Editor's Note: James J. Cramer was the keynote speaker at The Miami Herald's Making Money Conference, held Saturday. We're running the full text of that speech here, and this is the last of four installments. Read the first part here, the second here and the third here.
How about some wild cards, some companies that have the capability of being trillion-dollar companies if they execute well, because they can scale, because they can grow effortlessly without a lot of people, because they have a lot of sales momentum. Remember, sales momentum, not earnings, put you in
. If you wait for the earnings to explode, you miss the biggest moves. They
occur ahead of that earnings explosion.
Let me give you five that we are putting in our basket, five that we think are candidates to be huge. Before I did this, I bounced these five off my staff. The comments of my friend and partner
control. He did not know whether any one of these companies would be big five years from now, but if one is, that stock will make up for the rest. In spades.
So, without further ado, here goes:
- 724 Solutions (SVNX) InfoSpace (INSP) - Get ReportInktomi (INKT) Yahoo! (YHOO) VeriSign (VRSN) - Get Report
Now, before I go into each one, I'm going to offer some real caveats and I demand that you listen to them. One, we own these. If they go up 50 points or something huge next week, we will not own as much because we will have to create room if they drop 50 points. These stocks trade in wild increments.
Two, we would never own just one of these. Maybe that will be the one that doesn't execute well. Maybe that will be the one that blows it. Three, I could have mentioned a whole bunch of others --
spring to mind. But I want to talk about these because they represent the most likely lottery tickets out there. I did not choose the words lottery tickets out of imprudence. That's what these already multibillion companies are.
So what are these lottery tickets?
724 Solutions devises a way to make wireless banking possible from handheld computers. Isn't that what we really want from our future cell phones? 724 makes it happen.
You want wireless in this market. InfoSpace has potentially one of the best wireless strategies I've seen. These guys have deals with most of the major carriers who pay them for their software solutions. InfoSpace is set to capitalize on the off-line world that can't specifically sell goods over the Internet, but rather offers promotions or their services (dry cleaning and restaurants).
InfoSpace is the innards of most commerce sites. With InfoSpace, you can use your cell phone to figure out what is the cheapest, the best, the closest and the easiest place to eat, to buy, to fly.
Inktomi supplies the engine of order to the Web. It's Inktomi that allows you to harness the Web to find what you want and it allows you to get it faster. Many, many sites are powered by Inktomi.
Yahoo! is perhaps the most well known of these stocks. It's a $95 billion company that wants a piece of everything you do on the Web. It's the most looked-up site on earth and it has people paying it to carry programming. All sorts of programming. It's a money machine.
VeriSign does Web authentication. Its recently
announced planned purchase of
will make it so that when you register your site, you will immediately be prompted by VeriSign to secure it. That's a one-two punch that will be the best call on the growth of the Internet.
Now, what do you do with these ideas? If you just go buy the stocks, I hope they go down and you lose money. I'll be just another tipper. As I teach over and over and over again on the site,
, do some homework. Look each of these stocks up on
. Look at the annual reports. Download their conference calls. Look at their Web sites. Get to know them. If you don't, they will go down and you will sell them. That's human nature. You cannot have the confidence you need to own a stock unless you follow through on those simple procedures.
Don't have time to do it? Then don't cuff the process. While owning stocks is exciting, and watching them go up is incredibly exciting, when they go down it's gut-wrenching, heart-stopping and nauseating. Mutual funds were created precisely for you. And I would urge you to buy them, not these stocks, or any other for that matter.
If you get wise as an investor or a trader and use these rules to find the next big winners, I think you can lick any mutual fund or guru out there. But if you don't, please don't play the home game. It's just too dangerous to do it yourself.
James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund was long Microsoft, Cisco, 724 Solutions, InfoSpace, Inktomi, Yahoo!, VeriSign, Redback, Brocade and Veritas. His fund often buys and sells securities that are the subject of his columns, both before and after the columns are published, and the positions that his fund takes may change at any time. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Cramer's writings provide insights into the dynamics of money management and are not a solicitation for transactions. While he cannot provide investment advice or recommendations, he invites you to comment on his column at