Six Stocks for the Next Ten Years

It was a cold and blustery winter day when I met my father for lunch last week. This is one of the few unexpectedly pleasant things I discovered in my middle age… I can now sit with my father, digest dragon rolls and a bit of wisdom obscured by banter and watch the world march by a plate glass window. At one point between the miso soup and the spicy tuna, Dad told me that he had been putting $1,000 a year into a mutual fund for each of his grandchildren on their birthday. And due to a happenstance of luck, one particular granddaughter who was born in April was up more than 20% over the other ten grandkids. He had chosen a mutual fund that would gradually switch from equities to bonds the closer it came to the tuition due date. Well, I thought, that’s nice of him. A bad gold call But for the record, this is the same man who put money in a gold fund for my college expenses during the seventies and early eighties. From the time he started investing until I needed the money in 1988, gold only went down — falling from $10,00 an ounce to $250 or so at the bottom. It was a spectacularly poor investment, and when it was sold, it was worth half as much as he put in. Not that I wasn’t grateful, as it bought many a Natty Boh; I only wish he had chosen Apple, Microsoft, or Wal-Mart. Now I don’t think the run in gold and silver is over — not by a long shot. Back in 1980, my grandparents would greet us with pre-1965 silver dollars. My Aunt would give us coin sets for birthdays and for Christmas. And these people made their living from farming, ranching, and selling insurance — not what you’d call Wall Street insiders. As far as I can tell this isn’t happening yet. The blow-off top in the metals market is still down the road… Buy low, sell high This led me to think about the big picture. Where would you put money today in order to reap the large returns in fifteen years? The Sam Walton biography tells the story of a truck driver who worked for Wal-Mart and retired a millionaire on WMT stock alone… Or John Templeton, who bought Freddie Mac in 1980 for his wife’s retirement fund and turned $3,000 into a million as interest rates fell from 21% to 8% and housing took off. The trick isn’t to buy high and sell higher ; it’s to buy low in a company that will likely be around and thriving in 15 years. The lost decade There is one sector that is cheap, solid, pays dividends, and is expanding: the old school tech plays that no one wants to talk about. Let’s take a step back and look at why these stocks are so cheap. The first reason is that they got ramped up in the 1999 dot-com bubble. All of these stocks like Oracle (ORCL), Microsoft (MSFT), Intel (INTC), Qualcomm (QCOM), Cisco (CSCO), and Corning (GLW) were trading at price-to-earnings ratios over 100. They split their stocks again and again so that Oracle has 3.8 billion in their float. Microsoft has 7.5 billion. There are so many shares out there that Wall Street …

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Six Stocks for the Next Ten Years

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