I launched this service in March 2013 with one goal in mind – to help you greatly improve your net worth.
My initial column was titled “The Road to Wealth Is Paved by Tech.”
And that proved true through all of 2014 when nearly two dozen stocks I recommended beat the market – demonstrating that if you pick the right technology stocks and manage them properly, you can beat Wall Street at its own game.
A Good Problem to Have
The tech-centric Nasdaq Composite Index was up 15% in 2014, so ours was no small accomplishment. And remember that the volatility we’ve seen over the first few weeks of 2015 really got its start early last year.
These were such big gains that, had you followed my portfolio management advice, you would have taken a “free trade” on four of these stocks.
The “free trade” is a very powerful tool for maximizing your profits.
It works like this. Once a stock in your portfolio has doubled in value, you automatically sell half and recoup all of your original capital.
At that point, you really are working with free money. You’ve covered your initial investment and are now literally playing with the “house’s money.”
Now, I expect even more volatility throughout 2015. But I’m optimistic that our five biggest winners of 2014 still face more profits ahead for one simple reason.
Each meets the mandate of Rule No. 3 of my five-part system for building tech wealth. That rule says to “Ride the unstoppable trends.”
With that in mind, let’s take a look at our five biggest winners of 2014.
STI Big 2014 Winner No. 1
Bitauto Holdings Ltd. – up 90%
When we talked about this e-commerce play on China’s huge new car market on Feb. 4, 2014, I labeled it the “perfect profit storm.”
Bitauto Holdings Ltd. (NYSE ADR: BITA) sells online advertising and provides reviews and pricing info for consumers. It also serves as an online showroom for both new- and used-car dealers.
Sales of new cars and light-duty trucks rose 9.9% in China last year to 19.7 million units. In 2013, they rose 15.3%.
And that brings up an important point.
Bitauto has sold off over the last two months over fears about China’s slowing economic growth. But if you took the free trade that came around Aug. 6, your profits were protected.
And while we had peak gains of 231%, we’re still sitting on gains of 90%.
STI Big 2014 Winner No. 2
Repligen Corp. – up 88.1%
Shares of Repligen Corp. (Nasdaq: RGEN), a small-cap leader in known as “biologic” ingredients for pharmaceuticals, did well last year despite a major challenge that derailed the whole biotech sector
Back in March 2014, biotech came under pressure after three members of Congress criticized the high price of a new hepatitis C treatment from Gilead Sciences Inc. (Nasdaq: GILD).
Of course, this had nothing whatsoever to do with Repligen. This Waltham, Mass.-based company supplies high-value ingredients – made out of “biologic” materials such as sugars, proteins, cells or tissues – that other biotech firms use to manufacture drugs.
Repligen’s ingredients are used in three of the most important drugs on the market today:
- Avastin, used to treat colon cancer,
- Hercpetin, a treatment for breast cancer,
- and Humira, prescribed for rheumatoid arthritis and several other conditions.
Since I first wrote about Repligen on May 7, 2013, it’s up 155%. The chance to take a free trade came almost a year to the day later, on May 12, 2014.
And since Jan. 1, 2014, it’s up 88.1. Along the way, we made peak gains of 109.5%.
STI Big 2014 Winner No. 3
NXP Semiconductor NV – up 86.2%
We reached critical mass in the burgeoning field of mobile payments in 2014 when Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) entered the field with Apple Pay.
And STI recommendation NXP Semiconductor NV (Nasdaq: NXPI) is a great way to play not just Apple Pay but the entire mobile-payments field. Gartner says the mobile-payments sector will nearly triple from $235 billion in the base year of 2013 to $720 billion by 2017.
NXP makes the chips used in the readers that tap a field of technology known as near field communications (NFC). These are specialized readers that can understand the digital-payment info embedded in a user’s smartphone.
The Netherlands-based company began operations in 2006 as a spinoff from the European conglomerate Phillips Electronics. NXP helped invent NFC technology and holds several key patents that serve as great barriers to entry.
NXP is up 86.2% since Jan. 1, 2014. And since I first recommended it on June 25, 2013, it’s gained 170%.
The free trade occurred March 6.
STI Big 2014 Winner No. 4
Ambarella Inc. – up 75.7%
In January 2014, I recommended Ambarella Inc. (Nasdaq: AMBA), a small-cap leader in video compression and processing technology, as the company was headed for the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
At the time, I predicted the stock was set to double in the next three years. With the stock up 75.66% since Jan. 1, 2014, we are already well past halfway there.
I originally suggested Ambarella as a great play on the breakout market for wearable technology. Juniper Research forecasts industry sales of $19 billion by 2018. That’s a nearly 15-fold increase from 2013, when Berg Insight says sales hit $1.4 billion.
Ambarella is the brains behind the GoPro Inc. (Nasdaq: GPRO) helmet video camera popular in action sports. But it’s is no one-trick pony.
The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company also supplies chips used in ultra-high-definition television (UHD TV), backup cameras for the “connected car” and Web-based video surveillance.
I first predicted the stock would double in three years on Aug. 2, 2013.
Since then, it’s up more than 205%. You could have taken a free trade on Jan. 6, 2014.
STI Big 2014 Winner No. 5
Apple Inc. – up 52%
I can describe the year Apple had in one word – amazing. And its earnings report for the holiday quarter really says it all.
During the period, Apple’s earnings per share soared some 48% to $3.06. It had net income of $18 billion, a record for a publicly traded U.S. firm. The company sold 74.4 million iPhones, a 46% annual increase.
This year promises to be just as strong for the Silicon Valley legend.
It should see significant upside from the recent rollout of Apple Pay and the upcoming launch of the Apple Watch, the company’s foray into wearable tech.
The stock has rallied for gains of 52% since Jan. 1, 2014. I first recommended it back on Oct. 30, 2013. Since then, the stock is up 61.8%.
The track record we amassed in 2014 with these big winners underscores something we’ve been talking about for the last couple of years now.
If you want to consistently beat the market, you must be in high tech. These are companies riding the unstoppable trends – Chinese-e-commerce, biotech, mobile payments, wearable technology – that pile up huge profits.
So, I hope you will continue our twice-weekly conversations.
That way, I can share with you more high-tech stocks that will really ignite your portfolio.
- Strategic Tech Investor: The Road to Wealth Is Paved by Tech.
- Strategic Tech Investor: The Third Key to Triple-Digit Tech Profits.
- Strategic Tech Investor: How to Handle Your Really Big Gains.
- Strategic Tech Investor: The Perfect Profit Storm.
- Strategic Tech Investor: The Tech Firm Even Google Loves.
- Strategic Tech Investor: I Found a Pot of Gold – At the Consumer Electronics Show.
- Strategic Tech Investor: How We’ll Cash in on CES 2015.
- Strategic Tech Investor: The New High-Tech TV That Can Make You Rich.
- Strategic Tech Investor: The Next Members of Tech’s “Thousand-Dollar Club.”