I have a confession to make …
I'm a lifelong motorhead.
Back when I was 15, my Dad and I restored the Model A Ford coupe that my grandfather had purchased brand new. I've also owned a big-block Challenger and a V-8 Vega, and I'm currently building a hot rod out of a Model A roadster pickup.
But one of my favorite "hot rods" was the '66 VW Bug that I bought as a high-school senior, and spent the next five years souping up, racing and rebuilding – over and over and over again. But "The Bug," as my friend Harry dubbed it, wasn't just a fun car … it also taught me a valuable life lesson that I continue to put to use today.
I articulated this bit of "hot rod physics" as the rule: With every improvement comes an unexpected cost.
Today, I believe, it's referred to as the "Law of unintended consequences."
And today I'm going to show you how I learned that lesson – and will then demonstrate how it directly applies to a tech-stock recommendation from the Radical Technology Profits advisory service that Editor Michael Robinson is allowing me to share with you.
That brings me back to my story.
The great thing about old Bugs is that they're light – and their "modular" air-cooled engines are amazingly easy to soup up. After towing my $90 hulk to my parents' house, I bolted on a later set of heads, a bigger carb and intake, a better ignition and some headers. And the 40-horse motor I'd started with was suddenly belting out 75 horsepower – a hefty amount for such a light car.
The challenge, I would find, was extracting the full benefit of all that power – finding a way to get it to the rear wheels. You see, because every improvement is accompanied by an unexpected cost, I first found that the main bearings couldn't handle the high-revving power, and clutch disks kept burning up.
So I built a new motor, with a balanced crank, bigger cylinders, a high-rev camshaft, and worked-over cylinder heads – and was now making 100 horsepower.
Now the unexpected consequence was that the transaxle couldn't handle all that power; I promptly blew it to smithereens on the starting line of the Cecil County Dragway.
When I installed a super-duty "Rhino" transaxle, the mounting points to the body proved to be the weak link – I just about ripped the drive train out of the car.
Once I fixed that problem, I had a very fast little car on my hands … and had a ball blowing the doors off of cars whose owners repeatedly underestimated my little bomb.
As Michael recounted this week during one of our regular talks, the exact same thing is happening in the world of computers. Computers are the souped-up motors of the day. And computer memory is the weak link that's keeping us from getting all that processing power to the pavement of the digital highway.
That weak link carries a big cost: It's keeping companies from realizing the full benefit of a new global trend the experts refer to as "Big Data."
"Bill, Big Data has an absolutely immense potential," Michael told me. "Think of it … what if you could spot terrorists – before they strike. Or predict killer storms – warning us when and where they'll hit. Big Data offers transformational gains in virtually every field you can name. The problem is that, as computers have gotten ever more powerful, memory hasn't kept pace."
Indeed, Michael says it's created kind of a digital barricade that the techno-types have labeled as the "memory wall." And until that wall can be scaled, Big Data's benefits will be limited.
But one group thinks they've solved the problem. Not surprisingly, Michael already knows all about it.
Also no surprise: He even has a brand-new way for you to profit.
The proposed solution to the "memory wall" barricade is a technological advance known as a "Hybrid Memory Cube" (HMC) - nicknamed "The Cube." And this brand-new solution is based on the ultra-fast processors that run today's computers.
Those processors get their incredible speeds by being embedded with what the industry refers to as multiple "cores." Simply put, it means that each chip contains several microprocessors – the "brains" that run computer programs.
That same concept is at work in The Cube … and the device's performance is stunning.
"We're talking about a memory module that will run up 15 times faster than most of the devices on the market today," Michael said. "Not only that, but The Cube uses up to 70% less energy, and takes up about 90% less space. Once you see those numbers, it's pretty easy to calculate how that is going to supercharge the whole computing sector in a way that will allow Big Data players, their customers and even the investors to benefit in a very big way."
That's not hype. The respected trade journal EE Times chose The Cube as one of the 10 technologies that are most likely to "redefine" the electronics industry. This memory could start selling before the end of this year.
The story behind The Cube goes back to 2011, when a bunch of companies teamed up to form the Hybrid Memory Cube Consortium (HMCC). The 10 members that now comprise the HMCC will produce an open industry standard.
Michael refers to these 10 "Keepers of The Cube" as the "Killer Elite" of computer memory. The roster includes old "Big Blue" – International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM). You've also got Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (KSE: 005930), the South Korean heavyweight that's one of the world leaders in mobile phones, tablets, TVs, LCD panels and semiconductors.
But the Cube-player company that Michael really likes is Micron Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: MU), a 30-year-old chipmaker that's a founding member of the "Cube Consortium" and that's also one of the 10 firms that he has anointed as "Killer Elite" players.
With a market cap of $8 billion, Micron shares trade at about $7.75 each. And they're cheap at only 1.0 times sales and book value (BV) per share.
"Even though Micron has been around for a long time, it's a company that still manages to push the envelope of cutting-edge tech," Michael said. "You have to like that."
Just six weeks ago, Thompson Reuters listed Micron as one of the world's 100 most innovative organizations.
And while we never let Wall Street guide our decisions, it does appear that the sell-siders are trying to push liquidity into the stock: Currently there are 20 analysts that rate Micron as a "Buy," five that rate it a "Hold" and none that rate it as a "Sell."
The consensus target on Micron is currently $10 a share – about 26% above where the stock closed on Tuesday.
But that's just a start: Once The Cube hits the market, the rubber will really hit the road for Micron as Big Data customers discover this new technology will let them deliver all their horsepower … even as they rev up their profits.
Since joining Money Map Press, Michael has delivered some very big winners. A number of you have written to tell me how you benefitted from his calls on eBay Inc. (up 38%), Web.com Group Inc. (up 17%) and ARM Holdings PLC (up 12% just since Jan. 7). And just yesterday, AMN Healthcare Services Inc. – Michael's pick in our just-released "Seven Investments You Have to Make in the New Year" special report – soared as much as 11% after analysts spotted the profit potential that he told you about weeks ago.
As impressive as those "calls" have been, what you really need to see is what Michael has done in his Radical Tech portfolio. For a peek at his latest idea, take a look here.
[Editor's Note: We recommend investors employ a 25% "trailing stop" on all holdings.]