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Dispatch from Europe: Part One

I came to Paris this summer with a strong desire to unplug from it all. It’s fascinating to see the effect this city has on people the moment they arrive. That’s because the French have it good, specially Parisians who walk the streets with a sense of indifference and pomp that’s actually enviable. Aesthetically speaking this city is without equal and Parisians know it. America might have more money and guns, but in terms of culture the French are light years ahead. Beauty and luxury are pastimes here and the French are obsessed with details. Then, of course, there is the food. The trend in the 1st Arrondissement is for Japanese and Korean noodle joints. I enjoyed some of the best udon noodles outside of Tokyo and found myself wishing there was something like this back at home because the flavors were out of this world.

As far as markets are concerned, the CAC 40 index is enjoying a good run. It’s up 11.7% YTD from a 2019 peak of 20%. And make no mistake, this is a nation of excess and its top billionaires added a combined $78 billion to their collective net worth in just the last six months. France’s richest people are getting richer faster than any other country on earth, which is why workers took to the streets earlier this year. Wealth inequality is not a good thing and the French of all people should know this. But that’s a subject for another day.

Favorite French stocks:
1. Hermès
2. LVMH
3. Michelin
4. L’Oréal
5. Orange

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