The funny thing about investing is that your time frame matters. In fact, it may be the single most important factor in determining the quality of your investment returns -- hence the reason for the headline that brought you here.
Last Friday, stock market commentator Jim Cramer, a founder of the TheStreet.com (Nasdaq: TSCM ) and star of CNBC's hit show Mad Money, said on his radio show that "the opportunity to buy Akamai Technologies (Nasdaq: AKAM ) has come and gone."
I consider that a pretty outrageous way to describe a company that was born in 1999 and which tracks the growth of the Internet, which I think we can all agree has decades of expansion still ahead. But you know what? As wrong as I think Cramer is, he may also be right. Heck, we may both be right. It all has to do with the time frame over which you invest.
Cramer, you see, is an absolutely brilliant trader. My guess is that he saw little opportunity in the shares at $34 on Friday, figuring momentum in the stock had dissipated. He sure looked smart yesterday. The shares closed down roughly 8%.
Still, I've got to ask, why would you want to trade in and out of Akamai? You either believe in the thesis for investing in this Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick or you don't. You either believe that the Internet will pull even with radio as the fourth-largest medium by 2008, or you don't. You either believe that the demand for streaming and downloads will be a $9 billion business by 2010, or you don't.
If you're willing to be patient with Akamai shares -- and, yes, that may mean you'll need to endure swings of greater than 10%, 20%, or even 30% -- I believe more multibagger returns are ahead. And I think that's especially true now, when the stock trades for about 42 times 2006 per-share earnings, which are expected to grow by roughly 40%. That price is at least reasonable, and could prove to be cheap, depending, again, on how long you're willing to hold.
But, of course, what's at stake here is much larger than Akamai's fair value. Instead, you've been presented with a choice relative to your portfolio management strategy. Will you trade? Or will you invest? Our Rule Breakers team picks companies like Akamai that will score you great returns over the long run. Since our investment in Akamai a year ago, the stock has returned over 150%. Don't give away your money to feed commission-hungry brokers. Instead, pad your own wallet by investing for the long term.
If you're interested in finding the next new disruptive technology like Akamai, try a free guest pass to theMotley Fool Rule Breakersnewsletter. Our stock picks are up by an average of 12%, creaming the market's measly 4.6% return.
Fool contributorTim Beyersthinks Cramer is both a brilliant and entertaining guy. But he's not likely to ever copy his investing strategy. Tim still owns shares of Akamai and has since 2004. You can find out which other stocks he owns by checking Tim's Foolprofile. The Motley Fool has an ironcladdisclosure policy.