How We Got Here
A brief introduction
As a succinct prologue, I wanted to explain why I’m doing this. This being spending late hours on Excel models and 10-Ks – or France’s elegant equivalent ‘Document d’Enregistrement Universel’ –, squinting my eyes to fix 0.5 bps of a now-discontinued operation’s margins, all the while crooking my back by an extra degree every week. It is not hard work per se, but definitely not the sexiest, although among my roommates is a social benefits consultant, so perhaps I’m not the last of the bunch.
The usual inspiring story would probably involve reading Buffett at some point, mixed with a heartening story of investments I started when I was 9 years old that returned 300% within a year – a stunning 6€ absolute gain – and buying my first stock at age 14, still 3 years later than Buffett.
But this is no such story. Actually, there is hardly any. I bought my first stock over the age of 18 after about a train-ride’s worth of due diligence, and the company went bankrupt less than a year later. Shortly after, I bought stock in another company, and it returned 50% within a year. The conclusion here of course is that I became exponentially better after reading up on Graham, Buffett, Lynch and Marks – the one that liked capitalism. Or, that I still had no idea what I was doing and got lucky on this coin toss. Pick whichever you want – but don’t pick option 1.
After that, I spent some time working in aerospace and consulting, but they did not match my passion for investing, so I decided to go all in. I wrote some articles about finance as a freelancer, got a finance Master’s degree, had a great internship at a French investment fund, and here we are.
These experiences made me a substantially better analyst, but I wanted to keep improving while hopefully receiving as much feedback as possible. So, after advice from a friend, I decided to launch this Substack. The goal here is to share ideas with anyone willing to read through pages of French skepticism – with several dashes of American optimism tossed in there from my childhood in Washington D.C. Most of these publications will be pitches of listed companies, big or small, and the rest will focus on finance or global macroeconomics trends. We will be diving deep into their statements and their strategy, see what others are missing, and do so on a budget. Sky-high upsides are no guarantee, but one should have a solid understanding of what a company is capable of being worth after reading these publications.
With that said, I hope you all enjoy the upcoming analyses. Have a nice day!