Today we point the compass toward Santa Claus and head up a few miles to cross the border into Canada, where we find the latest teaser pitch coming in from Motley Fool Canada for their Stock Advisor Canada newsletter… the ad comes from Iain Butler, the Chief Investment Adviser for the Canadian version of the Motley Fool, and in it he promises a stock that “provides instant access to a vast array of internet-based businesses.”
So what is it?
Not so fast, friends, we have to ease our way into it and check out the clues first. Motley Fool Canada typically follows the “pick one or two stocks a month” pattern that is familiar to most newsletter subscribers, though their goal is to choose one pick from Canada and one from the US each month (restricting it to just Canada would make it pretty tough to find great ideas some of the time, and a lot of Canadian individual investors certainly trade in the US, and vice versa).
You’re almost certainly familiar with the Motley Fool, which was founded by the Gardner brothers as an AOL chat room way back in the early 1990s (followed by a UK version in 1998, and versions for Canada, Australia and Singapore over the past five years), and their core Stock Advisor newsletter has a fantastic long-term record mostly because they almost never sell, so their huge winners (like Netflix, Marvel, Amazon, Priceline) are up by several thousand percent, which makes up for all the 80%+ losers that have also been recommended over the years.
That means their newsletters have a lot of fans who bought a few of the top dozen or so stocks they’ve recommended over the years, and some frustrated subscribers who never bought those particular picks but might have picked a few of the 80% losers (I sympathize with that frustration… the best recommendations mostly looked expensive even when they were first recommended, mostly by the David Gardner, and I passed on most of them that were teased at one point or another).
And Iain Butler is trying to build that same kind of record in Canada, though from what I’ve seen they haven’t yet publicized their returns since the letter started a couple years ago — and this Canadian teaser is also a stock that he says has been recommended by David Gardner’s Rule Breakers twice here in the US (that’s the service most folks would call the “small cap growth” letter from the Fool)… so with that, let’s see if we can sift the clues and divine the stock ticker for you.
Butler references Mary Meeker’s annual KPCB “Internet Trends” presentation as a place to look for ideas, which isn’t a bad idea — you can see that presentation here if you’re curious. To me, the big takeaway from the presentation is still, “mobile advertising is an incredible growth market, and Facebook and Snapchat continue to own most of the growth”… but that probably caught my eye mostly because Facebook (FB) is my largest holding, that’s not what Butler’s talking about today.
What Butler’s talking up is a company in e-commerce… here are some of the clues:
“… just in the U.S., according to Meeker’s presentation, the