Coffee purists may deride them as milk shakes for adults, but Starbucks' (SBUX) hugely popular Frappuccinos proved that summer brings a big market for icy, liquid indulgences. No surprise that chains such as Cinnabon (CPB) and Godiva Chocolatier have joined pioneers Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts (AED) and last year's entrants, Dairy Queen and Krispy Kreme (KKD). Even good-for-you smoothie chain Jamba Juice is in the act. Most of the drinks are dairy blends, but some are fruit-based. They're not only costly, but you pay a steep price in calories as well.
You once had to have big bucks and bigger connections to get into a hedge fund. Now you can walk into a retail office in Manhattan across from the New York Public Library main branch. That's where Superfund Asset Management, the U.S. division of a Monaco-based hedge fund, has opened its Superfund Investment Center to "educate people about this asset class," says Managing Director Aaron Smith.
The storefront is one of the unusually public ways in which Superfund is marketing its two managed futures funds, a type of hedge fund that invests in stock, bond, currency and commodity futures. It has run a commercial on CNBC. It also hired former President Bill Clinton to speak at the office's March opening -- although he pulled out, citing his recuperation from lung surgery. Because the funds are registered with the Securities & Exchange Commission, you can generally get in with a net worth of $150,000, Smith says. The minimum investment is $5,000.
How is performance? The B shares rose 27.7% in 2003 and 16.82% in 2004, but are down 17.3% this year. B share fees are a superpricey 10.63% -- though after 2 1/2 years they fall to 6.63%. Hey, rent is high in midtown Manhattan.
There's only one thing worse than cleaning the gunk off your backyard barbecue after your cookout: scouring the grill at a public park or campground before you can use it. Now there's a disposable grill liner, Clean BBQ, that lets you sidestep either mess. The foil grid is die-cut and pleated to fit snugly over grill rails, and it can be cut to fit smaller or round grills. A pack of 12 is $9.96 at Home Depot (HD), or 20 for $17.95 at cleanbbq.com.
In an era when photographs dominate magazines, The New Yorker still relies on illustrations for its covers. To honor that tradition, the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Mass., has assembled 130 original works created for the magazine from its inception in 1925 to today. The show, which runs through Oct. 31, features the covers of 63 artists, including Charles Addams, Roz Chast, Jacques de Loustal, Edward Koren, and Art Spiegelman. Check out the contrast between the ironic style of New Yorker artist Saul Steinberg and the homespun art of Rockwell, whose 323 Saturday Evening Post covers are on display through Nov. 13 (nrm.org).