“I step away from some daily tasks and committees to focus on investments, decisions, strategies. I remain a shareholder. The years go by. I will be 76 soon. This is an age where you have to be more careful. I am healthy. I remain very active, but we don’t know. It is very important to prepare the next generation. We have responsibilities to customers, our colleagues and our families too. »

“I’m going to continue doing something I love. I remain on the investments committee and it will take me more time than before. I will focus on that and work with the people who serve customers and continue my work on the board of directors. I like the work. And getting to the office by bike is important. It’s also a good exercise for the mind. I will continue to go to the office every day by bike. I live in Montreal West. It takes me 45 minutes to get there. This is something I’ve been doing for several years. I stop when it starts to snow, because it gets a bit dangerous and slippery. It brings me a lot of pleasure. In winter, I play tennis more often. Almost every day. I’m not Djokovic, but I like it a lot. »

“Air Canada. This is the largest gain we have made with a title. We made $1.3 billion in profit with Air Canada. But that’s only 3% of the firm’s total earnings since its inception. The mining company Teck Resources also brought us a nice gain. But Air Canada has actually been interesting because when we bought this stock during the financial crisis (2008-2009), the stock was barely $1.40. The company needed money. There was a deficit in the pension fund and many people thought the company would go bankrupt for a second time. But we had another theory. We were hopeful that Air Canada could survive and that the stock could be worth $30 or $40 as business recovered after the recession. »

“There have been a few. More than I would have liked, but the worst are in two sectors in particular: the forestry industry and finance. Before the 2009 crisis, we had invested in a bank in the United Kingdom, the Royal Bank of Scotland. I wish I forgot the name of this company [laughing]. Another mistake is not having anticipated that paper newspapers like La Presse would disappear so quickly. We had an investment in Abitibi, a company that went bankrupt because the demand for paper soared. »

“The important thing is to think long and hard before investing. You have to do the work to understand how a company’s business model works. How it offers its products, its services, prices, costs. This is work that requires a lot of analysis. Those who look for shortcuts will lose money. You have to do your homework. »

“I am around people who trust. Problems arise when people make decisions too quickly without really understanding what is happening. They make mistakes, and in those cases, they lose confidence. But it’s their problem if they didn’t do their job. There are so many different opinions in the market. We tell ourselves that there are opinions on every street corner, but not necessarily the result of judicious analysis. We are not always right. We make mistakes. We try to make predictions about what will happen tomorrow. It is a difficult task. »

“Warren Buffett is among the best investors in history. Here in the country, there are also some very good ones. Guys like Eric Sprott, a very talented manager from Toronto. Prem Watsa too, a very intelligent man. Ron Woods with whom I once worked, as well as my former boss at the CN employees’ pension fund, Tullio Cedraschi. I also think of business leaders like Norm Keevil and Don Lindsay who did wonderful work at Teck Resources. »

“Maybe a job in science trying to discover new drugs. But I don’t have the talent for that. However, I like analysis and trying to find an answer, finding the secret. »

“I start early in the morning by watching the news on my iPhone. I read the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, the New York Times, La Presse and the Globe and Mail. I also read company annual and quarterly reports. During the day, I work with Bloomberg. I also read Statistics Canada reports. I like to look at the figures at the source rather than consulting analyzes done by brokers. I prefer to form my own opinion by consulting the raw data myself. »

“I was born in Czechoslovakia [in what is now the Slovak Republic]. My parents came here to Montreal when I was 9 months old. I’ve been here ever since. I have three children and four grandchildren. I went to McGill University and notably joined the CN Investments division in 1972 where I was involved in almost all activities of the CN employees’ pension fund. I subsequently founded Letko Brosseau with Daniel Brosseau in 1987.