Monthly Archives: April 2014

Airbnb in Lille, France – No Starbucks?

I just had my first Airbnb experience, I was a virgin Airbnb’er. No longer. I’m a fan. Their technology is excellent, their coverage in a skeptical Europe surprised me.

Uber impresses me, Airbnb impresses me. These companies aren’t just technology darlings, and they don’t seem to be just ‘fads’. They’re pushing aside decade old monopolies around the world. And profiting handsomely, how can you not like that?!

The growth here in Europe seems overnight. But where’s my Starbucks which after 10 (maybe 15) years in France, still isn’t in Lille – the 4th largest city. I was surprised not to stumble on a few, and so were these fans petitioning on Facebook… The old continent takes their sweet time, but I’m happy to see success of private companies like these. Airbnb is private and valued at around $10 billion. (They were founded in 2008…)

Lille has more restaurants than inhabitants, the best beer in France, no dog excrement on the sidewalk (Parisians leave shooshoo a la maison), an endless supply of impressive architecture, and rental bikes available for about $2 a day.

This was the view from our Airbnb, a property owned by a young couple, probably inherited.

Airbnb-View-LilleStumbled on this:

Porte-LilleThis gave me a chuckle:

Funny Garbage CanGood Trading.

Herbalife & Trading Psychology – Media Darlings

The Brandnet Cycle for Trading Hedge Fund Pissing Matches

Most of you are familiar with this chart describing the psychology of trading, it speaks for itself, and speaks a universal truth for every new trader.

Trading Psychology

Media darlings follow different cycles: The Herbalife trading psychology, for example…

Herbalife Trading PsychologyI guarantee that both of these famous hedgies are going to make a killing!

Bags in Bags and Bags in Bags

ikea bagWith spring comes spring cleaning. I approached my garage yesterday thinking it’s time to make space for the bicycles and garden tools that have been hidden away all winter. The garage is the place where time hides out, too–ours is filled boxes of clothes that the kids have outgrown, half empty paint cans, projects forever on hold, plus all the other stuff that accumulates over a winter spent indoors. Part of the problem is that now, at least here in France, when you go into a grocery store you bring your own bag or buy one of theirs – to bring back the next time. That’s not really a problem of course, it’s good for the environment apparently, but if half the time you forget to return with a bag, you accumulate dozens and in my case, millions of bags. What most people do, including me, is stuff one bag in the other (again and again) and toss it in the garage – so you have one when you need one. I have millions, and not just grocery store bags, I have bags-of-bags from Ikea, and plasticized bags from every shop in Paris. You never know when I might need one… My garage was starting to look like the Pacific Ocean garbage patch.

bags of bags

It was a personal challenge to throw out a very solid colorful Disney store bag with light blue fabric cords, I’ve been holding it unconsciously since my daughter was 5, she’s 16 now. We bought an ‘Ariel’ figurine. I remember her euphoria and how crowded the Disney Store was on the Champs Elysees. We had developed the habit of taking a walk along the Champs on Saturday mornings when the weather was nice. Ariel was irresistible.

Bags have a history and despite the fact that they’re just bags, try desperately to maintain value. They don’t want to be discarded. If I mention to my daughter that I threw out an Abercrombie and Fitch bag, now containing the Disney Store bag (which contains others), I risk the wrath of an adolescent girl. So I hid them – at the bottom of the garbage can. Au revoir, bags. You held a lot even empty, it turns out.

This is a finance blog, right? Sorry… There are a few possibilities; I’ve never seen an analysis of bag quality vs. market price, there’s likely a correlation. The other is that cleaning out a garage clears out the head, and I recommend that to anyone trying to trade on a daily basis.

Good Trading.