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Great Retailers – GWW, COST

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July 17, 2013 – Comments (1) | RELATED TICKERS: GWW , COST

I have always been skeptical of the canard: invest in “what you know”. It is oft repeated, cuz the Oracle of Omaha and his sidekick Robin has oft said it. Example: just because you are the best donut maker in the entire county, does not qualify you to give investment advice on DNKN vs. KKD.

However, I am about to do just that. Being a manager at a small factory, there are 2 companies that repeatedly bail me out of tight situations: I get what I need, and at competitive prices. Without them, I could not do my job. They are easy to deal with, and they always seem to have just what I need.

Costco (COST)

When it comes to soft goods, consumables, appliances, and the like, this is always my first stop. If they have it (and they do not always, but usually do), it will be at a better price than anyone else. Getting pallet-loads of goods from them is a common occurrence.

Grainger (GWW)

When I need tools, hardware, equipment, or especially motors, they always seem to have just what I need (even for things I have heard of before, but need one right now: a Broan 61312, Model 223? What the heck is that?). This is definitely my go-to source. They have made me happy more than once or twice.

DO I RECOMMEND THEM?

Of course not. From a customer point of view, yes, fabulous. However, I assume that OO and Robin are referring mainly to the balance sheet and 10K, not to how happy/not the customers are. Even in a case like this where I give my unqualified support as a customer, you still must do your “due diligence” before investing. Hmmm?

1 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On July 21, 2013 at 11:28 AM, Adegon79 (66.64) wrote:

I think it's just a part of the piciture, not the whole picture.  I know when Ford started to pique my interest (I own an Acura) I checked out a local dealership.  I was honest with the salesman about what I was doing and why I was there.  I asked how cars were selling, what he sold the most of, and when he didn't sell a car what his customers tended to buy.  He was extremely friendly and even let me test drive a Fusion even though he knew I wasn't in the market for the car.

 I purchased Ford, but also because it recenlty doubled it's dividend, was at an extremely attractive price, and because I felt confident about it's growth prospects both deomestic and abroad.

The first hand knowledge is useful, and you can defintely gain some positive or negative signs.  But it's still investing, and you have to do the rest of your homework as well. 

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