The Value Investor v.38 Nationalism on the stock exchange

It is often said about us swedes is that we are not so nationalistic. Although this is certainly true in many ways so you only need to listen to even less sporty swedes during a match in t.ex. the football world CUP to realize that nationalism is under the surface. Right and wrong is determined not by the act but by who performed the think audience. The result is a bit comical when discussing the match. The opponents are the only ones filming, the judge was their on their side, etc, Not the least, there are, however, nationalism when we select shares. Unfortunately, you can add.

Swedish investors are very excited not only to invest exclusively in Swedish companies but, far worse, keeps the Swedish company to a different yardstick than their foreign competitors. I therefore say nothing about not going outside of the country, there are many advantages with sticking to only Swedish companies when so much easier to find information about them and this one is in Swedish. I will, as known, owning fine american companies such as Apple, Netflix and Starbucks (links go to previous reflections), but it requires also that you can read financial English without problems and have the energy to search for a Swedish more difficult to access information and to live with the currency risk.

Far worse is therefore, as I see it, that you don’t have your eyes really open when it comes to Swedish companies and allows a perhaps unconscious nationalism affect one’s decision. It is difficult enough to relate the rational to the companies you enjoy and nationalism becomes just another obstacle. Not that I think that you are buying a company solely because it is Swedish but the sounds of the nationality color even decisions in an irrational way. The decision, which in many cases can be very costly unnecessarily just because you did not want to see the problems in the ”fine Swedish company,” one might have grown up with, are proud of and have seen many other make money is to own. The examples on this dangerous lack of objectivity is many, but I can start with a current.

On Monday vinstvarnade Fingerprint Cards (see previous säljrek here) for the third time in a year and the shares fell then on the two days by over 30 %. Regardless of what you think about this company’s future, so it is quite obvious that many have taken it in all cases, nationalistic reasons. Fingerprint have a little romantic been seen as the small Swedish hoghtech-the company that beat all the foreign competitors and became the world leader. A IKEA in miniature, and who doesn’t love a Swedish global winner?

The only problem is that this adds another layer of love to share and love for the company is often dangerous because it can cloud one’s ability. According to the outlook have deteriorated, many have not really wanted to take the problems to themselves and draw the conclusion that a more impartial appraisers should do: this is now a very risky investment and I should consider whether my original analysis still holds.

In the chat forums have owners settled for the chest for this *English* company. For example, was 81 000 posts about the company on the Place in 2016. It has in the media been able to read lots of articles about how fantastically well this one time, so small companies ”taking the world by storm”, but still has the owners in many cases accused the media to smear this Swedish ”succébolag”. No matter what you think about the Fingerprint, then it should realize that national reasons are not in any way reasonable grounds for the investment. (I have never owned or furbished Fingerprint.)

It sure is FING a special company but nationalisen are among investors in many other companies. The two of them that I think stands out is Ericsson and H&M (see previous chronicle about the H&M here). We have been with for a while in the market have seen both of these basically a lot of fine company’s amazing development, and weaker performance. They were both a world leader and pioneer in their respective sectors. However, what I do is disturbing to me in discussions about these companies is precisely this nationalistic line of thought that has been so evident in the Fingerprint Cards.

During the 90’s, Ericsson was the ”fine” Swedish company and everyone who took shares would be Ericsson. Ericsson the spread of american technology to the world and spread prosperity here at home. Everyone knew someone who worked at Ericsson. Their continued success seemed obvious. Hundreds of thousands of Swedish investors lost then for those with very large sums when the reality came up with a company that completely lost his head. Soon enough knew all someone who had worked at Ericsson.

H&M is still of course a successful business in many ways but the share is down sharply from the top and the profits would not really take off longer. Despite the fact that the lost almost half of the valuation in 2-3 years so is the share the closest mandatory for Swedish investors. Very many do not want to accept the fact that H&M’s business concept has been copied successfully by a number of competitors, mainly Inditex/Zara, and that out there in the world is H&M not as special as it once was. Discussions about the H&M sometimes has the same national undertone as with the other two examples above. H&M is seen as a national treasure and it is not considered quite nice to write down the share among Swedish analysts.

It is a good way to check if in the analysis it has taken extra care to the fact that a company is Swedish. Simply ask if you would believe as strongly in this company if it were Norwegian (but sekundärnoterat in Sweden). It feels very unlikely that Swedish investors had klängt fast as hard if these three companies would be Norwegian instead, and their share slowly three. It was, in which case the obvious fewer swedes who remained in the boat when the Nokia (which is noted also in Sweden) began its decline as when Ericsson did it to not talk about the Fingerprint. It was far larger proportion of Finnish savers than the swedes who remained in Nokia for way too long so this is probably nothing unique for Sweden.

None of us are really rational, there is always a lot of things that affect us. We like the underdogs, some of the brands and ceos. Really dangerous for our portfolio, it will be only if we allow this love to move us to buy when we should wait and wait when we should sell.

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