If you're considering alternative assets, Credit Suisse First Boston suggests ‘tis the season to take a serious look at timber — the kind that goes into your home.
In its annual Christmas tree guide, Credit Suisse notes "this is not an efficient part of the market. Some trees are cut a month ahead, some weeks, and some are standing until you cut them."
So what does the New York-based securities firm recommend?
Stay away from Norway spruce. The trees dry out fast and drop their needles by the bucketful, according to the "research report" prepared by analysts Mark W. Connelly, Dohyun Cha and Sam McGovern.
If you're planning to hang a lot of ornaments, the sturdy branches of a Scotch pine or blue spruce are a good bet. A Douglas fir isn't.
And for trees with a strong smell, the concolor fir can't be beat.
But if you've got allergies, they recommend heading for Hammacher Schlemmer and purchasing the five-foot or seven-foot silver aluminum tree.