Oh, that title will make sense in about 6 paragraphs, and spoiler alert, it might be the funniest thing you’ve ever seen.
In the investment world, a lot gets talked about when it comes to investing in companies with a certain competitive advantage. Thanks to Warren Buffett, value investors often refer to this competitive advantage as a moat.
As an example, Canada’s telecom companies have a huge moat. If we actually got a 4th national wireless player, this company would have to spend billions of dollars just to get a poor network that crossed the country. It would take at least $10 billion to make a network of any size. That’s a moat, but it’s not an impenetrable one. Often, the moat is simply the company’s years of experience in the business. Again, that’s a moat, but it’s not a great one.
When it comes to Canada’s grocery business, there’s no company with a moat to speak of. There’s a huge percentage of the population that simply goes to wherever they can find the cheapest loaf of bread.
I toured a store this weekend of a small Alberta chain that’s doing its best to create a chain of high end stores with an emphasis on fresh departments. They’ve invested in things like a high end meat smoker, ultra modern bakery ovens, and so on, in an attempt to make good in-house items that people are willing to pay a premium for. It’s a terrific example of a company creating a moat just by being unique.
If you have a business, having this attitude will prove to be beneficial. It can be as simple as providing excellent customer service (real excellent customer service, not corporate speak BS where you just assume you’re doing it), or showing up when you said. It’s something we all need to work on, including this author.
Song I like and therefore you should too
Geez, that was a little too serious. (fart) Ah, that’s better.
I’m not exactly sure what a Hoobastank is, but it made at least one catchy song.
Marge: Homey, it looks like you’re putting all your eggs in one basket.
Homer: What would you have me do? One basket for each egg?
Thing you should watch
I started watching Mr. D on Netflix, the Canadian show about a very inept teacher. I didn’t have high expectations going in, but it’s actually really funny. I’ve had to resist being one of those guys who binge watches the whole season at a time, mostly because I want to drown those types in a toilet.
Anyway, it’s a documentary of the men who go over to the pre-war Ukraine and search for wives.
Post you might have missed
A little over a year ago, I treated you all to my favorite frozen pizza, and then loosely tied it into some poor finance lesson. I believe the words you’re looking for are “thank you, oh glorious blogger of things.” That’s a little over the top, but I accept it.
I went into Safeway yesterday for some lunch, and the fresh food department had a 2-for-1 special on pizza. I ended up getting two slices and a drink for less than $4. I was pretty proud of my deal getting prowess, until I actually ate the pizza. It was pretty obvious why they had to discount it to get it out the door.
Nelson’s so funny
Pretty sure that 90% of people in public washrooms are just washing their hands for show.
— Nelson Smith (@financialuproar) July 3, 2014
While I’m talking about public washrooms, hot damn the hot air dryers are the worst. No, bathroom, I don’t want to dry my hands with recycled poo air. They never work worth a crap either, meaning my hands get half dry and I just curse and dry them on my pants. I would gladly destroy the environment with paper towels than have to deal with this.
I’m pretty sure that’s the entire reason why we have people who refuse to poo in public.
Dirty word in Words With Friends
I dunno… My phone is all the way over there, and I’m very comfortable under the covers. So I’ll just make up something dirty sounding, like fart stripper. Or vagina monologue. Or penis breath. None of those things can possibly be real.
If you want to play me, my user is nelsmi, but there’s not a single one of you left that plays. It’s okay, I’ll just weep in disappointment. YOU CAUSED THAT I HOPE YOU’RE HAPPY.
BEHOLD. My mother’s new email address.
Don’t worry, she no longer has that email address. Her initials are BJS, and apparently she believes she’s super duper. And that’s as far as I’m going with that joke, considering how it’s my mother.
Babe loosely related to finance
Considering how she was all Canada talked about this week, I gotta go with Eugenie Bouchard, Canada’s only woman who has not sucked at tennis.
Oh, NOW I know why everyone is cheering for her so hard. GO MY NEW FAVORITE TENNIS PLAYER GO.
Time for links
Let’s start things off with a piece from MacLeans, about why the business of Canadian golf is in big trouble. It’s interesting stuff, even if you’re not a golfer.
You know how people say that Canada can’t have a real estate meltdown like the U.S. because we have recourse mortgages? Garth Turner exposes that falsehood like a creep hanging around the swing set.
Keeping with the real estate theme, Don’t Quit Your Day Job compared Canada’s real estate market to the Beanie Baby craze of the late 1990s. Ah, Beanie Babies. For people who just weren’t smart enough to buy tech stocks.
Apparently it’s real estate week in the link dump, cause here’s Boomer and Echo on why you shouldn’t put all your money towards paying off your mortgage. Imagine how much it would suck if you worked hard to pay down half of a mortgage of a house that you bought at the peak of the market, and then lose most of that equity because values went down.
And that’s all I got. Have a good week everyone.