mardi 31 août 2021

Winnipeg: much better than everybody thinks it is

Winnipeg was not a mistake of creation. Actually, it’s been my favorite city of the prairies. Much better than Regina and more interesting than Saskatoon. 

I could even say that some parts of the city are more beautiful than Quebec City which is, as many people know, one of the most beautiful cities in Canada (surely in the top 3).

Anyway, I really liked Winnipeg. The architecture of Exchange District is very nice. Lots of publicities of the first half of the 20th century on many buildings. Also, in St-Boniface (the french area), you can talk in french with many people. You can also see that most business signs are written in french first, which is impressive given the fact that you’re 2000 km west of Ottawa and almost noboby speaks french in between these two cities.

Of course, nothing will change your life in Winnipeg and you won't see a breathtaking scenery. It’s possible to live an entire life without ever going there. But it’s an interesting place for a few days. I’d recommend anybody to visit that city for 2-3 days because there's something to see and something to do.  Actually, it’s the perfect size for a city. 

Not too big, not too small, an interesting cultural aspect (french speaking communities), nice architecture, good atmosphere. 

Yep, everybody will look at you with disdain if you tell them that you’re going to Winnipeg. But screw them. Most people just want to go to Florida or Mexico anyway. They have no curiosity for anything. 

But, they’re probably right to go to Mexico if their plane ticket is less expensive than a plane ticket to Winnipeg. Yeah, I have to change my mind. People are actually clever to pay 600$ to go to a warm place with beaches and girls in bikini instead of going to Winnipeg. 

dimanche 15 août 2021

Next step: Winnipeg

If it wasn't for COVID, my holidays would have been in Chile, in Egypt, Jordan or something like that. It would have been exotic and I would have had to communicate in a foreign language with people for whom women have less rights than dogs. 

But COVID made things complicated and I decided to stay in Canada and, by the end of the summer, having visited the few provinces that I hadn't visited yet. 

My next step is Winnipeg, by the end of the current week. Frankly, I don't know what I'm gonna do there. Saskatchewan inspired me a bit, but Manitoba doesn't inspire me at all. But it's one of my rare privileges after two Moderna doses: I can go to Manitoba without having to self isolate. So, I claim the privilege of being able to enter Manitoba without burdens. 

My expectations are basement-level. I can only have interesting surprises or getting what I expect to get (nothing).  

I spent a few minutes watching the map of Winnipeg today and I was so bored. That city is a mistake of creation. That's the most poetic I can be.  

But I hope I'm wrong. 

samedi 7 août 2021

An ode to the road

I love to travel. 


I don't know. Maybe because it breaks routine. Maybe it's because I discover cities and places that only existed on a map for me before. Maybe it's because I come back a little bit different after each one of my trips. Actually, I believe that, for each travel, a little bit of myself stayed where I was and I came back with a little bit of the place I've been. Isn't it crazy to visit amazing places and meet special people that didn't exist the day before? 

I remember wondering a few times why it took me so long to see a specific place. Why I've spent half of my life ignoring something so amazing?   

It's a certitude for me: travels bring me something that nothing else brings to my life. 

Money allows me to travel many times a year. That's the reward of a solid portfolio. Actually, that's not my portfolio's money. That's my income money. Because I'm able to spend my income money how I want to. My portfolio doesn't really need any new money (even if I continue to add some money here and there). 

You have to find what you love as soon as possible and put a certain focus of your life on that topic. If it's free, good for you! But if it costs money, you'll thank your "past self" for helping you to be your "present self". 

vendredi 6 août 2021

Constellation Software reaches 2000$

One of the most beautiful things I've seen - thanks to the investment world - is Jason Del Vicario shirtless. I've seen him a few times like that and, holy macaroni, it was beautiful. I sometimes wake up at night, completely wet. That guy is the real thing. 

But on a purely capitalist level, the best thing I've seen - thanks to the investment world - is the performance of Constellation Software (CSU.TO). 

When I bought 65 shares of CSU in march 2012 for about 88$ a share, I didn't think that I'd keep my shares for 9 years (actually, I sold some of them, but I've always kept some). I didn't think either that these shares would be sold for more than 2000$ less than 10 years later. 

That's almost a 25 bagger for me. My best investment ever. 

CSU has always been expensive and still is. But, all high-quality stocks are always expensive (except for some short periods during a crisis or after disappointing results). In other words, if you don't have problems paying 40 times next year's earnings for Mastercard, you shouldn't have problems to pay slightly less for CSU. You want a lamborghini? You have to pay the price. 

Here's a few interesting numbers about CSU:

At the end of 2011, CSU's free cash flows were 130M US$

At the end of 2020, CSU's free cash flows were 1161M US$

That's about 9 times more, which is excellent. But the stock price was multiplied by 25 or so. Which means that the PE multiple increased a lot during the same period (the Forward PE went from 10 to 40). Which means that the market now recognize the excellence of CSU. That's how it works: the more you wait to be sure that a stock is good, the less risk you take but you let go some performance. 

I don't think that a share of CSU will be sold for 25 times it's current price in 2030 (46 000$ a share). However, I'm pretty sure that the stock will at least triple before 2030. I may be wrong, but how could a stock among the 1% of best stocks in the whole wide world could go from amazing to bad, or even average in a short period? Yes, it could happen, but chances are pretty low. 

So, my prediction is much more conservative than if I tried to predict the price of some not-so-excellent company.  

Great company 9 years ago, great company today.