February 2023 Portfolio Update
Topics: Quote, Portfolio Update & Discussion, Comments From Me, New Additions to VC Portfolio & Going Over some VC Investments, Favorite Podcasts + List, Books & much much more for paid subscribers...
Quote for this month:
Recall that the map is not the territory. Meaning the word is not the thing, the narrative is not the event, etc. We can never know all the details; we always leave things out. - Alfred Korzybski & Christopher Mayer
*I am NOT a financial advisor, I’m sharing my investing journey. Do your own research.*
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As I said in the January update, I have bought back PayPal shares at around $80.
I sold out of FF 0.00%↑ and put that money towards PayPal and TCS, IAC, and Mitek
After listening to earnings call for PayPal I was happy to hear that Dan is leaving and have hopes for next CEO + I think PayPal still has a shot of being a great company. I’m happy to be a buyer below $80 with potential exit in $150ish.
On the other hand I was NOT happy with CVS, I did not even listen to the earnings call. News of CVS Health to acquire Oak Street Health was not what I wanted to hear, maybe I’m wrong but I wanted them to pay down debt first and keep focusing more on the digital side, primary care was not my trade. I have sold some on the day of earnings and the rest (I have covered calls) will see if my covered calls wont be filled.
Also, I have started position in The Container Store Group, Inc (you cant see it on the basic portfolio screenshot because it’s (currently) less than 3% of taxable portfolio).
I have mentioned it in January’s Chat, to not miss out on any up to date updates join February’s Chat*:
Portfolio Monthly Chats are for paid subscribers only
I will try to do a deep dive (maybe not so deep) on TCS 0.00%↑ over the next couple of week or so, but short thesis is its a turn around play with the new CEO creating smaller stores and pushing more 1) ecommerce and 2) their custom closets with a goal to reach over 150+ stores with in the next couple of years AND revenue of over two billion dollars.
Given current stats and valuations, I think its possible but this is not without many down sides, like a) all of their stores are via renting they do not own anything b) potential recession and their customers are on the higher end of the budget c) conflicts in Europe, China, and other things that could disrupt supply chain and actual supplies like wood/plastic d) higher interest rates well the list is long and I could go for some time but I will leave it out for deeper research.
Dividends for January:
Comments From Me
In January I booked flight to Omaha for Annual Berkshire Hathaway meeting so if you are going to the annual meeting, let me know (via email or twitter) and we should definitely meet up and chat!
Also, on January 31st I went to "The Enduring Value of Roger Murray" Panel Featuring Paul Johnson, Paul Sonkin, Mario Gabelli and Leon Cooperman.
Roger Murray (1911–1998) was a crucial figure in the history of value investing as the successor to the legendary Benjamin Graham as professor of securities analysis at Columbia Business School, where he mentored a generation of students. He also was a renowned economist, chairman of the College Retirement Equity Fund Finance Committee, a prolific author of financial journal articles and a thought leader in the development of pension funds, including the individual retirement account.
I received free book and got to listen to speakers talk about Roger Murray and a bit about them, his/their investing, and about his/their thoughts on past markets and what is currently going on + future. Nothing out-of-this-world was said by the speakers but it was cool to listen and observe information live (get to see Mario Gabelli on stage and Vitaliy Katsenelson in the crowd). One thing that stood out to me was the speakers emphasis on the fact that current generation (regular folks and professionals) are (based on their observation) too short term thinking and have “lack of delayed gratification”. Which to me sounds like a potential competitive advantage (although sad one, as I would really rather wish people would think long term… alas things like social medias and current forms of entertainment blocking possibilities of that unless individuals consciously “fight for it”).
New Additions to VC Portfolio
Going Over My Current VC Investments 1/2
More on companies that I have invested in:
Ivee is personalized in-vehicle user experiences controlled by the Ivee Tablet. Imagine what you get on airplanes (via screens) but in a taxi/Uber. Click here to learn more.
Why I Invested: I found Ivee interesting and potentially (not that expensive on tech) with large TAM and ease of spreading. I have seen some variations of it being used in one of the car services here in Brooklyn which I thought was cool and has potential (as stated before).
Zocdoc is a platform that connects patients and doctors (of all kinds) via their website. Patients can also rate and leave reviews on the doctors that they visit. Click here to learn more.
Why I Invested: Being that I’m in Medical Supplies. (I think) Every single doctor I know uses Zocdoc to get their patients and/or as a source to get new patients. Very popular at least in Brooklyn.
KarbonPay brings cloud-based automation to consolidate multi-country payroll into a single system, eliminating reliance on in-country partners, manual calculations, removing redundancies, and reducing errors. Click here to learn more.
Why I Invested: What sold me on KarbonPay was their multi-country reach with a single system and different countries compliance. Potentially very large TAM.
Givsum helping nonprofits raise more money and operate more productively. Click here to learn more.
Why I Invested: Variation play on GoFundMe.
Relay On Demand connects truck drivers with carriers. Click here to learn more.
Why I Invested: Niche platform connecting truck drivers with carriers, I believe is potentially very useful and has potential to get acquired.
Espanita Tequila Company is 100% Blue Agave tequila with 18 Gold and Platinum Medals. Espanita is aged in lightly charred American white oak barrels that were previously used in Bourbon production to ensure mellow and complex bourbon-finished flavor. Click here to learn more.
Why I Invested: I think Tequila is a good long term play and it stays popular with all crowds + great for mixing.
Groundfloor is short-term, high-yield real estate debt investments for everyone. Groundfloor’s investments are secured by real assets in a first lien position. You can choose individual renovation projects to invest in, or use our automatic investing tools to continuously invest in projects that meet your criteria. Click here to learn more.
Why I Invested: Although at the time of investing I was skeptical (and even right now I’m a bit skeptical) I have used the platform (app) and it looks and feels like legit. Could be very interesting long term and I can see Groundfloor getting acquired or merging with another company.
Blinking Owl Distillery is the very first craft distillery in Orange County. BOD are one of the first distilleries in the state of California to hold the Type 74 Craft Distillers License allowing them to operate their tasting room and sell bottles. BOD make Vodka, Gin, several types of Whiskey, and the Scandinavian spirit, Aquavit. Click here to learn more.
Why I Invested: Beloved brand (IP) with growth opportunities in US + Internationally.
Acquire Invest is invest app powered by WEB3 + Blockchain. Click here to learn more.
Why I Invested: A bit of a wild card play on WEB3 + Blockchain…if it survives…
Bula Technology Inc is a social challenge platform. The first platform to dare or challenge friends to anything, anytime, anywhere! Click here to learn more.
Why I Invested: Because why not, have to throw a few hail marys. Most likely will flap, invested accordingly.
BeAKid calls it self, The OpenTable of kids activities. They connect parents/kids with different activities (for kids). Click here to learn more.
Why I Invested: At the time of investing, I thought it was an interesting idea which if done properly can be put on the market to get acquired later on.
Favorite Podcasts + Investing Podcast List
I have not done this in a while and the list of favorites have changed…
Here is a list of Podcast MUSTS (is that a real work?) for me personally on daily/weekly basis in no particular order:
Numbers by Barron’s
Barron’s Streetwise by Barrons
The Investopedia Express with Caleb Silve
The Memo by Howard Marks
Value Investing with Legends
The Business Brew by Brewster
This Week in Intelligent Investing
Intrinsic Investing by Ensemble Capital
We Study Billionaires by TIP Network
Investing by the Books by Redeye AB
Investing the Templeton Way
Invest like the Best by Colossus
Risk of Ruin by Half Kelly Media
CO/nversations by Co/Investor Club
Infinite Loops by Jim O’Shaughnessy
Talks at Google
Founders by David Senra
The One Percent Show by Vishal Khandelwal
Good Investing Podcast
Capital Employed Podcast
InvestED by Phil Town & Danielle Town
The Acquirers Podcast
CFO Bookshelf by Mark Gandy
Company Deep Dives:
Chit Chat Money
Planet MicroCap Podcast
In Good Company with Nicolai Tangen
Business Breakdowns by Colossus
Mega-Brands by Eric Clark
Compounders by Ben Claremon
How I Built This by Guy Raz
The World According to Boyar by The Boyar Value Group
Spotify: For the Record (for everything related Spotify…obviously)
iGaming NEXT: Podcast (for anything interesting related to Evolution/Casinos)
All of these podcasts are available on Spotify (and maybe other places too).
I realized that my descriptions of the books that I read may not always give them full credit as when I read these books and when I write about them, I only share one or two things that really stand out to me. So I have decided to also include a quick short description from goodreads (no affiliations) so that way you get my thoughts but also more generic description to get a better feel for the books and in so hopefully adding them to your “to-read-list”.
This time around I finished three books and three audiobook:
The Noise Factor: Hidden Forces that Imperil Financial Markets by Yishai Ashlag and Meirav Moran
YZ: The Noise Factor is very short and fictional story about investing related events (kind of). It’s about how noisy our world is and how we need to get rid of the noise and unnecessary tasks. If there is nothing to do, do nothing. To really get a lesson I think you must finish the whole book to get a deep philosophical perspective, and although I could say this book is useless I will say that there is one thing I got out of it, which means that this book was worth it!
There is an inherent, invisible flaw in how our financial system operates: the way the markets are built, they turn insignificant day-to-day deviations, or “noise,” into harmful volatility.
As high levels of noise mask reality, people make money in the market regardless of the actual value of companies, commodities, or the economy itself. The growing disconnect between financial markets and the real economy changes the very nature of the financial marketplace. The market stakeholders focus more on shifting gains and losses among participants rather than on creating real value. THE NOISE FACTOR is a financial fantasy that transports the reader to an alternate reality. The book reveals the fundamental principles required to turn off our economy’s noise amplifiers and provides a vision for a more productive financial market.
I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.
YZ: For whatever reason this book reminds me of Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation by Steven Johnson, but a better version. For me the main take away is “need to find balance between safe ideas but also crazy ideas and let both play out (which is not easy to do AT ALL in the real world). Also lots of things that happen in life are random but longer you do it with open mind the better chance of survival and success that project has, but there are no guarantees ”
What really drove a point for me was the Afterwards.
What do James Bond and Lipitor have in common? What can we learn about human nature and world history from a glass of water?
In Loonshots, physicist and entrepreneur Safi Bahcall reveals a surprising new way of thinking about the mysteries of group behavior that challenges everything we thought we knew about nurturing radical breakthroughs.
Drawing on the science of phase transitions, Bahcall shows why teams, companies, or any group with a mission will suddenly change from embracing wild new ideas to rigidly rejecting them, just as flowing water will suddenly change into brittle ice. Mountains of print have been written about culture. Loonshots identifies the small shifts in structure that control this transition, the same way that temperature controls the change from water to ice.
Using examples that range from the spread of fires in forests to the hunt for terrorists online, and stories of thieves and geniuses and kings, Bahcall shows how this new kind of science helps us understand the behavior of companies and the fate of empires. Loonshots distills these insights into lessons for creatives, entrepreneurs, and visionaries everywhere.
I give it 3 out of 5 stars.
YZ: I wish I have read this book pre 2020 and maybe even earlier. There are a lot of lessons for younger people (and even older folks) and I think we all can learn and implement lessons from Jim Rogers for his kids … to us and our kids too.
He's the swashbuckling world traveler and legendary investor who made his fortune before he was forty. Now the bestselling author of A Bull in China, Hot Commodities, and Adventure Capitalist shares a heartfelt, indispensable guide for his daughters (and all young investors) to find success and happiness. In A Gift to My Children, Jim Rogers offers advice with his trademark candor and confidence, but this time he adds paternal compassion, protectiveness, and love. Rogers reveals how to learn from his triumphs and mistakes in order to achieve a prosperous, well-lived life. For example:
- Trust your own judgment: Rogers sensed China's true potential way back in the 1980s, at a time when most analysts were highly skeptical of its prospects for growth.
- Focus on what you like: Rogers was five when he started collecting empty bottles at baseball games instead of playing.
- Be persistent: Coming to Yale from rural Alabama, and in over his head, Rogers never stopped studying and wound up with a scholarship to Oxford.
- See the world: In 1990, Rogers traveled through six continents by motorcycle, gaining a global perspective and learning how to evaluate prospects in rapidly developing countries such as Brazil, Russia, India, and China.
- Nothing is really new: anything deemed "innovative" or "unprecedented" is usually just overhyped, as in the case of the Internet or TV, airplanes, and railroads before it
- And not a bit off the subject, and very important: Boys will need you more than you'll need them!
Wise and warm, accessible and inspiring, A Gift to My Children is a great gift for all those just starting to invest in their futures.
I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Damsel in Distressed: My Life in the Golden Age of Hedge Funds by Dominique Mielle
YZ: Something different and interesting … to get perspective of a women in “men world” . I think everyone should read this book to get perspective on how it can be for the other party when you are a man plus overall interesting and fascinating story life of Dominique Mielle. I wish there were more books like this, and my hope that I will get to read more books by female PMs.
The hedge fund industry is a boys’ club, with hardly any female success stories to turn to. Damsel in Distressed is one of those rare, humorous, and inspiring stories.
In 1998, Dominique Mielle joined Canyon Partners—a small, little-known hedge fund. The job was trading distressed securities and high yield bonds, known back then, respectively, as vulture investing and junk bonds.
Over the span of two decades, she rose to the top of the firm as the only female partner and senior portfolio manager—in what became one of the largest hedge funds in the U.S. Damsel in Distressed explores the innerworkings of hedge funds while exposing what it takes to succeed as a woman investor.
I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.
How Do You Know? A Guide to Clear Thinking About Wall Street, Investing, and Life by Christopher Mayer
YZ: I enjoyed this book by Chris Mayer. Although I think of myself as already “open minded” its always nice to get a refresher on “different ways thinking about same thing”. I also think this book will great for professional money manager or people who are “only doing things one way”. I dare to say this book can be an enlightenment to some.
How should you approach your investments? How should you think about them?
Those are the types of questions Chris Mayer tackles in his newest book, How Do You Know: A Guide to Clear Thinking About Wall Street, Investing, & Life.
Through a series of provocative—and often amusing—examples, Chris puts those perennial investing questions into a much larger context…
How do you know anything at all? His answer, which is sure to make many readers uncomfortable is… you don’t.
How Do You Know? is not another book on investing. It is full of ideas about investing, including one that hasn’t been part of the public investing discussion in nearly 60 years. But Chris’ goal is not just to give you ideas, but to provide practical guidelines for uncluttering your thinking—that is, for getting unhelpful ideas and misleading information out of the way.
I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Lessons From Century Club Companies: Managing for Long-Term Success by Vicki TenHaken
YZ: I enjoyed reading Lessons From Century Club Companies, although the suspects for long-term success can seem like obvious (to those who been investing for long term for long time) its still very nice to get a refresher and a bit different point of you from Vicki TenHaken.
Vicki TenHaken also has a blog where she updates the list of companies with latest update as of December 2022. Check our her blog at howoldcompaniessurvive and obviously check out her book. Its not that long and yet to the point and a must read for any investor that is looking for companies for a long-term-hold.
“What does it take for a company to survive for 100 years in the United States? And which ones have? "Lessons from Century Club Companies" will give you the answers. This book describes the results of ten years of research into the unique management practices of companies that have prospered for over 100 years. Previous studies of corporate longevity, such as "Built to Last" and "The Living Company," profile a few very large, publicly-owned firms. But most companies over 100 years, as well as over 95 percent of all U.S. companies, are small- to medium-sized, private businesses. "Lessons from Century Club Companies" gives you - in the words of the companies and their leaders, themselves - the reasons for their remarkable performance over time. A must-read for leaders with the desire to manage for long-term success, and full of thought-provoking concepts for any business, young or old.”
I give it 4 out of 5 stars.
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SPOT 0.00%↑ VMD 0.00%↑ LKQ 0.00%↑ SFM 0.00%↑ IAC 0.00%↑ GOOG 0.00%↑ GOOGL 0.00%↑ OZK 0.00%↑ WBD 0.00%↑ PYPL 0.00%↑ CVS 0.00%↑ MITK 0.00%↑ $EVVTY EVO 0.00%↑ OMAB 0.00%↑ OPFI 0.00%↑ OZKAP 0.00%↑ TCS 0.00%↑ C 0.00%↑ ABBV 0.00%↑ NFLX 0.00%↑ ATVI 0.00%↑ VIG 0.00%↑ VEA 0.00%↑ VTI 0.00%↑ $NTDOY URI 0.00%↑ OPBK 0.00%↑ MKL 0.00%↑ DJCO 0.00%↑ BAM 0.00%↑ $BRK
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