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ChangeWave Investing: Picking the Next Monster Stocks of the New Economy

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2001

    Advanced Concepts for Stock Picking . . . Weak on Valuation

    This book deserves a rating of 5 stars cubed! Less than 3 percent of all investors will outperform the market with their total portfolio over a five year time period. That means that most people should have their stock money in indexed mutual funds. But if you want to put a small portion of your money into picking stocks, this approach can help. Do be aware that you still have to buy stocks when they are cheap. Even though technology stocks have come down a lot in the last 11 months, most are not yet cheap. So, the entry point is ahead. Anyone who is interested in picking stocks for themselves must read this book. If you don't, you will miss an important improvement on how to find stocks that will grow at a vast multiple of the market's overall growth rate. The book extends well beyond three of the best growth stock investment approaches that I have seen, and puts these improvements together in a new way. It is almost like a two generation improvement on picking top growth stocks. The book goes beyond Gorilla Game by building on a successful approach that has already delivered 150 percent annual profit gains for 4 years. In other words, there is a track record to go with this idea . . . not just a back testing on how one might have picked the past winners. The book goes beyond Motley Fool because it has a much more sophisticated approach to screening for top stocks and a more sophisticated network for developing and checking out stock ideas through the ChangeWave Web site. At that site, the ideas are rated, and those whose ideas don't perform well are dropped after a year. I thought that the process described was a good one: Start by looking for change quakes (new irresistible forces of the largest magnitude) then for the Killer Value Proposition that will win out in serving the new trend, then locating which will be the leading change waves (currently such as B to B and virtual enterprises), then to the fastest growing sectors within the change waves, on to Superior Space, and finally to locating the Wave Runner Companies. Then you are given lots of technical ideas for when to buy and sell. The book goes beyond the ideas reflected in Investors Business Daily by providing much more understanding of the reasons why a company will prosper in the future. I also liked the logic of how to diversify a little in a concentrated portfolio so your winners can squeeze out the losers. However, from reading the book, I can see that there will have to be a ChangeWave Investing 2.0 at some point. Mr. Smith is a little hazy on some of his basics. Where he describes how a company gets valued is both simplistic and wrong. I also saw an overreliance on extending trends, rather than understanding the underlying elasticities of technologies and demand that create the growth that he is trying to forecast. I think this Alliance idea will work well in helping investors to more quickly understand the implications of new technology standards, but I think that it will be less helpful in assessing the potential of disruptive rather than follow-on technologies. I could go on, but you can see that the idea requires further building to reach its full potential.

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