Introduction: Motley Fool Explorer

Simon Erickson:

It's time we recognize that investing is changing.

Like almost everything in the world today, it's getting faster... but it's also getting more complicated.

Instead of one simple trend dominating the stock market — today, it's hundreds.

From smartphones... to drones... and artificial intelligence, it's an exciting time to be alive... and to be an investor.

But with so much going on, it's getting harder for investors to separate the signal from the noise — and find the innovative trends that actually take off and last.

Over the last year alone, we've gone from electric cars to cars that can drive themselves, we've seen virtual reality enter the home, and the internet is still managing to turn everything we know on its head.

From genomic testing to help fight cancer in the healthcare space to the rise of digital wallets and crowdsourced lending in financial services — we're seeing innovation in every industry, and at a pace unlike any other time in history.

But the truth is, most big stories fail — and here at The Motley Fool, we've always recognized that the key to winning big is evolving with the market, and taking the time to find the trends that last.

Today, we recognize that's getting harder to do — which is why I'm glad you joined us today.

Hi, fellow Fools. I'm Simon Erickson, lead advisor for Motley Fool Explorer, which is specifically designed to help you find and to profit from the investing world's biggest trends.

This past week I've been in Silicon Valley on a special mission from David Gardner to conduct the final research on eight stocks David has handpicked as the next big things out of Silicon Valley. Only one of these stocks will be crowned as David's No. 1 stock, receiving a $100,000 investment of the Fool's own investment capital.

But first, I'd like to answer the question of what Explorer [is] and how can it help you as you continue on your journey for financial freedom.

David Gardner has helped The Motley Fool stay on the cutting edge of several new emerging trends... from recommending Amazon at the cusp of the e-commerce revolution... to Netflix before cord cutting reshaped the media world.

David has long had a system for staying one step ahead of the world's most powerful trends. And with the introduction of Explorer, we're giving you a powerful one-stop solution for getting the most out of David's market-beating formula.

Every month, Explorer's world-class team of investors works with David Gardner to zero in on the ground-breaking trends poised for big returns in the years to come.

And from there we conduct on-the-ground research across David's entire universe of recommendations to give you the one recommendation across all of his picks that we believe could double, triple, or see even larger gains as the world catches on to what David sees today.

Every month Explorer answers questions like what's the one stock best positioned to profit as self-driving cars take off? What's the one stock set to dominate the Internet of Things? What's the NEXT Amazon? Or the NEXT Netflix? Or the NEXT company riding the world's most important trends?

And this month we have something truly special planned. We've been in Silicon Valley for Explorer's main mission, because it's important to recognize some of the biggest investment trends from the past 10 years. Like social media or smartphones are already starting to fade, and right now David believes a new class of stocks inside of Silicon Valley are poised for explosive growth in the next three to five years.

So this month David has handpicked eight stocks he believes could be the next big thing out of an area that's only produced companies like Intel, Google, Apple, and Facebook. All eight of these stocks are truly under the radar. They're still small, but each is riding very powerful and key trends that David has identified that could allow them to grow fivefold, tenfold, or even more.

And for the next two weeks, you'll be receiving an exclusive backstage pass to join us in Silicon Valley to get a preview as we're conducting the kind of live, on-the-ground analysis that Explorer members enjoy every single month as we interview company CEOs... top venture capitalists... and even try out prototype products like cutting-edge self-driving cars.

You'll get to ride along with us as we carefully review all eight of David's stocks. You'll also get inside access to the biggest trends coming out of Silicon Valley, and we'll trim the list down until we reveal the number one stock that David believes will be the next big thing out of Silicon Valley.

And we'll be backing that pick by putting our own skin in the game, investing $100,000 of The Motley Fool's own capital into the winning company.

So watch your inbox in the coming days, because we'll be filing our first dispatch from Silicon Valley shortly. It will include the names, ticker symbols, and research on the first four companies that David has picked.

And then stay tuned, because over the next two weeks, we'll continue sending you research from inside Silicon Valley as we narrow down our list to reveal that No. 1 David Gardner company we're investing $100,000 in.

I've spent the last week in Silicon Valley, and what I've seen has been incredible, and I can't wait to show you everything we've got planned.

Fool on!