It's no secret that we like to break a lot of rules here in Fooldom. One is the practice of charging beginning investors lots of money for stock picks from advisors who haven't proven themselves.
That's why, over two years ago, we started giving money to our analysts so that they could make real-time, real-life trades for the world to see... absolutely free. All they have to do is let you -- the reader -- know why they are taking the action they choose.
Since this journey began, two of our analysts have consistently sat at the top of the pack. Alyce Lomax -- with her focus on Prosocial Investing -- has put together a portfolio that has returned almost 28%, besting the broader market by more than 4 percentage points. And Eric Bleeker -- who focuses primarily on technology companies -- has a portfolio that's garnered a 23% return.
Both of these analysts with a track record for smart picks have made recent purchases. I'll be highlighting three of those purchases below.
Though it's always nice to have a long list of dedicated customers, Eric is willing to put his money behind Cirrus despite the fact that the company derives almost 80% of its revenue from one customer: Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL).
That can sometimes be a risky business, but at today's price, Eric sees a trade-off worth betting on. Cirrus' chips are an integral part of the iPhone 5, and the high end of the company's guidance calls for year-over-year increases of revenue in the ballpark of 140%!
Eric thinks that concerns about margin compression of 2 to 3 percentage points are overblown when taken in context with such a jump in revenue.
What Alyce loves the most about this recent IPO is that WhiteWave is busy selling some of the most popular plant-based and organic products out there -- namely, the Silk and Horizon Organic milk brands.
Alyce points out that non-lactose types of milk have shown impressive growth: "[S]ales of almond-based drinks alone have been growing like gangbusters. This subcategory achieved 170% CAGR from 2009 to 2011, and represented a $289 million market in 2011."
Alyce also points out that, for the time being, she's not thrilled that Dean Foods still retains a controlling interest in WhiteWave, but it's something she's willing to keep her eye on as she watches the story play out at WhiteWave.
Finally, we head back to Eric and his decision to purchase shares of glassmaker Corning. Knowing that Eric tends to focus on technology companies, it might seem odd for him to invest in glass. But Corning is no ordinary glassmaker.
Though the company's Gorilla Glass has been a big hit in smartphones and tablets, success here has been more than offset by declines in TV sales -- which account for a large portion of Corning's historical revenue.
But Eric thinks that trend is about to change, pointing toward the eventual introduction of an Apple iTV that will revolutionize how consumers use their TVs.
If you aren't totally convinced an iTV will be a slam-dunk, Eric sees your point. But with today's stock trading for just 10 times earnings, Eric sees little downside to this investment thesis.