to give Mr. Powell a second term. But, he could’ve changed to another person

GRANT: If that happened, it would’ve been like changing your history teacher.  You don’t know what to expect, is homework, tests and quizzes harder or easier. Taking away the uncertainty was probably good.

DAD: Good point.  Markets are really strong right now, and we’d like it to keep going. Hey, Apple stock hit a high last week, which is great. Back to Thanksgiving week. It’s super fun, right?

GRANT: It definitely can be.  But, it does have a dark side.  How about a quick reminder of the history. In the 1950s, in Philly, there were huge crowds and traffic on the Friday following Thanksgiving.

DAD: The city hosted the Army/Navy football game on Saturday, with all the fans and people who went into the streets looking for deals on Friday. It caused traffic jams, long lines at stores…

GRANT: And a very stressful time for police who were pulling double shifts to handle all the chaos. They referred to it as “Black” Friday due to the chaos. We did have a Black Friday in 1869.

DAD: Yep, that was a day the market crashed after the price of gold plummeted. 

GRANT: We also have Black Monday in 1987 and Black Tuesday in 1929. So, not a good thing, but they did try to change the name with no luck. 

DAD: Do you know what they wanted to change the name to?

GRANT: “BIG FRIDAY”, and I also read “DEALS FRIDAY”. They wanted to remove the negative feeling with the word “black”. It actually didn’t catch on to the rest of the county until years later.

DAD: That is strange, I guess it stuck.  But from what I heard, the accountants helped change it to a real positive sometime in the ‘80s.

GRANT: Dad, is this another story like how an accountant invented the internet or space travel?

DAD: No. Originally accountants did the numbers by hand, and black ink showed profits, while red ink showed losses. So, it was literally the day of turning from red to black for many stores.

GRANT: Interesting that it went from blood red to black profits.  Hey, speaking of blood.  Did you know the darker side of Black Friday? It started in the ‘90s when YOU were young.

DAD: Wow, you are so kind.  You can only wish you look this good when you’re 40.

GRANT: Really dad?

DAD: Ok. I do remember what happened in the ‘90s.  It was insane, and stores started doing WILD deals. The first couple people on Black Friday could a TV for $5, or only from 6am-9am you’d get BOGO deals.

GRANT: So, people had to line up early or camp out to be one of the lucky few to get the super deals, right?

DAD: Yep, so that caused problems.  Ever jump a line when everyone is a bit crazy?

GRANT: Is that why there is a story of one mom who didn’t want to get out of line to take their kid to the restroom, and they pooped on the floor in the store?

DAD: Yep.  And YUCK!!  I also read about two women beating each other over the hottest toy, which was a “Tickle Me Elmo” at the time. The cops were called. Furby’s were hot back then, and you guys even wanted one 15 years later. It was like a pet without the work.

GRANT: Oh, I read that.  Wasn’t there an employee who was handing out numbers to buy it, and she got knocked down. The customer grabbed all the papers and broke two of her fingers in the process.

DAD: I’ll admit it was a bit embarrassing back then. You felt like you had to be part of it.  The internet was still new. People were losing their minds for deals at Walmart, and they got hurt.

GRANT: Dad, there’s actually a website that counts all the people hurt or KILLED due to Black Friday.  I saw one starting in 2006. There have been 14 deaths and 117 injuries. That’s scary.

DAD: It’s MUCH safer to do it from home, but it might not be safer for your money!! When you get tired, and can’t carry anymore, you have to stop.  Not the same with online shopping! 

GRANT: But it is much easier.  We know Cyber Monday follows Black Friday. It surpassed Black Friday in 2020, and total shoppers online was 100 million vs 59 million in person.

DAD: Very different from the 90s.  But, the activity that is seen on Black Friday has some big consequences. Understanding a bit about online shopping versus in person can be important.

GRANT: I know.  Do companies need all their stores if people just go online?  Are people spending more? Which products are being purchased?

DAD: Those are all great questions.  People who study the economy like to look at these things.  They help to give an indication of the direction of the economy. Is it going well or not…

GRANT: With a strong start to the season, it usually means it’s good for jobs and other financial-related items.

DAD: Yep, you got that right. It might be more important as we get thru COVID to see if we’re getting back to normal. Just like flying.  So financial people will look very closely at the info.

GRANT: We know there are going to be a ton of deals out there. Setting up your budget for gifts, food and charitable giving will cut down on the unwanted credit card bills in January.

DAD: That’s an excellent point.  So, shop wisely, and remember if it’s not on your budgeted list, we need to have the discipline and not buy it. Money is about great habits, remember!

GRANT: Is that like the 14 lb Spanish ham YOU bought from Costco?  You know, the one that you had to give away 8 lbs of it, because you couldn’t eat it all?

DAD: You can’t remember to brush your teeth, but you can remember something I did 7 years ago.  Wow, I think it’s time to say “goodbye” and “Happy Thanksgiving”.

GRANT/DAD: Happy Thanksgiving!

GRANT: We’ll see you next time for more…..

GRANT/DAD: Money with Mak & G.  Bye!!

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