Fifteen years ago, a little-known investor arrived on the scene. In just a few short years, he landed on the cover of Fortune. But his meteoric rise had a little help from a secret source that might as well be called "Wall Street's Deep Throat."
Deep Throat led him to stocks like Amazon.com and AOL -- before they shot up more than 25 and 200 times in value.
You probably think you could fill in the blanks about this guy. But you might not know what his secret source is, or how he uses it to find stocks that consistently pummel the market.
Don't worry, I'll fill you in
The year was 1993. This investor was a few years out of college, and his beloved UNC Tar Heels had just knocked off Michigan to win the national basketball championship. Meanwhile, this investor was putting his college education to use -- by selling stock advice out of his parents' garage.
Under normal circumstances, no one in their right mind should have taken him seriously in 1995 when he recommended Iomega, a tiny tech company that Wall Street analysts could have cared less about.
But these weren't normal circumstances
Deep Throat had explained that Zip disks were about to become standard in offices and college computer labs across the country. And despite what all the "experts" on the Street were saying, Iomega would in fact be able to keep up with the millions of orders that were flowing in -- even on Sunday mornings, the parking lots of Iomega's Utah factories were packed with workers' cars.
In other words, Iomega was firing on all cylinders -- and its stock was about to soar. Because of Deep Throat, that young maverick investor and his followers were along for the ride to the tune of 700% before selling in 1999.
And he's not a normal investor
For most people, success like this happens once in a lifetime. For this guy, it was only the beginning.
His secret source helped him make a seemingly gutsy call on Amazon, which went on to soar 2,700%, despite the burst of the Internet bubble. Then he picked Priceline
Meanwhile, his source keeps a close eye on everything from computing all-stars Dell
By now, you probably know that I'm talking about Motley Fool co-founder David Gardner.
But you'd probably never guess Deep Throat's identity.
As an investor, you probably know that the only way to beat the market is to uncover information that other investors don't have. This information surrounds you every day, but you have to be savvy to find it.
Maybe you know someone working for an up-and-coming tech company like Brocade Communications
In short: Tap the expertise of others. The more people you can learn from, the better. You could create an investment club with people you trust, hang out on investing message boards, and run your investing thesis by people in the know – or better yet, all the above.
That's what David has done: He's pooled the stock ideas of thousands of investors just like you in order to uncover the absolute best stocks the market has to offer. That collective intelligence is a remarkable screen for publicly available information.
The Fool's community-generated CAPS service rates stocks on the input of everyday investors – results prove that stocks rated with one and two stars have, collectively, underperformed the market, while stocks rated with four and five stars have collectively outperformed the market.
CAPS is a great place to begin your quest for great investment ideas.
Now we're taking it one step further
In fact, we at The Motley Fool recently put $1 million into Motley Fool PRO, a real-money portfolio designed to exploit this vast pool of community intelligence -- and reward investors like you with life-changing returns.
Combine that community intelligence with options, shorts, and ETFs, and you've got a portfolio ready to make money in every market -- up, down, and sideways.
If you'd like to learn more about how you can use David's secret weapon to turn thousands into millions, just leave your e-mail in the box below.
This article was originally published on January 2, 2009, under the headline "1 Stock-Picking Secret Revealed." It has been updated.
Jared Campbell does not own shares any of the companies in this story. GameStop, Priceline, and Dell are Stock Advisor picks. Dell is an Inside Value pick. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.