I eyed up US Oil & Gas (USOP) here (‘I swear, yer ‘onor, I wuz just looking…I nevah touched ‘er!‘), and promised to return to Fastnet Oil & Gas (FAST:LN)… Ooh er, collywobbles – what’s he going to say about this one? Well, I really don’t know, we’ll just have to see where this post takes us – a reminder I never have an agenda when taking a first look at a company. My only wish is to find an undervalued & interesting company, regardless of sector or business. That, to me, is sheer bliss..! On the other hand, finding a ridiculously overvalued company is simply a fascinating glimpse of (in?) humanity. Because shorting such a stock would be all too rare for me.
And no, I don’t think shorting stocks is the inverse of good (value) investing. In fact, I can’t emphasize that enough! I believe there are v few investors with the aptitude & fortitude to regularly short stocks successfully. And there’s whole other dimensions to that skill, anyway – as I’ve noted about overvalued stocks:
‘…there’s always a chance, on their journey to oblivion, that they’ll bubble higher & longer than you might ever expect. After all, you can’t analyze irrationality, and you certainly can’t analyze stupidity…’
Right, back to the job at hand: Aah, Fastnet… That really conjures up childhood memories of the shipping forecast. ‘Specially on a stormy night. It’s amazing the drama one could wring from such rigid & clipped broadcasts. Comfortably sprawled in front of a blazing fire – half asleep before bed-time… Drifting away to the cadence of the names – Fastnet, Malin Head, Dogger. Thoughts of far-off barren rocks, mournful lighthouse flashes, giant crashing waves, and lonely fishing boats adrift in the black night, were sure to send a delicious thrill down one’s spine. Seems I’m not the only one who fell under this spell – just take a look here: ‘Influences on Popular Culture’. Here’s another fond tribute... And finally, here’s a marvelous Economist piece on the Fastnet lighthouse.