August 24, 2012 Comments

So stocks were up nicely today, after being down yesterday.

Many people complain that “these days” stocks are unpredictable. They seem to think stocks used to be predictable. That is utter nonsense. Volatility in stock prices is normal and in fact provides opportunities for those who invest based on the value of stocks rather than on trying to simply guess or predicts short term stock price directions.

We are in Seattle today back to Edmonton tomorrow.

Visited Berkshire Hathaway’s See’s Candies again and bought some product. Excellent customer service. It’s educational to see how these tiny stores make out-sized profits in tiny retail spaces.

Next over to another Buffett company, Ben Bridge Jewelers. Walked in and they soon charmed us into making a small purchase, though they suggested that a $3k watch would look great on me. We did not go there but they were happy to sell us something very small while treating us as if we were buying the bigger item. We would be happy to shop there on a future trip.

Shopped in Walgreen’s as well (a company that is on our list above). I find their stores pretty densely packed and sort of down-market (no fancy floors or displays in those I have seen). That keeps costs down. Prices don’t strike me as being at bargain levels, yet they are busy. So looks like (and is) a money-making operation.

Lots of other nice retail operations; Stormteck in Victoria (a private company) and Patagonia in Seattle).

Loads of tourists around. It seems clear that many people do have discretionary cash to spend.

I wonder what will happen to the sports business given recent developments.

Lance Armstrong apparently stripped of titles earned years ago. College football cancels league titles for crimes taht while heinous, were totally unrelated to the game on the field. Why should anyone pay to watch a sporting event if the winner can be declared the loser years later? Not a business that I have any much interest in. I think sporting bodies are completely out of control at least as far as football and anti-doping go. I don’t know the solution but it just removes from me any interest in most sports.