Life as a Jackrabbit

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By: Ross Silver, Chief Entertainment Officer

Being a professional at anything requires attention to detail, along with many other qualities, and detail is something I pride myself on. In my seemingly never-ending travels with Greg (the Yin of Sylva), I always ensure I take time to observe, listen and think in whatever locale we may be visiting. Yes, thinking assumes I do in fact have a brain, a topic that has been fiercely debated among globally recognized scholars per industry “sources”. I love how “sources” has become a source. While in Vancouver, BC last week I was walking back to my hotel and came across a couple of jack rabbits and I took the time to study their tendencies and behavior, while others walked by me likely thinking I was insane (I am). My observations were as follows:

1) they were courageous and exhibit a fearlessness that has to be respected,

2) they had incredible command of their senses, literally masterful command (try to sneak up on one of them and touch an ear, not happening, I tried),

3) they looked like they were eating fast but they were actually eating slowly, this may be due to their size limitations, namely the size of their mouth and hands, and lastly,

4) they were smarter than I thought they were.

In my line of work I am required to evaluate valuations, human psychology and assortment of statistics at warp speed in order to maximize my profit. This requires many of the same characteristics that I observed with the jackrabbits. Last month I decided to make an outsized investment in a company/stock named Vital Therapies (ticker: VTL). I bought Vital Therapies around $5 and watched it run to over $9 in the subsequent months. Some very savvy short investors thought Vital was a gigantic lie and shorted the stock in a major way. On the other side of that coin some very smart and well respected scientists with multi-billion successes and uber wealthy people believed Vital was about to launch a highly disruptive therapeutic option. Many of these short investors told me to steer clear of Vital as they wanted to protect me and I assumed this was self-serving/private agenda talk and I was wrong (thanks for looking out for me to those who did). I sided with the scientists and to be honest I don’t regret making the decision I did because it was a decision that was well thought out. This decision ultimately proved to be the wrong and that decision and cost me about 5 years of savings. Vital trades around $0.30 today, a 90% loss for your friend scribing this piece.

As I sat there on the bench in Vancouver, BC watching these jackrabbits I started to laugh as I realized I was one of them and they were me. A homeless person wandered up to me, upon seeing me laughing to myself, because he thought I had some powerful drink, I did not unfortunately for both of us. After the homeless person interaction one of the jackrabbits seemed to spot something it wanted on the other side of the street, and made a mad dash across four lanes of road. I watched in horror as this little creature darted across the road with zero trepidation, and somehow it made it to the other side unscathed. What a brave jackrabbit and what courage. The jackrabbit found another meal and hammered away at that morsel for the next 10 minutes as I sat there watching.  The lesson was clear; if you’re going to risk everything, make sure the meal is worth it because losing is really gonna to hurt.

The What Have You’ s

The college and pro football season is in full swing. College football will provide any drama this year (I hope I am jinxing myself) given Alabama has the best team in the country by far. The only game that matters at this point is the SEC championship game where Georgia and Alabama will meet to decide who will be the National Champion. I am guessing Ohio State, Clemson and Notre Dame round out the top 4 with an angry one loss Georgia team getting to watch the games that matter come January.

Pro football is painful to watch because the days of running the ball and playing solid defense are over. I realize people want to see high scoring games and QBs throw the ball all over the field but that is like watching basketball teams shoot a bunch of three’s instead of make layups or dunks. Professional football should give serious consideration to ditching the helmets and pads and just go to flag football instead. I am completely serious. Given all the injury issues related to football, the rules have changed but these rules will not protect anyone from injuries and they are making the game unwatchable given penalty after penalty gets called. Watching a QB who throws a pass that is not caught 20 times a game is awful.

On a positive note, the Breeders Cup is coming up in a few weeks in Louisville and both Greg and I will be there. I am entered in the Breeders Cup Betting Challenge again this year and will compete for a $1M+ 1st prize against the best thoroughbred horse handicappers in the world. My plan is to either take big shots on horses I love to win or take small shots on horses that are big prices that have a chance and pray two or more of them win.  It seems like every year some big longshot shows up to win a race and some lucky contestant singled that one for the win.

Company  Spotlight

Cannabis will become federally legal in Canada on October 17th, and we really like Emerald Health Therapeutics (EMHTF) in the Canadian cannabis market. Emerald is a Health Canada Licensed Producer of medical cannabis, and the company has recently secured recreational sales licenses with several provincial governments. Emerald is vertically integrated, seed-to-sale enterprise, with a 50-50 joint venture ownership in a one of the largest indoor cannabis grow operations in the world. The company has a stellar management team, that is driving the business towards creating cannabis-based formulations for proprietary consumer and medical products. You can read our latest article on Emerald here.

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