There's a new sensation that is literally sweeping the nation. It's called the Scooba. Like something out of the future, this tiny circular homemaker navigates through the hard-floored areas of your home. It scoops up dirt. It gently scrubs and washes your floor with a special cleaning solution, never reusing dirty water like your old mop does. It then dries everything off in a single pass.
The Scooba is going to be huge, and it's not just me saying that. Time magazine and the panelists at the Consumer Electronics Show have already festooned the Scooba with top innovation awards for the year ahead. The early reviews have been mere slivers away from ecstatic. Yes, it will set you back about $400, but think about it: Your floor will never be cleaner, and you'll win back some of that precious time you once squandered.
You may have already heard about this robotic godsend that will riddle your broom closet with cobwebs. Maybe. But did you know that the Scooba is being made by a profitable company that you couldn't even buy into at this time last year? Did you know that this creator, iRobot
Yes, owning iRobot may make you feel inadequate by comparison. You're waking up to Rice Krispies and a slice of buttered toast while iRobot is battling grime in your kitchen and fighting enemies abroad. Owning stocks that are cooler than you isn't always easy, but man, oh, man, it can be profitable when you pick 'em right.
Another bright idea
Have you heard of Suntech Power
If the potential of solar energy has you seeing stars, you may want to know that Suntech is squarely profitable and is working on healthy margins to boot. The company's been selling its photovoltaic cells only since 2002 yet has managed to more then double its top line every single year.
Add it all up, and what do you have? That's right -- another stock that is cooler than you, my friend.
The Motley Fool Rule Breakers newsletter service has recommended both iRobot and Suntech Power to our growing community. The ultimate growth newsletter service loves to run with the cool crowd before the crowd even knows it's cool. David Gardner and his team of analysts have uncovered promising stocks that are speeding up shipping with new technology, giving police forces a less lethal tool in the fight against crime, and changing how we live and work in many more ways.
Finding fiscal Fonzies
Seeking out the market's next wave of Arthur Fonzarellis can be a lot easier than you think. You don't even need to go hunting alone. Peter Lynch found some of his best investing ideas by taking his wife and daughters to the mall. He leaned on them to guide him to the hottest concepts and social trends.
Even if you don't want to spend time at your nearby food court, you can still look at same-store sales to unearth companies such as Chipotle Mexican Grill
Quintessentially cool investing can certainly pad your wallet. Despite recent weakness, Rule Breakers recommendation Akamai
You can't spell "school" without "cool"
This doesn't mean every nifty gadget is a winner. Apple was ahead of its time with the handheld Newton, and some of its Mac incarnations held up as decorativetableart as well as computing workhorses. But it wasn't until the iPod galvanized the music-munching masses that it all started to come together for Apple investors. You also have companies like TiVo
So keep looking for cool stocks -- the right cool stocks. Find companies that are breaking the rules today in a way that will pay off big-time in the future. Great discoveries aren't always gold mines. Eli Whitney's cotton gin revolutionized the country, but it made Eli more of a historical footnote than a wealthy inventor. You've got to find Miss Congeniality and Most Likely to Succeed all in one. It's what David Gardner did throughout the 1990s, scooping up companies like Amazon.com
It's not as difficult as it may seem. If I can do it -- and I've got the fashion sense and social grace of a thimble -- you can, too. So lean on me and the rest of the hipper group of analysts that David Gardner has assembled in the Motley Fool Rule Breakers newsletter experience. It's not free, but you'll be getting monthly stock picks, sector updates, lively discussion boards, and a sense that you belong with the cool crowd. There's also a 30-day trial subscription, which is free, if you want to check it out first.
With or without us, you've got what it takes to ride with the popular stocks. Rely on your instincts. Ask around. Follow it up with due diligence, and you'll be on your way. Don't let Wall Street give you a wedgie ever again.
This article was originally published on Jan. 25, 2006. It has been updated.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz would rather be a snappy investor than a snappy dresser. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. iRobot, Suntech Power, and Akamai are Rule Breakers picks. TiVo and Amazon.com are Stock Advisor selections. The Fool has adisclosure policy. Rick is also part of theRule Breakersnewsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.