What I learned From a Well-Known Stock up 3,212%

By Andy Obermueller,

Shutterstock photo

During the early 1970s, an Oregon track coach by the name of Bill Bowerman changed the world in his kitchen.

Trying to develop a new running shoe that would help his athlete's grip the surface of the track, Bowerman poured liquid urethane onto his wife's waffle iron.

The result was a revolutionary running outsole that, when used in conjunction with a lightweight running shoe, allowed his athlete's to run on Oregon's new urethane track much more effectively.

Bowerman's design proved to be a game-changer. It wasn't long before most collegiate track programs were utilizing Bowerman's new shoe.

The "Waffle Trainer", as the shoe eventually came to be known as, became the prototype for the first product of his new company, Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE ) .

Since Bowerman took his shoe -- and his company -- public, he and his early investors have enjoyed overwhelming success... All told, Nike is up 3,212% since it made its debut on Dec. 2, 1980.

Nike's success reflects one of the most important things I've come to learn as an investor -- game-changing companies aren't limited to high-tech sectors.

See, as the chief investment strategist behind Game-Changing Stocks , most people think the stocks I recommend will be involved in computing, e-commerce, biotech or some other "hot" industry where the changes are obvious.

But, as Nike's success proves, that is an extremely limited view of what a game-changer is, and where one might reasonably look to find one.

The fact of the matter is: A game-changer is any company, technology, business model or set of external circumstances that alter the baseline assumptions about doing business within an industry.

In other words, game-changers can happen anywhere, anytime.

Consider another example, shipping, for instance. The shipping industry has been around as long as humankind has been able to navigate the open sea.

But it was relatively recently, beginning in the 1950s and evolving through the 1970s, that cargo began to be loaded into standard-sized containers.

But this took off wholesale in 1995 with the abolition of the Interstate Commerce Commission , which allows containers to be fully integrated into the nationwide U.S. transportation system, which theretofore had been a hodge-podge of state and local regulations left over from the railroad era.

This was a game-changer: The industry remade itself in very short order, and now 90% of the world's cargo is moved this way. Shipping was an "old" business, but it was dramatically changed. And there were fortunes made by investors in the process.

Of course, a couple of historical assessments is hardly a complete list, but it underscores the point that game-changers need not to be limited to "high-tech" sectors like computing and bio-tech.

In the next couple of years we could see new game-changing movements in many other "old," "staid" or "boring" sectors.

We will see them in Agriculture. We'll see them in precious metals, which is just as old as agriculture and shipping. We'll see game-changers in rail. We'll see them in manufacturing and in logistics , in communication and even in food.

Action to Take --> In other words, the "next big thing" doesn't have to be a miracle drug or a new smartphone. It could be as simple as a new shoe design, or a major change in an industry as old as man-kind itself.

So when you're looking for the next ground-breaking technology, don't limit yourself to betting on some "hot" sector or a new high-tech gizmo... sometimes the most game-changing ideas spring from revolutionizing decidedly low-tech pursuits.

[ Note : My research team and I have spent the past couple of months finding the biggest investment trends for the coming year. We've made 11  predictions , each of which offers investors a good chance to profit over the twelve months. If you want to learn more about these "game-changing" predictions, I invite you to watch this presentation .]

--Andy Obermueller

Andy Obermueller does not personally hold positions in any securities mentioned in this article. StreetAuthority LLC does not hold positions in any securities mentioned in this article.

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
Referenced Stocks: NKE

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