Once every four years, most of the planet turns its attention to the soccer pitch for an unrivaled sporting pageant: the World Cup. And while Motley Fool co-founder David Gardner is not a superfan when it comes to futbol, he's a lover of sport in general, so it should come as little surprise that he, like billions of people around the globe, has his mind on the competition. But, at the Fool, our ongoing competition is to help you beat the market, so whatever he's doing, he's liable at some point to try to imagine it through an investor's lens.
In this segment, he focuses on the global nature of the tournament and how it reflects our increasingly interconnected world. That trend toward globalization and cross-border cooperation, he feels, has unstoppable momentum -- a momentum that is reflected in the Rule Breakers portfolio.
A full transcript follows the video.
This video was recorded on June 20, 2018.
David Gardner: What I'll call observation No. 1 -- or, maybe, what do sports announcers do? They do things like keys to the game or takeaways. I'll let my producer, Rick Engdahl, figure out what these are. This is observation/ takeaway/ key to the game No. 1 about the World Cup, and it's just that it's a global phenomenon. I think that, in many ways, is what's most important about the World Cup, especially in an increasingly globalizing world.
As this world does globalize, friction comes up. Sometimes people don't want to work with other people, or don't want to trade with them, or don't want to act the same way, or refugees show up and all of the sudden it changes the nature of what your country was. It's a much more modern day phenomenon, globalizing.
I think it's one of those, with Kevin Kelly here, inevitable forces. You may remember Kevin Kelly, his book, The Inevitable, which we've talked about on this podcast in months past. I don't think that Kevin Kelly made one of his 12 forces that will shape our technological future -- the subtitle of his book, The Inevitable -- I don't think that he made globalization one of them. But, you can certainly read globalization into forces like, well, sharing is one example of one of his chapters, one of those 12 forces, our tendency to share. Thanks to the internet and global trade and lower borders -- all forces that clearly have been bringing this world closer and closer together in recent decades -- I think it's inevitable that, through sharing, we're going to end up being even more global going forward. I realize some would certainly disagree, and some aren't rooting for that, but I think that we do better as humans when we work together with each other.
Don't you love that the World Cup brings together nations that are so different from each other? In fact, it's being hosted in a nation that isn't one of my favorite countries in the world, it might not be yours, either. I know one thing -- Russians love Russia, and the motherland, and that feeling. Of course, everybody has some national pride, but I think especially Russians, going back to their great 19th century novelists -- I've read a few of their books -- I know that there's a deep love of the motherland.
I think, based on some of the lawsuits that were launched at FIFA for choosing Russia as the site for 2018 that it maybe wasn't entirely above-board how the World Cup did end up in Russia. But, I'm actually a fan of having the World Cup, sometimes, in repressive countries. I think it opens them up to the world and it makes all of us a little bit more aware and empathetic about that country and the people who live there.
So, I think it's just tremendous, what a great globalizing force the World Cup is. I say the same thing of the Olympics. Both the men's and the women's game of soccer, soccer is the international sport. International football is what binds us together more than any other sport that I can think of, and I want to celebrate that as observation No. 1 this week as we think about the World Cup.
What's the investing or business take away? A reminder, if you're not a Rule Breakers member -- our Motley Fool Rule Breaker service that I've overseen since launch in October of 2004, and picked, with my team, two stocks every month since October 2004 -- you might not know if you're not yet, I hope you will be, a Rule Breakers member, that three of the four best-performing stock recommendations in Rule Breakers history to date, companies that have gone up 20 or more times in value, three of the four are international companies. If you're an American, they are not domestic players. They are global companies.
In fact, I'm not going to reveal their names, because I sure do want you to come join our service and find out what those companies are. I will name one company a few spots down the list. The No. 7 performing company is IPG Photonics, which I first picked in March of 2008. The stock was at $14 back then. It's at $238 today.
One thing I love about IPG Photonics is that its CEO is a Russian-American. Valentin Gapontsev emigrated to America a few decades ago, set up shop with his engineering understanding and his inventions, fiber lasers, set up a superior, disruptive technology within the field of lasers, and IPG Photonics has been benefiting from that ever since. So, the No. 7 producer on our scorecard comes from, very specifically, a gentleman who came from Russia to America and started a great for-profit company.