February 4, 2018

As of about 6:45 eastern the futures markets have the DOW down about 200 points. This often changes vastly over night so we will see where it opens.

In the last half of 2017 I had increased my cash position. As the U.S. market continued to soar that cost me money. But I think it was absolutely prudent given my own stage of life – which might be called semi-retired. If markets now happen to decline in a material way, I will be in a position to buy. Or if I identify other companies that I consider to merit a Strong Buy rating or at least a fairly high rating, I will be in a position to buy a meaningful amount.

My own strategy has never been predict the market direction based on market sentiment. Rather it has been to try to buy stocks of quality companies at attractive prices and to generally trim or sell positions that appeared to be over-valued. I try to react to stock prices versus my estimate of value as opposed to predict prices. I do try to predict earnings growth to some degree.

I am currently working on WSP Global and will add it to the site in the next day or so. I suspect the rating will be Buy. It’s got a great track record in its strategy of growth-by-acquisition. It is similar to Stantec in many ways. However, it has been far more aggressive in making acquisitions, especially global acquisitions in the past ten years compared to Stantec. It’s now larger than Stantec. WSP has however funded its growth by issuing shares at a very high rate. Management has been extraordinary ambitious regarding growth and so far they have managed to fulfill those ambitions.