The Next Big Thing

Identify the “next big stock” or “next iPod” and get rich! Well, even Ms. Cleo can’t predict that, so an easier route is to spot upcoming trends such as the recent oil surge. Easier said than done.

I have been looking for a place to park some money for the long term, and I have come across a few trends which have the potential to explode in value:

1.) Water. Kirk absolutely loves water stocks, and for good reason. In scarce supply, drinking water is more valuable than gold, oil and money because it is vital to our existence yet taken for granted. With a rapidly increasing world population and a mass exodus of people moving towards large, condensed cities, Kirk’s long term positions on water make tons of sense. I have a feeling that water companies in countries with current severe water problems would fair better than American companies.

2.) Batteries. Battery technology has always lagged behind the technology sector, and everyone is just about fed up. We need some fuel supply for our mega-capable portable devices of today that can last for weeks, months, years at a time without recharge. On some phones the largest component is the battery. On laptops the heaviest component is the battery. As a laptop user I abhor “plugging in”. In a world which is getting increasingly portable, the market for long-lasting, reliable, relatively affordable power supplies is HUGE HUGE HUGE. Any advice on how to catch this wave? I am looking towards some fuel cell technologies and Energizer (ENR). Drop me some sector fund names if you know any that concentrate on portable energy.

3.) Nanotech. That term is so vague and can be applied in so many areas that it’s basically a crap-shoot trying to pick the right stocks without vigorously keeping up with the sector. Since that is not my plan, I will soon invest in a nanotechnology fund. Holding this for a long period of time (10-15 years at least) could prove profitable as new breakthroughs occur and people start pouring more money into the sector. The key here is to get in at a time when nanotech is not in the news for a while. BUT….nanotech has been a buzzword for quite sometime, and lots of people have lost lots of money investing in it so far. Start looking for companies who are turning their research into actual products, because companies that do only research make no money. Look for nanotech to appear in places you would never expect. Here is a Forbes article on best nanotech products.
Right now it seems sports products have caught the nano bug already, I expect to see it in the luxury goods area in a few years. Being creative, I imagine new nanotech fabrics, creams, materials etc. will start to appear in these places:

  • High end, ultra-warm yet THIN winter coats.
  • New, ultra-luxurious interior fabrics for luxury cars
  • All over the exterior of cars in the form of scratch resistant body panels, rain-resistant windsheilds, super-road-hugging tires
  • Some sort of new material to use on paper currency making it much more difficult to counterfeit
  • Ultra-thin yet ultra-effective insulations for pipes, cables etc.

These are the types of things I expect to see in the upcoming years. I can go on forever, but you get the point. Nanotech can be used in countless areas, some areas which most likely no one even knows about yet. Back in 1960, who would have thought silicon would become so widely used?