Investing for Nerds: Anyone Can Be an Expert
By A Real Person on July 12, 2011
The stock market is an ongoing strategy game screaming for some nerd-love, yet it’s dominated by old guys in suits. The object is to find the companies that are going to be worth more in the future than the market gives them credit for. Sort through the fanboys and the trolls and you can find yourself a winner. You already even have the skills. A mind for statistics? Check. An interest in at least some aspect of business? I hate to break it to you, but following blogs about smartphones and video games counts. I mean if this kid can do it, what’s your excuse?
The first thing I hear after I nerd out on someone over the stock market is that it’s too hard. “I wouldn’t even know where to begin,” they say. I tell them that everyone is an expert in some area of the business world. We are all consumers and we all have a specialty. I’m sure some of you can rattle off the iPad competitors being released in the next three months and whether or not they will make an impact in the marketplace. Dig a little deeper and I bet some of you recognize trends that your parents would kill for. Maybe you’re more interested in fashion and can tell me which mall retailers are on their way down and which are poised for success, or whether nuclear power or fuel cells are the future. These are the same questions Wall Street “experts” are asking, but you have an edge over them. While they’re supposed to be following the entire market, you can follow and read into the companies and trends you’re already interested in and use those nerd skills to set yourself up financially while also enjoying the thrill of the game.
If I haven’t convinced you that being involved in the stock market is within your grasp, then let me ask you this. When did you first hear of Netflix (NFLX)? When was it obvious to you that Netflix was quickly becoming a must-have service for your friends? Two years ago Netflix closed at $40.55 per share. Now it’s trading at around $250 per share. I was skeptical of the service when I first heard about it, but by the summer of 2009, most of my friends were using it to catch up on the first five seasons of LOST.
Along the same lines, when did you know RIM’s (RIMM) Blackberry was starting to look primitive compared to the app revolution that was happening over at Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG)? Even during the financial meltdown of that same summer of 2009, RIM was trading at $71 per share. It wasn’t until April of this year that the stock fell below $50 to where it sits today at just below $30 per share. If you could have said at the beginning of this year that RIM was in serious trouble, then you might have been considered more of an expert on the topic then the average investor.
I should tell you now that there is nothing guaranteed about the stock market. It is not my goal to pick stocks for you. I am just a 25 year old nerd who wants to share his passion for the stock market with his peers. It is my goal, however, through this column, to share ideas, pose questions, and develop our own nerd strategies to beating the market. If we’re going to be obsessing over a game, it might as well be one that can make us some money.
This column should not be construed as recommending or advising on specific investments. The views and opinions expressed in this article or column are the author’s own and not necessarily those of Nerdist Industries; No endorsement by Nerdist Industries of any advice or trading strategy is implied.