Just yesterday I drove from Charlotte, NC to Lexington. It was a quick, unexpected trip to Charlotte and while my career in finance isn’t considered ‘essential,’ when I’m needed by a client, I go. When I arose yesterday morning before hitting the road, I wanted to get in a few miles as I continue to train for the day when group runs will actually take place again. I laced up a new pair of Hokas by Deckers (DECK). A few years ago, I made the switch and will never look back. If you have feet issues, I strongly encourage you to give them a look. It was 32 degrees so thankfully I packed my Under Armor (UA) cold weather pants and shirt. Sure, I look like a weirdo in tights, but I’m warm so whatever!

My best friend from college lives in Charlotte so whenever I’m in town it gives me the chance to crash his pad and catch up for old times sake. When I returned from my run, he was excited to have a cup of joe waiting for me which he proudly brews from his Keurig by Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP) and some farm fresh eggs he had picked up from Kroger (KR). I was hungry and demolished the plate.

Despite flying into Charlotte, I was carpooling with a client who needed to return to Lexington. She arrived at my friend’s house promptly at 8am with her Toyota (TM). Side note: Toyota pays almost a 4% dividend by the way, and she asked if I wouldn’t mind driving. No problem!

As I drove her fairly new Toyota, I was mesmerized by all the new gadgets this car offered. Despite its relatively modest sticker price, it was equipped with an oversized screen by JBL (JBL) and had all the safety cameras surrounding the vehicle by Mobileye, now owned by Intel (INTC). Before heading out of town, after just the one cup of Keurig (KDP), I needed some more coffee and we promptly stopped at a Starbucks (SBUX) where despite the line, we moved right through the drive through quickly.

The market was not yet open and so before heading back onto the road I wanted to log into my Charles Schwab (SCHW) app again and just see if there was any new news or anything impacting the market I needed to know about. Thankfully, it was a boring market day.

We cranked some tunes on the Sirus (SIRI) satellite radio and hit the highway. It was a beautiful drive.

About an hour in I was scheduled to call into a local Cumulus (CMLS) radio station. Unfortunately, about halfway through the call my iPhone (APPL) from AT&T (T) wasn’t cutting it, so I had to hop on my road partner’s Android (GOOG) with Verizon (VZ). Apparently, they handle the Ashland mountains much better. The radio show went great!
Not too long onto the road it was time for gas, so we pulled off and hit a Marathon (MPC) (5.25% dividend) an paid with my Chase debit card (JPM)

From there, the ride was pretty uneventful and smooth. We hit a Chick-fil-A (not public) for lunch and upon arriving back in Lexington I hopped back into a Kroger (KR) to grab some flowers for my wife’s birthday. It was a local dinner, a quiet evening and I retired to bed early ready to hit it hard again today.

While I’m sure I missed some, I count 12 publicly traded companies I utilized just yesterday not counting the countless companies making the parts that go into those products, source the oil that is refined into gasoline or handle any other of numerous items that found their way into my day from toothpaste to toilet paper.

Despite the continued improvement of the general market, the headlines continue to tell you how terrible things are, how terrible things will be and how scared you should be about the future. Rather than allow this to serve as your investment thesis, take a look around you at all the goods, services and products you use and ask yourself if you’ll stop using them any time soon.

Until next time,

Quint