Did you catch Michel Gondry's Be Kind, Rewind over the weekend? Probably not. I was one of less than a million movie patrons who shuffled off to the local multiplex to catch the eclectic flick.
It stars Jack Black and Mos Def as a pair of hires at a fledgling Passaic video store. After accidentally erasing all of the shop's VHS tapes -- don't ask -- they find themselves filming shoestring budget recreations of the originals.
Fearing the worst, these sweded videos -- that's the slang term created in the movie to describe the custom-made knockoffs -- wind up being even more popular with the local community than the originals.
Why did I just walk you through the plot of a film that didn't even crack the top five at the box office during its opening weekend? Well, it's because I get the funny feeling after watching the film that my own portfolio has been sweded. You may feel the same.
If you're like me, you're sitting on some stocks that are trading well off their all-time highs. On the surface, your stocks feel like cheaper knockoffs of the ones you originally bought. Someone has replaced Ghostbusters' lasers with tinsel on a fishing line or The Lion King's craftsmanship with a pair of cardboard cutout lions in front of a blanket hanging on a clothesline.
Your stocks have been sweded!
However, just as sweded films eventually resonate with the locals as a better attraction, I trust that you will come around to feeling the same way about the values in your portfolio.
Sweding and receding
Obviously I can't guarantee that the stocks you own will ever be worth as much as they used to. Unsustainable valuations buckle. There will always be junky stocks out there. However, I feel as confident as I have ever felt about my own portfolio.
Sure, I have what appear to be a few turkeys in there. Jamba Juice parent Jamba
It's not pretty, but once I take a step back -- and approach many of my own stocks the way I would as a potential new investment -- I like the upside of these sweded stocks.
Jamba Juice continues to grow its smoothie-blending empire, even striking a deal with Nestle to roll out retail refrigerated branded versions later this year. Crocs may have a problem with bubbling inventory levels, but it is still trading for less than 10 times forward profitability (which analysts expect will climb 35% higher in 2008). Jones Soda has had its fiscal and executive challenges, but the premium pop has a much wider distribution range than it did at this point last year.
Even the winners have a custom-made feel
Not all of my stocks have tanked. TiVo
TiVo won a colossal lawsuit against EchoStar's
As buoyant as the shares may be, I trust that they too would be trading higher under a kinder market environment. In short, even my winners feel as if they have been sweded.
Tinsel on a fishing line in your own portfolio
Don't just take my word for it. Take the time to explore your own holdings. Unless you were fortunate enough to buy into precious metal or energy stocks, your long positions are probably smarting.
However, before throwing in the towel on your stock-picking acumen, ask yourself if the fundamentals have changed. Is the story intact? Are earnings still growing at the pace that you expected? If so, shouldn't lower share prices make the valuations even more attractive?
You know the answer. You have probably known it all along. Maybe you just needed someone to tell you the obvious: that your next investment may very well be a repeat of an existing investment.
You say that your stocks have been sweded? Join the club. Do you like the sweded versions, shoestring budget priced and all? Me too.
You can't time the market, but you can time your future stock purchases at attractive price points. Forget Be Kind, Rewind. Be kind and fast forward instead.
For more ideas from the bargain bin:
Jones Soda is a pop-star pick for Rule Breakers subscribers. Netflix is a recommendation for Motley Fool Stock Advisor newsletter members. If you want better skills at making the most of sweded growth stocks, try either newsletter on our dime with a 30-day free trial subscription offer.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has been a Netflix subscriber -- and shareholder -- since 2002. He also owns shares in TiVo, Crocs, Jamba, and Jones Soda. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.