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Dueling Fools: Rule Makers vs. Rule Breakers

Joseph Khattab (TMF Khat)
March 13, 2007

Imagine two companies.

One is a multibillion-dollar corporation that dominates its industry. The company's products are household names, and it sells those products at obscene margins. Smaller competitors tremble in its presence.

The other company is led by a 32-year-old entrepreneur with a brilliant idea. Although it flies under the radar now, it will one day rewrite the rules of business.

Which company deserves your investment dollars -- the Rule Maker or the Rule Breaker? Two Foolish analysts are here to end this eternal battle once and for all. Ryan Fuhrmann believes in the tried-and-true Rule Makers such as Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO  ) , which have long track records of outperformance.

Meanwhile, Tim Beyers is always on the lookout for huge returns from the Next Big Thing. Tim is on the Motley Fool Rule Breakers team, whose picks are currently beating the market on the backs of highfliers like Web-content delivery specialist Akamai (Nasdaq: AKAM  ) .

Which approach is best for you? Are you a Rule Maker or a Rule Breaker? This table should give you some idea of which approach you prefer.

Rule Makers

Rule Breakers


Widely known

New, unknown


High margins, low debt

May be unprofitable or have high debt

Key traits

Experience, strength