EDITOR AND PUBLISHER
James West founded Midas Letter in 2008 and has since been covering the best of Canadian and US small cap companies. He covers global economics, monetary policy, geopolitical evolution, political corruption, commodities, cannabis and cryptocurrencies. As an active market participant, James is not a journalist and is invariably discussing markets...
I weighed in on a Twitter feed that was talking about the Iran war the other day, and, in true Twitter form, somebody made a dismissive comment about my tweet saying, “You’re only a cannabis guy.”
I was not offended in the least. In fact, it made me laugh.
People who are themselves locked onto a single career track, a single profession for their entire lives tend to think that everyone else is too. Nothing wrong with that. Just not the way I’m wired.
As an individual with the attention span of gnat, I have had a varied and diverse range of jobs, none of which would I qualify as a career. In fact, the idea of doing one thing for any extended period of time bores the hell out of me.
Which has admittedly kept me from doing any one profession particularly well.
Except for one.
I do like finding the highest quality, best valued and best-run startup companies on the face of the earth, and investing in them. And then telling the world about them.
The skill set to do that reliably actually is a direct extension of not having any single career or profession for my entire adult life.
You see, I am not married to any one business sector, nor to any particular country – not even to just one planet. (Elon Musk has a start-up that is planning to mine asteroids!!) I’m interested in everything.
I’ve worked in mining, forestry, fishing, and agriculture. I’ve been a chef, brick layer’s laborer, sheet metal worker, construction worker, web site programmer, and yes I’ even worked as a professional cowboy.
I’ve studied technologies from geologic stratigraphy to CO2 benefaction in the greenhouse.
When I was 24, I went to the Queen Charlotte Islands and worked as a bucker in a sort (where trees are cut to length before entering the sawmill) just cause I wanted to see what the state of forests were in Western Canada back in the 80’s.
When the mining heyday was in full swing back in the late 2000’s, I spent my time visiting mines in Chile and Argentina, Mexico, Nevada and the Yukon, Peru, Quebec and Idaho.
When the internet boom started, I launched a company called Elgrande.com that was contender against Amazon for a brief while before the dot com letdown too mine and almost every other internet company down.
I travelled to Japan and met with some of the largest companies there who at the time, were interested in partnering with a western internet company.
And when cannabis came along….well! Let’s just say the one hobby I have is growing awesome weed, and so I didn’t need a lot of study to understand who was going to make it, and who doesn’t have a clue.
I know every cannabis CEO in the world of any consequence, and as is widely understood in the cannabis industry, you don’t even matter if you haven’t been on my show.
So when the financial crisis hit in 2008, I studied everything I could find on the subjects of gold and monetary policy, and in 2009, I recommended 30 companies, every single one of which rose by hundreds if not thousands of percent.
This made me kind of famous for a little while. In fact, I was a regular guest on the Business News Network in Canada throughout the early 2010’s, and did stints on Reuters and CNBC too.
Then I moved to a small island off the coast of British Columbia before moving to Peru for two years. I was never that comfortable with the idea of celebrity, and wanted to duck the limelight.
But alas, it turns out I’m too much of a ham to stay out of the spotlight for too long, because when cannabis became legal, I launched a YouTube channel with 21,000 followers and growing! (It’s at youtube.com/MidasLetter)
I thought I’d shaken the celebrity thing for a while, until the YouTube channel took off.
Apparently I am still well recognized, but its precisely because of my lack of “career”. So you can see why the comment about being “just the cannabis guy” made me smile.
I’m kind of the perfect Idea Hunter, having been exposed to so many opportunities in so many sectors, both as an operator, a CEO and an investor.
I’ve written over 2,000 articles (they’re all on my web site) and if you read through, you will see that I am equally comfortable discussing CRISPR DNA tech as I am metallurgy or terpenes and CBD.
I have a multi-camera broadcast studio in the Stock Exchange Tower in the heart of Canada’s financial district in Toronto. Since 2008, I have been interviewing CEO’s of startup companies from gold mining to cannabis and technology and Crypto and everything in between.
CEO’s from around the world want to get on my show, because investors know me as the guy who cuts straight to the most relevant questions with any issuer, and gets the straight story in 10 ten minutes or less.
Start-ups come a-knockin because an appearance on Midas Letter is a rite of passage for any company that falls into the category “startup”.
Because investing in start-ups is a perfect reflection of the lifestyle I have grown to be accustomed to, which is probably not what you would consider “conventional”.
In stocks, as in life, I have always sought out the uncrowded path that no one else is interested in. I have sought to go “all in” on everything I do. Going all in in investing, you sometimes don’t exactly knock it out of the park. Sometimes, you do though.
And when you do, you can make BIG scores. I’m not talking a 20 or 30 percent profit over 10 years.
I mean many thousands of percent in the space of a year or two. High risk, high impact investing that is not for the faint of heart.
Written by James West