If you’re looking for an excuse to throw some money into the stock market, here’s one: the Super Bowl. It may sound silly, but there is some evidence to back it up. You may have heard about this one before. The outcome of the Super Bowl can predict the stock market’s performance for the coming year. If the theory is true, 2011 will be a good year for stocks.
We still have to wait more than a week to find out if it’ll be the Green Bay Packers, or the Pittsburgh Steelers who will be victorious. But no matter which team comes out on top, stocks will be a winner this year, according to Super Bowl theory. (Hang with me on this.) That’s because both teams are from the original National Football League, and as legend goes, when a team from the old NFL wins, the stock market usually goes up. Got it? Don’t laugh, that theory has been right on nearly 80% of the time.
“It’s probably true,” Don Jackson of UBS Financial Services told me, “only because the market is up more often than not.” He doesn’t take a whole lot of stock in the theory, because the two aren’t related. Here’s how Jackson puts it: “You could also say the market goes up when the sun shines, and the sun shines a lot.”
Jackson admits he doesn’t follow football that much, so I asked another financial advisor who does. Jeff Olsen works for Smith Barney in California. He e-mailed me that, “It would make sense that the “old NFL” teams winning leads to better results, most of those teams are in important economic areas that drive our core economy.” But Olsen says stocks should have a good year, and it has nothing to do with football. “We are in the third year of Obama’s term,” says Olsen, “which has historically been the best year of performance for stocks in a presidential term.
Want to throw your money at yet another maybe meaningless stat? The Cheeseheads are the early favorite, but investors might be better off if the Terrible Towels win. MarketWatch says the Dow has risen an average of 14% in the three years that the Packers won, while rising an average of 18.4% in the six years that the Steelers were victorious.
What do Cheeseheads think of that? I asked one. Olsen, the financial advisor, is a HUGE Green Bay Packers fan (full disclosure: he’s also my brother-in-law. And he’s a big USC Trojan fan. Sorry. Rough year, Jeff). “A happy Cheesehead is always good for stocks,” he says. And he sent me some proof of that. He also showed me evidence that it’s true for the fans who wave those Terrible Towels as well. That probably hurts him a lot more to say that than a blow to Jay Cutler’s knee.
But Olsen did sign off his e-mail with this: “Go Pack go!”