So I’ve got this thing where I hate being late. It just doesn’t sit well with me. At worst, I’ll be on time. At best, I’ll usually be a little early. And sometimes very early. But I’d rather be very early than just a fraction late.
That’s why when it’s time to travel somewhere I’m at the station or airport with plenty of time up my sleeve. That’s because you don’t ever really know if things are going to run on time as you expect.
If they do, which they do most of the time, then great. That just means things go as you hoped. But if things aren’t quite to plan, then you’ve got the advantage of being a little more flexible with what you decide to do next.
For example, I caught a train into London the other day on a booked service. And I was my usual early self, with about 20 minutes until my train arrived. Except at the station it showed my train wasn’t expected for another 30 minutes after it’s departure time.
In fact, all the trains were running on large delays all morning.
That added up to me leaving the station in 50 minutes’ time (my 20 early plus the 30 until the train actually got there). Now if I’d rocked up five minutes before my original departure, I’d still be stuck for an extra 35 minutes.
This would all just domino my arrival into London, I’d then be late for a meeting, and the day would get off to a shocker.
However, because I was early another train heading into London was just arriving. It was also delayed, but delayed from much earlier. Hence it was arriving late, but just as I was arriving.
Happy days for me.
This meant I could jump onto this train now and get to London at the same time I was originally going to.
The downside is this train would be packed. But I had a seat, so it didn’t really bother me. Or I could wait. And have a not-so-packed train and get to London another 30 minutes (or possibly even more) later than planned.
I got on the one in front of me.
The thing is, I wasn’t fussed, flustered or panicked about the delays to the network. I was early, I had choices, I was prepared and ended up getting the outcome I’d hoped for anyway.
Being early and on the right train helps
Call this a personality trait, but it’s the kind of thing I carry on to the investments and technology trends I try and dig out for investors.
I pride myself on trying to uncover some of the most revolutionary, breakthrough technologies on Earth, before they hit the mainstream. And historically, I’ve been pretty good at it.
I’ll be the first to admit, sometimes, in finding these, I’m too early. Sometimes I’ll pick up on a technology that’s so out-there or wild that it’s borderline crazy. Being early in this sense can mean the markets don’t react to some of the opportunities in the way that you hope.
But the upside is often we’ve got our seat on the train, well before it gets packed and is standing room only…or worse…there’s no space on the train at all. Now that’s the worst position to be in.
Have you ever gone to get on a packed train only to find you can’t even get in the door? Meanwhile there’s plenty of people sat down, comfortable and content (and often smug) in a seat. They’re just looking at you, laughing to themselves because they got there early, and first.
Well imagine that in a mega investment opportunity. Imagine being the person that comes to the stock after it’s boomed. There’s space for you, but it’s too late, your ride from here is going to suck.
Unlike those that had a seat and had a cushy ride right to the top. That’s the spot you want. And that’s why being early can be helpful. Just sometimes you’ve got to wait a while even for the train to leave the station.
A couple of mega tech opportunities I’ve been too early on include 3D printing and virtual reality. Going back years now, we prophesised the rise of 3D printing, that soon enough everyone would have one in their homes to download and print bit and pieces for the home.
That’s not the case. Not yet at least. We were probably a good decade or two ahead of things when we came to that vision. Also we were too early with VR, sort of. We believed that VR would find its place in the world, but it wouldn’t be a massive mega trend ready to blow the socks of the investment markets.
And in that sense, we were right. The VR train to be fair isn’t actually one we decided to get on…until now.
We’re at the VR train and ready to get on board. Now here’s the thing, we’re actually early to the VR train this time as well, from an investment perspective. The idea of VR and the technology isn’t new. I’d still classify it as revolutionary, but it’s not new.
The question is, do you have a VR headset at home? Why not?
I don’t have a VR headset. Not yet at least. And I’ll tell you why. The content hasn’t been there. I’ve always said that for VR to take off it’s going to capture three main segments of the entertainment market.
The first is gaming. That’s a given. VR gaming is only going to get bigger, more realistic and immersive, and more valuable in size and opportunity.
The second is sports. Sports in VR is going to be a game changer. When you sit on the handlebars of Marc Marquez at the Phillip Island GP or watch Ronaldo fire in a free kick from 20 yards while sitting on top of the crossbar, that’s going to revolutionise sports broadcasting.
The third is music. I think the next big wave of music consumption is going to be via virtual reality. When we were listening to MP3s on iPods not many thought we soon stream songs via our smartphone or connected speaker at home. And likewise I don’t think people think we’ll soon be attending live concerts in VR from the comforts of home.
These three catalysts haven’t taken off. But the seeding of the potential is there. And I think that if you’re ready to board the VR investment train, then now is a prime time.
In fact I think that I’m even ready to get a VR headset this Black Friday.
We’re at a point now where the quality and content is catching up to the technology. And it’s the content that’s going to drive the adoption, the market, and the potential profits.
Get your seat now because I believe soon enough there won’t be enough space when everyone else will want to pile in.
Editor, Money Morning
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