Brainstorming Investment Ideas

I like to brainstorm investment ideas, and I always end up with these two in the pile.

I’ve always liked solar power, as I think it’s the simplest form of free energy. I did a partial post about Austin’s solar incentives a while ago. It explains how Austin will write checks up to $5,000/yr for individual households and $100,000/yr for commercial real estate to utilize solar energy. Not to mention the mass amounts of money saved on electric bills.

The Austin Convention Center has solar panels on one face of the building….

Austin Convention Center Solar Panels

….and they don’t look half bad.

I did some research a while back, and Evergreen Solar (ESLR) seems to be a big, publicly traded player in the solar market. I also want to find some other contestants in the solar game.

I already bought and sold ESLR a few days ago, selling because high oil prices are drawing attention to alternative energy companies. I plan on buying and holding the company again when the price goes down a bit.

Another technology I REALLY like is physical media cards.

SD Card

They can often be boiled in water, survive a plane crash and hold a lot of information. They are the size of postage stamps and can currently hold 4+ gigs, and within two years that number will go up exponentially.

They have no moving parts and require no maintenance or special care-taking. This is the perfect technology for the new, fast and small devices to come. I’m thinking SanDisk (SNDK) will be the biggest player in this market. I’ve bought and sold SanDisk stock in the past with success, hopefully a longterm hold will prove the same.

Blog posted on: September 13, 2005

11 comments on “Brainstorming Investment Ideas

  1. Anonymous


    Memory cards are a terrible business. Yes, they make a great consumer product, but as an investment they are a commodity. There is tremendous competition, tiny margins, and no real differentiator.

  2. Lawrence


    I disagree. A few years back when computers and computer accessories retailers began a price war, some said Dell and Intel etc. would not survive. It’s true that many of the small players dropped out, but the big players then started consolidating the industry.

    This consolidation led to higher profits, something that SanDisk is looking to do. I believe Samsung might also be a player in this game.

    Also Anonymous, Nev mentioned his opinion, “This is the perfect technology for the new, fast and small devices to come.” It seems to imply that cell phones, PDA’s, music players, cars etc. will all have integrated formats for large capacity yet small sized physical media cards. There is also the possibility of whole new markets opening up for this type of storage.

  3. JonnyQ888

    You know, with all of the things going on you’d think that I would have thought about investing in alternative energy companies without someone else bringing it up=) I didn’t know that the city (I’m in Austin, too) was paying people to use solar power.

  4. nyc money

    alternative forms of energy are definitely the way to go, though i’m not sure if there are any companies that really attract my interest right now.

  5. Neville

    I found this article:

    Investors looking to cash in on the growing demand for flash memory would do best to look past Samsung and Toshiba, the giant conglomerates making the raw memory.

    Instead, they should seek opportunities from flash-systems provider M-Systems (FLSH) or end-product producers like SanDisk or even loss-booking rival Lexar Media (LEXR). Given its record of profitability and leading market position, SanDisk has long looked like the clear favorite to me in the latter space, though its recent run has taken it outside the realm of cheap.

  6. nikao

    got an investment tip for you:
    GTCB. This company is expecting approval for their product and technique for manufacturing certain proteins in the milk of transgenetic goats.
    The stock is now at 1,78 and approval is expected befor mid october, and probably september 15th or 16th! Once approval is there, it’s not just the approval of a product, but also a whole new technique. Imagine what the stock price will be a few days after the approval :)

    more on the stock here:

  7. Anonymous

    your credit card debt shows zero dollars ($0) — that is the smartest way to live. it is also unusual in the credit-heavy u.s.a. i have zero debt too, and i just laugh at all the fools in this country who waste their money on credit card interest, fees, and the idea that they think they are living a better life simply on plastic. it is anti-social behaviour not to stack up debt, but you and i will be better off (in the long run) for having kept ourselves debt free, and living within our physical and emotional means. i was earning $100k at ibm until i was laid off in jan 2004. that was my wake-up call. 10 months without a job you learn how to make every penny count. and now… i earn half what i did at ibm (for another company) and i have $43k in savings — the most cash i’ve ever had in my 40 years of life. i owe that to killing the cards, paying cash, eliminating cellphone and cable t.v.

  8. Jay's Financial Blog

    No one should ever own cable television…there isn’t anything worth watching on it anyway. I tell people that sure you can have a tv, but just rent a dvd now and than..don’t get cable. And if you need your news…get it through osmosis.


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