Allow me to introduce you to Anders.
He is a globetrotting investor with some great stories to tell. He also happens to be one of the thousands of subscribers to the Motley Fool Rule Breakers newsletter experience. Earlier this year, the growth stock recommendation service held an "I'm a Rule Breaker" contest to single out passionate community members, and Anders was one of the five finalists.
Anders' story doesn't begin here. It doesn't even begin in this country. He was born in Sweden, the son of a truck driver and a nightshift nurse. His older sister taught him how to read when he was three, and his voracious appetite for words hasn't let up since.
Some folks claim that the Internet has changed their lives. Anders means it. In 1995, he was an English major at a local community college in Sweden that was blessed with Internet connectivity. In his spare time, Anders took to playing interactive online role-playing games. It was there that a fellow gamer caught his eye. The only problem was that she lived in Florida. Several visits to the Sunshine State later, he was smitten. He knew exactly what he had to do. He transferred to Florida State University, and the two were married four days later.
From "I do" to due diligence
Anders had no problem breaking the rules for love, but how did his penchant for taking the road less traveled help him become a better, smarter investor? It didn't start out that way. Anders didn't make an immediate connection with investing the way he did with his eventual wife. He had a 403(b) plan he contributed to while working as a student at FSU and a 401(k) he funded at his first job after graduation. He didn't give a whole lot of thought to the funds the plans were invested in.
Anders decided to set aside $1,000 to open a brokerage account. He earmarked half of that sum to buy shares in AMD (NYSE: AMD ) . He didn't commit a whole lot of research to the decision; he simply chose the chip maker because he was passionate about the company's products.
After allocating all but $20 of what was left in his account to other investments, he took a look at Marvel Entertainment (NYSE: MVL ) . At the time, the shares were trading at just $1.80. Even with brokerage commissions, he was able to buy four shares of the comic book giant.
He walked away with small profits on both investments. In the case of AMD, he sold too soon. The shares went on to triple after he had cashed out. In Marvel's case, the gains were substantial on a percentage basis, but the commissions swallowed up most of his winnings. He broke the wrong rules at first -- but then he was ready to start breaking the right ones.
These rules were made for breakin'
Anders found his way to The Motley Fool to expand his growing appreciation of the stock market. He went through a few trial subscriptions of other newsletter offers before feeling right at home with Rule Breakers.
His portfolio reflects that, with Anders owning three active recommendations. He picked up shares of Intuitive Surgical (Nasdaq: ISRG ) because the "geek appeal of robotic surgery" appealed to him, and the juicy cash flow statements sealed the deal. He also bought a stake in IMAX (Nasdaq: IMAX ) and Universal Display (Nasdaq: PANL ) . All three stocks were singled out to newsletter subscribers last year.
As far as IMAX goes, Anders believes that the multiplex concept in its present form is tired. It's just begging for the big screen IMAX experience to rescue it from the doldrums. The demise of the traditional movie house also finds Anders looking at companies like Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX ) and Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA ) , which stand to benefit from a shift in filmed entertainment venues.
To Anders, the appeal of Universal Display lies in the company's proprietary phosphorescent OLED technology, since "plain old LCD and plasma screens are getting long in the tooth."
Seminole supporter becomes seminal investor
These days, you can often find Anders swapping thoughts on the lively discussion board that is part of the research service. Posting under the screen name zahrim, Anders enjoys hanging out among the "MDs, PhDs, former and current hedge fund and investment banking guys, and just a whole lot of smart people and kindred spirits" who have made the boards such an invaluable part of the newsletter experience.
It's where he uncovers new stock ideas -- and rekindles lost flames, since he ultimately bought back into Marvel -- when he's not busy toiling away on his freelance writing and editing pursuits. One day, Anders may get around to scribing that great Swedish-American novel that he's been meaning to write.
Until then, one can argue that there's no need to write it when he's so busy living it.
Note: You can join Anders and other like-minded growth stock investors by becoming a part of the growing Motley Fool Rule Breakers family. If you're not sure about subscribing, you can do what Anders did and start with a free 30-day trial to see whether it's right for you.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz finds that eating, sleeping, and breathing growth stocks will work wonders for your financial health. He does own shares in Netflix, which is a Stock Advisor recommendation. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.