Optimism In The Hardware Store

Here is a link to an article I wrote for the Winter 2009 issue of The Hardware Connection, a slick online magazine aimed at helping hardware retailers grow their businesses.

As I mention in the article, it’s hard to imagine a group more tied to the outlook for housing in this country than hardware retailers. What I didn’t mention is that I’d spent a decent amount of time looking at Home Depot shares last spring. Though I ultimately passed, there were still some useful takeaways from the work I did that were also of interest to hardware store owners. That’s one of the things I most like about being an investor…you never know when all that data in your cranial hard drive will come in handy.

And I suppose I should explain how someone with no obvious connection to the hardware industry got published in a nationwide trade journal. My office is a converted dynamite warehouse that shares a back wall with an Ace Hardware store (MM92, B/S), so I tend to wander over there often for renovation tips and, well, to shoot the bull. The store owner is a very savvy local businessman who also publishes the Connection, and after several long discussions about credit default swaps, he offered me the chance to write a column. That’s one of the things I most like about being in the Keys…you’d never guess how far people will go out of their way to help you be successful – until you see it with your own eyes.

In any case, click here to see the online version of the magazine. My article starts on page 47.

Cale Smith

About Cale Smith

Portfolio Manager at Islamorada Investment Management.

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