mercredi 31 août 2022

Deux sur deux

Dans la vingtaine, je répétais régulièrement que la vie c'était de la marde. Que l'existence était dépourvue de signification. Par-dessus le marché, je m'attendais constamment à ce que la vie me réserve de mauvaises surprises. 

Je m'attendais à un cancer précoce ou la mort d'un de mes parents ou une quelconque autre tragédie.

Rien de tout ça n'est arrivé. J'ai eu quelques problèmes, mais rien de grave, rien de dramatique.

La vie avait simplement attendu que j'aie des enfants pour me frapper un grand coup de poing dans le ventre. 

Mes deux enfants ont chacun une condition particulière. Aujourd'hui, j'apprenais officiellement que l'un d'eux allait connaitre un déclin progressif de sa vision, jusqu'à la cécité, autour de 40 ans, si on se fie à la moyenne des gens qui ont cette maladie. Peut-être un peu plus tôt, peut-être un peu plus tard. 

Pas dramatique comme un alzheimer précoce ou le suicide d'un proche dans un garde-robe. Mais ce sont mes enfants, sacrement. J'ai pleinement pris conscience de ce que tout le monde dit: ce qui arrive de grave à nos enfants est la pire chose qui puisse nous arriver. 

Deux enfants sur deux avec un problème sérieux. Essayez de battre ça. Mais non, vous serez pas capable. Essayez de battre le marché à la place. 

jeudi 18 août 2022

Ce que les meilleur achètent

Latest so-called superinvestors transactions are out and we can see what these guys did with their billions. Of course, we only know what they legally did with their billions. Prostitution and cocaine habits are not available on a specific website to my knowledge.

Anyway, here's the investors that interest me more than others...


Oh wow, Warren Buffet bought 28 million shares of Ally Financial! Big fucking deal. That represents 0,33% of Berkshire Hathaway while Apple still represents 41%. Why do people get excited so much about a new position even if it's percentage is totally unsignificant? Because it might get significant one day? Yes, but it could also get more unsignificant. So, for the moment, Ally Financial means nothing. 

Apart from that, there's nothing that special with Berkshire for the last quarter.

After buying tons of Netflix shares a few months ago, my good friend Bill Ackman is completely out of this stock now. He probably sold these with a loss for tax reasons, just like he did after losing billions of dollars with Valeant. 

Normal human beings don't sell stocks for tax reasons but supernatural creatures like centaurs, unicorns and some superinvestors do that kind of things.

Pat Dorsey fascinates me with his very agressive portfolio focussed on a few very high-valuation stocks. He took a big hit with this year's bear market but he recently bought a lot of shares of WIX (+19%), ROKU (+110%), GOOG (+20%) and UPWK (+71%). I'm not very comfortable with these stocks except Google but it's one of the few investors who deserves to be followed, in my opinion.

The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation (which maybe will change it's name for "The formerly known as Bill and Melinda Gates foundation") added 20% to it's current Berkshire position and reduced their Canadian National stake by 21%. Their BRK position has a value of about 9.5 billion dollars and their CN position has a value of 1.2 billion dollars. These guys have a lot of money. 

Sequoia Fund (which is now very similar to Giverny Capital for most of their positions), bought a lot of Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) stocks (+87%), Netflix and Wayfair (+43% each) and Charles Schwab (+7%). They sold a lot of their Google shares (about -16%), UnitedHealth (-26%) and Elevance Health (-42%). I never noticed that Sequoia had such a big position in that stock which is unknown to me. I'll take a look at that Elevance Health stock. 

That's about it. I probably forget a few interesting investors. But they're only interesting for a few months or years. The less I write about them, the less ashamed I eventually feel for having granted them some credibility. 

vendredi 12 août 2022

The superiority of Disney against Netflix

This week, Disney's results were out and, for the first time, there were more people using Disney + than people using Netflix. More than that, Disney + is in growth mode while Netflix is in regression mode. 

I love Netflix and I think that it's a great business. However, I think that Disney's model is superior to Netflix. I'm not talking about content but about diversification.

When you buy Netflix, you buy streaming services.

When you buy Disney, you buy a bunch of entertainment businesses (Disney parks, Disney +, ESPN, ABC, National Geographic and much more). Thus, when a sector is having a harder time, there's something else to compensate. And most of these businesses have a link together. 

And Disney ownes many big franchises like Star Wars or Lion King or hundreds of others. Every new Star War movie reaches one billion dollars at the box office. Who can beat that? 

That's why, in the entertainment field, Disney is the best and should remain the best. Maybe not for performance (because who knows on which platform will be the next blockbuster) but surely for safety. 

Finally, let's remind that, while growth is currently impressive for Disney, their EPS are still way below pre-pandemics levels.  

mercredi 10 août 2022

Green and clean

Since I’m back from Jordan and Egypt, I see the world differently.

First of all, I’m now convinced that we are fucked. These two countries are dirty as a dump. Cairo is the most disgusting city I’ve seen in my life, before Lima, which is also a dump. Walking in these cities, you can see trash everywhere : on small streets, on large streets, around buildings, along the road in the desert where nobody lives around… That’s completely crazy. People live among junk.  

I haven’t seen the rest of Africa but since Egypt is not the poorest country of the continent, I guess that it’s not better elsewhere. And what about India, Bangladesh, Philippines and many other countries? I bet they’re all as dirty as Egypt and probably more. Which makes at least half the population of the planet treating their land like a trash. Actually, half the population is probably very conservative. I’d say that it’s probably 75% of the earth’s population that treats it’s land like trash.

So, we’re fucked. I’m sure about that.

By comparison, Canada is green and clean. Very green and very clean and having flew over Africa and over Canada, I see how beautiful Canada is from above. I love my country and I love my province now. So much greenery here.

In the morning, when I drive my daughter to summer camp, I drive along a nice river which is a bit brown, but fuck, it’s now very very beautiful to me. After seeing only desert, dust and trash for two weeks in Egypt/Jordan, our Canada is to me the most beautiful thing in the world.

We have a nice country and we must keep it that way. And as an hommage to my country, here’s my 10 favorite places in every province :

  1. Signal Hill, St-John’s (Newfoundland) : Signal Hill is a beautiful hill over the capital of Newfoundland where you can see the ocean in front of you and all the colored houses behind you. I haven’t seen anything similar anywhere around the world. One of the best views in Canada. I’d like to go back there and I can’t say that about many places;
  2. Port-Royal, close to Sydney (Nova Scotia) : Port Royal was a french fortress in the 18th century. It’s located on Cape Breton Island and it’s a beautiful historical site to visit. Very impressive;
  3. Sand Dunes, Prince Edward Island : I haven’t been in PEI in about 20 years, so it’s hard for me to remember exactly how it looks like but I remember these beautiful sand dunes, just besides the sea. It’s also a charming little province, very quiet.  
  4. Nothing, New-Brunswick : New Brunswick is the only province that lacks a point of interest. Each time I go to that province, I feel like dying. Actually, there’s Bay of Fundy which looks beautiful but I’ve never been there.
  5. Iles-de-la-Madeleine, Québec : These tiny islands located close to PEI and Nova Scotia are beautiful and very quiet. There’s only a few thousand inhabitants so it’s the perfect spot for some quiet time and beautiful sceneries. I rented a scooter and traveled across the islands during the summer of 2021. It was great. I’d like to go back there too.
  6. Toronto, Ontario : Toronto is by far my favorite large city in Canada. If you go there, try to visit Toronto islands which are accessible via a ferry in Toronto’s harbour. That’s the best view you can get of Toronto and these islands are great to visit.
  7. St-Boniface, Manitoba : I haven’t see anything else than Winnipeg in Manitoba, so there may be a few interesting places in the province. However, I’ve visited St-Boniface quarter which is the main french area in Manitoba and it was an interesting experience to meet people who can speak french so far from Quebec. The streets name are in french too. And there’s a big cathedral which is interesting to visit. Not the most special place in Canada, but it worths a visit. More interesting than most people think it is.
  8. Driving in the south of Saskatchewan : Among all the places I’ve visited in Canada, driving in the south of Saskatchewan is probably in my top 3. The sceneries are flat, but not as boring as people imagine. The fields are yellow and infinite. It’s very calming and sometimes, there’s interesting landscapes that are not flat. I loved driving there and visiting Grassland national park and Castle Butte. It was probably my biggest canadian surprise ever.
  9. The Banff/Jasper area in Alberta : Without hesitation, that’s the most spectacular spot in Canada. These mountains are so huge, the lakes are emerald, the road is amazing. The best pictures you can take in Canada are in this location. Any tourist should go there first.
  10. Golden, British Columbia : This one is not a conviction pick. I’m not sure what’s the best place to visit in BC because to me, nature in BC and nature in western Alberta are similar (lots of mountains, lakes, forests). The location where Jason Del Vicario lives (in the islands close to Vancouver) is very nice too. So, I’d say that as long as there’s a mountain, some lakes and a waterfall not far, you may be in one of the most beautiful spots in BC. I’m sure there are plenty of these spots.

We have a beautiful country. Let’s keep it that way and let’s all be ecologists. Because the end is near for our planet. Let’s preserve and enjoy what we have because it won’t last.

lundi 8 août 2022

Travelling for free (almost)

Since the beginning of 2021, I've bought 12 plane tickets for me and my family (sometimes, I travel alone, sometimes, with one of my kids, sometimes, with all the family).

Among these 12 plane tickets, I've paid the full price 0 time. I've always used Aeroplan or Air Miles to reduce the bill. Which makes that I've probably paid less than 20% of the full price for these 12 tickets.

And for hotels, I've used points too. For instance, I've stayed 10 days with breakfast included at a nice Marriott hotel in Orlando, 5 days in a nice Marriott in St-John's (Newfoundland), 3 days at the foot of the pyramids in Cairo, 1 day in a nice Marriott hotel at Cairo's airport and 2 days just besides the Dead Sea in Jordan.  All these stays were for free. Full price would have been about 5000 CAN$. 

I estimate that I've saved at least 20 000$ since 2018 with travel hacking. Of course, I have to pay some fees here and there. It's not entirely free. But instead of paying 25 000$ for plane tickets and hotels for all these trips (China, Europe, Florida, Louisiana, Egypt, etc), I've paid maybe 5000$.

Some people have asked me how it was possible to travel for such little money.

The answer is that you have to be aggressive with  credit cards. Because some bonuses are great. 

Where to begin?

With some credit cards, if you spend 3000$ in three months, you'll get enough points to buy 2 round trips in North America for almost nothing. Or you could use these points to get free nights in beautiful Marriott hotels.

You begin that way, slowly, with only one new credit card. But aftter a few months, you get completely crazy like me and you get 10 different cards. 

Then it's a lot of management with your Excel file, but you'll get a shitload of points. And you can basically go anywhere.