Monday, August 10, 2009

Let Experience Be Your Guide

One of my favorite investment books is One Up on Wall Street by Peter Lynch.  I like it so much because he explains stock picking in a way that the average person can really understand.  One point he brings up is to use your own day-to-day experiences to guide you in your stock picking.  Does your kid have a favorite toy that he says all the kids need to have?  Does your daughter need that hot pair of jeans from that great new retailer?  Stay in a nice hotel that was clean and affordable?  Find out if the company is public and buy the stock!

I often use this bit of advice to try and figure out what stocks I want to buy. But today I got just the opposite.  I decided not to buy a stock because of my own experience.  I had been considering for some time whether or not I wanted to buy Yum Brands.  This is the company that holds such companies like KFC and Taco Bell.  I'm not a huge fan of these restaurants but I like the space and I like the exposure that Yum Brands has in China.

I do not personally go to any of its restaurants too often but every once in a while I get a craving for a Chalupa.   So I went to Taco Bell today, the second time I have gone in the last six months.  But for the second time in as many visits, my service was horrible.  I had to wait almost 15 minutes from when I ordered my food to when I got it.  How is this "fast food".  It isn't even slow food.  It is food moving at glacial speeds.

Could these be just isolated incidents?  Maybe.  But it has convinced me not to go back to a Taco Bell and it convinced me not to touch the stock.

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