I think I first logged on to the internet in 1996.

I’d already heard a lot about it. Back then, I had AOL, CompuServe and Prodigy floppy disks dumped on my doorstep practically every day.

I was especially excited to check out the bulletin boards where I could discuss stocks or boxing. It was fun to connect with people who were interested in the same stuff I was.

There wasn’t a lot of online commerce at that time, and computers took forever to connect to the internet (not to mention the horrible screeching noises they made).

But the internet evolved quickly, and in a very short time, companies were selling merchandise and services online.

Because my office had a high-speed T1 line, I was able to access real-time quotes and stock charts. It was amazing.

When it comes to what we’re seeing in artificial intelligence (AI) right now, it feels like those early days of the internet. We don’t know what the future of the technology will bring, but it will probably be much bigger than we even imagine.

We can be confident that AI will be used in medicine, military operations, finance and so many other areas… because it already is.

But in 1996, when we were still paying long-distance bills, could we have imagined that we’d no longer receive paper statements from our financial institutions but would instead log on with our fingerprints? Or that we’d grumble if the answer to our question about some obscure fact took more than a second to pop up on our screen alongside multiple sources, images and recent news? Or that we’d be able to make a video call to anywhere in the world for free?!

We haven’t yet seen the avalanche of AI companies hit the stock market, but you can be sure it’s coming. There are roughly 58,000 AI companies in the world, with nearly 15,000 of them based in the U.S. and more being created every day.

Surely, some of them will go public… and a meaningful number of those will be garbage, just as we saw during the dot-com boom.

Back then, companies with no revenue saw their stocks soar on the number of “eyeballs” they were attracting – or, even worse, potentially would attract.

Businesses that had no chance to succeed were rated “Buys” at the major investment houses, touted in the media, and driven higher and higher by investors.

Most of them failed. A few well-run companies, like Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) and eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY), survived and thrived.

But for every Amazon and eBay, there were 100 companies that went to zero and shut their doors forever.

At this point, the best AI opportunities are the large tech firms like Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) and IBM (NYSE: IBM). But investors don’t get excited about those. They want the small, low-priced stocks that are going to become the next Microsoft and IBM.

When you come across these small companies once they’ve gone public, look at them with a very critical eye. Most are going to end up like defunct Pets.com. Remember 1996.

Good investing,


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Source: Wealthy Retirement