What’s the “New Highway Being Built Across America” and the stock Ian Wyatt says could double “Very Soon?”

What's being teased in the special report, "The Ultimate Game Changer: Building The New Highway Across America?"

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, March 26, 2013

Irregulars Quick Take Paid members get a quick summary of the stocks teased and our thoughts here. Join as a Stock Gumshoe Irregular today (already a member? Log in)

Ian Wyatt is out with a new teaser promo for his $100K Portfolio service, and it’s all about a young company that’s growing rapidly and changing America in a substantial way … with a free new “highway” across the country.

He pitches this secret stock using the same kind of language that several other growth-focused newsletters use — he calls it a “Game Changer” and says Wall Street is missing out — in Ian’s words:

“I call these unique investments ‘Game Changers.’

“Because they are fast-growing companies that are led by visionary entrepreneurs…

“They have a product so revolutionary that it disrupts an existing industry and creates an entirely new one.”

Yeah, Ian, you and everyone else — “Game Changers” or “First Movers” or “Disruptors” … you can call them whatever you want. Unique companies that are creating new markets, and starting expected runs of tremendous growth, are catnip to speculative investors — and they are also almost always easy to criticize, because they often have ugly looking income statements or extremely volatile stock prices because the stocks trade based on what could be in a few years or a few decades, not so much on sales of (or profits from) their product or service today.

We end up writing about these kinds of stocks quite often, of course — and I often give a fuddy-duddy quick and skeptical reaction because buying a “Game Changer” requires belief in the future or in the ability of the company to “change the game”, not something your friendly neighborhood Gumshoe can pick up from 15 minutes with the income statement and the conference call transcript.

So we’ll start with that caveat, when I unveil a teaser stock like this, whether it’s Amazon (AMZN) or LinkedIn (LNKD) or UniPixel (UNXL) or 3D Systems (DDD) or Parametric Sound (PAMT), I’m going to have to leave it to you to decide what kind of future world or future growth or future change at that company justifies your leap of financial faith.

From Wyatt’s tease of this one so far (I’m sure we’ll find out shortly which stock it is, just hold your horses), I’m guessing it’ll be in this same category of “future faith” stocks. Which is, indeed, where great 1,000%+ returns and fortunes are made over time … and also where many 90%+ losers begin. (I happened to bring just a handful of “Game Changing” picks to mind there, all of which have done well of late, but that’s now always how it works out).

Bla bla bla, can we get to the clues now?

“I’m writing you today to tell you about an opportunity that could very soon have a dramatic impact on your wealth…

“It’s the chance to invest early in this ‘new highway’ being built across America…

“Now, it isn’t what you might think…

“It has nothing to do with an information super highway or the Internet or anything like that…

“I’m talking about something that’s forever changing our nation’s transportation system…

“and improving almost everything about our modern lives…

“It’s the kind of once-in-a-generation opportunity that’s helped daring investors make quick fortunes time and time again.”

Nice, right? How about some more specifics for us … from the ad:

“In 1995… a math genius started a little known tech company…

“that provided door-to-door directions and interactive navigation over the Internet.

“Something we take for granted now, but… at the time it was a technical marvel… no one had this technology:

“GPS units sold for over $1,000…

“travel agents booked trips by hand…

“and MapQuest didn’t even exist.

“A few years later he sold his company to Compaq for $307 million….”

That gives us the first thread to follow as we track down the serial entrepreneur behind this “New Highway” …

“The man behind this company is so successful, he’s routinely called the “Next Steve Jobs”…

“He’s the math genius I mentioned earlier…

“And the brains behind the internet navigation company.

“Like Jobs, this man is a serial entrepreneur.

“He launches Game Changer after Game Changer.

“He was just 24 when he and his investors pocketed millions from the sale of his first company ….

“He was set for life and could have sat poolside and taken it easy.

“But entrepreneurs like this never rest.

“He and his investors immediately created a new business…

“another publicly-traded company… a financial commerce company.

“A company that grew to make up the backbone of commerce websites all around the world.

“In fact, you’ve probably personally used its technology…

“At one time, ninety one percent of transactions on the Internet flowed through this company….”

OK, so those who are parsing this story alongside your friendly neighborhood Gumshoe might already have figured out who this entrepreneur is (no raising your hands! Let the rest of the class catch up!) … but we’ll see what clues we get about this specific company, too, to toss into the Thinkolator to get some confirmation for you.

Thankfully, we get a lot of clues about the entrepreneur behind this company … because specific clues about the stock are quite thin on the ground:

“… the chance to invest in a genius… an extraordinary leader of a game changing company…

“someone who can turn a few thousand dollars into billions with the right vision and idea… like Henry Ford or the Wright Brothers!

“It’s entrepreneurs that have forever changed our nation’s transportation system…

“I want you to know that this entrepreneur isn’t just an idea man.

“He’s a savvy businessman.

“He has a track record of rewarding his investors. He puts his shareholders first.

“And you’ll be happy to know he’s secured 250 patents to protect the technology behind this “new highway.”

“But also I must tell you, that if he were alive today…

“Henry Ford would not all appreciate this man’s vision.

“You see, this entrepreneur is threatening to topple the biggest names on the highway today…

“Ford, G.M., and Toyota could all be rendered obsolete as Americans start traveling for free on this ‘new highway.’ ….

“Now, this “new highway” isn’t a bullet train or some fantasy project that requires decades of building and massive government subsidies.

“It’s being built right now…

“In fact, vast stretches of this new highway are already in use…

“a massive 382 mile section runs from Los Angeles to San Francisco…

“and a new corridor between Washington D-C and Boston just opened up.”

And then we get a little clue in the obligatory “Wall Street doesn’t realize what they’re missing” bit — the part of a teaser ad that always makes us feel like we’re smart investors, in the know and seeing the big picture while the smart suits in Manhattan scoff:

The Wall Street Journal… recently published a piece telling readers not to invest in this company building a new highway across America…

“”That means the newspaper on the doorstep of every mutual fund manager and financial advisor in America… is ignoring the biggest shift in transportation since Henry Ford and the Model T.”

So what’s our stock?

Well, as you might have guessed as we drifted through those clues, the young entrepreneur who built Zip2 as (in part) an online city guide for newspapers, then profited as it was sold to Compaq, was Elon Musk. Zip2 was successful for a young kid, for sure, but Musk still considers it somewhat of a failure and it didn’t do much for Compaq (which was going to meld the content into Alta Vista, their leading search engine — to give you an idea of how different the landscape was back then) … and it got him the capital and the connections to build his next project, X.com, which merged with another company to become PayPal, which was bought out by eBay, bringing Musk well into the hundred-millionaire camp just about 10 years ago.

Musk poured that PayPal money into two big ventures: a company that would reinvent space travel by making it much simpler and cheaper to launch satellites (SpaceX, which is still private), and the company being teased here, Tesla Motors (TSLA) …. the company that’s trying to bring the electric car to to the masses (eventually — we’re starting with the rich people).

And yes, Tesla is sort of creating a new highway — though perhaps it’s more reasonable to say that in the absence of an acceptable charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, they’re building that infrastructure. The “highways” that are teased — like the one from San Francisco to LA, and the “new” one from DC to Boston, are really just routes where long-distance travel has been made possible by Tesla for the new Model S sedan because of the installation of “Supercharger” stations.

And the location of these “highways” is no coincidence, of course — most of the folks who are going to be willing to spend close to $100,000 for an (admittedly spectacular) electric car are those on the coasts, where money and environmental sensitivity are most densely correlated. But though it’s an important step to get these Supercharger networks set up, because it helps to alleviate the “range anxiety” that deters some people from buying electric cars, it’s also not that huge of a deal. If your car has a range of a couple hundred miles, then building this “highway” from Boston to DC really just involves setting up two or three charging stations near major highways between two major cities. And as a bonus, if you’ve coughed up the cash to buy a Tesla that can use these Supercharger charging systems, you do, as Wyatt obliquely teases, get the electricity for free at these rest stops. (That’s not that big a deal — most people will still almost exclusively charge at home and use their cars primarily for commuting — and I expect the Superchargers are a push for the market to make buying a Tesla feel safe more than anything else, if we’re going to build out a real recharging network in the US for electric cars it will have to become universally available to all car models and be driven by the profit motive to grow anywhere near as quickly as the gasoline distribution network did.)

Tesla is a fascinating company, to be sure, and one that is both heavily shorted (lots of investors betting against the stock) and heavily covered in the media. Elon Musk has even jumped on a couple reviewers who he thinks falsified their range/recharging experiences in their reviews (including the big flap over the review in the New York Times last month, which even led to a bunch of Tesla enthusiasts recreating that road trip). I wrote about this one in a tease unveiling for the Irregulars back when David Gardner was pitching it for his Rule Breakers service and the stock is currently up maybe 10-15% from then, but it’s been a bouncy couple months and, before that, a very volatile year for Tesla.

And yes, just to check in on another hint, the Wall Street Journal did run a negative piece about the stock “recently” — though that was back in the Fall. Lots of other folks have said bad things about the stock, too — the company is partly buoyed by Musk’s cult of personality, it’s chewed through a lot of cash during this startup phase, it’s far from sustainable profitability, and, well, the list of visionaries who’ve tried to start a new American car company and failed is pretty long, so it’s easy to be a critic.

I won’t bore you with the full rundown of what’s going on with Tesla, but the summary is this: They are expected (promising) to deliver 20,000 Model S sedans in 2013, analysts think they will be able to break even at that pace and Elon Musk has said they should be booking profits by the end of the year and be breaking even on a cash flow basis before then … and they are expected to make a meaningful profit and release their third model, the Tesla Model X sporty SUV with gull wing doors, in 2014 (well, probably 2015 now — everything with Tesla ends up getting pushed back at least a little bit). And just about half of the publicly floating shares (those that aren’t held by insiders) are sold short, and have been for a long time, in anticipation that this extremely tough transition from a boutique car builder to a major large-scale manufacturer of precision electronic luxury sports cars will hit more serious hiccups and make investors want to sell.

I saw a presentation by Whitney Tilson at a Value Investing Congress seminar arguing the short case against Tesla back in October, and I must admit that his rationale was perfectly reasonable — they’re selling cars to rich people with high standards, from a new (well, revamped) factory, with high sticker prices, and when it comes to funding their day to day operations they’re floating both on government loan guarantees and on fully refundable deposits that early “wait list” folks can get back if they change their mind.

You can definitely see the potential for a bit of bad news (ie, real life for the first few thousand Model S sedans isn’t as sunny as hoped, or a few of them catch fire, or people complain about a design flaw or a programming bug, etc.) could waterfall into a big issue if it brings mass cancellations of orders or tarnishes the brand. But so far, despite cancellations of a few orders, that hasn’t happened. That there should be quite a few cancellations this year as they ramp up production is natural and expected — you could have put down a few thousand bucks for a spot on the waiting list two or three years ago, but once your order goes “live” as the assembly plant continues to spit the cars out you have to actually commit to specs and put down a much larger payment to order and buy the car, so some people will back out when they’re faced with paying $50-90,000 in real cash, particularly since the advanced recharging and longer range aren’t available at that lower-end $50,000 (after tax credit) price.

But still, Elon Musk comes out with a press release or a tweet every few weeks and gets folks excited again — and, frankly, the car looks spectacular and no one seems to be complaining much about the first few thousand who are out there in the real world so far. And just this week Musk was out with a new tweet about big Tesla news that he initially said would be released on Thursday and now says will come out on Tuesday — in his words, “Really exciting @TeslaMotors announcement coming on Thursday. Am going to put my money where my mouth is in v major way.”

There’s plenty of speculation about what this might mean, and with this huge a short ratio and no real underpinning of earnings just yet any news at all can move the stock. Some folks are suggesting that this means Tesla will be raising money, making a secondary offering that Musk will participate in, and Tesla will almost certainly indeed have to raise money by selling more stock at some point if they’re going to grow production — but why Musk would tweet such news before it’s released is a mystery to me. It’s hard to see him and Tesla not at least getting into a bit of trouble with the SEC over this “disclosure.”

So yes, Tesla will probably release something interesting next week by way of news … and the next earnings release, which will be in about five weeks, will very very, very closely watched as the company continues to say that they’re on pace to be breaking even soon and hitting their production targets. Elon Musk is a visionary guy, and one who apparently has great personal drive to accomplish projects to a perfectionist shine while micromanaging — not unlike Steve Jobs, and early Tesla adopters are not unlike the much mocked Apple “fanboys” who stand in line for new products — and investors are buying both Elon Musk’s vision and the promise of electric cars at least as much as they’re buying this $4 billion startup car company.

That doesn’t mean you can’t make a case for TSLA stock here — you certainly can. Anything with a huge backlog of preorders, an adoring early adopter fan base, a visionary leader, and a cool product can absolutely turn into a hugely profitable machine if they flip the right levers and get enough time to build capacity and become profitable — especially if that product can be successful by addressing just a tiny part of a huge market. There are roughly 15 million cars sold in the US every year, and we’re talking about a company that will probably be an unqualified success if they can reach 50,000 cars (they’re shooting for 20,000 this year, and in these early months they seem to be at least close to on pace for that number). As long as the cars are selling at average prices in the $60-80,000 range, it’s hard to see them getting a lot beyond that, more volume growth will depend on moving the electric car technology down the price scale into more mainstream models ($20-40,000) — last year, Cadillac and Audi sold about 150,000 cars in the US, and BMW and Mercedes each sold nearly twice that many, and most of those makes have much more production flexibility and larger sales in Europe and China, and sell most of their volume in the cheaper models that are priced below $40,000. Tesla is exporting, but they’ll have to build their US base business before real overseas expansion could speed up … and they’re talking about a $30,000 sedan for 2016, which they need in order to to get economies of scale, but we haven’t seen any details about that future car yet.

I wish them the best in this worthwhile and extremely expensive endeavor, and I hope they do transform the American highway and manufacture enough cars to push battery technology forward, democratize electric cars, and make a huge difference, but I bet it’s going to continue to be a very bumpy ride over at least the next six months … and I’d expect that any great share price increases in the near term will be countered by capital raises to feed the growth of this capital-intensive business.

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ShowHide Comments (90)
    1. 15
      Wayne Hatcher
      Mar 26 2013, 06:10:32 pm

      The last I read about a month or so ago. They rolled out to show off their car and took about 5.5 hours to make a 50 mile run due to break downs. Yep! the charging stations will make a big difference.

      Mar 26 2013, 06:16:08 pm

      Having work in R&D lithium battery business in the late 60’s as a junior engineer, any projection of performance is Intellectual masturbation. It has taken a HALF CENTURY for the technology to get to this point. I wouldn’t put dime one into this business, sorry.
      Compressed natural gas and liquid fluids, ethane and propane are vehicle fuels for the next 100 years and beyond.

      Mar 26 2013, 06:40:01 pm


      • 3984 |
        Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe
        Mar 26 2013, 07:24:41 pm

        If we lose the grid, then gas stations will fail too. The grid is in terrible need of upgrading, but it’s also far, far more efficient to produce electricity at huge centralized plants than it is to produce it for each individual car, so hopefully battery storage and recharging technology will get to the point to make it feasible for for all cars eventually.

      • Jim
        Mar 26 2013, 07:33:52 pm

        Because you could charge it up with a solar panel on your roof or a few windmills and not depend on what is already a far too centralized system.

        • 3984 |
          Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe
          Mar 26 2013, 07:52:10 pm

          That’s pretty tough for reliability reasons — unless you also build a big energy storage system (relying on a second level of batteries) or you’re charging your car mostly on sunny days. I wonder if we’ll see the next generation of “Mad Max” movies where the post-apocalyptic gangs will someday be fighting over truckloads of charged batteries instead of tankers of gasoline. If we had a power outage here in the woods I’d have to charge an electric vehicle with a propane generator, which seems just a little silly.

        • Tony Baczynski
          Mar 27 2013, 09:56:57 am

          As it is now, when the ‘grid’ goes down, the windmills stop. They only generate and synch when there’s power on the other side.

        • Ismael Quinones Jr.
          Oct 22 2013, 11:52:40 am

          You could attach a small windmill to the roof of the car and recharge the battery as you move along. Of course you would have to limit the height of the windmill. How’s That?

    4. Therese
      Mar 26 2013, 06:55:30 pm

      Hello out therei am probably the greenest reader of Gumshoe but just found this site recently.
      So need some advice as i want to start doing a little investing on the side.
      what do I do first? and if I join Premium will Gumshoe suggest good buys,can i just go to a local broker here in Canada and tell them what I want to buy and leave it to them or buy on-line? As i said first time for me and need a bit of advice.
      Thanks a lot

      • 3984 |
        Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe
        Mar 26 2013, 07:29:01 pm

        I’m sure there are plenty of opinions among Gumshoe readers that folks will share with you, but I will say that I do suggest ideas and share my opinion a bit more openly with the paid members than I do here on the free site, since it’s a smaller group, and I do track stocks that I like and suggest. Not all of ’em are doing great at the moment, but hopefully we can help you learn more about investing. I’m happy to share my opinions about stocks, wrong though they sometimes are, but I don’t think anything I write should give people the impression that I’m offering a portfolio management service or suggesting specific in and out trades for individuals, I’m more interested in helping investors understand the stocks they’re interested in, think critically about advertised and teased stocks and the valuations thereof, and keep an even keel.

        I do all of my trading online through discount brokers, though sometimes I buy stocks overseas through more international-friendly brokers like Interactive Brokers. At least 90% of the time the stocks I write about are listed or heavily traded in either Canada or the US.

        • therese conlon
          Mar 27 2013, 09:58:48 pm

          Thanks a lot really appreciate site so just signed up to learn . more,heard from a lot of the members here and got a wealth of info,just great.

      • 15
        Wayne Hatcher
        Mar 26 2013, 10:04:36 pm

        Hello Therese,
        I wouldn’t pretend to know your investment objectives or ability. The best advice I could think of off the top of my head is as follows. Never never never depend solely on a broker. Their job is to get you to keep some money moving from one trade to another which isn’t necessarily a bad thing as long as you’re making money. But, keeping money moving is how they get paid so you gotta be skeptical. Remember that no one but you will be hurt if you are talked into loosing investments. Having said that. It doesn’t hurt to have a broker as long as you make the decisions based on due diligence that you do. But I have to agree with Barry Walter who commented below because usually brokerage firms require larger initial investments just to open an account and cost a lot more per trade. Personally, I have made a lot more $ doing my own homework and making my own decisions and executing my trades online. And just like with a live broker you can set a stop loss and minimize the worry if a trade goes against you. BTW, there are a lot of advisory pubs out there online. You’re on one of the best right now here at Gumshoe. Motley Fool is a pretty good place to look also in my humble opinion. I also like Seeking Alpha.

        • therese conlon
          Mar 27 2013, 10:01:22 pm

          Wayne,Thanks so much,making a list now of where to start and what to pay attention to.
          looking forward to some good investments in 2013.

          • Alan Harris
            Mar 29 2013, 07:11:29 am

            Hi Therese
            Ive just written to Hi Pockets (at bottom of comments now). Seems I should have been sending to you (Derhh!) Have a look. It may help you too.

      • 996 |
        Hi Pockets
        Mar 27 2013, 01:47:12 am

        Hi, Therese –

        You might want to choose a broker like Scottrade (http://www.scottrade.com ). They do not offer investing advice about specific stocks, have no hidden fees, and charge only $7.00 for a stock trade (regardless of number of shares bought/sold). I think they charge $17.00 for mutual funds.

        They have free access to some research sites, such as Standard and Poors, Thomas and Reuters, and Second Opinion reports. They also provide some charting capabilities. I do not know how their charting stacks up against other online brokers.

        There are many offices around the U.S., and their people in the offices are top notch. Again, they do not offer specific investment advice, but you can learn a lot about their services. I don’t know if they have any Canadian offices.

        It’s obvious that I use Scottrade. I don’t remember what the minimum account size is. You should check out other brokers and find one that appeals to you.

        For other research, you might want to check out the Caps Stock Rating pages at The Motley Fool ( http://www.fool.com/investing/value/2007/04/27/the-caps-stock-rating.aspx ) . It’s sort of a bulletin board where people can post their thinking about individual stocks. This part of their service is free, and I have learned some interesting things about some of the stocks that I am interested in. Keep in mind that the people making comments are not professional stock advisers. They are just expressing their feelings (sometimes it’s very useful stuff) about the stock.

        I do not recommend any of the Fool’s paid service.

        Like Wayne above, I like Seeking Alpha ( http://seekingalpha.com ). I also like Investor Place ( http://investorplace.com/ ). I subscribe to both newsletters.

        You might want to google “temporary email addresses” and use one of the fake addresses when signing up for the “free offers”. The offers sometimes contain good information if you wade through the blurb, but be prepared for a deluge of spam if you use your normal email address.

        I also recommend this site. Personally, I think the paid version is worth the small pittance for admittance, just for the educational benefits. Along with the articles, you can get some good insights from comments section; most of the people making comments appear to be seasoned investors that have been around for a while and offer good input.

        I’m rather new to investing, too. I’m afraid that I’ve become a victim of information overload (remember to use temporary email addresses!), and it’s hard for me to make a decision to actually buy a stock. I’m about ready to settle for some dividend-paying ETFs. Wish I could decide which ones! :>) :>)

        By the way, the Mighty Thinkolator has led me to two stocks that I am seriously considering. ,,,,,,,

        • Lysander72
          Mar 27 2013, 10:26:45 am

          Hi, I do recommend becoming a Gumshoe Irregular, it’s quite the bargain. I do think it is essential to understand the Austrian business cycle theory in order to enhance your chances of investment success. For starters, one can download Murray Rothbard’s book, “America’s Great Depression” for free at mises.org. For a paid service I highly recommend Daily Alert($140/year) at economicpolicyjournal.com

        • norman castagneto
          Mar 27 2013, 06:14:03 pm

          I’m also green and new to the irregulars. sound like your patient. As a risk taker I have always
          found power in knowing my limitations. being green is stressful in liars poker. correct me or expand as you like situational awareness and trusting feedback seems paramount .I too am grateful to find this website.
          anyone looked into twin cities power ? http://www.tcpnotes.com is this to good to bee true?

        • therese conlon
          Mar 27 2013, 10:03:53 pm

          Hello Hi Pockets,
          Wow what a lot of good ideas,thank a lot for that,really appreciate the time you took to part with so much information,learned a lot since yesterday!!!!!!

    5. Dick
      Mar 26 2013, 07:48:09 pm

      I got TSLA before Xmas and made enough money to buy the gifts but not enough to buy the car that I’d like very much to have. I’ll stay away from the stock because everybody knows about it and, on the blogs, you have the same cult following a la Forrest Gump you had with AAPL a year ago.

    6. barry walter
      Mar 26 2013, 07:57:23 pm

      Pay some $ get some advice Gumshoe good place to start. Read Barrons open account at TD AMERITRADE trade fo $10 stay away from brokers be careful

      • 15
        Wayne Hatcher
        Mar 26 2013, 09:39:49 pm

        Some of the best advice I’ve read today. Except, go with Scottrade and pay $7 per trade and stay away from brokers who’s only interest is in getting you to make trades so they can make commission. My daddy used to say “they call um brokers because they’re usually broker than you are”.

        • therese conlon
          Mar 27 2013, 10:11:26 pm

          Hi Wayne,Yes heard that too,we say that in real estate as well that never be a broker as you will end up that way as well!!!

    7. Jim
      Mar 26 2013, 08:01:27 pm

      I had a chance to see one of the high end Tesla cars at their show room in South Coast Plaza (Newport Beach, CA.). They had a chassis only and also a complete car. As an engineer, I can attest to the fact that it is beautiful both inside and out. Outstanding simplicity and beautiful construction. Unfortunately, I don’t believe the technology is there yet and it can’t really be forced. Sort of like finding a cancer cure, it will come when it comes. Until then…

      I do think they should try without making all of us pay for it. Those rich buyers don’t need public money (do they?).

      • 15
        Wayne Hatcher
        Mar 26 2013, 09:28:36 pm

        Not trying to be a smart ass Jim but, if the public had free access to the filthy rich’s tax forms I would be willing to bet that the public money they get for a lot of things would start a revolution of sorts. I have nothing against being rich. Hell, I hope to be among them some day but let’s face it. The breaks are all geared toward our law makers (who if they ain’t rich when they get elected they soon will be) and their biggest contributors. Now who do ya suppose that would be? THE WEALTHIEST OF AMERICA. You know, the guys that don’t need public assistance but just have it forced on them anyway.

        • allen williams
          Apr 3 2013, 07:35:13 pm

          our elected officals are allowed to trade on inside information that they receive while in office and it IS NOT ILLEGAL FOR THEM TO DO SO>

          • 15
            Wayne Hatcher
            Apr 3 2013, 10:29:51 pm

            Yes Allen Williams, you’re right and I used to begrudge that privilege. But, in my older age I have reconciled myself to just accepting that all things aren’t necessarily created equal and we aren’t all on the same playing field. So nowadays I just try to concentrate on my own research and simply do my best. I get a lot less heartburn that way. I feel your aggravation but you and I both know that there’s nothing the little investor can do about it. So I say why sweat it? Just my humble opinion.

      • Gerard Waters
        Mar 27 2013, 05:55:52 am

        Tesla have built a beautiful car, the drive system is an engineering success ,the body is a joy to behold. The only small dawback is the energy storage system , the heart of the car, the battery . It in not up to the task as compared to the internal combustion engine ,to which we have become accustomed . A 20000 dollar tank to store a few dollars worth of energy, particularly , if it does not want to give back to you in cold weather, and leaks it away over night, will not work for the vast majority of people ,even if they are rich , naive , or stupid. I may be wrong ,but I do not think there are enough people in that cathagory to make Tesla a success .

    8. Slick Rick
      Mar 26 2013, 08:30:14 pm

      I actually sat in the car which was on display at the Short Hills Mall in NJ .
      Nice looking car , but IMHO totally impractical. There is NO state tax on the car in NJ plus a subsidy is available. If the Tesla was not supported by the government ….I seriously doubt whether it could stand on its own,
      Remember that you will need to have a special electrical setup for the car in your garage ….this can cost up to $2,000 plus all the permits required.
      Cold weather will decrease mileage , and that could be a serious problem in the North East, and a big pain in the ass when a tow is needed.
      For less money and no headaches , buy a beautiful gasoline CTS Cadillac instead!

    9. Matt Elwell
      Mar 26 2013, 10:44:24 pm

      Therese, Agree with the others…only I use e-trade. They’re all about the same give or take a dollar. Best advice anyone can give you…read everything you can get your hands on. Some people are selling services (I pay for a couple) and offer great advice. Once you join Fool, Angel Nexus, get an account at Forbes, etc. you’ll be e-mailed every teaser you could imagine from services no one knew existed. If they pique your interest, come here and find out if it’s a worthwhile bet.

      Read everything you can, and if you’re truly just starting out, be patient. I treat my investing like a second job. I spend upwards of 15 hrs a week researching and tracking stocks. It’s a fun second job. When I first started, I read a teaser ludicrous teaser that made me think it would double overnight. One year later, I made $3.00 after commissions.

      Good luck.

      • therese conlon
        Mar 27 2013, 09:12:23 pm

        Matt ,thank a lot for that I really appreciate the info and since yesterday have learned so much so have a list going of where to start to focus and be patient.

    10. adam
      Mar 27 2013, 04:56:05 am

      you guys must have the patience of saints…..motley fool? – perhaps they helped you make money? – they may have been the good guys in the beginning….all they did to me (online virtual rape metaphors coming up….) was destroy my inbox….as i emailed them IN CAPITALS out of desperation….’I THINK 14 EMAILS A DAY IS ENOUGH’
      If you value your time and control over your emailing life, AVOID AT ALL COSTS.
      If they do remove you from their less than worthless email saturation bombing barrage (after you BEG them), i strongly suspect they sell your email address to even more worthless shysters – out of spite. But thats just my personal experience.

    11. 15
      Wayne Hatcher
      Mar 27 2013, 10:06:51 am

      I get my share of emails but I can’t say that Motley Fool is any worse or better than anyone else. Wait….. Yes I can. Stansberry is the absolute worse for killing an inbox. Now they are a clearing house for publications and don’t have a problem with telling you about them all.

    12. g pare
      Mar 27 2013, 12:23:29 pm

      I made a lot of good investments via the MFool Advisor. I paid a bunch of my daughters college tuition from those investments. I use Sharebuilder – around $6-7 a trade. Good service- I don’t know about Tesla-I keep tracking their progress.
      $30 a few months ago now upto $36. hmmm

      Mar 27 2013, 12:57:43 pm

      Travis your concerns about the “grid” are noted. One of the most frustrating things about being an engineer is to watch the bureaucrats operate in this technical society.
      The NEA and libtard college professors who taught the current batch of MORONS is disturbing. I fraught over the trillions paid to environmental green companies and their political friends. Luckily the miniaturization of Nuclear Power, a godsend, will prevail after all the other wet dreams fail miserably–pick up a British newspaper.
      NuScale-Fluor, Mitsubishi and others are making advances in modular reactors, which with the fuel cell technology of Bloom and the abundance of NG will make the grid obsolete, or of less importance. By the way Thorium will win over Uranium.

    14. Alan Harris
      Mar 27 2013, 01:05:42 pm

      The car sounds and looks great…the acceleration claimed is probably ‘too good to be true’. But electric cars will never reach the masses until you can slide out a dead battery and slide in a charged one in the same time it takes to fill your tank.
      Ps Didnt they stop making the DeLorean cars because they kept sniffing up the white lines in the center of the roads 😉

      • Gerard Waters
        Mar 27 2013, 01:28:14 pm

        You are talking Kandi electrical cars. They are only in China ,I doubt they will catch on in the US or Europe in the foreseeable future.

          • Gerard Waters
            Mar 27 2013, 06:21:30 pm

            Kandi have launched a small electric car with a quick change battery pack in the city of Hangzhou with grants from the Chinese government . There is a great deal of information on Seeking Alpha , look them up , they may have a very solid future. I have a reasonable number of shares and may buy more in the future.

            • Alan Harris
              Mar 27 2013, 07:01:47 pm

              Hmm! thanks . Ill view. You see the super highway is irrelevant if I can swap batteries. The Highway means I have to plan 2 hr stop-offs every 100miles. A swap is instant.

    15. Leo
      Mar 27 2013, 01:44:35 pm

      I am surprised that nobody mentioned Fidelity or Vanguard. I am no expert but I find that Fidelity gives you a lot at your fingertips to do your basic due diligence in a hurry. Right now I am on defense and only invested in Berkshire, and waiting.

      • 996 |
        Hi Pockets
        Mar 27 2013, 11:50:09 pm

        Hey Leo – Thanks for mentioning Fidelity and Vanguard. I just now visited both sites — Vanguard has a blog with some interesting articles (http://vanguardblog.com/ ), and Fidelity ( https://www.fidelity.com/ ) has a section on ETFs and another on “Stock Market Insights” that I will be following up on.

        I have been a regular Irregular for several weeks now, and I have seen no mention of Investors Business Daily. I once had an introductory subscription to their newspaper. Their website ( http://www.investors.com/default.htm ) seems to have quite a bit of free information.

        Has anyone had any experience with IBD? If so, how did you use it?

        • Alan Harris
          Mar 28 2013, 12:19:44 pm

          Hi Pockets
          Id try Investopedia’s free courses first. Try fundimental analysis, then charting analysis. Once you’ve mastered those you wont have to waste your every waking hour reading tip sheet, blog snake oil. Its really very simple. You are buying into a piece of some company’s FUTURE success or failure. So all you need is some means of predicticting the future. If any tip sheet author had that ability, he/she wouldnt need to be selling you tips, now would they ? Understanding the company you’re investing in improves your odds of success dramatically. But that research takes time and effort. Which is precisely why you shouldnt buy into more than 5 stocks…….life is too short.

            • Alan Harris
              Mar 29 2013, 06:50:04 am

              Hi again Pockets
              Seeing as you appear to be a diligent and respectful student, I offer this too….it will excite you in your early daze. There’s a site called AmericanBulls.com, and there’s British Bulls etc too (it’s free in its basic form) I have great faith in it. Its a totally automated stock picking method, so emotion/author judgement, snake oil etc doesnt come into it. It uses candlestick graphs. For me, the beauty is that a stock is moved by what ALL others throughout the world are doing…..the genius’, the fools, big money, tiddlers, news, lack of news, profits, losses, insider info, ignorance. Its a reflection of the whole melting pot of sentiment for that stock. Its fascinating. Simply stick in any ticker, say, PKI. They also show how well/badly you would have done for each stock over the last 2 yrs had you followed their reco, which reco’s were correct, which wrong. The reality is that you can’t follow all their reco’s at the prices they say coz by the time they publish (even real-time) the market has moved. But I do find it useful to check before I buy/sell any stock. Let us know after you’ve had a peep at it. Good luck.

            • 996 |
              Hi Pockets
              Apr 2 2013, 01:15:38 am

              Alan — AmericanBulls is a very interesting site. Thanks for the link! I will be using it frequently.

              They are making some major changes to the site on 4/30, and changing their fees. (As you said, one can get good information without joining.) The new fees have not been posted yet. Judging by the long list of upgraded items that will be on the new site, the fees will be higher.

              I’m doing some noodling using their numbers on the stocks I own. I’ll let you know how it goes.

              Your statement, ” For me, the beauty is that a stock is moved by what ALL others throughout the world are doing…..the genius’, the fools, big money, tiddlers, news, lack of news, profits, losses, insider info, ignorance “, reminds me of one of the theories of chaos: It’s possible for a butterfly flapping its wings in Australia to make it snow in New York City. Unlikely, of course, but, when one considers the myriad of small details that affect weather, who knows what the small breeze created by the butterfly might do.

              By the way — I agree with both you and the butterfly! :>)

        • Mino Taur
          Oct 22 2013, 02:16:12 pm

          I have experience with IBD, both free & paid. If you’re running tens of thousands of dollars, stick to the free edition. All those subscription costs will eat up your earnings. speaking of free: my public library has a subscription to Value Line. This is an expensive site, I put in my library card and access it for free. It takes time to learn how to use it, but it’s well spent. While you’re learning, set up a “paper account” on a spreadsheet(or for that matter, in a marble notebook). Charge yourself standard broker fees, just like you were really investing. You’ll learn a lot, and that “Can Slim” stuff is tricky. It’s well worth learning, but make your mistakes first with paper dollars.

    16. 3984 |
      Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe
      Mar 27 2013, 03:18:34 pm

      Not particularly big news, since Tesla has partnered with other car makers to help them develop niche electric vehicles before (like Toyota’s electric RAV-4), but they did make a bit of a splash at the NY auto show when it was announced that the new compact Mercedes electric car for the US (the B-class) will use a lot of Tesla parts (batteries, electric drive) and presumably be priced competitively with the Leaf. Or at least, substantially lower than the Tesla Model S. http://www.leftlanenews.com/mercedes-benz-b-class-electric-drive.html

    17. norman castagneto
      Mar 27 2013, 06:30:52 pm

      anyone see the teaser posted today gas $5.00 a gallon by July?
      if it holds water is somebody exploiting electric car intrest?
      someone did mention Gov. backed companies

    18. joel locke
      Mar 27 2013, 10:41:11 pm

      I read something about another electric vehicle in Canada. Its only .29 a share. I pulled this from yahoo finance.

      LAS VEGAS, NV–(Marketwire – Feb 19, 2013) – Terra Inventions Corp (OTCBB: TERX), winner of the 2010 X-Prize using 21st Century Design & Engineering of emission-free, all electric, high speed, long range automotive propulsion systems using the latest lithium-ion battery technology, is proud to announce it has entered into a Licensing Agreement with Lithium Electric Vehicle Corp. (LEVC); a Canadian company. This agreement will make Terra Invention’s Research and Development and technology for lithium ion, all-electric vehicles available to Lithium Electric Vehicle Corp. for further technological development paving the way to continue as the world’s leader in the development of all-electric lithium ion powered vehicles.

    19. 15
      Wayne Hatcher
      Mar 31 2013, 02:51:52 am

      I read an analysis on lit ion battery powered cars since I was here last. It seems according to this supposed independent study that the batteries at current technology levels last between 50 to 60k miles and cost on avg $15k for replacement. If that is true. Why would anybody even want one? My opinion is that CNG would be the better way to go considering the abundant supply and low cost. Would work miracles on the environment too.

      • Alan Harris
        Mar 31 2013, 06:39:03 am

        If this is accurate, given my 30mpg UK car, its about $7.5 per gallon equivalent. And thats if you ignore the metered cost of the electricity !

        • ryan ankney
          Mar 31 2013, 12:04:17 pm

          Last production report for Tesla at around 5,300 cars. Should be an easy 20,000 by year end. I expect the new technology lithium batteries recently announced, (not by Tesla)that can fully recharge in less than a minute (but at this time are terribly expensive) will one day be offered as an option in Tesla cars, and maybe even as a retrofit. A lot of the Tesla supercharger stations that provide free charging for Teslas, are solar powered, so if the grid goes down, there’ll be power there for Teslas. All new technology is expensive to begin with, and the only way to bring the price down is usually sales in sheer volume. Electrics will follow suit. Funny thing about green technology, once you are forced to accept the technology ( as I had to with my big diesel trucks), and you get over the additional costs at outset, you actually feel good about not running around spewing noxious gases into the atmosphere. That’s something I never expected when I was bellyachin’ over the price of my first enviro-freindly diesel unit purchase.

    20. caseyv
      Mar 31 2013, 04:59:42 pm

      Thanks Alan, Pockets, and esp. Therese who asked the questions I needed aswered. I am just starting out…I mean like, TODAY. I was a Burn Nurse for 13 years until I married a farmer. He is a great producer but doesn’t know how to manage money or marketing AT ALL. I didn’t know a monocot from a call. But I have always known that I can figure how ANYTHING works if I can get a little basic info. I went to the public library and asked for the equivalent of COMMODITY MARKETING FOR DUMMIES. They laughed. I emailed the marketing editors ( whose advise I couldn’t even read ’cause I didn’t know the lingo) listed in the Farming Periodicals we get each month and…bingo. I do the marketing now. My husband’s idea of a business plan is, “sit on the crop until a bill comes in…sell some.” He usually managed to hit the yearly low. The farm actually tax sheltered my nursing income until I caught on. Then I increased our bottom line by 300% and quit my job. I loved it. But now 8 yrs. later I am so bored my brains are liquifying and running out my ears. I spent the last 6 years finding out what I didn’t want to do ( like work for someone else, dropship junk…) Yesterday I listened to that longlonglong Stansberry ad culminating in, $99 gets you 30 day access to all our swell stuff. YEAH RIGHT. But I thought about it. I googled reviews. The first one I choose to click on was Gumshoe. The first thing I read was this discussion…bingo…BIG BINGO. I am excited for the first time in a long time. It’s not even about the money. I have thought to myself for a long time, “if only I could get paid just for learning new stuff.” I LOVE doing research. Thanks to you guys for setting out the first yellow brick. Now I learn and learn and in awhile I paper trade to test myself, then I PAY ME TO DO RESEARCH. YEA!!! casey

      • 996 |
        Hi Pockets
        Mar 31 2013, 09:26:26 pm

        Welcome to the club, Ms. CaseyW! You will be able to learn a lot from the comments of members – In addition to assimilating the wisdom of the Mighty and Great Thinkolator, of course!

        One other idea for you, from the wisdom of Warren Buffet — ” , , , , a prudent share investor should never buy shares in a company whose business they do not understand.” ( http://www.buffettsecrets.com/understanding-the-company.htm ).

        I’m just getting started, too, and I’m going to try to remember when I think about investing in a company. It will help me cut down on the number of companies to research.

    21. Alan Harris
      Mar 31 2013, 06:58:51 pm

      I truly feel your excitement. But don’t throw the hard working, loving hubby out with the bath water. He may not be brainic but he sounds commited to his family. If the two wasnt greater than 1 times two, you should apologise for mistakenly roping him into achieving your personal dream. Marriage is about team work…..no team that ever won a game consisted of just a single quarterback. Perhaps it’s your time and if he is prepared to trust you and give you your head, he sounds like a good partner. Work together.

      If I can offer any advice it’s this: Dont trust tip sheets (except Gumshoe which never definatively reco’s anything)……. learn to understand the game for yourself. You are buying into the FUTURE success (or failure) of a company. If youre not certain that they have the potential to succeed….dont buy in. In any event, never risk more than you can afford to lose. Success in this biz isnt about luck….its about reading and re-reading the writing on the wall. If you cant do that….learn to plough fields.

    22. Alan Harris
      Apr 2 2013, 02:25:31 pm

      Hi Travis
      I dont know if youre still out there monitoring this thread, but you will see above that theres a lot of learners (me especially). I can easily imagine how the mighty Thinkolator ID’s the veiled tip via focussed google etc searches. But that’s not what fascinates me. Its how you go about analysing the company/stock. There are soooooo many different possible approaches, and every balance sheet/profit and loss/annual report contains an aching amount of data. Ive tried lining up several of your reports to spot the recurring themes, but I cant spot the pattern. Do you have a standard approach Sherlock? Or am I asking the brain surgeon too explain his/her lifes work in a sentence?

      • Alan Harris
        Apr 2 2013, 02:34:56 pm

        Ps How about a little Masterclass. Pick a stock (any stock) and explain your thought process line by line. Im certain many here would be rapt and gain a huge amount from the crib sheet as we read your future revelations.
        Pretty PLEAAAAASE !
        Cummon you other guys, add your vote for this.

        • 3984 |
          Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe
          Apr 2 2013, 04:27:33 pm

          Thanks Alan — it’s a bit of a mixed bag so I don’t know if I can lay it out for you in a simple way, but I’ll think about what I might be able to do. Much of the time, of course, I’m giving pretty quick feedback based on less than an hour of research and just a glance at income statements and balance sheets, since I write about a new stock that’s teased almost every day … but I do take the time and additional steps to consider some investments more carefully and thoroughly, either for myself or for the Irregulars.

          • Alan Harris
            Apr 2 2013, 04:57:08 pm

            Ah! Its the which bits of those income statements and balance sheets, and why those bits are important, that interests me. I dream of coming to any conclusion after an hour. This is prob more an Irregulars ‘over my shoulder’ class than the teaser busting sheet. Anyway thanks….I know yourll do what you can when u can.

        • 996 |
          Hi Pockets
          Apr 3 2013, 12:52:06 am

          I second the motion!

          You might think about including a paragraph or two about — while you’re waiting for a pullback — how you determine how much will be enough.

    23. Jkboats
      Apr 2 2013, 07:30:07 pm

      Have any of you electric car and high mileage enthusiasts considered the effect on the states many taxes related to gas consumption. As the electric car becomes available gas useage will have to fall .W ith the fall is the reduction in excise taxes imposed by the feds and states on a per gallon of useage basis and sales taxs. There are probably other taxes in some states that are added to the per gallon cost. Allegedly this provides for road maintenance and rebuilding, probably street clearing of ice and snow and who knows what other misdirected funds within our state and federal govenments.

      • caseyv
        Apr 3 2013, 04:45:01 pm

        TJSG: I ‘ll be taking that masterclass too. Alan Harris: I won’t be dropping ANY of the balls I have had in the air for the past decade. I will just be adding another one. I already know how plough fields…and plant fields and combine fields and bale hay and feed cows etc.ect.etc.

        • Alan Harris
          Apr 3 2013, 04:52:41 pm

          It must be hard work….but I envy you those skills and that lifestyle. Perhaps I wouldnt if I had to live it 🙂

    24. everglue
      Apr 13 2013, 09:05:58 am

      I’m Not SoldOnTh Electric CarsMyself, I Think Natutal Gas And Better Emmisions ForStarters, If YouWantToBe “Green”
      FromAllTheExperiencedTradersOutThere(AndI Won’t B Mad Because i KnowI Its AnUnpredictableMarket)) CouldSomeoneRecommend The Best Or BetterAdviceServicesOutThere? Stocks And/Or Options? I’mMainlyIntoOptions, AnD DoesAnybodyHaveAnOpinionThey’dLikeToShare About Shaeffer’s (Bernie) Services? I KnowToDoMyOwnResearch But I WouldLikeAServiceThatGivesMe Somewhere To Start. Also, HasAnyone Tried Vectorvest Trend Software? Sorry ForMy WordsRunningTogether, SomethingsWrongWithMy PhoneInput.

    25. 3984 |
      Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe
      May 16 2013, 02:39:52 pm

      This turned out to be very well timed! Credit where credit is due, Elon Musk’s big buy (along with their secondary), and their excellent results so far this year in the early ramp-up have driven a huge short squeeze that’s bounced the shares almost straight up, giving them a double from two months ago when Ian Wyatt predicted the double. Other folks like David Gardner at the Fool and a few other growth stock lovers have been behind it too, and they’re looking very wise so far.

      Valuation still gives me pause, even more so now that the shares are twice as high, but it seems like a fool’s wager to bet against Elon Musk these days.

    26. the doctor
      Sep 6 2013, 12:57:30 pm

      Tesla has been losing about $50 million a quarter. their recent “profitable” quarter wasnt directly due to car sales but due to energy credit sales of $110 million. If it wasnt for that artificial benefit, they would still be in the red, losing money on every car built and sold. meanwhile the Leaf has comparable sales despitebeing 1/3 the price ( and both are beating GM’s dead dog Volt).

    27. Egidio Guarini
      Jan 14 2014, 07:26:16 pm

      Elon Musk is a game changer and thanks to the few people in history like him, the rest of us have benifited.

      When it comes to Elon Musk, he is one of the 001% that makes things happen, 10% know something is happening, but don’t know what, while the rest pick their noses at the red light.

    28. online games
      Feb 13 2014, 09:02:25 pm

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