Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Take Stock in Bikes
Playing around with my retirement account, I've come out ahead on some investments and lost on others. What's become clear is that I do much better when I listen to my gut. I look around—here and in Canada where I am a frequent traveler—observe what people buy, are excited about, the general trend in the economy. I'm not a stock broker, nor am I an avid reader of financial magazines. In fact, I dislike them. There are too many facts and figures that turn my brain to pudding. So, I don't even go there.
I listen to my inner voice. Local stocks have served me well. People love purchasing on the Internet. I've found success with ventures there. And a while back I dipped my hand into Shimano. If you are a bike rider you may know that Shimano has equipped medium and low end bikes with components since Suntour left the market in the 80s. In fact, Shimano graces 70% of bikes (or is that 70% of most bikes?), plus dabbles in fishing and golfing. You get the picture. They have a commanding presence in the bicycle industry. And, because of renewed interest in cycling for recreation and commuting, I believed the stock was poised for growth. A year into this investment, the stock is doing very well.
When I recently investigated into the next promising bike-related stock, I came up short. Either companies are privately held or on a foreign exchange or part of an unwieldy conglomerate—by that I mean the bike portion was a minuscule slice of their pie. I like the idea of bike share programs. They are growing in popularity. Yet they may be too small to be bought out by a larger company, paving the way for investors, leaving no chance for a little fish to swim in their pond.
As I continue researching stock, it's still heartwarming to watch the proliferation of riders outside my door. I just overheard a neighbor girl pedaling with a friend. She was explaining how easy it is to ride to the waterfront and place your bike on the free shuttle bus to come back uphill. It's instances like that that have me firmly believing the biking trend will pedal onward and upward.