“An unstoppable $160 BILLION force that could make early investors a small fortune…” (Motley Fool)

Digging into the latest Rule Breakers tease for "cloud computing" favorites

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, December 19, 2011

The folks at the Motley Fool have been promoting Dave Gardner’s Rule Breakers newsletter for years by using the same basic theme for their ads: Cloud computing scared Bill Gates into retirement, and the “Kings of Cloud Computing” in the next era will make you rich.

If you’re not familiar with Gardner, he’s basically a growth stock investor with a heavy “story” bent — he has a set of “rule breaking” criteria for stock selection that includes picking companies who are “top dogs” and “first movers” in their sector, with sustainable competitive advantage, a stock price that has already gone up dramatically, and a consensus on Wall St. that the stock is “overvalued” or expensive.

Of course, the “cloud computing” ad they’re running has changed a couple times — they’ve revamped the companies they’ve featured/teased a little bit, including offering up a “Kings of Cloud Computing 2.0” last year … but now they seem to have gone back to basics. So what are the stocks they call the “kings” this year, and are they the same ones they’ve pitched before? Let’s check it out and see …

The “hook” for the ad this time is that there’s a mysterious white building that represents this changing world — they show a photo of it, and then open with these enticing quotes:

“At first glance, the mysterious white building in this photo may seem harmless…

“But here are a few things you should know…

“While investigating it, the press likened this monolithic structure — code-named ‘Project 2’ — to, ‘an information-age nuclear plant’…”

Well, that “Project 2” stuff is an old story — actually usually referred to as “Project 02,” Google’s big foray into super-size data centers with a large center in Oregon. It’s sort of part of the “cloud,” but what it was really about was (and is) speeding up search for users, so ads could be faster and search could be more responsive — they’ve built up their own global network of super-fast data centers, which won’t surprise you when you think about the fact that Google search results often load dramatically faster than even a regular web page (like this one) loads on your home computer. They know that if your search doesn’t work in half a second you’re going to be frustrated, whereas here at StockGumshoe.com we rely on your patience as the liquid-cooled hamsters in our server farms do their level best to keep things running.

And yes, they’re still feature Google (GOOG) as the “free” pick in this ad, the one they’re willing to tell you about without you subscribing, and one of the clearer beneficiaries of the web-centered world — not only because of search, and the fact that we’re getting so we have to search the web for everything