Peter Lynch was famous for counselling investors to buy what they knew. In fact Lynch believed individual investors could hold an advantage over the big institutional investors simply because they were “closer to the coal face” so to speak. In other words, individual investors were more likely to be interacting every day with businesses and seeing trends which the institutions housed away in their skyscrapers couldn’t.
Now, the opportunity to experience first-hand the companies you might consider investing in provides an enormously wide set of possibilities. Some of those experiences such as making a phone call via a network owned by Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) is hardly going to be a thrill – and possibly not all that insightful given the complexity of a corporation such as Telstra. There are other times however when experiencing the product or service can indeed be thrilling and also offer important insights into a company’s potential. This can be particularly true for early stage firms or new product releases.
Although perhaps not familiar with their corporate entities, many investors will be familiar with the fun parks, ski resorts, movie theatres and bowling alleys of Village Roadshow Ltd (ASX: VRL), Ardent Leisure Group (ASX: AAD) and Amalgamated Holdings Limited (ASX: AHD). All three companies operate in the entertainment and leisure sector, their share prices are up 38%, 46% and 10% over the past year, and investors who have taken the time to ‘test them out’ would likely have had a good time doing so.
A high flying opportunity
Cutting to the chase – a small, little known company called Indoor Skydive Australia Group Ltd (ASX: IDZ) listed last year with the exclusive license for access to technology which allows it to operate air conditioned vertical wind tunnels in Australia that –you guessed it – provide for an indoor skydiving experience.
It is still early days for Indoor Skydive, with the first facility only opening to the public in late April, however the company recently stated that it expects to report revenues of $1.2 million for FY 2014.
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Motley Fool contributor Tim McArthur does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article.