Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Can Smart Stock Pick Change Life?

Yes, certainly. Clever investors are good at their daily stock pick. Though not every stock they pick make money, but smart stock pick can certainly change life.

I am going to kick off my successful young investors series by telling this story on how smart stock pick changes life.

I used to work for a Finnish company. Therefore I have some knowledge about Finland where this story originates. It is dramatic, but it is true. Many who had heard this story from me, found it amazing and started to look for ways to improve their stock pick skills and investment strategy.

Mysterious Legacy
In 1962, a Finnish businessman named Onni Nurmi died, leaving 780 XXX shares to his home village in his will. Under the terms of Nurmi’s will, the income that they generate is to be used for recreation of the elderly of the municipality of Pukkila, a village about 60 miles north of Helsinki, with fewer than 2,000 inhabitants.

For years, the money went on small treats for the 20 or so elderly residents: marginally better biscuits with the Saturday evening coffee, for instance. Pukkila council, which manages the portfolio, also used the dividends to buy more XXX shares whenever there was a new issue.

The Bequest Sharply Rose in Value by 3,000-fold
The value of Nurmi's gift rose from $30,000 in 1962 to $90 million in 2002. The portfolio now holds 800,000 shares of the same stock. Of course, this was by no means its peak. As for Pukkila, it has become the paradise for senior citizens in Finland.

Pukkila – Paradise for Senior Citizens in Finland
The bountiful dividends have allowed the local authority to arrange for free taxi rides for all Pukkila residents over the age of 65, as well as free physical therapy, the cleaning of television sets to prevent fires, and all manner of other important services that can be seen to promote the well-being of the local elderly, according to the terms of Nurmi’s will.

Each February the senior citizens of Pukkila gather at the village school to celebrate Onni’s day with a concert.

About Onni Nurmi
Onni Nurmi was born just outside Pukkila on October 24, 1885. As a young man, he ran a shop in Pukkila, but the business failed. He borrowed money from his fellow villagers, promising to pay them back with interest as soon as he could, and then, in 1913, alarmed his creditors by leaving suddenly for America. He returned in 1928 as a rich man and paid off all his debts, with humble gratitude and interest included. In 1962 he died, leaving a gift of 780 shares to his fellow villagers.

Nobody knows how Nurmi acquired his wealth in the America. Robbing a bank? Well, not a respectful speculation. I guess he made some smart stock picks at the Wall Street. On his 44th birthday – October 24, 1929 – Wall Street had the most devastating stock market crash in American history. Nurmi returned to Finland just before then and his gift to his fellow villagers was from the stock market. This made me believe firmly that he made his money from his smart stock pick.

What Shares Were the 780 Shares?
Everyone who had heard this story came up with the same question. What share were the 780 shares? Answer is: Nokia. A follow up question: Who made that stock pick decision? Well, I guess Nurmi himself.

About Nokia
Nokia makes mobile phones. However few people know what Nokia made before mobile phone was invented.

In the 60s, when Onni Nurmi purchased the shares, Nokia dabbled in cables and tyres but was famous for the manufacture of wellington boots - not a bad business to be in, given the Finnish climate.

In the mid 80s, Onni Nurmi's bequest began to appreciate quite dramatically as Nokia pioneered the car phone market. Its 1984 Talkman became the in-car must-have for the rich and successful. In 1987, in a decisive move away from gumboots, Nokia invented the Cityman, the world's first mobile phone. It was the size of a loaf of bread but, even so, it generated great excitement; Nokia shares began to surge phenomenally, and continued to do so into the 90s, as the company dominated the mobile phone market.

Nokia's net sales were EUR 41.1 billion in 2006, with an operating profit of EUR 5.5 billion.

Nokia Stock Price Closing
NYSE – $37.25 – October 2, 2007
NYSE – $19.61 – October 2, 2006

Interest Statement: Anna Maria D’Souza is not a shareholder of Nokia.

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