Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Headcold Portfolio

I spent half the weekend on cabs, airplanes, or airport terminal benches. The other half of the weekend I spent on over-the- counter meds for a raging headcold, exacerbated by the travelling. Nothing like coming down from 37,000-ft in a pressurized cabin to make your head feel like it’s going to explode.
How do you handle a cold?
I prefer to medicate and hibernate.
Dose me with what ever works best, unplug the phone, and let me sleep it off.

That’s what I did Saturday night, upon returning from New York. I had left town with a cold, but thought I’d done the right thing by going to the doctor for a couple of injections and two prescriptions. Can’t imagine what I might have felt like had I not seen the doc before leaving town.
So I spent the past 48-hours pumped full of prescription-strength decongestants, an antibiotic, and a fleet of OTC meds to ease my head, which was stuffed beneath a feather comforter and pillow against the light of day.

While at the Equities Magazine investors’ conference in New York, we were pummeled with questions about The BizRadio Network. Very interesting that, despite the decidedly negative mood on Wall Street, there is still quite an appetite for good deals. There are still dollars to be invested into the right idea. The interest level was high, and there were plenty of inquiries about what we’re doing with the Network.

Heard some interesting stories, too, about companies that are involved in various areas of the economy: renewable power, healthcare applications, business software applications, and even containers for making your next move a little easier.

And there’s always one odd-ball attendee who won’t leave you alone.
You know the one…peppers you with questions about everything.
Doesn’t know when to stop.
Can’t take a hint ( or a hike.)

This guy was incessant.
Had a comment for everything, and was barely able to catch an answer before asking another question. I finally reached my limit when he tried to pitch some vacation time share scam on me, just for logging-on to a website to watch a presentation.
That's it.
Time’s up.
You’re toast.
Please leave.
That’s the end of my string of patience when dealing with the public.
Be nice, but be firm.
Be hospitable, but be wary.
I told him I didn’t have time for such shenanigans, and it was nice visiting with him, goodbye.
One thing this knucklehead asked did get me to thinking, however. He wanted to know what I thought would be a most likely place to invest. At that point in his incessant inquisition, I don’t remember exactly what I told him, but it was along the lines of looking at where society was going, what our needs are, and what companies would supply those needs.

Only shut him up for a moment.
But upon reflection, I think that’s still sound advice, regardless of your situation. The first baby-boomer just cashed her first Social Security Check, and there will be millions more in the next several years. As we age, and live longer, there are going to be needs in healthcare, energy, and nutrition.
This weekend, I created a Headcold Portfolio of companies who were profiting from the misery that I and ten-thousands of others are enduring with the cold and flu season.

This is not an unlikely quintet: Novartis, Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline, and Cadberry-Schwepps.

Novartis is into a lot of drug manufacturing. They just decided to not market a diabetes drug in the US that the European Union permitted because domestic approval is too tough to achieve. They also make a wonderful mixture called Thera-Flu, which has helped ease the stuffiness in my chest.

Procter & Gamble is one of the 800-pound gorillas in American Industry, with its fingers in nearly every aspect of the domestic consumer scene. Nyquil is one of its wintertime staples, providing “that restful sleep my body needs.” I have no idea how much of this stuff they sell each season, but it’s worth it.
No medicine cabinet is complete without a bottle of Tylenol. Johnson & Johnson makes several grades of acetaminophen for OTC use.

GlaxoSmithKline is the make of Flonase, a once-a-day nasal inhalant that has weaned me from all other antihistamines. Gone are the hours lost in the stupor of an allergic aftermath.

Cadberry-Schwepps is the final member of my medicinal quintet. I carry several pieces of this company with me at all times, in the form of Halls Cough-drops.

So it’s not too hard to come up with a list of companies whose products you use each day. Even when the village idiot sneaks in and peppers you with questions, there are ideas that can be developed with a payoff.

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