We were very fortunate during Hurricane Fiona & suffered no loss or damage. Our power went out around 5am yesterday but it was back on again, just shy of 6pm, the same day. There are still hundreds of thousands of people without power, & worse, in Atlantic Canada. I hope things get back to normal for everyone quickly. Here, I’m looking at my small challenges of yesterday from an investing perspective.
My power is delivered by a division of Emera (EMA) & they had proactively engaged the assistance of power workers from neighbouring provinces & states in anticipation of the challenges that Fiona would bring to our doorstep. Fortis (FTS) was similarly preparing for events in PEI & Newfoundland. My Telus (T) cellphone remained my only source of information throughout the day & I was able to pick up the latest news from CTV Atlantic on my phone. CTV Atlantic is owned by the media division of BCE Inc. (BCE). A division of that company delivers my internet & cable TV services too. My home is heated by natural gas that comes from a division of AltaGas (ALA) & Enbridge (ENB) also has natural gas delivery infrastructure on the east coast. I filled up ahead of time but, during less stressful times, my local gas station is also a good stop for a coffee & a sandwich at the Circle K convenience store. This is operated by Alimentation Couche-Tard (ATD). Most of us gassed up ahead of the hurricane. Canada’s energy & pipeline companies (CNQ, SU, TRP & many more) all keep us moving. Emergency workers & us regular folk all need to be able to get to those in need, to family & friends, during & after an event like this. Though all the supermarkets in the immediate vicinity were closed, we found a Sobey’s about fifteen minutes away that was open & fully functional. Sobey’s is owned by the Empire Company (EMP.A). There were very few coffee shops open &, even in normal times, everyone is always desperate for a coffee. Those few Timmy’s that still had power had long lineups. Very long lineups! Tim Horton’s is part of Restaurant Brands International (QSR). While it’s always useful to have some cash, all the bank cards seemed to be working at any location with power. The banks (RY, BNS, TD, BMO, NA, CM) were doing their thing during the hurricane too.
Insurance providers, healthcare businesses, construction companies all have a part to play at times like this but I’ll stop now, you get where I’m coming from, eh? Sometimes, the companies we complain about during “normal” times are the ones we depend on when times get tough. I used to complain about paying the price for the products or services that these companies provide. But I moan a whole lot less when I truly need them. And, as a shareholder, the perspective changes too. I tend to complain less when I own a piece of the business. That doesn’t mean we can just buy shares in any company we like, any time we like. Nor does it mean that we can just buy shares in any company that we complain about. While many of these companies fulfill needs that are important to how we live our lives, we still need to figure out if the company offers value to us as an investment going forward.
Fiona made me think a little differently about some of the stocks in my portfolio. I don’t directly own shares in all those mentioned above, but I do hold many of them. And it wouldn’t surprise me if the missing ones are in an ETF I own.
Fiona is finally moving on. Thankfully. Here’s hoping the recovery process goes well for all those impacted by her passage. Stay safe out there.
Important – this is not investing advice, it is for entertainment & educational purposes only. Do your own due diligence & seek professional advice before investing your money.