Vol. 2 No. 8,Spain, Portugal and Madeira

Hello friends, TB has been busy preparing for a 3-1/2 week intense wine immersion trip. This is some of the last research for the forthcoming book. Oh, no, not another wine book, but this one is different: no ratings, no promotions, simply about people I have gotten to know…and some new ones who have shown incredible passion for making wine. Some of these people who are chemists who got bitten by the wine bug, some quit their day jobs to pursue excellence in winemaking. They are wonderful people in a business some think of as romantic, some as snobbery, but most I have met in the industry see is as farming – agriculture! The kind of venture where you can do everything right and still have a final product that fell short of a great wine.

Now about the trip. On Monday, we fly to Lisbon, and drive towards Madrid through Salamanca and Segovia to Penafiel near Valledolid, in Ribero del Duero. We have a private tour of Pesquera, a winery that changed the quality of Ribero wines. We will be visiting other wineries in the area for two more days before driving through Santiago de Compostella and after seeing the town and famous cathedral driving to the coast where we will stay at A Coruña for two days.

From there we drive to Vigo in the Rias Baixas region where Albariño is made to visit more wineries. Then across the border to Portugal where the Duero river becomes the Douro and is now making good red wine in addition to Port. We then visit Porto and Graham’s Port Lodge and the next day drive straight through country we have already visited to Lisboa. The next day we fly to Madeira where we will see the vineyards and wineries where that fine wine is made. Returning that night we will stay in Lisboa and re-visit the Port Wine Institute…the greatest place in the world to taste port. Every port is featured in a gentlemen’s club setting complete with leather lounge chairs and cigars.

The next day we board Windstar’s Wind Surf, the largest sailing ship in the world, yet it carries only 300 passengers. We leave for Morocco, then back up the east coast of Spain stopping in various wine regions until we reach Barcelona.

Having been there before, we will head south to Sitges, a resort town, and spend two days meeting with winemakers in Penedés and Priorat, areas where fine red wines are made from incredibly rocky soil.

Then it is back home. TB plans to write along the way so watch for them…not every day but perhaps 3-4 articles.

This should be an amazing trip featuring some amazing wines.


©Copyright 2016 TBOW, all rights reserved.

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How did Trader Bill originate? It was conceived by me as a way of providing information summaries of global financial markets so that friends and associates could bring themselves up to speed on events and changing market conditions upon their arrival at work. In addition, it provides information on speakers and economic releases that day with consensus estimates and level of last release so that the reader is prepared to react, or knows how the market might react upon the release of information. Who is Trader Bill? Initially any reference to me was as ‘i’. This is to remove the aura of ego and to suggest that i am but a humble reporter, albeit with 35 years of investment experience. Investments are demanding of ego, however, or one would not feel that he was qualified to manage someone else’s money in the first instance. Therefore i needed an ‘alter-ego’. Like Winchell and Mahoney, Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy and especially Trader Vic and Mai Tai’s! Why Trader Vic? Because he was a likeable man who delivered pleasure to his customers and knew exactly what their desires were. The reason for the alter ego became obvious once I introduced Trader Bill into my commentaries: people started asking what Trader Bill thought. They had never asked me what I thought before, but suddenly they wanted to know what TB thought! Now mind you they KNEW that I was Trader Bill but for some reason he became bigger than life. Maybe it was the small ‘I’? What does Trader Bill try to do?His goal is to educate from his years of experience. Consider that most of the traders and people managing investments weren’t even around in 1987 for the crash! Consider that Graham and Dodd, and even Warren Buffet are not relevant to them, too old hat. Their historical perceptions of markets and fundamentals (earnings, price/earnings ratios, bonds, debt service coverage) are irrelevant in this fast moving world. This is the NEW ECONOMY, or is it? How did your style originate?Years ago i found that i had a knack and talent for writing. In addition, i developed an ability to analyze market news about 15 years ago. It took the Crash of ‘87. Prior to that i was just listening to what others said about the economy. But bond yields had been soaring in ‘87 yet the stock market just kept hitting new highs. That was when i began to learn about markets. i have both a dry and witty sense of humor (some call it inane!). Therefore i attempt to make even the worst news somewhat amusing: whether it is the absurdity of an economic release, or the comments of a CEO. This is trading desk humor (or gallows humor). It isn’t politically correct but it does ease tension. Ironically, it is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel (in the Navy they say: it’s always darkest before it’s pitch black!), that allows you to be more objective in your analysis, as bad as a situation is there will still be a tomorrow! You will see that i practice three-dot journalism, a style made famous by San Francisco reporter Herb Caen, whom i idolized. At least to me it is effective. What is so special about your analysis?Frankly, i don’t know that it is special, but at least it beats “the market closed down today on profit taking.” What i do know is that most of what you read is spat out without considering whether or not it is rational, like the above statement. Is it right? Sometimes yes and sometimes no, and that is the key to what is different about my analysis: it is meant to make you think. Is Dan Rather right or is Trader Bill right? If it causes you to stop and think about it, regardless of whether you agree, i win! Because THAT is my goal…not to have you think i am a guru, got that? Bet you never heard that ANYWHERE before in my business! Instead they want you to think just how smart they are but remember in this business if you are right 60% of the time you ARE a genius! Another thing that is different is when i am wrong on an analysis i will tell you, not hope you forget what i said. So now you have the tools to do what the speculators and hedge funds do: challenge authority, and if you make money it is because YOU did it not me. i was just a tool, your flunky to do the grunt work and let you decide…course you could be wrong too but at least you looked at the big picture. But the goal is also to have fun! This shouldn’t be a business of hushed tones and grim faces. It is a living, breathing thing and nowhere else in the world do you have the odds as much in your favor as here. Just beware of the guy who wants to put his arm around you and tell you he is your friend. So there you have it. I hope you select me as one of your sources for market information. If you do I promise to work my best for your financial success. Trader Bill

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