I’ve followed you for some time now. I can remember your early days on the old ROBTV (now BNN) during the early morning show back in circa like 2002. Since I worked nights back then, I was often up when you were on. You were the “investor at large”, a no holds barred, brash guy working hard on investing your newfound capital from Mattel giving you a ridiculous amount for selling The Learning Company. We were perfect for each other.
I always enjoyed what you had to say. You prided yourself on standing up for the little guy. The very first time I ever heard of an ETF was when you told me about it. I immediately fell in love with the concept. I hated the evil mutual fund managers as much as you did. Sure, ETFs were just new back then, but we both saw the potential. I went out and bought EWJ, a play on the turnaround on Japan. That turnaround didn’t really come, but let’s not talk about that.
I followed you to Squeeze Play, the program basically created to give you primetime exposure. I drank up every minute of it. I especially enjoyed your opinions about the day’s top stories and when you answered questions sent in via email from the viewers. You maintained your distaste of mutual funds. In fact, I specifically remember a debate between you and a fund manager where you pretty much trounced him.
That’s when it all started to fall apart.
Soon I began to realize that you basically have three talking points. I get it, you hate the government and taxation of basically any form. You also really, really like emerging markets and getting yield on your investments. It also got to the point where I was ready to slit my wrists if you said “pay daddy” one more time. Much like a jilted spouse who witnesses a change in their partner, I stayed with you. I remembered how things used to be, I thought maybe we could go back to those good times. How naive I was.
I can’t remember the exact moment I found out you started a mutual fund. Perhaps I didn’t want to believe it. I asked myself, how could Kevin O’Leary, the very man who introduced me to the evils of mutual fund management fees, be leading me astray? Didn’t he realize the hypocrisy of the whole situation? Was he hoping no one would remember?
In the meantime, you joined the cast of CBC’s Dragon’s Den. I was so excited about the concept of the show I didn’t realize how foolish it made you look to go star in a program shown by a broadcaster owned by the Canadian government. Perhaps I was still living in denial.
Finally, you completed the move to the dark side, taking lovely Amanda Lang with you. While watching you isn’t a nightly ritual like it used to be, I still catch your program on occasion. And Kevin, I’ve got some bad news for you. It’s over between us.
You say the same things over and over again. You ask interview questions that do nothing but advance your own agenda. You push the philosophy of your funds every chance you get. It’s clear that Amanda Lang can barely stand you anymore. I get it, you like dividends. You don’t need to remind me every single time you and Amanda talk about a stock that, GASP!, doesn’t pay one.
So Kevin, thanks for the memories. From now on, you’ll be nothing but entertainment for me. I’d encourage all investors to take the same approach.