For all the homework and analysis and strategy we apply to our investment portfolios and to our net worth in general, there’s only so much we can control. Geopolitical and economic forces, corruption, fraud, mistakes and plain ol’ bad luck are tough to game. But each significantly impacts our personal life and wealth greatly over time.
That is why I always tell people that the single best investment anyone can make is to bet on yourself. People ask me all the time for job advice (here’s me on the syndicated TV show, Extra, giving job advice) and I always tell them that much less important than the decision they make about which job to take or leave, is what they do individually each and every day for the time you work at that job.
It’s remarkable what a little bit of passion, commitment and competence will get you in your career. To quote the late great George Carlin, “Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.” How much passion does that average person you work with (or for) actually show day in and day out for their job?
That’s why pouring your heart and soul into whatever job you do is actually the key to long-term wealth management. You can make more money and have more success building your career than you’ll ever make moving money around in the name of investing and trading.
Along these same lines, it’s important to develop our knowledge base about new trends and technologies and if you’re at all like me, you will find that doing so will help guide your future career and investment decisions with better knowledge of where the world is headed.
I’ve been rebuilding a 1975 International Harvester Scout II at the same time I’ve been working and playing with apps and the build-able Raspberry Pi computer platform and it’s helped me come to conclusion that there’s got to be a better way to design cars and specifically car driver technologies such as – Why don’t they just put a touch-sensitive screen that runs off my smartphone while charging my phone in my car in the dashboard instead of forcing consumers to waste thousands of dollars on crappy proprietary dashboard interfaces? Is there a business opportunity somewhere in that idea?
And even if you have a great-paying job that you love and you’re killing it in your career, we all can develop new passions and learn about revolutionary businesses. I used to plead with the viewers on my TV show to get in front of the App Revolution when the iPhone and Android were brand new back in 2007 and 2008. Companies like Netflix, Zillow, Yelp and thousands of smaller businesses have made billions by getting in front of that trend before it was as big as it is today. And the App Market is still just 1/10th the size it will be in ten years from now.
So along with the smartphone/tablet App Revolution that will grow 10-fold over the next decade, what other trends are poised to show huge growth ahead?
Wearable computing apps – There are hundreds of companies already developing new apps for Google Glasses. There are hundreds of new form factors from Android in particular that will be act as mini-server stations working off a primary base like a smartphone or tablet coming to market in the next decade. Each will provide opportunities for app developers to create new services and businesses. Google and Broadcom are probably the best plays on this trend for now but there will be dozens of other companies coming public in this sector in the next handful of years. Size of this market today? $0. Size ten years from now? $500 billion
Smartphone and tablet apps – Like I mention above, smartphones and tablets are going to increasingly act as “servers” to the many other form factors of wearable and talkable and motionable computers coming to market in the next decade. That means more growth in the apps that work on them. Best plays on this are LinkedIn, Zinga, Facebook, and the aforementioned Netflix, Yelp and Zillow. Size of this market today? $10-15 billion. Size of this market in ten years? $500 billion.
Raspberry Pi and other standardized computing platforms – A few weeks ago, I wrote about this Revolutionary tech platform that allows the home user to build a fully functional computer from scratch for less than $100 all in. These Raspberry Pi computers have more functionality than the top of the line Windows or Mac PC from just five years ago. There are apps, software, hardware, services and all kinds of other technologies and business that will be built on the Raspberry Pi platform. Best play on this today? Sandisk and Texas Instruments. Size of this market today? Less than $1 billion. Size of this market in a decade? $100 billion
Kinect and other interactive interfaces – Microsoft’s Kinect hasn’t been the mainstream success that Softee was hoping it would be, but inventors and robot-lovers around the world are using the Kinect platform to create new ways of interfacing with the digital world. Marvell and Microsoft are the best plays on this trend for the next handful of years. Size of this market today? Less than $5 billion. Size in ten years? $100 billion
Modular devices – I think there’s a real opportunity for someone to start a company that emulates Dell’s old approach to building PCs which Revolutionized computer manufacturing and sales. Dell would take the order from the customer and then build the PC to their specifications and capture the float on your money in the meantime to boot. Somebody should employ a Dell-like strategy phones and tablets. The company would take orders directly from consumers (and IT departments at businesses) based on what operating system they want (say, Windows, Android or Linux) and how fast/what chipsets they want inside it (say, Nvidia with souped-up graphics or the cheapest version of last year’s Qualcomm Snapdragon or the latest from Intel) and what form factor you want it in (say 3″ tiny smartphone or 7″ phablet or even something funky like a watch or a Chinese throwing star-inspired shape). You could go out and buy up some old car factories and build Scout-like standardized cars that use your personalized technology offerings inside and use the Kinect to interface. Nobody’s doing this yet, but Nvidia’s gaming platform chipsets are on the right path.
The global economy is, as I’ve mentioned before, sloshing around some $70+ trillion per year. In recessions and even in depressions that number will simply shrink but never disappear. Getting in front of the great growth Revolutionary trends and being passionate about everything you do is more important to building your wealth and security than just about anything else you’ll ever do.
No trades yet today. Gold’s getting hit as usual on the Fed-speak days. Will probably rally tomorrow and Thursday and then get hit again on Friday if it follows the usual pattern of manipulated action from the last few months. Silver too.
No change on my XIDE bankruptcy trade. I bought a small position in it at a cost basis of about $22.5 cents yesterday and will hold it for a week or two and then sell all of it win or lose before the middle of July.
And our long-held Amazon common stock is within 1% or so of its all-time high. It’s another company that positions itself in front of Revolutionary trends and is delivering on exactly some of those I highlight in today’s report.