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Annotated article summary from this weekend's Barron's; receive all our Barron's summaries by signing up here:

COVER STORY: The Last Laugh by Leslie P. Norton

Summary: America's 78 million baby boomers are richer than any group in history; the group controls 50% of all U.S. discretionary income and accounts for 75% of drug spending. Ignore this market, says Pat Conroy of Deloitte and Touche, at your own peril. Clothing retailers that have successfully addressed the needs of more seasoned buyers include Chico's (NYSE:CHS), Talbots (NYSE:TLB) and Gap (NYSE:GPS). Ford (NYSE:F) is pushing its 'crossover' line, including the Edge, Lincoln MKX, Freestyle, Escape, and Mercury Mariner. Pulte Homes (NYSE:PHM) has 51 communities aimed at the 55+ group, up from 14 in 2001. Fortune Brands' (FO) Moen unit launched a line of showers with handrails and Helen of Troy's (NASDAQ:HELE) Oxo Good Grips makes appliances with large handles. Mattel (NASDAQ:MAT) offers "grandparent discounts" on toys. Nintendo's (OTCPK:NTDOY) Brain Age game is a U.S. best-seller.
More companies that should benefit from an aging demographic:

  • Allergan Inc. (NYSE:AGN) -- it makes Botox. Estee Lauder (NYSE:EL) -- a leader in anti-aging skin-care products
  • AMN Healthcare Services Inc (NYSE:AHS) -- medical services provider. UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH) -- huge Medicare market share. Walgreen Comp. (NYSE:WAG) -- it sells the drugs. Stericycle (NASDAQ:SRCL) -- medical waste disposal
  • Hartford Financial Services Group (NYSE:HIG) -- insurance provider that has ties to the AARP
  • Starwood Hotels & Resorts (NYSE:HOT) -- boomers like its "lifestyle" experience
  • Whole Foods Market (WFMI) -- boomers love to cook
Related Links: Stocks To Capture China’s Baby BoomersAmeriprise Financial Easing Baby Boomers into RetirementTen High-Yield Healthcare REITs To Capture Aging BoomersBenefiting from Aging Baby Boomers

Source: Barron's Baby Boomer Stocks