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Big Small Stocks (Part 1)

12 January 2008 - Features - Editor

Why should ordinary stock investors everywhere envy private equity owners of Lilliputian Systems Incorporated? The reason is that people from all walks of life in our times are constrained by sizes and capacities of the batteries which run our portable electronic devices. It is not just a matter of running out of energy just when a cell phone chat warms up, or when a fanciful game absorbs the child in all of us. Personal digital assistants can save lives, when in the hands of doctors managing casualties, or when used by troops in battle fields. Lithium ion batteries are major improvements over earlier versions of energy packs, but there is plenty of scope for the kinds of improvements that Lilliputian Systems promises.

The antecedents of Lilliputian’s founders and most important brains will not be universally reassuring for all stock investors. It is true that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where Lilliputian’s core technology was born, has an awesome reputation, but how can we be certain that the know-how behind the company can make it profitably to market on any significant scale? There are two technical features to the micro fuel cell technology of Lilliputian Systems that provide reassurances of future stock dividends. One relates to the use of butane as fuel of choice. Butane is plentiful and designed for use by Lilliputian in a way that is relatively safe. Butane is also comparatively dense in energy terms. The second advantage of Lilliputian’s industrial secrets is that these guys know how to trap the enormous heat produced by the combustion of butane to make their batteries cool enough to carry around in all senses of the term.

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The elitist culture of their alma mater seems to have left indelible stamps on the founders of Lilliputian Systems. US corporations are known to be voluble about their assets and achievements, and software celebrities invest considerable resources in building suitable images with stock investors. However, the Lilliputians are as secretive as their company name may suggest for many! There is nothing small or insignificant about their monumental discoveries and developments, but they maintain virtually invisible profiles on the stock market arena. They have raised capital in regular lots, but have steered clear of stock exchange buildings, and have preferred the cloistered world of private equity instead.

Stock brokers love to discover new investment opportunities. It is not uncommon to wait for private equity to unload holdings on the stock market. Unfortunately, a handful of stock investors bag the lion’s share of stock price gains in such contrived situations. All stock investors should have level playing fields with private equity denizens. No one can force technologists with great ideas to accept our funds, so the best we can do is to put forward the advantages of the stock market over private equity. The major benefits for entrepreneurs from a stock exchange route to funding relate to stability and independence. Private equity may move to greener pastures in a flash, and look over executive shoulders in most annoying fashions.

Big Small Stocks (Part 2)


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