On October 30, 2005, something incredible happened...
In Redmond, Washington, one of the world's richest -- and most powerful -- businessmen sent an urgent memo to his top engineers and most-trusted managers.
It sounded the alarm that a very disruptive "wave" was about to wash over the entire world -- forever changing the way we get information and do business.
It also warned this would wipe out the $200 billion business empire he'd spent his life building.
Meanwhile, a few hundred miles south, on the banks of the Columbia River, a mysterious outfit known only as "Design, LLC," quietly constructed two massive windowless warehouses.
This mammoth undertaking was code named "Project 2," and the International Herald Tribune described the towering monolithic structures as "looming like an information-age nuclear plant."
This may sound like something out of a Tom Clancy novel, but you'll want to have all the facts because...
Merrill Lynch estimates this "wave" has grown into a $160 billion tsunami.
And experts say it's going to upend a $1 trillion industry. Yet very few investors understand just how huge it's going to be.
That's why it's crucial to take the next few minutes to read this report in its entirety.
At the very least, you'll get the full story so you can decide for yourself if you'll be front and center when the big money starts rolling in.
But be warned, the smart money is on the move...
A handful of investors are already quietly positioning themselves to cash in on this incredible economic shift. Soon, tens of thousands will be rushing to join them.
One of the most lucrative investment opportunities we'll ever encounter
The next great technological revolution is already under way.
And now that the last pieces are falling into place, the floodgates are beginning to open.
Which is exactly where you come in...Just ask David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool. He's convinced that this technological shift will dump millions of dollars into the portfolios of investors just like you.
You've probably seen David on CNBC discussing his favorite growth stocks with some of the nation's other top-tier equity analysts. Or perhaps you've read one of his many best-selling investment books...
Or maybe you're just familiar with some of his remarkable stock recommendations... eBay in 1999... Starbucks in 1998... AOL in 1994... Amgen in 1998... Amazon in 1997.
Regardless, it's not hard to see why Money.com says he's "among the most widely followed stock advisors in the world."
And surely you can understand why anytime David gets excited about an investment opportunity, people stand up and take notice...
He's been closely tracking the development of this blockbuster technology and the 3 dominant players heading the revolution.
These are the companies he believes will rule their respective industries over the next 5 to 10 years and hand investors life-changing wealth along the way.
Recent developments have him particularly excited about one of the companies. Right now he considers it the No. 1 way to profit from this coming technological boom. And he's telling his followers to snap up shares immediately.
To see why he's so convinced about this company, you must learn the six traits he looks for in a growth stock -- and how they have led him to companies that have soared 266%, 317%, 671% and even 769% in just the past four years.
But first, a little bit more about this amazing technology and why, once again...
The Unimaginable Is Fast Becoming a Reality
You probably remember when computers took up entire rooms and were used only by companies that needed to do intense mathematical calculations.
That all changed when Intel unveiled the microprocessor and a geeky college dropout started writing software with his former high school pal.
Thanks to the virtual desktop they developed, the PC quickly replaced the mainframe as the center of corporate computing and began showing up in homes across America.
Before long, companies began building interoffice networks so that their employees could run programs like Microsoft Word and Excel on their PCs and also access programs, files, and printers from a central server.
But this model was far from perfect.
Due to a lack of standards in computing hardware and software, competing products were rarely compatible -- making PC networks far more inefficient than their mainframe predecessors.
In fact, most servers ended up being used as single-purpose machines that ran a single software application or database.
And every time a company needed to add a new application, it was forced to expand its data centers, replace or reprogram old systems, and hire IT technicians to keep everything running.
As a result, global IT spending jumped from under $100 billion a year in the early 1970s to over $1 trillion a year by the turn of the century.
Here's the dirty secret behind this mind-boggling growth -- and the two words that will put an end to the party
IT consulting firm IDC reports that every dollar a company spends on a Microsoft product results in an additional $8 of IT expenses.
And one IT expert admits, "Trillions of dollars that companies have invested into information technology have gone to waste."
Yet, companies have had no choice but to run these obscenely expensive and highly inefficient networks.
But that's all about to change...
And that's precisely why the two words "cloud computing" scare the hell out of Bill Gates.
You see, thanks to the thousands of miles of fiber-optic cable laid during the late 1990s, the speed of computer networks has finally caught up to the speed of the computer processors.
Suddenly computers that were once incompatible and isolated are now linked in a giant network, or "cloud."
As a result, computing is fast becoming a utility in much the same way that electricity did...
"The next sea change is upon us." -- Bill Gates
Think back a few years -- anytime you wanted to type a letter, create a spreadsheet, edit a photo, or play a game, you had to go to the store, buy the software, and install it on your computer.
But nowadays, if you want to look up restaurants on Google... find directions on MapQuest... watch a video on YouTube... or sell furniture on Craigslist... all you need is a computer with an Internet connection.
Although these activities require you to use your PC, none of the content you are accessing or the applications you are running are actually stored on your computer -- instead they're stored at a giant data center somewhere in the "cloud."
And you don't give any of it a second thought... just like you don't think twice about where the electricity is coming from when you plug an appliance into the wall.
But cloud computing isn't going to be just a modern convenience -- it's going to be an enormous industry.
You see, everyone from individuals to multinational corporations can now simply tap into the "cloud" to get all the things they used to have to supply and maintain themselves. This will save some companies millions and make others billions.
"Is cloud computing the next big thing?"
That's the title of an article in PC Magazine.
The answer was an overwhelming yes. And PC Magazine isn't the only one taking note of this sweeping trend...
The Economist claims, "As computing moves online, the sources of power and money will increasingly be enormous 'computing clouds.'"
David Hamilton of the Financial Post says this technology "has the potential to shower billions in revenues on companies that embrace it."
And Nicholas Carr, former executive editor of the Harvard Business Review, has even written an entire book on the subject, entitled The Big Switch. In it, he asserts: "The PC age is giving way to a new era: the utility age."
He goes on to make this prediction: "Rendered obsolete, the traditional PC is replaced by a simple terminal -- a 'thin client' that's little more than a monitor hooked up to the Internet."
While that may sound far-fetched, in the corporate market, sales of these "thin clients" have been growing at over 20 percent per year -- far outpacing the sales of PCs.
According to market-research firm IDC, the U.S. is now home to more than 7,000 data centers just like the one constructed on the banks of the Columbia River in 2005.
And the number of servers operating within these massive data centers is expected to grow to nearly 16 million by 2010 -- that's three times as many as a decade ago.
"Data centers have become as vital to the functioning of society as power stations." --The Economist
The simple truth is that cloud computing is becoming as big a part of our everyday lives as cell phones or cable television.
And one company is shaping up to be a remarkable way for investors like you to cash in on the fast-moving cloud computing technology.
You may already know what it is... and you may have even guessed that it's the real face behind Design, LLC.
But what you may not realize is that this is still an excellent time to get invested -- despite what many so-called "experts" in the financial media might be telling you...
Buying This Tech Juggernaut Today Is Like Buying Microsoft in 1990
Don't forget, even after the dot-com collapse and the recent market sell-off, every $10,000 invested in Microsoft would now be worth over $400,000.
Even a modest $3,000 investment would have grown into more than $120,000!
Just imagine what you could do with that kind of money...
Now imagine being given a second chance to secure that kind of profit.
Well, look here... this is your second chance.
You see, like Microsoft in the early 1990s, Google [Nasdaq: GOOG] is just getting started.
It's already won the search engine war, set the standard for online advertising, and turned the company's name into a word tens of millions of people use daily.
And now it's fast becoming synonymous with the future of computing...
Over 500,000 companies -- including GE [NYSE: GE] and Procter & Gamble [NYSE: PG] -- have already signed up for Google Apps.
This grab bag of business applications can be purchased and run over the Web for just $50 per year and is just one of many Google products now giving Microsoft a run for its money.
Considering that Google Apps costs just one-tenth of what a traditional business software suite does, it's no surprise that more than 2,000 businesses are signing up per day.
No wonder the Financial Post says, "The cost savings in offering scaled-down versions of large enterprise software is making cloud computing a huge business."
But at just $50 a pop, you might be wondering how big this business can really get.
Industry research firm Gartner, Inc., says the market for Internet-based software recently hit $5.1 billion and conservatively estimates it will more than double to $11.5 billion by 2011.
But don't forget, this is just one small part of the giant and highly profitable cloud computing world.
Given its dominance over the online world, massive network of strategic partnerships, and unmatched ability to innovate, you can bet the great majority of the fortunes generated by cloud computing will flow through Google's coffers.
Even so, you may be wondering...
Isn't it too late to buy Google?
Not at all!
Well, let's just say this isn't the first time David has recommended a stock after the hotshots on Wall Street declared it was "too late"...
Back in 2005, he recommended robotic surgery specialist Intuitive Surgical to a small group of opportunistic investors.
At the time, shares were selling for $44.17. One year prior, shares had sold for $17.46, and a year before that they were selling for just $8.68.
You read that right... Intuitive Surgical had risen 500% in the two years before he recommended it -- and that scared lesser investors off.
But this visionary investor recognized that Intuitive Surgical was both "top dog" and "first mover" in its industry and still had plenty of room to run...
Shares traded as high as $359.59, and even after the recent market downturn, those who followed his lead are sitting on a whopping 671% gain.
Had you joined them, you could have turned $10,000 into a brand-new car... or a year or two of college tuition... or a prestigious golf-club membership -- and all in just 3 short years.
And this wasn't just some sort of lucky break or fluke, either.
You see, David's world-famous career began when he caught the financial media's attention by recommending AOL in the summer of 1994 - after it had quadrupled in just 12 short months.
Of course, the story is the same with AOL -- he recognized it as both a top dog and a first mover in an important emerging industry and knew it was only getting started.
Six years later, AOL was a 200-bagger, turning every $10,000 invested into a whopping $2 million -- and this growth investor into a living legend.
Here are just a few more of the top dogs and first movers he's uncovered recently:
- Myriad Genetics -- locked in 253% gains
- MercadoLibre-- up 317% and counting!
- Vertex Pharmaceuticals -- up 241%... and counting!
Surely you'd love to have gains like that in your portfolio... Any investor would.
Well, you're in luck because now David is extremely excited about the incredible profit potential of 3 companies he calls...
The 3 Kings of Cloud Computing
These are 3 exceptionally well-run companies that David and his team of cutting-edge equity analysts have identified as both top dogs and first movers in their respective industries.
You already heard about Google, and just ahead you'll get all the details on the others -- including David's No. 1 cloud computing pick.
But first, you're probably wondering how David can be so sure about these companies. It's quite simple really -- they all have...
The 6 traits of a Rule Breaker
David begins his search by looking for what equity analysts call "top dogs" and "first movers."
A "top dog" is a company that dominates its industry... and a "first mover" is a company with a technology or product so revolutionary that it disrupts an existing industry and creates an entirely new one.
On the rare occasion that you find a company that is both a top dog and a first mover, the chances are pretty good that you've found your next big winner...
Just think of eBay in the online auction market... Amazon in the online retail market... or Netflix in the DVD-rental market (David led investors to big gains on all three).
These companies redefined the way business was done, launched entirely new industries, and continue to dominate those industries to this day. And you don't need me to tell you how handsomely they've rewarded shareholders along the way.
So you can see why David and his Rule Breakers teamwork around the clock to find companies that are both top dogs and first movers.
But they don't stop there... Because David discovered long ago that in order to find companies that will deliver truly life-changing investment returns, you have to break the rules and go against much of what passes for "wisdom" on Wall Street.
That's why he searches for companies with...
- a sustainable competitive advantage that can be exploited for years to come
- strong past price appreciation
- excellent management
- strong consumer appeal
And here's the big one...
- documented proof that the financial media thinks it's "overvalued"
Remember, many of David's biggest winners were recommended after all the fast-talking experts on Wall Street already declared you'd missed your chance to buy.
And it's much the same story with the second king of cloud computing he's recommending you buy today...
A Bona Fide Rule Breaker With Very Real Profits
Not only does this company meet all of David's criteria for a classic Rule Breaker, but it also has a stranglehold on a niche market that's absolutely essential to the future of cloud computing.
This rising tech superstar designs extremely complex software that allows central servers to function in the first place.
While the market for this software sits at roughly $1 billion today, it is estimated it will soar to $5 billion by 2011.
And thanks to various patents, a considerable head start, and immense technical know-how, there is very little chance competitors will be able to wrestle the lion's share of that $5 billion away from this company.
So it's no wonder over the past five years, VMware [NYSE: VMW] has seen its revenue climb at an annualized 56% clip.
David is also convinced another revolutionary company is changing everything about how we use computers. As more and more people and businesses go online, its rampant success will continue -- and richly reward savvy investors who buy shares now...
This Company Makes the Internet Fly
When David first recommended this company to the
Rule Breakers community back in 2005, he admitted it wasn't "cheap." Since then, it's up 266% -- handing our group some nice gains.
David still admits it's not cheap... but with the arrival of cloud computing, he's more excited than ever about its potential to make investors rich.
In fact, its potential currently outshines both Google and VMware -- making it the No. 1 cloud computing play for new money.
You see, it works behind the scenes to make sure you can access everything the Web has to offer at lightning-fast speeds.
And thanks to the ever-growing number of people now using the Internet to do everything from watch movies to buy houses, this once-flailing refugee of the dot-com meltdown is now one of the most important tech companies in the world.
Apple [Nasdaq: AAPL], Microsoft [Nasdaq: MSFT], Sony [NYSE: SNE], and Nintendo [NTDOY.PK] are among its top clients -- and they're all more than happy to pay up for the quality this company consistently delivers.
While this usually runs somewhere in the neighborhood of $275,000 per year, more and more complex applications are coming online all the time -- giving this company even greater pricing power.
At last count, it had more than 100 clients paying $1 million or more per year. So it's no wonder that cash from operations has more than tripled from $83 million in 2005 to over $420 million today... Or that the cash on its balance sheet has grown from just $92 million to over $170 million today.
You can bet that this growth will only accelerate as cloud computing becomes an even more vital part of our personal and professional lives.
And because it is both a top dog and a first mover, it has been able to gain an almost insurmountable lead in market share -- allowing it to sport superb operating margins.
Gross margins currently sit at an incredible 74%; meanwhile, net margins have climbed to 17% -- and continue to grow.
All things considered, you can understand why David thinks this will be one of the most dominant players in the cloud computing world for years to come.
And by becoming a Rule Breaker, you can get its name and stake your claim before the big money gets behind it.
But you may be asking yourself...
Is now really a good time to be buying growth stocks?
Sure, the market looks pretty grim.
But David's not worried.
For one thing, our current economic situation bears a striking similarity to the economic downturn of the early 1990s. And Morningstar reports that during that recession, growth stocks more than doubled the return of "value" stocks.
For another thing, SmartMoney recently confirmed that "growth stocks can excel even if the broad market continues to stumble." In fact, it reported that right now, "analysts expect better profit prospects for growth stocks than for value stocks."
Money manager Dan Becker says, "Growth is as rare as a diamond, and everyone's looking for it."
Meaning, right now, we have a historic opportunity to snap up Hope Diamond investments at cubic zirconia prices.
by Motley Fool June 18, 2010