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Genetics, the Investor Gene, and You

Howdy! My name's Felix the Helix!

Howdy!  My name's Felix the Helix!The kind folks at The Motley Fool have asked me to teach you all about genetics. You know, chromosomes, amino acids, the building blocks of life, yadda, yadda, yadda. Now this stuff can get kinda complicated, so if I start to get too technical, just slap me!

Now unless you were sleeping in biology class, or you're just a moron, you've heard about DNA. It's the tiny little code that determines everything about how we look: eye color, hair type, height, butt size, and so on.

Can you spell 'GATTACA'?
Oooh. Looks like a redhead!
You may also remember that the code kinda resembles a spiral staircase. And inside, there's a bunch of letters twisted around and connected to each other. Looks like the intestinal tract of a cow, don't it? Except in this case, we're determining human traits, not digesting cud.

There are four basic letters: A, C, G, T. I forget what most of them stand for. Adenine's one of 'em. Guano's another, I think. The C might be cobalt…who really cares, anyway? They just pay me to be cute and friendly.

The important thing is that these letters can hook up with each other in billions and billions of pairings. That's more partners than Wilt Chamberlain ever dreamed of! And what's amazing is that these four little critters determine everything about you and me. (Well… actually just you. I'm only a friggin' drawing.)

Now that's what I call a double helix!
Hey, baby. Your ribosome or mine?
Now, when you mate, your DNA unzips faster than a rest-stop-bound trucker after five cups of coffee. It runs over and gets jiggy with the DNA of your lucky little friend and forms a totally new sequence of genes. Presty-cadabra! A new human!

"Whoa there, Felix!" you're probably saying. "Get to the part about investing!"

I got your number, Mr. Greengenes.
Settle down, Stumpy. Felix ain't gonna hurt ya.
Righty-o! Way down on the 21st chromosome -- or what we folks in the business like to call "Stumpy" -- is the Investor Gene. It's an innocent little sequence of only 1700 nitrogenous bases, and its official name is ubiquitin protein ligase IG-407. Not something you'd want to name your child, huh?

Anyway, some people much smarter than us figured out that IG-407 enables humans to analyze and process data much faster than normal. The gene also codes for proteins that block neural pathways to the brain's emotion center, allowing people to make more rational decisions. And bingo-bango-bongo. There ya have it in a nutshell… the Investor Gene!

And did you know that this little gene is the main reason that people are able to beat the stock market? It's not the research. It's not the analysis. It's the DNA. Peter Lynch would be rolling over in his grave right now if he were dead.

Y'all come back now.
Goodbye! I hope you have the gene!
Now I know you're getting all restless, wondering if you've got the Investor Gene. Well, thanks to a brand-new technology, you can find out. The Human Genome Project has allowed us access to their DNA analysis program, which will scan to see if you have the Investor Gene. Is there nothing you can't do on the Web these days?

And don't worry. You don't have to give blood or whiz into a bag. The simple test works by measuring blood flow and body temperature.

Well, I really should be going now. I'm already late for my presentation in an NFL paternity suit. But if you want, go find out if you have the Investor Gene. Goodbye!

Do You Have the Investor Gene? »

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