A Growth Stock Fire Sale

Growth investors have seen better days. My personal portfolio, which is loaded with growth stocks, is down 9% since April. As a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers team of analysts, it saddens me to see a deep shade of red pervade the portfolio; our recommendations are off an average of 25% from recent highs.

That stinks ...
I hate seeing the red stream into my own portfolio, and I feel awful for our Rule Breakers members, especially those who may have bought TASER International (Nasdaq: TASR  ) when I re-upped the original recommendation last fall. Like many other stocks, it's down big versus the market.

But in April, it seemed that everyone was riding high. Our Rule Breakers stocks, for example, were up an average of 30%! We shouted it from the rooftops, as we should have. Sadly, that performance was short-lived (the average pick is now up an average of 9%), and we're all now helping ourselves to some humble pie.

But growth investors are contrarians, right?

. So it's also great
And so I remain steadfast. I have to be. The last time I panic-soldCaterpillar (NYSE: CAT  ) , International Paper (NYSE: IP  ) , JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM  ) , and AT&T (NYSE: T  ) , it cost me more than $11,000. I won't make that mistake again.

Instead, I'm looking to buy. And so I turn to my wish list, something every investor should have in his back pocket. Some of the best bargains in the market are lurking in the Rule Breakers portfolio.

Two growth stocks worth a look
Take American Science & Engineering (Nasdaq: ASEI  ) , for example. Two significant new orders for the firm's unique X-ray technology were reported last week, but the stock still trades for just 12 times forward earnings and a microscopic 0.6 price-to-earnings-to-growth, or PEG, ratio. There's no perfect indicator, of course. But color me intrigued that director Denis Brown was buying at higher prices just a few months ago.

And there's also PDL BioPharma (Nasdaq: PDLI  ) . It has shed roughly a third of its value in the past six weeks because of ... nothing. The downdraft is so ludicrous that company director Jon Saxe, who has a history of selling shares, recently acquired 70,000 stubs through options that he's still holding. Had he sold immediately, he would be sitting on a triple right now. My guess is that he sees plenty more upside ahead.

The Foolish bottom line
These are just two examples. It's even more important to ask how often the market gives us a chance to buy good stocks at a 25% discount: not often enough for me. That's why I've already taken advantage of the downturn to pad some positions while opening new ones. I believe I'll be rewarded handsomely over the next three to five years.

Care to join me? An all-access pass to Rule Breakers will get you much more analysis of PDL BioPharma and American Science & Engineering, plus our top five picks for new money now. The pass is free for 30 days, and there's no obligation to buy. Click here to get yours now.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers only breaks the rules in his portfolio. Wimp. Tim didn't own shares of any of the companies mentioned in this story at the time of publication. You can find out what is in his portfolio by checking Tim's Fool profile. JPMorgan Chase is an Income Investor recommendation, while AT&T was once a Stock Advisor pick. The Motley Fool has an ironcladdisclosure policy.


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