What I Learned from a Stock That's Up 1,300%


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Years ago, my dad and I were driving across his farm in his vintage Land Rover, which looks almost exactly like the one John Wayne used in the movie Hatari!

The heavy-duty off-road tires were having a hard slog through the mud. Dad had cut across a recently plowed field rather than take the long way back to the road. The tires made slow and steady progress -- Dad's old Rover is a tank -- and after a few minutes and probably five gallons of gasoline, the nose of the vehicle bounced up and the tires bit into the country lane that circles the property.

Dad, clearly pleased with himself for conquering the field, didn't take his foot off the gas and we were soon going nearly 70 miles per hour down a country road with grass in the middle of it. He looked over to me and grinned.

"That's what happens, son," he said, "when the rubber meets the road!"

It became a sort of catchphrase between us. Whenever something really took off, one of us would say, "Well, looks like the rubber met the road," and we'd both remember the roar of the Rover as we shot down the road by the farm all those years ago.

I bring up this story because it is in my mind alot these days.

Most of you know me as the Chief Strategist ofStocks . The entire focus of my advisory -- and myinvestment philosophy -- is to find those situations where the "rubber meets the road." I'm talking about those profitable instances where a company, technology, or trend is really about to soar.

And while the goal sounds noble, my earnest intentionsmean nothing if I don't have a method to fit my aims. Of course, I do have a method. And the best news is that its main tenets aren't difficult toput to work in your own portfolio...

First, research is the only way you'll successfully find the next big thing. Most game-changers are ignored by media outlets until they're bigger trends. By then the opportunity for the biggest profits has passed.

And believe me, I know whereof I speak. I was a business writer and editor for years at some of the nation's largest papers. By the time you read a story in TheWall Street Journal or Forbes or Barron's, the smartmoney is already in and scoring profits.

Now, I have a pretty big advantage over most investors. Much to the benefit of my readers, it's my job to research these ideas. Most people simply don't have the time.

My office is filled with clippings, newspapers, SEC reports and magazines lying just about everywhere. (I read just about anything I can get my hands on.)

But research is only one part of the process. Toprofit the most from game-changing ideas, you also have to be an investor.

Now we all consider ourselves investors -- after all, we buy stocks, right? That's not quite what I'm talking about.

When you hear about "game-changers," I bet you think of stocks that rise dramatically nearly overnight. You buy in, hold for a few weeks or days and then sell after a quick run-up. But in my experience, real game-changers see strong returns for months and years.

Look atshares of Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) . It was just eight years ago when shares traded at $27. Now they're at about $450. That's a gain of better than 1,300%.

And if you look at the biggest winners in themarket 's history, then it's the exact same story.

Wal-Mart ( WMT ) didn't grow to a national presence overnight. Its shares didn't soar for just a few weeks either. Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) may have grown quickly, but even those with the foresight to buy shares in the 1980s wish like hell they had hung on to them.

Action to Take --> As long as the trend behind an investment is still moving positively, I want to be profiting from it. And I have no problem seeing profits build year after year after year.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Investing Ideas , Stocks
More Headlines for: AAPL , MSFT , WMT

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