The West Coast of North America, and Vancouver in particular, seems to have a certain lifestyle. This lifestyle – yoga pants, coffee, organic food – seems to lead global trends. Does this offer an investing opportunity? Let’s take a look at ten brands that seem to be “Very Vancouver”.
- Apple. The ubiquitous iDevice-maker is still king of the smartphone, PC, tablet PC, and MP3 player. It also has a great content business. If it can innovate once again (TV please!!) then it will zoom ahead.
- Starbucks. OK, so Vancouverites drink a lot of coffee, and the cool kids no longer drink at Starbucks, preferring more “indy” coffee shops. But Starbucks is the leader and, despite its ubiquity, it still sells a lot of coffee.
- Whistler-Blackcomb. No longer just a ski resort, W-B has lead the trend into four season profitability adding golf, hiking, mountain-biking and other tourist activities to its summer roster.
- Taiga Building Products. Taiga is the biggest local building products company (decking, siding, lumber, panels, insulation, etc.). Not sexy, but essential. Construction should boom as the economy recovers.
- Lululemon: ’nuff said.
- ZipCars: Spending $30,000 on a car then driving it only an hour a day is illogical. Rentin a car for 30mis when you need it is logical. Logic wins.
- Hain Celestial: Hain make many of the healthy food brands that we enjoy: Earths’ Best, Yves, Casbah, MaraNatha, Nile, Spectrum.
- WestJet. Low cost, standardized fleet, no unions, no frills flying but with leather seats.
- Amazon. Once a bookstore, now a retailer. I have found myself buying lots of things online lately – garbage can, lego, books, batteries, booster seats – and most of it from Amazon.
- Wholefoods: Healthy food, and their prices are coming down.
So, how would this portfolio have performed in 2012?
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Pretty well it seems. The portfolio is up 29.9% in 2012 and a further 9.5% so far this month. Not bad!