I took the elevator to the thirty-second floor. The elevator door slid open, I walked out, took a left, and pushed open the double doors to the roof top bar.
Looking across the room, I thought in my head, “Ugh, here we go…”
I had been a little bit sick the previous couple of days. Runny nose, plugged up ears, and a stuffy head. Going to a bar was not at the top of the list of things I wanted to do. Sit in bed and read a book was more what I was thinking.
But, I flew all the way to Toronto for the event at this bar, and a couple other meetings the next day. Just because I was a little sick didn’t mean I was going to make the trip a complete waste.
So, I walked into the bar and quickly scanned the room for a group of people who looked somewhat friendly. Other than the incredible skyline view, I couldn’t really pick out anyone to stumble into.
This is the “ugh” part.
Networking. Ugh. Disgusting. Awkward. Embarrassing. Ugh.
“Hi, my name is Cody. What do you do?”
I picked the one guy in the room who I thought I might be able to have a somewhat non-awkward conversation with.
“My name is David and I work in finance,” he said.
“Awesome! What specifically do you do in finance?” I asked.
“Well, actually, I’m in between jobs. I just left the RBC – the Royal Bank of Canada – and I’m looking to get involved in…”
Randomly, I managed to pick someone out of the crowd that worked in finance. As an investor myself, at least there might be something in common we could talk about.
But, it ended up, there was a whole lot more… which I’ll explain in a second.
First, let me back up just a little bit and share my disdain for ‘networking.’ I don’t even like the word ‘networking’ because it sounds like some sort of internet router. Plus, most ‘networking’ events I’ve been too are unbelievably uncomfortable to be at.
When you show up at a networking event, you have to put on a fake smile, “Hey how’s it going! Great to meet you!”
In my head I’m thinking, ‘You look like a weirdo and and I’d rather be at home rearranging my refrigerator than talk to you.’
Then the other person says, “Oh, hi! Yes, great to meet you! I really like the shirt you’re wearing. I have one just like it.”
In my head I’m thinking, ‘My shirt? Is that your ice-breaker? You really are a weirdo.’
But instead, I say, “Thanks! I got it as a gift from my wife. It’s really comfortable.”
Then, both sides go back and forth talking about the stupidest stuff in the world. Subconsciously, each person is taking mental notes of the other to figure out if the conversation should go deeper, or if you should make an excuse about getting another drink to exit the face-to-face awkwardness.
Now, let me go back to that guy David I met.
As it turns out, David is originally from Kazakhstan… you know, the country where Borat is from.
“Kazakhstan!” I said excitedly, “You’re from Kazakhstan?!”
“Yeah,” David said, “Is that exciting to you?”
“Yes, yes it is. I really want to visit.”
He looked at me strangely, “Why?”
“Well, it’s kind of a long story, but basically, I want to visit the uranium mines in Kazakhstan to get a better idea of the industry and see if there are any ways to directly invest there.”
(It really is a long story. If you’ve been reading my Explorer Report for some time, then you’d know that I am very bullish about investing in uranium. The problem is that the price of uranium has remained depressed for much longer than I thought it would. Still, I think it’s one of the lowest risk investments you can make right now.)
David smiled, “Oh, uranium. I thought you were going to make some Borat joke. Yeah, Kazakhstan is the world’s largest producer of uranium. You should visit. I can set you up with some people to talk to and tell you the best places to go. My family still lives there. Maybe next time I return you should come with me. I can show you everything.”
“Really? That would be great,” I said.
Moral of this story?
As my dad has always told me, “You’ve got to be there to be there.”
This is how a lot of people get ‘lucky.’ They end up being in the right place, at the right time, and meet the right people.
When it comes to investing, ‘luck’ is often the reason why you are successful. I’m not talking about random luck, like an asteroid falling out of the sky and hitting you in the head.
I’m talking about purposefully putting yourself in positions that force you to meet new people, learn about new ideas, and allow you to get involved in new opportunities.
The only way that you can get ‘lucky’ enough to put yourself in those situations is to intentionally step outside of your bubble.
It’s awkward, scary, embarrassing, stressful, and takes a lot of work. Ugh.
And that’s why so few people are lucky to find great investment opportunities.
***Second moral to the story:
Uranium is still a very interesting investment right now.
Historically, uranium is far from it’s all time highs. However, the more important thing to understand is the current supply and demand economics.
Currently, it costs more to mine uranium than it sells for. Think about that… the cost to operate mining equipment to dig uranium out of the earth costs more than what you can sell the rare earth metal for.
This has resulted in many uranium producers shutting down operations. Why would you spend more money than you can make? You wouldn’t. That’s why they have stopped mining.
Additionally, China, India, and many other countries have dozens of nuclear power plants under construction. That means that demand will be going up, even though supply is not increasing to match the demand.
That will result in the price of uranium going up. Simple supply and demand economics.
Now, let’s go to Kazakhstan to figure out what to do… good thing I met David.