June 24, 2010
At the spur of the moment, I decided to fly to Barcelona yesterday to attend the ‘Fiesta de San Juan’. It’s common in many parts of Europe and Latin America to celebrate the official, astrological first day of summer, which also happens to be the longest day (and shortest night) of the year.
In Barcelona, it’s an all night party that includes beach bonfires and a hell of a lot of pyrotechnics. Thing is, summer solstice was actually on June 21st! The celebration was a couple of days late, just like everything else in Spain I suppose… mañana, mañana.
As is common in my travels, I met a few interesting people during the evening’s festivities. One gentleman was key executive and technical architect at a small biotech firm.
He was attending a conference in Barcelona, and we spoke for over an hour about his company and its major pipeline drug that has recently received FDA approval. Much to my amazement, they’ve managed to synthesize a vaccine that has proven to be incredibly effective in treating certain types of cancer.
In the course of our discussion, he told me about several other companies in the same industry which were deeply undervalued by the market.
“The interesting thing about this industry,” he said, “is that all the science is already public information, published in the medical journals. Our stock prices don’t move, though, for months until the IR department issues a press release. Smart investors have an interim window to scoop up the next breakthrough drug company for pennies.”
He cited a few examples, including one company that had over 9-months between its medical journal publication and press release. The stock barely budged during that time period, but within weeks of the press release it was a 10-bagger.
Not only was I amazed at his company’s biotech breakthroughs, I was even more amazed at the financial implications of his earth-shattering investment revelation.
This is one of the things that I appreciate so much about being an expat and permanent traveler– the exposure to so many compelling opportunities, industry secrets, uncommon wisdom, and interesting people.
These sorts of encounters happen all the time when you step outside out of the daily grind, expose yourself to new surroundings, and maintain an open attitude.
To give you another example, when I was in Brazil last week I met a local businessman who was literally making his living selling shovels to gold miners. His company specializes in importing mining equipment from China and selling it off to Brazilian firms that are mining for gold in the rural provinces.
Based on the volume and type of equipment that the miners are ordering from him, he can tell how close the companies are to striking it rich, or whether they’re just turning big rocks into little rocks. He uses this information, which he kindly shared with me, to reduce his risk in the Brazilian stock market when he speculates on these companies.
His track record is impressive, and his investment gains are far outpacing what he earns from operating the business. It’s an intriguing model– one that I would not have been exposed to if I had been closed to the opportunity or stuck in a routine.
I’m telling you all of this because I hope to encourage you to shake up your routine a bit in order to increase your exposure to more opportunities, and also cultivate the right mindset for planting multiple flags.
I think travel is a great way to go about doing this… after all, nothing shakes up routine like heading overseas, even if only for a short time.
I’ve been fortunate to meet many subscribers in my travels who are out there doing this– learning, exploring, and benefitting from their unique experiences overseas. I hope to meet many more in the future as we continue these discussions… perhaps overseas at an upcoming Sovereign Man conference that we plan on organizing.
On that note, I’d like to mention one last thing before I sign off for today; summer solstice was not only a celebration here in Barcelona, but it also coincided with the one year anniversary of launching this letter.
I wanted to take a moment and thank you for your continued subscription. Given all the professional demands I have in my life and the various ventures that I’m involved in, writing this daily letter remains one of my great pleasures simply for the fantastic interaction it affords me with so many interesting people.
Thanks again for being a subscriber, and I look forward to our continued discussions.