By the time you read about a “new trend” in The Wall Street Journal, you’ve probably already missed it.
That’s why, to identify the most profitable new investment opportunities, I focus on sources that are off the beaten path.
Perhaps surprisingly, one of these sources can literally help you see the future.
I’ve used it to help my clients predict movements in stock prices 12-to-18 months before they happen, and to earn massive returns.
Today, I’ll tell you more about it — and then I’ll show you how you can use it, too.
“Bigger Than the Web”
Perhaps you’ve heard of a technology called 3D printing.
3D printers look like desktop printers. But instead of printing words, they “print” objects — everything from sneakers and chairs, to handguns and cars.
Chris Anderson, former Editor-in-Chief of Wired magazine, believes 3D printing will be “bigger than the Web.” Other industry insiders believe it will spark the next industrial revolution.
So it’s no surprise that investment companies like T. Rowe Price have been recommending the industry to their investors for the past few years.
But truth be told, I’m a little curious what took them so long…
Doubling Their Money…Twice
You see, I first started focusing on 3D printing back in 2010.
That’s the year I recommended an investment in 3D Systems (DDD).
By the time anyone else had picked up on it, my readers had already doubled their money. Twice.
How was I able to spot the opportunity so early? The answer is simple…
And it’s the cornerstone to my investment approach.
The Most Overlooked Document
Here’s the source I use to see the future:
A company’s patent filings.
These filings reveal a company’s roadmap for new products and innovation.
Essentially, patents are tangible proof of a company’s technological leadership.
And yet, very few Wall Street analysts focus on them. They should. Here’s why…
A Surefire Indicator
Before a company can book a single penny in profits, it needs a product to sell.
But nowadays, before a company puts a new product into the marketplace, it needs to patent it.
If it fails to take this step, competitors can copy the product — and “steal” the profits.
So when I’m investing in disruptive technologies, I look for spikes in patent filings.
This is a surefire indicator that a company is on the cusp of innovation — and in many cases, it soon leads to an increase in a company’s sales, profits, and share price.
To show you what I mean, look at 3D Systems.
Patents Lead the Way
Between 2005 and 2008, I noticed a massive increase in 3D Printing patent filings.
Such filings jumped from about 100 per year, to more than 400 per year.
After digging into the data more deeply, I discovered a single company at the epicenter:
It held a remarkable 141 patents. Its nearest competitor had only 7.
At the time, its split-adjusted price was about $10.47.
But very quickly, its price soared to nearly $100.
In the end, it was the patent filings that revealed 3D Systems to be a clear leader in innovation.
And it was the patent filings that led me to make a recommendation to buy the stock...
Happily, those who followed my recommendation made a profit of 855%.
Earning Maximum Profits
To be clear, not every patent is valuable.
Which is why patent applications can’t be your only criteria for making an investment.
I’ll tell you about the other criteria in a future essay.
But for today, here’s the key takeaway…
To earn maximum profits, you need to identify disruptive technologies long before others — and long before you read about them in the pages of The Wall Street Journal.
To do that, follow the patents, not the headlines.