MicroVision is on my mind. Tomorrow is their Annual Meeting of Shareholders which I’ve attended for about a decade. The meeting is on my mind even though I know they can’t say anything new without violating SEC regulations. I attend because I consider it part of my due diligence in understanding my investments. I attend because I might get to see new products. I’d like to say I attend because it is free, but it costs about four hours and $25 to get there and back. I attend because I know that, even though they can’t say or show anything new, the meeting is my one chance in the year to hear and see at least some of what the company is telling its larger investors, suppliers, partners, and potential customers. It is my right, and the best way to keep it is to use it. Besides, maybe they’ll have something new to say.
For those of you who haven’t heard the MicroVision story, go back to this blog’s most popular post Micro Vision if you want a deeper description. The quicker version is this. Have you noticed how ubiquitous cameras have become? My laptop, iPad, and cell phone account for four. One path for MicroVision’s success will be to supply projectors that are similarly small and seamless, and we need displays more than we need cameras. It is easy to imagine this little company that is worth about $80,000,000 being worth more than $800,000,000 – and that’s basically from one product line. Yes, I am a dreamer and an optimist.
If you read that old post and looked at today’s stock price, it would appear that MVIS has been a good investment. Back then in 2011, the stock was at $0.80. As I type, the stock is at $3.15. That looks like an almost four-fold increase, but there was a one-for-eight reverse split in 2012, which means today’s price is closer to $0.40. Oops. Multiply the old data by 8 and wonder at the highest price of any of my Buys: ~ $35 then, or ~ $260 now. Of course, that was near the peak of the internet bubble, and I only bought 100 shares. But they were going to be profitable soon, right? So, as the price dropped and the technology progressed I bought more, and in bigger lots. Friends joined in because of the compelling story, and the price dropped. Technology advanced, and the price dropped. Any day though, the drops could turn around into pops, which is why so many of us hold our stock. Any day has been delayed for so many days that many others have sold and moved on to other stocks. They can always come back if the right news is announced.
The term “Investing” has many definitions. We invest in stocks, real estate, careers, relationships, and ourselves. The deeper a person gets into any endeavour, the more precise they can become in their definitions. The media talks about buying stocks as “investing”. After I post about MicroVision, I usually receive a few emails or comments that buying stocks like MVIS isn’t investing; it’s speculating. I agree. Just don’t expect the media to agree. I suspect one quick way for a news show to lose financial service advertisers would be for the headlines to use the word “Speculating” rather than “Investing”. Speculating sounds like gambling, and it is. The pesky truth is that everything along the line of finances is a continuum of risks and rewards. The lottery is at one end. Buying and burying gold is at the other. There are bonds which range from “junk” to AAAs that “probably” won’t fail. Real estate which we all knew was reasonably stable, until it wasn’t. Even gold which is a solid and stable investment, until it bubbles, but we don’t call it that on the way up, only after we’ve forgotten to sell. None are without risk. None are guaranteed.
MVIS is on my mind. Last week I reviewed my finances as I tried to find a way to keep my house. I put together a profit/loss report for my business, and was pleased to see that my business has already made more in a few months than it had in some years. At this rate, 2013 revenues will exceed 2012’s record by the end of the summer. And then I realized that my dismal portfolio made more than twice that in one week. Granted it was a good week; and no, I didn’t sell. I need about ten such weeks to grow my portfolio enough to get me back into the good graces of my mortgage payments, and selling too early cuts off that opportunity. As incredible as that sounds, such growth is possible from my speculative holdings. That ten-fold growth wouldn’t happen according to a schedule, but it can happen rapidly. The quickest any of my stocks has moved in a day was about 240%, as I recall. Such movements are possible for small companies, especially, when they are dramatically undervalued.
I am also encouraged by many of you. Yes, I watch you. MicroVision is one of the topics that draws people to this blog. Someone described my open chronicling of my finances as “My Big Work To Do In This World” because so few are willing to speak past our taboos about money. I am honored to provide such a service. Yet for many, my recent drama has been difficult to read. As another reader described my turmoil, it was such a “Perfect Storm Of Misfortune” that it is unbelievable. It’s been nice to see readers return as the good news has begun. The number of people interested in MicroVision, however, is a larger audience. Both audiences are international, but past posts about MVIS have spiked and included relatively heavy traffic from Italy, Taiwan, etc. The posts also drew traffic from such venerable sources as NASDAQ.com. People want to know about this company, or at least this stock.
The audience is important, not because of some commentary on my writing skills, but because stocks are affected by the same forces as any other product: supply and demand. There aren’t many shares of MVIS; yet, there is a strong latent demand for it. It is easy for an investor, or a speculator, to talk themself into thinking something is “The Next Big Thing”. Sometimes they are right. I think that every time I publish a book. But MicroVision is a case where those few of us who’ve held shares for years can feel this pressure behind us of a crowd looking over our shoulders. They hope we’re right. We hope they’re right. But none of us really know until we receive that real and positive news from the company; or see the stock price spike, which somehow magically precedes many corporate announcements.
So, in the meantime, I’ll go to the meeting (assuming the ferry and the buses get me there on time), come back and write up my notes as usual, and hopefully uncover an insight, an encouragement, and maybe even some good news which will suggest that MicroVision is going to succeed, that MVIS will switch from speculation to investment, and that my finances will improve quickly and well enough to let me keep my house and maybe even step back into semi-retirement.
Yes, MVIS is on my mind.