Saturday, March 3, 2012

TOP DOG, FIRST MOVER & SUSTAINABLE COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE --->Ad by Motley Fool regarding picking hot shot winner stocks.

Not sure if you have had to see an ad by the Motley Fool when it suddently appears on your screen. It was an interesting pitch. Good piece of marketing. I was wondering what the catch is, right? Coz no one does anything for free, in this world - no one! There is always some returns in mind. Even those who do charity for others do so to get a "feel good" sensation in their brains - that they are helping others get a better life. As we learnt in Economics, "There are no free lunches - somebody, somewhere, somehow, has to pay the cost!"

And sure enough, there was a catch at the end ---> "Buy our monthly subcription! For $100+ or so..." No, thank you, Sir! I am a poor MBA student. Ain't got no money to blow away!

The pitch was about the rising prominence of cell phones and spectrums. And why people should be investing in cell phone spectrums. And that Motley Fool has the name of a winner stock.

But what got me interested was some business terms they used : "Top Dog" & "First Mover" - to identify good companies worth investing in. Here is THEIR definition (mind you, this is NOT the textbook definition that I studied in my Strategy classes :):

TOP DOG - A Top Dog is a company that dominates its industry

FIRST MOVER - A First Mover is a company with a technology or product so revolutionary that it disrupts an existing industry and creates an entirely new one.

The ad then goes on to list a few characteristics of good companies for investing - by going AGAINST conventional wisdom of Wall Street or Main Street, sometimes. And they are:
  1. "A sustainable competitive advantage that can be exploited for years to come (like exclusive rights to highly in-demand cellular transmission sites all around the world)"
  2. Strong past price appreciation (like 5,000%+ gains in under a decade).
  3. Excellent management of the business (like a long-standing CEO who top-notch equity analysts and the Harvard Business Review alike have called out as being one of the best in the world).
  4. Strong consumer appeal (like being the top behind-the-scenes provider to one of the world’s most in-demand industries).
  5. Documented proof that the financial media thinks it’s ‘overvalued’.
Now, I am not going to debate the merits of these points made (points 1 to 4 are common sense - they sound right, eh?). Perhaps sometime in the future, I shall have the complete confidence to make a detailed critique.

Gerry Som.
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