The Pentagon just unveiled a new platform it calls Pathfinder.
No, it’s not a new robotic weapons system… or a new high-tech tank… or even an innovative mapping system.
Instead, this is a program that addresses the Pentagon as a huge bureaucracy, instead of as a fighting force.
Pathfinder is a new program to migrate tons of data, some of it quite sensitive, to the cloud. And the U.S. Department of Defense is contracting with cloud leader Amazon Web Services in a deal that could eventually be worth billions to make it happen.
As you might imagine in this era of cyberattacks, not everyone in Washington is on board with the massive data migration.
They worry that the Pentagon is exposing itself to hackers who may come from China, North Korea, or Russia. After all, black-hat teams tied to those three nations attempt to penetrate our military networks on an almost hourly basis.
Here’s the thing. There’s a relatively new approach out there that offers far more security, not to mention a permanent record of every single transaction involving a military budget totaling more than $750 billion.
It’s a system I call the Milblock.
In a moment, I’ll explain just what I’m talking about.
My childhood family dinner conversations were a bit different than most folks’.
Sure, we talked about school, sports, neighborhood gossip, movies – normal stuff. But we also talked about military contractors, weapons systems, and defense budgets.
That’s because my father was the award-winning senior military editor for Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine, the bible of that industry. And that gave me a front-row seat for the military de-escalations and escalations of the 1970s and 1980s.
Therefore, when last year President Donald Trump called for raising the fiscal 2018 defense budget by 10%, I took notice.
Without doing the math – thanks to those long-ago family dinners – I knew immediately that this would represent the biggest defense budget increase since the Ronald Reagan years.
But that’s just trivia. Here’s the “meat”…
President Trump wants more airplanes, tanks, and troops as well as technology for missile defense and a wide range of other platforms. And that means 2018 is stacking up to be the best year for the defense industry – and its investors – since 1981.
That gives us a target-rich profit opportunity for this New Year.
On Aug. 30, off the coast of Hawaii, sailors aboard the USS John Paul Jones tracked, intercepted, and shot down a medium-range ballistic missile.
It was a milestone in our nation’s defense system.
Doing so put North Korea and Kim Jong-un on notice that we can shoot down their missiles before those missiles reach the U.S. mainland or one of our Asian-Pacific allies.
And it’s about time.
North Korea’s ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs have developed much, much faster than the Pentagon predicted. And that has created a threat that has jump-started our need for advanced missile defense technologies – and spending on them.
Indeed, missile defense technology is so critical to the United States right now that it was a big driver behind Northrop Grumman Corp. (NYSE: NOC)’s just announced plan to acquire Orbital ATK Inc. (NSE: OA) for $9.2 billion.
Orbital specializes in the missile defense technology that we so badly need right now.
And so the deal reaffirms our belief that Northrop is the best of the Big Defense plays out there. Northrop has soared nearly 46% since our first recommendation in April 2016 – including a 10% gain since the Sept. 17 announcement of the Orbital deal.
Today I want to go in-depth on why that Orbital deal reinforces our “case” for Northrop.
And I want to show you how you can take a ride on all the defense industry M&A deals we’ll be seeing over the next few years.
This single investment gained just 1.75% in 2015 – but 19% in 2016.
That’s because, instead of investing in Chinese importers, we’re focusing on internal growth in the world’s most populous nation – especially all those people’s quickening migration to the web.
Back in August we took a close look at the Emerging Markets Internet & Ecommerce ETF (NYSE Arca: EMQQ) as a bunker against tariffs.
And today I’ve got another one.
It’s great play on a $47 trillion Chinese tech market.
This market represents one of the fastest-growing global tech trends on Earth, according to new data from iResearch. This segment barely existed a decade ago but will grow by 422% between 2016 and 2020.
So let’s look at that data – and at a way to get in on this trend with a stock that’s already beaten the market by ninefold so far this year.
But maybe you’re still concerned about the wisdom of investing in a nation that President Trump has in his economic crosshairs.
It all sounds very sci-fi, but it’s happening now (and making us some serious money).
I want to talk about something a little less flashy but perhaps even more important to keeping our armed forces effective when boots are on the ground.
It’s not headline-grabbing, and you certainly couldn’t call it “state of the art.” In fact, at less than $5 billion, it’s a relatively small, overlooked niche in one of the world’s most lucrative, high-profile sectors.
That’s just one of the reasons why I love it right now.
My father was a defense analyst, and so the conversation could get pretty intense around the dinner table.
Usually, I could follow along, but when he started talking about the “credibility gap,” I got a bit lost.
Having been raised on the folklore surrounding George Washington, I just couldn’t believe that a president would ever lie. And so when my father said Lyndon B. Johnson had a “credibility gap” when it came to what he was saying about the Vietnam War, it just didn’t compute.
(Did I mention I was only 10 or so at this time?)
Presidents, of course, aren’t the only ones who can end up with credibility problems.
We took a look at a tech company with a huge credibility gap back on Jan. 10
We saw how they were always making excuses rather than money. And I told you to avoid any hype you heard regarding a “turnaround” in the making.
Turns out, my prediction was dead on the money. Since then, this company has been hit by wave after wave of bad news.
Investors who ignored my warning paid dearly for doing so. This once-proud company’s stock has fallen by roughly 24% since.
Today, I’ll show you exactly what went wrong – and why avoiding losers is so important.
In fact, if you want to make enough wealth to provide for a secure retirement, it’s absolutely crucial