Friday, February 17, 2012

Wells Fargo & See's Candy

We'll it's been a while since I have posted so I thought I would share a few thoughts. 

Wells Fargo

Below in an interesting promotional video on Wells Fargo.  Some people ask if Wells Fargo, or any bank, can have a competitive advantage in a commodity type industry like banking?  I would have to say from the financials statements and the video the answer is YES, but the advantage wasn't built in a day. 

See's Candy

I just got back earlier this week from an enjoyable vacation in sunny southern California.  The weather was hot for February and definitely a reprieve from the frigid cold temperatures here in Canada. 

For those who know me I am not a shopper but I do enjoy going shopping with my wife when we travel.  While away she usually does her normal thing, like waste money on clothes and items we do not need, while it gives me time to investigate investment opportunities.  While on this trip I was happy to find a See's Candy Store and spend some time chatting with a nice lady who worked there.  I had been to a store before but found the prices ridiculously high, but now going back as an owner I couldn't help but smile at the prices. 

I must say the lady was very kind and gave me an overview of the products, including the popular items.  Eventually I settled on the overpriced peanut brittle (to bolster Berkshires profits).  Continuing our discussion, I asked how she liked her job and how long she had been with the company.  I must say I was stunned by her answers.  She had been with the company for over 17 years and just loved her job.  She said they treat you really well, good benefits and the pay is good.  She also said she gets to live in southern California, a place she just loves.  Stunned by the endorsement of the company I then asked if she was an anomaly or if the company had other happy employees who had work there that long.  She said definitely and that many have been with the company for years just like herself.  I must say I was pleasantly surprised to hear such an endorsement. 

Well upon paying for my peanut brittle, she caught on to my line of questioning and I told her I was a Berkshire shareholder.  With a big smile on her face she said how the peanut brittle is Warren's (Buffett) favorite.  He always has boxes of it around at the annual meeting.  Hopefully smart minds think alike...

Now, I must also admit the peanut brittle was absolutely fabulous.  I highly recommend you try some next time you see a store.  I will definitely pick some up again next time I'm near a store and since Warren raises the prices at See's every year at boxing day I won't hold out for lower prices.  Hopefully at the price I paid for for my Berkshire shares I will be able to enjoy several more boxes in the years ahead. 

Best Regards,

Disclosure: Long WFC & BRK.b

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