There's always somebody to come up with two big threats that will turn the world upside down forever:
1- The coming of a rise of interest rates;
2- The coming of self-driving car.
1- The coming of a rise of interest rates will hurt every business, or almost... Because debt will be more expensive for everybody. If you've chosen a stock which is a leader or a strong business, your pick will do better than others. The earth continues to turn with a rise of interests, however, it turns a little slower.
2- These days, we talk much more about the economic war than about the coming of self-driving car. And I'm thinking about Couche-Tard right now. Because it's one of the stocks for which the fear of self-driving cars has some impact. And one of the few stocks for which I wouldn't care about an economic war.
Couche-Tard is exactly the kind of stock that shouldn't be hurt. Think about it: it's a convenience store. A store that's for people around or for some tourists passing by. The negative/very low beta of Couche-Tard says it all.
So, the economic war should hurt at least 95% of stocks out there before Couche-Tard.
And the self-driving car?
Well, the Investor's day transcript of Sequoia is finally out and here's what the specialist about Google had to say about it (because Google has been working for a long time on a self-driving car).
We have put a lot of thoughts into this because automated driving threatens some of the businesses we have invested in and that we thought, well, is it a 5 years or a 10 years threat? It is probably quite a bit longer than that before it actually threatens traditional businesses like auto parts or GEICO at Berkshire. You're looking at 2030, maybe 2040 before this is widespread...
These guys have been wrong in the past as we all know, but having exactly zero person around me having futuristic skills, I'd rely on this guy at Sequoia.
For the smartphones (from Blackberry to Iphone, for instance), the switch has been quick, but not that quick. I don't see why it should be faster with something bigger and more expensive than a phone.