Seems like I’m seeing a lot more of David Gardner over the last month than I had for ages — he’s the growth-focused half of the Motley Fool brothers, and this time around the pitch is for his “aggressive growth” newsletter Rule Breakers. This letter has brought us a lot of interesting ideas in the past, including Akamai (AKAM), Baidu (BIDU), Universal Display (PANL) and Intuitive Surgical (ISRG), and also plenty of lesser performers — as you’d usually expect with an advisory focused on breakthrough growth stocks with expensive-looking valuations, when they pick the wrong stock the pick can look very bad very fast, as with folks like Harris & Harris (TINY) or Sigma Designs (SIGM).
As with most aggressive growth newsletters, subscribers plan for the small number of huge winners to outpace the large number of losers — and, if you’re a subscriber who can’t buy all 40+ stocks in their list, you hope that you pick the best ones. So is the pick that Dave Gardner is pitching today going to be a breakthrough gainer (or a “Spiffy Pop,” as they like to call ’em), or will it be a dud?
Let’s figure out who it is first, shall we?
Here’s the intro to the letter:
“Your credit card may soon be worthless. Here’s why …
“The Three Little Letters Your Credit Card Company Doesn’t Want You to Know About…
“Soon, you’ll be seeing them everywhere you go. That’s because they’re about to make the plastic in your wallet obsolete — and set off the biggest gold rush we’ve seen since the dot-com days.
“Google, Apple, Nokia, and Microsoft are all desperately battling to stake their claim — but YOU could get rich by simply snapping up shares of the little-known company behind this credit-card-killing technology before everyone else does.
“Everything you need to start cashing in is revealed below…”
The letter does a good job of describing the hugely profitable development of credit cards, from the days when Diner’s Club paved the way to a new way of transacting business to the point where it’s now a multi-trillion dollar industry.
And as with all of Gardner’s “Rule Breakers,” the stock has already shot up (that’s one of his qualifications — the stock has to already be on the move, and has to be considered “overvalued” by the cognoscenti, among other triggers, before he likes it) …
“… over just the past nine months — as the smart money has begun quietly pouring into this stock — its shares have shot up as much as 245%…”
So what’s the big idea here? We’re being told that there’s an upstart payment technology that’s threatening credit cards, and it’s called near field communications (NFC) … here’s how they put it in the ad:
“But now three little letters are threatening to put an end to the party — and make early investors countless millions…
“Granted, you may not be familiar with the term ‘NFC’ yet — but mark my words, the technology behind these three letters is about take the world by storm…
“In fact, Barry McCarthy, President of Mobile Commerce at First Data, says that it will soon be ‘the way to pay, ultimately eliminating your dependence upon credit and debit cards, checks — and even cash.’
“And a recent article on CNNMoney.com says the arrival of this technology has started an all out ‘gold rush on the next e-commerce frontier.’ From the look of things, that’s no exaggeration, either….”
The idea is not just that there are wireless payment systems available — we’ve seen these kinds of “smart cards” and payment keyfobs in lots of applications, and they’re becoming fairly widespread if not all that widely used (I have a little RFID chip in one of my credit cards, for example, so when I remember I can wave it over the pay terminal at McDonald’s instead of swiping the magnetic strip … of course, I never remember).
No, the idea is that this NFC capability will be built into more and more smartphones — we get a long spiel about how all the names you know are developing or already providing this capability hard-wired into their phones, including Research in Motion, Nokia, Google, Microsoft, and, of course, Apple. We also get an official-looking chart that projects sales of these NFC-capable phones to hit 93,166 this year, and then climb steadily to over half a million by 2015.
The projections go on, as in this excerpt:
“But make no mistake, this isn’t just some fad or pie-in-the sky idea… it’s the future of money — and it’s going to spark the biggest payment revolution we’ve seen since Frank McNamara unleashed credit cards on the world.
“You don’t have to take my word for it, though…Are you getting our free Daily Update
"reveal" emails? If not,
just click here...
“According to Forrester Research, over 12% of people in the U.S. and 6% of people in Europe have already paid for something using a mobile device… and The Wall Street Journal reports that $32 billion worth of purchases were made using mobile devices last year alone. But get this…
“Experts at Generator Research predict that number will jump to a whopping $633 BILLION by 2014 — and that some 490 million people around the globe will be using this technology within two to three years.”
So how do we invest in this? We know that most of the phone companies and all of the credit card companies are working on these technologies and networks — so what’s Gardner’s pick?
Hardware — which in this case means “chips” … here are the clues:
“only a handful of highly specialized companies have the state-of-the-art skills, artful know-how, and exclusive patents needed to build the complex components that allow NFC technology to function in the first place.
“And the company I’m about to introduce you to stands head and shoulders above all the rest…
“In fact, not only is this company the clear leader in this explosive new industry (analysts conservatively estimate it could control as much as 70% of the market — not to mention it’s the exclusive provider of all NFC components for Nokia-based smartphones)…
“But it actually helped to invent this world-changing technology — making it far and way the most trusted and highly regarde