Wednesday, March 5, 2008

My Indy picks for the next 20 years

If I were to buy stock in just a type of industry, I would buy 3. First and most important, the retirement home industry. This is an industry that is here to stay, as the baby boomers hit the retirement phase, and then the tapioca phase; we are going to see the need for rest homes explode. We as humans are living longer, though that is not to stay that our quality of life has also increased during this new found period of life. Ironically the whole aging process is a mirror image of when we are born. We are born bald, needing to wear a diaper, eating mashed up food, unable to comprehend the world around us, unable to communicate verbally with true coherency, no teeth, we can not walk, and as we get older we shrink back and start to crawl again... funny how the life repeats itself. When I reach this phase, I probably will not think it is that funny, if I am thinking at all. I am going to teach my children how to deal with me when I reach that point in my life. While they are young and impressionable, I will tell them that when I become a burden, they are to take me out into a field and shoot me. In all honesty it is sad, sad to see the deterioration of someone we love; they are never the person we remember. Back to the hearing aide brigade hospice. Already, I am seeing more and more of these places pop up, and in the weirdest places. It used to be that rest home communities were nestled in backwoods areas, off the radar from the hustles and bustle of the cities, no more. Land and space is a premium. I saw one being built in Richmond and not in a very favorable place… if there is such a place in Richmond. On my way to work, I now pass, from what I can see from the road, 8 retirement homes, 3 of which were built in the last year and half.
Take a dip in the pool, Man I wouldn't mind living here.
... A movie theater... I really want to live here.
I'm not so big on dancing, I wonder what their attendance is like...
Yeah, I'm sure this gets used a lot...

All around, it looks like a nice place, I checked on their map, and they have over 50 of these places just in Northern California... with plans to build a lot more. I also checked to see how many homes there were in Concord alone... I was surprised to see there are 6 on the main road I drive down just tom get to the freeway... who knew? That changes my theory above, I guess now I pass 15 homes on my way to work, that I am at least aware of.

Second, I would buy stock in the private school sector. The public school system is broken, and almost at the point of no return. The bureaucracy has gotten way to out of control, it is becoming impossible now-a-days to do anything without running the risk of upsetting some militant special interest group, or in similar terms, not getting sued. Public schools have so many hoops to jump through just to function. English as a second language, no child left behind, demographic merging, affirmative action, and don’t even get me started on the Admin staff that is way over paid, and the teachers who are not. How do you know if you have a bad teacher, ask them why they do it and if they say “for the money”, that is your answer. You have an institution with a broken staff, all of the “bad teachers” can not be touched, and it is impossible for good teachers to operate or survive. “Free thinking” teachers have to abide by all the rules of the machine that is the public education system, the teachers who are in it for the money, have no problem abiding by this set curriculum and protocol, because they could care less, they operate under the theory of, “why fix it if it is not broken”? The problem is it has gotten so far out of hand that a lot choose not to see it. This is a completely different topic, one that I will save for another day.

Last, aftermarket industry, if this really is an industry. Companies that provide add-ons to already built products. These aftermarket products make the user more unique. The aftermarket industry, in regards to automobiles, has exploded. And more and more, I am noticing this trend to be spreading to more than just cars. Cell phones, clothes, computers, hair, tattoos. Just an off topic mention, did you know that there are more people with tattoos than people without? What used to be a unique and defining event, one that made someone a rebel, can now be compared to the proverbial following the heard like a sheep. You are more unique if you do not have a tattoo, I find it quite ironic that the tables have turned. Now if you want to be unique, someone who does not follow what the crowd does, you don’t get a tattoo. Who knew? Statistically about 66 percent of the population has a tattoo. Anyway, this is the final industry I believe is going to take a strong foot hold in our ever changing economy. One company that comes to mind that has been very successful following this trend is Toyota. I know what you are thinking… how many hybrids do I pass on a daily basis? I am, however, not referring to the Toyota line, but the Scion line. Yes Toyota owns Scion. Scion came out about 6 or 7 years ago, and they have been very popular with my generation, Gen X, the seekers of the latest and greatest thing. What made Scion so popular was their forward thinking when it came to design. Ford has never left their original business principal that has gotten them into trouble numerous times. The famous quote, “we have a wide variety of Model T’s to choose from, as long as you like black”. Scion was started under the principal that the base car design would remain constant, but he purchaser could purchase, “add-ons”. I am not referring to A/C or floor mats here, these things are options with some manufactures, can you guess who? Scion allowed the purchaser to design their car online, add the equipment they wanted, and never have to negotiate with the dealership. BRILLIANT!
(I know it might seem like I am selling the Scion, but I am not. I am only impressed by their business model... not very fond of the car.)

With hundreds of different combinations available on one model, someone who wanted to purchase a unique car could, in theory, design a unique car all there own. One that would allow them to express his or her own unique personality, one that would define them as a unique and different person.

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