Note - this article was originally published in Nanothinc, a website that dissappeared in 1998. Its url is http://www.nanothinc.com if anyone would like to see if it has returned. In this version, the web links have been updated.
Nanotechnology will change the world sometime in the future. The turbulence on the world's stock markets will be substantial, some suggest a crash of unprecedented proportions. However some companies between now and then will benefit far beyond analysts' expectations, and crash or not those who have invested in those companies over the long term will still make fortunes.
The strategy I propose is to invest in companies who are working on nanotechnology.
At the present time, there are few if any companies whose stock quotation is affected by nanotechnology work they are doing. The situation is similar to the stock quotations of semiconductor companies in the late 1970s when the idea of individuals not governments and corporations owning worthwhile computers was only held by eccentrics. If you were eccentric enough to foresee the personal computer revolution, would you have chosen Intel? Microsoft wasn't even there to invest in for another decade. However a broad range of electronics stocks would have contained the winners, and the sector as a whole would have outperformed the markets.
I took all the companies listed in Nanothinc's web site that were quoted on the US markets and who were listed in Yahoo. On the basis that a portfolio selected at random is almost as successful as a carefully researched one this one could be as good as any other, but it does reflect the interest of the Nanothinc site. As of November 1998, Nanothinc seems to have disappeared, so it is no longer possible to know exactly why these particular stocks were selected.
For the individual, I would recommend the strategy of taking a technology investment newsletter, such as The California Technology Stock Letter ( P.O. Box 308, Half Moon Bay CA 94019, (415) 726-8495.) and selecting companies recommended there and also mentioned in Nanothinc. These will rise for different reasons than their nanotchnology content, but the idea is that if you run with the winners and ditch the losers, the overall gain will be positive and even if you have only got one or two companies in the Nanotechnology winners lists, you will have made a substantial fortune over a long period. However the technology market seems to be subject to dramatic booms and busts. This may be due to a tug of war between conventional winsdom which says avoid it at all costs and new logic which says avoid the traditional markets at all costs. Obviously trying to find the "busts" and investing then is a good long term strategy, but finding highs and lows is not easy, and the tax laws make selling at the wrong time a nightmare.
Investing in Nanotechnology will not be a way of getting rich quick or instantly, but if you want to retire some decades in the future, or provide a backup in case you last longer than your present retirement funds, it could place you amongst the survivors.
In addition, many readers of this will be aware of the medical effects of nanotechnology. It could result in substantially increased lifespans, or indeed even lifespans limited only by accidental death. If you are one of the lucky people to benefit this, a world where Nanotechnology investments have made people fortunes will be the only world you can observe. If that world never happened you would be dead. Therefore if you invest for Nanotechnology, then you can only observe a world in which you are benefited. Therefore if you are long lived or are cryopreserved and reanimated, then success is guaranteed.Click here for the latest list from Yahoo with news reports of the Nano Stocks
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