Have you ever been to a shareholders meeting? Not me. Nothing ever happens in Quebec City. I live a comfortable life, but not enough to be in measure of taking the plane to Cupertino or New-York each year for a 2 hour conference.
But this blog has disciples. And one of those disciples wrote to me lately, asking me if I'd like to go to the Giverny Capital shareholders meeting on march 29th at some very posh hotel in Quebec City.
Robin Speziale told me last december that François Rochon was short. I expected to meet a guy half my height. It wasn't the case. The guy is at least 4 feet tall. Probably more. He looks pretty cool and interested. He welcomed guests at the entrance of the room and shook hands. Really good first contact. The guy doesn't look at all like a fucking peddler.
The meeting had about 100 people. A good number of them were young men (25-30 years old). The questions asked by the public were couçi-couça. It looked to me as many of them did not know that much about stock analysis. But at least, there wasn't any really stupid question. Just some long and very abstract questions about nothing in particular.
At the end of the meeting, I went to see Rochon and his lieutenant, Jean-Philippe Bouchard. I talked a bit with Bouchard, before asking him about the importance of Beta coefficient for Giverny. At that exact moment, his face changed and I felt like a fucking nerd in front of the most beautiful girl of the school.
This guy is surely clever, but he looks a bit cocky. Not my kind of type.
At the end of the meeting, I told them that I was the writer behind this blog (knowing that Robin talked to Rochon in December about my blog) and both knew about it. I don't know why I did that. To see some reaction maybe? I'll probably never do that again because the air started to be a little harder to breathe from then on. Were they uncomfortable about the name and the language of this blog? Did they fear that I would use street language talking about them?
In fact, they probably feared that I would spoil or reveal some information about the event. Bouchard said to me that everything said during the evening should be off the record. Well, I never intended to reveal any secrets about Giverny given the fact that almost everything about the fund is avalaible via www.whalewisdom.com.
I'm still not convinced about all Giverny's picks, like that fucking Carmax. But at least, I respect the manager of the fund and I believe his approach is intelligent. He picks boring stocks out of the radar. These stocks won't go bankrupt tomorrow or have very little chance to be involved in a scandal because they're from boring and not regulated industries.
Happy to have been there. Merci Yves.