There was an investor on Fast Money and he said he is seeing patterns of flight into low quality companies, when instead it should be flight into high quality. An example of the flight into low quality was in 2002 how everybody jumped back into Nortel, and we all see how that turned out.

First if he is truly an investor and he is going back to 2002, then well sorry he is not an investor. I tend to consider myself an investor and I look at charts all the way back to the 1900’s. I use statistics and only by going that far back could I make an educated decisions. Going back 10 years is good for a Fast Money trade, but no more.

Second, he thinks it is all about data, and the network. Frankly, I have been in tech for ages (since 1987) and I have lived breathed and eaten tech. As references:

  • 1990: I was one of the first beta testers for Microsoft, when the lady at the other end of the phone said, “you want to beta test our software? You know it has bugs and is not finished, right?”
  • 1995: I gave a talk at the IEEE Data Highway (that’s what they called the Web and Internet before) showing how you could trade stocks using a Web Browser and ActiveX Control. You might think, IE could do ActiveX in 1995? No, IE could not, but Netscape Navigator could and it was never a hugely discussed topic. But there I was talking about buying and selling stocks in a browser with a live ticker running.
  • 1996: I was writing Java applets.
  • 1998: I wrote web services.
  • 1999: I embraced Open Source.
  • 2000: I bought my first GPS for my car

Data is overrated. Yes we need data, and yes it is important, but it is overrated. Data is having a hard time being monetized. Look at the RIAA, MPAA, and book publishers. They are in the business of data and they are struggling! Look at newspapers, they are struggling even more. The reality is that we all want data, but don’t want to pay for it. Hence how on earth will you have a growth strategy on something that nobody wants to pay for?

So where do I see the future? I see the future in everything that was hot before the market melted nearly 2 years ago.

Let me illustrate, in 1999 we had Ajax. You know the hot and nifty technology that powers Google Earth,, and other sites. Yet the consumer only learned about Ajax around 2006. In other words we had seven years of Ajax sitting around doing nothing. All of the technologies that power the Internet today were around in the dot com meltdown!

The question is what happened? Why did we not talk about those technologies earlier? Simple…  Dot com melt down! The Internet melted down and it took down everything! And only after we had time to shift through the rubble did we realize what was good and what was bad. Data is a left over from the dot com era.

So what will be the growth engine?

It will be all of those technologies that were hot just before the bubble burst and took down the market.

Monsato: A company that deals with engineering agriculture.

Potash: A fertilizer company

Solar, wind, electricity, bio-tech, agriculture, efficiency, etc, etc…

Core and traditional companies that embrace the new technologies are the ones that will be the companies to watch. Because here is the reality, we need growth at all costs on this planet! We need growth to dig us out of this deep hole. And the way we get growth is to make our planet a place where the concept of “West” or “Developed” countries don’t exist! This will require steel, cooper, cars, bridges, houses, but developed using sustainable building techniques. Data is an after thought here…