Wednesday, January 4, 2012

How to turn your $1,000 into $1 million

Sounds too far-fetched? We'll show you how, if you have a grand to spare.

It won't be easy - but it's not impossible. With some stocks growing more than a few hundred times since their IPO prices (think: Apple), it's quite possible!

The key is in spotting the cash cows early. Here are the signs to look out for.


Look for a company with an economic "moat" of some sort, says Paul Larson, an equity strategist. The company should continuously outdo competitors and maintain profits.

A company's "brand power" could give it a steady edge. People trust Coca-Cola, so they're willing to pay more money for it, even though a generic cola is essentially the same.


Look for a company that's targeting a particular market.

If it's well positioned to dominate, the odds of success are good, says Andy Obermueller, a portfolio strategist.

If a company has potential access to an underserved market, it also has access to untapped wealth.
Take Urban Outfitters. It created a blueprint of expensive sweatshirts and denim that tapped a valuable market of affluent youth.


The business has to have the potential to grow, grow and then grow some more, says Obermueller.

When you find a company with a market that seems endless and a product that is innovative, you likely have found a winner.

Consider Green Mountain Coffee. It jumped on the Keurig cup idea early and captured much of the market.


Look for patents - a company's ownership of intellectual property gives it pricing power.

The archetype for disruptive technology is a drug company with no revenue - and no product but a strong drug in development.

When that drug is granted US Food and Drug Administration approval, the company can become a billion-dollar business, says Obermueller. This happened with Genentech in the early 1980s.

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