What Winning Stocks Have in Common

With the market oscillating between down and flat for the year, an old friend of mine, Tom, asked the other day why I was so chipper about the market. He had just received his 401(k) statement and was very disappointed.

“I’m up,” I told him. “I’m way up.” I told him that great stocks can notch outstanding performance even in the lousiest of markets.

He gave me a skeptical look. “Show me,” Tom said.

I was happy to. And I was happy to do so for two reasons. One, I wanted him to see that there was more to investing than just watching “the market” and keeping an eye on the Dow and the S&P. And second, I wondered if he would see the common theme in the picks I was going to show him.

Here are the three securities I showed Tom from my “recent winners” file.

1. Rockhopper Exploration (OTC: RCKHF)

This is a small British company that is looking for oil in unlikely places. In the process of doing so, it has sparked an international flap that has ensnared the British Prime Minister, the U.S. Secretary of State, the U.N. Secretary-General, the president of Argentina and Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez.

Tom looked at me. He’s a voracious consumer of news, but he hadn’t heard about this.

The Falkland Islands are a British territory in the South Atlantic. Argentina has always said the islands rightfully belong to it. In the 1980s, the issue came to a boiling point and the two sides went to war. Margaret Thatcher’s Britain prevailed and the matter was settled.

Until a company called Rockhopper Exploration started nosing around and happened to begin an offshore well. All of the sudden, Argentina was up in arms and demanded ownership of the Falklands again. Chavez basically said he’d support his neighbors if they went to war. The United States made a serious face. The United Nations decried colonization, a charge the Falklanders laughed off. The problem still isn’t settled, but Rockhopper has kept drilling — and received very favorable test results from its well. While the overall market was flat-lining, my investment in this company went vertical, shooting up +287.4% in less than 90 days.

An investment of $25,000 in the Dow stayed at $25,000, or shrank. The same amount invested in Rockhopper would have morphed into more than $71,000!

The reason to invest in a company like Rockhopper is simple: It has the potential to change the entire economy of the region if it hits big oil. And there was reason to suspect it would strike it big for two reasons: Lots of big oil companies had looked, and the governments nearby were convinced there was petroleum. And the downside risk was minimal: It’s not like the market was going great guns and I would miss out on its gains if I put my money in Rockhopper. And there was the possibility that even if I did miss out on gains in the market, I could more than make up for them as Rockhopper became a game-changer in the South Atlantic — which is exactly what happened.

That’s the power of a game-changer.

2. Dyadic International (OTC: DYAI)

I bought Dyadic about a year ago at $0.70 a share. The company is a leader in the cellulosic ethanol business.

I got a blank look from my buddy.

Most ethanol today comes from corn, I told him. But scientists have discovered a way to produce ethanol from any plant because all plants contain sugar. Using special enzymes, those sugars can be teased out and fermented into ethyl alcohol, the same stuff that’s blended with motor fuel today.

Cellulosic ethanol is an absolute game-changer. Federal law requires it to be produced, and it quantifies how much. This year it’s 6.5 million gallons. But in 2022, it’s 16 billion gallons.

This got a raised eyebrow. “That’s a +250,000% gain,” I said. “And in not very much time.” That’s why Dyadic has already shot up to nearly three bucks and I’ve seen a sweet gain while the market has sputtered.

You just can’t keep a good company with that kind of potential down. It’s changing the way we buy gas, for heaven’s sake. That’s a big deal. And if you don’t have the enzymes you just can’t make cellulosic ethanol profitably. They’re the tipping point, and this company makes them. And I think that the share price of this company is going to mirror the upsurge in demand for cellulosic ethanol going forward.

“You think this company could gain +250,000%?”

“You think this nation is going to stop driving?”

Tom scowled. “I’ve never even heard of this before.”

3. Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX)

“OK,” my buddy said. “This one I know.”

Netflix is the ubiquitous DVD rental company that pushed Blockbuster off the rails. Netflix became such an engrained part of American culture — seemingly overnight — that it became a verb, just like Google. Hundreds of millions of people use the service, and the company is also entering other markets to prepare for the post-DVD world, which will be with us soon enough.

Tommy nodded. “Netflix was a total game-changer,” he said.


Right, I said. And its stock has captured a +250% gain so far. Just like Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) changed the music business with the iPod, just like Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) remade the Internet with its search engine and just like Sam Walton forever changed retail with Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT), so too did Netflix disrupt the video market.

“And Google, Apple and Wal-Mart were all good stocks to own,” my friend said.

“They weren’t good stocks,” I said. “They were great stocks.” They took everyday investors and turned them into multimillionaires.Nobody who invested in Wal-Mart stock in the early days has to shop there now. The investors who saw the potential in Apple — even if they invested only a tiny portion of their net worth, saw the needle move on their entire portfolio in a significant way. These companies changed their industries, but their stocks changed people’s lives.

That is the power of the game-changer.

And let me tell you, there are more out there.

I’m so excited about these opportunities that I’ve started a new newsletter that’s devoted to them. In it, I show you what’s next — I sometimes call it “the inevitable future” — and I detail the stocks that I think are likely to capture the gains. And they will capture those gains regardless of market condition.

I told Tom about three recommendations I had made in the past that had generated fantastic gains. In most of those cases, he hadn’t heard of the companies. Today, I’d like to share four companies with you. I doubt you’ve heard of them, but these outstanding companies have the potential not only to be game-changers but also ten-baggers. You can access a video presentation that lays out these opportunities by clicking here. I’d like to invite you to join me and see what these stocks might be able to do for you. Click here to learn more.