You can call us "geeks," "nerds," or "techy wiz kids." Like many of my fellow high-tech aficionados, I wear those nicknames as badges of honor. I got mine by living on the bleeding edge of the digital revolution, after all. And you can't invest in tech stocks unless you've been there. You just wouldn't understand.
Geeks tend to be friendly folks, though. We prize sharing knowledge as highly as gathering it. In that spirit, here's a look at some of the most forward-looking (and geektacular) investments you can make today.
Tip of the hat
If the 1990s belonged to Microsoft
When Linus Torvalds created the first Linux kernel, he didn't want to start a revolution. He just wanted a Unix-like operating environment without having to pay enterprise-class licensing fees for it. From that simple desire, the Linux revolution began.
Today, it's getting harder and harder for the folks in Redmond to convince us that every personal computer needs a Windows operating system. You can buy computers right off store shelves today with Linux preinstalled instead, or no OS at all. Apple
As we climb up the foothills of the free-software mountain of opportunity, Red Hat
Despite a more-than-10% drop this month, Red Hat's stock has outperformed the S&P 500 in the last one- and five-year periods. Like many other visionaries, Red Hat is often misunderstood by a skeptical Mr. Market, and its shares are prone to wild price swings. Buy at the bottom, then hold on for a decade or more while laughing at the flailing market sentiment.
You say you want a revolution?
Next up is Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation Netflix
Okay, so that's the nerd appeal. But there's plenty to love about Netflix from a business-minded point of view, too. Netflix created its own niche market, in which it has fended off spirited challenges from decidedly more mainstream companies like Blockbuster
The future is all digital, and Netflix will be there. Until then, the company is making a very nice living off DVD mailers.
Been there, done that -- and doing it again
This one's for all the grown-up geeks out there. Hewlett-Packard
It's also an irresistible stock today, and HP deserves the applause it's getting. Don't call fellow Fool Rich Smith a geek (to his face), but my esteemed colleague does want us to know that HP's shares are a very cheap way to buy into massive cash flows. Carly Fiorina is long forgotten now, and HP has a bright future ahead.
Building the perfect geek portfolio
As you can see, geeky stocks come in all shapes and sizes across many industries. Some are very volatile, while others are slow-moving giants. Put them all together, and you'd get a tremendously geeky portfolio -- but perhaps a tremendously profitable one, too. Long-term buy and hold, baby.
Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns a few Netflix shares, but he holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. You can check out Anders' holdings if you like, and Foolish disclosure is your personal guide to the next revolution.