The Vancouver Portfolio

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?

Ticker 1/1/2012 12/31/2012 Gain 2012 1/25/2013 Gain YTD
AAPL 411.23 532.1729 29.41% 439.88 -17.34%
SBUX 45.285 53.63 18.43% 56.81 5.93%
WB.TO 10.95 12.3 12.33% 12.38 0.65%
TBL.TO 0.6 0.77 28.33% 0.99 28.57%
LLL.TO 47.6 75.51 58.63% 70.16 -7.09%
ZIP 13.76 8.24 -40.12% 12.24 48.54%
HAIN 36.35 54.22 49.16% 57.51 6.07%
WJA.TO 11.52 19.81 71.96% 22.11 11.61%
AMZN 179.03 250.87 40.13% 283.99 13.20%
WFM 69.64 91.16 30.90% 95.65 4.93%
Average 29.92% 9.51%

Pretty well it seems.  The portfolio is up 29.9% in 2012 and a further 9.5% so far this month.  Not bad!

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