“The Cisco of the Smart Grid” (Money Map Report)

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, March 15, 2010

If there’s one company that I would have liked to recognize as a world changer 20 years ago, it’s Cisco Systems — the routing pioneer is one of the great stories of the internet age, a tiny company that was trading at a split-adjusted 8 cents a share back in 1990, now the dominant networking stock in the world with the stock at $26 a share and a market cap of $150 billion. The market share gains have beaten the stock price gains by a bit, unfortunately, since Cisco has long siphoned off a lot of their profits in stock options, but it’s hard to complain about that with such a massive gain.

So when someone says they’ve found the “next Cisco” — and they say it will be the “Cisco of the smart grid,” which everyone seems to believe will be an inevitable focus of infrastructure spending in the decade to come, I sit up and take notice. Who, pray tell, are they teasing us about?

Well, the tease is in the service of the Money Map Report, which is the “entry level” newsletter from Money Map Press — and they tell us not only that if we sign up we’ll receive a copy of Peter Schiff’s revised version of Crash Proof, but also the name of the company that they tease as this “Cisco.” This is a standard marketing pitch from Money Map, they have long tied their name to Peter Schiff by giving away his book to folks who sign up for subscriptions and teasing his ideas (I wrote about this last May, when they pitched the older version of his book, and in June when they focused on the new currency of “Gold Dollars” that Schiff likes, and very little of that has changed much in the new Crash Proof 2.0, as far as I can tell).

In fact, I just checked on their website at Money Map and they’re also trying this with a book that they must be able to get dirt cheap right now, A Bull in China by Jim Rogers — so they piggyback on his commodities expertise and China boosterism to tease the ideas he writes about in the book, including specific stocks, and offer a copy of it to you if you’ll just subscribe. I’m wondering if it’s an error that has this offer on their site right now, since the book is extremely old to be used as a source of specific stock tips (it was published in 2007). I’ve read it, it’s an interesting book, and some of the stocks he mentioned certainly did well … but I don’t find the tease of 2007 stock ideas all that compelling.

But anyway, I’m again off track: The target today is this “Cisco of the smart grid” … here’s how they tease it:

“As you probably know, many people got rich from the emergence of the Internet.

“The best example might be Cisco Systems. The Internet-hardware company handed investors 16,637% gains from 1990 to 2000.

“But some investors will get even richer off the emergence of a new Internet.

“This one will be 1,000 times bigger than the first, according to a current Cisco VP.

“The new internet won’t handle emails and web pages. It will route energy between power plants and customers in the most efficient way possible.

“Many call this new network the Smart Grid.

“As CNET reports, the new network will add billions to the bottom lines of both utility companies and customers each year.