vendredi 20 janvier 2017

From Concordia to Tucows

As said my dear friend Robin Speziale and as some readers already know: I'm a nihilistic person. 
We live, we die. Between the two, we’re ambitious. We try to get rich, we try to fuck girls, we try to reach the top of the pyramid, we want to have a big car, a big house. And in the end, it doesn’t matter because we die in a mansion, whispering « Rosebud », full of regrets about our youth and our sleigh.
Universe and life are random events with obscure causes and obscure future. Some people say the Big Bang happened when god tried to divide 0 by 0. It's an interesting theory. Have you ever tried to divide 0 by 0? You shouldn't. Your calculator will explode.
Some say the dinosaurs disappeared when they started being gay. Interesting theory. But I don’t know, I wasn't there. I'm always skeptic when I'm not there. 
And then, we're there. Ants thinking they're the top of evolution. We're just drops in the ocean, on a planetary perspective. Imagine on the perspective of the solar system. Imagine on the perspective of the entire Universe. 
Fuck, I feel so depressed.
But, while we live, we can have some sentiment of control over things. That's what make us feel alive and make us forget that we could all die right now and it wouldn't matter.
Investment is one of those fields where we have control over things. But we sometimes forget it.
Like when we buy a stock that goes down and down, and we keep it, and keep it, hoping that it would finally change direction and go up.  And it never happens. Because you've bought Concordia Healthcare.

Here’s an interesting story :

On september 30th, 2015, I started buying some Concordia Healthcare on my standard account (compte courant, en français) buying from 53$ to 42$ during the fall.
Then, in march of 2016, I lost confidence in this stock, and sold everything at about 38$. I lost about 10$ per share. I didn't get poor, but I've lost a few thousand dollars.
Two weeks later, on the same account, with the same money, I started buying Tucows for about 28$. I kept buying it in the following months.
Then, today, the company made a big acquisition and the price of the stock went up about 15%. So, about 9 months after I bought my first shares, I’ve got a 75% return.
I know that something like that doesn't happen that often. You rarely jump from a free-falling elevator to a fast-climbing one. But that story shows at least that you can change the course of things if you take the reins and stop going where you're not sure you're going. 

That story is the story of one of my worst buying going to one of my best buying (I lost much more money with Valeant, but Concordia was and still is a crappy stock anyway).
When you change the course of things, it's a good feeling. It makes you  happy for a short while.

7 commentaires:

  1. When we buy and it goes down, we think we're unlucky. When we buy a stock and it goes up, we think we're skilled investors.

    I had a similar experience with Concordia. I bought on Donville's assurances that they will make more than enough cash flow to pay down debt. Then I got on some investing forums and heard from the bears. I realized that if Concordia expenses honestly, they make no profit.
    My losing trade with Concordia is something that I am proud of. I adapted quickly and lost only a couple of thousand.

    I bought Tucows very recently. A pop of nearly 20% in one day is impressive...but some people believe that Tucows bought a very low margin, unimpressive business. Is it possible that the market is mistaken to reward Tucows for this acquisition? Maybe some of the shorts got really scared and we had a bit of short squeeze?

    They tell us that the market is always right...but was the market right when Valeant was around $300?

    I'm not selling Tucow. I did not buy it because of the domain registering side of the business. I would not be surprised if we give back Friday's gains, but I'm not going to try to time the market.

  2. You're right. Tucows might go back down. But the numbers have been great for a while, which shows that it's at least a good company. Anyway, my post wasn't a tribute to Tucows.

  3. In lieu of your post and your ruminations on physical reality, I pass on this twist of metaphysics...

    Imagine that you are about to participate in an interactive role-playing game. There are rules in this game that everyone agrees to: what goes up must come down, day is followed by night, if you touch a flame it will burn you, etc. etc. You get to choose the character you play beforehand; shall I be black or white, Australian or American, male or female? You might even choose to meet up with others in the game, which is tricky because you won’t necessarily remember them when you see them.
    To enter the game, you must be “born” and become completely helpless. You must forget everything you know and start all over again. You are given sets of rules by the “older” players which you learn as you go along. After a given time, you are declared an “adult” by the other players and are sent out on your own.
    The thing is, after a while, you become so involved, so completely immersed in the personality of the character that you are playing in this game, that you forget who you really are.
    You forget that you’re even in a game, and you begin to believe that the game is all there is.
    Now, you still get to decide everything that happens to your character, which you do constantly, but as a player who has now totally identified with the character you have chosen to portray, you begin to believe that everything that transpires is happening by “chance” or “fate”.
    When the character you play goes to sleep, you return to your real self. This is also your opportunity to plan ahead and manifest the character's desires and wishes. When the character later awakens, it is with the belief that he/she was simply “dreaming”.
    Some players, realizing that there has to be more than just this game, will start searching for answers. Some conclude that someone must have invented this game, and probably all the players in it. They begin to worship this mysterious “someone” who obviously must be much smarter than they are, and invent more rules that they insist were made by the original game creator.
    The only way to leave this game is called dying. Once this transpires, you remember who you really are and you rejoin friends - some of whom were in this game with you. You may also interact with some who were involved with other games - and share your experiences.

    I'm a lot like you. I get depressed about things too but I can't help but imagine that there is more going on here than appears on the service...

    1. Gavin,

      This is a brilliant bit of writing. Some thoughts:

      If life is a game, why not find a game within the game that fulfills you and play as if your life depended on it? Why not get absorbed in the particular game that you love (the stock market, chess, poker, music, writing, arts/crafts etc).

      Another perspective closer to your own comes from the famous psychiatrist Viktor Frankl who survived the nazi concentration camps.

      “What is demanded of man is not, as some existential philosophers teach, to endure the meaninglessness of life, but rather to bear his incapacity to grasp its unconditional meaningfulness in rational terms.”
      ― Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

      You can believe that life is a useless passion and totally meaningless. We can just as easily assume that we are dumb-asses without the capacity to grasp the meaning of life (well, that's not as easy. It's easier to be a know-it-all then to assume your own intelligence is very, very limited and you cannot grasp the big picture).

      The ultimate question for the nihilist is this: if it's totally meaningless why invest any part of yourself in this meaningless exercise? Why suffer this existential angst and terror? Why not end it? LOL.

      Penetrator, go hug your wife or kids. Focus on things you are grateful for. Have something to look forward to every day. Even the slightest thing to look forward to helps get through a bad day.

      There are no real nihilists. A real nihilist would bail. He'd say: fuck this. I'm not playing. I'm outta here. If you hold nihilistic beliefs and cannot arrive at suicide (because it's all a huge waste of time and totally meaningless and stressful and painful as hell to live), then you're not a nihilist. You're just a coward.

      A definition: Nihilism is the belief that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated. It is often associated with extreme pessimism and a radical skepticism that condemns existence. A true nihilist would believe in nothing, have no loyalties, and no purpose other than, perhaps, an impulse to destroy.

  4. I'm probably a soft nihilist because I didn't kill myself. But I believe in very few things and I certainly don't believe that mankind deserves to go to heaven after death. Many dogs would deserve to go to heaven before humans.

    When I meet stupid people (it happens often) I say to myself that heaven can't exist. How such people could deserve to live forever? The proof that humans don't go anywhere after death is everywhere among us.

  5. Gents,

    Any thoughts on selling Tucows for re-balancing purposes, the share price has moved up so quickly I'm considering reducing my position.


    1. I've reduced my position today. It was about 8,2% of my portfolio, which was too much for me.