4 Oct 2010
It's been a busy September, both at work and at various events in the city, such as the Hispanic Fiesta, Vegetarian Fair and the Cambridge House's Toronto Resource Conference. It's been tons of fun at those events. Before I forget, I want to thank those of you who sent me notices of events and/or telling me about your experiences. Oftentimes, I don't get around to telling all my friends about my experiences at various events, so, this is one reason I created KaTsZoNe!
I went to the annual Hispanic Fiesta ("Festival") for the first time at the beginning of September. It took place during the Labour Day long weekend, from September 3rd to 6th, at Mel Lastman Square in North York. I went on the Friday night and saw a group called Havana Express helped kick off the music for the night. Surprisingly, it was not just Latin music they were singing. In fact, the audience was transported back to the 1970's disco era when they sang Bee Gees songs! I know most of the words from those Saturday Night Fever days! LOL. Not only was that tons of fun, I wandered over to a lady selling bubble guns, flashing rabbit ears and devil ears, and other neon toys. She was wearing flashing rabbit ears and pumping out the bubbles from a large water gun (except you fill it with soap instead of water). I started playing with some kids, swooping bubbles into the air and felt like a big kid! There were also some charming vendors who sold crafts, purses, food, and clothing. I picked up a small leather purse and coin purses made in Peru, as well as a very nutritional root called MACA. The guys selling the Maca and other foods made me laugh pretty hard as they tried to translate the nutritional value of maca from Spanish into English. Since I know other languages, I was able to figure out the meaning of many Spanish words. Some words need no translation -- especially when we're talking about improvement in sexual function. I told the guy who was translating for me that I know what the word "sexual" means, and we laughed. Ah, you had to be there! I really wished my friend, Margaret (who teaches Spanish), was there with me, not just to translate, but to try some yummy churros with me! Larry calls it a "Mexican donut" -- except it is not circular but it is long and hollow. I ate a churros filled with dripping chocolate through the hollowed middle, sprinkled with powdered sugar on top. Oops...did I get some on my clothes and face? Who didn't get powdered sugar and chocolate on themselves? Can't take me anywhere!
On the Friday after the Hispanic Fiesta, I went down to the Harbourfront Centre to attend another annual event -- the Vegetarian Food Fair. I attended the fair once before, a few years ago. Since it was all new to me at the time, I picked up quite a number of goodies. I did not see the miso soup and cookie vendors from a few years ago, but, there were lots of new vendors who were out to promote their products. I know that people just love food samples. I am a bit more cautious and will ask several questions before trying them. It's like a game for me -- trying to see whether the promoters/owners really know their products and whether they are friendly and enthusiastic about them. If you ask my mom, she'll tell you that I despise bad customer service at any retail stores. If they don't have the courtesy to greet you within a few minutes, I'm turned off already. I enjoy these fairs and festivals a lot more because you are usually greeted by very friendly people. I don't usually find very pushy vendors, so, it's usually a pleasant experience. My only complaints at these fairs is the pushy, rude people who may attend them -- grab that food sample at all cost, shoving other people aside. That really ticks me off! I did not buy anything at the Vegetarian Food Fair this year, although, I did taste a bit of interesting snack bars. When I say "interesting", it does not mean they tasted bad. I asked the lady if there was sugar in them, and she told me that it was sweetened with something from cactus! I can't even remember the name of it now, but, like I said, it was "interesting"! I'll have to go to some health food stores in the city and find out about this sweet ingredient from cactus which is low on the glycemic index, so, it should be good for diabetics. My only concern is, when added to other ingredients, would those snack bars still be okay for diabetics? If you are curious about what the glycemic index is, see http://www.healthyweightforum.org/eng/articles/glycemic-index/ for further information. Those who are diabetic or want to lose weight will want to know more about the glycemic index.
Now, to the final event in September, one of the most exciting times of year for me, is the Cambridge House, Toronto Resource Conference! Anyone who knows me pretty well will know that one of my favourite pasttimes is learning about investing in the resource sector. This year, some well-known business professionals took part in panel discussions on Saturday, September 25th. Kevin O'Leary, entrepreneur, and is better known to me and probably many of you, as one of the "dragons" on a CBC TV Canadian business reality show called, "Dragon's Den". Diane Francis, a Canadian journalist/author/editor at large of National Post, was also another well-known member of a panel. I usually attend information sessions on various mining companies and also some talks given by expert resource newsletter writers, and this year was no different. But, this year, I'm glad I had a companion, my friend, Helenie, who attended this conference for the first time. I was trying to remember my first time at the Cambridge House conference in Toronto. I told Helenie, it was not that popular back then. They were in the lower floors of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, but now, they are on the top floor - talk about moving up in popularity! It is always a treat to pick up gifts at various company booths -- like pens, baseball hats, toys, etc. As I have said to Helenie oftentimes, I'm not there just for the loot (i.e. gifts). By the way, I'm not just another pretty face! Another highlight for me is meeting up with fellow resource investors (also affectionately known as my "Goldbugs" friends). We met through the Silicon Investor ("SI") discussion boards and through a mutual friend, we started to do dinners after resource conferences. Sometimes, we do talk "shop", but, these days, we just talk about what's been going on in our lives. We usually only see each other about once or twice a year at the resource conferences. It's just another group of interesting friends I like to spend time with! Those guys are awesome! I'm still the only female Goldbug in our small SI group. I'd love to see more! LOL.
Several years ago, I learned that in order to be a successful stock investor, you cannot simply learn about what a stock is, or what a market consists of. Years ago, after reading one of so many business/investment books and articles (and unfortunately, I cannot even remember who wrote that book), I learned that when you buy stocks, you should remember that you are an owner of a company/companies. So, when I started to take the attitude that I was not simply buying an investment, I was buying a company, then I became more cautious and did a lot more research to find out about what I was buying into. I wanted to know about management, the integrity of the company (i.e. financially), how workers were treated (especially if it was in the mining industry), and, to some extent, whether I would be proud to own such a company. Some of my friends have seen some "pride" when I talk about a company that I own, as though it was my kids! I may not run the day-to-day operations of a company, but, I wanted reassurance that customers were not being cheated left, right and centre by those companies which I owned shares in. Remember what I said about how I despise bad customer service? Well, I hope that the companies I own have good or great customer service. I would also pay great attention to their products. If I cannot see myself using their products, how many other people would feel the same as me? So, oftentimes, I will buy companies who sell products which I actually use. Okay, go ahead, you can smile -- those of you who know me so well, you know what I'm talking about! So many people want to get rich from trading stocks, and not just because they want to make a contribution into a business and make it more successful. Now you know part of my investment philosophy, I hope it's been entertaining and somewhat educational.
I know that this month's episode of KaTsZoNe is a bit later than usual. I usually have it all done at the beginning of the month. I have been quite busy at work and obviously, at various events. This past weekend, my mom celebrated her 80th birthday with family and close friends and I've never seen my mom enjoy herself so much. She was thrilled and felt pretty special, so, I'm really thankful to those of you who came, and also, for all your good wishes for my mom!
Thanks for joining me this month. As we get closer to the end of 2010, I'm thinking about lessons I have learned this past year. If you have some thoughts which you would like to share with me, via email or in person, please feel free to do so, and let me know if I can incorporate lessons which you have learned this past year, along with my own, either in the November or December KaTsZoNe episode!
KaTsZoNe has almost reached 28,200 visitors this month! Welcome to new visitors and thanks to my faithful and supportive subscribers who have introduced KaTsZoNe to their friends, and they are now reading KaTsZoNe too!
I wish my Canadian friends and family a safe and Happy Thanksgiving coming up on October 11th. Enjoy your time with your loved ones.
Previous episodes of KaTsZoNe can be found at:
Websites of Events mentioned above:
Hispanic Festival - http://www.hispanicfiesta.com/
Vegetarian Food Fair - http://veg.ca/content/view/52/83/
Glycemic Index - http://www.healthyweightforum.org/eng/articles/glycemic-index/
Cambridge House Resource Conferences (across Canada) - http://cambridgehouse3.com/