I received an interesting email recently from John R., who writes to say that he desires "something that I can profit from within six months instead of two years. I am looking for not only a unique company, but one that is off the ground floor and is zooming upward now."
I bring John's note to your attention because it occurs to me that it might be worthwhile to review how my system works as well as the mental approach that I think helps achieve the best results.
Many of my Game-Changing Stocks subscribers know that I like the word "hyper-rationality." I like to look at a lot of cold, hard facts and make decisions, inasmuch as is possible, from an emotionally indifferent state.
This can be surprisingly difficult to do.
In fact, making financial decisions from this perspective is a learned behavior. You see, the human brain is not wired for clear thinking with regard to money. That's because the area of the brain that responds to financial reward is the same part that lights up from cocaine. Financial thinking takes place at the seat of pleasure -- not, alas, of logic.
The drawback is that this particular biophysical trait predisposes human beings to a troublesome mental frame: investing in what feels good rather than in what is logical.
To invest with the stoic logic of a Mr. Spock from "Star Trek," I do my best to lay out a strong case for the investments I recommend. I want Game-Changing Stocks readers to have a lot of information at their fingertips when considering whatever investment thesis I am presenting. The reason is simple: I want readers to have a profound sense of conviction about the investments I showcase.
But why, really, is that necessary? If I, a successful analyst with a long track record of picking winners, am convinced of the merits and persuaded that the stock is a winner, shouldn't that be enough?
As much as I would like the answer to be "yes," it is instead a resounding "NO!"
It's "no" because I am not the one who is going to be holding your stocks. You are. And those stocks are, we hope, about to move.
It's the "about to move" part that John is getting at. He assumes that I should choose companies that have already proved their concept and taken off.
Without being harsh, please allow me to respectfully disagree with him.
Finding stocks that have already taken off is not much of a trick: Standard & Poor's has a pretty good list of 500 of them. Together, they are likely to earn a compound annual rate of about 8%.
These companies do have an important place in an investor's portfolio -- they (or some similarly predictable asset) should compose at least 80% of your equity position. The rest we dedicate to companies that have the potential to materially change the baseline assumptions for doing business within an industry -- the "game-changers," if you will.
The critical element of that sentence is "have the potential," as it indicates future action.
Thus the ultimate strategy of Game-Changing Stocks is to be first to the party, not to show up after the word is already all over campus that there's a raging party going on over at the Sigma Chi house. By that time, the fun's been had, the keg is tapped, and the band is loading its gear into the van. The only thing an investor is likely to pick up is more of what he's already got: relatively unadventurous securities that are likely to continue generating a modest return, but nothing more.
Being first is a contrarian position. My newsletter is a contrarian newsletter.
My job is to find where Wall Street has gotten it wrong and committed a sin of omission. My job is to search and find where it has collectively failed to discern the potential of a company on the cusp of the Next Big Thing.
Take one of my favorite and most successful picks, SodaStream (Nasdaq: SODA), a company that developed an at-home carbonation product that allows people to make drinks like Coke for themselves. In the two years since I first told readers about it, the stock is up more than 60%...
As you can see in the chart, SODA bounced around for nearly 13 months before it started getting noticed by the rest of Wall Street. But I never lost faith.
That's the thing with the Next Big Thing: It can take some time to develop before it really pays off.
I still think SODA is poised to continue its upward movement, so buying on a dip may be a good move. But I also have 10 other stocks I think will be the best Game-Changing Stocks of 2014. One of these predictions is about a new medical device that will allow you to diagnose any illness, anytime, anywhere... Another is about a bizarre plant from the Midwest that may well end America's dependence on foreign oil. To learn more about these opportunities and how to profit from them, click here.