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Island Investing

Riffs, rants, and the upside of investing from way off Wall Street


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.