On the general theory of the buoyant future, stocks that promise dynamic future development should have a better future market performance than others. A sound future that is in tune with the jet age might be worth 20 times as much in 20 years.
I knew that in this kind of future there were definite upward trends in future market performance just as there are in women's clothes, and if I wanted to be successful it was important to search for fashionable stocks with excellent future market performance.
Women's fashions alter, and so does future market performance. Women will raise or lower their hemlines one or two inches roughly every two or three years.
The same with future market performance. While the fashion persists, the forward-looking investors get in and stay in. Then slowly the fashion fades and they are out. They are putting their money into a new-style future with a more promising future market performance. I knew I must watch eagerly for these fashion changes, or I might be left still holding a long-skirt future when the new stocks were showing their knees. I might also miss, unless I was very alert, something sensationally new like the big-bosom era.
This is not so fanciful as it may seem. Take a mythical product like an automobile that can also fly. Everybody is rushing for that company's future. Yet in a converted stable in Oregon two men are working on an invention that will far outclass the flying car, hence it will have a far superior future market performance.
Once that is ready for the market, and a company has been formed to handle it, the original flying car will be superseded. Its future market performance will start to slide. It will become old-fashioned.
This is an over-simplification and does not solve the problem: How to buy into this year's fashion? I could only do it by carefully watching future market performance for signs. If the fashion seemed to be moving away from the long skirt, there must be some other about-to-be-fashionable future ready to take its place. What I had to do was to find stocks with terrific future market performance, which would be hoisted up because they stirred people's imagination for the future.
On the basis of this thinking, I carefully watched future market performance in this general bracket of expanding stocks in tune with the jet age. I was not interested in the company's individual products, whether it was metals for rockets, solid fuel, or advanced electronic equipment. In fact, I did not want to know what they made - that information might only inhibit me. I did not care what the company's products were, any more than I was influenced by the fact that the board chairman had a beautiful wife. But I did want to know whether the company belonged to a new vigorous infant industry and whether, according to my requirements, its future market performance was going to increase.
This, of course, was directly against the advice of many financial writers with conservative backgrounds who have been pounding into investors for generations that they must study company reports and balance sheets, find out all they can about future market performance, in order to make a wise investment.
I decided that was not for me. All a company report and balance sheet can tell you is the past and the present. They cannot tell the future about future market performance. And it was for this I had to project my plans. I also humbly realized that that was only my attitude. I was looking for capital gain. A widow looking for dividend income had to think otherwise.
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