When I started my career as an investor, I eschewed investment blogs and sell-side analyst reports when doing research because of the idea that any stock that I pitched had to be 100% original. This mentality partly came because when I was learning how to analyze stocks, I would watch Sohn Conference Foundation presentations by David Einhorn and read books like The Most Important Thing: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor and come away thinking that you needed an original and unique insight into every investment you made.
Eventually, I came to appreciate that the stock market and the business world is so incredibly complex that you cannot possibly figure out everything by yourself with no external sources. It is sheer arrogance to think that you can understand a company in a month better than an analyst who has followed and conversed with the management for years. What’s more, the market doesn’t care where you got your investment idea from: therefore, the best thing for an investor to do is just soak up as much information from as many sources as she or he can get. Over time, you will have built up a base of knowledge that can give you a differentiated perspective on a company or a situation. As Warren Buffett puts it eloquently (as he always does), knowledge builds up like compound interest.
With the support from my employer Baskin Wealth Management, this is why I am starting this blog. I have learned a tremendous amount from those willing to share their thoughts on their blogs and twitter such as Ben Thompson at Stratechery, David Kim at Scuttleblurb, Matthew Ball at Redef, and a myriad of other value investing twitter accounts. I do think that I have some interesting thoughts on companies and investing and simply hope that others will find the information useful for their own investment journey.
What will my blog – An Ernest Opinion – focus on?
I will write about my thoughts on mid to large cap companies with a focus on the business strategy and management execution of the business. Baskin Wealth Management may or may not own the stocks that I write about or mention. I will avoid the valuation aspect of the business; although valuation is ultimately the determining factor of a buy or sell, I will not be providing an investment recommendation in my posts. It will be up to the reader to decide what they want to do with the information.
Since I live in Canada, there will be a focus on Canadian non-resource companies. As a general observation, US investors tend to view Canada simply as an extension of the US without understanding the differences in culture and business environment. You frequently see this in short-seller reports that make uninformed parallels between a US situation and its Canadian peers. What’s more, there are simply less people covering the great companies that we have in Canada. There are plenty of write-ups on Apple and Visa, much less so for CCL Industries and Alimentation Couche-Tard.
Aren’t you giving away all your best ideas?
First of all, you can find out what we own on our 13F and we frequently discuss our top ideas on BNN. More importantly, Baskin Wealth Management invests in large, liquid companies where our perspective on the company isn’t likely to move the stock price at all. Instead, being able to interact with other smart investors is likely to make us better investors.